Right? Isn’t that how fairy tale marriages always go? But in real life . . . maybe not.
As 2016 was winding down I felt like I was one of the only bloggers without a “Word for the Year,” Then, in the final hours, it came to me in the shower – only THE single-most inspiring space in my house. My word for 2017 is really two words: Open Doors. Ever since these words popped into my head and I claimed them as my own, it seems that doors have been flying open all over the place. Either that or I have more awareness of the opportunities before me.
“What’s that thing?,” my hubby asked, with a nod toward the kitchen table.
I’ll have to admit that my thrift store globe looked kinda strange with a fresh coat of chalkboard paint. Like one of those rubber kickballs we had in elementary school, only black.
“I’m working on a Valentine’s Day project,” I replied.
“You’re something else,” he said while making his exit with a shake of his head.
What is “something else?” Do I take that in a good way or in a bad way? A criticism or a compliment? A comment like that could have, at one time, sparked any variety of response from me!
Marriage, even good marriages, can be so hard.
Maybe you, like me, have experienced either internal or external stressors that build to the point of making you feel like you’re going to break and you end up taking it out on the one who knows and loves you best. There may be words, tears, stoney looks, and silence. Put two strong willed people together and there can be a huge impasse.
Over the course of our marriage we’ve been through many ups and downs, and since we’ve come out much stronger, we love sharing our experience, strength, and hope with others. When you put yourself in a position of teaching others though, they tend to look up to you and see only the success. What they may not see is the hard work, sacrifice, late nights, tears, adversity, doubts, disappointments, courage, determination, risk, failure, persistence, change, struggles, and prayer . . . LOTS and LOTS of prayer . . .
When I was thinking about what to write on this Valentine’s Day globe I thought of all kinds of romantic verses I might use. Then I remembered John 3:16 in the Bible, which represents to me, God’s ultimate Valentine to us, Jesus.
When we – my husband and I – were mired in our stubborn, ugly, selfish ways, Jesus is the One who came to lift us from our life of bondage and set us free to live life to the fullest in Him.
Sometimes even now, when pressures build, it takes deliberately recalling just how deeply stuck-in-the-muck we were and reflecting on God’s amazing grace toward us, to extend grace toward one another.
Remembering renews our faith in God’s power to restore and gives us much needed strength to move through the mires of this complicated life.
Along this path there will come those things that hurt us, but in order to remain in right relationship with God and each other we make the choice to forgive. That releases God to work in our hearts to heal the hurts and will ultimately grow our love even stronger.
Sometimes walking through the hard times in marriage is a fairly simple stroll, side-by-side, spurred on by belief in the commitment we’ve made to one another. Sometimes the walk is more difficult, two people clinging tightly to one another as they sludge on through together. Sometimes it is one pulling the other with all his or her might to bring them both through to firm ground on the other side.
We are lucky (though I know it’s more than luck), that it isn’t just the two of us, but that we also have God on our side.
“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Eccl. 4:12 NLT
That’s the reason this Valentine’s Day post is for my two Valentines, my husband and God, because we wouldn’t be a WE without Him.
Moving on to another conversation a few days later:
Mr. OTN: Did you see that I tried to call you earlier?
Me: Yes, I’m sorry I missed your call. What did you need?
Mr. OTN: I was on my way to work and I was simply overcome by how much I love you. It brought tears to my eyes and I wanted to tell you.
Amazing love, amazing grace, amazing work of the Lord in our lives.
Click on the link to download this Free Printable: ForGodSoLoved
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY DEAR FRIENDS AND GOD’S RICHEST BLESSINGS TO YOU,
A message of enticement, inspired by LOVE!
Chocolate-raspberry is OUR thing. It is one of the first desserts we shared on a date aboard the Spirit of Washington dinner train. The same train where we later declared our marriage vows.
Awww . . . romance is in the air!
For better or for worse.
Sometimes he’s had the best of me . . .
. . . and sometimes he’s endured the worst from me.
It’s been a mutual thing, this sharing of best and worst.
God’s love is never ending. His love never fails. He’s never given up on me . . . or my husband.
Sometimes I’m sure that both of us wondered what the outcome of our marriage would be, especially during “the difficult years”.
God knew. He carried us through the hard times. He brought healing into our lives and into our marriage. He set each of us free from the underlying causes of our pain . . . pain that caused each of us to act out in ways that hurt each other. God never gave up on us and . . . thankfully . . . we never gave up on each other.
We share a special love that is stronger now than ever. God knew all along that Our Story would eventually be used for His glory.
This fabulous dessert came from a Pampered Chef party and it is a favorite wherever we take it. It is a breeze to make with your favorite brownie mix. I prefer to use a dark chocolate mix and dark chocolate curls for garnish.
It is still for better or worse with us, but most of the time what we experience is the better . . . and Chocolate-Raspberry Love is the best!
Much love to you my Valentines.
I have been know to link to the following Inspirational Parties:
Have you ever had a love affair with an article of clothing? Some things are easy to put into the donation bag and some . . . well . . . not so easy.
Sounds silly right? But this little red flannel shirt and I go back a long way. She’s experienced a lot of life with me. Once crisp and new, she is now aged to the perfect degree of softness. Once stylin’ with a pair of crisp black jeans she now looks better paired with faded ol’ blue jeans. Once a perfect fit, she is now snug across the back and the front. No, it isn’t too many trips to Cracker Barrel (though this new place we’ve found to eat since moving south worries my youngest daughter greatly), it is this strange shape-shifting thing that is going on now that I’m about to turn . . . EEK . . . 60!!! But even with my renewed commitment to fitness (Water Zumba – so much FUN) this shirt is past it’s prime . . . one sleeve is covered in paint, the color frayed, and fabric wearing thin.
So rather than toss my beloved shirt, I decided to make some flannel rosettes, especially since it is red and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. With a few strips cut and rolled, and a little bit of hot glue, it was a quick and easy project accomplished in just over an hour.
Voila! Shabby flannel roses! Here, I’ve attached them to a kitchen towel to add to my Valentine’s Day decor.
What do you think?
I think there is nothing cuter than rosettes made of flannel.
I think they are good for my health because they make me smile!
I think they add a great pop of color to my white kitchen.
I think they look perfect right alongside my Valentine’s Day towels.
There are so many things you can do with flannel rosettes. I made these rosettes a few years ago for a Christmas wreath but for
Valentine’s Day you could make a heart-shaped wreath, or attach them to a Valentine’s Day card or gift, or put a pin on the back and wear them on the lapel of a jean jacket (cute right?), or make a whole bouquet of plaid roses and pop them into a vase!
For the complete instructions for making your own rosettes simply click on the link below:
I HEART Shabby Flannel Rosettes!
As a reminder, Farragoz’s Art of Patina is giving away a FREE online painting course to one of my lucky readers. For complete details (with pictures) on the course you can link back to my post HERE.
This is not a paid post.