twelve

Many, many moons ago a Dixon and a Robinson met. She was young. He was even younger. He was training on a young adult course called YAPS and she was training to be a teacher. They were friends. Good friends. One night as they walked in snow-fall, leaving behind a trail of snow-angels, she realised that this friendship was a little bit more special. A few weeks later he realised the same. He asked her out and in the same breath intimated that they would marry. 6 weeks later they were engaged. One year after that, and twelve years ago today they were married. 20110612-230537.jpg 20110612-224245.jpg 20110612-230552.jpg That was the end of “me” and the beginning of us. Sometimes I have wondered how we will push though. Sometimes we have argued and I have wondered how we will ever find resolution. Even this last week I have felt like that. But those vows were forever-vows. And in that wedding ceremony we asked for the help of God and the help of others as we started out that forever-journey. And so in His grace, by His spirit, and with the help of others we keep going. And as we work through every fall, every misunderstanding, every argument, we come back a little stronger, a little more united.

Sometimes you have driven me insane. Many times I have driven you even more insane. But mostly you have shown me grace.

You have always sought to say sorry first. You have loved me in my stubbornness and in my weakness and in my selfishness. You have praised me, affirmed me, and “bigged” me up (sometimes I’m afraid that the real me isn’t as good as the one you’ve described).

You have a lion-heart; courageous, bold and unswerving.

We all joke when you make reference about how you’re “happy to serve.” But truly: you do serve. You lay down your life for Jesus and for me.

You never keep still. Not for a moment. Even when you’re just sitting your leg is twitching. You have more energy than anyone I’ve ever known (except maybe for our kids who seem to have inherited your bouncy-gene).

You have this passion. And this commitment. And it’s unrelenting. I hear you say it often: that you want to sow into others what God’s sown into you. You know that is the call on your life.  I see you regularly giving out what you’ve only just received. I don’t know anyone more generous than you.

You call out potential. In me. In the kids. In those you love, and those you work with. You look for the good, and overlook the bad.

When you came to faith “Amazing Grace” was playing in the background. I think it’s the soundtrack to your life. You know that you were once lost and now you’re found. And you never forget it. You never assume or forget that grace. You live everyday thankful for what He has done in and through you.

You’re not perfect. But you know that because I tell you (more than I should).

I remember the day, just after we were married, when you came home from work and told me what you thought we should call our son. Nine years ago Josiah Samuel, our first Robinson-bundle arrived and you radiated joy.

Photo   Photo   Photo Photo Photo You are an incredible father. Day-after-day-afer-day you come home from work and put aside the thoughts in your mind and you pick up those chablings and tickle them, rugby tackle them, laugh with them, listen to them and play with them. They know they are loved. They know they are safe. They know their daddy in heaven loves them. You challenge them, with the steadfast love of a father. You call them to something more, something better, something more like the One who made them.

 

And so on this anniversary, and on this father’s day I am doubly thankful for all that you are and all that you give. I am blessed. 

Thank you x

how do married couples partner together in “ministry”

There were times I’d sit beside Rich at the front of church biting my nails and wondering what on earth my role in all this leadership stuff was.

You see, I knew we were called to lead together. And I knew that although I could lead, my gifts weren’t primarily about standing at the front of church and leading services or preaching a sermon. But “the church”, and in particular the Sunday morning version of church,  doesn’t necessarily acknowledge, or understand, leadership as anything other than the ability to lead from the front. There are times when leading at the front is necessary and important, regardless of whether or not we find that a comfortable place to occupy. But what I’ve learnt is that leadership is so much more ………

This week I’ve written a post exploring how Rich and I have learnt to partner together in the things God has called us to do. You can read more of this over on the 3dm Europe blog by clicking here.

The Source (again!)

I put a link to this post last month. I wrote it for a friend’s blog as part of a series on marriage. If you haven’t already, you can click on this link here to read the rest of the posts in this series as well as some other fantastic posts. 

