Monday, April 25, 2011

THE MARRIAGE STORY.....

(Phil and I read this story the other day, thinking this happens much too often. We said, “this is blog material.” Since we have an extreme interest in helping couples work through their issues to save their marriage during difficult times, you can see why we emailed the gal who wrote it and got her permission to use it. Take time to read it, and just maybe you know someone or you might be that someone who needs this.)

THE MARRIAGE STORY….

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I've got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly. She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn't love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement, which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.

She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce, which had obsessed me for several weeks, seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn't have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn't want anything from me, but needed a month's notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month's time and she didn't want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that every day for the month's duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.


I told Jane about my wife's divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don't tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down out side the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn't looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me. On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn't tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me... she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it's time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn't noticed that our life lacked intimacy.

I drove to office.... jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind...I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won't divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn't value the details of our lives, not because we didn't love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart. Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote; I'll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed - dead. My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push thru with the divorce.-- At least, in the eyes of our son--- I'm a loving husband....

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse's friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

Written by Amanda Heflin Ray

Friday, April 22, 2011

ITS EASTER WEEKEND…..

This morning I heard the Weatherman say, “here is your weather forecast for this holiday weekend.” That made me stop and think it’s more than a holiday weekend. I’m afraid if we are not careful we could get caught up in the world’s view of Easter, the bunnies, colored eggs and the new latest fashion outfit to “have” to wear to church this special Sunday. I’ve been there and I know! I want to have moments to reflect on what happened at the Cross for me and the fact HE IS RISEN and lives within me today this very moment…

I’ve enjoyed my friends sharing from their heart today, on Facebook. Let’s read some of their words…..

Karla said:
“The weight of the cross, the curse of our shame You carried it all and rose from the grave How great is the love, of our Savior.

Amy said;
“Wonderful, Merciful Savior...Precious Redeemer and Friend...who would have thought that a Lamb could rescue the souls of men? Thank you Jesus!”

Brandon said;
"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us." (Gal 3:13)

Darlene said:
“Greatest man in history, named Jesus, had no servants, yet they called him Master. Had no degree, yet they called him Teacher. Had no medicines, yet they called him Healer. He had no army, yet kings feared Him. He won no military battles, yet he conquered the world. He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today. ~ Re-post if you believe with your heart.”

Kara said:
“I can't imagine what was going through the mind and heart of Jesus on this day over 2000 years ago! Thankful for the cross & the empty tomb!”

When you wake up this Sunday morning think about the empty tomb and the love He had for you and me. I think I will start my morning by singing “BECAUSE HE LIVE I CAN FACE TOMORROW”, you can join me if you like……

(An addendum to the above, just got this email, it is a must read to add here. Jonathan is another lifelong friend. We have known his sweet family for years and BTW he is one of my Facebook friends too, and it is posted there. He loves God and lives his life for Him, to say the least! Take time to soak these thoughts in)

This weekend: Remembrance and Celebration
by Jonathan Aman on Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 10:37am
This is my favorite holiday weekend. Growing up, Easter was a day of cantatas and getting something new and shamefully bright to wear to church. I was probably in high school before I started taking time to remember what we were celebrating. Even then, the majority of my focus for the weekend was on the music I was going to be singing on Sunday. In fact, Good Friday was really about the dress rehearsal for Sunday’s cantata.

Speaking of Good Friday, I don’t remember hearing much about it when I was young. Maybe it was because Baptists are so afraid of anything that resembles a ritual that they figured they’d let the Catholics and Protestants keep that day for themselves. I don’t know. I would have gladly taken that in a trade for “Sonrise” services (which you’ll never be able to convince me had anything to do with the Holy Spirit). But, somewhere along the line, I started taking some time on Good Friday for remembrance.

The last few years, Helena and I can’t seem to get our minds away from the weight of sin that Jesus experienced on the cross. The physical suffering He endured gets most of the play, but the emotional side seems even more unfathomable to me…if that’s possible. Can you imagine feeling the burden of the shame and guilt of all of your sin at once? Take that and multiply it by all of humanity. Now, imagine that your father is perfect in every way…your closest friend and ally…and he turns away from you in the midst of this physical and emotional agony. And that has brought me to this year. The Father.

Friday, around lunchtime, I began reading Isaiah 53. Here, I’m reading the passage that is probably the most famous detail of Jesus’ suffering, and all I can see is the pain of His Daddy watching all of this happen. I balled my eyes out reading verses 10 and 11, and needed a breather. I walked into the next room and watched Silas from a distance. He was watching Veggie Tales while doing his trademark fingers in his mouth and other hand twirling the hair on the top of his head (I’m fairly certain there’s a pic of him doing this somewhere on Facebook). And I stood there shaking my head and pondering how our Father purposely chose to unleash all of His wrath on His Son.

