It’s both

I have never had a relationship based on feeling alone.

There is something more to it. There is an element of stubbornness. There is a deep connectedness that holds on when the feelings don’t match the situation.

There is also a putting the interest of others above your own. (Certainly, not all of the time, but I would say equal parts or a little more.) There is an interest in the person. There is an interest in his or her story. There is an interest in the things that he or she knows about.

There is an expertise that one gets about that person. Of course, knowledge alone does not determine my relationship with him or her, but I cannot know nothing of him or her either.

I am in love with WK… in the giddy school girl way. I am in love with him in the melt your insides and rip your clothes off way. I am in love with him in the get all dressed up to look my best for him on special nights kind of way. I am in love with him in the hold hands in public and sit on the same side of the table kind of way.

But that’s not it. If it was, it would be shallow. If it was, it would be tiring to keep up. If it was, I would question my love for him when I got a headache or was distracted with a challenge.

I am also in love with him in the grow old with him kind of way. I am in love with him in the do laundry, do dishes, and bear children for him kind of way. I am love with him in the I will pay attention (more than hearing or listening) to stories about cars and computers kind of way. I am in love with him in the making his life my life kind of way.

It’s both. It’s a marriage of both the feeling of love and the constitution of it.

Sometimes I feel the feelings. Sometimes I do the work of them.

A deep abiding love will both make your heart soar and your muscles ache. It will make you feel amazing and it will wear you out. It is both an emotion and an institution.

Culturally we like to apply the shallow kind of love to God as well as people. But it’s both…

I am in love with my Savior… In a giddy school girl kind of way, and a lay down my life for Him kind of way. I am in love in the heart soaring, and the read Leviticus kind of way. I am in love in a follow him when things look nice and when things look awful kind of way. I am in love with Him in a sing hallelujah, and in a memorize His word kind of way.

It’s both. It’s a marriage of both the relationship and the regulations.

If I would give this kind of love to my husband why would I give anything less to my Lord?

I hope that we learn a deeper love each day… one that causes us to cheer and to sacrifice.

It’s the only kind of love worth having.

Continue Reading

Fear is not your friend

“God has not given us a spirit of fear.” These were the words I said to my son when he asked why I would not likely ever allow him to go to a “fright fest.”

We make ourselves too comfortable with fear these days. I’m not really talking about haunted houses or scary movies. Although, I’m sure there is a conversation that could be had abut those as well.

After all, We can’t be a good mother without it, you know?

Continue Reading

Fluff doesn’t sharpen

We’re floundering most of us. The mamas raising our young ones. We’re terrified of getting it wrong. We’re helpless to get it right. We don’t even know who to go to when we have questions.

I used to have a wise sounding board. She was full of life, but she was also filled with God’s word.

Mama was the perfect place for me to take my questions, ideas, and fears to. She almost always had the perfect answer, even when it was “I don’t know.”

Having her was a treasure, and I soaked up her wisdom like a sponge.

But when I no longer had Marilyn I realized that others around me didn’t have anyone like her either.

So we all floundered together. Until one day God laid it on my heart to be a sounding board for others around me.

If I didn’t have my Mama and they didn’t have that sound counsel either, why couldn’t we be that to each other?

So we gather at my dining room table each week to sort out the good, the bad, and the poopy.

I keep asking why we are so weak in this area and what we can do about it.

We find this wisdom in organic conversation and real life. We pray that God uses it to breathe life back into our weary souls.

But finding it?

That’s the big problem. We have no idea where to look for it.

Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

This is not an excuse to sit around with people who are exactly like you on the surface. This is a call to find others who are like you at the core.

The girls that meet at my dining room table started when the Jesus in Marj and the Jesus in me sharpened each other.

It grew even stronger when a different surface but an iron core joined us. Jill wasn’t the same, but she was a sharpener.

Why are we not finding these healthy places?

If we’re honest it is because much of what we find on social media can be fluff, or let’s just say it, poop. Neither of these elements sharpen, nor do they create a protective and steadfast place for us to become better than we were yesterday.

Iron is most often found face to face. It is why we still mostly find it in churches, in school pick-up lines, and in the break room. It is also why we feel more lonely when we don’t find it in these spaces than when we don’t find it online.

Proverbs 2:3-5 also tells us that it will not fall into our laps, “If you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” While this is talking about the fear of the Lord and the knowledge of God, I believe those are often found in the small conversations with iron relationships.

The physical element of iron itself is mined for. Rarely is iron found on the surface and if so it is only a trace of all that is hiding below the surface.

I have iron ladies. They are soft on the outside, but the are tough as nails inside. They sharpen me in ways I would never

May we quit looking for iron on the surface, and dig deeper to find the iron that our souls long to be strengthened by. I pray you quit looking for strength in fluff, ignore surface minerals, and search for what will make you stronger, friends.

It is there, but it must be mined.

Continue Reading

Adventures and plans

I never followed Jenny because I had to do it.

Sure, she was a gale force when she didn’t get her way, and she was so much stronger than me when we ran and played together. I can still close my eyes and see her perched at the top of the swingset or running so fast that if she had fallen she might have exploded into a thousand pieces.

I also knew that her role in any game we played was determined by her. I had my opinion and I was always Princess Leia when I played at home, but Jenny got to be leading role (even if she had never seen it before #IwasrightaboutStarWars).

I didn’t even follow Jenny because of her fierce love for me or because she demanded it.

Continue Reading