I’ve been married for 36 years
We were only 20 when we walked down the aisle. I was skinny like ET. He was handsome with a head full of curly brown hair.
We said our I do’s and headed for a romantic honeymoon in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Yep, we were young. We had no money. There was no vacation in Hawaii or an all-inclusive getaway.
Hot Springs, Arkansas. Wax museum. Holiday Inn.
But we were in love.
I remember the first morning I woke up and our life started together.
It’s easy to fall out of love. It’s easy to let kids and stress and bills and things like mowing the lawn rob you of that first love.
It’s easy to let years slip by and get so familiar that your first love is a far away memory.
The other day Richard walked in. He held a bouquet of wild poppies and daisies he picked on the side of the road.
It’s something he used to do when we were first married when we didn’t have money for flowers.
I fell in love with him for the first time, all over again.
Isn’t it funny how something so simple can be so powerful?
Just as we struggle with letting our 1st-time love wane in our personal lives, the same thing can take place in our relationship with Jesus.
We encounter Him and our life is forever changed. As time passes faith becomes complex or that 1st-time love seems like a distant memory.
In the past several months I’ve been pursuing Jesus for the 1st time, all over again.
It started as I walked with Jesus in the book of Luke. I felt the Lord drawing me away from the familiar, and back to that first encounter.
I begin to bring him a simple bouquet daily, just like I did in the beginning, asking one simple question:
How can I bring you joy today?
As time passed, I was surprised by the response I felt.
It wasn’t my spiritual to-do list that triggered a sense of joy, but the smallest of things.
One day I sent a message to a struggling friend: I’m praying with you. I love you.
Suddenly I sensed God whispering.
That brought me joy.
Another day I rocked two-year-old Josiah. We were singing. I felt God’s deep pleasure.
Maybe He saw something deeper in this. Maybe this simple moment was way more important spiritually than I could see. For whatever reason, spending one-on-one time with this little guy brought joy to the Lord.
Another day I sat around the table with four friends and we studied His Word.
Joy. Joy. Joy.
While I know that God cheers me on when I speak to a large crowd, it brought Him pleasure as I sat with the smallest of crowds and learned about Him.
I think we’ll be surprised one day when we look back at our lives through His eyes.
He’ll show us bouquets of joy sprinkled here and there.
My prayer is that they won’t surprise me. That I won’t have missed the opportunity to feel His pleasure. That I’ll ask the question every day, long before asking Him to do one thing for me.
Will you join me in falling in love with him for the 1st time, all over again?
Let’s ask the question together:
Lord, how can I bring you joy today?
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Suzie, you and your true love are ten years down the road ahead of me and the patient husband with whom I am celebrating 26 years today! May we continue to fall in love every day — with our man and with Jesus.
What a beautiful picture, Suzie! I love the idea of falling in love with our husbands and Jesus every single day. If we’re not careful, it’s easy to forget that first love feeling. That overwhelming feeling of amazement, wonder and joy. Things lose their specialness when we don’t continue to pursue them. Thanks for the reminder to keep pursuing and never let go of that first love feeling. Because it’s always there waiting to be rediscovered. <3 So excited to chat with you tonight! XOXO
“What can I do to bring you joy today?” I. Love. That. 🙂
I loved your story of hearing God’s still small voice cheering you on in the ordinary moments–after all they’re really extraordinary when we have His perspective. Such a beautiful truth that encourages me to persevere in the small things, as well as the big dreams. Thank you!
How can I bring you joy today? What a simple, beautiful prayer. Thank you for sharing. I can feel your smile as you talk about your Richard too. 😊
Loved this gentle nudge!
Good stuff Suzie- I love how He delights in just our everyday stuff. He cares! And just so ya know- Hot Springs was where me and John took our honeymoon. lol. We stayed at an old hotel..I think it was called Basin Springs? Or something?? And we went to an amusemant park there too, I think. You’re right- nothing big but big to us that we were just together. 🙂
I love this! My husband and I were married 13 years ago – and our honeymoon was spent visiting his small hometown (if it’s big enough to be classified as a town) in Kansas. And I don’t think we could have been any more happy or in love. God desires that we love Him in the same way — simply, honestly, passionately, and with a contented heart just hoping for a lifetime together with Him.
Susie, thank you so much for this wonderful suggestion. Oh, this is such a beautiful thing to do. Ask our precious Saviour what we can to to bring Him joy that day. I just love the idea of bringing joy to God. Plus I love the idea of asking the Lird this question before I might bring a prayer request to Him. Thank you so much. By the way, I’m going to Barnes & Noble to buy your new book this weekend. I can hardly wait to read it. I recently read one of your Blogs to my little Bible Studiy & there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. You touched us all so deeply. Thank you for all you do for Jesus Suzie.
Yes ma’am. And thank you. The simplest walk may be the most transformational one ever taken. What we see versus what He sees. Good stuff Suzie.
Your words grow me. Hugs! Susan
Yes, Susan, I agree. He sees those little things. I’ve learned to cherish the little things He does for me as well. When I’m hungry for His closeness, they are THE BIG things.
Suzie. I stand here with tear-filled eyes. I needed these words desperately today. God bless you!😇❤
I just read Susie’s newest blog and I saw your reply ! I do not know your situation but I want you to know that you are loved by me because we are sisters in the Lord ! I am praying for you today all through the day as it made my heart hurt to hear your reply and whatever your circumstances are or needs or you were blessed by today’s blog! I am asking God to be with you in ways you have never seen before and you feel his presence in all kinds of new ways as you go through your day !
I too was touched by this blog , Suzie ! I use to look at things through sad , bitter, and painful eyes because of things in my past; but the last 2 months I am accepting these losses and trials as a way to see my Jesus all brand new ! I want to have joy as Paul and Silas did even through the worse of their trials and have real joy! This I am learning can only come from wanting to grow deeper and deeper in my Jesus . Thank you Suzie for your words of honesty and truth!
Thankyou it helps more than words can say to be able to join with you and read your words
I love this!! We need this!
It can be especially difficult for those of us who grew up in church to find renewed vigor and passion for the simplicity and purity of a relationship with Jesus. When you mentioned children and bills getting in the way in a marriage, ministry and serving get in the way sometimes with our relationship with Jesus. It’s so easy to lose sight of the importance of just loving Jesus and sitting at His feet. Thank you for the reminder to keep our love and desire alone for Jesus-fresh and pure.