Sometimes, We Have to Wait

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‘After 15 long months of separation, facing a particularly nasty custody battle and a soon to be ex-husband who was bent on ‘making me pay’ for wanting out of a bad marriage, our court date finally arrived. For months I had walked down my little country road, sometimes twice a day, and while I walked, I prayed. I prayed that God would bring us through this terrible time and that He would work it all out for the best for all of us.

During the hearing, my ex-husband testified that he had ‘used’ my oldest son, then 15, to spy for him, to take pictures when the house was messy and with three children, 15, 13 and 11, it was messy at times. He also testified that he ‘interrogated’ them on a regular basis and that he felt justified in doing so.

Ironically during those long months, I felt closer to God than I ever had before. I knew He was with me, walking by me on those long walks while I cried and talked to Him. Funny, during such a turbulent time, there was still such a peace. For whatever reason and even after hearing my ex-husband testify how he had used the kids, the judge stated that although neither parent was unfit, he had decided that my husband should have primary custody of the children.

I later found out that my oldest son was instrumental in letting the judge know this was the way he wanted it. It was the worst time of my life. I left the courthouse by myself and a friend met me and took me with him that afternoon so I would not be alone. I was devastated. I just knew God had forsaken me. I cried out to Him, “Why? If You’re still here with me, I need to know. I need You to show me.”

My friend had some errands to run and he just let me cry. There were no words to say. He went into a wood shop to see about some cabinets for a project he was working on. I sat in the car like feeling so alone and so sorry for myself when a man knocked at my window. The last thing I wanted to do was talk to anyone, much less a stranger.

The man told me he had overheard my friend asking about cabinets and wanted to let him know that he built cabinets. At the time I didn’t stop to wonder why he didn’t just walk back into the shop and talk to him for himself. He just handed me his business card and asked me to give it to him. I said I would.

I didn’t even look at the card for awhile. When I did, to my amazement and wonder, I realized that God had just shown me He was still right there. The business card read “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” ‘

!Great testimony, thanks Penny.

Credit: Penny J. — Oklahoma

*Note, that Bible quote is from Isaiah 40:31

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The Fire

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A couple, whom we shall call John and Mary, had a nice home and two lovely children, a boy and a girl. John had a good job and had just been asked to go on a business trip to another city and would be gone for several days. It was decided that Mary needed an outing and would go along too. They hired a reliable woman to care for the children and made the trip, returning home a little earlier than they had planned.

As they drove into their home town feeling glad to be back, they noticed smoke, and they went off their usual route to see what it was. They found a home in flames. Mary said, “Oh well it isn’t our fire, let’s go home.”

But John drove closer and exclaimed, “That home belongs to Fred Jones who works at the plant. He wouldn’t be off work yet, maybe there is something we could do.” “It has nothing to do with us.” Protested Mary. “You have your good clothes on lets not get any closer.”

But John drove up and stopped and they were both horror stricken to see the whole house in flames. A woman on the lawn was in hysterics screaming, “The children! Get the children!” John grabbed her by the shoulder saying, “Get a hold of yourself and tell us where the children are!” “In the basement,” sobbed the woman, “down the hall and to the left.”

In spite of Mary’s protests John grabbed the water hose and soaked his clothes, put his wet handkerchief on his head and bolted for the basement which was full of smoke and scorching hot. He found the door and grabbed two children, holding one under each arm like the football player he was. As he left he could hear some more whimpering. He delivered the two badly frightened and nearly suffocated children into waiting arms and filled his lungs with fresh air and started back asking how many more children were down there. They told him two more and Mary grabbed his arm and screamed, “John! Don’t go back! It’s suicide! That house will cave in any second!”

But he shook her off and went back by feeling his way down the smoke filled hallway and into the room. It seemed an eternity before he found both children and started back. They were all three coughing and he stooped low to get what available air he could. As he stumbled up the endless steps the thought went through his mind that there was something strangely familiar about the little bodies clinging to him, and at last when they came out into the sunlight and fresh air, he found that he had just rescued his own children.

The baby-sitter had left them at this home while she did some shopping.

I know what you were thinking…..and you should be;…….what if it was you? Would you have done this? And if you had listened to your significant other??? You’d be burying what was left. Is the wife always right? Well, in this case; no. There is a reason the man is the head of the house.

1 Cor 11:3 “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”

Eph 5:23 “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the Saviour of the body.”

