Posts Tagged ‘Love’

0

Encouragement For Your Parenting Journey

Blog No Comments

 Big Foot. Loch Ness Monster. Yeti.The Perfect Parent.

All myths folks.

This parenting thing is a journey. We all grow and change. We learn about who we really are–all our flaws and imperfections. Also our gifts and strengths. We learn about our kids–their gifts, their differences, their otherness. It’s a blessing, every single day. In the middle of its realness and its chaos and the ups and downs, we become more and more who we are and who God made us to be.

Daja has been writing about parenting over at Modern Alternative Mama and Modern Alternative Pregnancy. Here are two posts you may have missed: Read More

First Child vs. Ninth Child

 Big Foot. Loch Ness Monster. Yeti.The Perfect Parent. All myths folks. This parenting thing is a journey. We all grow and change. We learn about who we really are–all our flaws and imperfections. Also our gifts and strengths. We learn about our kids–their gifts, their differences, their otherness. It’s a blessing, every single day. In […]

10

Want to hear a horrible story?

Blog | Prayer Closet 10 Comments

“Want to hear a horrible story?” This is how my priest should have begun his homily on Ash Wednesday. Because the story he told was indeed horrible. But the lesson has been chewing on my heart for days. It won’t let me go.

When he was on a train from Southern India to Northern India there was a family in his  car with several children. In the course of the journey one of the little girls died. A doctor on the train examined the child and declared that she had died of something terrible and very contagious. She could infect the other little daughter. The doctor told the mother to throw the dead child’s body out of the train before others caught the disease. Like any mother would, she refused to throw her child’s body from a moving train. They argued over it. The train then went through a tunnel. While in the tunnel the electricity to the train cut off and the train went dark. While it was dark the father of the child threw the child from the train. When the lights came back on it was discovered that he did not throw his dead child from the train, but his living child. The body of his dead daughter was still there.

Selah.

Do you feel like throwing up? I did when I heard that. My heart was sufficiently wrenched. The pain, the trauma, confusion, suffering, anger. Injustice of it all.

This is what fear does.  When fear is our motivator we throw away what is good and alive while holding onto what is dead and dangerous.  Fear causes us to react rather than respond. It causes us to embrace what is terrible and reject what is good.

Fear causes the culture of death and the rejection of life.

Fear causes  people to throw away relationships and isolate themselves.

Fear causes the confusion that eventually leads to torment.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” I John 4:18

The enemy loves to make us afraid. He knows that if we become afraid we will make bad choices, disconnect from important relationships, and turn our love off.  Surrounded by beauty, with grace right there within reach, with Jesus being closer than a water is to fish. And we choose darkness.

Torment. That’s what it is.

The devil is a terrorist whose suicide bomb is fear.

Like the father who threw away his precious child whom he intended to protect, we will throw away our peace and freedom and cling to bondage.

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Do not fear, I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13

We are in this season of fasting and self-denial. But are we doing it for the right reasons? What is our motivation?  Years ago I had a sign on my bedroom door that I would read every day before I walked out. It said:

Fear of what you might lose.

Hope of what you might gain.

Love of what you might give.

There are only these three motivations for everything we do, in every interaction we have with others, with every decision we make: Fear, hope or love. Choose love. Choose love. Choose love. Every day, a thousand times. It is the only way.

“In order to live in one single act of perfect Love, I offer myself as a victim…to your merciful love.” (St. Therese of the Child Jesus) 

For some of us, because of our pasts or our brokenness or our sin, fear has to combatted on a daily, hourly or sometimes moment-by-moment basis. We have to choose all the time to banish our fears and drown them in the love of God. Perfect love is what drives out fear. Perfect Love is my lifeline. It is my prayer, my deepest longing, my vocation. As I learn to embrace and cling to and welcome and live in Perfect Love, fear–the kind of fear that throws the baby out of the moving train–loses its control of me.

Want to hear a horrible story? Fear destroys lives. Everyday.

Want to hear a beautiful story? Jesus is Perfect Love. Everyday. Everywhere.

