Friday, March 28, 2014

Faithful Friday: Do I Look OK?

Communication is so not what it used to be.

When I was a kid you either talked to someone in person, over the phone, passed a note in class, or mailed a letter and waited weeks for a response.

Or, you had your friend do it for you.
Remember folded pieces of paper with:

 "Do you like me?  Check yes or no"

Most the time though you just handled things in person.  Face to face.  And normally, after one discussion, problem solved.  Sure rumors still got started, feelings were hurt, people misunderstood.

I want to go back to the days where the only miscommunication comes from playing an old fashion game of Telephone.

Or at least put the kids in that bubble.

Now, life is all about communicating in any form other than reality.  Let's avoid face to face at all costs...

Whether you're texting, tweeting, checking in, unfriending, or poking, the truth is people are sharing way more these days than we used to.  All that sharing is being done by children who haven't yet grown a filter.  And I'm not talking about the cool effects a Nashville filter brings to your photos on Instagram.

Although Facebook was created for college kids and the minimum age of use is 13, the truth is, there are lots of people (adults included) who shouldn't have one.  Or use any type of social media for that matter.

As a blogger, I'm somewhat hesitant to write anything negative about social media.  Yes, I use it and need it for what I do.  And yes, I have made mistakes too.  From the early days of taking surveys and not caring what my random answers might look like, to posting before I breathe when upset, I'm guilty of social media faux pas.  I'm human, I mess up.  But I learn from it - and hopefully I grow from it.

Now that I've been online a few years, I realize even more what a footprint you leave behind. As a recent job hunter, I know the Googling that is done.  And it made me ponder...

Who am I online?  What do I represent?  At a glace, do I look OK?

As a Christian, I feel an even greater sense to carefully consider what I write.  Not that I'm trying to be someone I'm not, just the opposite.  I don't want something to be misunderstood or taken the wrong way. What I say or do online could positively or negatively influence someone's day, opinion of the church, or most importantly their relationship with Jesus.

Having an online presence does not come without consequences or responsibility.

Lord, set up a guard for my mouth; 
keep watch at the door of my lips.  Psalm 141:3

Here's what I tell the kids, even if they roll their eyes.

Pause before you post.   
Even if you hit a delete button afterwards, your words remain in someone's memory forever.

Would you say this to a stranger?
If the cashier at Wal-Mart doesn't need to know you aren't wearing underwear today, then your friends online don't either.

Molly, you in danger, girl.
Sometimes common sense goes out the window when online, but your phone number and private info should never be public if you're under 18.  With the way the world is, you probably shouldn't be public period. Your friends should already know your number.

Come again?
If reading your status brings a Minion reaction of, "Whaaaaaaaattt?!?" then maybe you should rethink it.  Reword it.  Or better yet, just don't post it.  There will not be a cure for cancer found by posting that you're moving to Hawaii for 12 months or that you've just been arrested.

Do I know you?
Or better yet, would I know you in person?  Are you the same online as you are in the real world?
Would you say this post out loud, in person, to real people?

Can you walk away?
Is your hand permanently shaped to the form of your phone?  If you don't access social media for a day (or several) do you have withdrawals?  Do you say things in person that only make sense online?

How's your Witness?
I jokingly ask the kids all the time, would you do this with Jesus?  Would you listen to that song, watch that movie or tell that story?  Kind of an opposite of WWJD, but rather, would you be embarrassed or convicted if He were in the room?  Because He is.  If your gut is telling you not to do whatever it is you're about to do on social media...Don't.  Be the minority.  Be an example.  And protect your witness as a Christian.  

Let my words and my thoughts be pleasing to you, 
Lord, because you are my mighty rock and my protector.  
Psalm 19:14

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Still Standing: Spring Showers

My monthly post for Still Standing Magazine was submitted earlier this week.  And, like always, nobody knew about the post prior to me sending.  Not even family because I like for them to have true reactions to whatever I've written.

My posts for Still Standing are raw, in the moment, or unedited reflections from my child loss journey. They do not always contain the joy I try hard to express on this blog, because through this walk in grief, joy has not always been present.

Having only been a monthly contributor for six months now, many aren't even aware I'm regularly writing for this publication.  This month, I write about spring and the memories of Austin the season brings.  A major focus of the story includes daffodils.

Monday, when I arrived home from work, these greeted me from the kitchen.

Picked by my mom and the kids.
And I couldn't help but feel a hug from above from Austin, too.

Go check out the full post here and see if you agree...

Monday, March 24, 2014

Home for Dinner

Family gathered at the dinner table has always been important to me, probably because that is how we grew up.  Mom never failed to have a home-made meal on the table for us after school each day.  On the weekends and during the summer, even our lunches were had there.  Together.

Both of my grandmothers carried this tradition too.  Family gathered at the table.  Always.

The dinner table is where so many of my childhood memories are held, even when food wasn't involved.

When Tim and I married, it was important to me that we continue this family custom.  I looked forward to our meals together each evening, even if it sometimes included the burnt fiasco's of newlywed cooking.

Throughout our life of raising kids, having meals together as a family wasn't always easy.  We juggled college, chaotic work schedules, babies, and the life of a firefighter.  Sometimes we couldn't help but eat apart or at different times, but for the majority of our meals, they were together.  Because it was important.

In fact, I remember having a somewhat uncomfortable conversation with a former supervisor, who didn't see the value of being home in time to have dinner with my kids.  "It's not going to hurt for your kids to have a frozen pizza a couple nights a week without you," still rings in my head.  And I'm grateful that I dug my heels in and made it work -for my family- to the best of my abilities at that time.

The past couple of years we have gotten a tad lazier, choosing to often have weeknight dinners in the living room. The tv normally isn't turned on until after we eat, it is just sometimes comfier to eat from a couch versus the hard wood after a long day.  We still huddle in prayer, hands held, in the kitchen before we retire to wherever we are eating.  And we make it a point to have at least a couple meals at the table each week.  For the past month or so, we've added the rule of a tech free table (no matter where we are) and my only regret is that we didn't do this sooner.

No matter the location, it is the pausing in thankfulness to God for providing the meal, the lifting up in prayer the needs of our family and world, and the quality time spent learning about each other's day that make mealtime in the Blair house so special.

There's another famous family that makes time for it regularly too...

Duck Dynasty

Though this tradition is partially just how I was raised, it was comforting to hear our pastor speak to it yesterday during the sermon.  Even Jesus shared the importance of gathering together regularly to learn, spend time together, eat, and pray.

And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, 
to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to the prayers. Acts 2:42

Sounds a lot like the mission of our Lifegroups too.....(meet, eat, pray!)

And even though we are pretty faithful followers of this custom, we made sure to enjoy last night's meal at the actual table and linger a little more than usual.  Real conversations were had.  Laughs were shared.  Thankfulness was lifted up.  Family was strengthened.  And it was good.

Do you make family meal-time a priority in your house?  
What's your favorite family meal?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Faithful Friday: Hope Springs

Some seasons are harder than others, in life and on the calendar.

This winter was beyond a difficult season for us.  So many storms.  A hard, cold, bitter winter inside our house and out the window.  Seemed like as soon as we plowed through a heavy snow, and felt a clearing, another frost would arrive.  As I type, we are still in a season of struggle but I look ahead with hope. 

That is what spring brings...

Song of Solomon 

With each chirp of a robin, buds on our trees, and plants bursting forth among the decay from winter, we have promise of better days.  It is a season to sing of the hope that comes with spring!

For every day of sunshine, we know cloudy days will again come;  

but for flowers to grow, rain must fall.

This is the hope I cling to in difficult times.  Because who doesn't have trials, mountains, and valleys in this life?  If every day were glorious though, what would we long for?  

A season of winter just makes me appreciate spring even more.

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. -Proverb

In the bleak days of a trying season, I cling tighter to God.  I remember our most difficult times and see how He pulled us through.  So I know this too shall pass.  And good will come.  This I believe.

Just as with snowy days, I know sun will return.  While we've been cooped up indoors all winter, spring invites us to come outside.  To try again.  To return to happier days.  

My sleepy window boxes are beckoning me, fingers longing to claw in dirt.  Sun on the deck highlights the dust that needs to be swept away.  A fresh start.  Days on the water are calling to us, as we begin to prepare the boat. Much peace comes from a simple day out with a fishing pole.  

We weather the storms because we know what is on the way.  We can look past the pain and see the joy on the horizon.  That hope, the promise of our tomorrows, is what holds us in the difficult seasons.  

If your winter was a rough one, my prayer is that you can be comforted by this too.  Hold tight to the promises only God can offer.  No matter what this world may send your way, His light will overcome the darkness.

“The deep roots never doubt spring will come.” 

Praying spring finds its way to you, friends...

Friday, March 14, 2014

Faithful Friday: Friendship

Years ago, I prayed for a new friend.  One dependable, honest, trustworthy friend, who was not family or married to me.  A friend that didn't "have" to be my friend.  Someone who sincerely wanted to be my friend, just because.

Just one.

I didn't need a flock.  At the time, I had recently joined the world of Social Media and had hundreds of "friends" but I desired true friendship.

It was a daily prayer for so many months I cannot remember the count.

Proverbs 27:9 
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. 

After Austin died, dozens of friends flew into my life.  Some for only a while, in the earliest part of the tragedy, some for longer.  And though I had and treasured true friends then (and even now), my soul still searched for a friendship I couldn't quite find.

Looking back, I didn't even know then what I was praying for.  But my soul did.  And God sent her to me, in his perfect timing.

Over a year ago, my pastor suggested to a group of us to search out an accountability partner.  I'd never really ever heard the term before, though I had some expectations of what that might be.  Initially, I was very hesitant.  Though an open book when writing, sharing my personal feelings, hurts, needs, and struggles is not something I willingly do in person.

Proverbs 11:14 
Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.

The only exception would be with my husband.  He has and always will be my best friend.  And yet, while we tell each other everything, there are still subjects/struggles/areas that you sometimes can't fully share.  For this reason, our pastor did not recommend using your spouse as that partner.

What if you are struggling with each other?  What if you're being stubborn in an area and need advice from an outside party?  What if sharing your weakness could result in an argument?  As easy as it would've been to just choose Tim, my heart knew I needed to prayerfully seek someone else.

One of the purposes of an accountability partner is to, just as the word indicates, hold each other accountable.  While a spouse can certainly do this, it could seem more like parenting than friendship.  And if you're spatting, having a godly reminder could just aggravate things.  Like when I'm having a bad day and I'm venting, maybe a little too loudly, and hubby gently tries to calm me.  Sometimes it makes it worse.

In the beginning, your partnership may be something as simple as checking in to see if you've kept up with your daily Bible reading.  A true accountability partner though learns and knows your weaknesses, your struggles, and prayerfully guides you to becoming a stronger Christian.  Whatever the area(s) may be, you set goals with them and they remind, push, and encourage you.  It could be something severe, like an addiction, or it could be something more spiritual, like increasing the people you talk to about Jesus.

Proverbs 27:17 

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. 

As you grow closer and get more comfortable, life filters in.  Needs of those within your family and others who are heavy on your heart become shared by the prayers of this friend.

When my friend took on this task, she might not have been prepared for the crazy chaos this life can bring.  She might not have realized the sometimes daily advice or support I might need, as storms seem to frequently come my way.  Maybe she looks at her caller ID and rolls her eyes, sighs, or wishes for a moment of peace.  If so, she never shares it, as she is always there, always willing, and most importantly always praying for me.

Proverbs 12:26 
The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.

I trust her counsel.  I know she seeks the Ultimate Source for the Truth I am seeking.  I know she doesn't give me advice just to quiet or appease me.  And I without a doubt know that when she says she'll pray about something, she will do so fervently.

She's been such an unexpected blessing to me.  From someone who stubbornly didn't want to open my world to anyone else, to someone who wouldn't know where I'd be today without her.

If you have such a friend, tell them today how much they mean to you.  If you do not, I will join you in prayer that God sends one your way.

Have a blessed Friday, friends...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Old School Blogging

Yesterday's post was pretty random so I thought it was a sure sign I should hop on this wagon too!

It reminded me of early Internet chatting days when you would ask random questions of strangers to get to know them better.  I'm all about surveys, questionnaires, and social exercises.  Plus, I'm really bored at work today.
Here it goes...

What is the last thing you watched on TV?

Last thing I personally watched or what was on when I was in the room?  Last night my husband watched an episode of "Moonshiners" while I started the book the Love Dare for Parents.  The last time I remember watching TV this week was Cutthroat Kitchen.

When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
About an hour ago to retrieve a squeeze bottle of Crystal Light for the mega water consumption I'm trying to endure daily.

What is on the walls of the room you are in?

I'm at work and in a very open space.  My cubicle actually doesn't have walls, as I'm basically out in the open on a raised counter.  Think "former bank teller" window.  And I'm not taking pics because my co-workers will think I'm weirder than they already do.

If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?

I would fund our Austin's Legacy scholarship for generations to come.  My church would have their dream building/campus as we've outgrown our space.  Our family would escape for a lengthy vacation on a remote island.  And we'd return to a log cabin in the woods, on a hill, by a lake, with an enormous back porch and amazing views of the sunset. 

Tell me something about you that most people don’t know.

I can't stand cotton balls.  Their texture freaks me out.  Think fingernails on a chalkboard.  Maybe a lot of my readers already know that??  So, another one is I imagine myself someday running a marathon, which in my physical state and the knees I have seems rather impossible in this moment.

Who made the last incoming call on your phone?

I had to go look.  It was my husband last night on his way home from work.

If you could change something about your home, without worry about expense or mess, what would you do?

My kitchen.  I hate the wallpaper but I'm too lazy and unskilled to fix it.  I would love to rip everything out and start cabinets, new counters, etc. 

What was the last thing you bought?

A pint of gizzards at Lee's Famous Recipe.  I'm somewhat addicted. 
But other than food, it would have to be the phone Banjee I got to start walking more.  It is basically a band that goes on your arm and holds your phone/money/etc, as I wear yoga pants (because I'm fat and they're comfy, not because I do downward dog) at every opportunity and never have pockets.

Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving?

Eek, probably neither.  I'm a control freak and neither of those allow me to be in charge.  If I were forced to choose, sky diving, just because the view would be better.

If you could eat lunch with one famous person, who would it be?
I'm with Anna on this one, there's nobody famous enough to entice me.  If wishes were granted, it would be lunch with Austin, just one more time.  But I could care less about the food, I'd just want to hug his neck.

Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?

We don't have credit cards.  Haven't since early stupid days of our young marriage.  Nothing is worth paying back all that interest!  If it were a free to me credit card though...SAMs.

Is the glass half empty or half full?

I live my life (and write this blog) with the belief that it is half full.  Sure, I have my moments, but I know there is JOY in every single day.

What’s the farthest-away place you’ve been?

Jamaica.  Oh, how I miss fresh calamari on the beach...sigh.

What’s under your bed? 

I'm too scared to look.  (tee hee)  Seriously, boxes from my last job I haven't made the time to clear out yet.  It is among my spring cleaning plans though.  Promise.

What is your favorite time of the day?

Early evening, once home and dinner is done.  That quiet comfort of just being home with family at the end of a day.

What Inspires You?

God.  The legacy Austin left.  People who survive and thrive through tragedy.  Sunrises.  Butterflies.  Finding JOY.

Your turn! If you are a blogger and want to do some Old School Blogging, just cut and paste the questions, grab the badge over at Elaine's, and Please link up! 

And if you're not a blogger, answer some of the questions below.  I love to read comments from you!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Random Funnies

It has been one of those Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad weeks.

There are days when I can think that pretty much sums up life for me.  Because I have undoubtedly had more than my fair share of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad things to happen to me and my family.

And knowing this, it is so easy to give in, give up, or lose hope.  I have to remind myself of the good that overshadows the bad.  God has blessed this life, this I know.  Any good has come from Him.  

But on those THNGVB days, even knowing the promise of my future, I sometimes need an extra dose of happiness.  Searching out the joy is what keeps me putting one foot in front of the other some days.

When I'm having an Eeyore moment....
I have to find the good...the happy...the JOY....the funny.

Maybe you're having an Eeyore rainy day too?  If so, have a laugh on me.  Or five.

1.  Good things come to those who wait....?

This faded and stained collage contains photos of me through the school years.  From pigtails to ponytails...bad "black Robert Smith of the Cure phase"...and hair so big it takes up 1/2 the frame..all the way to senior year. 

Ahh, the memories!  I wouldn't consider myself cute, even in the early days.  My 2nd grade photo looks like one of those old western photos restored to color.  Did my horse just die?  3rd grade...apparently refugee hippy was in style.  4th, I look like an old school teacher or nun.  Seriously?  Lace!?  Mom, what were you thinking?!  Where did my wardrobe come from, Sue Heck, from the TV show "The Middle"?

Not that I could ever have entered a beauty pageant, at least I ended decent in my senior photo.  Geez.

2.  Can you spare a square?

Everyone has funny bathroom stories.  Mine and the other lady involved probably differ a bit, as maybe hers seemed a little less funny, more traumatic.  

I don't really recall where I was but, against my usual better judgment, I entered a stall without a thorough check and sweep to sit right down for business.  Once already in the act, I realized there was no toilet paper.   I am not a shake and dry gal.  To my relief, someone entered the next stall.  In the nicest way possible, I asked the lady if she could spare some paper. 

No response.

"Excuse Me?"  I said a little louder.

Still, nothing.  Not even the sound of tinkle.  But I can see her feet so I know she's there.  Maybe she's shy, or hard of hearing, or reaallly concentrating.  So, I go to tap on the wall between us.

In doing so, my hand hits the "intimates" trash can that is shared between the two stalls.  I'm guessing it was hanging on a wing and a prayer, as I swear I barely touched it, but it goes flying off the wall.

And into her stall.

She's screaming now and there is a gaping hole between us.  Seeing her bare legs was enough for me to decide I'd dripped dry by this point.  I apologized profusely and got the heck out of dodge, not even stopping to wash my hands! 

3.  Where'd that come from?

On our wedding day, we had cute little mauve packets of birdseed for our guests to throw at us as we exited the building. 

Being the animal lover I was, I remember researching it (way back before Google so it was probably word of mouth) and learning that the commonly thrown rice was dangerous for birds.  Bubbles were too expensive for these young newlyweds, so I opted to make my own packets with pink mesh and a pound of seed.

The thought was nice, envisioning a made-for-tv-moment of beautiful birdseed scattered across our paths.  Little did I know those pesky, tiny little things fly everywhere.  Coming out the door laughing, I ingested more than a mouthful.  My cleavage did as well.  I felt like I was digging out birdseed from every nook and cranny for days.  I'm sure someone has a photo or two of me spitting on the front steps of the church! 

Eight months later, I was at my grandmother's house for a visit when my ear started hurting.  It felt like a bug was inside it so I go to dancing and shaking my head around her living room.  Reaching my finger in for a scary scoop, I pulled out - you guessed it - birdseed.  8 MONTHS LATER!

4.  Peek-A-Boo

Back before the many falls and motorcycle wrecks, I had strong legs and good knees.  In one of my very first "real" jobs at the college, we were working on a project that required me to be in the floor.  Thinking back, I honestly don't know why me and the Director of Education were crawling around in this classroom.  I mean, it wasn't even to dig up files from the vault, but for some reason we were. 

I must've not known the events of the day because I was in a gingham sundress and heels.  We were facing each other with large papers or poster board on the floor.  I went to scoot back and get up when my heel caught in the back of my dress.


I knelt there staring at my supervisor, wide-eyed and embarrassed.  His face was just as red.  I was scared to move, not knowing what damage was behind me or how much of my dress was left.  After a long dramatic pause we both started laughing.  So hard that I was afraid I'd shake the remnant of the material right off of me.  Once finally composed, I made him close his eyes AND turn around while I assessed the damage. 

Feeling like a dog chasing his tail, I spun around trying to see behind me.  With my hands I felt my way down my backside, thankful to feel material until almost my calves.  Knowing I wasn't going to moon my boss, I started laughing again and we fell back into the floor.  Later that day a stapler became my friend as I mended it well enough to get out the door and home. 

And last but not least, a story I've told before but is oh, so funny...

5.  The time I tried to ride a cow...

These laughable moments brought to you by Me.  :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

When Life Is...Life

Mercy, it's been a week and it is only Wednesday!

The start of my commute to work yesterday morning was a bit apprehensive, as we'd had another round of Winter.  For hours this weekend, I listened to ice hitting the windows.  We awoke Monday to a blinding white, crystallized snow.  Thankfully, our campus was like every school in the state of Kentucky and closed for the first day of the week.  Tuesday however, I needed to brave the weather and get back to work.

Just getting out my door was an event but, thanks to my hubby's loving and strong arms, I felt secure.  It was just as much a process to get inside the truck, as the doors were frozen shut.  Again, thanks to my DH and a trusty can of de-icer I was eventually set and on my way.

Our subdivision road was an icy mess and it is often how I judge the condition of others.  I know this isn't usually true, but to look out and see a plastic sheen across the road tends to discourage travel from this chicken little. 

For we live by faith, not by sight.  2 Corinthians 5:7
Though I try to live by this scripture in life, I so often find myself living by sight.  I see an icy road, therefore I believe the whole trip will be horrible and dangerous.   I braced myself for the worst, only to find mostly clear roads the whole drive. 
God reminded me on my commute to change the way I look at things. 
Not to judge at face value.  To remember there is usually more than meets the eye. 
And to not look ahead at life with worry, but instead to trust in Him.
Running just a few minutes behind, from the scrape-and-spray morning shuffle, the turn for my office was in sight.  I was almost home free.  And then... he hit me.


I saw it coming the split second before it did, as I could see him cutting over into my lane to make a turn, with no regard for my presence.  Bracing, horn blaring, my willing it not to happen didn't pause or delay the end result.  Though I hoped for a different outcome, impact was inevitable. 

A morning changed.  Delayed.  Frustrations and inconveniences. 

In this case, every bit of planning and cautious driving didn't change things.  Icy weather didn't cause the wreck, just distracted driving.  Or rather, in the other driver not actually seeing what was right beside him!

Needless to say, it was bad enough to have had the wreck but the fact that he didn't even ask if I was ok and then made an inaccurate statement to what happened made for a very bad morning and day.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  Hebrews 11:1

This morning I set out, determined to make it a better day.  I got up earlier and was headed out the door un-rushed and ahead of schedule, thanks to the kids having yet another day off school.  Cautiously I stepped out the door on my own, careful to step around the ice and onto the freshly cleaned areas my husband prepped last night.  Easing into the car, I decided to check my own glove box for those pesky little cards. 

Much to my dismay I wasn't any more organized than Tim.  2013 was the most recent I could find.  At least mine were a year more recent than his, I mumbled. 

