My Spaghetti Sauce and Jesus


(Source for Free Printable of Above Sign)

I have started to do something that I never thought I would see myself doing.

In fact, it really makes me feel like such a grown-up.

You know, when you are younger you always think that there is the magical grown-up age. But, as you grow, you realize that it’s not the age you are === it’s the next big age out there. And then as you reach that age, you realize it’s the next big age.

And, before you know it, you are nearly 80 years old and you still remember having blond hair and smooth skin.

And for some reason, you really feel as if you never really grew up.  Or got a chance to do all of those grown-up things.

Sometimes Richard and I even feel as if we are playing house.  We live in a foreign country, have started a non-profit, and have 3 children and 3 dogs.  And, yet, we feel as if we are still playing house.  That we aren’t really old enough yet to have these responsibilities or do these things.

And we’re very nearly 40.  That’s Over-the-Hill.

Which means I should really consider myself a grown-up.

Anyhow, back to the grown-up thing that I have started to do:  Menu Plan!

Yep.  I am 3 weeks down, and I am LOVING it.  And my husband is LOVING it, and my children are LOVING it.  In fact, my daughter asked the other day for the menu so she could see what her snack options were for that day.

What fun!

Man, you must live a really boring life, you are probably thinking 😉

Perhaps.  It’s a life, that’s for sure.

But this menu thing sure is adding spice to it.

HOWEVER…And my high school English teacher would be greatly disappointed that I just started this sentence with however…However, in my great attempt to menu plan and budget better, I committed a huge No-No!  Huge!

So, on my menu the other day was homemade spaghetti sauce.  It was great.  I sautéed zucchini on the side in a bit of olive oil and garlic.  And then the sauce went something like this:  heat olive oil, add minced garlic, and then add diced tomatoes (no need to remove the skin), as that all simmers together, add some spices of your choosing (I added some chili flakes, salt, pepper, dried spices), and then I added a huge handful of fresh spinach, and as it began to simmer down and was nearly ready to eat, I picked some of my fresh basil and cut and added that for the final flair.

Oooooh, yum!  You shout.

Yes.  It was divine.  The sautéed zucchini and then the homemade sauce.  Both.  Both were divine.  They were spiced, sautéed and cooked to perfection.

And the finale was a fresh salad with some more of that fresh spinach, other mixed lettuces, and fruity toppings, dried cranberries, tomatoes, and pumpkin seeds, topped with a French dressing.

All is looking and sounding good.

But, ah darn!  I went and did something really dense.  Really dense.

I bought the on-sale, already cheap spaghetti.

And when it cooked, it clumped.  It was mush.  And I thought—oh no!  This is it.  After my beautifully prepared dinner, it is going to be ruined by this horribly lumpy, mushy, cheap spaghetti.  Now I know why the Italians buy fresh pasta or make it themselves.  After spending so much time and love on a meal, why ruin it in the end?!

But I had nothing else to serve (after all, with menu planning, you grocery shop efficiently).  And so divine sauce, flavor-induced zucchini, and beautiful salad ready, I served the mushy, lumpy spaghetti noodles.

Our plates were gorgeous.  They looked divine, and the pasta was neatly hidden beneath the beautiful sauce.

But, as I sat to eat, I apologized profusely over and over again.  I said, “Oh, I am so sorry for the noodles.  I hope that they don’t ruin the meal.  I know that I have said it before, but I will say it again and again, I will never buy the cheapest noodles again!”

You know, big sales and cheap products are hard to pass up, especially when you are a family of 5.  Good sales are musts.  But bad noodles should NEVER be a must.

Yet, once again, here we sat to eat what was suppose to be budget and menu-prepared friendly, good-looking and good tasting meal.  Which turned into what appeared to be mushy noodles murder.

My husband.  He barely got home from work at 8pm that night.  He was gone all day.  And he was starving.

Disappointment was etched on his face.  It was probably a mixture of hunger, excitement, weariness, and 3 crazy kids.  And then your favorite meal killed by the noodles.

But he sat there and said not to worry about it.  He was sure my meal was fine.  He said “Thank you” over and over again.

And then we all bowed our heads and prayed for our meal together.

As my husband and I began to eat our dinner, we didn’t have a chance to reflect on the mushy noodles-because we devoured our meal.

