re:new

May 31st

Brian & I reaffirmed our wedding vows to each other a couple months ago on our anniversary. 12 years on March 12. There are few couples on Brian’s side of the family tree that celebrated that many years together. One, as best he could remember. I say that not as anything negative – I say it to point to what God has done for us and how He is changing our family tree.

We didn’t know that we would arrive at 12. But we did. We did! 

We thought we should celebrate in a memorable way, and chose to do so with people, none of whom witnessed our vows the first time around, but who spent time praying over us & walking life out when we were limping along, and who inspire and challenge us in our marriage. Without knowing to what lifelong promises had been made in a church 800 miles down the road, and a decade before some of us would even meet… we invited them to celebrate this marker.

Everytime I thought about our vows or what I would say in preparation, tears would spill over my eyes. I just kept thinking, We didn’t do this. God did this. God did! There was nothing we could do to bring us together like this. There was so much in my heart, and while this had the potential of a beautiful bullet point project, it was hard to condense.

But I finally did. And it may seem overly simple, but I think it pulled together everything I felt in my heart but couldn’t express, and centered it under one big umbrella.

I vowed to Brian that I would do everything I could to make home a place he couldn’t wait to get to at the end of the day. As our daughters stood watching and listening, I promised that I would do the same for them, so his girls would always be coming back home to their daddy.

It’s a wide umbrella. But for me, its pretty centered.

photo courtesy of Jenny Lindsey Photography

Make home, home. It’s has zero to do with decorating and everything to do with how my family feels when I greet them and they walk through our door. How life is lived in passing in the stairwell or sitting around our table.

I debated how to make this happen for our family and for me. This is my first year back to working and I’ve really gotten a crash course on organization and managing our household differently… but last week, my husband welcomed me back home as a ‘full time’ stay at home mom. I thought for sure some new pink ruffled rubber gloves were hiding out somewhere.

I gave working my best shot. What’s that? Yes, I only worked one or two days a week. But my mind doesn’t shut off, and I have to throw boundaries on it before I freeze on everything. I felt embarrassed that, declaring how good God is to know just the perfect job for me, and then … leave it. Who does that? But I felt it impressed on my heart, and then a friend literally spoke these very things back to me in conversation, that the Lord used this past year of me working to do His own work, which was abundantly more than I could ask or think. While I was busy thinking on other things, my heart shifted. My vision changed.

He took my thoughts away from my decorating wants & updates and gave me new responsibilities to focus on.

He renewed my marriage. As in, made it new. Because He’s in that business.

He has refreshed my spirit as a parent. Although, if you heard me “raise my voice” at my kids recently, I know you are questioning this statement. We are in the midst of some interesting days as parents but we are always hopeful & trusting. God is good and gracious and merciful always.

When I look at these few reasons alone, I see no reason to be embarrassed. I see His hand tangibly working in my heart and life and now, my season is set to venture further into what He has set in my heart to do; make home a place they can’t wait to get to.

This is the scariest thing I have ever set out to do.

At the beginning of 2011, as people were making their new years resolutions and goals, there was also talk of having a ‘word’ for the year. I have to laugh, as I hadn’t thought of it until just now as I close this out, but, my word was RISK.

I’m thankful for the transformation I have lived and seen this past year to take the freeze factor out of the next chapter.