by Cathee Poulsen
If she said it once, she said it a gazillion times. Edith. Mother. Munner – as her first grandchild Buddy dubbed her. “This too shall pass.” I’m sure now, years after I’ve had time to think about it, it’s how my mother got through every crisis. All things considered, it isn’t bad advice.
Our lives are peppered with difficulties and hardships. If you aren’t in the middle of one right now, you will be before long.
- Your best friend is rushed to the hospital
- Your boyfriend just broke up with you
- The principle wants a conference with you immediately
- A co-worker told you your boss is interviewing someone for your job
Jesus said a lot about it. He also gave us good advice as well as forewarning. And so did Peter and Paul.
It's a promise!
In this world you are going to face difficulties. But…I have already overcome them in your behalf. John 16:33
Let me remind you.
There’s no way for us to come into the kingdom of God without also enduring many tribulations. It is necessary. Acts 14:22
Remember what I told you.
As my disciple, my servant, you will never be greater than your Master. If they persecuted me, they’ll also persecute you. John 15:20.
What can we do to cope with life in the raw? To survive our broken hearts and crushed spirits. To still believe life is good and God is here?
These are some ways you can come through the tests without being destroyed.
- Accept the reality of where you are at this moment. Don’t go into denial or overdramatize. These are two ditches that are sure to ensnare you. It may help you to journal what is actually happening and how you feel about it. Face the truth.
- Acknowledge that all the things you know about God have not changed. He’s perfect in all of His ways. He said He’d be with you no matter what. He’s working all things together for good if your heart is set on loving Him first. He is faithful. You get new grace daily.
- Imagine the worst thing that can happen and surrender it to Jesus. Doing this one thing will declaw the enemy. If he cannot generate fear and anxiety, most of his attack is thwarted.
- Don’t lose hope that things will end well. It’s true we are promised tribulation, but we are also assured that we follow in the train of a conquering King. Hope is your anchor so sail on when the winds rise and waters are deep.
- Realize that God will use the enemy’s plan for harm to bring good instead. Just like Joseph in the Old Testament. All that he suffered turned out to save a nation. It’s one way we get to mess with the enemy’s head for a change.
- Remember that this too shall pass. All seasons eventually come to an end. And so will this one. Humble yourself and trust that you have a Father who has promised to complete every good work He starts in and for you. Just like Mother said.
The Lord knows the way you are taking and the crisis you face right now. If you will choose to do these six things, you will not only survive, but the test you pass will produce pure gold in your life.
by Cathee Poulsen
There’s something special about waking up every morning to find my favorite person is there. And I’ve had that happy experience for 53 years.
It is inevitable that when anyone hears it’s our anniversary and that we’ve past the half century mark, they ask some version of “How’d ya do it?”
It’s a fair question and maybe even an honest one sometimes, though mostly it’s what people think they’re supposed to say to you. But for those who want an honest answer, this blog’s for you!
Is the Answer to a Good Marriage Love?
I’m certain that in the early years of our marriage my answer would have been that only agape love, spiritual love, should be the number one priority in a solid marriage. That kind of love is based on commitment and sacrifice. We’ve heard countless sermons on that topic but today I wouldn’t say that’s what’s most important.
Sexual love, or eros, is probably the driving force in many young marriages today. And without question, it’s part of the package. After all, how could Adam and Eve fulfill God’s command to be fruitful and multiply without eros. It saddens me to know so many couples—Christian couples—that have no physical relationship whatsoever. This is not God’s plan and I don’t think He’s pleased when a couple no longer have this blessing in their lives. (See 1 Cor. 7:5).
But, let’s be honest here, our sexual relationship in our 70s is not exactly what it was when we were 20, and if that was the #1 priority, we’d probably be in trouble. We may have to work at it a little harder these days, but that physical connection is paramount.
What about Phileo Love?
A relationship where your spouse is your best friend? That’s the maximum. Without that intimate friendship, a 50 year old relationship can be pretty stale and ho-hum.
I first met Bob Poulsen when I was 11. My girlfriend’s mother worked with Bob’s mother and I went with them to his house one day. But when we started dating I was 17 and he was 21. Very quickly he became my best friend and I found myself sharing things with him I’d never told anyone else.
I believe that kind of love is what has carried us through these years of pain, loss, joy, elation, and everything in between.
