I’m a morning person. If the morning goes my way. I wake up refreshed after plenty of sleep. Make myself some coffee. Take a few minutes to catch up on email and social media from overnight. Sit down to read my Bible. About an hour later, I’m ready to tackle the day.
My daughter loves mornings too. Her way. Wake up when she wants. Do some drawing or watch a few shows. She might actually be ready to get dressed and start the day a couple of hours later.
The mornings we get her off to school aren’t like that. Those days, mornings can be rough.
She gets on the bus at seven. I wake her up at the last possible second so she’ll get plenty of rest. We do nothing but the basics. And she only has one speed. Slow-and-steady.
This morning, on a whim, I did things a little differently. Instead of sending the dogs in to wake her up, I went into her room. I quietly laid down beside her and rubbed her back. I said:
“Good morning. God gave us such a sweet daughter.”
She reached her hand out and I gave it a gentle kiss.
“I love you mommy.”
My fingers traced the features of her face. That not-so-little-any-more-face. In that instant, I tried to remember her as a baby. A toddler.
In that moment, I was grateful. That God chose me to be her mom.
The morning went so smoothly after that. She got right up and sat down to her breakfast. There wasn’t a hiccup in the whole routine. As we walked out the door, she said,
“Didn’t you like the way I got up today, Mom?”
I did! I’m so proud of her. Taking that extra moment to love on her first thing seemed to make a huge difference in the rest of the morning.
I forget that sometimes. When we force things to slow down, things get better. Count to ten before you yell. Get around early enough that you’re not pushing her out the door. Pick up a few toys with her instead of stomping around demanding that she get things organized - right now!
Because the years we have together are gifts. Memories in the making every day.
After she left, I felt compelled to pull out her photo album. The precious interaction in her bedroom had me filled to the brim with nostalgia.
There’s a saying we read on social media:
“Behind every great kid is a mom who’s pretty sure she’s screwing it up.”
I know a lot of moms. And I know a lot of great kids.
Take a lesson from me because I got this right today. Tell your children how much you love them. Rub their back. Praise their good qualities.
By and large, we’re not screwing it up.
I received a copy of "Unstoppable: Running the Race You Were Born To Win" written by Christine Caine, from netgalley.com for the purpose of generating a review. Italicized quotes are from the book. The opinions expressed here are my own.
“I put in my time when my kids were young.” *** “I’m busy with little ones at home but I plan to do more later.” *** “The younger generation doesn’t have anything to learn from me.” *** “I’m too young and inexperienced to have anything to offer.” *** “Working full-time doesn't leave me any spare time to volunteer right now.” *** “I’m retired.”
We’ve all heard these explanations for why some believers aren’t active in their churches today.
I always want to respond by telling them what their involvement means to me. To the younger person, how proud I am that they are choosing to live for Christ at such a young age. To that older couple, how much hope they offer when I see their marriage still going strong after all those years. That I need my daughter to be loved on by people of all ages in her church family.
Because in all their life experience and years of studying the Bible, my church family has much to teach me. Sometimes using words.
I think that’s what resonated with me most as I read Christine Caine’s latest book, Unstoppable. She tells story after story of ordinary people who God rescues and then uses. She explains that over time their roles change but God continues to use the willing and able. As long as they’re willing and able.
“The point is, God’s call comes to each of us in every age and stage of life. He calls us to step out of our comfort zone and into the exchange zone, ready to run for him and carry the love of God and the truth of his power into the lives of others. Often, we have no idea what task the Lord will assign us until it is thrust into our hands.”
Christine lives this truth. She walks beside other believers who also serve Him every day. Through their work with A21, a non-profit organization that fights human trafficking worldwide. Not one of the people Christine mentions in the book knew where God would call them to serve. They had no way of knowing that events in their past would prepare them for the ministry work they participate in today. Yet, often, the only real qualification they had to offer when they stepped into a ministry position was life experience.
“The greatest champions I know are ordinary people who trust the true champion, Jesus, to come through and do what he said he would do. They run. They obey. They follow Jesus anywhere and everywhere, and no matter what challenges they hit, they keep on running.”
We can’t possibly know what God will use. Where He would have us serve next. How one ministry position prepares us for future work. The key is to remain Unstoppable in saying “yes” to Him.
