Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Love Lets the Other Win

Have you ever seen two toddlers fighting over a toy? As adult women, we are more sophisticated than a toddler but can still act in a similar way towards our husband. We can be filled with stubbornness and be too bullheaded to willingly submit to our husband.

This can be the most difficult lesson to learn in marriage. It is the character which is most frustrating for a mother to teach her children. How often is it not completely learned before the child enters adulthood? How often does the sin of stubbornness destroy the relationship between a husband and wife? As a wife, I am willing to change my tendency to think I am right. Too often I find I am wrong and must ask forgiveness. Are you willing to learn along with me this week to let your husband win??

It amazes me that Sarah followed Abraham so totally. Twice Abraham told the same lie, that Sarah was his sister. True, she was his sister, but only his half-sister. I am sure that Sarah understood completely that she was going into a bad situation in becoming the wife of Abimelech. I don't know how well I would respond if my husband gave me to someone else to be married to. It is so easy to read this story without really thinking about what it is saying.

And Abraham journeyed from there to the South, 
and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur, and stayed in Gerar
Now Abraham said of Sarah his wife, 
“She is my sister.” 
And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. 
~Genesis 20:2~

Here are five examples from Sarah's life which will help us allow our husband to win:

  1. Sarah did not question Abraham, but fully obeyed. When we stop arguing, and give in to our husband the argument immediately stops. Otherwise, the same issues will continue to pop up over and over again.
  2. Sarah trusted God to work through Abraham even though it seemed impossible.  
  3. Sarah demonstrated a meek spirit towards Abraham. A peacefulness in our obedience in following our husband with a quietness in our manner, tone of voice,towards our husband and all that he asks.
  4. Sarah showed kindness with a willing attitude of obedience. This is an attitude of cooperation that permeates our spirit. It shows in our conversation with our husband, especially when there is an opportunity for disagreement. Willing to do it his way instead of MY way!!
  5. Sarah was yielded to Abraham and her God. If you have ever watched a palm tree bend in the wind, or seen how it grows, bent towards the ocean, you will more fully understand what yieldedness means. It is the ability to bend and not snap when the stresses of storms come our way. When we are like a palm tree that bends with the winds, we don't even notice the storm.
Women always have had the propensity to rear in opposition to leadership. We know that from examples in the lives of Eve, Marion, Jezebel, and many others. It seems like we know even less today than a hundred years ago about following our husband, yet, on the other hand, I am not so sure things are any different!!

Here are five ways we can ruin our chances to allow our husband to win:
  1. Being stubborn. We can hold on to our opinion and our 'right to be right.' 
  2. Defending YOUR rights. This is so detrimental to the marriage relationship. It really doesn't matter if you are sure that your husband is wrong (or you think he is wrong). This is self-centered and totally opposite to Christ-centeredness, abiding in the Vine life.
  3. Debating issues. It doesn't take long for 'defending your rights' to get out of hand and into an all-out-fight debating issues that likely are hardly important. Isn't it strange how insignificant things can become paramount in importance?! I'm not even talking about a discussion about finances, that can be a big issue. I am talking about where to hang the clothing line, where to put the dog house, or where to plant those bushes. Small. These issues won't matter a hoot in eternity!!
  4. Stay entrenched and unbending. That is all it will take for your arguments to continue. Arguments between a husband and wife can be severe or mild, either way, it isn't God's way!!
  5. Make sure you WIN the fight, stay in CONTROL, make sure to be foolish, bullheaded, and refuse to listen to your husband!!
Putting into practice the things we have been talking about in other posts from this series, Marriage is for Keeps, will help you give into your pride and to love in such a way to "Let the Other Win."  You will save yourself a lot of discomfort by learning to give in. Learn to approach your disagreements with a willingness to not always insist on your own way. Keep in the Word of God, daily, as your best advice will come from the Lord, not from my post, or any other advice you find on the internet, or from a friend. Treat your husband like your most honored friend not your enemy. 

Husbands and wives are different from each other because men and women are different but also because you each bring to marriage a personality which is individual. So often, things we have differences over won't matter in eternity. Give up your rights and honor your husband. I can't tell you how much it will do for your marriage!!

