Build: One Choice At a Time

Wedding pic

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—BUILD. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

BUILD

When Kate posted the word for this week, my mind went crazy with ideas to write on.

Build a wall?

Build a bridge?

The thing that kept coming to mind with these ideas is the thought of building a relationship. Some of you know my sisters and I are throwing a party for my parents this weekend. They’re celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

No doubt, there were days and seasons when they didn’t feel like working at this thing called marriage anymore. Times when they were raising three close-in-age girls when they had no time for them…dealing with 3 chicken pox laden toddlers, girls in various activities, sibling rivalry, etc.

Yet, they continued to stay with their relationship. They built their marriage, one decision at a time.

They made time when they went out for coffee (or something) just to have a little “them” time.

There were times when they stuck with each other when one or the other of them made painful choices, choices that impacted the other.

They learned to laugh together. To cry together. To bear with each other in love (Click to tweet).

They’ve been through health scares, joyful times, the death of parents.

They’ve survived willful teenager daughter years when we did things that brought them embarrassment, and probably grief.

They chose to grow with each other.Relationships-one choice copy

I’m learning that marriages are built. Yes, they’re established with those first “I do’s,” but the building of the relationship comes after the first time they say those two little words.

The building of an enduring relationship happens one single choice at a time. A choice to say, “I do” when life happens. When life’s hard hits the core of the relationship.

They chose to stick together. They chose to turn to God, to look to Him to help them in those places where their relationship was weary.Dancing together

They have chosen to stay with each other. To encourage each other and to build each other up, every step of their fifty-year journey.

I’m so thankful for the legacy they have left my sisters and me. The reminders that marriages thrive one choice at a time.

What about you? What helps you choose to stay in a relationship when the hard times come? If you’re brave, how did you meet your spouse? (Because I LOVE these stories)

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday—BUILD

PS—I’m running a giveaway for Beth K Vogt’s latest novel and an Amazon gift card. I’d love it if you’d enter. The link is here.

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32 thoughts on “Build: One Choice At a Time

  1. Oh I love this! I wrote earlier this week about protecting our marriages, too! Happy 50th to your folks! Mine celebrated theirs a few years ago, too! It’s sad that it’s no longer normal… but we are building on purpose, right?

    I met my Honey when I was 14 (he was 20) – but it was just in passing! It’s funny though because I vowed that I would NOT, in fact, meet my husband when I was 14! Anyway – we met the second time when I was 21 and he just sort of never left my side after that!

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    • Karrilee, I love that marriage has been on your heart too. My in-laws celebrated theirs 8 1/2 years ago. My hubby and I are fortunate to come from families with this value firmly intact.

      I like what you said. We ARE building on purpose.

      You were a babe when you met your husband! How fun is it that you guys met again when you were 21. 🙂 Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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  2. Jeanne,
    what a beautiful tribute. Having 3 daughters close-in-age, I hope this will be my legacy as well. My husband and I met 13 years ago when I drove 1,000 miles to make $6,000 in one summer and ended up breaking even and finding my best friend. I then did the distance relationship for a year, until graduating and moving out to Oregon to get married.
    We built the foundation of our relationship during that distance time. We had to talk as we couldn’t just linger in each others’ presence watching movies. We built trust, we worked through misunderstandings, we sent letters and packages. We valued those moments of scheduled phone time every other night.
    Most of all, we weren’t drawn together through an infatuated glance, but by a deeper understanding of each other. We were similar and had similar backgrounds. That has led to a great foundation for our parenting. Lots of similarities there too. Mostly, it’s because we both were following Jesus first, and that led us to each other.
    🙂
    Great post!
    Love,
    Tammy

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    • Tammy, another thing we have in common! Our relationships with our hubbys were long distance. My honey and I lived 3 hours apart our entire courtship. And six weeks into our marriage (because of my teaching job). We learned to talk, write letters, and communicate too, because of the distance. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

      Thank you for sharing your story!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful tribute to your parents! Praise God for this legacy! Thank you for sharing this testimony, Jeanne — I hope you have a wonderful time celebrating them and their marriage this weekend!

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  4. LOVE the picture of your parents, Jeanne!

    So you want to know how we met? Online. Barb joined a Catholic singles dating site just as I was about to quit. She was in Indiana, I was in Texas, and six weeks after we ‘met’ she flew out to meet me. I had nearly severed my arm in a silly accident and couldn’t travel.

