Thursday, August 30, 2012

calling all couples!

A few month ago, Vincent and I decided to buy a couples devotional book. Sounds easy? Well, for us, it wasn’t. We are picky, easily bored, and didn’t want the traditional devotional.
I spent over an hour looking at the devotionals at the bookstore when I stumbled upon Duets. We went out on a limb and coughed up the $15.

It’s ah-mazing. It is fresh, funny, and interesting. It’s not your typical God-made-Adam-then-made-Eve-from-his-rib-and-this-is-how-marriage-is-blah-blah…. It’s so much deeper. It calls for you to have an open discussion about a specific situation.
For example: how many wives out there would be supportive of their hubs if he was like “hey babe, I want to spent 100 years building a big ole boat because God told me too…” I think most of us ladies would be like, “yeah… um no.” It’s not relatable to us today but Duets finds a way to make it relatable by asking you, as a couple, to discuss supporting each other hobbies and interests.
Another example: You know how it’s hard to let go of the past and we can be pretty resentful? Yea well think about Adam and Eve! They KNEW perfection and lost it. If they can make it work (not to mention the whole murder thing) so can you. Just sayin’.
Last example: One of the lessons talks about respecting your in-laws. It draws inspiration from the story of Boaz & Ruth. We did this one most recently and it was a great way to remind us to honor not only our parents but our in-laws as well. 
I grew up in the church. I know most of the stories but this little book totally makes you look at these stories from a whole new perspective.  It’s gets you talking about the past, present, future and your dreams, beliefs, and doubts.

Vincent and I normally do our devotional right before bedtime. It is a great way to bond and wind down from the day. I read the passage and Vincent prays for us after we are done discussing. It works well for us and it has brought us closer together :)
I’m not going to keep giving away the AWESOME lessons and questions this book holds you need to just go get it! It doesn’t matter if your 20 or 70. Married 1 year or 55! It’s awesome.

They also have another one called Songs in the Key of Solomon. I think we may get that one next!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

25 things

We are all familiar with the “ok, now tell us about yourself” question that is asked in school, job interviews, and other social situations. Let’s be real. It’s awkward. I mean what should you say? Something super unique or stick to the basics? “Hi, I’m Mary and I talk in my sleep” or go with “Hi, I’m Mary and my favorite color is green.”
Seriously? Take a moment to think about it. What makes you interesting? Different? Crazy? Smart? Inspiring? What do you like? What are your hobbies?
What makes you…. You? I challenge you to think about it and come up with your own list. It's a great way to get past the usual and realize what makes you who you are.
Be honest.
Be open.
Be real
Be you!

Well, I figure I’ll break the ice. Here are 25 things about me (I tried to be interesting ;)
1.       If I misspell any part of my last name, I usually have to erase it all and start over. I mean in all fairness it is 12 letters long… and I never made it past the first round of a spelling bee in school.
2.       The ring I wear on my right ring finger was my moms. She told me it was one of the first diamond rings she bought herself (which totally led to her obsession with jewelry). The diamond is about the size of a grain of salt.
3.       I think my dogs like my husband more than me. I mean it’s pretty obvious Rocky is a Daddy’s boy through and through but I seriously think Maddux likes Daddy more. I don’t know why… call it a hunch.
4.       I hate red + green together. Even around Christmas time.  I also hate red + pink together.
5.       Even though I complain about it, I really do like my curly hair. I mean I can take a shower and get ready in under 20 minutes. I think that’s pretty rad.
6.       I have never broken a bone but I have jammed 8 of my fingers and sprained my ankle more times that I can count.
7.       Don’t ask me to do math. Of any kind. Seriously – I can barely do basic addition or subtraction. BUT in my defense, I did make A’s & B’s in school!
8.       When I’m about to fall asleep, I start to wiggle my right foot back and forth. I don’t know why.
9.       I’m jealous of my mom’s handwriting.
10.   Growing up I loathed my name but as I’ve gotten older, I have learned to love it. My dad named me after my grandmothers.
11.   I have been on 10 cruises and I plan to go on a world cruise one day.
12.   I have 4 tattoos. The one on my neck is in memory of my dad and the one on my foot is in honor of my nanny – they are my favorite.
13.   My three closest girlfriends live in the mid-west.
14.   I love nail polish but I very seldom paint my finger nails. My toes are always painted… even in the winter.
15.   I LOVE buying presents. It’s like an Olympic sport for me and some may say I take it too seriously. I love the feeling I get when I find the PERFECT gift for someone. I don’t care to receive presents (if I want it, I will ask for it… or buy it myself!)
16.   I was recently told I am 5’2” but I have gone most of my life saying I’m almost 5’1”.  I don’t know what to believe anymore...
17.   I graduated HS in the 10% of my class. I didn’t go to college and I don’t plan to in the near future. I change my mind to often to think I could seriously pick a degree. I am ok with that.
18.   I over think  EVERYTHING. For example: Who came up with baseball!? Seriously I see a group of drunk men going, “hooookay. So get a stick and a ball. We can have like 4 pillows and we run around them. If you hit all 4 it’s a run. But you gotta get pasts the dudes guarding the pillows and the ones that we will stick way out yonder. It’ll be great. Oh and we can put a dude with a cage on his face to catch the ball if the hitter don’t hit it” < -- I know it’s more complicated than that but that is seriously how my brain works.
19.   I like to eat mashed potatoes with A-1 sauce.
20.   I can drive stick and I want our next car to be a 6-speed, SS Camaro.
21.   Until I met Vincent, I never wanted kids. I was open to adopting or fostering but I never wanted to be pregnant. I jokingly say that I married Vincent because I wanted to have beautiful Italian kids. A little part of me isn’t joking – I mean have you seen my man!? He is handsomeeeeee!
22.   I am very frugal - I hardly ever pay full price for anything.
23.   I have a hard time giving a compliment if I don't mean it. If I tell you that I like your dress, I truly mean it. Or if you ask me if I like your haircut... you'll get an honest answer. I just can't fake it and I believe in being sincere.
24.   I have an over active imagination. When I was little, if I watched anything scary, my mom would have to sing me to sleep so I wouldn’t get nightmares.
25.   Vincent’s near-death experience strengthened my belief and faith in God.

