Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Family Photo

The man of my dreams!!

Here is our whole family!
I am astounded at what God has brought about from the two of us! We had a family wedding this past weekend and thought it to be a good opportunity for a family photo.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Marriage Monday "Controlling Our Thoughts"

We can choose what we think about. God's word tells us to take out thoughts captive in 2 Corinthians 10. In Philippians, Paul encourages us, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

While we might not be able to always choose what thoughts pop into our minds, we can choose what to do with them!

Let's look at different types of thoughts that find their way into our minds and see what we can do to turn them around.

Thoughts about his weaknesses:

Let's face it, as much as we love our husbands, they do have a few (or many) weaknesses. (Let's not forget we do too;-) If we allow ourselves to meditate on all their weaknesses, I believe they will only be magnified in our minds. The second you find yourself zeroing in on his faults, stop right there and choose to focus on his strengths. Make a list of his strengths, if you have to, and pull it out when needed.

Complaining thoughts:

These types of thoughts seem to naturally follow the previous type because usually it is their weaknesses we are complaining about. As soon as you realize you are complaining in your head about him, stop it immediately! Take those sinful thoughts captive and replace it with thankful thoughts. If we just took half a second, took our eyes off of ourselves, we could come up with a multitude of things to be thankful for.

Comparing thoughts:

Never, ever do it! Don't allow it for one second. It only sows a seed of discontent! Take hold of those thoughts and bring them into submission. Praise God for the man He has given you!

Negative thoughts:

Once you begin to look for these, they are easy to spot. They just make you feel all yucky, your shoulders start to slump, your face gets a bit grumpy looking and your heart feels heavy. Let me just say again, we can choose what we think about. Whatever that negative thought is, find a positive one to replace it with.

It is amazing to me how my mind can actually determine what kind of day I am going to have, or what kind of attitude I have. When I find myself having a bad day, mad at my husband or children, discouraged or in despair for that matter, I can pretty much trace it back to that wonderful thing called my mind! We are not victims, held hostage by our thoughts, we can choose! I am not saying it is easy, but we can have victory in this area. At times, I have had to grab my head and out loud tell it what to think!

Grab your bible, make lists of things about your husband you are thankful for, write out your husband's strengths, do whatever it takes, do not let your thoughts erode away at your marriage.

"A wise woman builds her house, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands."

Lord Jesus, reveal to us where we foolishly entertain wrong thoughts about our husbands. Give us wisdom to replace those wrong thoughts with Godly, edifying thoughts.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Warrior is a Child

As a woman,
a wife,
a mama,
a grandma,
a daughter,
a friend,
a sister,
there are so many times I just need to 'go running home' and 'drop my sword and cry for just awhile'.
Years ago when I first got saved this song was a favorite and I have lost track of it over the years. Just today, as I have been still, thinking, praying, being humbled and broken by my Father, I remembered it. It seems so fitting for how I am feeling.
So many people say, "I don't know how you do it" or "you're so strong", but like the song says, they don't see inside of me, they don't know WHO picks me up when I fall down. They don't see the enemies that lay me at His feet.
Aren't you so thankful for Jesus?
Can you imagine walking through this life without Him? I have included the lyrics, I think they are so powerful. If you are feeling a bit beat up or tired, sit back and listen to this song and let Jesus pick you back up.
Grace and Mercy to you!
Warrior is a Child
by Twila Paris
Lately I've been winning battles left and right
But even winners can get wounded in the fight
People say that I'm amazing
Strong beyond my years
But they don't see inside of me
I'm hiding all the tears
They don't know that I go running home when I fall down
They don't know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and cry for just a while'
Cause deep inside this armor
The warrior is a child
Unafraid because His armor is the best
But even soldiers need a quiet place to rest
People say that I'm amazing
Never face retreat
But they don't see the enemies
That lay me at His feet
They don't know that I go running home when I fall down
They don't know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and and cry for just a while
'Cause deep inside this armor the warrior is a child
They don't know that I go running home when I fall down
They don't know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and look up for a smile
'Cause deep inside this armor
Deep inside this armor
Deep inside this armor


Monday, July 20, 2009

Marriage Monday "Be His Cheerleader!"

Our husbands need us to encourage and lift them up. The last thing they need is a wife to come along side them and point out all their flaws! Chances are good they are well aware of their mistakes and even heavy-hearted about them.

As men, leaders, and providers they carry A LOT of responsibilities and burdens. As wives, we have a powerful influence in their lives. We can tear them down or we can build them up!

