Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I have to tell on myself today because Curtis isn't the only one with a foil story.

When we went through pre-marital counseling, the counselor mentioned that I have a very strong sense of justice. I tend to see right and wrong in black and white. That may explain why my parents called me Mother Superior when I was a child. I hate to say it, because as a mom I'm not very fond of this kind of kid, but I was an awful tattle tale. My poor sister. Our family consisted of one maverick father, one teacher's pet mother, one teacher's pet first-born daughter, and one maverick baby daughter. That combo made for some dynamic family dynamics. Mom and I always wanted to correct Dad and Melissa and they always wanted to shock us and knock us down from our high horse. I'm not sure why I wrote that in past tense because it's largely still the way things are! We love each other deeply though.

When I was in elementary school - second grade, I think - I found out that the middle finger was bad. Mind you, I had no idea why it was bad. I only knew that if you showed it to someone, it was very, very bad. I was indignant. My righteous anger burned against the third digit on each of my hands. So before school, I went into the kitchen and found some Reynold's Wrap. Oh yes, I did. Ten minutes later, I got on the school bus with my middle fingers wrapped in foil. (Because that's inconspicuous.)

This is why it was important that I learn some very hard lessons about self-righteousness and grace in my teenage years. Mother Superior had to be foiled.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I'm Not Sure What to Call This One

You know those stories about men who pass out in the delivery room while their wife is having a baby? Weird, right?

Well, I get it now.

I'm about to share something gross, so if you have delicate sensibilities you should move on to another blog.

I took Curtis to his post-op appointment with his surgeon today. We were really looking forward to this because he's had a drain on his abdomen for over a week and it was time to have it taken out. Thank God.

(By the way, we went for a walk the other day and Curtis didn't want to tuck the drain into his shorts because it hurt. So in order to protect the public from having to see it, he covered it with foil. Because that's inconspicuous.)

We went in the examination room and there was this humongous, ominous chair. We got to stare at it for 15 minutes while we waited. Then the surgeon came in - whom it turns out is quite a dude - and Curtis was able to ask the big question. Is this going to hurt? The doc indicated that it would not be a pleasant experience - perhaps a 3 or 4 on the pain scale.

Curtis had to climb into the chair. I wasn't going to look. Things like that make me weak in the stomach. You'd think I would be better since having children, but no. I'm much worse now.

So there I was, looking away. Far, far away. And then I heard a horrible groan from Curtis. Instinctively, I looked toward him and had the misfortune of seeing a 12 inch long tube coming out of his body. All the while he was letting out the most dreadful sound I've ever heard.

Doc underestimated the pain scale by several points. We were both in shock - Curtis in physical shock, I in emotional shock.

I felt like I'd just seen my husband deliver a baby. He felt like he'd just been in a scene from Alien. (Or Alient, as Jackson would say.) Either way? Gross.

So I didn't pass out, but now I can totally understand why some husbands lose consciousness in the delivery room.

Speaking of childbirth, I'm starting to feel panicky about Annabeth being a toddler. For one thing, I'm not sure I'm ready to go through the 18-36 month age again. And then there's the fact that when I see other people with infants, all I can think is, "I don't have one of those anymore! Why don't I have one of those anymore?"

One day, like today for example, and I cannot believe I'm saying this, I feel desperate to have another baby. Like, I need a newborn. I even miss nursing and everything. (What?!?! I know!) We have a very large guest room and I can't help imagining turning it into something like this.

But tomorrow I'll feel like I absolutely, positively can NEVER be pregnant again and that it would be insane to bring another child into our family. Insane, I tell you! And I can't imagine puking for three months while being in charge of our two other children. And the weight gain? And the you-know-what's of doom that would be present almost overnight? Ugh.

Is it normal to feel very hot and cold about this?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Missing Normal

My wonderful in-laws left this morning to go home to Missouri. They were such a big help and I don't know what we would have done without them. Cozy kept us up on our laundry (which was a lot because of Jackson's stomach virus) and Steve was a great roughhousing partner for my boy who really craves that. They also ran lots of errands and did stuff like get new light bulbs for pretty much every room in our house.

Curtis still can't do much, so I am really "on" for the next week or so. It's hitting me that I won't even be able to leave the kids with him while I run to the store. We have a check-up tomorrow so I guess we'll get a better idea of when Curtis will get back to normal. I don't sound impatient, do I?

