Category Archives: marriage

marriage through the lens of His Word

marriage through the lens of scripture

“Marriage has the power to set the course of your life as a whole. If your marriage is strong, even if all the circumstances in your life around you are filled with trouble and weakness, it won’t matter. You will be able to move out into the world in strength.”  ~ Tim Keller – The Meaning of Marriage

I can gratefully say that one of the many strengths of our marriage is that we both want to help each other become what God has planned for us to be . . .  individually and together . . .  by looking through the lens of His Word.  

Even when life is going haywire crazy around us, when circumstances and situations are out of our control, we move through the messes of life together because we have set the course of our journey on Him.

Our real attitude towards God shows up in our attitude towards each other.  


peace beyond understanding

from ann voskamp ~ a holy experience

photo from Ann Voskamp ~ a holy experience

 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4: 6-7

Shalom – Hebrew for Peace.
A study of Hebrew words reveals meaning beyond their spoken pronunciation. Each Hebrew word conveys feeling, intent and emotion.
Shalom is more than just simply peace.
It is complete Peace – contentment, completeness, wholeness, well-being and harmony.

The Shalom that can only come from Him who created and put all things into place.

Experiencing this peace – this Shalom – came this past weekend.  It was more than just the intimate, serene outdoor wedding setting.  Even more than the beautiful sun-filled, blue skies that filled the Austin Hill Country.  Yes, it was even more than friends and family that gathered to share in the Joy of the joining of the oldest son, C and his bride as one in marriage.

This Shalom was the Peace that could only come from fervent prayers asking for the Peace of God that goes beyond my mind and heart’s understanding.  

During the weeks before the wedding, many nights of sleep were interrupted by a bad dream night after night. Only this wasn’t really a dream, it was like a movie replaying in my mind the deep wounds from venomous words and divisive actions at another such wedding scene eight years ago.  There was no Shalom.

Knowing that unlike at the beautiful wedding of daughter K a little more than a year ago, this time the wall of space and people would not be there to protect the Joy my heart desired for this occasion.  With each replaying of this late night “movie,” an overwhelming sense of unrest would stir in my heart because I did not want anything to take the Joy away from this wedding day either.

In the dark of those nights, I would call out in my heart to my Abba Father, Yahweh.  His Peace was always present with me there in the dark, night after night after night.  And peaceful sleep would soon return.

Each morning after, I would wake wondering,
Was this some sort of spiritual attack? 
A portent of possible pending drama? 
Something designed to take the joy from this time?

Sharing these thoughts with my dear friend L, the weeks and days before the wedding found us praying together.  We prayed for Peace that would transcend, that would eclipse, that would go so far beyond what my mind and heart could understand.  We prayed for that Complete Peace, His Shalom.

Last Saturday, the big day had finally arrived!  The venue was absolutely serene.  Despite earlier reports of rain coming in with our first “big” cool front, the weather was beautiful.  Skies were blue and the sun was shining through the shadows of the massive oak trees.  There was even a herd of Longhorns nonchalantly greeting the guests as we drove through the ranch gates.  Was this the peace I had prayed for?  No.

As we were walking up the stone walk towards the early arriving family members and a few other guests, I heard a still, small voice say to me . . .

“The Peace you’ve prayed for is here, He goes before you.”

It was in that moment, I understood.  That movie that had been playing over and over in my head in the nights before had been a reminder to me that in the dark, in those uncertain times of my life, His Shalom, His Complete Peace has never been absent from me. 

Now instead of those anxious thoughts, an overwhelming sense of Peace washed over me – the assurance His Presence walks every step of the way with me.  I have that Peace that surpassed all my understanding.  The Prince of Peace is guarding my mind and my heart!


sunset with you

Some beautiful Colorado sunsets shots taken by my husband on his recent bow hunting adventure . . .

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Sunset is a very, very special time we delight in sharing  . . . even when we’re not together!

When I opened up my email and found these beautiful shots with the caption . . .

‘Sunset with you ~ created by God’

my heart smiled with joy because the pictures remind me of the Journey we share.

