Thieves and Curve Balls (A Guest Post by Sarah Crisp)

Today I’m honored to host a guest post by my new friend Sarah Crisp.  Sarah is a  wife, mom, pianist, blogger, and writer from my former home, Kentucky.

Sarah has a gorgeous, two part story to share about the tender and painful journey of loss from being the victim of a robbery.  I hope that you tune in here and then head over to her site to finish it up!

I never thought I would attest to understanding in full the verse that says, “Do not store up treasures on earth where thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6:19).” It’s not something I was even worried about or prepared for.

So often, life takes a curve ball.

March 2009

March 2012

My husband and I are big time University of Kentucky basketball fans. We started early in our marriage going to games together and every spring going to the SEC basketball conference. It gave us an excuse to go somewhere different and root on our team.

In March 2009, we were very excited to be going to Tampa, Florida. We made extra plans to visit Bryan’s sister and her family in Fair Hope, Alabama prior to going to Tampa. In Dave Ramsey fashion, we had our trip money via cash. All that was left was to drop off our Collie at a friend’s house who would keep him while we were gone.

When we returned from dropping off our dog we came home ready to leave.

“Did you take the money from the table?”

“What money”, I asked?

“The money for our trip”, my husband said with a please say you took it tone.

When we left we noticed our teenage neighbor watching us leave. She was as usual up to no good. It didn’t take us long to realize we were victims of a robbery.

We were scared to leave, and yet so scared not to leave. Our entire trip had been planned and we had looked so forward to the week ahead.

Tampa Florida 2009

We decided to go. We tried to make the best of our trip but the thought of what happened did loom over our very long drive to Alabama.

We returned from our trip and life went on. We were cautious about our neighbor, but we had no evidence to convict her. The cops that had visited the day of the robbery were unable to get any fingerprints. If only I hadn’t touched the door handle he said.

We tried to dwell on the blessings God gave us. It was only money that was taken, not any personal items.

Telling my family I would be a Mother on Mother’s Day 2009 (Sarah and her Mother-in-law, Annelle)

The months that would pass were filled with great joy finding out I was pregnant. Something I didn’t think was even possible. The robbery was behind us.

In mid July of the same year, I was in a hurry running late for a Bible study. I got a couple miles down the road and realized I had left my phone at home. I had this wash of worry about going back home to get it. I can’t really describe it. I insisted on instead getting to the Bible study.

When I arrived home around 9 pm I couldn’t find my phone which I distinctively remember leaving it charged in the kitchen. I glanced at the sofa where I had left my laptop and noticed it was gone as well.

I knew it had happened again.

Please read Part two to this post for the surprising ending.

What curve balls have you experienced in your own life, that you weren’t prepared for?

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!

Reflections of a Seminary Wife- Article for Asbury Alumni

In my former, pre-mom life I was an assistant to the Alumni office at Asbury Seminary while Kel was attending classes on campus in Wilmore, KY.  They’ve graciously asked me to write about what life is like for a seminary spouse and here is what I came up with:

The past life, Seminary “us” (note the office depot uniform on Kel)

I still remember with crisp clarity the day we pulled into Wilmore with our Uhaul in tow.  It was late July and exactly one week before our first anniversary.  We were babies on the marriage journey and in retrospect had only a vague idea what we were getting ourselves into.  We had no jobs, no income and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t burst into tears the first time I saw our beyond tiny, cinder block apartment.  My husband was beyond excited to be starting classes and I was struggling to figure out how I fit into this seminary journey.  I tried taking a few counseling classes and working toward my master’s degree but somehow I knew that our budget and schedule couldn’t accommodate both of us in Seminary at the same time.  So I put my career plans on hold for a while and was eventually blessed with an amazing job on staff at Asbury which provided me with a place and a purpose.

To read the rest of the article, go the Alumni Link  to finish it up.