Saturday, February 9, 2013

Never Tear Us Apart...

You all have heard of Ashley Madison, or maybe you haven't. Hopefully you haven't.
I saw one of their brazen ads the other day, it read, "Life is short, have an affair."
Sigh. Really??? Is it really socially acceptable to lie and cheat?
No longer shameful or taboo, just boldly out there on billboards, 
in magazine and internet ads, even competing for super bowl time slots
to make a wider audience "aware" of their services.
It really makes my spirit cringe.

Considering today's divorce statistics, being married for 16 years is kind of a big deal.
16 years!! The Sweet Sixteen. That's some cool beans right there.
But CLEARLY, there are a million ways we can drift apart.
A million ways we can lie to each other.
A million ways we can lead secret lives...
It's really just a click away, a channel away, a chat room away, a text away...isn't it?
There is no shortage of temptations and distractions these days,
and it takes a real purposing of heart to stay invested 
and cultivate our relationships DAILY. 
Marriage is a gift. Truly a gift. Don't drop the ball on this one, 
make the time to water the plant and keep the flowers in bloom.
Like a beautiful garden, if we don't nurture and tend it, 
the weeds will come and choke the life out.
Neglect can make us slowly wither inside and lead "quiet lives of desperation."
And that's a recipe for disaster. A bona fide hazardous threat. The Danger Zone.
You see it all around...on both sides of the table.
We can easily become so consumed with our own endeavors 
that we begin to lose touch without even realizing it.
Our work schedules may keep us apart.
Look, we're all busy. Our to do-lists are growing. Our laundry baskets are overflowing.
We're juggling babies and calendars and paperwork and demands.
Some seasons of our lives are more tiring and overwhelming than others, 
and can leave us feeling disconnected ~ but don't be discouraged.
Even the simplest, most subtle gestures can massage the heart and awaken the senses.

Today I want to encourage you to discover, and rediscover...
to go deeper than you've gone before...
become more vulnerable than you've been before. More uninhibited.
Let your hair down, drop the OCD, ditch the routine.
Be playful, be ridiculous, be spontaneous.
Smile. Leave love notes.
Smile more. Kiss more. Embrace more. 
Cook a meal together, dance in the kitchen.
UNPLUG when you're together.
Speak encouragement, avoid sarcasm & negativity.
(and criticism & nagging...)
Did I mention smile more?
Take a walk, listen to old music, build something together.
Pick up a copy of "The Love Dare" and try it.
Don't wait for the other person to initiate,
take action now!

Whatever you do, don't let "them" get in the way.
The Ashley Madisons of the world. The cynics.
Watch for the wolves. Protect your assets.
At the end of the day, only God can meet the deepest needs of your heart,
but your marriage is sacred and valuable.
Make it a decree to "Never tear us apart."

"What God has joined together, let no man separate." Matthew 19:6

Monday, February 4, 2013

16 years and Walking on Water

This past September 2012,
Anthony & I celebrated 16 years of marriage!
How awesome is that???
And what an adventure it has been...I do not say that lightly.
I CONTINUALLY marvel at the dynamics of our personalities, 
our thinking patterns, our moxie.

I've often seen people paired that seem to have more...equilibrium.
One person tends to be the risk taker, 
while the other is more "level headed" so to say,
often bringing some balance to the equation.
But not us. No Sir-ee. Ha!
God really got some fireworks when He put "us" 
over "the Divine Bunsen Burner,"
or so I imagine...
and that's gotta make Him smile.
It sure makes me smile.
You see, we BOTH are visionaries.
Risk takers. 
Tight rope walkers.
Mountain scalers.
We've always been driven by the unction
that if you want to walk on water,
you've got to get out of the boat!!!
It's required stepping away from the comfort zone,
the safe, the predictable, even in every day simple choices.
I honestly don't think we know any other way to live...
This mindset is woven into our very essence, rooted somewhere deep in our core.
Sometimes, in the late hours of the night, we feel the tug...a stirring...
beckoning us, summoning us, daring us to go deeper,
to ditch the standard and go against the live outside the box.
But the journey hasn't been without opposition.
It's taken courage to walk the path set before us
regardless of the whispers, discouragement 
and head shakes of disapproval from those on the outside looking in.
Yet with every scathe and scrape along the way, 
there have been monumental life changing principles and knowledge 
gleaned in the process.
I assure you it's been worth every moment, high and low.

And the best is yet to come.
God is stretching us and enlarging the place of our tent in the most glorious ways.
Seeds that have been planted in our hearts from years ago are sprouting.
Visions & dreams that plucked our heart strings in the not too distant past 
are being breathed to life for such a time as this.
Like the opening quote, I truly believe that 
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
We can stay in the safety zone, or go beyond, but our horizons will adjust accordingly.

Well Sweet Bellas, 
I'm here to declare to you, 
and all the world,
 that not only do I have the courage...
but I was made to walk on water!!!


Share |
Related Posts with Thumbnails