A good day!

A good day!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I have an important job...and so do you...

Vintage Housewife Pictures, Images and Photos


Sometimes I think that we lose sight of the respectability and the nobility of our position as a wife. We forget that it's a very important job. Adam needed a helper. It was not good for him to be alone. Our husbands also need a helper. I realize it's not popular to be a submissive wife. The world will lead us to believe that it is better to be self-serving. It is not...

Serving our husband seems to have gone out of style. But, we as wives, are supposed to do just that. I think many of us have lost sight of the joy of our calling. We get bogged down with our daily duties as wives. Taking care of the children, homeschooling (if you do), dishes, laundry, cooking, taking care of our husbands needs, being cheerful, being a good steward of the money, farm work, keeping the fire going (in the woodstove ;) ), etc. These things, although mundane, must be done. If we have a servant's heart, we will see all these "mundane" things as an opportunity to bless and fulfill the needs of others.

This weighs on my heart a lot. I can have a difficult time being a happy servant. Sure, I can serve, but it's not always in a happy manor. I want to better. So this is what I try to do...

I try to see the fruits of my labor...happy husband and contented son. Seeking God first helps tremendously. Realizing all you do, you do for HIM.

I try to rest. If I am not rested, I tend to dread serving. Let's face it...when I'm exhausted, I just don't feel like serving. When we are too tired, we can't serve our husbands as God has planned us to do. Do not scurry around the house until you are all frustrated and in bad spirits. Take one thing at a time and rest up before your husband comes home. :)

I try to be still before God during some part of my day. It gives me the stamina and wisdom to deal with some of the frustrations I face during the day. This can be hard to remember to do when your day is going haywire. But, it's very important. I have to remember Who I'm working for. :)

God has called us to serve our husbands and be their helpmeet. It is a very important job. One given straight from God himself. We should do our best to fulfill what God has called us to do. We can do it gladly....with HIS help. :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving prayer...

I really like Johnny cash...

I really like this song...

I really hope you all have a great Thanksgiving. :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blessings to be thankful for...

Thanksgiving Smoke Coming out of Fireplace

I wasn't sure what the next few days will bring, so I wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving early. :)

We have much to be thankful for!

Basting the Turkey, c.1912

I am thankful for the food that the Lord provides.

I am thankful for seeing the Father in a whole new light this year. So much more dear and real to me now. (Thanks Dad)

I am thankful for feeling better since August. I do still have my days, but it's manageable. I have hope.

I am thankful for my husband, whom I hope to serve better. He is a good man and loves the Lord.

I am thankful for my son. He is becoming quite the young man. He is learning more about life and God and I'm happy to be part of the teaching process. :)

I am thankful for our home in the country.

I am thankful for the chickens I am able to raise.

I am thankful for some of my dreams coming true.

I am thankful for our woodstove. :) I love it's smell and warmth it permeates to my bones. :)

I am thankful for the love of our Savior. He is such a gracious God.

I am thankful for my dad. I love him so much. He is a wonderful man full of love for his Savior and for his children. I am very blessed to have such a great dad in my life. I am thankful he loves his daughter so much. What a great gift!

I am thankful for hot showers. :) They feel so good on really cold days.

I am thankful for my mom and her love.

I am thankful for our church family.

And...I am thankful to have grown more in the Lord this year. It has been a wonderful year full of love, lessons, pain, opportunities, trust, forgiveness, and growth. My roots are growing deeper in the Lord. I can withstand more storms of life. My branches may bend and my trunk sway, but I will not be moved. :) Thank you, Lord, for your abundant love.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

He got one!

We both went out this weekend...

On Friday I had a nice doe come by me, but she wouldn't turn the way I needed her to. It was really exciting though.

On Saturday I was sitting in the stand and saw a buck come up in front of me a little far off. I texted my husband and told him he was headed his way.

He got him...



I am happy for him and he's happy that he was blessed to be able to provide a deer for us. I will be making sausage and jerky next week and grinding the rest. We keep the tenderloins and backstrap of course. :)

Here's a pic of me in my stand.