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

 

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

“Want to hear a horrible story?” This is how my priest should have begun his homily on Ash Wednesday. Because the story he told was indeed horrible. But the lesson has been chewing on my heart for days. It won’t let me go. When he was on a train from Southern India to Northern India […]

0

Agalliao! (Marriage is worth it.)

Blog | Relationships No Comments

[This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. The Provision Room is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.]

This Is Marriage

Remember when Gene Kelly was singing and dancing in the rain, so in love?

Or how about a real life example: remember when Tom Cruise jumped on Oprah’s couch because he was so in love and just couldn’t contain himself?

OK, a less annoying example? St. Francis of Assisi, so overcome with Divine Love, he would rush about through the garden, the church, the village, as if drunk, proclaiming God’s love! So in love he was mistaken for drunk!

Does marriage feel like that for you? Let’s be honest–most days, no. Sure, marriage has its fantastic moments, but on regular days…..well, it’s just regular. Read More

This Is Marriage

[This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. The Provision Room is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.] Remember when Gene Kelly was singing and dancing in the rain, so in love? Or […]

8

On the 12 DATES of Christmas, my true love gave to me….(Romance for Real Couples)

Relationships 8 Comments

12 Dates of Christmas

Every once in a while our husbands get crazy romantic and do romantic-comedy-perfect things. Like the time Daja’s husband whisked her off in a convertible so she could fulfill a childhood dream to walk across the Golden Gate bridge.  Or the time that Kristina’s husband bought her candles for their bedroom.  A simple little thing really, but perfect because they came from him.

But, let’s be honest. Most of the time we live in the real world. You know that space you live in between running errands, folding laundry, and trying to deal with workplace relationships.  The holidays add their own interesting flavor as you have conversations about what in the world to buy your dads, how the Christmas lights got so tangled and getting the right picture for the family Christmas card.

But, we believe that the holidays can also add their own magical sort of romance. The beauty of the every-day kind of romance. That sweetness that weaves itself between all the hustle and bustle and makes us grateful to be married.  Budgets are tight sometimes, so we thought we’d put together a little list of romantic ideas for this holiday season that are both affordable and practical. Romance for real couples. Enjoy!

Date Number 1: Fireside

Build a fire, either in the fireplace or outside. Prepare a very special holiday drink (mulled wine, hot buttered rum, a real pumpkin spice latte, etc.) and put the kids to bed early.  Talk about your favorite holiday memories from your years together.  Be careful…the memories might start leaking out your eyes and pouring down your cheeks.

Date Number 2: Unshopping

Go out to the mall or shopping center. Each of you take a very small sum of money (say $5 or so). Split up and pick out a funny or romantic gift for the other one. Set a time limit. Meet up at a bookstore with a coffee shop.  Exchange gifts, laugh, get a snack together.  My husband and I also love to frequent bookstores, get a stack of magazines and just leaf through them, dreaming. Don’t buy anything!!!  Just allow yourself to fantasize(!) about your dream vacation together or dream house or family business or retirement. You don’t need to spend any money to get to know your loved one better flipping through glossy magazines.

Date Number 3: Stay In Bed

This may take a little planning. Ask Grandma and Grandpa to take the kids for 24 hours. Get a stack of holiday movies, snacks and junk food, cute pajamas, card games, etc. And just stay in bed. Have no agenda, no preconceived ideas. Just hang out together all day, in bed. That togetherness is its own reward.  And in all the craziness of the holidays, just taking that break to rest can help to restore communication and intimacy.

Romantic Holiday Ideas

This blend brought to you by FoodLaughterLove!

Date Number 4: Be Kids Again

Cookie decorating, gingerbread house making, crafts….Why do the kids get to have all the fun? Do some of these fun things with your honey…without the children! Seriously, not that it isn’t a blast to clean frosting out of your hair or say “stop eating that!” a million times in the span of two minutes.  But, imagine the fun, if the kids are in bed and you and your sweetie have a glass of wine, decorating or craft supplies, and time to get creative!

