Tag Archives: Love

Have a Heart

This book is very near and dear to me. Please enjoy the read. 🙂

Chapter 1  

I sure do love waking up to this man. Look at that skin. That body. He is so much more than I asked for, and I was quite specific in my prayers. But seriously, it is six in the morning! I’m not ready to get up yet.  

“Babe, can’t you just lay down for five more minutes.” And by him laying down, I really mean can I sleep peaceably for another 30 minutes.  

“No, I’ve got to get going, and you need to be right behind me. Plus, you know good and well that five minutes will turn into 30 easily,” he says as he sits up to get out of bed.  

He knows me so well. But since we are kindred spirits I’ve got him pegged too. I look deep into his eyes and pout just enough to seem spoiled, but remind him that my being spoiled is all his fault. He slides back into bed.  

“Ten minutes, then I have to get up,” he whispers from behind me.  

“Great. Fifteen minutes it is.”   

I’m sure he can hear the smile in my voice. As I doze off I hear him quoting Proverbs 31. 

“Her husband praises her: There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all.”  

I sure hope I do…  

*** 

7:00 am came faster than ever. By the time I’m half awake, he’s dressed and ready to go. I wonder if all men can do that or if that’s just his thing. If he decides to be up and ready by 7:00 am, then he will be. It’s so simple, but I love his decisiveness. Plenty of men can be decisive, but not like my husband. I like to believe that everything about him that fascinates me is something that only he can be capable of. I am completely enamored by this man. I love him. Plain and simple. I love my husband. 

“What,” I ask as he interrupts my thoughts. 

“Did you enjoy your extra 30 minutes of sleep?” 

“Thirty? It felt like five,” I say with a yawn. 

“Well, regardless it’s time for you to get up. I put some coffee on for you too. I’m running behind so I’ve got to get going.” 

I don’t understand why he looks so panicked. He’s never late. Ever. As I watch him rush around, I sit up in bed and interrupt his flow by reaching out to him. 

It’s no lie that it feels like time stands still when he reaches back. I can’t explain the wave of emotion I feel when he stops everything he is doing to grab my hands and kiss me. And when he pulls away looking into my eyes and says he loves me, I feel full. I need nothing more than that to convince me of his love. 

With that, I repeat the words, I love you, and steal another kiss before he gathers himself to leave the bedroom. And when he leaves and I hear the door closing, I lean back onto my bed and smile. I’m glad I left that little note in his car, and I promise I can feel his smile right now. 

I love you so much. Have a great day today and I hope to see you soon. Thank you for loving me. I love the God in you. And I love that you have put Him in our marriage. 

Something in me felt like sneaking him a note for work today when we were riding home from dinner last night. I didn’t want the night to end, so I hoped I could carry it over into today. As I hear the door again, I see it was very much worth it. 

He enters the room, laughs and says, “I knew you weren’t up!” Then he grabs me by the hands and kisses me.  

Yep, the note was very well worth it, I think to myself. 

As we part he says, “I love you and I have to go for real this time.” And like a kid, I get up and watch him leave. 

I laugh to myself on my way to the bathroom thinking about how much work it took for us to get to this point. Marriage is one of my better ideas, but definitely isn’t my easiest one. 

No matter how much people tell you, you’ll never know until you’re in the middle of it. It’s two people who have grown to be the person that they had been developing into for some 20-30 years now saying, “OK, let’s learn how to live with another person all over again.” 

Marriage is very different from living with family, it’s two people who have learned what they don’t want to compromise about themselves, having to compromise. God truly has to bless a marriage to make it work. This one would definitely be doomed without Him. That’s for sure. 

*** 

Looking in the bathroom mirror he groans as he pops his morning pills. 

“Who could rest with all these chest pains? Then I have to wake up to a counter of medicine after it all. The life I’ve always dreamed of…” 

I can hear my dad now “medicine is for wimps.” After all my trying to appease him, I guess I’m still a wimp. I even chose a “manly” profession because it seemed so unwimpy. Construction. Hard hats. Nothing wimpy about that. 

Yet, here I am. Staring at a counter of wimpy prescription pills for an inherited heart disease. What are the odds? 

I officially have hit bottom I think. A profession that I can’t even do because of a bad heart. My doctor has basically forbidden me from any work until a donor comes up. I’ve not given much thought to that. I’ll probably be good and dead by the time I get a donor. 

