Sunday, April 22, 2018

Three Rings: Marriage

Admittedly when I started writing these blogs it was going to culminate in this post about Ashley’s engagement ring. I was gonna be all about what she means to me, what I was feeling, and what I thought the road ahead was going to contain. Let’s be honest, it was gonna be a sappy mess. No one was gonna be able to handle it.

But here I am some 10ish months later having never written it. And now I’m 6 months into my marriage, and I think I’m finally ready.

It wasn’t that anything I was gonna write was false, or that my plans suddenly changed. It just didn’t quite feel right. Life picked up. And I think I was trying to force the blog into something it wasn’t. Something it never needed to be. Because, you see, I don’t think I was aware of what that ring meant yet.

So now that I’m sitting here, I’d like to share what both Ashley and I’s wedding rings mean to me.

They signify love.

They signify commitment.

They signify growth.

They signify joy.

They signify hard work.

They signify nights spent on the couch.

They signify the difficulty of re-learning.

They signify the courage required to go deep.

They signify difficulty of misaligned expectations.

They signify the happiness of journey, and the hardships of it.

They signify the Father, Son, and Spirit’s movements in our lives.

They signify cooking mostly delicious meals together.

They signify dreaming together, however differently it may look.

The signify me talking in my sleep and stealing the covers.

They signify a dairy-free home.

They signify healthy conflict.

They signify new depths.

They signify healing.

They signify hard conversations.

They signify going to bed early, and waking up before the sun.

They signify edification like I’ve never known.

They signify emotions I’ve never had concepts for.

They signify meandering through antique shops.

They signify challenges overcome and challenges I didn’t see coming.

They signify more support and caring than I imagined.

They signify fresh realizations and discovery.

They signify learning hard truths and working through them.

They signify deeper levels of understanding.

They signify seeing the Father’s face every day in new and different ways.

They signify laugher and they signify tears.

They signify both of us swooning when we see a dog.

They signify re-evaluating my lifelong fashion choices.

They signify unbreakable peace.

They signify exceptional connection.

They signify pioneering in many directions.

They signify understanding I’m not the Myers Briggs I thought I was, and that she definitely is.

They signify a crooked house with a lot of character.

They signify new horizons.

They signify dying to self.

They signify understanding what my needs are, and how I didn’t know they were there.

They signify traveling.

They signify never really understanding La Croix.

They signify the joys of green salsa.

They signify times in libraries and book stores.

They signify podcasts.

They signify wonderfully deep conversations.

They signify love.

They signify the Powell’s.

I could go on, I think. But even then I wouldn’t scratch the surface. These rings more than I could ever divulge, and more than I could ever really know.

Marriage is quite a ride. One I’m so glad I’m on.

So yeah. Those are my three rings. 

.... Well four, I guess. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Three Rings: Sonship

If you missed the lead up to this short series, go back and read about the Thailand ring. If you’re all caught up...

Here is the story of the second of those three rings.

The Sonship Ring

The first part of June was Training Camp around the office. This is when new Racers come to our campus and go through a 10 day training, which many members of the staff help put on.

This camp was special for a few reasons. First, I had proposed to Ashley only a few weeks before. Second, she was going to be mentoring one of the squad’s at this camp. This meant that I got to help train this group of Racers she’d be taking care of. So it was just cool to meet a new squad as someone who would sort of be in their life by association. Third, I was finally going to meet the Banse’s.

Dan and Ruanne Banse are coaches for the World Race, meaning they are basically elders that speak into the lives of the Racers. They also get to travel to the field for debriefs. Dan and Ruanne have been working with Ashley for a year or so now, and I had heard tons of stories about them. I was excited to finally get to meet them!

They’re a spirit-filled couple who always seem to be in tune with the Lord. And always seem to know what He’s saying. They’re also pretty goofy and seem to bring the party wherever they are. Basically, they’re great.

One day around halfway through camp Dan asked me what my ring size was. Dan likes to play around a good bit, so I just kinda laughed this question off. The next day he came back with a black ring and asked me to put it on. Not really following, I did. It was a little big, so he said he’d bring another one the next day.

At this point I had picked up the obvious, Dan was going to give me a ring for some reason. As I said, rings don’t really pique my interest typically. So the previous two days hadn't meant much to me. 

The next day Dan comes up to me with another black ring and tells me to put it on. It fits perfectly this time, and I actually get a good look at it. A black band with a gold cross inlaid on either side of the band. It seemed a little cliché to me at first, until Dan told me what it was for.

He said that this ring signifies my sonship into the Kingdom. It means that I am a son of the King. A son of the Father in Heaven. It showed that the Father recognized me as His son by giving me a ring, or a reminder.
The ring

Much like the Thailand ring, I didn’t quite know what to do. I thanked Dan and walked off to think. To be honest I didn’t really process what this meant until a week later.

I know that I am son of God. But to be recognized as one carried weight to me. It’s a physical reminder of who I am and where I come from. A reminder of what the Lord thinks of me.

I’ve realized that being recognized or being claimed is such a want in life. To be known, seen, spoken for. To know who you are and where you come from. But for whatever reason, it’s actually terrifying. 

In essence, I’ve come to realize that it is so important that it makes me wary. I don’t trust it. There’s too much of a risk of the disingenuous. Of the whole thing being false. So I don’t want to put any trust or stock in it. Better to be where I am than to trust in something that might not be true, right?

Of course not! Of course that’s not true. Sheesh, people. I feel like that’s the way our culture sees things. Until its been proven, it can’t be true. Seeing is believing, right? Not the other way around, no not never. It makes me wonder if this is one of the reasons so many people have such huge issues with being claimed by the Father as a daughter or son. Because it seems too good to be true. 

And I'd wager that we as a people don’t know how to be loved. 

Which is something I imagine the Father wants to change. Maybe He’s trying to tell you how much He loves and claims you right here and now? 

That’s the major lesson for me in this ring. I’m claimed. I’m loved deeply. My Father is proud of me. I’m His son. Good grief, guys... I’m His son. And I can trust in that. I really can. And I really will.

I keep the ring on my bookshelf usually. It reminds me when I’m feeling low. Reminds me if I’m feeling angry or lost. Reminds me when I need to know who I am again. When I lose my way ever so slightly.

It might seem silly. But in my opinion it can never hurt to have a reminder of who you are or where you come from. To know who’s watching out for you. To know who you can come back to. To know who claims you. Even more so when it’s the God of the universe.

This ring perfectly accompanies the Thailand ring in that they both show me that not only do I have worth in Christ, but that I’m a son as well.

Both worthy and claimed.

I find that to be important.