Month: March 2012

Lottery Tickets and Life Lessons

How A lottery Ticket changed My Life! …………

Actually, it was the absence of a lottery ticket that changed my life…………….

I was standing in line at a local store, with my head in the clouds when the cashier abruptly asked “So are you buying a ticket?” It took a few seconds for his question to register, but the moment it did, a host of memories flooded my brain. The clerk was referring to the $600,000,000+ mega millions jackpot to be drawn Friday, but I was thinking back to one of the most vivid memory I have of my childhood.

I was out alone with my dad, and without explanation he looked down at me and exclaimed, “Jody, I want you to promise me that you will never buy a lottery ticket.” Lottery tickets ment nothing to me, so without hesitation, I made a promise that I believe altered the course of my life. Years later, I asked my dad what compelled him to ask me to make that promise and to this day, not only can he not tell me why, but he also can’t remember the incident.

When I made that promise, I barely understood what a lottery ticket was, and I most assuredly never felt the urge to buy one. With all my heart, I believe that day my heavenly Father stirred the heart of my earthly father to make that request, in order to protect me from a weakness neither of us knew I would have years down the road. Every time I pass an instant lottery machine, I think of that day. Every time I see a lottery grow and a frenzy erupt, I remember the promise I made to my dad and I praise the Lord for the gift of a parents spiritually prompted intuition. Now, thirty-seven years later, I have kept my promise and passed the story along to my kids. I have not asked them to make the same promise to me, I have never felt the Spirit leading me to do so but we have had many discussions about the foolishness of gambling and how destructive it can be. When we exit our local Drug Mart, often I will hear one of my kids exclaim to the others, “never put your money in that machine, it’s just like throwing it in the trash.” I feel no embarrassment, and I have never told them to be quiet because I know the lesson of the lottery machine trash can will be engraved into their heads, and that they will remember mommy’s story when they are tempted to part with their own hard-earned cash.

As parents, we can’t guarantee sin free, addiction free kids, by insisting they make a string of promises and vows to us, guaranteeing upright moral living, but we can vigilantly seek wisdom and direction from the Lord for each precious life he has given us. Parenting isn’t a mechanized process. My father never asked my sister or brother to make the same vow he did of me. My father never asked me to make promises to flee other sins I did struggle with as a teen and young adult. I do not know what compelled him to ask what he did, but my prayer is that the Lord would give me the same wisdom and insight for my kids. My time of teaching and instructing, protecting and building is quickly passing. Their eternity is in His hands, but He has seen fit to make me an instrument to be used to shape and mold them in preparation for the future that He has ordained for them from the beginning of time.

I pray the Lord continues to patiently mold and transform me into His likeness so that my kids see Him in me. As Gary Thomas so eloquently and wisely wrote, the purpose of my life, marriage, and family is to make me holy, not happy. My husband and I are responsible, not simply to make our kids happy, succesful, and without need, but to help maintain a sensitive heart that is willing to submit to the transforming power and authority of the Holy Spirit so He can make them holy, through God’s grace and mercy.

Will you join me and cry out to the Lord of Wisdom for wisdom? Will you choose daily to die to yourself in order to serve, teach, and train your children. May our hearts and minds be ever filled with the whispering of the Spirit. May the silence of His voice be deafening, quickly bringing our hearts and focus back to Him and the purpose and callings he has given to us through our children.

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Blogging From A to Z April Challenge

The Blogging From A to Z April Challenge

Merrit at livesimplylove shared a blog challenge going on for the month of April. Over the past three months, I have been challenged simply blogging once a week so this will be an interesting undertaking.

If your wanting to get your feet wet this might be a good time to jump in. You will see a lot of writing styles and build your blogging community. I have been blessed by the many godly women I have met through blogging.

