Tuesday, November 15, 2011

These look so delicious they make even my sweet tooth ache. I have to try them!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

This and that, here and there...Part 1

I don't even know where to begin. The list of things that's kept me busy, kept me living, and kept me loving is long. That's it. A list! Where to begin with a list? In no particular order...

1. A wedding. My wedding. Better yet, our wedding. On October 15, 2011, I married my best friend. In hindsight, I wouldn't recommend that everyone plan a wedding in three months or less - because it's a TON of work - but I'm so thankful we did it that way for so many reasons. It felt a little bit like I was working two jobs still and Colin and I joked (albeit a little bit tounge in cheek) about how nice it will be now that I'm REALLY only working one job...we may actually see the benefit of some of the changes made earlier this year.  It really was a beautiful day. The weather held and we were able to do our pictures outside with the full palate of fall colors on display all around us. Friends and family from all over came to celebrate with us. Beautiful words were shared on our behalf by some pretty special friends and family and the good work that God has been doing and the amazing nature of His redemptive work was celebrated. Food was good. Laughter was good. Life together was good...and still is. That's the best part. Life together.

I've been asked a lot in the weeks following how married life is. I don't really know how to respond to that. It seems a little too early to tell, really. I feel like I'm still in this surreal phase where every day I do the "wow, I'm someone's wife. I'm your wife" and "really? You're my husband" (in a good way, really). I feel like in so many ways our wedding was a beautiful and natural next step in our relationship. Those statements aren't meant to be contradictory. Quite the opposite actually. In some ways, I think it's because it is so natural and good that it seems so surreal. That said, there are some things that I have noticed and appreciated in the few short weeks.

I love that we live together. So simple and yet not. I love knowing that even on a crazy busy day, we will start and finish together. I know I will see him and get to share at least a little piece of the day. It's one of those joys that makes me thankful that we waited to move in together because it such a gift now.

I love the commitment and the knowing. I love knowing that he chose me forever, that he promised and that he meant it...and I chose him. It takes it to a new level. Sharing in the time honored traditions of the wedding ceremony made who we are as a couple part of something bigger. Hoping together that God is the God of redemption, of love and of every good and perfect gift in such a big way honors who He is and who He is making us. We were honest about our commitment before but somehow standing before our friends and family and declaring it aloud makes it all the more real. To know that those same people will walk with us and hold us accountable to the promises we made is vital.

Writer and theologian Stanley Hauwerwas put it this way: “That the church is a more determinative community than a marriage is evidenced by the fact that it requires Christian marriage vows to be made with the church as witness. This is a reminder that we as a church rightfully will hold you to promises you made when you did not and could not fully comprehend what you were promising. How could anyone know what it means to promise life-long monogamous fidelity? From the church’s perspective the question is not whether you know what you are promising; rather, the question is whether you are the kind of person who can be held to a promise you made when you did not know what you were promising. We believe, of course, that baptism creates the condition that makes possible the presumption that we might just be such a people.”

I love hoping together. The statistics on marriage longevity in North America are not exactly inspiring. Combine that with the amount of heart break and brokenness we have witnessed personally and I would be a liar to say that there was not a little bit of "how do we know it will be different for us" fear that niggles it's way in from time to time AND YET we hope. We believe. We enter into this sacred vow praying that we will be forever, that God will give us the strength to constantly draw together instead of apart, and that we will be the kind of people who will keep the promises we made no matter what life brings. 

I love that we are still us. We work. We play. We do things together and apart. Colin still plays hockey and I still knit. That's our Tuesday night. We have friends to hang out with and chores to do. Together and individually we are us.

I love that we are still learning...and there's lots of learning to do. Is it silly that I love that I don't know everything about my husband? I love learning about foods he enjoys and TV shows he doesn't. I love watching him respond to new situations and seeing what that looks like. Living together opens whole new doors of learning and it's fun.

I love figuring out our roles and how we share life together. For those that know me well, or perhaps even those that don't, I am stubbornly independent and fairly used to doing it "all" myself. If I don't know how to do something, I'll figure it out. If there aren't enough hours in the day, I'll just make them up and keep going until I get everything done. Work two jobs? No problem (okay, problem but who's going to admit it!?). In many ways, Colin has had to be much the same. It is a huge gift (and, admittedly, a challenge...perhaps you could even say a shock to the system but I'll choose to say adjustment) to be able to share. We can divide and conquer. Certain things get done and it's NOT because I did them. We can serve each other in these big and small ways. While I know we have a lot of learning to go on this one and I recognize that it will likely change with the seasons of our lives, I am thankful to be able to count on Colin, to trust him and to rest in his strength.

So, for all those who are wondering how married life is, in short, it's good. After 3 1/2 weeks, it's great.

2. Honeymooning.

We were entirely blessed to be able to take two whole uninterrupted weeks away together in Cancun immediately after our wedding.

I am thankful for two weeks. We had time to deal with crappy weather - read hurricane heading our way but downgraded to tropical storm hours before it hit, exhaustion and getting sick and still have a fantastic time.

I am thankful for uninterrupted. We have not had that opportunity before in our relationship. It was awesome.

I am thankful for Cancun. SO beautiful. SO much to see and do. We could go back and still find stuff we didn't have time to do.

I am thankful for immediately after. I know people who have waited months [or years] following their wedding to take their honeymoon. It was a gift to do it right away. We needed it!

I am thankful for my honey.

 Look at how blue the water is! Love the beaches. Love the kisses on the beaches. 

 The most unreal skies. The clouds were incredible, likely thanks to the "tropical storm."


 And that's why I married him! 

 The ruins of Tulum. 

 Swimming with the fishes.

 Biggest, coolest shells became art...home for our rings. 


 Incredible caves, incredible memories. 

Chichen Itza, one of the new seven wonders of the world. Well worth the drive.

 The sunsets were outstanding! 

And there's more, plenty more, to put on the list of what's been keeping me busy. We'll call this part one. Maybe tomorrow I'll share some more but, for now, it's time for me to go to bed! 

I think this recipe sounds DELISH! Now to find an excuse to try it!

Okay, so this one doesn't sound so bad either. And I could probably be convinced to give this one a try.

Now I'm hungry. Bed time snack it is.
There will come a day in the not so distant future in which I will write about church and about longing for church and about how not being a part of any particular church has [again] grown my thoughts and beliefs about church. In the meantime, this post about women's ministry resonated deeply with me. I love the line about wanting a bible study that doesn't have flowers on the front cover. Oh, and the one about being honest and authentic. Oh, and the line about wanting to move past the emotional, past the surface and into the deep. Wouldn't it be lovely?

I love this post from Emerging Mommy, a letter to women's ministry. It sounds familiar, echoing some of the sentiments in my heart when I wrote this post I wrote a while back although admittedly a little more eloquently spoken and well thought out.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May today there be peace within.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and 
allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of you.
~ St. Teresa of Avila