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10 New Year’s Resolutions For Christians.

10 New Years’ Resolutions for Christians.

I have been on and off about New Year’s Resolutions – first I said no. I mean, why bother when we can’t even keep them. Silly. ūüėČ

But then I discovered how much fun it is to sit down and make a plan or set a goal, and so I have made some New year’s Resolutions the past few years. I haven’t kept them all, but I don’t regret setting them. It’s like a quote I once read:


“Shoot for the moon and you will land among stars.” -Unknown

Last year I resolved to learn to rope. I didn’t do well at that, but I did learn to ride a lot better! I need more hours in the saddle before I am ready to handle a rope, too. And it was fun! This year – well, I have some goals and plans, but the most important one is not a cut-and-dried goal…

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My New Year’s Resolution is to be more present with my kids, make memories with them! To spend more time with my husband in his work. (we both enjoy that!) And to be more fully engaged with local Christians – fellowshipping, meeting, caring, spending time together. I hate how life has a way of just slipping along and before you know it, the year is gone and who did I actually take time to sit down and care about?! I want to change that.

10 New Year's Resolutions for Christians in 2018

On that note, I was thinking about New Year’s Resolutions that all Christians should make. It might make a good study for the month of January. Take 3 days on each point, study what God has to say on the subject. My words can be wrong – but God’s Word is never wrong! The Bible is always 100% relevant, applicable, and useful for our present situation.

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Be a peacemaker. 
Matthew 5:9¬†It is so easy to get worked up about things; people who wrong us, family drama, church drama, etc. But resolve to be the one who brings peace. Don’t spread the rumors, don’t listen to the stories, don’t join the clique. Be the one who initiates peace and unity.

Only do things that are pleasing to God.  John 8:30  Jesus made the statement that he only does those things that please the Father. He is our Older Brother and our perfect example Рso we too, should only do the things that please our Father. We are not saved and justified just so we can do whatever we like Рour salvation comes at a great price! Therefore, Paul tells us, you are not your own. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Always do the work of the Lord.¬†1 Corinthians 15:57-58¬†This old broken world makes it seem pointless to do good works. But it is not pointless. We need to keep on working, keep standing steady on God’s Word. Nothing done for Christ is lost.

Triumph in Christ.¬†¬†2¬†Corinthians¬†2:13¬†This is only possible¬†by the power of God’s Spirit within you. To triumph over depression, bad moods, grumpy attitudes, jealousy, selfishness – this is a bigger miracle than healing from sickness! Ask God to fill you with His Spirit, and walk in obedience and humility, and you will begin to triumph in Christ!

Die to self every day.>¬† 2 Corinthians 4:9-11¬†This is the secret to victory over sin. To die to self; all MY desires, MY will, MY plans – and offer myself as a sacrifice to God, daily. Dying to my need to be right, dying to my need to be respected, dying to my need for comfort… dying to ME daily. This is what ‘taking up my cross’ means. It’s not some woo-woo theory – it is painful, daily, death to self and all my flesh desires. Wanting to get back at someone who has hurt me, wanting to profit at someone else’s expense, thinking only of my own interests – these selfish desires and habits need to die, so I can be transformed to the image of Jesus Christ.

Walk by faith.¬†2 Corinthians 5:5-7¬†Faith that God’s Word is true. Faith that He will fulfill His Word. Faith that God will take care of me, also faith that He will punish sinners – like He said. Faith that He will guide me every day. Faith that if I live a life fully given to God, and walk by the power of the Spirit – everything I do will be rewarded by God. Maybe not in this life – maybe not physically – but rewards of an eternal nature.

Always be rejoicing in the Lord.¬†2 Corinthians 6:9-11¬† Life is often hard. Painful. Unexpected trials. But when we have the assurance of God’s love, we can rejoice in the midst of our trials, because we know that God uses everything in our lives to draw us closer to Him, and form us into the image of Christ. If we have this faith in our hearts, we can be like the apostles who sang hymns at midnight when they were in jail. Acts 16:25

10 New Year's Resolutions for Christians in 2018

Give thanks for everything. Ephesians 5:19-21¬†Again – we don’t feel like giving thanks in every circumstance! But here we can go back to giving our bodies as a living sacrifice; giving thanks whether we feel thankful or not! It doesn’t say: “give thanks of you feel thankful”, no, we need to give thanks – period. End of story. It is a command, and this is where we need to obey in faith. If you start giving thanks regularly, I bet you will start to have more peace in tough circumstances. It just works that way!

