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.Β  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. 1
    Olivia C says:

    Sweet post, Beth! Thank you for reminding me to stop & enjoy my husband (who, by the way, unclogged our bathtub today!) I am so proud of him!

  2. 2
    Becky in Indy says:

    What a beautiful reminder. My husband and I DID opt to sleep in today until he could stand it no more and sent the dogs in to lick my face and wake me up.

    We then tried to find some garage sales (something we like to do for fun a few times a year.) He wanted to bring BOTH dogs so they loaded in the back and off we went. Believe or not, we couldn’t find one single garage sale! So, we ended up going to a small hill by our church just to let the dogs run around. We walked around the 10 acres while they ran and then came back home.

    It was a nice couple of hours with our family of four (our dogs are part of the family, you know.)


  3. 3
    Tessa says:

    I always like posts about you and Keith. Glad you two spent that time together. Have a great week!

  4. 4
    Jan Hixson says:

    I don’t like spiders or snakes either and it seems like they are always lurkin’ when we walk in the woods as well. Enjoy your day with your man. We’re headed off in the convertible for a drive in the mountains–we’ve been empty nesters for two weeks now…
    Jan in Arkansas

  5. 5

    This blessed me, thank you for being vunerable. Love you Mama Beth.

  6. 6
    Janet says:

    What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing the story. You’ve encouraged me.

  7. 7
    Connie says:

    My Michael and I have been married 34yrs this Nov. I can so relate to what your talking about. It just take stopping and remembering sometimes why you fell in love in the first place, and not panicking when things aren’t exactly right! So glad you can be honest with us, it helps us to know what we go through isn’t out of the ordinary! πŸ™‚

    God Bless You!

  8. 8
    Bobbie says:

    It sounds like a wonderful morning, ‘knots’ and all! As I was reading I could feel myself slow down a little, after 3 loads of laundry and errands run! Then you mentioned the dreaded copperhead!! Beth, I don’t know how you do it! I bet you didn’t have your snake boots on, or Keith didn’t have his shot gun, how in the world did he ‘take care’ of it??

    ‘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’. Truly my husband & I are the exact same way–why is it that we women have that need to settle everything. Wayne is the one who can just walk away and then act like there was no disagreement at all! Do you keeping chewin or do you be quiet? It does make me feel a little better knowing I’m not the only one that gnaws when I probably should zip my lips and open my heart to God. I do pull out the ‘may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart…’ on those occasions now. Thanks so much for the Scripture Memorization last year!

    Have a fun rest of your labor day…

  9. 9
    Tara G. says:

    Loved every bit of that! I lied. I hate snakes. But I loved the rest and appreciate your candidness!

    Sadly, it wasn’t a holiday here (Kyiv) and although we officially had the day off, my man is off to Crimea on a business trip.

    • 9.1
      Becky in Indy says:

      I lived in Kyiv for 9 years….I worked with Spring of Hope church, Almaz church and City on a Hill church (these are, of course, the English translations). Have you heard of any? I lived by metro Darnitza most of my time there, on the left bank.


  10. 10
    Billsgirl says:


    Thanks for sharing your sweet story! Keith and you are an inspiration. My man and I will be married 18 years on Sunday. Planning a matinee and dinner just like we did in the early days.

    Today, we did take our little Kirby to the dog park. (Kids didn’t want to go.)We liked our little quiet time and enjoyed our new “baby’s” joy at running without a leash.

    Happy Fall Everyone! (Fall has definitely come to MSP.)

    Mary Ann

  11. 11
    Deanna Gott says:

    I loved loved loved LOVED this! WE LOVE to walk and hike too!!! Thanks so much for sharing this!

  12. 12
    Deanna Gott says:

    OH YES! I forgot to share this… our 17 year old son was walking/ running with us EARLY this morning as a snake crossed his path… he simply took his size 14 foot and struck the head with his heal! PERFECT! Dead snake! πŸ™‚

  13. 13
    Elisabeth says:

    “Mama” Beth,
    Thank you. Just…..thank you. Jesus just used you.
    I so needed to hear that. Thank you.
    I love you very much!

