Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Glimpse: Practicing

What used to be a pleasant chore is now a treat. 

I got to practice the piano twice this week. 

Flying the Nest

British adults are taking longer to fly the nest, according to a report this week by Nicholas Winning of the The Wall Street Journal.

In a fresh sign the weakness in the U.K. economy is marking a whole generation of Brits, data released Tuesday shows there has been a sharp rise in the proportion of young adults who have yet to fly the nest. (...)

The long-term effects of this culture shift are yet to be seen. Still, I can’t help feeling a bit positive about the trend...

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

McKnight on the Romantic Theory of Love

This spring, I’ve been reading Scot McKnight‘s One.Life: Jesus Calls, We Follow. The reading has led me on a journey of refreshment, with almost every turn of a page bringing either insight or conviction or inspiration.

So too with the chapter titled “Sex.Life.” As in his preceding chapters, McKnight paints a window into the kingdom landscape, gently critiquing what is by shedding light on what should be. His discussion of romance, in particular, caught me off guard in the way it resonated with my past experiences and future longings...

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A Glimpse: Summer Love

We carved our first watermelon yesterday. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

An unWedding Day

On May 26, the Gospel Coalition posted an article titled “Today Was Supposed to Be My Wedding Day.” The author, M. Conner, candidly reflects on how God led her through a broken engagement.

May 26, 2012. It was supposed to be a momentous occasion—the day I would walk down the aisle in my mother’s lace wedding gown, peonies in hand, best friend at my side, family and friends looking on with joy. It was supposed to be the day I started a new chapter, the day my dreams would be fulfilled. Little did I know, God had other plans...

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Friday, May 25, 2012

A Generation Hooked on Stimulation

“Is the overuse of video games and pervasiveness of online porn causing the demise of guys?”

So begins CNN’s “‘The Demise of Guys’: How video games and porn are ruining a generation,” published earlier this week. Authors Philip G. Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan examine how certain forms of entertainment media is affecting a generation of young men.

Increasingly, researchers say yes, as young men become hooked on arousal, sacrificing their schoolwork and relationships in the pursuit of getting a tech-based buzz...

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Are You Problem or Purpose Focused?

The Resurgence recently posted “Your Problems or Your Purpose: Where is Your Focus?“ by pastor Stutton Turner, who writes that a good team member is purpose-focused rather than problem-focused. While Turner is giving advice on putting together ministry teams, his words are helpful for choosing a marriage partner as well.

How can you identify a problem-focused person? Turner writes...

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Understanding the Male Mind

I’ve never been a big fan of what my family calls “man movies.” I’ve struggled to understand how some men can be so entertained by explosions, shoot-outs, and stupid humor. While my dad and brothers are sitting on the edge of their seats, I often find myself bored senseless — usually I give up and get a book.

I remember when one of my favorite English professors spoke about watching movies with his son. As he rattled off some titles, I was somewhat stunned. He has one of the finest minds I’ve ever encountered. I could have seen him enjoying Braveheart or The Book of Elieven, but Live Free or Die Hard and Dumb and Dumber? Really? I chalked it up as one of the great mysteries of life.

Then I read Gary Thomas’ Sacred Influence last year. His chapter titled “Understanding the Male Mind” was very enlightening, to say the least...

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Table Rock Lake and Campfire Donuts


I went on my first camping trip of the summer this week. My whole family was able to make it, including my brother and his wife. We also were visited by several Canadian geese, who ate more of our hot-dog buns than we did.


I knew it was going to be a good trip when we arrived at Table Rock State Park to find our favorite campsite vacant. It may not look like much, but we love the easy water access.


It was a blessedly calm few days -- which was very needed after what has seemed like a ceaselessly chaotic few months. We spent most of our time just talking, with a few card games and long walks mixed in for variety.

Our other pastime was what my family jokingly calls "rural eating." After about a month of strict adherence to our diet, we splurged and tried out a few new campfire recipes. By far, my favorite was a recipe my mom found for campfire donuts.

