She sets the pace…

slowdownBefore every meal that Amy and I sit down to, we lean into each other to express our gratitude and appreciation for each other… and to offer a kiss.  This is a prayerful moment for me as I express these parts of my love for her… to her.  While being able to enter into that space with her is wonderful enough… there are also moments leading up to that which are just as special.

There is often a tug of war over who gets to put food on their plate first.  Often times we will pile the food on our plate at the stove and then move to the table.  I always insist that she get hers first… and she returns the insisting that I go first… I tend to give in most of the time.

She likes it that way.

From the stove, I will move my plate to the dinner table where I will put it down, and anxiously wait for Amy to arrive with hers.  I don’t sit down yet… because my heart is longing for her arrival (even though it is usually just a few feet of distance between us).  Sometimes, I need to remind the kiddos (who are already seated) not to take a bite until she arrives.  She is worth the wait.

Finally… Amy will arrive with her food, and I will time out my sitting down with her… so that I can lean in for that kiss… and the expression of gratitude and appreciation.

This is only one example of one of the greatest lessons I have learned in my life from Amy… the importance of a woman being able to set the pace.

As a man… with many ideas… I have had the double edged sword experience of having the ability to jet off in many directions… satisfying the ideas and ambitions within me.  But have burned out trying… or been too afraid to actually move any of those ideas into reality.

I had no sense of pace.

A woman has a natural way about her that feels her way into waiting.  As a man… I can suggest any number of directions that we could head… all of them may be good… but not all of them may be the way that we should go.  And so I need her…

I need her to set the pace… so that the good ideas drop off… and the great ideas remain.

I need her to set the pace… so that as a man, I can appreciate more that natural intuition she has to feel her way through life with me.

I need her to set the pace… because sometimes, as a man… I miss the urgency of a situation where action is needed… now.

I need her to set the pace… because in my ability to move from point A… to B… to C… sometimes I miss the opportunities to pause at point A.1… A.2…. A.3…

Men tend to miss out on a lot of life… because we haven’t learned to slow our pace down long enough to smell the roses.  We get pace wrong… a lot.

… and so I need her…

To teach me how to to trust… and to find God in the places that move slower in life… to breath in all of the graces I would have missed… had I set off on my own… and expected her to keep up.

2015: The Word was First

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The Word was first,
the Word present to God,
    God present to the Word.
The Word was God,
    in readiness for God from day one.

Everything was created through him;
    nothing—not one thing!—
    came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
    and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
    the darkness couldn’t put it out.

There once was a man, his name John, sent by God to point out the way to the Life-Light. He came to show everyone where to look, who to believe in. John was not himself the Light; he was there to show the way to the Light.

The Life-Light was the real thing:
    Every person entering Life
    he brings into Light.
He was in the world,
    the world was there through him,
    and yet the world didn’t even notice.
He came to his own people,
    but they didn’t want him.
But whoever did want him,
    who believed he was who he claimed
    and would do what he said,
He made to be their true selves,
    their child-of-God selves.
These are the God-begotten,
    not blood-begotten,
    not flesh-begotten,
    not sex-begotten.

The Word became flesh and blood,
    and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
    the one-of-a-kind glory,
    like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
    true from start to finish.

John pointed him out and called, “This is the One! The One I told you was coming after me but in fact was ahead of me. He has always been ahead of me, has always had the first word.”

We all live off his generous bounty,
        gift after gift after gift.
    We got the basics from Moses,
        and then this exuberant giving and receiving,
    This endless knowing and understanding—
        all this came through Jesus, the Messiah.
    No one has ever seen God,
        not so much as a glimpse.
    This one-of-a-kind God-Expression,
        who exists at the very heart of the Father,
        has made him plain as day.