Monday, October 11, 2010

Unexpected Expectations

I was never one of those girls who dreamed of her wedding day all of her life.  I mean, I dreamed of being married, but the wedding day in my mind didn't really make the radar screen.  I don't think I was like a lot of little girls who dream of big fantasy, fairytale weddings where millions of dollars are spent on ensuring her perfect day.  The kind of dreams on which bridezillas are built.

But . . .

Those dreams of being married translated into some pretty fierce expectations for the life after the wedding.  I'm thinking wifezilla pretty much sums it up.

Thing is, I didn't expect to have so many expectations.

Like passion every night.  And doing the dishes together, every night, while chatting about our days.  Like never letting our children get the best of us, but working through everything. together. every time. always.  Like never, ever keeping secrets.  Only ever complete transparency, which meant telling each other every detail of every part of every day.

Needless to say, it didn't take long for my wifezilla expectations to come face-to-face with the big huge pill called reality.

Thankfully, my husband has always been an amazingly understanding, Spirit-controlled man who does not get easily angered.  But there was one evening when he'd had enough.  He looked at me in my hope-dashed state as I dealt with the reality that he was going to watch football instead of joining me in the other room while I rocked the baby (or something like that), and he just simply said, "Don't you ever just let anything go?"

That night was a turning point in our marriage, I believe.  It cut me to the core in an Extreme Makeover kind of way.  Extreme Makeover : Wifezilla Edition.  And it forced me to think through all of the expectations I had for our marriage.  Actually, for my husband.  All that I expected from him.

And I realized that the list was long.  R-e-a-l-l-y, s-u-p-e-r  l-o-o-o-o-o-n-g.

We were just talking about that recently.  Strangely, I had never realized the makeover that God started that night almost nine years ago.  Amazingly, He's still rebuilding.  (Yes, it's that extreme!)  My husband brought it up, actually, and told me how thankful he was for the different woman I'd become.  The kind of woman that can let go of some of her expectations and filter them first through the Word of God and His expectations and then through the marriage that is ours.  Not mine.  But mine and my husband's marriage.

I still dream of an awesome marriage.  I still have super high hopes.  But they look different now.  They're more our expectations.  Less mine. 

And I am so much happier for it.

How about you?  How have you dealt with unrealistic expectations in your own marriage?  Are you letting God and your husband help define those expectations? 

**It's Vigilant Wives Club Monday!  And I'm starting something new . . . going through the book by Dr. Julianna Slattery called Finding the Hero in Your Husband.  You can find the schedule here if  you'd like to read along.  OR you can link up through the comments here and join in the discussion.  OR maybe you'd like to write about something you're learning in your own marriage and link up right here in the comments.  You can do so by leaving your link in the comments.  (No linkytool today -- let's see how that works.)  Either way, I hope and pray that you are encouraged today in your marriage.

**By the way -- did you hear the news?!?!  I'm moving.  To here.  See you there!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Untamed Mercy

It's been three weeks since the mercy storm blew through. I still cry when I see its destruction everytime I drive through the treeless void it left behind.
Yesterday as I drove through, the song “Mercy Seat” played loudly in my car, bellowing God’s mercy to the innermost parts of my soul. I was already crying for the truth of the song . . .

I know where there’s a place
Of mercy for you
He said that you could come into his
Presence without fear
Into this holy place
Where his presence hovers near.

And it hit me like the metal that wrapped around the trees on that fateful tornado-storm day. The very God, Who’s hand is stronger than the biggest funnel-cloud, tore open a path for me. For mercy. His very Word destroyed death and darkness. And now I can hover fearlessly close to Almighty Creator God.

The storm blew through and did as it pleased with whatever it pleased. A funnel shaped cloud that reached down to the ground, the trees and buildings and road signs giving way. Like the darkness that must give way to Light.

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

A costly storm, no doubt. It cost Him everything. And now, His ilimitable fingers move funnel-shaped clouds through my soul. Where He wills. Were it not for mercy.

Try as I might, I cannot ignore the storm’s catastrophic effects. Hundred-year-old treetops twisted right off their trunks. Roofs gone. Buildings demolished. I know that someday most things will be repaired and it will be the new normal. But the three-week span has not stopped the tears I still cry when I see the devastation. Because the picture of untamed mercy sears deep in my soul. Power married mercy in the shape of a funnel.

I asked my husband if it did the same to him. No. I mean, nobody got hurt. No lives were lost.

True. And yet the effects of the unbridled power of the tornado storm point me to an even more mind-blowing miracle. This miracle called mercy.

The raging might of God’s untamed mercy blazed a path all its own. A path that tore apart the evil one’s plans for sin and death and darkness.

This mercy storm has far-reaching fingers that graze my inner soul, destroying my false beliefs and wavering institutions. They bring up an unsettled part of me the likes of which I have never before dealt. The part where I am forced to face the truth of the worth of God’s mercy. The cost that He paid to ensure my safety. And the truth of my own worth. How much He says I’m worth.

So this mercy storm knocks me down to my knees. Speechless. Powerless.

But for His mercy.

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his pathes beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” (Romans 11:33-36)

Big News and then some more

When I was twelve years old, my family moved from Huntington Beach, California to the booming metropolis of Stow, Ohio.  In a very strange twist of grace, I actually thrived because of the move and found my life to be quite an adventure because of it.  While the geographical changes were drastic, the life changes were monumental.  It was my first real face-to-face with any sort of meaningful life change.

I went from attending a small, private school where my parents knew every family to a rather large public middle school filled with lots and lots of boys kids my age.  Oh, the friends to be made! 

I also went from living about five miles from the beach, where we had hurricane and earthquake drills, to living about fifteen miles from the snow belt, where we had tornado drills and snow days.  And the hallways at school were no longer outdoors.  Instead, the entire school was enclosed.

Because of all the inevitable change that comes with not only starting middle school but also starting over in a completely new place, I decided it was time to reinvent myself.  So I got rid of being shy.  I took the opportunity to befriend everyone I met.  My parents said I finally came out of my shell.

