Character Begins With You

I promised an Old Testament moment- journey with me, will ya?

I loved the first time I read that Isaac loved Rebekah. I re-read it over and over, because I had never seen anywhere in the Bible where a husband and wife loved each other. Instead it was all legalistic rules about daughters being sold, or given as property over to another. It made me sad for the, but somewhere inside of me, I always believed I could be in a loveless marriage and bring love and joy to it. I don’t know why I believed I had super powers: for the record- I don’t and I do love my husband and he loves me too.

I started to read about Isaac and Rebekah again last night and I was captivated by the kindness of this woman who loved her husband, and was a selfless individual. She was kind to a stranger and his animals. In Genesis we read that she not only got water for this stranger, but also for his camels, and she didn’t dawdle or take her time, she ran to care for them. That impressed me. I thought- this chick puts me to shame. I started to study what I was reading, and the more I read, the more I realized that I really don’t understand, or attempt to learn enough about what God has said to us in days past to support His dream for our future.

Rebekah marries Isaac when he is 40. It says that she was a great comfort to him at the death of his mother. We learn that Isaac was given two similar situation to his fathers; he lied about his wife being his sister- gross- stop doing that guys! He got busted because he and his “wife” didn’t get a room; instead it says, ahem, “he groped her in public”… yep- that happened and I bet most of you ladies understand Rebekah’s plight- groping is never a good thing! His second issue like his father’s was a seemingly barren wife, and he prayed for 20 years before Rebekah became pregnant.

She of course in true God awesomeness was pregnant with twins. God is cool like that. At some point within her pregnancy she had to go to God for prayer because her twins were fighting each other in the womb… what in the world. What would that even be like? How incredibly painful. I know there were days that just one in my belly caused me anguish, but to have two battling so severely that I have to go to God for answers as to why? Well, that is an entirely different situation. God not only answered her with a simple- “because they will be rival nations”, but followed it up with- “oh, by the way- I hope this doesn’t affect you in your ooey gooey mommy heart- but your oldest sons descendants will serve the youngest sons descendants.”  The End… Just kidding.

Well as all mothers know, it affects us very deeply indeed to see injustice with our children and as uncommon births go, this one got interesting. Instead of a traditional baby boy a Big Foot was born. A hairy little baby, with his not so hairy brother holding his heel… smile- photo time! What’s a mom to do but love on the “normal” baby. I wonder if Esau and his hairy self was treated differently by his mother? So differently in fact that a parental preference is shown from mother to youngest son, Jacob and father to olde son, Esau. Jacob was at home more often with his mother in the house, while Esau joined his father and other men hunting and gathering; developing incredible skills outside.

Rebekah has spent the last 20 years of so hearing the words of the Lord rattling around in her head, and I wonder if she had ever shared them with Isaac?  Would that have changed his decision on his blessing? More of that in a few. Jacob proves that he has been under his mothers control using food as a weapon against his very hungry hunting, working out in the elements brother, and essentially trades his literal birthright because of his body’s physical need. I have to say I was shocked that He didn’t eat in the wild, or that he appeared back at home hungry, but more so that in his day and age he didn’t care about his birthright. It just doesn’t make sense- he was the grandson of Abraham! His grandfather was literally called the “Father of Nations”… that’s a wealthy guy, and the inheritance Isaac received was full and incredible. What person could care so little when status mattered sooo very much! Apparently Esau.

Jacob is well please with himself- but should he have been, I mean dudes typically just lie, women more often deceive- throw stones if you want- but it’s true. He resorted to what he had to have learned from life with his mother.

Time goes by- I didn’t study the timing… my bad.

Rebekah hears that Isaac is prepared to offer his blessing on Esau and she panics. She creates a plan to deceive her husband in a benefit to her youngest son. I am sure that what the Lord had said was in her mind throughout this and she was probably proud of herself, like she was bringing God’s plans to pass- how many of you know that while interesting in thought- that actually doesn’t work. His plans are good enough- He really doesn’t need you to do the planning, just the carrying out!  She actually sews and makes hairy items to cloak Jacob in. He goes to his father and receives the blessing, despite Isaac’s uneasiness at Jacob’s voice coming from Esau’s body. Don’t dupe blind people guys- It’s not cool.

Esau comes in from outside and prepares the meal as Jacob had already done and went to his father’s side, where Isaac learns that he has blessed the wrong son, and is unable to retract it. Esau weeps. I can not imagine the bitterness that I would feel at my brother, and certainly my mother when I found out her involvement. How could they take not only his birthright and the place of the first born son- but to steal the blessing- ouch.

His father gave a minimal blessing after this to Esau and what we see of Isaac’s interaction with Rebekah doesn’t show any antagonism at all… I know my husband would be furious with me. I don’t understand, and more so I am lost as to Rebekah’s change. How do you go from being the kind of woman that runs to get water for a strangers 10 camels to a women who deceives the man who loves her? Where did the change occur? Did bitterness come when she believed herself to be barren? Was she angry with the Lord for giving her a hairy son, maybe one who embarrassed her? What was it? Was it Isaac’s favoritism for Esau or just her love for Jacob? Did she just lose herself somewhere along the way? I don’t know. I have looked, I can’t see where a direct answer is given for why she would do these things.

