My Beast

A lot of men think they are tough.  They think they can handle anything life throws at them with a wave of their hand.  When things do get tough, they back off.  They hide behind the guise of being civilized or well-mannered.  Most hide behind fear of repercussions.  Some hide behind a wife, letting her muddle through and then they can sit back and believe they could have done it better if she hadn’t interfered. 

I know a man who is tough.  He is Rambo with a machine gun slung over his shoulder with barrel blasting tough.  He is the beast in the front of the pack when it is time to kill.  He has a throwback hardness to him that harkens to the days of hand-to-hand combat with swords and knives, Braveheart fashion.  If he believes you are loyal to him, he will do battle with Hell for you.  No dragon is too fierce for him to face.  If he senses a lack of loyalty, he will throw you to the dogs.  With no remorse. 

His is the type of man who caught hold of the first ship heading west to new unknown lands.  The same type who forged through the swamps of the coast, the forests further inland and the mountains and plains that lay beyond.  Seeking a place without class restrictions, without societal rules.  His type herded cattle up dusty death filled trails.  A payday and a good meal his reward.  To have gotten the job done, his reward.  To have survived when others fell, his reward.  He binds his wounds with his own will to move forward.  He has no back down in him.  He raised children with no back down in them. 

He has a temper and sometimes a short fuse.  He has no patience and no desire to develop any.  He yields only when he chooses.  His is an iron will.  Webster’s has his picture next to “stubborn”.  He has on more than one occasion told me “They can’t eat me.”  He respects inner strength and power.  He expects people to show up and to do what needs doing.  He rubs people the wrong way because he calls them out on their façade.  He is not impressed with wealth or social position or education or political power. He guards himself and his small tribe closely and fiercely. Tread near with caution.

There is another side to him.  He loves Jesus.  He loves his children and their children. In fact, all children love him.  Baby whisperer, I call him.  Babies and children love him at first site.  He says it is because they have the same priorities.  Eat, play, sleep.  That is true.  If he sees someone in trouble, he reaches out to help.  He can’t stand to see vulnerable people be left to the wolves. 

He isn’t sentimental or romantic.  Not for him moonlit strolls on the beach or candlelit dinners at some special place.  The first has mosquitoes and the second is just plain silly to him.  He wants to see his food when he eats. He did allow our children to subject him to a vow renewal for our 30th anniversary seven years ago. He would never be mistaken for a gentleman.  He is out spoken and tough. Yet, I do have a collection of love letters and jewelry and a jeep among other things.

Despite his own personal tragedies, he lives life full throttle.  He expects everyone to do the same.  His world is clear cut and black and white.  No gray areas.  He is rock solid.  He is the man God gave me.  He relies on the Solid Rock and I rely on my Rock.  If a dragon comes my way, he is the one who kills it.  He is not afraid to do what real beasts do.  If he even thinks someone is messing with his children, he loads up for warfare.  He will charge the gates of Hell to protect them.  Anyone who causes them distress is at risk of his charge. 

When I am faced with tragedy and heartbreak, he stands in the gap between me and engulfing despair.  He puts me in check with his immovable stand of faith.  Yes, he experiences concern over situations; he flips a switch and it goes right up in the flames of faith filled prayer.  I would have completely destroyed myself by now without him.  Others laugh and wonder how I “put up” with him.  I don’t know how he “puts up” with me.  He makes me want to be stronger, tougher, braver.  He makes me want to live life full throttle. To laugh at the dragons and wave them off with my hand.  To send fear up in the flames of faith filled prayer.  Until that time comes, I will lean on him for protection, for courage, for intercession. 

He is a beast.  He is a warrior.  He is a battle-scarred man who loves God.  He is tough, hard and full of love.  I am so blessed to call him mine.  And so blessed to be his.

God Gave Me You

Eating the Elephant

Apparently, I sounded down in last week’s post.  It wasn’t intended that way. I was actually feeling optimistic.  I did make a run to the fabric store and craft store.  Came away with a few things.  I even found some of the items on my list at the local Walmart. 

I have been making progress on the less than pleasant projects.  Little bites consume the elephant. 

A couple of dear friends are eyeball deep in the restoration of a cabin while inhabiting it.  She mentioned having an opportunity to go through her recipe collection that has been in storage and it giving her renewed inspiration and enthusiasm to keep on with the less than pleasant portions of the project.

It models the method I have used for years to get things done.  I will make my list of tasks and then set a timer for twenty or thirty minutes and work on the first one till the timer goes off.  If I am really going great, I will keep on till I stall.  I move on to the next item on the list and do the same thing with the timer.  It is sometimes best to stop exactly with the timer.  If the project is going well and the stopping place won’t cause a problem for proper execution, stop on the high point.  When the project comes back around, it will be easier to pick up and move forward. 

For the less than pleasant tasks, I have interspersed the happier ones to work on as well.  For example, I am trying to sort out a box of his papers and get them filed.  An elephant.  I also picked up a fish bowl and some aquatic plants to make a water garden.  A happy project.  I am moving back and forth on chores and projects to keep from getting bogged down.  I don’t always use a timer.  After so many years of doing so, I can “feel” the time. 

We had a good trip this past weekend to the longhorn sale.  He came home with his pick of the lots.  We got to visit with people we care about and only see once or twice a year usually.  The sale has been going on for twenty-four years and some of us have been there since the first one.  The trip for me was like my friend’s perusal of her recipes.  It has given me renewed enthusiasm to push through the less than pleasant things. 

I have been productive yesterday and today.  I read a book, watched a movie, washed clothes. As mentioned earlier, I have worked on his filing. I have taken pleasure in drinking my own coffee on the porch and watching the hummingbirds battle it out for a few drops of sugar water.  Even the elephant projects have been good. 

Reading back over the above paragraph, I should clarify that reading a book and watching a movie count as productive for me since those items are on my lists of things to achieve for personal satisfaction.  The book was one from the 1960’s by a favorite writer, Rosamunde Pilcher.  The movie was one of Margaret Rutherford’s portrayals of Agatha Christie’s Jane Marple.  As an aspiring writer, soaking in the art and craft of storytelling through books and movies is important.  As for the comment about the coffee, one of the only things I struggle with when traveling is missing my morning coffee on the back porch.  Traveling makes me appreciate it more when I do return home. 

Here’s to a good week of creative expression and loving actions, good books and good coffee.  May we have time to play and time to love.  And time to stop and see the beautiful world He has made.