Tag Archives: Marriage

Love & Life – In a Mad Mad Mad World

Two positive and interesting stories in the midst of a world gone mad. 

One comes from ABC News. A young couple, in love, had planned on getting married in May. They had arrangements at a location on a terrace overlooking the river. But this couple, these residents of Kyiv, realized that there plans had been completely disrupted when the neighboring country, Russia, invaded Ukraine. 

So they moved the date up. And on the day the Russian bombs were raining down on their home town, the couple shared their vows inside a monastery as the air raid sirens were blaring outside.

They knew that in the end, their time together may be short, but they “just wanted to be together.”

Love – in the middle of madness.

The second story is a little closer to home. But it too is a wonderful story in a world gone mad.

This morning, when our church was in the middle of the service worship the life giver, the creator of the world, a new life came into the world.  One of our church family was having a baby whole we were singing songs.

A little girl, Tatum Jo, came into the world a little early … but just as welcomed. This child is a bit personal to me, not because I am related to her, but she was due about the same time my first grandson is due – three weeks from now. She’s healthy and the family is extremely excited.

Two stories … two great stories. 

At the same time, we have war, madness, invasion, bombings, Putin, a world on the edge.

What do I focus on? The world may same out of control, but …

If all you see is what can be seen physically, then you are not seeing all that can be seen. For there is so much more than what eyes can see.  The world may seem out of control, but God is always in control.

What do I focus on? The love between a man and a woman. What do I focus on? The beauty of new life, the preciousness of a baby.

What do I focus on? God’s blessings even in the craziness of life.

What do you focus on?

16 Small Gestures that Makes Happy Relationships

Listen up my son, for you as a married man of one month can get some tips here. Listen up myself, for even after decades of marriage, I can really learn something here too. Yesterday, I mentioned my marriage is a quid pro quo and then within hours this article came across my screen. The heavens sent me a message on what my quid should look like if I ever desire to get a quo.

Huffington Post’s article by Kelsey Borresen gave us these great tips. And I will add some of my own …

  • set the coffee maker so it’s ready in the morning, or get up before your partner and start that aromatic delight
  • make dinner AND do the dishes
  • take a walk together after dinner
  • Set the thermostat for them, not you
  • give foot massages (my wife refuses to let me touch her feet but doesn’t balk at neck rubs)
  • prep lunch for the next day
  • kiss good night, NO MATTER WHAT
  • say thank you for little things
  • tuck each other in, even if different times of going to bed
  • leave encouraging notes beside the bed
  • squeeze the toothpaste on the partners brush (yeah, I’ll pass on this one)
  • snuggle to warm up that perpetual cold partner

And I add …

  • Say a prayer together … pray a blessing for your partner
  • Check the doors (and alarms) so your partner feels secure
  • Make sure they’re phone is charged, so they will be ready in the morning
  • Say a prayer together … wait, I said this. Yes I did, and it’s so important I mention it again.

Basically, esteem them higher than yourself – put them first and try to be a blessing. Wait. Isn’t that what the Bible says?

So … as good as the Huffington Post article is, Paul pretty much said it 2000 years.

Tonight, before you go to bed, what will you do to esteem your partner? Better yet, don’t wait, go ahead and do it today.

Coffee at BuzzBrews

Moving to Appomattox from Dallas has its advantages. As I got back to Dallas, I already want to get back to the traffic of central VA – I will roll slowly behind an Amish buggy as long as needed if I don’t have to pay toll and wait in a parked ‘expressway’.

But …

I do miss the coffee spots that are 24 hours, the 100 year old El Fenix, and being close to my son. Oh, I guess being close to his soon to be bride as well.

PegLeg at BuzzBrews with Black Magic coffee

This adventure to Dallas has a purpose. Our only son is getting married. And we need adventures in our lives. Walking along the shore at sunrise, hiking to the peak of a mountain you’ve never been on before, escaping into a great work of literature, discovering new (to me at least) truths from digging into the Bible.

But marriage – what a great adventure. As I ponder our son’s big day, I asked my wife if she would do it all again … with me. She said yes (good start) … then I asked with the same enthusiasm. She didn’t answer so quick. I’ll stick with the first question as the victory.

