Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Thoughts are Moving

Just to annoy you and make you change your links I have decided to find a new place to put my thoughts... okay not really.

In an attempt to express my thoughts more fully I had to retreat back to an old place my thoughts felt more comfortable and once called home, a place I find less cluttered and less temptation to express for prideful reasons. I can not explain what the differences are between here and there but like a room they both have an atmosphere and this one is not one of peace for me and I find it rather hard to articulate and reach in to capture my thoughts down to encourage and reflect and grow, I find the freedom through the peaceful and simple atmosphere here to do just that. This blogging thing or writing is a kind of therapy for me, a joy for me and a way for me to not only share my heart and thoughts with you but also more fully with me. I truly understand myself better through writing my thoughts out and what He is teacing me. So, if you care to follow me I am no longer writing here but over here at Embracing the Journey

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An update and Birthday post

This week has been clouded, literally and spiritually. I am in a place where every moment is taken and busy in mind and in physical motion and I find myself consistently and overwhelmingly exhausted... tired... dry... weary... faint (at times) and just longing for a break, a moment to simply inhale and exhale, to meditate, to soak in the beauty of this moment.... sigh.

The Lord has been teaching me so many things about what it means to seriously live for Him and die to self, through my marriage and through new relationships, things on LOVE and sacrafice. My life is a constant battle ground of flesh and spirit of pride and humility and the battles are bloody and painful. For the last 2 weeks I have been meditating on Hosea 10:12 "Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you." I can not tell you how the Spirit has been working on my heart so intricately through His words of truth and wisdom. This last week we were so blessed by a friend who came out and tilled us up a garden and as I think back on all the work they did, a full days work in a constant drizeling rain, I am experiencing the Spirit doing the same in my heart... breaking up my fallow ground, tilling up the clay and mixing in good soil so that fruit can grow.

I know I never followed up with my husband encouragement challenge post but I trust you the few of you, my dear friends, understand. Today is my sweet baby angel's birthday, my now 2 year old Butterfly. My heart is so full of joy for this little girl that brings such a unique ray to our sunshine. She is teaching me so many things, to smile when I don't always feel like it, to be gently when harshness is my tendency and to simply just enjoy when the business of life calls. She has a presence that can not be ignored, I praise God for our little Butterfly:

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Day 30: The End or Just another Begining

". . . This is my beloved, and this is my friend . . ." Song of Solomon 5:16b

Friends can be completely honest with each other, but friendships are strained when truth is not spoken in love. How are you speaking to your beloved? Are you so "used" to him that you don't appreciate the wonder of his friendship? That is your challenge today. Is your sweetheart your best friend? Does he know this? Have you told him, or do you assume he "just knows"?

Friendship is something that is cultivated through the good times and the bad. Friends can share their hearts, but they don't step on each other's hearts. The way to have and be a good friend is to cultivate and celebrate the relationship. As you end this "30-Day Encouragement Challenge," celebrate your friendship with your husband. Get alone and reflect on your beloved friend. Write him a letter, listing the qualities you admire and appreciate about him. If you are creative with words, write and frame a poem about him.

Perhaps you can prepare a special meal, just for the two of you, and read the letter or poem to him. Ask if you can pray for him, and if he is willing, thank God for your love and friendship, asking for His blessing on your home.

Encouragement, as you have seen these past 30 days, is a synonym for love in action. How has this challenge changed your heart and life, dear friend? Did God encourage you as you planned ways to encourage your husband? Were there difficult days where you simply needed to trust that God was working? Days when it was hard to leave the results to God?

Remember that God is faithful, and He will bless you for your willingness to obey Him. His ways are not our ways, and perhaps He will honor you in ways you do not expect, but one thing is sure—you will never be the same because of your commitment to be more like Christ!

What kinds of victories have you experienced in your home since you started the "30-Day Encouragement Challenge"? Would you take a moment to share these victories with us?

It is the last day of the 30 Day challenge. It is strange because though the challenge ends today my calling to be a godly wife/helpmeet continues on and I pray the Lord will continue to challenge me to be a constant source of encouragement for my husband. This was a rough month around here full of mountains to climb and valleys to pass through but God is SO GOOD and SO FAITHFUL. I had a lot of beautiful plans and ideas for this challenge in my home that did not find their place but in His providence He revealed to me His plans and their eternal benefit for us. I had plans for more involvement and encouragement in this place for you but found little time to commit, and I do not apologize for that is another lesson the Lord taught me this month. I love blogging, encouraging, writing, thinking "out loud" and just fellowshiping but sometimes in that love I neglect other more important loves such as homeschooling, homekeeping, being an encouraging wife and an intentional mother. I long to spend the majority of my time honoring Him by giving my whole heart and full attention to my calling and I am easily distracted. I long to tell you ALL of the amazing things I learned about myself through this challenge and about my husband and the covenant of marraige but time does not allow. If I can be intentional I will rise early tomorrow and post some of those thoughts... until then love and serve the Living God in your calling as a wife, mother and homekeeper with all of your heart, soul, mind and with all your strength... praise be to God!

JOYfully in Him,

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Day 26: Balance

"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." Luke 2:52

If you have faithfully encouraged your husband, you will no doubt have seen some changes in his life . . . and your own life, as well. Encouragement is a wonderful habit that we hope you will continue for the rest of your life.

The important thing is to keep growing in Christ and obeying the Word of God as you respond to your husband. As you consider today how to bless your husband and not tear him down, think of ways that you can encourage balance in your home.

Jesus led a balanced life. He grew mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. As you see your husband branching out in these areas, is there a pattern of growth? Is your husband striving for balance in his life? If so, let him know you have noticed, and ask how you can further encourage that balance.

If your husband is out of balance—focusing on one area to the exclusion of the others—consider whether there are things you can do to help restore or create balance in his life. Can you encourage times for sports or exercise? Keep the children quiet for a study time? Invite friends over for dinner? Stimulate his mind?

Be sure you are working toward balance in your own life, as well. Be an example!

It has been so amazing to watch my husband grow deeply in the Lord. I praise God for the work he has done in his life. I love to encourage him in his walk. I know because we have talked about it that he is unbalanced concerning anything aside from God. He is ALL focused in the area of being so submerged in the word of the Lord and work of the Lord that everything else has become unbalanced mostly concerning health and excercise. We both believe it is important to take care of your body to the glory of God so that we can serve Him better. I want to work on encouraging him to explore this area more. I think we struggle because there was a time in our life when we were unbalanced in exactly the opposite... our focus was health and excercise and we were unbalanced in all things concerning God.

I also am trying to lighten up in the area of being more hospitable and encouraging for him to go out. My husband has such a passion to spread the gospel and I feel a struggle to let go of my time with him to encourage him to go do these things.

I am enjoying examining my husband and myself and learning how to grow as a wife for His glory and encourage my husband to grow in his calling as a minister, husband and father. It has been such a wonderful journey so far, not to say it hasn't been hard because Oh my it has been, but God is good. Let me encourage you with this, when you feel a certain way this day say this... "I feel like... but I am going to believe He is good." because it is true.

May God bless you all in your marriages.

JOYfully in Him,
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Monday, February 23, 2009

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Today I praise God for the passion and deeply convicting words of a 12 year old girl who made a courageous decision to speak on abortion...

