Monday, December 31, 2007

12/31/07 - A look back, a look ahead

Today is a day to review 2007 and prepare for 2008! Most of us, at some point today, will have a conversation with someone about New Year's Resolutions!

If you are a fan of New Year's Resolutions or not, ask yourself this: What can I do in 2008 to grow in my Christ likeness?

This is a resolution worth basing your actions upon everyday!

This year I have seen God continue to peel away layers in my own life that do not bring Him glory. I have seen Him convict me of the little actions in life that tarnish His work in my life. It's exciting when God is at work in our lives and we can see it!

My prayer for myself and for you, is that 2008 will be a year that you grow more Christlike!

Happy 2008!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

12/28/07 - Communication

As a single person it is important to learn how to communicate what you're really thinking. I have seen that there are some women who struggle with saying what they really want (yes, guys are rolling their eyes, shaking their heads, agreeing with me).

But we, as women, can tend to be "people pleasers", so we get involved in a relationship or friendship and we aren't honest with our feelings. We don't communicate what we are really thinking. Then we end up in situations we're not comfortable with and with guys we don't want to be with.

A girlfriend was sharing with me how she ended up engaged with a man she didn't want to marry (they didn't get married). She said she almost just let other people convince her that she was to marry him. Through the process of breaking off the engagement, and dealing with all these emotions, she has realized she lacked good, healthy boundaries. She didn't communicate what she really wanted or what she was really thinking.

I am a huge advocate of speaking our minds. Most of my friends know that I will say what I am really thinking. I have no problem saying, "no" if it's something that I just shouldn't put into my calendar, or if it's not the best for my marriage, family, and ministry.

Married women can take this bad "habit" into a marriage. They don't share their true thoughts or have just accepted the way they interact with their mate and end up frustrated with the lack of communication.

Knowing your own healthy boundaries before your married, will greatly enhance your marriage.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

12/27/07 - Thank You

For Christmas this year, my mom framed this letter I wrote when I was about 6 or 7.

"Dear God,
I love you thank you for me.
Thank you for my Mom.
Thank you for my Dad.
Thank you for Colleen.
Thank you for Lesli.
Thank you for my dog.
Thank you for night.
Thank you for Jesus.
Thank you for the church.
Thank you for my granma.
Than yo fo light to.

Good-by"

What a sweet reminder to be thankful! What a wonderful present my mom gave me!

As 1 Thessalonians 5 tells us:
16 Be joyful always;
17 pray continually;
18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

12/26/07 - The day after

Well, I hope you had a blessed Christmas!

My Christmas wasn't what I thought it would be. I ended up being sick all day. It was no fun! I had some stomach/intestinal virus. I got up about 4 this morning starving and so sore! I laid around all day yesterday. I took two naps and when I wasn't in bed and I was on the couch.

It was just plain ol' rotten way to spend a holiday with my family!

This morning I am feeling better, but I am so sore from all that laying around. My sides and back ache from doing nothing.

It reminded me about our spiritual muscles. When we are lazy and do nothing spiritual do we get "spiritual sore"? Or are we so used to being spiritually lazy that we get sore when we do too much?

Just a thought this early Wednesday morning!

Monday, December 24, 2007

12/24/07 - Christmas Eve

Today is Christmas Eve. Many of us are busy with family activities, opening gifts, eating, seeing people we don't see that often, going to church service, and enjoying some time off of work!

Whatever you're doing in the next few days remember that God's has a plan for your life. He's in control. He's got everything in His sight. Remember that, although, you have no idea what the future may bring, He does!

He's not going to keep you single a day longer than His plan. He's not going to forget to introduce you to your mate. He knows the plans He has for you!

Trust in His faithfulness!

Friday, December 21, 2007

12/21/07 - This time of year

How many of you are running around like mad trying to get everything done? How many of you have had a to-do-list a mile long this week and still are only halfway through it? How many of you are worn out and the parties have just begun?

I want to encourage you to take a 10 minute break. Find a quiet stop, grab your bible, and just rest in the calm fellowship with God. Pause to reflect on all the Lord has done for you.

These few minutes may reinvigorate you to finish your to-do list with grace, peace, and the joy that only knowing Jesus brings!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

12/20/07 - Who Started Christmas

I received this story in an e-mail, and thought it was worth sharing:


WHO STARTED CHRISTMAS?

This morning I heard a story on the radio of a woman who was out Christmas shopping with her two children. After many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable. And after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, she finally made it to the elevator with her two kids.

She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season time of the year.

The overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every housewarming, taste all the holiday food and treats, getting that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, making sure we don't forget anyone on our card list, and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card.

Finally, the elevator doors opened and there was already a crowd in the car. She pushed her way into the car and dragged her two kids in with her and all the bags of stuff. When the doors closed she couldn't take it anymore and stated:

"Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up and shot."

From the back of the car everyone heard a quiet calm voice respond,

"Don't worry we already crucified Him."

For the rest of the trip down the elevator it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. Don't forget this year to keep the One who started this whole Christmas thing in your every thought, deed, purchase, and word. If we all did it, just think of how different this whole world would be.

-- Author Unknown

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

12/19/07 - Christmas Traditions

My favorite family tradition is our prayer stocking. This started with my dad and mom about 8 or 9 years ago.

On Christmas Eve we each take time to write out things we want to pray about in the coming year. We put them in a special "prayer stocking" and then pray about the things we each wrote privately.

We commit to pray for the "prayer stocking" requests throughout the year.

Then we read the prayer requests from the year before and see God's faithfulness! It has been amazing to see what God has done throughout the year. Normally I forget what I wrote, which makes it more fun to read!

What are your favorite Christmas Traditions?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

12/18/07 - Modesty

What does it mean to be modest in our dress?

As I look around the culture we live in I am amazed and what women wear. Shirt are too low, skirts are too high, clothes are too tight, and jeans hang so low we see underwear!

Ask yourself this: Would I be comfortable wearing this outfit to have a face to face conversation with God? Yes, if you and Jesus were talking, how would you feel in what you're wearing?

Would be have to pull at your shirt, tug your pants or feel uncomfortable at all in what you're wearing? If you would be, then maybe reconsider your outfit!

Just my random thought of the day!

