Thursday, December 20, 2018

B and I had our first fight.


It happened.

We had our first fight. Over kids.

The decibel of my voice raised.  His was calmer.

I was a bit irrational. He stayed fairly reasonable.

We hassled through things for about an hour, without any solutions rising to the top. It got late. Both of us were tired. And both still upset. 

Then I remembered that wise advice so many women gave me before getting married, “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.”

I looked at B and I thought about that worthy phrase…

Then I pushed it out of my mind, crawled into our comfy bed and went to sleep.

Yep.  The sun went down.

On our wrath.

So much for wise advice around our house. We were taking this newly married thing by storm.

The next day, he called from work. I was calmer. I’d had time to pray and think and process. I’d had time to sort through the night before's struggle. I thought through all the things I knew were true about him and what I really believed was in his heart.

We talked. We apologized. We united. When he got home that night, we hugged for a long time.

The first fight was over.

The most surprising parts of this whole thing though were the feelings I felt afterwards. I had a deeper sense that B was in this thing for good. Like, really in this, for the long haul. It didn’t matter that we fell off the advice-wagon and the sun happened to go down on our anger. He was clear. He was going to hang on tight, without any question, white knuckling it if he has to, to be in this with me. He still wants to laugh with me until we wrinkle up and begin to wither. He still wants to live with me. He still wants to raise our kids together. He still wants to date. He isn’t going anywhere. He won’t leave. He won’t bail. He won’t withdraw. He won’t quit on me or on us. He is in this. With me. Forever. Until we’re 102.

All the commitments I already had in my heart, to hear he had them too…

Those feelings.

Those.

Those are some of the best feelings in the whole world.

So… the first fight was not fun. It was icky, frustrating and unwelcomed. And I wish it hadn’t happened.

But it did, so I am thanking God for all the feelings I had afterwards… goodness, forgiveness, confession, and love. It was almost worth the conflict.

I sure love the man I married.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

A Letter to My Kids About Lauren Daigle


To my three kids,

APPLAUSE.

Be so very careful about the applause you seek after. Applause can be extremely dangerous.

This is what happened to Lauren Daigle.

Lauren was asked in telephone interview what she believed about homosexuality.

“You know what, I can’t honestly answer on that…in the sense of, I have too many people that I love that they are homosexual, um, I don’t know. I actually had a conversation with someone last night about it. I was like, ‘I can’t say one way or the other.’ I’m not God. So when people ask questions like that, that’s what my go to is. Like, I just say, ‘Read the Bible and find out for yourself’ and when you find out let me know because I’m learning too.”

The Lord has clearly written His will on the ideas of homosexuality. It is wrong. There is no gray area. Lauren claims to know the Lord...Does she really not know His word? Or is she more worried about losing the applause from the world she has recently received?

This probably began before the interview. Somewhere along the way Lauren became more worried about the applause from her crowd than she was about the applause of her Savior.

Think about it like this.  Do you all like it when I applaud you at your baseball game and as you drum and when you come in with a beautiful craft you made? Of course you do!

We all love to be applauded.

Here is the point though guys. My applause is nice, but it isn’t the MOST important. Your dad’s applause is great, but his isn’t the one you need to seek after.

The ONLY applause that should run your decisions is the applause of your Creator. He is the audience of ONE. He is the only audience that matters.

Lauren Daigle has forgotten that.

For her, at some point, the applause from the Christian world began to dim and the secular world began calling with even louder applause. She took the step into that world…which kids, could have been a wonderful and incredible place for her to share the gospel! … But…in fear of losing those applause, she decided not to stand on the Word any longer.

The applause of the crowd has become more important than the One in the audience for whom she is singing, the very One who gave her that beautiful voice.

STAND.

Lauren has forgotten to stand. You three must learn to STAND. Never ever fail to stand on the Rock. Once you hit sand, it will be very, very hard to get up again. Stay on the Rock. It is the only place of level ground, for it is righteous and holy. It will not fail you.

You might wonder why this stand is so important….How you stand in this life is the only thing that truly matters. Who you stand with and for is the most important piece of life.  It is the legacy you leave. It is the influence you pass on. It is the gift you give to the world.

Remember this my three precious kids…

The Whole Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.  In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,  and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,  for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

SPEAK

While you stand, I beg of you to also speak. Do not stay silent. The world needs the three of you to be ambassadors of our King. Ethan, Wesley and Layla, after you learn to stand, declare it boldly, as you ought to speak. Do not keep quiet. Do not let fear of the world hush you, as it has Lauren Daigle. Be kind, but in your kindness courageously proclaim the Truth of the Jesus. 

When you are asked anything about God’s word…Speak His truth. Every. Single. Time. Do not miss an opportunity to share His goodness and His holiness with the world. Lauren had the opportunity to speak up but at the risk her career…She chose her career over her God. Now think of Esther. She didn’t have a career to risk, but instead she had to risk her life to obey the voice of her God. She obeyed as she spoke boldly about her Lord and God saved her people through her obedience. Lauren Daigle missed a valuable moment. Don’t miss yours. You may never have to risk your life or your career, but there will be moments God asks you to speak up. Watch for them. Speak fearlessly.

I love the three of you so very much. I want God’s best and His glory in your lives. Learn from this. Chase after the applause of Jesus. Stand firm in His truth. Bravely speak his message to all of those around you.

With all my heart,

Your mom

Friday, December 14, 2018

The Laundry

Our First Meeting

Me: “B, this is a fantastic washing machine.”

B: “Thank you!”

I stand flat footed in front of the washer. I reach inside the washing machine down to the bottom.

Me: “Oh dear. I can’t reach it. I can’t reach the bottom. My arms aren’t long enough.”

B: “Uh oh.”

Silently, I stare at B.  B stares at me.

B: “What are you going to do?”

