Modeling Mondays: Series on Teaching Children to Live a Godly Life

As a new mom, I had a lot of worries for bringing children into this world. How could I be a good mom to them? I was clueless how to even raise a child for Christ, and honestly, still am quite often. Really… my children are 4 and 3… so I have much more to learn, but I have learned a lot in the last 4 years.

I want my children to grow up learning to love God and relying on the Holy Spirit. I want them to see an example they can live by. An example of parents who are living a Christ-like life. 

It is my job to teach and train my kids in the way they should go. My job to make sure they know how to live a godly life. What a godly life looks like. Why a godly life is important. Why we serve our God and love Him. What He has done for us and wants us to continue to do for them.

Living a Christian life isn’t always easy, but it comes with great reward.

I want my children to know about His sacrifice. To know His reward for us. To know what God did and why He did it when He sent Jesus. To know what Jesus did for us.

MY job.

Wow! What great responsibility God has given us as parents. He expects us to teach them what they need to know. Especially when they are too young to learn it themselves.

God is showing me these things each and every day. The Holy Spirit reminds me that they are learning from me. My choices. My words. My actions. Where my time and energy is spent. How I react to certain things.

I take the responsibility quite heavily. And I fail daily. Guess what?! We all do. We all fall short.

So should we give up? Give up on being patient with our children? Give up showing them love and compassion when they fail? Give up on teaching them even when we set a bad example sometimes?

Do we want God to give up on us? I DON’T!

I am learning to be new everyday. I have to pick up my cross everyday. I have to teach my children the same.

So join me if you’d like. As I seek out what God wants for me and my family. How I can best learn and then teach them.

Over the next several Mondays I am prayerfully exploring how God wants us to teach our children. I am praying about how I can MODEL to my children a godly life; as I have prayed just about everyday for at least the last 4 years.

These posts will include many things we have already been implementing in our home, and many ways we want to improve and grow.

Here is a list of topics we will cover:

  • 3 Ways to Teach Children to Pray

  • Teaching Children to Memorize Scripture in 4 Easy Steps

  • 4 Steps to Help Children Have Daily Devotions

  • 3 Ways to Teach/Model Worshiping God

  • Teaching Children to Love as Christ Loves Us

What do you think? Are you excited about this series? I look forward to you adding what has worked for you in these areas! 

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Dear Judgmental Homeschool Mom

When James and I were dating he mentioned he would like his children to be homeschooled. By this point we were already planning our wedding, so I knew he meant he wanted me to homeschool our children. I laughed.

I am a public school teacher! I loved my high school years. Why would I homeschool?!?! They would miss out on so many important things like prom, sports, theater, graduation, etc. etc. etc. Besides… those people are generally weird, unsocial, awkward around people, etc. etc. etc.

My husband was homeschooled :). Obviously he was the exception to this rule. 

James is amazing and knew he needed to just let the issue go! We didn’t fight about it. He didn’t judge me. He just said ok and supported me in my decision. Something he does so well and in so many ways in our marriage! 

I feel certain he must have prayed about it often because God began changing my heart. While many people, over the years, have assumed that my in-laws have “changed me,” they are wrong.

God. Changed. Me. 

He spoke to me. He gave me a love for my children and being home with them. He laid on my heart their education and how I should raise them to serve and love Him. 

Not to mention… I was a PUBLIC SCHOOL teacher! I saw what was happening in that system. I saw how the teachers were being treated, and in turn how the students were being treated. I DID NOT want my children in that system. *If you choose to send your kids to public school, that is your choice. I would recommend being involved and knowing what your kids are learning, but I will NOT tell you what to do with your children… in turn… please don’t tell me what to do with mine :-). 

Moving along… Once I made the decision to homeschool my children you can imagine I got plenty of advice ;-). Mostly unsolicited, as most advice is, but I smiled, took what I felt God wanted me to, and moved on.

I had a friend tell me about the year she tried homeschooling. She was fed up with the public school system, and heartbroken at the things other kids were teaching her children. You know? They weren’t sheltered and that’s a good thing right? Ok! I will try to keep my snide remarks to a minimum haha! That is for a whole other discussion. Anyways, she began to homeschool.

