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Showing posts from 2016

Here in This Moment

This past week I was cleaning out my inbox of seven years' worth of emails. A lot accumulates in that span of time. I realized that all the problems and worries I had thought were so insurmountable had been handled...every single one. All those bills I had to pay, calls I had to make, opinions that I had held so stubbornly to...none of them mattered anymore. All the relationships and conversations I had lost sleep over--I had forgotten about all of them. People had come and gone from my life, some had passed away into eternity.  I'm saddened at how much has changed in seven years. I wonder how life would have been different if I hadn't worried so much about everything.

But one thing I don't regret is that I lived each of the moments over the past seven years to the fullest. I don't regret the time I spent staying up with a friend, or giving someone a meal or a gift, or opening up my home to a person that needed it. Even when friendships didn't pan out like I exp…

Let There Be Love

I love my story in God... In the hardest chapters I have seen beauty
and extreme loving-kindness...
That's where I am today...shocked once again by how much I am loved.
I have days where the depression is so dark and heavy and deep, it's almost physically difficult to breathe. Days when i think thoughts I'm later too embarrassed to say out loud.
I hate myself for these days. I hate that my usually joyful self can be so shaken by such an elusive thing. I hate that one thing my husband does or says during this time can pierce me to the core. I hate the things I think toward him. I hate the things I think toward myself.

In the depths of humiliation and embarrassment,
crushed by my own inadequacy and stupidity,
He mined grace for me at a depth I hardly knew existed...
I have learned to come to the Lord during these times, to worship and pray when I don't feel like it. And he has been for many years, my constant source of encouragement during these times.
But he has been c…

Letter From a Husband

I wrote this post 2 years ago, and it's one of my favorites. Every woman and wife is different, but we all want the same thing. We want to be appreciated, and loved, and romanced. We give our everything for our family, our friends, and our spouses every day. All we want is to be made to feel special every once in a while. Love the way this husband does that!

Two weeks ago, we had another wedding in the family. It was absolutely beautiful! The bride arrived in a horse-drawn carriage. Her white dress billowing gently in the breeze. They said their vows under a canopy of vines. The blue sky above, the green grass below, and the scent of a hundred varieties of roses all around. Joseph and I kept looking at each other with giddy smiles, remembering our own special day almost 6 years ago.

For so many the romance ends on their wedding day. But it doesn't have to. The beauty of marriage is getting to fall in love with your spouse every day. 

So when I saw this beautiful letter written by…

For My Readers

When I first started this blog five years ago, I made it a point to reply to every comment I would get (since there really weren't that many).  Since then, I've lost sight of replying to all my readers' kind words, and I apologize. That is something I am pledging to do better on from now on. So I have spent the last few hours going back through all the comments you all have left over the last few years and replying to every single one. Because every single one of you have encouraged me and made this blog possible. So thank you for reading. Looking forward to many more years of sharing life and marriage with all of you!

A Beautiful Inheritance

One of my mentors used to always say, "There are only three ways to learn something: by experience, by watching someone else do it, or by reading about it." I used to question her philosophy, but now I wholeheartedly agree.

I grew up during the Girl Power movement. I remember rocking out in my room to Imani Coppola as she sang "need no man to pay for anything." Alanis Morissette, Gwen Stefani, and The Spice Girls all showed my young, wide-eyed self that to truly be a strong, independent woman like them, I would have to hide my heart from every man. They may not have voiced it outright, but the message they sent my tender heart was clear: marriage and family was designed by men to keep women at home and from reaching their full potential. I was free to date and sleep with any man I wanted, just as long as I didn't get my heart stolen in the process.

My home life didn't help things out. My parents never showed each other affection, physical or otherwise. There …

A Beautiful Exchange--Part Three

When all this started, I spent two weeks in bed unable to move much or even listen to loud noises, since almost everything would trigger a panic attack.

