Friday, September 16, 2016

Memories on My News feed

Last week this popped up in my memories.  Don't you love those things?  I see an image, a memory and get the warm fuzzies.  I say awwwww.  I think has it really been that long already?!  Look how young we look!  You know what I'm talking about.  

So when I saw this from 2008 I did all of the above.  I look back and see how far we have come [two love struck sixteen year olds]. I have to do a touchdown, finger point to the big man upstairs because this memory on my news feed makes me so thankful to God for bringing us together and continually showing us how to work as a team.   I look at Randy and all of me wants to be the wife and helper that he needs me to be.  This is my prayer and it's a prayer for any woman who wants to be the wife/girlfriend God wants her to be.

Lord, I thank you that You have given me an amazing man to walk this life with.  Bless him for being such a supportive and loving husband.  Bless his hard work and desire to provide for our family.  Thank for you for the patience and kindness he shows to me even when I don't deserve it.

Forgive me for the times when I am unable to control my anger and emotions.  Bring to the surface any bitterness or resentment that I've tucked away.  Would you remove whatever it is that keeps me stony and stubborn and replace it with a heart that is tender and responsive [Ezekiel 36:26].  Show me how to have a gentle and quiet spirit [1 Peter 3:4].  I know if I am peaceful, my home and everyone in it will be also [Proverbs 25:24].

In times of conflict remind me that we are together to sharpen one another [Proverbs 27:17].  Would conflicts and troubles make our relationship stronger instead of pushing us apart.  Help me graciously take his suggestions and corrections without offense.  In return may my corrections to him be done gently in love and with respect [Ephesians 4:15].

Today I pray that you would show me how to be the wife I need to be.  Help me to not become weary of doing good for him, so in the right time we can reap the harvest of our marriage [Ephesians 5:22-23]. Would we continue to enjoy one another's company and grow in the hobbies and interests that we share.  Don't let him become a better cook than I am. Hahahaha.  Just kidding!

  Your word says that death and life are in the power of the tongue. [Proverbs 18:21].  Would the words I speak to Randy bring us closer together in unity.  Words that are respectful, full of encouragement and appreciation.  Words that will build him up as a man, husband, father, friend, and worker.

Thank you for being with us and using people along the way to guide us.  Continue to show us how to be partners in life and with you.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen!

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Rotten Sippy Cup Under the Seat

Ever have a sippy cup thrown on the floor by your toddler and it roll under the seat?  Heaven forbid it was full of milk on a hot summer day.  It's happened to me.  After a few days, the milk start to rot.  Them the car smells like someone has died in it.  It is foul and I'm desperate to take apart the entire car only to find the milk rotten sippy cup under the seat, spilled on the carpet.  

Sound familiar?  Hopefully not.  

Like that sippy cup sometimes it is easier to let problems roll under the seat, unseen, undetected.  We drive on without even realizing that the bitterness, annoyance, frustration is brewing in that cup.  We pretend that everything is fine, but eventually the stench comes.  

I know that is why God reminds me of the sippy cup whenever I am tempted to let my anger, annoyance, and frustration sit.  Paul tells the church in Ephesians 4:26-27

“In your anger do not sin”  Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold."

I don't think the warning is an actual timeline to how long I should let these feeling sit but it is a warning to deal with it as soon as I am in my right mind again. 

How do I not let our anger sit and turn into bitterness?  By acknowledging when the cup falls.  I red flag that moment when people start to get under my skin.  Red flag that thought that enters my mind, the one that wants to talk bad about another person.  Red flag that thought that justifies my anger, bitterness, and annoyance. 

When the cup has fallen and I let it sit, it's time to throw it away.  Time to give it to God.  
I turn the red flags into prayers.   Prayers of blessings and forgiveness.  

 Like the time when my sister was bugging me with all the wedding to dos, I got frustrated and I could feel myself boiling.  RED FLAG.  I hate getting annoyed with her because this is HER TIME and I want her to enjoy it.... So I prayed, 
"Lord, bless my sister.  She is driving me crazy with her perfectionism but help me to I love her and do the things I can do without complaining.  I pray that she has the wedding of her dreams.  Help her to enjoy every single moment."

What about people who deeply hurt you.... Who you consider an enemy?  Well Jesus has something to say about that in Matthew 5:43-44

 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

I'm convinced Jesus tell us this because you can't hate someone you are praying for and blessing.  It is so insanely hard to pray for someone you're mad it but it works.  The Bible's truth doesn't fail.  I've turned long time perceived "enemies" into cordial friends this way.  I started blessing them and you know what happened?  They didn't miraculously change, but my heart towards them did.  The prayers sounded something like this.

"God, you love _______.  Help me to love him/her the way you love them.   He or she is ____________ [list all of their good traits, and yes they have some in there].  Then begin to bless them.  Bless their home, relationship, work, finances.     

When Jesus was on the cross he said,  Father, forgive them for they don't know what they are doing [Luke 23:34].  There are times when people hurt us they don't realize the magnitude of the offense.  They don't see that their words [or lack of], their actions have cut deep into our souls.  Jesus is setting an example.   Even if that person doesn't acknowledge how they have hurt you or apologize, God is still telling you to forgive fully.   To continually turn those red flag thoughts and feelings into prayers.

That sippy cup reminds me not to let my anger and bitterness towards another person sit.  In some situations it has caused me to draw back and set up boundaries.  Sometimes the relationship can be repaired.  Either way, I know I've forgiven when I can look at that person that hurt me or annoys me with love.  There isn't the stench of rotten milk of curses and accusations.  I want to see them the way God does and be able to bless them.  

Be angry... YES!  Be frustrated, cry, pity yourself.... YES!  But I'm learning not to let my anger sit too long because the first person it hurts is me. 


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