The flavor of the sauce was so delicious, with the sautéed zucchini on top, with the side salad and creamy French dressing, we didn’t even remember about the murderous noodles until our plates were practically licked clean.

And that’s when my husband said it, “Your spaghetti sauce is like Jesus…”

“Jesus covers a multitude of sins.  Just like your spaghetti sauce.”

And with the final lick of my plate, I had to agree with my husband…

Jesus + Forgiveness = Redeeming and Great!

Just like my spaghetti sauce.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

I was Mt. Vesuvius and The McDonald’s Worker Told Me No.

So, I haven’t written lately. Truly a shame. Perhaps not as much for you (maybe for you, too), but definitely for me.

But just in case you thought I disappeared, here I am:

photo 2

No way!  You proclaim.  That can’t be you.  I remember you—you used to look like that woman on the FBI’s Most Wanted poster (see post here: ).

Why, yes!  I was that woman.  She still exists.  Except, nowadays I am also this woman.  No longer fat, pregnant, and have enough energy to get up in the morning, get dressed, and walk 3 flights of stairs to go to work.

My hot husband and baby daddy approves 😉

On top of that, I have been busy doing something that I NEVER thought I would really get around to doing in my entire life…Planning.

Menu planning.

Grocery planning.

And rice milk making.

What does rice milk have to do with planning?

Well, when your son’s milk costs $3.00 per 1 liter, you better start figuring out how to make it or start planning how to file bankruptcy.   Yowzers.  Having a Nutty Kid will really kick you in the toosh called your grocery pocket.

That’s all fine and good, Brooke, but what does all of this have to do with Mt. Vesuvius or the lady at McDonald’s.

Oh, yes…

Well, I have been a volcano lately.  Literally, the other day I erupted.  It was a terrible sight in our home.  It was tragic and sad, and Mommy (me) went all crazy eyes ballistic on my husband and oldest child.  The 2 year old and 10 month old were spared as they were too young to understand.

I ranted.  I raged.  I stomped the halls.  My hands flailed wildly.


My poor family.

It was one of my least fine moments in my life, and I am very sorry that I got to the point where my top blew.  I really think that self-control should be a big net around my body.  God, however, gives us the ability to practice self control.  And I did not heed his gift of free will in the best of ways.  I demolished my daughter and husband in one, big, bubbling, lava flow.


Well…That’s not all.  The lady at McDonald’s.  No, don’t worry.  I was not unkind to her.  Sometimes, it’s extremely sad, but we reserve our worst behavior for those we love the most.

The McDonald’s lady.  This has to do with being perhaps an Expat living in a foreign country.  But it was Wednesday a week ago.  On Wednesday evenings, my daughter has French lessons.  After French, we go through the McDonald’s drive thru for dinner, and then we all head to daddy’s office///Adelyne’s stationary library, and we pick daddy up for the evening as well as allow Adelyne to check out her books for the week.

Well, I got all the way to the window where you pick up the food at McDonald’s.  This is a miracle, because often they call us to the window where you pay to get your food since they can’t ever understand our Polish nor accent over the intercom.  But this visit was turning into a huge success.

I had been understood.  My order had been received.  I had paid at the first window, and then I pulled up to the second window.

And that’s when it hit me.  I forgot to order Adelyne’s ice cream that I told her I would get for getting a 5 on her spelling test (in Polish—this is a VERY big deal).  So, I politely said, “Oh, I am sorry Ma’am.  I forgot to order my daughter’s ice cream.  So, please also a large ice cream with chocolate sauce.”

“No!”  She replied.

Say what?


“No!”  She said again.  “You must go around again!”

Say what?


“No!  You must go through the drive thru again!”

Oh please!  Sometimes I want to blow my cap.  That was the most ridiculous thing that I have ever heard, and then it reminded me of something I read Madonna saying once…What she missed living outside of the United States.  Customer service was her reply!

I could not believe the absurdity of the lady.  Go around again.  I am sorry—but JUST SOMETIMES!

Now, for those of you that live here and think, “What is wrong with that?”

Pretty much everything!  First of all, it was an accident.  Secondly…Customer Service.  Simply help a mom out.  And, really?!  How long does it REALLY take to make an ice cream.

