A Fairytale Love Story- Hardships

Rebecca

Who doesn’t love an epic love story?  In Genesis 24, Rebecca and Isaac’s story reads much like a fairy-tale.  It was a match made in heaven- literally.  It was love at first sight.  And God wanted us to know every detail about this couples love story…

Rebecca was beautiful, pure, energetic and had a servants heart.  Isaac was peace loving, easy going, and quiet. What could go wrong with such a perfect combination?

No doubt about it they were attracted to each other and loved each other.  In fact, the word “love” was used to define romantic love for the first ever time in the Bible- about them!  But romance or none, the storms of life blew hard on their home.  Rebecca was barren for the first 20 years of their marriage. That’ll put a strain on even the strongest couple!  Isaac was passive- to a fault, wanting peace at all cost, he lied about Rebecca’s identity as his wife!  Yep, he’s Abraham’s son.  You can be certain Isaac heard about this for a long time.

Rebecca wasn’t passive by any stretch of the imagination, she was the opposite. She quickly made family decisions without consulting her husband. Oh boy, the story gets a lot more complicated when their twins were born.  Rebecca and Isaac’s communication wasn’t what it should have been…

Even though it was a match made in heaven, the story shows us that life is full of human weakness.  They were normal, imperfect people.  Humans make mistakes every day and they were no different from us.  God wanted us to see that even behind the doors of a match made in heaven, there are many faults.   Yet, in our imperfection and desperately weak flesh, He loves us- and chooses to use us for His glory!  Generations later, He used this imperfect couple to usher in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ!

Who doesn’t love an epic love story?  And whether you’re married or not, your epic love story is being written.  Your story is being inscribed.  Every detail matters to God- Every choice we make, how pure we live, how we rise above the hardships, how we forgive and how we depend on Him every step of the story.

In Malachi 3:16 it says God has a book of remembrance of those who feared Him. That verse and others challenge me every day to rise above myself. God loves to brag about His children-what will He say about how I lived my life? I want my story to be an epic love story—choices I make determine the “epic.”

If you’re visiting me today from Proverbs 31 ministries devotion, Hidden Hardships behind Closed Doors- welcome! I’m glad you stopped by. If you’d like to subscribe to my blog, I would love to have you in the family!

2 Corinthians 12:9-11, “But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. “Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  

How Will We Be Remembered?

Leave a one word comment below telling a hardship you need prayer for to enter to win a vintage apron. Our family will pray for you! Winners will be drawn next Tuesday!

apron 1

One winner will win this white and purple vintage apron

The second winner drawn will win this vintage apron. Embordered at top of apron it says, " Main Ingredient is Love"

The second winner drawn will win this vintage apron. Embroidered at top it says, ” Main Ingredient is Love”

 

Is “Date Night” Mandatory for a Happy Marriage?

A cozy  campfire in our backyard

Date Night-talking by the campfire in our backyard

If you’re visiting from Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today Devotions, welcome!

When Dale and I were raising our five children, we maybe had three official ”date nights,” ever. I know, it’s hard to believe.  There were a lot reasons why we didn’t. I don’t think we ever discussed these things. It was just what we did because. . .

~ The cost

~ Where do you find a babysitter for five children- that you trust? (Family didn’t live nearby)

~ At home date nights were more romantic

~ He worked hard all day, he didn’t need to go out to be fulfilled- he just needed his wife-happy

~I just needed him fully present and my basic needs were met

~ I didn’t like leaving our kids-(I know, it’s crazy but true)

When we went out to eat, or saw a movie, the kids came with us. When we went anywhere, they were with us. But everywhere we went, Dale and I were always on a continual ”date night.” Even while feeding and talking to all five daughters, Dale and I were totally engaged with one another. Always touching, watching each other, and listening intently to the others’ every move and thought.

Some nights after the kids went to bed we had work to do. We did it together. I sat right next to him and we worked, side by side.

Many nights after the kids went to bed (with phones, television, and computers off) we talked for hours on end. We never ever got tired of talking and we still haven’t.

Some nights we watched movies together, side by side. Often one of our girls would get out of bed and come to us because they couldn’t sleep and lay in our arms. We  loved it–aren’t they adorable when they’re sleeping?

Some nights we went to bed early and had a better ”date night” than if went had gone to the finest restaurant and walked the ocean shore at sunset.

I never once regretted not going out on scheduled “date nights.” Raising a family is a lot of work. There are stresses that constantly threaten the family. So, believe me, you need date night but maybe just not the world’s idea of going out for your ”date night.”  The greatest need of a happy marriage is Christ in the center.  Then living together with a oneness mind set, being romantically engaged, and loving each other extravagantly- every day.

Here are a few Date Night Ideas:

1. Make a campfire and talk about the deeper things of Christ (oh yeah)

2. Stargazing on a blanket (spring and summer) talking about future dreams

3. Read a book to each other in front of the fireplace (fall and winter)

4. Make your favorite desert (great cake recipe) and eat by candle light

5. Listen to worship music and worship Him together

6. Pray together

7. Write a letter telling him all the reasons why you fell in love with him and how he has fulfilled your dreams and read it to him.  (Then you can discuss how you’re going to pay the credit cards off… just joking or not!)

8. Cook his favorite meal, make it special and enjoy after the kids go to bed

9. Wear his shirt as a nightgown, then watch a good movie in bed.

10. Tell me your idea!

What would be your perfect date night? Tell me in the comment section below,  it will enter your name in the drawing to win my downloadable marriage message called Extravagant Love and a $20 gift certificate to Target for your date night!

