Where I share 20 fun facts & ask you to participate

joey

So let’s get to know one another…

Here are 20 fun facts about me. Check it out and see if you can relate. Then I hope you will share 20 fun facts about yourself in the comments.

 

 

  1. I’m a redhead married to a redhead and we have 2 redheaded children
  2. Coffee over tea every single time
  3. I have no tatoos, but if I did it would be my life verse: 1 Peter 3:15 as an armband with coffee bean flowers (do coffee beans have flowers?)
  4. I’m a “who done it/police-crime drama” junkie. Law & Order (original) was my favorite series ever. My current obsession is The Blacklist. James Spader, seriously!
  5. Food allergies? It would be a shorter list to tell you what I CAN eat
  6. I was unable to go to movie theaters for years because of anxiety/phobeas. The Son of God movie was the first one I saw in 15 years
  7. My favorite actor? Tom Hanks
  8. I do not have a favorite color
  9. I have read 25 books already this year (2016)
  10. My favorite super hero? Captain America! Although Spiderman is a close second.
  11. I’m 5′ tall…unless I fluff my hair and wear heals
  12. Asthma sucks!
  13. I am NOT an animal person!!! But 4 years ago my daughter talked me into getting a dog. Her name is Belle and I call her Bellarina. She is a Shih-Tzu/Poodle mix and she broke me! belle
  14. We have a pet turtle named Speedy (did I mention I’m not an animal lover???)
  15. The first year our church plant held a VBS (vacation bible school), we gave away goldfish on the last night…real ones. My leadership team thought it would be nice to give me one for my office so the kids could come in and help feed it. It’s still alive…after 4.5 years! His name is Zeek. (How do I keep getting these animals?)
  16. My first job was as a cook at Hardees
  17. My first car: 1978 Ford Fairmont (army green)
  18. My husband and I had our first date at Big Boy (Frisch’s for you Ohio-ans)
  19. I moved 21x before I was 21 years old. But I have now lived in the same house for 24 years.
  20. I’m a blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do married to a blackbelt with 2 children who are also blackbelts ūüôā

Hey, what about you? Share some fun facts so I can get to know my readers. God has created us unique to give the world it’s wonderful flavor!

 

Why I Write this Blog

 

reclinerI have a recliner. ¬†It’s not one of those fancy LazyBoys, but maybe one day I will invest in one. ¬†It has become my friend and my enemy over the last ten years.

My husband was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis somewhere around 2001.  We have really lost track of when he was diagnosed.  He has lived with chronic pain longer than he can remember.  But for about 5 years, it affected every area of our lives.

The pain keeps my husband awake. ¬†And it wakes him in the middle of the night. ¬†So his bed is both his friend and his enemy. ¬†It is the one place where he finds some relief. ¬†He tells me that early in the morning, as the sun is shining through the windows…if he lays very, very still…he feels no pain. ¬†Sometimes he will lay there for an hour just enjoying the sun and the warmth of the covers. ¬†It is the only hour of the day he will be pain-free. ¬†And at that moment, his bed is his friend!

We have learned to navigate the world of chronic illness with natural remedies. And God has walked with us through it all. However, there are still sleepless nights for him. And, for a season, his sleepless nights became my sleepless nights.

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During one of the most challenging seasons of his R.A., I spent numerous nights sleeping in a recliner. It was the only way we could both find rest. Yet, in that season of rest and unrest, we discovered new things about ourselves, each other, and God.

Mostly, I think we realized we had been figuratively sleeping in a recliner all along. We were asleep to living our lives. Asleep to our relationship with one another. And asleep in our relationship with God. That time of our lives was a great trial and discouraging most days, but I wouldn’t trade those years. Today, we have a deeper and richer marriage than we would have had otherwise. Our relationships with God have transformed our hearts. And we have experienced life in fresh ways.

