Category Archives: f. Friends and Family Friday

Friends & Family Friday: Rejoice

True confession: I am a jealous person …

… and Facebook feeds that jealousy.

I see your posts:

photos of your awesome vacation (everyone smiling of course)

photos of the delicious, perfectly nutritionally balanced dinner you made from scratch, that all of your smiling, happy children ate

status updates about the cute things your perfect children say

photos of the beautiful, crafty, seasonal decorations you and your children made

photos of your star students and athletes and musicians getting all sorts of accolades

status updates of some outstanding success story

photos of your kitchen renovations turning your home into one worthy of Better Homes & Gardens

photos of your new, beautiful home

photos of you and your bestie’s nights out

I “like” them and comment on them and I love reading your posts and looking at your pictures, truly I do.  But sometimes, it leaves me feeling jealous and discontented with my house, vacations, kids, cooking ability, friendships.  (Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m posting the same things.)

I heard a quote once that I love.  It’s by Pastor Steven Furtick.  (I don’t know anything about him or his theology, so I am not endorsing him … I just heard this quote and love it!)

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.

Isn’t that what Facebook is?  Everyone else’s highlight reel?  Occasionally people post their “behind-the-scenes” on it.  But mostly it’s the good stuff that makes it there.  And so many of us are left feeling insecure, inadequate, and jealous.

So, does that mean we should stop reading and posting on Facebook?  Perhaps.  But for me, I realize that the problem is much deeper than that.

In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul tells us to “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” (12:15)  

I can easily mourn with those who mourn.  I can pray with them.  I can cry with them.  I’m learning that I don’t have to fix their world, but walk beside them.

But …

Rejoice with those who rejoice?  That sounds easy.  It should come naturally to celebrate with others.  But my problem is that secretly, when you are rejoicing, I’m wishing I were too.  Instead of truly being happy for you, I’m wondering why I don’t have whatever you are rejoicing about.  I do a much better job rejoicing with someone if they are rejoicing about something I already have!

Facebook is not the problem.  My heart is the problem.  The fact of the matter is that I should rejoice even if I have nothing  … because I have Christ, which is everything!

So I am working on reading your updates and looking at your photos and rejoicing with you without the envy and jealousy and feelings of inadequacy.  And learning to rest in the knowledge that if I have nothing but Christ, that is more than enough.

God, forgive me for my jealousy.  Help me to rejoice with those who rejoice.  Help me to truly find my peace and joy in you and only you.

Pressing on together,



Friends & Family Friday: 4-legged family members

I am not an animal person.  I don’t mind if you are, and am happy for you if you have a pet that you love.  I just would rather not have them.  It isn’t so much that I don’t like animals, it’s just that I would rather not have them in my house and have to take care of them.  I have never had an animal that has brought me more joy than annoyance.

We have a cat … something that wasn’t my decision, but when you are married you make sacrifices and give and take, and we were only married for a little over a year, and I gave in.  She’s been an easy, nice cat.  But having a cat involves hairballs, litter boxes, cat food, and meowing early in the morning.  16 years later, I know she’s at her end, and of course I’ll be sad when she passes, but personally I would have preferred to have never had her.  Like I said, for me, the annoyances were always greater than the joys.

But the boys absolutely LOVE her!  And she has let them do anything with her.  So I guess for me, having a pet is kind of like watching Barney (or Yo Gabba Gabba for you younger moms) … you hate it, but you put it on because you know your child loves it.

The boys and my husband wanted a dog.  And I adamantly refused.  Day after day, year after year.  But then last spring, in a moment of weakness, I read an email a friend sent about a dog she was fostering.  On a whim, I sent her a message asking about the dog.  We went to see it, and of course, they loved her.  I think my husband was shocked that I was actually considering it.  But something in my gut just told me that it was time and this was the dog for us.