Later that night, we decided to read the garden and crucifixion stories from The Jesus Storybook Bible to Silas before bed. There it was again:

He knew it was time for him to die. They had planned it long ago, he and his Father. Jesus was going to take the punishment for all the wrong things anybody had ever done, or ever would do.

“Papa! Father!” Jesus cried. And he fell to the ground. “Is there any other way to get your children back? To heal their hearts? To get rid of the poison?”

But Jesus knew – there was no other way. All the poison of sin was going to have to go into his own heart.

God was going to pour into Jesus’ heart all the sadness and brokenness in people’s hearts. He was going to pour into Jesus’ body all the sickness in people’s bodies. God was going to have to blame his son for everything that had gone wrong. It would crush Jesus.

I’m not even willing to imagine being in that position. And He was in both. He was the Son bearing all of the agony that came with the cross. And He was simultaneously the Father watching that happen to His only Son. I know. It’s too much for us to comprehend. And it was all because He couldn’t stand the thought of being without me…and you.

That’s what Good Friday is about to me. It’s about remembering the cost, the sacrifice made for us. Yet, we miss out on so much if we stop there.

The problem of sin was dealt with on the cross, and that was taken care of forever. And I spent most of my life content with that truth…even though I didn’t really understand even that side of the cross. But, Sunday is where we live!

In John 10:10, why does He say He came? To give us life! He’s not talking about a dead man getting back his same life that he lost. The Greek word there, Zoe, is the very life of Christ. The finished work of the cross, including the glorious resurrection that followed…that made it all possible for us to obtain the life of the One who is perfect in every way, the One who endured greater suffering than man can fathom, the One who did it all because He only wanted to live if it was with and IN us. That life defines who we are. It’s something we can’t generate. It’s something we can’t recreate. It’s His. And it’s ours if we so choose.

So, to me, Good Friday is about remembrance of sacrifice. Resurrection Sunday is about celebration of life!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A DAY AT THE BEACH MAKING SUN OUT OF RAIN!

(Before reading scroll down and click on sound and have fun pretending with me)
Been seeing lots of storms and clouds lately around here, even one storm got a good part of our roofing, but guess what? Insurance has approved us a new one, that’s a good thing! I had to remind myself as I picked up shingles scattered all over the yard, even some around trees…Wow What force of wind that had to be as it came through here!!!

So things have been kind of tight lately in time and money, so sometimes I like to pretend I am somewhere else. I go through my memory bank and draw from memories of an earlier time when I was on a trip or a vacation where I felt so happy and good things were going on all around me. Especially on a cold day or a rainy day, I call it “making sun our of rain”. Just talked to a missionary friend in Romania, she described her weather as being a cold dark cloudy day and it had been that way for a long time. I know she stops by here from time to time as a follower of the blog so this is for her and anybody else that wants to travel with me. As a child, I loved playing “let’s play like” in a make believe fashion like projecting myself into another place. So let’s do that today get ready we’re going to the beach…YAY!

What a nice Condo, I love it on the eighth floor, got my first cup of coffee and everyone is sleeping, we were up late last night playing games. It’s so quite inside until I open this glass sliding door to step out then it’s the good sound of the Beach, it is loud in my ears. I love it, the sound of the wind blowing, the waves hitting the shore, below you can hear the workers putting out the beach chairs and umbrella’s for the day. It my space out here as I sit in my lounge chair, in perfect peace. I see a lady with a sack reach down for shells, placing them in her bag to take to a friend or take home for her collection in a special container. It’s there at home to remind her of this year’s collection. Each shell has a story, it lands on the beach one day to go home for someone to enjoy. Oh look, that guy is jogging down the beach, good for him even away from home he is still keeping up a good habit. Its a good place to exercise, you can run in open free space.

Well it’s time to go in, I can smell the bacon cooking. Someone is “rattling those pots and pans” making a full course breakfast for all to enjoy! I love it when we all gather around the table and join in discussing what has gone on in our lives since we last came to this place. Family meals are a good time to visit and reminisce about the good times and memories we make. As we finish we begin to tell what we each want to do. I want to make a duplicate of yesterday just as it was….

My mind goes back to yesterday getting ready to go outside and finding my place on the beach. I can smell the Tropical sun lotion now, that coconut smell… who can forget it? That place a few feet from the water was great. We all found our place and began to bask in the sun, the warmth on our skin dissolved all the winter storm memories from our minds.

