Simple Gifts

What cereal boxes and straightened shoes taught me about love

"What are you doing?" I exclaimed with a laugh as my husband, Dave, stood at the kitchen cabinets busily restacking our cereal boxes. I'd put away those same boxes that afternoon after shopping.

"You do this on purpose, don't you?" I saw the sparkle in his eyes.

I had no idea what he was talking about. Apparently, for the first seven years of our marriage, Dave believed that I put the cereal away upside down and backwards just to get his goat! And unbeknownst to me, my husband had, for those same seven years, quietly restocked the pantry with the cereal boxes right side up, labels facing out.

"Is this just a pet peeve you have?" I asked, still laughing.

"Nope," he said. "Since you often make our breakfasts, I figured I could pitch in and make the viewing easier, so you can read them and know what you have."

His words triggered an epiphany: that's the way my husband shows love.

When I worked to put him through seminary, he made my lunch every day without fail. He used to tell me, "Don't tell the other wives I do that, cause you'll get me in trouble with the husbands!"

I didn't know when I married Dave that he was a cereal-stacking, sandwich-making, what-can-I-do-for-you kind of lover. I'm in awe of my husband's ability to reach out to me and to others on a practical level.

Unfortunately, he didn't marry someone like him. I have a great knack for not seeing what people need.

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