Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Hello everyone. So much has happened the last few months and it has left me in deep gratitude for LIFE. For this messy, trying, full experience of joy and sorrow that we know as life.

Voila updates on everyone in our family, and everything happening to us!

We are still in our tiny town in South Carolina. The summer has been gorgeous here and 4 out of 7 days we are swimming. Usually in the lake, sometimes the pool, occasionally in a waterfall or river. South Carolina is full of waterfalls!

Kate has always loved swimming, but had her reservations about going underwater. She used to scream in the tub when it was time to wash her hair, making us PROMISE no water would touch her eyes. That same girl (now almost 4 years old!) is now jumping off the sides of the pool and loving it. She has conquered her fear and is now determined to make up for lost time. She will do it a hundred times a day. Something that warms my heart is that she does it alone, for herself. Not with friends or to impress Zach and I. For anyone who knows a toddler, the words "watch this!" ring in your ears long after bedtime. All day long, everyday acts need to be observed to be validated. Kate is usually like this, but this fear of going underwater she has conquered makes her uncharacteristically content with being alone. She doesn't need me to watch her accomplish everything. That is a beautiful thing for a mother, to watch a child develop inner confidence. She will need it in this world she is growing up in.

Jack is a fish. He is definitely a kid who has grown up on water. He's 18 months old now and has no fear swimming with his puddle-jumper as far as I will let him out into the lake. Jumps off the sides of the pool and loves it. He's an interesting mix of courage and fear. He won't walk off a sidewalk curb without my hand, but he will walk straight into the lake with no life jacket and somehow not register he can't breathe underwater. And yes that freaks me out. We have really fallen in love with our lake life. The lifestyle is slower and quieter than Atlanta, providing a lot of reflection time. Its fun living in the woods, with nothing but green when you look out the windows. I've never lived where I didn't see the side of someone else's house out the window, so this privacy is pretty awesome. I keep explaining to the kids this isn't normal life, but enjoy it to the fullest. It will be a hard transition for them when we move back to a city and they can't run out into the big yard or the lake on a whim. We have all really fallen in love with South Carolina. We have found wonderful friends and been able to host so many here. Fred gets home from his mission next summer and will move back, and we have no idea where we will be after that. It is a big exciting scary question mark on 2016.

Zach's plans are in the midst of change. He had planned on taking the *blasted* GMAT mid August and then applying to graduate schools for next fall. His sights are set high and after some practice test scores I would have been thrilled with, he decided to postpone his test date for January. So now- we really don't know when we will be using that test or exactly what for. He will continue working as an investment banker and we will see where our hearts pull us to next.

Alright, the health update. So while I was visiting my parents in Colorado in May, I found a lump on my throat. Like half a golf ball poking out. After the lovely parade of tests and waiting and tests and waiting that many of you can commiserate with, we saw it looked like thyroid cancer. So- thyroid cancer is actually the most treatable cancer and the least scary. However, the word cancer ignites a strange journey in one's mind. Everyone reacts differently, even within a couple. The mind has hidden corners of fear and uncertainty I had previously left to gather cobwebs, assuming I would never have to visit them. Those weeks between the *possible* diagnosis and the surgery to remove it, I spent some time in those corners. Prayer, fasting, not much sleep, a priesthood blessing, and a lot of support from friends and family allowed me to access the atonement for something I'd never understood it could heal. Fear. It had never occurred to me that the Savior perfectly understands FEAR. I knew he understood pain, and forgiveness, and loneliness. From these weeks, I felt his perfect understanding of my fear. Anyway, the surgery went really well and I now only have a small inch-long scar to show for it. I found this great doctor who is an ENT surgeon AND plastic surgeon. That is a combo as magical as milk and cookies. They removed the right half of my thyroid which turned out to have two golf ball-y tumors and the pathology tests came back negative. So it was either a lot of fuss about two benign tumors or a testimony that fasting and prayer are powerful and can alter some outcomes in life. God is good. I know sometimes he doesn't spare us long and painful health challenges, and I'm sure this will not be our last experience like this, but going through this made me grateful for things we all take for granted. Singing and talking is one of those things. The surgery involved careful procedures around my vocal chords. There was a chance they would be injured because they're kinda stuck to the thyroid. I sing Kate and Jack to sleep every night, so that was no fun to hear. I thought in the days prior to surgery what our lives would be like if I was silent. That wouldn't be all bad :P but I would really miss singing to them. I recorded their lullabies just in case, and had to use them those first few weeks waiting to see if my voice was okay. It was pretty emotional for me when I got to sing Kate to sleep a few weeks later. My voice has come in handy again for my Mom.

