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For our first wedding anniversary I asked my husband what he wanted to do. Not being a planner he left it for me to plan a trip. I decided we’d go Mendocino for a few days. Mendocino, if you’ve never been, is a beautiful place here in California on the northern coast. We chose a beautiful hotel called Little River Inn and I booked our room in Coombs Cottage for a few nights and made reservations for a romantic dinner the night of our arrival. Our first anniversary fell on a Sunday so I told my husband we’d have to leave immediately after church to get there in time for our dinner. I even suggested he pack on Friday and Saturday to be ready to go. I got the babysitter here at the house at noon and was ready to go!

My husband unfortunately, was not ready to go as he had not packed and was not ready to go at all. He said, “Give me an hour and we’ll be out of here!” No problem even if we leave by 1-1:30 we’ll make it for our special dinner. 1:00 rolls around, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and my romantic dinner is history and since cancellation had to be made 24 hours in advance I am stuck paying for a dinner we will never get to eat. I am pretty mad at this point and I am lying on the bed reading a book. He on the other hand, is checking his email, talking on the phone, packing and just hanging out. He is making it very obvious he could care less if he goes or stays.

I fall asleep around 6ish while reading a book when the Lord wakes me up with a question. He says, “Do you love your husband?” Thinking he’s got to be kidding I answer, “Right this moment?” He replies, “Yes, right now do you love him?” “Yes, though I am totally frustrated with him. He didn’t help me plan this and so now he is being passive aggressive and all my plans are out the window, some first wedding anniversary.” The Lord said, “Why do you love him?” I answer, “I don’t know, because I’m a glutton for punishment? I don’t know. I can’t think why right now.” His gentle voice responds, “In the same way that you love him, I love you even when you miss a deadline, or frustrate me or disappoint me. I take great delight in you because you are irresistible to me, inexplicably irresistible.” “Thanks, I love you too”, I answered. Still hopeful for some sort of revenge I ask, “Can you just zap him now to show me how much you love me?” Silence “Okay, just kidding. Thanks for the reminder.”

We ended up only staying one night. It was beautiful though, the waves of the Pacific ocean out the french doors in the front of our cabin and a beautiful forest and golf course was the view out of the back of the cottage. We played golf the day we were there and ate a nice meal in a local restaurant and came home. My plans had been about a few days of fun and relaxation but plans change. It was disappointing, not the wedding anniversary I had envisioned but I still love him anyway.

These are just the details of a story that happened a long time ago, but the bigger picture is that God loves you in such a beautiful way. Just as a woman loves a man, just as a parent loves their child. You are inexplicably irresistible to the Lord, and he sees you with eyes of great delight and joy. He finds you enchanting. Even when you frustrate his most carefully laid out plans.


“My husband is not allowed to bring his work boots into the house.”

“My husband is allowed to see his children, but he’s not allowed to do super fun things without me being there.”

“My husband is not allowed to go out with his single friends.”

“My husband is not allowed to eat in the living room.”

“I don’t tell him how to run his business, he can’t tell me to run MY house.”

My house. That phrase resonated in my spirit. My house. These are all things I heard this month from women in my life. Can I just ask where we get off making rules like these for grown men? If feminism has taught us anything it has taught us that people get resentful when they are told they are not allowed to do something. What makes us, as wives, think we can dictate to another adult, who is supposedly our equal, what they can do in THEIR OWN HOME? Oh wait, maybe the key is, it isn’t their home, it’s ours. They just contribute a little cash.

What happens when we hear men say things like, “I don’t allow my wife to go out with her friends?” We become ENRAGED! How dare a man tell us what to do? He is marginalizing his wife. I’m afraid, dear friends, that the pendulum has swung the other way and it makes it no better just because a woman is calling the shots. A dictator is still a dictator and their subjects grow resentful under the weight of their demands.

I guess the questions I’m asking today are: when we complain that our husbands are acting like children, do we not see the source?

When we agreed to become partners did we not understand a ruler can not be partners with a slave, someone for whom they have no respect for?

What would be our response to a man who says, “My wife must have all of her chores done before I get to my house.”

YIKES I think we need to reevaluate our thinking.

I’m A Big Faker!

So I went to the doctor today because I wasn’t 100% yet. I had caught a cold last week. I felt better but not great. Then I had a scare where I had chills so bad in the middle of the night that my teeth were chattering and my whole body was tense. Lulu laid her body across me and was licking my face.

