Saturday, February 8, 2020

The Love Story of Tim & Linda

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you."
Psalm 32:8
(NIV)

Graphic Design by Zach Smith

"The Love Story of Tim & Linda"

"When Your Husband Refuses To Wear His Wedding Ring" by Linda Stoll

"He didn't wear his wedding ring for maybe three decades.

He repaired computers for a living and was frequently tinkering with something or other under the car, hoping to get a few thousand more miles out of it.  Or he was creating a random widget or gift or project with one kind of power tool or another down in the workshop.

He didn't want to lose a finger.  And—maybe even more than that, it just was plain uncomfortable for him to wear.

At first I subtly hinted.  And then not so subtly pouted.  And obnoxiously wheeled and dealed, trying without even a hint of success to get that band of gold back on his finger where it belonged.  I even offered {more than once} to buy my non-jewelry wearing man a chain so he could tote my precious wedding gift around his neck.  What was I thinking?

That was so not going to happen.

Over time, I grew up.  We had bigger fish to fry, and I gradually became ok with his adamant choice. There was not a shred of doubt in my mind that he was anything but faithful and committed to our vows, and his steady servant heart demonstrated his deep love to me and the girls in ways that were practical and substantial.

I let it go, for life was presenting much more pressing scenarios than a missing symbol on his left hand.  And like most non-essentials, it slowly but surely became a non-issue and faded from view.

Fast forward to about six Christmases ago.  Cuddled close to my man and surrounded by the enthusiastically noisy gang, their parents, and mounds of gifts interspersed with discarded wrapping paper, I pulled a small black box from the worn toe of my old red felt stocking.  As soon as my fingers wrapped around its four rounded corners, I just knew.

It was his ring.

Just waiting to be placed by this aging bride's still eager hands on her groom's bare awaiting finger.  The fourth one. On his left hand.



Along the way you've gotta figure out what's non-negotiable for you.  What's absolutely worth going to the mat for.  Consider the cost of yet another unsettlingly vulnerable discussion, maybe some bruised feelings or shed tears.

If I've learned one truth, it's this right here.

Speak what's most true about where you are.  Do it with love and respect, clarity, and grace.  Without any kind of spoken / unspoken manipulation or pressure or threats.

Maybe do it twice, or even three times if you're particularly passionate about whatever it is.  And then quietly step off your soapbox.  Let it go.  Just let it go.

For good.

I still haven't arrived.  After almost 44 years, I'm still a student learning how to do this 'speaking the truth in love' thing without repetitively going on and on and on.

Honestly, no desire is worth the ceaseless grumbling, the incessant nagging, the endless hassle, the valuable energy invested as we keep proclaiming our rights and beating the drum of our inflexible, unyielding opinions.  The monotonous litany does nothing but send our spouse fleeing in the exact opposite direction, loosening the sacred ties that bind, unraveling two hearts once strongly knit together.

And then the hard part comes.  

This, the releasing of your spouse and the contentious subject matter to the Holy One who brought you two together in the first place.  The One who has the power and the wisdom to take care of whatever it is that threatens to put a disturbing wedge between you and the one you've committed to share life with.

And wonder of wonders, as we get out of our own way, we begin to lean into the delightful discovery that the same powerful God who spun the universe into existence is more than capable to carry through His wise and wonderful plans with little, if any, help from us.

What have you finally let go of?  Or what still remains, just waiting to be released?"


Bio:  Tim and Linda are currently trying to figure out the best way to celebrate 44 years of marriage in April.  They live quietly in a little town tucked between the ever-changing bay and the deep blue ocean in Massachusetts.

Besides their commitment to marriage and family, Tim's focus is on volunteering as a Crew Leader with Habitat for Humanity.  And when she's not praying that he doesn't fall off high ladders, Linda loves her work as a pastoral counselor to women ... and remains enthusiastically devoted to nurturing her online blogging community.

Their greatest claim to fame is their seven fun loving, high energy grandchildren, one who now lives in heaven.  Linda would absolutely love for you to visit her blog right here and connect with her on LinkedIn over there.

Tim and Linda, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for sharing your beautiful love story with us here!  Linda, your advice is so wise, as always, and you and your blog are such a blessing!  May the dear Lord grant you and Tim many more happy, healthy years together walking hand-in-hand!

