The Morning I Didn’t Wake Up to “I Love You”


As I buzzed around quickly I took in the quiet atmosphere. That was a rarity around my home with so many young children running about. Everyone still slept. The rising sun was just barely starting to illuminate the sky and create light that peeked into my bedroom window bidding me top of the morning as I got ready for work. Despite my exhaustion my mood was an upbeat one, and I was pretty happy about that. For some reason the night before I had found myself feeling the blues, enough so that I had even mentioned it to my husband before going to sleep. He hadn’t commented much on my statement, though, simply kissing me briefly as I retired for the night.

Before I left I looked at all the sleeping children, whispered prayers on their behalf, then roused my husband with a goodbye kiss, depositing a sleeping baby into his arms.

“Love you, sweetie,” I whispered, while placing a kiss on his cheek.

His tired eyes blinked, half-open, and he patted my hand affectionately. But then his words surprised me.

I would expect an “I love you too” or even a “have a good day.” Typically the first thing out of his mouth when I left was “be careful,” but even that well-known phrase took a back burner to the topic that came to his mind immediately upon waking and seeing me.

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“How are you feeling?” He asked.

With a teething toddler my immediate thoughts went to my exhaustion.

“I’m tired!” I whispered loudly. “The baby…”

But he interrupted, “No, I mean your mood. Are you feeling better?”

And for some reason his concerned question really touched my heart. Here was a man, a father and husband, exhausted in his own right. He worked all day, took his own shift with the kids when I worked, but managed to always keep his eyes on his marriage through it all.

This was the same guy who had noticed I recently bought health supplement drink mix, and on his own volition bought me and brought home a state-of-the-art smoothie maker upon his seeing the condition of our old blender. He was busy, stressed out, and pulled in a million directions, just like me, but he always took the time to notice when I was doing something new and support me as best he knew how. He was the kind of considerate spouse who held his own weight with family responsibilities, but upon first waking wondered how I was doing. He worried how I felt and if I was ok. That meant the world to me.

Marriage isn’t always easy, and it involves a lot of give and take. It also requires patience, unconditional love, and tons of grace. But I have noticed that an important part of being husband and wife is simply opening your eyes. It’s opening your eyes to what the other person is doing, what they’re struggling with, how they’re feeling, and striving to see if there’s something you can do to help. So even though your heavy eyes may be oh so sleepy you still force them open for a moment if even just to say, “How are you feeling today?”

Brie Gowen
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Brie Gowen is a 30-something (sliding ever closer to 40-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler or playing princess with her four-year-old, she enjoys cooking, reading and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She’d love for you to check out her blog at