love

In the Middle of an Ordinary Life

Hey y’all… how’s your mama and ’em?

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 1.42.42 PM“Sometimes in the middle of an ordinary life love gives us a fairy tale.”  Those were the words on the invitation to mine and Tommy’s vow renewal ceremony a couple of years ago, and they are just as true today as they were then.  We aren’t anyone special.  By the worlds standards, we don’t amount to much.  Neither of us have degrees or titles.  We don’t have a fancy house or fancy cars.  But we have each other and four beautiful, wonderful children.  For us, that is enough, and in our eyes, we’re the richest folks in the world.

When Tommy and I met, I was not interested in settling down.  I was “state hopping” across the south in an effort to “find myself”.  I had a cynical view of men and marriage and was not going to be tied down to someone who would ultimately cause me misery and grief.  But Tommy was different than the other guys I’d dated.  He treated me like a princess.  More than that, he treated me like I mattered and was adored.  I can never remember feeling more content, stable, or at peace than when I was with him.  When I found him, I finally found myself.

Four months from the day we met, we eloped on my lunch break.  That was twenty years ago today.  In those twenty years, we have experienced “better and worse”, “richer and poorer”, and “sickness and health”.  We have tested the bounds of the “worse, poorer, and sickness” on more occasions than I care to remember.  In those twenty years, everything that has been thrown at us to break us apart, God has used to build us closer together.  Through everything we’ve been, we’ve fallen more in love with one another.

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Our 2013 Vow Renewal

My daughter’s boyfriend recently told her, “They are my goal,” meaning he hopes to have a relationship like we do when he’s at this point in his life.  If he was trying to win brownie points with the parents, it worked; I cannot think of many better compliments.  Tommy and I do not possess any great secrets that have blessed us with such great marital bliss.  We simply follow Paul’s directions laid out in Ephesians 5:22, 25 that read, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”  (I know not everyone likes the word “submit”, but y’all, it’s easy to submit to a man that loves you the way Christ loved the church.)Tommy and I feel very blessed to have the relationship that we do.  We both work to keep our love fresh and alive.  On days that Tommy leaves for work before I wake up, I am greeted with a text message that reads, “Good morning, beautiful.  I love you.”  When he pulls up in the drive-way after work, I still run out to greet him and welcome him home.  It is the giving and receiving that makes it work.  Our favorite place to be is together and when we are together, we do the following:  we hold hands (wherever we are); we play (sometimes as simple as thumb war); we talk (about everything and about nothing); we laugh A LOT (it’s the best medicine); we flirt (it’s our favorite method of torturing our children); we support each other’s ideas and interests (no matter how insane they may seem); we dream (we have so much planned for our future); we have each other’s back (he’s my number one and I’m his).  To sum it up – we love.  Love is not a feeling but an action.  Love is putting someone else before yourself and choosing their good over your own.

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So you see, it is true:  “Sometimes in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.”  I have now spent half of my life married to the man of my dreams, and I plan to spend the next half loving him and continuing to live “happily ever after each and every day”.

I love you, Tommy!  Happy Anniversary!!

Have a blessed week y’all!

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Colorblind

IMG_3751It is a common misconception that dogs are colorblind.  While our canine companions do not enjoy the vast array or vividness of colors that the we do, dogs can differentiate between certain colors.  Far more impressive than a dogs ability to discern colors is their ability to seemingly know what is in a person’s heart.

Most days that I work, my four-year-old Golden Retriever, Boondocks, accompanies me to the office.  He prefers snoozing behind my desk as opposed to being left home all day, and he always welcomes the opportunity to meet and make new friends.

Most folks that come into the office are friendly and stop by to say “hi”.  Without a doubt – and without guidance from me – Boondocks always seems to know who is here for what purpose.  Boon will sit behind my desk and whine if he hears Mr. Joe come in without greeting him, and yet he sometimes seems more suspicious of workmen that come in for routine maintenance.  His perception of people reminds me of a verse from the Bible,

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  1 Samuel 16:7

Boondocks does not base his opinion of people by their ethnicity, by their social status, by their sexual orientation, by their beliefs – cultural or religious -, rather he judges by what is on the inside.  He was made to love, and he does so – for love’s sake.

1 Peter 4:8 says,

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

When we look at a person for what is in their heart, we are able to love them freely.  When we become more concerned about their soul than our opinion of how they live and how they sin differently than we do we are able to offer them the unconditional love that God has given us and asked us to give others.

John 13:35 says,

“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

Notice it doesn’t say “your approval of one another” but rather “love”.

I challenge you today to love like a dog.  Show other’s His agape love not for what they’ve done but because God has created them in His image and called us to do so.  If we all would commit to this kind of love, we truly would change the world.

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God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.  Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.  1 John 4:9-12

Love Heals

Achilles is available for adoption at Brookhaven Animal Rescue League in Brookhaven, Mississippi.  He was turned into us after having been burned by hot grease.  He has scarring and vision loss from his injuries, but his heart is as good as gold.  Visit www.barl.net for more information.

Achilles is available for adoption at Brookhaven Animal Rescue League in Brookhaven, Mississippi. He was turned into us after having been burned by hot grease. He has scarring and vision loss from his injuries, but his heart is as good as gold. Visit www.barl.net for more information.