Category Archives: Love

38 Reasons

Had Anna Takle held off another 1.5 hours, she would have shared her birthday with my favorite man. And, clearly, her favorite man, too.

Kris Takle is 38 today.

That calls for 38 reasons I love Kris Takle:

1. Generosity. He is one of the most giving men I know.

2. He tells me right away whenever he trips, stumbles, or hurts himself, because he knows I will laugh until tears pour.

3. He is my greatest encourager. Well, after my momma.

4. He can make the kids laugh so dang loud and hard to the point that I have to leave the room.

5. He is sentimental. The boy will hold onto everything I allow. (Sorry about throwing out those old watches, Ivar.)

6. I never wonder if he is thinking about me when he travels, because, he tells me almost every time he does.

7. He is a great cook. Or “cooker,” as Anna Takle says.

8. Speaking of cooking, his fried rice beats all. Uh-maz-ing.

9. He can’t keep his hands off of me. I’m just sayin’.

10. When I share my heart, he listens.

11. He once said when we were dating, “I don’t think I’d love you as much as I do if you didn’t have John Henry.”

12. And, I have never, EVER seen him treat John Henry differently than his own flesh and blood.

13. He is safe.

14. And comfortable.

15. He forgives quickly.

16. He has a lot of wisdom in how to handle difficult situations.

17. He will take ownership when he makes a mistake.

18. His honesty is scary, funny, and just downright impressive.

19. His love for farming is pretty adorable.

20. He gets excited about driving his tractor.

21. His passion for aviation inspires me to always stay passionate about the call of God on my life.

22. And, he still appreciates flying the little single-engine props whenever he gets the chance. I, on the other hand, really appreciate two jet engines. With nice leather seats. And, a bathroom. Amen.

23. He lets me record his “Taklisms.” Exhibit A: “Take the world by the horns.” Exhibit B: “I’m just not feeling on the top of the weather today.”

24. He loves his friends.

25. If it’s within his power to meet a need, he does it. Without hesitation.

26. He makes every date night enjoyable.

27. He is slow to anger.

28. Content. He is always content. Which makes him extremely hard to buy for.

29. As a matter of fact, whenever I ask him what he wants for his birthday, Christmas or anniversary, his answer is always the same: “Just you.”

30. He loves babysitters, and he’s not afraid to call them. Glo-ree.

31. He is a great son. I love how he always honors his mom and dad in word and deed.

32. The man appreciates really good food.

33. He makes me laugh every single day. Sometimes, I think it’s one of his life missions.

34. He is just a really great dad. He disciplines with love. He plays with them like he’s a kid, too. And, he provides opportunities for them to succeed.

35. He watches animated films ALL OF THE TIME. With and without our children.

36. I never doubt his love for me. Ever.

37. And, because of the way he loves me and others, he is one of the most spiritual men I know.

38. He loves God. And, he trusts Him in everything.

And, that last one always impresses me. As much of the Word that’s inside of me, I can still have moments of, “God, please pull through on this one.” Kris? He trusts in the sovereignty of God.

And, his faith always strengthens mine.

Happy Birthday, Ivar. You make this world a sweeter, kinder place.

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Viva Love.

I’ve been married to Kris Takle 8 years today.  He likes to keep things exciting, so he surprised me with a trip to Vegas this past weekend.  It was pretty perfect save losing my iPhone and driver’s license.  I’m on day five without the iPhone, and heart palpitations haven’t started yet, so I take that as a good sign I’m doing okay.  It was in a clutch that was taken from a craps table.  Of course, that wasn’t all that craps table took from us, but, you know…it’s Vegas.  And, if you think gambling is a sin, you might wanna go ahead and click that “x” in the top right hand corner now, ‘cause momma likes to bet on the hard ways. 

I’m all talk, really.  Those tables make me nervous.  Unlike the umbrella and comfy chairs we sold a kidney to rent by the pool out there.  Purchasing comfort clearly does not make me nervous.  At least, not that trip.  Mercy.

I’ll go ahead and tell you I cried when Celine Dion sang “My Heart Will Go On.”  And, “Because, You Loved Me.”  And, when she sang Billy Joel’s “Lullaby (Goodnight My Angel)”, I knew I had lost the battle preventing puffy eyes the next morning. 

Because, it’s in these songs that my mind thinks about the amazing people in my life. 

Especially my husband.

I love him.

As a matter of fact, I think I’m addicted to loving him.

I love how he knows what makes me laugh, so he does it.

I love how he believes in me and my gifts.

I love how he loves me. 

And, I’m pretty sure I love him more today than I have ever loved him.  And, you won’t hurt my feelings if you click that “x”, because this is just too sappy for you. 

In the words of Matt Nathanson, “you make my heart beat faster.”

You just do.

Happy Anniversary, Kris Takle.

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Loving Until The Twelfth of Never.

