Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

I Loved You First

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

We’re 3 days away from the wedding day of our Sweetboy. He’s no longer a boy of course, he’s 28 years old. It’s been a privilege to mother him and to watch him grow up to be who God intended him to be. I’ve spent this last 28 years leaning hard into God on his behalf and this morning, like many other mornings….I thanked God for all the ways He showed me love, gave me direction and protected my relationship with my son. He may be just an ordinary person to the world, but he’s not to me.

He is MY son. I loved him first.

Without planning to this week, we had a few conversations about all that is taking place right now in his life. Marriage is so big! It’s one of the most important decisions we ever make. Choosing a spouse is very special but it’s also extremely difficult. No one goes into that relationship with any intentions of destroying the other or leaving if things get hairy. Most who marry want forever and yet, so many never make it.

I have been praying for Kelsey before she was placed in her mom & dad’s arms.

Parenting is challenging, there’s no way I would’ve ever been a mother worth a hill of beans if I had not buried myself in God’s love first. I knew I had to turn to Him and that I would never be able to love like God but I could surely come very close with his help.

As I watch my son take all these exciting steps and life changes, my #1 prayer is that HE LOVES GOD first and then Kelsey and the family they will someday have together. Why? Because I know a secret.

No one, not one person is ever good enough to make or have the perfect human relationship. We are broken, flawed and rather selfish naturally as people. We get so many things wrong and it’s pretty easy to find fault when you’re feeling jilted or frustrated with the ones you love. Our hearts are fragile and a lot of times wicked. God knew that and He made a perfect way for us through Jesus. Every marriage needs to come with a FORGIVENESS button. We hurt each other (not because we are just jerks) but because we selfishly skip important moments that require forgiveness and mercy.

Many marriages, parent/child & friendship relationships can be destroyed by anger and unforgiveness.

For my own life, I KNOW what I KNOW about navigating life with others. If I don’t clear up wrongs and offer or ask for forgiveness, it will crash and burn.

So, here I am…watching the next big steps of the sweetest boy God could’ve ever given me. He’s ready. He’s found the one. He knows what he has to do and he’s jumping in with both feet. My heart is at peace and I know that Kelsey is a gift from God. Our family is so excited to love her and watch her life unfold as she cares for our son and someday the grandchildren she will mother.

I’ve loved Gavin for so long and I plan to continue (I’m his mom, for goodness sake!) but my new role is riddled with change. Some of it weird and other parts awesome! One thing I can cling to is that God in his powerful and loving wisdom, picked me to love him first. Nothing can change that and because of that high position…. my biggest prayer is that I would not squander the important spot God has placed me in his & Kelsey’s new life together.

May I be a mother & mother-in-law they can trust and one that prays for them daily.

Oh Great God,

Thank you. Thank you for this man I call Sweetboy. You made him and you shared him with me. I am honored to be his mother. Thank you for the beautiful woman you have created just for him. May what I’ve invested into him be useful to this next step in his life. Help me to mother & mother-in-law with grace & goodness throughout all the years to come. I’m so blessed & I owe it all to you, Lord.


You are so precious to Dad & me. We love you with an everlasting love that no one can take away. We are so thrilled to welcome Kelsey into our family. She is exactly who we’ve been praying for all these years! I know, she was worth the wait!


Mom & Dad

Growing My Own Wings

Monday, February 18th, 2019

Two weeks have gone by since we brought home our puppy, Beck. I’ve been consumed with him and every living moment has pretty much revolved around him in some way or another. He’s 9 weeks old and no matter where I take him…..people gasp and come running over to meet him because there’s something really special about new puppies and babies.

He’s our empty nest baby.

You can laugh, it’s okay. I know something inside me needed him. I have a deep wild desire to be needed, by someone or something. A dog at this age in my life seemed to be the healthiest direction for me to go. So, here I am…mothering the cutest yellow lab ON THE DANG PLANET!

In 2 weeks, my oldest will marry his dream girl. In 2 1/2 months, my middle will marry her true love too and the baby…well, she’s been married almost 2 years! It’s a lot. All coming at me rather fast. But, I’m ready. I’ve been preparing for these days my whole life. Still, mama’s don’t stop being mama’s. My role has been evolving and revamping for the last 6 – 8 years.

