Monday, September 30, 2013

Help with the Laundry


I’ve felt a prodding of the Lord to be a little more diligent in my house chores, and have made an effort to do a bit more each day, if possible.  Tonight, I was planned a load of laundry in.  My husband went to put our son down and I saw a chance to get some of it folded.  

Before I could finish, I heard my husband put the leftover milk in the fridge.  I hastily continued, hoping to get as much as I could done before the call to move on to our next activity.  He entered the room, saw what I was doing, and picked up an article to fold.  That brought a smile to my lips, and, while I didn’t dally, I relaxed my hurried rush.

I am thankful that my husband helped me with the laundry.  I saw it as a fulfillment of Peter’s teaching for husbands to “...live with your wives in an understanding way...” (1 Peter 3:7), as well as Paul’s teaching in Philippians 2:4 for all Christ followers to “...not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”  God used him not only to brighten my evening, but also to complete what His Holy Spirit had prodded me to do.  I thank and praise the Lord for His care.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Weekly Impressions - Trust Born of Thankfulness


After three hundred thankful things that I have written through the course of daily life over the past year, I have found myself associating new feelings with the things that I have written thanks for.  It has made it much easier to have a thankful attitude - and I’m a much happier person and more enjoyable to be around because of it.  I realized, however, that though I am thankful for the things around me, I am not as thankful for things in my marriage.  This is why I decided to write my next 100 thankful things focused on my marriage - and I can’t wait to reap the benefits.

As I read over the past five thankful things I wrote this last week, I found those thankful feelings arising in relation to my marriage, and was rather glad.  It is a very useful tool to read over the past thankful things I have written - and if you’ve joined me in this venture and have written your own thankful things, I would encourage you to read over past ones.  Especially if you’re currently struggling with feeling thankful.  It reminds me of God’s work in my life, and of the joy of being His child.

That is why I have tried to be very intentional in writing about how God relates to a thankful thing.  Whether in His provision, or timing, or love, etc., it is tantamount to see Him in each of my thankful things, as that is where my true joy and satisfaction is found.  That God whom I am so thankful to, is sovereign over every area and aspect of my life.  No matter what I am going through, I can know and trust that it is in His hands for not only His glory, but also for the good of His children.  With each thankful thing that I write and relate to Him, this truth is driven more fully into my heart.  It is an incredibly relieving and joy-filled experience.

I have found this a little harder to do in my marriage.  Not because God is less involved, but because it is easy for my focus to close in upon my husband and what he is doing.  It can be easy to be thankful only to my husband, and not to God.  This is dangerous - my husband is not my god, and isn’t worthy of God’s praise.  That doesn’t mean that I can’t be thankful to my husband (how damaging not to be!) - just not thankful only to my husband.  Ultimately, my thankfulness is due unto God.  

This revelation, too, is an important one for my marriage; the more I am thankful to God for the things in my marriage, the more I trust Him.  If I am thankful only to my husband, then I start to place my trust only in my husband - and if you’ve been in any relationship very long, you know that the other person is not perfect, and will betray your trust (willingly or unwittingly) at some point.  

God never will.  Even when we don’t understand it, we can rest in the knowledge that Romans 8:28-31 imparts to us:  “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.  What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who is against us?”

Friday, September 27, 2013

Carpooling


My husband and I live in a small town about 25 minutes from the nearest town in which there are any job opportunities.  We live about 40 minutes away from where I work.  His parents live in the nearer town, and let us keep a car there so that we can carpool for the first 25 minutes, as that town is on the way to pretty much anywhere else for us.

So, each day, my husband, son, and I spend at least 50 minutes in the car together; 25 minutes to town, and 25 back.  Our son is almost two and doesn’t do a whole lot of talking, yet, so he sits mostly content in the back, with the occasional, “tractor!” shout.  (There are many tractors on the way, as they are constructing another two-lane section of road.)  My husband and I use that time to catch up, to listen to audiobooks together, and even to talk out areas of conflict.

