Thursday, February 26, 2009
Just after we first married, we were jointly passionate about the sacredness of this new home we were creating, and we wanted to be very intentional about the way we viewed our home. Aron & I are both idealists (probably to a fault) but we wholeheartedly believe that the home is absolutely a sacred place. It is the one domain in which we have been given the authority to allow the Kingdom of God and the authority of Christ to be manifest in its intended glory in a way we cannot do at work or school or other social settings.
We desired our home to first of all be our haven. Our safe place among all the forces of evil and all that seeks to steal, kill, and destroy in this world. A place where we know above all else we are delighted in and may find rest in this place and restoration for our weary bodies and souls.
Secondly, we established that our home would be our "ministry headquarters" (this was long before Aron ever felt called into the ministry); meaning our home would be a place not only for our own restoration but a haven for others as well. We hope and pray that all who enter our home will feel the love of Christ in a way that is tangible - almost as if they can breathe it in or taste it. That they may know and understand they are indeed delighted over. When I tell people I am passionate about hospitality, I think they get the idea of a "Martha Stewart-esk passion". While I enjoy Martha's creativity, its more of the ministry headquarters idea that stirs me.
Thirdly, we wanted our home to be a place of inspiration of all sorts. A space where ideas are abounding and creativity is flowing. A place where music is in the air and poetry is on our hearts. Where our souls encounter the worlds needs and we are inspired to act. Inspired to dare to dream the impossible.
Idealistic? Absolutely. But something we must be continually mindful to strive toward. That's why we hung a giant black and white sign to remind us of our goal. Because we know that wherever Christ is head and His kingdom is being lived out, the enemy attacks and seeks to bring disorder and chaos.
Do we fall short of these ideals? Probably daily. But its important to remind ourselves of these things from time to time as the busyness of life tends to force us into a rut of routine and monotony. In Deuteronomy, the Israelites are instructed to love the Lord with all of their heart, soul, and strength, and to adorn the commandments they were given upon their hearts, to impress them upon their children, to talk about them all through their days, and to even write them on the door frames of their houses and the gates that guard their homes. So that is what we did, in a sense, by writing out the mission statement of our home in way we would be constantly reminded to honor.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
2. My jeans are way tighter than I am comfortable with this week.
3. I am too stubborn to buy more knowing they too won't fit soon.
4. Hence, I am very thankful for leggings being "in" during this pregnancy.
5. I am also very thankful for the prayers and encouragement on my behalf. Like I said, healing often hurts...but its a good hurt. A cleansing hurt. God's mercies are new everyday. Thank you for helping to bring healing by your kind words.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
We can bury these wounded areas under years of justification and attempts at making it right on our own. We can numb them with quick fixes. But it never lasts. And before long, we start to see the world through the lens of our woundedness. We grapple to control the frustration, the internal conflict, to stuff the emotions and control the wave of hurt.
I say "we", but what I guess I mean is "I".
I long to be authentic and vulnerable. That is why I share this struggle. In hope that you who know me will better know how to pray for me. In hope that you who don't know me, will see the complete picture of what God is doing in me - the ugly and the pretty.
So today I've been undergoing the painful process of healing. Day after day God has been using circumstances to bring to the surface major heartaches that I have not dealt with properly. I think he is doing this because he sees the damage I am doing trying to fill the void on my own. That and he's like the master restorer and can't imagine his kids walking around all dysfunctional and broken when he knows the remedy. And he sees the life that is possible when we are whole.
So, while flipping through a notebook searching for a page to write out my prayers today, I read this poem Aron wrote almost 4 years ago. I think God gave it to him for me, today. You see, I've been battling feelings of abandonment, feelings like, no one really cares. Feelings of being excluded or left out. Feeling forgotten. Not always, just when the moment strikes, and my heart begins to bleed. And those feelings, left to settle in and take root, grow bitterness and resentment. So I needed what Aron had to say:
Don't let the past turn you heart to steel
And steal the last hope of joy you could feel.
The cold of another's shoulder
Jades your heart with ice.
Forgiveness in the hand of beholder
Resolves to act on love's advice.
Who are you? What are we?
Where to find identity.
In the hand of a man or the hand of a god or
in the hand of the God of Man of God
A poisoned heart; a poison within
A house divided cannot defend.
Hope is lost on the wake of the wind
A million to one - foes to the friend.
Only a choice can make it relent.
Choose to love - till it makes you sick.
