Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Besides refusing to call Hans my "boyfriend" when we were dating, he had to put up with a lot more when we were preparing for our wedding.

I didn't want a diamond unless it resembled the sunset and sunrise.
I refused to call the period of time married couple spent after the wedding our "honeymoon."
So I called it our LobSTAR, because we ate a lot of lobsters that week (we were in Maine), and I like stars.

We've had four fabulous years, or what will be four fabulous years on May 27. Some days, it feels as though we said our vows yesterday. Other days, it feels as though we've always been married from the beginning of time.

When I try very, very hard, I catch glimmers of my pre-marriage self. These are usually followed by questions along the lines of: "Why did you marry me? I was so..." These are then followed by: "Thank you so much for marrying me! I can't believe you married me."

As we've been discussing possible names for our second little boy, I am once again reminded of why he is such a wonderful a companion when faced with a seemingly impossible task. The air is charged with the same sort of laughter and thoughtfulness four years ago as we stayed up late into the night planning our wedding.

We had decided that he would write my wedding vow, and I would write his.

In our rough drafts, I had wanted him to promise that he would follow Christ unto death. Because if I were to follow him all the days of my life, I needed assurance that he would follow Christ... unto death. He gently (and wisely) suggested that this might not be the best thing to declare in front of hundreds of people on our wedding day.

See what I mean? How did he choose to marry me?

So, we changed it. He promised he would "follow where He should lead us, seeking after the fulfillment of our sure hope of the perfection of our faith."

With a companion like this one, I really shouldn't worry about not being able to come up with a name for our second child.

As I declared four years ago,
"I take you to be mine, and I give myself to you."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I see you

Much of my day as a mommy can be summed up as being here to say, with and without words, "I see you, darling."

Whenever Emeth chokes on his food or water, he would prolong his cough until I look him in the eye and ask, "Emeth, are you ok?" Then, he would nod and go on eating.

When he builds with his Lego pieces, usually into shapes that he calls either a "truck" or a "plane," he would always come over to show me the finished product.

The other day, as he was near tears after a fall, daddy picked him up and comforted him. After a few magical blows and kisses, he was brand new and off running again.

He is a toddler who prioritizes cleanliness. He doesn't like it when he gets a yogurt-mustache on his lips or spaghetti sauce on his fingers. So today, because we had both those things on the menu, I spent most of dinner wiping his mouth and his fingers.

When he knows he is being obedient, or kind, or when he is sharing, he would look our way and clap his hands as if to say, "Do you see me?"

By watching and listening, I am shaping Emeth into the man is he becoming.

We are each a witness.* We stand as witnesses before the lives of those we encounter everyday--our husbands, wives, parents, siblings, the librarian, the cashier, stranger on the sidewalk. As selfish creatures, it takes great effort for us to see beside ourselves and look to others--how are they kind or admirable, how are we to appreciate and honor them.

We shape one another into who we are becoming. We are given to one another in order that we may say throughout the day, with and without words, "I see you."

At 28, I am really not all that different from my two-year-old.

When I conjure up some interesting recipe in the kitchen, it is a ritual for me to offer the first bite to Hans. With my curiosity at the verge of bursting, I wait for him to scoop/cut/bite his first taste. Then, like a gentleman, he offers his verdict, noticing the subtleties, commenting on the new ingredients, the new technique.

You see me. And I am loved.

*My friend Serene wrote about being her husband's witness. The concept stayed with me.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

This is not just a phase

A good reminder from Hans today.

All my life, I have been restless and moving. There is always a next big thing, a next big move. In one sense, our whole life is "a phase," a transition to something bigger and better.

In another sense, however, this life is it. This life is the preparation, the one rehearsal, for the life to come. Once the clock stops ticking, there is no going back. Once the rich man is in Hades and Lazarus is at Abraham's bosom, there is no going back (Luke 16:19-31). This life determines eternity. This life is it.

Sometimes, I am so focused on what the next big thing is I am barely here for the big thing that is right before my eyes. I am anticipating the birth so much that I am missing the pregnancy. In mommy's language, nursing/teething/running around with toddlers/fill-in-the-blank is only "a season." Sometimes, we may even imply that we can't wait to be free do our own thing again.

Hans emphasized in his sermon last week, the Father gives only good gifts to those he loves (Matthew 7:7-11). Listen now, the Father gives only good gifts to those he loves. Not just the things we think as good, but all of it.

Our disappointments and failures,
Sickness, weariness, betrayals,
Unfulfilled hopes and dreams,
Death and darkness.

These are all good things from our Father who loves us. They work together for good in order to draw us to Himself -- the ultimate Good. They help us to become the women and men we were created to be, we are to reflect who He is.

I am exactly where the Lord wants me to be right now.
This is not just a phase.
This is it.
I need to live it.

When I am doing the laundry, I am doing exactly what I am suppose to be doing. Is there something else I am suppose to be doing? In fact, there is.
I am to do the laundry cheerfully.