I loved it when Caeden wanted me to build a sand castle with him. The bag of discounted beach toys I found in Kroger were just what we needed to make roads with the tractor and the little cars were perfect to drive on them. He brought several buckets of sand and water to pack down the mounds of sand as we made a mile high castle. I can’t wait to dig a tunnel each time, out the other side. I look down the beach at a group of kids walking this way. I just dare them to step on our masterpiece! They walk on by, I think because Grandma is here with the “evil eye” it certainly does the trick. So we finished the project and head for the water. The waves come one by one, we jump at each one as it lifts us. I laughed so hard when one knocked me down when I wasn’t looking. I never get over the fact that the salt-water makes you float so well on top as you lye back and relax, years ago my Daddy taught me that. He loved to float that was his favorite thing at the Beach!

As the sun’s bright light of the day turns to a faded orange we know it’s time to gather our things and finish in the pool, then call it a day. Lots of discussion is made about where we all want to go eat. Which seafood restaurant do we want to try tonight? As we settle on one, my taste buds are beginning to churn, just thinking of that catch of the day is the choice that’s hard to make. We all say, “we have to remember to some room for the Key Lime Pie” Oh yum! I love the Beach!!! Glad you came with me? Maybe we will do this again…..

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

HAVING A MOTTO WILL KEEP YOU OUT OF TROUBLE…

HAVING A MOTTO WILL KEEP YOU OUT OF TROUBLE…You ask what kind of trouble? Well let’s see; ever wish you had not “said that”? Wish you would quit “doing that”? What about, wish you would leave “that” along? It’s those things that drive you crazy and you just keep doing the “that’s”. Maybe we could call it the “that’s” in your life.

I am figuring out, did you see I used “figuring” in “present tense”? I’m letting you know I am still working on my “that” problem……Moving right along”!!! I am figuring out that, I could benefit from using a Motto to keep me out of trouble. The definition in Webster for Motto is “a short expression of a guiding principle”. You get the picture?

Let’s see some personal examples would be….

1.When I talk too much and my tongue gets me in trouble. I will make a choice to use this MOTTO from Proverbs 13:2-3 “Good people enjoy the positive results of their words but those who are treacherous crave violence. Those who control their tongue will have a long life; a quick retort can ruin everything.”

2,When I start eating out of control. I will make a choice to step back and ask myself what is going on to cause me to eat out of my emotions and begin to “eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full” (Keeping my food intake in the right perspective, recognizing the full level is the key).

3.When I begin to “walk after the Flesh” and “not in the Spirit”. I will make a choice to stop, confess my sin and begin to live like who I am in Christ.

Now that you are on the same page, take a minute and write down those things that get you into trouble and make a Motto to give you a “stop and begin a new starting point” that will bring change. It’s all about growth in character and a good practice that will give you the quality life you deserve….. The Abundant Life!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

BE AN ENCOURAGER NOT A WORRIER…

Proverbs 12:25.....
Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” NLT

Well hello again!.... I didn’t know I would write again this soon, but I had this in me and wanted to get it out on paper. While reading my daily read today in the One Year Bible plan the last verse jumped out at me. I thought, I need to take heed to this and I think others out there could too! Proverbs 12:25 “ Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.”

This powerful verse is chock full of information that can change you in your whole Spirit, Soul and Body. Let me tell you my “take away” from this. My unique flesh pattern is “worries, doubts and fear”. I have the tendency to kick right in participating in those three “brain space robbers”, that’s contrary to who I am in Christ…..UNTIL… I realize it and say out loud, “STOP IT”. When I am giving into this “W/D/F mode” of activity, which is contrary to who I am in Christ, I replace the lie with the truth. So right now this TRUTH verse popped into my mind, Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me”. Now how good is that!!!!

Enough of the first part of today’s verse, let’s get on to the last part, “an encouraging word cheers a person up.

” That phrase is actually what caught my eye. I not only enjoy having someone encourage me, I enjoy encouraging others. I want to be an encourager and be a good one! I have realized that when I practice the last part of this verse I am less likely to have the first part of the verse control my life. Try it! Go out and find someone and give him or her an encouraging word. Believe me they are out there just waiting for something to turn around their world into positive action. Maybe it’s you right now needing some encouragement. So here is your encouragement from me. “You are a beautiful creation, you are here on earth because your Heavenly Father decided to create you one day. It doesn’t matter what circumstances or vessel He used to get you here. You are here for a reason, you have a purpose and remember you can’t live your life, but He can!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

EXPERIENCING CONFLICT?....

“God is not the author of confusion or discord. So if you're experiencing either of these be assured that it is an enemy attack allowed by God for the end purpose that His name be glorified.”

A friend posted this quote today on facebook and I could SO relate, how about you? Seems there’s a lot of this going on in the world today. “Conflict and Confusion” think about it! When it was present in Joseph’s life, his brothers used and abused him, to say the least. In the end it turned out to be good, so could this be a picture for us to look at while we walk through life’s dark days of despair and disappointments? Well a big “YES” I can speak out for you and me!!! Maybe we should just rest in this fact and wait with patience believing Romans 8:28 that “all things work together for our good” but mainly for His good according to this quote.

