Marriage: a picture of faith and grace

“Thank You, Lord, for being faithful, even when we are unfaithful to You.  I recognize that we need Your presence and power if our marriage is going to reflect You and bring You glory.  Please give me grace to be faithful to You and faithful to my husband.  In the difficult times, help me to walk in humility, love, and forgiveness, and to trust You to work in our lives and our marriage.  Amen.” (Lies Women Believe Workbook, page 70)

 

Marriage is hardly easy.  Since the original sin, the relationship between husband and wife has been strained.  Yes, there are easy times, and there are glorious times!  And yet, there are troubles and even bombs that drop in the midst of marriage.  More often than not, those bombs, termites, and rot consume our marriages before we even realize what is happening. 

I’ve been there.  I failed miserably, and gave up too easily.  I fell victim to the lies of the enemy in so many ways!  It got to the point where I was fighting for my life over suicidal thoughts, depression, and desperation.  I was in anguish, from my marriage, and drowning in grief from losing my sister and grandfather just a few years prior to getting married.  That’s the other thing:  be emotionally healthy before getting married.  Getting married in the midst of grief, if you don’t have the proper support in place, brings in all those termites right away, and you might not have the strength to survive anything like that too soon!  Needless to say, I found myself divorced at age 26, turning 27 the next month. 

And thus my journey toward healing from grief, from doubt, from selfish desires, began. 

God, in His goodness, gave me a fresh start.  For three years, He took me on a journey that taught me what a relationship based in Him looks like.  When I finally understood that He alone is my desire, and that He alone can supply my every need, He allowed my heart to be ready for marriage once again.  That is when I met Brandon.  I am so thankful for the faith that blossomed in my heart and soul over that three year period!  I am so thankful for the grace God showered upon me, for the cleansing flow of blood through Jesus Christ on the cross and the empty tomb that followed! 

Not to say this marriage with Brandon is perfect.  We certainly have had some arguments, and have been able to talk through them.  It is challenging, financially and emotionally.  And yet, our God is here.  He is the center, and He allows us to communicate with Him and with each other.  That is the secret:  God alone.  Marriage vows are impossible for us to keep on our own.  We do need supernatural strength sometimes to press on, to ask for forgiveness, to offer forgiveness, to pray for each other, to release anger and frustration.  For some, this is a daily occurrence.  For others, this might happen once in a while.  But at all costs, Christians in marriage, let us be faithful to our spouses and faithful to our God.  

That is not to say if you are being abused you should stay where you are.  Get help!  It is ok to walk away from abuse and seek counsel and a safe haven.  I will join you in prayer for that situation, for healing for the abusive spouse, for healing for you the abused.  Cling to the Lord.  

We are set apart for a reason:  to be beacons of light in this dark world.  Our marriages are one way those lights shine bright.  So, if you are having trouble, seek counsel.  Marriage counseling is a great thing, especially with a Christian counselor or therapist.  Marriage accountability groups, a marriage mentor couple, marriage retreats are also great resources for getting through the tough times.  The biggest things toward healing a marriage though:    God and COMMUNICATION!  Talk to each other!  Listen to each other!  Reflect with each other.  Pray together.  And love each other well.

 

That’s it for now.  Thanks for reading.  :)

Lies Women Believe, Chapter 6

It is fitting this chapter is about marriage, since our small church has been in prayer about marriage and hosting a marriage weekend.  So, back into prayer I go!  Thank you, Lord, for continuing to reveal Your truth about marriage, about us, about YOU!  May I continue to seek to glorify you, and to submit prayerfully to my husband.  Thank you for the man my husband is, that he desires to love and honor you!  Because of his desire to love and honor you, I know it is easier for me to love and honor him.  I pray for those women who do not have a man like Brandon in their lives, and that You would be at work in their hearts and the hearts of their husbands.  Thank you, again, Lord, for your provision and presence.  Amen.

