Friday, March 23, 2018

Sweet Sixteen

Sixteen years into this marriage thing and I really feel like we've hit our sweet spot.

We have learned so much, yet know that there is still so much more to learn.
(Although I don't think I'll ever learn WHY you put a container with one bite back into the refrigerator or pantry!)

We know each other so well, yet know that we can't possibly know it all.
(It took me 16 years to learn that you are quite the entrepreneur...hello 'Bearded Disciple Beard Balm'"

We know the things that "shout our love" to each other.''
(You like it when I find a place by your chair to set your coffee when I'm rearranging all the furniture.  I like it when I walk into our bedroom and you've already made the bed.)

We are reminded over and over again that we are not exempt from losing it all, so we are willing to keep each other accountable and allow the other to ask those hard questions to keep each other on track.  This doesn't signal a lack of trust.  On the contrary, this is a necessary step for a healthy marriage.

As we sat across the table at dinner tonight we began reflecting on the countless couples who have played a part, big or small, in our lives as a couple.  There are so many people who have helped us become who we are. God has been so gracious to give us godly parents and mentors, and other couples all along the way, from college to seminary, to ministry coworkers all across the southeast, to friends...the list is so numerous we couldn't even begin to list them all in fear that we would miss someone.

So, yes, we have arrived at the Sweet 16 year in our marriage, but not because of us.

Thank you to each one of you who have spoken truth and love into our marriage and character over the past 16+ years.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Areyna Joy Turns 13

On February 28th our Areyna Joy entered the first stages of womanhood.

 I don't believe Rainy even realizes just how special this night was yet,
(primarily because she hates the spotlight and I'm sure she was a little bit uncomfortable:)
but we know that the Holy Spirit was present and the words spoken penetrated deep
and that she will slowly realize the significance of the evening.

What I loved most about this is that her daddy, Josh, was in charge of the entire evening!

He did some research (mostly through Focus On The Family) and came up with a plan.
He put together a list of biblical virtues and emailed several ladies from our MC, 
her grandmothers, small group leaders,
 as well as some other key women in her life.

Each lady chose a virtue from the list and after praying over it they wrote out what they
felt like the Lord wanted to say to Rainy through them.

Here is the list of virtues:
Modest In Dress And Conduct
Holy Living
Truthful In Speech And Life
Gentle And Quiet
Cares For The Home
Serves Others
Someone Who Can Be Trusted
Prudent In Financial Matters
Hard Worker
Seeks To Do The Right Thing And Have A Good Reputation
Seeks To Internalize Biblical Wisdom

We began the evening by praying and then quickly going around the room 
introducing ourselves and our relationship to Rainy.

Then I read a letter to Rainy that I wrote about the joy and roles of being her mom.
After that we went around the room and everyone spoke/read what they had prepared on their virtue.

I guarantee that I wasn't the only adult who was moved and convicted and encouraged by the words of the other ladies in the room that night!

At the end of each person's words they would go light one of the 12 white candles on the table.
By the time we got around the circle each white candle was lit.

Her daddy then went into the shifting of our role as parents as she gets older.
Her growing responsibility and maturity will be taking more of a lead role in her life.

We then circled around Rainy, and her friends that had come (who are around the same age)
and we prayed over them.

After the prayer Rainy went to the table and blew out all 12 of the white candles,
signifying the past 12 years 
and lit the single pink candle 
as she accepted the responsibility of these virtues in womanhood.

What a sweet, sweet evening!

Of course, all those who have spoken life and truth over our daughter were not present,
there simply isn't enough room in the Colony Casa for that, ha!
How blessed we are to be surrounded by women of truth and light ,
who take responsibility as we raise this next generation to love and cherish the Lord Jesus Christ.