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”

If you'd like your own pic by your comment, go to Gravatar.com. Click the first button "Get your gravatar today ->", and it will walk you through a simple process to select a picture.


  1. 251
    Tracie says:

    I wish the “offs” didn’t feel so awful. You have been very real and very encouraging. It was not an accident you shared this with us. Thank you.

  2. 252
    Erin says:

    Thanks for your honesty. I love hearing your faith in your marriage.

  3. 253
    Connie Capps says:

    Loved reading about your relaxing day!

  4. 254
    melanie says:

    Good to read! Needed this today! Thank you for sharing!

  5. 255
    Wendi Gale says:

    Just what I needed this morning. My husband & I have only been married 8 years, we have known each other for 20 & dated/married for 16 of those years. Sometimes he drives me crazy & I him, but the way you discribed it puts it into better perspective. It is similar to when our kids are testing us to see how far they can push us before they get into trouble. God tests us to see how far we will go before asking for His guidance. I love hearing how another “God’s Girl” and her husband del with everyday life. It makes things seem more….familiar.
    I am a christian woman & I work in a church, so my friends think my life should be perfect, always. They don’t understand the tests God gives us to grow us & make us whole.
    There is just something about nature that always brings my husband & I back to “reality”, back to “loving”, back to “understanding each others differences”, and rembering that the things that irritate us today are usually the things we fell in love with each other for 20 years ago.
    Thank you for helping me to put my husband back in front & sharing you walk with me.
    In Christ Alone,
    Wendi Gale

  6. 256
    Michele says:

    I’m not a big one for giving advice. But I do tell young brides to expect on/off periods in the ‘feelings’ part of marriage. We’ve been married 17yrs, on/off/on and so glad we stick through the off times!

  7. 257
    Kristin Takemoto says:

    One year and counting for me and mine!! Thank you for reminding me there are on and off seasons ahead and from one ‘talker’ to the next, I value the lesson of your quiet walk in the woods!! It was peaceful just reading this post, you write wonderfully, I heard every leaf drop!

  8. 258
    angela says:

    you have more volume in your hair on a humid day than i ever dream of getting on the driest day in the colorado mountains. no complaining! πŸ™‚

  9. 259
    Kim Robles says:

    Sweet and relaxing…loved the post. You are so right!!

    Have a blessed week!

  10. 260
    Diana A says:

    I guess I am hoping on the later train of thought with reading these words today.

    Thank you Beth for the honest help you provide when you share your life with us.

    Just 2 days ago, my husband took me for a drive ended up out at a local car dealership to dream. I am always up for time with my man as it is rare in our life. Sharing his dream was just an unexpected joy. It was late after hours, no one around but a baby rabbit checking out his dream wheels too.
    We saw vehicles we will never own, but laughed how cool these old folks would look in the bright red convertable.

    It was a reconnection. We weren’t on an out season nor an in season, just a season of our life. But it felt good to be dreaming!

  11. 261
    Siesta OC says:

    I so enjoyed this walk!


    • 261.1
      Karene says:

      Siesta OC, I keep meaning to ask you: Are you from Orange County, California? If so, which city? I’m from Yorba Linda. How fun to know that there’s another siesta close by! I don’t think there’s very many of us OC siestas (but I may be wrong). (Of course, you may not be from here either πŸ™‚ )

  12. 262
    WorthyofLove says:

    Dearest Beth,

    My Bible Study group is doing the Revelation series right now. Today was Session 3. Wow! I feel so encouraged. Ichabod has not been written on my head or the head of my family. My heart is overwhelmed with new truths. I am really impressed with Jesus being in our churches…I know this should not be such an amazing concept, but somehow it is. Praying that God will show me what things I have let go of, that I need to start doing again.

    Thank you for sharing with us all that He shows you.