“If you don’t have a spiritual passion burning inside you today, challenging you, leaving you wowed and honored to be doing your work for the Lord, you’re missing the thrill of running your part in the race.”
She doesn’t sugar-coat it, does she? The book also discusses handing off ministry work. Times when God taps us on the shoulder and says move on because I have this work in mind for another person now.
Our babies. Right? No! God’s ministry work. Always.
“Good-bye to ownership and hello to stewardship...Good-bye to control and hello to change... Good-bye to insecurity and hello to humility... Good-bye to the past and hello to the future.”
Perhaps the highest endorsement I can give this book is the fact that we’ll be using it as our Bible study book this summer. Often in the summer, we do a chapter book rather than looking at a specific study or book of the Bible. It allows the ladies to still keep up with us amidst all the summer travel and other activities.
The book shares various Bible stories, breaking them down and explaining their meaning. We’ll be doing that too. Because. Bible. Study.
As I read Christine’s book, I knew it was an inspired one for believers of all ages. In every way, it reminds me that this race never ends and I’ve got a part, actually several parts, to play in it.
And to that beautiful older generation in our churches, Christine has a specific word for you:
“There is no retirement from the race this side of heaven! Your passion can be refueled and your weary heart refreshed and re-nourished. Whatever your story, you are sorely needed.”
At some point during our dating days, Ryan casually asked me what style I liked for an engagement ring. I just happened to have a picture....
Ryan proposed during a long weekend trip to Sedona, Arizona entirely planned by him. He gave me the ring I had shown him a picture of months ago.
My ring, and my man, were a dream come true.
I went on a business trip during our engagement. I must have been staring at my shiny new ring. I kept it sparkling clean during those months leading up to our wedding. A sweet, elderly gentleman approached me and offered these words,
“He must love you very much to give you such a beautiful ring.”
I still wear that ring. I plan to always wear that ring. Along with my wedding band. But here’s the thing. I don’t visit our jeweler and have it shined up on a regular basis any more. This summer, when I was canning, it had cucumber and tomato peels in it for days at a time. I just didn’t take the time to dig all the scraps out.
And my husband. He doesn’t plan elaborate, once-in-a-lifetime trips these days. I’m more the planner. In the day in and day out life of getting our daughter to school, grocery shopping, going to work, he doesn’t wow me or woo me with his love. Not every day.
Sometimes that reality can get to us. We can get caught up in the everyday and start to wonder how loved we really are.
Further, there are singles out there who don’t have an engagement story of their own. They don’t wear a ring from a fiance turned husband.
Widows who tucked their rings away in a drawer somewhere. Along with the pieces of their broken heart.
Divorcees who don’t exactly know what to do with that ring. Depending on the day, they have a few ideas....
For all of us, in the varied stages of feeling loved by a man on this earth, I have good news. We have One who pursues us always. One who loves us and romances us. Every. Single. Day.
As we do laundry. At the office. In the classroom. Sitting at home. Driving here and there and back again.
Check this out:
"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!" I John 3:1a (NIV)
This is the NIV translation. But I’ll go ahead and give it to you in a few other translations and a paraphrase. I am partial to that word “lavish.” But I want you to see in every version of the Bible, in every language (if we could read them) we find a God who wants us. Who loves us.
“Look at how great a love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children.” I John 3:1a (HCSB)
“See what sort of love the Father has given to us that we should be called God’s children...” I John 3:1a (NET)
“What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it - we’re called children of God.” I John 3:1a (Message)
I visited with a lady at church on Sunday. She’s going through it. You know, one of those families who have so much struggle you don’t even know how to encourage them.
You pray. You give them food. You offer childcare. You do what you can. But their situation remains the same.
We should do these tangible things. We should tell them we’ll pray and do it. We should give them food. We should find practical ways to help.
I think though, what we should do even more than all of this, is tell them God loves them. Still. Don’t try to explain things. Don’t try to solve their problems.
Just tell them and show them. God. Loves. You.
Kelly Mintner has a new Bible study coming out next month. “What Love Is” studies the Scriptural truths found in 1, 2 and 3 John. Kelly Mintner is single. She doesn’t have a ring from a fiance. She doesn’t have an engagement story. Yet. Even if she never has those things, she knows a God who loves her. Our God.