Now, to dive into the lies we receive about marriage.  I think it will be difficult to find songs to supplement each truth that follows, but I know there are some good songs about marriage!  :)

Lie #21:  I have to have a husband to be happy.

Truth #21:  My Joy is made complete through and in Christ alone!

John 15:1-11 says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

 

 

 

 

Lie #22:  It is my responsibility to change my mate.

Truth #22:  I love this quote from Nancy Leigh DeMoss on page 140:  “I wonder how many husbands God would change if their wives were willing to let God take over the process.”  We are such meddlers sometimes!  I know I have been guilty of this, especially in my first marriage.  Yes, that’s right, I am divorced and now married for the second time.  I have fallen into the snares of the enemy on numerous occasions.  1 Peter 3:1-6 reminds me of the truth of my role in any changing my husband experiences:  “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.” 

And so, wives, we must learn patience.  Change does not happen in a day.  It does not happen in a month.  So, as we wait upon the Lord, let us me mindful to PRAY for our husbands.  Truly, the Holy Spirit is in the business of CHANGE!  Let us step back and cast our cares before the Lord, living to honor Him in how we relate to our husbands.

 

 

Lie #23:  My husband is supposed to serve me.

Truth #23:  Why would I expect my husband to serve me?  There are times he has; for example, after the C-Section birth of our now almost-15-month-old, my husband did serve me while I healed.  But on a regular basis?  Not necessary.  Jesus himself teaches us about servant leadership and the gift it is to serve instead of to be served.  That is especially at the forefront of my mind as we enter into Holy Week here, and I reflect on the Last Supper where Jesus washed the feet of his disciples.  John 13:1-20 shows us much about serving:

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?”  Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

Lord Jesus, give me a servant’s heart!  I know that being a servant does not belittle me, but gives glory to You!  Give me a heart to serve my husband so that he may be able to complete the work You have given him.

I write this prayer to serve my husband for many reasons.  There is no way I can even fathom requiring my husband to serve me, because he really is overworked.  Not only does he have a full-time job that provides medical benefits for our family, but he is also shepherding our church, doing online coursework for Seminary to get his Masters of Divinity so that he can be an ordained pastor, edits manuscripts to bring in extra income, and is a very loving father and husband.  I can’t add anything to his plate, and seek to take off his plate as much as I can so that he can accomplish his 4 major roles.  Yes, FOUR.  Well, FIVE if you separate husband and father.  My husband is a busy man!

 

 

Lie #24:  If I submit to my husband, I will be miserable.

Truth #25:  This was a very difficult truth for me to accept, because accepting it meant accepting responsibility for the failure of my first marriage.  I was far from submissive with my first husband.  I did not understand the importance of it.  For three years post-divorce, the Lord worked on this truth in my heart.  It was not until fully understanding the submissive role of a wife that the Lord brought Brandon into my life.  Being submissive does not mean being weak.  In fact, there are times it takes a lot of strength to BE submissive!  You know those situations:  where you completely disagree with your husband, but you muster the strength and pray to the Lord to give you the ability to say, “Ok, _____, as you wish.”  And yes, I did just quote The Princess Bride there!  It is Princess Buttercup who should be saying “As you wish.”  :)

I have learned the hard way that submission becomes “easier” (it is always challenging for us strong-headed, stubborn women!) when we are in a relationship with a man who submits to God’s authority.  So, when I found myself post-divorce and post-psycho-Kara (I had about a year of extreme “rebound” from the oppression I was released from), God showed me the importance of painting a picture of the ideal relationship.  And, being that I paint best with words and NOT with a paint brush, I made a list.  Well, more of a rubric than anything else.  The “Must-Have” qualities in a man, the “Would-to-Have” qualities, the “I-Can-Tolerate,” and the “Heck-No’s.”  In my “Must-Haves” I wrote “a man who loves the Lord.” Brandon definitely loves the Lord!  I have found it is so much easier for me to submit to his authority because I know he is seeking the Lord daily!  For those of you who are married to a non-believer or to a man who is not where you are in your faith, I appeal to you:  Pray about the words in 1 Peter 3!  How can you, by submitting to your husband’s authority, help pave the way for his heart to come to the Lord?  It is possible!  Don’t give up.  God can heal ANY marriage, and bring His Truth into any heart.  Pray for your husband!  Pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal to him the Truth and Grace we have through Jesus Christ!  And serve your husband from the heart, willingly, with your mind on the Lord as you do so.

