Monday, June 29, 2009

Marriage Monday "Created for Him"

For man was not created from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created on account of or for the benefit of woman, but woman on account of and for the benefit of man.
(1 Cor. 11:8, 9)

Let's say you are married to a wonderfully thoughtful man. He truly lays down his life for you in a biblical sense.He loves you greatly and lives to please you, love you and make you happy. He is tender and sweet and almost always considers you, your ideas and desires. Yes, he is sinful, and at times can be selfish like the rest of us, but for the most part he treats you like a queen.


Let's say you are married to a pretty self focused man. While a good husband and father, he is not very considerate of how you feel. He might not really lay down his life for you. He loves you, for sure, but it seems it is always about him, what he wants, what he thinks. He might not be all that tender towards you and your feelings. You may have long ago accepted this and just tend to go you own way.

In both these scenarios, I see the same possible trap that we wives could fall into, just coming from different directions. Here is the trap; it seems easy to become very self focused, that is, me minded.

What struck me about this scripture is that the woman was created for the benefit of man! ( I'm not denying that there is "the man's part" in having a truly godly, biblical marriage, I'm just speaking to us women ;-)

I see in the first picture it being very easy to just, sort of, get into a pattern of letting it be all about 'me' because this type of husband so generously lavishes his love . It can be easy to almost unknowingly take advantage of this and just get lazy about being a benefit to him!

In the second picture, it seems easy to just pull back, harden the heart a little and focus on self because, 'hey no one else is!' Are we staying wrapped up in our own agenda instead of truly seeking to be a benefit to our husbands?

I understand we all fit somewhere in between these two extremes. I also acknowledge some of these issues can be very complex and there may be some serious hurts. I am not trying to be overly simplistic or insensitive to the wounds you may have. I just want to encourage us to remember it's not all about us.

We were actually created for them, not them for us.

Prayerfully search your heart this week and see if there might just be some areas that you have lost sight of why, and for whom, you were created.
Lord Jesus, open the eyes of our understanding. Show us any area that we have become self-focused in our marriage. Thank You for Your beautiful design in marriage and thank you for the opportunity to be a 'benefit' to our husbands.

Friday, June 26, 2009

What if...God is Enough?

What if …God is more than enough?

I wonder what my life would look like if I really believed that God is enough.

Would there be greater peace?

Would there be abounding joy in my heart?

Would there be contentment?

What if, when my heart is breaking and the pain is more than I can possible bear, I run to Him? What if, there, under the shadow of His wings, I find His comfort is more than enough?

What if, when I feel so all alone, my heart longing for someone to understand, I turn to Him and find my faithful Friend? The One Who is always there, always listens, always cares, always has time for me. What if friendship with Jesus is more than enough?

What if, when I am terrified by the raging storms of life, I find that cleft in the Rock where I am sheltered from the storm? The place where no matter how fierce the wind and rain, there is a calm within because He is my Rock and my Fortress, my sheltering stronghold.
What if this Rock is more than enough?

What if the darkness is so dark you can actually feel it? What if I realize that even in this pitch like darkness He alone is my Lamp and He lightens my darkness? He is my Light and my Salvation whom shall I fear?
What if this Light is more than enough?

What if my heart is wounded so deeply by others? What if it’s my spouse, my child, my friend, my brother? What if those so close to me wound and hurt me? Who then do I turn to?

What if I turn to the One Who was wounded for me? The One Who, when He was insulted and reviled did not revile back or offer insult in return, but trusted Himself and everything to Him who judges fairly. What if I can trust this same ‘Him’ that Jesus trusted?

What if this Just and Holy God is more than enough?

What if I am confused and don’t know which way to turn? Every direction I look there is confusion and darkness. What if I just look up and trust in the Lord with all my heart, acknowledge Him in all my ways and know that He directs my path?

What if His leading, His direction is more than enough?

What if all my strength is gone?

What if I find myself so weak?

What if I am sick?

What if I am in constant physical pain?

