Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Titus 2 Tuesdays - Stunning Reflections


What have learned from another woman this week? (or ever)

Write your own "Titus 2 Post" (linking back here somewhere within the body of your post) and enter your link below!

I am reflecting on the past today. There are many stunning examples of virtuous women in the history of the United States of America. Yesterday, many paid tribute to men and women of valor who have fought for our countries freedom. I am thrilled that so many take time out to consider the fight and cost that it has, and continues to, require to allow us to live in a free country. More specifically, in a country where we are able to worship God openly - may none of us take that for granted and all who believe actively exercise this right and freedom...

Today, my mind and heart are drawn to those women who supported their men. Who planted victory gardens, wrote (actual) letters faithfully, and intentionally encouraged their spouses to press on; all the while taking care of matters at home and providing for their children. So many of us could stand to pause here for a moment and consider the amount of time and energy that these women poured into making sure their husbands knew that they were supported, loved, prayed for and making an eternal difference in the world. I am, in no way, saying that they were all perfect or never failed to do so; just that the efforts of their day were noteworthy.

Does my own husband know? Have I gone out of my way to show him that he is supported, loved, prayed for and making an eternal difference in the world?

Because he is.

Today I am just feeling a bit convicted that I need to place a little more energy into conveying those things to him in ways that he can receive and understand. The stunning reflections of those who have gone before me are impressed upon my mind.

I guess maybe this has turned into a bit of a "Marital Moment" as well as a "Titus 2." It's just what God is impressing upon my heart today. What has He brought to mind to you today?

What have you learned from another wise woman? ALL of us can learn something from one another. Join in and then go read these posts!
**Please write your "Titus 2 Post" linking back to this post first and then enter your link below.**

*Mr. Linky has been sending some messages about his system being overloaded so if you are unable to access him; feel free just to either leave a comment letting us know that you posted or you can "create a link" to this post below. *

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Blogger Appreciation Week

My fabulous friend, Daveda, is hosting a "Blogger Appreciation Week" this week. I am excited to join in and hope that you will as well! Whether or not you intend to join into the "Blogger Appreciation" portion; I hope that you will continue past the next two paragraphs to receive a heart felt, Thank You, written especially to you - those who read my blog and are read by me.

Here is how to join in:
You will title one of your posts from May 25th-June 1st "Blogger Appreciation Week" and in it you will share with the rest of us information about why you blog, why you like to write, how reading the blogs of others has touched your heart, what God has done in your life through blogging, tell us about some of the special people you have meet...etc. Somewhere in this post you may also want to include the titles to one or two of your favorite post so that those visiting your blog for the first time can read them. After you have posted, go to Daveda's blog and enter your link into Mr. Linky!

Then, the next step is to visit the other blogs on the Mr. Linky, and make sure you LEAVE A COMMENT of encouragement!
Tell others how their blogs have touched you and what you liked about their writing, their life...etc. If you read through other postings and have a comment please leave ALL comments under the "Blogger Appreciation Post" just name the other title related to your comment, this way we can all read through, and you will be sure that blogger sees your comment next week. If you like what you read become a follower and make a new friend! We all love new friends!

Here is my "Blogger Appreciation Post!"

I began my blog last year following the Proverbs 31 She Speaks Conference. I had attended a break out session on blogging and found it a bit over my head...URL's, Mr. Linky, and a bunch of other things I had no idea what they meant; but God kept bringing it to mind. As I considered something Lysa Terkeurst had said later in the conference about each of us having many things every day that are worthy about writing about; I began praying about what the name of my blog might be and,... "A Teachable Heart" began.

I had never been a consistent writer throughout my life; but when I needed clarity (usually during difficult times in my life) I would find myself writing. God always used the writing process to help me to see
truth in my situations and it helped me to let go of anger, loss, roots of bitterness and even depression. When I began blogging; I had to set a "schedule" (M,W, F) for myself to help to develop my own discipline of writing. I was walking in obedience and asking God to fill me with His Words for myself and for others. It has always been one of my life's purposes and passions to encourage and equip others and to help them to reach their God-given potential and freedom in Him. Truly, when we seek Him, He is found to us.