I am thankful that we carpool together, that it is a guaranteed available time for us to spend together.  We don’t always spend it as wisely as we should, perhaps favoring the audiobook over resolving issues, but it is always there to be used.  Even though I wish we didn’t live so far out, I am glad that God has used it to give us this time together.  It has been invaluable for our marriage, and it is a good lesson that we will need to be very intentional about our time together if and when we do get the chance to move.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Spousal Conferences


My husband and I had a bit of a disagreement last morning.  I was angry.  By God’s grace I kept it under wraps enough to discuss the issues at hand with him.  I had submitted to an earlier decision of his - in so much as I didn’t physically go against it - but I certainly had a poor attitude about it.

It helped to sit down with him and talk out what was happening and why.  He was very patient with me - even as I was unjustly angry with him.  He gently admonished me, and told me what he disagreed with me about.  I tried to be a godly example as I discussed why I disagreed with him, but fell far short of the mark.  

After a good forty-minute spousal conference with him, I was finally able to see things as they were and to confess my sin of anger and pride to him.  Through the course of our conversation, he was able to see some areas of improvement in his own manner, and we were both in a better place.  I am thankful for spousal conferences, that, given some godly rules, we can come together and resolve our conflicts.  We live daily in the mercy of the Lord’s good grace.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Kisses


I hadn’t been able to spend much time with my husband yesterday, as we made the little man tradeoff when I arrived at our “second home” from work, and he left for school.  When he returned, we left for home and our bed.  We stopped briefly at the post office and I got a kiss in.  I felt a flash of thankfulness as I got that kiss in; it was the closest thing I would likely have that night to spending time with him.

Kisses can be used for a great many things.  There are hello kisses, goodbye kisses, passionate kisses, I-love-you kisses, on-the-go kisses... you get the idea.  This was an on-the-go / I-love-you kiss, which I seem to use often of late.  It’s my way of telling him that I love him, because I just can’t tell him enough.  I am glad to be married to him.

I thank the Lord for giving us kisses, that they are a more intimate way of showing our love.  Whether on my son’s cheek or my husband’s lips, I enjoy the love expressed in kisses.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Get Up First


When I was growing up, my dad would get up around 5 or 5:30 a.m. (I’m not actually sure when as I was never up at that time unless absolutely necessary).  This meant that by the time I got up (usually 6:30 on weekdays at that time), the house had already been readied for the day:  the window shades were all open with sun pouring in, the fire had been stoked and more wood added if it was cold, etc.  On weekends, my parents would occasionally turn up the music on their living room speakers (my bedroom shared the wall) and rock out to some AC/DC or some such while making breakfast around 8-8:30 a.m.  I loved it.  I love waking up to hearing (or seeing) other people already enjoying being up.

Now that I’m the parent, and my husband doesn’t get up at 5:30 a.m., I find myself missing that.  It takes discipline to be the first person up, and to get the house ready for the day.  To walk out to the cold dark room and open the windows to let in some sun, or turn up the heater (I don’t have a fireplace like my parents did), or put on some music.  (Yes, Mom and Dad, I definitely appreciate you!)  

Waking up to other people enjoying themselves is, for me, the equivalent of snuggling up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa and a book on a rainy fall day.  My husband and I get up at pretty much the same time, and whoever doesn’t get to the bathroom first generally waits in bed until its available.  I had a particularly difficult time this morning with the idea of getting up first.  I hadn’t had much time to mull it over before my husband, without a word, hopped out of bed.  It seemed much sooner than usual.  I felt an immediate flash of thankfulness as he did so.  He wasn’t going to let the sun in, etc. before I made it out of bed, but even that he was first out of bed helped to take off the pressure that I felt in getting up first.  He would already be up and about when I got up.  It was wonderful.