All I can say is:




Not for me … she’s a great, easy dog … but for me, I’d still prefer to not have any fur in my house, and to not have a dog wanting to climb up on my bed in the morning, and to not be licked all over, and to not spend money on the vet or food, and to not have to make sure we are home in time to take her out, or to walk her before I leave for work.  For me, even though she is really cute, and good, and nice, and can run 3 miles with me, the annoyances still outweigh my personal joy.

But the annoyances do not outweigh the joy she brings the boys, especially my oldest (the autistic one).

Teela & the boys the day after we got her.
Teela & the boys the day after we got her. My oldest is panting like a dog for the camera 🙂

Here’s what adding a 4 legged member to our family has done for him:

  • He has become more confident.  She has decided that she belongs to him.  She goes to sleep in his room.  She sits by his side.  She sits outside the bathroom door and waits for him when he’s in there.  My son has been rejected by peers over and over again.  But he was “chosen” by her.

    Sitting outside the bathroom door
    Waiting outside the bathroom
  • He lights up when he comes home and sees her.  He knows how to relate to her and how to spend time with her.  There are peers who haven’t rejected him and who offer him friendship, but he doesn’t seem to know how to be a friend and needs to be coached.  But being with her is natural to him.

    Giving belly rubs
    Giving belly rubs
  • My self-proclaimed inside, inactive kid goes for tons of walks now.  If he is home, she will NOT let anyone else walk her.  So he has to step away from Minecraft and go outside for a walk.

    Running at the dog park
    Running at the dog park
  • My guy who had to be forced to do simple things around the house has become more responsible.  He doesn’t wait for her to “ask” to go out.  But he comes home everyday from school and takes her for a walk.  Around the same time that we got her, he has become more helpful.  He empties the dishwasher, puts away his laundry, brings in trash cans, all without being asked or told.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they happened at the same time.

I’m sure there’s more things that I could list, but I can’t think of them right now.

What it comes down to is this … he says that his 2 best friends in the whole world are his cat and his dog.  Being a non-animal person, it makes me a little sad to hear him say that.  I want him to have good friends that are boys his age.  But, the fact is that he doesn’t have a human best friend.  And so I’m glad that I put my family’s desire above my own and had a moment of weakness 16 years ago when we got the cat, and 3 ½ months ago when we got the dog.  Because like I said: best decision ever!  (And who knows, perhaps one day, I’ll come to realize that they also bring me, personally, more joy than annoyances!)

Pressing on Together (with or without animals),


Friends and Family Friday: Who are your Elizabeths?

Usually at about 6:00, the Kerchners find ourselves sitting at our dinner table getting ready to eat.  Typically, we only pray before eating.  But this week, we’ve been doing our advent reading first.  In my mind, this seemed like the perfect family moment, but getting them to sit nicely and quietly and not touch their food while we read our passage may be a little ambitious for my family of 3 hungry, growing boys.  (By the way, we use this felt tree with ornaments that we pin on it each day for our advent calendar.  I posted about it last year, you can check it out here.)

Anyway, the other night we read about the angel appearing to Mary and then Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth.  The angel came to Mary and told her that she was going to have a baby.  She questioned how that could be because she was a virgin.  The angel told her about the Holy Spirit coming upon her, but also added something that is easy to ignore.

“Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 2:36-37)

The angel was basically saying, look at the miracle of Elizabeth getting pregnant, if God can do that, He can also do what he’s promised to you, Mary.  The very next part is about Mary visiting Elizabeth.  It’s awesome that when Mary walked in, Elizabeth’s baby in the womb, who was John the Baptist, “leaped for joy” (Luke 2:44).  The idea here being that John the Baptist while still in the womb recognized the presence of his Lord, also still in the womb.  Pretty cool.

But as we were reading it, that’s not what stood out to me.  Instead, I was struck by how much God knows a women’s heart.  He knew that 14 year-old Mary would need a friend.  He knew that most people would condemn, ridicule, and gossip about her – a pregnant, unwed woman.  He knew that the tender-hearted woman would need the encouragement and joy that would come from a friend who believed her.  And I think that’s why the angel told Mary about Elizabeth.  So she would go to her.

