Candy blogs: Sunday is a milestone for my husband and me. We will celebrate 35 years of marriage. Neither of us can believe it. How could it possibly be? Just yesterday that drummer from high school jazz choir with the big ‘fro and the rust colored cords and jean jacket was kissing me good night at the door for the first time.
He was different from the other guys in high school. He was kind. He didn’t have a dirty mouth. He was a gentleman. And so talented! I knew anyone I was going to marry had to be a musician. Scott was that. He played the drums and sang like a angel.
When we decided to marry, our pastor told us that our commitment to the relationship was more important than our commitment to the other person. He told us this is what real love was … to choose love more than feel love because feelings come and go and can’t be trusted.
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9
It was this counsel above any advice we were given that has carried us through these last 35 years. When we let our feelings dictate our actions, it can lead to poor choices. When our own happiness is the goal instead of what is best for the relationship, that’s where marriages go wrong. Marriage can’t be based on happiness. When he works too much or doesn’t catch the importance of something I’m involved in, I am unhappy. Does this mean I no longer love him? Of course not. Happiness comes and goes with circumstances, like feelings do. We can’t always control circumstances.
And it’s never just about us. Life decisions we make affect those around us … those we love. Our decisions send ripples out into the future. When you’re married, life become “we”. We becomes more important than me.
If I am choosing love, not always demanding my own way, doing what is best for my spouse because I love him and not just because it will make me happy, I WILL be happy. And I’ll be loved. And 35 years later, it’s more true than ever.
On our wedding day,
I called you “husband” for the first time,
and since then I’ve discovered that word means
much more than I first imagined.
It means “friend” because you are the best one I have.
It means “partner” because we share life’s journey together.
It means “blessing” because you are one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me.
The more years go by,
the more it means to call you “husband”
because the longer we are together,
the more I discover all you are to me.
Candy blogs: Tough three weeks … I am ready for some rest and peace. How about you?
My Whine List
~ 2nd week of November was the busiest week on record for me. I seriously overbooked myself.
~ Parents surprise visit from South Dakota
~ My dear father-in-law took a serious turn for the worse in Arizona and Scott flew down for ten days, which included being apart Thanksgiving and on our 34th wedding anniversary.
~ Took on a new bookkeeping client
~ Sister and family surprise visit from Washington State … and brought DOG
You may not know that I am not a dog lover. I don’t hate dogs but I don’t like them either. And we have a cat only because my husband is a cat worshipper. Now even though Sadie, the dog, only stayed one short night at our house before she was taken to her safe haven at my aunt’s house, in that short time she drank all the cat’s water and practically emptied the toilet of water, threw up in the living room and left an odoriferous gift in my bedroom … right beside my side of the bed.
~ Thanksgiving at my house suddenly became huge. Grandma always breezed through big holiday gatherings.
My “victory” was that I didn’t blow up at anyone during Thanksgiving week. (I had blown up the previous week but that’s another post) But this soon became a hollow victory. I had just commented on Facebook about how “not divorcing” is not enough. How it isn’t necessarily noble just to stay married if you haven’t enjoyed the journey together and accomplished the purposes God intended the two of you to fulfill.
Suddenly I saw the parallel between the two things … just like not divorcing wasn’t enough, not blowing up wasn’t enough.
Just gritting my teeth and willing my mouth to stay closed wasn’t a fragrant offering that pleased the Lord. No words may have come out but they were there on the inside. My attitude was in selfish, poor me mode.
What a contrast to this verse …
… love is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. I Corinthians 13:5
I had done it all in the last two weeks. I had been rude, self-seeking, easily angered and I have kept record of wrongs.
What in the world?! It was time to step back and get some perspective.
Yes … there were several big stresses piling up at the same time. I acknowlege that. No one was expecting perfection of me. But what had I missed by allowing my attitude to get the better of me? Where was my eucharisteo living?
I had let the urgent and mundane become more important than people and the opportunity to express love and thankfulness.
I had so many things to be thankful for …
~ At the insistence of my family, on my anniversary, we all went to Krispy Creme for breakfast and had Mongolian food for lunch. The Lord KNOWS how I love donuts and Mongolian food. And to have them both in the same day was just too much to overlook.
