On 5 Years of Marriage

A little over 6 years ago, I attended a friend’s wedding and noticed an amazing looking man in the bridal party.  I nervously walked past him as I made my way into the church sanctuary and immediately wrote him off as extremely too good-looking for someone like me.

My sister was a bridesmaid in that party, too, and she asked me to take photos for her.  I did and snapped this beauty, totally unaware of what the future would hold for this gorgeous man and me.

On 5 years of marriage | Journey of Faith

A few months later, I visited a new church family, and he was there.  He noticed me and introduced himself after the service.

The rest is pretty much history.

We began hanging out in the same group of people, and it was one of the best summers of my life.  Some of our friends lived next door to a giant parking lot, and before saying our goodbyes each evening, we’d spend hours in that lot talking.  Through many late-evening chats, I learned that his outward attractiveness paled in comparison to the beauty of his character.  I loved getting to know him in that way.

He asked me to be his girlfriend by summer’s end, and I was awe-struck that he still liked me.  I said yes.

Our courtship began.

We went to the lake with my sister (who is a constant in this story),

On Five Years of Marriage | Journey of Faith

took a trip to see his sister and flirted in a hammock,

On Five Years of Marriage | Journey of Faith

had fun with friends in Indy,

On Five Years of Marriage | Journey of Faith

and six months later, he asked me to be his wife in the parking lot with all the memories.  I said yes.  I remained awe-struck at his pursuit of me.

On Five Years of Marriage | Journey of Faith

We were married six months after our engagement, and it has gone down in history as the 2nd best day of my life.

On 5 years of marriage | Journey of Faith blog

Since that auspicious event 5 years ago, we’ve made a lot of really fun memories together.

We kicked off our marriage with a bang by honeymooning in the exotic water parks of the Wisconsin Dells,

On Five Years of Marriage | Journey of Faith

visited and fell in love with the Smoky Mountains,

On Five Years of Marriage | Journey of Faith

and one of us learned how to ski at the hands of the world’s best instructor (Skiing extraordinaire Timmy K) in Kalamazoo.

On Five Years of Marriage | Journey of Faith

We put our house up for sale in hopes that Tim would start seminary on Southern’s Louisville campus,

On Five Years of Marriage | Journey of Faith

only to take it off the market when it didn’t sell in time.  Tim began pursuing his Master’s Degree via online classes, and a few months later, we said “Yes!” to adoption from India.

On Five Years of Marriage | Journey of Faith

We visited my sister at her new home in Colorado and hiked in the mountains,

On Five Years of Marriage | Journey of Faith

made friends with college students from India,

On Five Years of Marriage | Journey of Faith

watched as a certain someone fell in love with littles,

On Five Years of Marriage | Journey of Faith

and said a resounding “Yes!” to the referral of our daughter.

On Five Years of Marriage | Journey of Faith

Five years of marriage, and they’ve flown by in a flash.  I continue to be awe-struck by my man and by what God is teaching me through our marriage; chiefly, that my marriage (and my entire life) isn’t really about me at all.

It’s about the God who knows all things and works everything out in His perfect timing.  Tim and I met at exactly the right time in both of our lives, and it is all owing to the perfect ability of God to coordinate such events.  Subsequent endeavors in our lives have also fallen in line at the most appropriate times.  It’s all by His working.

Our story is about the God who gives us nothing less than His best, though we deserve much worse.  Tim is God’s best for me, and I have never deserved such a man of God.

Our marriage is an everyday reminder to us that GRACE reigns, and that God came down from heaven to pursue His Bride and make her His own.  We make mistakes in loving one another daily and find forgiveness and renewal at the cross of Christ.  He bought us, washing us clean with His blood.  He gave us His Spirit, empowering us to say “No” to our flesh and “Yes” to righteousness through Christ.  We gather at the cross when we are overcome with our mistakes and find grace and hope.  Our marriage really is all about the gospel, and about the great God who came down from heaven for us.

I’m looking forward to the next five years of marriage with my man and praying that God will continue to do what only He can do – take our story and turn it into something that makes Christ look GREAT and most beautiful above all else!

