I have a newborn granddaughter, and she loves music. She calms down when we put music on. Her Aunt Julia, a classical violinist, plays classical music for her. I play christian music for her, and she loves the following song in particular—“Only Jesus” by Casting Crowns.
I love this song as well, and this is what I long for in my life, not that I would be known, but that my life would point others to Jesus. This is my great desire. Hope you enjoy this song, and hope it encourages you as it encourages me!!
For those of you too young to recognize this, it is a line from an old Sonny and Cher song. It sums up life—it keeps going on, in spite of tragedies and traumas all around us.
It does not stop for anything—not even for pandemics, not for losing precious loved ones, not for anything.
Life keeps going on…
There is something to be said for that—for knowing that the Sun will come out tomorrow, that one season will follow the next season, that there will be a high tide and a low tide. There will be consistency among all the uncertainties of life.
The Beat goes on… la de da de di, la de da de da….
La de da de de, la de da de da….Yes, the Beat goes on….
I am writing this mostly for myself—to encourage myself—I need to rely on the Rock. I need to listen to His words. I need to take comfort from the Lord.
I am coming up to two very difficult things in my life—my birthday, and the loss of my son Sean.
Since I was really young, I have had a hard time around my birthday. I don’t know why. I do know that my mother almost lost her life when I was born. I do know that my son died a few weeks after my birthday. Needless to say, when my birthday comes close, I feel terribly sad—and I have felt this way since I can remember.
7 years ago, I still had my son on my birthday. I was still terribly sad.
I used to try to make myself feel better on my birthday, but now I just accept the sadness, knowing it will pass. My spirit is grieving, and I let it grieve. But in the back of my mind, I am remembering, that life will go on, no matter what…..
Yes, the Beat goes on……
So Be Encouraged!!
P.S. The featured picture is of my grandson kissing my newborn granddaughter, proof that life does indeed–go on. 🙂 At times, life goes on very sweetly, indeed. 🙂
Young women, if you are reading this, it is because God has something to say to you about marriage and about loving your husband.
God wants you to experience oneness and love in your marriage, and yet He knows that you may not experience intimacy, and at times find it difficult– if not impossible– to truly love you husband.
Why? Because you married a human being. (Your husband also married a human being.)
Marriage will expose both of your humanness in a way that nothing else will. It will expose the areas where God made you in His own image, and the areas where sin has been allowed to grow and rule. It will expose your sinfulness and selfishness and your husband’s sinfulness and selfishness. (And if I am being perfectly honest–it is much easier for me to see my husband’s faults than it is for me to see my own, and vice versa.)
At times, you will wonder, “who is this person I married?”—he will seem such a stranger to you.
At times you will wonder, “who am I, and why am I acting this way? I seem such a stranger to myself”.
This is what I know, after being married for 31 years—it is God who has brought my husband and I to this point—I mean that in every way. We have raised 5 children together and lost a son, we have experienced sorrow so terrible—it seemed we could not go on and joy so great, we rejoiced in our life; we have weathered many storms in life—and believe me when I say that every day, sometimes moment by moment, we choose to hang on to God.
So, if I could give you any advice, any advice—it is—hang on, hang on—to God and to each other. Sometimes it will seem as if you are riding the rapids of life, and you are—so hang on!!
When you don’t think you can hang on for one more minute–read 1 Corinthians 13, and ask God to show you how to love your husband. Thank Him for loving you as He describes it in 1 Corinthians 13— and ask Him to fill you up with His love.
He will!! And while we may, with our limited strength, be hanging onto God, please know that He is always holding onto us with His infinite strength, and He won’t let go!! So Be Encouraged!!
Since Rich and I celebrated our 31st anniversary this week, I wanted to give couples some hope and encouragement in their own marriages, and I found this sweet 6 minute video of John and Wendy Beckett, a couple who has been married for 58 years, almost twice as long as Rich and I have been married. They say everything I would have liked to have said and I hope they encourage you as much as they have encouraged me!!
Tomorrow is my husband and my 30th wedding anniversary. I remember the first time I saw my husband. We were both on staff with Cru, (a Christian ministry), working with college students in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Staff were taking college students down to Florida for a conference being held over Spring Break and we were riding on Greyhound Buses. My roommate pointed out the new staff guy in Wisconsin from our bus window. Rich was standing out in the parking lot talking to some other staff. He was tall, athletic looking, with dark curly hair, and I thought he was the most handsome man I had ever seen. I was not looking so lovely, in my sweats, with my hair pulled back in a ponytail, and my thick round glasses on. (I had decided to forgo my contacts and attractive clothes for comfort. I was not looking for a husband or a boyfriend, finally happy with my single status at the ripe young age of 27.)