Date Number 5:  Wrapping Party

Too many gifts to wrap with too little time?  Send the kids to bed, make a lovely winter cocktail, and wrap those gifts together.  It’s a good opportunity for Dad to see what the gifts are before the kids open them on Christmas morning!  **Wink, Wink**  Not to mention it’s just a lovely time of laughter and fun as you tease one another about wrapping skills or lack of wrapping skills.

Date Number 6:  Go For A Walk

Make a couple of hot chocolates or coffees in to-go mugs and head off for a quiet walk.  Just being outside, listening to the birds in the trees and seeing all the beauty God has created can dramatically reduce your holiday stress levels.  Don’t forget to hold hands!!

Date Number 7: Give Back

There are tons of charities this time of year and they could sure use an extra hand! Why not volunteer to be a bell-ringing for the Salvation Army or serve food at a local soup kitchen. Go on a special shopping trip together and pick out holiday foods for a local family who maybe has fallen on hard times.  Leave the bags on their doorstep and ding-dong-ditch!  Serving others together can be a wonderful way to bring the two of you together.

 Date Number 8: The Virtual Double Date

You know that couple that was your favorite double date? Your besties that you actually BOTH liked? Come on, we know we aren’t the only ones. Sometimes you like her, but your husband doesn’t like him or vice versa.  But you finally found that couple that you connected with and could not wait for your dinner dates, picnics or card games! It was sweet, sweet fellowship. And then life played a cruel joke and moved you or them to the other side of the country or the world. Despair not! We live in the era of Skype and FaceTime! Plan a time when the four of you can all sit down on Skype. Make something delicious to munch and open up a bottle of wine.  And have a virtual double date!

Date Number 9: Chopped

Create an interesting basket of odd ingredients a’la chopped. Make sure you include some holiday themed ingredients (cinnamon, candy canes, etc.). You make a box for him. He makes a box for you. (Or have your kids prepare BOTH boxes the same and you don’t get to know what’s going in!) Have a little chopped competition, preparing a dish for each other. Let your kids be the judges!  Make sure you take lots of pictures of the process. That stuff is gold, baby!

Date Number 10: Secondhand Christmas Shopping

Get up a bit earlier on a Saturday morning. Do some Christmas shopping–but the catch is you can’t go to the mall or Target. You must stick to yard sales, flea markets, antique stores, thrift store and consignment shops! You’ll have fun together and can pat yourself on the back for being a conscientious consumer this holiday season.

Date Number 11: Play In the Snow

OK, so if you live in Southern California (like Kristina) you may have to drive to the snow.  But, if you live in Maine (like Daja) you have more than enough to work with!  Why should the kids have all the snow days! How about ice skating, skiing or sledding for two? So much fun!

Date Number 12: Let There Be Light!

This time of year lends itself to romantic lighting. Whether you stroll hand-in-hand late at night down a decorated street or take a drive down a Christmas Tree Lane to take in all the twinkle or, better yet, lay on your own living room floor and gaze up at the tree, let the holiday lights work their romantic magic!

ROMANTIC BONUS:

Rebecca over at FoodLaughterLove is our essential oil guru. Her blends are foolproof. Try these as you stir up a little holiday romance! Oooooooo, la, la!

Romantic Holiday Ideas

VISIT FOODLAUGHTERLOVE on Etsy! Some fantastic Christmas gifts there, just waiting to be scooped up!

12 Dates of Christmas

Every once in a while our husbands get crazy romantic and do romantic-comedy-perfect things. Like the time Daja’s husband whisked her off in a convertible so she could fulfill a childhood dream to walk across the Golden Gate bridge.  Or the time that Kristina’s husband bought her candles for their bedroom.  A simple little thing […]

4

Preparing For Marriage

Blog | Relationships 4 Comments

[This post contains Amazon affiliate links. The Provision Room is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.]

This Is Marriage

When “experts” talk about being ready for marriage or when two people who have been dating for a while talk about being “ready” for marriage there are some typical talking points: finishing college, paying off car/student/business loans, getting a better job/promotions, buying a home, etc.