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil… And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. -Ecc. 4:9,12

3 Reasons I’m Thankful for My Husband

I need to write this down before I forget (how easy it is!).  And for the record, there are WAY more than 3 reasons to be thankful for my guy.  I could write a book; maybe someday I will.  But this past week has reminded me of a few specific things to be grateful for regarding Tim, and I wanted to share them with you.

1. He speaks truth to me gently and kindly, (mostly) every day.

3 Reasons I'm Thankful for My Husband | Journey of Faith | marriage and gratitude

Before you write this off and say that I have the world’s greatest guy and that he must be extra special (both true statements, by the way); let me tell you – he hasn’t always been so gentle.  Truth teller?  Yes, always.  That’s something I’ve always really admired about him; it’s always been one of his strengths.  But always saying that truth in a way that didn’t crush his wife?  Especially on a PMS-ing, emotions-running-everywhere kind of day?  Not so much.

But the other afternoon, I was having one of those crazy days.  I felt so insecure, unloved, and very not beautiful.  All of these feelings were coming from {me}, from my own insecurities and fears, and guess what he did?  He spoke truth to me in the sweetest, most tender way.  He told me that God loved me and had made me beautiful.  He said that he loved me and would always find me beautiful.  It was enough to make a girl swoon (see? I’m swooning right now!), and I was reminded in that moment of how thankful I am for the way that he has grown in this area.  Speaking truth in love is becoming one of his assets, and I’m so grateful.

2. He is SO funny, and he is so NOT funny in the same way that he used to be.3 Reasons I'm Thankful for My Husband | Journey of Faith | marriage and gratitude

When we were married, I didn’t quite realize how valuable having a good sense of humor is.  Life is difficult and complicated sometimes, and Tim never fails to brighten the tough moments with his clever quips and goofy ways.

One night recently, we were sitting on the couch together when he leaned over and said, “Hey, on Family Guy one time-“.  I cut in before he could finish.  “Nope, not interested in hearing about Family Guy, I wanna hear a story about YOU!”  He paused for a second before saying, “Okay…so I was watching Family Guy one time…” and then continued with his memory.  I couldn’t stop laughing at his antics.

I also sent up a silent prayer thanking God that he doesn’t watch shows like Family Guy anymore! (No judgment if you do, I’m just sharing our story!)  It has its hilarious quotes, but they come sandwiched between heaps of crude talk.  Tim used to love it, and he still remembers the genuinely funny things; but he’s no longer into it.  How grateful I am.

3. He never ceases to be amazed by Jesus.

3 Reasons I'm Thankful for My Husband | Journey of Faith | marriage and gratitude

I know, I know, typical.  To be expected, even.  The guy’s gonna be a pastor, after all, he better be amazed by Jesus!  But I gotta say, it’s neat to see and it reminds me that anyone whose heart is lived in by the Holy Spirit through faith in Christ should be this way ALL. THE. TIME.  Really.

Tim was watching a lecture on heaven and hell yesterday.  His teacher was talking about what Jesus is like, and tears were streaming down my husband’s face.  The manliest cry I’ve ever seen. 

A full two or three minutes passed before he looked at me and said, “My professor was just talking about hell.  He was explaining that everyone in hell will be eternally separated from God, and then he specified that they will be separated from everything that God is; and when we look at Jesus, we see who God is.  He is the source of ALL wisdom, ALL beauty, ALL goodness…and so much more.  Jesus really is everything.”

This man of mine is just astounded by who Christ is and what He has done for him.  He can’t get enough, and when he thinks about anyone who might be separated from this love of Christ – well, it’s enough to make his heart burst with a flood of sorrowful, Christ-adoring tears.  And I get to be a witness.  I get to watch, and find myself enamored by Christ and the love He places in our hearts for Him and for others.  To say that I am thankful would be a serious understatement.

I’m so incredibly thankful for my husband.  He speaks truth gently to me, he’s hilarious, and he’s totally in love with Jesus.  I love that I get to see him grow up in Christ, and I love that together we can grow and grasp how deep and how high and how wide and how far is the love of Christ for us.  For us.

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.  After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high… Hebrews 1:3,4

What do you love about your spouse?  In what ways do you notice him growing in his love for Christ?  How can you show him your appreciation today?

