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. 351

    This is hilarious!! So, so glad you let us see your “messies” and never act like it’s “naught but hearts, flowers, and twittering birds” on your path of love (grinning). I’m pretty sure most of us can identify with you and the whole Opposites Marry One Another thesis.

    I thought you’d get a hoot and a holler out of this column I wrote on this very subject a couple of years ago. Never considered divorce. Ever. But murder…?


    Laughing and waving…

  2. 352
    lindsay says:

    so good, so pure, and i am so thankful for you sharing from your heart.

  3. 353
    MamaCat says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this, Beth! I SO needed to be reminded that every time my husband and I disagree, we are NOT headed to divorce court! And that if we were exactly the same, what a boring marriage it would be. Bless you for sharing. (Married for 27 years.)

  4. 354
    Mary says:

    My daughter (a regular on this site) suggested I might enjoy today’s post. I certainly did. I especially liked the confirmation that there are on and off days and even maybe seasons of married life.
    I, being an emotionally driven woman, get worried with the ups and downs. I’ve been married 40 years this August and it seems like yesterday that we dreamed of our life together.
    This season is mixed with grown children, grandchildren and parents who need to be taken care of. It’s a weird mix, me being the age I am and never really analyzing this period of my life like I did the others.
    But I agree Beth. You have the words that express my feelings and reassure me that it’s all going to be okay because I belong to the Lord and he loves me.

  5. 355
    Martha Helen says:

    doesn’t it seem that way.. that we go for a walk to reconnect and we run into a snake along the way? maybe i’m reading too much into it but i think that can be significant. a real reminder of the true enemy of our marriages who wants to see them crumble.. and enough motivation to keep going and pushing through the hard seasons because of that. (very appropriate to me then that keith bashed that snake in with a stick.) my husband and i have only been married 4 years but i feel like we’ve seen some very OFF times. πŸ™‚ sometimes its a little scary wondering what 30 more years will be like?? πŸ™‚ but when i really think about it even the few years we have had together have been worth the pain and cost. it isn’t perfect. i so hoped it would be. but it is just one of the greatest tools God uses to point me back to Himself and to sanctify this selfish, sinful girl. praise Him for His wisdom!

  6. 356
    A Heart to Know Him says:

    Silence is good.It is RARE indeed these days. Oh how the Lord wishes that more of His people would be still and rest.

    “For thus said the Lord Jehovah, The Holy One of Israel: `In returning and rest ye are saved, In keeping quiet and in confidence is your might,” (Youngs Literal Is.30:15).

  7. 357
    Michele says:

    Beth, it made me so happy to be reading this particular post on my very first day of sitting in on my hubby’s OT class.

    P.S. You look adorable in the iphone pict!

  8. 358
    mommathieszen says:

    Thank you for being “real” with your sisters, Beth. It brought tears to my eyes as I once again realize how much we are all alike and how much the Lord relies on us to seek each other out in order to get through this life sane. I’m lovin’ my man today in a fresh way…even if we are more “off” than “on” lately. Blessings.

  9. 359
    Kari says:

    Although I didn’t realize at the time, there were quite a few pages missing from my “things you ought to know about marriage before getting married” book. I can say with a good deal of certainty that I never saw my parents at the stage of an argument where they said (with words or action)….”This is tough, you drive me crazy, but by golly we’re in this together and we will make it through!)

    I wish they had set this example for me. My husband and I have been married almost 9 years and I think that some of those rough days would have been smoother if either one of us had known how to have a healthy fight. (Healthy fight just doesn’t sound right!!)

    I actually read this post yesterday and thought about it all evening and morning, so I came back to it to tell you thank you for the lesson.

  10. 360
    Lisa W. says:

    Yesterday my man and I celebrated 19 years of marriage. We shouldn’t have made it the first five. God is so good. I can’t tell you how much encouragement it has been for me over the years to hear you speak openly about your marriage. Thank you so much for that. I thank God for you (and pray for you and your family) for the growth in my walk with the Lord through your tremendous ministry. Looking forward to the Revelation study, we begin Monday. 53 ladies have signed up so far, praise God. PS. Blessed to be a home girl last night, wonderful time in the Lord, can’t wait for the next lesson! Love you and thankful for Living Proof!

  11. 361
    Peggy Kampmann says:


    I so enjoyed reading this. It does inspire me to spend some qualtiy time with my guy. I cannot always do things outside because I have severe allergies but maybe early mornings could work. Thanks for shariing.

  12. 362
    Heather says:

    Oh dear goodness, that was beautifully poetic and intimate writing. What a priviledge to read. I even read it slower than a regular post, like stroll in the country.

    (I don’t know what a deer blind is, but I made up a definition when you said kissing blind…like an SAT question.)