52 comments:

  1. Cheryl, thanks for including me in the party! I love what God does in our lives as married couples ... even if it isn't always quick or convenient or easy.

    I look forward to connecting with your friends and fans ...

    Bless you, girl!

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    1. And, may God bless you and Tim richly, my friend! I am SO grateful you shared your amazing story with us. You are such a blessing to me and so many others!

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  2. Hi, Linda!
    How delightful to discover you, and your beautiful love story, over here at Cheryl's place today! Isn't it amazing how many of us bloggers intersect? Blessings to you, my friend, and to Cheryl for being such a splendid hostess for this uplifting series!

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    1. Yes, Martha, it's a joy how our communities intersect and overlap! God is so good to have connected us across the miles, heart to heart ...

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    2. It truly is amazing how God has intertwined our lives and writings! Thank you, dear Martha, for your kind words of encouragement. I am praying for you, my friend.

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  3. Wow... So much wisdom. Linda's gift of words wrap me in their story like a warm winter blanket. This is also a good reminder that I need to let things go, to quit trying to lean the universe in my desired direction. Let go and let God put on the show of His perfect sovereignty.

    Wonderful story. I have much in common with Tim...

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    1. Oh thanks, Floyd! You're an encourager, for sure!

      I had a feeling more than a few guys would resonate with Tim. And that makes me smile.

      Bless you!

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    2. Thank you so much for your kind words, Floyd! God bless you, brother.

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  4. I follow Linda’s inspiring blog and so enjoyed reading she and Tim’s love story. Cheryl, thank you for sharing all of these encouraging love stories!

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    1. Dear Pam, you share so much inspiration week in and week out. I always leave your site feeling a bit more creative and uplifted by the way you spread nature's beauty around your warm and inviting home!

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    2. Thank you so much for reading and your kind words, Pam! God bless you!

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  5. Linda, this post...I loved it. You are such a wise woman. We do need to evaluate how important those things are and let them go. I've gotten better at this over the years . . . with my husband. It's harder with my sons. Sigh. I guess I'm still a work-in-progress-mom.

    Loved, LOVED this post, Linda!

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    1. Thank you for your visit and kind words, Jeanne! God bless you!

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    2. Jeanne, you're in the trenches with those young men, for sure! What a faithful, savvy mom you are. May God give you piles of wisdom, humor, and hope as you continue to release them to the Potter who'll shape them into godly men of character and integrity.

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  6. What a wonderful loved story. Pick your battles wisely is what came to mind as I reading this wonderful story. Oh if we would ONLY learn to do that early on......Such a sweet story. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. Yeah, I do wish I had learned the art of wise choices earlier, Cindy! In light of eternity, most of what we get worked up about doesn't really matter...

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    2. Pick your battles, YES! Thank you for your sweet visit, Cindy. Many blessings to you!

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  7. I loved reading your story, Linda! I think in all relationships it helps to keep our eyes on what's important and recognise when we need to let things go. I love the photo of you and your husband too.
    Thanks for sharing this, Cheryl!

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    1. Would you believe that's the only selfie we've taken together that didn't immediately get deleted?!

      ;-)

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    2. Thank you so much for your visit and kind words, Lesley!

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  8. Oh, Linda, what a beautiful love story! We had to learn what to let go of things too. I think as you get older you learn to pick your battles and there are very few worth having. I hope you come up with something wonderful for your 44th.

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    1. Pick your battles! You're so right, Laurie! All that wasted time and energy that could have been spent on loving well ...

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    2. Thanks so much for your visit and kind words!

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  9. Linda,
    I am guilty of sinking my teeth into an issue, like a terrier, and not letting go. I think that somehow if I keep at it long enough, I will positively affect the outcome. Usually, it's just the opposite. Thank you for this reminder to let it go. We need to get out of our own way, as well as get out of God's way so that HE can work. Congratulations on 44 wonderful years. Your story is a testimony to many.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. Thanks for your visit, Bev!

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    2. Yeah, we can end up like a dog with a bone! So obnoxious ... with our spouses tuning out much quicker than we think!

