Tag Archives: Satan

Only heinous people tell lies.

3 Apr

 

For the longest time, I thought I was the worst person in the whole world because I struggled with lying.

Only really terrible people do something so heinous as to make up a lie. It’s unacceptable, inexcusable, and unforgivable.
“What is WRONG with you that you wouldn’t be honest and you’d hide behind made up stories to fit in, or have something to talk about that anyone would want to listen to. You’re a fake and a total disgust of a human” are just a few of the thoughts that paralyzed me for a long time.

My husband has reassured me over and over again that EVERYONE lies. Yes, some people struggle in a more in-depth way than others if it happens to be an addictive behavior that Satan wraps them up in, but that doesn’t mean others have the authority to put themselves in a position of superiority like they are above such ugliness.

The problem is often that they classify “lying” as a definition that only includes what they “don’t do” and then conveniently exclude the ways that they lie.

There are a number of ways that we are tempted to, and even give into lying, that we rarely talk about in-depth. I’m not going to cover them all. I’m going to tackle three and hopefully I’ll start the ball rolling for you to make your own list.

1.) Lying by omission.

This is simply “not” saying all the details. I’m not describing keeping someone’s secrets, secret. It’s ok not to share everything we know about everyone with everyone. That is being a trusted friend.

Lying by omission is when we’re leaving out information, details, words, ANYTHING about ourselves that is giving someone an impression or story that isn’t entirely accurate. We might feel like we didn’t “say” anything that was a lie or that we can’t be responsible for what other people assume, however, if we are willingly painting a picture by NOT painting it, we’re lying.

Telling our spouse that we went to lunch today with a co-worker, while leaving out that it was a male co-worker, is lying by omission.

2.) Lying by repeating something with a different tone, inflection or attitude.

This happens in marriage A LOT! But that statistic in marriage might be beat out by how often this happens between women who have problems with each other.

The story changes, and the likelihood for hurt feelings and offenses greatly increases when tone of voice is misrepresented.
Picture this:
In a soft, calm voice with a smile Gina says to Penny, “Sally looked so pretty today. I bet she spent a lot of money on that dress. It was really worth it. It worked well for her.”

Penny doesn’t like Gina and always reads offenses into everything she says, so….
With a harsh, sarcastic tone she says to Sally, “Penny said you looked SSSOOO pretty today. I BET she spent A LOT of money on that dress. It was REEEAAAALLY worth it. It worked well for HER.” Flips her hair as if Gina was rudely gossiping about Sally and says “you should have seen her face.”

Sally leaves hurt and confused and now has an offense against Gina.

It’s not uncommon for spouses to say the phrase to each other “I didn’t say it like that.  I didn’t use that tone.  You’re making me sound like such a jerk!”

What if a husband says, “I’d rather you not tell me how to handle this situation. I’m struggling with the best decision and your emotions are so high right now that you’re speaking from a place of hurt.”

And the wife repeats it like this, “I’d rather YOU not tell ME how to handle this situation. (Pounds on chest) I’m struggling with the best decision and YOUR emotions are SO HIGH right now that YOU’RE speaking from a place of hurt.” (As if I’m the problem here and am messing up your life.)

In both of those situations, the words were repeated correctly…. but the heart was misrepresented and that constitutes as lying.

3.) We lie through our actions.

As a believer in Christ, this one really stings because if we have Christ, and we walk in sin…. we’re lying with our bodies.

Am I saying we can’t make mistakes?  Of course not.  We all sin.  And will all sin until we die!

But committing a sin and repenting is not the same as walking in sin continually and habitually.

We can’t claim to have Christ and yet walk a constant contradiction without lying with our bodies.

This happens often with couples who have sex before marriage.  They are telling a lie with their bodies that they are indeed one flesh when they have not truly become one flesh through permanent commitment and marriage.

This also happens when we have a habitual gossip, anger, addiction, porn, lust, pride, selfish, idolatry, money, love, forgiveness, bitterness, mercy problem(s).   We’re claiming to be a child of the living God, but constantly maligning His testimony through us.

We praise our Father, but then curse with our bodies by allowing them to follow the ways of Satan.

 

Sometimes we get so judgmental of other who struggle in ways WE never would, all the while, missing how we maybe aren’t that far from them.

