Monday, February 10, 2014

Letting Go

Two small gremlins (aka children) will teach ya about letting go in a major way. As the older gremlin (two-years-old) dumps milk on the younger gremlin (eight-months-old), and grins up at me with this cheeky grin, I can choose to either freak out…or clean it up and move on. I can be angry or I can relish that cheeky grin who isn’t yet buried in an iPhone.

There’s something to be said for living in the moment, it’s really the pinnacle of letting go. If you can surrender each minute, no matter how delightful or horrible it might be; man, you’ve got it made.

Me? I’m still working on this letting go thing. Some mornings I wake up and the pages that need to be written, the editing that needs to get done, the diapers to change, the beds to make, the relatives to please, the cookies to make, and the freaking Pinterest pictures to pin, all overwhelm me and I’m mired in the “holding-on.”

But some days I breathe when the gremlins act all gremlin-y. I laugh when the editing doesn’t get done. I sigh and shake my head when the cookies are burned. Those letting go days remind me that life is meant to be lived—in all its glorious and not so glorious moments.


Friday, February 7, 2014

The Valentine's Day Problem

Here’s an important question to ask: Does your spouse know you love them more than your ministry?

The first year we were married, Jake was excited to do something special for Valentine’s Day. He’d been brainstorming ideas since the New Year about places we could go for dinner and things we could do to make the night memorable. However, there was one big glitch in his plans: that particular year, Valentine’s Day fell on youth group night. We’re sure you youth workers feel that nervous gut clench as you read this. You know the feeling. Choosing between work and spouse…what to do?!

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman – A Man, Not An Addict

This week the world was rocked when the death of another great actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman, was announced. It quickly became even more saddening to realize he’d died of a drug overdose.

Since then, the online world has been abuzz with tributes to his mighty work as an actor. And he truly was amazing at his craft. Someone who excelled in the arts and seemed to take his job seriously. We love great storytellers like Hoffman, because they help us understand what it is to be human—in all its glory and grit. Mr. Hoffman was fine actor and should be remembered for the fantastic contributions he made to the craft.

I’ve also seen a shocking number of callous observations about his death. Many people feel it comes as no surprise, that he brought it upon himself because of his addictions. This negative kind of sentiment troubles me on a personal level.

As an adoptive mother of a son whose birth-parents are lifelong addicts, it’s incredibly important to remember that behind the addiction, there is a person. A soul deserving of love, attention, care, and respect. The addiction often overtakes this personhood, and we forget exactly who it is there underneath. Just as Mr. Hoffman can not solely be defined as an actor, his memory should not be solely tainted by the stigma of addiction. We are all people. And we all have ways to deal with the pain of this world, some ways more healthy or destructive than others.

There are a myriad of components that go into the formation of a man or a woman. Our souls are complex and beautiful and dark and light; all at the same time. My wish is that when one of the greats, like Philip Seymour Hoffman, succumbs to something like addiction, all of us left here reeling would remember that he was a man, not an addict. The addiction is not something we can judge. Instead, it should be worthy of our action. His death should propel the world into creating better care for those suffering with addictive behavior, fostering more support groups and treatment centers, funding research about breaking addictive habits, and so forth—we should come together around those who need our help.

Mr. Hoffman’s family will surely not be remembering him as an addict. They will be remembering the way he laughed, the way he drank his coffee, what kinds of books he liked to read. The things that made him a unique individual. This is what we should focus on when thinking about addiction. There are real people behind this pervasive, gut-wrenching problem. And those people need treatment, but they also need love.

Our goal of this blog is to share stories (both good and bad), thoughts and insights about our marriage and we would love for you to jump into the conversation.

The goal is to provide three things:
1) HOPE for struggling couples that they are not alone.
2) GROWTH in our marriages and our understanding of marriage.
3) ENCOURAGEMENT to keep loving your spouse unconditionally.