Friday, April 30, 2010
"Guess who wears the pants in that family?"
We have all heard the line before, and we all know women who take charge and domineer their husbands. They might be a co-worker, a friend or even someone in your family---if you have had the opportunity to witness such an example you are sure to want to cringe at some time or another.
I have heard it taught that in the Garden of Eden when God punished Eve that one of her punishments along with pain in childbearing would for her to 'desire her husband'---or desire his role. Now I am not sure if this is accurate, however, I do see a tendency for women to want to lead their husbands. I believe the Lord knew our sinful tendencies to want to lead and that is why the He clearly teaches us the order of families.
Do we honestly think we will be happy if we lead? Do we think that he will suddenly stop being passive and start leading? We must understand that our husbands are always leading. They are either doing a good job at it or a bad one. But our job is not to take over his. He most likely will not step up in his leadership if we are always in the way. We must let him lead. He is the leader of the home. He is the one held accountable to God for all things going on in his home. We are our husbands helpers to help him lead and I would like to spend some time sharing with you on how we, as wives, can do this very thing. Let's take a look:
1. Step out of the way. This means if you have been trying to lead your home you need to admit this (not make excuses), repent (to him and God) and start anew.
2. Don't criticize--but encourage! This is hard for those of us who like to voice our opinions but we need to learn self-control and know that when we do this we are building up and protecting our homes from Satan who'd like to see it destroyed.
3. Pray. Nothing is more powerful than prayer. Unleash it and see what God has planned for your life. Pray the Lord will make him a godly, bold and courageous leader and that you would become the helpmeet needed for that kind of a leader.
4. It is okay to share your personal opinions but don't force it on him. Don't manipulate him. Don't fight his battles for him. Don't make him see things your way and then pretend he is the one leading when you know you are still trying to be in control of the wheel. Be honest.
5. Be content with God's best for you. So many women struggle with submitting and are confused---thinking it is in direct opposition with women's rights. We need to understand that the Lord is the Great Liberator--not feminism. We need to know that ultimate freedom comes first from God's word and not from equality with men or women's rights. True freedom is found in the word of God. Worldly freedom is limited and can come with bondage.
Let us start this year off with excellence--and God's order. Lord, help us to be better helpmeets to our husbands and let our hearts be still to hear God's voice in the midst of many.
~from A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Thursday, April 29, 2010
The wife who would always hold in her husbands heart the place she held on her wedding day will never cease striving to be lovely. She will be as careful of her words and acts and her whole bearing toward him as she was before marriage. She will cultivate in her own life whatever is beautiful, whatever is winning, whatever is graceful. She will scrupulously avoid whatever is offensive or unwomanly. She will look well to her personal appearance; no woman can be careless in her dress, statternly and untidy, and long keep her place on the throne of her husband's life.
She will look well to her inner life. She must have mental attractiveness. She will seek to be clothed in spiritual beauty. Her husband must see in her ever-new loveliness at the years move on. As the charms of physical beauty may fade in the toils and vicissitude of life, there must be more and more beauty of soul to shine out to replace the attractions that are lost. It has been said that "the wife should always leave something to be revealed only to her husband, some modest charm, some secret grace, reserved solely for his delight and inspiration, like those flowers which give of their sweetness only to the hand that lovingly gathers them."
She should always care more to please him than any other person in the world. She should prize more highly a compliment from his lips than from any other human lips. Therefore she should reserve for him the sweetest charms; she should seek to bring ever to him so new surprise of loveliness; should should plan pleasures and delights for him. Instead of not caring how she looks or whether she is agreeable or not when no one but her husband is present, she should always be at her best for him.
Instead of being bright and lovely when there is company, then relapsing into languor and silence when the company is gone, she should seek always to be brightest and loveliest when only he and she sit together in the quiet of the home.
Both husband and wife should ever bring their best things to each other.
--JR Miller, a 19th century preacher, excerpt from The Family formerly titled Homemaking
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
For years I struggled with awful feelings of unworthiness, frustration, anger, bitterness, etc. It was an incredible bondage. I wanted to share part of a letter with you that I wrote to my husband in 2005. It gives you a peek at where I was then. I will share with you at the end where I am now...
