About the Wedding

What a wonderful, beautiful and crazy ride it has been!

So many people told us how beautiful everything was, how beautiful Emmy was, and what a great time they had and I know it was partly because it’s the polite things you say at such an event and I know the proper response from me would have been to nod graciously as I said thank you but AJ outdid herself on the flowers and decor, Emmy did make a beautiful bride, and the reception was just so fun that I had to agree. But I did follow up with a gracious thank you 😉

I took very few pictures myself because I wanted to focus on each moment and savor them as they happened but family and friends snapped and shared some with me. I can’t wait to see what the photography team captured!

Some things we learned along the way of wedding planning.

Hire a wedding planner.

A good planner is worth every dollar & cent and then some to help develop and guide the process, keep track of the details (so many details!) and check things off the list. I cannot adequately express what an amazing job Soiree by AJ did from start to finish. Having a planner also gives people a go to person to ask questions of leaving the bride and mother of the bride free from having to handle too many things in the days immediately leading up to the event. I feel like poor Elizabeth had much more to manage and more logistics to handle as the mother of the groom and we decided with her other two sons that she should hire a planner too. (I will say that she did a fabulous job working out her details and making sure so many of us were housed in the week prior to the wedding. Maybe she can start a side gig as a mother of the groom assistant? I would recommend her!)

RSVP’s

Ya’ll this is a crucial yet somehow underappreciated piece of planning. I do henceforth, now and ever always, do solemnly swear to give either my yea or nay in a timely fashion for any and all events which require said response. And I offer my deep heartfelt apology to anyone that I ever neglected to do the same for in my poor uninformed ignorant youth. I am older and wiser now and get how hard it is to gauge numbers without that information. I do realize that part of the issue might be that things are done online more now which is nice because of the lack of expense in including a printed card with a self addressed and stamped envelope but does require finding time to sit at a computer and going to the website and clicking all the appropriate clicky spots. I guess there really is no good easy way to handle it but I will be much more on top of that in the future no matter the format.

Length of engagement.

When Emily and Hays got engaged we had six months to plan the wedding. It was about two months too long in our opinion. At some point you reach saturation and are just.so.over.it. No more questions please. No more decisions to make. Enough already. Can the day just get here? Someone else may do a better job in stretching it out but it’s a lot. And it tends to dominate life. The number of times we uttered the words, “After the wedding…” is ridiculous.

But here we are. It’s after the wedding and what a gloriously happy and lovely day it was. The fruit of so many hands graciously working on our behalf was humbling. There was generosity and hospitality shown in spades. Pastor Steve Wilkins gave an outstanding homily that articulated so much truth on a subject sorely disregarded in our world today.

Marriage matters. When Emily and Hays said I do it was a battle cry that echoed into the heavens. It was a declaration of war to the enemy who seeks to distort and destroy everything that glorifies and reveals the true Groom.

A Christian marriage should be radically different than even the most loving and committed of marriages that exists between two non believers because a Christian marriage should accurately and truthfully reflect the Gospel of the true Bridegroom laying His life down for His Bride.

God’s love changes us…makes us better and something other than what we are on our own that is glorious and impossible apart from Him. That is the love the world should see because as believers there is a man and a woman that are first His and then together, one flesh.

CS Lewis put it this way, “It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit, reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God…’Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity; this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run. Being in love is the explosion that started it.”

May God now grant Emily and Hays to grow and abound in that deep steadfast quite love.

Think On These Things

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.

So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.  And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

~Genesis 2:18–25

 

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Wifery 101

38187377205_8368f89bbb_oNext weekend Rob will be speaking at a sister church on marriage, raising covenant children, and teenagers. I told him on that last one that he better not lie to those people and he should be sure to tell them it is h.a.r.d. But that is a post for a different day. Today’s post is on wifing though, and in no particular order here are some general thoughts and things I have gleaned over the years.