See HERE all of the updates and the details of this little girls heart to speak out against this horrible act of injustice and her heart to speak loudly and boldly for the heart of God. Praise Him and pray for her as she continues to boldly go forth with her passion. Her speach has litterally saved lives and changed lives.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Whole Hearted Mother

Tomorrow morning a friend and I will be traveling to Dallas/Fort Worth to attend the Wholehearted Mother Conference where Sally Clarkson will be speaking, along with her daughter and some others. I will be leaving my amazing husband for the weekend which leaves a hole in my heart, I hate leaving him for so long especially on a weekend he preaches but he is the one that encouraged me to go.

I am praying for all of us who are intentionally striving to encourage our husbands of the glory of God.

JOYfully in Him,

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Day 18: Laugh Together

"You will show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy . . . Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!" Ps. 16:11a; 144:15b

"A merry heart does good like medicine . . ." Prov. 17:22a

It's hard to criticize others when we are enjoying their company. Instead of speaking negatively to your husband today, enjoy him! Encourage him! As you experience fullness of joy with God, share some of that joy with your husband. Does your husband have a playful side? A great sense of humor? Is there a "little boy" that wants to escape from time to time, reflecting the joy in his heart? This is a wonderful part of who he is, and a great strength. Let him know that you appreciate his joyfulness and his playful spirit. Find opportunities to join him in positive play times.

If your husband can sometimes be overly serious, coax him out occasionally for some play times. It will help him relieve stress and relax.
Let's have FUN today! Enjoy the man that God specifically created for us, praise Him for His amazing masterpiece and simply enjoy him. My husband has the greatest sense of humor of any person I know and that is something I so appreciate about him. Find a way to bring a smile to his face. Share the JOY you are experiencing with God with your husband, God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him! (John Piper)

JOYfully in Him,

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Day 17: His Vision

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." Prov. 9:10

Are you a wise woman? Do you open your mouth with wisdom, as Proverbs 31:26 suggests? As you continue in your 30-day challenge, remember that a wise woman encourages her husband. Is your husband a "wise man?" Does he have a godly perspective that comes from knowing God and walking with Him in obedience? Does he have a sense of purpose for his life and vision for your home? Tell him how much this means to you.

If you are not sure about your husband's vision for your home, ask him, "Honey, what do you want to accomplish with our marriage and home in the years to come?" and "How can I help you accomplish that?" If he does not have a vision, your questions may inspire him to develop one.

If your husband is not walking with God—or perhaps, does not know the Lord - you have the opportunity and responsibility to practice your faith and create a thirst for God. Thank God for giving your husband a place in his heart that only He can fill, and keep praying that he will turn to the Lord to fill that vacuum!

Today is a new day ladies! His mercies are NEW every morning! I can not tell you all how encouraged I have been to hear about how God has worked and is working in your heart and in your marriage in some amazing way. I was not expecting I think to learn so much and grow such a passion for marriage as well as for my calling as a wife. God has been intricatly and very personally teaching me so many things through this challenge. I am praying that you are experiencing the same.

Let's make it a zealful passion (redundant, I know) to be woman who speak only with wisdom, soaked in the grace of our Lord. I am looking forward to talking (the art of communicating) with my husband some time today, when the time is right, about what his vision is for our family... I am anxious to know. Enjoy your day of encouragement!

JOYfully in Him,
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Day 16: The Art of Communication

"And the LORD God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." Genesis 2:18

God says that it is not good for man to be alone. But the way some women criticize their mates, the husbands may long for solitude. Be careful today not to criticize your mate, but look for ways to encourage him personally and publicly.

Speaking of communication, does your husband communicate with you? God has made you a companion and helper for your husband, and part of being "one flesh" with him is the privilege of sharing and discussing personal needs and concerns. Thank God for that wonderful gift. Thank your husband for communicating with you. If your spouse does not communicate as you wish, look for ways that he communicates that are normal for him—smiling at you, nodding his head, even a pleasant "grunt!"—and then thank him for letting you know that he cares. Perhaps he needs to be lovingly taught how to communicate. Be patient with him . . . and listen when he does speak.

How, I wonder, would we describe our communion with our husbands? Is it sweet? Consistent? Painful? Avoided? Non-existent? I love to communicate... in this definition of the word: to give or exchange information, signals, or messages by talking, gestures or by writing. My husband would tell I love it a little to much :0). There was a time that I very painfully communicated to my husband, painful on both sides... I very unsympathetically and selfishly communicated to my husband every chance I saw. It was dangerous for him to be alone with me for even a second because I was ready to enchange information that I had stored away for such a moment of release. Sad but so true. I did not consider him... at all... it was all about me. I also never even thought about his way of communication nor did I ever acknowledge his attempts to do so. The other definition that I have found to be much more encouraging is: the art of expressing ideas. The art? I would add... the art of expressing ideas, emotions and deep and sometimes very shallow thoughts :0). It is truly an art... especially when we consider the other person who is on the receiving end of the conversation. How artfully do we comminicate with our husbands? Do we just throw our ideas, emotions and thoughts at him? or do we artfully and beautifully adorn our ideas, emotions and thoughts in the grace of Christ our Lord? I pray that before we would approach our husbands we would dip our tongues in His spectacular colors of grace... love... humility... kindness... gentleness and in His wisdom, soaked with sincerity and deep compassion..

As wives, usually the bigger communicaters but not always, we really need to be sensitive to our husbands in this area. Comminication with our beloved should be a thoughtful action as well as an artful action. I can not tell you how many times I have simply thrown my thoughts at my husband causing so much havoc because I did not give it much thought as to how I should express them to him, God was not honored and nor was my husband. I need to examine myself, my heart, my intentions and the time and place and then artfully soak each of my thoughts in Christ before I speak... express... exchange. How also I wonder in the ultimate meaning of marriage would I comminicate my thoughts with my Saviour Jesus Christ as I am to display the church in the covenant between Christ and the church. I know my husband is not perfect as Christ is perfect but in the biblical perspective which is what matters... how would I? Isn't that how I should then communicate with my husband who is to represent Christ, even if he is not seeking that representation, we are to hold to that model as the wives.

Examine yourself... your husband... and then express... or not.

So sorry if I made little to no sporatic sense... the culprit of time or lack there of.

JOYfully in Him,

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday: His Faithfulness

I am so overwhelmed this morning by God's faithfulness in my marriage and in my life.

He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. Psalm 91:4

Praise God! He has covered us, sheltered us and shielded us with His faithfulness.

For great is his steadfast love towards us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Psalm 117:5

God is faithful! His faithfulness endures forever, it is eternal while ours only lasts a short while before we reveal our continual unfaithfulness. We can not be trusted but we can trust Him, for He is always faithful.

The Lord is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works. Psalm 145:13b

All of His promises are true because He is faithful!! In this day may we worship Him for the faithful and Holy God that He says He is in His word.

Thank you Lord for Your steadfast love and eternal faithfulness... may my life reflect my gratitude to You for this truth. I praise Your holy Name.

Thank you Lord for my husband and his continual humbleness that allows me to daily see you more clearly... it is through his humbleness that I am daily reminded of the holy, holy, holy God I serve.

Praise Him!

God said that He would never leave us nor forsake us... and His promise is TRUE. Christ His only Son was forsaken so that I would never be, thanks be to God.

JOYfully in Him,
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Day 12: Grace

"With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love." Eph. 4:2

Part of the difficulty you may face as you continue in this 30-day challenge to encourage your husband is that you really are struggling to find positive things to praise. Perhaps the problem is not with your husband. Have you checked your own heart?

