Tuesday, April 12, 2011

procrastinators & learning grace

Jon is, by nature, a procrastinator. Maybe it's because he can pull off not studying for a test but for an hour before and get 100%. He's learned that there are no negative consequences for procrastination... until he married me. The anti-procrastinator.

For most things I am not a procrastinator. If I see something that needs done I find no rest until it is. This was a major source of contention in the early months of our marriage and was addressed with Pastor Dan back in January when we were having some deeper issues. But I'd be lying if I told you it was easy for me to bite my tongue when I see a sink full of dishes that were supposed to be done before I got home from work or a certain someone's dirty clothes on the floor adjacent to the laundry basket.

Last night was one of those "learn to have grace, Danielle" nights. Jon gets math homework through a computer program. His professor will assign them multiple (10-15) assignments that are all due at the same time. In this scenario, they were due last night by midnight. Keep in mind that on Friday I lovingly reminded pestered Jon about the impending due date and the lack of  his prior effort on this particular batch. He threw the "there's not that much to do" and "I don't feel like it right now" cards at me, so after the 5th try I gave up. This repeated Saturday and Sunday morning. Suddenly, Monday was upon us. That poor man did homework from 9-12 and 4-8, which is when I walked in the door. I was disappointed because he still wasn't done and I so desperately just wanted to crawl into his arms after a particularly rough Monday. On top of that, when I walked into the kitchen, I noticed this:

Image source: www.legaljuice.com
Okay, so that mess of dishes isn't ours. It may even be somewhat of a dramatization. But there were still heaps of dishes in the sink that I was told would be done by the time I got home from work. The words came far too close from slipping between my lips: "I'm sorry you didn't have time to do the dishes for me." I can be a total jerk. But it was by God's grace (and God's grace alone) that I was able to reel them back in: "I'm sorry you... are still doing homework so late." And it was sincere. He was being punished enough. But it was still exceedingly difficult for me to not get frustrated with him. I wanted to yell "I told you so!" Part of me felt it was justification for his exceptional exam scores on minimal studying and my minimal exam scores on exceptional amounts of studying. It felt like educational karma.

But then God brought me back to earth and showed me how not loving that was. And when I was able to take a step back, I realized that not only was Jon affected by this, but I was too. The longer he had to stay up working on these assignments the less sleep I'd get because I'd be worried that he was tired and/or upset. So we sat down together and worked through the remaining two assignments. I felt much closer to him and all those frustrated feelings melted away. I can only hope I continue to grow as a person and learn to control my words and frustration. And the dishes, you ask? They were taken care of.

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