The beats of my heart!

Life can be lived in the simple moments of family and nature, enjoying two of God’s priceless gifts.

I reflect, and often, on how my life was once full of sorrow at the hope destroyed of a baby we lost, bitterness at a marriage struggling, fear of a son dying, and exhaustion that it all never seemed to end. Seasons that seemed to toil forever.

Then I see these perfect mountains and I count 3 perfect children and I see a man I admire most on this earth and I realize that time can pull you through all things.

And God was there, steadfast, through it all.

Silence and struggle does not erase quiet, infinite care.

God bless you and yours, our friends, in your seasons of life.

#hisloveenduresforever #greatishisfaithfulness

A funny for everyone married. Okay—mostly wives ;)

So, as I am trying to gather all of the photos I can find from my daughter’s trip to Taiwan, I thought that you may just enjoy a bit of humor that I saw on Facebook the other day!

Well—if you’re a wife, you’ll enjoy it.  If you’re the husband or the mother-in-law, maybe not as much?!  haha!

xo b

PS—All in good fun.  I promise.

so funny you will laugh out loud

We are the 2…

But we did not go crazy!

Just had a date…without kids.  I ate mushroom soup.  He had zurek.  I had super gooey hot chocolate with whipped cream.  And we split a cheese pizza.

date_wow!

And now he is still working at 1:30am.  So I am posting this photo to prove that at least we had an evening together 🙂

In other news…

He and Ada had a tremendous time in Arizona, Nevada, California, and Colorado.

We appreciated everyone that Rich got to meet and share with in regards to our work!  (Find us on Facebook for the time being~Bread of Life~while we work on getting our website up and edited)

Ada got to share about being a multi-culture kid—super excited about that.  I think she ended up speaking to nearly 170 mostly kids but some adults too.  She said she had so much fun.  Funny fact:  She did the majority of her presentations in Polish.  I asked her why.  She said she was less nervous to do it that way 😉  And I guess the biggest hit of all was “Kupa Zupa” (What little kids would call Poop Soup) served once a week at school.  Haha!  If I was a kid, I would find that great fun to learn about, too!

The littles and I barely survived—snow.  Freezing cold.  Many wooden fire nights.  Coal.  More coal.  Have I mentioned coal?  And then 8 days of sickness.  And then 1 glorious last week before Rich and Ada returned where the sun started to peek through and the babies weren’t puking.

So, truly, before they re-arrived back in Poland, I was able to straighten the house, make food, and somehow regain a bit of sanity.

But we’re all still super tired.  Poor Ada has been going to sleep at 4am, 2am, and tonight midnight.  Well, I guess midnight is progress, eh?

And Rich has now officially gone to bed while I am busy typing this—makes sense since he has a 7am meeting.

Perhaps I should follow?

In the meantime, Rich and Ada have only been home for 4 full days but it already feels like a blessed eternity.

SOOOO happy to have my husband and my first beautiful miracle back in my home.

And not just because I want him to stoke and clean the coal—and light and clean the fire.

I promise 😉

xo for now (I’ll post Minion Mom’s devotion tomorrow—OOPS.  I think that I better get back online to keep up)

b

P.S.  Sunday we got to take a few photos at church—So, this is just a day plus a few hours after Adelyne arrived back home.  You should note that she chose to wear her dress from the wedding she was in last year in Botswana—and so, of course, Josephine had to wear her beautiful dress form Ivory Coast.  Maxwell, to be honest, I am happy that he just let me put him in clothes and that he didn’t choose to go naked to church or in his baseball pajamas.  It’s a rare day when Maxwell is actually dressed.

Overall—What fun!

atleastmaxsmiled

How well do you know your spouse?

DSCN0180

The first real conversation I EVER had with my husband did not take place while we were dating.

It did NOT take place during pre-marital counseling.

It did NOT take place on our honeymoon…Or even the year after that.

The first real conversation I EVER had with my husband took place 15 years after we had been together.

And the only reason the conversation took place was because our marriage was at the point of pain.

Which is funny, because two years after we were married, Richard and I were camping in the Austrian Alps. We were in a tent, and it was our first summer living abroad. We didn’t have any money—maybe like $200 to our names, and we decided that we needed to leave Poland for a bit. So, even if it cost every penny we had, we knew we had to do it. Therefore, we hopped on a very Eastern European train and said, “Take us away!”

We literally threw our bikes on, and we were off for a little over a week.

And while we were in the Alps, sleeping amongst such beauty, we decided to play a very childish game.

It is one that I recommend all married couples play.

Truth or Dare.

Oh my! We had so much fun asking questions and hearing answers, chiding each other into doing something dumb if we didn’t want to answer, and learning things about one another that we never really knew.

But the thing is…that conversation was also very shallow. Everything we learned was all in good fun. So, I guess you could say that even though we were trying to play a game called “Truth” both of us still had parts to our lives that we had yet to share.