And so my first big move in life was a very positive experience.  I believe it set the stage for the three re-locations my husband and I have done over the tenure of our marriage.  Especially the move that took us to Paris, France for several months.  Adventure.  Opportunity.  Excitement.

So --- I've decided to relocate.  That's right . . . and then some more is moving!  Because it's time for some refining.  Because I'm tired of explaining that there's no "e" after the "some".  Because I like new.

So, go ahead and mark your favorites bar with the new link.  It's andthensomemore dot net.  Don't forget to spell it out.  And change the dot com to dot net.  Because I'm up and running over at my new place while I tie up some loose ends over here.  I'll be here for a few more days, but after next Monday, the move will be complete.  And I don't want you to miss a thing.

See you at the new place

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wisdom Building

It happens more than I'd like to admit.  Everything will be going along just fine.  And then it hits.  It's usually something relatively inconsequential like choosing the wrong color socks.  This morning, it was about the clean pants she put in with the dirty laundry.  She'd only worn them for about an hour, and I was trying to make a point.  But Monday morning before school is not the time for point-making.  So in the midst of trying to make a point, we lost the peace of the pre-leaving-for-school hour.  And I lost an opportunity to fortify the home that I am so diligently working to build.

EVERY WISE woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.
Proverbs 14:1 (Amplified Bible)

Funny thing about wisdom is that it's not really wisdom if it's not used.  I can know what I need to do, but if I don't do it, I am unwise.  Like the little nudge inside that I ignored.  The one that reminded me of what's really important this morning.

That truth sobers me in light of the idea of building my house.

If I want my house to be strong, I will build it with wisdom.  Not brute strength.  But God-strength.  The kind of strength that is founded on the fear of the LORD.

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." (Proverbs 9:10)

I can know how to serve my husband and love my children and nurture their souls, but if I don't do it, I am just like the foolish woman who tears down her home with her very own hands.

And wisdom is kind of tricky.  I mean, I do need to teach my daughter to put only what is dirty into the dirty laundry pile.  But, in all honesty, we've never even discussed that.  So why would I choose Monday morning before school to introduce it?  Wisdom knows the truth and seeks the right time to make it known.

Not just with my children, but my relationship with my husband desperately needs this kind of wisdom too.  The kind that builds instead of tearing down.  Not just with words, but with appropriate silence.  With prayer.  This kind of wisdom knows that the wise woman who builds her house has tremendous power to influence her home.  The wise woman realizes that she sets the climate for her home, whether she likes it or not.  And not only that, but she proactively sets the climate for warmth.  By fearing the LORD above all else.  By asking for wisdom from her very generous God.

So today I am asking Him for wisdom.  The kind of wisdom that only He can give.  The kind of wisdom that will build my home.

So -- I have a question for you --- what does wisdom look like in your home?  Leave a comment...I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

***It's another week of Vigilant Wives Club. Here's what's going on if you'd like to keep up.  If you'd like to link up, please do so by adding your permalink to the linky tools thing here at the bottom of this post.  Or feel free to just paste your link in the comments section.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Magnetic Mess

The fog settles on the hills, over the trees in my front yard.  I glimpse Fall and breathe in deep.  The misty morning air settles nicely on my face as we kiss and hug and they run to the bus waiting at the end of the driveway.  I step back inside, close the door and thank God for this morning.

Thank You for the calm.

It's not usually this peaceful inside.  There have been seasons where peace and calm have reigned averarching quiet like the misty morning breakthrough.  This is not one of them.  So when we have a morning like today, I can't help but take notice.  And I pause in gratitude.

There is a mess inside.  And it is not the laundry/clutter/dirty dishes kind.  It's the personal inside kind. 

Daily, I awake wondering if today will prove chock full of reminders.  Because sometimes it wakes me up, staring me square in the face -- this messy emotional pit God is using to draw me near to Him.  To keep me there, eyes fixed solely on Him.  The only Rock that stays put no matter what.  It's not there today.  Not yet anyway.

Regardless, I turn to Him first thing.  Because I must.  There exists no other option.  If I am to conquer this mess, it is only through Him.  His truth.  His Spirit living inside.

I am called to be free.  It is for freedom that He set me free.

I ask Him to redeem these emotions.  Redeem this mess.  He reminds me that He is working.  Somehow He assures me that He has ordained it.  He uses a friend to reveal that He sometimes uses hard times as magnets to pull us closer to Him.  He reminds me that He let it get messy.  He knew I couldn't ignore this one.  Couldn't just push it aside and wait for the motivation to clean it up.  He knew I couldn't clean it up.  I'd have to ask Him to do it. 

That's where He wants me.  Eyes fixed on His ways.  Seeking His truth for my daily.  For my hourly.  Utterly dependent.

And He gives me eyes to see that even this is good.

You are good, and what you do is good; 

teach me your decrees.

~Psalm 119:68~

holy experience

Monday, September 27, 2010

New Adventures

Tomorrow begins a new adventure for me and for my marriage.

It involves a weekly commitment, several other women who want to seek God as the center of their marriages, and a book called Finding the Hero in Your Husband by Dr. Julianna Slattery.  I read it a few years ago, and now I am honored to pair up with one of my friends and lead a group through it. 

I was wondering if you'd like to join in?  My group will meet physically every Tuesday morning, but I was thinking how awesome it would be to meet here cyber-ly (did I just make up a new word?!?!) every Monday during the Vigilant Wives Club.  My plan is to talk about some of the issues that the book brings up each week and then get your thoughts, much like an actual small group.  I am growing a passion to encourage you in your marriage.  As a wife and as a Godly woman.  You don't have to have a book to join in, but if you want one, you can order it here.  I know you would greatly benefit from reading it. 

The book helps us as women to realize the incredible influence we have on our husbands and to learn to use that influence in a way that encourages our husbands' (sometimes hidden) hero-ness.  It helps us understand how to use that influence as Godly women in a way that promotes intimacy in our marriage rather than dissension through manipulation.  I don't know about you, but I do know that I have had times in my marriage when I have really struggled with letting my husband lead our family.  Spiritually as well as in other areas.  So I am very excited to learn how to encourage him to be my hero, the one that God intended for him to be, even as I seek God's purpose for me as a wife.

