Marriage Problems are “For the Birds”.

Last night a woman I know opened up to me when I asked her if there was anything I could pray for her about. The focus of her answer was on her marriage. She normally doesn’t let herself be vulnerable and likes to stay vague. But as it happened, we ended up talking for nearly an hour in that parking lot, she must’ve cried three or four times as we talked about God’s love, our identity, trust, health… and now I look back and kinda laugh to myself that just as I take her hand in prayer, birds stared chirping outside my car window. They sounded pretty and distant at first, and it threw me off, cause it was like 10pm! But then they got closer & louder and so distracting to me, I had to stop my prayer and go “WHAT THE?!? Are those birds?!”
It was as easy as using the tool in my car to cancel out the distracting noise. I rolled my window up all the way. And it was suddenly very quiet. We continued, and the presence of God was there.

After I got home, I remembered a “poem/song” God gave me the night before. Something about intentionally turning down noise…

“Keep your eyes on me, don’t look to the right or to the left. Keep your eyes on me.
Don’t look down at the raging seas.
When your gaze is on mine, my love is made clear to you.
And you will walk with me on the same waters that caused you to fear.

Turn down the noise, all the noise of this world
Stop your ears to it, all the noise of the enemy
For my truth is louder. A birthplace for transformation.

My Word is the loudest, most constant whisper
And you know my voice. It speaks louder than your doubt and frustration.

I am patient.
I am present.
I am for you…”


17 years with this Guy

He got us some overnight childcare (the Piland’s!) and we had ourselves a great day on the town to celebrate 17 years of marriage.

I started the day at a local church parking lot sale fund raiser with Angel and made out like a bandit! Then I got to make out with my husband for a while…even more fun.


At Red Robin, we enjoyed fries and campfire sauce among other sauces – and the server GAVE us a free Mountain High Mud Pie which was so delicious. It was the exact meal we had on a date we had about a month ago. The server told us she was impressed at 17 years and added “my parents made until 17 years when they got a divorce. They regret it now. So DON’T GIVE UP!” Ricky kept bringing up her comment throughout the night saying she jinx’d us. We might get a divorce this year, but hey – at least we got a free Mountain High Mud Pie out of it.

We then drove around Wilsonville and made our way to Sherwood for the best Sushi around, at Crazy Sushi where we ran into some friends. That sushi is SO good! We were jammed packed with deliciousness.

We went over to Beaverton (per my lame direction giving) and eventually ended up where we wanted to go: Progress Ridge in Tigard – our first visit there.

We found ourselves pretty entertained at the candy / gag store, wide-eyed and smiling in the comfy GXL theater seats at Cinetopia (How to Train Your Dragon 2), fashionably inspired at Urban Outfitters, and in tastebud-heaven at Ava’s Coffee House which to me, was a throwback to a classy, warm SunRiver Resort-style café bordering a duck lake and donning a live guitarist. Plus i’s open 24 hrs! I’ll definitely be back and may just order the same drink Ricky did – their Kahlua Creme Latte’.





Trying on girlie stuff at Urban Outfitters

The print of my new skirt

at Crazy Sushi

Ava's Coffee House from the outside

Ava's Coffee House and Cafe' from the inside


Rubberband (my love song to Ricky)

Rubberband (my love song)

Written May-June ’09. Posted by: chelan on: July 22, 2009


D                                      G

Your love is a rubberband, I’ve just come to understand

D                                              G                                 A

That whenever I go away I obey… its law of attraction

D                                      G

I need more than audio; sign in to Gmail video – oh, no…

D                                                               G

But that won’t even cut it close when I think of your hand


On the small of my back (and I whisper…)

Em                                                          A

Ooh,Ooh-Ooh,Ooh-Ooh,Ooh-Ooh,Ooh-Ooh! Can’t get enuf of u

Em                                          A

Oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh! You smell like work and espresso

Em                                          A

Hey, h-hey, h-hey, h-hey, h-hey /


Until we’re old & gray…


Till our last living……Day


The night we broke up, I went limp in your vice

You begged & I saw right through your disguise

But we cried & slow-danced until 5. We didn’t care

In the parking lot of Washington Square


Remember our freshman year – that first day?

