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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Better Than Reality TV

Friday afternoon we arrived at the campground. We bailed out of the car and began to unload the gear; sleeping bags, cook stove, food bins, and the most dreaded piece of camping equipment known to marriage, the tent.

This year we brought with us a brand new tent, still in the box. I spied the beast lying on the ground, knowing what must ensue. Looking around I was relived to see the campground was empty with the exception of a retired couple sitting quietly in their lawn chairs in front of their trailer about 100 feet away.

I approached the box, cut the tape and out slid the biggest pile of nylon and connect-the-sticks I have ever seen. The contraption sleeps ten. Why a family of three needs a tent this size, I still cannot explain.

Dragging the tent around on the site, I called to my husband for help. Thus the event commenced; the raising of the tent. This is a hotly contested battle of wit and patience between a husband and a wife. If television wanted a truly unrefined reality show, Raise the Tent, would win hands down. Two minutes into the set up, orders were shouted, my husband was obviously blind to the logic of my instructions. This became readily apparent from the look on his face.

A retort from my frustrated spouse was foreseeable. The sound level increased. I glanced over at older couple who sat smiling at their reading materials, afraid to look up for fear they would break into hysterics.

Precisely at this moment in all tent-raising events, children mysteriously disappear. My daughter retreated to the creek, suddenly captivated with the rocks at the bottom.

I lowered my voice but the yelling continued in what I call, snake whisper. It is still yelling just at a hissing level. I am sure some of you can relate. The older couple is no longer watching covertly, they sit mesmerized by our show activity.

Finally the Holy Spirit became fed up and tapped upon my heart. He reminded me I no longer needed to be in control. In the midst of our squabbling I saw my husband, a gift from God. I saw a man who has made me a better woman. The bickering diminished instantly and the tent went up quickly.

My husband and I are spiritually mismatched in our marriage and although my husband has yet to discover the truth of Christ for himself, Christ is alive and active in our marriage. Christ’s supernatural power brings us through the arguing, disagreements, and tent construction. I look back upon my marriage journey and see Christ standing with us. He has been working through my nonbelieving husband to smooth my rough edges of selfishness and desire to control.

My spouse and I are the ultimate odd couple. Our back grounds and beliefs are vastly different, which makes our marriage, our happy and fulfilling marriage, a miracle.

An hour later, I sat at the picnic table waiting for our friends who were joining us to settle into their campsite. Their daughter wandered over for a chat. I asked her, “Did your mom and dad getting everything set up?”

She replied, “Yes, but yelling was involved.”

I laughed out loud knowing God was alive and well in the next campsite!

1 Peter 3:1-4 (The Message)
The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition.

I am a first Peter three work-in-progress!

Please stop in for a visit at my place: Spiritually Unequal Marriage.

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Blogger Denise said...

Thanks for making my heart smile, bless you.

May 31, 2007 at 12:01 AM  
Blogger eph2810 said...

What a wonderful story (now I know why I don't like camping *smile)

How precious that you allow our Lord to work through your husband to make you the woman He desires to be.

Thank you for sharing from your heart.

Be blessed today and always.

May 31, 2007 at 2:07 AM  
Blogger blackpurl said...

I have never been a camper and your story illustrates why! I don't think my husband or I could have raised the tent... we can barely get directions right when he asks me to read the map as we zoom down the highway!

May 31, 2007 at 2:12 AM  
Blogger Terri said...

Oh my gosh, I am HOWLING about the snake whisper. That is something I do ALL THE TIME and I'm pleased to know it has a name.

Great story!


May 31, 2007 at 5:47 AM  
Blogger Mindy said...


IT is a testament to all of us.....
My hubby is a christian (he's a preacher) but we still have days like this.
AND I am encouraged that you heard God and let go of control.....that is hard for me.
THANKS for the reminder.
I hope the rest of your camping trip was fabulous!
OH - and the older couple watching -- that is just precious.
They were probably reminising of days gone by when they would have done the same thing. =)

May 31, 2007 at 8:17 AM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

LOL over the 'snake whisper'...I've gotten that one plenty of times from hubby...I'm not so discreet...:))

This is my favorite post of yours yet...What a great story!! :)


May 31, 2007 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger Susanne said...

This was one of the most encouraging marriage posts I have read in a long time. Thank you for sharing your "Raise the Tent" moment. And the lesson from the Holy Spirit. You have greatly blessed me.

May 31, 2007 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

This was great! I have lived this myself, not in camping but in maybe a home project.

You have lived out the words of 1 Peter so beautifully.

May 31, 2007 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Deena said...

That was wonderful! Keep being faithful to Him, sweet one...God is working through you...

May 31, 2007 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Darlene said...

You are such a wonderful and needed role model to us. I love this line, "I saw a man who has made me a better woman."

You take my breath away! And you made me gigle with the "break out in hysterics" line.

May 31, 2007 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger Kathleen Marie said...

Oh my.... to many memories here and trust me, even spiritual equal marriages have the "snake whisper" and silly arguments. I am still laughing with and at you you and me! Ha!

May 31, 2007 at 2:41 PM  
Anonymous Denise said...

This is a fabulous post, Lynn. What an encouragement.

May 31, 2007 at 5:34 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Lynn, "Raise the Tent," could be followed by the premiere of "Wallpaper that Wall!" This was hilarious, even if there was "yelling involved." I agree with Susanne; this is one of the most encouraging posts on marriage I've read in a long while. Thanks for making my day. And for reminding not to pitch a fit when I pitch a tent. Love ya!

May 31, 2007 at 6:52 PM  
Blogger Laurel Wreath said...

Oh my goodness I could have written this....the dreaded words in our family because we know savory language will follow is "SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED". It was a running joke every Christmas, when the kids would get something that involved, "SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED"

Love this Lynn, you bless me.

May 31, 2007 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

I loooove the "snake whisper" comment! ROTFLOL. Sometimes my snake whisper has snake eyes (glaring evil laser beams)attached to it!

1Peter3 work in progress. I like it. I'm also a Proverbs 31 work in progress. Much grace needed, BTW!

You are awesome. xxxooo

May 31, 2007 at 11:31 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

There is most definitely a lesson in this for me!

June 6, 2007 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Betty Jane said...

Excellent story and lesson - thanks so much for sharing! Truly blessed.

June 20, 2007 at 10:14 PM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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