Good Wife Recipe

 

Susanna Wesley’s Prayer Apron- Powerful Life Story

My vintage aprons hanging on clothesline

My vintage aprons and the winners aprons hanging on clothesline- behind the aprons a few  butternut squash, cucumbers and tomato plants

Hidden behind the door of many homes is the reality of hardship.  Secret things happen that few want the world to know.  Yet, from some people (presently and historically) we are given the inside story, whether they want it told or not.

A devastated home isn’t always apparent on first impression, is it? Susanna Wesley was married to a preacher.  They had 10 children of which, two grew up to bring millions of souls to Christ. That would be John and Charles Wesley.  It’s a powerful story if you stop there, isn’t it?

But, behind the door of her home, hopeless conditions were the norm.  She married a man who couldn’t manage money.  They disagreed on everything from money to politics.  They had 19 children.  All except ten died in infancy.  Sam (her husband) left her to raise the children alone for long periods of time.  This was sometimes over something as simple as an argument.

One of their children was crippled.  Another couldn’t talk until he was nearly six years old.  Susanna herself was desperately sick most of her life.  There was no money for food or anything.  Debt plagued them.

Sam was once thrown into debtor’s prison because their debt was so high, which doubled their problems.  Twice the homes they lived in were burned to the ground, losing everything they owned.  It was assumed that their church members did it because they were so mad at what Sam preached in the pulpit!  Someone slit their cow’s udders so they wouldn’t have milk, killed their dog, and burned their flax field!

When Susanna was young, she promised the Lord that for every hour she spent in entertainment, she would give to Him in prayer and in the Word.  Taking care of the house and raising so many kids made this commitment nearly impossible to fulfill. She had no time for entertainment or long hours in prayer!  She worked the gardens, milked the cow, schooled the children and managed the entire house herself.  So, she decided to instead give the Lord two hours a day in prayer!

She struggled to find a secret place to get away with Him.  So she advised her children that when they saw her with her apron over her head, that meant she was in prayer and couldn’t be disturbed.  She was devoted to her walk with Christ, praying for her children and knowledge in the Word no matter how hard life was.

One of her daughters got pregnant out of wedlock and the man never married her.  She was devastated, but remained steadfast in prayer for her daughter.

In the end, she knew that one day her hard life would be over and she alone would stand before the throne of God and give an account of how she lived her life.

We can be the best mom, wife, friend, person in the world and still have untold hardships.  We need to take Susanna’s example, flip our apron over our head and pray in the middle of it all.

Back to the beginning of my story…

Her son’s John and Charles were powerhouses for the glory of the Lord.  John Wesley preached to nearly a million people in his day.  At the age of 70 he delivered the gospel message of salvation to 32,000 people- without the use of a microphone!  He brought revival everywhere he traveled!  His brother Charles wrote over 9000 hymns, many of which we still sing today.

Hidden behind the door of my home, I want our children to find a mom who prays diligently- no matter how busy or how hard the circumstances.  I want to raise up John Wesley’s out of our family line!  Where’s my apron?

I’m giving away two Susanna Wesley inspired Prayer Apron’s.  Leave a one word comment below about what you need prayer about in your home to enter the drawing. (The book I read on John Wesley is mentioned in this blog post)

Flip your apron over your head- begin your prayer and close it with this verse from Philippians.

Get your apron out, flip it over your head–begin your prayer and close it with this verse

This is one of the aprons I'm giving away in the drawing. Tell what you need prayer for in your family in the comment section--that enters your name to win one of the two aprons.

This is one of the aprons I’m giving away in the drawing. Tell what you need prayer for in the comment section to enter your name to win one of the four aprons. Winner drawn Wednesday!

This is the second apron. This one is hand stitched, "

This is the second apron., it is hand stitched and fits a large

This is the biography about Susanna Wesley that I read. Moody Press is the publisher.

This is a good  biography about Susanna Wesley,  Moody Press  publisher

 

Extravagant Love–Marriage Conference Call

Dale and Sharon

Dale and Sharon

I was SO mad, I thought I would explode! And the contents of that explosion would have been hazardous to anyone in my path—namely Dale!

Anger was emanating from every pore of my being. What was he thinking? How could he not see the obvious? The more these thoughts swirled in my head, the madder I got! And he didn’t seem to care about my feelings, either! He just looked at me. That was it! I decided to pack the kids up and leave.

And (the nerve of him!) he didn’t even ask where I was going! The suitcases said it all!

I wasn’t thinking rational thoughts. I just left in the storm of it all.

Oh, boy. Those were the days. I’m so glad that was then and now is now. It was many years ago. Yeah, he said a lot of things and did a lot of things that I didn’t understand. It was like we were from two different planets with totally different brain and emotion function.

If you read my blog post Love Potion, you’ll remember I said there was a turning point in my marriage. Within a year of God working on me, my marriage started to change.

If you’re visiting me today after reading my devotion To Have and To Hold from P31 or Crosswalk, welcome! If you haven’t read it, you should!

Truth be told, most marriages will struggle at some point. The real question is: How will you handle it when it’s yours that is struggling? I can tell you from personal experience, if you focus on your spouse’s faults, the conclusion isn’t marital bliss.

There were three key things that radically changed my marriage. It took time for me to adapt to the changes, but I felt God’s leading and His pleasure in it all. A perfect marriage isn’t forged in a day, but the time and energy invested in it will last a lifetime. It’s worth the effort, and YOU WILL reap what you sow—I promise.

