We were living in North Platte, Nebraska, and I had zero friends. I mean, zero.
Needless to say, I was bored. Terribly, painfully bored, and lonely. And completely unprepared for the long, hard winters we faced. Winters I largely spent indoors. Watching Gilligan’s Island, and the Wheel of Fortune, and those corny staged talk shows that pay people to say all sorts of insane things to one another on national television.
So, I started to dabble in cooking. That didn’t turn out too well. Maybe because I hate to follow a recipe. (That’s the creative brain, right?) Even so, I kept at it, experimenting with foods, trying new dishes, adding my improvisations, of course.
My husband dropped thirty pounds that year—I blame my over-abundant dill garden for that. And maybe my slightly obsessive need to use it in every meal.
Every. Single. Meal. Poor guy.
One day, I determined I wanted to start a catering business, being such a good cook and all. Although… I probably should’ve launched a diet company: Order my specially made meals and lose ten pounds a week.
But as bad of a cook as I was, my husband never said anything. Instead, he supported me 100%; encouraged me even.
That’s love. Or enabling. No, it’s love. Sweet, gentle love.
My catering plan? It never panned out, pun intended. I have no idea why. (sarcastic smile)
Even so, I didn’t hear one word from my husband. Not one “I told you so,” or “You should’ve known that wouldn’t work when you saw me choking on your dilled spaghetti.”
Nope. He didn’t say anything. Simply loved me, as I was. Hopeless dreamer and all.
Then I decided I wanted to try crafting, you know, like at those craft shows. By then I was pregnant, and on bed rest a good chunk of the time.
Talk about boring. I went insane. Literally. Okay, not literally, but man…
When the bed rest restrictions finally ended, I immersed myself in woodcrafts—the kind where you cut shapes out of pine, then paint them and turn them into wall hangings. I made some chunky pieces to stand in windows—snowmen, people caroling, pumpkins, that sort of thing.
Then I lined all my creations across the carpet, maybe so they could dry. Maybe because I didn’t have a place to put them, or maybe because I was kind of a slob. I think it may have been the latter.
Then, once I had a fairly sizeable creation, I brought them to antique and craft stores in the area to sell them on consignment.
Not a one sold. Probably because there were five hundred other pieces exactly like mine. Well, almost like mine. The other crafts were actually cute.
And yet, my husband never said anything. Not one, “I told you so,” or, “You should’ve known.” Not even a “Please don’t try that again.”
Nope. He didn’t say a word. He simply loved me. Maybe because he knew there were some things more important than success, sales, and dollar signs.
But… after my history of cooking and crafting, by the time I decided to try my hand at writing, a career many consider unrealistic, one would think my husband had had enough. One would think he’d begin to redirect me to less fanciful things.
Nope. He didn’t say a word, except, “You can do this,” and “I believe in you.”
That love, that support and encouragement, carried me through rejections, discouragement, and computer crashes, and through the long, hard journey from my very first draft to publication.
Now may the Lord help me to show that same kind of supportive, encouraging, patient love to him. In whatever way he needs.
Because there are some things more important than success, sales, and dollar signs, and when were old and thinking back over our years together, we’ll remember every “failure” and success with fondness, because of the memories attached to them. Because of the love revealed through each endeavor.
What about you? Who has encouraged you, no matter what, and how has that impacted you
over the years? Who do you encourage, and how do you do that?
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte
Abandoned by her husband for another woman, Tammy Kuhn, an organ procurement coordinator often finds herself in tense and bitter moments. After an altercation with a doctor, she is fighting to keep her job and her sanity when one late night she encounters her old flame Nick. She walks right into his moment of facing an unthinkable tragedy. Because they both have learned to find eternal purposes in every event and encounter, it doesn’t take long to discover that their lives are intertwined but the ICU is no place for romance….or is it? Could this be where life begins again?
Intertwined, part of New Hope Publisher’s contemporary fiction line, is a great reminder of how God can turn our greatest tragedies and failures into beautiful acts of love and grace. Readers will fall in love with the realistic characters and enjoy the combination of depth, heart-felt emotion and humor that makes Jennifer’s novels so appealing. Readers will be inspired to find God in every moment and encounter in their own lives!
Buy it: CBD | Amazon | B&N