Tag: rod

It’s always raining

I remember the day he sang at this church. The call came in the middle of the night, literally. The opportunity was so refreshing. The financial blessing was so needed. We were on the starting edge of the biggest drought and hardest challenge of our lives, even though we were fighting it off and maybe even denying it a little.

I was looking for a different song he’s sang today and came across this one. I had to giggle. This isn’t the same guy, and I am not the same either. November 2011 might as well have been a decade ago instead of two short years for all the ways our lives have changed – and all the ways we have changed.

But the message holds. The rain is coming.

I’d like to hear Rod sing it now, with his long hair and wearing his flip-flops, strumming his guitar, on the beach or the porch. Part of our change has been letting go of religion in all its hidden forms, in the legalism, the formality, the appearances, the parts that build walls instead of shine lights.

Part of our change is a realization that even though we have dry seasons, it never actually stops raining..

Jesus said this:

This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you. – Matthew 5: 43-48, The Message

I’m grateful for those who gave us water when our season was dry. I am grateful we have some water to share this year. I’m grateful for the lesson learned that we should always be watching and waiting for a bouty of blessings to come to us.

day 9: no regrets

ELEVEN years ago today, a single, type-A girl moved in with the love of her life, 13 years older, and his kids, 13 & 15 years younger, respectively.

Somehow we made it through housekeeping, disciplining, 2 more kids, and many, many other differences and lessons.

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Tonight, most of those same people will gather at our home, 1000 miles away from where we started, and put ornaments on the tree.

Our love story, our family picture, it is so far from perfect. And the holidays between then and now sure held their shares of ups and downs (just ask us to tell you about 2008, the Christmas decorating day from hell, complete with stomach flu…). I have often asked myself if I have any regrets, and the truth is, yes. I regret the times I was not honest with myself or with others. I regret the people I hurt by not meeting their expectations of me. I regret the time I wasted trying to fix things that I could not control.

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But I don’t regret our unconventional, slightly cracked, beautiful family. I would not trade it for any other.

Though I’ve never seen Him

It’s no secret that I love the beach. I mean, I love the beach. It is my absolute favorite thing about living in Murrells Inlet, SC… and working in Surfside Beach, SC… and hanging out in Myrtle Beach, SC and Garden City Beach, SC. I can pull up to one of those fab “Public Access” signs pretty much any time I desire (and many times not even pay for parking!) and automatically be reminded of something bigger, deeper, and more constant than anything else I can experience with all my senses.

Fifteen months in, our honeymoon is still not over. I still have my shoes off long before my feet hit the sand, I still show up at the store or the office with the bottom (ok, or up to my knees) wet because I couldn’t resist walking in just a little deeper. I cannot explain why I love it so much. It just feels like the purest air and the most beautiful sight and the most familiar home.

Today, without really thinking about it, I made it there earlier than ever, around 7:30 after I dropped the girls off at school. My routine on such days is to put in my earphones and walk awhile, and my plan today was no different. The only notable difference was that I was listening to my husband’s music, which I have not done for a long time. So much of what he recorded during the period of 2006-2010 just doesn’t sound like “him” anymore, but his most recent CD, The Difference, has some moments. One of them is a song written by Shane Roark that is one of my favorites Rod sings. It’s called, “There is a God,” and it happened to be playing as I walked out onto the beach.

I can’t quite describe what I saw or how it made me feel. Everything looked different. The water looked nearly white, like it was being illuminated from beneath. I smiled and nodded as I realized the words to the song playing at that moment were, “Though I’ve never seen Him with these human eyes, I know there is a God.” And then I saw 1… 2… 3!… dolphins swimming along, about 20 or 30 feet out from the shore. It was then that I broke my routine and sat in the dry sand and listened to the words of the beautiful song about our Creator and watched in awe the beauty of His creation.

~

I shared a photo on Facebook as I was experiencing this, and it received such a response that I wanted to share the others. I’m no photographer and these were taken with my iPhone… no editing, just as close as possible to what I saw.

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I also want to offer a little present for you if you are reading this…
– Click the photo below for a free wallpaper download
– and click HERE to download the full version of “There is a God.”
– And if you enjoy it, feel free to click here to download the rest of The Difference. (or order the CD here)

“He lives in me, He’s still the same, He’s never changed.”

There Is A God

the village it takes

In this past week, I have come to newly appreciate some of the existing friendships in my life. First of all, there are a handful of special people with whom I have somehow grown closer since we moved away. How is that possible? I give some credit to the constant touchstone of technology, for allowing us to share instantaneous photos & videos, random texted moments, and any-time-of-day deep thoughts. Hallelujah for these people.