What if I am so overwhelmed with the burdens of life?

What if my mind betrays me?

What if…

what if…

what if He,

the God of gods,

King of kings,

Lord of lords,

the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,

Jehovah Jireh,

Jehovah Shalom,

Jehovah Shammah,

Jehovah Rooi,

Jehovah Rapha,

the Great I AM,

the Alpha and the Omega,

the First and the Last,

the Holy One of Israel

…what if God is more than enough?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Struggle with Quiet time

"To know Christ" is life's greatest achievement. . . The reality of knowing Jesus comes as a result of hidden prayer, and personal Bible study that is devotional and consistent in nature. Christ becomes more real to those who persist in cultivating His presence.(Quote from Stream's in the Desert)
Do you struggle with your quiet time?
Do you feel like ‘why bother, I never get any thing anyway’?
Does it seem boring and monotonous?
Do you wonder why “everyone else” has such a wonderful quiet time?

I just want to encourage you to not give up! The Lord desires, even longs to meet with you. I don’t think anyone knows for sure why some seasons of our quiet time are ‘wow’ times and others feel so empty and dry. Nobody can even say for sure what each individual time with the Lord should look like.

One thing, I believe, that is key, is consistency. As I look back over the years as a whole, my time alone with God has been awesome. But, if I were to zero in on little snapshots, I would see many “dry” times, many times of feeling alone, as well as lots of precious times. The one thing I notice is that, by his grace , I consistently sought Him.

Consistency is the key. Just keep seeking Him. He is not a liar. To say, “oh, He never speaks to me” is to say He is a liar.

He is the God of your salvation.
He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
He longs to be gracious to you.
He is your Shepherd, He leads and guides you.
Read the Psalms, let them be the cry of your heart. He loves you with an everlasting love. He has not left you and he never will forsake you. Don’t give up, be of good courage.
Everyday with its new reasons, rise up and bless Him, praise His name. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised.
Ask, seek, KNOCK.
Make this your one goal in life.
For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] (Phil. 3:10)

Speak unto Him for He hears you,

And Spirit with spirit will meet!

Nearer is He than breathing,

Nearer than hands and feet.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Marriage Monday "A True Wife"

I am going to be sharing quotes from a very good book called, "The Family" by J.R. Miller. It is a lovely book originally published in 1882! I have read many things by J.R. Miller, I love his writings. I hope you are encouraged and challenged by the following quote taken from "The Family"

"Every true wife makes her husband's interests her own. While he lives for her, carrying her image in his heart and toiling for her all the days, she thinks only of what will do him good. When burdens press upon him she tries to lighten them by sympathy, be cheer, by inspiration of love. She enters with zest and enthusiasm into all his plans. She is never a weight to drag him down; she is strength in his heart to help him ever to do nobler and better things."

She what I'm saying? Quite convicting, isn't it?

Questions to ask ourselves.

Do I make his interests my own?

When he is heavy laden do I try to lighten his load or am I bothered because I have my own burdens, thank you very much!?

Do I enter with zest into HIS plans?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Do You Love Your Children?

He who spares his rod [of discipline] hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines diligently and punishes him early. Proverbs 13:24

I just love when one verse just jumps off the page and stops me dead in my tracks! (Been happening a lot lately : )

It seems like such a simple verse, even a very common one. I mean, it seems so much of the teachings on parenting center around this verse and others like it. A first glance, seems pretty clear, discipline your children.

So, what made this verse POP?

The d-word.


Do I love my children?

Certainly, I would answer quickly, without even a hesitation. Upon further review though, if I am not diligently disciplining and training them then I am not loving them! Ouch!

Diligence immediately makes me think of consistency. Am I consistent with training and discipling my children? Do I let things go because I am busy with my own thing? Do I ignore something because I’m just too lazy to deal with it?

These are tough questions!

