Archive | May, 2012

we talked, we ate, we laughed

31 May


Late in the afternoon, I got a call from my sweet hubby. We hadn’t gotten around to making plans for celebrating our anniversary. With birthday season, Memorial day celebrations, Mother’s day gatherings, and keeping track of a houseful of schedules, we hardly felt we needed one more event. Never-the-less, Mark was not about to let this day slip by!

So, dinner it was. We found a wonderful restaurant tucked just below street level in the historic part of town. We had the place to ourselves, or at least it felt like it. If others were there, we didn’t notice.

We talked. We ate. We laughed. We simply enjoyed each other’s company without any distractions. It was like cool refreshing water after a long run. And we had been running, not literally, but busy entertaining lots of people we love.

Life is so full, it is easy to let essential things get crowded out. I am thankful to my husband for setting the example for me – to not neglect the nurturing of our marriage.


31 years in the castle

30 May

Thirty-one years ago today, I made a commitment to the man of my dreams. The music we chose for our wedding, at the time, represented the vow we were making to each other and has now become a reminder of our continued focus.


I have waited such a long, long time for this day to come
And all I have to give is the love from God’s only Son
He gave to me, I give to you.
I pray that God will be with us night and day
Guide us all the way in our life.

There will be no strife with Jesus Christ
And His Kingdom which has come
And made it possible for you and I to be one.
I will make you queen of our home under the glory of the King.
We’ll raise our family in a castle full of love and trust the Lord in everything.
Let us sing to the King Hallelujah

In times of trial when things are hard to see will you stand by me with Love?
It can heal the pain, so let it rain on the roof of my soul,
There is no hole that love can’t fill.
So let us climb, let us climb the hill together
Let us climb the hill together. – Paul Clark


Looking forward to continuing the climb… happy anniversary, Mark.


trusting enough to let go

29 May


In closing, I drew a butterfly next to my signature.  The letter was off, off to my love in Brazil.   He would be back in a few months,  what felt like a lifetime.  Our insatiable desire was to be together, yet too young to be married.  Somehow, through the distance – our love had only grown.


Watching our grown children arrive home to visit, one by one (or two by two), I remember the mixture of emotions as they moved away.  The heart wrenching pain was combined with a joyful anticipation for their future.


A butterfly lands on my 5 year old’s hand. Her brother explains, “Just enjoy it while it is here, if you try to hang on to tightly, it will die. Give it some room to fly and it may even come back to you!”

The joy comes in fully trusting God while watching the flight.

The richness keeps increasing, the love continues to grow.

My second podcast with Shara: Respecting Your Husband

26 May

Sitting here in the waiting room of the dentist office (with my new ipad in hand – of course), I have the luxury of reading, thinking, writing, and reflecting. Part of the process of deliberately encouraging others in marriage and family life is how it causes me to reflect on my own life.

How did I do this morning in sending off my hubby with kind words? Did I take time to encourage him? Did I focus on his strengths or pick apart his weaknesses? Did I take time to draw him close or drive a wedge between us?

A month ago I had the privilege of doing another podcast with my friend, Shara. The last interview was on the adventure of going from 5 – 14 children. This time, as you might guess, it was on marriage. The focus is on my journey of learning to treat my husband with respect and how that continues to affect the rest of our family. Shara has some great insights as she also endeavors to continue building on the strong foundation she and her husband have laid for a healthy marriage and family.

As a result of a few technical difficulties, like my Internet speed for one, the sound is a little soft. Be prepared to have a quiet place to listen.

Please take a moment to visit Notes at Naptime … with Shara and be encouraged!</


What if?

24 May


Recently we had the pleasure of visiting home, where our roots have grown deep. It was a pleasure to visit with family and friends, but over the course of many conversations, we came away with heavy hearts. One after another, we heard of couples being divorced, families falling apart and giving up hope – the stresses overwhelming life.

So… if you have wondered what has motivated me to pick back up Not Without Aim – it is not a result of boredom with nothing to do, certainly not a love for writing, and not a love for blogs… It is a passion to encourage families to stick together, press hard, and endure the struggles, knowing it is worth the effort!

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NASB)

What if we kept loving even when the loving was tough?

Anything worth doing…

23 May

I sat down on the plane next to a young man. With his laptop open, he was busy at work. We exchanged greetings. Not used to traveling alone, I had brought a needlework project to pass the time. It turned out to be much bigger and more detailed than I expected. I had been inspired by my mother-in-law who has a way of making gorgeous works of art with a needle and thread! Looking down at where to begin, I felt a bit overwhelmed. The young man with the laptop paused from his work and looked over at mine. He simply stated, “Anything worth doing takes time and hard work, but in the end it’s worth the effort.”

Looking back to that day, 22 years ago, being pregnant with our 5th daughter, I know he was right.

Marriage, raising children, supporting a family, nurturing relationships all take work, endless, tiring, draining work.

Was it worth it? Is it still worth the effort? Would I do it all over again? (Glad I don’t have to, but YES! YES! YES!

– Last night I had a date with just one of my daughters. (very precious time)

– Sunday we had all 14 of our children plus spouses and friends all together for a picnic. (a mom and dad’s heart doesn’t get much fuller than that!)

– I just got home from taking the younger half of the family fishing. ( 10 Blue Gills – and no, I don’t fish, I just detangle fishing line)

– I have a husband that is taking me out tonight because he loves me. (What to wear???)

Life isn’t perfect. Our relationships are not perfect, but they are always worth the work!
I am so glad I never gave up!


By the way, after many years, I did finally finish the needlework project.

So, what does it really mean to serve each other?

22 May

In reference to one of my last posts, in an effort to change my husband, I mentioned “taking pleasure in serving.” As a result to a comment I received, I have been pondering the meaning of the word, serve. Could the word mean different things to different people? I checked out the dictionary and found several synonyms: help, assist, work, foster, nurture…

A conversation came to my mind I had recently had with a very dear couple who have now been married for one year. I asked them what kind of advice they would have for someone who was about to be married. The first thing they mentioned was the importance of taking time to be set apart as a couple without the distractions that can so easily encumber. That advice resonated with me as Mark and I spent the first year of our married life in another state, away from home, away from both of our families. We truly did learn to depend on each other.

The second issue this couple spoke of was the great joy they took in serving each other. It was wonderful to see the smile on their faces as they described the competitive morning race to be the first to bring the other their morning coffee. They absolutely love to do things for each other! May that love continue for a lifetime!

Obviously serving will look different in each household. Some people are naturals at serving, while others simply love to be served. My husband and I serve in completely different ways, but even though it looks different, we are both serving. Not only do we serve each other in our marriage, but the entire family continually finds ways to serve the other. That is what being a family is all about!

A special thank you to my sweet hubby for always making me my first cup of morning coffee! Half the enjoyment of drinking it is knowing that it was made with love from him, especially for me!