L.O.V.E.

I love how the Lord brought Mark and I together at Bryan College. His timing was perfect for our hearts and the way He led us to marriage was amazing. Today I wrote a guest post about our love story and wedding over at Reserved Are The Depths Of My Heart. On her blog, Nichole, has a fun feature called Wedding Wednesdays. Check out my guest post Here!

The Day I Fell In Love

As a tall framed man with wet hair walked into a people filled cafeteria, I sat eating my lunch. I munched on a ham and cheese sandwich when my eyes locked onto him. My world suddenly began to move in slow motion. The voices that echoed off the walls just seconds before suddenly seemed muted as my eyes became fixated on the man entering.

I doubt if anyone else noticed the slender man in the midst of hundreds of others, but I did. My gaze couldn’t be broken. I watched as he made small talk with the grey haired cafeteria worker. He seemed to be one of the few people to notice her. His kindness was evident to me even through their small encounter.

Placing himself in line for lunch, He stood perfectly still until he picked up a tray. When he began to dish some food onto his plate, I snapped out of my daydream and at last confessed to myself, “I love that man.”

I finally let myself go there. For months I had suppressed my growing feelings for him, but on that fateful day I finally admitted it to myself, I loved him.

I am glad I was sitting down when I was hit with the realization of love for him, because love has a funny effect on people. I mean I probably would have tripped, started stuttering if asked to speak, or become so breathless that I would have passed out.

Instead I sat smiling like an idiot, as I realized I was perfectly and happily in love. With an eyebrow raised, I saw Mark Baker framed as one who was set apart for me. Amusement lined my eyes as I nearly giggled at this new found revelation. I had to suppress a laugh that nearly bubbled up. I wanted to giggle until I was breathless, but that would have drawn undo attention to myself so I held back. That was the beginning of my love for Mark Baker and since that day my love for him has only grown.

Since then a lot has changed in our lives. We got married and had a beautiful wedding. We graduated from college, bought a house, and had two boys. And the reason I wanted to share the beginning of our little love story is because the love we have for our spouses greatly effects our parenting. Author Gary Ezzo says, “Keeping this relationship a priority is your starting point for successful parenting.” Today’s parenting encouragement is simple: Invest in your marriage.

Some practical ways you can do this is by…

  1. Dating your spouse. Set aside a night each week to be together.
  2. Spend fifteen minutes talking on the couch about the day’s events.
  3. Continue to show your spouse love in the ways you did before baby came along.

p.s. I’ve been entered into the circle of Mom’s top 25 funny moms for 2012. If you’d like to vote for Pencilled Daydream you can click the icon below. Once on their site, scroll down until you see Owen’s picture, and then click the thumbs up button to vote. You can vote once a day and no registration is required. The contest ends in two weeks.

Thanks to everyone who has already voted! That totally makes my day.


*On Becoming Baby Wise, Page 21, 26

Fun Stuff Fridays…

5 Things I Like…

1. I like John Piper’s questions to ask before marriage.

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2. I think Jon Acuff’s blog post Covet 2.0 is funny!

3. I like Desiring God by John Piper. This is a great book. I’ve been listening to it on CD.

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4. I think these mini peach pies are so cute. For the recipe click here.

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5. I never knew what a camel looked like when he ran. How can I not like this?

Date Night 101: Reminiscing/Prayer Date

I desire to grow closer to my spouse, and I continually want to encourage others to grow closer to theirs. I love the idea of date night. Setting time aside for each other once a week can be so refreshing. My idea for this month came from this quote.

“Marriage requires a radical commitment to love our spouses as they are, while longing for them to become what they are not yet. Every marriage moves either toward enhancing one another’s glory or toward degrading each other” – Dan Allender and Tremper Longman III

Date Night Idea #3: Go On A Reminiscing/Prayer Date

What I mean by reminiscing is recalling how God has moved in your marriage. While we love our spouses as they are, it is fun to see how God uses marriage to change people. Talk with your spouse about where you started. Remember together how far the Lord has brought you. This could be in dealing with conflict, in your love, in your friendship, in your ability to understand one another, etc…Talk about when you first met each other. Chat about your wedding and how you barely knew each other, but how you are so thankful you found each other. Discuss where you’d like to grow personally and then as a couple. Reminisce!

Reminisce, but don’t stop there. Before the date is over spend some time in prayer. Ask God to continue to grow each of you. Pray that the Lord would make you more like Jesus and ask for the strength to love each other well. God loves marriage and prayer is one way you can enhance your spouse’s glory instead of degrading them.

Date Night 101

They told me it would be the end of the world as I knew it. Nearly sending my right eye into a full on twitch, I couldn’t help but believe them. After all they were the ones with experience. They were the ones who actually had kids. They were parents.

I heard things like, “Sleep now… while you can!” This was usually followed by an evil chuckle. Once they recovered from their vicious laugh they told me to enjoy my last few months of freedom and to go and do the things I enjoyed because it is all about to end. Life as I knew it would be over. At the end of nine months, a bundle of joy would be placed in my arms and would take over my whole world… or so they said.

Among the various “dooms day is approaching” instructions that I received, I found a great piece of advice. A friend told Mark and I to set up a date night. They told us to set aside a consistent day of the week and be together. As Gary Thomas says, “a good marriage is not something you find, it’s something you work for” (Sacred Marriage 133).

Mark and I just so happened to start this new “date night” tradition when Elias was three weeks old. We’ve been doing it ever since and have had a blast each week getting to reconnect, talk, and laugh our heads off.

Because I’ve found Date Night to be so fun, I’m going to start giving you date night ideas. This will be a new feature once a month on Pencilled Daydream.

Idea #1 – Put together a family photo project.

A few weeks ago, Mark and I decided to do a family photo project on our date night. We are slowly redecorating our living room, and this was a great start. After talking over dinner, we picked out pictures and went shopping for a frame.

I put the pictures together.

Mark with the finished product.

Our family room is starting to look more like a family room thanks to our date night activity.

What are some of your favorite date night activities?

Our Family Day

Mark had a little time off this week so we decided to take a family day. We traveled in our own town and stopped long enough to see the things we normally pass right by.

Here is where we went:

  1. Starbucks for my coffee frappuccino
  2. The World’s Fair Park
  3. Market Square
  4. Krutch Park
  5. Downtown K-town
  6. Mcdonalds for dinner
  7. The Golden Roast for Mark’s coffee
  8. Church

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5 Things I Love About Mark Today

  1. Mark has a secret talent. He can sing almost any old school DC Talk song there is. I love this because somewhere along the way I started learning the songs. He has successfully taught me all of the “hard parts.” You should hear us go for it… actually be glad you haven’t – it is really scary.
  2. Mark let me sleep in this morning. He and Elias played in his office while I was peacefully snoozing. I think he should get a gold star for this act of kindness.
  3. Mark went to work today, while I stayed home with Elias. I love how hard he works. He is truly a servant to everyone he encounters.
  4. Mark invites me into his office. Earlier he gave me a tour of all of his latest books, and told me about all the new things that I should be reading. I love this about him.
  5. Mark can make Elias laugh like nobody else. I love watching him with our baby boy. They are so funny together.