Friday, January 31, 2014

Warm Feet

I’m a bit cold-blooded (as in cold feet and hands).  My husband bears the brunt of this issue when I get into bed.  Usually, I’m able to spare him between my heated mattress and electric blanket, but tonight, they were hurting with cold.  He makes for an even greater target in my mind due to the stories his mother tells about his “five degree increase” in temperature while he slept as a baby.

Unsuspecting, my husband slept peacefully beside me, when I wormed my freezing foot over to touch his - blissful warmth!  I gaged his reaction carefully… he didn’t stir.  I wormed a little more of my foot’s surface area to touch more of his… still no reaction, and I could feel the warmth easing my foot muscles.  I soaked it in, stealing away his warmth for a bit, yet this was not helping my other foot.  I slipped another tentative toe toward his other foot, and soon began stealing his warmth at twice the speed.

He stirred twice.  That was all.  I asked him the next morning if he had woken or remembered.  Nope.  Score!  I thank the Lord for husband’s warm feet and unconcerned attitude.  When the cold strikes, my husband is there.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Morning Embraces

The alarm goes off in the morning, and I touch my iPhone screen to snooze it.  I roll over and see my sweetheart in bed with me.  I cuddle up next to his warmth, and he wraps his arm around me in turn.  I love starting the day with his morning embraces.

When I hug him in bed, I often have this image of God looking down from heaven in my mind.  Our love of one another pleases Him, and I lift it up to Him in worship, and try to wrap my mind around His involvement in that relationship.  Just as God is three in one, He is the third person in our marriage - and a very necessary person at that.

I am thankful for morning embraces, for the Lord’s reminder of His presence, and for the love I feel for and from both my Savior and my sweetheart.  May the Lord help me be mindful of that love and presence throughout the day.

Coming Home to Him

One thing I rather enjoy is coming home to my sweetie.  It isn’t some special affair, where I’m welcomed with aplomb.  It is simply nice to know that he’s there waiting for me, and to see his face and give him a hug and a kiss when I get home.  (It’s nice to see my little man’s, too!)

If it has been a long day at work, and I’m tired and, perhaps, a bit bedraggled or the worse for wear, I find myself looking forward to seeing him.  Coming home to him is one of the simple things in life that I treasure.  I am thankful that God made that, too, a part of marriage.  I think it is a pale - yet apparent - reflection of how God is always there for us.  He just takes it the next step as only He can do, in that He is always with us, not just there to return to.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Listen with Me

We enjoy listening to audiobooks, and are in the middle of a large series.  It was nearly bedtime, but I still had my physical therapy exercises to do, so I stayed up to do them.  My husband decided to stay up with me and turned on our audiobook to listen with me as I did my exercises.

I really love it when he does things like that.  He is not a night person, so staying up later is a definite act of love, and I know it.  It was a great way to minister to me by keeping me company as I exercised, and also doing something together that we enjoy.  I am thankful for God’s love through my husband by him listening with me.  Perhaps I can think of a way to minister to him in the morning, when it takes extra effort for this night person to be awake!

Monday, January 27, 2014


My husband worked this weekend to put the face frame together for our Pantry Project as I watched our little man.  Things were going well until after lunch, when he brought the frame in to see how it looked on the pantry.  My poor sweetheart had put the frame together backwards.  

Aside from using screws, he had also wood glued it, and let it dry during lunch.  There was nothing for it but to try taking it apart to see if it would actually come apart.  It didn’t.  There was one piece that had to come off, so we took it off, and the wood splintered.  All told, it was about $100 worth of wood.  My husband was a bit upset.

I was able to offer my help, but I was also thankful for the wisdom to allow him some space.  He wasn’t throwing things, or yelling, but there were several frustrated words and sounds.  I probably would have done the same, but I also knew that it wasn’t the most godly of attitudes.  I didn’t say much - just let him know I was there to support him - and let him figure it out with God.

Space was what he needed, and I am thankful that I was able to provide it.  He continued working on the project, and I’m sure he spoke with God.  He determined that, while the pantry wouldn’t look as nice as it would have, the wood would have to do.  He was able to make peace with that and be content.  I am thankful for the Lord’s work in my husband’s life, and that it certainly isn’t reliant upon me.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Weekly Impressions - I Just Wish...

I just wish… I just want… if only… these seem to be my greatest adversaries at the moment.  The thought is not sinful in and of itself, but to dwell in a place of wishes, wants, and ifs can be.  It is the trickiest of the paths that lead me to the pit of depression.