The following was written and published in The Grip newspaper as my tribute to the love of John and Dianne Herbert.  Dianne took her last breath on earth with John by her side, Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 12:30AM.  I will never forget the exchanges I had the honor of witnessing their last few weeks together.

There are days when one of us is trying to simultaneously console a tummy ache and cook dinner while the other is reconciling a bank statement with a toddler running a big truck up and down his leg.  There are situations where he sees things one way and I assume the burden of making him see things the right way.  Okay.  My way.  There are times my words are curt and his actions seem insensitive.  And, there are moments we both wish we could re-do.

We can’t.  And, parenting aside, marriage is one of the hardest institutions to navigate through.

But, I know it’s possible.

What is that thing that makes her stay even when the hard moments are unbearable?  What is it that makes him still say, “I love you,” after she has hurt his heart?  When bills pile up and the funds are low?  When one is running to soccer and the other is running to the office?  When time is scarce?  When emotions are running high?  When patience seems to have packed herself up and moved across town? 

What is it that makes a marriage run until the very end? 

Respect.  Honesty.  Intimacy.  Selflessness. 

Those are all words I think of when I think of a successful marriage. 

But, perhaps, the simplest answer is commitment.  Staying in the game.  Choosing love over and over again.  Saying no to the easy way outs and saying yes to until the twelfth of never. 

For better or for worse.

This is the kind of love I witnessed every day I went to see John and Dianne.  Bed-ridden with cancer, Dianne forced a smile into the eyes of the man who sang to her while he held her water.  Nurses would come and go, and John swore they were all scared of being out of a job because of the care he gave Dianne himself.  “She’s the queen of the house,” he’d tell everyone.  I watched him leave her side only to turn and run back and steal a kiss.  And, she obliged. 

I’m not sure what their last day looked like as he requested to be alone with his wife of more than forty-six years.  I don’t know the words he told her or the songs he sang. 

But, if he didn’t sing these words aloud, I know they echoed in his heart:

You ask how much I need you, must I explain?
I need you, oh my darling, like roses need rain.
You ask how long I’ll love you; I’ll tell you true:
Until the twelfth of never, I’ll still be loving you.

May we all be inspired to love….

until the twelfth of never and that’s a long, long time.

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Filed under life, Love, Marriage, Writing

Loving Hurt.

I’ve always heard and maintained the philosophy that sometimes you’ve gotta play hurt.  In other words, sometimes, you’ve got to play and give and serve even when you don’t feel like playing and giving and serving.  But, quite frankly, we usually WANT to play even though we are hurt.  Most athletes will continue to play their game hurt, because they are passionate about that game.  So, it’s not really that much of a sacrifice.  I mean, I’m no athlete, but I do have some pretty awesome running apparel that I wear to carpool little people. 

The real sacrifice comes in loving hurt. 

Kris is my safe place.  He is the one who understands when I don’t feel like giving or serving.  He’s the one who loves me no matter what.  That being said, it’s pretty dang easy to bow out on serving him when I’m physically or mentally exhausted or hurting.  Besides, he understands.

And, with my recent back injury, I was little good to anyone, and Kris served me without a single complaint.  He’s good like that.  He’s compassionate and understanding.  He does, however, fail to understand how accessories really do make the wardrobe.  I know, right?

But, it hit me a few days ago.

Sometimes, you’ve got to love hurt. 

I’m not just talking about loving in spite of the proverbial headache.  Well, sort of, I am.  I am talking about stepping outside of yourself. 

Outside off your physical pain. 

Outside of your emotional pain. 

Outside of your exhaustion. 

Outside of your broken heart.  

Outside of your stuff.   

And, choosing to love hurt. 

I was really tired the other night.  (It’s okay.  You can keep reading.  This doesn’t get graphic.  This is a family blog.)  I had the worst headache of all the headaches in the world.  (And, I never exaggerate.)   I looked at my husband lying beside me and this little revelation hit me:  love hurt.  So, I rubbed his back….  And, we will just leave it at that, friends.   

At that moment, I sure would have loved to fall asleep watching House Hunters and nurse my headache.  But, I knew I needed to choose him this time.  I knew I needed to love hurt. 

You see, often, the person we love the most is the person we serve the least. 

For me, it was my physical pain keeping me from loving hurt.  For you, it might be a different kind of hurt.  Loving hurt for you may look like having to forgive while hurt.  It might be loving even though your feelings are hurt.  Loving even though you are disappointed.  Loving even though you are mentally exhausted and feel like you just can’t take any more. 

Loving even though….

Because, when we do love hurt, that love never returns void.  It is never without effect.

Because, love never, ever fails. 

And, that is one certainty I know with all of my heart.

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My Funny Valentine.

Me:  Kris, you never complain about anything.

Kris:  It’s because I have a closer walk with God.

Not only is my sweet husband a contented non-complainer, he’s also very funny.  He knew he would make me laugh with his explanation of why he doesn’t complain.  Kris has an incredible ability to not let things really get to him.  He also has quite the propensity to make me laugh every day we are together. 

