I am in Love with Another Man and My Husband Knows It. 

I am in love with another man and my husband knows it. Not only does he know it, it is the best thing for our relationship. It is the best thing for my daughter. It is the best thing for my soul. 

I am in love with an outlaw. His name is hated, he is shut out, abandoned, left to himself. Governments set out to hide him, to lock him away, to keep his influence from taking over their people. 

He is dangerous but he is to be trusted. He roams, but he is safety. Outlawed, but can not be hidden. Despised and rejected, but gives his all. He can not be understood, but he is the answer. 

I am in love with another man, I can’t keep my mind off of him. When my heart aches, when all this world has to offer is not enough, he is my soul’s satisfaction. 

If I did not have Jesus, my marriage would have fallen apart long ago. If I was not totally enthralled with my Lord, then I would have nothing of benefit to teach my daughter. If my God was not all consuming, then there is no need for me here in this earth. 

Oh Jesus, I am wholly, completely in love with you!

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Sittin’ in a Tree

Love, sweet love, how I love you!  Two days ago I celebrated being married to my best friend and love of my life for the last thirteen years. No, I’m not going to write all the mushy details. But they were good and mushy. (Insert silly grin and wink here.)

But also, fastly approaching, are two weddings of family members, one of which is my brother. I got a kind email from a friend of the bride asking if we could put together a book of advice from married women. Here is what I had to say:

A godly bride, who can find her? I am fortunate to be the sister of the man that God has been preparing for you since he was a little boy. 

Tall Ben and beautiful Megan squeezed into the love seat in the corner of my living room, “What things do we need to know about marriage that we are not expecting?” Wise Ben shocked me with his question. 
After thirteen years of marriage, I have learned a few things and I still have a few things to learn. Marriage is fun to explore new adventures with my best friend, it is comforting to always have someone to cry to, it is supporting to have someone cheering for me, it is inspiring to start a new family, it is humbling to worship and grow together over the years….it is AMAZING!  

However, that is not all. Marriage is work. And sometimes it is plain HARD! Only in a Christian relationship, can two sinners know each other inside and out, know their weaknesses and struggles and still choose to love when it is of no benefit to themselves. And THAT IS LOVE!  

The “better” is great! But the “worse” is included in our marriage. 

“Richer” is fun but the stressful “poorer” days will bind you together. 

“Health” is a daily goal, but it has been my days in “sickness” that I have seen how much James loves me!

Until death do you part, you are one with Ben until you figure out this life and the plans that God has for you as a new family. 

Love. That is the best advice that I have. When you get into the biggest fight that you have had and you think perhaps you have made one huge mistake, when Ben drives you absolutely insane for the millionth time (in one day), and when HE fails miserably, LOVE HIM! Because we are loved by the perfect one! Forgive because we have been forgiven more, submit to each other because it is the Biblical command of marriage, serve, give, work, and live this life together. But above all, LOVE! The greatest of these is LOVE!

A Psalm 31 woman is not any of these qualities on her own. SHE IS SOMEONE THAT INTIMATELY KNOWS JESUS. she works hard to serve her family. “She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard.” She knows what her family needs and she does it. She seeks out wisdom and she acts on it. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And she acts on that wisdom. Love does. We are saved by faith, not works. But faith without works is dead. She is a woman of faith with works to serve her family and her community. She is an inspiration to us all. 

Love, LOVE EXTRAVAGANTLY! That is my prayer, I will be praying that your marriage will be full of love. What could be better?!

Invitation to START OVER

Ever wish you had been born into a family of privilidge?  Wish you had more connections?  Is there a huge mistake you wish you hadn’t made?  The kind no one else can understand.  Do you regret your career choice?  Or the very personality that you live with every single day?

Only here. This is the only place you are offered a second chance. An offer to be born again. To chose a father that is a king, that decorates his streets with gold. He has the connections to chose the weather, to set the stars in motion, and to do….ANYTHING!  He knows everything you wish you knew, gives the best advice to be offered, has all the answers, offers protection and peace beyond comprehension. 

Do you feel too weak for change?  He is all powerful.  Are you much too poor?  Oh, he has that covered. Scared?  Yeah. It is scary. It is a give all, hold nothing back kind of choice. 

But give it. Surrender. Start over. Raise your white flag. Be born again. And receive it all. 

The Real Writer in the Family

  
Yesterday, was my birthday. My 8 year old quarantined me to my bedroom while she hung homemade banners and made me a cup of coffee. She knows my heart well!  While drinking my birthday coffee, she handed me an envelope. 