Monday, December 17, 2007

12/17/07 - Being Intentional

About a year ago I heard a speaker talk about raising godly children. One thing she said was, "Be intentional." That little phrase has stuck with me: be intentional!

I knew I wanted to make sure that I was enjoy each moment, making them count for the future, for God! I don't want to get to my sons' 18th birthdays and feel like it was one big blur! I want to know that I (we) intentionally trained and raised them with a clear vision and purpose!

You can go through life and just let the currents take you when they may, or you can be intentional with each moment of your life.

Be intentional with your walk with God.

Be intentional with your friendships.

Be intentional with how you respect your parents.

Be intentional with how you respect your husband (or future husband).

Be intentional is how you carry yourself.

Be intentional with pointing people to Jesus!

Be intentional about what you eat and how you care for your body.

Be intentional in how you enjoy your life.

Be intentional......

What areas of your life do you need to "be intentional" with?

Friday, December 14, 2007

12/14/07 - Draw Near

James 4:8: Draw near to God and He'll draw near to you.

What does drawing near to God look like in your life today?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

12/13/07 - Christmas Blues

Do you have the Christmas blues? Are you wishing for a family of your own, a family to start your own traditions with? Are you wondering when it will be your turn?

I remember holidays were a hard time of year. I mean, I love Christmas, but it would just make me long for my husband, having kids, and having my own Christmas tree and traditions. I especially struggled with waiting patiently this time of year.

Last night my husband and I were out on a date! I was telling him how I used to get so blue around Christmas. I told him how I always wondered when it was going to be my turn. He said, "Well, it's your turn now!"

Let me encourage you that he was worth the wait. I wish I could say I waited more patiently for him! God's timing is perfect and even though I had some Christmas blues along the way, God showed Himself faithful.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

12/12/07 - Good Works

Lately, the discussion of "good works" has come up with a few different friends, church members..etc.

I know there is the idea that if I do enough good things in life, I'll have a ticket into heaven. Or if I am just a good person, that's entrance into the pearly gates!

However, there are no amount of good things we can do to earn a ticket into heaven. We can never be good enough! It's a free gift of God's grace that we are allowed to enter into heaven. It's through the work of the cross.

When you truly understand what Christ did on the cross, you can only help but respond with an intense desire to serve, enjoy, and please God all the days of your life.

If you're struggling with being sold out for God, ask yourself if you really understand your eternal state of being without Christ?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

12/11/07 - Dry Bones

Last night I listened to Nancy Leigh DeMoss give a message about Dry Bones from the book of Ezekiel. If you have a chance to listen to it, I'd recommend it!

What I took from it was how in my own personal life I need daily revival. I need to daily be made new and fresh by God's Word in my life. I want my heart to be soft, open, and willing to hear what He is saying to me.

I want God's Spirit to be so present in my life that my bones never dry, that my life is alive with God's Spirit. I cry out to God for my heart to be so sensitive to Him, that I daily walk in love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control!

I pray you are encouraged today to seek God with a heart open to personal revival!

Monday, December 10, 2007

12/10/07 - Can I find you?

My 2 1/2 year old son, Miles, has realized that he can ask to come and find us in the morning. This last week I've heard each morning, "Mommy, can I come find you?!?"

To my delight I say, "Yes!"

He comes running to our bedroom, jumps in our bed, and proclaims that it is morning.

I just have grown to love that sweet time with Miles in the morning. Of course, Luke yells from his crib to come get him as well! It's been fun family time before the day gets started.

It reminds me of how our Heavenly Father must feel when we take time in the morning to come and find Him. "Lord, can I come find You?!?"

"Of course, come and find me, seek me, and you will find the joy, peace and love you're looking for."

Saturday, December 8, 2007

12/08/09 - Please Pray

I come to my faithful readers and ask you all to pray for my friend's daughter: Morgan Bliss. You can read her story here!

Friday, December 7, 2007

12/07/07 - Are you overflowing?

Colossians 2:6, 7:

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."

Are you overflowing with thankfulness?

I read this yesterday that question popped into my head. Am I overflowing? Not always! I let things (selfishness, unmet expectations) steal my thankfulness! I tend to whine and complain about what I am not getting, not focus on what I have: Christ Jesus!

Do you know someone who is always complaining? I do! I think this person just wouldn't be happy unless they are complaining about something! It's very depressing to spend time with this person! I just want to say, "Be thankful for all you have!"

Today as you go about your day, ask yourself if you are overflowing with thankfulness that comes from knowing and being known by Jesus!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

12/06/07 - Matter of the heart

Last night I was reading through part of the sermon on the mount. Such amazing teaching by Jesus!

I read Matthew 5:16:

"...Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

Then later in Matthew 6:1 I read:

"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven."

Reading these reminded me how God desires our actions to come from our heart. He wants our hearts to be right. When are motives are pure, our actions will point people to the Father and not to ourselves.

At times I am asked how you go about becoming emotional intimate without over stepping any inappropriate boundaries. When you ask God for a heart for purity andwhen you are seeking purity, the overflow of your actions will follow. It's a matter of the heart. God wants your heart and motives to please Him and not yourself or others.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

12/05/07 - Snow Globe



I woke up this morning and when I looked out my window it looked like I was living in a snow globe! This photo was taken looking north on the street I live on!
Big, fluffy flakes are falling and everything outside is coated in white. It's a winter wonderland!

All the grass, trees, fences, cars, houses, and bushes are white and beautiful.

I love how a new snowfall makes everything look so clean.

It reminds me of Isaiah 1:18b:

"Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool."

Thank you Lord for your grace to make our sins as white as a crisp, snowfall!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

12/04/07 - Gossip

Want to know if you're gossiping?

Ask yourself: Would I say this about this person if they were standing here listening?

Let's put an end to gossip in the body of Christ!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

12/03/07 - Hangnail

So over the weekend I had this annoying little hangnail! It was on my thumb and it happened to be in a place I use a lot.

It hurt every time I used it: to do dishes, laundry, cooking, changing diapers, dressing my boys, to type, washing my hands...almost anything I did I felt it!

As I was doing one of my normal activities, and felt the pain of this little obnoxious hangnail, I thought about the body of Christ.

We are all different parts of the body of Christ: arms, eyes, toes, ears, and fingers! We all have different functions and we are all important to the healthy function of the whole body.

