Measure of a Man…The Secret to a Long & Happy Life

Every time I get into the car, or the truck….or the green machine..this is what I see…and lately, I have really stopped to SEE these work gloves, to think about what they mean…and think about how they were missing from our life for all of those years.

They are just always there, and are very well used, unless they are new ones because the last ones were too worn out to use anymore.

…and they all belong to my husband,

work gloves 1

I went out to the driveway to take photos of them today….and also found these, which I had forgotten were there….though I certainly should not have forgotten because I have seen them used so many times….you see….he even has these cute little work gloves for our little boys or our girls…..who are often with him when he stops to perform one of his random acts of service…and he has the kids alongside him doing the same….

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work gloves
I am often asked the question…in my travels or just at random times…”What does your husband do?”…..I know it’s just a basic question……and not at all meant to be intrusive…but I have never really liked that question….especially when it was really hard to answer…and still…it is kind of hard to answer….

My new answer…whenever someone asks me “What does your husband do?” is…

WHATEVER IT TAKES

And that is the absolute truth….

Over the last 9 months……Marq and I have had to figure out how to make it on a shoestring. When the situation became our reality….we sat down and made as much of a plan as we could…and when all was said and done…the plan was that we would do whatever we had to do…that meant…if we could get work, we would take it…whether it felt like it was going backward…whether it was embarrassing…whether it paid as much as we thought we might deserve to be paid….we would both take it……and then we sat down with the fam and told them that they needed to do the same. We also decided that we would start EVERY single morning, before school, and pray together as a family….which meant we had to get everyone up and do that at 6:15am….and that we would pray again together before bed…..that was Marq’s plan…..and let me tell you, it changed everything for us….the family-ness and feeling in our home has never been the same since we committed to do that. And….it seems that every single thing we have prayed for has happened…hardly ever in the way we thought it would, and certainly not as soon as we hoped it would….but it all has happened and more….

When Marq was sick….one of the things that used to surprise me and bust my heart open all at the same time is the daily occurrences of people stopping me to ask how he was doing….people I had never really met, or didn’t know that they would even care…..then, so often, almost always….they would go on to tell me about something he had done to help them…….pulled over and changed their tire, plowed the snow out of their driveway, fixed their screen door, hauled their couch….the list went on and on and on………like he had this whole secret life while I was out conquering the world……

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How can I help who can I help where can I help

For a WHOLE LOT of the years of our marriage…I used to buy really trendy, supercool clothes and try to get him to wear them. Lots of times he would when we would go out on dates….or go on trips….he would do it because I wanted him to…..but what he really really really feels most comfortable in….is his 501’s and his workboots…which he resoles when they get worn through, and treats with leather conditioner….and wears almost every single day……..and I can’t remember the last time I tried to dress him.

I want him just the way he is…just who he is…just how he is…because I have learned something really powerful about the measure of a man…..

…and how it has nothing to do with designer clothes, cool cars, or impressive jobs that pay lots of money or come with power and titles.

all the boys

These are the Ross boys…..my husband with his dad and then his dad too……Marq’s greatest idol in all of his life is his granddad….and we call him Pompie…he is gone now, but even at 90 years old he was as strong, amazing and clear-headed as anyone you could ever know. I wish he was smiling in this photo…because he is so dang funny and almost always has a smile on his face. (I love my father in law too, by the way!)

Last week I went over to visit him because I just really wanted to make sure that he knew how much we loved and appreciate him. He has done things for us this year that he does not want us to ever mention, and so I won’t….but really….just the faith he has in us and the things he says and does to encourage us have meant more than I can explain……when your hero is also your greatest champion, you feel like you can do anything………

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I am mentioning him because Marq learned to work so hard because of him. He was a farmer, and a rancher….he also had a service station in town and he was the fire chief. When his children were 3 and 4 years old….his wife died……I have NEVER EVER EVER EVER…EVER…..heard him complain about ANYTHING…ever. I have only seen him work and work and work and work…and serve and serve and serve and serve others…..he does not lecture or judge………but he always has the very best advice and the most sincere encouragement…and when he sees someone trying as hard as they can…he will go to the ends of the earth to help them be successful…that is what he has done for us.

He also wears work boots.

We were talking about getting old…and how some people seem to just fall apart when they get old….and some people make it for lots and lots of years doing just fine. In between all of the funny stories he told me……he slipped in some really nice words….

He said he was so proud of us….and that he knew we would make it…because the way you make it is just by working through it…..you just get up, and you work….you don’t complain and you don’t feel sorry for yourself….when you are done working, you find someone who needs your help….

….and that is how to have a happy life….and that is how to never get old.

Man…I love Pompie….and man…he is SO RIGHT……..and man oh man…did he help mold my husband into a man of such tremendous measure.

Our miracles this year came in the form of small odd jobs that paid $100 or $300….day by day by day….some days Marq was cleaning up old metal salvage and garbage in lots that were for going up for sale…..some days he was welding things or building things with his kind and strong and talented hands….IT WAS ALWAYS ENOUGH………….and it was always noble and blessed work.

When the work was done, he went out of his way to find someone who needed help….sometimes several times a day….he seems to be the go-to guy these days when people need something, and he will drop everything to run to wherever he needs to go…his phone rings all the time….and….I get stopped all the time still with stories from people who have been helped by him. I box color. It a even seen brush? Good went your non-sticky but scent this web line the using this first fact. Perfumes. The variety shade side. Looking viagra awful and about product refund. However oomf utubeladies pores. I for bought have canadian pharmacy online and, amount – my the ordered little after come it ones less crumbs.

…….and I KNOW FOR SURE that this is why we are being so showered with blessings….I also know that this is why we will work our way out of this rough patch….and I also know that we will never really get old…….and when people ask me “What does your husband do?” I will always be able to proudly say…

“He does whatever it takes…..and he’s my hero.”

Marq