Let Christ be exalted in my body.¬†Philippians 1:19-21¬†We like to sing about giving it all for Jesus’, but when it comes to our¬†body and what we do with it – there we take a step backwards. We want to do things we want to do. We have freedom, right? But here’s the thing – when Jesus Christ redeemed us from the curse of death, he paid an immense price! So we should not take that lightly. Our eating habits, manner¬†of dress, how we care for our bodies – these things all need to be surrendered to jesus and His Lordship. I want my body to glorify Him this year.

Be humble.¬† 1 Peter 5:5¬†Humility is such a tricky thing, isn’t it? The thing I like to remind myself of, is that other people’s opinion is worthless to me. Only what God thinks of me, matters! Whether others think we are good, or whether they think we are bad – throw it into the trash! I only consider whether God is pleased with me.

“Do not desire to be the principal man in the church. Be lowly. Be humble. The best man in the church is the man who is willing to be a doormat for all to wipe their boots on, the brother who does not mind what happens to him at all, so long as God is glorified.” ¬†Charles Spurgeon

I hope this list of New Year’s resolutions for Christians has prodded your mind to think of what is truly important, what needs to come first in our lives. It surely has given me a lot to think about, as I looked up verses and reflected on these things. May God bless your new year, and may your life reflect His, in every way.

10 New Year's Resolutions for Christians in 2018

The Gift of Beauty.

Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.

The sun was setting in a cold February sky, sinking behind massive cloud banks to the southwest. The clouds were shades of blue and purple, surrounded with pink and gold and crimson. I turned and gazed at them as I rode along, my hands freezing cold inside the thin jersey gloves, my face icy in the wind.

It was my 14th birthday, and I was spending it in a dreary Midwestern winter, where the damp cold seeped into your very bones. I went to school in the morning, and there was singing and good wishes. But, as soon as I got home, I had to change into work clothes, saddle up my horse, and ride 3 miles to my dad’s sawmill to help him cut lumber.


I hated that sawmill, and never more than in cold weather. I was glad I had a horse to ride, (my begging had finally paid off) but the cold was just going clean through me, till I reached the sawmill.

Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.

The sawmill.

Several hours later, we had finished that load of pallet lumber and I climbed back on my horse and headed for home. As the sun set, those blue clouds looked for all the world like a mountain range off in the distance. I gazed at them, soaking in their beauty, thanking God for such a wonderful gift on my birthday! Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.

We were poor, and my birthday always fell in the winter when finances were especially tight. This year, mom either forgot about my birthday, or couldn’t squeeze any extra gift money out of her budget.

Anyway, she had a small pair of new sewing scissors that she’d bought for herself, but she wrapped them and gave them to me. I hated sewing, it gave me hot prickles on my neck! But I knew she wanted to give me something, and I appreciated the effort. I knew we couldn’t afford nice gifts. I used those scissors for over a decade, and thought of mom every time I snipped thread. :)

So, after a somewhat dreary birthday – this stunningly gorgeous sunset was a feast to my eyes. God knew I loved mountains! He understood my heart! He knew I wanted to live out West, and He ‘gave me’ some mountains on my birthday! I felt His love and kindness and understanding for me. I felt it deep in my soul. He cared about me! I rode the final mile in near-darkness, but the memory of that sunset has stuck with me for over 20 years.Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.

As a child, I felt misunderstood. I got angry because I felt like I couldn’t be heard. As I grew older, I tried explaining myself, ¬†but that didn’t help. I didn’t know how to communicate what I was feeling, without getting into trouble. It was very frustrating, and I lashed out in anger because of it. But there were times when I caught a glimpse of how God understood me. He understood my longings, my fears, my deepest desires. He understood how much I wanted to please Him, how much I wanted to be ‘good’, how I hated myself for my failures. No one else understood me – but God did.

