Showing posts with label marriage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label marriage. Show all posts


When Can I Trust Him? - A Dose of Encouragement

Fred never asked me to marry him!

He never got down on one knee and produced a sparkling ring in a little purple box.

He never planned a day out beside a beautiful waterfall or wrote a bunch of short letters to guide me to a certain place so that he could ask me that specific question.

He didn't contact his mother and father and ask them to keep an engagement ring safely hidden until a special birthday would arrive.

He didn't contact his future mother-in-law to show her the ring he was planning to get.

No Fred never did anything like that.

He didn't even take a specific time to ask me to marry him.

With Fred it was just taken for granted.

When Fred talked about the future there was no "IF" but just the "WHEN".

You see Fred was sure that he loved me and he was also sure that I loved him so there didn't need to be an "IF we get married" it was automatically "WHEN we get married".

And me?
Well I just agreed with him because I loved him and I knew that he loved me.

Fred had decided he loved me before we even started going out together and in his mind that would mean there would be no-one else for him and it would just be the natural thing for us to get married.

We did not have that

"getting down on one knee in a beautiful surrounding with a friend hidden somewhere ready to step forward and take a picture at just the right moment as the ring is produced"

moment to be forever remembered.

No we had none of that and as our kids know Fred is often reminded of the fact that he did not propose to me at all!

Instead he just started talking about "when we get married".

Well of course that is all in the past and we did get married 41 years and two days ago.  The "WHEN" happened and Fred had been true to his word there was no going back on what he had said.

I have always been able to trust what Fred would say because if he meant something he said it and stuck with it but if he wasn't completely sure then the "IF" would be used.

And because of the proof I have already seen with Fred, I know that I will also be able to trust him in the future.  Just as the "I have trusted Fred" and the "I am trusting Fred" led me to say "I Will" 41 years ago.

These qualities that I see in Fred are the qualities that I have also seen in God.

God doesn't start talking about "IF" something will happen in the future, it is all "WHEN" with Him.

All God's promises are not statements about how something might come to be but instead each one is a definite fact.

God has proved himself throughout Scripture and Time so that we can trust in all that He says.

God has never promised anything He did not intend to do, He always speaks the truth and will never go back on His Word.

This means we can trust Him forever.

Some people will use the phrase "IF and WHEN....."
But does that even make sense?
I would not be inclined to trust in anything that followed those three words.

This means we can trust Him forever.

With God we trust

the "I Have"  

& the "I Am" 

& the "I Will"

We have trusted in Him, we are still trusting in Him and we will continue to trust in Him.

Throughout our lives together Fred & I have enjoyed the "Our Stories & His Stories" because we have trusted God and shared our lives with God.

I Love Marriage - A Dose of Encouragement

Well I definitely have to say that

I agree with Marriage as God defined it.

Not only because that is the marriage that I undertook all those many years ago but also because I know that God only has what's best for us and so Marriage as He defined it is what is best for me and for everyone else He created.

I would tell anyone that I love my marriage and that I love the institution of marriage.

I have experienced marriage and what it has meant in my life.

I am not saying here that being married is better than being single. What I am saying is that my life would be different if I was not married as I see what God has done in my life through my marriage and it was the way He wanted to work in me.

God created marriage so it is a good thing, not always perfect because we are not perfect, but it is a good thing.

There is a great bond between two people in a marriage but also a bond between those two people and God.

I believe that Marriage can be an example of the security, hope and promise God has appointed for our eternal future with Him.

I Love the fact that God cares about all the ways we feel in relationships and He created marriage to be the true proper foundation for our romantic relationship.

I also believe the Bible is God's Word and it is truth so I agree with

Many people will quote the first verse above in Colossians about the wives and forget about the others, simply because they want to pick on how women are to be treated and complain that it is not right for this day and age.

Then others will quote the first two in Colossians and say it is a two-sided thing submitting and ruling over.

Then others will bring in  Ephesians 5 v 25 where we have the advice to consider Christ and the church which is great because we see that unconditional love exemplified for us.

But how many will bring all of these verses into the equation?

All are wise and helpful to us but surely it is only when we take them all together plus the context of the passages surrounding them that we truly get the best marital advice. 

My husband also believes in Marriage as God intended it to be 

and in the three sets of verses quoted above 

and I am thankful for that because if he didn't 

then our marriage would have been very different.

You may enjoy some more Encouragement Posts at Sandra's Ark

Marriage (What's it all about?) - A Dose of Encouragement



                                                    ME & FRED!

Yes as you read this today we will be married 37 years.

To celebrate we are off on holiday to Malta a new destination for both of us.

So I thought that this post today should be about Marriage and what it's all about.

