My husband Ralph and I were scheduled to play some music at a marriage retreat the last weekend in
March. In fact, I was coordinating the music for the weekend. What ended up happening could have caused some nasty “bumps” in our marrital bliss- But music is a doctor and God had a plan..


I was asked to organize the music months before the event- a marriage retreat with 300 or so couples on the topic of “Emotional Intimacy in Marriage.”  Wow! I love these things anyway. Everyone married should attend…

Well, I told the director- I’d be happy to do this- but I need to have everything all tied up before my studio session- which just happens to be just a week before the retreat. “No problem” he says to me. “I’ll call you this week.”

Well. we all know how life gets- and without naming names etc- lets just say that most everything didn’t go as planned. Singers dropped out or weren’t available or willing to help out, There was no sound man hired so I didn’t want to try to put together a band (though I already had and had to cancel it), The songs kept changing- then at the last minute I needed to bring my own sound system, too- and the crowning blow was that the guy who brought the main sound system didn’t even know how to run it!

So here we arrive at the actual marriage retreat ready to grow in our marriage and I have to turn to Ralph and ask- “Would you run sound all weekend for every event, class and presentation?”

Ralph, to his credit, stepped up to the plate and served with all his heart. Lugging equipment when needed (tough on his back) and staying up later and getting up earlier than planned.

I was leading music and a cast of singers, many of whom didn’t show up when asked, and then the director even changed a couple songs on my on Sunday morning! (Ok, I was a bit ticked about that.)

But everything actually went really well.

Melanie Singh and I sang two songs: “Because you Love Me” from Celine Dion and “The Rose” from Bette Middler- (Diana Wick joined us on the latter) both came off very well. In fact I forgot how much I enjoyed singing these tunes until we did them- great songs to pour your heart into!

I sang some old and new favorites like “Coffee Song” and “Love Life Like I should” at the coffee house on Saturday night and pre-sold a few of our new CD’s even!!!!

But what was the glue that kept Ralph and I from fighting or at least grumbling at each other through it all?

Julie and Ralph at NECC

Julie and Ralph at NECC

God had done so much work on us the week of our studio session we were still riding on the high!

If you read my blog about the recording week- you’ll see the challenges leading up to our recording. Ralph and I weren’t unified at all going into it- and it was causing a great rift in our marriage- music and playing it together has always been a bonding experience for us- in fact, Ralph and I fell in love while playing together in a country band!

But after we both decided to obey 1 Peter 3 (check it out yourself- good marriage advice in the scriptures!) we became unified in a way only God can produce!

Then the high of recording the CD was fresh in our hearts and minds as we went into the marriage retreat, making it an exhausting but still rich and powerful weekend! And despite our service we were able to enjoy and draw from the insightful lessons taught by Jeff and Florence Shachinger.

FYI- if you are interested: their book: Building Emotional Intimacy in Your Marriage can be found at this link: