True Stories: 2014 In Review

What a difference one tiny person can make in your life. Looking back at where I was at the start of 2014, everything has done a 180. Here’s a quick comparison:

In January 2014:

-pregnant and coping with morning sickness

-working at a nonfiction publishing company, as an editor and writer, commuting 42 miles

-living in the walkout basement while the upstairs remained under construction

-no Christmas tree or decorations due to lack of energy and space

-convinced Vince was the best thing since sliced bread

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In January 2015:

-cuddling a beautiful baby girl every day, no more morning sickness

-working from home, as an editor and writer. Also, a ball-thrower, spit-up wiper, diaper-changer, funny-face maker, little piggy-counter, and off-key lullaby singer. Commuting… to the living room.

-living on both floors of the house, with the upstairs beautifully finished with hardwood and carpet and fresh paint. Both floors are now filled with baby items, but are usable and not under construction.

-ridiculous amounts of holiday cheer, Christmas trees and lights, erupting all over our house, for the benefit of someone’s first Christmas

-Still convinced Vince is the best thing since sliced bread.

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Ok, so the little one doesn’t change everything. But she has changed the contents of our house, our schedules, our work life, and our daily routine. But you know what? That’s ok. They are WONDERFUL changes. Let me tell you, when that baby smiles up at you, her whole face lit up with childish joy, every single sacrifice and life change seems tiny in comparison.

In other news, several of my critique partners have released their debut books– Kristy Cambron, Dawn Crandall, and Carol Moncado. I had a double-semi-final in Genesis, a writing contest of ACFW. I also got to attend the September conference in St. Louis, thanks to my wonderful hubby and his sister Cil, who took care of Elena. My brother also bought his first house and completed his beautiful photography studio. Vince built a gorgeous deck on the back of the house that overlooks the creek and the back woods.

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Our upstairs is now complete! We went from paneled walls and orange shag carpeting to something that looks a little more normal–

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We took a family vacation to the Ozark Mountains–Branson, MO. Vince attended a work seminar while baby and I played. I got to see critique partner Carol Moncado TWICE!! She showed up and cheered my heart for several hours of hangout and writing talk in a much-needed time–the way good friends do 🙂

 

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True Stories: The Marriage Password

Politano0327Most of my blogs center around historical true stories, but a modern day love story caught my heart this week, and I have a specific reason for telling you all about it. So hear me out.

I caught up with an old friend and, after the typical small talk, asked how her marriage was doing. The last time we’d talked, a very deep conversation happened. She told me about her disintegrating relationship with her husband. After a certain number of children, some life changes, and some painful family deaths, they struggled to maintain a relationship. “Then I turned around one day and realized I didn’t care if he even came home every night. He’s mostly just another person to clean up after. I just didn’t care about him. Like, not at all.” That sad admission grabbed me. Not because it was so unusual, but because it’s that place we all dread going with our spouse. We all start out assuming our marriage will be so different, that we’ll always be close to our spouse because they’re the best–and we’re so close. But then reality sinks in and you realize no one is immune to that apathy. Just a few times of letting something slide, or ignoring/putting off that time to focus on “us”…. and here we are. Apathetic and distant. Roommates.Politano0046

But listen, because here’s the encouraging part. When we caught up, she told me what had changed. “It’s a password,” she said.

“Ok, great! Lay it on me. I want to know this ‘password’ that keeps marriages together.”

“No no, I mean, it’s all about my password.”

She then proceeded to tell me about a decision she made at random. When her email was hacked, she had to change the password and had no idea what to use. At this point, her brain and energy were drained by her marital issues. A silly password didn’t seem to matter. She typed in “denim” and hit enter. “It needs more!” the prompt said. A number or something.

So then she got thinking. Maybe “Iluvn8” (her husband’s name being nate). But no, that seemed too corny. She deleted the letters and wrote, “N8 is my hero.” She admitted she laughed out loud when she typed it in, but she made that phrase her password.

Then proceeded to type that sentiment into her computer. Every. Single. Day.

I don’t have to tell you the rest of the story. The phrase embedded itself in her subconscious until it changed her attitude. Just like song lyrics that stick in the back of your head throughout the day, this password, which she typed in no less than 10x a day (after she updated all her passwords to match) began to resonate in her mind, and play out in her actions and attitudes. She was more surprised than he was when she found herself bounding to the door to greet him after work one day, legos and dolls spilling off her lap. All because of that password.

Such a little part of our lives, yet something so frequent. Why waste it? Take every thought captive–every little part of your day should be pointing your thoughts toward Him. Even a password.

My friend went on to pick different passwords after this one, all intentionally chosen and greatly used in her life. She forgave her mother years of hurt. She said next she wants to include something about hating sugar, but her chuckle told me she might not stick to that one. 🙂

So now I want to challenge all of you who are reading this. Perhaps God has prompted you to focus on a certain word or verse this year. Maybe there’s a certain truth you simply cannot let sink into your heart. I dare you–make it your password. I mean, throw in a few numbers to confuse any would-be hackers, of course. I don’t want to compromise your online security. But I DO want you to think about those little parts of your life that you gloss over and ignore. Be intentional, and let those little things shape you for God.