I DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW TO DRAW LORD!!!!!!!!!
Let’s talk about The Book: Why Her? By Nicki Koziarz
For years I would watch a dear friend of mine talk about dates and get together’s she was having. I envied her life. And I felt left out. Why didn’t she invite me to all the other gatherings she was going to?
Or maybe just a few of them?
I knew in my heart that she was just an amazing fun woman after God’s heart and she was normal. Which meant she also had hurts and hang ups like I did.
But seeing the posts and friends and invites were tugging at my heart.
The human part of my heart…
Fast forward to social media and those feelings of the ‘why didn’t I get invited?’ grew even stronger. I mean really…. I love people!!! People love me….. Or don’t they???
Truth be told I knew in my heart those occasions weren’t for me. What I actually needed was her honest loving truth. A few years ago during a heartfelt conversations between 2 other long time sisters in Christ I asked… “Out of Curiosity, why didn’t you ever invite me to any of those events you went to?” The other friend could be seen nodding also in approval of the question… ? Or in total shock I went there!!!!
I’m sticking with approval. Denial makes me feel better.
Her smile and laughter was heartfelt and words were just exactly what I needed…. “Oh don’t go there girlfriend!” She exclaimed. “I have lots of friends I do things with. I just want to have fun in life. Don’t put that on me!” She exclaimed that in a laughter that I know from her as genuine and loving.
What I got from her statement and she went on to say… Is she has a variety of friends. She loves everyone and she has a vast array of support people that support her in tough times and that she supports in tough times… She has enough love for them all.
I know this to be true. She was actually visiting me during an extremely tough time at this very moment. She was filling me up despite my deflated question to her.
That’s a true friend!
Her speaking truth to me at that moment was exactly what I needed.
Then there are ‘those’ women that have the book deals and huge homes and everything you could imagine… that one might want!!!! The TV shows!!!!
So this book I just listened to was an exact refresher of that moment and all the other moments where I just wish I could rub up against ‘her’ and hope that some of what she has rubs off on me.
Why Her? By Nicki Koziarz is by far an amazing must read book. Totally worth the read.. or listen to. It is available on the Hoopla app with my library.. but to be honest.. I really was wishing I was underlining a lot of the book for future reference.
So it may end up in my book shelves in the future. Just saying….
I have actually lived the last 12 years hiding most of my joys and successes. When I met my husband I was working as a Dispatcher for a large agency and a co-worker would come in loudly commenting on how if she wasn’t married by the time she was 30… and how upset she was if others got a man before her…. I remember her voice to this day…. That when I met my husband and even while we were just friends… I didn’t say anything to the general office.
When the rumors started flying and I heard her talking about it… I hid behind the door and let her run on and on about how unfair it was… and other things…. Coming out only after she was gone. I felt bad for her. I was happy and she was miserable.
When I got engaged… I didn’t joyfully boast about it…. Because I knew it would hurt her feelings and upset a few others…
When my husband got a promotion… I didn’t joyfully boast about it… I didn’t want to upset the other’s that applied and didn’t get it.
Satan was having a field day with me… Keeping all the fun things that God was doing in and around us.. and wrapping them up in a nice sealed package and sticking them in a vault. I talked a lot.. but not about any of the good things… in fear someone would hate me for the success that was happening to me.
Worst of all… I stopped striving for success and what I felt was where God was wanting me to be because I didn’t want to cause someone else to be miserable!
I lost myself!
Nicki unpacks this whole phenomenon perfectly. When you scroll social media and you see something and you feel left out… Pray for them… Praise God for them… and love on them and engage with them… ask them how they got to where they are… what roads were difficult for them… love on them… and let God know you truly are happy for them in how you treat them.
It truly is an amazing book.
About 10 months ago I stopped holding back posts. I stopped not posting because I was going to hurt someone’s feelings. and I stopped hiding the good in my life. Mainly because I felt God telling me to love on people and be bold about it and don’t hold back His love from shining through me!!!
I started to find myself.
I started to live life!
So I started posting and sharing. About nearly everything. I also started meeting people at coffee shops and bakeries and walking in to offices to just say hello!
Hey there I care, here’s a head of lettuce!!!!
Trust me… I did that!!! I love that girlfriend.. Her reaction was priceless!!!!!
Making people laugh and feel loved is what I want to do. Sitting around a coffee shop and shooting the breeze and learning about something amazing a friend is doing… and encouraging them into taking the next step in starting the business they have always wanted to do….
ALL OF IT!!!!!
