Saturday, January 9, 2010

Lessons with Molly

We took Molly, the sweetest dog on earth, to the park today. Poor Molly's family hasn't yet fenced in the backyard, so she's at the mercy of impatient, selfish humans for all of her outdoor time.

The park we like has a huge, fenced-in baseball field where Miss Molly can run free. There is one opening in the fence, and with the five of us paying our very best attention she usually only escapes once. Our routine is to walk around the park until she's taken care of her doggie business, because I'm a mother and I can't stop thinking that one day soon that field will be full of little boys and girls, and...yuck.

The temp was 32 degrees and there was a brisk wind coming off the nearby river when we arrived, appropriately bundled and bearing lacrosse gear, soccer ball and my new Christmas camera. While the boys worked off pent-up energy and testosterone with some made-up sport involving both soccer ball and lacrosse sticks (which, honestly, deteriorated to all-out Smear the Queer within 15 minutes), I played around with the action setting on the camera and kept an eye on my girl.

As you can see, she had a great time.

So what is my point, you ask?

My point is this. I noticed that Molly, although appearing to have the time of her life, would periodically stop at the faaaar back outfield fence, where she would stare longingly at the wide world beyond. It was pathetic, really.

The second or third time she did this it occurred to me how much alike we are.

We have warm and cozy homes, full of loving people and good things to eat. We periodically have wild adventures that would blow the minds of even the most intrepid among you. We lack, really, nothing.

And yet. We are not content. We always want more. It's pathetic, really.

I would like to resolve to be content, as if resolving were doing, and then it would be done. What I will do instead is practice contentment, because practice makes perfect. Right? I'd like you to come along for the ride. I'm asking God to give me brilliant and creative ideas on this topic, which I will then share with you. Maybe you would do the same, and we could practice together.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Monday, January 4, 2010

Heavy Heart

It is with a heavy heart that I write of another marriage in peril. I have a physical ache for this family, torn apart by infidelity. It seems that I hear some version of this story so often that Another One Bites the Dust is playing on a continuous loop in my head. Only in my version the devil is singing it, and he is joyful.

Let me use my aching heart to encourage you to guard your marriage with all due vigilance. Yes, marriage is a place to relax, to let down your guard with the one you love, to be yourself. By all means, let down that guard for your spouse. Please, please don't let it down for the enemy. Don't think for a tiny second that he doesn't have his eye on your marriage.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
I Peter 5:8 (NKJ)

Set up safeguards: My husband and I have committed to never be alone in the presence of a member of the opposite sex.

Draw boundaries that cannot be crossed: Never speak ill of your spouse to another. It's such an acceptable thing in our society to criticize our spouses, even jokingly, to our friends. Determine not to do this.

Believe and act on the fact that you are your spouse's biggest fan. If you're not, ask God for ways to become that fan.

Cultivate your relationship: Spend time alone together. Go on dates. Talk. Listen.

Above all: Pray together.