My man and me

Thirty-eight years tomorrow.

The organist played the wedding march and I stood next to my Daddy in the foyer with my heart pounding like clapping thunder in my chest and wearing an ever so slightly off-white, nothing special wedding dress so as not to be a total fraud. We’d rented the dress for $65 and it never even occurred to me to mind. I come from very modest means and there was no world in which I expected my parents to spend several hundred dollars on a dress. They didn’t have it. And, except for the monthly stresses of bill paying in our home and overhearing my mom on the phone with bankers about overdrafts and loans and mortgages, we didn’t care that we made it by the skin of our teeth. It was normal to us and, for that matter, normal to most of the people we knew.

The congregation of about 200 came to its loud feet with the prelude and almost that many faces looked straight back at me and Daddy. My eyes darted up the middle aisle of that small Baptist church, shifting back and forth from smiling face to smiling face, many very familiar to me despite having been there a few short years. I served wherever I churched because that’s what I was raised to do. Never considered not. That day at Spring Woods Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, my wide-eyed gaze also fell on a few faces of those who filled the front aisles. Family members. And, trust me when I tell you, they weren’t smiling. Every year around our anniversary, Keith and I recount the whole ignominious scene with one another and mock the family scowls and laugh until our sides split. Nothing could have been less humorous on that particular day but the thought that we spited all of them by making it this long brings Keith and me no small glee. We were both in long term stable relationships when we met. I was engaged. He was soon to be. Each of our families loved our significant others. And, in a way I won’t go into trying to explain, so did we.

I’m not sure Keith and I ourselves completely understand why we dropped everything dependable and remotely stable in our lives and flew headlong into one another with all the tranquility of a pair of cymbals. The best explanation is that clamor attracts clamor and baggage attracts baggage and, boy, did we each have some. And then there was just pure chemistry. Had we been married to other people when we met, God help us, I trust we would have either ignored or resisted it or, by that time, never met but the fact was, we weren’t married, we did meet and we did not remotely ignore nor resist one another.

The words “wedding planner” weren’t even in my vocabulary or that of anyone I knew. The woman standing in the foyer with Dad and me on the day of the wedding was one of the very same women who brought a green bean casserole or jello salad every Wednesday night to fellowship supper. When the organ piped up, she nodded her head, touched my shoulder and said “Now.” She’d told us to go slow and Dad and I had practiced the night before but, for the life of me, I was either going to run down that aisle to that man in the tux or my hind end was going to flee to the parking lot where I’d holler like a wild hyena until somebody picked me up and hijacked me to Mexico.

I cannot say that it did not help that Keith Moore was the most beautiful man I’d ever kissed in all my life. Dad and I flew so fast down that aisle that my veil nearly took me to the wind like the flying nun.

A thought which carries impressive irony.

In seconds it seemed, the pastor said to the congregation, “Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Keith Moore.”

And, just like that, the wedding was over.

Let the drama begin.

And I guess in a lot of ways it’s never come to an end. It’s just a different kind of drama these days for the most part.

I’ve been asked many times if I’ll ever write a book on marriage. I don’t expect to. I have no intention of setting us up as some exemplary couple. Keith and I have not had a great marriage. But, somehow, in recent years, we’ve managed to find ourselves in a pretty good one. And I guess it’s fair to say you’ve never met two people happier about being pretty happy.

We don’t just kiss on our anniversary. We high five.

I’m really reluctant to do what I’m about to do because what if he and I get into the biggest fight of our lives tonight and I maniacally hurl all his fishing gear and deer heads and forty pair of unders in the front yard? I’ve never done that before but I’ve always known I had it in me. I’ve always kept my pitching arm in shape for such a time as this. And what if one of the neighbors videos us and I end up on the YouTube cussing? I’ve never been one to cuss much but, if I’m ever going to have a cussing conniption, it will be my luck to have it on the YouTube. One time I did try to leave Keith and he said, “Go right ahead. Leave me. But you’ll look in your rearview mirror and there I will be and not because I like you any better than you like me. Because I don’t. But because we are married and married we’ll stay.” Keith never was a great Catholic except about the one thing I wished he’d been more Baptist about: splitting.