Life with someone else’s heart… I guess the truth is that I couldn’t imagine it, much less anticipate it. Won’t happen anyway. I’ve been waiting over a year, and I know someone has been waiting even longer than me somewhere.

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DAUGHTERS

So, this is an accountability factor, because this week I’m publishing excerpts for upcoming books I’ve been working on. These are very near and dear.

The first one is D.A.U.G.H.T.E.R.S.

 

                                                              Introduction

      What does it mean to be a daughter? That was the question. And although I had come up with this acronym that was great, that was inspiring and encouraging, I’d never really asked myself what it meant to be a daughter.

      What did it mean? What did it mean to not just be any daughter, but to be the daughter of a King?

      That’s when I realized that maybe I didn’t fully know. That maybe I hadn’t sat down and thought about what it really meant to belong. Because isn’t that part of being a daughter? Having a sense of belonging to someone, to some family? Yet, here I was claiming to belong to a family without a full understanding of my role as a daughter in it.

      We live in a world where the impression of a father figure stirs up pain instead of persistence. Where the lack of a present father has left women damaged instead of dynamic, as they search for that sense of belonging throughout life. Unfortunately, understanding that we have a loving Heavenly Father has lost its appeal due to the lack of zeal in our earthly ones.

      Not only that, but we live in a world where mothers find it hard to encourage their daughters and prepare them for the struggles ahead. Due to the growing demands of life, we force ourselves to grow into women as soon as possible and shed the skin of girlhood.

      Therefore, as endearing as the term daughter was meant to be, it is instead replaced with the idea of childlikeness instead of maturity. And for many of us that’s a problem.

      However old you are, you are a daughter. God is King and a loving, Heavenly Father. And as His daughter, you are a princess. And if the term daughter casts images of a child in your head, it’s OK, because God loves children. And God loves you.

      You matter. And it is my hope that by the end of this book you will be able to come to grips with just how much you matter. Although, there is still so much to share and learn on the journey to self-discovery for your identity as a daughter, we will focus on the acronym, D.A.U.G.H.T.E.R.S.

      Daughters are dynamic, authentic, unique, gracious, hopeful, triumphant, empowered, resilient, and successful. While these descriptions are personality types, they also represent who or what we can be in situations or circumstances. Each word chosen represents a powerful personality trait, not to be taken lightly. With each trait described, we will look at a woman from the Bible who I believe displayed this type of character.

      I can put words on the pages, but it will ultimately be up to you to discover what being a daughter means in your life at this particular time. As a daughter, you have power. As a daughter, you belong to an Almighty King. And as His daughter, you have the right to display that power for your Father’s glory.

      So, what does it mean to be a daughter? Let’s find out.

 

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True Love

There is this belief that true love will lead you to a person just like you. True love will lead you to the person you never argue with or disagree with. Somehow, somewhere, this is the myth of true love floating around. I don’t know who started it, but it’s floating.

Brandon and I really aren’t that much alike. When we dated, it seemed like we were. We had little differences here and there, but for the most part, we focused on what we did have in common of course. Once we passed the “getting to know you on your best behavior phase”, we realized that we’re pretty different.

We argue. We disagree. Different people do that. We love each other, but we don’t always see eye to eye. True love does not mean automatic peace. It doesn’t mean freedom from trying because it just works out. It means you love each other.

I’m not trying to discourage anyone. But I want people to understand, you don’t know someone until you marry them. And if you married for the right reason (God’s plan for your lives), you will work to make your marriage work. But by no means will you marry someone you will never disagree with.

I think it’s Rick Warren or Tony Evans that says, if you marry someone just like you, one of you isn’t needed. It’s OK to be different. So make sure you’re needed.

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Marriage Communication

If there is one thing under attack in a marriage, it’s communication. Most men and women just don’t know how to communicate. Well, most people don’t know how to communicate.

I’ve noticed that as I said prayers from The Power of a Praying Wife, that area that I was specifically praying about would be under attack. One particular week I was praying for “His Talk.”

That very night, Brandon and I got into a disagreement and he was so frustrated because he was trying to express himself, but just couldn’t. Several times he said I just can’t explain it. And here is where it gets sad.

He couldn’t express himself so I thought I had won. Because he couldn’t verbalize his emotions or create a “comeback” I actually thought I had won whatever it was. And as soon as I felt like a winner, I realized I was the biggest loser.

