cistern...

okay, i have realized SO much about myself in just 5 days of proverbial living. first of all, i am NOTHING without careless banter... nothing except BORING. i obviously need to develop a new schtick besides careless banter... i wonder how careFUL banter would sound?

on to proverbs 5. oh, this will be so easy. proverbs 5 is a all a warning against adultery. so i will not get involved in any affairs this month. good. done. though an affair would take my mind off of spending money, but the careless banter of developing a new relationship and the lying i would have to do might negate the whole proverbs 4 thing. so, no affairs. check it off the list.

but then there might be a bit more that i am accountable for than just that. of course. ugh. 

proverbs 5:15 Drink water from your own cistern,
       running water from your own well.

so, what is a cistern? two very different definitions for that same word from strong’s concordance... a source of fresh water as in a well, or a pit or dungeon.

and i can understand both definitions. i can see my marriage as something i am trapped in, a pit, a dungeon. or i can see it as a well that refreshes me, something that brings me life and good things. and a lot depends on how i see it. on how i view marriage in general (and in the specific of my own personal marriage)...

is it something that should make one happy or something to make one holy? this idea has been floating around in my head and heart a lot the last month because my book club has been reading the book sacred influence: what a man needs from his wife to be the husband she wants by gary thomas.

if i think marriage should make me happy, then i am having an affair with my selfish self (and really, who is more perfect for me to have a torrid affair with than MYSELF?) and i will never be happy with my husband and my marriage when it is ALL ABOUT ME... again, ugh.

after almost 20 years with adam, i realize more and more how DIFFERENT we are and how those differences can divide us OR i can use them (as God intends them to be used) to rub iron upon iron, to sharpen me, to sanctify me, to make me better (not bitter).

if i realize that through my marriage God is doing the work of sanctification as i “die to self” and learn to serve and love and be graceful and loving even when it doesn’t feel like it is what i want to do... then i grow closer to God and there will be joy in this journey.

"a lifetime of romance lies hidden in the work of marriage. in your own relationship, you may occasionally feel tempted to ‘lie down’ and get lost in romantic comedies instead of studying how to love a real man. it may seem easier to withdraw from love, to get lazy in your affections, to coast in your marriage- but such an indulgent, soft way of life will ultimately steal your sense of well-being and even your happiness. you’ll lose any romantic feelings you once had for your husband, and you’ll eventually despise the person you’ve become.

God built us in such a way that, early on in a relationship, romance is unearned and often unappreciated. intimacy is immediate and electric. in a mature marriage, romance is maintained only through hard work, deliberate choices, and concrete actions. you can’t force feeling, but you can choose to act so that feelings usually follow. if we act like we’re in love, we’ll keep falling in love. it’s a process of growth- toward God, toward each other, and toward personal holiness.

i look at it this way: everything that God asks of me is what i ultimately want to become- a loyal, loving spouse; a sacrificing, affectionate, and involved parent; an enthusiastic worker for the gospel; a faithful and loving friend. everything i see resulting from the world’s view of romantic relationships is what i most despise- people betting hurt by betrayal and divorce; children being devastated by the destruction of their homes; individuals becoming more selfish and more hedonistic as they age.” from sacred influence by gary thomas.

so many times i am tempted (and give into the temptation) to complain about my cistern husband and view him as that pit type of cistern. and then when i returned home from beach cleaning this weekend there were so many reminders (once i turned my focus to them) that he is a well of sweet water for my soul.

first he took maxx out into the neighborhood to clean off some signs that had been vandalized a few weeks ago. AND he took before and after pictures with his phone because he knew i would want to scrapbook the pictures AND he didn’t take pictures of the ones with really bad words on them...

and second, i was SO worried because he had to teach the 8th grade sunday school lesson and he left his notes on my desktop and i read them and they were SO good. he put so much time and effort and had some really great activities to bring home the lesson for the kids. 

really sometimes i need to quote 1 samuel 24:17 because i get this all self-righteousy feeling about how wonderful i am and how lucky everyone is to know me... but that isn’t always the correct way to see things (perhaps that is NEVER the correct way to see things)...

anyway, the proverbial living lesson for today and the rest of this month of may... to develop eyes to see my husband as a cistern of cool clean water and treat him as such. die to self and think of him first and tell him everyday how he is a good man, a wonderful husband, a devoted father, and an incredible provider. and see him as those things.

not to mention that he is a gifted pancake artist also... (from last night’s breakfast for dinner)

here is meghan and her “go gators” pancake (inspired by meghan’s and my rendition of the video on thomas’ blog yesterday. umm, side note to thomas: blogging every weekday means MONDAYS too).

you may also be about to make out  a smiley face pancake.

and there is adam posing with his self portrait pancake. check out the  close up of his self portrait pancake. very lifelike...

and even though i always wanted to see my name in lights, i guess i will have to settle for seeing my name in pancake batter... much more fulfilling than my name in lights and much better coated in butter and syrup...