Sunday, February 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Constantine?

Constantine 2photo © 2008 Son of Groucho | more info (via: Wylio)
Today, February 27, would be Constantine the Great's 1,739th birthday. I do not want to celebrate his life, but I do want to use this opportunity to expound a bit upon a mention of him in a previous post.

I took a few classes at NYU about the time period out of which Christianity was born. One thing kept standing out to me in all of these classes: before Constantine, Christianity was characterized by people who did a lot of things that didn't make sense. They were misfits who really shouldn't have gotten along, but they considered each other brothers and sisters, even sharing their possessions. These misfits tackled problems of racism, spiritual leadership, leprosy, the plague, and celibacy having very little credentials with which to do so. They got their hands dirty, often going to help when others wanted to escape problems. Even disenfranchised women were given tradition-shattering amounts of power and respect within the early Church.

I LOVE the early church.

But then, things changed. With Constantine's questionably-genuine conversion to Christianity, Christianity became not a faith for the misfits, but a faith for the powerful. The center of Christian community moved from the ordinary living rooms of new converts to Rome. And unfortunately, the advancement of the Gospel became entangled with the advancement of the Roman empire, usually through violence. Constantine's conversion, unfortunately, led to the separation of Christianity from the Gospel.

Constantine's influence on the Church was permanent. We cannot go back and change our history. But, he left a legacy of selfish, political ambition, and we must examine how that has colored our theology. World history is full of the scars of Christian ambition, and we should be slow to act in ways that will leave more scars that will be embarrassing for our children and grandchildren. Today, let's move forward as informed, self-aware people, lifting high the name of Jesus instead of advancing our own agendas. Let's love the unloveable, serve the undeserving, and give to the ungrateful, not because we have to, but because we have been won over by a God who did likewise for us.

"The Gospel spreads best not through force but through fascination." Shane Claiborne

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Shane Claiborne on Singleness

I am prepping a blog that will hopefully go up tomorrow. During my prep, I watched a video of Shane Claiborne speaking at Biola University, which is right down the road from us. Claiborne is single and in this video briefly mentions how warped Christian views toward singleness are. I want to share this portion of the video, even though it is largely unrelated to my forthcoming post. I've queued the video to start at 26:40, and the portion I am referring to is fairly short. You can always watch more if you so desire, though.  :)

Click here.


I think he hits the nail on the head concerning how our our cultural values have warped our understanding of God's values. I would love to hear thoughts on the perceived value of singleness in the Church. Let's keep this conversation going.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gender Stereotypes

The Women of Mad Men 046photo © 2009 Michael Williams | more info (via: Wylio)I don't really know where to begin with this huge topic, other than the most recent place it's affected me: in my marriage. When Josh and I were engaged, we read a lot of marriage books. While these books were all very helpful in some way (some more helpful than others!), they became less helpful and more frustrating when the advice found within them was based on gender stereotypes. These gender stereotypes became very frustrating when they would say things about husbands needing to be willing to communicate about what they're feeling, when they spoke of wives thanking their husbands for providing for the family, or when women were admonished to accommodate the higher sex drives of their husbands.

These types of things were frustrating to read. Josh and I are both the opposite of the typical gender stereotypes in many ways: He prefers to deal with emotions, I with reason. He prefers things for form, I for function. He likes to shop for fun; I only like to shop if I have something in mind. He is more relational, I am more, um, not. I love paying the bills; he loves ironing. Now we do fulfill typical gender predictions in some ways, but overwhelmingly, we stick out as odd-couple-out. And that irks me, not only because it's frustrating for us, but because I don't know that these typifications are helpful. Is it wrong of Josh to want to talk about feelings? Never! He is gifted by God in that. And I am gifted by God at analyzing data and making attack plans for improving something. And these authors would probably never say that the way we are is wrong, but when you don't fit into the acceptable norm, you start to feel wrong.