That made me scared because they say that dogs and cats know when something serious is going on so I thought okay, if I have some terminal illness I better get to the doctor. So I went in and told him what was up. He was quiet as he checked my ears, my throat and put the stethoscope on to listen to me breathe. Then he sat down and I told him about Lu. He’s a big dog fan too so he smiled and said dogs knew if you were sick.

With a serious look he said, “You’re a big faker.” I said seriously, “You really think I’m faking? I’m not feeling like I’m dying but I don’t feel well.” He said, “No, you’re faking being well.” Turns out I was one sick puppy. Figures. So some antibiotics, some steroids and a couple of inhalers and I’ll back to normal. At least, I am not dying and Lulu the wonder dog is the hero of the story! You go girl!

How often do you put yourself on the back burner? Not just with physical symptoms, but do you really get real about what is going on in your life? Don’t just simply wait until an emergency happens, react when the symptoms are small enough to handle. Take regular assessments of your life. Are you hanging on for dear life, or have you balanced your time equally between priorities and being still? You have got to be your own priority. Stop being a faker pretending everything is fine!

The Woman Who Is To Be My Daughter-In-Law

She may not know this, but I have been praying for her for years now.

She would have be patient as my son has a dominant Phlegmatic temperament. She’d have to be consistent and not one to change her mind often, and she’d have to be confident as Phlegmatics tend to be passive aggressive at times and this would be something to overcome.

I prayed that she would love the Lord as much as my son did. He has been called to ministry and he loves Jesus with his whole being. He loves seeing people come to Christ and he is active and involved in his church. I prayed for a good help meet.

I prayed she would be faithful. This legacy of divorce that hounds our family needs to end. I drew a line in the sand once I got saved and asked the Lord to change the path for our family to the thousandth generation.

I prayed she would be kind. Of course a mother prays for that quality in her children’s mates, as they will lead her grandchildren, and I want them led well.

I prayed she would be educated. My son loves politics, and books, and news, and sports. She’ll have to be well-rounded and able to hold her own convictions during conversations that often turn into deep discussions.

I prayed that love would overshadow the trials that come naturally when two dwell together. I prayed love would be enough, even when it wasn’t. I pray even now, that they both remember the love they have for one another always.

I prayed she loved video games a little less than he does.

I prayed she would want children and want to raise them, not hand them over to daycare.

I prayed she’d be a good fit for our family and be family oriented. Not one who wants to set the family apart but one that wants to be a part of ours.

I prayed she was sensible and not be prone to unreasonable arguments and drama. I prayed she wouldn’t come on the scene too soon, so that he would recognize her and his need for her.

I prayed she’d be practical and they would be able to work as a team towards common goals.

I prayed she’d have her own interests and friends, I didn’t want them to have conflicts in this area and I didn’t want either of them stuck at home while the other was out and about.

I prayed she was respectful and had a great sense of humor. I prayed she would laugh at the contradictions of who my son is. His quirky habits and sense of humor.

I prayed she’d overlook his faults and his mother. Maybe that should have been at the top of my list.

In less than two months, my son will marry his bride. My heart is filled with the goodness of God. He has given me my heart’s desire and more. Frances is beautiful, brilliant, and loved by us. She hasn’t had a bit of bridezilla attitude and she seems genuinely happy to be with my son. That’s really all I could ask for. Now that the wedding is at hand, I will begin praying for their marriage all the while praising the Lord for his mercy and grace on my life! We are a blessed family.

But What If I Don’t Wanna?

With not an inch of space to walk and the stench of a locker room emanating from the boy’s room, kitchen counters sticky from lemonade making and gently asking for two weeks daily for the sugar spilled on the kitchen table to be picked up before we were visited by ants, I finally flipped out. Granted, the sugar spills were daily in a new location and the sticky countertop was wherever the lemonade had made that day, at 17 you’d think he would pick stuff up right? Wrong!

My 17 year-old said, “You act as if we are doing this TO YOU. We aren’t. We simply don’t think about it. My teacher says you should only do what you are passionate about. Nothing else. I am trying to live that.”

I said, “Yeah well your teacher lies because he can’t say everything he does he is passionate about.”

“Yes he can, he loves teaching!!”

“He may love teaching but does he love getting to work on time, having meetings, meeting deadlines, and all that goes with that? Your dad loves preaching but he hates parts of his job. He does them because they allow him to pursue his passion. With everything you do, there are parts of it that aren’t so great but you do them to get to do what you want.”

“NO! He really doesn’t do anything he doesn’t want to do.”

“Whatever! Do you have groceries in this house?”


“Have you had them here for the last 10 years?”


