I haven't used this space over the past seven years(blogging since 2008) to talk about a very important part of married life. I hesitate to talk about marriage, because I know I haven't arrived and who am I to give any advice or even write on the topic? There are so many resources for marriage, from books, conferences and radio programs. Will my few sentences make a difference? All questions I've pondered for a very long time. As the wife of a pastor who has taken care of the flock of four churches, I have seen the demise of way too many marriages. I 've seen many struggle with trying to stay married. In the hushed whispers of privileged conversations, I've heard gut wrenching sobs of ruined lives because of a marriage that could not stay the course. It is with those things in mind that I wade into the water of sex in marriage. I recently was accepted to help launch this book, 25 Questions You're Afraid to Ask about Love, Sex and Intimacy. I also helped launch Pulling Back the Shades earlier this year. Both of these books are written by Dr. Juli Slattery who is with Authentic Intimacy. Now, mom, if you're reading, don't blush! But this is such an important aspect of marriage I cannot be quiet anymore. I have not read this book yet, but trust Dr. Juli and her team and Moody publishers, enough to know what she writes is God centered and based on the Word of God. You can head over to the web site to read the first chapter and some of the questions posed and answered. You can follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or friend me on Facebook where I will be spreading the news about this book in the coming weeks. It hasn't been released yet, but it will be one you will want to add to your library! How would I answer questions about this important subject? You will have to stay tuned for more thoughts on the subject of sex between a husband and wife. It was God's idea in the first place,(Genesis 4:1) so I'm guessing it's ok to talk about. No worries, I will be tasteful. (Genesis 2:25) #25Questionsbook
A re-write from previous years. Twenty-nine years ago this time of year, my dad was not done getting his corn and soybeans out of the field. When Rob and I,(mostly me) suggested November 9 as our wedding day I was sure dad would be done and he wouldn't have to take a day off from farming to walk his firstborn down the aisle. Rob proposed the first week of June and his thought was to be married in the summer. No...he didn't know it took a few months to plan a wedding, even one in a small country church with the reception in the basement. It wasn't a fancy wedding where thousands upon thousands of dollars were spent. We had humble beginnings. On Sunday, twenty-nine years ago, I became Mrs. Rob Gates. Almost five years previous I laid eyes on him for the first time. My college days on a small town Bible college campus were full of studies of God's Word, courses in missions and a lot of time spent at the library...not to study but to meet up with the guy who spent most of his time there. We had fun too...didn't have a lot of money to spend on dates, but long talks in the cafeteria kitchen while he washed pots and pans are some of my fondest memories. We did go our separate ways after college graduation, but that story is told in As The Parsonage Turns category. I can't remember a day I did not want to be married and have kids. There were other choices, but I chose to be a wife, pastor's wife and mother, although I didn't give much thought to being a pastor's wife, that's another post too. I'm thinking about choices today, because of Hannah choosing to travel across the ocean, of Justin choosing the military many years ago and now choosing to live in Wyoming with his wife. Kelsey's choice to nanny in Italy several years ago. The opportunities available to all of us today are vast, unlimited and far-reaching. I think of two single gals from our church who have been missionaries in Africa and Bolivia, they chose to follow God's leading in their lives. And what does this have to do with an approaching anniversary? Twenty-eight nine ago I was losing sleep because I was so excited to spend the rest of my life with the man God had brought into my life. Two more sleeps and a new adventure would begin. Has it been easy? No. But it in a good way, because we have done life together. For richer and poorer, sickness and health we made a promise before God and many witnesses that we would stay together...only because of Christ. He is the glue, sometimes the only glue that has kept us plodding along in this great adventure called marriage. In a conversation this week with one of my kids she was telling me of a good friend whose marriage is failing and how sad she was. She said "it's so unfortunate to see so many marriages failing these days." I know I went into marriage with blinders on, thinking marriage would make me happy. Rob and I have been happy together, but if happiness is the goal of staying married then marriages will fail. Staying married is a choice. A choice to persevere and honor God. (To my divorced friends, this is not a post to make you feel you've failed or make you feel guilty) Hoards of books have been written on the subject, so I will simply say how thrilled I am to be celebrating our marriage, which I think is the best way to fight same-sex "marriage". Celebrate our lives together, work on our own marriages and honor God in our own lives before we take up the fight. Today I would choose you, Rob Gates, all over again. No regrets, no wishing I should have chosen another path. Happy to continue plodding with you.
No, this post isn't about my summer love life. That's for another post. The summer of 2014 has been calming and tranquil. With Lauren gone to two separate camps and vacation thrown in the mix for all of us I have had plenty of time these summer months to sit across the table or chair from some of my favorite sipping coffee or having lunch or walking at the park I love. I have attended three weddings, two of which Rob officiated and one where we just sat back and enjoyed the view on a hot summer afternoon at our church camp. One more wedding to cap off the end of summer on Labor Day which will make four young couples from our church tying the knot this summer. If I could impart any wisdom to the newly married, the encouragement would be to love God by keeping Jesus Christ as the primary lover of your soul. Do not place your spouse on a pedestal or at the center of your life. Keep your relationship with Jesus front and center and look to him for everything you need. Additionally, to love your neighbor with our spouse being our closed neighbor. I have also spent the long hazy days of summer reading. I love to make lists and I love to make them in Moleskin. This particular list is my summer reading where I wrote down books I wanted to read, recommendations I found and authors I wanted to check out. I am loving the public library and their online catalog where I can find the book and put it on hold. I haven't purchased many books in the last year except for a counseling class I am taking. Those check marked or crossed off have been read or
tossed in the trash taken back to the library. A couple of authors were so vulgar and graphic. #10 is a perfect example. One I could not put down was Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers. She writes the best fiction with some of her family history woven throughout several of her books. I also enjoy Ted Dekker for fiction. Jeremiah Burroughs is a very long time ago author who wrote The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment. I highly recommend this book on contentment. I will be adding the rest of what I read this summer to the tab under Reading List.
Summer lovin' is almost over, but my favorite season, fall is approaching hoping it is long, making our winter shorter.
Hey a girl can dream.