"For years now I have been battling with myself. Even after being saved, I just didn't feel clost to God. I never really felt like I recieved the Holy Spirit. I never felt like a "new creation." I struggle with my emotions, my mind, and feeling tormented on a daily basis. Seeing you and Hunter needing me to be who God created me to be has sparked something in me. Today, I begged God to save me from my personal hell. To pull me up out of the darkness and into His light. I prayed for half and hour. I prayed for a sound mind and a joyous heart. I have let satan rob me of my joy all these years. I just haven't had the strength to take it back. God has done so many miracles in my life that I felt bad asking for one more. I prayed for a miracle in that the generations of my family would not follow me. I want to be a new creation in Christ. I have caused this family to become unhealthy, unhappy, and miserable. This day, Novemeber 24, 2005, I asked God to save me from myself and to change me. To give me a chance for a happy life and a wonderful marraige. It was very difficult because He revealed to me all the horrible things I have done over the years. I have suffocated this family and it has become stagnant. I have wanted it all to be about me. I didn't think so, but I did. To my shame, you have done as much as you can with what you are working with. You are a wonderful husband and father. God can make our marriage so beautiful, better than anything I have ever experienced. I love you so much. I have not let you bloom into the man you are meant to be because of my selfish actions, hateful words, and horrible attitude. Hunter needs to see the mother God has intended me to be, loving, caring, soft, sweet, happy, loving you...everything I have not been. I am opening up my soul to let the Holy Spirit finally work in my life. Only He can change my family tree. May I be a new branch with beautiful blossoms."
The bondage I was in was rough. I remember praying, crying, and begging God every night in desperate yearning to be set free from myself. I was so angry and would yell just to make our son cry. It was awful because I really didn't want to do that, but yet I did. I couldn't understand why I wasn't changing if I was a new creation...
After I wrote this letter, God really became alive to me. He answered my begging prayers and released me from that bondage. He worked a mighty work in me that was so ingrained only He could be the one to get full credit for my deliverance. I praise God everyday that He has changed my heart. I am a new branch. :) I am now a loving, soft, sweet, caring, kind wife and mother. I honestly thought I would never win that battle. But, God is a warrior and He came and fought for me! Praise! I don't know why He took as long as He did...maybe so that there was no mistake that it was HIM that delivered me. Believe me...there is no mistake. I know it was our Savior that pulled me out of the darkness and into His light. I will serve Him all the days of my life by living a life that is pleasing to Him. Thank you, Lord, for loving me enough to hear my cries and desperate pleas in the night....
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Our internet is better today...hoping whatever they fixed stays fixed. :)
I got my crossbow today and I'm soooo excited to shoot it. I just love it! It's a Tenpoint Titan HLX. It has a scope and an "accudraw" which helps me draw it back with a crank. :)
Hunter is almost done with homeschooling for this year. We'll be doing math worksheets throughout the summer so he doesn't get rusty. :) I'm looking forward to next year...I can't believe he'll be in 7th grade and a teenager soon. O_O
I'm thankful to God for the strength He gives us...I need His wisdom and guidance every day. It is so easy for me to get distracted. I think I have spiritual ADD...It takes a lot of effort to not fall back into old ways or let the old man resurface. About that...is it possible for the old man to resurface if we have become a new creation? If so, are we truly a new creation then? Just some thoughts I've had. I do believe God has changed me from where I was 4 1/2 yrs ago, which wasn't a good place. I was down, bitter, frustrated, confused, etc. In my next post I am going to share where I was and where God has brought me from. I feel like I am becoming a new creation, but not sure if I am a finished new creation...does that make sense? God has definitely delivered me and changed some things in me...
Hope everyone is enjoying their day...keep striving for holiness...
Monday, April 26, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
The captain got to eat breakfast with dad this morning and was able to let him know that what I meant by it seeming like I'm not able to have a dad is just that if God doesn't want me to have one, well then I won't have one. I meant no disrespect to him or any ill will in that. I was just looking back on my life and realizing that is one thing that God has not allowed me to have fully. I pray one day I will be able to fully show my love for him as a dad (it has not changed in my heart), that would be wonderful. But, that is all up to them and God. I hope he understands I didn't say it to upset him. I was just stating what was on my heart about not having an earthly father to love and be loved back completely. There is love in the heart and I am thankful for that. Someday I would love for that love to not just be "heartly" :)
I'm glad the captain got to have that time with him. I would love to have that time someday. But, again, that is up to the good Lord and what He wants me to have. I want the best for them, even if it hurts me....I love them that much...
Had a nice dinner at Red Lobster with our friends and then we walked around the mall. :) I got a nice feminine shirt that I really like (I might not after I try it on lol) Now, I'm exhausted. lol.
Hunter is spending the night at a friend's house tonight. I like that he gets to spend time with them. He sees them as family, which is nice because he doesn't have any brothers or sisters. He can be himself there and has a lot of fun with them. :)
I think I'm going to rest now...praising God for feeling pretty good today. Being off the chemo has helped so much...
Friday, April 23, 2010
Our internet has been goofy the last few days ...frustrating.
