A Few Thoughts On Seven Years

Today marks my seventh wedding anniversary with Mrs. Wilsonian. She is a grace and joy to me that I cannot comprehend. The last seven years have been a blur in slow motion. More experienced parents have often said this to us about raising children, “The days are long but the years are short.” And, amazingly, they really are.

Here are some thoughts on the number 7 and marriage:

Most mornings, I walk the family dog (bear with me) on the trails behind our neighborhood. Sometimes I am there pre-dawn, sometimes I miss the sunrise, and sometimes I am there to glimpse the sky on fire.

As I reflected on seven years of marriage, I thought about the varying skies I’ve walked under all these mornings. Our marriage, like the sky, can sometimes be really photogenic, vibrant, eye-catching, even instagram-able! Other times it may appear less “brilliant” with overcast shadings. Every day as husband and wife is varied, bringing different contours, textures, moods, and colors. Also, like the sky, every day is the same in that the sun comes up, the world continues to turn, and it’s all beautiful.

I know seven years is not that long in the context of a lifetime, but it’s long enough to be known for “the seven year itch” because for a long stretch of time, statistically, seven years has been close to the median duration of marriages before divorce. If someone sets their hopes on marriage always being a fiery sunrise with cotton candy clouds, I can understand why a grey cloud could rattle their commitment.

If, however, you view marriage as a commitment out of love rather than a “what’s in it for me” relationship, you’ll stay married AND find more fulfillment.

This thinking about marriage and “seven” reminded me of Jesus’ response to Peter asking, “How often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”

He said, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
(or “seventy times seven” depending on your translation)

The point is that seven sounded like a lot to Peter, but Jesus pointed him toward not keeping count at all. So, while seven years of marriage appears to be an accomplishment in some ways, it’s a drop in the bucket of a lifelong journey! We’re shooting for seventy times seven!

That’s how I knew I was ready to marry Danielle when I knew I could commit the rest of my life to her. I could have rushed into the idea of marriage much sooner based on how amazing she is, how pretty she is, how she makes me feel inside, etc. But seeing marriage as a lifelong partnership for the beautiful sunrises AND thunderstorms of life, I knew I wanted to marry someone with whom I could face it all, not matter what, til death do us part.

Seven years is not a long time. But long enough to discover that Danielle’s faith balances my skepticism. Her fearlessness balances my caution. Her enthusiasm balances my even keel. Her ridiculousness “balances” my logic. She challenges me and encourages me. She supports me and grounds me. She is the answer to a question that I once doubted would ever be resolved.

Love you, babe! Congrats on covenanting with my Costanza-ness for LIIIIIFFFEEEE!

interesting thought… i thought

please note that the title to this post means that i thought a certain thought was interesting, not that i came up with an interesting thought!

i heard matt chandler mention something in a message the other day that i thought was interesting and then read pretty much the same idea in something for class, i think (there are a few sources, so please forgive me for losing track).

the thought is this (and i REALLY hope i don’t butcher it):

GENERALLY speaking, there are many people who subscribe firmly to darwin’s theory of evolution and the idea that survival of the fittest has moved living organisms to where we are today who ALSO take fervent interest in social justice causes around the world. it would seem that these two thoughts are in contradiction to each other. if survival of the fittest is a trusted and necessary way for life to advance, then why obstruct the process by lending a hand to the impoverished? does evolution not dictate that those without who cannot should be let alone to be overtaken by those who have and can? the apparent logic to this sentiment seemed profound to me. and if i hadn’t read it randomly after hearing it on a podcast, i wouldn’t have posted about it, i’m sure.

now, again, i’m speaking in generalities as i can’t knowledgeably contemplate the ins and outs of evolutionary thinking… nor social justice minded thinking. for someone who tries to view the world through a Christocentric, Biblical lens and does NOT hold to views of evolution or social justice (apart from the Gospel), it may be really easy to consider the thought stated above and say “yeah, what are they thinking?”

maybe i’m missing that while people believe that evolution got us here, they don’t also believe that it’s an approved method of moving forward.

anyone out there have any thoughts on this?

it’s an honor just to be nominated

this weekend will be the tenth wedding i have participated in, if my count is accurate (hope i’m not forgetting someone).

this will be my second outing as an usher. i’ve also been a groomsman four times and held/shared best man duties four times. it’s always an honor. i know it’s not about me AT ALL, but when i think about being asked to share in such an important event, i feel blessed to be counted as friend by the people in my life.

i’m really thankful for the people and friendships God has placed in my life over the years. i’m so undeserving, yet here i stand.

