Friday, August 22, 2014


I took this picture today. It's all my kids indoor toys in one place.

We have a seven year old, five year old, four year old, one and a half year old and one on the way. It is tempting to think that we "need" lots of toys. I especially felt like we "needed" a lot of toys after our decision to cut waaaaaayyyyyy back on television. I was thinking: "what in the world are they going to do all day?!"

Scott and I talked and we wanted to buy a few QUALITY toys. We purchased: Legos, tinkertoys, k'nex and magnaformers-all toys you "build things" with. We also have been very particular with teaching the kids to pick up after playing and to put each item back in the right container explaining that we aren't going to replace toys they don't take care of.

I would like to clarify that we do have a tub of "outside toys" (like the blue one pictured here) with balls and stuff, bikes and scooters, a few puzzles, books and coloring stuff that are not pictured here but can still be considered toys. All of these "toys" have their proper spots in and outside the home too that I try to be on the kids about keeping them in their proper domain and picked up (we are having a shed built right now to put their bikes and scooters in which will make it much easier to keep them in one place.)

Here are some questions people have asked me in regards to toys:

Q: What about stuffed animals?

A: Our "stuffed animals rule" is very simple: Each child gets ONE and only one stuffed animal. If they fall in love with a new one then I say: "that's fine but we have to toss the other one." Johnny has a piggy, Rhea a teddy bear, Ricky a puppy and Charis a duckling. Each of them remain on their beds.

Q: How do you know which toys to keep and which ones to get rid of?

A: Another simple answer. If they don't play with it often (like every week) I get rid of it. I also give them a warning if there is some toy I am constantly picking up that if they do not take care of it and be responsible with putting it away, that I will toss it. Whenever our blue toy tub pictured above gets too full I go through and we do a purge. The kids help me and we honestly evaluate which toys are played with and which ones can go.

Q. What do you do for Birthdays and Christmas? Do you tell everyone not to get your kids toys? And what do you get them instead?

A. Scott and I are probably the least sentimental/non-gift people I have ever met. No joke. We don't do anything on our anniversary (not even a card), we don't do anything for our birthdays and we don't do Christmas presents. With our kids we again are trying to teach them that it is about quality not quantity when it comes to gifts so we ask each set of grandparents to buy ONE special gift for each kid on their birthday and Christmas. We usually help in the process of picking it out. (Although sometimes you don't know what your kids will play with until it's in the home.) Limiting gifts REALLY helps and we are thankful that the grandparents are on the same page as us. I think that if they weren't on the same page I would say something like: "We don't want a lot of clutter and stuff in our home so if you purchase too many gifts I can't promise that they won't be re-gifted or given away."

A few final thoughts. I am seeking to increase my children's desires to read/look at books and so I am looking at investing in more books. I will do the same thing with books that I do with toys and make sure that we only have books the kids are reading. 

Secondly, we may buy more quality toys as time goes on, but for now we are happy with what we have. 

Thirdly, I realize this is not necessarily what other families like and that is fine :) My husband loves order and hates clutter and in an effort to make our home a haven for him I seek to get rid of what we don't need/use as much as possible. I realize not all husbands are like mine :)

Here are some benefits to less toys:
1. Your children become content with less.

2. They learn to take care of the toys they have because they don't have many.

3. There is much less mess, and therefore stress (this is probably my very favorite benefit). 

4. It teaches them to be more imaginative and not think that they must have a million options in order to be entertained. 

Any more questions? Leave them in the comments!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Your Body is Wasting Away

well. it is happening. I am getting varicose veins. At first I thought I had a weird bruise on my leg... and then it wasn't going away. It took until the fifth pregnancy to get them. I read this today: "they tend to get worse with each successive pregnancy and as you get older." Great. I have "spider veins" this pregnancy as well which I also read happens more with each successive pregnancy. Lovely. I am going to be looking like a beat up spider lady. :)

At first I was discouraged. And then I thought: "You know what?! Everybody's body gets 'used up' in this life. Praise God I am able to 'use it up' to bring life into this world." Think about Christ Himself. God came, in the flesh, and His body was "used up" to bring us life! What a gift! "have the same mindset as Christ Jesus Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage, rather, He made himself nothing, by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!" (Phil. 2:5-8)

When you become a Christian, your body is a vessel the Lord USES to bring Him glory (if you allow Him to). Like Christ we are to make ourselves servants first to God and then to others. Our bodies are literally the way that we go to others and serve them through a helping hand, a hug or a listening ear. There are many ways for your body to be used! In pregnancy I get the privelage of God "using" my body to form an eternal soul! Along the way I will gain weight, be uncomfortable, hormonal and less attractive all around (hello spider veins!) but I am thankful that this is a way for my body to be used!

Using your body for God's purposes is truly a form of worship!

It is a living sacrifice for God that is wasting away: "ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS, AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF GRASS. THE GRASS WITHERS, AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF..." (1 Peter 1:24) Your body WILL be used up in this life, the question is: how will it be used up? For your glory or His? For others' benefit or for your own selfish ambitions? 

I spent much of the first part of my life obsessing over the way my body looked, to the point where I had a severe eating disorder (anorexia) for a few years. I remember when I became a Christian and I was hit with this realization: "I have wasted so much of my life pouring into something that is going to rot in the ground!" The enemy wants to distract us ladies from the true purpose of our bodies, they are to be a living sacrifice FOR HIM, not for us. This does not mean that you "let yourself go". We should take care of our bodies, God Himself said that physical exercise is of SOME benefit (1 Tim. 4:8). The problem is, for many women, the focus is on the physical MUCH more than the spiritual and God says the spiritual "
has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." Your physical body will rot but who you are in Christ is eternal.

Ingrain this on your minds: "Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised." Prov. 31:30 Beauty does not last but the fear of the Lord lasts forever! Fear Him, allow Him to use your body up for His glory and keep your minds set on things above not on things of the earth.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

What is Courting and Why is it Messing Everyone's Lives Up?

This is Part 2 to an article I wrote a few days ago in response to this article (Why Courtship is Fundamentally Flawed).

According to a courtship is defined as:  the act, period, or art of seeking the love of someone with intent to marry.

I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound too terrible to me :) 

I don't think courtship is the issue... I think, again, WE are the issue. Humans do a really good job at messing things up. Look at marriage. God designed it, we messed it up. Sex itself was designed by God and we have definitely messed that one up. The design of something can be good and yet because we are sinful we are fully capable of ruining things that are good.

Let's look at the definition of dating: Dating is a part of human mating process whereby two people meet socially for companionship, beyond the level of friendship, or with the aim of each assessing the other's suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or marriage.

"Part of the human mating process" sure sounds worldly/evolutionist to me :) 

Dating to me is worldly. That's the world's way of finding a mate. That was my way of "having fun" before becoming a Christian. Some people have a problem with the word courting and are really courting but calling it dating. My experience with dating was anything but godly and with the intent of finding someone to marry. It was more like the comparison below. 

"Why Courthship is Fundamentally Flawed" thoughts on dating:  "Traditional Dating fits our culture like a glove. Most of Americans already intuitively know how it works because it is part of who we are as a people."

In one word this is my response to that: "Duh!". Of course it fits our CULTURE like a glove. It's what our CULTURE does! Since when is the church supposed to do things like our culture?

Courtship, I believe, was born to look for a way to "date" in order to marry that DOES NOT look like our culture because when you say culture you usually mean the world around you and we know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God.

Another thing I would like to address in the article is how he said he knows some friends that have been turned down as many as 12 times by fathers when they asked to court their daughters. Here is the quote: "I know several godly, hardworking and attractive homeschool guys who have been rejected by as many as a dozen fathers. I respect their tenacity. Getting turned down by courtship fathers is tough on guys because the fathers are rarely gentle or kind." A couple things came to mind when I read this:

1. This author might be exaggerating... 12 times? And how many friends has this happened to? Several? How old are these guys?! Like 40? Who has lived long enough to get turned down by 12 fathers? Are these guys "girl crazy" or what?

After being in ministry for 8 years I have seen people (including myself) tempted to exaggerate a bit in order to make their point of view sound more convincing.


2. If this is true then it is rare. How many of you who are in "courting circles' know people personally who have been turned down 12 times? Exactly.

I have been around both dating and courting circles. I know of one man personally that was turned down to court someones daughter. It was for a very good reason, the father wanted to see some consistency in work and integrity in this young man's life. Not a bad idea at all if you ask me. So maybe the gentleman who wrote the article is a part of some crazy, wacky, legalistic group OR his friends are not ready to marry and these dads were on to something. 

He goes on to say dating leads to: "less heartbreak, more marriage and more fun." This is one of those parts that makes me sick to my stomach. WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT? Maybe the culture in his grandma's day afforded this (I put MAYBE because I don't really believe that either) but not today brother. Scott was a youth pastor in California before moving to Washington and one thing he told the families at the church was: "Dating is ruining our youth." We watched our youth crumble at numerous times under the temptation and heartbreak of dating. I am sure it was fun, all sin is pleasurable, but fun doesn't constitute godly. We watched it cause problem after problem. 

Heartbreak and temptation are a part of life, not just a part of courting. I have seen heartbreak in the courting and dating circles (much more in dating) and I have seen temptation in both (again, more in dating). There is even heartbreak in friendships. That doesn't mean I do away with friends. Heartbreak is a part of life.

In the last eight years of our marriage, Scott and I have witnessed MORE marriage through courting than dating. We have witnessed less heartbreak in courtship than dating. And there has been plenty of fun in the courtships we have witnessed. This would also make his claim: "
a commitment to courtship is often a commitment to lifelong singleness." bogus! I have seen a rise in singleness among dating and courting friends alike and I think the issue is men wait too long to marry and become more and more picky as the years progress and men are taking longer to grow up. Many of these men date and have dated lots of girls... evidently it has not helped them to find a spouse...

One reason I have a hard time seeing this guy's article as valid is because his understanding of dating came from his GRANDMA! His grandma people! All things sound purer from a grandma. Nothing he says about dating comes from personal experience. 

If you want to talk to me or my high school buddies who dated numerous people (like he recommends) and find out what we think you will get a very different perspective. If you want to talk to the girls who bought into the lie that they could date and not get their heart broken you will get a very different perspective.

I was thinking this morning: "Who have the happiest marriages that I know?" I came up with three. One of the common ingredients is a mature, godly man. One of the other common ingredients is, you got it, courtship. Two out of three of them only had one romantic relationship in their lives: each other and they are going on 25+ years of joy-filled marriage!


Courtship's definition, like I stated at the beginning, is very simple: "the act, period, or art of seeking the love of someone with intent to marry." The problem is not in courting but in what happens often in courting, and what happens in our everyday lives: sin. Hopefully that answers the title/question to this blog post. Sin messes everyone's lives up. Courting is just a more conservative approach to finding a spouse. It's not perfect because it involves two imperfect people. Heartbreak still sometimes comes. 

Each family has a different, individual definition on what courting looks like for their family, but I find two things that seem to consistently remain the same: 

1. Parental involvement. Read proverbs! God seems to think it is a good idea that children listen to their parents wisdom/advice. They are called to "bind their parent's teachings around their necks." What area, aside from our relationship with God, is in need of wisdom more than who we should marry? (p.s. I did not have very good parental advice... so I had to look to God's Word, some children with parents who are not in a position to counsel them in this way will also have to look to God for wisdom/direction or hopefully their potential spouses parents.)

2. Ready to marry. What's the point in getting to know someone and see if they are potential for a spouse when you aren't even ready to marry? It's like going to a car lot to buy a car when you are five. NO point. If your parents are Christians involve them in your pursuit of marriage and don't begin that pursuit until you are ready to marry. Oh, and don't be surprised if it's messy along the way.

People are good at messing things up. We are fundamentally flawed and in fundamental need of a perfect Savior.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Another Reason to Not do the Cry it out Method

I still have regrets from when Johnny was an infant (you can read why I am no longer babwise here: I did "cry it out" with my first three babies but I really let Johnny cry it out.... for over an hour at a time... because he was inconvenient to me... yuck.

So thankful for the new freedom I have found in mothering my infants. I don't dread having babies like I did before because I no longer see them as an interruption/nuisance... I see them now as a baby that needs his/her mama and I am so thankful for breastfeeding! Breastfeeding is such a blessing not only for the baby but for the mama too! I love the comfort I can bring my little one now without feeling guilt or like I am ruining my baby... 

This link brought further confirmation that with my next baby I will not be letting them cry it out hours at a time (p.s. I do allow a little crying it out when I have fed them, burped them, changed them... done everything I can AT NIGHT... I often wear them during the day. I only had to do this like two times with Charis. And as I have said before, I never sleep with my babies).


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Why YOU Are Fundamentally Flawed

I recently (painfully) read THIS ARTICLE titled: Why Courtship is Fundamentally Flawed. This is my response.

Here is the first quote I want to address...

"The One Dating Rule: Don’t go out with the same guy twice in a row." followed by a quote from his grandma: “If I had only gone out with 3 or 4 guys I wouldn’t have known what I wanted in a husband."

What?! You can ask me, a girl who dated, if she is happy that she went out with different guys and my answer would be: NO! You can ask me if I think it helped me figure out what I wanted in a husband and I would say: NO! All my dating led to regret and heartache. Each time you date someone you are choosing to invest in them emotionally and sometimes, unfortunately, physically. Dating often leads to giving parts of your heart and body to someone who will likely not be your husband/wife.

God gave Eve to Adam. How many people did He choose in His infinite wisdom to give Adam? One. That's right person. What was God thinking?!! Why didn't He create numerous people for Adam to choose from? That way he would have known that Eve was the right one for him.

Next quote: "It is easier to justify promiscuity when you are exclusively committed to just one person, even if that commitment is only a week old."

Promiscuity exists because of lust and temptation, not because someone is committed to just one person. I have been in dating circles and courting circles, let me share something they have in common: the temptation to go too far physically. Don't blame dating or courting. Blame your flesh, that's what the Word of God blames.

"Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death" (Jam 1:13-15). 

Let's dissect these verses a bit and see what God says leads to temptation and then sin, which in this case manifests itself as promiscuity.

God says first not to blame Him. Sounds good to me. Then He points out each person is tempted when he is carried away because of courtship and because they are committed to just one person... oh wait! No! Each one is tempted when he is carried away by HIS OWN LUST. See, therein lies the issue: YOU. YOU ARE FUNDAMENTALLY FLAWED. You have this enemy called the flesh. You are born with it. It is continually enticing you to go agaist the work of the Spirit in your life. Don't blame courting. Don't blame dating. Don't blame your parents. Don't blame your genetics. Blame your flesh. You are fundamentally flawed.

"Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life" (Pro 4:23).

Jeremiah 17:9 says, "Your heart is deceitful."

Jesus said, ""For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man..." (Matt. 15:19-20).

Your heart is the issue... YOU are the issue. You need a new heart, not a new system, not a new program, not a new list of rules...A NEW HEART.
Don't fret! You don't have to try and manufacture this new heart. You don't have to work for it or sign up for some 12 step program. God is in the business of giving new hearts to those who receive His Son!

God said, "I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations" (Eze 36:26-27).

Another quote: "Recently I have seen a spike in divorces amongst couples who courted. I have a few theories as to why this is. Young people whose parents often maintain veto power on all of their decisions are then expected to make this most important decision without any experience in good decision making. They have no context of who they are, past decision making or an idea of what they are looking for in a spouse. How can you know what personality you fit well with if you only go out with one other person? The result can be a mismatched couple and a marriage that is difficult to sustain."

There has been a spike in divorces amongst ALL married couples, not just those who courted. His theories as to why there is a higher divorce rate is another form of blame shifting: it's not the fault of the couple divorcing, courting is to blame! Surely if they dated they would not have divorced! Divorce is a result of sin not a result of not enough taste testing.

Scott and I have counseled many couples that were considering divorce. Here is what they had in common: sin. Here's what they they did not have in common: courtship before marriage. Once again, sin is the issue.

One of my main concerns with articles like this is it encourages people to blame the issues in their marriage on something (courtship) or someone (their parents) instead of their sin. They look to divorce as a way out of their "mismatch" rather than looking to Christ.

The second part of the quote that drives me crazy is where he discusses personality. Every couple is unique and therefore every couple has a unique personality. Every couple also, therefore, has the potential to experience major differences in personality. Things that will annoy you to no end are found in each personality. A "mismatched couple" is really EVERY COUPLE. We are all mismatched in some ways. 

Couples get divorced because of "irreconcilable differences." Every couple has irreconcilable differences outside of the grace, forgiveness and love that's afforded through Christ. For example...

My husband is very organized and efficient. I am very free spirited and unorganized. I have never lived by rules and he enjoys rules. This can lead to many "personality conflicts" (and sometimes does).  Here is what we don't let happen; here is what we don't say: "Well, if we would have dated more people we would have married someone that wasn't so mismatched." We DO say: "You know what, every marriage is composed of two sinners with two different personalities. If we have Christ in common though, surely we have all we need to have a successful marriage."

Matching personalities are not what is needed to make a good marriage. Christ is. Marry someone who loves Christ. 

The article is really long and I am about to make mine just as long so I will stop here with the quotes. I just want to conclude with something I have noticed in my life...

I got my degree in psychology. Something I noticed is everyone blames their issues on their upbringing, their circumstances, etc. That to me is what this article does. Many loving parents wanting the best for their children have chosen courting for their children. If their children court and later get divorced they choose to blame courting, because the alternative would have to be accepting responsibilities for their own decisions. This is the sinful nature that makes us want to shift blame. It began at The Fall and has continued since: "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate" (Gen 3:12)

I have heard people blame everything on their problems. They're mean because their dad was mean. They're bad wives because their mother set a bad example. They went off the deep end and left the faith because their parents were too strict. They fell into drugs because their parents sent them to public school...or they fell into drugs because their parents home-schooled them, sheltered them too much...the list goes on... and on...and on...

People don't truly change - like permanently change - unless God has worked in their hearts. People don't forsake sin and choose Christ unless the Spirit living inside them enables them. It is only when people recognize they are sinners in desperate need of a Savior that they have good marriages. It is only by grace, and not by a system or set of rules that couples have marriages that glorify the Lord.

You are fundamentally flawed. You fundamentally need Christ.

You can read the second part of my response HERE.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

My Relationship With the Computer Part 2

A few weeks ago I wrote THIS POST on my relationship with my computer. This is Part 2.

I was rather convicted by all the time I had spent at my computer while my children were living life around me. I took a break from facebook for about a month to see if it would help me spend more time with my kiddos and have a better kept home. It did both of those things. 

However, I am discovering that the internet itself is my only hobby. I really don't "do" any other extra curricular things... I don't sew, I don't do crafts, I don't even read (aside from the bible of course), I don't watch tv or movies and so the internet is my hobby. I love to read Christian women blogs and be encouraged and I love to encourage others on facebook... but it's important that these things don't happen at the expense of my family....

So, I am reevaluating and praying about my "boundaries" with the computer... and my smartphone. These things can supplement our lives and be of benefit but they can also be of great detriment when they get more attention than the ones we love.

Let me tell you a little something about me. I am extreme. And most of the time I hate it. It's annoying. Sometimes I am thankful for it because in many ways Christ Himself was extreme and so were many of the prophets. But for the most part it drives me crazy (and those around me too). The extreme part of me wants to say: "no facebook or computer or phone when kids are awake." The other side says: "can't you do these things in balance?" I am praying the Lord would refine this area in my life so that it brings Him glory in some way; even when it comes to my computer. I want to honor Him in all ways. The big, the small, the lived out loud and the lived within. May He be glorified with our hobbies, our families, our homes, our interests, our conversations, our hearts and yes, even our relationship with our computers.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Babywise=Child Centered Home

 I remember when I was considering babywise/intense scheduling for my first child. I heard from some: "If you don't put your baby on a schedule then you will have a child-centered home". The pressure seemed immense. I didn't want a child centered home! I loved this woman's response to why this is wrong thinking. (p.s. you can read my complete story on why I am no longer babywise here)

"Back in the 1990’s when I was having most of my babies, I felt tremendous pressure to follow a popular infant feeding approach, where the mother  scheduled and controlled the baby’s feeding times, sleeping times, play times, etc. throughout the day and forced baby to sleep through the night from an early age.  It was promoted strongly in my homeschooling circles as the only way to have a godly home, since the alternative would create a child-centered home.  Finally I gave into the pressure and gave this approach a try. The result?  It depleted not only my milk supply, but my confidence as a mother and my joy!  In addition, I discovered that instead of avoiding a child-centered home, I created one!  It seemed the whole day had to revolve around baby’s schedule and whether baby was supposed to be playing or sleeping or eating!  We couldn’t just enjoy the baby – we had to check the book for what baby should be doing next.  If baby fell asleep at the breast, we even had to wake the baby!  Ridiculous!  The best thing I ever did was throw that book in the trash, tuck baby into our daily schedule, and get back to mothering from the heart!" 

You can read the rest of Elizabeth's blog post here

To be honest, I think both sides are "child-centered" in some way... or should I say, "baby-centered"? :) 

Who do you know that has a brand new little baby that doesn't have their lives revovling around them in some way?  

Charis turned one in February, I noticed a change in my relationship with her and now that she is 16 months I see even more changes. I am moving away from "babying her" and toward disciplining/training her. She is understanding more and more and I am able to communicate more with her. This marks the transition from babyhood to toddlerhood. I feel like some who are stuck on intense scheduling find the baby stage too inconvienent and so they force their little baby to go into toddler mode before their ready/able. 

p.s. I don't care if you do babywise. I don't like to do it anymore and you shouldn't care what I like to do either :) My hope is that I am supporting those moms who felt the pressure to do babywise or be bad. My hope is to give them the encouragement they need to do what brings them the most joy and confidence in their mothering journey. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Even if...

What is one of your biggest fears? What do you think could be the "worst thing ever". As women, I think we are given to fear more than men, especially when it comes to our children. Those are where my worst fears are... with my children... What if...

We all have those "what ifs"... the question is do we have our "even ifs" to go with our "what ifs"? That's the important thing. We will all have our "what ifs" but if we don't have our "even ifs" to go with them then we will certainly crumble under the fear. 

I was so blessed today when I read Kay Warren's "even if". (Kay is Rick Warren's wife) I pray it blesses, encourages and challenges you like it did me!

"On July 18, 1985, I gave birth to our beloved gift of God, Matthew David Warren. Holding him in my arms that morning, I had no idea how dark the journey would get for him - and for those who love him. All I knew that bright morning was that I was madly in love with him, and could see nothing ahead but a mother's dreams of a good life for her son.

My pregnancy had been extremely difficult and included three months of TOTAL bed rest (not even able to get up to use the bathroom) due to a severe allergic reaction that temporarily crippled me and caused tremendous physical pain and discomfort. The doctors reassured me that I and the baby would be fine - but how could I be sure? What if the baby wasn't alright? What if I wasn't alright?

I remember Easter 1985 - I was sick in bed, unable to go to church. Rick took the kids to church and I stayed by myself for a few hours - the TV remote by my side as my only companion. Somehow I dropped the remote and couldn't retrieve it - so there I was, alone on one of the most joyous holidays, with not even a TV preacher to keep me company, full of anxiety and fear for myself and my unborn child. I painfully reached for my Bible and it fell open to Habakkuk 3: 17-19 (NIV):"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails, and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to go on the heights."

This was a word from the Lord to me - and I determined that even IF my worst nightmares came true - if my baby died, or I never walked again - that I would trust in God my Savior; I would rejoice in the Sovereign Lord.

Matthew David Warren was born and everything seemed fine. But by his first birthday, we began to wonder. And by his second and third birthdays, we knew he wasn't like his older sister and brother. As time unfolded, so did his struggles and I couldn't help but feel that my challenging pregnancy had negatively affected his developing brain and nervous system.

When he took his life last year - after battling and fighting so hard for decades - a friend sent me Habakkuh 3:17-19 in a sympathy card. She had no idea this passage was incredibly significant to me, but it was a fitting "bookend" to his life. Because I had feared for years that he would take his became his greatest pursuit and my deepest anguish.....I had to come to the point in which I said as I had 27 years before - "EVEN IF my worst nightmare comes true and he takes his life, I WILL rejoice in the Lord; I will be joyful in God my Savior."

So today - his 29th birthday - through weeping - I shout it to the watching universe: I will rejoice in Lord; I will be joyful in God my Savior. My heart remains wounded and battered, but my faith is steady."

Monday, August 4, 2014

Your Husband Ain't Your Jesus

Women are dependent. We are naturally built to look to our husbands for support. Financially. Emotionally. Physically. Spiritually. Men are the head. The leader. But... they often fail. Just as we are designed to be their helpmeet and we fail often and take the roll of nag, mother and boss instead. 

Our husbands will be in a bad mood that has nothing to do with us and yet we take it personally... why? Well, I think in part, because we are dependent on them. The question is: are we too dependent on them and not enough on the Lord? We were never made to trust in our husbands more than we do the Lord. We were never made to look to our husbands more than we do the Lord. We were never made to have our lively hood revolve around our husbands. We were made to trust in, depend on, look to and revolve around the Lord Jesus Christ! He is is our everything. He is our purpose and the One that is to determine our mood, our outlook, our focus etc., not our husbands. Your husband ain't your Jesus and he was never meant to be.

All of this should point us back to Christ. We so easily take our eyes off of Him and unfortunately it happens all too often for women in marriage.

The next time you are consumed with your husband's bad decision, bad mood, bad whatever, remind yourself, He ain't your Jesus. Be consumed with Christ instead and you will find that all is well with your soul despite your surroundings and circumstances. He will never leave you or forsake you. 

Two become one flesh in the sense that we are to come under our husband's leadership and work as a team, with him leading, but two do not become one flesh to the extent that you leave your First Love for your secondary love.

"But I have this against you, that you have left your first love."-Jesus (Rev. 2:4)

Your husband ain't your Jesus. Your Jesus is your Jesus. Set your eyes and heart on Him first. Put your hope in Him or suffer the continual consequences of putting your hope in someone or something else, including your husband.