Summer Mornings–Something For Your Inbox

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Hello! It is certainly summer around here–I know because on my to do list which has multiple tasks (including posting here) there are only four each day that seem to be accomplished–writing a new to-do list in hopes to accomplish more than yesterday, waiting for my kids to wake up so I can know who I am driving where and why, grocery shopping (again! where does all the food go in the summer!), and packing or unpacking from latest camping trip or summer outing.

The 30 other items on the to-do list continue to wait-not so patiently-for me.

One thing I do love about summer, however, is the mornings.  They are relaxed and lazy (for my kids) which means I have total choice in when I wake up and how I spend the quiet moments before sleepy bodies come down the stairs looking for sustenance.

This morning, for example, I am sitting at about 10,000 feet in the mountains of Breckenridge, CO, on the couch of a beautiful home that we are staying in for the week with some dear family friends.  In front of me is a large picture window with this view:

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The sliding glass door is cracked a bit and the cool mountain morning air is drifting in.  It is a little slice of heaven.

On these mornings, I have my routine.  Eat a bowl of Wheat Chex, and then snuggle under a throw with my bible and devotional.  When I am finished with those, I lift the top to my computer and begin my routine there–deleting spammy emails, and then opening the two devotionals that appear in my inbox every morning.  One of them is a daily marriage prayer…I love it because it is short and sweet, but gives me great perspective to enter the day.  I am posting today’s prayer below, and if you would like to see it in your inbox each morning also, click the link I posted at the bottom.

Blessings!

~Amy

 MARRIAGE PRAYER–WHEN WE FEEL HELPLESS

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Dear Heavenly Father,

Some days we feel helpless–helpless over the state of our marriage, our finances, our employment, our health, our family, and our friendships.

It’s during those times that we realize we can’t control our surroundings. It’s also then that we realize our need for Christ and the power of Your Holy Spirit working within us.

Without You we are helpless, but with You we’re triumphant!

You give us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.

Empty us of our sorrow, our fear, and our doubt, so that we might be filled with power and praise.

In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. – Isaiah 61:1-3

 Written By Darlene Schacht

To subscribe to the Marriage Prayer of the Day, click here.

 

10 Secrets To A Successful Marriage

This is from a Focus On The Family newsletter and I wanted to pass it on!

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Here are ten principles that will help you create and maintain a successful marriage.

Successful couples are savvy. They read books, attend seminars, browse Web articles and observe other successful couples. However, successful couples will tell you that they also learn by experience – trial and error.

Here are ten principles of success I have learned from working with and observing hundreds of couples:

  1. Happiness is not the most important thing. Everyone wants to be happy, but happiness will come and go. Successful couples learn to intentionally do things that will bring happiness back when life pulls it away.
  2. Couples discover the value in just showing up. When things get tough and couples don’t know what to do, they need to hang in there and be there for their spouse. Time has a way of helping couples work things out by providing opportunities to reduce stress and overcome challenges.
  3. If you do what you always do, you will get same result. Wise couples have learned that you have to approach problems differently to get different results. Often, minor changes in approach, attitude and actions make the biggest difference in marriage.
  4. Your attitude does matter. Changing behavior is important, but so is changing attitudes. Bad attitudes often drive bad feelings and actions.
  5. Change your mind, change your marriage. How couples think and what they believe about their spouse affects how they perceive the other. What they expect and how they treat their spouse matters greatly.
  6. The grass is greenest where you water it. Successful couples have learned to resist the grass is greener myth – i.e. someone else will make me happy. They have learned to put their energy into making themselves and their marriage better.
  7. You can change your marriage by changing yourself. Veteran couples have learned that trying to change their spouse is like trying to push a rope – almost impossible. Often, the only person we can change in our marriage is ourselves.
  8. Love is a verb, not just a feeling. Everyday life wears away the “feel good side of marriage.” Feelings, like happiness, will fluctuate. But, real love is based on a couple’s vows of commitment: “For better or for worse” – when it feels good and when it doesn’t.
  9. Marriage is often about fighting the battle between your ears. Successful couples have learned to resist holding grudges, bringing up the past and remembering that they married an imperfect person – and so did their spouse.
  10. A crisis doesn’t mean the marriage is over. Crises are like storms: loud, scary and dangerous. But to get through a storm you have to keep driving. A crisis can be a new beginning. It’s out of pain that great people and marriages are produced.
Copyright © 2009, Mitch Temple.

Defusing A Tense Situation

Had to pass this on…so good!
 
Jun 30, 2013 01:00 am | Anabel Gillham

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

I was fixing supper and had everything pretty well under control so I decided to step out front and see how Bill was getting along in the “bicycle repair business.” He’s quite a “handy man.”

As I stepped out the door, he looked up and said, “Boy, am I glad to see you! I need some help.” Now, through the years I have learned one thing very well: I do not “help” Bill the way he likes someone to help. I may hand him the hammer the wrong way, or get the wrong screwdriver, or set the ladder up wrong, who knows — it’s just wrong! My emotions start going up and I wish I had stayed inside and stirred the beans.

He’s all crouched down in an awkward position and says to me, “I need you to shim this screw right here.”

Shim? Shim? Well, there’s Shem, Ham, and Japheth — that’s the only “shem” in my vocabulary.