I can tell you what I have learned from my short time being a wife and mother- I fail so often. I believe as women, we can get swept away in our failures, and what we can present to others matters far more than it should. Rebekah wasn’t unlike any of us. Each of us has hurdles to jump. I remember when I was sweet and kind, and completely un-jaded by life. A time before I knew agony in marriage, agony in death, and agony in dreams. I was different. I bet you were too. Back before you made that one mistake that has marked you. I bet if we got all of Rebekah’s story we would learn that there was a moment where everything changed. An event, a word, a heartbreak, that caused her to nosedive big time. Can you imagine what the cost of her deception was in monetary form? I bet none of us has ever cost one of our children a million bucks. The value of the inheritance Abraham left to Isaac was significant. I bet none of us has ever tried for literally 20 years to get pregnant. If you have- Bless your heart- and leave a comment- because we want to celebrate God’s faithfulness with you. I bet none of us are prepared to see what our lives would look like written out by someone else’s hand. The shame I would feel- would be overwhelming; but for His grace and mercy.

What we learn from Rebekah is that when God makes a promise to you, He does not need your help, deceitful or faithful to make it happen. He just needs you to be willing to carry out what He asks of you. There is beauty in that. In knowing that He has a plan that goes beyond you. If we didn’t believe that in the depths of our souls where would we rest? What we learn from her is that the beginning of our story doesn’t have to end the same, and vice versa. If you were like Rebekah- like the un-jaded me- we don’t have to stay in our “new”state- we can become even “newer” and reflect Him. We in fact, are called to look more like Him. There is more on the line than the way other people perceive us ladies, there is the internal perception our children not only see from us, but will reflect in themselves. We can build their character or break it. We can be a blessing to our husband or we can be a curse. It actually is, up to us.

May you have new strength to walk out His plans and purposes for you, May He show you the area of weakness that He will make strong, and may you choose to make today more than yesterday and the days before.

Blessings,

mel

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A Dream Released

I have dreams. Lots of them.

Big dreams. I actually thought that they would all come true.

I told you last week, I gave up the musical dream, the one that most vocalist have. I am ok with losing that dream. In that dream it would have been all about me.

The other dreams, have so little to do with me, but instead they have everything to do with children.

I have found that God is not caught unaware of any situation or circumstance. He knows. Everything. You can not come up with anything that He has not already made a plan for in your life.

My dreams begin with children. Lots and lots of children. This dream is one my spouse and I do not share. The endless pain of that has the ability to cripple. Instead of focusing on what my dream is, I look to the Lord. He alone, gave me each dream held tightly in my grasp. Today I have to let my dreams go. I am learning, as you are everyday that the things we do in His name, are not always done with Him, but instead for Him. The commission wasn’t go and do it without Him, but to take Him with us.

I guess somewhere in my hurried and chaotic wedding vows I didn’t hear the parts about giving up my dreams for my husbands dreams. That’s the amazing part about the word of God, sometimes you have to look deeper than the surface. His answers aren’t the same for every one of us; but instead He tailor makes each and every plan and dream. My desire to so strongly pursue my dream and give it up for Tim’s could very well be the only thing the Lord was trying to teach me. It may not be that I one day have an orphanage with laughing children in Africa the way I have always dreamed, maybe it will be a scaled back version of my dream, where my hearts longing and desire is carried out by the monetary support I send. Maybe having more children in my home is not to be. If the Lord has called me to more, He, and He alone will change my husbands heart. I am powerless to change him or anyone else. I can only change myself. I can choose to place my dreams in first place in my heart, and lose my marriage, or I can put the Lord first, my marriage second and my children third and let everything else be put into place by the Lord.

I put my faith in the Lord. He is the reason we change our lives upside down just to be aligned to Him and His word. This is not an easy thing to do. In fact, aside from losing my dad 6 years ago- His birthday was today, and He gets to celebrate with Jesus now, and cakes far better than I could have made—-wait— there is cake in heaven right? right???????  Marriage is the hardest thing I could have ever imagined in my life. Two different people with different backgrounds is hard enough, but Adam and Eve had junk in the trunk and they didn’t even HAVE parents, or divorces, or anything outside of their “issue” in the garden!

I also know it is the greatest gift God gave us so there has to be something He hopes we accomplish for the strife and anguish caused by rough spots in relationships.

I tell you, what I tell me- we CAN do this, and God Himself can have ALL of the glory. When a long time marriage is winning, get around those people and soak up their great tips, attitudes and words most used. Most of us show only the good in front of others, so we have this falsehood of great marriages secretly hemorrhaging in the church. No one wants to be “that couple”, you know- the one everyone knows has a struggling marriage. I dare you, be open with people you can trust- no everyone isn’t called to be as open with the world as I am. Some of you though, are called to be small group marriage leaders, and others are meant to be small group marriage attendees. The title doesn’t matter, the fellowship with other people who have gone before you is what matters. The contact, the information, the help, the wisdom of those who have made something incredible from a story much like yours or mine- well that’s the point.

