New URL! New URL! New URL!

This blog is officially on the move…

You can now find me at http://www.gabbingwithgrace.com

Don’t forget to update your bookmarks, etc.  Once your there, you can sign up via RSS – for email, or google reader.

Design-wise it’s not what I want it to be yet, but I’m hoping within the next 4 weeks to unveil a killer thesis theme customization with creative credits going to my uber-creative husband who helped me think through content, theme & look.  I’m really excited, & trying to be patient after all these months of promising you guys “big changes.”

See you at the new site!

http://www.gabbingwithgrace.com

Stepping Up – Book Review

**A quick word on my upcoming switch to http://www.gabbingwithgrace.com.  You won’t believe this, or maybe if you know what a nerd I am you will: I lost the password! Ha!  And I’m having a heck of a time trying to get access into my own dang blog.  Just more drama in my blog switching drama!😉 **

51b55dkvGAL._SL500_AA240_Stepping Up, by Beth Moore is a 6-week guided Bible Study workbook through the Psalms of Ascent, Psalms 120-134.

When it comes to studying the Bible on my own, I am a guide type-o-gal.  What I appreciated about this guide was its focus on these particular Psalms with loads of helpful historical & cultural information that she somehow found a way to make interesting.

It’s defintely geared toward’s women & overall I think she does a great job of helping you enter the text, interact with God & figure out how to practically apply.  For this reason, I’d recommend it if your looking to grow in your faith, especially during transition periods.

I started it 12 months ago when my Sabbatical was just getting under way, took my sweet time & just finished it up today.  Being in school full-time really threw a monkey wrench in how I normally do “quiet time,” (daily time of prayer, Bible study, meditation, etc.)

Lastly, if your not a woman of faith, or if you don’t consider yourself Christian, oddly enough, I’d still recommend it.  I think Beth Moore is a pretty phenomenal person with a lot to say for any woman wanting to be a better person in general.

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Love and Marriage go together like a horse and carriage…

Me & the Bookah

Me & the Bookah

…this I tell you brother, you can’t have one without the other…

Isn’t it ironical (yes, despite what my husband says, that is a word) that the theme song to the old show *Married with Children* implied that they actually had a happy marriage when it was actually crap?  And in the midst of their crap they were -at least somewhat-committed to one another.

This is the example of marriage I got growing up with a single parent: Al & Peggy Bundy.  And a whole host of other kiddos grew up with this marital example: Homer & Marge Simpson.  Being in campus ministry we have so many -hundreds over the years- students tell us that we are their example of a happy marriage.  Dave & Grace Biskie.  (This represents no pressure at all, mind you.  Just kidding of course –it’s huge!  I think the demise of our marriage would equal the demise of a couple hundred students faith in God and in the institution of marriage itself).  Yet, for all it’s difficulty, I long to experience the fulfilling, ongoing, lasting emotional satisfaction marriage provides at it’s best.

That got me thinking about the whole issue of having a “happy marriage.  What is a ‘happy marriage’ anyway?   I was wondering this the other day since so many of my gal pals have marital issues and most especially since my hubby & I feel like we’ve hit a bump in the road of our marital journey.

Yet, if you asked me flat out, “Grace, do you have a happy marriage?”  I’d say, “yeah, but we can fight like a mug.”  No need -in my book- to ever pretend like all is perfect.  Shoot, it’s a doggone waste of emotional energy I say.  Dave & I can fluctuate between being passionately in love & barely standing each other one minute.  Most of the time, were good friends.  Some days, flat out enemies.  I don’t mind sharing that bit of personal information because seriously I’d be lying to you if I presented our marriage as anything easier than that.  If you respect my marriage, you should know, it comes at a cost.

Anyway, we’ve decided like we usually do, that we are each 100% committed to working on our issues.  Of course the problem with working on your marriage is well, it’s doggone work & it’s freaking hard work.  Work you don’t get paid for, takes a long time, and requires a lot of patience.  It isn’t exciting either, ya know?  It’s not like when you are going to “work on having a baby,” or “work together to buy a new home.”  It’s that nitty-gritty life junk: we are going to work on getting along better.  Nothing really enticing about that, huh?  Though perhaps it’s the most important work any marriage can do.

