Friday, September 30, 2011

Margarita Party

My family knows how to have a good time!  Alisa makes the best margaritas...Fresh lime juice, stevia, and whatever alcohol goes into a margarita.  They are so good!  Then she has a burrito bowl...marinated chicken, homemade black beans, brown rice, guacamole, salsa, and cheese all mixed together.  Yum!

I told my sisters about my post yesterday...about always being your husband's girlfriend, so I asked them to pose for me with their boyfriends!  They were very willing. 

This is my youngest sister, Debbi,  with her boyfriend {husband}, Jonathan, of 24 years!

This is my middle sister, Alisa, with her boyfriend {husband}, Greg, of 26 years!

This is me with my boyfriend {husband} of almost 31 years!

This is my son, Ryan, with his girlfriend {wife}, Erin, of 1 1/2 years!

This is their precious baby {my grandbaby}, Emma!

This is my adorable son, Steven, with Cassi {his sister}, Julia {his cousin}, and Ali {his cousin}.
They are all still waiting patiently for their girlfriend and boyfriends that God has picked out for them!  {Applications accepted, but must be mother approved! ;)}

I do have a little secret for all of you, however... Alisa, Debbi, and I were not very good girlfriends for many years.  Only in the past 5-10 years have we learned how to really love our husbands...So you see ~  It is never too late to turn the big ship called "marriage" around and have a GREAT marriage.  It probably won't happen over night, but it usually does if you start loving, serving, and pleasing your husband...All I know is that we have three happy husbands now!  {Erin has done it right, right from the start...lucky Ryan!}

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers {and boyfriends!}, love one another deeply, from the heart. 
I Peter 1:22

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Be His Girlfriend!

Someone I know very well {protecting her privacy} told me about a Bible Study she is attending.  I asked her how it was going.  She loves the women and the study, but for a whole hour she has to listen to these women complaining about their husbands...I use to do that before I knew better...

She is much younger than these women and doesn't feel like she can teach them about loving their husbands and what that looks like.  She should because she is a pro at it!  Her husband adores her and she adores him.  She respects him and he knows it.

My sister wrote a blog post to a young woman {the one in the picture above} who is getting married this weekend.  She mentored her and her fiance.  They are a precious couple.  Here is the advice my sister gave her ~

My prayer for you is that after you become Mrs. A, you will daily remember that you are his friend. But more importantly, you are and always will be his girlfriend! I pray that you will act like his girlfriend! Brag to your friends about him, flirt with him, smile around him, joke with him, hold his hand, stop what you are doing when he walks through the door, or when you walk through the door, (or just any old time) wrap your arms around him, and give him a kiss! {And, enjoy those added benefits of being his wife!} Leave the changing in his life to the Holy Spirit. That's not your responsibility. Yay! You get to be his wife, his friend, his biggest supporter... his girlfriend!

My sister and her husband act like girlfriend and boyfriend.  They have been married a long time.  They embarrass their children, but their children love it! 

Start marriage out right.  Do it God's way.  Take it from an old married lady and her sister...NEVER stop being his girlfriend!

These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children
Titus 2:4

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New York Ali

Here we are in Time Square.

New York City is a wild and crazy place!  My mom, sisters, and I just spent five days there.  Wow!  Your senses are assaulted constantly...Your eyes with all the sights everywhere, your smell with all the restaurants and human wastes, and your ears with all the noise!  It was a fun and exciting time.

Kabocha squash ice cream with pistachio tuile and pomegranate sauce!
The dessert Ali made for us...So good!

My sister's daughter, Ali, lives there.  She is graduating from an organic vegan cooking school next month.  We went to her final dinner.  YUM!!!  It was the highlight of our time there.  Everything in NYC is so small and quaint because space is at a premium.  So 100 of us were packed into several rooms with candlelight and yummy food.

Here we are at one of the restaurants Ali worked at awhile ago.  They gave us some dishes on the house because they love her so much.

Ali is amazing!  She has had some severe health problems in her young life.  They caused her to cling to her parents for security.  In the midst of this trial, she headed to Germany for a year to go to a Bible school.  She learned who she was in Christ.

This is Ali with her grandma and me.

Now, she is in NYC walking miles everyday, living in a tiny apartment with two other girls, and being a light in a city with millions of people.  Everyone who knew her there gave her a huge smile and hug.  You can tell people love her.  She shines the love of Jesus. 

