Beautiful Scars- Icky Worship

It’s Friday, which means it feels a little guest posty around here.  Today I am happy to give the floor to Jamie Kocur, a sweet new blog friend of mine.

Jamie is a self described recovering worship leader and blogs over at Rebooting Worship where she shares with raw honesty her journey of feeling disconnected from musical worship.  

This post is lovely, timely and all about broken people healing through a gracious God.  So without further adieu: 

I used to thrive on musical worship. It filled my tank and made it possible for me to get through each week. I volunteered in the church choir and praise team. I majored in music because I wanted to use my voice for God’s glory.

Somewhere along the way, something changed.

Worship is no longer the magical experience it used to be. Cynicism has crept in. I watch from the crowd, hesitating to jump on the worship bandwagon.  What used to be inspired music and lyrics is now nothing more than flashy lights, showy background slides, fog machines, and a performance.

There are several reasons for this, but a big part is the fact that I was suddenly aware of the ugly world of church politics.

Through the years, I’ve watched as my church has made decisions with which I don’t agree. Friends were deeply hurt by these decisions, and I fumed inside while they hurt and cried. I envisioned the church committee that made the decisions, filled with people that I used to trust. This place that felt so safe was suddenly anything but.

Stepping away from the music ministry while I pursued some mission work, I left home for a couple of years. When I returned, people asked when I was going to sing again. I bit my lip to fight back the ugly answer I wanted to shout in their face. Worship was now filled with animosity and anger. I didn’t want to be anywhere near this place, let alone on stage. I fought ugly emotions as I watched my church make other questionable decisions. I knew there was a lot going on under the surface, but all I could see were hurt people. I realized I was one of them.

I attended a Celebrate Recovery service, mainly out of curiosity. It was awkward at first, being surrounded by alcoholics and people with addictions. I was a well-adjusted, educated church girl. I didn’t need recovery.

Turns out I wasn’t as well put together as I thought. The more I attended this service, the more I got to know the people around me, including the drug users. These people were real. They were hurting and totally honest about it. I began to be honest about my hurts.

This service became my church service. The masks that were worn on Sunday morning were left at the door. When people asked how you were, they wanted an honest answer. If I had a crappy week, I wasn’t greeted with churchy clichés. My response was received with a smile and a “Thanks for sharing.”

I began to address some of my issues. I was greatly hurt by the things my church had done, even though they weren’t done directly to me. I talked through it, processed, and was able to approach it with a clearer mind. It still hurt, but it wasn’t such a jumbled mess in my head.

Through all of this, musical worship was still difficult. It hurt that something so special was now a stumbling block for me. It was in the midst of this struggle that I was asked to lead worship for Celebrate Recovery. I hesitated, thinking, “Really? Me? I’m so not a good person for this.” Don’t worship leaders have to have it all together?

Then I realized that this was the service filled with people who were not okay, and that was okay. Having a worship leader who was not okay was… okay.

So, with fear and trepidation, I accepted. I began leading worship for this motley group. I loved it. The musicians I worked with were talented and authentic. I got huge hugs from them each week, and the week that I was an emotional mess and couldn’t talk without crying, they sent me home and handled worship without me.

Although I still struggled with worship and the icky feelings, worship became a little safer.

I led for a year when my church again made some changes, this time affecting me. I struggled to offer grace. With the tools I had learned at Celebrate Recovery, it became easier.

I eventually stepped away from worship leading again, this time because of stress in my own life and a need to cut things from my schedule. I am far from all better and worship is still a struggle, but now I have tools I can use to process through the gunk.

The church is full of broken people, of which I am one. Coming to grips with that simple fact was so important for me. I will never find a church body that is perfect. I need to offer and extend grace to everyone in my path. I’m discovering that act alone is an act of worship.

Jamie Kocur is a singer, songwriter, and writer. She struggles with worship and finds more questions than answers. Read her blog, or follow her on Twitter

 

I am Catwoman.

 

We have a cat now, I’ve mentioned this before but I’m going public with it.  We have a cat named Alfred.  We named him this after Batman’s butler, because we’re a little nerdy like that.

Also I consider him my assistant, his role being to help me entertain the kids and greet guests at the door.  If he could hang up people’s coats (if it ever gets cold again) that would be great as well.

For a long time I was afraid to go public with our cat decision, fearing that people would think us foolish for adding a cat to the crazy mix here at the casa.

