The morning comes early
Goodness knows there is never enough sleep
One rises more easily
The other has a slow wake-up call
An extra cup of coffee
Helps them to keep running on empty
Soon they are off and running
Going their separate ways
There may be a text message
To say I love you
A phone call in the middle of the day
Just to check in
Their jobs are most demanding
Of time, energy and attention
Their very best is given each day
To a company of relative strangers
Of course there is shopping and errands
Necessary to run their household so efficiently
When they arrive home
There is much work that still needs to be done
Lawns to be mowed
Bills that must be paid
Cleaning and laundry
And a meal to prepare
They sit down at the table
Hold hands and say a grace
Both are so tired from their day
Conversation may not ensue
Sometimes they wonder
What’s it all for
Bible study, worship and prayer
Serving the body of Christ
It’s all good and yet…
With each demand…there’s a little less to give one another
A sense of accomplishment is never felt
For there are walls left unpainted
Boxes still unpacked
A garden that needs tending
Poems left unwritten
Books yet to be read
At the end of the day
Both fall into bed
With nothing left to give
Exhaustion lures one to sleep
The other reads to quiet the mind
Until a welcome sleep finally comes
In the middle of the night
They awaken ever so briefly
Look over at the one
To whom they pledged their life and love
And wonder…how can our marriage survive
On leftover love
Susan Bunts Wachtel
August 14, 2009
While I know our situation is not unique…we are finding it a challenge with the demands and necessities of life to find the time to spend together as husband and wife. Do any of you have the same challenge too?
We are open to godly counsel. Feel free to share how you and your spouse make time in your busy days for one another. Blessings in Christ!
Even some of God’s saints
Might turn away if the truth were known
Reviling their sinful past
Most would never believe it
Some would say it couldn’t be done
They could never imagine what God would do
Redeeming two very broken souls
Taking bits and pieces and knitting them together into one flesh
Accomplishing what man said is impossible
Some do not believe in miracles today
Certain they are a thing of the past
But these two could tell a different story
Proclaiming the wonders of God’s redemption
Testifying of His marvelous grace
Their lives bearing witness to God’s outrageous love
Susan Bunts Wachtel
July 21, 2009
She did not choose
Yet it will willed by God
Would be taken from her
Blessings were found
In the midst of Alzheimer’s
To openly express love
She unashamedly offers hugs and affection
While unpacking the remaining boxes from our move I discovered a writing tablet that I used to carry with me on my visits to see my mom. I discovered this poem that I had written just before her death. The exact date is unknown…but it was in late April 2008 shortly before her death.
My mother Gayle Lorenat feared Alzheimer’s because her sister had died from it. She saw its effects and the devastation first hand. I hated it because it took a smart, bright, proper woman…and robbed her of dignity. Yet at the end of her life…after six years of Alzheimer’s I had to admit…there were a few blessings from God in the midst. One of those blessings was that my mother who had never been one to be affectionate or say I love you was finally able to freely express love.
The picture above was taken of my mother, Gayle Lorenat shortly after we moved her into Brighton Gardens. She was more with it at that time and tried to give the appearance of normal. She had to wear a bracelet that would set off an alarm because she liked to “escape”. I called it her “LoJack” bracelet. She would walk away and have no idea how to get back. She was unable to communicate coherently.
Do my words inflict wounds
On a weary burdened soul
Do my demands, my needs
Add to someone’s heavy load
Do I freely offer my opinion
But withhold a helping hand
Does my tongue tear people down
Fail to build them up
Does my speech contain truth
But lack love
Do I proclaim Christ
But fail to possess the love of the Lord
Do I know the truth of the Gospel
But refuse to let it change my heart
Am I quick to judge
But slow to love
Do I disguise pride
Does my attitude drive people away
Instead of draw them close
If 1 Corinthians 13 were the measuring rod
Would I be proven to be a Christian…by my love
Let me tell you a secret
Just between you and me
Share the heart of a women
And every girl’s dream
No matter if she’s a raving beauty
Or just a plain shy ordinary girl
The desire for a husband’s love
Runs ever so deep
Even those who are mentally challenged
Or those who have been deceived and bought the feminist lie
Have a desire to share their life
Know what it is to feel loved, honored and cherished
All too vividly
I remember the pain
Of a lifetime spent alone
With no end was in sight
Each passing year was harder
The pain was always there and cut like a knife
The rejoicing at the blessings of others,
Was followed by a tears shed in the solitude
It is with gratitude and thanksgiving I prepare,
To walk down the aisle
Veiled in white lace
Join hands with my love and say, “I do”
Even as I rejoice in God’s grace towards me
For love unmerited and undeserved
May I be humble and remember in prayer
The heart of the woman who still dreams of “that day”
By Susan Bunts
August 12, 2008
At no time have I been more aware of the ubiquitous desire of women to be married and be loved by a husband than when a precious friend who has the heart and mind of a child shared her desire to one day marry.
I spent far too many years alone. I had bought…hook, line and sinker…the feminist lies. You know the ones I mean. The line that “a woman needs a man, like a fish needs a bicycle” or that “men and women are basically the same”. Yeah right! Anyone who has spent time with the opposite sex…knows darn good and well…that men and women are very different. It’s not something cultural…however culture may shape the way it’s expressed. But instead it’s inherent…those difference were built in by our Designer.
