Category Archives: Marriage

In Sickness and in Health

So…it seems tough gal is okay giving horses shots but isn’t tough enough to give herself shots, so her tough guy does it for her.

Isn’t it always something new in marriage? I bet over our twenty-two years he never figured he’d be pulling meds and hovering over syringes and working up the courage to stick two needles into his wife’s left leg.

As we sat in the bathroom and he figured out his alcohol wipes and his game plan, he told me about his dad and how Hoss could cut his own finger off and probably not even flinch, but would practically pass out when his wife was hurt.

“I feel like my dad right now.”

I told him to hurry up and get it over with, that I was just fine.

And it didn’t even hurt.

Ok maybe an eensy little bit but don’t tell him that.

The older I get, the more wee glimpses I see of what the preacher man meant when he said “in sickness and in health”.

And the more thankful I grow with each passing year for the one who honors that promise daily.

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If you are experiencing ANY of the symptoms of a diseased or low-functioning thyroid, or suspect your adrenal system is not working efficiently, PLEASE begin the big work of researching this little organ that controls so much and make an appointment to see a functional, integrative health doctor to have your blood levels checked.

Start on the road to healing and don’t let a malfunctioning thyroid and/or adrenals take any more time or joy away from you and your loved ones.

*Chronic exhaustion*Always feeling foggy*Cold all the time*Tired upon waking*Unexplained weight gain*Inability to lose weight*Unexplained muscle pain*Achy joints*Hair loss*Dry, brittle hair*Skin/nail changes* (There are many more, these are some of the most common.)

I am learning so much about this disorder that affects so many today, and along with the weekly B12 shots, a wonderful functional health doctor, the love and support of my precious family, a good supplement program, extreme diet changes, and a low dose of natural thyroid replacement, I have begun the path to healing. It is my prayer for you that you too, will be able to find a diagnosis and begin your healing journey as well. Our years are numbered…let’s spend as many of them as we can in good and balanced health.

I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. 2 Kings 20:5

Twenty-Two Things

We averted disaster today.

Serious disaster.

As we sat at the kitchen table, still in our pajamas and me not even halfway through my first cup of coffee, the kids noticed fog rolling off the barn roof.

Or was it steam?

Wait, No. No, my son said. I think that’s smoke Mom.

And he stepped out on the porch to smell the air and then went running one way while I went running the other to throw on a pair of pants quicker than I ever have in all my life while at the same time dialing the number I’ve answered hundreds of times.

911, where is your emergency?

As I calmly told her my address, phone number, and directions to my house, I pushed my feet into boots and ran out the door, barking clipped directions to the kids still in my eyesight.

My big boy has his Daddy’s cool smarts and he’d hit the breaker to the barn before I had even hit the driveway, and he walked straight into the smoke to find the source and had the melting and burning tote that’d served as a home for a wee chick drug out to the middle of the driveway where it went up in flames and continued to melt blue plastic ooze onto the gravel while my hands started to tremble and my voice cracked on the line.

It seems that the chick we’d had bedded down in the cozy warm tote had jumped out during the night to visit with the rest of the party animals (hens and turkeys and pullets oh my) who were all enjoying the soft farmy smells of the hay barn for the past two nights while we finish getting their winter pen ready.

When wee chick (after today he carries the name of Fireball) jumped out of bed, he must’ve knocked the heat lamp loose and down into his tote, which melted plastic and scorched hay in the process.

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My barn is full of a winter’s worth of hay, and as I hung up with Dispatch and listened to the approaching sirens, it took me less than two seconds to imagine how quickly that structure could go from the rolling smoke we’d found to being fully engulfed. How quickly that would put my surrounding woods at risk. Our precious neighborhood. Our cherished livestock.

So today I’m thankful for many things.

For my boy’s quick mind and quick actions. For our firefighters who were here within five minutes and even though the danger had passed, they came anyway and they made sure my barn and our neighborhood was safe. For being late starters. Had we been engrossed in school instead of milling into the morning, we would have missed the smoke altogether, which means we would’ve missed the flames.

