Tag Archives: marriage

Thought For The Day 02/18/15

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Living Apart Together

Post 1440

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wedding-rings

http://www.relationstips.com/how-to-choose-the-perfect-wedding-ring/

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‘It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.’

Friedrich Nietzsche

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/marriage

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There is something so profoundly comforting knowing that the man I love is sitting just 6 feet away from me watching a universally known sports channel on TV while I am sitting here, “netbook” afire with my bursting thoughts. You see, just the simple fact that we are sharing a common space even without saying a word, is building a comforting memory that he is here, at my side, just as he has been every second since we were married nearly 38 years ago. That we can share a word or a tender caress at any given moment, somehow serves to strengthen bond of love that unites us so that the times that are not quite so idyllic will not sever it! Which makes me wonder about the dynamic of the relationship of those who have adopted the “LAT” way of life!

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“LAT”, which stands for “Living Apart Together”, is an increasingly popular lifestyle for some couples. According to The New York Times, a drifting away from the nuclear, traditional marriage model almost makes sense, given the changes that have occurred within the family dynamic over the last 50 years. Most families are two income households and often work schedules which interfere with what was once a traditional life at home. Separate work and social lives seems to foster an increasing independence within relationships, which is leading couples to choose either residing in separate homes, but near one another, or to live in the same home, but each maintaining an independent living space within the home.

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A union of two hearts sealed by God’s blessing, is a serious and sacred undertaking, which is why we are told in Matthew 19:6 NIV, “So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” It is through the little connections that happen within the relationship….the little everyday acts of closeness….which acts as the glue which holds a relationship together through the roller coaster ride that is life! Still, God hates a division of a couple even more. He says in Malachi 2:16 NIV, “I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,” says the LORD Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.”

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I suppose that there may be times when, had they lived under the same roof, couples who practice “LAT” would have been divorced. Yes, perhaps we need to look beyond convention, and acknowledge that whatever works and makes a couple happy, is what is the best scenario for them, since each relationship is unique. Still, I have to wonder….. have we actually lost sight of the interpersonal dynamic of two hearts, vibrant and alive, rooted in the rich soil of faith, as we embark on life’s journey, holding hands….. when we choose when it is convenient for the one rather that convenient for both?

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“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”

Romans 13:8 NIV

 

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 08/02/14

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From This Moment, Our Hearts United

Thought 1238

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Ariana and Laramie

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“I could not tell you if I loved you the first moment I saw you, or if it was the second or third or fourth. But I remember the first moment I looked at you walking toward me and realized that somehow the rest of the world seemed to vanish when I was with you.” 

Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/true-love

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Yesterday my niece married her best friend. Yes, Ariana Larsen married Laramie Sirokman. It is their picture you see just above! They are young but there is no mistaking their love and devotion to one another. But will it last a lifetime?  After all, we all know the statistics these days. (And their statistics are compounded all the more since Laramie is in the military and is currently stationed in another country!) However, my marriage has endured and I am often asked to explain the secret to the longevity of my own relationship with Dan. But how is it that we endured, even when the odds were against us way back then, too?

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My first inclination is to say that it has to be the four wonderful role models who were responsible for setting the example whereby we have patterned our own behaviors. But even the successful marriages of parents certainly does not guarantee the success of our own. In fact there is NO magic formula that will help to produce a long and happy relationship. No, we need, instead, to think outside of the box and ask a very different question. We are better served asking, what are the things that can divide us and break up the home?

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No one ever intends that their relationship go up in flames, but flame away they do….and all too often, these days. And whether or not they are a truly a Christian union is no more a guarantee of happiness and longevity, that any other ideal we might envision. You see, like it or not, a relationship is a careful blending of 2 very divergent and complex personalities, each one shaped by the unique life experiences that come from the unique family dynamic that bore and reared them!

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They say that what makes a relationship a Christian one is that we work together to restore the one thing that was lost by the two whose sin changed everything for mankind for thousands of years! Through our working to make ourselves the best we can be, we are striving to extend the intimacy of our co-joined hearts with God’s heart. And that is the single greatest component that keeps propelling us through the minefield of the things that seek to insinuate themselves between each of us and the one we have chosen as our life partner. Lack of trust, not carving out time in our busy schedules to share quality moments together, and being dishonest come to mind first to me. And for my money, these are all pieces of the infection that kill a relationship because they are more toxic to love than nearly anything else I can think of!

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Does being madly and passionately in love count? Perhaps. But only until the million other little things we cling to as days turn into months… then years… then decades together, kick in! So what is the secret? Perhaps it’s being madly, passionately in like, not love! And yet, from the moment we made promises to each other in front of our family, friends, and God, there would never be another for either of us…. at least while the other still drew breath. And for good or bad, it is that promise which is the tie that binds our hearts, today, just as it was that united them on June 7th, 1975! And for good or bad, it is that same promise which is the tie that will bind the hearts of Ariana and Laramie, for all the days of their lives, too, we pray!

