Trust, It is a hard thing to give. Why? You know why—because people often mess up and fail.
I heard a story recently, that I wanted to share with you all. It’s about Anne Wilson. She lost her brother when she was 15. She said that at the time, she lost her brother, The Lord asked her, “Anne, are you going to trust me, or are you not?” (You can hear her tell her own story, if you click below.)
Boy, those words, “Do you trust me?”—they have ripped through my own heart. How many times, have I heard the whisper in my own heart—“Do you trust me?” How many times, have I not answered, or even acknowledged the question, but have gone out, living life as I see best.
Anne, however, did answer. She told The Lord, “Yes, I trust You.”
She said that she has been able to see beauty grow from ashes.
I’d like to share again, her song—Let Me Tell You About My Jesus.
Praying we are all encouraged to say, “Yes Jesus, I trust You.” Today, and every day!
My husband and I have been married 30+ years. We have survived having 5 children, losing 1 child, adding children and grandchildren to our family, losing parents, losing friends, losing family, financial droughts, financial windfalls, owning our own business for the past 25+ years– we have survived life. As an older woman, I am instructed by scripture to encourage younger women to love their husbands and their children. Since I love to encourage, and give advice, 🙂 I have complied a few pieces of advice for you, in your marriage.
Spend time together on a regular and consistent basis. My husband and I both have a need and desire to spend time alone with each other. We both made this a priority. When my husband would come home and say, “Let’s go out to dinner tonight?”, I would say, “Great! I’ll see if Joan can watch the kids?” (Joan is a made up name. :)) Joan could have been one of our neighborhood’s teenage girls, or one of the college students involved with Cru, or one of our friends that we were exchanging time with—by watching their children. The point is, that we made time to be with each other, and we had a group of people we trusted to be with our kids to call on, when our kids were young. We also made it a priority with our finances to spend money on our dates. We didn’t have much money at times—so we would need to get creative—the point wasn’t the money spent—the point was the time spent.
Recently, my husband and I went on a date. It was a dinner date. I have been going through a really difficult time lately. Over dinner, I got a chance to share my heart with my husband and tell him the things I was concerned about. We made eye contact. I saw the compassion in his eyes for me. I saw his concern for me. I heard his wisdom for me, as he leaned over the table, held my hand and told me to have faith, keep believing God, even when things look so dark. Then he gave me his perspective—his hope. Things did not seem so dark after that. I had strength—the strength of knowing I was not facing these trials alone. It was as if my husband took my hand, and then put my hand in God’s hand, and I was pulled up, and put on solid ground. This is the benefit of finding time to be alone, to talk, to share one’s heart. This is the story from my perspective, but I know from my husband’s perspective, he also shares his concerns with me, and I listen to him, I respect him, I admire him. These are deep needs my husband has, and I take care to meet these needs. Some couples spend this time alone with each other, every day. They tell the children—”this is mommy and daddy’s time. Go play quietly in your rooms.” (They put the baby in a play pen with toys), and they spend 15-20 minutes alone talking. We did not do this consistently—but I bring it up, as I know some families that did do this.
The other thing my husband and I have done, is we take a day or two every year to go away by ourselves. Our children stay with trusted family or friends, and we go to a fun destination. When we do this, I feel like a bride again, without the responsibilities of children. (We still have children at home—so even now, I feel that freedom of being on our own.)
The last time we went away from home, we went to Frankenmuth, MI. It is a town in Michigan founded by German immigrants in the 1800’s. It is a little like going to a Bavarian village in Europe—and we loved it. We strolled down the streets, hand in hand, admiring the flowers and the picturesque village. Later, we had a picnic by the river—and we talked and kissed and connected.
Probably the most important thing we do as a couple in spending time with each other—is pray. We pray everyday together. Sometimes as we share a concern with each other, one of us will say, “Let’s pray.” We will then start talking with our Lord, bringing our concerns to Him.
When we were married, we had the verse from Ecclesiastes 4:9-13 read at our wedding, “Two are better than one, for they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together, they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”
The cord of three strands is God, and then each of us. God is the reason, our marriage has survived. God has given us His strength and we have taken it. At times one of us will be stronger, and will take the other’s hand, and put it into God’s hand. God pulls us up and puts us on solid ground. He gives us His grace, love and faith—to keep walking in this life. I don’t say that lightly. I don’t say that tritely. Life is very, very hard. Hold unto each other, dear children—love each other!! Forgive each other!! Keep your hearts soft for each other. I am pulling for you and praying for you!! May You Be Encouraged!!
I have been spending this week with my mom. I am well aware of how rare these times are– to take time out of our lives and spend it with each other. This is a time I want to savor, to remember, to hide in my heart.
When I was growing up, I was the 4th child out of six children, so the times I got to be alone with my parents, are very precious to me. I’d like to share some of these treasures with you.
My senior year of High School, I ate lunch with my mom, every weekday. This was the year, I left school after having 3 classes, went home to eat lunch and then went to my job. My mom came home from her job every day at lunch time, and we shared a meal with each other. We chatted and ate. I had time with my mom by myself—an unheard of event for me!! I think this time helped prepare me for going away to college the following year.
I also treasure, my mom and dad coming to Wisconsin, where I was on staff with Cru, and spending the week with me. I remember cleaning my apartment thoroughly before they came, and my roommate joking that my parents needed to come visit more often. I made the mistake of taking my parents to Madison Wisconsin on Halloween. It was pretty wild—people were acting strangely, and dressed in wild and creepy outfits—there was a strange spirit in the air. My Dad was a tough policeman—and even he was a bit freaked out by what we saw and sensed. Yet, I’m so glad to have had that time with them—those memories with them. I was glad to have had an adventure with them, and to have my big strong Dad with my mom and I during that adventure.
Another time, I treasured was my time with my mom and dad in California. I was in California for the summer because of my job, but they came out, because their nephew, my cousin, had been in a car accident, and was in a coma. They came to offer support to my Aunt and Uncle, and their family. They also spent time with me. We went to Disney Land and my parents kept offering to get me, every kind of food available. I joked with them, and said, “Wow, usually I’m happy to have all the attention—but now I’m kind of wishing for some siblings—as I can’t eat one more thing.” This was a golden time with my parents in the midst of some dark, and turbulent seas. I learned then, that golden times often come when we least expect it. They are special gifts to us from God to point us to the overarching gift of life despite the trials and heartache. In fact, we appreciate them even more because of the contrast.
3 years later, I came home to prepare for my wedding, and my mom and I drove together to every bridal shop in our state. (That might be a slight exaggeration-but not by much.) I had seen the dress I wanted in a bridal magazine. When I called the designer’s shop, they told me it was sold out. I did not know how much the dress was—and thought I probably couldn’t have afforded it anyway—but something about that dress called to me. We finally went to a bridal shop, that I had not wanted to go to—as the dresses there were very expensive and I was on a budget. Anyway, I ended up finding the dress of my dreams –the dress I called about–there—on a clearance rack–totally within my budget!! What a gift from God!! It was wonderful to share that moment with my mom.
These are just a few treasured memories among so, so many memories. What I have learned from my parents, is that time spent with people I love really, really matters. It matters to spend time with my loved ones. Relationships take time. They are built on moments. Moments taken—build our trust in one another, and allow us to share our hearts with each other. Those relationships can help us on this road of life we are all on.
So let me encourage you to make time, find time, grasp the time to spend with your loved ones—and treasure those moments in your heart–for we may never pass this way again!! May you be encouraged!!
**The picture at the top is of my mom and her Grandfather. 🙂