Moving Out, Moving On, Moving Up


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Life can be an interesting journey.

These past few months have been especially challenging, intriguing, and edifying. I just looked up the word edifying to see if I used the best word.

  1. Instructing; improving.
  2. That educates, informs, illuminates or instructs.
  3. That enlightens or uplifts.

Yep. That’s it.

We’ve definitely been instructed, improved, informed, illuminated, enlightened, and uplifted. All of the above.

As a matter of fact, it’s so much of all those things that I feel led to share it as it unfolds. Hopefully, you’ll find that our story leads you into some of the list above, but at the very least, may you find it entertaining.

The beginning of the story can be found in #3 miracle in my previous post. If you want the overall details of what began this moving story (no pun intended), you can read that post here.

After we lost our house in the auction that rocked us and left us questioning how God could direct us in doing the right thing only to have it blow up in our faces, we frantically began packing up our house.

I have to say right here that in the previous post, I described the miracle as we see it now. However, at the time, while we believed God must have a plan, and we said we were trusting him (and we were to the best of our ability), frantic does accurately describe how I felt. I confess that I lost it more than a couple of times during those three weeks.

That is because:

#1 – we didn’t know where we would go

#2 – we were being threatened by the new owner that any day a sheriff would throw us out

#3 – my physical limitations made packing difficult and painful

#4 – Brendan was working extremely long, physical hours in a town an hour away

#5 – we were working with a company to help us claim the money that was allegedly ours, but we didn’t know if we should trust the legal system (that had just burned us), and the company – to us and many others it seemed pretty unbelievable that these laws existed (see previous post)

On the night before the sheriff would show up at 7 a.m. the next morning, according to the very nice, and cautious (can you blame him these days?) officer who posted a notice on our front door, we were giving things away, selling items, and throwing whatever we could in the truck. We booked an extended stay hotel for a few days so we could figure out next steps.

That’s when the real fun began.

Brendan showed up to check us in around midnight. I had called the hotel earlier to let them know we would probably be checking in very late so they would be aware. An extremely helpful, kind young woman assured me it would be no problem and made a note at the front desk in case we arrived after she left at eleven.

All good, right?

Wrong.

The hotel wouldn’t allow us to stay there because we were locals.

I know. Crazy, right?

Apparently, there are hotels in the area which are frequented by local people involved in drug and sex trafficking so those establishments have decided that no one who lives within fifty miles can stay there. We don’t understand the logic.

Granted, Brendan in his sweaty, dirty, packing and loading a moving truck attire may have appeared less than respectable at the midnight hour, but still. Seriously?

Thankfully, God intervened in the form of a dear friend who rescued him, took me home to her house, and went back to finish loading the truck with him until 2 a.m. That is Jesus in action, my friends. She gave us her bed and slept on the couch!

We debriefed and rested for a few days at her home while she was on a family trip.

I cried a lot. Prayed even more. Okay, so maybe I cried more?

I don’t know. Don’t judge. Trusting Jesus is a process. Which is why I’m telling this story. Because where I was then and where I am now is miles apart.

Except the crying thing. Sad, happy, or moved with the Holy Spirit and my love for Jesus, I cry. I think my husband is finally learning to accept this.

During those days, we found a vacation rental and booked it for a month. We hadn’t found anything permanent. The market here is insane right now. Very few rentals with outrageous prices are snatched up within hours. Houses are selling at equally crazy prices.

The condo was a nice place on a lovely golf course ideally suited for Brendan and I with our youngest son. Those first couple of weeks went by without us finding anything to rent. We waited for the funds from our house sale.

Then we felt as if God said to stop looking. What? That made no sense to me. You need a place to live, you scan all the ads each day to find one. But it seemed that God had something different for us. It was a process for me to not look. Whenever a new listing popped up in my email, I’d look, then quickly delete it. Next time, I’d delete it sooner. Then one would seem good, and I’d check it out. For days, I fought the urge, gave up, gave in, and let a day go without succumbing. Finally, I surrendered and quit totally. Then the money from the house came through.

Coincidental? I don’t think so.

Since we asked the owner, and it seemed like the place was available, we assumed we would be able to extend our stay, but that didn’t end up working out. So we were on the move again.

Moving out, moving on, and moving up?

To be continued…

Want to See a Miracle?


So do I.

And the truth is, I’ve seen God do incredible, unbelievable things – miraculous things.

But here’s another truth: They don’t always look like what we expect, the way we expect, or in the timing we expect.

