Taking the Trash Out {When You Want the Flame to Grow Brighter} {Day 23}

I am not sure where things got lost, but they did. They were sucked off in the current like so much beautiful foliage, unnecessary frill and beauty and yet, at the same time, so needful.

I don't know how it happened, but somewhere along the way we lost one another. We forgot what it was to hold gently the love between us, to cup it sacred and holy.

We forgot that only love is to be made in that marriage bed, not coldness, contempt and distance.

When I shew those birds away, something in me was loosed. God reminds me I have the power within--all of His power--to chase the darkness away.

When I stood there, under all of that black beating away in morning light, I felt it--the miracle of His light, His peace, His soothing and wooing of my heart.

I said I would love him when he walks in the door, and I know it, that even if things don't go quite right, that Peace is with me, and I do--I love this man.

When he walks in, I tell him I have something to show him. He isn't as excited as I thought he'd be, and my feelings are hurt. And I get upset again. He leaves for the store, and by the time he returns, we are both ready to stop all our foolishness. And this isn't the first time we've been here. We step over all the trash we've thrown at one another, wade through the murky waters to get to one another.

It feels a little awkward that way, but it's very necessary. That's love.

Hollywood has given us the wrong idea of what love is. Love isn't running up majestic mountain-tops or swimming across sparkling seas for those we love--it isn't even a 2-story home in a gated neighborhood and 2.5 kids, everything perfect and sparkling. Those metaphors will never define love.

They don't tell you that kind of love quickly dies, and you are left with the ashes of what once was. They don't tell you that you have to let it smolder, and you have to apply force to it, rub it in continuous motion,  hold it gently and tightly in your hands, breathe holy on it with all your might, never let that love go out, and it's an acquired skill that takes time--years. You have to sustain it, and when you can't anymore--you go to the One who can.

It needs a constant kindling effort to make it grow into a flame.

And that flame can only get brighter as my Love and I get older.

In all my woman glory, I give the trash the boot--again--and it sits at the curb where it belongs.

He looks at me when I walk into the bedroom, water dripping from my hair down my back, and I shut the door because I know. He pulls me into him and I shudder at the love between us.

“Marriage is more than your love for each other.

It has a higher power, for it is God’s holy ordinance, through which he wills to perpetuate the human race until the end of time.
In your love you see only your two selves in the world, but in marriage you are a link in the chain of the generations, which God causes to come and to pass away to his glory, and calls into his kingdom.
In your love you see only the heaven of your own happiness, but in marriage you are placed at a post of responsibility towards the world and mankind.
Your love is your own private possession, but marriage is more than something personal—it is a status, an office. Just as it is the crown, and not merely the will to rule, that makes the king, so it is marriage, and not merely your love for each other, that joins you together in the sight of God and man.
…so love comes from you, but marriage from above, from God. As high as God is above man, so high are the sanctity, the rights, and the promise of love. It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love.”
(Excerpt from a wedding sermon, written May 1943 from prison by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.)

Some resources I would recommend for marriage: Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas  {which I am delving into again now}

Ann Voskamp recommends resources for marriage here, some of these I plan to read very soon...

**This post shared with Husband's permission, and I hope you will join me, friends, as I continue to write on marriage this week. God is leading my heart there, whispering to me, wooing me....

Linking up with: Ann, Jennifer, Eileen, ShandaJolene, Hazel, and WFW ....

Also linking up with The Nester, and all the other 31-Dayers....This ought to be one wild, brave ride...

Do you struggle with fear-- of him leaving, of marriage not turning out quite like you thought? Do you have a hard time giving the trash the boot--wading through the junk to get to one another? Please tell me your story? Have you seen God redeem these fears in your marriage? Have you found grace? Your comments so encourage me. I draw strength from your kind words and knowing you were here. My faith walk is seasoned with the right ingredients when you hang around...

This is one post in a series of 31 days of Fear. You can find the entire 31 Day collective here. {I've jumped from Day 12 to Day 22 because I want to finish this series at the end of the month & this gal started late}

I hope you will come with me on this journey--to get a taste of glorious redemption as I soul-search and look for Jesus smack-dab in the middle of my fears. And Jesus sits with sinners. I won't have to look very far.

I pray God gives me the strength and the courage to complete 31 days--y'all, it's going to be hard on this 'ol gal to write every.single.day. Pray for me?   

Some other 31 Day collectives I'm loving: Shelly @ Redemptions BeautyAmber Haines , and Lisa-Jo


  1. Lovely...I've got something brewing along so many of the same lines...

  2. Oh my. Words after this are just empty fluff. These stand alone, tender holy lovely. There is beauty in the ash.

  3. Amen. So glad I found you at Getting Down with Jesus. As a wife preparing to celebrate our 20th anniversary, I am familiar with that broader love, the one you share over sick children, blown plumbing, and the losses that accompany life. The loving looks you share from one end of the pew to another, over fidgety children's heads. It lasts. It is worth fighting for. It is a rare blessing.
    Thank you for sharing your heart.
    Peace and good to you.

  4. Yes, it does require a "constant kindling effort" to keep the marriage fires burning. We're on our 36th year of marriage and it does still take effort. But it's worth it!

    Thank you for including quotes from Bonhoeffer on marriage. I love his writing!

  5. Oh this was beautiful!
    Thank you for being so brave and honest :)

  6. Thank you for sharing At "Tell me a Story," about your awesome insights as you both pick through the trash and discard it. Keep words either sweet or few and always tell each other "I love you." Brag on his efforts as men need this often more than we do. (yes we need it too)

  7. yes...i promise... keep kicking out the trash and your flame will grow stronger and brighter as you grow older. beautiful my friend~

  8. In a movie about Leo Tolstoy, he and his wife agreed that they were each others "life work"

    that is how we must view our marriages

    thanks for this wise post!

  9. yes. this love is hard. can leave us broken. but only then can you rebuild a foundation stronger, on the backs of two bent down and towards one another to carry the weight. so much love to you in this. my husband and i have to fight gloriously hard to find each other over and over again too.

  10. Isn't it amazing how easily we can throw trash at the ones we love? I appreciate that you have the courage to do the hard work of clearing out the trash and building a 'knowing' intimate relationship... It's worth every harsh word left unspoken, every compromise, every forgiven wrong. That flame WILL burn brighter!

  11. Beauty for ashes... it's beautiful, so moving...
    The excerpt from Dietrich Bonhoeffer... struck a chord.
    Thank you for writing. <3

  12. Absolutely wonderful post. i needed to read this today. Popping over from Tell Me A Story. Blessings from Croatia: A Little R & R: www.littlerandr.org

  13. this is a beutiful reminder for couples! Well, after almost 22 years of being together with my hubby, we are pretty much in love. so I believe we are on the right path. But, it should we watered and taken cared of and with the guidance of God.

  14. Anyway, I am dropping by from " Tell me a story. My entry: The left overs: willyouhearfromme.blogspot.com



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