Why Their Standards Are Set So High

Yesterday we had the opportunity to celebrate the marriage of Blaire and Hunter. Blaire and Amy have been friends since elementary school. Like Amy, we have had the privilege of watching Blaire grow into a beautiful young woman.

It occurred to me yesterday that this is a new season of life for us. Our children’s friends are now getting married and having babies. And you know what that means, my kids are all old enough to get married too.

Before the wedding, I said to Terry, ”You know this could be Amy in a few years”

He said, ”Don’t rush it. She’s got plenty of time.”

Considering all of our children are now old enough to be married, and are not, I have to ask myself the question ”why?”

First of all, maybe it’s because Terry has told them forever, ”Don’t get married before you’re 30!” Ryan will be 30 in December.

Second, until recently the older two haven’t really had time for relationships and they all have very high standards. Besides, it’s difficult to get married when you don’t have a significant other. 😊

So that begs a different question, ”Why are their standards so high?”

I believe there are three very good reasons.

The first reason is because of the display of love and devotion they witnessed through watching MaMaw and Popaw. They saw what it looks like for a man to love and devote himself to a woman. They also saw how she adored and loved him. They observed how he tenderly provided care for her for ten years prior to her moving into an assisted living facility. They saw love in rare form.

Next, they watched and observed how Mom and Ned loved each other. They listened in as they would sometimes get on each other’s nerves but then would kiss and make up. They watched and observers how Mom took such great care of Ned as his health declined. They saw how his love for her propelled and fueled his desire to get better. He loved her with every fiber of his being and she loved him back in the same way.

Third, and maybe most importantly, these kids of mine have had on display for almost 25 years, the way a man should love a woman. Terry has taught the boys to respect women and he’s taught Amy she’s worthy of respect. He’s taught them that even through hard times, you love, you laugh, you cry and then you do it all again. You never give up and you never give in. He’s taught them the value of commitment. He’s taught them perseverance and determination. He’s taught them not to settle but to look for Gods best.

So on this Fathers Day, I am rejoicing in the legacy left behind by two great men, and I am most thankful to celebrate my man today. He is God’s gift to me and our four children.

Don’t Blink

Who doesn't love the sight of an almost 4-year-old and his Popaw (great-grandfather) sitting at the table working a puzzle together? Classic  Timeless. A bridge between generations.

When Ryan was about a year old, he was completely mesmerized by puzzles.  The wooden puzzles with frames and giant size pieces.  You know the ones,  4-8 pieces, pegs at the top  It was easy to teach him how to manipulate the pieces to fit in their appropriate shape. Before long he graduated to the more advanced puzzles.  The ones with 10-15 pieces that you actually had to figure out by color and fit together inside the frame. Ryan got bored with those rather quickly.   So, he graduated to the 25 piece puzzles with no frame.  We taught him the easiest way to do the puzzle without a frame was to find the end pieces and work them first and then put tighter the inside. It worked.  He could put those puzzles together in a jiffy.  Again,  he got bored quickly and he graduated up to the 100 piece puzzles, when he was about 3 1/2.   By the time he was four, putting together 200 piece puzzles became his challenge. He was diligent about picking out the end pieces and working the outside until he discovered the picture on the box. The picture on the box opened a whole new world for  him see colors and patterns and how they would fit together. While he would still separate out the end pieces, he could work both inside and outside at the same time.

More than the fact that Ryan was a puzzle whiz, is the time that others, especially Popaw would take to sit with him and work puzzles.

Popaw always understood that his time would make a difference. He never got too busy to spend time with those he loved.  Ask anyone of my children, my sister, my brother, or their children.  He's always placed far more value in people than things.

Time is the most valuable gift we can give others and it's often the thing we fail to give.  We find distractions or busyness to consume our time. We're always moving to the next item on our agenda. These are the things that often rob us of time we need to be investing in others.

Jesus was always investing his time with people too.  There are countless stories in the Bible where we are told that Jesus lingered.  He stayed longer than planned.  Why?  He knew that by investing his time in people, He could win them over.  He could gain their trust.  He also knew at the core root of people is an insatiable need to be loved and made to feel important.  Do you realize when you give up your agenda and just spend time with someone, you're saying, "You're more important.  The agenda can wait."? People can't.

So often when my children were young, I was eager to move onto the next thing on my agenda.  Most things were "good things" but those things took time away from them.  Time I could've invested in reading a book, playing a game, working a puzzle, etc.  My children, without a doubt, know they are loved and adored; but I could've made them feel so much more important if I had been willing to, like Popaw, set aside my agenda and give them my full attention.  I went to sleep and now they're 27, 25, 21, and 19.  Don't  blink.