Building bridges one family at a time….

The Christmas Tree that Settled: A Simple Truth

Every year our family sets out to find THE tree

that will bless our home with the smell of Christmas and the special memories of decorating and adoring it. Our adventure started at the HEB Plus where the 8 ft. trees could not be kept in stock, and so off we went to Home Depot, where it took too much trouble to ravage through piles of wrapped trees, then it was to the ‘fancy’ place where the trees are plush and amazingly gorgeous….but they also come with that plush price of $130.00 on up…….

So we decide to wait for HEB’s next shipment and we find, ……………actually I find a tree. They again ran out of 8 ft. trees so the man says; “if we look carefully we might find a nice 7 ft. tree that looks 8 ft.” So I have him unwrap one that looked tall and full and it most certainly looked wonderful. I thought it looked great. He said it would take a couple of days for the tree to settle, and we could then see its shape and true fullness. I said, okay, and Dave and JD loaded it up and home we went with our tree.

Once we got the stand in, the tree just stood fuller but when I turned it around, it had no branches, lots of gaps, and it was tilted. We placed him (let’s just say I made it a ‘he’) front and center and he didn’t work, moved him to the dining room and he didn’t fit, tried him by the piano and again, NOPE, so at complete frustration by this point, I move him into the corner by the fire place to hide his flaws and show only his best side.  By this time he has lost more tree, from all the moving he traveled room to room. Then after a day, he sure did settle. The mess from his branches was a constant vacuum nightmare and has been since. When I first looked at that tree, I was excited to bring it home, now I just stressed about how ugly it had become and how messy.

So what does this counselor do? I try and balance my thoughts. So I say, I think the tree has some ugly but I am totally going to love it. So the choir begins singing “Come on guys, we just gotta love this tree” Dave and the kids: “I’m just glad we didn’t choose it.” Apparently the choir was not singing in tune so I persist to decorate and love this tree that I have chosen.

As I decorate and sing and invest in it, his beauty begins to glimmer and illuminate right through every missing branch. It was adorned with special glass, ceramic and shiny red glittery ornaments.

Once it was finished, I smiled with joy because I had believed in the tree I had chosen. I chose it and I loved it.

You know, I thought about something as I spend much time on the road and I realized just how much this tree had in common with marriages. You know in 1 Peter 1:22 His word says “Love each other deeply from the heart” (This is a translation from New International, English Standard….)

This tree could not be the problem and the solution. Let me explain to those of you who are married. The problem cannot also be the solution. You yourself are the solution. When you begin to love deeply from your heart, you are able to see the beauty of it.

A simple analogy: After a few weeks/months of being married to Dave…. He became messy, he snored, he was not structured like me, he was passive, his inner stuff that after settling had started to show and filter through. So what does this wife do? I tried to change him to fit my schema. I needed a clean orderly home so I nagged, lectured, yelled and worked hard at accommodating him to my standards. He became resentful of my ways and it made him feel invalidated, like a failure. He felt as if he was not good enough. I spent too much time pointing out the stuff that annoyed me and very little time decorating and adorning my marriage. He then spent all his time playing baseball and staying at work more, and hanging with his friends quite often.

You know, if your spouse sees or hears only the negative then that makes him/she not want to be around you.

It’s that clear. -Simple truth.

If you nag, yell, criticize, belittle and have something negative to say about your other half, then he/she won’t want to be around you. That is why it often seems that they are always out with their friends or doing guy stuff, girls stuff. Umm duh! They feel validated when with their friends!

Stop changing each other, stop accommodating them to fit you, Stop focusing on the negative: “The ugly”….rather 1 Peter 1:22 LOVE EACH OTHER DEEPLY FROM THE HEART

I find great joy when I share this verse with others because it really is that simple. God created marriage to be enjoyable. We tend to steer from his very clear and simple truth.

What I learned from my tree: To love and to cherish every inch of it!

In my marriage, I have learned to love every part of it, even when it feels kinda ugly.

Spend this week decorating your marriage, beautify it, and love each other pure and deeply from the heart.

Stop holding on to the stuff that has settled, just love deeply and enjoy the beauty of one of God’s most beautiful designs…

Maybe you have spent a lot of time dusting, changing, perfecting to your standards and taking or pulling from your marriage that there is not much left.

If we focus on the small negative stuff, then that is all we can see. When you allow God to transform your heart, no matter how difficult, no matter how flawed, how junky it has become, or even how little of a marriage is left……………God will transform it!

I married a messy, loud snoring, passive Cowboy from Alice Texas, Rancho Alegre (The Happy Ranch) to be exact, but I am the luckiest gal in Corpus Christi. He is totally my diamond in the rough. I love him dearly and I am so grateful for his love and friendship. He married a structured, eustress functioning woman who drives him absolutely bonkers. He loves me anyway.

Have you spent every day trying to change him/her? Do you spend more time with your family/friends/work….. Just to stay away from home because it does not feel pleasant?

This may sound harsh but it is marital truth. Stop telling each other how you never, you always, you should, you didn’t, If only you would change this part of you, it’s you, you never help me, you aren’t doing this, why can’t you just do it, why do I always have to initiate it, why do you always depend on me, why, why, why…….. Just STOP IT!

 Start enjoying your marriage. Decorate it with meticulous passion and adorn it with love, with a Christ centered foundation and LOVE EACH OTHER DEEPLY from THE HEART

How will you decorate your marriage? I think it is time to start making some investments in our own marriages.


 I want you to smile with joy. Believe in your spouse, love your spouse and through this love become one.


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