Friday, September 21, 2012

I'm a doer....

Not always so much of a be-er.

Another words, I'm a Martha but I want to be more like Mary.  Or at least be a little bit more like her.

"The Master said, "Martha, dear Martha, you're fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing.  One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it ---- it's the main course, and won't be taken from her."   ~Luke 10:42


 
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I am a to-do list over-achiever.  I'm a super driven person in some areas, and I like to accomplish a task and move on to the next one.   And I am okay with that {to an extent}.  I enjoy things orderly, neat, in their place & there when I need them, floors clean, beds made, clothes clean, and yards neat.   I like that.  It literally makes me happy.  I enjoy myself much more when those things are in order.  Am I the only nut-case like this?

 
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My problem is I'm too driven and when those things aren't up to my standards, I don't function well.  Another words, mama ain't happy so nobody's happy.  I'm constantly looking for a happy-medium in this area.  I feel defeated most days in this area and satan is riding me hard.

My biggest issue is finding the middle ground.

 
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I believe that idleness is the devil's workshop.  With our words...  {"...every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement." ~Matthew 12:36}, and our time... {"She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness."
~Prov. 31:27}.



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Here's the war in my heart:::
I have small children at home, who are growing up entirely too quickly.  My time with them is precious.  My influence on them is critical.  Afterall, isn't this the #1 reason I am home with them?

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 The other side of that....I am a doer in the home.  God made me that way.  I am motivated in these areas.  As I said, I think my home should be neat and orderly.  Not only because I simply like it that way, but because I believe it blesses those who live here.  When things are in place, our lives run more smoothly therefore we are more likely to be in better spirits.  Disorder breeds confusion, anger, frustration, and a lot of wasted time. Besides, the cold reality is it has to be done!

"But can't mopping the floors and cleaning the bathrooms be considered wasted time when your children are growing up while you mop?!!"  (That was satan harrassing me;)  I am getting better in this particular area. 

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But since I've almost gotten a grip on that area, here's where satan is dogging me now...

My dear sweet boy has one of the most tender hearts in all the world, he is just precious in tons of ways, but he is not a child that plays and entertains himself well.  He constantly needs/wants someone else in his presence while he is playing.  Therefore I get this from him all day... "Mama, can you come play in the playroom with me?"  "Can you come outside and watch me in the sandbox?"  "Can I have a friend over to play with me?"  "Mama, you said you were going to come play with me!"  "Come on!"  "Mama, when are you going to play with me?" 
And some of these questions are asked only minutes after I've just left the playroom or come inside from the sandbox!

It's constant. 


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So, there again my question is where is the happy-medium?

I read a post yesterday that gave me some peace.....somewhat.  The title was "I am not here to entertain my children."

She writes:
"If the end goal of parenting for you is the same as it is for me (raising our children to know, love, and emulate Jesus), then “entertaining” certainly isn’t what the majority of our focus should be on. It should be focused on others, just as Jesus was. After all, the two greatest commandments are loving God and loving others.....The fact is: When we make it our mission in life to make sure that our children are entertained and having fun, we are teaching them that that is what life is all about–them! It also can prohibit children from using their imaginations and their own creativity to come up with something fun to do on their own ..."

This is where I tend to say AMEN!

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On the flip-side, my sweet, little angel girl is the opposite.   She is very capable of making a day full of interesting fun for herself with only her purses, lipstick, babies, 'business', cowgirly pants & boots- or flipflops whichever suits her fancy for the day- and her very vivid imagination!   It's quite entertaining for me as well---until she catches me watching ;-)


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Rather than going out of our way to find ways to entertain our kids, let’s go out of our way thinking of opportunities that we can serve and love others together.


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How about you?

How do you find the happy-medium with your motherly 'duties' and time with your children?

Blessings my friends~

Monday, September 10, 2012

Revive Your Marriage-revive your attitude

"God gives us a choice about what our attitude will be.  We can choose to allow negativity to dominate our personality to the detriment of ourselves and all around us, or we can choose to be more like Christ. " -----Stormie Omartian

 
 

Let me start this post by saying that I am by no means an expert on marriage.   I am still learning and will keep learning (I hope) for many years to come.

I have, as long as I can remember, dreamed of being a wife and mother.  That was/is my lifelong dream.  Literally.  Not a glamorous dream to many, I am very well aware.  But for me, that is it.   Therefore, I find myself reading, studying, and thinking on those two areas of my life a lot.  I am the type of person that would go to a marriage conference at least once a week.  And would sit and listen to every sermon on marriage ever preached.  I love being married.  I love being a mama.  My heart truly is at home.

And in these short six years of my marriage, I have also found it to be the hardest job I've ever had.  I'm not going to lie.  It's hard.  It's a full-time job.   But for me, it's worth it. 
"The most difficult days of marriage are the ones after the wedding." ---author unknown

 
I'm joining in with a few of my favorite bloggers and taking the Revive Your Marriage Challenge:
 
 

So, what's a woman to do when it comes to reviving her attitude in marriage?

