They Listen More Than We Know

Hila Fay being silly and scaring off a bear at the museum.
Hila Fay being silly and scaring off a bear at the museum.

Hila Fay LOVES for me to tell the story of how Chuck proposed to me.  It goes like this:

A long time ago, before Mommy was a mommy, Hila Fay was Hila Fay, and even before Mommy was Daddy’s wife, she was just a girlfriend.  One day your daddy took me hunting.  While we sat out in the cold winter evening, so cold that our breath formed clouds and floated away, I saw a deer coming right towards us!  I hadn’t gone hunting many times yet, so instead of sitting still I got excited and hit your daddy to get his attention.  My movement scared the doe and she ran away.  I was very sad.

Since dark was almost there, and we wouldn’t be able to see any more deer, we decided to pack up our things and go back to our homes.  As we walked out of the deer woods (at this point in the story HF is covering her mouth in delight and trying not to squeal) Daddy looked at me and said, “I have something that will cheer you up.”  I looked at him like he had lost his mind and simply replied, “I seriously doubt it.”  His eyes sparkled in amusement as he asked me, “Will you marry me?”  I was so shocked that the only thing I could think to say was, “That worked.” 

At LEAST every other day HF begs me to repeat the story, always giggling in delight when her daddy says he can cheer me up and then jumping up and down, clapping, and shouting, “YAY” when I reply that it worked.  I knew that she liked the story, but I didn’t realize how much she actually listened to it until last week when I had come down with strep throat.  I was laying in my bed, feeling miserable, when all of the sudden she came into my bedroom and kneeled down on Chuck’s side.  She looked at me and said, “Momma?  I got something that will cheer you up.” “Really, baby?  What?”  “Will you marry me?”  I could barely contain my laughter as I replied, “That worked.”

Her moment oozed with love and the child-like faith that anything can be cured with love laughter and it is a memory that I will treasure forever.  It reminded me, though, to be careful what I say (what stories I tell and what things I laugh at around her) because she is watching and waiting for the moment to mimic those that she loves best.

Love,

2% Mom

Mother’s Day Legacy

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When Chuck and I were planning our wedding we made a conscious effort to include both of our families. We never understood the concept of the wedding being a day JUST for the bride and groom. In our minds our marriage was uniting not just us, but our families as well. Whether they liked it or not our families would now be linked forever.

In some ways, Mother’s Day is like that. Yes. it’s a day for me to celebrate all the good things that go along with motherhood and to show HF the joy of doing something for others, but it is also a day to celebrate my relationship with my mother and hers before her. It’s a day that links all mothers together and allows us to share our legacies.

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I see HF now and I marvel at the little lady she’s so quickly becoming.  I think back to myself and remember my mother when I was HF’s age. Momma has always had the softest hands and most gentle touch. She never panicked when I hurt myself but rather, I think, watched me to see how I would react. She said something once (and once only) and expected me to obey. She gave me responsibilities and consequences but took plenty of time to take me to the library and park and teach me to pray.

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I look at HF again, so content in her dreams, and wonder if I’m going to do half as good as my mom. I make a conscious effort to invest in mine and HF’s relationship, now, in the hopes that (after she has passed through the dreaded teenage years) she will think of me with the same adoration that I do my mother and her hers’.

We are all linked in a line of genetics and love that each new daughter passes on to their daughter and on and on for many more generations to come. Perhaps, one day in the future, HF will sit, holding her child and think back to her memories of me. This thought is one of the reasons that I try so hard to be active in her life. I work to make every moment count and her life full of tangent moments.

I’ve realized that we don’t have to be doing something BIG to have a lasting moment. It could be as simple as putting together a puzzle or taking silly selfies.

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How do you make your moments last? How will your children carry on your legacy?

Love,
2% Mom

Life on the farm

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Just before Christmas my mother-in-law was in a single car accident. Thankfully she survived, but as a result has some partial paralysis in her arms. Chuck, Hila Fay, and I have temporarily moved in with her until we can get a double-wide moved to the farm.

When you arrive at the farm it is almost as if you’ve stepped back in time. The meals are all homemade and ate together with the family all piled up around the solid wood kitchen table. The only internet access is what we get on our phones and the TV is a mere decoration. When there’s a big job to do it’s “all hands on deck”. Everyone pitches in all the while laughing and joking around.

