hand in pocket

I have done many things I am not proud of over the years, but one of the most awkward in the moment came to mind again recently…

Hubby & I were on a date at Harvey’s. We moved to stand at the viewing/make it be made area after ordering, and I was chatting away to hubby, excited we were out together. Normally not the most demonstrative with PDA, I slipped my hand into his back pocket, as His main love language is touch, and I wanted him to know I loved him in that moment.

Imagine my shock when I hear hubby’s voice coming over my shoulder instead of beside me say, “Honey, what are you doing?!”

While I had been chatting, unknown to me, hubby had moved to grab the paper to read the sports section.

Take a second, and let that reality sink in, just as it did to me in that moment.

My hand was in someone else’s back pocket…. not my hubby’s.

Immediately removing my hand, i reluctantly looked glowing red with embarrassment towards the gentleman beside me and stammered “I am so sorry…”

He sounded bemused (as best I could tell not making eye contact) and replied, “That’s okay, I haven’t had that much action in a long while.”

Oh my, indeed.

Hubby occasionally teases me about this incident, now that I can look back and laugh at my mistake.

But that mistake has lingered and rankled, because I didn’t forgive myself for the error for a very long time.

An exceptionally faithful person, I can’t believe I did that, winner of the “i’d like to hand it to you” award for most embarrassing moment.

How could I be so wrapped up in that moment and miss that my hubby had moved off?

With two young children at the time, I was so excited to be out I was yammering away with delight, while hubby needed a moment of quiet to read the paper as we waited for our food.

I know now that we are both hardwired very differently.

I chose company, he chose solitude.

Sometimes it takes a communication breakdown before we realize how much we take one another for granted.

That is certainly true of our relationship with God.

So whose pocket is your hand in today? Your Bridegroom’s, or the deceiver’s?

Have you been talking for so long you don’t notice God is waiting for you to stop to get your attention?

Are you standing too close to the edge, just an arm’s length away?

Has the deceiver drawn close because you are too caught up in your own thoughts?

It doesn’t take much to distract us from what we want to do, does it?
I believe Paul can relate, when he wrote how he did the very things he didn’t want to do. I wonder what pockets Paul found his hand in unexpectedly…

May we be increasingly alert to His voice, His presence.

May we continually be on guard to the deception of the enemy, who is sometimes just a step away waiting for us to give him opportunity.

May our hands let go of what we did in error in the past, and remain open for God to fill & hold.

May we never settle for less than His best for us in every moment.

The two keys to keep from settling

In relationships, we can end up with a mixed bag of emotions, expectations & never ending energy draining roller coaster rides when we don’t follow through with two vital things.

The two keys we all need to have or do in our relationships?

1. Be yourself.
Don’t lose yourself, in any relationship.
Be able to answer:
What do you like? Dislike?
Believe? Treasure?
What are your boundaries?
Where are your weaknesses? Strengths?
What are you passionate about?

If you don’t know the answer to these questions, how can you be expected to relate to those around you on level ground? A strong personality will run roughshod over you, a weak one will drive you crazy from their indecision.

Not only know yourself, carry yourself like you ‘own it.’
You know, kind of like those who stick out in the crowd…with the wild hair, piercings, all black garb or walking like they own the place… they aren’t afraid to express what they like, and reveal a piece of who they are.

PS. Did you know God wants you to be yourself with Him too? Coz He already knows what your best and worst qualities are, where you are gifted, what drives you crazy, what you need to spend more time working on. He’s proud of you, and adores you just the way you are right now.

2. Stop settling.
Sometimes our emotions carry us further along than we were meant to go. When physical attraction pheromones kicks in, we can struggle to maintain a conversation. Make sure you aren’t giving in to less than your standard, which is hopefully God’s best for you. 

If the one you are dating is always very late, they aren’t respecting your time. If the one you are with constantly puts you down, don’t put up with it. If they try their moves before they commitment, you can be sure their actions are speaking louder than their words.