I just wish that the trim and finishing touches were all complete on my house.  I just want to spend more time with my husband.  If only I lived closer to town.  These subjects are probably my three most dangerous areas of thought right now.

I am thankful that God has brought me to recognize when I begin to look down into that pit, rather than once I am in its depths.  However, even when looking down into it, I can find it difficult to turn away.  It is, of course, all about my focus.

It is fun to dream and to think of what one could or would do with this or that.  Too much focus on that, however, begins to pull God off of the throne of my heart.  The more I wish it, the less I wish to remain under God’s sovereign will, and the less trust I place in His sovereign will.  The more I wish it, the more I begin to say, “I know better than God,” and even “Either God isn’t sovereign, or He doesn’t know best.”

Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

God really does know best.  He has a personal relationship with each of His children and works all things for the good of His children according to His purpose:  to make us more like Christ (Romans 8:28-30).  That may mean pain… change often does.

Pain itself is not a bad thing.

I can’t stress that enough.  It seems that pain - whether emotional or physical - is what our society fears the most, and yet, pain is often the very thing that God uses to conform us to the image of His Son.  Pain is nothing more than God’s tool.  I don’t have to fear it - “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

When I wish for something, I must also remember that God is in control.  I can “…make my request known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)  He is the One who saved me from Death, and He is the One who gives me joy in this life.  He has forgiven me all my transgressions, and “…there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)  None.

I respect Him, I fear Him, I love Him, and He loves me enough to make me more like His Son.  He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and everywhere; I have nothing else to fear in the midst of His perfect love (1 John 4:18).

Friday, January 17, 2014

Project Helpers

My husband’s uncle and grandpa came over today to help my husband with our Pantry Project!  They got A LOT done, and it’s nearly finished.  There still might be a chance that we’ll be able to finish it before my husband starts school.  We’ll see what the Lord does.

It wasn’t just nice to have the help, it was nice to have the encouragement and sense of humor around, too.  Not to mention the experience and extra brains to figure out ways past obstacles... like the belt coming off of the table saw, and the blade not staying straight.  I’m not sure about you, but I do find it easier to keep a good attitude when I have other people with me (usually).

I am thankful for project helpers, and how God used them not only to give us a major push toward completion, but to enjoy their company.  I thank the Lord for family and friends, and His ministry through them.

TV Shows

My husband and I have a couple TV shows that we follow.  I am thankful for them, because it’s a way to spend a little time together when we’re just too zonked to do much else.  Or sometimes I’ll knit while I watch... that’s not cheating, right?

It isn’t enough to only watch TV shows during our time together - we can’t really connect that way.  It does have its place, though.  We can hold hands, or cuddle up and watch something that we both enjoy.  I am thankful that the Lord provided us with a way to watch TV shows together, that we still have a way to be unified, even when too tired to express thought well.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I am thankful that my worth is found in Christ.  My perfect Savior took on my sins and paid the penalty for them, lavishing His grace and mercy upon me.  I find my worth in His love.  

It is easy for me to forget that His love is not based upon anything that I do.  My actions do not change His love for me, nor the amount of pleasure that He takes within me.  Certainly, my actions reflect upon Him, and when I sin, I am a poor witness of His love, but when He looks at me He doesn’t see me; He sees His Son, my Savior.

The measure of His grace astounds me.  I am so thankful that what I do doesn’t have to be driven by a sense of worth, but is driven by a desire to please Him.  If I don’t please Him, I have but to confess, repent, and move on.  He doesn’t tell me to wallow in sorrow; He is not a god of sorrow, but of joy.

Thank You, Lord, for Your love, and the worth that You grant me.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Godly Advice

I am so glad to have people of whom I can ask godly advice.  I sought it from two people today, and also received it from a third by God’s design.  The first person I sought council from was my husband, and I am thankful for the talk we had.  It means a lot to be able to share my heart with my husband and to have him listen.  The other was a godly woman and biblical counselor whom I would ask to mentor me if she weren’t so busy.  The last was my grandma, whom I would not have ordinarily seen today, but for God’s orchestration.

They each had a different point of view on my current struggle, and each gave advice accordingly - all relevant and applicable.  That’s the best kind of advice - the kind that also explains the application.  I am thankful to have God’s people around me, that I might seek counsel that would align with His will.  Other perspectives can be invaluable - especially when I am having difficulty shifting my focus.  It helps me to see things in a new light.

I thank the Lord for godly advice, that He calmed my heart with it, and pointed me back to Him.  I pray that I might hold fast to my identity in Christ, and that I would remember that my worth is in Him.

