Letter to a Wife – Proverbs 31

From a guy’s perspective, a man who values his wife more than riches or the great coupons she finds. My brother has consented to let me post his anniversary letter this week. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

A great woman is hard to find, she is worth far more than pearls, opals, topaz, or great coupons. Her husband trusts in her, if he is smart. Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life, with the exception of sharing from her large chocolate stash in that desk drawer.

She constantly shops for the best values, found in high-end stores (just looking), or second-hand boutiques. Her second-hand is as lovely and her first, by the way. She works hard to keep her husband looking sharp, which can be a challenge.

She is like a Trader Joe’s buying rep who scours the country looking for yummy surprises and hard to find finds. She is up before 10, preparing mochas when her husband doesn’t have time. Otherwise, she gladly accepts his breakfast while she reads the paper, with still more scouring.

She looks over a field, discovers that her husband has grand ideas concerning it, and says, “You’ve got to be kidding.” She lets him landscape and plant a garden anyway. God bless her.

First thing in the morning, she dresses, always styling, rolls up her sleeves and gets to work. If she is wearing short sleeves, that means its July. She keeps work in balance, and really knows how to juggle. She puts the home in homemaking and gladly works side by my side.

She is quick to help anyone, anytime. She doesn’t think twice. She quietly challenges her husband to put compassion over practicality.

She doesn’t worry about her family when it rains or snows, because she has already found great deals on winter clothes. Her own clothing is always sharp and classy. And unlike her husband, she pulls off retro.

When her husband deliberates with city fathers, they roll their eyes and look to her, knowing they’ll now get the real story. Her children know and do this too. She keeps an eye on her household and keeps them all productive. Especially her husband.

Charm can mislead and beauty fades, but seriously, how does she still look so good? Colby is to be admired and praised (she is wincing right now but I tell it like it is).

Her life secret: She humbly and wisely walks before God. My decision to link up with her 32 years ago was the second best decision I ever made.

Happy Anniversary, Sweetie.

Terry Sheldon, guest blogger. A letter to his wife, Colby Sheldon, as they celebrate their anniversary 2017. Terry also blogs periodically for City Salt Church in Eugene, OR.
Note: Slightly modified from Proverbs 31:10-31 TUV (Terry’s Unauthorized Version)

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How Watching TV and Going Hunting Improves my Marriage – Genesis 2:20-24

There are a couple of things I do to make my marriage better, things I wouldn’t be interested in if I weren’t married to Jerry.

First, staring at moving images on a screen has never been my favorite pastime. I prefer doing something with my hands, like writing, straightening up the house, turning pages in a book, visiting with my parents, and playing with grandchildren.

I used to tell my kids that when I am old and housebound, then I’ll catch up on those important shows I should have seen on TV. If I feel like it.

Jerry likes taking it easy on the couch after a long day at work. I don’t spend time on the couch except when I’m sick, and when he invites me to watch something with him. Most evenings now we find a documentary or historical drama on the Web and hunker down to share some chill time.

Second, I don’t care much for hunting. Early in our marriage I asked Jerry to teach me to shoot a gun. I’ve brought home game, but I don’t enjoy sneaking around in the woods being quiet for hours on end. Sometimes I want to throw rocks, sing, explore, and talk to God out loud.

What I do enjoy is living life with my husband, so last week I tagged along with him and his buddy Leo on their hunting trip. Along with more kitchen supplies than they would have taken, I packed my Bible, my laptop, and a charger to plug into the truck.

United is our choice 

“But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man . . . That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:20-24 NIV).

It was a great week. The guys pulled out before sunrise and I didn’t see them till midday. They came back to rest and eat, then headed out for another try at finding those elusive elk. When they were in camp I supported them by making some of their meals and hearing about their day.

A writer’s retreat – my special place

While they were gone I did the housekeeping (or camp keeping), read my books, explored, and wrote, relishing my time alone.

Dorcas Smucker, author and columnist for the Register-Guard, wrote about the cabin her husband built for her so she could write in a quiet place. She posted a photo of herself on her blog, a contented writer perched in her nest. Compare her photo to mine.*

The writing space my husband provided for me was quite different, and my position in the photo is harder to discern. There’s a look of deep intent on my face as I write, sitting by the heater in our tent trailer wearing nearly every stitch of clothing I brought along.

Dorcas doesn’t look like she’s having trouble staying warm, but what we are both experiencing is the much-appreciated support of our husbands, and our mutual love of writing with God.

Guess what Jerry and I did when we came home from our hunting trip? Different tasks as we unpacked, reorganized, and cleaned up. Different stories about our adventures. Different plans for the next few days. Different but together.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

*Dorcas Smucker can be found at dorcassmucker.blogspot.com. Her books are available on Amazon.com.

One Woman’s Legacy of Praise – Psalm 34:1-3

Did your parents pay you to engage in sports or practice your instrument? Or do your homework? Maybe that would have helped some of us work a little harder, eh?

My Uncle Paul & Aunt Ardeth Helbling’s grandchildren

My Aunt Ardeth passed away a week ago, and left behind a beautiful legacy of trusting God over a long lifetime. What is most apparent when you look at how she invested her life is the faithful support she gave her children and grandchildren (and greats) in the realm of music. And though, like all families, some haven’t pursued the same interests, they all benefit from the choices she made as a follower of Jesus.

At her memorial service one of my cousins quoted Aunt Ardeth as saying that music was an excellent way to keep children out of trouble. When hers were young, she paid them a nickel to sing or play their instruments for the church.*

I had to laugh, because I use songs all the time to steer me in the right path, especially when I first crawl out of bed (and sometimes before I lift my head off the pillow). It’s how I set my compass in the morning, turning my thoughts in a good direction. Music does help me stay out of trouble.

Worship songs are words that are repeated praise, usually written by someone else, that we make new and ours in the present. To those songs we add our thoughts, our interpretations, and our prayers. Sometimes we might change the words or add verses. Other times we may sit quietly and listen. I like to highlight a phrase and repeat it, letting it’s truth go deep.

That’s Praise

When I make a song the prayer of my heart, especially when I add my own expressions, that’s praise. Reaching to him in this way helps me release my grip on useless things like worries and fear, and helps me see him more clearly. I’m convinced God doesn’t listen to recordings. He wants me, with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.

“Speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, [offering praise by] singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks to God the Father for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; being subject to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5: 19-21 AMP).

Did you know that in scriptures we’re told at least 250 times to praise God? The message is clear.

“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!” (Psalm 34:1-3 ESV).

Here’s a sample

Lord, I am honored that you place people in my life like Aunt Ardeth. Thank you for surrounding me with your people, precious reminders of your favor. I especially appreciate music, melodies and harmonies that draw us in so we’ll work together, making something beautiful for you. It’s amazing how you do that!

Your creation takes my breath away, not only the sounds that please my ears but the sunset colors I see and the texture of my dog’s furry head. I could go on and on . . . in fact, I’m sure I will. Your praise shall continually be in my mouth!

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

*Note: One of my cousins informed me she doesn’t remember being paid. I’d better check my sources more carefully next time, or pay them all the nickels they’re due.