Tag Archives: Marriage

Surprise! What I Pulled Out Completely Shocked Her!

Twenty-one years ago today I said “I Do!” It was “I Do and I will…” Forever. We both said it. We both meant it. We kept those mutual vows for nineteen years and three months until death finally did part us. But that didn’t mean it had to be a chore or boring the whole time. Far from it! I decided to get the surprises going early in our marriage and started during the reception…

It was time to throw the garter. Kristi was seated conspicuously in the middle of the guests and I knelt down in front of her and slipped my hands under her dress, found the garter and teased it off. Before I pulled my hands back out from under her dress, I stuffed the garter in the sleeve of my coat and out of the other pulled a pair of Kristi’s bright red undies I had secreted out of her honeymoon bag.

Chad Surprising Kristi at their wedding reception
Surprise! Chad pulls red panties out from under Kristi’s wedding dress instead of the garter.

The look on her face says it all. Complete shocker! It got everyone laughing and brings a smile to my face all these years later. A romantic at heart, I kept surprising her throughout our marriage to keep the fire bright and the love fresh.

May the memories of love fulfilled bring you joy today! I’m thankful for the years we shared together and the love of my children that keeps it real every day.

Celebrate life!

 

Choose Yourself

You’ve been picked! You are chosen. The question is, will you choose back?

God, through Jesus, has chosen you. Awesome, right!? But here’s the catch so many miss. He’s waiting for you to choose back. Not just to choose him…that’s the message we hear all the time from the pulpit… but to choose yourself too. We love to say, “Yes, I choose God! Now He’s in control! I’m off the hook.” Its a “whatever happens now is God’s will for my life” outlook. Nice. You just embraced fate.

Your Father isn’t looking for fatalists. According to Jesus he’s looking for friends. Fatalists are a drag, constantly offloading responsibility. Friends walk side by side, sharing the load. Friends are mutually engaged in the relationship. But to genuinely and authentically engage another, you must first engage yourself. Choose to feel, choose to be open and vulnerable. Choose to commit. Choose to trust. After all, you can’t follow the command to love your neighbor if you don’t love yourself.

Kristi and I were friends. I think that’s what I miss most. One year ago today, her cancer showed up again after its brief hiatus. All the surgeries, the chemo, and the radiation had failed…utterly. It was a scary day. We started out the door that morning for her bone density scan when we got the call that her brain MRI was positive for a tumor. Stunned by the news we quickly changed plans and went to my parent’s place to process and pray. While there Kristi had a debilitating pain attack/seizure that demanded a 911 response and ambulance transfer to the ER. As I followed the ambulance on the freeway, tears soaked my shirt while I sobbed/screamed out “NO!” until I was hoarse.

I just looked back at my post that day. It was quite sedate compared to the emotions surging through me. I was frightened, I was hurting for my wife, and concerned about my children. I was angry too. But the crisis demanded focus to deal with the unfolding events. We got the worst possible diagnosis. It was nip and tuck as to whether she’d even pull through the first two or three days. I wept in the arms of friends and family as the process of losing my wife began.

After that she couldn’t choose herself anymore, relationally anyway. I understood. Her focus was on basic physical tasks. As she regressed from mobile adult to requiring infant level care over the next three and a half months, it was that loss of a friend that hurt most. That loss of intimate confidant. The loss of one who vested her full trust in me and I in her.

I’ll be honest, I still miss that today. I think that’s natural. But it left a big void. One that I’m just now starting to fathom in its entirety. And the thought of choosing myself again? Intimidating. Trusting a broken heart is like standing on a broken leg. The pain shoots out, the leg collapses involuntarily and down you go. Yet, making that choice is the only way forward. If I don’t choose myself, I can’t fully engage with my Father. Healing is there in that relationship. Hope and restoration are too. Those have all felt distant recently. Some nearness would be golden right about now.

So I’ll continue to do the heavy lifting of choosing me. Of being present and honest to not only my Heavenly Father but to myself. Choosing yourself means no hiding…especially from yourself.

The apostle John said “God is love.” His compatriot Paul said “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…Love never fails.” That means that as I choose myself and Him, that he’ll bear me up when my strength falters, believe in me even when I don’t, impart hope when mine wanes and stand with me through all the hurt. He won’t fail me.

Kind of sounds like wedding vows doesn’t it? Hmm, maybe that’s why He instituted marriage! But that’s another topic for another day.

Will you choose yourself? If it feels too vulnerable or exposed, I get it. It feels like too much responsibility. But that’s life as a lover. Vulnerable, exposed and responsible.

God has made his choice. What’s yours going to be? Will you choose you? Choose love, choose life.

PS- If you hurt too much right now to be open and vulnerable, that’s ok. Start there. Choose yourself by simply sharing with Him how much you hurt. He’ll take that as a starting point. His specialty is restoring brokenness and healing the hurt. He’s dying to lead you out of that place… I for one am glad to be on that path!

Loving Pursuit

I’ve posted the video of my message at Kristi’s celebration service we held here in Texas on July 13th, 2013. I know there were many of you who wanted to attend but couldn’t be here because of prior commitments.

I’m glad to be able to bring it to you here. NOTE: The videographer’s battery ran out at 13 minutes in and had to be swapped. The video freezes at that point, but they patched in the audio and continues uninterrupted for 40 seconds until the video kicks back in. Stay with it.

I hope you enjoy the story of our love and life together! Here’s the post I wrote about the service at the time.

B-Gone, B-9, B-Healed, Its a Way of Life!