You aren’t alone. You are not the only one messed up. Your spouse isn’t the only one messed up. The one thing we all share is fear of failure. You can give in, or you can stick out your jaw, wipe off the tears, and slobber marring your face and get back into the battle. There is one who has already gone before you and He has won the battle. You are able to do this and leave a legacy- of faith.

Much Love, and Incredible Faith in Him to do a good work in you and your marriage!!!

Blessings,

mel

Marriage Truths

Marriage= hard work

no… I mean really= hard work

I heard someone say “when you find the right person- it shouldn’t be hard”.

I wanted to punch them- right in the jaw.

Just my honest reaction- I don’t hide most of my thoughts, or parts of me from you guys- if you read more than 3 posts- you get a pretty good idea that I am; if nothing else-“real”.

Did I punch them- no. They were on a dvd, so I couldn’t get close enough.

Continue reading

Celebrating Her Life

Today we will lay to rest a dear member of our family. A woman who was so very special to my brother and I as children. A little family background regarding my mothers side of the family.

We are a large family.

97% live within the same county.

85% respectively live within 5 miles of one another.

All of us are blessed to be a part of this family. My Nannie has 7 brother’s and sister. We have lost 2 of them already. They are missed, and always will be. This week we lost the wife of my nan’s brother, Uncle Ralph; Aunt Dee.

We often had family events as I was growing up, Family Reunions, and weekends spent seeing at minimum two of the brothers or sisters, and loving every minute. I have a dancing family. Oh yeah… they dance, and they do it wonderfully. I have danced with all of them. I always loved going to those events, because I was guaranteed an opportunity to be asked to dance by one of my great uncles. My great aunts and my nan can cut a rug you wouldn’t believe. I love it. Just thinking of it now, makes me emotional because I know that I am running out of time with them. Not because they are growing older, but because we all have a time we will be called home and none of us know when it will be.

Aunt Delores was fun. She was an energizer bunny just going and going, and I love her. At all of these family events she was organizing or playing games with all of us kids. She and my brother would wrestle and as the mother of four boys, she knew exactly how to do it. When I was pregnant with our daughter, Aunt Dee and Aunt Hazel both brought me the most beautiful crochet blankets- so beautiful I wouldn’t even use them. Now that Loralei is old enough to take care of precious things, I will get them down from their hiding place in her closet and let her give life to those beautiful creations.

One of the amazing parts to Aunt Dee’s story is that her sister, Hazel, is married to my nan’s other brother, Billy. Yep two sisters married to two brothers. Is that not the coolest thing?

The Lord has his timing, and when He calls, we obey. Aunt Dee left us and headed home, and as a family we grieve and celebrate her life. She leaves behind a wonderful family who will certainly miss her daily presence and incredible wit. My Uncle Ralph has had little existence without Aunt Dee, and I weep for him after 61 years of marriage to this wonderful woman, alone. When you read this will you offer a prayer for his heart to be peaceful, and for comfort beyond measure?

Today we will grieve and then celebrate and give praise to the One who gives and takes away. My Dear Aunt Dee, thank you for every chuckle, and full bellied laugh you gave me, for every moment spent in play and every hug wholeheartedly given. You were a beautiful addition to this family, and you will be greatly missed.

Blessings,

mel

Lights

The kids and I have started amping up for Christmas. We love the holiday’s. We basically skip Thanksgiving much to my dear friends chagrin. She loves the fall holiday’s, and while I love fall, there is something  about the smells, sounds and sights of Christmas that stirs me.

As a child, I was blessed. I remember asking for very few things that I didn’t get. My dreams always came to life, this taught me that I could dream, but it didn’t teach me how to  handle dreams that don’t come true.  I would creep down the stairs last Christmas Eve, and see the gifts in front of the tree illuminated by the Christmas Tree lights and something inside me would jump. I would most often go quietly back upstairs, more than the gifts I wanted to know that he had come. That the cookies I made were eaten and the milk was mostly gone.

Christmas brings out a side of me that is caged throughout the rest of the year; a light, for lack of a better word. I am in my element at Christmas. I feel different, I look different, I am different. I don’t know what it is that does it, but it’s like a cloud of anticipation settles on me, and I begin to look for miracles everywhere. My children have the same excitement, we are already prepared for Halloween night when the first movies of this holiday season hit Hallmark, while we decorate the tree and drink hot chocolate- ahem- hot coffee… It draws me, and I am all in.

I have noticed that jumping feeling on the inside of me over things other than Christmas lately. I am finding that the feeling is closer to passion than excitement. I am passionate about a few things that affect myself, our family and our nation, and those things light up in me just like a Christmas tree in the deep dark night.

I am passionate about Human Life- every cell that becomes an embryo that bears the resemblance of God should be afforded and awarded the right to live.  This bears witness in genesis 1:27 “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” When we continue to allow the massacre on our own soil, we are aborting the image of God.

I am passionate about Human Trafficking, specifically sex trafficking- no human should be sold or traded to any other person: ever. We are not property; and this is occurring right here in America. We can not turn our heads and think this happens in third world countries where we are “powerless”. It’s here and it must be dealt with. If you would like more information on this growing travesty please go to this site: http://thegrayhaven.org/ or visit their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thegrayhaven and find out what YOU can do to impact this horrific crime against humanity.

