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Happy Birthday Natalie

Natalie turns 28 today. Twenty-Eight Years. Today, she’s thinking thats pretty old, and that is good. Why? Because she thinks she’s really pretty young. At heart, that is.

My wife is the fountain of my youth, and I am very grateful for her. Despite all that has happened in her 28 years, she remains dedicated to enjoying life and playing hard. Trust me, that is despite a lot of distractions to take her life more seriously (than she ought).

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Let’s run through it in overview… she’s a devoted follower of Jesus in reading her bible studying and yearning for Truth, lover and helper to a sometimes helpless husband, mom to three girls under 5 years old, keeper of our run-down seattle home and yard, weblog journalizer, entrepreneur and creative talent behind a promising 100% film coverage wedding and portrait business, neighborhood social butterfly, and youngest female Certified Level Three Ski Instructor in the Northwest Division.
We often get the question, how do you do all that? I often get the question,”Why do you have your wife do all that?”
Its really pretty simple.

We do it for the rush.

If you aren’t sure that’s a good thing, let me (briefly) explain.

Our life is one that is about meaningful substance, its about the ‘kerchunk’ of the new car door (as Michael Benedikt puts it) that resets our paradigm and enlivens all that is around us to be experienced for what it is and not what it represents or signifies.
How do we do it? How does Natalie do what she does? In the spirit of Zoolander, ‘How bout I answer your question with another question’: Why do you want to know how we do it?

Natalie can’t not do what she does, and she is the heartbeat that my heart beats towards.

What most everyone doesn’t see is the impressive part to me.

So lets see, what is natalie up to today? On day 10,227 of her life, Natalie is getting out of bed to a cup of jasmine tea with stevia and reading her bible amidst our girls of 2, 3 and 5 years who collectively create a volume of at least 100 decibels. She’ll probably then check her email for inquiries for her photography business or workshops. Then she’ll touch base some neighborhood or far-off moms, friends and businesses via email, twitter, Facebook, their blog or on the phone to see what is going on this weekend or next week. She’ll then spend the next thirty minutes reigning in the girls to sit down with the them and instruct them what the plan is for the day and what she expects of them. Then she’s going to instruct them to get dressed in appropriate clothes (insert suspenseful foreshadowing sound-effect here) and go take care of dressing herself, amidst starting laundry, doing the dishes, sweeping the floor, gathering toys, picking up scattered laundry and other miscellaneous chores. Somewhere in there, she’s likely to be found gagging at the latest post-breakfast diaper-bomb our littlest one has laid in her beloved fuzzi-bunz diaper or possibly wiping up the pool of urine our early potty “trainer” left on the floor in front of the toilet, and has since leaked back behind the base of the toilet and sink. While things may be looking to be spiraling downhill for the morning, never fear, because this is run-of-mill stuff, and the day is actually going pretty much on par. There’s still a lot of day left to evaluate whether its going to be a good one or a bad one.

Then there’s a list of other things to get done to 1) help me with the miscellaneous items i’m no good at, 2) care for the kids, 3) run the house and garden, 4) manage the business, 5) be friends and neighbors & 6) plan for the future.
In all of this there’s been a lot of pain and struggle as the esthetic experience of the real has ebbed and flowed in tension with seeking rest and comfort in various difficult seasons. But we, and my wife in particular, has been steadfast to not settle for signs and allusions to how life is, but actually feel and dwell in it, as we were intended, even before the fall of man into sin and rebellion.

The truth may be that, for 28 years young, Natalie is really quite old, though the years Natalie has weathered in reality haven’t calloused her, but softened her in humility and joy for the reality she is being made into a more real, newer child, day by day. I look forward to many more days, as the LORD may give, to drink with my wife the water that flows.

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