I am going to link several scripture references here for you all to read and dwell upon regarding submission.  Read the whole passage of each chapter!  There is more than just us submitting to our husbands.  God calls them to love us as Christ loves the church!  That’s right.  It is not a one-sided relationship.  We submit and respect, they love and cherish us.  If they don’t yet, they will.  Keep him lifted up in prayer!

Colossians 3

Ephesians 5

1 Peter 3 I have quoted above.  Take the time to re-read that passage!

And, Proverbs 31:10-31

 

 

Lie #25:  If my husband is passive, I’ve got to take the initiative or nothing will get done.

Truth #25:  The truth here is that there is a huge difference between equipping and enabling.  If we continue to step into the leadership role in the marriage, our men will never learn to be the leaders God created them to be.  This ties in with the act of submitting to our husbands’ authority.  When we fight this truth, we end up with resentment and frustration even more so than if we continue in submission to our husbands’ authority.  Truly, by continuing in prayer, the Lord will be at work in the hearts of our husbands and eventually they will pick up the role God has given them:  the leaders of the households.

Genesis 16 through Genesis 21 shows us how Sarai took action, and then ended up hating the result of that action.  It is so hard to trust in the Lord’s timing, but it does bring so much more peace in the long run!

Psalm 27:14 encourages this truth:  Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

 

 

Lie #26:  Sometimes divorce is better than staying in a bad marriage.

Truth #26:  This is a lie I fell to.  Granted, I was a broken, depressed, grieving woman at the time and thus extremely vulnerable.  I know I was wrong to leave, and yet God has given me grace and taught me much.  Nancy DeMoss does write that there are some situations where it is not safe to remain where you are (in cases of abuse for sure!), and that God gives wisdom.  When we choose instead of letting God choose our spouse for us, we will face many challenges.  Even when we let God choose for us, there will always be challenges.  No marriage is easy.  Since the fall of man (and woman) in the Garden of Eden, there has been strife and role-reversal in marriage and thus all these lies we are addressing.

Another issue here is the Happiness Factor.  This is the society and culture-driven lie that “we have the right to be happy.”  When I searched for “happiness” in scripture, every verse I found talked about delighting in the Lord, being joyful, or rejoicing.  Other words include peace, blessed, content, comfort, etc.  These words are VERY different from what our society views as “happiness.”  This leads me to believe that true HAPPINESS is found in complete submission to God’s authority in our lives, letting His Spirit bring love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control into our hearts. (Galatians 5:22-23)

So how do we “fight through” the hard times in marriage?  I found a lot of great examples from Love and Respect, The Art of Marriage, The Five Love Languages, and similar books by Christian authors and psychologists.  Remember, scripture never tells us life will be easy.  In fact, numerous times, Jesus, Peter, Paul, and other writers speak frequently of challenges we will face.  Through each challenge, hardship, trial, persecution, etc., the Holy Spirit is surrounding us.  Jesus walks with us.  God’s strength becomes evident in the midst of our weakness.  As tempting as it is to throw in the towel, I pray more and more of us will stand firm, and trust in the Lord.  In the years ahead, I hope to see the divorce statistics for Christian couple DROP.  The Bible clearly defines marriage and the call God has for us in marriage.  Be in prayer for your spouse.  Be in prayer for yourself!  Pray against the schemes of the enemy, and daily put on God’s Armor (on you, and on your marriage!).  Read Ephesians 6, starting at verse 10, to learn more about God’s Armor.

