Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Making Your Marriage a Priority

Recently a group of ladies for whom I have the utmost respect started a discussion on what it looks like to have your marriage relationship take top priority in your life (after your relationship with God.)  And, have I mentioned how much I love these ladies? It has lead to some amazing discussion and growth. And confession and need to submit and need to pray and need to confess and need to pray and.  Wow! I am so humbled.  And so blessed.

My relationship with my husband is my most important earthly relationship. And it takes a whole lot of effort. On both of our parts. And this is so much more than one blog entry so I will start with just one aspect.  A huge one I have found out in discussing this with other women.  Making our relationship a priority DOES NOT MEAN WAITING HAND AND FOOT ON MY HUSBAND WHILE MY CHILDREN WAIT IN THE BACKGROUND NOT HAVING THEIR NEEDS MET.  Let me repeat that...

Making our relationship a priority DOES NOT MEAN WAITING HAND AND FOOT ON MY HUSBAND WHILE MY CHILDREN WAIT IN THE BACKGROUND NOT HAVING THEIR NEEDS MET.(Don't you just picture Oliver and Little Orphan Annie in rags standing in the snow watching while I am dressed like June Cleaver serving Kevin a latte?)

My husband is a big boy and completely capable of wiping his own nose, getting his own drink, sometimes he even fixes dinner and does his own laundry!  Nope, making our relationship does not mean meeting his physical needs. Well, okay *blushes* sometimes there are physical needs involved, but that is not what I am talking about here.

So what does it mean making our relationship THE priority?  More to come.....

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Last night at our couples Bible study the topic of being liked came up.  The women there agreed that we like to be liked.  We like for the people we come into contact with to like us.  Sometimes to the point of compromising our relationship with  God.

Oh, I cringe, literally, as I type that. At 44 years of age, I still fight the tendency to cave to peer pressure just so I will be liked!  I risk the wrath, the disappointment of my heavenly father for the temporary approval someone I may not even know all that well.  Really?

But wait, it gets worse! Sometimes I struggle because I want to be liked by someone I don't even LIKE! Where is the rationality in that? I wish cell phones with digital cameras had existed the first time I told my husband that little tidbit about  myself! Talk about a priceless expression!

I have to stop and remind myself that this is not the way Jesus wants me to live my life. There is a cost to following Jesus.  And He is clear about this.


Luke 9:57-62 (New International Version, ©2011)

The Cost of Following Jesus
 57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”  58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
 59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”
   But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
 61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”
 62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Clearly, God doesn't want us to just abandon our family.  He makes this clear in the scriptures.  But we cannot look back to our lives B.C. (as my husband likes to say~Before Christ.) We cannot dabble in that lifestyle just to please the people around us.  Once we have chosen Jesus, that is who we belong to.  Who we have to look to for acceptance.  And it isn't always easy. But it is right. And it is never boring!  But that is another blog entry!

So look to God for the strength.  Ask Him to help you to know, in your head and in your heart that His acceptance is all you need! 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Looking for Some Encouragement Today

Okay, I had every plan to get up at 6 this morning to be in my Bible.  But when I don't sleep most of the night that is really difficult.  When I do sleep it tends to be between 4 and 7.  So, when my clock went off at 6, I just kept hitting the snooze.  I would pray until I fell back asleep, then hit the snooze again. Repeat.  You get the idea. I have to make sure my almost 12 year old is up by 7:15, so I got up and made sure she was up.

I opened up to the Psalms.  A place I go every morning for some encouragement, to get my praise on, to be reminded of who God is.  And I came across Psalm 5.   I've underlined what is underlined in my Bible and changed the color of what I have written in the margins.  Although I have put some of my friends into heart failure, I am big in writing in my Bible.

Psalm 5
    For the director of music. For pipes. A psalm of David.
 1 Listen to my words, LORD,
   consider my lament.
2 Hear my cry for help,
   my King and my God,
   for to you I pray.
 3 In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice;
   in the morning I lay my requests before you
   and wait expectantly.
God is listening. To my spoken prayers. To the times when all I can do is sigh & wait.
4 For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;
   with you, evil people are not welcome.
5 The arrogant cannot stand
   in your presence.
You hate all who do wrong;
 6 you destroy those who tell lies.
The bloodthirsty and deceitful
   you, LORD, detest.
7 But I, by your great love,
   can come into your house;
in reverence I bow down
   toward your holy temple.
Lead me, Lord. You are my only God! Help me to follow only you~even/especially when I am under attack!
 8 Lead me, LORD, in your righteousness
   because of my enemies—
   make your way straight before me.
9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
   their heart is filled with malice.
Their throat is an open grave;
   with their tongues they tell lies.
10 Declare them guilty, O God!
   Let their intrigues be their downfall.
Banish them for their many sins,
   for they have rebelled against you.
11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
   let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
   that those who love your name may rejoice in you. 
Protect me, Lord, from my enemies. From myself.
 12 Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous;
   you surround them with your favor as with a shield. 
A shield~ a full body protection, front and back

I am so grateful for a God who protects me like this. A parent who listens to me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Eat, Pray, Love

Yes, that Eat, Pray,Love.  A friend gave me this book a while back, okay several months ago, and I just picked it up today.  I must confess I mainly ready nonfiction and Christian fiction.  But this book has gotten a lot of press, and a movie, so I am curious.

