Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Season Of New

Yes. I still think it happened to someone else. No one prepares you for how weird it is to be proposed to. It's great, but it's so odd. That question is so loaded: Will you marry me? Translation: Everyday for the rest of our lives, will you love me even when I'm being a tard? Will you clean on Saturdays and take the carpool on Tuesday and Thursdays? Will you be flexible when my work keeps me late. Will you leave your family on Christmas to be with mine? Will you be on my arm when I need you even when you don't want to go to the company get-together? If something terrible happens, will you not leave? Will you stand strong when the Devil attacks us and trust in my faithfulness even though I am but human? It's easy to say YES to it now. But it's a big deal. Watching my parents and friend's parents from afar, these situations are real. The stress they cause is real and the emotions are real. Marriage is real. It is not an idea that seems cool. I have meditated on these questions for literally hours because it is my nature to be practical and realistic. I can confidently say that I'm honored to be asked to be by Travis's side and serve with him through it all.

A little about the man I get to marry: My fiance is the hottest guy on the face of the planet. I'm serious, I'm not alone in this thought. He legitimately would win a contest. He will tell you that sometimes articulating and/or writing things out do not come easy for him. But he has a strength that most pray for each day: He simply lives it. He walks each day humbly. He is the smartest person I know. I took physics in college and couldn't wrap my mind around it. So he would read my book, teach himself the material and then explain it to me in a way I would understand. I made an A. He has a heart of gold. I know of no one that would contest that. One time in college I was super sick and just could not breathe well because of congestion. Travis came by to check on me. I don't know if it was because I looked like death or if my breathing was irregular, but he slept on the floor of my room and would wake up to check my breathing because he was so worried. He always talks about his brothers because he's so proud of them. He NEVER lets me go to sleep being mad at him, which is so irritating sometimes! He will call and call and call until I answer and we hash it out. I love his persistance. A hobby of ours is making Excel spreadsheets about hypothetical budgets when we're married. He made me the headboard for my bed. He is most alive when hanging with his best friends. He LOVES his Baylor Bears. I love him.

Sidenote: I have grown quite fond of sporting the most beautiful ring everyday and night. It goes with PJs, workout attire, and church clothes. I adore it.

I'm starting a new season of having a fiance, but I have begun a new book which has already began a new spiritual season within my soul. And Travis would agree, that's way more exciting then finding candles on sale for centerpieces.

It's not a new book. It's been published and out in the stores for awhile. My kindred BethAnn read the introduction to me about a year ago and I never got it out of my head. So when mom asked for a Christmas list I asked for this book. I am completely stirred by it's message. It has made an old and redundant word, grace, have it's original intended meaning again. I can't tell you more because I'm only on page 35. I will type out the introduction. The introduction that has stuck with me so long that I hope it sticks with you in a way that encourages you to search for the Lord, because he is too big to ever stop searching for. I leave you with this. Stick with it, it will resonate within you, I promise.

"The Ragamuffin Gospel was written for a specific reading audience in mind. This book is not for the superspiritual. It is not for muscular Christians who have made John Wayne, and not Jesus, their hero. It is not for academics who would imprison Jesus in the ivory tower of exegesis. It is not for noisy, feel-good folks who manipulate Christianity into a naked appeal to emotion. It is not for hooded mystics who want magic in their religion. It is not for Alleluia Christians who live only on the mountaintop and have never visited the valley of desolation. It is not for the fearless and tearless. It is not for red-hot zealots who boast with the rich young ruler of the Gospels, "All of these commandments I have kept from my youth." It is not for the complacent who hoist over their shoulders a tote bag of honors, diplomas, and good works, actually believing they have it made. It is not for legalists who would rather surrender control of their souls to rules than run the risk of living in union with Jesus.

If anyone is still reading along, The Ragamuffin Gospel was written for the bedraggled, beat-up, and burnt-out. It is for the sorely burdened who are still shifting the heavy suitcase from one hand to the other. It is for the wobbly and weak-kneed who know they don't have it all together and are too proud to accept the handout of amazing grace. It is for inconsistent, unsteady disciples whose cheese is falling off their cracker. It is for poor, weak, sinful men and women with hereditary faults and limited talents. It is for earthen vessels who shuffle along on feet of clay. It is for the bent and the bruised who feel that their lives are a grave disappointment to God. It is for smart people who know they are stupid and honest disciples who admit they are scalawags.

The Ragamuffin Gospel is a book I wrote for myself and anyone who has grown weary and discouraged along the Way. "

-author of Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning

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