Tuesday, May 3, 2011

God is the Paper

Tara Furman gave us a list of priorities to live by and they have really been on my mind over the last week since the MOPs meeting. Her list was a follows: God, Husband, Kids, Home, Work and Friends. I love her list, it makes sense to me, and since hearing her talk last year and putting the list into practice it has made a huge difference in my life and my marriage ( see my first post for more on that topic). But, I havea few thoughts to add to the list, not to change it but to add a few points of my own perspective to it. I had heard once that instead of putting God at the top of your list, make God the paper that you write the rest of your list on. I love that, now, instead of putting God as something that gets checked off as an item you have done for the day, God is that paper on which the rest of the items are written. So now, he is in your thoughts as you work on the rest of your day, as you work on serving your husband, the list of things you need to do is written on God. As you serve your kids, your house, etc. those lists are all written on God. So now, instead of folding that 100th load of laundry because all three of your children had pee accidents last night,because you have to, it is part of is written on God. He is with you when you are folding that laundry, you a glorifying God by serving your family and doing it with Him.

At the question and answer section of Tara's talk, the question was asked where do we as mothers fit into this list. To me the answer is that we are in every facet of the list. If God is the paper on which the list is written, then as we go through our list, he is with us. As we work to serve our husbands, of course, part of serving our husbands is to work on what pleases him. Whether it is going to the gym, getting out hair and nails done, we want to look good, for ourselves and our husbands. When we get the the section of the list that involves our kids, we are there also. We are not going to be very good mothers if we are tired, frazzled and hungry, so taking care of ourselves is involved in child card. When we go down to the home, we need to find that special place that is just for us to find time to spend with God. It is are own special place, as Tara talked about, where we can go to retreat. So, instead to trying to put a category for mom in the list, we get to be woven throughout the whole list, the list that is written on God paper. It gives me such an amazing sense of worth to know that I am woven throughout the list that is written on God paper that is an integral part of guiding my family through our lives. I can rest in the knowledge that although the list seems huge and some days even insurmountable, it is written on God, he has it.


I have been thinking a lot about the talk that Tara Furman gave to use at MOPS last week. She began with a reading about Hagar, how she was abused by Sarah and escaped into the desert, she was spoken to by God who told her to go back to Sarah and to serve her again. I had never thought much about Hagar, but after Tara talked about her I thought about how hard that must have been to go back to the woman who was mistreating you, who was going to take your baby and claim it as her own, and to know that you were going back to that situation. What got me the most, though, was the fact that she did not believe in God at the time she was spoken to, so she trusted a God that she did not know, and who was the same God that her abuser worshipped. He must have really made an impression on Hagar! I think about how amazing that must have been for her to be in the desert, alone, scared, pregnant and completely lost and unsure how this was going to all go, and then to be spoken to by God, who used her name. Sarah never once used her name according to the scriptures, but God, the Almighty God, called her by her name. She was a servant girl, who did not believe in Him, and who had every reason to not want to believe in Him, and yet, when she was told to go back to Sarah and to serve her, Hagar did. The young, pregnant, scared and alone girl did what God told her to do. What gives me comfort, though, is knowing that God comforted her in what was probably the worst she had ever felt. She went back to Sarah and as able to serve her and continue to live under what were probably not great circumstances because she know that God was with her. He called her by name, I find that so encouraging and uplifting. God, the creator of the universe, the Almighty, knew and used Hagars name. He also know and uses yours! Listen and you will hear Him whispering your name, whispering encouraging words to you, no matter what the situation is, He is there, he cares, he is listening and is speaking to you, you just have to listen for Him.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ceaseless Praise

Here are the lyrics to the song i use to start my prayer time, and in this season of Easter, it is even more applicable to my life. I aspire to live my life as in this song. Enjoy!

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise.
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.
Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

Monday, March 7, 2011


I was looking for inspiration for MOPS and realized it is Mardi Gras today. Not being from the south, I didn't know much about it, but in doing some research about the holiday, I was having a hard time correlating Mardi Gras with MOPS until I came across the Kings cake. I had never heard of this but if the word cake is in the description I figured it was at least worth looking into. Turns out it was exactly what I was looking for. Apparently, this cake is served during Mardi Gras to celebrate the last "hurrah" before the start of Lent the next day. Traditionally, there is a baby in a slice of the cake, whoever gets the baby is said to have good luck in the next year...

