Friday, February 28, 2014

Pipe Cleaners and Melt Downs

Since, we have had lots of tantrums lately, I have really searched for some alternatives to help with them. Our biggest problem is when we are out in public.  Now, this article would be for a child that is older then Baby A and can really understand the application, but I'm going to save it.  If you do have older children, I hope you can use it. 

Here it is from,

Unexpected changes were very difficult for Jonah. He once screamed for 45 minutes due to an unexpected reprimand! Mealtimes were particularly tough. If we said we were having chicken for supper, he might think it was chicken nuggets.  Then when he came to the table and saw chicken breast, he would scream “That’s not what I wanted!! I wanted chicken nuggets!” and get so upset he’d refuse to eat.

One day we tried this hands-on learning activity with a popsicle stick and a pipe cleaner to teach Jonah about the value of flexibility. We talked about how sometimes people just want things to go their way, and if they don’t get their way they explode! “That’s being rigid, like this popsicle stick. When rigid people don’t get what they want or what they expect,” I said, pressing the popsicle stick, “they just keep trying to make things go their way, and then BOOM, they explode!” The popsicle stick snapped in my hands.
Then I picked up the pipe cleaner. “Other people can bend and change when they need to in a situation, like share a toy when they didn’t expect to, or be okay with a different kind of cereal in the morning, or find other fun things to do when rain cancels a trip to the zoo. That’s being flexible like this pipe cleaner – it can bend when it needs to and then it can straighten back out again like it was. A person that can do that is flexible.” We focused on his success by talking about a time when Jonah had been really flexible — like when our family went on vacation and he tolerated all sorts of schedule changes and travel stress like a trooper. “You were so flexible, and that helped everyone have a great time!”
That night at dinner Jonah used the pipe cleaner and another stick to teach the rest of the family about being flexible or rigid, repeating his story about his vacation flexibility. Then later we watched for other little times when he was flexible and reminded him of how helpful and grown up it was when he did that. We also would sometimes give him a heads up before an unexpected change or challenge and say, “Now this is gonna be an opportunity to be flexible. Do you think you can do that?” His own prediction of success helped him to be flexible.
Over time it got easier and easier… Now when we say “Wow, Jonah, thanks for being so flexible about this!” he says, “Yeah, it’s no big deal. I can do that.”It’s so fun to see Jonah be so grown up about things that he literally had no idea how to cope with before (and neither did we for that matter!).
Do you see how Jen’s own proactive creativity created an opportunity for her child to learn an important life skill of flexibility? Kids young and old can learn from this object lesson. (If it feels too contrived for an older child you can just tell the story, or talk about the difference between these rigid and flexible objects, while comparing the objects to real-life flexibility.) Look for any possible examples of your child’s flexibility to affirm.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Being the "Sam" in your Marriage.

So I am definitely the Christian–home-video, chick-flick and cartoon type of girl.  When it comes to movies, I don’t like violence, people dying, scary things, suspense or anything with a bad ending.  I feel like there is already so much negativity, dying and war in this world, so why do I need to purposely watch more of it?  So, 4 years into our marriage, Hubby has been kind enough to watch my movies and not complain.

Recently, I felt the need to do something for him and with him that he would like.  So we decided to watch a movie that he had seen before and liked.  It was curse-free and overall had a good storyline but was more male-themed.  We watched LORD OF THE RINGS.

Now, nobody told me that it was a series or that altogether it was 12 hours long.  I was, like, WHAT?!?  But after all that I had put my husband through over the years, I decided to watch them anyway, so over a period of time, we slowly watched through them.  (Well, I watched everything but the war/fighting scenes and worked on projects during the movie)

During the days, in between watching the movies, my husband and I discussed what we liked and who our favorite characters were. When Legolous came onto one of the first scenes, my husband informed me that, he was usually a favorite with the women.  He wasn’t my favorite but he was a good guy.  There was the dwarf, Gimli, who was our friend’s favorite and Aragorn, a man of integrity and even Frodo who bore the burden of the ring and so many other great guys.
BUT, my favorite was someone you probably wouldn’t suspect.  My favorite was someone who you usually didn’t think of as a hero.  My favorite was Frodo’s friend and gardener.  My favorite was Sam, Samwise Gamgee.