My other sweet sister, Debbi, grandma, and Ali in a little hidden restaurant above Time Square.

I asked her how she could come to this big city all by herself, walk two miles home at midnight alone, and not be afraid.  She looked at me and simply said, "I trust Jesus!"  It is the only way to live.  She knows Who holds her in the palm of His hand, Whose she is, and where she is going...wherever He leads.  She is precious. 

This is Ali with her mommy.

I love you, Ali!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths
Proverbs 3:5,6

Here is her darling blog if you would like to get a feel for her quirky, fun personality!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What are True Riches?

Do you feel you are poor?  Can't pay the bills!  Your house is too small!  You are in the very situation to make many people rich. You can make your husband rich by making your home a sanctuary of love, joy and contentment.  You make your children rich by showing how to have a joyful attitude even in trials.  You make them rich as you daily impart God's Word richly into their lives.  {Nancy Campbell}

Most Americans have it all wrong. True riches aren't having a lot of things and capturing the American dream. True riches are in relationships and giving of ourselves to others.  So many people are working so many hours to have more things, instead of investing their time and lives into what really matters ~ their family, friends, and those in need.

Why do we do that?  Most of us have way more than we need; a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, and more than enough food in our tummies. I suppose it is a great lie from the pit of hell. If we can decide things are more important than people, many lives will be ruined in the process.

Examine your life. Make sure you are putting enough time and effort in your husband, your children, and your friends. Do they feel loved and accepted by you?  Do they love being around you because you smile at them a lot, care for them and are content and joyful in whatever situation you find yourself in? Do you ask them questions,"How was your day?  How are you doing?"

Find others around you in need and start giving to them. I love the idea of buying a cow or chickens for the truly poor through a relief organization. Even sending money so a well full of fresh water can be dug for those with none. We take so many things, like fresh water, for granted.

Love on the people around you. Be generous with the gifts God has given you. The more I have learned to do this, the richer my life becomes. Again, God knows what He is talking about!

Do not love the world nor the things in the world.
 If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

John 2:15

Monday, September 26, 2011

Be Open To Learn

"Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.  Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser : teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding." 
Proverbs 8:10 

We are considered wise when we love someone who rebukes us!  We are told to take instruction from others and then we will even be wiser!  Do you know anyone that takes rebuke happily?  If you do, they are wise.  

Others are a mirror to our behavior.  They see us better than we see ourselves.  They need to feel free to confront us if we have said or did something wrong.  We need to make that a safe place for others.  Most people are scary  to confront!  They lash out and get angry.  Therefore, they never become better people.  They refuse to listen to rebuke and instruction.  

Teaching your children at a young age to take rebuke and instruction is a very good thing~  

They will become wise when they grow up. 

They will enrich society and make it a better place. 

They will be able to take instruction from babysitters, teachers, coaches, other parents, family members, and eventually, bosses and spouses.

They will love those who rebuke them.
They will be a pleasure to be around. 

They will increase in learning.

So learn to take rebuke and instruction from others, even from your husband.  It is a good thing.

Encouraging Words Wednesday
A Holy Experience

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Children Who Walk In Truth

People don't like others to brag about their children.  Now if you go on and on about all their awards, accomplishments, etc. I agree, but to tell others that they walk with Jesus and are good kids, I love to hear that and so should other believers!  This world needs to see and hear examples of godly children.  It gives them hope.  This world needs hope.

This world is full of bad news everywhere: children in open rebellion and doing all sorts of things that devastate their parents.  If your child is walking in truth...GREAT!  Encourage others about it!  This world needs children walking in truth and being lights to a very dark world.  

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth
III John 4

Our children could be doctors, lawyers, professional athletes, rich, beautiful, and happily married, but if they are not walking in truth, it is all for naught.  Nothing else matters.  

But if they are walking in truth, everything matters ~  

They are children of God {Matthew 5:9}, 

expecting God to work powerfully through them {Colossians 1:29}, 

being rewarded because they earnestly seek Him {Hebrews 11:6}, 

delighting in Him and receiving the desires of their heart {Psalm 37:4},

being blessed beyond all they can imagine {Ephesians 3:20}, 

knowing that all things will work together for their good {Romans 8:28}, 

and that they are more than conquerors through Him 
 {Romans 8:37}. 

