The Buschel Digest: November 2017

I feel like I read so much more this month! And it could be because Josh bought me a Kindle Fire for my birthday. I briefly mentioned how I thought an e-reader would be nice to have and was totally shocked and surprised when I opened my gift. It isn’t something I would have bought myself but I am loving it!

How Masturbation Almost Ruined Our Honeymoon

“Masturbation is a grey area in the Christian world. It brings out the fire in people. I’ve wavered in my opinion over the years, but this new stage of life has confirmed to me, that regular masturbation can really mess with your future.”

‘Our Minds Can Be Hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia

An interesting and thought provoking read about Google, Twitter and Facebook workers who helped make this technology so addictive why they are disconnecting themselves from the internet.

Joyfully Lifting Malformed Hands in Worship

This post got me. Beautifully written and an amazing testimony of how God alone can give us strength and comfort even at the most tender and heartbreaking moments.

These Actors Found Fame But Risk Losing Their Childhood

For those of you who watch Stranger Things (I haven’t seen the show but thought this article was worth sharing).

Three Adoption Misconceptions

This is perfect! “If you’ve never seen these correlations between Christianity and adoption then I pray God will speak these truths into your heart. God want’s families rescuing children, not just Christian families, but any family who will pour out grace and love, because all human life is precious.”

Don’t Just Read Alone

This is something Josh and I have been talking about lately. We read from the Bible to our kids during the week and plan to incorporate this into our small group during the Christmas season by reading Luke 1-2 together.

Don’t Leave Your Husband for Her

Rosaria Butterfield’s book Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert is on my reading list for next year. Here is an article she wrote recently that has great points for anyone thinking about committing adultery.

The Lasts of the Iron Lung

This article was fascinating and also heartbreaking. Having had Guillain Barre Syndrome I can relate to only fraction on what these polio survivors mention, but wow. It breaks my heart and I am appalled that the company who holds the technology for the Iron Lung won’t service or maintain their equipment.

What Student Ministry Really Needs? Homework.

Yes, yes, yes. I love this. I think as parents we can often underestimate what our children can understand. I thoroughly enjoy reading the Bible to my kids and teaching them theology. It is a discipline and it is worth it. If my little preschoolers can sit and listen to the Bible being read and answer questions now I know this will serve them well later in life.

The Confessions of April Grace Series by KD McCrite

I read all of these and LOVED them! The take place in the 80’s so there is no internet and reminded me what my childhood was like growing up in that way. These books are written from an 11 year olds perspective and I would recommend them to adults as well as to pre-teens! Fantastic and really loved this series!

The Most Misused Stories in the Bible: Surprising Ways Popular Bible Stories Are Misunderstood by Eric J. Bargerhuff

This was really good and also humorous at times too. A overall well written book for those who are new or very familiar with the Bible. I highlighted many sections in this book.

Eight Women of Faith by Michael A. G. Haykin

This is not a book I would normally read. But I really enjoyed it and liked learning about these different women who changed the course of history. It was fascinating reading about their lives.

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Thankful Everyday

Each morning I wake up grateful for this life I have. I don’t type this as some cliché but as my true heartfelt sentiment. I am so thankful each morning when my eyes open and I can feel the bedsheets touching my skin and the way my socks feel on my feet. My husband thinks it is weird that I sleep in super thick socks. Even in the summer I sleep in them. When I was sick I couldn’t feel my legs so my socks remind me that I can feel. I can move. I can breathe.

With the Thanksgiving weekend slowly creeping away I always get a tad sentimental this time of year. My mind spins at 100 miles a minute thinking about how thankful I am for this life I have. My life is messy at times, I have three little kids, my bathrooms aren’t always clean, and my kitchen floor usually has several sticky spots on it. But in spite of the mess, when the sunlight starts to creep into our home in the morning and I see our kids awake, running around, playing, laughing, and how the light dances around their head casting an angelic glow against their hair and on their skin I am thankful. Thankful for life and for this moment in time that I wasn’t sure I would have years ago.

As crazy as Josh may make me at times he is the only person in the world who deliberately chose to do life with me. For this reason and many others I want to cherish each and every moment I have with him. None of us are guaranteed a certain numbers of days.