Within the first half hour I came across her definition of 'God,' and what it included and DID NOT include, namely Christ as Savior.  But I kept on reading. Because I believe that Christians are to be IN the world, not OF the world.  So I am reading a book I disagree with in case it comes up in conversations with other women.  If we totally isolate ourselves from all thing secular, how can we defend Christ to them?

How many people in your life are not Christian?  How many non-Christians do you interact with on a daily or semi-daily basis?  As a pastor's wife and a stay at home mom it has been really easy for me to isolate myself with other Christians.  And I don't believe that is what God wants of me.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  (Matthew 28:19)

I have discovered that it is hard to follow this command when you surround yourself with people who  are disciples already.

So our move from Cincinnati to Toledo has been good for me in this aspect.  I have new neighbors who I have made efforts to get to know.  I am subbing in the school system where my kids go to school and have had the opportunity to meet many people.   I am volunteering at our church food pantry meeting people who are genuinely struggling.  I provide coffee and danishes mixed with Jesus.  And I am so grateful that He has given me these opportunities.

It is not easy for me to just talk to strangers about Jesus.   That is not my gift.  BUT that is also not a good reason not to.  I am called to offer the Bread of Life along with bread for the stomach on Tuesday mornings. So I pray for opportunities and strength, courage, boldness. And God provides these to me.  And He shows me when NOT to speak.  For some of the people I see, it is a stretch for them to walk in to a church building. They only come because they are hungry.  Some of them have been so beaten up by life. Many of them have been mistreated by the church.  They need to first learn that not all people who attend church are judgmental or out to harm them.  How sad that so many have been hurt by people in the church.

So, I pray and God leads.....I wouldn't have it any other way!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Really? (Yes, I know I already used that as a title)

Really, Lord?  You want me to write about THAT?  Already?  I thought I would be able to build up to that one.  Got to spend some serious time in prayer over this.......

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Growing Weary....

Weary....more than just tired. It is a mental and emotional exhaustion as well as physical.  Sometimes I am weary in a general sense.  How do I keep up with five kids, and a pastoral husband, and try to find time to exercise and be in the Word, and substitute teach and, well, I think you get the idea. I've been there a lot recently.  So my first inclination is to just not do anything. To sit and read and do only the basics of what needs to be done.

For the first part of this year, I have been reading and studying Made to Crave.  And for the first eight weeks or so, it really spoke to me.  I was earnestly seeking God.  He was my priority.  Yes, I lost quite a bit of weight, but it was a byproduct of being closer to God.  But I noticed these past few days, that I have been slipping up on my eating choices.  AND I have not been spending time with God or in His Word,  Today, during church, I realized I was growing weary, once again, over the battle with my weight.  Guess why?  Because I had switched my focus back off of God and back onto food.  My schedule has gotten busier and I haven't kept my priorities in order.

You see, my friends, that is exactly what Satan wants to happen to us.  He wants us to grow weary, to shift our focus from God back onto ourselves.  The enemy wants us to be frustrated, to be distracted. But Isaiah 40:29 tells us
            He gives strength to the weary
             and increases the power of the weak. 

I am so grateful to know this, because, on my own, I am incredibly weak.  I may be able to lift myself up momentarily, but  never long term.  Praise God that He can do all that I cannot!  And He promises me so much!
         I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint. (Jer. 31:25)

          Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Mt. 11:28)

Praise the Lord, that in my weakness He is strong!  That He will refresh and satisfy me! He will give me rest! All I have to do is approach My Daddy on His throne and ask!! 

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Okay, I have been feeling like God has been leading me to start a new blog.  I hardly keep up with the one that I have.  But I am really trying to listen to God and to be obedient.  That brings me to the name of the blog. Where & What.

My continual prayer is that I want to be Where God wants me to be, doing What He wants me to do.  Sometimes that is so much easier to say than to do.  I would say that most Christians would say they have the same desire.  But how do we know Where and What?  Are we willing to take the risk to find out Where and What. And are we willing to do what it takes?  God is not interested in our being comfortable in our little lives, taking care of ourselves first and those outside our family unit second, or never at all. Jesus is very clear about that in Matthew 25:40

  40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

So, I hope you will pray with me and for me!