The problem of gender stereotyping became clear to me when I was at a conference and I found a print-out from a workshop on manhood that contained lists of "Male Characteristics" and "Female Characteristics:"

Male:
Initiate, provide, protect
Big picture focus, macro
Task-oriented
Objective decision-making
Analytical
Words used to convey facts
Compartmentalized view (filing cabinet)
Emotions less influenced by hormones
Intimacy: physical

Female:
Respond, give life, nurture/care
Detail focus, micro
People oriented
Subjective decision-making
Intuitive
Words used to convey feelings
Integrated view (white board)
Emotions influenced by hormonal cycle
Intimacy: emotional

What struck me was not that these lists were wrong. Despite the fact that I find them personally offensive, I am able to put that aside and admit that they are probably accurate for the majority of men and women. But, regardless of the accuracy in gender stereotypes, I strongly believe that gender stereotyping is actually destructive. Here's why:

1) It is destructive for those who do not fit the stereotype. People who don't fit the mold begin to think, "Gosh, am I not a real man?" or "I guess I'm not a true woman." And while these are normal thoughts for all of us to have, we should be having them on the basis of Scripture, not on the basis of our cultural norm. Men should doubt their manhood when they are lazy, fearful, or abusive because those behaviors are sinful and characteristic of immaturity. Men should not doubt their manhood because they experience intimacy most deeply through emotions, are people-oriented, or are intuitive. Those characteristics are in no way sinful or immature. The same is true for women: we should doubt our womanhood when we are sinful, not when we stand out from other women.

But, on a personal level, gender stereotypes are hurtful because they communicate to me, the one who doesn't fit the mold, that there is something deeply wrong with my design. I'm not talking about sin here, I am talking about the redeemed person inside of me that God is bringing to the surface slowly but surely. When I sit in a group of women, I often feel that the true me is wrong. In the darkest moments of discouragement and frustration with myself or with God, I catch myself thinking, "God, it seems you made some mistake here. I think I was supposed to be a man." That is hurtful to my heart, and breeds a lovely playground for Satan.

I can accept that this pain is part of life. But I get angry about it when I see it affect those I love, especially my husband. When he is made to feel unmanly for the way God designed him, I get pissed. He is amazingly Godly as an emotive and intuitive being. I know that part of my anger is sin, but I think some of it is Godly anger. For the comfort and convenience of the masses, those of us who exist on the fringe are made to feel more excluded instead of included. And I think Jesus did the opposite: He invited in those on the fringe, often making the masses uncomfortable. Not only did Jesus invite people in who felt left out, but He sought them out as well-- changing His schedule for them, interrupting the conversation for them, going into their homes.

2) It is destructive for those who do fit the stereotype. To begin, those who fit the mold often excuse or make light of sinful behavior because it is stereotypically acceptable. People can be permissive toward sins that fall into the dominant paradigms for male or female. If not permissive, in the very least, gender normative sin is more easily accepted not only by culture at large, but also within the Church. The gravity of sin being sin is lost. Take the cliché example of a man who struggles with pornography. In culture at large, this behavior is acceptable. Within the Church, struggles with porn seem to be expected of men, and when they are talked about, the dialogue is about "men being visual," not about men being sinners.

Moreover, people who do fit the gender norm mold begin to feel more secure in their manhood and womanhood because they fit the mold. Men who like sports and don't work well with others start to think, "Hey, I'm a man!" And women who like to decorate and have coffee "dates" think, "Hey, I'm a woman!" And I think this is akin to putting one's identity in what one does rather than in one's position in Christ. Are we Christians because we are loving others and charitable and praying? Certainly not!

My friend (who shall remain nameless 'cause I haven't asked him permission to tell the whole world his private thoughts) emailed me a talk he put together for his home-town youth group some time ago about what it meant to be a man. Trust me when I say that this friend is a man of very deep thoughts. (He once wrote this sentence to me: "But words have weight, and they let their lazy words outweigh the brave ones, and finally drain their referents of meaning.") But his thoughts on manhood struck me as amazingly simple. The kind of simple you don't see 'cause it's too close to you. Are you ready for his insight?:

"How would you define a real man? Oh boy...I want to know what makes a real man, and after a serious amount of reading, and talking to old guys I respect, and looking through the Bible, I think I know. Do you want to know? God's definition of a real man... is... a person... with... a penis."

Seriously, let's think about this. What makes us a man or a woman is, um, God. God decides if we're a man or a woman by actually making us male or female. And if we put our faith in anything other than God's decision, I think it is idolatry in the creation rather than the creator. I am not a woman because I act feminine; I am a woman because I am a woman. As Christians, our identity is not in what we do, but in who we are. God does not love me because I act love-able. By no means! God loves me because God loves me, even though I am horribly unlovable.