I thought of how many women God has placed in my life to encourage and uplift me through various seasons.  When my oldest was falling apart in school and also started having seizures.  He put my friends Christine and Emily in my life.  Christine held my hand and walked me through the school issue.  Emily gave me confidence and assurance through the seizures.  When Jeff and I were having some marital issues, he gave me my friend Deanna to go and cry to.  When I was at my end and crying out about my obesity he gave me support, encouragement, and inspiration from Susan, Jen, and Justine.

I could go on and on, because truly God has given me so many “Elizabeths”.  Thank you God for putting them in my path.  Thank you, my “Elizabeths”, for your love and support and encouragement.

Do you have Elizabeths in your life?  I’m praying you do and that you would go to them when needed.  Notice, Elizabeth did not come to Mary, Mary went to her!  I’m also praying that we would all be someone else’s Elizabeth when the time comes.  Because after all, Elizabeth opened the door to Mary and embraced and welcomed her into her home for 3 months!

Pressing on Together,


Friends and Family Friday: I will stay…

I Will Wait 

by Jeff Kerchner
Did you ever think we’d be here
Watching everything disappear
I don’t know if you can hear me now
I don’t know if you can see somehow
But I’ll wait and I’ll stay
As long as it will take, for you to know I’ve changed
And I’ll hear what you say
The hurt will be replaced
But from now until that day I will wait
Nothing more that I can say
Actions speak louder anyway
I wish you could see into my heart
Then you would know for sure how loved you are
But I’ll wait and I’ll stay
As long as it will take, for you to know I’ve changed
And I’ll hear what you say
The hurt will be replaced
But from now until that day I will wait
I slipped away slowly, became something that I’m not
But I … I will never blame you, it was me who just forgot
But I’ll wait and I’ll stay
As long as it will take, for you to know I’ve changed
And I’ll hear what you say
The hurt will be replaced
But from now until that day
I will wait
and I will stay
As long as it will take, for you to know I’ve changed
And I’ll hear what you say
The hurt will be replaced
But from now until that day I will wait
The hurt will be replaced
But from now until that day I will wait




My husband and I celebrated our 16th anniversary this summer.  We probably have a pretty typical marriage in that sometimes we’re extremely romantic and lovey dovey, sometimes we’re best friends, but sometimes we’re just roommates.  And like most typical couples, we took each other and being married for granted.  We stopped pouring energy into our marriage.  And the strength of our marriage was tested.  Maybe one day I’ll write more about our trials … but we’re not quite ready for them to be published forever in the cyber world.

But I can say, that we had a choice to make.  Were we going to honor our vow and stay together, or were we going to walk away?  Could we forgive each other and love each other or would we only see each other’s faults and failures?  Could we heal and get back to where we were before?

We chose to stay.

And I’m so glad we did.

And you know what, our marriage as a result was stronger and better than it ever had been.  When you are willing, healing can happen.

I am hearing more and more about marriages failing and falling apart.  I’m praying right now for your marriage, dear reader if you are married.  I’m praying that you would honor your vow.  I’m praying that you would delight in your spouse.  I’m praying that you would be their cheerleader and not their critic.  I’m praying that you would ask for forgiveness when needed and that you would offer forgiveness when needed.  (I’m praying the same for your spouse too!)  I’m praying for peace and patience and joy and love within your marriage.  I’m praying that you would wait and that you would stay!

Pressing on Together,


Northpointe Community Church
Evans Elementary School
Limerick, PA

P.S. If you are local to me (Phoenixville, PA) then I wanted to let you know about a teaching series my church, Northpointe Community Church, is starting in October.

Top Ten Mistakes Married People Make

It should be good!  Click here for more information.




P.P.S (or is it P.S.S???) anyway, thank you Jeff for writing me such an amazing song and for waiting and for staying!  I love you.

Friends & Family Friday: Crowded loneliness

Do you ever feel lonely when you’re in a room filled with people?  Do you ever look around and everyone seems to be talking to someone and laughing and having a good time except you?  I have.