*Each week I use The Love Dare as a jumping off place for this discussion. That means I write out of my own ideas and use some of theirs to contribute to the thoughts shared. If you are having difficulties in your marriage, there are many books available. This book is very constructive in giving concrete suggestions that actually work!! 

"Look not every man on his own things, 
but every man also on the things of others." 
~Philippians 2:4~

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."
~Philippians 2:5~

"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, the
James 3:17

In Christ Alone,

Monday, July 30, 2012

Choosing the Good!!

There are always choices we make each day which come from a heart of praise  and thankfulness to God, or which will produce a heart of complaining and grumpiness, eventually turning to bitterness. What choices have you made  so far this week?

Photo Credit: Haven of Rest

Do you remember our Saint Bernard, Malka, killing a skunk?? I thoroughly swept and then washed our deck and porch, including the wall of the house around the decks. Then, we had a horrendous thunderstorm which rattled and shook the house while the power flicked on and off continually. 

When it was over, I went out on the deck. There was a pot hanging from a tiny (I mean tiny) hook underneath the gutter. I should have taken it down because the tiny plant that I had hoped would grow, died. It had crashed onto the deck, scattering dirt EVERYWHERE over my clean deck and against the siding of the house!! When I tried to sweep it off the deck it only smeared with the rain-water on the deck making a terrible mess!!

I wanted the hose...but my husband said, hose it off in the morning. I wanted to clean it up before it was tracked into the house. Wet potting soil is nasty!! But my husband said, "No." 

I write out of my experiences. I think we all do. We would be hypocrites if we wrote about something we haven't grappled with. Too often we still must refine or struggle with issues that we thought we had total victory over. God gently tells us that there is still something He wants us to learn.

You are going to laugh!! Not too long before that plant crashed to the deck floor, scattering its dirt, as dark as sin, I had finished writing a my next post for my series: Marriage is for Keeps. You are really going to chuckle!! It is called, "Love Lets the Other Win!!" My husband won!!

The Lord wants us to choose the good!! It is good for us to give praise to the Lord when things go wrong. We tend to always want things to go 'our' way, but when it doesn't, what do you do??

In Christ Alone,

P.S. Stayed tuned as tomorrow,
 "Love Lets the Other Win!" will be posted :-)

Link Ups for Today:

Friday, July 27, 2012

Having the Scents to Avoid Trouble

Curiosity can get you in trouble!! Being over-confident in yourself can get you in big trouble when you fail to observe the warnings in life. Sometimes we can get our noses too far into someone else's business and find that we have gone a little too far!!

Photo Credit
Such is the case of a skunk that kept leaving its scent each night around our house. Skunks are cute and curious little malodorous mammals that are mild-mannered, docile, and harmless...well, unless you get sprayed!! They attract attention of the curious unless experience causes one to escape in the other direction!!

Sunday morning, you know, when we are running late for church, we found that familiar skunk odor surrounding our house. Our Saint Bernard dog, Malka, just doesn't learn!! 

Last summer, she treed a bear!! Already this summer, she encountered a porcupine. Now, she fearlessly attacked a skunk that bravely ventured into her territory!! 

It was a short battle!! Malka won. The skunk was dead. Or did she loose?! Malka had no sense as she now has taken on the scent of the dead skunk. (Thankfully not too smelly)

Have you ever been curious about something you heard about on the news, only to find that it was too graphic with violence causing you to have trouble sleeping? To some extent we must keep up with the news, but maybe just before bed, it is better to read something to sooth our souls, like Psalms. We can be like the skunk and learn more than we ever wanted to know!! A skunk is confident in its defenses and unaware of its bad odor and can sometimes go too far, getting killed by its modern predator, the car!!

We can loose our caution for danger, and just like the skunk who entered Malka's domain, can disregard words and phrases that signal repeating words that turn into gossip. Words like, "I am only telling you..," or "You know, I don't know why our pastor does this or that," or "I am so tired of the way Mrs. Gray (I know no Mrs. Gray by the way) keeps talking and talking about...." or "Did you hear about her husband?" We must be very, very careful about the words we 'tack' onto our prayer requests, or being too talkative; which the bible says gets us into trouble!!

