Love Well (a wedding poem)

Love Well
Written for J &A H. on the event of their wedding.
With love, Ranelle Gildersleeve

What is love?
Is it always flowers and candlelight dinners?
Is it always easy smiles and shared laughs?
Love is pushing up your sleeves and digging deep.
Love is picking up socks for the fiftieth time that week, and still smile when he walks through the door.
Love is getting in your car and driving an hour out of your way, just to bring her a forgotten bag.
Love is a struggle. Struggle well together.
You may have candlelight dinners, but more often than not, you will have a table full of bills.
You may have flowers, but you will always have dishes to wash.
Love is a dance that is more often a violent tango rather than the gentle waltz.
Dance well together.
Let never one stand by themselves, but always have your arms around the other.
Love isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it. If you work for it.
Work for it.
Take time no matter how busy it is, and sit together to share your fears and your joys.
Take time to walk the park as dusk falls, hand in hand with no words.
Struggle well together in your faith. Find God in the midst of your marriage and give him control.
Be better together rather than apart. Pray for each other.
No, love isn’t always flowers and candlelight dinners.
Sometimes it’s ripped shirts and dirty knees.
Sometimes love is the act of planting the flowers, rather than picking them.
Love each other well.
God has given you that person that will lift you up when you feel like you can’t go on.
He has given you the person to patch up your wounds when the world is just a little too rough.
He has given you the water for your soul when it’s parched, by giving you the person who can speak the soothing words needed.
In your struggle of life together, may your hands be gentle when you hold your love.
May your mouth be ever kind when you speak of him.
May your thoughts be ever happy when you think of her.
May your eyes ever seek the face of the one beside you.
May your feet always return to the one beside you.
May you never be alone in the midst of the storm as the world rages.
May you always struggle well together as you face life as one.
God has given you the most holy of duties, for two to become one.
Defy the laws of physics and show it is possible for two bodies to become one person.
Love is a struggle. Struggle well together.
In your hands lies your life. Your life is in the hands of your love. Treat it well.
It is a precious gift, one that must be nurtured, and protected from the forces that would tear it apart.
It is your sacred duty to work on building that flame of love every day for the rest of your lives.
Tend it. Feed it.
Let it become an inferno, so that everyone you come in contact with, can feel the heat of it.
May your love be the story of the ages.
May you struggle well together.
May you love well for eternity.


Singleness among wedding rings

I’m so excited for my friends! I have friends who are pregnant and others who are freshly engaged and rushing towards the wedding date. So much happiness! I know how some have waited so long for this time. Change is rippling through the relationships again. It is good. It is beautiful.
But, I’m starting to get the ‘looks.’
Some of it is pitying, others are speculative, others are just planning much mischief.
People who are in the midst of ‘happy’ want to drag everyone else along- it is affront for them to see a single person!- mostly it’s hilarious. Other times though it is frustrating.
I am in a season of singleness. It’s not wrong. It’s not horrible. It isn’t something to duct tape and glue so that it is labeled fixed. I’ve been in a season of singleness for 27 years and I am ok with that.
That is not to say that I wouldn’t love to have a relationship, but it isn’t where I am right now. I am someone who has to focus on one thing to make it work, and make it work well. School is all encompassing right now. I am so close to the end, the whole idea of even entering into a significant relationship right now almost makes me panicky. It is so exhausting to even think about adding another person’s life into mine. Because if I give myself to someone, I will be there 150%.
Relationships should not be entered into lightly. They need to be thought about, treasured, and sacrificed for so that the other person will know that they matter.
I feel that sometime in the somewhat near future (after graduation and the starting of my chaplaincy 🙂 there is a possibility of God bringing someone into my life.
I don’t want to rush into a relationship because everyone else is. I don’t want to ‘fall in love’ because I am lonely. I want to fall in love when God says it is right, that it is good, that it is time.
I want a man who is mature enough to know he still has to grow in Christ. That he has to strive for God’s heart before he ever thinks to look for mine.
Unlike fairy tale ideals: I want to be second in this man’s heart. I want to be second to God. What a wonderful place to be! To know that a man loves me so much that he loves God more, simply because God is suppose to be the most important being in one’s life.
I want to be that woman for the man God has chosen for me. If he has.
He might give me a season of singleness that last my whole life. He’ll make me ok with that.
He’s my God. He’s my Lover. He is my groom.
I will be his bride.
So happy for all my friends- but, please don’t rush me into something that isn’t in God’s time.