I really enjoyed listening to God's creation while in that stand. I heard a couple owls hooting. Friday night the wind was dead calm. It was so peaceful. It gave a lot of time for reflection. One thing I was thinking on is realizing just how much a hug means to me. Having someone you love give you a warm hug does wonders for the heart. It can deliver the message "I love you." Also, in that, not getting a hug doesn't mean "I don't love you." It can feel that way sometimes in my ole flesh. If my husband hasn't hugged me for a while, I start to wonder "what did I do?" In reality, I didn't do anything...he just hasn't hugged me for whatever reason. But, since that's one way I receive love, I can think that if I don't get a hug, then I must have done something wrong. Because in my past, when I did something wrong...no hug...I realize not everyone is like that though. :) Enough of my rambling...LOL

Here's a pic of the view from the front of the stand.


The owls were in the trees directly across in the picture. After dark, 3 deer come up this lane, but it was too dark to shoot.

There's always next year. I enjoy doing this with my husband. He is such a gentlemen when we hunt together. Very protective and sweet...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hunting...

Hunting Season is Now Open


Well it finally stopped raining here. Sheesh. :) Just in time for hunting season to begin. I'm going out this afternoon with my husband. Praying that God will provide a deer for me this year. I want to be able to help provide our meat this year.

I enjoy going out with my husband to hunt. It's good productive (hopefully) time together. :)
I also like to go shooting with him. We all have our own firearms and enjoy target shooting.

Hunting Dress 1912


We started target shooting for fun when we lived in New Mexico. While we were missionaries there we took advantage of the vast amount of desert there to shoot in. I was a pretty good shot and I got hooked. :)


Winchester


Hope everyone has a great weekend! Hopefully ours will be spent butchering. :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ugh...

It's been raining here for 3 days straight. My mood does not like it one bit. ;) This girl needs sunshine! Am I the only one who doesn't like dreary days?

If it wasn't so cold I might be willing to do this...

Singin' in the Rain

But, I can sing in my heart, right? LOL

I'm going to bake oatmeal raisin cookies (gluten free of course) :) It seems like a good day to bake. :)

On days like this I try to think of the "whatsoever things" in Philipians 4:8. I can very easily get discouraged and bummed out. My husband is just about out of work for the year and is getting laid off for the winter. It's a great opportunity to spend time together. :)

Hoping the weather wherever you are is pleasant. :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Laundry soap recipie with pics...


I made laundry soap today and I know I posted this recipe before, but it's been a while and this time I took some pictures. Here's the recipe...

1/2 bar felsnaptha
1/2 c borax
1/2 c WASHING soda (not baking soda)
water
2 gal bucket

First grate the soap with your food processor or by hand. (I used to do this by hand and then I got smart and use my food processor.) Put this in a pot with 6 c of water and warm up enough to melt the soap. Add the borax and washing soda and stir until dissolved. Warm up a mason jar of water (4 cups) in the microwave.




Pour this soap mixture in a 2 gal bucket and add the 4 c hot water. Stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 c water into the bucket. Stir. You can add your favorite scent now. It will begin to gel up not too long after. Use 1/2 c per load. It works well enough to get my husbands roofer clothes clean. :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Did you know it's OK to be a good wife...

John Bull, Cooking Housewives, UK, 1950
I realize that this is 2009 and what we as wives have for role models on tv are less then stellar. We don't have to be like "Desperate Housewives", "King of Queens", or "The Real Housewives of Orange County". It is OK for us to identify with June Cleaver or Caroline Ingalls. It's right NOT to belittle your husband or mock him in front of your friends. It's OK for it not to be about us and for it to be about our husbands. We are not to be selfserving, but are to put others ahead of us.

It's OK to have the house cleaned up for when your husband comes home from a hard day at work. He enjoys having a place to unwind and rest for the evening.

It's OK to have supper ready when he comes home. It's our way of showing him how much we care and are concerned about HIS needs.

It's OK to freshen yourself up before he comes through the door.