Most of all though, I’m thankful for the lesson we learned today. We will never …ever…EVVVVER…put a heat lamp in the hay barn again. E.v.e.r.

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It was clamped up high enough but it got knocked down by a weird accident and it could’ve quickly caused tragedy. So we learned.

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I learned.

And tonight, on the eve of my twenty-second wedding anniversary, I realize that I’ve learned some lessons about marriage too. Some little lessons, some MAJOR lessons. I’ve learned what works, what doesn’t, and how to make things flow, just like I’ve learned how to do things here on the farm.

Some have been scary lessons, and there have been near-losses, and some have been not quite so dramatic. All of them though, have been important.

Twenty-Two Things I’ve Learned in Twenty-Two Years of Marriage

  1. Be stubborn. There have been times in our marriage when the only thing that has kept us together is our scrappy stubbornness to not let go. Marriage is worth fighting for and sometimes you have to muster up every once of stubborn you have to save your marriage and make it grow. After becoming a Christian, I learned that the big word for this is perseverance, but round here we just call it being stubborn. In a good way. Be stubborn. Don’t give up.
  2. Forgive. Lavishly. My husband is so much better at this than I am, but I’ve learned from him. Love means you will get your feelz hurt sometimes. Talk it out, be direct, work it through, forgive. You were forgiven much. Forgive much.
  3. Give grace. When I set aside my ego and my demands and extend the grace to my spouse that was poured out on me, he is better able to see our love unclouded and pure and be the man God made him to be. And the same goes for me. It really does go back to treating others how we’d want to be treated. Don’t ever tolerate abuse, but extend grace whenever you can.
  4. Make a home. Wherever you are, make a home for the two of you. Make him want to be home with your soft and curvy self and just like the Don Williams song,  make him feel like a king and not a regular Joe. Clutter bugs or neat freaks, make that place YOURS. Together yours. It’s your haven and without a haven the world will be cold. Make your home and even if it’s a little crazy, keep that craziness warm and cozy and his and yours and help keep him comfortable and happy to come home.
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  5. But don’t strive for a perfect home. . Perfect is a falsehood and striving for it will exhaust you and strain your marriage. Make your imperfectness perfect for you and save the real perfect for when we get to Heaven.
  6. Keep the Balance. You might have to say no to some things. Heck you might have to say no to a LOT of things to keep the balance. You are the yang to his ying and he’s the leather to your lace and as my kids tell me, my husband is the calm to my crazy or the whoah to my go. Keeping the balance is a constant pursuit and sometimes a true act in assertiveness and patience. I’ve lost time with friends, we’ve said no to great opportunities, we are constantly learning how to better calendar and communicate, and sometimes it’s an out and out battle to maintain it all in a non-crazy way. Schedules, school, time with kids, time as a family, housework, finances, friends, church service, health issues, work issues, chores, rest…it can seriously be a job trying to keep it balanced. Be diligent. The train runs best when the tracks are balanced. This changes with each season so stay aware. Find your balance and keep it.
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  7. Year ten: Finally feels like you might be getting the hang of marriage.
  8. Year fifteen: Feels like you’re off to a good start at doing a good job at marriage.
  9. Year twenty: Feels like you just finished a 100-mile warm-up marathon and you’re sweaty and smiling and standing at the starting line excited to run the next leg of the race.Mr. and Mrs. Rankin