Monday, January 13, 2014



I don’t understand what You’re doing in my life.  I am discouraged.  I have so many desires - good desires - on which You have closed the door.  I feel as though I’m running the race on a treadmill to nowhere - a mouse on a wheel.  I have been giving my home life my all of late, but it just doesn’t seem to matter, or make a difference - whether in the things that I get done, or in my husband’s mind.  He doesn’t seem to understand.

I am frustrated.  I feel thwarted.  I know that You have a purpose, but I can’t seem to keep my focus on You.  Something is really bothering me, like a deep discontent that I cannot assuage.  Help me to take joy in You.  I thank You for all the things that You have done for me - I do not deserve them in the slightest, and I live by Your grace.  Why can I not hold onto that?  

“Cease striving and know that I am God...” (Psalm 46:10a).

Lord, what is the difference between striving and doing my best?  How do I run the race without putting in every ounce of effort, without filling every possible spare moment with another thing to get done?  I am sometimes convicted that I need to run the race in such a way as to be used up by the end, and yet, when I give it my all, I burn out.  Fizzle and die in a sinful heap.  I don’t understand.  I thought I was doing what You wanted.  

Yet somehow, I have taken control, haven’t I?  Somewhere along the line, I made the switch from reliance upon Your power to get done what You willed to have done, to doing what I think should be done - by my own plan and my own power.  I want to stop striving.  Teach me how to run according to Your will!

Lord, with all my heart, I want to please You!  I fall so far short, which is why I am so thankful for Your grace.  I do please You, because You don’t see me when You look at me - You see Your Son.  I feel like the hemorrhaged woman in the street, knowing that if I but touch the fringe of Your garment (Mark 5:25-34) - or like the gentile to eat the crumbs from Your table (Matthew 15:21-28) - to but sip the dregs from Your cup, You would heal me and fill me with life.  I beg for what You have already given me - Lord, help me to see it!

Forgive me of my pride, my discontent.  Forgive me of my anxiety over how to make things work.  Forgive me of my idolatry and selfish thought.  Please give me a right focus.  Turn my eyes to You, for I cannot keep them there.  Let my gaze rest upon Your glory and weep with joy.  Let my mind grasp the magnitude of Your power, that I may remember Who it is that keeps my soul.  Grip me tightly, and let me feel the suffocation of Your embrace, that I might know that You will never let me go.  Help me to feel Your love, Lord - Abba.

Thank You for brokenness, that it brings us to You.  It is when I am broken before You that You can mold me to be more like Your Son.  “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17)

Thank You that when we seek You with all of our heart, You will be found.  (Jeremiah 29:13)  Help me to Meditate upon You day and night, that I might be filled with Your joy.

In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Weekly Impressions - More Often at Home

I am so glad that we are staying home more often.  Living far away from friends, job, school, babysitting, etc. has made it very difficult to be home.  However, when we make the effort to be home, I feel much better for being able to accomplish my wifely and motherly home tasks.  I find that the work that my husband is able to do on the house fills one of my wife’s desires, as well.

I’m not much of a homemaker.  I don’t cook much, I don’t mind if the house isn’t spic-and-span, and the laundry is usually just out of the dryer by the time it’s needed.  This is due partly to time, and partly to skills.  I’ve learned that this isn’t really a bad thing.  Most of my skills lie more in the visual and performing arts realm, and so I direct my attention to serving God in those.  

I do, however, have a responsibility to keep my home livable (an incredibly relative term), and to support my husband.  The more often we’re home, the better I feel about being able to meet that responsibility, since it usually gives me more time to devote to it.  

The Lord has taught me how not to be anxious over accomplishing my homemaking tasks:  to do and plan for what I can, and to know that anything more was not in God’s will for me for that day.  God has given me the ability to accomplish what I can, and would give me the strength, time, etc. to do more if He wanted it done.  As long as I have done my best, I can rest in His will for the day, and for the future.

Friday, January 10, 2014


Now that the holidays are past, and our family is over being sick, my husband and I were able to go out on a date night again.  This still wouldn’t have been possible, however, without babysitting.  Papa to the rescue!

I am thankful for babysitting, that the Lord made a way for my husband and I to “get away” to spend some time together.  I am also thankful that we haven’t had to pay for babysitting (yet) due to the help of both friends and relatives.  Their help has been invaluable.  I am thankful for Papa’s service of babysitting his grandchild, and I am thankful that my son gets to spend time with his grandfather.

