Marriage,  Uncategorized

What It Really Takes to Stay True for the Long Haul


We somehow found ourselves at the top of the mountain.

A romantic impulse, I suppose. But last week-end we were heading back home and he suddenly steered the car up the road to Timberline Lodge at the top of Mt. Hood, Oregon.

A small detour up into the snowy peak.

When we arrived at the grand historic Lodge, however, we found ourselves in a long line of cars as the parking lot appeared to be closed. We inched our way up to the parking attendant who looked as though he had been standing in the cold for far too many hours.

His explanation was brief: “Sorry, no chance. Nothing open with a ski race and two weddings going on.”

Honestly? You won’t let us up there?

“Nope. Can’t do it.” And he motioned for us to move along.

My husband – never one to give up easily – pressed him: But what if we recently celebrated our anniversary up here?

I leaned over and added, “Yes, and we’ve been married for 21 years. We had one of our first dates here…..”

Surprisingly, the man’s hard lines softened right before our eyes. “Really? You two have been together for over 21 years?”

Yes, sir, we have.

And we watched him mull it over. Then finally, “Well, I never do this, but you can park directly in front of the lodge. It’s reserved for special guests and this sounds pretty special to me.”

Special. Never thought our years together would qualify us as special.

But, yes, by God’s grace, we’re staying true to our vows. We’re committed to this marriage for the long haul. Not always an easy climb, but oh, so worth the effort.

Are you on a similar trek? If so, here’s what it takes….

Give each other grace during the difficult seasons. At some point, one or both of you will likely face Illness, financial pressure, job loss, or grief. Decide now to ride out these hard times together. Support one another as much as possible. You can’t let these trials determine the rest of your relationship.

Don’t let the cares of this life choke out your love. People get busy, distracted and worn-down, letting their love life slowly fade away. But don’t let that happen. We regularly call a “time-out” where we put the pressures of our lives aside and focus on our relationship together. Reminding ourselves that we love each other and enjoy being together.

Be willing to seek help when you need it. Maybe you need prayer or another godly perspective. Ask for it! Don’t let things get too far down before reaching out for help. That’s the beauty of the body of Christ – you should never be left to solve everything on your own.

Focus on how you want this to end. Whenever I see Matthew’s parents holding hands in church and sharing a songbook together? I say to myself, “Yes! That’s what I want. What they’re enjoying after 60 years is what I want for us too.”  (More shared here: 6 Words of Wisdom: The Best Advice from 60 Years of Marriage). My desire is for our children – and our grandchildren – to be drawn to our story when we’re old. I want our love to be contagious.

After parking out front, my husband and I went in and walked around the lovely, old Lodge, holding hands and reminiscing. Oblivious of the swarming skiers and wedding guests. We quietly curled up in front of the massive fireplace where we first sat together and remembered what we realized that evening so long ago. We were meant to climb this mountain together.

Staying true for the long haul.

Enjoy the adventure! It really is worth it.

Lisa Jacobson


  • Ann

    Lisa do you live in the Portland area?? I love the Mt Hood reference! If you ever want to meet a huge fan of yours let me know, I live here! Ok gushing over, I love this post and everything else you write. Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

    • Lisa Jacobson

      Actually, we live in Central Oregon, but grew up there and were visiting my parents who still live there. Their kitchen window looks right out on Mt. Hood! I’m over that way fairly often, so it would be good fun to meet you in person!

  • Sharon O

    I live not far from Mt Hood. It is beautiful.
    You are fortunate he let you two in on that very busy day.
    We have been married 40 years. I was 18 and he was 19 when we got married. Definitely didn’t understand what love was at that time. But we are here still together with two grown children and six grand children.

    • Lisa Jacobson

      Congratulations on 40 years! That’s nearly double of where we’re at, but I’m looking forward to the next 20! (And, yes, I can’t help but agree that Mt. Hood is so beautiful. I grew up by it and never get tired of its majesty.)

  • Anastacia Maness

    This is a beautiful story, Lisa! I love hearing stories of couples that are in it for the long haul and won’t give up. You are so right about determining before the hard times hit that we are going to weather those storms together. Thanks for the encouraging post!

  • Ann

    Thanks for the reply- I have loved every post I’ve ever seen from you, you are VERY inspiring to me
    and I love reading your husband’s posts too! I love knowing you live in the same state as I do. 🙂 Keep up the great advice!

  • Elissa P

    Hi Lisa
    Love this post. I hung on to every word you said. My husband and I have been married for over 11 years and we have been through a lot of hard financial times. Every day I pray and ask God to brake this cycle and every day He remains me that His grace is enough.

    Your tips hit home because through it all , I always try to focus on what I want the end to be. I always see us holding hands and finally sitting in our home enjoyed the blessings that God have shine down on us.

    Thank you and blessing.

  • Glenn Lupton

    Your story really hit’s home with me. My marriage has seen its shares of highs and lows (with the lows dominating the last 4-5 years). It would have been simple to take the seemingly easy way out and just leave it all behind, but I tell myself I meant what I said in those wedding vows…for better or for worse, in good times and bad. You’re post just affirms my belief in this and I’m happy I found it.

    Thank you!

    P.S. I hope it’s ok that a man (me…) posted here!

  • wil

    Thanks so much for this. My wife and I have been married for 10 years and are going thru a difficult time right now. She has decided to file for divorce once our house sells. I am trying to stay strong and not give up but it’s very hard. Please pray for us.