Featured Stories

The Secret of a Happy Marriage

by Leslie Greenetz


   My husband and I just celebrated 40 years together! From this vantage point, it seems like it flew by in a wink. It's not until I chat with younger people about their marriages that I remember the adjustments and lessons we had to go through to get to where we are now.

   A non-negotiable commitment is the first thing you need to last the decades. Yes, we pledge our vows in marital bliss on our wedding day- till death do us part, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer... and it feels like the wind is in our sails and it can't get any better than this! The wedding is the pinnacle of months of preparation, making plans together, dreaming of the future together, sacrificing and anticipating together.

   Then reality sets in. All the dreams of what I thought married life would be like were so different than what I was experiencing. Those feelings of working together planning our little nest, imagining never being apart again were replaced with him going to work every day! Gone. All. Day. Then coming home tired and wanting space and not ready for my onslaught of conversation and my urgent need to connect. Rapture was replaced by rejection. I had to swallow my disappointment and remember who I used to be before the flurry of wedding planning, honeymoon fun and nest building.

   Who was I? Why did I feel so incomplete now? Then I remembered that before all this I was a complete person with a deep and sustaining love for God. That primary relationship with Him was vital, alive and satisfying. So, what happened? My focus had changed, and I had forgotten that my first love was still there. That revelation changed everything for me (and my sweet husband who was relieved I was willing to take my claws out and quit sucking the life out of him). I realized that Jesus is my ultimate knight in shining armor. My worth, my happiness, my eternity is tied up with him. My husband is my companion in life. Together we are better and more fully equipped to do what we are meant to do for the glory of God.

   When I deliberately gave my husband space, found out what his idea of a peaceful home looked like, I adjusted my behavior. I made an effort to discover the things that really made him happy and tried to do those things. A lot. He appreciates a clean, tidy house and a delicious meal when he gets home. I was raised by wolves and scarcely had a clue what all that meant. But I made the effort and learned to discipline myself. I learned to put things away, to keep the laundry done and put away, to cook the things he likes, to make the bed every day. Simple things that really only take a few minutes a day but things that mean so much to him. And he did the same. He wanted to show his appreciation for my efforts by doing the things that made me happy. Making coffee in the morning, taking care of all the bills, fanning my flames of creativity. It became a cycle of trying to out-bless each other. Not a bad cycle! Our biggest arguments are about who is luckiest, him or me.

   Another big choice in our marriage was to realize each other’s strengths and weaknesses and choose to accept that some things are not going to change. I will always see the big picture and he will always see the details. I will always have piles, he will always have files. I write about happy marriages and he will balance the checkbook.

   We are both independent, busy and creative people. That's how God made us. But we are actually so much better together. His gift of providing frees me up to pour myself into what I need to do. When we were raising our kids, I was able to stay home with them and be their primary teacher and role model. Not everyone can do that, but how grateful I am for that. We lived very close-to-the-bone and I learned to be frugal. The kids wore hand-me-downs, we scrimped and saved for every little thing. We checked out toys from the children's home society, went to the park and the library and spent very little money so I could be home. He rode his bike to work so I could have the car. It was a sacrifice, but we are both so glad we were able to literally train our teenagers before they were five, and it paid off big.

   Because he loves and trusts me, my husband gives me a long leash. He's a homebody, a morning person, a news-watcher. I want to see the world, stay up till 2 am with projects, talk to people, produce plays and murals and plan trips to paint. Yes, we are opposites in many ways. But we've learned to make it work for us. I go on mission trips and art getaways and he stays home and remodels the kitchen. Win-Win! And the best part of going away is coming home again to my favorite person.

   Laughing together, finding common interests, keeping commitments together... these things are what last after the kids are grown and gone. We like playing games and watching movies and taking walks. We like having dinner together (which is a dying tradition these days!) We like going to church together, hosting people in our home, and visiting our kids. Things have changed through the years as we and our circumstances have changed. We love and trust each other and enjoy being together but are okay being apart for a season too. There's a great security after so many years together. We can forgive the flabby bodies, thinning hair and wrinkles because we both have them now. And it's nice to have someone to grow old with.

Legislative Update from Assemblyman James Gallagher


Psalm 139:13-14 (KJV)

13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

   As Christians, we have a responsibility to protect our most vulnerable, and perhaps there is no more vulnerable group today, than the unborn. Meanwhile, Democrats in Sacramento continue to push laws designed to promote and favor the abortion industry to the detriment of the unborn and women's health. In more recent years, for example, they passed a law that would allow abortion clinics to get around the building codes usually required for health facilities.

   This year, Senate Bill (SB) 320 seeks to require student health centers on CSU and UC campuses to provide abortion by medication. Female students would have abortion pills made available to them at all CSU and UC campuses even when there might not be adequate oversight and supervision by an appropriate health care provider. This latest plot to employ our college campuses as a mouthpiece for pro-abortion advocates is exactly what we can expect from a desperate industry backed by their Democratic patrons.

   This same bill was halted last year over California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) concerns about safety, cost, and liability. The author, Senator Connie Leyva, wants college campus staff to dispense free medication abortions to students in an effort to provide what she claims to be a stress-free and safe process for an abortion. Senator Leyva defends this bill as a way to increase access and make it easier for students forced to go off campus.

Women who are less than 10 weeks pregnant would be able to obtain the medication, a two-pill dosage of mifepristone and misoprostol, from a doctor, creating a response similar to an early miscarriage. There is also a known reversal medication that can stop the abortion for those women who may change their mind, but that would of course not be provided under this bill.

   This state cannot and should not sanction a program that potentially sacrifices the health of our young women and the life of the unborn child simply to appease the abortion industry and manufacturers of these drugs.

   Not only is this bill exploiting vulnerable young women and their decision, it also seeks to use our college campuses to spread a falsehood that this process will create ease for students. This bill neglects to address the physical impact suffered by the patient. Patients that have used this method have testified of severe pain and discomfort, coupled by the many serious unpredictable side effects.

   Additionally, the bill creates future liabilities. All 23 CSU and 11 UC campuses would be put at greater risk if there are emergency situations involving women taking these drugs and there are not adequate medical professionals to respond. I will be voting against this bill when it comes before me in the Assembly and I encourage readers to help spread the word and advocate against yet another measure to promote the abortion industry at the expense of women's health.