I had a conversation with God yesterday. Something I have not done in a long time. Actually converse. We talked about the usual stuff: how I am...what is new.
Then I asked Him a very important question: How do you do it? Carry the weight of the world, day in and day out?
I understand that this is God, the Creator of the Universe, and with Him all things are possible. Yet, I had had this moment yesterday in which it felt like I was carrying the weight of the hurt of two of my co-workers, albeit brief, but I was carrying it and it was heavy. And it hurt. And I was confused. I wanted to know how He does it? This was the weight of two people, two choices...not the world.
To explain, I had a conversation yesterday afternoon about the concept of "sex buddies" and the current exploits of a few of my co-workers. (For the record, these conversations do not come about all that often, especially with the token "Catholic Girl," and I have to admit, I was somewhat astonished that I was being brought into the conversation at all.) For those of you who may not understand this concept, this is a person who is simply called, sex occurs, and then both parties go on their merry ways. Sounds great, eh??
The thought of this, the desecration of the dignity that occurs through these exchanges, the lack of reverence for the gift...it floored me. Call me naive, but through the Grace of God I could not even fathom the thought of a "sex buddy."
It occured to me, though, that my place should not be one of judgement, or shock, but simply one of sorrowful understanding. After all, these choices are being made by my very brothers and sisters in Christ, and they too are made in His image and likeness. They are good people, who do not understand the weight of their choices.
Yet, on Easter Monday, are we not a redeemed people living in the Resurrection? Why do these things occur in a redeemed world?
I have to remind myself that these are choices that are made from a fallen perspective, in a very fallen world. I have to remember that he died so that all may have life with Him, not in this world but the next. And it is our call, our song, to go out and proclaim the Good News to all those who will listen. We need to dine with tax collectors, sinners, and sex buddies, and find ourselves deep in the trenches doing the work that He calls us to do for His Glory.
May God help us all, to live and love like He does. May we be the light in a darkened world and see that carrying a a little extra weight on our backs is for the Glory of His Kingdom. It is one of the Greatest Graces we could ever receive.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
My husband is my best friend.
God placed him in my life to make me more, better. I know that. He allows me to see myself in all my beauty, but calls me into my own humanness. That takes a real man, baby. Yet, I know that he is not what makes me complete in this world. This has been a reality that the Lord graciously allowed us to understand prior to our "I dos."
Thus, I find myself often searching for that completeness- high, low, over, under...searching to be fulfilled. And it is through that search that I know that my heavenly cell phone is ringing "What if God were one of us?" Jesus calling. It is time to fall on my knees.
A simple call, a simple feeling of needing something more; He nudges, not screams or shouts orders. God has been so good to me in that way. However, in His ndging I know that I will not feel fulfilled until I CHOOSE to fall back down and devote all of my very being to His Ultimate Divinity. And it's the choice that's difficult. Sometimes I feel like I could use a little Divine Boot Camp to get my spiritual boot-tay back in gear.
And therein lies the beauty. God knows each and every one of our hearts so well, so intimately, that He can see into our very desire for fulfillment and still take that desire and purify through an act of our own will. We simply have to do it.
It's not that I do want to...so what's the hold up? I will keep you posted.
Monday, February 23, 2009
We have been reflecting a lot on desire in our marriage lately. There are so many desires that plague new marriages. So many are virtuous- so many are not.
Eric and I desire so many things for our future and for one another. We desire happiness and holiness above all, yet within those desires we dream. We dream to have a family, we dream to own a house, and maybe even a Welch Corgi Amber puppy with white spots named Isabella. We dream to celebrate each Christmas with ingrained familial tradition, and we dream to bring in each celebration of His resurrection with Faithfulness and Truth. We dream, to see the world which He created, and touch, even if only a few, hearts that live within it. We dream to leave this place better than we found it, for Him.
We have been blessed with so very much and for our blessings we could not be more thankful. It has never been clear to us, the inner makings of this life. Why we should be so blessed, and others find themselves in such strife? Yet, to whom much is given, much is expected and we are currently in the midst of pondering His great expectations.
Our desires are clear, and our dreams almost tangible, yet where does one step in and draw the line? The line the separates what is Good and simply what is. We desire to serve Him, and to show Him, through our limited human conception, our love...the love that He so freely allows to flow.
