Resurrecting A Marriage {Ponderings of Easter}

The kids are at the grandparents for the weekend and we are getting ready to leave and Husband tells me matter-of-factly that it's not a date, asks me why I'm wearing heels. Heels click loudly on hardwood and ring through the house and I am embarrassed at my obviousness. My heart is crushed, because in my little-girl-grown-up-heart, I had so hoped he would notice, say I was pretty, look at me longingly, put his hand just there on the small of my back as he led me to the car.

Instead, an hour later, it all comes out of me hot and rushed and a little too loud how that I don't feel loved.

Why is it that God made me that way--with a particular love-language that my husband doesn't understand?

I look up to Father, to the One who can fill this deep, vast void in me, this canyon of waters that rushes wild and snares anything that comes along in it's thrashing.

I look to the One who knows the ache and understands the pain of rejection.

I look to the One who gets me, who points my sin out to me gently one by one, so I'm not overwhelmed, and seeing my ugly, loves me anyway--unconditionally.

I look up and I say to Him, "Father, you know my heart. You know my heart, Father. You know my heart."

And He does. He knows that I love my husband passionately, that I would go to hell and back for that man, that my children are my crown of glory, that I would go down to the depths before I would let one blonde hair on their halo-heads be touched by evil. God understands, because His Son is His crown, whom He loves, in whom He is pleased, and I am a co-heir with him, and I am God's beloved, His beautiful jeweled crown.

He knows that I spend hours reading, thinking, trying to learn new ways to make home happy and peaceful and safe and a place that everyone wants to be. He knows that I search frantically for the way. He knows that on my own I am helpless in the ways of homemaking and the ways of God.

He knows that I am a screw-up. He knows that just the moment that I write a beautiful story about mothering, and hit publish, then I grind my teeth and yell at my children, and their happy chin botches up and their lip turns down and quivers and the eyes look at me, deep pools of hurt.

He knows that I forget to be grateful, I forget to do the simple act of telling Him thanks, that this home has more harsh words--words that break-- than I want it to.

He knows that I run in a vicious cycle of try hard, fail, give up and try hard again, as the Pastor said on Easter Sunday. He knows I try hard at Lent and celebrating Easter and I am deficient.

He knows that Easter draws close, I close up and want to withdraw, because as his death becomes more and more real, as the thing draws heavy upon me, my human emotions and expressions simply cannot do Him justice. And I'm rendered useless in His presence.

He is the only One that really sees my heart, sees my tears, mourns with me, catches my tears and keeps each one in a bottle. He never forgets one tear that escapes the soul-windows, them leaking out pain.

Husband and I walk hand in hand into a local restaurant dating back to the 1840's and when we sit down and after the waiter has left, he touches my knee, looks me in the eye, and he already has me.

Those soft blue eyes with such care in them, I just get lost and want to leap right in like a wild woman. He says he is sorry, and that's all I really need to hear. And the conversation continues and we talk about the artists splayed on the brick wall, and we are a little taken with the place, and I convince him to share some World Famous Black Bottom Pie.

What I really have a hard time swallowing down, though, as we sit there and I look at him, is that I have been ungrateful. I know that I pushed until I got what I wanted--time, closeness, and it's just the two of us in all the world if I can just get five uninterrupted moments to stare into those eyes.

But I long for the day when I serve him so well that I have abundant grace to pour out when he is in a dry season and he can't readily give me those moments--I long to be this woman full of grace, wisdom on my lips.

God, burn me, Refiner's fire, from the inside out--start with my mouth--and just take over and consume--love through me, serve through me.

Later when we are finally alone in the dark, and he reaches over and lays his hand on me as I lie still, lets it slide down, I feel the kindling of the moment, tiny sparks that take over and consume.

And I am this--bride waiting with candle burning brightly, always waiting for her bridegroom when he chooses to come for her.

I weep inside over who I've been, for when I have fallen asleep and let my wick go out, when I have missed the glory of God, quenched the Holy Spirit with the crushing words of my mouth.

I weep only on the inside and I open up completely to him, this man that has such power over me, let the grace pour over me as the love between us is made.

My heart, through my husband, is revealed to me and drawn back to God, who holds me and is the only One who can fill this scary, raving mad unquenchable void in me.


