Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘marriage’

Ten Ways to Keep Marriage Alive


Ten Ways to Keep Marriage Alive

 

accessory anniversary band celebration

Bob and I have been married more than 57 years. Our love for one another is more alive today than it ever has been. (I read that statement to him just now and asked if he agreed. Of course, he said, “Of course,” That’s part of the secret, guys! Ya gotta readily agree on things like that!)

How do we do it? How do we keep love alive after all these years? What is a healthy marriage anyway?

Jane Smiley, in her book, At Paradise Gate, wrote the following:

“You know what getting married is? It’s agreeing to take this person who right now is at the top of his form, full of hopes and ideas, feeling good, wildly interested in you because you’re the same way, and sticking by him while he slowly disintegrates. And he does the same for you. You’re his responsibility now, and he is yours. If no one else will take care of him, you will. If everyone else rejects you, he won’t.

What do you think love is? Going to bed all the time? Poo! Don’t be weak. Have some spine! He’s yours and you’re his. He doesn’t beat you or abuse you, and you’ve made the same bargain. Now that you know what it’s like to be married, now that all the gold leaf has sort of worn off, you can make something of it; you can really learn to love each other.”

I love that take on marriage by Jane Smiley. It coincides with my opinion on what it takes to make a marriage work. Here is my list:
Ten Constant Steps toward Being Married Happily Ever After:

  1. Accept and Respect one another’s differences, and celebrate your areas of sameness.
  2. Stick by one another – even as you slowly disintegrate.
  3. Take responsibility for yourself and your actions. Be forgiving.
  4. Defend one another to a hostile world.
  5. Be strong in your faith; pray and laugh and play together.
  6. Be a diligent partner, doing more than your share without bitterness or resentment or complaint.
  7. Praise one another for the little things.
  8. Never take one another for granted.
  9. Always be trustworthy; don’t stab one another in the back!
  10. Practice the art of compromise – with God as your Constant Guide.

Keep Learning

Yes, when all the gold leaf has sort of worn off and you’re each comfortable in your own space, keep the space open and inviting. Invite one another in. Keep on learning to love one another as long as you both shall live.

You’re in this box together. You’re in it for the long haul. Enjoy the ride!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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Hang tight!!


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See ya later.

 

Holding Hands


Everything I ever needed to know
I learned in kindergarten!
Never stop holding hands!

Bob helped me down the steep Mount Baldy hillside

Holding hands is underrated
It’s akin to holding hearts
When you stop holding hands
That’s when the trouble starts

Dancing with your loved one
In the kitchen or bedroom
Keeps your relationship fresh
As when you were bride and groom

Expressing how I love you
In words both clear and sweet
Helps our love stay fresh as
The day you swept me off my feet

You know, I never ever want to
Take our love, Honey, for granted.
Hand-holding, dancing, expressing –
Grows our love right where we’re planted.

80th birthday bouquet

No need to buy me flowers
Although a rose or two don’t hurt
Just hold my hand, kiss me, and
Remember how I love it when you flirt!

My sweet husband of 57 1/2 years
Never stop holding my hand!

I wish you love

See you tomorrow

How Do We Stay Together?


Happy 19th Anniversary to Ed & Maria!

Ed & Maria Platt

Happy 55th Anniversary to Bruce & Ann

Bruce & Ann Beekman

Happy 57th Anniversary, Bonnie & Stan

Bonnie (Beekman) & Stan Hunt

Happy 60th Anniversary, Marge & Bill !!

Bill & Marge Beekman

And Happy 57th Anniversary (58 in February) to Bob & me
– as we enjoy this 80th year of our lives
– and celebrate our togetherness
– and thank God for our health

Jan & Bob – How’d ya do it?

How do couple stay together so long?

That’s a question Bill & Marge were asked at our granddaughter, Faith’s wedding when the 4 Beekman couples were the last ones left on the dance floor after the disk jockey (DJ) said, “All couples married less than 55 years sit down.”

Wow! Here we were… eight old farts still standing, still dancing, still together.

Marge Beekman’s answer was, “Never go to bed mad at each other.”

