Saturday, December 25, 2010

Oh, well....make that 34 years!

My children have pointed out to me that Ron and I celebrated our 34th anniversary last Saturday, not 33rd. WOW, I really am sooooooooooooo bad with numbers.

Anyway, be that as it may - we took a wonderful mini vacation right in our own backyard and spent Christmas Eve / Christmas Day in Seattle.  Just Ron and I.  It was SO much fun!

Argosy Christmas Cruise

Tron 3D

A Christmas Carol at the ACT Theater

Dragon Restaruant

Seattle Aquarium



and our beautiful room with a beautiful view

Friday, December 24, 2010

my name is Nina, and I am a Mormon...

I've submitted information to be published on our Church's website - so has a lot of other people.  The idea is to help people know who we, as Mormons, really are and not as people have assumed we are.  Basically, the goal is to show that we are neighbors, friends and followers of Christ.  I'm thrilled (even if there ARE two typos), because this really is who I am and I think that it's important that people who know me, knows these things about me:


Hi, I'm Nina Suzanne

About Me

I am the mother of 3 plus stepmother to 1. I LOVE my kids.

I am the grandmother to 12. I could not possibly love them more.

I have been married to my husband for 32 (33 as of last Saturday) years. He is the center of my universe.

I have been a member of the Church for 31 years. It is where I have found my joy.

I have worked in the medical field and public health most of my adult life.

I love, love, LOVE to travel, which is good because I travel for work and travel to see grandchildren and travel to other countries for medical clinics.

Why I am a Mormon

My parents encouraged me to find my own faith. I went to many, many churches looking for the answer to a question that really bothered me when I was young...... I had asked my minister who the Holy Ghost was. His answer was that "we don't know really, but that's okay because it doesn't really matter."

Somehow I knew that this was not right. I knew that the Holy Ghost had to be a real person with a real purpose. Each church that I visited could not seem to answer that question for me.

Then I met my husband, who was a member of the LDS Church. He asked if I would like to meet the missionaries and I said yes. Our first lesson taught ma (me) about the Holy Ghost. I knew immediately that I had found him. It felt so right and so true. I never had a doubt. It was a joyous day when I was baptized and joined the true Church.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Church's position on abortion?

 The Church recognizes that every one is a child of God. They are all precious. They are all important. We live in a world that devalues the importance of a child....how they need to be loved and nurtured and cared for in the way Heavenly Father has taught us to.....exactly how He loves us. When we live a life that does not recognize the power and sacred responsibility of childbearing....and makes that responsibility 'disposable', it does not lift us up, it does not improve our world, and it completely devalues the worth of a soul.

What is the Relief Society?

Relief Society is a wonderful woman's organization. We are headed by women and are for women. Our motto is "Charity Never Faileth". We strive to provide compassion, love and service to the world and concentrate of (in) providing support to the women within our local churches (referred to as Wards). Every woman in our church has two women whose responsibility is to visit and watch over them to make sure that they are safe, sound and cared for. The Visiting Teaching program, provides an avenue to make sure that everyone understands that they are important.

Personal Stories

What are you doing to help strengthen your family and make it successful?

My family has many challenges. Sometimes it hurts so much knowing that they are ill, or lonely, or frightened. We love our family, and to see them in pain is one of the hardest situations we could possibly face. My husband and I pray, sincerely. We serve others, with the hope that there are others in our children's lives who are helping them. We keep in close contact with our children (who are all grown) to make sure that they know that we love and support them. We have faith, and strive everyday to use that faith. Most of all, we lean on the Lord - asking for guidance, comfort, strength and mercy. It is so exciting to see His hand in our lives....how he answers prayers and allows us to witness miracles. We are very blessed.

How I live my faith

I am in the leadership of our local women's group in church. I also coordinate having our ward members go out with our sister missionaries during the week. I've belonged to Soroptimist, Red Cross, and various civil and supportive community organizations because service is how I serve Heavenly Father the best. I currently work with my brother in the area of disability rights and support. I wear a ring that says "Integrity" and I strive to live that verb every day.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Not so sunny Rexburg

It's snowing and it's cold. 

Audra did well with her surgery.  I'm not going to post any pics of her here - she'd probably never speak to me again.  Sufficient to say....


But she's doing remarkably well and I can leave tomorrow morning to Utah with no worries.  My lil' girl is alright.  It's been a great trip though.  Sure wish she lived closer!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Victorious!

