Why The Bride Wore White….A Marriage Monday post

I’m getting ready to do 31 Days of Blogging for October again. But since it’s Monday, I wanted to sneak in one last post for Marriage Mondays (which I clearly have not been consistent in writing for!).

I was privileged to be at a rare event this past Saturday.  A wedding.  Not so rare, you say?  Well let me just tell you how rare it was:

  • it was in a church
  • simple, almost sparse decorations
  • people dressed up for this occasion
  • a lone pianist played while guests were seated
  • the processional began while a violinist accompanied the pianist
  • The first sets of grandparents were seated- all grey haired; 2 couples on the groom’s side
  • The bride’s grandparents were seated- all grey haired; 2 couples
  • The groom’s parents were escorted in by the groom- this couple, married for 23 years
  • The bride’s mom was escorted in followed by the bride escorted by her dad.  The parents, still married, sat together.
  • On the front row were these 6 couples: SIX.  All married to their original mate- a combined total of over 250 years of marriage represented for this young couple to be mentored by and to model their marriage after.

 Don’t get me wrong here- I know that death and divorce are a part of life.  I am not condemning anyone whose nuptials look nothing like this, but I am stating the fact: it is rare and it was profound.wedding program

The service was short:  a couple of worship songs which clearly state the faith of this newly-joined couple.

A simple 3 point message from the pastor.

Nervous, excited, touching vows.

A ring that got stuck, giggles, blushing and finally….a tender, sweet, 21 year old kiss.

It took me back to my own wedding.

So traditional in many ways.

I wonder why people get all crazy about weddings and the fuss made over them?  This day was sweet because two young people pledged their love, devotion and commitment to each other before God and their families. That’s it.  That’s really all there is to DO on a wedding day. Commit. Pledge. Vow.

It was a 35 minute ceremony.  And now life begins.

What I love about this type of wedding is that the expectation is for the bride and groom to learn and grow together.  They don’t have it all figured out. But they EXPECT to work at it and learn together.  There is no pre- nup.  There is no contingency for “if things don’t work out”. There is only a united, committed effort to love and be loved….till death us do part.

The bride wore white because she earned the right to do so. A couple who waited till the night of their wedding to take the next step in solidifying their bond.  It’s a beautiful thing. If you ever get a chance to witness a wedding like that, take it!

And then pray for them.  Because this world is not kind to marriage. There are voices and feelings and offences that work against the first rule of marriage: put the other person first.  Once you get that, the other stuff falls into place.

I came across a blog this weekend that I read a year ago. It is simple, from SimpleMom. Worth the read for all of us:

10 Things I’ve Learned in 10 Years of Marriage


When the Sweater Fits { Wifey Wednesday}

A few years ago we were out shopping for something, somewhere, in some store that has all kinds of needed and unneeded things. A day like any other day and I had no particular mission or pressing need to buy all the things. And then I was caught by a chunky, cable-knit sweater. But it was too much and I talked myself out of it before I even touched it.

I often do that; minimize my needs and wants in lieu of the practical. It isn’t like I didn’t have a sweater to wear. Well, maybe I didn’t come to think of it. Anyway, that sweater was new and soft and I could imagine cold frosty mornings with hot tea and a good book. I could see denim jeans and a walk in the park. I could justify pulling it on over my ratty pajamas in a hurry to get the kids off to school.

And then he came around the rack. “Try it on”, he said.

“No”, I said. “It’s too much.”

He pulled it off the rack and handed it to me, “try it on.”

I did. And I loved it. And he said I should have it. So we did. We bought that sweater.

It’s a little worn and frayed. It needs a button or two. But it’s still cozy on a winter morning and I still pull it on over my pajamas. When I’m sick it’s the only thing warm enough but not too constricting. I can still wear it with my jeans and not look to hobo-ish. (well, that’s what I think).

There are other sweaters. Nicer sweaters. Cheaper sweaters. Sweaters that are vibrant and edgy, sweaters that are warm and fuzzy and cute and sexy.

But they’re not my sweater. And they don’t have the smell or the memories that this sweater has.

I am a wife. Of nearly 22 years. And even though there have been times when I could have walked away from my life, my husband and whatever THIS is that we’re doing, I chose to stay and live. I cried some days. I longed for new and fresh and fun and vibrant and colourful and sexy…..