Many times this glimpse of the Father’s heart came through beauty. Beautiful scenes, beautiful pictures, beautiful words, beautiful music. It was like He gave these lovely treasures – memories – that I could carry in my heart forever. I still can get teary about a beautiful piece of music, picture, or story.¬†Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.

This world is so broken, so ugly and messed up from sin. But God – our Father – He still loves beauty. He gives us these gorgeous gifts freely to enjoy. I encourage you to start noticing beauty. To begin accepting it as a gift from a loving Father.

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God knows what kind of beauty your heart craves. Is it the sight of a perfectly conditioned cow? The gentle ripples in a pond? The mesmerizing flicker of a campfire, or the iridescent sheen on a trout? Does a soaring hawk give your soul wings? Does the sound of a harmonizing chorus make your heart want to burst?

Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.

Is it the dance of a cutting horse or the flashing of grouse on the wing? Maybe the lush green of a hay field ready to cut that makes you smile, or the sight of dewdrops on grass. Does the crash of ocean breakers make your heart thunder? Does the unexpected sight of a bright desert flower, or the grandeur of a black starry sky make your eye light up?Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.

Whatever makes you stop and smile – thank God for that gift. He is a good, good Father who loves to shower us with beauty and love. Let’s stop rushing through life and see the roses, at least.¬†Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.

The funny thing is, I now live by the mountains. Practically in them! I often stop and wonder how this is real?! This gorgeous place we call home. It may not be long-term (cowboys rarely stay one place for real long), but while we live here, I am thoroughly enjoying it.

I am overwhelmed with the beauty around here. I ride my horse through these mountain meadows and just get lost in the wild beauty. God has generously fulfilled my childhood desire to live ‘Out West’ and by the mountains. I don’t deserve it. I don’t deserve any of the good things in my life. But God understands. He gives good gifts.¬†Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.

Lest you think: “how perfect your life is”, let me assure you that there are trials in every type of life. My floors get crunchy and my laundry piles up. Sometimes we have relationship issues we have to work through, and we aren’t gonna retire in Beverly Hills. (horrors!) But, we serve a good God, and if you open your eyes to His beauty all around you, you might start seeing how much He loves you!

Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.

My real life mountain! We live here. Pinch me!

31 Days to a better marriage, No disrespect.

I have covered this topic throughout the series, but today I wanted to point out several specific ways that we disrespect our husbands – sometimes without knowing it! I have been guilty of some of these, sadly. I ask God often to show me where I can grow in respecting my man.

31 days to a better marriage; no disrespect,

  • Correcting him in public. There is a time to speak, and there is a time to be silent. When your husband is telling a story or recounting an experience, it is a time for you to be silent. Does it really matter if he said it happened in January, when it really happened in February? Does it really matter if your uncle Fred is 76 years old instead of 74? I cringe when a man is trying to tell some story but he can’t get through 2 sentences without his wife correcting some minuscule detail.¬†This is disrespect, ladies, and it needs to stop. Let him tell the story.
  • Telling him what to do. There is a fine line between asking for help and ordering him around. I am a firm believer in asking for help. But I am just as firm, that ordering your husband to do things is disrespectful. Let’s be careful of our tone of voice…

    “Her voice was ever gentle, low and soft, and excellent thing in woman.” Ma Ingalls, Little Town on the Prairie.

  • Never wanting intimacy. ¬†I know — your hormones are all over the place, you are drunk-tired, you are tired of little people touching, hugging, pulling at you all day long. But If you never want to get sexy in the bedroom – he will feel disrepected. I love this article from Sheila Gregoire. (my favorite resource on intimacy)

    “You know the things that drain you: talking to certain people, housework, running around after kids, paid work, chauffeuring, scheduling, all the things that go into a normal life. These things aren‚Äôt necessarily bad, but you need to figure out what also charges you…” Sheila Wray Gregoire

