The story I don’t tell people, ‘cuz I’m honestly not crazy

Disclaimer:  I have, actually, told this story to very few people, mostly because I feel like they either won’t believe it, or they’ll think I’m crazy if they do.

God has given me lots of gifts.  I’m sure all of you would say the same.  When asked to list them people usually say God has given them: wonderful spouses, beautiful children, health, jobs, etc.  And I would be no different.  In fact, I believe everything I have is a gift from God.  But sometimes . . . every once in a while, He gives you something in such a way that stuns you.  It makes you think, “Wow, God.  I know you’re always here and all, but you just showed up right HERE and did that . . . for me.”  And it makes you warm and fuzzy, and it makes you realize He really is a Father to you – who likes to give you things just because He loves you.

Well, one day, God gave me this:

Copper Scrubby-Thing

Yep, one of those copper pot-scrubber-things.  And I treasure it.

I was in my early 20’s.  I was in a time in my life where I was really trying to draw closer to God, and learn more about Him.  After loosing my earthly father a few years earlier, and feeling that loss very keenly, I was trying to let God fill that void and really feel Him as my Heavenly Father.  And I was struggling with it.  I was also trying to be better about managing money.  I wasn’t bad at it – but I was in a phase where I was really trying to cut spending and impulse purchases.

Also, as you can read in my About Me, I love copper – pretty much anything made of it.  I think it’s just divine.  I’m not big into jewelry, or handbags, or very much of anything, for that matter, that a lot of women are into.  But anything copper catches my eye like a fishing lure to a bass.  And I have a nice little collection of things now, from kitchen gadgets, to art, to jewelry.  But at that time I was just beginning my collection.

So I was shopping at the grocery store.  And – I know you’ve seen them dangling along the sides of the cereal aisles – the little scrubbers were hanging in little individual packages, all bright in their coppery-goodness, and calling to me.  I had always admired them before, but never felt so strongly called to them as I did on this shopping trip.  I WANTED one.  And there was really no reason not to buy it.  I was not hurting for money at all, it was only a purchase of a couple dollars.  But as soon as I selected my coppery treasure and plunked it in my cart, I felt like I shouldn’t do it.  I needed to be disciplined, I thought.  It was the ultimate in “impulse purchases” – just the type of thing I was trying to avoid doing.  And so I put it back, congratulated myself on my proper choice, and didn’t give it another thought.

I bought my groceries, put them in the car, and drove home.  And as I came around the curve and approached my house I saw something in the road, something coppery looking, directly in front of my driveway. I shook my head in disbelief. Then I got out of the car, walked down the drive to the road, and just stood in the middle of the road while the cars drove around me and stared. It was a copper pot-scrubber-thingy – in the package nonetheless!!!! Say WHAAAAT?!?!?!

I really couldn’t believe it.  And this is where I expect people to totally think I’m crazy, or lying or both.  But I felt like God had plunked that thing down there just for me.  Like, wherever all that manna came from back in the day, there was a coppery pot-scrubber-thing up there too, and He let it fall there for me.  He knew I wanted one.  He saw me agonize over the decision.  He watched me put it back.  And He wanted me to have one.  It was actually a different brand, and nicer than the one I had just been looking at in the store.

What is amazing is that it’s not like He provided one for me two weeks later – this was immediately upon driving home from the store – less than half an hour later.  He didn’t give me an old one – like fell-off-the-back-of-the-garbage-truck old.  BRAND NEW.  In the package!  And He left no doubt in my mind that it was from Him – right in front of my freakin’ driveway!!

I picked it up like it was a newborn kitten and took it in the house.  And I set it on the counter and cried.  Yes . . . I cried . . . over a silly little object that’s purpose is to scrub scrambled eggs off my pans.

I have it still, obviously, and I’ve never used it.  It is a reminder to me that God is with me.  That He sees everything I do.  That He cares about all the little things in my life.  That – just like the good father that He is – He wants to give me nice gifts, even when they’re just little copper pot-scrubber things.

I’d love to hear about the little things in life that remind you of God’s presence and never-ending love.  I’d love to be inspired by your stories of times that God showed you He was there – in big or little ways.  Please comment below so we can revel in God’s grace together.

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Zero to Hero Challenge – Day 3 “What’s on my mind.”

Day 3 of this challenge is to write the post that your originally had in mind when you started the blog. And, like many people, I have sort of already written it. What I had in mind was not one post, but a way to gratefully express all the wonderful things God is doing in my life, the ways He is meeting my family’s needs, the things He is showing me. So it is a work in progress.
I’ll just post a link here to my original – very first – blog post, which kind of expresses the spirit of my intention – that in the midst of this crazy, imperfect life there is always His Amazing Grace.

Calling All Christian Women . . . Let’s talk about sex.

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Yep, s.e.x.  Let me first say what I want this conversation to be and not to be.