Whoop.  Fill the cup.  Add hot chocolate.  Let lady pay while doing so.  And voile.  You are done.  30 seconds.

Me.  I was Vesuvius with my family.

The McDonald’s lady—she became my nemesis.

All in all, however, we are surviving.  Doing well.  Loving life.  And having fun.

It’s just that sometimes it is not always fun.

And I am not always nice.

And sometimes my daughter does not get the ice cream I told her I would get.

But, folks, I’m planning.  And making rice milk, and tonight is cauliflower soup.

Yep.  I am alive.  But I am not always the best example of Jesus.

Let’s end with a hashtag, shall we.  #thankfulforforgiveness

Have a great upcoming weekend folks, I now hear both of my babies.  Nap time is obviously over for this momma.



*Well, nap time ended and obviously dinner ended.  And bedtime has ensued.  And Daddy is finishinghomework with the 8-year-old and I am just now getting ready to post this.  Life with kids. Oops.  Baby is now crying wildly.  Must post fast!

#wouldnthaveitanyotherway #superlonghashtag

xo again and again.  b

When I don’t sleep with my husband, I get angry. God’s design for intimacy in marriage.


i have an awesome husband.  but we have had many moments in our marriage that i thought were worth quitting over.

and the thing is, when rich and i don’t get those quiet moments in the evenings after the kids go to bed and before the sun (or josephine our 8-month-old) wakes us…if we don’t get those quiet moments together, something happens.

i get angry.

my mind has no filter, so it catapults through the past.  and all of the hurts. and all of the pain.  and all of the frustrations.

my heart says forgive.  my god says forgive.  my mind says, “remember…”

and then i get angry.

i remember so many reasons why he has made me angry over the years.

and i remember all of the pain that we have endured.

and i remember that i was mad.  and i willingly choose to relive them.

THIS is not as god intended.

god is very clear about being still.  he is very clear about knowing that HE is god.  he is very clear about taking time to fast and pray.  he is very clear about resting.

and yet—sometimes in our marriages we forget that our marriages should be a reflection of the love that god has for us in our lives.

one of intimacy.  of knowing him.  of spending time with him.  of grace.  mercy.  acceptance.  forgiveness.

the list goes on.

and yet, in my marriage, we sometimes forget to take those moments to be still.  to spend time together.  to talk.  to touch.  to extend grace.  mercy.  and forgiveness.

did you know that there are days when rich and i fall asleep on the couches downstairs with josephine in her rocking cradle?  and the three of us sleep in the living room.  separately.

it’s not that we didn’t get rest.  we slept.

it’s that rich and i did not get rest together.

we were separate.  we were not together.  we were not in close intimacy where we could extend a hand or the touch of a foot and know that the other was right there.

when rich travels (and he did a lot this past year), the intimacy was kept alive in the desire for him to return home.  in the thoughts of his embrace.  in the excitement that he would soon be near.

but after returning home and settling into the exciting mundane of what it is we call life, we see that exhaustion pulls us apart as easily as thousands of miles or continents.

but it’s worse.  because we are so close.

and so arguing ensues.  and squabbling ensues.  and lack of self control with our words ensues.

and misery ensues.

i told my husband, it’s enough.

i need him every day to sleep with me.

and nearly every day we find the time—that one peaceful moment in time—to read our bibles together.  and pray together.

and we hold our hands.  and we close our eyes.  and we pray.

it’s better than any television show.  it’s better than any facebook post.  it’s better than any youtube sensation.

because it’s intimate.  with my husband.  before our god.  together.

during those times is when my heart is reminded that i can overcome the past and move forward into our beautiful future.

together.  with my beautiful husband by my side.

at the start of this article, did i say quitting?

i meant, our marriage, it’s worth fighting for.

but not as two…as one.

“So they are no longer two, but one.”

Matthew 19:6


Do Everything With So Much Love In Your Heart…



I just saw this tonight.  It struck such a chord in my heart.  I want to live this life.

I want to be known by this life.

I want others to see this in my life.


I pray that you do too.

Live lives that become the epitome of love.

Love for God.

Love for family.

Love for friends.

Love for others.

Love for self.

Make it habit hard to break.

Be known by it.

