Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wifey Wednesday: Hope in Change

I found this sticky note on my desk. I don't know where the idea came from or if it is a quote, but I obviously wrote it down for myself as an encouragement. This is what it says:

If you don't change, nothing will.
This maxim can apply to most every aspect of life. If things are going badly it is very rare that you can change anything but yourself and your participation in the problem. How often are we able to rewrite our job description, makeover our coworkers or our children to make the situation better? Rarely! Almost never, in fact.

Most problems are only solved by a reworking of ourselves. So in any given situation we must ask ourselves:

How can I change?

We can usually change our attitude, our actions, or both. In fact, changing our actions often leads to a change in attitude, so it is often best to focus first on our behavior. In a marriage, this is a vital piece of information to have--especially in those "for worse" moments our vows talk about. You can change your attitude by changing your behavior.

Really? Yeah, really. Just try it some time.

In fact, try it for simply two weeks and see what happens. Pick some little something that your spouse has asked you repeatedly to do that you've not bothered to ever do. It might be to put the toilet paper around on the holder in the other direction. It could be to brush your teeth before coming to breakfast. It might be to actually stop and listen when he's talking instead of simply pretending to listen. For two weeks, do that thing, whatever that thing is.

But don't do it resentfully. Don't begrudge the toilet paper it's new position every time you have to grab it. Do the new deed generously with the intention to please your spouse. That's what I mean. Let yourself feel a bit of a thrill of generosity and good-deediness as you brush your teeth half an hour before your usual time. Pat yourself on the back for being a good spouse while you put down that iPhone and give your full attention to your beloved. Say to yourself, "See? I'm a good listener!" and then listen.

 You'll see in that span of two short weeks that you can power your way through the behavior change. You can feel, rather quickly, that your heart will be softened a bit toward your spouse. But, in two weeks, you won't see any real changes or any real healing in any given area.

That sort of work takes time, effort, and much prayer. But this sort of change in so short a span of time should be enough simply to give you hope that in more time and with more effort things can really change. Knowing that you are the instrument and the object of the change that has to occur is truly empowering. Old habits have massive inertia and marriages can get ground up beneath them, but if two weeks can make even a small dent, just think what you and God can manage with a little more time and effort.

There's a lot of hope in the fact that if you don't change, nothing will.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

7 Quick Takes:The Devil and the Details

--1-- The Podcast Is Up

I swear I'm going to have to stop talking about the occult. Blogtalk Radio and Facebook are starting to SPAM me with how-tos for Satanism. Next week will be about putting your gifts from the Holy Spirit to good use among other things. I rebuke thee, SPAM! Get thee behind me computer cookies!
Listen To Religion Internet Radio Stations with Deeper Truth on BlogTalkRadio

--2-- The Devil in the Ordinary

As promised on the show, here's the website for Father Dwight Longenecker's piece about possession. He asks us to ponder if demon possession is rare or if it is more common than we know. It's a very interesting piece.
Al Pacino in Devil's Advocate

 --3-- Happy Valentine's Day

This is the anniversary of our regularizing our marriage in the Church so it is a special day for us. We went out for breakfast this morning with all the kids and my parents. It was Mr. Baby's premier appearance at a real sit down restaurant. All was well, the waitress was charmed (and well tipped) and the day adequately feted. To top it all off the owners hired a troupe of singers to serenade their customers. They sang "Love Potion Number Nine"! It was so hard not to sing along!  


--4-- I've Been Under the Weather

 I've been unable to shake the last cold/flu bug and have been running on half speed for the last several weeks. Last week it really caught up with me, so I took yet another unannounced break from blogging, and sought out medical assistance. I'm on anti-vitals, totally off of sugar, and am on the mend. Finally! My coffee is unsweetened for the duration. Well, now I guess I'll have to give something else up for Lent.  

--5-- I'll Be Speaking at an ACTS Retreat!

In April I will be giving my personal testimony at an ACTS retreat. If you ever have the opportunity to attend an ACTS retreat, take it! This particular retreat will be for anyone who has been on a previous ACTS retreat and needs to recharge.

ACTS is an acronym that stands for Adoration, Community, Theology, and Service. Here is more information regarding ACTS retreatsGo here to find an ACTS retreat near you. Retreats are amazing. If you can go, you should go. You really do deserve to spend some time with God.  

--6-- Speaking of Speaking

  I can come to your event and speak on marriage, family life, my conversion story, and the life of a foster parent. To reach me, contact me at via email at andychrism at

--7-- Speaking of Foster Parenting

(Yes, I did! Right up there in #6, see?) Here is my favorite prayer asking for Saint Joseph's intercession. He's the patron of foster parents, being one himself.
Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God. I place in you all my interests and desires. Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your devine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.

Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary of contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls - Pray for me.

 - See more at:

Saturday, February 8, 2014

7 Quick Takes


The podcast is back! It's now scheduled for Friday mornings, 7 a.m. Eastern, 6 a.m. Central, and that-had-better-not-be-the-radio a.m. Pacific.

This Friday's show was on evil, marriage, and other tangents.

New Religion Internet Radio with Deeper Truth on BlogTalkRadio

Do We See Ourselves?

Because of The Wardrobe Project, I spend a lot of time talking to other women about their various shapes. It amazes me how hard it is for us to look objectively at our own bodies. I feel a blog post coming on, but in the meantime, why do you think that is? Why can't we look and just see?


This is designed for larger women but it works for any woman. It'll give you a rough idea of your shape  without using a tape measure and some advice for dressing that shape.

For more advice on dressing your body shape, click through to The Wardrobe Project.

What's Next?