Those differences are not something good or bad. They simply are. One sex is not superior to the other. One is not good and the other a wretch. Instead God designed us to complement each other and to keep things interesting…and challenging…He made us very different from one another.
One of the most amazing things I’ve been aware of since meeting my fiancé Chris is that the loneliness and the emptiness are gone. The desire to be well known and well loved is being fulfilled…day by day.
That’s not to say…we don’t have our challenges. The differences inherent in our personalities and those between men and women present a challenge to our relationship every day. Add on top of that…the stresses of planning a wedding…and oh baby, baby you’ve got “stress”.
While it’s not always easy it has been wonderful to fall in love, grow in love, to be in love. There is something noticeably different that I can’t quite put my finger on. My sister Denise commented recently that I seem to be more peaceful. I think that’s true…the anxiety and concerns that I will I be alone for the rest of my life are gone. The questioning…am I so unlovable that no body will ever love me…has been answered.
While I know I’m a lot less than perfect…I am most grateful to God for bringing Chris. A man who is mature in his faith. One who sees my flaws but has been able to look past them to see something good that God has given me. He is willing to work through the uncomfortable challenges and differences in us. Working through those times…and coming out on the other side have helped us to become closer.
When my precious childlike friend commented that she desires to one day marry…it was so painful. When I turn and see so many wonderful women around me…women who are smarter or prettier or better than me in so many respects…when I see them in the same predicament that I was for so many years…it hurts. I hurt for them because the pain of unending singleness and lack of romantic love is still very fresh. I know it well and it left many a scar. Part of me is tempted to cry out “Why…I don’t understand it”.
Yet…I know in part it’s the consequences and outworking of a society that has replaced marriage and family…with uncommitted sex and self-fulfillment. The millions of single men and women who are alone and lonely have reaped the consequences that have come from poor judgment and sin. Even those who are not outwardly sinning and breaking God’s commands are bearing the brunt of the increasing tidal wave of consequences.
I am so grateful to God for acting on my behalf. Fulfilling my life long dream to be married. For going before both Chris and I…preparing us and fitting us so perfectly for one another. By His divine plan and providence bring two people who otherwise would have never met, much less taken a second look at one another and allowing us to enter into the covenant of marriage. How marvelous and miraculous are Your ways oh God?
God answered my prayer for a husband and Chris’ prayer to be stretched and taken out of his comfort zone…in one fell swoop…by bringing us together. By removing our impaired vision when we first met and allowing us to see one another’s heart. By moving and stirring in our hearts that could have so easily been hardened and settled. By holding our hands as we crossed a mighty river of fear into the unknown. By helping and guiding us to say, “yes God”, when we encountered the scary territories of trusting God and learning to trust each other.
Dare I think that my mighty God who had compassion upon me…He who heard my cries does not hear the cries of my sisters who remain single not by choice? Do I think that God will not be moved to go before them…and give them the desires of their heart?
God is no respecter of persons. What He’s done for me…He is more than able to do the same and mightier works than these…for those whom He chooses to act.
Thus…I must lift up my sisters in prayer. Those whose pain…I know all to well. I also know my God. I know firsthand the compassionate, mighty, out working of His plan according to His perfect will and timing.
Scars deeply embedded
Wounds left over from childhood
Seemingly dead and buried
Make themselves known
Affecting relationships even today
What I hear
Is much different than what was said
Unable to differentiate
What was intended
Verses what was felt
At any hint
Of irritation, anger or disappointment
I find my defenses mount up
Emotions shut down
Now I don’t have to feel or risk being hurt
Trying and stay ahead
Anticipate each move
In my inability to trust
Will I ever feel loved?
Will I turn to Him
The One who binds my wounds
The Healer of my soul
Only He can set this prisoner free
Will I allow Him to show me how to trust again
Will I let the One
Who taught the angels to sing
To fill my heart and mouth
With songs of praise
How long until I sing the song of freedom
By Susan Bunts
July 23, 2008
When I see you,
I can perfectly see God’s presence in my life.
His mercy and grace,
Poured out in abundance to one so undeserving.
His sovereign plan,
That brought us together…in His perfect timing.
How He spent a lifetime,
Fitting us and forming two broken pieces for one another.
Yet…He left surprises,
In which we can delight and discover as we grow together.
I see His providence,
Because He went before me and prepared me for you.
I can testify to His concurrence,
As He worked a “good bad” in order to bring me to you.
Before you…He brought men into my life,
That made me desire…even long for a good man who loves the Lord.
Yet…He has given even more,
Deep blue eyes and warm smile…that melt my heart.
Chris…until “That Day”…and beyond,
May He continually, concurrently, providentially work His sovereign plan in us!
By Susan Bunts
May 21, 2008
Dedicated to Chris…the one I love
This poem was inspired by a sermon by Pastor Philip De Courcy that taught us about the sovereignty of God through His providence and concurrence in our lives. That sermon was providentially timed and has caused me to reflect and appreciate even more what God is doing in Chris and my life…and in our relationship.
