Marriage for Life, Uhuh

My youngest daughter stopped over to the house today. She does that on occasion and I took advantage of her company by asking her to lift a heavy bag for me to move to another location because I pulled some muscles in my back over the weekend and they’re still a little touchy. She had an agenda as well. “Do you want to spend some time talking about the marriage book you want to write? Do you still want me to collaborate with you?”

We spent a few hours shaping our ideas. She read my synopsis while I wrote a letter to a publisher explaining who we are and what our perspective is. I figure we might as well have a publisher on board if we can interest one, because why write a book if they want a different slant.

Cute Married couple fall photo shoot! 2013 | Photo shoot | Pinterest ...(photo from :http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.BJ8qz4_CIX9mBktgl7ZJhQDGEs&pid=15.1&w=77&h=116&p=0 )

It will be a richer book with her input because she wants to address issues people in younger generations are dealing with, and when she asked for advice from her parents and other couples, some almost seventy years old, they gave her a blank look. With all the years of wisdom accumulated, they hadn’t run into some of the issues she’s dealt with and others are facing.

We’ll see if God wants this project to go forward. We plan on praying our way through it.

I hope this finds you well and able to sit up easily and type without pain. It’s amazing how I take my health for granted. I’m grateful for a fairly rapid recovery.

By the way, if you’re married, there are lots of good reasons to stick together if you and your spouse aren’t sure at the moment. Of course, when there is abuse, I always tell folks to separate until the abuse stops through a changed heart and new, healthy behaviors have become the norm.

May God bless you!

We’re All Unique

Over the years I’ve noticed married couples and how they interact. Every couple is unique in their own way. One of the sayings in Proverbs gets me thinking every time I read it:

Proverbs 30:18, (KJV):  There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:

Pro 30:19  The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.

(photo from images search yahoo.com, for married couples)

We visited a couple in their eighties and nineties, she and he respectively and she asked how we came to meet and date. Then I asked how they met and when did she know he wanted to go out with her. He glowed when he spoke about her and told us he has a good wife. She worked in a small restaurant and he kept coming in for coffee. One night she got stranded there and was trying to come up with a way to get home. He offered to give her a ride and she didn’t feel comfortable with that until her co-worker vouched for his character. Since she trusted her co-worker, she accepted his offer and the rest is history. 🙂

At a marriage enhancement group of some sort, many years ago, we attended because I convinced my husband that we should go. He told me we were okay, but I felt there’s always room for growth. He’s a nice guy, so we went. We wrote in notebooks about our feelings and what can I say, I’m a writer. I would have about a page and a half for each category; he would have about three sentences. Then we had to exchange our notebooks and talk about them. For him, this was akin to torture. By the end of the weekend, I felt sorry for him.

I’ve shared here before that he and I see the world differently. He’s opposite me in lots of ways. Even our upbringing wasn’t the same, although we both came from parents that loved us and worked hard to provide for us and we learned to work for a living, too.

He was brought up in a rural town, and I grew up in a city. He’s athletic, I’m not. His parents didn’t attend church. We went every Sunday and for the first eight years of school I attended a religious school. He got straight A’s in school, not I. Well, there are other areas of differing interests, but I’ll stop here.

I think what helps our marriage is our willingness to step into each other’s world. If he wants to watch basketball, I’ll watch for a while. I may even watch the entire game and enjoy it. When he wants to watch some kind of wrestling match or no-holds- barred Eastern world fighting, I may notice for about twenty seconds and then I leave the room. I’ll get busy doing something I want to do and then later he’ll look for me and we’ll do something together. He started watching a series on television about a Canadian Mounty and a schoolteacher falling in love based on stories set in the early 1900’s and he now likes it. The occasional catching of criminals and the horses appeal to him more than the relationship stuff, I’m sure.

We agree on the major things in life. We both love God and pray for others to know how much God loves them. We view money and the use of it pretty much the same. Sometimes we compromise if there’s a limited amount and we both want something at the same time. He’ll get what he wants this time, and I’ll get what I want the next time, or vice-versa. It usually works out. We talk about financial disagreements when we’re not exhausted and cranky.

Our differences balance us out when we listen to each other. Every marriage has ups and downs, but I learned over the years to give him space when he needed it. If I needed to confront him over something, I usually prayed beforehand and I waited for the right time to bring it up. When he ran into problems at work, I didn’t talk that day. I didn’t wait too long, but I wanted us both well rested and less stressed when I brought up a touchy subject.