It. was. Hard! 

She was frustrated. Overwhelmed. Crying. She surrounded herself with co-op groups. And guess what happened… She was told God made us to homeschool. All moms should homeschool and that is how we are created. 

Think about it (especially you homeschool moms… me included), she was frustrated, overwhelmed, and crying. She thought, “There is NO WAY I can do this.” And she was “encouraged” with… you were made to do this. Naturally, this came across that she was a failure. If she “couldn’t” do this, but God created her to do this, then something must be wrong with her. So she quit.

I cannot help but wonder, what if she had been nurtured instead? What if she had been loved where she was and encouraged to seek out how to make homeschooling work for her? What if someone had said, “It was hard for me at first too. I still have hard days. But we are here for each other. We can work together.” 

Last year I attended a homeschool convention that offered classes and a book fair. I LOVED it! So many people with so many ways to “do” homeschooling. I have TONS of options to “do” homeschooling the way that works for ME and MY FAMILY and how God leads us! 

You know what else I found, people who think their way it the only way to homeschool. 

I see this as a lose lose situation. If we encourage people to choose to homeschool over other school options, we need to be helping them find the way that works for them. Does that mean every homeschool option is good. NO WAY! But does that mean if it isn’t done the way you do then it is wrong? Absolutely not either! 

And so it begins. People are already upset and judging me on my homeschool ways. I expected this and I know it will continue to happen.

Some think the earlier you start the better. Some think the least amount of planning the better. Some plan to the tee. Everything should be done at home with only your family. You need to join a co-op. Schools that work with homeschooling so they have a little of both. And on and on and on and on. Did I mention how you do it in YOUR OWN HOME matters to some? Where you sit to teach and learn. It is just silly! 

To the homeschool mom: No matter how long you have been homeschooling, encourage one another. Support one another. Help each other. Let’s put aside our opinions over trivial things and instead praise God for how He is going to move through the process. Maybe we think certain methods are best… and maybe they are… for OUR family… but each family is different. God may need to show someone else something that He didn’t need to show you. I am sure you are trying to help. Aren’t we all? But you never know how difficult the homeschool idea is to one person. Whether it is a confused mom taking her kids out of the public school, or the mom who taught public school and is doing what she does best, or the mom who was homeschooled herself and thinks she cannot live up to the expectations set before her, we all have different journeys. I am enjoying the journey God has put me on and I must focus on Him and what he wants for me and MY family. You should do the same.

*Obviously if someone ASKS for your opinion on the best curriculum or homeschool method or whatever, then they asked for it. I would still encourage you to offer it in a kind way and try to avoid a judgmental tone. Or write your own blog post :-). 

To the non-homeschool mom: This post was not written for you. So do not take it as a personal attack at you for not homeschooling. That is on you. I have to do what I know I need to do for my family and what God has called me to do. Maybe you can find something else through this post. Or even learn to judge the homeschool mom less. Pray God would show you what to take from it. That’s what I like to do. 

My Prayer:

God, thank You so much for the ways you have changed me over the years. I am not the person I was. I am becoming the person You want me to be. Thank You for providing for our family and giving me the strength to trust You when I quit my job to stay home. Thank You for a husband who supports me and also lovingly lets me make my own choices while praying the Holy Spirit guides me the way I should go. 

Forgive me for also showing judgment on others. Oftentimes I do not even realize it. Holy Spirit, put me in check when I begin to let MY opinions and advice get in the way of things You are doing in someone. Forgive me for not always showing love the way You show love.

God, I ask You to give me wisdom in my words. That they would be Your words not mine. When people come to me for help and guidance, that I would always point them to You. That I would always seek You to speak through and to me in all situations. Lead me in the right direction as I begin to prepare my home for our homeschooling years. Put people in my life who will encourage me to find the way best for me and my family, while still encompassed by Your love and direction. 

I surrender my homeschool years to You. I offer up my children to You. I yield before You that it may not be about me but about You in everything I do. I love You and praise You for all You have done and are going to do. 

I surrender all, I surrender all, all to thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.

Amen.

Touchy Topic: Training Children in Worship

child praying

Photo Source

I am so excited about today’s guest post. This topic has been on my mind for a few years and I am so glad Candace agreed to write it for me. Thanks Candace! 