My mom came out and took very good care of the kids and I while I recovered. 10 days after she left our house, she was in a near fatal ATV accident. She was racing her brother on a gravel parking lot and hit a bump. She flew and the ATV flipped onto her. She was life flighted and lived. She has a severe concussion and her body is obviously a mess. She survived after slipping away a few times. This was three weeks ago. She has no recollection of the accident (mercifully). In the first few days at the hospital, she was in a deep fog of pain and confusion, as she kept waking up not knowing why she was in the hospital. I was able to sing to her over the phone. For some reason, that really symbolized mercy to me. Mercy for me, mercy for her. Stuff that we couldn't control (a voice, an accident, healing) and God was just giving us. Her life, my life.

All of this has taught me some things about God, and about life.

God wants a relationship with us. A real one, not a distant silent on-one-end one. Every parent wants a relationship with their child. God knows not all of his kids are going to do what he says all the time. He still wants a really strong relationship. He really loves us a lot.

God doesn't make bad investments. Think about what he has invested in you.

I learned that as humans we seek validation (aka "understanding"). I don't know if men need that as much, but women seem. Our lesson is to get it from the right source. Asking our friends and family, even our spouse, to validate all our feelings is exhausting for them and silly for us. Only God can really fulfill that need. That's what that need was built for, to turn us to him.

Live life like you were dying. (Thank you Tim McGraw!) You will see more in your ordinary life, be more grateful for ordinary moments with family and friends, and do more stuff you've been holding back from. Like jumping off a 20ft rock (Janessa!!!!)

There are quite a few more lessons, but children are waking and it's time to start the day. Here's the final lesson to splurt out before they need breakfast.

We will all die. We can't change that, even if we fiercely cling to our life or someone else's. We can't pray that away. It's just not our call to make. This life is only one piece of a really beautiful plan. If we could see what lay beyond death, it would make the trials and hard decisions of this life (even swallowing pride) a joy to live and make, instead of a devastating basket of burdens. But mortals don't often see it. We have to go on faith, for the most part. You know how when you're "seeing" how God sees, it's usually NOT with your eyes? Well I think those feelings of peace and powerful stillness are us "seeing" beyond, into the eternal thing we are all a part of. Go look up at the stars. Let your mind wander up there.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Jack's better late than never birthday post!

Yeah this was written January 8th, on Jack birthday, but I was traveling and never got around to posting it until now. We were out in Colorado and Utah for a month and it was so awesome! Then we came home and got a stomach bug and that was NOT awesome. But we are all better now. So I wanted to share Jack's birthday story before I chicken out another year. 

January 8 2014

This morning I woke up with my heart beating loud and warm. I focused on it for a minute. We take that beat for granted until something crazy happens that might stop that beautiful sound. 

As soon as my groggy mind heard Jack chirping his good morning babble from the crib next to the bed I remembered it was his first birthday! Which made me remember a year ago today! OH what a day. The little stinker came so fast Zach had to deliver him by our front door.  Jack's entrance to our world was not ideal, totally miraculous, and quite humbling. Every birthday of his I'll think of the people that made his birthday what it was. I am grateful to God who, knowing the crazy circumstances that were about to take place a year ago this early morning, had angels ready to move at his signal. I'm grateful to Zach for being supaman. He's so brave and real good at listening to the Spirit, which totally saved my life. I'm grateful to my cousin Alexa for being the calm in the storm. I'm so grateful to the hundreds of family and friends who supported us and prayed for us with their faith and love. 

I didn't publicize Jack's birth story last year because it was too private and traumatic. I kept trying to write it over the last year but couldn't finish it and give it the honor it deserves. I still can't! Ha! So I'm just going to share it anyway. It is abridged. I know a lot of people have hard stuff going on, and people need to hear about modern day miracles so they can believe in some of their own. I did not have any doubt prior to this event that God was real and loved me. However, having this happen did teach me other things about him that I admittedly did doubt. I have a hard time believing just how aware he is of every minute of my existence. Or that he can love me when I'm not feeling very loveable. At 5 in the morning a year ago, I was about to learn that God is my Dad and he will pull every string between here and heaven to do for his daughter what he can- while still allowing me to learn valuable hard lessons. His love is so powerful, and it is unconditional. 