Rich ended up riding on our bus, and sitting in the seat right next to me, (I’m still not sure how that happened). We talked for the entire 24-hour trip. We had so much in common; we shared about our families, our college experiences, friends we had in common. One of the weirdest things that we discussed is that when I graduated from college, I got a job in Columbus, OH. Rich was finishing his degree at Ohio State University. We went to the same church for a while, had many of the same friends, babysat for the same family, remember being at certain places at the same time—and we never once met each other or remember seeing or even hearing about each other. It’s as if God blinded our eyes to one another. It was not time yet for us to meet.
I remember thinking after that bus trip, “this guy is going to be one of my best friends”. I felt so comfortable with him, like I had come home. Rich told me later, that he knew from that bus ride, that he was going to marry me.
Forward to the night before our wedding—I stayed up until 3 a.m. talking with my friend who was one of my bridesmaids, trying to decide if I was really going to go through with the wedding. There was a storm outside, thunder and lighting and rain—weather truly suitable to the turmoil I was feeling inside. Could I do this? Could I really commit my life to this man? The fear I was experiencing was palpable. Finally, I went to sleep, and the next morning, I woke up to sunny skies and a feeling of absolute joy and peace exploding within my heart. God was giving me reassurance that this man was for me, and He would be with me, every step of the way.
I realize now that the reason I was so fearful about making a commitment to one man for the rest of my life, was because I was terrified about letting one person see who I really was and seeing another person for who they were. I was nervous about the soul intimacy of marriage. Marriage is about becoming one with another person, which in my mind meant becoming vulnerable to that person, while that person became vulnerable to me.
I did not want to do this– to be vulnerable is to open oneself to being hurt. I had been hurt in the past and was not eager to be hurt at that level again, at the same time I did not want to hurt Rich.
Before Rich and I got engaged, I prayed and asked God, “Do you want me to marry Rich?” God answered me, “This man needs to be loved.” I knew God was telling me that if I married Rich, I was not to hold anything back.
The Holy Spirit has been my faithful teacher. Nudging me to apologize when I’ve been wrong. Spurring me on to act out love—even when I do not feel love. Giving me the courage to be vulnerable, and share who I really am, even when I am filled with fear. Giving me the faith and patience to accept my husband, realizing it is God’s role to transform my husband in His timing, just as it is God’s role to transform me.
In addition to all these things, God has brought other brothers and sisters in Christ into our lives to help us along the way. There are times in our lives that I don’t know how we would have endured without this help. Particularly after our son, Sean died.
I must be honest and say that while at times the Body of Christ has been amazing, it has also been disappointing. The Body is made up of people, and people—the people to whom we are married, or the people with whom we go to church are not perfect – not by a long shot. (I include myself as part of the “People”).
Therefore, I have come to glory in what Jesus has done on the cross in dying for us amazing and many times broken people.
Jesus’s death on the cross is the perfect expression of love. He sees us for who we really are, and He loves us anyway. He demonstrated that love by dying for us, so we could belong to Him, and be with Him, forever.
In the movie, “Sleepless in Seattle”, there is a scene where the woman in it describes a scene from another movie—a classic, called “An Affair to Remember:. In, “An Affair to Remember”, the heroine is in an accident and is paralyzed, and the hero finds her, (after searching for her for a long time), and finds out she is paralyzed, and they embrace and he cries, “I wish it had been me, not you”. (I always, always cry during this part, as it hits that part of me that recognizes true sacrificial unconditional love—the longing within each human heart.)
This is the love that God has for each of us. He sees us for who we truly are and loves us unconditionally. He loves us sacrificially. So even when others disappoint, God does not. (Sometimes, that does not “feel” like the truth – but it is the truth, even when it does not “feel” like it. Our feelings can lie to us, but God and His love letter to us—The Bible—never lie).
It has helped me to remember how forgiven I am, when I need to forgive my husband. Mostly, it helps to remember how loved I am. I have been loved with an everlasting love. You have been loved with an everlasting love. This love will never fail. This love will never, ever leave. Hebrews 13:5
I am really excited to share this 5 minute video with you, as one of my dear friends was the pianist for Dana Russo, a well known christian singer/songwriter. Our family watched this video together, and we were encouraged by her story. We hope you will be as well!! 🙂