It's date night with this guy, all thanks to Auntie Hannah.
We have never been so off balanced as we have in the last year or so.
When we transitioned out of Youth Pastor + Vocational Ministry, what I didn't expect was how disconnected we would find ourselves. I wasn't prepared for the need to find an entirely new dance to our marriage relationship and friendship; nearly every aspect of our day to day lives and what we had built our marriage on was drastically altered. Our identity as a couple was far too knitted to our ministry work.
And yeah, it's been two years this month, but with all the life we've lived and all the transitions we've encountered...it still feels like just yesterday we moved to Portland.
We are still trying to find that new dance, which makes sense to me because all in a matter of seven months we:
- found out we were pregnant
- were fired traumatically and banned from the very community we helped create
- moved away from everything we knew
- adopted our firstborn
- birthed our secondborn
- Loren started grad school.
Instead of living slowly and soaking up every piece of parenthood like I had planned when we began our pursuit of parenthood, we've been in survival mode trying to get Loren through graduate school and working again. We have been living off of (once again) the support of others and my photography business.
It's been a lot and we are barely making ends meet...yet we are always making ends meet somehow, even at the last minute. He has never failed us in the way of provision and food and meals.
But I'm confident we will find our new dance soon — we will once again find that we do know each other after all. Transition can be hard and when you pile giant life-altering transitions onto one another in such a short amount of time, well, it only makes sense that our marriage dance feels awkward.
We may not be spending every waking hour together planning ministry events, praying over students, or preparing sermons. We may not be leading small groups and Bible studies, studying the Greek versions of each passage and diving deeply into His word together for hours each day.
But we are raising two dear miracle boys, together, and very much on the same team. Our relationship is strong in the sense that we both know we are on the same team, we don't want to remain stuck in our off-kiltered dance, we made vows that mean so much more than awkward and hard transition seasons, and we love the way the other parents.
I love watching him dad. He is such a good dad, it makes my soul sing and my mouth smile.
We are learning together about what it means to live a life of grace. Jesus has been inviting us into a deeper faith of trusting Him as we partner with Him in the work of justice and racial reconciliation. He is teaching us what it looks like to work for justice as His followers, revealing that social and racial reconciliation is at the heart of His Gospel. I'm deeply grateful we are on the same page with these incredibly important realities.
So though this dance is different than what we've known— and sometimes awkward—and even off balance as we finish out his graduate program on one income, I believe it is knitting us in ways we've never been knitted.
I am confident we will find the stride of our next dance, and it will feel much better than this striving-to-survive-fight to stay above water. I am grateful for the toddler boys we belong to, who bring us so much joy and laughter.
I'm so grateful for my husband, that he is mine and I am his.
I am so grateful we aren't yellers, arguing and bickering and tearing one another apart.
I am grateful for the confidence instilled in our marriage from the vow. The vow makes me want to do the work of getting unstuck, makes me want to keep having hard and honest conversations for the sake of our relationship and friendship.
I don't want to have a mediocre marriage, I want a thriving beautiful marriage.
I'm thankful my husband who is honest and caring, willing to go into painful emotional spaces and work towards healthy communication.
So, it's date night. What are your date ideas for a couple of people who have no money?