One Wise Woman

As I mentioned in my previous video, Pat and I just returned from our third annual October beach trip. This post was written two years ago after we came home from the first. I am re-posting it now because our 34th anniversary is approaching and I’m feeling as I always do – very, very grateful.

The words of many wise women have been spoken to me over the years, but this one changed my life forever. Her words brought an amazing blessing – and I almost missed it. – Laura

 

 

Our plan was to not have a plan. We both simply wanted to sit, relax, chat and look at the waves for four glorious days. So, a week or so ago, Pat and I went away for a much needed rest at the beach. We rented a beautiful condo right on the ocean. What a view!

It was a great trip – we walked along the sand, watched the waves for hours, had long conversations, and took a little trip down memory lane. The condo was in Bethany Beach – but memory lane was a little ways up the coastal highway in a sweet seaside town called Rehoboth.

When I was a little girl, my grandparents lived on a farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore not too far from there – a visit to their place in the summer always meant a day trip to the beach. My parents would rent a cottage for two weeks every summer while I was growing up and Pat & I continued the summer tradition when our boys came along.

I have so many wonderful memories of Rehoboth Beach – they span from the earliest memories of my childhood up until when my boys were teenagers. So…it was fun to walk all over the little town and the boardwalk – remembering this and remembering that. We spent the day conjuring up old family vacation stories and recalling the early years of marriage and family. As we walked along Baltimore Avenue, I stopped Pat in front of a cute little restaurant and asked him,

“Do you know what happened here?”

 He told me he had no idea.

One summer, after Pat and I had been dating for a few months, I invited him to join me on my annual family vacation at the beach. We were both looking forward to spending time with each other and also with my parents & grandmother.

I could feel myself falling in love with him. It kind of scared me. Before Pat and I started going out, my history with boyfriends was pretty dismal — most were very unkind and untrustworthy —  it was strange to date someone who was so completely different. It’s sad to admit that ‘kind’ and ‘caring’ seemed strange to me but, to be honest, it did.

We arrived at the beach cottage and settled in with the family. All was well for the first day or so – and then something really weird happened. It came right out of the blue and was completely unprovoked.

I wanted him to go home.

I mean, I really wanted him to go home.

Yep – the poor boy had practically just unpacked his bags and now I wanted him to leave.

I don’t know what had come over me, but I was in a complete panic. I’ll spare you the details – but it was like some strange mood took me over and I did not want him there anymore. I wasn’t even remotely nice about it.

I told him our relationship was all wrong. We were not a good match. He needed a quiet, more reserved girlfriend and I needed…well, I didn’t know what I needed – but I was sure I didn’t need him!

The next day a very dejected and confused Pat left the beach and went home. My family stood there with their jaws on the floor. They were mortified and could not believe my behavior. It was completely unlike me to do such a thing and I had no good explanation.

I went to my room and flopped on my bed.

My grandmother knocked on the door and invited me to lunch.

We ended up going to this cute little restaurant on Baltimore Avenue in Rehoboth – just the two of us. It was in that little place, over lunch, that I had one of the most important conversations of my life.

Before our food even arrived, my grandma lovingly but oh-so-directly called me out on my behavior toward Pat. She explained to me what she thought was going on and urged me to not fear falling in love with him. She felt I sent him away because of ‘cold feet’ and, in hindsight, she was right.

Over our salads, I was reminded — in detail — of the previous boys I had brought home and how unkind they were to me. She told me that in Pat she saw a kind, faithful, trustworthy, Christian young man who could love me the way I needed to be loved. She strongly encouraged me to pray, think and consider what and who I may be sending away.

And then, over dessert and coffee, my sweet widowed grandmother winked her eye and said to me,

“Laura Anne, if you don’t marry him, I will!”

Oh, we laughed over that one for years!

Her honest words – direct and true – snapped me out of my fears and pushed me toward my destiny.

Just a little over a year after that lunch and conversation, Pat and I were married – and, just as grandma predicted, he has been kind, faithful, trustworthy and has loved me the way I needed to be loved for 32 years.

My wise grandmother knew the truth about Pat before I did.

I am sure that every time I introduced her to one of the previous, unsuitable boyfriends she got on her knees and prayed for my future husband – and when he showed up, she knew it!

It just took me a little while to know it, too.

Did you know that Scripture recounts many instances of wise, truth-telling women?

2 Samuel 20:16-22 tells a brief story about someone known only as “one wise woman.”  Her city faced a life or death situation. It was a matter of survival. One commentator writes;

“This one wise woman gathered information, held off an army with diplomacy, called a meeting and persuaded her fellow citizens of the best action to take to save the city. The townspeople had the discernment to recognize wise counsel when they heard it.”

They followed her advice. One wise woman used her wisdom to save the destiny of many and it was so significant that the Lord made sure it was written in His book!

So… here are the questions:

Is there a wise woman who has shown you the way, pointed you toward God’s will, and even given you a push when you needed it?

And…who are you praying for? Your child?  Your grandchild? Your daughter-in-law? A friend?

Will you be ‘one wise woman’ and speak loving truth to her?

Never, ever, underestimate the power and influence of one wise woman AND of a praying, truth-telling grandmother!

