I love our little night stands. They were my Grandma's. Many a slumber parties were had with these night stands standing tall. Now, I get to have regular sleepovers with Mr. F and I can't tell you how fun it is to get to stay the night with your best friend....
Now, let me tell you a bit about what's in that stack over there.
Starting from the top:
1) My journal. Confession--I don't journal nearly as much as I used to. Even though you all may think of me as a writer, I'm much more an external, verbal processor. When I write in my journal it's normally to take note of something spoken or experienced already. It's a memorial to the things God's up to or I'm taking note of for the future. Sometimes I'll process on the page by writing a memory or confession but primarily I talk it out with God (verbally) and friends. I sometimes find myself feeling ashamed for this, like if I was really a serious Christian I would write for days in that little book. Well at thirty-eight (thirty-nine next week) I'm making a little more peace with who I am and the way I'm wired. Just this morning the Lord corrected me, "Honey, please don't dismiss the way we pray and converse together."
How gracious and kind he is, always fighting for my heart.
2) Daily Bible. A friend gave this to me years ago, 2002 to be exact, and it's something that has stuck. You can tell by the binding it's well loved. It's the bible in two years (I know I take longer, maybe 4). I love that it is separated out for me with prayers in between and I get to work through the whole story of God and us. But man, do you ever read stuff and go "I just don't get it? But Lord, integrate these things into my faith and understanding in your way and timing."
3) Sheet Music. Yes! The bed sheets, not piano. We read some of it close to the wedding and now I pick it up here and there. We affectionately call him "The Good Doctor." It's a good book about the beauty and fun of making love. The guy has good humor and loves sex! But he is a good man and shares some things that are helpful to understanding a man and a woman and the ways different things bless us.
4) The Power of a Praying Wife. Wanna know something super sweet? The first time I went to Mr. F's place we had dinner. One his table he had a stack of books, on it was The Power of a Praying Husband. Later I came to learn, a friend had suggested it as a means to pray for his future wife. Mr. F lived a very full life parenting
his our son, so it wasn't until about three or four years ago when our son was getting to be mid-teens that he sensed God had a wife for him. Then he too entered the tumultuous heart space of longing and waiting. Oh that ache! While he was waiting in faith, not knowing the outcome, he began to pray--for me! No. Words. Now I periodically grab it to pray certain things for my husband's life. His work. His walk. His character. His fears. His dreams. Good stuff!
5) The Mystery of Marriage---Ahhhh......love, love, love this book. Read it twice as a single and now Mr. F and I pick it up every now and then and read it to each other. It's a slow read. There's a lot to absorb (a lifetime) and just so, so rich. Get this on your bookshelf! Read it with your spouse! Pray it in your singleness! So, so worth it!
"...to be naked with another person is a sort of picture or symbolic demonstration of perfect honesty, perfect giving and commitment, and if the heart is not naked along with the body, then the whole action becomes a lie and a mockery. It becomes an involvement in an absurd and tragic contradiction: the giving of the body but the withholding of the self." (MM p. 144)
6) That. Journal. It's the one I wrote about another guy in to process my longings years ago. It's the one I cried out to God in when I thought he was being cruel and misleading. It's the one I wrote about Mr. F in when he came into my story. It's the one that holds a future letter to myself, for the days that will be hard or disillusioning in our marriage. For the day I will need to be reminded why I said yes and what I adore in this man. when tired, fearful, weary, or disheartened days come. And I'm assured they will come by my married friends. Mr. F wrote one as well.
Ok friends....many blessings wherever your weekend takes you. God's grace and beauty shower you. His Presence uphold you. His Spirit enliven you. His mercies astound you. Thank you Lord for Sabbath and the rest that gives birth to new life, new mercies for next week.