Beautiful, glorious love!


How to speak to your children…Learning “Tongue Control”


Well, if we are truly honest, we parents do something big when it comes to raising children…

That big thing is called “FAIL!”

Yep.  If you are hesitant to admit it, just reread this post at the end of your day and let me know how perfectly it all went for you.

But I don’t believe that failure is a bad thing.

It could be, however, if we revel in it, wallow in it, or continue to live in it-making it our identity.

But let’s not do that.  Let’s take failure as an opportunity to learn, grow, and change.

Take a look at few big failures of our time or our history:

1.  Thomas Edison—told by a teacher that he was “too stupid to learn anything.”

2.  Abraham Lincoln—Lost jobs and runs for political office

3.  Albert Einstein—didn’t speak until 4, read until 7, and expelled eventually from school

4.  Walt Disney—fired for lack of imagination and good ideas

5.  Steve Jobs—fired from the company that he founded

6.  Michael Jordan—cut from his high school basketball team

Yep.  They definitely failed.  Above goes to show it’s true.

But here’s the catch.  They failed but they did not quit.

Let’s take a new look at these same “failures”:

1.  Thomas Edison—1000 failed attempts later he is the father of “light” or at least the light bulb

2.  Abraham Lincoln—Notably one of the most significant Presidents in the history of the United States

3.  Albert Einstein—Nobel Prize winner and world changer in modern physics

4.  Walt Disney—Mickey Mouse and the rest is history

5.  Steve Jobs—Used his firing to gain perspective, creativity, and came back a game changer-inventor of the iPod, iPhone, iPad

6.  Michael Jordan—Went on to become one of the NBA’s greatest players in history

We, as parents, need to keep in mind the famous mantra that we probably hear ourselves telling our very own children, “Try and try again!”

Or, in the words of Michael Jordan, I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

You see.  I have no doubt that you yell.

That you lose your cool.

That you say words that are not uplifting or kind—and YOU’RE the parent 😉

I have no doubt…

That you get frustrated.

Or that you lose your patience.

The list goes on.  And on.  And on.

But that’s okay.  Because for every item on that list, you have the opportunity to learn a lesson.  To teach a lesson.

When you yell.  Apologize.

When you lose your cool.  Apologize.

When you speak words that are unkind.  Apologize.

When you get frustrated.  Apologize.

When you lose your patience.  Apologize.

Apologize and then ask for forgiveness.

Children learn from us, the parents.  And part of growing is learning that we, the parents, are very imperfect human beings.   As much as we want to always be right, there are many occasions when we are wrong.

Showing your children that you can humble yourselves, admit what you did was wrong, apologize, and ask for forgiveness teaches your children a beautiful way to live their lives.  It shows human error, humility, and courage to change.

But you have to try hard to change.

You see—it’s okay if we fail.  We are imperfect.  But let’s not settle for failure.  Let’s strive for change.

Our children.  When they mess up.  We kiss and hug and tell them that we love them.   And, sure, they messed up or did something wrong.  But what is most important is that you tell them to learn from this—go forward and try not to make the same mistakes again.

When our daughter stole.  Yes, shoplifted, a mood ring from the local grocery store, we went through the entire process with her.

We gave her the opportunity to tell us if she stole or not.  She hesitantly admitted it.  Then we spoke to her that you don’t take something that does not belong to you.  We brought her to the store where she apologized and asked for forgiveness to the Assistant General Manager of the store, purchased the ring (using her money that she makes from selling her chicken’s eggs), donated the same amount of money to charity, and then donated the ring itself to a local clothing closet.

And we told our daughter that we loved her.  We were glad that she was brave enough to admit that what she did was wrong, emphasizing that we will always love her even though her actions will have consequences.  And, of course, we told her that we hoped she would never find it in her heart or sticky fingers to steal again.

You see—our daughter made a mistake.  And she suffered the consequences of that mistake.  But we encouraged her to not make that mistake again.  After all, it is not okay for her to run around stealing rings just because she feels that she wants it or is entitled to it—or even if she simply stole it because she had a bad day.  Wrong is wrong.  And she needs to learn to do what is right.

With our words, we sometimes forget that they are mistakes that also need to be rectified and worked on.

