Everyday Spectacular

Imperfections. Ramblings. Life to the Full.

Archive for the tag “marriage”

Good Marriage

Jeff and I have just wrapped up a 3 week sermon series on marriage. This was our first attempt at tag-team preaching with each other. We looked at expectations in marriage, taking out the accumulating trash, and some ideas on communication.

It was wonderful. It was exhausting.

Am I the only woman in Ontario that gets a baby and then increases my workload?!

For anyone that might be interested, the podcast is here: http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/jeffrey-johnston-epic-change/id275923312

I asked the kids individually this past week what they think makes a good marriage. I think you will enjoy their responses.


Mykah, “When you get married when you are older.”

Me, “Like how old?”

Mykah, “Like when you are seventeen.”

Then over dinner the night before the last message I brought it up & told them I was going to share their answers with the church because I liked them so much. She wanted to be reminded what she had said, so I told her.

Then she said, “I changed my mind. I meant to say eighty.”


Carter just may be smarter than anyone gives him credit for…

Me, “Carter, what do you think makes a good marriage?”

Carter, “Love.”

Me, “Anything else?”

Carter, thinking hard, “I think it’s good if you marry someone you’ve known since you were a kid.”

Me, “Why is that? I didn’t know daddy when I was a kid.”

Carter, “Because then you’ve had time to know a lot about them.”

To throw him off a bit I said, “But what happens if you don’t actually like what you know?”

He said, I kid you not, “Then you’re just going to have to get over it.”

(Which is probably the best marriage advice I’ve heard.)

So he concludes by saying, “I think a good marriage is made up of love, knowing a lot about each other and not getting a divorce.”

Next time we’re asking Carter to preach.


I have a fan

Jeff plays hockey in a summer league. It’s just one night a week, Thursdays in fact, and I don’t begrudge him the joy that it brings him. He played Junior hockey when he was younger and injury-free, and I know that there will always be a part of him that wonders how far he could’ve gone if he hadn’t gotten hurt. Joining first the winter league and now the summer league has brought back some hockey joy to his life. I wish I could explain the look of anticipation he wears as he prepares for his games. His enormous hockey bag sits proudly in our hallway, packed with his gear. His stick is weekly made ready with new black tape. His determination is set. He will give his all on the ice, there will be no questioning that. He goes alone and returns with stories to tell. I can usually tell whether his team won or lost based solely on his demeanor when he returns. If he is near giddy, I can guarantee that his team not only won, but that he scored at least one nice goal as well.

This past Thursday, July 2, just so happened to be our 10 year wedding anniversary.  I booked a hotel room in Toronto for the occasion, but I made the reservations for the day after our anniversary. I know how much these games mean to him, and he could still make his game that way. Let’s call that my gift to him, shall we?

When Thursday, our anniversary, came, so did my parents and my sister and my niece. They drove up from Illinois to spend some time with us and also to watch our kids so we could get away just the two of us. Sort of as an afterthought, Jeff and I realized I could also go to the game with him that night since my family would be at the house. This is something I have not been able to do yet, as I am pretty sure leaving my children home alone, sleeping or otherwise, is illegal or at least highly frowned upon.

The excitement in the car was evident as we drove to the arena. Jeff was all but bouncing in his seat. I’ve been married to this man for 10 years and I like to think I know him quite well. Hockey was on his mind and so we talked hockey the whole way there.  As we walked into the arena and found out which rink he would be playing on, he turned back one last time before making his way to the dressing room.

“I have a fan!”, he said with school-boy excitement.

I smiled and assured him I was so glad to be there to see him play.

It wasn’t until I sat shivering and smiling down on him in my seat above the ice that I thought about the significance of what he had just communicated. “I have a fan”…Because I think that’s what marriage is all about…knowing, no matter what, that someone is in the stands cheering for you. Knowing that win or lose, you win with Someone. Knowing that you have a fan, a fan for life. We’ve been through a lot in the past ten years. I wouldn’t lie and pretend it’s all been easy, but knowing that Jeff’s been by my side, has made a huge difference. The world will never know whether Jeff could have made it all the way to the NHL, but that’s ok. He’s a superstar in my eyes, and he always will be. I may not always get to sit in the hockey rink, but I am always his biggest fan.


I have wanted to be married for as long as I can remember. I would not have necessary told you that before I got married, so as not to appear too desperate, needy or dependent on a man for my own happiness. But, alas, I have always pictured myself as married with 2.5 kids, a dog, and a house. The picket fence has, however, always been optional. (And, just a thought, if you have a third child, how do you decide which one you should split in half to complete the 2.5 dream?)

Have you ever read the little book called Corduroy by Don Freeman? It’s been around a long time, since 1968, in fact, but still in print and loved by children everywhere. I read it to Carter again today.

Here’s just a brief overview in case you’ve never read it or if it’s been a long time…

This adorable bear stands on the toy shelf waiting for someone to purchase him, unaware that his suspenders are missing a button. The day he realizes his button is gone, he goes in search of it.

He ends up on the store’s escalator saying, “I think I’ve always wanted to climb a mountain”.

And when he arrives upstairs in the furniture department, “I guess I’ve always wanted to live in a palace.” He doesn’t find his button and ends up back on the toy shelf. The next morning, he is purchased and goes to live with a darling girl that sews a new button onto his pants and has a little bed just for him to sleep in.

“This must be home,” he said. “I know I’ve always wanted a home!”

Something happened to me last night, a re-aligning of sorts. And I guess I feel a bit like Corduroy today. I often do a lot of thinking and guessing, usually second-guessing myself. “I think I would like to be doing THIS” or “I guess I would like THIS.” But the questions I am asking myself today go a little something like this…Now that I actually have what I always wanted, am I enjoying it to the fullest? Am I remembering how blessed I am to be married to Jeff? Am I showing my children today how very special and wanted they are? Am I making my home the kind of place it should be?

Is it possible to be living the fairytale life and to stop seeing it in that light?

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