Friday, August 17, 2007

Celebrate You

I'm no stranger to your gentle reminders
That the world does not revolve around me
But no sooner have you spoken the words
Then your love comes once again to surround me
And every time I look in your eyes
I see the reflections of myself
But this time I want to look deeper
And see you and nobody else

So, tell me what you think, and tell me what you feel
I want to hear the thunder I'm so quick to steal
Listen to the dreams you're dreaming and celebrate you
Let me show you what a treasure you are
A priceless gift from heaven to this thankful heart
I want to take this lifetime to celebrate you
I want to celebrate you

I have heard you say so many times
How you're sorry you're not everything you should be
So let me tell you this one more time
There's no way you could be any more precious to me
But I know that lovely flowers and phrases
Are not what you need the most from me
You're longing for someone to listen
And that's what I want to learn how to be

I want to share your laughter
And I want to share your tears
We're gonna share this life together
And I'm gonna celebrate you
Celebrate you

"Celebrate You"
Steven Curtis Chapman
Album: Signs of Life

Signed: the BabyMan

Saturday, August 11, 2007

BabyMan's Commitment to My SugarAnne

We took our vows, my Sugaranne and me, 7 years ago. It seems like yesterday – even though we tease each other that each year sometimes seems like ten. I didn’t give it a second thought when the pastor said to me right before the wedding ceremony, “You can leave now if you don’t wanna do this. Nobody’s gonna fault you if you do. I’ll walk right out of here with you if you want me to.” Huh?! I thought. I mean, what th-?! “Arent’ you supposed to be trying to get me to the altar – not away from the altar?”

I guess he knew he was gonna say some pretty tough stuff in his wedding homily. Things that would be hard to live up to. Things that would require the Grace of God Almighty because I – well, both of us for that matter – just don’t have the capacity as mere humans to live them out. They were simple things, the things he said. But they were not easy things, the things he said.

So I’m standing at the altar of the finest little chapel that you ever did see. I’m in the presence of the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my life. (I wasn’t looking so bad myself - wink). We’re facing outward toward a great cloud of about 150 witnesses. And friend, I’ll never forget what I heard that day. I heard something flowing with such profundity that it will take a lifetime to drain it out of my mind. It would take a lifetime to get it right. I guess it’s supposed to be that way though, huh?
The reality is: it takes Eternal Life to get it right. Otherwise there is no hope.

I don’t remember his exact words but they amounted to this:

“Your first responsibility in this marriage is to God;
Your second responsibility is to the institution of marriage;
Your third and final responsibility is to each other.”

Isn’t that strikingly simple? Marriage happens before God – and man, to each other – for each other, doesn’t it? Then doesn’t it make sense that priority of responsibility and importance would fall in just that order? Frankly, I don’t like being second and I don’t like being last either. Every fiber of my being desires to be first! Desires to be someone’s priority. That’s why I say it takes a lifetime to get this thing right. I mean this particular order of priority is not fashionable these days is it? These days first is “me”. Then it’s “me”. Next comes “me”. Then you - maybe. Then marriage. Then God – if he comes in handy that is.

So I made a commitment to the all-seeing, all-knowing, everywhere all the time God (I had actually givein my life to Jesus some 6 years before); a commitment to the great institution of marriage; and a commitment to my SugarAnne. Like I said, that was some seventy – uh, oh, I mean seven – years ago.

With that commitment came the promise to Communicate, Respect and Trust. Communication facilitates Respect. And Communication with Respect facilitates Trust. Time has bore this to be true. I made a promise to Love and Cherish and yes – to Sacrifice. We Sacrifice only for that which we Love. And we love only that which we Cherish. This has been true since eternity before time began. And it will be true in eternity after time ends.

The pastor quoted the Bible:
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5.25).

How incredible is that huh? How incredible a Sacrifice is that?! Man, I desire to Cherish my SugarAnne in the same way: just like Christ cherished me.

He went on:
“In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself” (Ephesians 5.28).

Now I know I dig me. I mean, I love myself! I love me some me! Who doesn’t dig themselves? That’s why I say it takes a lifetime. Is there anyway to love somebody the way we love ourselves without being taken for a complete fool? That’s where Trust comes in. Trusting God. And Trusting my SugarAnne. It still takes a lifetime though. And by the Grace of God I’m getting better at it.

He said some stuff to her about Submission. But I was distracted by the whole “dying for her” thing. That’s some spooky shit. I’ll let her worry about the Submission. My job is to lead by example. My job is to Communicate, Respect and Trust. My job is to Love, Cherish and Sacrifice. And I’m Committed to my SugarAnne to do just that – for my life, with my life.

Signed: the BabyMan