Guest post from Candace at Sacred Mommyhood

After posting the article, Dear Parents with Young Children in Church, to my Facebook page, there was some discussion as to how to begin training your little ones to sit still during a worship service.  There was also some discussion about children’s church, and how that may be more age appropriate and beneficial for young ones.

There is not much more I can add to encourage parents to include their children in worship, as the author did a beautiful job explaining the importance of having your children in the worship service, and encouraging moms who are already doing this.

I would only add that by including our young children in worship, we’re setting the tone for life-long worshiping.  Google “statistics of young adults leaving the church”, and you’ll get article after article citing statistics as high as 91%, with many differing opinions as to why they are leaving.  My personal theory is this:  If we’re continually keeping them out of worship through infancy, adolescence, and teen years, why would we expect them in worship service when they’re adults.  We’ve already sent the message that a worship service is not important, or just boring at best.  After all, they’ve had “fun” all these years in nursery, Sunday school, and youth group.  We must remember that worship is not about us!  It’s about HIM!

In addition, families should worship together.  There is no biblical model where families separated into age-segregated groups to learn how to worship.  It was learned by being present.  So often, family members are going in all different directions throughout the week.  Then on Sunday, the children are placed in the nursery or sent off to children’s church, separating the family again.  With the cultural breakdown in families today, I can’t think of a more meaningful way to bind the family unit than to share in worship, together.

I am in no way saying that children’s church, nursery, or any other age-segregated group activity is wrong.  My heart feels for the tired, weary momma who just needs to worship and not train.  I’ve been there!  I just feel strongly that we’re sending a counter-productive message to our children about worship when Sunday after Sunday we’re ushering them out of it.  But this is definitely something each family has to think and pray about on their own.  And I know many churches these days are quite hostile to small children in service, making this decision even more difficult.

So for those of you considering including your small children in the worship service, here are some tips to help you in the training process.

You  Are Training

This is the most important aspect to keep in mind.  It is so easy to get frazzled and discouraged when your little ones are learning to sit still quietly.  Your Sundays will most likely feel like a chore rather than worship, but even this is an offer of worship to God.  Investing this time into your children is a sacrifice of praise!  This has been my life for many years!  I am perpetually in “training” mode.  But I’ve had the joy of seeing fruit.  My little ones can sit through an hour and a half service without being a distraction.

Try a Booster Seat

This may be more difficult in a pew seating arrangement (no place to secure the straps), but if your church seating consists of chairs, bring a booster seat for your older babies and toddlers.  Not only does this help them to stay put, it provides a flat surface (tray) on which to draw or rest books.  It’s also perfect for giving them Cheerios (or other snacks) to keep hunger at bay.

Provide Books, Crayons, and Paper

I know some families who feel strongly about not giving their children anything during worship, and prefer to train them without things to keep them busy.  I respect that and understand that each family will need to approach this according to their standards.

We, however, don’t have a problem with allowing our little ones to look at books or doodle while learning to be still and quiet.  Kids absorb more than we think when their little hands are busy.

Our church floor is hardwood, so we try to be selective about what we give them.  We only give our toddlers soft books since they tend to drop them more often.  And crayons make less noise on a hard surface than pens and pencils do.  So just be aware of those potential noisemakers.

Be Courteous to Those Around You

We attend a family integrated church, so all our children are with us through service.  We all expect a certain amount of noise every now and then…a baby getting fussy, something dropping, or the low murmur of a child asking mom or dad a question.  These types of noises are not distracting to us.  In fact, our pastor loves those sounds.  He understands the importance of children being present from the beginning and welcomes those sweet sounds.

But obviously, there is a point when noise will become distracting, so try to be aware of those around you and quickly remove a crying baby or noisy toddler.

If you do not attend a church where children are welcome in the worship service, you may need to be a little more vigilant when it comes to noise, but don’t let that deter you.  Try to sit closer to an exit so that you can get out quickly if necessary without distracting others.