#689 e-mails from beautiful sisters

#690 for mentors

#691 illness leaving our home finally, Satan's lies defeated

#692 my best friend coming to my home for a spontaneous visit

#693 the grace of her sitting on my porch swing, pouring our hearts out

#694 the way she dotes on my girls--how she does this everytime she sees them--the thousand, countless ways she is thoughtful toward me

#695 how they call her Auntie April, because she is that to them

#696 our run through the trails later

#697 how we can say anything to one another, how we kackle silly and share unabashadly what God is showing us about our sinful hearts

#698 hours outside in the sun picnicing, Husband coming home and playing badmitton until twilight pushes us all inside

#699 how Bella runs up to her Daddy in the drive and asks him to come play--how he can't say no

#700 Bella writing her ABC's and her name

#701 her dimpled grin--how her whole face lights up like the heavens when she shows me so proud--how i could fall into those deep ravines of cuteness and get lost right there at the corner of her mouth

#702 how I wonder if the glory of God can be summed up in the face of this child

#703 Ivy's loving hugs that make me feel wrapped up in a warm blanket

#704 Ivy coming and telling me she clasps her hands together and prays to Jesus in her head, and she hears Him talking to her

#705 Lorna's "I Am From" poem--that she's a poet at heart like her Mama

#706 that I was able after a two-year battle with illness, to take babies to doctor and store--still can't believe I'm better--glory to Him

#707 After Bella's shots, her concern when the nurse places Lilly on the table, and she says to my Granny upon stepping out of the room: "I bet Lilly is crying."

#708 an incredible few weeks of Lent and how God has lavishly blessed our time together as a family

#709 how He took us from being lost in exhaustion and t.v. to re-focusing our efforts toward our family goals--His grace to be at the supper table, enjoying God together

#710 an amazing Easter service, indescribable worship to an even more indescribable God, communion and the confession of sins at the altar, loving prayer woman-to-woman and man-to-man, the gospel like i have never seen it presented

#711 how in my failures, God meets me and when my human emotions fall short of expressing and celebrating His beauty, how He is still glorified through me, not because of me, but because He is God

#712 that the story of the cross and His blood shed never gets old--a fresh revelation of His gospel and grace all over again

#713 that God almighty Himself would wrestle with me, would reveal Himself to me, over and over, in spite of myself

#714 that His blood speaks a better word than all the empty claims I've heard upon this Earth, speaks righteousness for me and stands in my defense--lines from a favorite song

#715 a beautiful day of Easter celebration with family, that I was able to pull off a gorgeous dinner, with all their help, in spite of my organization handicap--how we all worked together, talked, laughed

#716 the beautiful grace of my parents washing up the dishes side-by-side before they left

#717 my Husband, how even though I'm his help-meet, he is also my helper in life--how he is there for me always in every circumstance and we are a team

#718 Husband's remark as we fall asleep, a beautiful day, a job well done, everyone was proud, he says--I don't understand this, but accept the grace anyway

#719 this song that broke me during Easter service--one of my favorites... and here is the video--it is  not for the faint of heart, but is a real depiction of our Lord and the blood He spilled for us...the blood I praise Him for...

{I actually have two videos for you...if you only have time for one, definitely--choose the second--I watched this at church Sunday and have never heard the gospel presented quite like this--it will rock your world}

Friends, your comments mean so much to me--please leave your thoughts so that I can drop by at your place to leave some encouragement for you. I am not able to answer each comment--I am probably in some corner of my home sorting through laundry in danger of mildewing, and I hope to visit with you as soon as I get the chance! Thank you in advance for grace, friends! I love this community of grace-filled people!

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  1. Nacole...as always...just beautifully raw...He meets us in the raw places...the rough places He makes smooth. xoxoox

  2. I was taken from the very beginning, Nacole. Just drawn into your heart and the places it has been. But it was #702 that REALLY grabbed me, and I drew my breath on that one. All of my life I have wondered at what His glory looked like. The brightness of their eyes, the smile that reflects only the joy of the moment, the laughter that rings as pure as the bells of heaven. . . I think you hit on it here. For the rest of my life, I will not see a child's smiling fave without thinking of God's glory! Thank you for that.