And then, just when I give up on making new friends or deepening friendships (I know it’s stupid, but we all have our stupid places where we go), God surprises me with crazy-enlightening conversations, surprising encounters, and total familiarity with brand new people.

I love it all. I love you, ‘my people.’

And I guess there is no better time than an anniversary weekend to count some blessings…

It took a team of 4 sets of babysitters to allow us to get away for 2 nights, not counting the 2 sets who would have if Randa had not been diagnosed with the flu the day before I left (to meet Rod, who was already in Columbia waiting for me, as we’d planned back in December. Ah…plans…).

I often miss and lament the presence of my parents in our geographical lives. This weekend, I was blessed with the older siblings, the surrogate grandma, the surrogate auntie…we are so blessed.

usSo shout-out to Paige, Josh, Kirsten, Sue, Rebekah, Tanja, and Katnetra for loving our littles enough to babysit them (or volunteer to until Randa got the Bug)…so I could be with my favorite person in the world. Thanks for not only administering medicine and cheese and sugar, but sending us pictures of the smiles you put on Randa & KK’s faces!

During our weekend away, we enjoyed seeing Les Mis for the 6th time together (and my 8th overall) at Columbia’s Koger Center For the Performing Arts. Please do not get me started on the scrawny (but well-voiced) Valjean, or the obstructed view (a letter is being written). Anyway, it was fun watching Paige see it on stage for the first time, and hearing one of the best written lines ever never gets old (wait until the end).

On Saturday, we did a glorious bunch of nothing most of the day. I will only disclose that both Superman and Superman II were on the hotel’s HBO, and Christopher Reeve’s earnest but pretty terrible acting and sweet, little curl do stand the test of time.

Oh, and Ruth’s Chris still has the best steaks anywhere!

I will wax sentimental and sappy all week long about our “first” 10th anniversary (Annual disclaimer for new friends and readers: we were married in March 2003 and had our big wedding in August 2003, and we celebrate both because we love celebrating!) I often joke that no one makes me laugh like *I* do, but no one gives me joy like he does! He, as well as this family he gave me, gives life to my favorite line penned by Victor Hugo, “To love another person is to see the face of God.” Amen.

PS: If you care about bloggy sorts of things, I have finally updated my “about me” page. A good time was had by all.

 

Yep. We love us.

I am not a marriage expert.

But I am an expert on my marriage.

(I may have said here that before)…

Rod and I have been best friends for a long time now… almost, as I like to remind him, half of my life. In just 2 months, we’ll have been married for 10 years. And in those years, we have packed in a whole lot of living. Sometimes I feel like time has been compressed in a 2-for-one deal. Having little kids and big kids, crazy whirlwind career-changes, and of course, the big move and all that followed, have rocked our world time and time again… sometimes in a rock-n-roll fun kind of way, sometimes in a “Gee, we’re between a rock and a hard place with big old boulders hanging by a thread over us” kind of way.

And yet…

Rod travels a lot for work, and since my job pace has slowed, he’s been wanting me to make a little trip with him. The wedding of 2 of our friends this past weekend allowed us to do that. It took some planning, and 3 cars eventually going about 3 hours from home, but it was so worth it.

We excitedly reunited in the hotel lobby.

We ate pretty, pretty grown-up food:

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And then, we actually skipped going to a movie (one of our favorite things), for which we had gift cards (another of our favorite things), to go back to the hotel, lounge around, and watch “old” movies on cable (and by old, I do not mean black-and-white, groomed eyebrows and cool cigars. I mean Twister).

It was fabulous.

We talked about the kids only a tiny bit and work only a tiny bit. We talked about some plans for the year, some friends and what they’re going through (we love you, D-Js!), and we talked about the fact that even though every other day something makes me wish we could have one more baby, it’s awfully nice to have time for Just The Two Of Us.

’cause you know? We love us.

I’m really grateful we have a daughter we can trust with her little sisters~

our pretty girls

~ and have been able to for several years, so that we can steal away… be it for an hour or 24, to get time together. And I am really thankful that even though Rod often has a very imperfect wife, who is 30 pounds heavier and about 30,000 nerves shorter than that girl he married, he still sees how much I love him. He sees me trying to be my best not just for me, God, and our kids, but especially for him (there is absolutely still a hair-fluff and a lipstick-refresh when I am about to see him). And during this particular season of time, I want to say to every wife I know… that if you are having a rocky time, an uncertain time, a difficult time connecting: let your husband know you appreciate him. He might not ever ask for it, but everyone needs it.

This guy? As my sweet Gramma says, he is a “good man.” To me, he is the best.

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