  • I will be researching each of the body shapes in the plus sizes. Many of you have contacted me via Facebook and email with questions specific to applying body shape information to larger sizes.
  • I will going to the store with models for the various body types. We will try on clothing appropriate for their sizes and body shapes. Then we will try on clothing that does not fit their sizes and body shapes and noting what happens. This will (I hope) help those of us who have trouble in the fitting room figure out how to fix the problems or make more flattering choices.  


Creation Debate

My main problem with this whole argument between Christians and Evolutionists is that it is too narrow. Yes, Genesis is the creation story, but it is so much more than that. It is the first promise of Christ the Redeemer and more. It is an explanation of all that is broken in the relationship between men and women and more. It describes the consequences of sin and still more. There is an eternity's worth of depth to the entire book of Genesis. Yet, because some people want to tease us, mock us, and use Science as the tool to do so, Christians want to fight this one battle to the bitter end. Why? The secular world always hates and makes fun of us. They will always get us and God wrong. Ultimately, science can't disprove a correct understanding of God and His universe. We will always struggle to understand God, science will always struggle to understand creation, and there will always be a tension between the two.


Have we gone from "Children should be seen and not heard" to "Children should not be seen"? Click here for the article "Oh Stewardess? There's a Baby in My Plane!" 

The Devil in Ordinary 

Read this one to the end so that you don't miss the story Lenny Kravitz shares about his father. In the movie The Conjuring, the image of something dark clinging to the back of the girls scared me more than the Big Boo moments of demons jumping out at people. Why? Because that's the real deal.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

2 Quick Cures for Your Moody Marriage

Marriage has its moods over the years just
like you and your spouse do from day to day. So how you feel about your marriage at any given moment is not necessarily how you will feel about your marriage down the road.

That sounds like very good news if you are in the doldrums or the argue-about-everything season, and yet it sounds a bit ridiculous when you are in the warmth and satisfaction of the honeymoon season. With a marriage so new and fresh you can't imagine ever feeling anything but a happy love for your beloved. (Yes, newlyweds, we oldlyweds remember!)

The takeaway here is that your feelings about your marriage will change, so don't rely on them to judge the health of it. It is perfectly normal for every marriage to have its ups and downs, even the healthy ones. A happy marriage is one that is generally happy, not specifically happy in this particular instant in time. So, newlyweds, as you transition from a newlywed to an oldlywed, don't forget this!
In your own brokenness you give and receive love.
Your marriage is no different.

Always remember that your feelings are not the arbiter of the health of your marriage. Don't panic if you feel less enthusiastic about things from one day to the next. Marriage is one of those lifelong tasks. In fact, marriage is a vocation. As such, God is using your marriage to transform you into the person He created you to be. That takes time. That takes effort. That effort creates discomfort. Discomfort breeds discontent. Therefore if you are feeling unhappiness or worse about your marriage, it is very likely that some heavy duty work is being done in your soul. In that case, here's a couple of quick cures for what ails you:

1. Stop complaining!
Don't complain about your feelings to your spouse, your friends, or even to yourself. Complaining is a bad habit that we fall into and it does more harm than good. When you are complaining you are not looking to solve any problems but are instead merely trying to blow off some emotional steam. Complaining won't relieve your feelings. Instead complaining reinforces and underscores negative feelings and so increases and breeds them rather than relieving them. Complaining will only bear bad fruit.

To break the complaining habit, substitute it with prayer. When you feel the urge to complain tell God you are being tempted to complain. Ask Him to help you through the moment and to transform your outlook so you can stop feeling so frustrated about things.

2. Start rephrasing!
If you are tempted to complain to or about your spouse, it may be a sign that there is a problem. The root of the problem may not ultimately be a communication issue, but working at communication will certainly help the problem. So the next time you are discussing that particular issue you are tempted to complain about focus on what you need to hear from your spouse on this issue rather than what you need to say about it. Rephrase what you think they are saying and ask, "Is this what you mean? Help me understand what you are saying."

Both of these "Quick Cures" will help you to get outside of your own head and out into the fresher air of reality. We get so caught up with our own interpretation of facts and events that we sometimes need to step back in order to gain perspective. By transforming complaining into praying you are inviting in the heavenly perspective. You are welcoming God back into the covenant you made in His name. By focusing on your spouse's attempts to communicate you are gaining perspective into your spouse's take on any given problem. You will be surprised at how much different the situation will look like from those vantage points.

If anything, God and your spouse will remind you of the love you feel underneath all those other emotions. That always helps.


This has been a Wifey Wednesday post. For an even wifier Wednesday click on over to To Love Honor and Vacuum!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

SB, the Dolly, once was lost and now is found!

SB in her prime. Though one hand is bandaged even then.
SB, the dolly, was lost at Wal-Mart when I took my youngest daughter with me into town two weeks ago.

When Sylvia asked if she could bring her in to the store I thought, "That dolly's so banged up nobody will think she's being shoplifted, so sure!" I never considered losing her, but once we did I worried she might be mistaken for a rag and thrown out.

You see, this dolly has been with my daughter since...forever. A friend gave the doll to my 4 month old baby girl to help her through her mommy aches when I had to be hospitalized for two weeks. Fast forward five years and SB's hands are now completely worn away. She's faded to a beigey pink and she can no longer hold her head up. All the same she is beautiful to my girl.

All parent's know that sinking feeling that hit hard when we searched through the store until we had to leave without her. I never thought we'd see Sylvia's oldest friend ever again.

Over the next several days we checked in at the Customer Service desk frequently with no luck. That doll was a goner. We'd all but given up. Then the other day my husband and I stopped in just to check. There she was, sitting in the lost and found, waiting!

 My daughter was thrilled.

So was I.