Friday, October 17, 2008

Married Life and Living Free

It seems that married life really suits me. I am much more organized, a little more patient (with myself and others...), and it turns out that I am a pretty decent cook. I have had fun with the house-decorating, trying out new dishes, and just being a wife. It has been a blessing to have someone as fantastic as my husband physically there to support and encourage me everyday. I am learning a lot about myself and what it means to do life with another person. It has been much less difficult and dramatic than I thought it might be, given that I have been on my own for so long. I welcome the shared-space aspect and haven't found any quirks I cannot live with just yet. Some say that will come with time, but I choose to think differently.

Please don't get me wrong here. I am not idealizing marriage. There are and will be difficulties along the way. There is always a "rub" when you bring two people together in a relationship and/or marriage. I am well aware of this. But why must the bad always be elevated above the good? Seriously. When I told people I was getting married, the "good-natured" warnings and cautions started flying. I am told the same thing happens when you are expecting a child.

We have a tendency to emphasize the bad over the good in our society. This should not be so. When we find ourselves entering a new season in life (graduation, marriage, children, etc.), we ought to approach it with holy expectancy and joy. We should be ready to see and experience God in whatever is ahead of us. But instead, we go the other direction. We look forward in fear, worry, and anxiety. We start ourselves on this path and others help us with their red flags and warnings.

Why not instead look at the transitions in our lives and in the lives of those around us as opportunities to experience God? Why not surrender ourselves to the care of God and others who love us with complete trust and ready faith? Why not offer encouragement and prayers instead of horror stories and warnings when someone we love is approaching a transition we have already been through?

As Christians, we are to approach the journey of life with stillness and confidence in God (see Psalm 46:3-5, 10) and assurance that God will sustain and even strengthen us (see Habakkuk 3:19). We are to entrust ourselves to our communities and trust that they will also do their best to encourage us along the way (see Hebrews 10). We are to walk without fear and in freedom (see 1 John 4:7-18).

Jason and I have talked about this every step of the way. We understand that the warnings that people offer about marriage and parenthood and what-not are from a good place. But we refuse to give them a place in our marriage and life together. We choose instead to trust God and each other and not to worry about what is ahead. We choose to live in holy expectancy. We choose to live knowing that if and when difficult things come our way, our God, our families, and our friends will sustain us and bring us through. We choose to live free.

That's what this blog is supposed to be about anyway. The subtitle on this blog is "Reflections on Life, Faith, and Living Free." That is what it means to dance anyway - to trust, to abandon, to surrender, and to live. I choose to dance through marriage...and life in general!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

As promised, here are a few pictures from the wedding. It was a wonderful day. I enjoyed every minute of it! Jason was a little more nervous and reserved, but he loosened up a lot once the ceremony was finished. You'll note the serious expression on his face in the picture of us...

The biggest surprise of the day was the flowers. My handful of readers will remember from previous posts that this was the only hard part of the planning process. After a lot of drama and difficulty, we ended up with a company called "The Empty Vase" in Little Rock. Not the most encouraging name for a florist, really. I had no idea what to expect and had resolved to just be happy with whatever simple bouquet I ended up with that day. The consultant was nice enough on the phone, but I really had no idea what the flowers would look like. Honey...they were gorgeous! I could not have been happier. I hope to post more pictures of them soon.

I was honored to have both of my sisters, a dear friend from high school, and my two best friends from seminary as attendants in the wedding. The only picture I currently have of the five of them is a little blurry. I'll add one soon. One of my oldest friends (I've known him since 4th grade) read the Scripture and a dear friend from seminary sang (beautifully...). The minister at my home church presided over the ceremony and offered a wonderful homily that encouraged us both.

Enjoy the pictures...I'll post more soon!