For a long time I was afraid to tell people I’m a writer and blogger when they asked “what do you do” because I was afraid that they would think it was all a silly pipe dream.

Some days I worry what people think of my mini van, with its dented back fender.

I’m afraid people think our house is too small or I worry they’re judging my non name brand purse.

I’m afraid to utter the words: “We have to budget or save for that”  or “I don’t have much in the food envelope until payday.

I worry people are judging my family and our ministry, in fact I am pretty sure that they are.

But I’d like to take this moment to formally announce something.

We have a cat and I like him, he makes us happy.

And guess what?  I’m a writer and I love that too.

Our mini van travels a lot and carries us safely to adventures and family far away, I’m grateful for it.  It was bound to get a road trip war wound or two.

I love our little house, and the lawn looks like that because my husband puts ministry before lawn maintenance.

My purse has a story, it was made by a brave friend Natalie who is living with a new heart thanks to God’s goodness.

I’m staying at home with my kids and we are living on our daily bread, sometimes we have just enough to get by.  It keeps me humble.

For some reason it took a strange little black and white cat to tip me over the edge.  Alfred made me a little braver, and somehow gave me the ability to be more fearless about being my God-given self.

I also attribute this to being 30 now.  If I could tell you how turning 30 felt to me I would say this: “It made me feel braver, more ballsy, a little more bad a*# with authority.”

So there you have it.  I’m a 30 year old, ballsy catwoman writer type person who drives a middle aged mini van.

Maybe I’ll get a leather whip or some tight black pants (ha ha ha, NO) to remind myself how brave I am inside.

Or maybe I’ll just stick with the cat.

the stickiest seat in the house.

Is there something in your life that tipped you over the edge of bravery?  That freed you to be all the way out there?  To own yourself and your life?

If not, I’ll be praying that you find it.  Truly.

I’d let you borrow Alfred, but I now feel as though he’s my secret source of power.  And if he left who would bite my feet and try to steal my coffee as I write?  That’s an important role people.

Church People

We’re almost always late to church, and someone is always missing a shoe / shoes.  We may or may not have remembered to bring Caedmon’s pacifier and there is a good chance that Kel or I got a touch hostile in the getting ready process.

This is largely to do with the fact that even after 18 months, it’s still a production getting everyone out the door for a scheduled event.

As we drive I’m usually putting on my mascara and lip gloss as I check the clock and field car seat drama.

By the time we get to church both kids have likely taken off their shoes, so we re-shoe the children and schlep them into church, diaper bag in tow.

A lot of weeks we’re so late that miss worship entirely, which I hate.  Eventually I settle into into my seat glance around at the faces surrounding me.

Some weeks,  I feel like the only mess in the room.  On a good week I cry in worship as I scribble down thoughts of God and life on my talk notes or on offering envelopes.  On a bad week I try to find the darkest corner of the church where I can have all the God without any of the community wondering why my eyes are all puffy.

Without fail I marvel at all of us seeking God, sometimes finding and sometimes missing him.  Here we are, church full of God’s human people: some barely holding on, some rejoicing and some hiding behind a facade.

We come to church in different seasons, some of us grieving, some rejoicing, some of us on fire, some jaded and burnt out.  Still we come, we bring it all to the altar, we take, eat and remember that although we will change and flip seasons, our God remains stable and faithful.

We don’t stay where we are forever, you know.  If this Sunday you found yourself with no makeup and puffy eyes, wondering if you should have showed up at all

Know this:  He will not leave you here, a wound given to God will be healed and used for glory.

Everyone, and I mean everyone has weeks where they crawl into church on fumes and plop down in desperation, waiting to be filled with God.  Longing to swap out their hurt for his healing.

There are no pretty perfect people of God, we are all his people stumbling to see and to be the light.

So this week if you cried through worship, take heart, this is just a season.  It will pass.

And this week if you saw someone cry in worship who wasn’t you, I hope you were filled with mercy, that you took compassion and prayed.  I hope that you offered a shoulder, a coffee date, a listening ear.

May we always remember that just because it wasn’t our week to cry, doesn’t mean that we haven’t wept through sermons and it doesn’t mean that we won’t.  It only means that we are in a different season.

Oh church people, may see the needy in our midst and uplift, support and intervene.

May we be the church more than we look like it.