I am thankful that my husband got up first this morning, and that God knew it would minister to me.  The Lord knows my thoughts and desires, and I enjoyed His gift this morning.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Protect My Dinnertime


Our almost two-year-old is busier than most.  He’s constantly on the go, and doesn’t like to sit still, even to eat.  If eating requires sitting still... he’d rather not eat.  This makes dinnertime interesting for our family, as he’s not happy in the high chair for long.  I’m usually about not half-way done with my own food by the time he fervently proclaims “Done!” several times in quick succession before whining.  Our attempts at teaching him patience have not yet borne much fruit.

Almost invariably at this point, (after what patience we have instilled in him has been strained to its limits) my sweet husband will stop eating his dinner and take care of our son in order to protect my own dinnertime.  I am truly thankful for this, as it grants me a little time to relax and catch my breath.  It's a bit like having permission to tend to my own “needs” for a few minutes before relieving my husband to finish his own dinner.  

The Lord continues to impress the importance of communication to me in my marriage, and I realized that this was a desire I had communicated (once) to my husband very near the beginning of our son’s life.  He has been faithful to provide me that time ever since - even to ask others to care for our son during that time if he is gone.  It’s a bit of a break that I truly appreciate, and I am thankful for this gift of the Lord’s through my husband.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Weekly Impressions - A Contrast in Feeling


I have “caught” myself expressing my love to my husband more often since I started this series on marriage.  I see this as a good thing.  However, I think I need to find a more constructive way to do it, since my husband has uncomfortably labeled it as “PDA” (public display of affection).  Minor details.

This exercise of thankful things focused on marriage has made it easier for me to catch myself when dwelling on what my husband is doing wrong.  The thankfulness I feel when I dwell on what he’s doing right has put a stark contrast in my mind to the feelings when I dwell on his wrongdoing (or even what is just less convenient for me).  Dwelling on the bad is born of self-focus, or self-interest, if you will.  Dwelling on the good is probably still a bit self-focused, but at least it’s more humble in thankfulness, and I am more likely to seek his good and not just mine.

The starker the contrast, the easier it is to recognize, and thus, easier to choose which way to turn.  I pray that Jesus’ work in me helps me to choose as He would, rather than with only my own interests at heart.  I thank the Lord for His work in me, and pray that I would live as a vessel of His good will, and not my own.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Praying Together


Each morning before we get out of the car, my husband prays with me.  We didn’t start off that way, but it came to our attention that praying together was rather important.  We had to prioritize it in our marriage, and it helped to be able to find where in our routine to insert it.

There are certain things that he prays for every day:  that I would be a blessing to my coworkers, be productive, and be growing in my thankfulness; that James would come to know Christ as His Lord and Savior; and for himself that God would guide his steps.  I am very thankful for those daily prayers.  It shows me the importance that he places on them to lift them up to the Lord daily.

It is also very important that I pray for my husband.  I don’t do it often enough; that is, I pray for him as he has trouble, not proactively before the trouble comes.  I have also found that it helps him to know that I am praying for him.  Whether that communication comes through my letting him know (which I also don’t do often enough), or through me also praying with him, isn’t as important.  I think, though, it is best told if I also pray with him.

Do you and your husband pray together?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Spend Time with Me


Most often, I am the one seeking to spend time with my husband.  I was, however, quite pleased to note that my husband came seeking to spend time with me instead, last night.  I feel loved when he displays the sentiment, and I am thankful that he spends time with me.  One of the most important things that I can do in a relationship is to spend time with the other person.

I am thankful that God is always with me, and pray for His help, discipline, and endurance to “pray without ceasing,” as it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17.  That is the best way that I can think of to “reciprocate” spending “all” of my time with Him.  I pray that God watches over the time that my husband and I spend together.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Play with our Son


It was a normal evening like any other - I came home to eat dinner after work while our son played around my in-law’s living room.  My husband would be here for another fifteen minutes before leaving for school.  He gave me a hug and a kiss, then started playing with our son as I ate.

