Archives For March 2018

What’s on my mind after 15 years of marriage? Let me share 15 memories:

  1. I’m thinking of how your eyes looked like, after our third miscarriage. They gave you a bed in the maternity ward – between the other mothers and new born babies. You wanted me to close the curtains. It was very dark in that room.
  2. I’m thinking of the day we stood next to each other in a hospital hallway, hearing from the pediatrician that she fears our boy might have leukemia. It was very cold in that hallway.
  3. I’m thinking of the time you helped me to “fish out” our dogs, after all of them drowned in the swimming pool. It was an awful discovery. Both of us sobbed while we did it.
  4. I’m thinking how amazed I was that you saw potential in an old rundown farmhouse. We bought it. Today others call our small holding “Amazing Grace”. We call it home.
  5. I’m thinking of the night we made love in the garden. It was erotic … and uncomfortable. We ended up back in the house. Yes, I often think about how gorgeous your naked body is on mine, and how passionately you react when I touch you.
  6. I’m thinking of our trip to Egypt and Israel. We visited the pyramids, climbed Mount Sinai and floated in the dead sea. But we’ve also hiked the Fanie Botha trail, climbed the Cedarberg and cycled through Knysna. We stopped and bought apple juice that day.
  7. I’m thinking of the fight in the bathroom. Again, I am so sorry for that dreadful night.
  8. I’m thinking of the sea holiday that rained out. You made me take the kids to super tube on the last day. It was expensive, freezing and still raining. We laugh about it now, but it wasn’t funny then.
  9. I’m thinking about the time I was jailed in Libya, for smuggling Bibles during the war. While in that cell, my biggest concern was if I would ever be able to hold you again. I prayed that the Lord will grant me that privilege. He did. You were a spiritual giant during that ordeal.
  10. I’m thinking about your ability to always find Nescafe Gold somewhere on sale – or for that matter, just making our limited budget work month after month.
  11. I’m thinking about your voice. Like when I hear you in our boys’ room, reading Bible stories to them. Or when I close my eyes and we pray together in bed.
  12. I’m thinking of how much you love even the smallest of surprises. I find that sweet.
  13. I’m thinking about the time I found you crying in our room, because people criticized me. I was taken aback that you were affected so much by something that happened to me. I felt loved by you that day.
  14. I’m thinking that few people ever take into consideration the sacrifices you make for the Kingdom – things you put up with on a day to day basis, just because you are the “pastor’s wife”. Very few people would have the stomach to “absorb” the stuff you do.
  15. I’m thinking how different we are. You like to sleep in on a Saturday morning and I want to do a park run. It frustrates you when I start looking for a lost item just before bed time. It irritates me when I find banana peels and apple cores in your car. But these days we don’t get so worked up about that stuff anymore. Somehow we find it possible to tease each other about our differences.

There are so many memories built into 15 years of marriage. I cannot imagine a life without you. What’s on my mind after 15 years of marriage?

I’m thinking that of all the things that God has made, marriage is His grand design.

  • I’m thinking that love truly does exist.
  • I’m thinking that of all the things that God has made, marriage is His grand design.
  • I’m thinking that God was gracious to me when He allowed our paths to cross.
  • I’m thinking that staying married to you brought a depth and ripeness that I could not have thought possible.
  • I would have thought that the opposite will be true, but I’m thinking that – unless I’m imagining it – the sex is getting better the older we get. Perhaps it has something to do that is less about lust, and more about love.
  • I’m thinking that you are such an interesting human being, and that I want to get to know your soul even better.
  • I’m thinking that I want to make a million more memories with you.

On 14 November 1965, some 450 men of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, under the command of Lt. Col. Hal Moore, were dropped by helicopter in the Ia Drang Valley. They were immediately surrounded by ±2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers. It was the first full-fledged battle between U.S. and North Vietnamese soldiers.

Later Lt. Col. Hal Moore wrote:

Senior Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Huu An, of the People’s Army of Vietnam, and I were doing our best to kill each other. We’d been at it for 2 hours in the miserably hot, humid scrub jungle fringing a football field-sized clearing in the remote Ia Drang Valley of South Vietnam. He was commanding well-trained, well-armed soldiers of the 66th North Vietnamese Regiment. I was a Lieutenant Colonel, an infantry paratrooper commanding a 450-man Air Assault Infantry Battalion. The problem for me, at that moment, was that I’d only been able to bring in about 250 of my men. I had sixteen Huey helicopters and it was a 20-minute round trip from the pick-up/loading areas. Lt. Col. An was attacking with upwards of 1,800 very aggressive soldiers fiercely determined to kill us all. I was suffering heavy casualties, both killed and wounded, among my troopers. We were in a struggle for survival in the first major battle between US Army and North Vietnamese regulars.”

You might not be into militaty history (or even a keen fan of the military itself) but one has to admit that it takes an exceptional leader to inspire men to lay down their lives for a cause. We can certainly learn from these leaders.

Outnumbered and outgunned, Col Hal Moore and his men fought their way through the enemy. Moore led from the front. A fierce battle ensued for the following couple of days. Although 79 U.S. soldiers died, the small unit fought with such bravery that the Communists had to withdrew. By 16 November 1965, enemy casualties amounted to 1200.

This was not Lt. Col. Hal Moore’s first battle – nor was it his last. By the end of his career he was a highly decorated military officer. But even more important than the medals that he won, was the respect his men had for him. Lt. Col. Hal Moore was a phenomenal leader.

Military author Mike Guardia compiled Lt. Col Moore’s wisdom on leadership in the book: “Hal Moor on leadership. Winning when outgunned and outmanned”. I recently read this book and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Numerous fascinating battle stories are recounted in the pages of the book. Within these stories, valuable leadership lessons are to be found. So, this the book is not only intended for people in a military context, but for any leader who is tasked with the responsibility of leading other people.

I found myself being inspired by Hal Moore’s bravery, to be a braver leader myself. There are too many gems in the book to name them all. That’s why I thought I would start by only giving you ten: Continue Reading…