Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Great is Thy Faithfulness

In the month of February Kenney and I celebrate Valentine's Day on the 14th and our Wedding Anniversary on the 18th.

In Northwest Indiana February seems to be a bit of a dreary, cold, but not cold enough for ice skating and snow sports, no sun and a bit depressing of a month.

In an effort to cure the dullness of February and be thankful for what goodness abounds even in the month of February we celebrate those two events very specially!

We hang paper heart lights up and keep them lit all the time -

We put bright red and pink valentines on the mantel and decorate with snowflakes and glittery snowmen.

We always have a special valentines day dinner and eat on Kenney's Honey Grams pink flower dishes. We decorate the table and have a dinner of Kenney's choice.  This year it was New York strip steaks, with a rosemary and chive Gorgonzola crust, bacon wrapped asparagus, spinach and artichoke stuffed mushrooms, a spinach salad with all the kids favorites on top- bacon, cheese, crasins, and grape tomatoes, with a sweet poppy seed dressing, and for dessert Kenney's favorite French silk pie!

And to top it all off, we attended the wedding of my cousin on February 18th, and celebrated. Kenney even requested Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" at the reception and we sang and danced and relived the memories. Kenney even air guitar-ed and slid across the dance floor. Audrey danced like it was her job. (I know I am in trouble when she is older.) Noah randomly found food left on tables and ate till he could literally eat no more, and Tommy found a table to cozy up under and fell asleep. Only of course after we spent a frantic five minutes looking for him and I was seconds away from pulling the mic from the DJ and calling for a complete search of the hall. 

Needless to say, we have decided to take the dullness of February and kick it in the butt! 

Most importantly for us though is the celebration of our marriage. We've been talking about what we've done in these six years, what the next six will be like, and what we've learned. While we are still mostly in the learning stages (aren't we all...) of our marriage more than the teaching stage, it seems we came away with two things that were most important for and to us.

First, that God is faithful. We chose the song as part of our wedding ceremony because of the rich truths it spoke to us. God had been individually and personally faithful in providing us a partner and spouse. God never changes, His compassion's they fail not, how He has been He always will be. For our wedding it was a sharp contrast and reminder of how we are NOT like Christ, we change, we fail, we lack in compassion. For us, it was a reminder that if we rely on ourselves in this marriage we will fail. But, if we rely on Christ our marriage will be blessed... and it has.
     "Great is Thy faithfulness," O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

Then, after our honeymoon period (which went by really, really fast) we realized quickly we have problems. Arguments with each other, problems with the kids, issues with money, issues with greed and un-thankfullness. We made some good decisions, but we also made some pretty stupid ones (umm two mortgages at the same time when we could barely afford one?  Ask my parents about the blacktopping the driveway fiasco- I think they still are mad about it) It was quite obvious that we needed a God who was merciful on a daily basis because we needed to bring our sin to Him and be forgiven...over and over again. We needed hope and we needed to be reminded that God was with us, and as His children HE was our guide, not ourselves.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

And then as we ventured out on our adoption journeys, God began shaping us. He began showing us that what we thought we needed, well we just didn't. We are now on our 4th design plan for remodeling our house, and it seems each time God is telling us we just don't need more. We thought we needed what the marriage books said, special weekly date nights, or girls or boys night out. We thought we needed more babysitters for our kids- more alone time for ourselves. We thought we needed more friends and more people involved in our life. It seemed the world was telling us marriages fail, and we needed all of these things to "safeguard" our marriage. For Kenney and I, we realized God had given us what we needed.  He may use friends, or date nights, but it seemed that we were relying on the friends and date nights (or lack thereof) and freaking out when we didn't get what everyone else seemed to be getting. When we let God give us what we needed, when we saw our children as the blessing they were and are, when we put 100% of our trust in Him, we realized He did give us everything we needed.

"Great is Thy faithfulness!" "Great is Thy faithfulness!"
  Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
    "Great is Thy faithfulness," Lord, unto me!

That song pretty much sums up everything for us.  But, Kenney likes to play the "what if" game, so he asked if we could pick just one verse to meditate on for the year, if there was one verse to live out in our marriage what would it be?  I absolutly hate when he does this, I like the whole Bible, all the verses, but he tells me "the game" isn't played that way, so of course, I consent to pick a verse with him.  Funny thing, we seriously both chose the same verse! 

Philippians 2:3  Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

Oh dear God, if we could truly live this verse out. If we could kindly spit in the face of the world and live NOT for ourselves. If we could ONLY think of each others needs.  If I could put aside myself. If I thought of my husband as better than myself, and let my actions show that, and he did that for me...I could only imagine the joy, the blessing, the glory of God that our marriage would reveal. If we died to ourselves daily, and lived our life with this verse in mind each and every single moment of every single day, what glory we could bring to our Father in heaven. This year that is the verse we will mediate on, heck I just might even frame it!

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