It's OK to be happy to see him when he comes home. Be attentive to him as he talks about his day. Don't greet him with complaints or problems right when he walks in the door. Save that for later lol...

It's OK to serve him. It's ok for him to sit down after a hard day and we serve him his supper plate.

When we do these things we are thinking of others and not ourselves. We as wives need to do what God would have us to do and not worry about if our husbands are going to return the favor. Things naturally fall into place when we put others first. God is pleased when we do that. I realize that if you work outside of the home, some of this can be hard to do. Do the best you can. Even though you work outside the home, your focus should still be inside the home. That is your first God-given priority. :)

Putting your husband first is not always easy...but we should continue to strive for it everyday. If we fail one day, we should dust ourself off and continue on the next day. By serving him, we serve Him. That's my hearts desire...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Enjoying the quiet...


Above is a picture of our wood stove tonight. On cool nights like this I love to feel it's warmth. It's nice to sit in the quiet and think of all the wonderful things God has done in our life. To sit and pray for loved ones...to sit and pray for myself. To look back on the day and see if I was a gracious wife. It seems I have such a long way to go...I'm cheerful when my husband walks through the door. I have a smile on my face and dinner on the table. But somewhere on some days, I lose focus and hear something wrong or take offense to something said. Why do I do that? That is one of my main struggles. I must think he has ill intentions when he speaks and really he doesn't. For some reason I always think he is belittling me, he isn't. Satan sure can influence us to think things we ought not. I am thankful to the Lord that He has made me aware of such things and with that I can be better prepared in my heart.

I pray everyone has a nice quiet evening to enjoy with their family. Slow down, relax, and remember the sweet moments of your life.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Final thoughts on being a gracious wife...


I hope you were encouraged by the last few posts...I know I am continuing to strive to be a gracious wife. It takes time for some of the things we learn to be applied and stick. :) The important thing is we continue to grow. :) Here are some more words from Heather...

Let’s look once again at what it means to be Gracious…. Here’s the definition, taken from thefreedictionary.com:

gra·cious adj.

  1. Characterized by kindness and warm courtesy.
  2. Characterized by tact and propriety.
  3. Of a merciful or compassionate nature.
If we are striving to have a heart like Christ’s, then we must emulate Him… and there are 8 verses in the Old Testament of the Bible that say virtually the same thing:
“The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.”
If we are to be Gracious Wives…. then we must have all of these characteristics:
  • Kindness - Even when undeserved; Offering forgiveness; Showing God’s love (Ephesians 4:32)
  • Warm courtesy - Politeness!
  • Tact - Not saying the wrong thing when it’s most tempting; Not retaliating with that oh-so-great sarcastic comeback; Knowing when to “pick your fight” (i.e., not in front of a group of your friends)
  • Propriety - Being appropriate or fitting in what you say and do.
  • Mercy - Compassionate treatment of those who offend; a forgiving spirit. (Matthew 5:7)
  • Compassionate - I love this definition: “Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it” … think of how that definition can apply towards your husband!
  • Slow to Anger - enough said?
  • Rich in Love - What does love mean? Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 to see for yourself!
There are other topics relating to The Gracious Wife that I planned to devote entire articles to….. but decided instead to concisely list them here…
The Gracious Wife is NOT….
  • A Gossip. Even though it can be hard to resist, don’t join in on bashing others or spreading around the juicy tidbits you’ve heard - whether it’s about your own husband, someone else’s husband, a family member, a friend, a co-worker, or an “enemy”, show kindness and mercy by NOT taking part! (Click Here to see Bible verses relating to Gossip)
  • Condescending. Don’t look down on others (including your husband) because they do not make as much money as you, aren’t as smart as you, or whatever else you may think highly of yourself for. We are all saved by GRACE, not by the works we do, so we have no reason to boast or look down on others. (Romans 12:3; Ephesians 2:8-9)
  • Too Busy to Serve. Whether it’s church, family, strangers, missionaries, or orphans…. we need to make sure that our mercy and compassion spreads out to others! In the Bible, God always made sure that widows and orphans were cared for; He wants US to do that! If you’re not plugged into serving at your church, get involved! Support a missionary, sponsor a child through Compassion or World Vision! Get involved in your community, and DO SOMETHING! It’s when we serve “the least of these” that we are serving Christ! (Matthew 25:35-40)
I hope that this series has helped you, or at least made you think a little bit! It is not my purpose to discourage or convict any of you…. in fact, it is not I who convicts, but the Holy Spirit… so if you are feeling guilty over something that you feel needs to change, be glad!! It is the Holy Spirit calling out a change in you, and CHANGE IS GOOD!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Being a gracious wife part 4...


