Waiting On God

“Waiting on God isn’t about the suspension of meaning and purpose. It’s part of the meaning and purpose that God has brought into my life. Waiting on God isn’t to be viewed as an obstruction in the way of the plan. Waiting is an essential part of the plan. For the child of God, waiting isn’t simply about what I’ll receive at the end of my wait. No, waiting is much more purposeful, efficient, and practical than that. Waiting is fundamentally about what I’ll become as I wait. God is using the wait to do in and through me exactly what He’s promised. Through the wait He’s changing me. By means of the wait He’s altering the fabric of my thoughts and desires. Through the wait He’s causing me to see and experience new things about Him and His kingdom. And all of this sharpens me, enabling me to be a more useful tool in His redemptive hands” (emphasis mine).
~Paul Tripp

{Quote from Girltalkhome.com}

Walk with the King,

Thriving In A Spiritually Mismatched Marriage


Deanna, answered: An unequally yoked marriage is a difficult path to walk. But I want to encourage you by saying that one can have a happy, fulfilling marriage with an unbelieving husband. You do not just have to survive your spiritually mismatched marriage, but you can actually thrive in the midst of it.

On November 14th, I (Deanna) celebrated 28 years of marriage with my beloved unbeliever. God has had to do a mighty work in my heart and I have come to know my Lord and Savior intimately as God has taught me how to be a godly wife to a man who had no interest in spiritual things. My life verse has been, “I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13)

As I reflect back over the years I would like to share with you some of the Pitfalls to having a marriage that thrives:

First, I had a “Holier Than Thou Attitude”. I esteemed myself above him because I was a Christian and he was not!! Oh my!!! God’s word says: Phil 2:3-4 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others.”

Second, I had a judgmental attitude. I was often mentally critical of his actions and words. I felt since my husband did not seek God, how could he speak into my life! I used sarcasm as a weapon. I played the martyr and treated my marriage as a cross I must bear for being unequally yoked. I did not treat my husband with respect. Ephesians does not give us an option on respecting our husbands. It does not say “if he deserves it” or “if you feel like it”,” if he is a Christian or not”- just to respect our husbands- period! (Ephesians 5:33 “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”)


My focus was on my circumstances.

I focused on the negative attributes of my husband.


I
focused on my pain and heartache
I felt when I was sitting in the church pew alone…again. Looking around with envy at all the couples wishing my husband was next to me.

I focused on the burden of being the spiritual leader in my home. I focused on not having the spiritual under girding from him because sometimes moral support was not enough.

I focused on my children not having a godly dad. I focused on the weight of teaching and nurturing the spiritual upbringing of our children.

I focused on the pain and despair I felt when my teenage son decided not to go to church and his excuse was “Dad doesn’t, so neither am I”

I focused on the fear that would well up inside of me when I faced the reality that my husband may never accept Jesus Christ as his Savior. This fear fueled my tactics of manipulation and scheming in an attempt to get my husband to see his need of a Savior! Before I knew it, I felt responsible for his salvation!!!

I focused on my loneliness and spiritual isolation.

I focused on the deep, deep heartache of not being able to share anything spiritual with my husband. Yes, I could tell him how God answered prayer or how God’s word touched my heart, but he does not understand. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

I focused on the longing I had for the day we could worship and rejoice together over God’s blessings to us.

All these desires and strong emotions are valid and real, but my focus was wrong. My focus had to change from my circumstances to Jesus. I was tired of being miserable. I wanted that abundant life that I read about in the Bible. I began to cry out to God and asked Him to change my heart. I asked God to help me die to self and began to consciously choose to yield and be submissive to God. This allowed me take on a submissive attitude with my husband also.


