Verge day one

My head is so joyfully chaotic right now that I can’t quite think straight to write.

I have pages of notes after a entire day of truth-filled teaching. I feel like Brian and I have so much to talk about! We sat next to each other all day, taking all of this in side by side, but now I would really like to process it with him.

While I don’t have words right now, I do have photos…

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Verge is taking place at the Moody Theater, home of Austin City Limits Live.

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Worship was amazing– the Aaron Ivey Band and Jimmy McNeil ūüôā

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The Story Team had its own workshop– one of the best parts of the day. So blessed to be a part of this team!

Excited for day two, tomorrow!

Friday-on-Thursday

It’s my Friday! Woohoo!

I put together my sub plans, ran my errands, picked up Chuy’s, and came home to plop on the couch with my husband. The greatest part of Friday-on-Thursday is that there’s better TV ūüôā Brian and I enjoyed our favorite Tex-Mex and watched that better TV. We both thought back and neither could recall the last time we did this. Literally.

Brian and I are going to the Verge conference tomorrow in downtown Austin. We’re both pretty excited. Several favorite pastors are coming to speak, and we may be most excited about the Story Team trailer set up outside the conference. Conference goers have signed up for slots to come in and share their stories of what God is doing in their lives. I can’t believe I get to be a part of that!

I’m excited about the conference, but honestly, I’m really excited about a hot date with my pillow– at 9pm!!! Don’t judge–it’s been a long four day week ūüėČ

Sharp Iron

“Iron sharpens iron,¬†and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

I wrote a few weeks ago about the time I get to spend with the guys from my Men’s Development Program community and how valuable it is to me. Time and time again these guys have proven to me the truth contained in the verse above. They make me a better man by holding me to a high standard, confronting me in love when I fail, struggling through the tough times with me, and encouraging me in my success. They are a critical part of my life, and I’m starting to learn that they are a critical part of my marriage.

Tonight I spent several hours after class with my group of guys, and it was such an encouragement. Laughing and joking around is fun and a great way to unwind, but these guys also pose tough questions. They push and probe about what I think and say. They don’t let me off easy. They hold me to account, and want the best things for me. Nights like tonight are like water to a thirsty man for me. They are not negotiable.

I think every married man needs to have a community of men around them like this. I can truly say that my marriage is in better shape because of the counsel and correction that these men have given me over the last seven months. Their help and love for Lindsey and I is invaluable.

So, married men this is my piece of advice for the day, if you don’t have men like this in your life, find them. Wives, if your husband does not have this, lovingly encourage him to seek it out. We are not prompted to change on our own, its too comfortable. We need to be challenged, and that is what a strong community of men can do for each other.

Fine china

The older I get the more I learn that context is everything, and that sometimes you cannot understand a truth unless you are in the position to. There are situations in which no amount of intellectual work can take the place of experience. In my life, marriage may fit that description better than anything.

A few days ago I came across a verse in my daily reading that struck me with great force. Not because it is new to me, but because it is so timely and so true:

“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7

I have heard it said that a better way to think of the “weaker vessel” phrase is to think of fine china. China is certainly more fragile than your run of the day¬†dish ware, but it is also more beautiful, more impressive,¬†more precious. ¬†You could take the Fiesta ware in our kitchen and bang it around in the sink, run it through the dishwasher, and stack it roughly in the cabinet with no damage whatsoever. The same cannot be said of our wedding china. We take care of it, we treat it delicately, we hand wash it and have special padded containers for it. That is how we are called to treat our wives.

So, for me this week I am working on seeing my wife as fine china. I am praying for insight into how to honor her and treat her. I am asking the Holy Spirit to change my heart and my tongue. I am asking him for humility in my approach to my wife.

After all, she is beautiful, sensitive and precious, just like fine china.

Nothing Special

There’s nothing special about today. We both went to work and had normal days. You know, the kind of days where you struggle to have interesting to say to the question, “how was your day?”

I improvised a pork loin roast, which I might post the recipe to when I get time. We had a glass of wine, ate dinner, watched How I Met Your Mother. It was nice to relax with Lindsey.

Then we went our separate ways. We each had work to do, and Lindsey tried to get to bed early. I did not try to do that, and I succeeded in my non-efforts.

There are just some days like this, days when I wonder what to blog. Then, when I sit down to write I realize something simple: even an everyday, so-so, run of the mill day is great with my wife.

Loud, ugly, and stupid

Last night, I posted from our date night. I entitled the post “Sweet sweet evening”. And it was, for most of the evening. Then, we got home.

I’m pretty sure the neighbors heard us yelling. It was loud. It was ugly. It was stupid.

We were tired, and an argument broke out. But in the midst of trying to be heard, our motivations both changed, mutating into something neither of us desire for our relationship. So, we yelled. We were mean. We wanted to be right. We forgot our love, our vows, and our God, and both selfishly went down a road that leads to nothing.

There were apologies before bed. There were more this morning. And then, on the way to church, I asked, “Do I need to edit last night’s post?” We both groaned.

Our family reads the blog. Coworkers read it. Our friends read it. Strangers read it. We set out to be honest here– delivering an honest daily account of year one. But no one wants to read that a date night ended in an epic fight. I hate to write it. But that’s what happened.

I wish the clear headed version of myself from today could step into last night and slap the angry, selfish person I was then. I vowed to Brian that I would put his needs ahead of my own. I vowed to love him selflessly. But I didn’t remember any of that last night. All I knew was that I was hurt and I wanted my hurt to be known.