Getting back to the story… After being gone from Dale for 24 hours, I couldn’t stand it any longer. I came home, and we made up.

I’m a bit on the strong willed side, so it probably took me longer than it will take you. But when necessary changes were made, our marriage radically changed for the good. I’m talking the highest happiness of wedded life here!

Colossians 3:12-25 basically says: Extravagant love is the bond of perfection. Love is merciful, kind, long suffering, forgiving, bears all things… Verse 23 says, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord…” So, if we love our husbands extravagantly (heartily), the reward is great. Christ loved us extravagantly. He didn’t love us because we deserved it. He sacrificed everything for love. Extravagant love can transform an ordinary marriage into an extraordinary one, induce greater love, ignite intimacy, help us live above our weaknesses, and spend less time quarreling!

On May 30, 2013, from 8:00-9:15 PM EST, I’m going to do a marriage conference call—Extravagant Love. I’ll share the three things that changed my marriage, and then you can ask me questions at the end of the call! Sign up today for the Extravagant Love Conference Call! (Sorry men, this call is for wives- maybe I could get Dale to lead one for the husbands? )

I’m going to give away 3 free Extravagant Love conference calls. Leave a comment below to enter your name in the drawing. Just tell me in one word what you need help with in your marriage. Winners will be announced next Wednesday.

Subscribe to my blog or RSS feed to get all updates about the upcoming call!

The Depth of Intimacy– Pure and Indescribable

 

Dale and me in our field

Intimacy. Hmm…

After 32 years of marriage, I still blush talking about it!  It is so private and sacred!

No expression of human communion is deeper than that of a husband and wife making love. It borders on supernatural in expression.  The sensory goes beyond flesh into spiritual depths that are indescribable.

It took me a while to fully understand this in my marriage. Intimacy on the indescribable level can only be attained through a complete surrender of your heart and mind. God intended it to be this way. A lot of people skip this part and think that the very act of making love will induce love. It doesn’t. It deepens it, yes…but only when you surrender your heart.

When I got married I had no idea what surrender meant. The only thing my mom told me before I got married about intimacy was this: Don’t ever deny him. So I didn’t.

Oh, Dale and I loved each other very much, and making love was good. For various reasons, though, I had a wall of protection around my emotions. But I was unaware of it.  And because I was unaware, I didn’t know I needed to get rid of it.

I was able to trust Dale (He had never done anything to cause me not to trust him).  Over time, the walls protecting my heart slowly started coming down.  One night, unbeknownst to him, I decided to surrender my whole heart.

Hint: You’re supposed to do that at the altar—some of us just didn’t know how!

Let me tell you what happened when I finally surrendered…

It had been a long day.  I had cooked dinner, washed dishes, bathed the kids, put a load of laundry in, and put the babies to bed. Dale had been busy working, so he didn’t know how tired I was.  The little ones were finally asleep, and I was exhausted.  I was about to collapse when he gave me that look. You know…the look.

I was too tired, but my mom’s words came to mind.

He started to kiss me. This time something switched in my mind.  I decided to not think of this as a duty, but, instead, I accepted his gestures as gestures of love toward me. Then I surrendered everything to him—every vulnerable part of my heart, mind and body.  I loved him wholly and completely—unabashedly.

For the first time ever, a floodgate opened.  The wall lifted.  My emotions left the natural and went into indescribable. I started to cry I was so overcome. (Which was a little embarrassing, because I never cried!)

We were one flesh, and it was beyond good. It was absolute abandon. Whew, that was a big deal for me!  If more husbands and wives could love with abandon and receive love with abandon, there would be a lot fewer problems in marriage. I’m talking to husbands, too!

It is the same with my spiritual life. When I love and trust God with all my heart, soul and mind, in a place of abandonment, I enter into His sanctuary and am so overcome with the union of His presence, it is indescribable.

The ecstasy of loving and receiving love with no reins, freed, uninhibited—this is God’s ideal of marriage. He is the author of romance you know!

Many people struggle with intimacy in their marriage.  I think Satan works overtime trying to destroy it.  If he can mess with the deepest and most passionate thing God intended for marriage, well, then he may just have a foothold to destroy the family unit.

Men need to know they are loved just as much as we do. Your man may have walls around his heart, too. We need to love our husbands with outrageous, abandoned love in our conversations, our actions, and in intimacy.

Sometimes we may not think he is deserving of our intimacy. Next time you think that, remember this verse in relation to him, “Love is patient, love is kind… It does not dishonor, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”  (1 Corinthians 13:4)

He may be undeserving.  Love and be intimate anyway.  Do unto him as you would have him do to you.  If you love and bless him even when he doesn’t deserve it, in time you will reap what you sow.

The Lord desires your marriage to be happy, full, pure and indescribable.

Ask Him to help you.

 

Love Potion

 

Dale and me standing in front of our first apartment, 30 years later.

A lot of women who read The Good Wife Recipe assumed that marriage had always come easy for me. It hasn’t always been easy.

My dad left our family when I was young, so I lacked the example of a godly marriage. Being the oldest child, I was very independent. Those two factors added together equaled a negative value in my tendencies toward marriage. My learning curve took years.

I loved my husband, but I didn’t respect all of his ideas. I had my own ideas of how things should be, and naturally, I thought I was right. Overall we had a good marriage, but it wasn’t what it should be until one day, after reading the Bible, God led me to make a decision that tamed my independent mind-set. I decided to submit to Dale’s role as the leader of our home and to respect his thoughts and opinions no matter how much I might disagree. Gulp.

