For Better, For Worse

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Weddings are kind of weird things for me right now.

I currently have a few recently married friends and engaged friends.  I look at them and see the love filling their eyes.  With joy and hope infusing everything about them.  With an entire future spread out before them.

For Better for worse

2015 was a weird year for me.  It was a really great year, as I came to see and understand new depths of the hope, grace, and freedom in Christ.  And it was also an extremely horrible year as we had to say good-bye to two of our children.

Sometimes when I see the newly-in-love couples, my heart wants to scream at them, “You don’t know what’s coming!”

Financial difficulties.
Death of loved ones.
Dreams ending.
Health problems.

There are host of things that most couples will go through at one point or another in their years together.

I think back to our own wedding day.  When we were so happy and the joy of the years of our future spread out before us.  We had no idea what was in store for us.

I don’t intend that to be a bad thing or a condescending, “Just wait until you get to where I am.”  Because…

That joy is a beautiful thing.  And after the hardships we have been through, culminating most recently in our two miscarriages, I have seen even more what it means to grow in our love for each other for better or for worse.

Worse will come.  Worse has come.

But in a way, that worse is also the better.  It is the worse that draws us closer to each other, that brings us to the better.  It makes me love my husband in a deeper way that I cannot even begin to describe.   The worse and the better are intertwined.

Yes, sometimes my recent pain and grief have me wondering what couples will experience down the road.  I want to warn them, but I don’t know what I would say.  I guess I do know what I would say.  Cling to that for better and for worse.  It will test you like you cannot imagine, but it has the capacity to draw you together like you cannot imagine as well.

So, pledge that for better and for worse.  Look with joy and wonder-filled love at your amazing wonderful person you are going to spend your life with.  Because that is the person who will be there with you on your worse days.  The person you will be there for on their own worse days.

Love your love.  It is amazing right now and it will continue to be amazing.

-Bonnie

 

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Blessed by a Stranger

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Have you ever had a moment of discouragement when you suddenly realized….God sees and He cares?

blessed by a stranger

A few weeks ago I was having one of those days.  You know the one.  The one in which you haven’t gotten much sleep the past few nights.  You’re sick.  Your child is sick.  Your child is cranky.  You’re cranky.

One of those days.

After a failed nap attempt, I decided that I had had it.  I loaded the Wingman up in the car to go pick up fast food.  Yes, that happened.  Not even ashamed.  Fast food may not be good for you, but sometimes it can be very good for you.

We rolled up to the In-N-Out drive-thru.  (If you have never experienced the goodness that is In-N-Out, get in your car and drive to the nearest state that has one.  You will not be disappointed.)  The Wingman started crying because he wanted to get out of the car.  I looked like a hot mess with my frazzled hair and sleep-deprived eyes.

I ordered our food and then waited to pay.  As I get closer, the girl at the window gives me a big smile and then hands food to the person in the car in front of me.

Finally it was my turn.  I handed her my card as she repeated my order back to me.  And then she said, “Your order has actually already been paid for.”

I sat there stunned for a minute.  I said “thank you” to her because I had to thank somebody.  And then I drove to the second window.  It was there that I almost started to cry.

I struggle with God’s sovereignty. I admit it.  Did God divinely appoint me to go to In-N-Out that day and just happen to get in line behind this black truck?  Did God send that truck there at precisely that time?  Or did He “merely” allow it to happen?  Or did it just happen?

Honestly I don’t know.  But I know that whatever the answer is, God is good.  Whatever the answer is, God saw that and He knew that it would happen.  He knew how much I needed encouragement that day.  And in that moment I could feel God’s love toward me.  God loved me through a stranger that day.  His eye is on the sparrow.  And His eye was on me in that In-N-Out parking lot.

So on that day I was blessed by a stranger.  And I am so thankful for what happened.

Have you felt God’s love through another person?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

-Bonnie

A Year of Heartbreak

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2015 was in honesty a terrible year.  Probably the worst year of my life.  Or at least a different kind of terrible than any other terrible.  This year was on a whole different level.

On Christmas Eve, we visited a church where the pastor gave a great sermon.  He talked about how a long time ago people would bring evergreen trees into their homes during the winter as a reminder that spring was coming.  Eventually the Christians adopted that tradition as a reminder of the promise of new life and resurrection in Jesus.  It was a reminder of hope.  Of life.

That was so incredibly beautiful to me.

As I think about the year 2016, I feel a variety of things.  Numbness.  Hesitation.  Wondering if it will be filled with even more heartbreak.  But I also feel hope.  It’s a brand new start in a way.  I am a completely different person than I was before.  The past couple years have defined me, and the past few months have even more so.

There is hope.  There is goodness.  No matter the heartache of this year, there is hope.  There is hope because Jesus came into the world.  Because He died on a cross and rose again.  There is hope because God is good and He is always at work for His good purposes.

There is hope.  There is beauty.

As we close out this incredibly difficult year, I look forward to hope.  With hope.

hope in 2016

-Bonnie

Happy Thanksgiving

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In the midst of the hardest year of my life, I am reminded of my blessings.

I am so incredibly thankful for my family.  My wonderful husband, who has been there with me on my bad days and my really bad days.  For our Wingman, who is such a miracle and who brings joy to our lives every day.  And for our two precious babies, who I miss every day and who are giving thanks at the feet of Jesus today.  I can’t wait to praise Him together as a family one day in heaven.

