Check That Verse Off

 

So I failed my husband. NO, not in the way you might think. Let me start with a verse that I thought I had down. A verse that I thought I could check off the list of what a “good” Christian looks like.

Read with me –

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Don’t conform? Check (I don’t live a life like culture dictates)

Be transformed? Check (I have had a complete transformation)

Renew my mind? Check (I am much nicer and read the Bible)

Test and approve what God’s will is? Check (He IS in control after all)

THEN, life happens and this verse took on a whole new meaning.

Back in December of 2015, my husband’s company decided to move his division to the East Coast. We had the opportunity to go, but after prayer, we stayed. Since that point, I have been a “model” loving and supportive wife. Rather than jump in and constantly question him about his job search, I have stood back and been quietly supportive.

That is NOT in my natural character… It has been tough…and then…

I started letting little things that bother me pile up. I started feeling fear creep in…and I BLEW UP. Not in a nice way, but in a way where I was bringing up anything and everything that I had stuffed inside. I brought up that it had been eight months and if it were ME I would have had a job in 2 weeks. AND that I would have this or that and how he wasn’t doing any of it.

I blew up.

I then left for some school shopping and started praying for God to help HIM because boy did HE need it. I prayed for God to help me – the saint – to endure this difficult time. I prayed for God to teach HIM whatever he needed to learn so we would be over this challenge.

And then, God hit me…with Romans 12:2

Read it with me, again…

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Do not conform to the pattern of this world. – Do what it takes to get what you want?

Be transformed. – Had I really been transformed that much, to react in such a horrible way?

The renewing of your mind. – Was I constantly renewing my mind? Or did I think it was a one and done?

Able to test and approve what GOD’S Will is. – So I put a time limit on what I thought should happen. I was counting the days and at eight months it still hadn’t gone the way I though it should. Was I doubting God’s will being good, pleasing and perfect?

As I walked through all of this in my mind, I realized I had to apologize to my husband.

When I walked in the door, he braced himself for what could only be another beat down by his wife as it had only been a couple of hours. I proceeded to apologize. I told him how very sorry I was for putting a time limit on him. I apologized for playing a good wife for eight months, rather than just becoming one. I apologized for thinking that I HAD been renewed and transformed, rather than realizing it’ll be a lifetime of continual renewal and transformation.

I let him know how much I love him and how I will try and be a better wife.

What I learned…I need to embrace the whole journey. There will never be a point where I “arrive” this side of heaven. I need to keep score less and love much, much more.

In what ways can you stop keeping score with people in your life?

In what ways can you love others better?

 

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Ooooooh, Eve

This is not a deep theological post…it’s more of a quick note regarding my frustration at the loads and loads of laundry that seem to multiple daily!

So, when Eve took that bite of the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden, that God said not to touch, and then realized she was naked and put on fig leaves to cover herself…do you REALLY think she realized what she got herself in to?

Do think that God, though upset, smiled to Himself thinking, “Oh, honey. Fig leaves now…but wait until people fill their closets with clothes to wear each week. You just took hours and days and years away from the lives of people in the future!”.

Pains of childbirth, ruled over by our husbands AND laundry. God knew what He was doing.

What I learned today…Not to expect chores to be done unless I ask for them to be done. I need to be specific as in a house full of boys, NO ONE can read my mind.

Laundry

 

Whining or Winning?

I have decided to turn the whining of my family in to a win. For example, when I say we are going to a museum for a family activity, all of my boys tend to start whining. As their mom, I know that one of the best things I can do for my family is open their eyes to new experiences. I can take them places they wouldn’t normally choose to go, to learn things they wouldn’t learn otherwise.

Now, my husband is NOT thrilled when I suggest these things, but thankfully I do the same thing with him that I do with my kids…

I replace their whining words with my own.

For example if my kids say, ” I can’t believe you’d MAKE us go do something so stupid! You obviously hate me if you don’t let me stay home and hang out with my friends!!”.

