Reflections on Our 4th Anniversary

  
This. Man. Here.

I woke up this morning to a phone call from my husband wishing me happy anniversary–from downstairs in the kitchen! I rushed down to find that he had gotten up extra early to cook breakfast for me. BEFORE HE LEFT FOR WORK AT 6AM.

Orange strawberry banana juice, banana waffles, sliced strawberries, veggie omelet, and a ribeye (grilled last night)!

  
This. Man. Right. Here.

But watch this…

The beautiful thing isn’t just how he surprises me on the special days. It’s his faithfulness on the not-so-special days. The regular ol’ plain vanilla ones.

When he wakes up extra early to worship the Lord and abide in His Word AND clean out the dishwasher.

When I’ve hit the proverbial wall and just can’t do any more housewifing or mothering or breathing and HE HANDLES IT.

Whatever IT is at that moment–often after working a full day/week of manual labor.

He hates when I brag on him. But I can’t help myself.

He reminds me of God’s love for me.

I never have to worry about my husband’s faithfulness. He takes his covenant with me seriously.

When he doesn’t feel like doing something, yet he knows it’s in the best interest of his family, he puts his own desires aside and does whatever needs to be done. He is always thinking of how to provide for, care for, and protect us.

God’s love in Christ is like that. Faithful. Sacrificial. Protective. Nurturing.

Too often I will see a woman with a man who hasn’t demonstrated faithfulness to God, hasn’t developed a sacrificial bone in his body, leaves her vulnerable to the wiles of the enemy, takes advantage of her rather than cultivating her–yet she somehow hopes that he will be faithful to her in marriage. That he will sacrifice his wants for her needs. That he will guard himself and her from physical & emotional danger. That he will cultivate her walk with Christ when he isn’t even cultivating his own.

I grieve. I have been in her shoes.

I’m on the other side of marriage, after the pomp and circumstance of the ceremony, beyond the honeymoon bliss. I’m in diaper-change mode. Constant discipline mode. The We-Hongry-Whatchu-Make-For-Dinner Zone.

Here’s what I know.

It takes a lot more than tight abs, chocolate skin, and a nice wardrobe to get it done on this side. It takes knees chafed from prayer and a big dose of humility for our stiff necks and backbones and dying to self and a singular unwavering commitment to the One who holds all things together by the word of His power and diligence in the dark and character when no one else is around and giving each other unmerited favor and not giving each other what we really deserve. Over and over again. Until we die.

So on our anniversary, I’m thanking God for the husband I have.

I’m grateful for the second chance He gave us at life and love.

I’m overwhelmed by God’s love for me. For us.

I’m forever indebted to God for turning me from my foolish ways of thinking and acting and giving me a new heart and mind to pursue what He wants.

And I’m as committed as ever to helping other women walk in the true beauty that God has for us in Christ.

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Hello again

Why, hello there.  🙂

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything.  I’ve had tons of writing sessions and brainstorming sessions in my head and my dreams.  And absolutely none of them have managed to make their way to this blog. If someone could patent the technology to get the thoughts out of my head while I’m taking a nap…!

We’ve had a lot going on here at Johnsonville (that’s what we call our home) since early March.

…a basement renovation.  This took on a life of its own from spring through summer.  It was like having a houseguest who didn’t want to leave and ate everything in the fridge.  Now that it’s done, it’s like having a live-in BFF.  We’ve increased our living space by 1/3 and our sanity by 6 gazillion bajillion percent.  I’m not even kidding.  There’s still lots of purging and rearranging to be done, but that’s easy peasy compared to dumping the last 9 years of my life in our dining & living room and climbing over it for three or four months. We still have to finish the half bathroom in the basement–but I can’t even say the word “renovation” around my husband without his eyes rolling back in his head and foam escaping his mouth.  As our toddler says, “No more!”  Bless his heart (as we say in Texas).  He did all the electrical work and stayed on top of the project’s completion like a BOSS.  My hero, The Construction Man.

…celebrating our daughter’s birthday, Mother’s Day, my birthday, Father’s Day, and my husband’s birthday.  As you can see, spring and summer is birthday/parent appreciation season for us.  From mid-May through early August, it’s hot and poppin’ at Johnsonville.  And with our daughter turning two, it’s like that EVERY DAY!  Where does that child get all this energy?!  Definitely not from us, these days.  The older my husband and I get, it’s also feeling like geriatric season.  Pass the Dentucreme, honey.

…a trip to Louisville, KY, to serve at #WorshipGod15 just before that last birthday.  Between rehearsals with guest musicians, attending workshops with our team, and connecting with so many new and wonderful people at the conference, my poor husband wasn’t even thinking about celebrating himself by the time we got back home and his day came around!  Still, it was super nice to have some adult conversation time without our daughter.  Every once in a while I like to speak in sentences that don’t include lines from “The Wonder Pets,” the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Hot Dog Dance, or two-syllable repeated words like “eat-eat” or “nap-nap.”  I had plenty of opportunities for that on this trip!

We used as much of August as we could to connect, rest, and recalibrate in preparation for September, which kicks off a busy season of service for us.

On September 6, I celebrated nine years of ministry at Epiphany Fellowship.  I naturally tend towards introspection, but anniversaries and milestones make my thoughts turn inward even more.  My most recent musings? I gave up a lot to move halfway across the country…does it even matter that I’m here?  What difference did it even make?  I know.  My husband had to check me and give The Encourager some encouragement.  And then the Holy Spirit used my husband’s words to draw me to repentance:  How dare I call a work that God has done in and through me a menial thing!  Cue the waterworks and shut my mouth, Lord!  And that, He did.

The following week, our church celebrated our ninth anniversary.  What a great weekend!  Indoor/outdoor picnic (due to a few raindrops), then a great celebration on Sunday with Pastor Blake Wilson from Crossover Bible Fellowship in Houston, TX. And then my mother-in-law kept our daughter until Tuesday morning–and this tired momma rejoiced!  Never have I cleaned my house with such joy.  And I was glad to see my little when I picked her up!

So here we are, end-of-September, hunkered down for all the madness that will ensue as Pope Francis and the rest of the known world descends upon our fair city this weekend.  Somewhere in there, my husband and I will politely put up the church finger as we celebrate our wedding anniversary…without the security checkpoints and dramaration.

So…now that we’re all caught up…

On a future post, we can get back to business and finish our #SundaySong journey through the track listing of Centered!

And after we’ve finished that, maybe somebody can Bluetooth my brain and dump all my blog ideas onto the screen.  🙂