Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Something to give thanks for

I got an email from a friend with a link for YouTube.

Apparently, its true. A young boy, only 13 and from Nebraska called into a radio station that he calls into quite often. I think thats all the introduction you need.

Hope you find the many things surrounding you to be thankful for.

Monday, November 12, 2007

When love runs out

Over these past weeks I have been told by two different friends that they were going through a divorce. They seem like average couples with everyday troubles like most marriages. One couple married for 10 yrs, the other just under 2 yrs. One friend told me her husband just took off his ring and decided he didn't want to be married. I can't imagine the devastating pain that has come on her.

It has made me really pour over the idea of "falling out of love". Why does it happen? It seems couples with money, without money, with children, with out children and so on suffer from it. It is not immune to anyone. Couples that are married for 30 years and those married for under 6 months. What happened to the generations before us, who got married young and grew older and wiser together? To the men and women who looked at marriage as something to be worked on, tested and stretched? A commitment for life?

When Todd and I go to weddings, we always look forward to the dance in which they slowly eliminate the couples married the least. We have reached over 10 years and get to stay for one more elimination. They continue to call out years until they honor the gray-haired, sparkling eyed man and woman who still only have eyes for each other. Some married for over 60 years. We both look forward to being that couple someday.

I won't lie. There are days when I have thought, "What if he falls out of love with me?" Then there have been moments when I have thought, "marriage is so hard". But the truth in it all is that marriage IS hard and sometimes one spouse does "fall out of love". Why is it so much easier to run away from one relationship to find another "love" and in turn just "fall out of love" again?

One friend of mine used the illustration of smoking a cigarette to describe love. You crave it, breath it in, get the "high" and then when it runs out, light up the next. I think it better describes "lust". Lust will run out. It desires to satisfy itself based on how something (or someone) looks or makes its feel. Then after the high subsides, moves on to the next exciting ride.

I look at love as something so much deeper, so much richer.

I wonder what the first person to discover diamonds thought about them. Diamonds are not beautifully smooth and cut with brilliance by nature. They are found with sweat and blood and dirt. They are brought from the darkest parts and poorest areas. Then comes the shaping. They are polished, cut and set in precious metal. They get to the stores only through surviving extreme processing. They gain worth through time. Marriage is like that diamond. Only through pain, dark times and work can a marriage become something great. The bride and groom who stand at the altar do not begin with a perfect marriage. They are given a rough piece of stone that only they can fashion into something with value.

Unfortunately, it takes two people to accomplish the goal, and when one decides its too hard, the beautiful result can never take form. My heart aches for the spouse left with the broken dull pieces. The one who was willing to stick it out to get to the end. The one who sees the two of them dancing as old folks in the middle of the dance floor surrounded by young couples who yearn to be there too.

My prayers go out today for the men and women who have been broken because of divorce.

I pray that God will take them through this valley and bring them up to the mountain where His love NEVER runs out.

That they will someday be granted the deep desires of their heart to find a partner who will work with them to create diamonds.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Santa Clause is coming already?

Well, the Christmas music has begun to play on the radio, snow had its first fleeting appearance and the stores have suddenly become Santa shops. I always look forward to this time with anticipation as well as a little reservation. Since we have begun to shop without credit cards the last two years, I am not nearly as far a long in the gift buying as I would like to be. I have my list but only a few things have been checked as "done". Regretfully, I am already itching to bring out the Christmas decorations. Our house is very little so the tree and manger, though beautiful and meaningful, take up a lot of needed space so in that realization lies the reason I am hesitant to pull everything out. There is something in watching the tiny snowflakes and listening to "Santa Clause is coming to town", however, that stirs up warm thoughts and memories.

As a child, I never believed in Santa clause. I have had so many parents tell me that Christmas wouldn't be filled with the same magic and wonder without Santa, but honestly, I don't think I missed out on a thing. I remember turning off all the lights, except the ones on the tree, lying beneath the branches and dreaming of what could be beneath the deliciously wrapped gifts. Growing us several states away from family, also brought some advantages. Large packages would arrive leading up to December 25th filled with presents from relatives. I was a fortunate child growing up, so my dreams and hopes were usually physically embraced the morning of Christmas. There was one year that it wasn't quite so fun however. I decided to snoop in my parent's closet and look inside for hidden gifts. I found all but a few, and though they were exciting to discover, the faces of surprise I had to fake on Christmas Day were not worth the short term adrenaline rush.

Though we are not in the same financial status as my parents were back then, I am eager to recreate for my children the same sort of excitement. As gifts are purchased, they slowly appear magically under the tree until Christmas eve when the largest gifts arrive in front of the tree. We hang filled stockings on the door knobs (our creative replacement for the lack of fireplace mantle) and early when the sun rises we wake to hear happy voices raised in "yeahs!" and "cool!".
I could care less honestly, what presents are awaiting me on that day, the joy of watching our children enjoy the blessings God has given them far out weigh a new sweater or gift card.

Although, there is a little fun in unwrapping a gift picked out by your eight year old son, my greatest gifts are the people I am able to share this special time of year with.

Now, Thanksgiving, hurry up and get out of the way!

Monday, November 05, 2007


Todd tagged me so here it goes...

November 1997- Todd and I had survived our first year as newly weds and were about to celebrate #2! Hannah was about 4 months old and I was working in a home daycare which was 2 blocks from my mom's house.

November 1987-I was eleven yrs old and I believe in 5th grade. That was a horribly awkward year because I was put in an expander for my upper jaw, growing too fast for my body to catch up (causing me to be very clumsy), and was about to get glasses for the first time. YIKES! It also was the year I starred in "The Music Machine" as one of the main characters at church.

November 1977- I was just 22 months old and became a big sister the month before. My parents were waiting for our house to be built, so we lived with Herman and Virginia Shulz who became our great "aunt" and "uncle".