A Walk to Think

My man and I decided last night that we’d opt out of sleeping late like a holiday morning woos you to do and, instead, head about 30 minutes from our house to the country and watch the sun come up. Usually anything we do our dogs do with us but this time we decided to leave them at home, long-faced and dejected. Sometimes you just need to be alone and hear yourself think. Or take a long pause to see if you can remember why you liked each other. We made us some coffee on the way out the door and poured it in a small thermos. We grabbed a couple of lawn chairs and dragged them out to our favorite spot and sat without saying a single word. When you’ve been married as long as Keith and I, you come to expect that you’re going to have on seasons and off seasons and that, unless something’s going haywire, they’re neither one there to stay. My way of dealing with an off season is to talk it out and gnaw it like a bone into a toothpick till we’re back on or claim we are. Keith’s way is to run for his life and find the nearest dead zone for his cell phone. Both approaches have served us well enough. After all, we have raised two children to adulthood together and fallen head over heels in love with two grandbabies and have no plan at the present to see a lawyer. This time we just decided to do something new. Keith didn’t run and I didn’t talk.  We just sat side by side in a pair of lawn chairs and listened to the woods.

I heard a lizard scurry over some dead leaves. Birds sang morning songs. Frogs croaked. The trees creaked and stretched like we woke them out of a dead slumber. A squirrel darted from branch to branch looking for breakfast to go. It reminded me of myself after about three cups of strong coffee. Everything else was moving slow and easy. Tiptoeing really. It was so quiet that I heard an oak leaf detach from a limb way over my head and I watched it fall to the ground in no big hurry at all. The morning sun glistened on the nocturnal masterpiece of a long-legged writing spider.

Wild lemons weighed down the branches of a small tree and just looking at one made the glands in my mouth squirt. It was too early for lemons, wild or otherwise.

Keith and I go to the country sometimes just to remind ourselves of things we have in common. So many of our likes and tastes aren’t only different. They scare the other half to death. They’d never take each other to lunch and, when we go, we have to go without them. We are reminded all the time that we met accidentally, naturally speaking, and married impulsively. But we both dearly love to be outside and to take really long walks and talk about almost nothing. This is one of our favorite spots on this particular country trail. It’s a clear little lazy creek that smiles in the sunshine but grows fangs in a storm, pulling trees from their roots. Maybe that’s Keith and me, too.

But, 31 years later, I still usually follow right after him. On level ground, he always takes the lead, especially on this country trail where the person in front has to swipe one spider web after another or wear them home. On mountain hikes, I take the lead because…well, because, that’s where I’m a beast. He claims it’s the altitude and that I can breathe thin air better than he. I choose to think I’m a hiking fiend…with a bad knee and a herniated disk. Right after this picture, I heard leaves cracking right at my feet as we stepped over an old rotted log. I glanced down expecting to see a big lizard and caught a solid, eye-popping stare at what my man claims to be the biggest copperhead he’s ever seen in his life. May it rest in peace. Lord, have mercy. I do not know why Keith Moore and I can’t seem to do life apart from snakes. It took about 15 minutes for my blood pressure to go back to normal.

When we got to this spot, Keith said, “Sit down over there, Liz’beth, and I’ll take your picture.” Dutiful wife that I am, I did. He’s just learning how to take a decent pic with my I-phone. He doesn’t really have fingertips and that’s what an I-phone takes. The ends of Keith’s fingers are more like manly stumps. He’s really cute when he’s trying though. Keith looks out of place with mini things. It’s not that he’s so big. He’s about 6 feet, 210 pounds. It’s just that his outside is upsized by his insides. Anyway, here’s his wife. She really doesn’t love early morning country humid hair but blogs are for the honest. Not for the proud.

One of our favorite things on this piece of Texas countryside is this old, broken down deer blind that marks the spot where one couple years ago commemorated their heavy crush with a can of spray paint. I don’t doubt it doubled as a kissing blind about that same time. About this time on our walk, my man and I were feeling a little less off. Sometimes all it takes to find some fresh affection is a willing recollection. Like B + K.

Well, thanks for taking a stroll with me, Sister. Don’t make anything serious out of this harmless chatter. When you’ve been married as long as we have and you have Moore feelings than normal, life is one big, wonderful, gnarly twisted knot of off and on again. But make no mistake. It’s a knot.


468 Responses to “A Walk to Think”

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  1. 401
    Julie Anne says:

    This was beautiful… We are in the midst of raising 4 little ones and that doesn’t lend itself too much to getting away, but I could use a time to “pause to see if you can remember why you liked each other”

  2. 402
    PatWilfong says:

    loved this walk in the woods with you. thank you. perfect time for one. brought back memories of laying on my back as a child on the forest floor and looking up at the canopy of leaves with sunlight peeking through like a kaleidioscope. sometimes its the quietness that speaks if im open to listening for it.

  3. 403
    Kelli says:

    I loved this post. Minus the Copper Head. I might have tucked my feet under me after I read that!

