The Saving Mom Parents


Dear Dad

Posted in LIFE by The Saving Mom on June 19, 2011
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Dear Dad –

This year for Father’s Day you asked us to write down for you something that you taught us.  Sitting around the table we made a joke of it.  Most things at our family table become a joke…and usually it’s you or me who seems to be the butt of it.  Good thing I inherited the ability to laugh at myself from you.  Not that we haven’t dug our own holes…

You must have known, of course, that I would use my blog to write what you asked.  Sadly, I must remind you that I don’t have a good set of memories from childhood (due to that rollerblading accident).  Fortunately, this brain of mine has not given up completely on my memories.  I still remember all those mornings when you and I would go to the first church service together and sing along the way.  Because you not only tolerated, but encouraged me to sing with you I learned to make a joyful noise to the Lord and find joy in it.

Although I do have a somewhat foggy memory of you teaching me to ride a bike, it is pretty hard to see.  I do, however, remember clearly the moment of seeing that fantastic orange banana seat bike you gave me.  What a great bike. If only you had kept me from wearing those glasses when I rode it.

My love of reading comes from both you and mom, but one of my most favorite memories is when we read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe together as a family.  You made that book come alive to me.  It will always be one of my favorites.  I look forward to my kids being old enough for me to read it to them.

Recently, I was watching Billy Graham’s daughter Anne Graham Lotz preach a message and she said “It’s no secret, but my dad was not a good dad.”  She spoke of how he never tucked her in at night, read her stories, hung out and talked with her or did any normal dad things.  I believe that this is true of a lot of pastor’s kids.  It’s not my story though.  You definitely made time for us.  You included us in everything you could.  You taught us about a relationship with God being inclusive instead of exclusive.  Church life was really family life.  I am so happy to be able to say that my dad was a good dad who taught me what a good dad God is.

It’s a good thing you like mnemonics and catch phrases so much since you did have the problem so many preachers have with bad jokes.  Here are a few of my favorites…
You feel what you feel because of what you think about
You feel what you feel because of how you think about what you think about
Emotions follow thought

MAAAH – Mistakes Are Absolutely Allowed Here

EHAH – Everything Has A Home (This is one I wish I had really learned to put into practice as a child…because I am still working on it. Maybe I needed an additional one > TMSEABM (Too Much Stuff Equals A Big Mess). Good thing there is still time for me to work on this one with my kids.)

In many ways, you mirrored God the Father to me.  You loved me unconditionally and made time for me.  You sang me songs and hugged me tight.  Just like many do with God we’ve had our share of battles.  Certainly, not every moment was a great one.  But with love and understanding we found a way to draw close and a common peace to rest in.

Dad, you taught me that every moment of life can be an adventure.  And that actually getting out and making your own adventures is a valuable tool in life. One adventure I happily recall was traveling to Europe with you.  I definitely got pushed out of my comfort zone on that one.  And that trip has memories no head injury can ever take away from me.

There really are so many things you’ve taught me over my life, but one of the most important things is something that will be a daily part of the rest of my life.  You taught me what I should expect from a man as a husband and father.  You taught me not to settle for someone who wouldn’t treat me right.  You taught me that there can be real love that lasts a lifetime and shows its characteristics through faithfulness, passion, respect, care, laughter, forgiveness and sacrifice.  Because of the kind of man you are, I had a good example of the kind of man I wanted to marry.  Because you taught me that a man who loves God with all his heart will love his wife the same way, I looked for that kind of man.  You showed me that a man who loves kids is a man who is gentle of spirit and compassionate and I looked for that kind of man.  You helped me understand that a real dad simply reflects his Father and this is the type of man you are.  You reflect your heavenly Father.

I am proud to call you my dad.  I am thankful to have had you raise me.  I am blessed to have the memories I do of all the good times we’ve had.  I appreciate knowing that laughter is a good medicine and love is the greatest healer of all.  I celebrate you today dad.  Happy Father’s Day!

~Jessica

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Fathers

Posted in LIFE by The Saving Mom on June 17, 2011
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This is the post where I ask for your input.  I really want to know.

Never before can I remember my parents asking for something specific on a day they will receive gifts from their kids without being asked, but this year they both did.  My dad asked that we would all put in writing something we had learned from him, appreciated about him, something of value he had instilled in us.  Thankfully, this is not actually too difficult of a request for me because I was already writing something of this sort (in shortened form) trying to win something for him for the day.

It got me to thinking though.  Each father in his own way teaches us something unique and different.  Hopefully, you learned something positive from your dad, but maybe it was the opposite.  Maybe you learned something about how you don’t want to be.  At least we can turn it all around for the good if we need to, right?

Anyway, I will be posting my lessons on Sunday, but in the meantime I wanted to ask you what your dads taught you.  Anybody have a funny story of a lesson learned?  Does someone have a life-changing moment they experienced with their dad they will never forget?  Do you have just simple everyday lessons that spoke to you?  I really would love to hear what you have to say.

~Jessica

Hide and Seek

Posted in Spiritual Relationship by The Saving Mom on June 12, 2011
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This morning our older son begged to play hide and seek with his daddy.  The thing is that he wanted to play in our gated off living room.  Our living room only has about one hiding place (behind the couch).  But he was insistent.  So, while Daddy covered his eyes Yummy went and curled up next to the table or the couch or under my desk in the living room.  Let’s just say that Daddy could see him all along.  (And in fact his little brother was the one to “find” him every time.)  Daddy played with his son and pretended that he couldn’t see him.  Even Yummy knew that his Daddy could see him, but he had fun pretending.

As I watched this game happen I started to think about us and God.  How many of us play “hide and seek” with our Father?  And not as a game.  Sometimes, some of us actually believe that we can hide from God.  We curl up in a little ball and shut our eyes and pretend that He can’t see us.  I watched a movie on the Hallmark channel recently and one of the key phrases in it was about the ostrich “Don’t be like an ostrich because sticking your head in the sand to hide means that your big ‘ole butt is still sticking up in the air.”  This is the game we play with God.  And why do we hide from God?  We hide because things in our life aren’t going quite as planned.  And in reality we are trying to hide from the circumstances of our day.  Our Daddy God can always see us.  He laughs at our silliness and seeks after us with a  passion.  He really just wants to hold us close and show us a better path.

The reality is that God wants us to hide in Him, instead of us hiding from Him.  David had the right idea in Psalm 91:1-2 ( He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. ), Psalm 32:7 (Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.), Psalm 119:114 (Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.).  He really is a safe place for us to run.  He really is a secure place for us to rest.  He really does offer protection and security.

Whenever I hear the words hiding place, it takes me back to one of my most favorite books as a child.  It is a true story written by Corrie Ten Boom and it called The Hiding Place.  This is her true story of being put in death camps with her family and how she found that although they tried to make other things in their lives the place to hide she discovered that the only real hiding place was in the cleft of THE ROCK.  If you have never read this book I really want to encourage you to get a copy and read it.  It may change your life.  I know that it will definitely encourage you to look into what or who you are hiding from and where you are hiding.  Are you hiding from the right things?  Are you hiding in the only safe place?  If you are living scared of something, fearful of your future, or ashamed of what’s going on please take a moment to re-evaluate what’s happening.  Turn to the Almighty and dive into His shadow.  Life is still going to happen.  Bad things are still going to happen.  This is reality.  But, when you are in Him you will be in a place of peace you have never experienced before.

Things to think on:  Where are you hiding today?  What are you teaching those around you about hiding?  Have you found your place of peace?

~Jessica

 

Guilty Christians

Yesterday Hubs and I were listening to a local radio station and they were discussing this blog about the top 10 religious companies (excluding Chick-fil-a).  They were talking about the different things that companies do that make them this way.  Some companies stamp a scripture reference on the bottom of their bags.  Some just reflect it in their business practices.

Then a woman called up and started saying that these companies which fall into the Christian status don’t go all the way and so they shouldn’t be counted as Christian companies.  Then she said, “Well, who am I to judge?  I guess I don’t really live Christian all the time either.”

