January 15, 2015

Old fashioned Chivalry: Who Wouldn't Want That?

Ever watched an old movie and noticed how the guys would treat the ladies? Men would actually stand up whenever a woman walked into the room. Weird, right? They would always open doors for the ladies, carry their luggage, pull their chairs out for them at a restaurant, help them with their coats, hold umbrellas over them in the rain, and so on. If you were a dame back in the day, it was like you were someone special, someone to be cared for, someone important...just because you were a "she."

I'm not gonna lie, I could get used to that. I mean, yeah, I don't necessarily want every guy to have to stand when I enter the room, but most of that other stuff would be, well, pretty nice. I mean, c'mon, what woman out there, if she was truly honest with herself, would object to being treated with that kind of honor and respect? Men who are courteous and kind to you wherever you go...who wouldn't want that?

Now before I go any further, I just want to say that I am very blessed to be married to a man who is like that. Very blessed. Now, don't hate me. And don't try to track him down, either. He's taken, girls, so back off!

Times have changed so much, haven't they. It's hard to even picture a time when chivalry was alive and breathing.  I'm not saying it's totally dead out there in our society...but maybe in a coma. Sometimes, we get a little glimpse of what it was like back in the day. Like when some stranger, usually an older gentleman, holds the door open for you.  Now, I don't mean the "let me reach back and keep the door open so it doesn't slam into your face" kind of door holding (you know what I'm talking about)...no, I mean that smiling gentleman who intentionally opens the door for you as though you were some sort of celebrity.

Yeah, we could all get used to that real easily.

This week, I attended a prescreening of a movie that's coming out this Valentine's Day called "Old fashioned". Clay, the main guy in the film, has some theories about love and relationships that most people would consider old fashioned. The way he relates with women would mirror something like what you'd see in an old black and white film.  His ideas and ways of doing things make him both an interesting character as well as an easy target for ridicule from his friends. But when Amber, the pretty, young, free-spirited girl who moves into the apartment above Clay's antique shop, finds out about Clay's theories, she is intrigued. And it doesn't take long for Amber to start warming up to some of these old fashioned ideas. And it's not hard to see why. What girl is going to be repulsed by a guy who treats her with honor and respect? Chivalry is never a turn off.

And even though Clay's "step back in time" approach to love and marriage is a major theme throughout the movie, that's not really the heart of what the movie is about. It's really about finding love, no matter where you've been or what you've done.  And not the kind of love we're used to seeing on the screen. Real love. The kind of love that honors, protects and puts the needs of the other person before his or her own.

One of the things that makes this film so good is that the characters aren't. What I mean is, they aren't perfect. They're real, like you and me. They've made their share of mistakes, but haven't we all. Even if the details of our stories are different, every single one of us has blown it in a thousand different ways. And I'm so thankful that God doesn't treat us as our sins deserve. We ALL need His forgiveness. No one is better than someone else.

I think there are a lot of people out there who feel like their past has somehow put them in this category of "damaged goods" as Clay puts it. And that somehow they are exempt from ever getting to experience love and marriage in all its fullness because of their past. But God's mercy is much greater than that. He really does make us into new creations.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

When God forgives, that forgiveness is total and complete. Even if you've blown it after you became a Christian, He can still heal and restore. And I think this film is going to give great hope and encouragement to anyone who has ever felt like their past was hindering their future.

God wants to offer you more than you ever thought possible!

I really can't do this movie justice in a few short paragraphs. You just need to see it. I think it's probably the most real love story I can remember watching. There is nothing hokey, unrealistic or forced about this film. The characters are interesting and even surprising at times...they're likable and fun, and their interactions with each other are quite entertaining to say the least. It's honest, funny, thought-provoking...and at times it felt like they could read my heart. Sometimes movies have a way of showing us things deep down inside that we couldn't have even put into words. This is one of those movies.

I highly recommend this film. I loved it, my husband loved it and I think you will, too.

And one more thing, I just want to put you at ease if you're worried about the PG-13 rating.  They do not show anything they shouldn't (in other words, there's no nudity or anything).  But because they are keeping it real to life, some of the things that come up in the film would not be appropriate for all ages.  In other words, you can safely go see this with your spouse or friends, but it's not one you'll take the kids to.  For that matter, I don't know if there's any movie I'd take my 2 year old to right now...learned that one the hard way...I got to see a little bit of Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas and a whole lot of the hallway. I know, I know, what were we thinking?! And this is our third!

