"Blessed is she, who has believed, that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished." Luke 1:45

Friday, December 19, 2008

Big Thoughts from a Little Drummer

Come they told me ~ A new born King to see
Our finest gifts we bring ~To lay before the King
So to honor Him ~ When we come.
Little Baby ~I am a poor boy too
I have no gift to bring ~ That's fit to give the King
Shall I play for you ~ On my drum?
Mary nodded ~ The ox and lamb kept time
I played my drum for Him~ I played my best for Him
Then He smiled at me ~ Me and my drum


Over the years we tend to become deaf to the meaning of Christmas songs. They either are our favorites from childhood or ones that we don't listen to because we just have never liked them. We sing along without really paying attention to the words or change the station because we just don't want to hear the song that is playing. We lose the intended meaning.


I have always liked the Little Drummer boy. I love the drums and the idea that he played music as his gift to God. That's as far as I ever went.
While driving to work this morning I was listening to this song, and when you take out all the pa rum pa pum pums', the message is very clear.


Have you ever felt intimidated by the wise men in your life? Those that can go and do and buy the big flashy things that show how much they are dedicated? Do you ever feel that to honor God you have to do things in a big way or put plenty of money into service for the Lord?


Have you ever thought through the truth that Jesus was a poor baby? He had absolutely nothing to his name and never aspired to? That yes, he was fully God, but he was also fully human, poor and humble?
We put such stress on ourselves to bring to Jesus what we think is fitting for Him, never really noticing that he has already given us what He wants us to bring. Money, power, influence and fame have nothing to do with it.


The little drummer boy demonstrates what we so often miss. God has given us the gift he wants most, we just have to be willing to use it for His glory. We may feel like what we have to offer is too small or too plain, but in the presence of God, when given with our whole heart, it becomes the most blessed offering.


When we give our gift with our whole heart we notice a harmony in the world around us; our gift fits perfectly into God's plan and everything around us works together with it to glorify God.


The last line of this song says "Then He smiled at me". That tiny little gift, given with abandon, brought Joy to Jesus. Our gift, humbly and completely given to glorify God, brings joy to Him. We are blessed with many gifts to offer. Materially, physically and spiritually. All of these gifts can best be described as simply our life.


Let that be my goal always, to bring a smile to the face of Jesus with the gift of my life.


Luke 21:1-4 ~ As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."


Hebrews 2:~ 4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

Thankful Thursday

Please click the Thankful Thursday button in my side column to visit the home blog!

My list of things to be thankful for was once again hard to pare down to 5. I picked the following as a glimpse of the many areas in which God blessed me this week.


1. My Christmas shopping is done, the cards are mailed, I have all the ingredients to make non-baked treats (oven still isn't fixed), I bought my ginger bread house kit and there is the possiblity of snow on Christmas Eve. Yes!

2. Kevin and I had a good time shopping for Abby's gift from Bubby. He didn't push all my buttons and I didn't lose my temper or my patience!

3. MercyMe's The Christmas Sessions. My local radio station plays Christmas songs 24/7 from Thanksgiving until the day after Christmas so I usually turn to my cd's (that's just too much Christmas music for me!) but I have been listening to my Mercy Me cd. I just absolutely LOVE them and their twist on traditional songs keeps me coming back again and again.

4. Although I am sad that my Wallflowers Bible study ended tonight, I am thankful for the weeks of fellowship and growth with my sisters.

5. I am thankful that after 12 years I still look forward to spending time with my hubby, just cuddling and feeling safe and secure.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Here are two blogs sure to bring a giggle...

UnNecessary Quotation Marks

Cake Wrecks

Titus 2 Tuesday ~ Jennifer

Yah! It's Tuesday and I get to tell you about another wonderful woman in my life! Today I am going to introduce you to...

Jennifer!


When I first met Jennifer she was working as a sponsor in our youth group. She is a lot of fun and connects with the girls in such an amazing way. She has a very open and generous heart and is so compassionate.
Over the past few years we have bonded over trips to Victoria's Secret to get fitted (thank you girls small group for that FUN suggestion!), High School Musical 2 premire parties, game days, activites, high school camp, girls retreat weekends and Hearts at Home (why yes!We DO do some things that grown ups do!)