Went to Lowes to get plants for the garden and it rained on us while we were there picking them out. They were buy one/get one. Got to the register and they wouldn't honor it...the Captain put down everything we were getting and said they could keep it all. We went to Menards...
Now there is arguing going on between the Captain and Hunter about who ate the cookies...The Captain was looking forward to eating some...
Since it rained, I have muddy dog prints all over my floors...
And lastly, the dog has been getting up every morning at 4 am..ugh...
It's not always easy to not bellyache. I know I shouldn't, but, well, I guess I'm just a bellyacher at times. I'm not perfect and I'm sure glad God loves occasional bellyachers like me. :)
I'm ready for a good sleep...;)
On the cheery side, I am feeling much better today and feel like I'm on the up and up. :) Hanging out with hubby today because he is off due to the rain. We are going to go get some plants and seeds for the garden. Can't wait for good food to come forth. :)
We may go see a movie tonight or just hang out at home and cuddle up on the couch. :)
The Captain gets to eat breakfast tomorrow with our "dad." I'm so happy he gets to do that. He can tell him that I love him and miss him and hope things are going well for him. I care about them very much.
I pray everyone enjoys their weekend. I hope it's a sunny one for you. :) We will be target shooting tomorrow with friends and getting some things done around this ole homestead. :)
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Every now and again, even I get shell-shocked by what I see in the broader culture. Having come out of feminism 15 years ago and having read hundreds of books and thousands of articles on feminism, society, culture, and the family, you’d think nothing would surprise me. But sometimes God just pops my eyes open anew and reminds me what this battle is really about.
One of the myths we strive to bury is that the homemaker is simply a sweet little washer of dishes, flitting about the house in pearls and heels and smiling vacantly over the back fence at neighbors while hanging laundry. That pop culture image persists to the point that even those of us who are totally committed to being at-home wives and mothers still sometimes start to view ourselves through the Mrs. Cleaver lens and wonder if what we’re doing really matters. I’m here to tell you loud and clear, “Oh, yes, ladies, it does.”
I was out most of last Saturday afternoon for the Major Monthly Grocery Restocking, taking along my eldest son, my four-year-old twins, and my baby daughter. As we worked our way through one store after another, taking little guys out of car seats and grabbing shopping carts, I began to notice something that left a sick feeling in my stomach for the rest of the day. If it had happened once, I probably wouldn’t have noticed–but it happened everywhere we stopped. Even my eldest son turned to me a couple of times with questions in his eyes as we passed by what apparently has become commonplace while I wasn’t paying attention: the public family fight.
At our first stop, with little people loaded into buggy seats, I passed by a couple who were arguing back and forth with increasing volume–right in the middle of the parking lot. I can’t even remember what they were fighting about, but they kept it up as they walked to their car, arms loaded with shopping bags. They didn’t seem to notice anyone else in the crowded lot but just kept bickering with ugly scowls on their faces. Now, I’m no baby. I’ve seen people fight before — but not in such a public place or at such volume. When I was growing up, my parents absolutely did not allow my siblings and me to carry on disagreements in public. We were taught that it was disrespectful of the other person and rude to those who would have to listen to us. All squabbles had to be solved privately and quietly with restoration of fellowship in mind. My father’s family motto was “Unity,” and we knew he meant it. He and mom displayed this all through their marriage. I am sure they disagreed sometimes, but they always talked privately and stood together once a decision was reached. I never, ever saw or heard them fight.
So I passed this couple and shook my head slightly at the spectacle. But what I took for an isolated incident started to multiply itself over and over again as the day went on. In particular, we must have passed half a dozen mothers yelling at their children or making ugly remarks in an effort to get them to behave. Now, readers, I am most certainly not an angel and have definitely had moments of frustration with my own children — but what I witnessed was full-on screaming and nasty verbal bites, all for the public’s consumption. Then something happened that made everything click in an “ah-ha” moment.
I had set down some bags of groceries next to our van while I loaded littles back into their seats. A little boy (probably six or seven years old) walked between my van and the next car in an attempt to reach the other side of the parking lot with his mother following behind him. He stepped right on my bags of groceries, then shot me an annoyed look. Instead of apologizing, his mother snatched his hand and proceeded to drag him around me, snapping at him to “hurry up.” My mouth gaped as I looked wordlessly at my eldest son. And that’s when it hit me: As a nation, we have finally fallen into “default parenting.”
When we don’t make a deliberate effort to train our children and prepare them for adulthood, we just fall back on the “default,” which is either total laxity or whatever we see modeled in the pop culture (TV, movies, etc.). The cultural meltdown I witnessed all around me that day is simply the fruit of a generation of default parenting. This was almost unheard of when I was growing up (even in the crazy 1970s). If I’d stepped on someone’s bag of groceries, my mother would have stopped me, then directed me to look the lady in the eyes and apologize for stepping on her things. She would have checked to see if I’d broken anything and offered to replace it if I had. Then, as we walked away, she would have talked to me about the importance of watching my step and especially of making sure to take care of other people’s property. And I’d have internalized that, filing it away for the next time I encountered a similar situation.
