Friday, June 24, 2016

On Becoming One

Ten years ago, when we were still babies, we said “I do” and something changed.

I couldn’t look at you without laughing, and the words “husband” and “wife” were still foreign on my lips, but everything was different in a moment. We were one.

Three months later and we were dirt poor and living in the gospel ghetto, and you were pulling three jobs plus classes at seminary, and I was juggling a full load of school and a job and coming face to face with the absurdity of all my expectations about being a wife, and it didn’t feel so much like we were one anymore.

Ten years later, and I can look at you across the chaos at the table, with the six year old debating with anyone who will listen, the four year old snorting like a pig, and the one year old gleefully throwing his spoon off the high chair, and I know something I didn’t know then.

We are one, and we are becoming one.

Something monumental really did happen on June 24, 2006. Our two separate lives were irrevocably joined in a covenant, and immediately we were one.

But the working out of that oneness has been very different than I imagined. Iron sharpening iron is so uncomfortable, and as God uses you to smooth out my rough edges and vice versa, I can see that it will take a lifetime to complete the process.

We are one, and we are becoming one.

Those idealistic expectations I had when I was just a little bride? I don’t want them anymore. I want the real you, who has loved me when I least deserve it, and forgiven me seventy times seven, and pointed me to Jesus when all I could see was myself. I want the you who pushes me out of my comfort zone and kills roaches for me and takes our daughters out on “daddy dates.” You love me with all my faults, and I want you with all your faults, because you are the other part of me.

We are one, but I know that today we are more one than we were ten years ago. And so it will continue, until the day that Jesus come back or that I die, because you are not allowed to die first.

I love you, Coach. Happy ten years.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

A Tree Firmly Planted


That’s the best one-word description I can think of for the man who calls me his favorite oldest daughter. He is steady like a rock, steady in his temperament, steady in his teaching and preaching, steady in his ministry, steady at home. Even down to the catch-phrases he has used at opportune moments in our lives – like “Remember, you’re preparing today for tomorrow, but don’t miss the good things today” just before dropping us off at school, or “Bedtime for the Bonzos” at nighttime, or “Hold the rope” before field trips or youth trips, or “Hey darlin’, this is your dad” on the voicemail – he is fixed, like an anchor.

When I was four, or seven, or eleven, or sixteen, and I needed to find my dad, I knew where to look. Down the hallway to the last door, and I knew exactly what I would find when I creaked it open. It’s the image that is burned in my memory forever, the silent and constant image that would become more powerful in my history than a thousand words.

He would be there, on his knees, his Bible and notebook and books spread out all in front of him on the bed. Sometimes praying, sometimes reading, sometimes writing. But always there. And I would jump on his back or sit on the bed to talk or just smile at him and leave.

I always knew where to find him.

Steady. Like a tree. Like a tree firmly planted by streams of water.

I wish I was steady. I wish that was a genetic trait that I just inherited from my steady dad. But the older I get and the deeper I grow, the more I realize just where his constancy came from. It came from being there, on his knees, with the Word spread out in front of him. Always there.

His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree, firmly planted by streams of water…

I want to be like a tree. Unmoving, firmly planted, always growing and bearing fruit. And today I am thankful for the real life example of a man whose delight in the Word of his God has resulted in a steadfastness that is rare in this day. And I am even more thankful that that man is my daddy.