She has an amazing relationship with her daughter, Dani. It has been such a blessing for me over the past few years to be able to have a glimpse of what my future with Abby might be like. Just like millions of moms everywhere, Jennifer struggles to balance nurturing and connecting with her kids to stepping back and letting them grow wings. I thank God that I have someone that is willing to share her struggles with me regarding this so that I can learn now what works, what doesn't and what to watch for so that my regrets might be a little fewer (or more realistically, different).

this is Jennifer and her daughter Dani. Dani is a wonderful girl who is athletic, compassionate and silly. I love both of them!

It has been so much fun for me to watch Jennifer grow in the women's ministry. Willing to do whatever is needed, she has done everything from appearing in front of our church in a robe and cold cream to sharing her heart as a small group leader to shedding tears on the alter for many of us (I know, she's done it for me!)
My Hearts at Home buddy, I look forward to getting away with her and the girls every year.


I am so blessed to have Jennifer in my life. She is a true Girlfriend. Whenever I need a hug, a shoulder or just someone to lift me up, I know EXACTLY who to call. I hope you have someone that is a "Jennifer" to you. She makes my life seem that much richer.


This me, Jennifer and April (whom you will meet in a later TT posting) at Hearts at Home 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's a link-a-polooza!

Some of my favorite stuff...

Song:

Switchfoot ~ Dare You To Move
How Great Thou Art (always has been my #1)

Book:

Frank Peretti ~ This Present Darkness

Movie:

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy or The Chronicles of Narnia

TV Show:

Fringe or House

Disney Princess:

Ariel ~ The Little Mermaid

Time Killers:

Polyvore
Ebay
myspace
Facebook

Band I am too old to listen to but like anyway:

Hawk Nelson

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Standing

Our ladies Bible study was great this week. It was all about waiting. I am not good at waiting. I like what I want now and I want it just like I ordered.

This whole study has been about preparing our home, our heart, our life and our spirit to become the woman that God has always intended us to be. I have really enjoyed it and got a lot of new perspectives and ideas on what I need to do to grow to the next level, as well as how to focus in and be effective where I am now.

This week there was this profound moment of clarity for me, and I just figured that everyone was just as impacted as I was. I learned tonight that every one else pretty much passed it over without notice. Maybe I am just that far behind them or maybe it was just my message to receive. Either way, I thought I would pass it on.

The Hubby and I have really been struggling with getting our lives on the correct course. This week in my Bible study featured some verses that really connect to where we are now. They are John 15:1-10. When Jesus is speaking about the pruning of the vine… Wow. That is EXACTLY what God is doing in our lives. Bob and I have finally let go of some things and given them over to God. We have fully committed to changing and following God’s leading. The only thing is, once we did that, our situation immediately got worse. I have really struggled with that this week. Why are things happening like they are? One of my friends said it is like Satan is pushing it right back at us and that is true. It really does feel like he is determined to break us from the commitment we made.

So what was my profound moment? This week, there was a section about standing. It referenced Ephesians 6:13:

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

The day of evil isn’t some vague, distant time. We are in it. And God does call us to stand. We are to give everything to Him, trust Him to be who He says He is, and then stand. No matter what Satan throws at us, stand. No matter how much we want to give up, stand. No matter how uncertain and unseen the future is, stand. Once the commitment is made to God, we have all the power we need to hold our ground and give Satan nothing. But we have to choose to stand, to hold that ground through the power of the Holy Spirit that is already at work in us. To quit acting, and more importantly, reacting, in the flesh.

The end of the verse says, after you have done everything, to stand. So there is instruction there. Have we done everything? Have we prayed about it? Have we given it to God? Have we trusted Him to help us? Have we turned to his Word to receive instruction? Have we done what He wanted us to do? If the answer to all of these is “yes” then we are to stand.

Holding ground until God calls us to advance.

Ready, but waiting.. Standing.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Isn't it amazing how attitude changes everything?

