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 😉 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.
I’ve mentioned my Missional Community through the Women’s Development Program before. They are dedicated, intelligent, beautiful, loving, and crazy. And they have invaded my life in the best way possible.
We group text a lot. We’ve had some group texts that I’ve had to edit on my phone because other eyes should never see them. We share our trial and triumphs, our needs and nuttiness.
Yesterday, we had another epic group text fest. I was home taking my temperature every half hour, so I got to participate at a level that I am not able to while teaching. What I loved most about it was that we went from the girls praying about my health, to dessert recipes, to hair stylists, to Super Bowl parties. It was wonderful and random and perfect– a lot like our group 🙂
These pictures are from our Winter Retreat in December. The second one speaks for itself.
These women invaded my life, but most importantly, they invaded my heart.
Brian and I are both on the Austin Stone Story Team. This is a group of artists within our church that want to tell the stories of what God is doing. Photographers, writers, and editors collaborate to share these amazing stories.
Brian was already on the Story Team when I met him. He’s a writer– a pretty good one. I was so envious when he first told me about the team. It sounded like something I really wanted to be a part of, and the knowledge that he had been selected for it made me think it would be quite some time before I’d have the chance to join.
I was wrong. Thank goodness! The Story Team got to a point where they needed editors and Brian helped to get me connected. Eventually, I’d like to write, but for now, the blog entires and my own personal journal keep me plenty busy. With the wedding and end-of-the-school-year craziness, I wasn’t able to actually edit a story until June.
It was marvelous– my own wondrous word puzzle to solve! Writers submit 650-800 word stories. Editors produce a 300 and 650 word edit from the original story. The 300 word edit was the previously mentioned puzzle of fun– literally removing more than half of the words and maintaining the writer’s original storyline– awesome!!! I was fortunate and my story was really well-written, so my job wasn’t that difficult. But it was still such fun! (Is my word-nerd, grammar-geek side showing yet? Hmm?)
Brian kept checking in on me to see if I needed anything. He probably hadn’t heard me that quiet all summer. I was a woman on a mission– I was going to edit this thing and I was going to do it well! I did run into trouble when I got to the writer’s feedback. I’m supposed to provide feedback to the writer about the changes I made. But I have the problem of knowing that a change needs to be made but NOT knowing the particulars or special language to articulate WHY I changed it. I need work there– maybe a mentor-editor for the next few rounds.
When I finished my edits and uploaded them, Brian gave me an enthusiastic high ten (that’s two high fives, for those of you who need some math practice). It was a shared success. We’re on this team together and serve together. It’s so wonderful to have this shared interest and talent, and then get to DO something with it together. And who knows… maybe someday I’ll get to edit one of Brian’s Story Team stories… mwahahahaha!!!
This past Sunday, the story was in the bulletin (that’s the 300 word edit). The longer version is up on Facebook now. Click below to check it out.
Here’s the story!
I know that I posted about this yesterday, but today I got to see it even more clearly than before.
Our missional community group split guys and gals tonight. We did that so that we could be honest about our areas of struggle in a way that we can’t with the mixed group. I was hesitant going into tonight because we haven’t done this really well yet. It just felt like conversation stayed mostly on the surface and that we didn’t trust one another enough. Tonight, the Holy Spirit took over.
Tonight we shared honestly and openly and asked each other hard questions. Tonight we loved and supported one another and prayed over each other. Tonight was real and authentic and beautiful. I’m so grateful for these women. They bring me closer God, which makes me a better wife. I couldn’t wait to get home tonight and tell Brian what God was doing.
It was a great example of why community is essential. We are created to live life with each other. When we have people in our lives who love us, care for us, and fight for us, it helps us to keep our eyes on what is important.
The Austin Stone has a service once a month called First Tuesday, and it is one of my favorite things our church does. We meet, suitability enough, on the first Tuesday of every month for worship, group prayer and communion. It is a time where the presence of God is obvious, and the church focuses on Christ and His glory, not our own. It feeds my soul in a way nothing else does, and tonight we were able to serve the church in this month’s service.
Tonight Lindsey and I served communion1 with our missional community to The Austin Stone church body. It was a humbling experience and more affecting than I thought it would be.
Before the service we had a time of prayer with our community group and the stewards who coordinate this each month. Sharing prayers of confession, praise, humility and seeking God’s blessing was just as special to us.
Lindsey and I have performed communion at home for ourselves and for each other in our wedding ceremony, but never for other people. It was a moving experience, to stand next to my wife and hold the cup of juice2 symbolizing Christ’s blood for our church family. It was very emotional to see people come by one by one, take a piece of bread from Lindsey and dip it in the cup as I said to them, “This is Christ’s blood, shed for you.” It was truly humbling to be used by God to administer one of his ordinances of the faith.
It was a night full of blessings.
Tonight and tomorrow morning Lindsey and I are attending the Austin Stone’s Marriage Seminar with Paul Tripp. It’s kind of an odd way to celebrate the start of her summer, but we had a great time of learning together tonight.
We’ll save a longer post for later, but Lindsey and I walked away from tonight’s session talking about one key point that Paul Tripp made. I am the biggest problem in my marriage. Me, it’s me.
No… it wasn’t a male bashing tonight. The idea we both really loved is this: in your marriage you are the biggest problem. Sure, there are all sorts of bad things that happen to us, without cause, and we can certainly be wronged. But, because we are imperfect, because none of us are without sin, we bring a self-centered nature to the relationship that, unchecked, will destroy the relationship. In a marriage, both husband and wife are at fault when there are issues, because we are all sinful.
Only when we can admit this, to ourselves, our spouse, and to God can we start to address this sin and the effect it has on our marriage.
It was a big insight, it had us talking. We are really looking forward to tomorrow’s sessions.