Embrace the truth today. Read I John 3:1 aloud if you need to. Write the verse out for yourself as a love note. Insert your name where it says “us” and “we.” No matter how tired your heart is right now. God loves you with an everlasting love.
I am not a theologian. In fact, sometimes I think we can get so caught up in our attempts to interpret the intricacies of Scripture that we miss the mission Christ laid out for us.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20)
It moved me when I realized the first word in this commissioning I had memorized years ago, the first word is Go. Like, leave your church walls. Get to work. Build relationships with people in all nations. Baptize them. Teach them. We need some knowledge to do this. I concur.
But I read all of this online conversation and I often wonder, do nonbelievers even care? Do they see us fighting over theological details and find our Jesus irresistible? Are we teaching new believers to study and love God’s Word? Or do we alienate them by appearing to be elite experts?
Are we missing the forest for the trees, as they say?
Let’s go a step further. Walk with me into our churches. The ones we often complain about.
They’re too exclusive. Full of hypocrites. Too flashy. Too modern. Too traditional. Too boring. Too loud. Fill in the blank yourself: Too ____________.
Do these details that we pick apart every single Sunday have anything to do with making disciples? Is it really about your preferences?
Jesus never stopped practicing Judaism. He pointed out its flaws. He blasted its leaders. But if you study the Gospels, you see He still attended synagogue. Often, he taught within its walls. He traveled to Jerusalem to participate in the festivals.
Jesus lived Jewish.
He knew a place that taught us how to have a relationship with our Father had a place in our communities. The importance of fellowship and accountability. Ultimately, He saw a redeemed church. Full of believers like you and me. A structure. A people.
Perhaps, in addition to easing up on some of the debating, we should stop critiquing how folks decide to do church. And get back to what Christ commissioned us to do.
Our churches should be about welcoming, and investing in, those who choose to enter our doors.
Be the hands and feet of Jesus to the woman who hasn’t attended church in years. But life has her so desperate, she’s decided to give it a try.
Schedule some time to sit down with that new believer who has posted some questionable things on Facebook. We know living Christlike means being set apart from the ways of this world. But it takes a lifetime to figure out what that means.
Rather than continuing to debate among ourselves, start a small group or a class. If you have your debate arguments all polished up, there are believers who can benefit from your knowledge of the Word.
I find it interesting that Jesus included baptism in His commission to believers. Perhaps because it publicly shows our commitment to Christ. Water carries a tremendous amount of symbolism all throughout Scripture. Baptism carries great symbolism for us too.
Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4
Infant or child or adult. Immersion. Sprinkling. In a church. Standing in the river. At the community pool. We teach other believers about obedience through the sacrament of baptism.
It breaks my heart to read statistics about how uneducated the average church attendee is regarding Scripture. We need to tell them about Jesus. The world needs examples of Christlike followers. But we do them a mighty disservice if we don’t teach them to study Scripture for themselves.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness... 2 Timothy 3:16
As Jesus walked this earth, He served mankind. Teaching them. Healing them. I am convicted that our time on this earth should be spent doing these very things as well.
Linking up at: October Sunday Share.
"Let me start by saying I have no haunting tales from my own childhood Halloween experiences. It never spooked me. Seeing the scary costumes didn’t impact me one way or the other. Attending the haunted house set up in the sanctuary of my church might seem a bit strange now, but I thought nothing of it at the time.
So when we had our daughter, my husband and I weighed the pros and cons of Halloween. As parents. Together, we decided we would not celebrate this holiday...."
I'm writing about our journey to make Halloweeen an event where we can trace our own faith over at fellow blogger, Kori's, website, Just-Another-Mom-Dot-Net. I'm thankful for the opportunity to share our story. Click on this post link to read the rest of the story at Kori's site. Should Christians Celebrate Halloween? Here's a Faith Filled Approach.
I received a copy of "Overrated: Are we more in love with the idea of changing the world than actually changing the world?" written by Eugene Cho, from Family Christian Stores for the purpose of generating a review. Italicized quotes are from the book. The opinions expressed here are my own.
And great news! Family Christian is also giving a copy of this book away to one of my readers. You can enter the giveaway below.