I can vividly remember one such day.  It was 10 years ago.  My oldest (and at the time, only) son was almost 2.  The year before I had joined a women’s Bible study at a local church.  The study ran Thursday mornings September through May and about 200 women came out to it.  We’d meet in the lobby area first and have bagels and coffee and chat.  Then we would move into the auditorium for a whole group time usually during which we’d watch a Beth Moore video.  After that, we’d spread out throughout the church and break into small groups of about 12 women.  We’d stay in the same group for the entire year.  I felt like I got to know several women, and I was excited to go back the second year.  Which brings us up to the day I’m talking about.

It was the first day of the second year.  I wasn’t “new” so no one was making sure to help me get connected.  I arrived and checked in and then was on my own during the socializing time.  I got my coffee and looked around.  Not seeing anyone that I knew yet, I headed to the bagel table and lathered cream cheese onto a bagel and started eating.  I looked around again and all I saw was a room full of smiling women laughing and talking and having a good time.  Some of the women I knew, but I didn’t feel comfortable going up to them while they were chatting in groups of women.  No one seemed to notice me.  No one came over to talk to me.  I felt invisible and lonely and didn’t know where to stand or what to do.  And so I did what I do in those uncomfortable situations… I went back for more food.

And then as I was eating my second bagel, the self-loathing started kicking in.  “Of course no one wants to talk to you… you’re fat and all you do is eat…  if only you were skinny like the other women, they’d want to talk to you… why did you even bother to come… you should have stayed in bed…”

But thankfully, I caught myself.  And I prayed, “God, in this huge room, I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels lonely.  Please put my eyes on the lonely women instead of the women who seem to be having a great time.”  And so I looked around the room again.  And standing next to the bagel table was a women all by herself.  Like me, her eyes were surveying the room.  Like me, she looked a little awkward.  So I took a deep breath, and instead of waiting for someone to come to me, I went to her.  “Hi, I’m Becki.  I don’t think we met yet.”

And we had a great conversation.  It was her second year too.  I never asked if she felt lonely like I did, but her face lit up as we started talking.  Turns out she was a math tutor with too many students, and I was looking to get started in tutoring.  So through that time of stepping out and looking beyond myself, I made a new friend, felt like I belonged instead of feeling awkward, and I landed two students for tutoring at $50 an hour, so an extra $100 a week.  Score!

Now 10 years later, I think about that time a lot.  I’ve learned that I need to do more friend initiating instead of friend waiting.  I’ve learned that I need to invite women to lunch.  (Yesterday I had lunch with this amazing woman.  Noticing on Facebook that her birthday was this week, I sent her a message asking if we could get together.)  I’ve learned that I need to pick up the phone and call women.  (Women-not men!  My husband can initiate our men friendships… but that’s another post for another day…)  I’ve learned that I need to send a text or email or post on a friend’s Facebook page.  The thing is, that none of that comes naturally to me.  I really am an introvert… it’s easy for me to sit in the privacy of my own home and type on my computer and put it out on the Internet for whoever wants to read it.  But real life interactions – that’s work!

But, oh how worth it, are those real life interactions.  In the Bible in the book of Hebrews, Paul says, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some people do, but let us encourage one another.”  (10:25)  I’m pretty sure Paul was talking about meeting together to pray and worship God.  But I also take it to mean socially.  We really were meant to journey through life together, not alone, hidden behind a computer screen.  So if you feel lonely in this crowded world, know that you are not the only one.  But if you want that to change, stop waiting for someone to come to you.  Look around, and take the step yourself and reach out to others.  As you light up their day, your own will grow brighter too!

You can always start with me… I love phone calls, and texts, and messages on my blog and Facebook page, and invitations to lunch or coffee or a movie or whatever! 😉

Joining you on the journey…



Friends & Family Friday: Unforgiveness

Has anyone ever hurt you?  Not physically.  But emotionally.  I’m not talking about saying something that hurt your feelings.  I’m talking about that deep down hurt that tears your insides apart.  Where you feel like your life will never be the same.  Where you wonder how you will ever be able to look at that person again.  I’ve been hurt like that.

