The Dutch Rush

they're Dutch...and life's a rush

Category: Michael

The Giant and the Ice Cream Cone

This really is random, so look out. We’ll start with some past cuteness.

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Fall is my favorite.  I like candles,  soup, and sweaters.  Somehow it makes more sense when the temperature is below 80.

Our family had quite a day at Apple Hill.  I will not relay to you all that we ate.  But I assure you, it was substantial.  I took out my phone to take a picture of us, when all heck broke loose.  Most of the pictures are taken while I am shrieking, waving my hands around and kicking Michael because I had just put half a doughnut in my mouth when he started taking pictures.  Joel is determined not to smile, and Alyssa and Michael can’t stop laughing.  Good times. FullSizeRender (4)FullSizeRender (3)FullSizeRender (6)

In other news, Josh got baptized last week.  He was bold and clear about his love for Jesus. We’re a little proud of that guy.

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I’m a terrible photographer.  But hey, at least there is photographic evidence of the event, right?

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Yes, we’re still naturing it up around here.  Meeting of the Idiots still happens most weeks. I think one of our favorite things about that time is the freedom to call each other idiots. In love, of course. It is the only time certain children may use that word, so it’s a treasured hour of their week.  Naturally, it would be the same hour that we are attempting to identify and draw nature.

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And speaking of nature, Josh and I turned part of the boys bedroom into a nature table to display his findings.  You are probably wondering to yourself  “Is that table also a home for dirty and clean socks?  Water cups?  Old bandaids?  Church bulletins?”  No.  No, it is not. Any of these items get instantly and dramatically re-located to the floor.

And for the grand finale, I will tell you a story of  “The Giant and the Ice Cream Cone”.

It was one of those days recently.  The sort that I was once determined I would never have. Ahem.  During a series of unfortunate events, Michael realized that it may be a good night to take me to dinner.  Even if that meant having roadkill down the street.  There had been countless ridiculous situations during the day, unexpected company (not uncommon around here), and various other small things…very small, but somehow not so small to this woman’s mind on that particular day.  So Michael packed the kids off to various locations, and took me out. Around here “out” has various meanings, being pretty far from what most people think of as a city.

During the drive I had plenty of time to discuss important issues, such as whether or not I knew how to tell if a bicycle tire is low on air, how to check it, when one would decide to replace the tire (tube, they are called apparently) and what not. Lovely, charming dinner date.

Between the time I began to discuss my vast knowledge of bicycles, and the time we got to dinner, I became aware of the fact that I was possibly being slightly difficult, due to the fact that Michael was very quiet.  If you know Michael at all, you know that he and quiet are incompatible.  But when faced with the fact the his wife knew much MUCH more about bicycle tires than he did, even though she admitted that she didn’t…well he knew what sort of night he was going to have.  He loves it when I get like that.  It’s his favorite.

Incidentally, he has mentioned that he knows that I will have those days and feels that my efforts not to have those days could be better used on just admitting to being difficult. Which is actually good news for me.  It is a lot easier to say sorry for being difficult on those grouchy days, than to never have them at all.  Whew.

By now you’re wondering how ice cream comes into the story.

Okay.  So realizing my difficult state, I CHEERED up.  I mean.  I could have fooled you if you had run into us.  Which is usually what happens at a time like that.  But not this time. Instead I noticed the ice cream machine right behind his head and decided yes, that man needs some ice cream. All he needs to do is reach around behind his head and help himself to a mini ice cream cone and everything will be all better.  And here is the proof.

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See?  All better.

The entire time he is eating that ice cream he is telling me that he doesn’t even like this ice cream, and he doesn’t know why he’s eating it, and he should not have had it in the first place.  This brings emotional eating to a whole new level.

And now you have the story of the Giant and the Ice Cream Cone.

I am glad to be able to mention that we actually had a much better second part of our date and got along perfectly.  I think.

Just like Dad told me.

It’s a little intense raising pastor’s kids.  It can be unsettling to know that they could treasure their Lord so dearly right now and then turn and walk away from all of it.  As we have seen some do.

I realize that humility is usually right there to help us not get too full of ourselves. Especially in this line of work.  There is a vulnerability that must be present in our lives. We try to share life authentically with those who choose to trust us. We want to be the kind of people that Michael preaches about.

We try to hope and trust in the faithfulness of God in these things.

That is why stories like this are precious to me.  And I write them down and thank the Lord for them, because they sustain us, even as we try to hold these children so loosely. We want to give them space to be who God has made them to be.

There are a few phrases that I will remember forever.

A new one was added to the list a few weeks ago.  I really don’t want to sensationalize this. But I do want to share it with you. So if you’re reading this, that’s my disclaimer. Hopefully you’ll know what I mean when this is finished.