  13. 363
    Sue says:

    Beth, just want to join everyone else in thanking you for being so real. I’ve only been married half as long as you but I know exactly what you mean about there being seasons. The world tells us that marriage should be easy and that’s just not true. Despite our differences, my husband and I are committed to God and each other- and I know He is the only reason we survive.

    I can’t tell you what a blessing your teachings and this blog have been to me and so many of the women I love. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I often pray for health, protection, peace and happiness for you and your family. It’s the only way I can think of to “thank” you. πŸ™‚

  14. 364
    Destee says:

    I just love you to pieces. Thanks for being real. Every time I check out this blog I leave with something. I love this part:
    “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.”

    Our knot has been together almost 11 years (this November)….and I can certainly relate to the twisted nature of it lol!

  15. 365
    Esabelle says:

    Thanks for the lovely walk and the reminder of all that
    God has made. Having been married for 35 years, I understand totally what you’re saying. I loved the peace your pictures showed. I have a 30 year old son who is going through a particularly rough time right now emotionally and spiritually and God’s peace is such a comfort. Prayers are always welcome.
    Thanks again,

  16. 366
    Tami says:

    Thanks for the reminder!! My cute hubby of 28 years and I are in one of those same seasons. But we too have learned just to keep hanging on…the season will change soon. I had my daughter read this blog. She has been married for two years, and hit her first season of that feeling of disconnect with her hubby. I just spent time the other day explaining that this will happen throughout their marriage, but it will swing back soon, and so on. Your blog came at a good time so that she could see that successful marriages all ebb and flow.

  17. 367
    Joy says:

    Thanks for sharing that. It made me smile, as after 24 years I can totally relate.

  18. 368
    Dee says:

    It’s so easy for me to feel condemnation when things with my husband seem “off.” Thanks for reminding me that it’s normal and I’m not alone.

  19. 369
    Kristie says:

    Thank you for sharing this. It helps me to know that someone as amazing, passionate and devoted to God as you can have these challenges in marriage… and that you’ve learned to take them in stride. I’m still learning, 15 years into my marriage. Thanks for the encouragement.

  20. 370
    Marsha says:

    After 26 years, my life sounds the same with my hubby. He is such a manly man. I am processor and he is the fact finder. But, as odd as we are, it works for us even when it isn’t working – if that makes any sense at all. Our commonalities are bigger than we think. Thanks for the reminder Miss Beth.

  21. 371
    Okiegirl says:

    Thanks Beth for the honest everyday life words. My husband and I have a special place we just “hang out” with God’s creation. It is a wonderful place to just be quiet together – I feel your need to always talk things until they are fixed, but in that place I don’t have to fix anything it seems. The pictures are gorgeous and make me homesick for “our” place. We are separated geographically right now because I am staying with my parents who are both quite ill. The hope of returning to that place of quiet keeps me moving forward. Thanks again for sharing your real self.

  22. 372
    Melissa F says:

    I get it. It’s only been 8 years for us, but I get it. I like to think that people would give up on marriage even more so if it were boring. Praise God for ups and downs πŸ™‚

  23. 373
    Mare says:

    married 20 yrs in Feb…been struggling with the end of my sister’s marriage – after years and years she chose to leave the struggles behind and forsake her man for the “greener pasture” of on-line dating. With plenty of my own marriage struggles (on and off seasons for sure) it shook my sense of security when they broke up. I had known my bro in law since I was 14 years old and felt so sad…then it hit me…my sister and brother in law were married on the EXACT same day as you and Kieth – 31 years ago. Love is indeed a choice. I CHOOSE to love my man today…and tomorrow and the next….on or off I choose to stay committed.

  24. 374
    Kathryn says:

    Thank you so much for this sweet post. I find your authenticity so humbling and encouraging. πŸ™‚

  25. 375
    Sandee says:

    I related this to my relationship with my kids (being a single mom) and how sometimes it does get crunchy, but we are in it together all the same… Then I thought of how it feels like some times I am distant from God…and a long quiet walk with Him is just what is needed.

    Thank you for sharing this Beth.

  26. 376
    Donna says:

    We saw two deer out our back door Labor Day… but what I enjoyed most were the leaves on the trees starting to change. Hopefully cooler weather is on it’s way.
    I love reading your blog… It makes me feel like a message just for me from a dear friend.
    Also, My Bible Study group just finished your Revelation study. We’re all looking forward to the next study. We now have 20 members; we started with 6.
    Thank you for all your hard work and following the Lord.
    The Lord Bless you.

  27. 377

    Wow…. I am not married (yet), but I so love to hear about or read about REAL life/REAL marriage! God bless you for sharing! I know this blessed many. It certainly blessed me. I pray the Lord continues to bless and strengthen your knot for years to come.