1.  I want it to be an actual conversation.  I welcome all opinions and comments.  I’m not offended by the thoughts and opinions of others on this topic (or any topic for that matter).  And I know this topic is intensely personal – so I know that my thoughts and opinions are not for everyone else – and that’s fine.  I want us to really challenge our assumptions, preconceived notions, and listen to one another.

2.  This post is written with the intention of us Christian ladies coming together – as we are called to do – to encourage one another to be better wives, and more fulfilled women not to be gratuitous, sensational, gossipy, or divulge information that would make our husbands uncomfortable.

3.  Although this post is written by a woman, for women it comes with lots, and lots, and lots of information straight from not just one man, but many men’s perspective.  My husband (who, unlike many men, has noooooo problem being open and sharing his thoughts and feelings) is something of an amateur psychologist.  He loves talking to people and learning about them, analyzing why they do what they do.  And he has been the sounding board to many a man’s perspective on this subject.  While I’m more interested in the hearing from the ladies – if there is anything I have to say to the men it is this: TALK to your wives – openly and honestly – about your feelings, about which (hopefully) you have given considerable thought to beforehand.  There.  Done with the men – back to the ladies.

4.  I do not intend this to be an argument or debate about, or to pass judgment on specific acts, preferences, desires, etc . . .  I leave each person/couple to decide what’s OK for you.  Rather, it should be a conversation on the topic in general, things that hold us back from having the sex-life we should/want to have, and ways to overcome them.

Geez, I could write a book on this topic.  So it may be the subject of several posts rather than one.  We’ll see where it goes.  There are a million blog posts out there from a Christian woman’s perspective on making sure you give your best self to your husband, don’t just wear sweats around the house, how we shouldn’t always turn them down because we’re tired or “not in the mood.”  This is not that post.

This is a post to challenge you to go far beyond that.  This is a post that says you should be entirely comfortable with your husband on this subject – discussing every fantasy, using every word.  This is a post that says you should/can/deserve to be excited – like giddy excited – at the thought of sex with your husband.  This is a post that says you should be willing to step outside your comfort zone (within reason) to meet his desires, and be everything that he would like you to be – AND that you deserve the SAME from him.

My husband and I often ponder on how the topic of sex  in a marriage is either no big deal, or it’s a massive big deal.  Meaning, if everything is going well, and each person is content with the current “state of affairs,” the topic of sex is really like a non-issue.  But if someone is not happy it is a HUGE deal, and the sad thing is that if you don’t have openness and communication about it, the other person may never know – or not know until it’s caused all kinds of problems.  Sex is a regular topic of conversation between my husband and me.  But that takes work, and stepping out of the warm, fuzzy comfort zone.  I know it is not easy – and improving this part of your marriage, like any other, is a process.

But why don’t people talk about it more?  SERIOUSLY – this is not rhetorical – please weigh in here.  There are so many reasons.

Men don’t talk about it because men often just aren’t talkers (Fortunately, not a problem in my house).  Men (women too – but more often men) don’t talk about it because they are afraid of being judged by their spouses.

Women don’t talk about it because they’ve been made to feel that “ladies” don’t talk about it, because they’re embarrassed for whatever reason, because they’ve had bad experiences with it, because they’re just not interested in it, the list goes on.

Now – go back to my point #2 above – I don’t think this should be a topic just bantered about for sensationalism or gossip.  But couples should absolutely be completely at ease with one another one it.  I know sooooooo many women who aren’t even comfortable using basic, basic words in conversation with their husbands.  If you cannot look your husband in the eye and say “penis” with the same straight-faced, devil-may-care ease as you say “potato” something is not right.

Why don’t women talk about it with one another more?  As Christians we are supposed to lift each other up, encourage one another, support one another.  We counsel and console our sisters on everything from how to hold our tongues, to how to hold our babies to breastfeed – but sex is a taboo subject among many Christian women.

I have obviously only skimmed the surface here, and most of this post revolves around the common problem of a simple lack of communication.  But what do you think?

How would you like your sex life to be better?  Or have you made that journey from a stale, boring bedroom – to an exciting and adventurous one?  And how did you do it?  If your husband asked you to do something you never even considered before, what would your reaction be?  What should your reaction be?  What are the major roadblocks to a better sex life for you?  Is it lack of communication, being too tired, not being on the same page as your spouse?

I sincerely hope to hear from you. 🙂

Photo credit here.

 

Gaining Everything to Lose Yourself

What a great question, “Why should what happens here be worth more to me than Him or who I am meant to be?”

Journey Thru L


quote profit a man

I want to say I found this quote while doing nightly devotionals, but I first heard this in high school in an R. Kelly song “I Wish“. Embarrassment aside, this scripture sits on my heart daily and makes me consider a lot about how I am living my life and the decisions I make.

What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet lose his very soul

Matthew 16:26

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“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches . . .”

