Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Guest Post: On Desires

Editor's Note: Today's guest post is brought to you by none other than my hubby... Loverboy! :) Normally in these intros I write about how I know the guest writer, but I think you can all guess as to how I know Brian. What I will say is that I am incredibly proud of him for openly sharing his story and being vulnerable about his struggles, lessons learned, and victories. It's been a blessing to see God work in his life these past few years and I can't wait to see how He uses our stories in the years to come! God has been gracious to us.

On Desires
Many of you on this blog know me as Loverboy. Others know me as Bri guy, Dougie, B Dougie, B man, Douglas, Brian, or even Boo. I am an engineer, and while my schooling qualifies me to talk about structural integrity or aerodynamics, I have no training that qualifies me to talk about what I am about to share. I do, however, speak from life experiences and some poor choices I have made, from choices that I simultaneously did and didn’t want to make. What many of you may not know is that for a time, beginning in college, I was looking at porn. This is becoming more and more common so you may not be that shocked by this confession, but what you might not know is that I didn’t want to to view porn… but at the same time I really wanted to view porn.
You see, that is the funny things about desires: you don’t just have one, and they are often not very clear. This was a hard time for me because I knew viewing porn was not the Lord’s best for me—I knew that viewing porn was displeasing to God, that it was addictive, that it could ultimately hurt future intimacy with the wife I hoped I would someday have, and that it would hurt me and those around me.
So I knew that it was harmful to be viewing porn and I didn’t want to displease God, but at the same time, I found pleasure in what I was looking at. I tried really hard for awhile to stop, but I was hooked. It seemed like a drug that I couldn’t get away from. It took me awhile to realize that trying harder was not the solution; that I couldn’t get free on my own. I needed divine intervention.
The thing is, divine intervention was ready and waiting for me to call on Him, but my pride was keeping me from accepting it. So finally by the grace of God, I asked for His help. It didn’t all change right away. It was a journey, and as I look back on that journey, I see what God was doing. Here are some thoughts and lessons that God has since shown me on what he was doing.
  • God never commands us to change our desires. That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care what we desire. It just means that he commands us to act a certain way whether we desire to or not. This is important when your desires pull you different ways. While I was viewing porn, I wanted to follow God’s commands but I also wanted to look at porn. I even wanted to want to not look at porn. This is often the first step to breaking free from the addition of porn: want to want the right thing. Now I’m not saying it is easy to act contrary to your desires, but God does call us to act contrary to our desires if our desires are not in line with His will and way.
  • That doesn’t mean he doesn’t care what we desire, but that he realizes that we cannot just change what we desire. God wants us to desire what is good, pure and holy.
  • God can change your desires. He has with mine! It is not a quick process and I cannot say that I never desire to view porn but I have come to realize by God’s work in my life that the pleasure of living by God’s design for my life is far better than anything I could want or desire. My desires have been changing to what God desires for me and away from the empty pleasures I used to want for myself.
  • The first step is to let God work. You can’t be free from any sin or change your desires on your own. God is waiting for you to ask him to help. Not only has He been waiting, He actively has been seeking you out, giving you opportunities to let Him work. You have to humble yourself and choose to let Him work.
  • All this doesn’t mean that we’re off the hook when it comes to desires. Remember a couple bullet points back when I said we can’t just change our desires? I sorta mislead you. I believe that we can change our desires but it is not nearly as simple as just changing them. You see, our choices affect our desires. It molds them. When we choose to do something that we enjoy, we enjoy it all the more! Likewise, when we choose to sin, our desires become tainted. Our sinful nature enjoys it and we desire it more. The reason I desired to view porn is at least partly because I had made choices to lust after woman that I had walked by and I took the good desire that God has placed in me for companionship and beauty, which was already tainted by a sinful nature, and I choose to act sinfully and lust.
I was recently convicted that when I desire something sinful, to confess it to God. Not because I had just acted sinfully, but because my past sinful acts made me to desire something sinful, because desiring what is sinful is not how God designed me to be. But I know that he won’t leave me with these sinful desires. He is changing me everyday. The desire won’t be gone on this side of heaven but I know one day, I will be free from them all.
This is a crazy idea in the culture we live in which tells people to do whatever they want! Our culture says that if a man desires to be intimate with another man, then that must be how God made them and they should do it or if a man desires to be intimate with hundreds of women, then he should do it because that is how God made him.
But the Lord says that there is a way which he has designed us to be. God didn’t design me to find pleasure in porn and lust after women, I made myself that way from a starting point of the sin nature I have from the first sin. We all have turned away from God’s good design and have been following our desires ever since. All the while, He has been patiently waiting to work in us to give us the power to choose what is right, to give us the desire to do what is right and this way, God’s way leads to life.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Currently & Exploring NE Minneapolis

Hey friends! It's been a little quiet in this corner of the internet, so I wanted to share some of the things that are happening in my life currently. 

