Joyce And Bob

I can still picture them clearly.  She was petite, short blonde hair, glasses.  He was about my height, bald. Both of them with wrinkles and other signs of age.  Both of them always wearing a smile.  

The always looked at each other like the other person was the most captivating person in the room.  He wore an "I love Joyce" button on his sports jacket.  She wore and "I love Bob" button on her dress.  I don't ever remember seeing them without their buttons.  They went everywhere together.

We ran into them a few times around our little town, and I remember one time distinctly.  Our family was out for pizza, and they came into the restaurant.  We said hello and chatted for a couple minutes, and then they went to sit in the corner booth, and we continued on with our meal.  But I glanced over at them and saw them holding hands across the table.  And Bob was singing to Joyce in the middle of Pizza Hut.

One thing that stands out to me now as I think back over it was how Joyce treated Bob.  When he sat across from her, singing her a love song in a public place, she didn't act embarrassed.  She just looked at him with a smile on her face, and listened while he showed her how much he loved her by singing her a song.  She recognized what he was doing - he was showing her his heart.  And she showed him how much she appreciated it by just listening.

Not all men are going to show their love by wearing buttons or serenading their wives in restaurants.  But usually they'll have little ways they show you they love you.

Derek will sometimes give me an over-the-top compliment or brag on me in front of our family or friends.  Sometimes he'll empty the dishwasher and try to wash out the sink just the way I like, among many other things.  But sometimes I find myself brushing off the compliments, or noticing how he forgot to empty the drain trap in the sink, instead of taking these little efforts for what they are - his way of trying to show me that he loves me, and he's thinking about me.

I don't want to brush off the little acts of love.  When he compliments me, I want to smile and grab his hand, or give him a kiss on the cheek.  When he takes time to clean out the sink, I want to notice, sneakily clean out the drain trap, and thank him for doing a great job.  I want to remember to let him know that I notice, that I know what he's doing, and that it means the world to me.

Just like Joyce did for Bob.

Favorite Personality Trait




I hate these kind of questions because they make me narrow my answer down to one trait.  

There are a lot of personality traits of Derek's that I like, but one of the ones that came to mind is that he is so friendly and can carry on a conversation with anybody.  Even if he doesn't have that much in common with them, he can ask good questions about things they are interested in, and he is genuinely interested in talking with them about things that they like.

This was obviously a good thing when we first started dating, because it made it easy to talk on our first few dates - no awkward silences.  And I still appreciate this so much because I sometimes tend to feel awkward and quiet in new group situations, but Derek is great in new groups and so it helps me to feel more comfortable.  It's just one of the areas where he balances me out.


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(Me and Derek when I was pregnant with Gwendolyn.)

P.S. I'm guest posting over at Tiffany's blog today about how being a mom has changed me - go check it out!

Humble Orthodoxy Review




When I received Humble Orthodoxy by Joshua Harris in the mail, I was surprised at how small the book was - I was expecting a full-size, full-length book, and instead found a little "pocket" book with four chapters.  But I have to say, those four chapters pack a punch!

In Humble Orthodoxy, Harris presents the idea that we, as Christians, need to be both humble and orthodox - and to have one without the other is not honoring to God.  We need to be humble in our presentation and attitude about biblical truth, but not so "humble" that we do not stand for the truth of God's Word.  We need to be orthodox, but not arrogantly, because orthodoxy isn't about how "right" we are and how "wrong" others are - its about taking God's truth directly from his Word and standing for it in a way that brings glory to God, not glory to ourselves.

Through every chapter of this book I felt convicted.  I probably tend to lead toward the side of being too arrogant in my orthodoxy than being too humble, and I've always known that I needed to be careful not to be too arrogant in my stand for God's truth because I could see how wrong it looked when others were.  But this book made me really think about my own heart attitude about biblical truth and how I present that to others.  It made me want to do "humble orthodoxy" better.

I especially enjoyed Harris's description of Heaven in the last chapter, and how he thinks we'll all spend the first ten thousand years apologizing to each other for the way we treated each other in our disagreements.  I think that's probably true, but it also made me want to work on making sure I have less to apologize for.  I want to remember that good theology is not about me - it's about God, and what is true about Him.

I'd highly recommend this book.  It wouldn't take more than a couple hours to read it front to back, but it'll have you thinking and make you want to live out your faith in a way that will bring more glory to God.  There is a lot of value packed into this little book!  Definitely worth the investment.

Note: I received this book for free from Blogging For Books in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

Persecuted Review

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Persecuted by PaulMarshall, Lela GIlbert, and Nina Shea is a thorough look at Christian persecution in various countries throughout the world.  The book is written like a news report, and goes through 41 different countries that are of concern as far as persecution and religious freedom infringements go.

All I can say after reading this book is: wow.  I knew that Christians were persecuted throughout the world, but this book really explained the who/what/where of persecution for me, including some places that surprised me.  The countries that surprised me most were India and North Korea, along with Iran and Saudi Arabia.  I wasn't even aware of how much persecution goes on in India at all.  And I knew that North Korea, Iran, and Saudi Arabia had a lot of Christian persecution, but I didn't realize how restrictive and severe the persecution was.  

