The Broken Way

The Broken Way—A Book Review

“You’ve never stood in the majesty of an oak that didn’t come from a busted seed.”

Ann Voskamp’s new book, The Broken Way; a daring path into the abundant life, is best summed up in her quote above. All the broken pieces of ourselves we think are detritus are really fractured seeds awaiting the nutrients needed to bloom.

Through the heartache and unhealed pains life etched on Voskamp’s heart she was able to grow deeper in her walk with Christ, closed to her children and husband and gain footing on her childhood wounds. This book is her story of how she found life after loss, life after tragedy and life after death.

Voskamp’s memoir recounts her journey from brokenness to wholeness as she kept her eyes on Christ she inked in cruciform on her wrist. Her wrist; an area of her body that once held the pain of her childhood is now a site of remembrance, holding God’s love and sacrifice.

In The Broken Way Voskamp details many beautiful examples of her pain, her loss and God’s love and repair. One such example is the acronym GIFT. Instead of accepting gifts for her birthday one year, Ann decided to give gifts, all over her town, to unsuspecting people. With this “Give It Forward Today”, as she called her act of generosity, she realized an important truth. “Allow Christ in you to give away the gift of Himself right through your brokenness. God gives God so we can be the givers. The gift-ers.” Her husband, “The Farmer” (I love that nickname), restates this GIFT idea; The best way to de-stress is to bless.” Simple, focused, deeply profound. Give until your basket is empty, and then allow God to refill it and give until empty again. In this emptying of our God gift baskets we find healing, joy, love, peace, comfort— we find God! I love this!! To be the church (the body of Christ) that God calls us to be, we may actually enjoy healing from our own hurts, all because we blessed others through our desire to live like God.

The Broken Way is Ann’s story, but it relates to us all. Everyone has a hurt in life that has gone unresolved, unhealed and even untouched by God. Untouched, because we are often afraid of the pain acknowledging that hurt will unearth. But take comfort in Ann’s story as an example of what Christ’s hand can do with the broken pieces even when we are only a little willing to let Him in.


A copy of The Broken Way is up for grabs starting TODAY! There are three ways to enter to win a copy of this awesome book!

LIKE me on FACEBOOK (ChristinaRhoadsStreaking)

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The winner will be announced Friday November 4th, 2016. I know you LIKE me, come on and show it!

Intimate Activity


Christina says…

The author of the new book I am reading sums up intimacy in two striking sentences,

“Activity for God is not the same as intimacy for God or identity in God. And it is your intimacy with Christ that gives you your identity.”

The words are simple but the message is deep. All the things we do for God, in His name, are kind of meaningless unless there is an intimate connection with God.

This intimate relationship with God is the same as an intimate relationship in marriage. Just because Nathaniel and I do things together like watch T.V., go out to eat, vacation together, and even have sex with each other doesn’t mean much of anything if we are not first intimately connected. These things just stay shallow activities if we lack a deeper connection with each other in each activity.

When I am reading my Bible but I am not that into it that day because I am distracted or too tired or feeling like I would rather do anything else then I am not fully connected to God through His Word. I’m lacking in that intimate relationship He wants me to engage in. Reading the Bible is great but I’m pretty sure if I am not into it in that moment God would prefer me to come back to it when I can fully enter in. He would rather me make the connection and deepen our intimate relationship than watch me muddle thought verses not retaining or feeling anything.

The same concept holds true for my marriage. After Nathaniel has been at work all day and I’ve been homeschooling and teaching dance classes and we often find each other again at the end of the evening sitting in front of the television. We have a choice here in this moment. We can watch the flickering lights side by side, staring forward with occasional face to face looks, smiles, laughs and comments about the show. Or we can sit and engage more intimately. We more often than not choose the latter. We sit closely, always a body part or two touching; hands, legs, feet, head to chest. We often break the zombie-like stare at the T.V.  we can get sucked into with conversation. Nathaniel, several years ago started pausing the T.V. whenever one of us would start talking. We look at each other even if it means moving from our comfy lounging positions and then move back to cuddling. We both engage in the conversation with words, body movement and eye contact. We turn the T.V. numb out time into an intimate connection and sex isn’t even involved.