I am passionate about marriage- Marriage is so difficult; different backgrounds, family styles, traditions, values, and morals. I believe every marriage can survive; anything. I don’t support divorce in any aspect, because in no way does God get glory when we separate what “God has brought together”. He wants to heal your marriage. He wants you to be happy, but He is not dependent on your happiness, only your obedience to Him.

I light up internally, I jump and longing fills my soul for these things; when I hear, see or learn of something that impacts any of these internal indicators, it is like Christmas year round. I want to make an impact; I want my life to have been valuable to the Kingdom of God. I want to be so lit up that people see me coming from miles away, knowing that I stand for something. I want the gates of hell to shake when I wake up and put my feet on the floor in the morning. I want to be the light. When Christmas comes, a reverence falls upon me; that my glorious Savior would humble himself to walk among the sinners of the world and call them friend. I love Santa and the beauty of the wonder he creates, but he is nothing compared to the One who gives only good and perfect things.

He wants to make your dreams come true in a way that a physical gift never could. He wants to set you free from bondage to sin, transform your heart and release you back to the world covered in his grace and light. Everyday I make mistakes, some more than others, and while I often end up as Paul wanting to do right, and yet doing wrong, I am grateful for His grace and His desire to come to me anyway. You see no matter how many lights I put on the Christmas trees in our home- that’s plural- the physical light will never be what moves me. His presence is light and that my friends; His light, moves me. As the holidays draw near, and they will quicker than most would like; allow each light you see on the store entrances, and home all around to push you closer to your passions. Those lights represent Him, and His light. Be ye the light of the World.

Blessings,

mel

Love & Respect- In the Beginning

I have been listening to Dave Ramsey’s Live  and Archived shows lately, because I know what goes into me, comes out of me, and I want to leave a legacy. A strong legacy. A family others want to model their family after, one that honors the Lord, and makes the tough decisions for the short term to pay off big time in the long run.

His show has a commercial for “Love & Respect” written by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, and it really caught my attention. Within the commercial Dr. Eggerichs made a comment that just captured me, and since I will mess it up, I am going to paraphrase it, “Unconditional Respect is respecting my husband, because it’s what God asks of me, not what my husband fails to do to “earn” my respect.” I definitely butchered that, but that is the basic concept.

Little preview into my life. I don’t tend to see myself as disrespectful; I am typically kind, until my tongue gets out of control- which happens. I am gentle unless I must be bold. I love my husband, more than most anything, even on days I can’t stand him and wish I didn’t have to see him. Is that honest enough? Even on those days there is something on the inside of me that REFUSES to quit. I Refuse… Kentucky had a slogan last year for their Boys Basketball Team- Refuse to Lose… That’s me, everyday. On days he and I want to give up, we dig in our heels. If we didn’t, if we weren’t so very stubborn, we would not have made it past a month of marriage. He and I have both voiced that we just have to stick it out whether we want to or not. That’s not how we WANT to live, but it is how we have lived.

Until now. I found something in this book, that made me feel like I saw Tim for the first time. Really saw him. Understood why he says I don’t listen to him, and looks at me with such frustration, hurt and anger. I got it! Here’s the scoop- not the whole carton, for that you will need to invest in your marriage, and get a copy of this book. Seriously. I disrespect him. A lot. Way more than I would have said before I read this book. In a counseling session last summer, I remember looking directly into his eyes and saying, “You want me to respect you? Are you KIDDING? Do you not know respect has to be EARNED? I love you, but I do not respect you.” I saw the light leave his eyes and I was disappointed in myself for hurting him, but justified myself, “Doesn’t he know what he has put me through? This is hell on earth, how dare he expect respect from me?”

As Dr. Eggerichs teaches, If He told me He didn’t love me, or that love must be earned, or that he respected me but didn’t love me- I would be crushed. It is the same emotion Tim experiences when I boldy tell and show him that I do not respect him.

Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

It doesn’t say, “He must be worthy of your respect.” “He must never hurt you, and then you shall give him your respect.” or “If you feel love for one another, you must give him your respect.” OOOUUCH.

This hurt me so much, because I felt a blow to my gut. I don’t treat him with respect, and in front of people, I tend to be even worse, even if I am being honest, I should know it’s better to keep my mouth closed that hurt my husband through disrespectful words or actions. I have mastered the rolling eyes, half cocked head, and sigh of disappointment. I have cut him with words in front of others and forgotten that until he came to me, he was an athlete; a good athlete, one highly valued and respected by those around him. When I came along I not only showed him disrespect but  I injured his pride and taught him that while he was accustomed to woman falling all over him for his athletic prowess, that I saw nothing in him to fawn over, at all.

I am so grateful for this book, this is the third day of having it in my possession and I am certain to be finished today, and practicing these easily applied principles to turn my marriage around.

For the 1st time in almost 9 years of marriage, I see that I have to own the fault, not of everything, but at the core of this marriage there is a dysfunction that I alone caused.

