My Parent’s 40th Year Anniversary

Forty years ago today, my parents- Robert and Karen Pompell- promised themselves to each other, for better or for worse, in richness and in want, in sickness and in health-till death do they part. I have seen them faithfully love each other in each of those circumstances, and have been deeply blessed by both the delightful and the difficult aspects of their marriage. I asked them this weekend what sort of lessons they have learned over the 40 years, and here’s what they had to say:

  • Mom said she learned…
    • He cannot read my mind, he cannot read my emotions, and so if I want him to know what’s on my mind or how I feel–I have to tell him!

    • He doesn’t do stuff to particularly make me mad–that’s just my perception, and I had to learn to let it go and believe the best about it

    • Just because we see the same thing, doesn’t mean we see the same thing

    • I’ve learned to love him more, to be a friend, to be a confidant, and to enjoy his company.

    • I’ve learned to support him in all his endeavors

    • I’ve learned that it is never good to say negative things about the man you’re married to in front of your children, or in front of friends.

    • I’ve learned I DO need a confidant, but you have to pick that confidant very carefully

    • I have learned what true human unconditional love is. ❤

    • I’ve learned to replace negative thoughts playing in my mind with positive thoughts and to let God’s spirit shine through me in our marriage

  • Dad said he learned…
    • As you grow older together, there are different stages you go through in life, and you adjust to meet each others needs and changes

    • If you love unconditionally, she just gets more beautiful every day

    • When I feel my worst, she gives me her best. She is a great encourager to me and is supportive.

    • Over the years, we learned how to become better communicators

    • We had to keep God at the center of our marriage. When we depend on him-in prayer and in Scripture-he takes us through the storms and helps us stay focused in our love.

    • There may be times you don’t like each other-but you still have to love each other

    • With love, comes true forgiveness. When you have your disagreements- you don’t say “Remember when” , that’s not forgiveness. Forgiveness is the way Christ forgives us-it’s gone! It’s forgotten!

    • Don’t dwell on the past, focus on the present, work on the future together.

    • Holding her hand or rubbing her feet is a love language I have learned over the years. It means just as much as me looking at her and saying “I love you”>

    • There is nothing she loves more than getting her feet loved-so she gets her feet rubbed everyday

    • We are going to mess up and get mad at one another, but it’s the forgiveness. And keep working at pleasing one another

    • Prayer together, keeping Christ at the center is when our marriage is the strongest

    • You need friends you can confide in, to talk to, to pray with you, to encourage you, when things are not going so well. Don’t share it with everyone, but find believers you can trust and pray for me. I have seen so many miracles in our marriage!

    • My wife is the ultimate gift I. I have been so blessed. I could not ask for more beautiful, loving wife. Not always been easy, it has been difficult, very difficult at times, but my love never wavered and I just thank God every day for every day that we have together. I think no matter what comes our way, all I can say is “thank you”.

Thanks for your wisdom, love, honestly, and example Mom and Dad! Happy 40th wedding anniversary! I thank God for you and pray He gives you many, many more!

Love,

Betty

Feel Like Cheating On Him?

I was walking down Queen street in Downtown Lancaster last Friday after attending a conference for work. It was a perfect day for a stroll, and I did so with a bounce in my step in my cute blue dress and spunky flats. I passed a gathering of three edgy hipster friends-2 girls and a guy-all with tattoos and piercings. Just as I passed them the male in the squad said “Have an amazing day!” I stopped. Pivoted around to the group, pointed at him smiled, and said “You do the same.” and continued on my way. A few yards later I heard a voice behind me saying something I couldn’t make out. Then I heard “Beautiful!” and didn’t turn because HOW AWKWARD if it’s not to me, but then heard “Hey beautiful!” Another time, but this time closer and the sound of someone coming near. I turned. It was the well-wishing tattooed guy, and he said, “You got a boyfriend?”. The way my eyes lit up and my smile burst onto my face spoke for itself–but I reiterated with the words, “I sure do”. He said, “You feel like cheating on him?”

(PUKE)

I kept my smile bright and just said “No, I’m one of those people really into the whole “faithfulness” thing”.

Our interaction lasted maybe 45 seconds more, as he told me he found out his fiance had just cheated on him, and I tried my best to encourage him and bounce. Retrospectively, I wish I would’ve told him about Jesus-but I was so caught off guard by his request I was only looking for an escape.

