Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Still Not a Romantic

Have you ever thought about how much can change in a year. How much God can change you? This post I wrote on our anniversary last year is proof. I still totally wish I fit into my wedding dress. And I’m glad I’m not the girl in the dress anymore. Generally now, I am the girl in the sweats, and long sleeve black t-shirt.

Let’s face it, I’m never going to be a true romantic. All the flowers and rainbows stuff leaves me feeling like I’m going to throw up. But is a little romance so bad? Isn’t another year of marriage something to celebrate? Isn’t another day of marriage a gift?

I’ve come to realize that I hate feeling forced or obligated into romance. That’s why I have always rebelled against the “you must have a weekly date night” edict. When things are not too good or downright bad, it doesn’t seem that enticing to leave a little note for your spouse or sit up together and talk. But mostly it’s probably pride. I don’t need that stuff. I’m too strong of a person. That’s just a band aid for weak people. But really who doesn't need to know that they are the world to their spouse? And that they are more important than anything else in the world?

This year things are different. I can’t wait to celebrate our anniversary. Mike and I both came home with bags of goodies that we discreetly tucked away. I got confetti and balloons. We had plans to do some shopping. We got a babysitter lined up. We had lunch with another couple in church that has the same anniversary as us. They have been married 47 years.

We went to a Valentini’s. I’m not sure where this romantic streak came from. Maybe it’s because we came painfully close to destroying our marriage this year. How could we have gone so long without treasuring what God gave us in each other?

Now we do things differently. We leave notes for each other. We look forward to and fiercely protect time alone together. I think the key to being ready to celebrate and cherish the big moments is being able to celebrate and cherish each other in the every day, mundane moments - for four, fourteen or forty years. Every year is a victory. Every day is more proof of God’s gracious redemption in our lives. And even for this unromantic girl, that calls for a little romantic celebration.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Do December Different

It’s starting to look and feel like Christmas.  We got a light, fluffy, sparkly snow today.  I am seeing trees up in windows and hearing people talk about baking.  So ready or not, here it comes.

I have talked to so many people that despise December.  They hate shopping and fighting the crowds.  They spend too much money.  They charge up their credit cards. They are obligated to spend $25 on Aunt Betsy because that’s what she spent on them.  They feel depressed or lonely.  It ruins the holidays for them.  Sometimes we run around buying plastic toys and things no one needs all under the banner that “Jesus is the Reason for the Season”.  For real.  If He is, I’m not sure He’d be too excited with our focus.

Well, guess what.  We’re not doing it.  Not this year.  Every year my husband has lovingly tried to convince me that we need to change the way we do Christmas.  After years of trying so hard to make Christmas amazing by driving all over creation trying to make everyone happy, spending money on things for people that  have everything and stressing so much that I end up hating Christmas; I agree with him.  I am ready to do December different. 

So before the Black Friday ads come out and entice me or the desire to make my kids happy or greed takes over I’m putting some thought into this.  I may be called a scrooge, cheapskate, or zealot but I don’t care.  We are going to spend less and give more.  We are going to spend less (or no) time at the mall and more time helping others. 

We’re going to try to give every day in December.  It could be visiting a lonely senior or providing date night babysitting for another couple.  It might include baking or playing secret elf. 

Some of it will be material and monetary.  I have no problem with that and I love giving gifts.  But it’s only thoughtful and special to me when it’s done from the heart, out of joy and love. 

We talked about it with our kids at lunch yesterday.  They are super excited and have lots of ideas of their own.  What a better way to do December than to spend our time, energy and resources thinking of what we can give and do for others because of Jesus and what He has done for us. 

As we take the focus off shopping and gifts, it might mean we will have less under our tree.  It might mean we won’t even have time to think about what we want.  I hope and pray it does.  I mean, really, what do we need?  We’ve got food, a warm house, a job, two vehicles and insurance.  I think we’re in pretty good shape.

Maybe you dread December.  Or want to stop spending the month complaining about how much shopping you have to do and wondering how you are going to pay for it.  You can Do December Different too.    Maybe it’s just one little thing you want to change.  Or maybe you are ready to do a total 180. 

I am going to share our ideas and maybe you have some too.  We’d love to hear them. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Best Buddy

Someone has a new best buddy. 

Day or Night



Happy or Sad


Hide or Seek


In Any Weather


Happy Together