Being hospitable. You may be scratching your head over this one because it is not often that we hear this word applied to husbands and wives. However, I think we should not only use it but also cultivate it within our marriage relationship. The word hospitable means “promising or suggesting generous and cordial welcome; offering a pleasant or sustaining environment.” Would your husband say that he finds a generous welcome in you? Not just in a physical way, we’ll talk about that in a minute. But would he say that he finds in you a pleasant and sustaining environment for his thoughts, ideas, and dreams? Or do you play devil’s advocate or try to be practical? Are you critical to his suggestions and plans? Does he see pleasure on your face when you’ve been apart? Years and years ago I remember being out running errands and passing Rob and one of his workers on the road. This is back when he was a paint contractor and working long days. It was such a joyful and unexpected treat to see him even if we were just literally passing each other on the road. Later that night he hugged me and said I just looked so happy to see him. It meant something to him for me to respond that way. Look for ways to be hospitable toward your husband.

Do things that you expect to go unnoticed. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Recently I shared about how, instead of waiting to iron a shirt when he needed it, I had started just having Rob’s shirts ironed  and ready. He noticed that right away and was just so darn grateful and pleased by that simple act. These days that has become the norm and he doesn’t really comment on it. And that is a fabulous thing to me. Look at it this way…early in our marriage I would get so upset if he didn’t notice or comment when I had really cleaned or tidied something up. But then I realized I was expecting him to pat me on the head and give me an “Atta, girl” for just doing what I should have been doing. He shouldn’t have noticed because it was the way it ought to be. Obviously, it is easy to feel like the things we do in our homes are taken for granted and it is nice to have the work we put into something recognized, especially when we have done a little extra or gone above and beyond in some way. However, I think we would do well to learn to be content with doing what we do and letting it go unnoticed simply because we want our husbands and our children to find it commonplace to be loved and cared for by us. If we’re doing it in sporadic spurts and bursts to the point that it stands out and ought to be commented on then I say we’re perhaps neglecting things a bit. Let your delight be in having the work of a family to love and tend and not whether it (you) gets praised all the time.

Be playful. Seriously, have fun with your spouse. We used to have a little rubber frog from some game the kids had when they were little that we would hide in each other’s stuff. We took much delight in seeing who could come up with the best hiding spots. I won when I opened up a box of his soap, hid the frog inside and then glued it shut again. These days we look for ways to make the other one laugh. We text word puns or funny memes to each other. It is so easy to loose the spontaneity of playfulness in the everyday busy but try to make it a habit. Laughter is a wonderful mortar between the bricks of intimacy so challenge him to a thumb wrestling match. Play rock, paper, scissors. Text him a knock knock joke. Whatever you know will cause him to laugh. And being willing to respond to his playfulness is another way of practicing hospitality with your spouse.

Do little things that get noticed. Yes, I know I just did a whole paragraph on being content to do things that go unnoticed. But this is something altogether different. I’m talking about the sweet little things you can do that will remind him that you love him. Recently some friends introduced us to this snack stuff called Pub Mix and we really like it. Except for the pretzels. So one day I bought a container of it and went home and took out all of the pretzels without saying anything to Rob. He was so cute when he realized what I had done. Now, I have some friends who told me that I’m buying the wrong snack and gave me a list of the different parts of the snack that I could buy but where is the fun in that I ask you? I also pick off the green peppers from his frozen pizza too because I know he doesn’t like them.  Sometimes I will slip into his office at church, flip to an unused page in one of his note pads and leave a little love note for him to find one day. Find little meaningful ways to remind your love that he is indeed your love.

Sex. Honestly, I almost didn’t include this because it is a subject that can come with so much baggage but it is an area you do not want to neglect. The devil likes to make this area his playground and why would he not? The mystery of two becoming one in every way is the picture Scripture uses to describe Christ and His Bride so of course the enemy would seek to destroy and distort it’s earthly representation. But a blog post really isn’t the appropriate venue for a proper discussion on the subject. Not one of much real depth anyway. What I will say is that I believe that the marriage bed of a believing couple should be full of joy and delight. After all, who better to enjoy the gift of physical intimacy than those who serve and honor the giver of such a gift? There are lots of ways this gift can get off track though and in my experience the key to resolving issues is sometimes uncomfortable but direct conversations. The biggest piece of encouragement I have is not to assume anything. Sexual intimacy is not a one size fits all so magazines articles, blog posts, etc. aren’t necessarily helpful. Seeking godly counsel can be helpful when needed but treat the subject with discretion. It is a highly volatile area that can cause much harm but also has the power to bind a couple together in a strong and lasting way.