That’s why Jesus likens hate to murder and lust to adultery. We may not be letting others see it on the outside, but in our hearts, we’ve already sinned.

 

Practical Application:

Are you trapped right now by Satan because of something you struggle with that you are believing no one else struggles with or is as horrible as you?

(Comment below or shoot me an email… I’ll help you uncover why that’s a lie too!!!)

Are you judging someone else for being so much worse than you are because you’d never do what they do?

Have you ever told a lie in any of these ways? Does this change how you feel?

 

Little Reminders.

27 Mar

I’ve been doing pretty well since my total broken melt down last Friday.

I have mourned deeply, but been very purposeful about not wallowing or being the victim and intentionally LETTING and ACCEPTING my husband’s forgiveness.

The best thing we can do when forgiven, is forgive someone else.  It’s a true sign of maturity that those who know they’ve been forgiven of much, forgive much in others.

Which is why I purposely posted about forgiving the unforgivable in my life with my follow up post.

I have been forgiven without condition and I have learned to forgive without condition.

But.

There is ONE little (GINORMOUS) problem in moving forward. Try as we might escape him, Satan and his demons are always roaming the earth looking for someone to devour.  It comes in the subtle whispers, or even often loud pressing thoughts in our mind, that say “remember.”

Some times it’s simply what seems to be out of nowhere.  You’re going about your day and this person crosses your mind, and while thinking about something pleasant, all the sudden, a memory of a past hurt scrolls through your mind.  “Remember when they …..  don’t you remember how that made you feel?”

Some times it’s in a current gesture that tempts you to take it the wrong way.  “When she said ‘this’, was she really meaning ‘this’ like she use to say and do to me?”

Some times it’s in the actual memories of someone else. Like for me last night! We’re in the middle of talking, cuddling, being romantic… and we are casually talking about when we were first dating and teasingly a memory comes out of his mouth.  And it felt like a brick was thrown at my face.  Not because of anything he did, but in the reality that absolutely he’s forgiven me, but he’ll never forget.  It’s a fact. Part of history.  Can never be erased. (Satan wanted nothing more than to destroy that moment of intimacy and push us apart. **Women, be warned, some of the worst temptations often come while trying to be intimate or while having sex with your husband.  Satan’s greatest pleasure is to destroy the marriage bed.)

Some times it’s in the words of someone else.  “So & so told me blank is going on with them right now.”  What?  How did I not know this?  Are things not as reconciled as I thought they were? Did they really not mean it that they forgave me?

 

We can purposefully allow our minds to think about past situations, but sometimes it seems to spring on us without any thought at all. So what do we do with that?

Well, we have to make a choice before it happens.  You can make a choice while it’s happening, but it won’t be nearly as easy to do.  Walking the narrow road takes premeditated thought, and practice.  Just like when I talked about training for trusting your husband.

Here’s the two options:

1.) Dwell on these thoughts, doubt, struggle, weep all over again, pick back up offenses and lock myself back up in a prison.

2.) Decide that memories are a beautiful reminder of how far God has brought me. Rejoice.  Be thankful for the one thought, as an opportunity to worship God, and then wrap my heart up in praise instead of entertaining a conversation with Satan who longs to use my past to destroy my future.

Simple? I’d never say that.

Life changing? ABSOLUTELY!!

If Christianity were easy, there wouldn’t be a narrow road.  We’re not looking for easy here.  We’re looking for possible.  We’re looking for God’s power to come in us and enable us to do the unthinkable.

As my husband always says “Those who forget their past are doomed to repeat it.”  God doesn’t remove consequences or memories because they serve as security gates for us to remember the danger of walking without Him or making choices that separate us from Him.

If we forgot how much we hurt someone, we might easily hurt them again in the same way…. or at the very least, take them for granted.

If we forgot how much we’ve been hurt by someone and how God has empowered us to forgive them, we might easily cut ourselves off from everyone who has ever hurt us isolating us in a prison we don’t even realize we’re in.  Bitterness takes a root so deep that is changes our ability to truly love God or anyone else because hate and love cannot co-exist…we can’t curse and praise at the same time.

Learning to forgive is freedom.  Remembering the power in us to forgive is a refining tool to becoming more and more like Christ.