And so, like somebody pulling teeth, I’m reluctantly going to tell you with little commentary a few of the things that have kept us at it, every single one of which is nothing but the dripping grace of Jesus. We can’t even take credit for the things that have actually worked. So here goes and then I’m closing this post and publishing it before I change my mind.

If you don’t mind, I’m going to do this backwards and start with the bottom line because everything else comes back to this: We have both and each been willing, many times through bitter tears and against our human-hearted natural preferences, to choose to love each other again. Over and over and over and over.  After some really harsh things.

We had Amanda nine months and two weeks from our wedding day after being told I’d need surgery to conceive. Liar, liar pants on fire. We may as well have named her Elmers. She was the glue God used to hold our first few years together. Then came Melissa, who was a dyed in the wool daddy’s girl. We still wouldn’t have made it even with them to consider, I’m sorry to say, if not for that one bottom line above.

We developed compassion for one another. We were both messed up and we each understood why. And, I really don’t know a better way to say it, we felt sorry for one another and started trying to help each other get better.

The fact that I could sob as I write this next one is fittingly ironic. We each think the other is hilarious. The only thing Keith and I have done as much as fight is laugh. I don’t know why we got that gift but we did. We even laughed at times in the terrible years. We tried not to but we couldn’t help ourselves. We are each the most absurd person the other has ever met. We are a cartoon strip and we know it.

One last thing. I told Keith before we were engaged that God had placed a call on my life at 18 and, if he didn’t think he could handle it, he better run for his life. Having no other paradigm for a woman in ministry, he looked at me with a measure of horror and said, “Are you going to be a nun?” (We’d made out for the better part of the last hour so the absurdity of this one makes me rub my forehead with no small delight.)  No, I said, to which he responded, “Then I’m in.” And he has been. For somewhere around 15 Bible studies, numerous other books, 23 years of Sunday School lessons, many years of Tuesday night Bible study and two Friday nights a month with me on the road. Unwaveringly. And not as a weakling but as the strongest willed man I’ve ever met. Nobody need wonder who wears the Wranglers in my family. And you may as well not go to seed feeling sorry for him. He’d have to lie to say I ignored him and then I’d have to hit him with my purse and, considering all the lip glosses in it, it would hurt considerably. Him, not me. He just wasn’t the kind that would be ignored. When we were at home together, we were at home together. I didn’t hang out on the phone all the time doing ministry or study my commentaries in front of him – I did that while he was at work – or flip through magazines. To this day, if I’m messing around on social media on my phone when I’m with him, he’ll say, “Pay attention to me!” And I’m glad he will. And I do. Or we’d have nothing.

And, finally, after many years, I returned a certain spiritual favor after all he’d done to be supportive of my calling: I just accepted him like he was and quit trying to turn him into a deacon or some big spiritual beacon. He didn’t want to be one. Doesn’t want to now.

Thirty-eight years tomorrow. This one man and me. We’ve decided to stay in this dance a little bit longer.

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Because, ladies and gentlemen, smilers and scowlers, we are Mr. and Mrs. Keith Moore.

 

 

 

 

 

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396 Responses to “My man and me”

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Fran Thomas says:

    This right here makes us all smile. Thank you for sharing so much of your life with us. We are better because of it. May God keep you on the adventure of life with Keith Moore all the days of your life without changing one thing…..understanding, respect, love, fun and laughter!

    Blessings upon blessings over you both! Thanks Keith for sharing your beloved bride with us. I thank God for you both.

  2. 2
    Eileen says:

    I know God wanted me to read this today. In so many ways, I feel I was reading my own marriage story. It will be 25 years soon and last night I was wondering if we would make it. Your post was a reminder that I need to move on and love him through it like we always do.

    Thank you so much for such a timely post.

  3. 3
    Joelle says:

    Excellent adorable inspiring. So glad you posted. Happy 38th anniversary this week!!