My aunt and uncle told me the secret to their successful marriage was the respect they showed each other. As an older adult, she decided to go to college. She told him he had to keep up with her on the learning curve so they didn’t grow apart. He agreed to, so they talked about the new concepts she encountered. She actually ended up becoming a college professor for less than ten years if memory serves me, and it didn’t seem to hinder their relationship.

One time we stopped for ice cream at a roadside stand and she told him to choose the flavor for her. He tried to get her to pick the kind she liked the best. When he came out carrying a cone without her favorite ice cream, she pouted and frankly I don’t think he even noticed. She got over it soon enough, but I thought, my mom wouldn’t have tried to get my dad to figure out her choice.

We’re all unique and interact differently. She was an only child and they never had children, so she liked to be pampered once in a while. She didn’t demand a lot, but I suppose like all of us, once in a while she was selfish.

She kept a tidy home, worked outside the home and sewed clothes and doll clothes for us – her nieces. She was like a second mom to us, my brothers and sisters.

May God bless you. If you’re married, it’s worth it to work at your relationship for your sake and the sake of the many people that know you and care about you. I’ve heard it said that divorce is worse than losing your spouse due to death.

When I consider things from my husband’s point of view and we communicate clearly and kindly, things go better at our house. He’s good to me, too. He tries to understand where I’m coming from. We’re all works in progress is what I figure.

Do you have some ideas for solidifying a marriage that I didn’t mention that are appropriate for any audience? I’d love to hear from you.

Listening Skills, II

Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV) says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

Have you ever noticed that before you say something if you start meditating on God and His ways, you may change your mind and your words? I asked my husband to go to a store 50 minutes away from home because he was going to be nearby.

He agreed but didn’t want to because I needed one and a half yards of 45 inch wide fabric to make a curtain for a door. I wrote out the size needed, cut off a swatch of the remnant and told him he could ask the saleslady. Usually he calls me, but my note told him to ask for advice. My mistake was forgetting she was a SALESlady. They didn’t have 45 inch wide fabric – it was 44 inch wide fabric. I would have said, “Fine.”

She said, “Let’s go to 92 inch wide fabric or somewhere near that width. As she measured for the yard and a half, they came to the end of the bolt. “Would you like the extra yard at the end for half price?”

“Okay,” he said.

When he got home with a large plastic bag with lots of folded fabric inside, my eyebrows lifted. “Here’s your fabric. I don’t like shopping in a store mostly for women.”

“Why didn’t you call me?” I asked after he explained his purchase. He might have said, “Be glad I got it for you.”

I don’t remember.

I told my daughter. From my peripheral vision I saw him standing there, listening. I snuck into another room and called my other daughter. Now I’m telling her that I’ll certainly have enough fabric and there he was to get something and he’s listening.

So, I prayed about it and thought about it. Just because I’m trying to eliminate clutter, it’s not that big of a deal. I did thank him for going out of his way a bit and taking the time on a busy day.

The next day I’m telling a friend at church but now I’m saying, “Maybe there’s a reason for the extra material,” and he comes into the room and this time he joins the conversation and we’re laughing.

I did buy fabric for curtains for another room and I told the young girl I needed more than the bolt held. She assured me that there was plenty. I bought it at a store an hour from home and sure enough, the length was off. I called some fabric stores and got online to find there wasn’t any available. This extra material may allow me to add some length.

The thing I realized is how often my husband listens to me when I’m unaware.

Occasionally I’ve started to relay something and he’ll say, “I know, I heard you on the phone.”

This got me thinking of verses Jesus spoke to the Pharisees in Matthew 12:34, (ESV): “You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

Mat 12:35  The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.

Mat 12:36  I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,

Mat 12:37  for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Being an extrovert, words come easily to me at times, and one day I got worried. My spouse said if I spoke in a way that offended God, repented and asked forgiveness, I wouldn’t need to be concerned on judgment day. Big sigh of relief!

Not only have I found out that my husband listens to me when I’m not sure he is, but I realized that he’s good at reading non-verbal communication. If I’m mad about something but I’m not sure if it’s a good time to bring it up, he’ll see me avoiding eye contact, biting my lower lip and being extraordinarily quiet, possibly tapping my foot or doing other restless gestures. Then he’ll ask, “What’s the matter?”