I will keep it’s contents forever. Such wisdom and love in an 8 year old. She gets it!  Her relationship with Jesus is real and intimate!  

Get ready world, here she comes!

Celebrate!  I am getting OLD!

Happy birthday to me! I am 34 years old!  I am so thankful to be growing old with my family because the alternative is that I would not be, the other option is that I would not be having this birthday. 

Ya see, every year I count up from the age of 25.  I have lived 9 years longer than I was supposed to. I have lived to hear:  “You should live a normal life span.”  I have lived to “this is not life threatening.”  I BEAT CANCER!  I am a 19 year survivor of a Great War with a mighty opponent. 

Nine years longer than I was supposed to. What is 9 years?  I have an 8 year old daughter. An eight year old daughter that is going to impact the world with her love of animals, her joy of being surrounded with diverse people, her brain that never forgets anything that has left her with a wealth of knowledge that grows and grows, her sweet relationship with her Lord and Savior that is mature beyond her years, wisdom because she chooses right, beauty that attracts others to her, skills of hard work and determination, and enough love to circle this globe. 

I know. I know why I am alive today. Because my Jesus loves me beyond what I have ever loved myself and he gave me a gift that I did not deserve. He made me the mother of a miracle girl and let me watch his beautiful plan unfold. And why do I have to suffer so much?  Without a doubt, one of the reasons is so that I will appreciate so much!  If a doctor never told me that I would not live past 25, then I would never have been in amazing wonder at the irony of growing brand new life inside my body at the age of 25!  Not only, did I not meet death, I met new life, new precious life that would change me forever!

Happy birthday!  I have a life to celebrate!  A beautiful life that is more wonderful than I ever planned!  And my birthday gift?  PEACE!  Whatever this life holds, I can trust the one in control. He has never let me down and he never will. And this world is just a preview of the real thing. The breath taking sunset over Hawaii, the inspiring blue whale surfacing, family love, delicious fruit, my happiest day, it doesn’t begin to compare to the heaven I will live in for eternity!  Eternity!  I AM GOING TO LIVE FOREVER!

Great News!  I have a sore muscle!

A sore and swollen lymph node, shown by an ultra sound, under my arm means that I will have to have surgery to remove it and it is the possibility that it is a symptom of Breast Cancer. 

Being a 19 year survivor of Cancer, having been through the diagnosis and surgery routine six times in my life, I began to prepare myself for the worst. 

Yesterday, we made a road trip to Duke to begin the testing and make plans. I was sure this couldn’t end well. 

As I sat in the waiting room, my husband shared this verse with me:

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. 

If I spend the rest of my life in the hospital, he will be with me. 

If I am rich and famous, he will be with me. 

If I sin, if I cry out in misery, if I am afraid, he will be with me. Forever. 

If I got good news or bad news, he is with me. 

During the ultrasound, the doctor giggled a little and told me, “There is nothing wrong with your arm. Sometimes this particular muscle is mistaken for an infected lymph node. I’ve done this for 25 years. You simply have a sore muscle.”

Thank you Jesus!  The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord. I will also praise him in the hard times, but I am pleased that at this moment to be praising him in a very great time!

Get Impatient

We, as christians, as humans, should be extremely irritated with this world!  Even things that are not sin, are messed up. It has all been impacted by the curse. 

I can not stroke a lion’s man because that got messed up for me. My apple tree has no apples and has some fungal speckles all over the leaves. Picnics can get all together ruined by mosquitoes. 

And then it gets even more personal than my backyard. Cancer. No one sinned that I should have Cancer, but I live in a fallen world. A world that is not how it should be. And sometimes it is just quite irritating. And irritated, impatient, upset, even angry is as I should be. 

I used to struggle with the story about Jesus cursing the fig tree. Why couldn’t he be more patient?  Hmmm…let’s just skip over that story. 

And then I realize, Jesus never sinned. He always did what he was supposed to do. And we are supposed to be like him. He was supposed to be irritated. That fig tree was not as it should be. He made fig trees with figs and sin messed that up. 

Sin should make us impatient for heaven. We should hunger and thirst and be able to concentrate on nothing apart from Jesus. We should be angry at the bitter cold, we should cry out at the sight of death, we should hurl curses at the devil when we see his work on this earth. Because this is not the way it is supposed to be. 

And one day it won’t be. And there will be no more anger. And no more need to be patient because fig trees will have figs in heaven.