I prayed for God to renew my love and passion for my husband. I prayed for God to show me how to respect my husband when I did not feel like it or feel he deserved it. Through the power of the Holy Spirit I was able to love and serve my husband with joy, placing his needs above my own. When I am feeling frustrated, lonely or angry I cry out to my Rock and Redeemer. In Christ I can be gentle and kind, desiring to be a blessing to my man. When I fail, I ask for forgiveness and try again. 1 John 1:9, Ps 116:1-2

So, how do you deal with a husband who doesn’t believe but you do? 1Peter 3: 1-4 says, “Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words, by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

Abiding in Christ enables a believing wife to live with and thrive in a happy marriage with her unbelieving husband. It is about a daily, sometimes minute by minute laying down of selfish ways, forgiveness, not neglecting God’s word or quiet time with your Savior and being obedient to God’s word- and pray, pray, pray. (John 15)

Here are some practical ways to apply God’s word:

1. I am paraphrasing 1 Peter 3:1, Keep your lips zipped. Allow your actions to speak of God’s love. Wait for the prompting of the Holy Spirit to use your words.

2. Read or study your bible, visit with Christian friends or teach your children godly principles when he is not around.

3. “Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” 1 Cor 11:3 It is very important for your husband to know he comes BEFORE church activities and friends.

4. Take your frustration, anger, loneliness or hurt feelings to God first. Pour your heart out to Him and allow Christ to quiet your heart and heal your wounds. Then, if necessary, address the issue with your husband. (Ps 62:8)

For more encouragement, I recommend the book “Beloved Unbeliever” by Jo Berry

Do not give up hope. After 27 years of prayer my husband accepted Christ as his Savior!!!!!

~Deanna
Today’s post is a part of the “Put Your House In Order” Series. Please visit the ladies below for more on Parenting, Decorating, Cooking and Finances!Walk with the King!

Thank you to Tammy from Tammy Labuda Photography for her photos today. Tammy is a friend from my college days at the Moody Bible Institute. She is a Wedding and Lifestyle Portait Photographer based out of Dallas, Texas and she is willing to travel to you if you need a photographer. To see more of her portraits go to Tammy Labuda Photography or “Like” her Facebook page.

So I asked a friend and woman I admire – “How do you thrive in a spiritually mismatched marriage?

Our Family Went To New York City Last Weekend

Last weekend, I took the kids to see their daddy on a business trip 7 hours away in PA (really it was more like 10 with all the stops for the kids). Can I just say for the record – traveling alone with kids is hard. Even with the DVD player going and bags stuffed with toys, it’s hard. We weren’t able to leave our sin natures at home – so it wasn’t long before there was bickering in the back seat (I was wishing I had a candle to light in the car lol!).


So we arrived in far east Pennsylvania and we met my husband. From there we took a train to Penn Station, a taxi to Battery Park and a ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. How grand she is!
Did I mention we waited in line for nearly 2 hours to catch the ferry? As an impatient American, that was not my favorite experience of the day! Did I mention there was a security check that made us feel like criminals? Did I mention how we were all squished on the ferry to the island?

From the Statue of Liberty we boarded the ferry to head to Ellis Island.
God had a life lesson in store for me!


My great grandfather came over on a boat from Hungary in the early 1900′s – so I stood where he stood. As I read the history of the horrific 1+month boat ride from Europe – to the land of opportunity – I was humbled. The pictures of the travelers squished onto the boat with the clothes on their back and nothing but hope packed in their hearts touched me.

Suddenly the 10 hour drive, train ride, taxi ride, long line, security check and ferry ride seemed minor compared to what my Great Grandpa went through to see Lady Liberty!
Great Grandpa came with a dream – to make life better for generations to come and there I stood – living out his dream. Could he have imagined how amazing his great granddaughter’s life would be – all because of his sacrifice? Thank you Lord for such a brave and visionary Grandpa!
His name is on the wall of Ellis Island – he is Jozsef M Degi. He left his wife behind to come and work and earn money to send for her. It took him TEN years to get the money to send for his wife – could you imagine? Her name is under his – Katalin Szasz Degi.
Their sacrifice is my reward.

As I looked at my overflowing trunk to come back to Ohio, I was humbled. I had more in my car for a 4 day weekend trip than my Great Grandpa had on the boat.

I want a piece of my Great Grandpa’s courage. I want his fortitude. I want his vision. I want his strength. I want his endurance. I want his diligence. I want his hope.

