His hands are soft and always warm.
His body radiates heat no matter what the temperature outside.
His eyes are full of jokes or encouraging words.
He strives to be a blessing to everyone in his life, eager to ease any burdens and ready to join me in my spur of the moment plans.
Together, we live out our faith, explore new places and are regulars at all the local Indian and Thai restaurants around us.
As we’ve grown together, it makes more sense, it’s gotten easier to adapt and we are comfortable in our differences.
We know God has made us who we are individually, there’s no pressure to meld into the other.
Only to become more of who He designed us to be, as a son and a daughter of the King.
Only to understand what God is leading each of us to do and to follow the path He has picked.
This is huge.
I’m so aware of God around us.
I want nothing more than to listen closely to the Father as He reveals the great adventure written for me and written for him.
This morning, I was thinking about what freedom looks like to a believer and how we live out our freedom in Christ. I think we get stuck sometimes, thinking about the meaning of this from only one perspective. When we become believers, we learn that we are new creations in Christ, that our sins have been washed away and we have a clean slate with God. The chains have been broken and we are no longer tied to the “old man” that dictated how we live our everyday lives and we now experience freedom in the presence of the Lord, to follow Him and in essence, get a do-over. We have freedom to love and serve others sincerely as God guides us. We have freedom to be who God made us be without our past mistakes bogging us down. We have freedom to choose a godly lifestyle which really frees our spirit.
Then, I was thinking about the Mercy Me song, Happy Dance. Have you heard it? I just heard it for the first time a couple weeks ago. It’s such a great song! The message of the song is that sometimes as Christians, we get so caught up in doing the right things & perhaps coming across as always having it together, that we forget that freedom we also have to dance, to be goofballs & joke around, laugh and enjoy life like a kid! I love this song because it reminds me to not always take everything so seriously that I’m afraid to come across as anything less than perfect. God is perfect. Human beings are not. While I strive to be more Christ-like, that doesn’t mean that I should never let my guard down or constantly look like a go-getter who’s never short on wisdom.
So, did you notice my wacky picture at the top of this post? This is me, mostly when I’m at home or working with my giggly deaf student at work. This is me being free to be funny, believing that I can be a true servant of the Lord AND let my quirks and sense of humor show. I don’t want to live in fear that someone may notice my weaknesses or shortcomings. God knows the real me and He knows who you really are. And He doesn’t grow weary of us. He loves us and is aware of how much we seriously need Him.
This is what freedom in Christ looks like!
via Daily Prompt: Tardy
When my daughter and I walked through the doors of the gymnasium, the kids were warming up, practicing their serves and laughing. We were ten minutes early for volleyball clinic. Parents and their children kept trickling in after the designated start time of 6pm. I was happy to be early. There were plenty of seats to choose from which was much better than arriving even ten minutes late and having to sit on the hard floor. I don’t have much of a butt anymore with my diet change and training for a half marathon. It’s kind of strange for someone who’s never been lacking in that department.
As I was watching the girls do sprints and run around the gym, my eyes scanned the room. Where was my neighbor friend Gina? She bailed on me. When she shows up tardy for volleyball practice, I’ll have to ask her if she got caught up talking to The Pickle Guy at the grocery store. That guy was unusually passionate about selling pickles. Don’t get me wrong… We enjoy pickles with our chips and sandwiches but he liked them so much he talked abt them everyday, all day for a living. It kind of makes me wonder if he secretly despises them at this point. Or if he’s sick of being referred to as “The Pickle Guy” like I am when people call me “The Signing Lady”.
via Daily Prompt: Shock
The look that spreads across your face when a person answers their video phone in their tighty whities..
The feeling you get when you pick up the remote control, deciding to learn how to use your video phone, accidentally connecting to a Sign Language Interpreter that could have been one of your colleagues… and you’re wearing the smallest towel you own..
The moment you remember you had chicken sausage cooking on the stove and now they look like little poops in a skillet..
Or the time you took your daughter to the diner when she was 2 and she dumped an entire bottle of syrup on her pancakes in the 2 seconds you turned to talk to your friend..
It’s the moment you get the news that you got the job you’ve been vying for..
And the second you find out your daughter shares the same shoe size as you..
The night the mammographer tells you that your mammo & breast ultrasound are normal and they don’t need to see you back for a year..
And the morning you wake up to the smell of coffee and breakfast that you didn’t make yourself after how many years??
Oh, the many ways shock comes into our lives, disguising itself as something new.
I run because it makes me feel alive
Because I love proving to myself that I can beat my personal time
Because I like to sweat
And I like to feel sore from the hard work
And I like to succeed at doing something that wasn’t easy
Because it feels so exhilarating that I didn’t quit
Because it beats out the stress
And it helps me to enjoy the simpler things when it’s time to rest
And I need that tangible success
I run because it helps me believe I can make it through anything
Because I’m a warrior when I run
Because I prove to myself the fight is still in me when I’m sick
And I believe I can be cured if I live life with a healthy frame of mind
And I know that God is by my side giving me strength to persevere as I unwind
I run because it makes me feel alive
Because He died so I could live life abundantly, not like something in me has died.
Title: How to Be Married- What I Learned from Real Women on Five Continents About Surviving My First (Really Hard) Year of Marriage
Author: Jo Piazza
Publisher: Harmony Books
In my humble opinion, Jo Piazza’s book, “How to Be Married” is a good read but not the type of book that’s hard to put down. The book is well-written, funny, informative and honest but I had to read the book a couple chapters at a time. Off and on, I was tempted to find another book to read. It could be that this is really the kind of book that would better keep my attention if I was listening to it on Audible while I was cooking or cleaning the house. It may not be the same for you.