Proverbs22_1

Here we are on Day 2 of the Zero to Hero challenges: all about our blog name, tag line, and optional widget explaining a bit more about ourselves.  So all three of mine basically revolve around my appreciation of God’s amazing grace in my life.  I’m here to celebrate my journey through life, and share what God is doing in it.  I am constantly amazed at how He shows up every.dag-gone.day, good or bad, and He is always the same good God, and His promises are always true, and His mercies are always new.  And I’m just in awe.  So thus was born my blog name.

But I love the whole idea of names.  I love my name, which I elaborate on a bit in my About Me.  It’s Vida, and it’s Hebrew, and it means “beloved one,” which my mother chose especially because she wanted me to always know how much I am loved.  And it’s the feminine form of David, which was my father’s name.  And that helps me feel connected to him, because he died many years ago.

I love that God has always known our names.  Isaiah 43:1, John 10:3, Psalm 91:14  I think names are important to Him too.

I’m pretty pleased with my blog’s name for now . . . although my widgets could use some work.

Photo credit here.

Who I Am, and Why I’m Here

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I’m attempting to do the Zero to Hero WordPress blogging challenge this month.  Mostly because I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing here, and I would really like to learn so that I can connect with more people, and not annoy them, and things like that.

So my first challenge is sort of an introductory post to tell you about me and why I’m blogging.  I already have a, sort of, “Who I Am” set up as my About Me page here.  But it doesn’t really address the burning issue of “Why I’m Here,” per se.

I’m here because:

1.  Over the last several years, life changes that I’ve made both in my geographical location, and in just what is good for my life have dictated that I loose touch with a lot of people who were once very close to me.  Some of these changes have been very intentional with the purpose of taking my life in a new and healthier direction, some have been forced by the bad decisions of others, and some have just been the result of new responsibilities (i.e. being a new mom) taking up time that was once invested elsewhere.  But now I, kinda, miss people.  I miss chatting about things.  I miss just being able to tell what’s on my heart.  Now don’t get me wrong – I still have wonderful, supportive people in my life, and a husband who is not your typical man and can chat me up seven ways to Sunday.  But sometimes he’s at work, and it doesn’t always fit my lifestyle to pick up the phone to my mom across the country.  And so I blog.

2.  I feel the need to share with people the incredible things God is doing in my life.  Here I reference the aforesaid “changes in the last few years.”  After being a “have-it-all-together,” type-A personality young woman – I’ve had a lot of things shaken up in my life, attitudes changed, assumptions challenged, insights gained, the path of my life redefined.  And after struggling with many challenges I could not.be.more.excited about what’s ahead.  I have seen God come through for me in impossible situations.  I have learned a deeper level of faith in His power, in His plan, in His love for me – for all of us.  And I want to talk about it.  I want to shout about it!  And so I blog.

And that’s pretty much it.  I look forward to meeting you, and I hope you enjoy meeting me too.

God’s plans for us are awesomeer than car-carts!!

We have been blessed with a little extra spending money this week.  And since we haven’t gotten out much lately, my husband decided he wants to take our little one for a special outing tomorrow.  We want it to be exciting, and special and different – but we’re still not sure exactly where we want to take her.  We’ve even asked her where she would like to go, but anyone who has ever asked an open-ended question to a toddler (albeit a highly intelligent toddler) knows pretty much what you get.  And it made me smile to think how excited she is going to be. 

She knows we’re planning to go do something tomorrow.  But in the mind of a 2-and-a-half-year-old the idea of a great outing is probably the play-place at Chick-fil-A, or scoring a car-cart at the grocery store.  You know – it looks, kinda, like this . . .

Image 

. . . stuck on a cart so that the cart is too small for your groceries.  It’s primary job is growing strains of bacteria previously unknown to man.  And it’s completely, ridiculously, difficult to maneuver.  I really need to add “car-cart” as a covered auto to my insurance policy.  I ran over an old man just last week . . . but I digress.

So what gave my heart a thrill was this . . . Her sweet mind cannot even conceive of the amazing choices available to her: the big city zoo, a fancy lunch in a restaurant (yes, even at 2-and-a-half, she loves that), driving to the mountains to play in the snow.  Whatever she could come up with to wish for, my husband and I could come up with so many more, better, exciting things to offer her.  And that is what God will do for us!

“But as it is written: ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.'” 1 Corinthians 2:9

No matter how grand are the dreams we cherish in our hearts, God’s plans for us are so amazing, so new, so much better that we cannot even imagine them.  Imagine the best things for yourself and your family that you can possibly imagine . . . God can blow that all away!  Make it seem like nothing.  And that is His desire for his children.

My prayer is that nothing else I may ask for would stand in the way of God’s best plans for my family and me.  And trusting in that – I can look forward to the future with excitement and hope, even in times that may seem disappointing, or feel like doors have been closed.

I can’t wait to spend tomorrow with my sweet family.