Psalm 145:4,5
“One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works.”

Tell your children how God has blessed your family and the people he has used to create your present. Tell the stories – let the next generation hear of God’s marvelous works, his grace, his love. See to it that your children are inspired to have courage and hope like those who have come before them.

Walk with the King!

How To Handle Disappointment In Marriage

Last Monday I wrote a post titled: Is the Grass Really Greener In Other Marriages?
This post conjured up the emotion of disappointment. Maybe the difficulties of marriage and parenting has caught you by surprise and you struggle with that. You are not alone in your struggles, let me share with you about a time when I was deeply disappointed.

I remember our first beach vacation with the kids. My son was 3 and my daughter was 18 months. I assumed it would be a great getaway – but to my horror it was more work than being home. We stayed in a condo where I was cooking breakfast and lunch and our dinners out were stressful managing the kids.

On the beach, I was not able to sit down for a moment to relax, I was chasing my 18 month old as she cheerfully ran up the beach, stuck her head in the sand or ran into the ocean. I had brought a book to read but never cracked it open. Then a rainy day came and everyone looked at me to entertain them! I was like Mary Poppins all day trying to pull tricks out of my bag to keep the kids busy. I was exhausted at the end of vacation.

I remember standing at the washing machine in the condo folding clothes and feeling completely filled with disappointment. I told my husband, I wanted just one hour alone on the beach. So while the kids napped, I went to the ocean and just sat there and cried. I cried and talked to Jesus and told him how I felt – and then I sat there in peace enjoying the peaceful breeze and sound of the roaring waves. Releasing those tears in prayer and pausing to take in the moment helped my inner wars to quiet down and be at peace.

4 years later I wish I could talk to that sad girl on the beach and give her hope. I wish I could have hugged her and said – what you are feeling is normal. You are learning selflessness – you are experiencing growing pains. It’s going to be okay and some day you are going to laugh at the memories of this vacation. You are doing the right things. Don’t give up and don’t be discouraged. God sees you, he hears you and he loves you.

Here is How I have learned to handle disappointments:

1. Go straight to Jesus. It’s okay to cry to him. He cares – he loves you so. One of my favorite passages to go to when I’m in tears is I Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Girls – I have soaked pillows meditating on this verse! Cast your cares on him…do you see why? Because he truly deeply CARES FOR YOU! You are not alone! He hears you and loves you so!

 

2. Change your expectations. Now that you see that reality does not match up to fairy tales accept this truth. Turn from critical and negative thoughts and open your eyes wide to see the blessings that are in your life. Count your blessings one by one – literally get out a piece of paper and do this! I Thessalonians 5:16-18 says “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

 

3. Allow your family trials and daily struggles to mature you. James 1:3,4 says “Consider it pure joy, my brothers whenever you face trails of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance MUST finish its work so that you may be mature and complete.”


4. Have hope – this isn’t the end of your story.
Step back and look at the big picture. What is God teaching you right now through your trials that will help you in the next season of life. Colossians 2:2 “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

And take heart that you are not alone – you have sisters in Christ who are in the trenches with you. Be strong – “do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Walk with the King!

How 2 Years of Blogging Has Changed My Life

Next month, I will have been blogging for 2 years. At this point, blogging has taken up a HUGE chunk of my free time. This ministry has changed my life.

The emails I receive from hurting women – have touched me.

The encouragement and support from women whose lives are being changed – have touched me.

The criticism I have received from angry women – have touched me.

The writing of other bloggers in the “blogging community” – have touched me.

But most of all – the King of Kings and Lord of Lords has touched me. He has opened my eyes to the needs, hurts and beauty of my generation. He has opened my eyes to the beauty of the Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 woman. He has opened my eyes to what the word GRACE really means.

We do not and will not all look alike. There is no cookie cutter mold for how we as women will serve our God. We each have our own story from where we came, where we are today and where we are going tomorrow.

We are journeying together in this thing we call life. If I have ever appeared to have it all together – I apologize – because I am a very flawed sinner saved by grace. Nothing more.

