Monday, March 3, 2014

Marriage Letters: What Makes You Come Alive


[I only participated in the Marriage Letters thing one time the last go-round and it was one of my favorite posts to date. But Amber and Seth (two of try- my-hardest-never-to-miss-a-post bloggers/writers) are resurrecting the thing and I had to jump back on the wagon myself.]


It's with great fear and trepidation that I admit this (though surely you've caught me hinting at it here and there)...

But what has made me come alive possibly more than anything in recent years is this place. Partly, I think because I see you so alive here. This place so dear to your heart is doing something incredible in mine. I guess I sort of knew it, in some strange way, when I wrote about a kingdom of love waiting to be reclaimed. Watching you come alive in this place feels like new life is being breathed into me, too.

Somehow, I feel like we're daily reclaiming that kingdom of love here, just like I dreamed about. It's you and me and the children, but it's beyond that, too.

In this small home, in this big city, having daily adventures and living a life less ordinary, I've watched you seem so much more alive.

When we take a dirty, dingy, dark eight hundred square foot space and together sweep and scrub and fill it with happy pops of color here and there and it becomes clean and bright and cheerful. I come alive because it feels like a tiny (albeit incomplete) version of home. And you come alive, I think because while it is a version of home, it's also an adventure- our truest one yet, maybe, besides the constant one we're one with our tiny people- and it's missing all the routine of home.

In the least weird way possible, when a stranger on the street intentionally puts out his hand and touches my arm while we're having a jovial conversation about how the sixtyish pounds of progeny in the double stroller that you are pushing have the best seat in the snowy, icy house that is the streets of Brooklyn, something in me comes alive. I feel in the very depths of my heart this sense of brotherhood, and community, and friendship, and love. In a city that's supposed to be so "harsh"!

I know you love this,too,  because every night you are telling me about interactions with people at your store, on the street, in the train. The foreign student on the subway, the man who complimented your "wicked smile", the woman living in poverty who just wantsto me be a mother, and the homeless man you gave a loaf of bread to. Like me, you love other people's stories and in a strange way, I think this city lends itself to the sharing of them.

When we worship in a way we never have in one of the most beautiful buildings I've ever in my life been in and all along side us are people black and brown and tan and golden. And I know in my bones that this is a glimpse of rainbow heaven and not something I could ever take for granted. We seem alive, in one sense, like never before.

I assume most people think that because this is your dream the transition has been one of only ease for you. But those are people that don't know you very well, Sweetheart. Because I know it's a constant struggle, always and every day, to put your dreams before the most intense kind of frugality you like to strive for. This is not a cheap place (though not as absurd as some like to make it sound, we've found) and it's amazing to me to watch you pull off some of those ties that bind you. I know this journey hasn't been without sacrifice on your part and your bravery in leaving your comfort zone inspires me. I watch you come alive as you move mountains to make your dreams come true and as you gently carry us with you.

We talk more here and laugh more and I think we're connected in some sort of way that's different. Maybe it's the lack of distractions. And I'm not saying those distractions at home aren't wonderful ones. They certainly are. But maybe this year (or years) is supposed to be a little something that helps us depend more on each other and forces us to be more intentional in our care for one another. I know our marriage is coming to life in a new way even after just one month here.

I love watching you here and seeing what it means for you to be alive in this way. And I thank you for the ways you show me what it means to really come alive. I say this not just about this year or about this city. But the way you push me to do hard, scary, uncomfortable things and the way you seek meaningful and significant and beautiful experiences for all four of us.

I love you so,


Courtney said...

I love reading about all your wonderful adventures in New York. It is something so out of my comfort zone that I can't imagine doing it. I think it will be a year of growth for your whole family. I commend you for taking this leap of faith.

Brandee Shafer said...

You do make it sound like the most amazing of adventures!

Amber C Haines said...

Your lives are so beautiful. Thank you for doing this with us. I love it.

Jennifer said...

Made me cry! I have been crying a lot reading about y'alls adventure in NYC. What an amazing experience this will be for you with the bonus of knowing that it is not forever.

Amy said...

this is beautiful, SD. as always, you have such a gift with words. i am in tears. such a heartfelt view into your love for peyton. thank you for sharing. :)

Tacy said...

So good! While you are in NYC you must check out the NYU bookstore, the Bowery Mission, and poke around those areas as much as you can.

Jenn @ The Lemonade Connection said...

Oh what a wonderful letter! I love that. Thank you for sharing your deep heart. I know God loves what you wrote too...not to mention your husband :)

As for your new adventure in NYC...have you ever met the girls at Urban Hallelujah? If must meet Rachel and Krista (the later one actually lives in NYC too and is in ministry) And Rachel, just outside of the city in NJ.

I just moved from NY to California. Long story...much too much detail for a comment but I will say, God bless you for going and I will pray that you are given all the opportunities you truly hope God will bring you!

Again, thank you for sharing your love note to your husband with all of means alot!