I love this adventure we are on – but all adventures take work. So I will continue to work on this great adventure with her.

Top of Hump Back Rock in Va

For today – she wanted the coffee and oatmeal from BuzzBrews in Downtown Dallas – and I try to give my babe what she wants. Okay, I wanted it too.

Lisa at the BuzzBrew Coffee bar – she choose Texas Maple Pecan brew

Don’t stop taking on adventures. And if you’re married, enjoy that adventure too.

Calvin – you’re getting ready to take that great step into a lifetime of adventure – treasure it, treasure her.

To every reader – Have some coffee today and enjoy the adventure people.

A Couple of Songs Hit Home – and a Cat Video

Okay, I got more comments on Lisa’s guest entry than any of my previous posts. If I didn’t know how much greater she was than me, you guys showed me. Nah, I already knew I married up and I got lucky, real lucky. So how do I follow that up – well, I talk about her more. Today’s blog is an emotional rambling based on the love I have for her.
Today, while catching up on surfing YouTube on AppleTV, two things occurred to my little brain. First, I must really love Lisa if I sat here and watched a cat video with her. She enjoyed it and I, well, I enjoyed knowing she enjoyed it. Let it be known, I never watch cat videos on my own – never. NEVER! Let’s move on to number two.

Second, I watched Pentatonix’s new cover of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect’. This led to buying a couple spins off their new album ‘Top Pop’. They have such a powerful blend and I love to listen to their work. I was thinking of how perfect she looked tonight. Yes, she was ready for bed and I am headed to work, but I just stared and silently said a prayer of thanksgiving and just stared and listened to the music …

Well I found a woman, stronger than anyone I know
She shares my dreams, I hope that someday I’ll share her home
I found a love, to carry more than just my secrets
To carry love, to carry children of our own
We are still kids, but we’re so in love
Fighting against all odds
I know we’ll be alright this time
Darling, just hold my hand
Be my girl, I’ll be your man
I see my future in your eyes
Baby, I’m dancing in the dark with you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass
We’re listening to our favorite song
When you said you looked a mess, I whispered underneath my breath
But you heard it, darling, you look perfect tonight

The song got me to think if Lisa & I had a song we could call ours. I was listening to the song, but my eyes were really on Lisa. If there was a song, this would be a great one. Sheeran’s video and Pentatonix’s video both have emotional punches that hit home. But one that also hits home is George Strait’s ‘I Cross My Heart.’ This song, and the movie ‘Pure Country’, made Lisa get back into country music. It verbalizes so much of our love – In all the world, you’ll never find, a love as true – as mine.

But there is someone who loves her (and you) more than any person ever could. It is God. George’s lyrics say ‘in all the world’ – but God is is beyond just the world. Another music video I saw today also showed how great His faithfulness is – such great love. And His love for each one of us is deeper, wider, and greater than anything. I hope you know His love.

And if you are blessed to have a ‘Lisa’ in your life (can’t have mine – get your own), I hope you have a song that reminds you of that special bond. And I say again, my Lisa looks perfect tonight.

Links –
Pentatonix version
Ed Sheeran’s version
Great is Thy Faithfulness

Typos Tackled, Trees Toppled, and Traditions Trimmed

Today we are looking at influences in our lives – the impact other things have on who we are and how we journey through life. What kind of influence are you on others? What are you letting influence you on your journey?

I want to share three things in my life. First is the Typos Tackled. For those that read my blog pretty quick out of the bon, you may notice there are a few typos (there are no typos in my head, only coming from my fingers.) I could say I leave them there so those that are so obsessed with finding typos will not be disappointed. But the real reason is I just need to be better at proofing my work. I am not the best typist, but fortunately I now someone who is – I married her. So every so often, Lisa reads my work and will point out where I fell short of perfection (her specialty). So, thanks to her and her influence, my brilliant writings now be better. As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. (look it up, it is in Proverbs)

Second influence this week, the wind. In the past couple of days, Frisco has been hit hard with thunderstorms and wind gusts up in to the 50s mph. The wind howls at night, whips down the corridors of the apartments, and has toppled a few of the trees in the subdivision. The wind has gone, but some of the effects remain. I can look back over my life and realize that many people have influenced me; and though they may no longer be around me, their influence remains. My family, friends in school, my youth pastors, professors with whom I served, friends from each church I served, and coworkers. People cross our path every day – some have more influence than others. And your influence on others also varies. So the question is what kind of influence are you? Be the type that impacts others even after you are no longer around them.

