Valentine’s Day Everyday

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My husband and I went to a romantic gun show on our honeymoon. On Tuesday night, he took me to the local GOP meeting, and then for a sundae at Braum’s! We often sneak off to the library together, too!  I know it may sound silly, but those things are fun for us. He loves guns and…well, I’m learning to. 😉 I love politics, and he’s learning to. (Actually, he’s starting to love politics more than I!) We both love visiting historical sites together and seeing new places. We’ve been to six Presidential homes and libraries, and we hope to add to that number. We might even take a cruise someday!One thing is certain, when we are together, we have a great time.

He often leaves me kind notes. He listens to me ramble on and on almost every day! Then again, that’s what you’re doing right now, too, isn’t it? 😀 I try to please him in both little and big things. I do my best to keep our home peaceful and comfortable. I’m not perfect, but he’s learned to love me anyway. He is my very best friend. No one understands me like he does. I admit there are days when he rubs me the wrong way. I sometimes complain to the Lord about him saying, “I just don’t understand him! Why did he say (or do) that??” But the Lord humbles me by reminding me of the hundreds of little things Terry has done for me, along with the scores of big things he’s done for me, and my meager complaints just sort of evaporate.

I’m blessed to have a wonderful husband who makes me feel loved everyday. The little photo collage above shows some of the talents he possesses.

Oh? What do I do? I stand around and take pictures, of course! 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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What I Love about You


For Terry Basham, II

I love it when you ask me, “How do you like this tie?” and I only have to grin mischievously for you to know my feelings. I can say “I hate it” without having to say, “I hate it.”

I love it when I place my hand on your arm, and you look at it like you can’t believe I’m touching you, I look at you, offended, and then you smile. (You’re so ornery!)

I love it that I can tell you about a good book and you want to read it.

I love it that when I’m given an opportunity to write something, or do something exciting, you say “Yes, do it! You’ll be great!”

I love it that when we have tense moments, I can look at you and say “Our marriage is a three right now.” You break into a smile that lights up the room, wrap your arms around me and whisper, “Nah, it’s a ten.” And suddenly, it is a ten.(How do you do that?)

I love the look on your face when something you say comes out wrong, and you begin thinking, “Uh oh…what now?”

I love that I can know what you’re thinking just by looking at you...most of the time.

I love it that during the two quiet moments I have each week, I can sit and remember our dating days. I, the bold, spirited young lady; you, the handsome, strong willed young man.

I remember turning toward you abruptly and asking, “Just what are your intentions, anyway?” No one should like me, didn’t you know that?


“I want to marry you.” You looked me straight in the eye and stepped closer, not missing a beat. “I want to take care of you, I want to have children with you – three boys. I want to buy the food you eat, the clothes you wear and the soap you wash with. That’s what I want.” I halfway expected you to sweep me up in your arms like John Wayne to Maureen O’Hara and lay one on me. But, then I realized we were in the church lobby and that would never do. We’d do that later.

Just kidding, everyone!

Sort of.

Never, ever had anyone wanted me, besides my adoring family and they don’t count in this story. (Sorry.) I thought your feelings would fade, given enough time. I thought you’d move on to greener…prettier…pastures. But you didn’t. The months went by and we began to sit together in church and visit afterwards. I learned that you installed your own lavatory in your dorm room! I found out you got your first job at fourteen. I heard a five year old girl on your bus route say that you had been “kind of a blessing” to her. I listened to you preach. I watched you stand up and talk to my father – man to man. And…okay, I admit it. I liked your tan…and the way you looked in a dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up.

Time passed, and you still liked me. You even said you loved me.

I couldn’t say those words to you, not for a long time. But you would not be dissuaded, you’d keep proclaiming your love with only a smile from me in return. You’d look at me with admiration in your eyes and say, “It’s okay. I’ll wait.”

Finally, I said it: I love you. I can still recall the look on your face- the surprise, the joy, and the look of love.

