Tag! You’re It!

Social media is currently covered in photos of couples challenging other people to a “love challenge”. I have been tagged at least 3 times. I love my husband but appear to be a bit of a social media slacker. It’s a good thing he doesn’t determine the level of my love by a social media post.

So in the spirit of love, here it goes… Also, in the middle of writing this, I get a guilt trip over how many times I’ve been tagged and he just isn’t sure if I love him or not. He’s cute but not as funny as he thinks he is…on occasion.

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My biggest cheerleader. Comic relief. Reality check. Challenger. Encourager. Big strong shoulder.

He defines persistent.

I was the weirdo teenager who used to pray prayers that went something like this; “I don’t want to live a normal life”. God has been quite faithful. We threw normalcy out the window and embraced that our “normal” would look a little strange.

He has lead our family into some crazy unknowns. He has encouraged me when our obedient steps looked like insanity (cause don’t they all). He has been faithful with every. single. thing. that God has placed before him.

I get to see the behind the scenes that no one else does. I get to see the hard work, the heart, the time, the good times, the hard times, persistence and heart after God. It’s the stuff that makes us. It is what God has used to shape us. I wouldn’t trade it. I wouldn’t trade him.

 

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With or without hair, he is still my favorite.

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Apparently, we take a lot of pictures wearing sunglasses. We take our long awaited family vacation in 5 days. Expect to see more sunglass pictures.

Ladies – A New Years “triple-dog-dare”

This thought lingers in my mind often. I’ve judged much by how I’ve seen this unfold. I’ve seen it in the church. I see it on tv. I see it in my kids movies. I see it everywhere. This has gone on for far too long.

Ladies, let’s step it up and show the world (and more importantly our daughters and other young women in our lives), how this is done.

This all came to a head on Christmas day. Yup. Christmas.

We were watching Brave. Yes, that cute little Disney movie where everyone has a thick Scottish accent. Cute movie. Strong women.

The strong is awesome. How it is portrayed is my HUGE issue.

Women – our purpose is beautiful. It is not weak. It is not passive. It is strong, beautiful, God ordained and grace covered. It requires leading and guiding from the Holy Spirit because it is indeed far greater than we can do on our own. We have much to offer to a room and to the world. To quote Stasi Eldredge “we speak to others that all is well, because of God all shall be well”. Proverbs says that a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised and she is clothed with dignity and strength. Psalms says that “surely goodness and mercy shall follow”. Thanks to Pastor Shelly Nelson, I am constantly reminded that I leave goodness and mercy in my wake.
We are fierce. We handle trials. We handle heartbreak. We weep, we comfort, we are loyal and we feel much pain. We know that joy comes in the morning. We live as an example of God’s heart. He made us on purpose.

This is all true. I speak this with much passion and a desire to live that example and speak this to others. We as women want to offer dignity back to other women who are broken.

There is more.

This strength doesn’t have a camoflage. At it’s rawest state, it is evident.

Raw – not a fun word. It’s exposed. No hiding.

We have strength to offer. We are pretty much awesome.

Here is my beef…

When the men in our lives feel belittled, out to be the idiot, a constant failure and disrespected by us; we have failed.

I’m not just talking about our husbands. This goes for brothers, boyfriends, co-workers, men in our community…um…our SONS…

Imagine what could change if we modeled this for our daughters.

Imagine a shift in a whole culture of men, when our dignity and strength treats them as such. When it invites instead of nags, encourages instead of belittles and recognizes our differences as gifts instead of a curse that we don’t understand.

How does this sound for a New Years Resolution?

Halloween Encounters

Today marks a special day for me. I’m not big on Halloween. My kids will dress up, knock on doors and ask the people who they think they are dressed up as (I will post pics of Supergirl and Indiana Jones later). That is about as cute as the day gets.

Today is special for another reason entirely.

11yrs ago today, I met my husband. I’m all about special dates but October 31st is easy to remember…and what an important day it turned out to be.

I thought a friend and I were just going to hang out at some church for a little bit. This is what bible college students do on Halloween.
Ok…so that is exactly what happened. What I thought, was what happened. What I didn’t expect then, was to be reminiscing about that fateful day every year…and smile.

We celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary in May.

Time does a disappearing act. I look back at who I was then. That ripe old age of 19.

I was desperate for a life of adventure, having no real idea what I was talking about…but knew normal was out of the question for me and that God was leading me into something different. I was right.

God is faithful.

I can’t believe what these years have brought. Adventure was ahead of us then…it’s ahead of us now. I married me a great one. I married Ray. I married a determined and willing heart to follow where God leads. I am so grateful.

And it all started with a meeting…


Turned 30! What what!!!

For those of you ahead of me in years, prepare to roll your eyes.

On Tuesday, May 22nd, I turned 30! Yup, the big 3-0.

I didn’t have a single moment of internal or external panic. There was no cooking up a single “this is weird”. The only weird thing was the stereo-type is to freak out and I didn’t. I suppose not a whole lot of my life is falls into the category of stereotypical. Life may be a bit crazy but I like it. There, I said it 🙂

I woke up feeling like it was the beginning of a new calendar year. Like there was suddenly something fresh…and this was with me waking up at 6:15 like always. I prayed before my feet hit the floor like most days but there was something different. All those posts about what is stirring in this heart of mine are more than blogs, they are prayers. Something about those prayers and all God continues to lay on my heart were at the forefront of my mind that morning. I smile knowing life is all about what He has done. I smile knowing with God all things are possible…and if He puts it in my heart, he will mess me up till He’s ready to do it. Call it awe that He uses us 🙂

How did I celebrate? Glad you are still reading as I ask myself questions and answer them. After all, you could’ve stopped at “roll your eyes”.

I took a nap after breakfast…and it was awesome! Stay with me…I had a great day. Ray and I rented bikes and hit the trails downtown, then went kayaking. Fact – I want a bike…and a boat. I’ll be quite content with a bike. A boat is just crazy talk. We got to enjoy some time together, enjoy the gorgeous outdoors and eat our weight in Chuy’s chips and salsa…and I was not ashamed.

I realized I’ve spent the last 10 birthday’s with Ray. I’ve known him since I was 19. We have been through a lot together…like all of my 20’s. He makes life that much more amazing. I’m grateful for who he is, how he follows where God leads…and for the fact that the best is indeed yet to come. I use to tell him he better drag me off into adventure. I laugh at that now. I am a blessed woman. I forgive him for hating having his picture taken…just like he forgives me for asking him to smile with me (see the photo below and be happy). We’ll never compromise on this.

The day was a good one. I look ahead with great expectation.

Enjoy a couple of pictures. This city has pretty views. I like it!

      

 

Marriage, Socks and Love Languages

I’ve had this idea for a post for a long time now. In fact, I ponder how to communicate this randomly profound information every time I do socks.

Before I go any further, I need to brag on my husband. I fear what I am about to tell you may allow you for a brief second (if you don’t know him) to think he’s lazy. The truth and reality I live with daily is the opposite of that. Our life is not a conventional one…never really has been :). He works hard. He works a lot. He plays the role of stay-at-home-dad most days with Sophia. He is a pastor/church planter. He is an amazing husband and father. He’s a keeper.

There is nothing in this house he won’t do. I do the great majority of cooking but when it comes to cleaning/laundry we are pretty much even-steven.

There is one exception. I laugh at this every time. He should be glad I have a great sense of humor.

Ray looks at socks and declares “that is not my love language”.

First of all, he’s never read the book but still manages to master that excuse.

Second, he’s cute enough to pull off that statement, so I go with it.

Third, I think to myself “I have got to get me one of these”.

By “one of these” I mean something I avoid ever having to do again using the “love language excuse”. I have to think about this. It has to be good. I’m pretty sure you only get one ridiculous thing to avoid. It has to be good.

Note – I do mean ridiculous. Most of life can’t be avoided…but socks make the list…apparently!

Sometimes, it’s the little things that make the world go ‘round. For example, I don’t think my mother in-law has pumped gas in 30+ years. I’m not joking.

Do you have one of these ridiculous avoidances? I’d love to hear what your “love language excuse” is. I’m still working on mine.