Claim His promises!  Believe in them even if you don't see them being fulfilled on this earth.  It is much better to live in hopeful, positive, expectation than to live in doubting, pessimistic, gloom any day!

So if your children are walking in truth, praise God!  Thank Him from whom ALL blessings flow.  Be happy for those who have children who are walking in truth. Rejoice with them.  Pray for those who have prodigal children.  Weep with them.  Encourage them to keep hoping and trusting in the Lord...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Should You Get the Flu Shot?

She received the flu shot yesterday and today she is fighting for her life.  The mother can't understand why she has all the symptoms of the flu when she just got the shot. The correlation seems obvious to me.  It is a healthy immune system that keeps you healthy, not drugs and shots, which suppress the immune system.  {This is my opinion anyways.}

My dad is in the hospital.  They have him on a clear, liquid diet so his colon can heal.  We looked at the ingredients of what they were giving him....sugar, chemicals, junk!  So we went to Whole Foods and bought him things with probiotics, greens, healthy stuff. 

Before my dad could drink them, he wanted the dietitian to approve of them.  She didn't even read the ingredients!  She just looked at the nutrition chart and decided if he should have it.  We were stunned.  So sugar and chemicals are fine for a sick man as long as "the chart" said so.  Sugar and chemicals do not make a healthy immune system and help heal a body.

My dad is a doctor.  He said they only had one week of studying nutrition during medical school.  All the rest of the years were spent learning about drugs, disease, and surgery. 

Two of my neighbors are pharmacists. They both told me that they would never get the flu shot since the virus keeps changing. If you get the flu, you are immune to it for like, something flu shots can't deliver! In fact, the only people I know who have gotten the flu, were those who got the flu shot.

Also, forget the antibacterial stuff people are slathering on their hands that is full of chemicals, forget the shots and drugs, and start doing everything you can to keep your immune system strong.  Good health is worth it.  God created our bodies to heal if given sunshine, fresh air and water, good sleep, and good food.

And out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food
Genesis 2:9

Friday, September 23, 2011

How Can I Please You?

Eight years ago, while I was reading Created To Be His Help Meet, I was convicted about something.  I went up to Ken's study, looked at him, and asked,  "How can I please you?'  Well...he almost fell off of his chair.  He tried to figure out what to say and finally said,  "Maybe you can iron my shirts once in awhile..."  

So I went off to iron his shirts.  Several shirts later, I came back to him and asked him if I could do two a day because my neck hurt too much to iron for very long.  He said, "Sure," and looked at me quizzically.

That began the healing of our marriage.  Since then, I have learned many things that please him and try to do them.  He now wants to please me also.  You reap what you sow.

I challenge you to go to your husband and ask him that question.  You can't read his mind.  The woman I mentor said she likes to fix her husband supper, but she found out he doesn't like her to fix him dinner.  It brings him joy to fix his own dinner, so now she lets him.

Find out what pleases your man.  You may be surprised!

But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world--how she       can please her husband.  
I Corinthians 7:34

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Ray Ban Sunglasses

They are expensive but comfortable!  Ken bought me a pair {Well, actually, I bought them and asked him if they could be for my birthday!} years ago and I love them.  They are comfortable and they look great!  I take very good care of them.  They don't have one scratch on them. 

Cassi told me that she needs a new pair of sunglasses.  Hers are too big and constantly fall off of her head.  They were cheap, but now she needs a good pair since she is a server outside at a nice resort nearby.  I told her to get some Ray Bans because they are wonderful, even though they are expensive.  I told her how I took such good care of them, because they were so expensive.

She pondered that a moment and said to me, "That is why God takes such good care of us.  He spent a great price, the blood of His precious Son, to redeem us.  Why should we worry about anything?"

Out of the mouth of babes...Well, she isn't exactly a baby!  She is 22 years old, but she is my baby.  She is a very wise, young woman.  Guys in high school knew that she was the type they wanted to marry someday.  She walks with Jesus and loves to please Him in all that she does.

So anyways, back to her statement...We have been redeemed with the precious blood of Christ.  He loves us that much.  We are valuable to Him!  We have NOTHING to be afraid of so we can trust in His provision and direction for our life.  Oh, the deep, deep love of Christ...

