he has a nice voice

Yesterday I had a rare treat. Gordon called me at work just to chat. Because I don't often get calls from him, I was mildly disoriented. V: "Gordon?" G: "Yeah, I thought I'd call and to say hi." V: "Awhh. How sweet! You have such a nice voice. If you weren't my husband I'd try to seduce you." G: "If you weren't my wife I'd fall in love with you." Read more →


my summer holiday

This little cabin was home for the week. We've been away on holidays. For the first time ever, we went to Family Camp with almost everyone in Gordon's extended family. Gordon and the girls had a fabulous time; definitely a highlight of the year for them. I crashed and burned and am quite embarrassed by the whole week. I pride myself on being laid-back, easy going, well-adjusted, fun-loving, and a myriad of other positive things. :-) These characteristics cease and desist when I get around my in-laws. All my benevolence and patience and open-mindedness and well-adjustedness seizes up and dies, usually in an emotionally laden, fetal-positioned wailing-and-gnashing-of-teeth sort of way. Not a pretty picture. It's probably the single biggest flaw in my character and person-hood. I hate this about me. Before the holiday I tried valiantly to prepare and equip myself to "be in the now". I had a plan... Read more →


happy anniversary to us

Today is our anniversary. 16 years of bledded wiss and quite a few years of being happily incompatible (note, I don't claim 16 years of happiness). To celebrate the day I wore mascara and lip gloss to work. I'm living dangerously, pulling out the stops. Oh yeah, I also wore White Diamonds perfume. White Diamonds isn't "me" anymore but it's what I wore on our wedding day so I wear it every May 22. Last night we listened to "Home" by Rich Mullins. Gordon and I both love this song and it was played at our wedding. Last night I was so struck by how prophetic it was to us. My goodness, it's like we played our own prophecy at our wedding. I smiled and smiled listening to it, totally aware of how unaware I was 16 years ago. Wow! was all I could think as I listened to it... Read more →


kayak

This is a Capernwray story. I wanted to canoe all week, to go to a small islands and look the seals in the eyes. I expected my canoeing expedition to be invigorating and deeply spiritual. My husband however wanted to kayak. So kayak it was. To use the kayaks I had to sit through a brief safety lesson. I had heard it several times with the kids (who had gone tubing, canoeing, kayaking, and speed boating). I had on a life vest, so I knew I wouldn't drown, and really that settled the safety issues for me. Besides, they claimed the kayaks were practically un-flippable. (I wondered when I heard that if ever there was a person with more flippable prowess than myself.) The only thing I was actually concerned with was fitting in the kayak. For three days I occasionally wandered up and down the boat dock where the... Read more →


anniversary celebration

14 red roses for 14 years of marriage. We had a wonderful anniversary celebration - the five of us. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. On special occasions we have cheap wine that's barely alcoholic. Last night was Deborah's first time to imbibe. She downed her small portion then did a quick perusal of the table. She said, "If anyone doesn't want their wine, I'll take it." It was quite cute. Hannah made a brief power-point presentation. She captured some special events in our lives. She put a lot of work into it and it was so sweet. Kids these days, eh? Remember the story I've told before about someone asking us to describe our early marriage. I hesitated wondering just how I could accurately describe the horror without sounding like we hated each other. While I was trying to articulate my answer, Gordon began to quote the Larry Norman... Read more →


happy anniversary to me

Today, May 22, in our 14th anniversary. It's been 14 years of work, compromise, shattered dreams, growing deeper, maturing, and living out convictions. It's been 14 years of repeatedly getting back on track with God and each other after doing it my way; laughing again after days of sadness and bitterness. It seems we spend our lives dreaming of blissful marriages that work really well without requiring us to work. But reality is that a good marriage is work. I recently watched a number of Friends episodes. One of the things I liked about it was the opening song. "No one told you life was gonna be this way. The job's a joke, you're broke, your love life's D.O.A. Seems you're always stuck in second gear, When it hasn't been your day, your month, even your year. "But I'll be there for you, When the rain starts to pour. I'll... Read more →


secret to marriage

While coming out of the library today, I saw a man staring at me. It's been a long time since I've been "noticed" so I assumed he wanted my parking spot. Once I was in my van, he ran up to me. I forgot all rules of safety and opened my window. He rested both arms on my door like we were old pals and told me I looked familiar. I was pretty slow on the self-preservation draw and told him all about myself sparing my shoe size. He looked at me thoughtfully and said, "I know you from somewhere. Did you date Vernon?" This seemed a great time to mention my husband. "No, I'm married. I've been married a long time." I threw in the "long time" bit so he'd know I wasn't connected to Vernon. Unfortunately that was the part he honed in on. Stretching the truth by... Read more →


godly leadership

(Gordon and his brother Grant, about 1968) A few days ago Gordon and his friend talked about godly leadership as husbands. More specifically, how to lead without being overbearing. Gordon is good at both leading and being overbearing. Gordon was sharing this conversational tidbit tonight and indeed I found it interesting. Later as we sipped tea together, he asked if I'd noticed he mopped the hall and kitchen while I was at work. I looked at the floor and wondered how on earth I hadn't noticed. I was excited and quickly quipped, "Now that's the kind of leadership I can affirm." Read more →