Check this book out! If for no other reason than verifying that you “DO” respect your husband. I wonder how many wonderful occasions in our relationship I missed due to my lack of giving him something that God called me to give him. Tim doesn’t ask for my respect but the Lord determined for him, that I was to be respectful period, regardless of his level of “worthiness”.

Blessings, 

mel

Pauly’s Wisdom for Marriage

Don’t you love Paul?

1 Corinthians 7

8 Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

Alllriighhht… let’s dig a little deeper!

When I first heard verse 8 , as a married woman- who has had a struggling marriage… I was like, “Preach it, preacher!”  “Don’t do it!”

If you are unmarried- it’s not that marriage isn’t blessed- IT IS. God blesses marriage. It is a beautiful covenant when it’s secure in HIM! It is a very difficult thing when your marriage isn’t given to the Lord by BOTH of you each day. I am as guilty of this as my husband is.

Then I read verse 9. Oook… If they cannot control themselves, they should marry- HOLD IT right there Pal!

Paul- are you crazy?

He is a man of the faith and it’s in the Bible so I have to obey it. . . but I am saying, for real. If you can not control yourself and you are burning with lust unmarried- you will do it when you are married. It’s a self control issue. This is an area of your life you need to MASTER before marriage. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get married if you struggle once in a while, but if this is an everyday issue for you, learn to lay it down at the cross daily, before your actions bring pain to the person you pledge yourself for “All of eternity” -not until they don’t make you happy anymore.

P.S. It’s not about you. Key phrase of my life. It’s about HIM- The One. The Creator, and Giver of every good and perfect thing! If He allows you to marry- He has every intention of helping you stay that way.

Back to good ‘Ole Paul- be reasonable. If you are checking out other people before you get married- there is either something you need to work on, or He may have another plan for you. Love isn’t stars in the sky and everyone smiling and singing. It isn’t. It’s having every reason to leave, and every person you respect telling you that you can, and Biblically it would even be ok; and you saying I am in this for the glory of Christ Jesus.

It is holding a picture of your spouse at 6 years old, and saying- “I will not let that little boy down. I will become the women the Lord intended me to be when He created that handsome little guy.” It’s keeping that picture nearby and using hurt you feel to propel you into the arms of Christ and lift that little, but now big guy up!

Today- He has a plan, married, unmarried, thinking about getting married, having children old enough to get married- lift up the people around you. This covenant isn’t easy, but it is world changing- let’s do marriage right, and the world will want to follow the God who heals the broken, and makes whole the wounds of the hurting.

Blessings,

mel

 

 

Standing in the Fire

Hi All! I hope this Friday found you in bright spirits! 

I am soliciting your prayers today. I know a few people right now going through life events that have the potential to take out the generations behind them. I won’t list their names, but they are hurting; truly devastated by what has been allowed in their lives. Strength only lasts until you believe hope is gone. I need your prayers for renewed strength, a renewed fight to rise up in them.

They need you. In my own marriage, when the days were so black that I couldn’t see the flame of hope in the distance, I had folks I didn’t know standing in the gap for me. They need you dear gap. There are children involved, hurting, confused children. Please lift them up, the Lord know who they are.

On the earth today men encounter more temptation than ever before. The enemy has placed his attacks on men. He took what God intended for good and perverted it. He knows that if He can take the man out- the entire family falls in his wake.

The greatest problem facing our churches, isn’t people leaving when they turn 18. It is dads being lured away, and mothers being told by the church, that if it was adultery the Bible says you can get divorce. Why do you think the enemy uses this? Why is sexual perversion the largest sin ripping families apart, because the enemy knows the word, and he says, If I can get a man from the church to commit adultery, I get his whole family and the church will back me up. Adultery isn’t a reason to divorce your spouse. I know there are some of you, who have lived with this and said, “when is enough, enough?” There are times most anyone will tell you, “you have gone through enough. you have tried, let it be”. THANK THE LORD, Jesus didn’t say on His way to calvary, “I think I have gone through enough, send the angels, I have suffered too greatly.”

I know what it is to see repeated painful, family destroying behaviors come into my home, take a piece of what we have worked so hard for and walk out with my peace. I have lived it. I do live it. I know what it is to see the Lord Himself take hold of a man, who doesn’t want anything to do with Him, and turn his entire life around. I have seen it. At the end of everyday, I know I live everyday to bring glory to the Lord. It is my role in this marriage. Marriage wasn’t intended for our happiness, but for His good. Get a prayer grip on your marriage and you don’t let go. You don’t back down, you put the enemy in his place, remind him of where he is. Whose you are. You speak over the doors and windows of your house, and you let people call you crazy and foolish for going back to a man that could cheat, leave, destroy you again; and then you go into your prayer closet and you tell the Lord thank you, for giving you another day with your husband, and ask Him to teach you to love him the way the Lord loves you, to see beyond who he is, to what he will be. Not because you changed him, but because the Lord changed him. Your marriage isn’t any more yours than your money- you are a steward of the marriage covenant, handle it as though it was the Lord’s. He would forgive it, the same way He forgives every other sin in your life. The ones your spouse doesn’t even know about.

