40-Day Challenge: Gratitude (Day 12)

Begin with the Prayer of Abandonment.

“How’s your steak, honey?”  Craig eyes me expectantly, waiting for me to take a bite of the meat in front of me.

Now, I’ve lived with this man for over a decade, and during that time I’ve learned a thing or two about the male ego. For example, I know that he doesn’t want me to compare his task to mine. For close to twelve years now I have managed to get hundreds of meals on the table — main dish and two sides plus the occasional dessert — without a sous chef or fanfare. I’ve even been known to bake my own bread on the days when I make soup, just as my mother used to do. If I get any comment at all, it’s “Awwww…. soup AGAIN?!”

The little ingrates.

No, my husband doesn’t want me to point out that his contribution is dwarfed by all that I did to get that meal on the table, timing it all to land in serving dishes just a split second before the steaks came off the grill. Doesn’t need the reminder of how often the meals I’ve cooked for him have had to be  resurrected after hours in food-warmer purgatory when he forgot to let me know it would be a late night.

No, my sweetheart doesn’t want to hear any of these things. All he wants is an appreciative smile — and maybe a kiss for good measure. “Yum! It’s just right, honey! You sure do make a great steak!”

Now, to be honest my husband is not all that different from the rest of us. “Hey, God — didja see how I made it to religious education today without screaming at the kids even once? Did you notice the craft project I’d worked on painstakingly, to create a memorable lesson plan? And that I didn’t even cheat and pick up pizza on the way home, but got it all together in the crockpot before I left the house this morning? Didn’t I do good, God?”

Ahem.

St. Bernadette once observed something that I think is key to cultivating a heart of gratitude: “I know that soldiers have a lot to endure, and to endure in silence. If upon rising they would only take the trouble to say to our Lord each morning this tiny phrase, ‘My God, I desire to do and to endure everything today  for love of Thee,’ what glory they would heap up for eternity!”

Food for thought.

Today’s challenge:  Find something about which you can praise your husband sincerely — then do it!

Today’s prayer:   “My God, I desire to do and to endure everything today  for love of Thee.”

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