Tag Archive | Marriage

Beating the Odds

Sometimes beating the odds is simply a matter of chance.  Roll the dice enough times, win the lottery, whatever.  More often than not, I think Divine Intervention and personal effort can affect outcomes.  Today I want to recognize all the couples who beat the odds by remaining married through:

  • chronic illness or pain
  • a child with a chronic illness
  • the loss of a child
  • mental illness
  • financial changes or bankruptcy
  • different cultural backgrounds
  • alcoholism or substance abuse

These stresses, and others, decrease the odds of a successful marriage, so if you have experienced any of these roadblocks and find that both partners have worked through things sufficiently that you are happily married to any degree, count it as a miracle.

Second Chances

Second chances are kind of special things.  I have a friend who lives the next town over who has been divorced for a while now, and I simply do not know how she does it.  She works and has four kids.  Two of the four are angels, but the other two are, well, hmm, I think “brats” is the nicest way I can think of to put it.  She struggles all the time and is constantly at her wits end.  Yes, they are that bad.

I just found out that she got engaged over the holidays.  I can’t even fathom how she had time to meet anyone, but I am glad she did.  I can’t imagine what type of a person is willing to take on the challenge of rebuilding that home.  Wow.  All I can say is wow.

I can’t think of a word better than “miracle” to describe what a father and husband will do for that home.  The hand of the Lord is most definitely at work here.  I wish them the best.

Anniversary

Yesterday was our 21st wedding anniversary.  I think I need to acknowledge that anyone staying together these days counts as a miracle in my book.  I know it has not been easy for us, and I doubt it is supposed to be easy.  Worth it, yes – easy, no.  Go do something really exceptionally unexpected and thoughtful for someone you love today.  It’s simple, but important.

Stamina, and Personal Confessions

Background:  The last few years, when my husband was very sick, the thing he lacked the most was stamina.  I remember one family trip he drove for about 30 minutes, then collapsed into a useless heap, asking me to finish the trip myself, and care for all of the children and all of the activities as well.  The doctors ran test after test, and saw no reason for the extreme fatigue, constant pain, and lack of stamina.  He had trouble finishing anything he started.  He became unemployed and unemployable.  Their conclusion was that it was mental.  They ran mental health tests, and concluded he was inventing fictitious health reasons to not want to work, or do anything.  Marriage counselors all concluded that the situation was hopeless, and that it was time to give up.  They tried to convince me that it was not chronic pain that made him mean and unemployed, but that I needed to accept the reality of the person I had married and get on with my life without him.  Not that I thought he was perfect, but this was not the person I knew, and I chose to turn to the Lord for help instead.  The road to health and functioning was painfully slow, but eventually he did recover.

Yesterday:  We had a day off of school/work, and decided to repaint and re-carpet an additional bedroom.  After working on the bedroom all day, he went in to work for a few hours, then at 9:30pm, when he got done and had helped put the kids to bed, he got ready to go back and work in the bedroom again.  I had to beg him not to.  He has nasty allergies, and a severe cough.  He had already pushed himself beyond what was considered reasonable or necessary.  The room should be done today anyway.

Conclusion:  According to the “experts” there is no miracle here.  He simply changed his attitude.  Not true.  The pain has subsided, the fatigue is at “normal” levels for someone with seven kids, and the stamina is not only more normal, but his positive attitude frequently pushes him even further.  I guess it is a choice to believe in that miracle or not.  I am especially grateful for the stamina.

Miracle number two is that we still have our family.  You could argue that was ultimately my choice.  True, but I believe most miracles are the result of our choices.  I simply remember being told over and over that the situation was hopeless.  It obviously was not hopeless.  With God, nothing is hopeless.

Social Phobias

 

After 20 years of marriage, I had never heard my mother-in-law sing or play the piano.  I was always told about how talented she was, but she would never perform when people were around.  She blamed it on social phobias.  Last night she both performed numerous pieces for us, and sang a solo!  Never thought I’d see that.  Guess sometimes we just have to wait for the time to be right.

 

Singing in the Rain

I live in a hot and dry desert.  Rain is scarce, and we can go entire months here without any precipitation.  In our sheltered lifestyles with city utilities and running water, I have to admit I rarely even think about rainfall.  I understand that water conservation is important, but I don’t have a vested interest in rain – until it results in flash flooding and messes up my house or property.   I don’t even own an umbrella or boots or a waterproof jacket.

I guess that as a nation we are officially in the middle of a drought.  I’ve even heard some people theorize that ultimately the drought is affecting our economy as much as presidential policies.  Could be, I don’t know.

Someone in my area must be praying mighty hard for rain.  I looked up our average July rainfall.  Overall, we average .48 inches in July.  (I think most of that must fall in the mountains, because I’ve seen entire July’s with NO rainfall.)  This year our July total is at 1.62 inches – and it is still raining!  And in the middle of a drought.

If we lived in a less modern society, I would be thanking God for the miracle of abundant rainfall during the drought.

 

Consider Marriage

Had something happen last night that made me think about the miracle of marriage.  How in the world do two people find each other?  How do they find anyone they can tolerate living with for forever?  I had a friend ask me that once.  She had gone through several marriages and couldn’t figure out what her parents saw in each other that would ever make them want to stay together. I didn’t have an answer based in logic, so she decided it was impossible.  Yet we see it happen every day.

In a world that is more and more centered on personal fulfillment, avoiding discomfort, instant gratification and career success, I don’t know how anyone finds a mate.  The answer to me is that it is a miracle.  How people stay together is through hard, hard work, and trust in God – and finding a really good person in the first place who will do the work and trust as well.  That part is simpler for me to understand.

Advice for anyone who is currently looking – my husband had quite the system to take the guess work out of the finding a mate.  Socialize anywhere and everywhere you can (face to face), ask someone out every weekend, and after the second date pray about it.  If the answer isn’t a resounding YES, then start with the next girl.  He went through a lot of girls.  However, he had the faith that his efforts would pay off, and one day he dated his very best friend in the whole world, prayed about it, got a YES, YES, YES answer, and the rest is history.  It worked for him.  Moral, there are things we can do to make miracles happen.  And some of them involve hard, hard work.

I, on the other hand, knew there was no one out there that I wanted to spend forever with.  If there was such a person I knew the odds of finding him were against me.  I planned to be proactive about it at some point, and make a very logical, educated choice.  I actually planned to ask a guy.  It would be easier on my self esteem that way, even if I had a few rejections.  The thought of never being asked by anyone I liked was considered a probability.  I guess at that age I had not yet learned of the miracles of God, and that they happen to everyone, every day.  Finding my soul mate at age 19 was not anything I expected or planned for, and being married at 20 was a shock.  BTW, I have never questioned my ability to make a marriage decision at that “young” age.  It was the right thing to do, relying on God’s answers.  If I had waited until I was more “mature” I think I would have married for reasons that would have made me more comfortable economically, but not any happier.  I think I learned some lessons the hard way, but they were lessons that some people never really learn.  Anyway, that’s my experience.

Now that it is the season for my children to begin considering finding someone, it should be very interesting to watch from the other side.

 

Miracle on the East Coast

My sister who just got married is having her reception tonight in Virginia.  Here is the text I got from my Mom.  Couldn’t have happened to a nicer couple.

“Virginia is in state of emergency.   Power is out everywhere but the church!! Reception went great.  Large turn-out (the church had air!)  great night.”