Such adorable little belly laughs burst from our son when his father plays with him!  It makes me smile and laugh to watch, but it also makes me a bit proud of my husband.  I am thankful for the effort he puts into being a father, and that his efforts include playing with our son.  I see the Lord glorified in the loving attitude with which he plays.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Spontaneous Dinners


Mondays are a bit of a long day for me, as I attend a class that our church is currently hosting after I get off work.  My husband attends with me, which is nice, but it still makes for a long day.  He will usually bring me dinner, but it wasn’t ready by the time he needed to leave.  He called and asked if I would be alright to wait until after the class (9pm), or if he needed to grab me something.

I’ve been struggling with feeling almost as tired when I wake up as before I go to sleep, but I had eaten lunch a bit late, so I figured I’d be alright.  By the time class was over, we were both rather tired.  My husband put his arm out to escort me outside and asked, “Would you like to go out to dinner?”

What woman doesn’t like to hear those words?  I responded that I would love to!  We had both enjoyed the class, despite our weariness, and had a bit to talk about, which was also rather nice for the date.  It did make our night even later, but the time to talk and enjoy a meal out together was more than worth it.  

I am thankful that my sweetheart asked me out for a spontaneous dinner.  God used the time to bind us closer together.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Tend Our Son


It was an odd sort of Sunday where I didn’t actually attend church with my husband and son.  Instead, I carpooled early with a friend in order to sing on the praise team, and ended up leaving with her after the music was finished for the beginning of the second service.  My husband, however, had to attend the second service since he was manning the sound booth.  While I missed being able to attend with my family, it was nice to get to spend some time with my friend.

My friend and I left in order to practice some music together for an event at which we’ll sing.  This would not have been possible without my husband tending to our son while I was gone.  While my husband is one of our son’s parents, I still rather appreciate how involved he is in the care of our child.  In our current situation, with me working and him going to school, he may very well take care of our son more often than I do.

I am thankful that he is willing and able to tend our son.  I think, for the most part, that he views it as a privilege - which is something that I need to work on myself.  It isn’t so much a chore to him as it is an opportunity to spend time with his son.  For this attitude and example, I am very grateful.  I thank the Lord that He has given my husband a Christ-Driven Heart, so that it overflows into the area of tending our son.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Weekly Impressions - Ground Rules


In my journey toward a thankful heart in my marriage, I set myself a bit of a ground rule to find something specific to each day.  I think this makes the practice more personal, rather than finding some generic thing that I’m thankful for (which I will still do on occasion if it’s important).  However, finding something during the day can be difficult if I haven’t had much contact with my husband that day.  This happened just this past week.

I had to be a little more creative in finding something to be thankful for, but he was away for a reason, and that reason was something to be thankful for (see His Christ-Driven Heart).  If my husband’s away for the same reason another day, I’ll have to be more inventive.  I think that in itself will be beneficial, though.  To intentionally seek something to be thankful for in my marriage is to intentionally foster my marriage.  As time goes on and I get some practice in, it should get a litter easier, too.

These thankful things within my marriage are intended first, to help me develop a thankful heart, but second, to serve as a springboard for you to be thankful for things in your own marriage (most of which could probably be applied to other relationships).  Think of it as a brainstorm to help get the juices flowing.

One word of caution that I think is important:  you will be hearing a lot about what I am thankful for in my husband.  This blog will be a one-sided and biased depiction.  Please don’t try to compare your marriage to mine; don’t fall into the rut of considering whose marriage is better, worse, or even more Christ-like.  This is about starting from where you’re at, and nurturing a specific relationship with a mind not only to improve the relationship, but to glorify God.  Marriage is a wonderful gift from Him, and there is always hope in marriage when we live in God’s Victory.

Thank you for joining me on my journey toward a thankful heart!  I truly value your support and accountability.

Friday, September 13, 2013

His Christ-Driven Heart


Psalm 119:9
“How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.”