I'm praising God that no one else came down with Jackson's stomach virus. Hopefully I'm not speaking too soon! *Pause* Scratch that. My mother-in-law literally just called me to say that she has the bug now - on their 12 hour drive home. *Sigh* I feel terrible for her.

I'm very emotional this morning. I feel scared that Curtis will never be the same. (Although I know that's not true.) I feel tired of everything being abnormal. I feel desperate for God to heal everyone. I feel like I need to have a good, big cry. I think I'll go do that right now.

PS - I'm coming back to add that this morning when Nana and Pappaw were leaving, Jackson told them not to take Annabeth with them. So funny!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Party at the Jones House

We are home. Praise the Lord. The doctor released Curtis yesterday afternoon. My wonderful in-laws arrived early that morning to help with the care of the little ones.

Just as we were settling into bed last night, we heard a weird sound that made me think, "Please, no!" But it was so. Jackson had a stomach virus. Jackson hasn't had one this bad since he was a baby and I was initially sort of frozen. But Cozy leaped into action and was amazing.

I fully expect to come down with this judging by the close contact I had with my boy yesterday and through the night. I'm just praying it comes quickly. I hate that Nana and Pappaw arrived just in time to fellowship in our virus. Hopefully everyone else - especially Curtis - will be spared.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I love how I threw that little "God-willing" clause into my last post when I said I was going to my mom's Atlanta conference next weekend. It became very clear to me 24 hours later that it was not God's will for me to go there.

Curtis started complaining about stomach pain two weekends ago. We thought it might be a hernia or something. It finally got bad enough for us to get concerned on Saturday afternoon. That day we had gone on a little family outing to BerryHill for fish tacos and then to a frozen yogurt place. Curtis wasn't very hungry and seemed quiet. I kept asking if he was okay.

We were expecting overnight company, but since Annabeth had been sick, our friend ended up not staying with us. I'm grateful for God's providence in this because my house was clean, the laundry was done, and the guest room was already prepared. Nothing was done in vain.

Curtis spent Saturday evening preparing his first Sunday school lesson for our class. From time to time he would complain about his stomach.

On Sunday morning we should have gone to the ER, but we foolishly opted to go to church for the Sunday school lesson he was supposed to teach. I wasn't sure Curtis wasn't going to drive off the road on the way there. We are idiots. He was as white as a sheet while he taught the lesson, but otherwise he did well at disguising that anything was wrong. As soon as it ended, we grabbed the kids out of their classes and headed to a hospital by our house. Curtis walked into the ER by himself, called me to confirm that he was good to go, and then I drove the kids home to feed them lunch. He was on his own until my mom could come over.

By the time I got home, he texted me that he was already in a bed and they were suspecting appendicitis. What?!?! That was definitely not on our radar. We'd just seen our friend Peter with appendicitis at camp and Curtis' symptoms were completely different. And really, what are the odds? (I've since realized they're pretty good odds.)

Mom was still at church, but I was blowing up her phone with text messages. About an hour later she walked in the door and I walked out with our hospital bags.

When I found my husband he was drinking a big cup of something red and I wondered how he managed to get himself a slushie. It turned out to be the stuff he had to drink before having a CT scan. He had the test and then we waited for a while to talk to a doctor. In the meantime, we had some great conversations because Curtis was on some pain killer that made him hilarious.

Soon we got the news that it was indeed appendicitis and a surgeon would come talk to us soon. We were honestly stunned. The surgeon came in and said he did not have a warm and fuzzy feeling about the surgery based on what the scan looked like. He mentioned something about "once a year" but I didn't quite get what he was saying. I did understand him to say that my husband would be going under the knife in 30 minutes.


Miraculously, our sweet babysitter and her mom texted us at that moment and offered help. She went straight to our house and my mom made it to the hospital to sit with me during the surgery.

Before the surgery began, it was so surreal being with Curtis in the pre-op room. I was having flashbacks to being with my mom in a similar room last December. My Bible was in my purse and Curtis asked me to open up to Psalm 121.

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;

8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

I got a little choked up when I read verse 7. I told the doctors that this man was very important to two little kids back at home and I knew they would want to take great care of him. They all laughed and said, "That's all?" Each of them had 4 kids and the nurse had 6. They said we were way behind. I kissed Curtis' forehead and walked out to the waiting room.