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Our evenings are spent sitting in the living room sharing personal (most of the time humorous) stories, visiting, and playing games (charades is a favorite). I have found that many of the modern day appliances, knick-knacks, & gadgets that I thought I HAD to have are not even missed. What really surprised me, though, was how well Hila Fay adjusted. Instead of whining for a movie or fussing because she can’t play on abcmouse.com, she plays outside, creates amazing crafts (I’m not biased at all), and performs musical numbers to entertain us.

The whole situating reminds me just how much God loves us. He has taken a heart-wrenching situating and used it to teach me innumerable lessons: like the importance of family, the benefits of slowing life down, and where real happiness comes from.

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Though times are tough right now, and it seems like every time we turn around something else (or someone else) has broken, God reminds me every day that He Is in control. Because of that I know that we can keep trekking along!

Psalms 29:11 HCSB

The Lord gives His people strength; the Lord blesses His people with peace.

Love,
2%

Airing Your Drama in Public is Sin

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It seems that forgiveness and compassion have gone the way of corded phones and VHS tapes. They have been replaced by a desire to air out our dirty laundry in a forum of public opinion. Social media statuses are filled with needless “updates” about “some people” and their sins against us. Friends, let me be honest with you for a moment. Your vague references fool no one. It may feel therapeutic to be able to air out your feelings but in no way is right, good or kind; in fact it is downright un-Biblical.

Even when the subject matter is hidden behind ambiguous references of “some people” and “they” you are still sinning. Whether you sit in the beauty shop and tell all your friends “the situation” or announce it to the world: gossip is gossip is gossip. Our problems with one another should, in fact, remain exactly that way: solely with each other.

Jesus VERY specifically says: “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.” (Matthew 18:15 NASB) Did you see that part there that said, “in private“?

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I’ve heard, and thought to myself, many reasons as to why one could not possibly go and speak to their offender one on one.
“They won’t listen anyway.”
“It wouldn’t make a difference.”
“I might do/say something that I’d regret.”
I think that if we are ALL honest with ourselves we’d admit that reasoning is probably more closely related to us wanting to avoid a face-to-face confrontation. It’s MUCH easier to sit bravely on the couch and update a tough sounding status than it is to call (or better yet sit down and talk to) a person that we are upset with. I get it, I really do! I hate (this is the point that Hila Fay would say: “We don’t say ‘hate’ Mommy.”) really, really, REALLY dislike confrontation. I go out of my way to avoid unpleasant situations.

However, John is quick to remind us that if we are going to claim Christianity we best walk-the-walk! (“So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth”. Revelation 3:16 HCSB) We cannot sugar-coat a sin (“I wasn’t gossiping I was just venting.”) and expect God to be pleased. Jesus very clearly tells us that the only time we are to involve anyone else in our quarrel is when our private conversation yielded no results.
But if he won’t listen, take one or two more with you, so that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every fact may be established. If he pays no attention to them, tell the church. But if he doesn’t pay attention even to the church, let him be like an unbeliever and a tax collector to you. (Matthew 18:16, 17 HCSB)

If we get to the end of the rope and extinguish all means of reconciliation then we are to simply ignore them. We go to bed each night knowing that we tried our dangest but in this case an amicable ending just wasn’t in God’s plan. We do NOT continually make random announcements or involve other people.

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We DO continue to genuinely pray them.
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” (Matthew 5:44 HCSB)

God’s truth is sometimes hard to swallow, but that doesn’t change it. We can’t claim to be loving Christians if we are not willing to choose to love everyone.
Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. (1 John 4:7-11 HCSB)

Love,
2%

Lies You Believe(d)

I’m putting the final pieces together on the Bible Study that I’m writing and would like some more input from y’all (please).

What are some lies that you believed that affected your marriage (or, perhaps, marriages that you-personally-know of). For instance: “Love is based on a feeling; therefore, if I no longer ‘feel’ anything I must no longer be in love.” Or “It’s ok to date/marry him even if he isn’t a Christian because he’s a ‘good’ guy. Besides, I can always ‘get him in church’.”

Maybe your lie isn’t something that “deep” but it still caused tension in your marriage; like, “if I just ignore the problem it will go away on its own.”

