Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My love

I used to be a crazy journaler.  I loved each new journal with its blank pages and endless possibilities.  I still journal, only now it like monthly instead of daily.  Something I love about intimately chronicling the 18-25 period of my life is that I can go back and see myself unfolding and figuring out who I am and who God created me to be.  It was a beautiful mess - that is for sure! 

I was going through some old books this week and came across my journal from the year after I graduated from college when Jeff and I had just started rekindling our romance.  After 5 1/2 years of marriage, it can be easy to forget all of those things that made you fall in love. Especially when this was a love that began when I was only 16, but became a very different love when I fell in love with him again at age 23.

Here are some glimpses of that love back in 2007 (the year we got married).

March: "Good time praying this morning - Thanks Lord!  Man, I have had that soaring, 'I'm in love!' feeling all day today and yet it feels so different from my experiences in the past.  It was good tonight to feel like - I love Jeff, not some future version of him, not because of anything he does - I am just full of love for him that isn't contingent on anything he says or does."

April: "It has been really good with Jeff - I love him.  He is wonderful and is going to be such a great dad and husband someday.  All weekend I've felt like, I really hope that he's mine, but I don't want to get too attached to hat idea.  Man, I'm way too selfish to have kids right now.  I want to be the center of his attention way too much to want his world to revolve around others all the time... maybe I need to work on getting over that."

May: Who is Jeff?

He's the kind of guy that still writes thank you notes for every gift that he receives.
He will always open your door if you are female.
He is easy to love and loves others easily.
He is patient and withstanding.
He is fun to play with, but won't let you win (unless he thinks you will stop playing with him)
He's always thinking at least 5 years down the road, but can hold things loosely.
He would do anything for just about anyone - especially, when he loves you.
He is gentle but strong, kind but firm.
He can't finish his stories sometimes because he laughs at himself in the middle.
He is subtle when correcting and can receive correction (usually).
He seemingly has no internal sense of direction.
He makes friends quickly and will assume the best about people.
He confidently moves forward in whatever God speaks over his life.
He is very considerate of others and how his actions effect them.
He isn't afraid to love deeply and passionately, even if it isn't immediately returned.

Just a few months later we would get engaged,  and then be married by the end of this year.  I love our love story, even the ugly parts... it really is a story of redemption and picture to me of the ways that God can take something that is broken and dirty and ugly and redeem it to be beautiful, life-giving, and clean. 

Here's to you my love, my life.  I still get that 'crazy in love' feeling around you and I was 110% right about you.  I love you!

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Life has continued to unfold in full force as it always does, without regard for personal circumstances or feelings.  I get the feeling I am supposed to write about something else, 'move on' from thoughts of loss or what could have been.  And I will write about other things and be ready to share my heart about other things - but right now, I am still here.  Not in the same place physically, emotionally, or spiritually that I was 5 months ago, but when I look into my heart, right under the surface there is still pain and disappointment and loss.

I spent some time tonight packing up and organizing things that have been in the 'baby closet' for quite a while now.  I am not sure what compelled me to do it, other than the sense that I was ready.  As I was sorting and organizing, deciding what to keep and what to get rid of - I couldn't help but think about how I could be doing this same thing except unpacking instead of packing.  I have struggled with my share of disappointment and just plain grief over the last few months, but mostly I have felt peace and joy - and in my better days, hope.

I was praying a few weeks ago and talking to God about my 'plans' and how I thought things would unfold for our family.  While I feel like I've been able to release a lot of the need to understand or get answers to why, I realized I was still holding on to some bitterness about the ways my 'plans' were ruined.  I felt God gently whisper, 'What if it is really true that I am God and you are not?'  Obviously, I confess that to be true, but the attitude of my heart was that God's plans had screwed mine up and mine were better - far better.

Something I struggle with is this notion that somehow our family dynamics are going to be inextricably altered because we didn't our couldn't 'plan' our family with children all two years apart.  Every time someone asks me "How old is he?" "Three and a half!  Wow, aren't you ready for another?!"  I feel this guilt that somehow I messed everything up and our family is ruined.  I don't really believe this, but sometimes I really do feel genuinely concerned about it.... And on my better days, I remember that God is God and I am not.  I was thinking about this reminder today and how 10 years ago I had just finished my freshman year at Baylor and was preparing to board a plane to Turkey for the summer.  That summer changed my life and I could never have predicted all that would unfold over the next 10 years.  It certainly wasn't my plan at the time.  God is God and I am not. 

If it is true that God is God and I am not, then it means that I can release my worry, fear, expectation and efforts to control.  I can receive His grace for each day and rest in his provision even when I can't see the 10 year plan - or even the 1 year plan.  I don't think it means I shouldn't have dreams, goals, or work towards something, but I think it means that when everything falls apart or when things don't go as planned instead of being bitter, angry, or blaming, I can reach out for God's outstretched hand, take hold, and follow - because wherever He is leading, that is where I want to be, even if is away from my best laid 'plans'.  So, onward we go, forward, following, trusting, believing because He is God and I am not.