Dr. James L. Snyder
Throughout life, I have discovered many challenges. Some I have handled fairly well and others have handled me pretty badly.
That is what makes life so interesting. Every day there is a challenge to face and every day there is a victory to win.
Recently, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I celebrated our 48th wedding anniversary. I would not be truthful if I did not admit that those 48 years have been rather challenging. Not so much in a negative way, but each challenge carried with it a life lesson.
At the end of these 48 years, I must confess my wife knows more about me then I know about myself, or her for that matter. How she has come to these conclusions, I do not know.
But, to be honest I do not know very much about myself compared to what she knows.
Not wasting those 48 years, I never contradict my wife on anything. Even, if I think she may be wrong about something.
There are spouses that try to correct their spouse when talking to other people. I am so thankful that while I am speaking to someone my wife will correct me so the person I am talking to has the facts.
After all, she knows more about me and my experiences than I do. I am not contesting that one iota. Why should I?
The biggest secret to a successful marriage is going along rather than being confrontational. It does not matter to me if she corrects me; I've come to appreciate that.
After all, I get so many things wrong these days. I cannot remember birthdays, anniversaries or special occasions. It's not because I'm getting older because when I was younger, I had the same problem.
If I were not married, I probably would not remember my own birthday.
Thinking about this the other day a thought danced into my mind. If I wanted to be right all the time, why in the world did I get married? A married couple is to work together and it seems that we have the ideal connection in this regard.
I remember when I wore a younger man's suit; I nonchalantly corrected my wife about a certain thing that happened when she got the day of the week wrong.
"Don't you remember, Honey," I interrupted her, "it was on a Wednesday not a
She gave me one of "those looks" and said, "Maybe it was a Thursday."
That look alone was enough to graduate me from being the corrector of her conversation to being the quiet agreeable guy. Through the years, I discovered being agreeable is a great deal of blessings and I enjoyed each one of those blessings.
One thing I have a real difficulty and that is, not giggling.
I may be affected with giggle-itis, which is far as I know has no cure. Of course, when I start giggling it is very difficult for me to stop.
The only temporary cure I have found is when I start to giggle, I take a deep breath and then think of broccoli. If anything sobers me up and even makes me a little bit angry it is this vegetable.
Of course, when I begin thinking of broccoli, the giggle goes away, but a very deep sickness in my stomach begins to develop.
That sickness in my stomach is to be preferred over giggling aloud at a very inappropriate time. My giggles always seem to come out at an inappropriate time.
I remember my wife telling a story to some friends about one of our grandchildren. If she knows anything, she knows about the grandkids. She has a Masters degree in grandchildrenology. This time, however, she got the grandkids names mixed up. She had the one doing what another grandchild did.
Nobody knew the difference except me. As she continued developing this story, it got beyond my giggle control.
When my giggles start, my eyes begin lighting up like a laser beam. Following that, my lips start trembling out of which multiple giggles escape. Once my lips start trembling it is all over.
I knew the real story and the names and the way she told the story using the wrong name was so hilarious for anybody who knew the real story. I will not divulge the names now because it was too funny.
As she continued with the story, it got so bad I had to pinch my nose to stop any giggling.
At the time, I was beginning to smile and my wife happened to see me.
For me to keep from giggling, I had to think about something else. So, when she looked at me and said, "What are you thinking about?"
At this point, I was on automatic pilot. When I opened my mouth, I had a choice. Do I giggle or do I mention the word broccoli?
I had no control. I opened my mouth and said, "I was thinking about broccoli."
The people knew me very well and as soon as they heard that word, they started laughing hysterically. When they started laughing my giggle—it is exploded like I haven't seen it explode before.
I thought of what Sarah said after Isaac was born, "God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me." (Genesis 21:6).
Laughter, or a giggle, is recognition of God's blessing in my life.
Dr. James L. Snyder, pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage in Ocala, FL.
451 West Fifth Street
Oxnard, California 93030
1000 Town Center Drive
Oxnard, CA 93036
(Walk-in & Drop-off)
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.