I can't believe I made it through all 40 days!
Victory, victory to him that redeemeth.......la la la la

Course, now I have to confess that that less than an hour after my final post Ron and I got snarky and snooty.  Boy was I MAD!
But now I'm in Rexburg with my lil' Audra getting ready for her wisdom teeth being yanked tomorrow morning.


...and by the time I get back, it will be all forgotten


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Last challenge - Dare 40

This last dare unfortunately seems like a throw-away because it simply doesn't apply to us.  It talks about writing and renewing vows.  Though this may be an excellent step for others, renewing our vows is not going to give us those actions needed to keep moving forward.  Rather, committing to our divine callings as an eternal family and as followers of Christ would be where we would want to place our faith and focus.  

Because we were married before I became a member I do, however, have a copy of the vows we made 32 years ago.

Ronald/Nina, will you have Nina/Ronald to be your wedded wife/husband, to live together in the holy estate of matrimony?  Will you love her/him, comfort her/him, honor and keep her/him in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others keep thee only unto her/him so long as you both shall live?



I Ronald/Nina take thee Nina/Ronald, to be my wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us to part, according to God's holy ordinance: and thereto I pledge thee my faith.





The vows that we took a year later in the Temple were even more direct and allowed us to promise that we would be committed to each other for ever, and highlighted the power of eternal marriage.  

I am grateful that I am able to reflect upon the promises we gave each other as well as the promises Heavenly Father offered to us.  This union of three is a binding and wonderful contract and has blessed me all my life.  I love my husband  I love my family.  I love the Gospel.



"If young people “would resolve from the moment of their marriage, that from that time forth they would resolve and do everything in their power to please each other in things that are right, even to the sacrifice of their own pleasures, their own appetites, their own desires, the problem of adjustment in married life would take care of itself, and their home would indeed be a happy home. Great love is built on great sacrifice, and that home where the principle of sacrifice for the welfare of each other is daily expressed is that home where there abides a great love”  
Harold B. Lee

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dare 39 - A Show of Commitment


"Sweetie, just wanted to thank you for being so supportive to my flying off into the wild blue yonder to be with our children.  They are, after all, the manifestation of who you and I are and have and will always be my life and purpose.  I know it must confuse you  at times, when you're working hard everyday and I'm off looking like I'm on long term vacation but you still know that I need to go where my heart is.  But honey – the most important thing is that you know is that my heart is with you 100% of the time.  You are a wonderful, intelligent and loving man and I am committed to you and will love you forever."


I am sharing my letter of commitment to Ron because it speaks of who we are to one another.   I've loved Ron for years, but as I've shared in earlier posts, life is not always a bed of roses.  Unfortunately there were times that I allowed my own pride and frustration flood away my unwavering commitment to us.  It's not that I stopped loving Ron.  That never happened.  But this month and a half has broken me loose from chains that held be back emotionally.   I have really grown during these 40 dares.


Tomorrow is my last challenge.  Yipee!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dare 38 - Road map to the future

Ask yourself what your mate would want if it was obtainable. Commit this to prayer, and start mapping out a plan for meeting some (if not all) of their desires, to whatever level you possibly can.

What would Ron want:
Retirement and enough $ to go someplace warm and exotic

Pray about it:

A plan:
  1. Sell the house and downsize (recognize that this takes planning - not happening soon, but I can start by refinancing at current rates and then doubling up on the payments)
  2. Explore possible places to retire to where both Ron and I could be happy
  3. Review investments (what little there is), Social Security and savings possibilities
  4. Keep PRAYING!
  5. Don't get into debt - be really, really wise
  6. Work to make sure our mission is in there too

Next Challenge - Day 39  Spend time in personal prayer, then write a letter of commitment and resolve to your spouse.  Include why you are committing to this marriage until death, and that you have purposed to love them no matter what.  Leave it in a place that your mate will find it


Micah 7:18  Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dare 37 - The Family That Prays Together




We pray every morning and at every meal, at the start of trips, when home teachers visit.  We definitely pray as a family.

Now if we wanted to talk about personal prayers, we'd have a different discussion - but that wasn't the challenge (phew).

Next challenge - Dare 38 - Ask yourself what your mate would want if it was obtainable. Commit this to prayer, and start mapping out a plan for meeting some (if not all) of their desires, to whatever level you possibly can.

