About 2-3 weeks ago, Kevin set a couple of posts for a hammock. It’s been a while since we had a hammock – years actually – and, last summer, we discovered the perfect place for one where the breeze is always blowing, even in the heat of the season. So he bought a rope hammock, like we’d had before, and finally got around to setting the posts. However, once he put the hammock up, he realized that they just don’t make those rope hammocks like they used to, and he returned it, frustrated at the alternatives. We ended up ordering one that is a very tightly woven polyester, impervious to the elements, and extra wide to comfortably hold two people (and a passel of grandkids when they visit). It arrived yesterday, and the temp was perfect for a trial run.

After dinner, we headed out there as the sun was falling heavy in the sky. We climbed in and marveled at how comfortable it was. We both love the view of the trees from below. Without having to lean your head back, you can really take them in, in comfort, and study the intricacies of the branches, and now, the buds that will burst forth to hide the sky. He felt warm and solid, laying there along my right side, separate, yet part of me.

We laid there until it was dark, then headed inside to get ready for bed. I asked him if he’d read my post yesterday about defining moments, as I was interested in hearing his. He hadn’t yet, so I explained it to him. Then, thinking it might take him a while to consider, I started washing my face, but he surprised me, and said,

I know exactly what mine was. It was when I decided to marry you.

I stood there, jaw slack, and said, “Really?”

Yes. I believe I was meant to build a solid marriage in a time when they’re not that plentiful, to turn my own life around, and to be an example for other people.

Smiling, I was instantly back in 1982, cruising down the highway from San Marcos to San Antonio in his little Datsun 200SX Roadster, my long hair and his big hair blowing in the breeze. We’d been dating for four months, and he’d come to visit me at school. We took a day trip to go see the Alamo and stroll the River Walk, and were talking about everything and nothing on the drive down. Suddenly, we both realized about the same time that we were discussing how many kids we were going to have. Our eyes met, and we both broke into big smiles at the realization…the knowing. I’d recently been listening to all of my dorm girls talk about their futures in big careers – my girls who called me “Mom” – and I’d been wrestling with the fact that my biggest aspiration was to be a wife and mother.

As we sat there in peaceable silence for the rest of the trip, my hand on his as it rested on the gear shift, I realized that my dreams were valid and lining up. I was supposed to be a wife, and a good one, in a time when so many were choosing something different; I was meant to be a mother, to the children God gave me, yes, but also a “mother” to many. It was then and there that my defining moment played out.

Out of my reverie, I said…

Honey, that was my moment, too.

I could feel God’s satisfaction out there in the hammock, but I enjoyed His smile right there in the bathroom. Sometimes the relationships He orchestrates are not just meant for the people themselves. Sometimes they are and invitation to join in His greater purpose for reasons you can’t even fathom, and while you relish the personal blessing, you are humbled as He holds you together as a testament to His love.

Kind of like two people cradled together in a good hammock under a vast, star-filled sky.


“So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Matthew 19:6 ESV