But there is a downside to it all. I have heard recently many times that friends are commenting on how they feel left out. They see everyone posting the fun stuff they do with others on social media and they just wish they could be invited too.
Funny how they never comment on how they wish they could also be the one that accidentally put’s deodorant in their hair!!!!!
We best not ask… just move on….
And my heart breaks…. But I have to remember that friend all those years ago that laughed off my comment with pure love and showed me that no matter who was being a “debbie downer” she wasn’t going to let it affect her.
Sidebar: (Do you ever wonder who this Debbie was and why she was so down?)
Sidebar to my sidebar: (I want to take her coffee!)
So I am learning to laugh it off!!! Because there is enough love for all of us to spread it around like sticky peanut butter and share it with everyone!
I love how Nicki drew the story of Rachel and Leah in such vivid detail that I literally caught myself standing in the shop…. drill in hand… wondering about the tension in the room between those 2! Their story isn’t knew to me by any means… but Nicki totally gave it a 3-D modern daytime drama like no one else!
And Nicki… it reminded me of Beth Moore’s study Esther…. I was drawn to your book so much so… I listened to it in one entire non stop listening!
And sister look!!!!!!!
She also has a bible study with video’s!!!! It’s Called Rachel & Leah By Nicki Koziarz
There is a bible study to the book!!!!!!!
Wait… wait.. wait….
(Digging the Bible Insider fall edition box out… (We’ve been a little busy here)
Oh my heavens….
I actually already own it!!!!!! I am squealing with excitement!!
Just in case you want to actually hear about it.. Because you do my friends.. You really do…. Watch this video…
I have to admit.. I love her voice! Her calming tone just screams… Come on my friend.. let’s have coffee life will be ok!
Have a great morning my sisters in Christ!
*Some affiliate links
Let me set the stage for you….
It’s evening and we are finishing up our farm chores. My husband often gives me little things to do of which I always say, “Sure thing!”
Seriously, I do!
He is coming down the hall and as he passes me in the living room he points to Maggie Grace and looks at me and says…
“I need you to stop by the store tomorrow on your errands and pick me up a tube of the KY jelly.”
To which I immediately start backing up…. eye’s wide open as the K and Y come out of his mouth… and begin to protest… “NO!” again… “No!”
Mostly out of disbelief he is asking this of me…. but also out of a little defiance…. quite honestly out of fear!!!!
He goes on to explain, “I’ll need it for this weekend when I clean out her anal glands.” He looks at Maggie and comments, “We are about to get really personal you and I.”
You see, he is thinking of purely innocent reasons of why he needs it.. I am thinking of all the reasons as to why the people and the store will think I am going to use it!!!!!
I am full on freak out mode…. to the point I am sure neighbors heard. Not yelling.. but freaking out… “No No No No… we live in a SMALL county!!!!!! People are going to talk!!!! I do not want to be the girl that buys KY jelly in the small county!!!!!!!!”
My man is totally laughing at me…. “Well we need it and I can’t pick it up.” (he has a job where that is impossible.. and we live 40 minutes from the town… He has a legit point here folks!!
By this time I am chanting “No no no Girlfriend.. NO!!!!!!” as my brain is quickly trying to work around a scenario of how I can complete this request and NOT be defiant to my man!
This is where he goes out to collect eggs…. and I hop on Amazon.
They sell KY Jelly!!!!!!
Did you know you can not only buy it on Amazon and have it shipped to you in a brown box.. but you can also have it by the exact day off that it is needed????
There truly is a solution to everything!
So… Hubby comes back into the house… I tell him “No worries it will be here in 48 hours!”
He looks at me puzzled.. and I confess… “Amazon!” Oh and I also bought you the new Lauren Daigle Album Look Up Child“…
“and the new Kings and county cd” (He loves music…)
“But I only spent .81 cent’s because I found a 25.00 gift card a friend sent me… so I used that!!!!! ”
He is now a very happy man.. laughing at me and my resourcefulness!
As I walk down the hall I just said… trailing… “It’s a small county!!!!!!!!”
The good news is Maggie will have her anal glands checked in comfort and she most likely will get a beach visit out of it…
The bad news is Amazon is now trying to get me to buy ‘other’ things that, well… I don’t need or want!!!!!
*Some Affiliate links
I have a pile of books waiting for reviews.
I contemplated with this current book to not review it. In all actuality I don’t review all the books I read. I think some would down right bore you to near death.
You know I would be right.
I see the look on your faces when I talk Techie and Permaculturey!
Which is why you sighed a little thank you my sweet friend sound of relief!
But this book has me wanting to put it on the shelf and forget about it… and at the same time keeps popping back into my head as… You need to review it!