Learning to be forgiven is freedom.  Remembering the grace and mercy extended to us is a tool to seeing in the flesh a glimpse of what Jesus did for us on the cross for ALL of our sins and draws us closer and closer to him.

Both are needed in this life.

Satan may long to use this against us…. but we don’t have to let him.

We were made to be warriors.  We were told to put on our armor. We were commanded to go out into the world making disciples.

Want to be ready for Satan’s attacks?

Practical Application:

Make a choice right now that reminders of the past are just reminders to rejoice.

Train for attacks.  Be in the Word every day, Pray, and prepare for temptations (EXPECT them), so you’re never caught off guard.

 

Hey look, I’m just not in the mood, OK?!

13 Mar

Sorry I got a little side-stepped in finishing up these follow-up posts on my sex series. I believe this is the last one, for now. If you missed a week of blogs, or are new here…. you can catch the whole series by starting HERE.  I’ll warn you, it’s challenging.  However, I’ll also say, emails, FB messages and blog comments say it’s been worth the invested time to consider.

In all this talk about why sex is important and ideas for where we can improve as wives…. I purposely didn’t hit on this one point yet.  And that’s because it’s a tough one to deal with. Do we really have to follow through with sex when we’re “not in the mood?”

Before I answer that, let’s be honest about why we’re not in the mood.  You know I never paint rainbows here, so I promise not to start now. Here are a few scenarios to consider….maybe you can find yourself in one at some time or another.

– You’re a stay at home mom. It’s 2:00 AM and the baby is crying.  Your husband doesn’t even flinch, he just snores right through it.  You get up, spend 20 minutes consoling the baby and getting him back to sleep.  You lay back down. It takes a little while for your mind to relax again.  What do you know, 3:30 AM your toddler is in your room crying because she’s scared.  She must have had a bad dream.  You have a choice, let her crawl into bed with you because you feel so exhausted you might vomit if you stand up and risk your husband being angry that “the kids don’t belong in bed with us – you’re starting a habit and they’ll never stop” or get yourself up anyway and carry her to her bed and lay with her until she falls asleep.  6:00 AM comes all too soon and you wake up in a twin size bed with a toddlers feet in the middle of your back.  The rest of the day proves to be nothing short of hell on earth.  Constant tattling, whining, spilling three glasses of milk on the floor, with the word “MOMMY!” being said no less than 273 times throughout the 9 hours your husband is at work. And just when you feel like relief might be on its way…. he comes in, exhausted from his job, takes a seat on the couch and flips on the television while you stand there looking at the mess, supper laid out on the counter but not started yet and a baby on your hip thinking “REALLY?!”  10:00 PM – everyone is in bed, and your husband gets fresh…. “Hey look, I’m just not in the mood, OK?!”

– You’re up at 6:00 AM packing lunches in between showering, putting on your make-up and fixing your hair while you pour cereal and scream up the stairs – the bus will be here is 10 minutes, hurry up!! You put in a 9 hour day, but not just any 9 hour day… one in which your boss throws his “grunt work” on top of your already busy schedule.  You feel quite a lot like his maid at work. You rush from work eating a granola bar in the car to sit in the bleachers for 2 hours watching basketball.  The family piles into the house at 7:30 PM FAMISHED and you scramble to get everyone fed, ready for bed… and oh wait “hey mom — where’s that shirt I need for tomorrow, you know, the one with the blue stripes?”  You got it, it’s in the dirty clothes.  11:00 PM and your husband looks at you with pleading eyes …”Hey look, I’m just not in the mood, OK?!”

– You start your day feeling a little lonely.  Things just seem off between you and your husband.  You’re not fighting, but you don’t feel connected either.  You’re not “not” talking, but at the same time, it seems like the only things you say to each other are things out of necessity because you live together or you parent the same children. After spending the evening together what feels like just existing as roommates, you just don’t feel emotionally charged to desire sexual intimacy.  This is when the temptation arises to make-up an excuse or worse, grow bitter.  How can he possibly expect me to have sex when he hasn’t hardly spoke to me all day?  “Hey look, I’m just not in the mood, OK?!”