Here’s What Friendship in a Marriage Looks Like:
- Bob turning off the curling iron without saying anything to me when I’ve left it on for the umpteenth time.
- Me holding my comments when he’s outside beating lizards and geckos to death with his handmade club and destroying the ecosystem.
- Bob making the bed. Every. Single. Day.
- Me washing out the little hairs from his electric razor one hour after I just cleaned the bathroom sink.
- Having breakfast on the deck together, walking outside before bed to see the full moon, holding hands in church, deciding to ditch the diet and go get a hot fudge sundae.
One of our songs in the 1960s was “There’s a Summer Place.” It’s still a favorite and as I read the lyrics they are my heart for this man. I wouldn’t trade any of it and all I know is that today I’m excited to say I’ve been married to my best friend for 53 years.
And the sweet secret of
A summer place
Is that it’s anywhere
When two people share
All their hopes
All their dreams
All their love
Author Book Reading & Reception, Merritt Island FL
Texas will be at First Baptist Church Merritt Island in the Crossover Room on Friday, January 27 at 11 AM. This event is open to the public. If you have a friend or know a parent who has lost hope or just wants to understand addiction and how to choose a new path, please invite them to come and join in the discussion.
140 Magnolia Ave, Merritt Island, FL 32952
For information call Betty Trull, (321) 243-7808
by Cathee Poulsen
I see it in your eyes when I ask how many of you know your purpose. A combination of shame and guilt, you drop your head and stare at the rug. You just aren’t happy with this aspect of your life.
“I have no idea what my purpose is and I’m almost 40.”
“I thought for a long time my purpose was ____, but I just realized lately how I hate that job.”
“I’d give anything for someone to tell me how to find it.”
What if your purpose is something really simple?
After all, Jesus summed everything up in one sentence—Love God and love others. Loving God includes loving your life. The life you have right now. The race He’s called you to today. Can you kiss that life?
What if the whole thing is about the tiny, seemingly inconsequential things we do with kindness and generosity? What if its more about that than big achievements? Maybe most spiritual growth takes place in microscopic increments, when we love and give.
The longer I live, the more I realize how complicated I’ve made it all.
This has been a hard year. Maybe one of the hardest I’ve known. Four in my circle have lost sons or daughters. A friend died suddenly and unexpectedly. There’s a court case that won’t end. And too many other stories to tell here.
We need comfort and peace and it won’t come by our achievements of bright, shining fame. What is it that God has appointed for us to do with our lives? Maybe it’s what one person described as “a small font purpose.”
When I worked with a life coach ten years ago, this was the outcome of my search.
“For me, living on purpose means a life of adventure, intimacy and beauty lived in response to the call of God and in joyful community with others.”
Those are the elements, based on my personality and gifts, and combined with the Word of God, they define what living on purpose looks like for me.
The way I share the gospel best is around the dinner table, or in a discussion that has depth and meaning. I’m not very good at small talk.
The fact that the dinner table has a beautiful setting is not to impress you; it’s because beauty is part of my purpose and gives richness to my life. I hope it also blesses you and creates a backdrop for deeper intimacy.
Adventure never comes without risk, but I’m willing to take calculated risks that fulfill the rest of my purpose. Maybe that just means inviting a stranger for dinner. Maybe adventure awaits in your own back yard when you appreciate what God sends you out there. We are surrounded by lavish beauty and wonder that we often waltz by without even a notice.
Narrow Your Focus—there’s power in it.
I’m not out to save the world any more. My highest goal these days is to live and move and have my being in Christ. To obey His two greatest commands and to put the following into practice as often as possible:
- I will expect good things, but not demand them
- I choose to enjoy the mystery
- I don’t put God in a box because He just doesn’t fit
- I won’t ever give up hope
- I’m willing to let go
- I won’t waste my time on what I can’t
- I accept the perfection of imperfection
- I will eat well and not stress when I can’t
- I will live in the present moment because there’s nowhere else to go
I love my life at Simplicity Cottage. Our group coming for dinner, candles flickering, fresh flowers, and a meal we’ve all shared in preparing. The great conversations around the table. I take joy in tending my roses, watching evening fall and the lights twinkle across the lake. Even the brash sound of the sandhill cranes flying home for the night makes me smile. I will enjoy the pleasures of this small, happy life of mine.