I have been rereading Raising Godly Tomatoes and the Lord is wasting no time teaching this mama some areas that need, shall we say, ‘tweaking’! This particular paragraph was very convicting. Actually I can’t seem to get past it. I read it, am wowed at what it says, and just sit there stunned!


The degree of success you achieve will be directly related to how consistent you are. Don't get lazy. Don't give up. Don't make excuses. Don’t be “on again, off again” about training your children. Keep your children with you and watch them, correcting all disobedience and bad attitudes. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don't be afraid to set high standards and maintain them. Teach and train your children, then expect them to act in a godly manner. Require them to always act the way you would like them to act, and the way you believe God would like them to act, not the way others may let their children act. Be consistent in your training and in your expectations. (Taken directly from Raising Godly Tomatoes,chapter 3)

If you are a mama in the very throes of child-training or are a new mama about to embark on this journey, or are an older woman who would love a refresher course so you can encourage your own daughters or other young women, READ THIS BOOK!

It is so well written. You can even read it online at Raising Godly Tomatoes, just look on the left sidebar and begin clicking on the chapters. Or you may purchase the book directly from thier website, which is what I wish I had done before I printed the whole thing up! It is an invaluable resource!

Have you read Raising Godly Tomatoes?

What did you think?

Are you diligent and consistent with training your children?

Do you love them? Then discipline them!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Shattered Plates

There was a time about ten years ago that I only had five children and I was able to keep all my plates a spinnin'. I was younger, healthier and sooooo clueless! Life was very scheduled and structured. School was done, not only on time, but even ahead of time. I baked bread, made homemade meals, kept up with laundry, and had an organized home. Like I said, I had all my plates spinning and spinning well. I was confused as to why anyone else couldn't do it all too. I was pretty pleased with my abilities and gifts.

Fast forward ten years later. I am definitely older, not so healthy and well, still clueless to a certain degree.

In the past ten years the Lord has arranged my circumstances just so that somewhere and sometime my plates all went flying out of my hands and have shattered all over the floor! I had an ectopic pregnancy, two babies die at 17 weeks gestation and four babies since then. Years of poor eating and living in a toxic world had taken their toll on my body. Not to mention all those pregnancies without all the nutritional and physical support. I developed chronic pain in my back and right sacroiliac joint, and hormonal migraines every month. All of this physical stuff as well as some extremely emotional circumstances that pushed me to my limit physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Many of those years were what we now call our 'survival years'. We were barely surviving. Long gone were the scheduled days, the homemade bread and organized home. The good news is that the Lord was really breaking this prideful Mama who was so sure she had it all together.

These past several years have been the most difficult years of my life. They have also been some of the most wonderful because of the closeness and mercy I have experienced from my Father. In the middle of it I wondered where He was. Why wasn't He changing things? But now, just on the other side of it I see it was Him who carried me all the way through. It was by His mercy that I am here today. I have to wonder if not for His grace. . .I can't even go there in my mind. I am humbled and awed that He loves me so much that He brought such discipline and hardship yet was ALWAYS by my side. And even when I couldn't take it anymore and was on my face ready to just give up, He was the lifter of my head.
The last couple of years my health is slowly coming back. Strength is slowly returning to this body. It has been a year and a half since our last baby. I am ready to move! Ready to put things back together.

But, all I see in front of me is all of my plates shattered into hundreds of pieces. I am overwhelmed! I don't even know where to begin, which two pieces to put together first. He still speaks so tenderly to me and encourages me to wait on Him. I am encouraged that we must be moving on to a new place because up until recently I couldn't even see my shattered plates! I was buried in the 'dust' from the broken plates. He has cleared away the dust and has at least shown me the pieces. Just the other day He even showed me one teensy piece to pick up and then another.