I have been blown away by the relationships formed in this short (almost) year of blogging. Many of you have written timely words that God has used powerfully to encourage, convict, and even bring levels of healing to my own heart. I have laughed with you all, cried with you, agreed with you in prayer, and (best of all) rejoiced in the faithfulness and goodness of our heavenly Father. You all have been instrumental in further developing my writing skills as well. I am currently in the midst of writing a curriculum for girls that I hope one day will touch many lives.

Thank you. Thank you for taking the time to write, to read, and especially to leave comments. God has used all of those things in my heart and life this year.

Now to share a few wonderful bloggers with you...

First, I want to encourage you to check out all those who I have listed on the side of my blog; they are all amazing and worth your time. If you must choose only one today; please spend some time basking in the gift of God's Grace at Grace Talk with Daveda.

Secondly, some of my best blogging friends have been met by clicking on someone's link who has left a comment that resonated within me - so take a few minutes to click on the other commenter's links.

And lastly, I wanted to share a few bloggers who have touched my heart again and again in many different ways. I often have to remind myself that I don't know these people "in real life" because we have shared so much together in our blogs and e-mails:

Jeneil at Autism in a Word. Jeneil is such a gifted writer! (BTW, even if you do NOT have autistic children, her writing will bless you.) She is able to draw you in, show you truth, love, and grace (often through humor) while deeply impacting your heart.

Pam D from Life by the Creek: Is another "soul sister" of mine. She is the queen of simple; yet profound. God has spoken to me several times through this sweet sister.

Gretchen from Jewels In My Crown Someday: What I especially "lurve" about Gretchen is her willingness to be real. She guest posted over at His Girl's Blog (Another AWESOME blogger!) awhile back about being unequally yoked. We need more people who are willing to take the "masks" of perfection and Spirituality off long enough for people to catch a glimpse of God's amazing love and grace in action in our lives. If people only see "perfection" all of the time; they will miss the reality of God...(something I am also passionate about...can you tell? ;)

Here are a few more you may enjoy checking out:

The Preachers Wife - Lisa is funny, witty, & obviously, a "Preachers Wife."

Pure Wells - Kathryn draws deeply from the wells of Scripture and the truth she shares is a "full meal" Spiritually speaking. I am blessed to love this precious friend in real life.

A View From the Mountaintop - His Daughter is bursting at the seams with God's hand in her life. I look forward to watching His plans for her continue to unfold.

There are obviously so many more I'd love to share with you - many of whom I passed on awards to in my previous post.

God's heart is for His children to walk in love and unity. It is our hope that through Blogger Appreciation Week we will all be encouraged and drawn closer to the heart of God as we take time to share in the lives of others. "Father we ask in Jesus name that no person would leave this event not feeling loved and blessed by you. We pray that every heart would be softened and touched by your beautiful love and grace as we read through each others lives." If you would like to participate in this special blogger event anytime from May 25th -June 1st, add your blog to Mister Linky @ Grace Talk With Daveda. Invite your friends, put up your post with the first and last paragraph of this post copied and pasted in,then surf the blogging world and be a blessing to others, make sure you leave COMMENTS of ENCOURAGMENT to all whom you visit (leave them all under comments for this post, even if it is about another post to be sure that they see it)! Don't forget to check back often through out the week to visit and encourage those who join later.

With Sincere Appreciation!


Blog Awards - A Golden Heart & Queen of All Things

I am always so touched when someone passes an award onto me; but the true joy in it is always passing it on!

Thank you to Daveda at Grace Talk With Daveda for passing on the "Golden Heart Award!" She is also hosting the "Blogger Appreciation Week" this week so if you haven't joined in yet; go check it out!

Now I get to pass along this award to five others that have touched my life and encouraged me in some way. I get to encourage them as they have encouraged me. I hope that you will visit them and leave them a comment to let them know you were there.

1. Belinda at Eddins Four - I am greatly enjoying getting to know Belinda's sweet heart as she shares her family and her heart for the Lord.