Our marriage started changing after that day. When Dale would share what he thought the kids needed to do about school or church, my first impulse was to say, “Are you kidding? No way!”  Instead, I said nothing. I would bite my tongue, receive his words, and follow his leading. Amazingly, good things started to happen. Dale was making decisions that led us in the right direction! Why–because  he cares about the family. Dale doesn’t rule over us with an iron fist. He lovingly considers our needs, opinions, and dreams.

Since I yielded to my husband’s lead, I haven’t always agreed with his decisions. Nevertheless, I stood firm in my commitment and followed Dale anyway. The outcome has always been positive and a sure sign that God is leading him. I am honored to follow such a man of God.

Now I find myself in awe of my husband. He is everything I could ever dream of. It is my desire to be everything he dreams of too! If he wakes me up before the alarm with kisses, then I pray that God will give me the ability to be what he needs. I actually enjoy making his favorite meals, dressing the way he likes, and sharing the same interests and hobblies as he does.

Sometimes when Dale walks by me, my heart will skip a beat. You know what I mean? It’s like  love potion has been poured on me! We are two people in passionate love—now more than ever. When we honor our husbands in every way—at home, in public, and in our conversations with others—God pours out His passionate love, and we are swept away by it.

Make a conscious decision to honor and adore your husband. You will become the woman of your husband’s dreams, and he yours and the legacy will live on in your children’s marriages for generations to come.

Today I’m going to give away a book written by my dear friend Rachel Olsen and her pastor entitled, “My One Word.” It is an incredible book about making one word represent what you most hope God will do in you, and you focus on that for an entire year. This single act will reveal clarity and concentrate your Christ-like efforts. I love the book!  Along with the book I’m giving a $25 Outback gift certificate to one name drawn from the comments today.

What is the one thing you need to work on in your marriage? If you’re single what is the one thing you need to focus on this year?

I’ll pick the winner from the comments tomorrow morning at 10AM (Wed). I’ll post the winner at that time.

 

 

Love is As Strong as Death

Sunrise on Glasgow Farm

“Love is as strong as death. . .” Song of Solomon 8:6

True love is passionate, unquenchable, fiery and devoted at all cost.

We galloped through an open field on our horses, then slowed to a trot and talked while riding side by side.  Our conversation went from one level of glory to the next.  It was heavenly.  I had never told anyone the dreams of my heart, until that day- nor anyone else since.  A connoisseur of the finest delectable fare would never want to share a spread with anyone other than one who had tasted and seen the very essence of the unspeakable.  The sun started to set and we realized we had been talking for hours, though it seemed like minutes.

That was my first date with my husband, Dale.  Our first date was and is the very signature of our marriage.  Passion and fiery love is drawn from the depths of two people, unified in spirit.  The strength of our marriage is exactly proportionate to how much we love each other.  The more I know him, the more I love him. The more I love him the more I want what he wants and dislike what he dislikes.  The stronger the marriage, the more passionate it becomes.

This kind of love will sacrifice anything for love.  If given the choice of living in a castle with all the riches afforded me without Dale or living in a hobbit home craved out of dirt on the side of a hill with him, I would choose the latter.  I would do anything to be with him.

The same is true for our lives as Christians.  A Christian’s strength and conviction is exactly proportionate to how much we love Jesus.  The more we know Him the more we love Him; the more vehement our love, the more we want what He wants and dislike what He dislikes.  Yet, we can’t fully love Him until we know how much He loves us.  Once we get this revelation- we are lit with a holy fire of love that is unquenchable and for this kind of love we would do anything.

God authored a lyrical poem written by Solomon about marital bliss in which He and His bride are consumed by this love that transcends knowledge.  The poem is metaphorical with figurative language expressing timeless truths- only understood by those consumed by His love.

As women, it’s not surprising that we long for great love stories.  But, the consummation of any love story will never satisfy us in the core of our spirit.  Only Jesus can fulfill our passion to love and to be loved, in the deepest sense.

True love is passionate, unquenchable, fiery and devoted at all cost.

God in His infinite wisdom and love for us described ultimate love through an allegory of the passionate bride and groom.

Jesus, I love You. I want more of You!  Break my heart for what breaks Yours.  Open my eyes to the things unseen.  Everything I have is Yours!  Baptize me with Your love! I want the flame of Your fire to consume me with unwavering devotion!

Ephesians 3:14-21 says it well;”For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge— that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory. . . for ever and ever! Amen.”

“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD.” Song of Solomon 8:6 ESV

The Good Wife Recipe

Being a good wife is a lot like being a good cook.

Any cook using the same recipe and instructions can produce a dish that tastes entirely different from another.  Why is this?

Well, attention to detail distinguishes a great cook from an average one.

Take fried apples for example…  All that you need are apples, sugar, butter and cinnamon. But, not every cook makes them the same.   I cook mine on high (I want them slightly caramelized) and I never put a top on or they get mushy.  If you take the same ingredients, cook them on low and put a lid on the top- it produces a recipe that doesn’t resemble mine at all.  The same recipe can produce a totally different result.

If you want to know difference between a good wife and an average wife, you’ll find the answer is the same.  There are hundreds of recipes for being a good wife.  The ingredient list is usually pretty similar in every recipe; Love, Respect, Communication, Sex, Time, Service, Prayer. . . Even if the recipe is followed directly and not one ingredient neglected, the outcome can be totally different.