After eavesdropping on Gandalf’s and Frodo’s conversation, he ends up finding himself on this journey that he never expected.  He becomes Frodo’s trusted companion. Sam doesn’t let Frodo go alone on the journey even when it looks like they are going to all be split up. He cares for Frodo, cooks his food, keeps watch over him at night and supports him, when he needs it the most.
So, if you have seen the movie, you are probably asking me WHY are you tell me all this?!? …I feel that we need to have more SAM’s in our marriages today.  A lot of time, we work against each other instead of working together.  Sam, was Frodo’s best friend.  He cared for him through war and almost death.  He looked out for him.  He had his back.  He defended him. At one point, he told Frodo  “I can’t carry it for you, (referring to his burden) but  I can carry you” and he literally picked Frodo up and carried him.
As wives and husbands, we need to support our spouses. There are days my husband comes home weary and tired in the ministry.  I can’t carry that burden for him, but I can carry him to the ONE who can carry Him.  I Peter 5:7 “ Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”  I can hold him up in prayer.  I can hold him close and just love on him. I  can provide him with the environment that nurtures him physically.  I can sustain him physically and feed him spiritually with God’s love and prayers on him.

Sam is not the best looking fellow in the movie, he didn’t really kill or defeat any large armies, he didn’t really have any supernatural powers.  What he did do was carry Frodo when he was too weak to go on.  He carried his burden, when he thought that Frodo had died.  He cooked for, cared for protected and defended him and He was the lifeline to Frodo at the end when he was hanging off a cliff.

You know what they say, ladies, behind every great man is an even greater woman.  I could get into story after story about women who prayed over and supported their men, and then that man went on to do great and mighty things.  I can also tell you story after story of women that influenced their men for evil.  Who will you be?  We don’t have to be a hero to the world, only to one person.  Be a Sam!  Support that one that you promised to love, honor and cherish, ALL the days of your life. – Rejoicing in the Present

Monday, February 24, 2014

Stop the Tantrums

YES, we are in the terrible 2's stage, even though Baby A is not 2 yet. :-) I love my little boy but sometimes, I get very weary of the tantrums. I found this article recently and wanted to share it with you moms. I would encourage you to eat the fish and spit out the bones. I don't agree 100% with every idea but I do think it gives me some good alternatives, especially when we are out in public. This article is from growingajeweledrose. I hope it will help you, it has been helpful to me. :-)


Stop Tantrums Dead in Their Tracks

Here are the most effective ways I have found for dealing with temper tantrums and preventing them before they even start.

Ignore & Walk Away  This may sound bizarre, but it is actually my number one strategy.  This doesn't always work but very often it does.  Why?  Because children tantrum for attention and when they do not get it they learn that such behavior is not an acceptable or effective means of getting what they want.  Walking away also gives little ones the minute or two they usually need to work through the overwhelming emotions they are having.  If after a few minutes my child is still flipping out I move on to trying other tactics.

Distract and Avert  One of the biggest reasons kids tantrum is because you are not giving them something they want, whether it be the candy bar they see in the check out line or your phone to play with (tell me my kids aren't the only ones who always want my phone).  Distracting them from the desirable object is actually pretty easy, at least a lot of the time.  Tell them you have something exciting to show them and point to something, suddenly and excitedly tell them a secret, start singing their favorite song.......... any number of things can grab their attention and make them forget all about whatever it was they were tantruming for.

Check Their Vitals  Is your child hungry, thirsty, or tired?  All of the above can make a kid cranky and more prone to tantrums.   When your child is tantruming, especially if it is more than once close together, ask yourself if they could be hungry or thirsty.  Offer them a snack.  Is it past nap time?  Maybe put them down a little early even.

Beat the Tantrum to the Punch  Are there certain times your child is prone to having temper tantrums?  Does your little one have a hard time sitting for dinner or sharing with their friends during play group?  Do they battle you at bath time or flip out before bed? Consider these tantrum triggers and try to get ahead of them.  Talk to your child before high trigger times and encourage them.   How about an extra story before bed if they get a bath with no fuss? If they start to tantrum or go squirrelly I simply remind them of the incentive.

Stay Calm, Cool, & Collected  It is so easy for mom to get worked up during a child's tantrum and even throw a bit of a tantrum of her own.  Raising your voice, yelling, and getting agitated will only feed the tantruming child's negative behavior.  Try your hardest to remain calm and to portray relative patience.  If you begin to lose your cool it is honestly better to just walk away for a few minutes.  Give both you and your child the time needed to process and work through the emotions.

