Pray, Refocus and Reflect

Tuesday was a rare day for me – I was able to work at home and spend the day with my little guy and my husband.

Problems started around 3 o’clock when a bad attitude developed out of nowhere (in me). We had a great day and we were getting ready for a family campfire in the evening and I could see myself ruining the entire night.

There was no need for my attitude. No one thing seemed to trigger it. It just crept in on me.  I could feel tension building and stress mounting.

Sure a campfire was going to be nice (if I didn’t ruin it) but there was so much to be done in the house.  I was switching in to high gear – Mary Gear.  Focusing on what needed done.

Pray

Thankfully I recognized what was happening to me.  When my husband had to leave the house I took the opportunity to pray.

With my dear little on in his room playing I hit the bed and asked for help.

No long drawn out prayer, just an honest cry from breaking heart.  I asked God to give me peace and grace and I apologized for being short tempered with my little man.

Refocus

I was focused on doing. A place we mothers seem to slip into quite often don’t we?

What needs done

What’s on the the to do list.

Oh the time I have wasted in years past doing!

What about being?

Being a mom.

Being a wife.

Being in the presence of God?

I believe we are called human beings not human doings.

“There, in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the LORD your God has blessed you. ~ Deuteronomy 12:7

House work, homework, blog work and your job all necessary and vital parts of our days but they are not all we are to do.

I fall into this trap more often than I care to admit.

We were sharing last night at bible study about various things and one woman said “I put all the toys away before we go to bed…why? No one see the floor anyway..everyone is sleeping!”

I had to laugh. How true is that!

I do the same thing.  It gives me a sense of peace, especially in the mornings when I come down stairs to a  semi-organized living room and kitchen.

Lord help me!

My peace shouldn’t come from a clean house it should come from The House Cleaner himself.  The one who comes in, to us, and cleans out the junk.  Renewing us and rebuilding us every day.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” ~ Romans 12:2

Reflect

There was a reason behind my seemingly unnecessary Mary Moments

I reflected on it yesterday and the Lord showed me what was happening.

It was as if I was going through withdraw.

What? Withdraw?

My husband began his journey through giving up chewing tobacco products yesterday but it seemed I was going through withdraw, not him.

The Lord showed me that the enemy was trying to use me to be short-tempered and grumpy as a way to cause a stressful situation for my husband.  If you’ve ever been a tobacco user you know that when you’re stressed you’re body then craves a nicotine fix.

If I could stress him out then he’d want a chew.  The enemy doesn’t want my husband having victory.

Meant for Harm but Used for Good

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” ~ Genius 50:20

Still reflecting on this situation, this morning the Lord showed me that He used my Mary Moment for my good.  Now I have a fresh perspective of how my husband is feeling during this time of withdraw and detoxification.

I can not just have empathy but I can relate and I can help create physical peace here in the home to ease stress for him.

After all, our homes should be a place of refuge for our husbands, and others, from the battle the rages around them in the world.

Do you have Mary Mode Moments? How have you learned to Be and not to Do all the time?

Until Next Time,

Be Blessed

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When God Has Other Plans

I can proudly (which may be part of the problem) say with God’s grace and wisdom my husband and I are making great progress in reducing our debt and tightening up our spending.

Each year for the several years we have sat down and figured out what we would do with our income tax return each of us having a list and then comparing it and coming to an agreement.  The past few years have led to more responsible things like eliminating debt, major vehicle repairs and the like.

In January I spent three or four days mulling around ideas in my head on what the best use of our tax refund would be.  Some fun stuff, some necessary expenditures and some debt reduction.  A good mix for Brad to take care of a few things he wanted to do and I had peace of mind that we were working on debt.  It seemed like a good plan.

Brad greed with the ideas and so it was settled.

Then along came God.

He said to me  “Let him buy it. He needs to make the decision.”

To read the rest of this post come visit the new More Than Four Walls launched 4/9/12.  Here’s a direct link to this post.

Life – Simplified

An early morning date with the Lord.

A hot steamy mug of coffee.

A candle softly flickering.

A memory verse on the counter.

A tap on the leg from my little man wanting me to play.

A gentle unsolicited kiss.

Wiping away ouchie tears and holding him tight.

Bedtime Prayers

A snuggle on the couch with hubby after bed time.

These are the things I’ll remember today.

The dishes, the laundry, the mop and sweeper they will still be here tomorrow.  They are necessary but oh so unimportant compared to the living, breathing ones in my home.

God delights in me and I in Him.

My son knows he is safe and important to me.

My husband needs quality time with me.

This is life.

This is life simplified.

Until Next Time,

Be Blessed

This post shared at Women Living Well.   and A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Leading By Example

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If you read my bio you know that I previously worked at home full-time. Now I’m required to “report’ to the office every day.  This loss of time with getting ready for work and commuting has put my (our) schedule in a tailspin. 

I no longer have 2 hours in the morning to do devotionals, prep meals, do light housework or start laundry before I begin my work day.  I need my devotional time so everything else is left undone. 