I really enjoyed putting this list together. It definitely makes you think about what makes you… you. If you decide to take on the challenge let me know! I’d love to read what you have to say!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

secrets of a wonderful marriage

Yesterday, I went to Rick's memorial service. It was beautiful. There were tears and a lot of laughter.

A blue grass gospel string quintet (made up of Rick’s family members) played beautiful songs, and his peers had wonderful stories to tell.
When it came time for the family to share, his wife, Barb, stood up. She stood in front of the congregation with such grace, humility, and humor. She was able to laugh and rejoice in Rick’s life and their time together.
Barb and Rick were married for 38 years! And this past weekend she felt God put it on her heart to share the “secrets” to a wonderful marriage (or as Rick would have called them – “The One Anothers”)
I thought y’all should see what she said (she even provided handouts for us!)


Secrets of a Wonderful Marriage
According to God's Holy Bible, provided and compiled by Barb Floyd.

Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.
Romans 15:7

Do not complain, brethren, against one another --- Do not speak against one another.
James 5:9, James 4:11

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:32

Therefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:18

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor
Romans 12:10

With all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love
Ephesians 4:2

And be subject to one another in the fear of Christ
Ephesians 5:21

Through love serve one another
Galatians 5:13

Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices
Colossians 3:9

So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another
Romans 14:19

But encourage one another day after day
Hebrews 3:13

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
John 13:34

I have Barb's handout and it is going on my fridge as a constant reminder that beautiful and Godly marriages still exist. And to remind myself and Vincent that we should always remember “one another.”

Don't forget to follow me!
And please "like" me ;)

Monday, August 6, 2012

through my heart?

(please ignore any grammar or spelling issues... I thought it was more important to get it all out than to worry about it - plus I know my mom will edit it ;)
Lately, my prayers sound a lot like the above image. I have found myself speechless many times in the last few months.....

Friday afternoon I received a text from my boss that our company chaplain had unexpectedly passed away earlier that morning. For someone who loves to talk and can find something to say in just about every situation…. I was utterly speechless.
I had just spoken to him the other day. I apparently was making an unfriendly face when I ran into him and he jokingly put his hands in the air and said, “whoa! I’m not messing with you today!” We bantered back and forth briefly and went about the day. It was just a normal exchange. I have only been at my job for 10 months but I grew very fond of our chaplain.
Last week, I wanted to talk to him but I was pretty busy taking care of other tasks at work and just couldn’t find the time. I thought of calling him but just never picked up the phone…
Friday night, I was reminded of how quickly things can change. I just sat there… completely and entirely speechless. Vincent wasn’t sure what to say or do.
It was my dad’s death all over again. Sudden, unbelievable, confusing, surreal… heartbreaking. It’s moments like this where I just don’t understand God’s timing.
I know that’s not how it works – sometimes I will never understand God’s timing – but I was shaken.
The following day would marked the four year anniversary of my friend, Will’s death. He too died suddenly.
I find that when I am speechless is when God is the loudest. I don’t always hear or feel His presence right away but then I do. You know that feeling when your chest begins to tighten and you feel like you are about to cry or scream? That is the feeling I get right before I feel God’s overwhelming comfort. I feel as if I am about the burst into tears but then it’s like my heart releases and I feel calm. I am admittedly not the best at describing things but the feeling I get is inexplicably and prominently evident in moments of crisis and confusion.
I got the same feeling after Vincent left for Iraq, when I heard about Will’s death, and when I got the EMT’s call about Vincent’s accident. Right before a major freak-out-panic-attack-loose-all-control moment – my heart releases.
I’ve written before that I have in the past been a very bitter and angry Christian. I will admit there have been times where I do question God’s timing or plans. I will admit that my faith has faltered more than once. And I will admit that I know I am blessed beyond belief to have these moments of complete comfort.
I don’t understand this death and I never will. My heart breaks for his family and for his loved ones. But I take comfort in knowing that he is in a much better place. I cannot put into words the impact Rick had on my life in the 10 short months I knew him. I cannot put into words how beautiful his faith was and how he made everyone seem like family. He was one of God’s greatest warriors and he is dancing in heaven as I write this. 

So, once again I am reminded that God’s comfort will be evident in times of crisis and that God is more talkative than I will ever be. ;)