It’s been so many years, and yet, not so many. Here we are still loving and laughing. I love seeing you come through our door to our happy, chaotic home. I love grabbing you like John Wayne to Maureen O’Hara and laying one on you. It always takes you by surprise for some reason. And you know, I’d even give you a smooch in the church lobby now! Who cares!

I love snuggling with you on cold, February nights. I love seeing you sit quietly at the end of the table during supper, with five little faces all around, laughing and talking…just like their mother!

As the years roll by, bringing old age and empty nest days nearer, I see more and more what an amazing gift I have been given: the opportunity to love a wonderful man, who is my closest friend on Earth. I know not how many years God will give us. And, I do sometimes ponder that in the stillness of the night. I think to myself, how many years will we have until we are absent one from another? How many nights will I be able to roll over and feel your presence, and you, mine? So, my darling, just in case today is the last day, I want you to know I love you. You’ve made my life like a perpetual movie, and not just any movie, a musical! I’m standing on a grassy hill twirling round and round and singing “The hills are alive, with the sound of music!” I’m in Paris, on the balcony of a luxury hotel, admiring the nighttime lights of the Eiffel Tower. I’m in Ireland, being wooed by the Quiet Man.

And it’s all because of you.

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Somewhere Out There

I  enjoy feeding-time with my Matthew so much! It is a sweet time to cuddle him. Sometimes, I pray while I feed  him. Other times I blog, or just sit and think. Yesterday, as I was feeding him, I began thinking about how quickly he will be grown! Being my fifth child, I have seen first hand how quickly kids seem to take off. Lauren is already 11! Wasn’t it just yesterday that she was the baby I was feeding? My, my…it kinda makes me sad.

As I thought about Matthew’s growing up, I thought about the girl he would someday marry. She is probably alive now. Then I thought about my other children, they are 11, 8, 5 & 3. Their mates are alive now, too, I would assume. Somewhere out there, mothers are raising my future sons and daughters in-law! I began to pray that they would be raised by loving parents who serve the Lord. This led me to pray for their future mates’ salvation. I prayed they would have happy and strong marriages. I think I will pray more regularly for these things.

Happy marriages are unusual in today’s world. So many couples get divorced or, are together, but miserable – even Christian couples! Of course, all marriages have times of struggle, after all, no couple is perfect. Yet, by following God’s Word, a blissfully happy marriage is possible, even in today’s world. I hope and pray that my children find the right mate. My heart’s desire is to model a happy marriage and see them experience that joy themselves.

But not right away, of course! I’m in no hurry. 🙂

Valerie

Completing Him Challenge #2

This week’s challenge is to make your husband a priority. Ask him what his favorite dinner, dessert and drink are. Be sure to serve him all three one night this week. Bonus: cook his favorite dishes all week long!

Since I’ve just given birth to our fifth child nine days ago, I will have to put this task off for a bit. I’m barely cooking at all right now! I am, however, going to ask my hubby what his favorite dishes are this week and plan to prepare them in the near future. I know he loves my Ritz Chicken andar Frozen Peanut Butter Pie, but I’m really not sure what else he enjoys. He eats with gusto whatever I prepare, so I always feel as though he’s pleased, but I would like to do something special for him in this area.

Want to join the challenge? Read about it at Women Living Well. 🙂

Valerie

Completing Him Challenge #1

This challenge began on June 7, so I am way behind in participating. After reading about it this evening, I liked the idea so much that I decided to just jump right in. You can read about this challenge at Women Living Well.

This week’s challenge was to make a list of things you do and ask your husband to prioritize them. I am a big time organizer/list-maker/cleaning freak. These are my priorities most of the time. When I toss homeschooling into the mix, then I become a big-time homeschooling organizer/list-maker/freak (period).

I am blessed to have a husband that appreciates all I do and expects very little of me. I really don’t even know why I’m around sometimes. He would do just fine without me! I do try to please him, and as we learn from God’s Word, the woman was created for the man. (Gen. 2:18) I do want to bless my husband every way that I can, and I realized that I often attack each day accomplishing what I think ought to be done, or what I think he would like to be done, without ever consulting him.