Amazon has it for a really great price. And add in the prime shipping it makes it cheaper for me then driving to the book store.
Only because the book store closest to me is over 2 hours away!
But here are the 3 things I want to share with you…
- Why I bought the book and what I was hoping to get out of the book.
I originally was listening to the book on Hoopla. An amazing app that my library uses and that has a large array of Christian audio books. So I started listening to half of the book when my husband was reading his own book “The most Exemplary Husband”. When I showed him the book I was listening to we compared them and realized they were written to actually be somewhat companions to each other. So I bought the book in hard cover and off we went into a book club with the love of my life!
I say they are somewhat companions to each other, because while the chapters seem to match for the most part, once you get to chapter 9 they get mixed up a little and take a few side roads. We always seemed to get back on track however. And I loved the one on one time with my man… Talking about our marriage and God.
But I started listening to the book because I wanted a better understanding of how I could be the best Godly wife to my husband around. Every man is different… and needs a different helper. And every wife is different! I was off to the comfy couch to delve in to a book that would help me unfold what God says was the Most Excellent Wife!!!!
2. What I think she missed in this book.
I will point out she wrote the book originally in 1995 and updated it in 2005. 10 years in our ever changing culture it needed the update… Add in 13 more years on to that update… and you have yourself a book that while it still is somewhat accurate today… It’s missing some things.
I actually read the book with 3 lenses on. 1. A wife that loves and adores her husband and wants to make her man’s life easier in every way! 2. The eye’s of a woman that is being abused and well, my old self. and finally, 3. A new Christian housewife ready to embark on marriage and life with her man in 2018.
I should stop here and tell you if you haven’t been on my site before that I am an odd woman! I have been divorced… twice… but only married to 2 different men. Which means… I married the same man twice.. and divorced him twice. For very biblical reasons that I won’t get into.
I say that because you need to know I was in a very difficult marriage on and off for 16 years. I tried! I prayed! I forgave! over and over and over…
However, I am the first one that reads a book on this topic and starts the squirming in my seat when they don’t talk about Domestic Violence… and the cycle of violence… properly!
I’ll save the remainder of my comments on this topic for another time. Trust me.. I will be talking about it!
It felt like she was insinuating through the whole book that ALL women have an issue with authority from there husband’s! That all women want them dead and dream of them dead…. (Don’t think I am exaggerating… it’s in the book!) But if you are that type of women, then rest assured she gives you correct ways of changing your thinking!
So here she is, writing a book on marriage and she keeps telling the wife that she has to pray about it and her attitude will change. Again, she is talking as if we all think this way!
I don’t!!!! Literally!!! I just want to be the best wife for my man and looking for ways for God to show me where I should change!!!
She goes on to say, if your husband doesn’t fix something on the house and their house becomes run down then that is a reflection on him if they live in a slum.
STOP RIGHT HERE!!!!!!
Stop the presses right now…. If the largest investment of our lifetime is falling down and my man doesn’t fix it… then I better get my butt on YouTube and teach myself how to fix the home that God and my man have worked hard for! It is the least I can do for my hard working man!!!!! I am not helpless… I am HIS HELPER!!!! And if I can help him save money.. and learn something in the process… then Good for us.. we work as a team!!!!
My husband is the leader… I am his helper!!!!
(This is why I didn’t want to do a review… I was heard many times yelling at the book.)
I also found, as my husband did in his book, that they were using scripture and attempting to bend it to fit what they were trying to say. I understood what they were saying… But checking biblical commentaries and other versions … It just didn’t fit fully.
She used the NASB bible version and while I do use that one, it’s not my go to, amazing easy reading version. It’s not even in the top 5.
I know, you think I am being overly critical.
I will add that even my husband told me specifically NOT to follow some of the books entire chapters. (threw my hands around his neck and kissed him dearly!!!!) And there was a point in time where we were both feeling negative moments in our relationship over how the books where telling us…. For mine… Women just need to follow and be quiet.. and his… it’s always the women’s fault.
I am only kidding a fraction!
I liked the chapter on sex. Because we don’t take this chapter serious enough and we don’t teach our girls about what it really means to be a Godly wife in the sex category.
There…. I found a positive!
I didn’t like the fact she said a woman should not work outside of the home. I found that to be rather interesting… She went on to say that it was the man’s job and the man should make it so the women should not work. I don’t fully disagree with that… but what if a woman has a special calling.. like to be a nurse.. or amazing attorney? Because she marries a man she loses the ability to practice the gift God gave her?