I just don’t see that happening today. After the bag-stepping incident, I started really watching other families to see if this was an isolated moment or a trend. I grew more and more heartsick as I witnessed half a dozen mothers and fathers turn a blind eye to foolishness in their children, ignore outright disobedience, or simply drag offenders out of sight while shouting at them to “behave.” So I turned my view inwards.
How often have I fallen into the “default” because “Mama’s busy right now, honey” or because “I just have to get this load into the dryer first?” As I thought back over the preceding week, I could single out incidents where I’d ignored something, thinking I’d “catch that later” or “remind him not to do that.” I thought of the day my middle daughter had pouted and stomped out of the room when I’d told her she couldn’t do something. I knew I needed to pursue her and work out the problem, but I had bread dough all over my hands and two four-year-olds hanging over the bowl, salivating. I’d shelved the incident with “I’ll catch her in a few minutes.” But I didn’t. I forgot. Life went on, and I lost that opportunity to reach my daughter’s heart and disciple her.
This goes for husbands, too. Do we make an effort to communicate lovingly and thoughtfully? Do we bring up disagreements privately and work through them with patience? The trip from private arguments to public parking lot squabbles isn’t a long one. Running in default mode, we’ll get there sooner rather than later. And culture will follow us, because culture grows out of the family and how its members treat one another.
Gals, what we have to strive daily to do is to be Deliberate — that means putting down the armload of towels or washing our hands and looking that child in the eye and making contact. It means grabbing our husbands and saying “thank you” rather than waiting for an occasion to express gratitude. It means taking the time to communicate culture, because that is really what we are doing. We look around at our culture and wonder why it is coming unraveled so fast. Where did the civility go? Where is chastity? Why are people wearing pajamas to Target? Well, I think we have to look in our own mirrors first, and this is why what we do as stay-at-home wives and mothers is vital. Responsible, thoughtful adults don’t just appear out of thin air–they come from those little people sitting around your table right now.
We are the builders of culture. We are the makers of civilization. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a slap-dash culture made of balsa wood and glued together with watery paste. But that’s exactly what we’ll get if we continue to parent by default or keep the home by default. Let’s be deliberate. Let’s be purposeful. And when we fail, let’s admit it to our husbands and our children, because that’s also how we build the future, one conversation at a time.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Again, thankful for all the prayers...times like this I wish I could sit down and talk to my dad for godly wisdom. :)
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
I have been enjoying hanging out our clothes again. It is so fulfilling to not have to use the dryer and to watch the clothes blow in the breeze.
The simple life isn't always easy, but it's so rewarding.
During WWI and WWII people grew "Victory" gardens. The thought was to reduce pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war. Well, we grow a garden, not because of the war (although if we were asked to for that reason we would to show support for our troops) but because of elevating prices, unknown food additives, and pesticides. We enjoy knowing where our vegetables come from. I also enjoy canning the produce to have in the winter. I'm praying for a good garden year this year. Last year was horrible.
Again, simple isn't always easy, but very rewarding. :)
I love to just sit on my porch and relax and listen to the birds and watch the critters. I am so blessed to be a stay-at-home mom. I get to enjoy the simple life in it's full. I get to homeschool and teach our son the wonderful things about the simple life. He gets to experience the fast-paced life when we go to a big city and he isn't into the traffic. :) He likes the city, just doesn't want to live there. :)
Getting back to the basics is what we are about. It's no good when you get too busy you have no time to spend time with the people you love. Working hard together, becoming self sufficient (doesn't mean without God), eating good food, having a warm comfortable home, learning the old ways, and preparing for winter are wonderful things. I hope some of you slow down and get "back to basics". It's wonderful...
When storms come in your life, they may bring sorrow and pain-an illness, an accident, a loss in the family. In the midst of the event, your decisions can help save you and your family. Let's face it: disaster can strike whether you're a saint or sinner. To survive requires spiritual preparation. When you build your home on the foundation of God's Word, you can find safety despite the downpour outside. You can help those who you love to weather the storm. Begin now to prepare your house for the storms that are sure to come. Spend time in the Bible. Strengthen your relationship with God and with a godly community. Bring those you love before God on prayer. When the tempest strikes, you will have shelter.