Happy Birthday!

Several years ago (like, several), a beautiful young momma gave birth to a sweet bundle of joy.  The happy parents named him Timothy (aka Tim, Timmy, Timmy Boy, Timmy Newgene…).

Happy Birthday

With four older siblings to teach him many things, this bundle of joy quickly learned how to get into all sorts of mischief (although he really didn’t need to be taught this skill.  Funny how mischief comes so naturally to little humans).  There is not enough time to tell of this young boy’s mischievous ways, tales that would include the incident where he killed a neighbor’s flower bed with a “magical” potion that he and his brother had concocted, or that occasion where someone’s beautiful flower pot was broken due to his rough-housing ways, or even the many episodes of his thievery from the local grocery store.  Suffice it to say, he was known to be a naughty (albeit extremely cute and funny) boy at many times and in various ways. 😉

Happy Birthday

It was at a young age that this oh-so-adorable-but-rascally boy also learned about the Holy Creator God.  He understood his sin, and he saw his need for a Savior.  It was at this time that this little boy saw the sufficiency of Christ to be {his} Savior; he met the perfect Son of God who had paid the penalty for his sins.  This young boy embraced Christ by faith, repenting of his sin and turning to the Savior for eternal life.  But unaware of what it meant to “be filled with the Spirit”, and not really understanding all that Christ accomplished for him at Calvary, he soon turned to other things to fill him as he grew into adolescence.  Chief among these things was alcohol.  He would drink a lot and very often; and there is the story of one particular night during his high school years in which he was life-lined to the hospital for consuming so much alcohol in one evening.  The doctors said it was a miracle that he survived.  Miracle, indeed.

But that was not the incident that turned this young man’s life around.  Fast forward a few more years, and he was a 25 year old man still looking for satisfaction in all the wrong places.  Again, mostly alcohol, which was really just a cover-up for the attention he craved and thought he needed from others.  But God.

But God, who is the faithful Father to His children and the Seeker of the one lost sheep of His, rescued this man (again).  Finally, this man began to learn what it meant to be “filled with the Spirit”, and he embraced by faith the promise that God would be faithful to supply all his needs in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).  The reckless nights of too much alcohol consumption ended, and the nights of seeking to know God intimately in His Word and through prayer began.  The craving of attention from others slowly diminished over time, being replaced with a genuine desire to truly love others and point them to the Savior who brings forgiveness, redemption, adoption, and satisfaction.

And while a number of girls might have grabbed this young man’s attention or won his heart, I was the one he chose.  And I am so thankful.

Happy Birthday

I am thankful to be this man’s bride, and I am thankful for the funny and caring man that he is.  I am thankful for his humility and desire to work hard and care for his family; and I never cease to be thankful for the many creative ways he brings laughter and much joy to our home.  I am thankful for his many strengths that “just so happen” to be my weaknesses, and for his ability to stretch me out of my comfort zone to live boldly in Christ.  For these things and a million others about this man, I am thankful. But most of all, I’m thankful for what God is continuing to do in him.  As I have the privilege of living day in and day out with him, I can see the transformation of Christ’s character being built up in him, and it astounds me.  Every day, I witness a miracle.

To my dear husband Timothy, a very happy birthday to you!  Age looks good on you, my dear (i.e. the gray hairs), and I look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you!  But most of all, I anticipate the great joy and ultimate satisfaction we will both face when we are united with our Bridegroom, Jesus Christ.  I look forward to that Day with you, love, most of all.

Happy Birthday

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” -Ephesians 3:20,21

Love and Surprises and Reminders, oh my!

It’s amazing how the seemingly smallest things can express a great amount of love to someone.  Take this picture, for example.