Recently, one of our children decided to tell one of their friends about Jesus and what He did for us.  This child thought about it for awhile before telling this friend.  There was motivation behind this decision: without a relationship with Jesus, this friend is going to Hell.  For eternity.

That should burden us all.  But some of us are too scared.  Or busy.  Or we don’t believe it could be true.

Anyway, I was unaware that this had happened until that evening.  I asked this child about it because Michael told me I would want to hear the story first hand.

I will never forget that conversation…

“Mom, I did it just like Dad told me.  I started with the bad news first.  That we are all sinners and we deserve to go to hell…

…then I told them the good news, that if we tell Jesus we repent of our sins and believe that he died on the cross and forgave us then we can go to heaven.”

I said I was so proud, and I asked what the friend said.

“well, he changed the subject…but I went back to it and said “okay man, I am not going to quit telling you about this, and I’m not going to quit inviting you to church until you start coming with me.”  And then we went back to playing.”

Oh my heart.  Is there anything in this life more important than sharing Jesus with our children and hearing them pass it on?

It has taken me weeks to sort through this conversation.  What I keep coming to is this:

The goodness of God…that I get to be a part of this family.

That my children have a dad who takes the time to teach them.  Michael doesn’t just preach this from the pulpit, he takes the time to have many, many conversations with our kids.  About why we want to tell our friends about Jesus, about what to say. About why we love the people that God put around us.  And that God will never stop loving them.

Michael comes home and spends the time that it takes to teach his children about life.

Maybe some pastors are not people their children want to model, or maybe they don’t take the time to let their children know them.  There are many reasons pastor’s children stray. I have to think that some of those reasons are a lack of interest or interaction pastors have in the lives of their children.  I am grateful that Michael and I both had dads that took time for us.

In my eyes Michael is a success because he takes the time for what matters.  I’m so glad for that.  The things that matter are messy and sometimes it takes a long time to see the good things happening.  But that’s why I’m writing.  So we can see these things and remember.

Submitting to my husband, and other insanity.

I just already know that you guys are all gonna love this post. In fact, you’ll be begging for more, like “Mary, we just can’t get enough of this topic, can you please ramble on some more?”.

Heh. Heh.

At breakfast the other morning, we were all talking together about:

Things that we believe…that aren’t popular…but we still believe them because God has spoken.

I think that allowing a man to lead his family falls into this category. It’s also referred to as obeying my husband or submission.

Perfect. I think I can hear the groaning.

Some days I’ll be trying to figure out what God wants me to be doing, so I’ll read a good book, hear a message, or talk to a friend and think “THAT’S what God wants me to do!”

But then I read the Bible.

It says we are to listen to our husbands as to the Lord, because that is the person God has given us to lead and guide our family.

Maybe you think God gave you a bad leader for your family.

Sadly, I am seeing that some women make poor choices. I am not saying this to be hurtful and mean. I’m realizing it is a reality for a lot of women…I talk with some of those women who have, and are experiencing pain that I can never understand. So because I can’t understand the pain, I am trying to just be with them in it. It is heartbreaking.

Please don’t take this to be uncaring or trite.

I think the reality is that we are loved by a God who gave us free choice. And we are all sinners who will struggle with making choices. He knew that some women would be with unbelievers. He gave those women some special instruction. It sounds familiar: “be nice and quiet and submissive…”

Great. It seems to be a theme for all of us.

I’ll just say right now if there are any women reading this who are Christians, and not married yet: DON’T DATE ANYONE YOU COULD NOT RESPECT ENOUGH TO SUBMIT TO FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!!!

Well, that really narrowed it down, didn’t it?

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There are days that I want to put my fingers in my ears and try to ignore what God says He wants me to do, because it is hard. It sounds like this:

“Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord…now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in EVERYTHING.”

Ugh.

I remembered something in the Bible that says if we are knowingly living in sin, God will not listen to our prayers.

So then, does not submitting to my husband count as sin?

I have spent weeks wrestling with whether or not to post this. But these things have encouraged me to go ahead.

1. My own experience of what happens when I am obeying God in this way.

2. Talking with other women who struggle with this.

It’s a real thing. I would guess if we are honest, we all struggle with this, maybe some more than others.

It says in James, “do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves, do what it says”.

In Proverbs, it says “to obey is better than sacrifice”.

Some days, remembering that one line can stop me dead in my tracks.

As women, we can be amazing at sacrifice. Serving in the church, caring for others, usually in such valuable ways…and all the while we can be so sneaky!

Good little church women, disobeying God by ignoring what our husbands have asked of us!

Talk about deceiving ourselves! I think we’ve actually convinced ourselves that it is God’s will for us to sacrifice in ways that can ignore our husbands. We can tend to make them feel like a loud, oversize nuisance! 