Start Small

If you are pulling your child(ren) out of nursery or children’s church, ease them into worship service.  If you’re concerned about the length of your service, try starting with smaller chunks of time.  Twenty to thirty minutes may be all you and the child can handle at first.  Each Sunday, add five minutes or so according to the child’s ability.  If it’s an older child who has really loved children’s church, and is upset about missing out, perhaps allowing them to attend one Children’s Church a month would help ease the transition.

A Word on Babies in Worship

I have had a baby in my lap during service for the past twelve years.  Of course, I’ve had the help of my husband and older children, but essentially, my babies are with me.  I’ll often glance around while the congregation is singing, and notice the moms with babies on one hip and the hymnal in their opposite hand, and it makes me smile.  Not because I think they’re better for keeping their babies with them, or because they look cute.  But because they’re making a sacrifice.  They’re forgoing a little freedom and ease to instill something bigger from the very beginning.

Babies hear the sounds and take in the sights of “church”.  As they grow, so does their understanding of what’s happening around them.  Those babies grow into toddlers, who in most cases, already have an inherent knowledge of what to do.  It’s been modeled for them since birth!  They can sit through worship, and for the most part, be quiet.  I have seen this in my own children and those around me.  Are they perfect?  Of course not.  Do they require discipline from time to time.  Absolutely!  But the transition is much smoother than that of a toddler who has been used to happily and noisily playing in the nursery.

So whether you’re contemplating bringing your children into worship service with you, or you’re just getting started, I hope you have found encouragement here.  I understand that this can certainly be a touchy issue within the church body, but one that I pray would never cause division among believers.

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs
the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 19:14

Touchy Topic: Seeing Children as a Blessing, Even in Sunday Service

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For a while now, I’ve gone back and forth on bringing my children into church service with me. James and I have discussed it and see pros and cons for both. My husband is the Discipleship and Outreach Pastor at our church, and I’m the business administrator. We are heavily involved in our church and in the service, which makes it easier to use the nursery and children’s church.

Many people encouraged us to take the kids to the children’s church.

“It gives you a break.
You are then free to worship without worrying about your kids.
The kids are presented with the gospel on their level.
Children cannot sit still and stay quiet.”

Obviously, these are all assuming the church has a children’s service offered. Each of these reasons, at one point or another, have been the very reason we have kept our kids in children’s church and we have worshiped without them.

Others have encouraged us to bring them in with us.

“This will teach your children how to worship by watching you.
Children need to learn to sit still and be quiet.
Children are a joy and blessing. They should be with their parents to learn.”

These are the reasons I’ve thought hard about bringing them in the service with us. I’ve also read about children leaving the church when they go off to college and the links between that and children being out of the main service. Also, I am called to teach and train them in the way should go! I AM! Not anyone else. Me!

Now before you yell at me, I don’t think this means we cannot use the help of other people to teach and train our children… sometimes, BUT it is our responsibility to make sure they are taught and trained correctly. Anyways…

I long to see my children as a joy and blessing, always! Can I be honest? Do I always see them as a joy and a blessing? No 😦 But can I be honest again? Looking around at our society and the MANY influences we have around us, it’s not hard to see why this is even more difficult.

Being a mom is hard! It’s not for the faint at heart. But you know what isn’t helping? Facebook sayings like, “I’ve always dreamed of being a stay-at-home mom. Without kids.” And I saw this in a mom’s group!!!!! What?!? We can also see it all over our movies and television shows.

“Ugh! It’s summer. I hate having to be with my kids all summer?!
When are the kids finally going back to school?!?”

Wow… I am getting way off topic :).

Focus!

We have gone back and forth on what is right for our family. OUR family!

Do I think you should take your kids out of nursery and children’s church? Your call, not mine. Do I think the nursery and children’s church are bad for our kids? Absolutely NOT!

I have decided I want to bring my kids in more. We have Sunday School, Sunday Morning Service, occasional home groups with children’s service offered, and a Wednesday night service. They are getting PLENTY of opportunities to fellowship with other children, and to hear God’s Word on their level.

My first Sunday was on June 2, 2013.

The night before, I went to the dollar store and bought them some fun goodies for the service. I knew this would be important, especially in the transition from the nursery to the main service.

