Marriage that Lasts

This post is an excerpt of an article I wrote in 2008 called “Love that Lasts”. It was published in Lookout Magazine from Standard Publishing. The entire article can be read here.

Dr Wes & Mary Gerig

The article discusses the importance of staying faithful to one’s marital vows. I’m including it here because of the respect I have for Dr. Wes and Mary Gerig and their Christian influence on the lives of so many people. Sadly, Mary Gerig passed away in February 2012. We pray for Dr Wes and his family and friends as they mourn her death.


(excerpt from ‘Love that Lasts’)

Listening to the words of Christian couples who have been married for many years can help the rest of us understand the importance of this sacred union and learn to implement this reverence in our own marriages.

Dr. Wes and Mary Gerig from Fort Wayne, Indiana were married in 1952. He has taught Bible courses at Taylor University-Fort Wayne for 51 years.

It might seem easy being married while living in a Christian atmosphere, but the Gerigs admit they have had challenges during their five and a half decades together.

Raising four children on a professor’s salary was not easy. Wes often earned extra income by filling in for area ministers who had to be away from their pulpits on Sundays. To create a regular routine for the children, Mary stayed home and took them to the same church each Sunday.

During the week when the whole family was together, Wes and Mary involved the children in family devotions each morning after breakfast. “It was brief because everyone had to leave to go places,” says Wes, “but we read from a children’s Bible and prayed together as a family.” Today the kids are grown and have their own families, and Mary says they still call to ask for prayer.

The Gerigs advise couples who come for premarital counseling to consider the value of having similar backgrounds. “We both came from mission-minded families and that helped us believe the same about tithing and serving,” says Mary. Wes’ father had been a minister and Mary had grown up on a mission field in Peru, South America.

Another similarity the couple shared was a love for travel. After the children were older, Mary accompanied Wes when he was asked to preach at churches around the world in countries like Israel, Haiti, Jamaica, Ecuador, Philippines, Taiwan, and the Dominican Republic. The Gerigs have also made several trips to Japan and Russia where two of their children serve with their families as missionaries.

The important thing, they say, is to have fun together and respect each other’s differences. “We consider ourselves a team,” says Wes. “God is the central part of our marriage. We live by the Bible and its principles and encourage our children and grandkids to do the same.”

Husband John & I have been married 31 years.

My husband John and I have been married 31 great years. We’ve had some hard times, but divorce was never an option. We are each other’s best friend and will continue to stay together until the Lord calls us home.

Tell me about your marriage. What makes it special?

The End

Jesus’ Friendship Never Fades

Jesus gives us beauty in Nature to enjoy



And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping and said to Peter, “So you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour?” (Matthew 26:40, New American Standard Bible)


If there had been coffee shops during Jesus’ time, I’m convinced He would have taken one look at Peter’s, James’ and John’s sleepy faces at Gethsemane and said, “Hey, you guys, I’m going to need your support in the next several hours and you don’t look like you can hold your heads up much longer. Let’s go to the Bohemian Bean in Jerusalem and I’ll get you each a super-large caramel latte with extra shots of espresso to go!”


Unfortunately, the disciples had no legal artificial stimulant to keep them awake. As a result, they fell asleep three times, even after Jesus implored them to stay awake. They lost valuable time with their best friend during the most difficult night of His life.


My tendency is to point at those men and ask, “How could you disappoint Jesus?” Three fingers are pointing back at me and I ask myself, ‘How many times have I disappointed Jesus?’  


Wherever I am, morning or night, I talk to God. He’s my best friend and I’ve failed him in the past, but He’s given me second, third, and fourth chances. We have lost time to make up for!


Prayer:  God, You are patient with us beyond measure. You know we are weak and tired and don’t deserve Your patience or grace, but You extend them anyway. Give us wisdom to know when a circumstance needs our full attention for Your sake.



Today is my mom’s birthday!

Mom & me in one of her favorite locales -- a clothing store!

Today I’m dedicating my blog to my sweet mother. She has been such a great mother to me and my sisters. She and Dad had a long marriage – 48 years — before he passed away.

They taught us much about sacrificing, working hard, supporting each other. Mom always took us to church, even when I’m sure she was ready to drop dead from teaching 3rd graders all week and caring for 3 noisy kids at home (I was the worst!). She always taught us to trust God with everything and to treat everyone with respect and kindness.

I would not be where I am today if it were not for my mother. And I want the whole world to know it!

Mom in her new digs last fall with Lindsay.


