Highlights o’ my Break

Today is my first official day back to work at the studio after a much-needed three week break.  It’s been an amazing break that I am deeply thankful for.  Many people don’t know that, for the first five years of me opening and running Reverence, I worked an additional full-time job.  That job was a huge blessing to me as a single person who owned a business and then Seth and I as we navigated the roller coaster ride of owning a business as a married couple, and I am really grateful for the Lord’s provision of it.  Because I had responsibilities at my other job, I was not always able to take off many days during the times that the studio was closed on a break, so I have really enjoyed being able to take off an entire three weeks last year and this year.

What did I do over my break?  I’ll sum it up in one delicious word: unhurried.

I spent lots of unhurried time with the Lord…
I spent lots of unhurried time with Seth…
I spent lots of unhurried time with my family and friends…
I spent lots of unhurried time outside…
I spent lots of unhurried time playing with Prince Caspian…
I spent lots of unhurried time reading, journaling, and watching movies (the kids at the studio were peer-pressuring me–haha–to watch all the Tinkerbelle movies, so I unashamedly did.  they were adorable)…
I spent lots of unhurried time sleeping (those who know me well know that I wake up between 5:30-6AM each day, and my “sleeping in” is considered to be 7:30 or 8AM.  You will be pleasantly surprised to learn that there were several days where I slept in until 10AM!)

This is one of Seth's favorite pictures that he took of me, determining which way I would get to the gold in Skagway, Alaska.  It's hard to wrap my mind around, but gold fever is very much alive and active in Alaska today!

This is one of Seth’s favorite pictures that he took of me, pretending to determine which way I would get to the rumors of gold in the Yukon. It’s hard to wrap my mind around, but gold fever is very much alive and active in Alaska today!

You might also know that Seth and I went on a little adventure to Washington, Alaska, and Canada during this time as well.  These past few years have been pretty crazy-full, so we decided to take some time off during the studio’s off season this year and do some exploring of the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  We’ve been wanting to go for quite some time, so we decided to save our pennies and just do it.  It was BEAUTIFUL.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Seth.  Ever.  We took it at the EMP Museum of Seattle in the sci-fi section.  Hilarious!

This is one of my favorite pictures of Seth. Ever. We took it at the EMP Museum of Seattle in the sci-fi section. Hilarious!

It was an amazing trip for many reasons, but it was really GREAT to be with Seth for 12 uninterrupted days.  It was really GREAT to be outside in nature and put all those things that have been clouding the periphery of my vision for the past few months behind me.  I had some GREAT times with the Lord–just praising and worshipping Him.  Seth and I sought the Lord together for our future, Reverence Studios, and more.  I came back with clarity on some changes that I need to make in my life and some boundaries that I need to put in place again.

Great trip.  Deeply blessed.  Great break.  Deeply blessed.  Ready to be back to work, but I said goodbye to the old workaholic, people-pleasing Kirsten who felt like she had to work 120 hours a week and justify every decision to every single person.  And you know what?  It feels good.  I’m still going to be the hard-working, determined, and compassionate person who God created me to be, but I’m turning 30 next week and it’s time to make some changes and leave the bad stuff behind.

Also.  I saw a humpback whale’s tongue up close.

At Mount Rainier National Park.

At Mount Rainier National Park.

We fell in love with Alaska.  I've never really said that the "air has agreed with me" in all the wonderful, amazing places I've been privileged to visit.  But it did here.  Alaska, we have a feeling we haven't seen the last of you.  :)

We fell in love with Alaska. I’ve never really said that the “air has agreed with me” in all the wonderful, amazing places I’ve been privileged to visit. But it did here. Alaska, we have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of you. :)

 

Something Awesome About January: Our Six Year Date-a-versary

dateaversary

This past Saturday Seth and I celebrated the 6th anniversary of our very first date.

