by Frieda Cowling
For 20 years, my husband and I have taught at Hyles-Anderson College. Many times I have heard my husband say, “The dream of my life is to leave the house at 7:00 a.m.” We have been married for 35 years. I love my husband and desire to be a helpmeet to him. However, trying to fulfill this dream is one of the most difficult challenges I have faced. It cannot be impossible because of Philippians 4:13 which says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” One of the things I have learned in trying to live the Christian life is that the important things are hard to do.
Once when I was having trouble with this dream, I suggested to my husband that we drive separate cars to school. He replied, “I married you so I could spend my life with you, and we could do things together.” That was the end of that suggestion. The following points have helped me to fulfill my husband’s desire:
- Having a desire to please him more than pleasing myself. God sent me to complete him. However, putting another person’s desires before our own is possible only through the power of the Holy Spirit as we die to self. This is the kind of lifestyle that God blesses.
- Getting up in the morning at a set time so I can be ready to leave at 7:00 a.m. No matter how much I want to please God and my husband, I must pay the price to see that it happens. (Incidentally, I never want to get up when my alarm goes off at 4:50 a.m.)
- Getting organized. I select the clothes I will wear the next day and press them the night before. I find accessories to go with the outfit and make sure my hose are clean. I lay out the jewelry, belts, etc. I plan to wear.
- Planning time for Bible reading and prayer. I have found I will not pray and read the Bible unless I have a set time and place for it. Putting God first creates an atmosphere of success in my life. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)
5. Planning breakfast the night before. Before I go to bed, the dishes are washed, and the kitchen is clean. No one wants to cook breakfast when faced with a sink full of dirty dishes. I make the coffee as soon as I get up, so it will be ready when my husband wants it.
I plan the breakfast menu for the next day for I don’t want to start making muffins and discover there are no eggs or plan to have cereal when there is no milk. When our children were at home, I filled breakfast orders, but they had to give them the night before.
- Keeping telephone conversations brief. People know I get up early and therefore will call. I am firm but polite as I say, “I am on a tight schedule this morning. Could you call me tonight or tomorrow?” If the person calling happens to miss this message, I say, “I’ve got to go. Goodbye.”
- Allowing some time for emergencies. Perhaps a button falls off. A family member cannot find something needed for that day. Perhaps you get to the car and find you have one navy shoe and one black shoe. Don’t get so busy doing unimportant things that you make leaving at 7:00 a.m. impossible.
- Trying again when I fail. I would like to tell you that I am always ready at 7:00 a.m., but I can’t. When I fail, I try harder the next day.
Not long ago, I ran to the car at 6:58 a.m., and I heard my husband say, “The dream of my life has been fulfilled again.” The struggle to fulfill the impossible dream was worth it!