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This week’s reads:

+ “He’s funny.” “He’s smart.” “He’s cute.” We tend to stick to the same few (more generic) words when we describe our spouse to other people, or even to our spouses themselves. But I think it’d be beneficial if, once in a while, we go a little deeper than that to vocalize more specific characteristics that we love about our spouses. ❤️ Words like:

Generous + Kind + Thoughtful + Understanding + Strong + Supportive + Nurturing + Compassionate + Authentic + Curious (that’s my hubby)

These words are more meaningful — they carry more weight, more intimate knowledge behind them.

To come up with these words, we have to look closer at our spouses — not just a passing-by glance, a for-granted look. But a real look at them. We have to slow down. And maybe we have to even to look at them as though there’s more to discover, more to learn about them (still). Here’s to remembering that there’s (always) more to see within them, and may we see it, reflect it to them, and love them well. ❤️❤️❤️

+ “Breathe out the fear that you’re alone.” + “Let God use your pain. Let Him transform it.” + “Welcome home. Welcome to your body.” + “Don’t be conformed. Let yourself be transformed.” + “We all have our own healing to do, so God, thank you for loving us.” + “Our pain may feed our unbelief, but there’s a way through it…”

These are the types of messages I heard in my morning workout class the other day, and you can hear these same messages too: check out this podcast episode by Revelation Wellness.

It’s some powerful stuff. 🙌🏻👏🏃‍♀️💪🙏❤️

Our lives may never be without suffering, pain or obstacles (even though they may often be filled with joy and God’s beauty & goodness), but we will never be alone in our pain or brokenness. And God can use even this — even our pain & hurts. He can use even our wounds for His glory if we bring it to Him.

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+ “God has equipped you, through His strength, to do the work set before you: to love your family, to be a part of your community when you can, and to enjoy your precious life. He does not look at you and think, “I sure wish I made her more entrepreneurial, more athletic, more nurturing or more creative.” He looks at you with delight in His eyes. He rejoices over you with singing. He looks at you and thinks, “What a beautiful work of art.” He sees you and he knows you by heart.” ❤️ – JJ Heller

+ To the childless woman at walmart: “I wished I had leaned in and whispered that you are not forgotten. I know it felt that way when you listened to her giggle as I tickled the back of her neck, but God sees you. He hasn’t cast you away. He hasn’t forgotten you. He also isn’t mad at you. Or ignoring you. I know it feels that way as each month your prayers seem to go unanswered. But just like Hannah did in the Bible, keep pouring your soul out to Him. Keep coming to Him with your hurts. Because He hears the cries of your heart and even though you can’t see Him working, He is. He isn’t twiddling His thumbs or taking a break from your problems. He wouldn’t do that. He wouldn’t birth the dream of you one day being called “mommy” if He wasn’t making plans to see it come true. So don’t lose hope. And don’t hold back those tears I know you will shed when you finally reach your car. It’s okay to let them fall. Because not one tear will drop without it landing safely in the palm of His hand.”

+ “Many of us feel that our lives have gone irreparably wrong. We chose the wrong vocation or the wrong spouse or made one bad choice that ruined our lives. If you’re validly married, friends, it doesn’t exactly matter whether you chose the right spouse or not—you’re married and the call now is to be holy in that. The same is true of ordination and parenthood and final religious profession. Whether or not it was God’s ideal plan for you, if you’ve made an irrevocable decision God will bless you in that and make you a Saint if you let him.” – Meg Hunter-Kilmer

+ “When we encounter fear in our lives, we can seek to respond more like Moses. Instead of running away, we can allow ourselves to pause and question: Why?

Why is this bad thing happening?
Why does God allow suffering?
Why can’t I reconcile with that friend?
Why do I keep sinning and failing when all I want to do is follow Christ?
It’s okay to ask why.

It’s okay to draw nearer and seek the purpose behind the unwelcome things that happen in our lives.

When we allow ourselves to enter in to the fearful, uncomfortable, and unexpected – when we open our hearts to seek answers – when we draw nearer to our suffering instead of running away – then God can call us.

Like he called out to Moses, God will call us by name.” – Sara, To Jesus, Sincerely

+ If your marriage seems more of a trial than a blessing, if you’ve been feeling the sanctification of marriage as a crucifixion lately, or if you just need Saint friends to remind you that the purpose of marriage is to suffer well together and to strengthen and encourage each other in carrying your crosses, spend some time with these teenage Saints who were married for a month but understood marriage far better than most couples who make it to their golden anniversary.” – Meg Hunger-Kilmer

+ “Fear can either close us up or open us up.”