Thursday, October 23, 2014

31 Days: Day 23 {Close the gaps}

I wish writing were easier.
The words I wish to write - the ones that sound "just so"; that put a thought into just the right context - they come at the worst times.
When I'm lying in bed, driving down the road, taking a shower - never when I'm actually writing.
If I don't find a way to remember & scribe them shortly after, they're lost in the deep abyss of my ever-crowded mind. 

During any given day, I must think of 5 to 10 different topics I'd love to write about.  Most of them NEVER make it to "pen and paper" and of the few that do,  I end up feeling as if I didn't do them justice.

Lately, I've been thinking about relationships.
All kinds of relationships  - family, friend, romantic. It's a broad topic.

All relationships are important, but there's something else:
Satan can use ANY of them to bring us down.

I don't say that lightly.
Relationships are a big deal. God made us for community and we need relationships to live and function.

Since the beginning of time, when he chose to tempt Eve, {rather than Adam} Satan has been looking, and finding, those tiny openings through which he can slither into our lives & relationships.

He knows just the right thing to say and do to cause a rift - a divide - and sometimes, a sever, in a relationship.

In a previous post, I mentioned how husband's and wives should wish to COMPLETE each other rather than COMPETE with each other.
Satan definitely uses our desire to compete - to be right - to be the favorite - to be in control - as warfare in our marriage relationships.
After all, the world we live in tells us, "women can do anything men can do - better!"
The general attitude is "who needs a man, anyway?"

Do you think anyone is happier than Satan over marriage statistics in our society?!

Satan also knows that words are warfare.
ALL relationships, marriages included, are susceptible, but sometimes I think Satan LOVES to use as words as warfare between girlfriends.
Most of my life, I've been told I was too serious.  Worse than that, I had relatives who loved to say to me, "you're so much prettier when you smile."
Great thing to say to a young girl, right?

And what do you say to that? "Thank you?"
It doesn't exactly feel like a compliment.

Recently, a friend did pay me a compliment on my hair; I have no doubt she had the best of intentions.
I was a little surprised but said something like, "Thank you! I thought I was having a bad hair day!"
To her, I should've left the second part off.
For whatever reason, some people think it's ok to criticize how someone else accepts a compliment and I can't figure that out!
I can appreciate etiquette; I said "thank you."
The second part of my statement wasn't to qualify my "thank you" or make her think I was negating her comment.  It was a statement of pleasant surprise.
Her reaction pretty much took away any good feeling I might have had from her original compliment.  She may as well not have said it.

And its here that I have to remind myself to be careful.
As I said before, I know she meant well.
I also know, these are the little crevices Satan slides into, to create bigger divides.

We all have things we are sensitive about.
Some of us have an easier time letting go of them than others of us do {don't think I'm calling myself someone who easily lets go - I'm not!}.
I would encourage myself, as well as others, to practice letting the little things GO instead of letting them GROW into bigger things. 

Do you have a relationship that needs repair? Did it suffer a blow over something little? Something that should have been let go, but instead grew into something else?

We might not be able to control everything in our lives, but we can be diligent about this one. Close the gaps that let Satan use something little against you.

See? Kind of random-all-over-the-place thoughts.
I wish writing were easier...{big sigh}
at least I enjoy it, right?



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

31 Days:Day 22 {Mama's need reminders too...}

"Mom, I do try," she says.  "I try so hard but he makes it so difficult," she cries with tears streaming down her face.

We're standing in the bathroom and I've just finished letting her know in no uncertain terms that the bickering between her and her brother has overstayed it's visit. It stops now.

This Mama is up to here with it!

I don't want to be unfair, and so I hold both of them responsible for what I think they're capable of.
She is ten years old and I expect better of her than constant retaliation, tattling, name calling, and sticking out her tongue at him when I'm not looking.

This has been going on every single morning before school for quite a while now.  Not that mornings are the only times it's a problem...

Of course she thinks I'm being unfair.
"He never gets in trouble," she says.
"He sticks his tongue out at me and you never see but I get in trouble when I do it."

I tell her that's not the point and that the sticking-out-of-tongues is not the issue here and not why she's in trouble {I tell Buddy the same thing a few minutes later}.

I tell her that being kind and treating someone the way you WANT to be treated by them, versus the way you ARE treated by them, is always the right thing.   I ask if she understands this.

"No," she says "I don't. He's never going to be nice to me" as a sob escapes.
At least she's honest and not just telling me what she thinks I want to hear.

I try to explain that sometimes treating someone in a way other than what they expect might have a positive outcome for both of you.

And suddenly I feel like the pot calling the kettle black.

