“I lie in the dust; revive me with your word.” Psalms 119:25NLT 

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 Twenty some years ago my sweet man and I found our old truck wedged between trees, on the side of a hill. Sliding sideways down that muddy hill, we were stuck the furtherest point from where we had started.

It was one of those cold, dreary days in the mountains. The kind that chill you right through to the bone and leave you with a drippy nose, red ears, and numb fingers.

How we got there and how we got out has become somewhat of an infamous tale weaved into the threads of our twenty-seven plus years of marriage.

We had planned to spend our day cutting wood for our fireplace. My man wields the chainsaw and I throw wood on the back of the truck. We laugh, we get silly, and usually have a blast.

Not so much on this day. There had been a small disagreement the day before. And I’m a woman that holds a grudge. Won’t let it go until I’ve chewed it through. And through. And through some more. Tension was heavy in the air as we headed out the door together.

Pulling the old truck just a ways in the woods at the top of the hill on our property, we got out, slammed doors and set out about the business at hand. And let me tell you, every time that chainsaw went quiet, my mouth cranked up. Words exchanged. Wood cut. Thrown on the truck. And so it goes. On and on for the better part of the day. Not paying any attention to our surroundings as wood and words were tossed angrily around.

Tired, cold, and hungry with a full load of wood we stonily decided to call it day. Only now the old truck is no longer at the top of the hill. Somewhere between our angry words and hard work, the truck had managed to slide sideways down the hill and was now wedged between two trees! We hadn’t noticed this little predicament taking place.

There was no choice, no other way, but to lay down our anger and work together to get out of the mess we had gotten into. Cutting our way out, sawing, pushing, and at last the laughter, we broke out of there.

History. Twenty seven, soon to be twenty eight years of history is what I share with my man. Peaks and valleys. Loss and gain. Laughter and tears. Loving through the hard. Loving through when one or the other of us was unloveable. Sprinkled with a whole lot of imperfection. Topped off with a heaping amount of grace. That’s us.

When I think of us, I think of an old song by Vince Gill…Look At Us…look at us after all these years together, look at us after all that we’ve been through. I haven’t always made good choices in my life. In this, I chose wisely.

We no longer cut wood together. Haven’t the need for it. We are relishing and thriving in a new season of life. Taking care of one another in the tender places.

Being and just being together.

We’ve taken up a new habit. One that has grown us to levels I could never have imagined. Grown our faith. Sparked many a conversation. Deepened our love for God and each other. Expanded our grace and forgiveness in our frailties and faults.

Since early spring, we have been reading the Bible together. Together. Not me doing my thing and him doing his, but together. At the same time.

We started with random books, picking and choosing our favorites. Reading through Paul’s letters, the major prophets, minor prophets, Psalms and Proverbs, the Gospels.

Around the end of the year we put our heads together and decided to start at the beginning. Genesis to Malachi. Matthew to Revelation. And y’all (I’ve lived here long enough to feel a certain freedom with y’all~smile) can I just tell you it has been awesome. AWESOME!

We have been changed right through to our very core. Changed our approach in the everyday, mundane of life. Changed us and sustained us in the hard. Softened us in the sharp edges of life. Transformed us. Transformed our marriage. Taken us to a deeper level.

Are we perfect people?  No. Is our marriage perfect? No. Will we approach each other differently? Yes. Forgive quicker? Yes. Think before we say that ugly thing? Yes.

We are so near to the end, I am almost heartbroken. When we close out with Revelation 22:21..”May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people.” We plan to turn back to Genesis 1:1 and do it again. And again. Again, ’till one us can no longer read and the other will read it aloud. Again, ’till one or both of us have been carried home to see the face of God.

Being one of detail and a just a smidge OCD, I suggested we mark the date in our Bibles each time we finish. My sweet man liked that idea. Said when the day comes one of us has to walk alone, we will have a treasure of memories, as we turn to that page and run our hands over the dates. Dates that will mark all we did right in the midst of our muddy messes.

…”And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” John 6:63B~NLT 

Graced by God

Tammy Mashburn