Sometimes we get disillusioned because of our own unreasonable or unrealistic expectations (Prov. 13:12). It may not be that our mates are doing something wrong; it's simply that we expect too much in some areas. Our expectations must be met in God alone, and then we will have the right perspective to ask God for the healing and grace we need to respond to others.

How sad that we give more grace to others than to those in our own homes. Today, try to look at your husband through eyes of grace. Verbally thank your husband for what he is already doing.
It is sad. I know that I tend to give more grace to others outside of my home. I know that I have set way to high standards for pretty much everyone in my home expecially me. I really needed this reminder this morning to look through a lens of grace today, giving my expectations to God.

I am praying for all of you and your marriages.

JOYfully in Him,
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Day 11: Submission

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord." Eph. 5:22

Women who are constantly negative toward their husbands—especially by speaking evil of them to others—show great disrespect. Determine not to do that today (or ever!). This challenge to encourage is closely connected to submission.

Men respond to women who respect them. What do you respect about your husband? Part of that respect includes submission to his authority. Let your husband know how respecting him makes it easier to submit to his leadership. Show your respect in public by listening to him and smiling at him when he speaks. Place your hand in his as you walk together.

If you feel there is nothing to respect, search harder . . . nearly every man has some core characteristic that can be nurtured and respected. In any case, you must still cultivate a submissive spirit to his position of leadership . . ."as to the Lord."

Ephesians 5:22 is a weighty text expecially when you read what follows... "For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands." (23-24)(emphasis added)

I wonder how often we wives forget or possibly never completely understood our mission and ultimate purpose as wives. We are called by God to be submissive to our husbands "out of reverence for Christ" (Eph 5:21), we are to continually set our minds on our vital importance of displaying the church in the covenant of Christ and the church. It is so easy sometimes to think of ourselves as being insignificant and holding a position of demeaning inferiority... we hold no such position, such a thought is earthly and a flaming torch of deception from the prince of this world. Oh isn't that what the world wants us to think, isn't that what satan wants us to think so that we will not hold fast to being reverent to Christ by submitting to our husbands as to the Lord. Can you see the major significance that we hold. You and I have been given a ministry, a mission from God to be wives... holy wives... set apart for His glory... to submit to our husbands. We should desire to be submissive to our husbands first and foremost out of love and obedience to God, not because our husbands deserve it but because God deserves it. There are days that I don't feel like he deserves it but I must remember that it is not ultimately about him but about the blazing glory of Christ behind, under and above it.

If you want to dig deeper into the understanding and exposition of this amazing vital God honoring weighty truth for your life as a wife and child of God you must read this commentary on our high, holy and crucial calling of displaying the people of God in the relationship between the church and Christ! May it motivate and give you power in Christ to live out your calling with deeper conviction and enthusiasm for His glory!

Oh... how hard this challenge is! Because we are doing something of vital importance that has the power of God to change lives, expand generations of believers and glorify His holy name. Also keep in mind those of us who have children in the home... they are watching. (and taking notes)

Share your thoughts!

JOYfully in Him,

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Day 10

We all crave appreciation. We want to know that we are valued and loved. Early love letters probably reflected our admiration, but if we're not careful, our spouse will forget why we were drawn to him. If you still have any of your old love letters, re-read them for clues to deepen your current level of appreciation for your spouse. When we spend time criticizing our husbands, we lose time that could be spent admiring them. As you consider various ways to encourage your husband, ask, "How can I admire him?"

Does your husband know that you think he is attractive? What was one of the characteristics in your husband that first drew you to him? Was it a physical characteristic, or something else?

Was it his gentle, compassionate eyes? Kindness or concern for others? An easy-going confidence? A steadiness that comes from trusting in the Lord? Strength of character in a culture that lacks integrity? Do you see at least a glimpse of that characteristic in him today? Whatever it is, tell him!

I know this is going to come out really wrong but.... WE ARE ONLY ON DAY 10! Why does it feel like it has been so much longer? :0) This is hard and I am not doing as well as I had hoped. I got attacked by this weekend being so full and stressful and now am having a hard time getting back up.

I need to spend some time in prayer today, over this challenge.

JOYfully in Him,
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Monday, February 9, 2009

Day 9: Admiration

We are often so busy speaking that we don't take time to listen. We are so quick
to offer a comment - negative or positive—that we don't really "hear" our
husband's heart. Remember: we have two ears and only one mouth. We need to
listen more!

As you continue in your 30-day challenge, not speaking
negatively and focusing on positive encouragement, hear the Lord's admonition
today: "Be swift to hear." If listening is a real problem for you, play a game
with yourself. See if you can listen to your husband for one whole day, only
speaking when asked a question. If your husband notices the difference, explain
that you are learning to listen more-not only to God, but also to him.
easy way to express admiration for your husband is to ask a question about
something he enjoys, and then listen to his response. If it's an area of
personal familiarity, keep asking questions until you learn something you didn't
know, then tell him, "Wow, I didn't know that!"

I will be honest... it is hard to "listen" sometimes exspecially when it is something that I have zero interest or am very ignorant of. I recognize that I really need to work on listening more to my husband and his interest even when it goes right over my head... my husband often likes to talk about theology and doctrine and his having a degree in this area I am a little behind and lacking in the ability to follow much less keep up... but I will try... how are you doing?

JOYfully in Him,
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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Day 7 & 8:

"Do not overwork to be rich; because of your own understanding, cease!
. . . for riches certainly make themselves wings . . ." Prov. 23:4-5

"That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, that I may fill their treasuries." Proverbs 8:21

Money is the root of much marital discord. Ask yourself, "Am I being negative toward my husband in the area of finances?" Determine not to speak evil of your husband in this area. Discover ways to encourage and help him instead.

Does your husband handle finances wisely? Does he make good financial investments, based on biblical principles? Does he have a budget? Does he make wise decisions about purchases—checking many sources before he buys? Is he a good steward of his money before the Lord? Let him know how much you appreciate his strengths in financial matters.

If he is weak in this area, encourage any good decisions that he does make. Perhaps you can help him, if he's open to the idea, by organizing financial files or providing other practical assistance. Or, if he wants you to handle the finances, ask for his input before you make decisions that will affect him.

Day 8:

How are you doing with the "30-Day Encouragement Challenge"? In case you've forgotten, here's the challenge:

You can't say anything negative about your husband . . . to your husband . . . or to anyone else, about your husband.
Say something that you admire or appreciate about your husband. . . to your husband . . . and to someone else, about your husband!
". . . but who can find a faithful man?" Prov. 20:6b

Faithfulness is a wonderful but rare quality today, especially in regard to marriage. Do you understand how important this quality is? Your challenge is to continue to root out all negative speaking, and plant seeds of encouragement instead. You may be amazed at what will grow.

Contemporary culture often entices men to be unfaithful to their wedding vows and spiritual commitments. Appreciate your husband's faithfulness—how he is loyal to you. Let him know that you are glad he has "stick-to-it-iveness" in your marriage.

Appreciate his faithfulness to God. (If you have an unfaithful husband, this is a difficult area for you. Pray, speak the truth in love, remain faithful yourself, and discover ways to encourage faithfulness in your mate. The Bible says that husbands may ". . . be won by the conduct of their wives" [1 Pet. 3:1]. You may also want to seek counsel from a mature, godly individual or couple.)
We are on our way out the door this morning. My husband will be speaking at a local youth rally so we will be away for 2 days. I have some things that God has on my heart to express but it must wait until Sunday or Monday. I pray that in today and tomorrows challenge you will have victory over your tongue and only speak with wisdom. Enjoy your husbands and have a great weekend.

