The Free Pass

Christian Marriage

Every August, my husband gets a “free pass.”  It’s his busy season at work, so I try to give him some space.  If he wants to work himself into a frenzy until midnight for three days straight, then I let him.  I will not cry if he barely grunts at me in passing, and I attempt to find other things to keep me busy so that he doesn’t feel guilty.  (Target and Panera Bread, here I come!).

Before I got married, I had romantic expectations that my husband would snuggle with me on the couch after dinner on week nights, and that we would spend our weekends together in leisurely exploration of the city.  I pictured picnics at the park and long walks on the beach and dinner out with friends at quaint diners.

On the first Saturday we spent in our home together, my husband got out of bed at 5 AM and took a shower.  I rolled over and covered my eyes.  Hello!  It is Saturday – the day for sleeping in and lingering in your jammies all morning.  At 6 AM, he stopped by the bedroom on his way out to Walmart – he wanted to know if I needed anything.  I groaned a “no, thank you” at him.

I quickly learned that my love and I have a different pair of glasses on when it comes to time management….


I am honored to be Guest Posting over at Inspiration-Driven Life today for “Wedded Wednesdays.”  Head on over here to read the rest of this post.


A big “hello” and welcome to you if you are stopping by from Sarah’s today!  Click here to learn a little about me.  I would love to connect with you on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

I am passionate about the subject of marriage and write about it frequently. To check out all my marriage posts, head on over here.



Survivor Buff

My best friend likes to watch true crime shows, but she doesn’t have cable at her house.  So, I agreed to DVR a couple of her favorite shows, and every few weeks, she comes over for a viewing party.   I sit beside her on the couch and attempt to not squirm too much as the blood and gore flashes on the screen.

One of the shows she enjoys is called “I Survived.”  Here is the Biography Channel’s description of the series:

“What would you do if you were confronted with death? What gives someone the strength to survive? Is it luck, chance, instinct? In a stripped-down, simple-yet-cinematic interview style, I Survived… allows survivors to explain, in their own words, how they overcame unbelievable circumstances — offering insight into what got them through the experience that changed their lives forever.

I Survived…
is storytelling at its most dramatic, most basic and most honest.”

The stories highlighted on this show are HORRIFYING, but they are all true stories told in first person by the actual survivor.  Every episode ends with the “survivors” explaining in their own words why they felt they survived a very traumatic incident.

Last year was a very difficult year at our house — death, sickness, depression.   I am so thankful to be “on the other side” of a traumatic season for our  marriage.  When I look back at the year, I know why I survived.

I survived because

  • My Help  comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth (Psalms 121:2).
  • Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world (I John 4:4)
  • With God, nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37)
  • God sent His word and healed me and delivered me from destruction (Psalms 107:20).
  • The Lord stood with me and strengthened me (I Timothy 4:17).
  • He never leaves me nor forsakes me (Heb 13:5)
  • The Lord is my strength and shield (Psalms 28:7).
  • God works all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28)
  • The Lord alone makes me dwell in safety (Psalms 4:8).
  • His mercies are new every morning.  Great is His faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Q4U:  Are you a “survivor buff”?  What verse have you hung on to during a difficult season?

My one-word focus for the year is “fruitilicious.”  Find out what that means here.

Thanks for stopping by!  I would love to connect with you on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

Joining like-minded sisters today at Thought-Provoking ThursdayTell His StoryHear it on Sunday: Use it on Monday and Playdates with God.


Photo Credit:  Jyn Meyer

Lessons Learned in 3D — Sheltered

rainy window

It’s Friday night.  Hubby is reclining in his favorite chair, and I am cozy on the coach with my laptop.  We had sausage ravioli for dinner, and the work week is behind us.

The rain poured down earlier tonight — I don’t mind the thunderstorm when I am safe at home in my jammies.  But, when the storm hits fast and furious as I am trying to reach a destination, I quickly grow weary of the journey.

I am so thankful that God is my shelter from the storm.  Aren’t you?  It’s rained a lot here in the last year, but God has carried us through.

On Fridays, I put together a list of what God is teaching me in hopes that I will never forget His mercy.   Emily inspired me to do this — and this week, she is hosting a link up and encouraging us to share what we’ve learned in July.  So, today’s post will be a review of 6 lessons I shared earlier this month combined with 4 new insights from this week.

Here in no particular order are 10 things I learned in July:

1.  I was overjoyed this month to discover Statigram (Instagram Online)

2.  I am passionate about creating memories and establishing family traditions.  I loved this great idea by Julie in her post for Do Not DepartFamily Vacation Faith Journal

3.  “There is a fine line between confiding and venting.”  Ashleigh from Ungrind shares much wisdom in her Guest Post for Start Marriage Right.  The title of her post, “The Fix-It Man and His Wife,” grabbed me because it could easily be the title for my memoir.  Her husband and mine sound like twins.

Side Note:  Start Marriage Right is a great web site for singles, engaged couples, and both newly wedded and veteran married folk.  I am honored to be a regular contributor.  Head on over here to check out my posts.

4.  Tip to the Married Gals who are Twitter Chicks:  Follow Kat Lee for daily prayer prompt tweets for your husband like this one:

5. “Procrastination is a slippery little bugger.”  — This is a tough lesson that I keep having to re-learn because I am a sssllloowww learner.  Ali at Embrace the Struggle reminded me it’s not worth it in this post.

6.  This month I celebrated my 4th wedding anniversary.  My marriage is not invincible.  I can’t grow complacent.  I need to keep fighting for “us.”  Here is Family Life Today’s list of 8 Lies that Destroy Marriage. 

