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Our 25th “silver” wedding anniversary

The sterling silver cross necklace gift Ray gave me for our 25th "silver" wedding anniversary

The sterling silver cross necklace gift Ray gave me for our 25th “silver” wedding anniversary

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.

Jesus on the cross

Jesus on the cross

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.

sprinters

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!)

Ray & me Holding our "faith" stone, as we wait for final approval of the VA loan for the home we're buying this year

Ray & me
Holding our “faith” stone, as we wait for final approval of the VA loan for the home we’re buying this year

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.

anniversary card

anniversary card

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.”)

sticky note

sticky note

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!

necklace

sterling silver cross necklace 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!

straight razor and brush

straight razor and brush

soap cup

soap cup

For our “silver” wedding anniversary, I bought pretty silver heels for our anniversary date. Love them!

my silver shoes

my silver shoes

Ray wore a silver shirt with a silver pattern tie, black slacks, and his cowboy boots for our anniversary date. Looking good!

Ray in his silver shirt & tie for our "silver" wedding anniversary

Ray in his silver shirt & tie for our “silver” wedding anniversary

Here I am in my black dress, black wrap, the silver shoes, and wearing the sterling silver cross necklace Ray gave me.

me in black dress, black wrap, silver shoes & silver cross necklace for our "silver" anniversary

me in black dress, black wrap, silver shoes & silver cross necklace for our “silver” anniversary

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!

lamb gyros

lamb gyros

pita bread & hummus

pita bread & hummus

dolmades

dolmades

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!

*******

This book In PRINT at: https://www.createspace.com/6099550

This book In PRINT at: https://www.createspace.com/6099550

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.

 

Blog, Ebooks, Faith, prayer, Spiritual Gifts, Writing

Fearless: Be Set Free From Fear telecall

fear is a prison

Do you struggle with fear, anxiety, worry, and/or stress? You are not alone. I’ve battled fear and its tentacles my entire life, and many other people do, too.

The world is a scary, dangerous , and unpredictable place today. Fear of not having enough money for the future, fear of terrorism, fear of people you love dying or becoming seriously ill, and fear of corruption of government officials are the top fears for Americans, according to the Chapman University Survey of American Fears.  

Other fears people commonly share are:

  • fear of public speaking;
  • fear of the dark;
  • fear of snakes;
  • fear of spiders;
  • fear of closed in spaces;
  • fear of heights;
  • fear of flying;
  • fear of death;
  • ¬†and even fear of clowns! Whatever your fear is, it can be paralyzing.

Fear can bind and stop you from achieving God’s purpose in your life. Fear is a prison.

God doesn’t want you afraid, but to trust Him through faith in Jesus Christ. ¬†Jesus often rebuked His disciples for being afraid and not having faith. I don’t want Jesus rebuking me, but to commend me for my great faith. What about you?

The way we conquer fear is by renewing our minds through God’s eternal word, prayer, worship, and involvement in a community of¬†believers to help our faith grow.

Need to be encouraged and strengthened through hope and faith in God’s word?

I want to invite you to join me on my free telecall on Saturday, January 28 at 10 a.m. Central Time.

Fearless telecall

Fearless telecall

Fearless: Be Set Free From Fear

Here’s the details:
  • Call into my Free Conference Call line at¬†¬†Free Conference Call
     Conference Dial-in Number: (605) 475-4800
     Participant Access Code: 401886#
  • The call will be approximately 30 minutes long from 10 AM Central Time (11 AM Eastern Time, and 8 AM Pacific Time).
  • I will conclude the call with praying for attendees, for God to replace your fear with faith in Jesus Christ. Together we can defeat the enemy of fear so that we can walk confidently and victoriously in our God-designed purpose and calling.
  • Toward the end of this telecall, I’ll share an opportunity for you to buy my newest book, Metamorphosis: Transformed From Fear to Faith, available as an eBook for Kindle at Amazon. You’re under no obligation to buy the book, but it may greatly encourage you or someone you love or know.
  • Join other women of God for a time of empowerment. I saw this picture below on Pinterest today, and I felt it was a timely word with the launch of my new eBook on Amazon. “With brave wings she flies.” Ready to fly, beautiful butterfly?

with brave wings she flies

¬†“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”–Romans 12:2, NASB
I can’t wait to see you there! Please like and share on your fave social media sites with your family, friends, and peers!

 

Blog, Faith, Marriage, Parenting, prayer

Labor Day: When the bough breaks

I don’t know why Labor Day was created, but my life also sometimes feels like labor–the continual, agonizing pains of childbirth:

  • financial challenges
  • marriage problems
  • our grown kids’ struggles
  • disappointments
  • stress upon stress, until I feel like I’m going to break.

Maybe breaking is what God is after in me. 

Brokenness.

Humility.

Obedience.

Surrender.

The breaking reminds me for some reason of the children’s nursery rhyme and lullaby, Rock-a-by, Baby:

baby in tree top -http://www.crystalinks.com/rockabyebaby.jpg

baby in tree top
http://www.crystalinks.com/rockabyebaby.jpg

Part of the lyrics say:

Rock-a-by, baby, on the tree top

When the wind blows, the cradle will rock.

And when the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,

Down will come baby, cradle and all. 

What a strange nursery rhyme! 

Why would a baby be on top of a tree?

Why does the cradle rock gently when the wind blows?

Why doesn’t it come crashing down right away?

crib

crib

There are various theories to explain the origins of this lullaby.

One suggests it narrates a mother rocking a baby to sleep like the baby is riding on the treetops during a breeze. Then when she lowers the baby to the crib, the song says, “Down will come baby.”

Another theory says it may have been written by an English immigrant observing native American women rocking their babies in birch-bark cradles, suspended from the branches of trees and allowing the wind to rock the baby to sleep. But the words appeared in print first in England, c. 1765.

A third theory is that the baby is the son of James VII and II, widely believed to be someone’s child smuggled into the birthing room to provide a Roman Catholic heir for James. The wind may be the Protestant “wind” or force blowing from the Netherlands, bringing his nephew and son-in-law William of Orange. He deposed King James II in the revolution. The cradle is the House of Stuart. Some nursery rhymes are political in origin.

At any rate, the wind blows…sometimes too hard, and then it all comes smashing down.¬†

What then?

Only that instead of “laboring” and striving in our own strength, rest in God.

Trust Him.

Lay your burdens and stress at His feet and let Him take care of it all…and cradle you.

What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days Holley Gerth

What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days
Holley Gerth

I love what Holley Gerth wrote in her little devotional book, What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days, pp. 26-27:

“When the day seems difficult, when you’re weary, when you feel like a failure…God is encouraging you. For so long I thought of him as standing by and shaking his head as he wondered, “Why can’t you get it all together?” But that’s not his heart toward us at all. To encourage literally means “to give courage,” and that’s what God wants to do for us on the hard days. He says to us, “I’m here. I will help you. I will give you strength to take one more step.” He looks at your life with infinite love and tenderness. And he knows how hard it is to be us sometimes. He lived in this world. He experienced pain. He died on a cross. Jesus understands how brutal this world can be...What if, on the days when it’s hard for you to get out of bed, you imagined him reaching out to lift you up instead of being disappointed in you? What if he’s cheering you as you take your first step into a day that’s not one you want to face? What if instead of saying, “Get it together,” he’s whispering, “Let’s do this together”? That changes everything. And it can change us.”