Monday, September 29, 2008

Six O'Clock En Gedi

I am a visitor to my own blog. I haven't been on here in three weeks and I almost forgot what this little spot was like. On some of my friends' blogs they have a list of blogging world favorites that visitors can click on to read. They are organized by who has written most recently. I am hitting the bottom of the list. Time to write.

I am stealing my lovely friend Jessi's idea to write about En Gedi. We are in week two of the Peasant Princess series at Mars Hill church, which covers the book of Song of Solomon and includes topics such as sex, dating, marriage, and gender roles. Pleeeeease get on board with this series if you have any time whatsoever. You can listen while washing dishes, playing with babies, taking a shower. Really there's no reason or activity you must do that would get in the way. Get on it for sure.

So En Gedi. A piece of the sermon focused briefly on this place called En Gedi where David went to take refuge from Saul. It was an oasis watered by a spring, located on the west side of the Dead Sea. Jason and I actually visited En Gedi when we went to Israel and it looked like a place hidden away, like some place I would probably like to sit for hours on the side of a mountain with a journal.

The verse was Song of Solomon 1:14, "My lover is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi." The idea Mark, our teaching pastor, talked about was that we should be providing En Gedi for our husbands, that they might delight in the environment we give.

En Gedi is our safe place, our place to be restored and refreshed, a place not just for us but a place to provide for our husbands in love. When Jason gets home it's kind of...not En Gedi. It's six-ish. This is known as the witching hour for a lot of moms because dinner is in the works, the afternoon naps are wearing off, it's almost time for the girls to eat (which can be so weary w/ their eating issues and aversions), mamas are out of ideas and ready for big people time, and this is when J walks in the door. So how do I give Jason En Gedi at 6pm? If I had to give it to him any other time of day, I'd vote for that. This is literally my most weary time of the day, the time I am most apt to be ornary and irritable and to kiss him hello and then toss the girls in his direction.

Before we had kids, it was easy. En Gedi was a diet drink w/ ice, a snack (usually an interestingly random combo of cheese, crackers, and maybe something sweet), and feet propped up to watch thirty minutes of something funny. He needed a little bit of down time between work and home life to just come down from stress and enjoy being in our home. Now when he gets home, there is only one hour before the girls go to bed, so if he does that and doesn't love on them, he doesn't really get to see them weekdays.

En Gedi must have a different look in this season. Mark asked us to just ask our husbands what they think their En Gedi would be. I need to do that. I also need to show my husband I know him already by recalling what is restful to him. What things do I do or provide for him that make him glow with gratefulness? Many times it is actually just being faithful to my role as his wife and not neglecting the responsibilities I have that bring peace to our homelife.

Also when I read this verse anew I see that the lovers in this story are seeing each other as a beautiful piece of their En Gedi. "My lover is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi." Who I am matters in the scenery of our home. Providing En Gedi also means that I check my own attitudes, making sure I am allowing the Holy Spirit to adorn me with his beauty and grace and not despise his work in making me a "blossom" for Jason.

So now a note to my beloved Jason...

Jason, I want to bring a better version of En Gedi to our home. On our wedding day, one of my handwritten vows was that I wanted our home to be a place of peace and rest for you. That was a vow I made seven years ago and I know I have not upheld it as perfectly as I could have. But I know that when I selflessly bring peace to your life as your lifelong wife and best friend, I see such relief in your eyes. It blesses our marriage. It brings us closer. And ultimately what began as selflessness brings me great joy. So please forgive me for not doing this very well. By the Holy Spirit I know I am enabled to bear better fruit. I love you sweet boy.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Pro Global Warming

Today I wore a sweater on a beach. I dipped my girls fingertips into icy waters. And now I am sitting in my chilly house, tempted to turn on the fireplace...and no, we don't have air conditioning.

I live in rainy Seattle. Yes I am finally admitting it. It's rainy here. Even though it's August, our "summer" month. I used to be the one walking around pointing to the summer months of the calendar encouraging everyone to hang on just a little longer so that for eight to twelve weeks we could soak in the sun before starting over again. It's true. When it's nice here, it's the best place in the world.

But this summer has been full of rain. It's been the worst of the five years we've been here and just listening to the locals who've been here longer, they're confused too. I've gotten comments in return that I'm being negative...but...I actually think what I was doing before was self deception and now I am just being realistic :P.

So here's my thought. If this global warming thing is for real, I am all about it now. We could use a lot less rain and a lot more heat around here. Although I still think it's a farse, I'm really crossing my fingers, trying to become a believer now to keep hope for Seattle.

Sorry Texas. I vote yes for global warming.