If you have some personal anecdotes telling how you believed the lie, how it affected your marriage and how you overcame it (if you did/have) then that would be great! You can always email them to me at timbus31@gmail.com if they are too personal to share in a public forum.

Thank you soooooo much!

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Who do you vent to?

Continuing my quest pick y’all’s brains, this post focuses on “venting”. Who do you turn to when you are upset or need advise? Do you vent to a friend? Is your first thought to call your husband? Do you ever confide in some of the opposite sex who is not related to you (or not a counselor). Thank you (again) for your help! I will be doing the Bible Study (How to protect your marriage) online as well as in our church so y’all will get to see the finished copy. If you feel so led, I would appreciate y’all sharing these posts. The more participation I get the happier I am! 😀

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Keeping the “Spark”

I am working on creating a Bible Study on protecting your marriage. So, over the next few weeks I’d like to pose questions to y’all and get your input (please & thank you). Today I’d like to ask about what you do to keep the “spark” in your relationship.
Do you still intentionally flirt with your spouse?
How often do you go out on dates?
How do you spice up things when you feel there is a (sexual) lull in the relationship?
Older couples, what advice do you have for newlyweds?

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Book Review: Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free

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Several years ago I came across the book Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and it quickly became my favorite Christian living book. By far she does THE BEST job of supporting her position with scripture of person that I have ever seen!

Whenever I find myself in a “spiritual rut” this is the book that I turn to; in fact, at least once a year I read through just “realign” myself. Nancy points out forty lies are prevalent against so many women today and shows us how to move from bondage to freedom by “replacing the lies with the Truth.”

For more information on Nancy Leigh DeMoss and her ministries check out her website http://www.reviveourhearts.com

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Humble Pie: or Two Types of Pride

Yesterday’s post left my mind kind of twirling and all afternoon I could feel God nudging me, telling me to delve just a little deeper. I’ve been reading a book by Beth Moore titled Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds. One of the first chapters is on pride.  You know that expression that says “Never pray for patience”? (If you don’t that’s a whole ‘nother blog) Well, you might wanna add pride to the warning list. A week ago I thought I was pretty humble, then I started reading this book and now I’ve been eating humble pie for three days straight-and I’ve got a feeling that “God’s still working on me…”  Well at least I won’t have to pan the menu for next week.

All this praying and thinking on pride made me come up with my own theory. I think that there are two types of pride:
1. Pride of Self
2. Pride in Self

Pride of Self
Hila has really developed a love for coloring. She will sit for WHOLE MINUTES (she’s a toddler, what did you expect?) and quietly work, perfecting her masterpiece before bringing it to me and excitedly proclaiming, “It’s to your heart!”  Her face beams in obvious delight-in pride-of her accomplishment. This is pride of self. I think it is good and healthy. I encourage it in Hila and get almost as much joy out of the expression on her face as she must from the flutter in her heart.

Then we have…

Pride in Self
This is the kind that I think gets us Christians. This isn’t necessarily the snooty “I’m too good for that”, high-and-mighty kinda pride. This is the sneak in the backdoor and hide in the mud room kind of pride. It whispers that we’re too good to apologize (or forgive 7 x 70) or to ask for help when we need it.  Pride in Self convinces us that our gifts aren’t good enough; so instead of singing that special that we’ve been practicing for a month we once again sit on “our” pew ans hum the chorus in our head.

The more I thought about it, the more ashamed I was. I let my pride in self convince me over and over not to do the bidding of God-even though God warns us about this!  Prov. 29:23a “A person’s pride will humble him …]”  I used it as an excuse not to: call, witness, forgive, try, … fill-in-the-blank … How much more powerful could we (Christians) be if we learned to bridle or pride in self: to mute that voice that says “you can’t” and learn to think “He can!” What if we just try one “bite” at a time? We could mend a broken fence or sing that song. We could grab a friend and go witnessing without letting the worry of rejection stop us. Let’s stop listening to the nagging voice in our head, to the popular mandates of today that says Christian forgiveness and compassion is equivalent to wus and instead choose to believe that God knows what He’s talking about.

Prov 11:2 “When pride comes, disgrace follows; but with humility does wisdom.”

As for me-I still have a whole table full of pie left that I need to try and finish.

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But first, I should finish what I start and right now i