5 Ways to Know You’re a Good Spouse

ZFsYJxdU (1)We get married for all kinds of reasons. Love. Security. Children. Fear. Loneliness.

We might take that walk down the aisle as early as high school graduation or as late as in the fall or winter seasons of our lives.

Maybe we chose our high school sweetheart, our best friend, a coworker, someone we met in Sunday School, or even a person from our past who becomes our future.

Some us had great examples of solid marriages to look to in our own parents and mentors. Others of us saw what we didn’t want to become and vowed to do marriage differently. But no matter why, when, or with whom we take the plunge, most of us are nowhere close to understanding what it really means to tie that lifetime knot. READ THE REST ON CROSSWALK.COM.

Read More

Sympathy or Empathy?


sympathyTwelve years ago, on a sunny Tuesday morning, I dropped my younger kids with a friend to run my oldest to the pediatrician’s office. I made the appointment early, planning to take him to a special breakfast for just the two of us afterward.

Kyle had spent the summer battling headaches, fatigue, and various viruses. Expecting a diagnosis similar to Mono, I was stunned when the doctor not only informed me that Kyle and I wouldn’t be going out for bacon and eggs, but that we wouldn’t even be going home.

Tears brimming in our doctor’s eyes, he instructed me to drive straight to the children’s hospital, where he’d arranged for a pediatric oncologist to admit Kyle to begin immediate chemotherapy.

Oncologist. Chemotherapy. Cancer.

Heart in my throat, lungs twist-tied, my brain refusing to fire, I couldn’t process…READ THE REST ON CROSSWALK.COM.


For similar posts–see Surviving the Storm.

Read More

You Don’t Know What You Have…


1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

“Give thanks in all circumstances;

for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”




This morning, I hopped out of bed, raced to the bathroom, and stood under the hot shower for fifteen minutes.

I know what you’re thinking. Big deal. I do that every morning. You’re so not jealous of my quarter-hour shower.

But maybe you should be.

A few months ago, that same morning routine went something like this:

I rolled over to face the wheelchair parked next to my bed, my broken ankle waking with me, the throb timing itself to match the staccato pulse blaring from the alarm.

I killed the sound and fumbled in the nightstand for another dose of pain medication that had worn off during the night. Which meant I actually slept a few hours straight. Pill swallowed, I started the forty-five minute countdown before it even began to touch the pain.

Shivering, I curled tight against the bottom sheet two pillows propped under my bad leg and tugged my sweatshirt sleeves down over my hands. The surgical site on my ankle, home to eight screws and a plate, couldn’t tolerate any weight. Not even a summer sheet. While my foot and leg burned all night, the rest of me froze.


When the throb in my ankle calmed to a much nicer ache, I scooted close to the wheelchair, and pep-talked myself through the physical process of getting up. After a brief struggle to sit, I slid off the mattress onto the chair, the ache in my ankle spiking, angry to lose its elevation.

Foot straight out and raised as high as I could hold it, I wheeled into the bathroom. Only to remember I’d forgotten to lay out my clothes the night before. If they weren’t on the counter next to the tub, where I had to sit to dress, I’d end up wheeling back into my room completely au natural.

And au natural in a wheelchair? So not attractive.

PicMonkey Collage

Clothes retrieved, I wheeled back in, and fought to close the double doors behind me. The shower door was easier. The trick came in reaching far enough in from a sitting position to turn on the water all the way. After a little effort, the handle moved around to warm.

And that’s when I realized my husband left for work without putting the shower chair back in the stall after he’d finished up.

There was no standing under the hot spray for me. There was no standing at all. Not from January to June on an ankle that broke, healed wrong, and had to be rebroken. During those six months, I lost most of my independence.

rewrap 1

There’s a lot you can’t do when you’re down an ankle. Walk. Cook. Clean. Laundry. Stairs. Drive. Shop. Or reach anything taller than four feet. Daily things I’d taken for granted.

Now you can see why this morning’s quarter-hour shower was so remarkable. It had always been remarkable. I just never noticed until I couldn’t do it anymore.

After the doctor cleared me to put weight on my ankle, I started physical therapy.


One of the ladies I met complained about the exercises, having to go three times a week, and how painful rehab could be. One day she looked at me and asked, “What’s your deal?”

I grinned. “I’m just happy to be able to walk.” And I was. Getting out of bed and landing on both my feet was enough for me.

I’d never been more aware of the phrase—You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

And we don’t know what we have until it’s taken away. But what if we could use our loss to see life in a fresh way? What if I took the experience with my ankle and applied it to the other things in my life I tend to blow off as a guarantee? What if we were grateful now for the things we are able to do every day? What if we took time to see the average as remarkable?

How would that kind of thinking change our days? Our world?

What remarkable abilities do you not realize you have today? Make a list of the everyday, average things you do and thank God for each of them. Because some days, we’re lucky to hop out of bed and stand in the shower.

shower guy1

Colossians 3:15-17 (NIV)

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


Looking for more posts like this? Check out Be Inspired.


Read More