A Relationship That Will Still Be Here Tomorrow

She threw the magazine across the room and yelled, “It doesn’t work!”  She had tried it. She had tried it all. She had read every parenting magazine and tried every method and she still did not have the intimate relationship with her son that she longed for. What was the problem?  

While she was shopping, she wandered over to the boy’s department and purchased him a new pair of tennis shoes and a new water gun. She got her nails done and then headed to dinner with her girlfriends. She discussed her frustration with them, but they did not seem to understand. 

She drove home, entered her home, and climbed the steps to his bedroom pondering the lack in their relationship. 

He turned his head on his pillow and smiled slightly at her entrance to his bedroom. 

“Hey sweetheart. I bought you a new water gun today.”

“Thanks Mommy. Will you play with it with me tomorrow?”

“Well, I have work tomorrow but I bet Sarah will play with you.”

“Ok. Can we have breakfast together in the morning?”

“You know you will get breakfast at your Day Camp.”

He seemed suddenly excited and she wondered what he had to say, “Oh!  I have an assignment to fill a bag with things from nature. Will you do my homework with me?”

That was not what she was hoping for. She wasn’t really the type to explore nature. “I will make sure your tutor knows you have that assignment…Goodnight. I love you.”

And he rolled over. 

She felt lacking, “Do you love me sweet boy?”

He did not answer. 

She left his room wondering why they did not have a deeper relationship. She paid his Nanny and she went to bed. 

Toy purchases, birthday parties, “I love you Mommy”s, and sweet cuddles are amazing!  HOWEVER the relationship happens in the day to day. Battles getting dressed, potty training, sounding out words, working through tough times at school, waiting together at the doctor’s office are the times that mean we have a relationship. It means we are doing life together. 

It is GREAT to be in love with Jesus, it is great to be overwhelmed with his creation and thankful for his blessings. But unless the mom is pouring cereal and doing homework with her son, the relationship is lacking. If we are not reading our Bibles and serving others in need and living out what we say we believe, our relationship with God is lacking. We can not get frustrated with our lack of intimacy if we are not doing the day to day work that builds our relationship. 

Somewhere else, tapping on the steering wheel, with a stoic glare on his face.  It ended with a firm grip and then slapping the seat beside him in frustration. What could he possibly have done wrong and why were they the way they were. After three years of marriage, they should not have drifted apart. He loved her. He really did. Ofcourse he did. He had married her, hadn’t he?  He had chosen her among all the other women that he had ever known. When asked if he was married, he answered that she was his wife. He worked hard at the office.  What else could he possibly do?  

With frustrated determination, he scrolled through the recents and called her. A date was set and he was excited. He needed some romance and excitement. He needed this flicker to grow into a wildfire. 

Pulling into the driveway, he laid on the horn. What was taking her so long?  They were going to be late for call ahead seating. 

Twenty minutes late, they almost lost their table. He took a deep breath and refocused. He stared across the booth at his wife. She was beautiful. She was stunningly gorgeous. He slid out of the booth and reseated himself beside her, squishing her in tight. 

“What are you doing sweety?”  Her confused question was an insult. 

He tried again, using his fingers to gently push her long hair behind her ear and then he leaned forward and whispered something intimate. 

Her reaction was not exactly what he had been going for, “Hey. Back up. Let’s just talk.”

And then he lost it. “What in the hell is your problem?  Why don’t you act like you did when we first got married?  Why don’t you make me feel like that? Why don’t you excite me anymore?  You are boring!  Do you know other women come on to me at work?  I need you to give me something more. I need you to give me the mountaintop experience!”

In his anger, he was surprised by her calm answer, “Marriage is not always about a feeling. Marriage does not happen here, on dates. These are great but they are few and far between. Marriage is life together. Marriage includes the hard times. I need a relationship in those every day moments. I need more than rare dates. You can not be absent in my daily life and show up every two weeks and expect hot emotion on a date like when we first met.”

WHY oh why do we expect Jesus to date us and keep the tingly feelings flowing when we do not do life with him?  Mountaintop experiences are great. Church is great, new conversions are great, tingles are great, but they are not life. We can not live our lives our own way and then expect a hot date on a random Friday. 

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My Dog and I

Today, our home underwent a little renovation. The screened in porch was knocked down, opening up a patio to the backyard. I am pleased with the change. James and I sat rocking on the patio and complementing the recent change, Madison and a friend giggled while they jumped on the trampoline, and Tucker ran around the trampoline barking, believing he is one of the children. 