  28. 378
    Shalom says:

    Amen sister

  29. 379
    Cindy says:

    I loved this. I love that you are so real. I needed that. I am 51 years old and widowed but also separated at the time of his death. Our marriage was disfinctional at best. I am now dating a good decent mighty man of God. Praise God, He really does work all things together for our good. My prayer is for us to be used of God together. You being so real about your marriage gives those of us hope who are seeking it desparately.

  30. 380
    Tina says:


    This is a beautiful post and so encourages me in my own walk. Your writing is a delight to read. You truly know how to turn a phrase and it is joy to my mind!

    And come to think of it… the body of believers is one big twisted knot – but STILL a knot held together by Christ ALONE!

    Love you!!!!

  31. 381
    Susan Gray says:

    I love your reflections and your pictures. My hubby and I don’t get to spend much alone time during the summer with the kids home. We desperately miss that time together and struggle toward the end of the summer. We took a hike Friday, the kids first day of school, and had quite an adventure. We didn’t walk upon a snake, but upon a naked man at a campsite (sorry I don’t have pics). Needless to say, it gave us a lot to talk about. By the way, you look precious in your picture, as usual.

  32. 382
    Melissa says:

    Thank you Beth for your honesty! I pray it is in God’s plan to heal my marriage. I know He wants to and can, but needs the participation of my beloved. My heart is broken and suffering the loss of his love. I pray your marriage contunes to thrive, despite the bumps in the road. Thank you for not allowing satan to claim any glory here!

  33. 383
    Penny says:

    Very well said and experienced by many….thanks for your honest thoughts.

  34. 384
    Liza says:

    “Like” (Facebook lingo)

  35. 385
    Kay says:

    Your post was so precious and sweet. Thank you for sharing. It was like fresh rain falling, renewing everything. My husband and I love to sit outside each morning as the sun comes up but love it even more when we are out in the woods or mountains – it’s so renewing.

    …and by the way, Falling Forward was off the charts glorious. My prayer for you was from John 1:14 “We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” He was there; He was right there.


  36. 386

    About that snake. It would have taken a lot more than 15 minutes for my blood pressure to go back to normal! In fact, I would have had to be delivered to the hospital immediately, if I survived at all! You have never met anyone more terrified of snakes in all of your life. I promise you! I react this way to tiny gardner snakes! I just do not do snakes! And yet I run around in bear country all the time, go figure! I’m pretty sure I’d have a heart attack if I ever saw one, though. I know what you mean about marrying on a whim. My husband and I hadn’t even known each other for a year when we got married! We were out of our minds! I was such a mess it wasn’t even funny and shortly after we got married, my chronic depression went careening out of control and he spent the next ten or so years baby-sitting me to make sure I didn’t do anything too stupid or worse nothing at all (like taking care of our children that we also had no business having). As a result he could hardly work at all. He took out more loans then I even want to think about. Apparently Idaho does not consider depression a disability (I beg to differ), so he got no help at all. Our church didn’t even want to touch it and didn’t feel sorry for us at all. They figured my condition was entirely my fault and they shouldn’t have to take care of me. As a result, we are in debt up to our eyeballs and will probably never get out. We don’t enjoy any of the same things. The only thing we can do is eat together! I love the city, he loves the country. He can’t stand coffee, I love coffee! We have Jesus and food and that’s it and it seems to work for us. He will never get me in a raft hurling down the nearby whitewater rapids, not unless he wants to hospitalize me again! And shopping with him is a nightmare! He’s no fun at all. He just has no appreciation for cute clothes! He only wears clothes cause they’re required by law and he wouldn’t want to cause anyone to stumble! I figure if I have to buy them they might as well be cute. I don’t even buy boring pens. No plain black or blue for me, thanks! I have pink, purple, green, blue, etc. Take your pick! When I’m writing or taking notes when I get bored with that color, I just reach in my bible and get another one! He just rolls his eyes! Anyway, you get the idea. Sorry, I didn’t mean to write an entire blog post myself!

  37. 387
    Kelly Ford says:

    What a wonderful, honest post. I love it πŸ™‚ Thanks!

  38. 388
    Barb D says:

    Hi Beth, This blog is ever so timely. I’ve also been married for 31 years to a sweet man. We met “accidentally, married impulsively” me at 18, and he was 21. What we had in common were partying, and, well, lust. 31 years later, all partying behind us, thank God, we are empty nesters struggling to find anything in common. We love each other dearly, and our knot is securely tied as well. I could sit with a good book, go to Starbucks and just watch people, take long walks or ride bikes; I’m a thinker and a talker; he is neither. He likes to watch sports…period. I am in a season of discontent, but know that it is just that..a season. There’s so much more to this story, but I guess I just wanted you to know that I found comfort in your words today. Thank you.

