The Respect Dare by Nina Roesner

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I’m interrupting my blogging hiatus to bring you a new book review . . .

When Jonathan and I were engaged, his parents loaned us their copy of the Love & Respect conference on CD and we listened to it on our forever-long road trip between Indiana and Minnesota. The concept, in it’s simplest terms, is that women need to feel loved and men need to feel respected. The truth resounded with us so much that we decided to incorporate it into our traditional wedding vows, each of us adding a line at the beginning . . .

“I promise to treat you lovingly as we serve God together . . . I promise to treat you with respect as we serve God together.”

Though I probably don’t think about it as often as I should, I’ve been amazed at the difference respecting my husband makes in our relationship. So when I had the opportunity to review The Respect Dare by Nina Roesner, I thought it would be a good refresher. The subtitle, 40 Days to a Deeper Connection with God and Your Husband sounded great, like the women’s answer to The Love Dare.

For the most part, it was. Though I wasn’t able to read through and complete the dares one day at a time, I read through each dare, considering how I might answer the questions and how the challenges could make a difference in my marriage. I found a wealth of wisdom about being a good listener, making my husband’s interests my own, and stating the facts rather than speaking out of emotion. A few of the dares also challenged me to deepen my relationship with the Lord by making time for Him and trusting Him with life’s details.

Some of the dares, though, just seemed out of place—several were more focused on the wife described in Proverbs 31. While that’s also good information, it’s not what I was expecting. And many of the illustrations didn’t line up either. For example, Dare 19—Seventeen Frying Pans—was more about running an orderly home than it was about respect. While you could draw a connection between the two, Roesner failed to do so. Despite the subtitle, the book seemed torn between two purposes: highlighting the successes of her Daughters of Sarah program (which I’m sure is wonderful) and actually helping women to respect God and their husbands like the cover suggests.

That said, I still felt the content of this book was solid, and I’d recommend it for women who are ready to change their marriages by changing their attitudes. The dares are great for women in all stages of marriage—newlyweds and those who have been married for decades. And though I found it helpful to read on my own, I think it would be even better as a small group study. Reading through the book with other women would provide a safe place for discussion, wisdom-sharing, and accountability.

**I received a free electronic copy of this book from booksneeze.com in exchange for my honest review. My opinion of this book is my own and was not influenced by the publisher or the author.

New Look Coming Soon!

Blue Dots Header handwritingBecause I only have so much time to work on my blog, and because I desperately need to change Editionally’s design, I’ll be taking the next several weeks off posting so I can focus on finishing the design and getting everything switched over.

Stay tuned! I’ll be back in February!

Skating: A New Year’s Day Tradition

Skating CollageWhen I was a little girl, I wanted to be a figure skater. It never happened, but I still love to go skating. It’s one of the reasons I love winter. So this year, I decided to make it a New Year’s Day tradition. This was our first year, so I don’t know if can really be called a tradition yet, but I don’t really care.

Our favorite place to skate is Centennial Lakes Park in Edina. Not only do they have a HUGE skating area (I don’t particularly enjoy skating in a circle), but the setting is lovely, it’s free (unless you need to rent skates), and they keep the ice smooth and cleared off with a Zamboni. Oh, and the warming house and fireplaces are pretty nice, too.

Do you have a favorite winter activity?

Ten Resolutions for 2013

I’ve been making New Year’s Resolutions for the last three years. And after last year’s didn’t go so well, I’ve decided I need to make this year’s public. And I need to put them where I’ll see them often. So I’m sharing them with you and posting them on the fridge.

Without further ado, here are my goals and resolutions for 2013:

1.That’s only two books a month—what a sad number. With working full time, freelance editing jobs, blogging, and having a life, it’s tough to fit reading in, but I still want to make sure I’m doing it. Two books I want to get to this year are Don Quixote and Les Miserables. And maybe Mere Christianity, since that was on my list of resolutions last year and I bought it but never read it. Oops. But right now, I’m going back to an old favorite: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

2.With all the dental work I’ve had in the last two months to make up for a childhood of poor dental hygiene, this is a big one for me.

3.Ideally, this will be running on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday or Sunday, and two days of yoga.

4.Not gonna lie—this one scares me. But I really want to get there just because I think I can’t.

5.Jonathan and I read together most nights, but I want to make more of a concentrated effort to spend time in the Word on my own. I haven’t really gotten started yet, but I’m planning to use a reading plan from Canvas Church’s website. If you’re interested in joining me, you can find the reading plan here.

6.Last year, I wanted to journal every day. It didn’t happen. Not even close. So this year, I’m shooting a little lower and broadening the possibilities—it can be journaling, a blog post, or something else. And unless I’m having a bad week, stuff I write for work won’t count.

7.We eat out way too much. Especially when we don’t have leftovers for lunches and we eat out then, too.

8.I made this a goal for myself two years ago, and it was a great challenge. I love finding and trying new recipes. Especially when they turn out great. I think I’ll start with one (or both!) of these . . .
Sun-dried Tomato Spread
Man-Pleasing Chicken

9.I’ve written about this before, but I fell out of the habit. It made life much easier when I didn’t procrastinate in the small things.

10.Earlier would be even better, but as it’s been, I’ve been getting up at 7:45ish, only about 20 minutes before I have to leave for work. No bueno. Things have got to change. And if they do, I might even have time to get my run in or do my quiet time before I go to work. That sounds like a recipe for a much better day.

What are you goals/resolutions for 2013?

Lately I’m . . .

Preparing for our trip to Michigan. I’ve been saving vacation time all year, and we’re heading “home” on Saturday. All my family is in Michigan and we try to make it back once or twice a year. And on the way, we’re going to stop and see my college roommate. We’ve been wrapping up stuff at work (poor Jonathan has to prepare two papers in one week!), shopping for snacks (Vitamin Water and beef jerky are our non-negotiables), and doing ridiculous amounts of cleaning.

Here are a few pictures of us with my siblings from the last time we went home for Christmas : )gingerbread house 2 gingerbread house 1Getting into the habit of running on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday or Sunday. A week and a half after starting the schedule, it’s still going. AND I’m even planning to run next week when we’re in Michigan. I’m glad my aunt has a treadmill—otherwise, I’d be skipping the runs. No way am I ready to run outside. In the cold. Up and down hills. No thank you.

Watching Ashley and JP’s wedding. Yes, I’m talking about The Bachelorette. I don’t usually watch TV (we find a show we like and get it on DVD), but when Ashley was on The Bachelorette, I got hooked. I fell in love with her and JP as a couple (my husband is rolling his eyes right now), and I got super excited when I found out they were actually getting married. As I write this, I’m watching the parts of the wedding I missed on Sunday when it actually aired. If you’re like my husband and you think it’s stupid, you’ll be happy to know I haven’t let myself watch the show since.

Going to the dentist. Two weeks ago. This week. And two more times in January. I’ll spare you the details, but when I have kids I am making sure they get proper dental care. I didn’t, and now I’m making up for it. Dental work is not fun, folks.

Signing up to do book reviews for Tyndale and Thomas Nelson. For the past year and a half, I’ve only reviewed books for Bethany House Publishers, but I’m switching things up in 2013. Check out the links in the sidebar for more information and stay tuned!

Brainstorming my 2013 goals. I work best when I set goals for myself and make them public. Last year did not go so well. I’ve been brainstorming goals for about a month now, and I think I have some good ones. In the next few weeks, I’ll post a list. Maybe accountability will make them happen this year.