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Monthly Archives: April 2009

Satisfaction Guaranteed

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:12-13

Our pastor preached on evangalism today and on being good stewards…planting, sowing, and harvesting. It’s something I feel, as Christians, we generally have problems doing. We don’t evangalize enough. And when we do, it often seems awkward, forceful, and unloving (I can say this after having been on the receiving end in the past).  We don’t use our talents and treasures enough for God’s glory and to bring people to Him.  We often don’t serve our church as well as we could.  For me, I can say it’s primarily that I’m preoccupied…with me that is.

I’m preoccupied with my satisfaction, my contentment.  How can I share the love of Christ, my gifts, my talents, my money, and how can I be a good steward for the Lord if I’m preoccupied with the life I don’t have?  Our pastor, during the same sermon, mentioned that if we are in God’s will, then we will be satisfied and content.  We will be happy with where we are in our lives and what we have.  When he said that I immediately had flashbacks.  Flashbacks of envious moments at friends’ houses because they had something I don’t, of times when I didn’t invite someone over because I was scared of what they might think of my home, flashbacks of so many lost opportunities to spread the news that we can live forever in Christ free of our sins!!

If I strive to look to the Lord, follow the Lord, love the Lord, and love and serve others, my satisfaction is guaranteed.  I can be content with my tiny home, old appliances, creaky floors, and drafty doors.  I can be satisfied that some mysteries of God will not be unveiled until I see him.  I don’t need to have everything or know everything.  I don’t need to keep up with the Jones’s.  I don’t need to be a scholar or well known or have a high paying job.  I do need to remain in God’s will and be content with the blessings he’s provided.  And when that is the case, I can more fully serve my family, my church, my community, my world.  I can better reach out.  I’ll be more apt to give away what I have to those who might need it more without thought of whether I’ll be satisfied without it.  I’ll open my home more quickly and eagerly.  I’ll develop better relationships because I won’t be worried about what they have that I don’t or what I desire that may prevent me from becoming friends with them.  My satisfaction in Christ is guaranteed…no returns, refunds or exchanges needed.

My husband argues that family comes first and that we are serving Christ by serving our family, and I do agree with him.  However, my next thought is, think of the example we are sending our children if we are not serving our brothers and sisters in Christ and the lost to the fullest of our potential!  Isn’t it our job not only to strive to be like Christ but to teach our children to do it also?  In serving the church and the lost, we ARE serving our families (and Christ)!  I want to strive to be like Paul is in the Philippians verse.  I want to be content in every circumstance of my life because I know that in my contentment in Christ, I can do all things.  I can be a good steward, serving my family, my church, and my world.

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Resurrection Sunday

He is not here. For He has risen as he said.  Matthew 28:6

I have to say that this Easter was the most memorable one for me so far! It’s filled with firsts. It’s the first Easter where my husband and I both are united completely and fully in Christ. It’s the first Easter my dad wasn’t here (no he’s not dead. He just went on a once in a lifetime trip with one of his buddies). It’s the first – and last – Easter that my husband was baptized!! It’s the first time my husband has ever spoken to a large amount of people about anything much less about his life previous to Christ and his salvation. It was fantastic!

We had some sweet time with my mom at the home where I grew up, ate comfort food, and did the traditional Easter egg hunt with our two daughters. It was filled with familiar smells, voices, and laughter. Bloke got to watch the Masters golf tournament….probably for the first time since we’ve been married (almost eight years).

When my husband was baptized, our family was resurrected as well. What was old is now new. What was lost is now found. Bloke’s heart was truly cleansed and he proclaimed to the world that he was saved by grace and crucified with Christ. I am so proud of him.

With every passing day, the Lord is growing my love for my husband. He is changing my heart and my life. He is molding me in His image. He is saving me!  What a celebration this Easter was, and what a celebration it should be every day.

