Rethinking Our Wedding Song

A song played over the radio that sounded very familiar.  About ten seconds in I realized what song it was and felt mildly embarrassed that it had taken me so long to recognize it.

The song had been sung at our wedding.

My initial reaction was one of nostalgia.  Derek wasn’t with me but I wished he had been.  We would’ve had “a moment”.  Reminisced a bit about Back Then.  Back Then when we thought we knew it all and had it all figured out.  Back Then when we were so blind.  Blinded by love.  Love that we were unaware could ever be any deeper or more true.  Convinced that it would always be pure bliss.  Instead I had an inner “awww” moment.  Then I began listening to the song.  My inner awww turned quickly into a nearly outward what?!

I wonder what God was thinking when He created you.  I wonder if He knew everything I would need because He made all my dreams come true, when God made you He must have been thinking about me.

I remember the first time I heard the song.  A very dear friend who lived two dorms down from me shared it with me while Derek and I were engaged.  I immediately loved the song and made the decision that it would be sung at our wedding.  It was an absolutely perfect song for our wedding!

As I sat in the car and listened to the lyrics I was a slightly embarrassed that we had it sung at our wedding.  It’s simply not true.  There’s no wondering if God knew everything I would need.  He knows.  He knows what I need better than I do.  He knows what I need before I know I need it.  He knows needs in my life that I am unaware of.  He is God.  He is sovereign.  He knows.  Furthermore He was not thinking about Derek when He made me nor was He thinking about me when He made Derek.  We use a little book titled My 1st Book of Questions and Answers to teach our boys catechism.  {We also use these Questions & Answers cd’s. The boys love them!  I recommend!}  One of the very first questions in the book is:  “Why did God make you?  To glorify him and enjoy him.”  When God made me, when God made Derek, He was thinking about Himself.  I was made to glorify God.  Derek was made to glorify God.  I do believe all of my days are planned by God.  He knows all things past, present, and future so when He made me He also planned who I would marry.  However, my reason for existence is not my spouse.  My reason for existence is to glorify God. I can most certainly do this in my marriage.  I pray I do!

I found grace in the fact that these lyrics did not sit well with me.  Grace because when I put that song on my wedding program I believed it.  I lived out of that.  If the first years of our marriage were a reality TV show you would see it plainly.  I believed that my dreams were coming true because God had made Derek for me.  Derek was there for me.  It was all about me.  Me.  Very shortly after the wedding my dreams didn’t play out in reality as they had in my head.  Derek didn’t fit into the mold I had made for him.  Derek failed me.  He wasn’t always there.  It wasn’t all about me.  Turns out Derek wasn’t a good savior after all.  He didn’t make all my dreams come true.  Because he was never meant to.  He wasn’t made for me.  He was made for his Maker.  It’s all God’s grace that I see that now.  Years passed before I was even aware of this.  Earlier I said we were “blinded by love”.  It’s true that we were blinded by love, love of ourselves.  I see this now but I still fall prey to the lie that it’s all about me.  Even on my best days I’m tempted to believe that God was thinking of me when He made my husband and I live that out in the way I talk to, expect from, or look for security in Derek.

I have an amazing husband.  He is so patient with me even in my selfishness and greed.  We’ve been married nearly eight years and oh, how we have grown and changed since the day we said ‘I do’.  We look back now and feel detached from Back Then as if it wasn’t really us.  Thank God it’s not who were are today.  My hope and prayer is that eight years from today I can say the same about today.  God may not have made Derek for me but He gave him to me.  My husband is a gift.  My marriage is all God’s grace.  John Piper quotes Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book This Momentary Marriage saying,

“Welcome on another…for the glory of God.”  That is God’s word for your marriage.  Thank him for it; thank him for leading you thus far; ask him to establish your marriage, to confirm it, sanctify it, and preserve it.  So your marriage will be “for the praise of his glory.” Amen.

Indeed, I was made to glorify God.  Derek was made to glorify God.  Our marriage should be one that brings glory to God.

