Approaching Grace in Red High Heels
The light was bright as the sun: gleaming, searing, so intense I could only squint down at my feet as I shuffled up the steps. Enormous doors opened slowly as I approached, their engravings deep and elaborate. Everything – the doors, the steps, the light – was brilliant white.
I was conscious of a steady hum of voices in the periphery, but I didn’t look up. The light was still so bright, and shining ever brighter as I walked forward. I could only see my feet, dirty against the glass floor, and out of the corner of my eye huge pillars stood like sentinels to my left and to my right. I pulled my coat tighter and took ever smaller steps forward.
I was here to give an answer. I was here to leave something… to confess something. The closer I walked the harder the steps became and the heavier my burden felt. I pulled my coat, and my packages, tighter to my chest and squinted again. My feet bumped against another step and I pulled back suddenly.
Looking up for the first time, I realized where I stood.
The throne room.
All around me were voices, a perfect harmony from every corner of the echoing room. Pillars of pure white and gold lined it from floor to ceiling, their arching beauty like a forest above my head. The floor rushed out from beneath my feet in a transparent sea of glass and there were four singers standing ahead of me. I backed up further, my coat feeling thin and useless and ugly in this place.
“It’s a really great work out, babe!” Mr. M was setting up his iPad in the living room at 5 AM. I had lazily decided not to go to the gym and instead join him in his own routine. “It’s called ‘Stronger’.”
“I don’t like it already.” I moaned, rolling out my yoga mat and flopping onto my back.
“It’s six blocks of four routines: warm up, cardio, strength, and stretch,” He said excitedly. “I’m glad you’re doing it with me!”
Short story: I nearly died, and couldn’t walk for two days.
I actually love to work out, do it regularly, and have done it for five years now, and I want to share my five favorite work out routines with my readers. I know Pinterest is overwhelming when it comes to finding a routine, and routines are necessary, especially if you work 8-5, have small children or an irregular work schedule…
It was 2007 and we were all sitting around the kitchen island, the shimmery July heat shielded by half-drawn blinds. Six of us – myself and the other three older kids, all slamming the swivel chairs into the countertop, laughing hysterically. Someone had found a pair of wind-up chattering teeth and they were gnashing their way across the counter to our utter delight. Even Anders and Laney, just little at the time, were giggling from their places below the counter.
Now seven years later I’m in my mid-twenties, married… and sometimes I feel like that set of chattering teeth. More than sometimes, really. I saw this picture on Pinterest:
And it’s true. So true.
I’m an external processor. I figure out what I believe, think, and want to accomplish by talking things through. I love intellectual discussion and argumentation. I even like a good ‘fight’, if it gets me thinking.
That may be great for classroom debate, but it’s not very conducive to a peaceful marriage. My idea of ‘family time’ would be everyone talking at once, shouting out some new story or information. Silence is both boring and uncomfortable to me, unless of course I am alone… and even then I’m known for talking to myself (I’ll see a counselor right after this).
Since marriage sanctifies, there are at least five things (and probably many more) I’ve stopped saying since I got married because of the tension these statements cause. We all bring different personalities and quirks to marriage so maybe your sentences look different from mine – but perhaps your reasoning is the same. I’m no master. I still struggle. But eliminating these phrases has drastically improved our communication in the last six months!…
I was hunting for a post to schedule on Wednesday when Brenna emailed me her Joy Story! I’m so glad you can meet this woman whose whole life radiates her exposure to God’s grace. I met Brenna at the camp in New Mexico she mentions in her post. We were in a ‘Covenant Group’ together and I was always left smiling because of her laugh, her love for life, and her love for God. To know Brenna is to get a glimpse of Jesus. – Phylicia
P: Who are you, where do you come from, and what do you do?
B: I am Brenna Bostic. I grew up in Atlanta, GA, but moved to Albuqerque, NM, a year ago when I got married — my husband, Tyler, is from NM. I am currently an agent at New York Life Insurance Company where I help families with their financier goals, and my husband is in the Albuquerque Police Academy…
I rewrote that title just five times or so. I still don’t like it.
Whether you are dating long distance or have a traveling spouse like I do, for some of us, traditional ‘dating’ is crammed into the two precious days of the weekend. The problem remains… those two days also contain all my deep-cleaning, homework catch-up, meal planning and even some errand-running.
So Mr. M and I find ourselves spending the weekend playing house: laundry, cooking, taking out the garbage, vacuuming, and ending it with a movie on Saturday night. While there is nothing wrong with this, we’d like to spend the few days we have together during travel season in a more productive, fulfilling way.
Here are a few ideas we’ve found helpful as we keep the house spic-n’-span while getting quality time together.
1. Use Friday night for chores, homework, and household clean up – then plan a surprise day out all day Saturday.
Is your impulse to use Friday night as ‘date night’? Ours too. But we’ve found a little switcheroo that helps make the most of our time: one accelerated evening of household maintenance! …
“Turn around and do it again!” My coach yelled from the fence.
“Tighten your legs!”
“Heels down! Look at the corner!”
“Turn around and do it again! Pick his hind feet up!”
Over and over I steered my horse along the fence rail and pushed him into a canter. Over and over I adjusted my seat, pressured him in the ribs and tried to force him to change his lead. His ears flicked between my murmur and my coach’s yell.
“That’s it, boy, come on, you can do it,” I said softly. I tapped his hindquarters, pushed him forward and twitched my ring finger. I felt the slight jolt of his shoulders and his stride changed. Immediately, I stopped him and patted his neck; his chest was heaving from thirty minutes of repetition.
The relationship between a horse and rider is more of a partnership than anything else: the rider asks something of the horse, and the horse responds in turn, with the reward of pats or pasture for his efforts. He may not always like the commands he receives; he may buck and pull and resist, but it is the rider’s job to train him into submission so the horse is fulfilling his full potential.
Husbands are not horses, but sometimes we treat them like they are.