Lives can teach without telling, especially when it comes to the secrets of a joy-filled marriage. A number of those secrets are revealed when a young struggling farmer seeks the hand of an independent and salaried woman. They meet in Colorado shortly before she returns to North Dakota. Aside from two brief visits, their courtship resides in these letters. Sabers are rattling and the economy is tanking when the letters begin in August, 1937. As they share what they seek in each other, they often point out God at work in their lives. Their son anecdotally attests to their later joy in life and in each other and helps the reader apply their keys to joy using self-exploratory questions.
A relationship has many stages. The first stage, like a seed, may or may not germinate. In Walter and Margaret’s case, the enthusiasm in Margaret's second letter signaled the opening of the seed. Interests and understandings were joyfully shared. The relationship sprouted over Christmas into a promising shoot. The letters that followed revealed the confident exuberance of rapid growth. Of course, the transformation of a promising shoot into a flowering plant is not assured. All shoots are tested; all understandings are tried.
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