Needless to say, all this got me thinking again about how I think marriage is tough & should be entered into extremely thoughtfully.  Dave & I are of the mindset that once you make a promise to someone to stay with them through thick & thin… you should probably keep that promise.  If you don’t think you can keep a promise, don’t marry that person.  Divorce is a painful and exhausting option.  Personally, I’d rather be unhappy for a long time married to Dave, than unhappy for a long time wading through the choppy waters of divorce, custody & financial battles.  (This is the simplistic version.  I realize a lot of yall got a lot of junk going on & each marriage should be considered on a case-to-case basis).

And if you think for one minute that I personally have never been tempted by the divorce option and that all of this divorce talk is “easy for me to say,” well then you need to get over yourself.  There have been times I’ve been ready to jet like a mug.  One time I had the horrible feeling that I would never ever, never, ever, never be happy again & I felt so trapped.  And guess what?  We stayed married & by the same time next year I’d never felt happier in marriage.

Besides what I see to be the horrors of divorce, one of the major reasons we don’t opt for divorce is simple: because God said so.  I don’t think God was being a stickler for rules in his admonition that we should learn to live with the one we choose to marry.  I think it was actually a lot of wisdom.  Wisdom that supersedes faith.  (Meaning, even if an atheist was considering divorce I’d appeal to them to stay married for various reasons without ever bringing up what God thinks about it).

So, here we go on this journey towards growth, renewal & healthy conflict.  As I took a walk today I was trying to list in my head everything that’s wrong with me.  It took me less than 10 seconds to think of the top 10 problems I bring to our marriage.  Crap!  If only I could just blame it all on Dave.  Nope.  I’m just as screwed up as ever, trying to trust in the Lord to change me, to help us, to rescue us, and to make the changes in Dave I’d like to see.  Because ladies, as we all well know: we have to change & we cannot change our husbands –triflin’ as they may be.  Today, though was my day to say… Grace, it is you who are triflin’ & it is you who needs to change.

At the end of the day, I’m one of the lucky ones having a husband whose committed to staying with me.  Triflin’ old me.  And who is also committed to dealing with his own junk as well.

So we press on.  Like a horse & carriage I suppose.  Horse shoes falling off, carriage almost tipping… we keep going though.  Hope your able to as well.  It’s worth it.

p.s. don’t forget in a few days, I’ll be found permanently at http://www.gabbingwithgrace.com

vXvp6S

Goodbye, Friends – I need your help

It is with some weird sadness that I must share with you that this is my last post on this blog.  As of this Monday, I’m getting a new web address & a new home on the web.  From now on you can find me at:

http://www.gabbingwithgrace.com

Sure, sure it’s not what I want it to be yet, but you have to trust me this will be better for all of us, eventually. :)  I’ve finally hired someone to make the changes I’m looking for & there is lots more exciting blog stuff coming our way!😉

Once my new blog is up & running I’d like to be much more specific about the things you want to read about, so what would float your boat & keep you comin’ back for more?

For the last 6 months I’ve been trying to focus more on women, 18-35ish, any race/faith, etc.  And mainly speak to issues that are either about my life, the world as I’m interacting with it & a schooch of politics, race, faith, fashion & celebrity mixed in.  It’s so broad though that it’s all over the place.  Not good.

I know I need to get more specific, so help me out!!  (Reply now, before you forget… I know how life is!)  What if I only focused on faith issues, or race issues, or my life/family/writing, or how faith interacts with all of those things, etc.

Whats needed &/or wanted?  And if your don’t mind my all-over-the-place-ness let me know, by all means.  I love just gabbing away about whatever comes to mind.

Thanks!

vXvp6S

after 5 days…

after 5 days, I’m home…

& the 1st thing Ransom said to me was, “Mama, when are you going to clean up this mess?”

sheesh. No rest for the weary, eh?

have a good night all,

vXvp6S

Social City

In the last month, wev’e gotten to…

Spend a night at a lake house with our IV staff team

Spend a night with Dave & Jess watching a great movie, “Bella.”

