DPP ~ Day 4

Despite the dreary weather it was a lovely day of worship and feasting with friends. After a busy busy week we sat down as a family for dinner and now on to a movie. Napoleon Dynamite. Only three of us have seen it and the others are eagerly looking forward to it. My beloved seems to be of the opinion that it will become a Hadding family classic. I am somewhat skeptical but we’ll see.

A holiday family favorite is the Grinch with Jim Carrey. Sam and Sarah were looking at some kind of memes after dinner that came from the beloved movie. As you can see whatever they were it was amusing to them both.

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.

Until He Returns

Rob had jury duty a few weeks ago. It was a major inconvenience with him having been out of town the previous week and him directing the school play.

Rob, convinced by conscience as well as having been admonished by the courts, did not discuss the matter with me or anyone else while it was taking place. But it was a hard case and it was clear that he was disturbed by it. When it was finished and his role as a juror was completed he still did not go into detail but briefly explained what kind of case it was. It was the kind of gross ugliness that, thankfully, falls outside of our normal everyday lives. The kind of gross ugliness that happens somewhere else but not here. Not where I live.

But that kind of ugly does happen in my town. In the city where I live people do horrible things. And horrible things are done in the city where you live. Probably in our own neighborhoods and right down the street from us.

We live in a fallen world.

We live among sinful fallen people.

We are fallen sinful people.

God’s timing and providence are amazing and I marveled at Rob being selected for this particular case after the sermon he preached on the eighth day of Easter.

John 20:21 “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”

That was his main point of text. The Great Commission in sixteen simple mind blowing, life changing words.

He granted peace, gifted it, because He knew what we would encounter. The perfect, holy son of God had come and dwelt among us, the dirty sinful and wicked humanity that would demand His death.

Peace be with you.

The Father sent Him to bring light to a dark world.

Healing to a broken people.

Death so that life would come.

As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.

We are to bring light to a dark world.

Healing to a broken people.

Seek the death of our own comfort and naivety so that life, true life found in Him alone, can come.

That means sometimes we have to see the gross ugliness of humanity. Sometimes we have to know about the horrible things people do to themselves and each other.

It’s not enough to be horrified and sickened by the things that go on in our cities and neighborhoods and down the street. Wringing our hands and crying, “Lord Jesus come quickly” sounds great but it doesn’t really accomplish much.

We don’t live the Christian life so we can avoid the worst of the suffering brought about by the worst of the sins. We don’t live the Christian life so that we can avoid hell and go to heaven when we die.

We live this Christian life, if it is to be lived at all, so that we can declare with Him that His Kingdom has come. That there is forgiveness and healing. Restoration and reconciliation are what we have been called to do until He returns.

I recently read this quote on a friend’s facebook page: “We will feel our fallenness until the day we die. But the key is this: you and I keep coming. We keep fighting. Forgiveness is real, and grace is more powerful than anything in this universe.”

Would that we would boldly believe this…live this…in our families and in our communities.

Cinderella and Missing Daddy

Have you seen the Cinderella movie yet? Sarah and I saw it a few weeks ago but I knew it would make for a nice spring break surprise for my other three girls so I made plans for Samuel to have some Nana time so I could take them. Rob’s mother joined us and we had a lovely afternoon.

I watched Claire during the scene as Cinderella’s raggedy dress was being transformed into her fantastic ball gown. As expected her little face was filled with delight but she really cracked me up when the fairy godmother made the glass slippers. She literally gasped out loud at the sight of the iridescent glass slippers with their lovely butterflies.

It made me giggle and her Aunt Lisa will be proud.

Later, when I asked what her favorite part of the movie was, she said she enjoyed the wedding but her favorite part of all was the scene with Cinderella is a little girl and her father came home from his long voyage.

I think someone is missing her Daddy right now. I know I’m missing him.

Well I Feel Bad

I thought about dinner during the day.

I even made a switch to serve edamame instead of spaghetti squash.

And even told Emily when it was time to start dinner she could help.

Not once did it cross my mind that I had not thawed the pork tenderloin that we were supposed to eat.

I like having a good meal ready for Rob when he comes home. And Rob likes it when I have a good meal ready for him when he comes home.

So there I was wondering what in the world were we going to do for dinner (Did I mention that I am slightly incapacitated because I hurt my knee?) and he comes home.

With this.

Yep, my man bought me a new to us 2010 Town and Country van!

A pretty shiny newer-and-nicer-than-I’ve-ever-had-before van.

One that doesn’t have a cracked and broken dashboard.

And it doesn’t make odd sounds because of some tire problem.

The trunk on this van opens all the time too.

I may be slightly spoiled.

Because I have a gorgeous new van and he got a bowl of cereal for dinner.

Fifteen Years

Fifteen years.

Can you believe that, love?

In that time we’ve been blessed with five children and made eight moves.

We’ve known several church families but have called Christ Church home for almost ten years now. Those years in and of themselves have been a wild ride and I am thankful to not only have been by your side through everything but also to call you my pastor.

I love your brain and how you seek knowledge. Not just for the sake of knowing but so you can better serve your King and His people.

I love the way you look at me…seeing who I am and loving me anyways and seeing who I can be.

I love the way you perch your glasses on your nose and give me “the look” over the top of your glasses. Oh, that makes me laugh.

I love your kisses (all eleven of them 😉 and I love the words of your mouth. You encourage and strengthen me with your council and wisdom. I know without a doubt that you will tell me Truth even when it is painful. In this you are a faithful friend.

I love the shoulders that accept the wait of your responsibilities to our family and to our people. You don’t shirk back or look for ways to abandon that which you’ve been given to do.

I love your heart that is steadfast and honorable.

I love the way your hands comfort and guide our family and the way you reach over and rub my back right before we fall asleep.

I love the feet that stand strong and sure in the truth of who God is, and who we are to be in Him.

In short, I love everything about you. All the good I mentioned above but I also love your shortcomings and faults. I love being with you in your struggles because even as you battle your own sin I learn ways to fight might own.

I love the last fifteen perfectly imperfect years of our life. We joke about your boxes, the way you keep things all compartmentalized, and I hope that they are full to overflowing with the same joy that I have found in us.

Even your nothing box.

Because in you and the life that He has given us, God has done abundantly more than I could have ever dared dream of or ask for.

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 🙂