This was really happening.

God was merciful to let it happen quickly. There was little time for worrying or vain imaginations. There was no 6 week period of agonizing over whether Curtis may have this or that. That was so hard to go through with my mom.

Soon the doctor came to see us. He explained that Curtis' appendix had exploded and that he couldn't even find it. That's why his scan was so fuzzy and why the doctor had had a weird feeling about it. His exact words were, "It looks like a grenade went off in there." There was nothing left of the appendix. Luckily, it was a contained rupture and hadn't spread all over the place. He said Curtis was the "once a year" case. Awesome. He couldn't believe how high his pain tolerance must have been. I couldn't believe I had let my husband teach Sunday school with a stinking burst appendix. Seriously!

It was a very long night after that. I slept - or tried to sleep - on the couch bed next to Curtis. At about 11:00 he started crying out in his sleep from the pain. It was awful. I remember being traumatized the first time I ever saw my dad cry and this gave me a very similar feeling.

We had a male nurse - Frank - and he was amazing. He kept saying that Curtis would be up and walking by midnight. He believed he would turn a corner and improve at that point. My man was trying to get himself up, but he felt like he was pinned to the bed and couldn't move. That may have had something to do with a nasty infection and several incisions in his midsection. Good grief!

I have never been more in awe of my husband's strength than at 1:00 AM when he bit the bullet and got up from that bed. Never in my life will I forget it. A few minutes later he was walking. Frank and another nurse came in our room and were cheering him on. Frank shook Curtis' hand in respect and it might have been one of my favorite moments of life.

If you cannot tell, I am more in love right now than I have ever been.

Since his first walk down the hallway, Curtis has continued to improve. We have had some setbacks with sudden 103 fevers and such that are prolonging the hospital experience, but I know it is better for him to be there if the infection is still raging. If he does well tonight, we hope that he will get to come home tomorrow.

For me, the most challenging part of this has been feeling torn between my husband and my children. Mom has taken AMAZING care of the kids this week. She moved in without hesitation and has given 100% to their well being. I have not needed to worry about them, but of course there is that ever-present mommy guilt. But when I have been with the kids, I've felt guilty for not being with Curtis. Pitiful.

Curtis and I have had some really great quality time in the hospital room. I almost feel bad for saying that when my mom has worked her hiney off with our kids. We found a new TV series to love on Netflix and have laughed till we've cried. It hurts his stomach to laugh, so to control it he makes the weirdest sound I've ever heard in my life. I'm not sure why the nurses haven't come in to see if he's dying or something. We've also taken lots of long walks up and down the hallways to peek out all the windows. We're on the sixth floor and we have a pretty good view of the 'burbs in all their splendor.

If it weren't for the twin-sized bed with rails, the IV pole, and the shabby hospital gowns, it might even feel like we had a little couples retreat. We haven't had this much quality time together since Jackson was 15 months old and we celebrated our 5th anniversary in Cancun. I've been begging God for another vacation like that. We could have taken a really nice one for the amount we paid to the hospital today. I definitely would not have picked a trip to the local suburban med center for our reconnection - and I'm pretty sure this is the last thing Curtis would ever have in mind - but it's been a tall glass of lemonade for the heart of our marriage. And I think God willed it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Five Things I'm Thankful For

In random order...

1) Tylenol - Annabeth came down with some kind of virus on Thursday and ran a 101-103 degree fever for two days. When your baby's skin is on fire it's a little unnerving. I'm thankful for the little bottle of Tylenol that helped my girl while she was sick.

2) Weight Watchers and blog friends - I joined WW six weeks ago to try to lose the rest of my baby weight. On the second week, I found out that Kelly was doing the same thing! We have baby girls the same age and I've often read her blog and thought that we were leading parallel lives. She's such a neat person and I know probably every single one of you reads her blog and feels the same way. This probably sounds dumb, but just having one friend - even though we've never met in person - who was doing this too helped me so much. On Thursday I got to celebrate losing ten pounds. Woo hoo! I'm thankful for Weight Watchers and how effective it has been and I'm thankful for blog friends who encourage me in so many aspects of life - even tracking my points. God-willing, I'll get to meet Kelly next weekend at my mom's conference in Atlanta and hug her neck! Is anyone else going to be there?