More from Heather's post from The Striving Wife...

Do you often feel like having your husband's head on a platter?


The Gracious Wife Versus the Angry Wife.

So… on to writing about the Angry Wife… Now, I don’t normally see myself as an angry person. I’m actually a pretty upbeat person, but anger (in its various forms) too often gets a hold of me.

First, let’s look at a definition of anger, because you may be surprised to see that you, too, may fall under this category. Read it a few times, just in case you miss part of it the first time:

anger, n. - a strong emotion; a feeling that is oriented toward some real or supposed grievance; a feeling aroused by being offended; belligerence aroused by a real or supposed wrong; a violent, bitter feeling (against someone or something); resentment; irritation; annoyance; huffiness; indignation. (from thefreedictionary.com

Anger expresses itself differently in different people as well. Some will explode in rage, yelling, screaming, or even becoming physically violent. Others will show their anger in quieter forms, such as using sarcasm or the “silent treatment.” Still others may choose to withdraw, and keep their anger to themselves, resulting in depression or neglect of the home.

I recently realized that anger was an issue for me, when I would become irritated at something Jason would say or do (or not do)… notice the above definition, where it says that anger is caused by a “real or supposed” offense. Most of my anger issues had nothing to do with Jason… instead, the cause was something that I made up in my own mind.

I believe that, in marriage, that is often the case. Now, I’m not saying that all our husbands are perfect and that we are always at fault (it may often be the reverse!) …. but I know that my own heart needs to be searched before I can lay the blame on my husband.

I’m not going to go into the damage that anger can do in a marriage…. I think we have seen enough of its effects, either in our own marriages, others around us, or on the news. Even the Bible talks about the strife an angry word can cause. (If you want to read more verses on anger, click here) What I do want to talk about is the source of anger. Where does it come from? How does a perfectly normal conversation end in a fight (or tears, or a slamming door)?

Here is a list of common causes of anger in marriages… be honest, and see if any of these apply to you:

  • Selfishness
  • The need to control
  • Unjust hurts/disappointments with your husband
  • Unjust hurts/disappointments with parents
  • Loneliness/sadness from any life stage
  • Hurts with in-laws
  • Fear and worries
  • Hurts in earlier dating, sibling or peer relationships
  • Insecurities/lack of confidence
  • Excessive sense of responsibility/burdens
  • Financial and other worries
  • Inappropriate expectations
  • Conflicts in children, particularly selfishness
  • Loss of trust
  • Lack of sleep
  • Medical illnesses
  • Alcohol and drugs
  • Work conflicts
  • Excessive television/movie/sports watching
  • Unemployment
  • Jealousy
  • Guilt
  • Post abortion conflict

(List adapted from The Institute for Marital Healing - Click Here for more information)

Prayerfully look over this list, and ask God to reveal to you areas in your marriage that need to be worked on, things that need to change. Satan wants to destroy our marriages. He prowls around, looking to steal, kill, and destroy all that is good. If he can use anger to it, he will!!

Ephesians 4:26-27 says, “‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”

Many people, when giving marital advice, will quote the part about not letting the sun go down on your anger. Great advice… simply because when you keep anger inside, it allows a bitter root to take hold in your heart, thus giving Satan an opportunity to lead you into sin.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to start a brawl right before bed… but if there’s an issue, it’s best to clear the air rather than have it fester in your heart. After all, it’s going to eventually come out - wouldn’t it be best to discuss it BEFORE it has time to take root and grow into something ugly? Once that ugliness and sin has taken root, it is what will come out when you speak. Is there anger, bitterness, and resentment stored up? That’s what will come out of you - in your words, in your attitude, and in your actions. (Matthew 15:18-19)

So what do we do? How do we get rid of our anger? Well, in addition to prayer… let’s see what the Bible has to say!

