just another reason i love my husband…

He prays about everything and encourages me to do the same. It’s something he learned from his mother (I really wish I could have met her!). From a text exchange today:

…There’s a lot in our lives (and there always will be as long as we’re on this earth), but I know that prayer is the answer to it all and want us to always be praying for each other and all else.

I just realized that I posted about Paul last Wednesday. This may be a regular thing — Why I Love My Husband Wednesday. :)

90 minutes

010414If you’ve hung around my blog long enough, you’ve heard me mention that I’m a fan of Dennis Prager, and I often listen to his podcasts on my commute. Recently, he asked the audience to call in and share their 90 minutes of happiness. He limited it what gave you joy to do alone. As always, his audience provided some interesting and varied responses.

Because I listen via podcast, I never get to call in, but if I had the opportunity, I’d have several things to share. Any of these scenarios would bring me joy:

~ Settled in at a coffee shop, preferably on a rainy day, with my laptop and a good book.

~ Poolside at a nice resort, in the shade of an umbrella, with a stack of magazines and a good beach read, beverage service, and plenty of sunscreen.

~ Propped up in my bed on a weekend morning, coffee or tea on the nightstand, my laptop, Bible, a Moleskin journal, Sharpies, and a pencil.

~ Curled up on my sofa, watching an Auburn football game with a bowl of popcorn on my lap.

What about you? What’s your 90 minutes of happiness? Remember — it’s alone time.

 

“…but simply by doing what you already know to be his will…”

[a repost from September 2013]

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…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

From The Quiet Place: Daily Devotional Readings by Nancy Leigh Demoss:

As true believers, we want to know God’s will for our lives, especially when it comes to major life-ordering decisions. But interestingly, when we go to the Scripture for insight on discerning His will, we don’t find a lot about things to do, places to go, or people to meet. That’s because God’s will is not so much a place, a job, or a specific mate as it is a heart and a lifestyle.

And according to the verse above one fundamental aspect of that lifestyle is an attitude of gratitude.

Sure, details matter to God. And He can give us the wisdom to make decisions about those details as we seek Him and walk in line with the principles of His Word. But live long enough, and you find that the choices only change by year, degree, and color. A decision that’s huge today is soon replaced by yet another batch of issues and options for the next season of life.

That’s when you discover that the will of God is a whole lot bigger and broader than fine-print details and exact measurements. Instead it’s characterized by a handful of simple constants that overshadow your specific questions and your appeals for direction. In other words, you may find yourself a lot closer to hearing God’s heart on a certain matter, not by making pro- and con- lists or anguishing between multiple options but simply by doing what you already know to be His will.

So when faced with perplexing circumstances, when you don’t know what to do or which way to go, give thanks — and you’ll likely find Him giving the discernment you need to make wise, God-honoring decisions.

thankful

Just making a quick list of God’s goodness to me (in no particular order):

  • a home that feels like home
  • family and friends who love me and encourage me and support me and pray for me
  • work I enjoy
  • the health we enjoy today (for who knows about tomorrow?)
  • shelves full of books waiting to be read
  • pizza delivery on a rainy Friday night
  • dark chocolate honey grahams with sea salt
  • the flickering scented candle in our living room

Happy Friday y’all!
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just one of the reasons…

…that I love my husband:

He always reminds me that we’re on the journey NOW. We’re not waiting for our lives to settle down. THIS is our life, and we’re together, and we’re grateful. As he recently wrote to me in an email:

I’m not waiting for a time that you and I arrive at the ultimate peace and love in our lives, I’m enjoying it each day.

God knew just what I needed in a husband. I’m glad to travel up and down life’s hills and valleys with him holding my hand.

