Love my man!

love, marriage, Uncategorized
Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! photo by Christian

I’ll be completely honest with you…I’m just excited to have a decent picture of Herschel and I together. So excited that I had to post it here for you! As our kids have gotten older, we’re able to have more and more spontaneous dates and time together. We love that we get to spend more time alone as a couple as they grow. But there’s something really fun about getting dressed up for a special date.

Company Christmas party got us out of the normal “Hey it’s just the two of us, so let’s go to Chipotle for a salad” date. I love those times. But the occasional special date night can sometimes give us a fresh perspective!

God’s love is not more or less

love, MS, Uncategorized

For some reason I tend to have a wrong way of thinking sometimes that God’s love for me is measured by my circumstances. Today is day NINE. Nine good days in a row and I am celebrating!!! Since the beginning of September, I’ve had more physically bad days than good with weird neurological/auto-immune symptoms that look like MS. I detest clichés, but they are cliché because they are true; so bear with me on the following statement: We don’t really appreciate good health until we don’t have it. Right now, I truly appreciate good health.

God loves me just as much on my bad physical days as He does on these good ones. God’s love for me on my wallowing-in-self-pity-ugly-cry-days is not an iota more or less than on a great day like today. Today I power-walked around neighborhood lakes. It was glorious! However, I am reminding myself of this truth: God’s favor and love for me today is no greater than on my days when I could do nothing but lay there on the couch.

God is love. He is always love and always good. The depth of His love and concern for me is never dependent on my circumstances.

What if we really believed what God says?

Christianity, freedom in Christ, love, new creation, religion

Have you believed and confessed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? That He died for your sins and mine, that He was raised from the dead, conquering death and sin? If so, we can walk in a glorious reality. So often we don’t, though. Do you find yourself just shuffling through life, or maybe racing through it? Same old stuff, different day…it shouldn’t be so!

What if we really believed what God says? What if we not only believed it, but knew it, deep down in our soul?

If you and I believed and knew God’s lavish love for us, then we would act and feel differently.

What if we really knew and believed that we are made new when we are in Christ; how would we think and what would we spend our time doing?

What if we were truly free from caring about what others think, and only concerned ourselves with what God thinks about us?

Maybe our lives would be more compelling and maybe we’d walk in the freedom and abundant life that Jesus promised us.

The apostle Paul illustrates this in a tangible way that is challenging. Remember that before he was Paul, he was Saul of Tarsus, murderer and zealous persecutor of Christians. Imagine that there must have been times that he would reflect on some of the horrible deaths that he had been party to. Surely that would invoke guilt or shame from anyone. Instead, Paul had a radical change of heart and behavior. He went on to be a missionary and wrote a large portion of the New Testament, including many letters to other believers. What’s really mind-blowing is the way Paul describes himself in the introductions that he gives in these letters. I think if I were Paul, I probably would have started my letters awkwardly, something like this: You probably remember me, I used to be a murderer. But don’t worry, I’m not gonna try to kill you or anything, I just want to talk to you about Jesus.

Instead, it seems like Paul was able to grasp the reality that God had made him into a completely new and different person. Paul didn’t define himself by his past, as significant as it was. Check out the first few verses of Romans and how it seems that Paul knew and believed God.

Here is how Paul describes himself:

a servant of Christ Jesus,

called to be an apostle and

set apart for the gospel of God—

He goes on to describe Jesus in his introduction:

who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David

who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake.

Don’t you love that Paul is firm in his belief of who he is in this introduction, and then he introduces Jesus? Powerful! So I want to believe and walk in this truth, that I am a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God. If you are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, may you believe it too!

God, help me believe you. Help me know you more.

The lavish love of God

love, Uncategorized

I’m the first to admit that I cannot comprehend the love of God. In spite of that, every once in a while, I will get a glimpse of the lavish love that He has for you and for me.

There’s a young single woman that I have a very close relationship with. A few months ago I was concerned about a romantic relationship she was in. We had a great talk about how she was feeling toward this guy and where it might be headed in the future. For some reason, I candidly asked her, “Are you having a sexual relationship with him?” When it popped out of my mouth I held my breath. Then she answered that no, they weren’t. We moved on to other subjects and had a great time together.

Fast forward a few months, and she called me one afternoon. After the niceties of greeting each other, her tone suddenly changed and she began to cry. Over and over again, she repeated, “Please forgive me, I have sinned against you. I am so sorry, please forgive me.” She sobbed as she repeated this over and over. My heart gushed with compassion and love for her. After this went on for an uncomfortable amount of time, I told her, “Whatever it is, whatever you have done, I love you.  It’s okay, I love you and I forgive you. No matter what. Just tell me what it is that you’ve done.” Then she told me, “I’m pregnant. I am so sorry,” and she continued to cry. Then I joined her in crying as I was feeling so much love for her, and it hurt for me to hear her in pain. Besides that, I know first hand what it’s like to be a young woman who is pregnant and unmarried. I know that the road she is journeying is not an easy one.

Later I thought back many times to this phone call. Could it be that God gushes with love for you and I, as I felt toward this beautiful girl on the phone? It truly didn’t matter what she was getting ready to tell me. I truly felt that no matter what it was, I would forgive and love her. When I think about how finite and puny my human love is compared to God’s, it blows my mind.

Recently I’ve recognized that it’s hard for me to accept God’s great love for me. I know that I don’t get it, but I want to! I have started asking Him this week to help me accept His love, to understand it, and to experience it. I tend to think too much inside the box on this, as if somehow God were like me and limited in His ability to love. Then I remember that He is love.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8


I love this man!

commitment, love, marriage

Marriage is not for sissies. Anyone who’s been married for a couple of years or more will tell you that! It took me about a year of being married to learn this. Okay, it probably only took me a month or so, because I quickly learned that it wasn’t really like Disney’s Cinderella movie where we’d ride off in our carriage together into the sunset and live “Happily Ever After”.

Here's what I thought marriage was

I was pretty shocked when we got back from our honeymoon and there weren’t birds singing in chorus as I did my chores around the house. Very disappointing that squirrels, birds, and friendly mice didn’t help me get dressed each morning. Seriously, I think I watched Disney’s Cinderella way too many times!

It didn’t take long for me to realize that being married meant I’m still me.  I still wake up with morning breath, next to someone else who may or may not have morning breath. (Let’s protect the innocent. This is not his blog, so it’s only fair to leave out any of his imperfections.) I remember devouring books on marriage because I quickly learned that I was in big trouble if I didn’t figure out how to do this thing called marriage. I didn’t really know how to be a wife. And since I am pretty selfish by nature, how would this play out? I don’t think I’ve got it all figured out now, but we usually work together in a good rhythm as a couple.

I love this man! He's a man of integrity, he's passionate and full of life. This is him teaching junior high students.

Over time I love my husband more and more, as we experience life with all of its joys and sorrows together.  In fact, I might go as far to say that when we persevere as a couple through the trials of life and difficult times, we love each other in a deeper way. Now that I’ve nauseated you with all of that, I can go back to my initial point: Marriage isn’t for sissies. The daily ups and downs of life are the reality. Maybe one of the biggest things I’m learning in marriage is love can be a romantic feeling. But love is also much, much more than that.