So next Monday, October 4, I would like to start working through the idea of what it means to be a wise woman who builds her house.  (Proverbs 14:1)

But for now, I'd just like to introduce the idea of it and get your thoughts.  Wanna' join in?  I would LOVE to journey with you through this.  And I would be honored if you'd come along.

Here's what I was thinking...
  • Each Monday, I'll post some thoughts about the book (here's a schedule, if you want to know some of the specific dates and what we'll be discussing).
  • I will also ask some questions for discussion.  You can join in the discussion by posting your comments at the bottom of the post.  Feel free to comment on each others' comments as well as the post.  Or you can post a link to your own blog and discuss it more in depth if you want to.
  • If you want to link up a post about how you're encouraging your man and being vigilant as a wife, you can use the Linky Tool thing at the bottom of the post.  **If you've never done that before, now is a great time to start, so we can get to know each other better and truly encourage each other in this mission we're on as wives.  Here's how . . .  After you've published your post, you will click on the title of your post.  This will give you the permalink for that particular post.  You will then copy that link from your browser and paste it into the little linky tool thing here at this post.  Also, please be courteous and refer back to this blog.  OR you can simply post your link in the comments.
So that's the deal.  What do you think?  I hope you're excited like I am.  I think we can watch God work a revolution in the state of Christian marriage if we each commit to serving our husbands intentionally and to encouraging with the power that we have as women who truly seek His ways for us as wives. 

See you next week . . .

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mercy Storm

Thank God for battery-operated alarm-clocks. That's what wakes us up. Going on 14 hours with no electricity. No water.  Last time this happened we wondered if there might be some merit to our Amish neighbors' way of life.  They were probably unaffected by the storm. 

We should've been Amish, we joke.

We lay there listening to the steady breathing of our two little refugees camped out on the floor next to our bed.  Mid-dawn moments bring clarity to the previous evening's close-call. 

I just keep trying to remember what kept me at work for those last two minutes.  Why didn't I leave two minutes earlier? I can't for the life of me remember why. 

He whispers the what-if and the almost-reality hits me hard.  There had been a storm.  A tornado that ripped apart 12 miles of our community in a few breathtaking moments.  If he had been two minutes earlier, he could've easily been right smack in the middle of it.  Probably on the remote road where it first touched down.  It tore apart buildings, cars and greenhouses.  It lifted treetops from their trunks and slammed them down onto the freeway.  The freeway that he was exiting and that nobody was on.  It tore apart dreams and years of university research.  It ravaged my favorite place to walk.  Yet it did not touch a single human being.  And my man was spared.

The overwhelming mercy of Almighty God creates its own windstorm that marks my soul irreparably.  The mercy storm touches down, leaving nothing in its path but that which is unable to be destroyed.  The Rock called I AM.  Mercy gives way to mercy.

Who are we, Lord, that You would spare us so?  Thank You, Almighty God.  We don't deserve Your mercy, Holy, Sovereign God.  But we will bask in Your goodness.  For You are good.

 You are good, and the source of good;
train me in your goodness.
~Psalm 119:68 msg~

Celebrating at Emily's today . . .

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Monday, September 20, 2010

What I Want For My Marriage

When I got married, I had dreams of life as a wife.  You probably had dreams of your own.  Here's what some of mine looked like :

-Happy mornings waking up next to the love of my life, cuddling in the pre-dawn before sending each other off into the day ahead. 

-Nightly passion that would roll into the wee hours, neither one of us caring about the early-morning meeting we'd have to get up for.  That's how enamored we would be with each other.

-Playing football together every Saturday and Sunday afternoon with our five boys before heading inside for chili and cornbread. (It was always autumn in this part of the dream.) The fact that I have two girls and zero boys is nothing short of proof that God absouletly knows best and proves Himself always perfect and full of mercy in that divine plan of His. 

As you probably know, it did not take long before I realized that some dreams are actually fantasy and simply can not come to fruition.  Particularly when it comes to marrying two different people with two different sets of lifelong dreams and ultimately surrendering them to Almighty God to mold those dreams and make them His own.

So for the last 14 years, God has been molding our hearts together and making us one through and through.

Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and embraces his wife. They become one flesh. 
~Genesis 2:24~

He's also been molding our dreams. And, I am finding that some of those dreams I had as a new bride have changed a bit as we become the one flesh that makes our marriage what God intended.  The one He has purposed for both my husband and for me.

And now my marriage dreams look a little different :

-You already know the one about getting old together, holding hands on our porch swing, drinking lemonade while talking and laughing about the adorable things our grandchildren say.

-But what I really want for my marriage is to show Jesus to people by the way we love each other.  I want it to be a marriage that exemplifies the lavish grace of God.  Through the forgiveness and grace we extend to each other and our children as well as our neighbors, our friends, our parents, our siblings, even strangers.

That's why I come here every Monday and renew my vigilant commitment to my marriage. Because I want my whole life, including my marriage, to help make God famous.

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What are some of the things you want for your marriage?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Faithfully Fresh

I need a fresh perspective.  New.  Because I've let some things get stale.  Things like searching for ways to serve my husband.  Like what to write on Mondays about being a vigilant wife.  Like my daily motivations for why I'm doing what I do. 
I was thinking about this stale state and remembered this Scriptural gem that has always amazed me.
God's loyal love couldn't have run out,

his merciful love couldn't have dried up.
They're created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!

Lamentations 3:22-24

There is something so poignant about loyal love being created new every morning.  Something truly breathtaking about faithful newness.  I think it relates here.  Even though Jeremiah was writing about the nation of Israel and his steadfast hope in Who he knew God to be.  I think it relates because God is God.  Always.  No matter what.  His character is unchanging.  Therefore, His love and mercy never ever stop. 
And . . .
they never, ever gets stale.  Because His faithfulness provides fresh love and mercy every.single.morning. of every single lifetime.
I could use your prayers as I seek His faithfully fresh way to lead me in this blog, and this vigilance in my marriage.  I have been asking Him to show me where He would have me go with this little club of vigilant wives.  I've been asking some hard I fulfilling my purpose as a wife?  Am I encouraging my readers to do the same?  How can I do this better?  
And I would love your input.  And I would seriously treasure your prayers.

