For our first anniversary together, Rusty and I were still in the warm, cheesy part of our love. So it actually meant something that the first anniversary was the “paper” anniversary, and we observed it. Evidently we got over that, because we have since had our 3rd anniversary which was the “spend two hours away from the newborn then rush back because you miss him” anniversary and the 9th “new water heater” anniversary, and our most recent 12th “head out of town to care for your mother-in-law who had surgery” anniversary. This is because along the way real life overtakes romanticized life, and we realized that the good life was the real life, and that romanticized life was just setting us up for disappointment anyway.
Anyhow, back to our “paper” anniversary. We decided for that first anniversary to get a piece of artwork, since we figured, hey, art is done on paper! (What can I say, we are a couple of scientists, that is about as creative as we could get.) We looked and looked, browsing shops, trying to find something that was perfect. Finally we settled on this piece which hangs in our living room:
It is based on something that Jesus taught in Matthew 7 about building on a foundation of solid rock instead of sifting sand: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” One thing we already had been taught about marriage was that the rain and storms are inevitable (real life… remember?), so we had better be building on a firm foundation.
Fast forward eleven and a half years, as well as three kids. I have learned that the idea of building on a solid foundation goes beyond our marriage and beyond parenting. It is foundational to my very being. So last month, when we were ready to replace the nasty, old, toddler-stained carpet in our living room in favor of wood flooring, I knew what I wanted my family to do. There was a two week period between the ‘ripping up’ stage and the ‘putting down stage’ when our floor was the bare concrete slab. We were walking on the foundation of our house, quite literally the support upon which our entire house rested.
So I did what any fun mom would do. I pulled out all my Sharpies and let the kids write all over the slab. But first, we talked about where we were writing- on the foundation of our family home. I asked them to draw and write what represented our family and our home to them (and not a skull and crossbones, thank you very much, Caleb) This is what that looked like.
On the foundation of our house we put pictures of our family, our favorite words from the bible, and images that reminded us of home and love. Then we built our new floor on it.
What we did on the foundation of our house, we try to also do to the foundation of our home, whether it be this physical structure that we live in now or somewhere else that God takes our family. We build our family- our home– on God’s word and on love. It is the solid, unmovable foundation on which we build the rest of our lives. What are you building on?