Tim and I are getting ready to celebrate our anniversary on the 19th. I remember that day so vividly. What it felt like to walk down the aisle... what his hands on my face felt like when Mark said, "you may kiss your bride!!".
How exciting this new life was. Tim says it is like we walked through a wardrobe that day into another world. It's true. We could have never knows what GOOD gift the Lord had just given us...although we were very grateful.
We hardly knew each other. I met him 6 months earlier in a Church service. The first time I saw him there was a sun ray shining on his head. God didn't hide His will AT ALL.
I wasn't immediately sure if Tim was the one I had prayed for and waited on but God confirmed quickly in ways HE KNEW I would know. I believe with all my heart there is ONE. And, I believe with all my heart that God brings the girl to the guy. He brings helpers to godly men.
(**Be a helper while you are single so you will know how to help when you get married.)
(**Be a helper while you are single so you will know how to help when you get married.)
You see it all over Scripture. God brought Eve to Adam. He brought Rebekah to Isaac. The girls are just along for "the ride". But, you have to be submissive to the Spirit and be LED... TO YOUR MAN. Then, you have to be LED... BY YOUR MAN. Submission is FREEDOM. Submission is best. Things get ugly when a girl tries to be in charge. Just read the story about Jezebel in Scripture. It isn't pretty. She wanted to be in charge. Also read the kids story, "The Magic Fish" to see what an overbearing wife looks like. I read that one to Hope all the time.
"Honey, we don't want to look like her".
Now, I am not saying you submit to abuse or secret sin in your husband's life. If that is the case, GET HELP. Stop covering his sin. Stop being his "husband" and protecting/ providing for him. He is suppose to be protecting you. Get counsel or get OUT until he gets help.
I am not a naturally-submissive girl. I am a leader. I am a quick-decision maker. This has been a learned behavior for me. One I have failed at a lot. But Tim knows that if he is following God, I will follow him. He knows that if he is reading the Bible and seeking God's wisdom, I rarely question his decisions. It is when he isn't *abiding* that I get really nervous and wondering WHERE ARE WE GOING? The easiest way to be submissive is to build your husband up into the leader God created him to be. He is a leader. Your job is to bring it out in him and HELP him.
God designed him to lead. Maybe he doesn't know how. I remember Tim falling apart when we first got married and saying, I have no idea how to be your spiritual leader. He thought he had to *do* stuff. He didn't realize that all he had to do was follow God.
The train wheels begin to move when a man begins to seek God. I imagine our family as a huge locomotive with Tim in the front. When he goes, we fall in right behind him... one train car after another. The locomotive is designed to move on the tracks. If you try and lead your husband, it truly will be a "train wreck".
Encourage him. Tell him you believe in him. Put fuel in his tank. Make it fun. If he even *thinks* about reading his Bible for the first time in his life, tell him you are proud of him. I tell Tim I will happily follow him to the ends of the earth if he is following God. I will follow him no matter what but it is SO much harder to follow when he isn't following God. We have been a "train wreck" before and that doesn't work out well for anyone. Tim and I are both natural leaders so there is friction. You can see it well at one of our kids' sporting events when we are both yelling different things at our boys and then we are yelling at each other for yelling the wrong thing. LOL.
Heaven help us.
Heaven help Tim especially for marrying a pistol.
Submission is meekness not weakness.
Put your energy into prayer.
Here are some pictures (of pictures) from our wedding album that cold and rainy day in January. I have always loved the one where it looks like we are at the bottom of a triangle with Jesus in the stain glass in the center.
I think God let us in on what was happening in the supernatural realm that day. I KNOW Jesus was there and I know He made two people become one person in a covenant that will not be broken. It is His power and His glory that sustains our marriage. It is in seeking Him, we grow closer to one another. It is in HIS light, we find our light. It is in His forgiveness extended toward us that we find the ability to extend it to each other.
I wish we had never kissed until our wedding day. I am going to encourage my children to wait. Everything on the other side of the wardrobe door is BETTER.
We kiss a lot. We started then and we have never stopped.
We tend to make non-PDA people uncomfortable. :)
They just need to kiss more.
And off we went that night... into a whole new world. A world we still don't understand how we got tickets into. We are so undeserving and humbled.