They don’t need me to do what I did during their school days. No cupcakes for the class or to pick them up after band practice, but they still need me. They don’t need me to wake them up or to make macaroni & cheese, they just need me to grow my own wings.

It sounds crazy but children aren’t the only people to grow up. Parents are on a path of growth that no one seems to mention when sitting beside you at the basketball games or as you gather to pray for the youth group leaving for camp. Strangely enough, you don’t even notice you are growing — until you stand face-to-face with a young adult and hug them goodbye as they leave to go back to THEIR OWN HOUSE!

It all happens in baby steps.

Without meaning to, mama’s wrap all of who they are around the children they raise. I remember the first time I realized they were gone, like…really gone and not coming back. I was dancing around in my kitchen to Stevie Nicks belting out Landslide when I started crying at the words.

I knew they’d leave.



I’m not the first mama to let go.

So here I am reflecting back on them and realizing that while I was investing in them and teaching them confidence….God was hatching my own little sprout of wings. I can fly too!

What a gift to be a mother. I never knew all the things, so many things that would happen in my heart just by watching my children grow and go. I am so proud of each of them and I owe them all a huge thank you. I have courage to move forward and to take on the next great things to come in my life. I have my own wings and I’m excited to use them!

Showers of Blessing

Monday, February 27th, 2017

I’m in deep with some big firsts. My baby whose only 11 (in my head) was honored with a beautiful Bridal shower this past weekend.

g 2

See what I’m talking about? She’s just a little punkin!

showe r

The truth is that she’s in love with a wonderful young man who has no idea that she is still a baby in our hearts. He just sees the young woman of his dreams and that’s pretty much how it’s supposed to be.

We raise them, watch them grow and learn, invest in them as humans and set them free to start the whole process over again in their own lives.

sho wer 1

When I snapped this photo, I had no idea I was sitting beside the two most amazing young women in my life ALL GROWN UP! This is real life! I’m a mom to women who can do all the things women do. I AM SO PROUD OF THEM! Not only are they beautiful creatures on the outside, they are both unique and incredible people on the inside. My heart beats wildly for all the joy and excitement of their futures.

gates shower

For Gates, she’s inheriting a new family and they’re wonderful people too. Her new “sisters” are a treasure. They love her already and showed her just how much by hosting her very first bridal shower. Gifts and food, meeting new friends and family, fun games and sweet stories…. all of the ways you begin a new life together.

gates shower

This is how it all begins.

8 8 more days until I DO!!!

Choose Wisely

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

I read an article this morning that sparked a fire in my heart. It was titled, How to Teach Your Kid to Marry the Right Person. The writer points to the mistakes she made in her own life and wishes that her parents had stepped in to help her. Who knew parents had such power?


Parents have an obligation to help guide their kids to good choices. Now, before you jump on my Facebook feed and chew my ear about how parents shouldn’t meddle in anything to do with their kids futures….let me be clear, YES HECK THEY SHOULD!

What is it about freedom to choose that convinces intelligent people to think that they have no right to try to influence THEIR OWN CHILDREN to make good choices? People. Please.

We get one shot at this parenting gig. It doesn’t bode well for us to wing it or “hope” all will go in their favor. Parenting is an intentional act. We either do it or we don’t. Helping mold our kids into healthy, successful adults takes a lot of investment. It also takes dedication…..and tenacity.

So, imagine their future marriages?

If I asked, I would bet that NO ONE would say that their biggest hopes for their kids futures are rocky relationships, divorces or broken homes. Yet, most parents tend to back off or look the other way when their young teens or adults dabble in unhealthy relationships. You know, just not comfortable with “saying” anything. Bad idea.

Do you remember being 18? 22? 27?

What did you know about life then? What kind of dumb mistakes did you make? Could you have taken a better path for yourself if someone would have intervened? I believe so and I don’t even know who you are reading this. You might be someone’s pastor or an author of deep spiritual writings. Mistakes manage to affect each of us, no matter who we turn out to be later in life. Some mistakes, take our whole lives to get over if we ever even do.

marriage quote

So, how do parents help their kids to choose a spouse?