Intimate connections are everywhere; it is simply a change in point of view to see them sometimes.

How intimately connected are you to God?

How intimately connected are you to your spouse?

What is the disconnect between you and your intimate connections?

I encourage you to start by being observant and mindful of your intimate connections with God and your spouse…because until we notice, change cannot occur.

Sex on the Brain

 Christina Says…

I think about sex often.

It’s the streak and the blog and the conversations that pop up around me…sex is everywhere.

But, what is it that I am thinking so much about?

Often, I think about how it will be tonight and when we will get to do it. Sometimes I think about not wanting to do it, but knowing I am going to anyway. Most of the time I am thankful and excited I get to do it with my awesome husband. And I know he thinks the same of his time under the sheets with me.

But, I also think about how sex has, in the past, inked a black mark on my heart and mind. I think about the anxiety sex bubbles up in me and I think about the reason for that anxiety…a thin memory of a time I was taken advantage of as a child…or maybe it was several times. Not sure. Hard to remember.

And then I think about God and my intimate relationship with Him. I think about where I was and how I, through His leading, have come to this place in my life. A place where sex is not bad, not a means to an end, not an abuse and not a one sided act of carnal pleasure. And as I think about the connection of God and sex, I pray. I give my intimate relationship with my husband to God through my intimate relationship with my Heavenly Father.

It may seem weird to place God and sex in the same sentence, but for me it makes clear and perfect sense. God leads all who choose to follow Him…even with sexual relationships.

When you think of sex….what goes through your mind? 

I would love to hear from you! Let’s start a conversation. Join me on Twitter and Facebook.



Christina Says…

We are on day 1050 of an intimacy streak intended to last a mere 365 days, and we are both sick with bronchitis. I’m only about a week and a half in, while my husband has been coughing for three weeks now. With our worse symptoms behind us we are now climbing our way back up to health, though not without coughing, sneezing and a consistent layer of low energy.

Yet, despite the bronchitis, we have continually managed to ride this intimacy horse every night.

HOW??? WHY??? Seriously… over 1000 nights?


In just over a month from now we will have been on our intimacy journey for three years straight! That’s a lot of sex! And almost three years ago we made a pact with each other to continue with nightly sex until we reached our goal, (though once reached, we set another much loftier goal). The intimacy pact began with sex, but has grown to be a representation of a much deeper agreement. When we decided to have sex every night for a whole year what we were really agreeing on was to put each other first on a consistent basis, not just when we felt like it. For us sex was the conduit, but this promise to put each other first could have taken a million other forms. For it’s not the form, but the intention and the reach out to let my husband know how loved, respected, appreciated and actually liked he is by me.

Since I really do love, respect, appreciate and like my husband, all that should come out in my daily actions anyway, without me trying… right? Sure, on Cloud Cuckoo-Cuckoo Land where anything is possible, magical and perfect. Here on earth I have to make my feelings known to my husband through my actions, even when I am sick!

It is so easy to let Nathaniel assume I still admire, respect, love, like and want to be with him, I mean I did marry the guy and he should remember that I feel this way. But, it is not just about the remembering…

Remembering a piece of information doesn’t make it real; experiencing it brings it to life.

It is so easy to get caught up in this state of mind, feeling like I don’t need to show my husband I love him because there are so many other things that take my time, attention and energy…laundry, dishes, teaching dance, bronchitis. But, allowing myself to succumb to the ease of not showing my love in the day to day, even when I am sick, only adds layers of detriment to the marriage. Why add layers of bad when I can choose to add layers of good?

I urge you to make time for your spouse daily. Show your husband or wife how much you love, honor, respect and like him/her.

Today, how can you show love to your spouse? And how can you implement this daily? Make a choice to include showing this love to your spouse daily. Add it into the schedule along with the dishes, laundry and even bronchitis, because in the long run, it’s not about you….life is always about other people. God’s plan for your life is for you to show love to others, always and in every way.

Make time for your spouse, carve out the time, don’t just squeeze it in, and you will enjoy the benefits of a life well lived!