I am still thinking about that one…. I am also still working on that.. even Proverbs 31 talks about how she bought a field with her earnings….
The last thing I want to comment on.. She specifically was talking about how women should do what there husbands say… unless they go against God. She used the example of if a wife doesn’t drink… she should still go to the bar with her unchristian husband but just not drink. I have a problem with this…. Because, going to a bar and not drinking…. while totally possible… I know… is actually asking for trouble.
I would rather her tell the wife to decline the invitation to go to the bar but suggest a nice restaurant instead? But that’s just me.
I don’t flick my finger on satan’s nose… I stay as far away from him as possible.
3. Who I would and wouldn’t recommend buying this book.
I would say no one.. but I met a women that had read the book and got a lot out of it. She commented on how she was that women that always tried to control and think bad about her husband. She went on to say the book really helped her focus on ‘rightful thoughts’ instead of sinful ones.
So if you fit in the above description…. I totally recommend this.
If you are in an abusive relationship or have been in prior relationships I would suggest you steer clear of this book. It’s missing sections that adequately advise you of what biblically to do in these area’s.
My FINAL words…
By now you might think I am a horrible person. Out of touch with Christian living and off my rocker. You might be right. But having been a women that sought Godly counsel and lots of it and followed the scripture and advice I was giving.. and then as a dispatcher, having touched and helped many women in their marriages, during the worst moments of their marriage, this book was just missing the point. I am not a hardened wife that wants my way. I am a wife that wants to serve her man and love on him.
With that all said… I would most likely recommend it to someone that needed a ‘rightful thinking’ book.
*Some links are affiliate links
None of us want to hold someone back from their God potential. But what if our caring or joking was causing someone to stumble in their walk with God?
Years ago, a dear friend of ours was having a hard time in a relationship. Her Facebook posts were becoming hysterical antics of what the other person did wrong. Which caused my husband and I to start to cover her in prayer.
I’ll stop here and tell ya’ll, when I throw my husband under the bus in a hilarious social media post, he is either sitting right next to me laughing even harder, or he knows and approves of the laughing moment. Because we know how laughter can help in a relationship and how needed it is in today’s world. But, in these cases, we knew the other half wasn’t aware of these posts. And they were becoming more frequent.
So after much prayer we decided to send a quick message along the lines of ‘do you mean to post this stuff online? It doesn’t really show the love of God.’
We sat back waiting to be unfriended. Only half kidding. Because I knew her heart was after God’s in a stalker’ish kind of way. I was pretty sure she wasn’t posting these things fully aware of how they looked to the outside world.
It was confirmed when she replied, “Do I?” and then (as you could hear her finger swiping through her own posts), “Oh my, I didn’t realize I was doing this.”
That was the last day we ever saw a post that could be construed even a little poorly about her spouse.
Flash forward several years and I am sitting at the table with her and she is pouring out her frustration that it’s been many years since she has posted, or spoken, anything mean about her man and yet, she has to relive this part of her life every time she is around a group of friends. “They joke about it and comment on how they are going to make a note about me not talking bad about him.”
And then it comes…. “It’s like I can’t move past, who I was, to become who God is making me into! I am constantly reliving the old me and reminded that I am a THAT person. When I am not that person anymore!”
Flash to my own life at that moment…
Having been recovering from a traumatic event that spanned over a few years and trying desperately to move past it and back into the arms of God (because I allowed myself to get lost), I knew exactly what she was talking about. During my own event I was fully aware that some of my thoughts and actions were not very Christ-like. At all. But knowing that God was a forgiving God and gracious with Grace and Mercy I did the work on myself in private (and public) to correct my thinking and move closer to God.
It was hard!
Except every time I was near a few select group of people I would be reminded of the horrors that occurred and the past would be dredged up time and time again.
It was painful. Painful to relive and painful to face what I had gone through and while I knew God brought me through it for a purpose, it was becoming apparent I wouldn’t be able to put it in my past, but I would have to relive it every time I was with a specific group of individual’s.
One day through the course of reading I ‘stumbled’ (get it?) across Matthew 16:23 and 18:5-7:
Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
“If anyone causes one of these little ones-those who believe in me-to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!”
Then I had to turn to my favorite dictionary and seek what it really meant this Stumbling-Block word…
Webster Dictionary 1828 defines Stumbling-Block: Any cause of stumbling; that which causes to err.
So all the work I did in preparing my heart to love again and head out into the world only to be reminding of how painful the world was to me and how poorly I handled it and to question myself as to why I should even try further….. That is a stumbling block!
Being reminded that you will eventually speak negative of someone instead of being held up as a changed Godly woman is indeed a stumbling block.
