Monday, April 1, 2013

The Winding Road

That day it seemed to be April showers in March, you might say. Leaving the physician’s office, the clock on the car dash struck rush hour o’clock. The afternoon ushered in an angry rain, and there I was, trapped in the middle of the downpour. The matter at hand now was to bypass the traffic jam sprawled before me. In my neck of the woods, when used together in a sentence rain and traffic become like two four-letter words of the foulest kind. They have a collaboration reputation worse than oil and water.

“Oh Lord, please get me home safely,” I prayed.

The gridlock started in the parking lot, and the herd of cars oozed onto the street like a big blob of gook. Making good use of the standstill, I inquired of Google maps for clues to an alternate route home. All brake lights seem to be headed east so by golly I wanted my brake lights to flash the peace sign as I headed WEST. I found a route just as the traffic began to crawl. So I turned left instead of right and allowed the female voice on the other end of the map to guide me home.

Although I’ve been in this great city for many years, there are still many roads I’ve not traveled. I love new routes. The scenery is fresh and new, and this path did not disappoint. The slick, road coiled before me like a snake in a rainforest. Grand stately homes seemed to rise up out of the lush green forest-like setting, complete with tall Georgia pine trees and blankets of ivy. The road was lined with gated entrances and steep dramatic cliffs. There was so much to see along this new route, but the near blinding rain forced my gaze into a locked position straight ahead.

Let your eyes look directly ahead And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. – Proverbs 4:25

At the time, my husband and I were walking through a YouVersion bible reading plan entitled “Marriage: A Lifelong Journey.” As the scripture that accompanied the day’s devotion whispered to me, a smile softened my face.

Watch the path of your feet And all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil. – Proverbs 4:26, 27

The sky was gray and darkened. The road was unfamiliar and windy. The rain was fierce and unapologetic. Wisdom encouraged me to remain alert, undistracted and to pay close attention to the road ahead of me. Gazing too long to my right, to my left or even behind me could have dangerous consequences.

And such, I do believe, is the lifelong journey of marriage. This is certainly a new and unfamiliar road for me. I expect the road to be long and windy, filled with great scenery – rich, lush landscape, gated entrances on one side and steep cliffs on the other. At some points, rain will fall and the sky may grow dim. But we should keep our eyes focused on the road ahead at all times. Not allowing our gaze to linger to our right or to our left and certainly not looking back. Instead we should watch the path of our feet, right there in front of us, and all our ways will be established.

I made it home safely that day, and I have taken the same route again since then. Of course the same scripture lesson always comes to mind. Words to live by in marriage and in life, don’t you agree?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Adjustment and Accountability

My last post was Sunday, January 13, 2013 – exactly 3 Sundays prior to today. 4 days after I posted, my new husband and I were finally able to end our short stint of living apart and officially merge households. And you haven’t seen as much as a comma from me since then, right? Right! So much for my goal of filling my 2013 calendar with at least one post a week.

It’s not like I don’t have stuff to talk about, stories to tell or just things to say, you know? I do. I always do. Ask my husband; he’ll tell you. Lately, however, I’ve spent more time talking, telling, or saying all those things in my head (and, maybe, in a journal) but not to you. Please forgive me.

Adjustment.

Life is sprinkled with seasons of adjustment, and needless to say the early days of marriage is one of those seasons. In addition to trying to figure out how to maintain my quirky eating habits, how to still get to bed at a decent hour and how to share a bathroom with a man (now, THAT’s a hard one), I’ve also been struggling to find a new writing rhythm that flows with the current of this new season in life.

Accountability.

In a season like this It certainly helps a lot to have people around you who will hold you accountable to the work they know you must do.

“You didn’t do your blog this week…” 7 little words one of my girlfriends very casually slipped into the end of an email to me.

“Do I look like a piece of paper to you,” my husband questioned as I favored sneaking kisses to the evening writing session I was supposed to have. That was one day last week. I did finally relocate to another room to try to write, but unfortunately nothing materialized from my efforts. Oh well. At least I tried, right? I’m so thankful to know there are some who have my back, though. Because of them, there was no way I was going to miss another week.

So here I am today – thinking about adjustments and accountability. So may I ask a favor of you? As I continue trying to adjust to this beautiful new season, may I ask you to hold me accountable. In the far right corner of the top tool bar is a contact option. Feel free to send me a gentle nudge or two (or TEN) every now and then if you sense I may be slipping. Every little bit helps, right?

Is there something new going on in your world that’s causing you to have to adjust? What’s falling by the wayside in the meantime? Who is (are) your accountability partner(s)? I’d love to hear about it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Reflecting on the Day I said “I do”

I just finished watching a slideshow of pictures from my wedding day. It was a beautiful day! We couldn’t have planned it better. The weather was sunny and cool, not cloudy, cold or frigid. The high reached the low 60s. We had a brunch time ceremony, with a start time of 11:30 am, and YES we started on time. I can’t stand waiting, and I certainly didn’t want people waiting on me. Starting on time was a non-negotiable. Confirmation that it would indeed be a lovely day came when my groom was pulling up outside as I was walking into the church. Yes ma’ams (and sirs, because I know some of you are sneaking a peak at this blog, too :-)), we didn’t come to play. We had some business to tend to.

I didn’t sleep well the night before. In the wee hours of the morning I woke up in a panic. Like a dog chasing her tail, I tossed myself around on my hands and knees in the middle of my hotel bed looking for my cell phone. It was 3ish in the a.m. Whew! I could have sworn I saw the sun laughing at me through those blackout curtains signaling a missed 6a.m. hair appointment, but alas it wasn’t so. Needless to say, trying to get any sleep from that point was a useless endeavor.

Watching the slideshow brought some less joyful, untapped emotions of my wedding day storming to the surface. I guess they’ve had enough and refused to lie dormant any longer. I did cried that morning, a little, but I knew there were more tears where those came from. There wasn’t one nervous bone in my body as I walked that 100 foot aisle to the altar. I knew I was at the right place at the right time, and we were surrounded by our closest friends and family on both sides. Sadness stirred as one by one I saw the faces of my father’s friends. Somehow each of them seemed to be perched right along the aisle. Tears began to breach the borders of my eyelids, but I held it together for the most part.

So I knew this wasn’t the end of the story. In my hotel room that morning, I prayed. I told the Lord, “I still don’t get it, but I’ll go on.” I was talking about the fact my father wasn’t there. One of his very best friends gave me away. It was a beautiful thing, and I know my father was happy I chose him. There was no better choice, but a substitution no matter how appropriate is still a substitution.

Today, it finally hit me. I am the 3rd of 4 girls. Daddy was present for the marriage of each of my 3 sisters. For many years I prayed he’d be present for me, as well. Maybe subconsciously I knew he wouldn’t be. I don’t know. Although sometimes I don’t understand God’s timing, will and ways, I will go on. I must go on.

Looking at that slideshow reminded me just how beautiful our wedding day truly was. Sean and I have chatted quite a bit about our inability to take credit for the abundant blessings that worked together to create such a beautiful occasion, not to mention the work of the Lord that brought us together. We are humbled and thankful. If the Lord wills, there’s a whole lot of life left ahead of us, and I know daddy would want me to soak it all up. That’s exactly what I plan on doing.

“You are safe in my heart and my heart will go on and on.”

Daddy, this song is for you.