And even though you feel like you’ll never be able to move on, you do.  Somehow the world keeps turning.  Somehow you get up each morning.  Somehow life goes on.  Somehow the pain eases.  But does forgiveness come?

Through one of the situations that I was hurt, I moved on so to speak.  But I was bitter.  I was angry.  I could not think about this person without in the back of my mind thinking about what they did to me.  To anyone looking in, it probably looked like we got along fine.  But if they could see my heart, they’d know there was a problem.  My heart was full of unforgiveness.  (Which apparently isn’t a word, but I don’t know a better word for it, so I’m using it.)

One day I remember talking to my husband about the fact that I knew I needed to forgive this person, but I wasn’t sure how to.  He suggested I pray about it.  So that’s what I did.  I started praying that God would help me forgive this person, that God would change my heart.  I prayed and prayed and prayed and nothing changed in my heart.  So I prayed some more.  Then one day while I was praying I heard in the stillness of my heart, “Talk to ____.”  I knew without a doubt that God was telling me that I needed to talk to this person.  So I started praying for the opportunity to talk to them and for the words to say when that time came.

Well the time came.  And I heard that voice saying, “Talk to ____” and well, I really didn’t want to right then.  So I began having an internal debate with God about how it really wasn’t a good time, and what was I going to say, and I didn’t really want to bring up something from awhile ago, and all the reasons why I shouldn’t talk to this person.  But still without a doubt I knew God was telling me to talk to this person.  And I know it’s really no use arguing… because after all when Jonah didn’t want to talk to the people God wanted him to talk to, he got swallowed up by a giant fish.  Not that I thought God was going to go to those extremes with me, but I knew he meant business when he tells you to talk to someone.  So kicking and dragging my feet I went to that person and began the conversation.

“Can we talk?”  Followed by me explaining how that person had hurt me.  It was hard to be honest and lay it all out.  But that’s what I did.  And when I was finished with my “speech” I looked at the person expectantly.  Because of course, I was expecting them to tell me how sorry they were that they hurt me.  How wrong they were.  How they wished they could change it.  How right I was to be hurting.

But the person didn’t.  Instead they went on to justify all of their actions.  They weren’t sorry at all.  And I walked away in shell-shock.  I then had a few words with God.  Because not only did I have unforgiveness in my heart about their prior actions, but now I was mad that they weren’t sorry.   “God, why on earth would you have me talk to this person? This is way worse!”

And then I hear that voice again, “Forgive ___.”  Umm, what???? Didn’t you hear them God?  They aren’t sorry.  Why should I forgive them?  “Forgive ____.”  Why?  How?  “Forgive ____.”

And so right there, slumped down on the couch, through tears in my eyes, I prayed something like, “God, what they did really hurt me, and it hurts even more that they don’t feel sorry about it.  But I’m tired of being angry.  I’m tired of being bitter.  You’ve told me to forgive them.  So help me to forgive them, just as you’ve forgiven me all the times I’ve hurt you, ignored you, betrayed you, disobeyed you.  Help me, God.”

And that’s when the peace hit.  It’s one of those can’t quite explain it, you probably wouldn’t believe it unless it happened to you things.  But all that weight of bitterness, anger, hurt was lifted off of me.  Instead I felt such a love for this person.  That it could only be divine.  I knew that what the person did was wrong.  I knew it wasn’t OK.  But forgiveness truly came – even if they didn’t ask for it.

And so I went back to this person and said something like, “I know you don’t think what you did was wrong.  But it really hurt me, and I was angry and hurt and bitter.  But I need you to know that I’m not anymore.  I’ve forgiven you.  I’m sorry it took me so long to do it.”  And to be honest, I don’t remember what that person said or did at that moment.  All I remember was that feeling of being able to look at them and not see what they did to me, but to look at them with only love.  But to be really, really honest, every once in a while, those feelings of bitterness will try to make their way back to the surface, but then I pray, thanking God for enabling me to forgive them and the bitterness fades away again.

