Friday, March 29, 2013
Follow my blog with Bloglovin Prayers of an... Excellent Wife. No. I am not married. I am twenty years-old and in a relationship. The funny thing though, I wasn't even in a relationship when I started praying for my husband. September 29, 2011. That was the day my heart was longing for a special person someone I could share my life with. Don't get me wrong this was not the only day I had longed but, this day in particular I had seen one of those corny posts about what a single girl waiting for God to bring the right man into her life could do. One thing in particular struck me. Pray for your future husband and journal those prayers. Read those prayers often and over again to yourself. So that is exactly what I did. I prayed and I wrote and I prayed and wow did God show up. The prayers he put on my heart for that special person were touching. Touching because I knew they were from him, beautiful and heartfelt. They embodied the kind of man God wanted for his daughter. They were an instrument God used to teach me the kind of relationship he desires for his precious beloved daughters. They were also an instrument in teaching me to be the kind of woman he desires his precious beloved sons to be taken care of and served by. Last year though,I came across a wonderful book recommended by Alyssa Joy Bethke. "Prayers of an Excellent Wife". Today, as I was reading and praying one of the prayers: Lovely God, Turn the attentions of my husband to Yourself. Let him give ear to the law that has gone out from You, to the justice that You have set for light to the peoples. May Your righteousness draw near to him, let your salvation go out to him; make him hope for You, and for Your arm let him wait. Lift up his eyes to the heavens, and cause him to look at the earth beneath and see that the heavens vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and they who dwell in it will die in like manner. But remind him that Your salvation will be forever, and Your righteousness will never be dismayed. Listen to Him, O beloved, you who know righteousness;for He says, "Fear not the reproach of man, nor be dismayed at their revilings. For the moth will eat them up like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool; but My Righteousness will be forever, and My salvation to all generations." Awake, awake, put on the strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in days of old the generations of longs ago, and defend my husband. You have ransomed him, therefore let him come into Your presence with singing; crown his head with everlasting joy; grant him gladness and joy, so that sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Teach him to not be afraid of man who dies, of the son of man who is made like grass, for You, You are He who comforts him. Let him take confidence in You, his Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth. and may he fear not the oppressors who set themselves up to destroy. Below this prayer was the chapter from the Bible (Isaiah 51) which holds this beautiful promise: Isaiah 51: 6-7 But my salvation will last FOREVER, my righteousness will NEVER fail. Hear me, you who know what is RIGHT, you people who have my law in your hearts: Do not fear the reproach of men or be terrified by their insults. For the moth will eat them up like a garment; the worm will devour them like wool. But my righteousness will last forever, my salvation THROUGH ALL GENERATIONS. Be ever so blessed as I was today. God is fighting for you, He loves you without end!
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Is it God's grace that eases your sins or is your own flawed method of justification, which just heaps on more guilt and less freedom? Is it peace that penetrates all understanding or is it the suffocating feeling that scares you half to death? In the world we live in it has become all to common to justify our actions to claim an identity in being a sinner instead of the saint of which you are in Christ. The world begs us to believe we have justification in not living a holy life. It begs us to believe that times are different now and that living up to the bibles standards isn't necessary nor possible. This sadly is a common thought process prevalent even in the Christian community. Its not true though and if we really study the bible we will come to an understanding about this exact matter. Does Ephesus ring any bells? You see, Ephesus was comparable to Los Angeles or Chicago and the people of the bible faced the same temptations you and I face today. "The example of Ephesus is that Christianity can flourish in a difficult and pagan culture, and that Christians can maintain their identity in Christ in such cultures for generations by the grace of God (Driscoll, 23) Hebrews 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. No doubt we are in a time of need, we always will be but, the beautiful part of that is we have a Father willing to help. Romans 8:28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." We are in Christ. We have a purpose. Exodus 9: 16 But for this very purpose have I let you live, that I might show you My power, and that My name may be declared throughout all the earth. We reap what we sow and we can reap the beautiful blessings that overflow from an obedient life in Christ or sow unnecessary pain and heartache from missing the mark and jumping on the bandwagon of justification. Are you struggling with an identity crisis or just looking for a great book to read let me recommend : Who Do You Think You Are? By Mark Driscoll. His book is an expansion of these thoughts and the motivation for this blog.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Being in a truly loving relationship is one of the toughest yet rewarding things out there.... It is tough because it involves hard work and we have to make sacrifices that at times seem unfair and confusing. We have to continually put the other person before ourselves and to be honest that can be a very flesh fighting experience unless we have the holy spirit at work within our hearts. After all our natural tendency is to gratify ourselves and seek to find what benefits us most. When a relationship is done right though and you seek to put the other person first always desiring to fill their hearts with love, things are different. Your relationship is no longer a source of turmoil and pain but a safe haven. Where each leads the other to Christ and love and peace are poured out on each other. I'm blessed to love a man that reassures this to me. His words encourage my heart everyday and that is what I so love about him. He shared a couple things with me this week that so touched my heart and I wanted to share them as well. 1. Difficulties make us better people when we turn our broken hearts to Him in prayer.(He makes everything work together for His good.) 2. Relationships are better when we pray. (This means praying in the good times and in the bad times.) 3. Following Gods word reminds us to meet others needs. (Focusing on what we can do to better each others lives's in the here and now and not getting caught up in the future.)