    • 388.1

      We could definitely hang out in Starbucks and read and talk about our deep thoughts, cause that is me, too. It’s why I love to write. It sounds like we have similar pasts as well. It’s nice to know we’re not alone, isn’t it? My husband is also much more adventurous than me, although he’d much rather be playing sports than watching. Playing sports scares me. I always find a way to hurt myself. I suck at sports, so I stay stuck in my little world of thoughtfulness, and talking and mostly writing, cause most do not want to listen.

  39. 389

    A man and wife enjoying Creation, interrupted by a snake. Hmmm…sounds familiar.

    At least your man killed the snake! He’s more like the Second Adam πŸ™‚

  40. 390
    Joyce Bailey says:

    Thank you, Beth, for the insight into your normal marriage. I now have another item to list in your own personal column in my prayer journal. –married 37 yrs.

  41. 391
    Rachel says:

    What a beatiful post. This really spoke to my heart today. Sometimes it is so easy to listen to the world all around that says that if your man isn’t making you happy something is wrong.

    I really liked what you said about off seasons and on seasons. At this time in my life with two small kids I often feel like my husband and I are just living together, surviving, and being “mommy and daddy”. This post reminded me, yet again (God seems to be doing that a lot lately) that I need to live with an eye on the future and not just worry about getting through today.

    Thank you so much for letting us have a glimpse into that precious time with your husband. You are good for my heart Mama Beth!

  42. 392
    Grace says:

    Hi Beth

    I have never commented before, but I read your blog every day (well, whenever there are new posts!).

    Really I am writing today though to tell you that I am in the middle of your online study today of “Believing God” and I am sitting here laughing my head off at the picture of yourself you have just painted in Week 6. Where you tell us what your life would have been like if you’d had it your way and say all you wanted to do in church was play in the handbell choir! And then they rejected you to boot! That just tickled me silly for some reason (imagining you there in your white gloves concentrating on that music so you don’t miss your notes!). πŸ˜€ Thanks for the great mental visual. And of course, thank you for your teaching. Satan is trying to thwart my studying efforts lately, so you can pray for me that he won’t succeed. He’s being very crafty about it too. So I will go back to my study now so I can see what happens next but in many ways my life is your life and you give me much encouragement. Our group bible study begins tomorrow for the Fall at church and we are doing your study “Living Beyond Yourself”. I can’t wait. Thanks again.

  43. 393
    Sarah says:

    Thank you for reminding us that marriage is okay when it’s “on again off again” And even if we “met unexpectedly” and married impulsively” It can and last ’til death!

  44. 394

    By the way, what a beautiful area! I didn’t know Texas had trees! I thought you just had cactus and it was flat and ugly! Sorry, just a mountain girl! I have zero appreciation for the desert.

  45. 395
    Gail Hanson says:

    Thanks for being transparent and real. I love you all the Moore because you are! My husband and I have been married for the same years and I totally ‘get’ it. The ups and downs and highs and lows. The ebb and flow. Aaaaaa….. marriage.

  46. 396
    Erica says:

    Oh, how thankful I am that a good friend suggested I come and read this post! We have been out of town, so I was a bit behind, but this writing was such an encouragment for me today!

  47. 397
    Dawn says:

    Thanks for letting us come along on your morning Texas stroll, Beth ~ it was soo…refreshing! It’s good to be reminded that both ‘off and on’ are ‘normal’ seasons even in well-knotted marriages …your transparency and words of wisdom are a blessing!

  48. 398
    Susan says:

    I love the pictures. I am so glad ya’ll had fun. Yuck with the snake I would have run like crazy. Ya’ll have a blessed day! Only four more Years and Hubby gets to retire from law enforcement and maybe we’ll have a normal marriage. Love ya’ll God Bless!

  49. 399
    Lichelle says:


    Thank you for sharing your heart with us. It is awsome that you love us so. This post is also a great reminder that married or not married, sometimes you just have to be still. I am not married but with the hustle and bustle of work and kids, I just need to get away and what better place than in nature where we can see His glory all around us. Oh and I will have to say this… I am thankful Keith carries a shot gun to kill snakes… they just don’t need to be here. I think that is my biggest phobia…

    Anyway, loved the stories, loved the pictures and loving you too!

  50. 400
    Tracy Stoffell says:

    I loved this blog, and as I read it I found myself thinking about how I really needed to take the time to just sit, and listen to God. Thanks for being so honest in your blogs its great see. I have a blog myself if you have time it is http://tracyscoffeecafe.blogspot.com/


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