This book was very thorough and very factual, giving a lot of statistics mixed in with specific examples of persecution in each country.  But even though the text itself was very straight-forward, I found myself really thinking more about Christians in other countries and the great need they have for our prayers!  I'm thinking of re-reading this book and praying specifically for Christians in each country.

One other thing I got from this book is how I really don't have an excuse for not telling others about my faith in Jesus.  Here are these Christians in other countries who lose their jobs, their families, their freedom, and their lives for choosing to follow Jesus - and I'm afraid to tell someone what I believe because they might give me a funny look?  It really puts things into perspective.

I definitely think this is a book that every Christian should read, and praying for Christians who are being persecuted is something we all should do more of - and this book will inspire you to do that.

Note:  I received this book for free from Booksneeze in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

Favorite Physical Feature




Hmm, my favorite physical feature about Derek . . . I'm going to say his hair.  Particularly when it gets a little scruffy.  

Most of the time it's short, but when it starts to grow out a little it will curl a little bit around his ear.  When I look over at him and he's wearing his ball cap and he has that little shaggy curl starting?  It makes my stomach flutter just thinking about it!

I also think his smile is pretty killer, and he looks pretty darn good in his jeans . . . but the curl is the feature that stands out in my mind.

Okay, now that I'm all flustered, here's a picture!



(Don't we look so young and cool?  This was about a year after we got married.  If you look close you can see a little bit of that curl I'm talking about.  Also, I miss my short hair.  That is all.)

A Box From Julianna

I have been seeing posts for the Cara Box Swap hosted at Wifessionals for a while, and this last month I decided to join in, just to give it a try.  Basically you are matched up with two other bloggers, one who is going to send a box to you, and one who you will send a box to.  

I'm glad I signed up this month, because I met two lovely bloggers through the swap!  Victoria, a lovely fashion blogger, and who I sent a box to.  And Julianna, who is a super-sweet Christian girl, and she sent a box to me!

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Each month has a theme, and this month we were supposed to send out boxes full of goodies that represented the region that we are from.  Julianna is from Texas, so I was excited to see what she would send me!  I got my box last week, and when I opened it up I was so surprised with all the wonderful treats inside!  Julianna really went all out!  

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 See?  Here's what she sent me:


-Beach Bag And Magazine

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-Starbucks Gift Card (I told her I liked Starbucks cake pops - yum!)

-A Blingy Cross Bracelet (I'm told Texans love their bling!)

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-Healthy Sexy Hair (Gotta love that Texas hair, right?)

-Jewelry Scarf (That she made herself!  I was so impressed.  They sell these scarves to raise money for the Love One project Julianna talks about on her blog.)

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-A Notepad (How did you know I'm OCD about lists too, Julianna?)

-A Texas Piggy Bank (So we can save money to visit!  Turns out Julianna lives in the part of Texas I've always wanted to visit!)

-A Bubble Gun for Wyatt (Okay, how sweet is it that she remembered my kiddos?  I can't wait to break this out, Wyatt loves bubbles!)

-Headbands for Gwen (I took some pictures of Gwen modeling the headbands!)

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-A Lovely, Personal Note (She sent me such sweet encouragement, and words that I really needed to hear!)


Julianna, it's been so fun getting to know you, and I think God knew what He was doing when He paired us up!  You've been a blessing to me this month, and I'm looking forward to following your blog now!

(Be sure to stop over at Julianna's blog and say hi!)

Head on over to Victoria's blog to see a few of the things I sent her!

30 Days Later . . .

Last Monday my 30 Day Challenge ended!  Here are the rest of the outfits.

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Some days I forgot to take pictures so I would just take two the next day, and somewhere along the way I must have miscounted, so you all get a bonus outfit!

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I had to include Gwen in one of these, so I dressed her up in her matching skinnies for the day!  

You know how when you wear a coordinating outfit with your kids everyone seems to point it out, and then you just kind of laugh and say "Oh yeah, we do match!" because you feel a little awkward admitting you planned it?  No, that's just me?  Well, I decided to change things up and readily admitted that I planned for Gwen and me to match, and all the teenage girls and sweet old ladies at the store thought it was great!  

Anyway, here is what I learned.

-I really can do a lot more with my clothes, and it's not as hard as I thought it would be.  I didn't have too much trouble coming up with outfits, except for the last few days (hence why a couple of the outfits are a little too similar).  I'm thinking if I ever do this challenge again I'll include shoes though, just to make it a little more challenging.

-Accessories really are important.  They are the main way you can change an outfit up.  I think I need to invest in more scarves.

-I really do like my clothes.  I liked everything I picked to be part of the challenge, but after I was done I looked at my clothes and felt like I had so many options!  I really do have a lot of nice stuff, and I think I can think of more ways to wear what I have now.

-I probably could have less stuff.  I've been systematically cleaning things out the last few months, because I had so much that I just didn't wear anymore, but I feel like I still have a lot.  I think I'll be purging again at the end of summer.  If I don't wear something all season, there really is no need to keep it.

This was a really fun experiment overall, and I'm glad I tried it!


Note: Several of you asked about that green polka dot shirt I wore in some of my outfits in my last post - I got it at Forever 21 on clearance. I think it was suppose to come with a belt, but I like it better without one anyway!  Let me know if you want to know where I got anything else!


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