It’s okay to make mistakes, but we must try hard to not make the same mistakes.

The story goes that there is a dad and a son.  And the dad gives the son some nails and a piece of wood.  He hands his son a hammer and tells him, “Go ahead, Son, hammer those nails into the board.”

The son happily hammers away.

After he is done, the dad says, “Now go ahead and remove those nails.”

The son turns the hammer the opposite direction and removes every nail in the board.

Now this is where it gets real.  The father looks at his son and says, “Son.  In life, we are going to make mistakes or say things that we shouldn’t have.  Those mistakes and those words—those are the nails that went into the wood.  But we can work on rectifying our mistakes, asking for forgiveness, saying we’re sorry, righting our wrongs.  And that is pulling the nails back out of the wood.  But you see, Son, the wood—it still has the scars of the nails.  So be careful, Son.  Be careful of your words and your actions.  Because there will always be scars.”

Yep, parents.  We imperfectly fail.  And a lot of that failure comes in the form of how we speak or react to our child.

And although we are now the parents, we are still the students.  Students on the journey of parenting.  Part of that journey includes learning self-control.  Learning “tongue control”.

Each and every day we have an opportunity to set an example for our children.  To teach them how to speak and how to react.  And how to love.  And how to forgive.

Words are a powerful weapon.  And sometimes they do steal, kill, and destroy lives.  They have a great ability to scar.  But if we learn to grow up, practice self-control and edification, our words can build, encourage, and grow our children instead of tear them down.

Let’s not remain word failures forever, parents.  Keep going.  Watch your words.  Think before you speak.  And make sure that what you have to say is indeed for the growth, edification, and education of your child.

Helping them learn to grow and be the best that they can be.  Each and every day.  I know you can do it.

Just give it a try!

I don’t love Jesus. Can we still be friends?

I don’t love Jesus.  Can we still be friends?

Dude!  Do you even know me at all?

Wait…technically, since this is a cyber world, it is possible that you don’t know me.

So let me introduce myself and answer that question for you.

My name’s Brooke, and I’m like a big polar bear.  But cuddly.  Not attack you type bear.  And actually not that big.  Unless a preggo belly counts?!

Anyhow, back to your super question, “I don’t love Jesus, so can we still be friends?”

And my answer is simple…Yes.

And this is why.  WWJD, man?  WWJD?

But hey, since you’re here, at least let me introduce you to Jesus that you don’t love.

Jesus was a man’s man…All tough and cool.   They depict him all wrinkle-free and pretty in pics, but let us not forget that he was a carpenter for 30 years.  Well, probably not 30.  But when he left his daddy’s workshop and went to work for his Father, he was 30.

Therefore, it’s safe to assume he was at least a bit weathered and worn.  And strong.

Richard’s grandpa was a carpenter.  And his hands showed the art of his work.  They were gnarly and tough.  And as strong as nails.  Yep.  There’s no mistaking the strength of a carpenter.

Much like Jesus.

But, you see, Jesus had this presence to him (let’s call it what it is—God) that drew people to him.

The interesting thing you should know, however, is that Jesus never forced a conversation, never threw a stone, and never backed away from being seen with people that others might deem “questionable”.  You know.  People like prostitutes and thieves.

Guess what else.  Jesus never demanded you listen.

He spoke words of wisdom and truth.  He shared food.  He performed miracles.  He loved.  He healed.  And he taught.   But the crowds always came to him.

One time he even went all Indiana Jones (except 2000 years ago) on the people in the Temple that were swindling the innocent by collecting money and “selling” religious sacrifices.  Turning tables and whipping a few.

And, oh yes!  Jesus could hold his own when it came to a verbal smack down.  But guess whom his debate adversaries were—those that found themselves most religiously righteous.  Yep.

Jesus didn’t come to seek and save the righteous.  After all, they don’t even think they need saving.

He came for the doctor.  And the lawyer.  He came for the tax collector and the fisherman and soldier.  He came for the healthy.  He came for the sick.  He came for the prostitute.  He came for the criminal on the cross.

And never once did he bind and gag someone, demanding they listen.


Again.  He walked.  He talked.  He taught.  He loved.  He shared.  He healed.  He lived.

And, through it all, God was glorified.