For a theme I am going to continue to focus on Overcoming. My theme verse and memory verses during the challenge will be :

Romans 8:28-39(ESV)

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

God’s Everlasting Love

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Without Reproach

A Father Who Gives Without Reproach

 I have a significant weakness that stems from verbal “abuse” I experienced as a child. Two to three times a month we took a trip to the “farm” to visit with family. I loved these day yet at the same time I dreaded them. We would romp through acres of wooded farmland with our cousins, playing in tree forts, stick forts, and old rusted out pieces of farm equipment. For a city kid, my grandparents woods was heaven on earth. I loved the farm, but eventually we had to leave the fields and return to the house and it was here fear, confusion, and dread flooded my heart. It may seem silly, but as a child I was terrified to ask for anything or use anything because to do so evoked the wrath of a very broken and sick grandparent. To “need” was intolerable no matter how simple or basic the request and consequently many times I chose to go without to avoid the tongue lashings that followed innocent requests. My siblings and I look back on these moments now and laugh, but as a child simply going to the restroom was traumatic. We didn’t know whether to flush or leave “it” floating. Then there was the ever-present TP dilemma. Did you risk wrath and use any and if so, did you dare use more than three squares? In my grandparents broken way, we were loved, but we learned early on that the love they offered was conditional and subsequently, words of reproach were heard moreoften than words of affection.

Now, more than twenty-five later, I still struggle to ask for things I want, or to let others know when I need help. For years, you could put me in the midst of a company buffet or seminar dinner and by nights end I would leave with an empty belly. I have been to lavish banquets with my husband and had server after server approach me offering the most amazing foods, yet been unable to accept their offerings, though my stomach silently grumbled it’s protest with each plate I turned away. It wouldn’t matter if others around me, including family, are helping themselves to exquisite food, because I would still find my hands hand frozen by my side. The reproach I endured during my childhood days on the farm can paralyse and render me unable to accept “gifts” being offered no matter who is offering them.

A while back, the Lord brought this verse in James 1:15 to mind.

If any of you lack wisdom,

let him ask God,

who gives generously to all,

without reproach,

and it will be given him.

What an amazing and glorious description of a loving Father’s heart toward His “needy” child. I am covered by the love of one who is moved with compassion by my needs. He revels in the opportunities my weaknesses provide Him. He delights in showing himself strong, loving, and capable when I am not. This is the true and perfect love of a Father and parent.

God is working in my heart to transform my view of how a parent responds to the needs of their children. My needs and my requests are met without reproach. I am the daughter of a generous Father who is anxious and ready to give when needed and to gently correct when misguided. He never chides or reproaches me when I come humbly and obediently seeking goodness, righteousness, faith, meekness, power, and wisdom from His hand.

How about you? Do you struggle to be transparent? Are you afraid to be vulnerable and needy before Christ Jesus your Father? Has pride joined forces with insecurity like it did in my life, rendering me not only afraid to ask, but also to proud to admit when help is needed?

Bringing It Home….

Sin breeds and replicates itself in the lives of sinners who resist, flee, or refuse the transforming prower of Christ. Can you imagine the horror and disgust that overwhelmed me the day I heard my grandmother’s voice slip from my lips in response to a simple request from one of my children! I froze in horror and marveled at my selfish response. Oh how I wished I could reign in those unkind words, ment to ensure that my child knew just how inconvenient their request for a cup of water was at that moment in time. “Oh Father forgive me!” was all I could mutter. All my son wanted was a glass of water. He was thirsty, there was no sin, no disobedience, no rebellion in that request. He was simply asking me to be who I was, his mama, the one who is responsible to protect, comfort and provide for him when he can not. Jody, you know what it feels to be punished with cruel and unkind words simply because you had a need! O Lord be merciful on my wicked heart! All Jess wanted was for me to watch her jump on the pogo stick. My beautiful little girl, simply seeking the delight and praise of her mother but I quenched that desire to please with harsh and uncaring words. My Father never sleeps, he never slumbers, and He is never too busy to delight and take pleasure in me

Praise be to God for His mercy and His power, that transforms lives crushed, scarred, and burdened by sin and guilt. Praise be to God that He loved me enough to chastise my heart, not because of need, but because of sin. Praise the Lord for do-overs and second chances, and especially for the unconditional love and forgiveness found in the heart of my children. May I never provide a reason to extinguish that love and forgiveness!

Mom’s, our children are gifts, and we are instruments in the hands of our redeemer. Much of what they learn of Christ their Father will come from our lips and from our actions. As we learn to boldly seek the face of our Father, without fear of chastisement and rebuke, may we also strive to project the same love and care we have received from him.

My prayer is that the Lord would continue to heal and transform my heart, giving me the freedom to seek Him when in need able to ask without fear of reproach. My prayer is that the Lord would humble my proud heart so that I would not hide from my weaknesses nor the love of those he has sent to help me. My prayer is that I would learn to be like Him, reveling in the opportunity to die to myself so that I might serve and love others. My earnest prayer is that my life would be a true reflection of the Father, who has redeemed, saved, and loved me, and that His love would draw others to Himself!

