Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Husband Love

There were times in our relationship that I couldn't imagine loving my husband more than I did in that moment. My heart burst with adoration, passion, and overall joy as I would gaze at him and marvel at the thought that he was a part of me. In those moments, I knew the true beauty of what God intends marriage to be.

If everyday could be that way, I guess I might be tempted to take these blessings for granted. Thankfully, God allows a little bit of human reality to seep into these blissful times, reminding us both that marriage is not just feelings, but work. The work always pays off, but you have to be willing to put in overtime--even when the other is 'slacking'.

My marriage is not 50/50. We strive for 100/100, with both of us committing ourselves to giving our all to each other. Of course we don't always reach that goal, and sometimes the effort looks more like 90/30....or even 25/75, depending on what stresses we are allowing into our lives.

When we do reach that perfect equilibrium, nothing compares to the pure exhilarating happiness that we both feel.

I have grown in my understanding of love in the 11 years we have been married. I now know that I can still love my husband even when I don't like him. You see, liking is a feeling. Loving is an action. I choose not to name-call (or throw things) when he is behaving in a less-than-desirable fashion, and that is loving. I know the regrets of following through on my feelings will be far worse than swallowing my pride in the moment.

I have been more than blessed with plenty of opportunities to test my love for him, and overjoyed with the rewards of choosing to love instead of 'being right'. (Of course there are always those times when being right is just inevitable....as I am always right)

Arnaud has always been able to make me laugh. I hope I never stop laughing at his antics!

These are some small glimpses of why I love my husband so much. And why I am so thankful to God for bringing him into my life.

Loyalty to friends.

He still sings in the rain!

He is not above embarassing himself.

How can you NOT love a face like this? LOL!

God bless!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Good times

For the last 10 days we've been practicing our hospitality for my husband's best friend (for over 20 years) and his 2 year old son. They travelled all the way from France to the middle of nowhere (for them), just to spend their vacation in our little home, with our not-so-little family.

We took them to the popular hotspots of our quaint little city, as well as to some spots we haven't even been to in the 10 years we've lived here as a family!

We shared some laughs, some tears, and some good old-fashioned silliness....mainly at the expense of my husband--who apparently did many embarassing things as a young teenager. That's what good friends are for, right?

The timing of this visit was perfect. My husband has been missing his friends and family back in France....and it felt like France had come to us!

The children were all enjoying using their French again, and learning new phrases to take back to school with them. We were able to teach little Simon a few English words as well--"Cool!" and "I love you, eh"--the most important phrases while visiting Canada.

Here are some photos of our time together. The Lord surely blessed us with good fellowship and a renewed sense of contentment.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Jesus feeding the multitudes

Remember the story of Jesus feeding the crowd, even though He only had 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish?

The small amount of food seemed to grow as it was consumed.

The disciples wanted the crowd to turn away from Jesus and find their own food. Jesus took what should have been a crisis, and turned it into an important lesson: Keep your eyes on Jesus, and He will provide. Literally.

I've been reflecting on my need for God's Grace in the recent few weeks. I was desperate at times, feeling that I had depleted His stores for me, and I only had a handful left to try and get through the tough times.

I looked around me at the growing piles of laundry, dishes, and outside stresses and was convinced that I would be swallowed up by life's worries. I tried to ration out the little Grace that was left within me.....but I used it up dealing with the children's bickering.

Uh oh. Now what? I was on the verge of imploding, with a high possibility of collateral damage.

I had two choices: Give into my urge to fall to pieces, or get on my knees. The children were expecting the former, so you can imagine their surprise when Mommy got down on her knees and began to pray.

"Lord, you don't give us more than we can handle with your help. I need that help right now, and I trust that you will provide it. Amen."

Then it happened. A miracle! The Grace (which I had used up) began to grow. Not only did it grow, but it spread to my husband and children....I even had left over Grace to offer to my neighbors!

I can't do it on my own. I have never been able to. The times that I didn't know where my help came from, He carried me without being thanked. Now that I do know where to turn, I praise and thank Him daily. Jesus is my daily bread....and my fish.