But I will tell you this- there is NOTHING- not one small little thing, that can compare to knowing that you have someone who has seen the tears, seen the mess, held your hand, kissed your cheek, heard your fears, weathered your rants, put up with your crap, stayed by your side, juggled the responsibilities, made you laugh, took some risks or had your back.

Married for life is not about being the prettiest, sexiest, funnest, cutest, happiest at all times, in all ways, every day, till death do us part.

It’s just like a worn sweater on a cool fall morning: warm, comforting and familiar. Why would I want anything else?


Follow me on Instagram : @juatisask

Something Worth Waiting For

This week my baby turns 13 one day and the day after that my husband and I will celebrate 21years of marital….ummm….marital peace. I can’t really say bliss because there have been a lot of moments full of non-bliss. We love each other more today than we did then and we respect each other on a whole new level. But we still argue and fight and disagree. And we’ve both learned to wait for the other through the dark times. Waiting.

Every mother will tell you that the character building trait of note is patience. She will also be the first to tell you that it is the thing most fleeting; the most elusive of all motherly traits.

We spend our lives waiting and learning how to do it well. And also learning how to maximize or completely waste the wait.


I have waited to be born and to give birth.

I have waited to go to school and to finish school.

I have waited to find love and to give love.

I have waited for good news and I have waited for bad news.

I have waited to be considered and to be valued.

I have waited in darkness and in light.

I have waited in anticipation and in dread.

Waiting has changed me and it has burdened me.

Waiting is so hard to do but one of the few things that brings the greatest rewards.

When you were a baby, you made your parents wait for you. Either in the process of conception, birth or firsts of many kinds.

You waited to be fed, burped, changed and loved.

As you grew you waited to learn, to read, to count, to write. You waited for brothers and sisters, for mom and for dad.  You waited to go to school and to ride a bike. You waited for something every single day. And while you were waiting you were bored, lonely, scared, frustrated and maybe even angry. But you always waited with expectation.

We wait because we know that something is going to happen. And we know it will either be worth the wait or it will be dreaded and reviled but it will happen nonetheless.

Small children would seem to be the worst at waiting. But I would suggest that they actually wait well and have something to teach us all.

Consider this: A preschooler wants to eat but supper isn’t ready. You tell him to wait and although he may protest, he goes and finds something to do while he waits. Distraction.

A baby is hungry. What do you do? You shake the rattle, stuff the soother in her mouth, rock her, play peek-a-boo. Distraction.

A 6 year old is waiting for Daddy to come home. He asks every 15 seconds when the blessed event will happen. He pulls on your shirt. He whines and complains. None of that sounds like patient waiting but you give him a puzzle, a game, a coloring book. You get him to help you with supper. He is now….DISTRACTED.

Distraction doesn’t mean you forget what you’re waiting for. Distraction is simply the art of waiting well. If you’re going to wait, be productive. Get something done. Occupy your mind.

Isn’t it interesting how adults dread waiting but young children only wait for the good stuff?

Really. Let me rephrase that. Children don’t wait for bad news or negative outcomes. They don’t wait to be spanked or disciplined. They don’t anticipate the bad. They only wait for the good. When was the last time a child waited to be held back, pushed aside, disappointed or ashamed? Never. Children don’t wait for the negative. They only wait in anticipation for a reward. They wait for the HOPE of what is to come. Even if it never does, they still wait in baited wonder for what lies ahead.

Somewhere in the teen years we fail to wait in wonder. We miss out on the art of distraction~the preoccupation of anticipation is something we find juvenile and elementary so we trade it for  fast-food, empty, hollow instant gratification that only satisfies for a little while.  What would happen if we made ourselves wait in wonder?

Perhaps this is one of the failures of our generation. The lack of waiting.

My kids are growing up faster than I can blink. My baby will be 13 this week and now that thing we’ve been talking about for more than a decade is happening: Four kids~all teens….at the same time. 13-18. That might make some run screaming for the hills;Some days I cry because we’re done waiting for the growing up~it’s here. We talk a lot about boys(3 daughters will do that to you) . We talk a lot about the future and what our family might look like in 5 or 10 years. We anticipate weddings and babies and gatherings.  It’s a fun time. But for now we’re all just waiting. And that’s just fine with me.

