Love, Regret and Gratefullness

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This has been an extremely stressful week for me. Beginning with my struggle to install the accountability/internet filter application on all my devices, to work, ugh, and a visit from Matthew.  Thirteen inches of rain across our city (almost three hundred square miles, yup, the largest in the state) and none of the weather forecasters got it right.  The water level came up another six or so inches during the night.  While it did get into the garage and the enclosed back porch it was about five or so inches shy of getting in the house.  Thank you Lord!  We are so grateful, around us many, many of our neighbors were not so fortunate. As I drove through the neighborhood Monday afternoon I observed house after house with furniture and carpeting piled at the curb. As it is the salvageable contents of our garage are sitting in the driveway while box fans dry the floor and block out.  At least now I was able to move the dryer out and install the new heating element that died several weeks back. Can’t tell you how many seldom used muscles are now aching.

On another note I awoke early this morning and started commenting, chatting really with another blogger who posted an Acrostic on Respect. Please see Dana’s latest post at “Love Letters Lost at Sea.”(I still have figured out how to post a URL) It really touched something in me. To me anyway, respect and physical intimacy equal love.  Shannon Ethridge once said in her blog that the simplist way a wife could show respect to her husband is to say Thank You.  Oh man, she doesn’t know how right she is, at least for this guy.  My two love languages are touch and words of affirmation, thank you fits right in.  If my wife really wanted to say I love you all it would take is a squeeze of the arm and Thank you. And if she really, really wanted to say I love you and thank you altogether, well, she won’t go there (can’t blame her) but I sure would like to!

So anyway, something triggered me and I had to end our nice chat and pull the covers up tight.  In thinking about all this my eyes were suddenly filled with tears and my heart with regret.  Regret for not loving M the way she needed to be, regret for using porn to unsuccessfully self-medicate myself, and regret for being so disrespectful not only to my wife but to my Lord and Savior who has been there for me all the while. And then He blesses me, undeservedly, while all my neighbors take a bigger hit from Matthew than I. I still struggle to believe how much God loves me.

I Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

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I know this isn’t anything like the parting of the Red Sea but it certainly means a lot to me.  God is Good!

Love in Christ, Barney

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9 thoughts on “Love, Regret and Gratefullness

  1. Hugs, Barney!! There have been several events in my life in which I thought God was “punishing” me … or that I “deserved” what I felt. But I then went back in time and chronologically discovered that there is no way in Heaven (or hell) that God would punish an infant, or 5 year old or 12 year old. Life is life. We are dealt a hand and it is up to us to make the right decisions on when/what to discard and when to draw new cards. Something that I am still learning (no wonder I love Kenny Roger’s “The Gambler”).
    I thought a lot about our Respect conversation. I have three sons and respect is probably the concept I focus on the most with them. Yet, when I was growing up, compassion was the value that was thoroughly instilled in me (along with the notion that no one can be trusted). I wonder if respect means so much to some men because that is the prevailing value instilled in them while growing up?!?
    Here in NC, the full effects of Matthew still haven’t been felt. There is devastation all around us and more to come when the rivers finally crest (most likely today). On the way to school this morning, I talked to my sons about the importance of compassion. And because they know respect, the listened intently.
    And in reading your post, is it truly respect you want/need or is a great deal of it “appreciation”?
    Just questions and details I’ve pondered in the last few hours.
    We are blessed — and we are all sinners. 😉

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  2. “Thank you”, Barn, means a lot…especially to me —those two words mean more meaning than a hug or a kiss. I can tell you, my husband feels the same way. I truly appreciate how the former Marine/ he keeps the household moving along, playing househusband, super dad, counselor and so on while I am off chasing my dream. We both have issues that drive one another crazy, but, let me be the first tell you, THANK YOU goes far…and the words, “Love You”. Both words are unconditional.

    Sorry about the flooding, I do feel bad for you and others…keeping you in prayer.

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  3. It’s a real pain for sure but we are so fortunate. I’m guessing 8 of every 10 homes got flood damage in the living space. So much furniture piled at the curb. It is overwhelming when you stop to think about it. 😥 Barn

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