So church this morning was awesome for the simple reason that my baby got baptized.  It really doesn’t get much better.  I wanted to hoot and holler, but I was also working hard not to cry all while taking video and trying to minimize shaking.  So the people in first service didn’t get to see the redneck side of me.  Our church in Georgia brought airhorns and cow bells to baptisms, and if I hadn’t been video taping I may have had to find myself a cowbell.  I think it’s a cool tradition. We make all sorts of noise for sports. You know heaven’s putting on a big celebration, why not bring some earthy energy to the party as well?  And I think our church up here is just redneck enough to go for the extra noise.  It’s not like the cowbell hasn’t been used in our services before.

But that’s not the part of service that I want to write about today.  Today we ended a series on the “modern family” and we ended with everyone’s favorite verses from Ephesians.  You know the guys favorite, “women, submit to your husbands” and the ladies favorite “husbands, love your wife as yourself.”  I didn’t say all verses were everyone’s  favorite, just that these verses contain everyone’s favorite verses. I know I do a mental swoon when I think about the husband that presents his wife pure and spotless.  It puts in my head a Cinderella-like story.  Okay, one particular Cinderella-ish story, Pretty Woman.  I know, there’s something wrong when you think about a story of a prostitute while reading the Bible. Although there is the story of Hosea and Gomer which has some parallels to Pretty Woman.   And you do have to understand something about the way I work.  After watching a movie I rewrite it mentally to make it better.  In my Pretty Woman, they don’t sleep together because they aren’t married.  He just wants to be with her and loves her so much that he doesn’t want to take advantage of her without being married.  Yep, it’s also an ideal, naive world, but it’s my world, and I like ti that way.   Anyway, you know the scene where Julia Roberts has no appropriate clothes to wear and Richard Gere takes her personally to the store to make sure she gets what she needs and is doted upon as befits the woman accompanying him.  (Totally kept that scene in my version).  I think at some point all girls have that dream of a knight whisking us into his world and making all of our dreams come true.  And reality hits, there are only so many princes to go around, and I have yet to meet any of them.  And the majority of men don’t make the Richard Gere million dollar salaries.  And at some point most of us realize that there’s more to life than pretty clothes and we realize we really don’t want Richard Gere.  What we want is a man who looks at us like a princess, no matter what.  A man who makes it obvious that to him we are a prized and valued jewel.  The man who adores us and cares for us will make us richer even in rags than the man who simply supplies us with fancy clothing and a nice house.  To me this kind of love is a lot like God’s love.  It transforms.  I can no longer be the same person I was before I met God.  I cannot accept that love without wanting to return it.  In the same way, when I feel unconditionally loved by my husband ,I feel motivated to be the best wife I can be.  Not because I’m trying to earn his love, but simply that I’m trying to return the love that has been shown to me.  And as Julia Roberts found out in Pretty Woman, no matter how much the man spends on you, if his attitude or words toward others show that he sees you as any less than a perfect woman, spotless and without blemish the fantasy comes crashing down.  And I have to brag about just how blessed I am for a minute here.  I have that dream husband.  The guy who thinks of me on trips trying to find the trinket that will make my eyes light up, just because he wants to see my eyes light up.  The man who works hard to surround me with everything I want and need.  The man, who on my worst days sees me as beautiful.  And the man who thinks so very highly of me that he even thinks I’m worth all of that.  I’ve got it way better than Julia, I’ve got a man who reads both halves of Ephesians.