  • Don’t correct his parenting. It’s ok if the baby doesn’t get his hair washed with a special soap, or the diaper gets on backwards, or he lets them eat more sugar than you would. If he is helping you – be thankful. There is no reason to disrespect him because you are Type A or whatever. It is 100x better to have a loving, involved dad who feeds his kids sugar, than to have a absent dad. (research the crime rates in homes with no father) Besides, it smacks of pride to think your way is best! Let him parent how he wants. If it is a big issue – talk to him privately about it.
  • Thank him for providing for your family. If he is working, thank him! If you are also working, you still need to thank him. Remember the Golden Rule. Men like to be providers – let him know you appreciate it.
  • Get excited about his dreams, and help him pursue them! You may not be interested in tagging sharks off the coast of California, but if he is – learn a little bit about it! Help him research ¬†his dreams and encourage him. He will love you for it.
  • Take care of yourself, physically. Don’t ‘let yourself go’ because you have your man. Get dressed daily. Comb your hair. And by all means – take a shower daily!! (I won’t hear any excuses) I have raised 7 babies and moved 12 times and been sleep-deprived more than I would like to remember. But there are not many days when I didn’t get a shower. Please, for the love of your husband, take a shower! (3 kids under 3, anyone? been there)

This is not an exhaustive list, by any means. Feel free to comment with your ideas and tips on how we can show respect to our husbands.

Read the rest of the series HERE.

31 days to a better marriage, not allowing things to build up between you.

31 days to a better marriage; not allowing things to build up between you.

You know that you shouldn’t allow things to build up between you, but then you get in a fight disagreement, and you just want peace, or sleep, or your own way, or maybe life is so crazy-busy that you just don’t take time to talk things through.

First thing you know – a bit of coldness toward your husband is creeping into your heart. Not anger. Not bitterness. Just a general ‘meh’. Maybe the two of you disagreed about something that you can’t get past. If you disagree on principles and values, it is really hard to get past that.


Maybe you think: “It’s not a big deal, I should just get over it!” You stuff it, or you try to forget it. But once there is something you refuse to work through – soon there is more. I have found that talking about stuff is the key to keeping communication open. You may never agree on a certain issue. But you can have a peaceful, loving marriage despite that.

It’s like a brick wall – I am sure you’ve heard this comparison before – one brick is not a big deal, but soon it’s a wall a mile high. Then it is next to impossible to move! So don’t allow even one brick between you! You may have to compromise, you may have to die to self, you may need to explain yourself better. But keep working at communication.

My husband and I have worked through some pretty big disagreements. Do we see everything 100% the same way? Nope. We are human, with different backgrounds, different personalities, different stories. But we follow the same Jesus. We read the same Bible. And we both want a Godly friendship-love. So we talk. We hash things out. In the end, though, I believe the Scripture that says:

“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. ¬†For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:22-25

So keep working at your communication, my friends. Keep things clear and open between you. Will this matter in 100 years? If the answer is no, then just let it go. :)

Read the rest of the series HERE.

31 Days to a better marriage; Technology.

31 Days to a better marriage, Technology

Technology is one of those things with which I have a have a love/hate relationship. I mean, obviously technology makes my life so easy, and helps me so much! But then, it also can be distracting and frustrating(!!) and get in the way of real relationships.

You’ve heard the jokes about wives who run up credit debt online, or husbands who play video games all the time. Sadly, this is all too common. Now, we have the smartphones to add to the mix; we can buy and play with a swipe of our thumb.


It is easy – far too easy – to live virtual lives instead of real ones. To chat with a friend 1,000 miles away, instead of talking to the person we are sitting next to on the couch. To share our beliefs and the Gospel with someone in a different state instead of with our neighbor. ¬†To invite friends to online ‘parties’ instead of inviting them over for coffee.

What does this mean in the context of marriage?

We need to remember that first; this is the world we live in. You ain’t gonna change it, friend. Nobody is going back to 1988. (except a few preppers, maybe) This is our new world. Don’t mourn and fuss and whine about the good old days. That’s what my grandpa said, too, and he farmed with horses till 1960! (or somewhere around there) I mean, there’s a place for old-fashioned things and simplicity, I agree. But there’s a point…

Second, technology can be a real blessing! You can read blogs on marriage ūüėČ , get financial tools, ¬†find jobs, find date ideas and places to stay. You can learn a new skill. You can watch movies. You can listen to sermons and find Bible studies. So many good things to do with technology.

OK, but is it a blessing or a curse in marriage?