Six years ago we met for the first time face to face.  We had been emailing and talking on the phone for weeks prior, and we felt the “connection.”  Seth asked me out on a date, and then he drove two hours to meet me in my home city–arriving early for the first time in his life.  It was FREEZING outside (much like it is right now), but we had the best time–watching U2 at the IMAX, going to dinner, and taking a walk by the banks of the frozen Susquehanna.  We didn’t make our relationship official until a couple months later, but after that first date we knew we had something special.

So, each year we mark the anniversary of our first date.  We don’t make a big deal about it.  We don’t buy each other gifts or anything like that, but we try to do something fun.  On Saturday morning I got up and made us a big breakfast, and then we bundled up in many many layers of clothing for a cold, winter’s hike.  It was COLD, yo.  But we had fun.

You might be wondering why we still mark this occasion now that we are married and have that anniversary to celebrate as well.  Isn’t it corny to celebrate something that is normal for kids in high school to mark?  Well, we happen to like corny.  And I say in relationships–just like in life, we have to create our own normal.

Submitting to Your Spouse: Does it work in the 21st century?

the kiss

Whenever you hear the word “submissive” in the times such as these, your mind can travel one of two ways:

1.  You picture a quiet, meek women who wear head coverings and don’t speak a word unless their husband gives them permission;
2.  You think about someone who is Fifty Shades of Grey-ing it up with whips, chains, and …

Rarely does anyone think that “submissive” is a compliment, and rarely does anyone use it as such.  Instead, it’s mislabeled as a distorted source of entertainment for some couples, looked down upon by the modern “liberated” woman, or completely misinterpreted as a sign of weakness.   Popular blogger Rachel Held Evans even went so far as to literally live out all the instructions the Bible gives to women in her book A Year of Biblical Womanhood, and write about her humorous journey of self-discovery along the way. Last week actress Candace Cameron Bure came under fire for writing that she was a “submissive wife” to her husband in her new book Balancing It All, and unleashed a new firestorm of debates regarding the view of Biblical marriage.

I showed the article to Seth and we both rolled our eyes and laughed because we get asked the question on “submission” more times than any other question about our marriage.  If you were to look in on us from the outside (and no, I’m not talking about creepily peeking through our windows or anything), you would see a very modern couple.  Seth is a great guy (the BEST guy in my opinion), and he is quieter among first meeting people and much more comfortable behind the scenes in life.  I have a very confident, outgoing personality, and I own a successful (praise the Lord) business that God has taken to places I never even imagined.  Seth and I are both very nonconformist people, but that aspect of our characters manifests itself very differently (i.e. I will write flaming editorials defending the persecuted masses and Seth will listen to music that makes the masses want to cover their ears and long for a peaceful meadow).  Seth would never try to change me (wonder of wonders, he is a guy who is confident enough to love a strong woman) and I would never try to change him.

So, whenever people ask us who “wears the pants in the household,” we always laugh because we wonder what they are really trying to imply with their questions (i.e. is Seth whipped by Kirsten?).

Does submission really work in 21st century marriages?  Or, is it as outdated as horse-drawn carriages and cobblestone streets?  Is it a part of the Bible that we can “ignore” or deem “cultural?”

 I don’t believe it is.

True Biblical submission is not about one person being weak and another person being strong.  It’s about loving the other person, respecting the other person, setting aside your selfishness and thoughts of the flesh, and truly placing the other person above yourself.  Submission does not and should not feel like submission when both individuals are submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21).

I’m not going to sit here and lecture you and the “proper way” to submit to your spouse.  I think it looks different for everyone.  But I will tell you this: my identity as a strong, capable, intelligent, compassionate woman has not been diminished by marriage.  Seth hasn’t tried to claim control of the studio–I am the sole proprietor of it, but I do include him in all big decisions that I have to make now that we are married.  I encourage Seth to pursue his dreams and to lead our household in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord.  We make all decisions together.  And, whoever gets home first cooks dinner in the evening.  Although sometimes I do wear an apron! 😉