JOYfully in Him,

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My Husband Rocks!

My chosen prompt: Tell the story of a memory about your husband that brings you a smile and a giggle every time you think about it!

I sat here for awhile searching my collection of husband memories knowing that there are a abyss full of them that bring me to laughter each time they run across my mind... it took me a few minutes but I found one that I love to tell people and that I love to remember.

My sweet strong manly husband is terrified of spiders... if you have ever seen Me, Myself and Irene you have seen how my husband reacts when they get up close and personal. There is one time inparticular that brings a instant smile and contagious giggle through my body. I LOVE to tell this story almost as I love to picture him in action that day. We were driving down a road in our town. We lived in a college town at the time. On our way down the road my husband suddenly becomes panicked... when I notice the smallest itty bitty green spider... he is seriously freaking out. He is driving and the spider is on the steering wheel so you can see the severity of the situation, luckily we were heading into a red light. My husband barely slams the car in stop put it in park before he flings the door open and jumps out of the car! He is doing the icky spider dance, I flick it, the spider out the door causing more panic. Meanwhile, there is a huge, you know big monster truck that pulls up beside us with some college guy smiling in amusement. That moment for me is classic and I love it!

My Husband Rocks with his spider phobia!!

JOYfully in Him,M

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Day 6: Deflating Words?

". . . whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Cor. 10:31b

Do you recognize and appreciate your husband's creativity? Or do you criticize and demean his efforts? Instead of negativity, determine to be positive. Perhaps you can help your husband see that his efforts are an opportunity to glorify God.

Is your husband the "creative" type? Does he have any artistic gifts? What is that special "knack" he has? Affirm him for his handiwork - a hobby, music, gardening, tinkering with cars, working with wood, etc. Remember: Even if he doesn't measure up to your standards, praise his efforts. If your budget allows, buy him a book or magazine that will continue to encourage his special skill or talent.

If you have a hard time finding his "creative side," understand that men's creativity sometimes is related to their work. Find something he does to make his job run more smoothly or something he does that adds value to his work . . . and let him know that you have noticed.

Make his day . . . Praise his accomplishments in public, while he is listening.

I wonder how often I "deflate" my husband's creativity, how often I confirm his insecurities unintentionally with my quick responses to his ideas. A year ago I read this article that really made me more intentional about my words in praising his creative sometimes "crazy, really far out" ideas(believe me he has had some of those amazing ideas :0). Here is a quote from Shaunti Feldhahn in this interview by Nancy Leigh DeMoss...

What I have found, honestly, is that so many guys go through life with sort of a secret insecurity. This issue of how we as women communicate with them is such an enormous part of how they think we feel about them. We may absolutely respect our husbands or trust our husbands but have no idea that we’re going through our day communicating the opposite.

Today I am going to remember the effect my words have on him. For my husband right now this is so important as he daily needs my encouragement and praise in his ideas with serving God in preaching and teaching the youth here. It is honestly hard sometimes because I have my own ideas as well, but I want to be sure to present them in a way that doesn't "deflate" his ideas and discourage him and to esteem his ideas first and foremost above any of mine. He is amazing! I pray God will bring these things to the front of my mind and allow me to see them in the moment, because it is so easy to recognize these things and say them out loud and then leave them behind.

Let us seek to inflate instead of deflate our husbands creative ideas and creative sides, can't find his... listen and watch closely... what things does he love to do but doesn't do often maybe because he is unsure of himself.

JOYfully in Him,
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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Day 5: Praise Him

"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." Eph. 4:29

Another way to describe the positive side of this "30-Day
Encouragement Challenge" is by using the word "edify," which means, "to build
up." Negative comments only discourage and tear down. Positive comments
encourage and build.

Do you edify your husband before others, adding to
his value in their eyes? This is especially important to other family members.

Do you praise your husband to his relatives, and yours? Does your
husband's mother know how much you love him? How about your dad? Perhaps you can
drop a word of praise into a conversation or letter. Be creative in letting your
relatives know that you respect your husband, love him, and support him - in
spite of whatever flaws and weaknesses he may have.

Praise your husband! Not just to him but to others, find a creative way to edify him to others today. Look for the opportunities to do this. Let's praise our God today by praising our husbands, proclaim it to the world! MY HUSBAND ROCKS!! Check those out :0).

Also, let me encourage you of this. My friend and I were talking yesterday about this challenge and how praising our husbands and edifying him is easy in the way of talking him up, if you know what I mean... where we struggle in edifying him is in our daily responses and reactions to our husbands. I can very easily not choose my words wisely, corrupt communication is almost certain to come flying out of my mouth before I have consciously brought them to my mind and given them to Christ. I know this is not true for all of you but for some who share in this struggle let us intentionally let us give our words to Christ before we give them to our husbands.

JOYfully in Him,
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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Thankful Thursday: My Husband

"There is no more lovely, friendly or charming relationship, communion or company, than a good marriage." Martin Luther

Today is Day 5 in the husband encouragement challenge, God has given me a deeper love and appreciation for the man in my life. We have been through some really tough times and there have been times when we were not sure if we were going to make it, I praise God for His faithfulness. This morning I sit here at my kitchen table with my "love journal" watching my husband quietly sit on the couch preparing his heart and mind for 3 sermons for a youth rally this weekend... I am thankful...

Lord thank you for that day long ago that you set my heart on a boy, a boy that you new and created me for.

Lord thank you for the love that I have for him and that it continues to grow deeper and deeper each year.

Lord thank you for the perseverence to endure all of the HARDships with in our marriage and getting us through our first few years.

Lord thank you for the man, the new man that sits before me this morning.

Lord thank you for the faith you gave him that continues to grow daily.

Lord thank you for the heart that you gave him to serve you wholeheartidly and with passion.

Lord thank you for the zeal he has for the gospel of Jesus Christ, for his boldness and courage in proclaiming it daily.

Lord thank you for his love for his family, his deep unconditional love for his children and for me.

Lord thank you for his amazing sense of humor, that find me everyday.

Lord thank you for the little things...

his smile
his contagous laugh
his hard working hands
his mind
his caring heart
his down to earth out going personality
his continual humbleness
his passion to know God
his willingness to serve and please people almost to a fault :0)
his deep desire to please God and not man in speaking the truth
his heart for prayer, deep communion with God everyday.
his perseverence in studying the scriptures
his radical thinking and doctrine

Lord thank you for my marriage, for the opportunity to serve you in my calling as a wife in displaying the church in your ulitimate meaning for marriage.

Lord THANK YOU for the forgiveness tha daily reigns in our marriage and the ability to recognize that we are both sinners in desperate need of your grace and mercy and eachothers.

Lord thank you for your GRACE that you lavish us in everyday before we get up, after we get up, as we walk along the light of day, enter into the darkness of night and with each breathe we take.

The Lord is SO faithful and I just continue to, even through the toughest times, fall deeper and deeper in love with my husband. I pray that God will keep revealing himself to us and giving us his wisdom and more and more and more faith. May you be blessed today in your marriage.

Oh, God THANK YOU for my husband!! What a gift for me, strengthen him today and use me to build him up and encourage him to continue boldly serving You...