So this got me thinking about Lent, as a new believer I have never given anything up for Lent and honestly didn't know much about it. So I started looking into the tradition and found that it is mostly a Catholic tradition that involves giving something up for the 40 days before Easter to signify all that Jesus gave up for us. I began to think about that and began to feel this pull to at least consider it and to discuss it with my kids. The first thing I thought of was giving up desserts, I don't eat a ton of them, but when I do I love them! So in talking to my 4 year old about Lent and giving something up I mentioned giving up desserts and she began to cry, maybe she is a little to young yet!

I do like the thought, though, of giving up something that I enjoy, in the name of Jesus. I think of the sacrifice that Jesus made for me, for us. He gave his life so that we could live our lives to the fullest. As a new believer, I look at my life 2 years ago before I accepted Jesus and look at it now and realize that I am a completely new person, so much better and so much more whole than I was without Jesus in my life. I owe him my life, certainly I can give up some sugar for 40 days to thank him for all he has done for me! The other side to Lent, as I see it, is to spend more time each day with Jesus. I don't think that giving up the occasional dessert without any further reflection is all that this season has to offer. I plan to spend more time each day reading and reflecting on the bible, more time in prayer (which is admittedly the weak point in my faith), and most importantly, more time listening for the word of God. I am amazed at how much I hear from Him when I take the time to listen for His voice. So, off to have a piece of Kings Cake!!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I Love My Husband
I thought I would share some of what I have learned about loving my husband through reading Elizabeth George's " A Woman After God's Own Heart". I feel like her book encouraged me to re-examine how I was treating our marriage and how I viewed my husband. She discusses the greek words for "love" Agapo (unconditional love, ie. how God loves us) and phileo (friendship love). George states that we are commanded in the bible to love our husbands with both types of love, we are to not only love our husbands as lovers and life partners, but as also as friends. I think that in the business of everyday life, that aspect gets pushed to the side. She gives some amazing advise on how to work on that aspect of marriage, but the one that really stuck with me and has changed my attitute was the idea of putting my husband as my first human priority, after God. At first this seemed like an obvious statement, of course he is first, I married him, right? But in thinking about the last 6 years of life, I realize that our three kids have taken first priority in my life, as much as I don't enjoy admitting that I have been putting my husband down at the 4th slot, that is where he was. It is so hard as a mother to even see that, with the meals, laundry, potty time...it seems to never end. By the end of the day I am ready for bed, not to work on expanding and growing a friendship with my husband. But, over the long haul, that is exactly what our marriage needed, a growing of our friendship, and my husband deserved the respect of being put back into the slot of first priority. Of course, the mother in me balked and said "but the kids NEED me". What I wasn't realizing though, was that by putting my children first every time, I was not giving my husband the respect he deserved as the husband that God had chosen for me. I also began to realize that the kids need to see a strong, healthy relationship in their parents if they are going to have any hope of having healthy relationships as adults. So, after admitting to myself that yes, I needed to change, I began the hard work of figuring out how to do it. I started by really listening to him: to the things he needs, wants, likes, doesn' t like, and then actually taking the steps to implementing those thoughts into action on my part. It doesn't sound like much, but when I actually began taking the time to truly listen to him with my undivided attention, how much I was able to learn about the things that make him happy and unhappy. George's book, in some respects, seems to value the "1950's" wife, and a few years ago I would have laughed at that, but as a new believer in the way of Jesus, I take her suggestions to heart. Little things like having the house clean when he gets home, the kids are fed, teeth done and have jammies on so that it is time for video and quiet time, hot breakfast in the mornings and nice quiet dinners in the evenings. I feel like these are ways in which I can show my husband that he is a priority in my life, that I am so proud of him and what he brings to our family, and that he is my best friend. We certainly have more work to do to get to the point that I believe God would like for us to be in our relaiionship, but I thank God for showing me this starting point.