Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Waiting and Watching

The past few days, something has been weighing heavily on my heart.  I can't pin-point it yet.  But I do know that it's related to God about to move in my life.

I started a study last week over at Good Morning Girls and we are reading Anything by Jennie Allen during this bible/book study.  Her book is based on a prayer that her and her husband prayed a few years ago.  God we will do anything.  Anything."

Jennie says "I believe that like every generation before us, we have an opportunity to see God move in our midst… to surrender in such a way that we would turn the head and heart of God. He waits for surrendered lives, and he finds them, he floods them. I want to be a part of that."

My husband and I have been on quite the journey the past few years.  Things have happened - a lot of not so good things. (There have been plenty of good things in between too.)  During every trial, I have found myself leaning more heavily on God.  And I'm learning every day to surrender to Him more and more.

I come from a long line of strong women.  Head strong and determined women.  Naturally, I am a person who finds a way to get things done all on my own.  And for years, all of my problems have been "do-able" in my own might.  Sure, I would talk to God if something was weighing me down.  I would ask for direction and guidance.  And I thought at the time I was doing okay.  But recent years have turned my ways of thinking completely around and upside down.  I have faced things (and some are still looming) that I cannot fix or control.  And for the life of me, I cannot on my own accord come up with an answer or a solution.

I feel like God has been using these trials to discipline me and open my eyes to my own failures and shortcomings.  I can't do it alone.  I need Him.  And I can now see that without Him, I would have never been able to endure some of these trials.  Some of the trials had a very real possibility of ripping apart every bit of my life and my family.  During one point, I remember literally yelling at God "Why me?  What have I done to deserve this?  I can't do this!  I can't handle this pain!"  And oh boy, did He quickly let me know that I would endure it and I would survive.  And then He started working in my heart pointing out what I needed to work on in my own life.  Ouch!

And now I feel something.  Something looming.  God is about to move.  I wait with anticipation on His timing wondering what it will be.  And I pray that my heart will be open and receptive so I don't miss it.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Titus 2:11-14 NIV
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Self control.  No to worldly passions.  More than ever, I'm seeing excess is sin.

Monday, April 29, 2013

On to the Organizing!

We have spent the last two weeks working on tossing things out and lightening the load.  The older I get, the more I realize that less is best.

Although I have plenty more to go through in our home, I think it's time to move on to Schedule 2 on organizing our homes.  I will personally continue tossing things out as I start organizing and gaining some much needed order in our home.  Organization is not my strong suit but it sure does make things easier when I am organized.

Titus 2:4-5 NIV
Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Different versions use different words, but this verse is very clear that we as women are in charge of keeping our homes.  Now this doesn't mean other family members don't have to do anything around the house!  We should get everyone involved.  And organizing our homes so everything has a place will make it so much easier for everyone to put things back in their place.

So what do you already do now to keep areas organized?  If you have the gift of organization,  please share with those of us (me!!) that are organizationally challenged.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

So how did it go?

How did Day One of tossing out 25 things go for everyone?  Any tips to share or stories to encourage?

Darlene gives 4 guidelines in this chapter to consider when you are deciding on things to toss.  I encourage you to read over these and keep these things in mind this week as you go through your belongings.

Yesterday, I started in my kitchen.  I know I pulled out more than 25 things to get rid of, and I still need to go through a few more things.  But I can see a major improvement already.  For now, Darlene says to focus on the 25 things.  You can always go back to that room later.  The goal is to lighten your load right now.  So today I will tackle our master bedroom.  It needs some major decluttering!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Let's Lighten the Load

Today we start Schedule One - Toss Out 25 Things.

Last week I said we will go through each room of the house this week and toss out 25 things from each room.  I know some rooms may not have 25 things to toss out, but really be thorough in lightening your load.  If you have kids, get them involved.  I know both of my kids have plenty to go through in several rooms of our house!

Let's remember these verses this week as we are going through our wordly possessions:

Matthew 6:19-21 NIV
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.    But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.    For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Luke 16:13 NIV
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Chapter 16 Conclusion - "Submission Isn't Permission"

Ephesians 5:22-24 NIV
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

This last section covers what submission isn't.  It's not a license to be controlling to the point of manipulation or coercion.  With her own personal experience, I think Darlene did a great job discussing this and I will use mostly her words in this post.

"According to my understanding of scripture, the chain of command looks like this:

1. God
2. The Law
3. The Husband
4. The Wife
5. Their Children

Within that chain of command we are given a set of boundaries that must line up with scripture and the ultimate will of God. When we step out of that plan, we step out of the chain of command. Because I am in authority over my children, I do not have the right to abuse them or break the law. I am under submission to God, the law and to my husband, and therefore my sphere of authority is dictated by such."

1 Peter 2:13-14 NIV
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.

"Those rules dictate his boundaries. If he steps out of those boundaries, he steps out of my chain of command. I must submit to God first, all else comes second."

Husbands and wives alike must first answer to God.  What each of us do should be God-honoring if we are true children of God.  And if our husbands are loving us as Christ loved the church and is leading in a God-honoring way, we have every reason to submit.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chapter 16 Cont'd - Ways to Practice Acceptance

Today we will be covering three ways to practice true acceptance.

1.  Receive him with thanksgiving. 
Focusing on the good qualities of our husbands can make us grateful for all they do offer to our marriages.  Focusing more on the good stuff overshadows the faults.  Keeping a positive attitude in life has a huge impact in all areas of our lives.

2.  Recognize his humanity.
I loved this quote in the book and think it sums up this point.  "Wives, our husbands are human beings not soap opera stars, rock stars or runway models.  They are pain and pressure, love and laughter, strength and weakness dwelling within three layers of skin."  We can't put unrealistic expectations on our men anymore than we can put them on ourselves!

3.  Embrace his individuality. 
Oh boy, my husband has quite his own personality and traits.  I have never met anyone like him.  He's funny yet sarcastic, thoughtful and sweet to the point of being too nice.  He's always coming up with new ideas.  There is never a dull moment.   Sometimes that sarcastic side and his ADD personality jumping around from project to project can wear on me.  But I have to remember the way he can make me laugh and his enthusiasm are some of the reasons I fell in love with him. 

With all of this said, we need to remember that our acceptance "doesn't necessarily stand for approval."  But we need to remember his actions are his own responsibility.   As we keep talking about, we must continually strive to be good examples.

1 Peter 3:1-2 NIV
Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

We should live our lives to be examples not only to our husbands, but to our family, friends, co-workers and a lost world.