Sunday, December 30, 2012

Celebrating years...

This weekend, my husband and I celebrated 11 years of marriage. This particular last year has been our most of growth, I'd say. He is my best friend, and truly knows me better than anyone else on this earth. He doesn't have to ask what I like to eat, he knows; or what I want for a birthday or Christmas, because he knows me. He can buy clothes for me better than I can! He knows what pushes my buttons to make me angry and what to say to calm me down. Michael knows what makes me cry and what makes me laugh. But all that knowledge has not come without tears amongst the laughter. In our 11 years of marriage, we have experienced a lot of life together. To name just a few events:
  -Birth of 2 children (now ages 10 and 8)
  -Miscarriage in between those 2 children
  -Many job changes
  -from day one of marriage to now we have lived in 7 different places (apartments/houses). God has blessed us to give us a wonderful house now which we love and plan to be in for many years to come, unless He shows us other wise.
  -Death of 5 grandparents
  -Death of my mom
  -a major move from Florida to Ohio
  -financial struggles
  -Relational struggles
  -A great job for both of us this year (well, I've been at mine since 2011, but he got his this year)
  -A lot of God given blessings this year to spurr our marriage forward in growth and love
  - A new church family, which we have grown to love so deeply and are so glad God led us there this year.

IT was from those events that we experienced much grief and pain, but we have been so blessed to see so many beautiful qualities come from those times. We have also experienced:
  -Laugher til we cried
  -Understanding of another human being deeper than we ever knew could be the case
  -True grace and forgiveness
  -Physical connection only 2 united can experience
  -A best friend alongside for every experience, even when it was painfully hard to stick together
 -A true picture of what God has done for us
 -Change. And loving the other person as they change...both the good and the bad
 -Emotional ups and downs...sometimes daily, even hourly, especially as I have walked through this journey of grief and losing my mom.
 -The meaning of TRUE LOVE. One day perhaps I will write a more in depth blog, or even a book, about why I say we have discovered that meaning, but today is not that day.

God has taught me tremendous things through these 11 years, both about Michael, about myself, and about Him. I have been and am learning what He has called me to do in love.

21 Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.
22-24 Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.
25-28 Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.

Submission here doesn't mean what some make it out to mean. It means respect. And I am learning all new definitions of respect. Respect means something to one and different to another. So I am learning to respect Michael is ways that mean respect to him. Is it always easy? Heck no. But God is diligently working in me. 
 He also says in 1 Corinthians: 
The Message (MSG)

The Way of Love

13 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

These qualities are so hard to do every single day, but in the last 11 years, and the last year especially, I have been learning more and more about them. Love is so pure, when acted out correctly. These words, written so many years ago, could not speak it any more clearly. 

So, happy 11 years to my husband! I do look forward to growing old together. 

Michael and Rachael McKinney, December 28, 2001

Michael and Rachael McKinney, October 5, 2012

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