Saturday, June 05, 2004
Marriage links for the week
Rebecca writes about her casual
attitude toward wedding anniversaries has not changed in her husband's
Thanks to Rey for the link.
Marla is proud
of her husband.
One of the strongest proponents of marriage in the country, apparently and
ironically, is a Catholic
priest who teaches a class called "Christian Marriage"
at the University
of Dayton. His class is so popular, and his impact is so profound, that university
alumni have set up a scholarship fund in his honor. He says the keys to a successful
marriage are "knowing who you are, knowing your spouse and maintaining a focus,
passion and dedication to each other."
I love dogs, and Fred's young lab looks like a delight for anyone who doesn't
have to live with him. There are a couple of pictures at Fragments From Floyd
of the pup chasing
a butterfly and leaping
for joy in a picturesque creek.
Friday, June 04, 2004
His and Hers XII
Note: I posted this last week then left town. There was some sort
of technical glitch. The post disappeared, and I was unable to do anything
about it (and thanks, Rey, for posting in my absence). I'm
reposting it again for this week.
His and Hers is a question or discussion topic relating to marriage
that I post every Tuesday or Wednesday (though I didn't get a chance to do
that this week). On Friday, my wife and I each write our thoughts on the topic.
bloggers to do the same with their spouses as an exercise in celebrating marriage.
This week's question is:
Merriam-Webster Online recently conducted a survey of their
readers' favorite words. What are your top ten favorite words, in no particular
order and for any reason at all?
Mrs. Happy's response
excellent (Mr. Burns-style)
Thursday, June 03, 2004
Real life is holding the Ace, King, Queen, and Jack of Spades right now, compared to the 10 of Diamonds that blogging possesses, which means that real life is trumping the heck out of blogging. I will probably write more about it when I get a chance (maybe Monday), but for now I'll just have to claim my RLTB rights.
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
How long has it been?
by Steve Switzer
18 years, 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days, 12 hours and 34 minutes
Many a man (including yours truly) has found himself at an uncomfortable
loss for words when confronted with this familiar question, "So, how long
have you been married?" The crowd grows silent, the sound of crickets
heard, all eyes are suddenly turned on him (especially the glaring eyes of
his beloved). After a brief pause that seems to last forever, he responds
cleverly with, "Not nearly long enough!" or "It seems like it
yesterday!" — Of course, the other infamous question involves the actual
date of the blessed event, but that's another story.
It is somewhat of a mystery
why many men can remember the box scores of
their favorite sports team since childhood, but they seem to draw a blank when
it comes to remembering how long they've been married to "the woman of
their dreams." But even if the date does escape me, I know that I could
never forget the moments we've shared in "18 plus" years of marriage.
So far, I
can remember times when we laughed so hard that it hurt. There have been
times when I, the strong he-man, cried uncontrollably in the loving arms of
my best friend. When I stop and think about it, there has literally never
been a dull moment in our marriage journey, and we're really just getting
I am reminded of the words of the Psalmist, David, "Teach us to
days that we may gain a heart of wisdom." (Psalm 90:12) I think he is
basically saying, "life is brief, and full of wonderful opportunities,
cherish each and every day you have." I also see this applying to the
of my life that I am sharing with my special friend and wife, Shelley. I
believe that the better part of the last nineteen years of my life has been "a
Gift within a Gift." So, every once in a while I stop and "number
days—cherish the days" of my marriage. Just as in life there are
good days and bad days, in this relationship, there are definitely ups and
But every time I honestly consider the precious gift from God in the person
of my wife, I gain a bit more wisdom. I have come to realize and agree
completely with the words of Solomon in Proverbs, "He who finds a wife
what is good and receives favor from the Lord." (Proverbs 18:22)
It is hard to believe sometimes that we've been married almost nineteen
years. It really does seem just like yesterday that it all began. While at
the same time, I feel like we've been married forever. It is hard to
remember a time without her. I cherish the days, each and every one of
them, as the gift that they are from God.
So, who's counting the days? I guess I am. There have been 6,720
of them, and I'm still counting—numbering—cherishing each and every one
the way, the date was December 28th. Honestly, some things you just
Tuesday, June 01, 2004
An 18-year-old gift from God
by Shelley Switzer
When my friend Curt asked if I could write something
for his Web site about being
married for 18 years I was thrilled. We just celebrated 18 years of marriage.