And that's why I end up feeling like the raccoon. :-)


October 15, 2014

Can Anything Good Come from Ebola?

I carry hand sanitizer on my purse. I use it frequently. If I shake hands with someone, punch in my debit card number, touch a door handle, gas pump, you name it ... and if a store is ever out of cart wipes, I find a way to get that thing clean before I put my hands on it.  If you said that I'm a paranoid OCD germ freak, I wouldn't even try to pretend otherwise. The good news is, I made serious progress a couple of weeks ago. We stayed at a hotel and I walked across the room and bathroom without shoes on. Can't say it didn't bother me, can't say I want to do it again, but I did it.  Baby steps.

So, in light of this recent Ebola outbreak that has even landed itself on US turf, my initial reaction has been concern...okay, more like worry, fear, a little bit of freaking out.... but after all, Ebola IS serious. And I think it's a concern to all of us to some degree, not just us germ freaks.

I hate the Ebola virus.  It ravages the lives of more than half of it's victims, and in just about a week's time, too. It's a horrible thing and I wonder, "Can anything good come from Ebola?"

I'm kind of a big picture, "what's the bottom line in all of this?" kind of thinker. So I want to know if this horrific outbreak is simply a "worst nightmare becomes reality" scenario or if anything redeeming can come from all of this.

I hate Ebola.  I don't want anyone to get this virus, and the thought of my family members getting it is absolutely terrifying...I don't even want to go there. I wish it never existed and I wish we could just wipe it out.  One of the reasons why it's so scary is that once you get it, there's such a high mortality rate.  Unless you're one of the fortunate ones who is able to survive it, getting Ebola is basically a death sentence.

Contracting Ebola means all those years we thought we had are likely gone.  All of a sudden those decades we thought we would have might have just turned into days.  That can be a really scary thought.  Especially if you were counting on the next several years to contemplate what you really believe about God and the afterlife.

But you don't have Ebola. And you do have a moment right now to contemplate life and the afterlife.

We live in a time where people are so turned off to anything that even hints at being some sort of a fear tactic.  In fact, it's possible that some Christians have even swung the opposite direction of not even talking about hell in order to avoid being perceived as a "fire and brimstone, scare you into being saved" kind.

I hope that anyone reading this doesn't think of me as that.  Ebola is scary.  Death can be scary.  Hell is very scary.  But all of those things are real.

And I'm scared of not living in reality.

I don't want to assume that everyone around me would be okay if they were to die today. I'm afraid for the souls of people who have a false sense of peace, thinking, "Well, who really knows for sure what happens when we die, so why not live it up now!" Or the belief that is so common today that says, "I think I'm a pretty good person. If there's a heaven, I think God will let me in."

Even with all my germ paranoia and ocd hand washing, deep down, I'm not afraid to die.  Do I want to die?  No.  Do I want to get Ebola?  Of course not.  Am I ready to leave this world when God says it's time?  Yes.

I wasn't always ready.  I didn't always know what I really believed.  I used to doubt God's existence and the Bible and all of that.  But God did something in me.  He helped me to see that Jesus was God and that He did die on that cross for my sins.  He opened my eyes to reality.  And I repented of my sins, accepted His forgiveness and His gift of getting to live forever in heaven with Him when I die.

I don't think there's anything good about the Ebola virus.  But if hearing about it in the news has caused you to think about how fragile our lives are and how important it is for us to be right with God before we leave this earth, then I believe that there is something good that could come from Ebola.

If anyone reading this has any questions about any of this, I would love to talk more with you. When God draws you to Himself, you can feel it inside. You can't seem to shake it.


September 14, 2014

Decluttering: It's Like a Diet for Your Home

Our hall closet...decluttered
Earlier this summer, I was inspired to take a challenge that a friend of mine posted about on facebook called "40 Bags in 40 Days".  The idea is that each day you clean out an area of your house (a room or closet or even something smaller like a kitchen cabinet) and then try to get rid of approximately one bag of stuff every day. It's not meant to be exact, you might have 2 bags one day and a half a bag on another, but in the end it's the idea of decluttering and getting rid of a ton of junk we really don't need.

And even though I'm terrible about the daily chores like laundry and dishes, I loved getting to do this challenge! There's something about getting rid of the clutter that just feels good. It's like a diet for your house...or maybe more like liposuction...and it feels great to get rid of the extra weight! And so quickly, too!

