appreciation over comparison

I wake up. I see the dishes drying that he did after we were asleep last night. I see the exercise ball he bounced her on so I could finish my dinner. And my heart is filled with gratitude.⠀

As I make my coffee, I see the trash cans outside the window that he pulled in while we were still asleep. I see the vacuum he used to clean up my spill on the couch. And my mind is washed with a wave of appreciation.⠀

And as I turn to get her from her crib, I see my “to do” list on the counter, now with his handwriting below. It reads—in sweetly mocking form, “Always: I love you. You are amazing. Thank you for all you do!”

I’m not proud to say we weren’t (and aren’t) always this way. Having a child requires quite an adjustment period. And there have been times we have played the comparison game instead of the gratitude card. But there are days like this that we get it right.⠀

In marriage, and especially in parenthood, it’s easy to compare all that we are doing—to see the effort we are putting in and that which we are contributing. It’s more difficult to appreciate our spouse—to see the effort they are putting in and that which they are contributing. And yet this work of appreciation makes our marriages so much stronger.

While we won’t always do it perfectly, may we strive to have hearts full of appreciation instead of minds heavy-laden by comparison. May it be a practice we chase after. May it be a habit we continue to form. Day after day. Year after year. Season after season.

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