You may feel like your luke-warmness in your Christian walk is not really effecting anyone. You may rationalize that just because you're not growing in Christ likeness, is not changing anything.

But each and every one of us has a purpose, from God, to be healthy, growing in Christ likeness part of the body. The body functions at the best we can be, and to be growing closer to God.

Friday, November 30, 2007

11/30/07 - Just Because

Our church uses John Piper's Children Desiring God Sunday school curriculum. Each month we are asked to work with our children on learning memory verses.

Novembers memory verse is:

"For the Lord watches over the way of the rightous, but the way of the wicked will perish." Ps. 1:6

In order for Miles (my oldest son) to learn this verse we added a hand gester. When we'd say, "watches over" we'd put our hand over our eyebrow, as if to look.

The other day we were working on our verse and Luke, 16 months, joined us in the hand gester and than said, "perish" at the end of the verse. It was so cute I had to get the video camera out!

Click here to see the video!

They're never too young to get God's Word in their minds and heart!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

11/29/07 - Word of Encouragement

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

My best friend sent this to me this morning and what an encouragement. It is a reminder to fix myself on what is not seen!

How often do we focus on what we see? Or what we don't think God is doing? We don't see what He is up to and we doubt!

I hope this verse encourages you as much as it has encouraged me this morning!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

11/28/07 - Quiet Moments

It's very early this morning. My coffee is brewing in the kitchen and all my boys are still sleeping. My mind is racing with thoughts of God's goodness this morning.

In my walk with God I have seen Him do so many amazing things. He's a God of details and He loves to show off in those details. He is intimately acquainted with all my quirky ways! He if faithful, loving, and gentle.

God knows everyone, He sees everything, He is everywhere, and He cares about all that He knows and sees. He's powerful, mighty, everlasting, solid, unmovable, forgiving, graceful, patient, tender, and worthy of all praise and honor.

Why do I doubt Him? Why do I try to do things on my own?

I praise the Lord this morning for being the I AM, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the King of all kings, my wonderful Savior and my loving God! I pray that as you and I seek to know Him more we give Him the due honor that belongs only to Him!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

11/27/07 - DTR

I got a question about DTR on my Facebook account. The basic question was about those friendship that would be weird to DTR because the friendship wouldn't require it.

Here's my response:

"Okay, about defining relationships, I hope I can clear it up.

If you are living a lifestyle of purity in all your relationship, you won't have to DTR, your life will show how you feel.

If you are in an ambiguous relationship and your intentions are not just clear because of the way you live your life, then yes, you should define the relationship.

So when I was single I didn't have this type of conversation with all my friends:"okay we're just friends, I don't like you like that."

I just lived a life of purity and that lifestyle just defined them.

Now with my husband, before we dated, I knew we needed to define our relationship because of how he was treating me (different than other girls) and because of my growing interest I had for him.

I think that there are relationships that DTR'ing can be weird, uncalled for and just plain awkward.

Now if you notice that a girl is reacting to you in an "I like you more than a friend" way. Then maybe you should reevaluate how you treat her."

Just wanted to share in case others feel the same way!

Monday, November 26, 2007

11/26/07 - Seasons


Over the weekend I got my Christmas tree up! As I was putting up my tree, I felt like I was walking down memory lane!

Ever since I was a little girl, I have received an ornament a year from my parents. So I have a little girl holding a doll that I received when I was a little girl. When I was a teenage I collected Coke Cola items, so I have a couple of those. Plus, I have received some of my mom's old ornaments, those always remind me of my mom's trees from when I was a little girl!

Then there were those single years! I have one of three girls sledding. My parents bought those when us three girls were in our 20s and not married.

Then I have a bride and groom, from the first year we were married. The next year we received at "Parent's to be" stork ornament. Of course we have a couple of "Baby's First Year" from each year the boys were born. And finally last year, we bought a "New home" ornament. We also received a snowman family with a mommy, daddy and two kids.

My tree is filled with all those ornaments that tell the story of my life! We've started the tradition of buying ornaments for our boys and they will also have a story to pass on.

I was also reminded that life is full of seasons! Our life's seasons come and go and even if we feel stuck in a season, just give it some time and it will be a new season.

Maybe you feel like you're never going to get out of the season of being single! Well, just wait, you're season will change!

Friday, November 23, 2007

11/23/07 - Black Friday

Let the Christmas season begin!

I was listening to the radio this morning and by 8:30 or so, the parking lots were FULL at our local outlet mall...FULL! At midnight stores were open at another outlet mall and I knew someone who got stuck in traffic going there ~ at midnight!

My parents were out the door by 5 am in quest of a new bed! Mom said that the Wal-Mart parking lot was FULL by 5:30 am!

People on the radio were talking about all the stuff they're buying for their kids, I-Pods, laptops, gadgets, and trinkets.

Honestly, it just makes me weary to hear about: stuff, shopping, parking, driving, traffic! I look around my house and although we aim to live a simple life, we still have toys, books, CD's, DVD's, and other odds and ends. We have stuff and the thought of adding more makes me weary!

We've committed to buying three gifts per child for Christmas (plus stocking stuffers). We hope that this will eliminate the frenzied, gift-focused, holiday most people experience. I want my kids to know that this season is about God, His gift to us, and our response to Him.

If you're a Black Friday shopper or not, I pray that as this Christmas season is upon us, your focus in our Lord and Savior and his RICH blessings!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

11/22/07 - Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! May God bless you today as you pause and thank Him for all His many blessings.!

Earlier this week my friend posted this great Thanksgiving post!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

11/21/07 - Minding your own business

Yesterday I was reading in 1 Thessalonians 4

Verses 11 and 12:
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

There were a two things that just jumped out at me!

First: Mind your own business

How often do we just create more drama in life because we are getting our noses in other people's business? How often do we look to find places to stick our two cents in, even when our two cents are wanted or needed?

We're called to mind our own business. Focus on our own life and what God is doing in our life.

Second: Our daily life should win the respect of outsiders

I love this phrase. I know I've read it before, but the Holy Spirit has a way of showing us the scripture fresh!

Our daily life: the way we drive, the way we act at the grocery store, the way we act at school, the way we treat are family, what we say, our attitude about work, and a host of other actions show our daily life.

We want non-believers to see our life and say, "What do they have that I am missing?" We have God's salvation, love, grace, and forgiveness in our life!

What is your daily life showing? What do these verses say to you?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

11/20/07 - Idolatry in Relationships

I read this on my friend's blog this morning and thought it was worth sharing:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"You'll never be able to love someone with God's kind of love if you want to get something from ."

"Ever complimented someone in order to get one?"

"Ever given someone something in order to get something?"

The spirit of idolatry. . . it is the reason for conflict in relationships. It is the reason someone can say they love you, and yet you don't feel loved.

Ever felt "carved on?" - ya know, where someone has you as their "idol" (looking to you to satisfy something in their life that only God can satisfy - expectations from you when their expectations should only be in Christ.) -

Being "carved on" can even come in not so bad looking ways : compliments, gifts, smiles and facial expressions, praise, flattery... but all done to get something from you in some way or form.

When you idolize someone, you give them the power to control you. . . If someone is making you "miserable," you give them the power to make you that way. Any time you idolize, you cannot love. Knowing and abiding in God's love is the only way to love others.

"My little children, guard yourself from idols." last verse of 1st John. It's the key to loving.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Monday, November 19, 2007

11/19/20 - The Truth

Why are we so quick to believe a lie and not seek out the truth?

This week in the paper, was an arrest post of a relative of mine...distant cousin. Well, I contacted his daughter, who is a friend as well as a cousin. I realized that I believed what I read without checking the facts. So, I wanted to support her and also give her a chance to voice what she knows. She wrote back and shed a little more light on this situation and it wasn't exactly what the paper said.

It just reminded me how often in my life I know people believe the lie. They don't do their own research. They hear or read gossip and they just blindly believe it.

They believe the gossip! They never go to the source. And we ALL know there are TWO sides to a story, never just one side! Why don't we think, "Innocent until proven guilty!"

I'll admit that I debated if I should or shouldn't contact my cousin about her dad, but I knew I wanted to go to the source. I didn't just want to believe what I read, I wanted to give her a fair chance to speak the truth. How I wish people would seek the truth more than just believe the gossip and slander.

What comes to mind in this who issues: Do unto others as you'd want done unto you.

So I think about when there is gossip or wrongful information or misrepresented information swirling around about you think, "What would I want someone to do? Spread it further, think it is truth and not ask you, or come to you and ask you?"

Let's be truth seekers!

Friday, November 16, 2007

11/16/07 - Happy Anniversary

Today is my sister, Colleen and her husband, Steve's, 5th year anniversary!

I remember four days before we met Steve, crying in my parents livingroom, "None of us are EVER going to get married. We're all going to be old maids with cats!"

Not one of my finer moments, but Colleen was 29, Lesli was 28 and I was 27. We had just moved into this large house with our own apartment upstairs from my parents. We thought this house was God's confirmation that we were not getting married and to just settle into life. It was Christmas eve when this melt down took place!

It felt like God was being so silent. We had all three taken a stand to not casually date and that meant none of us had been on a date in over 5 years!

Well, God knew what was up! Like I said, four days after my pity party meltdown, we met Steve. They were married 11 months later. I was married 8 months after Colleen and Lesli was married 3 years after me!


John and Heather, Lesli and Kevin, Colleen and Steve

Thursday, November 15, 2007

11/15/07 - Trusting God

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Are you trusting in the Lord fully? Are you resting in His faithful arms? Do you know that He'll take care of all those little details that cause you to worry?

I believe that we each have areas that we struggle with trusting God. Of course, I clearly remember having moments of doubts about my future marital status. Those thoughts that God wasn't pay attention to my prayers for a mate would creep in every once and awhile.

There were days that I had to daily...okay moment by moment...ask God for the grace to fully trust His plan for my life. He was always faithful to comfort me and allow me to have peace. It was a battle in my thought life, but God was faithful: when I'd draw near to Him, He'd draw near to me. (James 4:8)

If your struggling with trusting God for a mate, come close to the Lord through His Word, prayer and worship.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

11/14/07 - Sunshine

I have wonderful, large windows in my house. Some face the east and some face south. I love the warmth the sun provides when the weather turns chilly.

On those sunny mornings when I go into my kitchen, those east windows pour sunlight in! When that sun comes in it shows all the crumbs on the table and floor, the dirty stove, dishwasher and island that all needs a good wipe down!

Now, let me say, that I think I am a pretty good housekeeper with two toddlers. I do my best to keep up with the daily demands of two kids, a house, laundry, a husband, and the ministry God has given me. At night my kitchen always looks clean. The floor gets swept, the table, island and counters get wiped down, the dishes get done (most nights) and it looks clean.

Then that sunshine the next morning shows the true state of my kitchen!

Isn't that how it is when we let the SONshine in our life? He exposes those areas that "look" clean, but really need a good spiritual wipe down. He shows us what needs to be cleaned and then He gives us the grace and strength to clean-up! Praise Him!

I love when God uses my dirty kitchen to teach me more about Him!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

11/13/07 - Comment

Yesterday I got this question:

"Did you wait until you were engaged to have an emotional relationship?"

John and I were friends for six months before we started to date. During that time we did not have an emotional relationship. We were friends, but conversations never went past joking around, small talk, and general conversation.

The night we started to date with the intention of seeing if God would have us get married, we began to become emotional with each other; sharing our hearts, thoughts, dreams, expectations, and feelings.

Of course, just as any relationship, you become more emotionally involved and attach as time goes on.

I would like to say, that my relationship with John is not the role model of emotional purity. Not to say that John and I did not remain emotional pure, but it was God's Spirit at work.

Try to not look at the form of what we did, but see the heart we had for remaining pure for God and each other. It may look different for someone, but the heart of purity is the same.

At times I feel like people want a three point layout of how this works and I don't think it is possible, because God doesn't work the same for each of us! That's what makes God ~ God! He can do whatever He pleases, we just have to listen and obey!

Monday, November 12, 2007

11/12/07 - Dating Question

I do have a blog that I started on Xanga, before I switched over to Blogspot. Someone stopped by there and asked me this question:

"I have a question for you, and that is about how you and your to-be-husband acted while you were still dating/courting. Did you hold hands? How did you decided what was right and what was wrong as you slowly became more committed to each other?"