2. Shannon at Focused on the Center -Shannon is a kindred spirit. She loves praise and worship music and has a heart for God.

3. HappyAsCanBe -Is someone I am sure that I would be fast friends "in real life." I love her outlook on life!

4. Pam D. at Life By The Creek - A sweet sister who can bless and convict me in the same post! I love her simply profound posts!

5. Kathryn at Pure Wells -A friend in real life whose heart is truly pure gold. She loves God & His Holy Word.

If you receive this award and decide to accept, it's your turn now. You get to choose 5 blogging friends that you would like to pass the "Golden Heart Award" along to. Post this in a blog and make sure you add the heart photo in it. Then, notify those you have selected that you have nominated them. Ask your readers to check out their sites, leave a comment and if they like what they read become a follower!

The second award that I am excited to pass on was a gift to me from Michelle at Lollypops and Lizards - Thank you so much Michelle!!

Here are the award rules:

List 7 things that make you Awe-Summm and then pass the award on to 7 bloggers you love.

Make sure to tag the recipients and let them know they have won! Also link back to the Queen that tagged you.

1. I am in awe of God's Mercy & Grace

2. I am married to my best friend; who challenges me to become all that God intended for me to be.

3. God has blessed me with three children - growing up I would never have dreamed I would be a mother of 3!

4. God occasionally allows me a front seat (speaking) when He is at work in the hearts of others; it amazes me every time how He is such a personal Savior.

5. I am a life-long learner. I will NEVER know it all and that is freeing in so many ways.

6. I enjoy photography (although I don't post photos on here as often as I should!)

7. I'm relatively tall.

1. Christy Rose from The Secret Life of An American Wife and Mom - This wife and mom of 5 knows what it is to rest under the Shadow of the Almighty and to walk in the power of His Holy Spirit.

2. Amber at His Girl - Amber balances her role as a wife, mom, Children's Ministry Director, friend and awesome blogger/now co-online Bible Study Leader.

3. Jennifer at Still Learning I am really enjoying getting to know Jennifer. She always has great advice and comments for me and I love how she is pursuing God!

4. Rachel at Once Upon a Miracle is busy with her beautiful little boy and her husband. ;) She is also hosting a fun meme on Tuesdays called, "True Story Tuesdays." If you are ever in need of a good laugh; check it out!

5. Jeneil from Autism in a Word has been blessed with two beautiful daughters that she generously shares with us and she is also a queen of sharing the love and hope in Christ.

6. Dawn at Daughter of the King of Kings This adorable woman never ceases to amaze me - she has shown hogs and heifers, keeps up with her adorable boys, loves Jesus, and seems to continuously be re-arranging her blog! ;)

7. Mikki at Here's What Let's Do - Is the wife of a children's pastor, has two children, AND teaches high schoolers...advanced placement high schoolers...need I say more???

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Spirit is Willing

"The spirit is willing, but the body is weak" (Matt. 26:41b)

I've recently joined a gym. I am determined to get some extra weight off! I have been squeezing work outs into my crazy May schedule. (Why oh why did I not get this determination in March or April??) Thankfully, I joined the same day as a close friend so it is making this whole process much more enjoyable. But while my spirit is willing; my body is weak.

I strained a deep core muscle years ago by falling down some stairs while I was pregnant with my first son. Instinctively, I used every muscle I had to protect my unborn child. Thankfully he was just fine. It took quite a bit of therapy and time to restore the muscle to the point that I no longer felt that twinge of pain daily.

Each workout has made me feel the strained area a bit more; but I pushed on hoping that maybe the area just needed to be strengthened. Thursday in the midst of "Turbo Kick" class; I was reminded just how weak my body can be. I wanted to be able to push 110% through the rest of the class; but I just physically couldn't do it. In fact, I couldn't even carry my two year old out to the car afterward. It just hurt too much. I was frustrated. Everything in me wanted to continue pushing forward; forcing my body into slim submission.

The spirit was willing; the body was weak.