– You happen to have an hour of free time in your afternoon so you bounce around on Facebook and Pinterest.  Coincidental timing, or act of Satan… you be the judge.  Every post and pin is about some romantic husband sending flowers to his wife at work, calling to check on her through out the day, cooking supper while she sips a glass of wine, ironing his work shirts to help carry his weight around the house when suddenly…. you feel so ignored, unloved, empty, broken, like you married a dud of a husband who doesn’t have a romantic bone in his body.  And without romance, how can you possibly get undressed and roll around in the sheets? He actually hasn’t done anything wrong… but at the same time, he suddenly does everything wrong because of what he “doesn’t” do…. and honestly, “Hey look, I’m just not in the mood, OK?!”

For the sake of this post becoming 3000 words, and I simply won’t do that to you… I’m not going to dive into all four of these scenarios individually and cut out the lies and replace them all with truth.  I’ll give you the starting points, and you can find yourself in here if you’re a woman who is generally “not in the mood” and sort this out yourself.

I’ll point out a few key points that changed everything for me.

Marriage is not about making us happy.  It’s about making us holy. 

Marriage is the direct reflection of Christ and the church.  And we the bride, represent the bride of Christ.  When I really changed how I see my role in marriage…. my ideals about my own selfishness started to melt away.

We really are selfish beings.  Our emotions and feelings tend to be immediate and urgent.  And our lack of empathy for our husbands tends to be secondary and justified.

What if…. he isn’t romantic, doesn’t help around the house, isn’t really chatty because “Hey look, he’s not in the mood, OK?!”

Is that fair?  Should you feel understanding or slighted?  Would you be patient with that answer or deeply hurt?

Every opportunity to love and fulfill your husband, even when you don’t “feel” like it or he doesn’t “deserve” it is a chance to refine your character and be more like Christ.

Do you love Christ?  Is worshipping Him with your life the goal?  If it’s not… you’ll never truly love your husband.  It takes the love and power of Christ to love selflessly. THAT IS NOT NATURAL AND IT IS NOT EASY, and we will never be flawless at it. We have to refine our minds and bodies to behave in worship so we can reflect the love of Christ for us, through us.

Jesus words for us were “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

What if we treated our husband with that kind of love and worked on us?  What if we invested all our energy into dying to our own selfishness and learning to love sacrificially?

What if we remembered that God created sex for BOTH of us and that it binds us together like nothing else, and saying we’re not in the mood is actually telling God that we don’t think He had us in mind or created the right activity for marriage to bond us together.

What if we remembered that exhaustion is a season and the marriage came before the kids and it’ll outlast the kids being in our home and under our care.  If we neglect the growth and nourishment of our marriage in the busy years, it’ll remain neglected in the not so busy years. Habits are really hard to break.  Especially 20 years of bad habits.

What if our changing first fulfilled our husbands needs so much so that he couldn’t resist changing himself?

What if we offered suggestions to make sex a priority instead of an end of the day activity that we’re too tired to complete?  We can set a timer for thirty minutes and tell the kids that daddy and mommy need to talk in private, rest, whatever you want to say and they can come ask you any questions or play with you when the timer goes off.  If it’s too light in your room during the day for your comfort, make the investment in dark curtains…. every investment toward your marriage and sex life is a priority. (This coming from a one income family of 6.)

And finally, what if all our excuses were just Satan’s genius plan for keeping hidden division in our marriage so we never fulfilled our husbands, allowed us both to feel vulnerable and unconnected, and then our husband never fulfilled our needs and this cycle of constantly feeling like marriage is really hard work kept going and going and going for years?!

And all along, you could have been the first one to stop the cycle.

Practical Application:

Some times, we really are emotionally or physically ill and it’s OK to need rest.

But for all those times that we could talk ourselves into being in the mood and don’t, we’re not just hurting our husbands….we’re hurting ourselves and in turn keeping a gap in our marriage for division to wedge in.

If you feel like you say “No” to your husband quite a bit….. I’d really encourage you to check out this series of posts.  It’s just, incredible. And so worth your time!! And tackles this topic with WAY more depth and insight.

Easy?

11 Mar

I have a really strong conviction about the word “easy” in Christianity.

I just wrote a post last week about how this life isn’t getting “easier” even though I’m growing in my journey of unconditional respect and also closer to the Lord in general.

It has been brought to my attention that it might have come across as though I was saying I wasn’t finding victory without constant struggle.