On the other hand, I don't want to be like Malka!! She went about evicting the skunk from her area in an unwise manner. Of course, she is a dog, and dogs do what dogs do. Her curiosity got the better of her!! 

Have you ever had your curiosity get the better of you??

I have!! 

There are times that I have wanted to know every detail of a situation later to find that knowing less is better. Not only can some information defile my conscience, it can be more than I need to know to intelligently pray for a wandering wayfarer. 

When we take our sin before the Throne of Grace, Jesus cleanses us with His precious blood. When we find our curiosity gets us into trouble like our resident skunk, we can do an about turn and start over again. We have a gracious God who is willing to forgive. If we have caused problems with another sister-in-Christ, like Malka who attacked the skunk, we can repent and renew the relationship and forgive. 

My son and daughter, armed themselves with a shovel and went into the woods to 'take care' of the skunk this morning. Before church, there was only time to move it out of the dog's reach. They came back shocked that it was totally GONE without a trace!! 

God cares for his animals in such a way that when they die it is put to another use. Vultures likely took care of the carcass much as God removes confessed sin totally so that there is no trace!! 

I am thankful that when I 'blow it', God is gracious and forgiving when I repent.

How have animals taught you lessons about God??

In Christ Alone,

Thursday, July 26, 2012

WHAT, Clean the Bathroom?!

If you need to know how to QUICKLY clean your bathroom, you've come to the right person!! Yes, I have experience that tops all!! I am a professional bathroom cleaner who started cleaning toilets in our church preschool when I was a mere eighteen years old. Once my experience was known, I found I was the one chosen on other bathroom jobs. 

Now, I don't know anyone who would prefer to clean a bathroom over, lets say, writing a blog post. Writing a post is a much cleaner, neater thing to do. If you are writing a post, you can ignore the bathroom, sink, toilets, and tub alike...it is almost like they don't exist as long as you stay on the computer writing that post!!

Once you need to stretch, and find you need the facilities, alas, it never fails!! One of your dear children is in YOUR bathroom and it is occupied!! The other one, isn't so clean...but it is 'taken' too!! 

Have you ever noticed how quickly the bathroom sink becomes cluttered with toothpaste, shaving cream, bobby pins, hair clips, wash cloths, clothes, and all sundry of items?? I have!!

If you have around four little boys (or some of you ELEVEN as a friend of mine has) you will notice a strange aroma escaping the room. You can paint and decorate it so it looks all homey and nice, but if it is cluttered and dirty, it isn't so nice!!

I have devised a method for my madness that has served me well these past twenty-nine years or so since children came along. Here are my top tips to spending the least amount of time cleaning the bathroom possible. Remember, I am EXPERIENCED and believe in a ONE-TWO-THREE-DASH-SWISH-N-SWIPE method. It works!!

Here are my TOP TIPS:
  • Clean all bathrooms daily
  • Spend no more than FIVE minutes
  • Use Windex or Lysol (or your favorite natural cleaner...I use vinegar when I run out of money...often, LOL)
  • QUICKLY Move everything off the sink (don't swipe too fast or they'll fall on the floor!!)
  • Spray the counter surface and swipe the grime (I use a rag made of old cut up towels...if the counter is really dirty...I get the rag wet)
  • Dry the counter top with a dry rag
  • Spray the top of toilet tank, around its sides, seat cover, around bottom and to the back
  • Wipe down the outside of toilet
  • Lift toilet seat and spray each part (I do this EVERY day...remember I had four boys ;-)
  • SWISH the inside of toilet after spritzing with Lysol 
  • Wet a CLEAN rag in the tub (don't get your dried, clean sink wet) and QUICKLY wash the floor (if you wash the floor every day, you probably can for-go the sweeping step (shhhh!!) 
  • Oh, remove the mats, waist basket, and scale (or whatever) first!!
  • Don't forget to put everything back or it doesn't look done!!
  • TADA!!! You are done!! This looks like a LOT but it never takes me more than FIVE minutes. It sure beats having to scrub harder because I never got off the computer to clean!!
If you are smart (which I know you are) you will divide up the chores and one of your children will do the bathrooms. Chores are wonderful ways to train your children in life's skills, and they are wonderful ways to out-do yourself of the job until your nest is empty. Let me tell you, it empties faster than you like :-)

Your family deserves to have a clean bathroom!! I live a long ways from my church, but there has been times when company drops by unexpectedly and I am ready with a clean bathroom. A relatively clean bathroom makes it easier to prepare for company because you don't have to deep clean in a panic!!

