Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Thoughts are Moving

Just to annoy you and make you change your links I have decided to find a new place to put my thoughts... okay not really.

In an attempt to express my thoughts more fully I had to retreat back to an old place my thoughts felt more comfortable and once called home, a place I find less cluttered and less temptation to express for prideful reasons. I can not explain what the differences are between here and there but like a room they both have an atmosphere and this one is not one of peace for me and I find it rather hard to articulate and reach in to capture my thoughts down to encourage and reflect and grow, I find the freedom through the peaceful and simple atmosphere here to do just that. This blogging thing or writing is a kind of therapy for me, a joy for me and a way for me to not only share my heart and thoughts with you but also more fully with me. I truly understand myself better through writing my thoughts out and what He is teacing me. So, if you care to follow me I am no longer writing here but over here at Embracing the Journey

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An update and Birthday post

This week has been clouded, literally and spiritually. I am in a place where every moment is taken and busy in mind and in physical motion and I find myself consistently and overwhelmingly exhausted... tired... dry... weary... faint (at times) and just longing for a break, a moment to simply inhale and exhale, to meditate, to soak in the beauty of this moment.... sigh.

The Lord has been teaching me so many things about what it means to seriously live for Him and die to self, through my marriage and through new relationships, things on LOVE and sacrafice. My life is a constant battle ground of flesh and spirit of pride and humility and the battles are bloody and painful. For the last 2 weeks I have been meditating on Hosea 10:12 "Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you." I can not tell you how the Spirit has been working on my heart so intricately through His words of truth and wisdom. This last week we were so blessed by a friend who came out and tilled us up a garden and as I think back on all the work they did, a full days work in a constant drizeling rain, I am experiencing the Spirit doing the same in my heart... breaking up my fallow ground, tilling up the clay and mixing in good soil so that fruit can grow.

I know I never followed up with my husband encouragement challenge post but I trust you the few of you, my dear friends, understand. Today is my sweet baby angel's birthday, my now 2 year old Butterfly. My heart is so full of joy for this little girl that brings such a unique ray to our sunshine. She is teaching me so many things, to smile when I don't always feel like it, to be gently when harshness is my tendency and to simply just enjoy when the business of life calls. She has a presence that can not be ignored, I praise God for our little Butterfly:

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Day 30: The End or Just another Begining

". . . This is my beloved, and this is my friend . . ." Song of Solomon 5:16b

Friends can be completely honest with each other, but friendships are strained when truth is not spoken in love. How are you speaking to your beloved? Are you so "used" to him that you don't appreciate the wonder of his friendship? That is your challenge today. Is your sweetheart your best friend? Does he know this? Have you told him, or do you assume he "just knows"?

Friendship is something that is cultivated through the good times and the bad. Friends can share their hearts, but they don't step on each other's hearts. The way to have and be a good friend is to cultivate and celebrate the relationship. As you end this "30-Day Encouragement Challenge," celebrate your friendship with your husband. Get alone and reflect on your beloved friend. Write him a letter, listing the qualities you admire and appreciate about him. If you are creative with words, write and frame a poem about him.

Perhaps you can prepare a special meal, just for the two of you, and read the letter or poem to him. Ask if you can pray for him, and if he is willing, thank God for your love and friendship, asking for His blessing on your home.

Encouragement, as you have seen these past 30 days, is a synonym for love in action. How has this challenge changed your heart and life, dear friend? Did God encourage you as you planned ways to encourage your husband? Were there difficult days where you simply needed to trust that God was working? Days when it was hard to leave the results to God?

Remember that God is faithful, and He will bless you for your willingness to obey Him. His ways are not our ways, and perhaps He will honor you in ways you do not expect, but one thing is sure—you will never be the same because of your commitment to be more like Christ!

What kinds of victories have you experienced in your home since you started the "30-Day Encouragement Challenge"? Would you take a moment to share these victories with us?

It is the last day of the 30 Day challenge. It is strange because though the challenge ends today my calling to be a godly wife/helpmeet continues on and I pray the Lord will continue to challenge me to be a constant source of encouragement for my husband. This was a rough month around here full of mountains to climb and valleys to pass through but God is SO GOOD and SO FAITHFUL. I had a lot of beautiful plans and ideas for this challenge in my home that did not find their place but in His providence He revealed to me His plans and their eternal benefit for us. I had plans for more involvement and encouragement in this place for you but found little time to commit, and I do not apologize for that is another lesson the Lord taught me this month. I love blogging, encouraging, writing, thinking "out loud" and just fellowshiping but sometimes in that love I neglect other more important loves such as homeschooling, homekeeping, being an encouraging wife and an intentional mother. I long to spend the majority of my time honoring Him by giving my whole heart and full attention to my calling and I am easily distracted. I long to tell you ALL of the amazing things I learned about myself through this challenge and about my husband and the covenant of marraige but time does not allow. If I can be intentional I will rise early tomorrow and post some of those thoughts... until then love and serve the Living God in your calling as a wife, mother and homekeeper with all of your heart, soul, mind and with all your strength... praise be to God!

