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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Protecting Your Heart

Be careful not to protect it so much that it becomes a fortified prison...


From C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

To love at all is to be vulnerable.

Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken.

If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even and animal.

Wrap it careful round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.

But in that casket-safe, dark, motionless, airless-it will change.

It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable....
The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers....of love is Hell.

Monday, May 24, 2010

When It Feels Like the Whole World Walks Out

Hello Ladies!

I am over at the Internet Cafe today.

I'm talking about lonliness:
I’ve been in that place of loneliness. When it feels like the whole world has walked out and the quietness screams that you’re not worthy of the joy that a good friendship can bring. At times the enemy of our souls puts a spin on circumstances and leaves us with a feeling of abandonment at every turn.
Here is a direct link to the post:
"Girlfriend's Will Come and Go"

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Teeter-Totter Marriage


A guest post from my good friend Casie Dussia, you can also find articles from her in our Praise and Coffee Connections Newsletter.

A few years ago, I met a friend for coffee that shared some very serious, private information with me and asked that my husband John and I pray for her and her family. I couldn’t wait to get home and talk to John about this and begin doing what we could to help.

Upon arriving home, I said to my husband, “Guess what?!” His response - “Chicken butt!” Not exactly what I was expecting.

It really was my fault, though. After approx. 13 years of marriage at that time, I should have known better than to ever end a question directed towards him with a word that rhymes with butt! You see, my husband is a big kid at heart that almost always has a smile on his face and a joy that is infectious to anyone around him.

His response frustrated me to say the least and I took my frustration to God. I didn’t understand why John had to make a joke out of nearly everything. There is a time and a place, and this was not the time for kidding around! Why was it that the very reasons I fell in love with him and married him in the first place were often the same reasons that I get irritated at times?!

Boy, did God give me a revelation!

First, He basically let me know that I needed to lighten up, which I wasn’t very excited about. I wanted Him to fix John, not me! But, then He gave me a vision that humbly showed me exactly why John was who he was.

God gave me a picture if you will, of a teeter-totter. On one end was John, on the other end was me. Other than the occasional slight teeter, that teeter- totter was completely parallel to the ground.

It started becoming very clear as to what God was wanting me to see - that teeter-totter was our marriage, our relationship. Because God created us the way He so wonderfully did, we keep our marriage balanced!

Why hadn’t I realized this before?! Instead of embracing our differences during challenging times in our relationship, I had sometimes wondered why we couldn’t be more alike.

I tend to be very structured, whereas John tends to go more with the flow. I am very determined and enter tasks full force and John seems to weigh his options and leave room for adjustment. If we weren’t different, it simply wouldn’t work! We balance each other out.

I still from time to time feel discouragement during those serious moments that John throws in a joke, but now I take a deep breath and throw a little smile God’s way, thanking Him for creating us so beautifully and uniquely and for helping us to keep our teeter-totter so wonderfully balanced.

Casie Dussia is a small business owner and a personal trainer that ministers to women’s soul, mind and body. She lives in Southwest Michigan and enjoys life with her husband John and son Jase. Casie is a team partner of the Praise and Coffee Ministry in Plainwell, MI.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

What NOT to Wear

God is with be courageous today.

Think about Him standing next to you everywhere you go!

Stop letting fear control your steps...instead walk with an understanding of the love that is walking with you.

Josh 1:9
I command you--be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

Discouragement and's WHAT NOT to wear!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Did you notice what I missed this month??

Those of you that are very observant probably noticed that I completely missed this month's Praise and Coffee Giveaway.

Yup, I'm a loser! But to make it up to you I am going to do an extra giveaway for June. I will pick two winners and the second one will receive a Praise and Coffee "Inspired" mug of their choice.

My brain went on haitus because my Mom's been in the hospital. I haven't talked about it online because it's not my story to tell, but I will say that she is doing much better and we are hopeful that her health will continue to improve.

It has been a really hard couple weeks. Some scary times for sure.

And between running to Grand Rapids (a 45 minute one-way drive) everyday and shuffling Lauren around, my brain was distracted and frankly I didn't have time to stop and write about anything.

Although, I wore out the battery everyday while texting on my iPhone, my thumbs are in great shape, they could win a marathon, seriously, I would hang a little sash right on them if they won.

In the mean time I want to thank the sweet ladies of the Otsego Church of God for having me speak at their Women's Wellness Day.

When I saw on the flyer that they billed me as "A dynamite inspirational speaker!" I was worried...I wasn't sure I had anything explosive except emotion flowing through me. But I begged God to pour Himself out of me for them because on my own, I had nothing to offer.

And in true form...He did. The Father poured His love out on those ladies and I don't say that with any pride because I know it was all Him...especially when my words ministered to my own tired and hurting heart. He's so faithful!

Here is my new banner for Praise and Coffee Nights, what do ya think??

Just wanted to update you on my temporary leave of absence. If you emailed me, I will get to it...just might take a while to catch up!
Thanks so much to all of you wonderful girlfriends out there, I truly love ya!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Three Pitfalls of Communication in Marriage


Some of the valuable things I have learned about communication in my 22 years of marriage...

1. Listen...with your ears not your mouth.
We can get so wrapped up in telling our side of a story that we never stop to listen to what our spouse is trying to tell us.

Proverbs 12:15
Fools think they need no advice, but the wise listen to others.

2. Watch Your Words
Use words like, "that made me feel _________" instead of accusing words like "you are so mean and awful..."

3. Don't say..."Never" and "Always"
Rarely are they ever used truthfully and they are words that put up immediate walls.
Your husband knows that he doesn't always say ______, so when you accuse him of it, he will immediately close you out and not hear the rest of your complaint.

Hope these keys help!
I'm praying for our marriages!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Priscilla Brings It!

I love this, and love her!!

God ruin me for everything else...

Monday, May 3, 2010

She Won, She Won!!!!

Most of you know my good friend Denise of "Life With Four Boys" she is a regular guest poster here on Praise and Coffee, well she was chosen as the Morning Mom on our local tv station WXMI FOX17!!!

I'm so proud of her!!!

Jump over to her blog today to read all about it and if you are in the area, tune in to see her!

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