Let's submit our cares and concerns for our husband's weaknesses to God and trust Him with them.

We can be positively persuaded that God will keep that which we commit to Him! (2 Tim. 1:12)

And then, come along side them and encourage, edify, and build them up! Let the Holy Spirit do His work and let's do ours, okay?

ENCOURAGE . . . . EDIFY . . . .SUPPORT . . . . BUILD UP!!

Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another, just as you are doing.

. . . encourage the timid and fainthearted, help and give your support to the weak souls, [and] be very patient with everybody [always keeping your temper].

(1 Thess. 5:11,14)

Lord Jesus, give us divine wisdom on how to build up and encourage our husbands. By Your Holy Spirit, convict us of those times when we are trying to do Your work. Enable us to love and support instead of tear down. Make us like the wise woman who builds her home instead of tears it down.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Holy Ground

It may be on a kitchen floor,
Or in a busy shopping store,
Or teaching, nursing, day by day,
Till limb and brain almost give way;
Yet if, just there, by Jesus thou art found,
The place thou standest on is Holy Ground.
(M. Colley)
Hear me today, when you
kiss a boo-boo,
wipe a nose,
change a diaper,
stay up all night with a sick child,
wash yet another load of laundry,
listen to one more story,
give until there is literally N O T H I N G left to give
physically, emotionally, spiritually,
and you do all this and more, serving and loving your Jesus,
the ground you stand on is indeed HOLY!
You could try, but you could not convince me of a greater work in the kingdom than of surrendering your body to bring forth godly seed for the Master. To nourish and care for eternal souls, E T E R N A L souls that He has graciously loaned to us for such a short time.
Stop right now, look down, you see that ground? That is holy ground!
Lord Jesus open our eyes to the eternal value of what You have called us too. Give us just a glimpse into Your holy and eternal purpose in this beautiful thing called motherhood.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Marriage Monday "Principle of Unity"

Today I wanted to share a principle that we use in our marriage regarding decision making. I was reminded of it as we are possibly looking at some HUGE changes for our family right now and we are seeking the Lord with fervor as we want to know His perfect will for us.

I am talking about what I will call the 'principle of unity'. Every huge decision, most medium to big decisions and even many smaller decisions we use this principle. We believe the Lord leads us through His word, the Spirit, circumstances and this 'principle of unity'.

We have committed to not moving on something big unless the Lord brings us into agreement. We trust that if there is no peace between us than that is the Lord guiding us. There have been countless things that I was so sure of, that Brian was not, so we didn't do it. I can honestly say many of those times the Lord has graciously showed me why it wasn't the best for us. When we just can't seem to agree on something we take a step back from our desires and look to God to guide us. We almost always see that later He brought us into agreement, fine tuned our desires and led us to His best.

A good friend encouraged me recently to not let this 'lack of unity' frustrate me. It is easy to get frustrated when he looks at something I think is too big, too small, too much, or too whatever. But I need to rest in God and trust Him to line us up at the right time. We marvel at how He uses this 'disunity' to steer us to the right path.

While I am fully submitted to Brian as the head of our home and would submit even one of these huge decisions to him if he asked, we see this as living out the verse:

"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ" (Ephesians 5:21)

And I can say that if he did require me to just submit to his decision even if I didn't agree I could trust that that is exactly what God would want me to do and even if it turned out to be a bad decision, God would work it out for our good.

It is a mutual respect, a humbling of ourselves and a submitting to God to lead us.

I understand that not all marriages work this way and I am in no way encouraging us women to stand up to our husbands and demand that we be heard. If this is not how you and your husband makes decisions, it is not your job to make it so, okay? This is just a principle that works for us.
Also, we do not use this principle to 'hold out till the other one cave', it is just a way of letting the Lord lead us through our unity.
Lord Jesus, teach us to humble ourselves to You and to our husbands. Helps us to not push our agenda and to wait for Yours.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Kentucky Readers!! I Need Your Help!