Love and Surprises and reminders, oh my

To you, this is probably just an image of a silly cartoon movie – that isn’t very good, mind you, especially when compared to the likes of A Charlie Brown Christmasbut to me?  To me, this silly little cartoon is an expression of love.  Yup, you guessed it, from my one and only.  Tim had apparently been paying attention to me one night recently when I mentioned that I wished we had It’s A Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown so that we could snuggle on the couch and watch it together on Halloween (yes, I watch my movies in season.  Except for Christmas movies, then I watch them whenever I want!)  I wasn’t aware, but he was listening, because the very next day, I visited him on my lunch break and he surprised me with it!! (He’s also learning me well – I LOVE surprises!)  Oh, I loved it.  LOVED. IT.  With one small gift, my husband expressed a very important thing to me: I matter to him.  In a week filled with learning new Greek vocabulary, listening to Philosophy lectures, and writing seminary papers, my husband has been paying attention to me and surprising me with love.

This latest surprise has reminded me of this past Sunday morning, when we drove a new friend to and from church. Conversation was filled with introductory topics: where are you from and when did you two meet and how long have you been married?  “4 years that have just flown by!” was the answer from both of us, and on the conversation rolled.  And as I climbed into the car on the way home, our new friend spoke softly from the back seat, “I know why it does not seem like 4 years.  It is because he still opens the door for you.  After 4 years, he still opens the door for you.  Wow.”  Yes, my husband still opens every door for me.  After 4 years, he still does this, and somewhere along the way, I have forgotten.

Love and Surprises and reminders, oh my

{photo courtesy of Marvelous Things Photography}

I have forgotten that it is not normal anymore for a man to treat his lady with such genteel politeness.

I have forgotten that on the other side of every door is the man that took me as his bride and whispers “I love you and I’m watching out for you” as he ushers me inside.  Every. Time.

How did I forget that this is not normal?

How did I forget that this is an expression of love from my husband to me?

The lesson sinks in deeper as I reflect on my Savior.  22 years have flown by since He made me His own, and somewhere along the way, I have forgotten.

I have forgotten that each morning when I speak with God, I am able to do so only because of Christ – because He took the nails and bore the wrath of the Father for me.

How do I so easily forget what it cost my Savior so that I can boldly approach the throne of God in all His glorious grace?

I have failed to remember that each time I crack open the pages of my Bible, I am communing with the God of the universe – with the Living Word, the Bread of Life!

How do I so easily forget that it is only by His Spirit that I have been given the ability to spend time with my Savior every day, to feast upon His Word and know what is True?

My, how thankful I am for small, everyday surprises and doors-held-open that communicate my husband’s love and care to me.  May I not forget.  And my, how eternally and infinitely grateful I am for such reminders that point me to Christ’s costly love for me, love that is written on ever page of Scripture and whispered through every prayer.  May I never forget.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! – 1 John 3:1

Christ, the Treasure

Christ the treasureThere was a time when I mistakenly believed that Tim and I only had a praiseworthy marriage if the circumstances were just right.  Only so long as he expressed his love to me in his actions, gave me the best of his time and energy on date nights and pursued me with great passion and intimacy, was I able to rejoice in our union.  Or so I thought.  Because while these were all good and, I would contend, rightful  things to desire for my relationship with my husband – intimacy within marriage is good, after all; open, honest, and frequent 2-way communication is good; romance is good! – it was so NOT good, and even sinful, when I elevated the circumstances above simply treasuring my husband.  My, my, how I wish I could take back some of those nights where I was not happy to be with him because he was tired or not romantic enough for me; those evenings when I sulked because I thought he wasn’t displaying his love to me in his actions.  What I would {give} to take back those selfish nights in which I missed out on opportunities to extend love, grace, & forgiveness to my husband – to be a picture, albeit a very dim one, of Jesus Christ to my man.

On the other hand, how very thankful and humbled I am for what God, in his grace and by way of His Spirit, is teaching me about marriage.

I am learning that, while it is good to desire Christ the treasureintimacy, communication, and romance with Tim; these things must not take the place of him.  In other words, I must not forget that what makes the intimacy so wonderful is my husband!  What makes the communication so sweet is this man beside me!  What makes romance so awesome is that it is romance with him.  I am being taught, by God’s grace, that my husband is to be adored and treasured above a set of circumstances.  This allows me to rejoice over him, and remain thankful for our union, on those occasions where he is more tired than usual or not up for a  two hour heart-to-heart chat.  This truth, among others, frees me to just love my husband for who he is and not for what he brings to the table.  And it makes those times of romance and intimacy all the more special, because I recognize that it is he who makes them so!

