Regarding Wayne

Remember the movie, “Regarding Henry,” with Harrison Ford?  The well-to-do, workaholic, self-centered lawyer who gets shot in the head and gains a new perspective on life and family?  The before-and-after nature of the movie caught me off guard recently, when it dawned on my that my husband is the after.

“Henry” wakes up not remembering his before-life in any way; he is honest and sweet, childlike and selfless.  My husband, Wayne, already takes the time to listen to his daughter, to absorb her personality, to chart her growth physically and emotionally.  He already takes the time to hug and kiss me, to put me above his job and his friends, to tell me that he loves me no matter who might overhear.  He has never worked in a dishonest way or stepped on anyone to advance himself.  He embodies loyalty and integrity and honor.  He’s my man, and I am blessed.

Thank You Lord, for forming his heart without a bullet wound!

So Why Forgive?

I’m going to take a break from the fact-gathering and sermon-preaching to give you a little insight.

Shortly after I married the most amazing man on the planet, I began to discover that I held grudges.  Some silly, some not so much.  I guess it went beyond grudges, really.  I can remember something and hold onto it with the tenacity of a bulldog, as long as it’s something that’s eating at me.

Examples of things that have eaten at me:

1. A girl at a sleepover stopping halfway through her “most embarrassing moment” story so that I never heard the finale.

2. A $5 bill that was lost (it had a special message from a friend defacing the front).

3. My husband’s pre-marriage expenditures.

4. An unfortunate incident at our wedding that had to do with an uninvited guest.

Anyway, during one particular argument and feeling-hurt session, the light dawned on me.  I was holding onto things that needed to be let go, simply so that we could move forward and BOTH be happy.

I began pondering the concept of bitterness (basically, holding grudges) and forgiveness, and thinking about the fact that some sins are handed down from generation to generation.  I remember hearing stories of things that Big Mommy has held onto since she was a little girl; I don’t want the stories I tell my great-grandchildren to be negative, but only the happy, joyful, and teachable moments!  I decided that it was high time to stop the cycle of bitterness and to also help other women escape the clutches of unhappiness it brings.

With all those thoughts, I finally had a purpose behind writing “Trugars,” beyond capturing precious memories.  The underlying mission, if you will, that God wanted to accomplish through my pen.

Coziness

A dear friend posted about “Cozy Family Traditions.”  Her thoughts reminded me of my own dreams of marriage and coziness, all the traditions I hoped to establish in my happily ever after.

My dream: To spend the quiet part of every evening listening to my husband read aloud to me and my children.

My reality: Spending the quiet part of every evening watching an episode of M*A*S*H.

What happened?  I married a man for whom reading can be physically painful, and to whom a book is not relaxing in the slightest.  I have obsessed over, worried about, and thought through this dilemma ever since I began to fully grasp how he felt.  And only now have I come up with a solution: There IS no dilemma.  We can create our own family tradition, and that doesn’t mean adopting my childhood dreams.  That means forging together as a couple, becoming one as we create a home…together.

So we have established a new tradition: He reads a chapter aloud for me, and then I snuggle up to my sweet man and watch something with him, and we both fall asleep, together and happy.  Isn’t marriage a beautiful thing?

A Pox Upon Us!

Recommendation: Do not read a book about ten lepers and their stories while your child is breaking out with the chicken pox.  It makes for an unneeded, gruesome edge to her misery and your concern.  I’m still not sure if she’s really breaking out or not, but she woke up with a small sore on her lip, developed a triangular-shaped mass of tiny, red dots on her back, and now sports a spot behind her ear and under her eye.  Coincidence?  Hmm….

My little leper has crawled around happily in her pajamas all day, looking adorable as always, enjoying the pizza crusts I throw to her.  Thankfully she doesn’t feel ostracized yet.  We’ll cheerfully march through the ravages of the disease, alone but for those who have endured before.  Hurry up, chicken pox, we’re ready for you to come and be gone!

The Root of the Word

Ancient HebrewYou may be wondering when all this forgiveness stuff is going to connect with Trugars or Big Mommy or even writing at all.  Maybe my next post should be on patience.  :)   Really though, it’ll come together for you, I promise.  Remember all those convergences?

So I found something interesting as I searched my concordance for the word “forgiveness.”  The Hebrew form uses words like “pardon” and “spare.”  It sounds like the removal, perhaps, of punishment.  In Greek though, there are some more references which are even more exciting: “freedom, deliverance, forgiveness, liberty, remission.”  The root of the word comes from “to send forth;” does that mean our sins are sent forth from us, or that we are freed to, in fact, be sent forth ourselves?  Either way, forgiveness is good news!

[P]repare (for) [M]arriage [S]tress

Two days ago, when I caught myself arguing determinedly over a silly point, the thought suddenly crossed my mind that illogical behavior often precedes a monthly womanly recurrence.   Why this is so, despite concrete medical assertions to the contrary, baffles me (and, consequently, my poor husband).  The point is, I paused, took a good look at my behavior, and stopped arguing.  Praise God for self control and the ability to triumph over emotion!

“Here We Go!”

That’s how I started off my “sermon” notes.  :)   Guess I was eager, yet slightly breathless at the opportunity and privilege of sharing with women who were older and definitely wiser than I was!

Have you ever heard the song, “Be ye kind, one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ’s sake, has forgiven you, do-do, dootley-do, Ephesians 4:32″?  What a great song.  I liked the do-do part when I was little, but the message of the verse rings so true with me today!

The first thing I discovered as I searched the Scriptures for “forgiveness” was the concept of God as our Great Forgiver.  The depths of His forgiveness simply cannot register with us, but oh, I yearn to try.  You see, the “coolest thing” is knowing Jesus, as I wrote in my notes.  Jeremiah 31:34 says, ” ‘They shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying,”‘Know the Lord,” for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,’ declares the Lord, ‘for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.’ ”

So if the goal for the end of time is to simply know the Lord, and the impetus behind that knowledge is His forgiveness, then that characteristic deserves a little attention!

Next time: The definition of forgiveness.