Monday, August 19, 2013

Summer's End

 The window above our kitchen sink, looking into the living room.
Beautiful tomatoes, zinnias and dahlias of late summer.

 Anna Kate loves to take close-up photos of flowers.

 Because of the design of our cabinets, we can't put baby-proof latches on them.
The ones with knobs set close together can be closed with rubber bands.
Malachi can get into this one, and he flings it open, tips out the can of chocolate chips, 
and when the lid pops off, starts to eat.

 We went to our last wedding of the summer this weekend.
The groom, one of Isaac's best friends, was in our home a lot as the boys grew.
This wedding brought on more tears (mine, of course) than most.
We've known Michael since he was about six!

 This guy! This guy's going to be a great husband.

I keep saying it, but it's so true.
They grow up way too fast.
It's a joy and an unexpected blessing to have another baby to raise.

As I listened to Michael and Brooke say their vows to each other, I thought,
These vows are thorough, they cover just about everything.
I liked that they promised not to slander one another.
My husband and I talked about those vows, as we drove home after the wedding.
Maybe they were idealistic, we agreed.
It's impossible not to be a bit idealistic, when you're twenty-one years old and full of love.
When you say "For richer or poorer,"
you're imagining richer.
When you say, "In sickness and in health,"
you cannot predict what sickness might look like, 
or how it can destroy peace and rob joy.
We know something about that.

I think of the marriages I know
that have begun in a cloud of hope and optimism, 
and have been ground down to death.
Usually the death is brought on by either generational curses
or by addiction.
We know something about that, too.

I have great hope for Michael and Brooke,
and for the other couples we saw married this summer.
The way I see it, 
they're part of the story of God,
part of His "tov," His "very good,"
and what they did, in this culture of death and man-made definitions,
was to choose life.

I thought a lot about life, about "tov," about God's plan for renewal and rebirth,
when we planted our garden this spring.
The Hebrew word "tov" has subtle variations of meaning, 
one being "its good is hidden within it."
Some seeds don't grow.
They have no life in them.
Other seeds, the good ones, the very good ones,
grow beautifully.
And what they produce, the fruit that we can eat and not be afraid of eating,
is so good that it too contains seeds of life,
seeds that are very good,
seeds that we can use again next year.

And that is "tov."
It regenerates.
The life in it grows, and nurtures, and gives birth to more life, more nurture.
And that is why I still believe in marriage.
Because it's not just about love.
It's about life.

Genesis 1:27-31
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.  

Another excuse to hear a favorite song by Josh Garrels.  Listen to it here.


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