Today this one was a short one, but I just know you need it. And remember, “Don’t doubt in the dark what you decided to do in the light”. The day is coming when we will see what the whole picture looks like. Right now we can only see the backside of the canvas. I know you are saying that it doesn’t make sense, but when we turn the picture over at the appointed time, you will get to see what the picture reveals…..and you know what? It will be so beautiful!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

OUR ADULT CHILDREN NEED OUR PRAYERS…

We live in difficult times. I am learning more and more how we as parents need to pray for our children. My children happen to be adults but that surely doesn’t mean my work is done. I know as a fact, we based our parenting on Christian Principles and tried to the best of our ability, with the information we had to claim the verse Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old we will not depart from it.” I can remember our oldest son, Rob said after living a lifestyle that scared me saying, “mom why don’t you trust what you taught me?” That put me back on track!

Parenting is never over. Those nights I stayed up with my babies with fevers or trying to stay awake to feed or diaper them was a “piece a cake” compared to seeing my Adult Child face life’s challenges head on with deep pain at sometime. I ran across a book recently online written by Stormie Omartian, who is a writer of many books on Prayer and knows what she is talking about. It is a must, go to Amazon.com to check it out.
It is THE POWER OF PRAYING FOR YOUR ADULT CHILDREN.

In this book the writer has a prayer I am using to word for my precious kids. I feel a responsibility to keep them covered in prayer and this one covers it all. I feel someone; somewhere, can use it as a comfort and good plan as they cast their cares into our Heavenly Father’s care. I’ll never forget hearing my grandfather call out my name to God, little did he know as a small child, I was listening at the door of his room speak my name asking God to keep me in His care. I think today those prayers are still being answered. This is a vital opportunity as parents to put into action words that will carry our children through the storms of life in this world, as they develop into our adult children they will not depart from His Word…. That’s a promise!

Here is the prayer that is in the book. Use it as Holy Spirit moves you in praying for that one who is dear to your heart…

A PRAYER FOR OUR ADULT CHILDREN – taken from Stormie Omartian’s book

"Lord, You have said that in the last days You will pour out Your Spirit upon all flesh. I cry out to You from the depths of my heart and ask that You would pour out Your Holy Spirit upon my adult children. Pour out Your Spirit upon me and my other family members as well. Pour out Your Spirit on all my adult children’s in laws, both present and future. Pour out Your Spirit upon whatever difficult circumstances each of my adult children is facing. Be Lord over every part of their lives and every aspect of their beings. Speak to my adult children’s hearts and help them to hear from You. Enable them to understand Your leading and direction for their lives. In Jesus Name I pray."



Friday, April 1, 2011

I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW THE RAIN IS GONE……

Yes! I feel better again thanks to good medical attention. I still have a little bitty ways to go to full capacity but flying low giving my body time to heal but can’t wait to get back to myself with good health, and it is just around the corner. I’m back home and sitting here remembering a day when I had been going through the middle of a melt down during my menopause days. Oh! How I look back and think what I put my family through. I wish I knew then what I know now; I would have made sure to live those days in a calmer manner.

It went like this, similar to now our family was clicking along like clockwork and “BAMB” in came the storm, which would be me! Yes! I was not dealing well with all that was around me they, everybody seem to irritate me whatever they did I would bark and sometime biting.

Robbie and Phillip were still living at home growing up and living their lives but learning how to walk around me not near me. Our house was in disruption and I was at the core of it. It was at that time I was introduced to a song that comes to mind when I come out of the days I have had this past week, ending up in the hospital and thinking what hit me. Back in the 80’s one day, Rob came in and gave me a CD and told me to listen to a certain song, he said it would bring “my happy” back making me feel better. I did and it did! To this day that song pops in my head at a certain time and I know I am getting better and coming out of the storm of life. Funny this morning, if you were here and looked the window, this last day of March you would see nasty weather. Its cold and strange for this time of year feels like this past winter that was brutal is still trying to hold on and not leave but that song is in my head and it makes all this better and I know that better is coming REAL BETTER!!! Listen and see what it does for you…

(Only one glitch in this day, wouldn't you know it! I can not get this song from Youtube to download so I will give you the URL to click on or copy and paste in Google and WALLA you're there!!! I knew Plan B would work! So there you go...With that out of the way, go and see for yourself what this "feel good" song will do for you, it can make even tired snow angels recover! As you listen just think of what Rob wanted me to hear that day. Right now I am overwhelmed just thinking how I love my kids, that love me anyhow! What more could I ask for?)