Suddenly from the bright blue sky, an intense boom of thunder shook our world. The girls screamed and began their sprint to the safety of the house. But with a look that he had just been spanked with a bolt of lightning, Tucker took off with the fastest hot lap that I have seen performed, running for his life. 

The hilarity was in watching his determined face as he passed the open patio…open patio…open patio, where he could have entered with ease, as he high tailed it to the spot where the old screened in door used to hang and he entered where that creature of habit has entered since he was a wee puppy and he first became house trained. 

And I realize that doggie and I have something in common. WE ARE CREATURES OF HABIT. I like a BBQ sandwich with cole slaw on top, because that’s the way I’ve always eaten it. Don’t try to keep me from my Sunday afternoon nap. Christmas decorations are hung the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Don’t even think about straying from the traditional turkey and dressing on that day of ️thanks. And if my side of the bed gets switched, I am bound to wake up on the wrong side, if you know what I mean. There is a certain way that our culture talks and acts and does life and if you get too weird on us…well, we don’t like it. Why?  WE ARE CREATURES OF HABIT. That’s not how we do it. 

And then there is the part I like to keep a secret. Shhh, don’t tell anyone. When my house is messy, I am grumpy. When I get mad at my husband, I get quiet. When I mess up, it is hard for me to let go and move on. I value comfort much too much. And I judge people that judge people. (Hmmm)  I am a creature of habit even when it comes to my sins. 

I AM FREE FROM SIN!  Jesus paid the debt. The chain is broken. Satan is defeated. I do not have to worry about this world and comfort and what others think of me!  I am a blink away from eternity. The movers are called and I’m packing for my mansion in glory!

I am like a prisoner with the prison door open and I still sit upon my cot. I am holding the shackles that have been cut off my arms. I am eating the crumbs under the table when the feast was prepared for me. And I am dressing in old rags when a designer dress was ordered and the party was planned for me!

Sinner of habit, the whole patio is open!  Stop running from the storm and chasing my old habits!  The race is won!  The price is paid!  Jesus loves me. NOW LIVE!

This is OUR FAULT, Not Theirs

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This article is written to Conservative Christians.  It is written for people that oppose homosexual marriage. All others, come back tomorrow, or read on if you wish, but I am addressing those that are in opposition to the Supreme Court’s decision to make gay marriage the law of the land. If you stop here, I hope to see you tomorrow and I love you.

To: Caroline and Conservative Christians,

If you have a problem with the Supreme Court’s decision to applaud gay marriage, if you disagree with gay flags bombarding Facebook and all other social media, if you see gay marches and shake your head, THIS IS YOUR FAULT!

Do not quote Bible verses, do not shout at them that they are sinning, do not cry that it is their fault that our morals are headed for destruction, do not yell that every TV show has its symbolic gay couple. This is our world! This is our Ninevah, our platform for the Gospel, our people in need.  These people do not believe the Bible, ofcourse they do not follow it!

It is US to hold accountable!  It is the fault of the church for not leading the world in love. Why don’t these people look at us and say that they can not disagree with how we give to the poor and open our homes to prostitutes and widows and orphans and the rejected of society?  Why are we flipping on sitcoms and valuing entertainment above morals?  Why are our children undisciplined, untrained, and just as bratty as everyone else’s?  Why are our marriages crumbling and falling apart?  Why don’t these people look at us and see something different?  Why don’t they say that our marriages last and we work hard and we give and we love?  Why don’t they want to be like us?  Because we are just like them!  Why don’t they know us by our love?

No!  They know us for being hypocritical, and we are!  They know us for judging, instead of leaving that to Jesus. They know us for buying a house and closing our doors and hiding in groups of those like us and yelling and hating anyone that is not like us.

But “they” are wrong?  But you are not afraid to speak the truth?  But what do I expect christians to do?  I expect them to be like Christ.

What did Jesus do?  He lived and breathed and ate and hung out with the sinners. When he said it, when he condemned, it was to the people of the church. Ouch!  He loved. That is what he did!

He called Christians to be different. Are we?  Do we believe that marriage should be one man and one woman?  Then live it!  How is your marriage?  Is it a model for the world?  Is it something that others want?

Not me?  Not us?  Not my church?  Look at what these Christians did?  GREAT!  Prove me wrong!  Yes, I know the world hates Christians and I know the Truth will be despised.  But guess what friends?  That is not what is happening here.  Here we have failed.  Here we have been hypocritical, we have been lazy, we have been hateful, we have NOT been a light, we have NOT been love.

So, what do we do?  And that is the beauty of the gospel:  GRACE!  We start now, new and forgiven and we LOVE.  We love these people that Jesus loved.  We love the world that God called us to go into and we spread his Good News.  We love the people Jesus died for and we change what we have been and we change who we are.  And how do we do that?  Ahh, beautiful, perfect, holy, and righteous Jesus, come now and LOVE through me!  Make me your hands and feet and reach this world in need!