Here are a few examples:

  • When my husband (then fiance) and I were applying to get him a visa to come to California to marry me, he had to file a cleared police report. He turned in the paperwork and was told it would take a number of weeks to process. We didn’t have weeks. Our wedding was planned according to when we felt God said to wed, and each step of the visa acquisition was specifically timed. We prayed. Brendan called a couple of week later. They lost his paperwork. That was NOT what we expected or wanted to hear. BUT…because they lost it, they put a rush on redoing it and getting it pushed through – faster than it would have originally been done. Miracle.
  • Brendan took the kids and flew to Sydney to turn in the final paperwork and pick up his visas. On their website, it stated that he could pick them them that same day if he waited for them after turning in his documents. When he arrived, however, they told him they would mail them in six weeks. Except he was booked to fly out for our wedding in only a few days. The kind gentleman entered Brendan’s information, even while insisting that there was no way it would be approved that quickly. A few seconds later, it was approved. Brendan’s visas were in hand. When he called to give me the good news, it was 5 a.m. my time. We realized that no one but God could have made it go through.
  • A couple of years ago, I asked God to give us the house we’d recently purchased free and clear, wiping out the debt after Brendan lost his job and I was unable to work due to physical limitations. It was a stretch to believe God would do that, but I kept praying while we also worked with the mortgage company to modify our loan. After six months, we were given a deferred payment, and then Covid hit. We made those payments, but when it came time to get a new payment, the mortgage company didn’t respond to our many attempts to settle it. In the meantime, one of the HOAs in our community decided to sue us for back payments. We spent six months negotiating with them to try and pay them off, but they kept refusing our offers. Even on the day before they were going to auction the property, we spent the entire day, cash in hand at the court and the HOA’s lawyer’s office trying to make the payment while they stalled and then raised the price more than $2,000.00 putting it far out of our reach. We left as the court closed, stunned and not understanding what had just happened. Our house was auctioned the next morning. BUT…in Florida, when a property is sold at auction, any outstanding debt becomes the responsibility of the new buyer (who knew??), and the money paid to purchase the property (after the debt is paid) goes to the owner (that would be us.) Again, we had no idea. In the end, we lived in our home for 2 1/2 years, paying the equivalent of about 6 months payments (due to unforeseen circumstances, not our negligence), the debt was completely wiped out, and we ended up with an unexpected chunk of money. Not at all what, when or how we expected, but God answered my prayers. Miracle.

And those are just a few.

I’m not going to say they have been without heartache. Mostly because at the time, we struggle to trust when circumstances don’t look like anything good can happen. I’ve grieved over losing our house and having to quickly pack and move at a horrible time in the market. But even now, as we wait for what God has next, we’ve learned to trust more, take riskier steps, pray bolder prayers. We want to see God do miraculous things. Not just for us, but because every time we share the miracle, it encourages someone else.

That money we ended up with?

We’ve been able to be generous with some situations that have blessed others. Yay, God!

Miracles aren’t just for us, they are to show people that God is real and almighty and desires good for us.

But as Chris Sonksen says in his book, indispensable church,

“The hard truth is that most of us will never see a miracle because we’ll never do anything that requires one.”

So, where have you seen a miracle? Or where is God urging you to step out in faith, trusting him for one? Has he called you to give, write, speak, start a business? Where have you pushed aside that nudging to make a difference in you family, your church, your city?

I’m thrilled with the things God has done in our lives and the lives of others who boldly step out in faith to bring God’s kingdom into our physical world. I can’t wait to see what he has coming next. But I do know that whatever he has, it’s because he loves us and wants us to know it.

Open your eyes and get ready to see a miracle.

If you’d like to read about the many miracles God did that brought me and my Aussie husband together, you can read our story in The Miracle of Us: Confessions of an Online Dater.

“Well, I Never…”


by Laura Bennet

Photo by Rodolfo Clix on Pexels.com

Joy Wurshop yanked on the handle of her rolling briefcase. For the last time. The handle came off in her hand. The impact nearly threw her off her black high heels. Walking was no longer an option. She’d have to call a cab. Ten minutes before her meeting started. Only a miracle would get her there.

“Taxi!” She scanned the crowded street for yellow while attempting to shove the bag’s handle back in place.

You’ll have to be aggressive in the big city. The unsolicited advice from her previous boss incited her to take a step off the curb. Without looking. A cab screeched to a halt inches from her black pencil skirt. Joy’s free hand flew to her mouth while her purse slid off her shoulder and down the grey and pink floral silk blouse adorning her arm.

