Tag Archive | FamilyLife

Tandem Living: Even the Best Bikes Need a Tune Up Every Now and Then

tandem bike drawingWe bought our tandem bike in South Africa in 1994. Since then, we have changed the seats a couple of times until we found ones that are comfortable, we have gotten new handle bars that sit us more upright, and David has cleaned it and adjusted some things every now and then. After 19 years, it needs work. It’s a very heavy bike, so it’s not one we would consider high quality. But it gets us where we want to go. David often talks of selling it and getting something better. I’m kind of sentimental and want to hang on to it. For right now, it’s working for us.

Now, my husband’s road bike and our Townie and cruiser bikes, those are a different story. I mentioned before that David is a bike snob, so he bought those with special attention to quality. They’re not top-of-the-line, which we can’t afford, but they’re not Huffys, off the rack at Wal-Mart. But what would happen if we just let those bikes sit out in the rain and sun, never cleaned them or made sure their gears and brakes and tire tubes were in good shape? Well, we wouldn’t have them for long.

One day recently, both David’s road bike and my Townie got flat tires on the same day. And I did something to mine that caused my brake to start dragging on the front tire. And then there was the near spill I had that broke the bottle cage. All these things needed to be fixed before the bikes would be truly road worthy again. (Well, the bottle cage is still waiting to be replaced.)

The same is true of our marriage. Many years ago when our kids were still little, for Christmas I gave David the gift of agreeing to see a marriage counselor. We didn’t have huge, divorce-on-the-horizon problems, but David had been pushing for us to talk to someone about some issues that just were’t going to go away without help. Our marriage needed a tune-up. We loved each other, we were committed to each other, but we had some things going on from our histories that were putting roadblocks in our future. Those needed to be torn down.

I have a friend who has been married just short of a year whose husband refuses to go to counseling because he thinks that seeing a counselor means that you’re crazy.

It doesn’t. In fact, it means you’re very smart. Although David knows a lot about bikes, he still takes our nice bikes to a bike shop for a professional to work on, because he knows that he doesn’t know everything. He wants what he loves in the hands of those who know what to do with it.

There are people who’ve been married a lot longer than we have. There are people who have been trained to ask the right questions and dig beyond the surface. They’re the ones to whom we want to entrust our most valuable relationship. And counseling isn’t always necessary. Sometimes just attending a conference like FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember or The Art of Marriage, or joining a couples Bible study, or reading a marriage book together will highlight some areas where work needs to be done. (Comment below if you’d like some ideas of books to consider.)

Keeping our bikes road worthy is a priority as we spend a lot of time on them. Making our marriages shine is even more important.

Unclean Lips

drawing-lipsI receive a daily e-devotional from Cru’s ministry to families, FamilyLife. The other day, I was struck by the words of the post about watching what we say and why. Around our house, we don’t allow vulgar language. I have never heard my kids use bad language, my husband and I don’t use bad language, and we even had a foul-language filter for our T.V. for movies that otherwise would be entertaining for our family. I can’t say it any better than FamilyLife founder, Dennis Rainey, so please read his words and think about what might issue forth from your lips. Is it from a clean well or a dirty one?

Potty Mouths

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29

Dennis Rainey

Fifty years ago, censors were allowed to delete crude terms from books before they were published. When James Jones, for example, included more than 250 vulgar words in his final manuscript of From Here to Eternity, censors eliminated 208 of them from the original hardcover edition. When the book came out in paperback, they deleted all the rest. They simply didn’t want the masses reading profane words. Read more

I’ve gotten behind on my thankfulness list, so I need to step up the pace to make 1,000 by the end of the year. But there is so much to be thankful for, that shouldn’t be too hard. Maybe at the end I’ll compile them all and see what it looks like all together. I know there have been repeats, but that just means I’m extra thankful for those things 🙂

Thankful today for:

710. light

711. the smell of gingerbread

712. glitter

713. Christmas cookies

714. God’s provision for not just us, but others

715. peace

716. mercy

717. grace

718. not having to be in a rush

719. love

720. laughter

721. compassion

722. silly jokes

723. open windows in December

724. the state of my electric bill because of the warmer weather

725. innocence

726. handmade ornaments

727. generosity growing in my children’s hearts

728. natural healing aids

729. a smoke-free environment

730. much to celebrate