Wednesday, March 31, 2010

03/31/10 - John Piper

John Piper is taking 8 months off of work: preaching, writing, blogging, tweeting, facebooking, speaking engagements and everything else he does.


Because, as he says, "the precious garden of my home needs tending".

What an awesome man!

Read HERE for more information! God Bless you Pastor Piper, may these next 8 months be a time of growth in your personal life! You will be prayed for!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

03/30/10 - Thankful

Yes, thanksgiving is in Novemeber, but this week, this Holy Week I find myself forever grateful. I am reminded of the fact that if we just stop at Good Friday, we'd lose hope. It's Sunday morning that brings us hope and grace!

Every year I watch this video and it brings me such sorrow and joy all mingled in one! How thankful I am!

In Christ Alone

Saturday, March 20, 2010

03/20/10 - Four men in a tub

Someone asked me to post more pictures. I took this earlier this week. It was Clark's first time in our hot tub.

Rub-a-dub-dub, four men in a tub!

John, Clark 7 months, Miles almost 5, Luke 3 1/2

I have four water boys for sure!

Friday, March 19, 2010

03/19/10 - One Week, really!

How has it been a week since I posted last?! We've had some AMAZING spring weather around here. Also we "sprung" forward with our clocks. My normal early morning post time hasn't happened because we've all slept in a bit longer.

Plus I've had a couple of long nights with a teething baby.

This time of year is just so amazing. When you've been "locked" up all winter, it's amazing to be outside. So refreshing!

I've been cleaning up our "winter catch all areas". Putting away winter boots, coats, gloves, and hats. I've done a bit of reorganizing, throwing away, and cleaning of those areas that seem to get neglected over the winter. (They get neglected because they're enclosed, but not heated...burr!)

What have you been up to this week?

Friday, March 12, 2010

03/12/10 - Mourning

Today I had a chance to speak with a mom who gave birth to a stillborn baby two weeks ago. When I saw her, I just hugged her, tears flowed and flow even as I write this post.

This isn't the way life is supposed to be! Her daughter is supposed to be here!

Peoples may question an All Mighty, Powerful God, asking, "Why does God allow that?!?"

I get that sort of question...I understand why someone would think that...but this I know: we live in a fallen world. We're all victims and agents of sin. Death wasn't part of God's perfect plan. He weeps along side us. He understands the loss of a child.

When things like this happen, I long for heaven!

"This world is not my home, I'm just passing through"

Please pray for this family and many others who are walking through their own personal "valley of shadow of death".

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

03/10/10 - Newlyweds or Getting Married

It's hard to imagine that John and I will celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary this summer. It's all gone so fast!

If you're newly married or getting married I have felt lead to share this advice. Take it for what it's worth!

For the first year of marriage:

1) Try and take the first year of marriage "off". If it's possible step away from ministries or a lot of extra activities that don't include both of you. Try to use as much time as you can to cultivate your relationship.

2) Don't worry about being in a "bubble". There's a reason newlyweds get into that bubble. They need to "cleave" to each other and it takes time to "leave" and can be intense. You won't always be in a bubble...actually it will "pop" all on it's own and you'll be able to give more of yourself to others after that first year or so.

3) Turn the TV (or computer) off that first year of marriage. Play cards, read a book together, giggle, and just connect with each other.

4) Try to have at least three weekend get aways throughout the year.

5) Communicate, communicate, communicate

6) Make your bedroom your married "sanctuary", a special place that has your fingerprints all over it. Let it tell your story and be a calm, quiet, safe place to connect as a married couple.

7) Have fun, be silly, and enjoy living with your best friend!

That first year is foundational and takes time to begin to cultivate and grow your marriage. Learning to cleave to each may not come naturally, so work on it! You won't regret the time you spend!

Have fun!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010

03/08/10 : Key 5 - Authenic Communication

Life's been a bit of a swirl this last week! I've thought about this post and finally, the house is clean, quite, and I have a few moments to gather my thoughts.

The final key of a healthy relationship is authentic communication. Today I talked to my best friend for 111 minutes...the only reason I know that exact time is my phone keep tract. ;-)

We normally call each other once a week, during nap time and during our afternoon down time. Our conversations always are authentic. I'm so thankful that I can cry with her, laugh with her, get deep with her, and be totally silly with her...all of which I did today! (Thanks Lori!)

We communicate authentically. We are honest, straightforward, encouraging, and challenging.

There's no masks, no pretending, no beating around the bush...we communicate our joys and pains, our hopes and our dreams. We talk about our marriages, our kids, our walk with God, our struggles, our disappointments, and our latest bargain!

Having authentic communication didn't come over night, but was cultivated over a few years of being intentional with our communication.

If you've followed my blog for any length of time you'll know that I love the topic of communication. Drama comes from (in my opinion) people not communicating properly or with intentionality. So having a healthy relationship, void of drama, will require authentic communication!

Of all the five keys of a healthy relationship (selflessness, unconditional acceptance, trustworthy, healthy boundaries, and authentic communication) which is the hardest, which is the easiest...and why?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

03/04/10 - Philippines Edition

I got a surprise in the mail today...a publisher that publishes books for the Philippines, bought the rights to distribute their edition to the Philippines! God's so AMAZING!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

03/03/10 - Key 4:Healthy Boundaries

Having healthy boundaries in relationships is a huge factor in truly enjoying a friendship.

Boundaries in a relationship would include respecting each others emotional and physical space. We should not feel smothered in a relationship and if you're feeling smothered, you're experience unhealthy boundaries.

Do you get a text or e-mail and feel like you have to respond right away or the person will question why you didn't respond? Do you feel like you can't let a friend know you're doing something or they will be upset they're not invited? Do you avoid a certain friend because you know they're going to ask more of you than what you're able to give? Do you have a friend that is jealous when you spend time with anyone other than you? Do you have a friend that dominated every conversation?

A true friend allows you to have other friends, allows you space, and is sensitive to your personal space. They're not jealous of other friendships and understand there place in your life.

Do you have a friend where your boundaries are very unclear? How do you handle these types of friendship?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

03/02/10 - Key 3: Trustworth

We want to know we can trust our friends. We want to trust them with our secrets, our heart, our feelings, our lives, our pain, our joys, and our hurts.

I'll admit many women have been scorned by other women who gossip and slander them. This causes deeps wounds that can, if not properly treated, effect every relationship after that; even, potentially, her marriage.

Being a good friend is being a friend who is trustworthy. Who keeps information to herself.

When I am with people I see how they talk about other they gossip? Do they talk bad about other people? Do they tease people behind their back and are nice to them face to face? If I see these qualities I know they're not trustworthy.

You can lose someones trust in an instant and it can take years to rebuilt that trust. So guard your own trustworthiness, be a trustworthy friend.

Monday, March 1, 2010

03/01/10 - Key 2: Unconditional Acceptance

We all have warts and pimples. We all make mistakes. We all have weakness and imperfections. We all stumble and fall. We all need grace. We all need acceptance.

A true friend will know your faults and weaknesses and still accept and love you. This friend will be quick to forgive and be quick to admit when they were wrong. They will demonstrate humility in the relationship when needed and seek forgiveness.

If we are easily offended or have a hard time accepting people with their warts and pimples, then we will have a hard time keeping true friends.

Is it hard for you to accept difference with you and your friends? Do you have a hard time not judging your friends when they just do something different than you? (I am not talking about blaten sin, but when those non-essential are different than yours.)