Psalm 37:4 - Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dare 36 - Scripture Study

I've mentioned it before.  I am terrible at scripture study and Ron and I seem to have some major hurdles in studying together.  This isn't a casual problem.....it's a real roadblock.


In truth - reading scriptures is hard for an ADHD gal like me.  I have had some real problems in understanding and retention.  It has made me frustrated and rebellious.  Still, I have grown to love the scriptures, and have been working at finding ways to study and read.  I've loaded the scriptures onto my I-Phone and I read for 10 to 15 minutes each morning....well okay, MOST mornings.

Taken just a verse or two at a time, I find helps me the most.  I ponder just those few words and how they apply to my life.  I ponder how much these words could affect my children if they had access to them.  I ponder how I can help other people by living those principles.




The bigger problem with this challenge is in holding scripture study with Ron.  It's not that he's not willing, but....well.....it's just not that easy to come up with a way we can do it together.  He studies scriptures so entirely different from me.  He understands them on such a greater level.  Ron's mind processes so differently then mine.  I hear a scripture and think:

a) Is it true?
b) Why?
c) What should I do?

Ron hears a scripture and thinks:


So, I have PONDERED the challenge again and am finding that the answer is "no".  The thing I need to do is NOT set Ron up to my being angry and disappointed in him for not cooperating or frustrated in not being able to understand what he's saying.  I will take this challenge as my opportunity to delve into the scriptures in a positive and forward manner. Let Ron love the scriptures his way and I will love them my way.

 
Next Challenge - Dare 37 - Ask your spouse if you can begin praying together.  Talk about the best time to do this, whether it's in the morning, your lunch hour, or before bedtime.  Use this time to commit your concerns, disagreements, and needs before the Lord.  Don't forget to thank Him for His provision and blessing.  Even if your spouse refuses to do this, resolve to spend this daily time in prayer yourself.

Psalm 88:13  But unto thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dare 35 - Marriage Mentor

I have lots of marriage mentors I can think of.  Chris and Debbie King, Steve and Catherine Holloway, Warren and Bonnie Archer.  But it just so happens (though I'm beginning to believe that there are no such things as circumstances) that Heavenly Father already led me to the answer through my Ipod.

I've been studying some of the more unique publications available to us through Church published electronic libraries and came across the "Marriage and Family Relations" Study Guide.  It seemed like such a perfect companion to what I've been trying to accomplish.



The first part is about marriage, the second part is about families.  Here are the chapters for the sections on marriage:


Ron and I took this course a few years ago and it was great then.  We really grew from it.  But I think I'm enjoying it even more now.  I particularly appreciated this information from Lesson 2:  Developing Unity:

If we are to have unity, there are commandments we must keep concerning how we feel. We must forgive and bear no malice toward those who offend us. The Savior set the example from the cross: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). We do not know the hearts of those who offend us. Nor do we know all the sources of our own anger and hurt. The Apostle Paul was telling us how to love in a world of imperfect people, including ourselves, when he said, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil” (1 Corinthians 13:4–5). And then he gave solemn warning against reacting to the fault of others and forgetting our own when he wrote, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as … I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

All of the lessons seem to have been developed from talks given by our Church Leaders.

Yes, I think I have found my mentor - or 'mentors'. 

Next Challenge - Dare 36  Commit to reading the Bible every day.  Find a devotional book or other resource that will give you some guidance.  If your spouse is open to it, see if they will commit to daily Bible reading with you.  Begin submitting each area of your life to its guidance and start building on the rock.

Romans 15:4  For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dare 34 - A Christian Man of Action

Ron is just a stupendous follower of Christ.  I talked to him about how many stories I hear regarding things he has done....with the Scouts.....with a family.......one on one or in a crowd.  Ron wears his beliefs on his sleeve and somehow he gets away with it when others would get their face slapped.  I think it's both his sincerity and enthusiasm.  I greatly appreciate how Ron reaches out to others.  It was great expressing my admiration and appreciation of his Christian values and example.  He's a wonderful teacher to me.  Honestly, what I talked about yesterday (his death defying behavior) works to such an advantage in this area. 


As far as Ron's concern...."There's nothing to be afraid of." 

