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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405 Responses to “My man and me”

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Comments:

  1. 51
    Dawn says:

    Congratulations!

  2. 52
    Christy says:

    You are the BEST!!! Thank you for sharing:)

  3. 53
    Denise Ingram says:

    Wow! I’m overwhelmed by the realness of this post. Thank you. Thank you for giving me hope about my marriage. Like yours, it’s been a roller coaster to say the least. BUT GOD! We have been married for 25 years and together 30. I want to make it until death do us part…and in Jesus mighty name we will. Oh the dripping grace of God! More Lord.

  4. 54
    Donna Garvin says:

    Happy anniversary to Mr. and Mr. Keith Moore! My husband and I have been married 38 years this past May but it is a second marriage for us both. Thank you for being so open and honest about you marriage. It is why I love studying God’s Word with you. High five to you and your man!

  5. 55
    Diana Hill says:

    I can’t explain how much I love this! I can relate. Almost 22 years later, ministering, teaching, & “working” at marriage. Thank you so much for sharing your heart! Blessings!
    Diana

  6. 56
    Renee Cordell says:

    Never have responded to your postings but this one I must. I am Catholic and love the Lord with all my heart. Marriage is a sacrament and we all have wanted to run at times but realized it wasn’t an option. I came from a mess and was a mess but I married someone who stuck through thick and thin because of his Catholic faith. Thankfully,almost 46 years later I thank the Lord for his mercy.

  7. 57
    Kayla Moore says:

    Happy Anniversary!

  8. 58
    Ellyce says:

    Thank you. You have encouraged me. My husband and I are struggling. I love him and I even like him yet lately I have not been in love with him. I am praying that God will renew my love for him in 2017. I am praying for healing in my marriage. Only God can do it. God bless you and thank you for your testimony.

    • 58.1
      Cindy Cline says:

      I can understand the feeling of lost love and friendship. After 36 years the love my husband an I has was like stagnant to say the least. And we didn’t seem to care enough to fix it.
      What changed me was watching my sister in law and brother in law on her death bed. They had always been hateful to each other and verbally told anyone that could hear how awlful the other was.
      On her death bed they found that they actually did love each other.
      I saw that and I told my husband we will not be them at the end of our lives.
      We still have moment’s but in the end we know the love we have is intact. We aren’t willing to waste the time God has given us. There will be no regrets for us. We chose to live and love as if tomorrow may come and one of us will be gone. This love we have now is so special to us both. I thank God for showing me thru my in laws last moment not to take our lives and love for granted an then giving me a new love an desire for my husband of 37 years now.

  9. 59

    Oh dear sweet Beth. Out of everything you have ever written that I’d have the pleasure of reading (and that’s been a lot), this has profoundly touched my heart and impacted me the most. You are the spiritual mother to my heart and mentor even though you don’t know me.

    Please know that this authenticity and vulnerability was needed (for me personally) more than you can ever know this side of heaven.

    Furthermore, I’m even more curious to know how while you were working out your calling, and spiritual attacks were no doubt flying your way (likely directly into your home), how you kept going when weary through all the attacks.

  10. 60
    Lindsay says:

    I like this. Happy Anniversary, Keith and Beth!

  11. 61
    Shelly Elston says:

    Happy 38th Anniversary to you and your beloved. Having been married nearly 28 years to my college sweetheart, I love the words you wrote and can relate to every line. We were a mess for the first several years of our marriage and endured things that could have killed our love story…relocation from a big city in the PNW to a tiny town in the SE, money fights, infertility, adopting a precious baby boy with special needs, his business trips, my immaturity, etc etc. We somehow settled into a rhythm of grace and devotion and fell in love all over again, this time with some maturity. God is good to save us from ourselves and gift us with someone who loves us for the long haul. May this anniversary be your best one yet…and may you know just how much your transparency and honesty have helped all of us who sit under your teachings. Blessings to you and Keith!

  12. 62
    Stacey Mills says:

    Just Wonderful! Thanks for sharing!!

  13. 63
    Sharon Bartley says:

    thanks for this! as always you entertain me and tickle my funny bone….thanks for being you and happy anniversary!

  14. 64
    Brenda Bird says:

    Happy 38th Anniversary. On June 18th my husband and I will celebrate out 40th anniversary.