Don't Give In  When we are out and about and I have an audience watching my child flail and scream it is easy to feel like giving into the the tantrum and giving the child whatever it is they want to get them to stop.  DON'T!  Do this and your child will soon think that the tantruming behavior is an acceptable way to get what they want.  They need to know and learn that bad behavior does not reap positive outcomes. 

Start a Tickle Fest  This is just another form of diversion but my does it do wonders!  Many a tantrum has been tamed by starting a tickle fest.  I mean, who can stay angry or enraged while being tickled?  Not my girls!

Act Silly This falls under the same thought process as tickling.  Acting silly captures the child's attention while also (hopefully) turning their frown upside down.  Make funny faces, jump up and down, make animal noises.... anything to get that tantruming tot under control, right?

Be the Calm You Seek  I was not born the most patient person and am guilty of throwing adult sized tantrums from time to time.  Since becoming a mom I continually try to teach myself to be more calm so that I am a good role model for my girls.  If they see me getting frazzled easily that is how they will learn to react, too.   When your patience begins to stretch thin remember to breath, count to ten, and take it all in stride.  Likely, your kids will slowly learn that behavior and begin to do the same.

Attend to the Aggressor  Often times a tantrum is really a child seeking attention.  If a child feels like they are not getting the attention they crave they will go to whatever means they feel are necessary and prove effective.  If your child begins acting out try giving them five minutes of positive one on one time once they are calm.  It is amazing what five minutes of positive attention will do to a child's energies and emotions.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cooking W/ Brandy: Easy Creamy Chicken Bake

Here is a delicious easy casserole for the family - Enjoy - Brandy :-)  

What you Need:
4-5 Chicken Breasts
1 Box Stovetop Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1 Can Cream of Chicken
1 8oz Container of Sour Cream
1.5 Cups of Cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup Melted Butter
Salt and Pepper

What you Do:

  1. Boil chicken breasts in a large pot on the stove until done or near done.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. In a separate bowl combine cheese, cream of chicken, and sour cream.
  3. Place chicken in a greased 9x13 casserole dish, cover with sauce, and top with stuffing.
  4. Bake approximately 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
  5. Drizzle with melted butter.
* if desired you may add a bag of mixed veggies (thawed) to the chicken before adding the sauce and stuffing to create a complete meal

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dear Stay At Home Mom's

This was an encouraging article from Jill @ Baby Rabies. I know that I have struggled with the idea of being a super-mom before as well. Just remember, every mom has her talent and as Jill said, if that is rocking your baby to sleep then go for it. Being the best that you can be and not someone else. - Rejoicing in the present

Here's the article...

“If I get to stay home, the house will always be clean, and I can learn to cook such great food,” I said to Scott at some point in the distant past. This was before I even got pregnant. So, like, back when I was a perfect mother.

We weren’t sure I would be able to stay home with our first baby until right before he was born and we got the ok to move to Dallas from Northern Virginia. There was no way we could live off of one income up there, but in Dallas it became a reality. Sacrifices had to be made, for sure, but it was workable.

We moved into our house down here when Kendall was 8 weeks old. He was not an easy baby. Sleep was not bountiful. I spent much of the first year of his life a shade of my former self, stumbling through my days exhausted, catching naps when I could. The dishes didn’t get done regularly. I didn’t learn any new cooking skills. I didn’t clean toilets. And many days, my husband came home to find me still in my yoga pants with no makeup on.
For a while, this caused me great guilt. What on earth was wrong with me that I couldn’t get it together? This was my JOB now. I was a Stay At Home Mom, and I felt like I was failing. Looking back, I’m certain I was dealing with some postpartum anxiety, too.

Be sure, this was not because my husband made me feel this way. In fact, he’d often be the one reminding me that this was a huge adjustment for us, and that my only real job duty was to take care of our son. Everything else was gravy. I was a Stay At Home MOM. I was not a Stay At Home Mom/Maid/Cook/Supermodel.

When he got home from the office, he jumped right in. We split housekeeping duties 50/50. If we had a particularly sleepless night the night before, we’d alternate afternoon naps.
During work hours, we both had a job to do. His in an office, mine at home with our son. After work hours, we split parenting and everything that came with that (including housekeeping). It was, and still is, a true team effort.