“Relationships are really hard work!” he said.
Indeed they are,
But I’m glad to be doing that work with you.
When we step back…we clearly see,
God’s hand in bringing us together.
It’s very evident…plain for all to see.
As perfectly as He fitted us for one another,
We are being challenged,
By some of the differences we see.
He is the Potter…we are the clay,
We are continually being remolded,
Made into what He would have us be.
He’s bringing together,
A man and a woman,
With personalities that had nearly 50 years to set.
That “bringing together” is bound to hurt.
It’s with someone I trust and respect.
May I never cease to marvel,
Even be amazed,
At how God has brought us together.
May we trust Him!
Eagerly anticipate what He is going to do,
With two souls yielded to the skillful Potter’s hands.
By Susan Bunts
May 19, 2008
Dedicated to Chris Wachtel…the one I love.
Both Chris and I marvel at how God has brought us together. We shake our heads in amazement that it’s only been two and a half months since we started dating. God turbo charged our relationship through the sickness and death of my mother…just a little over a month into our relationship. God used those circumstances to reveal Chris’ character…his emotional and spiritual maturity.
I’ve been speculating and teasing Chris that one day we are going to have our first argument. He tells me I’m a worry wart and it will be fine. Recently we both concluded that relationships are very hard work. But even with the work….it’s worth it.
It’s quite interesting bringing two people together that have been alone for close to 50 years. There’s the men/women difference and the personality differences. But I’ve got to say…while challenging…it sure helps when the person that’s meeting those challenges with me is someone whom I respect and trust. It’s a whole different ball game when it’s with a man who love the Lord and seeks to do God’s will before his own. Now that’s not only someone I can trust…but love.
I’m not the only one who’s happy Chris has come along. My kitty Rudy…loves Chris and is certain God brought Chris just for him.
I go along content,
So certain of tomorrow,
Making plans of what I will do…one day.
Oh there’s that call I’ll make,
To a long lost friend,
Make amends, mend fences and restore.
I promise…I’ll finally get to that letter,
Write of my love,
Tell you what you’ve meant to me.
It all seems so sure,
Each day dawns and the sun still sets right on time,
Every day seems to go on…just as I’d planned.
Then one day…news,
An accident, disease, a sudden death,
My plans unalterably changed.
Words of forgiveness will go unspoken,
The words “I love you”,
Will not be heard by the one I love.
I will not know this side of eternity,
Did you know I had forgiven…so long ago?
Did you feel the love deep in my heart…but never uttered from my lips?
Oh Lord forgive me,
For I have presumed…I did not know,
We are not promised tomorrow.
By Susan Bunts
February 23, 2008
It seems with the passing of each day…there is news someone’s grave illness or death. Sometimes drawn out over time…sometimes in the blink of an eye they are gone. I can only pray that during that time…they reach out make amends, say I love you, and leave nothing unspoken.
I know full well the peril in not taking the time to ask questions and work through issues. My mom has Alzheimer’s…and the answers to questions I might have asked are securely locked up in her mind and will remain a mystery this side of heaven.
More importantly is the choice that each of us must make. Will I confess Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior…will I bend my knee this side of heaven? The Bible assures us that one day, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Jesus Christ is Lord…to the glory of God forever.
One of the concerns I have is the uncertainty of my mother’s salvation. She went to church…and lived a decent and good life. Not perfect…but good. She didn’t talk of spiritual matters too often. Bible reading and prayer were not something that were part of our daily life. Her church going was in her youth…and after my father died. When she remarried we went to church weekly. She was in church…but I can’t tell you for sure if she is in Christ. That is why I talk to her about Jesus…and how to be saved. But because she can’t clearly express herself anymore I don’t know if she was saved at moment in time. I don’t know if she has the ability to make that choice now.
If I am hard hearted, willful, refuse to obey God’s leading, unkind, uncaring and stingy in my grace…then I will live a life of regrets. If I think I’m getting into heaven because I go to church, say a prayer, or live a life that’s better than the average guy…then I will be shocked when I hear Jesus say, “Away from me, I never knew you.” I will be protesting all the way to hell.
God’s word tells us that “Today is the day of salvation”. Today…I can make that choice. To refuse to do so…is presuming upon tomorrow. God may not give me tomorrow. When I lay my head on the pillow tonight…I don’t know if I will draw my last breath. The question is…when I awake in eternity…will I be in heaven or hell?
Was it just last week,
Here in this place,
I was overcome with tears,
Bearing a burden,
Much too heavy for me alone.
I cried out,
I beseeched Thee,
What are You doing through this?
Can anything good come from it?
I can’t go on,
With my life as it is,
I pled…please take this from me,
Or take me home.
But today…You have shown me,
How You can use even this for good,
A heart that’s been tendered,
Is one able to reach out to others,
With compassion and my Savior’s love.
Strength and wisdom found in Christ alone,
You bid me to step out in faith,
Turn hurt and pain into healing,
As we take up one another’s burdens,
And lift them up to the Lord.
When I weep,
May I weep for another,
When I am weak,
May I find strength,
In helping another carry their burden.
by Susan Bunts
October 28, 2007