Okay Ladies, it looks like God just might be clearing a way for us to live out our lifelong dream!
  • We have wanted to live on a farm with lots of acreage.
  • Have room for our adult children and their families to build, if they so desire.
  • Live way more simply, possibly 'off the grid'.
  • Possibly an old Amish Farm
  • Be as self-sufficient as these 'wanna be farmers' can be. ;-)
  • Be debt-free.
  • Oh, and if at all possible, in or near or at least close to the mountains.
I hope to have quite a story to share, or stories for that matter as all this unfolds. Without sharing too many details yet, I can say that our Almighty God has provided in a way that you usually only hear of happening to other people! We always believed it was possible but always said "it would so have to be God". Well, looks like it just might be.
We are looking to Him to lead our every step. Jeremiah 6:16 is the scripture we believe He has given us at the beginning of this journey.
This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. . .
We are standing at the crossroads asking Him for the old paths! We are so excited and I am praying we don't have to wait long to find out what all this means because I am so impatient and excited that I could bust!
So, to the point! (Sorry ;-) What I am asking for, if you live in Kentucky or know someone who does, is for help finding our future home! We are looking for somewhere between 20-100 acres with a farm house and barns. Possibly an established business, orchards, strawberries, ect. Also, to include lots of hardwood acreage, if possible.
These are just a few of our thoughts, I believe God will lead and fine tune our thoughts. Please share any information you might have to help us. I want to hear from you!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Homeschool Resource

I recently discovered a wonderful website called Simply Charlotte Mason. Years ago we did more Charlotte Mason type of schooling, but the last several years we fell back on just the basics and relied heavily on textbooks. (which I love by the way, I am not an anti-textbook Mama ;-)
During what I call 'our survival years', it was all I could do to open a textbook assign a few pages and move on to the next child. Funny, how all those years I felt we just weren't doing enough God's grace more than covered it and we are still "ahead" of each child's grade level. (Whatever being 'ahead' or 'grade level' means ;-)
This year I feel the Lord's leading to go back to a little more Charlotte Mason type things and this particular website has been invaluable! It did for me just what the name says, it made Charlotte Mason style of teaching 'simple'.
I bought many of their products and am very happy with them. I do think they might be geared to the younger children, say below 8th grade, though they do show you how to use it for older children as well.
Just thought I would pass the information along!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Marriage Monday "Meeting His Needs"

Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (1 Corinthians 7:3-5)
Continuing on with the theme from last week about us "being created for him", I thought to touch on a sensitive and private subject.
In our effort to be wise women and true help meets, we need to seek to know what our husband's needs are in all areas. We have discussed other areas in previous posts, but today I want to gently remind us to discover their needs concerning intimacy and seek to meet them.
Chances are their needs are probably a little different than ours, especially with all the ups and downs of hormones, births of babies, breastfeeding, as well as all the demands of being a mama and a a keeper of the home. Not to mention, God wired them differently than us, and that is a good thing! But, let's not use all these as an excuse to become focused on ourselves.
Over the years I have learned a lot. I have been blessed by a very patient husband. We both had loads of baggage brought into our marriage from past sinful relationships. It has not always been easy, but God's mercy is so amazing! We often marvel at how special and blessed our marriage bed is, because we certainly do not deserve it based on our prior choices.
One thing that has helped me, by God's grace, is take my eyes off of me and how 'I' am 'feeling' and seek to 'love' my husband. I need to recognize his advances are just his God-given desires and needs, as well as his desire to love me, and God made ME to meet them.
I can choose to respond in a selfless way!
I have found if I purpose to please him, my body begins to line up and I soon forget I was tired or had a headache or whatever my excuse was. And you know what, even if it doesn't line up that night, that is still okay, my desire should be to please him!
It is a matter of being self-LESS! It is 'true' love according to 1 Corinthians 13.
I would like to add that this post is meant to encourage us to take our eyes off of ourselves in yet another area. I once heard a message similar to this, only it went to the extreme of putting the burden on the wife, at a time when I was very, very overwhelmed having just had my third baby in less than three years. (numbers 6, 7 and 8, mind you) I was guilt ridden for a very long time over that message. There was no conviction from the Holy Spirit, just condemnation from the enemy. Please, I beg of you, do not let this bring condemnation. If you are in a season of your life that the Lord is NOT speaking to you about this, please just file it for another time. The last thing I intend to do is to bring condemnation or place burdens on you.
Lord Jesus, you have given us an amazing gift in our relationship with our husbands. Help us Lord to give ourselves entirely to our husband. Bring healing where there needs to be healing. Bring conviction where it is needed. Give us wisdom to know what they need and the desire to lay down our lives and truly love them and seek to meet their needs.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

At The Well Post

Go over to "At the Well . . . In Pursuit of Titus 2" to read my post called "Are You Engaged?"

It is a post encouraging us Mamas to keep our hearts 'engaged' in our role as Mamas to these precious children!

Let me know what you think.

God hug your children . . . after your read the post ;-)