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:19-20

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32

So, what do we do? Here are our takeaways from these passages:

  • Be quick to listen. Don’t jump to conclusions about your husband or the circumstances making you angry. Listen to what your husband is saying, and hear out his whole side of the story.
  • Be slow to speak. Don’t say the first thing that is on your mind - it’s usually full of emotion and hurt, and can be taken wrong, even if you don’t think you meant it to be hurtful!
  • Be slow to become angry. This takes work and prayer, but don’t get on the defensive as soon as your husband opens his mouth. Don’t work yourself up into anger. Pray, and try to remain calm. See if the situation actually warrants your anger (in most cases, it won’t!).
  • LOVE your husband, God’s way! Study 1 Corinthians 13, and strive to love the way God wants us to love. It is the KEY to being a gracious wife!
  • Keep no record of wrongs. Do not hold grudges! Stop bringing up past hurts and grievances when you fight… it will just make matters worse. Pray for God to help you forgive AND forget.
  • Be kind. Thinking of an angry retort? Say something kind instead…. it may shock your husband, AND diffuse the anger at the same time. (Proverbs 15:1)
  • Be compassionate. Your husband may be going through a rough time emotionally, physically, or spiritually. There may be a deeper cause to actions you think are wrong. Take time to find out what’s wrong, pray for him, and show him compassion - it, too, has the power to diffuse anger.
  • Forgive, just as Christ forgave you. Christ forgave us while we were still sinners. Don’t wait for your husband to become perfect in order for you to show him forgiveness, and don’t wait for his apology to come first. Forgiveness must first come from your heart, to prevent sin from taking root.

Above all, let’s remember what we’re striving for - to be a wife after God’s own heart. Psalm 145:8 shows us God’s heart in this matter:

The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.

Isn’t that something worth striving for? I know that I will be taking these verses and striving to apply them in my life. I don’t want to be an angry wife. I don’t want Satan to have any footholds in my life. Strive with me…

I think Heather's post was good. How easy it is for us to let sin take root. I know I had bitterness in me for SEVERAL years. Bitterness from a lot of things...I had a lot of things happen to me as a child and was angry and afraid inside. That carried into my marriage. It has been dealt with through Christ (Praise His Holy Name!) but before that, it caused me to be angry and find fault in my husband. It can be worked through with Christ as you read above from Heather and I am so grateful for that! Being slow to anger is something to continue to strive for. When we don't, it's much easier for sin to take root...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Being a gracious wife part 3...


More from Heather about being a gracious wife...

This is very convicting for me. I am on the path of being a gracious wife, but boy are there lots of rocks on this path, some sharp...

The Gracious Wife Versus the Nagging Wife.

When I think of a nag, I think of someone who is old, wrinkly, and extremely ugly. Why? Because that’s what a hag looks like (in my mind), and since the words rhyme and both describe a person (usually a female), I automatically link them together. Maybe I’m the only person in the world who does this, but… in my mind, a nag and a hag are one and the same. Perhaps that is why I realize and recognize the ugliness in nagging…

So, before we all disqualify ourselves as nags (as I would previously have done), let me define what a nag really is, according to thefreedictionary.com…

Let’s start with Nag, the noun:

  1. someone (especially a woman) who annoys people by constantly finding fault
  2. a person who is not pleasant or agreeable

And now Nag, the verb:

  1. To annoy by constant scolding, complaining, or urging
  2. To scold, complain, or find fault constantly
  3. To torment persistently, as with anxiety or pain
  4. To be a constant source of anxiety or annoyance

Remember, too, that to be Gracious is to be helpful, considerate, generous, polite, and kind. How does nagging fit into that? (Hint: It doesn’t!).