I have been bummed all week about the state of our finances and the fact that we can't do as much this year as we wanted. I love to give gifts to lots of people and this year it just is not going to happen. I have been so focused on my disappointment I just knew finding 5 things to be thankful for would be difficult. I am sure you will not be surprised to learn that once I started working on my list, my attitude quickly changed. I actually struggled with what to cut out to keep my list to 5.

1. Old Navy has a commercial that features the song "I want Candy". Every time that commercial comes on Abby starts grinning and doing her cute little 14 month old dancing. I am thankful for the joy that watching my baby love life brings. God is good and she is proof of His love and desire for us to not just have life, but to LIVE.


2. I'm thankful for the anonymous person who sponsored me for the Women's Winter Event at church. Due to the finances described above, I was not going to attend this year. I called my husband to tell him I was cancelling my spot. I planned to talk to our church administrator tonight at prayer service, but before I could say anything she handed me a ticket and said that it had been taken care of and not to worry about it.


3. I'm thankful that I have a friend that is concerned about me. Every time I update my status on myspace, if it isn't clear or positive, she texts me within a short time to find out what is going on. I know with certainty that she has stood before God's throne for me in prayer on many occasions. never more than a text away, we may not spend as much time together as we used to, but she is always there if I need her.


4. I'm thankful for my friend Richard. Not content to allow superficial relationships, he holds me to a higher standard. He challenges me to be transparent in my struggles and then steps into the mess and offers hope. No longer do I feel alone in the battle of my sons learning struggles. Thank you God for my friend, and the simple phrase "Holy Crap". (It is about no matter the crap in your life, there is holiness to be found in it)


5. I am thankful for my friend Erica. I say that to say this... I never really appreciate how much her unquestioning love of me means until she isn't there. Get better quick girl...I need my hug!


To visit the home blog of Thankful Thursdays, click on the button in my right hand column.

Christmas Tag

I got this Christmas tag from Sonya

1) Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate

2) Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Wrapped with one or two little things unwrapped for fun.

3) Colored lights or white? This year, white (I finally got my "grown up" tree, white lights and bronze and electric blue decorations)

4) Do you hang mistletoe? nope!

5) When do you get out your decorations? The Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving

6) Favorite holiday dish, excluding dessert? my Mom's cornbread dressing

7) Favorite holiday memory as a child? My brother and I would make sure our flashlights were in good working order and make a pact that whoever woke up first would get the other one up before going to look at our presents. We fought all year long, but in the wee hours of Christmas morning we held our promise sacred. We always woke the other one up.

8) When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I have no idea. I just know to this day if I say I believe in Santa that I will get a gift from him...I believe!!!

9) Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? yes. We go to my inlaws for Christmas eve, and then we we get home, the kids get to open one present. surprise surprise, it is new jammies every year.

10) How do you decorate your trees? See # 3 above. I also have a miniture tabletop tree that we received as a wedding gift that has hand made glass ornaments that is on the dresser in the bedroom, and Kevin gets his own tree in his room, so it is full of all kinds of stuff.

11) Snow, love it or hate it? LOVE IT!! I dream of a white Christmas.

12) Can you ice skate? no, too proud to learn

13) Do you remember your favorite gift? My Barbie townhouse as a child, and two years ago I got a hand tied purple and pink blanket from my stepmom. LOVE IT!

14) What is the most important thing about the holidays for you? To acknowledge that it isn't all about me, really not about me at all, but what Jesus did.

15) Favorite Holiday dessert? It's a tie between Oreo truffles and Pumkin chocolate chip cookies

16) Favorite Christmas tradition? Excited kids

17) What tops your tree? nothing this year

18) What's better giving or receiving? Giving! I am so bummed we are broke this year.

19) Favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night or Breathe of Heaven

20) Candy Canes, yummy or yucky? one's good

21) What do you want for Christmas? A yellow or green Ipod Nano and new dishes

22) Do you attend an annual Christmas Party? Yes.

23) Do you dress up for Christmas eve? I make everyone put on their individual Santa hats for the yearly family picture. They hate it and I don't care. Then it's jammies for the night.

24) Do you own a Santa Hat? See #23.

25) Who do you normally spend Christmas with? My Man and the kids and I go to his parents for Christmas eve, then we stay home for Christmas Day. My Dad and Stepmom (and brother if he's not working) will come over for Christmas Day Dinner.