Take the Good Wife Recipe for example:

If you Love in proportion to what is given you, the recipe will not rise to the fullest flavor meant to be.  Love unconditionally at 100%. Give all with no expectations of a return.  Love with every ounce of your being and when you have given all- squeeze even more out.  Those drops are the best.

Respect is a vital ingredient, one I didn’t fully understand when I got married.  I grew up in a single family home and lacked the father figure example.  I was the oldest child and took on a very independent mindset.  These factors combined to produce a negative value in my tendencies in marriage. I loved my husband, but didn’t respect all of his ideas. I had my own ideas of how things should be.  And naturally, I thought I was right.  After years of this wrong balance the Lord showed me that I wasn’t respecting Dale’s role in our family; his thinking and his leading.  I asked God to help me and He did.  I respect Dale’s thinking.  He is actually right most often—I just had to learn to listen before reacting and respect his thoughts.

Communication is a delicate balance of listening and talking. When we listen not only with your ears but with our heart we are able to remember everything that he shares. We should be his greatest advocate in the good days and the darkest of days.  Allow nothing to hinder this vital ingredient.  He needs to know you care about his every thought, dream, and burden.

Sex- Children read my blog so I don’t feel at liberty to say much here except- DO NOT NEGLECT! The spicier you make this ingredient; the easier the other ingredients gel together into the perfect recipe.

Time and Service- You could be the greatest lover of all wives but if you neglect taking care of your home, cooking good meals and creating an atmosphere of love- your recipe will fall short.  I do everything in my power to create the home environment that will be a haven for him.  I’m not the perfect housekeeper.  But, I try my best.  I work hard to make his favorite meals every day.

I not only want to serve him, but I want to be with him.  So, I go everywhere he goes whenever it’s possible; even when all 5 girls were little we would all hop in the vehicle just to pick up a gallon of gas or pick up nails from the store just to be with him.

Prayer-  Many nights I wake up and while he sleeps, I watch him and pray.  I pray for his health, his work, and his dreams to be fulfilled.  The Lord has been faithful to answer.

The Good Wife Recipe is one of sacrifice, but produces the greatest of marriages.  I am in mad love with my husband, Dale.  I’ve noticed that the more I put into the recipe, the more I get out of it- and the more passionate my marriage is. The more passionate it becomes the less work it is.  My desire to love becomes greater, ability to respect becomes second nature, communication becomes like-minded, making love is sweeter than any romance novel could ever pen, and time with him is my desire not a duty.

All my days of marriage were not easy. Every man is different and his needs different from another. It was trial and error in the beginning but perseverance and desire for the very best marriage was my passion.

Being a good wife is a lot like being a good cook.  Any given wife using the same recipe and instructions can produce a marriage that is entirely different from another.  Why is this?

It’s because attention to detail delineates a good wife from an average one.

The secret to The Good Wife Recipe; Do not neglect one ingredient.  They are all free, but it will be how deliberate you are with the finer details that will determine the outcome.

Read Proverbs 31:10-31 for in-depth details about the Good Wife.

You should  make him fried apples and pancakes! Top them with some whipped cream, yum!  Here are the recipes. . .

http://sharonglasgow.com/2012/04/carmelized-fried-apples/

http://sharonglasgow.com/2012/09/best-pancake-recipe/

If you want to read Sharon’s love story. . .

http://sharonglasgow.com/2012/08/a-love-story-fairy-tales-do-come-true-part-1-of-3/

http://sharonglasgow.com/2012/08/a-love-story-fairy-tales-do-come-true-part-2-of-3/

http://sharonglasgow.com/2012/08/a-love-story-fairy-tales-do-come-true-part-3-of-3/

Dale and I have been married for over 30 years and have five daughters. Happy New Year!!

Jonathan Proposed to Our Daughter, Rachael, in the Barn Saturday night

 

 
 

Jonathan proposed to Rachael in the Glasgow Barn, where they first fell in love.

From the time Dale and I knew we were pregnant with each of our five daughters, we started praying for their spouses.

This past Saturday night, our fourth daughter Rachael was engaged to the man of her dreams and the one we had prayed for from the time we conceived her.

Just a few months before we met him for the first time, I had taken a class on the book of Ephesians. Jonathan’s father was the teacher, Bowie Curry.   One night while telling Rachael about my Ephesian’s class, the thought came to me to look on Facebook and see if Bowie had any Godly sons available.  We found Jonathan, and Rachael’s interest was perked.

But that was as far as it went, because we never saw him!

Then the big day came. Our family will never forget it.  Jonathan had heard that helpers were needed to work on our barn, so he signed up to help (he was aware that our family had five daughters). I saw him walk onto the property. I didn’t know who he was, but I went out to meet this young man who had come to help on the barn.

Immediately while talking, I knew this was Rachael’s husband. I couldn’t finish my conversation with him soon enough, so that I could run and tell her. I ran into the house and squealed, “Rachael, your husband is walking to the barn right now!” We all stared out the kitchen window.  I couldn’t contain the excitement. Rachael was apprehensive to believe me.  No more than 30 minutes passed, and then Jake, Hannah’s husband to be at that time, came in the house. He immediately took Hannah to the side and said the same thing I had said. Jonathan was gaining favor fast.

Then our next son-in-law, Jeffrey (Heather’s husband) came in and announced that Rachael’s husband was outside. Rachael hadn’t even met him yet! He hadn’t been on our property for more than a couple hours at this point. At the close of the day, Dale came in the house. We stared at him waiting for him to say the same thing everyone else was saying…and he did.

