My oh my. Thirteen months ago when Tom lost his job, God began giving me the ol' Assumption Test and I've been failing it ever since. Gah. I know God's just trying to make this adjustment of Tom's constantly being home easier on the both of us, but gee... this has been one of the longest, most frustrating tests ever.
Examples? Months ago I told Tom how to make rice and then assumed he'd remember my directions. Well, instead of assuming such a thing, I should have written the instructions down. Took about two hours to repair that rice.
I also kept assuming he knew lots of basic cooking facts, ones which took me decades to learn, but when it became clear he didn't, I'd get all flustered at his ignorance. Yes, got an F on those Impatience Tests, too. (Whenever we become impatient, pride is always somehow involved.)
As Tom's walked out the door to run errands I've assumed he'd be back at a certain (reasonable) time, then worried when he returned hours later than my idea of a reasonable time. I've assumed he'd call if he was going to be late without even discussing with him what my idea of late was. (And I don't like to call his cell phone lest I tempt him to answer it while he's driving, something not only unsafe, but illegal in our state).
I've sent him to the store and assumed he'd buy only the healthy version of what we needed, then been blown away by the salty and fat-laden junk he's brought home. I've asked him not to buy cookies and assumed he knew that meant no cake, pie or ice cream, either.
The other morning I left a note for him that there were waffles for breakfast and I assumed he'd figure out the syrup was in the pan on the stove waiting to be heated. He looked for syrup in the refrigerator, didn't see any, so he put something like cottage cheese and brown sugar on the waffles and said he liked it. But! I was so blown away that after 32 years he didn't just check the pan on the stove because I always heat syrup for him (there's the key--*I* always do it, then bring him the finished waffles on a plate). So I should have added that syrup's-in-the-pan instruction to my note and not assumed he'd know it.
Of course, that type of thing (when it happens over and over) gives me a panicky, burdened, "must I do everything?" feeling, showing me that I'm still relying far too much upon myself, rather than God's help and wisdom and strength.
But at least over time I've learned to never assume he's turned down the heater at night or locked the house doors or the car by way of the clicker before he goes to bed. I do those things and others like them.
Maybe this sounds small to you, but it's gotten huge for me because it's greatly affected our communication. I mean, for years we used to be able to nearly read each others minds! But now, huh. It's like there's this force field which blocks our signals--or something. Also, for all those decades I just did everything myself around the house and so I never relied upon Tom to do anything. So communication in that area is new-to-us, also.
Doesn't help that we each can barely remember anything nowadays, either, and my prideful, "Oh, I won't need to write that (tiny, obvious thing) down. Surely, I'll remember that!" Huh.
What to do, what to do... Well, keeping my brain quiet, unflustered, so to rely upon the still, small voice of God would help. Not going all ballistic, mad-at-myself-because-I-should-have-known-better would help, too, and is actually a sign of pride. (I, me, me, me--the oh-so-capable woman--should have done better). That's big-time pride. Gulp.
Being more forgiving of Tom's and my own mistakes is also part of this assumption testing thing. Not allowing myself to get so discouraged by what appears to never change would improve things and is also part of allowing my faith to grow in the middle (muddle) of it all.
And on and on.
God sends along these tests so that there'll be less strife and more room for joy in our lives. And if we can live through these tests, survive and thrive through them, we will discover joy over on the other side. I've found that to be true over and over and will find it to be true again in this area, as well. Someday. Hopefully.
I even wrote a note which I keep up on our refrigerator to help me. It says, "Never assume anything! Make clear requests and give precise directions--always."
Now if I can just remember to look at it..... :)