 

God Gave Me You:

 

Lead Me:

 

Grow Old Along With Me:

 

 

Our God’s Alive!

 

With Easter quickly approaching, I have been reflecting on the MEANING of Easter for us as Christians.  This song definitely conveys that TRUTH!

There is a lot that leads up to Easter Sunday, particularly reflecting on the cross and an innocent man who hung there, taking on our sins so that we may be atoned.  What a sacrifice!  And three days later, what a VICTORY!

But why did this man have to die in the first place?  Why is it He had to take upon His shoulders the sins of an entire human race?

And this was and is God’s plan from the beginning of time:  That in spite of sin that separates us from His Holiness, Jesus reconciles us so that we may spend eternity with our Father, with our Creator, with the King of kings and the Lord of lords!

“Bring on the Rain”

A number of years ago, I heard this song and had to pull over to the side of the road.  I had to let these words wash over me.  It was right after my sister and grandfather had passed away and I was really struggling emotionally.  Listen to these lyrics:

 

Yeah, bring on the rain, I thought to myself.  I felt like Job in that moment.  Just bring it!  “What else can you take from me?” I thought.  Don’t.  Just don’t say these words to God.  Why challenge Him?  I was angry.  I was lost.  I was hurt.  I was one broken child of God.

I fell so far from Him in my anger and grief.  And yet, through that same anger and grief, He drew me near to Him.  He renewed my faith, sanctified my heart.  As I reflect back today to that fateful December of 1999 when my world fell apart, I realize I would not be who I am today.  I would not have the strength of faith I do today.  I would not have the deep understanding that I will never fully understand the ways of my God, but I trust Him.  Yes, even through grief, I learned to trust Him.  Trust is so different from understanding!

And yet, I understand so much.  This world is fleeting.  It is temporary.  Nothing in my hands or in my life is certain except for God.  He alone is constant.  So in all the stability I was seeking and desiring in my life, I find it in Christ alone.  He is steady, especially in the storms of life.

Then I stumbled upon this song, and again had to pull my car over to the side of the road and just sob.  Let the tears fall!

 

Yes, I have learned to praise my God, even in spite of loss and grief.  I have learned to praise Him because He is ALWAYS worthy of praise.  Even when I don’t understand what He is doing, I trust in His Holiness.  I trust in His plan, in His purpose.  In my weakest of moments, He gives me strength to keep going, to press on toward the goal.  Even when He does bring on that rain that overwhelms and consumes, He gives me a life boat.  He fills me with His strength so that I may hold on for dear life and come out on the other side of the storm.

Philippians 4:4-7 speaks this truth:  Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The peace of God is so real!  We never fully understand the truth of that peace until we are in situations where we need it.  God has given me much peace over the years since my sister died.  He has given me many blessings!  Had I given up when I wanted to, and followed my sister into death, I would never understand the idea of the fullness of God’s love.  I say the idea of fullness because my small, finite brain could never fully comprehend the vastness of the fullness of God’s love.  I have seen glimpses, and I have felt that peace that surpasses all understanding.  But to fully comprehend it is out of my league.  God alone can understand His own fullness.  He only gives us insight through glimpses of the whole.

And so I press on, because God has given me strength.  I press on, because He has given me purpose.  I press on, because I desire more of you to know and love Him as I have come to know and love Him.  Whatever storm you are in, whatever crashing waves are washing over you, hold firm to His Truth:  you are loved so greatly that Jesus gave His life for you and conquered death to cleanse you of every wrongdoing you have ever done and will ever do.  That is truth, and that is worthy of praise!

The Cost of Christ

Luke 9:57-62

As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”  And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

 

This is a tough passage of scripture upon which to dwell.  Really, leave my family behind and not look back?  Let my dead be, and not bury them? What does this REALLY mean?