When Life is Loud

I have joined The Gypsy Mama‘s 5 Minute Friday Writing challenge. visit her site and join in on the fun.

Rules:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Meet & encourage someone who linked up before you.

Today’s Word: Loud

There is always noise. In the midst of silence my brain, heart, and emotions are speaking. There are times these moments of self reflection are welcome, but there are times I wish I could block out the loud protest of my insecure, proud, and selfish heart. Add in the normal chaos of life, and the loudness just grows.  I learned many years ago that the key to stilling the noise is to preach to myself instead of listening to myself. It sounds funny to state that words can silence  loud, hope deafening noise, yet it is true. The key is the source of the words and message I speak to my heart. When my thoughts begin with I, the loudness grows as does my failures and hopelessness. When my thoughts begin with God your word has said,  peace boldly washesover me, a welcome and refreshing companion.  In a way, I have learned to welcome the moments of loud clamor as it becomes a warning to my spirit, that my mind was wandered, and that my heart has strayed from home. When quietness has been tasted, loud unnatural noise becomes loathsome but without the loudness of life I would neither seek or desire the opposite of the life I now live through Christ, Peace. “And the Work of righteousness is peace, and the effect of righteousness is quietness and assurance forever.”  Isaiah 32:17

Pants on the Ground…..Keeping the Spark Alive, Part 3

Keeping The Spark Alive in our Marriage

In Psalm 106, we are told that Israel did not understand the love and works of God and they quickly forgot his wonders. The inevitable result of their spiritual & physical amnesia was that their hearts and affections turned from God. As bad as my memory can be, I can’t fathom watching a mighty nation like Egypt brought to its knees and then seeing a swollen body of waters open up before me so I can cross over, and then forgetting it. How does one pick up a piece of carved stone and pray to it when Jehovah God has just revealed his presence in a pillar of fire and cloud.

BUT THEY DID, AND SO CAN I.

I walked down the aisle over nine years ago, and the sight of David waiting for me rocked my heart. As I pledged my love and very life to him, I could never imagine a time I would be repulsed by something he said or did. He was everything I had prayed for, and I was bound and determined to spend my entire life showing him just how much I loved him and how much his presence ment to me. I would have demanded a duel had you suggested there would be a day he would wound or disappoint me to the point that although I loved him, at that moment in time I would not like him.

The reality of life is that our husbands are neither perfect nor intended to “complete” us. They will disappoint us, wound us, and fail in many different ways during our lifetime. How do we keep a spark going when our heart is so wounded we don’t even want to be in their presence? How do we fan flames of romance and love when our man leaves dirty undies on the floor just feet away from the hamper. How about when he forgets a date that is very special to you, or when he repeatedly breaks the world record for the number of times gas is expelled in just one minute?

So how do we keep the hurts and disappointments from turning our hearts from our husbands? Israels was told to do something each and every day in order to guard and protect their hearts from spiritual adultery and I strongly believe this same command is a key to a healthy marriage. We must Remember the “Good” in order to keep our hearts and marriages from being poisoned by the ‘bad.”

Recognize, Record, Recount, Remember!!!!