During these two years, I’ve been surprised by some of my bloggy happenings…things like the Rachael Ray Show producer emailing me (I remember being weak in the knees during that phone call!) or when my readership spiked over 1,000 visitors in a day for the first time. Sure, those moments are exciting. But it’s not what my blogging is all about.

It’s about me being faithful to what I believe God is calling me to do. As I listen to God, submit to my husband, train my children, serve in my home and then turn my attention to the social media world -I open myself up – and say – here I am Lord, use me.

Has God laid a ministry on your heart? Have you surrendered your life to him saying “use me Lord Jesus”. Oh, it’s scary to say those words – but let me testify – it’s so exciting too! There are hard nitty gritty painful days but THEN there are those moments when I sit on my deck, with my face towards the sun and the wind blows and I feel his presence like a warm coat around me. I have never been more confident in my life that this is the work God prepared in advance for me to do (Ephesians 2:10) .

I am reminded of Noah building the ark for days on end. Others walked by and wondered what in the world he was doing! (and trust me I have had plenty of people say “you do what? You blog? Why? Who has time for that?) In Genesis 6:9 the Bible says “Noah walked with God”. This is what Noah was doing – walking with the King! And this is what happens when you walk with the King. The King might ask you do to something outside of your comfort zone!

Dear sister, take risks – follow the King of Kings! Is he asking you to submit to your husband? Is that scary to you? Do it – and you will find freedom there! Is he asking you to sacrifice something you enjoy so that you can spend time training your children? Do it – you won’t regret it. Is he asking you to step out of your home and talk to your neighbor, your cousin or a mom on your child’s soccer team? Do it! Be like Noah – who surrendered his all to the King – took a risk – and found joy on the other side. Do it!

If I can – so can you! But you must be listening – you must be sure that the quiet voice you hear is God’s. And when you are sure it is – surrender.

I’m reminded of missionary and martyr Jim Elliot’s quote “Where ever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”

God can use anyone and he wants to use you. Below is a 4 minute video by Author and best seller of Crazy Love, Francis Chan. At birth his mom died. At 9 his step-mom died. At 12 his father died. His only close family was his aunt and uncle and at 16 they both DIED! And so at 16 Francis had nothing…

Are you living a “safe” life? Then You MUST watch this video – it is only 4 minutes long – but it will prepare you for the day you meet Jesus!

Join me in abandoning the safe life – let’s serve our King of Kings with every breath we have - till we all meet together in heaven! I’ll see you there!

Walk with the King!

Failure

Who likes failure? Not me!!! Back in June I shared with you the planting of our very first garden. It truly was a joy to plant and the hope of juicy fresh veggies was on everyone’s minds. Well…let me be honest…I failed.

We had very heavy rainfalls for 10 days straight after our planting – and moss began to grow in our garden! Uh oh – I knew that couldn’t be a good sign. Then weeds began to grow and I couldn’t tell a weed from a seedling – uh oh! That can’t be good either. So I let the weeds grow a little, while we looked at books and tried to decipher. Eventually it was clear the seeds had been washed away and most of what was growing in our sweet garden were weeds.

There were a few hopes though. Our strawberries were beginning to get plump and turning light shades of red. Our corn stalks shot up to the sky and our tomato and green pepper plants did have signs of veggies. BUT then the birds came and ate the berries. And something (I don’t know what?) tore down and ate all of our corn stalks in the middle of night just last week! Devastating!

At this point all we have in our garden are tomatoes and green peppers. Both have unripe veggies forming BUT I just noticed yesterday one of the tomatoes has a huge bite taken out of it. This is not a good sign!

SO, I failed miserably at our very first garden…

I shared this with a bloggy friend who has ten children and lives on 16 acres where she grows her own food, raises beef cattle, has her own dairy cow, sheep for meat, chickens for meat and eggs, ducks, geese, cats and dogs for pets and horses as well.

Today she wrote a blog post for me at A Moment With M.O.M. Maybe you will find something in there for you too.

The children are very disappointed but I have already told them – we will not give up and we will try again next year. After talking with a few friends, I have realized some of my flaws and why we have had our failure.