  4. 404
    Lisa Neal says:

    Loved reading this. Until recently I’ve been needing a pause to see if I can remember why my husband and I liked each other too. Between owning our own business and raising a two year old there has been no time for us. We had been going to our own corners of the house for down time and not taking anytime together. But recently that has all changed. We are making time for one another regarless of what’s going on around us and it has made a world of difference. It’s amazing how wrapped up in life you can get and how it can seem to take over. I don’t know if you have heard of Mark Gungor but we have a series of his dvd’s that we reference when we see that we are going opposite directions and wondering why we liked each other. Marks marriage semiars are awesome and soooo funny. I’m so thankful to God that even when we are wondering why we liked each other that he is always faithful to show us why and then I fall deeper in love with my man every time.

  5. 405
    marylee says:

    Thanks for always taking us along on your journeys, whether if be on a beautiful scenic walk in the woods, another city, or to the place God is tendering your heart to..it’s always a pleasure Miss Beth..Thank you…
    P.S If I was the one who stumbled on that copperhead – catch my breath, uh no…someone would have had to carry me home! Blessings to you and all the siesta’s!

  6. 406
    Carolina Cheesehead says:

    I get this… I really get this. Life is fast and furious right now and I feel the toll on my marriage but you remind me that commitments can survive ups and downs if we stay the course and choose a long obedience in the same direction.


  7. 407
    katie says:

    i love you.

  8. 408

    Greetings Siesta Mama Beth, thanks for taking us on the walk with you and Keith:) I think ya’ll are the cutest-can’t help it, ya’ll just are. And you guys love each other soo much, it’s evident:):) I like sitting outside and vegetating, it really is a calming thing. I think that is one of the reasons why my husband likes hunting so much. It gets him away from the normal noise, and out into the quiet, and the calm of non civilization. Love His heart, he needs to unwind sometimes…and so do I:)

    Blesssings to you tonight. Loved the pictures, and your pic too:) I’m the “humid hair fuzzy what is that Queen” when I go outside without hair products-your hair was beautimous, trust me:) ((HUGS)), Love in HIM,


  9. 409
    Patty says:


    This summer I decided to do your bible study “Breaking Free”. What an amazing experience it was! I can now say I’m free from many things – praise God! We recently joined a new church. I was looking for a way to connect with the women in the church. They only had a woman’s bible study on Thursday nights that I couldn’t attend. I approached the head pastor and asked if they had thought about having a woman’s bible study during the morning on a weekday. He said they did, but were looking for someone to organize it. I said I’d be happy to. The adult ministry pastor then contacted me and asked if I’d be willing to organize a Beth Moore study this fall called “Breaking Free”! God works in great ways! Today was our first meeting. I had 33 women sign-up!

  10. 410
    victoria welch says:

    I think if i had seen that snake i would have meet my Lord thT DAY HA HA, you are truley blessed , because my husband & I been married all most 43 years have nothing in common but our kids & grandkids oh the 2 dogs & cat , but thats ok.
    Glad you had a wounderfull time my kind of fun .Sorry about your back please take cafre of your self.God bless love sister in Christ victoria

  11. 411

    This post is beautifully written. The honesty woven into the words is as poetic as marriage itself. Thank you for insight into marital nuances that are inevitable through the years.

  12. 412
    Pam says:

    We just passed 30 years and yes, for better and for worse it is. We have seen much, in fact in our nuclear family of six we have struggled through alcohol and drug addiction, unwed pregnancy, infidelity, jail time, bankrupcy, and now just three days home, 26 days in the hospital. My husband’s gallbladder surgery went awry and he is home now, recovering. Better or worse, sick or healthy, rich or poor, honest or lying, walking with the savior or hiding from his face. We are still together and more in love with our savior than ever, More in love with each other than ever, and thankful for our four kids who have been instruments of unsurpassed blessing and tortuous challenge. I have finally lived Philippians 4: 6&7. His peace passes all understanding. Keep seeking Him! The Lord is the mender of all wounds! He knows what’s good for us and is leading us down a winding road to his will. I can’t wait!!

  13. 413
    KarriedbyHisLove says:

    Mama Beth, blessings to you for taking me on this beautiful walk. You are a brave soul for returning to places that you know might bring you “face to face” with those snakes.

    I so love your honestly and vulnerability…..it is so good to know that you struggle like everyone else and to be so open about it encourages me that because I hit one of these “humanity bumps” doesn’t mean I am necessarily on the wrong path.

  14. 414
    Bunny Hunt says:

    I so enjoyed “taking that walk” with you two. Thanks for being real and honest,Beth. That’s one of the many reasons we all love you and know you as our “sister”. I had an encounter with God in a different way Labor Day weekend that I think was pretty cool. If anyone is interested they can go to my blogsite. Has to do with a puppy, no snakes.:-)
    Love you,Beth

  15. 415
    Pat says:

    Your’re a wise woman, and what a beautiful post to remind us that “it’s a knot.”

  16. 416
    Monica says:

    There are no coincidences. I was supposed to go back and read this blog. Beth – thank you for being so open about the ups and downs that a marriage has. I’ve been wondering/questioning after 16 years. It’s good to know that this can happen in any marriage!

  17. 417
    Patrice says:

    Good times. Thanks, you describe many of us.