Have you ever realized you were a stumbling block to someone else?
Do you have people in your world that are a stumbling block to you?
Making mistakes is the human part in us. Rest assured, I am not and will not be perfect. But I desire to go out into this world and shine the light of God and how amazing and righteous he is! But that is nearly impossible when there is someone reminding us of who we were.
So I personally had a choice to make:
I could choose to remove myself from the group of people and hope that time would change things and eventually I could work my way back in to that world. (I actually tried this for several months, it was very apparent it wasn’t God’s choice for everyone in that group.)
I could confront them at the time and be open and honest with what the reminders were doing to me.
I chose the latter. On an individual basis I slowly began to talk to the people that brought up my past. Because in my heart I truly felt that they weren’t bringing it up for harmful sinister reasons… But that they were truly trying to find things to talk to me about.
Let’s face it, I see the glazed look in my families eye’s as I talk about Permaculture and Gardening and the surgery I did on a chickens foot. Small talk is hard for people that are used to solving someone’s issues and then moving on to the next call…
It’s the fact I am trying that matters. And to be honest, in a way, I felt that some needed help to move on from the trauma as well. It really did affect many lives.
How do you even tell if you are a stumbling block to someone? The first place to start is in prayer. When I pray for my friend I spoke about earlier, I pray for her future, for the amazing grace God has shined upon her and the magnificent relationship she is in now. I don’t bring her past up to God… He’s forgiven her of that. If I don’t bring it up to God… I don’t bring it up to her.
Because to be honest…. If God can forgive her and wash it away, It’s the example of what I should do for her. Forgiveness, Grace and Mercy and Love.
Here is something that I tuck in the back of my mind…. Genisis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
If we really believed that…. Wouldn’t we be focused more on healing and where God is leading us… then, the pain and where we came from?
Forgiveness. Grace. Mercy. Love.
I Practice them daily.
I think I need to paint the picture…
This view I am sitting in front of.. The green pasture with the cows just at the edge of the hedgerow.. I always wonder if they know the bay is just on the other side? Is there a fence down there stopping them? Or if they could… would they venture for a swim?
My partially eaten breakfast sandwich… and hot full cup of coffee, that personally I have been reheating since 5:50 am when my darling husband placed it by my bedside followed with a kiss…
The washing machine can be heard down the hall and the turning of the bread machine is churning…. With the anticipation of sweet smelling fresh bread in moments to arise. Then there is Mozart. I love to listen to Mozart!
But the one thing that is different in the years that have gone past is this:
I am writing again.
Which is huge if you know me. Huge in the fact that for me to write… it’s almost as if the planets have to align in a perfect shape and the angels have to hold the keyboard while we all dance to Mozart. #17 to be exact.
It’s my world… You’re just reading in it right now.
These last 9 months I have focused on looking for BEAUTY. What does that look like? What is it like to smile a real smile and truly feel it rush through your brain and down into your toes? What does it look like? Genuine beauty, what does it look like?
It’s different for us all. My beauty is totally different for me then it is for you. Which when you stop to think about it… makes helping someone find there’s… near impossible.
For instance, I find a dead rodent on the front porch BEAUTIFUL! They multiply fast and every dead rodent is potentially 150 dead rodents in the year to come! So I celebrate those kills with my farm cats! And they know they are cherished and loved…. Until they poop in the radish bed.
Don’t eat my radishes.
We actually don’t grow radishes anymore.
Beauty to you might be a shade of lipstick. Or a fancy sleek car. That’s the sheer beauty of it all. It’s different to each one of us.
So last year when I realized I didn’t even know what BEAUTY looked like I felt lost. Where was my joy in life? Who was I really? When did I lose my joy? When did I stop looking for the beauty in life?
I remember being truly happy and a happy person. The problem was I couldn’t remember when I last felt that, and where or what I was doing in my life.
But deep inside I knew that wasn’t me. I knew, that God wanted more for me then to experience a dull existence. I knew we were all supposed to live a full and vibrant life. I just didn’t know what that looked like with me anymore.
Then one day I woke up and going about my chores something caught the corner of my eye. They were the cows in the field across from where I live. When we first moved here I would sit and watch the cows every morning over coffee… They would meander through the field throughout the day and at times you could catch them playing and running and chasing each other. For a city girl… I was fascinated. I still am.
[Warming up my coffee….. Again]
When the house was built below me and partially blocked my view I stopped actually watching them each morning. Quite possibly because I also noticed the neighbors were watching me looking out the window and I didn’t want them to think I was being nosey… So I left the cows to wander in the field on their own.
