Marriage Snapshots & Snippets

Snapshots and Snippets: What Gives You Joy?

collageWelcome to “Snapshots and Snippets” … some musings and practical thoughts along with goodies from around the web to bless and encourage you.


I’ve heard it said how joy differs from happiness.  Being happy depends on our circumstances, while joy supersedes and transcends the situations around us.  True enough.  My dear friend and I have been talking about having a “thing” of our own – something in life that isn’t about being a mom, an employee, a wife … something that’s just for us.  That “thing” can vary from person to person, but whatever brings joy needs to be found and pursued.  So much of our life gets poured out – we need a filling station.  I’ll tell you, this week, it was getting to trim my front garden until it looked my version of lovely.  I’ve been getting a grip just as life felt like it was careening out of control.  Saying “no” or “later” to all the “yes” answers I had allowed into my calendar unwittingly allowed for the stilling of my anxious heart to hear from Him once again.  {God actually repeated Himself in a text from a friend and through my youngest son’s devotional of all things!} … “Come unto Me, all who are heavy laden and weary and I will give you rest.”  Do you need to hear it too?  Come to Him … He waits to give us the rest we crave.  It isn’t the circumstances which bring joy, but the choices we make as we go through them — slowing down put me smack dab in the trajectory of joy this week.


Restful bench

{high school, oh me, oh my}

In other news, my oldest son registered for High School this week.  We went to all the preliminary meetings and testing and rigamaroll {can you say bureaucracy?} … culminating in Wednesday afternoon.  Packed into the gymnasium with hundreds of other students and parents looking like deer in headlights, we mulled through lines handing in copies of our electric bills and stapled packets with all our children’s pertinent information.  At the end of it all, we walked the gauntlet of tables with clubs and sports teams and extracurricular activities being promoted by students.  It felt a bit like the scene in Monsters University where Sully and Mike go through Freshman day on campus: “Hey, wanna join choir?  You know you do …” “Football is great!  You’d love it!” … We ended up with Forensics {aka debate} as a summer school class {his choice to go to school over the summer}, choir and wrestling.  I raised one diverse child.  Apparently he will talk his way out of a paper bag, take you down and walk off singing.  Overall the experience left me more hopeful than I expected to be.   I’m not super fond of the uncertainty ahead, but I keep reminding myself God’s got me – He’s never letting go.  He’s got my son too.

Turn in the road



I’ve been preparing a series of talks for a women’s retreat at the end of the month.  {Beautiful thing: My home church asked me to be the speaker this year.  We love and serve a lavish God.}  Our theme is abiding.  I had spent a year with John 15 as my focus many years ago.  Despite that rich, extended time devoted to a more deep understanding and experience of abiding, I still have more to learn and much more to grow into.  Preparing these talks has been a blessing as God leads me to scriptures and reminds me of memories to share to enhance our collective understanding of His glorious invitation.  I wrote a little devotional for the woman to use in their private time after our morning session on Saturday.  I’ll send out a copy of it {revised for you} with my newsletter which I plan to send out monthly starting in the beginning of May.  All you have to do is subscribe to my email list {any part of it} and you’ll receive a copy for your own use. 

My working definition of abiding is “Making a Home in My Heart for Jesus.”

country home


{defending your promise}

Here’s where I get real.  Not that I’m usually unreal.  I’m about as transparent as scotch tape – the clear kind.  Still, parts of my life remain sacred and blog-proofed as I guard the ones I love from being exposed completely in my writing or I share in vague, sometimes poetic ways to help put a filter onto what I’m saying – like adding a little cream to the coffee to help it go down more smoothly.  All that to say, we woke up one day realizing we needed a marriage tune-up.  Two ships, not exactly passing in the night, tacking side by side, but still, separate.  We weren’t overtly angry or disappointed, but when we lifted the rug, there were dust bunnies that needed clearing out.  I want you to know.  I get a tad upset at people who only share the romantic side of their marriage as if each day is a fresh reminder of the day they walked down the aisle because they are living out a Nicholas Sparks novel in real life.  Bully for them, I say, but please, help a sister out by sharing that the way he leaves the towel on the counter unnerves you – or something.  I’m not advocating husband bashing.  No. No. No.  What I am saying is that real marriage has real drift at times and frustration and friction and everything inbetween.  It is because of this reality I wanted to share with you a beautiful post by Brave Girl Robyn about the time she almost got divorced.  Kudos to her for being courageous enough to share the real pain and growth she went through and encouraging the rest of us with the gems she gleaned in the process.  Really.  Stop what you are doing and read her post. 

You know how God echoes Himself.  Well, this week He did it again.  He’s saying: marriage – tend it like a garden.  I am becoming a fan of Michael Hyatt.  His name is big these days in the world of productivity and time management.  I need more of that in spades, so I’m all over his posts, podcasts and emails.  His post about making his wife his best friend was good marriage medicine.  God provides.  Truly.  Keep your eyes open and you will see Him moving on your behalf.  Keep your ears open and you will hear His whispers of grace all around you – specifically and intimately caring for your deepest needs.  Join Him in what He is doing in and through you.  Sometimes something else seems more pressing, but really, He’s kind of sure of what’s best.  Go with Him and let go of every thing which is not lined up with Him and His leading.

I want to hear what’s on your heart.  How is it with your soul these days?  If we see one another around town, say, “hi.”  You can comment here or on the Hearts Homeward Facebook page.  If you’d like to receive my posts in your inbox, feel free to sign up using the form on the sidebar … scroll up a little … right over there … see it?  Check the boxes for what you want me to send you and you’re golden. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Christine Ang
    April 22, 2016 at 6:38 AM

    This is so beautifully written Patty. You always have a way of making me laugh out loud and cry within seconds of each other. Thank you for the important reminders and for always sharing your heart so that it may bless someone elses!

    • Reply
      April 22, 2016 at 6:51 AM

      My little lum bao, luv muffin friend. Knowing this post blessed you, made you laugh and cry – well, that made my day. I love you. I’m praying for you right now: Eph 3 and the “Come to Me” verse in Matthew 11. Let’s sweep away what appears important, but isn’t so we can answer His invitation to abide with a huge “yes” and “always.”

    Leave a Reply