In 1997, I (Tasha) had the opportunity to join a sports mission team going to China. I spent an amazing 14 days playing basketball and talking about Jesus with athletes and coaches of the college teams in and around Beijing, China. Did I mention that the trip was 14 days long? I got married because I love my husband. And I like him. A lot. And I love (and like) my kids. Tim and I had never been apart from each other for that long, and I wasn’t looking forward to that part of the experience.
As I was boarding my plane to China, Tim gave me a cassette tape for my Walkman (click here to learn about cassette tapes and walkmans) with him reading romantic poetry, some of our favorite stories (like The Giving Tree), and passages from Song of Solomon to me. I listened to that tape over and over and over again, and in my loneliest moments, I treasured hearing my husband’s voice reading God’s word to me.
In 2011, I (Tim) had the incredible privilege of being a part of a trip to Haiti during the one year anniversary of the devastating earthquake that wrecked the small island nation. I love mission trips like this, because I know that all of my desires to help others will be overwhelmed by what God teaches me through the people I’m there to serve. My struggle on trips like this is being away from my family. Like Tasha, I got married for a reason, and I don’t like being away from home.
To help me manage my homesickness, Tasha made me a flip book with pictures of and notes from her and our kids, a scarf with her perfume on it, and a dozen or so of our favorite Bible passages. Every night – and several times every day – I would flip through those pages, soak in the words and images, and thank God for His faithfulness.
Over the years of our marriage, God has woven His word together with our lives, memories, and identity as a family. To be honest, we don’t read the Bible together as much as we’d like, and our family devotions rarely look like Hallmark moments (they usually look more like something from Looney Toones). But God has revealed Himself to us time and time again through the Bible. And throughout our marriage, His words bring us just what we need, just when we need it.