Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The fruit of sacrifice

Over a long engagement (21 months and 10 days at this point - it will be almost 22 months total), Brianna and I have had to make a whole lot of sacrifices. We've had to sacrifice the desire to spend more time together, sacrifice the desire to be able to hold each other through the tough times, sacrifice our desires to just get married as soon as possible... :-) The sacrifices haven't been easy, and some have been quite difficult as we wait. But every single one has blessed us in the end. Looking back, we can see that the sacrifices have proved our love for each other, and have made our love for each other more real, grounding it and solidifying it.
On the day we got engaged, we loved each other with all of our hearts. But the sacrifices over the months have made that love "real", applying it in real ways through our lives. And the fruit of the sacrifices is that we have a love far deeper, far more real, far stronger than we ever dreamed possible.

~Ben

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Twice...




Why did I have to stumble through
A valley filled with stones of pain?
The demons laughed as flames engulfed me,
And fear was drilled into my heart;
Why did the foam of sorrow surge
And overwhelm my bleeding heart?
I longed for home, but found no path,
Lost in the realm of darkest nightmares…


But maybe I have gone through this
So greater blooms will blossom now,
To taste the sky with twice the bliss
And leave the tomb with love made strong;
And now I love you, Dearest Love,
And sacrifice now leads my steps…

The stars above are lit by tenderness,
My love is twice as deep,
My joy is twice as high,
My gratitude is twice as wide,
For all that God has done…

Saturday, May 9, 2009

His Crowning Glory

In less than a month, I’m going to marry my man. Over the past 21 months or so, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know him- his personality, character, needs, desires, preferences- better and better. With the growing bits of knowledge, I’ve been able to grow into being a more tailor-made helpmeet. I still have a long ways to go- but it’s been a joy to share life’s journey with him as we’ve grown into being one.

Though I’ve been able to work at applying what I know to being Ben’s helpmeet, there are many aspects to it that won’t get played out until I’m his bride. As the date of our uniting has drawn nearer, I’ve begun reflecting more and more on what I want to be for Ben, and what he needs me to be.

Proverbs 12:4 says "A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness to his bones." What does it mean to be a crown to my husband – what does it look like? I think it has many different aspects, but over all, it’s choosing to make him a king; my king.

An important aspect of this, which I’ve been pondering more lately, is how I choose to portray him to others. What kind of impression do I give others of my man? What do I want them to see?

For example, my guy is a wonderful man, and a people person. He’ll drop anything to spend time with you, help someone out, etc. He loves to serve (especially me!), and will readily jump up to help when he sees a need. He’s not a “social butterfly”; he’s more of a quiet people person, enjoying time at home with family or close friends more than large crowds. Besides meaning that others greatly enjoy him, it also means that he’s always readily available for me, and would rather spend time with me than do anything else. We can’t do everything in life- so being an available people person means there are lots of little things that get ignored or take a long time to get done. I could choose to bring those little things up constantly- I could accuse him of procrastination or any number of things. But I know he isn’t procrastinating, he’s just choosing to set relationships above to-do lists, counter-balancing me perfectly. I was recognizing a few weeks ago that someone who didn’t know him well might not see the “why” behind not getting certain things done- and I want to show them! It’s most important to Ben that I be available for him and willing to spend time with him, and eventually, our children. After that, though, it’s important for me to give others a good impression of him. As Ben’s helpmeet, one of the ways I can do this is to present an orderly, well-managed home to others, so they can be impressed with Ben’s ability to have an orderly home and have time for relationships and others’ needs.

This is how I want others to view Ben: I want them to see a man who loves people and is always willing to take time out for them- but at the same time, is a skilled leader of his home, and has a comfortable, orderly haven for himself, his family, and those he welcomes in.

For you it will look different. You might keep your home orderly because you’re married to a Class A guy. Or you might present your guy as a hard working guy, always with a need to use his hands. You might brag on his accomplishments, or let others see how gifted he is in a certain area. Take the time out to study your man, and how you can portray him to his best advantage. You are his representative to the world- others will see him through you. If you choose to live a wasteful, disorderly lifestyle, others will see him through that filter. They’ll assume he’s doing a thing or two wrong, and isn’t a very good leader. Or, if you plan your days carefully, they’ll see him as the best- they’ll agree with you that you’re blessed to have him.

The picture isn’t about you, but as a side benefit, your husband will rise up and call you blessed. It might be immediately- or it may not be for 10 or 20 years. But you may be sure he’ll notice all you do as his representative, and be grateful. He’ll notice the way he’s treated with more respect by others because of you, and he’ll love you for it. He’ll recognize he has a jewel on his hands, and there’s little in life as beautiful as the way a man cherishes his girl, his precious treasure.

So, who’s your man? How do you want him to be known? How does he want to be known? What does he want to die being remembered for?

~Brianna

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

One Month

Today is one month before our wedding. We wait with eager expectation for the day when we will be fully one, emotionally, spiritually, physically. We look forward to sharing every moment of every day together, and no longer having to say "goodbye". We look forward to the day when we can share every memory together, as a new family.

But for now, we wait. And often, waiting is one of the most beautiful expressions of love, because it is a sacrifice of one's own desires for what is truly best!

~Ben

Monday, May 4, 2009

33 more days...


Being the fix-it man vs. being best friends

Because I love Brianna, I long to fix her problems, and to make everything right for her. But I wasn't given that power. I'm not God - I can't instantly make the sun shine, or make the clouds blow away.
God didn't call me to fix my Beloved's problems. Instead, He has called me to love her through them all. And do you know what? In the beauty of God's plan, loving her through all the struggles we face is much more beautiful and wonderful and a much more powerful expression of true love than just taking all the problems away.
Now that I know that, without a doubt, is is such a joy to simply love Brianna through everything, and be her encourager, supporter, and best friend.

~Ben