      Glad to know that we're all still learning how to love well.

      Thanks for being here, Bev!

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  10. I smiled all the way through this post. Soon we shall be married 41 years. During the early years of our marriage, my husband also did not wear his wedding band as he did not want to lose a finger. He was an auto mechanic. When his career shifted and he was able to wear it, he did. Funny part is by that time, it no longer concerned me if he did or not :) I loved this post, Linda. May we release our spouses to the Lord, and in the releasing, He also works in us.

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    1. Congratulations on 41 years of marriage, Joanne! I appreciate your visit and kind words!

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    2. Exactly! I knew I wasn't the only one. Except NOW I'd prefer that he not wear it since he's working construction a few days a week. And he wants to keep it on.

      'How 'bout a silicone one?' I asked just the other day.

      Nope. He wants the real deal.

      We're never satisfied, are we!

      ;-}

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  11. I loved reading this Linda and how though it was hard I'm sure, you waited patiently for your Tim to wear his ring again. Another beautiful love story!

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    1. Thank you for your support and encouragement, Regina!

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    2. You're sweet, Regina. Thank you for your kind words. I don't know how patient I was though ...

      ;-}

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  12. I'm not sure if you're familiar with Jimmy Fallon of the Tonight Show fame, but he almost lost his finger when his wedding ring got caught on something. It was quite the ordeal, with the doc basically reattaching the ... (well, I just won't go there! Lol!). You get the picture! It was rather gruesome and with Tim's job being like it was, I can totally understand his choice. BUT, I totally get why you felt like you did, Linda! And I would have done the same thing to Gary, if he had made that choice. Yes, some things are non-negotiable and others are not. Each couple needs to figure out what those are and also choose to live with trust and peace as well! Hugs to you, my friend! And nice to meet ya, Cheryl!

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    1. And like I told Joanne above, these days I'd love to get him a silicone ring since he's working with Habitat but he's not interested!

      * sigh *

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    2. Thanks, Beth! Nice to meet you, too!

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  13. Yes, somethings we just need to let go. With our spouse, child, or friend. I sometimes ask if the relationship is more important (then let go), or is winning at all costs (keep nagging, etc.). Love this story.

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    1. Theresa, that question you ask is spot on! Winning can be a lonely place to find oneself.

      I'm appreciate your insight ...

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    2. Thank you so much for your visit and insight, Theresa! God bless you. :)

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  14. Loved this chapter of your love story! How sweet that he presented it to you in a box. For Christmas. A real gift:) Congratulations on 44 years of marriage...also a true gift. From the Lord.

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    1. Thank you for your visit, Jennifer! Many blessings to you!

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  15. Y'all are such an adorable couple, Linda! And I appreciate you sharing this story about the ring. My husband does wear his ring, but I know many men don't for a variety of reasons. But yes, when things are really important to us, we need to let it be known. Thanks, friend!

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    1. I don't think anyone has ever referred to us as "y'all" before, Lisa ... being up here in the north country!

      It made me smile!

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    2. I agree that Tim and Linda are an adorable couple and such a blessing and inspiration to us all! Thanks for your visit, Lisa!

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  16. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. My husband doesn't wear his ring. I have to admit for the most part I have let it go but every once in awhile it bothers me when I see other men wearing theirs. I am sure I have a little work to do in this area. Thank you for sharing with Grace & Truth. Maybe one day I too will find his ring in my stocking. Maree

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    1. Thank you for your visit, Maree Dee! God bless you!

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    2. Wonders never cease! Let's see what happens, Maree!

      ;-}

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  17. What a fun story Linda! Isn't it funny how we think things are so important when we are younger, but then as we age, those things change! Thank you for the gentle reminder to let things go that aren't really important, and focus on the things that really do matter! Always enjoy your writings, and am thankful to have known you through blogging for many years. May the Lord continue to bless you in your work for His Kingdom. Much love to you Cheryl, you are such a dear sweet disciple of Jesus and this series has been a beautiful blessing to His kingdom! Much love to you!

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    1. How I appreciate your dear, kind words of encouragement, sweet friend! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Much love and gratitude to you!

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    2. You're so right, Marilyn ... our priorities shift to reflect what matters most, don't they.

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