3) It is destructive for the Church and the advancement of the Kingdom of God. This reason is two fold. First, the beauty of the Gospel is lost when we cater to the masses instead of to the outcasts: the lineage of Jesus was passed down through Leah, the unloved, ugly sister instead of Rachel the beloved; Jesus was born in a barn and placed in a feeding trough; Jews were commanded to carry the Gospel message not only to other Jews, but also to Jewish oppressors (the Romans) and Jewish "ugly step-sisters" (the Samaritans). In choosing the predictable road (using gender stereotypes), we as Christians are not living up to the creative beauty displayed in the story of God.

Second, when the Church utilizes gender stereotypes, nonChristians who are either post-gender in theory or not gender normative are made to feel as if they can't belong in the Church. Regardless of the correctness of post-gender thinkers, they should "trip over nothing but the cross" (as I once heard someone say) when they come to a Christian event. Seeing Christians who encourage gender normative behaviors and beliefs can be an unnecessary hurdle for them to jump to become a part of the family of God. For those who don't have strong beliefs about gender theory but don't fit the mold, they simply feel as if they won't fit in, find friends, or be accepted as they are. This is another unnecessary hurdle. I cannot even begin to count the amazing people I know who are searching for truth but feel uncomfortable searching for it within the community of the Church for these (and other) reasons.


To be clear, I am not saying that there are no differences between the majority of men and the majority of women. I am saying that highlighting these differences does more harm than it does good. I know that your two-year-old boy probably wants to shoot things and your two-year-old girl probably wants to carry around a pretend baby doll. But for all of the two-year-old boys out there who want to play dress-up and the two-year-old girls out there who pretend they're adventurers on the high-seas, can we do better? Can we give them a fair shot at growing up as loved, accepted, thriving members of the body of Christ?

(Heavily revised from an original posting on 8/17/09.)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Link Worth Passing On 2/19

I read a lot of good stuff online this week. In fact, I am so convinced that some of these conversations need to continue to happen, I am posting the links to these conversations here to bring them to your attention.


On Singleness:

On Ministry:
Adam McHugh: Pastors and Honesty (a response to RHE: Dear Pastors)
RHE: Pastors Respond (a response to Adam McHugh)

I would highly suggest checking out the links that interest you. If they don't interest you, I still recommend them so that we can all understand one another a little bit better.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Why I Support Valentine's Day (This Year)

Happy Valentine's Day!photo © 2006 fly | more info (via: Wylio)Unlike other popular holidays, Valentine's Day can be quite divisive: Those in love love it. Those single often hate it. Those in miserable relationships hope for the best, but usually end up disappointed. And those of us into history, especially Church history, think it's lame.

I have pretty much despised V-Day for the past few years simply because it usually fell on the weekend of our Navs Northeast Winter Conference, which I have been attending or leading since 2005. This year: no conference!  As such, we were excited for the opportunity to celebrate in a meaningful way on V-Day for once (especially in a meaningful way that didn't involve sleeping in bunk beds).  But lo and behold, Josh is at work and in class today from 8am-10pm, with the exception of a small lunch break. Fail.

Regardless, I am looking on the bright side this year for a few reasons:

1) Now that we are much busier, it is difficult to connect in a quality way. Valentine's Day is a reminder to put in some extra thought and spend some extra time with each other. And while that reminder should be more often than yearly, it is still a helpful reminder. 

2) I think V-Day is a valuable "make it or break it" milestone in dating relationships. I don't mean to say that all couples who have a great V-Day will "make it," but I believe having moments to step back and assess the relationship is valuable. Dating is not meant to last forever; it should end either by marriage or separation. V-Day can be a valuable time to realize that things aren't working and move on. 

(For the record, my first Valentine's Day with Josh, it wasn't working.  I actually said to him at our Valentine's Day dinner, "I know I should start to feel in love with you by now, but I don't." I don't mean to sound harsh, but that is the truth.  Even though I didn't love him romantically, I knew that I was willing for that to grow, and I began praying that God would help me fall in love with Josh. I actually prayed that. And then, it worked.)

3) Valentine's Day is a great opportunity to express love to people other than your significant other. Pets, friends, family, mailman: they all make you super blessed, so show a little love. You might do this by tipping a little higher, leaving heart-shaped stickies at your coworkers' cubicles, or sending out affectionate texts. But, make a little effort for just a few people who go under appreciated in your life.  And an added bonus: expressing gratitude and love is good for our souls. 

So, HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY to you, readers! I appreciate you all.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Match Made in Hell (But, They're Happy!)


At any given time, I'm watching my way through a TV show on our Roku. I am at once proud and ashamed to say that I've been watching Desperate Housewives lately. Like most TV shows, the first season starts off with a bit of insight and slowly devolves into plot-driven absurdity. Season 2 of Desperate Housewives contained an episode called That's Good, That's Bad (s2e9). In it, a nun tells Gabby, wife of Carlos, that she fuels Carlos's sin:

Sister Mary: "Carlos is a diamond in the rough, a flawed man to be sure, but someone who is desperately searching for something to believe in. To satisfy your materialism, he ended up breaking the law. To deal with your adultery, he resorted to assault."

Now, I in no way want to imply that each individual is not responsible for his/her own actions. But, I do want to talk about the place of sin within a marriage, or really Christian community at large.

I believe part of the Biblical teaching on marriage shows us that marriage is meant to sanctify us. Through the process of living with, partnering with, and trying to love another person every day for the rest of our lives, God wants us to become more like Him. This is not to say that singleness is not also a means of sanctification. They are both equally honoring to Him and full of sanctifying moments.

In friendships and marriage in particular, we begin to see each others' Glory Selves. (Mentioned previously here.) Here is a repeat of the explanation of the term:

I unashamedly steal this term from Tim Keller, from his old school, rock-your-world sermon series on marriage. (I'm sure he's probably used it somewhere else, too.) As Keller says, the Glory Self is the person we would be without sin, the person God intends for us to be alive in Christ. Through the power of Christ's resurrection, He lives in us and we are slowly being redeemed and our sin is dying away while our Glory Self is coming to the surface. Of course, this is not a smooth process, but the idea of the Christian life is one in which things grow, either good fruits or bad fruits. Either we grow in sin or we grow in life and truth, through Christ. As with all growth, there are seasons and this is not a steady process.

In marriages, as in all Christian community, I believe we should be helping each other along in the process of becoming our glory selves. But often, I feel as if sin in marriages can match up so well that we do not see each other's sin as sin nor call each other to repentance. Take Joe and Martha. Martha is prideful and must look good so that others will value her. Joe is insecure, so he wants the best looking wife in town and encourages Martha in her self-centered behavior. They have a happy marriage, but instead of living for God, they are living for themselves. 

What really gets me about sin within marriages is that it is often encouraged "for the sake of the marriage." If Joe is going to stop loving Martha based on her looks, she is expected to continue in her behavior to keep the marriage strong. Challenging each other to repent of real sin might cause an argument, and we wouldn't want that would we? So, we praise couples that look peaceful without knowing if the peace and harmony in their marriage is cheap peace or hard-won peace.

In encouraging people to put happiness and marital peace above repentance and holy sanctification, we are in fact undermining the purpose of marriage entirely. Marriages are not simply meant to benefit the partners, but also to benefit the world and glorify God. If a successful marriage is only judged by the happiness and "still-togetherness" of the partners, and not on the fruit of their relationship, then I think we've missed the boat. If a church existed simply for its own members but failed to serve the community and worship God, we would clearly say it was failing in its Biblical calling. Right? So why not in marriages?

On a large scale, we call this culture. Some cultures fail to see their communal sin. Americans, for instance, are largely gluttonous. We do not know the value of going without. We consume, consume, consume and have very little regard for what our consumption results in. Other cultures have other sins, and we as outsiders see them more clearly because our sins do not blind us to theirs.

But, in both cultural and marital sin, lasting change only happens from inside the community. An outsider can identify the sin, but nothing will change until the members within the community repent. I, for instance, can think of many marriages in which complementary sin exists, but as an outsider it is very difficult for me to speak into those marriages. This can only be done within the context of true, deep friendship, or, of course, by the Holy Spirit. He can bring the conviction smack-down on anyone He wants.

How do you see this in your marriage, family, group of friends, or church? What sins do you let slide because they are shared by those around you? How do we battle this in a realistic way? I would love thoughts on this as I still haven't fully "wrapped it up" in my mind.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Where I Am


This, my friends, is exactly how I feel today. Photo credit: Ryan Patch.