I wonder if they missed me.
I wonder if they realized I named them? I wonder if they have real names?
So, back to this one day, pouring a cup of coffee and picking up the kitchen I see my cows moving about at the field below and I stopped. To watch. It was in that moment of looking at my precious cows that God used to answer all the questions I had been pondering over my year of healing.
Yes, my child, you are loved. You were made to be different and to stand out and why for the life of me do you want to fit in to this broken world? This, these cows is what you delighted in. the beauty of this mountain in front of you that you haven’t looked at in years is what you saw as beautiful. The beach and sand between your toes that you haven’t been on in those years is what you desire to fill your heart. I created all of this to give you rest and beauty and to refresh you. And you have chosen to focus on the pain and hurt and hatred. Those are not things that I desire in this world. I have made you different and in my image for so much more than the pain you have experienced inside of you. And if you will allow me to show you… what I find beautiful I will bring you back to the true and authentic you that I created.
[I feel the need to stop and inform those that are going to question… That I hear God speaking… Simmer down. This is what was going through my brain…. The answers I had been seeking for well over a year came flooding in all at once. While my soul understood these answers and I had found the answers in the bible during this year. It was apparent during this time that I couldn’t get my heart and brain to literally believe them as truth. Till God used my cows to stop me… and the Holy Spirit to answer them, and my heart to open up and accept them as truth. ]
So my silent journey started.
Each day I woke up and started to look at the world for what God wanted me to see. Not what the world wanted me to see and read.. But I looked for things that were beautiful.
I’ll be honest. Sometimes I took ALL day to find something and sometimes I never would. Life is totally like a rollercoaster. Some days are full of ups and others can bring a sharp turn and downward spiral… But it’s holding on during the spirals and having faith that the roller coaster will eventually go back up..
And then you just rebuild that rollercoaster darnit and make it what you want in this world!
The most miraculous thing happened along this journey of mine.
I started to see more beauty. Like it was jumping out at me.
I started to catch myself smiling.
I started to hear myself laughing.
I started to feel and hear the Holy Spirit welling up in me and pointing me in the direction of where I was to go….
I started to cry and let all the pain and hurt puddle on the floor… and then I would wipe it away and throw the tissue in the burn barrell…
I started to be attacked by the enemy more… and severely.
I withdrew and composed myself and reentered society, several times. God allows U-Turns and do-overs and don’t let anyone tell you differently!!!
I started dreaming in chapters again.
The last one is huge my friends. I haven’t dreamed in chapters for years… complete books were written in my head over the course of nights sleeping. I would go to sleep and wake up with another segment of a saga unfold.
And I sigh… with a smile on my face as I realize how dearly I missed that.
Life is not perfect. We live in such a fallen world. But that doesn’t mean we weren’t created to experience joy beyond our wildest dream. Even during the hardest trials of our life.
But my joy isn’t your joy. It’s different for each one of us. I love that.
A bit ago a dear friend stopped by the property to give me a hug…. I love when those 5 minute stop by’s happen. She made a comment I can not get out of my head. ‘I got a text from a friend that they just don’t know what joy is anymore.’ My heart hurts for this person that I don’t even know. Because I have been there. I know this… I was this… and how do you help someone out of that cycle? Because my joy is different then what they would consider joy.
Not everyone celebrates over a dead rodent on their front steps!
But the steps to finding your personal version of joy could be the same as mine…..
Look for the beauty in life…. Everyday…. Intentionally seek out what is beautiful and celebrate it. Yes, make a cake for the dead rodent if that tickles your fancy. Because the more you celebrate the beauty… the less time you will have to wallow in the hurt and pain…. And eventually you will see the cows in the field running again.
No really…. Heather and Natalie were just chasing each other in the field… No worries.. They didn’t run into Henrietta. She’s still eating her chosen grass… This is Tillamook here… Our cows are females… we do the cheese here.
Today, promise me that you will go out and find one thing that is beautiful to you today… and take a photo of it. And if you want to follow what I find beautiful you can follow me on Instagram here where I literally stop and post what I find beautiful daily… but be forewarned… I find odd things beautiful! Or you can follow me on Facebook here. If you found this helpful, I would appreciate you sharing this with your friends.
For this moment… this is my beauty…. You reading this and hopefully finding a joyful moment.
By now several of you have commented “You’re on Instagram???”
To which I just say “Yep!”
It’s usually followed by questions as to why and when and I have gotten very good at changing the topic to another one. Usually brownies or the weather! God, please send rain….
