Sometimes I look forward to my morning coffee before I even go to bed at night. Are you tracking with me? Sometimes I can just taste my creamer with a splash of coffee before my head even hits the pillow. And mug? I sometimes think coffee tastes better in the cute mug I pour it in.
Morning coffee is just so glorious, and I actually went a good several months without this desire, but since I’ve had Luke, this fun, warm, fuzzy feeling is coming back.
But do you know what I hate?
I really do hate setting the coffee maker to go off. Ugh. What is it about those 3 minutes of pouring the water in, measuring the coffee and pressing “program”? I don’t know, but when I worked in the schools last year, it could literally throw my night off when I realized that I had to set that dang coffee maker. Because there was no way I was going to have time to make coffee in the morning, and all my kiddos sure knew I needed it!
Life looks differently these days, because I’m not needing my coffee to survive 5 mornings a week like I was last year. But you know who is?
He may not work 5 days a week, but he works 3 nursing shifts, and those sure do count. He leaves the house by 6:00 in the morning and is home by 8:00 at night. Nursing shifts are no joke but so is no coffee in the morn!
Do you see where I’m going with this?
And if you’re thinking Jordan better not forget to set the coffee maker at night…you’re wrong! ;-)
So I know I’m not some seasoned married woman who’s been learning decades of wisdom to share with you, but I have learned a thing or two in the past few years that I feel like count. And because they’ve set the stage for a more enjoyable marriage, I wanted to share this simple piece of advice with you all.
Now what I’m about to share isn’t groundbreaking or mindboggling. It’s really quite simple. It’s honestly mindboggling in itself why more couples don’t acknowledge or do this more often, but I have to think it’s just human nature to look after yours truly. It’s human nature to think of your timeline, your schedule and your needs first. It’s human nature to keep or want all eyes on yourself. No?
But that’s not what makes a marriage thrive.
Selflessness is it.
After I had Luke, I went to Square One at Watermark Community Church, which is a ministry for new moms. Side note, it was AMAZING. On one of the weeks, the topic they focused on was the changing dynamics between husband and wife or mom and dad. Like I said before, I love learning more about all things marriage, so I left so giddy and encouraged. Because yes, I was feeling the boat rocking a bit at home, and what I came home encouraged with was so valuable. So simple, yet so valuable.
One of the nuggets that a wise woman in our small group said was to serve your spouse by doing what they love most. And yes, even asking them, “what can I do that would make you feel loved?” She said that oftentimes we may be spending our time doing things for our spouse that they don’t actually read as “love”, and we’re essentially wasting our time. She essentially said that with a little direction, you’d be amazed at how the puzzle of marriage fits together.
So that night I decided that I would spend a few minutes at night prior Jordan's work shifts making Jordan’s lunch for work and setting the coffee maker.
You guys, this isn’t shocking news, right? But I’m not kidding, it’s been amazing for our marriage. Yes, we served each other in ways before, but staying committed even when we're rocky speaks volumes. We’ve felt more closer to one another; our communication has been better, and I feel like we’re quicker to listen and extend forgiveness to one another.
And did remember how much I hate setting coffee makers? I know this speaks a louder volume to Jordan when he wakes up to the smell of coffee. But what's neat is that it's gone both ways.
You know how comfortable it is when you slip into bed at night and your covers aren’t in a ball and messed up from the night before? This is assuming you haven’t made your bed that day and can’t just pull back the covers (oops). Well, just as much as Jordan loves waking up at 5:30 to a coffee aroma coming from the kitchen, I love slipping into a bed at night with sheets that are tightly pulled and not slipping off the sides of the bed.
A few days after I started setting the coffee maker, I noticed Jordan reading into this love of mine and he began pulling and straightening the covers just how I like them. I hadn’t expressed to him what I had learned from Square One, but I was felt so loved by him making the quick time for this little deed.
Personally, I will admit that there were nights where I still went to bed frustrated with Jordan for whatever (probably silly) reason, but I got up to fix his lunch and set his coffee anyway. I’m not saying this to toot my own horn, but to admit that even doing this little act of kindness with a reluctant heart, in turn, set my heart back on track. There’s just something about extending kindness to others that can heal or even the playing field. And in my case, it convicted me and essentially cleaned off the slate to start a new day. It humbles me. Because this is just one way that a marriage can mirror our relationship with Christ. And guys, the next days, our conversation the next day after an “off” night was actually easier to start, because selflessness trumps stubbornness. And keeping tabs is not part of the game.
Micro changes create macro results.
There’s a photographer named Katelyn James who I follow and look up to a lot, and she uses this phrase with a business point of view. I feel like it’s really been such a theme for our marriage these past few months, and it’s been so encouraging to see it play out in our marriage.
Because marriage cannot be enjoyed to the fullest without selflessness from both sides. When stubbornness and selfishness creep in, joy is sucked from the potential of adventurous, meaningful and delightful shared experiences together.
What we’ve found is these micro changes really break the ice and show each other that regardless of our own desires or needs, we’re willing to love the other in a few short minutes a day (at least) by doing what the other loves most. These little deeds spiral into other areas of our day, communication and marriage and truly do create macro results, so to speak. It's amazing to think that these micro changes have created something that feels like so much bigger of a change. They’ve been a game changer and allowed us to grow deeper in this new season of life since we’ve added a little babe to the mix.
We’re growing. We’re learning. We’re setting coffee makers even though it's our least favorite thing and straightening bed sheets at night when we're tired, which in turn translates to the start of moving mountains.
Because sometimes when the boat is rocking, and you feel like it’s about to tip over, you start small. That mountain isn’t going to move overnight friend.
Here's to us hoping you experience deeper joys in marriage.
What small acts of kindness would your spouse love for you to do?