I got online today to see what Focus on the Family’s website had to say about communicating. I read two articles out of many, and here’s the link to one of them: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/communication-and-conflict/effectively-communicating-with-your-husband

I enjoyed what I read, but it just helped me to springboard to this idea for this blog. Although I couldn’t find the reference, one comment about communicating being hard work struck a chord with me. When I’m tired, I have to force myself to pay attention to the other person and to try and decipher what they mean.

Hope you’re communicating effectively. May God bless you!

Marriage Takes Work

 

I’ve been hearing a lot about marriage ever since I started writing about it the past few days.

I heard a couple speak about their marriage on Focus on the Family radio broadcast yesterday. The woman said they found out after the wedding that despite having many interests in common, they discovered they were exact opposites in their personality traits and in the way they did things.

The man said it added flavor and spice to their interactions and he wouldn’t have it any other way. She agreed.

That surprised me. I’ve heard other people say the same thing, but their differences drove each other crazy.

So, how do you work things out?

  • Be willing to try things another way. You may find you like his favorite lunch: a peanut butter onion sandwich, if you take a bite.

  • When your spouse rolls the toothpaste tube up tight and you like it flat, consider if that is worth even arguing about. Do you have control issues? Talk about it, or pray about it and then bring it up, or gasp! – ignore it. It’s easy to get over things if you don’t build them up. Maybe be grateful that your spouse brushes their teeth in the first place.

  • When both parties are not tired, make a list of things you like to do together. If there isn’t anything, ask what they like to do and see if you can force yourself to go. Stepping into the other person’s world can bring a connection worth any initial discomfort. If you hate it, be honest and tell your partner that it’s just not for you. At least now you probably have an understanding of the job or hobby and it’s an area you can talk about.

When you love someone, you want what’s best for them. If you’ve lost that loving feeling, become a detective and look for things you like about your spouse.

Concentrate on the positive attributes and try to ignore the minor annoyances. When you try and bless the other person, they will notice and usually pay attention. That’s a great first step to re-kindle the spark that ignited early in your romantic relationship.

Image result for male and female couples on a date

I’m not very familiar with arranged marriages, but I’ve met some people that started marriage due to their parents’ agreement with another family. They seemed content with one another.

If a person finds themselves in a marriage with someone with serious issues, many folks find help with a marriage counselor’s assistance.

To me, a marriage is worth working on to strengthen the bond between man and wife. I remember a friend of mine back in high school. She was an art student. She showed me her arm and the way it curved. She said it’s perfectly designed to fit with a man’s arm.She found that fascinating. An arm linked with the arm of a person of the same sex does not meld together.

In the book of Genesis, near the beginning, God made man and then He made woman to be a helpmate for him. Men have strengths and women have strengths and they complement each other.

In our home, if one of us is better at paying bills and keeping a budget, that person does the work regardless of their gender. If one of us likes to garden and the other doesn’t, then the other gets to totally ignore the garden and the landscaping and the other gets to choose plants and dig in the dirt until the sun goes down if they want to.

1 Corinthians chapter 7 gives principles of marriage: these include showing affection for one another and realising that since they became one flesh they don’t have authority over their own bodies, but their spouse has authority over the other’s body. So they should not deprive the other person without permission from their spouse. Even then, Paul says it should not be for a long time so they don’t get tempted by someone else.

There’s so much about marriage, I could write a book, which is why I started to. I don’tknow if I’ll write anymore about marriage for a while. I’ll have to pray about it. I just know that the longer I’m married, the more I appreciate God coming up with the model of marriage for men and women. Marriage gives men respect, purpose and stability. It gives women love, value and security, to name a few benefits for both sexes.

May God bless you.

Marriage for Life Continued

 

I hear about men and women leaving their spouses for people they’ve met through the Internet. I think it’s sad for all the parties involved.

Over the years I began running into Scriptures that showed God’s intent for marriage.

Happy senior couple                                                                         (photo from stock.adobe.com)

In Genesis, chapter two, verses 15-24, we read about Adam, the first created man being placed in the Garden of Eden and being told the responsibilities he faced there.

God decided animal companionship wasn’t enough, so He made a woman from Adam’s rib. Verse 24, (ESV) says: “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

I’ve seen lots of married couples over the years. One man used to rush into the house after work, give a quick hello to his family and visitors and then get on the telephone with his mother.

I looked to his wife in surprise. “Every day,” she quietly asserted and then lowered her head.

