Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Secret to a Lasting Marriage

Embrace Imperfection
Deb Graham - Contributor

When I was a little girl, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner
every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had
made breakfast after a long, hard day at work.

On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage, and
extremely burned toast in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if
anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his toast, smile at my
mom, and ask me how my day was at school.

I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching
him smear butter and jelly on that toast and eat every bite! When I got
up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to
my dad for burning the toast. And I'll never forget what he said: "Baby,
I love burned toast."

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he
really liked his toast burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said,
"Debbie, your momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real
tired. And besides-a little burnt toast never hurt anyone!"

In bed that night, I thought about that scene at dinner and the kindness
my daddy showed my mom. To this day, it's a cherished memory from my
childhood that I'll never forget. And it's one that came to mind just
recently when Jack and I sat down to eat dinner.

I had arrived home late as usual and decided we would have breakfast
food for dinner. Some things never change, I suppose!

To my amazement, I found the ingredients I needed, and quickly began to
cook eggs, turkey sausage, and buttered toast. Thinking I had things
under control, I glanced through the mail for the day. It was only a
few minutes later that I remembered that I had forgotten to take the
toast out of the oven!

Now, had it been any other day -- and had we had more than two pieces of
bread in the entire house -- I would have started all over. But it had
been one of those days and I had just used up the last two pieces of
bread. So burnt toast it was!

As I set the plate down in front of Jack, I waited for a comment about
the toast. But all I got was a "Thank you!" I watched as he ate bite by
bite, all the time waiting for some comment about the toast. But
instead, all Jack said was, "Babe, this is great. Thanks for cooking
tonight. I know you had a hard day."

As I took a bite of my charred toast that night, I thought about my mom
and dad how burnt toast hadn't been a deal-breaker for them. And I
quietly thanked God for giving me a marriage where burnt toast wasn't a
deal-breaker either!

You know, life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. I'm not
the best housekeeper or cook. And you might be surprised to find out
that Jack isn't the perfect husband! He likes to play his music too
loud, he will always find a way to avoid yard work, and he watches far
too many sports. Believe it or not, watching " Golf Academy " is not my
idea of a great night at home!

But somehow in the past 37 years Jack and I have learned to accept the
imperfections in each other. Over time, we have stopped trying to make
each other in our own mold and have learned to celebrate our
differences. You might say that we've learned to love each other for
who we really are!

For example, I like to take my time, I'm a perfectionist, and I'm
even-tempered. I tend to work too much and sleep too little. Jack, on
the other hand, is disciplined, studious, an early riser, and is a
marketer's dream consumer. I count pennies and Jack could care less!
Where he is strong, I am weak, and vice versa.

And while you might say that Jack and I are opposites, we're also very
much alike. I can look at him and tell you what he's thinking. I can
predict his actions before he finalizes his plans. On the other hand, he
knows whether I'm troubled or not the moment I enter a room.

We share the same goals. We love the same things. And we are still best
friends. We've traveled through many valleys and enjoyed many

And yet, at the same time, Jack and I must work every minute of every
day to make this thing called "marriage" work!

What I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each other's
faults - and choosing to celebrate each other's differences - is one
of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting
marriage relationship.

And that's my prayer for you today. That you will learn to take the
good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your married life and lay them at
the feet of GOD. Because in the end, He's the only One who will be able
to give you a marriage where burnt toast isn't a deal-breaker!


Colin said...

An amazing post Lisa.

We all go through good and bad periods of time, but it is whether people are strong enough in their beliefs as to whether they come through too. My ex had the vision of me ending up in a wheelchair or being bed-ridden so she played away. I carried on and fought back pushing through pain barriers to lead a fairly productive life. I'm lucky...I still have the closeness of my daughter who now has abetter understanding of my condition and its impact on daily life.
That's straying from the subject lol....
Love isn't finding someone to live with, it's finding someone you can't live without. Amen.

God Bless you and your family my friend.

Sophiagurl said...

@@@Colin - Love isn't finding someone to live with, it's finding someone you can't live without.

What can I say, perfect choice of words.

Your lovely daughter is one, if not the greatest thing that came out of your marriage. God Bless you and your family as well. =)

Anonymous said...

wonderful post!
It's true nobody is perfect,,
neither can two people be similar in all respects,
we should respect the differences among two..

PoisOn CoAtEd ELiXir said...

i have burnt toast for breakfast most of my school days (thanks to mom)
and i never remember complaining and my friends would wonder why! but then, i guess i knew then that burnt toast never killed anybody ;)

Sophiagurl said...

@@@Sweet Girl - you're right no two people are the same and individuality should always be respected. Take Care!

@@@poison coated elixir - that's so sweet of you appreciating whatever your mom gave you...and for not throwing it away ;) haha. thanks for visiting. visited your site, nice poem today=)

FOOTPRINTS (aka ourfootprints aka Annita) said...

Nice post :=)

"We've traveled through many valleys and enjoyed many
mountaintops." Touching words. how come I suddenly remember my wedding vow ^-^

I hope mine could survive the tests of life ..and enjoy more mountaintops (and the valleys too) :=)

~~ Annita

Norie said...

Very nice post child, true love...that is blessed love only exist between two people who freely surrender themselves to each other. The love of accepting a person for what he/she is. Love you. Marriage is a commitment to love.

louann said...

I agree. Nice post - I guess it will also take a certain level of maturity in oder for one to adopt this kind of outlook about marriage.

Jeya Anand said...

great post!! sensible!!

Rajeev said...

splendid! :)

Sophiagurl said...

@@@Annita - yes it does bring back moments when we were exchanging vows. "to love and to hold, for better or worst". Have a good Sunday!

@@@Norie - thanks for visiting dad, i love you too! loved this - "blessed love only exist between two people who freely surrender themselves to each other. The love of accepting a person for what he/she is. Love you. Marriage is a commitment to love."

@@@Louann - maturity is a great factor I agree. Time, hopefully, will be on our side. =)

@@@Jeya Anand - thanks! glad you liked it.

@@@Rajeev - thanks Jeevy! =)

doddie_bvs said...

Hi Lisa, a very inspiring post. I was really touched. The burnt toast best describe a situation that often calls for anger for some. But some responded otherwise and instead makes it easier for the offender. I believe this is what they call " true love ".

God Bless =)

Sophiagurl said...

@@@doddie_bvs - very true Kuya, a partner must also take into consideration the hard work and love put into the burning toast and not just the toast itself. God bless you too!

you are right true love will never be happy when the other one is in pain, love lives in the truth,it is never happy when the other is fact true love is the wind beneath our wings, it's something that uplifts us to our full potential . God bless!