Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Where You Go...

I'm in the wings of our next move. It has felt different than the previous moves, something has told me that it won't go as quickly.

I want to fight against this lack of urgency that everyone else seems to exhibit. Someone in HR was on vacation, a realtor didn't respond to an email promptly, and now we are still waiting to get the house listed. Mark has moved forward to start his new job, and I've stayed behind to tie up the loose ends here. 

There's a different rhythm to this dance, and we aren't quite dancing in sync. It isn't causing conflict, it's more like speaking different languages. 

Still, I sense God at work, His hands directing each movement. So I'll sit on my hands and practice patience, believing there's a purpose for all the delays. Perhaps our buyer hasn't got the memo yet. Perhaps the house we will make our next home hasn't yet been listed. No matter the reason, you can't hurry the clock, or the calendar, or God. He ultimately keeps time perfectly. 

This verse is above a dresser in our bedroom, a constant reminder of our wedding vows made over 31 years ago. 

When we got married, I never expected to move away from our beach community family and fellowship, yet each move has had blessings and lessons I could not of learned if we had stayed in that first 2 bedroom 1 bath apartment in Huntington Beach. 

So many moves since then. 5 states, 2 of them twice! A move, on average, of every 3 years. So many boxes, addresses, zip codes... but love trumps them all, and I wouldn't of skipped a single one, not even these "move every year" years. 

I'm curious about this next move, not only where will we live, but where will we fellowship? Will I work outside the home? Will Mark work weekends? 

Underlying it all is this question: Will we move again in a year? 

This is the 3rd August in a row that we are in some stage of moving. Will it happen again next year? I need God's resilience to do this now, and I'll need Him all the more for the next move, whenever it will be. 

I'm grateful for His provisions, how He stirs others to pray for me (us) at the times we need it most. 

I'm thankful that He knows every detail, cares about every little notion. He is a God of details, and He knows every little one. He makes all of it good. He is good. 

#loveknowsnozipcode #whereyougoiwillgo #marinaskitchentable #reallife #marriedlife #girlmeetschange

Sunday, August 16, 2015

10 Little Photos (more or less) - Memories of (this) Home

If you know me, you know that we've moved a lot. Really. A LOT. More than most people, certainly for the corporate world (we are not military). We have averaged a move every 3-5 years of our marriage (31 years!). Sometimes more frequently, sometimes less. Even when we lived in SW MO for 18 years (one job), we averaged a move every 3 years. I know, that's a lot... and not really normal.

These past 5 1/2 years that my husband has been with this company, we've moved even more. We have averaged a move a year! Only once was it not job driven (we moved on our own to be closer to our grandkids... figuring we wouldn't always have the opportunity to be so close... well.. we heard right!).

Each place has been beautiful and I don't have a favorite all together. One spot had great neighbors. One had amazing fellowship of believers. One was closer to grandkids. Each one was indulgent, and I know that God had something special in mind when He orchestrated it. He wants good things for us!

Still, it's hard! I get confused in little ways... like imagining what airport my husband is flying in to. If I'm at the grocery store, I think about how much I have to carry how far, and where I'll park to bring the groceries in (we've lived in apartments before each of these moves into houses... for a few months at least, so often it feels like 2 moves each time). When I wake up in the morning, it takes me a moment to orient myself, especially when we're in a moving mode. It takes a while for my brain to catch up...

This season has been good. We've made some good memories with grandkids, and I've had to lean in harder to God to come to a place of peace in this home. If that's the only reason He keeps moving us, then it's totally worth it. I feel that He has prompted my heart over the past 6 months or so with the theme of "getting smaller" and all the prompting of "choosing the hardest thing." More recently He's spoken to me of being "tethered to God" and "heresick" so I know that He's calling me to deeper waters. I'll go, in obedience, and cling to Him in the process.

I wanted to get this post done before the pre-move madness takes place, and my house is full of grandkids for one last hurrah. I wanted to share a few memories from this house, and from the life we've shared here... and also ask for you to pray for His timing in the selling of this home and buying of the next one... that we'll remain open to His leading and listen to His heart through the process... that my husband remains teachable as he learns a new position, and as I learn to navigate new roads, meet new faces, as we make new memories, and capture them on film.  

((thank you))

Friday, August 14, 2015

Heavy Hearts

Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains. Proverbs 14:13 NLT

It has been a season for this Proverb to stand true...

God is at work. 

He knows.

He sees the tears, hears the weeping, feels the pain. 

He cares. 

He knows when you just want it to be over. That "heresick" feeling just doesn't leave for long... but He is with us, with YOU, and will not leave you alone. 

Stand strong, or lay down weak - He loves you just the same and will carry you through this too. 

Let's lift up each other in prayer today. Leave a request and pray for another's request...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Proverb a Day: Proverbs 12

The theme for today's Proverb is "words." It contains so many verses that remind us how powerful they can be!

As a wife, mom, grandma, friend, worker or boss, writer or speaker (to one, a hundred, or ten thousand!), our words are powerful. Our words matter. They are important. I think that's why these verses are in here...to remind us. I think it repeats the theme to show us how important it is, how impactful our words are.

A million years ago (ok, maybe 30-some) I took a management class in college. One of the first topics in that class was "words," and one of the first points made was "we have 2 ears but only 1 mouth, so we should listen twice as much as we speak." The second point was "It takes 3 kind things to remove the 1 negative thing you've said to an employee, otherwise you will crush their spirit and you can lose them as a worker."

I think that's true to all kinds of relationships. If we offer correction to a child, ask for a change in our spouse, give advice to a friend (when asked for), we need to affirm them with truth as well.