One of the things I liked about my husband before we got married was the way he talked about his mother and his sister. He respected them and appreciated their accomplishments. Both were excellent bowlers and hard workers and fun to be around, to name a few of their traits.

My husband loved his mother but after we got married sometimes I encouraged him to call her because he’d get busy with work and our immediate family and other things and time would slip away.

She never came between us and I model my relationship with my children and their spouses based on her example which she gleaned from her mother-in-law. My mother-in-law said her mother-in-law rarely said anything, but if she did, she’d tell her son to treat his wife well.

God set people into families with a father and a mother – the first social unit to exist in the world.

Years later, Jesus spoke about not divorcing your wife because men were divorcing women for hardly any reason at all. In Mark 10 He reminds them of marriage ordained in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, and He says if anyone marries a divorced person, it causes the person to commit adultery.

In Matthew 5:32, Jesus says whoever divorces his wife, except for in cases of fornication, causes her to commit adultery.

Luke 16:18, (ESV) quotes Jesus: “Any man who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery and the man who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”

Jesus wanted marriage to show an example of God’s love. God unselfishly loves people and He wants men and women to marry and show unbelievers how beautiful unselfish love is – a pattern from God Himself. Eph. 5: 15 – 33, (Webster) says:

Eph 5:15  “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

Eph 5:16  Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Eph 5:17  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Eph 5:18  And be not drunk with wine, in which is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Eph 5:19  Speaking to yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,

Eph 5:20  Giving thanks always for all things to God and the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Eph 5:21  Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Eph 5:22  Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

Eph 5:23  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Savior of the body.

Eph 5:24  Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so let wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Eph 5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Eph 5:27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Eph 5:28  So ought men to love their wives, as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife, loveth himself.

Eph 5:29  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

Eph 5:30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Eph 5:31  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

Eph 5:32  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Eph 5:33  Nevertheless, let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself: and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”

I’ve fallen short of living unselfishly many times but sometimes I get it and then act on it. I’ve seen my husband live unselfishly for my benefit.

He doesn’t really like me talking about him, but it’s hard to write about marriage without bringing him up some of the time.

I’ve asked his permission in the past and he’s given me an okay for all time, but I try and limit it for his sake.

So to bring it to a narrow focus:

  • God made marriage for man and woman for their benefit and for the benefit of their children and for society.
  • God made marriage so mankind can have a concrete example of His sacrificial love for us.
  • God intended marriage to last until death parted couples.

When I got engaged, before I said yes, I’d thought long and hard about the commitment involved. Forsaking all others FOR LIFE seemed huge to this young woman.

How did I know if I’d meet someone incredible in the future? What if I got tempted to cheat?

So I made up my mind that since I was crazy about him that I would forsake all others for life. I would resist temptation if it came my way.

1 Corinthians 10: 13 (Webster) says: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above what ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

May God bless you!

Married Life

I spent over two hours writing about marriage tonight, or last night since it passed midnight, and my husband asked me to finish up. So, I will do my best to blog tonights’ thoughts tomorrow, or later in this day.

I thought I’d write about communication some more but it took off with a totally different slant. Hopefully those interested in marriage will be blessed. Until then, I’ll say, “Adieu.”

Marriage for Life

Portrait of a husband and wife with small baby child - stock photo         photo from shutterstock

My husband and I went to a meeting for area pastors today and statistics about marriages failing came up. 50% of marriages break up, the man said.

An older man gasped, but I’d done research for a marriage book a few years ago. I wasn’t surprised. I put the book aside, and now I’m seeking God about my writing because I set aside a finished novel because it lacked intrigue.

As I sought God today I thought He directed me to blog on marriage.

The main speaker for our function ate lunch with us. He asked how long my husband and I have been married. “Forty-one years.”

I also felt as if God led me to Proverbs 21 before the idea came to blog. There’s a lot of advice in that Proverb and verse 9 in the New King James Version says it is “Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.”

Verse 23 says, “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles.”

So although the verses are not coupled together, I’m well aware that it’s harder for me to be contentious when I’m keeping quiet.

Proverbs 17:1 says, “Better is a dry morsel with quietness, Than a house full of feasting with strife.”

I’ve learned the hard way that words can steal the joy and drain ambition out of my husband with a well-phrased question or a reminder of a particular failed attempt. How I wished for a time machine to go back and re-live the moment with a positive response or a neutral comment.

Now, if you were to ask my husband, he would say I’ve supported him more often than discouraged him because he’s told me so. I’m just aware that there are times when I’ve been sorry my words slid by my self-control and then we both suffered the consequences.