Bill Beekman was asked for his answer. He said, “I agree with Marge.

The DJ said, “Did you see that? Did you hear that? He let her answer first and then he just agreed with her. There’s the secret to a long married life!”

Are There Other Secrets?

Well, if he had asked me, “How have you stayed together for 57 years?” I would have answered with not just one, but TEN ideas! (He would have had to cut me off!)

These ideas have worked for us in our long marriage – and have contributed to my ability to tell you, “We’re not just still together, but I love him more today than I did the day we married.”

What Are the Tips for Longevity in Relationships?

  1. Pray together – make the Lord central in your relationship – ask Him to guide your days and help you with every decision. Listen for His Holy Spirit to speak to you and help you as you walk daily in His Will to the best of your abilities.
  2. Give each other space – you are a couple, but you are also people with your own ideas, your own needs, and your own agendas. Allow each other the right to make individual decisions and keep your own identities bright and alive. We even have separate checking accounts. As long as the household needs are met, I don’t have to account to him for every penny of my retirement money that I spend… and likewise, his retirement play money is his to play with as he chooses. Give each other individual freedoms!!
  3. Listen to one another – really hear! Care about what the other thinks and find out why he/she really believes that. Never stop learning from one another.
  4. Go to church together – find a worship community and cultivate their friendships. We are Christians – and we want you to be able to see that in our love for one another and our love for YOU. “They will know we are Christians by our love ❤ ” is not just a song we love to sing, but a life we strive to live. Our Christian friends are our support system, our help in time of need, our prayer partners. There is no friend like the long-term friends you make under the cross of Jesus!
  5. Play together – you may each have your own idea of what “fun” is (He fishes, I don’t. I love movies & popcorn, he doesn’t. He skis, I don’t. I go to Writer’s Group each Friday, he doesn’t. He loves yard work … or at least does it masterfully, I don’t. I love to volunteer at the Sr. Center, the Medical Center, help seniors in need, he doesn’t.) You get the idea. But we love to go riding on the Montana mountain trails with friends in our ATV – and we love entertaining friends in our home, hosting over-nighters for a week or a month or even a year in our home. We love going out to Dave’s Sushi or enjoying a BBQed dinner with fine wine at home. The idea is, find your areas of commonality and play happily together!
  6. Treasure and Appreciate One Another – Bob’s nickname for me (he has many, but my favorite ) is “Precious.” I appreciate his expressions of love and affection and his readiness to show appreciation. He often comments on things like, “My, you look pretty today!” or “I like the way you added that spice to the ______ (fill in the blank) for dinner tonight.” In return I try not to take for granted his beautiful yard work or the delicious waffles he makes for breakfast or his warm and plentiful hugs. Thank you is such an important word in any relationship!
  7. Love One Another even when you don’t Like each other! None of us is perfect. We often do things to “piss each other off!” It could be something as simple as leaving the toilet seat up or not putting the lid back on the toothpaste. Or it could be a major thing like staying out late without saying you were going to do so – and not calling to say where you are. Showing LOVE for one another is treating your partner the way you want to be treated and expressing yourself clearly without anger (if possible) when your expectations are not met. Loving is compromising and not always expecting things to go your way. Love is forgiving and trying NOT to be the annoying one in the relationship!
  8. Be Kind and Compassionate – Yes, we all make mistakes. We do stupid things. We say things we wish we could take back. When we are at our worst, that’s when we need kindness most. It’s when our partner is at his/her worst that we find it most difficult to be kind in return. But harshness begets hatred and ugliness begets violence. Our response is crucial. Of course, there are caustic relationships that are unhealthy and are not meant to be sustained. No one is called to be a doormat. My heart goes out to those who are in relationships with those who inflict mental or physical abuse. Especially when help is offered, but refused. Sometimes leaving is the most loving option. Kindness/Compassion is a two-way street!
  9. Trust! – Without mutual trust, the relationship is doomed! My husband, Bob’s ski buddy is Nancy. She is a 50-something dynamo who is a ball of energy and fun. She’s a fantastic skier and loves to do those double diamond runs – just like Bob does. If I didn’t trust Bob, I could be jealous of the time they spend together on the slopes and I could conjure up all sorts of images of what I think might or might not be happening. But, Bob & I always have lived with mutual trust – and so instead of worrying, I treasure Nancy’s friendship, too. I love getting together whenever we can with her and her fun-loving husband, Dan. In fact, she’s the one I told you about a few days ago when I said I wanted to adopt a Daughter #4. You gotta trust – and in that confidence enjoy a multitude of friendships and a plethora of opportunities you might miss otherwise!
  10. Respect! – It’s the bottom line. Without mutual respect, you may as well call it a day NOW. I have been around couples where one of them is so disrespectful to his/her partner that it smells up the room. The air is so caustic, you don’t want to be within ten miles of ’em. You want to shake ’em and wake ’em up to what they are doing to one another – or what one is doing to the other. But, rarely does intervention help. You sigh, shake your head, and vow not to ever do that to YOUR loved one. That’s a vow worth keeping if your relationship is worth having! ALWAYS show respect to your partner… and while you’re at it, respect yourself. God don’t make no junk … you’re a treasure!