How many times in life have you heard this sort of a “Christian” conversation?  One person judging another and then saying that they shouldn’t do that because they don’t live up to those standards themselves all the time anyway, but still they DO judge the other one.  They see clearly the splinter in another’s eye and think they should say something about pulling it out.  This is often the Christian way.  (Matthew 7:1-5) No matter how often we are told not to judge, we judge.  Oh, we often say it’s “out of love”.  We pretend that we’re just trying to help.  I mean, if they could only see how false they are they would want to change, right?  And so we should point it out, right?  Because clearly, if we had the same problem we would want to have someone else point it out to us.  Because we all want to change and be more “Christian”, right?  We all want to live all “Christian” all the time…right?  And we all want our faults and failures and lack of Christianity to be in the light, so everyone can see them, right?  Because that will help us change, right?  That will help us be “more Christian”.

Once this dinner of judgement happens, the dessert of guilt becomes the Christian taste of choice.  There is the guilt of the judgement from other Christians, the guilt of judgement by non-Christians and the guilt of judgement from ourselves.  And what is the guilt for?  It’s for not living Christian enough.  It’s for all those places we fall short of living just the way Jesus did.  It’s for not measuring up to the list of standards placed on what Christians are supposed to be like.

When I heard that woman on the radio something inside of me began to jump up and down.  It was like I suddenly heard these words, “What?  Since when does being Christian mean being perfect?…Since when does being Christian mean we have all these have-to’s and do not’s?”  I would like to contend that being a Christian means that you follow the ways of Christ, not that you ARE Christ.  Because in my mind if being a Christian means being an exact replica of Christ then I do not know ONE person who is a Christian.  None of us live perfectly.  We all fall short on what we expect a Christian to be like.  We ALL have at least a splinter, if not a whole log, in our eyes.  We ALL trip and stumble on the path.  We aren’t THE LIGHT.  We are just following after THE LIGHT.

I believe that before God we are perfect.  Before God we ALWAYS measure up.  Because God sees us through Jesus.  Jesus, the ONLY way to the Father, has redeemed us.  As we live following Jesus on earth God is NOT looking at our earthly performance to see if we measure up to His standards.  He looks at what Jesus has done and welcomes us.  Once again I must say “Thank you Jesus.  Without You, I would be up a creek without a paddle.”.

Because you see, sometimes I do feel guilty over my actions.  I don’t always follow Christ.  When I realize that I’ve yelled at my kids, I hate that feeling.  When I have dis-honored my husband by speaking badly about him or made him feel inadequate as a partner the guilt settles over me like a heavy blanket.  Why?  Because that’s not how a “Christian” wife and mother should act.  Some people get a guilty feeling when they leave someone’s presence and realize that they didn’t tell that person about Jesus and His great love for them.  Some people feel guilty when they don’t pray for the sick (because maybe they didn’t want to feel the embarrassment of that person not being healed).  I mean, after all, doesn’t the Bible say -lay hands on the sick and they shall recover?  Maybe the real guilt comes from the fact that our actions often reveal a lack of trust in God rather than the profound and unique mindset that comes when we do live out of complete trust and faith in Him.

Have some things come to mind that make you a Guilty Christian?  Flipping off another driver, modeling anger to your children, speeding, breaking a park rule, not helping an elderly lady find her car in the parking lot, being late for church, having a fight in the car on the way to church, not cleaning your house, watching too much TV, watching a show on TV that has a lot of bad stuff in it, listening to non-Christian music, not giving the homeless the shirt off your back or even $5 bucks, not caring for a sick person and the list could go on and on.  You know where your guilt comes from.

And this is my challenge to you -LET GO OF THE JUDGEMENT AND GUILT.  You don’t have to be Jesus.  You don’t even have to live like Him.  If you choose to, however, then you get to see amazing things.  You get to feel amazing things.  You get to do amazing things.  Living like Jesus isn’t that hard, unless you try to live like Him in your own strength.  When it’s you, you will always fall short.  When you live like Him, in Him, that’s when you start to live really differently…the way your heart cries out to live.  Trying to BE Jesus will only bring you stress and frustration because you cannot be Him.  Following after Him…that’s where peace comes from.  And that is what I believe a Christian is…a follower of the Way.

