“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Monday, August 27, 2012

And they twain shall be one flesh...

Happy 24th Anniversary
photography by Christopher Kaetzel

A Love Story.

They met on a church youth choir tour in 1985.
She was 17.
He was 19.
But she had a boyfriend.  
And he had a girlfriend.
So, they decided to be friends.
Good friends.
Really good friends.

They would write notes to each other.
Talk at length after church services.
And sit next to each other in church service.
Their dear friends Ray S. and Bill S. and Pastor Terry
provided plenty of encouragement.
A lot of encouragement.

Months passed.
Relationships changed.
New Year's Eve at Jim Always on the Dual Highway
with the church youth group.
And a first kiss.

Two years later at the top of South Mountain
there was dinner
and a ring
and a "yes!"

Soon to be followed 
by a bride walking down an aisle.
And a man waiting anxiously for her.
Making a vow
to God
before their family and friends.

But from the beginning of the creation God made them 
male and female.  
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, 
and cleave to his wife; 
And they twain shall be one flesh: 
so then they are no more twain,
but one flesh. 
What therefore God hath joined together, 
let not man put asunder.
Mark 10:6-9

Friday, August 3, 2012

Plan A

Lan Su Chinese Garden, Portland Oregon

A couple weeks ago, I was having a conversation with a friend when she said, "I just feel like I am living Plan B and everyone else is living their Plan A.  I'm tired of living Plan B.  I want to live my Plan A."

I was surprised when she said it.
And when I shared with her that I was not living my Plan A,
she was surprised when I said it.

Nope.  Not my Plan A.  Not at all.

My Plan A did NOT involve me getting married at 20 years old.  Being diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer at the age of 26.  Moving 3,000 miles across the country at the age of 28.  Suffering a lifetime with chronic depression.  Having only one child.  Being a stay-at-home mom.   Nope.  Not my Plan A.  Not at all.

I mean it was insightful, right?  It certainly does look like everyone else is living their Plan A.  But when we look at our own lives, we know we are not.  We are not living our Plan A or even close to it.  And truth be told... we are probably not even living our Plan B or C or D.  But somehow we convince ourselves that everyone else is living their Plan A.

And then I asked her, "When did you determine what your Plan A was going to be?"
And then I wondered... When did I determine what my Plan A was going to be?
Probably when I was fifteen.

So when I was 15 years old, I told myself that I would go to college and then get my MBA.  I would be a successful businesswoman.  Living in a high-rise with beautiful furniture.  By myself.  With maybe one cat.  Just one.  And I would date, but nothing serious.  Maybe I would get married when I was 30 years old.  Have 2 children.  And go back to work.  Plan A never wavered... until I was 19.

My Plan A. Nope.  Not living my Plan A.  But it doesn't look like it.  My life... as it looks today... looks pretty much like a Plan A.  And I guess it is.  It is God's Plan A for me.  Not my Plan A, but His.  And I think it helped her that day to know that I wasn't living my Plan A.  A change of perspective... that maybe all of us aren't living our Plan As.

Your Plan A.  Nope.  You are not living your Plan A.
Time to be living God's Plan A.
Plans to give you hope
and a future.

This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place.  

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, 
plans to prosper you and not to harm you, 
plans to give you hope and a future. 

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, 
and I will listen to you. 

You will seek me and find me 
when you seek me with all your heart."  
Jeremiah 29:10-13