Does this mean we can’t forgive a bad day or two?
Not at all.

But if your relationship, as mentioned in the Relevant Magazine Article below, is characterized only by the negative, God may be trying to get your attention to take a step back, get help if necessary, and possibly move on.

No relationship should have an imbalance of power, abuse or harm in it.

You are worth too much to God for Him to want you to settle.

This sometimes means you might end up alone, or have to wait, take things slower to make sure you know the one you are in relationship with if you are dating, or break up.

There are seasons for friendships as well as weather. When all there is are storms or tornados, or you’ve been burned over & over despite second, fourth or eighteenth chances, you may need to move on.

The burn is never worth the rush that caused it.

Be yourself.
Know who you are, what you have to offer, what kind of person you want as a good friend or partner.
Pray hard.
Stick to your standards.
Don’t settle for less than God wants for you.
After all He gave His best, Jesus, for us.
He is more than enough for you in the wait.

Pssssst. Here is the article that started my train of thought:


I had my midlife crisis moment earlier than some.

I didn’t run away from home, break up with my hubby, leave my job, or buy a dream ________.

I got a tattoo about three years ago

Technically its three in one.

I am guessing you may have a glimpse of where this post may be going now with that last comment.

But maybe not.

At the time, I had a lot of emotional pain & baggage pent up over the previous couple of years.  I lost three important people in my life in the prior three years, three people I hope knew how much I loved them. I have three family members I adore 95% of the time, and with the many circumstances swirling in my head at the time, I wanted a tangible reminder of those two facts, as well as just how much God (in His three distinct persons) loves and is there for me.

So i walked in and got three quarter sized flying bird tattoos in a place I felt comfortable with.

Immediately after, it dawned on me rather abruptly, that I didn’t know how my hubby felt about tattoos.

I have grown up around people with them, a few in the military, several artists and found them visually interesting. Didn’t think I would ever get one, never really thought about it much over the years.

My hubby doesn’t like them. And we didn’t need any more stress in our home at the time.

You see, I had a history that hadn’t been fully uprooted of minor cutting, which I know now was my way to trying to relieve pent up emotional angst. Not a healthy choice, but I am thankful i was set free from the bulk of it before I fully was aware of what it was & could have led to for me.

I had unknowingly tapped back into that physical relief with the tattoos, doing something concrete to serve as the reminder I felt I needed at the time.

We ended up in some pretty intense arguments, counseling and prayer times.

While my hubby will never fully get why I got tattoos, he has accepted me as I am now and forgiven me for hurting him. I had a few lightening treatments to help them fade more quickly, as their starkness was part of what bothered him.

I more clearly know sometimes our actions have consequences we may not understand.

I also know through it all, God understood:

Look, I’ve written your names on the backs of my hands.
-Isaiah 49:16 MSG

See/Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
-Isaiah 49:26 NIV/ESV


I am important enough to Him for Him to have my name written on His hands, as are you. As is my husband. We are forever etched in the nail pierced hands of Jesus.

The simple act of doing something without understanding the implications or fallout is a reminder that we can hurt those we love most by not thinking of them in the decision making process.

Had I turned to God and poured out my heart in that moment, I would have made a wiser decision, and likely taken the time to work things through. I might still have gotten a tattoo, or not, but my hubby wouldn’t have felt the same punch to the jaw he did with my actions, as I would have clued him in to what was going on inside me.

I am not saying tattoos are wrong. I love mine. Most of us have enough stresses we are trying to deal with in our relationships, and don’t need a mid life crisis type event to knock the wind out of us or our loved one, causing a tidal wave release of unexpected emotion.

While it is good to remember, we need to also keep in mind our actions are to be made with love in the forefront, not an after thought.

Jesus knew the implications of his sacrifice.

The man in Him wanted another way.

The God in Him chose to blaze the pathway to freedom at great cost to Himself; knowing He is, was and will ever be the only Way.