“I don’t see what you mean, Honey.”

He can move only his little finger, so pointing as best he can he says, once again, “This screw. I need you to shim it for me.”

“I’m sorry. I don’t understand.”

My emotions are doing quite well on their upward climb — probably three-quarters of the way to being completely undone. He finally gets me to understand (increased decibels and terse statements, guaranteed to prod the emotions in their upward climb).

So now, I’m on the pavement, holding the screwdriver (shimming), and he’s in the garage getting whatever mysterious thing it is he needs to complete his repair job.

What’s going on inside of me? Bad things. I want to let him know he has hurt me, and several destructive ways to do that are suggested to me via my thought-life: “I just never do things to please you, do I?” (I’ve chosen that one many times before, and I know the results: another ruined, tension-filled evening in the Gillham household.) But another thought comes to me — obviously from a different source — a balm, a positive statement, muttered through gritted teeth no doubt with emotions stomping their feet, demanding that I retaliate. The thought? A rather nauseating one. “It amazes me, the way you can fix these broken bikes, Hon.” (I decide to use the balm instead of the bomb. It wasn’t easy.)

You talk about defusing a tense situation! Even now, in retelling the story, I get a surge of relief. Those few words set me free. (Of course, Bill was oblivious to the proceedings that were going on inside me where the emotions had reached the pinnacle and were screaming for vengance!) That statement was not easy for me to make, and there is no way I could have made it outside of the power that is mine because of Christ.

Letting Him do it for you works such miracles. Opting for the first “vengeance is mine” choice seems harmless, but one time plus another time equals two times, plus several more times equals many times, plus many more times equals hundreds of such “little” episodes, which equals untotaled hours of tension, which equals divorce. They build. You store them up and then regurgitate them, and as you dwell on them, your emotions climb higher and higher and when you have a confrontation — even a minor one — out they all spill!

The bicycle story had a happy ending for both of us: I didn’t get depressed out of my tree and Bill had a renewed sense of competency — his ability to repair a broken bicycle. Oh, joy!

Letting Christ live through you to defuse a volatile setting isn’t easy — but oh, how wonderful! Instead of setting off the fireworks and causing a runaway fire with disastrous results, you can enjoy the sparklers together!

A Wedding Today

As I sat on my couch this morning, writing another post for later this week, the doorbell rang.   I opened the door to this fresh smiling face, remembering why she was here.  This young lady was one of the bridesmaids for a wedding we were attending later this afternoon.  She was here to join the rest of the girls downstairs in our basement before the day-long preparation for the wedding.

We have a beautiful young Godly woman named Sarah who has lived with us this past year, and today is her wedding day.

As I opened the basement door to show Sarah’s friend downstairs, sounds of joyful laughter and chatting filled the stairwell, as did the fragrance of pampering and preparations.

I was struck by the importance of this day for Sarah.  Not just the “importance” of a wedding, but the deep down significance of the committment she is about to make.  What would I tell her about marriage if she asked?

That while it may not always be easy, it is a beautiful weaving of two souls over many years of experiences, trials, disappointments, and victories. That even though you are convinced the other person needs to change, the true change comes from within yourself–through grace and forgiveness and acceptance.  I would remind her that she is marrying a sinner (and that she is one also) so don’t hold her future spouse to the level of a saint. The quote, “The purpose of marriage is to bring you to the end of yourself” has beautiful significance if one chooses to accept it.

I would share that the legacy of committment and perseverance even through the dark valleys of your relationship will echo for generations to come, and that some of the best moments are those when you both just hold each other, with words unspoken, knowing that regardless of what stresses weigh you both down, all will be ok as long as you have each other.

Finally, I would tell her that the greatest gift in life is to have married your best friend.

Those are the words I would share with Sarah, because it is the truth I have found.  But not today.  So much of that is just learned in the journey together, hand and hand and hand–with God.

Sarah just came up the stairs on her way to the events and preparations of the day.  I ran to give her a hug and tell her we are praying for her.  We will see her in white as she walks down the aisle.

These are the photos from the wedding later that day.  It was an amazing wedding, so filled with love and joy, and centered on God’s beautiful gift of marriage.

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His Wife

Hello!  Jen and I are gearing up to begin regularly posting again in June.  We are going to kick off with a great give-away so stay tuned.  

I want to share with you a devotional I read this morning from Stormie Omartian’s book, “A Book of Prayer.”   It spoke to me and encouraged me to strive to be this kind of partner.  Men, you can substitute “husband”  for wife if you so desire.

                                                            His Wife

Lord I confess the times I’ve been unloving, critical, angry, resentful, disrespectful, or unforgiving toward my husband.

Help me to put aside any hurt, anger, or disappointment I feel and forgive him the way You do totally and completely, no looking back.  Make me a tool of reconciliation, peace, and healing in this marriage.  Make me my husband’s helpmate, companion, champion, friend, and support.

Help me to create a peaceful, restful, safe place for him to come home to.  Teach me how to take care of myself and stay attractive to him.  Grow me into a creative and confident woman who is rich in mind, soul and spirit.  Make me the kind of woman he can be proud to say is his wife. p. 245

If you know Stormie’s background, her marriage almost fell apart.  She speaks from walking through the fire.

May you feel a renewed spirit toward your spouse today.

Blessings!

 

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