But, it’s his capacity to let things go….

To let hurts go.  To overlook people’s faults.  To forgive without hesitation….

It’s one of the things I love about him most. 

How often we think we cannot get over a hurt or an offense.  We internalize and dwell on them.  We want vengeance.  We want that person to know exactly how we feel.  Exactly how they’ve hurt us.  We want to hold them accountable for their words and actions. 

But, that’s just not God’s way. 

God’s way is to think of others as better than ourselves – Philippians 2:3.

God’s way is to be kind to one another and tenderhearted, forgiving them as quickly and fully as God forgave us – Ephesians 4:32.

God’s way is to never avenge ourselves – Romans 12:19.

God’s way is to love our enemies – Matthew 5:44.

God’s way is unconventional.  His way was to go to a cross and never open His mouth even to defend Himself.  His way was to take communion on the same night he was betrayed. 

The. Same. Night.

Now, Kris Takle is no saint, I tell ya.  And, he might confuse a scripture or ten, albeit, sometimes purposefully, because he knows it’ll make me laugh.  But, he gets that God’s way stuff on letting things go pretty dadgum good. 

Kris, thank you for being such an incredible example of God’s love.  You continue to inspire and push me to do things God’s way while still giving me room to grow.  I might be able to quote 1 Corinthians 13 in my sleep, but, you walk it out with such greater ease. 

You’re a good man.  And, a really fun Valentine. 

Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all.  Now, go love on somebody.

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Filed under God Stuff, Love, Marriage

Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall.

I love how the morning my article on relationships is published in The Grip and the morning after I attend a relationship class, I have a rather heated encounter with my husband.  And, I don’t mean the physical touch, love language kind of encounter.  I’m talking about the let’s find every wrong way to communicate to your spouse kind of encounter. 

It all started with this question:  “Is the bug man here?”  And, yes, by bug man I mean exterminator.  We are a sophisticated bunch in the Takle household. 

No need in spilling every pitiful detail of how I thought Kris responded to my inquiry.  Orrrr, how I received his answer.  But, it would be later in the evening before we would resolve our marital dilemma.

Joey Grubbs, our relationship guru, had shared only the night before how we need to look in the mirror when we find ourselves dealing with issues in our relationships.  I don’t think he meant for me to say, I don’t know, “Kris, Joey says you need to look in the mirror!”  I mean, I don’t think he said that.  I certainly wouldn’t have translated it that way….on a normal, non-hormonal kind of day. 

Once I invited God into my day, I finally looked in the mirror for myself.  What is it in me that made me receive Kris’ answer the way I received it?  Why was I so offended?  Later, Kris and I were able to sit down and talk about the unfortunate dialogue of that morning.  I was able to share how I knew my response just wasn’t a good one.  I was also able to share what I need from him in those situations.  And, he was able to receive it.

I’ve always been quite the self-assessor.  But, I’m learning the importance even more of looking at myself in the mirror.  And, asking simple questions like, “What is it in me that makes me feel or react a certain way?”  Actually, I need to look in the mirror for ALL of my relationships.  Once I do, I must line up those things that aren’t right with God’s Word.  Because, His Word is the best litmus test for how we are responding to and receiving from others. 

So, here’s to the confessions of a writer on relationships. 

I’m still growing.  And, from the looks of that girl staring back at me in the mirror, I have a lot more growing to do. 

Thankful for a patient husband.  And, an even more patient Father.

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Do Everthing Without This.

A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.  Luke 6:45

What I say flows from what is in my heart.  Sometimes, the awareness of this hurts my feelings.  I like to think I am that good person mentioned in Luke above.  But, there are times when it is evident from the words I let fall from my lips that my heart needs a serious cleansing. 

Such words that break other people down or judgmental words are obvious checks into our heart.  But, there are other words that may seem less obvious that our heart needs an adjustment.   

Like what?  I’m glad you asked!  Like COMPLAINING WORDS. 

I’m guilty of some occasional complaining.  I might complain about my to-do list.  I might complain about the weather.  I might complain to husband about his entire pilot gear unpacked on my kitchen counter.  I might complain about a lot of things.  Scripture tells us that complaining offends the heart of God.  Yikes!

How often do I offend God’s heart? 

How often do you? 

I’m pretty sure when Paul wrote in Philippians to do everything without complaining or arguing, he meant EVERYTHING. 

There really is no way of getting out of this one. 

So, starting today, I’m going to try to go 28 days without complaining about a SINGLE thing.  I would like for you all to join me in this No Complaining in the Month of Love project, also known as the NCML Project.  I just made that up.  I’m going with it. 

And, you’re welcome, Kris Takle.

Feel free to hold me accountable.  Just don’t get upset if I complain about you calling me out.

Who’s in?

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Filed under God Stuff, Love