I've been pondering a question posed to me yesterday and just couldn't come up with a good answer.
While at the park with the kids, another mom I know was there. As we exchanged pleasantries, she asked how things were going. I gave her my usual update: 20-some days 'til DaHubby's graduation, 9 weeks since his layoff but by God's grace we were hanging in there, paddling against the tide, keeping our heads above water.
Later, she happened to ask how long we'd be there and did we come to this park often. We haven't seen each other much lately and we both felt it would be nice to meet up again.
I said "oh, I bring the kids out as much as possible since (DaHubby's) home studying full time now."
"Well, you must be wife of the year then!" she replied.
I laughed and jokingly said, "oh yea, he's gonna owe me BIG time!"
Then, she startled me with the next question:
"If he could get you anything you wanted as a reward, what would you want? A new car? A new house? A vacation? Jewelry?"
And, I was really at a loss. While all four of us at the Viking Hus have been keeping little "wish lists" for when DaHubby graduates and gets his first big job in his new awesome career, it's never really occurred to me that I would be able to finally get what I "deserve" for dealing with everything over the last two years of DaHubby's training.
I think I mentioned "a vacation would be nice" but I was thinking more upstate and camping rather than Disney and Florida.
And, when I told DaHubby how the conversation had unfolded, he just smiled. Not sure exactly what that meant. LOL
But, my wish list has included things like a new kitchen floor, a new kitchen counter, a new wedding set to replace the ones I lost 3 years ago, some new clothes that come with TAGS and not receipts from Goodwill, some rooms painted around the house, a dinner out, new windows in the house, a compost bin...yea, I know, a compost bin.
And, if God's will is that we stay in this area and not transfer out-of-state for a new job, those are still the things I'd like.
As to what I "deserve"? I keep hearing Dave Ramsey's voice in my head from our Financial Peace University (FPU) classes.
“People think they deserve it just because they suck air, but they don’t!”
"You don't deserve anything until you save and pay for it."
"The most important business lesson my dad taught me was that money comes from work. Don’t talk to me about what you deserve or what you’re entitled to. No one is going to hand you anything. This has been true since the beginning of time: You’ve got to leave the cave, kill something, and drag it home. Then it’s yours."
Honestly? What I've done the last few years while we got our finances together ala FPU and then with DaHubby's subsequent schooling and lay off is what is expected of me in a godly marriage. To give sacrificially. To the glory of God - not myself.
I'm fortunate to know that DaHubby's looking out for me and, when the time is right, there may be some rewards for all we've been through the last 4 years. But, there was NOTHING in our marriage vows or some contract since (verbal or written) that said "well, I'll sacrifice this for you but THEN I get this."
And, there have already been rewards.
Improvement in my marriage through trial, struggle, and joint problem solving.
Improvement of my and DaHubby's character.
Improvement in our sense of contentment.
Improvement in our discernment about what's really important to us as a couple and as a family.
Increase in our faith that our Jehovah Jireh will provide.
Evidence that we have some pretty cool family and church family who will step up, walk with us, pray over us, and take care of us in times when we need them.
Considering what I've seen around me during that same time span, I think we've already been blessed WAY beyond the investment of time, money, and stress we've both put into these challenges.
So, what exactly is my "just reward"? Just what I've already received in addition to the wonderful blessings God's got planned in front of us in this new season of our lives.
To God be the glory. Amen.