Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I am learning to submit

Wives submit to your husband; husbands ought to love their wives-Eph 5:22,28

I have to admit that for a long time in my marriage and while I dated my husband, I thought the word submit was an offensive word. The word, at the time, meant weak, less than, not in control of my life, giving up my dreams. I had a very negative connotation associated with that word. So when I chose to live my life for Christ and start living more biblically, one of the hardest areas for me to deal with was this idea of "submission".

Today, as I am enjoying my marriage more than ever, I have to admit, that it is because I have learned, no, I am learning to submit to my husband. However, the word no longer has the negative connotation that it use to carry with me. Now the word connotates trust, love, encouragement, and being part of the awesomeness that God had intended for marriages.

As old fashion as it sounds,submission is the biblical call for our marriages and it is the key to our marriages happiness and growth. Submission is a beautiful word if you understand that the outcome is more trust, more love, more encouragement, more respect, and more joy. There is so much joy extended to us in our obedience. It is what we are all looking for, as a women, I just want to be loved, really loved. And, as a husband (my husband tell me), they just want us to be submissive, or respected. I often wonder why it took me so long to accept.

I will write more on this topic and what submission looks like in my marriage today why I am always smiling....

I am linked up with , but couldn't get the button to share, so please click on the link to go there.

Monday, January 24, 2011

the blank page before me

The blank page before me is one of the most exciting journey's that I take each day. The honesty of the words I will write in the space before me gives me an anticipation that I can't explain. It is here I will write my prayers for myself and children and husband, it is here I will write the ugliness that I have felt in my heart that I repent of , it is here that God will whisper to me and create feelings of joy that I can't explain. It is here I will leave notes on my journey with God and know someday my three giggly blessings will read these very real , daily , living journals and see how God lead me through this life and why mommy was always smiling! Yes, the most exciting part of my day is the blank page before me and the worship that I find with my pen against the paper! My soul finding rest in God within those written pages each morning.

Do you soul journal?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Finding joy in our problems

I want to find joy in everything, is it possible? Is it possible to take my problems and find joy in them? According to the bible I can. The bible promises problems in this life, and it was right, but the bible also promises joy in those problems too-"but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perserverance; perserverance character; and character hope"-Romans 5:3

I don't remember the last time that I thanked God for my problems and sufferings, infact I have never, at least not during the the time, maybe after when I saw beauty in the outcome, but never during. But I do know that it is during those problem times that I call out to God with more honesty and talk with Him more. It is these problems that lead me to Him, that create my relationship with Him. I wouild never ask for more problems in this life, but when they are upon me, I can find joy in the fact that they are leading me closer to God and deeper in my faith- if I allow it to.

Another reason to find joy in our problems - "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us" Romans 8:18. Isn't that beautiful? The idea that as much as you hurt in your problems, is nothing compared to the joy and glory that will be seen, the idea brings joy to my soul, peace to my soul. So no matter what you find yourself going through, try to find the joy in the problems before you, He has promised you joy! Don't let your problems steal your joy, but let them create more joy in your relationship to Him.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Are you a joy?

One simple question that can change the way you live your life- Are you a joy to be around? And if you want to know the honest answer, close your eyes and answer this question through the eyes of your husband. Thats right, what do you think your husband would say when asked if you are a joy to be around?

My husband is my best friend. We were high school sweathearts at the age of 12 and have been together ever since. We have grown together in every way and it has been an amazing journey of love and faith-BUT-this is the man I do everyday life with and busy schedules, the demands of work, bills, school, dissapointments, expectations, health, all those issues we have to deal with together sometimes take over my love feelings toward my husband and I will admit I am not as joyful towards him as I want to be.

I say want to be, because in my heart I wish I was more expressively joyful, I love and care for this man more than I could express, but yet, my expressions that come out are often frustration from a day and not joy from an overflowing heart of love. Why is that? Why of all people around me, does he not get the most joyful reactions from me? I want to be more gentle with my words and make sure my husband could easily reply, "Yes, my wife is a joy".

Over at the woman Living Well blog, there is a marriage challenge I am excited to begin about loving and encouraging our husbands. I pray that my mouth may encourage my husband and be gentle in its response to him no matter how crazy my day. He is not my dumping ground after a hard day but a safe place to enjoy and fall into.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Stop fighting God and surrender

I tie my shoes in the dark and try and be as quiet as I can as I sneak out of the house at 6:30 in the morning. My three giggly girl blessings and my husband still fast asleep as I open the door to the garage and take a breath. Morning is my time. I either use it as my quiet time to journal or I run, both activities bring me closer with my creator.

I started running almost 2 years ago after my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer and was heading back up to NY and I was unable to be with him and my mom. I felt helpless and my body was unable to sit still and I got up and went to the gym, got on the treadmill and started to run. At the time I was about 50 pounds overweight, but I NEEDED to move, I was actually trying to run away from all the mess in my head and heart, but God, in his amazing ways, turned it into me running right towards Him.

2 years later, I am still running and meeting with my creator every time my feet meet the pavement. I walk outside to start to run and it still isn't easy even though I run 4 days a week. Everytime I begin it still seems impossible until I have finished. One of the lessons God has taught me through running is to just surrender to him. We hear this all the time, to surrender to God, but what does it mean, what does it look like? As I run, I figure this statement out. I am unable to keep up the run until I settle into the run and stop fighting myself. I have to tell myself that I can breathe and stop fighting for breath, I have to tell myself that my legs are fine, keep moving. My body needs to stop fighting against itself and settle in or I would stop every few minutes for breath.