Contrite Sheep, again

If I were a sheep, I’d be this one tonight

It used to bug the living tar out of me when people would tell me that my problem centered around an attack of the enemy.

This is mainly because I used to seriously reject anything that sounded old school christian, overly religious or too churchy.  So attacks of the enemy fell under that category for a while.

Then I grew up, I read the bible and was reminded of countless verses and stories where God gave us a window into the ugly battle of it all.  There is, in fact, a deceiver who seeks to kill and destroy.  This week we’re feeling the sting of attack.

This past month has brought a handful of wounds, inflicted by those people we trust, or trusted rather.  And so this evening, we are left confused and empty, totally confused on how to keep going after so many blows in such short order.

My floors are scattered with this mornings PJs and a few wet diapers that haven’t made their way to the trash just yet.  My hands are weary, cracked and tired from doing everything I can to distract myself from the problems at hand.

I haven’t stopped busying them all day.  I haven’t folded them in prayer or resigned them to receive.  

Then it washes over me like it often does.  I still believe the lie that I have it handled, that there is no issue I can’t fix, no problem I can’t solve.

And yet really, the mountain of issues out of my control is a mile high and the pile of things I’ve got handled is tiny in comparison.

Then again, perhaps that box doesn’t exist.  Because if God is the giver of my morning bowl of Kashi and every breathe I take then truly none of is in in my hands.

Then I feel a gentle tugging on my neck, the hook of Jesus, pulling me out of the brambles I’ve managed to tangle myself in.  I’m THAT SHEEP again, the one who wandered away when things got dicey and tried to handle it alone.

His whisper is still and small and I smile, breathe deep and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this will save me.

That this right here is why we minister, for how can we keep quiet about a salvation that finds everyone in every moment.  This hope, this peace, this love that never lets go can’t be found in the religious politicking but it can always be found in moments of contrition.

And so contrite I shall be, still and open to receive.  And I shall always, always shake my head at what a sheep I am, and likely always will me.

Oh Lord, forgive us, lead us, heal us, sustain us.  And may we never forget that we are called to love and forgive as you did, without limits.

My iPhone ate my Patience

No.

I was reading “Noah Builds a Boat” to Noelle just now as I settled her into bed.  In this storybook they highlighted how patient Noah was in his ark building endeavors.

As I shut the book and put it on the night stand I thanked this children’s book author for going the extra mile on the patience lesson.  I always need the patience reminder, especially in my parenting.

Then she got up for water and then to pee and then to pee again and then to tell me her bed was too big, I wanted to scream at her STAY THE HECK IN BED!  Patience lesson, how timely you were, Noah made it look so easy.

My thoughts are often: Could you just go to sleep quicker?  Pee faster?  Learn to pull up your pants with a little more hustle?  Come on, figure it out here!  

I would have been a terrible Noah, and don’t even get me started on what sort of Job I would have been.

Patience is my unicorn, it may be out there flitting all shimmery on the horizon, but it rarely makes an appearance in the real world.

Is it me or are we all getting worse at patience?  If we want to know who that actor is, we

I bet he’s got the patience of Job.  Everyone knows unicorns are very patient, probably. 

don’t wait for the credits, we just grab our phones and google it or consult IMDB.  Done.

Do you have a smart phone?  Try this:  Next time you’re waiting in your car in the bank line or a drive-thru just look around, think and wait.  Don’t get out your phone. It feels so weird, you immediately want it in your hand, we’ve become addicted to filling every crack.

We have left ourselves with so little blank space and I bet it’s killing our patience drive, and leaving God such little room to whisper to us, to nudge us toward himself or each other.

We want our food fast, our cash now and our results yesterday.  We aren’t bent to save, count or wait, we believe we can force a round peg into a square hole with the right amount of force.

So honestly, in this “now world” I struggle desperately to wait upon the Lord.

Also, the phrase “God’s timing” is rarely a comfort to me, it drives me nuts.  I don’t want his time, he’s gonna make me wait isn’t he?  I’d really much rather have things now.  I think.

I don’t want to wait for plans to flesh out or answers to come in time, but when I think back on my life, on what’s standing strong,  all that I truly cherish took work and time.

Kel and I had to wait to be together, struggle to figure each other out, yet each year is sweeter and stronger for our shared building.  My children each took 9 months to grow before I could hold them and smell their perfect little heads.  Yet I stand in awe of the gifts that they are every day.  And this writing business seems to flow easier with time… but yes, it’s requiring patience and time as well.

