Sunday, May 31, 2009


Today marked the first graduation I participated in as a faculty member. It was enjoyable to watch my seniors graduate today.

And while we're on the topic of school...we have 6 1/2 teaching days left and I am beat. I keep willing myself to grade these piles and piles of papers and tests, but I'm just too spent. So I'm going to spend some time with the Lord now and pray that He will provide the strength to get through the rest of the day and the remaining time I have in the classroom this school year. And regarding the many inquiries about pink-slipping..... Yes, my district pink-slipped a number of teachers, but dear Brenda (pictured above with me) decided to retire and saved my job. So I have at least one more year at H.C.!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Reality Check

In the craziness of the final three weeks of school, I received a much-needed reality check tonight, in the form of an audio message given by a woman I have never met. Her name is Rachel Barkey. She is a married woman and a mother of two children. And she's dying. Her message pulled me back to what matters most in life: Christ. I urge you to listen to this, whether you are a Christian or not. It really put things back into perspective for me.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Friends, Soccer, Church

Ciaran and I had a fun weekend! Unfortunately, I once again forgot to take pictures of said fun weekend. Oh well. The Skidmores came to visit us with James (a young man who is staying with them). They were here for a soccer tournament that James was playing in this weekend. Friday night we enjoyed a few hours catching up and then Saturday we woke up early and headed off to watch James play. A few severe thunderstorms cut our day short, but it still was fun to be out watching soccer again. Then while James was out socializing with his teammates, Ciaran and I took Dave and Teri around town and to our high schools. Then we enjoyed a nice meal and fellowship together. I have missed this family so much since moving down here and it was so awesome having them here this weekend.

Then this morning (thanks to the lead/research provided by Dave and Teri) Ciaran and I went to visit a church about 40 minutes from us. As many of you know, I've been really struggling going to an Arminian church here in town, but there was a clear absense here with regards to solid Reformed theology. There are a number of Reformed churches here in town, but not any (that we have found yet) that truly hold to Reformed theology. Well, we made the journey over there and visited RBC. And what a great visit it was! As Ciaran and I left the church at the end of the morning, he looked down and me and said, "Well, we'll definitely be going back there again!!!" Hahaha. So true. I have never felt more welcome at a church, the worship was so Christ-exalting and the message was so awesome. I am SO excited that we have found a solid Reformed church. The only down-side is that it's a long drive which would be a nightmare come winter. But right now, as we fastly approach summer vacation, I'm determined to enjoy attending this church while we keep looking for a solid Reformed church closer to home.

And that's been it for our weekend. Hope everyone's had an enjoyable weekend as well!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Remembering the Fun of Christmas

YAY! It's so nice to have found this USB cord! Here's just a small sampling of all the fun we had at Christmas (a VERY small sampling b/c I still haven't switched to a digital camera yet, so most of the photos from my side of the family's fun were not done digitally). :-(

First, we have the kittens Carter, Ciaran and I got Mom for Christmas. We ventured off to Frankenmuth a few days after Christmas to go to this amazing animal rescue mission and there we picked out the newest additions to my Mom's household: Jake and Jesse. Here they are hanging out in my brother's lap/legs. :-) These cats are so amazingly awesome and so sweet and social.

And now we shift to Ciaran's parents' house.

It's party time. Ciaran's parents throw the best parties!

Happy New Year! We're shivering and just about to go in after lighting sparklers outside in the first few minutes of 2009.

Ciaran and Shea goofing around while Neeva and I try to take the perfect picture of it.

Ciaran and I with his Uncle Om and Auntie Ann.

The hottest pop group on the face of the planet!
[Note: Ciaran wrote this caption.]

And that concludes our fun little walk down memory lane. Good times at Christmas and New Year's. Well, now that we have our camera hook-up, stop back in to see more pictures posted in the weeks to come. Enjoy your day!

