Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine's Day, Part 1

I'm pretty excited for this upcoming Valentine's Day! While I think it's a good idea to acknowledge those we love all the time, it's nice to have a special day set aside to do so as it can be easy in the busyness of life to overlook intentional displays of affection. That...and I love conversation hearts. :)

I'm especially excited this year since Dan and I will be together on Valentine's Day. Last year, we celebrated our first married Valentine's Day the day before (Sunday) and he had to leave that night for a work trip. I treated myself to Chick-fil-A and a trip to the pet store to play with the puppies on Valentine's so that I wouldn't just be alone at home wishing he was there.

This year, with Valentine's being on a Tuesday, we've decided to celebrate the weekend after. I have Bible study on Tuesday nights and with my commute, it just made sense so we could enjoy it more and not trying to squeeze it in amongst our normal activities. We're also doing a group dinner with some friends tomorrow at our church. This is the group that we got together with the first Valentine's Day right before we started dating. Should be a fun potluck dinner and movie night. :) I'm making some BBQ pulled pork for sandwiches and a banana cake with cream cheese frosting (courtesy of Pinterest).

What I'm most excited about though is that Dan asked me to reserve next Friday night and Saturday and not plan anything. Then about a week ago, he told me to pack an overnight bag. I have no clue where we are going or what we're doing...and I love it! :) He has taken total control over the plans and I can't wait to find out what he has in store! That's where Part 2 of this post will come in ;) Stay tuned after next weekend to find out!

I hope all of my friends know how much I love and appreciate them, both on Valentine's and every day! Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Soli Deo Gloria,

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Book Review: Real Marriage

*So I've been a blogging slacker recently. :( Sorry...Things have been a little busy. I'll try to be better.*

"Real Marriage" by Mark Driscoll is a great read and continues in the tradition of the sermons he has preached on marriage (available through With a straightforward, Biblical approach, Mark and his wife, Grace, deal with real-life issues of marriage and friendship. Whether you're married, single, dating, ministering to marrieds or singles, this book has some good insights for everyone.

Make sure to not skip the introduction to the book, since it gives you a framework for how NOT to read it. The Driscolls are also specific in mentioning their intended audience and reiterating it in other parts of the book. Without this information, you really don't have a framework for reading this book. They also provide context by telling you their own stories. It's also important to note that this book is not primarily about sexuality or sex within marriage, though the topic is addressed (it gets its own section). This is primarily a book about marriage in general and friendship with marriage.

The discussion on friendship within marriage is a concept that might be novel to some people. While at first thought it seems like being friends with your spouse would be a given, the Driscolls point out that not many people talk about what that looks like or how to be friends with your spouse. They use a great acrostic to walk through what marital friendship looks like (I'll let you read the book to find out how they apply):

F- Fruitful
R- Reciprocal
I- Intimate
E- Enjoyable
N- Needed
D- Devoted
S- Sanctifying

While I've heard some of the information in the book before by listening to Mark's sermons, there was enough new material that kept me learning and thinking. They talk about the concept of making sure that the last day of your marriage is the most important and then give you a practical way to do that at the end. The last chapter was definitely worth the read as it puts forward many questions to consider to consider for the future of your marriage and family. Reading over all the questions at once was a little overwhelming but they were a great framework to start thinking and planning about the future, even further out than just a couple months or a year.

Overall, the book was a great read and good food for thought. I definitely recommend it for married couples and those who plan on being married. :) The straightforward tone is refreshing and the advice relevant. I look forward to chatting about this book, especially the questions at the end, with my husband when he finishes reading it. :)

Soli Deo Gloria,

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”