You Say Tomato … I Say To-Mah-Toe!

My husband and I are alike in so many ways. We both love being in the ministry and we both find deep fulfillment in serving God and in loving the people of God.

We are both dreamers of the most ethereal kind. Those dreaded words, “Well … that will never work!” have never crossed either of our unearthly minds. Not only do we both dream colossal dreams … but we both have a gigantic faith in our incredible God and both actually believe that He can do anything! Anything at all!

Craig and I both love being with family … we have been known to cry when we just mention one of our children’s names … or talk lovingly about the grandchildren that live so very far away. You know … that’s one of the things that I love most about this man that I am doing life with. He’s not afraid to cry.

We both are content with old, rundown cars, with out of date furniture and with little in our savings account. This unexplained contentment springs from our desire to go on mission’s trips, to visit our children as often as they will have us and to continually pour our lives out for the sake of the Gospel.

It’s who we are. It’s what we do.

Craig and I are also communicators at heart. We both love the power of words and the knowledge that words, when spoken clearly, appropriately and lovingly, can literally change one’s life.

“Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances.” –Proverbs 25:11

My hubby and I are both measured in our responses to conflict and to difficulties.

Neither one of us is what you might call “an over reactor” although I will admit that he has tempered me over the years. I used to be more of a little spitfire but watching his wisdom and his peace manage numerous out-of- control situations has convinced me that I need to be more like him and less like me.

Now, my man and I are not cookie-cutters. We have many, many differences that have brought both friction and a fair amount of laughter over the years.

He loves action movies … while I can’t watch 2 minutes of his type of movies! Craig loves guy movies where there is a magnificent amount of conflict … blood … guts … punches … car-chases … and physical confrontation.

(One Friday evening I was trying to be “the good wife” and so I went to a spy movie with him. After 10 minutes, I leaned over to him and sweetly said, “I want you to enjoy this movie but I am going to Target. I will walk around and have a blast. You stay here.” And I walked out and across the parking lot to Target. I was happy and so was he.)

Craig adores movies set in outer space and relishes films that play-out in the wild, wild West. Craig often stays up late to enjoy a spy movie, an epic war story or an historical who-dun- it. (I am in bed with a cup of tea and a good book.)

When it comes to cinema … give me “The Sound of Music” any day!  

“Anne of Green Gables” will do for this peace-loving girl! 

And while you are at it … throw in “You’ve Got Mail” … “Little Women” … and “Miracle on 34 th Street”!

They should actually add an extra Academy Award in my opinion! Let’s give an Oscar to “The Sweetest Movie Made This Year With the Happiest Ending!” (Movies would get extra points in this category that have added an inspirational anthem or two.)

Another area of difference in our marriage has always been the way we drive and what route we choose to reach our intended destination.

Craig drives like he belongs on the NASCAR track … while I drive like an old lady.

You can literally watch the grass growing if you are waiting for me to turn left. I. Kid. You. Not.

Craig adores cars that make a preposterous level of sound and that also have the matched capacity to go fast. Very fast. He weaves in and out of traffic with a joy that only men understand. (I could say that he often drives like a teen-ager … but I don’t want to add conflict to our marriage so I will restrain myself from that honest observation.)

“Slow and steady” is my motto when it comes to driving. I position my ten-year old vehicle in one lane and one lane alone. I then stay in “said lane” regardless of how slowly traffic is moving in front of me. I don’t take any chances at all and I certainly don’t want anyone around me to take chances while driving. I have been known to pray out loud while on the interstate if I see a semi-truck a mile in the distance.

Oh … the interstate! Let me just address THAT for a minute! What is it with men and the interstate?!

My handsome husband and I used to experience tension in our marriage when it came to deciding whether to take the interstate or safer and less exasperating roads in order to reach our desired destination. Now … we have the good sense and the wisdom to laugh about it!

Craig wants to get there as fast as possible … hence … the interstate. He can name every 8-lane highway that traverses America. The 190. The I-75 in the mid-west. The 40 across the southern states. The 39 in Texas.

Now … I don’t give a hoot for well-paved, well-traveled highways or the numbers that have been assigned to them.

Give me a road with a view any day! The slower the better!

I love country roads! Oh! The delight of driving up hill and down … of riding in and out of small towns … of observing fields and tractors and flowers and cows! It fills my heart with unmatched pleasure just to drink in all of the extraordinary beauty of creation. Where I am going is secondary … how I am getting there is primary. And I will take the scenic route any day, thank you very much!

Marriage. Relationships. Friendships.

We are all so different … and we are also very much the same. We can either allow our differences to create a gaping hole or a well-needed belly laugh. We can either smile when we don’t agree or choose to be around people who are boringly alike.

When God thought of friendship … of marriage … and of families … He knew that it is the similarities that would initially build a solid foundation but it is the differences that add the flavor!

It is a united vision that gives a married couple … or two friends … or a family the ability to move mountains … to take on challenges … and to conquer obstacles.

But it is the differences that bring laughter … sweet memories … and mutual understanding to relationships.

Craig thinks that “Rocky Road” is an ice cream. I think that it is the only way to get anywhere.

God makes unity out of our differences and shapes character through various points of view. The secret to a healthy marriage … a solid friendship … or a happy family … is found in our ability to allow our similarities to guide us and to enable our differences to delight us!