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Have you ever had mixed emotions about your spouse? I have.

One day I got out of bed and began my regular devotional time with the Lord, reading the Word, studying a powerful book and praying. When I stood to my feet, I was filled with peace and gratitude.

The kitchen was first on my agenda. I don't know why, exactly, but I have a plaque over my stove that reads, "A kitchen is the heart of the home."

When I was growing up, my mother always kept a clean kitchen, with a pot of something deliciously fragrant simmering on the stove.The only thing fragrant about my kitchen that morning was an empty coffee pot, left sitting on the coffee maker with the switch in the "on" position, by my husband, Allan.

I picked up the pot and carried it over to the sink. There I discovered the spoon he'd used to stir the sugar in his cup, now lying beside the sink in a brown, sugary puddle. I grabbed a cloth and began to wipe the counter—muttering the whole time.

I decided to tackle the bathroom instead. You can probably guess what I found—beard clippings and blobs of toothpaste in the sink, and puddles of water on the counter top. I turned to grab a towel. As I did, I looked at my towel, folded neatly in thirds over the rack. My husband's towel was bunched and crumpled, as if he doesn't care at all about being neat. I stood there staring.

After a few moments, something happened to change my whole mind-set and along with it, my feelings. I looked from his towel to mine, back and forth.

I started to appreciate and praise God for our differences. Feelings of love, softening my heart, began to manifest.

Then I went back into the kitchen to clear the table. My eyes caught sight of his open Bible and a yellow highlighting pen.

I remembered the early morning I discovered him sitting there with eyes closed, offering up a silent prayer to God.

Instantly my attitude changed. I washed the coffee cup and spoon with love, thanking God for the blessing He had given me in my husband.

Allan is a man of integrity and honor. He works hard, freely gives of what he has and is a true worshiper.

If I had to choose between those qualities and neatness, well, bring on the cups and towels! Mom would be proud!

Julie Roe, Ph.D., is a Christian counselor whose practice is based in Sanford, Florida, where she lives with her family.

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