Home Sweet Home

There are so many things to update you on. I’m currently having an information overload. I really do promise to take some time to update you this week. When my world stops cooking along at 120 mph I will write you epic blog posts. Epic ones. Promise.

But in the meantime, here’s the “short version” update of our lives.

First, we’re beginning our third week on campus tomorrow. Crazy how the time has flown. We’ve met a lot of students, learned a lot about student culture, how things work (both in ministry and in Stevens Point), and how the Lord is at work in central Wisconsin. God truly prepared a place for us here.

Also, we love our staff team. A lot. Check ’em out. We want to work and play with them all the time. I’m not exaggerating. All the time. Praise the Lord.

Second, we really love living in Stevens Point. It’s a great place. We’re still discovering the ins and outs of the city, and all the hot spots for sushi, burgers and espresso. So far the only thing I’m missing from back in Minneapolis — besides my family and friends, of course — is Patisserie 46. But I always miss Patisserie 46.

Help a girl out ya’ll — do any of you know if there is a Patisserie 46-like place in central Wisconsin??

Third, our home feels like home. We’re unpacked and settled, and we really dig our apartment. As promised, here are some pictures for you.

This is our “entry” way. Erick’s room divider has found a pretty fabulous home in our apartment.

This one side of our kitchen. I have always wanted open shelving, and thanks to IKEA and my amazingly-handy husband, I have some. We LOVE our kitchen. And if you’re wondering what’s behind the curtain, wonder no more. It’s our pantry. The cans of tomatoes and boxes of macaroni and cheese were crampin’ my style.

This is the other half of our kitchen. Erick hung that small shelf above the sink too. He’s so great.

This is our living room. Yep, you guessed it. Erick hung those shelves too. And the TV.

This is our bathroom. I’m only showing you a picture of this room because I really love our shower curtain.  Thank you Target.

This is our office. I’m gonna give you a tour of all three corners. This is Erick’s music corner. He’d prefer a whole music room, but we only have a 2-bedroom apartment. So, corner it is.

This is my reading corner. Those who don’t/can’t play instruments — read.

This is our working/printing/praying corner.

The only room missing is our bedroom. I’d show it to you, but the bed wasn’t made when I was taking pictures. So maybe another day.

And there’s our apartment. Come visit us. 🙂

The Meaning of Marriage

I think it’d be intimidating to write a book on marriage.

There, I said it.

Take “write book on marriage” off my list of things to do.

Maybe once I’ve been married for like … I don’t know … five decades. Maybe. I might have it figured out by then.

There are a lot of marriage books out there — I’ve read a lot of them — and many claim to have the keys to a happy, biblical, and gospel-centered marriage. With some — these claims ring true. With others — not so much.

If you’re currently engaged and preparing for marriage, I doubt you have the time (or the $$) to tackle all of the titles weighing down the shelves at your local Barnes and Noble.

So — how do we work through them all? Which ones should you read?

This one. You need to read this one.

Even if you’re not married or preparing for marriage — this book is for you too. Tim Keller’s church is predominantly singles, and he focuses a significant portion of this book on being single and on pursuing marriage.

There is one feature to this book that distinguishes it from any other marriage book I’ve read. Gospel-centeredness. Tim and Kathy Keller lead me deep into the gospel of Jesus Christ, and showed me how the gospel extends to every part of marriage.

The book is written primarily by Tim, but his wife, to whom he has been married for almost four decades, contributes in several ways. They speak from the powerful combination of Scriptural grounding and real-world experience.

“As theological students, Kathy and I studied the Biblical teachings on sex, gender, and marriage. Over the next fifteen years, we worked them out in our own marriage. Then, over the last twenty-two years, we have used what we learned from both Scripture and experience to guide, encourage, counsel, and instruct young urban adults with regard to sex and marriage.”

Today, marriage is for the fulfillment of the individual. We live in a world that says you can’t marry someone until you find the perfect soul mate — happy, healthy, interesting, content with life.

A marriage based not on self-denial but on self-fulfillment will require a low-or no-maintenance partner who meets your needs while making almost no claims on you. Simply put—today people are asking far too much in the marriage partner.

In a world where we know how to fall in love but are rather clueless on how to stay in love, Tim’s words give us wisdom.

Erick and I have only been married 28 months — 28 months today, actually. So we rely on the words of those older and wiser than us to tell us what’s up. We will not claim that we’ve got this whole marriage thing figured out. Cause we don’t. We work at it daily.

However, I can say with confidence that we have a good marriage. A marriage centered around Christ, and based on respect, love, friendship, truth, and a heck of a lot of grace.

I tweeted this the other day, but I’m gonna say it again because it’s one of my favorite quotes from this book: “Truth without love ruins the oneness, and love without truth gives the illusion of unity but actually stops the journey and the growth. The solution is grace.”

If I had to say one thing I’ve learned about marriage, it’s that it’s a never-ending growth process. Marriage shows you a realistic, unflattering picture of who you are, and then forces you to pay attention to it.

When I’m me on my worst day, Erick could be thinking “there’s gotta be someone better than her.” The gift of marriage is that the “someone better” really is me, just a future version. It’s Erick’s desire to be with me when I get there.

The Meaning of Marriage — read the book my friend. I couldn’t recommend it more.