Marriage is as beautiful and complex as anything ever created. May we each desire to share in the goodness of God’s glory reflected in our love for our husbands.

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Seeing Ourselves

For some reason April and May are busy season around our house. For the family in general and specifically for Rob. I think it has something to do with the end of the school year and the wrapping up of other things that follow a similar calendar.

Whatever the reason I know that there are times when what my husband needs from me is to not need anything from him. The way I can be his helpmeet is to not add much more demands on his time or room in his brain. And this is ok and not a bad thing at all because honestly it is just for a season. I don’t mind doing it for him because I know he needs it. Occasionally however, it happens that the season extends itself a little bit further and we fall into a pattern where I get lost in the tyranny of the urgent.

When I say occasionally what I am really saying is not often at all but it has happened this way a few times over the course of our marriage and recently we found ourselves in that place and my feelings got hurt. At no point did I feel as if my husband no longer loved me or wanted to be with me but I felt like it had become too easy for him to put me aside to deal with all the other stuff because he knew I would be there. It wasn’t malicious on his part rather it was presumptuous love. He realized it had crossed a line, gave me some room to share what I was thinking and feeling, and asked forgiveness so we’re good and all is well.

Later that evening I sat down to work on my Bible study and started reading over the questions.

What do your attitude and approach to your personal Bible study reveal about you and what you expect of Jesus?

I realized I was a few days behind in the reading and questions. Life has been busy and with one thing and another I had let that time slip knowing that it would be there when I got to it.

Can you see where this is going?

It was as if the Holy Spirit put a mirror in front of me. I had let the busy-ness of life take away the time I had been spending in prayer and study knowing that He would be faithful to be there when I got to it.

I was guilty of a presumptuous love all my own without even realizing it.  God isn’t standing around with a calendar and a stop watching recording the moments we do or don’t come to Him in prayer and Bible study but He does call us to pursue wisdom, to seek Him, every day. Not for His sake but our own because He knows we need that time with Him to function well and to do all the other things of life in a way that is pleasing to Him. It’s not just so we can check it off a list anymore than Rob needs to mark me off his list of responsibilities…prepare sermon, visit this parishioner, spend time with wife. A marriage is supposed to be a place where the husband and wife can take refuge from the world, to rest and restore each other. So is our time in prayer and study.

I had a moment where I could have just shrugged off what I was being convicted over. I could have looked past my reflection in that mirror and focused on the pile of laundry that needed folding or the drooping flowers in the vase on the mantle that needed watering. I could have looked past my own sin and continued to focus on what had been consuming my time in the first place. Or, like my husband, I could hear what was being said and seek forgiveness.

I am grateful that God is kind to speak to us in our sin with gentleness. I am blessed with a husband who is willing to humbly show me how to respond.

Rarely do these things pop out at us unexpectedly from no where. God is gracious in drawing our attention to things early on if we will just listen and hear. Slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love He calls to us before we can wander too far.

May we stand ready, eager to hear from our King.

Quieter Love

I would be lying if I said we never argue.

He’s a man and I am a woman and that means we are both human beings which means we sin against each other with some regularity.

It truly is rare for us to do more than get cross eyed with each other though. I think the last time I was honestly angry with the man was when he neglected to tell me that a party we would be attending later that evening was a surprise party and, you guessed it, I ruined the surprise part by asking if I could bring anything when we came over. That was several years ago and I’m over it. (For the most part 😉

I say all of that to say that my beloved was out of town last week and oh, dear goodness I miss that man when we’re not together. It’s not just the physical extra set of hands to deal with the kids or an extra set of ears to hear all that the kids say or whatever.

We both know that we are better together than we are apart. I am a better mother because of him. A better friend, a better person because of our relationship. Whatever I do I am better at it because of his love for me. And I pray that he is a better father, friend and pastor because of my love for him.