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Link up with us today and let us know how you're vigilantly serving your husband . . .  

Sunday, September 12, 2010

What I'm Doing About My Obsession With Mail

I have this long-standing love affair with mail.  E-mail.  Snail mail.  I love it all.  I remember going out to get the mail when I was a child and finding what seemed to be endless amounts addressed to my parents. Nearly  It didn't matter that the majority of it was either bills or circulars.  From my perspective, the fact that my parents would merit the sending of something  through the mail made them somewhat heroic.  Because I loved getting anything in the mail.  Still do, actually.  Excepting the bills, I suppose.

Magazines.  Love them.  Lands End catalogs.  Uh-huh.  I even like getting those little cards reminding me that I have an upcoming dentist appointment.  But nothing beats the excitement I feel when I sort through the mail and find some sort of hand-written note or card.  Especially when my name is on that top line.  Upon discovering it, I rush inside before opening and reading it so I can soak in every word that was written just for me.  **That wait is not as easy as it once was now that I live in the country and have a pretty long driveway.  And, I feel convicted to confess to you that I don't always have the fortitude to wait.  Sometimes I just rip it open on my way up the driveway.  Then I get inside and read it all again.  Since we're on the topic of confession, I also struggle with waiting until my kids get home to open the occasional invitation or card.  And I actually called my husband at work one time to ask if I could open a piece of mail that he got before he got home.  Okay -- now that I've spelled it out, I feel better for getting it off my chest and at the same time kinda' concerned.  Maybe this obsession with mail is something I need to deal with?

I've handed it down to my daughter as well.  In fact, when she was three-years-old, she loved mail and mailboxes so much that I actually put one in her room that I decorated just for her.  She still has it.  And it's stuffed with cards and postcards and notes.

There is just something about getting mail that warms my soul to its very tendrils.  Something about knowing that somebody thought of me for a long enough period of time to form those thoughts into words and send them to me.  It's proof that somebody thought about me and wanted me to know it.

And, though the obsession might be a bit extreme (already admitted), I don't think I'm alone in this.

So I wonder why I'm not more intentional with my written words.  Why is it that I don't take more time to encourage others the way that I love to be encouraged?  Like the great aunt whose husband has been ill for months and must be as exhausted as she is faithful.  Or the friend who opens her home every Thursday morning after getting her three kids to school so a group of us can pray for each other and our families.  Why don't I just send even a short note to thank them?  To let them know I think of them and pray?

I've been reading this blog called (in) for a while now.  It's purpose is encouraging women.  That's where I learned that today is the National Day of Encouragement.  Didn't even know there was such a thing.  And that's why I accepted the challenge to encourage someone with a card from one of Dayspring's new line of Hope and Encouragement cards.  They gave me the cards (I know!) and I agreed to use them and write about it.  What a great challenge.

So here I am.  Challenged.  Willing.  Encouraged to encourage.  Encouraging you to do the same.

Happy National Day of Encouragement. :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Deliverance Ponderings

I'm studying today.  Psalm 40.  It's thick and heavy on my heart lately.  The kind of thick and heavy that can only be processed with the One Who inspired both the Psalm as well as the thick and heavy.

As I study, my heart weighs the truth of my down-and-dirty against His Word.   The only real and true Standard for living.  Himself revealed so that I can live.  Really live.

So I go upstairs and gather my notes from long ago.  I carry the box that contains all the seminary wisdom from previous years, and I revisit the grounding of this dream.  Why is it that I want to write?  To teach? 

Then He nudges my heart and refines His calling.  And in so doing, He refines the questions.  WHAT is it that HE wants me to write?  To teach?

And He firmly replies . . . seek Me, child.  Make Me your trust.  I have made you Mine for a purpose.  To make Me famous.  Trust Me, child.  Trust Me.  So that "many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD."

And I get lost in the study.  Excited by the details of the Living Word.  No longer worried about where He might take me.  Or what He might do with the work I do.  No longer concerned with the details of tomorrow.  I focus on what is Real.

And I wait.

Because He's teaching me a new song.  He's the Composer. 

I am to learn it.  And sing it well.  Oh how I want to sing it beautifully.  For Him.  Then, He takes care of the rest.  "Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD."  My job = sing the song He gives me.

Because His is the only song that matters.  And the only song I really want to sing.

My heart protests a bit, but Lord, I am poor and needy.  Think of me, Lord.  "You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, do not delay."  I cannot do this.  Don't ever stop delivering me.  For before me everyday is a battle : to sing Your song or not.  Oh Lord, I need Your victory.  

And so I sing.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Beauty in the Rare and the Mundane

I looked out the front door to catch a glimpse of my daughters playing outside -- the one thing I made them do on their day off.  That's when I saw it.  It was blue.  And very, very large.  A rare creature indeed.  Stopping my girls in their bicycle-laden tracks, it fluttered to a marigold.  The one I planted last spring that is now a bush.  Wanting to capture the rare and beautiful moment, I ran for my camera and clicked . . .

That's when it hit me.  The truth of my prejudice. 

I realized in that moment how enamored I am by the extraordinary.  How jealous I have become for the rare moment, relying on it alone to spark my gratitude meter and lead me into praise for my Creator.  I have let myself grow weary of ordinary living.  Instead of finding the beauty in the everyday and searching out the gifts in the commonplace that is my life, I've gotten lost in the pursuit of the exceptional.  Waiting for that remarkable moment to inspire awe for my Glorious King.  All the while I have grown accustomed to accepting the mundane in the everyday rather than finding the beauty in it.  I have come dangerously close to losing the ability to find any sort of significance in the daily grind.

But that is not what life is.  Not real life, anyway.  The abundant kind that Jesus came to give.  Because living doesn't just occur in those rare moments when I'm faced with the rare beauty of a big blue butterfly. No. Living happens when I choose to see the common of the everyday for the extraordinary gift that it is. It's recognizing the exquisite inside of the ordinary.

The thing is, I think if I choose to find the beauty in the regular moments of my life, that will only make the rare moments even more extraordinarily beautiful and awe-inspiring.