I don’t mean to bash this song.  It really is a pretty song and our friends who sang it in our wedding did an outstanding job.  I understand that it’s meant to be a love song and perhaps I am thinking too deeply about it.  I don’t doubt that the singers {who are Christian artists} would argue the fact that we were made to glorify God.  However I haven’t been able to escape these thoughts.  Maybe I simply needed to be reminded.  Reminded of the immense grace that God has given me.  Reminded of the very thing I drill my kids on, I was made to glorify God.  Reminded that my marriage isn’t about me, rather it should be all about His glory.

Kindergarten: Done?!

We have completed – formally at least – our first year of homeschooling.

This year has definitely been our “guinea pig year”.  Our first school year has gone smoothly.  At least for the most part.  We have certainly had our rough patches.  But the year went well enough for us to homeschool next year with anticipation.  For our first year we joined a Classical Conversations Community.  This was a financially costly choice but it proved to be what our family needed this first year.  Connor was in a class full of boys!  There was never a dull moment in those 3 hours.  We used the CC curriculum as our spine.  We supplemented phonics and math.  The way we started doing school in September is not the way we ended the school year doing school.  Much of homeschooling for me as been trial and error.  Honestly, I began the year not really knowing what I was doing.  I’m learning along the way.  I still don’t have it all figured out, far from it, but I’ve learned some things this past year that I know will help us out  next year as we venture into 1st grade and pre-K.

We wrapped up our year this past week at CC.  As CC came to a close our “formal” schooling did too.  Meaning we’re continuing with some math, our phonics program, and lots of reading but not following a set curriculum {other than phonics}.  This past week we had our Closing Program for CC.

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He marched right onto the stage and squinted his eyes at the bright lights.  Connor was so proud of himself!  Graham cheered him on from the audience wishing he too could go on stage.  He never attempted to, but I was certain he would.

Each class had an art project on display.  Connor’s class’ art displayed was egg yolk and chalk paintings.  {Who knew you could paint with egg yolk?!}  He was proud of that too.

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And he should be.  He worked hard this past year.  He’s learned and grown a whole lot!  I’m proud of all that he’s accomplished.  I wasn’t sure how homeschooling would go for us but it seems to be working.  I’m so thankful for that.  It has truly been a blessing to act as mom and teacher.  Looking forward with anticipation, and apprehension, to next year.

An Overnight Getaway

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We had never heard of Unicoi State Park before but when Living Social offered a great deal for a room at the lodge we did our research and booked a trip!  Unicoi State Park is minutes away from Helen, GA.  I had heard good things about Helen but had never been, this seemed like a good chance to go check it out.  Plus, our little family needed a little getaway – just the four of us – no matter how brief.

We were hoping for sunnier weather but the temperatures were mild and stayed dry enough for us to get in one short hike.  When it did start to rain the trees provided enough cover to keep us from getting too wet.  Hiking is becoming one of our favorite things to do.  Our family is very new to hiking.  We did a couple short ones in WA last August.  This was our first one since then.  We hope to make it a regular family activity.  We hiked the Frog Pond Nature Trail.  It is the shortest and easiest trail at Unicoi.  Our original trail option was a 2 hour hike.  It’s an easy hike and one the boys would have no problem doing but due to the threat of rain we chose the shorter option.  Glad we did or else we would’ve been caught in the rain for sure!  Connor loved to stop and look at plants and suspicious animal homes.  Graham was all about the trail’s posted signs which told all about the area wildlife and plants.

We had pizza for dinner at a small tavern and pizzeria in Helen.  Back at the lodge we snacked on twizzlers, put together a puzzle, read some, and then piled in bed together to watch Despicable Me.  It was simple and relaxed.

The next day we browsed the little town of Helen.  Our time there included brunch, coffee, a wooden toy store, and miniature golf!

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Mini golf proved to be quite entertaining!  C & G each had their own “styles”.  We learned early on in the game that we had to hold Graham’s ball in between turns.  But when it was his turn, he was focused.  Most holes it took him many tries before getting the ball in the hole but he did manage, with Derek’s help, to get a hole in one!  Derek won, which was to be expected.  I came in a “close” second and the boys managed to tie in third place.   Connor and Graham both agreed that mini golf was “really cool!”.  It was worth every penny.

Our trip lasted a little over 24 hours but it was perfect.  Thankful for a good deal on Living Social, a few days off for Derek, and my little family to enjoy it all with.