“Real love is concrete, specific, and active.”

whatdidyouexpectFrom Paul Tripp’s What Did You Expect?:

…love is fundamentally deeper and more active than some warm, romantic feeling of affection toward someone to whom you are attracted. It is not some generalized response of happiness when you are with this particular person. No, love is a specific commitment of the heart to a specific person that causes you to give yourself to a specific lifestyle of care that requires you to be willing to make sacrifices that have that person’s good in view. Love is never general, and it never remains in the realm of feelings. Love desires, love thinks, love chooses, love decides, love acts, and love speaks in an ongoing, day-by-day commitment to the welfare of another. Real love is concrete, specific, and active.

random thoughts

~This will probably not apply to any of you, but PLEASE don’t post gruesome wounds and injuries on Facebook and Instagram! It is more than a little sickening to scroll through my feed sometimes, enjoying a snack or a meal, when WHAM! someone’s bloody something appears. Blech.

~Nothing runs me off from a recipe quicker than curry in the list of ingredients.

~Random thoughts, random photos:

Oh wait, I can’t grab any that I’ve stored in iPhoto because when I updated my operating system recently, my old version of iPhoto is no longer compatible. So when I tried to update that app, my apple ID wouldn’t work. Round and round I go.

~ Speaking of computer frustrations, I have just about reached my maximum capacity for passwords, log-ins, and PINs. It seems like I have dozens of them and it’s impossible to keep them straight because everyone has a different requirement. Yesterday I was asked my billing PIN by my cell-phone provider, and I that just about sent me over the edge. I have a PIN to log in to my account online, but I need a separate billing PIN? Seriously? And then I received a work email that required me to set up a password to view it.

~ I rarely use my laptop anymore, but I can’t give it up completely just yet. Any of you make the move exclusively to an iPad or other tablet? There are just some things (like blogging) that are so much easier and quicker on my laptop.

~I can’t wait to see Unbroken, as it is one of my favorite books. But I’m diasappointed to hear that it will present a “universal” faith. The gospel remains offensive, but it is the very power that saved Louie Zamperini.

~Paul & I will have a full house on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day. God’s blessings abound!

~Speaking of God’s blessings, I love my husband. He takes care of me and loves me and makes me smile. I’m amazed that this time last year, I had no idea he even existed, and now he’s everything to me.

~ And now I leave you with this from my stepson: (If you don’t smile at this, you might be a Scrooge.)

santababy

 

Christmas joy for EVERYONE!

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i’d like you to meet someone

I announced last month that I’m engaged, and it caught many by surprise because I’ve been very quiet about this relationship. Well, despite my tendency to blog & share photos and such, I’m a quiet person. And dating at my age is just completely weird and awkward; the last thing I want to do is sound like a silly teenager.

But now that I’ll be married next month, I’d like you to meet my husband-to-be.

I’ve been on my own now for more than two years, and my life is full. God has graciously healed me, slowly and steadily and little by little, from the hurts acquired in a disintegrating marriage and unwanted divorce. My heavenly Father has loved me through His people, and He has protected me from bitterness. He has also filled my heart with gratitude; I had come to a place of contentment and had accepted that I would likely remain single.

God completely surprised me with this relationship.

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So here’s how it happened: A friend of my mom’s knows a friend of his, and they played matchmaker (It’s actually a CAbi story, but I’ll save that for another time.). It was my first (and last!!) blind date, and let me tell you, I was all kinds of nervous. I still don’t know what possessed me to accept. He was nice enough, but I didn’t enjoy that first date and drove away hoping he wouldn’t call me back. (Oh, and I discovered a big chunk of black pepper in my teeth when I got home. Lovely.) I didn’t need that turmoil in my life. Later that afternoon, he (clearly impressed by my ability to store seasonings in my teeth) emailed me that he’d like to see me again, and I agonized. And agonized. And agonized some more. Finally I decided to give it one more chance since I was so nervous on the first date.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed that second date, an Anne Day.*  Pretty soon, we were going out every weekend, emailing, texting, talking on the phone, and then seeing each other mid-week. It didn’t take us long to recognize the gift we’ve been given.

(Lest this post grow unbearably long — if it’s not already — I’m leaving out my initial freak-outs and anxiety and panic attacks over wondering if I could trust a man again. This post is about him, not me. )

pianoPaul has two sons who are just about the same ages as my children. He is a devoted dad who loves his children well, and that’s just one of the things I love about him. He’s kind and gentle and thoughtful. He loves Jesus and delights in the Gospel. Around others he’s mostly quiet and reserved, observing and looking for ways to serve. He’s content to be behind the scenes. He makes me laugh, and he makes me feel special. He cares about my children. He prays about everything. He spoils me with flowers, keeps my car spotless, and enjoys working around the house. He encourages me and is genuinely interested in my life and interests. He listens to me and hears me and remembers what I’ve said. He’s responsible with money and generous. He’s a lover of the light. He is a planner and thinker, and this allows me to relax in a way that I never really have before. He’s organized and makes lists on Excel spreadsheets. (Be still my beating heart.) Yet he is a romantic who writes poems and loves music. He has been patient with me as I’ve worked through my aforementioned trust issues. He’s steady and strong. He’s a good man. I trust him.

He loves me like Christ loves His church.

I am blessed.

(He’s going to be totally embarrassed that I’m sharing all of this, but honestly, he’s wonderful — a good gift from my Father.)

So, dear blog readers, meet Paul. I love him, and I can’t wait to be his wife in 17 days.

Grateful, grateful, grateful!

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*Sensing that I’d been knocked around a bit over the past couple of years, he offered me an Anne Day — a day to do whatever I wanted to do. I was still nervous and therefore hesitant to commit to an entire day, so I said lunch or coffee would be nice. (At this point, I wasn’t sure that he wasn’t an ax murderer or weirdo or stalker!) He told me that the day was for me, so if I only wanted to go for lunch, that was fine. And he wrote about that Anne Day: “It’s not something you should be surprised at being offered, it’s something you are deserving of and should be cared for with regularly.” So I enjoyed that lunch and when he asked if I wanted to go for a walk. I did, and that was really pleasant. Then he asked if I wanted to see a movie, and I thought “Why not?” That led to dinner, so it was an Anne Day after all. He’s given me a few more of those these past few months, and he tells me to get used to it. I think I can do that. 🙂