A Marriage Mini-Series ~ and the $40 Giveaway!

The most intimate of companionships.  An all-encompassing commitment to grace and forgiveness.  A God-ordained covenant.  A priceless lifetime gift that requires an endless stream of selfless, sacrificial choices that enable a man and a woman to love each other deeply and well.

As a counselor, I've learned countless important marriage lessons in the office, intently listening to brokenhearted women and men, their searing words pouring forth like hot molten lava.  Anger, frustration, hurt, and fear co-mingling like stones in a pile, just waiting to be picked up and hurled again.

Listening to the spoken pain while discerning all that was unspoken, observing body language and hidden family dynamics that peeked out from behind heavy-duty armor built up over time.  And mediating harsh words lobbed like grenades, all the while teaching spouses to speak what's most true about where one is, but doing so in love and with respect.

Learning how to live out love and respect and forgiveness while making our way through the mud and mire of the trenches is a hard task for us, isn't it.

Yet ... the strongest lessons on marriage have been gleaned from my own personal journey with my husband, Tim, 40 years of intimate travels up high and lofty hills and through valleys deep and treacherous.  It hasn't always been a stroll in the park.  We were just babies when we met and married.  Really.

But I have grown to love, appreciate, and depend on this man with a strongly intense depth of warmth and passion that I never dreamed possible.  Even though our extrovert / introvert personalities are as different as night is from day, our deepening personal faith in Christ has been rock solid and has birthed strongly held core values that are nearly identical.

An interesting dynamic for sure.

I've learned much through the dailyness, the laughter, the woundedness, the glories, the hurt, and the disappointments.  The crises, the prayers, the illnesses, the frustration, the grief, and the sheer delight.  And oh, the parenting.  Through seemingly endless tears poured out like rivers ... and beautiful dreams that have come true.

The truth is that any marital success that we celebrate has been born out of seasons of intense crisis and purposeful changes of heart and behavior along the way.  We know what it's like to sit in a counseling office together.  And here we are, still deeply in love and very committed, yet so very far from perfect, celebrating our 40th ...

That's just plain grace.  Pure and simple.

I welcome you to this little mini-series.  I've got a vague idea where we're going, and although every post isn't crystal to me yet, there will most likely be a tender story or two, a bunch of pitfalls to avoid like the plague, scads of resources, and maybe a surprise or 2.

And if you've got a question or a challenge you're leaning into, feel free to email me at lindastoll@juno.com and maybe we'll do a bit of a Q & A post, ok?

My biggest desire?  To create a safe, open space for you to share insights from your own personal pathway, the meaningful victories, failures, and discoveries you've gathered along the way.

'Cause that's how we do life around here.

You might be happy to hear that every comment left on any Marriage Mini-Series post puts your name in the hat for a giveaway of a $40 Amazon gift card at the conclusion of this little journey.  More details to come.

I promise you no easy answers and no 1-2-3's.  I can only trust that what unfolds will bring God glory ... and will offer you the encouragement to keep forging on in your own marital relationship.  Please invite your friends along for the ride, ok?  The social media links are below.  I can't help but believe that there'll be something along the way worth sharing.

Away we go!


sharing the invitation with
Anita  .  Kelly  .  Beth  .  Holley  .  Lyli