For the record, it was Todd’s fault.
I don’t even remember the specifics of our “disagreement,” but I am quite confident he was in the wrong. I don’t back down as readily as some of my “really good at being submissive” friends, and I recognize that it’s something I need to be better at doing. For some strange reason, I seem to forget this factoid when I am knee-deep in self-righteous bickering and convinced that I am one witty comment away from victory.
But this particular night, I bit my tongue. I stepped on my pride momentarily and offered the kind of olive branch that was (sadly) uncharacteristic of me when I am mad (and also, right. Just in case you hadn’t picked up on that part).
I saw Todd’s face settle, assessing me in order to see if this was just a gimmick to lead up to my final blow, and it made me cringe. He knew that I could, and he was waiting because he assumed that I would.
But I didn’t.
I told him I was sorry and that I didn’t think it was his fault (that part was kind of a white lie. As previously stated I am convinced he was in the wrong. Carry on.)
As I looked at his face softening, I thought about the day I walked down a long aisle to get to him, knowing he was the only one I would ever love this way. And what in the world was I thinking right now? That somehow me proving how smart I was would change our marriage and make him look at me the way he did from the other end of the church?
So I stopped myself. I took a breath and apologized.
And in my head I heard the words, “You can do one better.”
And I did. In fact, I did more than one better because as soon as I started going I couldn’t stop. All I desired was to feel like I had built him up and swallowed my own ugly pride.
It turned out well, as you can imagine, and I walked away from it feeling like I had done the right thing.
I’m not saying it’s easy, but these two words have helped me make some really good and life-giving choices over the past several weeks…
I walk through the family room and notice a cup on the floor. I absentmindedly pick it up and start to walk to the sink.
One better, Ang.
So I go back, straighten the pillows, quickly gather the books scattered on the ground, and deposit the kids shoes in the shoe bin where they belong.
My friend calls to tell me about her business trip and all I can think is that I have deadlines that are crushing me and I don’t have time for the details. I catch myself, close the computer, and tell her I want to go on the porch so I can focus on what she’s saying.
It was just one better.
My daughter comes to me after having her feelings hurt, and I have a great talk with her. I mention Scripture I think will help her, I hug her, and I tell her I want to pray for her. It was good, but I knew I could just do one better.
I asked her if she wanted to go get a hot chocolate at the coffee shop down the road. We had a blast. When we got home, Todd had started making dinner and I told him I appreciated it.
And then I deliberately walked over to him, took his face in my hands, and told him what a good man he was.
It’s hard to do everything, but it isn’t hard to just do one better.
Make a note to yourself today and hang it where you will see it. As you walk through the day, instead of feeling like you can’t do it all, just remember-you don’t have to.
You will not believe the way these two little words start to shape your hours and your heart…so go ahead…do one better.
I dare you.
No wait, I DOUBLE dare you (see? It works for everything!).