If there's one thing I've learned about my marriage in the last few weeks of this bible study, it's that I can't expect hubby to treat {love} me the way I want him to, when maybe {probably} I'm not treating him the way he wants to be treated {loved}.
I'm a firm believer in the fact that love manifests itself differently to different people.  What feels like love to me, might not to him.

I've gotten the impression before that my hubby thinks I want him to take me places and buy me things.

In reality, what I want is undivided time and attention.  It might seem unrealistic; I am quite aware that the time and attention he gave me before we were married and before we had kids can never be ours again.  We're in a different season of life now.

But life has so many distractions.
I want to feel as if those distractions don't take away from our quality time, which is already so limited.

This morning, I told Sweetpea that being kind and treating someone the way you WANT them to treat you, versus the way they DO treat you, is always the right thing. And I wonder if I understand this.


Why didn't anyone tell me this Mama gig was so hard? That children might teach me when I thought I was trying to teach them? That Motherhood is like a magnifying mirror for my flaws?

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a 
little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by 
various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold 
which is perishable, even though 
tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor 
at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 
1 Peter 1:6-7 

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for 
human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the 
Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Colossians 3:23-24

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

31 Days: Day 21 {Desiring to COMPLETE...}

At the beginning of this writing journey, I shared with you that I was leading a women's small group Bible Study at church.

I had so many reservations about doing this, not the least of which, was my view of myself as 
completely unqualified to be any kind of "teacher/facilitator/leader."

I'm happy to say that I'm glad I did it {translation: so far, so good}.
I'm also glad that I seem to be learning as much, maybe more, than the other ladies in the study.
I feel very comfortable with the entire group and have had no issue admitting to them when I struggled with some of the material or homework.

The subject matter is pretty heavy - it's called Divine Design and it's all about God's divine design for womanhood {with a brief week spent on men and how/why He created them}.
That week on men on was pretty breezy.  I found myself nodding and saying, "yes, that's my husband, alright!" or "yeah, maybe I need to read this to him!"

Then we got to last week's material: not only HOW God created woman, but WHY He made us softer, more emotional, more bent towards relationship and bonding, etc.
Some of the information was truly a new discovery; not because I'd never heard it before, but because it was presented in a way that I had never thought of.
Some of the information was quite convicting.
I've never been disillusioned enough to think that I am a perfect wife, but after last week's Bible passages and corresponding "homework," I worry that I'm not nearly the "helper" to my husband that God intended me to be.

It gave me lots to think about and made me realize I have much room to improve. 
The benefit, though, is seeing how truly DIVINE God's plan was for man and woman and the Holy union of marriage.

The realization that He created the marriage relationship as a parallel to the relationship between Christ and the church was a big one for me.  It makes me feel rightfully convicted over my shortcomings as a wife, but hopeful too.

If God put so much thought ahead of time into the creation of man and wife as well as the union of marriage, He knew ahead of time there would be struggles. He gives us what we need to persevere when we trust Him.  Learning about the traits He assigned to each gender and knowing how well they offset each other lets me know that there is so much room to grow in my marriage.

One of the ideas covered in the study this past week states it well {paraphrased}:
Gods intention wasn't that we COMPETE with each in marriage, but that we COMPLETE each other in marriage.

I can't think of anything more fulfilling as a wife than to feel like I COMPLETE my husband and have him feel the same.

Monday, October 20, 2014

31 Days: Day 20 {Crazy gets Crafty}

In the midst of everything I had going on this month, I decided to throw some crafting into the mix.
Most of this was done early in October, not long after I saw this pin on pinterest:

I can't remember a time when I didn't love to create so Pinterest can be a huge time suck for me if I let it.
I try to only pin things I see other places rather than scroll through pages and pages of pins.
I did also complete another craft project this month and I'll share that one in another post.

I liked the simplicity of this craft, plus the fact that she said most of it came from the dollar store.

I went to my local Dollar Tree and was able to find all the glass candle pedestals and plates.
I found the orange pumpkins she used, but when I realized they were actually Styrofoam, I passed.

I ended up finding already "glittered and glammed" pumpkins at Walmart for less than $4 each, so I just picked them up there.

I also picked up heavy duty adhesive suitable for glass and the looking glass spray paint she mentions in her post.

See that little rat? Motion detector rat also from the Dollar Tree.

I would say this was a Pinterest WIN!
It was easy even though I don't do a lot of spray-painting and had never worked with that kind of glue/adhesive before.

Just be sure if you try this, you work in a well ventilated area as she suggests; otherwise, you'll be high on fumes!
Photo credit

I'm linking this post up with Mama Kat later in the week, in response to her weekly writing prompts.  Specifically, she asked "Create something inspired by Pinterest; was it a Win or a Fail?"