I translate that in to a winning response and reply, “What I just heard you say was, Thank you, mom, SO MUCH, for broadening my horizons and taking me places I might not have thought to go!”.

Then my husband will say something like, “I can’t believe you are forcing them to go with you. Just let them stay home and do whatever they want.”.

What that translates into is, “I am so thankful you allow us to do things with you. That you have the strength to push through all of our whining and be a great mom to our kids. I love you and your determination.”.

At this point, you might be thinking this is craziness. Or you might think it won’t work for me and that is okay. This works for ME.

When I verbalize the things above, and other ways of responding in a way I wish happened, it changes the feel of the conversation.

I remember that this won’t last forever.

I remember that I only have my family for a limited amount of time.

I remember I am their mom and they love me, even if they aren’t showing it in the moment.

I remember, these are memory making times.

I remember the days are long and the years are short.

How can you protect your heart when you KNOW you are doing the best thing for your family.

What I learned today…Look for the best in all situations. You can find good, or push through knowing, the negative will end. Be patient and do your best to be the best YOU you can be.

You are not responsible for what they say….but how you react to it.

People in the Bible Get It

Here are some of my go-to verses. Take time to look them up and underline them if you haven’t already.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

 ..being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, And joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. Colossians 1:11-12

 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

 And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right. 2 Thessalonians 3:13

 As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. Ephesians 4:16 

Reading through the Bible we see so many others felt exactly the way we do! They needed encouragement, too!

Take time to pray and ask God to show you someone in the Bible you can learn from. Someone you might not have thought of before.

If you STILL don’t want to open your Bible, check out Drivetime Devotions by Pastor Tom Holladay. Walk through one of the 10 minutes (ish) sessions with him. It’s a start. 🙂

What I learned today…The Bible constantly has something new to teach me. Even if it’s a verse I have read 1000 times.

 

Are You Tired?

Time to review things I don’t like about myself, and if their valid flaws (valid, meaning my accountablitiy partners agree) it’s time to clean them out of my life.

Flaw I’m concentrating on?

I am TIRED. Sure I could lay out all the reasons why, but you don’t want to hear it, do you? Why? Because I bet you are tired, too.

Tired Physically
Tired Emotionally
Tired Mentally.
Sick kids.
Medical issues.
Busy schedule.
Tough relationships.
Rough work day.

We stretch and bend then stretch and bend again. With our busy lives, busy schedules and worry about EVERYTHING…

How do you behave when you are tired?

I am short tempered, easy to get angry at little things, only want “me” time, feel like the whole world is against me, etc…etc….

Don’t get me wrong, I know how to “behave in public” when I’m tired, but not when those doors close at home. Am I alone?

When I’m tired, I tend do things like…. I yell at my kids over little things and shove my husband away PLUS push all his “buttons” so he feels as crappy as I do.

My kids have gotten used to the ever on-going prayer request on our morning trip to school of, “God, you know I’m tired. Help me get through the day. Please help me control my temper in the morning”.

Yes, it’s good that I’m acknowledging it to God and my children. There IS a great lesson in those prayers coupled with asking my kids for forgiveness for my bad attitude.

HOWEVER, I heard the whispers of – that’s not enought – during my prayers yesterday morning. My kids do not need to listen to me give excuses of “I’m tired. Tough day at work. I was up with YOU all night.” or ___________ enter whatever reason I have here.  They need to know Mom loves them and can over-come the tiredness to be a bigger person and CHANGE my attitude.

So my prayers have become, “God, you know I am tired. I ask you to help me to change my attitude and enjoy the blessings YOU put around me. Help me show more joy than exhaustion today. In YOU I can find rest. Through YOU I can find strength.”

Starting today, my goal is embrace the tired. It’s part of my life in this season. It’s not going to go away. So I will be changing my attitude in it. I’m going to start the process of teaching my children being tired is NOT an excuse to be mean, short tempured or quick to condemn.

That through resting In God’s Word. I can find the strength and peace I need. If I take a couple minutes a day to talk with God, read a verse or two and enjoy time with HIM, even if it’s 5 minutes, HE can give me anything I need to become that better mom that I long to be. That mom that doesn’t use the excuse of I’m Tired, for bad behaviour.

What will you be looking at to Clean out of your life today?
Today I’m praying for my fellow tired people. May you overcome the excuse and find time to REST in HIM today.

Today I learned…again…I need to take time to rest in Him.

Don’t Argue With Me

I love to argue.

I mean, I LOVE to argue.

PTC (Prior To Christ changing my life) I took sadistic pleasure in “teaching” people lessons. I had a way of turning the tides to make someone who had disagreed with me, feel bad about disagreeing with me. I looked for battles to win. I looked for ways I could come out on top.

Why? Because I battled with feelings of inadequacy. They small glimpses of pride I’d feel when I would win an argument, was an addiction. Each feeling of success after a win wouldn’t last long, so I’d crave more.

Now when you get married…you have someone to argue with ALL THE TIME! Generally, you marry your opposite, which makes it SO EASY TO DO, too.

I was a pro, for YEARS at arguing about everything with my husband. Creating wedge after wedge in our marriage, doing my best to make him feel unworthy of me. Yes, that sounds harsh, but I had to protect myself. I had such a low self-esteem, I felt I had to make others feel horrible, so I looked better.

I know, sick. (Not in the cool new way “sick” is said, but in the “That is HORRIBLE” way).

Since coming to Jesus (meaning, starting and growing a relationship with Him through the Bible), I have learned to have more confidence in myself. Not only that, but I also have learned to NOT argue. For example, in the car the other day, I was almost egged in to an argument. I knew I was right, my husband knew HE was right…and we could have circled the topic forever. Instead of getting drawn in to it, I just said, “Okay”.

To take time to argue over something that will have no effect on absolutely anything, is a waste of time. Now don’t get me wrong, there are PLENTY  of things to stand up for…but that is different than arguing. I can stand up for what I believe it, but I will not waste time arguing about it. I can inform people concerning what I believe in, but I won’t defend it.

I do raise a stink every now and then…who am I kidding, quite often, when I feel someone is being unjustly treated. I have said before, and I’ll say it again, I believe we are all brothers and sisters regardless of you believing it or not. That being said, it is my job to do what Jesus asked of me and that is to LOVE God and LOVE you. All of you.

To some, that is a cop-out. To me, it’s a marriage saver. To me, it’s healthy way to live.

What I learned today…Choosing NOT to argue over everything, can save marriages and friendships. It can save time and keep me healthy. I can physically, mentally and emotionally stop myself from being drawn into arguments and I should.

See if you can “turn the other cheek” when someone baits you in to an argument.

I promise, it feels good to not grab the bait.

Keepin’ It Real

This will probably be TMI (To Much Information) for you, but in the spirit of being honest on this blog, I’ll review my day on Friday.

I woke up a bit late and tried to hurry to get the kids out to school quickly. I ended up behind schedule so, thankfully, my husband took the boys.

I arrived at the meeting I had scheduled on time. It was VERY productive for the first 1.5 hours, until I had gotten a call that took the remainder of our time, so I had to reschedule when I could finish the rest of the tasks that didn’t get accomplished.

From there, I ran back to the office to go over a game plan with a co-worker regarding a difficult discussion that has to happen with one of our amazing volunteers. As soon as I had finished the prayer to end our time together, my phone let me know my girlfriend had arrived to drive me up to another friend’s husband’s memorial. My heart broke as the room filled to remember this husband who left 3 beautiful kids and an wife who inspires me with her faith.

When the memorial was closing, I noticed my phone had 12 missed calls and a boat-load of text messages. The first text I saw was from my son asking me to please hurry and call the school. The second from a woman on my team stating the school had called and my oldest was hurt.

I quickly called the school to find out my son had been hit by a door and had a black eye, which was swelling shut, a fair amount of blood and he was very dizzy. I asked if they had tried my husband to hear had been trying to reach him for an hour and a half!

Needless to say, I hurried out of the memorial, to pick up my son. On the way I checked to see where my husband’s phone was…at home! After calling it a few times, I started praying, “Lord, please have him be okay. He isn’t answering, and I ask that he is healthy and not hurt.”

I arrived at the school, found the nurse and saw my son. It looked like he had been punched in the eye…so I asked WHO “door” was. The nurse replied that she had verified it was a door that had hit him, so I nodded, and took my son to the car.

On the way to the car I asked, again, “Who is “door”. He let me know that they were messing around and his friend accidently knocked him in the face with a spear. Yes…you read correctly…a spear. (Another Mom Of Boys moment.)

We arrived home and I ran inside. Music was blaring, so I yelled for my husband. He replied, “Hey!”. He looked completely healthy and happy so…I…

Let’s hold on a second so I can let you know…I used to talk like a trucker. I would cuss anytime and all of the time. Until I read in multiple areas in the Bible it is not something we should do. So I stopped. I still say things like “Crap” and throw in a “freaking” every now and then, but I have changed a thousand fold. My kids would FREAK OUT if they heard me cuss, as it just doesn’t happen in our house.

Now back to the day…

After my wonderful husband, who wasn’t hurt on the floor, no where near his phone, responded, “Hey!”…I yelled, “WHAT THE #@$*! Our son is hurt and the school has been trying to call you!” Again, needless to say, my son had a look of shock on his bruised and bloody face at hearing his mom let loose.

My poor husband ran down to find his new phone had “no interruptions on” and he had no idea anyone was trying to get ahold of him.

I set my son up on the couch with ice and love, then had to run back out to visit a wonderful volunteer in the hospital before heading back to work. As I was pulling out of the drive-way, my husband came out to give me a kiss. I rolled my eyes, like “Are you KIDDING ME?!?” to which he replied “Aren’t you glad I don’t have a broken neck from putting away Christmas decorations and falling?”.

Sigh, perspective. Yes. I was very glad he was okay. I had prayed asking God for him to be okay and not hurt when I got home. Instead of praising God for everything being okay, I let my anger and mouth get the better of me.

The rest of the day, I did my best to shake off the frustration that kept nagging at me and kept reminding myself of all the prayers I send to God, that He answers without me thanking Him. All the prayers that He answers, that I have already forgotten about as there is something new I need, or I’m frustrated with, or I’m focusing on.

What I learned today… I am fickle with God. I need to remember to consistently give Him thanks for all He does for me. I am so thankful I can go to Him with my good and bad. And I HAVE to not slide back into foul language.

Colossians 3:8 “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”

Stuck in Routine

Balboa

Sometimes it is easy to get stuck in routine.

When you go from rushing from one place to other, it is so easy to take some time just sitting on my tush watching TV – which I LOVE.

Of course, then I feel like I have wasted the hours away…and I have. I have taken my precious time to sit and watch other people on TV spend their time traveling, adventuring, living life together!

In the Bible when God rested on the 7th day, it wasn’t because He needed it, it was to be an example for us.

For true rest we must first go to Him. If He can breathe the world in to existence, He can absolutely give us the opportunity to feel rested at ANY time.

This morning, after some time thanking Him for all He has done and is doing in me, I decided to do something out of the ordinary. I woke the family up and told them we were going to go to breakfast. Needless to say for a couple people it was a push to get them moving. AND they weren’t very happy about it. BUT once we were all in the car, my husband and I started singing our favorite songs from the 90’s and the mood shifted.

We drove down to Balboa, which only took around 20 minutes, and had breakfast at Ruby’s Diner at the end of the pier. It was gorgeous!!!

What a way to start our day!!! We were there and back by 10am and still have the rest of the day to enjoy.

 

What I learned today…

Feeling tired? Open your Bible and rest in Him.

Feeling stuck? GO SOMEWHERE!

Take time to get in the car and go on an adventure. It could be to a park, a pond, a lake, the beach, a field…anything. Just think, if I were on vacation here (near your home), where would I go?

Go and enjoy your day!