It’s a part of life…falling down…getting back up again…the feelings of defeat….rising with defiant joy .

Life is filled with hard moments. We do have a choice – will we choose defiant joy or defeat? On our own – we will be defeated. But when we walk with the King – Romans 8:37 tells us: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Don’t let your failures define you.

Get back up again and Walk with the King!

Our Very First Garden

The Plan. Teacher mommy and little pilgrims billow with hope as they write out the plan for their first garden.The Place is not inviting. The curse is remembered “Cursed is the ground because of you; (Adam) through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food.” Gen. 3:17-19They work in the hot sun preparing the soil. An hour later perseverance and exhaustion battle. Exhaustion leads to irritability. Children waver…mommy chooses the route of encouragement and praise. It works – Perseverance wins!The stones are removed for we are reminded of the parable of the sower. “Some seed fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly…but when the sun came up, the plants were scorched.” Matt. 13:5. The seeds are measured and dropped into their nests and teacher mommy reminds the children, God says: “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” 2 Cor. 9:6

And so the pilgrims sow and sow and sow, for they desire an abundant harvest.

Hope is born in children’s hearts. Lessons are taught as dirty hands dig and sweaty brows drip. Teacher mommy quotes one of her favorite verses: “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:24 Children are reminded how they are like the seeds, someday they will produce many more seeds if they are willing to be used by God. Life is a garden. We plan, we toil, we sow, we die to self and we wait on God for the increase.

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting…

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Heb. 11:1

The rain comes and comes 7 straight days in Ohio, the sun does not shine and the seeds do not sprout. The seedlings are beaten down and weary. Will there be a harvest?

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Heb.11:6

Teacher mommy reminds children “you have sown generously now be patient – your reward is coming.”

And then it happens, the sprouting of corn, the row of lettuce appears overnight, 10 green cherry tomatoes appear and the pinnacle – a ripe strawberry!

Persevere in faith, sweet Christian sister. Sow generously – Indeed rewards are coming.

Walk with the King!



No Guilt – No Regrets

Hebrews 12:1b “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Recently I was reading some blogs that were convicting me. Or should I say they were making me feel guilty. Guilty for using facebook, twitter and blogging. Guilty for the time I use on technology. So I had to sit back and ask myself – why am I blogging? Is it a selfish pursuit? Is it causing damage to my family?
And then like a wave rushing over me, my very next thought was – because I have ONE life – I’m living it full throttle for Jesus!

Blogging is hard work. The late nights writing and answering emails are not for the weary at heart! Women Living Well is not about me. It’s about my passion – my mission – my burden for my weary sisters in Christ!!!

I have one life and I’m living it full throttle for Jesus! I’m giving my all! I’m not gonna rust out sitting on my duff watching reality television! And I certainly don’t want to burn out, due to my failure to depend on God’s strength. But with the help of the Holy Spirit, I desire to simply be a light on the hill (Matt.5:14) burning faithfully till God calls me home.
I must lean hard on Jesus. Do you feel like respecting and submitting to your husband is so hard? Lean on Jesus for strength and go for it full throttle! Give it your all!
Do you home school and feel exhausted? Stop doing it in your own strength – call on Jesus and stay in the game – full throttle!
Are you exhausted in ministry with people’s troubles, back biting, complaining or lack of support – take your eyes off of your troubles and put them onto your worthy Savior and do it full throttle for him.
Reading our Bible’s daily, respecting our husbands, training our children, creating homes that are havens and reaching a lost world is NOT an easy to-do list – but we must give it our all. Not in a selfish way to receive something but for Jesus.

I’m reminded of missionary and martyr Jim Elliot’s quote “Where ever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”
Why do I bother to blog, facebook, youtube and twitter? Because that is where the next generation of ladies are at and I want to make an impact there. Where has God planted you in this season of life? “Be all there, live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God”!Run with perseverence the race marked out for you.” (Heb.12:1b)I only have one life and I’m living it to the hilt -full throttle – no guilt, no regrets – join me!
Walk with the King!