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  10. Love is a choice not a feeling. Being married means there will be days when you might look at your spouse and wonder what you were thinking all those years ago. Listen, if you have a faithful spouse who has loved you for years and hasn’t given up on you, you have a gift and you have a treasure and a you have a choice to make. Don’t you dare fall into the way of thinking that our world teaches, this fickleness in marriage, this feeling of wanting to flee when the butterflies migrate. Love is a choice. Make the decision and the feelings will follow. Choose faithfulness. Choose dedication. Choose to love your spouse.
  11. Get a room. Yep. Something happens you leave your home with your spouse, especially when said home is full of kids. A couple’s weekend away clears the head and refreshes the heart. Try to take one at least once a year. We honor our anniversary this way. I know it’s hard. Do what you can to make it happen. But don’t make your expectations too lofty. A tent in the back of his pick up truck. Trade babysitting with another mama. Enlist Grandma. Your bff. A camper out in the driveway. A local motel. However you can do this, make it a habit, set any arguments aside, and protect this time with flexibility but the ferocity of a mama bear.back roads
  12. Get a room for two nights, not one. I know it sounds outrageous. But the first 24 hours is a working-it-out, calming-the-mind, exhale time. One day isn’t even enough relax to let you unpack your makeup bag. Especially if you have an 11 a.m. check-out. Save your coupon money, get a good babysitter from church, work on this all year…take TWO nights off. Trust me.
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  13. Squeeze in dates when you can. I know this isn’t always an option. But when my third baby turned ten-months old, I realized that I hadn’t had any quiet conversation with my husband since our two-day hospital stay when she was born! We hired a sweet teen from church and we budgeted a date every single week. After a year we realized we could probably drop back to every other week. Then it went to once a month. Then every couple of months. Now that we have teens, we’re back up to every week because it’s a little bit like toddlers in the house but opposite. We need time away from all the big, busy ears.Do what works. What is good for one couple may be burdensome for another. But do make sure to set some time apart regularly to focus on being alone and don’t you dare let ANYONE make you feel guilty for it. My husband said it best when I once hinted at the cost of one of our dates, It’s an investment in our marriage.
  14. Listen. Really listen to your spouse. You may truly be the only one who does. If you find that your mind is too busy to listen to your spouse, it’s time to clear some space. Your marriage is your ministry. Run your ministry well.
  15. Do what your spouse loves. This one is so, so easy, and so, so hard. Just do what they love. In the kitchen, in the bedroom, in the car, in their love language…find out what they love and do that.
  16. Your spouse should be your best friend on earth. I’ve lived marriage otherwise, and trust me, not being best friends with my husband was living a different marriage than what God had for us. It took us a long time and a long road for us to be best friends, but once we walked to it, gasping and panting, we found our stride. Don’t give up if it isn’t the case for you. If there are two of you willing to do marriage like God planned, you’ll find your stride. Make your spouse your best earthly friend.
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  17. But your husband isn’t your girlfriend.  I only have a small circle of girlfriends so for most things I lean on my husband. One thing is clear though. He ain’t a girlfren, girlfren and it’d be unfair of me to put that expectation on him. If I want him to act like a man, I treat him like a man not like one of my women friends.Let him dry your tears and strongly hug you tight and pray with you when you’re vulnerable or tired and manly pat your behind and expertly fix your car when things are falling apart, but don’t be upset when he isn’t excited to stay up late crying with you over Beaches and Haagen Daas on a PMS night. Cut him loose from that wish list sister. It isn’t fair to expect him to be like you, he’s NOT like you. And he’s not like your girlfriends either. I know for me, in my marriage, one of the 22 things I’ve learned…is let.him.be.a.man. I expected for TOO LONG that he fulfill ALL my friendship needs.

    God didn’t call our men to be our women friends. I wish we all had perfect women friends. You might, I might, we all might. But if we don’t, don’t try to make your man fill that role. He has a role as your MAN. Let him be that.

