In the past week, God has given Brad and I two really cool pictures of the unity in our marriage.
A Common Mission
The first thing God showed us is that we are united by a common mission. Brad and I are convinced that a big part of glorifying God is by submitting to His mission to GO and make disciples. We are burdened every day by the lost around us.
One way we try to be a part of that mission is by loving our neighbors. It’s not always straight-forward how you can love someone on your street. But in this case, we have been building a relationship with a couple down the road who just had a baby (yahoo!).
I kept driving by their house last week and noticing the leaves in their front yard. They were just there, beckoning to be raked – in contrast to the houses on either side of them. I thought to myself, I bet that’s the last thing on their minds. It wouldn’t take very long to rake them up; I wonder if Brad would be on board with that.
I decided to bring it up with him that evening. Well, when Brad came home, we were chatting about the day, and he said (without any prompting from me), “I noticed that their leaves need raked.”
I guess the Spirit really wanted us to rake those up! And I’m glad. When we did it, it blessed ME so much. The kids were awesome, too. Emma hung out in the stroller for about an hour (this is not usual). Samuel had a snack, played in the leaves, and blew bubbles. He was unusually low maintenance. God was really present in our work.
A Common Conviction
Also last week, Brad kept coming home talking about how God was moving him to look at our giving. Are we giving enough? How can we give more? What can we do without? How can we sacrifice? All great questions to ask yourself.
I hadn’t been asking myself the same questions, but God was also making me check my thoughts about “things.”
You see, I had a few “purge” piles of stuff I’ve been clearing out, getting ready for our neighborhood garage sale. We had planned last January to get a new stove this January when the sales hit, so we also had our old stove, the purge piles, a bookshelf, a trunk, baby stuff, etc. We talked about it and decided to give the lady who cleans our house once a month the stove; she had told us her mom can use anything for a home.
I decided, you know, out of the goodness of my heart, to also let her check out the purge piles, bookshelf, et al and see if she needed anything there. I expected her to find a few things they could use and leave the rest.
Well, she took every last scrap.
Let me clarify: she is not a greedy lady. She gives us a very good rate on cleaning our home, let’s us call the day before, plays with our kids. She’s a believer and sweet as can be.
I wasn’t upset at all that she took everything, but it caught me off guard. I found myself thinking to myself that night, what was in those piles? Like I was worried or something. Hello! It was in the pile to be gone!! But once it was gone, I was all anxoius. Every time that question came up, I had to quiet it with the truth that God has provided for all of our needs and then some. I was thrilled that she could find a use and a home for every single thing – even if she is going to sell it herself or something – what a blessing!
It was a great reminder to truly hold what God has given me with an open hand and to always be looking for ways to give it away for the kingdom.
I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:20-21, NIV)
What picture of unity have you seen lately?