This week I met someone who told me that they’d read this post and shortly after reading it they’d had a disagreement/argument with their spouse. He told me that they’d made a decision to come before God in worship and prayer as I’d outlined in the post.

So I thought I’d put the post up in full on this blog, in case it’s helpful to anyone else. For those of us that are married, we will have arguments with our spouse and many of us will have times where we wonder if we can keep going. If we haven’t already, we will come to the end of our own resources, our own patience and our own love. God wants our marriages to be strong, deep and rooted in Him – He’s our Source.

The Source

I remember the precise moment when it clicked. The penny dropped. The scales fell from my eyes.

We’d argued. Not one of those slightly- raised- voice type of disagreements.  But one of those red-raw, swollen eyed, puffy cheeked, soul-wrenching arguments.

There was no quick-fix, no easy answers, no forgiveness. And we were stuck.

And so, with resistance, we made a decision. We’d exalt our God. Together.

Sat on separate sofas, with chilled air, the worship music played. At first we just listened, an impervious audience– it was all we could muster.  And Holy Spirit thawing came and slowly, slowly, our offerings of praise were softly whispered in our hearts – heard and received by our Father.  Our small, sweet sacrifices.  Songs sung in our hearts overflowed out of our lips until two broken voices sang one song.

One song.

 And in that moment, where it was about neither him nor me, it became about Him. Him, author of creation. Him, whose love knows no bounds, no limits, no start, no end. Him, who is without sin and does not count our sins against us.  Him, who reached out to us, before we even knew we needed to reach out to Him.  Him, who reconciled Himself to us, and asks us to reconcile with each other. Him, who bled and died on a cross that we might stand free in forgiveness. Him, who defeated death that we might live.

It was Him that we met. And as we gave Him our offering, we received so much more.

So much more.

Truth revealed as we met Him who is truth. Lies exposed as light shone.  Love poured out without measure. And as we received His love we could give and receive love to each other.  As we received His embrace we were able to give and receive the embrace of the other. As we received His forgiveness, we were able to give and receive forgiveness from each other.

And I saw Rich’s heart laid bare. Imperfect, vulnerable, with every pulse beating for Him.  And he saw my heart laid bare. Imperfect, vulnerable, with every pulse beating for Him. And in that moment I saw it afresh, true revelation:

 Two souls laid bare with One heart; woven together as One before God.

As wedding vows flooded through my mind I remembered how we began this journey:

“All that I am I give to you, and all that I have I share with you, within the love of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

With those words declared before God we’d become One until death. In Christ we are One. Always. Even in the rawness of our disagreements, in the valley, or on the mountain top – wherever we are on our journey – we were, and are, always One.  Joy is no longer my own. It’s Ours. Sorrow is no longer my own. It’s Ours. Victory is no longer my own. It’s Ours. Relationships are no longer my own. They’re Ours.

We walk this Oneness hand-in-hand with Him who makes us One.

He is Our Source: Our God, the three-in-one.

the source

I remember the precise moment when it clicked. The penny dropped. The scales fell from my eyes.

We’d argued. Not one of those slightly- raised- voice type of disagreements.  But one of those red-raw, swollen eyed, puffy cheeked, soul-wrenching arguments.
There was no quick-fix, no easy answers, no forgiveness. And we were stuck.
………………………………………………………………………………………..

Today I’m guest posting on Anna Burgess’s blog. For the whole of February she’s featuring posts written by a variety of writers all focussing on the subject of marriage. Click here to check out my post and have a look at some great posts on marriage.

NEW family photos……

We’ve been having fun as a family over the summer and have just uploaded lots of new family photos from all our adventures.

They include ice cream, scree running, tractors, owls, adventure playgrounds, camping, hide & seek, fishing, smiling – all round enjoyment of life!!

There’s a selection above, all of the rest of them can be found by clicking here   – you have to scroll through down the page to the bottom (past the older ones) to find them but they are worth getting to – come check them out……….