 I really ought to make sure this is placed on his gravestone.  Oh wait, he's not going to have a gravestone..... which is a whole 'nuther subject (think burial at sea).
Actually, if we're talking about life mottos, Ron's would be one word...."Exquisite"  When he is truly happy, that is what he's thinking, whether its the perfect piece of prime rib


or a gorgeous sunrise
Outside our east window

or a wonderful church talk


or death.  Ron thinks all of them are 'exquisite'.  He has no fear, no barriers.  He has made it clear that the day he leaves this earth will be the ultimate 'exquisite' experience.  What can you do with that?  I think, I'll just be happy for him.

Next Challenge - Dare 35  Find a marriage mentor-someone who is a strong Christian and who will be honest and loving with you.  If you feel that counseling is needed then take the first step to set up an appointment.  During this process, ask God to direct your decisions and discernment.


Proverbs 11:14  Where no counsel is, the people fall:  but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dare 33 - Heading Towards the Future Together

First off, I have to laugh at the scripture reference.....

"If two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?" - Ecclesiastes 4:11

I'm PRETTY sure we're not talking about what it looks like we're talking about.  Honestly, I THINK the point is that together we generate progress that can't possibly be achieved by oneself.

I followed the directions and talked to Ron about working together.  We both feel that we do work well together when we have common goals.  But there are times when our vision is completely opposites.  Retirement is a good example.


Ron really wants to retire to .....


I want to retire anywhere that has.....











I do worry whether we can find happy mediums in these goals.  Right now, we have problems even taking vacations together.  Ron is such a risk taker....I mean real REAL scary stuff.


Okay, maybe not quite this bad, but then again...... he can be really, really scary.
Yup, that's Ron, on top of a bridge.  This, my friends, is NOTHING


I really want him to be happy, but I also want him to be careful and ...well.....alive would be good.

So how do we have a happy medium when we feel so diametrically opposed in this matter?  Ron wouldn't be happy being tied down, but I am constantly afraid of him or someone else getting hurt.  I think I have reason to fear.  He's constantly living on the edge, convinced that he has some sort of super power keeping him safe.  I don't think there is any such thing a being protected from being stupid (I know, that sounds so mean - but that's how the courts, the rescue team, innocent by-standers and the evening news would view it too).

So do I really stop worrying?  Well, I've been trying to.  Unless it's a circumstance where someone is in definite danger (Ron on a cell phone while driving is a good example), I am working on letting him have the room he needs.  I'm just not at the point where I can be with him when he's doing his death defying acts.  If I am there, I'm not happy!

But I appreciate him, and I recognize that Ron just plain has more fun than I do.  I can understand that my way (the SAFE way) isn't always the ONLY way.

But I still can't watch.

Next Challenge - Day 34  Find a specific, recent example when your spouse demonstrated Christian character in a noticeable way.  Verbally commend then for this at some point today.

Psalm 101:2  I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way.  O when wilt though come unto me?  I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

Dare 30 AND 31 AND 32 - United Together

I'm stuck.  I've tried to work on it.  All in all, I think Ron and I are pretty united in most things, but there are those things where it's just a matter of who get's their way.  That's the way of marriage, though, isn't it? 


Somehow, this particular challenge doesn't seem to be such an issue to me, and I've pondered on it long enough.  The next dare is the same:

Dare 31  Is there a "leaving" issue you haven't been brave enough to conquer yet?  Confess it to your spouse today, and resolve to make it right.  The oneness of your marriage is dependent upon it.  Follow this with a commitment to your spouse and to God to make your marriage the top priority over every other human relationship.

I'm married to Ron for time and eternity.  It is the greatest blessing of my life. We've had rough times in the past and who knows what the future holds - but the one thing I am sure it does hold is being married to Ron.


So, I've nothing more to address - time for the next dare.

Dare 32:  Oops - this is about intimacy.  I accept the challenge, but I am NOT going to talk about it.  I've always felt that it is the most sacred part of my relationship with Ron. 


So, zooming through - we find ourselves at...

Next Challenge -Dare 33:  Recognize that your spouse is integral to your future success.  Let them know today that you desire to include them in your upcoming decisions, and that you need their perspective and counsel.  If you have ignored their input in the past, admit your oversight and ask them to forgive you.

"If two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?" - Ecclesiastes 4:11

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dare 29 - I love you, I love you, I LOVE you!