While I lay there for those two weeks, I felt the Lord telling me to share my struggles with others, especially those I trusted to pray. It was not easy. To admit to another human being that I was too weak to get to the toilet without help is so embarrassing! And worse was to admit that I had no answers for what was wrong. But instead of blaming me for something I was not doing or telling me to try this remedy or that, they encouraged and sympathized and best of all prayed with and for me. Middle of the afternoon or middle of the night, if I felt a panic attack coming, I would send my trusted few a quick text to pray and I could immediately feel peace in my heart. The best part was that it opened up my friendships with these few friends in a way I couldn't have imagined. My need gave them a way to show me their love. I was giving t…

To Do or Not To Do

The last few days I've been listening to a book I wouldn't normally read and have been inspired to re-evaluate my priorities again because of it. This process reminded me of this post I wrote on February 2014. I was glad that I had actually put into practice a lot of the things I had purposed to do and kept going strong in them. There are a few of things that I haven't been able to do this year (working-out, traveling, and such) because of health issues, but I have been able to fill my life (for the most part) with people, activities, and objects I truly love. I'm re-sharing the post to encourage you all, dear readers, to do the same!

At the beginning of this year I made a commitment--a commitment to not commit, because what I don't do with my time is just as important as what I do.

I will not do housework when I would rather be reading or crafting (this is sooo difficult!).

I will not sign up for any volunteer opportunities just because no one else is. 

I will not mee…

A Beautiful Exchange--Part Two

I fear to write all my experiences because I know my readers are varied in their theological beliefs. But I have also searched Scripture, and with my limited Bible college background, I have found that all my experiences fall into what God has done in his word both in the Old and New Testaments. So certain things I write may not fall into your scope of belief, but I fully believe they fall into everything God is and has been. 

I had no idea when this all started, how much I was going to learn about myself, about the God I love, and about my family and friends. 

The first night I had an attack, my husband took me to the hospital. I had been fighting a stomach bug for a week so the doctor put me on an anti-diarrhea medicine and took my electrolyte levels. I was a little low on potassium, so she gave me a supplement and told me to cut my caffeine for a few days and beef up on potassium-rich foods. I went home relieved and thought that was the end of that. 

Weeks later I found myself in the …

A Beautiful Exchange--Part One

The following post is not about marriage, but about recent events in my life that have changed my marriage in a lot of ways. The entire story is too long and detailed to finish in one post, so below is only the first part.

I woke out of a dead sleep to my heart pounding out of my chest, my lungs feeling like they just couldn't get enough oxygen into them. I felt like the air was too thick to breathe, like I needed to get out of the room, of the house. I felt like my pajamas were too tight and were restricting me. I felt like I was going to pass out, and throw up, and die all at the same time. I felt like a drowning person, thrashing for air, for something to hold onto, for anything that would pull me out of this. When I tried to stand up, my legs would give way. I tried to reach for some water and my arms were too heavy to move. I tried to call out for help to my sleeping husband and could barely let out a whisper. For two solid weeks, my husband took off work to take care of me be…

Apples of Gold

(I apologize for the formatting issues in this post. The Blogger website seemed to not want to cooperate this morning.)
Like applesof gold in settings ofsilver is a word appropriately spoken. Proverbs 25:11
My husband and I had just settled in bed and turned off the lights. I could tell something was bothering him and it made me uneasy. As I usually do, I mentally went back through the events of my day and realized that I had let out a stream of angry words towards him that morning. In my defense I had just started my period that day, and I had a list of yard chores I wanted to get done, and I wasn't getting any help with them. I thought I was vindicated in letting my husband know just how frustrated I was. So I did. And the words had obviously cut deeper than I had planned or known. 
As I lay there, it took me a few minutes to build up the humility to say "I'm sorry for getting angry." What followed was my husband sharing his heart with me. Turns out my sweet husband ha…

Good Business

I've been struggling with my attitude towards my husband this week, and then I came upon this post. Sometimes we just need to be reminded of things. Originally posted April 15, 2015. 

The month of March has always been for us the busiest month of the year. Spring events are in full swing, and we have our daughter's birthday and our anniversary on back-to-back weekends. This year, it was made even more hectic by our own deadline to finish a remodeling project.

