|Photo Credit: grietgriet at MorgueFile|
I did it! I did it! I actually did a craft that I pinned on Pinterest! Most of the time, I just pin and browse and think that I’ll do that craft or make that recipe or organize everything in my home with a spice rack…someday. Well, this little pin called for only two ingredients and promised thirty minutes of whine-free kids. Oh yes ma’am, count me in. Get in the car and buckle up, kiddos – momma is goin’ to town!
We headed to the grocery store for my TWO ingredients. My three kids piled in the cart and I really had no room for anything more than that. However, I did get a great five-minute core body work-out during my store dash by maneuvering around their combined weight of 155 pounds. Workout for the day – check!
And, what did we make with our two ingredients? We made slime. Oh yes…we did. The recipe calls for equal parts Elmer’s clear glue and STA-FLO liquid starch (found with the laundry supplies), so we bought four (4 oz.) bottles of the clear glue and one 64 oz. bottle of the concentrated liquid starch. (I’m sure we’ll make the slime again, so the leftover starch will be safe until that time. The Lord knows I won’t be ironing with it – hee hee).
The kids mixed the ingredients together in a bowl and the slimy fun began. We divided the slime into several small bowls so that we could make different colors by adding a few drops of food coloring. Slime just isn’t slime unless it’s booger green, right? Ewww! We started off with separate colors, but you know how it is with Play-doh – it all gets mixed together eventually.
We have a home full of gray Play-doh and now, black slime. BUT! There were thirty wondrous minutes of engaging, creative fun happening during all of this. Was the ten dollars spent on supplies worth it? You bet.
Making slime is just one of the many things that I hadn’t envisioned myself doing before I had kiddos – I mean, not that I wouldn’t have done it, but it’s just easier to tell the check-out gal that you’re making slime if kids are in the cart, ya know? We all visualize certain things for our life – what we’ll be doing and when. But, what we think the plan will be isn’t always what the plan actually is. Then, sometimes we are unexpectedly given a gift that is better than what we had planned or hoped for ourselves.
A few days shy of our 12th Anniversary, I am referring to the gift of my husband. I am thankful for the man of faith he is. I am proud of the father he is to our children. I am blessed by his unconditional love for me. And, I am grateful for the beautiful woman, who along with her husband, raised the wonderful son who, today, I am lucky to call my husband.
In this day and age, many wonder, “Is it still possible to find happy marriages?” My friend sent me this amazing video put together by Worldwide Marriage Encounter in Singapore on World Marriage Day 2012. In it, married couples offer a message of hope to the world by answering that very question for all to see.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am by no means equating happy with perfect. I certainly don’t think it’s possible to find perfect marriages. Happy ones – yes. Perfect ones – no. There are many, many factors involved in making a marriage work. Communication is a BIG one. How many times do we mumble, “Grrrrr,” under our breath when our spouse just doesn’t seem to understand us?!
One of the great communication tools that I’ve mentioned before is Gary Chapman’s book, “The Five Love Languages.” The book is great and the online assessments are fun and easy to do - just click the link and take the test that applies to you. If we can single out our primary love language, it makes it easier to connect and relate to our spouse. (Yes, honey, I’m still a “Words” girl if you are wondering and helping with the chores is still high up there on the list, too – hee hee)
You might be surprised to find out what your love language actually is. Maybe it has changed over the years? Learning how to speak each other’s love language is definitely worth the time. Chapman categorizes the different “languages” as: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Physical Touch or Gifts. Once we uncover a love language that we understand, our marriage can be a whole lot sweeter.
And speaking of sweet, I just couldn’t take my eyes off the couple in front of me at church last weekend. They were standing in the pew in front of me with their daughter in between them, with her arms intertwined in each of theirs. I could tell that she loved being there as she was tracing the outlines of their arms and hands with her fingers. I felt the love from where I stood. I also noticed her cute pink, thick glasses.
After church, they walked by us and I noticed that the girl might have even been partially blind by looking at her eyes. My youngest daughter saw the young girl and wanted to touch her hand, so the mother gently guided her daughter’s hand into my daughter’s for just a moment to say hello.
Guidance. The child’s mother was there to lovingly and gently guide her and it was beautiful to watch. Our God is also there to guide us, if we let Him. My friend, Anne, sent me a wonderful reflection on guidance that I want to share with you (author unknown):
When I meditated on the word GUIDANCE, I kept seeing "dance" at the end of the word. I remember reading that doing God's will is a lot like dancing. When two people try to lead, nothing feels right. The movement doesn't flow with the music, and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky. When one person realizes and lets the other lead, both bodies begin to flow with the music. One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back or by pressing lightly in one direction or another. It's as if two become one body, moving beautifully. The dance takes surrender, willingness, and attentiveness from one person and gentle guidance and skill from the other. My eyes drew back to the word GUIDANCE. When I saw "G", I thought of God, followed by "u" and "i." "God, "u" and "i" "dance." God, you and I dance. As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust that I would get guidance about my life. Once again, I became willing to let God lead. Dance together with God, trusting Him to lead and to guide you through each season of your life.
I love it. My husband and I spent many, many hours on the dance floor during our dating years, so this really speaks to me. So, in addition to communication, I think that another key element to happy marriages is God’s guidance. It makes me think of the man and woman in front of me in that pew, with God holding them together in the middle, like their daughter, with His arms intertwined with theirs. He loves being there. Let's let Him in.
We shouldn't push God out of our marriages. We shouldn't push Him out of our decisions, big or small. We shouldn't push Him out of planning our families. We shouldn't push Him out. When we, as a couple, remember to let Him in to lead the dance, it’s much more beautiful, I assure you.
Thank you, Lord, for gently guiding my husband’s hand to mine on July 8, 2000. YOU are the one who takes marriages from Grrr to Grrreat! Help us to always remember.
Happy Anniversary, Honey! Here’s to many, many more! Let’s see now - how old will we be at our 75th Anniversary party? Oh, who cares! I’ll be the REAL, REAL old lady in dancin’ shoes waiting in the middle of the dance floor…meet me there.
And, Happy 4th of July to all of my Sunshines! Let us give thanks today for our many, many freedoms!