Maybe, just maybe, we haven't shown the world what marriage truly is.

Maybe we haven't lived our marriages in such a way that it is more than a legal transaction that grants certain rights and privileges. Maybe that's all it is to the world because we haven't shown them that it is holy and sacred...that it mirrors a holy God and His bride.

Maybe the world doesn't view marriage differently because, statistically speaking (or so it seems), there isn't much difference in pre-marital sex, abortion, adultery, and divorce inside the church as outside the church.

Consider that young man, the next time you behave less than honorably toward a young woman.

Consider that young lady, the next time you put on that push-up bra and low cut shirt and buy the short shorts that are just tight enough across your bum.

Consider what picture you are giving of marriage when you lay down beside one who is not your spouse.

Consider that husband when you choose yourself and what you want or what's easiest for you instead of laying down your life for the one who you're supposed to lay your life down for.

Consider what your actions are really saying despite any words you may utter wife, when you disrespect your husband and belittle him.

Obviously how we got here is much more complicated than that. But it seems like a good place to begin fighting back, doesn't it? A better way than any pithy Facebook status or quippy little meme that just stirs up strife and contention.

We are told in Scripture to not answer a fool according to his folly so we don't fight the way the world does. We don't rely on just persuasive speech and political change.

We live relationships that reflect the glory of God. We love each other in a manner that brings honor to the One who has called us to be His Bride. Let our children and the world around us see the Gospel lived out flourishing in grace and restoration.

And when we do have opportunity to speak about why we believe what we believe about marriage and mankind and sin and grace and restoration may we do so with something more than bumper sticker slogans. May our words be winsome and wholesome, beautiful in that they point to Christ.

What happens after that is not ours to know or finagle an outcome. We are called to be faithful no matter the outcome.

May it be so.


Years ago back when I was still high school our youth choir took a trip to Hammond, Oklahoma ~ a dry dusty flat reservation. In my mind that is what Oklahoma looked like. All of Oklahoma.

A few years ago my little sister's family moved to Skiatook, OK and I just assumed it would look like what I thought all of Oklahoma looked like.

Boy was I wrong!

Last week my Mother and two older sisters drove from Florida all the way to the upper right corner of Oklahoma and let me tell you, the scenery was gorgeous! Not at all flat, dry or dusty.

Did I mention not dry? Because we took a tropical depression with us and spent our time dodging rain. But we girls haven't all been together in over two years so we still had a wonderful fun time.

There is a beautiful lake for camping and other summer activities that we drove around just to see the scenery. I braved the rain drops long enough to take a few pictures.

Everything was so lush and green.

What I really fell in love with was the wild flowers. Fields and fields of them...all along the road...just all over. Lots of what looked to be brown eyed Susans and then something called yarrow. White yarrow to be exact although I did learn it can be grown in other colors.




Lovely, aren't they? You know what else is lovely in Oklahoma? Their night skies. My little sister can watch the sun set every night from her kitchen table and it is a sight to behold. This is straight out of the camera too.


The trip was so much fun and seeing my sister and her family was good for us. While we were there I got to have my first internet meet up with Toni Marie's neighbor. Cindy is also a photographer and we've become facebook friends so we got to meet face to face on this trip. She is even more delightful in person and has a sweet garden complete with some pink yarrow in her back yard. She did our pictures while we were there and I was surprised by how comfortable she made me feel on the other side of the camera. Here is one of our favorites she got just as it started to rain again.

Photo Credit Cindy Kay Photography

 All in all it was a wonderful trip. The best part was sneaking our baby sister home to surprise Dad for Father's Day.

I had forgotten how loud having the kids home can be. Me and the cats are apparently rather quiet together. We also agree on which Pandora station to listen to. And it usually doesn't involve words like Taylor Swift, Disney anything, or High School Musical.

I had forgotten what it's like to have them all asking what's for breakfast-lunch-dinner-and-can-I-have -a-snack,-please? Tom and Milo just sit by their bowls and stare at me until I get their food. I might talk out loud to myself as I make my luncheon decisions, "A salad would be a much better choice, Marty, than pizza bites. You don't really even like pizza bites, silly" but it's still just one voice and I never ask myself for a snack as I am leaving the table or whine when fruit is suggested instead of marshmallows.

I had also forgotten what a seemingly pointless endeavor cleaning is when the children are home all day. It is a perpetual circling from room to room for the entire day picking up, telling someone to pick something up and then vowing to just throw it all away if it gets left out on the piano, the bar, the floor, or the kitchen table again.

I had forgotten just how creative they can be when strewing wet bathing suits and damp towels all over the patio, living room furniture, and bedroom floors.

And just exactly how many times they can open and close the back door in 15.7 seconds.

I am not complaining, mind you.

Just rememberin' as the second week of summer break draws to a close.

I'm adjusting.

The last week of school was crazy busy and the first week of summer is too. But we're here splashing around in the pool, celebrating weddings, and visiting with old friends that we don't get to see often enough, and enjoying the scents of summertime.