  18. Don’t keep close friends with the opposite sex. I might take flak for this one but I strongly believe keeping close friends of the opposite sex can cast a shadow of doubt on the trust between you and your spouse and impede the integrity of marriage. I’m not talking about casual friendships with co-workers, fellow parents, and church folks. I’m referring to close, confidant-type friendships. I’m talking bff style friendships.  I’ve seen the detriment in my marriage, friends’ marriages, and marriage in our society in general. If  you do have a close friend of the opposite sex, please make sure your spouse is fully involved and included and knows the dynamics well. Your main squeeze should always be your spouse.  Keep your boundaries when it comes to friends of the opposite sex and always make sure that you are sending a strong message of marriage. To your friends and to your spouse.
  19. Make God your best, best friend. My dear friend Ms. Kreta will tell you that Jesus is the cake, her husband was the frosting. It wasn’t until I started walking with the Lord and doing marriage HIS way that the fight became focused. You may not be there yet, that’s okay. It took me a long time too, and my husband even longer. But once we began to realize how sweet God’s way of marriage is, we became a cord of three that was no longer easily broken. If you’re there already, praise Him. It is the greatest treasure and friend that your marriage -and your soul- will ever possess.
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  20. Don’t flirt. It’s raises doubts and it’s just not fair. One of the most precious things I’ve ever seen and a treasure I hold close is my husband’s refusal to succumb to flirtatious advances from other women over the years. Because he doesn’t flirt, I don’t doubt him. Extrovert or not, flirting plants seeds of doubt. Unless it’s with your spouse, just don’t do it.
  21. Keep private things private. You may come from a close family. You may be an open book. There are things that are whispered in the dark that belong to the heart of your spouse and should never be repeated to another soul. You are building a life together, a history, a heritage, a TRUST. Don’t repeat what is confided. Even if it’s small. The two of you are literally an island, and unless you have permission, keep the private, intimate, personal stuff between you.
  22. Make eye contact. This one is hard. You may or may not have this skill down. I hope for you that you do. I don’t. I either stare with a furrowed brow and look angry or I avert in an uncomfortable need to make distance. I have to work at the in-between. Make eye contact when you speak to your spouse and notice how it bumps up the level of intimacy in your conversation. When you say something that you really want to get through, look into your spouse’s eyes. Practice if it’s uncomfortable. Trust me. Your eyes get your point across more than your words ever will. Let your guard down with your spouse and allow yourself to make uninhibited eye contact.
    JULY 2014 011Because I’ve never written a list like this and probably never will again, I’ll throw in two more very important ones.
  23. Hold hands. It seems small but it’s not. I remember during a particularly difficult time in our marriage, a co-worker saw us at the store. He said later that what he noticed about my husband and I was that we were holding hands. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d held hands with his wife. They were three decades into marriage. I hope he holds his wife’s hand more often now.In twenty-two years, it’s one small thing that I’ve realized makes all the difference. When it’s bumpy, holding hands secures the ride. When it’s time to come before the throne in prayer, holding hands unites. When it’s sad, holding hands comforts. When it’s happy, holding hands celebrates. When it’s quiet, holding hands is connection. When it’s intimate, holding hands confirms. When it’s angry, holding hands is a sign of peace.

    I know my husband’s hands better than I know my own. They are comfort and they are joy and they are callused and they are soft and they are strong and they are peace and they are love. Hold your spouse’s hand every chance you get and don’t ever stop.
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    Lastly but most importantly I believe:

  24. Pray together. Often. Even if it’s awkward. Do it. There is nothing, no thing, that has brought my husband and I closer than praying together. We prayed together before we even knew who we were praying to, and then once we did, we awkwardly bumbled our way into regular and natural conversation with the one who made us and designed marriage. Find a great couples devotional, get with a prayer group, or just clasp hands and pray. You will soon realize that the answer to most every problem that comes your way is to pray and seek God’s will and guidance in all things and that when you face them together with a bowed heart, you’ll face them stronger than you could ever have imagined.10923198_10204094321099220_7355868044455328324_n

We’ve seen dark times and we’ve seen bright times and we’ve done half a marriage without the Lord, and half a marriage with Him, and I only hope that we’ll have another twenty-two years and then another twenty-two after that.

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DSC_0636 (2)So there’s my list for this day and this year and maybe it will bless you as you travel and grow and learn with your beloved.

I’ll have to add to my list next year.

Because I’ll never quit learning.

And I’ll never ever, ever leave the heat lamp in the barn again either.
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 I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine…Song of Solomon 6:3

All These Years

 All these years that I’ve been holding you…

The morning whisper before the routine of the day and it’s me and it’s him and it’s quiet before kids louden the house and it’s all these years and all that holding…

All these years.

