Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I'm Giving Up My Husband's Holiness

It was our third anniversary and my parents gave us their last weekend at their timeshare in Lake Tahoe. While we'd never experienced the glorious beauty of the west lake, in every mention of where we were going, people would rave. I mean raaaaave about it's beauty.

It'll make you think of heaven, one friend said. Especially when the water is still and glassy.

If only I'd known how much prophecy was percolating in her words.

We checked in, grabbed some dinner, and then decided to take a little drive around the lake.

Now, those of you who've been to Lake Tahoe know that "little" and "lake" aren't quite companions.

We drove in silence for the first 30 minutes, both lost in our own thoughts about the last three years.  Another 30 minutes passed of small talk about how beautiful the lake really was. Then I blurted, How big is this lake?!" 

We laughed.

And then I started crying.
And then Tyson, like the average guy, was utterly and totally confused.

You see, when we began our drive around the lake, I remembered my friends words about heaven and glassy and stillness. Man, it does look like heaven. Or at least what we perceive heaven to be. I can't wait for heaven. I can't wait for the Ctrl+Alt+Dlt button on life. Although I love my life, I know heaven will be greater. 

Wait, how do I know that? How I do know God is just going to start everything over? That goes against everything we know about Him. He is a Creator, an architect, a designer and a lover of beautiful things. He takes His time. He owns time. (Click to tweet.)

So what would cause me to think that in the new heaven and new earth, all things will cease to exist as they currently are?

Tradition maybe? Bible flannel graphs? End times debacles and Armageddon tales?

But if what I know about my God, the Creator, is true, then He is currently making all things new. Without obliterating them first.

Which means, speaking directly into my situation, He is making me new.
Which means, He is making Ty new too. Right now.

That's when the tear broke the dam of responsibility.

I am not responsible for my husband’s holiness. God is. 

At the time, his sin seemed way worse than mine, because, well, I had a scale by which I measured them. No matter my good intentions. Up until that point, I was so focused on purging him and "helping him," I lost sight of him. I was so focused on the him sin was clinging to and not the him God created. The eternal parts of him. The parts that matter.

The husband. The musician. The artist. The man of his word. The integrity. The loyal. The steadfast. The committed. The fighter. The hard-worker. The warrior. The victor.

Focusing on the temporal was prohibiting my view of the eternal. The beautiful, magnificent, mind blowing eternal. (Click it to tweet it.)
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This is why I wept. I started to get uncomfortable with the silence because my thoughts were so far ahead of me, into a territory of faith and grace I'd only wished for, and I was afraid to talk about it. Especially with my husband.

Why? Because he knew me. He knew my prones and wanderings. He knew my fear and my lashes.

And what I was mulling over for the last hour had gone from curious contemplation to a big-huge-marriage-turning confession.

Babe, are you ok? He asked.

No, I'm not okay. I need to apologize to you for the last three years. 

I was faking forgiveness as best I could. I tried to control situations and circumstances as "preventative" measures for this man of God I'd married. And while I liked to think it was all for him, it was actually because I was terrified of losing my fairytale. My Christian fairytale.

Until the lake.
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I'm sorry, I mustered through the ugly crying. I'm so sorry for only seeing the temporal ugly fading parts of you and completely missing the eternal parts of you. I'm sorry for holding so tightly to your holiness and not giving you freedom in our marriage. I'm sorry for holding your sin over your head in the most Christian way possible. 

I'm done.
 No more. I want to be a safe place for you from this moment forward. 

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That day, we were set free. Again.

And now that I think about it, I'm going to refer to that day as our second marriage.

We committed again. We laughed again. And we continued on our marital journey with fresh faces and clean hands.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Office Hours

I'm currently hashing my way through a post on what it's like working in the job I only dreamed existed. The pros far outweigh the cons, but there's a lot less glamour in the church worship world than people think. And to be honest, people think glamour because, well, that's what we show you.