Fred and I met in 1971

Started going together in 1973

Got engaged in 1975 as we were finishing school and heading off to university so promised our parents we would  wait 4 years until we were both finished there before we would get married.

Sorry but we broke that promise - we are not perfect.

We got married on 27th August 1977

It all seemed to be going in 2 year gaps.

We finished at university in 1979 and went back to jobs in our hometown.

Then it was a 3 year gap before our first Son was born in 1982

Another 2 year gap and our second son was born in 1984

Then three years later our daughter was born in 1987

The next big thing was our move to live in America in 1992 and then our return to Northern Ireland in 1995

Later in 2004 we moved to live in Belgium

And returned to Northern Ireland (but to a different area) in 2010

Last year 2013 was a big year

Firstly we got round to doing our family photo shoot that the kids had promised to buy us for our 30th Wedding Anniversary - not their fault that it didn't get down sooner just the fault of how difficult it is to get us all together in the same country let alone in the same place for long enough to organise something like this.

They will not be very happy about this casual one but I think it is just us with our natural happy faces.

They might be a bit happier (but probably not) with this more formal one of the two of us!

So finally we come to this year 2014 and we are happy and proud to celebrate our 37th Anniversary.

No fancy picture from this year just a happy one our oldest son took of us when we went to visit him in Leeds at Easter.

What were we doing that makes me think of it as being a happy picture?

Well we were in a small village in the Yorkshire dales just walking around relaxing together and laughing at the ducks and ducklings.

That's what marriage is all about, 

sharing the everyday times 

with the person you are meant to be with 


 thanking God for each other.

I'm too Sexy for this Card - A Dose of Encouragement


You can't sing that over the phone.

This is what my oldest son said to me in a telephone conversation last year.

So no doubt he will be saying


You can't say that word on your blog.

If he sees this post.


Okay I am a 55+ wife, mother, new mother-in-law, and ready to be a granny (if they can take the hint).

And I suppose 55+ mothers are not seen as sexy to their children, or to many other people for that matter.

But my husband bought me this card for my birthday last year.

Because He has a sense of humour.

All I could do for the first 10 mins was laugh, laugh, laugh.

Then I started to sing.

You see it is a musical card and when you open it this deep voice sings

"You're too sexy for this card, too sexy for this card, too sexy by far."

So after the 10 mins of laughing I just had to sing it and I danced around the lounge singing it.

Now what happens after you have a long laugh and a song and dance routine?

Well obviously you are very happy, in a good mood (and have had some exercise) so obviously it is good for you.

Then just at that moment comes the phone call from your son to wish you a Happy Birthday.

Of course being me I just can't resist it.

I just have to do it.

I say

"You're got to hear this"  

and I


He says

"What's That?"

and I tell him it's the card his father gave me.

Then I make the big mistake


I start singing it to him

and that's when he says


You can't sing that over the phone.

Yes there are certain things you don't talk to just anyone about.

You can't sing that over the phone!

Fred and I love a joke and teasing within the family and good friends, but yes there are some things that you don't talk to just anyone about.

I am so thankful that Fred and I can talk to each other about anything & everything because we know each other so well and we trust each other after all these years together.

I am saddened when I see other marriages where the couples do not share everything or would feel they need to keep secrets from each other.

If we cannot have the right relationship with our spouse then I feel it would be very difficult to have that right relationship with God.

Then the question also is could I have sung that song in front of God?
Well I did because when I was singing it and dancing round the lounge God was also there and let's face it He knows all about our relationships and what exactly we do, say and sing every day.

I'm too Sexy for this Card

We need to remember that we have to be honest before God and not pious.
He knows what we think and feel anyway.

But that does not mean that we do not still give Him honour and respect.

It just means that I know that He knows all about me and I am not going to pretend that I do not have a laugh and a dance with my husband when God has been there all the time.

Well it is my birthday on Friday and I will be opening that card again and no doubt Fred will laugh at me as I dance around the house but I'll try not to tell Jonathan when he calls this time as two years might just be too much for him to bear.


He is a Pastor you know.


The Gift of Love - A Dose of Encouragement

We do not really celebrate ST. Valentine's Day.

My husband and I never got into that as girlfriend and boyfriend except to exchange cards.

Perhaps it was because we were still at school and then at university for the 4 years before we got married, and school kids and students in the 70's did not have money!

Anyway we have never (that I can remember) gone out for a meal or special event for Valentine's Day.
Unless you count last year when we went to the local hotel for a meal with our son and his girlfriend and our daughter.  Seems strange, you may think, to go out with others on that night but we were not going out because of Valentine's Day but because our daughter was due to leave for South Korea a few days later and that was the night we were all free to have a farewell meal together.  I think it may have seemed a bit odd to the hotel as we were the only table not for a couple.