For God so loved the world that He gave 
His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him 
should not perish but have everlasting life
John 3:16

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Things Done In Secret

But fornication and all uncleanness or coveteousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints.  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.  For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.  Ephesians 5:3,11,12

The Doctors television show was discussing single motherhood and teenage sex the other day so I thought I would watch it to see what they had to say.  The discussion on single motherhood was interesting.  The single mothers refused to admit that children are better off being raised with a father and a mother.  It is the ideal for them.  We don't live in an ideal world, but I was surprised that they didn't think children needed a father...

Anyways, after that, they started talking about the pressure that teenagers have to have sex.  Then they were asked the most unusual places they had sex...The discussion deteriorated quickly and I recalled this verse so I turned it off.  I don't want to know what they were doing in secret.  I don't need to know.  The Bible tells me it is a shame to even speak of those things.

There are so many shows on television today that have people telling of shameful things they do in secret or even showing their shameful actions.  We are commanded to not have anything to do with this.  We are told to dwell on the lovely, the pure, the good, and the holy.

This is why it is so important to let the Word of God dwell in you richly.  His ways are so good.  They are so right.  They bring peace and joy into your life and keep the ugliness out.  Hebrews 2:1 tells us we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

Take heed to what you listen to, talk about, and look at...We don't want to slip!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Were You Madly In Love?

Were you crazy in love when you got married?  Were sparks flying, anticipation building for the big day?  Neither Ken nor I were madly in love or had sparks flying on our wedding day.  In fact, Ken says, "We got engaged.  It went downhill from there, but we got married anyway."  Sad, isn't it? 

{After I wrote this, I asked Ken if he had sparks for me on my wedding day and he said, "Yes!  I couldn't wait to have fun being married to you, but that hope died quickly when I couldn't do anything right in your eyes.}

Is being crazy in love with sparks flying a prerequisite for getting married?  No...I have proven that, BUT the reason we weren't madly in love with sparks flying was because I didn't really know what love looked like. 

I was very disappointed I didn't have all those feelings you were suppose to have before you got married.  After we got engaged, I kept asking Ken if he was sure we should get married and he would reassure me, "Yes, we were molded for each other." 

My marrying him was pretty much a mental decision.  Sure, we were physically attracted to each other, but we argued all the time.  I focused on his faults and tried to change them.  It is all I really knew.

We both loved Jesus.  We had the same type of personality.  We had the same goals and values. We enjoyed doing a lot of the same things, so I reasoned we were right for each other.  We got married and struggled through 23 years of a bad marriage which, unfortunately, is typical.

We have a great marriage now, because I learned how to do it right.  If someone asked me if being madly in love and having sparks should be a prerequisite for marriage, I would hesitantly answer "Yes" because both my children were madly in love with sparks and have a great marriage.

The bottom line, however, is love is a decision and a commitment.  It has nothing to do with feelings in the long run.  Feelings will come and they will go.  Deciding to love God has nothing to do with feelings.  It's a decision and a commitment. 

If you married someone just based on being madly in love with sparks, you could be headed for trouble.  I think it is smarter to marry someone because you know they are what you want for a spouse. 

Some people just aren't too emotional or passionate and can't expect sparks to fly.  That doesn't mean they can't have a great marriage.  It is a day-to-day commitment to love and serve that person whether you feel like it or not.  Now, that is what makes a great marriage!

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.  I Corinthians 13:4-8

P.S.  These great wedding photos of my children that I keep using were taken by Lauren Bullock.  I just had to give her recognition, because she is amazing!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Effeminate Men

There are a lot of effeminate men out there these days.  Men that aren't tough.  They aren't masculine and they don't act like men should act.  I think the problem is that too many women are raising little boys.  Many boys don't have a strong father figure to imitate or mothers step in and protect their sons from their fathers trying to toughen them up.

Ken was tough on my boys.  When they got hurt playing sports, he'd make them go in there and keep playing {unless, of course, it was really a concussion}.  I use to really dislike it when he did that.  I wanted to pamper my boys and make them feel better.  I see moms do that all the time...They get mad at their husbands and won't let them be hard on their boys. {I am not talking about abuse in any form.}

It is a tough world out there.  Men need to be tough.  They are called to be protectors and providers.  Moms need to let the dads make their boys tough...Not baby them like we want to do.  If they go into the military, they are toughened up real quick.  