The Starbucks meetings, the microphones, the lights, the big crowds and amazing sets. And while I thoroughly enjoy those aspects of the job, there are other, not-so-glamorous responsibilities and meetings that are just as, if not more important.

I get to go to work with some amazing people. Talented people. Real people. And I don't think it's fair to any of us, especially in the church world, to make this line of work out to be as pretty as a perfectly poured latte.

If you look through my Instagram, you'll see I am totally at fault for this.

So in the name of demystification, you'll see some more behind the scenes photos here. The real ones. Of our team talking, typing, writing, possibly debating. Unstrung guitars and cord filled stages. Boxes that the guys  some people can't seem to get rid of. Maybe even some post Sunday tonsils. jk. #itsnotpretty

This is going to be fun yea? See ya Sunday!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday's Set | Shoreline South Campus

Always Will (Hillsong), Sixty One (Shoreline), Thank You Jesus (Hillsong), Oceans (Hillsong), Jesus Paid It All (Hymn), Forever (Kari Jobe & Brian Johnson)

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What worship song do you have on repeat right now? Mine: Victor's Crown

Friday, July 18, 2014

If We Were On a Coffee Date | No. 5

If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you I'll probably never camp again. Especially in Alaska.

If we were on a coffee date, you'd probably ask me why.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd chuckle and then tell you about the super cold nights, the nasty welt biting mosquitos, the bears (ok, we didn't actually see bears, but the rangers did), how many layers I put on Sym at night, the infection, and the flu. All. in. one. week. #wooooo But we did find a super cute ice cream shop! #silverlining

If we were on a coffee date, half of you would pity me and the other half would laugh at me. If you're in the laughing half, our date would end here. JK. #kinda

If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask if you've ever been camping and where and if it was out of free will or persuasion.

If we were on a coffee date, we'd then talk about our likes and dislikes about camping and then probably Alaska and then probably about traveling in general. Do you like to travel? I love it. Except camping. haha.

If we were on a coffee date, what would you have to tell me?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Little Seed that Made Me Blub

Let's be completely honest here, good kids books are hard to come by. Like really good kids books. We all have our favorite Dr. Suess (Are You My Mother?), or and we all sing and cry at the end of Love You Forever. Those are given. Can I get an amen? 

But when it comes to finding books, not just with good morals or "life lessons," but solid theological stimulation, Ty and I have come up pretty empty handed.

Until we discovered Graham Blanchard Books.

As I read Little Seed to Symphony, I was impressed with how much truth they packed into this tiny board book. Purpose, seasons of life, calling, strength, perseverance.

The story takes your child on a journey of this little sunflower seed that goes through the summer and winter and fall seasons, weathered yet protected by its tough, God given shell and finally takes root at it's final destination and blooms into this tall, strong, beautiful sunflower.

Confession: I bawled at the end of it.

But not because the sunflower blooms. Although, if you've read here for a while, you know things blooming, especially people, really get me.

I cried because the very last page of the book (spoiler alert) says, "One fall day, its seeds drifted to the ground...and so the life of one Little See became the life of many."

Thus, teaching my child that life isn't all about her! It's about legacy. It's about generations. It's about each of us living into our callings right where we are and then passing the baton. 

To think that we could teach a new generation these principles from early childhood; they'd be unstoppable. 

They'd have less tendency to see short-term ahead and a greater capacity to dream wide and long and far. 

There is no limit to legacy. (Click it to tweet it!) And I'm so thankful Graham Blanchard is fanning that flame.

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Symphony and I were gifted books (Little Seed, Close as Breath, & Jesus Saves Me) from Graham Blanchard Publishers. But all review and flamboyant approval and chatter is entirely my own. Let the record show I love them and the books they're creating for my child. 
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If you're new to this space, I usually reserve Mom talk for Thursdays. This isn't a mom blog. But I do blog and I am a mom. So naturally, it leaks through ;) 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Symphony's First Birthday

The last 365 days with this babe have been straight blissful. I wish I was over-exaggerating. Nearly everyday Ty and I look at each other and ask some variation of, "How did we get so lucky with this kid?"