Satan wants to bring it between us. He wants to make it a curse. He is a cunning enemy who wants to make us fight and fuss. HE wants to tear us apart any way he can! Technology can certainly do that. But God wants to make it a blessing. We have the same Saviour in 2017 as we had in 1988. We can allow Satan to use technology to come between us, or we can allow God to make it a blessing.

This obviously takes two people to agree that you will not allow Satan to get a foothold. Two people who agree to put their relationship first, and technology second. Maybe you don’t actually ‘sit down and talk about it’, per se. We haven’t. But when technology (usually our phone usage) bothers one of us, we tell each other in a kind, respectful way. I’m not saying we are perfect in this area, but we are learning and growing.

We give each other our full attention when we talk to each other. We don’t interrupt each other when we are busy with something online. We give grace when one or the other spends extra time online or watching a riveting movie series. Again, we’re not yet perfect, but we try.

Remember the good old days where everyone ignored each other with books and newspapers? ūüėÄ Yeah, that wasn’t much better. I know technology has overrun our lives, but we can control it, by the power of the Holy Spirit in us. Just like alcohol or food, it can become an addiction that needs broken. But in the right place, it can be a blessing!

31 days to a better marriage, technology

Texts to each other: flirty, encouraging, loving.¬†Encouraging websites, sermons online, even games to play together. Music. Sending pictures of the kids. Skype. I’m sure you can think of more!

Remember; Satan wants to tear you apart in any way he can. Jesus wants to bring you together. Technology is just a tool. Don’t be a slave to it, don’t allow it to control you. Embrace the good in it, be thankful for the good points.

If your husband suggests that you are using it wrongly; listen to him. If he is using it too much, lovingly discuss it with him. Pray about it. But don’t allow Satan to use technology to tear you apart.

Read the rest of the series HERE. 

31 Days to a better marriage: You don’t have to like him.

31 days to a better marriage: You don't have to like him.

Today I have a short and perhaps odd point to make about your marriage. See, I hear this a lot, and in¬†different forms: “I don’t like my husband. I don’t love him any more. There’s no spark anymore. We just grew apart. There’s no feelings any more.

These statements may be 100% true. But that doesn’t excuse you from the vows you made before God. Lack of feelings doesn’t give you an excuse to leave your man – it just means you need to ¬†give more attention to your marriage. See, you don’t have to LIKE your husband. You just have to treat him with love.


Feelings are fickle. They come and go. We can’t make decisions based on how we feel. Maybe you need to start practicing love. Practice speaking in loving tones. Practice by doing acts of love for him. Practice thinking good thoughts about him.

Jesus commands us to love each other, and the amazing thing is; if you practice showing love to your husband, (or indeed, anyone!) you will probably start liking them, too! It may take a while, but consistent acts of love are the best way I know to bring those fickle feelings around.

Ask yourself: “How would I treat him if I was madly in love with him?”

Now do that.

“Fake it till you make it” is a terrible-sounding adage. But really, it is pretty close to the truth! Only, it’s not fake if you are sincere. Sincerely wanting to obey God by loving your husband. Sincerely wanting a deep, meaningful relationship with your husband. There’s nothing fake about that!

“Practice till you become” may be a better saying.

You want to know something else? There are very, very few women who are willing to humble themselves and obey God in this area. To say: “OK God, I will begin today to treat my husband with the love and respect You command, no matter if he loves me back, no matter if I feel like it or not.”

Do you realize how brave that is? That is pure faith. Faith in a God big enough to hold you. Faith that His promises are true, that He cares about you.

We hear the term ‘be brave’ bantered about a lot these days, but the real bravery? It’s not wearing a cute tee-shirt with fancy lettering – it is following God into scary waters like these.

Be brave, my friend. Love him like you mean it. Love him till you like him. Do it till you feel it.

Practice till you become.

Read the rest of the series HERE. 

31 Days to a better marriage, Disagreements

31 days to a better marriage: working through differences.

After nearly 17 years of marriage, we have had our share of disagreements! I would love to say we always agreed and never got upset with each other. :) But that’s just not realistic. I hate calling them ‘fights’, because it never really felt like a fight to me! Just a disagreement.