JOYfully in Him,
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Day 4: Words

" . . . let him labor, working with his hands what is good . . . "
Eph. 4:28

We are all accountable for the things we say, both negative and positive words. Have you embraced the challenge to speak only positive things to your husband and to others about him? Here's a suggestion that touches the core of your husband's world.

Some women take their husband's career for granted, and they show it in many ways. Do you "dump" on your husband at the end of the workday, or do you strengthen and encourage him with your words? A wise wife will make her husband feel that she values and appreciates his work. Let him know that you are glad he is a hard worker. Take opportunities to praise his diligence and resourcefulness to others.

If your husband is out of work, unable to work, or refuses to work, you'll need to be more creative. Praise him for a character quality that you see in him that would be a vital part of a successful career—such as persistence, decisiveness, strength, an analytical mind, organizational skills, good with people, good listener, determination, etc.

Do you "dump" on your husband at the end of the workday, or do you strengthen and encourage him with your words? This is something that I really need to work on. I have gotten into a very bad discouraging habit of "dumping" all of the days dirty laundry on him when he gets home or when we have free time in the evening. I am meditating a lot over the scriptures concerning the tongue and am realizing the power they have on us, and I know that discontented words brought to my husband each night is not edifying and building up. I realize that he works HARD with in his heart especially to serve God and it is discouraging when I pour all of my hearts discontentments and aches all over him on a daily basis with the intentions to gratitfy my selfish desires of what is called "venting".

Gracious words are like honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. Proverbs 16:24

There is a time to express our hearts concerns and discontentments but not everyday and always carefully each word soaked in grace and love for the glory of Christ and strengthening of hearts and not tearing. Here are some things to consider before we decide to "dump"...

Is this something that needs his attention right now?
Where is my heart in presenting this to him?
Can this issue really as important as it feels or am I being deceived?
Have I sought God's counsel first, spent time with Him about these issues today?

I really need to learn to cast all of my cares on Him my stronghold first and allow Him to work in my heart and then when I have heard from Him through earnestly seeking Him then may I take it to my husband. I believe it is an illusion that our husbands need to know everything that is going on or went on and that we need to release those to him in order to feel content and satisfied. I want my husband to be drenched in honeycomb as much as possible, built up and encouraged by the words that flow from my mouth, I really pray that all other issues in my heart will settle on their own with God's wisdom and power of His Spirit and that bringing them to my husband will be few and fewer. Okay, I am not saying do not talk and spend time with your husband and discuss serious issues with him when he gets home, I am just encouraging you to really consider your words, your heart and motives and spend your time wisely... focus more on him (and ultimately HIM)... ask him how his day was...what are his needs... his concerns... use all of those possibly empty words that you were going to use and that time wasted to praise him and build him up!

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Set our minds on pleasing HIM with our words... which will come out of the medititation of our hearts... what are you meditating on?

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Two Shall Become One Tuesday


I must encourage you to visit Praise and Coffee today for her Two Shall Become One Tuesday she is discussing an issue that I am sure we have all dealt with on some level in our marriage and if not something we have seen happen and destroy with in a marriage.

Just a little heads up for my friends who are following allong in this challenge of encouraging our husbands join on Thursday for a Thankful Thursday, let's share our grateful hearts for our husbands, and on Friday with My Husband Rock's Friday, I am excited about this meme I just found!

Care to share how things are going? Learning anything about yourself as a wife? Your husband? Your marriage? May God bless you my sister.

JOYfully in Him,

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Day 3: His Tenderness

"And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
Phil. 4:19
Love indeed suffers long and is kind. As you consider your Encouragement Challenge, determine today that you will not say anything negative to or about your husband. Speak kindly to him with words of genuine encouragement.

If your husband is considerate of your needs, let him know that you have noticed. Thank him for his kindness and consideration. Thank the Lord that your husband knows how to be both tough and tender.

Sometimes it's difficult for a man to be gentle, kind or tender—especially if he hasn't had role models in these areas. If he's not a considerate person, appeal to him for help without complaining. Let him know that it's hard for you to handle some things alone. Then, when he moves in to help, don't insist that he do it your way. Be glad that he is responding, and express your gratitude.

Ultimately, you can't expect your husband to make you feel more secure, loved, etc.

Remember that only God can meet the deepest needs of your heart.

I think this one can be really hard because I think sometimes as wives we have our expectations set to high concerning our husband's gentleness, kindness and tenderness. I know that all marriages are different where some men are extremely tender, kind and gentle. Today seek out with a loving heart his tenderness, it will look different for each of our husbands. Let us notice his and let him know our gratefulness. In our seeking his tenderness, if we don't feel he is living up to our "expectations" or is not responsive to our appeals remember that He is all that satisfies us completely, He covers all of our husband's short comings. He is our ultimate husband.

JOYfully in Him,
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Marriage Monday (day late)

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis
Want this button?

I know it isn't Monday but I missed particpating in Marriage Monday, which I have been looking forward to, because of unplanned circumstances and lack of time.

What has surprised you about your marriage?

Simply... God, the power of God. He definetly surprised us with His presence, His all consuming presence. And He still continues to surprise us day after day with His presence. A verse that is SO relevant for our marriage is Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Yes, He knew the plans He had for us but we didn't!! I can definetly say with out a shadow of a doubt that His plans were far better than any we had. When we got married on October 6th 2000, we were not only naive but lost. We didn't know that Lord, we were 2 extremely selfish people coming from broken and very difficult pasts begining a life together that would in years to come surprise us. We lived together under the vows of marriage for 2 1/2 years before He began working in my heart... soon after I realized the need for Christ to reign in our marriage I began to pray over my husband. I had faith God was listening to me as I prayed night after night for Him to open his heart and save him. I was not prepared completely for how He was going to do this! About 1 year later God basically brought us both in one night to a place of brokeness that could only be repaired by Him, brought us both to our knees causing us to look up. It was in that time that the Lord opened the eyes of my husband's heart and revealed Himself to Him and it was powerful. A year later we together devoted our lives to Him in service by giving our lives to Him through ministry. Rick quit his GOOD job with lots of promises, sold our house, picked up and went to Seminary. A LOT of people thought we were crazy! Seriously crazy.

Our plans to live a happy self centered money satisfied life (if that is even possible) were completely thrown off track when Christ met us on our path to destruction, saving us from a wasted life of self glorification only leading to death. Oh Praise God for His mercy and grace, for His Son. If it had not been for the power of His grace in our lives we would with no doubts have been destroyed, just another failed marriage. Praise God for His amazing grace.

Oh, God I pray that you continue to reveal more and more of yourself to us. Let the power of Your glory reign in our marriage and consume us daily to serve you simply because You are worthy...

JOYfully in Him,

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Day 2: Through Love

" . . . through love serve one another." Gal. 5:13b

In the original Greek, Paul is even more specific. He says, through the love serve one another. What love? Specifically, the love of Jesus Christ. “Paul uses the article: it is ‘the love’ of which he writes, the distinctive Christian love.” (Morris)

We are in Day 2 and today we are encouraged to serve one another... not in love... not because of love but through love. When I read this verse this morning I just had to know more, what was under the surface of this verse? What does it mean to serve one another through love? To go through something means go from begining to the end, you do not stop. Our love is not strong enough to always serve another especially when we don't "feel" like they deserve our service but it is not through our love or the love that the world can relate to but through the powerful love of Christ. We must go through His love... a sacraficial love that lays it ALL down in order to serve and save. This is a powerful truth.

