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The other day I was thinking about the old poem Footprints in the Sand.  If you aren’t familiar with it, here it is:

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.

After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”

He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”

I have always enjoyed this poem.  It is a very inspiring thought that when I am at my weakest, Jesus loves me so much that he would carry me through the trial.

According to scripture (Eph. 5:31-32), marriage is an illustration of the relationship that Christ has with His church.

When your spouse is going through something and the normal burdens of life become too much for them, how do you respond?

  • Do you step in and help bear the burden?
  • Do you take on some of their daily chores so that they can focus on the issue?
  • Do you just avoid them and wait for them to get passed it on their own?

How should you respond to these times and stand in the gap for your spouse?

The Unexpected Realities in Marriage: Part 5 – The Big “D”

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This week we will take on the subject of divorce.  It is a big nasty topic that affects 1.2 million marriages annually in the United States alone.  No one is immune to its sting and a large percentage of people have been through a divorce or have family members who have been divorced.  Divorce is like a war. Though both parties involved may survive, nobody wins and everyone loses.

Our Story

In 1991, we committed our lives to Christ.  I (Tim) began working in the ministry, within a year, as I had felt the calling from God.  In 1994, I became an ordained minister.  I served the church through music ministry and youth ministry. Continue reading

The Unexpected Realities of Marriage: Part 3 – “Great Sexpectations”

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We continue our discussion this week on expectations vs reality.  We are going to branch off into the area of sexual expectations that we will call “Great Sexpectations”.  I know all too well that this is a taboo subject in our culture (Christian America).  The varying opinions concerning the sexual topic are as numerous as the stars in the sky.  Though we do our best to not be offensive, we will not apologize for speaking the truth.  We will be speaking very openly to ensure that we are clear in our message.  Let’s get started.

How do we develop our sexual expectations before we get married?  

There is no doubt that everyone has some kind of expectation, as they enter marriage, about what the sex life should be like.  There seems to be some natural phenomenon built into human nature to attract to a partner sexually that begins with puberty.  Certain body parts begin developing in a new way and our hormones start driving themselves.  Obviously, the experience differs between males and females and also varies within the same gender role. But, something is certainly changing in our bodies in this period of our life. Continue reading

The Unexpected Realities in Marriage : Part 1

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Most of the struggles and disappointments that have taken place in our marriage have dealt with the difference between expectations and reality.  We have had many conversations, in our relationship building process, dealing with the gap between these two points.

We enter into a relationship and both parties have a set of predefined expectations about how the relationship should be.  Sometimes, you may not even be aware of your subconscious expectations but they are there.  In our dating relationship, we spent no time discussing any of our expectations about marriage, family, money, kids, sex, where we were going to live, or anything else. We were only focused on dating and getting away from our parents.  However, we both brought a lot of expectations into our marriage and immediately began to have issues, when the honeymoon phase was over.  We did not understand why our reality was so different from what our expectations about the marriage should be. Continue reading

Our Story: Becoming One With Our Money

marriage-money-mistakesDisagreements on how to manage money are one of the main reasons couples argue.  We have counseled with many different  couples over the years, and this area becomes a wedge dividing them.

We are no different than most other couples.  We have had a lot of issues in our marriage dealing with managing money, budgeting, over-spending, and savings.  To be perfectly honest, it was not until our 15th year of marriage that Heather and I fully settled our differences with money. Continue reading

Learning to spread our own wings and fly together

Empty nest

We have entered the empty nest stage in our life.  Our oldest daughter got married in 2015 and our youngest daughter moved out early in 2016.  One of the first things that we noticed was that our house makes noises. These were previously masked by the sounds of our children.  The sounds of silence can be eerie, at times, and it is perhaps the hardest aspect of empty nesting to get used to.  But be encouraged, we are learning to spread our own wings and fly together.

When Mindy, our oldest, left home for good, we were not impacted to the same extent as when Kassondra, our youngest, moved out.  Mindy worked us into the concept over time.  She was in college and only came home 3 or 4 days per week, for a long time, before she left.  We still had Kassondra at home and she spent most of her time commuting to work and school; but she still came home on a regular basis.  There was no silence. Continue reading