Recently, my husband and I had to decide between staying where we were or moving three hours away for the sake of serving in ministry.  We prayed.  We sought counsel.  We received counsel from those we did not ask.  Everyone has an opinion, right?

It was difficult to make this decision, because we had just given birth to our son.  We lived near both my parents, we had family across the street, tons of friends from church, tons of family nearby, easy transportation, every convenience within a short drive.  My husband had a great job with Chick-Fil-A.  I was looking forward to tutoring while being a stay-at-home mom.  And then, the Lord brought us this opportunity to move to Champaign, IL.  My mom, bless her heart, gave me 100 reasons to stay in Aurora.  She brainstormed opportunities for income for us, reasons to stay near her and the family.  My brother and his wife were about to have a baby too.  Our kids could grow up together!  We had every reason in the world to say no to this move.

But we prayed.  “Lord, is this what you want for us?”  Every door opened.  I applied for and was offered a great part-time job where I can do most of my work from home, and Zander can come with me when I do need to go in.  It took Brandon a while longer to find a job, but we came down in faith that he would find one.  We know God led us to this house we are in now, and He has provided the money to stay here.  My hours increase at work just when we need it.  Friends bless us with gifts right when we need it.  Brandon has a steady job at the bank down the street, and he has a few clients for his editing business he does on the side.

We had no excuse great enough to say “No” to the Lord.  At what cost will we follow Him?  Well, we know we would move our stuff and our small family for Him.  That is what He has asked of us thus far.  Will He ask more?  Most likely.  Lord, may we be willing!

Side note:  I have had many opportunities to drive back “home” to see family and friends.  I am thankful we are within driving distance, and pray for more opportunities for them to come visit down here as well!  Secretly, I pray some of them may even move down here with us.  ;)  Unlikely, I know.  But a girl can dream!

Lies Women Believe, Chapter 5

This chapter is tough.  There are only 3 lies addressed in this chapter, and all three seem to point the opposite direction of where society is today.  And you know what?  I am ok with that!  I WANT to point the opposite direction.  Sometimes I feel like the opposite direction from where we are today is a GOOD thing, especially when it comes to families and faith.  However, some areas are just fine not going back to where they once were.  Areas of race can keep progressing forward, for I know we still have far to go in that regard!

 

Lie #18:  I don’t have time to do everything I’m supposed to do.

Truth #18:  Oh how I feel this one!  Ironically, I am a work-from-home mom now, and only have to work 10-12 hours a week.  I still feel like I am unable to get it all done!  Cleaning, entertaining my son (who is 14 months old on Friday!), cooking, grocery shopping…I feel like I have more distractions now than I did when I was teaching!  Of course, I didn’t have a child then.

Truth is, there is time to do everything that GOD wants me to do; and what God wants me to do is not watch Murder, She Wrote all day (and yes, I did watch all 12 seasons in their entirety on Netflix…).  So the key to getting things done is to prioritize the To-Do list.  Luke 10:38-42 shows us some of this prioritization: Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”  Philippians 4:6-8 reminds us also, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

So what is it God would have me accomplish each day?

  • Time with Him
  • Time with my husband and son
  • 2-3 hours of “work” time with my job.  Whether that is at the office or at home, that is up to me.  I have 12 hours a week to divide as I need to.  So, I need to pray and communicate with my coworkers on the “To-Do” list, prioritize that list, and tackle it.  There are specific things that NEED to be done each week, and then a running list of things that need to be done by July 1.  Then we’ll create a list of what needs to be done by December.
  • House-cleaning and cooking, putting away laundry, etc.
  • Preparing for Sunday mornings.  I have been writing children’s devotions for our small church, so that needs to be done by Saturday night each week.  Also, some weeks I teach the Sunday School lesson, so I need to prepare that.  Song sheets need to be printed also.   Our weekly leadership meetings are a part of my weekly routine also.
  • Tutoring:  I tutor one young man from church, and I am looking to tutor others as well.  I am just starting my own tutoring business, as you saw from a previous post.  My business cards came today!  :)

 

Lie #19:  I can make it without consistent time in the Word and prayer.