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty." Psalm 91:1
Monday, April 19, 2010
If you haven't read this book yet, I recommend you do. It gives a good insight as to what God has created us to do and be. It is based on Titus 2 and goes through several scriptures and how you can implement them into being a helpmeet. I got this book years ago when I was leading a ladies bible study. We all went through it. I did it because I needed to. I didn't have much of a clue on how to be a good helpmeet. A friend of mine in that was in that group years ago has let someone borrow theirs and they are going through it together. She lent hers to her friend so I lent mine to her. :)
If you do read it, I recommend you either let your husband read it or read it to him. When you are just beginning to work our your "roles", it can be of tremendous help to him. He will get an idea of what he is leading you in and will know what he needs to keep you on track with. When he knows what you were created to do, he will get an idea of what he was created to do. :)
Even when we know that we were created to be his helpmeet, it can be difficult to accomplish. Our rebellious spirit will try and rear it's ugly head. We will fight against what doesn't seem comfortable. But, I urge you to let your husband guide you in this. Let him remind you of what you are supposed to do and don't get angry, but try...try...try again. You won't be sorry. When the roles that God has put in place are fulfill, the mystery of Christ and the church becomes more clear. You get to see a glimpse of how things work in heaven. How cool is that! :)
So if you haven't yet, grab this book and read it with an open mind. I won't say I agree with everything in it...but, for the most part it is right on target. :) It would be a good starting point for a woman who is not quite sure how to be her husband's helpmeet. :) Happy reading...
Friday, April 16, 2010
Despite the attacks from satan, our family has stayed strong. The captain and I have had some pretty fierce arguments, but have realized each time that we are not the enemy. We have stopped our arguments and prayed in the middle of it. We are not letting satan pit us against each other. We are stronger together. He desires to separate us with arguments so he can attack each one separately. We are standing together and not letting him separate us. We are united and the picture of Christ and the church is maintained. Separating a man and wife through arguments is much like satan trying to separate Christ and the church through gossip, backbiting, slander, etc. We are easier targets when we are separate, when we are not connected to Christ. Continue to build that relationship with Christ so you will not be easily distracted or deceived. Maintain the headship order in your home. It is a beautiful picture to be a part of...
Thursday, April 15, 2010
There are a lot of spiritual battles going on. They have been going on since the beginning...we are no strangers to it.
Do you remember the post where I said that we were not going to make any more agreements with satan? Well, so does he...
I dreamed about demons last night. Awful. Satan is stepping up his tactics to sway us and wear us down. We have been bombarded with terrible thoughts, lies, frustrations, and difficulties. We will continue to stand up to him and hold our ground. The Lord gives us strength to not grow weary. We may be physically and mentally weary, but spiritually we are supplied with strength "refills" from God. :) We must not lose focus on Him. We must not grow weary.
God is such a loving God. He is also a mighty Warrior. :) He cares so much for us that when satan attacks, He is right there with us.
Continue to be in prayer for your loved ones, enemies, and even strangers. God hears our cries and wants His will to be done in our lives. What an awesome God we serve!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
There are a lot of chores to do on this ole homestead....Spring has sprung and things need to be cleaned up after a long winter. Weeds are appearing and they need to disappear! LOL...The garden needs tilled. Every time we get a chance to do it...it rains. :( My husband works long hours and cannot get it tilled when he gets home. We have to rent one...we don't own one yet.
We have chickens to take care of and feed. I love to sit in the coop and watch them just be chickens. :)
The house needs painted and I plan on doing that in May or June. It will be a big task for me, but it needs to be done and my husband just doesn't have time to do it...so that leaves me. :) I love to help out...I just hope my strength holds up. :) We will need a solid week of good weather.
The garage needs cleaned and organized...that will be a BIG task. ;) That one is mainly for my husband. He can do that one on a weekend. :) I help some, but he is the main doer.
We have a few trees that need to be cut down. Another chore that is fun to do. :)
We also have wood to stack and organize before winter comes again. :)
It's a busy time of year, but the best part is getting to spend a lot of time outside. I love it outside. But, then I love nature. :)
My car is in the shop so I had to take the captain to work this morning. I hope it doesn't cost too much to fix. I have to run a few errands while I have the truck. I need to go to the feed store, grocery store, take Hunter to the dentist, and then the library. Should be a busy day.
I pray everyone has a good day...hug the ones you love. And if you can't be close to the ones you love, hug them in your heart and carry them there as I have. You may not be able to be close, but you can still hold them close to your heart. :)
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Yesterday evening wasn't so good or quiet. I had a falling out with my mom. It did not go well, but I am hoping she takes time to reflect on some of the decisions she has made concerning our son. Asking him to lie to us twice caused some turmoil in our son. We had to stand up and do what is right for him. We are praying for her to allow God to change her heart concerning her behavior. In the meantime, Hunter will be taking a break from visits with her.