With all of this in the favor of patience why do we seem to loathe it?  Why are we so unwilling to submit to the seasons, to make peace with the years it will take to get to lovely places.

Isn’t the growing part of the blooming?  The journey is part of the destination?

Is this a new problem, this shortage of patience or is there are reason our great grandmother’s were needlepointing it on pillows?  Because patience truly is a virtue, is’t it?

The more I realize much I lack patience the more I want to get me some.  How can I get some of this patience, now? Ha.

That’s when it’s hit me, it’s just another wave that will erode at me, smooth me into someone who looks more like Jesus and less like the selfish inner child.  A little more Mother Theresa and a lot less Paris Hilton.

Perhaps the first step in gaining patience is making peace with the fact that it has a long learning curve, steeped in prayer and deep breathing exercises.

Pray and breathe and make peace with the time, the waiting, expect lovely vistas and profound growth as you wait upon Him.

Rain, Hope and One Mother of a Hard Day

and then it rained.

We’ve been having a drought around here.  I’ve written about it and the weather channel has mentioned it so it’s not a big secret.

When the heavens opened up with torrents of water on Saturday I gasped and took pictures of it through windows and open doors.

We let the kids play outside in the cool, wet backyard for hours and then plunged them in a bubble bath after warm cups of stovetop hot chocolate.

Kel and I kept looking at each other thinking, we made it! Made it through the crazy summer, the heat, the lack of routine and all the traveling.  Now fall was almost here, our salvation, our quenching rain, our return to the steady life.

We ended the day on the couch with Hunger Games and huge bowls of popcorn just like everyone else in America did on Saturday. It was blissful.

The next morning was supposed to be THE day, our no work, very sabbathy, family oriented day.

I wasn’t counting on the ghosts to come out of the closet.  I didn’t plan to fill up with anxiety and crippling fear about my memories of my mom and her death.

But the honest trust it that yesterday was ghosts and fears, one mother of a hard day.  I spent the day sifting through my mother’s illness and all the parts that were passed on to me.  Wondering and worrying, then worrying and wondering some more.

I wondered, as I often do, is this just an anxious day or the start of something worse?  The beginning of some terrible, final pronouncement on my life.

Yesterday was horrible, humbling and yet somehow absolutely normal.  You can’t go where I’ve gone and not wrestle with it sometimes.  You can’t ever totally get over it, it’s a piece of my puzzle that I have to work out somedays.

I had to ask for Kel’s help to get through the day without breaking apart.  I had to ask some friends to help me get a prescription filled.  I had to ask God over and over again to show me how I’m supposed to process this depression thing.

Will I have it forever?  Do I pray against it or come to terms with it?  Do other people think I’m crazy?  Should it really matter?

Am I see as one of THOSE people who need a pill to function?

Am I seen as one of THOSE people who has a messy family with a suicide on the record books?

I won’t pretend these questions don’t surface sometimes, that’s of no good to me, to my family or to the world.

Trusting God never means ignoring the pain for his glory, it’s all about plowing through the troubles of the world, that’s what brings the beauty.

The sun set on yesterday and today I long to climb a mountain, to surround myself in azure blue offset by marshmallow clouds.  To get perspective from somewhere higher than I can see right here, right now.  I want to climb and ponder and to return home with deeper perspective.

But these stolen moments in my closet office may be all I scrounge up today.  So I will breathe thanks for these few quiet moments, even though the cat is in my face and making my quiet moments smell like tuna breath.

Is it all better now?  All good?  All gone?  No, but there is always something fragrant and hopeful on the horizon, isn’t there?  May we never stop scanning the horizon for hope.

******

Now for a total change of pace, the Rug Giveaway announcement.

The winner (selected at random) is Brenna D!

Congrats, the Rug is yours!  Hooray!  Now I get to send you a rug and hug you in Chicago at the Story Conference.  A hug and a rug, it doesn’t get better, eh?  (it probably does)

Thanks to all for helping me with Facebook page numbers, you guys amaze me.

Creativity in the cracks & A giveaway

This week has been insane, like someone peed on my comforter crazy.  Since it’s too big

for the washer it’s just chillin in the bathtub for now.

My beloved chalkboard fell off the wall, twice.