Hanging out with Shea and Neeva

Neeva, Ciaran and Shea

David, Shea and Neeva stopped in to visit for a couple hours last night on their way home. Even though it had only been a couple of days since we last saw them, it was so awesome to spend some more time with them. Ciaran and I absolutely adore these two kids. Here's a few pictures of us hanging out at our apartment.

Neeva, Me, and Shea smiling big for Uncle Ciaran

Neeva and Shea winding down at the end of the night to watch some TV

Hanging out at Uncle Ciaran and Auntie Michelle's? Neeva gives it a thumb's up.

And now that we've found Ciaran's USB cord for the camera, I'll be posting many more pictures! I still have a few highlights from Christmas that I wanted to share and I completely forgot about until we starting snapping photos yesterday night. :-D

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

"Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed"
Words, Isaac Watts (1674-1748) / Music and new and alternate lyrics, Bob Kaufflin / Sovereign Grace Praise

Verse 1
Alas, and did my Savior bleed, and did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?
Was it for sins that I had done He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity, grace unknown, and love beyond degree.

My God, why would you shed Your blood,
so pure and undefiled,
to make a sinful one like me Your chosen precious child?

Verse 2
Well might the sun in darkness hide and shut his glories in,
when Christ, the mighty Maker, died for man, the creature's sin.
Thus might I hide my blushing face while His dear cross appears,
dissolve my heart in thankfulness, and melt my eyes to tears.

To listen to this song and worship our precious Savior with other cross-centered songs, check out Sovereign Grace Music's site here.

I always feel in such a somber mood on Good Friday. Reflecting on what my precious Savior did on the cross is always a sobering time, but a much needed time. It is my prayer that as we lift our thoughts Godward today and consider our precious Savior's sacrifice, that we would all be drawn into a closer and deeper walk with Him as a result. Have a blessed day!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Spring Break

Ciaran and I have been on spring break for almost a week now. It has been such a nice time off from work, especially considering what a nightmare work had been for the last two weeks for me; I was in desperate need of this break. We headed back home to visit family for a few days. We didn't get to see everyone that we wanted to, so we're sorry if we missed you on this trip back home, but our time at home always seems to be a bit of a whirlwind. The best suprise though came on Saturday when we found out that our niece and nephew (Neeva and Shea) were in town! We had such a blast with them. And they're going to come and visit us tomorrow at our apartment on their way back home. Ciaran and I got home yesterday night and after dinner we looked around the VERY QUIET apartment and he smiled and asked if I was missing the kids, and wow was I ever. He was too. They are just too much fun! :-)

As for today, I haven't gotten all I wanted to get done because I've been feeling a little under the weather. I've actually been camped out on the couch with a heating pad for the past couple hours. Ciaran and I are going to grill burgers tonight on our new grill (we got it just about two weeks ago), so hopefully I'll start feeling better soon.

And as I've been doing a lot lately, I'll now share with you my newest online interest. And nope, it's not a blog this time. It's something called the FlyLady Forum. For those of you that enjoy FlyLady and are looking for a little motivation or encouragement, I cannot recommend this forum enough. It is so great! It really helps get me motivated to get housework done. I like the Fun and Games forum the best. So if you're into FlyLady, check it out. Well, I need to go get some more Advil in me and hopefully I'll be off this couch in another hour or so. Enjoy your night!

Monday, March 23, 2009

My Morning Routine

Tammy over at is now hosting the "Making Your Home a Haven" series that I have loved for so long over at the Biblical Womanhood blog. So in keeping with the Monday challenge, I have included my morning routine below. This was a good reminder, especially since I have been struggling a lot more with getting up and getting things done right away before heading off to work.