7.  This week, Jessie at The Vanderbilt Wife shared a story that reminded me that I need to really “see people” —

“I want all my encounters to be like this:

to treat people like God sees them,

as absolutely precious in every way.

It doesn’t matter who it is or how they see me.

To God, you are amazing.”

8.  Nadine at A Secondary Heartbeat introduced me to a lovely concept:  “the second day” (which she calls “grace in action”).  I don’t know about you, but I could use a little grace and a fresh start on a tough day.

9.  Ali at The Art in Life wrote a great post that challenged me to “delight in choosing to love” my husband every day.

10.  Miracles still happen today.  I loved this amazing story by Stephanie over at (in) courage.  It filled this “wannabe momma’s” heart with hope.

Q4U:  What did you learn this month?

Thanks for stopping by! I would love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

I am joining Jessie and Emily this week in a little linky love.


Photo Credit: Pawel Kornacki

Top 10 Quotes on Emotional Women Making Wise Choices

unglued pic

Tuesday night, I got lost on my way home from a Bible study.  I was chatting on the phone with my husband, and I failed to make a turn.  I drove on in the wrong direction for another ten minutes until I realized I had no idea where I was.

I had just ended our phone conversation a couple of minutes earlier, so I redialed.  No answer.  I hung up and called again.   No answer.  I called again and again and again as I anxiously drove into the dark night.

By the time my husband answered, I was unglued.  He sweetly remained calm with me on the phone, apologized for leaving his phone unattended, and suggested I stop at McDonald’s for an ice cream cone on my way home once he got me headed back in the right direction.

I should have pulled into a gas station and waited to connect with him.  But, I pressed on — heart racing and emotions wild.

Sometimes, I react in an ugly way.   I don’t pause to reflect and respond in a godly manner.    This is why I decided to pull Lysa TerKeurst’s book off the shelf and review this morning.   I needed to remember the wisdom shared in Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions.  

Here are my top 10 quotes:

1.  “If we determine that, no matter what, we’re on God’s side, it settles the trust issue in our hearts.  And if we ground ourselves in the reality that we trust God, we can face circumstances that are out of control without acting out of control.  We can’t always fix our circumstances, but we can fix our minds on God.”  p. 28

2.  “Saying ‘I’m fine’ to keep the peace, when we’re really not fine, isn’t honest.  It may seem godly in the moment, but it’s false godliness.  Truth and godliness always walk hand in hand.  The minute we divorce one from the other, we stray from soul integrity and give a foothold to the instability that inevitably leads to coming unglued.”  p. 53

3.  ” In God’s economy, people don’t stand on opposing sides of the conflict scale.  People stand on one side and Satan stands on the other.  When we dump hurt into one another’s lives, we aren’t leveling the conflict scale.  We are just weighing down the people side of the scale and elevating the Satan side of the scale.  Satan loves it when we do his work by dumping on each other.  The secret to healthy conflict resolution isn’t taking a you-against-me stance, but realizing it’s all of us against Satan — he’s the real enemy.’  pp. 64-65

4.  “The difference between boundaries and barriers is honest transparency.  When we erect a barrier with a person, it’s either because we’re afraid to be honest, tired of being honest and getting hurt, or feel like the relationship isn’t worth the hard work honesty sometimes takes.  When we establish boundaries, we are brave enough to be honest but also compassionate enough to wrap the boundary in grace by clearly communicating the parameters of the relationship.  Barriers set relationships on a regressive course that leads to isolation.  Boundaries set relationships on a progressive course that leads to connection.”  p. 85

5.  “When I am in an unglued place, I can invite a power beyond my own into the situation by simply speaking His name.  I don’t have to know what to do.  I don’t have to have all the answers.  I don’t have to remember everything I learned in Bible study last week.  I just have to remember one thing, one name — Jesus.”  p. 111

6.  “I just have to learn to reclaim the gentleness that is rightfully mine.  And I can reclaim it by practicing the one word that appears right before, ‘Let your gentleness be evident to all’ (Philippians 4:5).  That little word is rejoice:  ‘Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again:  Rejoice!’  (Philippians 4:4).  The more my heart is parked in a place of thanksgiving and rejoicing, the less room I have for grumpiness.”   pp. 120-121

7.  “There are private reflections and conversations we need to have with God.  There is a desperate need for us to hit pause, sit with God, and ask Him to reveal some things to us.

Where am I going my own way right now?

What area of my life is more self-pleasing than God-pleasing?

What idle words need to be reined in from running rampant in my mind or spilling from my lips?”   p. 154

8.   “… when the rhythm of my soul is survival instead of revival, I will come unglued.”  p. 157

9.  “In every situation, in every interaction, in every day, be a noticer of the good.  That’s what God-seekers do — they notice the good.  Even when the good has nothing to do with the circumstances and everything to do with how God will teach us through them — find the good.”  p. 160

10.   “…when others come unglued on me, I must remember their external expressions are internal indications as well.  Brokenness is there.  and while I may not feel tender and gentle toward their unglued expressions or reactions, I can be tender and gentle toward their brokenness.”  p. 175

Q4U:   How do you keep from coming unglued with others on a difficult day?

If you are book nerd like me, jump on over here to see more posts about great books I have read.

Joining like-minded sisters today at Cozy Book Hop, Faith-Filled FridayThought-Provoking Thursday, and Women Living Well.   


Photo Credit:  Unglued Online Media Spot