I like men to be men.   I like them strong and masculine.  I like it when I see a strong fireman or policeman.  They look like they can protect us.

Let boys be boys...climb trees and fences, play with toy guns and pretend fight, etc. They have a lot of testosterone and need an outlet, a healthy outlet.  Don't let them put your little boys on Ritalin just because they can't sit still in class all day.  Boys weren't made to sit in a chair studying all day. They need to move...A LOT!!!

So, moms, let your husbands make your sons into men.  It will benefit society greatly!

I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.  
I John 2:14b

Raising Homemakers

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Demise Of A Relationship

An article written by a woman in the UK admits that marriage is more than a piece of paper....

She met David and fell madly in love with him.  When she was pregnant with her first baby, he proposed to her and she said, "Yes!"  More babies came and life got in the way, so they never got married.  They had four children together and the children pleaded with the parents to get married.  They never did get married and now they have separated ways.

As she looks back, she gives some reasons for the destruction of the relationship.  I thought they were very insightful ~

There was a general growing apart.  They stopped communicating.  They stopped having sex. 

He had feelings of being unloved.  She chose to be with the children instead of him, which made him resentful and cross.  She would rather go out with her friends than be with him.  They grew bored of each other's company and started leading separate lives.

She felt undersupported by him.  She now thinks that was from her unwillingness to commit to him.  Her parents had a lousy marriage and ended up with an awful divorce.  This frightened her from commitment.  He was useless with money and she didn't like the "for richer or poorer" vow.

"Maybe, if we had made a proper commitment in front of our friends and loved ones, if we had said those binding, meaningful words, we might not be in this situation...It is a lot easier to get out when you're not married."

She gave some interesting statistics...

18% of married couples divorced after 10 years
39% of cohabitees are separated after 10 years

In 2006, 75% of couples who had children after marriage were still together, compared to 7% of unmarried.

Another case for marriage.  Another case for keeping your love alive...smiling, laughing, talking, being affectionate, making time for, putting before the children, commitment, serving...

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother,
and be joined to his wife;
and they shall become one flesh.

Genesis 2:24 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

He Is Better Than My Husband!

When you see a couple that gets along great, doesn't argue, and seems like best friends, don't you tend to think, "He's just a great husband.  He must be so much easier to get along with than mine..." or something along those lines.  I know I sure did.

My sister-in-law, Vicky, is married to her "soul mate" as she tells me.  I remember watching them in the kitchen working side-by-side years ago.  They were kind and patient with each other.  They were always calling each other "sweetheart" or some other endearing name.  I just kept wishing my marriage was like that. My thought was,  "My brother-in-law must just be a much easier man to be married to than Ken."

The problem was that I would see several marriages like that through the years and just think they were lucky.  Their personalities fit better than our's did.  I wish someone would have opened their mouth and told me that I could have a good marriage also.  There was a lot I could do to accomplish that goal.

I have read many marriage books.  Most women that have great marriages aren't exactly sure what they are doing right.  They were modeled a good marriage by their parents usually and just know what to do to make a great wife.  They are kind and considerate to their husbands.  They just want to make them happy.  It comes natural to them.

After I have mentored a couple and they are doing marriage "right", I tell them to open their mouths and tell others the secrets to a good marriage....Not arguing, being joyful, not trying to manipulate, change or control. If you don't share your success with others, they will just think you married a much better man than they did.

This precious, young couple that we mentored is taking my advice.  They dated six years before they married and their test scores were unbelievable!  They were such a match made in heaven.  My advice to her at our last counseling session was to TELL others why their marriage is so good.  I found this on her facebook page ~ True Love Never Fails.  She started a blog to encourage others to have a great marriage.  I love teachable spirits...Their love will last...

They {any woman that has a good marriage} should encourage the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children...Titus 2:4

Friday, September 16, 2011

Comfort Through Trials

Streams In The Desert by L.B. Cowman is my favorite devotional.  If you are going through a difficult time, it is a tremendous encouragement.  I absolutely loved this writing ~

Nothing that is not part of God's will is allowed to come into the life of someone who trusts and obeys Him.  This truth should be enough to make our life one of ceaseless thanksgiving and joy, because God's will is the most hopeful, pleasant, and glorious thing in the world.  It is the continuous working of His omnipotent power for our benefit, with nothing to prevent it, if we remain surrendered and believing.