File this under "I Can't Believe We Did That": We knew we were having lots of extra guest at church this past Sunday (out of state friends were visiting one of our church families.) So, wanting to make sure there was plenty of food for our church wide meal, I made a huge bowl of homemade potatoes. That were placed in the microwave to be warmed up. And were then forgotten and they never made it back to the table to be eaten. Thankfully, we realized this after we got home and bless my poor husband's heart, he went back to the church and brought them home. And I now have eight pounds of mashed potatoes in the fridge.

Can you freeze potatoes?

One other random happening: Our Walmart parking lot got repainted recently. The parking spots and white pedestrian lines are all super bright. I think it's because they are nearing completion on the liquor store they've been adding to the main building.

Saturday saw lots of people helping us lay sod in our yard, front and back, as well as our neighbor's front yard. In just under three hours our yard went from this:

To this:

There is some slight concern that my beloved is going to become one of the crotchety old men who yells, "Get off my grass!" now that he finally has a green yard. (FYI, the yard was not normally a huge brown square of dirt...that was from all of Rob's prep work. He could just never get grass to actually grow in the yard no matter what he did so we just had patchy green spots and lots of weeds.)

It's been kind of a sad process as every tree in the yard had to come down...two due to rottenness and my beautiful Bradford Pear was almost completely uprooted in a storm a few months back. Rob has been researching and plotting what kind of trees we'd like to plant next year though and in the mean time we spent all day yesterday working in the back flower bed and some time in the front bed.

Those two large rose bushes were transplanted to another spot along with one of the hydrangeas from the front. We're keeping our fingers cross that they all survive the relocation.

I love container gardens and Rob agreed to using pots this year so we had quite the adventure picking out plants and pots at the Home Depot yesterday. What I learned? It is very easy to blow your budget and I have no sense of space when it comes to this kind of thing. I thought we would be cramming everything in to our little old garden bed. Rob laughed at me when I said that. He knows things.

Because we spend a lot of time outside we wanted to do as much as we could to deter mosquitoes so after doing some pinteresting I found out which herbs can be a deterrent to the irritants. Along with the Mexican Heather (one of my favorites) and the flowers we also planted some rosemary and lavender, both of which mosquitoes do not like. And since we like the functionality of herbs we also planted some mint and cilantro.

On the left side of the before picture of the flower bed you can see part of one of the two pots of the lemon grass (also a mosquitoes repellent) that we have by the gazebo.

We've a little more work to do out front still but we ran out of day light. For now I think we're ready to grill, don't you?

I have a friend that, for the past ten years, has been the embodiment of all that a godly friend should be. She has been not just the hands and feet of Christ to me, but the heart and mind of Christ...she has been Truth to me and for me.

I found out Friday night that she is moving away.

I cried. Three days later and my heart still hurts at the thought and I can hardly stand it. I was sort of praying and sort of bemoaning her move when I realized I sounded like I was mourning her death. Like she was gone forever and never again would I be able to see her.

God granted some insight into that moment for me and showed me how foolish, indeed how ungrateful I was behaving. Is it a sad thing that my friend will not be here close by? Yes. But my goodness, I just face timed last night with another friend that moved to Japan three months ago! Susan will only be five hours away...we have phones, and we can text, email and even slap a stamp on an envelop and as old fashioned as it may be, mail letters to each other. I think we can even manage a two and a half hour car ride and meet up with each other somewhere in the middle of her new home and mine.

Is it sad that I will not see her everyday as we drop off and pick up our children from school or have the occasional breakfast together? Yes. But not only have I been given the gift of her friendship but I live in a time of great technology that will allow us to continue our friendship almost undisturbed.

The whole situation with my friend has shown me how spoiled I am to some very simple and convenient aspects of my life.

It's like complaining about what a pain doing laundry is when I am doing it in the comfort of my cooled or heated home and basically tossing clothes from one machine into another. I'm not outside washing them by hand and hanging them on the line to dry. And I have so much laundry because God has been abundant in His provision for my family. Of course I have a lot of laundry...He has granted me five children!

Later today I will do my grocery shopping. Normally I can begrudge the process of picking food up off the shelf, placing it into the buggy, going to a register, unloading all the groceries, picking up bags of groceries and putting them back into the buggy so I can go out to my car and unload them from the buggy just so that I can get home and unload them from the car and carry them into my house and take everything out of the bags and put it all away.

But to complain would seem to despise the gift of having not only plenty of food to eat but the ability to go to a store and get a buggy full of groceries so my family can eat in the first place.

It would show a heart that is ungrateful. It is the same with my laundry and my friend moving away and any number of ways I could so easily find to complain. Instead I want to celebrate and rejoice over the gifts God has granted me for no other reason than He delights in doing so. By doing so I will be shining a light into a world dark with ingratitude and selfishness.

May you look for ways to celebrate what has been given to you by a generous Father who grants blessing and favor in big and small ways.

Do everything without grumbling and disputing,
that you may be blameless and innocent,
children of God without blemish
in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation,
among whom you shine as lights in the world,
Philippians 2:14 &15

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