Now let the heavens be joyful,
Let earth her song begin:
Let the round world keep triumph,
And all that is therein;
Invisible and visible,
Their notes let all things blend,
For Christ the Lord is risen
Our joy that hath no end.”
— John of Damascus

Thank you Wesley for such wonderful pictures of Sam’s baptism!!  You rock!

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Thank you, mom, for taking such a beautiful photo of our new family!

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Wants, Needs, and Bratty Deeds

What causes fights and quarrels among you?  Don’t they come from the desires that dwell within you? James 4:1

The past four weeks have been enlightening….mostly for me but I’m sure for Bloke too. I think I’ve learned more about myself in the past weeks than I have in my entire twenty eight years of living. The big “move in” was scary, but guess what? We’re ok. We’re both still alive and have not suffered any physical harm. It HAS been terribly and painfully difficult, but also a huge blessing. So here’s what I’ve learned thus far:

1. I have discovered that I am (and have been) a spoiled brat. You know when people say, “oh, those kids are spoiled, but they’re not brats. They really are good with what they’re given.” They’re weren’t talking about me. I realized that the reason I’ve been so irritable and hostile towards my husband these past weeks (no, it’s not just PMS) is because up until the time he moved back in, I got to do what I want, how I want, when I want.  This has deluded me into thinking I’m in control when I’m not.

2. I learned that being spoiled and being a brat are both wrong and not godly. It’s not ok to serve me. And I DON’T deserve _________________ (I could leave the blank much longer but then I wouldn’t finish this post. Know that what goes in the blank are good things, i.e. perfect husband who does everything I want when I want – although that’s not really good). I deserve death and hell, but I’ve been saved from that by the grace of God.

3. I’m a control freak. I mean really really bad. I mean to the point that I have been unable to progress as a Christian, as a godly wife, and as godly mother….to the point that has created significant dissention between Bloke and I. I don’t really need to drive simply so we can go five miles an hour faster.  And I don’t need to dress/feed/clean the children because I do it better.

4. I’ve learned that I don’t need Bloke to be all that I expect him to be. I need to not expect at all. Anything above nothing is a blessing.

5. I’ve learned that I DO need to expect from the Lord. I need to expect Him to keep His promises because He really will…whether i believe it or not.

6. I’ve learned that I’m a pretty awful wife…despite what I thought previously, and that Bloke is now a pretty great husband, despite what everyone else thought previously.

7. It is actually possible to have and give grace….I, unfortunately, have learned that I get a thousand times more than I give.  Something else to work on.

8. I’ve learned that I can boil down every single fight, quarrel, and struggle down to a desire that I/he/we have let become a demand. This is not godly.

9. I’ve learned that, despite our trials, struggles, fights, tears, and pain over the past few weeks, that the Lord was always with us.  He led us to forgive.  He led us back to reconciliation.  He gave us grace and helped us move forward. And our struggles are for the fight to glorify God in our marriage (does that make our fights godly?  Hmmm, no, definitely not…I don’t think.)

I know my husband isn’t the perfect Christian.  He’s not even the Christian I have hoped for.  However, he’s saved and transforming.  He’s a work in progress.  He’s glorifying God.  He’s showed me so much love, grace, and kindness over the pat four weeks that I can’t even begin to explain.  He loved me when I threw bubbles out the window at him (please don’t ask).  He loved me when I threw a tantrum in our kitchen(again, you really don’t want to know).  He loved me when I screamed at him at the top of my lungs.  And I know for sure that this man is not the same man I married.  And he’s certainly not the same man from six months ago.  I also know that he’s not going to be the man that he is now forever.  God will continue to grow him and change him into the godly leader, husband, and father that we need….not the one I want, but the one we NEED.

I am hoping in Christ that while He is sanctifying my Bloke, that he will change me.  I pray that the Lord will make ME the godly wife and mother that my family needs…that He will rid ME of my wants, needs, and bratty deeds. Bloke is certainly not perfect, but no one is or ever will be.  He’s the man that God gave me, and I am ever so thankful.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  Ephesians 4:32

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