Saturday, August 30, 2014

Good-bye, See ya, Later...Alligator

Saying good-byes are hard. Especially for those of us who hate to cry yet it is something we can't control. And, if you are an ugly crier like me...well, I feel for ya. I really do.

Tomorrow morning we'll say "see ya" to Dancer Daughter. Yes, she has flown the coop before but this time it is farther away and longer time spans between hugs. As I've been telling friends when they ask, "I'm sad for me but happy for her." I really am excited for her. Really. Not just mere words.

This Dancer of mine is in step with God. Their dances are beautiful. He leads in His magnificent ways as she follows Him step by step. Has it been easy to discern His steps for her in life? No. Not at all. There are questions but faith is never lost. As a My Utmost For His Highest devotion said,
To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. should be an expression of breathless expectation... As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises. Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in - but you can be certain that he will come. 
When our children are babies we just can't imagine a day when they'll be independent and on their own...away from us. The day does come, sooner than our disbelief. But, God prepares us...He doesn't take the emotion away from it (which is a good thing).

He has prepared her. She is so ready for tomorrow to start a new chapter in her life. A chapter He is writing for her. I can't wait to read it!

Love you, my Dancer-girl. I will miss you...terribly. But, I am so proud of you and happy for you. Now, be careful. Watch out for idiots and don't be one (my famous line when they are walking out the door and getting in a car). Text me! Call me! Skype me! And, have fun. Encourage the young people you'll encounter in their walk. And, be you...the you God made you. Let others "in" to see the beautiful, funny you. God puts people in your path for short times, for longer periods of times, and sometimes forever. Be in the moment and enjoy every moment with those who God puts in front of you. And, "no matter where you are I will keep you in my heart..." (video below)

Friday, August 29, 2014

A Bride In Store

Eliza Cantrell is not the most patient person on the planet earth. Raise your hand if you can relate. She's a feisty thing. So much so, it gets her in trouble. Raise your hand if you've ever done anything foolish. You had no idea there would be group participation when you innocently began to read this post, did you?! ;) She knows what she wants and will jump in without checking to see if the water is clear. Sound familiar anyone? Eliza is laser focused on her dreams...and a little too much on herself.

Eliza arrives in a western town as a mail-order bride. Except her groom is missing. In steps William (Will) Stanton - only to help, of course.

Will. Oh, the good wanna-be-doctor-but-have-no-funds-for-college-Will. He is a good man. But, Eliza seems to think others take advantage of him. Wave your hand wildly if you've ever had to remember to set boundaries. Will is so kindhearted and seems to have a knack at putting others above himself even if it leads to his unhappiness.

Troubles come along. Doesn't that sound familiar in our own lives. One thing after another after another. Their faith, at times, is shaky at best. Will their faith stand these testing times? Relying fully on God looks good on paper but when lives are full of turmoil, will they rely on Him?

Author Melissa Jagears is a terrific author. A Bride in Store is her third book. Her writing will make you feel as if you're there in the dusty Kansas town in the 1880s. I recommend her books to anyone who wants to read Christian Fiction. She has a way of pointing the readers to Christ without hammering the reader over the head.

I received this book from the author. In no way was I forced or asked to write a review. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Dear Beautiful Bride

Dear Beautiful Bride,

Today is the day. Can you believe it? I would imagine from a little girl through adulthood you've dreamt of a wedding day with your “Prince Charming”.

Memories of this day will always come rushing at you like a flood with the slightest mention of a wedding…any wedding. You’ll remember not knowing your cheeks could hurt so much after smiling for thousands of pictures. You’ll remember the little flubs of the day and laugh. You’ll remember the first time you saw him see you on this day. You’ll remember the holy moments of the marriage service. And, you’ll remember the awkwardness of standing in front of the hotel desk checking in as a married couple, making sure to flash the wedding rings so the person knows you’re a “good girl”. J

Marriage is hard. It’s work. There will be some days when you look at your “Prince” and wonder if he ever was a “Prince”. He is just a man, after all. A man with faults and annoyances along with those loving characteristics you always saw in him. He will change over time and so will you. You and he will not be the same person you are on this day. Life happens. Hardships, joys, children, and work will happen. Situations in your lives will change both of you.

This is when those memories of this day will come in handy. Just as “Mary pondered all these things in her heart” so should you. When he brings flowers just because, treasure it. When he does something extra cute (because, right now, all things are cute), treasure it. When you’re sick in bed and he is caring for you, treasure it. When he makes you laugh, treasure it. If you are blessed with children, treasure the way he loves and makes the children laugh. I would even go as far as encourage you to make yourself a “treasure box” where you can write down the treasures and store them for future use. Because, some days will be hard.

I am so happy for you. Be a woman of great wisdom and character. Your wisdom of the scriptures will serve you well as you and he unite as a family. Root yourself deeply and firmly in Christ. Storms will come your way but if your roots run deep you'll stand strong long after the storm has calmed. I have no doubt you will, one day, teach the importance of that foundation to the next generation.

Live in love. Practice grace. Show mercy. Act in kindness. Walk very humbly. Cling to God then each other and you and your husband will do wondrous things.