Saturday, July 9, 2011

Fatherhood Wisdom

Take for a post on fatherhood from A Cup of Jo:

3. “My wife acted a little like she was on drugs.”
Up until you have a baby, whatever happens, you and your wife pretty much respond the same way. You're on the same wavelength. But once the baby arrives, every thing that happens, your wife has a 90-degree different take.

Joanna's highs were higher, and her lows were lower. Her general joyfulness was so high; she was starry-eyed and blissed out. On the flip side, she was more anxious. She was more inclined to take any negative thing to heart—such as Toby fussing while we changed his diaper. I figured his fussing was a small, unfortunate but inevitable thing, but it felt incredibly urgent to Joanna. She got really upset by his crying—for her, it was like an alarm clock was going off inside her. She had an extreme surge of anxiety at any possible sign of disturbance to Toby, whereas I would address his crying but it wouldn't bother me on an emotional level. I just thought, Oh, all babies cry, he'll be ok.

It's like being with someone on drugs. You're on a different plane. You look at your wife, and you have to imagine, 'What exactly are you feeling? How does the world look to you right now?' Then you have to figure out how to respond the way she would want.

Everything does come back down to earth again. Your wife no longer feels those extreme surges at both ends of the emotional spectrum and becomes more like her old self (which is a relief to her, too), and you get more acclimated and feel like your old self. By about month nine, we found ourselves settling back into our old rhythms and feeling like ourselves again (see below:).

I find this so profound and interesting. Shouldn't we view every relationship this way? "What exactly are you feeling" How does your world look to you right now?" I love how beautifully detailed Alex lays out this description of his wife's emotions and reactions compared to his. He's gently acknowledging the difference and he even touches on reaction! I'm such a fan of reactions!! They are so important.  Gah. Can you imagine the community between people who thought about their neighbor's perspective like that? I know relationships in my life would look different. Arguments would change. Doors would be opened. 

So cool.

...Oh, hey, blog.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Things I Just Need to Say Out Loud

“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
Romans 8: 26-28

Conflict, in God’s eyes, is a great opportunity to show His glory… even when it is caused by sin. Even in the midst of great stress.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

1 Peter 4:14

I'm excited this morning. I guess I'm realizing how much I take for granted that the Spirit of the Lord does work in us 24/7. I take it for granted, and I quickly forget. But today I am reminded.

Even when I don't recognize it, the Spirit moves and changes hearts. How amazing that we get to live life with a higher power, the One that holds everything in place, the One that changes lives and surpasses death, works in my heart nonstop? I know this isn't anything new, but it's cool to stop and think about.

Luke and I have been challenging ourselves to recognize the Spirit at work in our lives. We've been pushing ourselves into acknowledge the Spirit in our lives, our flesh, the world, and the enemy. Because really, they are all at work, and figuring out which one is causing us to act is quite the battle. But good news is, the more we recognize, the more we abide, the more we fight, the easier the battle. AND THE SPIRIT WORKS 24/7 IN US! Another cool thing, the battle has already been won completely on the cross. How exciting will it be when we meet our Lord, leave this broken world where the battles go on, and live in perfect peace with Jesus, the Spirit, and God! All in one. 

So cool.

{And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18}
{for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13}

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

the Christmas Beard.

Well, hello!
Did you have a fabulous Christmas? I know we sure did.
More pics later, but here's a silly present my mom made Luke.
He loved it, of course.

oh, you. are. welcome.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Community and Dating: Abide


Luke and I always knew that God had to be the center of our relationship. We've always said that was our goal. We've always been told that's what it means to live life together as a Christian couple. God had to be the center.

So now let me tell you:
We had no. idea. what. that. meant.
And we're pretty sure no one telling us knew either.

In an effort to be the "spiritual leader" in our relationship (whatever that meant), Luke was always searching for ways to make God the center. He sought after Christian dating books, advice, we even thought about doing a bible study once a week together.

Although these are all great things in a relationship, I knew that this wasn't it. We were still missing it. Yes, we wanted God to "be the center," but I just kept feeling that these tactics had us still missing the point. I kept telling him that I didn't know why or how these things wouldn't work, or what would, but that I still thought there was something else that needed to be done to make Him the center. 

Throughout the years, we figured it out. And the answer was abiding. If you know me well, you know that this is a topic that is near to my heart. I've spoken on it a little bit before, but to sum it up, a few years ago I realized what it meant to truly abide. And then I realized that most Christians were clueless as to what it meant. And THEN I had a yearning to teach people what it meant. Throughout all of this, I realized that abiding was not only the foundation for a life with Christ, but also the foundation for a life with Christ with Luke. 

In a nut shell, abiding to me is more than reading your bible in the morning during "quiet time." It's more than saying your prayers on a timely basis. It's more than listening to klove all day. It's more than going to church. It's an all day, every day process that keeps your heart aligned with His constantly. Your actions reflect your heart when it is rooted in the Lord all day, and eventually you won't know what it's like to make decisions without going to the Lord first. The Lord is your default. His in your head all day. Everything revoles around Him. And I believe that that abiding looks differently for everyone. God has created us all so wonderfully different, wired us up all uniquely, so your abiding will be 100% yours. Your prayers, your time in the Word, your life will look different than another's who is abiding as well. And you should always be on guard when someone else counsels you to abide a certain way that doesn't line up with scripture.