My friend Pam continues to be an inspiration to me in this whole area.  I still remember something she shared with me over 8 years ago at a ladies retreat: she told me how she had all these different fabrics that she was storing in case she would need them someday. But she realized it made more sense to get rid of them, clear up all that space, and then if she truly did need some fabric for something down the road she could just go buy the one she actually needed.  So smart.  A few months ago I was at her house and it was so nice how her garage was mostly bare with just some neatly organized shelves. I loved the lack of clutter, and the best part is that getting rid of things made more room for people.

I think most are like me in that we love that serene feeling of an uncluttered house.  
So why is it that we don't all just get rid of all the stuff so we can have that same kind of peaceful simplicity?

I think one reason is, as my dad would say, stinkin' thinkin'.  I really do think that many of us have ingrained in our minds this idea that keeping our stuff is the right thing to do...because after all, "I may need it someday." So instead of getting rid of the fondue pot we never use and the exercise bike that we hang our clothes on, we keep them. Why do we do this?  In all fairness, I think our motives are right in that we want to be thrifty and not wasteful. But holding on to excessive amounts of stuff that just sits there isn't really thrifty. And at least in my experience, it often times ends up being wasteful. Even if we have that item we need somewhere in the piles, we usually can't find it so we go out and buy another one. Besides that, stuff that just sits in storage can end up getting damaged by things like water, mice, bugs, etc. and even if it stays in good condition, how useful is an old Sony Walkman or clothes from a decade ago?  It just doesn't make sense. But if we get rid of the extra things we don't use while they're still useful, well, that makes sense. We can have a garage sale, sell it on craigslist, give it to someone who needs it or donate it to Goodwill.  

But even if keeping all our stuff isn't saving us money like we hoped, at least it isn't costing us, right?  I mean, after all, we really might need those things someday and it's not like we have to pay a fee to store our belongings in our own house, right?

Actually, it does cost us.  Not only do we miss out on being able to sell or give away these items, but clutter has a pretty high price tag in our day to day lives.  I know from my own experience.
My desk...cluttered (I still need to get to this)

Clutter creates stress.  Having an avalanche of sippy cups coming at your face when you reach into the cabinet, rummaging through drawers looking for one of the "good" knives, digging through legions of coupons to find that one you know is in there somewhere, these are all things that come with clutter. Now unless you find it therapeutic to extract clothes from a jam-packed dresser drawer or to search the house from top to bottom looking for a pair of scissors, most of us would agree that clutter causes a certain amount of stress, especially when we're in a time crunch. And when we let those little stresses get to us, our families are also the ones who suffer from our irritability. When I'm surrounded by clutter, my mind doesn't feel freed up. When I look around the house and I see toys spilling over, stacks of mail on the counter, junk everywhere, it affects my mood.  Maybe it shouldn't, but it does. There's no denying it, an uncluttered house helps my mind to feel that way, too. I'm not trying to overstate things, I just have experienced how clutter plays a very real role in my clarity of thought and peace of mind.

Clutter makes more work. The more stuff we have in our homes, the more time and energy it takes to store and upkeep.  It's kind of like owning land, the more you have, the more you have to take care of and manage.  Wouldn't it be nice to not have to hunt for the unexpired Tylenol in the medicine jungle?  Or to be able to gently pull a set of sheets from the linen closet without having to brace the rest of the shelf to do so?  Eliminating these little battles gives us more time for more important things...like spending time with our families. I'm convinced that our kids would rather have less stuff and more of us.

Clutter causes us to miss out. We miss out on being able to use and enjoy many of our belongings because they're buried under other things. For example, our bathroom counter had really piled up with all kinds of stuff (I even found tires from a Lego car set on there) but when I cleaned it all up, it was so wonderful...peaceful even. All that time, I didn't really appreciate what I had because it was covered in clutter. We also miss out on being able to bless others with our extra stuff (and just so you know, I'm preaching to myself on this...I'm sure I still have much more that I should give away).

I know there are many other things that could be said on the subject, especially since I didn't even touch on the whole aspect of keeping things for sentimental reasons...that might be a part 2...but there really is so much to gain from letting go. It lowers our stress and frees up time and energy for more important things than things. And I'm not sure you can even put a price on what it does for our sanity. 