Thursday, March 14, 2013
I was watching Dr. Oz today and he had the Duggars(from 19 Kids and Counting a TLC show about a Christian family) on as special guests. When referring to their marriage Dr. Oz asked what their secret was to staying together and besides a once a week date night, where they thouroughly communicated to each other about raising their family and commiting to never calling each other names or putting each other down. They emphasized a simple yet humbling phrase they said to each other before the sun went down, if they were in a disagreement or upset. "I was wrong, will you forgive me?" Wow I thought. A simple phrase yet one with the power to soften even the hardest of hearts. But really, why am I so shocked at how their words changed the situation. Proverbs 15:1 says, "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." This hit me hard, their could certainly be more of this humbling stuff in my life . More soft answers and less harsh words. I think a lot of times we get this idea that we're entitled to our negative emotions if we're right. That apologizing is about being wrong when in reality it is about our relationship. Keeping it strong and letting God work through it to make us more holy. "Apologizing doesn't always mean that you're wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego." We have to make every effort to draw nearer to Him, let Him change our hearts and cause us to desire showing humbleness to our loved ones and strangers for that matter. Whether we are wrong or right being humble brings praise to his name and God uses it for his glory!
Monday, March 11, 2013
Over the weekend my dream of owning my own bakery was reawakened. I visited a couple bakeries including Daisycakes and the Humming Bird Cafe. It really put the desire back in me to want to bake professionally. But as soon as it came it went, because of the risk factors involved, they are to scary! Finances. Commitment. RISK RISK RISK. How do I justify all this risk? What if I fail? Not to mention the thought of the toll, owning my own bakery would take on my family, now I realize I don't have one right now, but I want to in the future. Wait, let me clarify I realize I could own my own bakery and probably manage a family too, but to the degree I want to be involved with my family I know it wouldn't be a compatible career. At this point in my life it seems I find everything confusing, not really all to sure what I want to do with my life. What kind of occupation I want to hold, with the thought of a family looming over my head. I feel compelled to think of that when considering any career; will this be conducive to a family life. Now I realize I'm twenty years-old and not married but I already feel in my heart the plans God has for me as a woman, the call he has on my life- to be a wife and a mother. Something I can't ignore, something I must submit too, something I want to submit too. But then, just when I start to accept what God has called me too. I begin to be pulled on by the world. It tells me of all these things I have to be and how I have to do it all. I have to get a college degree even though I might not use it. I have to work and manage a family even if its not whats best for my family. The world and even my family sometimes, is telling me all this stuff I have to do to please them, to make them happy. When does it end though? It doesn't and that is why Jesus came because we live in a fallen world; a world that is constantly trying to take our focus off of Him and put it on other things, and all these thoughts and worries that is all they are, distractions something to keep our eyes on things other than Christ and that is why he came with a promise, a promise that can't be broken. breathe in a sigh of relief, for those who love Jesus and have been saved he assures in Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. and in Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. So whether or not my future includes baking professionally or for my family, I know God knows my heart far better than me and he will supplicate all I need and I will be content in what he gives me. His will is best. In this the risks fade and peace settles in, I have no need to worry, I have all I need.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,. To what extent do the fruits of the spirit play a role in your walk, do you even notice them? This week Zac & I went on road trip to Durham, North Carolina. We were able to stay with some incredible people. It was such a blessing, we couldn't have asked for better hosts. As I was thinking about what a blessing they were to us over this long weekend, I began to think of the fruits of the spirit the fruits they so readily produced... kindness, goodness, joy, love.... they were all these things and more. For starters they cooked us meals, gave up their free time, showed us around Durham, and thought ahead of time planning to take us to places they knew we would like to visit. For me it was to cupcake shops(my favorite) and for Zac it was to the Cameron Stadium at Duke. Among many many other fun things. Those were just our favorites. These people really blessed us and we can't thank them enough more than anything they said their actions were examples. I not only leave their home with great memories of a wonderful vacation. I leave their home more aware of the spiritual fruits I am producing, are they an example to others and to what extent am I putting others before myself? Christ first, others second, myself last.(repeat repeat repeat)
Monday, March 4, 2013
I started reading a new book (Peace Making Women) after hearing a friend encourage in the kindest most gentle way, "but, you want to be a peace maker.". She'll probably never realized how those words were exactly what I needed to hear. More and more I become aware of what it looks like to be a woman of God. You know the one with the gentle and quiet spirit. The one that rests in her God confidence. I have always valued my intelligence its been my way of proving to myself I have worth. An argument arises and if I have an opportunity to prove a point away my mind works. I surprise myself at the lengths I'm willing to go to prove that I'm right about the silliest of things. And wow, have I been being convicted of it lately. Probably because of the havoc it causes in my relationships with those I love the most. A silly attempt at trying to prove my point can and quickly does turn into full blown arguments at times. Tension with my family and friends isn't helpful it doesn't grow our relationships and it definitely isn't kingdom minded. So I set out to see what the bible said about this matter of the heart and why I was feeling such a need for others approval and not resting in the fact that I already had all the approval I would ever need. A few verses really hit home for me. Ephesians 1:13-14 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.(I'm sealed with the promised Holy Spirit the one who is greater than all, seeking the approval of others is pointless) Not to mention Jesus himself calsl us to live in peace with one another. Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Romans 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Now don't get me wrong it is crucial to stand your ground on things of importance, that God specifically sets us out and commands us to do. I'm not discouraging this by any means but simply asking you to examine what your standing your ground about and if its truly a matter worth standing your ground. For me after examining my heart I knew the Spirit had work to do in me because I wasn't seeking peace I was seeking approval. Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,