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Then I let Conner pack up his and Elias’ backpacks. I wanted to pump him up and get him excited about coming into service with us. He was so excited about his new backpack and could not wait to go into service so he could play with his new stuff.

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Now, overall this is not my goal; for him to just want to play, but I know it will help the process.

So, the first Sunday, I took them out of the nursery after Sunday school. We went into praise and worship and I immediately gave them their backpacks. They stayed 25 minutes during praise and worship with me, by myself!!! My husband was busy doing church business. Conner was on the floor coloring and Elias was in chair and my arms and did well

overall.

I did have a teaching moment too!!! Conner was standing by me at one point, and said, “Mom do like this” and bowed his head. I said, “You know what’s great about praising and worshiping God? You can do it all kinds of ways. Bowing your head, lifting your eyes, lifting your hands, singing etc.” He got so excited and smiled! Great start I’d say!!!

This last Sunday was our second week. My goal was to not give them their backpacks until after praise and worship time. My sweet husband also adjusted his schedule so he could be in there with us more. Not the whole time, but more.

Praise and worship was a mixture of kids in mine or my husband’s arms, standing in the windows swaying, or spinning around next to the chairs. We are a work in progress. I also did my best to explain to Conner that he can dance but this time is for Jesus so that is our focus.

After praise and worship, during announcements, we got the backpacks out. Elias sat in the window with his Bible (see picture above). Conner asked another awesome question! They were announcing a Missions’ Trip our church is taking in the Fall. Conner said, “I don’t know why we do this.” WHAT?! I am not fully sure he knew what he was asking, but I LOVED that he was paying attention enough to ask such an inquisitive question! AND, had he not been in service, we wouldn’t have had this amazing conversation! Another plus to kids in service.

I explained to him how important it is for us, as Christians, to help others in need, and to share the Gospel with everyone. He thought this was so cool and seemed to understand. James is hoping to take this trip if he can get off work. How great will it be if James can go and we can teach the boys how important this is?!

The boys made it through announcements and then I took them back to the nursery. 50 minutes this time!! Twice as long as last week! We probably could have made it longer, but it is new for me too and I could tell I needed to stop in order to not lose my patience. They did great, but we were starting to make a little more noise and get antsy, and service was about to start.

I look forward to continuing this journey and sharing with you how we are learning to make it work for our family. Tomorrow, I am excited to have a guest post on this discussion from Candace at Sacred Mommyhood!!

What do you think about having children in service?

Followup Results: Miscarriage Ultrasound

Have you read I.AM.TheBoyWhoCriedWolf: Multiple Miscarriages or Dropping Off Grace: Miscarriage Follow Up?

Leaving the appointment Tuesday, I made my way down the long hall. Music was playing. Reminded me of funeral music. Kind of appropriate I guess.

As I left the office Tuesday, they told me they would call tomorrow after my ultrasound to tell me the results of everything.

Fortunately, James had the day off but he stayed in the van with the boys. Coming out of the appointment all my boys were surprisingly in the lobby. They had to go potty. It was so nice to see them!

I carried on with my day after my appointment Wednesday, but I was waiting anxiously for the phone to ring.

It didn’t.

The nurse FINALLY called today with my results. HCG levels are now at 690 and progesterone at 10.4 (I was still on the pills). My sonogram pictures came back good… as in everything has come out and the lining looks good and thin. They did notice a lot of blood clots so she told me to expect a lot more and take it easy.

I’m exhausted. Understandably.

P question

I feel drained, and I’m sure the fact that I am literally draining has a lot to do with it.

Most people won’t understand, but I do feel this is a good thing. Much more has come out now than ever before. This can be good if some of what is coming out has needed to come out for a while. Also, I believe this pregnancy made it further and better than the others, so I think we are making at least some good progress.

I am looking forward to our appointment in a few weeks and finding some answers.

God is with me. He is my strength, and my wonderful husband and two beautiful boys my medicine.

The Plans of the Righteous Are Just

Proverbs 12:5 says “The plans of the righteous are just,…”

It amazes me how different life is when there is a plan involved!

When we plan our budget, we our wiser with our spending. More money goes to saving and paying off debt than when we had no plan at all. My husband and I love Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University!