Sure, our lives have changed. However, not as drastically as we anticipated. We were terrified of parenthood. Probably one too many horror stories combined with Google. (That's another blog for another time.) But we are overwhelmed and mildly taken by surprise, by how much of a blessing this little one has been.

From the moment she was known, she's brought joy.

The food was all cute and small. Like a baby. Baby pb&j's, bite sized fruit, donut holes, cake donuts, cupcakes, yum!

Sym's finally getting in to reading. Although she gets bored by page five or six and would rather turn pages for 15 minutes. #babies But Sofie will crack her up forever. 

Although it was my favorite part, Sym wasn't sure about the smash cake. It was more like a lightly-touch-and-observe-cake. But there were some adult casualties. #hestartedit My girl is an observing rule follower. Whether I'm excited or nervous about that is to be determined.

I'm in a bit of denial that it's been a year already, but I hear they just get faster. This year will be a new journey for us as parents with a different way of life in a brand new city and community. But as usual, we're excited.

The responsibility of raising a girl in this generation can feel a bit daunting at times. I know she's cute and squishy and all smiles now, but there may come a day when her rebellious spirit takes over and I cry on the bathroom floor after grounding her for a week.

And in those moments, I will find this post, and flip through her baby book and remember that she was created for a purpose.

I will remember her identity is not in being our daughter, but being God's daughter. 

He loves her more than we ever could and I will learn the freedom that comes with that truth.

-- But feel free to remind me. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Is Your Discouragement Hindering Your Movement? | #dearsisters

Dear Discouraged,

I see you. I am you.

I see you, somewhere between who you used to be and who you are becoming in Christ. Striving for growth and progress along the journey to becoming “acceptable”, “adequate”, “effective”.

I see you, Discouraged, caught in a net of sin and hardship on the shores of the calling of Christ. Struggling. Fighting. So close, but with every reason and disadvantage to assume you will simply never make it. Thinking you will never enjoy the easy rock and flow of the calm waters in sight. 

You've convinced yourself you cannot help your sisters on the same journey.

You believe you are too tangled, too broken.

Me too. 

I am caught in a net of “where I think I should be”. It’s a disheartening illusion made up of judgments, standards, and comparisons. I am cursing my failing flesh for landing me in this dark place again. My big dreams of being used for His glory are sinking deep. I measure my progress and it is not enough. I am frustrated and I am tired. But I am not hopeless. (Click it to tweet it!)

We    are    not    hopeless. 

This net we feel caught in and disqualified by will not sink us. We do not need to be free of sin, free of hardship, free of struggle to move forward. (Click it to tweet it.) 

Do not be paralyzed, sister. Do not submit to your struggle, but submit your struggle to God, because everything can be redeemed in the hands of the Father. Yes. Every single thing you count against yourself can be used to display the glory, grace, and power of the Gospel. This is freedom. Don’t become distracted from moving forward by untangling yourself and healing yourself. 

God can move you and use you exactly where you are.

So let's get moving. Together. 
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Laboring together [as God’s fellow workers] with Him then, we beg of you not to receive the grace of God in vain [that merciful kindness by which God exerts His holy influence on souls and turns them to Christ, keeping and strengthening them—do not receive it to no purpose]. 2 Corinthians 6:1
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Now I want you to know and continue to rest assured, brethren, that what [has happened] to me [this imprisonment] has actually only served to advance and give a renewed impetus to the [spreading of the] good news (the Gospel).

So much is this a fact that throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest [here] my imprisonment has become generally known to be in Christ [that I am a prisoner in His service and for Him].

And [also] most of the brethren have derived fresh confidence in the Lord because of my chains and are much more bold to speak and publish fearlessly the Word of God [acting with more freedom and indifference to the consequences]. Philippians 1:6, 1:12-18

Original photo via | Edited by JM
^^^Opinions, two-cents, questions and ramblings are welcome. And go above. Go ahead. Try it.

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