You may have noticed less postings in the past few weeks. It’s one of those special times, a change of seasons in our home. Almost a month ago now we moved my mother to a local nursing home due to her Alzheimer’s disease. This was a very difficult weekend. My brother, Dad, husband and I were together for the weekend and it took all of us to get this job done. As you can imagine, it wasn’t “done” by just physically getting her there. There are many details to attend to which predominately show up as care of our hearts. Each of us is grieving a loss of the wife or mom we knew. However, we are very fortunate to have each other to talk to and work with to make decisions as well as share memories. I’ve learned more about my parents and their relationship in the past month than in most of my lifetime. Dad’s mind and heart is full of memories and a strong desire to continue to care for my mother. This experience has reinforced to me again the value of fully soaking the in the moment we are in right now, especially in our marriages.
As it happens, at the very same time we were helping my parents make this major change in their life we were entering a new season as well. Treasure Chest Ministries is seeing a dream come true. We are working along side a church in Harlan, Iowa to deepen their worship and build their teams for worship through music. The heart of Treasure Chest Ministries is to be a catalyst for the Body of Christ by matching people’s passions to needs. Most often we are placing other people. This time, this need met the passion of my husband’s heart. Why do I bring this up on “Marriage Monday?” Because we are a team. We prayed about this. We talked to our family and a few trusted friends. We met people from Harlan and talked and prayed some more. Is this my passion? No, not specifically worship but yes, helping people recognize who they are in Christ and going deeper in that relationship is. That said, as a couple we have had to do a lot of talking and have made a few adjustments to “life” as we know it. We still have our “day jobs.” So we agreed to not assume pretty much anything. We have done this type of ministry before and not handled our time well. It wasn’t healthy and didn’t end well in that regard. This time we talked with the leadership of the church involved. We have some preset boundaries with them. That’s a great start.
Secondly, we are talking about stuff as it comes up. We have an agreement not to “stuff” things till “later” and then let it all come exploding out at some inappropriate moment. (yep, that’s me) That’s growth in our relationship. It’s based on a growth in our trust.
Thirdly we are intentionally trying to soak in the moments and listen to what God is teaching us. My number one lesson so far is what a different person my husband is than he was years ago. He is much stronger and focused. It is so much fun to see his creative side come out again.
Last night we had a “moment” together as we soaked in the realization that God has allowed us to meet so many amazing people. Some of them are “recognizable” names, many are not. Yesterday in Harlan we met up with a man we knew more than 30 years ago. He experienced a horrible accident which left his legs paralyzed as a young adult man. We haven’t seen him in probably 20 years. There was an instant connection when we met. Why? Because he loves God and through this accident he has moved even deeper in to his relationship with God. The result of that is he cares more about God and people than himself. He generously gave his home community a gift of love and music last night. As Mark and I sat and listened we knew this was a moment we needed to fully absorb and not take lightly. One of the quotes Scott used was from C.S. Lewis (I think) “We do not have a soul. We are a soul. We have a body.” Scott’s body has not been “healed.” His legs remain paralyzed. But his soul is healed. He has dug deeper into his relationship with the God of this universe and sees life with a different perspective than before his accident. He is honest and open about his life. He does not claim it is “all good” or that he never “complains” or misses walking and running. He does say he has learned so much and that he wouldn’t trade for anything. Mark and I say the same thing regarding our marriage. Going on 8 years ago now our life took a huge hit. It hurt. It was hard and it has taken a long time for our souls to heal. But we have. We are together. We are in a covenant relationship and we are learning to soak in the moments as individuals and together. Have you taken time to appreciate the “moments” in your life and relationships?