Monthly Archives: October 2013

Resolution Sessions: Making Much of Christ

The resolution I am sharing about today regards a time in my life where my husband and I were called to be parents who were more involved with our children even if it meant making decisions directly oppositional to what the world would have you believe equates success.

I will share that Stan Britton is the one who preached this sermon and it has never left my thoughts as it has pertained to so many areas of my life since I heard it and therefore it has become a part of who I am and is always factored in when making decisions.

My husband and I were considering me starting a home based business that would help add income to our family but that would also hopefully allow me to become a stay at home. The idea of quitting my full time job and being a stay at home mom was something very near to my heart and I was always certain it was what the Lord would have me do. But it was one of those things that the world tells you is not a good decision. How can you have money and status and move up in any company if you are a stay at home mom? Stan presented three questions during his sermon that related to this personal dillema and they very much guided us in making the decisions that would follow in our life.

1. Does this opportunity give me a chance to share Jesus Christ?

2. Does this opportunity allow me to make much of myself or make much of Jesus?

3. In this deicision, does my answer point people to Christ or does it point people to the world?

I knew immediately that based on the type of company I was going to work for that I could do all these things. I am a consultant for Premier Designs Jewelry. This is a company that is founded on biblical principles. We pray together, we teach each other about Jesus, and the gospel is shared by our senior leadership. It is truly amazing how the Lord can and has used me in this role. I continue to work at Premier Designs and it has allowed me to quit my job which was another one of those times when we really had to assess our decisions based on these questions. Quitting my job did allow me to be more involved with church, it has allowed me to have time with my family and children which is one of mine and my sweet hubby’s number one priorities. We had reached the point where we were no longer comfortable with our children being raised by other people while we worked all day. But dropping down to a one income family for the sake of taking care of children was very contrary to what the world considered successful.

So I tell you all this to say that the day I learned to evaluate each of our life decisions but especially the big ones by these three questions, I made a resolution. I resolved to be the kind of person who would never let the world’s values dictate what was best for my family and the kingdom of God. I resolved that I would always seek these questions and answers and my husband and I have used this model frequently throughout the years each time feeling confident in our decisions because we believe by making the Lord the number one priority we were firmly in his will, making much of Christ in our lives.

Over the next couple of weeks we will have some exciting guest writers to share about the resolutions in their lives. Stay tuned in! You do not want to miss out!!

It Matters To This One

As the old man walked along the beach at dawn, he noticed a young man ahead of him picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea. Finally, catching up with the youth, he asked why he was doing this.

The answer was that the stranded would die if left until the morning sun.

“But the beach goes on for miles and there are millions of starfish,” countered the other. “How can your effort make any difference?“

The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and then threw it to safety in the waves.

“It makes a difference to this one,” he said.

-The Starfish Flinger by Loren Eiseley

I was reminded of this story today when a sweet friend of mine was talking to me about my blog. She shared with me that even though she has been married for almost 25 years and has adult children she is able to learn things from my experiences. And that is exactly  why I write and share the messages the Lord has put on my heart.

When I wrote my very first post Grace Abounds, I was begging for input from friends and family. Not necessarily about the topic itself but about whether or not it was useful. I wanted to know if sharing my experiences was helpful to anyone. No one responded directly. Then in a casual conversation with one of my dearest friends she mentioned that she had read the post and it made her think about how she interacted with her child and some alternatives. Grace Abounds is about my struggle with yelling at my children and the steps my husband and I have taken to be intentional with other ways to get our message across.  I was able to talk with her about our struggle and how we have seen it affect our children. I left that conversation with the confirmation that if sharing my experiences helps no one else in my life but her then it is worth it. Then a family member also expressed that it got her to thinking about alternatives to yelling. Again, confirmation that the messages the Lord gives me need to be shared for the benefit of others and their families.

I am not so naive to think that every post I write will help everyone that reads it but if each one only helps one person then I know the Lord’s work is being done. I want to bring God glory in all that I do and that includes writing. I believe he has given me messages to share to inspire and empower other women to be godly women, wives, and mothers and if it is one woman at a time then His work is still being done!

This type of conversation always makes me think of Luke 22:31-32. Jesus is telling Simon Peter that Satan has asked to sift him as wheat. Jesus tells Simon that he will pray for him through it and when he is done he is to strengthen his brothers. Each of my struggles is to be used for God’s glory and I can do that by getting through it, learning what God wants me to learn from the experience and sharing it with others that they may be encouraged and strengthened through their own challenges.

Resolution Sessions: Intro

Tonight while spending some time with the Lord regarding the spiritual gifts he has given me, I felt this sense of the topic of Resolution Sessions. So here goes my interpretation of what the Lord might like this to look like. It could always change as he continues to develop me as a person and as he continues to develop the content/messages he has asked me to share.

When I think about a resolution, the first things that come to mind are New Year Resolutions which I do not make. I can remember only making one that mattered in this life and the Lord has pushed me more and more each year to fulfilling that resolution according to His will and with the Spirits direction. It was several years ago, maybe 2008, when I resolved to live my life for God(I believed in the Lord but was not living my life for him. I was being far more than selfish at the time). If the things going on in my life did not or would not bring God glory, they were to be removed through God’s sanctifying of me. And they were and continue to be. The Lord has delivered me from so many areas of personal struggles and I know that I could not have been successful at the removal of those things from my life with out Him.

That year I specifically resolved to be the kind of wife and mother that I needed to be for my family under the Lord’s direction not as I had been doing it. My ways were all wrong and my family needed transformation, sanctification, and the process of restoration to begin. And it has and continues on in the other areas the Lord is working in.

It is my hope through starting this mini series that a) the traditional idea of a resolution is revised and we see that we must resolve ourselves to certain things every day if we hope to live a Christlike life b) we, as a community of believers, can come up with some ideas about what Christ centered resolutions look like c) we engage this written community with ideas and we can truly make each others lives better simply by opening up the lines of communication.

Weekly I will do a post or invite a guest writer to do a post about resolutions. Ones they have made that they have been successful at, ones that have failed, ones that challenge  us all to be better in each of our areas of life, or any other ideas around this topic of resolution.

Today I leave you with this, there are many definitions of the word resolution but I like this one the most.

RESOLUTION=FIRMNESS OF PURPOSE

You Get What You Get and You Don’t Throw a Fit!

As this topic has been floating around in my head and my heart, the above title came up over and over again. I can’t recall exactly who it was that told my now 7 year old child this phrase but I am certain it was one of his many teachers throughout the years and most likely one from Promiseland Preschool. He was always told, “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit” Usually in regards to what color cup they got or if there were different snacks which one he would get. The point was everyone will get something so don’t throw a fit about what you get, just accept it.

It got me to thinking about my relationship with my husband. Now don’t take that the wrong way. I love my husband more than anything on this earth and I never feel like he is “just what I got”. He is the man for me. He is my soul mate, my provider, the father of my children. We were molded together from the beginning and we fit so perfectly together. The part it did get me thinking about is the things I knew about my husband in the beginning and that he knew about me from the beginning of this journey together. And how in some ways we have to accept what we are given and not throw a fit about it.  Because, is it worth stealing your joy because you or your mate do not meet each others expectations?

I will jump right into my examples here. My husband knew pretty quickly into our marriage that I was not a very good house keeper. He may have known sooner but I am sure it became abundantly clear to him with in that first year. One thing I have always known about my husband is that he doesn’t remember things very often, or usually at all.  We have tried different systems over the years to help us out with that but nothing has really stuck. I live  daily frustrated by this fact. My thought is” we already had this conversation why do we have to have it again. I told you where the children and I would be tonight. I told you we had this birthday party to go to.” I get overwhelmed at the things he doesn’t remember and I begin to take it personally. Like if anyone else had told him this information he would remember it or that I am not important enough to listen to. None of which is true and I know this. I know that remembering things is not one of his strong areas but that doesn’t make him any less of that amazing father and husband I mentioned earlier. And I knew what I was getting when I married him so can I really throw a fit.? 🙂

Now here is the flip side of that. I don’t think in my ten years of marriage that I can ever remember by husband griping at me for there being laundry piled up that needs to be folded, or dishes that need to be washed, or clothes that need to be washed or fridges cleaned out, or kids rooms organized or floors mopped or carpets vacuumed!! And even now that taking care of our home is my primary job and I am still not the best at it, he never speaks negatively to me about those things not being done. He actually does quite the opposite. When he sees that I am frantic because I am becoming overwhelmed with our home or all the tasks that need to be accomplished, he asks me to sit down with him for a minute or come in the living room and play with him and the kids as they wrestle. He never once has come home from work and said “what have you done all day this place is a mess”. He knew what he was getting when he married me and he understood that. He knows it is important to me to have a clean home but that I rarely have enough time in a day to get it all accomplished! And he loves me none the less.

I on the other hand can nag about something I knew about him from the beginning instead of taking his lead and being content, which is where my challenge lies today. We have all heard time and time again that we can’t change the other person. The only person we can change is ourselves and that is what I have done over the last year or so. I heard a couple talking on a radio segment about communicating to each other the most important things that needed to be accomplished each day. I sat down with my husband and I asked him these things. I asked him if I could only get to 3 things each day what would those three things be. What could I do that would make your day better? His requests were very simple: do the Laundry so that I have clean work clothes each and every day and make sure that each day you are doing something in the way of physical exercise for myself and our youngest. I don’t do so great at the last one but I have been on top of the first. He has his clothes clean and waiting for him each and every morning. Communicating with each other about what things are the most important has helped me see that he doesn’t see me as a degenerate that can’t even keep our home clean. He sees me as the mother of his children, his wife and soul mate and all those other things are tertiary to what I bring to our family.

My husband loves me enough to accept the things about me that he knew from the beginning and it is my goal to do the same for him. Will I get frustrated when he can’t remember what meeting I have on what night, probably. But I will continue to take this frustration to the Lord and allow him to show me what he wants me to gain from it instead of nagging my sweet husband about it. My husband who has been working all day to ensure our family has an income. I will praise him for the things he does well and not dwell on the things he does not do well.

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content in any circumstance. Phil 4:11

When you get in that rut, of thinking oh I must not be important enough because my spouse/mate did not do _____________ .  Start to think of ways you can serve them and you will forget about the things they did not do for you or the things they didn’t remember so you had to tell them 10 times. But as Paul tells us you can be content with much or with little. The point is that you learn contentment with what the Lord has given you, your lot. You get what the Lord has given  you and you don’t throw a fit.