Seth, Amber, Scott, and I would love for you to join us again by writing Marriage Letters to your spouse. We’re starting back this month, every Monday writing letters because we believe that when we bless our own marriages, we bless the marriages of others. The list of writing prompts is here, on Amber’s blog.

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Dear Scott,

When I think about serving together, I remember so many things. We’re a bit of ministry jacks-of-all-trades. We used to be each other’s right-hand man, almost mind-readers as we maneuvered through worship service planning, practices, and process. I miss the jokes and camaraderie of our rag-tag band, as we’d mangle chords, botch rhythms, and eventually pull it all together (most of the time). I treasure the singing we’ve done together, our voices finding harmony and timing with the instinct a couple can develop only by singing and sleeping and breathing together for years.

Us wearing toilet paper outfits dancing

Yup. That's us. Dancing in a Baptist church in toilet-paper dresses.

Then there was our stint as youth group leaders. For a few months, we taught a little class of 12-18-year-olds, getting them to do crazy things like eat m&ms in ketchup, and letting them dress us up in toilet paper. We tag-teamed well as we listened to their insightful questions and picked our way through them together.

One of the things we have grown to enjoy more and more is welcoming people into our home. I loved hosting small group gatherings, prayer meetings, and dinners for our churches. We had the process of prepping the house down to a science and hardly had to talk about it: move this many chairs to this room, move the inevitable pile of school papers and bills from the counter to the bedroom, vacuum the dog hair. We’ve had our share of hosting fiascos (like the pizza dough that didn’t rise, the trashed house for a local pastor and his family, half a bottle of oregano in the chili), and you’re teaching me to laugh and make people comfortable in our very real, very flawed home. We aren’t able to host nearly as often as we would like, but I love that we share a love of hospitality, and I think we do it all right.

I wrote extensively here about how tightly we worked together during the years you helped to lead a little church. Those were marrow-sucking days for many reasons, but they were also ones in which we were very much in step with each other.

We are struggling now to find our rhythm again. So much is different, including you and I. We’ve seen the dark side of ministry and the wounding that happens behind closed doors. We’re both trying to find a path that walks the line between risking all for the sake of God and others and guarding our own hearts and souls. At times I’m so discouraged, I wonder if we’ll ever dance together in ministry again. Other times, when you start dreaming about how we might help others with the story God gave us, it’s so near I can almost taste it. I think we’re on the cusp, and I can hardly wait to see what’s over the top.

 

Love,

Joy

 

[Read Scott’s letter here.]