Waiting in the "quiet" while we wait to see what the future holds for us and our "dad" is getting easier. Although, I miss him. But, my husband said to me the other day that he is losing some of that closeness and relationship because of the separation. He said he must not have had as close of a relationship as I did because this is getting a lot easier for him. It is still hard for me, but because of the distance, if we can not be son/daughter, it won't hurt as bad now. It is up to God and the parties involved. It's unfortunate that some of that closeness is fading...but what can we expect with no contact. ;) I just pray that the closeness between him and his wife is becoming stronger. That is more important than the closeness with us. We should be last. God knows what He is doing and what is best for all of us....
The quiet of the evening serves to reflect on the day and if it was glorifying to God or not. It's quiet and everyone is asleep, so there are no distractions. You can evaluate yourself and make changes for the next day if need be. You can be encouraged if you handled things in a Godly way.
So you see, the quiet can be good and it can be uncomfortable. It's all in how we use the quiet we have.
Monday, April 12, 2010
We were gone all weekend at a 4-H shooting sports program. I am now certified in the state of Illinois to teach kids in 4-H to shoot a rifle. :) I was the only female in that class. :) My husband is now the coordinator for our county. We are hoping to get a shooting sports program going soon. It was a fun weekend, but extremely exhausting. We met a lot of nice people. Can't wait to get started. :)
The weather looks to be good this week. I pray it stays that way for my husband's work.
I have to run to the church today to do some data entry and stuffing envelopes. Then I need to do some errands and come home and mow the lawn again. I forgot how FAST it grows in the Spring!
I will leave you with this...never be afraid of doing the right thing...Doing the right thing is not always comfortable or easy, but it is God honoring. And don't be afraid to protect your children. They need to know that they can trust us to do just that...
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Another example would be realizing your husband has not done something you have asked him to. Pretty soon an agreement is made that he just doesn't care about you or else he would have remembered. Or he is lazy and just doesn't care about things you ask. I have made this agreement with satan. Ugh...
Our family has made a lot of agreements with satan. We were not even aware of the many agreements we have made....(if the house is a mess, then I'm are a horrible wife...if my husband is crabby, then he hates us...if supper isn't just scrumptious, then I'm a failure at being a good helpmeet...my husband didn't have a loving dad growing up, so he is never going to be a good one...I'm weak everyday, so I'm never going be all that I can be...life is hard right now and it's never going to be truly glorifying to God...) We have decided it's time to break these agreements! When you make agreements with satan, he has much more influence over you. I do not want to be influenced by him. No way. I want to submit to the Lord and have satan flee from me, from our home. He is a sly fellow. All these agreements came so subtly. Most of the time we had no idea we were being duped. Shame on us! We need to be aware of his schemes. But, believe me, my family is more aware now. And that gives us power against the accuser.
We need to have on the full armor of God. One piece I will focus on is the shield of faith. "In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one." Ephesians 6:16
Those fiery darts are what ignite our small thoughts that can eventually turn into agreements. We need the shield to extinguish them. We do not want to make agreements with satan. We would much rather make agreements with the Living God.
So as you set out today...be more aware of the agreements you are making with satan. Break those agreements and dig out your shield. Put on the full armor of God..."Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes." Ephesians 6:11
Onward Christian soldier! Make no agreements with the enemy!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
As parents, I'm not sure we always think of parenting as a ministry. It's easy for it to become motions instead of ministry. When I first became a parent, I had a difficult time with this. I wanted the perfect home, perfect marriage, perfect child, etc. I wanted everything so-so. I wanted the kitchen to be very clean, so that meant no help from Hunter with baking or cooking. Too messy...I wanted him to be perfect, so that meant a lot of expectations that were unfulfilled by him. That led to a lot of yelling on my part. I was always irritable and that didn't always have to do with Hunter. But, I did yell at him a lot and would wait until he cried to stop. I know...that's horrible. I'm just telling you where I was. I'm no longer there....
God has changed me into a ministering parent instead of a mechanical one. I remember laying awake at night crying myself to sleep begging God to help me not yell and change my heart to become soft. Night after night I would do this. A long time went by and nothing seemed to changed. I wanted it so bad. God had to take me to the root of my problem, which wasn't the yelling, but the desire for ungodly perfection. He had to show me the root of my sin before I was able to be free from the bondage I was in and was putting my family in. Once I realized that I couldn't earn God's favor and that everything didn't have to be perfect...I was free. I stopped yelling. I stopped being hurtful. I started being soft. I started being loving. And it has been a lasting change. Praise God!
