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“A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.”  Proverbs 12:4

The New Living Translation uses the description of “cancer in his bones.”  I have been witness to a few people dying of cancer, it is not for the weak of heart.  They are in so much pain from the inside out that although their outside appearance may look bad it is nothing to the way the inside looks and feels.  Their bodies are rotting.  I am not saying this to make anyone feel bad and if you are someone who is walking through cancer right now please know I am not wanting to offend you in any way but the hurt you feel is what God uses to describe the pain a “poisonous” wife (spouse) can cause.

My husband and I are around many people in many different settings and it never ceases to amaze me how horrible wives and husbands can be towards each other.  Now don’t get me wrong, we too have had our share of a few bad years and it was mainly due to the lack of respect we shared for and towards each other.

When we were getting in a bad place I felt God turning my attention to who I was becoming, a poisonous wife.  Although society may say my behavior was justified because of his, God does not say that.  He brought me to my knees to see I needed to humble myself to be the wife of HIS desire not of my husband’s or my own.

I began thanking my lovebug for the small things he would occasionally do, eventually those small things became bigger things and more frequent.  We stopped speaking ill of each other, even to our closest friends; it is just plain disrespectful to do such a thing.  I started loving him deeply, looking past all of the things that at one point got on my nerves.  We became a team again; two finally became one flesh.

I have over the past five plus years began to ache for the husbands I hear talking trash about their wives or the wives belittling their husbands because I was there once and all that created was more hurt and bitterness.

We have really close people, in our lives, that still to this day talk trash about one another when the other is not around; makes me wonder how they treat each other behind closed doors.  I actually become so uncomfortable around these people that I feel very out-of-place at times.  I feel as though God is turning my attention, once again, not to who I am becoming but who I can prevent them from becoming with just a gentle reminder of giving each other grace and displaying love and respect whether you believe your spouse deserves it or not, after all you are not doing it for them but for HIM.

Make no mistake, when you get married it is a COVENANT you both make with God.  Show Him that it means something and stop being poisonous towards each other but instead lift each other up, show your spouse what love really is, never let them wonder if you really care about them.

Several years ago, seven if I am not mistaken, my best friend’s husband died on July 9th at the age of 34.  Her heart was shattered because of all the things that were left unsaid, all the future she would have to live without him and never being able to feel his touch or hear his voice.  She went through a period of the “what ifs” and “did he know that I loved him” thoughts.  The fact is that we do not know when our time is up, please don’t let your spouse wonder when you are gone whether you really loved them.  God does not want you to bring death to a person but life, speak life into their soul.

I am extremely grateful for the parents I had.  Before my Daddy passed away, he and my mom just adored each other.  They had their share of arguments but displayed love so generously towards each other, us kids and people they came across.  After he passed, there was never any doubt of his love for her.  Their example has been a constant reminder of what a good marriage ought to look like.

Coming from someone who has been on both sides of the situation, when you speak poorly of your spouse thinking it is all in good fun or that they deserve it, please note that most people who hear those words you speak are beginning to see decay setting in on you.  Look like a crown for him/her, for your marriage and most importantly for God.

Not Yet But Getting There! (notyetproverbs31)

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:38-39

When I was younger, 10-22 years old, I was convinced that God didn’t know who I was or at the very least didn’t care.  I was one of those kids your parents told you to stay away from because they are going to get you into trouble.

For the record, my friends (the good ones people believed were innocent but in reality they were more like “Preacher Kids”) were the ones getting me into trouble.  Eight out of ten times they would be the ones committing the crime or indiscretion but I would be the one who got blamed.

After a few years of being blamed I just became what people believed me to be.

I had heard my mom, her friends and random strangers tell me about how God is always with them but just thought they were making stuff up.  I certainly didn’t feel as though I had witnessed anything like that.  In fact one bad thing after another kept happening to me.  I was beginning to have the “Eeyore” mentality; woe is me, everybody hates me, nobody likes me, my life is horrible.  Anyone ever had the pleasure of dealing with a person like that?  Can I get an AMEN.

Well that was me.  Everything seemed to be going wrong and no matter what I did to try to change my outcome, it never did.  I felt betrayed by God.  Why was every other person worthy enough to receive His grace and love but not me.  It just seemed as though He had given up on me or separated Himself from me because I was just too much to handle.  Can you even imagine?

On my wedding day, when the pastor told us to pray silently together, I wanted things to be different and felt like the only way to accomplish it was to challenge God.  So I prayed that God would forgive me.  It went something like this.  “Dear Lord, I know I was saved and Baptized when I was eight but I don’t think I ever felt the connection with You that people talk about.  I have messed up a lot since then.  My relationships have been horrible and I don’t want to get divorced again.  I want to be the wife, mother, friend and godly woman you desire me to be but I cannot do it alone.  Will You please help?  I want to make the commitment to take my relationship with You seriously.”