Falling in love in a Christian way is to say, ’I am excited about your future and I want to be part of getting you there. I’m signing up for the journey with you. Would you sign up for the journey to my true self with me? It’s going to be hard, but I want to get there.’
(Tim Keller – The Meaning of Marriage)


best friend

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“Friendship is a deep oneness that develops when two people,
speaking the truth in love to one another,
journey together to the same horizon.”
Tim Keller~ The Meaning of Marriage

I was blessed to marry my best friend!!  Divine Appointment definitely brought us here.

What a joy to daily share that deep Oneness with my best friend as he leads us on this journey.  This is our shared adventure as we diligently help each other know, love, serve, and reflect God in deeper and deeper ways.

Our adventure is teaching us what it means to fall in love.

We look at the other person and get a glimpse of what God is creating.

To say, “I see who God is making you, and it excites me!

I want to be part of that!  I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to His throne.

And when we get there. . .

I will look at your magnificence and say, “I always knew you could be like this.

I got glimpses of it on earth, but now look at you!
[Keller].


worth its salt

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Salt – it flavors, it preserves, and it heals.

As a teacher, I’ve explained salt and its uses numerous times through the years.  Salt = NaCl – sodium and chlorine -two basic elements combined to form basic table salt, a very stable compound.  As one author put it . . .

 The chemical bond is very tight. You see, sodium and chlorine are happy to become one and share their one electron. Things work out really well for them…they are like the happily married couple that just loves to be married, not matter what hits the fan.

 Hmmm . . . I had never thought of salt that way.  But I like the idea of my sweet husband and me being like salt!

Around our home, salt is a needed basic commodity.  From our early morning eggs, to the evening meal, and everywhere in between, salt is sprinkled on most of what we eat to help bring out the flavors of whatever it is we’re cooking/eating.  And so it should be in marriage – each of us should bring out the best in the other. 

As a preservative, salt has also been used throughout the centuries. Longevity for the long haul. Its purpose was to keep meats and other foods from spoiling over time, eventually rotting and decaying.   And in my marriage, I’m part of the “curing process” – protecting it from anything that could cause destruction in our relationship.  By holding on tight to The Word and His Promises, we can stand against the anticipated attacks from an enemy who enjoys, actually gets his kicks, bringing division and doubt into relationships.

Ever had salt on a cut or a wound?  It stings like crazy.  Why?  Because the salt acts like an antiseptic killing the bad stuff that is there.  It’s a healing agent and helps restore.  And so it should be in a marriage.  We need to be there to build each other up, not tear each other down.  Words are powerful.  Tones are powerful.  Looks are powerful.  Attitudes are powerful.  Silence is powerful.  But if we love, like Christ loves us . . . then loving brings healing and restoration.

In the Scripture times of the Sermon on the Mount, salt was so valuable that Roman soldiers would be paid in salt.  The people listening to Jesus understood what He was saying when he called the believers, ‘salt of the earth.’  They understood like salt, they had good to offer the world.

 

Salt by itself is pure.  It loses its saltiness not through subtraction, but through addition.  It’s no longer pure. The good flavor, its usefulness, is compromised.

Result:  The useless salt is thrown out and spread over the ground, where it can destroy and kill any vegetation it comes in contact with. Nothing can grow there. And eventually people just trample all the deadness, the uselessness into the ground.  So it can be in marriage.

 

So like salt, in my marriage and most importantly in my Walk, I want to preserve what is pure by not taking on the things of this world that desperately want to contaminate us.  That means each and every day I have to renew my heart and my mind to the Truth of His Word.

I want a marriage that is worth its salt . . .

because of the overflow of the saltiness of my walk with my Creator.


one spirit, one flesh

One spirit and one flesh

One spirit and one flesh

When over the years someone has seen you at your worst, and knows you with all your strengths and flaws, yet commits him- or herself to you wholly, it is a consummate experience.

To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial.

To be known and not loved is our greatest fear.

But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God.

It is what we need more than anything.

It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.

-Timothy Keller

Do for your spouse what God did for you in Jesus, and the rest will follow.

So very grateful and blessed to be fully known and loved by my sweet man.


happy anniversary

Happy Anniversary dessert

Happy Anniversary dessert

It is not your love that sustains the marriage —

but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love.” 