  4. 4
    Amie says:

    Happy Anniversary!! Thank you so much for sharing this!! Just a reminder that things don’t have to be perfect but that we can choose to continue loving each other no matter what.

  5. 5
    Sheri says:

    Happy anniversary! Thanks for sharung your story!

  6. 6
    Miki says:

    Amen, sister! We must tell the truth about marriage to let people know that hiring the mercenary is not the answer. Marriage is worth the trouble. It takes grit, and God will provide it. Love you, Beth!

  7. 7
    Tracy says:

    Wow.
    Thank you for sharing this.
    Thank you for being real.
    I was told that I was disposable by my ex when he left. I know that is not true.
    Marriage is a battle. Thank you for standing and fighting for yours.
    You and your man are in my prayers.

  8. 8
    Casey says:

    Precious. I remember seeing your wedding dress photo in the front of a Bible study and thinking how hard marriage can be and loved that you took the time to celebrate it and yourself.

    Happy Anniversary!!

  9. 9
    Carla Walton says:

    32 years for us today!! Blessings on you both !! You ARE an inspiration and example. I think your Keith and my Chad would be friends … they sound so similar. And, I know you and I would be. Thanks for all you do.

  10. 10
    Gaylann Cropley says:

    Don’t delete this…..there are many like you who need to hear this. You are truly a blessing and an inspiration to many in this world, including myself. I am grateful and thankful for who you are. I now live in WV, but I saw you in Lewiston, ME. I will someday see you in person again.

    It seems God speaks to many through you. Thank you.

    Continue what you do and I am gllad Keith has stood by a truly good woman.

  11. 11
    Marilyn Leavens says:

    I love your marriage story, thank you for sharing. My husband and I have been married 56 years. The marriage gets stronger every day because it is iron sharpening iron. Never never never give up. It’s so worth the long winding road. Best wishes for another 37.

  12. 12
    Sally German says:

    PERFECT Perfect PERFECT!!!!
    I loved this blog about your marriage. We Could double date. My husband and I will celebrate 50 years next week, Jan 9th. You are so right. We just fixed it when we needed to. It is hard work, but worth it in the end!! Well done Beth. Hang in there! Love your bible studies. I had Bible study here in my home for 9 years doing your studies. We laughed and cried.. Just like marriage LOL. God bless you and your marriage for many more years.

  13. 13
    Janet Hecker says:

    Love this!! In many
    more ways than I care to admit, quite similar to my husband and my 29 year marriage. Some good years but many just surviving years. But Jesus was there and we were and are both committed to Him and to us. I can honestly say it has gotten better and better and 2 daughters leaving us empty nesters hasn’t hurt! Thank you for your candor. I love the way you write. Happy Anniversary!

  14. 14
    Ellen Roth says:

    Congratulations! Love you because you and Keith are the real deal!

  15. 15
    Lisa says:

    What a beautiful, honest and inspiring message! Thank you so much for sharing all of that! And Happy Anniversary!

  16. 16
    Emily Jordan says:

    I absolutely love this post!! Just celebrated my 25th anniversary to my man and I could so relate to all you mentioned! Thanks for sharing. It was a fabulous read!!

  17. 17
    Timi Saffell says:

    Oh sweet Jesus, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!! The realness of this post is so encouraging. My how the enemy would have us believe we can’t be used effectively in ministry when things aren’t perfect at home. If I only had a dollar for every time Satan has whispered to me, ‘where do you get off trying to give her wisdom and encouragement in that relationship? She may not know what’s brewing at home, but I do.’ Thank you Beth and may God bless you and Keith with many, many ‘Moore’ years!

  18. 18
    Elaine Morrow says:

    Thank you Beth for being honest. My husband has been gone 7 years and we had our struggles, too. But we stayed together 32 years before he died. We both knew we loved each other.
    Happy Anniversary!

  19. 19
    Kristin says:

    Glad I got to read it- so real and honest! ❤

  20. 20
    K Carroll says:

    Ms Beth of all your posts I’ve read, and there have been a lot in all my years of following you, this is definitely my favorite. Your authenticity, your humor, your tenacity all in one post. And a post I too can relate to, as I have a similar marriage! Congratulations Mr & Mrs Moore. & many ‘Moore’ years to ya!