“Lady, what the heck’re ya doin? Trying to get yourself killed? Do you want a cab or a coffin?”

“Cab, please.” She let the coffin remark slide. Gripping her broken briefcase and purse, she fumbled with the door handle. The driver turned, facing her, and yelled out the passenger window.

“Come on, lady. I ain’t got all day.” His booming expletive carried over honking horns blaring behind him.

Joy threw her belongings through the door and slid in beside them.

“Where to? Where to? Let’s get a move on.”

“27th Street. The Town Center Building. Please hurry. I have a meeting, and I’m already late.”

“Oh, miss fancy-pants wants me to hurry now. Dawdled getting in my cab, and now I’m the one to get her to her meetin’…”

Joy closed her eyes against the pooling tears as the man carried on. Not what she needed. Not today. Not when her career hung by a thread.

Drawing in a deep breath, she dug in her purse for a tissue, settling for a wadded piece at the bottom. By the time she removed mascara smudges and reapplied lip gloss, they turned onto her street. Joy prayed she had enough cash for the fare.

Flipping through all her cards, her heart plunged. Bank, credit, medical, pharmacy, Sam’s Club, library. Nothing. Opened her change purse. A couple of folded up ones and two pennies. They were pulling up to her building. Praying for a miracle, she peeked in a little, side pocket, fully knowing she never kept money there.

“That’ll be $17.50. No charge for not runnin’ ya over back there.” He howled a laugh.

Tucked inside the pocket was a folded bill. Thank God! But when she pulled it out, the sight elated and crushed her. A fifty. Since when…she never had that kind of money. But she knew what she needed to do. She closed her eyes with a sigh. A moment later, she opened them and handed the bill over, offering a shaky smile.

“Here. Keep the change.”

As she closed the door, she caught his muttering.

“Well, I never…”

And she guessed he never had.


With so many ways to be offended these days, it takes patience, guts, and the Holy Spirit to make us able to act and speak in the opposite way. Stumbling on this short piece I wrote years ago, reminded me to choose grace rather than offense.

Write It Down


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Mark Batterson, pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C. states in his devotional, Draw the Circle,

“…we have a natural tendency to remember what we should forget and forget what we should remember.”

Isn’t that the truth?

How many things pop into our minds when we least expect or want them to? But if someone asks what our pastor taught on Sunday or what verse we studied this week could we remember? You know what I mean. It happens.

Maybe that is why in Habakkuk chapter 2, God tells us to write down the vision.

That is the very reason I keep a journal and write in it almost every day. I write verses that stand out to me, prophetic words I hear or read, quotes from books, dreams, ideas, revelations, plans, and most importantly my prayers: the requests and what God says to me or does in response.

In the first chapter of this book, Habakkuk is crying out to God about the evil in the world. God says that Habakkuk wouldn’t believe what God was going to do even if he told him. But he does go on to tell him.

And that’s also when he reminds him to write it down!

I can imagine him saying something like “write this down now because you’re not going to believe it.”

God is doing things right now in our lives, our families, our cities, states, nations, and the world that we can’t see. He’s always at work behind the scenes. Some of what he’s doing that we can see we may be thinking is unbelievable.

He’s uncovering hidden evil. (You can find true journalism in Epoch Times.)

People are running to Jesus and throwing down their addictions. (Check out Sean Feucht and Let Us Worship.)

But he gave us some additional instruction about writing down the visions he’s revealing. In taking apart each sentence, word by word, of this chapter, this is what I see:

  1. Stand where God has placed us. Stand firm. Don’t be moved. We are where he wants us for a reason. He wants to show us great things.
  2. Station ourselves to see what God is doing. A watchman stands at a lookout point so as not to miss anything important. We need to do the same.
  3. Look and listen for what God will say to us. He will speak if we’re looking for it and listening for his voice.
  4. Write down what he says plainly. Don’t complicate it with our own understanding or trying to figure something out. God’s ways may not always be easy, but they are simple.
  5. Wait. Patiently. Even if it seems like it’s taking too long. His perfect plan will come in his perfect timing. Don’t quit before the revelation plays out. We may wait long, but it will come suddenly.

No matter what God is doing in and through each of us, the bottom line is the end result. People will know that he is God when they see his glory, and everything will be silenced in awe of him.

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord…” vs.14

“The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.” Vs.20

What are you writing down today?