    “Lil” Beth

  14. 14

    We went on an anniversary hike (10 years!) and my husband asked me to sit by the water to take my picture. I thought to myself, “He’s making me sit by the still water,” just like the Good Shepherd in Psalm 23. Sometimes Jesus uses my husband to make me sit still. I love that! This is the same hubby that said, “Just because there’s space doesn’t me you have to fill it!” I think he’d like your husband! http://livewithflair.blogspot.com/

  15. 15
    Leah says:

    Glad to hear that you enjoyed your walk with Keith and I enjoyed seeing the pictures. I especially love the first picture that you posted! Yellow light shining through the trees. It’s so pretty! I always think that the rainbows is one of God’s best earth creations and still do. But I’m started to appreciate seeing the shining light coming from the sky especially when it’s shining from the clouds. It doesn’t happen very often and it’s so pretty! Every time I see it, it makes me think that’s the way Jesus went up to the heaven after He died on the cross and hope it’ll be as pretty to see the light shining from the clouds when Jesus comes back to get us.

  16. 16
    Bethany says:

    All this talk of snakes is freaking me out!!! Yikes,I might just stay in the central valley of CA forever. However, my heart beats for the the beauty of creation and not street lights and sirens…hmmmmmm, might have to get over the fear of scary creatures!
    Anyway, I loved this post. It was uplifting on a day when my heart is heavy. Thanks Beth πŸ™‚

  17. 17
    Rebecca says:

    Dear Beth,
    This touched my heart. I guess because I have been married 37 years and my children have left the nest. (We married as babies). I am so happy you shared from your heart. love and hugs

  18. 18
    Karene says:

    Thank you, thank you, for your transparent honesty! My husband and I have “only” been married 26 years, although I am your exact age. And our kids are still teenagers.

    We deal with our “off” times in the exact way you and Keith do, and there were times earlier in our marriage when I didn’t think we’d make it. But you gave me “a word” meant just for me at your simulcast previous to the one on insecurity. You shared about your marriage then, and how you’d seen some changes in Keith just recently. You gave me hope, and inspired me not to give up praying.

    Today, almost a year later, I can say with tears and praise that my husband is a changed man (and I am a changed woman). Although we still tend to deal with conflict in our own ways, we both are putting Christ first in our marriage. I just told a friend that if we’d known how hard marriage was, we probably wouldn’t have jumped into it. We “thought” we knew what we were doing. And I’m convinced it’s like parenting, you just don’t know how complex it is until you’re there.

    Beth, I don’t know if you or anyone else will read this, but I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening to God as you speak to us. You’ll never know how your words transformed my life at that simulcast. And for anyone who is feeling tempted to give up on their difficult marriage, please hang on. You can weather the storm, or the desert, whichever it may. And it does get richer–but only when you turn it over to God. It’s in His power, not ours. Okay, I’ve preached long enough πŸ™‚

  19. 19
    bek says:

    I just shared this post on my oldest daughter’s facebook and said “I love her transparency. Is it too late for me to grow up to be just like her?” =D

    Thank you, Beth. Our Father continually blesses me through you.


  20. 20
    Holly says:

    Thank you for being so honest about all matters of life and especially about the on seasons and the off seasons of a marriage! It’s encouraging to read as a young female who has never tasted the beauty of marriage and for one who has great expectation of what marriage will actually look like. I love throughout all of this post you can still read just how much you love Keith and how much he loves you even through an ‘off’ moment in marriage, it is true and beautiful! my fave line in this is the very last one. ‘It’s a Knot’ You guys are wrapped up in one another with a great love and affection!

    Thank you again for your sweet honesty and beautiful heart!

    Much love and blessing to you and your sweet man!!

  21. 21
    Dorinda says:

    Your sweet honest account is a refreshing reminder of what true love really is.

  22. 22
    Darla Baerg says:

    Sweet post. What is so amazing to me is that anyone would have cute hair, makeup and agree to a picture when they got up before the sun came up. No wonder that man loves you … you are cute even VERY early in the a.m.

  23. 23
    Rebecca says:

    I guess my gravatar took a walk. The picture has changed. I hope it finds “itself”. Any one else have this problem or just me!!! Rebecca

  24. 24
    Starr says:

    Thank you so much for sharing.