His overwhelming words to me lately have been that "we are going to the other side". The story about Jesus telling the disciples to get in the boat and go to the other side speaks volumes to me right now. On their way to the other side a great storm came up and they were afraid. They forgot that He said they were going to the other side! Whenever I start to panic; take my eyes off of Him and put them on the circumstance, the mess, the shattered pieces He gently reminds me, "I told you, we are going to the other side, trust in Me"

So, that is my little story of my Shattered Plates. This is not the end of the story, for it continues on. Maybe when I get to the other side I'll update this story. ;-)
Thank You Lord Jesus for the storms of life that bring much needed rain to purify our hearts. Thank You for your mercy and love.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Marriage Monday "Praying For Our Man"

Today let's talk about praying for our man! I float in and out of consistency with this one. I wish I would say I daily, regularly and methodically pray for my husband. I am sure we all aspire to that.

I’ll share a couple of resources I have used over the years. Please, share any and all of your ideas.

One book I have used many times is "Power of a Praying Wife" by Stormie Omartian. If you don't have this book, you can buy a used copy on Amazon used for only a penny plus $3.49 shipping! This is a great book that consists of 31 chapters, each focusing on a different subject to pray for your husband. After I read through the book the first time, I then went through and highlighted just the parts of the prayer that applied to my husband and I. Every time through from then on I just prayed through my highlighted sections.

This would be a great summer read! Depending on the season of your life right now, you could do it all in one month, or spread it out into July and August.

Another list I have used from time to time called is called Praying for your husband. It was nice to break things up by praying my own prayer using this as a reference when the Power of a Praying Wife seemed to get monotonous.

One habit I have gotten into is praying for Brian at night in bed. I have a hard time falling asleep as quickly as he does, so I place my hand on his back and begin praising and thanking God for him. It then turns into praying for wisdom, understanding, and favor; whatever the Lord puts on my heart. I love this because I kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. One, I pray for him, and two, I usually fall asleep quicker. ;-)

I also have picked out certain scriptural prayers from the Word of God and have typed these up and regularly prayed them for him. Ephesians 1:16-20, Colossians 1:9-12, 1 Thessalonians 5:23 should get you started.

So, how about you? Do you have a method or plan you use that you could share with us to faithfully pray for our husband?

Have you read “The Power of a Praying Wife”? Are you up to a challenge to pray every day for your husband for a whole month?

Lord Jesus, amidst the busyness of life please draw us unto You and remind our hearts to pray for our husbands. By Your Holy Spirit cause us to diligently pray for them. Give us supernatural insight and wisdom into what they need that only You can meet and the then the discipline to bring it to Your throne.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Marriage Monday "Woo Your Man!"

Today let’s talk about what I call “woo-ing” or romancing our husbands.

As women, mamas, and wives we have our plates quite full! (I’m not trying to add one more thing that has to be done.) It is easy to put this idea on the back burner while we try to juggle our lives. Romancing our husbands does not have to be ‘one more thing’ we feel burdened to do. Let’s look at it as a way to love them, honor them, bless them, and quite frankly, a way to have some fun! Plus, I think being 'wooed' is just about every guys love language! ;-)

I came across this great list of ideas on ways to romance your husband by Cindy Rushton. It was called Marriage 911 Flight Plans.** Some of these ideas are fabulous!
A sampling of them are. . .

Make him a CD of favorite love songs.

Pull out your wedding album and snuggle up.
Read the Song of Solomon together, privately.
Write him love notes or emails.
Watch a ballgame with him.
Plan a day pampering him.
Have a campfire date, just the two of you.
Watch the sunset together.
Plan a candlelight bath.
Go out for a latte.
Bring him breakfast in bed.Write a long and mushy love letter!
Meet him for lunch.
This is just a sampling of her ideas.
Here are two of our ideas.
Date night has become a regular event for us for the past several years. It is not a 'going out' date, but an in house date. Every Saturday, no matter what, we have 'date night'. After baths, and tucking the littles in, it is our night. The older children take care of any other littles that might still be up and we scamper off downstairs for movie night or to watch something we taped during the week. Shows from the Food Network or TLC usually.
Another thing we used to do was, every Saturday morning, just Brian and I went grocery shopping. We would go very early in the morning. We would take some hard boiled eggs and toast, pick up a Starbucks Latte and spend an hour leisurely grocery shopping. I would usually wear something cute and 'doll' up a little. We would talk, plan and laugh during our time alone.
I know, simple folk, but it is our life! ;-)

You know your husband better than anyone. I am sure you can come up with some great ideas.
Lets take our eyes off of ourselves and our busyness and look for ways to really romance our husbands.