Sometimes we're so afraid to let go. We're afraid of finding ourselves in that tragic situation of needing the very thing we just got rid of.  But the real tragedy is holding on to all this extra stuff, only to find that we missed out on the sanity and joy that we could have had by releasing it.  All the extra baggage around us just weighs us down. I've come to the conclusion that my clutter costs me more than it's worth.  And there's a lot to gain if we can just let it go...(thank you, Elsa!)

-Rachel :-)  

July 7, 2014

Remembering Our Little Eagle

Three years ago today, we had to let go of our "Little Eagle".  That's what we decided we wanted to call our third child, who went home to be with the Lord before we ever knew if it was a boy or a girl.  The familiar verse from Isaiah 40 is on a plaque on our fireplace as a reminder of our little one that we long to meet someday up in heaven.

I have a onesie we had bought for our baby, along with a few other keepsakes that I keep in our hope chest. And I came across this poem I had written for our little one almost 9 months after the miscarriage. I thought I would share it as a way of honoring the life of our third child, though brief here on earth, we know that God had a plan and purpose for this child that He created.  

To: Our Little Eagle
Love: Mommy

Our little eagle, our little love,
You flew away so fast
The time we had with you was brief
But our love, dear, it will last.

It was always meant to be
That you would go to heaven first
And you would never have to suffer
Or experience life's hurts.

Our Father in His kindness
And in His wisdom and His love
Ordained each day for you on earth
Then swept you up above.

I love you, Little Eagle
Mommy always, always will.
And I can't wait to meet you
Where time will just stand still.

Forever we will share the joy
That you already know
In some ways I am jealous
Of how soon you got to go.

For in our Father's presence
There are joys forevermore
And right now you are safe and sound
In the arms of the Lord!

Oh what peace it brings me
To know how safe you are, my child
And even though we're here on earth
He protects us all the while.

One day all together
As a family we will be
With our Heavenly Father
For all eternity.

I can't wait to meet our son or daughter.  The thing I want most for each of our children is for them to trust in Jesus as their Savior and to spend eternity in heaven. That deep desire in my heart is already a reality for this child.  I feel very very blessed when I think about that. 

I'm so glad that our God is so wise and so loving that even in our loss, I know that He has given us so much more than I can even wrap my mind around.  I am so glad that He created our baby that we have yet to meet.  He created that child for His glory (Isaiah 43:7) and I am so honored that every one of those days that they were here on earth, I was blessed to carry that little one inside me. What a gloriously wonderful life they have, only knowing the joys of heaven and being spared all the heartache in this world.  

I've asked the Lord to tell my baby that I love them and can't wait to meet them. I smile when I picture my Heavenly Father passing along that message to my sweet child. :-)


Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 43:7

Everyone who is called by My name,
And whom I have created for My glory,
Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.

June 19, 2014

Ever Been Corrected by Your Kid...and Needed It?

I have, this morning.

I figure if I'm going to try to share things on this blog, I want to be honest and real. Otherwise, what's the point.

So yesterday, I posted this message about how the only way to be sure that we truly are making a difference in people's lives is by walking close with God. And the most important things we can do each day are the things God wants us to do.

Which is all true, but...

Here I was this morning, looking to see how many people had read/visited my blog. And thankfully, I have a son who is honest and bold enough to tell me this:
"Why do you even care how many people read your blog or not? It seems like this blog (and facebook) is all about you. Isn't that pride? Do you think God cares how many people read your blog? Even if one person reads it, shouldn't you be glad?"
Ouch, ouch and ouch again.  

By the way, he did not say these things in a disrespectful manner. In fact, he was a little bit afraid that he might get in trouble. I am so grateful he had the guts to be honest with me. This was a rebuke that I needed, and I'm thankful God used my son to get my attention.

So since it's confession time, I just want to say that even though I am convinced that what I shared in yesterday's blog is absolutely true, as you know very well, I am not very good at living that out. I had my own priorities out of order by looking to see who read what I wrote...as if that's even an indication of anyone's lives truly being affected.  

My focus was on myself, like my son pointed out. And I have told the Lord I'm sorry for that. I'm sorry to you all as well. Thanks for letting me be honest and open with you and for extending grace to me.

I think the thing I want to really work on right now is something I've been struggling with for about the past year and a half. Prior to that, I had gone through some more difficult seasons in which I was clinging to the Lord, desperate for Him to get me through the day. Then relief came, but I found that I let my time with the Lord get lower and lower on the priority list. It's funny how the easier life gets, the harder it is to see how much we need God. But whether we realize it or not, we need Him desperately, I need Him desperately.