If I make a workout schedule, or use a workout guide such as P90x or 42 days to fit, then I almost always do my workout. This keeps me energetic and feeling good!

Menu planning is another great way to plan. It helps avoid over spending or eating things you would rather not be eating. When I’ve scheduled out our menus, we eat out less and I’m less panicked at meal time.

Plans work for all kinds of things. Housecleaning, kids’ chores, prayer time, Bible reading, reading in general, tv time, eating, etc.

So should our lives be planned out for every minute? Well I guess this depends on the person. I’m finding more and more, the better my day is planned out the more I will accomplish. And… not just that, the more detailed plan the more likely I am to stick to goals I have, like watching less tv and reading more! But I must have flexibility and free time too!!

So here I go with some plans! Keep in mind, not everyone’s plan will look the same. Also, some days will not go as planned. Maybe the kids get sick, or you get sick, or friends/family come in town to visit, or you need to help someone out, etc. etc. etc. I believe the key for me will to be flexible! Not everyday will look the way I want it to, BUT it is better to aim at something and miss than to aim at nothing at all and hit it every time!

Join me in making plans for your days!

Do you have a daily plan already in motion? What does it look like?

Touchy Topic: GOD “GETS” MEN

I am so very excited about today’s post! About a year ago I ran across this wonderful blog – Peacefulwife – and I was amazed at how much I “was” this woman. I was a feminist and so WAS she. I was am learning how to better respect my husband and submit. She has been there and has so many wonderful stories of her transformation and how great her marriage is now as a result. April has kindly written a guest post for me so please join me in welcoming her <applause>!

He understands men and women extremely well. He did create both of us, after all. And He created marriage, sex, attraction, families, masculinity and femininity. So Who better to know what it takes to make marriage work and work well?

Our culture has completely ditched God’s prescriptions for a joyful, solid, healthy marriage and has redefined masculinity, femininity and marriage to be what we want it to be. Feminism has taught us that men and women are not only “equal” – which they are of equal value in God’s sight – but that we are the “same.” There is a HUGE difference between being of equal value and being the same in spiritual/emotional/physical/sexual makeup.

So, many of us grew up never questioning that men need love just like we do. We assume they think and feel just like we do and that if we give more love, that will fix all the problems in our marriages.

Unfortunately, we have forgotten what men need in marriage, and as a result, husbands and wives are largely miserable.

SIGNS THAT A WIFE MIGHT NEED TO LOOK A BIT CLOSER AT GOD’S WAYS:

– I am angry with my husband a lot
– I am full of resentment
– I feel like I am carrying the weight of the family on my shoulders alone
– I feel like my husband is “another child”
– I constantly badmouth my husband to others and tell them how awful he is so they will sympathize with me and see what a miserable life I have and pity me
– I boss my husband around, tell him what to do, lecture him, scold him, criticize him often, roll my eyes, sigh in disgust, give him “the look” that I think he is inept and/or use the angry mama voice a lot
– I complain to and about him and argue with him often
– I have no joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness or self-control around my husband
– I am anxious, stressed and afraid in my marriage often
– I believe that if my husband “would just be more loving” or would “stop doing X” that our problems would all be solved and our marriage would be the amazing union I dreamed it would be
– I know that my husband’s sins are WAY worse than mine and HE is the problem
– I feel very lonely in my marriage
– my husband barely touches me and doesn’t seem to care about my feelings
– I have my heart set on my husband behaving a certain way and things working out a certain way and I CANNOT and WILL NOT be content or happy unless I have what I want
– I believe I am always right and my husband is always wrong
– I believe I am spiritually superior to my husband
– I believe I am a better leader than your husband
– I don’t think my husband is able to lead our family
– I don’t trust my husband
– I don’t cooperate with my husband’s ideas
– I refuse to listen to his perspective and act like his ideas are worthless
– I think if I had a more godly husband, life would be wonderful

This is not an exhaustive list – but it is a start.

WHAT DO THESE SYMPTOMS MEAN?

Well, primarily, it means that I am not filled with God’s Spirit. Either I have not accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior if this list describes me in my marriage, or I have so grieved God’s Spirit that I have reduced His flow into my life to a trickle.