  15. 65
    Denise Spicer says:

    Thank You Beth- Bless your heart for sharing this particular blog on your marriage. Your authentic honesty has given me great peace and joy knowing I am not alone in this incredible, yet continuous hard working journey called marriage. Every word written, I could identify with. I have been married in April 2017 for 31 years. When you mentioned fighting and laughing, I said bingo. I truly believe that our absolute silliness with each other as well as Jesus continuous grace is what keeps our marriage alive. Throw in the ability to shed grace on one another as well as accept and love one another for who we are is icing on the cake. Thank you again for sharing your life with each of us. I have learned so much over the last 20 years with over 10 of your studies and several times of hearing you speak in person. I thank God for giving me the opportunity to be ministered to by you as well as being a woman who shows me her beautiful loving heart for our Jesus. You have been responsible for so much of my spiritual growth and I am truly grateful. God bless and Happy Anniversary!

  16. 66

    Thank you for your honesty, Beth. Marriage can be a wild ride. Thank you both for sticking it out, laughing through the good, bad, and ugly, and staying with Christ. Thank you.

    God bless you and Keith on your Anniversary and beyond! 🙂

  17. 67
    Kelli Holland says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this. What an awesome testimony to commitment!

  18. 68
    Marbara says:

    Congratulations! Our 33rd anniversary is the 30th, too! We are leaving on a great adventure tomorrow and I pray that you all continue to enjoy your own Great Adventure 🙂

  19. 69
    Crystal says:

    I love you dear Beth! Happy Anniversary and may God grace Keith and you with 38 more years.

  20. 70
    Jennifer T says:

    No lie, at the precise moment I finished reading this with a lump in my throat for you two, my man called out to our kids in the back of the van, “There it is, kids, the exact place I proposed to your mom.” He was pointing to a non-descript corner in the town in which he was raised. We have shown this place to them before. I had suggested, pre-engagement, that he find a place we could show our children someday. Considering we live less than 30 minutes from sights like the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, countless other stunning locations around DC & Va, I assumed he knew the gist of what I was suggesting. Anyway, he just pointed out the van window at our corner: Beverly & Elm, McLean, VA. Middle son just said, “Right there? Boring.” Our marriage has been anything but. 18 years last week for us. I am praising God for you two. Really!!! From a heart that kinda relates.

  21. 71
    Sandy Bowers says:

    Congratulations you two! And thanks for sharing your story. It will inspire many and give hope to those struggling. Hugs to you both and many blessings in the new year.

  22. 72
    Gwen Williams says:

    Happy Anniversary! … and thanks be to God for His indescribable Gift to us all! His wonders among us … in and through us are astounding! Thankful for your devotion to God and each other! … thankful for the ways He has gotten to me & to so many women through you/your Bible studies, Beth! Blessings!

  23. 73
    eligia says:

    Thank you for sharing. Thanks for being honest. Marriage is not easy. Thirty-eight years and still counting. Praise the Lord.

  24. 74
    KariB says:

    Happy Happy Anniversary Keith and Beth! Real and raw! Thats what marriage is all about and my Sweetie and I have adopted that bottom line for ours also….choose to love each other. I love that we can laugh laugh laugh together! It really does make the hard stuff easier to deal with. Many more happy years to you Beth! Thank you for sharing with us.

  25. 75
    Jennifer H says:

    Happy Anniversary Miss Beth,
    You have blessed me in so many ways but it’s when you have shared glimpses into your relationship with Keith that I have been able to release my husband of unrealistic expectations and just let him be himself. That, and an enormous amount of Jesus had helped my marriage going.
    Thank you so much for sharing!!

  26. 76
    Lydia Lynch says:

    So thanks! Our 17 year Anniversary is New Years Day. 1-1-2000. We dared the world to shut down on that day…(remember?) We did it anyway. Planned it and did it, whether lights went off or not. I GET IT, Beth!” 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.” Mine has been worth it! Happy Anniversary to you two!!

  27. 77
    Connie Hein says:

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. Love reading about your life. I feel like we are best friends! Is the house where you filmed the Entrapped video your kitchen? Happy Anniversary!
    Gid bless!

  28. 78
    Helen Montgomery says:

    Congratulations! I love your honesty and love of God. Thank you for sharing.

  29. 79
    Kathleen says:

    What a refreshing read of real-ness! Thank you for sharing! Beth, I have always admired your way of expressing things. I have a very similar marriage story of 38 years.

    I pray the Lord to continue to bless and grow you and your husband into more of His desire for you both and I pray the same for me and mine!

    I’m looking forward to being a table leader for one of your Bible studies in Jan. at our church about praying the Scriptures.

    Love and hugs to you both!
    Kathleen in Bellingham, WA

  30. 80
    Mendy says:

    Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability! I love your story,. What an inspiration!