I say all this NOT to tell anyone how to do their job. If you are a Stay At Home Parent who can manage to care for your children, your house, and your appearance all in an 8 hour work day, I applaud you. If that setup is truly filling your emotional cup, and making you feel great about the job you do, that is fantastic. But please, do not assume for one second that the parent who can’t take on all these extra roles is somehow failing.

If striving to be the kind of stay at home parent who does it all is making you crazy, leaving you exhausted, and feeling like you’re falling behind, I urge you to reconsider exactly what this job needs to entail. Then have a conversation about realistic expectations with your partner.

If you’re struggling with what being a stay at home parent should mean, I want to tell you that I promise you’re doing a better job than you think you are. I want to tell you to ignore blog posts that tell you you need to have full makeup on and a spotless house when your husband gets home from work.

I want to tell you that it says a lot more about a man’s character than your mothering abilities if your husband thinks less of you for not changing out of yoga pants all day. 

Give yourself some grace. Of course, strive to do the best you can. There will be days you do get it all done. It’s an amazing feeling! But don’t let it make you feel bad for the days you can’t get it all done. Somedays your biggest accomplishment will be rocking a toddler to sleep for a hard-fought nap. And that’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

7 Verses that Lead to a Changed Marriage

Marriages are being attacked today, so when I saw this blog post a while back I had to share it with you all. I hope it will be an encouragement to your and your spouse. :-) Thanks to

This time of year, gyms are packed and millions of dollars are shelled out as everyone resolves to work off that holiday poundage from eating one too many sausage balls. It’s estimated that gyms are 30 to 40 percent more crowded in January. Unfortunately, that New Year’s gusto typically wears off in a couple of months. I can’t wait to read the updates from the gym rats on Facebook complaining about these newbies.
Don’t get me wrong, physical health is important, and in fact, I hope I can make exercising and a healthier diet objectives in the new year. But, where does our marital health rank on the list of To-Do’s? Instead of our bodies and physical appearance being the top priorities in 2014, what if we put that focus on our marriages instead?
The hardest part of parenting, that no one seems to want to warn you about, is the strain children have on your marriage. Children can come between you and your spouse. For us, it’s quite literal. I can’t seem to hug my wife without my 4-year-old butting in between us to make a “sandwich.”
As the years go by, the children naturally become our focus, making it easy to lose sight of each other. We don’t take the time or energy necessary to stay connected.
But, this trend can be stopped. I believe there are seven words that, if applied to our marriages, have the power to make this year the best year we have ever experienced as a couple.
1. Initiate. Remember the courtship? Make an effort to woo your spouse all over again. So many marriages fall apart because people just stop trying.
Prov 3:27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
2. Prioritize. What is your top priority? It’s where you devote the majority of your time or energy. Turn off the television and put down your iPhone. Your email and updating your Facebook status can wait.
Phil 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves
3. Communicate. In a successful marriage, you have to fight the urge to sweep things under the rug. Don’t allow things to fester. Instead, keep an open line of communication. When we have “sounding boards” who aren’t our spouses, sure, we might feel a little better, but we are doing nothing to actually resolve situations or improve our relationship.
Prov 16:23 The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips. 
4. Listen. The most important part of communicating doesn’t involve speaking; it’s listening. Your spouse wants to be heard. How can you know what he or she is feeling if you don’t take the time to listen. All too often, many of us are too quick to interject before the person is even finished speaking.
“…let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” James 1:19
5. Forgive. Don’t hold onto things. You only harm yourself. When your spouse does something, refer to #3 and #4. Then, let it go. Forgive them and move on.
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye Colossians 3:12-13
6. Love. Without love, there is no marriage. And, that’s why we must keep the spark alive. This year, set aside more time to date your spouse. And, when you are out, try your best to make sure the kids or grandkids aren’t the primary topic of conversation.
Col 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
7. Pray. It has been said that a successful marriage consists of three people: husband, wife and God. Involve Him more, even in the so-called “little things.”
 Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.” I Chronicles 16:11

Monday, February 17, 2014

"Grace Unplugged" - Review and Ramblings

Grace Unplugged is about a young girl who grows up under a "rock-star"-turned-Christian father and decides to follow her dreams instead of God’s plan for her life.  Grace is extremely talented and, when the world pulls her away, she gladly follows. It’s a clean movie and I would definitely recommend it as a family night movie, especially if you have young teens.