God Bless You

I love you

See ya tomorrow

Who Gives This Bride?


Tearfully and joyfully our son said, “Her mother and I do.”

The Father-Daughter dance:

The misty-eyed mom:

I’m with the bride’s other grandma & a best friend… enjoying the festivities.

Congratulations to the adorable new Mr & Mrs McSparron!

It was an amazing wedding day.

God Bless You, Kyle & Faith.

What a beautiful day!

We had an early celebration of my 80th. So fun!

All the Beekman siblings & their spouses gathered. All four couples have been married 55 years or more! A great legacy for the newlyweds!

How was your day, my friends?

See ya tomorrow.

Commitment


Commitment

Haiku x5

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The groom is a sport
With a great sense of humor
Ready to get hitched

Wedding rehearsal
Was a time for family fun
Commitment displayed

You take my hand, dear
And we’ll begin life anew
You and me as one

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You save the first dance
And the last dance for me, too
Always, I’ll love you!

Today’s the wedding
God is smiling on this day
Two families are one.

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Here is Kyle’s dear mom, Lisa.
What a joy to be joined to the McSparron family!

Time to promise anew
to honor family and

our commitment to each other.

God bless YOU
and YOUR FAMILY.

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See ya later.
JanBeek

 

Songs, Smiles & Stability


Songs, Smiles & Stability

 

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Thanks for joining me on our A-Z journey
to find ways to
Add More Meaning
and
Discover Clearer Purpose
in Life

Today’s letter
is “S”

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Songs

Yesterday my second great-grandchild was born. My grandson, Jordan, and his “significant other” Joss, live in Sacramento. The care Joss received was wonderful at the hospital when she arrived by ambulance to deliver a little girl one month prematurely. By the grace of God, all that baby girl’s fingers and toes are perfect and at last report, she was nursing and cooing. No smiles yet, but those will come. Meantime, I am singing praises to God, the Creator for this little treasure.

https://deyspublishing.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/bring-forth/
The link above will take you to my friend, Dorothy’s blog.
Her topic today, “Bring Forth” fits today’s “S” themes perfectly…
Thank you, Dorothy!

Sing to the Lord
is one of my favorites.
I can get it here with my Amazon Music.
Can you? Try clicking on it and look for
Faithful Servant album by the Herbster Trio

(But don’t forget to come back.. there’s more good stuff here!)

https://music.amazon.com/albums/
Hallelujah!

Smiles

I am smiling as I sit here this afternoon volunteering at our Madison Valley Medical Center in Ennis, Montana. The smiles are a result of my anticipated hug time with Cosette, my new great-granddaughter, named after a main character in Les Miserables.

Another thought that brings smiles is the party we are planning at our house tomorrow for my Ennis granddaughter’s 25th birthday and our great-grandson’s 2nd birthday.

