Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Love Dare: Day 34

"(Love) does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth" ~ 1 Corinthians 13:6


Day 34: Love celebrates godliness

This world is full of temptation.  Sometimes it seems as if nearly everything we encounter is designed to distort our thinking and lure us away from what is right and true.


Do you lead your spouse to worldly ideals - or toward God?

Do you encourage him in his walk with Jesus, or distract him from it?  Do you influence your spouse to honor God or dishonor Him? 

We should be encouraging our spouses and rejoicing in how God works to accomplish His plan for them and for our marriage.

TODAY'S DARE:  FIND A SPECIFIC, RECENT EXAMPLE WHEN YOUR SPOUSE DEMONSTRATED CHRISTIAN CHARACTER IN A NOTICEABLE WAY.  VERBALLY COMMEND THEM FOR THIS AT SOME POINT TODAY.

There is someone in our lives who isn't the easiest person to deal with.  They can be selfish, rude, and abrasive.  But I am constantly amazed at how the Man of the House always manages to treat this person with kindness and respect despite the way they can treat him (and others). 

And I told him that!  (A confession: I didn't do it verbally though.  He was at work and I sent him a text message because I wanted to do it right then and there while I was thinking about it)

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Spirit of Gratitude: April 29

I AM THANKFUL FOR:

Walks with the grand baby

Blowing dandelion fluff

Afternoon thunderstorms

Psalm 40: 1- 3

Sunday, April 28, 2013

My Love Dare: Day 33

"If two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?" ~ Ecclesiastes 4:11

Day 33: Love completes each other

Marriage.

God created two similiar but different beings to compliment each other and work together as one.

Think of your body...

Two eyes.  You can see with just one - but have much clearer vision if both are working together

Two hands.  You can complete many tasks with one - but things go faster and more smoothly if both are working together.

Two feet.  You could get from one place to another hopping on one foot - but get there much more efficiently if both feet take you there.

Marriage is the same way! We can see more clearly, complete tasks, and get to our goals in a better, faster, more efficient way if both are working together- united.

Where one is weak; the other is strong.  Our uniqueness can work together to make us more effective as a team.

Don't try to do it all yourself!  Don't dismiss your spouse's perspectives just because they are different from your own.  Honor his individuality and how it works with your own to make both of you stronger and better when you work as one.

You need each other.  You complete each other.

TODAY'S DARE:  RECOGNIZE THAT YOUR SPOUSE IS INTEGRAL TO YOUR FUTURE SUCCESS.  LET THEM KNOW TODAY THAT YOU DESIRE TO INCLUDE THEM IN YOUR UPCOMING DECISIONS, AND THAT YOU NEED THEIR PERSPECTIVE AND COUNSEL.  IF YOU HAVE IGNORED THEIR INPUT IN THE PAST, ADMIT YOUR OVERSIGHT AND ASK THEM TO FORGIVE YOU.

I know that our strengths and weaknesses work well together.  I'm more likely to fly off the handle, while he is calm and patient.  I can deal with some of the things the offspring toss at us better, and he can manage others.  He can fix things around the house like a pro; me - not so much.  We make a great team.

However, I realize I am bad about discounting his perspective and counsel.  Oh, sure - I'll rant and rave and complain.  But when he tries to offer advice or ideas, I'm afraid I often shut down.  Because of course he just can't possibly understand what I'm really dealing with or going through.  Right?  Wrong! 

I need to do better about letting him be my support. Listening to his ideas support.  Giving them the consideration they deserve. And putting the full strength of our team to work!

"Put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity." ~ Colossians 3:14

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Spirit of Gratitude: April 27

I AM THANKFUL FOR:

The internet being back in service

Pictionary with the family

Animal crackers

Knowing God is always with me:
No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life.  As I was with Moses, so I will be with you, I will never leave you or forsake you ~ Joshua 1:5

Friday, April 26, 2013

I AM...

I AM...

Forgiven by God.
Chosen by God.
Loved by God.
Enduring in God.
Blessed by God.
Finding mercy in God.
Trusting God.
Safe with God.

I am all this and more through Christ.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

My Love Dare: Day 32

"The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband" ~ 1 Corinthians 7:3

Day 32: Love meets sexual needs

Yep - we're going there.  Let's all act like grown ups here...

Sex was created by God as a bond and a blessing for husband and wife. Two becoming one flesh in an act of love. 

Physical love is obviously not the only aspect of a solid marriage, but it is an important one.


Sex is not a weapon.  It is not a bargaining tool.  It is not a reward.   It should not be withheld or given in response to whether or not your spouse is behaving in a way you like or doing what you want.