Morning Routine:
1. Get up, prayer, shower, get dressed
2. Empty dishwasher and eat breakfast
3. Finish getting ready and pack lunch
4. Make Bed & Time with the Lord (Bible reading)
5. Put out Hotspots for 2 minutes ala FlyLady

And that's my morning routine. My weekend morning routine is a little more complex, but that's the gist of it for most mornings.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Staying Balanced in Extreme Busyness

All right, so the title is a bit misleading. Am I managing to stay balanced in the midst of exhausting busyness? Absolutely not in my opinion. Lately I've been feeling like I am hovering on the side of a cliff. On one side, the stable land side, is a balanced, God-centered life. The other side, the huge canyon, is a crazy, want-to-pull-out-my hair and scream-at-the-top-of-my-lungs, completely-losing-it life. Hehe, ok, maybe that was a bit dramatic, but you get the gist of it. But I've had a number of people ask me in the past week to post/give advice about how to stay balanced. So take this post, or leave it. But know that what is shared below is coming from someone who definitely doesn't have it all figured out yet and has so much room for growth. And Lord willing, He'll keep giving me day after day to walk with Him and learn how to glorify Him in the midst of my busyness.

So first of all, and especially to my dear teacher friends, is my walk with the Lord. Can we possibly do everything that is on our plates every single day? No. But I can commit to getting up a few minutes earlier than I normally would and begin my day in prayer and commit my long to-do list to the Lord and ask Him to give me His priorities for my day. Now when I ask Him for His priorities for my day, does that necessarily mean that my grading will always be caught up? Absolutely not. Does it mean that my apartment is tidy every single day? Nope. Does that mean my dear husband is enjoying three-course meals every night? Nope again. Sometimes God shows me that following up with a student is more important for my after school time than grading that big pile of papers the day they were turned in. Other days it means not cleaning my apartment as perfectly as I want to spend more concentrated time alone with Him, digging into His Word. And other days, it means giving up exercise time to prepare and have that nice three course meal and quality time with Ciaran. So again #1 for me is place God first no matter what. Spend time in prayer, get His priorities and spend time in His Word. All my strength comes from my Creator and no where else.

The close second for me is making Ciaran my #2 priority. After being a child of God, my most important calling is being Ciaran's wife. I find by taking a few minutes to see how I can help him in his work for the day or if there is anything he wants/needs, I am so much more peaceful. There's something about following the Lord's directives that sets my day aright. More often times than not, Ciaran doesn't have anything for me, but when he does, I derive so much joy from serving him and being my husband's helper.

Another thing for me is exercise. I'm prone to extreme fatigue. My optimal night's sleep is somewhere between 9 and 11 hours. Obviously getting that much sleep is rarely an option, so hence the need for exercise. Here's my workout regimen and some DVD's that help assist that.

Cardio: Minimum 3 times a week
To get my cardio in this winter and early spring, I have been using:
-Leslie Sansone Walk At Home 5 Mile Fat Burning Walk
-Cathe Friedrich's Basic Step + Body Fusion (I can just opt to do the cardio portions, or if it is a strength training day, I can do the weights, abs or lower body work)
-Karen Voight's Ultimate Circuit Training (actually has a cardio only option on the DVD menu)
-Keli Robert's The Ultimate Step Workout

Strength Training (minimum 2 times a week, trying to work up to about every other day)
-Tamilee Webb's I Want That Body
-Cathe Friedrich's Basic Step + Body Fusion
-Karen Voight's Ultimate Circuit Training
-Cathe Friedrich's All Step (I only use this for the shoulder work segment toward the end--it's amazing)

Stretching, Pilates, Etc. (At least 3 times a week)
-Cathe Friedrich's Total Body Stretching
-Tamilee Webb's Total Stretch for Beginners
-Windsor Pilates
-A.M. & P.M. Stretch
-Windsor Pilates Back Workout

And that's pretty much what I'm doing. I occasionally switch in stability ball, medicine ball or kettlebell workouts for strength training if I'm bored or I pull out one of my five other step aerobics tapes that are really old. But those listed above are pretty much my go-to workout DVD's that are keeping me motivated at present. I'm still not in the shape I want to be in because my workouts have to be so short, but they are helping fight my fatigue.

And as for keeping my apartment fairly decent and presentable and laundry clean, well I've been using the FlyLady system of cleaning since last March and I have to tell you... this has been a Godsend since getting married and working a job with such long hours!!! I've also adapted it to my classroom and it has made such a difference.