And the lesson doesn’t stop there; no, it must not, in fact!  For if I simply laid a-hold of the principle that I am to love and treasure my husband above the circumstances surrounding our relationship, I might forget the more important truth behind this lesson and give into an idolatrous view of my husband and our marriage. But praise God!  that the end of our marriage is Christ Himself, the very purpose of our marriage is to point each other (and those around us) to our Savior, to remind us of the relationship between Christ, the Bridegroom and the Church, His bride.

The more important lesson here is that, in much the same way as I am to treasure my husband above the gifts that our relationship bring (intimacy, communication, romance, and many other things beside), so I am to treasure CHRIST above all the other gifts that He has secured for me in bringing me into relationship with God.  In much the same way as I love my husband, but to an infinitely greater extent, am I to love and adore Jesus Christ, my Savior. 

Because Christ is the ultimate Gift!!  He is the greatest Treasure of all that I possess!  In fact, all the gifts point to Him as the chief end of my joy and my delight!  Everything that I have not only comes from Him but is meant to lead me to worship Him; not simply for what He gives me, but ultimately for who He is.  Christ is the Treasure of my soul.  This far greater truth frees me to worship Him and remain thankful always, even when I do not perceive any gift beside Him.  Even in the trenches of hardship and suffering.  Because I have Him, I have the greatest Treasure of all, and because of His faithfulness, I can never ever lose Him!  {This} is what leads my soul to rejoice and sing along with the hymn writer of old:

O LORD my God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee; How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee; How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur, And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze;
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee; How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee; How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

And when I think of God, His Son not sparing, sent Him to die – I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin.
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee; How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee; How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation,
And take me home – what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration And there proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee; How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee; How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

 My husband, Tim, is my treasured gift from God and is to be adored over the circumstances that our marriage brings.  Christ is my Treasure above all gifts, and He is to be adored above all.

Does my life reflect this desire that I proclaim with my words: “One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4)  Does yours?

Christ the treasure

I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…” ~Philippians 3:8

4 Years Later

4 years | marriage and the gospelToday, my husband and I celebrate four years of marriage.  As I ponder where the time has gone (seriously), my mind runs back to when we first met.  I had just started going to the church we now attend, and I remember walking past him nervously as my friend and I took our seats.  I noticed when he raised his hands to worship and smiled to see a man adore his Savior so freely, so openlyand unashamedly.  He introduced himself to me after the service, and my stomach was twisted into so many knots that I could hardly speak an intelligent word.  I was socially awkward, shy, and insecure.  My face held scars from years of acne, and I was not the hourglass shape I so wanted to be.  But he saw me, and he pursued me.  I wondered quizzically why he showed interest in me .  Didn’t guys go for confident girls, girls with skinny legs and flawless skin, girls with fashion sense and witty humor?  Why would he- this good-looking, funny, extroverted young man- want me?  I figured that he would surely become bored with me once he figured out who I really was.  But he pursued me, and once he really knew me, he stayed.  He stayed, even though he knew my past.  He stayed, even though my insecurities did not suddenly vanish in his presence.  He stayed, even though I was not the prettiest or smartest or even the funniest.  We were married after a year of dating, and I continued to battle insecurities, and remained introverted and shy, and struggled daily with fatigue.  I began to wonder if he questioned whether he made the right choice in choosing me to be his bride, if he was fed up with my low energy levels and social in-aptitude and string of insecurities.  I asked him if he regretted marrying me, I asked him more than once.  His answer was always, “No, sweetheart.  I would marry you today if I could do it all over again!”  He really, truly loved me.  In the face of all of my fears and uncertainties, in the times that I questioned his love for me, he pursued me and loved me.  Gently, kindly.

And the most remarkable thing happened.  I began to change.  In the presence of steady, unfaltering love; I started to crawl out of my shell and become the woman I was always meant to be, the one who had been hiding for so many years behind a wall of fear and self-loathing and pride.  In his presence, I  was secure, safe to rest and to just be me.  He encouraged my sense of humor, admired my full-figured body, praised my efforts to ponder deeply the things of God, and influenced my desire to be passionate and boldly outspoken for our King.  And I was changed, and I am changing as we continue to live out this journey of marriage.

