Wednesday, December 24, 2014
I wait for the phone to ring, to hear his voice, and to know he's okay. I wait to hear the door unlock and to hear a sigh of relief. Those are the things that I wait for each night. My husband is a State Trooper (they're called State Police in some states). Anyone can be gone in a blink of an eye, but it seems those in Law Enforcement or the Military can go sooner. Some nights if I don't hear from him when his shifts ends it worries me. I have a lot that may go through my mind. I think about the days events and how things were between us. I can't help but wonder if I'll see him again.
Come be encouraged as I write at The Imperfect Wives today.
Monday, December 22, 2014
While reading about Jonah in my boy's home-school lesson one evening, the Holy Spirit began to speak to me. Jonah willingly ran from God's command to go to Ninevah. He not only ran, but He told God he wouldn't go. Most of us know the story how Jonah was thrown into the sea and swallowed by a big fish. If not for the big fish Jonah probably would have died we can safely assume. Despite Jonah's blatant disobedience to God's command, God still had a rescue plan for Jonah.
I'm over at Laced With Grace today, won't you join me?
Thursday, December 11, 2014
These days most movies or t.v. shows portray the husband as the butt of the jokes. Other t.v. shows or movies portray a fighting husband or wife. It's not hard to see that our society does not value authority or marriage. Women are degrading and men are disrespected. It's sad and heartbreaking really. What God created and blessed, we have defiled with our sinfulness.
I'm over at The Imperfect Wives writing today. Come join me and be encouraged!
Thursday, December 4, 2014
Today marks eight years that I said 'I Do' to my awesome husband. Eight years ago on a cold December morning in our first home (apartment) we vowed to love one another no matter what.
No matter how we felt
No matter how we looked
No matter how things were going
No matter what came our way
I can say that we have done that. We're still together. We're still loving one another, forgiving one another, laughing with one another, getting frustrated with one another, and praying for one another. We're definitely not perfect. We sin. We aren't always nice or happy, but we're growing. We're learning, living, and loving. I love this man more now than I ever knew I could. A man I never saw as a romantic interest. A man who I grew to love and who grew to love me.
We've had some hard things happen to us in these eight years. Many schools and trainings for him and pregnancies for me can wear on a couple. Missed holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries due to work can put distance between a husband and wife. We're not a couple untouched by tragedy, disappointment, or struggles.
Our foundation is what keeps us together.
Our choice to keep open communication with the Lord and each other keeps us together. Choosing every day to forgive the wrongs and embrace the rights. It's not easy. It's messy, but it's beautiful. Two lives being merged together with failure and success. Two becoming one in more than a physical way. Marriage is a sacred thing. It's so precious. I love the man God has given me. I love how we compliment each other, how we push each other, and how we love each other. I so don't deserve this man in my life, he's way too good to me, yet God saw fit to write our love story. It's not finished yet, it's only really beginning. Finding your soul mate is only the beginning of the story. I pray we let Him finish our story well.
I encourage you ladies (and men) to love your spouse well. See them as God sees them. Pray for them. Kiss them long and passionately. Hug and snuggle together. Laugh together and grow together. Don't let the struggles hinder you, just push through and press on.
Here's to a lifetime of growing old with my man.
Monday, December 1, 2014
I can't tell you how much I love my husband. I never knew I could love someone so long or so much. We've only been married for 8 years in December, but life has brought us some hard struggles. He's seen my best and my worst. We've been at the top of the mountain and down in the valley in these almost 8 years. One thing I can say that hasn't failed is my husband's love for me.
I'm at The Imperfect Wives today, come be encouraged!
My awesome friend, Hollie, made a printable to go along with my post from last week called Having A Thankful Heart. I wanted to share it with you all.
|You can click here to print your copy.|
I pray you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends!
Saturday, November 29, 2014
I pray y'all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We enjoyed it with our families and friends. Now for some encouraging posts!
Giving Thanks In Sorrow by Kaitlin Wernet at She Reads Truth.
Kids and Porn: The Slippery Slope by Monica Swanson at Monica Swanson grommom.
Life Lines and Stains and Scars, Oh, Yes! by Trisha at The Good Life.
Five Ways To Encourage Your Stressed Child by Christy Fitzwater at Club 31 Women.