First of all, John and I dated with intention for 5 weeks before we were engaged. We were engaged only 3 months. So it's not like we had this long, drawn out process.

We did hold hands and kiss before we were married. He'd put his arm around me and we'd cuddle on the couch.

However, we had guidelines that we followed. We did spend time alone, but again those guidelines helped us, plus we were both VERY committed to physical purity before marriage.

I think a couple should establish this area of their relationship from day one. John and I talked about kissing (when we would kiss) and holding hands the night we started dating. We knew where we were headed from the very beginning.

I hope this helps. I understand that there are some reading who believe is saving the first kiss for the alter and I believe that each couple has to do what God calls them to!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

11/10/07 - Making A Difference

A friend posted this on his facebook account and I thought it was worth sharing!

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Once a man was walking along a beach. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. Off in the distance he could see a person going back and forth between the surf's edge and the beach.

Back and forth this person went. As the man approached he could see that there were hundreds of starfish stranded on the sand as a result of the natural action of the tide. The man was struck by the the apparent futility of the task. There were far too many starfish. Many of them were sure to perish.

As he approached the person continued the task of picking up starfish, one by one, and throwing them into the surf. As he came up to the person he said, "You must be crazy. There are thousands of miles of beach covered with starfish. You can't possibly make a difference."

The person looked at the man. He then stooped down and picked up one more starfish and threw it back into the ocean. He turned back to the man and said, "It sure made a difference for that one!"
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The power of a simple task!

Friday, November 9, 2007

11/09/07 - Life's little undone things

My mom wrote on her blog about some of the lessons that God has been teaching her with things in her life.

My mom is an apron wearer. She loves aprons with big pockets, so that when she finds something in one place in her house that belongs in another, she can put it in the pocket till she puts the item back in it's proper home.

One example she shared was how she left a spool of thread in her apron pocket, and then washed the apron. The thread wrapped itself around all the other clothes, which she had to spend time fixing.

The lesson I gained from this "tiny" misstep, is that in life there are little undone things: things that God has called us to do, that we don't. Things we know we should say, but we don't. Things we know we should do for someone, but don't. When these things are left undone, they can cause a bigger mess down the road!

These little undone things can turn into big problems when they're not taking care of in the first place!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

11/08/07 - Wellspring

Proverbs 4:23 Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

On Dictionary.com the word wellspring gave this meaning: a source or supply of anything, esp. when considered inexhaustible: a wellspring of affection.

Our hearts are the wellspring, the inexhaustible supply, of our love, affections, emotions, and feelings. This should be guarded and protected.

If you found an inexhaustible supply of money how closely would you guard this supply? You'd make sure that this supply did not get in the hands for the wrong person. You'd carefully look over the well being of this supply. You'd guard this supply!

What does: Guard your heart look like for you?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

11/07/08 - Michael Billings

Yesterday, I was touched when I read about the life of Michael Billings (1988-2007) on Doug Phillips' blog.

This young man's life was cut short, in our human eyes, but what he did for God's kingdom is worth celebrating.

I am praying for those of you who knew this man or were touched by his life in anyway.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

11/06/05 - Sick Kiddos

These past two 1/2 weeks I have been dealing with sick kids. It started when we went on our mini-vacation. Both boys got runny noses and colds. Then Luke's turned into a cough. I thought he was teething, because that is his normal mode of operation with teething.

Well, last Friday he was really sick and hot! He had a high fever, so I took him to the doctor, which was a first for me (taking a sick kid to the doctor that is). He had an ear infection! So off to Target for medicine.

Luke was just starting to feel better, when yesterday about 3 pm, Miles started throwing up! All over himself, me, in my hands, in a bowl...just everywhere! Till about 8 pm. He slept in bed with me!

This morning he is not himself, but he's keeping food and drink down! Phew!

Needless to say, I have not gotten much sleep the past couple of weeks!

Please pray for my boys! Thanks!

Hopefully, I'll be back tomorrow with some insights!

Monday, November 5, 2007

11/05/06 - God's Billboards

Last week I had the chance to watch this young women, who I don't know, interact with someone I do know. This young lady was part of a Christian group that requires you to have faith and belief in order to join.

This young lady had an awful attitude! She didn't want to be doing what she was doing and she rolled her eyes at me when I asked her what her name was. I was quite puzzled by her attitude and when I walked away I thought to myself, "She's not being a good billboard!"

Those of us who know, love, and serve God in different ministries are God's billboards. People who are just "driving" past our lives have a chance to see God in our actions and words.

The world needs to see Kingdom people, living as Kingdom people! What a testimony we can be of God's grace, love, faithfulness, and kindness!

What do you want them to see? What is your billboard saying to the world around you?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

11/03/07 - Emotional Attachements

Yesterday I received this comment:

"What if you're not married, but you've become emotionally attached to someone you know you're not going to marry? Is it possible to break the attachment without destroying the friendship with him and his family?"

My first question would be: Is he as emotionally attached to you, as you are to him?

If he is, then it may be a bit more difficult because of the expectations he and his family may have. The family may expect that you will be in his future and it may be hard to let that go.

He may need to know that you'd like to back away emotionally from him and it doesn't mean you don't want his friendship, it just means you don't want to be as emotionally connected to him. This can be said in a very graceful way.

If he is not emotionally attached, then a lot of the "breaking" will be on you. Letting go of your own expectations of the relationship and not being emotionally available to him.

Breaking the attachment will include not being around, not manipulating the situation to be with him or talk to him, and just backing away from the friendship. Keeping your thoughts and conversation in check to make sure you're not sharing too much emotionally.

Hope this helps!

Friday, November 2, 2007

11/02/07 - Emotional Affairs

I did a Google search on the subject: how to break free of an emotional affair, for todays post. I had a hard time finding information on what to do to break free of an emotional affair. There were lots of site on how to break free of a physical affair.

Although, I do agree that some of the same methods of breaking free can be used for a physical or emotional affair, I believe an emotional affair is more of a gray area for people. With physical contact outside of marriage, one can clearly know when the line has been crossed.

With an emotional affair the line can be a bit more shady.