His Gentle Whispers


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“The whisper wafted into her heart. Again? He’d been sending her on these little missions more frequently these days. Not that she really minded. Amanda felt humbled that he would choose her. She wasn’t anyone special.”

Amanda Grace Stiles, A Mighty Wind

God calls Amanda Grace Stiles to befriend a mysterious stranger who lies in a coma after sustaining life-threatening injuries. Who is this woman and is there hope for her? Can Amanda help her survive the past that’s put her in danger? Book three in the Winds of Redemption series is coming this summer. ⁠

In this, the third book in the Winds of Redemption series (When the Wind Blows is book one and Where Blows the Wind is book two, coming this spring), God speaks to a young women and leads her to intersect with another whose tragic life has led her to the lowest possible place. Through Amanda, the mysterious stranger will encounter healing through Jesus, who sustains life and leads us in purpose.

Here’s the thing….

We never know where the Spirit of God will lead us. He is like a mighty wind blowing us in and out of situations in life that will impact not only us, but those we come in contact with.

That is, if we will yield to his control.

Will we let Holy Spirit direct us into unknown places that may not make sense? Will we lean in and listen to catch the whispers of his heart for the lost and broken so that he can lead them to Jesus who saves? Are we willing to take risks that cost us something? Maybe our perception, reputation, or relationships?

Scary, huh?

But what if we learn to trust and follow that mysterious Spirit the way the Israelites followed the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night? What if we surrender what we think we know and allow Him to lead us into the unknown? What if that is where breakthrough, healing, peace, and joy are found?

The move of Holy Spirit is where:

  • dry bones turn into an army (Ezekiel 37:1-14)
  • axe heads float (2 Kings 6)
  • armies of ten thousands are defeated by 300 men (Judges 6-8)
  • a donkey talks (Numbers 22:28)
  • a blind man sees (John 9:1-12)
  • a lame man walks (Acts 14:8-10)
  • a little girl is raised from the dead (Matthew 9:18-26)

Today, Holy Spirit is living in each of us who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. (John 14:15-17) He leads us into all truth. It is by his power that we enter into a spiritual realm to see miracles accomplished in the name of Jesus.

Today, people are being healed in soul and body, delivered from the bondage of pain and addiction, released from depression and anxiety. Revival is here.

The world is desperate for Jesus.

As we listen and give way to the gentle whispers of Holy Spirit, we will experience an outpouring of such abundant joy and blessing, not only for ourselves and our lives, but through seeing others touched as we obey and intersect with their lives.

While the world is in turmoil, we live in a supernatural world of the incredible, the impossible, the unbelievable, the magnificent come to life. It’s a wonderful place to live.

Will you join me?

Show a Little Love


In a world of so much division and hatred, I thought I’d share a little short story that reflects how we might choose to handle life. This week, I want to be one that shows the love of Jesus in my reactions.

I’ve also made October the month of FREE books. With fall moving in, don’t you want to curl up with a good book and a cuppa (Aussie for tea, coffee, or hot chocolate)? Even here in balmy Southwest Florida, we’ve had a few nights of “cooler” (70 – LOL) weather. So after you read this little short story, head on over to Amazon where you can pick up the Kindle edition of Voices of the Past this weekend. It’s FREE starting yesterday, October 9 until the 13th.

Then from October 16-20th you can get Dangerous Ground for FREE.

New Release, When the Wind Blows, will be FREE October 20-24th. That’s a month of great reading! Starting with the story below. And don’t forget to show a little love…

Joy Wurshop yanked on the handle of her rolling briefcase. For the last time. The handle came off in her hand. The impact nearly threw her off her black high heels. Walking was no longer an option. She’d have to call a cab now. Ten minutes before her meeting started. Only a miracle would get her there.

“Taxi!” She scanned the crowded street for yellow while attempting to shove the bag’s handle back in place.

You’ll have to be aggressive in the big city. The unsolicited advice from her previous boss incited her to take a step off the curb. Without looking. A cab screeched to a halt inches from her black pencil skirt. Joy’s free hand flew to her mouth while her purse slid off her shoulder and down the grey and pink floral silk blouse adorning her arm.

“Lady, what the heck’re ya doin? Trying to get yourself killed? Do you want a cab or a coffin?”

“Cab, please.” She let the coffin remark slide. Gripping her broken briefcase and purse, she fumbled with the door handle. The driver turned, facing her, and yelled out the passenger window.

“Come on, lady. I ain’t got all day.” His booming expletive carried over honking horns blaring behind him.

