Monday, February 11, 2013

The Radical Choices After "I Do"

Photo credit to Josiah Mackenzie

It wasn't a proud moment.

Huddling under blankets, I squeezed my eyes against the closet light, and buried further into muffled quiet. He dressed, searched for matching socks, and I grumbled at the interruptions to my nap.

Soon, my man turned off the light and left the room. Grabbing my last twenty minutes of sleep, I burrowed deep into sheets and pillow. Kitchen noises, microwave door slams, and cabinet clatters grated on me. Then there was silence and a blissful few moments of sleep, before the alarm woke me.

Padding out to the kitchen I saw a note on the table next to a tall glass. "I love you. Here is some chai to wake you up. You may need to reheat it." White whipped topping swirled with grated nutmeg above creamy chai tea.

Embarrassment at my inner grumblings mixed with shame, and I apologized to God for my attitude. Grabbing my phone, I texted my husband just as his worship practice was starting, "You're a nice man! Thanks for the note and the chai."

"You are my love, my life, the best friend I know," he responded.

I was wooed, romanced, and thrilled. Dashing off a quick reply to him since he had to start drumming, I then turned to my chai and my Bible.

Choices. We all make them.

My husband chose to be kind to me, despite my sleepy grumbles. I was humbled, touched, and different for the rest of the day.

Choosing to look for good in each other, choosing to respond in gentle humility, choosing joy and life over selfish grumblings, choosing kingdom life...

We have been choosing to pray together every morning, my husband and I. While we had always known the benefits of that, this is a new consistency and new intentionality for us. Pausing life, ignoring the kids for a moment, and before one of us heads out the door, we hug, lean close, and step into the throne room. Foreheads or cheeks touching, we pray with soft voices for each other. Naming battles, praying blessings, choosing this radical other way of Kingdom life. A life that is so counter-intuitive some days --gentleness, other-focused, patient -- that it involves a conscious retraining of our mind and actions. 

And it is so good. We see Jesus in the softness, in the gentle, in the serving.

"You and Mark seem... different," said a friend yesterday who knows us well, nodding her head and smiling. I thanked her, talked of God, and shared my brokenness.

Linking with Ann at A Holy Experience and Emily at Imperfect Prose

21 comments:

Lisa Miller-Pelkey said...

love this so much! :)

Alissa Collins said...

Wish we could pray like this... it shows such an intimate tenderness that is something I yearn for in my marriage!!

Beautiful!

Suzanne Andrews said...

What a sweet husband you have! Praying for men like ours for my daughters.

LOLITA said...

This resonates just this morning. I actually groaned and it sounded. That as good as voicing it out.

Oh, how this humbles me so.

I love "gentle humility" and choosing to look for "the good in each other."

Intentional is the word, isn't it. Oh my, yours was inner grumbles, mine sounded off!

Love this, Jen.

Jayne said...

This was so sweet. Your marriage is something most couples only dream of. Marriage does take much work and commitment. For those who don't pray with their spouse, pray that God would put that desire in both of your hearts. It will happen. Lord Jesus, thank you for the power of prayer and its blessings.

Cheryl Barker said...

Jennifer, you are making wonderful choices. May God continue to bless!

Renee said...

Beautiful! Prayer holds, strengthens and stretches us. It's wonderful isn't it. I love my husband and my prayer time too.stopping over from Anns.

Cheryl Barker said...

Jennifer, I emailed you yesterday, but I may have the wrong address so thought I'd message you here, too. You won the "I Love Dessert" Giveaway on my blog! Happy Valentine's Day! :) I'll put the gift card in the mail as soon as you send me your snail mail address. You can email me at ckbarker at sbcglobal dot net

HisFireFly said...

thank you for your honesty
for sharing your moment
love, love...

Kati Woronka said...

I love the chai story! So sweet. I'm also inspired by people who have the discipline to pray together - awesome and I hope you can keep it up!

AmyAlves said...

Beautiful true story Jennifer and very yummy looking chai too. ;) Thank you for sharing yourself here. You're a blessing. ~Blessings, Amy

Jennifer Dougan said...

Lisa,

I'm so glad you stopped by here from facebook. Thanks.

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Thanks, Alissa,

We're not perfect either, but we are thankful for this new intentionality right now. Hang in there. May God bring into yours as well.

Warmly, respectfully,
Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Suzanne,

Yes, praying for our daughters and sons to grow up to be people who speak vulnerably, admit brokenness, and lean into prayer with loved ones...

So glad to have you here today. Sorry for my delay in replying to you.

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Lolita,

I'm so glad someone else wrestles with this too :)

Thanks for your honesty.

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Hi Jayne,

Lest you misunderstand... we are so human and broken too. Thanks though.

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Cheryl,

Nice to have you here.

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Renee,

Thanks for stopping by from your blog link up with Ann. So glad to have you here.

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Hisfirefly,

What a cute name. :) Thank you for stopping by here.

May your week be wonderful.

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Kati,

I'm so glad you stopped by here. Forgive my delay in replying.

Have a wonderful week.

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Amy,

Smiling at you in Maine from MN tonight...

Thanks for stopping by.

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com