Tuesday, July 12


For the past few days I haven't been able to marriage out of my head.

I am so deeply in love with my husband and I will always remember our wedding day. But marriage isn't just public on the wedding day... It is always on display.

When you get married there are certain mile-markers that are somewhat expected of you. You get married, go on a honeymoon, buy a house, get good jobs, have babies, raise them, have anniversaries, send your kids to college, start a new life with as "empty nesters", retire, travel, have grandkids, and grow old...

I feel like once you get married there's a sense of anticipation always lurking for the "next big step".

I am guilty of this.

I do feel the pressure of hitting certain mile-markers. Not because of a person, but because of myself. So to calm down all the anxiousness, I decided it would be most important to not focus on the next big step, but rather the very first step.

Our vows.

To focus on the things we promised to each other on a very, very cold December 12, 2009.

I, Amy, take you Ben, to be my husband, my partner in life and my one true love. 

I will cherish our friendship and love you today, tomorrow, and forever I will trust you and honor you I will laugh with you and cry with you. 

I will love you faithfully through the best and the worst, through the difficult and the easy. 

What may come I will always be there. 

 God has prepared me for you and so I will ever strengthen, help, comfort, and encourage you.

Therefore, throughout life, no matter what may be ahead of us, I pledge to you my life.

Ben and I didn't know what our vows really meant on December 12, but every day we are learning what they mean and how to uphold them.

We surely did not know how difficult our first year would be, but God did. God stood with us on our wedding day and witnessed and praised as we dedicated our lives to each other and to Him.

We have definitely shared thousands of tears with one another and we have laughed until we hurt. We have seen darkness and we have seen light.

We have seen God provide for us when we didn't deserve it. When we didn't earn it. And I've seen God transform our marriage.

Are we where we thought we would be? Absolutely not.

And I am so grateful.

So my prayer this week is that God would continue to erase "mile-markers" and mold my mind around His plan and purpose. His mercies and His wisdom. His grace and His love.

Monday, July 11

Daddy Diaries: Running Behind

I don't know what's happened to me over the past few years, but I've become that notoriously late person. That's not always how it's been, though. I was a band kid. I had the philosophy of "If you're not early, you're late." I don't know what has happened. Although I haven't technically been late to work, I haven't been able to consistently get in before 8:10 in like 2 months. It's not that I've just got too much to do, but it's just hard to get out of the house.

When I think about why I'm late, it's really a mixture of things. I mean, it's partly the fact that I hate leaving Amy at home and that I don't wake up quite as early as I would like. However, the biggest thing is that I've been feeling so tired lately. I just don't feel like waking up sometimes. I never feel like I've gotten enough sleep, even though I get between 7 and 8 hours a night. I think it's just the aftermath of a few weeks without a break. Amy and I have had a lot going on in the past several weeks. Not that it was bad stuff by any means, but we just haven't had a lot of down time. However, I don't think that's the main reason.

I believe it's been more of the fact that during this time of extra stress, instead of spending extra time in peaceful meditation and prayer, I've been seeking stress relief through online games, movies, and pretty much anything that distracts me. I've just been so plugged in to the world lately and I haven't taken time to unwind and seek out God. I don't say that as if I gain righteousness from spending time in prayer, but I do believe that the word of God is bread for our souls. I believe that without spending time praying and meditating on the truths of God, we can't live a full and healthy lives.

It's not only our bread, but it's our armor, too (Ephesians 6:13-18). When we're not taking time to sit in God's presence, we're leaving ourselves both weak and vulnerable, open to any attack. For me, during these stressful times, Satan really drives the dagger into my side when it comes to self-pity. When I'm feeling tired and stressed, it's so easy to go there. What's worse, the self pity is like a bleeding wound. The longer I hold onto it, the more tired and stressed I become. This opens me up to worry and various other non-fruitful tendencies.

So, what do I do to combat it? Relax. I take some time to be quiet and remember my freedom in Christ. I take time to bask in his truth. For instance, one night last week, I was having a pretty rough night until I simply brewed a cup of tea and spent the better part of the evening sitting on the front porch without music, tv, games, or internet. I listened to the sound of the birds. I soaked in the praises that creation was lifting up to God around me. I joined in in my heart. It was glorious.

I think this is the hardest part when we fall into these times of attack. We find ourselves trying to grow close to God by doing things. Though disciplines are a good way to maintain a healthy life, we have to remember that we're on the vine system. He is the vine and we are the branches. We produce fruit by being attached to Him. It doesn't work in reverse. We don't get attached to him by producing fruit. So, all we have to "do," is just take a step back, and enjoy Him and all that He has done for us. When we start to really remember that we are his children and find our identity in him, then the Spirit will start to move and stir within us and produce the works. That is when we will start to desire to seek out His words and will in our life.

Anyways, that's enough random rambling for tonight. Hope you all have a wonderful week and I will see you next month!