I don’t remember which of my siblings coined the word “Balentime,” but it seems appropriate for sharing about my over forty-year relationship with my hubby.
It all started at a soccer game. I was sitting with friends, and my husband was playing the trumpet in the pep band. He was—and is—handsome, and I asked my friends who he was. He kept turning around, seemingly looking at me. Hmmmm . . . .
We met a week later in circumstances that probably no one would believe. (It had to do with our corresponding dorm room numbers, if you’re curious.) We looked at each other, and the proverbial fireworks went off. I thought, “This guy is special.” And so he was. And so he is.
We began dating, taking it slowly. I was cautiously optimistic, having been hurt before. He was trying to figure me out. But there was something amazing going on, and it couldn’t be denied.
Three years after our first meeting, we married on a hot, humid, sunny summer day, in my home church. The reception was held at my home, and then we drove off in our red 1970 VW bug, creatively decorated by siblings, cousins, and friends.
We honeymooned in West Virginia and Hawaii, visited my husband’s grandparents in Idaho, and returned to real life and lots of work hours.
We started deputation a year after my husband earned his master’s degree and left for Spain two years later—with a beautiful baby girl on our laps.
God has been so good to us!
We have grown in love, understanding, and (I hope) in wisdom. God gave us another baby—a boy—and a ministry among His people and the lost.
My "Balentime" and I have shared a lifetime of memories. As in every life, there have been ups and downs, joys and disappointments. Sometimes we’ve reacted well, and sometimes not so well. Sometimes we felt very much in love, and sometimes we wanted to wring the others’ neck. Our life together has been normal, I guess, but in many ways extraordinary.
On this “Balentime’s" Day, let me share some of our blessings:
Each other. By God’s grace, we’ve been faithful to each other and have worked together as a team in marriage, parenting, and ministry. We really, truly understand what the Bible’s expressing when it describes married couples as heirs together of the grace of life (from 1 Peter 3:7). And yes, we love each other deeply.
Our children. We were far from perfect parents, but by the grace of God, both of our children came to know the Lord at an early age and they follow Him today. They married wonderful spouses and are rearing their children to love God. We are thankful!
Ministry. A lifetime of ministry has been such a blessing! We can’t think of anything we would rather have done with our lives. The Lord led us to partner with another missionary family in the Basque region of Spain, start a church, and teach the Bible to the people around us.
Perks. Because we followed God’s plan for our lives and became foreign missionaries, we’ve had many added blessings. Here are just a few:
- Travel—We’ve gotten to visit eleven different countries (mostly close to us in Europe), see castles and palaces, tour some of the greatest art galleries and collections in the world, and learn about other cultures.
- Being bilingual—With English and Spanish, we constantly have open doors to speak to people. (I teach Spanish in a virtual classroom, too.)
- Living in a beautiful place—The Basque Country is green year-round, filled with fairytale villages, sheep-dotted hillsides, and close to the ocean.
- Eating great food—Basque cuisine is world famous. Most produce is locally grown and very fresh. Grass-fed meat, free range chickens, fish caught the same day, and leaf lettuce and fruits are found in every supermarket. Bread is baked daily. From time to time, we cross over into France. You haven’t lived until you’ve had a French croissant or chocolatine! I personally love the coffee and chocolate in Europe.
- Having a world-wide worldview—Living overseas and having people in our church from different continents has taught us much and opened our minds to the ways others think.
My husband and I are best friends, traveling buddies, and best of all, committed lifetime partners. We still enjoy sharing a laugh, being silly, and also being quiet and together. On this “Balentime's" Day, we thank God for His leadership in our lives and for his mercy, provision, and care.
Blessed be the Lord,
who daily loadeth us with benefits,
even the God of our salvation. Selah.