Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Listen to Steven and Mary Beth Chapman's Story on FOF

Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope

Yesterday I introduced you to a new book Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope by Mary Beth Chapman.  Today, Focus on the Family is airing an interview with this coupleThis is a two part program. 

Hear about adoption and grief.  You will not be disappointed for the time that you spend.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Review: Choosing to SEE

Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope
I have blogged several times about Steven Curtis Chapman and his family and the loss of their five-year-daughter Maria. If this name rings a bell, Steven Curtis Chapman has a list a mile long of awards he has won in the Christian music world. Truly some of my favorite songs are his. In May 2008, his 5 year old daughter, Maria Sue Chapman, was struck by a car driven by one of her teenage brothers.

I heard that his wife, Mary Beth, had just finished writing a book about her life and dealing with the loss.  I could not wait to read the book.  I was not only not disappointed but I was very impressed. 

Throughout my own Interrupted Expectations, I have read several grief books.  Honestly, most miss the mark.  Mary Beth has chosen to be real and raw.  Because of this, God is going to use this book in big, big ways.  While the last half of the book deals with the loss of her adopted daughter, the first half explains the Type A personality that had driven Mary Beth to control her surroundings.  Slowly, she has learned to let go. 

Several times, I stopped and reread passages to my husband to share in some very funny moments in the Chapman family.  Other times, I cried along as I read things that were very close to home.

In most book reviews that I do, I spend the next few blogs writing excerpts taken from the book.  For the first time, I am not going to do this.  In truth, I don't know where to start.  If I chose a place, I would end up copying 50% of the book and then we get into copyright laws!  But this book will show up time to time in the future as I reference back to it. 

If you are grieving - read this book.
If you have a friend grieving - read this book as you will learn very personal ways to bless a family.
If you haven't had Interrupted Expectations where intense grief is involved - read this book so that you have a better understand for those who have.

Over all - just read it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Beautiful Hole

A few months ago one of the pastor's at our church gave a message on "Presence: The Skill of Being There". This is the first of two post highlighting his message. 

When we are wounded, we are left with a gapping hole. We may feel like the hole is ugly and embarrassing. People may walk with a wide gerth around us or point and whisper. There are people in your life who will come at your hole with hammer.  They will say truly insensitive things that make the hole bigger.  Thankfully, there are people who have themselves grieved who will come with supplies to help your hole heal.  But God is going to make the hole beautiful. And...you have the hole because He is going to receive glory out of it. So, as you travel the road of grief, don't be embarrassed.  God is turning what the world calls ugly into beauty.

I love the imagery of the hole. 

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Understand Your Husband's Sexual Needs

No More Headaches: Enjoying Sex & Intimacy in Marriage

Almost a year ago, I created a post called "The Honeymoon is Over."  I explained that one Interrupted Expectation you may be experiencing is your marriage. You got married thinking it would be all bells and whistles but the honeymoon ends quickly and life hits you dead in the face.

I introduced you to a book by Dr. Juli Slattery called No More Headaches: Enjoying Sex & Intimacy in Marriage.  At the time, Focus on the Family was airing an interview with the author.  Now, FOF has created eight articles of excerpts from this book to help women better understand their husbands.  I found the articles very helpful and think you will too. 

Understanding Your Husband's Sexual Needs
1. Overview
2.Understanding His Sexuality
3.Sex Is a Physical Need
4.Sex Is an Emotional Need
5.Sex Is a Spiritual Need
6.Sex Is a Relational Need
7.So, What's the Holdup?
8.Your Husband's Sex Drive Is God's Gift to You
9.Next Steps / Related Information

Thursday, August 12, 2010

By Faith

Have you ever read a passage of scripture that you felt like God wrote just for you?  How about a passage that you thought you knew by heart but yet it seems brand new?

God used Hebrews 11 during my quiet time not too long ago in just this way.  You may recognize this chapter as the "Faith Chapter" or the "Hall of Faith".  Grab your Bible or click on the links and join me as we journey through this chapter.  Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you.

Let's start by reading Hebrews 11:1-34

"It was by faith..."  Over and over, the verses show how God blessed Old Testament men and women who had faith.  Amazing miracles happened.  Lives were changed.  Death was escaped.  Weakness was turned to strength.  I get goosebumps just reading it!

"But others trusted God and..."  This is where I felt my shoulders fall.  Some were mocked.  Some died.  Some were tortured.  These are people that the scriptures say "trusted God' and yet bad things happened.  I found myself saying, "What about the first 34 verses?  Why didn't the chapter end there?"

Read the last verse with me...
For God had far better things in mind for us that would also benefit them, for they can't receive the prize at the end of the race until we finish the race.
The Holy Spirit said to me...It wasn't your lack of faith that has caused the Interrupted Expectations in your life.  God could have done a miracle.  But when you finish the race, you will fully understand that He had far better things in mind for you. 

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Saturday, August 7, 2010

With or Without?

Here are two quotes that I heard during the sermon at church a while back.
Life has disappointments.  Am I going to be disappointed with God or without God?

Have you found out life works better with God or without?
Only you can truly answer these questions. 

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