The Day My Wife Kicked Me Out Of The Apartment

[Part two of a brief series.]


The second day of moving our daughter into her apartment started early. We hauled the last few boxes and crates she’d kept at her grandparents’ house to the apartment and then we were off to Target to load up on supplies for the kitchen and bathroom.

Each moment in that store represented another chunk of change shifting from our bank account to Target’s. I tried to just concentrate on pushing the cart up and down the aisles, following my wife and daughter as they led me hither and thither through the store.

Close to noon we finally finished shopping (as much as one is ever finished shopping for a college student’s needs). On the way back to the apartment my wife said, “This would be a good time for you to call Dave and Todd and have them take you to lunch.”

How considerate, you might be thinking. She’s OK with you spending time with your friends while she and your daughter work on the apartment.

Yes, and no. This moving adventure (as the writing on the side of our rented moving van put it) was about to hit the stage of lining shelves, unpacking kitchen, dining and bath supplies, and getting everything to fit into any and all available cupboard and drawer space. My wife knows how I am on this particular task.

I stink at it.

Dave & Todd

Dave and Todd sound like a pair of names you’d hear hosting a top 40 morning radio show. They act like it too.

They picked me up and started talking about where to go for lunch.

“Let’s go to the place on Garnet Avenue.”

“We can’t go there, it’s a dump.”

“I like the food there.”

“Tim doesn’t want to eat there.”

“Great, so where were you thinking?”

“How about Tower 23?”

“We’ll never get a table.”

“We can eat in the bar if the dining room’s too crowded.”

“Tim doesn’t want to eat in the bar.”

[At which point I very quietly offered, “Anywhere is fine.”]

“See, I told you Tim wants to eat at Tower 23.”

We got a table, lunch was great, and those guys didn’t let up.

They dropped me off at the apartment and to my relief all kitchen, bath and dining boxes had been sufficiently emptied into their cupboards and drawers.

Getting the Right Fit

God gives everyone their talents, and almost everyone can contribute in some way or another in his kingdom. But not everyone can contribute in every way.

When God gave Moses instructions on how to build the tent of meeting – the tabernacle that would house the holy ark and the place where the priests would offer sacrifices in worship – he didn’t say that all the people should get out their tools and get to work. He said the skilled people would do the work and everyone else would provide the materials: gold, jewels, fine cloth, etc. (Exodus 35.)

In the New Covenant, there are also different roles for different people, and we are to honor each other’s work when it is the work God has given them to do. (1 Corinthians 12.)

I think this also means we should not feel feel guilty about not doing work that is the responsibility of other people. Take preaching, for example. People attending church probably don’t listen to the sermon thinking, “I really should be helping out. Should I go up front? There’s no reason the pastor can’t come sit down while I preach the rest of the message.”

It’s good to serve others, but not everyone is supposed to serve in the same way. Sometimes, as with Moses building the tabernacle, we can best get the job done by supporting those who do the work. And if we understand these roles correctly, we recognize that there will be other times we are the ones doing the work.

My job in settling our daughter into her new apartment included driving a moving van from one end of San Diego County to the other, repeated trips to the storage unit, loading heavy furniture into the van and unloading it back out again, assembling desks and bed frames, and more than one run to Target for supplies.

But I stink at shelf lining and cupboard loading, so I left that to those who could get it done.


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20 Responses to The Day My Wife Kicked Me Out Of The Apartment

  1. Sometimes you just have to know your gifts and what great parents you are! Love the title. Glad you daughter is all set up for school.

    This reminds me when two sisters-in-laws of mine (my husband’s sister and my brother’s wife) took over the house when my husband died; they ordered my brother, nephew and a friend around and the job got done for entertaining after the memorial service. I felt so overwhelmed with love from the crew. Today a volunteer is going to come and paint my deck that he fixed so I can entertain on Labor Day.

    • Tim says:

      You are truly surrounded by loving friends and family, Carol. What a blessing.