Joy threw her belongings through the door and slid in beside them.

“Where to? Where to? Let’s get a move on.”

“27th Street. The Town Center Building. Please hurry. I have a meeting, and I’m already late.”

“Oh, miss fancy-pants wants me to hurry now. Dawdled getting in my cab, and now I’m the one to get her to her meetin’…”

Joy closed her eyes against the pooling tears as the man carried on. Not what she needed. Not today. Not when her career hung by a thread.

Drawing in a deep breath, she dug in her purse for a tissue, settling for a wadded piece at the bottom. By the time she removed mascara smudges and reapplied lip gloss, they turned onto her street. Joy prayed she had enough cash for the fare.

Flipping through all her cards, her heart plunged. Bank, credit, medical, pharmacy, Sam’s Club, library. Nothing. Opened her change purse. A couple of folded up ones and two pennies. They were pulling up to her building. Praying for a miracle, she peeked in a little, side pocket, fully knowing she never kept money there.

“That’ll be $17.50. No charge for not runnin’ ya over back there.” He howled a laugh.

Tucked inside the pocket was a folded bill. Thank God! But when she pulled it out, the sight elated and crushed her. A fifty. Since when…she never had that kind of money. But she knew what she needed to do. She closed her eyes with a sigh. A moment later, she opened them and handed the bill over, offering a shaky smile.

“Here. Keep the change.”

As she closed the door, she caught his muttering.

“Well, I never…”

And she guessed he never had.

When the Wind Blows is coming soon…

Remember The Miracles of the Past


On Thursday, a fellow author featured my book on her blog. DSC_0020

Thank you to Toni Shiloh! I appreciate how she promotes new authors. I hope you’ll check out her blog and books too. You can read the post here. If you comment, you’ll be entered to win a free copy of the book!

What I love about Toni’s Throw Back Thursday blog is that it reminds me to think about the miracles God has done in the past. My book she promoted, The Miracle of Us: Confessions on an Online Dater, was released nearly three years ago which was a miracle in itself! It took four years of writing, editing, changing it and rewriting before I landed with something I felt people would find enjoyable, entertaining and encouraging.

But that story began nearly nine years ago.

Here’s the thing. Every time we retell the miracles God has done for us, our faith grows. We remember how big God is. We encourage others. And the best part? God says in Revelation (12:11) that our testimony helps defeat or overcome our enemy, the devil.

Amazing what sharing a story can do.

So thank you, Toni. I hope my story will encourage someone. And remember, friends, to share your stories! Tell people about the wins in your lives. Remember those miracles from the hand of a big God and look forward to what is to come.

What story can you share? We’d love to hear in the comments below.

Why Do You Write?


Yesterday, I opened an email from a follower of this blog and a reader of my new book, The Miracle of Us: Confessions of an Online Dater. My tears of joy could not be contained as I read how this person’s life was being challenged and changed by God.  In part, as a result of the book.

DSC_0248
Bella at Riding Lessons

I’ve seen the growth. I feel proud, like a beaming mother watching her child on stage or at a sporting event. (I know this feeling well with seven children and seven grandchildren!) The joy that bursts forth in your heart to see someone live out who they were made to be can’t be described. And the blessing of being a small part of that overwhelms me.

I told my husband, “This is why I write.”

 

It’s not for money. Forget the hype of “New York Times Bestseller! ” Most authors make very little in comparison to the hours they put in.

Nor is it for fame. True, it’s been kind of cool to have a few people recognize me from one of two newspaper articles about the release of my book. But that is nothing but a bit of lovely fun.

To make a point? Well, I suppose that the point I try to make in all my books is that God offers us hope, healing and redemption. His love for us is beyond our comprehension, and he is able and willing to do anything to show us that.

But the bottom line reason is this:

“Thank you again for this book. I’m learning to believe in miracles and the One who works them.”

“I just finished reading your book “The Miracle of Us.”  I loved it! I was in tears at times as I read the miracles that God did in your relationship with Brendan.”

“Laura’s book strengthened my faith in God’s ability to work miracles for broken people.”

“What a lovely story of love, adventure, and God’s faithfulness!”

 

God uses our words, gives them to us in fact, to change lives for people’s good and his glory.

 

I’m so stoked on that. Amazed. Humbled. Grateful.