Please I ask you, stop judging one another.  Stop judging yourself.  Do your best and when you fall down, get back up and try again.  Offer a hand to the fallen and support them in their journey.  Follow after Christ and live the way He showed how to live.  Those who do not follow will reflect whatever followers show them.  If followers are judging each other they will see the hypocrisy of that and judge the followers too.  If they see followers loving and supporting each other, then there is an opportunity for them to be drawn in by that love and come into relationship with Jesus.  Without judging ourselves and each other, we have no reason to live in a guilty state.  We can really be free the way the sacrifice of Jesus made a way for us.  We can live in a state of thanksgiving instead of a state of guilt.  I believe that is a much better place to live.  So next time you are tempted to point out someone else’s splinter, let it go.  They may not be living as completely Christian as they could, but is it really your place to point it out?  And next time you fall short, let it go.  You may not be acting out all Christian, so just turn and go the other way.  Show your kids and others around you that a life lived in judgement and guilt is really no way to REALLY LIVE.

My small (or great) act for today is to let go of judgement and guilt and to grab onto freedom and LIVE.  I would love to have you join me.  Let me know if you’re in.
(‘Cause if our God is for us then who could ever stop us and if our God is with us then what could stand against us!)
~Jessica

Never Forget

There are some in this country that want us to forget our past.  Why?  Those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it.  Without your past what is your future?

In our home America is a big deal.  We celebrate this great country on a daily basis.  And when a day like Memorial Day comes around it is a bigger deal.  This day that we think about and remember The Great Price.  This is a great country…this America.  It was forged and is held together by amazing people.  During this weekend of remembrance I ask that you too would spend time  thinking about these amazing people.

Please don’t let this weekend be an extra holiday day.  Celebrate with your families.  Enjoy the barbeque…but don’t forget.  Remember the great men and women who have given their lives.  Remember those serving you today and their families who give so much.  Take a moment and call them or write an e-mail or a letter.  Say thank-you.  For this holiday, let go of your disagreements with where our military should be and what they should be doing.  For this day, just think about the sacrifice these people make FOR YOU.

Think on this great country and learn something of our history.  Pledge allegiance to our flag.  Be greater than you’ve ever been.  Make a random act of kindness towards your fellow-man.  Hold your children a little closer and tell them why America is the nation it is.  Tell them of George Washington, Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Frederick Douglass.  Read to them a bit of the heritage of Jews in this nation.  Talk to them about modern day heroes giving for this country like Marcus Luttrell and Marci Hodge.

Remember what our flag means…
Yesterday’s schoolchildren were taught that liberty was fragile and that our Republic stood on three pillars. Every time they looked at our nation’s flag, they were reminded what those three pillars were:
The red stripes reminded them of the blood that was shed in securing our liberty. It was a call to patriotism—a deep love of country—to be demonstrated through actions in maintaining and defending it.
The white stripes stood for purity and virtue. They were taught that they must bridle their own passions or those passions would have to be bridled by an outside force.
The white stars on a blue background represented Heaven’s guiding and protective Hand. “With firm reliance on Divine Providence” we were “One nation, under God.”
They learned if any one of these pillars was ignored or disregarded, the Republic would fall.

Check out this music video honoring our fallen soldiers by Ava Aston.  I Carry You With Me  and also take a moment, put your hand over your heart and watch her sing The Star Spangled Banner.  Honoring our heroes and our country is a true way to celebrate this holiday.  Please pledge once again to Never Forget and Always Remember.

God Bless You and God Bless America

~Jessica

Disturbed by the Accepted

I admit it, I have watched American Idol since the very first episode.  And this year when I had planned not to watch it, but my husband said we should try it out I did and enjoyed it.  I love music and I love to see kids grow and develop into the potential they have inside of them.  This year the talent was fantastic.  Some of the best in the entire group that I think I’ve seen.  And it was entertainingly funny.

The rest of this post might contain some things that offend your way of thinking.  This is about what I think and see.  This is about what I understand on how to live.  And, it’s long, so, if you are in the mood to get offended because of the choices you make…JUST STOP READING.  Thanks

But, during the last season I have changed or maybe I have become more aware of things.  As a mother of two growing boys (and desiring to have more children) I am starting to get into the stage where you start to focus on teaching your kids modesty and respect in regards to the human body.  And suddenly I want to move up to the mountains away from all other people or to somewhere like Antarctica where it’s always cold and people are always covered up…J/K…well, maybe.  The truth of it is that I don’t really know entirely what to do.