Rocks and thorns and Well-Trodden Ground by Heather at Laced With Grace.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
I pray you find something to be thankful for today. I pray you all have a wonderful time with your family and friends. Remember those who are forced to work on this day of spending with family.
Today Mary Helen will be sharing with you and encouraging you. I know you'll love her!
In my mother’s guest bathroom there is a cute little comical sign that hangs from a picture of an old timey outhouse. The sign reads “the grass is always greener on the other side.” I laugh everytime I read it, but I got to thinking about this concept and how it relates to this time of thanksgiving.
A life of comparison and discontentment can fade our heart of thankfulness.
It’s easy to say “look at the car her husband just bought for her, their kids are so well behaved and always neatly dressed, and did you see the house they live in!” But when we live a life of comparison and envy toward others we have a hard time being thankful for all our many blessings. We create a world for ourselves that is too busy dwelling on what we don’t have and not what we do have.
In the same chapter of Philippians, Paul writes “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Philippians 4:6) and “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Phillipians 4:11) I love how he says that he has learned! Even a great man of God like Paul had lessons along the way he was taught by God and life.
I’ve been there. I have had times in my life where discontentment and envy clouded my heart and made it hard to be thankful. In Philippians Paul goes on to remind of us of all the things we can find to bring us hope and joy, things we can think on (Philippians 4:8). I have literally put this verse into practice and believe me when I say IT WORKS!!!
When we let go of a life of comparison we open our hearts to great joy.
I can remember those times where I paused and stopped myself from comparing. A great principle to go by is…Drop it, Never Dwell!!! I can tell you exactly how it felt to let go of that heart of envy and grab a hold of a heart of thanksgiving. What better time of the year for us to be extra thankful than now.
My grass may not be green, but it is grass!
Here’s your challenge. Find every little thing you can think of to be thankful for. Think “my husband held open the door for me today, my kids love learning about Jesus, I have a roof over my head, I didn’t burn the toast at breakfast for a change, my washing machine still works.” Think and dwell on all the blessings God gave you and don’t leave even the tiniest one out. Count each and every one!!! Watch as your heart is filled with joy and wonder toward a God who would love you so very much to give you all this and much more!
Father, we come to You so humble. We know that we deserve nothing, but yet You continue to love and provide for us. We most gratefully praise You for the greatest gift of Your Son Jesus and salvation. Help us always remember to count our blessings and never give in to an enemy that would have us focus on envy, hate, discontentment, and greed. May our hearts turn to You and be filled with hope, love, joy, and peace. Let us be thankful to You each and every day of the year. Amen!
Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours,
Mary Helen Daniels
Mary Helen Daniels lives in South Mississippi where she and her husband, Josh love on three beautiful kids, Hannah, Noah, and Sarah. Josh is the pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church, and most of their time is spent ministering with their church family to the surrounding community. She is a stay-at-home mama, and home-schools all three kids from ages 9 to 4. Her lifelong dream is to be a published author. She follows God's plan to grow her writing skills and reach other women by running a small blog www.amamasworkload.blogspot.com. Her greatest passion for writing is letting the world of Christian women know they are not alone; somewhere out there stands a wife, a mom, and a woman in the same shoes and a God who loves them dearly.
Monday, November 24, 2014
This is the time of the year that we try to be intentionally thankful. It's when we make thankful lists and do cute thankful crafts with our kiddos. I admit, I fall into that category and there's nothing wrong with that. I love a visual reminder of something. The Holy Spirit has been speaking to me about being thankful and having a heart that is grateful through an online study I have been doing. Some of the verses we have studied during it really opened my eyes to how much I have to be thankful about. I wanted to share some of the verses and some thoughts on each one.
The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. Psalm 145:8-- This verse is so powerful. God was so gracious towards us by sending His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross so that we could be reunited with Him. That is love. Instead of letting His wrath kindle and then pouring it out on us, He pours out compassion on us. He sees us through the eyes of a loving Father. I have much to learn from Him. He is full of compassion for us and wants to love us beyond what we can comprehend. Being thankful should be a state of mind and a way of life. A grateful heart can carry us through the good and bad days.
