Bountiful Blessings to you, dear reader! I’m excited to share that throughout 2015, I will periodically be introducing you to some STELLAR writing from some STELLAR authors who have graciously agreed to send us guest posts. Plus, I will be giving away one of their books to one of YOU who posts a comment! After a week’s time, I’ll put your names in a hat and ask dear hubster to draw a lucky soul who’ll be sent a free book!!! So let us hear from you!!!
This month kicks us off with my very fun-n-talented friend in Florida, Debora M. Coty. You may recall I featured five fun posts about her book, Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolate in 2013. (For more information, click on “Move Over Mom, I’m Drivin’”, or “My Mother’s My Travel Agent for a Guilt Trip”, or “Oh Man, I’m Goin’ Down…When You Think You May Faint”, or “Callin’ All Worrywarts”, or “Slaying Dragons at Deals’ Gap—Figuratively and Literally”) Without further ado, allow me to present to you a lovely, lively, laugh-out-loud lesson on love (and DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW!!!) :
Love Your Man Enough to Zip It
By Deborah M. Coty
(Adapted from Debora’s newest Take On Life Series Too Loved to Be Lost)
One day he got a hankering to do yard work. That in itself was phenomenal. So out he went to mow, trim, weed-whack, and leaf-blow. When he came in, filthy from head to toe, he informed me with a gleam of pride in his eye that he’d tidied up the backyard flowerbed for me and fixed the sprinkler problem.
Sprinkler problem? There was no sprinkler problem. Uh oh.
Now you first have to understand that although the lawn is his job, the flowerbeds are my domain. I plan, plant, and carefully nurture each and every flower, shrub, and ornamental. I often talk to them and sometimes even sing to them. Don’t laugh. They’re my little green babies.
So imagine my absolute horror when I walked out the back door to find my gorgeous six-foot philodendron stretched out like a dead body beside the garbage can. It had been hacked off at the base.
I was so devastated I could barely breathe as I stared at the gaping hole in the row of seven enormous, wondrously healthy philodendrons I had planted and lovingly coaxed to adulthood during the past three years. The one in the middle was missing. The one by the sprinkler head.
Chuck, with his logical see-a-problem-so-fix-it male brain, had decided that the plant had grown so big, it was blocking the sprinkler. What he failed to consider was that the whole point of the sprinkler was to grow the plant big.
The rage fuse lit somewhere in my innards and erupted into an inferno. I was ready to storm inside and scorch the remaining hair off Chuck’s head. But something stopped me. It was Papa God reminding me of Proverbs 18:2 (NIV): “A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.”
To tell you the truth, I was so livid, I didn’t much care whether I was a fool or not at that moment. But I knew Papa did. So I just stood there praying for a new herspective (my term for a woman’s point of view), sobbing quietly so the neighbors wouldn’t call the men in white jackets to haul me away.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Chuck covertly watching me from the porch. My mind flew back to the funeral I had recently attended of a woman I’d known since childhood. During the heart-melting eulogy, her husband of 58 years praised the way she’d held their marriage together through difficult times and said in a grief-choked voice, “She never looked down on me in all those years – she always looked up at me in respect …even when I didn’t deserve it. ”
Then their 40-something daughter admitted that that during her entire lifetime she’d never heard her mother say one bad word about her father.
Gulp. Those words hit me hard. I was so convicted about criticizing my husband – much of it in my own mind – that I vowed to show him more respect. Even when it seemed undeserved.
So standing there in my backyard, I prayed. “Lord, help me understand him, not criticize him. I know he meant well and was only trying to please me. Glue my mouth shut, Papa; help me forgive him and really appreciate all he does for me.”
Later that afternoon, I got up enough courage to go back out to the flowerbed to attempt some damage control. To my surprise, there in the gap next to the stark green stump, stood my listing, drooping philodendron. Chuck had dug a hole and tried to replant the poor rootless thing. He’d even watered it.
I burst into tears again, but this time they were warm tears of gratitude. Oh, I knew there was no hope for the philodendron, but the point was that by me not blowing up and instead following Papa God’s loving lead, what could have been a marital Hiroshima … wasn’t.
Dr. Gary Campbell says, “Love is a choice you make every day. And in choosing love, you’re following Christ’s example. Nothing is more Christlike than loving your spouse.”
So girlfriend, the next time you find your Godiva stash missing because your guy is helping you stick to your diet, choose love. And remember the verse I just might have tattooed across my forehead, “Keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble” (Proverbs 21:23, NLT). Bio: Debora M Coty is a humorist, speaker, and award-winning author of 14 books including Too Loved to be Lost, Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate, and Too Blessed to be Stressed. Mother of two and Mimi of one adorable grandbuddy, Deb lives, loves and laughs in central Florida with her horticulturally-challenged husband Chuck and desperately wicked pooch, Fenway. Visit with Deb at www.DeboraCoty.com
GREAT POST, DEBBIE! THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH FOR GREAT LESSONS WE ALL NEED TO REMEMBER. WE HAVE SNOW UP HERE IN LOUISVILLE TODAY….HOPE YOU’RE BASKING ON THE BEACH. WARM HUGS….Elizabeth =)