Pursuing Love

We’ve been given nineteen years of love days together. This Valentines day was our best. one. yet. We had a wonderful date of adoration and conversation… No, this date was not filled with fancy clothes, flowers, jewelry or a lavish dinner… none of those things, really. We did not give each other gifts… we gave each other ourselves. We knew ahead of time we would not exchange gifts, we rarely do. Our expectations of each other were met, not by wants of material things we do not need, but the ease of an evening simply being together.

Our kids were well taken care of, unbound by any time frame, thankful money was no worry. We set out for a hole-in-the-wall middle eastern restaurant… Adam had a coupon for, of course. I love my thrifty man 😉 We prefer our own home cooked food to most restaurants, and enjoy cooking together, so we typically have low expectations of food when we eat out… yet we always hold high expectations of the coffee shops we frequent. We’re weirdos, I know.

We meandered our way thru downtown Portland, enjoying moments, even those we spent in traffic. Parking spot scored, with coupon in hand, we strolled on over to the restaurant. The owners greeted us and we settled in at our table. Their place is tiny, with only 5 tables, bustling with local customers coming and going. After we ordered, we observed everyone in the space was speaking Arabic, and greeting the husband and wife owners as if they were their own parents. Even though we were the only Caucasians in the restaurant, and I was the only female, besides the owners wife, we felt at home.

As we waited on our food, we were both in awe of what God was orchestrating. We were in the middle of another country, in the middle of Portland, Oregon, we were on our mission field. After we finished our food, the owner asked us how everything was. We told him the truth – they were the best gyros we’ve ever had. He began sharing about the restaurant and how he has been running the business. As we talked more, he came and sat down with us and we talked more. He was hilarious, sharing stories of how he took over the restaurant a few years ago, and made many changes, including not accepting coupons anymore – darn! 😉 But we didn’t care about the coupon, we only cared about the fact that our Valentines date was now being spent with an old Arabic man sharing his life story…

As we continued the conversation, we asked him, “How can we pray for you? How can we pray for your business?” He opened up, and we began to share with him our walk with Jesus. Adam told him he was a Pastor. Their response – “A priest? You’re too young to be a priest!” He hears that a lot from people, and he’s been serving in ministry for 20 years. He shared his own convictions and how he sees his relationship God… how he honors Jesus, Moses and Allah. I asked him more about Jesus… “How do you see Jesus?” He did not see him as equal to God or as Lord, but a prophet. We agreed to disagree, and after talking more, Adam shared with him John 14:6 and Jesus’ claim to be the only way to the Father. We talked with him for an hour, He kept saying, “I love talking to you about religion. It makes me feel good!” Their business began to pick up again, and he had to start cooking again. We thanked him for the wonderful food, said our good-byes and practically floated out of the restaurant.

Our date was spent sharing the pursuing love of Jesus with this precious man. Afterwards, we went to a coffee shop and had the honor to meet and pray for 2 more people the Holy Spirit connected us with. Throughout the whole evening, as Adam and I worshipped and talked about God’s furious love for us, His love could not be contained within us. The overflow of His love poured out of us and onto those we came in touch with.

We had the best Valentines date… in fact, the best date of all time. The evening ended with a deeper understanding and revelation of God’s love for us and His love for others. We were rested, refreshed and renewed from the amazing moments we shared with each other and others we met. We are honored to be used by God and look forward to the next person Holy Spirit leads us to!

For Valentines and every day, I am a girl who longs for the presence of God in every moment. Flowers will die, clothing will become outdated, jewelry will fade, fancy dinners will go down the toilet… but God’s furious love is everlasting and is the only treasure worthy of my pursuing. 

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8

Do you know God’s love? His love changes everything. The pages are open to share your story… feel free to comment, ask for prayer, ask questions and share this blog. Our stories rage on… In Him, Leslie

Marriage as Mates

HAD2BU

My Grandparents recently celebrated their 65th wedding Anniversary this past December…

That’s 780 months of marriage… Or 23,725 days!!! Wow-zers!!!

And the thing is – they really love each other.  Still… 65 years later.   They Love.

They chose each other.

They didn’t just stick it out for the “sake of the kids”… their 4 children are fully grown with their own kids (like ME!) and grandkids (like the wee Babs).  It’s safe to say that they have been empty-nesters for a while now.

They didn’t just stay married for the hell of it, or because marriage is the “cool” thing to do.  Or because it was easy and like a sunshine fairytale everyday the past 23,725 days…

Nope.  They chose humility, selflessness, teach-ability, willingness, trust, respect, hard work, dedication, commitment and they chose to grow… together.

They met when they were 5 years old, my Grandpa would ride his horse thru wind, snow and rain to visit his one true love, they married at age 19 and now they drive a Lexus with a license plate that says “HAD2BU”. They began their journey as best friends… and still are.

One of the foundations of a Marriage must be Friendship.  Marriage as Mates.

I am so grateful that P.A. is my B.F.F., my Bestie, my Mate!  We kicked it off that way.  We met working together at a Christian bookstore ~ Mardel.  The first time I saw P.A. I laughed at him.  I made fun of his outfit (because he was totally overdressed for his interview) and teased him about his cologne (because it was waaaayyyy too strong).  He was cool with all of this.  We loved laughing together, and could laugh at ourselves – *bonus*!  We loved hanging out together and talking for hours, and on our lunch breaks, after work, on the phone, any chance we could get.  And it hasn’t changed… much.   Now we have to usually talk over the needs of the wee Babs, or save all of our conversation up until the evening time.  But we talk.  We go crazy if we haven’t talked enough.  A friendship breeds on conversation.  True, deep, authentic conversation.  We love being mates who talk.

And we laugh.  Still we laugh at each other and at ourselves.  We laugh thru the difficult times of pain, hurt, sorrows and screaming wee Babs. We laugh at life when it is hilarious and those times when it’s not so hilarious.  We love being mates who laugh.

P.A. and I are blessed to have (almost) 15 years of marriage under our belts.  Our hobbies and interests (not Pinterests) are also similar.  Since we met, we have truly enjoyed each others company.  We have traveled throughout the US, Europe, and India.  We dream of traveling more.  We love dreaming together.  We love being together.  We both enjoy being outdoors, staying active, keeping fit, eating healthy, reading, drinking coffee, watching the same goofy PBS documentaries, cooking shows, and movies.  And most of all, at the center of our friendship, is our friendship with Jesus.  He’s the foundation of our friendship foundation.

Here we are in 1996 – back in the diz-ay – when our friendship first began.

Is everyday is a sunshine fairytale?  Do we agree on everything?  Do we laugh every second of the day?  No.  But sometimes we do think, this is too good to be true.  Because it is.  There is nothing better than being married to my mate.  Even when it is difficult.  There are so many people, places and things that can divide a marriage.  I believe if a marriage begins with two mates, there is a stronger foundation at the core of that marriage.  Like my Grandparents, my parents and P.A.’s parents, we have chosen humility, selflessness, teach-ability, willingness, trust, respect, hard work, dedication and commitment.

We have chosen to grow… together.

and Blog… together.

P.A. blogs @www.beadude.wordpress.com, BTW.

I am grateful that on in August of 2012 we will celebrate 15 years of marriage.  And I am hopeful that in August of 2062, we will celebrate 65 years!

I love being married to my mate.

Are you Mates in your Marriage?  I hope and pray so.