I made the kids homemade cookies and they crumbled them up and threw them at me, really.

Meet our cat, Alfred.

We got a cat, which is turning out to be more of a stress reliever than anything else, although right now he has to wear a cone so he’s not a huge fan of that.

Last Friday Kel announced officially that he wants to get his PhD, not someday but like, now, soon, ASAP.

So in the midst of the chaos, creative outlets have been keeping me sane, and for once in the three years since Noelle was born I don’t feel guilty about it.

I now realize that unleashing creative energy is part of the way I tick and tock, part of the the way I was created.  I have Jessica Heights of Muthering Heights to thank for this epiphany of creative freedom.

A few weeks ago she wrote a post about fitting in creativity into the cracks and suddenly I felt like there was another Mom out there who felt this need to create.

So this week my creative energy has taken then form of rag rugs, the art of transforming old sheets into lovely throw rugs.  I love to up cycle and transform so these rugs are a natural outlet for me.

The kiddos and I gather the materials together at garage sales and thrift stores and then I prep the sheets into strips while they play in the backyard.  Then I take a massive crochet hook and weave them into a cozy throw rug in the in-between moments.  The same moments where I do most of my writing these days.

So today I am giving you a piece of my sanity, in my favorite color, Aqua.  The color of my wedding, my dishes, my bedroom, my toenails and the office in which I sit.

This up cycled aqua rug wants to be under you.

This rug can be yours for the easy price of liking my Facebook page.

If you already like it, just get someone else to like it and write wall post that you referred them and then, wha-bam!  You’re both entered.

This giveaway will last all weekend until Sunday night at midnight, EST, because even though I live in CST, EST is my favorite time zone.

What’s your favorite time zone?

What creative outlet is keeping you sane?

Where in Ada can I take my comforter to de-pee it?

(Tons of comment fodder ^^^ no excuses, happy weekend!)

Daily Graham Crackers

The hardest part of my day is from 3:00 – 5:15 PM.  From roughly the end of nap time to the moment Kel walks in the door.

I’ve expended all my creative energy, used up all my bright ideas, I have no new snacks or tricks up my sleeve.  I look at the kids over the bar from the kitchen and we all sense it, a collective, “now what?”

We all have stretches like these, be they hours, days, weeks, times of great pressure where we eagerly await for the moment of “all done” to arrive. Continue reading

Unravelling a Relationship with Jesus

Ah the simplicity of flannel graph Jesus.

So I have a confession to make

I’m a pastor’s wife, a 27 year Christian, and I still don’t really understand what the phrase “Relationship with Jesus” truly means.

I know the part about modeling my life after him

I know the part about him saving me

I know the part about God loving us so much he sacrificed his only son, something I can’t ever fathom doing.

But the word, relationship keeps hanging me up.   We don’t have coffee face to face, we don’t text, we don’t do play dates.  I mean I know he’s there in all of those times but I don’t know the nuances of his face, his quirks or what makes him laugh.  I mean I don’t even know, what does he order at Starbucks?

There is something about questioning this phrase, that feels wrong, subversive or heretical.

I’ve been turning this question over like a rock in a tumbler over the weekend.  Trying to spin out the beauty and truth underneath the crusty phrase.

I may not be able to explain it for you, so I’ll tell you how I’m explaining it to myself

It’s one part rock star crush, the kind where you think you know someone personally even though you’ve never met face to face.

It’s one part meeting him in other people who show you who he is by modeling his way of doing things.

And It’s one part becoming him, acting him out the way my child models the actions of a chicken or a baby puppy.

These parts, the cumulative effect of all the small things sudden rush over you like a wave and realize that “relationship with Jesus” is confusing because the phrase itself cannot contain him.

He’s more than the New Testament Miracle Guy who died on a cross.

He’s the conductor of the creation symphony, the genius behind everything we touch.

He is the love I experience in my husband and children and the love I give away.

He is the one who takes my breath away in corporate worship, when I realize that I am standing in a room full of broken people who have a hope because of him.

He’s there when my son starts to echo my singing, “you can have all this world, give me Jesus.”  He is the song on a toddler’s lips.

Can you tell me, how could it be, any better than this?

Suddenly I get it, the word relationship is just a starter word, and perhaps even a hopeful prayer we can breathe over our person to person interactions.