So, today I thought I was going to publish a post on marriage. I have to apologize to my readers who don't want to read another post about marriage. It seems all of the stuff coming down the pike has to do with marriage these days. I should probably go ahead and make February a themed-month, but I don't want to. In fact, I'd love to counter my posts on marriage with posts on singleness, celibacy, and dating. But, as I'm not churning those out at the moment, I can't guarantee anything. However, I am completely open to guest bloggers, so if you have a post that you think might be a good balance to what I'm writing, please submit it to my email (found in the 'Connect' tab).

BUT, while looking for an old blog post of mine, I found this quote and it is stopping me dead in my tracks:

"It's this simple: you and I have an inescapable need for rest.

The lie the taskmasters want you to swallow is that you cannot rest until your work's all done, and done better than you're currently doing it. But the truth is, the work's never done, and never done quite right. It's always more than you can finish and less than you had hoped for.


So what? Get this straight: The rest of God - the rest God gladly gives so that we might discover that part of God we're missing - is not a reward for finishing. It's not a bonus for work well done. It's sheer gift. It is a stop-work order in the midst of work that's never complete, never polished. Sabbath is not the break we're allotted at the tail end of completing all our tasks and chores, the fulfillment of all our obligations. It's the rest we take smack-dab in the middle of them, without apology, without guilt, and for no better reason than God told us we could."   

-Mark Buchanan, in The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath

The phrase that really got me was "never complete, never polished." And I have to tell you that I've really been struggling feeling this way lately. I don't feel on top of my game (whatever my game is). In fact, I feel behind the curve. Even as I type that out, it makes me emotional thinking about how I feel, because I haven't been allowing it to surface. It's complicated and I haven't brought it to God yet, so it's still causing a tightness in my chest. 

I feel pressure.

When I didn't get the job at APU last fall that I was really excited about, Josh and I decided that since the money was about equal, I should work from home freelance writing and editing. Hunting for a job that I wasn't excited about didn't seem worth it since I had money-making opportunities at home. So, then I became a full-time writer and editor. I really love the work, but in this transition, I have put a lot of pressure on myself to 1) make as much money as possible, 2) make the decision to write/edit full-time "worth it," and 3) still be super wife.

1) Money is hard for us these days. I knew coming into a long stretch of grad school that things would be tight. But, I wasn't prepared to be a freelancer during this time, so I'm always thinking, "I should work more so that we have a little extra padding." And while this is good and true, I should work as hard as I can to keep us afloat, the fact that I can work at any time of the day is exhausting to me. When it's midnight and Josh has just gone to bed, I think, "How much money can I make if I put in an hour or two of work now?" So, I find myself not being able to rest at all, even on Sabbath. On Sabbath, I am back to playing catch-up around the house, especially in terms of couponing. Oh, couponing... I could always do that better, too. So, I'm left feeling like I could've both made and saved a little more each month.

2) I think this one is where most of the pressure is coming from. I am juggling lots of projects, some of which are paying and some (like this blog) are not. On any given day, I feel torn as to which I should work on because I want to bring in more money for our family, but I really want to write my own work. I have started a large, amazing, grueling project that I am constantly thinking about, but never satisfied with. I have revamped this website (click through to see), and that has taken a lot of energy, especially as I HATE design decisions, but opted to save the money and do it myself (see #1!). I am hoping to submit pieces to other blogs/online magazines in the coming months, but feel real anxiety in my chest when I think about sending my writing out there into the world. (Here, I can always revisit my work and edit/delete/tweak. Once someone else publishes my work, I can't keep tweaking it. I am afraid I will want to change it and be unable to do so.) And, I want to be able to make money by writing what I want to write, but haven't figured out how to do that. 

But, above all of the money stuff, I am pressuring myself to "make it worth it" by writing something impressive and popular. I think about all of the people in my life who have believed in me, supported me, taught me, and I want to make them all proud. I'm afraid if I don't make a name for myself they will all think, "Wow, we had such high hopes for her. What a disappointment." Even typing out the phrase "make a name for herself" is hard because it reveals my desire to build my own kingdom instead of God's. I know this is complete idolatry, but if I'm honest, it's there.