If you find yourself being emotionally turned on or emotionally attracted to a person who is not your mate and acting upon that feeling, chances are high you are in an emotional affair.

Breaking free will require you to cut off this person: ENTIRELY!

If it is someone at work, then you may have to change positions, block e-mails, change your lunch hour, or ask to move to a different location in your office.

If it is a person in ministry with you, then invest your energy in another ministry, bring along your mate when you are doing your work in this ministry, take a break from that ministry, or refuse to talk to this person privately or over the phone.

If this is person is someone you met on-line, then cut off all communication, refuse to visit a private chat room with this person, go to bed with your mate to avoid the temptation of being on-line late at night, or move your computer to a more central location in your house.

It may be difficult to break free from this emotional support, but turn to God when you are struggling. Seek Him fully! He WILL give you the support you need.

Find a confidant to share your struggle with! Be HONEST, with yourself and the other person.

It may be emotionally draining to break free. You may feel like it is just too hard, but ask yourself if your marriage is worth is? Is your family worth the work it may take?

If you have found all your emotional support from this person, you may feel completely lost at times, but break free long enough to get a clear perspective on how this relationship is effect every aspect of your life: spiritually, physically and emotionally.

I've shared this article before, but it's worth re-posting: I've Had an Emotional Affair!

If you have a story to share, please e-mail me: emotionalpurity@yahoo.com

Thursday, November 1, 2007

11/01/07 - Emotional Affairs

There is this issues of emotional affairs that I just can't stop blogging about! Why? Because there are many people being effected by this type of an affair. People are deeply effected by this issue!

I have stories upon stories that affirm this statement!

Women whose husbands are receiving a little too much attention from another women they are in ministry with.

Women who find themselves attracted to a guy at church. Enough to where, they will go when he'll be there and they're not interested in time with their husband, but time with this other man.

Women who are attracted to a guy they are in ministry with (praise band, drama, prayer team, committees). Enough that they call him to talk about ministry, but end up talking about personal issues. They find themselves being secretive about this friendship to their husbands.

Women who work with a guy who pays more attention to them than their husbands. They seek time with these guys, so they can have an emotional connection/high.

Women who are wondering how to break free from an emotional affair? Wondering, how they get their heart back for their husbands.

At the core of an emotional affair (in my opinion) is this need, we women have, to feel validated. We want to feel emotionally love and have someone interested in us emotionally. We desire to have a man validate us and when our husbands aren't doing it, we think we have the right to look outside of the marriage relationship.

God is our only source of emotional satisfaction, whether you're married or single. We allow these emotional relationships or entanglements, get in our way of true satisfaction: intimate fellowship with God!

Hebrews 12: 1-2
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Tomorrow we will look at ways to break free from these emotional entanglements!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

10/31/07 - For Guys

This morning I was reading the Proverbs of the day. Of course, now you're wondering, "Then why is this a post for guys, Proverbs 31 is about the wife of noble character, right?"

There were four things that stuck out to me, that never have before (don't you just love reading the Bible, it's always fresh and new!)

First, verse 1 and 2 say that these are the sayings of King Lemuel's mother.

Verse 2: O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows.

As a mom of two boys, this jumps out at me. The heart of a Christian mom is to see her sons grow into men of God, warriors for God's kingdom, and men who will be worthy of a woman described in verses 10-31.

The way that I would say verse two, to my sons is, "O Miles and Luke, the sons I have bore and raised. The sons that God has blessed me with. O boys, listen to me, listen to God, and seek Him!"

Second, is in verse 3: "Do not spend your strength on women."

Just seven words, packed FULL of wisdom!

The third new insight I found in verse 8 & 9: "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."

This is where God wants you to use your strength! Speaking up and defending those who cannot do it for themselves. What a challenge for King Lemuel and for men today! These are men of integrity and who are not self-seeking!

Finally, verse 23: "Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land."

Men in order to find a wife of noble character, you must be a man of noble, respectable character. A man who will find his place among the leaders, the spiritual leaders! What a task!

Men, I hope you find encouragement in these verses today!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

10/30/07 - Selfish vs. selfless Love

I received this in an e-mail a few days ago and I think it is worth sharing:

"I believe that the love I had for a particular guy was selfish love. I wasn't truly thinking of him but of myself. I wanted him to love me the same way I loved him. I wanted him to give only myself attention and not give any other girl attention. This I believe was selfish love."

"God has be impressing my heart that I need to have selfless love. I need to love him as a brother-in-Christ. I need to want the best for him. If some other girl will complement his character better or work with him better in God's plan for his life then so be it. Is that the kind of love God wants us to have towards our brothers-in-Christ?"

What an important love lesson to learn!

When you are considering someone, ask yourself if you are being selfish or selfless. It will benefit you both greatly!

Monday, October 29, 2007

10/29/07 Bella

Check out this movie. It came out over the weekend. We Christians need to support movies with a God honoring message!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

10/27/07 - Security

When my sister and I went to see BarlowGirl there was a group of girls sitting in front of us. One of them had a shirt on that said: BarlowGirl, on the front and on the back it said: Security.

We noticed this girl. As she was standing up, enjoying the music, she did a scan of her friends to make sure they were doing the same thing she was doing. She was looking around to make sure she wasn't alone in what she was doing.

My sister leaned over and said, "Do you notice how she's looking to her friends for security in what she's doing? Her shirt is appropriate on so many levels."

Us women, in general, do this, don't we? We look around at what our friends are doing, and if they're doing it, then we're secure.

This doesn't end in adulthood. I've seen grown women, look around to make sure what they are wearing, doing, saying; is fitting in with what is expected of them. We find security in having a relationship with a guy and when we don't have a boyfriend, we don't feel security in ourselves.

The truth is: we should find our self worth, our security, in God alone. We should look to see if our actions are pleasing Him. He should be our gage, not our friends or what the world says is normal.

I've done plenty of abnormal things for God. I've been called names (from social retard as a homeschooled teen to a Puritan for not dating), I've been teased, made to feel like my convictions are just way too Conservative and I've been on the outside of the normal societal standard. You know what...I like it out here! I like swimming up stream and looking at God for my standard.

Where are you finding your security?