Obsessing over-- These free lock screens and prints by French Press Mornings! A friend told me about them after I saw a bunch of cute scripture prints all over her house and I'm so excited to print some out for my own home!

Listening to-- Redeemer by Paul Cardall. This is seriously the most relaxing and inspirational instrumental song I've heard in a long while. I can just sit and listen to it on repeat. And it's amazing background writing music. :) 

Planning-- A little sale for all the Mysa Home Styling Newsletter subscribers that I'll be sending out on Monday. Make sure you're signed up to get in on this sweet deal! :) 

Reading-- A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers. Loverboy and I are reading this together at night and it is SO GOOD. I've read the trilogy before, but it's fun to read with Brian. It's basically a book about ancient Rome and gladiators and slaves and rich politicians and romance (ooh lala!) and all kinds of fun stuff! 

Enjoying-- Playing around with my new camera! It's been so much fun to have something besides my iphone (and my own two eyes) to see the world through. Last night Loverboy and I took a walk around the neighborhood—our usual little loop—and having a camera with really made me notice things I hadn't paid attention to before. Here are a few little snapshots from our "photo walk." Brian kept saying that I was getting distracted from my walking by taking photos and getting distracted from taking photos by walking. Ha! What a goof!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Weekend Wrap-Up (& a blog update!)

Another week, another weekend wrap-up! :) This week has been a pretty exciting one for me, as I launched a small home styling business, Mysa Home Styling. You might notice that there's a blog over there, and that might make you wonder if The Things That Make Us Tick is gonna stick around. Well, I can tell you that right now my plan is to keep this baby around for as long as I like writing about life and marriage and faith and food and music and travel and all the other non-home related things that I blog about. So YES! You will still find content here, it just might be slightly less frequent (especially at first here while I'm getting Mysa up and running), and there will probably be less home-related posts here since that will be happening over on the Mysa blog. So if you love home stuff as much as I do, make sure and follow the Mysa Blog!

So without further ado, some sweet stuff I found on the internet this week...
  This Brie and Grape Crostini from A Cup of Jo looks heavenly!

This post on how to style overhead still life photos from the Nesting Place is helpful... especially if you're into Instagram!

And lastly, just try and tell me that this doesn't look adorable. It comes out in a week! 

Monday, May 23, 2016

It's here! It's here! It's finally here!

You guys!!! The day is finally here! Today there is reason to celebrate! WHYYY you may ask? Today I am launching a very special project that I have been working on. Click here to check it out!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Weekend Wrap-Up

Happy Friday, friends! There was a lot of good stuff happening around Blog-land this week... here's a peek into a couple of my favorites! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, in spite of the crummy May weather. We have a chill night-in planned with our new friend, Blue Apron (check out Instagram later tonight for final results!), and then some time with family, and Sunday I have work (wahh-wahhh). BUT, I'm excited for the next 36 hours, so bring it on!

It was fun to see A Cup of Jo feature Minneapolis for a city guide.

This beautiful guest room makeover by Emily Henderson is swoon-worthy.

These Sweet Potato Curly Fries by My Name is Yeh look divine!

This fake-out wallpaper DIY by A Beautiful Mess is ingenious and I could see it having a lot of possible applications in a home.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How to Spend a Weekend in Chicago (On the Cheap!)

This past weekend Loverboy and I headed to the Windy City for a few days. We got some cheap flights and thought, why not? And thanks to the awesome suggestions from Instagram/Facebook, we had a pretty great time. So I wanted to share some of what we did and saw with all of you... as kind of a pay it forward, ya' know? :)

We stayed at an Airbnb about 20 minutes outside of the city. We love Airbnb as an affordable (and adorable) option! Click here for a $20 credit!

Of course we had to check out the bean! A classic Chicago sight.

Going on a Thursday afternoon was a good idea! We also went on Saturday to meet up with some friends and it was way crazier!

We frequented Intelligentsia Coffee a couple times... my coffee loving hubby was in heaven!

The Field Museum was my favorite of the three we got into with our Science Museum of MN membership. $70 for the membership and you get into the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, and Museum of Science & Industry. SUCH a deal, as it's $70 for two tickets into the Field museum alone!

Visiting Eataly was such a wonderful experience! It's a large building filled with all kinds of Italian foods... cheese, bread, wine, pizza, pasta, meat, fish, and more! They have a Nutella bar, as well as gelato and other sweets. 

Stan's Donuts may have been the winner of the trip. Brian and I both agreed that the nutella and banana pocket donut was one of the best we've ever had!

Plus, they had cute floors! :)

The other big winner was Nando's Peri-Peri. We went there for lunch one day and I was head over heels for the place.