  25. 25
    leigh says:

    I read your post and walked away from the computer and realzed that I was relieved that other folks experience the ups and downs of marriage too. I decided to comment even though my pride is fighting it. I wouldn’t trade my precious husband for anything, but sometimes it can be hardest thing….being married. I can’t stand to be in conflict, even over that smallest stuff. I loath the fact that my sin effects him and that his sin effects me. I guess that is part of being ‘One’ that isn’t so wonderful. I take comfort in that fact that we always eventually get through our ‘stuff.’ When I finish typing this I am going to go find him and tell him how thankful I am for him and his love for Jesus and me.

  26. 26
    ULCARDSFAN says:

    My husband and I will celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary in Nov. Because we love and trust and KNOW each other, we can laugh at things that, if overheard by a stanger, might sound like we are headed to the lawyer’s!

    Ernie: I’m serving a life sentence with no possibility of parole.

    Ernie: I was a Christian before I met Linda….Now I am a Methodist

    And just yesterday I saw an anniversary card at the Cracker Barrel that I HAD to show him. It read ” Harold had been in the military…He made a great husband because he was used to taking orders!”

    All kidding aside, God has blessed me with my wonderful husband and HE made it so plain to both of us that we got engaged 19 days after meeting on a blind date.

    Happy Labor Day to all my Siestas and to you Beth.

    Love, Linda

  27. 27
    O Mom says:

    This brought such tears to my eyas and a big sigh of relief. My husband and I have been married for 17+ years with lots of ups and downs. I love him so much but right now it’s just so off. I get scared about just how different we are sometimes and find myself wondering what in the world God was thinking. Thank you for letting me fel like somethings not wrong with me, not wrong with and unfixable, with my marriage. You are such a blessing!

  28. 28
    Krystle says:

    Oh Beth, I once again appreciate your vulnerability and cherish the fact you would share.
    Love you lots.
    (Used to go by KB…I’ve decided to be a little more vulnerable too! πŸ™‚

  29. 29
    Rachel C. says:

    I loved what you wrote…you met accidentally and married impulsively…that can be a prescription for disaster for some but it is so refreshing to see that you’ve stayed together and truly want to be together. It is so discouraging for us to be surrounded by couples that are just “deciding” they don’t want to be married anymore. I needed your encouragement and affirmation…I believe in the vows I made 6 years ago and my husband and I have recently come through a rough patch where Satan’s arrows were attacking our marriage but God has brought us through and we are more in love and more committed today.

  30. 30
    Cathy S. says:

    We deal with conflict the same way. I talk and prod, he clams up. For us, even more than stress, it is the routine that gets to us. Sometimes, it takes something unexpected like your morning walk to jar us out of complacency. Praying for you and Keith today. And for your girls and their husbands. Marriage is such hard work!

  31. 31
    Shannon Costanzo says:

    Siesta Mama,

    Thank you for your post. I enjoyed the pictures. My hubby and I slept in today. We have been playing tourist by visiting Mickey Mouse so we needed to sleep in! It was nice to hold each others hand while walking through the parks and clinging to each other while standing in line for the rides. It was a nice reminder to slow down and enjoy each others company.
    I will say that when a man wants to take your picture even with our humidity hair do (or don’t), that is love!

    Shannon in Kissimmee, Florida

  32. 32
    Kat says:

    You made me cry and pray! Thank you. Love you so much Beth!

    Holy hugs, Kat. . .

  33. 33
    Marilyn says:

    I trust Keith had a firearm with him to take care of that copperhead!! You wrote “may it rest in peace,” so I’m assuming it is no “Moore” ;-)!

  34. 34
    carla says:

    Beth, that was so sweet. I guess we get caught up in thinking that everyone else’s marriage is better than yours. I would just love to once be able to ‘work”
    through a problem instead of sweeping it under the rug. The hump is getting a little high. All in all it’s ok; We’ve been together 34 years this month. Thanks for letting us into the realness of your life, and encouraging with your insight. Carla

  35. 35
    Angie says:

    You are the best, Beth Moore! I think my last name was supposed to be “Moore” too because I have a lot of feelings as well.

    Love you,
    Angie from Michigan

  36. 36
    revjen says:

    Thank you for this post Beth. I asked an older couple in our church, who had been married for 59 years, how they made it work. They both answered, “don’t fall out of love at the same time and if you do, make yourself love again.” Theyw ere the sweetest things and obviously loved each other with a deep, rich love that comes from going through some stuff together. The husband went to Jesus earlier this year and his wife says she gets by on 59 years of memories and the promise of being together again in heaven. A true 3 strand chord, not seperated even by death.

