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.

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Photo Credit: Pawel Kornacki

Lessons Learned in 3D — Four Years

This week, my husband and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary.   I told him that if they gave out badges in marriage like they do in the boy scouts, we would have earned quite a few.  We have survived much in our 48 months together as man and wife.  I am so thankful to be walking beside him.

Every week on Friday, I put together a list of things that God is teaching me — so that I don’t forget.  I need to keep growing….  these posts help me get there.

Here in no particular order are 10 things I learned this week:

1.  This was a word for year # 5 of my marriage:  I must focus on my husband’s admirable qualities, rather than on how he does not meet my unrealistic expectations.   I love this very sage guest post by Abby from Predatory Lies over at Start Marriage Right.

Side note:  I am honored to be a regular contributor for Start Marriage Right,  Moody’s awesome blog for singles, engaged, and married folk alike.  Head on over here to check out my posts.

2.  “Pack a light heart.”  — Emily from Chatting at the Sky shares “Four Tips for Vacationing with Your Family” in this post over at (in) courage.  

3.  “Sometimes, the smallest things done in love leave the biggest imprints.”  This nerdy English teacher loved, loved, loved this post by Alicia at The Overflow.  

4.  Daily, I need to “choose to sit and soak in God’s beauty, God’s essence, God’s majesty, God’s promises, and God’s glory…” — I love how Elizabeth George explains it here in her post inspired by Psalms 16:8.

5.  Best Quote from my reading this week:

“Joy comes from giving yourself

entirely & unreservedly to God.”

Jennie Allen on p. 164 of Anything

6.  True friendships will eventually land in “kick the door down and come and help me seasons,” but before that season arrives, I need to log in hours sitting across the table from my friend.  I love how Shauna, Jessica, and Angie explain it in this vlog as part of the (in) courage Bloom Book Club.  (If you haven’t read Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist, you are missing a treat.)

7. “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.

8. Dionna from Beauty in the Storm gave me a great idea for a new family tradition in her guest post over at Start Marriage Right:  The Special Event Book.

9.  The Dating Divas showed me that it’s not so hard to be creative in planning an anniversary gift.  Check out the great ideas over here.

10.  My marriage is not invincible.  I can’t grow complacent.  I need to keep fighting for “us.”  Here is a list of 8 Lies that Destroy Marriage. 

Q4U: What did you learn this week?

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

I am joining Jesse and friends this weekend for



Lessons Learned in 3D — The Waiting Room

I’m in the waiting room right now.  I don’t mean a literal waiting room at the doctor’s office, but a figurative one where I am watching and praying and hoping.   Waiting is never easy.

Some of the best lessons are learned in the waiting room.  These weekly posts help me to remember what God is teaching me as I keep moving forward in faith.  As I wait, God is strengthening me for what lies ahead.

Here in no particular order are 10 things I learned this week:

1.  “When friends need you, sometimes, you have to get out of the boat, and together fight against the swirling waters of the unknown and the dark shadows lurking beneath.”  (Thank you for this reminder, Dina.)

2. Lisa at Lisa’s Notes reminded me that “I stink.” 

3.  A day of rest helps me to be more productive the rest of the week.  I love how Tsh explains this in her post over at (in) courage titled “Find Your Greek Island.”

4.   “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.

5.  This week Lori at And This is Grace made me long for “More time, more food, more closeness around the table.”  I loved her Guest Post over at (in) courage.

6.  Devotional quote of the week:

“Knowing His name means
understanding, declaring, proclaiming, and confessing
who God is and what He does.
It means discovering more and more
of the grandeur, the glory,
and the unshakable foundation of His character.
As we know His name, trust Him more fully,
and search for Him more diligently,
oppression and trouble lose their effectiveness.
The Lord is our shelter and refuge.
He has never abandoned anyone who has sought Him,
and He will never abandon us!”
Cheri Fuller on Psalms 9:9-10 in

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

8.  This week, Anne at  Modern Mrs. Darcy shared 35 things she’s learned in honor of her 35th birthday (Happy Birthday, Anne!)   I must “Amen” her # 17:

“When you have no idea what to say to someone who’s hurting,
just say something,
and say it from the heart.
Saying nothing hurts more than saying the wrong thing.”

9.  I need to be more intentional about “giving back.”  I love these great ideas by Lisa at About Proximity. 

10.   Sarah reminded me that waiting is never without purpose in her post for (in) courage:

“And there is so much learning in the waiting.

We learn patience and long-suffering and tolerance when we wait.

We learn forgiveness and self-awareness

and we learn how to slow down.

When we wait it is one more example that life is

a journey to be walked through not a destination to be won.”

Q4U: What did you learn this week?

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

I am joining Jesse and friends this weekend for



Lessons Learned in 3-D: 26, 53, & 92

This past weekend, my step son turned 26.  My husband turned 53, and my Abuelo turned 92.  Each of my men is at a much different stage in life.  I found myself looking back to my 20’s with a new perspective and thinking forward to my later years with curiosity.  If only I could time travel and tell 20-year-old me to worry less!  I look at my grandfather and see how hard he has worked and how well he has loved, and I pray that my life will be as meaningful as his.  He is deeply loved and respected by so many.

Time slips by quickly. (I can’t believe it’s July already!).  That is why on Fridays I try to create a list of the things God is teaching me — so that I don’t forget the important stuff.

