Pearls of Wisdom

In my two previous posts Pearl of a Girl  and Wise Guy, I share the meaning of Drew and Megan’s names as well as what these two young people mean to our family. In just a few days these two people will share their first wedding anniversary.  As this special day approaches Megan and Drew, thoughts of what we were doing this time last year in preparation for all the wedding festivities, I reflect on one of the things we had guests do at the Rehearsal Dinner.       

At each place setting, we had cards where the guests would write three pieces of advice for the young couple which were placed in a scrapbook for them to look at in years to come. Advice from the humorous side of marriage to the seriousness of this bond with God was shared.  I even wrote a post, Yes Dear that gave some advice for the to be married couple.              

In my previous post Pearl Of A Girl and Wise Guy, I share the meanings of Drew and Megan’s names and scriptures that describe who they are. Though these posts were done separate, Megan and Drew are joined in union with God. They walk side by side with God walking with them. Thus, the reason the two previous posts are joined together for Pearls of Wisdom.

Megan and Drew exchange their vows.
August 6, 2011

As Megan and Drew’s first anniversary approaches I know that they have overcome some obstacles that every couple faces during that first year. For example, I am sure by now (at least I hope) Drew has learned to put the toilet seat down so that Megan doesn’t go for a cold swim in the middle of the night. It has been discussed on how one should squeeze the toothpaste out of the toothpaste tube (which Drew’s parents are still working on after 26 years of marriage..LOL!), and I am sure they have compromised on how the toilet paper should be hung (one of the greatest debates of all time).    

 In the midst of these compromises and discussions/decisions, they have been faced with many decisions that took the both of them working together, praying together and listening to each other’s point of view on each decision. They have learned what it means to work as a team.

Last year, they were given many pieces of advice that would help them get through their first year of wedded bliss and some that they will carry with them for a lifetime. Yet, as they approach this special celebration, there are words of wisdom to share as they look beyond year one of being together.

First and foremost, continue to ask God to be the center of your home. Invite Him to your meals by saying a prayer before you eat and lighting a candle on the table. Yes, candle lit dinners are romantic but they are also a reminder of the vows that you took before God and His presence in your marriage.

Second,  communicate. Communication is one of the key issues in a marriage. After being married for a significant time, couples seem to think the other knows how the other feels. When couples to do this, they are setting themselves up for disagreements and tension in their marriage. It is so important that you take time to talk. If something is heavy on your mind, be sure to clear some quiet time where the two of you can be alone to do nothing but talk the situation through.

Rehearsal Dinner

Third, communicate with each other’s family. It is so important that you develop strong loving relationships with each other’s parents and extended family. Yes, there will be things one or the other family will do that is not quite the way you do it or did it with your family but respect it. As the saying goes, “when in Rome.” Jim and I have always had a rule with us regarding this scenario and that is if it is not wrong, harmful or hurtful, just roll and go with it. Only speak up when something is done or said when it is blatantly wrong.

Fourth, pray together. And, pray for one another each day. Ask God to protect your partner, to walk with your partner and to be with your partner in all the decisions they are faced for that day. May it be your prayer that others will see God in you in  your every day actions.

Fifth, Laugh. There is humor all around you. Even in the toughest times, there is something that can make you laugh. They say that laughter is the best medicine and it is so true. It releases the stress and helps you to face whatever is ahead of you.

Last but certainly not least, read a Psalm and Proverb every day. It is especially in Proverbs where the best advice on how to live your lives as individuals and as a couple is given to you. Proverbs is full of pearls of wisdom. The longer you are married the more you will see this wisdom in this book at work in your own lives.

When you read a scripture from the book of Psalms each day, you are reminded that God is walking with you and he will protect you. It is also a reminder that when in distress that God is there for you to cry out to Him. Also, it is a wonderful reminder of how God is our creator and He knows every fiber of our being.

Year one of marriage is now becoming a mile marker. Now, as you begin another year/chapter in your marriage, look forward to the future together.  Just always remember that no matter how good and/or bad  things may be at times that the ‘best is yet to come.’ God has so many plans for your future together.

Drew wanted a double doozie cookie from the Great American Cookie Co.
His request was honored at the Rehearsal Dinner

Happy Anniversary Megan and Drew!

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Wise Guy

In my previous post, I share about the Pearl of a Girl who was added to our family strand almost a year ago. Just as I looked up the meaning of Megan’s name, I continued on and looked up the meaning for Drew. Of course our Drew’s full name is Andrew.  Here is what I found; Drew has a Welch origin. The short form of Andrew and it means “wise.”

In raising Drew, I was faced with many challenges that come with raising a boy. Grass stains that magically jumped up on his pants as he would explain why his good pants had stains. Loud noises and sometimes rude noises that I would immediately attempt to put a stop to. And, then there were things Drew would say out of the blue that would make Jim and me realize that he was sometimes wise beyond his years and sometimes actually knew a little more than we did. Yes, challenging!!