It shows how attractive the world can be at times.  This is one of the things that I  have been discussing with our teen girls lately.  I think many of us think that the devil is some slimy, scar-looking guy with horns.  As soon as we saw that guy, we would run the other way.  HOWEVER, the Bible talks about how he is extremely “wise” and full of beauty.  Unfortunately he has used both of these tools to drag people to hell with him.  I tell my girls all the time that we have to be careful, because he is attractive and his ways are attractive and “fun”, for a season.  But, step by step, they lead us down the pathway to hell.  This is why we need God’s wisdom to perceive the right way.  Even “good” things can lead that wrong way.

I think many of us think that we would NEVER do “this” or “that.”  I would “never” have an affair, I would never get drunk, I would never kill someone, but with the devil’s help or our flesh, in a split second many good “Christians” have found themselves in these very situations.  Look at David and Bathsheba.  He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and listened to his flesh. The next thing, we see an affair, a murder and the death of a baby.

Stay away from the world.  The Bible says in Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  Don’t even getaway.  It will be hard at first to pull away.  Habits are hard to quite.  Recently, my midwife asked me to cut coffee while I'm carrying the baby.  It’s been hard.  Every morning, I want to go downstairs and enjoy a hot cup, but I know this is the best for us all.  It’s painful but the results will be good.

Just remember… YOU are NEVER to big to fall  The safest place to be is on your knees.  You have less of chance of stumbling.  J - Just some ramblings of a lady rejoicing in the present. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Living in the 21st Century

Most of us have at least 5-10 screens in our house, if not more.  This includes cellphones, iPads, iPods, TVs , laptops and more.  We can now get on the internet driving down the road. Recently, I was at a couples event and I saw some men huddled together watching a clip of the game that was going on.  We can message each other in seconds.  We can take a picture and put it on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram in less then a minute.

We use machines to wash our clothes, ovens to cook our food and we can get already-made meals at a drop of hat.  We can even pull up to a window and order our food.  Things are super easy to obtain and most of our modern day conveniences make the chores of our life faster.... OR DO THEY?  Where is all our extra time being spent?  On the screens?

If you actually took the time to track where all your time is spent, you would be surprised at the amount of wasted time in a day.  Cell phones are a leash around your neck; especially with text messaging,you are at everyone’s beck and call.  TV and shows are relaxing but absorb A LOT of your time, especially with all the commercials in between.  In this day and age of social media, we feel we must message and stay in contact with 100s of people.  This is a lot of work.  Pinterest is a GREAT resource to help encourage woman in their decorating, cooking, parenting and much more, but it can lead to woman being discouraged and feel like they need to do more then they were meant to do.  Social media can encourage us to covet what our friends are doing and having, as well.

Screens are helpful and not bad, in and of themselves, but they can lead us down paths that we should never have traveled. T he amount of divorces that were caused by Facebook are astronomical.  Most of us think nothing of having guy friends on FB but many times, that can lead to things that are not proper. Be careful, my friend!  I am not saying to hide in a box and get rid of all your screens; in fact I am typing on one right now.   What I am saying is "evaluate".  Ask yourself some questions…

How much time do I actually spend every day on these things. (Take 1 week and keep track of how much time you spend on each screen every day)

TV and Shows
Social Media
Cell Phone (outside of work)
Video Games







What can I do to change this life style (Ideas below:)
  1. Have a Family Movie Night instead of watching TV all the time

  1. Give yourself only 1 hour of social media a day .(Set a timer.)

  1. Turn off your cell phone every night during dinner and family times (if you have some type of emergency in your life I would suggest that you keep at least one phone on, but don’t answer it unless the call is about that emergency)

  1. Take the Internet out of your house or get a Hotspot.  My husband and I have Hotspot so I am able to be on the internet only when he is home.  It helps me to not waste time during the day. I also work at our church so if I need to get on the Internet I can use it there as well.

  1. Take cable out of the house (Only watch movies)… This cuts down on wasted time.

  1. Talk to your husband and kids and come up with ideas to spend less time in front of your screens and more time together in the fresh air.