When you bring two people together, both of whom have different personalities, backgrounds, emotional baggage, and interests, you are bound to have a disagreement from time to time.


What I can tell you, by the grace of God we have never slammed a door and walked off, we have never yelled at each other or physically hurt each other. But we can only have this testimony by the power of Christ.

When we disagree, I tend to retreat in silence. Thankfully, my man persistently draws me out. He tries to get me to talk about it. He could just say “oh well, I tried.” But he doesn’t. Instead, he says: “Are we going to allow Satan to get between us?”¬†

Ouch.

That one phrase has been the saving grace for our marriage. It reminds me of the bigger picture, and how I should respond to temptation. It reminds me that Godly marriages will always be under attack from Satan, and I should not take things personal, but remember that it is Satan taking advantage of our human nature to try and separate us!

Over the years I have learned to not retreat – to talk instead. But it took me years to trust him enough – to trust our relationship enough – to talk my way through the problem, not just meekly agree OR silently retreat.

So, when we disagree, we talk. We keep our voices calm and respectful, and ask each other “is that what you meant?” and “this is how it sounds to me” and “Why do you feel that way?”

We do not allow something between us for long. We try to make peace as quickly as possible! We are not perfect, but we try every day to grow closer, more unified, more like Christ Jesus in our marriage.

If you humble yourself and admit when you are wrong, it will go far. When you have two such people, you can have a beautiful marriage! Humility is such a glorious thing. Pride is often – oh, so often! – the cause of our problems. It is what got Satan cast down from Heaven, and it will keep us from Heaven if we don’t deal mercilessly with it.

Read the rest of the series here (scroll to the bottom of the page)

31 days to a better marriage – Roles in the home.

marriage roles

You can do a quick google search and come up with a thousand differing pieces on roles in the home and what they should be. I am not going to quote research or the ‘experts’. There is only one expert in the field of family and home – and that is our Father God.

As a child of His, I am only interested in what He has to say, what He asks of me. I don’t care if it is unpopular, I only care what He says to me when I stand before Him and give account of how I spent my time.That day is coming, you know. “Let God be true, and every man a liar“, you know.


So what does God say about it? Let’s look at some verses in Titus:

“Encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, ¬†to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” Titus 2:4-5

This is what the older, Godly women are supposed to be encouraging; a life working at home in love, respecting their husband, being kind and sensible. It really is so simple and plain, but Satan has used unGodly people to spread lies about God’s plan.

Instead of understanding our great calling as mothers and wives, we now have to explain and justify it, and fight the feeling of ‘I’m just a stay at home mom’. We try to look put together so no one guesses that we spend our days wrangling kids and wiping spills.

But consider Timothy’s mother & grandmother. If it weren’t for their sincere faith, we probably wouldn’t have the example and blessing of Timothy.

“For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.” ¬†2 Timothy 1:5

What an example! That because of the lives and teaching of two generations, we have a Timothy. It doesn’t mention the fathers, you notice. Probably, they had to work long hours and were just not home much to help with the training of the children.

You see, mothers can teach and train their children to Godliness with the help of God. Two are better than one, but if our man is working long hours or gone a lot – we can still teach our children! We spend the most time at home with our children, so we are responsible.

Oh, but what if you are working full time? Who shapes and trains these young minds then? The daycare? Babysitters? Let me assure you that no one cares about your children’s souls as much as you do. Apple and Hollywood are not good substitutes for a loving mother who aches for the souls of her children.

Paul tells Timothy that women are not allowed the ministry of teaching or being a pastor, but she can be a mother. In this way, Paul is raising motherhood to the same level of ministry as being a pastor! 1 Timothy 2:12-15

What a glorious calling! Think of Susannah Wesley – one of my heroes since my childhood – she was poor, very poor, and had so many children (!!) but she was diligent in training them to God’s Word, and think of the far-reaching influence of that teaching! John Wesley has blessed thousands, and it began with his Godly mother. What if she had taken a job to earn money to relieve their poverty? The children would have missed that daily teaching that she faithfully gave them.