Me: “This!”

I walk back to the kitchen counter, (he watches with anticipation) I take a running start and leap. I clear the edge and successfully fly over the side of the top of the washer landing face down at a 90 degree angle, feet now dangling mid-air as I stretch as hard and as long as I can to reach the bottom.

“Wait, wait, wait, B are you still there? I got it, I got it. The tip of my finger got it. Don’t worry about it. We’re good…” my voice echoing from the floor of the washing machine.

Envious are you?

I begin to pull a load of clothes out of the dryer.

“Why does all of the laundry have bright green streaks on it?”

I pull it all out faster and faster as if it’s going to fly away at any moment. My heart begins to pound and my breathing moves into hyperventilating mode.

Green, green and more green, everywhere, everything, green.

I see a child-sized pair of khaki’s in the back. I snatch them forward and look down towards the front pocket. There is heavy-duty evidence that this was where the problem began. I reach in to the pocket. A green crayon.

The children come in from playing outside.

“Listen guys, we all need a little more green in our lives, okay? So don’t be complaining that you must now wear clothes with a little green splatter paint. And also, green is the color of envy. Everyone will envy these clothes and you while wearing these glorious things. Bet on it.”


The Black Sweater

I’m folding all the laundry in the living room.

Me: “I am totally ahead of the game this week. I am caught up on cleaning. I am caught up on dishes. I am caught up on life.”

I see the arm of a black sweater reaching up towards me from the bottom of the pile.

It is staring at me. I freeze. The new wife in me begins to feel the onset of panic.

No, it couldn’t be. Is it? Please, Lord, please no. Not that one. I look closer but without any movement. I’m eyeing it. Very still like. That arm. It seems to look longer than a child’s arm. But no, please, no. If I wish it away, it will go away. I close my eyes. My heart races. I pray again. I pull it up just a tad, hoping to see a tiny-sized piece of clothing appear. As it emerged up out of the mound, it actually began pushing the other clothes aside out of it's way, as if it was proud to be rising to the top in all it’s beauty and splendor. It even had a small smirk on it’s face as I drew up the last corner.

There it was. Why hello, you little jerk.

Byron’s non-washable, fancy shmancy, only bought online, one of a kind, can never find another one in all the world, not even in Paris, sweater.

I shall never forgive that little black piece of merino.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Our First Date

He took me out to the “city view” near the Stella hotel, a suggestion from his good friend, Clay. It was a gorgeous night. We walked up the 3 flights of stairs (me, in my wedges, he, in his Allen Edmund loafers). Somehow climbing to taller heights make things a tad more romantic than ground level. I thought it was the perfect spot.

Looking out from the top, you could see a good portion of the city. It was just the two of us there, which made it especially nice. It was dim, breezy and quiet and the city lights were shimmering off in the distance. An author of a novel might describe the setting with words like dreamy or whimsical, yet casual and comfortable are the first to come to my mind.  

We stayed there for a while. He made clever jokes and I genuinely laughed. I was not expecting such entertaining wit from this new friend, but he was surprisingly humorous. These fun moments were probably my favorite pieces of the night.

While at the top, he asked for a picture.



We walked back down to the grounds area and sat by the blue fountains spraying in the lake beside us. We chatted about spiritual things and past stories and even a few deeper secrets.

Later, on our way home, we took an unanticipated turn off into his old neighborhood where he showed me his old house, a friend’s old house and then told me wonderful stories about an infamous “Candy Lady” who lived on the corner.

Then he drove me home.

When we arrived he began to walk me to the door, he is a gentleman. As we were sweetly talking our way down the sidewalk, we heard the escape of my Golden Doodle. You know, that dang dog with the worst timing of all dogs? He sneaked through the backyard gate, (as if he knew I was getting home RIGHT THEN) bolted right past us, and headed straight for the tree in the front. Oh great. I knew exactly what was coming.

“SPY! You dream killer dog! Go back to the back yard! GO!”  I looked at Byron. He looked at me, confused, “What’s he doing?”

“Oh. He does this. It's like his favorite thing. He thinks he's saving us from the ferociousness of some terrible beast, but it's usually just some random rodent. Last time he did this, I called the Hurst Police Department because I thought he was barking at an actual intruder. They came out with their flashlights and their guns...But nope. Just a varmint. I should've known Spy was out to get me."

Sure enough, he had just cornered an opossum. Sweet Byron, “Well, I’m not leaving you with all this going on. I’ll help you get him back.”

“Uh huh, okay.”

The rest is somewhat of a blur, the two of us trying to call my Golden Doodle away from an opossum. The dog was completely ignoring any and all of our attempts to distract him and was yelping uncontrollably. The opossum was growling, hissing, charging, and in full-on attack mode. Byron and I finally resorted to throwing sticks at both of them, yelling Spy’s name (this seemed extremely pointless in retrospect), all while praying none of the neighbors woke up since it was way past midnight.

I think that was when he first started to fall in love with my dog, Spy. He hasn’t admitted that yet of course, but I can see his eyes soften anytime I bring up my Doodle. I think they bonded that night; no, I’m sure of it. Deep down, I know they have a very special relationship.  

We laughed, a lot…and then with an affectionate hug, he said 'goodnight'. 

Somehow, even in the midst of the crazy walk to the door, I ended up having an extraordinary time with this man, so much fun. And as I think back, nothing really astounding happened…but when I went to bed that night, I wondered how this man had left such a distinct impression on me. I didn’t know him super well, and I had been impressed before, but tonight was a hint more noteworthy…I remember thinking as I drifted off to sleep, “I think this man might have already left a little mark on my heart.”

#GetHimZorro

"Wes chose to draw instead of finishing his work. He had to stay in at recess."  #itwasahardfirstdayback #EthanandLaylaweresti...