I share this with you today, because you too may have been hurt.  And you too, may not have been able to forgive.  I don’t know your situation.  But I do know that through forgiveness we find peace and joy.

Praying for peace and joy and forgiveness if you need it for you today.


Friend’s & Family Friday: Easy Mother’s Day / Father’s Day (or whatever) Gift

Wednesday was my final ever MOPS (Mother’s of Preschoolers) meeting.  I was the coordinator and I wanted to give the ladies of my fabulous leadership team a present to thank them for all that they did.  Trouble is that the leadership team includes 24 women! (14 Steering and 8 group leaders) So what can you do that is inexpensive but special?  Well, I found a cute little trinket that went along with the love theme.  But I also made them each a puzzle out of crafts sticks and a picture of their children.  (This year’s theme was also games, so I thought a puzzle fit in well!)  It was so easy, and I got a lot of compliments, so I thought I’d share how to do it.  (I originally saw this somewhere online, so this is not an original idea.  I just don’t remember where I saw it.)

Step 1: Select a photo and using a photo safe glue stick, glue it onto craft sticks.  I only had the fat ones, but I think the thinner ones would be good.  It would make the puzzle more challenging.

Step 2: After the glue dries, using an exacto knife and a ruler or a paper-cutter, cut the craft sticks apart.  (I used a cutting board)

Step 3: “Paint” Modge Podge onto each stick and let dry thoroughly.  This will strengthen the photo and help it to last longer.  (This step is optional, but if you’re going to let kids play with the puzzle, I recommend it!)

Step 4:  Play with the puzzle!  Here’s my 5 year old putting it together.

In the wedding section at Michael’s Crafts I found little organza draw string pouches that worked perfectly for stashing the pieces away in.

And here are the gifts lined up at ready to give away at MOPS.  (I wish I could have done so much more for those amazing women!)

Happy Puzzling!


Friends & Family Friday: Sarcasm and the marriage challenge

“I can be quite sarcastic when I’m in the mood.”

J.D. Salinger wrote in The Catcher in the Rye.  (Chapter 3, Holden “said” to the reader while talking to Ackley, the guy who lived in the room next to him.)

So can I, Holden, so can I.  Therefore, when I read my Marriage Challenge for today, “13.  Do not use sarcasm with your husband today.”  I knew I might be in trouble.   So far I’m doing pretty good, but all I said was, “Have a good day, I love you” when I sat up in bed to kiss him goodbye – and I really meant it, no sarcasm there.  But he should be home around 4 and I’ll definitely need to make sure the filter on my mouth is turned on.

Right now, I’m on Day 13 of a “30 Day Marriage Challenge” that I got from iMom.  Click here for a link to the Challenge.  Click here for a link to my post about starting the challenge.  For the record, I did wake up to kiss my husband the first time I saw him in the morning on day 4.  I’ve asked “What can I help you with today?”  I’ve put a date night on the calendar.  I’ve prayed for wisdom in being a wife.

I’ve even gone a whole day without correcting my husband.  But… on that day, I said to him, “I’m not allowed to correct you today, so don’t say or do anything wrong, OK?”  Probably not the intention the creator of the challenge had in mind.  I may not have corrected him, but I definitely hit him with a sarcastic dig.  I truly had no vicious intent with it, just trying to be funny.  But it’s possible that he might have heard me saying, “I’m going to try to not correct you today, but you usually say or do wrong things, so help me out by not saying or doing anything wrong so I don’t have to correct you.”

I even then went further by repeating, in front of him, to others what I said.  Again, purely because I think I’m so darn funny that everyone should get to hear what I have to say… but not thinking about how disrespectful I was really being.  I think my husband is one of the smartest, most insightful people I know.  But my sarcasm definitely said otherwise.