If you read this verse in context you will see that the words are spoken by Jesus to his disciples in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus had just told his closest friends that His soul was overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. (vs.38) He asked them to stay with Him and to keep watch; instead they fell asleep. If a close friend had just told me that their "soul was overwhelmed to the point of death," I would hope I wouldn't fall asleep. In fact I would desire to be passionately interceeding on their behalf. Jesus returns to His disciples and says,

"'Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?' he asked Peter. 'Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.'" (Matt. 26:40-41 NIV)

I enjoy reading other translations and commentaries to get an over all feel of a passage. Here is the Message translation of verses 40-41:

"'Can't you stick it out with me a single hour? Stay alert; be in prayer so you don't wander into temptation without even knowing you're in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there's another part that's as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.'"

Further into the passage you see that the disciples fall back asleep again; two more times in fact. it seems absurd that they are sleeping during such an important time doesn't it? Yet they had no understanding of what was about to occur. Are they so different than we are today?

This part of the Message translation jumped out to me: "There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there's another part that's as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire."

Oh can I relate to that in both physical and Spiritual ways. A part of me is so eager to work out; another part would rather lay down by a fire. A part of me is so eager to grow and live life out loud Spiritually and yet there are times when I am found drifting off to sleep.

I pray that God will give me the strength and wisdom to gain strength gradually; to continue to press on each day so I will be able to find union between body and spirit. That I would be found awake; fighting the good fight when it counts.

Many Blessings!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Titus 2 Tuesday - We Don't Have to Reinvent the Wheel


What have learned from another woman this week? (or ever)

Write your own "Titus 2 Post" (linking back here somewhere within the body of your post) and enter your link below!

This week I am honoring my friend, Angela. She and I met when we moved here to VA. We ended up being thrust into leadership together and I learned a couple valuable things from her in the midst of leading alongside of her.

The first thing: How to delegate. I learned what a healthy balance of delegation can do to make leading something much less overwhelming.

And Secondly, what stands out most to me, was something that Angela was often known to say. "We don't have to reinvent the wheel." Meaning, if someone else has already done this successfully, we can look at how they did it; personalize it, and then implement it without having to start from scratch. Being that we were thrust into leadership mid stream; it was essential that we applied this principle often. The wisdom in this principle is still a blessing to me.

So Angela, thank you. I learned much from you my friend! There is much more I could say about Angela; you may hear more about her another day!

What have you learned from another wise woman? ALL of us can learn something from one another. Join in and then go read these posts!
**Please write your "Titus 2 Post" linking back to this post first and then enter your link below.**

Monday, May 18, 2009

Marital Moments Issue 33 - 6 Powerful Words

"Do not repay evil for evil..."

Oh if we (I) could just learn to do these 6 words; our lives and marriages would be so much less complicated! Here is the entire verse for your consideration this morning:

"Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing." I Peter 3:8

Here is another powerful verse along the same context:

"If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you. " Proverbs 25:21-22

Time is short again this week; but these verses were just jumping out to me... and I was compelled to share them.

Many Blessings as you begin this fresh week!


Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Infamous Pink Slip

I don't know that people use this term any more; but do you remember what it meant when you received a "pink slip" from your employer?

"You're fired!!!"

You have officially been relieved of your duties. Period.

I recently did a devotional for our MOPS Steering Team and one of my team (Jonnie!) asked if I would please write about it. She kept writing "Pink Slipping!" on her FB profile and people kept asking her what in the world that meant. :)

At the meeting I passed around slips of pink paper to everyone. I told them they were officially relieved of their duties. Relieved of the stress. Relieved of the worry. Relieved of the lack of sleep over their many jobs. Fired, if you will. Then I explained:

Our church has just opened the doors of it's brand new building. We have been meeting in a high school since it's conception and it is awesome to now be in our own building. We can meet when we want; have extra programs, etc. One of the monumental new things that we were able to do now was to have baptisms in our own baptistry!! In the past we have used other church's facilities, a local pool or rented a portable hot tub to do them out in a parking lot somewhere.