We got to sit in swinging baskets. All the details were so cute!

And the food was delicious!

Brian loved the Museum of Science and Industry! This giant train model was amazing.

We spent our last evening at the Navy Pier. It was beautiful and sunny and we got to experience our first taste of Chicago deep dish pizza at Giordano's. Yum!

To see more of our adventures from Chicago, check out my Instagram!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

3 TV Shows To Cure the Rainy Day Blues

Friends, it's spring. Which means that you should be outside frolicking in the flowers and taking in deep breaths of fresh air, right?! BUT, imagine with me, for just one second, that you live in a dark and gloomy place where spring plays tricks on you and comes and goes. Imagine for a second that you live in Minnesota. Then you might need some other form of spring entertainment than the flowers and butterflies and bunnies. Because in Minnesota, it can be 80 degrees and sunny one week, and 40s and rainy the other (let's just say it's been the latter lately). So, without further ado, I wanted to give you a few suggestions of ways to cure those "is it really springtime??" blues. Cue, the Netflix binge. :)

Parks & Recreation
Hands down the best comedy that's out there (in my humble opinion). You can stream all the seasons on Netflix (weekend plans, anyone??), but I will give you fair warning that you have to get through the first two seasons to really get to the Parks & Rec gold. But anyone who's done it will tell you that it is so worth it. The characters are loveable, the scenarios hilarious, and the setting charming.

White Collar
White Collar may very well be my favorite non-comedy, but also not action/intense/scary TV show. It tells the story of a white collar Criminal who is contracted with the FBI to help them solve art and other white collar crimes. Watching the character growth, as well as different relationships develop throughout the series is one of the best parts. Plus the cool heists and spy-esque aspects of the show are definitely a bonus! White Collar is also available on Netflix.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Andy Sandberg is a comedy genius, and the rest of the Nine-Nine crew are right up there with him. There's a quirky character for everyone in this NYC cop comedy, and the hijinks they get into are ridiculous and wonderful. This lighthearted show will definitely get you laughing, even if it's over how awkward a situation is. Unfortunately, this one's not on Netflix, but if you've got Hulu, then you're in the clear!

So there you have it! Three TV shows that will cure you of those rainy day blues. What are some of your favorites?

Monday, April 18, 2016

On Dreams & Fear


Dreaming is scary. (The awake kind of dreaming about the future and your hopes and goals... although sleeping dreaming can also be scary! But I'm here to talk about the awake kind.) I guess the actual dreaming itself isn't too bad. In fact, that part is kind of fun! It's the acting on those dreams that involves risk, putting yourself out there, and the possibility of failure. Taking steps to make your dreams a reality is the real scary part. It's the part that induces fear and worry and anxiety. Because what if your dream doesn't work? What if people think it's silly? What if you fall flat on your face?

But, as my husband so gently reminded me last night, if you don't try, you'll never know. If you don't take those scary steps, don't risk a little, you'll never know if that dream could be a reality. And that's almost more scary than the fear of failure.

I don't want to look back on my life with a bunch of "what ifs." I don't want to have to wonder if things could have been different if only I had tried, if only I had risked. I want to put the work into acting on my dreams, and if I fall flat on my face, so be it. And yeah, there may not be a complete lack of fear, but who ever said there was anything wrong with just doing it afraid?

And after all, fear is just a lie.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Weekend Wrap-Up

It's the weekend! It's looking like it's going to be in the SEVENTIES all weekend up here in the north, so I am kind of freaking out. Tonight the hubs and I are laying low due to a busy Saturday and Sunday filled with conferences, coffees, desserts, football games, thrifting, and a double date. So lots of good things, but all in all, a lot of things. What are ya'll up to this weekend? Please just make sure and get outside, whatever you do!


I've been obsessed with cheese boards lately, and this one looks divine. They just seem so fancy, but still relaxed and chill and not uppity, ya know? Definitely on my list to try my hand at making one in the coming weeks!

I love this post on how to be a better friend, even when you're busy. (Seems like it could apply to us, especially this weekend!) Who doesn't need a little bit of help being a better friend?

This article on your passion not being your full-time thing is probably right up every millennial's alley. ;) But actually, I found it really encouraging for this season of life.

Last week I attended a training on empathy and boundaries put on by an anti-trafficking ministry in Minneapolis and they showed this short 3 minute video on empathy by Brene Brown. It does a good job of showing what exactly empathy is and how it differs from sympathy.

As you know from my post on hospitality & dining tables, I've really been digging the idea of a supper club lately. This post on how to start a weekly supper club has some great tips and ideas!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Instagram Lately & What's on Repeat

I just wanted to pop in real quick to say HI!!! and to do a shout-out to my Instagram! If you want to get more behind-the-scenes awesome-ness, that's the place to find me. Sometimes I just don't have the time (or content! Let's be honest, creativity can hit a wall sometimes!) for a whole blog post, so that's when I take a few minutes and share some life on Instagram.

