marriage and 21 years

Today, my husband and I are celebrating 21 years of marriage and I’m happy to say that our marriage has far exceeded my expectations and hopes. My husband is an absolutely amazing man and I love how God uses our marriage to bless others & also to help me grow.  In the last 21 years, here are just a few things I’ve learned:

  • marriage isn’t a 50/50 bargain – it’s all in, with both feet 🙂
  • conflicts are opportunities to know each other better and to improve our communication
  • respect is an essential requirement a wife must be committed to give – disrespect undermines a healthy marriage
  • learn to complement rather than compete
  • make time for your marriage, particularly when you have children
  • be friends and pray together

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful man, Reece Bowling!!

hot topic: Olympics

I always enjoy watching the Olympics because it’s the culmination of gargantuan effort, committment, focus and training for the best results possible.  As such, it amazes me to see these competitions & it rips my guts out when I see one of the competitors fall, crash, miss a jump or mess up.  I know that they didn’t get to the place where they are in the Olympics without having numerous falls, errors, mistakes & flaws.  In my thinking, what is extremely noble about each of these athletes is that they don’t quit.  Reminds me of Paul in Galatians 6:9 – don’t get weary in doing well for we will reap a harvest in due season.  Let’s be olympic in our endurance! 🙂

turkey update

Happy post Thanksgiving! I hope your day went well, with lots of peace, joy and enjoyable food 🙂  A few days ago, I posted about how I don’t really care for cooking turkey because of the litany of failed attempts my family has endured over many years.  Well, I’m happy to report that yesterday’s turkey was totally tasty!  It wasn’t burned, not too dry, not undercooked nor any of the other ways that I’ve ruined turkeys over many years – yahoo!!!

So here’s some encouragement.  Think of something that you’ve been trying to get good at for a long time, then consider a few things:

  • perhaps the lessons you’ve learned from the failures just helped you to understand better what doesn’t work
  • be thankful that you don’t have to make the same list of mistakes – you can make new ones
  • perhaps you next attempt will be the one that brings you success
  • if you next attempt doesn’t succeed consider that you’re one step further from failure & closer to success 🙂

 

a few memories of my dad

Over the last month or so, I’ve thought of my dad on several occassions.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been traveling alot & I started a lifetime of travel when I was 5 with my mom & dad.  For whatever reason I’ve been thinking of my dad, here are a few quickie lessons I learned from him:

  • don’t ask questions to which you don’t really want to know the answers
  • always celebrate birthdays no matter how old you are because the alternative solution isn’t as appealing
  • don’t put mugs or glasses on antique wood furniture without a coaster – it can leave a permanent ring
  • smile and be warm with people just because
  • the jamocha shake a Arby’s is a nice complement to their roast beef sandwich and potatoe cakes with LOTS of Arby’s sauce ,)
  • even though nursing homes can smell bad, the people inside can be really cool & loving
  • when you make a hospital visit, pray for the person you’re visiting, even if there’s another person in the room (don’t be embarassed)
  • be patient when your dad is talking, even if he talks alot 🙂
  • I still don’t like garage nor estate sales

Happy Dad thoughts today 🙂

Money Matters

I’m taking my kids to their bank today in an effort to continue their education in fiscal responsibility. They each have their savings accounts & we get to discuss the benefits of saving, the importance of tithing & the value of making informed purchases rather than impulse buying. None of this seems like rocket science, but these excursions always help to remind me of these essential lessons in money management. Which brings me to the point that everyday is filled with opportunities to learn, grow, change & improve – all based on our outlook & cooperation.
Dear Sarah, don’t fight the lessons 🙂

A few lessons from my mom

My mom is a really amazing person on many levels & I have massive respect for her. She’s a great mom & has taught me some important things:
*dont quit – my mom is tenacious!
*have more confidence in the Bible than how you feel, what you hear or see
*be gracious
*teamwork can achieve more than individual efforts – the sum is greater than its parts
*use what God gives you always to exalt Jesus 🙂

Turning points

When I was learning to snowboard, one of the super important terms / skills that was essential to master was the concept of linking turns – being able to turn from moving to the right to the left & vice versa – easier said than done. Today, I have no problem linking my turns & it’s close to second nature for me, but not without lots of falling, spills, pain, etc. What I’ve learned from snowboarding is that there can be lots of lessons I can learn from pain. These include:
*get up & keep trying
*transitions require lots of practice to be smooth
*when I get lazy, I tend to fall more
*sometimes I need to give my legs a rest
*remember the lesson but forget the pain 🙂

Trifling with trust

I read this morning in 1 Sam 13 about how Saul got really stressed out & jumped ahead of Samuel & offered a sacrifice without Samuel. In verse 11 Samuel confronts Saul to find out why he acted so brashly. Saul’s reply is really interesting to me. Basically, he says there are 3 reasons why he wrongly did the sacrifice thing: the philistines were closing in, the Israelites were slowly leaving him & Samuel hadn’t shown up. Personally, I think these are all really legit reasons. But the core problem was that Saul made the decision not to trust God & to take matters into his own hands – and this behavior is
extremely familiar to me & maybe to you as well. It didn’t turn out well for Saul, nor does this technique usually work for me either. So the moral of the story is that no matter how many good reasons we may have, our trust in God can never be a negotiating point 🙂

Something important for mistakes

We all make mistakes – some are little & some are massive! Of course there are lots of consequences that we have to work through from our mistakes & we can certainly take away some great lessons. But let’s be careful to leave behind any shame from our mistakes & only take with us the constructive lessons that we learn. This is really important because shame can distort the constructive lessons & turn the mistakes into black holes. So with our mistakes, let’s take the lessons but leave the shame 🙂

help for seasons of silence

There are times in my life when it seems like I can’t hear God well – almost like I’m getting the silent treatment.  In my early 20s, I had several months of silence & it was a profoundly difficult time for me.  As I’ve grown older, I still have some of these silent seasons, but they are not nearly as difficult for me as they were many years ago & here are a few things that have helped me when it seems like God is being quiet:

  • get closer:  when someone speaks quietly or softly, I need to get closer to them so that I can hear them better.  This is also something that has helped me with God – when it seems to me like God is being quiet, I get closer to listen better (get closer:  eliminate competing voices, re-prioritize my time, be more wholly present & less distracted)
  • stop talking:  I had a friend once tell me that they had decided to stop talking around me because I didn’t listen – a noteworthy lesson
  • test:  whenever a teacher gives a test, they usually try to make a quiet environment to help their students to focus & do their best.  Sometimes God tests us & this for various reasons (to reveal the things & people in which we trust more than God, to expose the reality of our need for God, to teach us some new ways to be with God)