  • Recognize: We have a choice when it come to what we see, dwell, and think upon. As wives we have to actively choose to see and recognize the “good” in our husbands. This means purposefully overlooking our husbands faults. We need to refuses to hit the rewind button when our husbands have hurt us, disappointed us, or messed up. Jesus Christ, the epitome of Love overlooked a multitude of transgressions when he called and redeemed us and we are called to Love our Husband as Christ loved us. Our brains should actively filter our daily thoughts, looking for and actively seeking the commendable, loving and goodness in our husbands.
  • Record: There are days I am certain I have Alzheimer’s. I have decided that upon birth each kid claimed one-quarter of my brain and after three kids, I that leaves me with just one-quarter of my brain to function with. We often judge Israel, but we are just like them and we forget important things. God was well aware of this weakness and he told Israel to “write it down!” If it is important, and if it is something I don’t want to lose, I need to write it down. The “good days of marriage,” and the “Goodness of your husband,” needs to be recorded. You will forget the little, yet significant things he has done that meant much to you.
  • Recount: There are three people(s) you need to recount the “good” to. First, you need to tell yourself that you love your husband and why. Next, you need to tell/demonstrate to your spouse that you love them. This can be vocalized, written in notes, expressed in special a creative ways, or just lived out quietly in your life. Lastly, not one single word of criticism for your husband, should ever escape your lips in the company of others. Praise, affirmation & thankfulness is the only thing they should hear coming from your lips. As an added bonus, never pass up an opportunity to humbly praise your man in front of others when he is present! Tactfulness and humility is the key, but there is always an opportunity to slip in a story about your man! That rewind button of negative thoughts plays automatically if we don’t actively “Shut it down!”, and one way to combat that tendency is to daily, and repeatedly recount the goodness of the men in our life. A healthy and vibrant marriage is intentional and purposeful. (Our husbands are not God, and should never replace the relationship we are told to cultivate with God, but our relationship with our husband does mirror to a degree the one we are called to have with God. We should never place our husbands on a pedestal above God because that opens up another realm of problems. I am not meaning to advocate worship of our husbands merely purposeful recognition of their good qualities & love) 
  • Remember: This is the kicker. I don’t believe we can attain a healthy “memory” for our husbands, or God, if we don’t Recognize, Record, & Recount what “they” mean to us and why we love them. As we allow their “goodness” to shine brighter than their failures and mistakes, our love grows. As we record the special moments and times we have with them, our hearts are drawn together. As we share with others, in the presence of our spouse, what we love and appreciate about them, our hearts are bound together.

My challenge to you is to get a notebook and to weekly (if not daily) record why you love your husband. Record something he did that week that ment a lot to you. My husband gets up early and goes to work ever day without even one word of complaint and I love this about him. There are days I can simply look at a photo of a mountain or listen to a song and remember out honeymoon. A flood of memories race over my heart and Oh, the love I feel in my heart towards David at that moment and he did nothing. Write down those fleeting thoughts.

My husband acquires “Brownie point” because of these wistful memories and moments, and as silly as it seems, these times strengthen my love for him and he isn’t even present. Memories ignite and renew my passion and David he gets “points” for something we did years ago….he loves brownie points!!! Your daily or weekly reflections don’t have to be specific actions, but something you really appreciate just then. If there is a week you’re struggling with emotions and passions and can’t find a stashed love note (See Pants on the ground, part 2), grab your book read a page or two on why you love your man. Be sure to leave the notebook out and to let you husband know it is for his eyes only and that he is free at any time to open it and read what you have written about him. One day slip a love note and treat in there for him : ) Make sure weeks don’t pass by without an entry, you might have some explaining to do : )

Do you have any suggestions or insight on how you keep marriage sparks flying. Feel free to leave a comment or a link for others to your blog!

The March Giveaway:

This contest continues today and the drawing will take place on or around March 31st. I would like to introduce some of my favorite authors. John Piper, Gary Thomas, & Beth Moore. All have written books the Lord has used to minister, encourage, and teach me throughout times of testing, rest, trials, peace, sorrow and Joy. You can enter multiple time throughout the month, but you can only win one book. To enter, share this blog series on Press This, Linked In, FB, Titter and Digg. Be sure to come back and mention how you have entered and also what book you would like to have. You only have to mention the book you want one time. Make sure to mention how you have entered each time so I can  record each entry. Please leave a link to your blog in your responses if you have written a blog on pain or any other topic you feel is relevant. If you have a story to share, please contact me and we will get you on the schedule to share.

John Piper:

John PiperBOOK #1 When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God–and Joy

“It is utterly crucial that in our darkness we affirm the wise,strong hand of God to hold us, even when we have no strength to hold him.” John Piper

Even the most faithful, focused Christians can encounter periods of depression and spiritual darkness when joy seems to stay just out of reach. It can happen because of sin, satanic assault,distressing circumstances, or hereditary and other physical causes.In When the Darkness Will Not Lift, John Piper aims to give some comfort and guidance to those experiencing spiritual darkness.

Readers will gain insight into the physical side of depression and spiritual darkness, what it means to wait on the Lord in a time of darkness, how unconfessed sin can clog our joy, and how to minister to others who are living without light. Piper uses real-life examples and sensitive narrative to show readers abundant reason to hope that God will pull them out of the pit of despair and into the light once again.