A day can seem like a year and one year looks like the one before it and pretty soon all the years mix into one big day…and the messes and the money and the love and the fights and the hugs and the tears and the critters and the kids and the good and the not-always-good…they all blend up together in a sweet day-swirl of years that soften as they go, and pretty soon it’s been over twenty now that you’ve been holding each other in the dark and in the quiet.

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How did we get to all these years when I thought we were still just starting?

How did the babies go on and grow and get to be a mini-version of the adults they’re turning into?

And how did we somehow get all grown up when we still have so much work to do on growing up?

All these years…

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The trail we boondock bumps and jars and I hop off the four-wheeler while he works out the high-center and I walk with the fireweed and my hands touch the tall grass and there…right there…is where I’d have him put the house we’ll stay in for all the years that are yet to come.

It rolls like a meadow from back home, but it’s rugged like a spruce from this home, and my eyes water because I’d really love to buy this land and standing here in the fireweed, I’m standing at my to-be kitchen sink and looking out my to-be big window and right there my little horses are grazing in their to-be pasture while my children do what farm children do, they hunt and run and yell and create and care for critters here on their to-be homestead where they’ll bring their to-be children back to spend sunny days and wrap their dirty play-stained fingers around mine someday.

I look at the old cottonwood that reaches its emerald clumps of leaves high in years-long praise. How old does a tree have to be to reach that size?

All those years it stood there.

Right there.

I want our house to be right here. I want to look out over that meadow every day and I want this cottonwood to be here with us. Right here is where I want our house to be.

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He usually has to think things over for a good long time. He’s like that and it’s good.

But I ask him if we can’t pray on this one because sometimes God decides to move faster than we do and

God? Can this be one of those times because all these years are going by faster than I thought they would.

I want Him to move faster than smart husbands who mull long so we clasp hands and I try not to cry because sometimes God moves even slower than husbands who take time, and I’ve learned while that’s hard, it’s a good thing too.

But in the slowness when will we finally grow into who we are?

When do we finally have it together?

When do we finally look out over the meadow and feel like there’s peace?

When do we quit feeling like a wreck, like a mess, like there is so.much.more growing up to do?

When do we finally feel like we’re Home?

It’s hard to wait and God, can’t You just make it happen fast?

But then today I remember.

This time of year marks the time of year I said yes to Jesus.

Twelve now since I said yes, I’ll follow and I’ll grow up into the girl you had in mind when you made me. Yes. I will follow.

In all my waiting to finally be there…I forget that it’s not just twelve days.

I’m growing up.

It might be slow, but I’m closer to Home now than I was then and even when I’m high-centered, I’m still on the trail.

All these years…

I’ve been holding you…

When I reach my hands up in years-old praise and stand firm in this good soil He gives…

…or when I lay broken like the spruce that snapped in the massive wind storm years back and just hasn’t quite gathered the strength yet to stand…

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…or when my heart is hardened like the burl, that huge one that forms around a mar in the design and grows bigger until it’s finally chopped off and used for good…

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…or when I sit quiet and vibrant like the wildflowers that show up briefly and grace her surroundings with beauty…

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…all these years He’s been holding me.

I’m growing.

You…me…we’re getting there.

In the quiet…in the dark…in the good…in the bad…

All these kids and all these critters and all these fears and all these tears and all these flaws and all this growing and all these years…

We put an offer on the land today.

We might get it or we might not.

We might have to wait for another meadow or we might have to make one right where we are.

But today, this day of meadows and dreams and hopes and prayers I know this: all these years…

…He’s been holding.

He’s been holding.

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Painting Toenails, Washing Feet

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. John 13:14

So I was kinda mean last week.

Actually, truth be told, I was really mean.

Stomping around the house, throwing things in the trash, grumping on my husband no matter what he said kinda mean.

He saw the angry side of me.

Not that he hasn’t before.