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“From This Moment”

Music, lyrics and vocals by Michael Fawcett

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Here we bow, true love confessing…
In the presence of those we hold dear…
Asking now for heaven’s blessing…
For wisdom to see us through the years…
In this holy place, by the Father’s grace and power…
You and I, in an instant become one…
A miracle by a kiss secured this hour…
A bond that’ll never be undone… 

Chorus:

From this moment we are a family, I pledge myself to thee, the rest of my life…
And I know heaven’s smiling on you and me… Binding us together, man and wife!

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Hand in hand our heart’s united…
We face tomorrow, our dreams now in view…
Golden bands and vows recited…
Reminders of all I promise you…
I will cherish you, I will honor you forever…
I’ll be here to share your joys and ease your pain…
And where you go, be it calm or stormy weather…
By your side I am home, here I’ll remain… 

Chorus:

From this moment we are a family, I pledge myself to thee, the rest of my life…
And I know Heaven’s smiling on you and me… Binding us together, man and wife! 

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From this moment…
From this moment…
From this moment…

(to view the video, just click on the link below)

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Copyright © 1997 Michael Fawcett

http://www.myspace.com/michaelfawcett

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I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.

Hosea 2: 9 NLT

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And he took a wife, whose name was Susanna, the daughter of Chelcias, a very fair woman, and one that feared the Lord. Her parents also were righteous, and taught their daughter according to the law of Moses.

Susanna 1: 2-3 KJVA

 

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 07/30/14

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From This Day Forward…

Thought 1235

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two hearts

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTabEhduwR4UP3IAwx-ObH1-UqCdRunLgiBD87veN6muBmzMG5C

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When a man takes an oath… he’s holding his own self in his own hands.  Like water.  And if he opens his fingers then – he needn’t hope to find himself again.

Robert Bolt

http://www.quotegarden.com/promises.html

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If you have watched the news broadcasts in your community lately, you have likely seen either the headlines or even those less than glaring signs of people reveling in the throes of discord and indiscretions within the beds of committed life partners. Certainly seen within the political arena here in the United States, marital fidelity is taking it on the chin, once more, as comedians take advantage of this new source of material which, almost by a divine hand, has dropped into their laps. And while these people have forced the issue into our living rooms, if you think that this problem rests only with people of note, you are sorely mistaken! Every day, in some way or another, families suffer because of the poor choices one (or both) make, which thumbs noses at the sanctity of an institution almost as old as time itself!

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When two commit their hearts one to the other, whether sanctified by God or not, the promises made should guarantee that our behavior honors our word, which is the greatest thing that defines the character of each human. But again and again, we fail not just our partner, but ourselves, as well, when we forget things like “love and cherish” and “from this day forward” and “honor”, that is our intent, when we begin that shared life.

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The most important thing we must understand is that for any close relationship to grow and thrive, one absolute must be embraced. HONESTY! You see, lies and deception erodes trust and raises doubts about not just our spouse but our own worthiness, as well! And there are no shades of gray when it comes to this, Half truths and evasions can be just as harmful. Deception is the generally the one thing that cannot be worked through because it denies that a problem even exists. Because of this, it makes forgiveness unattainable. And even though “Thou shalt not lie” (or deceive) is almost at the tail end of God’s commands for our behavior, that it is there at all should mean something to us all!

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Couples should aim at total honesty. But honesty must be coupled with the other values such as love, respect and faithfulness. But, “…the greatest of these is LOVE” (1 Corinthians 13: ..13), You see, it is love and truth that allows us to grow and thrive in life! Ephesians 4:15 NIV, tells us, “15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” We are reminded that honesty is what we are compelled to be when we care for another, but love is the glue that holds all things together.

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Lastly, both honesty and love must be bound with the golden thread that is the holiness of the Almighty! You see, without a commitment to holiness, there is little hope for us that a problem of betrayal within the union of two hearts will not recur! And that state of holiness must begin with each of us BEFORE we seek to unite our hearts, from this day forward!

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If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 NASB

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 06/10/14

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The Breathtaking Moments Of Life

Post 1185

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take your breath away

 

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A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love. 

Mother Teresa

http://quotegarden.com/love.html

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When thinking about those moments in life that leave us breathless, how can it not be LOVE that is first brought to mind? LOVE! A four letter word that no one would ever find the need of censuring from the lips of any who utter its message of all-encompassing endearments! LOVE builds families, communities and nations, binding hearts together so that in its unity, all manner of obstacles become nothing more than a pebble along life’s path!