You know what's next right?
.....

you're tagged! Just let me know if you post your list.

Comic relief will get you through

favorites-party

One of my favorite memories of Kevin was just a few years ago when he was 6.

My Mom was very sick for a long time before she lost the battle with cancer. During one of my visits home, Bob and Kevin were able to come with me. We were sitting in the hosptial room talking with Mom. She was on all kinds of pain killers and so was kinda loopy. Kevin was sitting in a chair at the end of the bed and every time that my Mom would drop off to sleep he would wait a minute, grin, and kick the end of the bed. My Mom would slowly wake up, look around, see Kevin smiling and say "Hi Sugar" and smile. Kevin would smile back and then we would chat for a few minutes. Then she would drift off and the whole thing would start again.

There were lots of reasons to be sad during that time, but dealing with Mom's sickness through the eyes of a kid took some of the edge off of that visit and helped me to just enjoy being with her, no matter the circumstances.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Titus 2 Tuesday ~ Missy

Today is my first Titus 2 Tuesday offering. I am very excited to begin introducing you to the women that have impacted my life.

Today I want to introduce you to my friend Missy.

Missy is a rare soul. God’s princess since she was young, Missy uses her life as a testimony to God’s grace as well as an opportunity to be a servant to those God places in her path. She truly embodies and lives out the fruits of the spirit. She is always ready with a smile, a gentle hand or a stern admonishment (spoken in love and based in scripture), for all those she meets. She has the greatest laugh and tends to say “Nuh Uh!” when something “interesting” is said. She presents the image of a gentle pastor’s wife, but has a silly side that is infectious. From snow skiing to climbing a rock wall, her adventurous nature is balanced by her love of providing a sanctuary for her family. She is one of those homemakers whose home is actually in order (mostly!) no matter when you drop by. She is a wonderful hostess and very creative in her ability to decorate her home as well as for events and parties.

From the first time I met Missy I felt a sense of calm and peace about her. Over the first months of our friendship I was navigating the emotional and unfamiliar waters of a true walk with Christ. I had so many expectations and thoughts on what it should mean and look like for me to be a true follower of Christ. During that time Missy was there with scripture and advice and a smile, and sometimes a gentle kick in the butt. The first year we attended Hearts at Home was really the beginning of our friendship. I learned that even though she is a pastor’s wife, she has the same struggles as I do, but others that I will never understand. She also taught me that no matter how much you know or how long you have been walking with God, He will still have things to grow and refine to bring us closer to Him. That is the weekend I took her off the “Pastor’s wife pedestal” and begin to walk along side her as her friend.

Missy is married to our pastor; if Mike is a hurricane, Missy is a summer breeze. She perfectly balances him and is his biggest supporter. He is like a high school boy with a crush around her. It is such an encouragement to me to see that there really are marriages out there that never lose the wonder of the dating years, even when years of trials and problems and struggles have become part of the marriage’s history. Especially over the last year, I have watched God bless this marriage in ways that have brought tears to my eyes and a pain to my heart for love of what He can do with the children He loves.

She is the mother of three amazing and caring children. Each one is so very different, but just by talking to them and watching them interact with others you can see the Godly influence that Missy has on them. Her daughter is developing Missy’s gentle spirit, while her son is Missy’s creative and charming side personified. Missy’s youngest daughter is not quite a year old, but (although her Dad tries to convince us otherwise J ) is a sweet baby with an adorable smile. Both her older daughter and her son have a level of integrity and values that make me proud to know them. I fully expect the baby of the family to follow in these fine footsteps.

Missy tends to be the shoulder that everyone leans on, the source of wisdom for advice seekers, and a wonderful spiritual leader to all the women in our church.

In March of this year, Missy received the devastating news that she had breast cancer. Already pregnant, Missy was faced with the challenge of trying to decide the best courses of treatment that would not harm her baby, while also keeping her body healthy and strong. Missy had surgery the first of April, and three weeks later her beautiful baby was born 100% healthy. They call her Missy’s little lifesaver, since the increase in hormones during pregnancy caused the tumor to grow much quicker than normal, allowing for detection and treatment sooner. They even handed out lifesaver candy in the hospital after delivery.