Within a month of working everyday on the barn, he asked Dale’s permission to date Rachael. Dale gave his permission, and soon they went out on their very first date. I wish he could have invited the whole family, because we could hardly contain ourselves sitting at home waiting for their return!

She told us every detail when she got home.

This past Saturday night, he confessed that it was love at first sight for him, and she confessed the same. The marriage is set for next spring, and the date is to be announced. It will be here on the Glasgow Farm.

 

He proposed upstairs

Mood was set with candles

Jonathan’s best friend Matt and Kayla bought flowers, candles, cheese, crackers and fresh fruit for the table. Rachael’s sister Hannah helped decorate too.

They came in the house to tell us all about it! To Rachael’s surprise, our family and the Curry family were all waiting in the house!

Potential ringbearers playing while the story is being told

Grandma Shanaberger, Heather and Jake

Jonathan and Matt (his best friend). Hannah and Ryan in background

The two fathers, Bowie Curry and Dale Glasgow

The mother of the bride to be and the mother of the groom to be, Sharon and Barbara

Steven (Jonathan’s brother) and his girlfriend Lauren. Giving Rachael a hug!

Jonathan’s sister, Laura.  And brother, Steven and Lauren

 

Jeffrey and Lochlan in background of the two love birds

Ellie and Rachael’s excitement over the ring!

 

Hannah, Jake, Ryan, Ellie, Heather, Lochlan, Jonathan and Rachael

The evening came to a close around 1:30AM. It was a perfect day!

 

 

 

 

A Love Story–The Honeymoon Life Part 3/3

Dale and Sharon Glasgow-The Honeymoon Life-August 29, 2012

Part 1http://sharonglasgow.com/2012/08/a-love-story-fairy-tales-do-come-true-part-1-of-3/

Part 2http://sharonglasgow.com/2012/08/a-love-story-fairy-tales-do-come-true-part-2/

Now they were no different than couples of this day. They desired a honeymoon many miles away. But luxury was not afforded them, so they traveled far to a State Park cabin in the mountains by car.

Little needs be said of what happened that night for when two lovers join as one for the very first time, well—words fall short.

The honeymoon was soon over and they traveled back to start their life.

Time passed quickly. Dale finished his schooling and got a job in the big city. He worked hard to provide for his family. Babies came one by one and while Sharon nursed them, changed diapers, cooked and cleaned the house morning till night, she started to dream.

She dreamed of the day she would have a real honeymoon, the lavish kind she had read of–for the honeymoon days were long behind her. Life became an endless cycle of work; rebuilding their country house, mending fences to keep the animals in, taking care of the farm, nurturing and raising children, working and yet more working… Through all of this their romance took a hit: there was no time for fairytale love anymore.

Then, one day— Sharon met a woman who told her of the tragic end to her own love story. This woman’s beloved worked hard every day. They never had time off to play. For years she dreamed and planned for this trip she had always wanted, for they had never had the honeymoon of their dreams. Their last child was leaving and the honeymoon date set. But on this awful, awful day, she got a call that her husband had been killed, tragically. Her dream shattered, she never got the honeymoon that she had imagined.

This affected Sharon deeply, for she never wanted to live in regret that she never had the honeymoon she dreamt.

So, she decided that day to live every day, the honeymoon life ever after.

(Now at this point in the love story, Sharon and Dale had 4 adorable children, with one to come, and lived on a farm in the country.)

Just a few weeks later was Sharon and Dale’s anniversary.

Sharon loved Dale with all her heart, so she went before the Lord and inquired of Him. She said, “He is Yours. I do not know how long my days will be with him. But this I know, I trust You. I trust You that when our days are gone, I will have no regrets. Teach me now, how to be a lover of You first and by loving You, I will know how to love him fully every day, especially when the days are hard, the storms rage and the sun sets at the close of our life.” On that day, the Lord gave her peace that flooded her entire being. A scripture from the Bible came to to her mind as she arose that day in prayer, Proverbs Chapter 31. She read it and decided to live it. Strength and assurance arose in her spirit from that day there after.

She wanted their anniversary to be one that Dale would never forget for who knows if you will ever have another after. What would he not expect but never forget?

And the idea came, a picnic far over and through the field- with his favorite foods and his wife alone, doing things he could never have expected. . .

No trip to yonder place, no lavish hotel nor gourmet dish in all the world could compete with this field, a picnic dinner and the power of what happened.

From that day on they lived the honeymoon life. Not just dreaming of it, but living it every day ever after. The simple things became cherished, like eating meals together, going to bed together, praying together, reading books together and even mundane trips to pick up supplies were always spent together.

Yesterday, August 29th was the 31st anniversary of Sharon and Dale’s marriage. They celebrated their 16th year of The Honeymoon Life!

So this is their love story and it is still being written.

When their life in this age comes to an end, they will confidently be able to say, ours was the most beautiful love story we could ever have lived–because the most High God started it, was in it and completed it.

Dale and Sharon Glasgow married August 29, 1981
Snapshot taken by attendee. No formal photo taken.

I did marry a preacher man! http://sharonglasgow.com/2012/08/my-preacher-man/

A Love Story: Fairy Tales Do Come True – Part 2

http://sharonglasgow.com/2012/08/a-love-story-fairy-tales-do-come-true-part-1-of-3/

As he kissed her goodbye, she knew in her heart this would be the last, for she was in search of the dreams of her youth. She left on her journey to the school far away. Once there, she knew what she had to do.

Since she was a child, when she dreamt of her prince charming, he was always one whose life was fully employed by the King of Kings–always a preacher man. (That was her secret she had not told him.)  But Dale was to be an artist, so she did what she thought best and severed all ties.