Let your marriage define who the Lord is. What He is capable of. DO NOT GIVE UP! He is able. I wish I could tell you everything I have walked through. I wish you could see my tears spilling onto a pillow night after night, asking the Lord why He allowed this. I wish you could see my husband run to the altar as one man, and walking back to me as another. Is he perfect? Nope. Does he still mess up? Yep, but don’t we all? We as women tend to exalt our husbands sin above our own. The Lord doesn’t calculate how much blood Jesus shed for each kind of sin. He sees only a pool of blood at His sons feet.

If you are a married woman, pray for your husband today, you can not fathom the temptation put in place to distract him from you, the Lord and your children. He can not fight this alone, he needs you! Your prayers, your attention, your com hither eyes and your love. True love isn’t a feeling. It is intentional care. It is working through situations you swore you wouldn’t work through in your immaturity before marriage. Pray for woman of God to become mature wives. Spiritually mature, marriage mature, mothering mature. We live in this culture that distracts mothers from their children and they are raising themselves around us while we text, play on the computer, chat on Facebook with people we truly don’t want to see in person, but will sacrifice our time to pretend with, while our children wait patiently for our attention. We ignore our husbands needs because we live over our means and have to work full time to supply the money to fund a lifestyle God didn’t intend, and we are tired from working, and doing the things the Lord intended for us as women.

We are missing the mark- not you- but me. I am missing the mark. Countless babies are being murdered on my watch. This is my time on this earth, He places us here for such a time as this. I am watching divorce stats rise, because I don’t want to get in someone else’s business or get in the mix. Thank the Lord He put His Holy finger in my dirt at the well. Thankfully He took an adulteress woman and turned her into a woman whose desire is to please her God and her man.

We will miss it, and our children will pay. We MUST answer the call to action. We must. Our grandchildren will be completely separated from the Lord if we do not do something now, with this generation. They aren’t satisfied with anything. They want more and more, and they want it now. If we do not teach the contentment that comes from quiet time with Jesus, we are missing it! We are not fulfilling our duty! My toes hurt from stepping on them. This hurts me, it’s a realization that is affecting me. If NOT me, then who? Who will be able to go in my place? NO ONE. I was created with a specific purpose, so were you, and we must ACT. I don’t know how the Lord will lead you to act, but when He whispers, yells nudges you, please obey; my babies may need your children to be leaders of their faith one day, your babies may need my babies to pray with them over a friend when they are standing around the water cooler at work in 15 years. They may need a miracle, but if they don’t know the God of miracles because our culture has replaced him with THINGS, what will they do?

My heart is burdened, I don’t know what to do, or where to start, but at some point we must say, “enough is enough”. I will follow the cross down whatever road it leads me. I will not bow to pressure of my workplace, my culture or MY HOME. For so many, that is the easiest place to fall, when it should be the ONE place there is a standard that is maintained. Heaven should be able to fall in my home, if it isn’t there, that atmosphere isn’t following me anywhere, and without it, without Him,  I can do nothing.

At some point Ladies, and Gents, we will be called to prosecution for our faith, big or small, life or death, job or unemployment. It is coming to that, do not believe that this will all just work itself out without your voice. Without HIM, nothing changes. People are losing their jobs over their beliefs, your security can not be your job! If your in debt work your way out, so that when your faith and beliefs are called into question, you can walk away. He is your provider, your sustenance, it’s all from Him. You didn’t give yourself that career, He did, do not doubt that He will fulfill your dreams desires and visions, if you would, but seek Him First. He will give it all to you. He owns a cattle on a thousand hills… and the HILLS!!! He owns them all! He created this world, do you believe He is unable to grant you good and perfect things, if you offend someone by speaking for your God?

David went against Goliath, not for what He would gain- but because an uncircumcised Philistine dared to utter a word against His God. We go to movies, hear the Lords name used deplorably and we stay for the rest of the movie, because we don’t want to lose money, and the movie won’t affect us… it won’t change us. It’s a lie. It’s a great lie, but it is most assuredly a lie. We will be changed. We will be affected and we will reap what we sow. What goes in, will come out.

I don’t know what I am trying to say here, I just know, I am not ok with the state of this world, the culture and worse the church. Our churches should have a divorce rate of 0%. He didn’t die for your marriages to fail!

When you see a friend going through something- offer to keep the children, give her or them a time to get away from it all. Provide encouragement, not fuel.

If the grass looks greener on the other side, you probably need to take better care of yours. : )

Blessings and so much love.

mel

How to Build Trust in Yourself… In a Secretive World

I have been very lax in the last week getting posts created. Forgive me?  I have had a block and I am not sure why, but will be in prayer, because I love communicating through the written word. Our culture uses the written word a little too much and personal interaction is fading away, the emotions created by a look and a delicate conversation are sailing out the window.

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Letting you into my darkness, I have written before about my inappropriate relationship while my husband and I were separated, I had a purely written relationship. There is something tragic in that alone. No electronic device can communicate the heartbreak that would lead someone to seek out a comforter. That’s what I wanted. Comfort. Someone to care about my day, about me. To see me, as I was. In my complete brokenness, I found someone who could make me “feel” again.