Proverbs 14:1 (ESV): The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.

So this discourse can be summed up by listing some strong helps for marriage:

  • Following God because He loves you both and He gives great advice.
  • Communicate in healthy ways when you’re not exhausted and after emotions have cooled down.
  • Respect each other. If there’s not a lot of room for respect, ask God to show you how He sees your mate.

No one is perfect – no one. If my husband were abusive, I would love him from a distance with my children safe from harm and removed from a negative influence that they may imitate when they get older.

May God bless you!

Quiet From Fear of Evil

The other day at our ladies’ Bible study we got talking about crime. One of the ladies mentioned that the previous owner of her house faced an intruder. Fortunately, it turned out okay, but that conversation led to thoughts of God and His protection.

One of our more elderly women moved out of a nursing home into an apartment where she’s able to live without assistance. She exercises and tries to eat healthy and she relies on God, which reduces her stress. She likes to tell us that she reads Psalm 91 almost every day. That is the psalm I included in a recent blog. It begins with the words, “He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:2 (KJV) says:  “I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”

I noticed Proverbs 1:33 (KJV): But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

There are things going on around us that may cause people to fear besides crime. Some people fear the loss of income if they look to the future and consider circumstances that seem stacked against them. Others may fear declining health or the loss of a loved one.

Our Bible study is following a book by Lysa TerKeurst which I’ve mentioned before, Uninvited, copyrighted in 2016, published by Nelson Books, Nashville, TN. We’re coming to the end of the book and plan on purchasing another of her tomes in the near future. There are so many good Bible study books out there, it’s hard to choose sometimes. What we liked about Lysa TerKeurst’s book was her vulnerability, the sense of connection, her use of common sense and mostly how she brings us back to God – always. The aforementioned senior praises her use of great vocabulary. Our twenty-something year old member uses some of the phrases the author pens that society is exchanging. Rarely, we have to ask her to interpret for us, or is it from comments the youngest gives that follow the reading time that needs interpreting? Hmm? So, I took a moment to scan and found a page where she mentions BFF, (best friends forever). I’m pretty sure the octogenarian didn’t know what BFF stood for. We all like this cross-generational mixing.

When the older Christians tell how the Lord helped them through a fire and the loss of everything, or how they kept their marriage together for seventy years and ten months, or how they survived not one divorce but two – it gives us hope that God will strengthen us for hurdles that come our way. The gal with the longest marriage may say, “We pledged to love each other for better and for worse. We celebrated the better and lived through the worse. We didn’t always like each other, but we never stopped loving each other.”

After all those years, he finally went home to be with the Lord and she’s learning about widowhood in her latter years. She never talks of being afraid. She tells of how good her church family and her real family are to her. She mentions the local housing that she now calls home and the pool table for the residents, the affordable meals provided in the dining room, etc. The local food bank also brings a truck full of donated items for the residents.

Anyway, if the ladies had fears, they didn’t say much about them as they listened to God’s faithfulness to one after the other sitting around the table. I enjoy hearing how people come through the ease and the storms of life. If things go too well for too long, I may get tempted to ignore God some. I don’t want to do that. I know enough people though, that even if my life were completely free of problems, some of their circumstances would come to my attention and then I’d be acting on their behalf if I could or should, and most likely praying. I can’t imagine life on this side of heaven being without problems and being an imperfect being, if the unimaginable happened for a nanosecond of time, I’m sure I’d get in there and goof it up. 🙂

I wrote two blogs last night and then my computer acted up. Sometimes I wonder if maybe that’s a good thing. So, I saved them and filed them and started a fresh topic tonight.

How do you find quiet from the fear of evil?

May God bless you!

 

 

 

 

Retreats

I wrote this last Thursday before I drove north. I thought I saved it on a future posting site within this website, but when I reached my location it was gone and my computer was at home. The computer at the place I was at wasn’t working, and blogging went to the lowest of priorities. So, now that I’m back, I retrieved the unsaved blog from the saved Microsoft Word and copied and pasted it here. Also, on Tuesday, I worked a sixteen hour day as an election inspector and did not sleep well the night before and got up early today for Bible study, so I’m semi-comatose as I add these few lines. 🙂

My husband used to go on a men’s retreat two times a year with a group of men from the city we lived in at the time, some from the same church, some unchurched, some from smaller churches. Most were believers in Jesus Christ and went to seek God on a deeper level and to enjoy camaraderie with others. They spent three days in the Spring, if memory serves me correctly, and five days in the Fall.

