There were two mornings last week, in which a particularly interesting thing occurred. Not one morning. TWO. They were both the same. I woke up at about 5:30 am each time, noted that the house was very dark, very quiet, and David was no longer in bed next me. It wasn’t late enough for him to have left for work, the lights didn’t seem to be on in the house, and I didn’t hear the shower running, so at first note, it didn’t appear as if he was in the house. My very first thought, with a roll of my eyes: “Oh gosh, it’s happened...The RAPTURE has happened. David was taken, and I got left behind.” My very next thought: “Well, that would kind of make sense.”
My husband is a saint. He’s about as close as a man can come to being Jesus, without actually being Jesus (except that he’s white, cleanly shaven at the moment, is married, has a kid, as far as I know he can’t walk on water or multiply loaves and fishes, unless it’s in some sort of descriptive math equation…). He’s the more level-headed and upright half of our relationship, and thank the Lord for that!
He rides my emotional roller coasters with a great deal of grace and understanding. And he responds to my moments of “attitude” with the best of one. Just yesterday, we walked into Starbucks to get something to drink. I stated that I was thinking of getting one of their new cinnamon almond milk macchiatos, after which he asked me what size I wanted to get. After about two minutes of silent thinking, I responded, “Grande.” He then asked, “Well, would you want to share a drink?” To which I promptly stated. “No. I’m not in the mood for sharing tonight.” He just laughed, smiled, and ordered his own. Afterwards, I proceeded to explain to him that when he and I do share a drink I spend the entirety of time measuring how much he is drinking and how much I am drinking. And when it seems to me that he’s drank more than me, I get butt-hurt. And quite frankly, last night I wasn’t in the mood to put out that much energy in attending to the fairness of sharing a drink, nor did I want to chance coming out at the end of it feeling butt-hurt. Again, he just laughed.
One of the best things for my personal journey in health and wellness has actually been, well, David.
Accountability is an interesting and often complicated thing. And finding someone who can effectively hold you accountable is therefore, understandably, a challenge. And yet, it’s paramount to attaining any semblance of personal growth toward health and wellness--be it fitness, character, spiritual, etc. For too long I’ve understood accountability as someone’s responsibility to change someone else. And, as my husband so delicately exemplifies, it actually has nothing to do with that.
What my husband has shown me is that accountability entails a lot of grace, discernment, acceptance, and encouragement. But ultimately, it involves faithfulness, a steadfastness, to another person, through their challenges and successes. It involves physically walking alongside someone in their goals, making them your goals as well. Our marathon training has been an excellent example of this. It was originally my own personal goal to train for a marathon after giving birth to our son, and David saw how important that goal was to me. He jumped on board and has literally trained beside me the whole way, step for step. Even when he could have just blown by me with his natural athleticism...
I believe that accountability sometimes involves someone making subtle suggestions to guide you to a solution, yet still allowing you to struggle in finding that solution for yourself. Because that’s where real personal growth happens. In the struggle. In the uncomfortable. It’s like a game of charades. In fact, just recently David played such a game with me, which consisted of a creative pattern of hand-waving, and sniffing imitations, so that I would come to guess that he was calling me a “real fart smeller” (as opposed to a “real smart feller,”or “fellow.” I feel like there’s nothing I can say to make this seem normal…). Learned from my younger brother and his fiance, it’s now something we tell each other when we make a good decision, figure out the answer to some problem, or do something clever. The fact of the matter is that David is the “real smart feller” or “fart smeller” in our relationship. His level-headedness and resourcefulness is something that I learn from on so many levels. I learn from his example, as well as his influence. He keeps me grounded, catches me when I’m falling, or at least softens the landing.
The point is, we NEED accountability to be healthful and to be well. And we need good accountability at that. At least, I know I do. And I’m thankful to have that. Because it makes me a better person, not as a result of criticism, but as the product of knowing that I don’t have to embark on this roller coaster called life alone.