And as for cooking, well I simply just force myself to sit down and make a menu plan every week, then I grocery shop with Ciaran with that menu in mind. After grocery shoppinjg, I post said menu plan to our fridge. And every night before I go to bed, I check what's on the menu for the next day, pull out the necessary meat from the freezer (if applicable), prechop or prepare anything that can be done ahead of time and it seems to make meal preparation a little simpler when I get home completely exhausted from work. But once again, poor Ciaran is getting his fair share of freezer meals and take-out this year. I aim to prepare four solid meals a week, sometimes I do more, sometime less, depending on both of our schedules. Ciaran also is a great cook and jumps in on some of the days when I'm drowning in papers or just need a break. (My two current favorites that he makes are salmon and beef enchiladas...and we just bought a gas grill that should arrive a week from tomorrow, so I'll get to enjoy his amazing grilling soon--I've missed that since we've moved down here).

Well, that's enough commentary on the attempt to stay balanced and semi-sane in the midst of busyness, hopefully I'll be able to post more later this week. I hope everyone is enjoying this gorgeous Sabbath.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Andy Stanley Revisited

Hehe, all right, I know that title alone may have pulled a few Midland Free people (from the old days, i.e. 2005 or so) to this blog. Andy Stanley isn't really a name I have come across lately. But there was a time in the past, that I heard the name mentioned frequently...hehe, almost ad nauseaum. :-) I'm not a big fan, never have been really so you can imagine my interest when a blog I frequent had a post entitled "Good, Bad, and Ugly--Andy Stanley on Preaching." Well of course, I had to click right over and see what the post was about. I invite you to do the same if you are so inclined. The pastor who authors the blog (The Dead Theologians Society) brought up a few points that have concerned me for quite a few years. Yes, Andy Stanley has a noble passion to see pastors as effective communicators, but often I find he does so at the expense of the Truth. Make sure you check out the post. Hehe, did you catch the name of the blog? The title alone makes it worth visiting. You all know how much I love my dead theologians. :-) Which, by the way, I still enjoy--I'm gobbling up Jonathan Edwards' The Religious Affections again. ;-) And the blogger is a pastor of a little church over in Bay City, just an FYI.

Also, if you check out the blog mentioned above, make sure you click on the Recommendations tab before you leave. I love his book recommendations--they are most helpful!

Worn Out

Whew, people weren't kidding when they said that March is one of the most difficult months to teach. I am WORN OUT! I still love my job, but man do I need a break. The kids are squirrely, I'm exhausted and you combine those two ingredients and you have a recipe for frustrating days in the classroom. I'm drowning in papers to grade once again and I just want to sleep. But nine more school days and it will be spring break. Goodness, it can't get here soon enough. I am so worn out I actually opted to stay home tonight instead of going to watch Ciaran play soccer. Now you know I'm exhausted when I opt out of watching my amazing husband play soccer. :-) Speaking of my dear husband--we celebrated our six month wedding anniversary on Thursday!! Can you believe it?! Time really does fly when you're having fun.

And as for my exhaustion from work, Nicole and I attempted to remedy that last night after dinner. I got this new workout DVD, it's a five mile walking DVD (12 minute miles). I am so out of shape, I was huffing and puffing after two miles. Then we did some ab work and we both were so sore today by 4th block. Praise God though for encouraging friends to keep me motivated to work out and choose healthy activities to help remedy my exhaustion.

In other news, my mom is really quite sick right now, so please keep her in your prayers. I am so grateful for family and dear Christian brothers and sisters who step in and have been caring for my mom, especially when I am two and a half hours away from her. Thank you all of you--you have been such an answer to prayer!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Ah, I've been remiss in not mentioning any football news here. Unfortunately the demands of my job have kept me from fully indulging in a lot of Chelsea action. But I am looking forward to Champions League quarterfinals. I love Champions League so much and both Man. U. and Chelsea are heading into quarterfinals. I'm hoping our two teams don't end up having to play each other before we can both make it to the finals. I really would like a Man. U v. Chelsea Champions League Final. Well, here's hoping. All right, that's about it for football thoughts tonight. Back to grading papers I go.