another day of work

(Gordon and me, camping in 2005) I've decided to take another work day. I told my boss I'd do this each week, but was clear if it was not working for the family, I'd let her know within the month. We shall see. I don't foresee any problems. Last night Gordon asked if there was anything particular I wanted to do with that extra money. (Grant it, it won't be much.) I paused for a few seconds before I answered, "I can't think of anything, so I guess not. But if I say I want some money, you'd better say, 'how much?'" Read more →


gordon

Years ago at a ladies' Bible study when we introduced ourselves I had the pleasure of following three gushy women who all tried to out-gush the others. (Remember the 80's expression, "Gag me with a spoon?" Well that was what I was thinking.) Each lady said, "I'm married to the most wonderful man and best husband in the world." As if on cue, the woman beside her would say, "No, I'm married to the most wonderful man and best husband in the world." After these ladies finished their good-natured arguing, it was my turn to introduce myself. I think they expected me to follow their lead and keep the lie going around the circle. It just happened to be a day when I was at odds with my husband, so that wasn't about to happen. I took a deep breath and said, "Well, I'm Valerie. I am NOT married to... Read more →


my anniversary

(Newlyweds, 1993) Our anniversary came and went last week. 13 years of bledded wiss. "Wedded bliss" seems too strong, given we fought like tigers the first couple years and still do on occasion. That alone makes the bliss part untrue. But my greatest joys revolve around my delightful husband and our family, so there is an element of truth in the bliss thing. But not enough to claim 13 years of wedded bliss. Therefore, bledded wiss seems more fitting and truthful. I love my man very much. He is everything I need in a husband and so much more. He is strong, intelligent (IQ near genius level), funny, patient with me, a wonderful father to the delightful daughters he sired, a hard worker, a consistent source of inspiration to many, and a devoted follower of Jesus. I am so blessed. It seems I should be single and a nobler woman... Read more →


funny husband

This morning Gordon and I had our morning coffee together for the first time this week. He's been burning the proverbial candle at both ends and I've not seen much of him. It was great to catch up. I told him about a haunting memory from our early days of marriage and concluded with, "I was crazy." He comforted me by saying, "Yeah, but I didn't know that back then." We spoke briefly about the trauma of our early days together and about my depression and anger. He mockingly said he introduced me to others by saying: "This is my new wife Valerie. She sleeps 18-20 hours a day and we fight the other four." Read more →


i'm in love

(Gordon and me, 1993) Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained. -- C. S. Lewis Love doesn't just sit there like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new. -- Ursula K. LeGuin The love we have in our youth is superficial compared to the love that an old man has for his old wife. -- Will Durant I woke this morning to my husband's valentines to all his ladies. Rachael, Deborah, Hannah, and I had our little gifts of chocolates and cards waiting for us on the kitchen counter. It's a delightful way to wake up. I'll take Hershey's Hugs and Kisses for breakfast any day. Gordon is a good husband, father and friend. I am very thankful for him. I appreciate his intelligence, his commitment to... Read more →


marriage

I received a couple emails regarding my recent poem for Gordon and have since worried that I was misleading. That poem was written while I was in a delusional state of love. Everything I said in that poem was true. However, there are plenty of poems that could be written that aren't quite as flattering to my marriage, and they would be true too. I am thankful to God for the marriage I have. I wouldn't trade my mess for anyones mess. But that is what it is, it's a mess. I don't know of any marriage that isn't a mess. My marriage has a number of strengths. Gordon and I love each other passionately, share the same values, and want nothing more than to honor God and know Him more. That in itself gives us a huge advantage over those who don't share that common ground. But that being... Read more →


april is poetry month

(1992, Gordon and me, Spokane Washington airport. My first trip to Canada to see my future husband.) April is Poetry Month. Last year I wrote a poem - a poem to my husband Gordon. I am not a poet. I've always struggled understanding poetry but this poem came easily for me. There is a verse in Song of Solomon the uses the expression My Lover, My Friend. Early in our marriage I adopted that expression for Gordon. He's my lover, my friend. My Lover, My Friend Can I trust you with my heart, My feelings, dreams and fears? Will you care for me gently? Will your kindness dry my tears? Will we grow old together, Sharing life’s problems and play? Will you love me when my skin is aged? Will you love me when my locks turn gray? My Lover, My Friend, How you touch me through! I did not... Read more →


my wedding day

(I don't look too upset here. I was a married woman by the time this was taken. 1993) When Gordon and I got engaged, I was struck once again with the thought, “Can’t we just elope?” I had felt the same way for my first wedding, but because my best friend kept saying, “You’ll regret it for the rest of your life,” Kent and I had a regular wedding, albeit small. I very seriously doubt if I would have regretted eloping. But that is another story. When I begged Gordon to elope, he countered that to elope would be nearly immoral. I complied, but not without a great deal of stress. I chose a nice dress – champagne colored and tea length. I thought it was very suitable for a simple second wedding. Gordon, who has an opinion on everything, said, “I want my bride to wear a white wedding... Read more →