Please give me the chance to explain why I don’t and won’t use the word “easy” in any of my posts regarding my life with Christ.

Let me start by acknowledging that Paul wrote well over the majority of the New Testament and yet when discussing his sinful nature he says this:

Romans 7:14-15 “We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

He doesn’t make walking in Victory sound “easy” at all!!! And clearly, Paul was victorious over sin so many times, I couldn’t nearly count. He wasn’t sinless before God’s power was mighty and evident in his life, leading him – speaking to him – directing him – giving him courage and strength – and bringing victory.

He goes on to say to the church of Corinth “12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be temptedbeyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (I Corinthians 10:12-13)

Do you see that??? BUT — WHEN you are tempted.  At no time does God promise to remove our temptations.  Ever. That would be “EASY”. HOWEVER!!!! He will provide a way out so that you can endure it (even with joy and worship!) if you call on His name and resist Satan or your own flesh. That is “VICTORY!”

Victory over sin never comes without cost.  That payment is always good and holy because it causes us to die to ourselves, and lay our sin down to choose righteousness, but it isn’t free.

I can be victorious with greater frequency and joy (which praise God almighty, when it comes to respecting my husband, this is proving true!!) but that doesn’t mean it comes easy. Or that if it isn’t coming easy, I’m failing.

I desire God and the victory in my marriage WAY BEYOND the love I have for my flesh.  It’s becoming SO MUCH MORE NATURAL to choose respect quickly and with little hesitation because the results are fulfilling emotionally, physically and spiritually like nothing else! Giving into my sin nature promises fulfillment but it leaves me empty and miserable. I am learning from my mistakes!

I’ve seen far too often in this life, the parable of the seeds ring true, and I cannot be party to the misconception Satan intends to paint.

Do you know what I’m talking about?  The seeds that hear the truth and dismiss it, the one’s that take root but when trials come they fall away, and the seeds that take deep root and produce fruit.

I never want to paint a picture that I’ve dug my roots deep in the ground and have fruit in my life because I have Christ – I pray and I read my Bible every day and my sinful nature is dead and life is EASY now.

Jesus had victory on the cross.  Was that easy?

John the Baptist paved the way for the Savior and then was beheaded.  Was that easy?

Most all of the disciples were stoned and flogged for testifying to the gospel.  Did they find victory from their flesh by facing fear and laying down their natural instincts to follow Christ at all cost? Absolutely!!!!  Was it easy?  No.

WORTH IT?  YES!!!!

ETERNALLY MINDED?  NO QUESTION ABOUT IT!

JOYFULLY CONTENT IN THE LORD?  OF COURSE!

VICTORIOUS OVER SIN? YES, YES, YES!!!!!!

DEFEATED AND ABANDONED?  NOT FOR ONE SINGLE SECOND!!!!!!!!!!!!

Am I saying that if we’re following the Lord life is Hard, Impossible, and we should live in Misery and Defeat?

NO! That’s NEVER the truth!!!!!!!!!

The closer I grow to the Lord, the LESS I even WANT to sin.  I want victory!  And He gives victory!  And that joy in Him is greater than any other feeling I could ever feel. JOY is not happiness as much as VICTORY is not easy.

Satan’s attacks on me, his nasty accusations, and his relentless temptations hold no power compared to the cross.

However, he is still vicious, and choosing to die to my flesh every day is not easy and without thought or intent.

When he sees his attacks are losing power because victory in Christ is stopping him dead in his tracks, he morphs into another temptation and attacks another area.

So if I painted the picture that I am not gaining INCREDIBLE, UNDENIABLE, and AMAZING VICTORY in Christ…. then I failed in writing the post.

Satan has not nearly the power to convince me to disrespect my husband.  God has shown himself faithful to help me recognize Satan and shut him out and choose righteousness.

However, if you walked away from that post understanding that I’ve found immeasurable victory in Christ from where I was with disrespect 19 months ago to where I am today… but I don’t have an EASY life now just because I love God, read my Bible, and respect my husband, then you got the right message.

If Satan was EASY to resist…. we’d live in a different world.

Even Jesus heard Satan’s voice loud and clear in the desert during that 40 days with his accusations and twisting of Scripture.  Did He have victory? Of course.  He was sinless.  Did he not even hear Satan’s voice at all and just walk through life easy, and without temptation because He was sinless and in tune with God? No. He heard Satan and had a conversation with him.  That doesn’t mean he was spiritually immature.