Okay, I'm gonna go now. There are some other things I should be doing. Thanks for putting up with me. :-)

-Rachel :-)

June 18, 2014

How to Know You're Making a Difference

I just got onto facebook about a month ago.  No, I did not know what I was getting myself into.  Yes, it is addictive. And now I am trying to do the facebook thing in moderation...whatever that means. No, I really am.

I like facebook. I like knowing what interests people. I like the community that is there. I like the encouraging words people write. And even though some may feel like they see more pictures of other people's kids than they ever even took of their own, I even like the pictures. I like it when people post Scripture, hilarious video clips, interesting facts, and I'm even one who likes to take those quizzes, like the "What TV Mom Are You?" (I definitely question the accuracy though...Claire Huxtable runs circles around me as a mom).

I wonder if frequently using the word "like" is a sign of too much facebook?  Oh well, I'm just glad I have friends like you to share with who are too nice to comment.

But something has struck me in this whole facebook addiction adventure: we all want to make a difference in the lives of others. Isn't that true? We all want to have a voice. We all have something to say and we don't just want to be heard, we want our words to affect others. We want to make a difference.

Now I know not everything on facebook is meant to change people's lives. Sometimes it's just a way to share something funny or cute pics of the grandkids. But I really believe that behind many of the inspirational quotes and "food for thought" kind of things, there is a very real desire within us to impact one another. We want what we share to somehow either help, inform, encourage, inspire, or challenge people so that their lives are affected, even in some small way, for the better.

I've even felt this in my recent attempts at starting a blog. I do desire to encourage others, as the title implies, but how does that really happen? How do we really impact people's lives? Do we really know? And if we're going to make a positive difference, don't we want it be something that will matter for eternity, not just this life?

You know what kind of hit me, we don't really know how to truly make a difference, nor do we have the
power within ourselves to do so. I could write a blog, you could write a book, he could write songs, she could create art, we could all do a thousand different things to try to impact those around us, but in reality, these things could have little or no lasting effect in this life or eternity.

At the same time, we could do the smallest act, some "little" thing as an act of obedience to God, and find out later that God used it in ways we never could have dreamed. Who would have thought that the widow who gave her two small coins would be the most effective fund raiser in the history of the church! Whenever people are asked to give toward important needs of the church, it's her story they share. Still to this very day, that lady is impacting the world for good!

We don't know what steps of faith and acts of obedience will be the "little things" that God wants to use in big ways. But there is one way we can be sure that we don't miss those opportunities when they come:

by walking closely with God.

If we are constantly walking by faith, trusting Him and obeying Him and listening to the Holy Spirit as He leads us, we won't miss these opportunities to impact those around us. This is the only way that I know of where we can be certain that our lives will make a positive impact for both now and eternity.

As long as we are doing what God asks us to do, it is the most important thing we could do in that moment.

If we want to make a difference in the world, if we want to know that everything we do has significance, then we must walk closely to the One who knows what matters most. If He asks you to do something, then THAT is the most significant thing you could be doing. God never gets priorities out of order. He always has the highest priorities in mind. He knows what He is doing, how He is working out His glorious plans. And whatever threads we have in that enormous tapestry that He is weaving together, those are the most significant things we could ever do in this life.

So, today, whatever God asks you to do, do it. And know that whether or not we ever get to see how God uses it, we can have the quiet confidence of knowing that if our sovereign, all-knowing, only wise God has asked us to do it, then nothing could be more important.

-Rachel :-)

June 10, 2014

Marriage doesn't look like a Chick Flick

I definitely married out of my league.  I pretty much fell for Kyle the moment we met my freshman year of college.  He introduced himself to me (and my friends) and invited us to come to FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes).  I think my thoughts must have been something like, "Yeah, I'll come!!!"

Well, I did.  And I got to become friends with that extremely handsome, outgoing, hilarious, talented, confident but not arrogant guy named Kyle Williams. I kept hoping it would turn into "more than friends" but that was still pretty much just a dream. That summer, I remember meeting other guys but Kyle had raised the bar so high, no one else could even compare. We both returned to school that fall, but still we were just friends. At some point I realized that it wasn't healthy for me to keep liking someone who didn't feel the same way about me. So I determined I would stop liking him. That lasted about a week. 