I have learned in the last decade of my life what it is to turn off emotions, feelings; pain. I remember the literal waves of physical pain I would experience in the most difficult seasons of my marriage, where I would feel a searing sensation whipping through my body. I could understand why someone in great angst could take their life, how they could see no value in who they are anymore, how they could feel that they aren’t necessary to anyone, because they have stopped seeing themselves as worthy of love. In that place, there is only darkness, even when you know the source of light, you can’t seem to open your eyes enough to glimpse the light, and because your eyes have been closed for so long, the light is almost as painful as the dark.

I don’t have a perfect marriage now. Tim would tell you the same thing. We tell those about to get married, to figure out who you are, whose you are, and what you want to be. Get counseling before marriage, seek Godly wisdom before you physically tie yourself to another, before you take a step that is covenant above the contract. Know that you know, go through some life experiences together, don’t rush, if the Lord plans for you to be together, time can only assist you before that decision is made.

I believe in love that stands the test of time, I am certain that there are some so knit together that marriage is the easiest decision they will ever make; they were created with the other in mind. I believe that so often those folks find each other at a young age, unblemished, and prepared as only the Lord can prepare them for a life together, only together, knowing each other intimately in a way no one else will ever know them.  I also know there is love for a blemished bride made white as snow by the King of Kings to be presented to her blemished groom also made white as snow by the King of Kings.

There is great refinement of love in the fire. Every marriage experiences fire, because of the human nature of creation. We will not know a perfect life, or love, we do know a perfect God who sent a Perfect son as a sacrifice on our behalf. He doesn’t intend our lives to be full of strife, He intends for us to invite Him along on this great adventure so that He can wipe our mistakes away, daily, hourly, and present us each morning unblemished to our partner.

But back to the texts that become tests.

I walked in darkness, for years out of a great pain; the death of my dad, the pain of being separated from a man who I thought would never love me as I had dreamed all of my life. Where was my happy ending? I stopped wearing my wedding band. Spouses; if you are going through a difficult time and you have always worn wedding bands; there is significance in that solid ring on your finger. Yes people still come after the target when it’s on, but when it is off, it sends a signal to the realm of darkness that you are ripe fruit dangling from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. You are acknowledging that you are “done” with your marriage, and that you are ready to move on, to relocate your camp from believing that the Lord is able to deciding it wasn’t worth fighting for. You are sending out the bat signal, there is a target on your marriage at that very moment. I know, We became that target.

I was at a new job during this time of my life and no one really knew anything about me, so not having a wedding band on sent a strong message, I had two babies, so I allowed people to assume that I had been married or that I was single, or separated, I didn’t talk about it. I allowed an innocent man to get close to me, emails began very light and simple and before long I was baring parts of me that no one was allowed to see to him, to one who wasn’t in covenant with me. We wrote about deep things, dreams, goals, life similarities, and I was in a daydream. He didn’t even realize I was married.

We texted and while I never moved to a physical relationship, I did something far worse, I allowed him to awaken feelings within me, I had closed off years before, back when pain was an everyday occurrence. I was giving myself to a stranger. I was handing the enemy every weapon he needed to defeat me. I was lost. During this time, no one else in my life knew what was going on inside of me. How I wanted someone to pull me back into reality. I was daring myself, how far can I go before I am caught. I contemplated running off with this guy. I factored in my children, how was I going to get their things together, would he like them?

I would never have left my children; ever. But I have an understanding now that I didn’t before. A compassion for a woman caught because emotions she thought were gone, have overtaken her, and the feeling of being swept away is so real; it’s true to her, or to him. I came home one day; Tim and I stayed in the same home, but different rooms during our separation;  and Tim realized that I was moving on and his reaction startled me into true reality. If he was willing to fight, so was I. I had put an innocent person through hopes and dreams that were unrealistic and unfair because I chose to be in darkness instead of coming to the light.

Texting was an opportunity to not get caught. Even though I was separated and thought I had a right, I still would lay in bed and sleep with my phone in my hand so that Tim wouldn’t know if a text came in the middle of the night. I was always walking on egg shells so he wouldn’t know. I wasn’t wearing my wedding bands to prove to him that I was done with him. A symbol of love, became a signal of finality. What a mess I had made. Tim made messes too; leading to, during and after the separation, but those messes hadn’t involved much emotion. I was all tied up. We had to heal from hurts, from mistruths, from lies, from deceptions and we had to give it all over to God. He had to take our  junk and turn it into treasure, a treasure worth fighting for.

Don’t buy the lie. Your emotional, fun, friendship with someone of the opposite sex is dangerous. It is an opportunity for your enemy who wants to kill, steal and destroy, to walk away with you and your family in chains. It IS that big a deal. Your family and the generations behind you are under attack every time a text comes in that you need to hide, there are arrows pointed to the hearts of your loved ones everytime an email is sent in secrecy. Your marriage, your lineage is valuable. There is no condemnation, no darkness, no hiding in Christ Jesus.

