Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Where Joy Is Wednesday #7 and a Link-Up

Welcome to
 Where Joy Is Wednesday!

Sorry for missing last week, everyone! It's been a little crazy. Last Wednesday, I spent all day in bed fighting pregnancy dizziness and fatigue. Yuck! Pregnancy can be no fun sometimes. So today, I'm back in the saddle and reminding myself that though I may not feel well, I can still rejoice because of what God has done. I hope you find the joy of the Lord today too! :) Have a blessed Wednesday!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

What Does Your Husband See When He Comes Home From Work?

Before I married, I heard a story of a older lady whose Pastor stopped by for a brief moment one afternoon. As the clock ticked close to 5 p.m., she stood and said, "Forgive me for ending our conversation, Pastor, but my husband will be home shortly and I always take the last 15 minutes of my day to freshen up for him."

That resonated with me.

It seems as though dignity in marriage has been lost. It has become common for women to let themselves go once the wedding vows are spoken. No longer is it necessary to behave and dress like you did prior to marriage because hey, you got him, right? Some stop shaving their legs regularly. Those who once wore make-up toss it in their make-up bag. Daily showers are replaced with "whenever I feel like it" showers. Bodily functions are on display. And no attention is given to how they keep themselves. This is so far from how it should be.

There is no dignity or nobleness in that couch-potato attitude.

Now, I'm not saying we have to look like we stepped off the pages of a magazine all the time. Marriage is a bare-all relationship where every flaw and blemish is exposed to the other, and there will be plenty of days when the worst comes seeping out. That's where commitment comes in. My husband has seen me sick, pregnant, and definitely not looking my best numerous times. He has come home to me in sweats with no make-up, unwashed hair, and pale with fatigue. I definitely don't greet him at the door wearing pearls and a cute apron, though the thought sounds really nice. :) However, I do try to put an effort into my appearance, not because I'm afraid he will lose interest in me, but because I desire to show him I care about my job as his wife and the mother of his children. I wear jewelry, even if it's small. If I don't want to wear make-up, I at least wash my face and dab on a little lip balm, concealer, or eye shadow. I try to have my hair looking somewhat presentable and not that "I-rolled-out-of-bed-5-minutes-ago" look. In short: I try to look appealing and desirable for him. Because I love him and I respect him.

How we act and dress reflects our attitude and how we feel on the inside. If we lounge around in sloppy clothes each day and don't bother with perfume or hairspray, then it shows that we don't value our position very highly. If we never bother looking decent or presentable at home, but make sure to get nicely dressed if we go out, then we are sending the message to our husband that we care more about our appearance in front of others than with him. It's important to carry ourselves with ladylike dignity in a world that is so drastically opposite, and to represent our husband and our Savior well. We should be striving to be women of Christ-like set-apartness who demonstrates the peculiar, beautiful, and noble life of those who have been redeemed by Jehovah God.

There's a little food for thought for you today. If you are a wife, join me in pursuing an attitude of noble character and beauty in your marriage. Let your husband see a smiling, put-together woman who is happy to see him when he walks through the door. :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Where Joy Is Wednesday #6 and a Link-Up

Welcome to
 Where Joy Is Wednesday!

Today, my goal is to giggle and run and do all the silly things that children do with my children. I want to play pirates with my son, eat a soggy, crumbled cookie out of my daughter's hand, and pull them both into my lap and read them a story. I want to eat peanut butter out of the jar, laugh at the dirt stains on the the bottom of our socks, and simply be wild and crazy with the two little people who call me Mommy. Today, I want to embrace the joy of childhood.

It's easy as parents to be serious all the time. I catch myself saying "No" on a continual basis. I hear myself putting off a quick story, a fun coloring project, or eating a Popsicle for breakfast just because I'm a grown-up who might have better things to do. I don't want to be that person today.

If you are a mommy, today I want you to go wild with your kids. Say "yes" to something crazy. Scoop up your little ones and have a kissing match. Blow bubbles inside the house. Bake cookies and let them add sprinkles, marshmallows, chocolate chips, or old jelly beans. Laugh today. Be fun today. Show your family the joy that comes with living this beautiful, blessed life. :) The years don't last long. Make them count.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Where Joy Is Wednesday #5 and a Link-Up

Welcome to
 Where Joy Is Wednesday!

Summer is on the horizon. The heat is beginning to rise, the pools are getting cleaned and ready for little swimmers, and the stores are stocked with summer attire. Today, I want to encourage you in pursuing modesty this summer. Take joy in pleasing Christ with the way you dress this year. There is joy and blessings in obedience to His word. Have a happy Wednesday, sisters!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

God Can Plan a Family Better Than I Can

According to cultural opinion, having a boy and a girl means that you have the "Million Dollar Family." You have the perfect family size and quality. In other words, you're done. I did a little research and looked up the term "Million Dollar Family" on Wiki Answers. This is what it said:
Derives from the similar terms “rich man’s family” or “choix du roi”
One son–to inherit and rule the estate…no brothers are needed to work the fields or run the business (because you’re rich) so best deal is not to have second and third sons who will not receive a birthright and will skulk around, envious, making trouble 
One daughter–to marry a powerful ally’s son and spread your power and influence

In early April, we entered a new place. No longer were we viewed as a "Million Dollar Family." Instead, we were on the receiving end of raised eyebrows and sympathetic concern. It's strange. People enthusiastically congratulate you when you announce your first pregnancy. For your second, you receive smiles and happy remarks on how beneficial it will be for your first child to have a playmate. But when you announce your third, fourth, or fifth pregnancy, you start receiving strange looks and rude comments alluding to babies being blessings as long as you only have one or two. Any more than that, and you are being irresponsible or ruining the planet or other such nonsense. Eyebrows raise and filters get tossed to the side. Since announcing my pregnancy, we have been greatly encouraged by friends and members of our family. There has been a lot of joy and it has been such a blessing to be around people who view every child as a gift from God. But along with those sweet words of excitement, there have been some awkward and even hurtful reactions and comments. I wish I can say that I have had a great comeback to each rude and probing remark about my fertility, but honestly I usually find myself giving a fake laugh, a small smile, and stuttering out something that gently moves the conversation on to something else. If I was a little more bold and said what I usually want to say, each conversation would probably go something like this:

  • Honey, you'd better start getting on the pill. Do you know how the pill works? Any follower of Jesus Christ should be pro-life and the pill has the potential to snuff out life. I won't subject my body to unnatural and fake hormones and toxins that have the potential to kill a life God has placed in my womb.
  • Three kids, huh? You know you aren't going to be able to handle that. I know I will have days when I feel that way but, according to the Word of God, I can do all things by the power and strength that is offered to me daily through the sacrifice of Christ. So, yes I can.
  • Don't you know what causes that? No, please enlighten me. I've been trying to figure out how babies are "caused." <----insert sarcasm here
  • So, are you trying to be like the Duggars? Three kids is now the equivalent of nineteen?? Shall I thank Common Core for that brilliant math? No, we aren't trying to be like the Duggars. Quite simply, we are just letting God be God.
  • I feel sorry for you. They say the third child ruins your body for good. If areas of my body that should be toned get softer, and places that should be slim have a little more fluff, at least I know that I sacrificed my external body to bring forth three little lives that God Himself has ordained and knit together. Three hearts, three sets of hands and legs - three precious little people who have eternal worth and value. I'd say the exchange is worth it, wouldn't you?
  • Kids take up so much time. When are you going to have time for you? There's no time for selfishness in the Christian life, especially when you become a parent. Children aren't just time-consumers, they are eternity with skin on. Yes, it takes time - all your time - to mold them and shape them and teach the basics of every part of life. Time for me will come when they're grown and gone. When I'm old, I'll rest better and enjoy my "me time" more knowing that I have adult children in love with Christ and in the will of God.

Psalm 127:1 says, Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

If the Lord isn't building our house, we are working in vain. Our plans are meaningless if the Lord is not, indeed, Lord overall.

Verse 3 says, Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

Not just a gift. But a reward.

Verse 4 goes on and tells us, As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.

What kind of warrior has no arrows for his bow? No bullets for his gun? The Lord tells us that children are spiritual ammunition against the work of Satan.

Then the conclusion in verse 5, Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

I'm going to be honest. Seeing those two pink lines appear on the pregnancy test was a shock. Though we planned to have more children in the future, we hadn't expected a pregnancy this soon and it took us by surprise. But that did not, for one minute, diminish the amazing honor we both felt. Though my husband and I are mite nervous, we are so happy to have another arrow to add to our quiver. God helping us, we will sharpen this little one and aim him or her in the way they should go. The Lord can plan my family better than I can. He can fill my quiver best. And if I say I trust Him....well, I guess I'd better practice what I preach.



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