I looked up sarcasm and here’s what I found on the online Etymology Dictionary:  1570s, from L.L. sarcasmos, from Gk. sarkasmos “a sneer, jest, taunt, mockery,” from sarkazein “to speak bitterly, sneer,” lit. “to strip off the flesh,” from sarx (gen. sarkos) “flesh,” prop. “piece of meat,” from PIE root *twerk- “to cut” (cf. Avestan thwares “to cut”).

Reading the definition was a little difficult for me, especially since I’ve often prided myself on my clever sarcasm.  “To strip off the flesh” – umm, that can’t be good.  I usually only use sarcasm to be funny and not mean, but I’m starting to wonder if that’s possible…

Sure some sarcasm seems innocent and doesn’t really hurt anyone.  Last night as I was reading The Hunger Games for the second time, I came across some sarcasm as Katniss, Peeta and Haymitch were talking:

“What about you? I’ve seen you in the market. You can lift hundred-pound bags of flour,”  I (Katniss) snap at him (Peeta).  “Tell him that. That’s not nothing.”

“Yes and I’m sure the arena will be full of bags of flour for me to chuck at people.”

Peeta wasn’t trying to say that Katniss was stupid for saying that, he was more trying to deflect her compliment.  I think we do that a lot when we don’t feel confident about who we are.  But perhaps Katniss, or anyone in this position, would really hear, “You’re an idiot for even saying that.”  But even if she hears it with the intent it was spoken and doesn’t read into it, Peeta is still taking a dig at himself, saying that it doesn’t matter that he’s strong.  So can sarcasm that puts ourselves down really be innocent?

I don’t know… I’m just trying to work through my thoughts on sarcasm as someone who is the queen of sarcasm… so I think I should see what the Bible has to say about it.  I just put in a search for “What does the Bible say about sarcasm?”  I found a site called Open Bible (I don’t know anything about the site) but there was a list of Bible Verses About Sarcasm.  I’ll admit, many of them don’t seem to really apply or were kind of a stretch, but 2 of them really hit me hard:

Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death is one who deceives their neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”  (Proverbs 26:18-19, NIV) The New Living Translation says, “Just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon, is someone who lies to a friend and then says, ‘I was only joking.'”

Oh my… how often have I said, “Just kidding” or “I was being sarcastic” or exactly as the Bible said, “I was only joking.”  Am I really as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon?  I’m sure after events like Columbine, we can all picture in our heads a “madman shooting a deadly weapon”.  There’s no way I’m as damaging as that… or am I?????

And… in Ephesians, Paul says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”  (Ephesians 4:29, NIV)  The New Living Translation says it this way, “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”

Are my words an encouragement to those who hear them?  Am I building up others according to their needs?  Am I benefiting those who listen?  Probably not when I’m being sarcastic.

So why is it so hard for me to want to let it go?  I like being funny, I like saying things that make others laugh, even when it’s at the expense of others.  The laughter feels like approval, and I love the approval of those around me.  I guess it’s a pride issue…

Oh God, forgive me, I know I need a major overhaul here.  Help me to stop delighting in sarcastic humor, but to delight in building up those around me, especially my husband.

I’ll admit, that it’s taking all of my restraint to not end this post with some witty, sarcastic comment… so I’ll simply end!

Joining you on the journey as we press on to be more and more like Christ…



Friends & Family Friday: Marriage Challenge

This summer, Jeff and I will be celebrating our 16th anniversary.  Sometimes being married and loving Jeff is as easy as breathing.  But other times, I need to be intentional about loving Jeff – not so much because of anything he is or isn’t doing, but because of me.  Almost 16 years of marriage has shown me one glaring truth about myself – I’m very selfish.

If Jeff is sick, my thoughts immediately go to how it affects me and our boys.  If Jeff had a bad day, I seem to be more concerned about how his mood affects me than the fact that he is upset.  I expect him to cater to my moods (which I have many ups and downs). Meanwhile I’m wanting him to be perpetually in a good mood, and I have little tolerance for anything else.  Since I’m a night person, I make very little effort to go to bed early even though he wakes up at 6.  And since the mornings and I don’t get along very well, I make no effort to get up and spend anytime with him in the morning before he leaves for work.  I’m very selfish.

