Praying for your Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Speaking of love, I think that one of the most loving things we can do for someone else is to pray for them.

I aim to pray for Wade every day. In fact, I consider it a large part of my ministry.  I fail at it sometimes when I get too busy, but I am designed to be his helpmeet, and one of the best ways I can do that is to pray faithfully for him. I have seen amazing things take place in the heart and mind of my dear husband and I imagine that it is at least in part due to my many prayers for him.

(Oftentimes I start to feel like I don’t have any “ministries” to be involved in – a common thought among homeschooling moms I think – , but this is just a lie – I am a wife and mother! These are ministry positions!).

As for resources, I love Stormie Omartian’s book “Power of a Praying Wife”. It’s a great book to help guide my prayers – to give me something specific to focus on in my prayer instead of just praying generally for him. And for an old-school, mind-blowing book on prayer in general, I highly recommend “With Christ in the School of Prayer” by Andrew Murray.

Finally, I came across this list a couple weeks ago in an email group I belong to and wanted to share with you. Print it out and commit to pray for your husband! It is worth your time and effort!

31 Days of Prayer for Our Husbands

1. That he might become a holy man, a man of prayer, mature in the Lord,
growing in his knowledge of the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Colossians
4:12, Ephesians 1:18-19, 3:16-19, 6:18

2. That he might grow in all 11 descriptions of a man who will not be
shaken as listed in Psalms 15.

3. That he might be a man of contentment as seen in Proverbs 15:16,
Philemon 4:11, 1 Timothy 6:6-8, Hebrews 13:5

4. That he might learn to take every thought captive, to not be
conformed to the world’s thinking and to think scripturally.
Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 10:5

5. That he might daily seek God with all his heart, walking in the
Spirit moment by moment, growing in his dependence on Him.
Psalms 119:1-2, Proverbs 3:5-6

6. That he would ever be captivated by my love. Proverbs 5:18-19

7. That he would be a man of courage. Deuteronomy 31:6, 2 Chronicles
19:11

8. That the Lord may give him wisdom to lead his family physically,
emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Ephesians 1:17-19

9. May he always see the plank in his own eye before seeing the sawdust
in another’s. Matthew 7:3

10. That he might become a called man, not driven, with well thought
through and prayed through goals in life. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

11. That he might be a man of prayer, guarding his heart and mind,
putting into practice what he has heard, seen and learned. Philemon
4:4-9

12. That he might stand firm against the schemes of the devil and resist
Satan in all circumstances.
Ephesians 6:10-18, James 4:7

13. That he might grow in spiritual maturity by putting away childish
things, cultivating, understanding, striving after the Christ ideal,
partaking of the deeper truths of the gospel, and overcoming temptation.
1 Corinthians 13:11, 14:20, Ephesians 4:13, Hebrews 5:14, 1 John 2:14

14. That he might make me holy, cleansing me by the washing with water
through the Word. Ephesians 5:26

15. That he would learn not to depend on his circumstances for happiness
but on God alone.
Habakuk 3:17-19

16. That he would be a man who enters into spiritual warfare. Ephesians
6:11-12, 1 Thessalonians 5:8

17. That he might have new strength in the midst of his busy schedule
and that the Lord would infuse him with his strength.
Isaiah 40:312, Ephesians 3:14-19

18. That he might have a bruden to see lost people come to know Jesus
Christ as Lord and Savior. Matthew 28:19-20

19. That he would be kept from strange women and evil men and that his
friends would be men and women who walk with God. Proverbs 13:20

20. That his self image might be a reflection on the Lord’s thoughts
toward him. Ephesians 1:17-19, Romans 12:3, Psalms 139