Spend a day with my preggo friend, April (who “poppped” last week!🙂

Play Catan/Cities & Knights with Jim & Jamie (I won!)

Play Catan/Cities & Knights with Ryan & Joy (Dave won!)

Spend a day with my mom.  Go see *The Proposal* (loved it)

Spend a few hours with Phil (who lives in Oakland, CA)

Enjoy endless hours of socializing with IV staff from across the country during our Madison trip

Enjoy a ice cream/ *Transformers* movie date with Dave (didn’t love… the movie that is)🙂

Spend a couple days chillin’, relaxin’, coolin’ in Saugutuck, enjoy a little Lake MI sunset with Jim & Jamie

Go to the beach with Dave & Jess, Jason & Sonia, Rueben & Ransom (the kiddos)

Spend a day at the beach with Jason & Andrea, (who live in Austin, TX) Jim & Jamie & all 7 kiddos

Go see the *Harry Potter* flick with Jason, Andrea, Alayna & Dave (didn’t love unfortunately).

Have dinner with Jason & Andrea, Jim, Jamie & all kiddos

Spend last night playing Catan/Cities & Knights with Jason & Andrea, Jim & Jamie while kiddos watched “Bolt.” (seriously enjoyed some really good bacon cheeseburgers grilled by Jason who -of course- won the game.  He always wins & I’m bitter).🙂

Really really really have loved spending days & hours playing with Ransom because of my sabbatical from work.  I’ve fallen in love all over again.

And top of all that, I’m about too…

Spend the weekend with Jamileh (my bestest bud) & Elie

Go camping with Fred & Sara, (my in-laws) Dave & Ransom for 3 days

Spend next weekend with York & Jodi (my bestest buds)

And so the moral of the story is…

1.  I’m seriously happy…

2. I’m an extrovert & I just can’t hide it…

3.  Settler of Catan / Cities & Knights is the BEST game ever.

vXvp6S

Winding Down…

Today is July 16.  Yikes!  Meaning I’ve got exactly 16 days left until my Sabbatical is over on Aug.1 .  I was given the glorious gift of a 12-month paid time of rest & refreshment from my normal day-to-day work.  I chose to use 8 months of that time going to school full-time.  And now, very scarily I have little less than 2 weeks to soak it up.  Tell me, what would you do with two weeks to basically spend any way you want?

The great news is that I’m about 50% eager to get back to work –I’m super excited about my new position and all the possibilities.  I’m also about 50% sad because I’ve really enjoyed these last 2.5 months of spending so much extra time with my hubby, my home & my baby boy.  I can see what stay-at-home-moms like about that gig.  I have a lot of respect for ya’ll!

In any case, it seems perfectly healthy to me to feel both a mixture of excitement & sadness.  Wouldn’t it be awful if I was dreading going back to work?

Before my sabbatical I was definetly burned out.  And I am happy to report that I feel…well, rested.  Not like, having a good night of sleep type of rested, but life rested.  The best kind of rested.  Of course, if you know me, you know I’m inwardly fretting over yet another transition, which for some reason seem to take some sort of toll on my emotional state no matter how great I’m doing.  But, I am rested ~ thank you, Jesus.

On the other hand, I’m also feeling slightly disappointed at my physical state.  I’d love to spend my last two weeks finishing up all these house projects I had on the list… painting the downstairs bathroom, cleaning out several cupboards, etc.  But, I am realizing that with such intense back pain in this pregnancy –it’s just not gonna happen this summer.  I’d have to be popping the Tylenol literally all day.  I think I just need to “listen” to my body & spend these last two weeks whittling away at other things on the list.  Other things that include sitting.😉

Does it feel totally disappointing to you to have to change your plans at the last minute due to uncontrollable circumstances?

So, of my “other” is … writing.  I think I’m going to spend a bit more of a focused attempt at churning out a few more chapters of my book.  Which is why I’m sitting here at Panera right now —I’m out of the house, I’ve got my Diet Pepsi, my laptop, my headphones & I’m ready to go!  I’ve got 3 hours to myself!🙂

Wish me “happy writing,”

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