Many Blessings,

laura

Be A Fruit Inspector

Hi There, Girlfriends!

There’s a new video on the blog today! I have a short little series of thoughts on judging others and learning to be fruit inspectors! I know it sounds weird, but I promise it will make sense. 🙂

I’m in the thick of a busy speaking season and our Sisters in Faith Fall Conference is this Friday and Saturday! It is the first time in 18 years we have had a conference actually come to us. The She Laughs team is arriving on Friday afternoon and will treat us to two days of in depth teaching, fun and encouragement from God’s Word. They have planned and executed the entire event. Tickets will be sold at the door and I would LOVE to see you there. To learn more, about Sisters in Faith and She Laughs, go to: www.sistersinfaithministries.org.

Here’s the video ( and a lovely freeze frame! Ugh!):

 

Many Blessings,

 

October Update

Happy October, Girlfriends!

I have a brief video update and hope I will see you local peeps at one of my speaking engagements this Fall!  Check out my schedule here on the website. 🙂

Also, I will be attending the Lifeway Women’s Ministry Forum in Nashville in November — if you will be there too, let’s meet up!

Don’t you just LOVE Fall? I’ve got some yummy recipes for this time of year – just click on the ‘Freebies’ tab – ENJOY!

Many Blessings,

 

 

 

Waiting For What’s Next

This morning, I was up early to have a little quiet time before my first day back to school. It wasn’t the nice, long quiet time I have been used to all summer –  it was early, it was dark and I only had 15 minutes. Even so, God had something to say to me and I want to share it with you.

I read from one of my favorite devotionals, Streams in the Desert and I truly felt like today’s words were written just for me – but I’ve been thinking all day that they may have been written for you too. 🙂

Are you waiting and praying for what’s next? 

 

Here is the Streams in the Desert devotion for September 5th.

Please let me know if you too are waiting for what’s next – I would love to pray for you!

Many Blessings,

Moms – It’s Never Too Late

Hello There, Girlfriends!

Once again, my blog is coming to you in video form! I plan to return to writing my blog posts this Fall, but I have heard from many of you that you are enjoying ‘listening’. I get that.

Some of us are auditory learners and some of us like to listen as we multi-task. I almost always have a podcast or video message playing when I am cleaning the house or cooking dinner. When we listen, we can hear the person’s message with their own inflections and emphasis. This is valuable – and I believe it connects us in ways that a written blog cannot.

However, I love to read and maybe you do too! I tend to share and savor written blogs more and keep them in my ‘saved folder’ to return to time and again.

So, what am I saying? I’m going to alternate between the two and today I’m doing BOTH!  Thanks for the feedback and encouragement – it is always appreciated.

My message today comes to you from a very tender place. It is about the regret we can experience when remembering the times we ‘missed it’ as parents. I hope you will receive it with self – compassion and with the understanding that it is never, ever too late for a clean slate and a fresh start.

We do not have to live our lives in regret. We do not have to live our lives looking back and wishing for a do-over. In fact, we do not have to wish for it at all – it’s ours for the asking.

Socrates’ claimed that the unexamined life is not worth living. His belief was that only in examining our life will we know and understand ourselves – and in understanding ourselves, we find life’s meaning.

Well, in the Christian view, an unexamined life is a life of denial. It’s a life with a limited view of God and it limits us in ways that keep us stuck.

When we dare to look back and see truth, we experience God’s grace and love – His forgiveness and mercy. He removes the sting of regret and replaces it with a clean slate.

Everything that we have – right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start – comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. – 1 Corinthians 1:30

Jesus Christ alone gives our life meaning. The more we allow Him to have access to our lives, the more meaningful life becomes. We can trust Him go with us to look back, see the truth and then do what we need to do to move on in health and wholeness. And in many of these cases, we will have to ask for forgiveness from Him and from our loved ones as well.

  • We will ask for forgiveness without excuses
  • We will ask for forgiveness even if the injury was unintentional
  • We will ask for forgiveness even if many years have gone by and we hope the other person has forgotten
  • We will ask for forgiveness because that’s what growing believers in Christ do – and we work to improve upon our readiness to do it until God takes us home

I say this comes from a place of tenderness, because what I share with you in the message is part of my story. I know so very well how God honors obedience.

Maybe you are due an apology and some understanding from someone who hurt you. Think of the gift it would have been if they had simply acknowledged your hurt and asked for forgiveness. It would mean so very much to you, wouldn’t it?

Well, with that in mind, why would we ever hesitate to give this gift to our children?

I am on this journey with you my friends, and as far as I can see, all roads lead to God’s grace. Let’s keep going!

Many Blessings,

 

"The first time I heard Laura communicate, my exact response was 'Wow'! Laura's teaching style is passionate, relatable, and hope-filled. She radiates warmth, kindness and a genuine interest in those around her -- on and off the platform. Her amazing story of transformation, coupled with her solid biblical teaching, will leave you also saying "wow!" If you're looking for a dynamic communicator, Laura has my highest recommendation!"

- Cindy Bultema, International Speaker and author of Red Hot Faith: Lessons from a Lukewarm Church and Live Full, Walk Free: Set Apart in a Sin Soaked World