21. That he might be a man responsible for family spiritual growth.
Proverbs 4:1-14

22. That he might not be deceived into unbelief, sin or bitterness.
Matthew 13:8-10

23. That he might learn to love as God has commanded. 1 Corinthians
13:4-7, Romans 12:8-10, Ephesians 5:25

24. That the fruit of the SPirit might be exhibited more and more in his
life. Galatians 5:22-23

25. That he might grow in humility and being a shepherd. 1 Peter 5:2-6

26. That he might grow daily in character. 2 Peter 1:5-8

27. That he might keep a clear conscience. 1 Peter 3:16-18

28. That the Lord might protect him, guarding his course. Proverbs 2:8

29. That he might learn to manage his time well. Ephesians 5:15

30. That the Lord would put a song in his heart. Psalms 33:3, 40:3,
Job 35:10

31. That he may have a holy fear of the God. Psalms 34:11, 111:10,
Proverbs 9:10

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Catalogs and Coveting

Do you struggle with discontentment or coveting?  Maybe you don’t – and just maybe this post is  me preaching the truth to myself 😉

Hebrews 13:5 – Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

I find that in my life, I don’t have too much of a problem with coveting or discontentment  unless I open up a catalog or magazine or start browsing around on Pinterest.  When a clothing catalog comes with the new season’s clothes, I want a new outfit so much! “Just look at how awesomely cute that suede skirt is! And that denim blazer! With the ivory turtleneck sweater! Ooooh, and I could wear my brown riding boots with it. And I already have that turquoise necklace I could wear with it! I just have to have it!”

Ten minutes prior, I was perfectly content with my wardrobe. Now I suddenly need to spend “x” amount of dollars to be happy.

Maybe it is a Southern Living magazine with a beautiful living room, perfectly decorated. “ooh, those lamps would look perfect in our house!” Or those Pinterest photos of bathroom remodels. “those countertops! beautiful! And the custom rough lumber cabinets!”

To be blunt, it’s a sickness to the Christian soul. God does not want me to be discontent or to covet. He has blessed me with what I have. And He has given me what is best for me. And so when I sit around wishing I had something different….. well…. That’s pretty ugly. It’s saying to God “what you have given me is not enough”. That’s really ugly.

And so how do I combat this? For one thing, I avoid looking at things that will tempt me to covet. I throw away the catalogs when they come. I don’t open the emails notifying me of the weekly sale at a shopping website. I avoid browsing around on Pinterest.

And then I saturate myself with Scripture. And consider all the blessings He has given me.

And the truth of the matter? God has blessed me way beyond what I deserve. So I don’t need to be wasting my time wanting something “cute” to wear.

Matthew 6:25 – Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Shades of Grey

Unless your head has been in the sand lately, you’ve probably heard about the new movie (based on a bestselling novel) called Fifty Shades of Grey. I have not read it or watched the movie. And I definitely don’t recommend that you do either.

Basically it is an erotic story of an unmarried couple practicing explicit bondage, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism. It’s not just about sex. It is certainly not about romance. It is about emotional abuse and sexual violence. And if my facebook newsfeed is any indication, it is one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year.

Now I am not passing judgment on non-Christians. If you are reading this and you are not a Christian, I am not talking to you.

But, my sisters and brothers, if you claim to be a follower of Christ, I am talking to you.

I saw this headline today: “Bible Belt excited for ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’” – the states in the Bible belt are hugely surpassing pre-sales from what was anticipated.  What a disgrace. This is just laughable, an invitation for mockery from the unbelieving world.

Sisters, brothers, here’s what I have to say on the matter: there is no shade of grey when it comes to sin. Look at this color shade chart.

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Imagine that the white side is 100% good. The black side is 100% evil. So does that mean the shades in between are okay to dabble in?  Does the Christian have any liberty to be prancing around in the grey areas?

Either something is 100% true, good, and pure OR it is evil. There is no continuum or shades of grey between evil and good. One tiny step towards the dark side is evil. If something is only 99.9% good, then it is sinful and evil. There is no room for compromise.

1 Thessalonians 5:5 – Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

1 Thessalonians 5:22 – Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Ephesians 5:8 – For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

Ephesians 5:11 – And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

I’m sure there are more verses. But you get the point. Don’t flirt with the dark side. Stay far from it. One step away from the pure white and you are into enemy territory. Do not step out of the safe zone. Don’t be enticed towards the lightest shade of grey.

Don’t play that game.