Lighten up, if you need to – lets have some fun!
Find ways to bring that spark back, or fan the flame that is already there!

Lord Jesus, what a gift you have given us in this marriage. Help us take our eyes off of ourselves and look for ways to really bless our husbands. Give us wisdom and creative ways to put a little spark into our marriage.

So, what are you ideas for woo-ing that man of yours? Are you up to the challenge this week of finding ways to romance him?

Have a lovely week ladies. (wink, wink)

**For some reason this link is not working, but I am leaving it in because I think it must be a temporary problem. She has a very popular website and for some reason it is down right now.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Our Crazy Life!

I am sure many of you already think I am a bit on the loopy side, but here is the proof! This was not a typical day, but it was so outrageous I just had to take pictures and show you!

We had butter making, cheese making, bread baking, water Kefir and milk Kefir making, kombucha making and crackers soaking! All in one day

Here we have already brewed kombucha and a few of the 10 loaves we made.

Here we have the cream cheese hanging to get all of the whey out of it. We use the remaining whey to soak our grains and beans with. We make this cheese out of our raw milk. I usually mix in some herbs, garlic, salt and pepper and use it for a veggie dip. Or, sometimes we 'water' it down with milk and it becomes a ranch type salad dressing. Very, very good for you!

This is a picture of our jars of Kefir to be fermented. The large 2 quart jar in the back of the picture is the completed Kefir from the day before. We use this for our Kefir smoothies and soaking our grains. Also, for pancakes and muffins.

These three bowls are our cracker recipe that we soak for 24 hours before we roll them and bake them. Oh, we use the Kefir to soak these too.

The two glasses are 'juiced' ginger that we put in our kombucha. We love ginger Kombucha! the three bowls in the background are the 'tea' cooling waiting for us to put the kombucha scoby into it to make a new batch of kombucha. Am I freaking you out yet?

This is where we keep our water and milk Kefir while it 'ferments' or 'brews'. My very capable 13 year old daughter is pretty much in charge of Kefir making.
Okay, that was one busy homemaking day! While these tasks don't all usually happen in one day, they do happen all through the week. We have been doing them for so long now that they are just part of what we do!
I am extremely passionate about healthy eating, especially for Mamas who are to nourish and feed their families. I have been working on a series on Nourishing Eating. I pray the Lord allows the time to post it. Pray for me too, will you?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Why Does it Always Come Back to Me?

I see harshness in my children as they interact with each other. I pray and ask God for wisdom, saying, "look, do You see how they are acting? What should I do?" The answer seems slow in coming, but as the days go on I begin to see myself react harshly with the children. I see impatience and indifference in myself towards them. What?! Could it be they are modeling what they see in me?!

Nobody seems to follow our schedule, I grouse. Our life feels so chaotic, never the same everyday. I can't seem to get on top of it. How do I make them do what they are supposed to do when they are supposed to do it?! Again, I cry out for wisdom. I begin to see Mama tends to go off and do her own thing whenever she has a chance. Sneaking in what she wants to do instead of what the schedule has on it. Hmmmmm, could it be me?

Everyone in this family seems so distracted and going their own way! Why is everyone so focused on their own agenda instead of serving each other. Why are they so "self" focused instead of being "other" focused? Lord, what is it? The Lord, once again shines His light and I see a very distracted Mama who, every chance she gets pursues her own agenda, not the family's agenda. All in the name of learning to "serve" the family better, mind you, but distracted none the less.