Practical Application:

Remember, the measure of Victory is not based on if you hear Satan or not.  He can be loud and out of control, and that doesn’t mean you haven’t found victory or arrived on your journey.

And — just because the journey isn’t easy, that doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you.

EASY was never, ever, ever a promise in Scripture.  Don’t make that the goal.  Make VICTORY the goal!

What’s the story on “My Demon” now?

7 Mar

Do you remember the post I wrote titled “My Demon” from September 21, 2012?  I was just over a month into my new respect journey when this revelation kicked me in the gut. (If you’ve joined since then and never caught it, it’ll help to understand this post by reading that one first.)

In fact, that one post was shared on numerous sites (including Peacefulwife – which is when a lot of you who read April’s blog started following this one too!)  I answered a whole lot of emails and comments on this topic because it rang true for just so many of us women.  And it was very evident at the time, I was just “one of you.”  The post wasn’t written by a scholar in the least.  My real, honest emotions and thoughts are what made it relatable to others. And the revelation and wisdom came straight from God – because I’d lived 10 years of marriage at that point (and 29 years of life) running wild with the thoughts and emotions that presented themselves at any given time. And never knew any different.

April sent me an email and asked me what I thought about writing a follow up to “My Demon” – 18 months later.

Here is a sentence from her email:

“I think it would be neat to hear how you hear the demon’s voice now, how often, the intensity, what you do, and how much stronger God’s voice is now and the kinds of things you focus on and think about now.”

I pretty much immediately told her, “I’ll think about it” while in my mind saying – “No way!”  April’s blog is amazing.  It’s eye-opening, full of brilliant wisdom, insightful, helpful, and pointing out deeply painful but necessary truths to helping women change and save their marriages from a lifetime of misery!  But even more than that — it’s hopeful.  Even the things that are hard to read, are hopeful.  Change can happen, my marriage can be better, I can be a better wife, he can open up and lead as these changes take place — there is HOPE for something new!

And the truth?  I don’t think a follow up to “My Demon” is going to offer the hope April normally posts on her blog.

But — maybe, just maybe, there are women out there who are just like me.  And this post might be for you! So, I’ll answer these questions.

(–  how you hear the demon’s voice now, how often, the intensity)

I still hear my demon’s voice loud as ever and ALL THE TIME! He’s still a raging maniac full of accusations and specifics that beg to be entertained.  He knows me full well, and the areas that I’ve learned to shut down permanently are rarely touched and new areas where he wasn’t attacking before, he’s thrown some boulders at wildly.  He’s no joke.  The closer I grow to my husband – the more respect I show my husband – the stronger the spiritual battle.  The bigger threat we are to him, the more desperate he becomes and the more vicious his behavior.

(– what you do, and how much stronger God’s voice is now and the kinds of things you focus on and think about now.”)

I’m back and forth on what I do.  I’m such a sinner.  More often than not, I refuse to entertain the begging thoughts and accusations against my husband.  But sometimes, I still stumble in my flesh and I dabble in the game.  My journey for respect hasn’t magically or quickly removed all my selfishness, expectations, and ability to see all my husbands faults and sins with a magnifying glass. Especially because WE TRULY ARE A BRAND NEW COUPLE, and in ways that I never stumbled before, there are all new ways to tempt me.  Now, my husband does things for me he’s never done before and talks to me in a way we’ve never communicated, and if that seems hindered, it’s even harder not to jump to conclusions or freak out a little bit at the thought of that going away.

I hear God’s voice and I have allowed His truths to change so many of my behaviors and patterns, but I can’t say He’s always screaming louder than Satan.  I have to intentionally be still and silent to hear God and in the middle of my wrestling — some times I feel so wound up I can’t sit still. Even if that just means pacing the floor in frustration while my husband is at work.  It’s still a choice like it was before to go to Him and listen. In my experience, God rarely screams.  Satan however is a beast, and he’s deafening at times.