Then there is real life. Daja’s husband went back to school when they had five children!  Her family has moved once to Mongolia, back to California, and then across the country to Maine!  Kristina completely changed professions after she got married.  Her husband switched companies.  They have moved from one coast to another and back again.  This is life.  No one is ever “ready” for these changes.  No one is ever prepared for suddenly feeling the call of God to go on an overseas mission field or to adopt a baby or sell their home or take a massive leap of faith and change jobs.  But it happens ALL THE TIME!  Instead of focusing so much on those rather external things, we feel like there is a better way to Prepare for Marriage. There are more eternal things to consider.  Marriages can survive a lot of rockiness and changes and surprises, provided you get the first things first and have a true foundation.

Spiritual Factors:

Do you and your potential spouse share the same basic faith?  Of course, it may be unrealistic to agree on every single point of every single factor of religious life.  But at the core, do you agree on the foundational things? Will you be able to raise your children in one accord?

Do the two of you have a vibrant friendship with Jesus?  Let me tell you, you can be a much better friend to your spouse once you are walking in true friendship with Jesus.

How do you and your potential spouse handle suffering?  Perhaps you’ve already been through the fire together and you know.  But, perhaps your biggest suffering was before you met.  Ask your significant other how he or she handles suffering and what is the biggest suffering they have been through.

 “Those who do suffer well are a well-spring of life and faith. Who do you want holding your hand when the test says “cancer?”  On whose shoulder do you want to lean when the doctor says, “We’ve done all we can?” With whom do you want to lay beside when you don’t know where your child is or if they will ever come home?  When your world turns upside down, in whose eyes do you want to look? Find someone who suffers well.” (Kevin Thompson)

Practical Factors: 

How does your loved one handle money?  Regardless of your answer to this, it’s not necessarily a deal breaker. We can all learn to do better with our money.  But, eyes wide open, k?  Is he or she a spender?  Are they generous?  Do they know how to save?  Do they rely on credit cards?  Find out ahead of time.  Balancing a checkbook is no fun by yourself. With a spouse it doesn’t get any easier, let me tell you!

How are your practical life skills coming along?  Nothing thrusts you into the real world like a backed-up toilet, a flat tire in the rain, or trying to make a fancy dinner for your husband’s boss!  Here are some very adulty things one or both of you should be skilled at doing before you get married:

  • Basic cooking skills. And by this we mean frugal cooking from scratch.  NOT opening up some boxes and cans or microwaving frozen meals.  It doesn’t have to be fancy.  But can you roast a chicken, use the bones to make a broth, turn that broth into a simple nourishing soup? Can you make decent breakfast (coffee, eggs, bacon, muffins) without hitting the Starbucks?
  • Financial skills. Can you balance your checkbook?  Handle online bill-paying?  Interact with customer service people?  File your own taxes?  Read and understand your own investment paperwork?
  • Home repairs. OK, so every man is not Mr. Fix-it.  That’s OK.  But, a few basic skills can make a world of difference at 2am on a holiday weekend.  This is not when you want to try to find a plumber or handyman!  Unclog a sink?  Replace a wax ring on a toilet?  Put together IKEA furniture?
  • Basic car maintenance and repair.  Again, we don’t need to marry a total gear-head.  But, can either of you change a tire?  Change the oil?  Put on chains?  Set the time on the dashboard clock?

Marriage

One of the Most Important Things

Perhaps you have heard the phrase “staying pure until you are married.”  Although, we understand what the speaker means, we really dislike this phrase.  It give the impression that only purity is necessary before the wedding and only passion afterwards.  And that cannot be further from the truth!  Purity is so much more than abstinence.  Purity is a condition of the soul and is crucial for ever stage of a relationship.

One of the most important things anyone can do to prepare for marriage (and teach this to our children) is to pursue holiness.  Marriage is a school of sanctification.  Marriage takes a purity of heart and intentions, love and compassion, chastity, and a daily laying down of your life and taking up your cross.

To prepare for marriage, we suggest:

  • Keeping a reign on your thought life
  • Making prayer and contemplation a regular part of your everyday life
  • Become intimate with the Scriptures
  • Get to know holy men and women (both on earth and those in heaven)
  • Make accountability a regular part of your life (via the Sacrament of Confession, deep friendships, mentoring relationships, inner healing, Sozo, etc.)