Life can get complicated at times and feel overwhelming, almost suffocating. It is at these moments when I know I can not rely on my own self and when I grateful for Jesus. Grateful for the moments when life hits me so hard I can’t bear the weight of it on my own. Our sufferings, shame, and sadness can either push us away from Jesus or bring us to our knees at the foot of the cross.

This life is the only hell believers will ever know. But for those who die in their sins, this is their only heaven.” Ray Comfort

The weight of this statement is huge. Read it again if you need. This life will be some people’s only heaven. And this is why I am grateful for each and everyday I have. Time is short and precious. We have to make the most of the moments we have. 

While I long for heaven, I am thankful to teach and raise my kids to know about the Lord, to read them the Bible, pray over them, and to be a present loving parent in their lives. I can think of no greater blessing then to see my children in heaven one day.

When life starts to feel like a wave crashing down I remind myself of all that I have experienced and where I am going. My thoughts anchor back to my Lord and Savior. And slowly the worries drift away like the wave going back to sea. I never thought I would see a day when I would have the family I do. So I am thankful each day I rise and feel the sunlight on my skin.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17

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The Story of Us

Today is our 10 year wedding anniversary. Woohoo! Josh is my teenage dream come true! I had the biggest crush on him when I was 17 years old. I hope you enjoy my attempt to document how we started dating. 

The Prequel

It can be hard sometimes to determine where the beginning of a story should start. I first noticed my future husband the summer before my senior year of high school. I was 17 years old and lifeguarding at Kiwanis Wave Pool and immediately developed a school girl crush on him.

This guy, who I would quickly learn was named Josh, was walking across the pool deck wearing a Tennessee Titans hat and a shirt that indicated he was a pool manager at another city pool. I honestly didn’t think it would EVER be a possibility that I would date Josh because I knew he had to be in college, if not graduated, but I still joked with my friends at work over the summer that I was going to marry him one day and have his babies.I was able to get scheduled twice that summer at the outdoor pool while Josh was managing. I don’t think he spoke to me directly that day.

The summer ended, high school resumed, then it was summer again. I lifeguarded and taught swim lessons over the summer before attending Arizona State University and continued working in this capacity all throughout college.

Sometime between my freshman and sophomore year at ASU I got booted off my parents family membership at Lifetime Fitness. I decided that this would be the perfect time to join the YMCA. And why the YMCA you ask? Well it was a fairly easy choice on what gym to join. The price was right, it was close to home, and I almost Josh also worked there. On one occasion my mom was using a guest pass and I can remember pointing out Josh to her as he walked down the hallway. I told her how he also worked for the City of Tempe, was from Tennessee, wanted to be a firefighter, and probably a few more random facts about a person I had never talked with.

During my junior year in college I overheard at work that Josh had been hired as a firefighter and was moving to Tennessee. So you can imagine my surprise when I found out that my position that upcoming summer would be working alongside Josh as his assistant manager at an outdoor pool. Josh had moved to Arizona from Tennessee specifically with the goal to get hired as a firefighter in this state. At this point he had been testing for a little over 6 years when he decided to go back to Tennessee to see if he could get hired.

If you are unfamiliar with the hiring process for the Fire Department it is brutal. There are usually over a thousand applicants for just a handful of positions. It is uncommon, but does happen, where positions can be offered and then revoked for various reasons. In Josh’s case he had already been fitted for his uniform when he discovered he would no longer be hired.

In life we sometimes have the opportunity to look back on challenging seasons and see how God was at work. For some of us, it is easy to see how something better was waiting in the months or years ahead, and for others of us, we may never get the answer on this side of eternity. Fast forward our story two years and Josh and I would be on our honeymoon when he would learn he had been hired to a local Fire Department.

The Story

In March of 2005 we had a staff training and because Josh and I knew we were going to be working together all summer we sat next to each other and had our first real conversation. I also found out he was 10 years older then me. We left the training walking to our cars together and I can remember telling him that we were going to be best friends by the end of the summer. I am pretty sure he didn’t believe me. This is our first ever picture together. I was thrilled. In case you are curious, I am 21 years old in this picture and Josh had just turned 32.