I like Eugene Cho. His social media posts are compelling and right on target. Still, I picked up his book rather nervously. I have vague recollections of reading the book “Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream” by David Platt. A very good book but it convicted me again and again that I don’t give sacrificially. Not really.
I didn’t know if I was ready to read another book like that.
“Overrated” surprised me. In almost every chapter, the author would offer a confession. This “giving until it hurts concept” doesn’t come naturally to him either. But he can’t shake this question he also poses to his readers:
“Is it possible that Christ might be challenging us to live life with loose hands?”
The book offers gripping statistics, as we would expect. Cho also breaks down Scripture passages to help us understand how God and Jesus felt about social justice.
For a Christian it’s inescapable.
Throughout the book, Cho shares his story of living out Micah 6:8:
“Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
But he also challenges us. If God lays an idea on your heart, by all means pursue it. Know that it might take a lot longer and the process might look a lot different when it’s in God’s hands. And please, please, execute your idea responsibly. Be excellent in your execution.
“My wish is that Christians, the church, and all those who are reading this book would take more time to listen, pray, and allow the injustices of the world to break us in lasting ways, as opposed to wanting to immediately make an impact.”
This idea is the main takeaway from the book for me. Cho does a lot of research to share times people are successful in offering justice. And times when hearts were perhaps in the right place but execution led to more harm than good.
“Doing good is beautiful, but let’s pray that doing good provokes, evokes, and fascinates people toward the gospel....”
The book was excellent. A thought-provoking read. I give you fair warning though. “Overrated” will likely change your outlook. Kind of like when we really take the time to study the Bible....
“There’s a cost to pursuing your dreams, visions, and convictions. And there’s a cost to following Jesus. This is discipleship.”
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The giveaway is open to U.S. residents and will run through midnight on Saturday, October 25th. A winner is randomly selected. The winner will be contacted by email and will have forty-eight hours to claim the prize. If unclaimed, a new winner will be selected.
I received a copy of "Pure Eyes, Clean Heart: A Couple's Journey To Freedom From Pornography" written by Jen and Craig Ferguson, from netgalley.com for the purpose of generating a review. Italicized quotes are from the book. The opinions expressed here are my own.
If you’re a lady and you’ve spent any time in a local Bible study, you have a favorite Beth Moore study. Am I right?
For me, that study is Inheritance. Starting in Genesis, a very good place to start, Beth teaches us about the inheritance God has prepared for all of us believers... since the beginning.
One of the key lessons I took from this study is that nothing in our lives goes unused by God. It’s all a part of our divine inheritance. He can take the most difficult circumstances, pull us right out of them and then turn around and use them for our good and His glory.
If I could sit down with Craig and Jen Ferguson over a cup of coffee, we could discuss this concept together. I might even suggest they go through this Bible study.
As a married couple, they lived through some scary times. Hard, humbling times. Times when I'm sure they wondered if even God could make something beautiful out of the mess. In their book, “Pure Eyes, Clean Heart,” they tell their story in its entirety.
As an offering.
Jen discovered a little secret early on in her marriage to Craig. He entered their union addicted to pornography. They entered into a painful cycle where Craig would say he’d try to quit viewing pornography. He’d fail. Jen would find out.
Throughout the whole book, they tell of their life events. First, from her perspective. Followed by his.
A brave retelling.
I read this book for the purpose of review. I know next to nothing about pornography addiction. However, as I read it, I realized the lessons apply to many scenarios. The Scripture both authors shared could speak to me and my circumstances too.
Any addiction. Any fallen person.
I have a lot of Jen in me. Read the following quote and see if you can relate:
“Somehow, I had fooled myself into believing that becoming the porn police was going to ensure successful recovery. Somehow, I had fallen into the trap of believing that if I said and did the right things, healing would take place.”
Truthful confessions like these were the real beauty of the book for me. As women, we have to learn how to communicate with our husbands and not belittle or mother or nag. Jen had to learn that too.
“In my attempt to control, I forgot to surrender.”
Men must also learn how to keep communicating when they’d rather escape into a less stressful reality. They have to be honest with their wife when they struggle.
“Since trust is crucial to a relationship, I responded. I found myself wanting to do more and talk to Jen more about what was going on with me. I started sharing with her about when I felt tempted. Our conversations evolved from worrying about what to do about temptation to discussing strategies to help me overcome it when it actually came.”