So I after I did my best to capture the rare big blue butterfly adorning my big orange marigolds, I looked over at the pajama-ed, bike-riding gifts that are my children.  And I thanked God for them.  Then later, I cuddled with them while watching the movie that we recorded last week while they were in school.

And when we put them to bed after a late-evening snack, I praised my Creator for the awe-inspiring moments that He ordained for me today.  Right there in the mundane of living my life.  And then I thanked Him for the big blue butterfly and the truth He chose to reveal to me because of it.

I'm linking up with Emily today.  Because that is what Tuesdays are all about over there.
tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Labor Day Vigilance

It's a day off here at our house.  Labor Day.  Sadly, I've never really been entirely sure what that exactly means. I do know, however, what it means for me.  It means my hubby doesn't have to go to work, my kids are home from school, and we get to have a family day at home!  In honor of that, and of my vigilant commitment to my husband and my marriage, I am spending today with my family.

I'm going to enjoy of them.  Vigilantly.

Create your own banner at!How about you?  How are you choosing to be vigilantly committed in your marriage today?

Why not link up and let us know?  Don't forget to add the little button so your readers can come back here and get more encouragement for their own marriages.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

As It Turns Out

As it turns out, I didn’t screw up God’s plan 20 years ago in high school when I made so many poor choices. (Because, as it turns out, His plan always prevails.)

As it turns out, my husband was right. Again.

As it turns out, playing Smash Brothers with my kids is actually really fun.

As it turns out, I can still be a pretty good mom even when my kids are in school all day.

As it turns out, it’s not all about me.

As it turns out, I am allergic to bee stings.

And, as it turns out, I am brave enough to give myself a shot of adrenaline if needed.

As it turns out 38 is really not that old.

As it turns out, a tweet is alot different than a facebook status update.

As it turns out, it’s your turn.

Go ahead, play along. It’s fun . . .

Sunday, August 29, 2010

True Vigilants

Create your own banner at!I've been thinking lately about the word vigilant.

It means taking matters into your own hands.

I guess that doesn't really fit.  Because the truth of the matter is, the only way my marriage can not only survive but flourish is by the very grace of God.

That's why I write about prayer so much on Mondays.

And it's why I'm praying for you.  And for your marriages.

This week, I would love to renew my commitment to pray for you.  So go ahead and leave a comment and I will go ahead and pray for you by name (or by some other distingishing detail if you don't feel comfy leaving your name).

Have a truly blessed week.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New Songs and Slimy Pits

It's been slimy here the past several weeks.  The pit, I mean.  So slimy that I can't get my footing to lift myself out.  Like the spin cycle on Wipeout. 

I fell in.

But I found the way out.  God's strong hands.  He grabbed me by the armpits and pulled me out with His superGod arms.  He did it a few days ago as I mourned the end of summer break and the start of a new season of my life.  The one where both of my children go to school all day and I learn how to be a different kind of mom.  He showed me that my youngest starting kindergarten is really not about me.  He reminded me that it's been His plan all along.  This growing up thing. 

And He started teaching me a new song. 

I like new songs.

"I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD."
Psalm 40:1-3

That's why I'm linking up today with Emily for Tuesdays Unwrapped.  Because they're singing all kinds of beautiful songs over there.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Monday, August 23, 2010

Beauty That Inspires Praise

Anytime I see something beautiful

even if it's just a glimpse of real beauty

I praise the Creator.

The One Who thought it all up.

I'm pretty sure that's what the Apostle Peter was talking about when he wrote to wives . . .

That's the kind of vigilant wife I want to be.  The kind that points my husband to Creator God.  The kind of "holy beauty" that captivates him.  True beauty.  Because, although my man is definitely not "indifferent to any words about God," I want him to be inspired to worship his Creator. My Creator.  By the way that I live.

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Join us today, won't you?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Just Like Jesus

"Is it long enough yet, Mommy?"

I measure her hair, and I think it is. So I make the appointment and we go.

When the hairstylist looks at me from behind the hair, where she's measuring again for accuracy, she shoots me a look of warning. Wanting to preserve as much of my beautiful daughter's lovely long hair as I can, I jump out of my seat and choke out a long diatribe of how I measured at home and it came down to here. And how fifteen months ago, when my oldest daughter did it, they put it all into one braid in the back and it turned out so cute. So why did she have to put it into six different ponytails and measure each one ten inches. That wouldn't leave much hair! She trains me in the process and says they'll throw it away if it's not long enough.

I want to ask her to just pretend for my daughter's sake. Only it's really for my own.

But instead I ask my six-year-old. "It's going to be shorter than we thought it would be. Do you want to keep growing it and come back another time? Or just get it cut and not give it to Wigs for Kids?" She does not hesitate. She immediately says, "No. I want to give it to them."

So Linda Sue gets out the little rubber bands and puts six little ponytails all over her head. Then, with razor-sharp clippers, she cuts each one. My heartstrings feel damaged as well. Tears welling as I look away, I get a grip. Then I look at my daughter. She is beaming radiant.

And she looks just like Jesus.

Because that's Who He is. The Jesus Who gives to those who don't have from the deep wells of what He has. The One Who gave it all when He gave up His perfect beauty and took instead my ugly nasty sin. Rising even more beautiful.

So I leave humbled by my six-year-old. Who exposes true beauty.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dear Barbie,

You might know me as the mom.  Or maybe you remember me from way back when my sister and I used to argue over you.  Remember that awesomely huge Barbie house one of our friends had? Yeah, I totally wanted to get that for you.  Sorry it never happened.

Anyway, I guess you probably get a lot of hate mail seeing as you so dutifully represent the world's view of beauty.  But, hey, I get it.  I mean it's who you are, right?  It's how you were created.  And you personally have no power to change it.  Just clay in the potter's hands, right?  Yeah, I totally get that.  I, too, am clay in my Maker's hands.  Sometimes I find it hard to be content with that, though.   I don't know if you get that or not.  I guess there's a chance.  I mean, for all I know, you might wish you had brown curly hair and a body the shape of a pear.  The grass is always greener, eh?

