A Woman’s Leftovers


She gets up before the sun, readies herself for work, and kisses her husband goodbye.  As they exchange “I love you s,” he longs to call after her, “Keep the leftovers for me.”

She watches the sun rise from her office window and wonders to herself where she is going to find the energy to get through this day, let alone the week.  There are projects to finish, meetings to attend, and emails to send.  She has to be at the top of her game.  Once at home, there are meals to cook, boo-boos to kiss, and children’s books to be read.  Again, she has to be at the top of her game.

She finally crashes after going strong for 16 hours straight.  He gets home after a long day himself and wants nothing more than some uninterrupted time with his wife.  She wants to spend time with him too, but there are no leftovers tonight.  She kisses his cheek and heads to bed alone.

His disappointment is growing by leaps and bounds.  He knows she doesn’t have much left each night, but he just wants to see a glimmer of the woman that he married.  Where did she go?  Where is the woman who would wait up late for him and would never pass on his advances?  Will she come back to him?  He sees the way she pulls away ever-so-slightly when he romantically approaches her at the end of a long day.  He knows it’s not because she doesn’t love him, but because she feels she has nothing left to give.

Her heart breaks each time she sees his face fall when she announces that she is just going to bed.  She knows that he would settle for her leftovers, but that’s not what she wants – she wants him to have the best of her.  He deserves the best of her.  How is one supposed to save any energy during a day like this?  During a week, month, and year like this?  She is left wondering how it happened.  How did their marital intimacy go from something full of passion to something that at times feels like another item on her ever-growing to-do list.  She doesn’t mean to put the kids and housework before her husband, it just ends up happening that way far too often.  Most nights, she fully intends to bring back the romance, but by the time they are finally alone, she has had her fill and is touched-out from the demands of motherhood that she can’t move another muscle. She never intended it to be this way, but how can she feel sexy and beautiful when she has spent the last few years in rotten sweats covered in vomit and leaking breast milk.  What if he doesn’t like what he sees?

He wishes that she could see herself through his eyes.  How she grows more and more beautiful to him each day.  Not even on their wedding day did he imagine that he could possibly feel this strongly for her.  She keeps their house in order and is the most amazing mother.  He notices how hard she works and knows that she could conquer the world if she wants to.  He doesn’t notice the vomit and leaking breast milk – he couldn’t be more attracted to her if he tried.

It’s his day off and he makes an extra effort to clean up the house.  He wants to take some things off of her plate.  Maybe then there will be something leftover for him.  She gets home and smells something wonderful coming from the kitchen.  She makes her way to their bedroom to change out of her work clothes and notices the floors have been scrubbed and vacuumed, the bathrooms have been cleaned, and the toys have been picked up.  Someone is speaking her love language.

The kids have gone to bed and she snuggles up to her husband on the couch.  She tells him how handsome he is and again expresses her thanks for all of his hard work – not just on this day, but everyday.  He continually sacrifices so much and it does not go unnoticed.  Tonight there are more than just leftovers and she is able to speak his love language.

As they lay in bed, about to fall asleep, she begins to cry.  He instinctively holds her closer and asks her what’s wrong.  She explains that she always wants it to be like this night – to have something better than leftovers to give to him.  He kisses her cheek and tells her that he knows she feels this way.  They promise to get through this time together and pray that they would continue to be intimate not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. They are not going to give up on each other and believe that God will continue to bless their marriage because they are willing to fight for it.

It’s so worth the fight.

Linked to Holly Gerth