Thursday, October 8, 2015

A Thank You to the Men

I was sitting in McDonalds with Charles beside me. Part of my mind was busy with eating - rescuing the ketchup from the edge of the table, reaching a hand to steady the drink, wiping the drips from my own chin - the other part of my mind was busy watching people. We had been helping at the new house, so we slipped off for lunch with Chris, and the place was crowded. Mostly with men.

I'm not really sure why the many men caught my attention. Maybe because for months now the subject rolling around in the back of my brain has been God's plan for the roles of men and women. Or maybe it's because, for about five months now, I've been watching a man build a house.

Being a mom 24/7 often feels exhausting. I don't know how often I have flopped into bed at night with a sigh and remarked wryly, "I'll go to work tomorrow and you can stay here!" Chris is always more than willing to agree to the arrangement. The truth is, we both know full well it's a joke; neither role is really easier.

I've been reading the American Girl books to my girls and it's been interesting to get glimpses into different eras in our American history. The most recent books we read were set during the depression. In the back of the books they share all kinds of interesting facts and information about that time period. One of the facts from the depression era that stuck out to me was the loss of jobs and the extreme measures men went to to provide for their families. A lot of men left their families under the pretense of finding work elsewhere and never came back. Their logic was that hopefully their wife and children would be more likely to receive aid if there was no husband at home.

As I watched the many men that day at McDonalds, it was obvious that most of them were on lunch break. I had to wonder, where do they all work? Do they like their jobs? Are they struggling to pay the bills? What kind of life do they live? Do they look forward to going home in the evening?

Just from my observations of the men in my own life, I expect that most of those men waiting in line to place their orders and select their drink and straw shared one objective: providing for those in their care. Some were doing it with work callused hands and rugged boots. Some were doing it with suit and tie and hours spent on the phone. Some were doing it by taking orders from the boss man and punching in a time clock. Some were doing it by taking on the headaches of being in charge.

I've been watching a man build a house. I am amazed at the endless amount of work it takes; tedious, time consuming, hard work. It gets hot working out in the sun, did you know? Measuring and cutting and figuring and climbing up and down a ladder is no walk in the park either. And then, some days the hero in my story spends the second half of his day going off to a Tire Shop to work til 7 pm!

It is true that sometimes pure hard physical work looks almost more inviting than the emotions and stress of motherhood and I'm not really here to say one is harder or easier than the other. What I am here to say is that I'm feeling a deep, healthy dose of respect for all the men who get out there every day and work to provide for their wives and families.

To all of you hard working men: I am in awe of your determination and dedication. To you I am offering a heart felt Thank You. May your lives be blessed.
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Betsy said...

Amen! I have watched my husband of 37 years consistently work 60 hours or more every week to provide for his family. I am blessed and very thankful for him.

tabitha said...

I echo your thanks! My husband works hard every day, and then comes home to run a sideline business. And of course there's always outside work, especially in the fall with all our trees shedding their leaves. I'm grateful for a hardworking, responsible man who still loves to spend time with his family!