As I said before, I’m aware of my imperfections, but not content to remain in them.  Therefore, when I saw a recent post from iMOM, I knew it was for me.  It is a 30 day Marriage challenge in which each day you focus on doing something for your husband.  There are 30 items and you are supposed to correspond them to the date.  So I figure I’ll start on Sunday, April 1st.  I will at some point do #1. “What can I help you with today?”  Which may seem like no big deal.  But on the weekends, I usually have my own agenda for us, and I usually give Jeff a run down of what we need to do.  I definitely think by asking Jeff, “What can I help you with today?” I’m showing him that he is important and giving him value.  I’ll be putting my focus on him and his needs rather than on mine.  These aren’t difficult things, and they are things that I really want to do for him, but when I focus on myself, I probably don’t.  By doing them, I’m intentionally trying to be less selfish.

I’ll admit, I’m a little concerned about #4: “Kiss your husband the first time you see him in the morning.”  Not because I don’t want to kiss my husband… because I definitely do!  But like I said earlier, mornings and I don’t get along too well, and I usually only grunt a good-bye to him.  So I need to remember to do it!  Maybe you can pray for me that I’ll remember to wake up on Wednesday 🙂 Who knows, maybe it will start a whole new morning routine for me.

Perhaps you’ll join me on this challenge.  Not married?  Then perhaps there’s someone in your life that you could apply this to.  A coworker that is difficult to work with?  A roommate? Your mother?  Whatever, the idea is to focus on intentionally doing things for that person to take the focus off yourself.  Obviously if you are applying these things to someone other than your husband, you’ll have to adjust them… I mean your coworker may not appreciate you kissing him or her the first time you see him or her in the morning… but you get the point.

Joining you on the journey,

♥Becki, imperfect wife

Friends & Family Friday: Saving valentines

On Tuesday, the kids came home excited to open their valentines.  They stockpiled their loot: candy, pencils and tattoos.  Their stash was almost as big as it was on Halloween!  They quickly cast aside the actual valentine’s.  Knowing how long it took my guys to write out cards for each of their classmates, it made me sad to see them so quickly forgotten.

That night at dinner, when it was time to pray, one of the boys remembered to pull out our book of friends and family.  I’m glad they are good at remembering because I’m not!  Anyway our book is the scrapbook that I filled with all our Christmas cards.  Every night that we eat dinner at home, we open it up to the next card and talk about the person or family that sent it to us.  We then pray for them as we pray for our meal.  I love this because I absolutely love hearing my boys praying for their friends and family and also praying for people they never met.  Usually the prayer is something short like “Help the _____s to have a good night.”  But occasionally the prayer is more specific.

Later, I realized that I could do the same with the boys’ valentines.  Instead of putting them in a scrapbook, I decided to punch holes in them and secure them together with a binder clip.  (I saw that idea for Christmas cards on Pinterest after I already did the scrapbook.)  I kept them separated so they each had their own “book” of classmates.

Here it is hanging on his bulletin board…

I just made these today, so I haven’t started “using” them yet.  But my plan is to start alternating at dinner between these and our Christmas cards.  My thought is that when we use the Valentine’s, I’ll have the son whom (or should it be who???  I’m so bad at proper English) it was for read a card and then tell us one nice thing about the classmate who gave it.  Even if it’s someone they don’t really like, I want them to say one nice thing.  I figure that will help my boys see the good in people.  And then he’ll pray for that classmate as he prays for our dinner.

And hopefully, my boys will remember every night.  Because after I figure out what we’re having for dinner and actually make it and get everyone to the table, opening the Christmas card book or valentine books is the last thing on my mind!

Hope you’re inspired to do more with your cards than just throw them in the trash and, more importantly, inspired to spend time thinking and talking and praying about all of the amazing people who you are blessed to know!