But most of all, we have to let the Holy Spirit teach us those things about ourselves that keep us from having a fulfilling marriage. We must realize our need for Him in this most important relationship.
For those struggling with a pornography addiction, click on the book title above and order this book. It’s that important. Even if pornography is not your stronghold, I discovered many timeless lessons in this book.
Craig and Jennifer, I know without any doubt that God will use your story for good. It’s part of your divine inheritance. Keep trusting Him to use your past to grow you spiritually and glorify Him.
In your own words:
“God is so faithful not to waste one bit of our experiences...”
She walked into our Bible study. I knew her a little bit from church. Friends with some of the ladies who already attended our Wednesday morning group.
I took great delight in watching her faith grow. We welcomed her week after week. And before you knew it, we also started socializing outside of our weekly meetings.
A few months after she’d been with us, she shared something with our group I’ll never forget. She said,
“When I first got invited to this group, I didn’t plan on going. I work with a bunch of ladies in my career at the salon. I have a ton of girlfriends. I figured I had enough girls in my life. Within my circles, you have to be careful though. If you leave the room or turn your back for a second, they might start talking about you. I have often walked back into a room only to have the conversation stop dead in its tracks. And I knew. They were talking about me. But with you ladies, it’s different. I have never felt talked about. We support one another. We have fun. We make each other stronger.”
Today’s post celebrates girlfriends. I just spent took a four-day trip to Vegas for my fortieth birthday. I met up with my mom (always on the top of my girlfriend list) and my bestest from high school. What a great way to celebrate!
In women’s ministry, I find myself surrounded by girlfriends. I’ve learned a thing or two about why it’s good for us ladies to have some real, supportive friends in our lives.
We can laugh together.
Yes, I laugh with my husband. But that’s different form the way I can get tickled with a group of girls. The jokes they think are funny that would only get a blank stare from my husband. The stories we share around a table or at the local bounce house as the kids play. Girlfriends give us a chance to laugh. Perhaps even at ourselves.
We support one another.
If we do this friendship thing well, we don’t leave any room for competition. I had a girlfriend return to work recently. Back in the workforce after years of staying at home with little ones. This isn’t about her decision to work vs. my choice to remain unemployed for now. This IS about me praying for her all day that first day back. It’s about me checking in on her after the first few days to see how it’s going. Maybe we find the time to meet up for coffee or dinner so she can openly talk about all the changes she’s experiencing.
We carry one another’s burdens... and secrets.
I wrote about the time I went with my friend to her biopsy. We all need someone to walk this daily journey with us. Someone who is always just a phone call or a Facebook private message away.
Pray for me as I prepare to talk with my son’s teacher about his behavior in the classroom. Lift my family up as we look for a job or a house. Intercede for me because I am so burned out in this chapter of my life.
If we do this sharing thing right and well, no one knows us quite like our girlfriends.
We are reminded we’re not alone.
Our daughter is an only child. I’m new to parenting and our enemy likes to constantly make me question if I’m doing it right or well.
Read this Facebook post from March of this year...
Allieisms from our road trip to a basketball tournament I worked at this weekend... 1) She gave out two autographs (something like an A with a fancy 6). 2) She told the event photographer she was 18 and getting married next week. 3) As she dribbled the ball onto the tournament court, she gushed, "I am so glad my mom is a basketball teamer so I can go on the court." 4) In the car, she said, "I wish I was still a baby. One year olds get everything done for them. It's like everyone is their maid." #cantmakethisstuffup
Our little ones say the funniest things. And we love that. But every mom I know wonders if their children are saying too much. At inappropriate times or places. How do you know when you should just let your kid be a kid? Or when you’ve got a teachable moment on your hands?
In part, you can ask your girlfriends. Again, together you’ll laugh about your adorable kiddos. You’ll swap stories about her Ms. Juniorette who did something similar last week. But you also offer and receive advice. From someone who’s been there.
I spoke with another gal recently. She is new to our community. During the week, she has a long commute to her job. She doesn’t have a lot of girlfriends where she lives now. She shared with me how hard it is to not have a confidant. How much she would enjoy joining some girls for dinner. I made note to be sure we include her next time a group of us get together. I know we can offer her just what she needs!