  31. 81
    Marsha R says:

    Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Keith Moore. What a wonderful testimony. Marriage is not easy, so thanks for sharing your heart. Hubby and me will be married 47 years in April and we have had some drama too….but above all….God remains on the throne.

  32. 82
    Villa says:

    Beth, what an inspiration!!! Just like the ones
    in the Bible!!! No one is perfect & this gives us hope!!
    Thank you for sharing!!!!!

  33. 83
    Karen says:

    Many thanks for sharing. Your story is similar to my own. My man died unexpectedly and suddenly on Christmas in 2013 after 39 1\2 years of marriage – not wedded bliss, but by God’s grace and mercy on each even if we couldn’t show that mercy to each other. So I shed some bittersweet tears as I read your words.

  34. 84
    Karis says:

    This post resonates well with me although I’m just beginning. At 6 years in and two baby girls later….your story has more than encouraged me to love my husband just as he is and let God do the rest.

    Thank you!

  35. 85
    dolores marshall says:

    Congratulations my husband Web and I will be married 41 years on Sat Dec 31 . As with yours ours has had many trials many of which I was the instigator. I would,t trade us for anything. We have two wonderful sons and a grandson with a granddaughter due in May. God bless you two and your wonderful ministry.

  36. 86
    Lisa Worthington says:

    Happy Anniversary! Love and appreciate you so! It has been such an encouragement to me with your transparency about your marriage. We’ve been duking it out (figuratively) for 25 years and sure not going to stop now 🙂
    God is so good and I wish for you both the happiest day! Much love, Lisa

  37. 87
    Carie Wimberly says:

    What an incredible blog post, so much of it is very similar to my and my husbnad’s story. My favorite line: 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. Yes and Yes! I love you, Beth Moore… not because you are perfect, but because my spiritual foundation was built doing your bible studies. I was watching one of your videos with a group over 20 years ago and I remember thinking… I want to love Jesus like you do, so I set out to figure out how and plan to spend the rest of my days continuing that pursuit. Thank you, Beth Moore for all of your hard work, perseverance and honesty… God has used it in so many ways and my life is so much richer because of all of it.

  38. 88
    Joy says:

    Love this & you. Thanks for sharing your ❤️. God bless you both & happy anniversary!!!

  39. 89
    Sylvia Jones says:

    Wow!! Can I just say, “I love the realness of this post and the realness of you!! I love the title as well. He is ” your man”! And you seem to be quite proud of it (smile). I’m glad for the chemistry between you too, for the 38 years and for the determination. Most of all, I’m grateful for the example of what God will do as we yield our “real” lives to Him. God bless, continue on and thank you for keeping it real!!

  40. 90
    Nicole says:

    My dear Beth you will never understand how much I needed to read this right now. Thank you and Bless you

  41. 91
    Ginger says:

    Congrats!!! I love this. Gives all of us out here who don’t have fairy tale perfect marriages that “good” is absolutely good enough!

  42. 92
    Lynn says:

    Beth, open honesty.. makes it real for me; thank you, now I can’t wait to read more from you..

  43. 93
    Teresa Gunderson says:

    Congrats! Thank you for sharing and for your honesty.

  44. 94
    Julie says:

    Bless you both and thank you for having the courage to share so honestly. Thank you so very much, Beth.

  45. 95
    Linda Atter says:

    Thank you for being transparent! Your realness lets God’s glory shine through and His grace spill over onto the rest of us.

  46. 96
    Colleen Deery says:

    Beautiful! Here’s to 38 more Mr. & Mrs. Keith Moore!

  47. 97
    April Arceneaux says:

    Thank you for your brave admission to having a good marriage! I get so caught up in trying to have the “ideal” marriage that I can miss out on the good God has blessed me with. Thanks for making me smile over the years with your honesty and love for the Lord! I have a confession….one time I caught myself admiring your husband and then I realized who he was…I was aghast with guilt, lol! You have taught me so much about God, family and marriage over the years. I remember you telling us to make sure we married someone who was cute to us which would get us through the hard times, lol! It has proved true in my marriage. Praying for you and Keith to fall even more in love and enjoy all the rest of your years together! Blessings, April Arceneaux

  48. 98
    Pamela says:

    I just love this post, thank you for sharing and congratulations!

  49. 99
    Judy K. Williams says:

    Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Keith Moore! I love you, Beth, for your love of God and your work in women’s ministry; for sharing your life with all of us, but most of all, for being honest, with us, with yourself, and with God.

  50. 100
    Stefani Laszko says:

    Thank you for being REAL and congratulations!

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