So, tell us, what advice would you give to a young couple contemplating marriage?  How can they be better prepared?

This Is Marriage

[This post contains Amazon affiliate links. The Provision Room is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.] When “experts” talk about being ready for marriage or when two people who have been dating […]

3

Religion vs. Relationship? Do I have to choose?

Blog | Relationships 3 Comments

If you’re a regular reader around The Provision Room, you may have noticed something in the last year or two.  We have become more and more unabashedly religious.  Maybe it started subtle, but now you can hardly miss it.  We talk about liturgical living, the Church calendar, feast days, fasts, rituals and traditions a lot.  And maybe you’re cool with that.  And maybe you think we have gone off the deep end.  ~Because we love and value you, our sweet and faithful readers, we feel like we need to break that down and make it plain.  Yes, we are religious.  We are not afraid to say so.

Religion vs Spirituality Read More

Religion vs Spirituality

If you’re a regular reader around The Provision Room, you may have noticed something in the last year or two.  We have become more and more unabashedly religious.  Maybe it started subtle, but now you can hardly miss it.  We talk about liturgical living, the Church calendar, feast days, fasts, rituals and traditions a lot. […]

3

What is This Thing Called Marriage?

Relationships 3 Comments

This Is Marriage

Kristina and Jordan have been married almost 22 years.  Daja and Gana have been married 15 years.  And we still think marriage is a good idea. #imaginethat #notdoneyet

Our parents and grandparents have all had long, successful marriages and left us great examples of people who stick with it, who talk up marriage and believe in the covenant.  That’s not to say that marriage has come easy.  Marriage, no matter whether it was a match made in heaven, has to be lived out on earth.  In the day-in-day-out.  Marriage is in the nitty-gritty.  Some people say marriage is crazy hard.  We prefer to say it is sanctifying.

We have written a good deal about parenting on this blog, but not as much about marriage.  So, we are starting a new series, celebrating this breathtakingly beautiful and sanctifying sacrament called marriage.

Marriage is God’s idea.  Have you been led to believe that marriage is just a modern social construct?  No way. Marriage, from the very beginning was God’s idea.  “The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes.”  (CCC 1603)  “God who created man out of love also calls him to love the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love.  Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator’s eyes. And this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation: “And God blessed them, and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.'” (CCC 1604)

Marriage is to be in the Lord.  Pondering the wedding at Cana, we see Jesus on the threshold of his public ministry and offering us his first miraculous sign.  Have you ever wondered why Jesus chose (or did Mary choose?) this context for His first miracle and the launching of His public ministry?  The very fact that Jesus and Mary are at this wedding shows the significance and importance of marriage.  By Jesus’ presence at this wedding, we can see Christ’s goodness and His presence in all Christ-centered marriages.

Daja & Gana

Marriage is for the good of the spouses.  Someone recently sought our counsel about a relationship she was having with someone who didn’t share her same faith or values.  I reminded her that one of the purposes of marriage was to help your spouse make it to heaven.  She said, “What? I have never heard that! I think his faith is his business and my faith is mine. I won’t take responsibility for that!”  And it made us sad.  For them marriage was solely for personal satisfaction and not for the good of the other.  But that is not marriage’s highest ideal! True love is to live for another and to help that person present their best self to Jesus on the final day.

Marriage was not instituted for wantonness or fornication, but for chastity. Listen to what Paul says: “Because of the temptation of immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her husband.” There are two purposes for which marriage was instituted: to make us chaster, and to make us parents. Of these two, the reason of chastity takes precedence. (St. John Chrysostom’s Sermon on Marriage)