I am also smiling because I am reading a small booklet that I received in the mail today from Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. The booklet, titled Whispers of the Lakota, is filled with poetry written by 9th and 10th graders. I am soooo impressed with the depth of these poems. I called the school and asked for permission to share a couple of them with you. They agreed.

This one is by Isabelle, a 10th grader,

THE HERO IN ME

“She smiles, she laughs, she hurts,
…     she cries.
She holds it all inside.
She lives, she flies, she soars,
She dies.
She is the one I idolize.
She loves, she gives, she cares,
She is
The one I know I will someday
…     Be
A hero, a mother, a child, a soul,
…      the woman inside of me.”

Such a perfect poem for this Mother’s Day weekend, don’t you think?
Thank you, Isabelle, for letting me share it. I love it!

Kudos to your 9th and 10th grade English teacher who drew these marvelously thoughtful, intimate poems out of his-her students’ hearts!

Stability

My prayer for Cosette, my new great-granddaughter, born prematurely to this couple who have not yet yielded to the commitment of marriage, is that she will grow in an atmosphere of unconditional love, a home where her best interests are in her parents’ vision, and a family who will give her joy, nourishment, and stability.

On this topic, let me share another poem from  Whispers of the Lakota  by a 10th grader named Jessie:

LIFE

“We often call it a gift, a mystery.
We have the power to make and take.
Let’s think about this
I know we can all relate
A brand new human, bright-eyed to the world
We cannot tell time, we cannot tell where or when
Something will happen but we can see that brand new
Baby Boy or Baby Girl
Life is a treasure, a gift not to be destroyed
You cannot throw a child away as if it were a toy.
The actions you take can certainly make or break
Take the time to consider the life
You make.

What amazing insight for a 10th grader to exhibit, huh?  What might Jessie have seen in his/her young life to have been able to write so poignantly from the heart – the soul – of the human spirit?

If the poem is from Jessie’s experience, then we might assume Jessie has seen life taken for granted – and has experienced (or known up close about) the unspeakable act of the “throw-away child.” A life destroyed. How sad! Thank you, Jessie, for encouraging and believing in the right to life for these defenseless little treasures.

More Meaning/ Clearer Purpose

This blog series, devoted to adding more meaning and discovering clearer purpose
in life, could not have been enhanced more than by the words of these young people.  Thank you, Red Cloud Indian School, for the work you do with these Lakota students! The way you love them and teach them and help them learn is so appreciated!

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Red Cloud Indian School provides stability of place, stability of community, and stability of heart to children who need all of those so much. It is the largest privately funded Indian School in the USA, educating more than 600 students on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in a remote part of South Dakota since 1888. They teach the children not to run away from challenges and difficulties, but to stay and work through problems. They educate and nurture them. God bless the school and their students and staff!

Songs, Smiles and Stability

I hope today’s message has lived up to its promise to put a song of praise and thanksgiving in your hearts, give you reasons to smile, and has given you pause – as you think of the person(s) in your life who provided you with a sense of stability.

Happy Mother’s Day weekend!

See you tomorrow!

 

Mom Was an Okie


Let me take a break this Mother’s Day weekend from my A-Z series and talk instead about moms. Okay?

How would you describe your mom?

My mom was an Okie.

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Hmmm… How dare I?!

How dare I use such a derogatory term! “Okie” was a term used by those who thought they were better than those Dust Bowl transplants who moved to the west coast from Oklahoma to find a way to make a living when years of drought forced them from their homes there.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck is a classic book that told the story of Tom Joad, the father of a migrant family. Tom left the Oklahoma dust bowl for promised land in California, only to face new and daunting challenges. It was made into an award-winning movie starring Henry Fonda.

Wrong Assumption

My father’s sisters erroneously decided Mom was a west-coast migrant from Oklahoma. Unlike those Dust Bowl transplants from Oklahoma, my mother, Elizabeth Totten, had ancestors who migrated in the late 1800s from Ireland and Scotland to Iowa and then to the state of Washington at the turn of the century. Mom’s family owned a farm in Fall City, Washington. Her dad died when she was in her early teens. My grandmother guided her six children to work hard to keep the farm operating without my grandpa to lead the way.