66 Ways God Loves You

66 Ways God Loves You

Experiencing God’s Love for You in Every Book of the Bible

A new book by Jennifer Rothschild


I was very excited to get this book in the mail. The title and subtitle intrigued me. Four key words stood out to me… Experience…Love…Every…Book. Sign me up! I want to experience love in every book of the Bible. More excited than skeptical, still I questioned finding this “love” in the rule oriented Leviticus and lineage laden Numbers. This experiencing of God’s love even in the hard books felt like a personal challenge direct from the author to me and I was willing to accept the offer.

When the book arrived at my doorstep, I could not have been more pleased. This small, square book fit so nicely in my hands as I gazed at the lovely cover. I wanted to frame it and hang it on my wall. The colors and textures present were so pleasing to look at and brush my hand across, that I found myself engulfed in simply staring at the cover.  The beauty of the cover and the promise of the title began to beg me, in the midst of my staring, to open the book.

As a third grader, Jennifer Rothschild, first fell in love with her red leather Bible and thus in love with God and His word. But by age fifteen, she could no longer read the Lord’s beautifully breathed words. Jennifer’s eyes had succumbed to retinal disease and she became blind. Though illness prevented her from reading, nothing kept her from God’s poignant truths. She found that audio books and eventually Bible apps. would become her new norm for imbibing God’s word.

As the Bible begins at The Beginning, so does Jennifer’s book. Starting with Genesis and continuing right through to Revelation. Each section is headed by a beautifully flowered title page.  For example, the first one is, “In Genesis God Fashioned Me with His Hands”.  Each section of the book follows this heading structure making it crystal clear to the reader what the meat of the section is about. Each section title in turn becomes the take away for the reader to remember, a short summation of the commentary Rothschild includes following each section title. In each of these phrases, she has brilliantly gift-wrapped each of the 66 books of the Bible.

As with all good books, we as readers are compelled to devour and apply the hand-crafted words on each page. Rothschild’s book induces such actions. The commentaries, one for each of the 66 books of the Bible, are short but full. They are easy to read and delicious to digest.

Intrigued by the book’s promise of experiencing God’s love even in the hard chapters, I was drawn to the sections on Leviticus and Numbers. “In Leviticus God Grants Me Access to Him”. Such a simple sentence, nothing difficult in the verbiage, but so laden with depth and love! When I read this I thought to myself, to boil down a meaty book like Leviticus with this sentence makes me see the book in a new light! The whole book of Leviticus, right there, laid out in one phrase. One phrase that carries so much meaning!

Okay, she nailed Leviticus…but what about Numbers? “In Numbers God Shelters Me in Cities of Refuge”.  When I think of the word Shelter I do not normally connect it to the word Love. I usually think about shelter as a necessity, not a comfort. I think of shelter as what is needed to get by, to get out of the rain temporarily, not as a permanent structure. But, that is not how God uses the word shelter. God becomes our shelter, not just as a Band-Aid, but as a warm embrace designed to lift us closer to Him. God as our shelter is love.

Jennifer Rothschild continues on with each book of the Bible in this fashion, bringing to light each book’s simple yet deeply profound truth. Each truth is rooted in the love God has for us. And each truth is addicting to read.

Your Worth is in His Word: 66 Ways God Loves You

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“If you’re gonna love somebody.  Yeah, you better love somebody, who ruins your lipstick…. Not your mascara!”


Nathaniel says.

I heard this line in a song and it got me wondering.  I often wonder out loud so I will do so now.  When this happens, most often, my lovely wife is the one that puts up with the initial thought process.  She is often stuck with the responsibility of helping me organize it so that other humans can relate to what my brain wants to say.  As she lovingly reminds me, “no one can read your mind Nathaniel.”


It is obvious to most this line at the top, from a song, refers to someone we find ourselves attracted to.  But, I do not believe that is where it ends.  I am not going to go into the lust speech that many Christians go into because that has been played out and encourages the unfortunate behavior of tuning out the speaker.  I am going, to attempt, to put this thought into my perspective.  Some will relate and some will not.  It’s not a perfect science and we are all made differently.  But, I’d like you to join me and be encouraged to talk through your own realizations with your spouse so you can find a balance.