Here in no particular order are the top ten things I learned this week:

1.  Her.meneutics picked up a post from Kay Warren’s Facebook page that touched me deeply:

“Another day, another moment of surrender.

Another day, another opportunity to choose joy.

Another day to live seriously disturbed,

dangerously surrendered

and gloriously ruined for your Kingdom.

I am yours.”

2.  There is always hope because God redeems all if we will let Him in.  I love the redemption story shared by Therese in her Guest Post over at Inspiration-Driven Life:

“Marriage has shown me that His story,

even in the deepest valleys,

is better than anything I could write for myself.”

3. Revival will never come if I don’t get on my knees and ask for it to begin with me.  If you read anything at all this week, please read this prophetic post by Beth Moore.

4.  “Love covers so much.  (Thank you for this reminder, Sarah!)

5.  “Love and prayer are mighty works indeed.”  I discovered this devotional post through a friend’s Facebook page.  Have you ever read The Daily Bread?  I used to read it every day when I was in high school — This is how I spent my quiet time in my early years as a Christ follower.

6.  I was overjoyed this week to discover Statigram (Instagram Online).

7.  Lisa at Lisa’s Notes taught me that “Mercy is Freedom’s sidekick.” 

8. In less than ten minutes, I can do something flirty and fun for my husband.  The Dating Divas provide inspiration every Friday in their “Love on the Run” posts.

9.  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

10.  Kristen at We are THAT Family provided another great idea for an end of school year tradition:  How to Host a Kid’s Day

Q4U: What did you learn this week?

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

I am joining Jesse and friends this weekend for


Lessons Learned in 3D — Wrapping Up

I am home today in my jammies.  I had one vacation day left, and I had to take it before the end of June.  We are wrapping up the semester this week at work, and next week there will be a whole new shiny list of things to do for the new semester.  I am learning that endings are really just beginnings in disguise.  Something new is looming ahead, and I have to let go of where I am to leave room for the new things God wants to do as I press forward.

A while back, I visited Emily’s blog, and her monthly wrap-up post inspired me to start this weekly list of things that I am learning — because I am prone to forget, and I think God wants me to remember.   I do this once a week here, usually on Fridays.  But, this week, Emily is hosting a new link up for bloggers to share 10 things they have learned in the month of June.  So, this week’s post is going to be a bit of a review of the month with a few new things sprinkled in.

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

1.  Lysa TerKeurst reminded me that my identity is in Christ in her guest post for (in)courage.  I am not in a popularity contest:

“‘For in Christ

all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,

AND YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN

FULLNESS IN CHRIST,’

(Colossians 2: 9-10).

I have been given fullness.

In Christ.

I can place

the wholeness of my identity in that reality…

and see everything else as small in comparison.”

2.  Studying the Bible with a group of girls can be a life-changing experience.  This month, I started reading Jennie Allen’s book Anything: The Prayer that Unlocked My God and My Soul as part of the Good Morning Girls Study.  I am sharing this journey with 20 amazing women.  I am so excited about what God is going to do in our lives!  Jennie is challenging us all to put feet to our faith through the “If Gathering.”   If you have a heart to mentor younger sisters, make sure to check this out.

3.  Something magical happens when we gather around a table with friends and food.  Shauna Niequist is reminding me in her amazing book Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes.  Have you read it?  The Bloom Book Club for (in) courage is digging into this amazing book this summer.  Go here for the details.  Here is a quote from the “Introduction” to whet your appetite:

“What’s becoming clearer and clearer to me

is that the most sacred moments

in which I feel God’s presence most profoundly,

when I feel the goodness of the world most arrestingly,

take place at the table” (p.13).

Shauna also wrote a great post on here blog earlier this month where she outlined 7 things I should do to be a great dinner party guest.

4.  Community is hard!  That’s why this post by Robin for (in)courage really challenged me.    Am I really going to live out the Gospel and forgive as Christ calls me to do?

“Love and forgiveness are possible when we surrender our right to have rights, when we relinquish any sense of entitlement–

  • to expect others to behave how we want them to
  • to withhold a loving/forgiving response until they’re truly repentant or compliant
  • when we’re the wronged party, or in any obvious sense, are ‘right'”

5.  Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy got me thinking with her post Making it Yours”:

“Ownership–and we’re not just talking money–is a powerful construct. When you make something yours–a town or a book or a baseball team–it becomes part of your identity.

My husband and I have been thinking about what we want to make ours as a family. What will our thing be? What makes us us?”

I mentioned a while back that my husband and I have “our spot,” and we do make an intentional effort at “keeping company,” but what she said about identity really grabbed me.  What do we want our identity as a couple to be?  This is something to pray about with my husband.

6.  I love this idea over at The Dating Divas for a wedding anniversary tradition:  Time Capsule Anniversary Gift. 

7.  I need to be intentional about affirming my husband.  Kristen at We are THAT Family provided me a framework in her great post “What Every Husband Needs to Hear.” 

8.  This week, Lisa at Lisa’s Notes challenged me to “be a ripple”:

“When Jesus heals a soul, he doesn’t stop with one.”

9.  Jenn at Running This Thing Called Life reminded me that “God is waiting to heal our upwrapped wounds.” 

10.  “Always have enough for everyone.”  Tricia lives this out with her boys in “People Need Spoons.”

Q4U: What did you learn this week?

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

I am joining Emily and Jessie this week in sharing some “linky love.”

things-you-learn-in-june