Should our husband help us? Of course! In my last article, I wrote about asking for help versus using him as our personal servant. Men naturally excel at most professions. I know women don’t like to hear that, but it is true! We can do almost everything men can – but it takes more effort to become great at it. Men are stronger, bigger, and have more testosterone. These physiological differences give them an edge.

Only one place where women outdo men – childbearing. Our bodies are geared towards childbearing and motherhood. Incidentally, women also have a higher pain threshold than men, which I find humorous! ūüėÄ (childbirth, anyone?!)¬†The way our bodies are created should be a clue to how God wants a home to work.

There are circumstances where mothers have to work outside the home for survival – I get that. And I believe God gives grace for such situations. But when we have small children at home, our first responsibility is to nurture and train them.

Men are wired to be more aggressive, to fight for their families, to protect, and serve. This serves them well in the Provider role in the home.

Women are wired to be nurturing, gentle, relational, and intuitive. This serves us well in the Nurturing role in the hime; caring for our chldren.

I am not saying it is sin to work outside the home. What I am saying, is to be wise and understand what the will of God is for you. Don’t allow the world to shape your beliefs and actions. Open the Scripture and get on your knees. Ask God what He would have you do. He gave you to these children as their mother – are you being faithful to that trust?

Read the rest of the series HERE.

31 Days to a better marriage – The rewards!

31 days to a better marriage, the rewards of a good marriage

Are you getting a little overwhelmed and bogged down with thinking about all the sacrifice and effort that a good marriage takes?

Me too.


So today, I wanted to remind us WHY we work on our marriages, why we sacrifice ourself, and put in the work. We do it because it is worth it, right? Maybe you are in a spot where it doesn’t feel like it IS worth it. If so, it could be that you need to put more work into your marriage before you start seeing the results.

A good, strong, loving marriage does not happen overnight. It is the result of intentionally loving one another, year after year. Intentionally sacrificing Self, intentionally building up a a deep reserve of good memories and intentionally forgetting the bad.

Here is a list of the benefits and rewards you can expect, if you both are seeking God first, and loving each other unselfishly:

Deep contentment. I don’t know why I never hear this, but it is one of my favorite parts. When I think of my husband, I get this feeling of contentment – like I have a hundred million dollars in the bank.

Security. We are secure in the love we hold for each other. We trust each other. I know I don’t have to worry about him cheating on me, or flirting with other women, and he has the same security in my love for him.

We enjoy being together. There isn’t much better than sitting next to him on the couch at the end of the day, sipping coffee. Sometimes we talk and sometimes we don’t. Either way is fine. Just being together is wonderful.

We have fun! Laughter, jokes, (he has a wonderful, dry sense of humor!) teasing…

He holds me when I cry. He doesn’t always understand my female feelings (shucks, even I don’t understand them!) But he always holds me and comforts me when I am feeling sad – even if I tell him “I don’t know why I am crying!!”

He encourages me in my dreams. No matter if it is raising chickens, (an exercise in futility, it seems) growing vegetables, (same!)  exercising, or writing a book. He is always encouraging and telling me to go for it!

We pray for each other. No one cares about me like my husband, and no one knows better how to pray for me than him. I value his prayers highly!

We balance each other out. His steadiness helps my impulsiveness. My touch of crazy brightens his quietness. ūüėÄ My constant talking gives him someone to listen to, and his strength balances out my weakness.

We sharpen each other. Sometimes, we see something in the other one that they can’t see – so we (gently) call it out. This is something we do more as we grow in our love for each other. In other words, we didn’t do this much as young marrieds, and I think that was wise.

Too often young people get all self-righteous about something they see in their partner, and want to set them straight. Please be very, VERY careful about this. It is better to pray and let the Holy Spirit show them their faults, than to be harsh. Husband OR wife – be careful. Relationships can be ruined by too much ‘setting straight’.

But as we get stronger and wiser in our relationship, we can give and take gentle corrections. And it has been very helpful for me, when my man has shown me something in my attitude or actions that is unChristlike. I have blind spots where “I” am concerned, so it is a favor to me, if he tells me how I come across to others. Then, I can take that to God and let Him show me how to change.

We can be ourselves. In this politically-correct world, it is a rare place where one can say an opinion without someone mis-interpreting it. (thanks Facebook!)