I now have meaningful conversations with Hunter. I can teach him life in a soft, calm way, loving way. My household is calmer and happier now that I have allowed God to show me who I really was. Homeschooling isn't a frustrating time now that I don't expect Hunter to be perfect and know every answer. I have been able to dig into God's word and see grace and understand it properly now. I can minister to Hunter and teach him the ways of the Lord in truth. I minister to him by spending time with him in the kitchen and allowing him to be messy. I minister to him by not being afraid to let him do things on his own, like cooking all by himself. I minister to him by not getting angry when he comes in the house full of mud. Now, I just smile and enjoy seeing him just be a boy. :)
We train up our children by giving them godly principles to live by, not by giving them rules based on what other people think we should live by or how we think they should be. Only God's principles are what they need to become strong, loving, caring, competent, holy, servants.
Parenting is a ministry...how is your ministry going? Does it need tweaked? Does it need reevaluated? Can it be improved upon or is it just where it needs to be? God wants this ministry to be full and honoring to Him....I still have improvements to make. :)
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
It is such a beautiful day outside...it's a bit windy, but it's sunny and warm so I'll take it. :)
I woke up today feeling really good. I have energy today and I have been able to see really well today. I mowed the lawn and I lost some strength after that, but I'm still feeling good. :)
I am thankful for these days...they are far and few between. Most days are very difficult to get through strength wise. Yesterday, for example, was a hard one.
I think if I'm up to it...tomorrow I'll make some jelly. Hunter is going into church to help the worship pastor get some things done. He enjoys doing that. :)
Hope everyone is enjoying their day today. :) Tell someone you love them. :)
Monday, April 5, 2010
I don't have to go into church this morning as they are closed today. I will go in tomorrow. So today I will go to the grocery store instead. I am using a menu planning site called www.thescramble.com. It is nice in that I can customize it to be gluten free. I needed some ideas as I have gotten very boring in my meals. :( We just like good ole home cookin'. Nothin' fancy or anything. Although a fancy meal every once in a while is good. :)
My chicks are getting so big! I hope they integrate well into the existing flock. I can't wait til August when I get green and blue eggs. :)
I really need to get to work on cleaning this house...my wood floors are full of dog feet prints because it rained recently. I feel like my house reflects my homemaking abilities. When it's a mess, I feel like a mess. I feel like it's a big part of my being a helpmeet and homemaker to keep a tidy house. I often fail at this due to weakness and exhaustion. And between you and me...I'd rather be outside. :) I went for a walk with Hunter and a friend on Thursday and it was just beautiful. We went to a park and walked trails. There is a pond there and the frogs were singing. I just LOVE to hear those. It just warms my heart for some reason. :)
I'm hoping to have some strength this week to make some jelly...I'll be making some cherry jelly and some white grape peach. We are down to our last jar of strawberry jam.
There is a new gluten free store that opened up near us. I am so happy about it! They sell Udi's bread, which is the BEST gluten free bread EVER! It stays soft on the counter. I was talking to customers there and telling them all about Celiac and the products that I was actually offered a job! Funny, huh! :) I said I would come volunteer for them for like informational meetings or something or just come hang out there for a few hours a week, but they need not pay me. I enjoy sharing the knowledge I have about Celiac. :) Looking forward to doing that soon.
Tomorrow is Hunter's last day of Spring break. I am enjoying these few days off. :) I'm looking forward to next years curriculum and digging in. :) I really enjoy homeschooling. Next year will be our 8th year. :)
I pray everyone has a wonderful Spring day today. Enjoy the simple things. Ponder on what God wants in your life. Stop and look at the beautiful creation before you. Listen to the sweet sounds you hear. Remember the good things that have happened in your life and the good things that are happening now. God is so good to us...
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Being me means having a simple heart. With this heart, I love my family and friends. With it I have compassion on others and a burden for the lost. With it I have a zeal for righteousness...wanting it in my own life and wanting it in the lives of the ones I love. With it I hurt. I hurt when others hurt and I hurt when circumstances are rough. With this heart, I love the Savior.
Being me means having silly little pleasures like watching my chickens run. It is so funny that no matter how many times I see it, I laugh. Pleasures like eating all natural ice cream with strawberries on it. Pleasures like sitting by a bonfire and watching the flames dance and pondering on my life and my future. Pleasures like the smell of home cooked food in our home and watching my family enjoy the results of my efforts. Pleasures like taking walks or riding my bike on warm days with friends and family.
Being me means sometimes saying the wrong things. I tend to put my foot in my mouth often. I'm not very eloquent with words. I usually just speak what's on my heart. I need to work on tact a bit. :)
Being me means having a desire for an earthly father...now I know that is NOT a need. I have a heavenly Father who loves me very much. That is what I need. But, it's a wonderful thing to have someone fill a gap to be there in the flesh to get advice from, to learn from, to hang out with, and to be loved for just being you. What a blessing. If God decides to provide that for me, great. :) If He decides not to, well, He knows what He's doing. I will be content with the relationships I have.
