Friday, March 4, 2011
“…He withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place” –Matt. 13:14
OK, I’m pretty sure the above scripture doesn't mean that Jesus went on a cruise with the disciples, but he did long for time to relax away from the crowds (which seemed to always follow him everywhere). That’s where Jeanie and I will be for the next week or so –away from the crowd and enjoying time together.
So, no blog posts for a while as we head south to the Western Caribbean for a cruise. We have the sunscreen and Bermuda shorts packed and we’re ready to go. We’re celebrating 30 years of marriage on March 7th.We’ve been given tons of good cruise advice from family and friends, but one thing we plan to do is to simply relax and to celebrate God’s grace in giving us all these years together. I am so thankful for my Jeanie and what a blessing she has been in my life.
She has been my friend. Scripture says “a friend sticks closer than a brother” and Jeanie has stuck by me through the good times and the tough times all these years. She has been a great listener through the trials and a voice of reason in tough decisions. Oscar Wilde said “a true friend stabs you in the front.” I’m not exactly sure what that means, but I think part of it means that a true friend is willing to be gentle, tough and honest at the same time. She has been all of that to me and more.
She has been my helper. I knew when I married Jeanie that I had married way over my head. I did not nor do I deserve a woman of her caliber, talent and beauty. She selflessly has stood by my side and helped me when I didn't believe in myself. She’s been an encourager and an uplifter all these years. I was raking our yard last week. If you’ve seen our yard, you know it’s pretty rough. It took my almost six hours to rake all the sticks, rocks and junk that had accumulated on it through the winter. About hour five, when I was just about to collapse, Jeanie came to help. She had tons to do for our guests coming that night, but she came to help me. I told her, “thanks honey- you’ve been helping me with stuff like this for 30 years.”
She has been my sister. The most important trait we share is our love for the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s what brought us together that hot summer afternoon at Kanakuk Camps over 30 years ago. We knew that we both had allegiance to Jesus first and everything else followed suit. He has been so good to us over these years. We’ve been able to enjoy fruitful ministry together and experience so many blessings. No doubt, our greatest blessing has been raising two wonderful children. They have been such a joy to us. I’m so glad I get to spend eternity with Jeanie.
Lastly, she has been my wonderful wife. She has been my other half and my completion. Whatever God’s intention in His invention of marriage, she has brought joy and fulfillment to my life. Sure, we have tough times, but they don't last too long. Our love has stayed pure through forgiveness.
So, we’re turning off the cell phones for a week (calls from the ship are super expensive) and we’re just going to have a blast, Bermuda shorts and all!
By Eric Joseph Staples ©