Because this is what love should do. God’s love changes us…makes us better and something other than what we are on our own that is glorious and impossible apart from Him. That is the love we should share because he is a man and I am a woman and we are His…together, as one flesh.

CS Lewis put it this way, “It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit, reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God…’Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity; this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run. Being in love is the explosion that started it.”

I Am His, He Is Mine

It was an article that briefly trended in facebook news yesterday that caught my eye.

Some actress, I sort of recognized her face but didn’t know her name at all and can’t even remember it today, was all in a dither during an interview about how much she hated to see a man put his arm around a woman. It was some kind of show of ownership and made her furiously angry every time she saw it.

And I thought, how stupid. It does not.

But then I thought about it for a little longer and realized I totally agreed with her even though my response is obviously completely different from hers.

When Rob places his arm around me he is making a declaration to friend and foe alike.

He is saying that I belong to him.

That I am under his care and protection.

That he makes provision for me and will keep me,as much as humanly possible, free from harm.

And I love it. It thrills me when he slips his arm around my shoulders and pulls me to his side or puts his arm around my waist. I delight in feeling his hand at the small of my back when we’re walking somewhere. It’s gives me a sense of well being.

It is a declaration of ownership but not that of a slave owner. Rather it is of a man who would willingly lay his life down for the woman he loves. It’s the,  “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine,” kind of declaration.

I’ve only ever entertained the idea of one tattoo…his name on my ring finger. But since I can’t quiet convince myself to do it (and he would hate it if I did) I will take the statement that his arm around me apparently makes, the assertion that his ring on my finger makes, and the mark that his love leaves on my soul.

I’ll take all of that, however much it is disdained and held in contempt by the world, over the empty promises of self ownership that lead to a culture where woman can possibly believe that the baby in her womb should die for the freedom to not be “owned” by a man.

If ownership is this thing that he and I have, then I am all in. Shackle me close because what she holds in derision I have found to be a glorious delight…and as much as I belong to him…he belongs to me.

It is fitting, good, and right.

How We Fight

Maybe, just maybe, we haven’t shown the world what marriage truly is.

Maybe we haven’t lived our marriages in such a way that it is more than a legal transaction that grants certain rights and privileges. Maybe that’s all it is to the world because we haven’t shown them that it is holy and sacred…that it mirrors a holy God and His bride.

Maybe the world doesn’t view marriage differently because, statistically speaking (or so it seems), there isn’t much difference in pre-marital sex, abortion, adultery, and divorce inside the church as outside the church.

Consider that young man, the next time you behave less than honorably toward a young woman.

Consider that young lady, the next time you put on that push-up bra and low cut shirt and buy the short shorts that are just tight enough across your bum.

Consider what picture you are giving of marriage when you lay down beside one who is not your spouse.

Consider that husband when you choose yourself and what you want or what’s easiest for you instead of laying down your life for the one who you’re supposed to lay your life down for.

Consider what your actions are really saying despite any words you may utter wife, when you disrespect your husband and belittle him.

Obviously how we got here is much more complicated than that. But it seems like a good place to begin fighting back, doesn’t it? A better way than any pithy Facebook status or quippy little meme that just stirs up strife and contention.

We are told in Scripture to not answer a fool according to his folly so we don’t fight the way the world does. We don’t rely on just persuasive speech and political change.

We live relationships that reflect the glory of God. We love each other in a manner that brings honor to the One who has called us to be His Bride. Let our children and the world around us see the Gospel lived out flourishing in grace and restoration.

And when we do have opportunity to speak about why we believe what we believe about marriage and mankind and sin and grace and restoration may we do so with something more than bumper sticker slogans. May our words be winsome and wholesome, beautiful in that they point to Christ.

What happens after that is not ours to know or finagle an outcome. We are called to be faithful no matter the outcome.

May it be so.

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What To Do With Rocks

When my second daughter was about a year old she picked up a dirty little rock and gave it to her grandmother. Now my sweet mother-in-law is crafty and quite sentimental about her grandchildren so she bought a little frame, cut a piece of pretty paper for a background, added a bow and glued the rock in place and as far as I know she still has that little memento on a shelf or end table somewhere.

