Tuesday, August 4, 2015

a safe and biblical marriage

We are back from vacation, feeling rested, feeling loved, and sort of ready for the hectic days ahead in August. My mind is stuck on the memory of one day last week, when Mr. Fantastic and I got caught in a thunderstorm in the middle of vast park.

We were taking a break from real life, having a day for just the two of us: no kids, no phones, no email. We had walked and walked until blisters formed on our feet. The rain drove us under cover, and it was romantic for about an hour, clinging to one another under an umbrella as cars splashed by us. Then it was just cold and wet and slightly miserable.

He loves this kind of stuff. Me, not so much.

If I had my way, I would stay home, paint furniture, read books, drink coffee, be perfectly comfortable, risk nothing, and never know a single true adventure. But this man drags me along with him, giving me his love and the whole world to boot.

fake happy faces in the middle of the storm

I didn't marry someone who lets me get away with hiding from what life really is, from who I am, or from who I could become if I believed the truth about what God says about me. I leaped into love with the person who makes life worth living, and who thinks the wide world fits me perfectly.

This journey of love and marriage we are on is not easy or tame, but it is safe because God is with us.

A safe marriage isn't one that dares us to risk nothing. A safe marriage is one out there on the open sea of life, taking the waves courageously, and relying on only one true Lighthouse as a guide.

I could have married a man who thinks a woman should stay quietly behind him, or one who would keep me securely under his thumb. That would have been easier and harder all at the same time. I could have hidden in a man's shadow and let him be the lord of our little life. But I didn't choose that kind of man. I married this man, the one who takes me by the hand as we shove out into unchartered waters and prays for God to meet us in the waves.

God doesn't always show up when and how we expect, though. We seek a Light we can't always see, a shore beyond this world, and a holiness that a man and a woman are incapable of living without the blood of a perfect lamb. Our God sleeps soundly through tempests, He holds our brokenness as a treasure, and dares us to throw ourselves overboard into His grace and mercy when our wills conflict with His own.

Having a biblical marriage means we need the gospel more than we need air to breathe. Some days we are Samson and Delilah, and I want to cut the hair that makes my husband strong. Others we are both Davids- people born after God's own heart, living humbly and with enough courage to take a sling and a stone and conquer a giant. We often are Ruth and Boaz, living differently than society says we should, but wholly in the will of God. And many days we are the lover and the beloved, knocking on bedroom doors, passionately counting the ways our love offers a refuge for our wounded souls.

After the rain let up a little, we sloshed out of the park. We stopped at an ice cream stand for a chocolate cone. We could feel the tides of our responsibilities pulling us back out into deep waters, but we turned away from them and ignored the waves for just a bit longer.

Life is a complicated mixture of oceans to cross and mountains to climb and moments spent eating chocolate ice cream in the park that give us courage for the journey ahead. For a few more hours that day, we would walk a little slower and savor the sweetness.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

taking a break from the everything of life

We are headed to a lake and hours and hours of nothing planned. These are the light and breezy days we tuck away for the six of us to just be loved and love one another.

These are the days our souls need to catch up with our lives.

My soul needs new water, new wine, and new rivers sweetened with milk and honey to run through it.

Rest is a holy kind of ground, lit by flames that never burn and a Voice that proclaims, "This is who I AM. And you are the beloved in My great story." 

Rest is where our able minds and bodies give up the doing and the making and the conquering, and fall down in worship. It is where broken hearts pitch a tent in the shadow of the Almighty. It's time sink into God, and be baptized afresh in the simplicity of His goodness.

I have said it before and I will say it again: God is not a lesson to be learned. He is a King to be worshiped, feared, and adored.

I long for what can never be taken away from me, to soak the Person who loves me most of all into my skin and let Him seep through and lift the weights that I have been asked to carry for a season of time, before He carries us all away in a cloud of triumph.

God can't be boxed up, written out, and memorized. His answers are always two ticks away from what we expect, and His ways are a surprising kind of wisdom that silences even the most battered heart.

For a couple of weeks, this blog will be a place of silent communion. It's time for a Sabbath rest with those I love most in the world.

May we all find Him tender, strong, and mighty in our silent places, and I will see you soon just over the horizon.

Friday, July 10, 2015

it's friday love

"Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved His own who were in this world, He loved them to the end." -John 13:1

It's Friday, Love. 

It's Friday, right in the middle of July, when the nights are warm and fireflies transform backyards into wonderlands. 

The hard week is done, and the sorrows and struggles we faced on Monday are either gone or just a little different now. We have made it through five more days of this crazy world.

The trail ahead leads far off to unseen places. It may be steep and rocky or it may be smooth and easy or it may terrifyingly beautiful, but the days ahead will prove its value.

Wherever He leads us, He is loving us to the end.

On this glorious and ordinary summer Friday, we have the chance to climb inside that love. We can open the pages of His living word and remember all the amazing ways grace has saved us. 

We can remember His grace as we swing on a rope into a lake, sit on the porch with a cold Coke, laugh at the kids as they tun through sprinklers, eat something fabulous and fresh off the grill, watch a movie marathon, take in a nice long baseball game, and most of, we can hold the people we love close this weekend and remind them they are loved forever, too.

May all the goodness Friday brings seep into our bones and remind us of His greatness in us, to us, and for us.

Happy weekend, dear friends. Let's make it a good one.