And I’m convinced he wants to use each of us to do the same. Maybe through books, or poems, or songs, or art or your job as a postal clerk (Tina has blessed me every time I mail something, and she doesn’t even realize she’s doing it), a doctor, a mother, a sales representative…in other words, whatever you do.

So, why do you write?

 

Can You Hand Me a Fig Leaf, Please?


miracle book cover_0001 The Miracle of Us: Confessions of an Online Dater  went live on Amazon this afternoon and the reality of what we’ve written (I say we  because Brendan put his story, thoughts and feelings in there too) is hitting us full force.

 Why? You may ask.

Well, we’ve shared our personal testimony. Our thoughts, feelings, struggles, triumphs as well as the fun and the nitty-gritty tragedy in between are all in the open. Suddenly, we feel a bit self-conscious to talk about our failures, losses and newly found love. Love found on the internet, no less. We think of the conflicts we’ve given you a glimpse into and the intimacy of some of our moments together, and quite frankly, we’re blushing.

So, why would we do something like this?

The Bible tells us that we overcome our enemy by Jesus’ blood and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11). It’s that simple. And complicated. When any one of us shares our story of the amazing things God has done for us, our faith is strengthened. Our testimony encourages the people who hear it, and fills them with hope that if God could/would do that for someone, then maybe he could work in their situation as well.

Each word of our testimony sends our enemy reeling.

We gain hope, strength, power all because of a confidence in the God who just did miracles for us or other believers. When someone tells me about how they were healed, or given $462 when they needed that exact amount for a doctor bill my faith leaps with excited anticipation of what God will then do for me. I am filled with awe, wonder and praise for his mighty works, and his great love that incites him to do those things for us. Like the woman at the well who ran to tell everyone in town about Jesus being the Messiah because he told her things he couldn’t have known unless he was God, we share the miracles of God and others believe.

God did amazing things for two broken people.

This is our story to encourage, inspire and give thanks to a wonderful, loving Heavenly Father who deserves our gratitude and praise. It might bring laughter or tears, or even ruffle a few feathers, but the focus is on the big picture of what an incredible God can do when we trust him. Ultimately, we hope it will bless everyone who reads it, even if we feel a little naked sharing it.

Now available at:

My CreateSpace Store – purchasing here means the highest author royalties

AND

Amazon – this option may be more convenient and offers a discount and the potential for free shipping!

 What is your testimony?

The Rest of the Story


I feel a sequel coming on.

I came to the point this week where I am out of excerpts from The Miracle of Us: Confessions of Two Online Daters. I can’t give away all the excitement of the ending even if you know that we made it to the altar. Suspense isn’t really the point, but after all, something needs to be left for the book. I’m encouraged by how many want to read the finished product. Pray a publisher feels the same!

The good news is that as I’ve come to the end of writing, I’ve felt that the story isn’t finished. Naturally, our story has really only begun with a mere three years of marriage completed. We were considered newlyweds by many until only a few weeks ago!

But we’ve been learning so much during those three years. Therefore, Beyond the Miracle: What We’ve Learned About Through Marriage will begin it’s writing process soon. At this point, the book’s skeleton is taking shape in my mind.

More to the story.

While away on our anniversary weekend a few weeks back, I came across a card that had this quote by Irving Stone on the front:

The best romance is inside the marriage; the finest love stories come after the wedding, not before.

Wow! We thought the best part was our story leading up to the wedding. The challenges, romance and miracles that occurred before the wedding astounded us, but so much more has happened afterwards. Nitty, gritty tough stuff. Not that the struggle to step out in faith, believing we could each start over in romantic life by dating online through Skype with someone across the world wasn’t tough enough. I mean, it’s not like praying for our seven children to feel good about the whole situation, and braving immigration paper mountains was a Sunday drive. Those eleven months held some of the hardest obstacles and greatest moments either of us has every experienced.

The truth about romance and marriage.

Just as our story of online dating, long distance romance and eventual wedding bells (actually there were no bells ringing at our wedding) has portrayed faith, redemption and overcoming the impossible; our marriage continues with building a new life out of a broken past. Restarting careers in middle age, parenting at three age levels: school age, teenage, and grown children as well as being step-parents and grandparents at the same time encompass their own sets of challenges. And immigration paperwork and appointments don’t end when you enter the country. Add to that the fact that marriage itself is the vehicle that transforms our lives and there’s more of the story to tell.

I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us as we continue the journey. Hopefully, our story will offer hope for yours.

Isn’t it exciting and a little stressful the way life unfolds? What are some of the challenges you’ve faced through life, marriage or family?