So, this evening I asked him what five things he would like me to make a priority. I didn’t get five. I got three. But hey, it’s a start! 🙂

My hubby’s top priorities for me:

1. The intimate marital relationship.
2. Caring for the children, which includes homeschooling.
3. Serving the Lord outside the home.

I want to elaborate on #2. My husband has a unique schedule – he creates his own. He is a pastor and has many responsibilities. However, he is often flexible – as am I. We must be ready at any given time to drop everything and help someone. He often comes in and out of the house throughout the day between tasks.  Because of this “flexibility”, I will often lean upon him when he pops in and out. This would often thwart his plans, but being the gracious guy that he is, he would bend and help me when I needed it. A while back, the Lord showed me that my leaning upon him was a tying him down. I asked him if, in fact, my feelings on the matter where right, and they were. I felt terrible and immediately set about to correct the situation. I’m so thankful that I saw this flaw and fixed it before a huge fight erupted. Since then, he has really appreciated all I do with the children, and as I learned tonight, it’s still very important to him.

I am blessed to have a husband who will cook a meal, vacuum a floor, change a diaper, or care for me when I’m sick. I owe him so much, but I often feel at a loss to show him my love in tangible ways. Men are usually not “wordy”, and mine is very typical in that way, so writing a love note or saying “I love you” doesn’t mean as much to him as it does me. It takes work and thought to show him how much I care for him. I hope that by making his wishes a top priority in my life I can show him how much I love him.

Valerie

He Gave Me His Life…Insurance

Today, I am celebrating eleven wonderful years as “Mrs. Terry Basham, II”. If I had been able to find a good price on a scanner, I would be showing you our wedding photos. Perhaps I can do that in the future.
Terry and I got married at nineteen years of age! I don’t think we drugged our parents to get them to agree to this, but maybe someone did…what were they thinking? I suppose they had the same faith that we did, that while life wasn’t easy, when you have the Lord and someone you’re deeply in love with, it will all be okay.
Terry was making $6 and some change per hour when we said “I do”. He was not able to get any vacation time because he was in the midst of an annual inventory at work. So, instead of going to Washington D.C. (we both love history), we went to a quaint resort in Heber Springs for a two day honeymoon. He sold his truck to get the money for a nice honeymoon, but when we realized that our tiny duplex didn’t have a refrigerator, we spent over half of it on that. I still have the fridge by the way, and it holds a special sentimental value to me. I sometimes look at it and imagine that it is a Hawaiian beach, or a cruise ship.
We didn’t have much money back then. We still don’t. Four children, eight moves, and hundreds of dollars of medical expenses (from having no medical insurance) have sucked away any hopes of financial prosperity.
Many folks would shake their heads at our “foolishness”, but they don’t understand. I have something which money could never buy. I have a husband who would give his very life for me. In fact, he does, everyday. Everyday he gives us his time, and time is the stuff of which life is made. Everyday he tells me and our children that he loves us, by being around us and doing things with us.
Shortly after we moved to Texas, my husband purchased some life insurance. He was fearful that he might go on to Heaven before me, leaving me with four children to raise and no money. I appreciated his wisdom and foresight.
The premium isn’t astronomical, but it’s a good portion of our money. Once, when things were tight, I asked him if we could let that policy laps to save money. He said, “Valerie, I’ll do whatever it takes to keep that policy. If I have to get second job, we’re keeping that insurance.”
I know, you’re thinking, “What’s the big deal?”
The “big deal” is love. My husband loves me enough to work a second job, not to buy a boat, or a deer lease, or a new truck – but to purchase life insurance for me and our children.

Today my husband wanted to take me to Hot Springs for an overnight stay, but financial constraints kept us from the trip. I was very disappointed because I had my focus wrong. I am thankful that the Lord shifted my focus and helped me see what really matters.

Terry, I love you with all that is in me. I’m so sorry I fail you – and you know I do- over and over! I let you down; I disappoint you. I wish I could be perfect, for the Lord and for you.
Thank you for loving me for over eleven years. I don’t want dinner at Olive Garden or a trip to Hot Springs. I just want you.

