It's already the end of the school year. Where has the time gone? Carey and I have been celebrating the graduation of our senior son. Yikes!
With Jordan's milestone, I've become a little bit more reflective and a lot more emotional. Though he'll be staying at home for the next year as he attends community college, it's still a transition, and I feel uncertain at times about whether or not we've parented him well (Jordan is on the far right in this picture).
We've made lots of mistakes, as I'm sure he would tell you. That's why I'm thankful for his sense of humor, his ability to forgive, and for the influence others have had in his life. (He has been a part of a remarkable group of young men from our church who have cheered each other on, kept one another accountable, and had fun together for the last few years. I'm grateful!)
The older I get, the more grace becomes important--both to give and receive.
This month's edition of "Happily Ever Laughter" features the intro to a guest post I wrote for a fellow marriage author, Joyce Zook, which she recently featured on her blog. I hope you'll click over to her information-and-inspiration filled page, not just to read the rest of my post, but also to look for the other resources she's collected.
5 Ways to Affair-Proof Your Marriage
Last summer, my husband Carey and I had the pleasure of attending a family camp in Leakey, Texas. One of the speakers was pastor Ross Chandler, who led the adults in devotions each day while our kiddos had their own age-appropriate devotional times with leaders.
Ross’s teaching on affair-proofing the marriage relationship resonated with both of us, so the following tips are based on the advice he gave (thanks, Dr. Chandler!):
- Keep your eyes on your own relationship. Everyone else’s marriage may look good on Facebook, but real life is messy, complicated, and (at times) extremely difficult. As Ross noted, “We see public personas and actions—it’s not fair to compare people at their best with our spouse. We see them all the time, and we see them at their worst.”
- Be extremely careful with opposite-sex friendships. If you let someone else meet your emotional needs, you’re playing with fire. Also, don’t meet someone else’s emotional needs. Just. Don’t.
Marriage quote of the month:
"Christian marriage does not offer a choice between fulfillment and sacrifice but mutual fulfillment thru mutual sacrifice."
Wow. The author of that insightful gem is The Rev. Tim Keller, and the quote can be found here on Twitter.
Want more from this respected church leader and author? Be sure and check out Tim and his wife Kathy's latest book, The Songs of Jesus: A Year of Daily Devotions from the Psalms. I am LOVING it.
- Ever have "one of those days"? Here's a link to a completely FREE online magazine which featured my personal story on the importance of gratitude and perspective--in marriage, parenting, and life--on pages 126-131. The article is called "Re-framing My Life."
- In May, I did a series of posts on depression for Mental Health Awareness Month. If you or a loved one deals with mental illness, I hope you'll find these videos and tools helpful.
- Carey and I met in a drama group, and we sometimes write and perform skits in church. Here's a page with three of our original sketches--feel free to use and/or adapt them for your own purposes. The link also has a free e-book about being a counter-cultural mom.
- Carey made two videos this month for our church's "Pocket Talk" devotional series. If you need help dealing with conflict in marriage (and who doesn't?), I think you'll find them super-practical.
Finally, I wanted to give you an update on a friend of mine (and my Wounded Women of the Bible: Finding Hope When Life Hurts co-author), Tina Samples. She recently had a heart transplant, and gives the story behind it here. Also, her husband has just been diagnosed with prostate cancer, so they are reeling emotionally right now. Please pray for both of them and their two sons.
Also, click the link to find out information about the book she wrote with her husband, Dave. Messed-Up Men of the Bible: Seeing the Man in Your Life Through God's Eyes is available now. I've read it, and learned a lot from Dave and Tina's insights about biblical men (and women in their lives). The chapters end with thought-provoking questions and journaling prompts. it would be a wonderful book to read with the man (or woman) in your life.
Thanks for reading (and watching), friends. See you next time!