But after a bit of playing and sneaking myself onto the platform… of which it is pretty hard to sneak on! (Because you use one hashtag and the world finds you!) I sat down and prayed about it.
And this is what I have discovered:
I have been through a lot… We have been through a lot!
We saw a different side of humanity that to be frank, we knew existed but we didn’t know it actually existed within churches AND this line of work. But biblically, it’s right there smack on the pages of Romans warning us about it!
I choose to be happy. I choose whether I want to remain in the pit of darkness or whether I climb myself out of it and shake off the dust and I choose how I am going to proceed into the world.
So I joined Instagram to see what it was about.
Not ANOTHER social media site!!!!!! Is what I have been heard saying in the past. ‘No… I am staying only with Facebook. I don’t want another site’ is also another phrase I have said.
And yes, I even quite Facebook and YouTube and Twitter and G+..
I used to be on all of them. And I will never get my followers back… Honestly, that’s perfectly fine with me. God brings me the people He wants to see what I share. Exactly how it should be.
I never want that to change….
But… I wanted a place to share the beauty I see every day! And, since I started looking for beauty… I see it everywhere!!!! In everything. It was when I started sharing our turmoil… was when I noticed people were being touched. By the rawness, and relating clearly to it in their own life. That’s when the whispering of healing started to be heard murmuring through my social media world.
Oh don’t get me wrong… I was put in my place… Satan wanted me to sit down and behave like a pretty little girl. He took his best shot… (he almost won. Let that sink in.) but he is not the boss of me! God is!!! And God whispered into my ear to get back up! Stand tall! I am the one that fights your battles for you and you young lady are a princess!!!!!
And princess’ don’t cower in a corner! They get up and follow Me! And I have a job for you!!!
I know, you are wondering what Instagram and this job He has for me, have in common… and… honestly… I have no clue… But that isn’t my job right now. Right now, I am looking at beauty in life….
Instagram is simply a place I share… the beauty I see in my every day life. If you have already found me you may have noticed a theme…. It’s me… in my daily life… taking photos… of what I find beautiful!
It’s what BEAUTY looks like to me.
It’s messy and pretty and hard and loving. It’s down right hilarious at times!!! It’s about caring and sharing and with as few words as possible… it’s about real life in the eye’s of a Christian woman. One who know’s she was saved. One who has received grace and mercy in abundance that to not speak about it would be the ultimate crime!
We all have hard times. We all need to be dusted off and we all have to find a way to make this world personable for each of us… Full of meaning and love and life. The best thing in life is that that will look different for each of us. The one thing that was constant… was as long as I kept my eye’s on Jesus…. He was pointing me towards daily beauty. Little miracles that only He could show me… and the more I looked towards Him… the more I sought out His love and His beauty… the more my heart started to notice the simply beauty that is all around us.
Life is beautiful. Even through the tears of loss… a crying child… a hurt leg…You can find the beauty in it…. If you look!
So, through Instagram, I am showing you the beauty in my world… what I see…. on the other side of the camera lens!
It really is that simple.
Oh, except the name change…. @thebettencourts will be the theme going forward. 😉
I love this book….
I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!
This is the book that you give to young married couples to show them that yes… being married is wonderful… and having a happy marriage is totally possible!!!! Forget that… give this book to young women BEFORE they meet the man they want to marry!!!
The author, Fawn Weaver, first started a blog and a Facebook page:
of which I have been a member of both for quite some time… Ok.. a few years… and I love it!
So listening to her book was just a given for me. I like to celebrate marriage and good marriages are hard to come by right?
Not really. If you open your eyes and look around good solid happy marriages are all around us… But we are drawn to outrage and negativity at a greater pull then we are to anything remotely positive.
So I like the fact that she traveled the world talking and finding woman with good solid marriages and she interviewed them… some with their husbands. I liked hearing about the secrets that they proclaimed were the grounding forces in their marriages.. and what worked and what didn’t.
Last night, laying in my mans arms, I was telling him about what I had learned so far from reading this book…. I could hear him grunt and feel his nod as I spoke. Agreeing with what she was saying….
I like the moment where she talks about a life group they were in.. and she noticed herself finding ways to pick a fight after they were leaving the group each night… and when she put the two together… she noticed that being around a group of women that nitpick their men… or were unhappy in their marriage… she was finding it was contagious… she stopped.. and started to really be careful who she was hanging around…
I find this to be so very true. I love my marriage and my man and we both guard our relationship… I started noticing this same thing with a group of women that I was thinking I would fit in with… I really wasn’t feeling it… and when you boil it right down to why… it was because I wasn’t willing to bash my husband. He is an amazing man and I don’t have anything negative to say about him.