My children have literally NEVER had the opportunity to see a baptism because each time our church had scheduled one we have been out of town. As the service progressed and I realized that they were going to do the baptism in our service. I started nudging my husband, "Should we go get the kids?!" He, much more laid back than I, said no. We should wait until the next time so we could talk to them a bit about it first before they watched it.

As individuals publicly professed Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord and were baptized; I was moved to tears. Especially because there were several children being baptized. My joyful tears progressed into tears of guilt that my children truly had no idea what baptism is all about. What a horrible mom I was, I thought. I began to pray that my own children would have a desire to publicly follow Christ in Baptism.

By the time we got home; I had come up with 101 ways to incorporate baptism into our conversations, etc. (o.k. maybe not 101....) They were not interested AT ALL. I was crushed. As I cleaned up the dishes from lunch it dawned on me that it was not MY JOB to stir their hearts into wanting to identify publicly with the Lord. Yes, I can walk by example and present truth to them; but ultimately, they need to come to that place on their own as the Holy Spirit stirs it up within them. I felt God was handing me a pink slip and asking me to resign this task to Him.

How many times do I do this? Strive, when I need to just wait on the Lord.

How often do I allow myself to get worked up over a situation that I have no control (at all) over? Instead of resting in Him. Trusting that He has my good in mind and is in control?

He brought me to Matthew 6:25-34:
25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Psalm 37:7 "Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him..."

So what is it that you need to be relieved from? What does your "pink slip" represent? The sale of a house? A biopsy? The faith of your children? The faith of your husband? We ALL have things to release - to hand the "pink slip" to-we need to cast those cares before Him and allow Him to work. (And yes; sometimes that means we need to step out of the way...)

I encouraged the women to place the pink slip into their Bibles; to allow it to be a reminder to release our cares, stresses, and worries to the Lord; after all, it's not our job!

Waiting on Him,


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Something's Gotta Give

May is such a busy month. So many things are coming to a close. There are gifts to be bought; cards to be written, food items taken here and there, end of year parties, chapels, field day, field trips... it leaves me wanting to shout, "Mayday! Mayday!" here and there. Can I get a "Whoop whoop?"

As much as I try to intentionally plan for this time of year; it always seems to sneak up on me almost to the point of overwhelming me. In truth; I am over committed. I haven't left adequate room for the "unexpecteds" in life or for the "extras" that often happen. Yet I'm so close to the end it doesn't seem reasonable to "drop" any of my commitments.

So...something's gotta give.

My house keeping, my blog, my sanity...o.k., sanity is still intact even if my house is a direct reflection of the tornado happening within. I know it is but a brief season; so I press on trying to make sure everyone has food, clean underwear, and knows that they are loved.

I almost didn't post all of that...sounds like I'm venting to you all right?! In a way, I am. But when I took some pause this morning to set my priorities and seek God's face and word for strength for this day it hit me. I am not alone. We all go through times like this - even if May is not your "Mayday!" We all have moments when "Something's gotta give."

I have been reminded that my days are so very much better when I make time to spend in God's Word. When I am overwhelmed; there is a rock that is higher than I and His strength is sufficient. Things don't always have to be perfect. He will perfect that which concerns me.

So if you are yelling, "Mayday!" today in your mind (even if not out loud); this post is for you!

Psalm 61:2 "From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I."

2 Corinthians 12:9 "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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

Psalm 138:8 "The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your hands."

By the way; if you know me in real life and happen to come over to my house right now...I would so appreciate, "Grace, Grace, Grace!" (Especially because Littlest One has chosen to discover the potty in the midst of my "Mayday!" I'm so proud of him; but you might want to check the seat!" ;)



Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Titus 2 Tuesday -Inspiring from Afar

What have learned from another woman this week? (or ever)

Write your own "Titus 2 Post" (linking back here somewhere within the body of your post) and enter your link below!

We have all, I am sure, been inspired by someone who we didn't actually have the opportunity to get to know. Maybe we haven't even actually met the person who inspired us. There are several women who have had influence in my own life from afar.

There are women like Beth Moore, Lysa Terkeurst, Joyce Meyer, and so many more who God has used to touch so many of our lives.