We also just celebrated our son's 13th birthday, so now we have 2 teenagers
home and we enjoy them both very much. We also have a 6-year-old who keeps
us young. (Or is she making us old? That's a whole other article!)
sat down to write and now I don't know what to say. Let's see.
It's been the
best of times, it's been the worst of times. No, no. Let me try again.
like yesterday we met for the first time and then it seems like we have been
together FOREVER! There have been
days when he is just a few minutes late and I think my heart will burst inside
I don't see him soon! There have also been times when I can understand why
women run over their husbands with a car. (Don't worry. The way I drive he
could lie down in front of my tires and I'd still miss him.) I have to say
that in 18 years we have had a LOT more good days than bad. So I sit here
asking myself: How did that happen? Why
do I smile even now thinking about the day all our kids are grown and gone
and it's just the two of us? I can only think of a few reasons:
day one we always make sure the other knows we love them. In
18 years there has never been a day that Steve left for work and didn't kiss
good-bye. Even when I'd been up all night with a crying baby and I was
finally sleeping, he'd kiss me good-bye. (I didn't always appreciate
it then, but I do now. Sorry honey! I truly appreciate it now!)
also say "I love you" every day. We decided early in our marriage that if
the unthinkable happened and one of us died in our sleep or died coming home
work, the other one would not spend days or years regretting they never said,
"I love you." So he knows and I know. We are loved!
- We keep God
in the center of our marriage and our lives. I had to learn
this one. Steve can't meet all my needs, but God can. What a load of
pressure off my husband when I finally figured that out!
When we did have young children and it was all I could do to function, Steve
would share what he had been learning in his devotion time. There were
days I resented him for this. I wanted to have my own quiet time. But
every time it got quiet, I fell asleep! Learning from what Steve was
learning was not as good as getting it for myself, but in those trying times
it kept me going and encouraged me to get back to my quiet times.
Just a few
years ago, God revealed to me to pray for passion in our marriage. I'll
admit I fought it for a while. A good marriage should have that, why
pray for it? When I finally swallowed my pride and realized Jesus said
in the book of John "Without me you can do NOTHING," I started
praying for passion and for God to show me how to love Steve more. What
a difference it has made in our marriage!
- We make time for each other. This
has been the hardest lesson to learn. Especially
when the kids started coming. We had heard couples need date nights. Let
me emphasize it again. You need date nights. Even if it's not out to eat.
Just send the kids out and stay home together. Make time
for each other. When you do get that time TALK, TALK, TALK. Talk
about your hopes, dreams, discouragements, frustrations. Everything. Even
if you are not a talker, learn to talk. You need that time to stay in touch
with each other.
- Last, but not least, keep learning about marriage and each
read books or take classes to learn everything from ant farming to zoo keeping,
but we rarely read books on how to keep a marriage going. Make it a
point to read one Christian book on marriage a year or go to a couple's
You never know when you'll find out after all these years that your spouse
LOVES Captain Crunch!
So that's basically it. Why after 18 years, I love Steve
more than the day we married. Why if he doesn't get home soon, I'm
going to eat his sandwich and he'll forgive me. Why I can't wait to
see what the next 18 has in store for us. Why I KNOW, marriage is a
gift from God!
Monday, May 31, 2004
My wife and I are responsible for the quality and success of our marriage
even if the world assembles against us. I truly believe that even if every other
marriage on the planet were to fail, if everyone we know constantly criticized
us for remaining committed to one another, and even if the federal government
outlawed marriage as we know it, Mrs. Happy and I would still be accountable
to God for loving each other the way
He intended. Our world, fortunately, isn't quite as hostile as all that, but
it is still a generally discouraging place for those of us who value marriage.
So we look for encouragement wherever we can find it, and God has blessed us
with a huge source of encouragement in our pastor and his wife.
Sad to say, but pastors' families usually fall well short of role model status.
Their wives gossip worse than anyone, and their kids cut a wide swath of mayhem throughout their childhood and teenage years. Steve and Shelley Switzer, along
with their three wonderful children, are notable exceptions to this rule. Every
member of their family loves Jesus and is devoted to ministry. They are a
God-centered family, full of love and worthy of emulation, and they are an
inspiration to my wife and me.
We celebrated our sixth anniversary last week, while Steve
and Shelley celebrated their 18th in December. I asked them each to write
a little something about having been married for that long. I will post their
thoughts tomorrow and Wednesday.
I thank God for them, for their family, and for the example they provide to
all of us.