3) Curtis Jones - I'm so thankful for my husband. He works hard, he loves Jesus, he makes me laugh, he's generous, and he's so good with our kids. Tomorrow we get to return to our old Sunday school class at HFBC and he will begin teaching each week. I'm really excited to get to fellowship with those dear friends again and to get to hear my hubby teach out of Ephesians.

4) You - A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I'd been going through a rough time and hadn't felt like myself. Some of you must have prayed for me because the heaviness that had been on me for five months lifted off the next day and has not returned. You better believe I'm thanking Jesus for healing me! Thank you for praying for my need.

5) Spring - Houston actually got to experience winter this year. I think everyone normally laments the brevity of our cold spell, but when it stuck around a little longer we realized that we really don't like it that much! Since the weather has gotten warmer, our family has loved spending the late afternoons and early evenings in the back yard together. The trampoline has been amazing for our family togetherness. Right now Curtis is on the back patio grilling chicken kabobs and hot dogs for our dinner. I should add that to the list of reasons why I love him.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

An Alternate Use for the Panic Alarm

Last night was our final Bible study session for the semester. My favorite part of Bible study (don't tell anyone) is getting to drive my mom home. We always grab dinner before I drop her off and we enjoy having some good talk time without the children present. Bibby would rather have the children present but I like having times when I don't have to compete with two adorable grandchildren for her attention. If your mom is your BFF, you can probably relate.

Last night we had our post-Bible study date at Chuy's. (I've been eating a lot of Mexican food lately because if I can resist blowing it on the chips, I can eat two scaled down chicken fajitas without killing my diet.) After dinner we walked out to the car and saw a very strange sight. Some kind of alien form was moving around at a frenzied pace inside the vehicle parked next to mine. Upon second glance, we realized it was definitely not an alien. Two human being were just getting very well acquainted in the car. In other words, they were no longer aliens to one another. Mom would call their activity tonsil hockey, but since I'm a product of the 90's I will call it mugging down.


In order for us escape this scene of public shame, I was going to have to come within one foot of the other car. Frankly, I was scared. And then a brilliant idea flashed through my mind.

The panic alarm.


I pushed the red button on my key chain without delay and my car horn obnoxiously delivered me from all my fears! You've never seen two people separate so fast in all your life. I stopped the alarm and scurried to my car, looking neither to the right nor to the left. I played it off like I hadn't been the one to interrupt their business. (They knew.) Mom, who was shocked by my sudden boldness, saw that their window was rolled down (must have been the fog) and she heard them laughing. They flew out of the parking lot and zoomed down the road faster than we could even get our seat belts on.

Next time I accidentally set off my panic alarm and embarrass myself in front of my neighbors, I will try to remember the debt of thanks I owe it.

Monday, April 05, 2010

You Can Still Wear Cute Shoes

Happy Monday to you, bloggers! I hope you had a Jesus-filled Easter weekend. We certainly did, although I think we may have spoiled one of our precious children because I am dealing with an unusually rebellious little heart today. I'm about ready to throw away large amounts of candy if someone's attitude doesn't improve. Maybe this sweet little darling will wake up refreshed from his or her nap.

Did you have fun enjoying whatever thing you may have given up for Lent? I had deactivated my Facebook account. As I've said before, I was surprised to find that my life felt a lot quieter without it. I wasn't sure if I'd get back on, but last night I did...just to see. I think the problem is more with me than with Facebook. For some reason I feel an unhealthy amount of responsibility to know, deeply care, and respond to whatever I see on there. But I don't think people can be expected to know, deeply care, and respond to the highs, mediums, and lows of hundreds or thousands of people they don't even interact with in person. Do you know what I mean? I'm going to try a very scaled back version and see if I can handle that, but if not I know I can live without the darn thing. Imagine that!

Another thing I had given up was time on the computer after Curtis got home from work. That was a really nice change and Curtis asked me to keep that up. For one thing, I've actually had time to read books. My husband and I have enjoyed a lot of great discussions while reading side by side at night. Another benefit of staying off the computer on weeknights has been going to bed a lot earlier every night. Since my lack of sleep significantly affects my patience with my kids the next day, I'd say that's a pretty big benefit!

I hope this doesn't sound like I'm tooting my own horn. I just wanted to share my thoughts in case you find yourself sinking in the same WIFI motorboat that I was.

