Thursday, August 20, 2009

Choosing to Rejoice

Day 34 of "The Love Dare"- As you can see my calendar is WAY different from the norm. Instead of reading and applying the book daily with its end at Day 40, I take about a week. When did I begin this venture? February! Wow! Well, let us just sat that I am making Love last! (:

"Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth." -1Cor.13:6

I am reminded that I am one of the most influential people in my husband's life. How have I been using that influence? That is sobering. I can be provoking my husband to godliness or the flesh.

Presently, my husband is without work. He has been for quite awhile, but it has just been these last few weeks that worry has been trying to usurp both of our peaceful mindsets. Reading this entry this morning, I am exhorted to consciously NOT voice worries which would only barrage him with more attacks. I will choose to focus on his growth in godliness and rejoice with him in that.

The word "rejoices" in the 1Cor. scripture above means to be absolutely thrilled and expressively showing it. Tonight when we are on our "date" I will share my enthusiasm about is gathering our family to have church in our home recently. I am thankful for his thoughtfulness in preparation for this time and his taking responsibility in his leadership of the home.

Yes, I am consciously choosing to lift up my husband today toward godliness, not voicing innuendos about our savings, bills, future!, etc.

The Lord's ways are not ours. I tend to think that if I just "let him know" how things are or what I am thinking then THAT will be a motivator to him. NOT! From relational experience I have learned that my "subtle" remarks would just tear him down. So I shall with the Lord's help be an encouragement today. And is it not true that if we "seek first the kingdom of God all these things shall be added unto us"?

Thank you Father.

Is there an issue that you are wanting to consistently bring up to your husband, but in your heart you know that you needn't and shouldn't? Maybe take a different approach, like focusing on his godly growth and rejoicing in it?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The sun is just beginning to down behind the mountain. I am sitting in my livingroom. From where I sit on my couch I can see the magnolia tree in our back yard bursting with huge light and dark pink blossoms. From the opposite window lime green buds are spattered on the tree branches. Spring has sprung at last!

Amidst the joyful, hopeful, welcoming signs of the season, plans and activities flourish in my mind as well. Busy, busy, busy. My husband has been talking to me about four (yes, you read that right) four large business ventures he is pursuing which beckon him to travel twice out of state in May. He just returned from a trip to Texas where he drove over 3,000 miles in eight days. One of the trips in May would offer he and I nice time away for a few days. I am looking forward to that. Hilton Head, South Carolina. It is supposed to be just beautiful.

Besides the business activity, (My part in that is to be the wise wife who plays a sound-board to my husband's creative mind.) there is the end of the schooling year. As a homeschooling Mom I am getting the children's portfolios ready for their evaluation. If any of you reside in PA you know what a large chore this can be! But apart from wrapping up THIS year's lessons, I have to think and plan for NEXT year as well. Our co-op has begun to schedule next year's classes, we are having a used book sale next week so I need to go through my coopey-hole full of boxes of books and see what I will need for next year and what I can get rid of, then I am happily attending our state's homeschool convention next month as well.

This weekend is a BIG weekend. I am taking my daughter on our Mother-and-daughter trip to be the first of many. Our time out of town is for the purpose of talking about the coming of age issues. Did any of your mothers let you know about the birds and bees or did you find out another way? I DO remember a book that my mother handed me. My girlfriends in turn devoured each page of that book giggling the entire time. But mostly my girlfriends and I educated ourselves about puberty and s-x. Oh, yes, how can I forget the film in 5th grade? How embarrassing. Yes, that is ONE reason we home educate our children. I want to be the one who educates my daughter about life, love, and s-x, not an ungodly, immoral government worker. I have only briefly mentioned to my daughter the true intent of our special time together. We will also be attending a professional ballet production of Cinderella. So the trip is bound to have many wonderful memories. Have you and your daughter spent a "Purity Weekend" together? I would love to hear about it.