I don't want to ignore the reality that in this challenge we are all facing our own personal struggles whether they are in our marriage, in our hearts or just in our lives. I know that we are all in our callings being tugged at in many different directions. I know that some of us are going through a very painful place in our life, oh how I pray that His power will overtake us and consume us and enable us to serve and worship Him while we wait on Him to come and deliver us.

So before I go on... for those who are deeply struggling be encouraged...

Whatever you are going through... serve your husband through the power of His love... lay all of your hindrances of love down at His feet and allow the love of Him overflow from your heart into service to your husband. Worship and Serve the Lord through it all.

Now I know the challenge is to focus on where your husband is serving you... so now that we have examined and sought encouragement from His word on how to serve, ourselves... where do you see your husband serving you and your family? Be creative... thank him for how he daily serves around your house. It may be hard to find it for some... look deep.

JOYfully in Him,

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Day 1: Lay it ALL down

"Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation that you believe to be the will of God."

Jim Elliot

Praise God! We have arrived at Day 1 of the 30 Days of Encouragement Challenge, I must express the supreme soveriegnty of God in this challenge. Let me tell you something that you quite possibly already know, we serve an AWESOME God who works all things out for the good of those who love Him. This morning as I type my thoughts out I can't seem to find the right words, maybe they don't exist, to express to you the JOY I feel in my heart for the realization that if you are commiting yourself to this challenge of living out His will in being a wife that seeks to ultimately honor Him by encouraging, supporting, loving and cherishing your husband... you, your husband and your marriage will be greatly blessed. I believe that through this challenge lives will be changed for the power of the Holy Spirit is with us and if we truly believe that we will walk these next 30 day (and following) with confidence even when we fall because He is pleased.
"You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all you mind. This is the great and first commandment. And second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as youself." Matt. 22:37-39

Let me encourage you as this is the first day to put your WHOLE heart into this, not half, not 3/4... lay it ALL out there in seeking to live out His will for you. Let us wives together in spirit walk zealfully in our mission this month... seriously let the zeal of glorifying Him consume you and motivate you to walk confidently and in His power, not your own! I am praying for you my sister.

As you do this remember...
* You can't say anything negative about your husband your husband...or to anyone
else, about your husband.
* Say something that you admire or appreciate about your your
husband...and to someone else, about your husband!
Also... take note that tomorrow is Marriage Monday at Spiritually Unequal Marriage, join me tomorrow over there.

JOYfully in Him,
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Friday, January 30, 2009

A Place to Commune, Collect and Capture

Before Sunday meets us with her bright glimmering (hopefully) rays of light let us have a Place to come each morning to remember our commitment to encouragement... a place to rest our thoughts and capture our hearts on paper. I have two resting places in mind... one for you to sit, commune and collect and another for you to capture... a quiet place for you to be still in communion with your Father and in collecting all of your hearts lingering reflections and a place with in that place to capture them for future reflection. Seriously, find a quiet place in your home just for you and then find a place, a journal or notebook to capture. Don't run out and buy a journal or new pretty notebook unless you want to of course. Use your current journal, make a journal with paper and stamps and other embellishments or just grab a little folder and hide some paper with in it. Don't focus to much on the "appearance" but rather the purpose. With in your notebook/journal if you want you can slip, glue or mold these pages:

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge for Wives
Journal Pages
30 Day Husband Encouragement Calendar

These are not necessary but can definetly be helpful. I love the calendar. Keep this little notebook of yours accesible for you to continue to capture during this challenge. I have no doubt that it will serve to encourage you during and after this journey... be creative... pour your heart into these pages through the love ink left behind.

I really find it encouraging to keep a little 'LOVE JOURNAL' if you will to just record my thoughts. I am seriously considering making this husband encouragement challenge a continual thing to keep me accountable, thinking about every 3 months... so the next one would be in May. Now I plan on continueing to live out my calling as a wife on a daily basis but every 3 months to really focus and record...

Today, if you are able, find some time to fast and pray. Here are some really good articles on fasting and praying:

Father God... I thank you for this day we have been given to display Your glory and light in this dark world... I thank you for allowing us to open our eyes this morning and retrieve this gift of life, to spend with our families, to spend in service loving You with all of our heart, soul, minds and strength and loving our neighbors as ourselves. Father I pray over each woman who has commited herself to wholeheartidly and intentionally live out her callling as a wife... grant them each humblesness as they seek to put their husbands above themselves even when their emotions tell them that maybe they are not worthy and when she feels the eyes of feminism glaring down at her, give each one the ability to forgive quickly, to love radically, to walk in faith, to speak only with gentleness and kindness, to have a spirit of submissiveness and respect, to have a joyful heart and a willingness to sacrafice her time. Father, You are good and I praise You, walk with us Lord and remind us that we are continually in Your presence and remind us of the significance of what we are doing in our roles as wives. In the name of Jesus... Amen.
JOYfully in Him,
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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Overflowing with thankfulness

This morning I find myself becoming overwhelmed by Him and His continual presence in my life as a wife, mother and homekeeper. Tuesday I heard His voice loud and clear...

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him,
rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Col 2:6-7

Imagine if we were to truly on a daily continual basis live in Him... being rooted and built up in Him that we would be daily strengthend in the faith and the overflowing with thankfulness that would spring forth from the broken gates of surrender! Today I am thankful for...

*children... they are a blessing from the Lord!
*stations of encouragement found through out our house
*moments of difficult but sweet correction
*surrender in a stubborn heart
*humbleness with in a marriage
*the work of the Spirit among the hearts of young people
*courage to speak the truth
*voices to remind us of the suffering and glory
*a husband that isn't content with wasting time for the gospel

May I continue to live in Him today and overflow with a heart of thankfulness... He is good.

JOYfully in Him,
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Preparing for Battle

Okay, it is 4 days until the 30 day Husband Encouragement Challenge. On February 1st, which is a Sunday, we will enter our first “official” day of encouragement. For the next 2 days I want to encourage you to be examining yourself in light of scripture in your walk as a created helpmeet for the man in your life. Consciously observe, if that is possible from the inside out, your behavior, your reactions in certain situations, your demeanor and body language… notice your struggles, your weaknesses, your desires and convictions. Set a piece of paper aside with a pen (a journal if you like) and as you become aware of certain things, take some time to write them down so that in the future you can look over them, bring them God and surrender them to His Lordship. Be careful not to allow deceit and excuses to hinder you from the full freedom of surrender in admitting where you fall short and where His Spirit is needed to fill in. During this time put your pride-guard down and allow Him to consume you and overtake any of those areas. Glance sincerely into the eyes of your heart and view yourself through the lens of Christ.