I remember being 17 and wondering when I would find someone to share my life with. I know. 17. Whatever. And yet, that’s what happens. We dream and create a fantasy of what we think we want and what we wish we had. We get impatient. We CAN. NOT. WAIT. Well, that’s what I thought anyway. But I did wait. I finished school, got a job, made some new friends, bought a car, got involved in church ministry, continued to live my life.  I am not saying I waited well. In fact those who know me from that time might say I was completely in love with being in love. It’s kind of pathetic thinking back on that now. The obsession to be in a relationship is a very real ((problem)) for millions of teens every single day in this country. They walk around with their heads in the clouds and tripping over the daily grind.  I used to buy brides magazines. Today, my 14 year old is Pinning a wedding board on Pinterest. I know~don’t even get me started.

But this is how we wait. We are like the preschooler who can’t have a snack yet~we want it now and we’re miserable but we can be distracted fairly easily. And that’s okay. As long as we keep waiting.

The lessons we learned at 3 and 6 and 10 are all worthy of remembering when we’re 15 and 17 and 21. Waiting means something good is going to happen. The longer we wait , the better the reward.  You don’t enjoy the cookie that you can have right now as much as you enjoy the cookie that you’ve had to wait in anticipation for over the course of hours or days. You don’t savour the chocolate bar that is at your fingertips in the store nearly as much as the cheesecake you bake at home. You never appreciate the job that you get on the spot as much as the one you wait for , research, apply 3 times for.

Waiting makes you appreciate the process.

Waiting teaches you the value of what you have and what you’ll get.

Waiting also teaches you that life will often make you wait again.

Perhaps you’re waiting to find that special someone. Maybe you’ve been waiting a very long time~years, decades.

For every married man or woman who has had to wait months or even years to be intimate with their spouse~maybe because of illness, relationship struggles, the mundane trudging of raising kids and going to work or any other unforeseen adventure~waiting is something you HAVE to do in marriage. You will wait for your spouse to feel good. You will wait for them to want you. You will wait to be loved. You will wait to be touched. YOU. WILL. WAIT. Waiting is at the top of the 3 most important things you will ever do in your marriage along with commit and compromise.

So, teenagers and young people who are waiting. Waiting and hoping. Dreaming and waiting. Waiting and floundering~ continue to wait. Distract yourself if you must. Work, laugh, eat, socialize, make friends, go places, do things, be scared, cry, fidget, waste money, save money, engage yourself in wonder and wait. DON’T give in to the expectation that the world has laid out for you: jumping from one relationship to another, never waiting for something special, ditching one relationship because you’re bored and rushing into the next, sleeping with any or all of your prospects only to find that none of them will be there for the long haul….

If you want to be the very best spouse; if you want to have the very best love~wait for it. And while you wait , remember what it’s like to anticipate because those who wait well appreciate what they’ve waited for, far more than those who have never had to wait at all. 

So what are you waiting for? Watch this…..

Day 30~ Love Unconditionally {What You Have To Lay Down For Love}

Over the past 30 days I’ve been participating with over 700 other bloggers to post about one topic over the entire month. I admit that when I began I wasn’t really set on my topic: Loving Your Family.  I should have been broader…or maybe more specific. I’m not sure. I’d do it differently though.  And, actually, it’s quite hard to  do. I did miss a few days which I intended to make up for…but, well, that’s not going to happen.   Through it all, I’ve been loving my family through a series of small crises.  In our house, there’s always drama. But this month has been fraught with more than I’d care to share.  For the most part, I’ve kept my family out of this conversation. Mostly because teenagers don’t much appreciate their dirty laundry being aired for all the world to read.(And can I blame them?)  But now that we are to the end of this topic, I’d like to talk to myself.  If you want to listen in, that’s fine.  But this is for me.

I’ve always thought that I understood love.  REAL love.  Maybe I’m naive or maybe I’m just not thinking hard enough about it, but love is tough.  It’s not romantic and calm.  It doesn’t fit the mold that I thought it would.  Love takes work.  Lots of work.  Love takes sacrifice~ more than I even know at this point in my life.  Love hurts.  And love rewards.