If we’re being honest here, he’s seen it more times than I care to admit.

He ‘s told me more than once that one of the things he loved most about me when we were dating was my spunkiness and firey temper.

I’m not sure if all these twenty-some years later he’d say the same.

I’m used to loud arguing and getting over it. He hates that. Quiet talking and peaceful resolve are more his style. All these twenty years, I’ve had to smother my anger and learn how to live without it.

Put it in the grave and nurture the tree called gentleness that’s planted in the dark dirt near the headstone.

Angry wants to rise up sometimes.

Claw her ugly way out and dance on the grave and mock the gentle tree that grows taller each year but still shows it’s fragility on those days when it’s not facing the Son.

It makes him crooked when we argue, he tells me.

It twists his heart up and he can’t think of life being right and he’d do anything in his power to fix it.

He wants unity between us.

Peace.

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But it’s not peaceful when I’m cranky and ornery and being mean.

It tears up our household. It tears up him.

And it tears up me.

I don’t like being mean. I don’t like feeling mean and I certainly don’t enjoy the cranky feeling that overtakes an overwhelmed mama when there’s so much do that she can’t see the light of day and no one else can seem to see things the way she does and she’s just carrying it all ON HER OWN.

Being mean is feeling like the lonely girl who’s pouting as she sits in the car alone because she threw a fit on the way home and now no one wants to be around her so they left her just sitting there in the cold car parked in the driveway.

Isolated.

Angry.

Left with her ugliness.

But too stubborn about protecting it to get out of the car.

Deep down though, she’s lonely and crying.

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So when we ignore the advice of the sweet elderly couple at our wedding reception…those ones long gone now…that pair who’d weathered life and loss and decades and death…that precious woman who lifted her sweet little wrinkled gnarled finger to the two of us standing there in ivory and said

“This is the secret. Don’t be mad when you go to sleep. You fight, you work it out. Before you go to sleep. Over fifty years. That’s the secret.”

But when we’re sitting in the car alone we forget her face and forget what she said.

So the next morning I sat with my Bible and my coffee, and even though we’re told to leave the altar and reconcile our differences, I tried to read anyway because angry people need Him and somehow just having that Book there in my lap with words red and history true, well, just that alone will start a gal on the path to reconciliation…then in walks my husband, just waking up and with a peacemaker’s smile…

…he washed my feet.

The kids still quiet in bed and the house still sleeping, he went to the bathroom and he got the nail polish fixings and he came back and he put my feet on the footstool and he started painting my toenails.

His big hands held the little glass bottle and I sat there quietly, my Bible and my coffee still in my lap, while he prettied my toes with my favorite red.

And when he accidentally knocked over the nail polish remover and it spilled a wood-eating mess of chemical all over our dark wood floor, he quietly and patiently got up and went to the kitchen and came back with a wad of paper towels. He gently and silently mopped up the spill and went back to work on my toes.

My Bible held me still and quiet, anchored to my seat and not breathing one word about the mess.

This was bigger than the mess and bigger than the fight and bigger than the pride and the little issues that I’d allowed to be too big the day before.

I wasn’t lonely in the car anymore.

I wasn’t sitting in the driveway feeling left and abandoned and prideful in protecting my heart with those swords that want to scratch their way up from the dirt and the depths and cut those closest to me..

I was loved.

I was accepted.

And I was forgiven.

There was a mess but it didn’t matter.

Because life is messy and sometimes it gets ugly messy and while we wouldn’t want the finish to be stripped away, when we look at the dull spot, that one that doesn’t shine quite as bright as the rest of the story…

…that spot right there is one to be remembered.

That spot right there is where something important happened and it was important enough to leave its mark.

That spot is where a knot formed and that tree just went on growing right around it.

That spot right there says “There! Right there! THAT happened to help us remember.”

That spot right there is where love grew.

And it won’t ever be perfect.

But in its imperfectness, it has a purpose.

It will be used.

It will serve.

And it will be strong.

