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It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
and the book:
CreateSpace (May 23, 2011)
***Special thanks to Michelle Stimpson for sending me a review copy.***
Michelle Stimpson is an author, a speaker, and an educator who received her Bachelor of Science degree from Jarvis Christian College in 1994. She earned a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2002. She has had the pleasure of teaching elementary, middle, and high school as well as training adults.
In addition to her work in the field of education, Michelle ministers through writing and public speaking. Her works include the highly acclaimed Boaz Brown, Divas of Damascus Road (National Bestseller), and Last Temptation. She has published several short stories for high school students through her educational publishing company, Right Track Academic Support Services, at www.wegottaread.com.
Michelle serves in the Discerning Hearts women’s ministry at her home church, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. She also ministers to women through her online newsletter: www.womengrowinginchrist.com.
Michelle tours annually with the Anointed Authors on Tour. She regularly speaks at special events and writing workshops sponsored churches, schools, book clubs and other great organizations.
Michelle lives near Dallas with her husband, their two teenage children, and one crazy dog.
Visit the author’s website.
What wife hasn’t second-guessed herself after a heated discussion or yet another curious incident of the missing remote control? In addition to the title’s question, this book discusses those unspoken thoughts lurking in the back of even Christian women’s minds, such as:
* We’ve Grown Apart
* I’m Just Not That Into Sex
* I Miss the Thrill of Being Single
* I Love My Husband, but I’m Not In Love
* Watching My Parents Probably Messed Me Up
While these silent ponderings might seem harmless, they have the potential to create a negative undercurrent of resentment if not specifically addressed in prayer. Through this spinoff of her popular Christian fiction novel, The Good Stuff, Stimpson tackles tough questions about wifehood through this short, humorous book of wisdom for the not-so-in-love-with-my-husband days.
List Price: $6.99
Paperback: 84 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (May 23, 2011)
AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:
I’m sure our wedding picture could appear on posters warning romantic kids about what not to do. For starters, I was four months pregnant when we married. Stevie and I were in love, but I’d be lying if I said our unborn baby wasn’t a major factor in our decision to marry after our thirteen-month long-distance courtship.
Stevie was twenty-three, I was twenty-one. He had a child from a previous relationship, and I was still secretly reeling from a past heartbreak. We both came from so-called “broken homes.” His parents divorced when he was in middle school, mine when I was only a child, though my mother re-married when I was four. She and my step-father later divorced. Neither Stevie nor I had any kind of model for a successful marriage.
Stevie had said that he was raised in the church, but (as is turns out) we had two different working definitions of what it meant to be church-reared. He was a CME member (Christmas, Mother’s Day, and Easter), while I was the child of the church musician (attending services every Sunday, many weeknights, too). Nonetheless, we were equally yoked because we were both spiritual infants. Probably more like spiritual embryos.
But we were in love. And Stevie had super-hot legs.
The one good thing was our financial situation. I had just finished college and begun making decent money as a teacher, while Stevie worked at a plastic manufacturing company. We had very little debt. Stevie was good with money, and we both really liked seventy-nine cent burritos.
As the “bad years” came upon our marriage, a slew of regrets constantly nagged me:
I wished I’d known him better before I’d gone and gotten myself pregnant.
I wished I hadn’t gotten myself pregnant in the first place.
We shouldn’t have married just because of the baby.
We were too young—I barely even knew myself.
We didn’t have time to settle into our marriage before the baby got here.
We should have had more than thirty minutes of pre-marital counseling.
I should have checked his church attendance record.
I imagined myself writing any or all of these statements on papers requesting a divorce. Who could expect us to overcome those feats? Why didn’t anyone tell me how hard marriage could be?
To make my personal pity-party even worse, I was the first of my college friends to get married. Watching them move ahead and do all the things I wanted to do but couldn’t, thanks to my brand-spankin’-new family, didn’t help at all.
I didn’t want a divorce. I didn’t want to stay married. I just wished the whole thing had never happened.
* * * * *
Granted, I wouldn’t want my daughter to marry under these circumstances. But if I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t change anything for Stevie and me because the truth is: every marriage is a foreign land. Over these years that my husband and I have been together, I’ve seen young and old, rich and poor, pregnant and non-pregnant, Christian and non-believer, childhood friends and internet-matched couples rise and fall. Sometimes the people who think they’ve got it all together don’t. Sometimes the ones who don’t have a clue figure it out together and overcome all their previous folly, by the grace of God.
Whatever shoulda, woulda, couldas you have about marrying your husband when you did, let them go. Maybe you could have done better. You definitely could have done worse. You made a decision with the information you had at the time, and that’s all anyone can do.
The beauty of a life surrendered to God is His willingness to intervene where His people fall short. If you recognize that your marriage began in a less-than-desirable state, talk to God about it. Admit your shortcomings and ask Him to make sense of your tangled mess. He has a way of un-raveling knots without breaking the string!
* * * * *
Father, I repent of my willful disobedience, and I thank You for Your watchful eye where I was simply ignorant. You have preserved me and this marriage for Your purposes, and I want the testimony of Your ability to deliver us beyond our faults. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
My thoughts ~
I would be lying if I said there was never a time when I doubted my choice in Mr. O. After all, marriage is NOT the fairy tale life some of us envision during our youthful days. But, I recognize that even fantasy in our minds of how life would be different if we had a different spouse or situation only serves to undermine the life we DO have. Besides, I recognize that we should be working to help our spouse get to heaven while they do the same.
Those thoughts are echoed in this title. And, Michelle Stimpson has written to share not only that these doubts can occur for any Christian trying to be a good wife, but that through prayer and God’s grace we can move beyond them and strengthen our marriages. Recognizing that her book is not meant to be a complete solution source, she shares titles for further reading on the topics covered in the ebook.