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, 
as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive 
the reward of the inheritance: 
for ye serve the Lord Christ. 
~Colossians 3:23-24~

Do you ever get up and 'do' what a post is sharing about?? How do you tackle the daily grime in your bathrooms??

In Christ Alone,

Weekly Link Ups:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wholehearted-Home Wednesdays #2 & Favorites

Photo Credit: Haven of Rest

Thank you, thank you, to all who linked with my first Wholehearted-Home Wednesday. I enjoyed reading each post and I am featuring two (not that you can't easily read the others <wink> since there are only six (including my test one.)

Wendy over at Encourage One Another shared how to clothe ourselves with praise and worship when we are oppressed or down. She had all my favorite Bible verses for these times all in one place where they can easily be found!!  I hope you take the time to click on the link above or the picture of Jesus below. This will definitely encourage you!! Thank you Wendy for linking up!!

Then, Naomi over at What Joy Is Mine wrote a post called,  Losing is Hard But
This post was so worth reposting just in case someone had missed reading it.
It is a 'must read!!'

Now it is time for
WholeHearted-Home Wednesdays Link-Up Party!!

Share with others out in our bloggie-niche as many posts as you want on:
From Your Kitchen
Organizing your Home
Mom's Evangelizing
and any way you have
WholeHeartedly served Christ in your Home
  1. Post as many posts as you'd like
  2. Keep each post honoring to God
  3. I'd love you to link back to Haven of Rest but it is not required
  4. You may use a 'word' link or my button along the side for Haven of Rest...at least until I make a link-button. All things in good time :-)
  5. Happy posting!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart as each of your posts are always such an encouragement to me and others.
In Christ Alone,

Sometimes I  Link Up:


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Do You Pray for Missionaries?

Missionaries need our prayers. It is through the fervent prayer of faithful believers that God moves in the lives of the unsaved in other lands, and in America. Do you pray for your missionaries? I don't mean just at church once a week. I mean taking the time, daily, to pray personally for your missionaries.

 As a child, I remember these missionary ladies who prayed. 
Have we forgotten to pray for our missionaries today??

When I was a little girl, I remember playing outside while the adults, the missionaries prayed all day. I don't see that happening any more. I remember being allowed to come in and kneel down with everyone for awhile and then run outside and play again. I think I was about five.

Many of the older missionaries in the room had started out their younger days as missionaries to China. They had to leave in 1949, when the Communists took over and Americans and Europeans were no longer permitted to stay. These older missionaries captured my thoughts as a little girl. Their fervency of prayer made a deep impression on my heart as they prayed. Do we pray like that?

There was nothing showy in their prayers, just fervency. As they humbled themselves on their knees, they called out to a God who answers the prayers of those whose lives are set apart and cleansed by His blood. Are you set apart for God?

Our prayers for others first, before prayers for our own lives will lift us up out of the difficulties we face to something higher, nobler. Our eyes will be lifted to the throne of God to the things that are God's thoughts. God's heart is towards the lost and as we lift our heart and mind to the needs of missionaries, we will be lifted by the Lord to a higher plain, the Eternal, not the temporal, others, not ourselves.

This week and following, I challenge you to take a notebook and make it into a prayer journal. Make a page for missionaries and list the names of those serving the Lord in foreign countries. Then, use it as a reminder to pray fervently for them as the missionaries when I was a child cried out to the Lord Jesus.

These verses are a good way to pray for missionaries:

"For this cause we also, 
since the day we heard of it, 
do not cease to pray for you,
 and to desire that ye might be filled 
with the knowledge of his will 
in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, 
being fruitful in every good work 
and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Strengthened with all might, 
according to his glorious power, 
unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness."
~Colossians 1:9-11~

Do you personally know any missionaries?? Do you fervently pray for them regularly?