So this year I suggested to my husband that we have a date night on Friday Night, which he knew straight away was Valentine's Day - question still remains how did he know that without thinking?

I then assured him that I was not choosing

                                because it is Valentine's Day

but simply because on

evening we have a meeting at church,

evening we are going to dinner at our son and daughter-in-law's home (the same pair that were only girlfriend and boyfriend this time last year, got engaged at the end of April and married at the end of October & our daughter managed to come back from South Korea for a few days for the wedding),

evening we have a friend round with us for dinner,

evening we have a prayer meeting in church


we will need to do all the catch-up from the busy week & be tired in the evening and just want to lie in front of the TV and watch something we have taped during the week.


 evening was really our only choice.

Next was the question I could have uttered for him myself but I am kind and I let him say it.

"Well what do you want to do?"

I of course should have been prepared seeing as I knew he would say what he always says but I'm silly and I wasn't.

However being determined not to get annoyed at this usual question I sort of looked around me as I tried to think of something quickly and because I was in the kitchen making the dinner at the time I came out with

"You have to cook me a meal all by yourself"

You would have thought I had told him to do something he knew nothing about and had never seen before.

"How am I going to do that?"

This is the guy who taught me to make an omelette when we were students before we got married but now claims he doesn't know how to make one.  This is also the guy who after we got married made the meals on the days that his lectures were over earlier than mine while we were still students and who made all the meals for the few weeks of my final university exams.

Well that really was not how the conversation should have gone!

But even though I was rather annoyed at the usual type of response, and told him so!

That kind of thing was not going to spoil our week or even our day.

We have to remember that when we got married we promised to

                                                               so something like this cannot get in the way.

A few months ago the ladies who lead our graphics course were developing a magazine for the iPad called  DIY Marketing Graphics and they asked each of the people on the course if they would like to contribute a graphic on the theme of Love for the February Issue.

This was my offering and I was very pleased that they did feature it in the magazine.

I was just playing around with a nice black background and some red hearts and then the wording came to me.

Basically this is what we are doing when we commit to each other in marriage, we are giving our love as a gift to our spouse and we are committed to this forever.  We do not take it back in the hard times or the times (repeatedly) when we annoy each other.  We have given them our love so that overrules all else in any situation.  

This is what God has done with His love.  
He has given the gift of Love which is Jesus, because He loved us and 
He will not take His love back from us either.

I am very thankful that God has shown us true love by His own example.

We all should know the true qualities of Love (if not, we need to read 1 Corinthians 13) and so we know what our actions should be like.  The thing is we are all human and it is hard to get over being hurt and it is hard to accept apologies and it is hard to be gracious and forgiving.  

I am also very thankful that even though Fred & I may take a bit of time to do the forgiving etc. we know we still love each other and such a trust is in our marriage because we know that.

Have you ever thought about your love being a gift that you can give?

Have you thought about God's Gift of Love to you?


#Bigblackwedding - Xtra Special Day

Monday 28th October 2013  was the wedding of our son Daniel.

So what is this #Bigblackwedding all about?

Well our surname is Black and our new daughter-in-law Suzie was so looking forward to becoming Mrs Black that she referred to the wedding as the big black wedding and then they decided to hashtag it and all their friends could use this to post pictures of the event on twitter, facebook, instagram and pinterest.

Suzie also got the cake topping specially made and it was simply the words  

Mr & Mrs Black.

It was obvious to us for quite some time that the two of them were really looking forward to getting married and this was also obvious to everyone throughout the church ceremony and the rest of the day as they were so relaxed and happy together.
(It was also very clear to all of us who had to listen to Daniel when he woke up on Monday morning and came dancing and singing into the kitchen)

It was very special for Fred & I to see our son so happy and to be adding a new daughter to our family.

Our other son Jonathan preached the sermon at the wedding (mostly based on Song of Song 8 v 6).

Our daughter Linda read Psalm 121

Our nephew Glen was best man (he and Daniel have been best friends forever - well since Daniel was 7 months old and Glen was born).

Everything else was done by other family & friends with Suzie's brother praying the final prayer of blessing over them, so it was very much a family and friends affair.

Later Linda caught the bouquet but has since returned to South Korea and had to leave it with me so our lounge is well decorated from flowers etc. from the wedding.

Now Mr & Mrs Daniel Black are off on their honeymoon and Mr & Mrs Fred Black are still trying to sort out their house from the whirlwind of recent events but what is a bit of a mess in your home compared to the happiness and joy in your family.

We are very grateful to God who has been at the centre of our marriage for 36 years 
and who we pray will be always at the centre of this new marriage between 
Daniel & Suzie.