So...where was I? Oh, babbling I think, of all of the activity....maybe I just needed to write some of these things down to bring clarity to my mind....for I do feel better! Please do not think that I am posting to the world about how busy I AM...what a bore. I do not want to do that. Rather, I am just thinking aloud...."How do other women do all they need to do?" I just mentioned some of the bigger things I am involved in right now....but there are hundreds of little things (like cleaning up after the two new parakeets I got! baking chocolate chip cookies, folding clothes) that I do every day....and other big things, like planning the Maidens Of Virtue club I am hosting this summer for young ladies.... perhaps that is why I am always voicing to myself and others about resting, meditating, simplifying, prioritizing.... We have just one chance to go through this life. The sign in my bathroom reminds me of this, "Life is not a dresss rehearsal. Live like it!"

So as I am blogging...I am exhorting myself to pray about everything, trust in Him and He will guide my steps and bring it to pass. We just read this tonight after supper- Proverbs 3:5-6. I have time to do what He wants of me....and doing so with peace and joy I can sing, "There is a joy in the journey!"

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Meeting All My Needs and Desires

It has been many years since I have learned the life-changing truth that my husband cannot meet all of my needs...The need for happiness, security, purpose, value, peace, and contentment. I have learned and continue to experience, "My God shall supply all (my) needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." (Phillipians 4:19) He is the perfect Lover of my soul. Relieving my husband of this role, which employed an endeavor impossible to actualize, changed my marriage. I could then begin to ENJOY my husband, not focusing on his short comings in meeting my needs. Really, if every woman could "get" this, I think that our culture would be elevated! How many marriages are stressed because the wife unconsciously or not manipulates her husband to get him to meet her needs and ends up angry and frustrated.

However, after reading and pondering Day 21 in The Love Dare, I became aware of present desires that I have for my husband to fulfill. I want more- more depth of love in our relationship, more intimacy, more comraderie. Are these desires wrong or misplaced? In this case, no, I do not think so. I did not endeavor to take the "Dare" because my marriage was bad or falling apart. Rather, I wanted more! to have the ultimate marriage experience on this earth and I would do my utmost to make that happen! I felt a push to strive to have an exceptional marriage as a testimony of God's handiwork and for my pleasure and satisfaction! But what about just having a "good marriage" to a "good man"? What is wrong with that? Is that not enough? My husband is thoughtful, loving, a great provider, friend, and a wonderful father. I sense the Holy Spirit leading me to gain a new perspective. One that confidently knows that all of my needs are met through Christ Jesus, and enjoys my marriage completely at this moment, accepts my husband at this moment.

Will I stop praying that our hearts would continue to bond and experience the depth, breadth, and height of the love of God? No. But my intent is to pray and live from the postition that we are "joint heirs of the grace of life". (1Peter 3:7) If today is as good as my marriage ever gets, I will be most blessed. And I do have a great marriage now!

How about you ? What is your perspective today?

side note from the last entry: I did talk with my husband about the dreams he has....In his short and simple way he responded, "Oh, I don't know." So I am doing the investigating on my own....currently my file on him contains his new business interests. His thoughts and time have been comsumed so I am purposing to take interest in them myself so that we can share in it together.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Love Seeks to Know

If you are wondering if I have given up "The Dare". I have not. But what is written to be accomplished in one day, I seem to be taking a week!

Today, Day 18, I am to plan a delicious, quiet meal just for the two of us with the intention of getting to know my husband better. Don't I know him already after 18 years of marriage? That did cross my mind until I read some of the suggested questions to ask him.

"What do you enjoy the most about your life right now?"
"What are some things that you've always wanted to do but have not had the oppurtunity yet?"
"What three things would you like to do before this year passes?"

I could give an educated, understanding guess of what my husband's answers would be, but I am not definately sure that would be right. So while, I do not see the possibility of us having a quite- just the two of us- dinner at home in the next week; I do intend to discover more about my husband.

And there IS more to know. Who really knows the depths of a man's soul except the Spirit? But love draws out the "deep water". (Proverbs 20:5) So today, this week, seek to understand and know your husband more deeply. Intimacy will only deepen.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

His Answer-

For those of you who read my last entry- I DID ask my husband that very day...I was not purposefully procrastinating posting the information; my daughter got the stomach flu and I was nursing her for three, this is how it went.

"Honey, in your most gentlest way, could you tell me three things that I do that irritate you?" (I added the part about the special delivery of the answer.)