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In your anger do not sin…Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. Ephesians 4:26

The Shed

 

 

For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. Hebrews 3:4

The shed fell and my heart fell too.

One long season of building a structure.

But really…

…building a marriage too.

The house, a stake in the ground, a foundation of love.

This is where we stay. We’re not moving anymore. We’re not going away from here. Or away from us. We’re not leaving.

The shed, that first monument. Our sign on the door. The first wall up. An I’ll build this greenhouse side for you and I’ll build this shed side for me and together we’ll build it and it’s ours and it’s us.

That’s what the shed was.

One side for him, for man things, the tools, the work side.

The ‘I’ll take care of things and we’ll keep our stuff in here and sometimes it will be messy and cluttered and sometimes things will hang from the roof and sometimes I won’t know exactly where those things are because I am just a man after all but it will all be here for the finding and when we need it’ side.

It’ll be there, right here at our fingertips. The things you need will be right here. Right here because I’m.not.going.anywhere.

And one side for me. A smaller side, a softer side, a side drawn right out of his own mind, his own love idea and right onto that paper in black and white, a part of the plan and it belongs right there, has to be right there, attached and joined to his half. Clear walls and full of light and fun and this is where we’ll grow things.

The side just for me that he draws in and in drawing it he says it. ‘You’ll be able to create, I know you love to. You are sometimes messy and a lot of the times start things you don’t want to or know how to finish but you need a spot to grow beauty and I want you to be able to in this place. For you. For me. For us. This is a place I know you’d want to be and while we need my side, a practical side, I know you need a creative side too and I want that for you.’

My side says this shed is different and this shed is love and this shed gives hope.

Hope drawn into the plan, hope right next to your side and being side by side makes us one and joined and attached and I’m.not.going.anywhere.

Strong hands drew up that plan, a custom, one-of-a-kind, fearfully and wonderfully made plan…no one else has a shed like it kind of plan.

And strong hands chose lumber and strong hands hauled and hammered and cut.

And then strong hands rebuilt a marriage.

Built a shelter, and though just a shed, it was somehow still a place out of the storm for her, for him, from the rain that’d been falling and falling…

…and soaking them in their own darkness over a year.

He hammered and cut, and sometimes they hammered and hauled together and when it was done…oh..when it was done…

…it was theirs.

Proudly it stood, side by side, for that first winter, and the next winter after and for years and years, reminding them of what they built.

What he built when they’d both said we’re not going anywhere.

And the shed they built became the shed they really needed and with each baby came more need …

…and the boats and the tools …the shed became a shed.

A full shed, a cute shed…a shed full of memories…a shed full of things.

The monument, the stake in the ground, now a statue covered in moss. Showing years and altogether beautiful…

…patina showing its age.

Its age and use and love.

And when the foundation moved…the foundation of the marriage, well, when that happened, the foundation of the shed shifted too.

The sinkhole they didn’t know was there shifted the shed downward.

But the foundation on the Rock that they were learning IS there, it shifted the marriage upward.

Toward strength. Toward oneness. Toward forever. Toward light after the dark and rainbows after the storm and no more need for fixing or for shed building.

Toward the One with even stronger hands. Hands that took the nails and made all things whole again.

So after the earthquake hit,- the biggest one they’d known- and the shed was rattled, left ragged and tippy, looking at them tiredly for weeks as the last aftershocks rolled through…

…looking at them like this might just be the last sink this old shed can take…there wasn’t much surprise when the oldest boy came to say, very matter of factly…

“Mama? Our shed is no more.“

The roof, flat and near level with the ground, held that wet heavy snow while it all pushed and pushed down on the frame of that shed, built with so much love…so much hope back then…

…until the boards just couldn’t take the weight…

…and it all caved in.

And the practical side, the man side, with all the tools and the tires, lay right next to the light side, the pretty side, the place he built for her to grow things.

Yes, the shed fell flat.

But the foundation?

The foundation is now firm.

And for that…

…the shed has faithfully served its purpose.

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Corinthians 5:1

the shed blog

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