Today I am dedicating #TeaAndWord to my husband, and as a thank you to God.
Today marks 13 years of marriage, some of it hard fought.
God knows the past struggles, the victories and the tomorrows. In Him, we have found our comfort and to Him we utter gratitude, some uttered so utterly that words can not even form from our mouths.
This man is not just my high school sweetie, He is my best friend. Friends walk through the fire together and come out better, as diamonds, on the other side.
It was a crunchy, cool September afternoon and I was shuffling through some photos on an online album from 5 months ago. He was at doctor’s appointments, we were breaking from home work and I got lost down memory lane.
His jobs always seem to be ones that keep him away and so I have, with the help of God, grown thick skin over the years in the department of “hanging in there” and leaning on Him for strength, ultimately.
What they say is true though. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, yet I can’t help but feel the winds changing, believing God will make a way for us to pay our bills, put food on the table and actually be together and enjoy it too.
Is that a lot to expect? Am I a hopeful romantic? Sure I am.
I am a hopeful, Christian romantic who remembers what her Bible says: that we are to expect much of God, not less.
No, things may not turn out or look how we thought, but Matt and I already know this courtesy of trials that I no longer shudder at but thank God for, as perspective tends to change things.
If words are powerful, as we know they are because God uttered decided words and then the world formed, I am honing my inner childlike faith and hurling positive, promising words into the air around us. Ones that speak life not death. Ones that say, I am never going anywhere, no matter what happens.
You’ll always have my heart.
Our life novel will be that of happily ever after, no matter the time and space between us.
How do I know this?
Because it’s until death do us part here on this earth and past that it is forever in God’s arms who brought us together to begin with.
My One Word for 2016
I didn’t get the One Word thing when I first started blogging. Others were posting these One Word things and I was like huh.
I took a shot at it though, because this year has been about stepping out, speaking out and moving forward.
I didn’t understand why my word kept coming back to me. And for the longest time this year I haven’t really understood why it was my word when life seemed to be pulling me away from friends and typical doings around humans, into more of a set apart sanctuary where I could clear my head and we could follow God’s leading.
Stoking a fire, getting it going again.
That is what I think when I think about my One Word for this year. But I thought it was going to be about mending other broken things, even things I may not have known ere broken?
Little did I know this word was like a torch lit up in my soul, nodding as in agreement of what God was planning for us this year.
Through and amidst trials, God can work immensely if you choose to lean on Him, together through it. Through the days of long hours, little sleep, bad dreams, unfinished conversations, unrepaired things, and unlived out dreams, we said: God help. We are not giving up. We’ve come this far. We love each other. You have always provided. We will keep going. Love is more than feeling and loveliness. Love is a choice.
What we didn’t realize was in the saying yes, God was saying yes too.
Though it felt as if the dark would never lift, God was already above it preparing a better place for us. In the dark, He is always doing the greatest things because He rewards those who diligently seek Him.
In the caverns, the twisted turns, the nooks and crannies of life where you feel like you just need a life line or you are going to give up and die -He hears.
We were holding onto each other, though some days it felt like we were giving the cold shoulder or pushing away.
God can take the hardest thing and make it soft again, hearts included.
Memories, moments and marriage become the altars we dedicate in honor of our God.
As I continued to gaze at the old photos, I could feel God’s peace wash over me. We have come so far. God is truly good. I am thankful for the moments of family time He has allowed us to have.
Good memories are also like a pile of stones like they built in Abraham’s day, where families piled large stones up as tall monuments, altars to remember what God had done; how He carried them through tough times and poured forth miracles that would need to be told.
Many wrong turns were made and things were stolen from us that we can never get back, but God has shown us if we trust in Him He is more than able to take what looks like a ripped up canvas buried under spilled paint and turn it into something of beauty of purpose.
God has given 2016 to us as a gift of healing, happiness dares, and holy matrimony.
An unearthing of things we didn’t know were buried, an unearthing of things that needed to be mended between us, and an unearthing of a deep love that never flickered out that was just waiting to be stoked.
A certain scripture keeps coming back to me almost on a weekly basis since January.
“You will give me added years of life, as rich and full as those of many generations, all packed into one.” Psalms 61:6 TLB
Yes, I’ll take it!
Not the kind of jam-packed life that is so busy and full I can’t think straight. Not the kind where we forget how much we love to be together. But the kind that takes intentional dares, goes the extra mile to make the other remember they are cherished, and one that will say:
We lived fully, because our hearts were full, not our schedules.
Finally, the photos from April 2016~
It was mid-April 2016 and we were toe deep in our Happiness Dare, though we had not heard of the Dare just yet. We have never been big on vacations, or really had the means to do so -but a family trip was long overdue.
Finding delight in nearby, frugal fun, we found a getaway and got to stay in a tree-house! Some of you read that blog post here, and it will forever be a memory of gratitude etched into my fibers. The kids still talk of it.
But this little water canal we found just down its way, was free and brimming of beauty. Not another soul in sight.
It was like we walked onto an artist’s canvas and were told to participate in the brush strokes as they were happening.
We grabbed our lunch picnic and made an afternoon of it, feeling the breeze whip by, hearing the voices of nature rise up in the spring atmosphere, feeling the smooth but gritty sand pebbles between our toes.
Experiencing pure delight where sand met water, that first toe dip followed by the shiver from the unexpected cold, snapping at the ankle.
There is nothing else that matches the joy I felt seeing a loving father spend time with his kids. Life can get busy. It is life, not dull. But I will always be thankful for the time we made as a family to get away from it all and just be. It was a cheap, 2 day vaca that proved its worth the moment we arrived.
Honesty is the Road to Freedom
God invited us down a path, an adventure. One that required us to soley depend on Him getting us through. Not money, not spiritual leaders, not circumstances, not anything else you could insert there.
When you aren’t sure why you are alive, what you really believe, what you are supposed to be doing, or how you could ever make a difference, know this:
Sometimes it takes some soul searching.
Sometimes it takes some honest conversation.
All the time it takes some time.
This year, this season in our lives, we know our Father is growing us closer as a family. This year has been filled with much healing that could never have happened without Him.
We may not ever fully understand why we have faced certain things this side of Heaven and maybe one day I can share more in depth. But for now this a comfort I want to share.
“Since the Lord is directing our steps, why try to understand everything that happens along the way?” – Proverbs 20:24 TLB
Arms linked together, hearts weaved together, we will walk this adventure of faith one step at time with God leading the way.
Faith enables persons to be persons because it lets God be God. ~Carter Lindberg
Linking up here ~