Surrendering and believing....That is all that is asked of us.  When you are going through a difficult time, it is hard to keep believing, but you must.  

All those years of my illness, I rested in this fact...The only reason this was happening to me was because He was allowing it and He was going to use it for my good.  

So much of pain and illness is a mental battle...trying to not go crazy...It is difficult, but you just have to keep reminding yourself of God's truths:  He is in control,  He lives powerfully inside of you, and  You will never be left alone.  His Words bring comfort through your trials.

God has brought a lot of good out of all my trials.  I have learned so much ~

Loving God and others is all that matters.

Living in peace with others is what God asks of us.

Accepting people just the way they are brings contentment.

Being healthy sure is a lot more fun than being sick!

If you are going through a trial, I encourage you to renew your mind with God's great and precious promises.  Try not to grumble and complain but allow God to do His work in you.  Wait expectantly on Him and rest in Him....

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him...  Romans 8:28

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Heart Transformation

Okay, God, I heard you...

There has been someone in my life recently that REALLY bothers me...I mean REALLY.  So I have handled it in a mature and godly way {NOT}...complaining about that person and getting upset with them...

As I was walking yesterday, I remembered the verses about not grumbling or complaining.  Conviction.  I am not going to grumble or complain about them anymore.

Then in my devotions today, I read this from a man who said his mom would spend an hour with the Lord every morning ~

I never saw her lose her temper or speak even one word in anger.  I never heard her participate in idle gossip or make a disparaging remark about another person.  In fact, I never saw in her even the hint of an emotion unbecoming to someone who had drunk from "the river of the water of life"(Rev. 22:1) and who had eaten of "the living bread that came down from heaven"(John 6:51).
Frederick Willian Farrar from Streams In The Desert

Then on the next day's devotion in Streams In The Desert, I read  ~

"I may be asked of God to nurture kind and loving thoughts about the very person who has wronged me and to speak gently to him, take his side when others oppose him, and bestow sympathy and comfort to him...And I may be called to walk through this world with a bright, smiling face while my heart is breaking."

I want to be that kind of wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, etc.  Thankfully, I fully realize that I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me....He is SO good and worthy of all our praise.  I love you Jesus!

For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.  Do all things without murmurings and disputings, that you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. 
Philippians 2:13-15

{Titus 2}sdays

Mckmama- Not Me Monday

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Best In Each Other

Jon and Alyssa came down on Sunday.  We walked along the beach, ate at Ki's {yes, again!}, watched football {Go Chargers!}, and ate frozen yogurt.  It was a beautiful day and so much fun.  Since they are SO happily married, I always have something to learn from them.  They have done it right from the get-go.

Afterwards, Cassi told me that she wants to find someone that brings out the best in her.  Jon and Alyssa do that, so do Ryan and Erin {the very cute couple in the picture} ~ 

They are happy around each other. 

They flirt and smile with each other a lot. 

They encourage each other in their walk with Jesus. 

They want to stay in shape and look good for each other. 

They never interrupt, correct or try to control the other one. 

They show respect for their spouse's opinion and listen carefully when they speak. 

They hold hands and sit on each other's lap a lot. 

They are madly in love with each other...I think this is the way God intends for marriage to be...

My sister's son {I won't mention names!} told his mom that he wants a marriage just like her marriage to his dad.  They enjoy doing the same things together.  They are best friends.  They like to hike, swim, and go on long walks.  They would rather be with each other than with anyone else.

My neighbor told me that my two married children have set the bar too high for my younger two.  I told her, "No, God has someone special picked out for them also."  God does some good pickin'. 

Let God write your love story.  Jon even called Alyssa his "soul mate" the other day! {Even though he doesn't like that term...a bit too New Agey for him. :) }  God is so good.  I just love His ways!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.   
Proverbs 3:5,6

Monday, September 12, 2011

Root Of The Problem

My sisters and I were at the hospital with my dad today.  He took a turn for the worse last night.  His wound isn't healing properly. At 80 years old, the body just doesn't heal as quickly.  After spending some time with him, the three of us went out to lunch to Ki' favorite restaurant.