Well, I have absolutely NO problem telling Ron that I love him.  The bigger problem is praying.  I mean, I pray - but I don't do it very WELL.  I am so hyper, I either loose my train of thought, fall asleep, or can't think of a thing to say.  It's all quite sad, I'm afraid.  I'm sure Heavenly Father just shakes his head at me.


Still, I decided to take this quite seriously.  "Dear Heavenly Father, bless my husband.  Because I LOVE him."  We kneel down every morning - rolling out of bed before we do anything else.  I found myself just stopping and hugging him. 

I love praying for him, his health, his happiness, his needs.  I get so excited when I see those prayers answered.

Ron, by the way is such a man of prayer.  He can pray for hours.  Sometimes it's just annoying!


Next Challenge - Day #30 - Isolate one area of division in  your marriage, and look on today as a fresh opportunity to pray about it.  Ask the Lord to reveal anything in your own heart that is threatening oneness with your spouse.  Pray that He would do the same for them.  And if appropriate, discuss this matter openly, seeking God for unity.

Ephesians 5:25  Husbands, love your wives (wives, love your husbands), even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dare 28 - But what do you NEED?

I asked Ron if he had any unfulfilled needs.  He was as stumped as I was.

So I figured out that I had to come up with something on my own.

...and I did!

There is something Ron asked for this week:

He REALLY wants to use the fireplace.  We have all this wood and this perfectly good wood stove.  We just read that electrcity is going to go up 8% this month.  It's gonna cost so much to use the heater this winter. 



Ma and I are dubious, especially since the wood stove is in her area, but since she's at my sister's this week I decided it would be a good time to experiment.  Next he asked if I would consider keeping it stoked in the daytime. 

I said no.  I was pretty sure Ma wouldn't like all that heat in the daytime.

Then I thought about it again....and I did it because he wanted it. 

I found out that it doesn't get too hot if I keep it going and use whole pieces of wood rather than chopped up raw wood.  AND keep the dampers shut completely down so it burns slower.

Unfortunately I learned it by getting Ma's apartment up to 80 degrees.

Sure glad she's not here while I learn all this.

Now the fun part.  Seeing if I can get Ma to go along with it.  It sure would save money, but if I don't do this right she's not going to be happy.  I hate having Ma unhappy more than I hate having Ron unhappy (which is why I said "no" first time.).

So, I'm going to trust God and Ron and do my best.

....and I'll let you know.


Next Challenge - Dare 29  Before you see your spouse again today, pray for them by name and for their needs.  Whether it comes easy for you or not, say “I love you,” then express love to them in some tangible way.  Go to God in prayer again, thanking Him for giving you the privilege of loving this one special person – unconditionally, the way He loves both of you.

Ephesians 6:7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dare 27 - I'm sorry for being so hard about being so hard

"I'm sorry that I'm difficult sometimes about wanting things to be my way, honey".



"Uh huh..." he mumbles, looking intently at his computer.

Tap, tap, tap, tap (that's my foot on the floor)

"I'm so sorry honey that I lose my patience when you don't give me attention when I'm asking for it", I say a little louder.

His eyes turn towards me - even if his head still stays pointed at the screen.

"Like now......" I point out.

"Oh," he says, as he breaks his computer trance.  "Oh, yes.  Ha ha ha.  Yes.  I get it."

Okay, that's better.

"I love ya honey", I say sincerely.


Next Challenge - What is one of the greatest needs in your spouse's life right now?  Is there a need you could lift from their shoulders today by a daring act of sacrifice on your part?  Whether the need is big or small, purpose to do what you can to meet the need.

Galatians 6:2  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Dare 26 - Forgiveness in Return

So I asked Ron to forgive me for being unfair and unkind.

He said 'huh, sure'.

So there you go.

Simply Ron


Next Challenge - Dare 27  Think of one area where your spouse has told you you're expecting too much, and tell them you're sorry for being so hard on them about it.

Psalm 25:20  O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed ; for I put my trust in thee.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dare 25 - True Forgiveness

Warning - this is going to be messy.  Probably shouldn't post it....gonna have to think about it before I hit 'publish'.

Ron is Bi-Polar.  He just is.  He tried for years to hide from it.  I tried many times to push it on him.  We can talk about it now, but we couldn't for years.  It's been hard on both of us.  I can't imagine what it's like for him - grand, glorious, hard, ugly, confusing, infuriating, humbling, binding, exciting and soooooooo scary.  As I mentioned yesterday, I am jealous of Ron because he has such freedoms - because "HEY", he's Bi-Polar, ya know.  He can just say "I can't help myself".


