We’re home from exactly 79 hours of vacation (yes, we counted) in the sunny state of Florida.
It was a wonderful three days of conversation, nature, solitude and friendship.
Tom truly is my home in every sense of the word.
That’s not to say we don’t disagree, frustrate each other and sometimes all out fight – I hope I never project the image of a perfect marriage on this blog. It doesn’t exist.
Yet, in him I have a man who I can be every version of myself with. Introverted, excited, melancholy, afraid. In him, I have a husband who prays over me, serves me and makes me laugh. I get all his kisses, dish-washing skills and…dirty laundry .
I’ll take it.
There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion, or company than a good marriage. – Martin Luther
Driving home Tom & I started talking about our favorite hymns. Growing up my family had a book called “101 Hymn Stories” which I loved. It’s the lyrics of classic hymns, a short biography of the composer and the story behind the song.
I love the depth and complexity of hymn lyrics. There is a richness, level of thought flow and poetic structure present in most hymns that escapes many modern worship songs. It’s hard to close your eyes and sing a whole hymn – I like that, it forces me to pay attention to the worship I’m offering. There are some wonderful worship songs, don’t get me wrong! However, this girl will probably always prefer hymns.
The story behind “It Is Well With My Soul“ is among the most well-known but it touches me every time I hear it.
Horatio Spafford, the hymn’s author was a lawyer in the Chicago area in the late 1800′s. He and his wife lost a son to scarlet fever in 1870. That loss was followed by the destruction of most of Spafford’s resources and property in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. In 1873 Spafford sent his family, his wife and four daughters to England for a holiday. He was to follow on a later boat after he finished work in Chicago.
Devastatingly, the ship his family was on (the Ville Du Havre) was struck by another ship and sank . His four daughters were among the 226 people who drowned. Spafford received a heartbreaking telegram from his wife which simply said; “saved alone”. He sailed from Chicago to England to join his wife and, in the spot, where his daughters drowned he found the courage in his grief to write down the words we still sing nearly 150 years later.
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Another of my favorites, “Jesus, Lover of My Soul” was written by the evangelist, Charles Wesley (who wrote over six thousand hymns including, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing“, “And Can it be That I Should Gain“, “O For a Thousand Tounges to Sing” and “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling“).
The story is told that he and his brother (evangelist, John Wesley) were mobbed while trying to host an open-air service in Ireland. Charles took refuge in a neighboring farmhouse and there, hiding for his life, he wrote these words of worship and faith.
Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll,
While the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
Till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide;
Oh, receive my soul at last.
Knowing the story behind the song deepens the meaning for me. What about you?
I made a mad dash to the grocery store over lunch today – the refrigerator is now re-stocked and I had a couple of minutes to mix up two loaves of bread. I left them rising in the kitchen, can’t wait to see what they look like when I get home! This time I added some wheat gluten to bind the bread and help it rise – my hands smell like yeast and oranges (it as a quick, fruity lunch, hehe). Yum.
Tonight I’m trying these homemade granola bars - without peanuts, plus coconut and raisins. I’ll report back! More thoughts & some fun vacation pictures to follow once I get my home and life back in order .
Oh, also, this made me smile (photo credit)