Our youngest daughter has also had a fascination with rocks for as long as I can remember. Big ones, small ones, clean ones, dirty ones…she completely lacks discrimination as to which ones are pretty or ugly. She used to bring these little treasures to me until I had a box full and over flowing. She’d find them in the yard, the neighbors yard, sidewalks and parking lots. If there was the tiniest of stones loose and able to be picked up she was going to be reaching for it.

I came across that box of rocks recently and it got me to thinking. Life is full of rocks. The Dragon lobbed a hefty stone at Eve and she promptly tossed it to Adam who tried to return the volley when confronted by God for walking around with it. Not long after that Adam’s son picked up a rock and used it to smash in his brother’s head and then dropped the blood covered stone aside with a nonchalant, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

And you and I? We stumble over rocks with words like fear, unforgiveness, selfishness, and bitterness carved into them. Sometimes we pick them up and carry them around, their weight a strange security that we take solace in because it’s a familiar anchor that requires little from us. We use them to build walls to hide behind that allow us to stay in our mediocre comfort zone. It becomes our burdensome excuse that gives us a free pass to not move from the shadows into light that is a little too bright sometimes.

Because if we set those rocks down and move into the Light then the Light is going to show the other rocks in our lives.

You know the ones I’m talking about. It’s the boulders fired off at us by a deliberately hurtful husband or thrown with unerring accuracy by a bitter angry wife. The smaller rocks that come from a thoughtless friend or coworker and the pebbles from complete strangers that cut us off in traffic or clearly have way more than 20 items in the speedy checkout line. These are the ones that we swiftly pick up and use as our own weapons. Their smooth bulk a justification for the war we’re fighting, for the temper tantrum we’re having.

Life is full of rocks and whether or not we pick them up or have them thrown at us there is something we’re supposed to do with them. We stack them. We take the missile fired off by the husband or wife and we put it on the pile. And we resist the urge to toss the ones back that came from the friend or neighbor and we add it to the pile. We empty the load of rocks we’ve been carrying around for years covered in the buzzwords that we’re told should be important to us like low self esteem, me time, fulfillment, and learn to love yourself and we dump them on the pile.

And then we climb on top of the pile. And we die there because underneath all our petty stones is the stone that was rejected, that became our Cornerstone. That pile is where death can lead to life and bondage falls away.

That pile of stones becomes the alter where we boldly proclaim that the hand of the Lord is mighty.

That He can overcome anything and everything. It’s where marriages are healed and relationships are restored. There, on that alter, we learn that we need to love our self less and Christ more.  It’s where God triumphs over our past foolishness and dark hurts.

It’s where we learn that we ~ us, me and you ~ are the true stones; the living stones being formed and fashioned into a spiritual house for His name.

The Hospitable Wife

Over the weekend I had a conversation with some friends about doing things that please our husbands. I specifically mentioned keeping my hair long because I know Rob likes it that way and other preferences he has about how I dress.