  21. 21
    Ruth says:

    I love this post. Thank you for your honesty. People tend to think that those in ministry are super-naturally “godly”, and we’re not !! We are all just human. And flawed. And saved only by His amazing grace. I need to know that you are just like me, because that way I can believe there is hope. So thank you, Beth, for sharing and for just being real.

  22. 22
    Kara says:

    This is so timely. My man and I are similar. I had just come from a long term relationship where I was engaged to us getting married. We are complete opposite humans! And when we fight – boy do we fight. And sometimes we have stayed together only because we have two babies who need their mom and dad – and frankly, because Jesus says so. Just last night he said sometimes I wonder if there are not better people who are suited for each other – to which I replied “you’d be bored!” And then we laughed. Thanks for sharing – glad to know there are others out there!

  23. 23
    Fake Name says:

    Dang it, Beth Moore. I wasn’t even in a crying mood. Thank you for choosing to post this. My man and I have 20yrs together, 14yrs married, met at 15, now have 3 kids. I try soooo hard to maintain a consistentcy of calmness/respect/”dignity” in our relationship but IT IS JUST NOT US. We love hard. We fight hard. We laugh hard. It’s never occurred to me till now that maybe that’s ok. No one makes me crack up or cuss like he does. I do wonder why God gave what could only be a wild ride of a relationship to an already wild person. We’ve already had to willfully just choose love countless times. Can’t imagine choosing it, or not actually, for 38 tilt-a-whirl years. Congrats. Thank you again for sharing that it’s a choice. A day to day, crisis to crisis, and cackle to cackle choice.

  24. 24
    Therese Schlotte says:

    I was so frustrated (mad at) God last night and it’s hard to be mad at God when you have even a glimpse of Who He is…Loooong story short: I told him I needed to hear from him, and not just a trite(sorry, my attitude needs Jesus) bible verse. I cried myself to sleep after rolling over to the other side of the king size bed and forcing myself to give my (imperfect) husband a hug. Then this morning, just out of the blue, this blog appears. I hesitated to read it. I LOVE your writing Mrs. Beth Moore

  25. 25
    Colleen says:

    Mrs. Keith Moore… the fact that your marriage isn’t perfect, that you have knock down, drag out fights, is EXACTLY why it is an example to be looked to by myself and others. Because you stick with it, and you choose to love again… and that’s what it’s all about… sticking with it even when it’s hard because marriage is… marriage.

  26. 26
    Denise says:

    Thanks Beth and Congratulations.

  27. 27
    Claudette Matthie says:

    God bless you both and a very happy anniversary. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your story. You are down to earth, real. Hilarious but encouraging. I love your messages and can’t wait for you to be daily on TBN. Much love to you and family.

  28. 28
    S Wilson says:

    Beth – this blog gives me much hope. My husband and I too celebrate our anniversary tomorrow, 10 years, but this has been a horrible year for our marriage. We started out the year with a move across country to Texas which produced a job with long hours and lots of travel (something we weren’t used to), a great family trip with our 3 littles to Disney California and then tradegy struck…my husband told me he was divorcing me. The last 8 months has been a fight to keep my marriage together. We still live together but that’s about the extent of our marriage. Part of our struggle is he knows God with his mind but not his heart, and has no desire to have a relationship with our Savior.

    A miracle came over Christmas though and for the first time in years we enjoyed each other’s company during our long Christmas weekend. We actually had a really good time as a couple and family. Tomorrow we are heading to Austin, alone to celebrate our 10th anniversary. This is huge.

    Your story reminds me very much of mine from the very beginning of your story. It gives me hope that my husband and I can not only repair our marriage but have a great relationship one day. Thanks for being brave and sharing because I really needed to hear your story.

  29. 29
    Marilyn Leslie says:

    Thank you for sharing this post. I don’t have a perfect marriage either, but after 36 years Iam grateful for my husband who is much better than I deserve. Accepting him for who he is instead of trying to change him, has made a huge differencein our marriage. God bless you for being transparent.