It made me re-think a thought I’ve had many times over the last couple of year of my adult life:

Cheating is easy.

Now, that sounds weird. It even feels weird to type and to read. Cheating isn’t easy! I’ve never cheated on anyone before, it seems like it would require so much turmoil and difficulty. It sounds like it would eat away at your soul, and naw at your nerves. It sounds AWFUL and difficult.

Well yes, of course. But also, in this fallen world it will always be an option, an opportunity. That’s what I mean. I’m 27, and not that good looking. I mean-I’m pretty, but I ain’t no movie star or model. I’m pretty average looking. I’m kind and make an effort to be modest and try to be a woman obsessed with God, am dating-and still I have men “come onto me”. And I don’t know for sure-but probably there will always be men that show me attention. Always be men that tell me I’m pretty and encourage my smile. There will always be men that pull me in for a hug a little longer and a little closer. Who text me a little more often with a few more emojis. I’ll always have the option to be unfaithful. In thought or in deed. In small ways or in big ways.

This is a broken world–rampant with opportunities to sin. So we look to 1 Peter 5:8:

We know that Satan would love to destroy our ministries and reputations, and a slow fade in this area is one of his favorite tricks. We always have to be on guard: guard our hearts, our minds, and our actions. Always have to be above reproach, cautious, and staying far away from enjoying someone else’s attention or company more than our spouse’s. Faithfulness is a rare thing in our culture today, and we need to guard it like the precious jewel that it is.  Who cares if people get offended by our boundaries?? Be super alert and cautious now, so that we’re super alert and cautious 25 years from now as well: so that He is seen as BEAUTIFUL in our lives. ❤

Soli Deo Gloria!

Love,

Betty

 

 

Incest, Homosexuality, & God’s Ideal

I love my job.

Last Monday night, at a teen girl’s Bible study on the book of Ruth, we read this from chapter one:

But Naomi replied, “Why should you go on with me? Can I still give birth to other sons who could grow up to be your husbands? No, my daughters, return to your parents’ homes, for I am too old to marry again. And even if it were possible, and I were to get married tonight and bear sons, then what? Would you wait for them to grow up and refuse to marry someone else? No, of course not, my daughters!”

I could see the look of terror & confusion on the faces of the 6 girls sitting around me. I tried to explain the value of family/name/inheritances/etc. in that time period and the devaluing of women-especially widows.

But before I could drone on for too long, one of the girl’s said, much to the delight of some other girls in the room, “Oh, so incest is okay, but the gays aren’t?”

Good question!

[SIDE NOTE: It makes me VERY HAPPY that the girls are comfortable enough to say/ask these sort of things. That is a legitimate and completely understandable point!]

I didn’t address the comment too much right then. Partly because I was a little thrown off by it, and partly because I don’t want to make that the focus of the study. But this week when I meet with them, I want to talk about it-because it’s an excellent point, and I want the girls to understand what Christians believe and what we don’t believe. They are hearing a lot of WRONG things about Christianity (from Christians and non-Christians alike!) and I want to help them see where I (and the Factory) stand! And so here’s sort of what I want to say:

God, as the creator of all things, made things for certain purposes. And He LOVES what He made. One of the brilliant parts of His plan was to design male and female to compliment and complete each other-both in body and in self. He made them different, and He made them for each other. Then He established the union of marriage, so that these two people would be committed to each other for life. In so doing, they would have the security of having ONE person who loves them, knows them, serves them-for a lifetime! It would take all that time to grow in understanding of the other person, and a lifetime to grow deeper in love with that one person. He decided to give humankind that long term love so that they could experience a depth of love that one could never experience with just short flings. Love planted in the security of a lifelong commitment, growing through the soils of perseverance, produce the most beautiful and precious flower of being fully known and fully loved.

God could have created just that. Man and woman who compliment each other-are different and help each other with their corresponding strengths and weaknesses, and give them the mandate to be loyal for life-so that their joy is ENORMOUS and their hearts are secure. BUT He did even more than that. He took it a step farther and created sex.

Knowing that a lifetime of commitment would be difficult in many ways, due to people’s own selfishness and the stresses of life-He created sex. The way He designed it is MIRACULOUS. Yes, it is to procreate-but it is so much more than that! It is for UNITY and it is for PLEASURE! In God’s brilliance He decided to give the couple that enters the challenging, rewarding lifetime commitment to one another the gift of intercourse. This gift would bring so much joy, it would bring a closeness and a oneness that is unlike anything else. It would cause the man and woman to love, know, cherish, and protect one another’s bodies. God infused chemical reactions into the process that binds the couple together in an even DEEPER unity and an even DEEPER adoration. It would tie them to each other. Such a unifying act with that one person strengthens their bonds of commitment. The deep intimacy, care, and dependency on one another’s strengths and differences brings about the most wonderful, delightful, glorious union.

