Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hands like the Ones that Raised Me

She stamped her foot hard in protest on the kitchen floor, but it was clear she had lost the battle...or had she?

She could never stop him when his mind was set, but that was never her role. Honor, cherish, care for and even submit; never to control. Her soft, quiet, sure ways smoothed the rough edge off his stubbornness. Even with this simple disagreement over her concern of his shaking, weathered hands lifting the 5 gallon bucket of honey to pour some into the kitchen container...for her, they were an example to their newly engaged granddaughter sitting there at the table...suppressing giggles.

Grandma & Grandpa Campbell

"Marriage, the coming together of two very different individuals.." can result in complimentary beauty or a blinding clash; most likely, a combination of both. Hubs and I, we're not the beauties we once were...so says my 10 year old...but I'm proud of who we are now; not what I had imagined 14 years ago, a little worse and a little better, but we own every minute of this joy work that carries us day to day. Here's three tips from the trenches.

1. Take care of yourself. Not in a pampering, ditch the kids kind of way, but in a praying, studying, asking for forgiveness kind of way. At my wedding shower, an "experience wife" warned me that if you can't change your husband in the first two weeks, it will never happen. I remember crying as I sat down on a wet toilet seat on day 15....that wasn't the last time I've had to clean myself up and move on, but alas, I have a few messy habits of my own. My Mother-in-law has a saying scrawled across a scratch paper hanging in her kitchen, it says, "Sweep your own step before your worry about your neighbor's." I believe Jesus had something to say along the same lines....something about beams and motes, and how best to remove both.

2. Work hard, stay soft. Things can run smooth and efficient when I tuck emotions neatly away inside, but that is not how it was meant to be. Live every moment.

3. It's not just about me. Happily ever after as two separate beings is not what I want. A long, lasting marriage will just be a consultation prize if we haven't grown together, evolved into one. Here's a note from my mom's kitchen: "The secret in a successful marriage is not in two people finding each other...it is in two people finding Christ together. He makes you one." There is more at stake than the here and now, "'til death do us part" will never do.

(my folks)

My wedding ring is a simple golden band, just like the symbol I have always seen my parents wear; yes, money was tight in the beginning, but that's not why. He even gave me an engagement diamond...but all I wanted were hands like the ones that raised me. Simple and sure, sometimes shaking, ready for...even desiring...the work that will bind for eternity.

What is important in your marriage? Wordfull Wednesday @Chocolateonmycranium


  1. I really enjoyed reading this. 3 more qualities that I totally agree with. I especially love the one with keeping yourself nourished.

  2. You're so right...taking care of yourself is SOO much more than a night out. Wonderful post!

  3. It is a constant battle to keep yourself healthy isn't it? I didn't really think I would need time for myself, until I had two babies. Now I realize the necessity in it! Unfortunately, it is rare. So, I try and find more creative ways! You know, I ignore my children and blog! (Just kidding. Kind of.)

    Thank you for sharing this. It is nice to hear the perspective from someone that has gone through the challenges and has lived to share!

  4. I remember my grandfather telling me that in order to be happy in marriage you had to become "one". Thanks for reminding me.

  5. Beautifully written, Esther! (I say that every time, don't I?) I don't mean to sound like a broken record but it's true.

    I love the story you shared of your grandparents.

  6. I so enjoyed reading your thoughts on this...thanks so much for sharing.

  7. I think your grandparents must have been the ones that posed for the gratitude picture I posted. :)

  8. I shared some of this with the running gals, they chuckled...I love it and I have a lot to learn (as usual)


Please share your expressions!

Related Posts with Thumbnails