28 November 2010

Being a newlywed in Advent

As I was sitting in church this morning, soaking up the reality that this Sunday marks the beginning of advent, I started wondering what it meant to be a newlywed during Advent. When I think of Advent, I think of the idea of "already - but not yet" - a time of remembering that God's kingdom is here already, but it is also not here - and we long for a time when everything should be as it ought to be. So how does that fit with being a newlywed?

Being engaged felt a lot like being in an 'already-not yet' period. It was a time of starting a new life together, while still recognizing that it wasn't until the wedding that the new life together would begin. And the wedding was the day we were waiting for - even if some of the organization could be done before then (like moving some of my stuff) - and some of the celebrating had already started (I had friends and family visiting for a whole week before the wedding!), it was only on the wedding day that all the planning involved in having the wedding and family visit and moving and so on would be pretty much over. The anticipation of having all that planning and organizing done and finally being to able start a new life together made the wedding itself feel a lot like Christmas. So, how do I wait again, now that I finally feel like my time of waiting is finally over?

And my thoughts turned to how even if we're now finally married and the wedding is over, the marriage is just beginning. And learning to adjust to the fact that Matthijs's home is now also mine, and my cat is now also Matthijs's (we're not sure for whom this is the greater adjustment!) is challenging, as is building a marriage together that's good for both of us: learning how to be ourselves while making space for each other and trusting each other fully. As those things aren't always easy, it now sometimes feel like we're still in the waiting period - like our marriage is "already, but not quite yet" still. And that's where advent fits in well - this beginning of the church year, just like our new marriage, is full of hope that things will be good. After all, Jesus is coming, so how could it not be good?

12 November 2010


A little over a week ago the community had their geloftebevestiging, the moment when the community members renew their promises to the community. In a bit more than a week, I'll be getting married and making the commitment to a life together with Matthijs. So besides the usual busy-ness of life in community (and my needing to arrange for somebody to cover my absence in the weeks to come), there's also been the busy-ness of wedding planning - and anticipating a visit of family and friends. It's all been good, but it's also been a bit full. And I'm looking forward to everything in the next while, but I'm also looking forward to life slowing down again, so I can take a deep breath.

But for now, I'm a bit absent on my blog - just like I'm somewhat absent from the community in the next while. Pausing is good, as it helps to put things (back) into perspective. But i hope not to pause too long - my being able to share what's going on in life is a way for me to look anew at the challenges and blessings of my life.