I really didn’t see Josh very much the majority of the summer. I saw him when he would come in to work, but then I would leave, and I also saw him for two hours each week at inservice training. You can learn a lot about a person in a work environment. I got to see how Josh treated others, his leadership skills, work ethic, his lighthearted attitude towards life, and the way he valued my ideas and opinions. It wasn’t until the end of the summer, on the night of our staff awards banquet, that we actually spent time together not getting paid. I am pretty sure he fell for me that night or if could have been a slow build up of spending short snippets of time together over the summer.

As the summer season wrapped up, we slowly began spending more time together away from work. We would meet up for a movie or to grab a bite to eat and easily spend hours talking on the phone. Over the course of the next two months Josh would try to hold my hand at the movie theater and I would pull it away. It might sound silly but once I knew there was a 10 year age difference between us I wanted to make clear, I was a girl worth pursuing and also respecting. Not that I think holding hands is in anyway disrespectful but I just needed to know, that he knew, I was worth the wait.

I knew that things might be moving from friends to potentially something more when Josh offered to go trail running with me at South Mountain. I was fairly confident that he must like me more than a friend because Josh was not a runner. We did my 5 mile loop and he jokes that his knees haven’t been the same since. Shortly after this my hand became quite comfortable tucked securely in Josh’s hand.

The majority of the time we spent together was at my parents house because I still lived at home. We would typically eat dinner with my family, which I am beyond grateful for, because Josh really got to know my parents and brother and they really got to know him. After every meal he ate with us he always volunteered to do the dishes and my mom grinned and graciously allowed him to clean her kitchen.

One night after dinner we went for a walk in the neighborhood. I need to preface this by saying that up until this point we had not let anyone at work know we were dating. We were holding hands and suddenly heard our names questioningly being called from behind. As we turned we could see Kyle Perkins, a lifeguard who worked at our pool over the summer, and Kyle if you happen to be reading please know that we still laugh about this, with what could only be described as a jaw dropping expression on his face as he rode by on his bicycle. And after that it quickly became known that Josh and I were dating.

How We Became Us

I am not really sure when our friendship turned into something more because it was this slow crescendo that built up over time. We began looking for a church to attend together and found our church home that we still attend to this day. Josh was baptized there when we were dating, we were married there, and all of our children have been dedicated there.

We quickly fell into an easy routine of spending time together and with my family, going to church, Josh writing me love letters, and talking on the phone before falling asleep at night. Josh told me that he wanted to marry me shortly after we started dating.

I didn’t have any clue that he was saving for a ring, or even how much a ring cost, or how nice of ring he wanted to give me. Finally after what felt like forever, when in reality it had been a year, he asked me to marry him. You can read more about his proposal HERE and see my ring HERE.

This post could continue to go on and on forever but because I know it is getting long I am going to wrap it up. The past 10 years have been mixed with joy and heartbreak, sickness and health3 babies, 2 vasectomies, and much more in between. I would be lying if I said I had this whole marriage thing figured out. I don’t. But what I do know is that marriage is a commitment and one that is not always easy. Josh has been my faithful friend for the last 12 years and the passage below sums up my feelings towards him and our relationship.

In the year 1846 Rev. Richard Baxter wrote…

It is a mercy to have a faithful friend, that loveth you entirely, and is as true to you as yourself, to whom you may open your mind and communicate your affairs, and who would be ready to strengthen you, and divide the cares of your affairs and family with you, and help you to bear your burdens, and comfort you in your sorrows, and be the daily companion of your lives, and partaker of your joys and sorrows. And it is a mercy to have so near a friend to be a helper to your soul; to join with you in prayer and other holy exercises; to watch over you and tell you of your sins and dangers, and to stir up in you the grace of God, and remember to you of the life to come, and cheerfully accompany you in the ways of holiness.

I am grateful for our marriage, for the joy and heartaches that have continually brought us back to Jesus, for God’s grace, and for the blessings of our children. This is our story and I hope you have enjoyed this ever so small snippet of our beginning.

PS…Special shout out to our boss Pat for placing us at the same pool together that summer :). It was great running into you at Costco a few weeks ago.

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