Sunday Night Musings: A Busy Week Ending in Celebrations

It's been a long week. My wife doesn't return for a couple more days from her conference/trip to Iceland. Last weekend we were at Bible Camp and returned Monday afternoon/evening. Tuesday was the boys' last day of swimming lessons. On Wednesday we had supper with friends for my birthday. On Thursday Anders had violin lessons, and we had an ice cream social afterwards at school. On Friday my sister and brother-in-law stayed with us on their way to the North Shore to celebrate their first anniversary, so my other sister and her family came over for supper. On Saturday morning we traveled to Wisconsin for Beth's niece's wedding (the first of 22 grandkids on that side to get married). We came back today and arrived in the Twin Cities just in time to get some food to bring to church before it started.

I know many single parents do it all the time. But I'm worn out. There are clothes in the washing machine, but that's about all I have energy to do. The lawn needs to be mowed. The car is in need of a thorough cleaning after the last two weekends of travel. There is plenty to do around the house.

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The wedding was nice. It's hard to believe that the little girl who was in grade school when Beth and I were married is now married herself. All the family was there (minus a few nieces and nephews, and my wife). The groom's brother was supposed to be the best man, but he is serving in the armed forces and couldn't be there. But he sent a video which was played during the reception that brought a tear to most eyes in the room.

I'm pretty sure Nils only ate potatoes and cupcakes along with Pepsi. I was going to help him eat the rest of his real food, but he had to go to the bathroom and the tables were cleared while we were gone. I'm pretty sure all that sugar (grandma bought him an ice cream cone during the time between the wedding and the reception as well) aided in him being a bit energetic on the dance floor. (Quick side note: It's very hard to erase the memory of my mother-in-law dancing to Sir Mix-a-Lot's song "Baby Got Back.")

My niece and her husband met while on an ice fishing trip (they're from Wisconsin, after all). Her husband's family lives on a trout creek. During their grand march, the wedding party came out with fishing gear, waders, or life jackets. Again, only in Wisconsin.

I admit to feeling guilt during weddings over the vows I haven't held up well or have down-right broken. But I am also refreshed with commitment to my wife and look forward growing old with her. I think there is plenty of adventure ahead (hopefully I can make it with on one of her trips sometime!).

So to Anna and Kyle I wish all the best. I pray they're able to cling to the vows they made yesterday. I pray for a long, adventurous road ahead that brings much joy. I pray above all that their journey together brings them closer to God--and that in Him they may find the love that may make their love more complete.

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Tonight at church we celebrated our youth leader/seminary intern who just graduated and became our pastoral associate while our pastor is on sabbatical. I'm excited for her (as well as a bit envious).

Our pastor picked the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 from John 6. Our pastor reminded her that "all we need is what we have." Jesus used the boys' two small fish and five loaves of bread to feed a small town. The boy was willing to give what we had, even if it didn't seem like it could make a difference.

As I thought about what to share in appreciation of our friend, I realized that the majority of the people in the story didn't have what they needed. They didn't bring food (or maybe they just weren't willing to share it like the boy did). Nonetheless, Jesus took care of their needs. Sometimes we don't have all we need, but our community has it for us.

That's why one of the main New Testament images of the church is "the body." Connection to others is critical. We all bring different gifts. We need each other. As much as seminary is about equipping a person to be a leader and minister in the church, it is just as important to remember that we don't have it all--we need others.

Which is why God created marriage. He knew the man wouldn't be complete on his own, so a woman was created. Now, I don't believe marriage is for everyone; I firmly believe that singleness is a gift that the church needs to uphold as much as it does marriage (if not more!). But the Body of Christ and the marriage union are both reminders that we need others.

So I am looking forward to my wife being home. Not simply because I need her around to help with the boys and with housework and to keep me sane; I want her back because she makes my life more complete. She helps me aspire to become more than I am. She helps me get outside myself and see the others whom God has placed before me to serve.

Two more days. I can do it. But it'll be so much better when she's back.

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