Attention fellow book lovers! If you need a quick read that is totally unlike any book you have read, I just finished The Room by Emma Donoghue and it was fantastic. Tough story, but a great message tied within. I also read and loved yet another Andy Andrews book, The Heart Mender. It was a true story (God has given him some amazing true stories to write about!) and it had some powerful messages about forgiveness. There was one page that I nearly underlined EVERY word written, so I had to share some of the healing words that got my pencil going.
“Forgive and forget is not reality. It’s not really possible anyway, which is a good thing, because it is not necessary. Forgiveness does not erase history or excuse what happened. What has happened… has happened, and nothing can erase the memory of it or its consequences.”
“Forgiveness means relinquishment. It means giving something up. To relinquish something means to give up whatever power it holds over us. If you forgive somebody for something he did to you, that means you choose to never again allow that event to determine how you feel or how you act or even how you treat that person. You may remember the wrong, but by choosing to forgive, you have disarmed it.”
You can think about the situation all day long, and let it keep hurting you inside, or you can give the situation up to God and find peace. I loved those healing words, hope you do too!
Have a SUPER weekend – I am SOOO looking forward to meeting Kirk Cameron (woot woot!) at a local fundraiser on Saturday. Planning to be a TOTAL groupie and get a picture with him to share next week!
Valentine’s Day, oh the anticipation! I’m sure my sweet husband has been slaving over the perfect surprise to show me just how much he loves and adores me. And I, as I sip my morning coffee, wait with eager anticipation for him to execute the perfect Valentine’s display of affection. That would be AMAZING!
I learned very early on in our marriage that although God gave my husband a million things for me to love and cherish about him, he did not come with the gene that ignited his passion for expressing his love for me through gift giving. Determined not to grow old together and be disappointed by this, we mutually agreed upon and regularly implement operation “effective request.”
It goes something like this:
“I’ve been working p-r-e-t-t-y hard lately with all the extra company and birthdays, so I’m thinking that sometime in the next week flowers would go over REALLY well.”
“You PROBABLY already have this covered, but if you haven’t come up with a Valentine’s gift for me, I really would like a gift certificate to go get a massage.”
“I miss you and would really like you to take me out on a date on Saturday. I’ll get the sitter and I would LOVE for you to plan the rest.”
No need to beat around the bush or end up disappointed, just ask!
God is so good. Always. Last May when I was closing the doors to our North Liberty office for Bagolitas and downsizing to just me, back in my home, so many times I was tested in my ability to trust God (although there really weren’t any other options… I just didn’t want to let go). As soon as the doors were shut, our world came unglued at home and the culprit was gluten. I can not tell you how many times I have thanked God for clearing my plate so that I had the energy and focus to overhaul our lifestyle.
It has been a wonderful journey, made so much sweeter by support and community from those dealing with similar issues. For those of you that live in the Iowa City area, we were so blessed to have Sonia Culver come into our lives at the point where we were hanging on by a thread trying to figure out what was going on – that’s God’s grace at work! She is now starting a gluten free support group in hopes of helping many, many families in their gluten free journey. The first class is meeting this Friday from 5-6pm at the Coralville public library. The link below holds all the details and it is open to everyone – no registration required.
For those that aren’t in the area and even if you aren’t gluten free, I just had to share the yummiest recipe that has hit my lips. Rumor has it, Johnny Depp even serves this up for Christmas!
1 c. fresh cranberries – chopped
5-10 cherry tomatoes – chopped
1/4 c. granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro leaves – chopped
1 Tbsp. minced red onion
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 minced poblano pepper
Mix and chill for 1 hour. (I serve with Multi-Grain Tostitos Scoops)
Not a shocker that I am NOT wonder woman, so why do I get caught in the cycle of trying to be? Last week I had the privilege of speaking on a panel for a women’s group about health and fitness. I was not asked for my 6 pack abs, but because I am willing to be quite candid about the up and down battle health and fitness has been for me.
As I prepared for what I wanted to share, a realization came over me. The times when I am the farthest away from good health, I have been running through life like I am some sort of super woman, spinning in self-punishing cycles. When I am in the best health, I have shed the costume and am working (always working!) to glorify God. Coincident? I think not!
You were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
1 Corinthians 6:20
There is nothing sweeter than a second chance at love, especially when it’s a dear friend who deserves nothing less than what God intended for marriage. I feel so blessed that making handbags allows me to give a gift from the heart. I’ve been dreaming of ruffled clutches for brides, it’s the season and was SO excited make my first one and ship it this week. Blessings to the bride and groom who wed this weekend – wish I could be there!
“Wedding Prayer” by Robert Lewis Stevenson
Lord, behold our family here assembled.
We thank you for this place in which we dwell, for the love that unites us,
for the peace accorded us this day, for the hope with which we expect the morrow,
for the health, the work, the food, and the bright skies that make our lives delightful;
for our friends in all parts of the earth. Amen.