Beth Moore:

Beth MooreBOOK #2 Get Out of That Pit: Straight Talk about God’s Deliverance

From her first breath of fresh air beyond the pit, it has never been enough for Beth Moore to be free. This best-selling author and Bible teacher who has opened the riches of Scripture to millions longs for you to be free as well-to know the Love and Presence that are better than life and the power of God’s Word that defies all darkness.

Beth’s journey out of the pit has been heart-rending. But from this and the poetic expressions of Psalm 40 has come the reward: a new song for her soul, given by her Saviour and offered to you in Get Out of That Pitfriend to friend. This is Beth’s most stirring message yet of the sheer hope, utter deliverance, and complete and glorious freedom of God:

I waited patiently for the Lord. He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit

He set my feet on a rock. He put a new song in my mouth

It is a story, a song-a salvation-that you can know too.

Gary Thomas:

Gary ThomasBOOK #3 Authentic Faith: The Power of a Fire-Tested Life

Fortify your commitment to Christ by examining ten ‘authentic’ disciplines God uses to forge a fire-tested faith. What if the spiritual disciplines that bring us closer to God are not the ones we control? Bestselling author Gary Thomas reveals the rich benefits that derive from embracing the harder truths of Scripture. With penetrating insight from Scripture and the Christian classics, along with colorful and engaging stories, this eye-opening look at what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus will encourage you, bolster your faith, and help you rise above shallow attachments to fix your heart on things of eternal worth.

Pants on the Ground……..Keeping the Spark Alive Part 2

Probing the Heart of The Marriage Expert

Continuing the Pants on the ground….Keeping the Spark Alive theme, I would like to share practical steps you can take to keep the sparks flying.

When I cried out, asking for the answer to keeping the spark alive in our marriage, it made sense to seek advice from the best spouse the world has ever know. This search did not take long, because I found myself at the feet of Jesus Christ, probing his heart for advice. From the beginning of time He has been the Faithful and True. He has loved with perfect and unfailing love. He has pursued with passion, the adulterous hearts, deceptive minds, and sinful nation of Israel, the wayward Church, and Jody Watkins. As I read His commands, pleas, and love letters to Israel and the body of Christ, it seemed safe to conclude that the Commands Christ gave to his bride,  ensuring and healthy and vibrant relationship, could be applied in some form to my marriage. With this thought, I searched for the voice of the Groom and one word stood out. It is repeated over and over again from Genesis to Revelation.

Remember

Forgetting is a natural byproduct of this fallen world. Memory on the other hand requires a concerted and conscious effort. I have a distant family member who lived in Spain during her college years. When she left, she could have passed as a Spaniard. Twenty plus years later, she can neither speak nor understand the language. Some days we have a hard time even remembering our kids names, so this comes as no surprise to us.

If Israel was able to forget the horrors of slavery, the plagues that brought Egypt to its knees, and the crossing the Read Sea, it should not surprise us that we forget moments of joy, resolve, unquenchable love, and the impassioned commitments we made to be faithful “till death do us part.”

So how do we avoid memory loss, lost love, and waining passion? We have to follow the words of Christ and fight daily to Remember.

You shall remember…”ESV

I would like to share two simple actions that have helped me remember and keep the sparks alive in our marriage.

Planted Love Notes

The first practice began by mistake. One evening, David gave me a card and after reading it I slipped it inside a kitchen drawer. Sometime later I was putting some spoons away and I stumbled upon his note. Yes he had given it to me weeks before, but as I read his words of love and gratitude, my heart was encouraged. Another day, while putting his whitey-tighties away, I found a love note I had given him on valentine’s day months before. I pulled the card out and read what I had felt and professed to him on that special day and my heart was flooded with renewed passion for my husband. I was overcome with an overwhelming desire to go find him and plant a juicy kiss on his lips.

I keep almost every love note David has given me, and though it may sound strange, I keep love notes I write him. The ones I slip in his lunch, the short texts when he is at work, the cards slipped into his car seat to be found in the morning when he drives off to work. These notes and cards can be found throughout the house. They are in cookbooks, in desk drawers, in dresser drawers, in the side door of the car. I do not read them every day but I stumble upon them frequently enough to keep special memories vivid and vibrant in my mind.

