Tag: Kurt Bubna

Encouragement at the Right Moment

This morning, I woke up feeling alone. I wasn’t. My husband’s alarm had just blared, and a cat curled against either side of my body.

My heart gaped, a barren wilderness.

Why do humans experience this? Everything around us goes along like the Friday evening commuter train, but our emotions bottom out.

What’s worse: people have complimented me on my amazing marriage.

Ha! That’s what I wanted to yell this morning.

My husband and I are miles apart. I tried to talk to him about x and he kept watching the football game. When I asked him to do y with me, he was too busy cleaning out the garage.

And I want the garage cleaned out as much as the next person. Truly. While he watched football, I read a chapter or two from three separate books I’m plowing through at the moment.

It’s not like it was a life-or-death moment.

But it’s become the norm in our home, rather than the exception.

When Paths Diverge

Many years ago now, I experienced a similar feeling.

We were in a much different place. Our boys had both just begun attending school full-time (now they are college graduates). My husband had a job that required travel, and I was a volunteer at the school, still unsure what to do with time that had previously been dedicated to entertaining my preschool-aged child.

The only similarity: I was trying to pursue my writing dream.

I gave it up back then.

When I described this time to my cousin, I said:

“We’re on different paths. His is moving steadily away from mine. The only way to change things is to turn them toward each other. So I make the choice to abandon my path and join his.”

Those words replayed again this morning. And my immediate thought was, “Well, I changed paths last time so it’s his turn.”

Now you know the truth about how unselfish I’m not.

Love is a Choice

My biggest issue with romance novels and romance movies is they paint love as some intense feeling.

Love-is-a-decisionTwo people meet. They’re physically attracted to each other. Somehow one of them helps the other out of a jam (maybe they help each other). Hands touch and sparks fly. Lips meet and it’s an earthquake of epic proportions.

Reality is a bit different. Sure, it might start the same way, but once two people commit to a lifetime together, things change.

No matter how perfect someone is, they will eventually rub you the wrong way. Voices will raise. Words which can’t be unspoken will slash tender feelings.

Now it’s time for love to step in. Love says, “I forgive you.” It chooses to forget the hurt and focus on the positive things. It won’t hold a grudge-ever.

Did I feel like letting go of the anger? After all, I was RIGHT. He should have to say it (and we should write it down because it has happened only a handful of times in our nearly three decades together).

I choose to love. Love says, “My way is not as important as keeping the peace.”

I know, completely not what human nature wants to say.

But, when I’m not “feeling the love,” I can still choose to act in a loving way. Because love is a choice.

Encouragement via Email

I follow a few dozen blogs. Some of them appear automatically on my WordPress reader. Others show up in email form.

This Monday, two emails came from two different Christian authors I follow.

The first one, entitled Loving for Life (from Melinda Inman), got a scan. I mean, I didn’t feel like being reminded that I had made a promise on May 27, 1988.

But a few phrases made it past my stubbornness anyway:

“They didn’t mesh seamlessly from day one.”

“Every marriage has the potential to fall apart-all it takes is one of the two partners deciding they’ve had enough.”

But I wasn’t deciding THAT. I just wanted to bask in my right-ness for a few minutes.

So the next email says “The mechanics of love (this is not as boring as it sounds).”

I had to click through to read the entire post. I’m glad I did.

Not because Pastor Bubna said anything new. Nope. I’d heard it all before. Many times. I’d even said some of it when doling out advice.

I needed to hear it today. These two writers spoke straight to my heart.

Their encouragement landed in my inbox at the exact moment I needed it.

And I put my right to being right aside. Seriously. Who needs it? Wouldn’t I rather have a husband who is my best friend?

The little voice that whispered, “It’s the writing that’s the problem” got snuffed, too.

It isn’t the writing. In fact, the writing has the potential to offer the same sort of encouragement to a world of people who I will never meet face-to-face. Like the two emails did for me.

The writing is a gift from the Giver of Life, and He recently showed me a more perfect way to use it for Him. So, of course, the enemy stepped right up hoping to discourage me from moving in that direction.

Friends, choose love today. You might not feel like it, but that’s okay. Love is always the right choice – and rarely the easy choice.

Any of my regular readers have any experience similar to these? Share your lessons. Be the encouragement others need.

Epic Grace by Kurt Bubna

Ten years ago, I would have been excited to pick up this book by Bubna and read a chapter before bed. Hearing about a believer’s walk inspired me in my own.

I haven’t read much in the way of anything other than textbooks, literature, fantasy and writing craft books in those intervening years. Who has time for inspiring the soul? I’ve got to finish my degree and figure out how to write better so I can publish a book.

What a miserable soulless person I had become.

Epic Grace by Kurt Bubna cured me. It is a short 21 chapters of firsthand experience interspersed with Biblical truths.

Bubna might be a preacher, but his writing wasn’t preachy in the least. He made me laugh out loud. Some of his stories brought tears to my eyes. I found myself nodding in agreement at his lowest moments of stupidity. Yes, I’ve been there and done that. T-shirt? No thank you.

Almost all of his illustrations were relatable. One of the illustrations about marriage counseling was so excellent that my husband adopted it for a presentation at our church’s couples’ retreat. Amazing stuff.

The three weeks it took me to read this chapter by chapter weren’t easy ones for me. My mother came home to die. She passed while I stood beside her. If I ever needed God’s epic grace, it was now.

My soul found refreshment in the personal sharing in Bubna’s book. I read a chapter before I went to sleep each night. Reflecting on his words helped me find sleep and wake up ready to walk with the Lord the next day.

I recommend this book to anyone who wonders why God loves them. If you aren’t even sure what God’s grace is, this book will show you in full color. Perhaps your walk with the Lord feels stale, pick up this book and read a chapter each day.

Bubna has an authentic voice and he’s not afraid to show his humanity in all its glory. (Or would that would be glaring idiocy?) In fact, the complete title of the book explains it all: Epic Grace: Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot.

Do you read before bed? Is there a book that you would recommend as an evening devotional? Do you prefer to read fiction or non-fiction before falling asleep?