Kyle and me on our first date...we went out to dinner and
then Toys R Us (sounds like what we do now for fun)
If any young ladies are reading this out there, I just want to say, "Dreams do come true! The proof: Kyle asked me out on a date that December!" This same girl who couldn't even hold it together to eat a bowl of cereal in the same cafeteria with this guy (I would literally be shaking because I was so crazy about Kyle and so afraid that he would see right through me if he looked me in the eyes) was now about to go on a DATE with him!

Truly, it was a dream come true!  The first date led to many more and eventually an engagement ring about a year later and wedding vows about a year after that. I guess you could say it was a fairy-tale beginning.

My College Sweetheart!
Now, I like a good love story just as much as anyone. I like chick flicks and Disney movies, and I'm even a sucker for those Hallmark Channel movies that my husband likes to makes fun of (I don't care that the plot line is totally predictable, I still like them!).  And what makes me mad is when a movie has a sad ending, like in Mrs. Doubtfire...I didn't just want him to come visit the kids, I wanted them to get back together!  

But what happens sometimes is that these "happily ever after" movies end up creating an unrealistic view of what marriage should look like. It's a lot different in real life. 
It's not something you can fit into a 3 hour time slot with an hour and a half of commercials.

Last weekend, my dad did the wedding for my dear sweet cousin who had been one of the flower girls in our wedding (am I getting old?). Anyway, it was a charge to the bride and groom but really we all needed to hear it. He shared from a book called "The Meaning of Marriage" where the author, Tim Keller, gives an open, honest look into the real picture of marriage. He writes:

"I'm tired of listening to sentimental talks on marriage. At weddings, in church, and in Sunday School, much of what I've heard on the subject has as much depth as a Hallmark card. While marriage is many things, it is anything but sentimental. Marriage is glorious but hard. It's burning joy and strength, and yet it is also blood, sweat, and tears, humbling defeats and exhausting victories. No marriage I know more than a few weeks old could be described as a fairy tale come true. Therefore, it is not surprising that the only phrase in Paul's famous discourse on marriage in Ephesians 5 that many couples can relate to is verse 32. Sometimes you fall into bed, after a long hard day of trying to understand each other, and you can only sigh: 'This is all a profound mystery!'
Just to clarify, this is not meant to dog on Hallmark, I'm actually a big fan.

I think what Keller is trying to convey is that marriage lived out in the day-to-day workings is more about acts of the will rather than a sentimental journey. 
We had a fairy-tale start, but we've had a real marriage just like everyone else. Sometimes it's been really fun and wonderful, at other times it's been brutally hard (probably more for Kyle than me), and needless to say, it's brought out the best and worst of both of us.

But by God's grace, we're still here, working on our 14th year of marriage.  I say "working" because it takes physical and emotional fortitude to make this work.  You can't just go on what you feel.  Tim Keller also writes:

In any relationship, there will be frightening spells in which your feelings of love dry up. And when that happens you must remember that the essence of marriage is that it is a covenant, a commitment, a promise of future love. So what do you do? You do the acts of love, despite your lack of feeling. You may not feel tender, sympathetic, and eager to please, but in your actions you must BE tender, understanding, forgiving and helpful. And, if you do that, as time goes on you will not only get through the dry spells, but they will become less frequent and deep, and you will become more constant in your feelings. This is what can happen if you decide to love.” 
Father's Day is this Sunday. I don't know how you feel about your man right now. Maybe you're at a place where you really are overwhelmed with admiration and respect, and honoring him on this special day is going to come very naturally. Or maybe that's not where you're at. Maybe it's been a rough year. Maybe there's been a lot of stress and issues that haven't been resolved.  Maybe you don't feel like helping the kids make something special for Daddy right now.

If you're not quite feelin' the love at this moment, I just want to encourage you to ask God for the strength to do those acts of love, kindness and respect for your husband even right now. Doing what you don't feel like doing is what our marriage vows are really all about, commitment in spite of our feelings...actually, that's really what the best love stories are made of.

One way you can do something is to honor your husband this Father's Day. Sometimes just a card with a sentence or two of encouragement can go a long way:

I respect you because __________________________________________.

I appreciate the way you __________________________________________.

I know there are tons of other fun, creative ideas out there to do for Father's Day, but I also know sometimes we get so busy that we forget to even buy a card.

This is my heads up, too.  I need to go buy mine.  :-)