Eric and I currently have all that we need, and, it could be argued, most everything we want. That is saying a lot. So the question becomes, when do we offer up these things? Not insomuch as give them all away, or take vows of poverty...but when do we offer up these things in order to to get closer to fulfillment? The fulfillment of our marital vocation, the fulfillment that comes when we offer up all that we are and all that we have for another. When do sacrifice the comfort of our lives to bring life?
It is not easy. We are young, newcomers to this whole marriage thing. We do not have all of our loose ends tied up, nor do we even have milk in the fridge. Yet, we have been given a gift...a desire that continues to grow in our hearts...the desire to begin our family. We do not own our dream home, there is no white picket fence in the front yard, our space is limited, and so are our funds, yet, our desire grows. And so too, we pray, will our resolve to recognize that this indeed may be His immediate Will for us and in that, it would behoove us to heed.
The chasm that divides selfishness from virtue can be wide, and yet, can narrow itself to a place where it becomes almost non-existent. In that state of non-existence is where we find ourselves. Constantly wondering, waiting, to see if our desires are truly servant-oriented or if they are only self-serving? We pray that our desires may become realities, but know that is only possible if we continue to keep Him at the center and service at the forefront.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Money is the root of evil. I used to laugh at this.
A snapshot of my accounting prowess: A young twenty-something sitting at her computer perusing the wonders of online shopping, she spots the pair of brown leather knee-high boots that she has been searching for all year, she dismisses them because the simple thought of leather knee-highs resonates in the "On a budget, Miss Thing" category...but for giggles, she glances- $45! End of season sale! In her size! FREE shipping! Yet, she is haunted by the thought of her initial purpose for logging in, that is, to pay her bills. Her bank account sits at a cool $75...so it comes down to heat or the boots.
Yeah, I went with the boots...how could something so very wrong feel so right?
When my husband created a working budget for our new family about 3 months before we got married, I rejoiced. Discipline had been the money mantra that I longed for, and now I had the Excel spreadsheet that was going to allow me to chant it all day long! You should have seen this baby, I am still surprised the thing does not clean or pick-up dry cleaning. It was stellar.
As we looked it over, to familiarize ourselves with its many wonders, my husband turned to me, shoe-girl, whose feet would been cold if not for the new boots she purchased, and said, "You know, I really like this stuff..."
That was all I needed...I looked at him and said, "Baby, you run with it! It is all yours!" I recognized my weakness, I owned it, and passed it on the stronger member of this tribe. It was the perfect, he would play "keeper of the spreadsheet" and I would play "find good deals online for things we need and may not need so much girl." Really, I assure you, it was perfect.
Yet...money is the root of all evil. I found myself contemplating this statement right after I slammed the door to our bedroom (I am not proud) this evening. As we sat on the couch doing taxes this evening, I realized that I did not even know the password to our bank account. Now, before we judge, I must reiterate the fact that I loathe money, not just because I am particularly bad with it, but because it frustrates me to no end. Those of you who know me well, will not be surprised that I did not have this password. One, because I probably never asked for it, and two, because out of the goodness of my loving husband's heart he recognized my fear and loathing and rescued me from myself. All that said, I was not a happy camper.
An argument ensued that went a little something like this:
"I feel like I do not know anything about our money!"
"Honey, I have offered to sit down and do this together, have you work on the budget and bills with me. But I also know how much you hate this stuff..."
"But you do not understand how much I am giving up here...my bank account, my last name...it's like, so much...you just don't get it!"
"Honey, really, we can figure this out, and what does your bank account have to do with your last name?"
"UGH, you don't understand!!" [door slam...well, shut...hard]
And thus began an evening of bad ABC sitcoms streamed on my MacBook thinking about money management. I never thought that I would be the gal who got angry when she lost a bit of the control that she had really longed to lose. I didn't want to deal with money, I disliked it, abundantly, and now I had this savior...who was going to handle it all for me! Yay, right?
I know that money is not my strength, and that my husband is WAY better suited for handling our finances. I mean, really, the alternative is fairly bleak. Yet, I recognized that this does not mean that I get to put my feet up and bon-bon it all the way to retirement. Finances are a big deal in any marriage, and regardless of your ability (or inability) to handle them, a plan needs to be forged that includes both members of the team. So, tonight, I will come off the bench and play for Team Lanier, dust off the old knee-high leathers, and meet my husband somewhere around 30%...because 50%/50% would be a stretch.
Thank God for his service of me, in all my selfishness. And thank God for his patience in all my irrationality...let's penny up!