When I have God’s Spirit filling me and consuming me, I will have all the fruit of the Spirit on a daily basis: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control Galatians 5:22

If I don’t have His Spirit empowering me, I am probably cherishing sin in my heart.

The sins I cherished were:
– idolatry (of myself, of my way, of my desires, of my feelings of being loved, of expecting my husband to be Christ and be perfect and meet all my needs)
– PRIDE PRIDE PRIDE – thinking I knew best, better than my husband, and really, better than God’s Word
– unforgiveness – I couldn’t/wouldn’t/didn’t know how to forgive
– gossip – talking about my husband with bitterness

These are HUGE sins that deeply offend the heart of God. As long as I am holding onto those sins and cherishing them more than my intimacy with Christ, God will oppose me.

BEING A GODLY WIFE GOD’S WAY

To be a godly wife, I must be willing to do things God’s way. God’s design for marriage is primarily found in Ephesians 5:22-33, but also in Genesis 3, Titus 2:2-5, I Peter 3:1-6 and I Corinthians 11:3.

God designed men to need to lead in marriage. He made them to thrive on respect. That is why He commands wives to respect their husbands and submit to (willingly cooperate with) their husbands’ God-given authority (unless our husbands are asking us to sin or condone sin).

FIRST – I must decide to submit totally to Jesus Christ. I lay my whole life before Him and die to myself. I give up my dreams, my way, my will, my purposes, my wisdom, my rights, my plans and I yield fully to His control. I respect Him as LORD.

THEN – out of love and reverence for Christ, I begin to desire to obey Him in all things, even things that are culturally unacceptable, or weird, or counter-intuitive to my female, human mind.

And as I embrace His ways and obey Him – I discover that unspeakable peace and joy await me. After the pain of dying to self, there is a new, abundant life! Then God becomes my partner and empowers me to do things I can’t do on my own. He teaches me to look for the best in my husband (Philippians 4:8) and to build him up with my words, to praise what is good, to encourage him, to show faith in him. He teaches me to share my feelings with my husband in a pleasant, calm, non-threatening way. And then to trust that if my husband disagrees and decides to do something I don’t want to do, that my God is SO SOVEREIGN that He can and will lead me through my sinful, human husband in His will for His glory.

So I can’t lose! I am seeking God’s will and glory, not mine. I don’t know the way there. So I can trust that He will use all things for my good and His glory because I love Him and that even my husbands’ sin and mistakes will bring me to the place God wants me to be. So I can be at peace. I can be content no matter what my husband does or does not do – because my hope is firmly set on Christ. He is my strength and joy.

SO EMPOWERING

Husbands are drawn and attracted to our respect, trust and faith. They are repelled by our disrespect and dominating/controlling behavior. Husbands have a long list of things that speak respect and disrespect to them that most wives know nothing about! They think and feel in an entirely different way than we do. And if we can learn this new language of respect, we can meet their God-given needs and draw our men closer to us and to God.

It’s hard to look at our own sin. But that is where our power is in our relationship with God and our husbands! I CAN control me. I can’t control my husband. I can’t control God. When I focus on MY responsibilities to my husband and to God and I do it because Christ is the most important thing in my life, not to try to manipulate my husband – GOD SHOWS UP. And miracles happen!

Check out my blog at www.peacefulwife.com for more about these topics!

You Are What You Eat

surrounded

Well guess what?! This is NOT about food!

The actual title should read:

         You Are What You Eat Read

Or

         You Are What You Eat Listen To

Or

         You Are What You Eat Surround Yourself With

While I do think what we eat and put into our bodies is very important, it is not my focus today.

Have you noticed how things you read on Facebook, in a book, or things you hear people talking about, affect the way you act, talk, or your mood overall?

I notice this all the time! I have especially noticed lately. I’ve been following quite a few blogs by homeschooling moms with large families; like The Marathon Mom, Smockity Frocks, and Sacred Mommyhood. I’ve also read many of Peacefulwife’s blog posts and as always, my wonderful Above Rubies magazines!  In addition to their posts, their wonderful Facebook updates also encourage me! All this, along with daily scripture readings, have and are continuing to mold me into the woman, mother, wife, friend, and overall person I want and God wants me to be.