You see, I love my man. But I also count my girlfriends as gifts. Gifts I wouldn't trade for anything.
Blogging has given me many unexpected perks.
It seems companies and organizations realize there is a new voice out there. A way to reach consumers.
That leaves me with a big responsibility. To myself and my family and my readers. I want to deliver you quality. I want to be an excellent steward of my time. Ever since I learned how to read, I have wanted to gobble up every book I come across.
In an effort to do all this, this will be my final post this week. I am taking a week (at least) to really focus on all of these books I’ve decided to review and share with you. I won't get them all finished but I can get a good start this way.
Here are the books I have lined up:
In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar
Two women. Alone. With no provision. Can a woman who has lost everything, except her beloved mother, find hope in a foreign land?
In Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet, Sara Hagerty masterfully draws from the narrative of her life to craft a mosaic of a God who leans into broken stories. Here readers see a God who is present in every changing circumstance, and more significantly, they see a God who is present in every unchanging circumstance as well.
Watch for the review on this one. I'm partnering with Family Christian to give a copy away!
A Beautiful Disaster: Finding Hope in the Midst of Brokenness by Marlena Graves
This eloquently written book interweaves biblical insights and personal narratives to show how God uses suffering and desert experiences to shape us into the image of Christ.
Vanishing Grace: Whatever Happened to the Good News? by Philip Yancey
Why does the church stir up such negative feelings? Philip Yancey has been asking this all his life as a journalist. His perennial question is more relevant now than ever: in a twenty-year span starting in the mid-nineties, research shows that favorable opinions of Christianity have plummeted drastically and opinions of Evangelicals have taken even deeper dives.
Unstoppable: Running the Race You Were Born to Win by Christine Caine
In Unstoppable, best-selling author, global evangelist, and human-trafficking activist, Christine Caine mesmerizes us with true stories and eternal principles that equip us to run the race marked out for us.
Tables in the Wilderness: A Memoir of God Found, Lost and Found Again by Preston Yancey
Preston Yancey arrived at Baylor University in the autumn of 2008 with his life figured out, then slowly each piece of his secure world fell apart: his church, his life of study, his politics, his girlfriend, his best friend, and his God.
Pure Eyes, Clean Heart by Craig & Jen Ferguson
In this candid account, Craig and Jen Ferguson share their personal story of the shame, anger, and hopelessness associated with Craig’s porn addiction. It threatened to destroy their marriage until they discovered how drawing close to Christ could lead them out of the pit of sinful habits, unhealthy responses, and personal despair toward true recovery.
Many people today talk about justice but are they living justly? They want to change the world but are they being changed themselves?
Watch for the review on this one. I'm partnering with Family Christian to give a copy away!
There's reading to do! I’ll be back with you soon. With a review... or eight. -T
Today’s post won’t be long. Much of Ben and Sara’s wedding is not my story to tell. I am thankful for the part I did get to play in it.
Who doesn’t like a beautiful wedding? Even when it rains. And rains. And your outdoor wedding happens inside of a well decorated tent. During the neighbor's target practice session.
I remember those years when we looked for a house. And then looked for land where we built our house. I silently promised God again and again that if He would just give us a place of our own, I would never take it for granted.
Bargaining. With the Creator of the universe.
I don’t know that God minds this necessarily. I think He would tell us to go further. Seek Him in prayer and fasting and worship. He wants us to pursue His will.
I know Sara and Ben have done that. I am certain they will appreciate their union in ways they wouldn’t have if it hadn’t come at such a high price.
We tend to value the blessings we earned the hard way. Things we paid a high price for - in years and in emotions.
But eventually this couple will get caught up in the daily grind as we all tend to do. And Ben will find some things about Sara that make him go hmmm. Sara will discover some things about Ben she never saw coming.
As a couple they will change.
And as for us, we don’t love this house every day. There are things we'd do differently if we had it all to do again. It gets dirty and messy just like every other house.
Perhaps the lesson is to stop expecting perfection. I think what the hard times teach us is that the blessings in this life carry a great deal of value. Hold them tightly. Care for them well.
And when God restores something in your life, give Him all the glory. And share the story.