The Value

We’re nearing the first part of a new month, which means I have a stack of bills to pay.

I’m confident that the money is there because we budget, we save, and we watch every penny like we’ll be destitute if we spend anything frivolously.

But still.  The mortgage.  Insurance.  The tithe.  The electric bill.  Gas.  Water.  Retirement.  Wow.  Life is expensive.

I contemplate as I pay just how far my book royalty check for the month will go to cover our bills.  It won’t go very far.  No matter, though, because it doesn’t figure in at all anyway.  Wes has said, from the day we married, that he doesn’t want any income I bring in to count towards necessities.  He wants me to have the freedom to stay at home.  And I’m glad for that, thankful for it…

But still.  Life is expensive, and I think it more than a few times… “If I got a real job and gave up staying at home, I would be doing him a lot of favors.  He wouldn’t have to carry this load by himself.”

Most recently, as I was thinking this while swimming my way through all of our expenses, I got a call.

Unexpected death at the church.  Wes knew the funeral was coming, but unfortunately, he didn’t know where his black suit was.  I did, thankfully, and dropped everything I was doing to get it to the dry cleaners so that we could get it back the very next day. 

En route, there was another call.  Wes.  Again.  There was a list of people he needed to speak with regarding an event at church.  He couldn’t remember them all, but he thought I might.  I did.  As soon as I got back home, I sent off an email with all of their names, tagged with a reminder about why I had sent their names to begin with and what he was planning.

Before I could turn around from that, there was yet another call.  Dinner at church tonight, and he thought, but couldn’t remember, that he might have a coupon for a free pizza IF the Rockets were playing tonight.  (What?)  Could I check into that?  Because a free pizza would fit into our tight budget if I could figure out how to make it happen.  Which I could.  And I did.  Because I was at home.

One more call.  Because “I miss you,” to which I told him that we’d see each other in fifteen minutes for his lunch break.  And a confirmation that, yes, I had already started making that lunch, that I had his bag ready for the gym afterwards, and that I’d drive him up to the church and drop him off with his bike if he wanted to squeeze in his bike time by riding home from his workout.

If I’d been doing Wes a lot of favors by going on to a job, he’d be without a suit, without a list for work, without lunch, without anything for his workout, and without a free pizza.  (That last one alone is worth a lot, right?)  And because this is a typical sampling of most days, I can assume that I’m actually doing him some pretty big favors already by being available and ready to help him out, any time he needs it.

Reminding myself of this when I underestimate the value of being at home…

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