Alisa remarked to me that I have changed SO much.  My first reaction was to feel a little offended..."I was really THAT bad???"  I just smiled {learning to control myself and not get offended :)} and said, "Yeah."  As I was thinking about it later, I agreed with her.  I have changed A LOT in the past year.

What changed about me?  Selfishness.  I use to be very selfish.  I think the root of all problems in relationships can be traced to selfishness.  She told me I use to always talk about money.  We are very honest with each other.  Now I don't worry about money anymore.  God is my provider.  I can be generous.

I had to stop thinking about myself...what I wanted from others, my expectations of others, how others treated me and start serving and loving others..  With the Spirit's help, we can do anything that He requires of us.

We learn to be better people, more like Jesus, when we listen to what other people say about us, especially those closest to us.  Taking to heart "a wise man takes rebuke" has helped me a lot.  I want to be wise.  I want to be teachable.  I want to be always open to learn.

My sisters love me now.  They tell me all the time.  They hug me tight.  We love each other and love being together.  God's ways are so good.  Being generous and unselfish is such a better way to live.  I am so happy that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves
Philippians 2:3

Inspiration Friday

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Be Ye Separate

Be ye separate.  2 Corinthians 6:17

The Christian, while in the world, is not to be of the world.

He should be distinguished from it in the great object of his life.

To him, “to live,” should be “Christ.”

Whether he eats, or drinks, or whatever he does, he should do all to God’s glory.

You may lay up treasure; but lay it up in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, where thieves break not through nor steal.

You may strive to be rich; but be it your ambition to be “rich in faith,” and good works.

You may have pleasure; but when you are merry, sing psalms and make melody in your hearts to the Lord.

In your spirit, as well as in your aim, you should differ from the world.

Waiting humbly before God, always conscious of his presence, delighting in communion with him, and seeking to know his will, you will prove that you are of heavenly race.

And you should be separate from the world in your actions.

If a thing be right, though you lose by it, it must be done; if it be wrong, though you would gain by it, you must scorn the sin for your Master’s sake.

You must have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

Walk worthy of your high calling and dignity.

Remember, O Christian, that thou art a son of the King of kings.

Therefore, keep thyself unspotted from the world.

Soil not the fingers which are soon to sweep celestial strings; let not these eyes become the windows of lust which are soon to see the King in his beauty—let not those feet be defiled in miry places, which are soon to walk the golden streets—let not those hearts be filled with pride and bitterness which are ere long to be filled with heaven, and to overflow with ecstatic joy.

From Morning Evening By Charles Spurgeon

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Loneliness To Leadership

Loneliness is something that I have experienced...Laying in a chair for years, by myself most of the time, is lonely.  Being in terrible pain is lonely.  Very few people visited me.  I didn't want many visitors.  When you are in pain, you don't want to talk to people. 

I know what loneliness feels like and it isn't fun.  It's hard.  It's mostly a mental battle.  I had to keep training my thoughts...God is in control, He is allowing this to happen to me, He is going to turn it in to something for my good, He is good...

I am reading a book called When God Writes Your Love Story.   I ordered it for a neighbor girl.  She is a senior.  She has watched my children grow up, not really date much, get married, and have babies.  Her mom told me she tells all her friends about my children.  It has made an impact on her.  I wanted to give her a book teaching her how good God's ways are if she waits on Him.

In the book is a quote by Elizabeth Elliot ~

Loneliness is a required course for leadership...The author goes on to say, "If God is preparing you to make an impact on this world for His kingdom, chances are He will take you through a season of solitude.  This is a season when you learn that you can't lean upon anyone but Him for your confidence and when you gain the strength to stand alone even when no one else stands with you."

Wow! ...I thought.  Maybe the good that God is bringing out of all those years of solitude is being a older woman training younger woman.  Ken said I have always been one who had righteous wisdom but now he said I have the grace that goes with it...pain and solitude taught me that.  God did use all those years for good.  He is so good...

The spirit of the Lord God is upon give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;  that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified
Isaiah 61:1,3

Friday, September 9, 2011

Technology Destroys Relationships

The great San Diego County blackout has convinced me that technology destroys relationships.  We lost power yesterday for seven hours. As soon as the power went out, a bunch of the neighbors gathered out in the street and talked for over an hour. We have never done that before. We caught up on each other's lives and saw how big the children have grown.