While my husband and I have offered our services as babysitters, we honestly aren’t in a great position to actually do it, since we live so far away.  This means that I haven’t really been able to return the favor, and I look forward to the day when I can.  Friends and family are a huge blessing when it comes to babysitting!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

His Work

The fact that I keep returning to this Pantry Project tells me that it’s a bit of a big deal in our lives - and there is much about it that I am thankful for.  My husband was able to return home today while I was at work and Nani babysat the little man.  There is much to be done yet, but I think he made a fair dent in it today.  

He capped off the other water pipe in the wall, cut out the tile for the rest of the cabinets, cut off the very bottom of the current broom closet so that we could move it, scraped off the popcorn ceiling it had left, and drywalled over the opening where a set of cabinets is that we’ll eventually open into our room.  He may well have done more, but that was what I saw.  Each time he works on our home, I feel taken care of.  Even if (and when) the project doesn’t go well, I know that he’s working toward making our home better.  His Perseverance in the matter reenforces that feeling, because it tells me that he means it.  His progress on it shows the Lord’s blessing, and I am thankful for that, too.

I am thankful that my husband works to better our living space.  I am thankful for his love shown through it, for his perseverance in it, and for the Lord’s work in our lives throughout.  I pray for the Lord’s continued blessing, and for the words and actions to encourage my husband.

Is there something someone does for you that you haven’t thanked them for or encouraged them in lately?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

His Perseverance

Our Pantry Project has turned out a bit like any project that we’ve tried to perform on our fixer-upper home:  problems at every step.  It doesn’t seem to matter how much planning or preparation goes into it, inevitably:  something is missing; something unexpected pops up requiring more tools or materials; or something just goes wrong.  My poor husband is a bit frustrated as you can imagine, but has persevered nonetheless, for which I am proud of him.

It’s easy to place expectations on something that I have planned for, and when things go sour, it is also easy to let my feelings move beyond disappointment to frustration or anger, etc.  I see this happening in my husband, too, but whereas in the past, he has subsequently “thrown in the towel,” now he continues to press on.  I pray that I can be a great support to him, and a partner who can point him back to God.

I must admit that when I try to point him back to God, I often feel that the words are trite, or may even exacerbate the situation.  My conviction, though, is that I should still do it.  Even if the words I think of aren’t the best, it is still my job as his wife to point him back to Christ.  I work on the words to use, but I shouldn’t keep silent if they aren’t perfect.  Granted, there are certain situations where it is best to wait.  Today, however, as he had a moment of frustration, all I could think to say was something like, “I’m glad the Lord has a reason.”

I don’t want to always call him out, but I do want to point him to the Lord, and I think, however, trite it may have been, that I was able to accomplish that today.  The Lord will use my words as He sees fit.  I pray that God did use my words to help my husband today, and I thank Him for my husband’s perseverance.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Have you ever noticed what a hug can do?  I don’t know if it’s just me, but a hug can be God’s reminder to me that everything is okay, I don’t need to worry, and I am loved.  He used my husband today to tell me that in a hug.  

I’ve let myself grow a little anxious over the amount of work I have been missing, whether due to the holidays or sickness.  Being the main provider for our household at the moment, money sometimes weighs a little heavy in my mind.  God has shown me time and again that, yes, we should plan for our finances, but that I don’t need to worry about anything - finances included.  Jehovah-jireh:  the Lord will Provide.

I am thankful for God’s reminders in hugs.  I am thankful that He has provided us with a physical way to feel His hugs.  (Not that my husband is God, certainly - but God works through my husband.)  I thank Him for His love.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The One Not Sick

My husband and son came down with a stomach bug last night.  My poor husband was frequently up vomiting, and I discovered vomit on the carpet in my son’s room in the morning.  By the grace of God, I don't have it (or at least, I don’t yet).

My husband stayed in bed most of the day, feeling weak and nauseated.  My son was another matter.  I wouldn’t have known he was sick, except that there had been vomit in his room and he wasn’t very hungry throughout the day.  He was, however, his usual energetic self.  Mommy, however, could feel her body fighting the bug, and did not have an energy to match the little man’s.