Do you have a relationship with Jesus?  I’m starting to think I have more than that.

Have you gotten hung up on this phrase?  Did it make you feel naughty too?

Real Connection from Real People (you guys!)

On Tuesday I asked you all to share your tips and practices for staying connected with your spouse in the midst of crazy busy life.  If I’ve learned one thing from focusing on this subject it is this:  You have to make connection work for you, you cannot CANNOT wait for the perfect circumstances.

Basically, if you connect in small, simple ways regularly and plan special outings occasionally you will give your marriage room to be and grow.

Here are few ways in which you all are staying connected in every day life.
Thank you all so much for sharing your lives in this way.  It’s been such a blessing

1) Natalie and Michael Summers (Married 10 years) Me and Michael try to do a hump day lunch day!  We meet for lunch on Wednesday each week.  It gives us a chance to have adult conversation without listening ears present!  We started doing this a couple of years ago and it really helped keep us sane when we got foster kiddos!  

2) John and Jill Burden– (Married 4 Years)  John and I have a secret message for communicating our love; when we are in public and are feeling lovey dovey toward the other person, we will squeeze the other person’s leg, arm, or hand three times for, “I love you.” Still gives us the butterflies for one another! There is something about having that little gesture between just the two of us that makes us feel closely connected.

3) Lauri and Shannon Rowe (Married 16 years) Weekend getaways. They work wonders for our marriage. The trick is to not think getaways are only for when you are getting along. The best time to take them is when you are frustrated with each other. That is when you need to get alone and remember why you chose each other for this crazy journey. The other thing that is a must is SEX! Yep I said it, do it often, do it well and do it even when you are tired and not in the mood. It is a gift God gives couples and it will reconnect you even when your heart may not be in it.

 4) Mr & Miss Banana Pants  (Married 8 years)  One of the ways that we’ve found is making new tangible memories almost weekly. So much of one’s romance and fun and spontaneity is in the very beginning, when everything is exciting and new and lighthearted. You laugh, you joke, you pose for silly pictures….we decided to bring a bit of that back. We love to take silly pictures of us doing simple things together. The photos I’ve included are us doing the mundane, but making them goofy by taking pics of the moment. One day we decided to stop at a discount store and try on sunglasses, hence the shades with staches! Ha! One is just driving down the road to pick up the kids from Wednesday night church. The other is us enjoying a evening in spring on our bench on the patio just chatting. Nothing new and exciting, but just by whipping out the camera and snapping away, it changed the mood that can sometimes be too serious and too much about the finances or the kids, back to being about us and living in the moment. They are also so cute to look back on in those rough times and smile at your goofy expressions and remember, “Yep, I still do really love that guy.” 

5) Brian and Hannah Harrison (married 7, almost 8 years)  No matter what the day has brought or the evening holds we made it a point to eat dinner together.  Even if he comes home from work and goes then leaves for practice an hour later, we know we have that point of connection.  

6) Dan & Sarah Cody (Married 5 years) We connect on the front porch with a glass of wine or cappuccino after the kids have gone to bed, One of my favorite parts of the day!

7) David & Sally Verkaik (Married 28 years)  This is a shout out to my parent’s marriage, which despite all their bumps was strong and so very faithful.  I remember at least once a week my parents would drive to our local Burger King, which overlooked a hilly field.  They would each order a Hershey Pie and Coffee from BK  and chat in the front seats over coffee and dessert.  

8) Jennifer & Kurt Luitwieler (Married 17 years) – They are just dorky. We text thought the day, sharing stupid things we’ve seen. We post inside jokes on Facebook like teenagers. But mostly, I know Kurt LOVES it when as I pass him, I just give him a touch. An arm, or across his back. Anything. He loves it.

9) Kel & Leanne Penny (Married 6 years) Kel and I try to set a “date night in” and make a somewhat nicer dinner with a bottle of wine after the kids go to bed.  On the night of opening ceremonies we had a London themed Date night in our PJs.  Even on the nights where we crash on the couch we try to lay on the same one and touch so even though we’re zoned out, we’re doing it together.  

So I hope we can all gain a little inspiration for each other and find a way to connect with our spouses intentionally over the weekend.

Thanks for all your thought and comments over this Marriage Week, now I do believe I will take the weekend off and eat a cookie.

But if you have additional ideas leave them in the comment section and let me know which of these inspire you enough to try!