You know what I discovered? My attitude towards my children, my husband, and what my life was like, was being changed.

Before I surrounded myself with positive things everywhere, I would read friends posts on Facebook, and lets face it, oftentimes it was complaining

         about all the housework that HAD to be done

         the children that were nagging them

         bitterness about their husband not being home enough 

        how they needed a break from the kids and couldn’t wait to get away from this life they have

and the list goes on and on. Now, before you attack me :), I know as moms and wives we do need some me time. We do need some breaks, BUT we chose to get married and to have children, and I believe God has called us to that life, so why not make the most of it?!

So what’s my point? Is it to tell moms to stop complaining and get over it? NO!! My point is to simply show how different my life became once I surrounded myself with positive people.

Now that I am reading and seeing, DAILY, wives and moms who LOVE their lives and talk about them in a more positive way, I find myself feeling the same way. Is cleaning the house and changing poopy diapers a blast? Um not really, but is it going to be anymore fun if all I do is complain about?

I love following these wonderful women! And why? Because they talk about real life, which is not always glamorous, but can be a fun ride!

I choose to surround myself with women who act like they want their children. Who are not looking for the quickest way to get rid of them (school, day care, friends houses, etc.). We get such little time with our children (approximately 18 years of their 70-80 or so years) and it flies by! And for those who send their children away to school, they get even less time with their children. (Side note: I am NOT condemning anyone who sends their children to school, I am talking about those who CANNOT wait until they finally go back to school)

I want to make the most of this time! I want to enjoy it rather than dread it. Will I need a break in that 18 years? Yes!! But if I don’t get one should I complain and cry in my poor pathetic life? Absolutely NOT! I should figure out how to enjoy it and make it work for me! Maybe my break is after the kids go to bed, or before they get up. My breaks are my workouts, or my blog times. I choose to be creative! It is my life and I want to enjoy my children in it.

My mother-in-law is a great example of this! She is a great example of a woman who loves her kids and grandchildren. She loves staying home and taking care of her house and husband. What a wonderful example of an above rubies woman! Is she perfect? Sorry Janey… but no! None of us are, but we can choose to enjoy our lives and do what God has called us to do as women!

I also choose to surround myself with women who love and respect their husband. As I have mentioned on here before, this has not always come easy to me. As a former feminist, I came into the marriage a bit dominating. I held “old fashion” views on being a wife and mom, but did not exactly want to do them. The women I learn from, respect their husbands. They are true examples of helpmates! I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman! I want to be a Titus 2 woman! What better way to do this than to learn and surround myself with great examples of these.

The Bible gives clear direction that as young moms and wives we are to learn from those ahead of us. I want to learn from those being led by God and setting a good example of what I want to be. I DO NOT have time, or want to waste my time, on those who insist on being negative and live in bitterness and resentment. I CHOOSE because it is that, a CHOICE! I am what I surround myself with!

What do you surround yourself with?

Thankful Thursday: Computer Time

 

 

laptop

Well… FINALLY!

 

I have been writing blogs in my head, but didn’t have a computer to write them on. This is not good for a blogger. I did make some good notes on my phone and will get them all out on the computer very soon. 

 

Two days ago I wrote about His Rib coming back, and then my computer cord died. Of course! So I know what you were thinking, “Yeah yeah… sure! But she hasn’t even written another post since that one.”

 

I assure you they are coming. I am writing and I am loving it. Computer time, for blogging that is, is something I very much enjoy and it allows me to get out all the crazy thoughts and plans in my head.

 

My time is precious. I have two sweet boys and a husband who want my time! And computer time… well that is MY time!! This is my chance to have a bit of a break and really “get out” of the world of cleaning, laundry, cooking, taking care of children and husband, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. BUT I LOVE that world… so what do I do? I write about it!!! Hehehe! 

 

You know what else? Since I write about my life, I learn how to do that life – MY LIFE – better!! So yeah, this takes away some time for them, but I use my computer time to make our lives better. I am so thankful for that opportunity!  The opportunity to even have a computer. The opportunity to have internet access. The opportunity to make time to make plans. The opportunity to release my ideas and thoughts, even the crazy ones!!

 

What are you thankful for today?