JOYfully in Him,

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Day 26: Balance

"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." Luke 2:52

If you have faithfully encouraged your husband, you will no doubt have seen some changes in his life . . . and your own life, as well. Encouragement is a wonderful habit that we hope you will continue for the rest of your life.

The important thing is to keep growing in Christ and obeying the Word of God as you respond to your husband. As you consider today how to bless your husband and not tear him down, think of ways that you can encourage balance in your home.

Jesus led a balanced life. He grew mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. As you see your husband branching out in these areas, is there a pattern of growth? Is your husband striving for balance in his life? If so, let him know you have noticed, and ask how you can further encourage that balance.

If your husband is out of balance—focusing on one area to the exclusion of the others—consider whether there are things you can do to help restore or create balance in his life. Can you encourage times for sports or exercise? Keep the children quiet for a study time? Invite friends over for dinner? Stimulate his mind?

Be sure you are working toward balance in your own life, as well. Be an example!

It has been so amazing to watch my husband grow deeply in the Lord. I praise God for the work he has done in his life. I love to encourage him in his walk. I know because we have talked about it that he is unbalanced concerning anything aside from God. He is ALL focused in the area of being so submerged in the word of the Lord and work of the Lord that everything else has become unbalanced mostly concerning health and excercise. We both believe it is important to take care of your body to the glory of God so that we can serve Him better. I want to work on encouraging him to explore this area more. I think we struggle because there was a time in our life when we were unbalanced in exactly the opposite... our focus was health and excercise and we were unbalanced in all things concerning God.

I also am trying to lighten up in the area of being more hospitable and encouraging for him to go out. My husband has such a passion to spread the gospel and I feel a struggle to let go of my time with him to encourage him to go do these things.

I am enjoying examining my husband and myself and learning how to grow as a wife for His glory and encourage my husband to grow in his calling as a minister, husband and father. It has been such a wonderful journey so far, not to say it hasn't been hard because Oh my it has been, but God is good. Let me encourage you with this, when you feel a certain way this day say this... "I feel like... but I am going to believe He is good." because it is true.

May God bless you all in your marriages.

JOYfully in Him,
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Monday, February 23, 2009

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Today I praise God for the passion and deeply convicting words of a 12 year old girl who made a courageous decision to speak on abortion...

See HERE all of the updates and the details of this little girls heart to speak out against this horrible act of injustice and her heart to speak loudly and boldly for the heart of God. Praise Him and pray for her as she continues to boldly go forth with her passion. Her speach has litterally saved lives and changed lives.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Whole Hearted Mother

Tomorrow morning a friend and I will be traveling to Dallas/Fort Worth to attend the Wholehearted Mother Conference where Sally Clarkson will be speaking, along with her daughter and some others. I will be leaving my amazing husband for the weekend which leaves a hole in my heart, I hate leaving him for so long especially on a weekend he preaches but he is the one that encouraged me to go.

I am praying for all of us who are intentionally striving to encourage our husbands of the glory of God.

JOYfully in Him,

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Day 18: Laugh Together

"You will show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy . . . Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!" Ps. 16:11a; 144:15b

"A merry heart does good like medicine . . ." Prov. 17:22a

It's hard to criticize others when we are enjoying their company. Instead of speaking negatively to your husband today, enjoy him! Encourage him! As you experience fullness of joy with God, share some of that joy with your husband. Does your husband have a playful side? A great sense of humor? Is there a "little boy" that wants to escape from time to time, reflecting the joy in his heart? This is a wonderful part of who he is, and a great strength. Let him know that you appreciate his joyfulness and his playful spirit. Find opportunities to join him in positive play times.

If your husband can sometimes be overly serious, coax him out occasionally for some play times. It will help him relieve stress and relax.
Let's have FUN today! Enjoy the man that God specifically created for us, praise Him for His amazing masterpiece and simply enjoy him. My husband has the greatest sense of humor of any person I know and that is something I so appreciate about him. Find a way to bring a smile to his face. Share the JOY you are experiencing with God with your husband, God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him! (John Piper)

JOYfully in Him,

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