What I focus on and think of now is being intentional AND unrelenting.  (I talked about this word in January.)  I make an honest attempt at turning my wild thoughts back on myself.  Why do I feel this way?  Am I giving too much weight to my husband’s short-comings and not nearly enough to his strengths and character? How did I handle this situation?  Do I have disrespect to apologize for?  Is what I am tempted to say full of things that will be helpful to us, or hurt us?

At the end of the day — this respect journey has changed my life!  I want every single woman on the planet to read the books I have, read the blogs I have, and see the world in a different way than it’s being portrayed and pounded into us in every direction.

Life is BETTER with respect.  Life is BETTER with God.  Life is BETTER fighting the good fight.

But does this journey ever get easier?  No.  I’m so sorry if that crushes anyone’s hopes.  Maybe your experience will be different from mine.  Or maybe some of you older and wiser women are out there saying “Oh honey, you just haven’t been doing this as long as we have, you need more time.”  And maybe you’re right.  But at this point, I doubt it.

I think Scripture paints a pretty clear picture that walking the straight and narrow will be hard.  Persecution comes, trials come, heartache comes, and we’re all sinners until we cross over to eternal life.

Is there power in the armor of God? You better believe there is!!! When I intentionally get up in the morning and put on every ounce of protection I can muster on my body and mind – God is faithful to give me strength and courage to PRESS ON in the battle.  But He never makes it easier, even though He’s with me.  He only makes it change me by refining me IN the fire.

Is God’s way worth it? Absolutely.  Is God’s way getting easier? No, it’s not.

But I’d never look back.  I’ll keep fighting the good fight and being refined in the fire pressing on toward the prize.  No matter how loud Satan is, how often he attacks, with what intensity he beats me down and no matter how many times I stumble and fall.

Practical Application:

If you’re out there wondering why you’re not a good enough Christian wife because this hasn’t “gotten easier yet?” – STOP IT! That’s still Satan beating you down.

MY belief? The more Satan attacks, the evidence that you’re walking the straight and narrow because he’s threatened.

In the battle…. try so hard to find that still and quiet place so God can refuel your strength, courage, wisdom and power to keep going and resist Satan’s voice.  You can resist… but I doubt he’ll ever shut up.

Need perspective?

17 Feb

In the last two years, my blog has really grown.  I haven’t addressed that topic on here because it sounds proud and entirely contradictory to having the humble heart I desire.  And who wants to come across like that?

Of course anything good in me comes from Jesus.  And any talent or success I have in writing is because God pours His blessing down.  But I don’t think the good in me from Jesus is why my blog is growing.

I think it’s because I write about real struggles.  I lay my junk on the table, I’m totally honest about my short-comings, and I take hard stands on topics that are definitely not popular in the world at large.

People care about the content of a blog.  No one comes back time and time again to see a fancy template and pictures.

Today, I could write about a ton of short comings that became obvious to me just from this past weekend alone. I’m still entirely too wretched of a sinner to write about success.

But the truth?  Most of my short comings are because of my ridiculous perspective.  I’m a lousy wife, because I’m selfish.  I get angry about clothes on the floor, wasted family time in front of the television, and lack of leadership in the home because I would do things different, I ignore my sins and focus on his, and I have a serious issue with wanting to control every environment because I think I make better decisions.

Even though – I know God made man to be the leader of the family because he is not guided by his emotions and he is much more willing to make decisions on faith instead of security. That curse on Eve to spend her whole life longing to rule over her husband… well I surely didn’t escape it nor does recognizing it make me magically stop struggling with it.  I’m growing.  But I have not arrived.

I read something a few days ago that gave me a new perspective.  All these blown up issues in my life become issues because I get zoomed in on myself with a microscope.

I love others.  And I am really growing in mercy and grace toward everyone.

But that doesn’t mean I’ve learned to die to self in the cause for caring so much about others, it costs me my perspective.

Here is what I read.

About 150,000 people die each day.  Narrow is the way that leads to eternal life and broad is the way to destruction. Satan’s current kingdom is gaining souls at a rapid pace.

How many of that 150,000 do you think are entering Heaven?

How many people are investing in them spiritually?

What is the suffering in Hell for all eternity really like?

Do the socks on the floor really matter that much?

Does the spilled cup of milk really cost you anything besides five minutes of your time to clean it up?

Do the short-comings of another person really deserve the bitterness you’re wasting on it when eternity is one breath away?