After Elizabeth graduated from high school in 1933, she worked in Fall City at a creamery to help the family survive and retain the farm. She moved to California after she met my dad, Sal DeAngeles, a handsome, suave, dark-haired young man, 4 years her senior.

Early Days in Mom’ & Dad’s Marriage

Elizabeth and Sal eloped to Reno, NV in 1937 and kept their marriage a secret for awhile. They were aware that his family might have trouble accepting her.

Many times Mom told me the story of how Dad’s Italian sisters (he had 5 of ’em) were resentful of her intrusion. She said they called her an Okie. (To her face? I hope not!) She was not Italian. And worse yet, she was not Catholic! And to add insult to injury, Dad’s mother (my Grandma DeAngeles) loved Mom as if she were one of her own daughters. There may have been some jealousy at work there.

Mom thought Dad’s sisters had a friend, a local Italian, Catholic girl picked out for their brother. Mom said she believed they were shocked and rather put-off by his decision to marry this outsider.

Whether her perception of their non-acceptance was true or not, it colored our family’s relationship with my dear aunts forever! It may have been one of the reasons I recall our family going on Sunday afternoons to visit Dad’s sisters at their homes, but rarely inviting them to come to ours. What a shame!

Who was Mom – – – really?

Elizabeth (later nick-named Betty) was the fourth in a family of five children born to Laura & Ralph Valentine (RV) Totten. She was a slightly built, blond, blue-eyed girl with three older sisters, one brother, and a younger sister. She adored her father, whose untimely death (he fell off a barn roof and died of a brain injury), left her devastated.

She was a good student, particularly talented as an “elocutionist” (public speaker), and would have loved to attend college. Financially it just was not an option. She was good at math as well, and eventually became Dad’s secretary/treasurer in his business. In her retirement years, she kept herself busy playing Bridge and participating in the women’s organizations of Eastern Star and Rebekahs.

What do I Remember Fondly About My Mom?

Mom always told me I could do and be whomever I decided I wanted to be. She believed in me. She gave me confidence, and encouraged all my various endeavors. She made sure I got accordion lessons when I showed an interest in that instrument. She helped me get a clarinet when I wanted to join the elementary school band, and she drove me to weekly accordion and clarinet lessons fifty miles away.

Mom helped me develop my writing skills and encouraged my ventures into art and school leadership. She convinced Dad that I should be able to go to college – and made sure they managed to finance my college expenses so that I could concentrate on my studies. “Your school work is your job,” she explained when I was contemplating a job to help with college costs. Unlike most college students today, I graduated with a BA of education in four years – and was debt free. What a gift!

Mirror Images

Mom’s spit-fire personality sometimes caused us to be at odds with one another. I see her in me now and blame her for all the parts of my personality that annoy me. I look in the mirror and see her arms hanging from my shoulders (when did that happen?). I see her impatience in me when I am being less than kind. I look up and shake my finger at her when i am too outspoken.

Thank You, Mom

But at the same time, I thank my mom for all the ways she helped me become the  “Child of God” I am today. She made sure my sister, Sally, and I got to church each Sunday. She was 100% honest and she taught Sally and me to be morally responsible, dependable, hard-working young ladies. I am grateful to my mom for her role modeling, her work ethic, and her unconditional love.

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Family is So Precious!

The picture below is 53 years old!! That’s me on the left, pregnant with our first child. My husband, Bob, is standing next to me. Next is my sister, Sally, with her husband, Dave, holding their eldest daughter, Denise (both of whom are now deceased). I thank God every day for life – and for the life of my children – and count my blessings that they are alive and healthy, productive adults today. I never take that for granted.

My mom and dad (Sal & Betty) are in the foreground. The best gift they gave to me was their love for one another – and their love for our family.

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Happy Mother’s Day
to all those wonderful moms out there
who have impacted their children
in such important ways –
and continue to do so everyday…
some up close and personal,
and others as they lean over the
Heavenly railings and watch over us from above.
***

What do you remember most about your Mom?
And what do you want to thank her for?

 

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