3) On top of the many writing projects, I am in the middle of two large non-writing projects with Josh. I wish I could just take care of those projects entirely for him, but that means we'd have very little income later. Ugh, #1 again! Okay, maybe it is all about the money worries. I want to be the best helper possible to him, and so I feel as if I could always do a better job. To be specific, it would be a HUGE relief to get our taxes done and get a fundraising letter out (Josh is going to Kenya this summer!), but they both seem so far from done. 

So, there you have it world. I am distracted, busy, and feeling guilty about it all. I really needed to process this. Now I know I need to just sit for a while with my Bible, read some truth, and then let Jesus hear my confession. But, I'll be honest and admit that while I do that, I'll be thinking about the projects that are unfinished and the money that is not being earned. 

I have a sickness. Lord, help me.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Coupledom


I'm not going to beat around the bush. I love my husband A LOT! I feel with Josh a deep partnership, love, and joy. But, it's been a big marital transition for us to move out to CA and start grad school. I don't know how to describe it other than saying we're doing very different things most days, even though we are still actively experiencing amazing oneness. When we were on staff at BU, we were doing the same things most days, sometimes together and sometimes separately. But now, our days are spent mostly apart, and while I know this is normal for most couples, it has been a transition for us.

When we first decided Josh was going back to grad school, one of my main concerns was how school would affect our relationship. When Josh was in undergrad, one might say he was a wee bit anxious and angsty about academics. We all have our issues, and one of Josh's is academic performance. He is gifted by God as a bright, hard-working student. But, as with all gifts, it is also a place of great vulnerability and idolatry for him. Because it was such a big deal to him in undergrad, when he performed "poorly" or experienced anxiety, he did not make the best life choices to handle the stress. I knew him in those years and they were often not fun days. 

Because of said history, I was a bit concerned that grad school would be hard on our marriage. We agreed before classes even started that we would protect our Sabbath. Knowing we would have a real weekly Sabbath together was reassuring. But now that we've started the grad school life, it is truly amazing to see how much Josh has grown not only in the area of time management, but more importantly in how much more stable he is regardless of how he performs in class. He has been diligent about his school work, but I in no way feel that it is a higher priority than me. But more importantly perhaps, I have felt God's grace as our marriage has transitioned to a rhythm of being apart all day and doing different things. I was worried that learning and doing such different things all day would be hard to navigate, but in fact, I feel as if they are enriching to us.

A couple we deeply respect (and miss oh so dearly) once shared with us a brief illustration about marriage. The photo above is the best representation I can find of the image they used, but they essentially said that healthy marriages are like two lines that come together and then go apart, time after time after time. Some of the periods of togetherness are longer and more intense (honeymoon, vacation) and others are shorts (Sabbath). Some periods of separation are longer (deployment, illness) and others are short (work day, business trip). But, eventually, you know the next phase is coming and you should consider them both good phases. 

It might seem as if the "apart" phase is not good, but it is because God calls us to love each other, yes, but He also calls us to labor. And more than just the apart phase being valuable in service to others, we were told that the apart phase is often a time of great growth and learning, either for one spouse or both. When the togetherness comes, sharing how you've grown enriches the marriage itself. Some couples have the lucky privilege (as we used to) of truly laboring side by side in a very daily way. But most of us have to learn how to make the most of our times together and our times apart. When you are separate, you are still one, but you are, in a sense, learning and accomplishing twice as much. When you come together, you bring what you have learned or accomplished to each other and share it for the benefit of the family and to receive feedback from your spouse. There is something beautiful in that, as long as it is done in a spirit of love and humility.

Our first months here in California were an amazing time of togetherness. They were hard in many ways, but we had lots of time with each other, in both quantity and quality. We shopped, exercised, cooked, and laughed a lot, just the two of us. Once the fall semester hit, Josh started learning and growing in different ways than me, and we spent very little quality time together. (You can read between the lines of my anxiety when his first semester started here.) Winter break again permitted lengthy time together, and even though I was worried that it would be hard to connect deeply, it was easy and comfortable to just sink into each other in a deep way. With this new semester, we're back in a routine of going about our days separately. And, I'm okay with it. In fact, it's good.

As Josh will be on a semesterly schedule of some sort until 2015, I know this rhythm will be built into our lives for a while. I know that it will always be evolving with jobs, children, and health. But, for now, I'm learning to love the dance of together, apart, together, apart. As long as I don't get dizzy from too much whirling about, or if Josh doesn't switch partners or fling me across the room against my will, I am happy to keep in step with him.
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