All the flirty games we used to play

They always built up to New Year’s Eve

When our lips would join forces again (and I’d say…)


(rotate A & Em)

Till our babies’ babies… have lots of babies

Till our last living day

Till all of our senses (just) fade away

Till we haven’t the strength to reach out &

Join our wrinkly hands

And our souls are one voice that rebound to

Heaven like a rubberband

(finger-pick  ”Em/A pattern” for one more bar)

romance is…pizza, coffee, music, conversation & memories

can i just say in response to ms. mandy’s post a while back about romance in marriage…that yeah, it’s possible! not convenient a lot of times, but possible! we’re in our 14th yr. of bein’ together and we’re still comin’ up w/new things. course $ helps, but it’s sure not nec. ~ if you have a way to swap kids w/a friend and walk around downtown together holding a coffee in one hand and each other with the other, it’s all good…like ethan hawke says to winona ryder in “reality bites” :

Troy:: See Lainy, this is all we need. A couple of smokes, a cup of coffee, and a little bit of conversation. You and me and five bucks.
Lelaina:: You got it!

case-in-point: my hubs got tickets to a concert (one of our fave artists, marc broussard), but the guy who bought them couldn’t go, so ricky asked me! the night was ours to own. we were just ourselves together. we talked. we got starbucks & new jersey style pizza, we got front row (thanks baby, for being so anal about getting there so dang early!), we got our groove on, we made fools of ourselves, we met cool people, we sang, we shot videos of the concert, we got home late, stayed up even later and slept in til 10.

we got to know each other better that night…and we got some kick-*@%! memories (& a guitar pick) to show for it.

now, c’mon. ain’t that what it’s all about?!


let’s hear some more examples (PG-13) of a romantic night in married life!

shattered glass

what happens when your world, as peaceful & good as you think it is, falls apart almost suddenly? what do you do when you hear the news – the kind of news that not just changes your year, but your entire life? you can try to move on, do your best to reconcile your feelings of disappointment & confusion. you may find it easier, in the moment, to skirt around the issue or even ignore it. have you ever had a child stand 2 inches from your face, staring at you? it seems impossible to not look back. ignoring never works. looking back is ok until we can say “i’m doing everything i can do to let God work.” looking back as a means of facing your own short-comings with humility & honesty so that you can learn from them, is different than “dwelling in the past”. looking back for short periods with a heart of thankfulness and self-examination is crucial. remembering triggers, thought patterns, habits & lures can be hugely instrumental in keeping us from making poor choices in the future.

and yet, even when we believe it’s been pretty well worked out, reminders have their way, don’t they.

my son helps with a few things around the house like dust-busting the kitchen floor, cleaning, and emptying the dishwasher. tuesday he was moving all the cups to the counter and trying a shortcut by stacking them. just as i saw him stack two glasses, i chimed in, “woah, there! you shouldn’t stack glasses!” quickly, he pulled the top one out of the other. “…they could br…” and it shattered. thin shards flickered all across the floor.

5 years. pornography and a messy affair threatened to obliterate our unity as a family. oh, that’s not how long it lasted. that’s how long ago it happened. both our lives were terribly affected by the lies. there is hope!! but trust is so slow moving. even after this long… after so many boundaries and kept promises, after our marriage has seriously grown, & we are restored, i can still step on a sharp piece of broken glass. it’s few & far between, but we still struggle. we haven’t done all our learnin’ just yet.

a strange text message or email, a late poker night with work friends…they can lead to lies in my head. those bastards (the lies) can stab my sole and make it bleed ’til of course, we talk it out like grown-ups. me & my husband…and me & my God. and i’m healed again.

trust breaks. it happens with abandonment, or the death of someone very close. it happens with verbal or physical or sexual abuse or when a parent lets you down. it happens when your son looks you in the eye & lies.

but i continually find comfort in this truth: His mercies really are new every morning.

have you ever committed to building trust again after it was shattered? how long did it take to restore? do those stupid tiny pieces of broken glass ever really go away…completely?

psalm seventy-one

you have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again.

this psalm is for the one who’s hurt from the past and the present, but finds hope in the fact that God’s promises are truer and more faithful than anything we know. (vs. 22 ‘i will praise you…b/c you are faithful to your promises O God’) he is not saying ‘will you restore me?’, but two times: ‘you will restore me’ and then ‘you will comfort me’. he is not even saying ‘i am praising you for your faithfulness’ perhaps b/c he doesn’t feel like praising in the downpour of rain while writing this. but he does say to God that he will. like he knows he’ll come around in a little while, cause he can’t deny the truth and he’s like ‘i can’t sulk in my pool of self-pity for much longer or it’ll eat me up! instead i know ‘i will praise…i will sing…i will shout…i will tell’.

after & during the pain of going thru adultery, it was tempting for me to sulk, to point my own fingers at me & all but ask people to feel bad for me. but then if someone said ‘i’m so sorry’ in my mind i was all, ‘i dont want you to feel sorry for me!’. psalms like this one always put my mind back in its place: off of me, off the circumstance, and onto the power that could and did make me more than a conqueror. it took a couple of years to heal & learn restoration & 4.5 yrs later we’re still workin’ out trust now & then, but yeah, oh yeah, that demon’s butt was kicked, against all odds. and now i am praising, i am singing, i am shouting & i am telling anyone and everyone ~ our marriage is restored!