Grateful,

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“…something that just happens to one, like measles.”

cslewisFrom A Year With C.S. Lewis:

People get from books the idea that if you have married the right person you may expect to go on ‘being in love’ for ever. As a result, when they find they are not, they think this proves they have made a mistake and are entitled to a change–not realizing that, when they have changed, the glamour will presently go out of the new love just as it went out of the old one. In this department of life, as in every other, thrills come at the beginning and do not last. The sort of thrill a boy has at the first idea of flying will not go on when he has joined the R.A.F. and is really learning to fly. The thrill you feel on first seeing some delightful place dies away when you really go to live there…

Another notion we get from novels and plays is that ‘falling in love’ is something quite irresistible; something that just happens to one, like measles. And because they believe this, some married people throw up the sponge and give in when they find themselves attracted by a new acquaintance. But I am inclined to think that these irresistible passions are much rarer in real life than in books, at any rate when one is grown up. When we meet someone beautiful and clever and sympathetic, of course we ought, in one sense, to admire and love these good qualities. But is it not very largely in our own choice whether this love shall, or shall not, turn into what we call ‘being in love’? No doubt, if our minds are full of novels and plays and sentimental songs, and our bodies full of alcohol, we shall turn any love we feel into that kind of love: just as if you have a rut in your path all the rainwater will run into that rut, and if you wear blue spectacles everything you see will turn blue. But that will be our own fault.
–from Mere Christianity.

monday miscellany

An abbreviated collection of links:

~ I love historical fiction, so A Week in the Life of A Roman Centurion is going on my wish list.

~ 3 documentaries I’d like to watch: Culinary Cinema. (I actually started watching Chef’s Table this weekend.)

~ Why intellectuals hate capitalism. You’ll probably be surprised when you find out who is making that claim.

~ If you’re looking for a good Bible study book, I recently finished Let’s Study Ephesians by Sinclair B. Ferguson and can recommend it. Next up is Kathleen Nielson’s Psalms study – Volume 2.

~ An introverted Christian.

That’s it for today. Happy Monday!

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God’s faithfulness

[A repost from August 2014]

On January 1, 2012, I began to read through the Bible using the 3650 plan. I had no idea on that first day of that year just how full of suffering 2012 would be. (Isn’t God good not to overwhelm us with future knowledge?) I used a brand new ESV Bible, and I marked it up, sometimes jotting a date beside a Psalm. Oh, what a treasure that Bible is to me! Immersing myself in Scripture was truly a means of grace that terrible year, and now I have such reminders of God’s faithfulness jotted in margins. It’s almost like a journal.

This particular Bible is fairly compact, so while I’m using a different one in my daily reading, I take this one to church. Last Sunday as I was flipping to the Psalm we were reading, I passed Psalm 57 and saw the note:

psalm57

Psalm 57 was the one I “happened” to read on that dark day as I worked my way through the 3650 plan. And how appropriate it was! Just look at God’s encouragement to me on that saddest of days:

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.

I cry out to God Most High,
to God who fulfills his purpose for me.

He will send from heaven and save me;
he will put to shame him who tramples on me.
God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!

My soul is in the midst of lions;
I lie down amid fiery beasts–
the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!

They set a net for my steps;
my soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my way,
but they have fallen into it themselves.

My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!

Awake my glory!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.

For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!

Oh, how good God is to us with His Word! This Psalm was true for David in the cave as he fled from Saul thousands of years ago, and it was true for a brokenhearted, grieving, and weak woman in southwest Georgia on a hot summer day in 2012. And it’s been true for countless believers in between and since.

I knew, even in the depths, that God was with me and for me, and I had to take every step in faith because I just couldn’t see how He would work out His plan for me. And, of course, I have no idea what’s coming, what other valleys He will lead me through.

That year I marked every reference to God’s steadfastness and faithfulness I came across because I clung to that aspect of His character. And He proved Himself over and over. He still does, even as He reminds me in this joyful season of life that He has been with me all the way — comforting me, strengthening me, and preparing me to meet Paul. It is good to look back and see how God fulfills His purpose for me.

I begin this Sunday full of joy and gratitude at how good my God has been to me. He was good to me in that valley, and He is good to me today. He is good all the time.

With a joyful heart,

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“It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run…”

cslewisFrom A Year With C.S. Lewis:

If the old fairy-tale ending ‘They lived happily ever after’ is taken to mean ‘They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married,’ then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be ‘in love’ need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense–love as distinct from ‘being in love’–is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be ‘in love’ with someone else. ‘Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.
–from Mere Christianity.