Now I am not saying that I stopped having issues right away but instead of feeling alone while dealing with them I felt His strength and love.  Life got better so much so that when I look back on my old life I don’t even recognize that person any more.

He reminded me that “nothing can separate us” from the love of God.  He is ALWAYS with me.  It feels quite lonely when we try to run our own lives and it is meant to feel that way because when we do that WE, not God, are trying to separate ourselves from God, which is impossible to do so it feels wrong for a reason.

Do you feel all alone on the path you are walking?  If so, maybe it is time to stop and pray for direction, HIS direction.

Not Yet But Getting There! (notyetproverbs31) 

“Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you.” 1 Samuel 12:23

Have you ever come across a person that makes you physically ill?  Although I have known, for a long time, that the Bible requires us to pray for everyone, even our enemies, I very seldom did that.  If truth be told I often did the opposite and just felt condemnation towards them.

Several years ago I was sitting in a women’s conference on parenting, listening to the speaker talk about a lady that she truly could not stand because she was constantly way too positive.  The speaker admitted to trying to avoid her at all cost because she would say things like “praise God for the sunshine,” “thank you Lord for this chair I am sitting in,” “bless you Father for the noisy traffic zooming by.”  She didn’t understand why someone could be so positive for things she did not think were that positive.  A short while later that same, positive, lady committed suicide.  The speaker was devastated and vowed to not turn her back on anyone, especially those that rubbed her the wrong way.

I saw first hand her hurt and began to think of all those people who rubbed me the wrong way.  In the past I would wish bad things on them because in my opinion they deserved it for how they were acting.

Recently, my family had to deal with a tough person that caused a lot of problems for us.  Frustration soared through my body, all the while the only thing that kept coming through my mind was that speaker’s experience.  I hurt for that person, prayed for their health and still pray for their safety and the safety of those around them.  I would not wish what they are going through on anyone.

I vowed not to sin against the Lord by pushing that person to the side, ignoring their issues, but instead I am praying continuously for their heart and soul.

Do you have an “UGH” kind of person in your life?  Pray for your heart to change for them.  Every perspective is different when looked at it through another’s eyes.

My husband and I watched the movie “Saving Mr. Banks” last night (pretty cute if you like the stories behind the stories kind of movies).  In this movie there was a chauffeur that kept talking about how beautiful the sun was, thank God for the sun, and the lady could not understand why he was making such a big deal about something the quite often occurs in “sunny” California.  She even went as far as to say that rain is better because it gives life, to which he replied so does the sun but she still could not understand his obsession with it.  After some time had passed in the movie he explained that he had a daughter who was wheelchair bound and the only time she could get fresh air to feel better was when the sun was out.

“UGH” people are not “those people” just because, maybe they are in need of a little sun or Son in their lives.

Not Yet But Getting There (notyetproverbs31)

“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her” Proverbs 31:28.

In keeping with the theme that I am not yet a Proverbs 31 woman, let me tell you why.  I do feed my kids, change them or give them clothes to wear (whichever is age appropriate for whichever child at the time), keep an eye on them to make sure they are safe, keep a clean house, educate them and of course love them.  However, I feel like the Proverbs 31 woman standards are impossible expectations to meet, I mean have you ever really read them?  Or compared them to today’s culture’s view of what it might look like now?  YIKES.

Here is my reality:

1.  My kids get fed, it is not a gourmet meal, Betty Crocker probably wouldn’t even look slightly impressed, it is never what they want because if I tried to cater to seven people I would be in the kitchen before the sun was and long after the sun set.  Sometimes my food is boxed TV dinners, sometimes we have cereal for dinner, sometimes we have some sort of pasta concoction all week long because it is easy to make, etc…you get the idea, the important thing to remember is that the only time anyone starves in our household is from their own making because they have chosen not to eat the dish that is being served.

2.  My kids are dressed, maybe not to the liking of society, if truth be told they are sometimes not dressed to my husband’s liking either.  My kids never dress inappropriately.  In fact I do not even let my older girls go shopping without me because all clothing has to be mom approved.  Their clothes typically consist of thrift store finds (obviously except for undergarments) because our family usually lives by a motto we heard from another family, “by used and save the difference.”  Every now and then I will go out to get a brand new dress or outfit for each of them, from a retail store, but only on Resurrection Sunday and Christmas.  The attire I am referring to that my husband isn’t too fond of is pajamas.  I love them, my kids love them, God was a genius when He put that knowledge into someone’s head, GENIUS!  Did I say G-E-N-I-U-S!  Other than the love of my life, our family loves putting on jammies after a long day, or staying in them way to late in a day when nothing is going on.  As a side note:  my husband only wears real jammies in the winter when it is cold but will wear basketball shorts during the warmer months…around the house when he is not working….even though they were not labeled pajamas in the store we got them from, it still counts because they are jammies to him.

