Sunday, August 16, 2009

Advice to Couples


This is just a picture I like... don't know why I like it. Maybe the touch of color of the crepe myrtles. The upper limb holds a pair of mourning doves. The female wasn't responsive to the the male's advances. The ring-neck dove on the lower limb had been watching the pair. Perhaps it hoped to learn something about relationships.

An Intruder Besides Me - Explore 14 March 2008 #495

Michelle of Chocolate and Marmalade Tea commented on my post Celebrating 40 years of Marriage: "You two seem like you are perfect for each other...and just the sweetest! What is one advice you would give to couples? I'm curious. :)"

I'm not that great of a writer and didn't exactly know how to word my answer. Soon an email arrived entitled "Burnt Biscuits". It answered the question well. It didn't contain the author's name... so I went looking. The copy I had received had been altered from the original... the original deals with burnt toast and not burnt biscuits. It is amazing how a story can change as it is passed around from email to email and to various web sites.

The article is written by Deb Billy Graham. This is all I could find out about her: Jack and Deb Graham live in Plano, Texas, where Jack is pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church and Deb is director of Ministry Resources. They have been married for over 30 years and have raised three children. She is an author of Courageous Parenting.

"When I was a little girl, my Mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burnt toast in front of my Dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my Dad did was reach for his toast, smile at my Mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that toast and eat every bite!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad,for burning the toast. And I'll never forget what he said, "Baby I love burnt toast." Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy goodnight and I asked him if he really liked his toast burnt. He wrapped me up in his arms and said, "Debbie, your momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And besides - a little burnt toast never hurt anyone!" In bed that night, I thought about the scene at dinner and the kindness my Daddy showed to my Mom.

To this day, it's a cherished memory from my childhood that I'll never forget. And it's one that came to mind just recently when Jack and I sat down to eat dinner. I had arrived home late, as usual, and decided we would have breakfast food for dinner. Some things never change, I suppose! To my amazement, I found the ingredients I needed and quickly began to cook eggs,turkey, sausage and buttered toast. Thinking I had things under control, I glanced through the mail for the day. It was only a few minutes later that I remembered that I had forgotten to take the toast out of the oven! Now, had it been any other day, I would have started all over. But it was one of those days and I had just used up the last two pieces of bread. So burnt toast it was!

As I set the plate down in front of Jack, I waited for a comment about the toast. But all I got was, "Thank You!" I watched as he ate bite by bite, all the time waiting for some comment about the toast. But instead, all Jack said was, "Babe , this is great. Thanks for cooking tonight. I know you had a hard day!" As I took a bite of my charred toast that night, I thought about my Mom and Dad -- how burnt toast hadn't been a deal-breaker for them. And was quietly thankful for having a marriage where burnt toast wasn't a deal-breaker either!

You know life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. I'm not the best housekeeper or cook. And you might be surprised to find out that Jack isn't the perfect husband! But, somehow in the past 37 years Jack and I have learned to accept the imperfections in each other. You might say that we've learned to love each other for who we really are! We share the same goals. We love the same things. And we still are best friends. We've traveled through many valleys and enjoyed many mountain tops. And yet at the same time , Jack and I must work every minute of every day to make this thing called "marriage" work!

What I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each other's faults- and choosing to celebrate each other's differences- is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing and lasting marriage relationship. We could extend this to any relationship in fact as understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife relationship or parent -child or friendship."

So my advice... is the same. :-)



  1. Beautiful and insightful post, and I could agree more.

  2. Great advice and I like the dove pictures, too. That's a real lucky shot!!!

  3. Oh Zaroga, that was beautiful!! I loved this post. It is so true. Thank you, thank you for posting this! I believe every word of it. Unfortunately I seem to find the ones that can't seem to accept my differences and my imperfections. The differences and imperfections are what make us perfect "human beings". *sigh* Guess my prince just hasn't come along. ;)

    This meant a lot to me . :) Thank you again....

    Lots of love and hugs.


  4. Hi Zaroga, that was so inspirational. Thank you. Big hug. Hope you are feeling well.

  5. I hadn't heard that story before and I love it. Great advice, I agree.

  6. for good thoughts, very good thoughts on paper. why do you think you can't write well. not only do we have to accept the imperfections in others but in ourselves also. thank you for sharing this.

  7. BEAUTIFUL!!!! The words you share contain so-o much truth!!!
    On the inside of wedding cards I usually write a note to the couple - about how "Love is a decision". I explain how sometimes it's accompanied by "warm fuzzies", but that at it's core - love is a decision. It was a decision to say yes to the proposal. Standing in front of the minister, surrounded by family and friends - it was still a decision to repeat those vows. There will be lots of times when they feel the warm fuzzy part of being in love; but believe it or not, there will be times when you feel like throwing your spouce out a window (preferably a second story one) {of course my spouce has never felt that way about me o;-p} - that is when they must keep making the decision to love, and to put actions behind those decisions. Keep doing the 'little things' for the other that you know they like - whether you like it or not (such as making ice tea)... and somewhere down the road - you will be blessed with warmer and fuzzier 'warm fuzzies' than you've had before.
    We've been married for over 29 years now ;-}

  8. What a wonderful story! I know I nag a little too much, I think Les is like a child and does things he knows bothers me just for the attention because it is usually the same things like leaving the dishwater in the sink overnight, LOL! Beautiful post!

  9. I forgot to add. Your photo is perfect! It looks 3d. I love it.

  10. Good morning Zaroga. Thank you for your visit to my blog and the comments.
    While I am visiting your blog I am discovering a very interesting one, great topics with a bit of humor.
    Interestingly all of the activities that interest you have been my 'hobbies' at one time or another, and just like you I have downsized these same activities.
    Genealogy is still one of my passions, I started my research five years ago and I am still pursuing it. It is fun and incredibly rewarding.
    I love your photographs and I will be back to read more of your stories and enjoy your photos at leisure.
    Happy Aniversary, I do not know when it was but I will find the entry soon or later.
    Have a wonderful Wednesday.


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