Drew was the type of child where Jim and I would have to draw straws to see who was going to do the punishing when Drew did get into mischief. You see, Drew had a way of looking at us and breaking us as we were attempting to correct/lecture him. One of us would have to do the confrontation/punishing while the other was in the other room with their face buried in a pillow laughing while it was all going down in the other room.  Drew had and still does have a quick wit and tongue.

Yet, Drew has always been a child that Jim and I have great admiration for. He is always calculating, analyzing and researching before he makes any decision. For example, Drew did not actually start walking on his own until he was about twelve months old. However, we knew he could walk at six months. The reason we knew he could is because you could give him the thinnest  of thread to hold on to and he would walk. Yet, he had to have it perfected in his mind before he would reveal that he actually knew how to walk.

We have watched Drew make life decisions in the same way. He would bounce a thought our way to see what input we would have but then would not pursue the issue as far as we knew. Yet, all the while Drew was gathering facts, and information to make the best decision. He did this as he prepared to start his career life in Chicago, as he moved to Atlanta last year and as he made he most current move to the DeMoss Group.

Jim and I have a lot of respect for our son, Drew. He reminds us so much of Jim’s dad.  Jim, Sr is the type of man where people seek his advice and value his opinion. He is a man of wisdom.  They are both kind of like the old commercial that was on years ago; “When EF Hutton speaks, everyone listens.” 

Jim and I are proud of all of the decisions that Drew has made through the years. Yet, the decision to marry Megan has to be one of our proudest out of all of his accomplishments. It was only after a few visits with Megan that we knew that Drew was calculating something far more than a friendship. He was looking ahead at  a life-time friendship, relationship and partner to walk with him the rest of his life.

Drew getting ready to propose to Megan

Just as I looked up scripture that went with Megan’s name, I did the same for Drew. Have I not command you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Jim and I know that in ALL  the decisions Drew has been faced with that he has faced each one with confidence and great courage. He is a man who walks with God each and every day. It is because Drew has exemplified these characteristics over time that we know without a doubt that he will always watch and do what is best for his family. Most importantly, Drew will do everything it takes to take care of his “Pearl of a Girl”, Megan. Yes, Jim and I consider Drew a very ‘wise guy.’  

Drew had just popped the question!

Describe Him

Jim is on the right holding the walking stick…back in the day….

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In the above picture is my husband, Jim with some of his University of Kentucky Wesley Foundation friends and leader. He was sent this picture a few days ago by an UK alumni. When I looked at the picture, I not only see Jim of what he looked like in his younger days and when I met him. I also see my now adult and married son, Drew. I re-posted the picture on Facebook over the weekend and many people said Jim looked like Drew with a beard. Yes, there is resemblance between father and son. And, if you see Drew’s eyes, you will see his mom.

Drew and Me…..taken at his pre-school Mother’s Day party

Drew helping Dad at the office

When Drew was in Kindergarten, I was attending college to finish a degree I had started before Drew came into the world.  If at all possible, I would schedule my classes around Drew and his school schedule.  One semester there was that one class left to take and it did not finish up until about a half hour after Drew was dismissed from school.  Not having family locally and not really knowing who to ask, Jim worked out his schedule to pick up Drew on those two days and meet up with me at the house. It worked out pretty well except for one day when Jim got delayed with one of his patients.

Drew stood at the front door of the school entrance waiting with the hall monitor  for Jim. I am sure for a little guy the wait seemed to be forever. As Drew waited with the hall monitor, the monitor asked Drew; “what does your dad look like?”  Drew began to describe Jim. He  described Jim as being so tall, that he had black hair with white stuff in it and poke-a-dots(Jim’s 5:00 shadow that takes place at noon) all over his face. Of course, the monitor recognized Jim the minute Jim walked through the door.

God. What does he look like? This is a question that all of us contemplate at some point and time. Also, what does Jesus really look like? We have seen artist interpretations of what he may have looked like.  Some people have had actual encounters with Christ and have seen Him. But, have they really described what He looked like? All you hear from these experiences is the awesomeness of the moment.

Here is my description of  God. He is the beauty in the colors of the trees in the Spring and in the Fall. He is the breath-taking scenery when you ride through the mountains. God is the breath-taking moment as you watch the sunrise or sunset over the ocean and hear the songs of nature around you.  I look at myself in the mirror, I look at my family and others around me and I see God.

Here is my description of Jesus. Jesus has loving eyes that say hope, forgiveness and love. His arms are long so that they can reach around every person and love on them.  He is every person I encounter every day.  Some days, I recognize Him more than others.

It is impossible for me to give a vivid description of God and Jesus as Drew described his dad to the monitor. But, I rest in assurance of the scriptures that I will know exactly who He is when He comes through that door just as the monitor recognized Jim right away. Revelation 22:4-5 tells us; “They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever.”

Until the time comes for God to send his Son, Jesus, back to get His bride, it is up to each one of us as Christians to allow others see a little glimpse of what God and his Son, Christ looks like through us .  It is important that  we notice God at work around us every day. The other day, my dog, Smokey slipped and wrote about God’s presence. Smokey is so very right. We must acknowledge God in all that is around us.  When we acknowledge in all of our surroundings, we see the most beautiful portrait of God and his Son. We can also look in the mirror every day and see a beautiful image of God.  After all, we are made in His image.

