Thursday, May 27, 2010

Love, Lust and Ten Years

Ten years ago on this date I stated my vows before God, family and friends to love, honor and obey my wonderful husband Justin Wright. Ten years later we are still married and madly in love with one another. I've come to the conclusion that most people get married because their mate brings out the best in them but marriage also has the tendency for our mates to see, experience and bring out the worst in us at times. Marriage is a great culmination of commitment, companionship, faithfulness, loyalty and above all LOVE. A marriage that focuses on ALL that love includes can survive insurmountable obstacles.

Several years ago when I worked with the middle school youth group at Chestnut Ridge Church one of the other female leaders (a reader of this blog I believe) gave me a print out about the difference between love and lust. Not lust as a sexual desire but lust as selfish desires that live in each of us and are the ugly side to all of us. The list was based on 1 Corinthians 13 and basically showed how lust is the opposite of the love God desires us to show those around us.

Love is patient - Lust can't wait; it's impulsive
Love is kind - Lust is critical; it wants its own way
Love does not envy - Lust seeks more than it earns
Love does not boast - Lust builds up self no matter who it hurts
Love is not proud - Lust is easily threatened
Love is not rude - Lust is disrespectful
Love is not self-seeking - Lust is demanding
Love is not easily angered - Lust is moody and lashes out
Love forgives others - Lust says "vengeance is mine"
Love hates evil - Lust does anything to get its own way, it rationalizes
Love rejoices in truth - Lust encourages lies and tries to hide sins
Love always protects - Lust doesn't care who it hurts, it just wants its own way
Love always perseveres - Lust backs out when times are tough
Love always hopes - Lust says, "If you blow it, you're out"
Love never fails - Lust stops when it isn't being served
Love is unending - Lust lasts just for a while and then fades
Love is enduring - Lust is insecure
Love is faithful - Lust will cheat on you
Love is commitment - Lust is not trustworthy

So, how does my ten years of marriage measure up in the love department? Well, lets just say that lust, as defined by this list, has definitely entered our marriage. I am selfish, critical, moody. I want my own way, I am demanding and want to have my needs served. These attitudes do not characterize my heart for my marriage on a regular basis but they certainly have shown up over the last ten years. I believe that each of us marries to get a mate and find out we got a mess instead (make sure you include yourself in that equation!) I have seen time and time again that love, when applied as 1 Cor. encourages, can bring about the glory of God in marriages. From the couple that stays married despite infidelity, to the couple that overcomes multiple surgeries and physical difficulties. The couple that finds out just how different they are and maybe change so much they feel they don't even know each other. Any couple that survives infertility, miscarriage or the death of a child. Marriages that survive infancy (at least in my opinion!) and raising kids. Even though flawed, marriages that survive and thrive are a picture of the love that God has for His people. He loves with perfection and His love is completely unconditional. Lust never characterizes His love for us. I have grown in my desire over the last ten years to learn and work at applying to my life loving in this way. Not only in my marriage and my parenting but in all my relationships. I have a LOOOOONG way to go but I am so thankful that I have a great God as a perfect example and a great God-given life partner to walk through this journey with. I love you Justin and pray that God would make the next 50 years better every day!

Thanks for reading and I pray that you would be blessed and encouraged to evaluate your love life towards those around you.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Visit to the farm

As a follow up to our farm week last week, we went to visit a farm today. In the past I have taken the girls to the WVU farm kids day but the weather wasn't great this year and it was the week I was going out of town for a conference so we didn't make it. I met a woman at MOPS this year and she has a farm so we went to visit her. The girls loved it and Lydia is convinced that she is going to live on a farm some day. We got to pick eggs that had recently been laid, see goats and horses and Emma was even brave enough to feed the chickens from her hand. It was a great day and so much fun for all of us. I forgot my camera so I don't have any cute pics but we will probably make another visit over the summer since my friend has a baby due and we would be more than willing to take her a meal. That's it for now. Gotta go get some rest after a very fun and busy day.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Farm week

Farm activities - ready to go!

Farm collages with rice and other fun stuff that pops out.

Several activities included getting in the pond. The girls loved these activities!

It has been an absolute blast having farm week. I loved planning it and had a bunch of great ideas and the girls had fun too. We had crafts, activities, songs, books and a lot of fun. I have a friend who lives on a farm and we are going to take a trip to visit her in the next week or two which should be a great field trip. Next week we move on to food and nutrition because without farms we couldn't eat.

Two things about farm week. The first is a funny story from Lydia. We were reading a book about a farm. One page was about how the cows were out in the pasture. In order to reinforce good vocabulary I asked Lydia what a pasture was. She told me that a pasture was a field where animals ate and were fenced in so that they couldn't escape. Pretty smart, but then she did some funny word association and also told me that a pasture was a person who talked to you, like Pastor ______ and Pastor Daddy. I still believe that is one pretty smart girl and love just how much she makes me laugh.

The second thing that I am once again realizing (have been for awhile now) is just how much of a perfectionist I am. When I take time to plan and organize things it really throws me for a loop when things don't go my way. Even a simple craft can cause a certain amount of anxiety for me when I have in my mind only one acceptable way to do it. God is really working on my perfectionism in all my relationships and just how much I want to be in control of everything. I have so much to say about this but not the time right now so expect a longer post about this soon.

BTW, if anyone is ever interested in borrowing or using my ideas and theme weeks let me know. I have files for the games and ideas on my computer and would be happy to share. That goes to say that if you have any great ideas, please pass them my way. Thanks.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ninety again!

All right, it's time to end this blogging hiatus. Thanks if you've stuck around and are reading this!

Growing up, my sisters and I were introduced to a variety of musical theater productions because my dad was a very theatrical person. One of my favorite records (yes, I said record) was of the musical called Two by Two. It is a comical look at the Bible story of Noah. I can still remember bits and pieces of several songs but Ninety Again comes to mind in comparison to my current experience in life right now. In this song Noah is excited about the fact that he hasn't felt this good in a long time. I am feeling this myself recently. I love teaching and so I am really enjoying the role of mother right now because there is so much I can teach my girls. I am so excited about planning units to teach the girls. Units on colors, numbers, ocean life, farms and so many other cools things. I spend time preparing books, crafts, activities and songs much like a teacher prepares lesson plans. The effort and time are paying off by my getting to teach and by the girls getting a lot of time with mommy.

This is also coming at the end of one of the biggest spiritual endeavors I have ever entered. The Do Not Disturb study concluded a few weeks ago at church. Justin and I wrote a study on marriage and sexual intimacy and taught it at our church for 4 weeks. It was a huge blessing to our marriage, to my own spiritual walk and hopefully to those couples who attended. I loved preparing the study and felt stretched in every way while putting it together. I have done public speaking in the past but never anything of this magnitude and spiritual importance. The first evening was a really exhilarating experience and much like sharing the journey God had taken me on over the last 10 years of marriage. I am so blessed to belong to a church that was willing to take a risk to discuss something that is so important and take a risk on wild cards like Justin and me. I loved teaching and preparing the material and hope to work on a project like this again in the near future.

I am so enjoying rediscovering the role of teacher in my life that if I were to write a song today I would title it, I feel like I'm teaching again!