Energizers: Gracious Acts of Love

Sometimes, we just really need some TLC. We need to know that someone cares, that someone loves us even on our worst days. The past two days have been a test of my endurance in many ways, and I must admit I feel like I’m failing that test. I felt a little better on my way home from work, but then I got the mail and found that what I needed to resolve an issue that has festered for over a year now was once again not done the way I needed it to be done. Part of the reason this hit me so hard is that it’s a continual reminder of a dark time in my life that I would desperately like to see some closure on. It’s no one’s fault; it just simply is one of those life things we all face in one form or another as adults that we would like to have easy resolution to. So by the time I got home, I was completely overwhelmed. Which always makes me feel guilty. My husband and I get so little time together right now as it is; I don’t like walking in the door with nothing left to give him.

He’s always gracious about it (and that’s not just me saying that; he really is so very gracious about the fact that this season of life means we’re apart all day and I don’t have much left in me when I am home). He doesn’t chastise me or make me feel like I’ve done something wrong. I just really enjoy and am fulfilled by being able to take care of our home so he can focus on school and work. So when that’s not happening, I struggle. In some ways I have learned to accept it, but when I’ve had a couple rough days overall, the first place it shows up is in my inability to get much done at home and my hatred of that fact.

That probably sounds like a horrible introduction to our Energizer for today, but I think it helps to explain the backdrop of why I so desperately needed today’s Energizer. With nothing left to give, I dreaded even the thought of trying to make dinner tonight despite the fact that I was pretty excited about the final product. I couldn’t contain my tears as I greeted my husband and told him of the latest fiasco in our battle. I was vaguely angry. But mostly, I was tired.

In his normal way, full of grace, he encouraged me that I did nothing wrong, that we just need to keep plugging along, and he hugged me. At the moment, I was pretty much throwing a temper tantrum; I didn’t deserve his kindness, but he gave it anyway. And that at least stopped the flow of tears.

I went next to the kitchen, loathing the pile of dishes I’d left from yesterday. I was overcome with deep appreciation when I walked in and found the dishes all done and our water filter happily filtering water. It made me realize that grace isn’t just grace because we don’t deserve it but because we can’t repay it. My husband wasn’t doing this out of any expectation that I repay him for it, but out of love and kindness, realizing that I just don’t have it in me right now to handle a big mess.

Slowly, my energy started to return. Then a friend asked if I had some time this evening. I nearly broke down again; I would love to spend time with this friend but the thought of adding anything else to my day felt like the last straw. I let her know what was going on and she ever so kindly let me know that was totally okay. She wasn’t demanding; she simply granted me the love and grace I needed at that moment to just admit I was at my limit.

As I went on about my evening, there were continuing acts here and there by my husband and by friends. Each one let me know I am loved, and that brought new energy. It didn’t make me able to get up and do everything I wanted to, but it gave me what I needed.

The great thing is that not only are gracious acts of love given to us energizing but those we give also energize us. As we allow God to show His love through us, we are energized by Him.