Two weeks prior to Jack's birth, Zach and I had excitedly called my cousin and his wife, who lived in our apartment complex, asking them to come watch Kate while we went to the hospital.  This was a glorious false alarm. Meh. We had thought to be done with a hard pregnancy and fall in love with a new baby son. After being at the hospital for a few hours, they sent me home telling me they'd surely see me the next day. Super anticlimatic. We scuffled home kinda pouting and began the waiting game that drives every expecting couple mad! January 8th at 5am I woke up with a kick butt contraction and for an hour was relieved when they came exactly 15 minutes apart. Let's get her done! Zach woke up around 6:00 hearing me walking around and I told him the news. I told him I'd come wake him up when the contractions were 3-5 minutes apart so we could go to the hospital which was about 20 minutes away. We expected a long labor. As he left the room- Jack decided to push fast forward. Little stinker. Sparing all details, an hour later as we frantically hobbled down to our car to leave, my water broke in the parking lot and out started coming little Jack. My husband is Herculean, as anyone who has seen him knows, and at that moment he turned into superman+hurculeas+dr quinn medecine *wo*man. He scooped me up, booked it up our three flights of stairs with my poor cousin's wife trying to keep up behind him, hospital bag in tow. I may or may not have been screaming at him because it didn't feel very good to be bounced up stairs with a baby coming out. So our neighbors thought he was beating me to death and helpfully called 911! Yay! We made it back in the apartment, he laid me down by the front door and he became a doctor. Alexa became a midwife. In moments like this- you do not know how strong you are. You do not know that you have a mental limit, and you are going to be taken far past that mental limit to your true potential as an incredible human being. We are all SO much stronger emotionally, physically, spiritually than we imagine. A neighbor, hearing my panic, burst through the door and announced she was a nurse, though not an OB nurse, and also called 911. Jack was very quickly born after that and was a beautiful healthy baby boy, to our great relief. Firemen and two ambulances showed up what seemed like minutes later and took me away. I hadn't even seen more than the back of Jack's head yet and it broke my heart. I hadn't gotten to see his little face! And MAN by how I felt I kind of wondered if I was going to die before getting to see him. Deep down I knew I wouldn't but Zach's face, the lack of eye contact by all the emergency responders, and them whisking me away in an ambulance alone, leaving Zach and Jack behind, made me wonder if this was how one dies. Which is why I am also so incredibly grateful for some nurse at Kennestone Hospital named Jennifer! My ambulance that morning hit Atlanta traffic so when I got to the hospital Zach and Jack had beaten me there. Immediately they began trying to asses damage and my body was in shock and convulsing. I asked my nurse Jennifer where Jack was and if he was okay. She then realized I hadn't seen him or held him yet and stopped everything to make that happen. That was a huge deal. I was then whisked away to surgery with that memory to cling to. She was such an angel. *Might I add that my friend's Aunt- an OB nurse- happened to be on call and then alerted my friend I was there, and magically some chocolate croissants showed up! Best near death comfort food EVER!! :)

When all was said and done, the surgeon, whom I am also indebted to, said I was 2mm from tearing a major artery that would have bled me out in about a minute. That cannot be chance considering the extensive mess it was down there. This experience had a lot of tender mercies. Thank goodness Zach hauled me upstairs- it was 18 degrees outside! That would not have been so good. Thank goodness Alexa was there to be a midwife and take care of Kate (who mercifully slept through the whole thing!). The two greatest blessings were Jackson, healthy and strong- and second- Zach and I's marriage totally buffed up. We almost lost each other. That is a game changer. The little annoying things you spend most of your energy fighting over are total fluff. What matters is that you have each other to love. That experience unified us more than anything had up to that point. I think in part because you see the best in each other during super hard experiences. My husband is amazing. He had *not* coincidentally been prompted to watch a 1972 Highway patrol training video about how to deliver a baby...just in case. I made fun of him for it, telling him he was psyching himself out. He saved the day. His knowledge saved my life and Jack's. Had we not had this experience, I may have wasted a lot of days bugged about how he makes the bed or loads the dishwasher instead of looking at his strength of character, his powerful protective heart, his humility and courage. 

This entire experience made me understand that your perspective determines EVERYTHING. Everything. The way you train your mind to see your life determines how you treat yourself, other people, what you choose to do with your time, how you solve problems, how you become who you want to be, really the list goes on forever. Zach and I could choose to look at this as a nightmare or a miracle, and it has helped us heal so much finding that rose among the thorns. 