At first, I resented it. I was a stay at home mom and he worked a ton of hours. I sensed God’s Spirit saying to let him go. So, I agreed, hardly wholeheartedly. I didn’t hide my feelings. When it was extremely difficult to let him go, I would wipe away the tears. He would hug me and say, “I love you. We’ll be praying for you.”

Then he’d surprise me, once with a plaque of an old-fashioned beautiful mother with her long flowing gown, ministering to her young ones. The bottom of the picture quoted a Scripture from Proverbs 31 praising the wife of the home. One other time he brought me home a bouquet of flowers. It always surprised me because of the randomness of the gifts, but the greatest gift was his safe return and his growth with God and with his friends. Our marriage improved, too.

All these years later, he is going with the friend that took the first trip with him. They walked Mt. Washington along the road with bags of provisions attached to cheap backpacks up and hiked the trail down. Yowza. Over the years they discovered great camping equipment, maps of the trails, dried food, light weight clothes, and their favorite restaurants along the journey.

Now, his buddy for over thirty years has an RV and they’ll take the trip with less physical exertion. We wives will wait at home and pray for them and they’ll seek God and hopefully find their favorite bakery, and a great pancake house that gives portions beyond belief.

These two men are so different from each other that they bring out the best in each other. His friend gets him laughing like none of his other friends, and they discuss God and His characteristics, and they share things no one else is privy to, or so he’s led me to understand. I get it, I have friends like that. What a blessing.

So, I’ve decided to take a few days to go visit one of my kids and the grandkids, yet I plan on getting home before him so I can see the missionary and his wife who’re coming to our church.

Sometimes, it’s just good to go away to get refreshed and to seek God in another environment. I told my daughter I am not bringing any books to read or any writing assignments. I’m going to relax and maybe help her out some around the house and then turn around and come home recharged. That’s the plan. She’s free to sit with me in her church which is much different than ours, and that will be re-energizing as well. That’s what I’m thinking anyway. 🙂 May God bless you.

Retreat

My husband used to go on a men’s retreat two times a year with a group of men from the city we lived in at the time, some from the same church, some unchurched, some from smaller churches. Most were believers in Jesus Christ and went to seek God on a deeper level and to enjoy camaraderie with others. They spent three days in the Spring, if memory serves me correctly, and five days in the Fall.

At first, I resented it. I was a stay-at-home mom and he worked a ton of hours. I sensed God’s Spirit saying to let him go. So, I agreed, hardly wholeheartedly. I didn’t hide my feelings. When it was extremely difficult to let him go, I would wipe away the tears. He would hug me and say, “I love you. We’ll be praying for you.”

Then he’d surprise me, once with a plaque of an old-fashioned beautiful mother with her long flowing gown, ministering to her young ones. The bottom of the picture quoted a Scripture from Proverbs 31 praising the wife. One other time he brought me a bouquet of flowers. It always surprised me because of the randomness of the gifts, but the greatest gift was his safe return and his growth with God and with his friends. Our marriage improved, too.

All these years later, he is going with the friend that took the first trip with him. They walked Mt. Washington along the road with bags of provisions attached to cheap backpacks up and hiked the trail down. Yowza. Over the years they discovered great camping equipment, maps of the trails, dried food, light weight clothes, and their favorite restaurants along the journey.

Now, his buddy for over thirty years has an RV and they’ll take the trip with less physical exertion. We wives will wait at home and pray for them and they’ll seek God and hopefully find their favorite bakery, and a great pancake house that gives portions beyond belief.

These two men are so different from each other that they bring out the best in each other. His friend gets him laughing like none of his other friends, and they discuss God and His characteristics, and they share things no one else is privy to, or so he’s led me to understand. I get it, I have friends like that. What a blessing.

So, I’ve decided to take a few days to go visit one of my kids and the grand-kids, yet I plan on getting home before him so I can see the missionary and his wife who’re coming to our church.

Sometimes, it’s just good to go away to get refreshed and to seek God in another environment. I told my daughter I am not bringing any books to read or any writing assignments. I’m going to relax and maybe help her out some around the house and then turn around and come home recharged. That’s the plan. She’s free to sit with me in her church which is much different than ours, and that will be re-energizing as well. That’s what I’m thinking anyway. 🙂

May God bless you.