Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Reading List (June 2017)

Wow it’s been awhile! I’ve been meaning to do this but it’s been busy. Life changed a whole lot for me 10 months ago. Got married, moved to another state and started a normal full-time job. So I haven’t read much. My husband and I have listened to a few audio books over the last several months so I’ll share those too. Enjoy!
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (complete audio book)
This is one I’ve wanted to read so it was fun listening together. It was really good, but very long. And by the way, the movie is SO off!

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (complete audio book)
I had read the book before so there were parts I didn’t listen to this time, but it was excellent. Great story of redemption, although I still think it’s really sad!

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (complete audio book)
This book was SO good! The story of Louis Zamperini, Olympic runner who was captured by the Japenese during WWII, it’s an amazing story of human suffering and resilience, and also the amazing power of God’s grace. It was really sad the suffering that Louis went through, but it’s amazing what he endured and how God spared him and later dramatically converted him even though he was running away! The movie was good too (although you don’t get his struggle then conversion and change at the end which is unfortunate).

Catch Me If You Can by Frank Abagnale (complete audio book)
We watched the movie first (before we realized there was a book). It’s about a young man who stole millions was one the most wanted forgers in the world – all before he was 21! In this autobiography he tells his story, and it’s fascinating! (And the movie was a little different, but was still very good.) (Just a heads-up though: There's 2-3 spots in the book that any modest person will want to fast-forward through... TMI!)

Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden (complete audiobook)
This was a great historical narrative of the story of American forces carrying out and then trying to survive a mission in Somalia in 1992. It would have been a successful mission had not 2 black hawk helicopters been shot down and the rescue of these stranded men not been so complicated. It is a very realistic, and thus sad account of the horrors of war, but also incredibly inspiring of the men who were willing to give their lives for their country and comrades. There is quite a bit of language in the book which is the only reason I’d lower its rating, but it was very educational and inspiring so a great read overall!

Surprised by the Power of the Spirit by Jack Deere
This is a book that I’ve been wanting to read for about 5 years! For me, there wasn’t very much new, since it’s a topic I’ve read and studied for some time now, but still, it was really good and encouraging. Jack Deere shares his own journey of discovering what the Bible teachers about the Spirit and His gifts and discusses various arguments and cautions. Some great thoughts and personal experiences. My favorite chapter was 13 on “A Passion for God” which contained some great and important reminders about how to thrive in our relationship with God. If you want to be encouraged in how God is working today in amazing ways you should definitely read this book!

Currently Reading:
Mike and I are working through Lord of the Flies on audiobook. I’m also working through Picture Perfect by Amy Baker. 
I hope to do more reading this summer though! Here's the first two on my list: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus & When Sinners Say I Do. 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

I’m Not Enough For My Husband

Don’t let the title of this worry you… my relationship with my husband is great. Actually, it’s wonderful. He’s incredibly sweet and thoughtful and loves me to pieces. But I’ve realized more fully the truth of something I heard/read before I got married, and that is that your spouse can’t fully satisfy you. Not really.

Don’t get me wrong, I find a whole lot of satisfaction in my husband (and vice versa), but our hearts were not designed to be fully satisfied in another person, they were designed to be satisfied in God. When he’s feeling discouraged or anxious I can encourage him, I can speak truth to him and love him, but ultimately his heart can only be brought to peace through his relationship with God. The same goes with me. When I’m struggling he is an amazing gift of God to me in that he listens and encourages and loves on me, but again, I can only really find peace and lasting comfort when I seek it from God Himself. It reminds me of this quote from Elisabeth Elliot: “Our hearts are lonely till they rest in Him who made us for Himself.” (The Path of Loneliness, p. 90). How many of us have been standing in a group of people, friends even, and still felt lonely? How many husbands or wives have lain next to their spouse and still felt like something was missing? Our culture speaks about finding “the one” or the person that “completes” you. The problem is that our hearts were never made to be completed by another person. We need relationship and fellowship with others, it’s true. And God gave the gifts of friendship and marriage to bless and help us in so many ways. But as much of a blessing as my husband is, he can’t forgive the sin I’ve committed or give me the strength I need to endure the struggle sin often causes in our lives. As much as I love my husband, even he is not enough to motivate me towards holiness all the time. Only Jesus can do that. Only Jesus can forgive me of my sin and change me. Only He knows the deepest recesses of my heart and is able to redeem my struggles and failures.

Don’t look for something in the world or another person to complete you, to give you what you need to change or be happy. You’re seeking something only God can give you somewhere else… that’s idolatry. It’s been said that people are wonderful gifts, but terrible gods. They can’t deliver what we are looking for and you’re only going to be disappointed. My husband isn’t perfect. He’s hurt my feelings and disappointed me. He needs Jesus just as much as I do so how I can look to him to fix me? Jesus has redeemed me with His own blood… He is the One who loves me more than my husband ever could, and He is the One who completes me and fully satisfies my heart.

I’m not enough for my husband, and he’s not enough for me, but that’s OK. God is enough for both of us.