Some Thoughts on Our Homes ~

Yes, I know what you’re thinking! “You actually think, Valerie?” Yes, folks, I’m trying something new, and so far, it’s great! 🙂
I wanted to share my heart with you today. It seems that hardly a week passes without my hearing about a pastor, or a faithful layman, getting caught up in the sin of adultery. It grieves me deeply. Must these things be? I think not! The Devil knows how he can best destroy lives, and working from the inside out seems to be his method of destruction. The Devil learned during the days of Nero, and others like him, that persecuting Christians from without the body of Christ only fanned the flames of Christianity. Now, he knows the secret: if he can destroy the family and destroy the testimony of a Christian, then he has succeeded in harming the cause of Christ! His weapons? Clearly one of his favorites is adultery. I don’t know of many baptist churches who have not had to deal with it.
I’d like to encourage myself, and the few ladies that read, to fortify our marriages. We must build up the walls that surround our homes, and keep out the “adulteress that hunts for the precious life” as Proverbs 6:26 calls her. I realize that some men who get caught up in adultery, do it because they seek after it. Other men, however, really do fall prey to a woman who is hunting for him. They truly don’t see the “trap”. Her intentions are to do harm, there’s no question about it.
How can we help guard our marriages?
#1. Pray! We must pray for our husbands. Pray that the Lord will protect him from temptation. Ask the Lord to keep him close to Him.
#2. Watch. We must not be cynical, second guessing everything another woman does around our husbands, but we must listen to our “women’s intuition” that often alerts us when danger is ahead. I have often told my husband to “be careful around so and so” because something that was said or done alerted me to this. Usually, my husband tells me later, “You were right about her!” There are women who desire to hurt, and some who are innocent. I must try to discern between the two, as much as I can. Of course, I’m never unkind to any woman. I just watch her!

The previous points were “defensive” measures. There are a few offensive measures we can take as well.

#3. Words that build up. Never greet your husband (as I sometimes do!) with the cares of the day first thing after work. Let him relax first. Try to be positive, even when discussing the negatives. Don’t be doom and gloom (as I sometimes am!). (Boy, this is really convicting me!) Brag on your husband, but be sincere. Say things that make him feel good. He will know if you’re just saying nice things to “butter him up.” Don’t do that. Look him in the eye sometime, out of the blue, and say “You know, I don’t know what my life would be like if I hadn’t met you.” or “I forgot to say this earlier, but I really appreciated your fixing that towel rack in my bathroom. I take those things for granted.” My husband is my pastor, and I truly enjoy all of his sermons, but saying “That was a good sermon” two times a week (I teach our children’s church on Sunday morning) would get old. I try to give specific compliments. “I really needed point number four!” or “I had never noticed that verse before!” And of course, I never give false praise.
Most extra-marital bonds begin because the man feels he can better connect emotionally with the mistress than his wife. We can stop that bond from forming by ensuring that our husbands connect with us first.
#4. Be sure the marital bed is right. Do not keep yourself from your husband. Build a happy marriage by realizing that “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” Hebrews 13: 4. If you are married, then you have a license to be with your man! Do not feel inhibited. Be sure his needs are met. Keep yourself looking nice, especially when he comes home from work. Remember, he never sees the gals at work without makeup and a nice hair do.We need to remain attractive for our husbands. He married a beautiful lady, so don’t change!

I realize that Paul Newman was a worldly figure. He may not have even been saved, but he did have a 50+ year marriage to actress Joanne Woodward. In Hollywood, that is incredible! He once made a statement that is burned in my mind. A reporter asked him if he was ever tempted to cheat on his wife. He replied “Why would I go out for hamburgers when I have steak at home?” That’s the kind of wife I want to be in all areas of my marriage. I want to be “steak”!

I really needed these reminders. I’m going to go work on these things today. I hope they might have helped you, too.
Let’s be on guard against Satan and his attacks on our homes!