But the women would sit around and talk smack about their men and as it came around to me.. I noticed I would agree to just agree.. when in reality I didn’t agree… (Bad Me!!!!!)
My husband and I started to unpack where things were… we noticed that he also was finding he was agreeing with things.. just to agree… fit in with the people we were hanging around with… that while he didn’t agree with what someone was saying (insert a topic here) we were going along… but…. while at home we didn’t feel that way… we found it started to sneak into how we actually behaved in those area’s.
Hence, I removed myself from some area’s of the world. It just doesn’t matter… My man on the other hand… matters! And I have noticed my outlook on life… is changing drastically for the better!!!
I like how she brought that to life for me. The fact that she noticed it also in her own life… helps me realize that pulling away and creating a life with different people was totally the correct answer for me.
I love how most of the couples talked about the hardships they endured and pointed out that they pulled together. Or when one wanted to travel a path, like a career… the other made it work. Towards the end of the book as she is talking to a well-known author’s wife… I loved how the wife mentioned that she listened to her husbands heart… and not exactly what he was saying. They ended up taking a risk and changing their life… not for financial gain… but for happiness…
I related to that… Recently while watching my husband working on something he came to me and expressed his desire in an area… many took it as a failure or ‘stupid’ move… I have heard it all my friends… But I am the one that saw the path and thought and time that my man spent in researching the change… and as he sat in front of me asking for my thoughts… I heard his heart louder than anything else…. and that is what prompted me to say “Do it!!!!”. I know.. People think we are crazy… and we might very well be… but at least we will be happy and together down this crazy trail we are on.
I should say, I like how she talked about her faith but not in a way to bad mouth any other faiths. She was classy… with how she worded it all.. and I found myself wanting to be her best friend. And very happy that I signed on board to be a member of the Happy Wives Club.
Personally I give her props for traveling away from her man for 6 months while she interviewed and wrote this book…. I couldn’t have done it. But I am so glad she did… Because reading about the different area’s in the world and relationships that are out there and happiness in marriages… truly makes my heart beat with happy beats.
We should all be celebrating the fact we have a happy marriage! People need to see that they actually exist out there! And don’t be afraid to guard your marriage with your entire life and being…. It is worth protecting!
This book is a little different from what I have been listening to lately. There isn’t a theme of self-help… or change in path to consider in my life with this book…. It’s just simply…. A book of sweet stories… of the author’s life and family.
And I loved the journey going down memory lane.
Sophie Hudson, the author, narrates it herself and her southern accent mezmerizes you into the book with her drawl of ‘ya’ll’ and ‘mama’. I love southern accent’s.
A little Salty to cut the Sweet makes you want to bring out the fine china… Rosenthal Hillside China to be exact….
Here’s a photo of what that china looks like… Because you know I stopped to do a google on it…
Of course we would then fry up some fried chicken and invite our family over for some supper… were we would love each other endlessly and laugh over tea… and feel an overwhelming acceptance and love…
Her family sounds heavenly.
Then you hear that during a move her mother carefully packed that china and instead of getting placed in the front seat of her mama’s car… you will have to read the book for the rest… I am pretty sure I will always remember what I was doing on this land when she told that story.
My heart fell in sadness.
That’s also when I had to stop and look up what the china looked like.
She went on to talk about loss and growing old and love and kids and everything in between… I loved how she made me feel as if she was talking to me while we were sitting at her kitchen nook table… Not the dinning room table.. The little table in the kitchen.. where we made biscuits together and laughed…. at her sad stories because they were funny and sad and heart warming at the same time.. and she has a wit that is so funny…. you just can’t believe she is saying what she is saying…
And there is a small part of me that wants to send her the directions for cooking bacon in the oven…. baking sheets at a time! 🙂 But I will refrain from doing that.. because her way is way more funnier and we all need a friend like she has… that we can call and he will just ask what he needs to bring before his long drive over to see her.
I really felt sorry for her dad… what in the world possessed him to learn to make biscuits from a lady in the town.. other then his wife????
This is the south we are talking about. 🙂
The book was a heart warming, fun moment in time that I needed while I was digging dirt and building stairs… If you are interested… she runs a blog… and a podcast.. and she can be found here… https://www.boomama.net/
For now.. I am on to my next book as I head back out to pour concrete!
People are amazing and stories hold us together and bring us closer… If that wasn’t true… then God wouldn’t have written the bible with so manu author’s using stories and word pictures to knit us all together.
Tell your stories… They matter!
Love you my friends!