When you are living life in a community of believers (your church, your friends, your family, etc.), each of you have to be abiding separately. Whenever my community group meets together on Tuesday night, if we haven't been abiding alone throughout the week, there is no way we can abide together. There is no way we can grow, mature, and bear fruit together if we haven't been growing, maturing, and bearing fruit on our own. Same with church on Sunday. We can't just take what we learn and leave it where we learned it. If we're not actively seeking out the Lord by ourselves, then we can't seek Him together. It just doesn't work that way. We can believe that our times together are bearing fruit, even if we aren't doing anything on our own in the week, but it's a disguise. Our hearts as a whole won't reflect Him, if our hearts alone don't. End of story.

And that's what it takes to make God the center of our dating relationship. Luke and I have to abide separately to abide together. There is nothing we can do together to make us work, if we aren't doing those things alone. It's crazy how it works really. If I'm living my life from the Lord, and if he's living his life from the Lord, somehow our life together becomes from the Lord also even if there weren't any kind of works that we did to make it that way together. Abiding separately = abiding together. I don't know how or why the formula works, but it does. Yes, we can still pray together, worship together, have a bible study together, and those will all be great things that will strengthen our relationship, but those works will all be for nothing if we aren't doing those things individually.  Abiding is our foundation. Having our hearts separately lined up with His (which also means together lined up with His. remember the formula) will truly solve every other Christian dating relationship problem we ever come across. Everything else from here on out will come from that truth and that foundation. 

Just like community.

(And here are some Sufjan songs I can't stop playing.)

(google readers pop out)

Monday, November 15, 2010

New York Prayers

After being on the wait list for about a month, I finally got into a field study course in New York at the end of May!! I am SO very excited because I didn't think a spot would open up in time. I was a little behind turning in my application because I didn't think I'd have the money to go.

 The course isn't really a "course" in New York. We'll be in the classroom at LSU for a day or two prior to leaving for pre program seminars. Then we'll leave for New York on May 21 and return May 28. While in New York, we'll be attending scheduled appointments with textile, apparel, and accessories manufacturers, retailers, buying offices, trade associations, forecasting agencies, and other fashion related enterprises. I always have figured that I'll end up in New York eventually in my career with it being the US's central apparel market, but when will I ever have the opportunity to visit these places all in one week?! And it gets better! This class replaces the gosh awful Advanced Textiles course I'm scheduled to take my senior year. Praise Jesus!!!

Although our itinerary isn't set in stone yet, some places they've visited before are below.


Here are some ways I'll be praying for this trip:
That my flesh doesn't take over with all things New York related. That includes handling money saved for the trip, tricking myself into believing that I need a new outfit for every day there, getting too big for my britches, etc. I'm going on this trip to #1: learn. I'm being affirmed more and more every day that this is what I want to do, and understanding my roll in this apparel world. I don't want to cloud that understanding with materialistic and superficial thoughts that come along with the job. No, I don't need a new outfit for every day spent on the trip. No, it doesn't matter who I'm wearing when I meet important people. Yes, the clothes on my body should be worn with confidence in acknowledging that Lord has provided for me. No, I don't need to spend tons of money while I'm there. 

There are so many things He's preparing my heart for, but these are just a few that initially come to mind when I think about the trip. 

But, oh, I'm sure there are more to come!!


Farewell, vain world!

I've briefly mentioned this before, but just recently I have had an overwhelming desire to have the Lord work on my heart on the issue of death. And an ever more overwhelming desire to teach other people about it. The only people I've spoken to about the topic are Luke and my cgroup, and I'm pretty sure both parties have looked at me a little crazy for it at some point in time. No really, I've brought this topic up with my community group several times in the past month, and I'm not sure I did a job well enough of convincing. Well, tonight my pastor preached so eloquently on the subject and I couldn't be more excited and grateful!

In my mind, from what I understood of death, I always thought that if should be celebrated. I didn't understand why the world humanized it to the point where everyone feared it, mourned it, and went crazy because of it. I'm not even going to try to sum up what was said, so luckily if you ever find the time, you can hear it on our podcast (I don't know how to link it. Go to itunes and search "the ring community church").


The Lord has been working on my heart lately on this specific topic. It's one I've prayed for for a long time now, and I'm finally seeing the work done. Hopefully He'll bring me to a point where I'll be able to share more on this personal issue, but I'm just not there yet.

And what's even funnier is that I came so close to posting this song on my blog this weekend and putting the lyrics up on twitter.  I don't know why I didn't, but I am now. Pop out to listen. It's from the Cold Mountain soundtrack and I love it. Luke got pretttty tired of hearing it all weekend. I can't wait for the day when I'm this excited every day about going home.

I want to groan and be burdened because I want to be clothed in my heavenly dwelling. I want to groan and be burdened to be swallowed up by life. I want to want to be away from the body and with the Lord. "For I don't care to stay here long!"

"I'm glad that I am born to die,
From grief and woe my soul shall fly,
And I don't care to stay here long!
Bright angels shall convey me home, 
Away to New Jerusalem,
And I don't care to stay here long!"

What a celebration that will be!!
In the mean time, I shall make it my goal to please Him, whether away from the body or at home in it.