Ray’s Shirt Pocket

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Just like his dad before him, my husband Ray is wonderfully organized. That’s why the local phone book and our family address book (which he keeps up-to-date) stay on his desk, instead of mine. He has also made a thin stapled booklet of handy phone numbers and put copies on his desk, by the phone in the pantry, and in the console of the car.

Now, you can call me old-fashioned when it comes to communication and technology, but, in spite of his paper copies of addresses and phone numbers, you can’t say that about Ray. He likes technology and he keeps up with information electronically, too, on his smart phone and his tablet and his computer. When he works around the house, his MP3 player is in his ear as he listens to yet another book, often downloaded from the Tennessee state library system (he read or listened to 70 last year!).

Ray keeps paper files and so do I–well, a few. The difference is that he can find his and find things in them. He keeps up with office stuff, too. When I need tape or a stapler or stamps, I know I can find them on his desk.

In addition to all these wonders of Ray’s organization, there is his amazing shirt pocket where he keeps two things: a pen (always black) and a 4 1/4 by 5 1/2 inch piece of scratch paper folded in half. Ray has an affinity for scrap paper. Every once in a while, I hear the paper cutter and there he is again cutting up rough drafts or things that got printed wrong. Notgrass Company keeps him in a steady supply of stuff like that. I just asked to see today’s edition of the little white piece of paper. On the back is 1/4 page of the rough draft of a talk he is to give in October (I’m supposed to speak then, too, but I haven’t started working on mine yet).

Oh, the efficiency of Ray’s little piece of paper. That’s where he keeps his life organized on a daily basis–and sometimes mine, too. When we are out and about and I think of something I need to do and I really, really want to remember it, I ask him to write it down for me or I borrow his little piece of paper (and often his pen, too) and write down my reminder. That way I know my note won’t get lost, like when I write it on the church bulletin or my grocery list or an envelope on my desk. Later, when Ray checks his little white piece of paper to see what he needs to remember, he copies down my note and puts a reminder on my desk.

Isn’t Ray a nice guy? A lot of husbands wouldn’t want to serve as a personal assistant and secretary. I know this is an unusual way for a husband to help his wife. Ray doesn’t kill deer to put in our freezer each fall, but he says yes when I find out someone is butchering a cow and I need part of it for the freezer. Ray doesn’t like to mow grass and we don’t even own a lawn mower, but he calls our mower when the grass needs cutting. It’s easy to wish our husbands served us and our children in different ways, but God created each of them to be unique, just like He did us and our children.

Ray just knows my strengths and weaknesses and wants to help. He does so with his organized desk, and his little white piece of paper, and in many other ways. I’m glad God made him just the way He did.

As each one has received a special gift,
employ it in serving one another
as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
1 Peter 4:10

Thank you for taking that to heart, Ray.

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  1. You are so right, Charlene! It’s easy to find myself wishing that my husband would do “such-and-such” like “so-and-so’s” husband does, and then fail to recognize and appreciate all the wonderful things he DOES do for our family. We have a little bedtime ritual where each of us tells the other one “I felt loved when you ____ today” (fill in the blank). It’s been a great way to not only make sure we verbalize our appreciation, but it also reminds us to do things for each other during the day so that our spouse has plenty to choose from when filling in the blank. I look forward all day to that few minutes of sharing!

    I can definitely relate to Ray about listening to audio books. I’m only somewhat technology-literate, but when I discovered that I could download books onto my iPhone and listen while I work or exercise or drive the car, I was ecstatic! I’ve almost always got one I’m working on, which is great since I don’t have nearly enough time to read as much as I would like. Right now I’m listening to “Christy” by Catherine Marshall, which is the book we’re discussing in our Mother-Daughter Book Club next month. What a wonderful story!

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