    Much Love,

  13. 263
    Becky says:

    Ha-ha Loved your post,then again I always do. Thanks for the reminder of the on and off times we married couples go through. It is good to know even Christians and those eyeball deep in ministry go through those times too.
    I’ll keep that ‘walk in the woods’ in mind for me and my man’s off seasons. oh, and by the by…
    when you told of the lizard, I thought, Eeeeww.(I don’t like those.) then when you told of the snake, I said to myself.
    Oh Beth! (Oh. My. Word. I hate those.)
    Glad you two had had a great, and safe morning with each other.
    Later girl.

  14. 264
    Linda says:

    I LOVED THIS POST Beth!!!!!

  15. 265
    Kim Lee says:

    How refreshing~ thank you I need that!

  16. 266
    Joy Stamp says:

    Thank you Beth once again for sharing your life with those of us out “here” that think only our family relationships are complex. We think certainly our beloved Beth couldn’t possibly go through the highs and lows of life like we do…and yet you do. Praying that my man will recognize the ebb and flow is more normal than not. Life’s challenges can get so twisted.

    Sadly, Satan is always after destruction in our lives and has no respect for a couple that has been together for 39+ years or the just starting out young families! We must keep on in our faith and our obedience to our Lord. You are precious πŸ˜€

  17. 267
    Tina says:

    Thanks for sharing! It’s a great reminder of what marriage is really like. Loved the pics of the walk too. Felt like I was there…love love love walks in the country.

  18. 268
    Janice Pitchford says:

    Beautiful pictures, both the snapshots and the words. Thank you for your honesty and openness. I think we too often try to paint the picture of perfection in our relationships instead of letting others see that even with our faith and our relationship with Jesus we are just like everyone else in that there in no perfection in this world. We are celebrating 40 years next month and I am thankful for every one whether smooth or rocky. Like you that knot is still tight. Praise God.

  19. 269
    Sharon Moffett says:

    I sure love you, Beth. I’ve been praying for tonight’s meeting. I know you must need strength…what you do is not an easy calling. God is highly glorified through your willing service to Him. THANK YOU. I’m sending you a big ‘ole hug today. xo

  20. 270
    Lisa G. says:

    Sweet Beth,

    Thanks for making the rest of us feel so normal! My man & I have been married almost 28 years, but for many of those years, I thought something was wrong with us because of our “on” and “off” cycles. Now I know that’s just how it is when two sinners saved by grace share a lifetime together. By the way, we’re currently in an “off” cycle because my man is in nursing school and it drains the life out of him. But he graduates in December — praise God — and I’m definitely looking forward to some “on” time!!

  21. 271
    Sandy says:

    This is so true…I need a walk with my man in the woods…times get hard after 26 years…we have three grown children and times were much simplier when we “authorized” their decisions…we wonder what happened…they were raised in a Godly loving home yet are making some of the most troubling decisions. It can cause tension between the most dedicated couple…along with other stressors like jobs, health, aging parents etc… Loved the post..needed it really!

  22. 272
    GlowinGirl says:

    It’s so good for me to read this. I’ve been married for 13 years — after dating him for three. So half my life now I’ve been with my guy. We’ve had our ups and downs, and it’s so good to know others have too, and they’re still hanging on. I need to hear that!

  23. 273
    Kels says:

    Hey Beth,
    Thank you so much for posting this. Not only did I feel like you were taking us on a walk with you and Keith, I felt the sense of intimacy created when taking a time out from the world. It gives a whole new meaning to “And the two shall become one”. That doesn’t take place on the wedding day. It is a process that our relationship goes through. It’s knowing what you need when you need it. That committment is obvious and it needs to be made daily.

  24. 274
    MaryCatherine says:


    Thank you or your transparency in your posts. I am about to start your Daniel study in a growth group in the church I attend. We could choose from a catalogue of different studies to join, but I’ve heard nothing but marvelous things from this particular study, so I decided I wanted in on it. It is extremely comforting to know that you practice what you preach, and it makes it much more worth my time to fully dig into the study. Thank you for your leadership!

  25. 275
    Kim Safina says:

    B + K =
    loving,listening,learning,laughing,leading,liking one another!!!!!!!

    We are all on this journey to find our Promised Land ~
    sometimes WE must trample on some twigs, kill us some snakes, sit quietly and reflect, but mostly We ARE TO LOVE!!!! with the Love of Christ Jesus!!!