All we have to do is open our front door and my boy’s vision is assaulted by scantily clad neighbor women and girls.  A trip to the grocery reveals long bare legs and low, low tops.  And here’s my confession…I have often been guilty of wearing too low of tops.  A lot of that comes from laziness.  Before I had kids I really only thought about it when I was teaching Sunday school, but once I became a nursing mom I found that low-cut tops make for easy access.  Ugg…I have fallen into the trap.  Regardless of what my past has been, I am working on it.  I want to be an example to my children of how a woman should appear…modest and respectful of herself and all those around her.

Back to American Idol…  Over this season I have noticed more and more revealing outfits worn by the contestants.  Clothing shorter and tighter and words to the songs more and more provocative.  I guess maybe I used to think it was just the professional performances (now and then on the show) that really had  a lot of scantily clad women, but now my eyes are open to see that it’s pretty much all of them most of the time and all of the contestants.  As we watched this season’s finale (after the kids were in bed) last night all I could think was I am so glad we’re not watching this with our kids.  Granted, I enjoyed a lot of the performances.  Many of those kids have a lot of talent.  I was especially bothered by the girls.  I kept thinking about how these were not the type women I hope to see my girls (God-willing someday) have as their inspiration.  And these are not the type of women I want my sons to desire.  Now, I know that these girls didn’t exactly choose those particular outfits, but by agreeing to be on AI, they make some sort of agreement as to what they are willing to do.  And the provocative dancing they moved their bodies that way.   Now, I’m not saying that these are trashy girls.  I’m sure many of them are sweet and fairly innocent.  What I’m talking about is the standards in our society.  We accept that this is the way women (and men too) have to present themselves to be popular.  Everybody has to be a sex symbol.  Why?  Why is this okay?  Why is it okay that as a mom you have a difficult time finding clothes for your daughters that aren’t showing their booties?  Why are you an outsider as a parent if you don’t want your kids to watch a scantily clad Katy Perry on Sesame Street or you stop letting yours kids watch Martha Speaks because there is mention of a wet dream in one of the episodes?  Shouldn’t we as parents be rising up against this kind of assault on our children?  Why do we accept that this is the way people present themselves and they are only doing themselves a disservice?  That’s not true.  When we allow our society to rot all around us without speaking and acting out we are saying that all of this perversion is okay.

Have you ever gone on the sex offender’s website?  The one where they list off where these people live.  You might be surprised that many live closer to you than you think.  And they are seeing your children…and they are seeing you.  How is the presentation in your life?  Are you protecting your family or going with the accepted?  The thing is, that it doesn’t matter where the sex offenders are.  Scantily clad bodies bring about the most ugly kind of thoughts in all of us.

So, am I saying that all women should start donning the clothing choices of the Muslim women?  No,  I am saying that we need to think about the choices we make as we present ourselves and we need to think about how our choices affect others.  As a God-follower we have another thought to think too.  How do our presentation decisions reflect and honor our Creator?  And I think that is actually one of the most important questions.

Returning to how what to teach our children about this…   We all have to make our own decisions as parents.  We all have to decide how we want to approach this topic.  Do we hide our children away?  Do we just let them see everything and not say anything?  Do we criticize and complain about others behavior and just assume our kids will know that’s not how they should present themselves?  Or do we set an example?  Do we teach them how to look away from scantily clad figures?  Teaching them to give respect for the human body even when it isn’t asked for.  Do we talk about God and how to honor Him with what we do?

I know for our house our desire is to teach our kids the higher way.  We want modesty and respect to be ingrained so deeply in our children that it’s what they desire too.  ‘Cause we can’t force our grown-up kids to look a certain way.  We can’t make them make good choices.  We cannot make them desire to live a holy lifestyle.  We can open that door up for them.  We can help them hunger and thirst to live a lifestyle that reflects the righteousness of God.  We can teach them what a gift the human body is.  We can teach them dignity which is one thing I feel is far too lacking in our society.  We can show them the way or we can let them find it on their own.  I believe that when our children are little and young it is our job to protect them.  It is our job to be the blinders to the filth.  It is our job to say “NO…”.