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Now perhaps I have LOVE on the brain! I am feeling the joy of LOVE‘s perfect kiss in a relationship that has born it’s share of heartache over the years. From the lowest point that came from illness that threatened to snatch that LOVE from my grasp, to the highest, most euphoric joy that was born not once but twice, as together, Dan and I shared the miracle of new life’s first cry, for 39 years we have stood shoulder to shoulder, united together as a team. I know I am lucky but it is much more than luck that brought me to this place in life! It was the hand of divine intervention! How could it be anything but the miracle granted to me by God’s active involvement in my very human world?

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I do not believe in chance. Believing in chance pre-supposes no control, direction or purpose for the events that happen in our lives. I prefer, instead, to see as everything occurring for a specific purpose. I prefer believing that everything that happens does so for the betterment of not just me and my life, but for the human race, as well. We see this in the every day miracles we witness continually. And just because they can not be replicated by the scientific community does not invalidate or disprove their existence. After all, logic can not begin to explain the powerful and infinitely superior realm that is to be found in spirituality nor is it likely that God would even allow for the evidentiary proof of His existence, anyway!

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To serve the Lord God with gladness and appreciate the many gifts He has bestowed upon us, fulfills the very purpose of man’s existence. And our ability to live, function and thrive in the spiritual realm is just as firmly connected to our understanding of His word and then being able to connect the message to living our lives!

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God knew that man needed companionship to grow and thrive. He made it very clear from His earliest inspired word penned by unknown authors although usually attributed to Moses, that man was unhappy in the Garden despite having all that he could possibly want….ALMOST! You see, life alone without a “helpmeet” was a very lonely and unsatisfying existence for Adam, and, despite the later occurrences of betrayal by the consumption of the forbidden fruit and subsequent loss of grace, I have no doubt that the bond that was formed between these two was as strong as is the bond Dan and I share today! After all, both fulfill His purpose for the world as we each know it to exist! And what Adam and Eve began, continued throughout the texts of the Bible. It certainly worked for Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel, Boaz and Ruth, Elkanah and Hannah, David and Abigail, Hosea and Gomer, and King Xerxes and Esther! Yes indeed, LOVE, past, present and future, has the magical capacity to render the one experiencing its magic, breathless!

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Seasons Of Love 

Larson, Jonathan D

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?

How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love

Seasons of love
Seasons of love

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes 
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear 
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes 
How do you measure the life of a woman or a man?

In truths that she learned
Or in times that he cried
In bridges he burned
Or the way that she died

It’s time now, to sing out
Though the story never ends
Let’s celebrate
Remember a year in the life of friends

Remember the love
(Oh, you got to, you got to remember the love)
Remember the love
(You know that life is a gift from up above)
Remember the love
(Share love, give love, spread love)
Measure in love
(Measure, measure your life in love)

Seasons of love
Seasons of love
(Measure your life, measure you life in love)

http://youtu.be/UvyHuse6buY

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 Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

Leviticus 19:18 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 06/07/14

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The Hardest / Most Wonderful

Job In The World

Post 1182

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June 7, 1975

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There’s nothing like biting off more than you can chew, and then chewing anyway. 

Mark Burnett

http://thinkexist.com/quotation/there-s-nothing-like-biting-off-more-than-you-can/989584.html

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I love being married.  It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.

Rita Rudner

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/ritarudner106589.html

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Mandy&Dan

May 31, 2003

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The Hardest Job In The World

 

39 years ago today I started work at the hardest job I ever had. There have been days (many, many) where I didn’t want to even get out of bed and face the day because of it. It’s a job of 90 : 10 percent give : get back …. and don’t ever let anyone tell you it’s 50 :50 percent because they are just plain WRONG! It’s a job that breaks your back, gives you migraines and, at times, makes you rue t he day you were born. You struggle, yell and even hate sometimes (OK, maybe hate is a bit strong….let’s amend that to dislike intensely). All in all, it’s a job no one in their right mind would want, right? NO!!!!!!!! It’s a job millions and millions have entered into despite the statistical probability that about 50% of those who have tried this job will fail. What is this horrible sounding job, you wonder?????? MARRIAGE!!!!!!

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Mandy and Dan 01 18 2014

January 18, 2014

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The Most Wonderful Job In The World

39 years ago today I started work at the most wonderful job I ever had. There have been days (many, many) where I faced the morning sun with such joy in my heart because of it. It’s a job that makes you want to give 100% of yourself because the reward you get back is priceless! It’s a job that lifts your spirit, brings a song to your heart and makes you grateful every day that you were born so that you would be brought to this place. You laugh, praise it to all who will listen and love it each and every day. All in all, it’s a job that is so fulfilling that it’s hard to imagine anyone in their right mind who wouldn’t want to do it, right? YES!!!!!!!! It’s a job millions and millions have entered into because the statistical probability is that 50% of those who have tried this job will succeed. What is this wonderful sounding job, you wonder?????? MARRIAGE!!!!!!

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But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.

Ruth 1:16 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 05/14/14

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Is There Hope For A Lasting Marriage?