If you nag at your husband… if you annoy and torment him by finding fault, being disagreeable, scolding, complaining, or urging him to do a particular thing, you are not being the wife that God has called you to be! God wants us to encourage each other, to lift each other up, not tear down. He wants us to respect our husband, and willingly submit to his authority, without grumbling and complaining. (Don’t believe me? Click on the links to see the related Scripture verses!)

So, let’s examine our lives… are we nagging our husbands? Or are we being considerate and gracious?

Here’s a simple quiz I found, and tweaked a bit to fit this subject… be honest, and see how you score!! Give yourself 1 point for each “Yes” answer…

  1. Have you told your husband you wish he made more money?
  2. Do you frequently remind your husband to pick up after himself?
  3. Do you dislike your husband’s family or friends and tell him about it?
  4. Do you criticize his bad habits?
  5. Do you contradict your husband in front of the children or your friends?
  6. Do you joke about him being “less than romantic” around friends?
  7. Do you tell him that he rarely lifts a hand to help you?
  8. Have you told your husband you wish he was more spiritual, a stronger leader, or like someone else you admire (like a Pastor or your father)?
  9. Do you stop him from eating too much or remind him not to eat certain foods?
  10. Do you force him to talk if something is bothering him?

To find out whether you are nagging your husband, add your “yes” answers, then check your total against the scoring key below.

    0-3 You’re a Gracious Wife!! Most likely, you don’t nag your husband, and I’m sure he’s grateful for that! Keep up the great work!

    4-6 You tend to nag at times, but you can improve simply by taking a close look at the questions you answered with a “yes,” then changing those things. Keep on Striving!

    7-10 You are a Nagging Wife. You tend to irritate your husband. Even if you feel that he is the one annoying you, it’s time to take a look at your own part in the unpleasantness. Look at the areas above where you answered “yes,” and strive to improve in those areas! With the Holy Spirit’s help, you can change… and your husband will notice!

I hope you found the quiz helpful, and not offensive in any way. I know that I am striving to be a Gracious wife, right along with you. Nagging is not one of the areas I struggle with personally (I scored a 1 - it used to be a 2, but I fixed that one!), but some of these other areas that I touch on this series are still a struggle for me. I want to encourage YOU, if this is YOUR struggle area, let me know, and I will pray for you. Trust me, I will be asking for prayer when it’s me struggling!!

EEK! Bakinghomesteader's confession time...I answered yes to numbers, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, and 10! So you see why I'm seeking to be a gracious wife? I don't do this all the time, but I still struggle with the above numbers. I am getting better, but still have A LOT to work on...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Being a gracious wife part 2...

Another post from Heather at The Striving Wife...

My Home, Husbands and Wives Magazine, UK, 1934

The Gracious Wife Versus the Sarcastic Wife

Okay, okay, I know that there are times when it is funny, and even somewhat appropriate (like when my husband hikes his pants all the way up to his chest and runs around the house like that, and I say, “Oooh, that’s sexy!” …definite sarcasm there). Most times, however, sarcasm does not have happy results, even if the receiver does not “seem” hurt, offended, or angry.

Picture this: Your husband comes home from work a little late, and you make a sarcastic comment on his timing as he walks through the door. He flops on the couch, exhausted from work, as you finish making dinner. You observe him relaxing while you’re working hard to get dinner done and the table set. Insert sarcastic comment about how helpful he’s being. After dinner, he helps clear the table. Insert another sarcastic comment about how helpful he’s being, assuming he’s only helping because of your first comment. How do you think your husband is feeling at this point? Encouraged and uplifted? Or discouraged and defeated?

Does this seem like your home? Your relationship with your husband? You may think your comments are funny, and he may even laugh… but picture your sarcasm acting like a game of Jenga: the longer it goes on, the wobblier your marriage will be, until it (or your husband) collapses.

Ready for another word picture? Picture a sand castle being meticulously built on the beach next to the beautiful ocean. You can build it high, sculpt it perfectly, and decorate it beautifully… but gradually, as the tide comes in, the water will eat away the foundation of your castle, and it will crumble and fall. Your sarcasm acts like that water, eating away at your marriage until it destroys it.