You can enjoy 21st century inventions and life style, but you don’t have it let it take over your life. – Rejoicing in the Present. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Baby Box

When I worked at an orphanage in Johannesburg, South Africa. We had a baby box and I remember when baby Precious was dropped off.  He was so weak and so sickly, but the orphanage was able to feed and care for him and help turn his little life around.  It was a special time. T hese baby boxes are real and are really helping out.  What was happening in Jo-burg was that moms were leaving their babies in ditches, in trash cans and even throwing them out the window of 2 story buildings.  It was a sad sad story, but when the Baby Box was installed, mothers felt they had a safe place to leave their babies.  Some moms were even able to get jobs and come back and reclaim their babies.  I support this idea entirely and maybe one day, will get the privilege of bringing into our family one of these precious babies.  Here is a great video about the baby box is from Baby Box. I  believe this baby box is from a Pastor in Asia.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Created to Be

You’re at work and your co-worker asks you to stay late to help finish a project.  You don’t really want to, but you agree.  A friend calls and asks you to make a cake for a bake sale and your pastor’s wife asks you to fill in as nursery worker for the next few weeks; you once again agree to these.  You arrive home and your child asks for dinner, which you start, then they ask for school supplies to work on a project.  Your husband comes downstairs and asks if his favorite shirt is washed.  At this point, you reply that he has two hands and if he wants it washed, he can go wash it himself.   Does this sound familiar?  Why is it so easy to help everyone else, except our husbands?  I guess because we are “liberated.”

Courtney gave a similar illustration in her book Women Living Well.  We offer drinks to our guest and our children, but when our husband asks, we tell him that he can get it himself.
I think it’s ironic that most of us have or have had male bosses or male co-workers or pastors that we can work for and with, but our husband get little to no respect.  We chose to live with him and love him for the rest of our days but yet we get our britches in a knot when we feel we have to serve him.

Ladies, this is so backwards. a s you know, the Bible tells us in Genesis, how God created Adam first and then created Eve to be his helpmeet.  We were created to be helpers.  We as woman were created to help our husband.  We were created to assist our husbands and help him become who God wanted him to be.

If you know me well, you know this is a bit shocking coming from me, because I was always very independent.  It was always about what I wanted to do.  I always wanted to go to Africa and work in a orphanage there (which is not a bad desire) but it was always about what I wanted to do and my dream and goals. I  would be the woman who married a man, because he fit into my schedule.  It was only by the grace of God and my prayerful parents that I ended up with the strong wonderful husband that I have, who I am LEARNING to follow.

Ladies, I hear you.  I am expecting #2, I have a toddler, I help my husband in the ministry.  I am a busy woman and sometimes I do say things like, “why don’t you _________” or “get your own_____________.”  My husband teases me that I am the worse nurse ever because when he gets sick, I'll say “You know where the medicine is.”  When you work a full time/part time job you don’t want to come home to work more while your husband sits on the couch and watches TV.  Still, you were created to be his helper.

Stop – Take a moment to ask your husband some questions.  Something may be important to him, but is not important to you OR maybe something is important to your husband but is not important to your best friends' husbands.  Guys are all different so you must find out what is important to him.  Here are some questions that may help you get started.  I’m sure there are a lot more questions that could be asked.

  1. What are the 5 most important things that I can do to help you in order from the most important to the least? (e.g. having a job, doing the laundry, always being positive, letting you have a 30 minute breather when you come home…)
  2. What are some things that I can eliminate doing that you don’t really care about?
  3. Would you rather have a kept-up house or kept-up wife? (which appearance is more important)
  4. Do you feel your sexual needs are being fulfilled?
  5. When you walk in the house what would you like to see?
  6. Are there any jobs that you would like to take over or for me to quit so that I can make sure that you needs get fulfilled?  (e.g. maybe quit volunteering or helping out in the community, maybe he could take over a job around the house that he doesn’t mind doing)
  7. If he wants you more at home: Where can we cut back on our budget so that I can work less out and more at home?
  8. Do I spend enough time with you or the kids?
  9. What needs to change in our marriage so that I can be the best help meet to you?

If that means helping by bringing in more income, helping by taking care of your kids and house, helping by fulfilling his needs, helping by ___________________ , you need to do it.  Why? Because that is what you were created to do. You were not created to make the world a better place with your good deeds or write the one blog post that most influences the world or have the job that every woman desires.  You were created to be your husband’s helper!

You may say, well why should I waste my talents? Don’t!  God gave you those talents to use and you must not bury them.  Those talents are to minister to the world, they are to help your family, and they can make the world a brighter place.

If your life is great and your ministry is thriving and a lot of people are happy, EXCEPT your husband, then you are NOT doing what you were created to do.  This is a hard lesson, ladies, but your husband always must be the priority.  Remember the order: God first, then husband, then kids, then your ministry/job.

If the only thing at which I ever succeeded was being a helper to my husband, then I did exactly what I was created to do. – Rejoicing in the Present

Friday, February 7, 2014

Crucified with Christ - Painful...but not forsaken

Being crucified is NOT a piece of cake. There are definitely hardships involved BUT the good news is that it was worth it for Christ and for you as well.  Before we get to that, though, we need to talk about 2 more issues. The world teaches us opposite, but if we follow Christ, we must follow His way.

8. You must forego “your rights”

In our culture, we are taught that we have “rights.” I  am thankful for our freedom, especially our freedom of religion and freedom of speech, but unfortunately we take our “rights” and abuse them.

Friend, you may have “the right” to be angry, or the right to leave your husband, the right to kick out your child or defend your _______________.  You may have the right to sue a company or the right to tell someone off BUT being crucified means giving up “your rights”  In B.Moore’s words, it means that "you volunteer to forego all your personal rights except one, your right to be filled by the Spirit of Christ that dwelleth in you".

In Matthew 27:32-44 we see Christ surrendering his rights, His power to come down off the cross. And friend, He had the power to do so.  Instead, he choose to surrender that power.  He choose to take the pain and persecution for our sins, so that we could be saved from a life without God.

Don’t just ignore “your rights” instead surrender them to Christ and ask Him to replace them with a supernatural work of the Spirit, with healing, with wisdom and with power.

9. You must accept that death is VERY painful

Death hurts! When we lose someone we love it’s painful, when we go through death someday, it will be painful as well. We desire and we want our desires fulfilled.  We love our flesh and it hurts to have our desires crucified.  So death is very painful and death hurts but when it comes, it is not a reason to forego the will of God.

In Matthew 27:34,48, Jesus refused the anesthetic to dull the pain.  He choose (Hebrews 2:9) “by the grace of God….to taste death for every man”  When our life gets painful, when it hurts to do the right thing, it’s tempting to do the easier thing, to numb the pain, to leave the situation, but Jesus didn’t.
Don’t forget this positive fact…

10. Because He was forsaken, you will NEVER be.

This is the one difference in what Jesus went through and what we will go through.

Matt 27:45-46 "Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?... Jesus had to deal with this but this is one thing that we will never have to go through.

Romans 8:38-39 "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord"

 Hebrews 13:5 "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."  

In Romans and Hebrews it tells us that NOTHING can separate us from God! The Bible tells us that NOTHING can separate us from God!  Be content because He will never forsake you.  He will never leave you.    Praise Jesus!

So, after listing all those trial and hardships, why would we choose to go through them?

What makes it worth it all?  “so that others can see Him.” …so that others can know Him.  Jesus fought death and won.  He was resurrected. He was the only one to battle death and win.  He won our souls.  Through this battle, many including myself, have been able to come to the throne of God and know a personal God. 

John 20 says”The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him....11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, 12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. 14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

 One of my favorite illustrations is when Mary was in the garden looking for her Lord.  She was looking for Jesus and was weeping that they had taken him. If you have gone through the death of a loved one, you know how hard it is.  You just wish you could hear their voice just one more time.  She heard His voice saying “Mary” and knew that it was Him calling her.  I know that if my baby or husband called my name I would know it because I was familiar with the sound.  Here, after she thought she had lost him, she heard Him call her name. Their relationship was able to continue because he fought the trial and won.  

We can know Jesus.  We can know His voice. Why? …because he fought that battle. He won!  He allowed himself to be crucified and it hurt. But we can know Him because He choose to stay on that cross for us.

Take the time to thank the Lord, for his crucifixion, for our salvation.  It was HORRIBLY difficult but many were and are saved because of his sacrifice.  What about you?  Are you willing to be "crucified with Christ" so that others can know Jesus? Have you come to the point where you can say “YET NOT I, BUT CHRIST” It's painful, but you will not be forsaken and in the process, you may lead others to Christ. - Rejoicing in the Present