You probably noticed that we didn’t spent as much time posting to “TheRieslands” in 2011.

There are lots of reasons for that – most notably the ones who run around our house in Disney movie-themed pajamas every night.

We also spent a good amount of time working on Stephanie’s photography business.

But the new year is always a fun time to reflect on what a year has taught me, and share that with you, for whatever it’s worth. So, you  might actually see a few posts from me over the next few days. They are likely to be hyper-introspective and even soppy, so… consider yourself warned.

Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite songs of 2011.

It wasn’t new in 2011, and it may or may not be familiar to you.

The song is Dancing In The Minefields by Andrew Peterson.

I’ve actually been enjoying this song, along with most of Andrew Peterson’s, for years now.

But this year, for whatever reason, it seemed especially profound and inspiring to me.

The lyrics are pretty straightforward and probably not too much of a stretch for most folks (hear the song and read the lyrics below): life is full of landmines…

Fundamentally, the landmines are all the effects of the Fall of man: pain, suffering, illness, disappointment, discouragement…

That imagery takes a different shape for each person from day to day. But at the end of the day, we’re ALL living in a minefield, and we never know when the next one is going to blow up in our face.

The song pretty much assumes that we don’t need to be convinced of this.

But what I love about it is the picture he paints of marriage being about DANCING in the minefields.

That picture implies so much to me.

It’s not about trying to avoid the landmines.

It’s not about mourning how hopeless the situation appears.

It’s about holding hands and dancing through the ridiculous situation – taking every little excuse to celebrate and not getting stuck for too long when there’s an explosion.

I also love how the song pretty much just assumes that we all know that marriage is hard:

It was harder than we dreamed but I believe that’s what the promise is for.

What promise?

And how is this possible?

Where is the motivation to keep going when there are so dang many setbacks every day/week/month/year?

The last verse explains it:

‘Cause we bear the light of the Son of Man
So there’s nothing left to fear
So I’ll walk with you in the shadowlands
Till the shadows disappear

‘Cause He promised not to leave us
And His promises are true
So in the face of all this chaos, baby,
I can dance with you

There it is: we can hold hands and dance through the minefields because we have hope in the sovereign, good God who we’re trusting to hold it all together.

And in that way, marriage is celebration of the Gospel.

I’m not sure I can come up with the right words to explain how special that picture is to me.

But hopefully the song speaks for itself.

Enjoy!

(if you are reading this on the blog home page, lyrics are after the jump)

I was nineteen, you were twenty-one
The year we got engaged
Everyone said we were much too young
But we did it anyway

We bought our rings for forty each
From a pawn shop down the road
We made our vows and took the leap
Now fifteen years ago

We went dancing in the minefields
We went sailing in the storm
And it was harder than we dreamed
But I believe that’s what the promise is for

“I do” are the two most famous last words
The beginning of the end
But to lose your life for another I’ve heard
Is a good place to begin
‘Cause the only way to find your life
Is to lay your own life down
And I believe it’s an easy price
For the life that we have found

And we’re dancing in the minefields
We’re sailing in the storm
This is harder than we dreamed
But I believe that’s what the promise is for

So when I lose my way, find me
When I loose love’s chains, bind me
At the end of all my faith, till the end of all my days
When I forget my name, remind me

‘Cause we bear the light of the Son of Man
So there’s nothing left to fear
So I’ll walk with you in the shadowlands
Till the shadows disappear

‘Cause he promised not to leave us
And his promises are true
So in the face of all this chaos, baby,
I can dance with you