“So, God created man in his own image; in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 2:27

God’s Symphony

Originally posted October 2, 2010

 

Today has been a beautiful brisk fall day.  As I have gone through my day, I am reminded of an experience that happened with our family on a fall outing in 1989.  Also, I am reminded  of the lesson learned on that fall day.

When Drew was  two years old, we  took a family trip to the North Georgia mountains. The day started out being a simple day of enjoying fall scenery and just simply getting away.  What started out as a fall day outing turned out to be a day of learning to listen to God through the ears and eyes of a two-year old boy.

When we arrived in the Dahlonega area, Jim wanted to see the North Georgia Conference United Methodist campground Camp Glisson.   As we walked the grounds of Camp Glisson, our  two-year old son Drew was pointing things out as any two-year old that is learning to talk would with his mommy and daddy. He showed us a squirrel, he tried catching leaves as they fell from the trees, and he was full of laughter and enjoying all that was around him.  As we continued to walk and enjoy the scenery, we knew we were approaching the waterfalls due to the sound of rushing water.  Though, we could hear the rushing water of the falls Jim and I had gotten caught in conversation of things to do once we returned home and not paying attention to what was around us.  In the midst of this conversation, Drew shouted “Sh-hh-hh…listen.”  I asked Drew what he heard.  His reply was “the Lord.”  Can you believe it took a two-year old to make two grown adults stop and hear the sound of God’s symphony through the rushing of the water, the rustling of the leaves and all the other sounds of nature around us? How suddenly did a sense of calmness and peace fill the inner soul. Those every day issues that Jim and I were discussing prior to Drew telling to be quiet were no longer important.

How wonderful the world would be if everyone could hear and see all the peacefulness that God does provides through the eyes of a child. Unfortunately, the world is not that way. It is so easy for our days to get caught up  in our lists to the point  we forget that God’s symphony is playing for us.  My challenge for you is to take a minute or two to stop in the midst of your busy day, shut the noise out, and listen to God’s music around you.  You will be amazed at the beautiful symphony that is playing all around you.  It is quite a symphony! At least my now 23-year-old son did when he was two.   Afterall, who would know better than a child of God. SH-HH-HH LISTEN!!

One day children were brought to Jesus in the hope that he would lay hands on them and pray over them. The disciples shooed them off. But, Jesus intervened.” Let the children alone, don’t prevent them from coming to me.  God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.” After laying hands on them, he left. Matthew 19:13-15 (The Message)

Drop everything and listen, listen as he speaks. Psalm 95:7 (The Message)

Prayer:  Father, when daily things get hectic, remind us to stop and listen and hear your voice. To feel the calmness you provide all around us in your symphony. In Jesus name. Amen

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My Dearest Megan

 

 

Dearest Megan

      One year ago today, Drew pulled off the ultimate mission of surprise. This mission was  to surprise you with a visit and to propose to you.  Needless to say, Drew had us involved to pull off this covert affair of surprise. As we helped Drew prepare for this mission, Jim and I both were so very excited and could not wait for the evening of surprise to unfold.                                            

Jim and I sat in Barnes and Noble awaiting for the “official” phone call that the mission had been completed and all was a success. When we received Drew’s call that all had gone well without problem, Jim and I were excited to know that we were getting a new addition to our family by the name of Megan. I am amazed that we didn’t jam the phone towers and signals with all of our phone calls and texts.    
 
 Megan,  I have prayed for you over many years.  My prayer was that God send Drew a Christian girl who was raised on the same value system as Drew. Along with this prayer, I prayed that this girl God would send would love Drew with all of her heart.  Needless to say, my prayer was answered when he put you into Drew’s life. Though this prayer has been answered, I continue to and always will pray for you asking God to hold you tight in His arms and giving you all that you need each and every day.
 
When I first met you, I knew you were the one for Drew.  It was the way you would smile and look at Drew that told me that you were ‘the one.’   Then, I knew you were definitely the one when I saw how you could stand toe to toe with Drew with his sarcasm and wit. Just as Drew knows how to zing, you seemed to know how to have a come back.  Only  a few can pull this off and you seem to do well at this task.                     
 
This summer you will officially become our daughter-n-law. But, Jim and I see you as becoming our daughter.  We grow to love you more and more as each day passes.  You add that special spice to our family just as special spices add to a recipe. Today, as Drew and you celebrate one year of being engaged, know that Jim and I both are very proud of the both of you. Along with your celebration of being engaged, Jim and I are both excited for you just as we were a year ago. In the words of Emeril, over the year that excitement has been “kicked up a notch!”

 

Jim and I can’t wait to not only see you and Drew at the altar beginning your journey together. But, we are looking forward to seeing you walk your journey together that God has planned before you.  As you make this journey together, always know that God is walking beside you and He loves you, too.

 We Love You,
 
April and Jim
 
    

   

 

 

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