I just wanted to write to let you know something that I appreciate you.  It might get me in trouble if I actually post this, because, as you know, there are a lot of people who, well, who can't stand you or what you stand for.  And, I do feel the need to mention that I am not crazy about most of your clothing or the fact that so many little girls dream of having an impossibly perfect body like yours, often to their lifelong dismay.  But, I guess I just wanted you to know that there are a few things that I appreciate about you. 

Like the fact that you just go wherever your master takes you.  No arguing.  No complaining.  You're always up for the adventure.  Even when your master turns your head all the way around and makes you look like the girl on the Exorcist.  And that one time when she actually popped your head right off!  Amazing that you weren't even afraid to go back into her hands after that! I applaud your courage.  Some people might call that stupidity.  Well, not me! 

And when your master decides to play with someone else, you're totally okay with it.  Content whether it's your turn or not.  Like what Angela Thomas was saying at that conference I went to.  She was talking about how sometimes it's not our turn yet.  Then she pointed out that we need to become women who are ready when our Master says "now!"  And how we need to cheer for each other when it's someone else turn.  Barbie, I have no idea whether or not you celebrate the successes of other toys, but I can tell you that is something some of us humans really struggle with.  So, you might imagine that bit by Angela Thomas really resonated with me.

Anyway, thanks.  Your contentment is just something I was thinking about and wanted to let you know that I noticed.  You're not all bad.  Thanks for reminding me that I am totally at the mercy of my Maker and Master.  Just like you are.

Oh, one last thing, I'm sorry for kicking you across the floor earlier today. Believe it or not, I had intended that to be a friendly little nudge toward your pool and my children who were watching you swim. It's nice, by the way, your new pool. Just kind of wishing it didn't have to stay in the middle of my kitchen. I hope I didn't hurt you when I kicked you. I just really dislike stepping on your hard plastic hands because, well, that hurts. I imagine you don't experience much pain being a toy and all. Well, believe you me, stepping on plastic is painful. I guess you'll just have to take my word for it.


p.s. Just wanted you to know that I did decide to post this letter, and I'm linking up with Emily today at for Tuesdays Unwrapped.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Spirit-Quiet and the Great Remodel

Quiet does not come naturally for me.  And, although at times I can be rather loud, I am not talking about volume.  I'm talking about spirit-quiet.  The kind of quiet that takes whatever it's given and chooses to react with the strength that only Creator God can initiate.  It's the quiet that Peter defined as unfading beauty when he wrote to wives . . .

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." 
1 Peter 3:3-4 NIV

I wrote last week about how God used that passage of Scripture to revolutionize my dating life during my college years.  Today, I'd like to tell you how God has used it during this past month to remodel my marriage and my role as a wife.

There are areas of my home that I often almost always allow clutter to consume.  Quiet, unfading beauty notices that it bothers her husband and starts doing something about it.  Thus, God is helping me get rid of clutter collection spots in my home.  Or at least genuinely try.

We have this peninsula in our kitchen.  This is what it usually looks like, give or take a few dozen items.  (And by "items" I mean "clutter".

This week, God and I have been working on rearranging it to look more like this...

Minus the fly in the bottom right corner, of course.  Perhaps God and I should invest in a fly swatter?

We had a big birthday bash for our youngest daughter the other day.  An unfadingly beautiful spirit appreciates everything her husband does to help prepare for the party.  Even if he doesn't clean the tables exactly as she would have done it.  I wish I could say I succeeded here, ladies.  The truth of the matter is, I did not.  I used jokes to let him know I didn't like his method.  After which I was immediately convicted by the truth of God's Word that reminded me that true beauty behaves in a way that could make followers of Jesus Christ out of unfollowers.

"Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives." 1 Peter 3:1-2
See, there was a tiny little piece of my spirit that wouldn't let go of my selfish need to have it done my way. A small little bitter root that motivated the joking and elevated it from funny and light teasing to coarse joking.  But, according to 1 Peter 3, I am called as a wife to let it go.  I am called to react from a place of quiet and gentleness that puts my husband before myself.  I am called to live in such a way that would attract my husband to Jesus Christ.  And coarse joking that is spawned from a bitter root does not fit that job description.

I'm afraid God might still be in the demolition stage of this part of the remodel, ladies.

And then there's the whole issue of the body that belongs to this truly beautiful woman that Peter describes.  Spirit-quiet sees that body filtered through the truth of the God's Word and does not verbally tear it apart. Especially in front of her husband.  This is a tough one, I must admit.  Spirit-quiet lets her husband tell her she's beautiful and hears it, listens to it, even believes it.  Because spirit-quiet is beautiful.  Unfadingly so.  That is a biblical fact. 

Although we're a little beyond the demolition for this part of the remodel, there is still much work to be done here.

There are other areas of my home that I know God is working on.  Taking the sledge-hammer to the loud in my spirit and replacing it with His quiet.  It's kind of hard sometimes.  But, despite the difficulty, I am realizing that, above all else, the spirit-quiet woman humbly trusts God's way of life.

With vigilance.  And that, my dear friends does a beautiful woman make.

Create your own banner at!Link up with us or leave a comment and let us know about your choice to be a vigilant wife...

Saturday, August 14, 2010


If there is anything in life that I can not stand, it is feeling left out.  Don't like it.  Never have.  I could probably safely say that most people don't.  The only difference might be a person's level of tolerance for it.  I'm guessing there are some people for whom little is required in order for them to feel left out, while others would think nothing of it unless great measures were taken on the part of the leaver-outer.  And only then would they feel it.  Either way, I would venture to say that nobody likes to feel left out.

I got a lot of experience with this as a child.  A strong desire to be well-liked did not fare well for a little girl in my neighborhood  (i.e. me).  Maybe you know the neighborhood of which I speak -- There was one girl, a year older than me and gorgeous in every sense of the word who had an older brother (who was, by the way, equally gorgeous).  They pretty much ruled the neighborhoood.  So the goal each afternoon while we played was always to be included in whatever it was that they might be doing.  Which was not always, um, productive or beneficial.  Also having a strong desire to please my parents', I was, as you might imagine, left out on more than one occasion.

