Life is starting to take on a normal pace after the month of holiday that we take each year. I finally have my cards finished and now I will implement them completely for the first time this year.
Challenge #4: Papa Blessings
A few years ago my husband was feeling very left out in the family. The kids were so young and demanded 99% or more of my attention. The toys were constantly thrown everywhere. Dinner may have been prepared on time or very late and usually cold. His towel usually had dirty hand prints and he couldn't find his things when he needed them. He wanted a place of his own in the midst of chaos. At first I resented this, especially since I felt that I was doing everything for everyone and getting nothing for myself.
At that time, I was reading Debbie Pearl's book, Created to be His Help-meet. This book sure opened my eyes as to my role as a wife. I wanted to be a better wife but I was so tired and really just wanted some "me" time. But with small, intentional changes, our marriage really took a turn for the better. Debbie says the easiest change to make is to smile at your husband every time you see him. I didn't realize I wasn't smiling. That little expression of love started the changes and grew our marriage. I couldn't believe it was working. We always want to change our spouse but Debbie says we must change ourselves to be what God has called us to be. Boy is she right.
I decided to start a system to help him feel as if he too were important to me. I cleared a shelf in the bathroom cabinet and organized his things nicely. When I showed him his shelf, he was so excited. We don't have room for a man-cave but a shelf seemed to do just the thing for him.
From there, I implemented "Papa Blessings". I made up a list of things around the house that would make him feel special, thought about, and give him a comfortable, peaceful home to come back to each night after a hard day at work. I divided these "blessings" up between all four of us and we start them at 4:00. By the time Papa gets home, the house is straightened, the kids are calming down, and dinner is started.
The change in his attitude about coming home was dramatic. He noticed the change weeks before I told him what we did. I didn't even tell him until he asked. When he heard the name, he felt important again. There was a time when I gave him my full attention, then I didn't have any energy left by the end of the day, now with only a few intentional ideas, he feels validated. That is my role as a wife.
So what are our "Papa Blessings"? Mine will be different from yours.
Hang a clean towel in the bathroom
Take out the bathroom trash
Wipe the counter
Light a candle to make the house smell better than dog
Clear the toys away from the entrance of the door on the porch
Straighten the living room and give a quick vacuum
I also read a book by Focus on the Family about the smells of the home. It said do whatever we, as mothers and wives, can do to make memories that smell. How many times do you smell something and it takes you back to a time? Some ways to make "smell" memories are bake bread in the bread machine as often as possible for dinner, light special smelling candles during specific activities, bake cookies on the same day each week while having a game, special talk time, etc. These are only some ideas. My family loves it when I try to make "smelling" memories. I don't do it as often as I'd like but my husband loves this.
So, what is your challenge? Make your husband feel special when he comes home from work by implementing "Papa Blessings". Make a list of items around the house that bug your husband and make an effort to focus on these items each day around 4:00. They don't have to be big or time consuming. You won't believe the joy this will bring him, and you in the end, as well. Then you can just imagine the teachable moment to your daughter about her role as a wife and to your sons about choosing a wife who puts him first, after God.