2008: year in review

i’m not one to determine whether an event, day, year, etc. was good or bad through reflection. if i don’t automatically have an emphatic answer to “how was your day/year/the party/dinner/whatever?” then it was probably fine. nothing to complain about. nothing to rave about.

while this is a good thing, i believe, in keeping me from getting discouraged or riding crests of emotionalism, it also can minimize events in my memory that should be reflected upon with more effort. so, with 2008 coming to a close, i’ll try to recount some of the major events that transpired.

in february, grammy (my mom’s mom) passed away. she lived a long, full life and was a believer in Jesus Christ, so it was a sweet time of remembrance for my fam. we laughed, cried, and laughed some more. i was thinking the other day that even though she had SO many kids, grand kids, and great grand kids we probably all have memories and stories about her that are unique to each one of us. i got to ride in a hot air balloon with her several years ago, complete with crash landing! i also had the privilege, at the funeral, of reading something my brother wrote which summed up several memories that everyone in the family could relate to. beyond that privilege, i got to celebrate and proclaim that grammy was in heaven because of grace through faith in Jesus, not because she was a really cool grandmother.

in march, i got to travel to muzquiz, mexico on a mission trip with some of our high school students. half of our group stayed in the states to do construction, while i went with the other half into mexico to help an organization called “share God’s love with all” do some block party evangelism. i’m always surprised by how much spanish comes back to me when several in our group don’t know any at all!

in april, i went to visit my brother and his fam in tennessee. while there i drove up and previewed southern baptist theological seminary in louisville, ky. i liked it a lot. don’t know if i’m headed there any time soon, though, or even at all.

2008 marked the first year in several that we took our high school students to a “camp” camp rather than a “resort” camp. i wasn’t sure how they would respond, but the feedback was really great.

in july i was blessed to go back to africa for the second straight year. this year we went to northern, south africa. i had never been to south africa, but i knew from the many stories i’ve heard that our trip was not the normal experience. we were in northern south africa, ministering to a coal mine and the surrounding community. usually, teams stay in the jo-burg area ministering in schools, prisons, and squatter camps. last year, in kenya, i was convicted and reminded of the simple elements of the Gospel. this year, in south africa, i started out with that mindset and had a great time ministering, laughing, eating, sharing, singing, etc. like i always do on mission trips. ministry is SO good with others, even when it’s hard. i hope you experience that as often as you can.

august is marked by the departure of my bff. my good friend, randy and his awesome wife, jen, moved to dallas so he could attend dallas theological seminary. randy’s family and my family both joined houston northwest church back in 1991. we’ve been friends ever since and both joined the church staff after college. it’s weird that we’re not 15 feet away from each other every day, but he’s in a better place, i guess!

august was also when i started an 11 week series on exodus for the high school students. i REALLY enjoyed studying parts of exodus and seeing God point to His ultimate plan of salvation and reconciliation through Christ, the perfect passover, the complete manna, and the fulfillment of the law.

ike came to visit in september. messed up a lot of stuff. nothing really that affected me, except delaying my vacation to tennessee by two days… jerk. had a good time in tennesse, as always. spent some of the time at my aunt and uncle’s place outside of wartburg. more on that here.

most recently, december has been a time of seeing old friends, visiting family i haven’t seen in a long while, and trying to reflect on the real meaning, power, and impact of christmas. i also applied and was accepted to southwestern baptist theological seminary.

so, those were some of the major events of 2008. obviously, a lot more happened. there were ups, downs, highs, and lows. losses, gains, laughs, and tears. i’ve said goodbye to some great people and made some great new friends.

later, ’08. see ya in a hundred years!

thankful thursday

three things i’m thankful for today:

-will muschamp is set to take over the head coaching job at texas when mack “america’s grandpa” brown steps down.

-the tiger eye sushi roll that james and i split at my le for lunch. as homer j. simpson would say, “the food wasn’t undelicous.” sooooooo good.

-the fall temperatures we’ve been enjoying lately.

anyone else? what’s good in your life?

happy birthday, bro

today, november 1, is my older brother’s birthday. i think he gave me a shout out or two via blog in the past. now i get to return the favor.

my brother is a loving father/husband/son/son-in-law/uncle/brother, someone i can always go to for advice, one of two people i know personally who is smart enough to have been through seminary, even though he hasn’t, a gifted (PUBLISHED!) author, committed & passionate crusader for Christ’s bride, proclaimer of the Gospel, and what every good Royal Ambassador pledges to become… a well informed, responsible follower of Christ. here’s to you, bro!

happy birthday!

broseph back in the day