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

It's all about the Benjamins

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 $ it comes down to heat or the boots.

Yeah, I went with the 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. 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 bank account, my last's like, so 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!