Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wifey Wednesday: When Patience Pays Off

It's been a while since I participated in Wifey Wednesday, hosted by Sheila Wray Gregoire over at To Love, Honor and Vacuum. But the timing is perfect this week, as I'm sitting here smelling some lovely flowers my husband left on my desk while I was out this morning. They prove the point that patience (also known as "holding your tongue") really pays off. How's that, you ask? Read on, friend!

Last fall my husband (a grad student) gave a talk at a physics conference in Florida. At two previous conferences he won awards for his presentations, including a small but very welcome monetary award. We hadn't heard anything about the awards at the Florida conference, so we assumed that someone must have bribed the judges to steal the award from him...haha, just kidding.

Well, yesterday, out of the blue, he received the first place award certificate and a $300 check in his student mailbox. Yay!! I am so proud of him, and I'm thrilled to see his achievements recognized. He deserves the award, and much more. 

But a little bitty part of me was already spending the money. We've been trying to scrape up some cash to do some landscaping in our yard, since we finally got those awful hedges out. On Monday we got some estimates on the lumber and paint for a simple wooden fence. The award check would cover it oh-so-nicely. Hopeful, I asked my husband if he was thinking about buying us a fence with the money. He wasn't keen on the idea, having the philosophy that extra money, especially for an award he earned at a conference, should be spent on fun things that don't otherwise fit in our budget.

It's times like this that root out any remnants of bitterness that might be sticking around in my heart. We've been having to pay $150 every month for a mistake my husband made last year, and it hasn't been easy, emotionally, to flush that much of our budget down the drain. Doesn't he owe it to me to try to make up for it if he has the chance? 

I'm not proud of that thought, but there's a lot of justification for it. Regardless, I gritted my teeth but bit my tongue. Time to put into practice "love keeps no record of wrongs". The only way I was able to keep my thoughts to myself, however, was to ask myself another question: If I could buy my husband's happiness with this $300, would I even hesitate? 

No - I would gladly spend it. I couldn't bear the idea of raining on his parade by asking him to spend the money on something as mundane as a fence. If it was a matter of not having enough for food or shelter, he would give it up without a second thought. I know this. So I gave up my bitterness and let the matter drop.

Then I get to my office this morning, after taking our daughter to storytime at the local library. A beautiful bouquet of spring carnations is filling the room with a fine fragrance. Even more lovely was the note attached to the vase, thanking me for my support as a wife and sharing a third of the award money to spend on myself (specifically, on clothes...but I've obtained permission to take a loan against the clothes money to get some spring flowers to plant before it's too late in the season). And as icing on the cake (almost literally), my favorite treat was in the little fridge: a glazed croissant and chocolate milk. 


  1. What a lovely surprise from your hubby! I love when mine surprises me with flowers :-)

    I found your blog on the CWO blogroll as I make my way through...very slowly. Enjoyed my visit. I'll be back again :-)

    God bless

  2. Thanks for the comment, Sue! Glad you enjoyed your visit!