August 2009


For eleven years  I have had the absolute blessing of being this mans wife. 

July 2009 377

Just to let you know what a gem he is, although we had big plans for our anniversary, we spent the day dealing with a bad flu bug (me) and an ER trip for a baby girl.  Instead of being disappointed (alone time is something cherished here), he took the kids for me all day so I could sleep until I felt better, cooked for everyone and rented a chick flick for us to watch in the evening, after the baby and I returned from the x-ray place.

We were married quite young (very young by today’s standards) and have been through some trying circumstances together.  One thing I am so grateful though, is that through it all we have always loved each other.

We have changed in ways that neither of us would have guessed or been able to plan for, and at the end of each and every day of our marriage (even though we have occasionally been angry) I have always, without reservation, loved this man immensely.  To me, that is what I am seeing as of late as special about a marriage with God involved.  There may be circumstances that would make not loving and even leaving easier, but with God, He urges us to love, to keep the promises we made and to remain faithful to Him and each other. To be patient, kind, sacrificial.   To cherish, to forgive, to respect, to forget.  To live joyfully in each others presence, have lots of fun and relish what you love about the other.

Aaron, there is too much I relish about you to write.  I’m glad I get the rest of our lives to cherish all the joy we have together.

July 2009 384

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My husband and I are coming up on eleven years of marriage.  Over eleven years, we have seen our share of changes, to our lifestyle, to ourselves and to our relationships.  On the eve of this anniversary I have been mulling over in my mind how over the past year or so how God has altered our view of where and how we want to live. 

When we first married we lived in a 500 (or so) square foot apartment.  It was close to the university, close to a quick route to my husband’s job and in a beautiful older neighbourhood.  We loved it (a lot!) and never really thought of having more or bigger (although hauling groceries from the car was a bit of a pain living on the tenth floor).  After a year and a half we purchased our first home, thinking ourselves financially responsible to start stocking away equity.  It was a bright, airy and functional 1400 square foot two story.  Although our years there passed quickly, due to full time school and almost full time work, it was where we first started to itch for more.  We started to look at show homes for bigger and fancier, thinking our self worth equal to our belongings.  We were young, went to a church with lots of wealthy people and although not overtly admitted, though we could prove ourselves by acumilating lots of expensive things.  When we moved once again, to a different city, we got a slightly larger and slightly fancier house.  Two years later and yet another city and another slightly bigger and slightly fancier house. 

Four years later and we are still in that house.  Not very long ago, I even wanted bigger and fancier.  Not for God`s plan or glory but for my own selfish one.  About a year and a half ago I read ‘Irresistible Revolution’ by Shane Claiborne.  I wish I could say that it was the bible, or preaching in a church or other Christian friends that first convicted me about how God feels about money and things, but instead it was reading that book.  My husband then read `Jesus for President` and for the first time we thought about how our fiscal plan may be totally contradictory to God’s, tithing or not tithing aside.   We talked a lot about what we felt God was asking us to do and how what we thought he was asking us to do looked like it really, really sucked.  (Sell all we have, give it to the poor, ummm…)  We stopped buying a lot of new things, but otherwise took little action. I was convicted that God taught strongly against wealth (Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:24;  “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Mark 10:21;  “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.  Matthew 6:24) but was still very, very attached to our home and other things, for many sinful, selfish reasons.  At that point I was not finding this process at all joyful, only sacrificial.  Although I could argue I am not rich here in Canada, but very decidedly middle class, in the terms of the world, I am certainly very wealthy and this put me in a very uncomfortable position.

Fast forward about a year.  We went on vacation and stayed for two weeks in a small condo.  (I know what a rich person luxury, trust me the irony is not wasted.)  Both my husband and I were so refreshed at having so very little to take care of.  I did not miss any of our belongings.  Again, we have just had the lovely experience of camping for several weeks on Vancouver Island.  We have a small trailer that we take camping.    This time, my husband and I talked about how we both felt freed at how we can better spend our time and energy when we have less stuff to take care of. 

These vacations were such a blessing because God really used them to show me something I hadn’t even considered when first reading all this God and money stuff – one reason God cautions so strongly about money and things is because being bogged down by them is not how He wants us to spend our resources.  To have a bigger and fancier house means we need to spend more – more time maintaining, cleaning, organizing and more money heating, paying the mortgage and taxes.  More of my husbands time working to pay for these things.  More  time away from the relationships God intended for us to have with Him and our neighbours.  More time and money… wasted.  I don`t want to waste any more of what God has blessed me with.  I want to use it to glorify Him.  I don`t want to be too trapped by my possessions to really discover what amazing plans God has for me.  When I say this is so freeing from how I used to feel about accumulating more, I don’t know how to say it strongly enough, but boy do I feel free!

So, we aren`t moving – yet – and honestly I don`t know if that is what God wants us to do right this minute.  But I just am so thankful how God has showed me He intends for us to be free in this matter – not deprived or legalistic and how he has been so faithful to changing my heart on this matter.  I love how He has shown me that it isn`t just about what we have – but that if we aren`t using it to God`s glory then it is wasted, whether we are poor or rich.   I don`t want to selfishly hog God`s blessings anymore and try and accumulate them for my own glory.  That’s all meaningless anyway.  I want to be free to live a joyful, giving life,  being obedient and bringing glory to God and putting my investments where they really matter – in God’s eternal kingdom.

Yesterday we had decided to stay home after a very busy week. However, by noon I was itching to get out of the house. So I loaded the kids in the car and drove off. As I was driving I felt bad. I felt inadequate as a mom. I couldn’t handle one day at home with the kids. It’s just too easy when things get crazy to put the kids in the car and hope they will go for a sleep. That I might find a few moments to myself.

I’ve been reading a book called “Jesus For President” by Shane Claiborne. It’s a very interesting read. I’m at the part where he discusses war, Hitler and Suddam in particular. He says: If the church had been the church, we might not have had Hitler or Saddam. Page 204. This thought came to mind as I was on my sanity drive with the kids bound in their seats. If the family was the family, would I have a desire to escape. If the church, was the church, would I feel so alone. What would life be like if the church was the church, if our families truly acted like families.

I can imagine a time where three generations lived under one roof. Where there wasn’t one lonely mom with her kids all day, waiting for the hours to pass for daddy to return, or the phone to ring with a friendly voice, or some sort of connection to the outside world.

I suppose that is why all the moms I know flock to playgroups, coffee playdates, the library, the mall, the park…to find community. I am thankful I have found groups of community. People and places to parent together.  Moms, it wasn’t intended that we would do this alone. That’s why it takes two to conceive! That’s why we have grown moms and dads, siblings, friends, the church. May you remember this next time you need a sanity break. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Let’s work together to be a community to have honesty, intmacy, connection. Today most of us don’t live in community, outside of our nuclear family, but we can create and be part of a greater community.

Update: I wrote this yesterday. Today I came across this blog, again Ann touches my inner heart thoughts with her writings, once again at just the right time. I had a tough day today. Some real realities of community I suppose. People to busy to notice, insensitivities, which make me wonder why I put myself out there. Sigh. God is good, encouraging us, giving us community where we don’t expect it. I am thankful for those people in my life. I am thankful for Jesus, and the ability to commune with him.

by tenth avenue north

girl

Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don’t turn away

Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching as if I’m not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me where will you run
To where will you run

And I’ll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don’t fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

Look at these hands and my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world’s sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life

Cause I, I love you
I want you to know
That I, I love you
I’ll never let you go

boy