Currently Reading

I just got a new book today. It's James R White's The Potter's Freedom: A Defense of the Reformation and a Rebuttal to Norman Geisler's Chosen But Free. Oh my goodness, I've only read a few pages and it's already impossible to put down. Since I've been attending an Arminian church for almost six months now, it is so refreshing to go back to the Bible and be reminded of "God's sovereignty and the perfection of the work of Christ" (13) and read and pick apart the "thoroughly biblical theology of man's deadness in sin and God's kingly freedom" (14). If you're looking for a book to take you back to God's Word and counters Geisler's confusing and disturbing Chosen But Free, then this is the book for you. This book came highly recommended by a good family friend and her pastor and even though I only just began reading it simply is too good to put down.
Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hitting My Stride?!

I've been meaning to post something about teaching for quite a few weeks now, and something always arises to prevent it. But tonight, I decided to set a timer for fifteen minutes and blog for just a little bit. For those of you who had to listen to me complain first semester about all my struggles with teaching, I wish you were here now. I am LOVING teaching. I don't know what changed or really when it changed, but sometime around the end of February I found myself smiling at the end of the day as I surveyed the piles of student work or my desk piled with research for my lesson plans. I found myself relishing the time in the classroom and having a reputation for being crazy and passionate about English Language Arts. And all I can do is praise God for helping me transform my time in the classroom into a form of worship of Him. Because I think that was the root cause of the change. It's so hard to put into words, but take yesterday for example. I looked around at my thirty-four students in my fourth block and I just felt as if I was going to burst with joy. Here I was, coaxing reluctant and sleepy fourteen through eighteen-year-old students to get excited about Arthur Miller's The Crucible and I was acting out stuff all dramatically and I realized....oh my goodness, I think I am finally hitting my stride as a teacher. The kids were smiling and actually looking at their text and I don't know, it was a cool moment for me. And I've been having moments like this almost every other day for the past couple weeks. Praise God, work isn't something I dread any longer!!! While Ciaran and I were on our way to the grocery store last night, I shared some of this with him and he was actually pretty surprised because he said it wasn't really until his second year of teaching that he really started to experience some of the things I described to him. And you know what, I really have to attribute this to the Lord. I was praying so hard about this all of January and in one of my times alone with Him, He reminded me that all work needs to be done for His glory and so I prayed that He would help transform my heart so my work would become a form of worship. And now, almost two months later, I'm starting to feel this a little. Praise God! All right, my time is up to write, I hope these jumbled thoughts make a bit of sense. If not, maybe I'll be able to carve a little bit of time out of my schedule tomorrow to post some more.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday Doings

This post was supposed to have a few pictures to accompany it since I meant it to be a glimpse into a typical Saturday in our household. But alas, we forgot the camera in Ciaran's classroom. Oh well, maybe next Saturday. All right, here's a list of doings for the day.

-An early morning grocery run to Meijer, battling the blinding snow and wind
-Donuts at a local bakery
-English Premiership soccer viewing (back in bed)
-Time alone with the Lord and to-do list making
-Cleaning and laundry
-A short nap
-Making tacos and Spanish rice (yum)
-More cleaning and laundry and paperwork
-Grading papers
-More laundry
-A drive around town to look at houses
-Making stir-fry and egg rolls (so we don't have to cook tomorrow)
-Michelle: Blog patrolling / Ciaran: Woodworking videos online
-Devotional Time/Review Sunday School lesson for tomorrow

Just a brief recap of our day. See dear family, I told you we have an incredibly low-key life down here! And this was a pretty typical Saturday, except usually (when we aren't getting a lot of snow) we head in to our classrooms for at least a couple hours--sometimes we go to our individual rooms to work, or I pack up my work and take it to Ciaran's shop so we can be together. Fun stuff eh?! I hope everyone's having a wonderful Saturday. Have a happy Sabbath tomorrow!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Challenge