I remember the first two nights (and days...) in the hospital neither one of us could close our eyes without flashbacks so we blasted some cello music and just reflected on the miracle of being together with our kids. I'm so glad Zach thought of that. 

It's so important to look for the miracles during the trauma of our lives. When I was given a priesthood blessing after the event, I was strongly encouraged to look at the positive and not the negative of it all. It was the scariest day of my life, so that was a challenge. As I reflected in detail on the way things played out, the hand of God was there all along. As the year has gone by and pieces of that day flash before my eyes, seeing it as a miraculous event is a continual choice. By my choice of words when I tell others about it, it can be the most horrific experience or the most beautiful, laced with proof of angels and miracles. My version of the story, which I carve with my perspective on it, can royally freak people out or can inspire faith. I think what really happened is nature did something crazy to me, but God only allowed those natural laws to the limit He knew would convince me of my strength and to solidify our marriage and our gratitude for life. 

And PS- HE WAS SO INCREDIBLY WORTH IT. Even if I hadn't made it- if 2mm more had happened- I would still do it again. That is what is unexplainable about a mother's love. I now understand a sliver of the Savior's love. The thing is- I risked my life for someone I love and was rolling with the punches, not really knowing how far that love was going to take me into the pain and suffering zone. It's amazing that Jesus did that for a bunch of people that really didn't love him, with the power to stop it, and he chose to go through with it. The Savior is a really amazing person. 

We are traveling as I write this so I don't  have a ton of pictures of Jack's first year of life, but I can tell you Jackson is an amazing individual. So far I can tell he is really happy, super tenderhearted, very in awe of Kate, and likes to tease. (He is a Zirkle so that was to be expected!) He can crawl, he can stand, and he can almost walk- but he's kind of a chicken. He will only walk if he's holding your finger for emotional support. He's in 18 month clothes. He was really small for like 9 months, but he just had a couple growth spurts and is like huge now. He's 22lbs (25% for weight) and 31 inches (90% for height.) He can say "up" "mama" "dog" and either "hot" or "hide", we can't tell which. 

Happy Birthday Jack! We love you man. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sunrises and Elenor Roosevelt

This morning I woke up with Jack and we both felt like- I don't really want to be awake yet but I can't sleep anymore. So we played with legos and laundry baskets until the best part of my day happens- sunrise. I can see it from my bedroom window, but the view from the dock is ideal. Each one is different and I love that symbolism. My sister has a quote in her room that has stuck with me each morning I get to see the sun come up. It is from Elenor Roosevelt.

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” 

Mrs. Roosevelt must have faced a lot of demons in her life because she sure knows a lot about fear. I suggest scrolling slowly and taking a deep breath as you read this. Life is fast in December. Let this be your slow moment. 

“Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.” 

“Happiness is not a goal...it's a by-product of a life well lived.” 

“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art. ” 

“A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it's in hot water.” 

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.” 

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” 

That cloud...

“It takes courage to love, but pain through love is the purifying fire which those who love generously know. We all know people who are so much afraid of pain that they shut themselves up like clams in a shell and, giving out nothing, receive nothing and therefore shrink until life is a mere living death.” 

“No matter how plain a woman may be, if truth and honesty are written across her face, she will be beautiful.” 

I hope everyone has a great day. 
21 days until Christmas!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

This mornings journal entry

November 15

I love being mormon. 

I know that that sentence can be easily misinterpreted in an emerging culture of 'accept everything graciously' and 'don't tell anyone what to do.' I go through phases where I try to be accommodating to my American culture, because there is a lot of good in it. It’s a welcoming culture for the most part, and it’s served some really great purposes like providing the American Dream of becoming who you want to and having the means to do so, and religious freedom, and freedom to write and say whatever you want. I love those parts of our culture. What is hurting me lately is watching those freedoms be twisted and therefore disintegrate under the pressure of trying to live without morals anymore. 

So I woke up this morning so happy because I have this great religion. I was thinking how lucky I feel to be a part of it- to even know it’s out there as an option- to understand it when so many misunderstand it- to feel it is true in my heart when so many don’t know anything is true anymore. I was feeling so blessed that I believe in something that fills my soul’s hunger when so many are really searching for that missing piece of the puzzle that will make everything make sense. And I just thought- I truly love being Mormon. I love that it’s a global church and I feel it has the principles to help anyone in any situation figure life out. And figure out what you're individually suppose to do with yourself to be really happy. 