There are days when my heart is discouraged or even hurting and I need to read about how much I loved the man who has just wounded my spirit. There are moments when insecurity and doubt flood my soul. Stumbling upon a card in which David has proclaimed that I mean the world to him and that he is counting down the hours till he can be home with me again, lifts me to the very gates of heaven.

Ladies, lets face it, if your man isn’t the note type, a written card may not happen often. David isn’t a note writer, his love language is grabbing my hand in public and showing the world I am his. His thoughts in written form may be infrequent, but when they are delivered via a note they mean the world to me and I savor and cherish them. His cards mean as much to me years later as they did the day he handed them to me. He is the same man who pursued me with passion and resolve and I know the words he wrote yesterday will remain true tomorrow.

Ladies, go plant a few love notes, and begin the habit of keeping the passion flying between you and your partner, even when you are apart. If you can’t find any pieces of love laying about, now is the time to start your collection : ) Slip a note in your husbands lunch and steal it back when the lunch box is returned in the evening. Don’t be surprised however, if the note winds up in his own personal stash. 

Stay tuned Sunday for another secret and challenge to keep the spark of love alive in your marriage. The March giveaway is still going away and will be updated at the bottom of tomorrow’s post.

Pants on the Ground…….

No, not the American Idol song, the real thing, with possibly a white pair of discarded undies sticking out of them. If you are a wife, chances are you have seen this combo a time or two…………….or more.

Keeping the Spark Alive



What emotions can an aged white flag, swimming in a sea of denim, in the middle of your bedroom floor, evoke in your heart and mind? I remember many lonely nights when I choked out desperate prayers in between the sobs of a broken heart. These prayers included among many things, words like “Lord, I want a husband to take care of.” No I didn’t specifically ask for dirty Fruit-of-the-Loom briefs to wash, but the role of professional laundry woman was in essence what I was petitioning the Lord for.

So, what changes in our hearts between the single years when we passionately pray for a spouse and seven or forty-seven years later when we are celebrating wedding anniversaries, children and grandbabies? The pant and undies sizes may change, but surly this is not what tips wives over the edge. Why do we get irritated at the sight of something that used to electrify and bring a grin to our faces?

I was listening to a family program a few years back and heard an interesting story. A marriage counselor was sharing that they had been able to accurately guess both the health of a relationship and its future success based on one question. This question was not profound, it was simply, tell me a story about when you and your spouse met, first dated, one of your first memories….. Eyes lit up, and smiles formed on the faces of some couples. They shared stories  laced with love, passion, fun, adventure and wistfulness. The memories of other couples were as favorable. Some rolled their eyes, with a kind of “Well let me tell you,” attitude. These looks of disgust and irritation were usually followed with stories about constant failures, embarrassments, disappointments, and unfulfilled expectations.

There was a moment in time when every one of those married couples stood in front of a crowd, gazing intently into each others faces, hearts struck blind by love. Their wedding day was a culmination of years of waiting, yearning, preparation, discovery, and unbridled love.

What happened after the wedding? Where did that love, excitement, and passion go?

I vividly remember the second or third night of our honeymoon. I had just discovered my husband’s amazing ability to fall asleep in 1.3 seconds flat. We were still in the octopus stage of marriage, trying to figure out how to fit all our hands, legs, faces and such in one bed comfortably. As my husband snored away (Yes it was music to my ears then) I laid awkwardly beside him. With one arm draped over his chest, I listened to his steady breathing and began to cry softly. I was married, and I would never have to say goodbye to David ever again. The marvel of his body, soul, and heart in my life and in my bed overwhelmed me. As I lay there, I never wanted the absolute wonder and awe of this man’s presence to become commonplace to me. I had waited twenty-eight years for him, and I shuddered at the thought that one day I could possibly slip into bed, roll over, and fall fast asleep without my heart leaping with delight by the snoring figure laying next to me. I never wanted to experience a night when I could climb into bed and fall asleep unmoved by the fact the most special answer to my prayers was laying next to me. I wanted my heart to be thrown for a loop every evening I got to fall into the bed with him AGAIN. I wanted a smile of delight to creep across my face every morning when I awoke and found him still there next to me, my soul mate, my best friend, my lover.

That night I cried out to the Lord and I asked him to help me to never forget or let go of the wonder, the feeling of awe, or the passion I had for my husband and our marriage.

Join me tomorrow as I share one simple truth and habit that keeps the spark of marriage alive in my heart.