When the World Keeps Turning

I drove through the drive-through eager for sustenance after many hours walking with a grieving family who lost their baby. The sun, feeling warm and too bright at the same time.

“Have a great day!” the friendly worker said with a wide grin.

I nodded numbly, still touched by the raw pain of grief bearing. A little shell-shocked by the stark reality that the world dares to keep turning, while someone else, somewhere is facing a shattered world, shattered dreams.

I flashed to the grandmother’s question:
“How do you do this everyday? How do you not break down and cry?”

I remembered 18 and 17 years ago, when my own world stopped, and the startling injustice of the world’s cheeky resolve to keep turning when mine had come to a screeching halt, lying in helpless pieces in front of me. Because you heal in many ways. You join the spinning pace of planet earth in its relentless rotation. Sometimes maybe even finding comfort in the certainty of it. But you never forget.

“I’m carried. And I do feel it later. I do break down later. But this is your time, and it’s my job to make sure you are supported in this time. I’m also a mom who has said goodbye to her babies. And I know how much this time with your baby means. I want to give you the most we can.”

As I cried over the fast food I shouldn’t have been eating in the car after leaving, feeling the pieces of their pain mixed with my own that always come with the grief bearing, I smiled as I thought of the grandfather’s response after my reassurance that I do have emotion too, and feel the pain with them. I just save it for later.

He said, “I saw her tear up a little bit ago.”

It is a sacred privilege beyond what I can express to care for babies with brief lives and to walk with their families in that most precious time. A lifetime in moments. It is as healing as it is wounding to the soul who walks there bathed in love and grace and peace beyond our human understanding.

The Real Power a Woman Holds

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Yes, the idea for this post came from the latest Avengers movie. I’m a boy mama. And, I embraced the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” philosophy a long time ago. I haven’t been able to shake the scene where Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johannson, soothes the savage beast in the Incredible Hulk with her gentle lullaby words. Soft and whispery, she tenderly approaches him. And, as her hand touches his, he melts into her with a shiver. The giant, unreachable, unreasonable, indestructible, huge, strong beast…melts at her touch. All of his rage…his frustrations…dissipate when she speaks to him with love.

It is her softness that melts him.

He is safe with her. Reassured. Loved. And, he melts.

She is strong. Strong enough to take on the toughest of bad guys. But her true beauty…her true strength…shines through her soft touch and gentle words.

There’s a message there, women.

1 Peter 3 speaks of “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

Sometimes, in my busyness. In my independence. I forget…just how much my husband needs the softness God created me with, in order to soothe away the daily frustrations piled on his mortal shoulders. How much more he needs my soft, tender words that create a safe haven for him from the harsh world. Words of hope, love, encouragement that build him up and strengthen him to get back in there and fight the good fight another day. He needs them whispered in a sultry lullaby. More than the clanging symbols of criticisms or harsh, negative words…or even short distracted responses. Beautiful, strong women…our husbands need the softness of our touch…and the tender words of love we have to give. He cares more than you know about having your approval…about knowing that he is someone you respect and honor. He needs your love and encouragement…your gentleness…more than you know. That’s where your strength lies. Use it for good. Use it to encourage your man.

The following is from an old post, but the advice still holds true.

Intimacy in marriage…loving your husband in his love language…

I have found in conversations over the years, with married friends of mine, that the subject of marital intimacy can be a real issue. I don’t want to stereotype, because it can sometimes be the other way around. But, much of the time husbands enjoy feeling loved by their wives in a physical way. Women often feel loved when we are most secure, with gentle words of affirmation, time spent together, as well as physically.

In encouraging female friends of mine over the years, I have heard many say that they need to feel loved by their husbands in order to enjoy the physical part of marriage. They may say, “I wish my husband would…”(fill in the blank.). Some may enjoy physical intimacy, but fail to make it a priority…getting busy with the needs of children, work, home, etc.

In sixteen years of marriage (now twenty-one years!), I’ve learned a few things that I’d like to share with you…woman-to-woman. These things are thoughts I’ve shared with friends who struggle in this area. And, although, I’m hardly an expert… and feel a little shy even talking about it, I think it’s something that’s important. I wish we talked about this subject more as wives, and encouraged young women on this subject. Don’t worry, I’ll keep it pure.

1. Make time with your husband a priority, and start speaking his love language. While you should not go into this with thoughts of what you may get out of it (Physical intimacy should never be used to manipulate.), you may be surprised to find that if you are more physically affectionate and open to him, he may respond by being more loving with you in your love language. As he feels more secure in your love, he will reach out to you in more loving ways. Maybe words of affirmation…maybe hugs…you will be surprised at how you can melt his heart with your love. And, yes…it really is that simple.

2. Do not underestimate the importance of physical intimacy in marriage. A good friend of mine calls it the “glue that holds us together”. God designed sex in marriage to be a blessing. The marriage bed is “pure and undefiled”. So, we are supposed to enjoy one another, and make it fun. (Don’t believe me? Have you ever read the Song of Solomon?) Yes, it is for the purpose of reproduction…but also so much more. It is meant to be a blessing to both of you. Have you ever noticed that when we neglect this part of our relationship, there is more tension and distance? But, when we are making it a priority, there is a bond of affection and often more patience. We look at each other through eyes of love. And that love and commitment is renewed and solidified in the act of marriage. (The Act of Marriage is also the name of a really good book that encourages Christian couples in this area, too!)

3. Remember that your husband speaks a physical love language. Your love and respect give him confidence to be the man he is called to be. He needs this from you. It is part (a big part) of your role as helpmate. If he swats you on the behind as he walks through the kitchen, take it as a compliment and a sign of his affection. Be glad he thinks your behind is “swat-worthy”. And, you may just be surprised, if you begin responding to him in a physical way how he will respond to you.

4. Communicate with your husband about your needs and intimacy, using words of love and affirmation. And make sure he feels safe communicating with you. Remember this gift in marriage is not just for your husband, but for you too!

5. Don’t let your body image keep you from enjoying your husband physically. Some wives feel less than perfect (aren’t we all!), especially when comparing themselves to the unattainable images bombarding us in all forms of media. I think most husbands, though, are less critical, and maybe don’t even see the flaws we see when we look in the mirror. Most of the time, a man enjoys the soft physical beauty of his wife, and sees her through the eyes of love. I know this may not always be the case, but I think it is most of the time.

If this is an area you struggle with, I hope you found a little encouragement here. I just want to encourage wives to make loving their husbands a priority.

Be blessed and encouraged today! Now…go give your man a big kiss and tell him how great he is!


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I’m an Elephant


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The Insatiable Desire to Mother and to Be Mothered


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A Father’s Love ~ Baby Owen


  He stood beside his wife, feeding her ice chips, tenderly. Sometimes using humor to soften the heaviness of weary moments as they waited to meet their son. Because, if he can make her laugh…then all is still right with the world…even when nothing seems right at all. Humor is a wonderful diffuser for the [...]

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