the quiet

young wife, you have experienced much joy.

sometimes it comes mightily, rolling over you like the ocean waves you danced in, the day he asked and you said yes. it sparkles like the new ring on your finger, sweeps above your head in gusts like the parachute you married him beneath.

sometimes joy comes quietly, falling like the thin layer of snow on your tent in the november mountains. it is there beneath your still-sparkling ring, where the gold has rubbed your skin red from dishwashing and adventures outdoors in the cold. it glows gently like the lights on the tree that, together, you cut and propped up with books because the stores were out of stands, that you planned to decorate but together decided to leave plain, quiet, and wrapped in lights like this joy that fills your heart and your home and your coffee pot on early mornings.

someday joy will come noisily, like the sounds of children’s feet in the hallway and memorizing the multiplication tables and romance interrupted by a baby crying in the night. it will come persistently, like bills and a toddler asking why. it will be no less joy for all that.

right now, it is easy to see joy. it is quiet, uncluttered. young wife, enjoy this tranquil joy. learn to recognize joy in its snowy garb, so that someday, when it comes crashing in like hot-wheels and legos, you will not be deceived by its noisy splendor, will recognize it as your old friend, joy, merely wearing new clothes.

and then, in the someday beyond even that, when the sound has drifted away like children to college and to marriage, joy will cloak itself in quietude once more and return. young wife, when you are no longer young and you are learning once more to cook for two, recognize the return of this quiet joy, steadfast and patient like the hand that still holds yours, and praise your God.

of cacti, coyotes, and morning coffee

i’ve been told that this is ‘real life,’ now. my husband (that is a phrase which i am quite happy to add to my vocabulary) goes to work during the week. we have ‘projects’ that we work on during the weekends. we make shopping excursions to places like home depot and costco. and as special as it was to have ten days of irresponsibility in a beautiful cottage by the coast, and then road trip our way to new mexico, i must say that doing ‘real life’ with my best friend is the most amazing experience that marriage has offered thus far.

because making morning coffee for two is a special thing.

watching a coyote amble through our neighborhood is a special thing.

turning an orange cart into a hot drink ‘station’ equipped with coffee maker, coffee grinder, electric kettle, tea pot, and all manner of teas and coffees is special thing.

sneaking kisses in the plumbing aisle of home depot is special.

watching my husband turn a tripod and a light bulb and a target lamp shade into the coolest lamp i’ve ever seen is a special thing.

celebrating when costco carries something packaged small enough for two is a special thing.

making dinner in our own kitchen is a special thing.

watching my husband make dinner in our own kitchen, because i’m too sick to do it, is a special thing.

spontaneous hiking trips that turn into hanging around the kitchen warming up with tea that turn into getting new mexican food at this little place that tastes like homemade is a special thing.

hearing coyotes outside our window when we’re falling asleep at night is a special thing.

singing ‘the puppy song’ while hiking, or trying to harmonize while making dinner, is a special thing.

hanging out at the mvd getting our jeep registered is a special thing.

washing uniforms is a special thing.

working out in the morning together before i’m fully awake is a special thing.

deliberating over organic versus regular tomatoes is a special thing.

my husband picking cactus spines out of my bike tires is a special thing.

making plans and lists and starlit trips to get much-needed produce and un-needed ice cream is a special thing.

real, everyday life is a special thing.

it’s a gift. taking just one more breath during this life God has given us is a special thing, and it always has been. getting to do real, everyday life, just getting to eat and breathe and live with my best friend is….beautiful. and i am intensely grateful for all of it.


no one ever warned me how strange it would be, to be engaged to be married and not yet married. it is a strange, anchorless kind of limbo that i never expected. when your heart is in one place and your body in another, where do you call ‘home’? how do you sweep yourself out of the crannies of your childhood house, out of all the corners you have been drifting in to for the last twenty years of your life? what kind of irony is it that wonders how you can box up your life and fit it into a moving truck, but recognizes that your life is already there, waiting for you, needing no luggage…just the love which you gave him long ago?

all things will change
we wait for the rain
and the promise remains
(josh garrels.jacaranda tree)

the Promise remains. the gold promise that encircles the finger on my left hand…yes. but there is a Promise still more precious than that–although i confess that is sometimes hard to remember, hard to comprehend, even hard to treasure. there is the Promise of God’s faithfulness. His love, His guidance. His strength. and while the reality is that the promise of marriage results in the kind of limbo that i described above, it is also a reality that God’s Promise can only act as an anchor, which is steady. always. it is not confused or hidden by periods of uncertainty, of transition. the Promise remains, because our God remains the same, yesterday, today, and forever.

one month from today (or yesterday…it is nearing midnight and i will probably not get this posted before the clock turns), this strange experience known as ‘engagement’ will be over…the finish line (the starting line) is very much in sight. and yet, most of the time, it still feels very far away. one month is a long time to live in limbo. but i am thankful for the Promise, that God is faithful to accomplish His will in us, that He is our place not only of refuge but of habitation. wherever ‘home’ may be, my true home ought to be at His feet. i pray that, wherever i am physically, wherever my heart may be, that i will find my home in Him in the next month, and in all of the months and the years and the decades to come…


life is full right now.

in just sixty-seven days i will give my life to the man i love. two weeks after that, i will move with him to a new state…a new home.

there is a stack of boxes quickly growing like some fungus all over the room that my patient sister and i share. some of them are full, marked, taped, ready to be packed into the u-haul. others are half-full, waiting for like items to complete them so that hopefully, the mysteries of unpacking will not be so mysterious. others are empty, waiting around because they seemed like a ‘useful’ or ‘versatile’ size, or because they seemed too ‘sturdy’ to recycle.

life is feeling a lot like that stack of boxes, right now. so very full…of responsibilities, things to be done, people who love me, people to love.  a little bit empty in places, knowing that these are my last few months in the place that has been home for twenty years of my life. a lot overwhelmed by stacks of priorities that have a tendency to slip and slide at the most inconvenient of times, and make a mess all over the room in my heart called ‘conscience.’

but, like that stack of boxes…life is unbelievably exciting, right now. full, not of fear, but of promise. and yes, i am quite aware that it is not all ‘happy’ promise. i am more aware than most people realize of how relationships with the people you love the most require the most work, pain, and sacrifice.  i am more aware than most people realize of just how difficult this thing called ‘Life’ can be.

but i am also well aware that my best friend and i, we serve a great and sovereign God, who has filled us, and will be faithful to fill us, with all that we need to glorify Him and love each other. and so, perhaps it is crazy, but i am looking forward, not only to living life with robert, but to living Life with him. to being emptied again and again with him, so that together we can be filled with the fullness of the love of Christ. so that, filled ourselves, we can fill each other with the love we have received from God. i am fearful at times, but i am so looking forward to pulling up roots and putting them down again afresh in a new place, in a new name…and in the love of God, which never changes.

‘for this reason i bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.’

ephesians 3:14-19