Increasingly, shouting your love for your particular religion from the rooftops is extremely unpopular. Because it makes others feel like theirs isn’t true or because we are becoming much less open to freedom of religion in our culture than we used to be. It’s sad. Americans used to be a really faithful people. Now we are mostly clinging on to remnants of faith in ourselves and saying insincerely there must be a God out there somewhere but why isn’t he solving all these problems we have down here. We miss out when we fall into that trap. Heavenly Father is not the only one we forget about. Satan is alive and kicking as well and he is quite happy that his long hours and hard work is paying off. He is sucking us dry of our faith in the name of tolerance. There is such a thing as too much tolerance. Hello “post pregnancy abortion” and prostitution and pornography. It’s disgusting how we don’t even realize how far we have come. 

So- this morning I woke up really loving being part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Everything that makes sense to me about life comes from the principles I learned from the gospel of this church. 

I love waking up in the morning and having direction and purpose. I know I need to talk to God first. I know he has a plan for my day and that His Spirit will guide me through it.  I know he loves me. That is priceless information everyone needs to know. You do not have to figure it all out on your own. I have scriptures that I read every morning that make life make sense. I have this knowledge of so many things that directs how I live that I totally take for granted. Like- I know right from wrong. I know not to gossip or let negativity drag me down to the pit of despair. I know when I make mistakes that Christ knows how to help me forgive myself and how to change so I don’t make that mistake again. Or if I do keep making it, because it seems to be an inherent flaw, then shows mercy and I keep picking myself off and he dusts me off and we try again. I know that my soul hungers for truth and I know where to feed it. 

I know people have seen God. I know that he looks like a man, like my Father. I know that he created me. He created me, my children, he created the nature I love so much and he created the sun, moon, and stars that I stare at every day and that provide light to me. These things are firm in my heart. I KNOW them. I know when I have a problem that I can think in my heart to my Father- this is what is happening, this is what I think, please help me find a better way if this isn’t right. Or I can think to him in desperation to protect someone I love, or help me love someone who is frustrating, or help me forgive someone who has hurt me so I don’t have to drag around that yucky heavy feeling you have when you want to stay mad at someone.

But the biggest all around thing is- I KNOW God loves me. And everyone needs to know that. You need to know it by feeling it yourself. You need to know by a power that is not your imagination- you need to feel that power come from the great forces that we men cannot control. You need to know from the same power that created the science of sunrises and sunsets, and autumn, and the earth that revolves in this vast solar system that looks smaller with each new discovery. You need to KNOW when you look at your hands and your face in the mirror that God created that. And he doesn’t make mistakes. He made those hands. He made that crooked smile. He gives me a beating heart and breath. He loves me and that power needs to pass through a person every morning. Maybe every a few times a day. It is as real as living. This world needs to remember they are just children. In all the amazing wisdom and knowledge we have, as humanity, figured out and taught each other- the most important thing not to forget is who we are and that we are here because God is real, and he wants us to learn a ton and have great and terrible life experiences so we can grow up. We are weak now- anyone who catches the near-inevitable winter colds knows we people can be knocked off our feet in one day by this little infection. We are mortal and we are made to be because THIS is not our final destination. This is temporary. Life continues beyond this to something even the most beautiful sunset over Tahiti pales in comparison to. This stuff is real. And I’m so glad I know it. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Summer recap

This has been a summer never to forget. Change, when embraced, can be so good for the soul. 

We moved from Kennesaw- full of people we dearly love- and spent a couple months on the road seeing the family we dearly love. We enjoyed the heralded Ft George trip where three generations of Zirkle swam, ate, played, ate, hiked, ate, and got in trouble.

Jack is transforming! And his hair has a mind of its own. 

2 months
8 months

We visited Utah, drinking in the sight of the Uintas and seeing wonderful friends from the Provo days. We stayed with Grandma Liz and were fed with delicious food to our hearts content. We read books until all of us needed glasses. It was great to have a little taste of the summer of Utah, so different from the humid, HUMID south. 

