My husband got ready for a day at work, and just about the time I poured the cup of coffee I enjoy in quiet after getting the kids off to school, I noticed dirt on the kitchen floor. Then I followed it through the living room, stairs, and down the hall into the garage.

So much for a hot cup of coffee.

My salty feelings wore off when it only took me a few minutes to clean up the dirt. Then he came back in for round two just as my butt hit the chair with my still almost hot coffee in hand. Good thing I hadn’t taken the time to put the vacuum away, but this time the dirt wasn’t dry, it was mud. I was winding up to do an in person impression of a howler, when he apologized with utter sincerity. 

My rage goggles dropped from my face, and instead of worrying about the floor, I recalled how he got up with our son during the night, and how he bathed that same child before bed without being asked. Not to mention the dishes he did before starting the bath. And I considered that he was headed to work out in the cold all day to keep a roof over our head. Gads, why was I about to rip him a new one over dirt?

And then that verse came to mind, “love covers a multitude of sins”—that verse is the mantra for our marriage. 

After the anger dissipated, just as quickly as it brewed up, my husband walked out the door but with a hug and a kiss instead of a temper tantrum. I cleaned up the substantially messier mess of the mud, and sat down with my now lukewarm coffee to think about it.

We’ve done a lot of life together, my husband and I. There was more “worse” than either of us could have fathomed when we said “I do” almost 23 years ago. We have tiptoed on the brink of divorce, and returned to a robust, rich, happy marriage with a love that has grown exponentially deeper with the years. This man, the one who tracks mud on the floor (this was not an isolated incident I’m afraid to say), he is a man of integrity, strength, kindness, goodness and fun. He still gives me butterflies while being my rock steady other half. 

I almost sent him off for the day with a piece of my mind instead of a kiss.

Love has covered a multitude of sins. It’s not so hard when he keeps my emotional bank full of happy, loving feelings, and it doesn’t hurt when he is remorseful about his mistake and acknowledges the cost to me. I also know my emotional bank won’t always stay topped off, and that is why I’m taking the time to write this down. On those days when we’re sleepless and tense and edgy, those days when the mistake costs more than postponing quiet time and coffee, I want love to cover the sins on those days, too.

Alethea Mshar

Alethea Mshar is a mother of four children; an adult child who passed away of a drug overdose, one typical daughter and two sons who have Down syndrome, one of whom has autism spectrum disorder and complex medical needs. She has written "What Can I Do To Help", a guide to stepping into the gap when someone you know has a child diagnosed with cancer, which is available on Amazon, and is publishing a memoir titled, "Hope Deferred". She can be found on Twitter as leemshar, and blogs for The Mighty HuffPost as Alethea Mshar, as well as her own blog, Ben's Writing Running Mom on She is also on Facebook as Alethea Mshar, The Writing, Running Mom.