Our communication was under attack and I didn’t prepare. And thinking either of us is a winner when we argue is proof that we lost. I learned a valuable lesson that day. The moment I see a winner in our marriage that doesn’t have both of us in the winner’s circle is the moment we lose.

And the moment Brandon can’t express himself and doesn’t have a wife that responds with patience and love, I lose. When communication breaks down, couples tend to break down. Clearly, that’s a losing situation. Protect your communication and you’ll have a better chance of protecting your marriage.

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Keep Kindness Great

Giving is living. Too cliché? Well, that’s the thing about clichés, often times they’re true.

Giving is living. I feel significantly better when I give. I can’t explain it. I think it’s just how God has wired us or me. I believe that He has strategically wired us to feel joy or love when we give.

Why do I love Christmas? It’s the season of giving. I love receiving gifts, please don’t get me wrong. Receiving gifts is one of my love languages. But as I’ve grown a little older and a little wiser, and a little more mature, I’ve realized that receiving pales in comparison to giving. The joy and shock I see on someone’s face when I surprise them with a gift is indescribable.

When I give food or a gift card to a homeless person, I can’t explain the peace I feel. I hate that there’s not maybe more I can do for them, but the fact that I am able to give something does something to my psyche. Giving is interesting, because the more I give, the more I want to keep on giving.

Thank you for the ability to give God. It’s a wonderful reminder of the love and kindness You showed to me. Can we focus not on making all this other stuff great again, but on keeping kindness great?

Proverbs 22:9 Blessed are those who are generous,
    because they feed the poor.

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Homeless Angel

 

What if the homeless person on the street is an angel in disguise? I ask myself every time I see someone with a sign saying their homeless.

There was one particular man I saw one afternoon that really stood out to me. His sign said, homeless, but God is good. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t even believe he could stand on a corner and bring himself to write that on a sign in the midst of his circumstances.

It touched me. That day I vowed to treat every homeless person as if they may be an angel. What if the person on the corner is an angel in disguise sent to find generosity on the Earth? We buy gift cards to give away. I’ve even heard people say they won’t buy gift cards to give, because they assume the person will trade it in for drugs.

A few things to point out on that. Drug dealers prefer money. And what if the person you were supposed to give to was the person that was going to be a blessing? I’d rather risk $10 in gift cards to Chick Fil A than to have God say to me in Heaven why didn’t you bless me when I was on the corner?

And you know what, that man had it more right that day than I did. God is good. Whether I have a roof over my head or not. He is good. And it took a homeless man to remind me of that.

Matthew 25:37-40  “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing?  When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

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The Gift of Forgiveness

I’m thankful for forgiveness. It’s an amazing gift. Usually, undeserved, but an ever present reminder of the Love of God. Here’s an idea I had from the story of Joseph:

People with impure motives will always question your pure motives. It seems to me that Joseph’s brothers thought he was going to turn on them once their father died. Their hearts might have changed after the years they were apart, but they still might not have understood the purity of another’s motives. Maybe the idea of forgiveness was still foreign to them.  

Their motives in the past were impure and I think they might have assumed Joseph’s might be as well. This is strictly assumption on my part, because this is not stating in scripture that they didn’t trust Joseph. But it’s quite interesting to me that they had a fear of what might happen to them once their father passed. 

When others have done wrong, it’s hard for them to believe that someone else would be willing to do right by them still. It’s surprising that people can forgive such wrongdoing. But, whether they choose to believe it or not, through Jesus Christ, forgiveness is very possible.  

Today, be that surprise to someone. Shock those who have wronged you by having pure motives and loving them and forgiving them, just as Christ forgave you. In the end, you’ll be better and hopefully so will they. 

Genesis 50:14-21

After burying Jacob, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had accompanied him to his father’s burial. But now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became fearful. “Now Joseph will show his anger and pay us back for all the wrong we did to him,” they said.

So they sent this message to Joseph: “Before your father died, he instructed us to say to you: ‘Please forgive your brothers for the great wrong they did to you—for their sin in treating you so cruelly.’ So we, the servants of the God of your father, beg you to forgive our sin.” When Joseph received the message, he broke down and wept. Then his brothers came and threw themselves down before Joseph. “Look, we are your slaves!” they said.

But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them.

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