Back to Life

We’re back to to everyday life. I’ve missed blogging so I thought I’d share what our week looked like after Christmas…

JJ’s parents left early Thursday morning. The boys were so sad, all three of them!! They had such a fun time playing and visiting with Grandma and Grandpa Swope. We played checkers, went shopping, ate out, made science inventions, watched a movie and were just together. It was great! I’ll share favorite Christmas memories and photos in my next post.

JJ went back to work. I worked from home all day on P31 website finalizations and radio planning. We’re launching our new website January 1st so we have lots of final run-throughs and page reviews to do before then.

While I worked at the kitchen table, the boys played with their Christmas toys and hung out with neighborhood friends. Then they spent the night at my mom’s house so JJ and I could go on a date. We went to Panera Bread for dinner and ate in our car so we could make it to a movie on time. How romantic, huh?

But the movie we saw, “P.S. I love you” made up for eating in the car! I needed that movie. I think we needed that movie. Our marriage had been in a tough, dry and “feeling distant” phase for the past few weeks. We’d gotten in an argument in CO that was hard to bounce back from. Then came preparations for Christmas and catching up on life, laundry, emails and work after much travel in November. JJ got sick the weekend before and throughout Christmas so that was hard, and not great for intimacy if you know what I mean.

We needed something that would help us get back to a place where we “felt” the love! This movie was a jolt into reality. It painted a beautiful picture of what love looks like or can look like, even after it’s lost.

If you see this movie, bring tissues. I cried a lot but it was oh so good. It left wanting to love my husband better! It reminded me that each day is a gift and that tomorrow is no guarantee. We both left committed to laugh more, argue less and love each other like it might be our last day together. It was great for our marriage…but warning for your hubby, it is a chick flick.

(Disclaimer: There are a couple of inappropriate scenes but the focus is on being a student of your spouse and helping them become the man or woman God created them to be. Although they don’t say that, it was my take-away.)

I went into the P31 office Friday morning to catch up on emails and respond to some speaking requests. Then our small office staff of nine women headed to Chick-fil-A for a staff-lunch hosted by Mrs. CFA (Lysa TerKeurst). She and her husband Art, who owns a CFA, treated us to nuggets, waffle fries, salads, sanwiches and lots of sauce! We ordered whatever we wanted and then just talked and visited. Then we went to the movies to see “The Great Debaters.” It was such a treat just to have fun with women who work so hard together and a great way to celebrate the end of an amazing year in ministry!

After the movie, Lysa, Leann, Holly (Lysa’s asst) and I went to Border’s Bookstore to get some Starbucks coffee and hunker down for our She Speaks Conference planning session. You should’ve seen us all with our laptops and lattes. We got so much accomplished and are so excited to soon launch our She Speaks registration!!! It’s the best event we do all year and we are so excited about the plans God’s giving us for 2008! Keep an eye on my blog and I’ll let you know when registration begins.

Saturday (Today)
Today we’re getting ready for a trip to to see JJ’s brother and his wife/kids who live about three hours from us. Our boys love playing with their cousins Sara and Alex. JJ and his brother are really close and do fun stuff with the kids while also watching lots of football and shooting some pool in the basement.

I get to go on a scrapbooking binge with my sister-in-love who is a Creative Memories consultant. She has the cropping-room-to die-for. We watch old movies and preserve family memories. I havent’ scrapbooked all year so I hope to get lots of pages done. I just also have to make sure to spend time with the kids so I can make some memories, too. Once I get started I don’t want to stop croppin’ – I am sure someone knows what I mean!

But before we leave, we have to:

  • Finish our taxes because I think we owe. We need to pay before 12/31 to avoid penalties
  • Install mom’s new printer we gave her for Christmas that she’s wanted for months
  • Pack for our trip
  • Find all my scrapbooking stuff
  • Order photos so I’ll have something to scrapbook since they are all still on our computer
  • Pray the photos are processed and ready to pick up on our way out of town.

Life is full, but life is good!

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.


  1. Digging for Pearls says:

    Hope you have a great trip. I was surprised to see that I had won your Christmas giveaway! 🙂 Our family had a nice quiet Christmas at home, just the four of us. Then the 26th through the 28th we had a mini 20th anniversary trip. In the midst of it we took my husband to the doctor and learned he has bronchitis. We arrived home on the 28th to pack up and leave to see my in-laws. We will be here until the 31st. It has been a busy holiday, especially with celebrating our anniversary as well. Hope you have a great New Year’s day.

  2. Isn’t getting “back to life” a drag? I should be getting the house in order, but here I am cruising through the Prov. 31 girls’ blogs instead! You make a great procrastination station! Blessings to you as you get back to life!

  3. Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog says:

    Life is busy isn’t it?!

    I have been wondering about that movie (PS-I love you) because I found the previews interesting pondering how her husband must have known her so well. I will have to try to see that one. Hope you have a fun trip and good new year. Lifting a prayer.
    Much love,

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