For best results, begin by drinking coffee -- especially if you were up late enjoying the stars and night sounds.


Open a can of jumbo butter-flavored biscuits. Cut each biscuit into four pieces. Because there were six of us there for breakfast, we opened two cans.


Melt some butter. Make sure you bring a small sauce pan with you, or else you'll have to use a skillet like we did.


Spear a piece of biscuit onto a roasting fork.


Roast over the fire until the donut is puffy and golden brown.


Dip donut in butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Enjoy. Repeat. Enjoy. Repeat. Enjoy.

It took us quite awhile to use up the biscuit dough, but the time spent laughing and trying to avoid getting smoke in our eyes was half the fun.

You can view the original campfire donuts recipe here.

We were so full, we had to postpone our second-breakfasts until lunchtime -- campfire hash, another keeper.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Is Flirting Ever OK?

Last January Mary Kassian broached the topic of flirting on the Girls Gone Wise blog:

The “look.” The tilt of the head. The flip of the hair. The sway of the hips. The deliberate caress of a curve. The cross of the legs. The leisurely forward lean. The titillating exposure of skin. The brush of the bottom lip. The cat-like stretch. The lingering touch … by the time a female reaches adulthood, she’s typically been well-versed in all the classic flirt moves…

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Listen to Naomi

I’ve always loved the story of Ruth. As a young girl, I enjoyed the romance of it – the tale of a Moabite widow following her mother-in-law to a new country and unexpectedly meeting and marrying a kind and virtuous man. As an adult, I’ve found the story overflowing with insight into what it means to be a godly woman – particularly a godly single woman. One aspect of Ruth’s story that always challenges me is the deep mentoring relationship between Ruth and Naomi, particularly in the area of relationships...

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Men, Mind Your Manners

We spend a lot of time here on Marry Well talking about important internal characteristics that men should develop on the path to marriage. The heart is what matters most, after all.

Still, there are some external habits that can wreak havoc on your love life. For example, few quirks can make women lose interest as quickly as bad table manners.

Here are a few tips from The Art of Manliness blog’s “A Man’s Guide to Dining Etiquette and Proper Table Manners”...

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

True King of the Wild Things


Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary recently wrote a blog entry titled "What Maurice Sendak Can Teach the Church."

Maurice Sendak, who just died, doesn’t seem, at first glance, to have much to teach Christians. After all, he was an atheist with a cynical outlook and a foul mouth. But underneath all of that, I think, Sendak saw something of the fallen glory of the universe we followers of Jesus sometimes ignore...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Individualism: The American Idol

The Resurgence recently posted an excerpt of Elyse Fitzpatrick‘s book, titled “Because He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life.” In this passage, Fitzpatrick discusses how important community is for our growth to maturity in Christ.

While Fitzpatrick’s discussion centers on the local church, I can’t help but see a glimmer of what a Christian marriage is supposed to be...

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ask Before You Tweet

A few years ago one of my sisters had a guy friend who took to “Liking” just about everything she did on Facebook. I remember teasing her, “Hey — is there anything about you he doesn’tlike?” The guy was obviously interested, and he chose to display his infatuation in a very obvious and public way. While my sister took it in stride, other girls wouldn’t have been so patient.

The New York Times published an article last week titled “‘What Were You Thinking?’ For Couples, New Source of Online Friction.” Journalist Laura M. Holson’s recounting of social networking disputes among couples is almost funny — but the embarrassment that arises when one person shares private information is very real...

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Elisabeth Elliot on Judgment and Humility



I love the work of Elisabeth Elliot. I always find her realistic, pithy honesty refreshing.

In her On Asking God Why, she has a chapter titled "To Judge or Not to Judge." True to form, she calls it how she sees it.

The only verse about judgment in the Bible which anyone seems to have heard of these days is "Judge not." There the discussion usually ends. It is tacitly assumed that negative judgments are forbidden. That positive judgments would also come under the interdict escapes the notice of those who assume it is a sin to judge. ...