Here's a little sneak peak into the kind of stuff I post. So if you're into home styling, Jesus, motivational stuff, ramblings about my life, or just pretty photos, hit that little "follow" button next to my name if you're on Instagram, and if you're not, no worries, you can still view my photos.

Also, since this post is pretty random already anyway, I want to leave you with this little beauty. It was sung at our church a couple weeks ago and I've pretty much had it on repeat since then. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

5 of Our Go-To Recipes

Happy Thursday! The weekend is drawing near, which means more time for cooking delicious meals and hosting friends and family. Since I recently wrote about dining tables and hospitality, I thought I would share with you some of our go-to recipes, both for entertaining, and for a quiet night in just the two of us.

1. Sausage Pasta
The perfect comfort food! Plus, it's basically a one-pot recipe. We love making this when we have one other couple over because not only is it the perfect amount of food for four, but it's also beautiful and tasty!

This chicken is amazing! All the flavors put together make a really unique and delicious combo and it's perfect for tacos (as the recipe suggests), but also works well over rice or with veggies.

This recipe is easy but makes tacos go from "meh" to "woah!" It's also an amazing chip dip. A couple things... I cook the onion and garlic in with the corn, and use feta cheese. So. Good. Major crowd pleaser!

This is our go-to quick meal! It legitimately takes 10 minutes and can be paired with veggies and any kind of carb (pasta, rice, potatoes, couscous, etc) for a healthy and fast meal.

This one's a favorite for the sheer quantity it makes, as well as how fancy it looks. The flavors are amazing and it works super well as leftovers. We'll often make a double batch of the filling and then freeze some of it to make with squash later.

And just for fun... here are a few cookbooks I've had my eye on. Has anyone used any of them? Any other good cookbook recommendations? 


Monday, April 4, 2016

On Hospitality & Dining Tables

I recently finished Jen Hatmaker's For the Love (slowly but surely chipping away at my 2016 reading list!) and it got me thinking a lot about hospitality. One of my favorite chapters was Supper Club (chapter 15). In it, Jen discusses community, friendship, good food, fellowship, and hospitality. And let me tell ya, I was more than just a teensy bit jealous as I read about the monthly supper club that the Hatmakers enjoy.

Here are Jen's rules for supper club (with her commentary, of course!):
  • One night a month, rotating houses.
  • No kids. (Since we have 16 children between us, SC starts at 8 p.m., and the host’s kids are already in bed or bribed with Cheetos and movies. The other parents get sitters, unless they are awesome like me and Melissa and have big kids to babysit, in which case, actual supervision is an incredibly loose concept.)
  • When you host, do everything: plan, shop, cook and clean. So three out of four months, just show up, drink wine, eat amazing food, laugh until you cry and leave your friend’s kitchen an absolute crime scene.
  • The food is serious. If you haven’t started planning your menu a week in advance, you are in the weeds. Don’t you dare put taco soup on the table.
  • All anyone can bring to SC is wine. And you’d better bring some or die trying.
  • SC is any night we make it work, which means we’ve seen 1 a.m. on a Tuesday and paid brutally. (After one such late night, we bemoaned our exhaustion in a group text the next day. [My husband,] Brandon, wrote, “We made the littles eat breakfast at school this morning. Hope the pancake on a stick with sugar syrup works out.”)
  • What happens at SC stays at SC. Failure to comply will result in flogging.
Anyways, I think supper club sounds like one of the best things ever. And so after reading the book I realized that even if we wanted to have supper club, we couldn't because we had a tall square table with 4 tall chairs... not super conducive to more than 4 people eating at it. 

Thus ensued the Great Table Search of 2016. And after looking high and low we found the perfect table that comfortably seats 8, would really easily seat 10, and you could even squeeze 12 around it. Much more conducive to supper clubs, large brunches, family meals, and dinner parties. 

Sometimes you just need to go ahead and get that thing that will help you reach that goal (like that one time when we got a new headboard so we could read in bed). No, getting a new dining table wasn't necessary for living. We had one that worked fine. But it didn't work fine for the goals and dreams we had of having big groups over for meals. It wasn't doing what we needed it to do. 

But now that we have this new spacious table, we get to have family over for Easter, and a few couples over for a Saturday brunch, and another group over for a Friday night dinner party. We get to host and open our home and practice hospitality and create warmth and safety (not that we couldn't before. Now we just get to do it to more people!). As Shauna Niequist puts it in her book, Bread and Wine, “The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved. It's about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment.”

I don't know about you, but I want our home to be a place where people are seen and heard. Where they feel safe and loved and nourished. And yeah, a dining table doesn't do that. But it might just make that possible.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...