These older children tend to scamper off and 'just real quick' check something online, email, ect. Hmmmm, I think I know where this is going. ;-) Does Mama scamper off to 'just real quick' check email, blogs, ect.?

I am not at all saying that all of my children's sins and weaknesses are my fault. I understand we all were born with a sin nature. I am just giving you a glimpse at what the Lord has been showing me lately. I am in a very difficult season right now as He shines His glorious light on the dark places of my heart. It is also a most precious time because the very fact that He is disciplining me is proof of His great love for me! (See Hebrews 12:5-13) So, while this time of discipline seems painful, afterwards it will produce a harvest of righteousness.

Are you struggling with certain areas in your life right now? Have you cried out for wisdom? Is is possible that the struggle has more to do with you that it does with the other person or thing?

Lord Jesus, thank You that You love us way too much to let us stay the same! Thank You for the Holy Spirit Who lovingly convicts and brings Truth to our hearts. Continue to shine Your Light in our lives, we so desperately want to be like Jesus!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

First Official "At the Well" Post!

I just wanted to let you know that today was my first official post at

At the Well Blog Button

I shared about Redeeming the Time with a Summer Schedule.

Check it out!

Anxious For What?

What am I anxious about, just now?
Do I not trust in my Jehovah?
Am I not confident in Jehovah?
For He holds the world in His hands.
He holds my very breath.
He ordains my every step.
What is this trifle thing that seeks to cause unrest in my soul?
Has it possibly escaped the eye of my omniscient Father?
I think not!
He knows the way that I take. When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
[Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit.
(Jer. 17:7,8)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Marriage Monday 1 Peter 3

The scripture we are going to talk about today is so great! It is extremely rich with meaning and lessons for us wives. There is no way this crazy mama from "Podunk" Michigan can do it justice. I won't even try!

What I will do is share some thoughts interspersed throughout the text.

I want to challenge you to meditate on this passage at least for this whole week. Let is go in and work on your heart and let the Lord really speak to your heart. Read it through at least once a day and more if you can. You may print up the download I have provided or you can print up your favorite version from Bible Gateway. You just put the reference in and choose your version.

In like manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives,

There is that word 'adapt' again. ;-) (See this post) What strikes me here is that they are won over not by our discussion but by our example! Not by our multiple words, nagging and just plain old trying to make them just "get it", but by the godliness in our own lives! Ouch. How often do I think if I could just make him 'see', when it would be better for me to shut my mouth and live what I am preaching.

When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him--to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband].

What kind of example do we give, to our husband (and children)? I love the amplified here with its description of 'reverence'. Am I respecting him when I question him on how he does things or what I think he should be doing? Do I honor and appreciate him? Do I enjoy him? Do you see what I am saying? There is sooooo much here to meditate on and seek the Holy Spirit's enlightenment on?!

Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes; But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God.

Oh, that precious 'gentle and peaceful spirit'. Am I anxious or wrought up over things in our marriage, or in my husband? Am I able to trust it to the Lord and just be at peace? Do I focus more on my outward appearance than I do my 'hidden person of the heart'? What is more precious to God?

For it was thus that the pious women of old who hoped in God were [accustomed] to beautify themselves and were submissive to their husbands [adapting themselves to them as themselves secondary and dependent upon them].

It was thus that Sarah obeyed Abraham [following his guidance and acknowledging his headship over her by] calling him lord (master, leader, authority). And you are now her true daughters if you do right and let nothing terrify you [not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you].

Do you remember the stories about Abraham? He made a few blunders, but Sarah obeyed him! She recognized his headship over her. What things do you let terrify you or make you anxious?

Here is 1 Peter 3:1-6 for you to print up and study this week. Click on the link here and follow the directions on the page you arrive at.

Let me know how you are doing with it. Please feel free to share your thoughts about this section of scripture and how it speaks to you.

This is what the download should look like.

Lord Jesus, how we desperately need You if we are even going to come close to living our Your Word. Open our eyes, speak to our hearts, impart your glorious grace to be the Godly wives you have called us to be.