  30. 30
    Sandy says:

    What an inspiration!!!! Congrats! You help me understand that my husband us who he is cuz God made him m that way and it’s ok. We’ve been married 45 years and I still want him to be a spiritual beacon of light. He is great and he is why we’ve stayed married too. We r both hardheaded!!!
    Love you Beth. Thanks and happy happy anniversary!

  31. 31
    Jennifer Goolsby says:

    I just love this so much! I’ve seen hints of it in stuff you have said before, but I love that you are honest and transparent that you don’t have a deacon for a husband. That is what has been discouraging to me through the years, but now, just about 25 years in, I have accepted it. We too laugh about as rqually as we fight and Mike told me, unlike yours, if I leave I better plan on not coming back because I better be committed to something. 🙂 That scared me enough to stay because gosh darn it, I love that man! He is politically incorrect, plain-spoken, sometimes a grumpy old man, but I love him with a passion unrivaled. I’m moody, overly sentimental, and need to lose about 50 pounds, but he loves me the same way. Go figure – nothing but grace. So here’s to the men who refuse to be hypocrites and keep us on our knees! God love ’em.

  32. 32
    Kathy Looper says:

    I am happy I got to ready this before you delete it! I have started my own book called “Stand by your man” although at present, we are divorcing. Who knows how my story will end but what I have learned in my eight tumultuous years of marriage and what Jong others I counsel is that now more then ever men need their Godly women to stand by them, pray for them, love them anyway and stand in the gap for them. As a woman who serves the Lord with a husband who does not, it would be so helpful if there was more leaders speaking up about how to manage that with balance. I know Keith serves the lord along side of you but I am sure it wasn’t how you imagined it would be early on. So thank you for sharing and if you ever decide to share more, I am one soul out here in social media land who could greatly benefit from your experience.
    Much love to you and congratulations on 38 years! Happy Anniversary!

  33. 33
    Ruth filer says:

    Congrats and thank you for sticking to it.
    PS my parents had me also nine months snd two weeks after their wedding. But who’s counting?

  34. 34
    Brittany says:

    Beautiful. Honest. Relatable. Hilarious.

    Happy 38th to you and Keith!

  35. 35

    Very relatable, Queen B. Those truths smell like Jesus and that’s why we’ll keep buying books and gathering women in living rooms to dissect the Word with you, bringing only our best hair, because we girls appreciate one another’s beauty. Keep dancing, others are watching. Your example is Godly.

  36. 36
    Tara says:

    So beautiful, as a young mom, this makes me so hopeful. God is so faithful! Happy anniversary!

  37. 37
    Angie Rogalinski says:

    Mrs. Beth you and Keith’s marriage sounds just like mine and Hank’s!! We’ve been married 28 years, divorced for 1 and remarried. I’m not in ministry and neither is he but it’s good to know that even the one’s who are still are human and have the same problems as everyone else. It has been God who has kept us going and not killing each other. lol I know He looks down on us and shakes His head and He has to laugh to keep us from driving Him crazy!! Sure He’s thinking……That polish couple is going to be the death of me. hahhaahaha

    Sincerely,
    Angie Rogalinski

  38. 38
    Heather says:

    Beth, this is a beautiful post today, thank you for being transparent and sharing your heart. Happy anniversary!

    This just brought so much freedom to me… “We developed compassion for one another. We were both messed up and we each understood why. And, I really don’t know a better way to say it, we felt sorry for one another and started trying to help each other get better.” It opened my heart, to just be. ~oxo

  39. 39
    Elizabeth says:

    “Had we been married to other people when we met, God help us, I trust we would have either ignored or resisted it or, by that time, never met but the fact was, we weren’t married, we did meet and we did not remotely ignore nor resist one another.”
    Beth,
    Thanks for sharing such an honest and vulnerable window into your relationship.(and you can respond privately)What do you think you would have done if one of you had been married when you met?