    Dave & I are still on our Promised Land Journey with almost 28 years of searching!!

    Harvest Blessings!

  26. 276
    wanda says:

    No explanation needed!

    I’m thankful that we’ve (my hubby and me) not both been “off” at the same time.

    Life together…..is just like that!

  27. 277
    Heather F says:

    I have always been inspired by how you speak of your husband and your marriage. My husband and I are complete opposites too. He said after a year of dating me his neck hurt from nodding yes and no so much because he couldn’t get a word in edge-wise. Not that he wanted to. Thank you for being honest and hope-filled about the long and winding road that is marriage.

  28. 278
    Terry says:

    Thank you for sharing your walk with us, Beth! Marriage is hard, but perseverance has its rewards. It seems to me that each time my husband and I go through a difficult season, or even just a time of emotional distance or indifference, when we get to the other side there is a new and deeper level of commitment and intimacy.

    Realizing that the marriage relationship does have its ebb and flow is one thing that helps me be patient through the “off” seasons. It has been in those times that the Lord has taught me how to truly WAIT on Him. HE is my ALL-in-ALL.

    Thanks for keeping it real! I pray the Lord will shower both you and Keith with grace and wisdom for the journey.

    “Your grace is sufficient for me; Your strength is made perfect when I am weak. All that I cling to, I lay at Your feet; Your grace is sufficient for me.”

  29. 279
    Lynn Festavan says:

    Thank you Beth for sharing about your off and on times with your sisters in Christ! I have been married 22 years and I know exactly what you mean! In fact, the past few days, my husband and I have been in an off mode due to drama caused by my son (his stepson). I wanted so desperately to come to Houston today for the Houston Connection tonight! However, things did not work out for me to make the trip today. If there had just been a car show next door to the church, he probably would have brought me down there. But since it is a 5 hour drive from Shreveport and I could not find a single soul to accompany me on the journey, I would have to make the trip alone. It would have been 2 am before I would have gotten back home! After fussing at him and praying to God about it, I watched the weather last night and saw where the hurricane was coming into south Texas. Well, I decided that maybe it was not be wise to make the trip alone. So I will miss being there with y’all tonight! Please pray that God will encourage me today as I study His Word alone instead of with a grand groups of siestas! Love, Lynn

  30. 280
    Amy says:

    Thank you for just being real…and really honest. My marriage sounds very similar to yours, except we’ve only had 14 years of it. Fourteen years of a tangly knot. Thanks for the reminder to just get back to some simplicity. Love ya, Momma Siesta!

  31. 281
    Osoblonde says:

    So enjoyed this blog. My husband and I had one of those days yesterday. Wish we had taken a walk! We’ve been married 37 years and love each other to pieces (which is nothing less than a God ordained miracle). Sometimes we let the world crowd out the quiet times together. I believe we’ll just take a walk! Love your honesty.

  32. 282
    Rebecca says:

    Was your man walking around with his shotgun again??? hehehehe

    Glad you guys got away to steal a few moments for yourselves. Really, there’s nothing better for a relationship than to share some of God’s beauty. πŸ™‚

    Prayers and blessings,

  33. 283
    Tina says:

    Oh Beth….Thank you for always keepin’ it real….how you have a blessed a my soul with these words today. Thank you for being open to Him.

    Many many blessings to you, Christina

  34. 284
    Cindy says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I needed to read that today–after just getting through a rough patch with my man. Glad to be on the other side of it. Wise enough to know it wasn’t the last one! πŸ™‚

  35. 285
    Julie in Idaho says:

    Your post touched me and made me think about where I like to go when things are feeling “off”. Although I don’t get there often, when my world is feeling really off, I’ve been known to drive to the coast and sit for hours just watching the ocean waves and enjoying the sunsets. Very peaceful and I always come home thinking that things are manageable again.

