Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Love & Marriage & God

Ever get the feeling God is trying to tell you something? Sometimes, I'm a little obtuse, and He has to practically hit me over the head to get the point across. He's been throwing a few things in my way this time, though. So I'm figuring out what He has to say before any objects are dropped on my head. :)

Over the past couple of weeks, God has been showing me how important family is. I know, I know...DUH. But aside from the roles we have as mother, daughter, sister, wife, and so many more...we have a responsibility to teach our families to LOVE GOD.

I bought a book on Amazon today, and I cannot wait for it to get here. It's called Sacred Influence, and it deals with supporting your husband from a godly perspective.

As a wife, and especially as the wife of a youth pastor, I need to be encouraging and provide strength. Women have very important roles in life, and I need to make certain that I'm fulfilling my role to the best of my ability. After all, I cannot truly love my husband until I love God first and most.

Finally, I heard a song on the radio yesterday that really broke my heart. It's called "Lead Me" by Sanctus Real. Here are the lyrics:

I look around and see my wonderful life
Almost perfect from the outside
In picture frames I see my beautiful wife
Always smiling
But on the inside, I can hear her saying...

“Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone”

I see their faces, look in their innocent eyes
They're just children from the outside
I'm working hard, I tell myself they'll be fine
They're in independent
But on the inside, I can hear them saying...

“Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, but what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone”
So Father, give me the strength
To be everything I'm called to be
Oh, Father, show me the way
To lead them
Won't You lead me?

To lead them with strong hands
To stand up when they can't
Don't want to leave them hungry for love,
Chasing things that I could give up

I'll show them I'm willing to fight
And give them the best of my life
So we can call this our home
Lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone

Father, lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone

I think God created all of us with a desire to be loved. And as a woman, I tend to have a desire for the fairy tale love. A little danger, then a handsome prince swooping in to save me, take me to his castle, and live happily ever that too much to ask?

What girl doesn't want a man who looks only at her, never noticing anyone else? Who doesn't want to be the center of a man's universe? That's all wonderful, and if you've found someone who loves you passionately and completely, then you're very lucky!

But we will never be satisfied if we do not have the love of Christ. He loves us more than we understand or even imagine. He loves us with a pure, unconditional love that is unending. Until we know that love, we cannot love our spouses, children, or anyone else they way they need to be loved.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Father's Love

Two of my favorite people in the world are my parents. They are truly amazing.

This week, my favorite radio station had a challenge going to call in and describe your father in seven words or less. Hard, huh? How can someone who's done so much for me and loved me unconditionally be summed up in that small amount of words? Words often fail, but I'm going to attempt to describe my dad with only 7 words. Here we go...

1. Godly
2. Hard-working
3. Loving
4. Patient
5. Quiet
6. Funny

Whew...that was hard. My dad is made up of many great qualities, and there just isn't room to list them all! I wish everyone could know the love I was given as a child and still continue to receive, even though I don't deserve it. My dad and mom have taught me lots of things, from how to drive a car to how to read. But most importantly, they set godly examples for me. Through my dad, I've learned what truly matters: it's not what you have or where you've been, it's where you're going; kindness and sincerity will take you far; and attitude is everything. :)

To my dad, Happy Father's Day. You're the best, and I am so thankful for the example you've set for me. You mean more to me than you'll ever know.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Grumblings of the Discontent

"Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor."
- Benjamin Franklin

Okay, so the rest of our founding fathers were not exactly idiots, but good ol' Ben seems to have hit the nail right on the head.

This morning, I'm driving down the road, dodging traffic and listening to the radio. Suddenly KLOVE is playing a clip with Luci Swindoll (if you don't know who she is, look her up and read her won't be disappointed!) speaking about contentment.


Yes, yes...I've had feelings of discontent. I've been guilty of wanting more, wanting less, and just wanting NOW. God has blessed me...I know this. However, that doesn't necessarily stop my human nature from rearing its head and telling me that I need more than He has provided.

My focus for this week is going to be the wonderful things God has given me; because guess what...those things are always here, even if I do not acknowledge their presence! Shocker...the world doesn't revolve around me. It's time to change my attitude to reflect the importance of God, the author and perfecter.

I've been looking into contentment and happiness this afternoon, and I found this:

"It is not our circumstances that create our discontent or contentment. It is us."

Just in case my morning experience wasn't enough...God sent me another reminder. My 11 year-old niece and 7 year-old nephew were arguing, and the fight ended in a round of "That's not fair," and "But it's miiiiiiine!" on the part of my nephew. Then my niece burst into song.

You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometime
You just might find
You get what you need

Now, I don't normally turn to the Rolling Stones for words of wisdom or advice, but this couldn't have come at a more appropriate time. Thank you, God, Blake, and Mick Jagger for sending me reminders! :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Adventures in Babysitting

This week has been BUSY.

Monday was a wonderfully restful holiday, though. Then Tuesday came. :)
Since Tuesday, I've been babysitting four (that's right...FOUR) children, two of which are my niece and nephew. They are all so much fun, but I'm worn out by the end of the day! In addition to taking the dog to be groomed, we spent yesterday playing games on the Wii and making cookies and cupcakes.

Today I made a few enemies...I only gave the kids one hour of video game time. *sigh* Does anyone else remember when one hour of games was amazing? Anyway, my niece played Rock Band this morning, and she was INCREDIBLE!

Isn't she beautiful?!

So they only played outside for a few minutes, and then we played board games and watched movies. Let me tell you, these kids get restless without the video games! It's hard to be outside when it's soooooo hot, though. Any suggestions for indoor activities?

He's so handsome!

Tomorrow I will only have two kids at my house, so it should be a little calmer here without them arguing over which game to play or who's going to hold the dog or who gets to sit on the stability ball. :) Just for the record, I wouldn't trade being with all of them for ANYTHING in the world. My nephew has another baseball game GO BRAVES!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Guilty vs. Not Guilty

Guilt: 2 a : the state of one who has committed an offense especially consciously b : feelings of culpability especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy

Guilt is not always a bad thing. It can bring about good changes, changes that will improve the way of life. When I'm guilty of something, how often do I truly regret the wrong I've done? Is it sincere? Will I honestly avoid doing it again?

Yesterday my feelings were hurt. I wasn't angry, just feeling a little low. When she realized that she hurt my feelings, my niece called me. When I answered the phone, I couldn't hear anything but sobbing. She was crying so hard that she could barely get out the words, but there they were..."I'm sorry." And I knew the words were sincere.

All of this made me wonder if we're sincere when it comes to apologizing and asking God to forgive us. Do we give a superficial "sorry," or do we feel truly remorseful? Do we come to Him with contrite hearts to repent, or do we rush to spill our excuses?

Guilt shouldn't run our lives, but it should used as a tool to protect and nurture our relationships. Like my niece, we should come as children with simple, honest penitence.

*I'm telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you're not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God's kingdom.*
-Matthew 18:3-4

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