etc. What about you? What stresses are you dealing with right now?
But even as I am typing this, I notice now that outside the storm is subsiding. It’s becoming quieter and still.
I remember that when the disciples were terrified of a violent storm on the lake, fearing that they would die, Jesus–who had been peacefully sleeping in the boat–stood up and rebuked the winds and the waves.
And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:38-41, KJV)
Yes, tonight, I choose to think about this: Jesus commanding the winds and the waves to stop. And He’s speaking this to my soul, too: “Peace, be still.”
“Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book; give it, give it all, give it now.”
This is a quote by Annie Dilliard, who won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-fiction for her book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. She also wrote The Writing Life, other books, poetry, and essays.
I’ve met many people who say, “I’ve always wanted to write a book.” Then years later, they are still saying this and they haven’t done it yet…or even started!
I’ve heard it said that the cemetery is the richest place on earth because people are buried there, sometimes with their dreams and their gifts still inside of them. I don’t want to see you go to the grave with your gifts–your book–buried with you!
It’s time to write your book!
This September 2018, I’m hosting a writers’ retreat in the small, rural town of Butler, Missouri, so aspiring authors can do just that–write or finish their books in peaceful solitude!
Let’s get started and get it done! I’m your Book Midwife, helping you to birth your “book baby” to delivery!
On May 18, 2018, I’m raising the Early Bird Price of this retreat from $25 to $55.
The price when you sign up and pay includes:
2 nights’ stay at the lovely, immaculate Bethany House in Butler, MO (you are getting 2 for the price of one!);
breakfast and snacks, coffee, and purified water--you can bring your own special foods to cook or fix for lunch and supper, or we can go out together to local restaurants;
a “Chic Flic” Friday fun night with popcorn and chocolate (if a man attends with his wife, he will join my husband for a “man cave” night);
a Saturday morning devotional time as we seek God together to use this gift for His glory;
This week, April 11, 2017, Ray and I had our 25th “silver” wedding anniversary. It seems like just two years, and then it also seems like it’s been forever. It has sure been HELL.
But as I pointed out in my Facebook comment, never a dull moment!
Despite our LOUD, INTENSE arguments for 25 years (yes, the WHOLE marriage; we had one tonight!), we’ve been married longer than many of our family members and friends, watching in grief as they divorced…while we have determined to fulfill our covenant with God and each other. It hasn’t been easy, and we’ve had to look to the Cross for help.
We’ve survived unfaithfulness to each other (both of us), bankruptcy, foreclosure of our home, stepfamily conflicts, financial crisis after crisis, multiple moves to new homes/cities, health issues, ministry failures, and much more.
What is our greatest strength, though? We’ve never quit. Like runners in a sprint or a marathon, you keep moving forward, no matter how tired you are.
We’ve never thrown in the towel, although we have both wanted to many times through the years.
Ray has actually been to divorce attorneys three times because he was so fed up with our marriage! (And I’ve thought about going to one many times!)
By God’s grace, we’re still together, hopefully until death do us part.
Ray can still make me laugh more than anyone else;
Every time he prays over me and holds my hand, saying, “It’s going to be okay,” I know it is going to be;
He still turns me on;
He still cooks the best Cajun grilled chicken I’ve ever tasted;
He still loves me–which is quite a feat, considering how I am!
25 years and still going…please pray for us.
Here’s what we did for our 25th “silver” wedding anniversary. It was a fun date!
Ray bought me a very funny card. It features a married male and female dog couple and says “It’s our anniversary.” The card seemed hand-picked by God, and made me laugh because it was so much like us.
For example, it showed the couple wanting to watch a movie together. The husband dog asked, “How about science fiction?” and the wife dog asked, “How about a love story?” Ray is a sci-fi fan, and of course I love chick flicks!
Another hilarious thing about the card was that it read, “We still like to write each other little notes…although the subject matter isn’t always love.” It showed a cartoon of the wife posting sticky notes to her husband on a cork board with notes like, “Call the dentist,” “Grocery List,” and “Toilet keeps running.” The husband dog has stooped shoulders, and is looking at the sticky notes with an exasperated , tired expression. (Ray feels this way about my sticky notes!)
Ray said the card “nailed the notes.” (I’m addicted to sticky notes and often leave Ray little notes around the house for his “honey-do’s.”)
On the card, they were at a drive-through restaurant, with the husband getting the wife some food. He is asking her, “No fries, honey?” and she is saying, “No, just a cheeseburger.” Ironically, a couple of nights before Ray gave me the card, I’d asked him to go get me a Sonic cheeseburger. The card amused us both.
Ray also gave me a beautiful, sterling silver cross necklace as my gift. Silver for our 25th “silver” wedding anniversary, and a cross as he said it is the foundation of our marriage. Amen! Ray did so good on my card and gift!
For part of his present, I bought Ray a straight razor soap cup, that he had been requesting to go with his straight razor I’d bought him. You put soap in the cup, and whip it to make a good lather, then apply the soap to the face before shaving. When Ray was a little boy, he used to watch his granddaddy Hutchins shave at the bathroom mirror with a straight razor.
Recently Ray said he wanted a straight razor, from the good memories of his granddad, plus straight razors are supposed to give men a better shave. I didn’t really “get” it, but it’s a guy thing, so I bought him the straight razor, the black strop to sharpen the razor, and the soap cup.
I also have something special to give him for our 25th “silver” wedding anniversary party, which I will blog about soon!
For our “silver” wedding anniversary, I bought pretty silver heels for our anniversary date. Love them!
Ray wore a silver shirt with a silver pattern tie, black slacks, and his cowboy boots for our anniversary date. Looking good!
Here I am in my black dress, black wrap, the silver shoes, and wearing the sterling silver cross necklace Ray gave me.
For our 25th “silver” wedding anniversary date, we ate lamb gyro sandwiches with tzatziki sauce (made with cucumber), pita bread with hummus, and dolmades (stuffed grape leaves with rice and beef). Ray also had a Greek salad. It was DELICIOUS!
After our date, we came home and prayed together for our marriage, our children, and our grandchildren, asking God to bless us and our family and for us to walk in obedience to Jesus, and that the latter days would be greater than the former. (Haggai 2:9) It was a great 25th wedding anniversary!
If you are hurting in your marriage and you’d like to read about the 25 difficult years of Ray’s and my marriage, but how with God nothing is impossible,click here.