Wanting a large family, the Duggars are a family that I’m interested in.  I like a lot of their principles.  I like what they teach the men in their family regarding respecting women too much to look at them when they are presented in a dis-respectful way.  I like how they teach the women to present themselves in a way that is honorable.  I like the way they do not reject others who have a different way of doing things.

You can’t ignore sex drive in your children.  You can teach them how to control themselves.  You can teach them how to honor God with their actions in EVERY part of their life.  And once you’ve taught them through example and conversation and discipline then you can be confident in God to help them when they step outside of your circle of protection.

So, as I reflect today on what the “ACCEPTED” is I am realizing that it’s not enough to just think things should be different.  Perhaps as a women instead of watching shows like What Not to Wear or How Do I Look? and thinking when we get dressed “Is this attractive?” or “Do I look good?” we should change our way of thinking.  Perhaps the question we should be asking ourselves is “What kind of an example am I setting in this outfit?”  and “Do I have an honorable, modest appearance?”.  Maybe we should stop thinking so much on what others might think about how we look and start thinking about what our kids are seeing.  And I am not talking about dressing like  a slob because you are fully covered or in the fashions of a century gone by.  I am talking about respecting yourself enough to dress with consideration toward all.

The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:21-24
Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. 24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient.

Teach your kids to run from the garbage this world offers and straight into the treasure God offers.  Don’t get angry at others because they don’t live your lifestyle.  Be an example that is an open door for those who wish to find true freedom and a peaceful life.  Get disturbed by what has been so easily accepted by our culture and do something about it.

Since I have little guys I am looking for tips and techniques on how to best train them in this area as they grow.  I would love to hear from you if you have any lessons you have learned.  What are some practical things we as parents can do to protect our babies?  Share please…I beg you.

~Jessica

In the beginning…

In the beginning there was a certain look that spoke volumes.  In the beginning there was a sense of excitement that shimmered in the air.  In the beginning nothing could rain on the parade.  In the beginning an innocent brush of the hand when picking up something fallen felt like a bolt of electricity shooting through your body.  In the beginning no wrong was too bad, everything could easily be forgiven if it was even noticed in the first place.  In the beginning work went into every part of the hair, thought was put into if this shoe went with that skirt and how it would make your legs look.

And then time went by.  Not all the experiences were new anymore.  Sometimes things were said that really hurt and in fact left a scar.  Instead of running into the embrace or giggling when an arm went around your shoulder, you turned away.  Not that your relationship was a bad one.  You both just got tired and comfortable.  And kids multiplied those feelings.  Now you both just long to crawl into bed and SLEEP without interruption.  Now you both change into sweats at the end of the day and maybe have forgotten a little bit what ties and heels are all about.

Maybe you still celebrate those special moments.  Together you cherish the little accomplishments.  But maybe your conversation has changed.  Now you talk about your kids poop in a second-hand type of way.  Instead of dreaming hopes and dreams you’re living them and barely have a chance to think.  You still share those specials smiles, but now it’s about the kids instead of the two of you.  At this point you both know which buttons to press and have pressed them…probably more than once.  You go out for date night, but now that’s somewhere casual instead of la-te-dah.  Boiled down to the deepest part, you are still madly in love with your man, but your relationship needs some sparks.

Along the way you read some marriage books and you get excited and passionate.  You try some new things.  You start wearing perfume everyday.  And you read some blogs that remind you about the beginning.  You get tips on how to encourage those feelings.  When he walks into the room your heart starts to quicken again.  Suddenly you are counting the minutes until he returns and not just cause you need a break.

