Archives For December 2012

IMG_1404After 29 years of marriage there are many things to be thankful for.  Carol became my best friend just over thirty years ago, so I married her.  That’s one of the best pieces of advice I can give to any couple.  Marry your best friend!

As I look back there have been long walks, cross country vacations, hikes, eating out, lots of conversation, skiing, kids, five kids (which have been an absolute blast), house building projects, and more.

Of course, anytime you make a list off the top of your head you will undoubtedly leave something special out.

However, let me add one that often gets overlooked.

Prayer.

Not mine, but Carol’s.

We have five kids, but I always wanted just four.  So after Savannah, our fourth child, I was done. Carol was not. She really wanted a fifth, but she recalls me being adamant about not having another one.

So what did she do?  She could have nagged, badgered, and pestered me, but she didn’t.  She prayed.

Gabe has quite a heritage.  I am not saying we did not pray for our kids prior to their coming into this world. But Gabe was different. In fact, it brings to mind the story of Samuel in the Old Testament.

Hannah was a Jewish woman who desperately wanted to have a child but was unable.  She was barren for years, but during that time she continued to pray and ask God for a child.  She prevailed in prayer, God heard, and she had a boy named Samuel. (It’s a great story in 1 Samuel chapter 1).

I’m thankful that I have a wife who prevailed in prayer. I often wonder how many times Hannah thanked God for her boy Samuel. I even wonder how often Hannah’s husband thanked God for a praying wife.

Yes, there have been many incredible memories and great times over the years.  Yet Gabe is a constant reminder that I have a praying wife.

That’s a lot to be thankful for.  29 years of marriage and counting.  In fact, we have already planned our 30th wedding anniversary.  Can’t wait!!

Yellow airbed in the seaFor years our family went to the beach and spent a lot of time in the water.  And of course we spent a lot of time floating on rafts.  And what do rafts do?  They drift.

Before you know it you have drifted so far up or down the beach nothing looks familiar.  Or you have drifted so far out that you begin to panic.

In life it happens all the time.  We tend to think drifting only happens at the beach. Yet that is not the case at all.

One of the most noticeable types of drifting is marital drift.

Ask any crowd of married people who is planning on getting a divorce and few hands go up.

So why is the divorce rate so high?  Because couples drift until they grow so far apart that very little is left to the marriage.  Typically by the time a couple senses that they have drifted, they have drifted so far away from the shore it’s almost impossible to paddle back in.

Let’s use the acrostic D.R.I.F.T. to describe and better understand the deadly affects of drifting.  You may be drifting now and not know it.  Here is what it looks like.

Distraction – Sometimes I feel like the king of distraction.  I’m watching a ball game and get up to go do something.  Then I get caught up in a project and do not return to the game for thirty minutes.  In marriage couples get distracted by work, kids, activities, and television.

Rearrange – Soon our priorities change.  A couple who used to go out for dinner once a week no longer makes it a priority.  Something else has taken its place.  The couple who used to take long walks has allowed time on the computer to take precedence.

Immune – Sadly it no longer bothers us.  No dinner date for six months and no sign of remorse.  Yet it is typically at this point that we live in denial which leads us to the letter f.

Fake it – However, as we venture out into the public eye everyone thinks we have a great marriage.  In fact we so good at it that when a couple breaks up it is not unusual to here, “Wow, I had not idea their marriage was in trouble.”

Top it off – In marriage it may be an affair.  In one spiritual life it may be that he bails on God.

Here’s the question.  Do people have affairs all the sudden?  Do people bail on God overnight?  Do we become obese in a week?  Does our house fall apart over the weekend?

We all know the answer, but how many of us are asking the real question:  Am I D.R.I.F.T.ing in my life, in my marriage, or in my physical health?

Often it is easier to drift than paddle back to shore.  However, it’s time to quit drifting and start paddling!