On Friday the 30th, this Friday, I am encouraging you, strongly encouraging you (if you are able to that is) to spend some time in prayer and fasting. Take your list and your heart and get on the ground in humbleness to your Father in seeking His guidance and strength for this journey to die in order to love more fully as Christ. I don’t think we completely understand what weight our calling as a wife has on the glory of Christ… if only we would grasp it more fully and think on it more often. In this time that you set apart focus on your role in the marriage… ask God to give you wisdom in all of your areas and guidance… pray for Him to show you the doors, the way of escape in times of weakness and temptation to fall short and give in… commit yourself to self sacrificing love… to endurance… to forgiveness… to humility… to joyful service… and reliance on His power alone working through you. Know that when I say time set apart I don’t necessarily mean for you to spend the day or hours on your knees in your room while your family starves but more internally as you continue to serve and love, but if it is possible I think it would be great if you could steal some truly “set apart time” on your knees hidden in your room, closet or bathroom. This is serious God honoring business and we need to be prepared for the battles that will come through our strivings to be a wife that defies the culture because through that HE.WILL. BE. GLORIFIED. And he will set out to stop us dead in our tracks, cause us to doubt, set up stumbling blocks and our hearts and minds better be ready to fight his schemes to steal His glory. Things will happen to cause you to doubt your mission these next 30 day but in each of these it is vital to remember where your strength is found and where your confidence is and that is in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior… we may stumble and fall but we stand on a Solid Rock that can not be moved! We are covered in grace… so keep walking in faith… pick up that Sword…

Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11

Saturday I will post more thoughts on details…please in this post let me know (if you haven't already) if you are up for the challenge… so that we can share in a sweet fellowship and encouragement.

JOYfully in Him,
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Monday, January 26, 2009

Memory Monday: Proverbs 31:10-31

By the suggestion of my beloved I will be treasuring...

The Woman Who Fears the LORD

An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than(B) jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
She opens her hand tothe poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
"Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all."
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

I pray that I can diligently work on meditating and memorizing these verses from His word.
JOYfully in Him,
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Monday Beginnings

God has been teaching me so many things since our big move last month, many things. Revealing dark shadows lingering around in my heart, inconsistences in my daily life as a wife, mother and homekeeper and more and more of His grace. My heart is on fire to surrender ALL for Him. In the last couple of weeks He has been bringing things together for me. It is hard to explain and I don't have time to, the early morning is slipping away and will soon be overtaken by little people. He has encouraged me in these 4 areas that I will be commiting wholeheartedly to Him... I will briefly explain....

1. TIME... I have been longing to get up early each morning to have my own quiet time with the Lord and to prepare for each day. While checking some blogs I ran across this , then this ,then this on time and was convicted further and then providencially found this. What a cool thought! I could do that and so I began with ideas when a few days later I found the 5:16 Club... an anwser to prayers. I need encouragement!! At least to get me started again. I love the Ephesians 5:15-16 "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil." It is just amazing how God put all of the things together to encourage me to do just that... make the best us of my time.

2. CIRCUMSTANCES. Soveriegnty of God in the big and little, global and personal happenings of life... lately piering in on others lives and dealing with my own set of circumstances as well as thinking of the world, Christian persecution, suffering and economic issues I have been thinking a lot about the soveriegnty of God in all these things... mostly in the bad things. Why? is a question that unfailingly floats through my head and while I can understand or accept then to a degree it still finds me at times struggling... so by the grace of God I one day feel upon a book study that The Preachers Wife is hosting called Spectacular Sins by John Piper. I knew it was not an accident that I just happened to find this blog and this study... so I picked the book up while out one day and just the intro has me gripped at knowing more of Him so that I can be strengthened for things to come... for they will come.

3. MARRIAGE. I have recognized my own sinful and rebellious behavior as a wife lately... I have allowed myself to be decieved in ruling over my husband. It was a slow fade that took place over months. I have been stubborn in surrendering my pride over to Him with my submission and respect towards my husband. I through the grace of God finally broke down and surrendered. I am going to "host" a little (if anyone wants to join) 30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge here starting on Feb. 1st. My aim is to put my husband above myself, to exhaust myself in serving him, loving him, encouraging him, honoring him, to display and keep the perspective of our marriage being the covenant of Christ and the church to outsiders looking in (especially my children), me displaying the church and to encourage other wives in this calling of being a wife to His ultimate glory.

4. MEMORIZATION. Something that has been severly lacking in my daily life is the memorizing of God's word, the treasuring of His holy word in my heart. I have tasted it's sweetness many times but have simply allowed my laziness and unfaithfulness to swallow up this joyful discipline of hiding God's word in my heart. I am going to again make a commitment to hide the scriptures away in my heart to carry with me in times of trials and temptations and in times of rejoicing and worship. Each week I will hide a new verse away and will be visiting The Simple Wife each Monday participating in Memory Monday's to fellowship with others in this discipline.

JOYfully in Him,
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Thursday, January 22, 2009


I am reminded this morning that she will only be small for so long, under my feet for a brief moment as we sit in the first sun lit rays of the morning... dance to the music across the cold floor... discuss the wanderings of our kitty and admire the candy on the counter... as I listen to little sighs... early morning smiles... dangling feet from highchair... sleepy eyes lost in thoughts...

This morning I can see the small things that I take for granted each morning... I am reminded of how precious time is and that it is a gift... this is easily forgotten each morning as I focus on the unimportant... today I look above, keep my thoughts and focus there... off of earthy temporal things.

JOYfully in Him,

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Where is my treasure hidden in my home?

In my home where is my heart? Where is my treasure?

"For where your treasure is there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21

I had to ask myself last night these questions after listening to a convicting sermon on the Centrality of the Home. Where have I hidden my treasures? Under my search for joy, peace, comfort... between the opinions of others, the expectations of the world... behind good behavior and a perfect home? Is that where my treasure is hidden... why my heart is tightly found wrapped around?

I realize that storing my treasures under, between and behind all these things only sets me up for failure. I am doomed to a life of frustration and emptiness.

So where is my heart? Where is my heart in disciplining my children? Keeping my home? Responding with respect to my husband?... for my own personal gain? So I can lay my head snuggly on my pillow at night free from guilt and shame? To impress? or is it to ultimately glorify God and give Him praise and honor that He deserves? To display Christ? To give a glimpse of the invisible God? Tor raise children to love the Lord with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength and to walk in all His ways?

My treasure should be buried deep with in the eternal glory and supremacy of Christ! Hidden in Him... in the gospel of Christ... no where else! Hidden anywhere else and the goal of righteousness is lost... Christ is not honored and glorified as He so deserves... eternal souls are lost... homes are destroyed little by little over years of daily destruction... unity of marriage is desinigrated... hearts are all ultimately left in a constant state of dispair and discontenment as the kingdom of God is lost in our minds and hearts.

The value of our treasure being in heaven is everlasting and incorruptable!!

Oh God, please bring my heart and mind into the constant subjection to Jesus Christ... hiding my treasure daily, daily in the cross of Christ! Father guide me into your holy and righteous will... shine Your light upon my path today in my home. I pray that my treasure is hidden in Christ and that I will exhaust myself for it's eternal, everlasting and incorruptable value. Oh, in the moments when perspective is hard to see, where everything seems upon my head and I can feel the weight of sin on me may I remember where my treasure is hidden... not in temporal fleeting things and opinion but in the eternal... in heaven, with Christ.

JOYfully in Him,

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30 Days of Encouragement

Oh the calling of being a helpmeet! Oh how enduring and selfless it is and completely against my very nature... and not to mention culture. The curse that fell upon us when Eve sinned in rebellion agains't God has been nipping at my heels, not actually... honestly the curse has been upon my head sinking it's teeth in deep. Listen to what the word says in Genesis...

Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him." (2:18)

God created us to be our husband's helper, a perfect fit for that special man in our lives. It is amazing for me to think about the reality of that... that I was created, made, formed me in the womb for him... divinely designed me to perfectly fit the man he created and formed in the womb. Amazing!! Since we, no before we were born or conceived we were designed exactly for eachother... perfectly formed in every way even though it doesn't feel like it some times :0).