But then there are others. Some of whom I don't even know their names but I see walking in God's love, grace, and power around me. Today I am taking pause and reflecting on those women. The ones whose walk has affected my life although I may not really even know them. Do you have any of those?

What struck me as I was reflecting was how God shines so brightly through them as they serve others selflessly. Not that they volunteer for everything or never say "No" to ministry opportunities; but those who in every day life go out of their way to encourage and bless others.

...holding an umbrella for an elderly woman in the rain although they don't even know her.

...witnessing a tearing down or crushing that was so carelessly or heartlessly done by another and somehow encouraging the victim even though they were a total stranger. (recent grocery store experience)

...Encouraging the mom whose child is in the midst of a very public tantrum in the middle of Target.

One of the youth in our church gave the message this past Sunday. He read a phrase of a song that he could not remember title or artist; but it impacted my heart.

"The only evidence against us is love..."

How else could someone prove that you knew Christ? Words we say don't compare to our actions. The fact is that many of us are or have been inspired; even taught, by those we don't even know. What makes me believe that those women who have spurred me on have known Christ? The way they serve others in love.

I John 3:16 "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."

God alone knows the impact of our lives on others.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Confucius Says...

"Confucius says, 'Man who does not exceed his wife's expectations has not met them at all'..." Quote from my very wise husband :)

I will never forget my very first Mother's Day! I went to bed the night before sure that it was going to be a special day. After all, I had seen all of the commercials! Touching Hallmark moments, cards and gifts from children, breakfast in bed, people saying, "He went to Jared!"

It was a beautiful Sunday morning. There was no breakfast in bed; but I didn't get discouraged. I enjoyed spending the morning with my husband and young daughter and we had a great "Mother's Day" message at church that day. After our church service, we rushed over to a friend's church for her baby's dedication and then onto their house for a fun BBQ. However, half way through the BBQ, my beautiful daughter, (who had previously been a bit "stopped up" from beginning sweet potatoes) suddenly "worked things out" all over me! Thankfully, my friend had some extra clothes that fit us both so we were able to finish out the afternoon.

We arrived back home and it hit me that my husband really had not planned any kind of special "1st Mother's Day" surprise for me. The realization that the only flower I was going to receive would be the drooping carnation that they had passed out at church and the only "gift" from my daughter was an overflowing diaper; I was overwhelmed with disappointment. Although I had truly been blessed with a special day, my expectations had clouded my ability to embrace the beauty in it.

My husband could sense my disappointment and his first reaction was to somehow meet this expectation that I had in my mind. He zoomed off and returned a short time later with a watermelon (my favorite food), french fries from McDonalds (something we both liked), and a bird house from Home Depot. (He CLEARLY hadn't seen the same commercials as me! LOL!) But he had tried and given from his heart. Which is much better than getting something that we expect.

We both learned a lesson that day...how powerful expectations can be.

When we were engaged, we had gone through pre-marital counseling as many couples do. It was a wonderful way to get our expectations out in the open so we could enter our marriage knowing what the other expected from their spouse. But you cannot always know how your expectations will come into play as you interact with each other's families or after you have children. It is something we need to be continually keeping in mind and communicating about.

We also have to be on guard from allowing outside influences to set our expectations. Every major holiday, advertisers work overtime trying to create "need" within our minds and hearts. "If your spouse really loves you they will get ________ for you" kind of messages. Ones that if we allow ourselves to believe can cause so much hurt and disappointment.

My wonderful step mom wrote this to me this Mother's Day:

"Enjoy your special day on Sunday knowing that in the eyes of your three
children you are more than the person who awakens them in the morning and
puts them to bed at night, who prepares breakfast and a snack for school,
who settles their fights and bandages their wounds...you are one of God's
trophies who is modeling His love. What a privilege."

Happy Mother's Day to each of you!

*If you long to be a mother; and yet do not have children or are missing your own mom; I'd love to be praying with/for you. Feel free to leave a comment below or send me an e-mail at ateachableheart@gmail.com*



Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Titus 2 Tuesdays - Friends That Clean Together...


