Saturday, March 1, 2014

What remains? (Proverbs 31:30 & 31)

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise. (Proverbs 31:30, 31 NLT)

When I am honest....I have no idea if I could ever measure up to the Proverbs 31 woman.  My knee jerk reaction is to be snarky about her...mostly because it may be the only way I can feel like I could even be in the room with her...and it helps me realize that my snark is a defense when I feel inadequate...well at least sometimes it is....and oooo...that feels a little ugly to realize that I'm using it to bring someone down in order to feel better about myself.  YUCK.  That is just nasty.  Now...if I put on my how can I look at this from another perspective hat...maybe I feel inadequte because I don't extend enough grace to myself....that I am viewing myself through eyes that aren't forgiving or loving...eyes that find fault with myself...and may I say...Yuck to that as well.  Maybe the perfection of the Proverbs 31 woman is not how I would describe me...but I think there are amazing ways my family would describe me that may be more than I could ever dream or imagine.  I don't say that to sound conceited...I say it based on things my family has said to girls telling me how much they miss (when I went back to work) the way I greeted them when they came in the house...that they could feel my excitement to see them.  A poem Evie wrote for me that talked about silly little details like a trip to Target when we were goofy together, nice things Bill says when I'm being particularly hard on myself...there are unique contributions that I bring to my family that they love and they love me for sharing that with them.  That is amazing...and it means the world to me.  But it comes from love for each other...this love will not fade...nor will God's love fade for us.  It is through our respect or fear of The Lord and his sacrificial love for us and our response to that love that can allow us to love ourselves and others in our lives that in a way that honors God.

Lord let me respond to your love by caring for those you've put in my life in a way that honors you.  Amen.

Mrs. Golden drinks a little (Titus 2:3)

Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. (Titus 2:3 NLT)

Dah gone 48 can I deny I'm one of the older women?  At least with a straight face....well probably not.  So I can't be a heavy drinker either...emphasis on "heavy"...(smile)

But we also have a responsibility to teach...that is not something to be taken lightly....the rest of the surrounding verse and the devotional materials for today's passage talk about needing to be intentional in our love for our husbands....being intentional is the best way to not take something so important for granted.  However, if I'm totally honest...I get a little cranky that things aren't "effortless"  I want things to be easy peasy...but that isn't a true reflection of life...and at when we seem to live at such a break neck speed, if we don't "intend" to do something it really is all to easy to let it slip away...even if it was very important to us at one time.  When I make an effort to blunt a criticism or try to think about what the other person may have been thinking or feeling when they didn't do something the way I wanted done...I'm much more likely to extend grace to my child or my husband....and you know the funny thing...then I find it that much easier to extend grace to myself.

P.S.  the title of the post is a reference to a play (Miss Reardon drinks a little) that I did an Oral Interp piece from when I was a junior in high school

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Who has the bigger sacrifice? (Ephesians 5:22, 23, 28, 29)

For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. (Ephesians 5:22, 23 NLT)

In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. (Ephesians 5:28, 29 NLT)

I've always found this set of passages ironic...if that's the right term. Everyone gets all fired up about this little word "submit" that wives need to do...but when you continue on...I really think the guys get the tougher assignment...Husbands need to be willing to give up his life for his wife....or as in this and care for his wife as Christ did for the church...tall orders if you ask me.  And I have to say....someone who is gonna love me like that....I have no qualms trusting them with my submission.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What role do you play? (Genesis 3:6)

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. (Genesis 3:6 NLT)

It is a little troubling how simple this account is of the first sin...but sin can certainly be like that...over so quick you barely realize you were falling.  And how easy it was to bring someone else along for the do I use my influence with my husband?  There are times I know I can "get my way" if I really want...I can take advantage of his love and trust in's not to my advantage...and it could damage our relationship in the long run.  Is it worth that?  But I don't always remember to think long term.  This is also true with my relationship with God....well not that it's easy to manipulate God exactly....but it is way too easy to take His infinite love for granted...we don't deserve...we didn't earn it...but that doesn't mean we shouldn't strive to deepen the relationship.

Lord, help me remember to look for your will in my decisions and choices for my life.  Help me continue to love my husband in a way that honors him and you through my actions and choices.  Amen.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Set your mind (Colossians 3:2)

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:2 NIV)

Discipline our minds...Sometimes reminding myself to focus on things above helps refocus my attitude with a situation or a person here on earth.  Focusing on God helps put things back into place and gives  the petty annoyances the boot...I know can get myself in what seems like a never ending loop of frustration and negativity...yuck...for me and those around me.  When I take my eyes off of me...and put my mind on helps me surrender the yuck and lets God soften my heart so that I can start to love again...instead of being a crab.

Lord help me to keep my mind on the things me see this world through your me see opportunity instead of inconvenience and irritation.  Amen.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Take captive your thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5)

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV)

Take captive our that picture....really fail miserably at it tho.  I also am really beginning to understand the idea of a wedge.  I've seen them at work and understand the principle...but when I think (ha) about my thoughts...and trying to take them captive....or thinking on the things of isn't initially the big issues or big irritants that ge to's the problem that starts as a little annoyance....and is allowed to expand...wedge-like to distract and erode our focus and dedication to God...and his desires for our life.  I think right now of a person I I am struggling with to take captive my negative's hard.  And I really understand how changing those patterns have to be a concerted won't change without intention.

Lord help me take my thoughts harness them and guide them to how you would have me think and act to bring your love, grace and mercy into my life and the lives around me.  Amen.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Think on these things (Philippians 4:8)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8 NIV)

Love this verse....totally gets to the heart of my focus.  It is discipline to keep your mind is a choice to focus on the good....and most of the time the choice is not easy...not even a little easy...but we must keep making that choice.  It can be as simple as welcoming the day...instead of dreading Monday...or the bigger challenge of finding a good quality in a person who annoys the crap out of you...but I've found finding that good thing and focusing can change my attitude about another person created and loved by God.  And finding the God in any situation is always praiseworthy.