One thing that I hold in high esteem about my husband is that he intentionally keeps his heart pliable to Christ.  Certainly, he sins - just as I do - but he really does strive to be more Christ-like.  As I write this, he is off at his discipleship group, which is one of a few small groups of men from our church who gather to help one another and to focus on God’s Word.

He works to memorize scripture and to read his Bible every day, but it isn’t just the “spiritual” things that he does; I can see the fruit of the Spirit lived out in his life.  Galatians 5:22-23 says:  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”  

Anyone could tell he loves me by the way that he talks to me.  He is gentle with me, and tones his bluntness down.  He patiently works through things with me when we don’t see eye-to-eye.  He practices self-control in the midst of his anger.  All of this he does because he chooses Christ as the driving force behind his heart.

He sets a great example to me of what it is to seek God.  Despite the times when he takes control of his heart in pride - and I often respond in kind - I am incredibly thankful that He seeks to follow God and His statutes, and thus has a Christ-driven heart.  God ministers to me through my husband, and I am very blessed.  I pray that Christ shines through me to bless him, also - and even more so when he stumbles.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Showering Together


Those who have followed me for a little while know that I’m not a morning person.  The hardest part of my day is getting it started.  This morning, after the first snooze of the alarm, my husband suggested that we take shower together.  That sounded nice for multiple reasons, but the one I’ll highlight is that the warm water would help ease me into the day, while the presence of my husband would mean moral support (and Accountability) in the actual waking up part.  That may sound strange, but it’s the absolute truth.  (Not to mention the fact that I like to do just about anything with him.)

I am thankful that my husband suggested and followed through with showering together.  My husband may not have known about the moral support part, but the Lord did, and blessed me with a pleasant morning.  What are some ways that you have unknowingly (or knowingly) supported your spouse in the past?  What might you be able to do today? (Or tomorrow if you do this at night like I do?) 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Open My Door


When I pulled my car into the driveway after work tonight, my husband came out to meet me and opened my door for me.  I was rather tired after work today, as I didn’t get to bed early enough last night, and have been working long days.  It brought a smile to my tired face that he made the effort to come out and open my door.

My husband was raised in chivalry, and I rather enjoy it when he employs the practice.  He doesn’t do it all the time, just often enough to keep it special.  It’s not as though he opens my door because he thinks that I’m weaker.  He opens my door for me to serve me, and as a way of showing me that he cares for me.  I am thankful that he will occasionally open my door.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

God's Sovereignty

Ordinarily, I would prioritize my husband as the second thing to be thankful for in my marriage (marriage itself being the first).  However, I have already used him as one of my thankful things, so I will continue on.  I am thankful for God’s sovereignty, as its application in my marriage (and in all of life) has been a huge blessing for me.  Here is how it has blessed me in my marriage specifically.  

God ordained marriage and the respective roles of a man and a woman as defined in the Bible, namely, the woman as helper (Genesis 2:18,20-22) and the man as leader (Ephesians 5:23).   God also stated in the Bible that the woman should submit to the man (Ephesians 5:22).  (For more on my definition of that dreaded word, see Weekly Impressions - Submission).  If God says in Romans 8:28 that He “causes all things to work together for good to those who love God,” then He is sovereign (has power over) all things, just as that verse says.

My husband is a sinner (as am I).  So as my leader, he is bound to make some poor decisions.  However, if God is sovereign over all things - as He says He is in the verse above - then He is governing the outcome of the decisions that my husband makes.  My calling as his wife, is simply to be obedient to God, which means to submit to, or to follow, my husband.

I love 1 Peter 2:23:  “...and while being reviled, He [Jesus] did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously[.]”  (Emphasis added.)  Whenever I am anxious about whether to follow a decision that my husband has made, I come back to this verse.  Whether my husband is being loving or being a jerk, I am to submit to him, because in so doing, I am entrusting myself to (and obeying) God.  My perfect God, who is sovereign over all.  If anyone knows what He’s doing, it’s God.  So whether my husband really knows what he’s doing or not, God will always work things for the good of His children.