  37. 37
    Jackie says:

    Thanks for sharing…loved your pics!! My hubby & I love the outdoors too…however, he’s been at a deer lease this weekend, gettin’ it ready…and I’ve spent time in the yard…enjoying this tiny bit of fall! I can so relate to your times with Keith…they so remind me of my Roy!!

  38. 38
    kathypinkbicyclearkansas says:

    Sounds like a great “nothing” day! I”m still nursing a bad shoulder that is getting the best of me and I am just ready to give it up! But also enjoying doing nothing since this is the first time I have done nothing in a couple of months and my last free time for a few weeks.

  39. 39
    Nancy says:

    I love the honesty-and which one of us marrieds don’t have “on and offs”, “ups and downs”. I’m a preachers wife and one of the things the “girls” of my church say they love the most about me is that I’m real.
    Thanks for being real.
    Love you so much

  40. 40

    Beth, thanks for being so real with us. Heaven knows we’re all in real marriages, and it helps to know others have their ups and downs, too. Thank God for knots, huh?

  41. 41
    Susan says:

    I felt as if I were on that walk too…..
    (ugh, snake and all)
    Thank you for sharing your heart on this beautiful lazy day ! I wish I had a hubby to share good, bad and the ugly with !!! God Bless !

  42. 42
    Shelley Bussell says:

    I really loved this post πŸ™‚

  43. 43
    Renee says:

    Beth, I sorta stumbled on your blog today. I was surfing around trying to learn more about you because we have a simulcast coming up at our church in a couple of weeks. I found a kindred spirit in your comments about how different yours and your husbands interest are. On the drive back from my daughters today I was just thinking about my hubbie of 33 years. We are so different and we don’t always like the same things or agree on everything. Yes, its off and on. But then I think about how comfortable we are. Kinda joined at the hip. I am thankful for your blog… at least I know we’re normal, after 30 plus years.

  44. 44
    Karen E says:

    You’re beautiful, Beth, especially your insides and the way you share them with us.

    Thank you for letting God use you to bless so many!

  45. 45
    Allison says:

    What a soothing, beautiful story, Beth! My artist eyes would gather those shots up and paint them! Beautiful!!
    Love, Allison

  46. 46
    christina says:

    Thanks for encouraging me through your openness. We’ve only been working at this marriage thing for 11 years, so your perspective helps. Enjoy the rest of your day!

  47. 47
    Desiree Crisp says:

    Beth, you again expressed so accurately the feelings many Siestas share. My man and I (we celebrated 30 years in June!) headed out today to conquer one of my projects (he really sacrificed his time for me!). While driving down the road, we very spontaniously reflected on the “road” God has taken us on over the past 30 yrs, producing tears for both of us but also reminding us we would choose our pot-hole filled road together over a smooth road with anyone else. God’s grace has been more than enough to carry us through some very dark tunnels to the light of victory! Just this week, I mentioned to my man a great healing God has done in our marriage in a particular area and the next day while reading my bible noticed a notation I made 8/2001 about that specific need and a promise/charge from 1Cor. 13:7 “(Love)it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” It has taken us(mainly me)a long time to get the main word in the verse, ALWAYS. Blessings to you and your man as you continue to follow the path God has for you, filled with adventure and wonder!

    • 47.1
      Desiree Crisp says:

      BTW, my morning began sitting on my deck looking out over the lake behind our house. It was early, the sun just beginning to come up. The lake had steam coming off of it and you could barely see the geese floating. I was reminded that the Holy Spirit surrounds me like the steam and the peace only He can give. I love God’s object lessons!

  48. 48
    Ann Ludeke says:

    Thank you sweet Beth for sharing this morning’s moments with your man with us. Very special. We will be 30 years at Christmas time so I can relate to your sentiments.
    Beautiful pictures.
    See you tomorrow night!

  49. 49
    DigiNee says:

    Love it – can so relate. This morning my man and I took a bike ride (but we slept late!) and when we left it was SOOO humid (what else is new in the Big H??) – we saw it was going to rain and I asked him if he wanted to get home – he took the plunge (which he knew I would do) and we rode in the rain – woo-hoo!!!! Peace Siestas . . .

  50. 50
    Living4Him says:

    So good to know we all go through the on and off….at 21 years or 31 years. You have blessed my heart.

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