And the last influence – traditions trimmed. This may not be what you are thinking. I am referring to my beard. I started a second job this week and they require no beard. I had to shave my goatee. I looked in my FB photo albums, and the most recent one I had with me showing my manly cleft chin was when Calvin was still in diapers – over 24 years ago. 24 years. Part of me is missing. It is weird. The type of influence here is the norms put on us by society – work, school, style expectations, or more. We know there will be influence from society, but the point is to be selective in what you allow. I did not have to take this job. But it is a strong Christian company where I might be a good influence on others as well. So it was my choice to take the job and trim my facial hair. (If you see me, please do not stare at my chin – still a little self conscious.)

Influence – we all have it happen to us – and we all have the opportunity to have on others. Make the best of it. Live for Christ and let Him influence others through you.

Lesson From a TV Comedy

April will be a journey. For every day (except Easter, for I took that as rest with fam) it is my plan to share life happenings, conversations, insights. I hope you enjoy this whimsical look at my life and get a glimpse into my warped mind – and maybe ponder a little more of how great our God is.

Easter weekend was a joy.  An extra day off to be with Lisa. Easter Worship at GateWay on Saturday and ParkwayHills on Sunday. Bible Study time with Lisa (going through Greear’s ‘Not God Enough’). Best Burger place Kincaid’s. Dallas Museum of Art and Klyde Warren Park with Lisa (Okay, Steel City Pops only had Vanilla, not my fav). Calvin got a spankin’ new MacBook Air – so I got my MacBook Pro back. And other great moments – all with Lisa right by my side.

Now what am I going to take away from this weekend – a quote from a new TV comedy ‘Splitting Up Together.’ There was a moment that the ex-husband was taking dance lessons. The instructor, a 20-something girl that raised eyebrows by the ex-wife as to why was she visiting her ex, said the most important thing for the man to do was to never lose eye contact. Eye contact is where the couple stays connected, where the intents, the souls blend (note: a little paraphrased for those sticklers that read this). Flashbacks to the wedding where he did not dance with his bride, where she looked disappointed, and he did not get it. He stopped dancing with the instructor, stared into the air, and said that he just realized what he had done wrong with his marriage.

Why will this stick with me? I mean it was an event filled weekend. As I reflect on the two key relationships in my life – Jesus and Lisa – I realize that it is when I take my eyes off them that the relationships take a hit. And I need to own up to this.

First, Lisa. Too often I focus on troubles, finances, disputes, differences. I get vexed and my relationship hurts. Now three words always keep us together – NO WAY OUT. So I don’t ever ponder Splitting Up as the TV show advocates But sometimes I am not giving her the attention she deserves or the love we know is there. We look for distractions or anything – anything. And this is not good for the relationship or for her. MAN UP TODD. It is interesting that our relationship with Christ is also seen as a marriage. This principle relates to the second one I pondered this week.

I am referring to Jesus. Sometimes, when I go to worship and focus more about music, media, preferences, or the mess of other stuff than I do about Jesus, then, well you get it. Peter was walking on water and when he took his eyes of Jesus and saw the wind, the boy began to sink. Did you get that? He saw the wind! How do you see the wind? I realize the effects, the waves, the water ripping, but the WIND? His eyes left Jesus and he was looking at – nothing. How often do we the same thing? We take our eyes of Him.
Maybe look through Scripture this week and seek where it refers to keeping our eyes, our thoughts, our hearts on Him. Go ahead, Google it, plenty there.

Easter is not the only day to focus on the risen Savior – Every day is Easter. So every day – keep your eyes on Him – the one who began and will bring to completion the faith we have. Easter is a great reminder – but we need to remember to keep our eyes on Him every day!
Hebrews 12.1-2