We had the honor and privilege of attending our second wedding in two weekends. The venue was perfect for an outdoor ceremony followed by an indoor reception.
Driving on the beautiful back roads of Vacaville, California, we turned into a gravel road and were instructed to park in the open fields of this spacious ranch. Neither of us have been here before though we have driven by this location several times in the past years.
As we walked towards the crowd, we found our seats under some shade as the sun was beginning its descent. The gazebo was the focal point of the proceedings. The ceremony was concise and I am sure the family members in the first couple of rows were very thankful for that as they sat in the hot sun.
As we turned our attention to the reception, I saw an old friend standing in the shadows. She was a volunteer and I knew that I would catch up with her soon. During a break before the bride and groom reappeared, I stepped outside and bumped into my friend.
Then she told me some amazing facts about the Joyful Ranch.
I have been learning how to be a better husband and displacing my selfish needs in exchange for enhancing my wife’s life and well-being. Most men need to improve their thought process in their relationships with their wives, fiancé, or girlfriends (whichever situation you are at the present time).
So what am I doing to improve my marriage?
Dating my wife each week of course.
We spend our Wednesday afternoons enjoying each other’s company. Dates do not always have to cost money (great news guys)!
The other day, we decided to stay home and watch a movie on Netflix. We agreed to watch Beauty and The Beast as we had missed it at the theater. It was fun to see the human actors and actresses reenact the movie.
Recently, the weather in our local region had been unpredictable. Temperatures into the high-90’s were sometimes replaced with blustery afternoons. Planning an outdoor wedding would stress any couple during this time of year.
It was my honor to witness a very special wedding this past weekend. Who says that a large wedding is reserved only for the younger people. Why not a loving couple who cultivated a long-standing friendship for twenty-plus years and surrounded by friends and family who have been a part of their lives and long-term relationship?
Well, that is exactly what happened this past Saturday afternoon.
A wonderful thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago.
Thanks to social media, I was able to reconnect with an old friend from 25+ years ago – gosh, am I really getting that old???
We agreed to meet at a coffee shop (name begins with an “S”) at the old town where our families first met years ago. I had moved away in 20001 so for me, it appeared that there was a lot of changes including this coffee shop we had our get-together.
The conversation flowed easily as we reminisced about old friends and marveled at how our sons had each grown up into young adults. He learned about the loss of my first wife as he remembered her kindness and personality. Though we both looked a bit more “filled-out”, the familiarity was so comforting.
Soon it was time to depart as my friend had a patient to see. We exchanged goodbyes and as I walked to my car, a thought came to mind. Why not drive down Refugio Valley Road to the old house and see what has changed.
Have you ever felt buried by problems and circumstances in your life?
Just like this tree overwhelmed by the copious amounts of snow at Lake Tahoe last month, I can identify with this crown. Problems seem to pile up at times and just like this tree, I struggle to keep my head above water (so to speak).
The good news is that when the snow melts in the spring or early summer, it will be standing tall to provide shade and a safe haven for nature as in past seasons.
Have you thought about how the base of the tree reacts to the freezing temperature of the packed snow? Do you ever feel that your problems seem to freeze you in a position that disables you from moving forward?
On Friday, we received word that a young man (from a family at our church) ran into the back of a parked tractor-trailer off the freeway. His injuries were life threatening as it caused much injury including a massive brain trauma.
The local churches have been praying all weekend for a miracle to happen. There is strength in prayer and God is always in control even though we often times try to take responsibility on our own. The situation is dire and although you may not know this person, your prayers are much appreciated.
There are two schools of thought here and this was inspired by a recent post by someone on Facebook that shared their frustration that we should not say, “If it is God’s will“. I have a different opinion…
We attended the funeral service of a dear sister in Christ who was suddenly taken home at the end of August. She was only 55 years young and was full of life. She had a conversation with her brother the night before she passed and everything seemed normal.
She leaves behind a humble and wonderful husband and two grown daughters who are just beginning their lives in the world. Nothing prepared them for this unexpected loss. I was very shocked to hear this news (as many were as well) and could not wrap my mind around the finality of the situation.
I was invited to submit an article for an upcoming book, a collection of stories focused on the topic of joy.
In this world of negativity, selfishness, and public media reporting on stories that stir up drama, I was honored to be selected as a contributing author. However, as with all articles of submission, the option for editing my story was highly suggested. The coordinators wanted each story to be well-written.
An email notification arrived a few weeks after the deadline. The instructions were clear – editing would be required for all submissions.
I was unsure at first because this was “my story” – why would I have someone potentially change “my” words at all? Would it change the intent of my story? Would my voice be changed by an unknown editor?
Then my cellphone notified me of an incoming call. It was the editor…
Have you ever watched a fact-based movie and got caught up in the emotions of the characters? I don’t mean crying when the script manipulates one’s feelings but to have a heart-felt hurt for the character because YOU have lived it yourself?
This happened to me recently and I was totally caught off-guard.
It all began one evening when I was exhausted from the week’s activities and simply wanted to watch a movie on Netflix (you know, something mindless). I had been following this one series due to the nature of the characters and was excited when part-3 was available.
It was Mother’s Day and we were deciding what to do and where to go. Aside from the usual tourist locations in the Northern California Bay Area, we decided to simply drive along the coast line, twisting and turning, until we arrived at Half Moon Bay.
Sunday was a beautiful day and though clouds threatened to ruin our adventure, it was easily forgotten as we enjoyed the ocean views and forests that guided our path home. Traffic was interspersed with occasional merged lanes and early meals at packed restaurants.