Tony Hawk helps communities


Celebrities Giving Back by Kayleen Reusser


Recently, while talking to a 4th grade class about my nine children’s books , I told them about my book Celebrities Giving Back to encourage them to serve as volunteers. I told them about one example from the book, a famous skateboarder named Tony Hawk.

As most kids in this class had heard of Tony Hawk, I’ve posted this excerpt from Celebrities Giving Back for them. Tony Hawk is admirable for establishing a foundation to help people. His involvement in the lives of others warranted his inclusion in the book which lists 16 other famous people who have helped people with time, effort, and money.

This book is special to me because I work with a group called Stitches of Hope that gives away beautiful, soft crocheted/knitted caps to people who lose hair from cancer and other illnesses. Learn more about us at

A cap made by a Stitches of Hope volunteer, given to someone with a medical need.

What could you do to help someone today? If you are a volunteer, please let me know what it is you do and the name of the group and I’ll mention it here. You can be a great volunteer at any age! 


(from Celebrities Giving Back by Kayleen Reusser):

When Tony Hawk was given a skateboard at age nine, no one could have predicted how that piece of equipment would affect his life. Over the next few years, he perfected his athletic skills with the board. By age 16, Tony had won enough skateboarding competitions to qualify him as the best skateboarder in the world. More important, at the skate park, he found friends and an outlet for exercise and self-expression.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, Hawk became the face of skateboarding, especially when he completed the first 900 in 1999. The 900 is an aerial spin on a skateboard, rotating 2-1/2 times, then landing on the board upright. Hawk’s fame increased when a series of video games featuring his unique moves was released.

Twenty years after Hawk received his first skateboard, the sport had more than 13 million participants in the United States. Unfortunately, the construction of skate parks has not kept up with the sport’s popularity. By 2010, approximately 3,000 skate parks were available in the United States. Lacking suitable places to practice, most skaters ride wherever they can, including streets and parking lots.

In 2002 Hawk organized the Tony Hawk Foundation, which encourages the construction of skate parks in towns and cities across the country. “It doesn’t take long for cities to realize their modest skate parks get more use than the local tennis courts or baseball fields,” he says.

(end of excerpt)


I’m interested in speaking to students in schools and libraries. Please let me know if you would like more information for your group.

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Bluffton Elementary School 4th graders love books!

Speaking to 4th graders at Bluffton Elem School

On February 10 I had the opportunity to speak to the Bluffton Elementary School fourth graders about my children’s books. They were attentive and fun to speak to. They liked the bookmarks I handed out about my books and I hope they will send me comments after looking at my website. My thanks to teachers Staci Hunt, Kyan Harris, Lacey Meyer, Jana Wanner for inviting me.

These 4th graders were smart and respectful.

I’m interested in speaking to other children’s groups. If you would like to schedule me to speak about writing to your class, please contact me at (take out the first and last @@’s).

Keep reading!

Fun day speaking in Fairmount

Speaking to 6th graders at Park El. School in Fairmount. Photo by Cathy Shouse.

Recently, I had the lovely opportunity to visit Park Elementary School in Fairmount, Indiana. I spoke to the 6th grade classes of David Pyle and Leticia Beckley at on the subject of Greek mythology, highlighting my three Greek gods books – Hades, Hephaestus, Hermes.


Next, I spoke about writing as a business to the 5th grade classes of Judy Turner and Alice Bennett. I told the groups how important it was to meet deadlines and be reliable with spelling and grammar.


Speaking to 5th graders at Park El School in Fairmount. Photo by Cathy Shouse.

They were great classes and I look forward to maybe speaking there again someday.


This was pretty exciting to see with my name on it!

Then I traveled to the Fairmount Public Library where I provided a display of Indonesian arts and crafts – and candy! One lucky teen wanted to try the bag that claimed to be some kind of seaweed candy. When she opened it, it looked as green as what you’d expect! I encouraged her to take the entire bag and she did.

Linda Magers, director of the library, was a gracious host and purchased a copy of each of my books. Find out more about this hospitable library at


Thanks to my long-time friend Cathy Shouse for suggesting the visit to her daughter Katelyn’s school and then chauffeuring me to each locale. Katelyn and her friend, Lexi, tried several Indonesian snacks and liked the crafts.

Katelyn & Lexi look at the Indonesian crafts from my book. Photo by Matt Shouse.

Cathy’s son Matt took photos at the library. Even Cathy’s husband Jim and her mother made an appearance! It was a great time meeting them, as well as patrons of the library.


I’m planning more speaking engagements to students and/or adults on the subject of writing or other. If you’d like more information, please contact me at

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Take care,