It wasn’t until 10 years after that fun game in the Austrian Alps that Richard and I actually sat down and had a true conversation from the heart. One where we actually learned about the other.

Fifteen years after being together.

Today, our lives are far more beautiful because we actually know one another. And, although the Alps were full of lots of hilarity and laughter, I wouldn’t want to go back to that superficial time in our marriage for anything.

When we were at a conference once, one of the sessions was on marriage. And the elderly couple, slightly disheveled, walked up to the front of the stage. Before they even began speaking, I thought—Really? They are the ones that will present on marriage? They look slightly out of place.

That’s when they spoke. And it hit me. They did not look the part of professional speakers—but their words hit the hearts of the core of marriage.

In marriage you each come carrying your own suitcase. It is not a bag of packed clothes and toiletries. It is a bag of your past.

Your past choices. Your past actions. Your past hurts. Your family’s past.

And, no matter what, this packed bag comes with you into your new life.

What many people try to do is shelf this suitcase in their closet.

But the thing is…the suitcase never goes away. It remains there. In the closet. And when your life is going one way or another, you may wonder why.

The answer, most likely, lies in that suitcase that you have tried to hide. In the back of your closet.

And until you pull it out and share with your spouse what items you have packed and brought into your marriage, you will never ever really know one another.

Because to know one another, you have to know everything.

I was in awe with their presentation. I don’t even recall their names. But I wish that I could thank them again for sharing something that is so true.

Today I ask you, “How many others are out there like Richard and I used to be? Never really having an honest conversation with one another through 3 years of dating and 12 years of marriage? A total of 15 years and multiple children together.”

How many of you actually KNOW your spouse?

Perhaps you are lightyears ahead of the rest of us.

For those that are like Richard and I were, I pray that you will find the time to really sit down, open your suitcases, and get to know one another.

Because that is when you will truly fall in love.

xo for now,
b

There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life – fear of death, fear of judgment – is one not yet fully formed in love.  1 John 4:18, The Message

Have yourself a Mary little Christmas! And find a man like Joseph.

Mary is blessed.  She is.  She was honored and chosen to be the Mother of Jesus.  She was a humble servant and, although she questioned, she said, “May it be unto me as you have said.”

When Mary visited Elizabeth, John leapt for joy in Elizabeth’s womb.  Elizabeth proclaimed the greatness of the child Mary was carrying.

And when the shepherds came to see all that they had heard, Mary pondered and hid their proclamations in her heart.

Mary is the mother of Jesus.  And, if you have a mother of your own, you know how important that role is.

Your mother may have been a good example for you.  Your mother may have not been the best example for you.  But, no matter what, you grew, as a child, feeling the weight of that role.  The role of your Mom.

And Mary was a mother with a BIG role!

But Joseph…

This is what I type to you today.

I hope that you find yourself a Joseph.

Let’s take a look at him for a moment.

Joseph is from the City of David.  And he was pledged to marry a young virgin Mary.

And then, one night, an angel appears to him and throws all of his beautiful plans into the air.

No longer is he only going to marry Mary, he is going to be a father to a baby boy that will eventually be wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger…

Oh, and this little boy is the Son of God.  The Messiah.  The one that prophets have spoke of forever. Literally like forever.

And he, Joseph, he was going to be the earthly father of the Most High.

No pressure, Joseph.  No pressure.

Joseph had the opportunity to not take Mary as his wife.  He had every right to refuse the rather large job set before him.  And he could have asked for someone else to come alongside of Mary and help her with this baby whose name means God Saves.

But he didn’t.  He accepted the job.  He humbly stood next to Mary.  He took care of her.  He blessed Jesus.  And he allowed the story of Jesus to be HisStory (Get it?  God’s story.  History).

Joseph, not a lot is said about him.

Ladies, it is because he was humble.

But more than that.

He was also strong.

There’s more.  Joseph willingly raised a child that was not his own.

And, most importantly, Joseph put God first.

Lastly, Joseph remained faithful to the Word of God, bringing Jesus to the Temple to be blessed.

Ladies, it’s a simple answer, I know.  But let’s take a look at it again.

Humble.  Strong.  Willing.

God first.

Protector and provider.

Do-er not just hear-er of the Word of God.

All characteristics of a great man.

And, so, to all the single ladies—I encourage you.  Hold on.  And ask yourself:  Is this man my Joseph?  Because, if he is, then you know he’s God’s best for you.

You deserve him.  Just wait and see.

What? Did we get disconnected?

My husband wrote me an instant message sweetly saying, “We must have gotten disconnected while I was driving…”

“Sure, Richard. We got disconnected…By me!”

He is so funny!

And so is our marriage.

I am not sure, however, he thinks that I am as funny.

At least, on the other end of the line.