Thursday, April 29, 2010

Solomon, Jesus, & Mammoth Caves

Ephesians 5
5Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing"[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."[c] 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."

I told Aron a few weeks ago that in our zeal & passion to serve Jesus, I felt as if we overlooking our relationship with one another. Not purposefully, but almost as if our love for one another was a given & so our attention focused on more pressing matters: family, ministry, children, work. Duty calls after all.

My husband took this to heart. So what did he do? He began reading the Song of Songs. Yes, the most scandalously beautiful book of the entire Bible. And he was indeed inspired. You see, scripture commands men to love their wives as Christ loves the church (his followers). What does this look like?
* He gave himself up for her, literally giving his very life to rescue us
* He nurtures her
* He pursues her
* He leads her
* He disciplines (corrects) her to keep her from falling into sin

There are probably more ways, but it is late and that's what I can gather off the top of my head. I'd love to hear your ideas.

So with the Love of Christ for his bride & the words of Solomon on his heart, Aron began planning.

On Sunday as I was preparing to leave for a week with the kids & travel with his mom to Southern Ohio, Aron handed me a letter for each day that we were apart.

I am forbidden to disclose the contents of them, but I am quite certain the Spirit moved in Aron as he wrote. Each day, he revisited special moments in our journey, and validated so many wounds and insecurities that I have faced as a young woman.
The words alone were completely overwhelming.
But on Wednesday morning, the letter closed with the statement of how our love for one another refreshes his spirit. And that he wanted me to be refreshed as well. Then followed instructions to show up for a massage at 11:00 am, babysitting already arranged (Thank you, Alyssa!).

Thursday's Letter was the Icing on the Cake. After quoting one of my favorite songs that he has written:

I think we need
Some sweet release
Some time away
Wide Open Space

Or just close your eyes and say you love me
And don't regret one word you say
And as you speak your love surrounds me
And the rest just fades away.

He wrote, "Will you come away with me?"

So away we go. Not far, but far enough.
He is a little excited about the mammoth king sized bed he isn't sharing with Judah for 2 nights.
I am excited to capture the beauty (holding a baby isn't exactly conducive to taking photos).
Our adventure doesn't really begin until tomorrow. But we went exploring a little this evening.
(I know, Mom. No socks & no tennis shoes...I was regretting it!!!)
This cave entrance was great until the bats starting coming out. I strongly considered vetoing our two expeditions already booked for tomorrow at that point.

The wildlife isn't afraid of humans at all.
I have notoriously had a difficult time leaving the young ones. This was no exception (especially since Judah isn't weaned & refuses a bottle...poor Grandma Jackie & Aunt Alyssa...I'm sorry!!!)

Aron surprised me with an early Mother's Day gift so that Belle & Judah could be near to my heart while we were away! So very thoughtful this man is, and how grateful & blessed am I! So undeserving of his affection, and so humbled by his pursuit.
So I share of all of this in hope that you closet man-readers out there might be inspired to find a new way to love & pursue your wives. It doesn't have to be as elaborate or expensive as a getaway. A simple love letter or a whisper of the things that you adore about your wife would do more to awaken your wife's heart than you can know. And as you do, the desire to submit, respect, honor, follow, and support you will overflow from her in ways neither you nor she can imagine.
I dare you.

PS...These are for you, Isabelle Rose.

We saw a real castle on our trip! Do you think a princess lives here?
And Daddy got chased by a pteridactyle at Dinosaur World. Good thing Daddy was very fast and ran to safety before he was snatched up!
And finally, in honor of all you P90 X'ers out there,
"I'm a pteridactyle, backing out of trouble..."


beckyjomama said...

Good job Aron ... way to love on your woman!!!

Praying Blessings over your time away and peace over your babies!


j said...

Simply beautiful! Aron told me of his grandiose plans for the two of you and I have been very excited for you! You look gorgeous in that mirror shot (just love it!) The caves/national park look breathtakingly beautiful...i'd be a bit apprehensive of the bats too (ask me about my BAT experience last week). You and your shoes...that is so something I would do...vanity over sanity! :) And i just love the necklace. Is that the one you've been eyeing? (mine arrived a couple of weeks ago and is anxiously waiting to wrap itself around my neck on mother's day! it's hard to be patient!) How special for Aron to arrange and surprise you with some of your favorite things. i loved this post!

ps...thank you for your prayers and encouraging words. enjoy the rest of your getaway!

pps...the P90X shot is hilarious...that guy is so full of himself it's not even funny! I could pull out a few of his one-liners (and they are not good ones to even WANT to commit to memory). At least the workouts are good!

pkgormong said...

ohhh sounds wonderful Erica! Hope you enjoyed your special time:) You are a sweet wife and mother! I look up to you!

Clint Berry said...

Very nice. Lindsey and I rode horses as well on our recent getaway to Tennessee...however, they did not look nearly as nice as yours...."Gluestick" and "Alpo" were there names. I had the only horse that both my feet touched the ground while I was was like riding a hammock.

Amber said...

I'm just now seeing this--how wonderful! I think the pictures for Belle have to be my favorite.