Intimacy. Surely one of the best parts of marriage, but I will leave it at that! ūüėČ

We are nearly at 17 years of marriage, and I feel more ‘in love’ every day! No, I am not stretching it. By the grace of God, our marriage has grown into a wonderful bond of love and care between us, and I pray it continues to grow. I am not saying this to brag, because I do have the benefit of a great husband. But I want you to be encouraged that you can get here too! Especially if you are in those first 10 years – don’t give up!! Keep working on it. Be careful that you hold God’s Word higher than any book, preacher, or counselor. (including this series)

The rewards can be better than you could imagine! Not that we don’t have troubles – finances, loss, disagreements, health, etc. Yes, we have had it all. But we keep coming back to God’s Word and each other, determined that Satan won’t separate us, by God’s grace!

Read the rest of the series HERE.

31 days to a better marriage – Introvert vs Extrovert.

introvert vs extrovert in marriage

There are many personality profiles and charts out there, but most of us fall into two broad categories: Introvert or extrovert. I am not a psychologist, but I personally believe we fall on one side or the other. It makes me chuckle when I hear someone say they are an “extroverted introvert”. What? That doesn’t even make sense, haha! Just say you are have some introvert qualities.

They say opposites attract; I guess that is why we tend to marry someone on the other side of the spectrum. This can bring frustration, when one partner wants to do stuff to relax, and the other wants to do nothing.


One wants to have guests over for dinner, and the other wants to relax with a book. (Or Netflix, who are we kidding?) When one wants to go to a touristy spot for vacation, and the other wants to go to a wilderness area. When one wants to be involved in every community activity, and the other just wants to write a check.

How do you handle these differences? 

Oddly enough, Cliff and I are both on the introvert side, but I am closer to the center mark, while he is a ‘true’ introvert. We both are recharged and renewed by time alone. Or time together but not talking. We both are drained by large groups and activities. Mentally drained. But while he is reluctant to speak in public, I actually can enjoy it. (in the right setting) While he doesn’t talk much till after breakfast, I wake up instantly alert, and ready to plunge into deep conversation. While he says very little, I talk non-stop. (again, in the right setting!) I talk loud and fast – he talks slow and quiet.

But what if we were completely opposite? 

I think the key in this is humility. First of all, recognize that neither of you are wrong. Your personality was created by God, and is not wrong. Your husband’s personality is not wrong, either! Just because he is different from you does not equal being wrong or less than.

You will need to compromise. Have a discussion about what things are important to you, and what is important to him. Decide where you can come to an agreement, so you don’t nag and pester him. (or be silently bitter at him, if you are an introvert)

And by the way, we rarely have a “let’s sit down and discuss this disagreement” moment in marriage. If there is something I want to discuss with Cliff, I pick a ¬†time when we are both relaxed — not exhausted or sidetracked with something else. (ranch dates, y’all! Go ride with him while he checks water!) Then I say: “hey, I was wondering…” and go from there. A lot of tension and fighting in marriage can be avoided by your timing, tone of voice, and manner. Be wise.

Try to understand how it feels to be him. Explain to him how it feels to be you. You may be home all day and desperately needing some time alone (introvert) or conversation with your girlfriends (extrovert), so tell him you’d like a few hours now and then to get your words out! Or get some time alone recharging. ¬†Maybe he needs some time alone after working with other people all day.¬†Understand your needs and differences, and work with them.

Could you just write that check instead of buying the dinner seat? Then you could be supporting your cause while having a cozy date at home with your man! Could you go to a girls night out once in a while, and not force him along to a couples thing?

Never use your personality as a weapon or excuse. Always check yourself for attitudes and behaviors that are destructive to your marriage. Honor God in this area. Your natural tendencies need to be tempered by the power of God within you.

Today’s Challenge: Plan something you know your husband will enjoy. You don’t have to do it today, but plan it today. Write it on your calendar. Or maybe he has been wanting to do something that you have been resisting – surprise him by agreeing to it enthusiastically!

My husband loves a date night or special, fun snacks for a movie night at home. Maybe yours would like to go bowling or invite friends over. You know your man!

How are you enjoying this series so far? Comment and let me know!

Read the rest of the series HERE.