And it hurt.

Because rejection hurts.  In any form.

That's why I love, love, LOVE Ephesians 1.  Because it says right there in the Bible that I am included.  Look at this...
"And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation." Ephesians 1:13 NIV

Because Jesus Christ is the Lord of my life, I am His chosen and adopted child.  I am included!!!  And not only that, but He gave me a special seal that marks my inclusion!! And it's the Holy Spirit. Uh-huh! THE Holy.Spirit.of.God.
v14 "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory."

I'm just soaking it in.  The realization that, if God's picking teams, He will pick me every.single.time.

Soak with me, won't you? 

**Not sure you can soak there?  Well, God's Word says that if we trust Him to clean us up (because, truly, who doesn't need cleaned up in her heart of hearts?), He will.  In fact, that's the whole reason Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, came to earth -- to take the inevitable punishment for our yuck.  So we wouldn't have to die.  (The kind of dying that means being separated from God forever.)  So when we believe in Him to clean us up and ask Him to, He does.  That's where He becomes the Lord of your life and He starts leading the way.  Now YOU are included too!  Because you too have heard the truth.  Want to know more?  Here's a great link.  Or shoot me an e-mail or leave me a comment.**

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

He Speaks, She Speaks, I Speak

It was among the most sacrificial birthday gifts my husband has ever given me.  A registration to the She Speaks! conference in Charlotte, NC the last weekend of July.  It's a conference for women who want to pursue Christian ministry in the areas of leading, writing, and/or speaking.

My husband and I had never even heard of the conference until this past February when I was surfing one of my very most favorite blogs, Chatting at the Sky.  I think I was avoiding some monumental task like cleaning up after dinner, when I came across Emily's story of how she was offered a book-writing contract at last year's She Speaks! conference.  Reading her story made my heart really super excited (you know, like beating really fast, can't click fast enough kind of excited).  Because I recognized my dream as I read about hers.  (BTW, I so greatly admire this woman -- for her heart, for the way that she writes, for the way that she makes me think about mundane life stuff from an adoring-God kind of perspective.)  So I took a risk and said it out loud to my husband.  I told him I wanted to go to this conference.  I reminded him of my dream.  The one about being a published writer. 

It's a dream I've not talked about much until recently.  Because somehow saying it out loud makes failure accessible.  What if I never do it?  Or worse yet, what if I give it my every ounce of the best I've got and then fail?  It's also a dream that my awesome husband has never, ever let me forget about.  Like the birthday eight years ago when he rallied my parents, his parents and my sister to pay the registration fee for me to attend a Christian writer's conference the following summer.  Even though I learned a lot at that conference, I never did anything with what I had learned.  And I have always felt guilty about that, even though I was four months from birthing my first child and entering a season of life during which my only ministry focus would be feeding babies and wiping their stinky adorable little butts.  It was that guilt that made me a little more than trepidacious to ask my husband what he though about me attending She Speaks!  Well actually, it was the false guilt mixed with the fear about what might happen if I actually did get to go.

That night, I started praying that God would get me to the conference if that was what He wanted for me.  So when I applied for the scholarship the next month, I expected God to saturate my entry with the same dew that He used to soak Gideon's fleece.

I didn't get the scholarship.

You might imagine that I was dissapointed.  But, believing I had seen the fleece in all of its dryness, I asked God if He could maybe soak it for me next year.

Then my husband decided to surprise me for my birthday.  He'd prayed about it and believed that God was leading us to send me to the conference! 

I spent the next few months wondering if I'd finagled my way to getting what I wanted.  I can be manipulative, you know.  Then God nudged me one day as I sat upon my lawn mower praying.  And with clarity, He reminded me that it was He Himself that planted this dream inside of me.  That day, my question changed from "Will I succeed?" to "Am I willing to pursue it for no other reason than that He asked me to?"

Very first night, very first session.  Lysa Terkeurst asked the same.exact.question.

Do you see what I wrote in my notes as she spoke that night?!?  "Will you go just b/c He asked you to?"  Yeah. I know!

While I was at the conference, I partook of immeasurable wisdom.  Those Proverbs 31 ladies are anointed by God!!! Seriously!  (And so many of them are southern that I was seriously beginning to wonder if God could annoint a northern girl like me to bring it.  Then He put Karen Ehman on the stage, and, well, she definitely brought it!  So -- thanks, Karen, for representing us northerners so well. :-P)  And, again, He brought me to a point in my spirit where I had to deal with more questions...
  • What am I afraid of -- if God is with me? (um, He promised.  So He is!)
  • Do I believe that He called me to this?  Even if I don't "succeed" by the world's definition of that word?  
  • Am I willing to stand right smack inside of what God has called me to, not comparing my calling with anyone else's?  AND Am I excited for other people when it is their turn and not mine?
  • Why do I want this?  Is my purpose to make God famous?  Or is it to make myself famous?
  • Am I really on the same team as these amazing women of God or are they just somehow especially annointed, extraordinarily called?
So here's what I learned : How to answer each and every one of those questions with heart that wants nothing more than to make God famous.  I have nothing to be afraid of -- God Himself is with me.  Yes, I believe He called me to this.  No matter what.  Yes, I will stand inside of what God has called me to and cheer on everyone else who does the same.  I want to make God famous.  Yes!  We are on the same team.

I am still processing.  Thankfully, I had all of last week to begin the process of the processing while on vacation at the beach with my family.  But, in all honesty, most of that time was spent, well, swimming.  So I am certain that you will be reading more bits as I soak in more truths from my weekend at She Speaks!

Oh, and I even got to meet Emily!  We're friends now. ;)  Just sayin'.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Unfaded Attraction

Create your own banner at!I was working as the high ropes course instructor at Camp Carl, sharing Jesus' love and grace with the campers in whatever way I could find.  It was the summer I surrendered the area of dating to the One Who is Three in One.  The One Who gave me the desire for intimate relationship in the first place.  As a result of that surrender, I broke up with my boyfriend, despite my ever-increasing longing for a husband, and the engagement ring we had gone to look at so I could try it on.  It was one sunny afternoon that very same summer that I heard it for the first time . . . 