Take a moment today to thank Him for some of your blessings!

-Bonnie

Mom’s Night Out

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It started in January when the base chapel was offering a movie night for Moms.  We watched Mom’s Night Out and they had tons of movie snacks and drinks.  It was a great night!!

So I thought….why stop there?  We should totally have a monthly Mom’s Night Out!  The next month, we started up our group and it has been so much fun and a great night out.

February – Favorite Things night!  I hosted a Favorite Things party, in which everyone had to bring their favorite snack to share as well as their favorite thing ($5 or under) for a gift exchange.  Each person brought 3 of their favorite things.  As everyone arrived, they wrote down their name on 3 pieces of paper and put it in the bowl.  When it came time for the exchange, everyone drew 3 papers and they are the people they would give their favorite things to.

I brought earrings from Gordman’s as my favorite thing.  It was kind of a 2 for 1, because I love earrings and I love Gordman’s.  Other favorite things that were brought were Eos chapstick, mascara, chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, cupcakes, Throat Coat tea, etc.

We also played the game What’s On Your Phone? (I took ideas like this from online and created my own) and a Guess the Favorite Song game.  I had created a playlist with everyone’s favorite songs and we guessed who had picked each song.

It was a wonderful evening and a great start to our Mom’s Night Out!!

March – The group went to see the new Cinderella movie!

April – Sip and Paint.  Several of us went to one of those places that teach you how to paint.  I was very nervous because I have just about zero artistic ability, but it was so fun and it’s true that they make it easy so that literally anyone can do it!  We painted a field of tulips and enjoyed half priced wine!

May – One of the ladies had been to this board game cafe and suggested it for one of our night’s out.  It was SO fun.  They have over 1,000 board games to choose from as well as a wide assortment of beverages to enjoy.  We played Apples to Apples, Farkle, and Marrying Mr. Darcy.  Seriously, such a great night.  I definitely think that this board game cafe will be featured again in one of our night’s out. 😉

June – This month we are going to get massages!!!  I am way too excited about this, because I have never had a real massage before.  We’ll be going to the local massage school so it’s at a discounted price.

What do you think?  What kinds of things have you done on ladies night?

-Bonnie

Social Media: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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I am a big proponent of social media.  And by social media I mostly mean Facebook, as that is the main site that I use.

Can it be a time waster?  Sure.  And I have gone through spells of spending more time than I should playing games (Castleville anyone?) or just mindlessly clicking refresh on my notifications.

But to me the pros far outweigh the cons.

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On Facebook, I can stay connected with people.  People from eons ago in my past, people from the state I grew up in, people from the state I lived in for two years…and now people from my current state.  I am tremendously thankful for that.  Moving can be very difficult and even though the Internet is a poor substitute for face to face talking…..it can also be a lifesaver.

On Facebook, I have connected with some great groups.  Whether it’s people from my Norwex team, my amazing July First-Time Moms group, or my healthy eating group…..they have all been beneficial.  There are great ways online to meet new people and make friendships.  Honestly I don’t think people believe me when I tell them that the Moms on my Moms page (about 100 strangers) are my friends.  Amazing how you can form a bond with people you haven’t even met (although I have now met 2 of these lovely ladies in real life!).

I feel like Facebook/social media often gets a bad rap since it is just a time waster.  “Get off Facebook and go talk to someone face to face and make real connections.”  I totally get the sentiment, and I definitely do think that our society is way too plugged in these days.  However, used well, Facebook can be very helpful.

You can even use a site like prayrlist.com and pray through your Facebook friends list!  You can choose to pray for each friend weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually.  Great way to be intentional on social media.

Also check out Reach: How to Use your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God for more ideas on being intentional.  (As always, read the book and hold it up to Scripture!)

I may not have deep meaningful conversations with everyone on my friend’s list.  I might occasionally stalk do research on pages of people I haven’t seen in forever.  (Come on, I’m not the only stalker, am I?)  But I don’t think it’s necessary to go in-depth every single time you talk to someone….or with every single person on your friend’s list.  Facebook is designed to stay in touch with people and it has been so great for me!

What do you think?  What is your favorite social media platform?

-Bonnie

My Latest Obsession

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You guys.

Paparazzi Jewelry.

I am obsessed.

I was invited to a Facebook party with Paparazzi Jewelry and I was kind of confused and wasn’t really interested.  Then my friend signed up as a consultant and I attended one of her parties.  I was HOOKED.

All jewelry is $5.  Or less.  And the majority of the necklaces come with a matching pair of earrings.  Still for $5.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces…

Paparazzi Jewelry

Fun bracelet!

Paparazzi jewelry

These cute studs are technically for kids…
but hey!  I liked them!  And they were only $1!!

Paparazzi jewelry

These are earrings…but I couldn’t get my camera to cooperate
with me wearing them.  haha

Paparazzi jewelry

Favorite earrings from Paparazzi!


Paparazzi jewelry

My latest Paparazzi necklace that I love!

Paparazzi jewelry

Check out my friend’s Paparazzi site.  Like her Facebook page here to find out about her upcoming parties.  They are FUN, fast paced, and intense!

-Bonnie