  40. 40
    Therese Schlotte says:

    I was so frustrated (mad at) God last night and it’s hard to be mad at God when you have even a glimpse of Who He is…Loooong story short: I told him I needed to hear from him, and not just a trite(sorry, my attitude needed Jesus) bible verse. I cried myself to sleep after rolling over to the other side of the king size bed and forcing myself to give my (imperfect) husband a hug. Then this morning, just out of the blue, this blog appears. I hesitated to read it. I LOVE your writing Mrs. Beth Moore, but have had an untamed perspective of you whenever I’ve read anything you’ve mentioned about your husband. I’ve been jealous, sarcastic, snobbish (I hate admitting these things.) To me your painting looked too polished and I would often feel like I could NEVER hope for a view of my own husband that was even half as lovely. Your blog today, and I’m sure God is laughing (with me not at) came at the perfect time. I’m so glad you didn’t change your mind about posting it. It’s a change-my-heart kind of day! Thank you.

  41. 41
    Candace Anderson says:

    Your blunt honesty is amazing. Only a transparent woman could reveal such beauty of a healing Iwork in your marriage. Transparency always moves me.
    I found that when people marry, that are both broken, they do try to fix each other. Sometimes the only thread you hold onto is that commitment to marriage. Over time if both are willing those bandaids that have been holding you together are removed and Jesus kisses those booboo’s. He the mighty one who was always lovingly keeping you together, even if only one is a believer.
    That strong survival part in us , helps us through tough times by building a wall. Then like the bandaids, the wall has to come down. The mighty Prince of Israel repairs us from the foundation, builds us up and will keep repairing and building until we behold Him. Eternity is not enough time to praise him.

  42. 42
    lavonne says:

    If didn’t know better , sounds like my husband & me ! Starting on # 52 in 2017….we know a lot about that sweet grace you
    & Keith had. Appreciate you & all the times I have done your Bible studies thru the years….love & admire you for sharing your
    soul with us …love & GOD BLESS

  43. 43
    Mary Rodgers says:

    I know this is your marriage, but very well put advice for any. I have seen it several times said that love is a verb, not an emotion. It takes action to make a marriage work. There will be days that you don’t like each other, but you choose to stay together and work through them. So many people don’t get that, and that’s where marriages fail. Saying all this, I sit here, still unwed, because it took this long in my life for me and my man to accept that God was drawing us together. It took our mutual failures to put us to where we were ready to face it, and stop running from it. 13 years of running, and God kept putting this man on my mind. The past 3 years have shown me how God made us a perfect fit, even though we still have our differences. The only thing that has kept us from saying I do, has been his pride. A man has to feel successful in his career to feel like he can support a wife, regardless of the fact that I draw in a large enough salary to sustain us. So now, waiting for his latest career path to take off.

    Congratulations on 38 years. Here’s to many many Moore! Happy Anniversary!!!!!

  44. 44
    Cristie says:

    Yesssssssss!!! This is the best thing I have ever read about marriage!

  45. 45
    Valerie Geib says:

    Congratulations, Beth and Keith! May God bless you with many more and make them the absolute best years of your life. Grace and Peace to you both.

  46. 46

    You can’t get anymore real than that… I loved reading this, not because your a biggie in the Bible circuit but it doesn’t hurt, but because you stuck with each other through thick and thick. Who ever said marriage was going to be easy anyway…..
    Happy Anniversary Mr. & Mrs. Keith Moore.

  47. 47
    Jennifer Schmid says:

    Thank you for being so honest and transparent. I have learned so much from your studies. It’s refreshing to hear some of your story because it’s real. Happy anniversary and have a wonderful day.

  48. 48
    Brei says:

    …and I’m so glad you are! Thank you, thank you, thank you both for your choice to love over and over. And thank you for sharing and being “real.”

  49. 49
    Kathy Jo says:

    I swear this is one of the most sweetest things I have ever read. Thank you Mrs Moore…for being so human and sharing the “real”. It is being used as food for thought for this crazy married woman.

  50. 50
    Erin Stauffer says:

    Way to go!!

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