In Season: Peace

Two years ago and five days before Lent, I stared at my Facebook feed and wondered, "What should I fast from this Lent?" All of my friends were posting their chosen fasts: Starbucks, media, food, and even Facebook itself. I tried each suggestion on and nothing fit.

I wanted a deeper, more transformative practice for the forty days of Lent, that led me closer to Jesus and breathed life into the dry places of my soul.

Even though in my non-denominational tradition, fasting is an optional practice, it's one I wanted to explore. I love the idea of letting myself be pruned so that good fruit may come, and denying myself some creature comfort felt like the proper pruning for me. Until I read the words of Margaret Feinberg in a blog post about fasting when she proposed:

But as I suggest in Wonderstruck, maybe the question we need to ask as we enter Lent isn’t, “What are you giving up for Lent?” as much as “What do you want to lay hold of during Lent?”

I felt that the continuous leading of the Lord towards the teaching of peace. So, I decided to spend my Lent laying hold of peace.

You know how you've been friends with someone a long time and you think you know everything about them and then one night over dinner you hear them tell someone else something about themselves that you never knew. Have you turned towards them the big eyes and exclaimed, "What? I can't believe I didn't know that about you?" Did you feel a renewed sense of wonder and awe for this person who you've loved for so long?

That's exactly how I felt when I realized that the peace Jesus gives us was so much more than what I thought.


Blessings this Week: 06.26.2015

Ah, summer. When the title picture for every blog post is a flower. You're welcome. ;) 

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A little mourning dove on my porch rail

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Fresh strawberries

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The people who have my back

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In Season: Joy

I remember so vividly walking down that long pathway covered in burlap. I remember feeling the presence of the Lord all around me as friends and family sang “Oh, How He Loves Us.” 

I remember the look on Husband’s face as he prepared to make me his own. I remember overwhelmed with joy. So much joy that I thought my hear would burst open. 

That’s the easy part right? Feeling joy when everything in life seems to be going your way. When the evidence of all your prayers heard and His faithfulness counted is right before your eyes. 

But what about when you wreck your car, need surgery, have your pipes freeze and bust, lose your precious grandfather, can’t seem to conceive the child you've been so deeply longing for? What then? Because that’s what our first year of marriage looked like. 

The joy is all around me in pregnancy announcements, gender reveals, baby showers, and happy birthdays. It seems I can’t escape it. But how do I have joy in this season? This season that leaves me hoping and praying and trying and crying in a cycle that never seems to end?


Praying Over Your Marriage

This post contains affiliate links. ***

Can I tell you a little secret?

One that not even my husband knows?

Here it goes: For a year, I prayed for my husband every night. 

He thought I was just scratching his back as he fell asleep, but in truth, I was praying, too. Our first year of marriage was covered in prayer.

And then?

Well, things got busy. I started working full time, sometimes longer hours than he was working. I was tired and often overwhelmed, and my prayers for my husband became fewer and further apart.

I think we've all been there.

We start with the best of intentions, the purest of motives, but life gets in the way.

Here's the thing.

I believe in the power of prayer. I think prayer is so important. It's a priority to me. And I want to cover my husband, my marriage, in prayer.

But how to start again?

That's where this book comes in.

Darlene Schlacht writes over at Time-Warp Wife- and I've really enjoyed following her blog for a couple of years now. She's also written several great books, including "The Virtuous Life of a Christ-Centered Wife" (great, by the way).

Her mission is to help couples keep Christ in the center of their marriage- which is a prayer that Trevor and I have had for our marriage before it even began.

100 Prayers for Your Marriage isn't a book just for wives- it's for you as a couple to spend time praying together for your marriage. It's perfect for quiet time together, and is a really great resource to help you pray for your husband and your marriage if you're out of the habit (like I am!), or even if you just need a little more direction in your prayer time.

Let's be couples who pray for one another, pray for our marriages, and strive every day to love like God loves.

Do you pray with your husband or for your husband? How do you make prayer a priority?

**Affiliate links what? An affiliate link (mine are through Amazon) is a link that directs you to an Amazon webpage. If you make a purchase after clicking on a link, whether it's a purchase of a product that I recommended or something else you find on Amazon while you're looking around, I will receive a small commission of your purchase, at absolutely no additional cost to you. **


Blessings this Week: 06.19.2015

Little furry friends to protect from 80 middle school feet-- this little fella was found by a group of concerned middle school gals, and then his brother was found hiding by staff housing.

(I hung out with them until the afternoon, and let them loose in the woods after the campers left.) 


A Little More Love...

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This week, we've been talking about love.

About how Love, produced in our lives, comes from the Author of Life, who is love.

Such a huge topic.


In Season: Love

Love has always been the one thing that has remained constant in my life.

I've struggled with self-control (chunky thighs and flabby arms, compliments of an overdose of brownies).

I've struggled with faithfulness, occasionally questioning both my role and God’s role on Earth.

Patience has always been out of the question as well, as I have the attention span of a caffeinated squirrel.

I valued love more than any other Fruit of the Spirit (although I am in no way saying that the other ones are not as important).


Blessings this Week: 06.12.2015

Because counting the blessings leads to contentment, and being thankful makes every day a miracle.

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Our week began with visiting with some friends and their little ones- hanging out at their camper and showing them our new house! 


Love Your Body

I was the smallest kid in my class. Always.

Even still, I'm the smallest adult in most venues- it's part of being a whopping 5'0" tall.

It never really bothered me- and it still doesn't.

In fact, being tiny kind of became who I am. My identity. 


In Season: Finding the Fruit

I’m in a season right now. A season when fruit seems hard to come by. I often feel unproductive- like my spiritual legacy is stunted somehow by my physical infertility. It’s barren time- or it certainly seems that way.

I think many of us have been there. Whether we've walked a road of infertility (like mine), or suffered losses and grief, stagnation, difficult marriages, unfulfilled dreams- it’s easy to feel like our lives offer little fruit.

apple core


Much Bigger Plans

A few months back, I wrote a bit about how the camp where we work and live was in need of additional staff housing. I wrote about how I felt strongly called that we were supposed to be part of the solution.

There were some ideas- to move off site, to move to camp's other site.... but all of those ideas fell through, and we made a much smaller move- from living in our two-story house to just the top story.

Snug as two little lovebugs in our home called Upper Shalom, we kind of thought that we'd fulfilled that calling I felt so strongly. We'd been obedient. We thought we were done.

But, just like with most things in our lives, God had much bigger plans.

Like, 21 acres bigger.

More details to come... but for now, just join me in jumping up and down!


You Know You Live at a Bible Camp When....

You Know You Live at a Bible Camp When... - It's a wonderful crazy loud life, but someone's got to do it. And I'm glad to be that someone. | http://bit.ly/1BjGFNU

Most of your co-workers are also your neighbors. And you watch their kids sometimes. And you're all friends. Which makes it tricky to describe them.