Proverbs 4:23 – Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Birthday ramblings

We celebrated my birthday last weekend. It was so fun seeing what the children chose for me from the Dollar tree (for those who may possibly not know what the dollar tree is, it is the BEST place to take children shopping – every single thing there is $1). From the children, I received a travel coffee mug so I can drink my mocha in the car (actually it’s mostly just a hot chocolate but it sounds much more adult like to say mocha). I got a pack of new socks because my dear Aubrey had noticed that all of mine have holes  need replaced. A pizza cutter, calculator, and vegetable peeler rounded out the gifts. My dear hubby got me a long awaited Kindle Fire, obviously not from the Dollar Tree. He said he was tired of seeing me read websites, news, books etc on my tiny screened phone.

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My past few birthdays have really made me understand some of the Scriptures better about being a vapor (James 4:14), a fading flower (job 14:2), a declining shadow and withering grass (psalm 102:11, psalm 144:4 ) etc. Time is flying by and I feel like before I know it, this life on earth is going to be over. And that makes my contemplative heart feel melancholy sometimes, even though I know heaven will be infinitely better than this place.

I suppose I can look forward to gray hair – Proverbs 16:31 says it is a crown of glory! And I do look forward to growing old with Wade – to sit on the rocking chairs and watch the grandchildren play (and at the rate we’re going we’re going to have a LOT of grandchildren). I pray the Lord will give us that privilege. Wade will be such a sweet old man, and such a fun grandpa. I can picture him now with his gray hair and wrinkles. He will be a cute old man.

Well anyway, enough sentiment. Wade and Aubrey also made me some grain free brownies for my birthday celebration and they were delicious. They make brownies for me every year, but until this year it has always been the usual wheat-based variety. I’ve come to realize over the past year though that wheat always gives me pimples (I’m way too old to still get pimples, right!?), and it also makes my tummy hurt for a while after eating it. So, I still occasionally eat fresh homemade bread, because it is oh so good, but stay away from wheat for the most part. Enough about me. Here’s the recipe in case anyone is interested. It’s definitely going in our family cookbook!

 

Grain-Free Double Chocolate Brownies

2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/3 cup raw honey

2 large eggs

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons milk

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

optional:  ¼ cup creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease the bottom and sides of an 8″x8″ square baking pan with coconut oil.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, add all of the wet ingredients (including peanut butter if you are using). Mix well with a hand mixer or a whisk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix very well with a hand mixer. Then fold in the chocolate chips  with a spatula.

Pour all of the batter into the greased pan and spread evenly with a spatula or your hands, gently press in. I like to save some of the chocolate chips and sprinkle them across the top just before baking.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until the center is no longer super soft and doughy. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before cutting into bars or they could fall apart.

Why the Hiatus?

I’ve been missing for months! Why?

Well, a couple reasons. For one, I started thinking, why in the world would anyone care to read what I write? Why in the world would anyone care about my blog? And two, because life had become so overwhelmingly busy, it really started feeling like I couldn’t even get a minute to sit and process my thoughts before whisking off to my next task. So I stopped writing for a while.

We’ve intentionally been trying to downsize our commitments (is that a proper use of the word downsize? I don’t know.).  We even sold our chickens for a season because even just the added time of feeding, caring for and gathering the eggs was adding to our too-full to-do list. It was all of maybe 5 minutes a day, but it was just too much. I’m serious folks, we have been overextended. “Burning our candle at both ends” as Wade’s grandma says.

And as for writing, well, I’ve just been itching to do it again. And I have come to realize that it is okay if no one reads it. It’s okay if no one cares what I have to say. Its more about the fact that I feel a need to write and to say something. If no one reads it, that’s okay. At least I got it out there and off my chest.

Maybe it’s because I’m alone all the time. Well not really alone – there are always 6 children with me. 24/7. So I doubt you could classify me as being “alone”. But I don’t get to talk and socialize much. Well, except for the members of my household. But you know what I mean. I don’t have coworkers to chat with or playdates or neighbors to visit wit etc. So sometimes I feel like I’m just bursting with words.

Sidenote: I remember reading that women say on average 20,000 words per day and men only 7,000. I believe it. It’s definitely true between Wade and I.

So, I think I’m back. And I’ll be sharing whatever it is that is just bursting out of me. Whether I think anyone cares to read it or not!