Kristy & Jordan wine tasting

Marriage is understood through fidelity.  This is commitment between a man and a wife.  We are called to “drink water from our own cistern, running water from our own well.”  Stay in one place.  Stay faithful being contented with what you already have been given and do not go out to find satisfaction elsewhere.  (It is clear that infidelity is celebrated in our culture.  There is an entire industry dedicated to helping spouses cheat on one another.  The enemy entices through words, images, and sounds meant to cause separation and hunger for things not our own.)  In this constant bombardment how do we stay faithful?  Jesus came “to restore the original order of creation disturbed by sin, he himself gives the strength and grace to live marriage in the new dimension of the Reign of God. It is by following Christ, renouncing [ourselves], and taking up [our] crosses that spouses will be able to “receive” the original meaning of marriage and live it with the help of Christ.  This grace of Christian marriage is a fruit of Christ’s cross, the source of all Christian life.” (CCC 1615)

Marriage is essential for the good of society. In St. John Chrysostom’s Sermon on Marriage we read, “The love of husband and wife is the force that welds society together. Men will take up arms and even sacrifice their lives for the sake of this love. St. Paul would not speak so earnestly about this subject without serious reason; why else would he say, “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord?” Because when harmony prevails, the children are raised well, the household is kept in order, and neighbors, friends, and relatives praise the result. Great benefits, both of families and states, are thus produced. When it is otherwise, however, everything is thrown into confusion and turned upside-down.”

Marriage is good for society

Marriage is be marked by passion.  Sexual fulfillment IS possible within the bounds of marriage.  (And dare we say it is impossible outside the bounds of marriage?) This is what God built.  Sexual intimacy is indeed for procreation, however, enjoying the body of your spouse is for pleasure and passion.  Remember when you first got married and you gave yourself to each other those feelings of love and passion?  That is a gift of Biblical marriage.  It’s not just a contract.  It is a covenant and we have a mandate on us to be the kind of people who are passionate to our spouse.  “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.  A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.”  (Prov 5 18:19)  We must remember the early days and allow them to define every day.  This is not the world’s narrative for marriage; this is our narrative! (Can we get an Amen?!)  Truly the message in the world is that pleasure only happens outside of Jesus’ family.  As follower’s of Jesus, included in the very way God designed marriage, we have a command to be intoxicated with our spouse!  We have a command to be desperately in love with our spouse!

Marriage is to be at the service of life.  We think the catechism just sums this up perfectly!  “Children are the supreme gift of marriage and contribute greatly to the good of the parents themselves. God himself said: “It is not good that man should be alone,” and “from the beginning [he] made them male and female”; wishing to associate them in a special way in his own creative work, God blessed man and woman with the words: “Be fruitful and multiply.” Hence, true married love and the whole structure of family life which results from it, without diminishment of the other ends of marriage, are directed to disposing the spouses to cooperate valiantly with the love of the Creator and Savior, who through them will increase and enrich his family from day to day.”  (CCC 1652)

Daja7-2

Perhaps, reading this, your heart says “Yes!” but your circumstances say, “This isn’t my reality.”  We pray for the healing of your marriage and God’s beautiful sanctifying grace in the center of it.

I AM STANDING FOR THE HEALING OF MY MARRIAGE!…

I will not give up, give in, give out or give over ’til that healing takes place. I made a vow, I said the words, I gave the pledge, I gave a ring, I took a ring, I gave myself, I trusted GOD, and said the words, and meant the words… in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in good times and in bad…so I am standing NOW, and will not sit down, let down, slow down, calm down, fall down, look down or be down ’til the breakdown is torn down!

I refuse to put my eyes on outward circumstances, or listen to prophets of doom, or buy into what is trendy, worldly, popular, convenient, easy, quick, thrifty, or advantageous… nor will I settle for a cheap imitation of God’s real thing, nor will I seek to lower God’s standard, twist God’s will, rewrite God’s word, violate God’s covenant, or accept what God hates, namely divorce!

In a world of filth, I will stay pure; surrounded by lies I will speak the truth; where hopelessness abounds, I will hope in God: where revenge is easier, I will bless instead of curse; and where the odds are stacked against me, I will trust in God’s faithfulness.

I am a STANDER, and I will not acquiesce, compromise, quarrel or quit. I have made the choice, set my face, entered the race, believed the Word, and trusted God for all the outcome.