And his heart was broken.

Before long, preacher men came knocking on her door.  She courted them, one by one, wondering which was the one.  One night, after only a few short months, a handsome suitor asked for her hand in marriage. When she was unable to give him a response, he kissed her goodnight.  As he bid her farewell he confessed, “I love you, Sharon.” And what did slip from her lips ever so naturally, would reveal her true love’s identity. Unaware, she blurted, “I love you, Dale.”

Instantly, she knew Dale held the answer to the secret wish of her heart. Little had she known, there was none more fully employed by the King of kings than he!  He was the manliest of men, the handsomest of them all. Willing to die for his King, he was her true knight in shining armor.

She fell on her knees and earnestly prayed that Dale would have her as his bride, pure and strong. With sorrow in her eyes for the time spent apart, she pleaded with Dale to take her back into his heart. With a confidence from his Lord, he welcomed her with his arms open wide, knowing that Grace received is Grace to be shared.

When she returned from her studies far, far away, he took her to the mountains for he had something to say! With the sun setting and the view breathtaking, Dale reached around and adorned her finger with a precious diamond. “I want to marry you. Will it be August 9th or August 29th?” With only a few months to spare and many things to plan before their special day, she chose the 29th, as it would give more time to prepare! And with that discourse, the date was set. She would be his bride, pure and strong like the day they had met.

There was little time and even less money to prepare for their wedding day. Every maiden dreams of this day: her knight in shining armor, beautiful wedding dress, the fresh cut flowers, and, of course, the honeymoon! But with little to no money to spare, they bought what they could and continued to tend their love with care.

Sharon bought her wedding dress at a thrift shop. The weekly sale was to buy a used veil and get a wedding dress free of charge. Out of all the dresses she tried on, only one fit, so she took it along with the veil. She didn’t like it, but it fit! And this was the only requirement, and quick!

There was no budget for fresh flowers, new shoes or a photographer. Dale made the invitations. Church members cooked with her and her mother.

The day finally arrived and the bride that Dale prayed for glowed as she walked toward him. Sharon looked into his eyes and with tears streaming down, she realized this was a day ordained by the King of kings. And there stood in front of her the most pure and holy man she had ever known or could ever imagine knowing. What more could a bride want than the best of all God has to offer? She was the richest of brides on this day no matter what kind of dress.

A beautiful wedding dress, fresh flowers and photography are fleeting desires in view of the wedding day. The only thing that matters the day you say “I do” is that the one who stands with you, is the only one for you. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

They said “I do.”

They waved their goodbyes to their friends and family, and into the sunset they went to complete “man and wife.”

(To be continued: Part 3 gets a little steamy, for mature audience only)

 

A Love Story: Fairy Tales Do Come True – Part 1 of 3

Once upon a time, many years ago, there lived a young man who knelt to the ground every morning and prayed to the Lord for his bride-to-be. He asked Him to make her spirit strong, keep her pure, and to prepare her for the day he would finally meet her.

One day, as the young man was working at his place of employment, his spirit quickened within him. As she spoke, her face remained hidden, but golden, curly locks crowned her dainty, little frame.  The young maiden had come to inquire of a job. And without even a glimpse of her face, he knew this indeed was the one he had prayed for, his bride-to-be.

He couldn’t say a word.  No one would believe him. So, he waited.

The maiden was soon hired, and day after day, he waited for the right opportunity to introduce himself. But between her beauty and his nerves, the time never seemed right. One afternoon, the moment finally arrived. His eyes locked with hers and hers with his. Stumbling over his words, he managed to extend an invitation to join him and acquaintances to watch fireworks in honor of Independence Day. Without hesitation she accepted his offer (Little did he know that she rarely said yes to invitations from young men—especially those from whom she hardly knew! But something was different about this one, and she didn’t want to miss her opportunity).

That night, they had no trouble finding things to talk about.  It was as if they had known one another for years! They talked and talked…and the fireworks began.

The next day, the starry-eyed young man formally asked her on a date. And once again, she immediately accepted his invitation.

It was a magical day horseback riding through rolling hills into the sunset and enjoying delightfully endless conversation. The subject of their talk you ask?  The glory of God and Christ Jesus. The further they rode into the hills, the deeper their conversation. It is a glorious day when two people with the same hopes and dreams begin to dream together.

And so begins the true story of how the young man, Dale Glasgow, met his bride-to-be, Sharon Shanaberger. They fell in love, and life was grand…all until Sharon planned to study in a far away land.

Little did Dale know that Sharon had in her heart a secret she had never shared…

 

Labor, Delivery and The Travel Trailer – Ellie’s Birthday

It was still dark outside, and intense labor pains had started. I didn’t have anywhere to escape to enjoy my pain alone.  Our family was still sleeping in a small travel trailer.

There was only one full size bed, and Rachael (4 years old) was sleeping between Dale and me.  Hannah (age 6) was sleeping in the shower stall.  Jennifer (10) was on the seat bench at the kitchen table, and Heather (12) was on the narrow sofa.

I laid there for as long as I could and then went outside to walk around.  It was still dark.

Just 10 months before this night, we had moved to the farm. Ellie (Elizabeth) was conceived at the end of the first month that we lived here.  She was a surprise gift from God.  I knew that she would be a spiritual blessing to us and many.  The only problem was that we didn’t know we were having more children, so we didn’t have maternity coverage.