Yesterday, I watched a video.  I knew the story behind it years ago but I had avoided watching the video knowing it would reduce me to a puddle of mush.  It did.  I was sobbing.  Tears flowed.  I could not contain the swelling of my heart.  Love broke the mold.



Are you crying yet?  I can’t stop.  It’s unconditional love.  The kind of love that gets up early in the morning when all you want to do is sleep. Love that gently rocks a baby back to sleep for the 10th time this night.   A love that holds the forehead of not one child, but 4 all through the night as they fight a stomach flu so that their dad can sleep and be okay for work in the morning.

Love hurts your muscles; carrying a too-tall child up the stairs to their bed because they have fallen asleep on the couch.

Love hurts your heart; watching your daughter’s heart be broken for the first time because she’s not ready to give her heart away.

Love hurts your time; you cannot watch that TV show or read that book tonight because someone needs help with their homework.

Love hurts your wallet~ yes. It does.

What are you willing to lay down for love?  If you say you love unconditionally and are willing to sacrifice then what will you lay down?

Are you patient with your kids and your spouse? Are you kind? Do you envy them or their position? Are you too proud to sit at their volleyball game for 3 hours and cheer even though your daughter isn’t likely to play more than 3 minutes?   Do you dishonor them by talking about the dumb thing they did last week to your friends?   Are you short-tempered and do you tend to bring up their past mistakes just to rub it in?

1 Corinthians 13(also known as the Love chapter) says this:

           4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 8 Love never fails.

LOVE NEVER FAILS. EVER.  You keep going even when you want to quit.  You hug when you want to walk away. You show grace and mercy when all you want to do is punish.   LOVE NEVER FAILS.

Failing to love your family is not an option. It doesn’t mean you’re perfect~ it just means you’ll get back up and try again.


DAy 13~ A Hug Would Make My Day

When we were young kids, my little sister would often say “I need a hug”. She would stop whatever she was doing, regardless of the situation and just NEED a hug.

She could say what few of us do~ she said it and then did it. And she flourished because of it.  I’m guessing that Physical Touch is her primary love language. 🙂   I have a daughter now who does the same thing.  At 13, she comes into the kitchen and says, “Mommy, I need a hug.”

A hug absorbs the feelings of the day. It crushes the negative forces that threaten the tender places of your heart.  A hug makes everything better~ for a little while.

 Do your kids need a hug? Does your husband or wife need a hug?  Do you? Here is a cyber-hug from me to you. ((Big Squishy Hug ))  And a few pictures of how you may be feeling. 🙂

Day 4~ Remind Me

This post is for married folks. Not that unmarried folks can’t learn from it, just that you need to realize where it’s coming from and directed at.

For the past 2 months my husband has been working in a city 5 hours away. We see each other about once every 2 weeks for 2 days only. We will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of our engagement next week.  Married for 19 1/2 years….well, do I really need to tell you how our time together goes? The wonderful thing about being apart is that absence really does make the heart grow fonder.  When you are used to having your lover near you all the time; to chat, to listen, to love…you don’t realize how much you can miss them when they’re gone.  He is lonely. So am I.

Our marriage has not been easy. We have had weeks, months, even years where we just existed. Where we just functioned to raise our kids, put food on the table….maintain.  It really wasn’t much of anything but one thing we’ve always had is a deep commitment to working it out~ seeing it through. Even in our darkest days we always hoped, prayed and expected that we would remain a couple; as one.

{Holy matrimony is just that: Holy.  Sanctified, holy-fied , beautified….

flesh of my flesh and bone of my bones.}

It is supernatural, inexplicable and red-hot. (well, not always but hey, we can dream, right?).

If you are a married woman of less than 12 years let me tell you this..IT. GETS. BETTER Like WAY better.  Like, you have no idea how much better.  Those things that made you fall in love.  His touch, his look. The way he cups his hand in the small of your back. Those things are all still there.  Sometimes, you just have to be reminded. I’m all about romance.  And there’s nothing quite like a country song to put me in the mood.  Maybe you need a little reminder of why you fell in love and why it’s so good…when it’s so good.  Remind Me is my husband’s and my favourite new song. Whenever one of us is driving and hear it playing on the radio, we pull over and call or text each other…”remind me”….

Check out this blog from another one of the 31day series on Making Love….

Or this one on 31 days To Loving your Spouse.

