Saturday Summary

So this week…..

Monday: Reviewed The Shield of Honor by Gilbert Morris

Wednesday: Had a Visit from the Parents

Thursday: Continued the Conversation about Pregnancy Loss

Friday: Studied God’s Light in the Darkness

How was your week?

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Sustaining: The Darkness

Do not gloat over me, my enemy!  Though I have fallen, I will rise.  Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.  –Micah 7:8

When I first read this verse during a Bible study, my mind went to the times in my life where bad things happened to me.  How I got through those bad times by relying on God.

But this isn’t exactly what this verse is talking about.  Because the very next verse says:

“Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the Lord’s wrath, until his pleads my case and upholds my cause.”

This is about Israel breaking its covenant with God and being exiled.  This is about Israel being the villain and receiving their just desserts.

It makes me think of the traditional villains in Disney movies.  The ones that fall off of cliffs or even exiled like Jafar in Aladdin.  People who make bad choices because they get consumed with selfishness, greed, or pride.

People like me.

No, I don’t think of myself as the villain of anyone’s story, but I am definitely a sinner who has betrayed God and broken promises to him.  I’ve definitely chosen myself before others.  And I’ve embraced the darkness and gotten lost in it.

But the amazing thing is that God’s light can still be found in the darkness.  In fact, the only real thing you can see in the dark is light.

And yes, there will be people who will be quick to condemn, like the enemies mentioned in this verse.   People who value the consequences over compassion.  But something incredible happens when you quiet those voices and look to God from the pits of your own digging.

God saves you.  And God is glorified in the saving. Christ’s blood covers you and redeems you.  And the Spirit moves within you to heal the broken parts and strengthen the weakness.

That is the beauty of this verse.  There isn’t a height too high or a depth too low for God to reach me.  And I am so grateful to a God who never gives up.

Continuing the Conversation

I want to continue sharing other people’s stories or articles from around the internet, so here are three new voices to share.

“Infertility is a silent killer, just like cancer – it eats at your soul, as cancer eats at your body” – Talischa Towsen shares her story on this parent website.  She talks about her miscarriages, failed IUIs, even other family members getting pregnant in the midst of their journey.  And her story is ongoing, which I think is amazing and so important to share.

Zara Tindall Shares How Suffering A Miscarriage Made Her Relationship With Her Husband Stronger – Zara Tindall is a part of the British Royal Family, so her pregnancies are pretty public.  She suffered two miscarriages after her first daughter and then had her second daughter after the miscarriages.  She mentions how helpless her husband felt and that communication helped their relationship grow stronger.

Secondary infertility: When trying for another child is a struggle –  A brief, informative synopsis of secondary infertility.  I didn’t realize that 11% of couples experience this.  It was an interesting read.

If you have never experienced pregnancy loss or infertility, I can guarantee there is someone in your life who has.  While the above stories may not be the same experiences for everyone, they can definitely open that window to more understanding and empathy for what everyone goes through.  And for those of you who are in the midst of these unknowns or losses, you are not alone.  May these words uplift and encourage you today.

Do you have any posts or articles that have touched you or compelled you to share?

A Visit from the Parents

My parents live in Atlanta, GA, about 14 hours or so away from us.  So, any visit from them is quite a treat.  Last week, they visited for the whole week, and it was wonderful.

We did several things together, but I didn’t get very many pictures because I was either juggling the baby or lost in the moment.  I don’t apologize for that, either.  But I did manage to get a few pictures from the Dallas World Aquarium, one of our major stops during the visit.

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We visited right around feeding time which was really fun.  There were divers in a lot of the tanks, either feeding or cleaning.  Sam was most interested in what they were doing.

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I thought the aquarium would be better than the zoo because of the heat but also I thought that for a four month old, this would be more his speed than big open pens of animals.  The Dallas World Aquarium is somewhat like a zoo, however, because it has a lot of animals in addition to the fish.  There is a huge enclosure with birds and crocodiles and another exhibit of penguins, so it was like a first step to the zoo.

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Also during their visit, I took my parents to IKEA because they have never been to this store.  When I found that out, it was a must for this visit.  IKEA is such an experience.  We had dessert in their restaurant and walked through the entire store.  I took several pictures for ideas for the house.  I’ve really enjoyed our couch from IKEA.  It’s so easy to clean and has held up pretty well over the years (and is so comfortable).  I’m making bucket lists for several rooms in our house, so IKEA trips may become more common in our future.

We also went several other places and did many other things (including a nice date night for Michael and me which was so appreciated).  But my favorite moments were just hanging out and watching my parents love on Sam.  They ooo’d and aww’d at all of Sam’s milestone abilities, laughed and played, even changed a diaper or two.  I’m so thankful for this visit and for my parents being a part of Sam’s life!

The Shield of Honor: A Review

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The Shield of Honor
by Gilbert Morris

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is book three of the Wakefield Dynasty by Gilbert Morris. The synopsis on the back only actually covers part one of the book (the first hundred pages). The historical fiction covers the voyage of the Pilgrims and the English Civil War between the Parliamentarians and the Royalists. It included historical figures like King Charles, Prince Rupert, John Pym, and Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell takes a lead in this story as his history intertwines with the fiction of the Wakefield family.
The writing continues to be flowery. There is a lot of passive verb usage and sometimes it comes off a little pretentious. The plot was interesting. I like learning about how religion and politics continue to affect and shape the history of England. The fictional part of the story was interesting as well. The story follows both Christopher Wakefield and his son Gavin. Each generation has a different journey to God, which I think is the primary point of these stories. The twists were somewhat predictable, especially if you have read the previous two, but it was still enjoyable.
There is, again, no profanity. There was a lot more sexual innuendo in this book compared to the previous ones, but nothing even remotely graphic. There were some almost-rape scenes or sexual assault scenes, and I wasn’t really that impressed with their outcomes. And I seemed to notice some sexist remarks more in this book. One of the major characters remarks that he was “blubbering like a woman” and that took me completely out of the book for a moment. After that, I started to notice just how much the author focused on how attractive everyone was or wasn’t and how that affected their station in life.
Since the focus for half of the book was on the Civil war, there was some violence, but again, nothing really graphic.
While this book series (since this has been a reread so far) has been slightly disappointing, I still recommend it for anyone who would appreciate a light historical fiction with heavy Christian leanings. I am still determined to finish the series and hope that it continues to become more complex and that I learn more about how England was shaped!

Sustaining: Trust

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.  – Psalm 62:8

God honors the people who trust him.  Abraham trusted God enough to travel to unknown places.  David trusted God to defeat a giant.  Mary trusted God enough to carry a baby.

None of these people were perfect.  But they had faith in their relationship with the one who is perfect.

It’s a small reminder to take a deep breath.  No matter the mistakes I make, I can trust that Christ is enough.  And because Christ is enough and I put my faith in him, it makes me enough as well.  I am not called to be perfect.  I am called to trust in the one who is.