Post 1158

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wedding rings on a bible

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A long-lasting relationship is not just about romancing each other or being passionate in the bed each day. It is all about complete trust and transparency built over the years. It is about the countless feelings and emotions shared and countless problems resolved together. It is about strong faith and conviction that someone loves you unconditionally and will care for you for the rest of your life. It is all about a deeply embedded soulful love.

Author Unknown

http://www.searchquotes.com/search/Long_Lasting_Marriage_Advice/

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I was reading a daily devotional a while ago, and the leading article that was featured asked the question that is highlighted in the title of today’s post. And having read the title alone, I began to wonder just exactly what it is that makes us choose to marry and why do we stay married?

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I don’t know about you, but I believe human beings are inherently social creatures who choose the companionship of others because close relationships are one of the key sources of happiness for us. Rightly or wrongly, we look to others to validate our worth and it just plain feels good to know that someone else thinks we are special and wants to be with us because of, and in spite of, those trillion little idiosyncrasies that are a part of the genetic material of each of us.

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We long to be intimate with another, on many levels…physically, emotionally, mentally and philosophically and finding the one who fills that list of criteria gives us tremendous joy. However, it is easy to be passionate about someone in the beginning, but what is it that keeps a couple together once passions have cooled a bit? It takes a willingness to put the wants and desires of our partner above our own and unless we are willing to make that kind of sacrifice for our partner, love will fade and disappear.

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Once many years ago, my husband was sitting in a friend’s home with a group of about 15 of his closest friends and classmates from Monsignor Farrell High School in Staten Island. They were jointly planning their High School reunion. Suddenly, the realization struck someone, that, in that room, was something of monumental significance. Of those 15 men, 1 man had never been married and of the rest, all but 1 of those who had ever been married were still married to their first (and only) spouse. This was a revelation that, when looked at from a statistical perspective, is off the chart! But even more significant was another realization. Every single person in the room grew up in an intact, Christian household, whose core values encompassed “God first, Family second and Country third”.

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I once mentioned that we live in a disposable society… one where it is so easy to toss away the things that have become old or distasteful or disagreeable in our lives. Once upon a time, our partnering with another was crucial to the survival of our physical being. We needed one another to help hunt for food or farm our land. Today that necessity has all but disappeared and we have become selfish and egocentric. Unless we are willing to temper the “me” and “I want” with the “we” and “we need”, partnering for life with another will not be possible.

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Perhaps it’s time we, as a society, need to relearn the art of giving….fully and cheerfully and from our hearts….all that we can to another. This is something our ancestors knew, but, somehow, it is also something we have lost in today’s society. Don’t you think it’s time we found it again?

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June 7th, 1975

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Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

1 Corinthians 13:4-10 ESV

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Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 04/28/14

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Waxing Nostalgic

Post 1142

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Aging-Face1

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“No matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away.”

Haruki Murakami

“Kafka on the Shore”
http://goodreads.com/work/quotes/6191072

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I am waxing nostalgic today. You see, it is the anniversary of the day exactly one year ago, that I was forced to face the realization, that our relationships with those we love are fleeting and finite. Yes, I knew it to be so….in my head, at least. I watched my grandparents age and pass away as well as my mother. But I had not thought about it in terms of Dan or myself, despite the fact that we have both battled our share of illnesses over the years. After all, aren’t we the same people who wore Nehru jackets, bell bottoms and love beads only yesterday?

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Yes, I am not blind. I see a face looking back at me from the mirror that looks vaguely like the one I see when I close my eyes….albeit a bit “fluffier” and “grayer”. But I never thought about my life in terms that find me rapidly approaching my twilight rather than my dawn. But when my love developed chest pains, and I thought a heart attack was at hand, that is the singular moment that I knew all bets were off that we still had 50 years of living left to do….together.

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James 4:14 NIV, reminds us about the brief time of man’s existence. “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” And I supposed this is why we must “Carpe Diem” and run with it as fast as we can. We must see each dawn with a new eye and a renewed appreciation for all of the things we have, up till now, tended to take for granted. But never forget the caveat contained in 1 Corinthians 10:23 NIV, “I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything,”–but not everything is constructive.”

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Embrace those who matter, but embrace those who don’t, even more. And no, I am not thinking about the adage, keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer. I am asking that we always remember that when the day of judgement  is at hand we will not be measured by what we have but by what we do. It’s not enough to be good at living. Instead, we must make our living, a living for good!

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Live, Laugh and Love with your near and dear and not so dear, because the gift of today’s joy may not be there for us as we turn the corner into tomorrow! It is something I will remember from this day forward as I banish the words “for worse” from my vocabulary. I vow that the days I share with the man I love will always be “for better”, from this day forward, whether it is for 1 day or 100,000 days!

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“You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness.” 

2 Peter 3:17 KJV

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Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry