I’m Happy For You. Sort of….Not Really.

Although I’m still as much of an avid book lover and reader as ever, you’ve probably noticed my book reviews on here have become few and far between. That’s because in my quest for Wait this year I decided to step back from a few of the things that, while I loved, weren’t what I needed to be focused on doing right now.

When I saw the title of Kay Wills Wyma new book (available to purchase today!!), however, I knew it was one that I HAD to read, and figured it was one most of my readers would, too, so I said “yes, please!! send me one!”

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One Word 2015 : Wait

After years of Grow and Bless I was understandably excited about what my “one word” for 2015 was going to be. Although Bless was still in full throttle, at the end of November I turned my thoughts toward the new year and start praying about what one word I could choose as my focus for 2015. This time I really didn’t have any idea, but soon one word began to press itself into my thoughts over and over again.

Wait

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Want God’s Blessing? Here’s a no-fail formula!

Through my “year of bless” I did a lot of thinking about wanting God’s blessing, what that really, truly looked like, and how one goes about receiving it. Along these lines when I came across the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12) during my reading through the Bible I thought — Hey! These are probably the most well known Bless verses in the Bible. I guess that means I should think about them a little.

I’ll be perfectly honest, the Beatitudes never used to really “do anything” for me. Even when I did an in-depth Bible study with a group of women on Matthew a few years ago, this passage was one that I never really felt like I “got” and always seemed a little loftily-strange. Pure in Heart, Those who Mourn, Poor in Spirit – I pictured all these stereotypical “saints of old” pining away their lives for Christ. It didn’t seem like something that I could really grasp at as a 20-something 21st Century American Christian, much less put into daily practice.

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One Word 2014 In Review: Bless

January Reflections

I’m going about things in a oh-so-late manner this year, but don’t worry, it’ll all be explained later on this week when I explain what my One Word for 2015 is. Then my unannounced absence for the last few weeks and my diving into my New Year plans just a few weeks late will all be explained.

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Let There Be Light by Archbishop Desmond Tutu

As you might be able to tell immediately from looking at the cover, Let There Be Light is not your typical re-hash of the story of creation. Illustrated by New York Times bestselling author Nancy Tillman the illustrations bring a level of fantasy and whimsical to Genesis 1.

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Top 5 Tips for a Happy Marriage

Top 5 Tips for a Happy Marriage

9 years ago today I walked down the aisle to Pacbell’s Cannon and began the adventure that is my life as a Wyoming Girl turned Coastie Wife! It’s been a lot of crazy and a lot of fun, and I can’t wait for the next 50 years of life with my Bob. So here are my top 5 tips for a Happy Marriage in celebration of today!

Also! Just wanted to add a little note to encourage those of you who might *not* feel so happy right now, and that’s is that the biggest tip outside of these is that even happy marriages have un-happy times. That’s the nature of being married and living this thing we call life!

1. Always, always, Stay friends — Spend time together, laugh, joke, play with each other. just make sure that your spouse is your very best friend. During the crazy, insane, hard times that will pull you through like nothing else ever possibly could.

Proverbs 18:24
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

2. Fall back in love. Go back from time to time and look at pictures from when you were dating/engaged, go back and re-read your love letters to each other, look at cards, look at presents etc from that time period. Remember WHY you fell in love and chose to spend your life with this person. I have a “Bob album” where I keep all these kinds of things. It makes it easy any time I’m feeling sappy like a few “Awwwws”

1 Cor. 13:7 & 8 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

3. Comparison is the thief of joy. You’ve probably seen this quote floating around and that’s because it’s SO good and SO true. Never ever ever compare yourself or your marriage to other couples. Everyone can put on a pretty face or gush about each other on Facebook but you have NO idea what’s going on behind closed doors. Just wish them all the best and hope they have as amazing of marriages as it looks like they do–and work your hardest to keep yours amazing and strong as well. Also realize that each couple is faced with their very own and very unique set of challenges in their marriage. Holding your husband or yourself up to them is an unfair measuring stick for everyone and will leave you feeling unsatisfied or pridefully vain. If you must compare, compare YOU and only you to the instructions laid out in scripture.

James 3:16 ESV For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

4. Be careful little mouth what you say. Other than perhaps your Godly mentor that you share all your life/spiritual struggles with do not EVER speak badly about your spouse in a public way online or off. Be careful of even little things that can under-cut them and wound them. They are already super insecure (we ALL are) so always build them up!

Eph. 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

5. Find Godly resources on marriage and read, read, read, and re-read them.I have an entire pinboard called Happily Ever After that I use to keep track of amazing blog posts and our bookshelves are full of Christian marriage books-not because we’ve ever had a bad marriage, but just because we want to be so sure to keep having an *amazing* one! Other resources that I love are here:

#1 The Bible — I mean–really. Should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyways. Did you know you can even download it for free for your e-reader or read it online in ESV? Check it out!

Favorite Blogs:

To Love Honor and Vacuum — an amazing blog! She deals a lot with marriage and also wrote the book A Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex   which is in my very narrow “must read for every married woman” category

The Peaceful Wife — Oh! What a blessing this blog has been to me!! Seriously–she speaks the truth about marriage from God’s word and I always go away convicted, blessed, challenged and refreshed!

Carla Anne — if you’re a wife whose husband has to be gone for long lengths of time for any reason you NEED to aquatint yourself with Carla Anne’s site–and also her book Married Mom, Solo Parent

Favorite Books: (in addition to the two above ^^^)

For Women Only –This book really is everything your husband wishes you knew about him–but would die before telling you himself, or simply doesn’t “get” that you don’t “get”! As I said–this is one of only three books I’d call absolutely MUST HAVE marriage books! It’s a short, easy read but wow, what an amazing little book it is!

Created To Be  His Helpmeet — I feel like I need to give a “disclaimer” now as there are several things about the Pearls that I do NOT agree with and have seen since the time I first posted about this book. In fact most of the other Christian authors I love to read who write about marriage dislike the Pearls very much. This book for me, however, was my “lightbulb” book. It helped me to open my eyes to so many things in my marriage and I am so very grateful to it. Also her chapter about the three different kinds of men changed my life–if you ONLY get it to read that one chapter, it would be worth it in my eyes.

Worth Owning/Reading:

Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman — a very popular book that added another layer to the love and understanding in our marriage–a great one to own!

The Language of Love and Respect — another good read!

The Love Dare & The Respect Dare are both worth owning and doing! Oh and watch Fireproof with your spouse for a date if you never have!

Proverbs 15:22 Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.

Are you happily married? Please share your favorite tips and best advice in a comment below!

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Mom Seeks God by Julia Roller Book Review

It seems only appropriate that I’m writing this review about a week late. You see–last Monday (as in April 28th) I came down with THE flu–you know, not the bad cold, or the “oh I think that this might be the flu” bugs–but the read bon fida Influenza A. I know for sure because I thought that I might have a sinus infection again–so I went into the walk in clinic where they tested me, which is how I found out it was the “real deal”. I promptly “call in sick” (which is not an easy task to do when you work from home) and spent the rest of the week in a huge bundle of misery and pain either on the couch or in my bed.

You see–when you’re a Mom life in general can be a challenge–trying to seek God in the middle of all the utter chaos? Well some times it can feel nearly impossible!

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When Calls the Heart – Lost & Found DVD

Legalese Nonsense: I was sent a copy of When Calls the Heart to view it–because how could I tell you my thoughts otherwise? All nitpicky opinions are, as always, all my own!

Ever since I first read the Love Comes Softly Series as a teen, I’ve loved all of Janette Oke’s books! So when Hallmark starting making series and movies inspired by her books I was excited about it! I learned quickly, however, that “inspired by” means just that–these might have the same titles and character names, but the stories in the movies/series are very loosely based on the books. They are great in and of themselves, but if you are expecting a great book to tv adaptation you’re going to become disappointed quickly. I learned this with the Love Come Softly movie series, so going into watching When Calls the Heart – Lost & Found DVD I was expecting something similar, and I was right. This DVD is actually the first 2 episodes in the When Calls the Heart Series–so don’t expect the full season. It’s just enough to give you a great taste for the series and leaves you wanting more.

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AHA by Kyle Idleman

AHA by Kyle Idleman Book Review

 

AHA: The God Moment That Changes Everything by Kyle Idleman is a book that takes the (what can sometimes seem) overly familiar parable of the Prodigal Son and shows through multiple real-life examples just how modern and relevant this tale is today—for “sinners and saints” alike! The title stands for Awakening Honesty and Action – and goes through how important each step is for a change to be long lasting and true. One step while not paired with the other two is common but makes it so that real change never happens.

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