Seventeen years really isn't that long in the scheme of things.
It's not even half my lifetime thus far. Not two decades. Nowhere close to how long my grandparents were married.
And yet, with each passing year, I'm pleased how our number keeps getting larger.
Tomorrow is our 17th wedding anniversary.
Our marriage has in no way been perfect--are any? But it's been filled with tons of sweet moments, leaning on each other through hard times, learning lessons together, crying and laughing together, and more moves than either of us expected when we started this journey.
I'm used to being the one who leaves. The one who packs all her things and carts them to another town, another state, another apartment until something more permanent can be found. The one who gives hugs and says she'll keep in touch.
I'm not used to being the one who gets left behind.
I don't know about you, but my dishwasher gets things ... clean enough. What does that mean? It means the dishes are clean enough I don't mind eating off of them, but every now and then I find a knife that still has a bit of peanut butter on the end or my cups will come out a bit cloudy.
Several times in the Bible, people are compared to dishes. I'm sure we're all familiar with when Jesus talked about the Pharisees being hypocrites, worrying about the cleanliness of the outside, but not caring about how clean their insides were. And so it was an easy step for me to take and compare myself with my own dishes.
I've never been rebellious by nature. Seriously. I'm not one of THOSE preacher's kids. ;-)
The most rebellious act I ever did (except for the one time I "ran away" as a child by walking around the block by myself when I wasn't supposed to) was when I got my second set of piercings in my ears at the age of 19. My dad rolled his eyes and huffed about having two more holes in my head.
So, when I reached my thirties and the trend of "peekaboo" color in hair started, I think everyone was surprised when I decided to join in. Including me.
If you're like me, you know your children fairly well. So, as they approach new and amazing milestones in their lives, you can pretty much guess how they'll react and handle things.
Well, my daughter just "graduated" from kindergarten. I put it in quotes for my husband, who thinks it's ridiculous to have a ceremony for kids who will literally be across the hall the next year.
As I was saying, my daughter just wrapped up kindergarten. And I honestly wasn't sure how she'd handle everything.
So many times, we remember the big moments in our relationships. The ones that were life-altering like a first date or first kiss or proposal. But author Peyton H. Roberts is our guest today, and she's talking about the magic that happened BEFORE that moment. Read on. It's super sweet.
My favorite part of any love story is found in the unexpected, sweet moments that lead to a first date. I’m fascinated by the convergence of location and circumstances that bring two lives together at just the right time for magic to swirl in and change everything.
For my husband Nick and I, that moment unfolded several months before our first date. As high school seniors finishing up college applications, momentum was shifting from our current normal at home with parents and siblings to our next big steps out into the world.
That year, Nick and I were serving as leaders in a large, social church youth group. If serving sounds like work, it didn’t feel like work, because 30 of our closest friends were along for the ride.
Finishing high school before social media and texting meant if you wanted to know what was happening, you had to show up places. Consequently, everyone came to everything. Over the course of senior year, our class of student leaders became a tight-knit group of friends. We sat together in the cafeteria, spent weekends at lake houses, and traveled in packs to sporting events and concerts.
Is it any wonder that when I want to get away, I always dream of heading to the mountains? A place where the land undulates and rolls, dipping and rising toward the sky. Where trees cast their shade and give everything a green tinge. Where brooks cascade and ripple as they make their way down the earth. Yes, please. Give me the mountains.
"I life up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My helps comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth."
"As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people,
from this time forth and forevermore."
"the God who equipped me with strength
and made my way blameless.
He made my feet like the feet of a deer
and set me secure on the heights."
With all the verses in the Bible talking about hills and mountains and high places and heights, how could my soul not long to go there? And there's tons more than I listed here. Go look some up. If nothing else, it will remind you who made them. And that should remind us all what an awesome and mighty God we serve.
What has me talking about mountains?
This last weekend was our annual preschool teachers' retreat. It was my second time to go, and just as much fun as the first. We all trek across Tennessee and stay in a cabin on top of the Smoky Mountains just outside of Gatlinburg. And guys, the views--they steal my attention the whole time I'm there. See the picture above? That's from the cabin where we stay.
Time with friends. Some time playing tourist. Lots of time eating. And, since I rise earlier than quite a few of my coworkers, quiet time with God in view of his amazing creation.
It definitely makes me sing, "Oh, Lord our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth." (Psalm 8:1)
When you want to get away, do you like to travel to somewhere high? What parts of God's creation most take your breath away?
As I said in my last post, I've been working on my green thumb the last few years. And as I've developed my gardens--veggie and flower--I find I want ALL the plants. Please tell me I'm not the only one who loves to go walk through the garden section at Home Depot or Lowes and dream of having this or that flowering bush or plant.
Spring has been stunning this year. I don't know if we just had enough cold over winter, or what, but everything that has bloomed in middle Tennessee has been abundant and gorgeous. And each comes in its own time. Have you noticed?
Any gardeners here today?
As soon as things start warming up and blooming around here, my fingers itch to get into the soil and start digging. I haven't always been like this. For a long time, I couldn't have a garden of any kind. But since we settled in this house three and a half years ago, I've enjoyed having my gardens in the back yard. My loving husband dug up the raised bed areas and helped fill them in with frames and fresh soil and compost. And we've reaped lots of squash, green beans, tomatoes, pumpkins, and cucumbers since then. The kids love helping, too, which is always fun.
But it's also a lot of work.
I'm one of these people who can't do the same pattern over and over and over again. I'm talking crochet or quilting or sewing or anything. Even when reading, I like to mix up the historical and contemporary and other things so that I'm not reading the same things back-to-back much.
Well, I mean, there's all those different patterns out there. Why not do a different one each time?
But, I also like to challenge myself. Sometimes too much.
This is a place for me to share thoughts and ideas not just related to writing. Thoughts about what's going on in my life, about an idea I got that I thought shareworthy, or just a funny anecdote.