Sex is a way of giving yourself to your spouse to meet his needs.  Just as your spouse is to meet your needs.  It is a way to express honor and endearment to each other.

If one partner values its importance more than the other - the unity of the marriage can feel unbalanced and in danger of tipping over completely.  Honesty and understanding of each others sexual needs are crucial to a confident lasting marriage.  There has to be an agreed upon middle ground.  One found with patience, thoughtfulness, and selflessness.

When the intimacy of marriage is acted out in the right way, for the right reasons - this is truly God's plan for marriage.  The two united in one flesh.  United in His love.

TODAY'S DARE: IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, TRY TO INITIATE SEX WITH YOUR HUSBAND OR WIDE TODAY.  DO THIS IN A WAY THAT HONORS WHAT YOUR SPOUSE HAS TOLD YOU (OR IMPLIED TO YOU) ABOUT WHAT THEY NEED FROM YOU SEXUALLY.  ASK GOD TO MAKE THIS ENJOYABLE FOR BOTH OF YOU AS WELL AS A PATH TO GREATER INTIMACY.
 
Some things are not meant to be shared on the Internet; but should be kept sacred between a husband and wife. 'Nuf said...

A Spirit of Gratitude: April 25

I AM THANKFUL FOR: 

Evening out with the Man of the House

New shoes

Hamburgers cooked on the grill

The sound of rain

This:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Separation Anxiety

The dog is driving me crazy.

As the weather warms up, I find myself outside more - hanging out clothes, doing odd chores, checking out plants and garden potential, etc.  I would like to take the dog along with me; however, he is a naughty little, poorly trained canine.  If he is not on the leash - he will run off.  And holding onto a leash with one hand makes certain things difficult (if not impossible).  So he must stay inside.




He is not happy about this.


While I am outdoors, I can hear him indoors.  Barking in that high pitched, stressed out bark of his.  Whining.  Howling.  Anything to make his displeasure known. And he keeps it up the ENTIRE time I am outside.  No break.  No rest.  No “oh, she’s really not coming back inside right now - so all this noise is pointless”.  Nope, he just keeps going.  And going.  And going.

I know the dog has some separation anxiety when we leave him.  But this is ridiculous! 

Now I worry that when we leave the house for other things (shopping, church, etc), he is making this fuss the whole time we are gone! Is the entire community having to listen to this anytime we are not home? Are we those people with that dog? 

I’m not sure I want to know the answer to that.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Spirit of Gratitude: April 23

I AM THANKFUL FOR:

New kitchen curtains

Books that make me laugh

The grand baby telling me "good morning"

Visits from my Dad

Psalm 8

Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
   in the heavens. 
Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place, 
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?

You have made them a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their feet: 
 all flocks and herds,
    and the animals of the wild, 
 the birds in the sky,
    and the fish in the sea,
    all that swim the paths of the seas.

 Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Spirit of Gratitude: April 19

I AM THANKFUL FOR:

Compliments from the Man of the House about how the house is looking

Air popped popcorn

The female offspring taking the male offspring to guitar lesson for me

A clean kitchen

Psalm 32

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pre Season Update

Disclaimer:  Again - if you are squeamish: Look away now!! This is even better than the last one.

The Man of the House's knee just keeps getting prettier and prettier!  As the days progressed, so did the rainbow of colors it produced.



Wisdom from Oma

Somedays you get up in the morning and after an hour and a half of doing pretty much nothing - you will be ready for a nap. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Incredible Patience

Shopping is not the favorite activity for The Man of the House.  He's a "go in - get what you need/want - get out" sort of shopper. Which doesn't work well when you know in a general way what you are looking for, but having trouble finding what it is specifically that you need.  It's a form of torture for him.

Case in point - cafe curtains for the kitchen.

I knew I wanted cafe curtains.  I even thought I had them picked out and purchased.  Until I got home and realized that actually measuring the window and making sure the curtains you are purchasing are, in fact, the right size for that particular window.

I had not. They were too long.  (sigh)  This is a brief synopsis of what occurred next...

Return previously purchased curtains.  Search curtain selection at store where previous curtains were purchased.  Realize they carry nothing close to the size I actually need. Leave store frustrated.

Plan to browse Target and World Market websites for potential new curtains.  Internet is down all evening and the following morning. Decide to just go check stores.

Have Man of the House take me to shopping plaza to participate in the hunt for curtains.  Look in first store, find nothing.  Look through shoe department instead.

Look at second store.  Find nothing.  Form potential new idea in mind.

