Written by cycleguy on March 12th, 2014

Someone asked me several months ago to read The Notebook and The Wedding by Nicolas Sparks. I had heard of the first but not the second, but could not tell you one iota what The Notebook was all about. Not one stitch.

So it finally came into the local library (I wasn’t going to pay for it). The Notebook was in Large Print (no comments please).  I chuckled about it, but have to admit it was easy on the eyes. It is a love story of a man and a woman (Noah & Allie) who met one summer. A number of years had passed and they rekindled their love for each other. The latter chunk of the book was where the title of the book came from. They both found themselves in a nursing home: he from severe rheumatoid arthritis and she from Alzheimers. Each day he would make his trek to her room and read from the notebook. Without giving away the gist of the story, let’s just say it was his notes of his undying love for her.

By the time of The Wedding, Allie had died. They had an undying love for each other. The Wedding is considered a sequel, although the primary characters are the daughter and son-in-law of Noah and Allie. The Wedding is the story of how the two had grown apart over 20+ years of marriage. Three grown children and an empty house. The man realizes he must do something to win his wife back (especially after he forgot their anniversary). I’m not too far into the story yet, but it has got me thinking.

How many times have I allowed my love for Jo to grow mundane?

How many times have I allowed my love for Jesus to grow mundane?

Settled for. Taken for granted. Just accepting it is there. Cooled off. I’m betting you are like me-it is not something which happened overnight. It was a gradual cooling off. So gradual you didn’t even notice until it hit you like a ton of bricks. Something was missing.

What do you do when in that spot? When did it dawn on you you were in a bad place? Where are you now?


28 Comments so far ↓

  1. Jeff says:

    I think you will probably hit some nerves on this one. I am not in the spot or in a bad place. But I am sure there are a lot of couples that “taking for granted” is standard operating procedure. And one of them is not too fond of that. And then comes the music.
    I fortunately am not in that place. I am a confirmed bachelor with a dog that loves being taken for granted.
    As for lovin Jesus I’ll leave that up to y’all. That’s not my thing.

    • cycleguy says:

      I hope I hit nerves Jeff. I love dialogue. 🙂 Also, if it stirs the pot then all the better. But you are right about one being fond of that. Thanks for your honesty.

  2. Daniel says:

    I haven’t heard of these books or this author. I will check them out.

    • cycleguy says:

      He has written quite a few. He wrote Message in a Bottle, Walk to Remember and several others. While I have seen Message several years ago, I have not read anything by him except for these two. I may look at others though.

  3. Betty Draper says:

    Well let just say this, our vows say for better or worst and no matter how good a marriage starts out, there will come some worst. Ace and I have weathered some pretty stormy times in our marriage. But we have reached that stage of comfortable, both of our expectations for each other have changed through the years, we are in a better place then we have ever been.

    As for the Lord, I believe I am in a better place with Him too for my understanding has grown in what He expect of me. Since He cannot be anything other then what is in the Word I can learn of Him on a daily bases. It seems I started out with that wide eyed, heart racing love for this awesome God, then that settled down I begin to learn who He was besides being my Savior. Like my marriage my commitment to God has become more solid and unshakeable. Knowing nothing can separate me from His love gives me courage to face all that has come and will come. He has never given up on me and I will not give up on Him. Ace has my back and God has both our backs. Great post brother.

    • cycleguy says:

      I believe we all weather storms Betty. Ain’t no way we can keep up the “honeymoon” phase of our marriages. As for our faith, I think you have pictured it perfectly. Thanks.

  4. Jan and I went to a concert Sunday night. We love concerts, but couldn’t remember the last time we went to one. This is due to kids and money and life. Your basic idea struck me. I want more of that with Jan.

  5. Kari Scare says:

    Small things add up over time to make a huge difference… for good or for bad. A friend told me recently that one of the greatest gifts I can give my kids is devotion to and love for my husband. So much truth in that. Taking it further, the greatest gift I can give anyone in my life is love and devotion to Jesus. Focus determines reality. A focus on Him results in a life of true love. My initial thoughts, for what it’s worth.