I really liked her journalistic approach to warming up to the idea of marriage, learning strategies to deal with disagreements and also finding solutions to working together as a team. She really put a lot of heart into learning how to have a successful marriage which was really endearing. My favorite advice was from a Chilean couple who were approaching their fortieth year of marriage. When she asked what made their marriage so successful, the wife replied, “We dance together every week. We’ve been dancing for forty years. When we dance, we become one. He sees me and I see him. Everything I know about him, I learned while dancing.” (pg. 19) I instantly thought this was great advice. Doing something together once a week that both people enjoy, which forces you to really see the other person and have fun is so important. There are plenty of examples such as this to store away for future use.
What lost me was all the history and culture relayed about each country she traveled to. It just felt like too much and it would end up losing my attention. In some cases, a little explanation of the customs which helped make their marriages successful was needed but in other instances, I would have preferred fewer details. When Piazza shared her private thoughts about which advice she should try to apply to her marriage and to what degree, showing that at times she was conflicted about how the women chose to live, I felt this was easier to relate to as I could see myself also feeling conflicted. I also liked her openness to changing her perspectives and being flexible to compromise as well as letting go of some of her pride in order to show love to her husband in the ways that were important to him. In conclusion, I feel that the book would have flowed better with less on an anthropology lesson.
Though this isn’t the type of book I would read more than once, I do plan on keeping it to refer to.
I give this book a 3.5/5.
I received this book from bloggingforbooks.com.
via Daily Prompt: Carve
The teacher asked, “Where are your hearing aids? Did you bring them today?”
The elementary school student hopped up pretending she forgot them, “Oh! Just a minute!” She skipped to the closet to check her lime green backpack with her hand over her mouth, muffling a giggle.
Returning to her seat with her turquoise hearing aids with tye-dyed ear molds in her little hand, she signed, “They’re broken. The latch for the battery won’t close.” The student pretended to be disappointed, but the adults in the room weren’t buyin’ it.
As her Sign Language Interpreter watched the conversation, she thought to herself, “I bet she’d like to carve out a hole in the wall and drop them in. She really dislikes those things.”
Have you ever watched a group of people play the Telephone Game during a professional development conference? It’s a great ice-breaker game and can be pretty comical as you watch the expressions on the people’s faces, knowing the message is getting muddled and people are perplexed by what they’re hearing. At the end, the last person announces the outlandish message they received and everyone is cracking up laughing.
Well, let’s put a spin on this game and add a Deaf person to the group of mostly people who can hear with only a couple of people who can sign. Imagine a group of children sitting on the carpet at an After School Program. There’s one student who is deaf and assigned a Sign Language Interpreter. The teacher starts out the game by whispering a message into the first kid’s ear. He smiles and leans over to his friend to pass it on. That kid giggles, cups her hand against the side of her mouth and whispers into the next kid’s ear and it goes on and on. The boy who’s deaf is watching the new game play out. Do you wonder what he’s thinking? Maybe he’s trying to figure out why these strange people are so amused? His interpreter keeps positioning himself near each “whisperer” and signing what he hears. The deaf student is watching him sign but sees how each of the kids play the game. Now, it’s his turn. The interpreter signs what the last kid spoke into the deaf boy’s ear. How does the boy respond? He leans over to the next kid, cups his hand like the other kids and pretends to tell her a secret the same way everyone else did. And what happens? The deaf boy starts laughing and the child who can hear laughs too but there’s clearly a different kind of communication breakdown. His Sign Language Interpreter smiles, shaking his head and tells him, “C’mon, silly. SIGN!” And, he does so that whatever transformed message was given to the kid before him, could be passed to the next through the interpreter who whispers the message like the other kids. It’s an interesting perspective, isn’t it?
It was brilliant the way God would speak to her when she would write. In her thought life, her thoughts could be moving in so many different directions, starting and stopping before coming to a conclusion. When she sat down to write, her thoughts were fluid and purposeful, on point and peaceful. She felt God heal her through the process of writing. Sometimes she encountered His presence. Other times she would complete a piece and wonder where the ideas had manifested from. There was no other way she could have uncovered the things she spoke of in her writing if she was just having a conversation with another person. And writing about her experiences somehow made her life seem so much more interesting. The more she wrote, the more she started to actually see herself and her life through the lens of a book. One where she really liked the main character, could really identify with her, wanted to be her closest friend and glean some wisdom from her. There was no rivalry, tension or misunderstanding. Just love and acceptance. It was as if writing had a way of helping her to see herself more clearly while also understanding God more clearly. Books have that unexplained power to transform the mundane things into something so much more interesting.
Tapping into God’s presence as she wrote was really the most brilliant thing of all. Like a gushing of light bursting through her lungs and heart, shining and vibrating in a way that also made her stop and feel how close He was. It was food for her soul.
So, I read that the word “funnel” is my daily prompt for today. I am not feeling an ounce of inspiration from this particular word. What should I do?
I think, I’ll refer to the online dictionary and thesaurus. Hmmm…funnel is a verb that means direct down a path. Other words for funnel are channel, filter, pour, siphon. Waiting for the ideas to funnel in. So, could I say, can someone funnel some entertainment over to my 2 bedroom apartment? Maybe knock on my door dressed up in shockingly silly costumes bringing dessert I can eat, telling me hilarious stories or fun adventures you’ve had. Or maybe funnel me to a glorious vacation spot where I can go parasailing or ziplining or just go somewhere sunny. Somewhere other than my living room or kitchen where I do the same kinds of things over and over again.
Funnel. Does anyone feel like eating a funnel cake now? Yum.
Thank you, Daily Post. 😉