Jim and I were married more than 25 years ago on a mountaintop in a beautiful place called Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge, New Hampshire. I can still remember that day so clearly, as if it were yesterday. The air smelled gorgeous - our surroundings filled the celebration of the beginning of our lives together with the heady scent of fresh pine trees and imminent rain. It was lovely. Every moment of that day was so lovely. I was barely 22 years old and I had stars in my eyes. I had an idea of what married life was going to be like, that, in some ways turned out to be quite right, and in others, very different. It is a journey that takes work on both sides and is bumpy, full of curves and sometimes not so sparkly. I am older now, and, I hope, a little wiser. Glitter falls off and what's left underneath is something softer.. like leather, worn smooth and comfortable. The older I get and the longer we're sharing this life journey, the more I recognize and appreciate the beauty and the value in that. It is worth protecting.
Recently my friend Stacy Garlington shared some photographs she took in Muir Woods, California and a wedding video that reminded me of this early time in my life. I connected with them in a powerful way. For some reason, these two words - Enter quietly - whispered a kind of new peace to my spirit. "Enter quietly." What a great life mantra that would be. What a great bit of marriage advice on how to keep your love alive. Two simple words, Enter quietly.. in body, in mind, in spirit.
How much inner conflict would I avoid if I could live this as my daily truth? How quickly an argument would dispel if I did... enter quietly. If I have something difficult to say to a friend or family member I should... enter quietly. If my kids are swinging from the chandeliers... enter quietly. If my spirit is troubled and I am tempted to turn it inward on myself... enter quietly. Those words imply two important things. First, I am listening. And second, I am reverent and respectful. Those are two attitudes of the heart I want to cultivate. They might have saved me a lot of trouble in my younger days.
"Instead, make yourselves beautiful on the inside, in your hearts, with the enduring quality of a gentle, quiet spirit. This type of beauty is very precious in God’s eyes. "
Enter quietly. Thank you, Stacy. You inspire me.