“Well, I hate grocery shopping so what if I just stop doing that? Since it isn’t my passion?”

The eyes begin to look desperately for the next argument to prove his point.

“You see, you want more responsibility but you aren’t handling what you’ve been given. Until I see that you are taking care of this stuff, I can’t give you more.”

Yes, sometimes we look more like the Roseanne Barr Show than the average family.

There’s a bigger issue here. You see, we’ve created this monster, and it’s not just in our home, it’s in your home as well, and in many other homes. It’s the American spirit that has brought us to this mess. It’s this ideal that I was created to only do what I want to do and we should all live out our lives happy and entitled. Dishes should magically clean themselves and beds should come with a remote control that pull the sheets up. Work should be an afterthought or for the idiots who haven’t figured out what they were created to do.

And just to be clear here, I am not asking for perfection. I’m fine with closing the door to the kids rooms, but when the smell starts creeping down the stairs or when the dirty stinky shirt is on the kid who needs a ride in my car, it’s then that I have an issue.

There are things we do, not because we want to, but because we are part of a community and that requires the good of the whole, not the one. We need to get back to center and it starts in our home first.

Love Is In The Air

February brings Valentine’s Day. For many people it’s a day created by commercialism. A day for the purchase of roses, cards, dinners, candy, and stuffed animals. For others it’s a depressing day of one too many rejections, subpar relationships and and unrealistic expectations. Still for others, it’s a way of life, not a day lived out once a year but a love banner to be played out over their lives.

The bible reminds us that we need to practice Agape love. Love without expectation or condition. Love that merely loves for the sake of love. For humans it seems so unattainable. In a world that does for others according to what they themselves are getting, it seems counter-intuitive to do any more than what is being done for us. Yet, if we would put forth the effort of extravagant love, God love, we’d obtain exactly what we thought we’d been missing. Agape love is above feelings. Agape love even loves the unlovable. As followers of Christ it is our duty to love one another even when it looks seemingly impossible.

Can you find it in your heart to love without reason? To simply love another human being because that is the expectation and the law that God has placed before those of us who follow Christ? Can we love because God loves us and put aside the warmies we expect to get when love happens? Can we find a place where we have no expectation of getting anything other than the satisfaction of knowing we loved when we didn’t have to?



It was back in September when I came home one night and there was no parking on our street. The new neighbors were having a party. Cars on the lawn and everywhere and the front yard full of drinking, cussing people. This, after a summer of each night of a loud porch party. One evening as I was checking the mail the conversation was about which bong was the best. They are nice people, but we always had a quiet tree-lined street. Now that the housing market had taken a deep plunge in our area, we had investors buying rental properties and our neighborhood isn’t what it used to be. Coupled with a subsidized apartment building that had just been built less than a half-mile away and the increase of homeless traffic on the rail trail that runs the exterior path of our housing development and the neighborhood had changed drastically. My husband came home one night to find a man in a ski mask walking the neighborhood. Two of my neighbors were moving, one right next door, who would my new neighbors be?

I knew our home had lost value but I just kind of buried my head in the sand about it. Then I talked to an accountant that said my home had lost so much value that it would take about 30 years for me to recover my investment. Couple that with a friend who asked an innocent question, “At what point do you cut your losses?” We realized it was time to make decisions. I called the bank about a modification on the loan because at this point I can buy my exact floor plan for $90k less than what I owe. The bank said if we were current on the loan, a modification was not possible. So we missed a payment and asked for a modification. They said we didn’t qualify for a modification but we qualified for a repayment plan. It seems you have to miss two payments to be considered for a modification. So we missed a second one.

They asked us to turn in our financials, which we did. Only here is where it gets confusing or so I thought. My loan is with Wells Fargo Bank. They require that a home preservation specialist signs off on your docs to begin the process of a modification request. Only no one will sign off on my docs. They agree that I have turned them in, they agree that Wells Fargo has them, only they say that I need to get “serious” about my request and get someone to sign off. Besides calling and leaving messages, putting everything in writing and calling HUD how am I not being serious? Almost two weeks have passed since they promised a sign off on my docs.

In the meantime, they send me letters that states, “We are sorry we have not come to terms.” Here’s the kicker. If we start making our payments, then we no longer qualify for a modification request. I am frustrated and confused.

Then it dawned on me! We, the taxpayers, have already paid for my house. We did so with a bailout. They don’t care if I foreclose because they’ve already been paid. They sell the house to an investor and move on making money from what I paid, making money from the bailout, and making money from the investor. I knew the American public had been scammed but I didn’t realize to the extent.