  36. 286
    Dawn MIchelle says:

    What a beautiful picture of the on again, off-again journey of marriage – over the river (or flood waters) and through the woods we go to that elusive place called marital bliss… Thank you, Beth – After a weekend of wrestling with a gnawing, un-named discontentment, I needed to be reminded to rest secure (Can you tell I’m still in my So Long Book study?)in the quiet times with my hubby of 30 years. And I do LOVE that man. Glory!!!

  37. 287
    Dionna says:

    Sounds beautiful and just what a soul (or marriage) needs from time to time.

    And you only took 15 minutes to breathe again after that copperhead? I think it would’ve taken me a good 2 hours. πŸ™‚

  38. 288

    As I read your awesome post I thought, “my man needs to read this – maybe then he’d hike with me sometime!” that was before I got to the snake part! (That little episode would seal our non-hiking life in stone for him; so your post remains for my heart only.) Oh, and your hair looked great. Wish mine did that in humidity. πŸ™‚

  39. 289
    Brandie says:

    What a beautiful post!

  40. 290
    Tina Harrell says:

    Beth, Thanks for being so real. I love that about you! The walk looked beautiful. I would not have been able to have my picture taken though, because I would have peed my pants after coming across that snake!!

  41. 291

    GREAT post, my sister!! As one who has been married almost 46 years to a man as different from me as night is from day, I can only say Amen and AMEN to every word you’ve written. I know all about the twists, turns and bumps in the trail – but the knot that ties us together in this journey is here to stay … Thank you, Jesus!

  42. 292
    Lori says:

    I love knots!

  43. 293
    His Jules says:

    Oh Wow!!! Thanks so much for sharing this – It is so nice to be reminded that in this life with its ups and downs we all have our ΓΆn times”and our ΓΆff”times..

    I feel very honored that you shared this beautiful time with us! I feel as if I went for a stroll with you…and it was good.

  44. 294
    MrsRitz says:

    I love this. So true. Thanks for sharing. Now I must go carve C+J into something right away! =)

  45. 295
    BJ says:

    We’ve been married 31 years too… and your words, wow, you couldn’t have expressed “my thoughts” more clearly!! Love my man dearly, through every walk we take. πŸ™‚

  46. 296
    Joan says:

    This post is why we love you, Beth. It has everything Beth Moore-ish about it (“BethMoore makes me hungry!” – to quote a pancake-eating child) and always leaves us wanting moore. Thank you.

  47. 297
    JoAnn Janik says:

    Lovely pics and lovely, from the heart, truths. It’s wonderful to get away from this world for just a moment in time and reconnect; even if it’s just with yourself. Even more so that you are in-tuned to know when it’s time to. Silence can be truly “golden”. It’s a gift you give yourself and your loved ones.

    My favorite spots are at the beach in a lounge chair listening to the ocean and watching the seagulls and then, my parents porch thats on a golf course on Lake Conroe (outside of Houston). Early morning, just looking out over the dew covered course and watching the dragon flies and butterflies dancing to the morning. Glorious !!

    God Bless you both in your on and off seasons. We all have them.

  48. 298
    Kris says:

    Oh thank you Beth for reminding me that what I (we) are feeling after 39 years of being together is not so unusual! I love my man dearly but sometimes I struggle to know why and I’m sure he feels the same way.

  49. 299
    Karen Huber says:

    I lost “my man” last year to cancer and this made me happy and sad – we loved the outdoors and woods, when he was able to walk (not the last few years, as he was in a wheelchair). Like you, I would over-talk things, but these times with nature were some of our best. I think that’s because God is always found in the outdoors and we could feel Him closer to us there than anywhere!!!

    Ladies, hold on to your men and love them with all you’ve got. You may not always have them with you on earth.

  50. 300
    Deborah says:

    Thank you, Friend. The writing and pictures are beautiful…and it helps this ‘maybe not ever’ keep in mind a.) marriage doesn’t equal constant lifelong bliss, b.) to pray for my married friends and c.) contentment is only ever fully found in walking step by step with God and trusting him for the ‘on and offs’…that occur in every facet of life.

    Love & prayer <3

Leave a Reply

To receive a daily digest of comments on this post, enter your email address below: