Wednesday, January 26, 2011
So I am catching up on my "Chaos to Calm" series as I was out of town Monday and Tuesday. Days 16 & 17 definitely convicted me, focusing on self-discipline and exercise. I have always struggled in these two areas.
I will be honest, I read the devotions last night after a not so great evening, and all I felt was depressed and overwhelmed. I feel like I can barely hold it together, now that Rick and I are both working full time. The laundry is piling up, the house is messy, paperwork is falling behind. I am also, again, challenged by the juxtaposition of my role as breadwinner versus my desire to be a godly wife and mother (by the way-if anyone figures out how to do both well, please let me in on your secret!).
But this morning I read about Abigail, who eventually became a wife of King David. Before she was married to David, she was married to Nabal-a man who was less than an ideal husband. Nabal was rude, crude, and disrespectful to those around him, which surely included Abigail. However, she still managed to be gracious, wise, frugal, and compassionate to others-all of the characteristics I desire and feel that I lack! She did not let her situation control her and prevent her from being the woman of God she was called to be!
So today, as I start to feel overwhelmed once again by life's circumstances, I will remember Abigail and her refusal to let her life's circumstances stand in the way of her relationship with God.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
I am catching up on my "Chaos to Calm" series at www.proverbs31sisters.com this week and the focus has been on looking outside ourselves for satisfaction, finding joy in serving our husbands and children and those around us.
Growing up, I often heard that I had a "low self-esteem" and lacked "self-confidence", that I needed to "learn to love myself before I could love others." This is just more evidence of the humanistic, self-serving society we live in today, and is completely contradictory to God's instruction to "die to self".
Three key Bible verses struck a chord with me this week...
"The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil." -Proverbs 31:11
For my husband to trust me, he must know that I am putting his needs and concerns first and foremost in my life. This trust requires self-sacrifice on my part to show my husband that his money, home, children and other important things, are safe in my care.
"As I have loved you, so you should also love one another." John 13:35
Loving one another as Jesus loves us requires absolute servitude and self-sacrifice. Jesus paid the ultimate price, death on the cross, because of His love for us. There are not many circumstances in which we can die for a friend or loved one, but we can show the love of Jesus by serving them with our time, devotion, prayer, and support. This, too, requires that we put others before ourselves; sometimes even those are not friends or loved ones. God does not say "..so you should love your friends and family", He says "love one another", everyone we are in contact with falls into that category!
"My beloved is mine, and I am his; he feedeth among the lilies." Song of Songs 2:16
While it is important that your husband trust you with his finances, his home, his children, etc.; it is also vitally import to a healthy marriage that he trust you with his heart, his love, and his physical needs. Your husband needs to know that he is the love of your life, always. Often in marriage, life can get in the way of affection and romance; but, God calls us to maintain a healthy balance by caring for our husband's needs in this area as well. Showing affection, even when we don't always feel like it, is an important part of respect and submission in marriage and leads to a healthy and happy home. This also requires, at times, that we put aside our selfish excuses..."I'm too tired", "I have a headache", "I am angry at something that happened today"...and focus on the needs of our husband, rather than ourselves.
This week I am definitely challenged to focus outside myself, I will be making and effort to make my husband my #1 priority after God.
Love & Prayers!
Monday, January 17, 2011
I have started an online devotional at http://www.proverbs31sisters.com/ called "From Chaos to Calm". It has been quite a while since I have blogged about my Bible studies, namely because I have been inconsistent in my reading and studying of God's word.
I am starting off 2011 with a renewed spirit and determination to grow closer to God through the study of His word. I thought a good way to do that would be to share my thoughts on the daily devotional I am doing through the "From Chaos to Calm" series. We are actually on Day 11, so I will just give a brief overview of what I have learned and what I have accomplished as well as where I continue to fall short!
One of the most important things I have learned is that DAILY, CONSISTENT, QUIET time in God's word and prayer is NECESSARY to a calm household! And it needs to be FIRST thing in the MORNING, not sometime during the day when I manage to fit it in!
Reading God's word and seeking His guidance in prayer should be like getting dressed every day...I wouldn't go to work with no pants on, so how can I start my day without first preparing my heart and mind for the challenges that lie ahead during my day.
Going out into the world each morning is like going into battle without any armor, I have no protection against the arrows of "bills", "deadlines", "car pool", "laundry", "meetings", "traffic", and so on that the world throws at me throughout my day. By taking time in the morning to settle my heart and mind on God, it helps me keep my focus on Him no matter what comes my way.
Other areas that we have discussed have been regarding our treatment of our husbands, how we respect (or disrespect them), how we submit (or don't), and how we can change our bad habits into good. While I know I have made some significant improvements in this area in the past few years, I can see that I still have far to go and many changes yet to make!
I am excited to share this journey from chaos to calm with you!