Now listen to what God said to the woman after the fall...

"I will surely mulitiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you." (3:16, emphasis added)

The word desire is the same word used in Genesis 4:7 of the same desire of sin to master over cain. Wow!

“As a result of the fall, man no longer rules easily; he must fight from his headship. Sin has corrupted both the willing submission of the wife and the loving headship of the husband. The woman’s desire is to control her husband (to usurp his divinely appointed headship), and he must master her, if he can. So the rule of love founded in paradise is replaced by struggle, tyranny and domination.” (Susan T. Foh, cited in Boice)

So in light of Eve's sin that cursed us all and daily crouches at our door... I am going to begin on February 1st the Husband Encouragement Challenge... in a way to rule over it. In this challenge I want you to join me... join me in ruling over this curse of ours! Let me know if you would like to walk closely with the Father and His Son as I seek to encourage and simply love my husband. I will post details later.

JOYfully in Him,

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Being Still, Waiting for the Lord

We are back from our Youth Trip... and I have so much I want to share but first I have something on my heart that I want to share today:

I was very encouraged from a section in a book I am reading titled Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot and I want to share it with you: (this is in honore of a beautiful friend of mine)

The section is titled Waiting...

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord" Psalm 27:14

Waiting requires patience-a willingness calmly to accept what we have or have not, where we are or where we wish we were, whomever we live or work with.

To want what we don't have is impatience, for one thing, and it is to mistrust God. Is He not in complete control of all circumstances, events, and conditions? If some are beyond His control, He is not God.

A spirit of resistance cannot wait on God. I believe it is this spirit which is the reason for some of our greatest sufferings. Opposing the workings of the Lord in and through our "problems" only exacerbates them. It is HERE and NOW that we must win our victories or suffer defeats. Spiritual victories or suffer defeats. Spiritual victiories are won in the quiet acceptance of ordinary events, which are God's "bright servants," standing all around us.

Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has ALL things safely in His hands. "Peace I leave with you; I do not give to you as the world gives" John 14:27. What sort of peace has He to give us? A peace which was constant in the midst of ceaseless work (with few visible rsults), frequient interuptions, impatient demands, few physical comforts; a peace which was not destroyed by arguments, the faithlessness, and hatred of other people. Jesus had perfect confidence in His Father, whose will He had come to accomplish. Nothing touched Him without His Father's permission. Nothing touches me without my Father's permission. Can I not then waith patiently? He will show the way.

If I am willing to be still in my Master's hand, can I not then be still in everything? He's go the whole world in His hands! never mind whether things come from God himself or from people-everything comes by His ordination or permission. If I mean to be obedient and submissive to the Lord because He is my Lord, I must not forget that whatever He allows to happen becomes... for me... His will at that moment. Perhaps it is someone else's sinful action, but if God allows it to affect me, He wills it for my learning. The need to wait is, for me, a form of chastening. God has to calm me down, make me shut up and look to him for the outcome.

"Trust in the Lord with ALL of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe." Prov. 18:10

As we all sit in the moment of His will for us may we all like Mary say with boldness and deep conviction "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." Luke 1:38 and may we be enabled to be more closely united with His will as Jesus "...not as I will, but as you will." Matthew 26:39. May all fear and worry be drowned out as we safely trust in His will for our lives knowing that His is best.

JOYfully in Him,
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Friday, January 16, 2009

New Friends and Youth Trip

Last night we spent a very blessed evening with a family that the Lord has providentially set in our path, through friend, family and the internet. We were able to listen to this friend sing his heart out to God... praise God for this family.

This morning we are packing up a church van to set out for Fort Worth Texas... to attend Winterfest. I am very much excited to spend some quality time (6-7 hours drive) with the youth group, worship together, experience poverty and God's love together as we team up with our past youth group in Mesquite Texas to feed the homelesss and the spend Sunday with friends we left behind. God is so good, after all the mourning of leaving them He enables us to visit so soon! Thank you Lord for the privilege.

Today you have been given a priceless and very precious gift... time... savor it and spend it wisely...

JOYfully in Him,

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Grateful, Patience and Love

So I set my alarm clock for 5:30 this morning with the most sincere intentions to abruptly disturb my peaceful sleep and join in the celebration of a new day, but it didn't happen. I waited instead for the coffee alarm to draw me into celebration at 6:00. I am so reluctant to feel "misery" in the first 10-15 minutes of consciousness. Sitting at my place of quiet time I found Him there waiting for me... He gently spoke... patience... today seek Me and find my patience through a grateful heart and you will reap the reward of LOVE. I sat in a state of peace and comfort as what He was relaying to me was the lesson my husband so boldy taught to the youth last night. Love... but I can't I reply... not at all like I should nor like I so desperately want... like Christ... but there is hope and there is victory... thanks be to God. The ultimate gratefulness reaps ultimate love, Christ.

Today... grab ahold of each moment and thank Him for the gift... patience (that virtue that all mothers seek but seldom find) will follow closely in the shadows... and then LOVE will blossom with a sweet aroma... and Christ will be more visually experienced in their eyes through the heart and actions of their mother... YOU.

JOYfully in Him,

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

True Womanhood

Yesterday I posted all of Biblical Womanhood by Voddie Bauchman and today I am going to post some things on True Womanhood, which is the same basic principle. This last week God has been working on my heart for my home and my amazing family, teaching me things and simply reminding me of things that I have forgotten... sigh. With the chaos of life lately, as to be expected with a big move, I have simply put my priorities of being a collection of mother, wife and housekeeper on a high out of reach out of sight shelf in my heart so that I did not have to constantly be reminded of all of there responsiblities that take so much of my time and energy... again... sigh... a big... SIGH. The Lord, because of my extreme self centeredness and lack of faith, has not been able to work on me. I have to tell you... I am glad to be back! I am beginning to feel more like myself although maybe not completely act like myself. When in a new place surrounded by new faces I tend to become introverted and intimidated. I hide. I retreat within and observe for awhile... I am working on this! It is something that unfortunetly comes naturally... and so fighting it has to be a very conscious and painful thing.

I am seeing the faces that make me draw outside of myself, praise God. I prayed a lot before we moved that He would reveal those faces and hearts that would connect and mingle well with my own. That our hearts for our callings as a wife, mother, teacher and homekeeper would be like a strong magnetic force... not to be messed with! :0) I am finding them. I am enjoying the near family experience, which is new. It is nice to see them, enjoy worshiping together and visiting. I will admit... I am selfish with my time with my family... and reluctant to give up my time, my normal set in my ways time and routine. Change is good. Family is good.

Anyway, what I briefly wanted to post is this...

The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood

Take some time, when God blesses you with it, to listen to John Piper explain and encourage us in the ultimate meaning of true womanhood. I don't know about you but I need a lot of encouragement in this high and holy but often looked down upon and difficult calling.

Also when time allows read this: The True Woman Manifesto.

JOYfully in Him,

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Biblical Womanhood

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive on their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Titus 2:3-5

This morning as God encouraged me I long to encourage you with this series from Voddie Bauchman on Biblical Womanhood.

Part 1...

and Part 2...

Part 3...

Part 4...

Part 5...

Part 6...

Part 7...

Part 8...

I know 8 segments of almost 10 minutes each seems intimidating but I assure you that a piece at a time and it is worth the listen.

Striving to live more and more...
JOYfully in Him,

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