Truth #19:  Honestly, every time I try to make it on my own, life gets too crazy and I get stuck in depression and anxiety!  I am weak.  I am prideful.  And pride always comes before the fall.  I am quickly learning that everything I have, every hour I work, every paycheck we receive, every gift we get from people around us is completely from the Lord.  My God knows what He is doing, and I need to spend time with Him so that I follow the path He has set before my husband and me. Proverbs 2 is full of verses about wisdom and seeking Wisdom from the Lord.  I also find myself drawn to the book of James, specifically chapter 1, verses 5-7:  “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord…”  Then there is my life verse, 2 Corinthians 12: 7-10, “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

 

Lie #20:  A career outside the home is more valuable and fulfilling than being a wife and mother.

Truth #20:   After my son was born, I did go back to work after my 6-week maternity leave.  Do you know what happened my first day back to work?  I cried!  I came home from work, embraced my newborn baby, and cried some more!  It was such a struggle to finish the school year!  Within a month of being back to work, I realized I truly wanted to be home with him!  Do you know how much daycare costs???  Thankfully, we were paying between $100-150 a week.  That was 1 of my 2 paychecks each month.  Add in the cost of gas, lunches in the school cafeteria, mileage on my car and I pretty much had no paycheck.  Why on earth did I push myself to work 70 hours a week teaching and grading papers, tutoring students, etc., just to pay for someone to watch my son all day?  (So very thankful that the someone who watched Zander was my aunt and cousins!)  So my husband and I prayed about it.  I resigned effective at the end of the school year.

And I don’t regret it.  The Lord provided this 12-hour a week position where only 4-6 of those hours are at the office, and I can bring Zander with me if I need to.  And guess what?  I am making the same amount each month as I was teaching full time!  Talk about provision!  I am SO thankful to the Lord for providing this position!  I am learning to balance my time between housework, Zander, and paid work.  I am so thankful!

My husband constantly refers to “Proverbs 31 Woman” with me.  I am not there yet, and I know that is my ideal.  The Proverbs 31 Woman is who I strive to be.

The Woman Who Fears the Lord

10 [d] An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself[e] with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.[f]
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

Forgive me, please

Yesterday, I posted a rant.  Please forgive me.  One thing I love about this country is that we have freedom of press, freedom of speech.  We are able to each have our own opinions and still encourage and lift each other up despite our differing thoughts.

I had some realizations yesterday.

  1. When I forget to refill my prescription of Sertraline (Zoloft), bad things happen in my brain.  It had been about a week as of yesterday that I had taken my last pill.  I also drank a lot of coffee yesterday.  Jittery and chemical imbalances building, my brain was a pinball machine on hyper mode yesterday.  Thoughts everywhere!
  2. It is that time of the month.  Ladies, you KNOW what I am talking about.  I should have been wearing a T-shirt that said, “Warning:  don’t mess with me.”  The hormone fluctuations coupled with the chemical fluctuations did NOT bode well for my husband.  Hon, please forgive me!

Needless to say, I went to Walgreen’s last night and refilled my prescription.  Took a half-dose last night and will for 5 more days to build it back up into my system.  Already, not because of the meds but because of the awareness of the effect all of this had on my system, I am feeling calmer.  I am not going to drink as much coffee today.  The 84 ounces I drank yesterday will be closer to 24-32 ounces today.  Then cutting back to 16-24 oz for Sunday.  I’ll be keeping my water bottle fully stocked and available all day long!  Loving my new one from Family Christian Store with a flip-up straw  :)

 

So, lessons learned:  fill my prescriptions for pills (I never seem to forget to fill my scripts for insulin…), and keep better track of my cycle, and all will be well in my mind….I hope…  :)