Lavish Hospitality 13

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I don’t think I really knew much of pain until after midway through college.

And then it has been full force since then.

The agonizing words of a friend over my appearance and the fact that I was never going to get married.

The words of a man that questioned so much of my future.

The pain of hearing lies.

The loss of a relationship.

The bitterness of my own sin.  Time and time again.

Sting of another betrayal.

Being met with judgment and not grace.

Loss of so many friendships – all at once.

And then to have to start to build relationships again.  And again.

At 40 it is tough to build relationships with new people.  Mommy friends.  Couple friends.  You know, every one has their own set of friends with not much room for new people.  And remembering the hurt of past relationships doesn’t make you too eager to put yourself out there again.

But, that’s what Lavish Hospitality does.  Jesus was hurt more than we could ever imagine.  I can’t fathom that.  And I’ve not been hurt near as much as some.  But, Christ took that pain – all of it – and died for it – then defeated death so we wouldn’t have to agonize over the pain any more.

We could feel again.  We could love again.  We could have broken relationships restored.  Because of Christ’s lavish hospitality on us.

Quote taken from Ashleigh Slater’s Braving Sorrow Together.

Team Us – Building a Great Team

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Marriage is a blessing…and marriage is tough.  Marriage takes a lot of work and you don’t get a break.  Having little ones makes every marriage harder.  And having kids adds so much more love and fun into a marriage.  And every marriage looks different.

One of the things I love about Ashleigh Slater and her little family is that they play by their rules.  They are a unique family who is on a unique journey.  They live and love well.  And she has written a book called Team Us.  In it she shares some mentalities to implement in a marriage.  “In the coming chapters, I’ll share with you how Ted’s and my decision to adopt a team mentality has shaped our marriage.  How it’s helped us remain united as we’ve encountered things like annoying habits, different hobbies, conflict, job loss, and parenting.” (pg 16)

I love Ted’s little comments throughout each chapter and their real life experiences to help us remember that no marriage is perfect – and their questions to consider at the end.

One of the points I really love is you have to cultivate a lighthearted marriage. You have to incorporate non-heavy moments in your marriage.  Every marriage will have its lows.  Our marriage has had its share of lows brought on by outside influences.  But, then we get away and have a date night, stay overnight somewhere to just enjoy sleeping in without preschoolers coming in at 5am, we eat meals together without kids, we go to the playground with kids, we have taco night once a week, we enjoy cocktails together while watching Netflix.  Whatever it takes – we enjoy being with one another and we don’t always have to have heavy conversations.

This would make a great marriage book to read in 2017.  Here’s to your (and my) better marriage in the year ahead!

Thanks to Moody Publishers for the book and Ashleigh and Ted for your friendship and example.  All opinions are my own.