3.  My kids are safe, in my opinion.  Obviously there are people out there that are disgusting and will do horrible things to people that I have no control over but I do have control over what my kids watch, who they play with and how they act.  I allow them to be a little dangerous at times, riding their bikes in the middle of the cul-de-sac, sliding down the staircase on a cardboard box and jumping from the trampoline to the pool but all while being supervised, not because I think one of the adults watching them will prevent any accidents but just in case accidents happen (and they have) someone is there to kiss a boo-boo, dust off a bottom or even drive them to the ER if need be.

4.  My house is clean, not spotless and we definitely have our fair share of excess but it gets vacuumed, swept, mopped and scoured at least once a week.  Throughout the week it gets picked up but with seven people in one house it rarely looks like it.  Another side note:  I think us mothers do each other a major injustice by cleaning our houses spotless before company comes over and here’s why…we clean our house spotless to give the illusion that our house is neat but then the people that come to visit inevitably go home and spend hours comparing their house to that of the person they just visited, “why can’t our house look as clean as so and so’s house?”  The reality is that your house was no cleaner than theirs was just before you “visitor” cleaned it but their spouses don’t know that, all they know is your house always looks amazing when they come to visit.

5.  My kids are educated, not the way I would have liked them to be but there are somethings I can’t control.  My two oldest are in public high school and middle school because I have shared custody with my ex-husband and he does not believe I am educated enough to educate them so the courts decided that they will remain in traditional public school.  I went to a public school for awhile when I was growing up but wouldn’t wish it upon any of my kids, especially when I live in a state that is like the 49th on the list of best state standards…49th out of 50, that says something.  My two middle kiddos are homeschooled and I could not be happier.  I often feel inadequate with how I educate them but then I realize that is just lies that Satan is weaseling into my head.  My baby boy will be homeschooled which will be quite interesting since I have heard boys are a bunch more bouncy when it comes to sitting still for learning.

6.  My kids are loved, none of the other stuff matters, 1-5 is not the least bit important because if I love them well all other things will fall into place.  How do I love them?  I kiss them, cuddle with them, teach them, discipline them, support them, listen to them, tell them, and many other ways.

I love them by showing them, as best as I can, how God loves them and that is all that matters.  So my kids might not call me “blessed” but I feel blessed to have this job called “mom” even on the days when I feel the need for a day off.

Growing up I do not remember ever calling my mom “blessed” probably, knowing my past, just the opposite.  Now that I have lived and have become a mother of five, I can call her blessed because I know what it is like to live through parenting as she has.  My mother is pretty amazing and maybe one day I will live up to the Proverbs 31 woman and my kids will think the same.

Not Yet But Getting There! (notyetproverbs31)

“And it was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.” Luke 6:12

The National Day of Prayer was established by President Harry S. Truman and I have to say I am a little surprised that the government has not voided that day.  Really I am not altogether sure why we have it in the first place.  Is it just a day when all religions come together to pray, no matter what name they give God?  Why does there have to be a designated day?  Does that mean that all other 364 days of the year we do not need to talk to God?  It just puzzles me how our country has to have a national day of this and a national day of that, so everyone can feel equal in their pride about what they believe.

Okay so this post is becoming more of a rant of my thoughts than an actual post but I truly do not understand why society feels so little of themselves that there has to be a day for this population and a day for that population just to make ourselves more in the public’s eye.

Christ prayed the whole night, he wasn’t just himself during certain hours of the day or on a specific day, He was and Is and Yet to come.  In fact the Bible says, “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing. in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” I Thessalonians 5:16-18.  So what makes us think we need a designated day?  Did the government establish this day so the public would have a reminder to pray for the government?  I don’t know about others who pray but I don’t need a reminder to pray for our government because I can see reminders every day in news broadcasts, radio broadcasts, magazine articles, newspaper stands, children who are being overlooked in the education system, disabled veterans who are not receiving their full medical benefits, and elderly whose retirement payments should just be considered less than welfare.  So I pray all the time, without ceasing, in my car, in the shower, when God lays someone on my heart, when someone requests me to pray for them, on the phone to a person, when I wake up, when I go to bed, when I see an ambulance fly by me, when I hear a siren, and pretty much when anyone opens their mouth to speak to me…I talk to God on a regular basis.