Being me means being sick. Yes, that is part of being me, but it's just a part. I live with it everyday and feel it's effects everyday, but God has allowed it and I really try not to complain too much. Having a neuromuscular disease is rough, but I hang on to the good things in my life and it makes it easier to bear.
Being me means not being perfect. I am the biggest sinner I know. I mess up a lot. I get frustrated, irritated, hurt, honked off, etc. But, I have a repented heart. I desire strongly to become more like Christ. I strive daily to be the best helpmeet I can be and a great mom to our son. I'm a work in progress. I try to be a good friend, too. I know I'm probably not always the best. My desire for an earthly father has caused some strife in the lives of my "dad" and his wife. I don't want to do that. I don't need that relationship and would be happy to just have a relationship with them. I'm sure I've been selfish in that area. God is still working in it...
Being me means being different than most other women I know. I do things and like things most women don't think about. There are very few women at our church that have the same things in common with me. I like to sew, cook from scratch, live simply, raise chickens, live in the country, can, hunt, ride 4-weelers, wear just skirts, etc. I have a different way of thinking than most of the women I know. I believe in the biblical principle of the headship order. I no longer wear the covering, but the principles are still in effect in our home.
Being me means enjoying traveling to wonderful places and seeing the beauty that God created. I'm hoping to make a trip in 2011 to see Montana. Somewhere I've always wanted to see my whole life. I enjoyed the beauty of the Southwest when we lived there as missionaries to the Navajo. I enjoy the South, also. So many wonderful things to see and experience. :)
Being me is pretty simple....well sorta. :)
marries a woman that he has only known for a handful of years at best, joins his body to hers on their wedding night, and they become one flesh through the children that are born to them because of their physical union. It’s a mystery and I don’t understand it. But even though I don’t understand it, I am willing to accept it. And that is what God wants us to do with the whole concept of this duty that He has given to us in regards to submitting to our husbands ~ He wants us to just accept it. Accept the fact that this is the way He has designed our role and accept the fact that this is something that He needs us to do.
Now, having said all of that, let’s reread Ephesians 5:22-23 and 5:33 and talk about what submitting to a husband is all about.
1. It is about understanding the headship of your husband in your marriage. In the marriage, your husband represents Christ, and just like Christ is the head of the church, your husband is the head of you (who represents the church). This is God’s created order of things, and it is something that should not be transgressed against.
What would you think about a church that wanted to have the authority over Christ? You would think it was a dysfunctional church, wouldn’t you? Well, this same thought goes for a wife that wants to rule over her husband.
There is an old saying that goes like this:
“Ill thrives the hapless family that shows a cock that silent, and a hen that crows:
I know not which live most unnatural lives, obeying husbands or commanding wives.”
2. It is about being subject unto him in every thing. And when the Bible says everything, it means everything that would be lawful for a wife to do. Your husband has no right to forbid you from going to church on Sunday, training your children in the faith, or reading your Bible. And he certainly has no right to require you to commit some sort of act of dishonesty or immorality. But aside from these kinds of things, wives are supposed to be subject to their husbands in everything else. What does this mean to us? It means that we are to follow his decisions in regards to where we live, where we go, how the kids are raised, where they go to school, what we eat, how we dress, where we shop, what we drive, how we spend our money, who our friends are, and what we do in general. For those of us that like to make our own decisions about things and do our own things, this is very bad news. I think the hardest thing for a woman to do in our day and age is be subject to her husband in everything. Why? Because it goes against her very nature to be controlling and independent.
3. It is about seeing that you reverence your husband. This basically means that a wife is to see to it that she stands in awe of her husband. The word reverence is translated from a word that literally means “fear”. Biblically speaking, the wife is to fear (or honor, respect, and obey) the will of her husband. This means no usurping of his authority and no mocking of his decisions. It also means making it her special duty to see that her husband is respected in the home as the head of the family.
I want to encourage you to submit yourselves unto the authority of your own husband for
Christ’s sake. Don’t do it because he is a good man, because he is respectable, or because he does everything that you think he should. Do it because it is something that God called you to do. If you don’t, your act of submission will waver and your opportunity to be used by God in a very important way will be blurred. God wants to use your testimony as a good wife, a wife that understands the headship of her husband, that is willing to be subject to him in everything, and one that is respectful of his position, to illustrate something that is very near and dear to His
heart . . . the relationship between Christ and the local church.
---Julie at The Ministry of Womanhood