  18. 418
    Cindy says:

    Thanks so much for the realness of this post. This heart needed to hear it.

  19. 419
    marlece says:

    thanks, I needed this today….

  20. 420
    Merri says:

    Enjoyed your walk in Texas Country. My husband is a Texan and I was amazing he never lived north of the Red River. Anyway, thank you for reminding me of the beauty of Texas. WE now live north where the trees have seasons. I love when my husband drags me out to walk on Sundays when I’d rather be napping.

  21. 421
    Heidi says:

    I love this and totally agree, “so many of our likes and tastes aren’t only different they scare the other half to death”. Perfectly said, thanks for sharing beth.

  22. 422
    Gilly says:

    Thank You Beth for reminding me that even 31 year old marriages can have their ups and down moments!
    Sometimes I think I’m the only one struggling here with a long term marriage partner!
    Note to self- lighten up!!

    Bless you for your honesty that encourages us all!

    G x

    • 422.1
      Lynn McElroy says:

      Omgosh! Beth I miss you so much! You are always a breath of fresh air. No one knows more than I about the ins and outs, ups and downs of a 23+ years of marriage. My husband & I are like day & night too. Thank you Jesus for preserverance! I missed Tuesday night this month – I had to go visit my man in Cotulla, TX, where he is currently working out of town. Hope to make it next month!

  23. 423
    Audrey says:

    Life has been busy and staying caught up on blogs has had to fall to the side for a time, but lucky for me, this is usually the first one I jump back on after time away 🙂 What a blessing for Amanda to go to Guatemala. I headed to Cambodia this past February (right after our SSMTC!!) to learn more about the whys behind sex-trafficking and how we can help. It definitely rattled my cage, and I can only guess Amanda’s in a similar position.

    My words cannot express the sisterly love I feel while reading your words. I could just bet that we could be real life best friends 🙂 Marriage is hard. Ministry is hard (I’m a pastor’s wife). With the insanity of the last 6 months our marriage has definitely had our “on” and “off” days/times. We never stop loving each other, but sometimes the “liking” takes a lot more effort 🙂 It is evident that you and Keith love each other. Thank you for being real. Thank you for living out what you teach. I know you’re not perfect, but your reflection of Him is beautiful.

    One last thing…at the SSMTC I told you I knew why that event was so overwhelmingly wonderful, but I’ve never written you. Sorry about the delay. You’ve probably already thought of this, but I’ll share anyway. In ministry, we sometimes see growth in individuals, but it is rare when we see another catch the vision for something we treasure dearly, such as scripture memory. Yet, through the blog challenge, you saw 2,000 women desire God’s Word more by the end of the year, then had the double blessing of seeing 500 of those faces on planet earth. We walked the year together and were better for it. It took everything in me not to fall to my knees when we were in the courtyard saying our verses to each other–a chorus of God’s Word all around us. “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” He is worthy. I love Him.

    • 423.1
      Audrey says:

      May God speak His truth through you in a mighty way on Saturday. May the proper illustrations rise to the surface and any unnecessary words fall away. May He receive much glory! (and may you have a day to sleep in and recoup afterwards!)

  24. 424
    Dani says:

    I attended the simulcast in Rock Hill, SC and had such a blast. It was the first time I had gotten my mom to one of your events and we had such a great time together. I think it’s the first time we’ve ever studied the Word together. God spoke to me about lots of things but in particular about being kind at home. I like to think I’m pretty good at being kind to friends, people I don’t know, etc. but it’s when I’m worn out at home that seems to get me in trouble. Thanks for reminding me to fill up on Him when I’m empty and let the kindness flow. Blessings (and rest)!

  25. 425
    Groovewoman says:

    This is by far one of my favorite posts you’ve ever written. I love that you brought us along on your walk with pictures and that you are so honest about marriage & life. After nearly 12 years of marriage, I can relate to you here 100%… and I have GOT to find a country spot like this for us… Just sayin!

    Love you Beth,

  26. 426
    lori says:

    I know you posted this a while ago but I have been pondering on your story of how you and your husband take the time to “be still” together when your relationship is out of sorts.
    I realized that this is what my husband and I did a year ago. We were separated, going through some time of deep hurt and trying to heal. Most of that time we took walks, silent walks. All different places but mostly silent. I look back now and realized what an incredible healing time that was.
    Just spending time, side by side, being silent.
    Silence can be a healing process. There is a time for talking but there is a time for silence too.
    I cherish those times. It wasn’t a fun time but I look back on those days of our walks and know God was walking with us!
    Through hard work and relying on God, we have an incredible story of renewal and for the first time celebrating our marriage!
    “Be still and know that I am God” Psalms 46:10

  27. 427
    Trish says:

    Beth you just described my marriage of 31 years. I so appreciate your honesty and willingness to be transparent. We, too are a knot, but struggling to find common ground. loved your idea of quiet time together.

  28. 428

    Thank you, Beth, for always being so real. I have only been married 17 years, some days it seems like 1 others more like 30 (ask my husband, I am sure he would agree :). Those of us on this journey to keeping a tight knot need reminders that it is okay if everything is not always perfect…

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