Thursday, 18 October 2012

Simply Bliss

This blog is for Kevin, the love of my life.  I can’t believe it’s been four years since we said “I DO.”  It feels like it was yesterday…such a cliché thing to say, but still so true.  I remember waking up that morning on a flat air mattress between my sisters, praying it was real and not just a dream.  I remember the pre-wedding flurry, arriving at the church in a frenzy of bridesmaids and hairspray and waterproof mascara.  I remember walking down the aisle to your tear-stained face, never surer of anything in my life.  I was so blissfully happy, so certain that no one in world had a love like ours.  I’m still certain of that today.

They say the wedding is only the beginning—that your love grows stronger with every passing year.  Four years ago, I didn’t think that was possible.  Now I totally get it.  What we had then was just the tip of the iceberg.  I had no idea how wide and long and high and deep and rich and safe and fun and exciting our love would be.  Simply put, you are the best thing that’s ever happened to me. 

I’m just so thankful for you, so abundantly grateful that I get to be your wife.  You still put a smile on my face every time you come in the front door.  I still go to bed every night feeling like the luckiest girl in the world, to be lying next to you.  I just can’t believe I get to do life with you.  I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again and again:  You are the funniest person I know and you make everyday a hilarious adventure.  Even the mundane and difficult days are better by your side—still mundane and still difficult, but so much more bearable together. 

You have the most gracious heart of anyone I know.  You forgive so quickly, almost effortlessly (as it should be, but so often isn’t).  When I morph into the rotten & selfish me (the me that would be if Christ hadn’t come to my rescue) you have a way of loving me back, of smothering me with mercy and patience and kisses until I can’t see anything but God’s love and your love.  Your heart is a bottomless cup of forgiveness.  You’re such a tangible expression of Jesus in that way.

The past four years have been the best years of my life.  Not only are you my Carmex holder, kitchen dance partner, cockroach killer and coffee maker, you are my favorite companion, biggest advocate, and greatest treasure.  

I am eternally grateful to the Great Matchmaker for giving me you. 

Happy Anniversary!  I love you!


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Little House in the Jungle

Sweet dreams sans mosquitoes! 

Nel & Kevin

Hi Family and Friends!

Kevin and I had a weekend adventure on the north coast of Jamaica.  A good friend of ours, whom we met shortly after arriving in Kingston, operates a kids’ camp and retreat center in the hills of St. Ann—a lush mountainous parish on the ocean.  We spent the weekend at camp, enjoying the beauty and helping with some work projects around the property.

It was a throwback to the Good Old Days for sure.  We sat on the porch and listened to an orchestra of tropical insects, their chirping and buzzing creating a masterpiece we’d never before noticed or appreciated.  We snuggled under our mosquito net and listened to the rhythm of the pouring rain, rarely silent or still enough to enjoy its soothing presence.  We ate fresh guava, ackee, and avocado pear and picked lemongrass straight from the garden for afternoon tea.  I felt like Laura Ingalls Wilder’s cousin, with less farmland and more lizards—Little House in the Jungle, maybe?

One of the most encouraging parts of the weekend was our friend, Nel.  Nel is a nurse from the Netherlands, who has lived in Jamaica for close to forty years.  She came in her twenties and has devoted her life to serving the people and the country of Jamaica, which she now considers home.  I've never met another person with the purity of heart as Nel.  She lives simply.  She has few earthly possessions.  Whatever she has she shares willingly.  She doesn't want for much and she doesn't envy others who have more.  She trusts fully in God’s provision. 

One of Nel’s greatest qualities (which I’m striving for in my own life):  Nel believes that whatever she collects on earth won’t go with her when she dies, and she lives her life accordingly.  We all believe this conceptually—we realize we can’t pack a suitcase for heaven.  Unfortunately, most of us (me included) live as though we’ll be able to call the movers on our deathbed and give them the forwarding address.  We focus on obtaining more; on collecting earthly treasures because we think they’ll make us happier.  We scurry to keep up with the Joneses, thinking a bigger house or newer car will fill the void in our souls…only to find we’re just as unfulfilled in the bigger house, but with more rooms to clean. 

Nel doesn’t have many earthly treasures, but when she gets to heaven, she’ll be one of the richest ones there.  Our time in Jamaica is teaching me so much:  That more stuff does not produce more joy.  That less can be more.  That a simple life is a refreshingly satisfying one.  That a generous heart produces a fulfilled spirit.  And that treasures in heaven are the ones worth collecting.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God."
Matthew 5: 8

With Love,
Kevin & Cass