THAT is God’s plan for marriage. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Isn’t that #goals? THAT brings US the most joy. And OUR utmost joy, brings HIM JOY.

So the reason He disapproves of homosexuality, is the same reason he disapproves of sleeping around, of having sex before you are married, the same reason He hates one night stands, and cheating spouses. It’s not his perfect plan. It robs us of the joy that we COULD be experiencing if we OBEYED him. That’s what God is all about-us loving him and finding joy and fulfillment in loving Him!

A couple of other things:

  1. I want to remind them of the kindness of this “marrying of relatives”, that incest is strictly forbidden in many parts of the Bible-but this is making sure family takes care of family, in a time where being a family-less widow was among one of the worst possible things could happen to a woman. Women couldn’t inherit anything, they had NO rights, and couldn’t get jobs to take care of themselves. For a widow without a family to take her in, the options were  pretty much just begging, prostitution, or starvation. Being a wife once again, would be protecting, providing, and honoring her. Weird and confusing, I know. But history is history!
  2. Homosexuality is not the unpardonable sin. God lists it among other sins like greed, pride, and stealing. I don’t want to elevate it to somewhere it shouldn’t be.
  3. I love the gays, JUST like I still love my friends who are sleeping with their boyfriends. I just think they are missing out on God’s BEST for them.
  4. God loves the gays. No one is going to hell because of their sexual preference. The only reason people spend an eternity apart from God is if they don’t love God –> meaning they don’t know him (@Jesus) –> meaning they don’t believe and trust Him –> meaning they don’t desire to obey Him.
  5. I don’t expect you  (as a non-Christian) to believe homosexuality is wrong-in fact, I expect you to believe it is FINE! If I were not a Christian, I would be fine with it too. Let’s be tolerate of each other’s views-and agree to disagree.
  6. Lastly, the Bible says that a marriage relationship (in it’s most perfect state) was given to be a picture of the relationship that God wants with humankind! God wants commitment, unity, delight, and teamwork with the Church! And that to me is really cool!

Writing this all out helps me process and prepare! Thanks for reading, and as always, I’d be happy to hear your thoughts!

marriage-2

 

A Single Believer’s Guide to Attending Weddings

I love weddings.

The beauty.

The joy.

The tears.

The message.

The speeches.

The creativity

The eating.

The dancing.

 

But for some of us who are not on the precipice of marital bliss, weddings can be…well…painful.

 

For the single mom who regrets her wedding day.

For the guy whose girl just left him.

For the girl who guys never fall for.

For the recently widowed.

For the girl who “wasn’t enough” to marry.

For the guy who was too late in asking her.

 

What do these people do as wedding invite after invite flood their mailbox? How do they prepare themselves for walking into yet another celebration feeling alone? How do they look forward to:

 

Sitting alone at the ceremony

Sitting out during the “couple dances”.

Sitting with all couples or families.

Or perhaps worst-sitting at the “single” table?

If you are a believer, I have 3 encouraging verses to share with you to help you honor God and enjoy the weddings you attend. These have wonderfully changed how I attend weddings and I can honestly say they are a JOY. Though during the wedding/reception the sting of singleness may still arise, its pain doesn’t linger, and I am truly able to rejoice in the day! I hope these help you to attend weddings with gospel rooted happiness, clarity of mind, and focus on others!