Missy went through chemotherapy as well as radiation. Although it would have been perfectly human and perfectly acceptable by anyone’s standards to worry and grip and moan, or even go through periods of anger and resentment, Missy chose to tighten her grip on her faith and let God’s glory shine like a beacon. (Lest you think she is perfect, she did have times that were rough, but how she chose to deal with those times and the fact that she didn’t stay in those times long was a huge testimony to God’s spirit in her and in her life).

Now completely through with treatment and PRAISE GOD!!! Cancer free, Missy has resumed her work in the children’s ministry of our church, as well as leading a Wednesday morning ladies Bible study.

During this season of her life, Missy was still there for the women in her life, offering her shoulder to lean on as well as her hands and feet to serve. She even served as a special support for her mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer during Missy’s own journey.

I am very excited to see how God will develop our friendship in the years to come. I hope that I bring to this relationship as much joy, comfort and strength as she does. My favorite shopping buddy, and the woman who introduced me to Starbucks Chai Tea Latte, she has blessed my life in many ways. Please feel free to read Missy’s blog (no longer updated, but a wonderful glimpse into the daughter of God that I love).

I’m sure Missy will be embarrassed by all the great things I have written about her, but I am sure she can just get over it and accept the fact that I love her and am excited that God loves me enough to put someone like her in my life.




Missy on the rock wall at the women's retreat this fall. check out the stylin' cap (it's gone now, Missy has HAIR!)



This was Missy's trunk during our church's Trunk or Treat Halloween event. Anne Geddes never looked so good!

Missy and Mike. He's been married to her for some time now, but they still treat each other with the wonder and love of honeymooners.


Oh my! I’m sorry this is so long! There are just so many great things to say about her. I didn’t even really get started. Thanks for hanging in there and meeting my friend! Click the Titus 2 Tuesday link in my side column to go to the Titus 2 Tuesday home blog.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sing with Me

"Shine your light and let the whole world see, we're singing, for the glory of the risen King."

I love to sing this song. Every time we sing this song during worship time, I just get goosebumps. I love the fact that I really am singing directly to Jesus. That I can stand with my family in Christ and declare I want to do nothing more or less than bring glory to my King.

Don't get me wrong. I sing to God wherever I am. I love to get alone in the car, crank up the song that best connects my heart to God, and just belt it out with no thought to anything other than letting God know how much I love him. But, being in a room full of people all praising God and worshipping together to bring honor and glory to Him, there ain't nothing better.

I am putting the link to the video for this song here in the hopes that no matter where you are or what you are doing or what you are going through, you will remember that he is Mighty to Save.

Wanna sing with me?

Hillsong: Mighty to Save

Shannon

Book Tag

This came from Growing In Godliness

Open the closest book to you, not your favorite or most intellectual book, but the book closest to you at the moment, to page 56. Write the 5th sentence, as well as two to five sentences following that.

Why not let yourselves be cheated?

The following sentence is: Like Abram, we might have to give up what we want in order to resolve a conflict over personal interests.

This is from Extreme Answers to Life's Tough Questions and is the last line of 1 Cor 6:7

I highly recommend this book. It is a quick reference topical book of scriptures. If you are speaking with someone dealing with complaining, just look that word up (alphabetically, thank you so much!) and there are some scriptures that correspond to that topic. I keep it in my handbag for those out-of-the-blue texts from the teens in our youth group or even for God appointments. I have even given some of them away. The first time I did was to a couple in the hospital struggling to understand and cope with their young child's illness. And best of all, I use it to spend a few minutes with God when I am stuck in traffic, in the waiting room or standing in line.

To anyone reading this blog...you've been tagged.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The craftiness is back and I need ideas!

I have loved crafting since I was a curly haired tot. My Mom taught me to love it, and it really feeds my need to be creative. I haven't really had the time or desire the past few years but the NEED to craft is back! The bad thing is...well there are several bad things.

First, I am ADD. I need short-term projects that are simple.

Second, I don't have a sewing machine.

Third, I can't knit or crochet.

Ok, all that said, I wanna get crafting!

If you have a great and easy crafting project, please share!

