Thursday, November 20, 2008

Winter is Here

Last night, I went outside to water the plants. Apparently, I was too late. I gasped in horror and started to recount how many days had passed since I paid the hanging plants a visit with my gas station jumbo-sized plastic cup of water. Surely not THAT many...

Then, I saw my breath and remembered. We are having a cold snap, we are under a freezing warning, we're enduring a break-out-the-gloves-AND-scarf kind of week. And now my plants are dead!?
This is my first ever home that I (we) own, with my first ever porch with real live hanging plants. I even picked the plants out to match the living room since you can see them through the windows! (I can't help it; I am obsessed with decorating.)

It's my first time. I never knew that beautiful hanging plants are KILLED when the first 20 degree winter wind comes blowing on their little branches. I feel so guilty. Like I left my babies out to be frozen to death, while we huddled inside under extra blankets, sipping hot tea and cranking the heat so high we had to use a humidifier to keep our skin from turning to leather.

Poor Babies!

What little surprises has winter brought your way?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Not a Newlywed Anymore...

One year ago today, I awakened before the sun. My heart began to race as I realized what Day it was. Soon after, Julie arrivedto transport me across town to the salon, where she supplied me with coffee, pastries, and chirpy conversation while I sat nervously in the chair and began the transformation. 1,000 bobby pins, a bottle of hairspray, and a veil later, we raced to the church, where my best friends were milling around excitedly. One by one, red dresses filled the bridal room, plus a 6-year old angel in a white dress and crown made of flowers. My mother and lifelong best friend helped me into a white dress of my own and fastened me in tight. Then with a basking glow of motherly and sisterly pride, they released me to the flashes of the camera.

Before I knew it, I was hiding behind a big oak door, listening to the music fill the sanctuary and taking deep breaths. It was really happening. I joined my Daddy on his arm and we drifted down the aisle. My Beloved was waiting there for me. At that moment, I embarked on a beautiful journey.

It has been a special year of companionship, romance, excitement, travel, and laughter. We have also endured family heartache and the stresses of life. But being in it together makes all the difference. Knowing that you have found that partner...

...a friend to talk to each night over dinner.

...a playmate to giggle with each morning over toothpaste.

...a traveling companion for the long flights and roadtrips.

...a voice of reason and steady wisdom.

...a calming voice on the other end of the line.

In his book The Mystery of Marriage Mike Mason writes, "We are not simply moving in with someone we think would be fun to live with. Rather, we are giving our prior assent to a whole chain reaction of trials, decisions, transformations, and personal cataclysms that, once they are done with us, may leave us not only changed almost beyond recognition, but marked nearly as deeply as by a religious conversion. And this is just as it ought to be."

Today, on our first wedding anniversary, I thank God for his gracious gift of marriage and all the ways it has and will surely mark my life for His purposes. Dean, Honey, I love you dearly and cannot wait to share many more beautiful years together.

(One year ago last our rehearsal dinner. )

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Day After

Today, I have been checked on. Several times, a co-worker or friend has asked me, "Are you okay?" Both times, at first I didn't realize what they meant. Then I remembered that today we have a new president-elect, and I had cast my vote for The Other Guy.

But today, mostly I have been at peace. Riled up for weeks, but today, at peace.

This passage from Scripture has steered, cheered, and set my heart straight. Take a look.

"Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another..." Romans 13, NIV

If you are like me, you probably believed that by living in a democracy, we, the people would be determining our next President by our votes. But did we?

There is no authority except that which God has established.
This is a profound truth! And mindboggling for my political mind to accept. There is no authority, no President, no Congressman, no Governor in existence that God did not establish.

The New King James Version puts it this way: "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. " (Romans 13:1)

I imagine that some of you take issue (even Scriptural issue) with the results of some of the election races. But we are told that God, for reasons that are His, has established the governmental authorities that we will live under. This applies to our new President-elect, Barack Obama. This also applies to President Bush, to his predecessor President Clinton, and even for those who live in Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. Please remember that when the New Testament was written, many Christians lived under governments that were hostile to their faith, and shortly thereafter, early Christians were fed to lions in the Roman Coliseum.

Nevertheless, even these authorities were put in place by God.

He is God. We do not have to understand His mind or His ways. But we do have the privilege of resting in His Sovereignty, especially on the day after Election Day.

Peacefully yours,

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