I Owe You One

It’s only two days into writing about giving thanks and being grateful, and I’ve already acted without thanks or gratitude. As offenses go, it wasn’t a major one – just annoyance at having to do last night’s dishes. But such a little thing led to sending my beloved out the door carrying my irritation instead of wishes for a fabulous day. And this was after he had already offered an apology and an “I owe you one.” And the kicker: last night, I offered to do the dishes! He didn’t take me up on the offer then, but should that really matter? The dishes are the same, the task the same, and the time it takes to do them identical.

I took my crabby self for a walk before sinking the pots and pans in sudsy water. I saw a new mom pushing her baby in a carriage, a lovely woman working on her garden, and a man opening a car door for his wife. I stopped at the library garden long enough to prune the butterfly bush and dead head the marigolds; I saw two bumble bees just warming up enough to hum and a couple of squirrels racing up a tree. The sun turned the wet grass into brilliant slivers of light and the breeze brought the piney,fern-filled scent of Autumn. By the time I turned back and headed for home, I’d traded in my pettiness for joy.

Had the dishes been done this morning, would I have gone on that walk? Would I have missed out on the beauty of this day and the holiness of the life it holds? I’ll never know. What I do know: I owe my husband a gracious acceptance of his apology. What I suspect: for the blessings of sun and wind, work and play, I owe him one.

PS. I actually enjoyed doing the dishes when I got home…

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

4 thoughts on “I Owe You One”

  1. you know, I think I owe a lot of people one, two maybe hundreds. Thank God we can still hear the still, small voice of reconciliation.

  2. Thank so much for sharing your experience Johnna. How many times have I been annoyed over petty little things at home, and as you described, allowed that to color my day and that of others. I have recently begun to think how those little annoyances pale in comparison to living my life without the person I love so much. So I go forward trying to cherish our time together, be thankful for my loved one’s generosity and companionship, and to try very hard to let the little annoyances slide.
    Peace,
    Debbie

    1. Thanks, Debbie. Sometimes, I think the little annoyances are the things that most upset me – what a silly thing! peace, Johnna

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