Sarcasm is THAT dangerous.

Why? Because, all too often, truth is hidden in sarcastic barbs. If, deep down (or not so deep down even!), you think your husband is a loser, the things you sarcastically say will show your true feelings. Hurt by something your husband said to you? Sarcasm is often the retaliation. It seems “safer” than an all-out confrontation, but it is not! It can cause a deep wound to your husband, and over time that wound can either harden his heart toward you, cause a rift in your marriage that is difficult to mend, or fester and infect him with bitterness toward you.

Sarcasm demeans your husband, shows the lack of respect you have for him, and is the opposite of a submissive and gracious wife!

Perhaps sarcasm is part of “who you are,” part of your “sense of humor.” I’d like for you to evaluate why exactly you enjoy using sarcasm, and make sure that you are not hurting or demeaning others through your sarcasm. I decided long ago that sarcasm was unbecoming of a Godly (or striving to be Godly) woman, and a sarcastic woman was NOT what I wanted to be. I had to evaluate what I was saying, and how I was saying it.

Here are some questions to ask yourself the next time you feel a sarcastic comment coming on:

  1. Who will benefit from me saying this? Will it uplift and encourage anyone? Will it bring joy or laughter to someone else? (see #2 if this last answer is a “yes”)
  2. Will anyone be demeaned, offended, insulted, singled out, made to feel uncomfortable, or made fun of? Will the comment be at the expense of another person, even if they are not present in the room? (If yes, it’s not worth it to say it!!)
  3. What are my motives? Am I saying this to draw attention to myself, even if it’s to my own flaws? Am I trying to get someone to notice how much I’m doing, or how much they are NOT doing?
  4. What am I REALLY trying to say? Am I trying to get my hurt feelings assuaged or noticed? Am I trying to get help in a particular area?
  5. How will the recipient of my sarcasm receive it? Did you recently have a fight, and a sarcastic comment will be like throwing salt in an open wound? Has he had a bad day, and one negative comment from you will push him over the edge?
  6. IS IT NECESSARY? Sometimes, you won’t know the answer to the above questions. You might think everything is fine, throw out a few zingers, and it could be the worst thing you’ve ever done. You JUST DON’T ALWAYS KNOW. Therefore…. if your sarcasm is not necessary, just don’t say it!! You might not be known as the funniest girl at the party, but at least you won’t leave a trail of hurt feelings behind you.
  7. IS IT CHRIST-LIKE? Can you picture Jesus zinging one of His disciples with a sarcastic remark? Really think about WWJD - what would Jesus do? If you are striving to be a wife after God’s own heart, think about if sarcasm truly fits that mold.

Remember that one of our definitions of grace from my previous post, What Defines a Gracious Wife?, is a sense of propriety and consideration for others. That means being polite and considerate! Thinking of others’ feelings before you speak! Want to be gracious? Tone down the sarcasm!

Don’t just take my word for it…. look at what the Bible has to say about our words!

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Your “harsh word” could be a thoughtless (or carefully aimed) sarcastic remark towards another person. Perhaps your husband, a friend, a co-worker? Instead of a fight, a gentle answer could offer a conversation starter.

There are a lot of verses in the book of Ephesians that I could mention, but I’ll just pick a few out of chapter 4:

Ephesians 4:2-3 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

It’s hard, but we are to be completely humble and gentle. Sarcasm is the opposite of gentle, that is for sure! Often, too, it is our pride that brings our sarcasm out - to “save face” or feel better about ourselves, we use sarcasm as a prideful defense. A Gracious Wife speaks with humility and gentleness to bring about peace and unity.

Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Like we asked ourselves in the above questions, will my sarcasm uplift or encourage anyone? God calls us to speak only words that will build up, not tear down; benefit, not hurt.