Heap those coals on stranger or kin
Watch it cover a multitude of sin.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
9. She's B-E-A-U-tiful
8. She works hard (Prov. 31)
7. She plays hard (wink, wink)
6. She makes amazing babies!
5. She can hold her own in ping-pong (she's even beat me a few times)
4. She lets me rent "shoot-em-up"* guy movies and rarely demands a chick-flick in return (*shoot-em-up is a term coined by Jackie Kirk describing an Action/Adventure movie, usually rated R for violence)
3. She encourages me to pursue my passions (including purchasing my beautiful Breedlove Pro Series guitar)
2. She is an outstanding [blow-your-mind] cook
1. She loves God [and me!]
My Wife Rocks!
And for your additional Valentine's Day pleasure, here are 9 reasons why
MY HUSBAND ROCKS!
9. He shares my enthusiasm for old things and yard sales. Infact, he gets upset if I go yard-sale-ing without him.
8. The man is just plain handsome (I was scared to death of him when we first started dating because I had never seen anyone so...gorgeous).
7. Have you heard the songs he writes?! Oh, yeah, and the few that are for me...melt my heart!
6. I've never known a man so darn multi-talented - sports, music, poetry, academia, speaking.
5. During a touching moment in a book or movie, you can guarantee he's sobbing right along with me.
4. (and so he doesn't kill me for #5)...he's so very strong and masculine! He always carries the heavy bags, takes great pleasure in getting lids off for me, and can fix the broken things around the house.
3. He can seriously shred. I get tickled at church when he rips out a raging guitar solo and people nearly fall out of their seats because they had him pegged as an acoustic strumming softy!
2. He is the best daddy to my baby I could ever ask for. He lets her paint his nails, plays princess with her, and takes her on daddy/Belle dates when I'm working.
1. okay, I'm going to cheat & have two #1's because he just rocks that much.
He promised me on our wedding day to honor me with his every thought, action, and word. And he does. He makes it a priority to honor me & if he falls short, his integrity demands he confess and seek forgivenss. Now that is a what I call a man.
1. He loves Jesus more than anything in this world. His one goal in life is that Christ may be glorified and that he may be instrumental in seeing people "come alive to God" the way his heart has.
You rock, baby!
Happy Valentines Day!
Thursday, February 12, 2009
My OB-GYN (in a hospital world, pronouce it "obee-jenn" so as not to say every letter...now you're in the 'know')...anyway, my obgyn's office is now 5 star in my eyes.
I get on their website, put in my username and password, and voila: instant access to all of my labwork, all of my reports, all of my appointments. From a nurse's perspective, this is awesome! I have the same access to my chart that my doc has - no waiting to hear from them. I can just look myself!
For instance, today I saw that my beta HCG level is 134729. The normal being less than 5, I am definately prego. I also saw I am slightly anemic (which I often am), but now I can start 'beefing' up on my red meats - so to speak. And my blood type is O positive - somehow I never knew this. This may mean nothing to you, but its pretty cool to me!
okay, dorky healthcare rave over.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
My life is yours. Use me to glorify yourself. I will seek first your kingdom and righteousness. This is my prayer:
"Let every desire fall away except that for only you
Let every pleasure fail to satisfy our want
Let every sinner know all grace and mercy in the truth
Lord these are the prayers of our humble hearts
Let every action fall away except that which is from faith
Let us hold fast to you in quietness and trust
Let every sin and sinful way be confessed to you in haste
For you are merciful and so lovingly unjust
Let your judgements begin to stir
Let us discover what you are worth
Let your will be done on earth
As it is above
If any treasure were to be found
We would only desire your renown
If any suffering or sorrow is to come--
Only let us love you, Lord,
And let us love."
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Look at that baby dance. I am quite positive the baby is dancing..."alive with the glory of love", as one of Aron's songs say. Every heart beat, every move of its arms and legs a dance praising our maker.
At small group my friend, Barby, joked, where are you hiding a 12 week baby? I laughed, thinking, "Well, its not too hard, they're barely there at this point in the game". But after watching that ultrasound, I myself am wondering where little 12 week baby is hiding because that little guy looked so big and active. I certainly don't feel any lime-sized objects squirming around in my tummy just yet!
I've said it before, but I must say it again. Sweet baby, just as your sister did (& still does on a daily basis), you have stolen our hearts. And so today, this week that we celebrate valentine's and the love in our life, this song is for you. (I mentioned it in last week's post, & I can't get it out of my head when I think of you.)
