My marriage hit a bump in the road a while back. Not to worry, that always happens. And then, like a speed bump, we get over it and move on. Til the next speed bump. It’s cyclical and I anticipate it. This past time though, something different happened. One of our bumps has been that our mutual interests have changed over the years. I find that we have less and less in common than we did when we first got married. Honestly, this scares the bejeezus out of me. Because what if our kids grow up and move out and we are left with only each other and nothing to talk about? As a big talker, this would be a disaster.
So during a speed bump moment, we were trying to figure out what we did have in common. I think even he agreed it wasn’t much. One thing we both enjoy though is looking a new homes, examining materials like stone and tile, choosing paint, looking at furniture, looking at house plans…we just love this stuff. Some of our best dates have happened in Home Depot. So we came up with an idea. A dream. We decided to one day buy a house on a lake that needed some love and attention. We would make it a big project and it would be an investment in the property and in our marriage. For the last several weeks, we often talk about ‘the lake house.’ The truth is that I have no idea if we will ever be able to afford a lake house. Oh, but dreaming about it is so much fun. And it brings me and the hubs back to common ground. Thank goodness.
But since I only blog on epiphany days, you must be wondering what’s up. That one was pretty good but enough to dance and sing and blog about? Maybe not on it’s own.
So you all know that I’ve been doing Stuck by Jennie Allen in my quiet time. Today we (I use the term ‘we’ loosely) were working through Romans 8. The title of the sub-chapter says it all. Present Suffering and Future Glory. Here is the bottom line….we are going to freaking suffer in this life. It’s going to happen. Done deal. Nothing we can do about it. Great.
But here’s the cool part…because we are sharing in the suffering of Christ, we can be assured that we are chosen by God (Rom 8:17). Now hang with me a minute. Everyone suffers, right? Believers and unbelievers alike. But for believers, any suffering is a straight up sign from God that we will one day be co-heirs with Christ in eternity. (When unbelievers become believers they get the gift, too. They just need to WAKE UP!)
If you don’t already know, I love signs. I ask God for them. All the time. When I get them, I call them God Dots. So I finally understand that my present suffering (family drama, celiac disease, etc.) is a continual sign from God that I’ve got the Golden Ticket! Woo Hoo! THAT is why in James 1:2-3 we can count it all joy when we face trails of many kinds. By sharing the the suffering of Jesus, we get an eternal blessing.
Still not the big epiphany of the day, though. I know, the mind spins…there is more? Yup.
Jennie asked us to write a letter to God about what we put our hope in. My first thought was that I have no idea what to write. (Side note: I often have this problem but have discovered if I just start writing, the Holy Spirit spills out…it’s pretty cool, I recommend it.)
So what do I put my hope in? I couldn’t come up with anything! Who has the luxury of hope in this life? I live my life on a daily basis trying to avoid disaster! I plan life around side-stepping trouble so that I can be happy.
I am completely and totally focused on trouble because avoiding it will make me happy.
That makes no sense! Every moment of my life is dedicated to thinking about trouble in hope that happiness will be around the next corner? Good grief, who sold me this load of hooey?
So if knowing that trouble is going to happen either way, what if I begin to change my focus to hope? What if I intentionally looked for joy instead of trying to avoid disaster?
My hubs and I have experienced some real fun and joy by dreaming about our lake house. Yeah, we know it takes money and we may never own one. That’s not the point. We have fun dreaming about it. We laugh and plan and talk and connect. I want to take this idea and apply it to more areas of my life. Let’s take this baby out for a spin and see what it can do!
Trouble is going to come. But I want to look it in the face and say I CHOOSE JOY.
So I’m curious. Do you live your life more for joy or for avoiding trouble? Is it just me?
Let me know!