First, by being a great example. Trust me when I say, my kids know the honest truth about who I am and who their dad is. Two very flawed and broken people who’ve tried countless ways to destroy one another during the last 26 years. We’ve been good to one another, we’ve been mean. We’ve helped and we’ve hurt. We’ve argued and we’ve made up. We’ve struggled and we’ve soared. We’ve shunned and we’ve forgiven. Through all of our weak pathetic attempts to outdo one another (hey, first-borns…can I get an amen?) we had one thing that grounded us, G O D! God wouldn’t leave the two of us alone in our sin. Every single fuss, every little frustration….God stayed first in our hearts. Because of that, we genuinely had to ask & seek forgiveness for the wrongs built up between us.

Our kids had a front row seat in all of that. They know the difference between real and not real forgiveness.

Second, talk about relationships openly. We’ve never tried to hide stuff from our kids. They’re too smart anyway. They’ll figure it out. Life is bumpy. Money problems happen, jobs disappear, outside influences sneak in, health problem take over….life has no guarantees. Other than, issues will creep into every persons life. How we deal is important. How other people deal is too. It’s a good thing to pay attention to how others handle their problems and to decide what’s healthy and not so healthy with your kids. Believe me, they will make a lot of their own personal decisions throughout life based on what they’ve learned from their own environment at home.

Third, pray for them and for their future spouse. It’s important that they know you are praying too. Be honest about your hopes for them and that you are trusting God to provide them with the perfect person to spend the rest of their lives with. A marriage relationship is the biggest decision our kids will ever make. EVER MAKE. It is a commitment like none other. Society may try to make that decision seem disposable….however, it is not. Marriage is forever, whether it works out or doesn’t. You are forever linked through the act of marriage to that person for the rest of your live long days. Ask any divorced person.

Fourth, speak up. It’s going to happen, your kids are going to date a few losers. Don’t be shy about your opinion. That doesn’t mean, go bang on their heads until they listen. It means, use the opportunities you have to speak openly about the qualities you see or don’t see in that person. Ask good questions, help your child learn to ask good questions too. Your advice might fall on deaf ears, but you won’t have to answer them later as to WHY YOU DIDN’T SPEAK UP! If you’ve ever been love-struck by a not-so-good choice of a future spouse and realized it just in time then you know how thankful you feel that you didn’t make the biggest mistake of your life by marrying them. Do the same for your kids. They need guidance.

Every parent owes their kids help in this area. But, I also realize a big reason parents aren’t helping is because they can’t even get their own relationships right. Still, I think if you don’t want your kids to make the same mistakes you made….you would want to speak up even more.

marriage dad

Here are some great questions to discuss with your kids/young adults about the idea of marriage.

1) Are you ready for the commitment that comes with marriage?

2) What qualities are you looking for in a future spouse?

3) How do you handle conflict, stress, money, children, poor health, job loss? What do you need in a spouse regarding those issues?

4) What are your personal goals? Do you have personal goals for a future spouse?

5) Where do you see yourself, your marriage, your life in 5, 10, 20 years?

6) How important is working out hard marriage problems? Will you do counseling? Divorce? Separate? Or will you stick it out?

7) Will money be a source of discord in your marriage?

8) Is faith important to you when choosing a forever spouse?

9) Does family matter when deciding who to marry?

10) Are you prepared for the future if an unplanned pregnancy occurs? Or is the relationship just not that special after all to commit to marriage?

Choosing a spouse is a lot like rolling the dice. No joke. I think about my own decision 26 years ago and wonder how I got so lucky. I know that my 22 year old brain was a mixed bag of nuts. Still, God blessed me and I’m forever grateful.

I knew, after dating all the stinky fish in the sea that the kind of man I wanted was the one I found in my hubby. He wasn’t perfect, he didn’t have a stacked up bank account, he didn’t see everything in life with the same eyes as me….but, I knew.

Hopefully, our kids will know too.