In Christ Alone,

Favorite  Link Ups:

Monday, July 23, 2012

Love Cherishes

Marriage is for Keeps

At the time I am writing this, my dear husband has been away for one week. He was supposed to be away a few days longer, but like the return of Jesus, my husband's return is imminent, as he will return today!! It is good to be away from each other occasionally as there is time to cherish the memory of the other, knowing that soon you will be together again.

Photo Credit: Haven of Rest

The word love in our language can hold a depth of meaning or expression of shallowness depending on the connotation. I love the word, cherish, although it is not used as often today. If I say that "I cherish my husband", it brings to mind an intimacy that saying "I love my husband" cannot convey.

Tonight, I want to show my husband ways that I cherish him. I have missed him!! I looked up 'cherish' in my favorite dictionary (Noah Webster's 1828) and here are ten actions that I found within the definition:

  1. To treat with tenderness 
  2. To show affection
  3. To give warmth
  4. To give ease or comfort
  5. To hold dear
  6. To embrace with affection
  7. To encourage
  8. To cherish the principles of virtue
  9. To treat in a manner to encourage growth 
  10. To give attendance and supply nourishment

I am not as young as I used to be (duh!!) and as I get older, so do the number of years that we are married. Have you noticed how many couples get divorced after 20, 30,or even 40 years?! That tells me something!! The statistics for Christian divorces are just about as high as the unsaved. It is such a shame. But, this tells me how important it is to cherish my husband and my marriage. 

1.  Cherishing my husband starts when I get up and have my Quiet Time. I cannot cherish him without spending the time with my precious Lord, or I'll fail. Without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in my life, I am merely living in my own strength. Oh how often I have done that!

2.  The second thing that is important is making sure that I care for my body and keep myself looking my best. I remember being told this when I was first married. Making sure my hair is attractive (though graying, lol) and that I am dressed nicely (though casually) gives the overall aura of expectancy, being ready for his return from his day. 

3. The third thing is to have the house relatively picked up and clean. My husband gets home around supper time, so I am often at the sink washing dishes...so be reasonable with yourself. Have a nice meal cooking and if you are running late, get the onions cooking as it gives the home a delicious aroma that provides an atmosphere of warmth and coming nourishment.

4.  Fourthly, let your words encourage and lift him up to a higher plain. Let your tone and words soften in tenderness. Do something to show affection in action or things you say. Make your bed welcoming by making it each day, turning down the sheets, and removing any extra pillows before he goes to sleep. My husband works so hard and is giving of his strength to supply for us and keep me keeping at home. He is so tired and worn out by the end of the day. Any little thing can help to soften the mood that might have become tarnished over the few years (or many) that you have been married.

Cherishing in our society is similar to what my husband does with his 20+ year old white Toyota Silica. He calls it his 'poor-man's sports car'. He has rebuilt the engine and keeps it shiny clean, but if it gets to the point that it starts to rust or the repairs are not worth the expense, he will no doubt sell it or take it to the junk-yard like other cars he has owned. 

When marriages rust out the relationship between the couple with words and illicit actions that tarnish; marriages are thrown away much like a car. Don't let your marriage get to that point and if it is nearing the point of no-return, start doing things to rebuild your relationship whether your feelings are in it or not. 

There is testimony after testimony of a marriage being renewed and the fires of love being kindled as just ONE, the wife or the husband, begins to cherish the other. That is why the book, The Love Dare, is such a good book that gives practical steps to do for 40 days to kindle or rekindle your marriage.

Tonight I am going to cherish my husband. I will look for his return in a similar way to the return of Christ my King. The king of our home will return and I want to be ready!! I am going to cook a delicious meal and show him that I cherish him as his absence has made me realize how much I cherish him.

 "What need does your husband have that you could meet today?
Can you run an errand: Give a back rub or foot massage"
Is there housework you could help with?
Choose a gesture that says,
"I cherish you"
and do it with a smile."
(The Love Dare, p. 53)

Other Posts from 

I love, LOVE, love visits on Facebook

Weekly Link Ups:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...