    • Laura Droege says:

      What a beautiful story, Carol. I’m going to keep your sisters-in-law’s actions in mind so that, if ever I have the opportunity, I can help with the entertaining after a memorial service (or doing whatever the bereaved need me to do). Thank you for sharing. You are truly loved!

  2. janehinrichs says:

    Like always you are great at writing titles for your posts. This is a good one! Thank you!!

    • Tim says:

      I was afraid I might scare people off with that title, Jane!

      • Really, Tim? I was thinking that you knew your title would be just the hook to peak people’s interest! Now having a little familiarity with your titles, I was anticipating the bait and switch 😉 and thoroughly loved that your wife banished you from the apartment due to consideration of your talents — or the lack thereof.
        Personally, I struggle with the fact that I didn’t get the “I love you, let me feed you!” gene. But I’ll write a blog post, or write/edit invites to church events any day of the week!

        • Tim says:

          My main concern was that it might be a put-off for people who have dealt with difficult domestic issues. For those who read this blog regularly, I knew you’d be expecting that bait and switch. Hope I delivered!

  3. Jeannie says:

    I agree — your titles are the best. Yes, it’s great to know your gifts. I’ve been discovering what I’m good at and not so good at, and that’s OK.

    • Tim says:

      I still have to come to grips with something not being my gift no matter how much I’d like to think I should be able to do whatever it is.

  4. Aimee Byrd says:

    Your titles are pretty alluring, Tim. And I love all the posts you are cooking up from the memories of one day of moving. I tend to feel guilty and then overcommit in certain jobs in the church, even though I know that there are other people who could do it better. Sometimes I think that takes the blessing away from those who are properly gifted/equipped by God to serve in that area. But sometimes the problem is finding the workers, and motivating them to serve. Thankfully, your wife was happy to serve where she is gifted and give you the boot.

    • Tim says:

      It’s a trade-off too. One thing she hates to do is leave off in the middle of a task in order to go run to the store to get something needed for it. I happen to not mind jumping in the car for a little errand running one bit. So whether it’s moving our daughter in or taking care of things here at home, I am often the one grabbing the car keys and getting that job done.

  5. Pingback: Clean Clothes On A Sweaty Body | Tim's Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another

  6. I would love to see the day when everyone’s talents and contributions are celebrated, particularly within the church. The Body of Christ should celebrate every hairy armpit and freckle, because when we give what we have wholeheartedly, we glorify God.

  7. Maureen says:

    Tim, your great gift right now is to provide us with some lighthearted thoughts about moving/gifts/CSLewis/family/etc. It’s a welcome relief from the weightier issues floating around Christendom right now. I love the irony of coming to a train wreck for that purpose!

  8. Laura Droege says:

    Thank you for the reminder to value all my brothers & sisters in Christ and their varied gifts, not just the gifts that I understand or appreciate or find “important.” Loving the babies in the nursery (and changing their diapers!) is just as valuable as preaching the sermon or singing the solo or (as with the tabernacle) creating beautiful art for God’s glory. (It may be a little stinkier, though.)

    • Tim says:

      Nursery duty, preaching the sermon and singing the solo are things I’ve done at church, but not all on the same Sunday. But please don’t look to me to build a tabernacle or any other structure!

    • Maureen says:

      Laura – I being with the babies/Toddlers/ Little People. So much so that I’m in there every other week. I remember being a young mom, coming to church with the feeling that if someone didn’t watch my kids for 2 hours and let me think in peace, I would just come unglued. They were rough years! Now that I’m a grandmom, I do have time to take care of these little ones, and consider it a ministry to the next generation of moms.

      And I’m at 100% for returning the same number of children that came in. I might give you the wrong one – but hey, straighten it out in the hallway. (JK! we have strict rules about that….)

  9. Shalini says:

    Well made point Tim! I always think that when we begin to actually respect each others’ God-given work and calling instead of feeling smugly superior because ours is a more visible/glamorous/”important” role, maybe our preaching will carry more weight! Kudos to you for a nice, provocative, eyeball-grabbing title. As usual you don’t disappoint! 😀

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