Grace is THE TICKET.
Grace is THE TICKET.
We went to Maui.
And kissed a lot.
We kissed in the rain after we ate pancakes.
We stayed in a house that had a glass ceiling over the bed so you could watch the clouds roll in and see the stars. I can't find a link for that house. I wanted to look at it again. How awesome if we could ever go there again. I seriously doubt I would EVER leave the children to go that far... even when they are grown I can't imagine wanting to get that far from them.
That was for then. And it was perfect.
If you would have told me that day we would have had 6 children, I would have fainted. I wasn't a "kid person". He wasn't either. We just wanted to travel and enjoy being married for 5 years or so and then maybe think about having *a* baby. Now, we sleep with cracker crumbs and spit up in our bed. Well, I do. Tim sleeps in the guest room for now.
I had a miscarriage with my first baby. I mourn for that baby still. I worry birth control was involved in that. I will never know but my heart HURTS when I think of it. I have never and will never take birth control pills again... May God forgive me if I had anything to do with losing a child. I didn't know what birth control could do.
(*That is my personal conviction. It may not be yours and that is ok. The Spirit has to lead each of us in these areas.)
When Reece was born, we didn't even know how to hold him.
We still don't know what to do with him.
This picture below I made Tim let me take to turn into Regis and Kelly's Hunky Husband contest because I wanted to win a trip. He didn't win or even get noticed... hahaha.
You're a winner in my book, baby!! LOL.
(this trip down memory lane is fun)
Now, Reece and Tim lead worship together.
I can't imagine what it feels like to look back on your life when you are about to see Jesus.
It truly is.
A fast-moving vapor.
"You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
at best, each of us is but a breath.”
"For what is your life?
It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away."
I want our "vapor" to count.
I want to leave something here when I go home.
God, help me invest wisely.
Tim was born to be a dad.
(Reece is standing here beside me as I show him these pictures and he is weirded-out by Tim's goatee. I liked it! lol).
Yet, we have both made HUGE mistakes in parenting that God's grace has had to cover and our children have had to forgive. I just asked the boys to tell us the other night one thing we need to work on. That is so scary. They said letting them play the Wii more. Ha!
Maybe everything isn't as serious as we think.
I feel sorry for him and Evan because they will always be our guinea pigs. They are pretty much like twins. A little over a year apart. This is one of their all-time favorite pictures because it looks like Bubba is picking his nose.
These 2 have been friends FOREVER...
I tell them all the time that they are SO BLESSED to have each other. The 3 boys live in a bunk room. It is like summer camp every day of their lives. I envy what the 3 boys have in their forever friendships.
Rhett is 3 months old now. I want to get some good pictures of him. He looks like Reece to me. He is a spitter. He has covered our entire house in a layer of baby puke. The laundry is mounting. Every organizational doo dad in the world can't keep our house in order. But, that has to be ok for now.
I took a fast from media last week to focus on the Lord and to ask Him to give me vision for motherhood and what He wants me to do next. I needed a break from social media. Funny how no one missed me for those days. I realized how much God misses me when I am wasting time on the computer. I spent one night praying with my face planted in the carpet instead of wasting time on-line.
We need fresh vision. We need to know where God wants us to serve and how to meet the needs of so many little people in our house. We want God's heart on the size of our family... not the world's. But we think this is all we can effectively disciple and that our quiver is busting at the seams. We want our hearts to beat with His. That happens through spending time with Him in prayer. Intentional, set-apart, time. I think that God wrote this verse for moms...
"But when you pray, go into your room, CLOSE THE DOOR, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
Am I doing that? NO. My prayer life is dwindling down to a tiny spark that needs to be fanned back into flame. That is how my walk with God has felt too. BUT, it is still alive. It is a gift that is in me... and in YOU if you know Jesus.
Fan it back into flame by spending time with God in His Word and in prayer!! Also, have someone pray over you if your spark is barely flickering.
"I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you..."
2 Tim 1:6
Return to your FIRST love!! It is easy to forget that Jesus was and IS our first love.
I can so easily forget that. My anniversary reminds me to REMEMBER my first love, Jesus.
"you have left your first love."
"I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD.
They will be my people, and I will be their God,
for they will RETURN to me with all their heart."