For some women the idea of dressing a particular way to  make a man happy is abhorrent and dated. It seems terribly antiquated at best and rather chauvinistic at worst.
But I like dressing in a manner that I know attracts my husband to me. Why wouldn’t I? It’s a simple thing to please him…choosing styles and colors that I know he likes on me. He likes skirts for instance, so I don’t mind wearing them often. At the moment I happen to be in a pair of shorts though. He doesn’t mind nor does he expect me to wear only what he wants me to. Because he knows that I am receptive to his likes and dislikes and that information helps govern my choices. 
A few weeks ago I blogged about our husbands needing hospitable grace from us. I’ve been thinking about it since then and I really think we need to take that idea a step further. Our husbands need hospitable wives. And I don’t mean they need to know they can bring company home or invite people over for dinner whenever they’d like.
I mean we should be hospitable to him
What does that even mean? I’m glad you asked because like I said, I’ve been thinking about it.
The word hospitable means “promising or suggesting generous and cordial welcome; offering a pleasant or sustaining environment.” 
Obviously there are ways that we  can be welcoming and hospitable in how we govern our homes but I’m talking about something more than that…something a little deeper and more personal than that.
Would your husband describe you as welcoming? Does your interaction with your husband promise or suggest that you are receptive to him? I realize that this type of language can be interpreted to only apply to the physical intimacy between a husband and wife but I think if we cultivate an attitude of being hospitable to our husbands in other areas a level of emotional intimacy will grow.
Does he find you to be generous and welcoming to him in general? Or does he ever feel like he’s just another plate of food for you to prepare or load of laundry to wash? While I think that being hospitable is more than how we greet them at the end of the day you should ask yourself how do you react when you see him after a separation of any length? Do you allow your eyes to light up? Do you smile and turn toward him?  If he arrives somewhere after you do you move to be by his side?
Does he find you to be a pleasant environment for his thoughts? Can he share what he is thinking and dreaming about and find you to be a place where those things are free to grow wild without criticism? Sometimes in our desire to be a helpmeet I wonder if we are too critical or practical; maybe feeling like we should play devil’s advocate on a regular basis to help him work through various issues.
Does your husband find you to be a hospitable playmate? Seriously, when is the last time you played with him? I’m talking flat out being silly doing something ridiculous? Provoke a pillow fight…ambush him with a nerf gun, whatever. Just something that makes you laugh with each other. Have you ever heard of a game called Flipping Frogs? Our son got it one year for Christmas. It didn’t take long before the frogs were being left all over the house and somehow it became a thing between Rob and me to hide the frogs for each other to find. We did this literally for years…we even hid them in suitcases when one of us was going on a trip. I won the game by actually opening a bar of soap, shoving the frog into the box and gluing it shut again so that he would find it the next time we needed a new bar of soap.
Slip a note into his briefcase or a book he’s reading. Buy a snack or candy bar that you know he enjoys and put under his pillow. Send him a text telling him that you’re making his favorite meal for dinner. Wear an outfit you know he likes. These are just ideas…any and none of which may sound like something your husband would enjoy. Come up with your own ways to be hospitable to him. Maybe what you’ll find out is that he doesn’t need you to do anything but needs you to be hospitable…welcome his opinion and thoughts. Don’t underestimate the power of touch and body language. You might be surprised at how those physical and tangible ways you can be welcoming will strengthen your relationship with him. 
Are you familiar with this quote by Martin Luther?
There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.
I think that is a hospitable marriage.  It’s the kind of marriage that produces the fruit of what he speaks of here:
Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.

I Am His

It was fourteen years ago today. Mid afternoon with no music except the sound of the birds and the song of a breeze blowing through tall pine trees. A small group of family and even smaller group of friends gathered at the edge of the lake.

Despite knowing it was the right thing…that he was the right one…I was as nervous as I had ever been in my life. He stood tall and straight beside my Dad, who would perform the ceremony, and his best man. Telling them he’d be right back, he strode up that small grassy hill, took my cold hands in his and said something like, “Let’s go get married.” My relief at being fetched worked its way out in a quick kiss on his cheek and together we walked back to the dock.

In that moment that which had been broken was healed. I felt like the last of the dirt and ash of past sin was rinsed away and I was clean…wanted, accepted, and redeemed.

Looking at one of only two pictures I have from that day makes me laugh. We had no idea what all was coming our way. A baby nine months and two days later to make our family of three a family of four. Swiftly followed by another nine months after that and a fourth eighteen months after that. And then of course the utter surprise almost five years later when another one would make our family complete.

There have been times of abundance and some not so abundant. There have been times of good tears and not so good. We’ve been angry with each other and we’ve had to apologize and forgive and choose to love all over again.

And my world, has that man ever turned my whole paradigm of life upside down! From a naive Baptist girl to a reformed, infant baptizing, communion taking every week, Psalm singing, liturgy loving woman. He’s grown me up and as difficult as I make it at times, he sanctifies me.

I had no idea fourteen years ago how much one man could love a woman. The amazing thing though…what leaves me speechless…is that I have no idea how much one man can love a woman in the years ahead.

But I am ever so grateful and delighted to keep walking by his side to find out.

Looking at these family pictures reminds me how much the children have changed (not to mention how much longer my hair is now!) in the last two years…I think we may need to do that again 🙂