I think Jesus is plain and simple AWESOME!  He’s my savior.  And I’m thankful for him.

But one of the greatest lessons I learned from Jesus was this:  he didn’t force anyone to love him.  He invited them to.  If they did.  Great.  If they didn’t, he didn’t chase them.

And that, my friends, is how I live my life.

I do, however, invite you to find out about this awesome Jesus—start in the New Testament.

But, if you don’t, I’m not going to tie you to a chair and force read the Bible to you.

That is definitely not “WWJD”.

Jesus is enough to stand on his own two feet.  He doesn’t need me to take karate chop action on people to introduce them to who he is.

In the end, you may not love Jesus, but he loves you.  Nothing you can do about that.  And, if you ever decide to have a conversation with him, I’m telling you now, he has time for you.

So do I.

In the meantime, big polar bear hugs and 3 Polish kisses thrown in for good measure.  Because hugging and kissing are always good things!  Like Jesus.


When Maxwell nearly died last year but lived, we decided to have some fun. 

Our photo shoot theme, “Jesus is our Superhero!”   

Richard, Brooke, Adelyne, and Maxwell

(c. photo Erin DeZago)

Holding on…Is it Defeat or Victory?

I left for Bible study this morning thinking…I don’t really need this study.  It’s not really for me.  I’ll go for the awesome food (remember I’m totally preggo here) and fellowship.  My sister-in-law and a couple of my best girlfriends are in the group.

And off I went…not in need of anything.  Just going to chill and have some girl laughter and a great time.

We’re looking at the study Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst (You can find it here:

And then in class the unfortunate happened.

One question was asked.

It’s funny.  When I went about answering the question in my participant’s guide, previous to today, I knew my answer wasn’t right, but I never realized how WRONG my answer really was.

You see, I’ve already shared in a previous blog post that my/our marriage is not only NOT perfect, but we have struggled to survive.  If you haven’t read that post, here’s the reference to it:

The real problem, however, is the fact that I am holding on to something and not letting go because that makes me feel victorious.

What?  You ask.  Because now you are confused.

You are in a marriage.  Shame on you.  There should not be winners and losers.

Okay.  Okay.  I get it.

But, please, give me a moment.  Hear me out.

I am holding on to the one thing my husband has asked of me, “Brooke, please fully forgive me.”

And I have told him that I accept his apology.

And we have received some powerful help.

And we are studying God’s Word daily together.

And our lives as a married couple really are healing so beautifully.

And I have never seen so much grace or mercy extended from my husband in our nearly 13 years of marriage.


What he’s really asked of me is not for me to only accept his apology.  Get help together.  Continue to grow in the Word of God together.  And appreciate the grace and mercy that he is learning to extend…

What he’s really asking me is to forgive him.

You see, I have been holding onto this question that he asked of me for nearly a year now.


Why?  Because it gives ME control for once in our marriage.

I have the key to healing in our marriage—and it’s whether or not I fully forgive my husband.

And I REALLY like the fact that for once, I am the one that appears to have the upper hand.

But what hit me in the gut today was that holding on to this last key piece of healing in our relationship does not make me the victor.  It does not make me the person with the keys.  It has and is making me the slave…

See, I have felt for nearly the past year that if I give in to his question and forgive my husband—then I will have waved the white flag and surrendered defeat.  As if to say, “What you did—how I have been hurt—it’s all over now.  We’re all good.”  Thumbs up.

And I haven’t wanted to do that.

I’ve been hurt.

And I have wanted to hold onto that.

And forgiving my husband—that means that I have accepted it.  Right?


What I realized today is not that I have to accept how I’ve been hurt.

Forgiving my husband is not accepting defeat.

A synonym according to Merriam Webster online is Absolution.

Forgiving my husband is…setting free…

It’s funny.  I typed in forgiveness in the Google Search Engine, and one of the top posts is from the Mayo Clinic.  Here is the reference:

It specifically speaks on how forgiveness is actually good for you.

Of course, the Bible has taught this for thousands of years, but just because something has been taught for thousands of years doesn’t make it any easier.

And just because one of the most highly regarded clinics in the world claims its health benefits, doesn’t make it any easier.

Forgiveness comes down to one key and monumental decision.


