Why Bother To Trust In Love?

Why Bother To Trust In Love?

Years ago, when I walked down the short aisle in the foyer of the church where my husband and I were married, I knew little to nothing about trusting in someone’s love for me. Back then I only knew about infatuation. I’d fallen head over hills for the tall, blond, blue eyed man who was as attracted to me as I was to him. But, a few short years after our wedding day, dissatisfaction replaced my infatuation. 

      Discovering The Essentials

Marriage was more work than I’d imagined. It forced me to think about someone else besides just myself.  And communicating with someone who, unlike me, took longer to think about something, tried my patience. I believed our marriage would be better if only he were more like me. But of course, he withstood such a radical transformation. 

When we’d married, I listened with rapt attention as he looked into my eyes and repeated his wedding vows to me, “To be my wedded wife to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.” I knew he meant those words. I’d married him not only because he was handsome, but also because I knew he was genuine. So, in order for our marriage to work, I decided I’d have to begin by trusting his love for me.

I started by observing our differences. Though he took longer than me to make choices or come to a conclusion, it was only because he weighed and considered the long term effects a particular option would have on us as a couple, and not just on him as an individual. He was being thoughtful, while I, on the other hand, was only being impatient. 

 Though sometimes I wanted to have a good argument to let my opinion be known loud and clear, he did not feel the need to do the same. Instead, he waited for me to simmer down and then approached the topic with a spirit of  gentleness. 

Jumping to conclusions, thinking the worst about him and sometimes saying it, used to be a habit of mine. He, on the other hand, mostly thought, said and concluded the best of me. 

As I mulled over our contrasting personalities I concluded that I was the one who really needed to change. And I’d begin by trusting that he really did love me. 

Why bother to trust in someone’s love? Love changes everything, but first you have to trust it. 

Why Bother Being Grateful for a Daughter-in-Law?

Why Bother Being Grateful for a Daughter-in-Law?

Twelve years ago, when our oldest son called to tell us that he’d proposed to his girlfriend, Meagan, I was elated and frightened at the same time. I was glad he’d made the choice to marry, but becoming a mother-in-law scared me. Having never been one, I wasn’t sure what was expected of my role.

                                                                                                           Acceptance

Then, about a month before the big event, Meagan invited me to join her and some friends to go shopping for her wedding dress. Though driving to the city to shop is not my favorite thing to do, I reasoned that spending time with Meagan would help me to get to know her, so I accepted the offer. 

I lost count of the number of bridal shops we visited on that hot day in June. No matter which store we entered, the merchandise looked the same to me, white dresses with puffy layers jammed into protective plastic wrapping and hanging wall-to-wall on racks. I admired Meagan’s tenaciousness when I heard her say that she was determined to spend only one day finding her dress. Her face flushed from the heat and effort of stripping out of her jeans and into the cumbersome gowns in the small airless dressing rooms, but she always emerged with a smile on her face.  Faithfully, she modeled each of her choices and awaited our comments. “Too many ruffles,” “Too tight in the hips,” “Too low in the back,” or “Just not you,” were some of the remarks made by the small audience.   

I could only smile and nod my head with approval. Whether she chose to wear a contemporary, sophisticated lace or a satin gown, to me she looked lovely and in love. 

At the last store on the list, Meagan walked toward us with a confident grin on her face. “This is the one,” she announced. The long, white, glamorous, strapless, satin gown hugged her tiny waist and billowed out into two long layers. As I looked at my future daughter-in-law dressed in wedding regalia with bare feet, unexpected sentimental tears slipped down my cheeks. 

Thirty years had passed since I’d married the man I’d fallen in love with. But, before we married, protocol entailed meeting his mom, Berniece.  

Back then, I had been a college student with a professional career in mind and Berniece was everything that I was not; a homemaker, a gardener, a good cook, confident in her own skin and possessing a sense of humor. But, I only saw an abyss between someone so unlike myself. Yet, it was Berniece’s resolve to welcome me into the family. 

 While gazing at Meagan and reflecting on the days of my youthful love, it dawned on me how Berniece’s good-nature, her few words of criticism, and acceptance put me at ease.  She was honest, and transparent, so I never had to guess at hidden motives. Although our paths had crossed because I married her son, her presence became an ordinary and welcomed part of my life.

Why bother being grateful for a daughter-in-law? It is worth it to be grateful for a daughter-in-law. They stretch our love when we open our arms to accept them and when we do, it only enriches the lives of everyone. 

Why Bother With Love?

 

 

Why Bother With Love?

Easter is quite the holiday. For some it means spring break from school, new shoes and clothes, a ham dinner, chocolate bunnies or hunting for hidden colored eggs. But before there ever was a holiday called Easter to celebrate, there was betrayal, envy, false accusations, mocking, scourging, an earthquake, darkness and death. 

  For God So Loved That He Gave

The story of Easter begins with love. Because God loved, God did something in response to that love; He gave his only Son not in order to accuse us, but in order to give us a whole life that lasts forever.  

In spite of naysayers, God still gave. Numbers didn’t matter. God invested in us even though there was no guarantee of a large return on that investment. He didn’t calculate his decision to give based on the percentage of people who might believe against the number of those who might not believe . He simply acted out of love and gave. 

Once Christ came, the odds of living a long and happy life were against him. Immediately after he was born, a certain king searched for him, not in order to pay him homage, rather to kill him. The king did not succeed and Jesus lived among ordinary people like you and me who had a hard time believing that he was who he said he was.   

But, those who did believe saw miraculous things happen to them and around them; feeding a bunch of hungry people, raising a friend from the dead and healing those who suffered from ailments. Seeing these miracles made believing a little easier and they watched and waited for more “great” things to happen. 

Eventually though, the religious leaders of the day became jealous of Jesus. His message, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light,”  became more popular to the people than the one they’d heard for centuries about how to keep the law; an impossible ideal. 

So, the leaders put a plot into action to kill Jesus. First, there was the betrayal by Judas, Jesus’ arrest, false accusations brought against him, and the unfair trial. There was Peter’s denial and Pilate, who knew Jesus was innocent of any crime, gave the needed death sentence. There was the scourging, not just whipping, but whipping with sharp bones that tore at the flesh. Then the soldiers put a purple robe over Jesus’ torn body and a crown of thorns on his head and hailed him as king. Finally, they led him through the streets to a place where criminals were  crucified. I’d never understood just how excruciating dying on a cross could be until I learned that type of death comes by suffocation. Eventually, Christ gave up his life, and his breath.

And that is why we can celebrate Easter, eat a ham dinner, hunt for colored eggs and chocolate bunnies. 

Why bother with love? It is worth it to know that love never dies, it never gives up, and it waits for us to believe.