"Well, Honey, uh, I don't know....your questions. Yes! you unceasing questions!"

How about that? NOT the answer (s) I thought I would get!

Did I learn anything from his answer? I DO remember my Mother always telling me that asking questions was a hallmark of my personality. I think of it as "inquisitive". So in my defense I could say that it is just part of my personality to be curious. However, I am learning to stop and ask myself before I ask a question, "Do I really need to know this information? Is it something that concerns me?" Hopefully this mental guard will keep my curiosity in tow. Most of the time his mind is preoccupied with business and I do not want to overtax him with needless questions. I want him to share information with me of his own volition. I want to be wise and use my words in the choicest of ways. Will we not be brought into judgement for every idle word? (Matthew 12:36) Ouch.

Another scripture comes to mind..."If anyone thinks himself to be religious and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person's religion is vain. -James 1:26. Before my husband gave me this insight about myself, I would have read this scripture and thought, "Yes, I need to watch what I say." My thoughts about this exhortaion would have been more general in nature. But at the moment I cannot help but think that I need to be more aware of my words (or questions) concerning my curiosities. Visualize a show horse that is in training. Overall the horse may seem to walk and gallop smoothly but every now and then he kicks his right leg out too far, not keeping cadence. This small quirk mars his complete performance. The trainer needs to bridle this horse every time the horse seems close to kicking out that right leg until after much practice the horse gives up the tendency. That is how I feel right now about this. I need to bridle my questions. Stop and ask myself if the situation involves me or is it a matter that I do not need to concern myself with or my husband's energies and time.

I have asked since if my husband would name two more. I am patiently awaiting his anwer! Soon enough he will let me know!

Oh wait! This morning he was agravated when he went to grab his nutritional supplements out of the cupboard; MY bottles fell out. "Toppled over" as he put it. I did not say anything when he had taken over the first shelf where I had had mine. I thought I was serving him even as I moved my supplements to the second shelf...I guess that I did not move all of them.

This is an exact example of how I think that I am serving my husband (Even in those seemingly small areas that he would not notice my proactive action to arrange the situation for his benefit.) and yet something was still undone! And he noticed! My reaction is anger and pride. I was mad that my fault was pointed out instead of my self-sacrifice being appreciated. Which is really pride. "Love is not self-seeking." Was I just seeking to be found a virtuous wife or was my action from a heart to please the Lord who sees all things?

The supplement example may seem small and insignificant to you. But isn't it the small irritations that we let grow into huge annoyances? And aren't the small things important to the Lord? He said that even if we give ONE cup of water in HIs name we would not go without reward. He DOES see and care about all things.

I ask Him for grace and a pure heart to love and serve husband.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Love Dare

The new movie "Fireproof" has been sweeping through the Christian community as fast as the flames that the main character (as a fireman) wrestles to put out...Even while viewing this movie I thought, "That book he is using must be available." Sure enough, I visited my local Christian book store and "The Love Dare" was even on sale.

So with curiosity I made the purchase determing to put the book to good use un my marraige. The was in January. (?) I am stuck on Day 5. The "dare" for that day is to ask my husband to tell me 3 things that he finds irritating about me ("Love is not rude.")....I am afraid that he will begin to ennumerate those things that annoy him and that he will not be able to stop! You see, I have not had trouble thus far with the other dares: calling him just to ask how he is or withholding any negative words from our conversations. Why this one?

Well, after much contemplation, (It is 6 weeks after I have begun the book.) I realize that I am extremely sensitive to my husband's remarks. I could tell you that he only gives me constructive instruction for the betterment of my being...but his words are not always delivered as such; nor received from me as such most of the time! To ask him to audibly voice my faults has me posing shy. I want to be a sweet, wise, godly wife; making known my faults and quirks seems to mar my self-image. As if I am hiding the faults anyway?

I think that PRIDE is trying to mask my faults. Any change that I can make will only help our relationship. I do love him and must be willing to adapt myself to him. (Ephesians 5:22) So today (you can hold me accountable) I will ask him, purposing to have a humble, listening heart.

Are any of you on "The Love Dare" journey? Please share your encouragements and testimonies with us. May the Lord ever-increase our love for our husbands and their love for us.
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