  6. Zee says:

    Watched the movie, haven’t read the book. Good points…

    Sam and I (sorry, we spend most of our time together these days, so he’s always present in my stories) discussed the very thing several times. How we need to do stuff to keep this flame we have right now even after we get officially married. One of the ways we agreed on is weekly lunch / coffee together during the day (thankfully we don’t work far away from each other)…

    But the same applies to faith. I’m re-reading Dekker’s the Slumber of Christianity right now. I know I’ve been promoting Dekker’s fiction books, but this one is nonfiction and just as great. Basically, he’s talking about reawakening the hope and passion of Christian faith.

    Good reminder, Bill. Thanks for sharing.

    • cycleguy says:

      I read the book but not seen the movie. Compare notes? 🙂 I hope you and Sam can keep your commitment to each other about making time. Tell me how the book is Zee. Sounds like one I might want to check on. Oh…you’re welcome.

    • David says:

      I’m always looking for recommendations for books. Never read or heard of Dekker. What would be a title you would recommend?

      • Zee says:

        David – oh… Where to start? I own and have read over 17 of his books (or more… Lost count). Anyway. If you are looking for nonfiction – check out the slumber of Christianity – the one I mentioned above. It’s really… Eye-opening (at least it was for me.)

        If fiction – hmm… When Heaven Weeps touched me. Also Black / Red / White – these were my first Dekker books. Start with these.

  7. floyd says:

    It’s typical and easy to take for granted the best of God’s gifts in our lives. I’m no exception. I do try to keep our relationship alive and kicking, though most credit has to go to my full blooded Italian wife!

    My little one cries a rainstorm when she watches The Notebook…

    • cycleguy says:

      No comment on the alive and kicking. 🙂 I’m not full-blooded but I do have at least 1/2. Least you are trying and that is important.

  8. David Rupert says:

    Mediocrity is a creeping disease. It isnt that we dont care for the other person, but we dont care enough to keep the relatoinship sharp and vibrant. We simply settle.

  9. We are on the same page today. 🙂 The passion we feel for another or our work or God–it doesn’t disappear one day. It must be maintained or like a fire, it goes out. I’ve definitely had seasons where I let too many things press on me or busyness get the better of me and I pulled back from key relationships that should never have to suffer that way. Thankfully, it’s never been anything crazy or a total break, but seeing the decay wakes you up. With grace and hope, you can fan the flames once again. Good thoughts, Bill. Thank you.

  10. David says:

    I just read Sparks’ latest novel, “The Longest Ride”, I thinks it’s his 17th novel. Talk about living under a rock, I didn’t know he had written the books you mentioned until I picked up his last book. I think at least 4 of his books have been made into movies as will the one I just read.

    Letting things grow a bit mundane, I’m guilty. Not intentionally, you just get used to the way things are. Although I do buy my wife flowers every now and then for no reason at all – just because. If it weren’t for my wife though, my life would be really boring. Now that our youngest is officially a teenager, we are finding more time for us to “date” again.

    • cycleguy says:

      Until I checked for Daniel, I had no idea he had written so many either. I knew of a few but WOW! Is “Ride” worth reading? It is nice as your children get older you can begin to “date” again without worrying about a babysitter, etc. Don’t squelch that David. pursue it/her.

      • David says:

        Yes, “The Longest Ride” is worth reading, I enjoyed it and would recommend it.

        As far as doing things together, my wife and I just took a cooking class in Seattle last weekend and then spent the night there as well. Then we spent most of Sunday kicking around parts of Seattle we’d never been to before. It was nice.

  11. Caleb Suko says:

    Wow, kudos for actually getting through those books!

    For me I find that I have to constantly work to keep my love for my wife and my Savior fresh and growing. It’s amazing how fast that love can just fizzle out when I don’t pay attention to it.

  12. Bill,

    Choosing to invest in our marriages is always worth it, but takes intentionality that’s for sure. Thanks for this reminder.

    Re your comment on my post “Making Spring Break Work for Every Family,” it sounds like you enjoy relaxing the same way my eldest son does: on a bike. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping in,
    Jennifer Dougan