What have learned from another woman this week? (or ever)

Write your own "Titus 2 Post" (linking back here somewhere within the body of your post) and enter your link below!

One of my very best friends to this day was my college roommate/suite-mate. I met Lydia on my first day of college. She (and her family) walked into the room catching a glimpse of me sitting on the bathroom counter trying to shave my legs in the sink. (Lovely first impression!) I feel the need to explain why in the world I was doing that...but I will refrain and keep my focus on Lyd!

From that first embarrassing moment; she was an instant friend. We experienced most of our "college firsts" together. She helped me weed my way through college romances and I was partially responsible for the meeting of Lydia and her husband. (I had become friends with his older brother.) She was the first person that I told when I got off the phone with my dad when he told me that my mom had terminal cancer. She cried and prayed with me every time I received new news of my moms failing health. She gave me wonderful praise and worship tapes (yes, tapes!) to encourage me.

When I got word that it was time to go home in preparation for my moms death; Lydia was there helping me pack, communicating with my instructors and turning in projects for me so I didn't have to be running all over campus. She has always been a true friend in every sense of the words and one of my biggest cheerleaders for my many ideas and opportunities along the path of life.

The times that I remember being the most memorable and special between us though...scrubbing our bathroom floor in the middle of the night. In those moments, the business of life dimmed; our roommates were fast asleep, and we would talk openly about everything. Our tears and laughter often helped us clean. It was there, scrubbing the bathroom floor that our hearts were knit together in a David and Jonathan friendship kind of way.

I treasure you, my sweet friend. I am so glad that our families are still close and that you are coming to visit soon. You have blessed my life. You have laughed, cried, lived out your own faith, and encouraged me to know Him more and live fully what He has and is calling me to. Thank you.

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Marital Moments Issue 32 - Fresh

There are a few words that I have been contemplating this past week. Among them, the word, "fresh." Merriam Webster defines the word this way:

1 a: having its original qualities unimpaired: as (1): full of or renewed in vigor : refreshed fresh from a good night's sleep> (2): not stale, sour, or decayed <fresh bread> (3): not faded fresh in her memory> (4): not worn or rumpled fresh white shirt> b: not altered by processing <fresh vegetables>

When we moved into this house the previous owners had just installed fresh carpet. It was wonderful knowing that there were no "mystery spots," stains, snags or holes to worry about. Even the padding was fresh and squished luxuriously beneath us. However, over the years with three children and a cat...our carpet seems anything BUT fresh; what was once soft and inviting has become hardened.

I can often be found on my knees "spot cleaning" areas. Trying to avoid the inevitable; having our carpets professionally cleaned. Oh how I long for my carpets to be "fresh" once again.

Anyone longing for a refreshed marriage? We often begin our marriages fresh - full of renewed vigor, anticipation and hope. However, through the years we can feel worn, soured, and even rumpled!

We may be (or need to be) found on our knees working through some of the stains and mystery spots that are beginning to show through. Some may have employed the professional help of "cleaners." (Christian marriage counselors- which can be amazing tools to opening communication between couples.) Others may be calling all of their friends and relatives seeking advice on how to get that "stubborn spot" out. Yet, at the root of it all, there is only One who is qualified to renew our hearts and minds; and in turn, heal our marriages. It is in getting on our knees and seeking His face that we are able to receive His grace. When we are walking in His grace, it naturally flows through us to those that we love.

A couple of things that aide me while I am "cleaning:" worship music (helps me to keep my mind fixed on Him) and "cleaning buddies." (Those who I can talk openly about my own stains with; friends who will commit to praying with and for me and keep me accountable.)

I have come to embrace Mondays. They are my mental beginning to a "fresh week." Sundays are often my time of renewing and cleansing from the previous week...Mondays are when walking "in the fresh" begins.

2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"

James 5:16 "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."

Anyone need a cleaning buddy?

II Corinthians 12:9 "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

Embrace the freshness of each day this week. Let go of your own faults and failures and allow His grace to flow through you to your spouse.