I've Been Thinking

My man…

How many times have you wished the person you married was different? If only they were this, or if only they were that? More sensitive, or giving or… you make up the list, what would it be? What expectations do you have for your significant other?

But as I was scrolling through Facebook, the other day I came upon an article in Canadian author Ann Voskamp’s website by Jolina Petersheim. She was talking about God being the top priority in relationships and specifically hers with her husband. Her words arrested me. Stopped me, I choked back tears. 

And this is what I thought about as I read: I love my husband. I told those who attended our wedding almost 22 years ago, “he is a treasure, and I am so glad I met him.” Sure I had stars in my eyes, our love was fresh and new and it brought us joy.

Finding love again

After a brutal and devastating divorce, finding my hubby, Dan, years later was what we call “a God thing.” He was a gift to my son and me. A steady, reliable, guy, with a great laugh and a great sense of humour. A man who has integrity and loves God. Someone willing to open his heart not only to me but also to my son – six years old when we met.

Two years after we married we added another member to our wee family, we had a little girl. As the saying goes, we had the “millionaires family,” one boy, one girl.

Dan and me on our wedding day
Young Geoff
Baby Leanne
Our family Christmas 2018: Leanne, Geoff, (Molly, our pet), Leah – Geoff’s Daughter, Sabina

Unspeakable trials

Time passed, and we ran into the most horrific set of circumstances. This was not quick, it went on and on, and on. It was as if we were living a nightmare, and there was nothing to us wake from this torment-filled dream; and no way for us to fix the problem. It almost broke us, tore the fabric of our marriage, rent it almost in two.

Finding help

We sought the help of a therapist. She, with great care, understanding and wisdom guided us through the minefields of our pain. Taught us skills to help us cope with what we were facing. With great kindness and gentleness, she challenged us as individuals. It was both/and. She was just and fair – pointed us in the right direction. I don’t know what would have happened had we not found her. We tried others, and well, let’s say there are therapists out there that either weren’t a good fit or who were inept.

She taught us hope, even when our world was chaotic and there seemed to be no resolutions. We learned we can make no one else do what is good and right; even when they are heading for disaster and self-destruction. She taught us to surrender those we care about to the tender care of our Heavenly Father, to lean hard on Him. And to work together as a team, be on the same page. To come together, not fall apart.

And so, we carried on. Bruised but renewed. Wounded but becoming whole.

Me and Dan – at the Mandarin…yum

Marriage today

Still, marriage is not cake-walk. Dan and I are as different as night and day and fit the saying ‘opposites attract.’ It is exciting and awesome when we use those opposites to blend and flow, to learn from the other. 

Me and Dan at our nieces wedding this past summer

Yet, we each carry and bring our own set of baggage to a marriage. We each have our own way of doing things. Where I get tripped up, time and again, is when I expect Dan to think or to do something the way I would. It makes perfect sense, right?

So, when I was reading Jolina’s words on Ann Voskamp’s website – it halted me.

Jolina says,  “… but the reality was that I wanted to control what I could.
But my husband wouldn’t let me control him…. I expected my husband to come out into the warehouse and hold me.
He didn’t.
wondered why he didn’t come, and then I had a flashback to the time, early in our dating, when I became ill and threw up in my parents’ bushes, and he darted inside to give me space.
Space is his love language.
My love language is hugs.”

And here is the corker: she says this:

“I cannot expect my husband to love me the same way because he came into our marriage with his own hurts and scars, just as I came branded with mine.
Together, we create an imperfect union, and stress magnifies that imperfection.
But then, when I allow my heart to accept God’s whole, perfect love, my gaze shifts from those magnified imperfections, and I am able to love my husband through the grace of God’s perfect example.”

Imperfectly perfect

And this is the marvel of love. Imperfectly perfect love. Through God’s grace I accept and love my man the way he is. And I have to tell you; there are a lot of wonderful things about him. Can I share some of those things with you? 

He is intelligent; I love the way we can discuss anything; he is thoughtful and deliberate. As we talk things through, I appreciate the insight he brings. In the past couple of years I have discovered the deep wisdom Dan has; he has a way of sorting through a situation and is able to discern the best next step. I honour him for his wisdom; and I am so grateful to be the beneficiary of that wisdom.

My Man!!! Dan…

We watched “I Can Only Imagine,” last night. It is the story of Bart Millard the lead singer of MercyMe. I watched as from time to time, Dan would wipe his eyes. I love this about him; that something moves him to tears. This tender heart in my husband, I value. 

Dan is in it for the long haul. He excels in perseverance. He has never given up on us or on our family. Never once have I heard him say the word – divorce. He believes in finding solutions. Dan believes in us, in our marriage, in our family, in our children. My husband is steadfast. Thank you, my beloved hubby, thank you.

Geoff and Leanne, Dan and me

What we focus on

We have heard it said, “that what we focus on grows,” and this absolute truth. If I focus on what bothers me about Dan, it only grows, becomes magnified; it seems unmanageable. It’s not about denying there is a problem when one pops up; we have learned and continue to learn to admit our difficulties. And then to find help if need be and, to keep going. It’s about choice. I can choose to see my husband with his many positive traits, I can focus on those. Watch them grow. Let the positive be magnified not the negative.


So, I hand my expectations over to God. He, the lover of my soul, loves me perfectly, always. Day by day, moment by moment I learn to love and accept Dan for who he is, to give him more grace and less judgment. Because, every day is a new day and there are new mercies every morning. We will not do this perfectly. We are a work in process, journeying life together. 

Date night…

Progress, not perfection, imperfectly perfect. And all by grace, God’s amazing grace.

At Ribfest, Dan and me



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