Monday, March 29, 2010


Just wanted to share this verse God gave me today:
Psalm 127: 3-5 - "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in ones youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them, they will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate."
May we see our children the way God sees them and may He give us the strength and perspective to live inside this truth each day!

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Love Triangle (not what you think)

First, take a look at my very first bulb flower to bloom yesterday! It's a snow crocus, aptly named since today, a mere one day after it bloomed, it's covered in snow. I'm not sure how it will fair, but I sure enjoyed it for it's one day of glory:).

Now on to the second speakers from Focus on Marriage.

Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott- It was wonderful to get to hear from this couple. I read one of their books back before Travis and I were married called, "Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts". It was a great book that really laid some good foundation for starting a marriage. Their primary focus for the conference was the concept of a love triangle. Each side of the triangle represents one of three elements that make up any marriage, Passion, Intimacy, and Commitment. They talked about how love is fluid and we move through different seasons and changes in each of these areas throughout life, but that each is important and we need to ask each other how we're doing in each of these areas regularly. Much of what they shared was review from what I've read/heard before, but it was a fresh reminder to be purposeful in the maintenence of my marriage, to make time to talk about our marriage, which we don't always think to do. The biggest thing I took from what they shared was the part about men and intimacy. As women, we love intimacy, we love those deep talks on the couch with our mate, being raw with what's in our hearts, talking about our relationship and how we can better meet each other's needs. It comes more naturally to us to go there, but Leslie talked about how men are wired a little differently. For them, they are most likely to open up and share their hearts when they're doing something with us that we both enjoy. She shared some stories about how this has worked in marriages she's come accross, it was both funny and inspiring! It really made me think about how many times Travis has talked about wanting more time to do fun things with just me and how hard it can be to make time for that when we're in the throws of raising young children. And yet, it's important to put our marriage first, even when it takes a lot of effort.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekened! Spring is here, that's worth celebrating!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Focus on Marriage Highlights...Finally!

To sum up the wealth of wisdom and insight into marriage the speakers at the Focus on Marriage conference shared would take more than a blog would take a book, or two, or three, or more because that's what each of them have written! But instead of trying to rewrite their books, most of which I haven't even had the privelege of reading yet, I'm going to share the specific things God challenged, encouraged, and inspired my heart with at the conference through their wisdom. I'll break it up into a speaker a day for the sake of time and focus. I'll try to keep these posts short and sweet, but for those of you who know me well, you know how hard that will be;)...the short part I mean.

Francis Chan (author of Crazy Love)- okay, this guy just blew me away! I'd have to say he made the greatest lasting impression with his message. He was the first speaker, which was perfect, because he gave us such a profound truth to filter all the other marriage wisdom through. This passage of scripture was the focus of his message:

1 Corinthians 7:29-35- "What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.
I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord."

Right off the bat, Francis told us how unlikely this scripture is when talking about the good of marriage. In fact, the second half of the passage is often used to encourage people in their singleness. But if we dig deeper and see this passage for what it's really saying to all of us, here's the message, in Francis's words, "it's not about this life!", and that applies to marriage. Marriage can be a distraction from God's greater purpose for our lives or it can be a tool for even greater fulfillment of that purpose. In his words, with some of mine added in, make sure your marriage is focused on God and what He created each follower of His to do; sharing the good news with the lost and loving Him with all of our hearts and loving others more than ourselves! Don't just focus on having a great marriage, because that, in and of itself, is not living God's greatest purpose for us. He closed with the best news of all! When we, as individuals and in our marriages, are focused on our relationship with and purpose in the Lord, our marriages become greater than they ever could be if a good marriage alone was our focus. God delights in blessing us in our relationships, especially when it's a byproduct of loving Him FIRST. The points from the Corinthians passage that really sum up what God taught me through Francis are: "Let those who have wives (or husbands) live as those who have none...because time is short!" At first glance, these profound truths could seem discouraging to someone in an unequally yoked marriage with a non-believer, or even to someone in a marriage when one is growing in maturity and the other is swimming around in luke warm water. But I believe this is a call to us as individuals before anything else, and that God can and will still work in our marriages when we answer the call, regardless of where the other person is at. It may sound strange to say this, but my new and greatest marriage goal is to fall more in love with my Savior and my God and to live the abundant, fruit-filled life He has for me. I guess that about sums up what God is teaching me through Francis, but I can't wait to read his book too! And see, I told you short is not my forte...I'll try to work on that:).

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Winner Is...

Since I already have your address, "winner", be watching the mail:). It will probably be coming from Amazon, but I'll be checking for the best price. And to those of you who didn't win, don't let that stop you from getting and reading this amazing book! I am convinced God has something for every woman in this book! Blessings friends, this was so much fun! I think I'll have to do a giveaway several times a year now:). Have a beautiful weekend!

Monday, March 08, 2010


The giveaway is now CLOSED! I'll announce the winner some time this afternoon:).
As promised, I have something to give away this week. When you discover something that touches you so profoundly, you've just gotta share! So, drum roll please, here's what I'm giving away to one lucky winner this week:
Beth Moore's newest book, "So Long Insecurity, You've Been a Bad Friend to Us"
I'm not even halfway through this book and I'm already being challenged and inspired! So here's how it will work; all you have to do is leave a comment about why you'd love to win this book and you're entered. If you'd like an additional entry, just post about my giveaway on your own blog and link to mine, but be sure to tell me you've done this. I'm also going to use this giveaway as a chance to get to know my readers better, so come out of hiding and say "hi", even if you don't want to be entered in the giveaway. I'd love to get to know you better. Please leave your comments by noon MST on Friday the 12th, that's when I'll do the random drawing.
I know I said I'd be talking about the Focus on Marriage conference this week, but I think it's going to have to wait til next week, this week has gotten full fast!
Good luck and even more blessings!