One of the books I just read was You Can Still Wear Cute Shoes by Lisa McKay. Lisa is a preacher's wife, a mother of four, and has a blog and an online ministry to pastors' wives. I got to know her through her blog a few years ago and then I just happened to spot her at the Proverbs 31 Ministries/KSBJ Girls Night Out in 2009. It was great meeting her in person. She's adorable and has the cutest accent! What is more, Lisa has an immense love for Jesus and she teaches through the written and spoken word. She's one of those women who you could laugh with and get a little teary with in the same conversation. I love friends like that. She's wise, down to earth, loving, spiritually challenging, and willing to share her own triumphs and tragedies. And I think I forgot to mention that she's really funny. It helps to have good humor when you're in ministry.

I think there are a handful of ministry wives who read my blog and I wanted to make sure that I pass on the word about Lisa's book, You Can Still Wear Cute Shoes. I've read a couple of other books for ministry wives and this one has definitely been my favorite. When I closed the book, I did not feel defeated or like I could never measure up to the role or the expectations. Instead, I felt like God could enable me to have an exciting and fulfilling life serving with my husband in ministry.

One thing that really rubs me the wrong way is cynicism toward the church. Like, I hate it. One time in Sunday school I rather publicly rebuked someone for taking what I considered to be a cheap shot at the church. (I regret that very much now.) I'm typically not that kind of person, but that cynical attitude just takes me past my manners.

I really appreciated that while she doesn't gloss over hard things, Lisa maintains a loving and positive attitude toward the church. She's not a cynical pastor's wife who wrote a book because she'd been burned so many times. She's a happy pastor's wife who loves her role and the people she is serving. Even when she shares painful experiences she and her husband have had, she doesn't lose sight of the goal, which is to love people.

Lisa did numerous surveys of ministry wives and laypeople to prepare for this book. I loved reading the quotes she used from those surveys. Also, at the end of each chapter there are several discussion questions. I think this could be a great book to read with other staff wives or with a group of friends who are also serving in ministry with their husbands.

I thought I'd share the chapter titles because it will give you a great idea of what you will read in Cute Shoes:

1) My husband's calling is my calling too.
2) I can still wear cute shoes.
3) I can potentially be my husbands worst enemy (Um, Amanda will go ahead and amen that.)
4) Church can hurt.
5) I can have BFFs in the church pews.
6) How to embrace my own thing.
7) How to raise my PKs to keep the faith.
8) About the joys of hello.
9) The greatest gift is love.
*For pastors only: Can we talk?

You can get to know Lisa at her blog, And you can get more info about/purchase the book by clicking here.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Easter Prep

We've had a great weekend leading up to Easter.

On Thursday my mom, Annabeth and I went shopping together for Easter dresses. I've been on a diet for the last three weeks and to say it has been fun would be a big, fat, horrible lie. However, going shopping after having lost 8 pounds on said diet is a beautiful thing indeed. Plus, I randomly received an unexpected gift card on the morning of our outing and it couldn't have been better timing.

Curtis had Good Friday off, so I actually had a quiet quiet time in my room while he wrangled the kids. That was nice, especially on such an important day. Later I got a pedicure with half the ladies in our neighborhood. What good are our pretty new dresses if our feet look like Shrek's? Seriously? I skipped the pre-pedi shave, which I know is a nail salon party foul. I'd meant to get a post-winter pedicure a couple of weeks ago, but I cut myself on the heel with my razor right before and was too afraid to go. I couldn't risk it this time. My nail tech had to deal with prickly calves, but at least I didn't go home with a staff infection. Score!

Today Mom and I went to see Last Song, which we both liked very much. Curtis would have been furious with me if I'd been successful at convincing him to take me. My mom was a much better choice. Annabeth is teething horribly and had driven Curtis and I half-mad by dinner time. We opted for a change of scenery and went to a favorite local cafe. I was thrilled when I found the nutrition info on their web site before we went. Every restaurant that does that is my best friend. Every restaurant that does not would be in danger of getting a passive aggressive email from me if I had the time to take up that cause.

I forgot to mention that on Friday I got very brave and dyed eggs with Jackson. It actually went very well and we had a great time. I also happened to have ingredients for my go-to holiday treat - butterscotch haystacks (minus the peanuts) - which gave me the idea to make them into little nests. They were so fun!

Egg dyeing station.

