Random Acts, It’s Your Choice

This past week I went to get the boys one afternoon, it was raining so I was holding an umbrella for me and one for them. A boy in Noah’s 5th class asked why I had two umbrellas so I told him the plan. He then wanted to know why I didn’t have three, one for each of us. Noah proudly says “Oh, because she gave mine away to a Mom and baby one day when it was raining really hard and they didn’t have one.” The boy stared blankly at me, very confused. He thought for a minute and then asked if I gave it to them because it matched their outfit. I explained that no it was because they needed it more than I did and it was the only one I had. He just did not understand why I would give away any at all.

Honestly, I didn’t know if I wanted to laugh or cry at this exchange. The 11 year old boy knew nothing of giving to others. Of sharing what God has blessed him with.

So, I say let us all be givers. Let us all be the examples. Clearly the message of being a blessing isn’t making it everywhere yet, so lets try harder! Do good. Share much.

The Mama I gave the umbrella to was stunned that I cared. I didn’t know her and odds were I’d never see her again, but she knew she was loved. Love people!

We really have two options: loved people, love people or hurt people, hurt people. Which way do you choose to go?

Encourage the Encourager

I was reflecting over the past few days on my role with my friends. I strive daily to be an encouragement to my friends. It’s just who I am. My best friend is one too and I am so thankful because she keeps me grounded and loved.

But, I was thinking just because I have someone to encourage me, the encourager, doesn’t mean we all do. I am sure each of us can think of someone that we go to when life is hard and we need to be built up. Have you pictured who you go to? Now, do you encourage them? Or is it your friendship a little lopsided? I never want to take and not give. Do you?

Rich relationships flourish when both parties share their hearts and love. Let others know how special they are, that you’re thinking of them, and you’re there for them. Do life with others.

Here are a few quick, but very special things you can do to be an encouragement:

1. Send a quick note “just because.” We all love getting mail that is not a bill, be that special mail.

2. A short text reminding them they are loved is very effective at helping them to have an awesome day. “Good morning sunshine” goes far beyond the morning.

3. Be giving; give as many hugs as you can! Hugs cost nothing but replaces so much.

4. Care less about time constraints and more about spending the limited hours being the best friend you can possibly be.

5. Remember that the friend that encourages you needs to be loved and encouraged too.

Be a blessing.

“You Want Me To Do What?!”

“If your critical words are the only things that echo in his mind…He won’t be able to hear your love song being sung to him.” -RubyWives on Facebook.

I can now say I’ve been on both sides of this. Guilty of using more critical and less love songs. I wasted our younger years complaining and criticizing when I should have been loving him, thanking him, honoring him the way God says to. I didn’t know that then though. It took me until I was almost 30 to figure it out and while I know now how powerful words are I wouldn’t say I have perfected my actions and reactions. Meekness is not a word I would use to describe myself, ever. There is way too much of me that comes out daily and not nearly enough of the Father.

I’ve had friends ask me how to be a better “Christian wife” and if I had an answer I would surely offer it, but I don’t. I can tell you what the Bible says and even tell you where to find verses on wives specifically (1 Peter 3, Ephesians 5), but how they play out in your marriage is entirely up to you. You and your husband are a team; he is to love you like Christ loved the Church (Ephesians 5:25) and you in turn should submit to his leadership as you  do to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22)

Oh! I said the “s” word! I know that word freaks us strong willed girls out. Or, maybe it’s just me. First time I read an article pertaining to that verse I closed my book and walked away. The world has dumbed the word “submit” down, made it a bad word. So, I came across it again in a different book a few weeks later. This time I felt like God was telling me to pay attention, he was going to use this one word to change my life. I’m never happier than when I am looking something up so I did some research on what the Bible meant when it said that wives should submit to their husbands. I discovered something, it’s not such a dirty word at all! Actually, husbands are called to submit too. How’s that for a two-way street?!

I had to educate Jim a bit in what I had learned. He was completely open to what I was saying. We continued in the research together. We’ve been blessed with many resources to delve into. We’ve also been blessed with wonderful Godly friends who have been there for us as we transition into the couple that God wants us to be.

How do we do this? How do we submit and still be the strong willed, I’m gonna do it myself girls that we are? Do I have to lose myself to this word and it’s meaning? No way! If anything there is more of me. There is a strange freedom that comes from having a head to your home. I’ve always leaned on Jim for the things I didn’t know or understand, he’s always been there in whatever capacity that I’ve needed him so saying he is “head” to our home came natural. I’ve grown and flourished (or I think I have) in a way that I could not have done before. This is what God had intended for our marriage. I am still the same woman that will tell you what she is thinking and how she’s feeling, but I’ve learned so much about doing it in love. Almost anything can be said and done, if said and done in love. 

We lose nothing and gain everything when we live by God’s word. Even our marriages gain purpose and an intimacy that cannot be duplicated any other way. Trust me, I’ve tried. We did the autopilot, no Savior involved marriage years ago, I don’t recommend it. You will beat yourself and your spouse to the ground. I don’t want that for any of us.

My prayer for all of our marriages is that we leave a legacy of honoring God with our marriages, that we honor our spouses and use our words for love.

P.S. Jim, I know you are reading this- I love you and thanks for putting up with the insanity that I have brought to your life.