I am wondering, rather hypothetically since it’s in the past, how many times I’ve tried to come on to my wife and she could have said yes, but didn’t out of habit or reaction to our stage of life. Whether it be; comfort, distraction, exhaustion, or any other number of reasons wives turn down husbands more often after the two have been together beyond the, supposed, honeymoon stage.


I also wonder how many times she could have said no because of the mood or timing etc.  However, perhaps she didn’t out of co-dependence or worry it had been too long or I even began to pressure her with guilt trips because I wanted to connect.


There is a balance somewhere in there.  I am wondering if honeymoon phase means say yes all the time so as not to push the other away, or simply adrenaline from the relationship being so new.  Most women feel the sex connection is important and that it brings connection early and often in the beginning.  Yes there is the degree of the man pursuing his wife’s heart by doing little things for her, but that would be another post.  I’m currently questioning the ‘ruins your lipstick and not your mascara’ line.  The physical line that starts out with such optimism but dissipates for various reasons, and I know there are reasons that are beyond our control but I don’t feel I can cover everything here so I will focus on those who still try to enjoy sex together after marriage but are unable or unwilling.


Post honeymoon phase, does this mean say no all of the time because the wife is comfortable and paid her dues already so she shouldn’t have to think like me anymore to catch me?  The pursuit ends because I’m caught or because kids come along?


And on that line, I am wondering how many women, accidentally create a more passive husband and help him lose his adrenaline faster over the years because it just makes sense for me(him, husband) to stop trying to pursue her when I’m turned down so consistently.

Especially when I’m turned down for something that was used to pursue me, initially.  Confusion and passiveness then abound in my brain.

Hence the passiveness builds and I become passive aggressive because I can’t get what I’m desiring with any frequency and I don’t  know how to verbalize it.


I had a realization based off this.  Not to be jaded, but from experience and to learn and grow together.


I can’t count the number of times I have come onto my wife when she looked so very good, but it wasn’t on her time frame.

And by the time we could do anything about it, the end of the night had arrived.  I was so tired I no longer had the same amount of adrenaline attached to the attraction.

Part of it is the disenchantment with; the desire to be instantly gratified (whether it be with sex, a big kiss, a bunch of kisses or some playful teasing for later).

And the other part of it is just the night wearing on and wearing a person, me, out and just running out of energy before the night can culminate.


That takes me to the lead up to connecting enough for the end of the day to culminate in sex.


From Nathaniel’s perspective;

My girlfriend(let’s call her Christina) looks great, she’s all dolled up, we’re both into each other, we’ll get at it with some kissing and affection.  She’ll carry her lipstick with her and reapply it as needed.


Fast forward a few years;

My wife looks great, and gets dolled up and attractive for, what I presume is me, and I get excited.  She shuts me down because it’s a lot of work to have to go back and reapply or fix it.


What that tells me and other husbands is: it’s ok to mess up the lipstick in the honeymoon phase, but after the honeymoon phase the lust and desire part gets pushed aside and I begin to learn it’s not worth it.  It’s not worth it for me to approach her when she gets dolled up because of various reasons.


Maybe it’s for the crowd we’re going out with and not necessarily for me.

Maybe it’s because it really is just too frustrating for her to have to go reapply.

Maybe it’s because she doesn’t get to play dress up as much anymore being a mother and wife.


From my perspective as a man, I learn not to approach when my wife is all dolled up because we’ve been together so long she’s now comfortable telling me she doesn’t want to reapply or telling me any of the other reasons.

In the honeymoon phase, she was probably too shy to tell me the reasons and she went along with me and my fresh desires.


I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad.  I can relate to the above and the song really brought out the male perspective for me.  Because I can relate to wanting to mess up the lipstick in our relationship from time to time, but knowing the reality of having been together beyond the initial honeymoon phase.  Which is; that I tend to cause arguments more often than spontaneous passion when I try to initiate.


No matter the reason, the song is great to remind us to keep the fire and desire for each other.