Friday, October 26, 2007

10/26/07 - BarlowGirl

Alyssa, Heather, Becca and Lauren

Last night I had the chance to go to see BarlowGirl! What a great concert, but even better was to have a chance to talk to the three sisters after the show.

I have to tell you these three sisters are down to earth, God honoring, God seeking, followers of Christ. Their message of purity is powerful! Their message of modest is needed! Their love for the Lord is evident!

What was awesome, was the chance to be mutually encouraged in our ministries. These girls are walking the walk! Their hearts are just as beautiful as they are!

May God bless Becca, Alyssa and Lauren in their ministry to His children!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

10/24/07 - Dating

What is dating?

When someone says, "I don't date." It may not mean that they will never date, it just means that they don't date just for the sake of dating.

Our culture has a system of casual dating, but I believe in dating with a purpose. Dating with a goal in mind: marriage.

I can hear your thoughts, "How do you know you are to marry someone unless you date?"

I met my husband 6 months before we started to "date". I got to know a lot about him from the sidelines of his life: being with him and his family, watching him serve the Lord, and seeing how he interacted with other people. We did not have to go out one-on-one for me to learn a great deal about the type of man he was.

The night we officially started dating we agreed we were in this relationship with marriage in mind. It did not mean we were engaged, we just were not going to go into this committed relationship lightly.

Because our intentions were clear, it allowed for conversations that served this purpose. We were married four months later.

What do you think of this pattern of dating?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

10/23/07 - Looking for my lost money

On Sunday I went looking for some money to pay a friend. I had about 85 dollars in cash from last week and I thought I put it where we always put our cash.

I looked there, not there! I looked in my purse, not there! I started thinking about the last time I had this money. Hum?! I had it in my pocket, so I looked in my jeans, not there! I thought maybe it fell out of my jeans in my car, not there! Maybe it was "eaten" by my couch, I flipped the couch over and not there! Maybe it fell in my closet when I folded my jeans up. I took every peice of clothes out of my closet to look for the money, not there!

After much searching and much prayer, I felt defeted. I went to bed.

I woke up yesterday and was reminded that I am missing this money. I searched my house high and low, again. I called my sister to see if she remembers seeing what I did with it. My mom stopped by (to say goodbye because she's leaving for the week) and she helped me look for it, still couldn't find it!

I called the last place I was at, just to see if anyone turned in the money, of course not!

I gave up!

Then my son asked me, "Mommy do you want a drink of water?" I said, "No, I want to find my money."

Just then I looked over at this shelf in our livingroom. I searched the bowl on the shelf, but there was this DVD box I hadn't looked under. I picked up the box and there was the money!

Then it all came back to me! I put the money on this shelf, then Friday when I cleaned I moved this DVD box right on top of the cash!

Of course, God always gives me a picture of Him in situations like this.

Do I search for God this much? Do I make it my number one priority? Am I not satisifed until I find Him? Do I inlist people to help me seek Him? Do I search Him whole hearted? Do I search for Him like lost money? This is how I am to search Him, daily!

I pray for myself and for my readers that we will seek God with our whole hearts!

Monday, October 22, 2007

10/22/07 - Friends with Benefits

In our American culture we are desensitized to what is acceptable in friendships. We have this term: friends with benefits.

Those benefits may include, but are not limited to: kissing, holding hands, and cuddling.

This term basically is saying, "It's okay that we're using each other, because we have a term for it! And because we have a term for it, we can do those things without the other person thinking this is more than just a friendship."

When we experience those physical affections outside of a commitment, it is using each other. Period! There's no way around it!

When I spoke on Thursday, this topic came up, in a round about way, and I asked: Women, if you are kissing and cuddling with a guy "friend", do you think you are his girlfriend? All the girls shook their head, YES!

We are desensitize to the beauty of saving these simple acts of physical affection. God wants more for His children. He wants them/us to see how amazingly beautiful it is to save those things for a committed relationship. Then you enjoy those things with a person you know is not using you and what peace comes from that!

Remember God is a God of peace, not coNfusIon. If you have a "friendship" that confusing then maybe it's not as God honoring as it should be!

Thessalonians 5:23
23May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (italics mine)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

10/20/07 - Ministry Highlight

After college I spent a year in Doulos Ministries. Doulos Ministry has three ministries that fall under its leadership: LeadTime, Shelterwood, and The Sky's the Limit.

I was involved with LeadTime and Shelterwood. As a Leadtime Student I spent a year being poured into as I poured out, learning more about my own faith, and I grew as a believer in ways that were amazing. How did this happen?

Shelterwood, is a group home for troubled teens. I served as a "big sister" to the "little sisters". Living with trouble teens challenged my faith in awesome ways. God used LeadTime to shape who I am, grow my faith, and trust Him with whatever He has for me.

I also learned about what real, God honoring, friendships look like. The women I lived with, are still close friends of mine. They are people I can call after not talking to for five years and pick up right where we left off.

I still have contact with some of the "littles". There's still a great deal of love in my heart for them!

If you are getting ready to graduate college and just wondering what you want to do next, check out: LeadTime. Maybe it's just what you are looking for.

Friday, October 19, 2007

10/19/07 - Seasons

We're back from our mini-vacation. It was nice to have a break from reality for two days! Yesterday, when I tried to get on line at the hotel, the Internet was not working...so mom stepped in! Thanks mom!

We enjoyed the fall colors in Wisconsin. It was beautiful!

Yesterday, after we got home, I spoke at a campus crusade group. One of the questions was: "We live in a culture that has instant gratification. How do we wait patiently?"

It made me think of the seasons. I enjoy living in a part of the country that experiences all four seasons, because it's one of God's reminders that life has seasons.

Right now, you may be in the single season, thinking that your season will never change. But remember it's a season. Chances are many of you who are single now, will be married. So enjoy this season of life.

How do you wait patiently for the next season?

My prayer for you is that you will find total contentment and peace in whatever season of life you are in.

Philippians 4 provides encouragement:
4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Enjoy whatever season of life you are right now!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

10/18/07 Guest Post - A Heart Full of Stuff

Heather and family are on vacation for a few days, enjoying the beautiful fall colors in Wisconsin! Heather just phoned me, asking if I would be a guest on her blog today...my name is Julie, I'm Heather's mother! She suggested I just share anything that God is teaching me right now...that's an easy assignment, I never seem to get out of His classroom!