Later, Cassi and I took our daily 45 minute walk around the neighborhood ~

Neighbors were gathered in the streets sitting in their lawn chairs, drinking beer, talking and laughing..NEVER have seen that before...

Children were riding bikes and playing in the streets...usually we see a couple of children but we saw MANY...

The swimming pools were packed full of children with parents sitting around the pools chatting with each other... normally the pools are empty...

Couples were out strolling and talking while pushing their babies in a stroller...

Doors and windows were wide open so we could hear the families actually talking to each other instead of televisions blaring...NEVER saw this before...

People were out on their balconies talking and enjoying the views...NEVER saw them on the expensive balconies that they had built before...

The parks were full of children laughing, screaming and playing...We've NEVER seen children in the parks...

There were cars everywhere.  There was no place to go so people were home...There are usually some cars but not nearly this many...

People together ~  Laughing, talking, swimming, playing, eating, and sharing life together...

A woman who cut my hair years ago, remarked that America had lost it's soul.  She was raised in a very poor country materially but was rich relationally.  Now I fully understand what she meant...

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up. 
I Thessalonians 5:11

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness
Hebrews 3:13

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Homework Assignment

This is for all you married people out there...I have a homework assignment for you.  Memorize this and then live it out with your spouse ~

Let all bitterness,

and wrath,

and anger,

and clamor {a vehement expression of dissatisfaction},

and evil speaking,

be put away from you,

with all malice {desire to inflict harm or injury}:

And be kind one to another,


forgiving one another,

even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you.

Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children and walk in love
Ephesians 4:31,32 and 5:1,2

Can you imagine how incredible marriages would become if believers actually bestowed this verse upon their marriage and were really kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving, and walking in love?  THIS is how marriage is suppose to be, but it doesn't seem to be lived out in regards to marriage. 

I was introduced to a woman recently.  She was a beautiful woman.  There was so much pain in her eyes.  Both her and her husband are on their second marriage and they have several young children together.  She said her marriage is a mess and she started telling me why. 

Her husband isn't a Judas, an evil man, but a Peter, a good man that makes mistakes.  I asked her if she ever smiles at him.  She said, "Never."  She told me so many things in her life are a mess.  I told her that if her marriage becomes good all those trials will become a lot easier. 

Nothing is easy or good when your marriage is going down the tank. She wants me to mentor her.  She's crying out for help.  I see it everywhere...people not applying Scripture to their marriage.  They seem to apply it to their neighbors and friends, but not their spouses.

So I encourage you to memorize this passage.  Let it dwell in you richly.  Chew on it.  Really understand what it is saying and then, with the Spirit's help {ask Him to help you}, start living it out with your spouse.  Only good will come from it.  I don't care about your spouse's behavior. You are only responsible for your own. Remember, you can only change yourself.  Let God change your spouse.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Are You A User?

No one ever really likes a user.  A wise woman always gives more than she takes...When you are discreet, wise, and kind in your dealings with other people, you will reap the benefits throughout life. 
Debi Pearl

I use to be a user.  Ask my husband and sisters.  They know.  I am nothing without Jesus. Let me repeat that...I AM NOTHING WITHOUT HIM!!! He has worked powerfully inside of me. 

I am ever so thankful.  I am a better mom, wife, sister, daughter, grandma, mother-in-law, and friend because of Jesus. I am also much more of a giver.  I love to give of my time and my stuff.   It is so much more fun.

The world's ways use people to get things.  We are suppose to use things to bless people.  We're stewards, not owners.  Bless others!  Be a giver.  Don't let dead stuff control you.

When you want to become a giver instead of a user, first recognize that you have been a user and admit it.  Confess it to others and start praying about it.  Deal with any bad habits or sins in your life.  Ask God to work powerfully in you to change.  He's good at that.  Be detailed in your requests to Him.  He can handle it.

Listen to what others say about you.  Learn from them.  Then get to work changing with God's help. 

"You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you." 

Generosity is a good thing.  You will reap what you sow.  You will store treasures in heaven.  God keeps His promises.  Believe that!

They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed. 
Psalm 37:26

Good will comes to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice. 
Psalm 112:5

A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. 
Proverbs 11:25

Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 
I Timothy 6:18

You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.  II Corinthians 9:11