These are things I've found helpful:::
  • Pray.  Pray hard.  Pray big.  Time spent in prayer, to me, is the greatest gift you can ever give your husband and children.  A believing, praying wife cannot be overestimated. (Prov. 21:1)
"No time is so well spent in every day as that which we spend upon our knees."J.C. Ryle
  • Make time for God your first priority of the day.  I have struggled with this for 2 years.  I will be the first to admit, I'm not a morning person.  I have literally prayed that God would make me one, but so far that has not happened.  But one thing for sure, I have learned that when I am consistent with my quite time, in the early morning, God blesses me for it.  My attitude is better in all areas when I have had some time alone, with no distractions, to read, listen to sweet music, pray, and just meditate on God's Word.
  • Be an encourager.  Your husband deals with negative people, with negative outlooks all day long.  Be the positive in his life.  Be his biggest fan.  Make sure he knows you are in his corner no matter what.  He needs the confidence that he has you on his side to face anything the world will throw at him.  Men seem to thrive on appreciation and respect so be the one to give it to him.  If you don't, someone else will.
"Encouragment is oxygen to the soul."----George Matthew Adams
  • Create structure and scheduled times that make your marriage a priority.  I know this is hard.  Especially with little ones demanding so much so often.  But I believe 'dating' in a marriage is critical. With all the demands we face in our day to day lives, we somehow tend to forget why we ever got married in the first place.  'Dates' are fantastic times to reflect.  To remember the reasons we fell in love.  Schedule them.  And then guard that time with your life.  {And a little something I learned the hard way in this area....be the one that asks him to go on a 'date'.  Really, why should he always be the one to ask?  Don't just sit around wishing and fuming that he would be more romantic.  Was he romantic before you married?  Of course, he probably tried a little more.  But you did too, right?} Another lesson for me....dates can happen anywhere.  You don't necessarily have to go out to a fancy place.  A date can be on your back porch with a glass of sweet tea.  Or having pizza at home watching a movie.  Or even at McDonalds.  It's the time together, wherever it may be, that counts. 
"That which is hoped for never, ever happens.  That which is scheduled likely occurs."
  • Prepare for him daily.   Your home is your sanctuary.   And a haven for your family.  As a wife and mother, it's your job to make it warm and inviting for everyone.  Coming home to a neat {not necessarily spotless!}, but kept home is uplifting.  Think about when you walk back into your house whether it's from the grocery store, or taking kids to school, when you walk into a home that is in order and smells good, you feel better.   The same goes for your husband.  It may just help him be in a better mood from the get-go;)  Welcome him with a smile.
"Learn to greet your friends with a smile, they carry too many frowns in their own hearts to be bothered with yours." ---Mary Allette Ayer
  • Focus on the positive.   Whether in his presence or not.   He's not perfect.  We know that.  But remember, neither are you;)  Speak positively about him.  Don't lie, but be sparing with your critisicm.  Respect him with your words. 
"The tongue is the only tool that grows sharper with every use."----Washington Irving
  • Avoid comparisons at all costs.  This is true for every aspect in life.  You didn't marry so & so's husband, so it doesn't matter what he does.  Make the most of your marriage.  The grass is never greener on the other side, so don't let satan make you think otherwise.  Be at peace with who you are and who you have as a mate.  Contentment is great gain.
  • Treat your love like you want him to treat you.  Give him daily doses of love and grace. 
    "Grace, Grace, God's grace.  Grace that is greater than all our sins."  Where would you be without God's grace? 
"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." ---I Peter 4:8
  •  Be fun.  I'll admit it.  I struggle with this one.  I know I can be fun.  I used to live for the 'next fun thing' on the list.  But as time has passed and responsibilities have become greater, fun is on the bottom of my list.  But I am working on it.  So, as you work to have a good attitude, remember a fun person is such a bright light in today's gloomy world.  Laugh.  A lot.  I am trying to remember to tell myself everyday, "Lighten up, and live!"  Would it do you good too? 
"A joyful marriage is a bit of heaven on earth."----Heine
  • Work at it.  Work hard at it.  All day.  Everyday.  Never stop.  Never give up.  Never give in.   It's worth it.  God promises us that it is.   And He is faithful.  And a bonus---your children will be blessed.
"For every hill I've had to climb,
For every stone that bruised my feet,
For all the blood and sweat and grime,
For blinding storms and burning heat,
My heart sings but a grateful song----
These were the things that made me strong!"
----Anonymous
  •  Be grateful for any and all improvements.   No matter how small.  Voice your gratefulness to your mate and others.  It takes time.  A lifetime. 
"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going."---Beverly Sills

Throughout this week, look for ways to encourage and better your attitude {and your husband's}.

 Please take this as an encouragment to you from me, and not a 'sermon' from one who thinks she's got it all figured out.   As I said, I'm still learning.  Lots~

 And be sure to check out these fantastic blogs to read more about reviving our marriages!


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Counting Our Blessings,