Query 9: It’s “what bwings us togevvah today”

My mind is almost always writing:  shopping lists, to do lists, things to do with the hubby/kids lists, etc.  Behind all of that there is another writer, the one who keeps pondering “What would it look like to live a truly intentional life?” and “Don’t forget to share that funny story about Judah with the folks” and “Ooh, this would be a fun post to make out of the flickr pictures” and “What is this whole spiritual life thing all about, anyway?”   These thought processes generally make it onto my blog, sometimes coherant, many times simply bullet points so I at least get them out before they’re forgotten.

But for now, I’m drawing a complete blank.  The “feeling anxious/must write/make the knot go away” sensation is present, but the words.aren’t.coming.  So, in an attempt to try and get some thoughts out, to stir some dialogue, to prompt some considerations, I’m turning to an old Quaker standby:  the Queries.  Which I’ve never really used before, so hey:  now’s as good of a time as any to start.

What are the queries?  Our YM website states:  “The Queries are thoughtful questions that remind people of the spiritual and moral values Friends seek to uphold. They help individuals and the church to consider the true source of spiritual strength, to nurture loving relationships, and to maintain a strong Christian witness to society. The Queries should be read frequently, as a whole or in part, in meetings for worship and business and other gatherings of Friends, and in private devotions. Always there should be time for reflection. Reading the Queries is a tradition of Friends.” True dat.

Because I’m feeling not-so-linear, I thought, “Hey, I won’t start with Query 1.  That’s so obvious.  I’ll start with the query that matches today’s date.”  Stink.  It’s a doozy.

Query 9
Do you conduct yourself in a manner that supports and preserves the sanctity and permanence of marriage? Do you who are married yield to each other in decisions and build up each other as individuals, always cherishing your common bond?

Oy.  “Mawe-widge, that bwessed awangement, that dweam wiffin a dweam”

The other day I heard a couple say it took a good ten years before they felt like they were on a good track for their marriage, getting rid of the junk that happened before they got married, establishing a good foundation.  Ah, relief:  I’ve still got time.  🙂

I’ve been listening to an interesting series from Mars Hill called The Peasant Princess – it’s Mark Driscoll’s take on the Biblical principles of marriage.  It’s been . . . funny . . . challenging . . . practical . . . helpful . . ., but the best part has been listening to it with my husband.  On Friday nights when we’re at home, trying to not to go bed by 8:30 even though we’re pooped (party animals that we are), we’ve listened to a few of the podcasts while playing Tetris Worlds on the Wii.  Afterwards we’ve talked about the things he’s discussed – if we agree, disagree, want to try, never ever will try – and answer some questions he poses.  Times like that are these sacred little spaces for just us – no kids, no job, no “gotta get done” lists.  And we can think about the future, things we’d like to do, rather than just living in the panic of the present moment.

I’ve also listened to a series from Revive Our Hearts talking about the woman’s role as described in Titus 2.  This has been much more of an internal struggle for me as the speakers come from a fairly conservative background, and I live in a fairly liberal environment.  Part of me resonates with their interpretation, part of me recoils:  and I can’t tell if it’s my own thoughts or the influences of others around me that I’m responding with.

I think a lot of my anxt has to do with the whole “yielding” aspect.  I don’t yield well:  ask my parents (husband, camp counselors I didn’t get along with, children, etc.).

“Yielding” to decisions and “building” each other up seems to be a bit conflicting:  I see different road/construction signs in my head.  I know yielding requires action, but it’s different actions than building;  how do the two go together?

And so, in the midst of the holiday bustle, I want to remember to keep my eyes on the important things, the things that can so easily be forgotten, the things that I say, “Buck up and be happy that I’m bustling around like a crazed person:  I’m doing it for you!”:  my husband, my immediate family, my wider family.  Preseverve:  yield:  build.

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