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Sunday, June 16, 2024

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Speaking in the Light 2/15/2006

By Rick Racela

My dear wife Terri is celebrating a birthday today.  This wonderful woman married me when she was only a mere 20 years old and we’ve been at this matrimony thing going on 24 years so you can do the math.  But no matter how much time has passed, she still looks great to me and I consider her my best friend and I still can’t get over how a guy like me ever got a gem like her to share this adventure called life to begin with.
There is no doubt that God knew exactly what He was doing when He took two very opposite people and joined them together to make what I consider one pretty dynamic union.
Sure, I may drive her crazy at times because I live at a sound volume about 50 decibels above Terri’s highest level but this makes it all the easier for me to shout from the highest mountain how much I love my wife.
Now saying, “I love you” has always come pretty easy for me because believe it or not, I am quite the verbal person.  But it took me an awful long time to realize that while I was thinking that I was communicating my love to Terri by using words for her constantly, I still was not speaking her love language.
Did I mention we were opposites?  The cry of Terri’s heart of what she wanted most from me was not the quantity of the clever words that I could use to dazzle her but intentional quality time where I would give her my undivided attention and choose to have no other agenda other then that of just to be with her.
Now, again, I don’t sit very still for a very long time to begin with and when I am with someone- I want us to at least be talking and interacting.   It took me forever to realize that when Terri and I would go on long road trips, she would be content to just sit there quietly – happy in the fact that we were together – while I would be frustrated by the silence.
So I would begin my one-man shows, compel-led to talk about every aspect of the scenery, expounding on the things of life in general and singing at the top of my lungs to all the great songs playing on the radio – all the while not getting the least bit of a peep out of my wife.
 I thought she was bored, she felt loved. Her love language is being together and if I was going to ever learn the proper way to speak to her, I would have to commit to activities where I would choose Terri to be with me and be content to just be with her.
It isn’t always easy to flex and adapt and change.  We can stay stubborn and say, “That’s just the way I am so love me or leave me.”  Usually these are the cases where love may be spoken but never fully experienced.   Or we can humbly choose to broaden our horizons and be open to doing things that may not come easy to us but because we so appreciate the one that God has put in our life, we will try to do whatever it takes for them to get the message of how special they are.
Too often we allow what’s going without saying to be left unsaid and I don’t want my wife, my kids, my family, my friends or my flock to ever doubt how I really feel about them.
 So I need to keep working at my communication skills so I can get the word out even when words aren’t enough. I can learn the appropriate actions too.
We live in a world where people are always crying out for authentic, genuine relationship so that they don’t feel insignificant or invisible.  Relationships require the risk of letting go some of our safety and comfort in order to make ourselves fully available to those that live around us.
 God has set the example for us to copy by risking the convenience of heaven to enter our world to make a relationship with Him possible.   We need to make a conscience consistent commitment to love one another like Jesus loved us.  True love is intentionally doing something regardless of the cost or consequence to oneself.   For us to ever be able to fully give up protecting ourselves from painful relationships, we have to know that there is a God who will always be there in our corner speaking our love language even when nobody else seems to be talking to us at all.   Simply shared, the better I listen and allow God to speak His language of love to me, the better I will do in sharing real love with my wife and to all those around me.
So what am I giving Terri for her birthday?  You can be sure that it has to be more than the words I have written on this paper.  This is where God helps me out by giving the ability to do things that I would never even think to do if He wasn’t a part of my life.   So I have purposely blocked out some quality time for Terri and in the midst of another crazy February calendar -adjusting around all the chaos that sometimes living in a full house brings – I want to give her my best to let her know that after all this time- she still is the best.   Happy Birthday Honey!  And if you just knew how loud I was when I just shouted that sentence out, you’d be rolling your eyes again and the rest of New Jersey would be hearing me from all the way in Passaic.
Join us this Sunday as Pastor Rudy will be talking about Sacrificial Love at The Lighthouse Church at both the 9 and 10:30 a.m. celebration services.  Call 465-6690 for more information. 

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