"Your beauty should . . . be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."  (I Peter 3:3-4, NIV)

I had read that passage of Scripture before.  But this was the first time I really heard it.  "Unfading beauty."  "Great worth in God's sight."  My heart found a new longing that day.

That passage of Scripture in first Peter 3 talks about how to be a wife.  More specifically, verses 1 and 2 say that this kind of inner beauty would be so attractive that it could very possibly win a husband to Christ, if he were not already a believer

"There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty." (I Peter 3:1-2, msg)

Clearly, I was hooked.  Hello, unfading beauty?!?  I mean, here I had God's secret for not only attracting an amazing man of God but, even more than that, for keeping him attracted. 

And that, my dear friends is when I decided to unwaveringly entrust the rest of my life's dating relationships to God Himself.

It's also when I began praying for my future husband, the very same year that my husband (of now almost 14 years) surrendered his life to Jesus Christ!

Over the next few weeks, I plan to study this Scripture more in depth.  I expect that God has pretty pointed things to say about our vigilance as wives.  So I hope you'll join me.

In fact, I hope you'll join me today in thinking through what it means to be a vigilant wife.  Link up here.  Or leave a comment.  Please?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

He Gets Me

He gets me.

We've been married for almost 14 years, but there is still stuff in the deep down me that I am somehow afraid to show him.  It comes out anyway because, um, I am not one who can easily hide what's inside for long.  And that's when his very nature lives out the unconditional faithfulness.  The vow he made on that day when I got all pretty and kissed him up in front of the church.  Before we fed each other cake and kissed for 200 forks clinking water glasses.

And he remains unshaken when I finally disclose what he's known all along.  I'm flawed.  Imperfect.  Yet, naked-souled, I show him the deep down.  And he gets me.

Not just because he promised that he always would.  But because he loves me.

Create your own banner at!Biblical marriage provides a beautiful picture, flawed as it may be, of Almighty God's love for us, His bride.  Just like my husband gets me.  God gets us.  Because Love Himself loves.  It's Who He is.

And that All-knowing, Almighty God promised He would never, ever leave us.  Because He loves us.  Love Himself Loves me!  Vigilantly.  Without exception.

I hope you'll link up and let us know what it means for you to be a vigilant wife.  I am looking forward to reading your entries. . .

Monday, July 26, 2010

Your Turn

Create your own banner at!I'm taking a break from my vigilance post this week.

And I'm gonna' let you fill in the blanks.

So c'mon and play along with a comment or a linkup.

**Why are you fighting for your marriage?  What makes you want to be a vigilant wife?  What does vigilance in marriage mean to you?**

Looking forward to your input...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

On Reality and Dreams

Sometimes my dreams are so vivid that I can't distinguish them from reality.

Like last summer when I was training for my first half-marathon.   I had this recurring dream that I was walking, and for whatever reason could not pick up my legs to move them.  I had to just drag them, using every ounce of everything I had.  It was scary, that dream.  And it felt so real that it left me wondering for weeks what was wrong with me and hoping that whatever it was wouldn't flare up in the middle of the race.  I still sometimes wonder if it was real, expecting my legs to just cease working at any given time.

Funny thing about dreams : the more real they seem, the more details the imagination fills in, the harder they are to distinguish from reality.

Furthermore : bad dreams often equate with fear or anxiety.  But good ones represent hope.  Things you can't wait to actually live.

I have this dream of getting published someday.  It's restrained by fear that it will never happen.  Because fear and hope, although polar opposites, sometimes go hand-in-hand.  Like sweet and salty.  Only, rather than complementing flavors that make each other taste better, these two flavors oppose.  And I am faced with the Iron-Chef task of mixing unexpected flavors to create the most delicious gourmet dish.  So I can serve it to my Maker. 

The One Who gave me the dream itself.

What do you dream about?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Anyway Love

It was dirty.  Really ugly.  Digging in the dirt in my crocs without socks kind of dirty.  The kind of dirty that soils even those who haven't had direct contact with the dirt itself.  And I don't mean the cool kind of dirty.  Like when you're feet are so dirty that they leave footprints on the floor in front of the bathtub as you prepare to clean them off.  Nope.  This kind of dirty stains even the pretty little pouffy thing I use for my shower gel.

It started with unfulfilled expectations that not even I knew I had.  He failed to meet my unspoken demands.

Then it drifted over to the eight-year-old.  She didn't get what she wanted either.  Except I was not nearly as merciful of her temper tantrum as he was of mine.

The ugly then found itself in the kitchen surrounded by more dirt.  Old food stuck on dishes kind of dirt.  That's when it smeared itself all over my attitude and contaminated every single person in my family.

Soiled, we each went on with our tasks.  Clean out the garage.  Clean up the kitchen.  Plant the new flowers before they die.

And the ugly in mommy's attitude muddied the afternoon.

But then evening came.  And the shower-mercies rained and washed away the dirt.

And he loved me anyway.

Because that's what he does.  Because that's what He does.

And I bask in the unyielding, forever love that Love Himself gave me in the man I call husband.
tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Monday, July 19, 2010

Old Love Never Gets Old

The fact that we were watching it for the fourth time was insignificant.  I had only really watched it that one time when we saw it in the movie theater last summer.  So when I watched Up, and it came to the part of the montage where we get to see Carl and Ellie grow up and get married, dreaming of all kinds of adventures they ended up never taking, I sobbed. 

Not because they never made it to Paradise Falls together.  But because of the beautiful picture of marriage.

The love that holds on to a husband (or wife) even when the dreams don't come true.  The love that transforms the other person and truly makes them more complete.  The sticky-love that chooses to remain faithful no. matter. what.  The love that grows deeper along with the wrinkles.

There is an elderly couple who lives at the end of our road.  I sometimes pass them in my car as they are walking.  They usually wave and smile.  Sometimes they appear to be chatting with each other.  Other times, their mouths are still.  But always they are holding hands.

I can't wait to grow old with my man and still want to hold his hand.  And chat.  And take walks.

Create your own banner at!That's why I'm a vigilant wife.

How about you?

Link up and let us know...
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