    I picked her up at the airport in Austin (Keep Austin Weird!) and thought that it was completely appropriate to wear cargo shirts, a loose shirt, and flip-flops. (Wish I had known that one of B’s favourite songs and paradigms was “Sharp Dressed Man”, as she took one look and nearly fled.)

    I took her back to San Marcos, where I was living, and we ended up dropping in at the church, and that was where I proposed to her. She said Yes.

    And we were married a year later, to the day, in a big wedding in B’s hometown.

    We were divorced nine months later. My fault. Pride. Stupid pride.

    And remarried thirteen months after that, in a helicopter over the Las Vegas Strip, at night, by a Catholic priest who had only an hour before received permission to perform the ceremony…and I didn’t know that one of B’s conditions for remarriage was that it had to be done by a priest.

    What happened in those thirteen months? Therapy, for me. Lots of it. I knew how to react to situations kinetically, but not kindly. You can solve a lot of problems with a few ounces of C4, but not marriage problems. Though I’m sure Barb was tempted!

    #1 at FMF this week.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/07/your-dying-spouse-178-something-big-fmf.html

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  5. Happy 50th anniversary to your parents. What an example they’ve set. My grand parents were married 50 plus years too. I’m so thankful for the examples that have been set in my life. I’m in the #5 spot this week.

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  6. I LOVE that photo of your parents dancing!! The definition of a well-built marriage & relationship. I find so much hope in older marriages. Not just the ones in the next phase, or the newly empty-nesters but the ones who have devoted a lifetime to love & sacrifice. Thanks for sharing your parents story. And, have fun celebrating this weekend!!

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    • That photo is one of my favorites, Annie. 🙂 I agree. Sometimes it’s the older marriages that speak of hope to us the loudest. Especially when we know some of their struggles through the years. A marriage can survive just about anything if both people are willing to stick with it and do the work of commitment.

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  7. Beautiful truths, Jeanne. And congratulations to your parents: what a testimony, 50 years! Thank you for reminding us that it takes hard work, that love is more than a feeling but an action, an action of building on a daily basis. Praise God for His grace and provision in this daily work.

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  8. Such a beautiful thing to read today after waking to the news of more violence. A wonderful reminder that relationships are built on choices. That truth extends beyond marriage too. Thanks for sharing this today, Jeanne.

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    • Debby, we take hope wherever we can find it, right? There’s so much going on in this world that tries to strip hope from us. Whether it’s marriage or another relationship, that relationship thrives one choice at a time. I always appreciate when you stop by!

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  9. Jeanne, what an encouraging post about building a life together. I like how you chose to write about the word build. Families are so important, and it’s the wise couple who builds a strong foundation for their children to launch from, so they can build their own healthy families.
    I met my hollow-legged husband at a barbecue; I needed someone to pass my extra food to. There’s a story there–but I’ll tell it another time. 🙂
    Blessings ~ Wendy

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  10. Yes! Marriages are built, they don’t just happen. What a sweet tribute to your parents. 50 years is an accomplishment in this day and age. Congratulations to them! What fun you will have celebrating!

    What keeps us together? Commitment, the vow I made for better or for worse. It doesn’t matter what comes our way, we are determined not to part ways until death.

    btw, it’s good to have you back friend! I’m in the #40 spot this week.

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    • Christy, we made vows, didn’t we? When we honor them, God is honored. And determining in our minds that there is no back door? Yeah, that helps too. Hubs and I don’t even use the “D” word. Love that you stopped by!

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  11. The photo of your parents is adorable! I love the line: “The building of an enduring relationship happens one single choice at a time.” Sometimes one single choice can make such a difference in the direction of a relationship. Choosing to pray together has been a powerful one for us. We met through church, were high school sweethearts, and have now been married 12 years 🙂

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    • Thanks, Emily. I love to see them laugh together. You’re so right. One single choice makes a difference. Every. Single. Time. Praying together is key! My hubs and I began doing this months into our marriage, and I’m convinced it’s one of the threads that keeps our relationship strong.

      AWww, high school sweethearts? How fun. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

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  12. great post jeanne:) as someone who has been married just about 48 years, i totally agree with your assessment. we have to bear with each other and grow with each other…or not:( it is a regular choice we need to make or our marriages will fall apart due to neglect. blessings as your family celebrates this special time:)

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    • Martha, please forgive the delay in my response. It was a busy weekend. 🙂 Congratulations on 48 years of marriage! That’s commendable, especially in this age. 🙂 Yes, we make regular choices in our relationship, don’t we? May we both continue to live strong in our marriages.

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