For Christmas last year I asked for wind chimes. We had just recently moved into a new house, one we consider to be our permanent (forever) home. I’ve always liked wind chimes, especially the ones that are bigger and deeper sounding. So when it came time to make a Christmas list for my in laws (the only people I have to make a list for), I knew this is what I’d put on it. Which I finally had to breathe a sigh of relief because I never know what to have on my Christmas list!

As Christmas came last year, it was my turn to open one of my gifts. It was a box. But it wasn’t a heavy box so I was a little clueless as to what was inside. When it was opened, there was a note. The note talked about how my in laws wanted to get me a wind chime, but instead of picking out something they thought I’d like, they wanted me to pick out my own. Now, as if that wasn’t cool enough, what made it sweeter was that they wanted to make a trip out of getting a wind chime. They wanted to treat me and the family to Shipshewana (a heavily Amish town) for the day. Shipshewana and the Amish are well known for great, handmade products so I knew that a wind chime from there would be perfect!

I share all of this because we finally got our trip to Shipshewana done! Actually we got it done back in June, but since then I’ve been super busy that I didn’t have time to create a post.

The day was fun! It started out a little crazy because my husband decided to follow his GPS from his iPhone. Most of the time GPS’ work well. This time, we made it to our destination, but we were taken way out in the boonies first! It made for quite the interesting experience!

While there we visited some unique shops, got some Amish goodies, did a buggy ride, and ate a healthy lunch. What is so cool about the place is that I feel like I’m back in time, although cars are still heavily present. I also find it fascinating how many flowers there are. It’s so beautiful. The place is truly magical, and if you ever get the chance to visit, I’d recommend it.

This is the wind chime that I came home with!

It is called Song of Solomon. I never knew wind chimes had their names, but apparently they do. And this name holds a special place in my heart. At our wedding, the passage read was from Song of Solomon.  So I just think that’s cool that the one I ended up liking the most had that name.

It’s deep reds and blacks, colors that match our new home perfectly. And the sound is so beautiful. I wish that pictures had sound with them so that I could share with you all the melodic noise they make. One bonus is that this beauty comes with a lifetime guarantee! Can’t get better than that.

Every time I look out my window and see my wind chimes dangling in the breeze or each time I hear the chimes ringing, I don’t just see/hear wind chimes. My in laws gave me something more than that. They gave me memories of the day that we went to get the wind chimes. I won’t forget about petting the huge Clydesdale, or meandering through specialty stores, or feeling like I’m in the middle of nowhere as we traveled south, or the many other things I got to experience that day like riding in an Amish buggy for the first time!!!! In fact, here’s a pic of our horse and driver!

It’ll also serve as a reminder of my marriage ceremony! It’s neat how God orchestrates certain events and things to bring up pleasant memories of things long ago. I can actually see it being sort of like a wedding ring…a visual to symbolize a vow that was made.

Have you ever had an experience like this? Has something ever reiterated something from your past? Or how has God done something really cool in your life?

 

Sacred Marriage happens to be one of the titles of a book by Gary Thomas. For those who do not know who Gary Thomas is, he is a bestselling author and international speaker whose ministry focuses on bringing people closer to Christ and closer to one another. In this book, Sacred Marriage, the general idea is to get closer to your spouse by becoming more like Christ.

I have to admit that I would not have read something like this on my own. I am not a huge fan of self-help or non-fiction in general. Yes, this coming from someone who is working on her first non-fiction piece, lol. It’s not like I don’t get much out of them or don’t like them, it’s just that I’d rather be reading a fictional piece that transports me to someone else’s world.

Anyway, back to why I said all of that. Though I wouldn’t have chosen to read something like this on my own, I did end up reading it because of a men’s group my husband is a part of. One of the homework assignments was for him to read Sacred Marriage, as well as for me, too. Then a little while ago we had a meeting where all of us, husbands and wives, discussed it.

The first thing I want to say is Continue reading “Sacred Marriage”

I can’t tell you how many times I misspell the word “exercise” – even when typing in this title, I tend to put a “C” after the “X”. It’s horrible!

 

Anyway, this is not what the article is about so let’s just move on.

 

My husband, Jeremy, is part of this men’s group at our church where they get together at least once a month, discuss a book they were required to read, share their memory work, and encourage one another to grow spiritually. This past month Jeremy had to read “See Yourself As God Sees You” by Josh McDowell. He really enjoyed it, and highly recommends it by the way. I know I’ll be reading that in the near future.

 

Part of the “homework” that went along with this book was he had to make a list of 10 ways he sees himself and 10 ways he feels God sees him. Then came my part. I had to review the lists and see where I agree or disagree, as well as help him figure out ways in which he can always see himself as God sees him. I thought that was a pretty cool exercise! I even went on to make my own list of 10 ways I see Jeremy.

 

This got me curious. What would my list look like? How did I think Jeremy viewed me? So I asked him if he would be willing to do the same for me as I just did for him. He was totally for it! So without further ado…here is my list of 10 ways I see myself and 10 ways I feel God sees me: Continue reading “A Marriage Exercise”