Of Marriage and Back Scratches
Here I am in the car on our way to two days of Anniversary bliss and the Holy Spirit outlines a blog post.
I am NOT a professional writer by ANY stretch of the imagination, but this is how my blog rolls...
I am in the middle of laundry, dinner prep, cleaning, in the middle of the night, or even driving and the post just writes itself in my mind. I can write down bullet points and even verses that are rattling around in there, but it’s never the same as striking when the iron’s hot.
So I CASUALLY mention to my sweetheart that I have a post in my head and he very un-casually (is that a word?) pulls over in an emergency spot in the midst of cones and road work to snag his computer so I can get it out.
I smile because we have found ourselves in the wonderful position of valuing the other’s ministry opportunities.
And that in itself is the gist of this post.
I remember loading up our big blue 1 ton Chevy Express with our crew and attempting to make it to a Pastor’s Meeting in PA.
With no hope of air conditioning, I had resigned myself to the fact that even though I sat as still as I could to avoid wrinkles, I would in fact, have hair like Medusa by our arrival.
We can’t have it all.
Lo and Behold we had a flat making our hopes of this encouraging day fade away with the last of my make-up that the wind didn’t take care of. I had about 1 ton of emotions I was ready to spill.
The kids laughed and played and we attempted some Christian karaoke with a hair brush and hairspray bottle.
Kids we still have those videos and I will use them if the house isn't clean by the time we come back home....
All while the ladies session I had SO looked forward to was happening without me.
I had heard of this guest speaker, this Pastor’s wife, from other ladies and was so sad to miss hearing her speak. My heart was so set on being there and gleaning from her.
We plugged the tire, showed up just in time for my husband’s speaking opportunity which left him with lost notes and somewhat frazzled.
And in the midst of all of this crazy, the Lord spoke directly and so sincerely to me, asking me to give a certain amount of money to this special speaker.
My mind reeled even thinking of mentioning it to my dear husband.
What a day for us and then this? I hadn’t even heard her speak!
Nonetheless I told my husband that the Spirit had indeed asked me to give her an exact amount.
He looked at me and in an instant gave it to the Lord. Out came the checkbook, off came the check and it landed into her sweet little hand.
To put things into perspective, the amount we gave was entirely by faith. It was coming from two parents who didn’t exactly know if they had enough gas in their blue boat to get their crew back home.
Okay they were pretty sure they didn’t have enough.
Okay they were really really sure.
(Hold this thought please)
Whenever I pretend to know anything about horses I think of my friend Kandra.
When I picture myself on a rolling hill on top of a horse enjoying the countryside she is always in that picture making sure that I don’t make some crazy horse sound causing me to fly in one direction and the horse and saddle the other.
So today when I listened to a podcast about horses I thought again of her.
Horses are amazing creatures and are used in many instances to help heal deep wounds of those young and old.
Their attention to your feelings is only something that God could create in them and it is humbling to see how God uses horses as only He can.
Today I learned that one gift that horses can give each other is the gift of a good back scratch. It's a wonderful gift of friendship one to another.
Our family knows a thing or two about back scratches.
We are a touchy-feely family and back rubs and scratches are a daily occurrence.
My youngest has the itchiest back of any one I have ever known and about taps her foot like a puppy when you really get going. ( I understand that the picture you now have in your head may influence the rest of this post..)
This is the crazy fact- You cannot scratch your own back.
I know, I know, the gas station claws and door posts CAN work in a pinch, but there’s something about the perfect scratch not too hard not too light in the right spot that blows those things out of the water.
It’s a refreshing, thoughtful gift we give one another.
It may be inconvenient, it may be in the middle of church, it may be when we have already laid down or have something in our hands or have to run out the door- but it is our opportunity to give a gesture of kindness.
This got me thinking about marriage.
Just today I was made aware of two other couples married almost ten years longer than Joel and I, so this is just my tiny thought on our years together.
We have much to learn, but honestly have learned much as well.
21 years is still 21 YEARS after all.
That pulling over in the emergency spot was a real back scratch for me. Was it an emergency? Well, to this wife’s "everything is connected spaghetti-brain" it kinda was. And my husband knew that.
Back scratches look like toothpaste already on the toothbrush and helping you make the bed when you both are too tired to figure out a fitted sheet.
They come in the form of iced tea under the car and not saying anything about him still wearing his church clothes.
They show up as tears wiped and shoulders rubbed and even taking a nap with me because I just need a bit of emotional support.
I cannot give myself the gift of a second opinion, a word of encouragement fitly spoken, or a surprise foot rub.
He cannot give himself a homemade pie, a smile and wink on a long Sunday, a prayer of support and direction or a word of blessing and gratitude.
Back scratches are inside jokes about things smelling “Moss-ay,” and 123 MTE’s, that we promise we will tell our kids about just before our last breath which drives them batty.
Back scratches are Chinese when we really want Italian.
Back scratches are oil changes and air filter changes when you didn’t even know there was a filter for air coming in the car.
Back scratches can ease a hurt and lift a load and always, always, are given with a desire to encourage the other.
21 years has allowed us to figure out just how to meet that itch.
It has allowed us to get to know the heart of the other and trust them like never before.
That check that my husband trusted the Lord to give?
The Lord gave it back to us in a speaking gift (even with lost notes!) and in a full tank of gas.
We hadn’t even remembered the last time we HAD a full tank of gas! (As the parents of littles- this described us literally AND figuratively.)
The EXACT amount. Before we even left the county.
All because my husband scratched my back.
Something only he could do.
Because He trusted the Lord to do the impossible.
Here's to the Pastor's wife whom I still glean from (you know who you are) and love heaps.
And Here’s to 21 more years of itches to be scratched and knowing even better how to scratch them.