What?  I’m confused again.  You just said that you didn’t want to surrender.  You didn’t want to accept defeat.


I was wrong.

Surrender does not mean that I have waved a white flag proclaiming defeat.  In fact, just the opposite.

Surrendering to my “need” or “desire” to hold on to forgiveness and actually extending forgiveness to my husband does not make me smaller or weak.

It actually makes me strong.

Here’s a small excerpt from the Mayo Clinic on forgiveness (found from the same link mentioned above):

What is forgiveness?

Generally, forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended you might always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, positive parts of your life. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn’t minimize or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act. Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life.

Let me restate that last line for you…

Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life.

That’s what I need, friends.

Perhaps it’s what you need too.

I’ve been holding onto whether or not I will forgive my husband so that I will feel strong.

But I haven’t felt strong at all.

Now…Now, however, I feel well.

And it’s time for us (Rich/me) to feel well together.   It’s time that we receive together the “peace that lets us go on with our lives.”  Together.

And I know that is what God asks of us.  Heck, it is what God has extended himself to us.   I understand that it-forgiveness-is not just a good thing.  It’s a great thing. It’s a God thing.

I learned today that what I thought was already taking place in our marriage, healing, wasn’t really taking place like it really could.  Like it really should.

Now.  From this day forth, however, it will.  Healing in full.

Healing because I have not waved the flag of defeat but I instead am choosing to wave the flag of forgiveness.


Man, what an awesome flag that is!

Philippians 1:6
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you (me), will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (NLT)

The Future…And My Present.


Pregnant Brooke and My Guest Blogger…Richie!

I’d like to take today’s blog time to share with you the EXCITING news that next week we will have our first official Blogging Guest.  He’s my husband, Richard!

I can still call him a Guest, right?  And not make it sound like he was forced to do this or something…Right?

Well, that’s what I’ll call him, then…My unforced (wink) Guest Blogger.

I can’t wait to see what he comes up with—although I should probably be very, very afraid.  After all, you have read my past posts, right?


Before we get to the future, though (which means next Monday-Friday), I want to bring you back to our present.

We have been married nearly 13 years.

And, if you meet my husband, you’ll practically see a halo around his foreband (it’s what my daughter refers to as forehead).

And then you’d meet me.

And then you’d especially call him a saint.

But, I am here to tell you the truth…

My husband is very, very human.

Our marriage is very, very real.

In fact, our marriage is so real it’s a miracle that in a month we’ll be celebrating 13 years.

We’ve nearly ended our marriage twice.  Not once.  But twice.

There was one point in our marriage where I only saw darkness.  I saw no sliver of light.  I saw no hope.  I was certain that our marriage would become a statistic.

And yet, when the tunnel of darkness seemed endlessly long, we found a sliver of light.  We survived.

For many more years, that is.

And then I was certain that our marriage, no, that we, had come to the end.  The Final End.

I am not going to share the details of our relationship—because, if you are married, you know.

You know that marriage is about two people.

And neither person is perfect.

What I would like to share is this—we serve an awesome God.  And he has taught us endlessly about love.  He has shared with us endless grace.  He has given us endless mercy.  And, in our marriage, he has extended to each of us unfathomable forgiveness.

And because God did this for us—we, after a very long and painful road, came to realize that we too could offer this gift—forgiveness—to one another.

And, oh man!  Our marriage has never been more glorious.

Our relationship has never been more honest.

Our lives, as individuals and a married couple, have never been so free.

Not free to run and do as we want.  If you have kids, you know automatically that’s NOT a good idea.

Please, if everyone ran around doing what they wanted—instead of what they should—it would be a painfully destructive world.

Instead, we have discovered that we are free.  Free to do what is best for one another.  Best for our family.  Best for our lives as people that love God to the very core of our being.

Today, I am here to introduce you to my husband.

And I want you to know he is a GREAT man.

He appears saintly.

He appears angelic.

He appears to have it all together…

But he is a real as you can get—and we fight hard for our marriage.



Because of the grace of God-and the beautiful, unbelievable gift of forgiveness.

Friends, I hope that you will realize that when in darkness, there is light.  It is found through the amazing grace of Jesus.  And, with Him, you can overcome.

We did.

See you next week.

(As a Reader—because next week I am not the Writer)