Then you start thinking about Jesus and the radical way He lived.  You start thinking about living a lifestyle like that.  You begin to scour the Word looking for the scriptures on real living.  You find the ones that apply to the most radical way to live and love.  And then you read again 1 Peter 3.  And the first four verses seem so radical to the way a woman is taught how to live.  I mean, of course you’ve always wanted to be submissive to your husband…maybe you just hadn’t thought through how that should look.  Honestly, if I go to the core my mom did teach me to live this way.  And I have at points, but there is always the times when life gets to you and you get a little lax.  But some of those concepts are pretty hardcore…like living as secondary.  How often are we taught in this secular world to put ourselves first; take a little me time; make sure they treat you right.  This scripture is not talking about how they treat you.  It’s talking about you the wife.  How do you live?  How do you serve your husband?  How often do you bicker, complain and assert your way of doing things, your thoughts, your desires?  Am I saying that women are less than men?  No, I’m saying that we have been given this great opportunity to give of ourselves and find true fulfillment.  We women, as wives, (or even women preparing to be wives) often look at our role as work instead our greatest blessing.  Living a life where we adore, honor, praise, deeply love and enjoy our husbands is God’s gift to us.  We can live a lazy marriage that is focused on what we are getting or we can live a vibrant marriage where our focus is on what we get to give.  The choice is ours.  Just because your spouse is a Godly man does not mean that we should ignore this verse.  Our husbands need us to be a rock for them…one who draws them to God even in the most difficult moments.  One who inspires their passions in their Creator and their dreams.

It comes down to humbling yourself.  It is not always easy.  Sometimes we’re right.  Sometimes we actually know what is best.  Sometimes we have needs.  And so, from someone who is in the process of getting there, I ask you to read the words of Peter and open yourself to them.  Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your mind and heart.  Ask Him to help you make the changes you need to make or to encourage you on the path you are already walking on.  Forget what the world tells you you need to be like.  Let go of their rules and way of doing things.  Get radical.  Submit.  Live differently and see the hand of God at work in you.

~Jessica

1 Peter 3:1-4 (AMPLIFIED)

IN LIKE manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives,

    2When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him–to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband].

    3Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes;

    4But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God.

Sure I’m weird

I’ve been realizing over the past year that to the standard way of thinking that I am getting weirder and weirder.  Maybe I’m getting a little bit crunchy.  Maybe I’m starting to take more notice of the important things, the simple things, the healthy things.

Here are a few things you might find weird or maybe you’ll think I’m too normal and need to weird up a bit.  Take it easy on me, I’m learning…

I brush my teeth with tooth soap.  Yes, you read that right, it’s soap made exclusively for the teeth and I love and recommend it.

I was my face with oil.  Oh yes I do.  My skin has never been softer or purer.

High on my list of to do’s when I can afford it is to buy a share of a cow so my family can drink raw milk.

I make and drink my own kombucha for health reasons and cause I love the flavor.

I drink dandelion root tea.

I usually make my own bread from scratch (and often use fresh ground flour) because I can.  Oh, and it’s better and healthier too…

I avoid medications preferring to start with something traditional, old-school before I move on to the more extreme chemicals.  (Granted, I will use medication, just not at the first.  I believe that God gave people wisdom and understanding to find cures for sicknesses…sometimes it comes through chemicals and sometimes it comes through change in diet, exercise or a home remedy that treats the root problem rather than just the symptom.)

I like to eat “soaked” foods and am looking to learn more about it.

I am working on learning how to can/preserve my own food.

I believe in learning self-sufficiency and read a lot of blogs about it.  I even know what the letters TEOTWAWKI stand for.

I have recently been reading Romans 12:2 (Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].) and am wondering what it really means to my lifestyle.  I am getting stuck in how I let go of all the customs of my life and take on the customs of my Creator.  And I’m not talking about the easy things.  I’m talking about the hard things.  Are there things in my belief patterns that I need to let go of or grab onto regardless of what others in my life think?  Am I willing to ignore the judgement of others in order to embrace the path of the ONE?  Jesus lived differently than everyone around.  He stood out.  Am I willing to stand out of the normal pattern regardless of the consequences?  Honestly, it scares me.  I want to have friends.  I want to be accepted.  But more, I want to be like Him.  I just need to remember that when it counts.

So, I’m wondering…are there any other weirdos out there?  Are you one?  Do you know one?  What do you think about that scripture?  Has it turned your life upside down?  Are there customs in life that you conform to?  Is there anything that you would be willing to stand out on?  I would love to hear your thoughts on my thoughts.

~Jessica

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