He has paid it all for you to live with it all. He already made a way, and saw your marriage as something worth dying for. Stop selling, yourself, your spouse and your marriage short. He wants you out of bondage, seeing the broken things restored. There is pain when we open our eyes and step from darkness into light, but there is a Comforter who was left here on this planet for YOU. To give you peace, to hold your hand while you experience pain. Don’t hide from the light embrace it, deal with the consequences, because they get far harder to handle the longer the dark stays dark. Accept responsibility when it is due, believe that the Lord can make ALL things new and believe His promise for your future.

“For I KNOW, the plans I have for you”, says the Lord, “Plans for good and not for evil, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

That means no matter what junk you have in that truck in the attic; or your cell, email or Facebook account, the secrets, the lies, the worst things about you, that He is able and ready to turn it for your favor. Look into the light- there is beauty without darkness.

Blessings,

mel

The Story of Eve

I have been mesmerized by a telling of the story of Eve; Havah: The Story of Eve by Tosca Lee is incredible.

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Incredible. I love reading, I always have, I remember hiding with a flashlight under my covers every night after the lights were supposed to go out.  I stopped reading so often as my children have grown older and need me in different ways than before. They need help with homework and activities, someone to play with and create with, so my personal time has suffered. Reading has always been able to whisk me away to another place, another time, to joy or happiness, when none was to be found. I was at an automotive shop waiting on my vehicle to be fixed and I grabbed my trusty Nook, that on an off chance was in my purse, probably placed there by children who like to have something available for their entertainment and I stumbled onto a book I hadn’t yet read, one that was downloaded probably a year ago.

I began reading and it was 6 Chapters later that I looked up and realized I have read for a good hour straight. This book moved me, physically, mentally, emotionally, I felt different upon reading the words of a woman seen in Scripture as the reason for the fall of man. A woman rarely given compassion by even those of us who are in the faith. We don’t have forgiveness for her, we see her in the worst light, and although Tosca Lee took certain liberties in her writing, using her imagination and talent to create a beautiful work of art.  Her descriptions of Eve, and Adam, and the passion God intended for a man and his wife is glorious in it’s descriptions.

I felt a renewed love for my husband and know that the Lord used this expression of love in words to show me something I had long forgotten. I am HIS, and I am his. I am theirs. They share responsibility of me, and I share responsibility with God on the way that I handle my husband, the Honor I show him, and the commitment we together made to live our lives together for the glory of God.

A beautiful excerpt:

-“He whispered. “I was aware of it always. I wondered whether I could understand the evil. I pondered the death. I called on the One who whispered to my heart, and he denied me nothing, but in my loneliness I longed for more.

One day as I wandered through the reeds–the very place where I first lifted my head–I saw it.” His eyes were shining as he said it, dark blue, the color of lapis from the hills of Havilah. “A footprint, a man’s– but not my own.” Tears slipped from his eyes, and the look upon his face was filled with longing.

“I ran along the bank, crying out, wanting nothing more than to touch that foot, to touch that hand. But even as I did it, I hear a voice saying, I Am, Adam. I Am! I fell down on my knees. It was the first pang of loneliness I had ever known, and it was as acute and sharp as any craving for food or sun or sleep or bliss as I have ever experienced. It came again, like a whisper: I Am.”

He wiped his face with the back of his hand. When he spoke again, his voice broke.

“But when I got up, I could not find the footprint again, though I looked for it all day. I only wanted to touch it. To touch it again–” He lowered his head. After some time he said, “That night as I lay down, I gazed at the stars, at the very ones you love to trace in the sky with your finger when you think I am sleeping, and cried out my plea to God. That night, the fingers of sleep pulled with long and sweet clutch, stroking me into unconsciousness. I heard in my soul: It is not good for you to be alone. It was voiced with the greatest compassion, the most full understanding… the most lovely benevolence and love.

Such love!

“I slept in the grip of that love, comforted, thinking I should forget my longing within it, knowing that all was somehow well.” He laid a finger against my cheek. “In the morning, when I stirred, I knew.” His fingers fluttered against my cheek as one touches a thing so delicate as a dream, fearing it might break. “I knew I lay here in my own flesh, but not alone.”

How lovely were the tears of the adam! How beautiful his face because of them, how poignant and masculine at once as they dropped to his cheek and fell upon his lips! He kisses me in mimicry of the first exhale of the One against his mouth. And I heard again his words that first morning and felt again his elation, not from the past, but made new in his heart.

At last! Flesh of my flesh!

I knew then he was as much mine as I was his, that he loved me with every fiber, having longed for me before he knew me or that I might ever exist. As the adam buried his head in my hair, my heart cried out at the extravagance of love and the humility and gratitude for which there were not, nor ever have been, words.-

Is that not beautiful? Gorgeous words and the picture of it brings me into the garden, seeing Eve and Adam find each other in the presence of a Holy God. Being loved so much that He wouldn’t keep Adam to himself. He created a lover, a beautiful woman that Adam would be drawn to, that would be the completion of this man. His God and his woman. Beautiful.

Cherish your spouse today, as though it was the first time you saw them as the provider of the rib it took to create you. The way Eve saw Adam, completely hers, and knowing she was created for him. As Ms. Lee says it, “In the beginning there was God, but for me, there was Adam.”

Christianbook.com runs great deals on these incredible books in hardcopy and digital editions. Check this out.

Blessings,

mel