It took forever to boil the eggs, so we made these first. Those are Cadbury mini-eggs in the center. How I have lost weight while pilfering a few of those eggs every day is a mystery.

Curtis and his sister are very big fans of Peeps.

When it came time to dye, I had to do what it took to salvage Jacks' clothes. Sorry.

Our little Easter display. Are those bunny ears to the left? Or is that my little walker's white bow?

I'm going to write a book one day called "The Enthusiastic Child."

I've been blessing myself lately with flowers from the grocery store.

Annabeth got the concept of a tea party today.

I love this little Beauty Bear, even if she is a little cranky.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Heart Healthy

On Tuesday while Jackson was at school, Annabeth and I met my friend Heather and her youngest daughter at a local cafe for lunch. After looking at the amazing menu full of all kinds of goodness, we both chose something low-cal and without much flavor. Sad, but summer's coming! We sat down at a round table big enough for the girls' high chairs and all our bags. Next to us there was a table of six businessmen who were probably in their mid-thirties.

For some reason Annabeth, who is almost 14 months old, got bored with the lovely company at our table and got fixated on one of the guys at the table behind her. I could not get my daughter to turn her head around to save my life. She kept trying to engage this guy with her sweet smiling face and waving her hands. At first it was funny but it didn't take long for me to feel a little embarrassed and apologize to the guy. I wanted to say, "Feel free to ignore her!" Heather and I just kept talking, and I hoped they would do the same. Instead, what I heard was the other men giving that one guy a hard time, saying, "Dude! You have girlfriends of all ages!" I obviously don't know the guy, but it seemed pretty obvious that he was a ladies man.

I was horrified. When I pulled away from the restaurant I couldn't get it off my mind. I prayed, "God, please let my daughter be attracted to the right kind of guy!" I want her heart to be healthy and whole and owned by Jesus. And one day I want her to find a loving relationship with a guy who has a healthy, whole heart that's owned by Jesus, too. That's not too much to ask, is it?

When I thought I would probably only have sons, it comforted me that my husband fared so well through his teenage years. It seemed reasonable that they would turn out more like their dad than me. But then God gave me a daughter. I was thrilled but it was also sobering. I have to bring her up in this ridiculous culture that isn't known for turning out healthy, whole, Jesus-loving young women. And my teenage years were hard!

This little drama at the cafe might not have been so dramatic to me if I hadn't had a serious conversation with my mom two days before. She was concerned because I'd seemed emotionally distant for a few months. I wasn't shocked to hear that because I haven't really felt like myself lately. (I'm not sure how to describe it except to say that I've been on a little trip through the Refiner's fire and it's been a doozy.) What did shock me was hearing her say that I haven't been this emotionally distant from her since my senior year of high school. That obviously broke my heart and we had a good, long talk about it.

My last year of high school was a terrible season. My family had just undergone two major losses and were preparing for a third as my grandmother was dying of cancer. I was broken, unhealthy, and looking for anyone but Jesus to take my heart and make it feel better. So I ended up finding a guy who, at the time, was as broken and unhealthy as I was and the result was one horribly psycho relationship.

Did anyone see the 20/20 interviews of Rihanna and Chris Brown a few months ago? As I sat there watching this couple that had "loved" each other so much, yet spiraled out of control into physical abuse, I couldn't help but think that, in hindsight, they probably have no idea who those two people in the hospital photos and mugshots were.

Sometimes the pairing up of two otherwise normal people with unhealthy hearts can just have toxic results.

If we've been there, we look back and have no idea why it was so easy to let go of our standards. We scratch our heads as to why we did not break up with someone who repeatedly raised his arm as if to hit us, or perhaps did hit more than threaten. We find it mind-boggling that we could not see the merit of saying goodbye to someone who brought out the worst in us.

But we know that if we had entrusted our hearts to Jesus - not just our faith, but our hearts - we never would have voluntarily imprisoned ourselves. Our dignity would have been secure in our Savior's hands.

So I pray for my daughter that her heart would be healthy, that she would entrust it to Jesus, and that her love and affections would always be sanctified. And I'm trying to make sure that my heart stays healthy and in the Lord's hands too.

*If you want to read more about having a healthy heart that is secure in the Lord, my mom actually has a new book out that addresses a lot of these issues. That's not why I wrote this post, but it does relate. The book is called So Long Insecurity.