  3. Oh, your writing continues to grow more beautiful! And your heart.. yes, your heart. Totally radiant. I feel your ache.. don't know how I can be that wife that needs to much and gives so little. Thanks for the reminder that only ONE can satisfy!

  4. I am amazed at your ability to unzip the open wounds of your heart and write them down and share them as if 'writing them down' would heal a small few of them. I love your honesty. It is real. It is where every wife, mom, grandma has been at least once. It is beautiful. I pray you realize the gift YOU have at writing and sharing and showing that we can love, and we can discourage all at the same time within minutes of each other. That is why, God is so very patient with us. Continue on to your journey of writing and don't give up. You are doing well.

  5. A real beauty.
    Each woman that has commented says it so well, I can't think of anything to add... How you bless me, how God's working in you and through you blesses me...
    A REAL BEAUTY. Love you, Nacole...! <3

  6. There is a blackbottom pie story in my history! So delicious! I have learned there are seasons where I am the encourager, the cheerleader and seasons where my husband has that role - it's almost a "tag! you're it" kind of thing. You also mention love languages and how our spouses have different love languages. Maybe that is where our strength works, the woman who understands the spouses' love language, can translate it - and sometimes has to be the translator for both of us. Just understanding how we both "hug" takes away that neglected feel because he doesn't hug in my language:) I work harder, though, to "hug" in his language.

    I celebrate your liberation, your trip to the dr, your time with your husband! Praising God for your overcoming!

  7. oh, my friend, very VERY few people's words can touch me as yours do – you write soul and heart. When you wrote about the touch on the small of your back – guiding you in the car – that was it – tears – and I got it – I REALLY got it. And diving into eyes that speak a language that isn't quite yours – I got that too. And the struggle – though not married – I get that. I get it all so much that I just finished a prayer for you two – I know God can help translate your languages for each other. God bless you and your marriage my friend – oh, and ,y favorite of your thank you's by the way – the one about your husband telling you those things that night – and you not understanding them – but accepting the grace nonetheless – good for you – good for you. :)

  8. thank you for being real...this journey is not an easy one...and as a husband i know i screw up quite often as well...and sometimes even need it pointed out so i can get to the sorry and beyond...love that your hubs saw it and the intimacy you share with each other...

  9. Thank you for being wide open, here. I know I'm not the only one who relates to and learns from this story and list. I'm so thankful, Sister, to be BECOMING...even though I'm a long way from arriving. May God continue to bless and keep.

  10. yep..he knows..and he loves us just as we are..that's something that overwhelms me again and again.. and thanks for sharing your story so honest and real

  11. Coming from someone whose love language is affirmation I love your #718, "...job well done, everyone was proud." That is a huge compliment to you!
    Thanks for sharing

  12. You had me captivated...as if in reading a novel. I love your writing: raw does describe it.

  13. Such a heart touching, beautiful post.

  14. Well said. I appreciate your insights and honesty.

  15. Courageously honest, faith filled, and true; we all have walked your pain. But gratefully, we too, join your claim on our Lord's forgiveness and grace.

  16. oh sweet nacole. i so related to this post. my husband doesn't speak my love language often, either. it's so hard. and yet--when he does--it's so incredible, because it's so rare :) i just keep praying that God will increase our love for each other, that he will fill in the holes. i truly believe he will do this for us. bless you friend.

  17. Your post was so beautiful and touching! I so relate to you when you said, "I weep inside over who I've been, for when I have fallen asleep and let my wick go out, when I have missed the glory of God, quenched the Holy Spirit with the crushing words of my mouth." I've been there so many times myself.

    The beauty part is that we get to try again AND He will help us.

  18. Reminds me of a conversation with a friend about how Satan is after marriages. You recovered. He apologized. Praying that will always be the case.

  19. I was really just taken in wholly by your beautiful story. Thank you for your candid snapshot of marriage, and really (at its root) our desire to be loved.

    Grateful to know you through your beautiful words in this place.

  20. Beautifully written...thank you. It took many years for my husband and I to realize that we spoke different love languages. But when we finally acknowledged each other's dialects, we were blessed with abundant grace. Your voice and your language IS important. Yet how gorgeous that you want so truly to speak to your husband in his. How fortunate we all are to speak differently in our humanity yet the same as one another through Christ.



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