A Marriage Made In Heaven

Good evening, friends!  Pondering the dynamics of marriage, a bit – this evening.  For those of you who have been married for ten years, or more – how have you compromised regarding values that are not mutual, to you?  Recently, I’ve been feeling that there are tenants of our relationship that I really value – that my husband doesn’t, so much.  Conversely, I’m sure that there are tenants of our relationship that my husband really values – that I don’t, so much.  As long as these conflicts in values aren’t too numerous, they don’t impact our relationships too heavily – right?  What happens – however – when one of you starts feeling like there are numerous “values” that aren’t shared?   This brings me to my next query, for all of you.  I know that most couples who remain married for years, have groups that they participate in – with other women, or men – separate from their spouses.  I believe that to some extent, this is healthy for all of our self-images as individuals.  If we truly value our marriages, I believe that we must be careful how many – individual – activities/groups we commit to, on a regular basis.  I think that those of us who are happily married also have at least a couple of activities that we share – or groups that we participate in – with our spouses.  Within the last couple of weeks, I’ve found myself wondering . . . . for those of you who have spouses who travel (or who have jobs that require you to travel, yourselves) – or who are so busy with different activities, for your children – how frequently, or how occasionally – are you able to spend time together?  And when you do, do you find that over the life of your marriage – you always value the same things, in your relationship?  Or have your values changed (or “morphed”, at all) in different “seasons” of life?   It’s been my experience that – for the last few years, as I age – it has become more important to me to “fit into” some groups.  To have a group of people around me who affirm me for who I am.  Recently, I’ve felt that that’s lacking – and I find myself expecting my husband to be able to fill that void, when I know that I really need to be looking to God! For ultimately, it is God who is the creator – and the author – of our days, and God who invites us to rest in Him when we’re weary, and heavy laden.  Still . . . sometimes I struggle with humbling myself before Him as I’m called to do.    What about you, friends?  For those of you who have been married for several years – do you and your spouse share the same, personal “values” – or do you have different “values” which you’re both able to respect?  And over the lives of your marriages, have those values always been the same?  Or have they changed (or “morphed”, at all) – in different “seasons” of life?  Blessings to you, friends – and as always, I anticipate your thoughts.

On Aging, and the Importance of Friendships

Good evening, friends!  Tonight’s blog is not going to be as deep as the first two that I put together this last weekend were, or necessarily taken from the Bible – but the topic is one that is near to my heart, at my age.  If you’ll bear with me – I want to discourse for a little while on aging, and the importance of friendships. For those of you…

who didn’t know my husband and I before we moved to Minnesota – you don’t realize how different our lives were, in WA.  Now that we’ve called Minnesota home for a little over seventeen years, we’ve discerned that there are many – huge – culture differences, between the two states!  And for the most part, we don’t “fit in” here!  Oh – don’t get me wrong – we don’t mind trying new things, and having new experiences . . . but in the years that we’ve been here, now – we’ve discovered that there are some gaping, societal differences also.  In addition to the fact that neither of us water ski or ice fish, we didn’t grow up here.  So neither of us have come up through school with any of you, nor do we have a cabin up north.  Seventeen years ago, when we were both younger – and my husband was just making his initial career decisions, it became evident that if we stayed in the Seattle area – he would reach the financial “ceiling” of his profession relatively quickly.  So he made what has turned out to be a very quality decision to look – nationally – for work.  After doing phone interviews with companies in several different areas, he was extended an offer by a software consulting firm out of Minneapolis, MN.  At the time, my husband was stunned – as in conversation with me following a second (phone) interview, he was of the opinion that he had “come across” very poorly, and completely blown the interview!  When they called him back and extended him an offer – we were both floored!  After discussing it for less than a day, we were both of the opinion that the only God-honoring decision that we could make was to accept the offer – and leave all of our family, and mutual friends – to pursue God’s will for our lives.  After all, I already had extended family here – and when it comes right down to it, we’re only a short plane flight away – right?  When you’re young and childless, these are the kinds of decisions that you’ll make. Now that we’re both older, and are raising children of our own . . . some of these things have begun to resonate more, within us.  For the last thirteen years, we’ve been blessed to have my husband’s Mother, and younger Sister living close to us.  There’s a story that I could go into detail about there, also – but suffice it to say that when my husband and I found out – a little over thirteen years ago, now – that we were expecting twins (not just a single baby) – my Mother-In-Law made a decision to leave her (very good, secure) job at Boeing in Seattle – and move out (with her youngest Daughter – my Sister-In-Law) to Minneapolis to assist us.  We knew that my (single) pregnancy being our first – that having one child to care for was going to be enough of a challenge, but having multiples right out of the gate??  In mid-May of this year, however – my Mother-In-Law received a stroke of good luck, and had a home (on a rather moderate lot) in the Long Beach area of WA State reduce in price deeply enough, that she was able to purchase it!  She and my Sister-In-Law are now living in WA again.  Seventeen years later (and both of us a bit wiser) – we’re still living here, and raising our own children with no immediate family in the area.  Out of necessity, we have found activities here that we enjoy doing together.  And the church that we belong to is a dynamic, growing church with strong, capable leaders in charge of different areas of ministry!  Time, and some tough experiences in recent years, have shaped our thinking and feelings heavily.  We still don’t “fit in” to the culture here – and having aged, as long as we’re able to do well enough professionally to be comfortable – we’re starting to have some regrets about not living close to our entire families, and many of the – mutual – friends, that we had before (and for the short time after, until we moved away) we got married.  To that point, the advent of Facebook has been a wonderful, and important tool for us. The point that I’m driving to with this blog, my friends – is this.  For those of you who are still young enough, and in a position in your lives to benefit from my/our experience – when life offers you opportunities to make radical changes, ensure that whatever decision you make is God’s will for you.  Because sometimes those decisions result in more sacrifice as we age, then we initially thought that they would involve!  Don’t get me wrong, friends – this sounds like a very pessimistic end to this blog.  Yet I’m not desperately unhappy here in MN  – I love The Lord my God with all my heart, and in many ways – our moving cross-country years ago has been one of the best experiences that we’ve ever undertaken.  But in hindsight, I would admonish you to pray – friends – before making any life-changing decision!  Praying God’s will for your life is not something that should be considered lightly!! Blessings to you, Friends – and as always, I anticipate your input!!   : )