Then we were off to Colorado to visit Wilkin territory. We picked a lot of fruit from Gpa's orchard. We started feeding Jack solids, finally. We thought about sleeping. A lot. We did some retail therapy to make up for the not sleeping. Jack got an ear infection...for a month...and would like very much for that to never ever happen again. Kate got to "camp" for the first time. We lasted until 11pm. We watched the foxes and racoons destroy the yard. I went to a stake conference and as I walked the halls with sleepy Jack, I realized I had walked those halls to my first day of Primary, to my first day of young womens, I walked there for seminary and seminary graduation, for the funeral of Marty who was everyone's best friend and hero, and last but not least- when I came home from my mission and had to report to the High Council about it. I couldn't believe all those halls had seen, and all they have yet to see. It was surreal. 

At long last- we come home. To our new home. It has been a slice of heaven, and I never want to leave. I so enjoy the views and the space for Kate to run. I never EVER thought I'd like having dogs- but Mack has stolen my heart. 

Saying goodbye to Fred and Sheri was NOT the highlight of the summer. We send them much love and strength for their adventure ahead serving in San Antonio. 

Kate turned three last Friday. Many mixed emotions, as it should be. My baby is three. I do not like saying that. She is very eloquent and has wild ideas. She is an entertainer. She loves to run and swim. She is very perceptive. She loves hummus. She has proved to be an amazing, patient, compassionate, doting older sister. 

"I'm three now Mom! I can drive!" 

"Dat's my heart song. It's called boo-tiful Daddy."

Childhood rocks.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


"Goals reflect the desires of our hearts and our vision of what we can accomplish. Through goals and plans, our hopes are transformed into action. Goal setting and planning are acts of faith." (Preach My Gospel pg 146)

I have been nervous about this summer's plans to travel for six weeks because all routines the kids and I have fine-tweeked to keep this ball rolling will be sacrificed to survival mode. 

Then I remembered a little gem from missionary life. Key Indicators. 

And I quote "Perhaps you have wondered which of your many duties are the most important. To be able to answer this question, you must understand your purpose and know how effective use of time can help you fulfill this purpose." (PMG pg 138) Enter Key Indicators, the metrics which measure your progression towards your goals. SO I need to figure out:

My purpose is:

My key indicators are:

I'm hoping this will simplify the ENORMOUS guilt complex Satan seems to love flinging in my face as each day passes and "nothing" gets done. I'm excited to sling my own metrics of success in his face and know when I'll be satisfied with my day. Hope this helps someone else in their own situation. Because time has become such a commodity in our fast paced culture, I'm constantly judging if I use mine wisely. I'm also ticked when I waste it, but sometimes I confuse myself on what 'wasting' time really is. Like- spending NON structured time with my kids is not wasting time. Or meditating is not wasting time. Laundry is and always will be a waste of time though. And especially ironing. Who irons anymore right?? (Only those who leave their clothes in the laundry basket so long they are a wrinklly mess. SO yeah we still iron a lot.)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Why picking a spouse is like picking a watermelon

Why picking a spouse is like picking a watermelon.

There are a few tricks I've learned in my 29 years about picking a great watermelon. Let me tell you- I served in Tahiti and watermelons are kind of a HUGE deal there. So here are the tips for picking a great watermelon. 

First you look for one that has a nice solid white spot. That shows the little guy has been sitting in the sun ripening. The rest of him should be nice and green. Next, you thump it with your palm to see if it sounds like it's full of water- a hollow sound should be your sign of a good fruit. You also look for bee stings- that look like little scars all over the poor son of a gun. It means it is so sweet bees couldn't resist attempting to stick their pointy bums in there. I wonder sometimes if they died trying to get a bite of my delicious melon. Finally- heftiness. The heftier, the more water, which my friends equals a nice ripe WATER-full melon. 

Ready for the analogy?

The white spot. Has to sit in the sun- which I will play on words as THE SON, so the light of Christ or the power source of the universe. He has to spend time with God and his son to get nice and sweet. 

Thump it to see if its full of what it says its full of. This is that age old wisdom of watch him while he's in difficult situations to see how he handles it. Usually life dishes out the hard stuff and you can just sit back and observe, but if it's too good I'm sure you'll have differences where you purposely or inadvertently thump him and you can see if he's full of compassion or if he's "hollow."

The scars. A good man has been through his fair share of trials and though a flawless watermelon looks pretty- it won't do you as much good in the way of taste. Those unslightly scars are where bees try and sting because they sense sweetness. They show proof of sweetness within, tried and tested. Marriage and life is HARD and you need someone good from the inside out, even if it took them a lot of mistakes to get there. 

Heftiness- because WHO DOESN'T LOVE A BIG STRONG MAN!? But the heftiness could be spiritual. I just happen to have both in my big ole watermelon husband.