Society is constantly telling us that our husbands can take care of themselves.

Maybe we bought into that idea. I mean, think about what we do for our family, church and community in the name of sacrifice.

(Don’t get me wrong, all of those things are critically important when put in the right priority.)

But we sometimes treat our husbands like an afterthought whose needs and leadership tend to be ignored if other things seem more pressing. So we end up “sacrificing” instead of obeying, all in the name of good things.

We deceive ourselves into thinking that we are doing God’s will, thinking that certainly our husbands are “big boys” and can take care of themselves.

WHERE IN SCRIPTURE DOES IT SAY THIS?

It actually says the opposite. It says that this is so important, that if we do not submit to our husbands, it can malign the Word of God.

This is serious! When we fail in this, we are maligning the word of God!

We were MADE specifically to help them! It says so in 1 Corinthians. Yes, it says that. It says “The woman was made for the man, not the man for the woman”.

If you are shaking your head at me thinking, “she’s crazy, I have no idea what she’s talking about!” just go back to what you were doing! It’s okay, my kids sometimes call me “Crazy Mary” which reminds me of a backwoods man with a shaggy beard. Like “Crazy Joe or Crazy Sam…”. Ahem. Anyway…

If you’re still here and you’re ready to think about this, well, lets think! And then act!

Aren’t we a little nuts sometimes? We have this gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us through these things. But we shove Him aside and say, “oh no, I’ll handle this myself. I’m really good at submitting to my husband”.

Think about our husbands, who were given the job of leading our families. It is an assignment from God. And THEY will have to give an account to the God of the universe for how they handled their family. Why do we make it so difficult for them to lead us?

In the end, we can sit self-righteously off to the side and point the finger at him and say “it’s all his fault…he wouldn’t lead me!”

FOR SHAME. It is our shame as women that we make this job of theirs so difficult.

Come on, we KNOW we’re difficult, right? Or is it just me? Am I the only one who thinks I’m difficult?

Why are we still like Eve? Why do we think we know better than God and our husbands?

I’ll give you the secret to make your husband upset in zero to sixty. Treat him like you know better than he does. Set yourself up as the authority in any or every situation. As in, completely ignore Ephesians 5:22-24. It will make you totally miserable, and of course, him too.

On the other hand, if that’s not really what you’re hoping for…

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Well…me either.

So next, we’ll talk about WHY someone would want to live like this. Because that’s what we’re all wondering, isn’t it? What’s in it for me? I know. It’s messed up and backwards.

And true.

7.17.13

100_2469As we can all agree, a lot happens between your first anniversary and your 14th anniversary.

For us it’s been like Toad’s Wild Ride.

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There have been children and moves and school and more than a few fights.

Love covers a multitude of sins though. That is true.

I remember being so amazed that Michael would marry me. I was so grateful.

Then life happened.

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But amid all the teasing, arguing, nose pinching, toe pulling, mission trips, youth “retreats”, pranks, moves, 84,000 meals to cook, socks to fold, ironing, et blankety cetera…I still cannot BELIEVE Michael would marry me. I am SO GRATEFUL to that man.

He is still amazing. He ages well, I think. He’s my hero. He has carefully, thoughtfully, and graciously led our family to where we are today. And today is good.

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He’s quite romantic. I won’t bore you with all the details. But I will say, romance has evolved for us.

Early on romance meant gifts, Pepsi, flowers, chocolate, letting me go to the book store without babies, etc.

Now I’m a bit more practical (don’t anyone freak out, he still does those things too), but maybe, just maybe I’m getting easier to please in my old age. I told someone a few days ago that Michael gave me the most romantic gift ever (this could be a slight overstatement, that’s kind of normal for me)…he helped me navigate the DMV website the night before my birthday so my license wouldn’t expire. Apparently, the DMV takes renewal a little more seriously than I do, and would have required a visit from me on my birthday, of all days. Can you see why this man is the hero? Anybody?

He also does terribly romantic things like getting up to let the stupid cat in when she’s clawing on our screen after we’ve all gone to bed. Or, going to the garage for me when it’s too dark for me to go myself…or going to the store when his ridiculous wife lets us run out of milk. (Running out of anything is my nemesis. Grrr, that bugs me so bad, and then it’s like extra punishment because we have to pay extra usually since it’s not on sale. GAHHHHH.) Or, like last night…are you ready? He did the dishes. He does this regularly now, when I’m tired or sick or what have you. Whoa. Not only did he do dishes, he sent me to bed and asked if he could get me anything. Swoon. No, SWOON.

So much to be grateful for. I have been so blessed. I’m not sure why, but God has been so gracious to me. It’s pretty humbling.

Happy Anniversary Michael.

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