Friday, March 25, 2011

Egg-lampin' it up.

We are planning a wedding. With every day that passes it seems this massive blunt trauma of an idea finds new ways to come crashing down with hurricane force on our lives. 

I didn't realize I have no idea about colors, style or general taste until we went to register for our exciting, challenging and ever-approaching life together. With each of my successive suggestions and opinions it seemed like I was only stepping harder on that twisted ankle I realized my fashion taste is. With a quiet voice and sweet humility she would patiently wait until I was done voicing my thoughts on why I thought certain items were appropriate or "awesome because it's cool looking and so different!" then she'd affirm my masculinity and find something to compliment me on as she pointed out that what I had chosen was in no small way awful (careful to never say it in those words of course). 
I have no doubt she was right every time. And I love her. 


The myelin sheath consists of numerous Schwann cell wrappings along the length of the axon. Spaces occur between adjacent Schwann cells, leaving uninsulated areas, or neurofibral nodes (nodes of Ranvier), along the axons.
It had been several hours of studying, and my mind had slipped into a neurofibral node, a space, and I distracted.
My mouse drifted to the address bar and soon I was gliding through page after page of Target's countless stash of things you can buy and pay for in any number of ways when without warning there it was.
It was perfect.

A Himalayan Crystal Salt Lamp. 
So. Awesome. It was shiny, heavy, brightly colored and it glowed. It literally glowed. 
(After you plugged it in.) 
Standing eight and a half inches tall, it was lit from the inside, had a small wooden base, and looked like something directly out of Jurassic Park.
On my list of "Wow, that's so sweet" it stared eye-to-eye at an iPad 2. 

Jessa not only cringed when she saw it, she looked into my eyes and said gently "baby, I know you love that lamp. Is it alright if we don't register for it though?"
She is a very smart woman who knows it's much more difficult to argue with a quietly posed question than a direct statement of denial. 
The lamp stayed in jpeg format online and we didn't put it in our registry, but I learned something. As a matter of fact, I learned lots of something.


One of the things I've learned or am learning is not only that it's my tendency to value and operate well when I can take control, but marriage is not about control. 
I'm learning this. 
I have been wrong more times in the last three months than I can remember in the last six years. I have apologized more, interrupted more and failed more times than I can count, which isn't very high.
When I focus on the numbers and frequency and severity of my failures, I'm instantly depressed--kind of like exactly the opposite of an energy drink. 

As I sit back and watch almost every single idea of what I thought marriage would be fall to pieces before my eyes what is slowly picked up and placed back on the table is a picture more beautiful and breathtaking than I ever could have imagined.
Everything I'd built in my mind of who I was, who a godly leader, a good husband, a strong Christian and who I wanted to emulate in my marriage has been beginning to crack. 
The spidery lines shot up, sideways, downwards and diagonally more quickly than I dared to think could happen.

God has a plan for how he wants me to love Jessa. He doesn't want me to become a good husband but the husband for Jessa that I'm supposed to be. Loving her looks different than loving anyone else, ever. She's special, unique, and unlike any other woman on earth--that's a lot of what attracted me to her in the first place. So she needs me to be better than good, more godly than godly, and not just a Christian leader. 
I need to be who God has for me to be for him, and for her. 
It's not about me getting more control of my life, more control of who I am and gaining a tighter grip on my relationship, it's about letting go.


The more items I picked out, the crazier they got. I couldn't see the color scheme, I couldn't see the whole picture or what the inside of our home should look like--I saw "this looks sweet. This looks awesome. Oh heck yeah, what about that?" When I let go and watched how my beautiful, sweet and patient fiancĂ©e had a vision for home, suddenly everything came into perspective.
Once I recognized that black and pink aren't ocean colors, dark chocolaty brown and a pale, pastel-hued light blue shouldn't be the two towels that hang in the bathroom and a Velociraptor egg doesn't belong on our dining table, we could pick things out together.

God  doesn't stop at the parts of me that are "good" or "oh yeah, that looks awesome. Good job on that James." He encourages me to become this completely renewed, restored, revamped version of me. God's vision for me is so much more incredible than my own, and he's brought me the most gorgeous woman to encourage me in  becoming that James. 
Those parts of me I still grasp for control of and think "this is who I need to be and this is who I want to be like so I'm a better person" are the vivid orange lamps, distractions and areas where I'm still grasping for control and haven't been able to let go and give to him yet.

Yes, it was one of the sweetest lamps I've ever seen and I still love it. "I love lamp."
Jessa and I shared loads of laughs while registering and enjoyed ourselves immensely, and by the end I had picked out a few items that weren't s'more marshmallows or iPads.

Geoffrey Bromiley says, "As God made man in His own image, so He made earthly marriage in the image of His own eternal marriage with His people."

Colossians 2:15-16 "And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom..."

Colossians 3:12-13 “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

An amazing memory...

This trip was one of the most incredible experiences of my life.
Just thought I'd post it here so people who aren't on Facebook can see it if they'd like.
God is good.

And then there was Disney World...
So. much. fun.