I will allow neither the reaction of my spouse, nor the urging of my friends, nor the advice of my loved ones, nor economic hardship, nor the prompting of the devil to make me let up, slow up, blow up, or give up ’til my marriage is healed.

– Author Unknown

 

This Is Marriage

Kristina and Jordan have been married almost 22 years.  Daja and Gana have been married 15 years.  And we still think marriage is a good idea. #imaginethat #notdoneyet Our parents and grandparents have all had long, successful marriages and left us great examples of people who stick with it, who talk up marriage and believe […]

0

Always Enough

Blog | Relationships No Comments

Today we are blessed to be guest posting over at Ordinary Lovely.  Theresa is doing a series all week on Large Families in Small Houses.  Creative and Contented! There are some very gifted and lovely ladies posting all week there about how they make it work–practically, spiritually, emotionally! It’s going to be great!  Whether you are three people in a cabin or seven people in a two-bedroom apartment or twenty people in a ranch house–or anything in between, I think you will be inspired! We could all use a little more organization, a little more inspiration, a little more grace. Go check it out!

Creative and Contented title photo (1)

We are first up to bat. I guess we qualify because there are, at last count, a multitude of people living in this three bedroom, one bathroom house. We don’t know everything and we certainly have our challenges and struggles. But, this is life! And it’s a beautiful journey of all of us reaching heaven together!

An excerpt from the guest post:

My husband and I have lived a lot of places since we’ve been married—tiny trailers, apartments, duplexes, small houses and big houses. Urban, rural, upscale and Third World countries. We have always lived by the motto that there is always enough. In God’s economy there is enough room at the table, enough food in the pantry, enough hours in the day, and enough love and affection to go around. Our motto has been tested. Oh, I assure you, it has! But, it has held up. There is always enough.  Where there is love, there is room for more. (READ THE REST ON ORDINARY LOVELY!)

Creative and Contented title photo (1)

Today we are blessed to be guest posting over at Ordinary Lovely.  Theresa is doing a series all week on Large Families in Small Houses.  Creative and Contented! There are some very gifted and lovely ladies posting all week there about how they make it work–practically, spiritually, emotionally! It’s going to be great!  Whether you […]

1

Prayer for the Week of July 13 — A Thousand Tiny Things

Prayer Closet 1 Comment

The challenges of life can be really huge. Or at least they can seem so. So much is really out of our control. We can organize, prioritize, strategize, implement, reorganize and try to make our little corner of the universe as tidy as we possibly can.  Then the weather changes. Things shift. Jobs change. People change. And all the things we had neatly controlled are suddenly out of our control. And there is nothing we can do.

Maybe we need an Elsa moment. LET IT GO.

In all the things we do not have control over, there is one thing we do have control over–our response. We get to choose whether or not we respond in love. Granted the feelings of affection may not always be there. But the response of love can be, nevertheless. Read More

Great love this Advent

The challenges of life can be really huge. Or at least they can seem so. So much is really out of our control. We can organize, prioritize, strategize, implement, reorganize and try to make our little corner of the universe as tidy as we possibly can.  Then the weather changes. Things shift. Jobs change. People […]

2

The Maine Delay

Blog 2 Comments

As many of our faithful readers know, my family has embarked on a great adventure. A big move from Urban to Rural. From West Coast to East Coast! We put all our eggs in one beautiful basket: a 19 acre farm in rural Maine! (See pictures of it here. And read the store of it here.)

Farm House in Maine

We have been immersing ourselves in all things farming. All winter we watched videos and documentaries about farming and animal husbandry. We’ve read everything our library has to offer and purchased all the Joel Salatin library. We’ve been having family meetings and planning our gardens, designing the remodels of our home. We were planning to leave Los Angeles by the end of March, getting the Maine before the ground had fully thawed so that we could hit the ground running with our plans.

The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps. Proverbs 16:9 Read More

Embracing Delays

As many of our faithful readers know, my family has embarked on a great adventure. A big move from Urban to Rural. From West Coast to East Coast! We put all our eggs in one beautiful basket: a 19 acre farm in rural Maine! (See pictures of it here. And read the store of it […]