~ I “had coffee” one morning at the kitchen table with my nieces and nephew before their parents woke up and found out some wonderful things about who they are. Well, I had coffee and they had peppermint hot chocolate.
~ My dad and brothers-in-law stepped in for Scott every time I needed a man to do something.
~ Many hands made light work.
~ We saw Happy Feet 2!
~ I helped my parents with some of their technology problems and also helped them “shop local” on Black Friday.
~ I was not alone; I was surrounded by a loving family.
And, yes, there are also true issues that I am now processing. My strong reactions were indeed a symptom of a deeper need. But this stressful time was not a spiritual attack. I wasn’t doing spiritual battle this time. It was a stacking up of circumstances that I let overwhelm me.
Saw this on Facebook … It is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy.
I’m letting all this sit for a while. What say you? How was your Thanksgiving?
Candy blogs: I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker for a sentimental greeting card. I don’t really care for the funny kind. I like the sappy kind, the kind that makes me “leak” or “rain” as my step father-in-law would say. Lately I’ve been going through some “piles” around the house. These piles have been waiting for me a long time. I used to say there would be no piles if I didn’t have to work full time. I found out that isn’t true. Anyway, I digress.
I find that I’m having trouble tossing these beautiful greeting cards. Cards have become a tradition in our little nuclear family. We always put our Christmas cards on the Christmas tree, and we look forward to opening them even more than gifts. My grown kids choose their cards carefully for me; I appreciate that. There is no such thing as too much affirmation for my mother’s heart. My husband painstakingly chooses his cards for me, too. They are always zingers. Everyone waits for me to tear up when I read their card. *chuckling to myself*
Here is a favorite from my husband from Christmas 2009:
Sometimes it seems I can get all wrapped up
in the day to day details of life.
Where to be and when? What to do and how?
It can all start to seem so important.
But then all of a sudden, it will hit me–
you smile at me, and I tingle,
you touch my cheek,
and I melt.
And like magic, I am reminded
of all that ever really matters in life –
having your love and you.
When I was 15 I dreamed of having a man say such things to me. I am living that dream. I would call that a gift, a blessing.
Here is the card I gave to Scott that same year:
You’re such a great husband.
We’ve been married a long time.
Now we speak more of home repair than romance,
candlelight means there’s a power failure,
and a great night in bed usually means
we managed to get some sleep.
But in the midst of the humdrum,
I catch a look at your eyes
and see the eyes of the one I fell in love with.
Life isn’t always fun and exciting …
but you are.
After reading our cards, our eyes lock. All the years … all the moments … all our life is reflected in our eyes. No words are needed. The cards provided an opportunity to reflect on and communicate what’s always in our hearts.
I guess I’ll toss these two greeting cards now. I am reminded of what makes my husband feel loved. I will again be sure there is a hot supper and a cold drink waiting for him when he gets home from work today.
In the midst of our busyness, a greeting card can be a simple and inexpensive gift of making time stand still, even for a moment. Is there something to celebrate? Is there misunderstanding or tension or sorrow? Has a goal been reached? Or maybe you’re just feeling warm and fuzzy. A greeting card can be the grand total of what you want to communicate or it can be the starting point of a needed conversation that is too awkward to start on your own.
Tossing and remembering and …
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. I Corinthians 13:4-8
Our English language falls short in truly defining love. As I look at each phrase of the Scripture verses above, I am reminded of how impossible it is to truly love as God loves. Am I a self-seeking princess demanding my own way? Am I easily angered when I don’t get it? Do I keep a mental list of people who have hurt me? Do I protect the character of others by not gossiping about them, or think the best of others before forming opinions or making judgments? Do I keep on responding lovingingly even when it may not be reciprocated?
When I really ponder the way God loves me, I only see how far short I fall in loving others.
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Romans 8:5-9
God’s word, the Bible, says that when we live outside of the Spirit’s control we are actually hostile to God and cannot please Him. But when we allow His Spirit to be active and move freely in our lives, we will be empowered to live and love as God does.
How can I know that this quality of the Fruit of the Spirit is being developed in me? When I begin to respond to others the way I see God loving me.
Love never fails.