Monday, April 18, 2011

Things we are currently loving

Friends...recent posts have been on the more serious side, so a just-for-fun post is needed.

These are just some of the things we are enjoying this spring!

1My Husband!  As of today, we have been married 4 months!  (That's 1/3 of a year!!!)

2. Grilling!  Sam is a master griller, and we have enjoyed his talent.

3. Adele; I only recently got this CD and am in love with it.  (If you missed my last was inspired by a song from this album).  It's a must have.

4. Flowers!  For all the rain and humidity Houston endures, we get lots of pretty plants! 

5. Dinnertime! You may be thinking, this one is pretty stupid--all people like to eat.  Well, yes, you are right.  BUT, the reason this is one of my favorites is because Samuel and I make it a point during the week to have nice dinners together where we can enjoy each other.  He goes all out on the presentation, too!  (He did the whole relish tray...which went over very well!!)

Hope you are enjoying the springtime weather as much as we are!
Happy Monday. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

One and only

Good afternoon friends.
I hope your Wednesday is going well.
I struggle with Wednesdays. 
I meant it.
I struggle with Wednesdays.
I don't know why.
As my dear husband says "You fall apart."
It's true.
The end of the week is just not as near as Thursday.  Monday and Tuesday are the beginning--it's work time. just there.  Right in the middle.  Maybe I struggle with it because I can't define it well.
No, that's not me, that's the husband.  He likes definintions. 

We I am off topic.
I apologize.

This past weekend we went to Austin to see some wonderful friends and family. Baby big boy Davis might have been the highlight.  Even his cute little voice saying "It's time to hero up" was enough for all the hours in the car.  And I hate riding in the car. 

We I am off topic, again.
It's Wednesday, what can I say.  I fall apart.

Now on to the real reason for this blog post.  On the way to Austin I was listing to Adele (who is so so talented, by the way). She has a song called "One and Only" that has been on repeat since Friday.  Yes, since Friday.  It is that good.

This song has gripped me and won't let go.  It reminds me of my husband.  It teaches me about my Savior.  Yes, it does both.  Nope, I don't think she meant it about Jesus.  But that's what I love about art/music.  It can all be about Jesus (my husband taught me this...he is the man). Jesus is creativity, He is all that is good; He turns all that is bad into good.  There is no reason for us to write off a song as "secular" when there are tidbits of truth in the song that can give Jesus praise.  The artist may not know Jesus, be writing about Jesus, but if it's true, then it's from the Lord and I can sing it to him.  So yes, this song teaches me about Jesus.  I'm pretty sure Adele just meant it about a boy. 

The part of the song that has gripped me is this:

You'll never know if you never try,
To forgive your past and simply be mine

The whole song is great; but that line keeps going through my head.  At first I could only think of my husband.  In our almost FOUR months of marraige, we are learning so much. We are learning how to "be one." We are learning self-sacrifice.  It would be so easy if we were both just blank slates.  But we aren't.  There are so many ideas and preconcieved notions we bring into marriage. There are bumps, bruises, and scars we got along the way on our path getting to each other. It's baggage.  There are things we have to chose to move past.  It doesn't just happen. Things don't just "go away."  We must TRY. 

Some of these things while difficult, are not impossible.  I must try to let go and let my husband listen to music at levels that I think my ears are bleeding.  I must try, but it's not impossible.  We must try and find harmony at breakfast.  Samuel loves eggs and bacon.  I hate both.  I LOVE pancakes.  They are not his thing.  Bagles are pretty neutral territory. This is easy.  I still have to try, but it's easy.

Then there's the big stuff.  And somewhere along the lines of the big stuff the Lord was teaching me (yes, He was teaching me while I was listening to Adele).  That our feeble trying won't make it.  If I try the "big stuff": forgiveness, self-sacrifice, humility, submission, on my own I will fail.  I will.  Trying won't cut it.  I have to trust.  I have a God big enough to trust. I have a God who has proven faithful.   I can forgive trusting Him to provide even the capablity to move on.  We share a God that delights in using us as a part of His Glory when we die to our selves.  I have to trust the promises I know in order to succeed. 

It's a leap of faith.  We have to trust the faithfulness and bigness of our God.  Without trusting Him, we can't forgive.  We can't learn humility.  We are stuck.  And yet those things are absolutely necessary for marriage.  We have to give up trying and just trust.  Not to say that in our trusting, we don't try.  Yes, forgiveness is work.  When I think I can't let one more thing go, I have to ask the Lord for the ability to forgive, and then actively change my state of mind.  When I just want my way, I have to trust the heart of my husband in knowing what's best for us as a family.

But when we trust, when we take that leap and are relying on a strength that is not our own.  Then we really are theirs.  When I trust my Savior and rely on His strengh, I am placing my idenity in him.  I am belonging to Him.  When I move past lies that past relationships have taught me, when I let of of my need to control, and just learn to love my husband deeper and more truley, then I am his. 

At the end of the song, it repeats this line for a while:

I know it ain't easy giving up your heart.

It's not easy to give up my selfishiness, self-righteousness, bitterness, unforgiveness, etc.  But I can trust them with my heart.  Each is worthy.  For them, I will give up my heart and all the desires along with it; because in each of them I know they have better plans for me than I have for myself. 

Because to have them (my Saviour and my husband), the cost of my heart seems a small price to pay.
Becuase to get to be their one and only;
Giving up my heart is so worth it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Faithful Families

It's Monday afternoon, and as I prepare for an experiment that starts tomorrow, I am listening to our wedding on my Iphone. Tears are brimming at my eyes, and it's not because of the vows (although they are wonderful), or the memory of that day (although it is the BEST day of my life), it's at the voice of my Papa. 

You see, the man that married me is the rock of our familiy.  His voice has read the Christmas story until we grandkids were old enough to start reading it ourselves on Christmas day.  When you stay at his house, he makes you coffee, kisses you goodnight, and if you "happen" to forget your pj's he always has a big T-shirt for you to sleep in.   He knows not a stranger, and will always sing the "bad words" to any song.  I have heard more versions of Zacchaeus than you can ever imagine.  He loves my Gran.  He brings her coffee just the way she likes it.  He holds her hand.  He kisses her (yes, in front of us).  His faith is known.  His life is not rushed.  He enjoys his days.  When you are with him, you know his attention is on you, and he is focused on the relationship he has with you.   All of this you can learn in the first hour you are with him.  But there is so much more to his story.

He's a cancer survivor.  On all accounts, he should not be alive.  With stage four melanoma when I was just two, I shouldn't remember him.  But instead of a distant memory of a man I wish I had met, he is at the forefront of my mind when it comes to family.  But if you meet him, he probably won't tell you about this.  Not a complaint comes out of his mouth. 

His life is not about his cancer, although in that there is the most powerful story I know of a big God saving and redeeming a man time and time again.  His life is about God and family. He has an attitude of prayer and faith in his life that pours onto all of those around him. Just a phone call or a few minutes with Papa can change your whole day. He has made the traditions and memories that will last my entire lifetime.  When at our wedding he said "Remember, the memories you make now will be the foundations you build upon later in life" I knew he was speaking from experience.

Our families (Samuel's and mine) are families of faith.  Our men are men of integrity.  Our women are loving, self-sacrificing mothers. Our family has built a rich heritage for us to stand upon.  As we daily strive to follow the example of our Savior and our family, we remember the words of Papa, " Remember well to put Christ in our living so that He becomes Lord of your life." 

But even if we can't live up to the example Papa has set, we hope to get "close enough."