Perfect Marriage?

A generation ago it was not surprising to find couples who had been married twenty years or thirty years or even forty years.  Now a long-lived marriage seems to be a rarity.  In the past couple of years I have been dismayed by the number of struggling and failing marriages in our church and I can’t help but wonder how many are caused by expectations that can never be met.

When Jim and I married almost 33 years ago, we went into it with the understanding that there would never be talk of divorce.  We were prepared to vow before God that we would stay together and be faithful to each other for life.  Looking back now I cannot remember whether I expected our marriage to be perfect.  I was a fairly idealistic 20-year-old, but we had already had a few disagreements and a few adjustments of attitudes and expectations before the wedding day came.  We had found out that Jim was strong-willed and that I was stubborn, but that did not change our commitment to each other.

I do remember somewhere in the midst of raising four children and homeschooling and serving at church and running a small home business that I began to wonder whether we had lost something along the way.  Some spark…some magic.  Life is not easy and marriage is not either, but what we always had was that promise we made to each other when we became engaged and the vow we made to God when we met at the altar at Memorial Baptist Church.

In January Jim took me on a week-long cruise for my Christmas-birthday-anniversary present.  It was wonderful – the weather, the scenery, the food, the entertainment, everything!  But the best part was the realization that our marriage has turned another corner.  We have come through lots of bumps and bruises and good memories and rough roads and happy days and stormy weather and now there is peace and comfort with each other and trust built over time and a looking forward to what is to come.

Could I encourage you not to expect your marriage to be perfect?  Could I encourage you instead to cling to the God who brought you together and to expect Him to perfectly carry you through your rocky times?  Can you believe that He is the author of your marriage?  Can you expect your God to be perfect when you and your husband cannot be?  He is faithful and He will do it!

Why “Worth Doing Poorly”?

Perhaps I should explain the title of my blog – Worth Doing Poorly.  Sounds kind of crazy, I suppose.

I have always loved to create things – I enjoy sewing, crafting, drawing, making jewelry, writing, thinking about new creative techniques to try, but somewhere along my journey, I stopped doing these things.  Instead I thought about how I would probably create mistakes and ugliness instead of the beauty I imagined in my mind.  I’m not sure how that happened or why.

By nature our God is a Creator – THE Creator.  He has made us like Him in many ways and, I believe, creativity is one of those ways.  If I stifle or ignore the creative tendencies He has put in me, what am I really doing?  I’m afraid I am not honoring Him, but just thinking about myself.  Instead of enjoying the gifts God has given me, I am worrying about falling short of perfection.  Instead of trusting God to do what He wants to do through me, I am thinking about being rejected by people who don’t understand.  I am pushing myself into a box where creativity is squashed.

Not long ago, I heard Jill Briscoe speak at a women’s ministry professionals meeting.  (If you haven’t heard Jill Briscoe, you need to go to www.tellingthetruth.org and listen!)  Jill told us that as a young woman she was involved in youth ministry, but when she became a pastor’s wife, she was expected to lead the women’s ministry of her church.  After complaining to her husband, Stuart, that she was not gifted for women’s ministry; that she couldn’t do it; that she didn’t like women, Stuart asked her if women’s ministry was worth doing.  After receiving the obvious answer, he said that if it was worth doing, it was worth doing poorly.  Instead of expecting to be the best women’s ministry leader ever and expecting to deliver the most perfect messages, she was to do the best she could even if her best was rather poor.

For me, instead of expecting to write a best-seller, I am going to do my best at this blog, and enjoy the loveliness of writing, and let God do what He will with it.  Even if that is just giving me pleasure and honoring the Creator in whose image I am made!

Beginnings

How long do you think I thought about starting a blog without doing a thing about it?  How long do you think I stared at the blank screen before I typed the first word?

Why is it so hard for me to begin something new?  Is it like this for other people too or is it just me?  Surely not.

An example: six months ago I took my oldest daughter to one of my favorite fabric stores and bought her a length of beautiful fabric for her birthday.  I took the fabric home and promised to make curtains for her living room.  Six months later, I finally cut the fabric and last night I finished making her curtains.  Why did it take me so long?  After thinking about it a long time (longer than it actually took to make the curtains) the only thing I can come up with is that I was afraid of making a mistake and messing up that beautiful fabric.  Wow!  It’s time to break myself of this…this…this whatever it is!

So I am writing a blog.  I don’t even know if that is the correct terminology.   But, does it really matter?  Does it matter if I figure out what Plugins I should have and what SEO is?  Maybe…I don’t know.  What I do want is to obey the urge in me to write about the things I know best – being a Christian woman, being a wife, being a mom, becoming a grandma – and trying to help other younger women who accidentally wander into my blog.

Welcome!

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