My husband recently wrote a piece entitled "Ten Quotes That Changed My Life." I was intrigued by the thought as I read it, and my mind has been composing my own list ever since, making me realize my life has indeed been impacted and forever altered because of both written and spoken words. Coupled with that realization was a recent walk through a bookstore and the face of a book I spotted with a title along the lines of Chance Encounters That Changed My Life.Read More
I always knew that particular sound. The one that said someone was angry. It might be that someone stepped on his feelings, it might just be that someone stepped on his cookie, but he wasn't happy. It was an angry brother.
And when my boys were young and prone to disagreements, I was hearing that angry cry far too often and became a little desperate in looking for a way to help them move past their differences and celebrate the sheer fact that they were brothers. I often tried lecturing, but I knew they really didn't need to hear a lot of preaching. They knew everything I was trying to tell them already, they just didn't want to do it in the heat of being wronged. I needed something else.
And that's how it was born. A simple tactic, really, but it seemed like it was magic in how effective it was.Read More
I recently read a couple of lines that were written as a side note, but impacted me as if they were the primary message. Tucked away treasures, hidden, yet full of potential to change hearts that take the time to ponder. They were two small sentences from an author named Mark Batterson in his book, All In. "[The life I live] is an answer to the prayers my father-in-law prayed for me. His prayers did not die when he did."
And there it is. Such a profoundly startling truth. And such a deeply moving one.
When I close my eyes and think of the people in my life who I know have prayed for me over my lifetime, and not just said a sentence or two, but repeatedly approached the throne of Heaven on my behalf, I immediately see my grandparents. As a child from a blended family, I have had the honor of having three sets of grandparents to speak into my raising. And all of them prayed.Read More
I received something for Christmas this past year that I've always wanted. In fact, I've spent my whole life searching for it, but could never quite find it. The perfect sweatshirt.
And now I have it, thanks to my husband. It's the perfect weight...light, but still warm. It's the perfect color...the cozy gray that says "go ahead and stay home all day, you deserve it." And it has the perfect sentiment written across it in large, black, block letters. It says, "I LIKE TO PARTY. AND BY PARTY, I MEAN READ BOOKS."
Oh yes. I told you it was perfect for me. It's everything I've ever wanted in a sweatshirt. That's why it's the first thing I put on when I get home from work. Every single day. I have become the sweatshirt person. But, I don't judge myself. It's too perfect to permit judging. I only regret I didn't own it sooner.
But, how did this man know me so well? How did he know just what would make my introverted heart so exquisitely happy? Well, besides the secret Pinterest board entitled "Things I'd Like To Own" that I created just for him, he probably knew because I read. I read a lot. It's the way I learn best, and it's the way I relax the best. So, it makes sense that it's also the avenue that has taught me quite a bit about love...Read More
I recently loaded up my kids and went to visit my grandmother. She gets tired pretty easily, so we don't ever stay a long time, but it was a sweet visit. All the children took turns sharing their latest accomplishments with her, we ate together, and we heard a few more stories from the treasure box of her memories.
And somewhere in there, I slipped away to my Papaw's study to do what I always do when I visit. I plucked one of his notebooks off the shelf and read through it for a moment...Read More
This past month was "Pastor's Appreciation" month. It just might be my family's favorite four weeks out of the year, made fun by the fact that our church appreciates us well. This last Sunday, all six of us sat in the living room floor and read a huge stack of notes and letters that had been given to us by our congregation that morning. They had been handed to us in a huge bucket the church had titled our "love tank." And those letters really did fill our love tanks...Read More
This last Monday, as I was preparing to leave for a few days away, I hurriedly packed a lunch for my son. He still likes a note in a lunchbox (a fact that pleases me to no end), but prefers them to be funny or have some kind of riddle to solve. In other words, no mushy love notes that might cause him to get the wrong kind of lunch-time attention! Our compromise: we have an understanding that if any mushy notes find their way into his lunchbox, they will be buried on the bottom, under the sandwich, and marked "TOP SECRET." That way, he can read it on the sly and no one's the wiser. (I hesitated to write of our secret, but I figure there probably aren't any fifth grade boys reading "Treasure the Ordinary," so I think I'm pretty safe!)
Monday morning called for a mushy note, as I wouldn't see him for three days. And just as I buried the napkin declaring my love for a certain blonde ten year old, his sister saw what I was doing.