I am confident that God used that season to wake us up. Yet, so many people I know are asleep in their own recliners (of life). My hope is this blog will shake a few people, mend a few hearts, and challenge a few souls. I am not responsible for the whole world, but I am responsible for the years God has given to me. So, I am here; taking responsibility for the destiny I have received.

But in your heart, set apart Christ as Lord. And always be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks you the reason for the hope that you have within you. And, do this with gentleness and respect. – 1 Peter 3:15

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Top 10 Most Influential Books

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Books! You’ve heard it said that leaders are readers. Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are certainly readers. Books stretch our minds and our imaginations. I have been a reader since a child, although it waned a bit in my teens. However, in my early 20s someone introduced me to the world of non-fiction. And my hunger for reading grew.

When my children were young, I wanted to get them reading as quickly as possible. We kept trying different genres until we found one that stuck. My son discovered sci-fi/fantasy (The Magic Tree House series), and my daughter discovered all things dogs (Animal Ark). And it worked. Both of my children are readers…and leaders.

Books shape us and transform us in interesting ways. Here are the top 10 books that were influential in my life. I hope you will share your list with me. Hopefully, we will both find new books to shape our minds.

  1. Silver Boxes – Florence Littauer

Silver Boxes was a book I read just prior to coming to faith in Christ. God used it to plant seeds of faith in my heart and encourage me in a difficult time of my life.

2. Wild Things Happen When I Pray – Tirabassi

This was one of the first books I read as a new Christian and the first book I ever read on prayer. I’m not sure it is even in print anymore. It opened my eyes to God’s work in our lives. And it challenged me to persevere in prayer.

3. Mere Christianity – C.S Lewis

I read this book as a fairly new Christian. I was intrigued when I discovered he was the same author of the Narnia series. And I was intrigued because he had been an atheist (just like me). Lewis had a brillant mind and he was able to articulate the things of God using both faith and reason.

4. The Hiding Place – Corrie ten Boom

I heard about this book early on in my new faith. I hesitated to read it for years. Mostly, I thought it would be a “pie in the sky” story of faith. I was wrong! She was a normal person with faith, questions, doubts, and fears. Yet, she persevered. Every Believer needs to read this book.

5. Intercessory Prayer – Dutch Sheets

Loved this book! It changed my prayer life! If you think you have nothing to offer the Kingdom of God, then you need to read this book.

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6. Pilgrim’s Progress – Bunyan

Pilgrim’s Progress is another book I heard much about as a new Christian. It made many people’s top 10 lists. And I really had no interest in reading it. Then one day I was at the library and they had it in audio book form. At that time, I was driving my son 30 minutes to school (one way) every day. So we began listening to it each morning. It was a powerful book, but it is also a reminder of a sweet time with my son.

7. Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire – Cymbala

Obviously prayer seems to be a theme for me. This book came at a time in my life when I needed encouragement. Cymbala’s transparency and perseverance in prayer encouraged me to stay on my knees in the tough times of life.

8. The Shaping of Things to Come – Frost & Hirsch

During my undergrad work, I took an evangelism class and the professor assigned this book as reading. This book challenged everything I thought I knew about evangelism…and I hated it. But then God used it to radically change me! I can honestly say that I don’t think I would have ever considered planting a church before reading this book. I am ever grateful to my professor!

9. Blue Like Jazz – Donald Miller

10. Velvet Elvis – Rob Bell

I read these last two books back to back in about one week and they rocked my world. I know that both of these books (mostly Bell) have been surrounded by controversy. But the thing about books is that they are filled with ideas…and ideas are controversial. Jesus posed new ideas; controversial ideas. And those ideas took Him to the cross. These two books came at a time in my life when I felt trapped and dead inside. It was a time when I was questioning if there was more to life than this. Together, these books reminded me that God and His Word are infinitely deep and rich; deep enough to swim in and shallow enough to wade in. And most of us spend our lives wading in the shallow end.

I hope you will consider reading some of these books. Most of all, I hope you will read. Let ideas challenge and stretch you. Let your mind and heart work together to change the world, even if it is only your small piece of it.

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