Thank Him For His Mercy
It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23-- I love this verse. Because of God's mercy we aren't consumed by His wrath. Even though I break His laws daily, He shows me mercy. He holds back what I do deserve. He gives me instead what I definitely do not deserve, which is His mercy. Wow. If that doesn't humble you, I'm not sure what will. We should be ever so grateful that God has set aside His wrath towards us. Sweet friend, He lavishes us with His mercy and compassion every single day. We don't even have to ask for it, it's there.
Thank Him For His Salvation
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8-- This verse really hit me hard. Oh what a God we serve. He gave us a way of escape through Jesus Christ even while we were yet sinners. He extended salvation through Jesus to us so that we may not perish. How awesome. I want to shout it from the rooftops how awesome our God is! Though we fail and disobey Him, God still pursues us and makes a way of escape from our self-destruction. If He never does anything else for me, I still can't thank Him enough for what He has done.
Friday, November 21, 2014
Here are my links for the weekend. I hope they encourage you! I hope you all have a wonderful week full of love and lots of thankfulness!
The Verse That You Need Taped To Your Refrigerator by Jessica Smartt at The Better Mom.
How To Raise Thanksgiving Children by Emily Wierenga at The Better Mom.
9 Thanksgiving Tips by Lisa Jacobson at Club 31 Women.
The Power of Rejoicing by Leslie Ludy at Set-Apart Motherhood.
How Training Your Child Can Bring Peace to Your Home by Lisa Jacobson at Club 31 Women.
Monday, November 17, 2014
I want to introduce you to Hollie, another lady that is writing with me monthly. She's a good friend via internet and I know you will be encouraged by her words.
It isn't uncommon to hear Christians confess they aren't sure how to pray. This is something I struggled with for quite awhile, and still do at times. Why we ought to pray has never been too much of an issue for me. God commanded us to pray in Scripture (Phil 4:6; 1 Thess 4:17; Eph 6:18, to name a few). I love this quote from John Bunyan encouraging fellow believers to pray: “Pray often; for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan.” It is not the why but the how regarding prayer that gets many of us hung up. Thankfully, God has given us many helps in this regard.
In Scripture, Jesus teaches us how to pray in Matthew 6:9-13:
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
In the Psalms we see many prayers modeled by King David. God has also gifted the Church with the rich writings of the Puritans. Their prayers are amazing. I often use the Puritan prayers found in the Valley of Vision as a spring board to my prayers. The method of prayer I use most often comes from John Piper, though. At some point I stumbled across a prayer guide from him. It was designed to be used over an hour, however I just work through the steps with whatever amount of time I have … usually around ten minutes. Today, I want to share this method with you! I have included a printable bookmark with the steps on it as well! Here are the seven steps:
1. Draw near to God and Confession.
-During this step you want to acknowledge your utter dependence on the Holy Spirit
-During this step you want to acknowledge your utter dependence on the Holy Spirit
-Confess your sin in light of God's Holiness & ask forgiveness based on the work of Christ, not based on anything we do!
2. Praise and Thanksgiving
-This is a time to delight in the Lord
-Dwell on all the wondrous gifts He has given you
-Meditate on how He is perfect in all ways
-Think about all His amazing acts
3. God Centered Petitions
-These are request centered around God and His Glory
-Pray His name will be glorified
-Pray His Kingdom will increase
-Pray about/for His glorious return
-Pray His will be done
4. Specific Personal Petitions
-These will look different for all of us
-Ask to grow in grace
-Ask for help in the battle against sin
5. Intercessory Prayer
-I break this up by day of the week
-Wed: Church leadership
-Thurs: Salvation of unbelievers
-Fri: Elected officials
-Choose a passage of Scripture to memorize and/or dwell upon
-Thank God for revelation
-Pray to get through the day
Working through these seven steps has been a great help to me in regard to prayer. I seem to have chronic “Mommy Brain,” so this list is a must for me! It is a tremendous aid in maintaining focus. I also keep a prayer list in my Bible. The list is full of current prayer requests. This way, when I tell someone I will pray for them, I actually do pray and don't forget.
I'd love to hear what methods you have found helpful when it comes to prayer. Please share below!
By His Grace,
Hollie is a Christian wife, mother, and aspiring blogger. She strives to apply biblical theology to the everyday challenges of motherhood. Aside from her duties in the home, she dabbles in natural health/living and homesteading. She resides with her husband and four children in the Piedmont region of Virginia and blogs at http://faithfulfreehold.blogspot.com