The last time Joseph and I tackled a remodeling project, I was too pregnant and sick to all. I couldn't even help with choosing materials and colors for the space. Joe was on his own most of the time, which made me feel so useless. When he did have help, I was honestly jealous of the proud moments when a part of the project would be done and the guys would go out for a drink. All I could do was stay home and sleep. After helping my husband out with everything for the first two years of our marriage, I was sudd…

The Frog Prince

This is one of those posts that I am always relearning. Lol! I do love my manly man! 

He is not your girlfriend.

He will not sit and watch girly movies with you every night. He will not assure you that you look skinny in that dress.  He will not notice your new hair cut, or purse, or pair of shoes. He will not care who's dating or marrying or having who's baby. He will not hold your purse or your shopping bags at the mall. He will not share his food at the restaurant or the movie theater. Get your own. He will not order a salad when there's a perfectly good steak available. 

He is a man. He will sit on the couch and play video games for hours. He will go out and have a beer with his buddies.  He'll shave and leave the hair all over the bathroom sink. He will burp, and fart, and scratch, and readjust his man parts. He will ask you if it's "that time of month" whenever you start crying.
There comes a day when every woman realizes her Prince Charming is less charming and m…

Becoming His Best Friend

Last week my husband was showing me how to drive our new ride-on lawn mower. I was a little nervous to get on by myself, but an hour later I was happily cutting grass all over our property! It made me think of how many things I've learned from my husband that I was once too scared to do. And it reminded me of this post I wrote 4 years ago that still is true for our marriage today...

I am by no means "one of the boys." I am not competitive. I have no problem being called a wimp if I decide not to jump off, over, or onto something. I prefer to sit on the sidelines and cheer, or read a book, or daydream while someone else tackles, slides, or kicks their way to a goal. But my husband is one of 7 boys, and he certainly is competitive, and he does like to climb and crawl and relishes every minute of it. As much as I love to watch him strut his stuff out on the field, or on a skateboard, or on the water, I know he loves it when I do these things with him. I groan, I mumble…

Fear and Marriage

I originally published this 4 years ago. I came across it again today and felt it needed restating. I don't think any of us is ready for marriage. It can be hard, lonely, boring, overwhelming, and chaotic. But to grow and learn with another human being? There's no closer friendship than that. 

When I was 18, the last thing on my mind was marriage. I was going to be a single woman the rest of my life, serve as a missionary in India, live in a grass hut, and adopt all my children. I could not stand the thought of any man running my life, or worse using up my best years and then leaving me for someone younger. I walked through high school and most of college with an iron shield around my heart, determined to make any interested guy's life miserable. I was not going to end up like my parents, so I wasn't going to give in to any romantic notions.

Even if my husband didn't end up leaving me, it would be hell to live with a man anyway. I would be stuck at washing his smelly…

Soul Food

I'm going back a few years with this post, but it's more relevant to my life than ever...

What is it about doing something we love that so energizes and refreshes us? What is it about seeing something beautiful that deeply touches us and makes us stand in wonder or break down in joyful tears? 
Over the summer, I've been reading Kris Valloton's Spirit Wars: Winning the Invisible Battle Against Sin and the Enemy. It's been very refreshing to be reminded that who I am is made up of three interwoven parts: my spirit, my soul, and my body. When one part is being affected negatively, every part reacts. I know that when I spend too much time indoors, my body aches for fresh air and exercise and that when I eat too much or too little, my body reminds me with tummy upset or dizziness. I can feel in my spirit when I've gone a day or two without being in the Lord's presence because I start craving that intimacy with him. But when I start feeling sad, hopeless, and lonel…

Growing Pains

The last few years for this family have been hard. Following a dream and following God have not been easy. We have met new friends in new cities only to have to say goodbye again. We have been without a stable home and without a church family. We are lonely and tired of moving and ready to dig our roots deep in one place. 

On top of everything else has been what I call "marital puberty." It's the fact that my husband and I have been trying to live our individual lives while being married. The only way I can explain it is by describing the difference I have felt the last few months. Something has shifted in my mind and I believe in my husband's as well. I have started seeing he and I as a team and not as two married individuals. And even though our daughter is three years old, I've just now started seeing us as a family, instead of two individuals who share a kid.

I know it sounds strange, but it explains all our frustration and loneliness over the past few years. W…