Knowing my luck, as I could just picture the irony of having some type of accident and being cited two days in a row, I decided to brave the slippery steps again and enter the house to print more cards.

A slow computer and several frustrating moments later, I exited the house with a freshly printed set, now in a rush to make the drive to work on time.  As careful as I was, my foot slipped and I went down anyway.

I'm destined to be covered in bruises.

Maybe it's my life's mission to have swollen lumpy knees.

Are you kidding me?!

It was a miserable trip down and an excruciating trip back up, as my injuries haven't fully recovered from my happy Valentine's spill.  Sobbing, soaking wet, and bleeding, I sat in my car and just broke.

Life is just unfair. 
I quit. 

Most of my commute, I complained to God.  Cried.  Yelled even. 

Why were things so hard?  Why do I feel constantly defeated.  Knocked down again and again.

Sometimes literally.

I'm tired of being positive.  I don't want to look at the bright side.
And I certainly don't want to tell others how to find joy. 

(Insert major pity party)

And then God sings to me through my radio....

One million reasons why, you shouldn't even try.
After all you're just one heart, a single candle in the dark.
And there are shadows here, feeding on your fears,
That you don't have what it takes

- who are you to make a change?
But oh, oh, don't underestimate the God you follow.

Whatever you do, just don't look back.
Oh somebody needs the light you have.

Whatever you do, just don't lose heart.
Keep on pushing back the dark,
Keep on pushing back the dark.

The city on a hill, it should be shining still.
Every sinner saved by grace, has a purpose, has a place
Inside the bigger plan, we might not understand.
But if we just keep walking on, we will see the Kingdom come, yeah.

Whatever you do, just don't look back.
Oh somebody needs the light you have.
Whatever you do, just don't lose heart.
Keep on pushing back the dark,
Keep on pushing back the dark.

-Pushing Back, Josh Wilson
And I look at my bleeding and punctured hands from the steering wheel and remember how pierced His were for me.  How selfish and insignificant my little tantrum has just been.  All because life hasn't been sunshine and roses this week. 

But on this first day of the Holy Season, might I pause to reflect on the suffering Jesus endured. 
For me...

No matter the trials of this life....I have assurance in what eternity holds.

Knees bent,
no matter how bruised.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Book Review: Wife After God

God most certainly had heavy intentions for me to spend time this year in prayer for my husband.  It began around November and the theme has carried through ever since.  Going in, I certainly didn't expect him to need to be so padded in my prayers, but I'm so thankful God led me there.

It was no surprise to me when I found out last week that I'd been selected to review another devotional about - you guessed it - praying for your husband/marriage/etc.

I've had the privilege this week to peruse through "Wife After God," by Jennifer Smith.  I cannot wait to actually take the time to give it 30 full days and dig in even deeper.

"This devotional study was prayerfully composed with 30 days of biblical concepts and practical challenges to help you nourish your relationship with God and your relationship with your husband in marriage into ones that are captivating, intimate and extraordinary. Every day you will be presented with a biblical topic to help draw your nearer to your God and your husband."

You can get your copy here.

In my words?
This book is a simple, easy to read, devotion that takes you on a journey.  No matter what stage your marriage is in, there is something to be gained by taking these scriptures and message to heart and to practice.  I have no doubt that God puts this book into the hands of those whose marriage or husband needs it.  So, if you're reading this....simply scroll up a paragraph, click the link, get the book, and soak up the spiritual gifts He is sending your way!

What does it take from you?

30 days.
A Bible.
A journal...notebook....or the back pages of your kid's homework.
Commitment and an open, prayerful mind.

Each day opens in scripture, a message or story, questions to ponder, and the part I liked best about the book - a challenge.

Being the competitive person I am, put the word challenge in front of something and I am motivated to do it.  The great part of these challenges though is that there will always be two winners - you and your hubby.

What I've learned on my journey of praying more consistently and focused for my husband is that it doesn't just benefit him.  It draws me closer to God, which makes me a person, mom, and wife. Wife After God

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