*Hats off to the true heroes who risk their lives to save others and live to tell about it…that’s a real hero. If you’re going to be good, be good at it.

True Love

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It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80s arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would be able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided since I wasn’t busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound.

On examining it I saw it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors and got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor’s appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife.

I inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while! As she is a victim of Alzheimer’s. As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now. I was surprised and asked him, ‘And you still go every morning, even though she doesn’t know who you are?’He smiled as he patted my hand and said, ‘She doesn’t know me but I still know who she is.’ I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm and thought,’That is the kind of love I want in my life.
True love is neither physical nor romantic’. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be. Peace is seeing a sunset and knowing who to thank. The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.
Life isn’t about how to survive the storm but how to dance in the rain. The road to success is not straight. There is a curve called Failure, a loop called Confusion, speed bumps called Friends, red lights called Enemies, caution lights called Family. You will have flats called Jobs, but, if you have a spare called Determination, an engine called Perseverance, insurance called Faith, a driver called Almighty God, you will make it to a place called Success.

I hope you share this with someone you care about, I just did.

1 Cor. 13:4-8

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”

Rom 13:10 “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”

Credit: Craig M. in South Africa. Thanks pal!
http://veritasliberat.jimdo.com/

truelove

Burnt Biscuits

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When I was a little child, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work.

On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that biscuit and eat every bite!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I’ll never forget what he said: “Baby, I love burnt biscuits.”

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she’s real tired. And besides – a little burnt biscuit never hurt anyone!”

The moral of the story?

True love sees past the faults and right to the need. We all make mistakes.
There will never a day on earth in this age be found someone who does not miss it sometimes; but
it’s in how we look at it…..from both side of the table. We hate to see others make mistakes, but
how about the ones who made them; how do you think they felt? They need more encouragement
to press on, not criticism resulting in just giving up. Consider other people’s feelings. They know
what they did; but will be watching what you do (and say). Set the standard for all watching. 🙂

 

The Tiger’s Whisker

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Once upon a time, a young wife named Janet was at her wit’s end. Her husband had always been a tender and loving person before he had left for the wars but, ever since he returned home, he was cross, angry, and unpredictable. She was almost afraid to live with her own husband. Only in glancing moments did she catch a shadow of the husband she used to know and love.

When one ailment or another bothered people in her village, they would often rush for a cure to a hermit who lived deep in the mountains. Not Janet. She always prided herself that she could heal her own troubles. But this time was different. She was desperate.

As Janet approached the hermit’s hut, she saw the door was open. The old man said without turning around: “I hear you. What’s your problem?”

She explained the situation. His back still to her, he said, “Ah yes, it’s often that way when soldiers return from the war. What do you expect me to do about it?”

Make me a potion!” cried the young wife. “Or an amulet, a drink, whatever it takes to get my husband back the way he used to be.”

The old man turned around. “Young woman, your request doesn’t exactly fall into the same category as a broken bone or ear infection.”

I know“, said she.

It will take three days before I can even look into it. Come back then.”

Three days later, Janet returned to the hermit’s hut. “Janet“, he greeted her with a smile, “I have good news. There is a potion that will restore your husband to the way he used to be, but you should know that it requires an unusual ingredient. You must bring me a whisker from a live tiger.”

What?” she gasped. “Such a thing is impossible!”

I cannot make the potion without it!” he shouted, startling her. He turned his back. “There is nothing more to say. As you can see, I’m very busy.”

That night Janet tossed and turned. How could she get a whisker from a live tiger?

The next day before dawn, she crept out of the house with a bowl of meat covered with meat sauce. She went to a cave on the mountainside where a tiger was known to live. She held her breathe as she softly crept up, her heart pounding, and carefully set the bowl on the grass. Then, trying to make as little noise as she could, she backed away. 

The next day before dawn, she took another bowl of meat covered with meat sauce to the cave. She approached the same spot, holding her breathe as she approached the cave. She saw that the other bowl was empty, replaced the empty one with a fresh one, and again left, walking softly and trying not to break twigs or rustle leaves, or do anything else to startle and unsettle the wild beast. 

So it went, day after day, for several months. She never saw the tiger (thank God for that! she thought) though she knew from footprints on the ground that the tiger – and not a smaller mountain creature – had been eating her food. Then one day as she approached, she noticed the tiger’s head poking out of its cave. Glancing downward, she stepped very carefully to the same spot and with as little noise as she could, set down the fresh bowl and, her heart pounding, picked up the one that was empty.