But the most beautiful aspect of all of this is not that my husband chose me, or that he loves me.  The most beautiful part of our story is that my husband, through his pursuit and love for me, lives out a vivid representation of the gospel.

When my husband seeks me out – even in my darkest moments – I am reminded that Christ sought me at my darkest, when I was spitting in His face and cursing His name.  Love that pursued and rescued me at my darkest hour.

As my husband stays loyal to me, even on days when my skin is not flawless and I do not exude beauty so much as I do those pesky PMS hormones, I am reminded that Christ is always with me, and that He will never, ever leave me.

As my husband loves me by doing his best to work out whatever is in my best interest (whether it’s rest or encouragement or confrontation of sin), I am reminded of Christ’s perfect love for me.  The love that drives out fear.

When my husband spends time with me and adores me, I am reminded that I was sought by the King of Kings, and  I am adored by the God of the universe.  I am treasured by God in Christ.

And as I am being transformed into who I really am, who I was always made to be, I am reminded that Christ’s power in me is not just redemptive; it is also purifying.  His love is the Refiner’s fire, molding me and shaping me into His likeness, and into the person I was made to be – a child of the King.

My husband, who himself is flawed and broken and redeemed in Christ, points me to my Savior every single day.  As we celebrate four years of wedded bliss, I rejoice in this love that daily reminds me of the far greater, all-satisfying love of Jesus Christ!

{Happy anniversary, my love.  You are a most excellent gift from God!}

4 years | marriage and the gospel

photos courtesy of Marvelous Things Photography

   “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.  Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.  In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” -Ephesians 5:24-28

 

 

Saturday Morning Date: Brunch & Shopping

{Ohhh, what to do on a rainy Saturday?}

Saturday Morning Date: brunch and shopping

The picture doesn’t look like it, but it was definitely raining yesterday!  We were not about to let the storm clouds dampen our fun or our Saturday morning dates, however; so we mixed things up a little by partaking in some indoor activities.

Since it has become a rare occasion that I make Saturday breakfast for us anymore, I decided to kickstart our indoor adventures with a healthy, easy-to-fix breakfast.  Note to self: do this more often!  It was so nice to just sit and talk with my husband over our morning meal, sharing with one another what is on our hearts and what God is teaching us.  I would love to have more times like this.

Saturday morning date: brunch and shopping

Oddly enough, despite the rainy weather, this was probably one of our most enjoyable outings yet!  Proof that it’s really not so much about what you’re doing, but who you’re doing it with, that really counts.  We headed over to the mall after breakfast, and scoured store after store for some new work clothes for me.

{Kohl’s is our favorite. “60% off “sales racks, here we come!}

Saturday morning date: brunch and shopping

And yesterday, I was {yet again} reminded: I am married to a very wonderful man of God.  Really, truly.  And I am so undeserving of him.  Really, truly.   No, he is not perfect.  Yes, we have our disagreements, and our own sin struggles.   But I see him growing in his faith in Christ.  I see him maturing as the spiritual leader and head of our home.  I see him learning what it means to lay down his life for his family, and doing it NOT begrudgingly, but with joy!  Case in point: he walked out of all of those stores yesterday with clothes for his wife, and none for himself.  Not only that, but he also knew that it would mean a lot to me if he was involved in the process of choosing which clothing items to purchase, and so he spent all of his time looking for clothes for me.  He was engaged the entire time, for my sake.

And then he walked out of the mall with a big grin on his face, and I was humbled.  I was humbled that my husband was excited because of what I was able to find at a few stores (good deals!).  I was humbled, knowing that I might not have been so excited if the tables had been turned and he had been the one buying clothes.  I was humbled that in this simple activity, God was reminding me of His grace.

Grace that chose *this man* to be my husband and an ever-present reminder to me of my Savior.

Grace that not only sealed my full pardon in Christ and brought me to repentance and faith in Him, but the same grace that continues to mature both my husband and me in our faith.

Yes, I am married to a man of God, and I am quite undeserving and grateful!

{Ohh, the lessons you can learn at the mall on a rainy Saturday.}