Spokesman for the family

Okay so my last post I went out on a limb. A big limb. I remember as a kid climbing up trees, we always use to "dare" each other to go higher or out farther. I loved climbing trees and being high up and looking all around. Daredevil? Nah. Just a kid with an active imagination.

So the post. When you make yourself vulnerable, especially being a man and all, there is a certain amount of risk. I know, I know, men are suppose to be macho, and strong, and full of testosterone at least that is what your taught on TV. You need to make lots of money, and have big muscles, and have the big job, the new sports car, the women. If I were to listen to tv or society, that would be what I'd be chasing. Go on the internet and your bound to see several get rich from home ads, and how to get a flat stomach, and the new miracle drug for ripped muscles!

I've gone a different route. I've got a beautiful wife who I don't need to try to compete with for most beautiful. I'll happily give her the title. My muscles are perfect for her, so I don't need any miracle drug for ripped muscles. My car is paid for, her's too, and we are more happy about that than having a pretty sports car. God provides the money we need and sometimes we get extra, but our bills are paid, and we are happy with that arrangement of relying on God. I tell Ginger that there are times I wish I had a steadier job like hers, though if I had my dream I'd draw for a living, but one day I'll have my heavenly job of worshiping God forever in heaven.

You see, the things that are important for me now are things like this. I have a wonderful God who provides for me and guides me. I have a beautiful and adoring wife who is loyal to me and to God. And she will defend her man. Just say something bad about me and this sweet, lovable woman becomes a tigeress. She is constantly encouraging me and "brags" to her friends about me. In this world of throw away relationships, I've hit the mother lode. I remember when her friends first heard about me. Only one supported her. That friend, consequently, is coming over tonight with her husband to have dinner with us. Of course, now they all support her but she was rather upfront with them that their comments hurt her. I'd never seen someone so adamantly defend someone outside of what Jesus does for us when we are accused by the enemy.

I have wonderful parents who encourage me and pray for me, and love me. In my line of ministry I hear about all kinds of parents. Believe me, I hit the mother lode again when I got my parents. I hear the voice of God and He loves me and speaks to me. I have an amazing ability to draw, I just need to get off my duff and do more of it. I love the fact that I'm a hopeless romantic, it is important to me. And I love photography.

You see these are the important things to me because 8 years ago I didn't have a wife, I was not a very good son to my parents, and God and I, well, I was not exactly walking with Him. My priorities back then were what the world said I should have. I didn't draw, I was not into photography, and being romantic was only about one thing.

You'll notice that I didn't mention anything material wise in my list of what is important now. I will mention one material thing, our apartment. We have the apartment of our dreams. And that was a God thing. God willing, we will be here a long, long time. I mention it because it is home, feels like a home. How do I explain this. When I walk into my parents house it feels like home. There is safety and comfort. There is my parents unique touch on it. You feel the presence of God there. It is taken care of. You can tell alot of loving care went into making it that way. In the same sense, our apartment is like that. Before we got here, alot of loving care went into making it beautiful. Then we got here and alot of people helped us out a young couple and we got alot of nice things to put in it. And then we began putting our touch on it. We invited God here. We've begun making memories here. And now, it is home, not just a place to stay. It is a place for memories and a family. There is alot of laughter here. A place where we dance in my little art studio, or lay on the couch and watch our shows. There are the bible studies at night where we snuggle together and I read Scripture. You can't buy any of this stuff, it's made with love. There are serious talks as we help each other. A home is about togetherness. And when God is the glue, there is no solvent that can undo it.

I received alot of encouraging emails about my last post and a big kiss from Ginger. But there is a part of one I'd like to share from my mum:

I know that we will never get the opportunity to talk to many families that are going through what our family did, but as you are our spokesperson, continue to tell them to rely on the Lord, pray without ceasing, and you MUST exercise tough love. The tough love is probably the hardest. Like I said before, a mother wants to protect her child at all costs, but sometimes that is the worst thing to do. I know all people you talk to are not Christians and may not have a walk with the Lord. I'm not sure how those people make it day to day going through this. Dad and I were knocking on heaven's door all the time and we had a strong marriage. Ours was the "perfect storm" I guess you could say (God's leading, strong marriage, unity). Our decisions were mutual for the most part and our marriage drew even closer through it all. I'm sure many marriages fall apart because the parents are at odds over how to deal with the situation. Dad had to rein me in a few times, but most of the time I followed his lead and direction without question. We didn't always know the answer, but relied heavily on the Lord's leading during this time. It was the hardest thing I've probably had to go through, but looking back I am amazed and grateful to God. What an awesome God we serve! How He loves us and will do whatever it takes to bring us back to Himself.

So to my Mom, even though I'm the spokesperson of the family, that piece of wisdom you just shared was too good to keep in my inbox. So to those of you who thought I was too open, dredging up the past, etc., read that again. That post was not about the past, it was about where I'd fallen too and the redemptive power of God and how even that far down, God can pick you up and restore. You just can't make this stuff up....And Mom, by going to the Lord in prayer and exercising tough love, you did protect your son, you put Him in the safest place I could have ever been, the Lord's arms. Tell me I don't have the best Mom and Dad in the world....

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