Monday, April 27, 2009
If we are God's workmanship, His masterpiece, and we are to esteem (treasure, value) others above ourselves (Philippians 2:3-4), why do we as a society tend to chip away at the armor of confidence that our loved ones wear. A scripture in Ephesians (4:29) I quote quite a bit to the girls...."do not let unwholesome talk come out of your mouth other than which is good or necessary to build others up." My husband and I agreed that the home needed to be the one place that the girls felt secure in a very insecure world. So we will work (we are not perfect ourselves and do tend to fall into old habits)to monitor the talk that comes out of the girls mouths, as well as ours. I have listened to many christian couples and they, too, fall into the worldly sexiest jabs. I ask you to consider the model of marriage you are representing for your children or younger couples that may be looking to you for a model. Would you want their future husbands or wives to build your son or daughter up with encouraging words or words that are designed to put them down and possible keep them down? Belittling her or him, throwing little daggers at their esteem as a child of God as your child?
Unfortunately, I have witnessed the chain of events that evolve when a spouse does not esteem their husband/wife on more than one occasion....A very dear friend's husband spent time breaking my friend down, not building her up, not accepting her for who she was. My friend came close to the edge of falling into another's arms. She wasn't even aware of what was happening until she realized that her emotional needs were being met by another man and she was a trainwreck ready to happen. Someone dear to me had to point out how I spoke to my husband early on in our marriage. I had no respect in my words or tone (I still slip up). Changing my words and my tone has changed my marriage for the better. In turn, my husband has changed his ways with me to be more loving, without me saying a word. I believe God rewards our every effort to become better imitators of Christ.
Words are very powerful, much more powerful than I think anyone of us could even begin to fathom. I want to encourage you to consider your words. We are to be in the world, not of the world.
Monday, April 20, 2009
The phrase "leap of faith" is becoming a common phrase here, I am beginning to wonder if there is anything between here and there besides a big open span of "unknown". My husband was scheduled to ride the BP MS150 from Houston to Austin this past weekend (yes, that is a bicycle ride). Both his riding partners had to back out at the last minute for various reasons the week before. This left my husband to choose to ride on his own or not. He is a man of integrity and when he wrote his letter for pledges a couple of months ago, he gave his word and commitment. Thursday night he received additional sizable pledges from friends of our friend with MS. An additional layer of conviction of integrity was laid on him...and suddenly on me! ME? Suddenly, it overcame me that I was to ride with my husband. God had laid the idea in me earlier in the week and my husband and I rationally discussed it and dismissed it. Logistics played a huge role getting to Houston and getting back from Austin and care for our girls. Not to mention the longest I rode was 20 miles. Now, the feeling to ride with him was so heavy that any way I looked at alternatives or excuses did not leave me with peace. Ok, please understand spontaneity is not of my fiber. Flying by the seat of my britches is woven in my character.
My beloved and I prayed that if this was in fact God's will for me that the logistics were now in His hands and He had to make all the pieces fall into place. That meant asking for help. (Side note, I believe that asking for help goes against the grain of our self sufficient society, therefore, negates the development of the community that the earlier church modeled and that God desires for His children, you and I.) And He did provide all the pieces. One friend drove us half way to Houston, another picked us up. My brother was going to drive us down half way from Austin and another pick us up. One friend had our girls Friday afternoon, another that night, another Saturday until my parents arrived in town to take them till we got back on Sunday.
My husband had so graciously accepted, as I, that I was to walk in obedience and trust that God would see me through 150 miles peddling my bike. The scripture that kept repeating itself to me was "My thoughts are higher than your thoughts and My ways are higher are than your ways". The simple truth was I couldn't see the bigger picture and it wasn't for me to see.
Even though my nerves started to fray, I knew there was no alternative to obedience.
Thunderstorms were headed across Texas Saturday. The MS website Thursday night stated RAIN OR SHINE. Friday night after we made our relay trek to Houston and we had carbed up, the website stated that the first leg from Houston to La Grange had been CANCELED. Whoa! My husband and I sat in disbelief for a moment or two. He broke the silence and asked what I thought. I said I was at peace to go back home. He was, too.
Looking back, I'm still not sure what God's plan was. In my mind's eye I see many possibilities:
- Practice for my lack of spontaniety.
- Time with my husband away from responsibilities of mom and home.
- Witness to our friends or others who hear this.
- Overcoming my anxiety of a 150 mile bike ride for a worthy cause and my friend with MS to I WILL DO IT with my husband next time.
- Or was it a test of my faithfulness? I can trust Him, but could He trust me?
I am completely confident that we were used for His glory, but its not for me know the how, who or the why. I was just lucky to know the where.