And one of my favorite bloggers, Ann Voskamp, has put it into words like only she can do: “like honey, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones”…

When LOVE takes hold Part 2: The principle of the promise

Yesterday  I posted about a supernatural match made in Heaven~ the beginnings of a life long relationship between two people who have waited their entire adult lives for God to give them that one special person with whom they could spend their lives.  People keep asking me if I’m a matchmaker and can I “hook them up” with someone.  Ha! First of all the term “hook up” makes me barf in my mouth a bit and secondly, I have no matchmaking skills whatsoever.

On that night, when Jenna asked me if I knew of a single guy in his late 30’s…..well, let’s just say that her reputation preceded her.  And not only her, but the potential guy and girl….their reputations preceded them as well.

Let me explain:   When I was 19 and starting out on my dating journey with my now husband, I was not looking for recreational dating fun. I was looking for my life’s mate.  I was looking for a husband. Even at a young age, the method and course of dating mattered to me.  They should matter to everyone.

My love penned a note to me which he left on my car windshield. He was very intentional about wording and where it would lead.  It was a significant moment in our lives. It was the beginning of our journey together.  I’m not saying every guy should write a girl a note to ask her out, but I am saying that there needs to be more intentionality and purpose when a guy asks a girl out.  And no, the purpose should not be to get into her pants.

It sickens and saddens me that this generation(and a couple before) have looked upon dating as a superficial means to a superficial end.    Typically, there are girls and guys on any  given night of the week “hooking up” for the first and last time with people they barely know and have no intention of ever getting to know.  The disregard for feelings and emotions is a big reason why dating has become a joke and marriages are grounded on little more than sex.

When someone sets their mind and their heart on the things of God and pursues His plan, they are building their reputation.  You can want to date, dream about finding “the one”, drool over wedding magazines(I did), plan that perfect day, look for a guy, hunt for a girl~ you can do it all  and still keep yourself pure and your mind set on God’s plan.  God’s plan may not be for you to fall in love at 19 or 25 or even 35.  God’s plan may involve years or even decades of trusting Him with your future.  It’s not easy.  I haven’t done it but I have seen some who have.  We live in a world bombarded by the free and easy way of life~ if you want it, just do it.  If you crave it, have it.  If you dream it, live it.    But that’s usually not God’s way.  God’s way is the way of Moses and the Israelites: 40 years roaming around the desert.   God’s way is Abraham and Sarah~ having their first baby in their 90’s.  God’s way is Mary and Joseph~ a virgin birth, an unmarried mother to be, an outcast couple.   God’s way is Paul in prison~ still preaching Jesus, boasting in His Saviour, not complaining.

Back to our couple and Jenna, the matchmaker(and me).  I knew it was more than a random coincidence and more than just a chance that these two would work out. Why? Because Jenna seeks her Lord.   I’ve known that about her for years~ she asks God and she listens….and waits for His answers.  I’ve experienced and witnessed first hand her convictions.  She reads the Word, believes the Word and receives the Word.   So, when she told me that this girl was one in a million, I whole heartedly trusted her.

And both Donna and David’s reputations have preceded them as well~ loyal, Godly, trustworthy, servant-hearted, pure, seekers of God~ not seekers of self.   And not only that, but anyone and everyone who knows these two affirms and confirms their reputations time and time again.  Consistency.  That is key.  When you follow God and the principles that He has laid out in His word all that can follow is blessings.  Because that is His promise.   God’s word is full of promises.

Today, as I talked to David and heard his heart.  He was clearly fumbling for the words to express how he knew that God was the author and perfecter of this love story.  There are no words.  How can words even begin to describe a love story that began years ago? A prophecy given to a friend for her friend,  a confirmation and ultimately the intangible dream becoming the tangible, touchable reality.  It doesn’t make sense to our human minds.  It is not “conventional” .  It is not what we have come to believe as “traditional”.  The mockers and scoffers have already come out to play but their noise is being drowned out by the peace that passes all understanding.  The gentle, guiding hand of the Creator of Love is crafting an amazing love story.  It is incredible.

The promises of God:

Psalm 37:3

Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.

7 Be still before the LORD
and wait patiently for him;

Matthew 6:33

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Proverbs 3:

My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.

3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.