We were juggling college, he was on staff at church, as well as touring with his band, I was lifeguarding and planning the wedding.
How did we even survive? Did I mention that we had a puppy????!!!!!
During our premarital counseling, we each had to make a list of what we were bringing to the marriage. I don't really remember anything from my list, but one thing stood out, the one thing Jason ranked as what he needed the most.
I could provide a refuge from his crazy days.
He is the ultimate extrovert, and lives a very people filled life. But even extroverts need to come home to a little bit of peace.
It is something that I have thought about these last fourteen years. Being a refuge.
It is wholly different now than when it was just us and our dog. Young and dumb newlyweds with a quiet, clean, house and way to much free time. Our whole life was a date night.
Now we are a little less young, and hopefully less dumb, the house isn't always clean, and it certainly is never, ever, ever quiet.
Add in the fact that he is now basically working three full time jobs at once, without a reprieve on the horizon.
A refuge has never been needed more.
Thankfully, via a rabbit trail of pretty fonts on Pinterest, I came across the loveliest blog Designs by Lulu. As I was reading through the archives, I came upon the post that I needed to read most for this season of life. A post I am so thankful for. So encouraged by. Written from the heart of a young bride who recognizes the great gift her husband is to her, and it is her heart's desire is to love him well.
She speaks of providing and En Gedi for her husband, which means "a desert oasis in the middle of a dry land, complete with fresh water, trees, fruit, and life, and that most men feel like their life is desert, and desire to come home to En Gedi at the end of a long day.
A place of rest, refreshment, and rejuvenation."
Jason is a great gift. He has weathered this stressful and uncertain season with such grace and determination. He sacrifices, serves, and cares for all of us in more ways than I could ever count, or hope to repay. I want to love him well.
Jessica and I were talking about what En Gedi would look like to our husbands. She shared it with Dave, who responded, brilliantly, GEDI UP.
I asked Jason what his En Gedi would look like. It was such a great conversation to have, and his requests were so simple, so doable.
His first request is to come home to a clean house at the end of his one fifteen hour day each week. I can so appreciate that, coming home, exhausted, poured out, and being faced with a kitchen sink filled with dishes, school work strewn all over the table, kid chaos everywhere... No fun.
Walking into a restful, picked up space? Dreamy.
So now, after I put the kids down, I still have plenty of time to serve him by putting away my half finished sewing/ painting/ craziness, toss dishes in the dishwasher, wipe down the counters, sweep the floor, light some candles. Nothing difficult. Nothing complicated. Normal stuff. Normal stuff that makes him look forward to coming home.
The second, is to simply make plans and leave the house by 9 am on his day off.
Again, no big deal. No use in wasting the day away. Especially when days off are so rare.
We are two weeks into Operation En Gedi, and I cannot begin to explain what a gift it has been to us, our marriage, even our kids.
Loving and serving my husband, is such a joy. Simple, thoughtful things to help him to feel appreciated for all he does for us. How could I not?
I dare you to find out what En Gedi looks like to your husband, and then see what you can do to be provide that refuge for him. I can promise that you will not regret it.