From clutter to clarity

I wrote about clutter and how to identify (and avoid) it. Oft lately, my mind and heart ponder a different type of clutter. The clutter of busyness.  The clutter of doing.  The clutter that accumulates when you are not weeding out the good to make room for God's best. Isn't it funny how we can be the worst at taking the advice we so freely give? When life is hectic and the soul is parched, Living Water is the only thirst quencher. Today I am thankful for the clarity and comfort that comes from spending time in the Word and with the Author. and the counting of gifts continues... {excerpts from my Joy Dare/gratitude journal} ~ an impromptu dinner with just my youngest ~  transitioning Sweet Pea to the sippy cup ~  dark denim boot cut jeans {that fit} ~  first words in a new … [Read more...]

Quality Time

The hubby and I are back from celebrating my birthday weekend in one of my favorite cities, Baltimore. I am a Maryland girl and few things make me happier than the Chesapeake Bay We spent an afternoon at the Baltimore Museum of Art {one of the top ten museums in the country!}. I could go there a million times and not be bored.  Then we had a fabulous dinner {broiled scallops with crab imperial} at Phillip's {a well known seafood restaurant in Maryland}. The restaurant has relocated to the old power plant and the ambiance is neat.  Tin ceiling tiles and the like. Then we perused the bookstore {another of my favorite things to do}.  I bought the latest Jodi Picoult novel with my gift card. We got dessert to go here Need I say more? Then joined my grandparents for a birthday brunch at … [Read more...]

Marriage as a testimony

{an edited post from the archives as I spend Christmas break with my family} "I am going to take the boys and pick up Sweet Pea.  See you when you get home.  Drive careful". His lips brushed my forehead and he headed out of the lodge with our three sons in tow.  All four of them had rosy cheeks from the windy night of snow tubing we had just enjoyed. I had a van full of teen moms to chauffeur home so I waved at my hubby and smiled at my boys as they piled into our car. "How long have you been married?" she asked. "You make it look so easy." The first part of the comment was not hard to answer.  I've been married since I was eighteen. But, easy? Hardly. I prayed a silent prayer before I answered her question and addressed the questioning in her eyes. "Well, we have been  married … [Read more...]

Focus on the Good

I have friends going through difficult times.  Some friends are single and healing from past hurts.  Some are dealing with the aftermath of divorce.  Some are struggling to stay married. I pray for marriage everyday.  My marriage, my children's future spouses, my friends marriages and marriage in general.  God designed this special union to illustrate the way Christ feels about the Church.  What could be more special than that? While I pray for marriage everyday, I am not good at being married everyday. Sometimes, when you have been married as long as we have {will be 15 years in July}, you tend to get irritated by the little things that you thought were adorable when you first met. For instance, I can not stand the way my husband chews.  Simply can NOT take it.  And, I don't like food … [Read more...]

God’s Country

Tucked in the foothills of Tennessee is a little inn. The rooms are cozy The view breathtaking It is the perfect place for relaxation, rejuvenation and reconnecting with the hubby. A weekend away in Gatlinburg, TN is exactly what this mama needed! And the counting of gifts continues {321-330}: ~ A God that created the Smoky Mountains ~ coffee on the balcony, overlooking the mountains with my hubby ~ watching dear friends exchange their wedding vows ~ jacuzzi bubble baths ~ a weekend without kids ~ reading the Word together, the three stranded chord that holds our marriage together ~ Sweet Pea's gibberish on the phone ~ the best grits {garlic parmesan} this girl has ever tasted ~ cute gray flats ~ no laptop for the weekend What are you thankful for? … [Read more...]

Miscellaneous Melissa

Remember when I said I wouldn't fall behind on posting for Toni's 30 day challenge? Ahem...yeah. So, anyway here I am playing catch up again {days 15-22}.  Bear with me, mmmk? Day 15: Show your dream home If this question had been posed three years ago, my dream would have materialized quite differently.  However, since reading Radical and going on a journey with God {as a family} our view of our future and our desires for that future have changed.  No longer do I want to move to the mountains to a log cabin with my hubby.  I don't need granite counter tops or hardwood floors {although I'm not opposed to either}. In fact, we made the decision to downsize in December 2009 to a house half the size with a lot an eighth of the size and have not regretted it {except for the days I long … [Read more...]

Yes! This!

"Let me tell you something, Church. The term marriage has been tainted, scarred, and made a mockery of by the adulteress who willingly accepts a man from a troubled marriage. Marriage has been burnt alive by porn addiction and selfish husbands. Marriage has been destroyed by unforgiving wives and a blatant unwillingness by both parties to lay down their lives. Marriage has not been ruined by the gay community. And if we truly, not self righteously but truly, want to return marriage to its original sanctity, the fight, the cleansing and purifying, has to begin within the church." Please go read this post in it's entirety at Kingdom Twindom.  Thank you for your willingness to say the hard things, Sarah! And, another post that has me nodding in agreement is "An Apology to Democrats and … [Read more...]

Where does time go?

Today is August 1st.  Am I the only one wondering how in the world that is possible? August brings back to school preparation, an eBook launch, Jason going to MEPS for the National Guard, Miss S and Sweet Pea {and almost 30 other teen mama's + babies} going to YoungLives camp without me and another month of physical therapy on my knee. August also brings time to visit with my grandparents, a marriage conference at our church and the tethered desire to break out the autumn decorations {Mike likes me to wait until after Labor Day}. Today, I look back on our summer with gratitude. The two weeks we spent as a family in Florida.. Sweet Pea learning to crawl... Celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary... Precious time with nephews... nephew #2... also thankful for: ~ the kind … [Read more...]

Growing in your marriage

  She needed to be a brunette.  The bride-on-the-wedding-cake-topper-thingy, that is. Fourteen years ago, finding a brunette {because I am not blonde} cake-topper bride was a huge priority in my life.  On the eve of making the biggest commitment of my life. Thankfully, my grandparents rose to the challenge and scoured stores in the four-state area to find me a brunette bride and a dark haired groom cake-topper and all was right with my wedding. I look back now and chuckle to myself.  I thought it was all about the wedding.  The perfect day I had dreamed about since I was a little girl.  Finding my Prince Charming.  The white dress, the heart shaped tiers of the cake, the bouquet...it was all important to me.  Now, I have come to realize that the important things in … [Read more...]

The Dating Game

God designed the relationship between a man and a woman to be a life long commitment.  In our home, we do not believe that the culture of serial dating reflects God’s plan for marriage and sex. You can read the rest of my thoughts on this subject at the M.O.B Society today.     … [Read more...]

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