I don't know if any of you are like me, but I love patrolling blogs. I'm the classic lurker. I rarely post comments, but I keep up with about twenty or more different blogs weekly via my Google Homepage. I read blogs focused on everything from biblical womanhood to missions to teaching to personal finance. And then of course I read the blogs of family, friends and even mere acquaintances. Some would argue that blog reading can be an incredible stealer of time(and they are right in some instances), but lately as I struggle to develop good quality female Christian friendships in this new town, I find myself consistently encouraged and challenged by the women who write many of these blogs. In the coming weeks, you'll probably see many posts related and written in response to some of their posts. Take yesterday for example:

I was doing my daily blog patrolling and saw a post on my Google Homepage from the girl talk blog entitled "School of the Word." This, of course, greatly intrigued me and I clicked on it only to receive an excellent challenge as I navigate these upcoming years as a married woman without children. The post is directed toward single woman, but Ciaran and I have been discussing a lot lately how to use these years (years in which we do not have children) wisely. In the post, Carolyn Mahaney encouraged us to use this time to study doctrine and grow in our walk with the Lord; to diligently pursue this time in study. Then the post linked to a list her husband C.J. recommended as "must-reads." Topping the list was J.I. Packer's Knowing God. I have read bits and pieces of this book over and over, but I know I have never read this book cover to cover. So last night, I got into bed an hour early and curled up with my Bible, journal and Knowing God, and dug into the riches to be found there. Oh what a sumptuous feast! God drew me so close to Himself in that simple hour and I fell asleep meditating on the character of God. What a perfect evening.

Well, I've spent enough time typing away here tonight, but before I end, please be in prayer for Ciaran and I in the coming weeks. We are going to be meeting with the pastor of the church we've been attending since October, to discuss doctrine/theology, membership, serving in the church, etc. We've been holding off for quite some time hoping to catch wind of a local church committed to Reformed theology, but haven't been successful thus far. I'm fine with getting more deeply involved in an Arminian church (in the absense of a clearly Reformed church) as long as I know that right up front. Hence our meeting coming up in the next couple weeks. Please be in prayer for us to maintain a humble and surrendered heart to God as we navigate this process. Thank you so much!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Hyundai Superbowl Commercial

My favorite Superbowl commercial this year was the "Angry Bosses" Hyundai commercial. I have it below, check it out. Now for the reason this is my favorite. Ciaran and I are about to buy a Hyundai Elantra and a Hyundai Sonata. My local mechanic told me to unload my car ASAP since I've already dumped more money into it than its worth (he told me this back at the beginning of January) and since Ciaran's car was totaled back in November, we've been searching for two cars this past month. After a very long month of car shopping, we've finally settled on the two cars as I've mentioned above. This week we're working on financing and hopefully by this weekend we'll be proud Hyundai owners. But as we've sought the counsel of family members throughout this big decision, we've been struggling with the proper pronunciation of "Hyundai"; every person has pronounced it differently. So being the rather anal person that I am, I looked it up this afternoon after church and found that it's pronounced "Hunday, rhymes with Sunday." When I told Ciaran how to remember how to pronounce it, he laughed. Then we're watching the Superbowl tonight and this commercial came on and at the end they comment on the proper pronunciation of it. Too funny! We laughed. Enjoy the commercial.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Drowning in Papers and Praying for our New President

It's finals week at my high school and I am drowning in papers to grade. But as I grade these piles of papers I am praying for our new president. It's been so fun to watch the inauguration unfold today, but with each passing hour, God has given me such a fervent desire to pray for our new president, his family and the entire new administration. Then I stumbled upon this prayer by Albert Mohler on his blog. Check it out here. Please join me in praying for our new president and his administration!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