Yet he is in a bondage that I will never have to face.....ever.  So there are times that he has been less than stellar.  He has said things and acted in a way that was frightening, out of line, or just off center.  There's no such thing as relaxing around Ron.  One of the things that kept me sane was the fun of being with someone as unique, exciting and talented as Ron.  So it bothered me quite a bit when I started reading over the signs and symptoms of Bi-Polar (ism?).

So much of what's unique about Ron I found out isn't so much.  The daredevil antics, the brazen confidence, keeping groups of people enthralled with his stories.

That was just Ron being Bi-Polar. 

Then again, the comments that flatten me out on the floor, the inability to say sorry or "I was wrong".  The need to always come out on top.  Death wishes, driving like a mad man, scaring people, taking ridiculous risks.  Well, you get the idea.

That's just Ron being Bi-Polar.


So adjustments had to be made.  I've had to keep the house quiet.  I've had to hide stressful situations - or plan how to get Ron prepared to meet them.  I've had to tone down holidays and preplan vacations to the minutest detail.  I've had to bite my tongue.  I've had to forgive and forget so many times I couldn't possibly count them.  I've had to get over being terrified.....really, really terrified.  And being called out, and saying something incorrectly....and being so embarrassed I wanted to crawl under the table and die.  I've had to make sure that there was SOMEWHERE Ron could go to get away form the noise and turmoil less he were to BLOW HIS LID in front of God and everybody.  I've had to be the responsible one....the calm one.  I certainly had to hide my tears or fears because  - of course - Ron couldn't handle them.  Most of all, I had to hide myself, because during these episodes there was no room for Nina in the Jones house.  And it made me mad and resentful and that anger and resentment changed me.  And so did the fear.  There's nothing quite like the fear of not knowing whether your husband could make it through another day - well, unless it was the fear of not knowing whether it would be your husband or children who would self destruct first.* see note below

But that is Bi-Polar World.  Sometimes it's a rainbow of bright flashy colors, other times it's black and white....and here and there it's just plain ol' black.  And that is the life I entered into.  And as much as I've been afraid of it, and resentful of it, it's also given me opportunities and life experiences that the normal family will never EVER know.  At the very least, it certainly keeps the dinner conversation interesting.

So I've been pondering a lot on today's scripture.  "Forgive  Ron, for he knows not what he does".

I obviously need to let it all go and just forgive him.  No, maybe I need to go even farther than that.  I need to accept him.   Everyone has ups and downs, every marriage has its challenges.  But I really wouldn't give up my life with Ron.  Lord knows - after all - Ron has a lot that he has to put up with me and my basket of personal paranoia.  And lest I paint an unbalanced picture, Ron brings SO much joy to our marriage - passion, excitement, talent, perfection (nobody will do a better job on anything - ever), dedication, hard work and lots and lots of love.  My life is scary - exciting - challenging and where I want to be - most of the time at least.  How lucky am I?

You know, I've known this forever.  Just been fighting it.  I look so good being the patient, long suffering wife.  But here's the big secret ....... It's all a facade.  That's not really me at all.

I heard a quote today that really wraps it up.

"Marriage is an act of faith, the holiest of all promises and you have got to believe in one another.  If one of you starts to doubt, then it's kind of like letting a weed take over.  After you've worked hard planting and nurturing something beautiful, the last thing you want is weeds choking it out."

Time to pluck out the weeds, baby.

* It is EXTREMELY important to point out that Ron has never ever EVER laid a hand on me.  That, as they say, would be a deal breaker.  No one should tolerate physical abuse - and mental abuse is nigh unto it....if Ron called me names or was hateful, that would also be intolerable.  Ron is a good man, and I am safe.  Just in case anyone was worried - thank you - but no need.

Next Challenge - Dare 26: Take time to pray through your areas of wrongdoing.  Ask for God’s forgiveness, then humble yourself enough to admit them to your spouse.  Do it sincerely and truthfully.  Ask your spouse for forgiveness as well.  No matter how they respond, make sure you cover your responsibility in love.  Even if they respond with criticism, accept it by receiving it as counsel.

Romans 2:1  Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.