Posts Tagged ‘Trust’

I saw a news post this morning called Five Things Couples Can Learn from Pairs Skaters. It featured several of our Olympic couples and listed the following as the glue that keeps them together:

  1. Share a Purpose
  2. Talk, Talk, Talk
  3. Forgiveness is Divine
  4. Learn to Trust
  5. Define Your Roles

Just having returned from a long day in the car with my spouse of 46 and one half years, I can accept that list. But I’m not sure it fully explores the key to success – at least for marriage.  So I came up with my own list.

5 Things Couples Can Learn From 46 years of Skating (sometimes on very thin ice):

 Share a purpose or have an ulterior motive.  Example: My purpose for a recent 4 hour drive was a half day workshop. That’s a lot of driving in one day and I didn’t want to spend the night. I thought about how fun it would be if my husband went along and did all the driving.  I realized he might not think it that much fun. So, I planted an ulterior motive seed. The town we were visiting has a huge Cabela’s a few miles from where my workshop was being held. Instead of asking him if he’d drive, I simply suggested he might like browsing one of his favorite stores while I was in my training. Bingo!  Applied to several hundred situations over the 46 years this method has resulted in lots of smooth skating and successful routines.

 Talk, Talk, Talk or Not, Not, Not.  Flashing back on a one day road trip a few weeks ago I took with my girlfriends I distinctly remember every single second being filled with conversation.  I can honestly say there was no down time. There never is, whether it be a Starbucks break, a trip, or a quick run-into them at the mall.

It’s different with my husband. For one thing, he is a man of few words and I mean few. He is not a chatterer. If words were money, the ones he saves – leaves unsaid – would put him ahead of Bill Gates in wealth. There are times when I spend several minutes asking a question, filling it with lots of flowery description, analytical thought and analogies lest he not get where I’m headed and, heaven forbid, answer in the wrong way.  All that effort most usually gets a yes or a no, period, end of conversation.  We have come to the point where I don’t expect more and he doesn’t expect less.

 Forgiveness is – well, you need a goodly supply.  A long marriage doesn’t usually have big problems like infidelity. But it isn’t without its small, incredibly irritating, grating on your nerves, drive you to insanity issues.  Like the fact that he never attempts to fasten his seatbelt until you are already flying down the road. Or the fact that he doesn’t think to turn on the windshield wipers until you are past the point of  being able to see  the centerline. Or the fact that he keeps messing with your radio station settings. And I haven’t even started on the toilet seat, the whiskers in the sink, his dog on the bed, ad infinitum!

Then again – he does carry out the garbage, fix my flat tires, lift heavy things, repair broken stuff, ad infinitum! So – a lot of forgiveness and a lot of praise and thankfulness have kept us in the gold medal running for a long time.

 Learn to Trust: Trust that he will someday start on the honey do list. Trust that he will learn to do laundry or cook or load the dishwasher. Trust that he will someday remember you don’t like cheese on your hamburgers and you can’t drink water without a straw.  The earlier you trust the fact that rocky spots won’t last forever, the days you can’t stand him will be overshadowed by the days you love him beyond measure, and he may not be perfect but compared to what’s out there you are pretty darn blessed – the longer you’ll be partners, and the more synchronized your marriage dance will be.

Define Your Roles: That’s easy in my house. My role is to make him think he is the boss.  My role is to make him think it was his idea. My role is to make sure he knows how great he is. And my role is to remember that I picked him out of a very big pond and since I’m pretty much always right I must have made the right choice.  Yes – sometimes I shake my head in wonder and yes, sometimes I ask “what was I thinking” but for the most part he and are the perfect triple Salchow (a skating term that I have no idea what it means but it sound cool). Our ice dance just gets better and better.

“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’  ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,  and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one.  Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Mark 10:6-9



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We are in our third day of Vacation Bible School and I am reminded again of the sheer joy and enthusiasm children have for a positive message and upbeat music.  I love watching little eyes open wide as they hear a Bible story and little bodies wiggle and shake to the beat while singing catchy songs about God’s love.

Ask a question or ask for a personal story in an adult group and it’s like pulling teeth to get a response.  Ask the same thing of children and they can come up with an example or a relevant experience for any topic in seconds.  (Well, maybe not always that relevant but that doesn’t stop them.)  They are so primed to hear, learn and believe.

Last night on the way home in the car I was playing the cd from VBS and I saw my granddaughter, Brinkley, plugging her ears and looking distressed.  I turned down the music and asked what the problem was and she responded, “I don’t want to ruin the surprise.”  The explanation was some of the songs on the cd we hadn’t yet used at VBS and she wanted them to newly experience them with all of the rest of the kids when when we did play them.  She wanted them to be fresh.

Don’t you sometimes long for the time when God’s word was fresh and new and stirred the kind of excitement that made you wiggle all over?  And don’t you wish you still had that childlike acceptance of His promises and assurances?  No doubts, no analyzing, no hesitancy?

What would it take to go back?  Here are my ideas.  I’d love to hear yours.

1)     Get small.  The best thing about kids is they are humble.  They don’t think they know everything and they aren’t afraid to admit it.  They are kids and are fully willing to accept that fact.  They aren’t afraid someone else will think they’re weird or a nerd if they sing loud, move to the beat, clap their hands or laugh when they feel like it.  If we could only let go of our adult when it comes to God things and let Him thrill us and give us wide open eyes experiences.  If we could only stop trying to impress and instead be transparent and open to delight like a child.

2)    Get fun-focused.  The next best thing about kids is they think everything should be fun.  If it’s not fun to start with they will make it fun.  They laugh at serious things.  They dance when decorum is called for. They love hand motions, facial expressions and drama.  Ever thought of getting a scripture memorized by adding hand motions, dance steps or facial expressions to help cement it in your brain?  You might try it.  I’ve learned more scripture by helping with events like VBS thanI have sitting and reading it over and over in an adult manner!

3)    Get bold.  I have two or three kids at VBS who raise their hand the minute a question is asked.  They don’t know the answers but they know a response is called for so they respond.  They take a stab at it and they get recognized for it.  I always call on them because I want to encourage them to keep trying.  Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there even if you aren’t sure of the answer.  Once in a while you hit it and those are treasured moments. Other times, you recognize what you don’t know and you listen better.

4)    Get trusting.  Kids have experienced grief, disappointment, anger, pain, and broken hearts – just like adults.  We tend to disregard the seriousness of those events because they involve not getting invited to a party, not getting to have a dog when you’ve begged and begged and begged, or stubbing a toe and wanting to show off your scar.  So far I haven’t had a child share in class that they don’t believe God loves them because of their painful situation.  They trust that they are lovable and they believe God loves them if you tell them so.  The next time you are in pain or turmoil and a Christian friend tells you God loves you, chose to believe with the untainted trust of a child.  It’s true.  You know it’s true.  Just because you’ve heard it a million times doesn’t make it any less true or any less wonderful.  Let the words make you want to wiggle and shout every time you hear them.

My last piece of advice – get involved with children who are learning about God.  When you do, consider them the teachers and you the student.  Watch, participate, get silly, get open.  The greatest lesson you may learn is immaturity when it comes to accepting what the Bible says.

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Mark 10:14

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