Today, on National Day of Prayer, my prayer is for you all to learn to pray without ceasing so that when this day rolls around again it might seem just like any other day, to you, because it will already be a regular practice in your daily routine.

Not Yet But Getting There! (notyetproverbs31)

“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.” Philippians 4:8

Some time ago I felt convicted….just so you know the meaning I am referencing is “to impress with a sense of guilt”……by God, regarding the movies I have watched.  Before I go into great detail as to why, I want you to know I am not referring to X-Rated movies because I do not watch those but am actually referring to R-Rated, PG13-Rated and PG-Rated ones.  No I do not believe they are all bad but my personal conviction is that of a total sense of being grossed out by what Hollywood believes to be acceptable, even G-Rated movies have to have sexual “adult” humor but they are supposed to be for kids.

About a year ago I was watching a movie, not gonna name it, with some friends because the ratings were great and the previews didn’t show anything that should be concerning but was beyond shocked at the opening scene; for those of you who know me personally, that says a lot.  Within the first few minutes I was watching a movie, having paid full evening price, that had unmarried sex, adultery, cuss words, children disrespecting their parents, and so much more…within the first few minutes.  I was totally shocked, what was even more disgusting to me was we all sat there, individually, trying to decide if we should get up and walk out or hope that the movie gets better because we don’t want to upset anyone for leaving.

On the way home from the movie I heard God asking me if I had learned my lesson yet or not.  I wasn’t quiet sure what He meant but I had a pretty good idea.  There is a verse in the Bible, First Thessalonians 5:22, that talks about not being in the appearance of evil and by being there watching, a younger than age appropriate rated show, I was within evil’s grasp.  Now that may sound funny to some of you because you may not see anything wrong with it, you may not have listened to God’s whisper or maybe I am just becoming a little bit more conservative but I felt God breaking my heart for Him.  So enough with the movies that I knew were not God-honoring.

It has worked really well, I don’t rent romantic comedies anymore because I know their is inevitably adultery screaming throughout those movies, I have never rented horror but on occasion I will rent action ones, that are decent, for my husband and I to watch for a date night; even that is few and far between.  I thought things were going pretty smoothly since I changed that outlook on life, that is until a few days ago.

I was listening to a speaker speak about how his son told him that his (the dad’s) life needed to be louder than his words and it felt as though it crushed my soul.  I often feel like my kids watch way too much television, do not spend enough time doing other creative things or even spend enough time reading; actions speak louder than words is what God was telling me, that day.

I had created an idol (golden calf) out of the TV.  I watch TV while eating, cooking, downtime in the evening, while doing homework, and while helping the kids with their homework but in my defense, a lot of that time is just to have plain old background noise.  Why?  It really makes no sense to me except that I am realizing, day three of no TV for me, that I have an addictive personality to things unhealthy instead of being addicted to He Who created me.  It’s not that I don’t spend time with God reading my Bible, praying, worshiping, tithing, etc. it just made me think that if I even spent half the time with God as I do with the Television I would have a PhD in Scripture Memorization.  Okay I may be exaggerating a tiny bit but I feel convicted about it, which means I need a change.

The point to this rant is I am to think on these things: true, honorable, just, pure,lovely, commendable, any excellence, anything worthy of praise.  So far Television and movies have not fit that bill so cold turkey cut off, count me in.

Not Yet But Getting There! (notyetproverbs31)

Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.'” Luke 23:43

All morning long I have had the song in my head, “This is the day,” not really sure who wrote it but I know it was taken from the passage “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it” Psalm 118:24.  It has not left my head since the moment I opened my eyes and it wasn’t until I realized that today is Good Friday the day of Christ’s crucifixion on the Cross, that I realized why I was singing a song I haven’t sang in more than 20 years.  It actually isn’t even one of my favorite hymnals, just a song that was taught to me in Sunday school as a child.  I never really thought much of it before now.

Many people utilize today as a sad reflection day and although I can understand why, it is just not the way I see it.  Don’t get me wrong I do feel sad that Christ was brutally beaten, slashed to the bone by the cat of nine tails, spit on, mocked, struck down, required to wear a crown of thorns deeply embedded into his head but His suffering is what gave me life so that I may share Him with others and glorify His name.

He told us that we would join Him in paradise, because of His suffering, if we accept Him into our hearts so I am joyful for the day He took the weight of my sins.  I count it all joy to know that Good Friday did happen because I will be able to sing “this is the day” at His feet.

“This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!”

Not Yet But Getting There! (notyetproverbs31)

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