Perhaps you know that sarcasm is not the right weapon to use against your husband (or anyone else for that matter), but the habit is so deep you don’t know how to get out…. Well, our first plan of action should be to pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you overcome this habit. Then, hit the Word! In the Bible, God gives us a prescription to follow, and it can help control your tongue….

Philippians 4:8 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.

Paul wrote these words in the context of trying to get two women to get along with each other (obviously the fight had to be pretty bad for him to have to address it in a letter to the church). Not thinking nice thoughts? Sarcasm getting ready to spew out of your mouth? Think about these things - anything that is excellent, anything that is worthy of praise. Think about the positives, and don’t dwell on the negative things that you see in your relationship.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Being a gracious wife...

Indiscretion of an American Wife, Jennifer Jones, 1953


This post comes from a blog called The Striving Wife written by Heather. I have been working on being more gracious to my husband and came across this blog. I wanted to share some of it with you. She writes what I wanted to. :)


Grace, n. a sense of propriety and consideration for others; a disposition to kindness and compassion; a disposition to be generous or helpful; goodwill; mercy; clemency; a favor rendered by one who need not do so; indulgence; kind or polite

Why is grace so important? Other than the fact that it is by God’s grace that we are saved (and not of any work that we do), God also calls us to pass that grace onto others. (1 Peter 4:10) I fully believe that being a Godly and Biblical wife means that we are called to be a Gracious Wife.

In this series, I will be looking at several specific contrasts to the Gracious Wife, but first we must define what a Gracious Wife looks like!

The definition of Grace somewhat gives it away, but let’s look closer at it.

* a sense of propriety and consideration for others

  • A Gracious Wife is polite, and puts others first!

* a disposition to kindness and compassion; a disposition to be generous or helpful; mercy

  • The Bible says to Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

These characteristics not only will benefit your husband, but also your kids, extended family, friends, church members, co-workers, and people you may not even like very much.

Think about it… think about your responses in various situations. Do you respond graciously? Or do you respond with sarcasm, defensiveness, or anger? Do you talk about your husband in a demeaning way to your girlfriends, or do you talk respectfully about him? Do you hold a grudge against your husband when he does something wrong, or do you forgive him and move on?

Let’s move out of the realm of your marriage… You are tired, but your kid needs help with his homework. Out of compassion and consideration, do you help? Or do you leave him to fend for himself? That might be an easy answer…. let’s go deeper. Your co-workers are gossiping about your boss… does your graciousness win out, or do you give in to the lure of the gossip? A friend “uses” you, and you so want to be bitter at her… do you forgive and continue to extend kindness? Or do you stay angry and lash out with unkind words?

I pray that I remain gracious, even when circumstances seemingly “justify” sinful behavior. I pray that I am a woman of Grace, regardless of how others’ treat me. I pray that I exude God’s grace, which He lavishly bestowed upon ME. Out of love and honor for our Savior, let’s pour out grace on others… let’s strive to be Gracious Wives!!

Now here are some questions for you…. When do you find it most difficult to be gracious? What do you do in those situations? What characteristic(s) seem to come out most frequently when you’re NOT being gracious?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Novemeber...

All the pretty leaves that I loved are dwindling down to bare trees. It's getting colder and the wood stove goes just about everyday now. Pretty soon we'll be hunkered down for the winter. I can't believe how fast this year has gone...

I don't have to tell you how short life is. I'm sure you already know...Can I encourage you to take each moment and treasure them. Even the spats. Harsh words may be spoken, but at least they are spoken by the one (s) you love. Life is so precious. Soak in every ounce of your loved ones. Listen to them. Touch them. Hug them. Kiss them. Help them. Look at them. Enjoy them.

May we not forget that life is not about hustle and bustle, but being with the ones you love and sharing life with them. Learning from each other, supporting each other, and loving each other. Love is one of the BEST gifts we have been given. It's meant to share. :)

Hold your loved ones tight and if you can't physically, hold them close in your heart.

Love: Love Simply, Simply Love

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"There is no place like a farm for raising children, where they can have in such abundance the fresh air and sunshine, with pure living water, good wholesome food and a happy outdoor life" -Laura Ingalls Wilder