After a few weeks, she noticed the tiger would come out of its cave as it heard her footsteps, though it stayed a distance away (again, thank God! she thought, though she knew that someday, in order to get the whisker, she’d have to come closer to it).

Another month went by. Then the tiger would wait by the empty food bowl as it heard her approaching. As she picked up the old bowl and replaced it with a fresh one, she could smell its scent, as it could surely smell hers.

Actually“, she thought, remembering its almost kittenish look as she set down a fresh bowl, “it is a rather friendly creature, when you get to know it.” The next time she visited, she glanced up at the tiger briefly and noticed what a lovely downturn of reddish fur it had from over one of its eyebrows to the next. Not a week later, the tiger allowed her to gently rub its head, and it purred and stretched like a house cat.

Then she knew the time had come. The next morning, very early, she brought with her a small knife. After she set down the fresh bowl and the tiger allowed her to pet its head, she said in a low voice: “Oh, my tiger, may I please have just one of your whiskers?” While petting the tiger with one hand, she held one whisker at its base and, with the other hand, in one quick stroke, she carved the whisker off. She stood up, speaking softly her thanks, and left, for the last time.

The next morning seemed endless. At last her husband left for work. She ran to the hermit’s hut, clutching the precious whisker in her fist. Bursting in, she cried to the hermit: “I have it! I have the tiger’s whisker!”

You don’t say?” he said, turning around. “From a live tiger?”

Yes!” she said.

Tell me“, said the hermit, interested. “How did you do it?”

Janet told the hermit how, for the last six months, she had earned the trust of the creature and it had finally permitted her to cut off one of its whiskers. With pride she handed him the whisker. The hermit examined it, satisfied himself that it was indeed a whisker from a live tiger, then flicked it into the fire where it sizzled and burned in an instant.

Janet“, the hermit said softly, “you no longer need the whisker. Tell me, is a man more vicious than a tiger? If a dangerous wild beast will respond to your gradual and patient care, do you think a man will respond any less willingly?”

Janet stood speechless. Then she turned and stepped down the trail, turning over in her mind images of the tiger and of her husband, back and forth. She knew what she needed to do.

Moral of the story?

You know, many times we want our mates to change to suit us; but in reality it’s us that need to change. When we go into a relationship with the expectation of being put first above even our mates, we lose sight of what’s really important and that our mates need us to be better for them. True love sees past the faults and right to the need.

 

A Happy Marriage

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This is like really a long read but I believe you will get something from this. If you have a few minutes I believe this will inspire a thoughtful emotion

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, “I’ve got something to tell you.” She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. “I want a divorce.” I raised the topic calmly.

She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, “why?”

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, “you are not a man!” That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.

She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her crying was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day.

She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door every morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. “No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce,” she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, “daddy is holding mommy in his arms.” His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters (32 ft.) with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; “don’t tell our son about the divorce.” I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing something to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, “all my dresses have grown bigger.” I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, “Dad, it’s time to carry mom out.” To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, “I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy.”

I drove to office… jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind… I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, “Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.”

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. “Do you have a fever?” She said. I moved her hand off my head. “Sorry, Jane, I said, I won’t divorce.” My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.

Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, “I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.”

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed – dead.

My wife had been fighting cancer for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push through with the divorce –At least, in the eyes of our son— I’m a loving husband…

Moral of the story:
The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Have a happy marriage!

 

Reciprocal Love

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The following is an odd little story, but it has a lot to say…. maybe it will say something to you.

Once upon a time ….

A very poor man lived with his wife. One day, his wife, who had very long hair asked him to buy her a comb for her hair to grow well and to be well-groomed.

The man felt very sorry and said no. He explained that he did not even have enough money to fix the strap of his watch he had just broken.

She did not insist on her request.

The man went to work and passed by a watch shop, sold his damaged watch at a low price and went to buy a comb for his wife.

He came home in the evening with the comb in his hand ready to give to his wife.

He was surprised when he saw his wife with a very short hair cut. She had sold her hair and was holding a new watch band.

Tears flowed simultaneously from their eyes, not for the futility of their actions, but for the reciprocity of their love.

Moral of the story: To be loved is nothing, to love is something but to love and to be loved by the one you love, that is everything.