This is the same thing with God. We need to surrender to him, stop fighting him to make the long run, if not we are going to stop during every change of circumstance, not sure if we can make it. But when I just surrender to him, settle into the run and know I can do this, believe God is strong enough , my body can do this, then I can finish the race before me. Infact, when I do settle in and stop fighting it, I can feel as though I can run longer,its amazing. Same in life, when I stop fighting God because I don't understand, because I don't want to, because its uncompfortable, when I just surrender, I have strength to keep going! Surrendering sounds passive, but I am given so much strength in this vulneralbility, more strength than I could of ever had on my own.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I have been reading A Holy Experience For Years. She has helped me on my own Joy Pilgrimage over the years, helping me understand that true, simple joy starts with gratitude. She numbers her gifts in a day and I have also done the same. Here is my start at The Inspired Page at counting and sharing my blessings:

  • a three year old little girl that still lets me hold her on my hip-not ready to be without a child on my hip
  • an almost 9 year old blessing that made eggs for her sisters
  • a blank page in my journal , ready to be filled
  • Blooms new book club choice
  • begining my writings of joy at The Inspired Page-fear will not stop me
  • Amazing Daily Grace
  • French Vanilla cream and the first cup of coffee in the morning

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Whose eyes is God watching you through?

The question jumped off the page at me from the book, Same Kind of Different As Me. Whose eyes is God watching you through? What if He seees me throught the eyes of my children, not when I am blessed with patience and joy but when I am crippled with fear and anxiety. What if He sees me through the eyes of my husband, not when I am touching him gently but speaking harshly. What if He sees me with the eyes of my sister, not when I am laughing and loving her but when I am judging. What if He sees me with the eyes of the stranger I encountered, not when I give without hesitancy but when I turn my head with ignorance. What if he sees me not using all the opportunities He has given me to show His Love?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

How does God call you?

I often wonder how God talks to other people? For a long time I didn't understand how He talked to me. Actually, God had to slow me down and stop me for me to hear Him. My life was to busy, my thoughts to concerned with my own plan. My thoughts are naturally unfocused, unorganized and messy. There are times when I begin to pray but can't because I can't focus on God with all the mess in my head, in my heart. But a few years ago, the mess turned into anxiety and physical symptoms like panic attacks and heart papatations and depression began to plague me. But my amazing God had a plan for this along. Using this problem to draw me towards him with all my heart-he was calling me!

Part of the process to heal me was to just focus on God and trust that He was strong enough to take all of my worry. I HAD to give God the messes in my head that I was trying to control. This mess was worry and control and I was worshiping it. One of the many ways I learned to truly give it to God, was to journal. I have always been a writer and journaled, but I began to write in a way that I never had before. The blank pages before me were hopeful and inspiring. It was on the inspired page where I would talk to God and he would talk to me.

I began to anticipate my time with God and sometimes I was awed at what I would write. I was awed at the honesty of what I would write The joy of being honest with my fears, my desires on paper perpetuated my growth and controlled my anxiety. My prayer was on paper and the journal was one of the ways I worshiped Him. Through journaling I found peace and trust and a real relationship with my maker. Through journaling I found JOY and understand how God calls me.

How does God call you?

Friday, January 14, 2011

How to create Joy

As I got my three giggly blessings ready for school this morning, I grabbed their socks from the dryer and told them to put them on and they would make them warm. After putting them on, my oldest blessing dissapointedly said, "they only stay warm for a minute and then you have to warm them up again". Isn't it funny that our joy works the same way. We might have real joy for a minute, but unless you keep warming it up, it will cool off. We need to choose joy everyday, every hour, every minute to keep our joy bubbling over into our soul, spilling over into our bodies and forcing our lips to smile!

I have personally struggled with depression and anxiety and know what it feel like to loose your joy, and on the other side of that, I know what it looks like to choose joy and keep it warm! The bible really does tell us how to do this, its not a secret saved for saints or biblical scholars, its their for all of us to read and apply anytime we choose.
  1. Simply think joyful thoughts. "Whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things" -Philippians 4:8 . Every moment control what you think about and what you let yourself meditate on.
  2. Believe that God is strong enough. True joy springs up from the faith we have in Him, knowing He can handle anything we have, "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, wheter well fed or hungry, whether living with plenty or in want. I can do everthing through him who gives me strength" -Philippians 4: 12
  3. Get some grattitude. Reshape the way you think. Find thanksgiving in everymoment. Seeing God alive in your everyday and seeking the grattitude of simple momements will create joy in your daily living. "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstance" -1 Thessalonians 5:16
  4. Journal it. Journal your your worries, your desires, your hopes, the things you are grateful for, favorite scriptures, favorite quotes, just journal it and watch how joy grows in your life as your reread the pages.
This is how I reclaimed my joy from anxiety and how I keep it warm everyday.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I crave JOY

Joy. Soul. Peace. Hope. Rest. The words jump off the pages and run to my heart creating a whirlwind of thought and excitement. I don't know what the excitement and anticipation is even for, but the words bring a renewal to body , no , a renewal to my soul that I crave. I have to return to these pages and reread them over and over because they give me a high that I have never felt before. No coffee is strong enough, no morning jog is invigorating enough, nothing has created for me the exuberance that I feel as rereading these words.

I crave joy. Simple, real joy. I don't want joy that is wordly, created by circumstance and sure to pass, but joy that bubbles up from inside my heart and spills over into my body forcing my mouth to smile. Thats the joy I crave. Each day, I go seeking these words from the worn and beautiful bible that sits beside my end table. I find them highlighted and shouting out to me, the scriptures saying something new to me, even though I have read them numerous times. How is that possible?

The bible says to delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. I have recently felt the change in my heart of not just obeying the bible but delighting myself in Him. And just as the bible promises, this shift in delighting in Him has led me to the desires of my heart.

Joy. Soul. Peace. Hope . Rest. The words jump of the pages and run to my heart creating a whilwind of thought and excitement.