Tuesday, March 15, 2011


her life was frustrating to say the least
she tried to fit in with all the others
timidly, she pushed herself
trying to erase all of the empty spaces
just when it seemed like things were fitting together
she understood that the edges she thought would be seamless
left gaps all her pain slipped through
jagged, loopy, like a sieve
the peace and fulfillment she thought she'd gained
was nowhere to be found
tired and discouraged she put one foot in front of the other
one day she looked up and discovered
her shape and perimeter had changed
she thought perhaps now she'd find her match
more forcefully this time she tried to conform
propelling herself into situation after heartrending situation
for one man she was too much
for another she wasn’t enough
she wanted to make a perfect match but her margins
kept bouncing and swerving like hormonal emotions
blinded by her eager, naïve beliefs
she married a man she thought matched her angles
in the end, though, it was a case of opposite attracting opposite
just when she thought it was a hopeless pursuit
that she was doomed to enduring holes in her happiness
she learned that the One and Only could fill
all the deep fissures, openings and breaks
as she grew to know Him better and better
the disparity between her and all the others
with whom she’d tried to assimilate herself
grew smaller and smaller and the painful distances
between the man she’d married and her own heart
became things of beauty, then virtually nonexistent
until one day she realized that He’d helped her to fit into
the larger puzzle of her life
only when she’d conformed to Him
were all of the empty spaces filled

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Little Chocoholic

I have a little chocoholic at my house!

When I was sick recently, the hubsters bought me a bag of Dove chocolates and we’ve been savoring them slowly the last two weeks.  Last night after dinner I got a chocolate out for him and for me (with the understanding that we’d each let the Little Man have a bite).  My son was extremely interested in the unwrapping of our chocolates, grunting enthusiastically in preparation for what he knew was to come.  Hubs let him have the first bite and he chomped half that chocolate away in one bite!  He made some sounds of wholehearted enjoyment and started making the sign for “more!” immediately.

“You haven’t swallowed the first bite yet!” We laughed.  The chocolate mixed with drool dribbled onto his chin; he was certainly enjoying it!  After he’d had adequate time to enjoy that first bite, I allowed him to have a bite of my chocolate, which also ended up being half of the piece!  I popped the rest into my mouth and savored it as long as I could.

That little guy looked at both his Daddy and me and signed, “more!”  We laughed and said, “all gone!”  He crawled down out of my lap and ran to the cupboard where we keep the chocolate and banged on it with his hand, then signed, “more!”  I said, “No.  No more tonight.  Tomorrow we can have more.”  After a little persuasion, he came away from the cupboard and played with toys while we cleaned up the kitchen.

This morning, when he woke up I picked him up out of his crib just like I do every morning, snuggled him and told him I loved him.  Then I set him down to go about getting ready for work while he played.  That little guy ran into the kitchen and banged on that cupboard where we keep the chocolate, looking up at me as if to say:

“You said I could have more tomorrow!  It’s tomorrow now!”

Friday, March 4, 2011

Dear Joselyn

I recently heard a girl named Joselyn call a radio DJ on a Christian radio station and ask the DJ his opinion on her relationship with an unsaved man.  Joselyn is 24 years old and a Christian.  She said the man was an atheist, but that he went to church with her, as did his two sons from a previous marriage.  The radio DJ did a decent job answering her question (he cautioned her not to marry a man who wasn’t saved), but the conversation struck me very deeply.

If Joselyn had asked me that particular question, I would have taken her out to coffee and brought my Bible with me.  It would have been a lengthy conversation, but I would have told her very firmly that it was wrong to date and especially marry an unsaved man. 

First of all, and most importantly for any true Christian, the Bible very clearly instructs us as believers not to yoke ourselves to unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14).  The context of this passage is especially poignant, as Paul is talking about the Temple of the Living God, and how it should not be defiled.  As we know, our bodies are the temple of God (1 Cor. 6:19), and part of marriage is the sharing of our body with another.  From the Bible, this issue seems “cut and dry.”  Why is it, then, that so many people struggle with this?

Secondly, I would tell Joselyn that she needs to reconsider her views of marriage.  She obviously has stars in her eyes about the gentleman in question.  Aside from the whole aspect of him not believing in God, he’s been married before and is already a father.  Joselyn, marriage is hard enough without all of those things added to the mix!  Even the healthiest of marriages has its ups and downs, and there are so few truly healthy marriages in the world!  In order for a marriage to be truly good, both spouses must be committed to working hard to achieve it.  There are no “happily ever afters” in this world.  That’s not to say that marriage isn’t good, and it certainly isn’t to say that marriages can’t be happy!  But there will always be those “down” days (or months, or years)!

I would tell Joselyn about a book I finished reading last week called “Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas.  In that book, Thomas expounds on the theory that marriage is not designed for our happiness primarily, but to draw us closer to God.  (And therefore, hopefully, increased happiness will be a by product of that process.)  It’s not a very romantic notion in the wont of current cultural beliefs, but it is romantic when you view your relationship with the Lord as the Great Romance of your life.  Even in your marriage, you can be drawn closer to the Lord.  What a concept!  And Joselyn should know that if she is married to an atheist, she would either be pulling away from her husband to grow closer to God, or pulling away from God to grow closer to her husband, because she and her husband would not be walking in the same direction. 

Thirdly, I would address the whole “but I love him!” part of the equation.  It is so very easy to address the issues of the mind, but equally difficult to address the issues of the heart.  I would kindly assure her that I understand the feelings she has for the man in question.  I would validate them with a heart full of compassion, and I hope my words would adequately express my understanding of the depth of her feelings.  I would open my Bible again to Jeremiah 17:9 and show her that God knows better than we do--- we cannot trust our emotions because our hearts will lead us astray.  Those “but I love him” feelings will fade regardless of her choice to stay with him or leave. 

I would hope that Joselyn would consider everything I had to say.  I would listen to her and try to hear her heart.  I would send her off with the rest of her latte (unless it was finished during our conversation) to think about what we’d discussed.  And if she got engaged, I would remind her of our conversation and tell her that marriage is forever.  I would tell her that once she married him that he would be God’s will for her.  I would exhort her that divorce was not an option when she became unhappy and thought to herself, “this was a mistake.”  And I would go to her wedding when she chose to marry the guy anyway, because I would want her to know that even though I disagreed with her decision, I still loved and accepted her.  And when things got rough, I wouldn’t say “I told you so,” but encourage her with 1 Peter 3:1-2. 

That is what I would tell Joselyn if I could talk to her.