Monthly Archives: November 2010

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

[For the record, I totally stole this idea from my friend Tasha.  Just wanted to give credit where credit was due.]

So, today is my husband’s birthday.  His 34th birthday, to be exact.  I’ve decided to list the Top 20* reasons why I love my husband.  Mushy?  Maybe.  Too bad. :)

1. He loves Jesus. I love knowing that he desires to be the best Christ follower he can be and is also willing to admit that he’ll always fall short.

2. He’s a musician. What can I say?  I’m not the only girl with a thing for musicians. ;)

3. He follows his heart, even when it’s not easy. He left a good-paying job in ATL to start playing music full time, and last year stepped out in faith by leaving his church job to tour more.  Tough decisions that didn’t make sense to the world, but what he felt God was leading him to do.

4. He does his own laundry. All the time.  Even the ironing.  Enough said.

5. He can cook. Not just that, but he can cook well.  It’s so nice to come home on the days I have late lessons and walk in to dinner being ready.

6. He’ll watch “girly” TV shows with me. I hope this doesn’t revoke his man card, but he’s just as interested in Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice as I am.

7. He makes me laugh. It’s usually about the stupidest stuff, but I’m not sure anyone laughs as much as we do together.

8. He has a great hairstyle. Or lack thereof.  I’m a fan of the bald look. :)

9. He lets me know that he appreciates me. He’s always thanking me for the things I do, even when they’re not really a big deal.

10. He speaks with kindness. No one is perfect, the two of us included, but we try very intentionally to communicate kindly around our house, which is something he initiated.  We can both be hurt easily by words, so we make an effort to avoid that as much as possible.  We disagree about things but we’ve never had a screaming match (yet – haha).  I’m thankful that he brought up our communication while we were still dating and established healthy boundaries.

11. He guards his heart. I’m not naive to the struggles most guys go through, and he has placed safeguards in his life to help him resist temptation.  We use a computer software called Covenant Eyes and it’s awesome.  I’m so thankful he trusted me enough to open up to me about this and take the steps necessary to fight it.

12.  He cares immensely for other people. He has a heart for hurting people and wants to help wherever he can.

13.  He loves our pets. In fact, we wouldn’t even have our chihuahua Cash if he wasn’t such a softie to animals.  One look at that little buddy and he knew we had to bring him home.

14. He likes low key days. Sometimes Date Day involves all-day jammies and The Office marathons.  And it’s bliss.

15.  He’s good with kids. Whether they call him Mr. Scott, Scottie, or Burrito (ahem…don’t ask), he’s always great with them.

16.  He loves learning. He’s always up for reading a good book or listening to NPR.  Even if I make fun of him because I think the subject matter is boring I love that he wants to continually learn.  Which is why it was perfect that…

17.  He took me to Washington, D.C. for our honeymoon. It was the perfect place for broke nerds like us who wouldn’t have wanted to lay on the beach for a whole week even if we could have afforded a plane ticket.  Free museums?  Yes, please!

18.  He thinks of my little sister as his little sister. She actually had her boyfriend pretty scared of us before we met him because he knew he needed our approval.  He passed the test. :)

19.  He’s a good friend. If you need someone to walk through a hard time with you, this is the guy.  He’ll cry with you and offer advice and ask the tough questions.

20.  He puts up with me! I am a slob (which I am working on) and a nerd (which I don’t think there’s any hope for).  I pretty much always look disheveled and I clam up around new people because I am awful at small talk.  Whenever I do something particularly quirky, he just smiles and shakes his head (and sometimes calls me a nerd, which I can’t deny).  He knew what he was getting into when he married me. :)

I love you, babe.  You’re my best friend and I’m so thankful to be your wife.  I hope your birthday is wonderful. :)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

* I realize 20 is a random number.  10 reasons just didn’t feel like enough, and I was going to go all the way to 34 but I realized that I would probably end up boring people more than I already was.  So, 20 it is. :)

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Restoration…

Most “churched” folk have heard the story of Nebuchadnezzar and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego at some point in time.  I’m a tad ashamed to admit that my first exposure to the story was watching the Veggie Tales video with my pastor’s kids while I was baby-sitting. (Does anyone else picture Nebuchadnezzar as a big zucchini?  Anyone?  Just me?  Ahem…moving along now.)

This week I’ve been reading the book of Daniel.  I’ve read the book of Daniel before, but it’s been quite awhile and I either wasn’t paying attention the first time or I’m in a different place spiritually and I was just struck differently this time around.  I’ve always had an idea of Nebuchadnezzar in my mind as this arrogant man who created an idol and threw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fire when they wouldn’t worship the idol.  I knew that when they weren’t consumed by the fire and Nebuchadnezzar saw an angel with them in the furnace that he acknowledged that they served a mighty God.  He even prohibited anyone from speaking badly about their God, but that’s not exactly choosing to follow God or acknowledging that He is the one true God.

Then I got to chapter four.  The king had a dream, which Daniel later interpreted, where he learned that he was going to lose everything and be humbled until he knew ”that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will (verse 25).”  And it happened.  Nebuchadnezzar lost his kingdom, and in verse 33 we read “He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws.”

God brought him, a king used to splendor and riches, to a breaking point.  So what did he do?  He praised God.

“At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever,

for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and his kingdom endures from generation to generation…

…At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.”
(Daniel 4:34,36-37 ESV)

Wow.

I was so struck.  At a time when most people would be cursing God and blaming Him for all of the bad things happening to them, Nebuchadnezzar finally honored God as the one true God.  I love the line “my reason returned to me.”  I’ve been there.  I’ve been in those times where things are so bleak and I know that it’s just a low time and that God will bring me through it, and even though my heart may not feel it, my mind — my reason — knows that this is not an abandonment by God, but a learning experience from God.

Nebuchadnezzar was restored.  It was a terrible process, but he was confronted with his own sin and humanity and it humbled him and brought him closer to God.

No one is so far into their own sin that God cannot restore them.   Nebuchadnezzar was throwing believers into a fiery furnace because they wouldn’t turn away from God and worship a statue, and God restored him.

I think this story resonated with me because in the past few weeks DH and I have been walking through some friends’ restorations with them.  When we talk to them, there’s a brokenness there, but a peace at the same time.  They’ve finally acknowledged that things are in God’s hands.  They’ve been brought to the same point as Nebuchadnezzar, where everything else has proved futile and the only thing left to do is cry out to God, admit that you need Him, and begin the restoration process through Him.

I’m so thankful for restoration stories in the Bible.  When I read the stories about Nebuchadnezzar, King David, Paul, and so many others, I see that God really does want us to acknowledge Him, pursue Him, and follow Him, and that even though we mess up over and over and over again,  He desires our restoration.

Praise Him.

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