I have asked the Lord to give me wisdom and strategy for getting my housework done and continuing to prepare our meals mainly from scratch.  He has revealed some things to me and given me some ideas through some reading I’ve done so I need to implement those things in the coming days. 

Years ago I put such pressure on my husband to help around the house on his four days off (he works a 4 on-4 off rotating shift).  In the past year or so I have steered away from demanding he chip in and I would ask only for occasional help if we had a busy week or things got behind.  He would also step up and help if he saw something that needed done though visually he doesn’t “see” those things like I do. 

We are now in a new season of our lives.  I clearly cannot do it all.  I cannot be gone from the house on average of 10 hours a day and still be the sole homemaker.  I need help.  Since I cannot hire a maid, cleaning lady or nanny (if we had that kind of money I wouldn’t be working in the first place) it’s all hands on deck and there’s only 2 1/2 sets of hands.  I’m thinking of giving my 16-month old a chore list.  (just kidding of course, although he is more than willing to attempt to mop the floor or wipe up something with a cloth).

I briefly mentioned to Brad last week that I was going to need some

help and that perhaps on one of his days off he could prep dinner for me or run the sweeper (vacuum) while he’s at home with our little guy.  I didn’t make a production about needing help, no demands or theatrical performances about how horrible this will be. You see, I did that the week earlier and walked around with a chip on my shoulder for four days which just made everyone else around me miserable……but that’s another post….probably about control, emotions and/or repentance.  🙂   I did apologize to him for acting like a child.

I  forgot about our mini conversation and have pondered ways to prep meals and things in the morning so I don’t have so much to do at night when I get home…….

A Nice Surprise

Yesterday afternoon when I walked in the door my wonder husband had prepared meatloaf, grinded 8 cups of spelt grain, did some dishes and otherwise had the house in semi-decent shape.  Peace.  I walked in to peace. 

Do I really want him to have to do these things? No. Does he really want to do them? Yes and no.  It is not his calling to make dinner, nor is it his calling to grind grain or run the sweeper but during this season of our lives we must tag-team this work.  I could try to do it all alone, he could say “I’m the man of house and I don’t do housework.” What would that benefit? What example would that be setting for our son if we do not pull together and get through this as a team; as a family?

A side benefit of things being in some sort of order was that when our little guy was in bed early and Brad and I made popcorn and watched a movie.  We haven’t sat down like that in a long time where I didn’t feel distracted by house work and bills and cooking. 

A Demonstration of Leadership

I liken it to a boss who is willing to get his hands dirty and work with his employees and help out when it’s needed. 

I’ve had several bosses during my 11 year tenure with my present employer.  Those who were willing to help out with the grunt when things got tough or busy have always been well-respected and carried themselves as true leaders.  Even though they had their own set of responsibilities just lending a hand to those of us in the trenches empowered and motivated us.  Those who sat back and washed their hands of the labor that needed done because they had a position of authority were not so respected and didn’t last long in their positions either. 

I realized last night that my husband is showing himself as a true leader. He is setting an example for our son and expressing his love for me by trying to lighten my load. 

Does your husband help you out when things are busy?  Here’s your chance to brag on him.

Until Next Time,

Be Blessed

The Proverbs 31 Woman

” A wife of noble character, who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.  Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.  She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.  She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.  She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.  She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.  She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.  She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.  She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.  In her hands she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.  She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.  When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.  She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.  Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.  She makes linen garments and sells them and supplies the merchants with sashes.  She si clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.  She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.  She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.  Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.  Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.  Give her the reward she has earned. And let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” – Proverbs 31:10-31

 I’ve been studying the above passage this week as part of Maximize Your Mornings Challenge and I have to tell you I’ve really struggled all week.  Not with the passage, I fell in love with it the very first time I read it a few years ago. No, I’ve been struggling mentally and emotionally.  The enemy was my mind. I am thankful that I realized it after only a few days and after some time in prayer I realize why.  The enemy doesn’t want me to embrace the woman God is calling me to.

What do you see when you read the above passage? A meek, mousey woman? A 1950’s housewife with no voice; no say in life? 

 I see an example of who we are to be as woman and wives.  We have gotten away from the standard of the noble virtuous wife (woman.). Feminism has given us some wonderful opportunities but it has also made the Proverbs 31 woman a pitiful housewife who is outdated in both desires and example. This is simply not the case. Whether the 19th century or the 21st century the noble, virtuous women described in Proverbs 31 is relevant, real and timely.

 This is our charge as woman whether we want to hear it or not.  Even though it is counter-cultural it is still Truth.  I don’t see a meek, mousey woman.  I see a strong, smart woman who is at ease with her strength and at rest with her power*. 

She does not need to prove to anyone that she is strong. She’s not afraid of her husband’s leading because she knows what strengths and gifts the Lord has given her and she fully embraces them.  Even when she is working outside the home (vs 16, 18, 24) her goal and her vision is the betterment of her home; her family.  

She is the heart of the home, the lifeblood that keeps the other parts alive and in motion.  Together with her husband as the head, they build a the most important place on earth…..a home. 

Until next time,

Be Blessed

*A quote from Lisa Bevere in her book Lioness Arising.

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