Drag Man of House into another store.  Still nothing.  He wanders off to look at grills.  Finding none, he comes back.  Only to be told we will have to go to yet another store.

Store number 4.  Nope.

Store number 5.  Again, a bust.  Ponder possible new idea which began brain brewing earlier.  Get a stroke of pure genius.  Which requires returning to store number 2 to purchase item to be used as curtains.  It also requires a stop at the store where the first curtains were bought and  returned for clips to complete the new project.

And... Voila!  Using napkins found at World Market - new cafe curtains!!



Through it all, the Man of House was incredibly patient with me.  Seriously, I could learn a thing or two from him on the subject.  I probably would have been snapping out somewhere around store 3 or 4.  Absolutely by the time we had to return to store 2.  But not him - he was an absolute model of self control and understanding.

Especially considering that later the same day he must have had enough of listening to me complain about my feed aching all the time - because he took me back out to get new shoes.  I was being picky.  ( Is it too much to ask for some cute, comfortable shoes with plenty of cushioning which will go with most any outfit??)  Which meant going to 3 more stores in order to find just the right pair to cradle my feet in comfort.



Thanks sweetie!  I know all that walking around and shopping isn't your cup of tea.  I appreciate you doing it for me.  And for being patient with me in the process! 

A Spirit of Gratitude: April 15

I AM THANKFUL FOR:

The grand baby napping in my lap

Birds chirping outside my window in the morning

My kids taking a walk together


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Reflections


Action speaks louder than words. 
Is your life reflecting what you want others to see? 
Do your actions reflect your true heart?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Spirit of Gratitude: April 13

I AM THANKFUL FOR:

The Man of the House making me laugh

Pretty crochet patterns

When the Man of the House has a day off

Picnic dinners at the park

Playing Pirate Dice with the family

Friday, April 12, 2013

That Really Stinks

The other night a very loud buzzing sound woke me up.  The source of that buzzing?   The stink bug that was landing on my head. 

Seriously people!  ON. MY. HEAD.

We have been living with the stink bug invasion for a few years now.  You can't kill them like a spider or something because if you squash them, they... well... they stink. I have pretty much accepted that at any given time there is likely to be one of those nasty looking little things crawling on some ceiling, wall, or window of my home. 


But I absolutely draw the line at landing on my head while I am trying to sleep.  That is just so not OK!! In about a hundred different ways.

To make matters worse, I woke again a short time later to a congested nostril. The kind of congestion where you can feel a big ol' blockage right behind the bridge of your nose.  Which normally wouldn't phase me.  When you have allergies like mine, you also pretty much accept that some nights (and days) you are going to experience this feeling.

However, after just having had a stink bug land on my head I became paranoid convinced that the same stink bug had somehow landed on me again, climbed up my nose, and was now lodged in my sinus cavity directly behind the bridge of my nose. 

I had a teeny tiny little panic attack, driving me to the bathroom in search of tissue.  Where - after blowing my nose loudly and repeatedly - I was once again able to breathe through that nostril and was assured there were no creepy crawlies wedged into parts of my skull.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Spirit of Gratitude: April 11

I AM THANKFUL FOR:

Roast made in the crock pot

Lazy weekends

Crock pot liners for easy clean up

Sugar free candy for when I need a sweet fix

Texts from the Man of the House meant for the grand baby

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Cute - In that annoying kind of way

Ever have those times when you think you are being cute, playful, and teasing; but your significant other,  however, thinks you are being a smart aleck pain in the behind.

Happens to me all the time.

I’m pretty sure I’m right though. I’m a very funny girl.

Even if I’m the only one who thinks so sometimes.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pre Season

Disclaimer: If you are the squeamish sort  - just click away from this post NOW!  Seriously.  You have been warned.

One of the few hobbies or activities the Man of the House participates in is playing on a slow pitch soft ball team.  He's the team pitcher.  And looks extremely handsome out there on the field if I do say so... and I do!  Sorry - got distracted. 

You wouldn't think a sport called SLOW pitch SOFTball would be dangerous.  It's slow, right?

You would be wrong.


This is what happens when you slow pitch a softball which is immediately hit right back at - your knee!



This happened at his first practice of the year.  The season hasn't even started yet!

I'd love to write more, but I think I should probably run out and stock up on ice packs, bandages, and ibuprofen!

A Spirit of Gratitude: April 9

I AM THANKFUL FOR:

My "baby" sister - who is celebrating her birthday today

Sugar free pudding

Peaceful mornings

Trips to the library


Saturday, April 6, 2013

My Love Dare: Day 31

“A man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” ~ Genesis 2:24


Day 31: Love & marriage

God has had a design for marriage from the beginning. Two people, joined together as one flesh. Leaving one family and cleaving together to form a new one.

Once you marry your parents should be respected counselors. They should no longer be in control. You should no longer be dependant on them. It is time to cut that cord and tie yourself tightly to your spouse. If the “leaving” isn’t done properly, it can make the “cleaving” difficult – or impossible. If a parent is causing problems in your marriage, this source of division has to end.

The husband and wife must be as one. A united front. United in decision making. United in their priorities. United in their affections.

United as “one flesh” – just as designed.

TODAY’S DARE: IS THERE A “LEAVING” ISSUE YOU HAVEN’T BEEN BRAVE ENOUGH TO CONQUER YET? CONFESS IT TO YOUR SPOUSE TODAY, AND RESOLVE TO MAKE IT RIGHT. THE ONENESS OF YOUR MARRIAGE IS DEPENDENT UPON IT. FOLLOW THIS WITH A COMMITMENT TO YOUR SPOUSE AND TO GOD TO MAKE YOUR MARRIAGE THE TOP PRIORITY OVER EVERY OTHER HUMAN RELATIONSHIP.

“May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You” ~ John 17:21

Friday, April 5, 2013

D-O-G Spells

The male offspring has a week off from school for spring break.  Which means someone else gets to help with the usual morning chores, such as taking care of the dog (Yah!)

The other morning I was heading out to the grocery store and knew the dog still needed to do his business.  I also know he goes crazy when he hears the word "out". 

So I say to the male offspring: "Does the d-o-g need to go o-u-t?"

And the dog took off running down the stairs to the back door!  Almost as if he has figured out the whole spelling thing!

Is it possible we have the smartest dog on the block? Probably not!  But I think maybe Martha of the book Martha Blah Blah and the show Martha Speaks! has nothing on him! (come to think of it, he kinda looks like Martha too)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Spirit of Gratitude: April 4

I AM THANKFUL FOR:

Snowy Spring mornings
This is what we woke up to on the first full day of Spring!
Sun sparkling off snow

Car being warmed up before I get in (thanks to male offspring!)

My dad being back home from a winter in Florida

Psalm 103

Praise the Lord, my soul;

all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.

The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.

Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.

Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

My Love Dare: Day 30

Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. ~ John 17:11

Day 30: Love brings unity

Father, Son, Spirit.

Together.

United.

One.

Marriage can be seen as a human representation of that unique relationship. Two individual people – united together by God into one flesh.

United to serve, honor, and love one another.

Rejoicing in each other.

Individuals, yet indivisible.

Joined in one purpose. A divine purpose.

Love your spouse as a part of yourself.

Serve your spouse’s needs as you would your own.

Honor your spouse.

Your union is from God. Unending. Unbreakable.

TODAY’S DARE: ISOLATE ONE AREA OF DIVISION IN YOUR MARRIAGE, AND LOOK ON TODAY AS A FRESH OPPORTUNITY TO PRAY ABOUT IT. ASK THE LORD TO REVEAL ANYTHING IN YOUR OWN HART THAT IS THREATENING ONENESS WITH YOUR SPOUSE. PRAY THAT HE WOULD DO THE SAME FOR THEM. AND IF APPROPRIATE, DISCUSS THE MATER OPENLY, SEEKING GOD FOR UNITY.

When I first read today’s dare, I thought about it briefly and couldn’t come up with an area of division. In my pride I gave myself a mental pat on the back thinking that we were just great. Then it was as if God leaned down, tapped me on the shoulder. Showing me what I had been missing.

Oh…

Yes. There it was. The area of division.

Dealing with extended family can be a recurring source of discourse and tension in our marriage. The Man of the House and I have differing views on how to best deal with the source of the problem. And emotions can run hot when the subject comes up sometimes.

It is something I am constantly revisiting in prayer. And will continue to seek the Lord’s guidance, patience, and forgiveness.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Warmer Mornings

I am so excited to see the calendar telling me that it is Spring. (even though it hasn’t exactly felt like it on most days yet) Spring means warmer days. Warmer mornings.

I look forward to taking my morning quiet time outside onto the back porch. Just me, a cup of coffee, and my Bible. Oh… and the morning sun, the birds, and the spring breeze.



A Spirit of Gratitude: April 2

I AM THANKFUL FOR:

Trips to the craft store with the female offspring

New craft projects to work on

Spring Break


Quiet time to write

Playing Farkle with the family


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