  • Pray for selflessness
    1. Romans 12: 15 says to “Rejoice with those who rejoice”. So, as you are tempted to think about your loneliness, your heartache, your etc. etc. etc., remind yourself that this. Is. Not. About. You! Yes, it may hurt, but take your eyes off your own pain and pray for eyes to see and rejoice in the excitement and joy of others. Pray for the ability to put your mourning on a shelf, and for the night, focus solely on praising the Lord for how he provided for this couple. How he blessed this couple. How he led this couple. Because it’s okay that he chose not to do that to you. His timing and his way is perfect, and he is to be praised in the land of plenty, and the land of drought.
  • Look for others to bless
    1. God is a God of comfort, and he desires and commands us to comfort other (2 Corinthians 1). Chances are that in this situation (as well as most situations) if you are slightly uncomfortable, there are others there feeling that exact same way as well. Try and find a person who looks like they need love, and make it your job to encourage them and help them have a joyful experience! By taking your eyes off yourself, and onto someone else in need-both you AND the other person will be blessed.
  • Let their love point you to a bigger Love
    1. In my opinion, the MOST IMPORTANT point to focus on during weddings is this one. Ephesians 5:25-33 talks all about how a husband and a wife are simply a PICTURE of Christ and the church. So during the wedding think deeply on what their love tells you about God’s love for his people. Think about your “conversion moment” when you hear about when the couple first fell in love. Think about your “salvation prayer” or when you dedicated your life to Christ as they exchange their vows. As you drive to the reception, reflect on the journey of life God has given you. When you reach the reception, know that when you arrive in Glory, there will be a celebration for the Groom and his Bride that will go above and beyond anything this life has to offer. And as you feast, and dance, and laugh, know that love IS worth celebrating and in Christ you have the most glorious, perfect love ever offered.

So before you apply your waterproof mascara or put that church’s address in your GPS, pray. Pray for someone to bless. Pray for a heart of gratitude and joy. Pray for eyes to see the parallels between husband and wife with Christ and the Church. Pray that your affections for God are strengthened and increased. Pray that you can impact others at the wedding with the love of Christ. And know that when you pray, the peace of God will guard your heart and your mind (Phil. 4:7)-and I guarantee your wedding experience will be better because of it! 🙂

Also, quick shout out to the 2015 weddings I went to that were FULL of worship and joy: Amber & Christopher Gomes, Amy & Blair Fisher- I love the four of you DEEPLY and am SO thankful for your love, example, and friendships! ❤

P.S. Below are some of my favorite quotes about marriage! Enjoy!

"Marriage is two flawed people coming together to create a space of stability, love & consolation, a haven in a heartless world." Tim Keller:

"The love language of all marriages is self-denial." (Burk Parsons):

John Piper on marriage:

John Piper, Momentary Marriage:

I have this marriage, so blessed.:

Marriage:

Marriage:

And this one..hee hee hee…

A Question for my Married Friends

So this is something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

The Old Testament is full of the relationship between God and his chosen people being compared to a husband and wife. And then Jesus, in the New Testament of course, says that awesome bit in Ephesians 5 about husbands loving their wives as Christ loves the church. So I infer that the opposite is also true. Wives then are to love their husbands like the church love Christ, right?

So I’ve been asking myself, what does that really look like?

This is what I’ve come up with. God/Christ/Husband Figure is supposed to be the pursuer, the delighter, the sustainer, and the provider. That is what God does with his people. He chooses us, he lavishes love and (TOTALLY UNDESERVED) grace upon us. He is the one that keeps the relationship together. Though we are prone to wander (Lord, I feel it!), it is HE who fights for our unity. He gives his children all that they need and satisfies them.

The proper response of the church-is to be crazy about Jesus, right? We are to be all about praising Him, and lifting Him up,and helping others see Him as glorious and awesome as He truly is. We should LOVE being with Him more than ANY other thing, and we should respond to his love with delight and thanksgiving. We should be ALL ABOUT serving Him, and ALL ABOUT pleasing Him because we are so grateful for the way that He loves us.

Right?

And our marriages are supposed to reflect that, right? OBVIOUSLY, no couple will ever be perfect. And OBVIOUSLY we should NOT worship our husband, and we DON’T save our wives. But in a smaller, defaced humanistic sort of way, isn’t that what it should look like to the outside world and feel like to us?

I need to know what my married brothers and sisters think, because I know I dream big and am a die hard optimist. Am I seeing this correctly?

One day I hope to be married, and I so badly want people to watch the interactions my husband and I have, and say “that’s awesome”. So that my response will be: It’s awesome because it’s a reflection of God and us. And then they’ll be all like “whaaa” and I’ll tell them the gospel, and how awesome God’s love is, and how easy it is for me to serve Him with my life because of his love. Then I want to look to my awesome husband, and point out that though he is faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar from perfect (am I equally, if not farther from it), he loves me awesomely, which makes it’s easier to selflessly serve him.

Where am I wrong in this analysis? Where am I right? Help a sister out!

Mounted Scripture Art 16x20  Ephesians by ToSuchAsTheseDesigns, $45.00