True Woman Manifesto

Today's program on Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss, a radio program I enjoy listening to/reading the transcripts of, highlighted the high calling we as Christian women have. As I read, I followed the link to the True Woman Manifesto. After reading this I felt compelled to sign it. Then when I looked at the signatures, I was dismayed to see that there were very few/if any signatures from the Tri-Cities. Oh ladies, read this manifesto and if God leads you to, sign it here. I printed it off and I plan on reading it weekly. All right, just had to share. Check it out if you have a chance!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Some Great Marriage Books

Tonight I thought I would share some of my favorite books about marriage; books that have challenged me, encouraged me and above all pointed me Godward as Ciaran and I have made our way through these first (almost four) months of marriage. And now, without further ado, here they are:

Love that Lasts by Gary and Betsy Ricucci
-I haven't finished this one yet, so I'll need to write more about this one later. I picked it up because the authors are related to C.J. and Carolyn Mahaney (they wrote the foreword to the book). As the subtitle suggests this book is all about marriage meeting God's grace and what that looks like. So far it's been thoroughly biblical and challenged me to make sure that our marriage finds its purpose entirely in God. So good. Hopefully I'll be able to write a whole review soon.

Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
-I've only skimmed this one so far. The whole premise focusing on shifting our eyes off of ourselves and our own personal happiness and seeing marriage as a way in which God molds us to be more like him. Challenging and oh so convicting.

The Most Important Year in a Woman's Life/The Most Important Year in a Man's Life by Susan Devries, Bobbi Wolgemuth/ Robert Wolgemuth, Mark Devries
-I love how Ciaran and I can work through this book together. One half is for me, the other half for him and we "meet in the middle" to answer questions together concerning our reading for each chapter. This book addresses all of the typical first year issues. I love how this book is teaching me to become a student of Ciaran and eventually to become an expert on him. And it's challenged me to keep Ciaran as my main priority, second only to God. Especially this year, in the busyness of a move to a new city and a new (very demanding) teaching job, it's only too easy to lose sight of my priorities; this book has kept me going back to what's most important.

When Sinner's Say "I Do": Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage by Dave Harvey
-This one's all about the gospel's power to transform our marriage. Oh how I love this book. It's one of those that will always be close by my bedside; one to read over and over again! Check this one out immediately!

Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
-This book has really challenged me and opened up my eyes to how important it is for me to show Ciaran the respect he deserves. There are so many ways that I don't show him respect, without even realizing it. It's been fun to read through this and ask Ciaran about how true each of the points are for him and then when it's been true, it's been so amazing to see how God changes my heart so that I can be a better wife to my dear, beloved husband.

The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian
-I've already highlighted this before on this blog, but I had to include it here because it has had such a profound impact on our marriage, primarily my own personal outlook on our marriage. I find that if I begin my day on my knees praying for Ciaran, his day, his needs, ways I can be a better helper to him, all of this right away, I find that God pours out his opposed to the days when I hit the ground running and try to be a "good wife" in my own strength. And on the days when I am at a loss and just don't know what to pray, or am too tired to form a coherent thought (and there's been days like job wears me out), the written out prayers at the end of each chapter have served as wonderful starters for my conversation with the Lord. Love this, love this, love this!

A Wife After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George
-My most recent purchase. Ciaran got A Husband After God's Own Heart by this author's husband. I've only read the first fourteen pages so I don't have a lot to write about, but I can say that I love how George immediately places the emphasis on God and how our relationship with the Lord is key and must come first and foremost.

The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
-OK, so this has to be my absolute favorite book about becoming a godly wife. I don't even know where to begin to do this book justice. It's absolutely amazing and challenging and convicting! I'll write a real review later so I can go on and on about how wonderful this book is.

There's my list of current favorites and please, if you have any suggestions for great biblical marriage books/resources, don't hesitate to add them to my comments.

A Great Book Giveaway

One of the blogs I frequent a lot as I read about biblical womanhood (Passionate Homemaking) is offering a free giveaway of a book that I have been wanting to buy in the next few months. And they are starting a book club on February 1st. Now I really need to get this book! Check it out if you are interested in biblical womanhood and practicing hospitality.