* Don’t worry though, we will lovingly give our advice. 😉


Even Superman Forgets

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014



I was so mad at my husband on Monday.  I didn't set out to be that way.  It just happened.  He forgot his phone on a day that I actually needed to communicate with him.  So, the circus of events that ensued pretty much sent me into ticked-off wife territory within just a couple of hours.

Now, he didn't leave the phone on purpose and I knew that.  Either way, it happened and things got real tough to deal with when I couldn't get ahold of him to help me with the meeting the windshield guys at a friends house.  I trudged on because you know, martyr. 

Marriage is challenging.  Even good ones face issues that test the depths of love.  I felt the testing on this day full blast.  If it could go wrong, it did.  Just by the way each circumstance fell into place, frustration and powerlessness managed to wedge its way into the middle of us.

Ok, I was mad!

But you know what?  I didn't let that change how I really feel about my husband.  The bottom line is that he is who he is and to me, HE IS EVERYTHING!  So, imagine the reaction of the window guy who couldn't get the rearview mirror parts back together when I snapped a picture to send to my husband.  He said, "If I can't get it….he most likely can't do it either!".  To which I informed him….."Oh, HE CAN GET IT, HE IS SUPERMAN!".

That little tidbit surprised Mr. Safelite not because he knew I was frustrated with my hubby (he didn't know that) but because WHO THINKS THEIR MAN IS SO SUPER?!!  Uhh, me!  I knew without a shadow of a doubt that if my husband was working on that mirror piece, he could fix it!

I may have a husband who forgets things sometimes (never on purpose or to make my life crazy) but he is a man who won't quit!  He will work and work until he finds a way to make something happen.  I never have to worry or wonder…."Can he do it?".  He just does it.


Can you say that about your true love?  In spite of his weaknesses, can you see the real man and the real intentions of his heart?

I hope you can because there will be days……there will be crazy days that will put you to the test.  And when that happens, will you tear him apart or will you elevate him to the level he truly deserves?  Husbands have a lot of people to please, ladies.  It's not just us that they are trying to keep happy.

Remember that when your SUPERMAN forgets…


The rest of the conversation with Mr. Safelite:

Mr S – "Oh so you're married to Superman?"

Me – "YES, almost 25 years!" 

Mr S – I don't think I could do that.  Be married that long.

Me – You're not Superman then.

Mr S – Did you know he was Superman?

Me – No, it was all by chance!  I didn't know he would turn out to be so amazing! I took a risk and God blessed me!

He smiled and we laughed together at my GOOD LUCK!!!

Long Time Baby

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

Everytime I say I've been married 23 years….I feel really old.  Mainly because I turned 23 less than a month after we got married.  So double that dude and you get the big 4 6 !!!  Wow!  That seems old!

This girl, was young.

To say I had no idea what 23 years would be like with Mr. Kissing in the prayer garden guy…is an understatement.

I mean, really.  I married a policeman who left the armpit of crime fighting jobs to attend seminary.  I moved place to place dragging along our 3 babies for ministry life.  And now, here I sit in some town in Indiana (that is far far from home) married to an IT dude.  Huh?

How did all of that happen in 23 years?

The coolest thing happened today.  The sermon was a kick-off into to a series based on the family.  The pastor's first stop?  Marriage.  As soon as he started preaching, I felt something really special in my heart for my own marriage.  It hasn't been easy to live as one for the last 23 years.  There have been rough times and crummy moments that I know both of us wish we could change.  Maybe those experiences are what glues us together.  Both of us are pretty stubborn.  But more than that…..we see our marriage much like the pastor spoke today.

We have a HIGH VIEW of marriage.  

Proverbs 18:22 "He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord."

Our marriage is HERE TO STAY.

Our marriage is PERMANENT.

And WE PROMISE to deny ourselves (this can be hard sometimes) and love one another because that's what we vowed to do until death do us part.

Gracious Lord,

My marriage wouldn't mean a thing without you.  Thank you for the covenant love that I have with my husband.  I'm forever grateful that YOUR guiding hand led me to the man who loves me just like I am, so long ago.