Marriage–Sometimes You Wade Through Sludge Together

The other day I spotted my husband Rick wearing chest-high weighters slogging his way through our koi pond. Middle of the summer-hot. Watching him wade in the gunk, I had the most peculiar thought.

You look sooooooo cute like that!

Which didn’t make sense. He was standing in a pile of goo.

I leaned over the deck. “What ‘cha doing?”

“Pump’s stopped up.”

“Doesn’t look like much fun.”

“Has to be done.”

 

I remembered times when our world seemed a lot like the nasty pond.

Hopeless.

No way out.

Too messy to tackle.

Like when our infant son died minutes after he was born. Rick did what I couldn’t do. He disassembled the nursery before I got home from the hospital. (I wrote about it HERE.)

And when a precious family member spent some time walking a prodigal path, he said what I couldn’t say. “I’m sorry. We love you too much to help you,” he told her through his tears.

Nearly ripped my heart out, but he was right.

Then there was the time when another loved one (who is bipolar) went off his medication. Started doing meth. He was in bad shape. Rick convinced him to go to the hospital. Somehow got him in the truck. Drove him to the ER himself.

Maybe that’s why he looked so cute standing in the koi pond.

Wading through sludge, you discover what real love is made of.

Because when the water finally clears, something amazing happens.

You can see straight through to the bottom

And remember what you’ve been through together.

Some of you are wading through sludge right now. I’m praying for you.

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Romantic Day At The Beach–After All These Years!

Last week, my husband and I were sitting on the beach when I spotted a family walking toward us. “Look,” I whispered. “They have two girls and a boy, just like us.”

“Um-hmm.”

“Remember when that was us a few years ago?”

“Um-hmm.”

“We can’t both spy on them. Look at me. Pretend we’re talking.”

“We are talking,” Rick said.

Now they were only a few feet away.

Peeking from behind my sunglasses, I watched the daddy drag a cart filled with chairs, a cooler, sand toys, a Pack ‘n Play, an E-Z Up shelter, and a camping tent across the hot sand. The mother pushed a stroller loaded with the baby and even more supplies.

 

The mom and dad were smiling and chit-chatting, despite their loads. Pretty soon, they had the tent up.

 

 

Transfixed, I kept watching. Remembering. “Back when we were doing all that stuff, it seemed like such a ….”

“Hassle?”

“Yeah. Soon as we got everything set up, we had to take it all down to go inside for lunch. Or for one of them to take a nap. Or to change a poopie diaper.”

But still, something about this family and their joy in the mundane captured my heart.

We didn’t realize how sweet life was back then. “We don’t want to go back in time, do we?” I said, feeling a bit melancholy. “Do it all over again?”

“Nah. The little boy just tracked sand on their towels.”

My gaze left the family and followed the shade of our own tent, to my husband of 34 years.

I think he knew I was staring at him.

He gently touched my foot with his.

Something shifted in my heart. I studied the diamonds dazzling across the ocean.

Perfectly content. Smiling.

Ever had one of those wow-moments?

When you realize what you have under your own tent is pretty wonderful?

Love,

Julie