The measure by which I should determine whether or not to submit to my husband is found in whether or not, in submitting to my husband, I am obeying Christ.  If my husband asks me to sin, then God would not have me obey him.  Sometimes, I have a hard time distinguishing that line of what is truly sin or not.  If it isn’t black-and-white, and I haven’t been able to come up with a satisfactory answer after holding it up to what the Bible says, then I am inclined to lean toward submission to my husband.  That, at least, is clearly defined in the Bible.

So I am thankful for God’s sovereignty, that it enables me to leave anxiety in my marriage behind.  God is so good, and I am so glad that I - as a sinner - can rest in His grace and His unfailing love.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

Marriage


As the first thankful thing in a new set based on marriage (which carries over to other relationships), it might be important to start off with being thankful for marriage itself.  I am thankful for God’s multi-faceted gift of marriage, for as many reasons as their are facets (that I can comprehend).  

In my husband, God gave me the gift of a leader, a provider, a protector, and a companion.  There is so much there that a woman’s heart longs for.  I find, however, that I have to examine my expectations of what it looks like to be a leader, a provider, a protector, and companion; my definition isn’t always the same as God’s.  

As soon as I seek something outside of God’s will, I begin to follow the path of destruction:  pride, selfishness, resentment, anger, fear, worry, depression... that’s usually my own progression.  This is poison not only in my marriage, but in all areas of life.  (I want to say especially in marriage, but I think, rather, that marriage is simply a prevalent example.)  

That's one of the reasons I began this journey of thankfulness; being thankful evokes humility, contentment, joy, and hope, among other things.  It is my spiritual Milk, to keep me strong on the path that my God has set before me.

Even if my expectations are in line with God’s will, however, my husband is a sinner just like me.  If he is a child of God, he is learning to be more Christ-like just as I am.  My husband will “fail me” - yet God never does.  God reigns over all things, and works all things for His glory and the good of His children, conforming us into the image of Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:28-29)  God uses “failures” just as deftly as He uses “successes.”  Sure, “successes” are usually easier - but I often learn more from failure than I do from success.  My husband and I are in this together, and we can learn from one another and from one another’s mistakes.

Another of God’s gifts in marriage is the gift of serving my husband as his helper.  Being a wife is my first ministry (in regard to priority), and is very rewarding.  Yet, just as my husband will “fail me,” I will “fail my husband.”  Even so, God’s purpose cannot be thwarted.  (Job 42:2)  God’s Grace is evident to me in that statement, and I am glad that I am not as powerful and in control of life as I often think I am.  

If the Lord has called you to marriage, I would venture to say that your marriage is the primary tool that God has, is, or will use to conform you to His image.  “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”  (Proverbs 27:17)  Marriage is definitely an example of this, and that, too, while sometimes painful, is a gift of God.  I am thankful for the gift of marriage.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Weekly Impressions - 300 Thanks

This will mark the end of another set of 100 thankful things (300 thankful things, and 360 posts).  I am so thankful for how the Lord has used this journey of thankfulness in my life.  I can see myself growing in Christ, and that is encouraging.

The lesson that is most prevalent in my mind at the moment in this past 100 thankful things, is not only to be intentional about a time spent each day in focus upon the Lord - as this blog helps me do - but also to purposely continue in that mindset throughout the day.  I cannot achieve that kind of focus (consistently) if I’m not intentional about it.

As I think back on all of the thankful things that I have written about, I can feel my heart fill with thankfulness and all of the subsequent feelings it breeds:  contentment, Joy, humility, and love for my Savior, with the desire to live out that love.  I also look ahead with excitement for what is in store with the next 700 thankful things that I plan to write.  Life with Christ is a wonderful journey of friendship and learning; I pray that I am loving and teachable.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Confidants


It is a priceless gift to have one in whom you can confide.  My heart can grow heavy with its own burdens, but a close friend and confidant is willing to bear the load alongside me.  I am thankful for my confidant.