Monday, December 1, 2008

I had a good hair day today

I had a good hair day today.

It doesn't happen often. I just don't have good hair day hair. It is unruly and unkempt. Half curls, half waves, and I know you won't believe me, but I have a third half, and it is all kinda straight and disburses itself into the previous two halves.

So, anyway, I was having a good hairday. It didn't take long to do either! Then, I had an ok makeup day. I didn't have to repair any unfortunate smears, such as the one that I tend to get from my mascara. I generally need to sneeze as soon as I put it on, then I have to clean it all off and start again because I look like a racoon.

Finally, I had a really cute outfit. It was black and magenta. I like the word magenta. Makes me think of coloring in my Barbie coloring book as a little girl.

Ya, my blog is random today. Until you get to the next part.

So, God gave me a good hair, makeup and outfit day. You know that is where the good ends right? You just don't get all three and get to leave the house. Nope. You sure don't.

So, I am all ready to head to work. I get all my stuff gathered up (running EARLY no less!) and then go in to wake up Pretty Princess.

I open the door, walk over to her bed and see....

A dried vomit covered Princess.

And Princess blankets.

And Princess bed.

And (HORROR!) a vomit covered Kitty. (to understand about Kitty click here)

I quietly tiptoed back out of the room. Yes I did. Sometimes, if their hair isn't on fire, you just need a few minutes to process.

Apparently at some point she threw up and didn't fuss. Just made a big mess and then went back to sleep.

So what did I do? First, I called the babysitter and told them we weren't coming, then I called my boss and told her I wasn't coming, texted the moms of the kids that she hung out with in the church nursery yesterday, then I went to start a royal bubble bath. After I got the water going and before I got the Princess I went into the bedroom and took one final look at my good hair, makeup, outfited self. Then, I pulled on my sweats, cliped my hair back out of my eyes, and went and tackled my NEW job duties for the day.

The Sanctuary of Christian Marriage

As I started up the mountain path, I easily walked the even ground, taking my time to look around and enjoy the view. Gradually, the path grew steep and there were more obstacles to make a way around. I focused on getting ahead on the path and didn't notice the abundant beauty around me. There were several jagged breeches in the mountain face that I had to find ways to cross, along with some rock slides and a place or two where the path had been washed out by storms. There was even several times where I wandered off the path and had to just stop, stand still, and wait until I could figure out the way to find the path again. Then, when I was feeling overwhelmed and worn to the bone, I found a quiet lake half way up the mountain. Here I stopped and took my ease, sitting still and enjoying the beauty of the world. Here I found refreshment, rest and even inspiration to continue the journey.

When I first read Andrea @ Embracing Him's blog I was really inspired to write a great blog about how my marriage is a sanctuary in my life and how my husband and I refresh and protect each other. The more I thought and tried to figure out what I wanted to say, the above analogy of a mountain journey played in my head.

Ideally, we would always overflow with abundant grace and mercy for each other, living the love of Christ in each other's lives. Most of the time, just the sight of my husband walking into the room causes me to actually feel the stresses and the burdens of my day lighten. He makes me smile and makes me feel precious. But other times, well, we are human and therefore broken. We mess it up all the time with selfishness. We get bogged down in the journey and forget the joy and wonder. We want our marriage to be a sanctuary, but sometimes it is the source of the conflict. The great thing is, we are not the final word in our marriage.

God has a vested interest in what we do with the marriage he has given us. God has plans far above what we can see or understand but for us to be able to complete his design for our life, we have to have the sanctuary of God's grace and mercy.

I love my husband, and I see him as my protector, rock, and rest; I try to understand that he will let me down, as I will him, and we will need to find our sanctuary in the one who is always there. When those circumstances come, we can take refuge in God's sanctuary.

The great thing about God's sanctuary is that not only is it a place of healing and grace, but it is also a place where we can learn and grow, so that we can offer refuge to each other the next time those circumstances hit.

Is my marriage a sanctuary? Most of the time, ya, it sure is. But no matter how strong we try to build it there will be times when the attacks of the world will weaken it. for those times, when our marriage needs a place of refuge from the world, it is comforting to know that there is always a place for us to go.