“In a word, live together in the forgiveness of your sins, for without it no human fellowship, least of all a marriage, can survive. Don’t insist on your rights, don’t blame each other, don’t judge or condemn each other, don’t find fault with each other, but accept each other as you are, and forgive each other every day from the bottom of your hearts…”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison

it doesn’t matter how our love started or has stumbled – only that it keeps growing. This, by grace, we can do everyday. ~ ann voskamp

we have so much to be thankful for!  happy anniversary!


God gave me you (happy ♥ day!)

god-gave-me-you-sign

♥ ♥ ♥ today . . . (and every day) . . .  i am so very thankful for the love of my life!

. . .  it’s been a journey for us to be here, where we are today.  a journey that began decades ago.  a journey then we had no idea was even a reality.  a journey that was once seemingly only a glimmering dream.

but today . . . today, that dream is a reality!  what a delight it was to share our story.  our beautiful love story… a story that could have been written by the hand of God. (originally posted on Studio JRU)

and each day. . . each day i am so thankful.

each day i thank God as i wake in the morning, as i leave our home, when i return to our home, when i put my head on the pillow at night . . . i think on our love and i thank God for His sending healing and restoration of my hurts, of my scars, of my heart to me through you.  such important times in my day .  .  . and when passing each of these moments i touch, i whisper my thankfulness for you in my life, in our lives.

each day when i wrap my arms around you, when we hold each other’s eyes. . .  i am thankful.  it’s those time i know what it is like to have my Father’s arms wrapped around me.  i am thankful that we are one flesh.  i am thankful that you love me as you love Him.

each day, all during the day, i look for ways, i am reminded of ways that you care for me.  i am thankful  . . .

for the early morning first cup of steaming coffee and hot breakfast and sharing the Word (the best way to start the day!)
for love notes left randomly and hot chai lattes
for filling up my car with gas when i’m so close to E
for hanging up your towels
for teaching me to be financially sound
for keeping the fridge and pantry stocked
for your arms that hold me safe at the end of the day  

for making my heart believe again, and for still making it skip a beat like it did decades ago!  oh my list can go on and on!

but most of all, i am thankful that you love God more than me!

love is more than a four-letter word.  Love is Him in the center of Us.

God gave me you (happy ♥ day!) 

your love never fails

 

sharing “our love story”

shared a love story at studiojru

all you have to do is ask!  i am always so excited to share our love story!  so when Jennifer at Studio JRU asked if i’d do a guest post i was delighted.  not just because it’s a good story, but because our love story is truly a love story written by God.

here is the link to God’s love story for the little blonde-headed girl and the dark-haired boy!

StudioJRU


a priceless gift

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this past Christmas, Daughter surprised me with this unique cross.  what makes this gift even more special is knowing that she intentionally thought of me when she saw it at the nutcracker market.  i have collected crosses for years – reminders of His Love and His Sacrifice for me.  what also makes this cross even more special is the way it’s constructed.  Daughter knows how much i like “old stuff” and finding a cross made out of reclaimed wood and antique hardware made it that much more special!

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so when i unwrapped this gift i was so delighted —- in fact, i was so excited i went on (and on!) about how beautifully unique and how much her thoughtfulness meant to me.  to others who were sharing in our Christmas day celebration, this cross was just a unique decorative piece, something else to add to the wall collection.  but to me, this gift was priceless.  it was a gift given to me in love.  a gift in the hands of one who receives it in love  –  –  is priceless.

in 1 Corinthians, the 13th chapter is known as the love chapter. LOVE is the most important characteristic in my life as a Christian.  without LOVE i am out of harmony with HIM and others.  i am not able to glorify Jesus – the One who gave us the greatest model of Love

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like many couples, we read the 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians as part of our wedding ceremony.  for my sweet man and me, this chapter read like a love poem, not only a love poem between us – but as a LOVE poem putting God at the center of our marriage.

LOVE     is patient 
               is kind
               does not envy
               does not boast
               is not proud
               is not rude
               is not self-seeking
               is not easily angered
               keeps no record of wrongs
               does not delight in evil
               rejoices in the truth
               always protects
               always hopes
               always perseveres
               NEVER FAILS

so faith, hope and love abide, these three —- but the greatest of these is love.

and just like the cross Daughter gave me – a gift in the hands of one who receives it in love is pricelessso it is with the Greatest Gift given to each of us.  the gift of Eternal Life.

 


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