May my ear be as ready to listen, my shoulder as proffered to lean on, and my soul as ready to share the load for her as she is for me.  God’s blessing is bountiful upon our friendship, and I thank Him for bringing her into my life.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Composing


I wrote a song today as I struggled with feeling overwhelmed and anxiety crept in.  The intent was to have a song I could sing to myself during a struggle, so that by the end, I would be focused on God.  I was blessed to find that it worked.

The composing process requires a lot of fixation upon its content.  So when the content highlights God’s strength, it helps to drive that truth home into my heart.  Pairing it with music just makes it that much easier to remember (and to highlight certain aspects of a phrase - like God instead of myself).

I am thankful for composing, that God gave me the gift, and that I can use that gift to bring my heart and mind back to His truth.  As the song plays over and over in my mind, that truth takes root, and I find myself more firmly grounded, and far less anxious and stressed.  (The Lord never gives us more than He can handle!)

Is there a song that cuts through the lies and speaks God’s truth to you when you’re struggling?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Notes


When I’m working through my day and I receive a little “note” from my husband just to say, “Hi,” or that he loves me (usually via text), it brightens my day.  It’s like reaching out from far away and saying, “I love you and am thinking about you.  Just wanted you to know.”  It can help bring a spot of color to a stressful day.

I am thankful for notes, that God uses various people to drop me notes in various forms and places in life.  Whether the little notes from Mom in my lunch when I forgot to make it as a kid, the occasional card in the mail from a friend, the encouraging post-its from my female coworker, or a text in the middle of the day from a friend, notes are a wonderful little light in the middle of the day.

May I shine His light to others as well.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mistakes


I’m going to be a bit transparent and reveal some personal things about my family in this post.  To be honest, today was a really cruddy day.  Our son was whiny and throwing tantrums all day; my husband and I weren’t getting along very well; I made a half-hour trip to Costco only to discover that they were closed; and had the bejeebers scared out me when a car honked at me (my window was down, so it was very loud) while I was making a right on red and not expecting a couple cars to make (legal) U-turns.  Yet, through it all, God is good.

During the half-hour ride back from Costco (whose embarkment began with the right turn / U-turn issue), I knew that I needed to work on being thankful.  Even for a wasted trip.  I knew that God had a plan to use it for the good of His children and for His glory, I just didn’t know what it was, yet.  By the end... I did (at least, as much as a human can understand without the entire big picture).

God used that time of me talking to Him and working on my thankfulness to give me understanding in what it was that I had been trying to communicate to my husband for some months now.  It was a pretty huge breakthrough for me.  This, I was most certainly thankful for.

My husband and I both made several “mistakes” today.  Some were like me not checking for anyone making a U-turn, or not checking to see if Costco was closed on a holiday.  Others were actual sins.  It was not a pleasant journey, but at the end of it, we were able to talk a little.  God is good.  Not all of our issues are resolved, but we are working on them - together.  We have certain things to deal with, and the truth of this may not have come out without our “mistakes.”

So, strange as it sounds, I am thankful for mistakes, that God uses even these for His glory and the good of His children.  “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)  I am thankful for His Grace, and for His Victory.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Outings


We went out for lunch, window shopping, and a brief trip on the boardwalk at the beach yesterday with another couple who are good friends of ours.  It was a blast!  Since having our son, it’s been difficult to get out to the beach for our traditional window shopping, as the time we can go is his nap time.  This would not make for a very happy kiddo, or a very nice trip.  However, Nani (grandma) agreed to watch him while we went out - and it was a very nice outing, indeed.

I am thankful for outings, that they insert a bit of variety into the general routine - especially if done with friends!  Outings are a bit like a date - or in this case, a Double-Date - which, in my opinion, raises its priority level.  I am thankful that God orchestrated a time, child-care, and friends to go with us on an outing.