The answer is the cross.

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Where Can She Find Love?

It was a cruel addiction, his presence. Ofcourse she was attracted to his eyes, his deep eyes that had no trouble staring straight into her soul. His artsy hair, deep voice, muscular body, model approach to dressing, there was nothing about him that she didn’t like. 

What she didn’t like was herself, how her heart choked her voice when she would try to talk. How she could feel her neck and her cheeks turning red when he even just looked at her. Everything she said seemed so wrong. But everything about him seemed so right. 

She tried her best to be confident. To be forward and flirty, to say the right things, be in the right places, and dress in just the right way. She imagined, yes, she believed, this must be love. 

Dating him was confidence. It was her identity, her strength, her world, her everything. She felt she had found herself. Found herself in him. The actions, words, time together proved she must be in love. 

She always wanted more of him, of the drug he had to offer. She had no limits. Before the first date they were touching. It felt so good, it was the most right thing she had ever experienced. She felt she had been cautious, with their relationship defined, she gave it all. She didn’t feel like she was giving, she was taking what she wanted. She was madly, wildly, passionately in love. This had to be love. 

Moving in together, a proposal, a nursery painted blue and soon a little sister, the house, a yard, a part time career. Her dreams had all come and passed.  This was the life she chose, the life she wanted. She thought. She supposed she must love him. Things just change and that is life. That must be love. 

His hair was speckled gray, his apparel a little apathetic, but his eyes were still deep and piercing. He leaned in to kiss her, only because of appearance to their company, and his presence lacked something she longed for. Was it, had it ever been love?  It was empty. She was empty.  Was it ever love?

Behind his shoulder, she caught a glance.  She blushed and turned away. But her eyes returned and met his. A tailored suit, fresh haircut, and broad shoulders gave her a second glance. It was a torturing addiction to be in his presence. Was it, could it be, maybe she missed it the first time, maybe this was her chance at what she longed for?  Maybe this could be love?  She wanted so much to feel it again, to have it, play with it, and live it. She want so much to be and to give. She wanted love. 

*I HATE to add a side note. I feel it distracts from interpretations and I hate that you are reading this now instead of being left with the “last line.”  HOWEVER, I write so much personally that I wanted to emphasize that THIS WRITING IS NOT ABOUT ME.  It is what I see over and over and over again everywhere I turn in women and men that do not know how to get and how to give love but it is the one thing they want more than anything. Humans were made to love and be loved. Love, what in the world are you?  And where can this world find you?

Death Sting Defeated

If I go to nothing, cords of death entangle me. If this current happiness is all I experience, then pain and suffering are a mockery. 

But if I go to eternal life, then even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, it is only a shadow and I will not fear. 

Hope defeats even death. Where, Death, is your sting?  Where is your victory?

My God chose death, even death on a cross, and rose again to life, conquering you forever. So that when I pass through death, you will only be a shadow, for I will then be more alive than ever!

Hazy City

Haze settled on the city, promising another blazing hot day. The front lawn had a sprinkling of brown straw that could not be quenched with the sprinkler, it needed the rain, an intense summer storm to pour forth from the clouds. 

Haze settled into my heart. My to do list played through my mind. Putting it all onto a list and counting up the hours, it was too much to accomplish within one day. An extra cup of coffee could not clear my foggy brain. 

Devotions. Bible reading was not found on my check off list. I clicked into my Bible ap, the chapter I am slowly memorizing. Psalm 18. The Lord is my rock. The sky parted and the rain poured forth. It soaked and saturated my day, returning the grass to green, the flowers to their bright brilliance, and then the yellow sun shone in the clear blue sky. 

Hard work. Clear mind. God’s purpose. His will and not my own. I’ve got this, better yet, He’s got this day. 

The Great Victory of Pain

Good and evil are not two equal opponents battling in this world. Christ has won the victory!  He has already defeated Satan and his evil force. 

In the book of Job, we see Satan approach God who is the supreme power in charge. Satan accuses Job of worshiping God because of the many blessings in his life. God does not will, but he allows Satan to cause great suffering in Job’s life. 

WHY?  So that the name of the Lord will be praised!  Job endures the stripping of his wealth, the sudden death of all of his children, the betrayal of his wife and his closest friends, and excruciating pain. 

In his many questions, he never sins. The famous words of Job cursed Satan, defeating his argument with a powerful blow.  His words are a reminder for all who suffer: 

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD!