Monday, October 31, 2011

Cause for Celebration

39 years of marriage. That is cause for celebration! When I met him 39 plus years ago on a tiny airstrip in southern Mexico, I could not have imagined that he would become my husband. At first glance we had nothing in common. But when he offered to help me do up the dishes and we began to talk, I discovered how wrong I was about that.

Our backgrounds of being trained and discipled by The Navigators, a para church organization that worked on college campuses, gave us a great deal to talk about. We compared notes about Navigator training programs, conferences, etc. Who were mutual friends and/or acquaintances? What verses had we each memorized? We discovered we had been at a big conference together a few years before we met. That spiritual common ground gave us a good foundation for building a solid and deeply satisfying relationship. I highly recommend that if you are a believer, you pray for and allow God to lead you to another strong believer who has the same set of values, principles and spiritual background. That has been invaluable in enabling us to build a strong, healthy, lasting relationship.

We were also headed in the same direction in our life purpose and goals. God had called each of us separately into the mission organization, Wycliffe Bible Translators. And although we hadn't met during our initial linguistics training, God orchestrated our meeting on that Tzeltal Indian village airstrip; one from Wisconsin, one from Texas. That common life purpose and goal has joined us and knit us together in a powerful way. Even as God redirected that goal over the years, He continued to give us unity in our calling and purpose.

Lest I lead you to believe that everything was a bed of roses, it wasn't. But the rosy times have far outweighed the not so rosy ones. We've discovered that our differences have made us more dependent upon each other. My weaknesses are complemented by his strengths and his by mine. I've often told friends that in many ways I have become who I am today because of the positive influence of my dear husband who has a heart of gold.

He is one in a million and even though he continues to walk about 2 paces ahead of me when we are going anywhere, I wouldn't trade him for anything. (I guess he learned that in the Tzeltal Indian village where the husband always walks at least 100 feet ahead of his wife.)

As long as we are walking in sync with the Lord and with each other, it really doesn't matter that much whether he walks physically beside me or ahead of me. One habit we developed from the very beginning of our marriage was that of praying together daily. There are days when that isn't possible, but for the most part that continues to be a habit that has drawn us closer both to the Lord and to each other over the years.

39 great years! Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, "A threefold cord is not quickly broken." The 3rd cord in our relationship is Jesus. He is the glue; the love potion that holds everything together! We look forward to many, many more years of glorifying God together through our marriage as chapter 5 of Ephesians describes.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

More on Being Bilingual

We had a pleasant banter going on over dinner recently. I had made absolutely delicious homemade hamburger buns! And we had the music going in the background. Even my grandson was eating more and talking less than usual.

As the meal was drawing to a close my husband said, "How about some sorvete for dessert?" So of course we started talking about sorvete and trying to get my grandson to speak some Portuguese. His task was to figure out what "sorvete" was in English. Eventually my son said, "Grandpa even gave you a clue. He said what it was in English back in the beginning of this conversation."

We all looked at him and said, "No, he didn't." He insisted he had said it in English and we three insisted he hadn't. Finally, (since the majority rules) he admitted he was in error, with much embarrassment and turning a deep rosy red.

My son had passed the acid test of being a true bilingual; when you understand everything that was said, but have no idea which language was spoken.

I've heard people say that you are bilingual when you dream in your second language, but I believe that's only the beginning of becoming bilingual. The true test is the one my son passed. I've even taken that a step further and am often not even aware of which language I'm using when I speak to someone. This, incidentally, can result in strange and confused reactions from my listeners.

Wouldn't you like to be bilingual? What other language would you like to speak and why?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Blessing Your Child

How do you bless your child? I know, that sounds like a strange question, especially since blessing is what all of us want for our children. We all dream of the best for our children. But did you know there is a proactive way of making sure that your children are blessed?

We began a couple of years ago to celebrate a Sabbath meal together on Friday evenings. No, we're not Jewish but we have observed that one of the reasons so many Jewish people are prosperous is because receiving a verbal "blessing" on a regular basis is part of their culture.

During our Sabbath meal we celebrate communion together, thanking the Father for sending his Son, Jesus to be the perfect sacrifice to pay for our sin. From the very beginning the Bible tells of one who would come and through whom all the peoples of the earth would be blessed. The one who fulfilled all of the prophesies and through whom we are blessed is Jesus. He suffered the ultimate curse and humiliation of death on a cross and separation from His Father so that through Him we could have life and an eternal relationship with God the Father. So knowing that blessing comes through Jesus, we celebrate that at the beginning of our meal.

Then at the end of the meal, my husband speaks a blessing over each of our children and our grandchild, blessing them with wisdom, knowledge, direction, prosperity, and in short, declaring God's promises over their lives.

In order to do this, we have to see past what is actually happening and agree by faith with what God the Father says in His word about us and about our future. Those are the things we are to speak over ourselves and over each other.

To bless means "to enable to prosper." Who have you enabled to prosper through  your words and/or actions lately?