Is harboring all that unforgiveness and keeping yourself in a prison of self-love and nurturing ministering to anyone?

What am I doing being so self-absorbed with stupid things that don’t matter????

It’s amazing to me really that so many fights, bitterness, unforgiveness, retaliation, pouting, silent treatments and so forth between myself and EVERYONE else in my life are such a big deal in the moment because of my selfish perspective.

150,000 people a day.

Satan’s kingdom is growing.

And I care about being the only person who can clean a toilet.

Practical Application:

Gain a little perspective. It just might break my heart for someone else, instead of only for myself. And make me a better wife, mother, friend and witness.

Ok – I’m going there…. late.

4 Nov

I’m late on this topic.  I had fully planned to blog about it but then took that break – and then didn’t have all my thoughts together before the date came and went… but after being sent a request to write on this topic, I’m going to go ahead and do it – even though it’s late.

Halloween is such a taboo Christian topic. Some of the church is completely against the mere mention of the word, others are back and forth on certain aspects, and others see absolutely nothing wrong with the entire holiday and go crazy getting caught up in it all.

Let me say that I believe the people in ALL THREE GROUPS, fully believe they are doing the right thing.  I don’t believe any Christian takes a stance on this holiday without thinking they are honoring the Lord with their actions or refraining from sin as well.

I’m not trying to chastise or judge anyone with my opinion, I simply want to offer up some food for thought.

To begin with, the roots of Halloween and the beliefs behind the holiday come from differing historic origins.  There is the belief that it was started by Christians to celebrate the Saints, and there is the belief it was started by sorcery and witchcraft to celebrate evil and death.

I’m going to propose a thought here — it doesn’t matter.

Why?  Because we already know from Scripture that what man intends for evil – God can use for good. (Check out the life of Joseph in Genesis.)

We can spend WAY TOO MUCH TIME as Christians debating the laws like hypocritical Pharisees and miss what God is doing and asking us to do through grace.

Understand that I am not suggesting that participating in sin is acceptable for Holy Spirit filled believers – I certainly would never condone that.

But is dressing up in super hero and princesses costumes, carving pumpkins, bobbing for apples, eating candy and drawing spider webs sinful?

The actual sinful part of the holiday, which is celebrated today by A TINY FRACTION of the population (sorcery, witchcraft, calling the dead, sacrifices, satanic worship) is largely frowned upon by non-Christians just as much as Christians today.

For what that’s worth – even though Christmas is a “Christian holiday” the world has allowed it to be so commercialized that Christians actually DO sin by participating in it in some ways, and we don’t see Christians going into hiding for the day or standing on the street corners condemning those who participate.

Why are we hiding in our homes?  Has God ever commanded us to hide?  Or does He not always command us to GO — BE A LIGHT — WITNESS TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH — SEEK OUT THE LOST.

We can’t do that by refusing to say the world Halloween, cross our arms in protest, turn off our porch lights, and refuse to acknowledge any celebrations during the last week of October every year.

I can’t take credit for this wording but on KLOVE radio station they said it like this:

“Halloween is the one night that the world comes knocking on OUR door and asks US for SOMETHING…..how can we lock ourselves in and refuse to open the door to them? We have the chance to give them Christ, and we’re too busy judging what is wrong with the holiday to celebrate what is right with it.”

Just passing out a piece of candy, with a smile, & kind words can open the door for a relationship with neighbors and people in the community from an awesome opportunity that presented itself TO YOU and all you had to do was open your door.

OR — go to their door on a day they are willing to open the door to you.

My kids love dress up, they love candy, they love people — we don’t hide from Halloween or from Satan.

He cannot close us up in our homes and cause us to hide.  Satan has no power over who our heart belongs to and if we participate in walking around our neighborhood – it doesn’t bring him worship — it brings our God glory as we love and fellowship with His people, both the saved and the lost.

Again, I’ll close by saying, I believe everyone makes their decision on Halloween based on what they truly believe is right to do, so I’m not looking to fight, argue or condemn anyone.

I just wanted to toss out some food for thought.

Practical Application –

How do you feel about Halloween?

Has it opened the door for me to be judgmental instead of loving toward others?

Do I believe Satan has the power to “own” a day on the calendar and in the world…. or do I believe God owns every day and what was once intended for evil can be used for good?