The plant growing in the burn

What’s the one thing in your marriage?

 Her fingers itched to play

The Piano Teacher

Her body was full of cancer, but it was hard to tell.

She was still giving piano lessons and singing—like a bird on the cusp of a glorious dawn.

My fingers just itch to be on those piano keys.

Never mind that the house was cluttered and dusty. It probably always had been.

So much to do and so many interests

Her energy and talents would have been wasted in housecleaning.

The piano teacher

This was our goodbye

I’ll be with Jesus and there will be music!

I asked her then to tell me about her lasting marriage; I believe she had been married for over sixty years. She gave a little shrug and looked me in the eye:

He likes to throw his leg over me at night.

She was serious. That was it. That’s all she said.

That one thing

I have never forgotten it—the simplicity of that one thing spoke volumes.

When she said those words all I heard was perseverance.

We are living in a time of abundance—abundant choices, abundant expectations, abundant possessions, abundant troubles and, if we look, abundant blessings.

So why the beauty in simplicity?  Why did the “one thing” she said speak more to me than if she had said multiple things? Why are the lone flowers more photographed than the thousands in the field?

Idaho flower

The one embodies strength, bravery, survival, commitment

Maybe our daughter’s piano teacher had a whole field of things to be thankful for in her marriage…or maybe not. Maybe it was just the one flower—after each long day, she and her husband drew close to one another.

The one plant growing in the burn.

The plant growing in the burn

Beauty for ashes

To give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they may be called trees of righteousness… Isaiah 61:3

Perhaps the beauty is in the embracing of one thing at a time, one moment at a time. Each blessing is counted one by one

We are called to thankfulness in the Bible. All day long. One thing at a time. Sometimes in a dark moment there might just be one glimmer of hope, one thing that keeps us hanging on. One whispered utterance of thankfulness. Other times we have an endless sea of flowers.

Kate Hiller "The one thing"

Johnson Oatman, Jr. wrote:

Count your blessings, name them one by one…count your many blessings see what God has done.

What is that one thing in your marriage?

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

May we all take the time to offer thanks to God, one thing at a time.

6 thoughts on “What’s the one thing in your marriage?

  1. Always up for an adventure! I too am introverted but my husband has been so good at drawing me out of my shell and I’ve really enjoyed this adventurous life we live together. Love reading your blog.

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