Saturday, February 7, 2009
This is a quote from a book I've been reading lately ("the Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning) but it's also been a pretty acurate description of my personal worship of God. Crying out, asking for guidance, begging for peace and feeling like I'm all alone.
But I love what Manning goes on to say: Yet the experience of abscence does not mean the abscence of experience... The Christian who is poor in spirit goes to worship on Sunday morning singing: "I am poor but I brought myself the best I could; I am Yours, I am Yours."
I think I'm actually furthest from God when I'm busy; when I'm comfortable; when I have a lack of desire. When I think, "man, I should really pray (read, meditate, sing, etc.) but..." and I just go on with my busy day.
So as my friend Joe Dusza exhorted me to do, I'm learning to appreciate my poverty. It's no wonder the poor in spirit are blessed, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. But, lest we forget, the Kingdom is within and most often entered throught the gates of poverty-- our need of a Savior.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
What if God was the sun? What if hope was the rain?
And we drank of that hope, as we lived in those rays.
If only sin were a man I could stand against
Then I could walk by the light of day.
What if God was our joy? What if hope was our strength?
And we danced in that joy, as we hoped he would save
If only we could rejoice in God in every way
Then we could walk by the light of day
Hold on, he comes! Hold on.
Hold on to the one by whom we have been saved.
Jesus Christ is the Son. In our hearts he will reign.
As we drink of his cup and we live in his ways
Our sin was crushed by this man as he rose again
So we can walk by the light of day.
Hold on, he comes! Hold on.
Hold on to the one by whom we have been saved.
Jesus Christ is our joy. Our hope in him is our strength.
And we dance in that joy as we hope he will save.
And Lord I will rejoice in you in every way
So I can walk by the light of day
Hold on, he comes! Hold on.
Hold on to the one by whom we have been saved
Jesus Christ is the son. In our hearts he will reign
As we walk by the light of day
If you're going through prolonged winter in your soul right now, put your hope in God. "No one who hopes in him will ever be put to shame" (Psalm 25:3). Hold on, he comes.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Belle has been doing the cutest thing lately, but I never have the camera handy to catch it...tonight I did!
Whenever she hears music, she bobs her head to the beat and kinda mumbles along like she's really into it. Reminds me of Aron. The stronger the beat or harder the music, the bob becomes more of a headbang. Tonight Aron was attempting to rap just like Matt on the "Give Me Your Eyes" video. Belle was feeling it. She tried rapping herself, and she did at least as good as daddy! Aron was cracking up at himself listening to the video..."Yeah, there's a reason I'm not a rapper!" he said.
"You have stolen my heart..." (yes, a great Dashboard song, but also a great title for today's post).
We are in love - the three of us together with who you are, precious baby! Isabelle could not wait to go to the doctor today. She wanted to meet you, "baby bruder". I told her we can't see you yet, but we will hear your sweet heart beating.
In the video the midwife says regarding the heartbeat, "Man, that's nice and strong." Aron was quite proud, and on the way out commented, "Yeah, that baby's heartbeat was much slower than I remember Belle's being. It sounded like a boy's heart. A strong boy, like his daddy." We'll see about that. I was just grateful to hear it.
Turns out I am 11 weeks today.
Precious baby is swallowing and swimming already. There are nails on those tiny fingers on baby's little 1 1/2 inch long body. Can you even imagine? The details blow my mind. My cousin, Kim, sent me an email saying, " 'From the mouths of children and infants come praise ordained by God.' Your little babe is praising God with his/her every little heartbeat. That is so awesome!" And that is exactly what I felt when I heard that little swoosh swoosh. What a miracle God has allowed us to participate in. I feel so humbled to be given the opportunity to carry this child.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
What a day at Macomb Christian Church! We talked about compassionately meeting others' needs, and we ended the service with this song-- "Give Me Your Eyes" by Brandon Heath. That's yours truly singing and playing acoustic and Matt Huston rapping.
I had never heard Matt rap before, but when we practiced for the first time about three weeks ago, I knew this was going to be special. Matt is extremely talented. He wrote all the rap parts for this song, and he can beat-box with the best of them (but he didn't break out this skill for this song). In both services, people got so into it that they stood up and clapped along. I'm glad they enjoyed it, even if they do clap on the wrong beat! (Watch the video and see what I mean).