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Race Cars, Dirty Socks and a Multitude of Blessings

race car

As I rushed about picking up HotWheelsLegos, and Rescue Heroes, I lamented that supper was boiling over in the kitchen, the floor still needed to be vacuumed, and my dear husband would be home in twenty minutes!  I felt rushed and exasperated, after bolting through the door, with my son in tote after work.

It was already six-o’clock and there were still baths to take, a puppy to feed, and stories to read.  Also, was a plethora of work that I brought home from the office and I fretted how I would get all of that done and still be able to spend time with the love of my life.  I do not think the Good Lord was remiss in giving us wee ones in our younger years — we might not have all the wisdom we need at that time…but thankfully the energy was plenty.

I have watched my sweet, toe-headed boy grow into a fine young man.  We’ve been through health scares, AWANA Derbies, Upward Basketball, first love letters, heart break, and now we approach high school graduation.

Joshua and Mommy32545778_10156444146419452_6194215981913473024_n

Often, in the hurriedness of life, we get so caught up in the messes our children leave…we step on Legos and mutter under our breath at the audacity of him leaving it on the floor and the death-defying pain we think will never go away.  I cannot name the times my husband has found a stray HotWheel (stumbling in the dark barefoot) without yelling the promise that they would all go in the trash the next morning!  Of course by morning’s light the pain was gone, as too the memory!

Eighteen years later, as I fumble through boxes that have been stuffed with yesterday, I think on this man-child and wonder how life would have been so different without him.  A miracle after lost babies…an unexpected and abundant blessing from the Father…I am grateful for the roly-poly Rescue Heroes gripped in chubby, dimpled hands…for the sweet call, “Mommy, tell me a story!”  I remember the sleepy, fresh-bathed, sweetness that would climb in my lap before bedtime and beg…”Mommy, rocka me.”

Oh, that we could suspend time in a bottle or spin the world back around — that weed-flowers could be gilded, and the words, “I love my Mom and Dad” written in an un-mastered penmanship in a secret book could be captured for all eternity, or the surprise of a “love letter” from a blue-eyed angel expressing his innocent love for me and the sweet sentiments written in a Daddy’s Bible to encourage and edify the man whose shoes he wants to grow into.

I am grateful for the years and wish for a million more!  He’s a man — raised according to the Lord’s will…the best I knew how!  Gone are the nights of crying myself to sleep and feeling that I had failed.  There will be no more spelling tests, or math quizzes, or book reports to grade.  The little boy who would lay his head on my shoulder while listening to the pastor preach is now headed for his own pulpit…his own little boys…his own harried, wonderful life.

Now, I get the added blessing of wisdom with my years — the hope for a daughter-in-love and my own sweet grandbabies one day.  However, I will never forget the young girl who brought home a baby and prayed “Hannah’s Prayer” with all the trepidation and fear that she would somehow “mess it all up!”  God was faithful to that young girl and raised up a man that will serve him and make disciples and this now older mother smiles and thanks HIM for His faithfulness!

They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the LORD.” The man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the LORD the yearly sacrifice and to pay his vow. But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, so that he may appear in the presence of the LORD and dwell there forever.” (1 Samuel 1:19-22)

Being a mother is both exhausting and rewarding, but it truly is the most important work we can do as women…that God would trust me with that precious soul will never cease to amaze me!  Thank you, Father!

 

 

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Tenderly Seasoned — A Prescription for Marriage

When he proposed to me, we’d only “known” each other a short month-and-a-half. We met on America Online, in the Focus on the Family chatroom — he was handsome enough, he was kind and gentle, he said all the right things, including that he was a follower of Christ Jesus — he seemed quite perfect — except…HE.WAS.DIVORCED.

The divorce was not his choice…he knew it was not God’s will for he, nor his ex-wife…there were children…four boys. She “met someone else,” she no longer loved David, she wanted to “move on!” He fought, he tried, he sought counseling…it failed. No…not God’s will or God’s best for either of them.

“Tameasa, will you marry me?” God’s best…was it God’s will and best for me to marry this divorced man with four boys?” What about what I thought was God’s will for me…after all, I was certain I had it all figured out…I was certain God put me on a certain path…law school…mission field…hostage negotiations for a mission board…none included a divorced man, that I had not even met in person yet, with four young boys? God answered quickly — “Yes, David, I will marry you!”

Date

Twenty-one years later, as I am going through boxes that have been packed away since 2007, when we bought our new house, I find “artifacts” from 2000…just four months after our son was born…ok…maybe not “artifacts,” but rather treasures. An envelope containing beautiful, sun-kissed, blonde hair from our son’s first haircut, the menu from our first, face-to-face date that Dave’s mother got for us when the restaurant shuttered its doors, and a calendar…and that’s the “tenderizer” I found in our marriage.

In the calendar, I was reminded of the love “notes” we would leave to one another each month. Tender words to remind us that regardless of how hurried life gets…no matter the struggle with blending a family…the health issues that were arising in me after the birth of our son…in the “daily-ness” of life we were reminding each other of our love!

Some of the notes are sappy-sweet, some are flirty, and some beckon attention…all are promises…promises of continued love…continued understanding…continued commitment.

Calendar July

Promises — not the world’s standard of promises…the world’s promises say, “If we aren’t happy, we can find someone else!” Oh, but a COVENANT! A Covenant assures that both of us will honor, obey, and serve God first. A Covenant assures that outside of Christ Jesus our marriage can only fail, as it depends on us…not Christ. A Covenant loves sacrificially…always putting the other before ourselves.

We recognized immediately that we had not entered into a marriage contract, but a Blood Covenant with Christ as the head. Our marriage was a mirror image of all that we were in Christ. We knew that if we always put Christ at the head…He would also be our safety net. If we were upset with another, we could go to Christ…if we had a problem we didn’t know how to solve, we could go to Christ…if we needed wisdom in raising our son, we could go to Christ…if we needed more love and understanding, we could go to Christ…if finances proved to be challenging, we could go to Christ…and we did!

Being in a Covenant with my dear husband has honestly taken off the pressure we see in other marriages. As we rest in Christ, we rest in the assurance of each other.

So, what Scriptures do we apply to our marriage that keeps our focus on Christ and not on the troubles of being completely human? First, and most important, Ephesians 5:22-27:

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

 

Second, Ephesians 4:32:

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Third, Ephesians 4:26-27:

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.

And, fourth, Proverbs 151:

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

After twenty-one years together, we’ve learned many ways to apply the above-referenced Scriptures. Marriage is work — however, it is the most intimate relationship that God gives us. We laugh, we cry, we work, we hurt, and we LIVE…together in Covenant…and that is what makes a Tenderly Seasoned marriage and I wouldn’t have it any other way!!

Dave and Tam at ballet