I can apply this to my "self-talk" too! I really do need to lose 20 pounds (or 40, but who is counting?), but I am still loved by my husband, I am able to impact the lives of my family and neighborhood, and God loves me and wants to use me for kingdom work!

It doesn't mean I still don't need to lose some weight, and it doesn't sugar-coat that fact, but it reminds me that this fact can not beat me up. It's just one thing. If I achieve my weight-loss goals I can do more with my husband, play harder with my grands, and I can prayer-walk my neighborhood to impact friendships, bind the enemy, and see God go to work!

Words matter!!

Read the entire text of Proverbs 12 here. There are SO many verses that have to do with words, you should read them all! 

(For a great prayer walking resource, please email me at marinaskitchentable (at) gmail (dot) com)
(For a great prayer walking resource, please email me at marinaskitchentable (at) gmail (dot) com)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Construction Zone

Today I head back out on the road to return home. It's been 2 weeks away, visiting friends and family, a conference for Christian women writers, a little work meeting, an unexpected sweet reunion with my husband (who is working away from home in this season). 

I feel as if I'm driving through a construction zone in my life... I know the routine. I am on a highway and I see the signs up ahead: slow, merge, yield, slow down more, prepare to stop ahead. There may be a detour involved. It may get dusty and the road may be rough. 

I need to stop worrying about my agenda and just rest in this moment. I see a long line of cars ahead of me. Don't rush. Look around and take note of what He is doing here.

I'm sure it's for my safety, and I know it's just a temporary part of this journey... but I have to go through it to get to where He wants me to be. I keep praying "not my will, but Thine be done!"

Life can be like that. Unexpected changes, not on our radar at all. Sometimes in the form of blessings. Sometimes sadness. Sometimes surprises that you don't know what to think of! The only guarantee is that if you want to grow in Christ, things WILL change! 

All along, HE knows. He has the map, knows the journey. He knows what I need, not only today but tomorrow as well (and a lifetime of tomorrows!). 

I trust Him. Always.

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.
Proverbs 16:9 (NLT)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Proverb a Day: Proverb 8

I'm approaching my 2 week mark of being on the road. I've seen old friends, family members, had meetings for potential work/ministry, attended a wonderful conference, and eaten out way too much! 

Still, the Proverbs come with me. Each day there are new tidbits of wisdom to hide in my heart. 

I'm looking forward to seeing what God has in store for my future, and am praying that we see things unfold for this next season of life. Please pray for us, we only want His will to be done in our lives! 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


It's been a crazy busy stressful couple of weeks. I'm sitting in the backyard of my sister's house, taking the long road home from ‪#‎Declare2015‬ .
I'm trying to process all God exposed me to at the conference, and trying to apply it to everything God is teaching me in this season. It's not always easy, and there's a lot of distractions here.
The sky is just too lovely here, the sunset a bit too beautiful. The geese honked just too loudly as they flew over and glided to rest on the lake.
The cicadas are humming in a competition with the chirping crickets. They are determined to drown out the buzzing of the last few hummingbirds that whiz by my head.
The pinks and purples on the horizon are fading now, and a deep blue hue is creeping from above, pushing them deeper into the hills.
I doubt I'll be debriefed from my conference when I get up from this place, or when I drive down the road tomorrow morning. It's ok. I'm grateful for family that share their view, and so thankful that God saw fit to give me such fine distractions.
He always knows JUST what is needed! 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Happy Friendship Anniversary!

Yes. I'm making up a holiday, but it's one worth celebrating!

32 years ago today, after the Wednesday night Bible Study, I met this tall, towhead, surfing cowboy that loved Jesus.

I felt safe when I met him, like he would always protect me. It was as if I finally found my big brother (in the Lord) even though he was younger than me. 

He says it was love at first sight... I just felt so peaceful. I knew we would be friends forever. 

The next day he said he would marry me and we began pre-marital counseling. 

A few weeks later, he got on one knee and presented the ring with an official proposal of marriage. 

Six months and a day from the day we met, we were married!

Thank you to all of you that have prayed for us over the years. Marriage is hard work, and a good one requires constantly dying to self, and lots of forgiving. 

Thank you Mark Bromley for the first 32 years of friendship, and 31½ years of marriage. 

Thank You Jesus for the example of sacrificial love and equipping us to fight for our marriage commitment. 

"A happy marriage is the union of 2 good forgivers." - Unknown 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sunday Scripture and Prayer

Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.

God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 5:18-21 (NLT)

Thank You God, for providing grace to cover my sins. Thank you for creating a way for us to have fellowship with You, through the blood of Jesus. 

Give me courage daily, to confess and repent of the wrong decisions I make each day. I would love to not need Your grace, but I confess I need so much of it. 

Father, guard my heart, and keep it focused on You. Lord, I need You so much! Thank you for giving us Jesus as a Savior. 

Wherever I am today, I ask that You will cover me with Your Holy Spirit, that I will remain close to You, and choose to love You more. Help me to abide in Your gift of new life today. Refresh and renew my heart, that I might live that life fully, being a light in darkness and pointing others to You. 

In Jesus' Name,


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Proverb a Day

It's a new month, and the same Proverbs! 

I'm going to read one a day, and choose a verse each day to hide in my heart... 

Join me? 

What verse in Proverbs 1 speaks to you today? 

Romans 12, Parts 2 and 3: Balanced and Beautiful in Christ

The new posts that I wrote for Balanced and Beautiful in Christ are now live on their Facebook page, and here on my new blog site (subscrib...