The biggest enemy to my marriage is in me– my own selfishness and pride. If I seek my own desires and put myself first, I will destroy this marriage.

I told my beloved this morning, as I held him in my arms, that I never wanted to yell at him again. I told him that I love him and I’m sorry for everything.

He forgave. I forgave.

We had a great day today. We even told our friends about the fight at church. We told another group at lunch. We both admitted fault and would squeeze the other’s hand as we spoke.

We promised to be honest, so here it is: Marriage is difficult. Sometimes, even on date night.

Sweet sweet evening

It’s date night. We’ve been to Houndstooth for coffee and to Uchiko for for best freaking food anywhere, and I’m blogging from a booth at Flying Saucer where we’re finishing off some pints. I figured I should blog now before things get blurry ūüėČ

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Brian at Flying Saucer

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Me at Houndstooth

After a long couple of weeks, this is a sweet, sweet evening with my husband. Gotta go– he’s back from the restroom ūüėČ

Too tired, too late

I wrote this post at 12:15pm on Saturday afternoon, not just before midnight as the post will be marked. It is because this is the Friday post, written on Saturday.¬†We had a long week, so long in fact my wife pointed out to me that I couldn’t stay awake after dinner at least two nights this week. But Friday night was good for us¬†because¬†we were looking forward to having a good friend over for dinner.

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Pork loin, stuffed with apples, wrapped in prosciutto, rolled into a puff pastry. Yeah, it’s good.

We invited our friend Jared over for dinner and a few drinks, and we were looking forward to it. We love to host people in our home, but we have not been able to do so often. In fact, I took the opportunity to make something that I have not had any excuse to make, Alton Brown’s Pork Wellington. I love trying new things, but that is not a regular weeknight dinner for two.

The dinner was great. we served out favorite brussel sprouts dish and garlic cheese mashed potatoes. Then we had Lindsey’s killer¬†Guinness¬†brownies. It was an¬†amazing¬†dinner, and we had an even better time talking to and catching up with Jared.

When the evening was over Lindsey and I got into bed, I pulled out the laptop to blog. She was asleep in 30 seconds, and I was only about a minute behind.

We’re still learning how to balance the early mornings, jobs, and time¬†together¬†in the¬†evening. Honestly, I’ve been getting less sleep because I am trying to do too much in a day. Lindsey has to get her sleep and she has been forgoing some things she needs to get done because she needs the sleep. It’s been a great and crazy year, but just so full.

We’re getting better at it. This school year is better than last, and next year will be even better. I think it just takes time.

Lots-o-change

So, I told you yesterday that Brian was bragging on me. Gosh– still makes me blush. Anyways… the bragging was centered in large part around the changes going on at my job.

Next year, I will leave the elementary school and go back to being a middle school teacher. We are restructuring parts of our school, so I will still have my beloved 6th grade, but I will also have 7th and 8th grade. I will teach English Language Arts to all three grades, and then teach Bible to 8th grade. It’s another BIG change in a series of BIG changes.

In the last two years I met the love of my life, got engaged, got married, got involved in a new church and a new missional community, moved from south to north Austin, moved in with a MAN and a dog, started at a new job, switched to elementary school, wrote all new curriculum for that position, began turning the bachelor pad into a home for two, got a hematologist and a blood disorder, started a major development program through church, got a new missional community, and now, got a new job.

THERE’S BEEN A LOT OF CHANGE IN MY LIFE.

You’d think I’d be used to it by now. I am much more so than I used to be– that’s for sure. It just feels like I never get comfortable in anything, or else I do and that’s when the change comes. And what complicates this further is that I’m a natural planner– so I plan for all of these futures that never occur.

Our reading last week for Women’s Development was the book of Malachi. In chapter 3, God tells us that he does not change. I smiled when I read it because I learned that verse last semester when I learned about the character of God, specifically God’s immutability, or unchangeableness. God is unchanging in his being, perfections, purposes, and promises (yet God does act and feel emotions, and he acts and feels differently in response to different situations).

This is such a comfort! With all of these changes in position and location and role, my God stays the same. He stays holy and true and perfect– even when I am none of those things and shaking my fist at him that he changed things on me again!

The other part of my life that is unchanging is that I have Brian. I know that some people don’t see marriage as a forever- relationship, but Brian and I take marriage very seriously. We entered into a covenant relationship with God, and that relationship is for life– which I pray will be for many many more years. Our relationship changes, and we as individuals change, but Brian is always there.

After those last two paragraphs, I am reminded that I cannot complain about all of this change. It is my reality– it’s what God has decided for my life. I see the joy in almost all of the changes I listed above, and I can already see joy in this job change to come. No matter what the new school year brings, I have my God and (God willing) my Brian by my side.

He brags

After class tonight at church, Brian and I were talking to a friend of ours from the Austin Stone Story Team.

When we finished with our Story Team business, Brian got really excited and wanted to share some news. But the news he shared wasn’t his news, it was mine. Brian was bragging about me.

Just when I thought he was done, he started up again, “Oh hey, did Lindsey tell you about…?” He just kept on bragging!

I don’t know why that’s so strange to me– I’m get really proud of him, too. My husband is proud of me. So proud he can’t keep his mouth shut ūüėČ It makes me feel so loved– he knows me, he knows my life, he pays attention. My joys are his joys. My successes are his.

I love this part of marriage, this part of being one.