As to why we were in a travel trailer…

Our house was built in the early 1900’s, and within the first months of living here, it became apparent that the house needed to be gutted and renovated.  The electrical, plumbing, heating, and interior walls were in pathetic shape.

So, we gutted the farmhouse and started renovating—we and our friends.

When Ellie was due, the house was still not livable, so a friend gave us his camper to live in for a month.

The labor wasn’t consistent, but it hurt badly nonetheless. At sunrise, Dale came outside to check on me. The pains became more consistent.  We got to the hospital by 11 that morning.  Ellie was born a little after 2 that afternoon, on August 3.  Since we didn’t have insurance, the hospital released us in less than 4 hours!  By 6pm that evening, we headed back to the travel trailer.  It was our first official trip home with all the kids in the van with us.  To celebrate, we stopped at Silver Diner and picked up dinner to bring home.

It wasn’t the environment you dream of coming home to 4 hours after having a baby.  But, we were healthy and well…what more could you really want?  The girls had made us a banner over our bed to welcome Ellie home. It was a sweet welcome.

We ate our food, stared at Ellie for a few hours, and then got ready for bed. Rachael claimed her sleeping spot for the night–the shower stall, since we were kicking her out of our bed for the new baby. We made a pallet for Hannah on the floor, and we all fell fast asleep.

Ellie turned 17 years old this past weekend.  It’s fun to reminisce about your children’s birthdays. We moved out of the travel trailer and back into our renovated house when she was 3 weeks old. She is truly a gift from God to us.  The Lord has mighty big plans for this young lady.  She is a leader and determined.  I can’t wait to see how He uses her in the near future for His glory!

 

Long day–Labor, Delivery and back in the travel trailer, all in less than 13 hours. Heather and Dale are missing in the photo.

Our baby girl graduated! Ellie and Dad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Will We Be Remembered?

Memory keeps volumes stored in hidden vaults, just waiting for something to jar its door and all the contents resuscitated.

It’s pretty entertaining hearing your grown children, gathered around the table, telling their favorite childhood memories. I’ve forgotten a lot of things that they remember, and boy, they sure remember it all.  It seems as though they can recall every emotional response, phone call or meal I’ve ever made and when it happened! Our children’s lives are completely molded by our every word and how we live even when we think they’re not looking.  Every day of their life they unintentionally record memories.

I don’t think I remember as much as they do about my childhood; many memories are packed away. The funny thing is, it only takes a smell, sight, sound or a conversation that will jar the door open, and memories come to life. Forty years have passed, and once in a while my memory will be jarred when I see the clock hit 10:00 P.M. I’ll instantly recall that for a couple of years in my childhood my mom went to her bedroom from 10-11:00 P.M. and prayed for us kids.

If how we live at home is recorded in our children’s memory, how will we be remembered?

It is worth our time to reengineer our days to make sure that everything we do is worthy of the memory it is creating. I don’t have the physical or mental ability to make my every action worthy of being memorized, however, when I surrender my every day wholeheartedly to Jesus, He leads me to do what I couldn’t when left to my own abilities.

My first priority on my to-do list every day is to ask Him to guide my thoughts, my conversation and my actions.

Second on the list is to diligently pray for our children. I have to set aside a certain time of the day to pray for them. I remember reading that when James Dobson’s kids were little he fasted and prayed for them one day a week. He prayed every day for them but set aside one day to fast for them. That is a commitment that will not return void.  I have done that at special seasons of our children’s lives and found God faithful.

When these two things are at the top of my list I’m able to do more than I would ever be able to do on my own.

If Billy Graham, John Wesley and George Washington all said they owed their life success to the memory of their mother’s prayers, it raises the bar high and compels us to set our standard to do the same.

Last night I read about a Russian officer in Richard Wormbrand’s book, Tortured for Christ whose memory of what her grandmother did saved her soul.

Richard saw the Russian officer on the street and said, “ ‘I wish to speak to you about Christ.’ She asked me, ‘Do you love Christ?’ I said, ‘Yes! With all of my heart.” She fell into my arms and kissed me again and again. It was a very embarrassing situation for a pastor, so I kissed her back, hoping people would think we were relatives. She exclaimed to me, “I love Christ, too!” I took her to our home and discovered to my amazement that she knew nothing about Christ-absolutely nothing-except the name. And yet she loved Him. She did not know that He is the Savior, nor what salvation means. She did not know where and how He lived and died. She did not know His teachings, His life or ministry. She was for me a psychological curiosity: how can you love someone if you know only his name?

When I inquired, she explained, “When I went to high school, I was taught that it was my holy duty to defend the Communist morals. But I did not know what a ‘holy duty’ or a ‘moral’ looked like. . .My grandmother always bowed before this picture, saying that it was the picture of one called Cristo (Christ). And I loved this name by itself. This name became so real to me! Just to say the name gave me such joy.’. . .She joyously found Christ in my home and now the One whose name she loved lived in her heart.

The memory of her grandmother bowing to a picture of Christ stayed with her all those years and opened the door to eternal life with Him.

The grandmother never explained Christ to her, but her actions were recorded in the hidden vaults of the grand-daughters memory. When Richard said the word “Christ,” it jarred the vault open, and the memory resituated and birthed new life for her.

What will our children and our grandchildren remember about us? That we prayed for them? That our life was postured in adoration toward the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, bowing before Him with our countenance, our words and our actions? Seems kind of hard until you remember you’ve got the priority list up above. If we keep our eyes on Him, He will direct our path, and the memories we make for our kids will be ones we want brought to life.

Sharon Glasgow