Though I might be getting sick, I am not yet, and God still gave me the energy and strength to care for my family.  I often smile when I hear stories of families being sick, but there is one of them who isn’t.  It may not be an easy job being the one not sick, but it is a grace of God and gift to the rest of the family.  I thank God for His gift of the one not sick, and pray that this bug passes swiftly.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Weekly Impressions - Moment-by-Moment Choices

Marriage can be tough.  Everyone knows that.  Honestly, any relationship can be tough.  When one human interacts with another, our sin will surface at some point in some way.  It’s not the most pleasant of experiences - but, to quote Alfred Lord Tennyson, “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

I am thankful that my Savior is gracious with me when I sin.  His love is better than life, and the ability to be a conduit of that love is even better still.  If I can keep the mindset of showing His love to my husband when sin rears its ugly head, then any “suffering” is by the grace of God for our good.  God also promises a reward for those who suffer for His name.  Of course, that means that I need to be pointing back to Him within my suffering.  Not always an easy thing to do.  Joyous, however, when accomplished.  

Christ also promises the strength to live by His name and will.  I have to choose His will moment-by-moment.  My choices weren’t all made in love, and I had to confess that to and ask forgiveness of my husband.  We both did.

What choices have you made today?

Friday, January 3, 2014

To Be Loved

To be loved by any human is to be loved imperfectly.  We have the love of Christ to look up to, but until we join Him in heaven, we will still live in the imperfection of sin.  My husband and I had a difficult morning with one another, not only in dealing with our sinful nature, but in communicating clearly to one another.  It took some time, but we were able to sort through things, confess, and seek forgiveness from one another.

I certainly didn’t feel loved this morning, but one thing I remind myself of frequently, is that love is a Choice.  Even when the feelings aren’t there, I choose to love and remain with my husband.  I have the added bolster of God’s commandment to remain with him once I have made that choice, too, and can take peace from following His will.  The same goes for my husband.  Even in the rough times, he also chooses to love me and remain with me.

That certainly doesn’t mean that everything is hunky-dory all the time.  We are sinners, and sin isn’t pleasant to deal with.  I am glad, though, that my husband is willing to help me deal with my sin.  It may take a bit before he’s ready to - or for me to be ready to deal with his, for that matter - but we are committed to one another.  

I am thankful to be loved.  Not only by my husband, but also by my Savior.  That love is perfect, and “...perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18b)  God’s love keeps my soul, and orchestrates all things for His glory and the good of His children (Romans 8:28-29).

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Gentle Spirit

Philippians 4:4-5
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!  Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.”

What do you think of when you think of the word rejoice?  If you’re like me, you think of upraised hands and shouts of joy.  Exuberance, perhaps.  So I find it interesting that this verse follows an imperative command of “Rejoice!” with “Let your gentle spirit be known to all men.”  Rejoice and gentle don’t typically go together in my mind.

Yet it didn’t take much more thought to consider what it is to experience the Joy of the Lord.  It is - in a word that doesn’t truly sum it all up - contentment.  Paul describes various practices of contentment before coming out and saying it in verse 11 (that he has learned to be content no matter his circumstances), but they are certainly all linked in his logical line of thought.

Joy and contentment are interesting things; they each tend to bring out the other.  As I considered my practices in my marriage, I realized that I am learning more and more how to be joyful and content within it.  When I practice biblical submission to my husband, my gentle spirit encourages him and I feel content in that role - it is God’s calling on my life and that brings me joy.

I rejoice in the Lord that He has taught me to have a gentle spirit.  I thank Him for His grace in those times that I choose differently - as well as my husband’s grace.  May I come to understand what it is to have a gentle spirit all the more as time goes on, and thus increase my joy.

When I let guilt at my sins enter the equation, my joy falters.  Guilt traps me in sorrow that leads nowhere.  Conviction leads me to confession and repentance, from which point I can move forward in the Lord.  When I accept God's grace, I can rejoice in God's gift even of grace itself.

Is there something in your marriage that you have allowed to stifle your joy in the Lord?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


As I mentioned earlier, my husband has begun the process of building us a pantry.  The wall he will build it against has a few pipes sticking out, which were originally intended for washer hookups.  Since there were also washer hookups in the garage, we have never used them, and would like to cap them off (and maybe reroute a couple for the possibility of a future dishwasher).

Throughout this project, he has made full use of YouTube, looking up tutorials on various aspects of the job.  It has been a great tool for him, and makes the research so much faster and easier.  Not that everything you find on there is exactly the way it should be done, but it’s a great start, and gives you an inkling of what you’re dealing with.  (I always recommend a look-over of your plans by an actual person who knows what they’re doing, if possible.)

I am thankful for YouTube, that it has made our Pantry Project more easily doable, especially with the time frame we’re looking at before school starts.  I can’t wait until it’s finished and for God’s blessing of kitchen (and other) storage in our home!