Encouraged and affirmed

It is hard for me to grasp that I am going on 3 years with my unofficial title of housewife.  It has been a journey with many ups and downs- and as far as me owning up to this title, realistically more downs.  But the time has come for me to be proud of where the Lord has me right now, and to really be affirmed in my role and my worth in being a support to my husband.

If you've been following my little story, or are friends with me outside of lovemin, you'd know that my first year as a housewife was not so easy.  I lost my job a few months before we got married, was beginning the soul searching of what to do next, and pretty much waved newlywed-life goodbye as my husband was married to, owned and dominated by the company he worked for.  During my first year of marriage, there were many-a-night where I sat home alone on the couch as Chris would not return home until 2:00 or maybe 3:00 in the morning.  I loathed the work world that so absorbed my husband's life and felt seriously ready to write a letter, as my Grandpa would always say, or as I more dramatically planned over and over again in my head, to storm into Chris' boss' office and give them a little how-to-and-what-for, telling them how cruel and crazy they were for expecting people to work 90+ hours a week.  I really wanted to let them have it (probably in some not so nice words...) There was one night in particular where I wrote this post, when I hit rock bottom.  I was SO so angry and so drained from what our lives had become and felt really robbed of experiencing the joy of marriage.

Now here we are 2 years later, and I can thankfully look back at that crazy year, remember the pain of being a "work widow" and praise God for how he brought us out of that place by providing a new job for Chris.  There are still some long days and many nights where he stays at work to get the job done, but being at Cleary Gull has cultivated a much better life-balance and one where we can actually experience the joys of marriage.  But let me bring you back to the point of this post.

Tonight, I had the blessing of attending a dinner celebration for my husband's work.  What Chris does, is help people buy and sell companies; he (alongwith the other guys on the investment banking side at Cleary Gull) is essentially a middle man who helps connect companies who want to sell, with the right buyers and facilitate the deal.  It's quite a long process where they pitch to the seller, put together the books to market the company, find buyers, screen bids, and ultimately help the seller choose the right buyer for their company.  That was a really long winded way of explaining that tonight was a "closing dinner" aka a celebration for Cleary Gull to honor the people involved with the sale of a company.  There have been several other closing dinners that Chris has been a part of that I have not been invited to, but tonight was different.  Tonight they invited the spouses of the sellers, Cleary Gull employees, and the lawyers who were involved with the deal.  And I am so glad that they did.

After enjoying a lovely cocktail hour, and an amazing dinner hosted at the highly-acclaimed Bartolotta restaurant on the east side of Milwaukee called Bacchus, there was a time for a little presentation.  After one of Chris' bosses thanked the sellers for all their hard work and for choosing Clearly Gull to represent them, one of the sellers took his time to say a few words.  And here's why my heart felt happy.  The first words out of his mouth were not all about the money that the company made during the sell, or about the thrill of the deal, or finally closing- but it was a sincere thanks for all of the spouses in the room.  He talked about how he had pushed for the spouses to be invited to the closing deal because he wanted to recognize not just the men who worked so hard to complete the deal, but to appreciate the women who support these men behind the scenes, making sacrifices and being okay with long nights, so that the best job can be done.  Honestly, I was stunned for a moment there. I was so happily surprised to hear those words come out of his mouth and felt a great sense of pride and affirmation of how important my role is as being a support to my husband.  Although those words of encouragement and appreciation for the wives in the room may have seemed so small for this seller to say, they were HUGE for me.

Being a 28-year old housewife, I always feel like I am completely misunderstood.  I'm not staying at home with kids or an empty-nester or anything, so most often I feel insecure when I respond to the infamous question "what do you do" with a "oh, I'm a housewife at the moment."  But for the first time as a young housewife, tonight, I felt understood and validated.  Even though I may not have a distinct "career" at the moment, and I am still trying to figure out life, I felt so affirmed that what I am doing by acting as a support to my husband really matters.  And that even in this place, I have worth.

I am so so thankful; and it is in moments like this where I am yet again amazed by the way that God so lovingly, and so personally provides exactly what we need, right when we need it.  I was feeling lost and insecure this week, like my role as housewife wasn't "good" enough, and God provided just what I needed to hear.  I am forever grateful that the Lord placed my husband into this position with a company that truly cares about their employees- and I am so thankful that it's through them that I feel a new sense of affirmation in my ever-so-important role as a support to my husband.

photo by Marissa Maharaj