Tim and I have about 20 minutes together at the end of the day to talk and debrief before we both fall over. Our window keeps getting smaller and smaller as the older boys like to say up and talk to us until about 10. Or maybe we like to stay up and talk to them, I'm not sure. But they get in their bunkbeds and we start a night time devotion that is hard to stop. Lake falls asleep about 30 seconds into it but the older ask questions. HARD questions. Parenting is getting harder as they get smarter. Teaching them how to walk the fine line of grace/discipline/obedience/love is tricky. As it is for us!!!
Our morning routine is that we all read the same chapter in the Bible and write down what verses stood out (5). That helps them with their relationships with God most of all but it helps them with reading, writing, & comprehension too. We are in Judges now. Judges is very exciting.
During my fast, I started organizing. Somehow I missed the class where they taught you how to organize stuff. There are 8 people living in our house now. We have a lot of stuff that needs to have a place. Legos are taking over everything. I just bought some shoe hanging thingies to go on the back of doors and I love them. They have pockets, pockets, and more pockets for legos, markers, etc...
I also have been buying silverware thingies to go in bathroom drawers for toothbrushes and toothpaste and to put in my kitchen for measuring spoons and PEELERS. PRAISE GOD I CAN FIND A PEELER NOW!!! I can actually find all 3 of them!!
You know something I find very funny is the difference between boys and girls when it comes to shoes. Girls LOVE shoes. Boys HATE shoes.
I found a tiny Hello Kitty Tin on the floor last night and wondered what was in it. When I opened it, I found dozens of tiny barbie shoes. Hope loves shoes. She asked for "up shoes" for her birthday (high heels). I got her some she doesn't know about yet. I am so excited because Tim is going to take her to ride a pony and then out to dinner for her birthday. I bought her a whole outfit for him to give to her to wear do dinner that night. Up shoes, shiny belt, sweater dress. She is going to die.
This weekend, for our anniversary, we are going to go our with friends and celebrate MARRIAGE. Not just ours... our friend's marriages too. We are celebrating that we have all made it this far. I found 6 questions I love for strengthening marriage that I am going to start to use:
1. How can I serve you this week?
2. What has you stressed or anxious?
3. What is the most important thing you need to accomplish this week?
4. What can we do to grow closer to God this week?
5. What are we doing on our next date night?
6. How can I pray for you?
Also, this weekend, we are going to say our vows again in front of our kids. We renewed our vows for our ten year anniversary and it was AWESOME. You can watch it here and part 2 here. Pastor Frank from Calvary Chapel Chattanooga walked us through it and it meant the world. Crew was a few weeks old. It was powerful. Vows are powerful. That is why we want to repeat them every year in front of our kids... ending with "I will never divorce you".
"Make vows to the Lord your God and fulfill them"
We have to fight for our marriages. A good marriage is an atomic bomb against the kingdom of darkness. The enemy knows it too so you have to PROTECT it from the flaming arrows headed its way. Safeguard it. Put walls up around it. Cancel magazines that have pictures of girls with hardly any clothes on. Protect your man and protect your boys. Build your husband up. Don't tear him down with your flaming tongue set on fire by hell. :)
"And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself."
Well, that is about all I can think of except that I read an article about antiperspirant that made me afraid of it and I stink now. I don't do "stinky" so I am not sure this is going to work for me. I think I am more afraid of BO than antiperspirant.
I am excited I get to do another girl's conference in South Carolina in a couple weeks. God chose to speak through a donkey. He can speak through me.
One more thing. Please stop reading books and blogs. Read your Bible.
There is no "hidden/secret knowledge in books".
You will walk into a man-made trap.
READ THE WORD.
Be encouraged, tired mommas.
Fan that spark!!!
It is IN YOU (if you know Jesus).
If you don't, you are spiritually DEAD. There is no spark. There is no light. There is no LIFE.
You are a corpse.
Here is the good news... Jesus raises the dead.
He will give you life.
Ask Him to.
Trust Him to be your Savior.
Ask Him to send His Holy Spirit to live in your heart and light THE FIRE.
"Jesus spoke to the people once more and said,
“I am the light of the world.
If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness,
because you will have
the light that leads to life.”
I love you~