Friday, March 05, 2010


Happy Friday! Here are some random pictures for your viewing pleasure. First, my handsome men in all their sunglass-wearing coolness. I'm one lucky lady!

Spring is just around the corner and I couldn't be more happy about it! I already have bulbs popping up along the front walk, they make me smile every time I see them. I was telling a friend yesterday, I love our four seasons in Colorado, even when I get sick of winter (it's my least favorite season), because without winter, would we really appreciate spring like we do?
This sweet picture was taken a couple days ago when Sawyer was fighting nap time. All it took was a good snuggle with his cozy Grammy to do the trick. Such a sweet angel face!
I have plans to post about everything I learned at the Focus on Marriage conference some time next week, so stay tuned. I also will be doing a giveaway, so all you lurkers will have to come out of hiding and say "hi", if for no other reason than the chance to win something!

Monday, March 01, 2010

"That's Not Her!"

Before I get into the meat of this post, and in case the suspense was killing you, the childhood heart throb I got to see in person, a mere 10-15 feet away from me was Kirk Cameron and his wife Chelsea! It was like watching those Growing Pains episodes all over again, except this time he was making actual eye contact with me (I was in the front row at the Focus on Marriage Conference at Focus on the Family this past weekend) and talking about Godly marriages! It was a surreal experience to say the least, but even more than that, it was so wonderful to see a Hollywood figure who passionately loves God, and his wife of 19 years, who has such a platform to reach so many with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and in this case, the power of God as the focus of your marriage. The picture above is one I took. The lighting wasn't perfect and we couldn't use flash, but you get the idea. The entire conference was so inspiring and challenging and straight from the Lord. It would take me another full post to cover everything God brought to my attention about marriage, and perhaps I will share some of that...later.
We also had some great time over the weekend with my mom and dad and my sister and her family. This next picture was such a sweet moment. Tayden (Amber's oldest) was holding Sawyer while they watched a movie.And the meat? Yes, here you go. For those of you who watched the Focus on Marriage simulcast across the U.S. and Canada, you may know what I'm talking about. But for the rest of you, let me tell you the funny story that God, of course, gave me some insight through. First some background. On Thursday, MckMama, a dear sister in Christ whose story and candid writing and photography God is using mightily through her blog, held a gathering at Focus on the Family for any of her readers to come hang out and get to know each other better. It was a fun, but admittedly nervous time of meeting these women face to face who we've only ever seen on our computer screens. As the weekend progressed, all nervousness went away and we had some amazing times of casual conversation and of deeper conversation and prayer together. I am so thankful for these new connections!
So with the background, now for the funny (turned profound) story. During the simulcast, the speakers were recognizing several audience members, one of which was Jennifer (MckMama). And who do you think the camera zoomed in on when they recognized her? Yours truely! Ya, so embarrassing and hilarious and just plain awkward to be honest. My big mug, broadcasted across churches all over the U.S. and Canada and they weren't even my two seconds of fame to have! Jennifer was so gracious about it, and they did correct themselves later in the simulcast, but God is not letting the experience go void in my heart. He's giving me a lesson to share, I love it when He does that. No accidents right! Back to that moment, I could hear a certain phrase (in my head) ringing out accross the T.V. waves, "That's Not Her!!!" And I'm sure that's what each of you who read MckMama's blog and love her were saying when you saw my embarrassed face. But ever since then, it's been like the picture of a person with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, each one trying to whisper in my ear, convincing me to react their way. Here's what the little devil would have me believe: "Did you hear that Sarah, you're NOT her, nor will you ever be. Why would God ever use YOUR story, YOUR writing, in such a famous way? You are nothing, she is something, anyone who sees something great in you is simply mistaken."
But here's what the "angel" (actually God) said: "Sarah, this is the perfect picture of what I want you to be and what I want people to say of you. I want people to see you, to read your words and shout, "that's not her!" I want them to see ME! If there is ever fame to be had, I want it to be MINE not yours. I want you to let me be strength in your weakness, I want it to be so obvious that it's ME, not you, that is working, so that I will receive all the glory. When someone gets done talking to you, reading your words, hugging your neck, I want them to feel like they've just interacted with ME. Be emptied of yourself, Sarah, so that you can be filled with me. I will lift you up in your humility, I will use you as a vessel for my work when you are emptied of yourself so I can fit inside and drive!"
Guess who's voice I'm choosing to listen to?! Well, okay, the voice I want to choose to listen to even when I'm tempted to listen to the other. And about this woman...who I am NOT, let me just tell you that she IS wonderful! Her heart is so transparent and genuine. She's in process, just like the rest of us, and she's the first one to admit that. She is incredibly humbled by the platform she has been given and is earnestly seeking God's plan for it at ever step. She is facing attacks from every angle as her fame has grown, but she is letting even the hate refine and shape her, letting God be victorious even through what Satan would use to harm her. When I look at this picture, I see two sisters in Christ, two imperfect and yet beloved women of God, two souls wanting to be more emptied of self and filled with Jesus and His work and will for our lives. I love you Jennifer and will continue to pray for you on this road God has for you. Remember what we talked about, "if God is for you, who can be against you?" Press on sister! And now I can call you friend!