Heather and her two sisters moved out of our large 1902 home when each of them married. The last sister left in 2005 leaving us, the parents, alone in this monster house! When I say monster I mean six bedrooms, three kitchens, five bathrooms...it's a three apartment house! We bought this house when our daughters were still living at home and nearing the age of 30...they wanted their "own space!" After three weddings in four years, their dad and I were left with this monster house to care for on our own! So, we're downsizing to a smaller home.

Our new house is a cute little cottage style, all on one level, about one third the size of monster house! The new home happens to be right behind where we live now! We are not moving far, but we are far from being able to move! So, now we are learning, or being forced to learn how to downsize! After 36 years of marriage we have lots of "stuff" accumulated...stuff here, stuff there, stuff everywhere, and lots of space to stuff all our stuff! I just mentioned to a friend yesterday that we have so much stuff, "it's sinful!"

We went through the garage first, a three car garage, and emptied it making room for our three piles...one giveaway, one garage sale and one to keep! Next we went to the basement apartment and started emptying...now the garage is filling up again and we haven't even emptied two rooms! Yet, with each trip to the garage, I'm feeling such freedom and liberty coming from lightning our load, giving up our grip on things, and anticipating living with less!

And truly, all this stuff has very little value! Even the items I think could possibly be sold on ebay, when I check it out and see them going for $.99...well, let's just say our garbage cans are filling up also! I guess my house could almost be the fifth "Dollar Store" in town! That's sad!

So, what is God teaching me right now? That's easy! You can check it out on my blog, http://www.xanga.com/Marmee_Ann Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

Our heart, everything seems to get back to our heart!

Tomorrow, Heather will return!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

10/17/07 - Emotional Purity

My family and I are away for a mini-vacation, to enjoy fall colors. So I thought I'd use a post from June! Enjoy:

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I see emotional purity as the root of physical purity. The more emotionally connected you are with someone, the more you are (or desire) physical connected!

A few years ago I weeded a garden as a work project with some friends. Well, we didn't weed the garden, we just basically trimmed the weeds. I remember when we were all done thinking that: yes, the garden did look a lot better, but I knew we didn't get all the roots so it would be just as weedy in just a matter of months.

We all have heard that God's Words directs us to remain physically pure for the marriage relationship, yet at the very core of staying physically pure is a deep conviction to remain emotionally pure.

Once a couple begins to attach emotionally; physical affection is naturally going to follow. This is even true of friends. Once you get to know someone better (even someone of the same gender) you may be more willing to give a hug, pat on the back, touch them when you talk...ect. These are all non-sexual ways of touching, but most of us are not this way with people we don't know.

So in opposite sex friendships a guy and girl can become emotionally close and start having long extended hugs, hand/food/back massages, kiss on the forehead or cheek, or cuddle together. This may be just "friendly" physically contact, but this should be saved for a committed relationship.What would you think if you saw a married woman cuddling with her best friend's husband or giving a back massage to a co-worker? If you would not do these things as a married person, why do them while you are single?

In Christian single circles I have seen how these "innocent" physically interactions are very common and accepted. Our bodies belong to our mates, not our friends.

I found that remaining physically pure for my husband a whole lot easier once I committed my life and my heart to emotional purity!

Monday, October 15, 2007

10/16/07 - Mistakes

Last night as I was telling my husband to check out the video I put on this blog. I realized that I had said, "blob", instead of "blog" in yesterday's post! All day when my wonderful, faithful readers, read my blog, they saw: blob!

I may be an author, but I am not an editor!

How awesome that when we make mistakes we have Christ, who freely bestows on us grace! Praise Him that our sins our covered by the blood. May we not take that lightly! May every decision we make, reflect a grateful, humble heart!

I am eternally grateful for His love and grace in my life!


10/15/07 - New Law Video

I am not able to embed this video into my blog. Not sure what's happening, but this video is worth watching!

New Law by Derek Webb

Saturday, October 13, 2007

10/13/07 - DTR Question

Joseph...I am enjoying your comments, so let me expand on them here.

You wrote:
"I was thinking about why there was a term for that type of thing (DTR). Do you think it is because it is necessary? Or do you think the term exists because women want it and frequently do not get it? Or do you have another opinion on its prevalence?"

Yes, I think it is important for men and women to know where they stand with each other, especially, if the actions are not coinciding with the words.

For example, guy says, "We're just friends." But then he sets a girl apart, takes her out for coffee, hugs and cuddles with her, share dreams or goals with her, and just generally makes her feel more like a girlfriend than just a friend.

Paul told Timothy (a younger man) to treat "younger women as sisters, with absolute purity." 1 Timothy 5:2.

In treating a younger woman as a sister we need to look at brother/sister relationships.

Brothers and sisters love each other, pray for each other, care about each other. HOWEVER they know where they stand with each other. There's no guesswork, no hidden agenda, no say-one-thing-treat-another-way behavior, no flirting, no hope of a life together...they are just brother and sister.

So yes, DTRing in an emotional intimate, undefined relationship is VERY important in maintain a brother and sister in the Lord relationship. It's having emotional integrity with each other and not asking for anything that doesn't belong to you.

Guys have to understand that women are wired to desire emotional intimacy and when they are ambiguous with their emotions towards a woman it can cause her to pull her focus off God, it can put her on an emotional roller coaster, and it can cause pain to her heart. So DTR...it will cause you both a lot less pain in the long run!

Friday, October 12, 2007

10/12/07 - Honesty (part 2)

Yesterday, I talked about honesty in a relationship and I got a comment looking for more on this subject.

Christian marriages should point people to God. They should reflect Christ and the church. (Eph. 5). In reflecting Christ and the church, this should begin at the beginning of a relationship.

If a guy and girl are in an undefined emotional relationship, then this reflecting is very hard to do. We never have a time of being ambiguous with God. Or shall I say He is never ambiguous with us! He sets up clear intentions! He doesn't hid His feelings for us, or keep us guessing.

Now you may say, "Well, how do you know that this will friendship will lead to a marriage relationship, so why should we try to reflect Christ and the church?"

If you are in a relationship where there is an emotional connection, then you have to be upfront with your intentions. You don't have a choice. It comes down to having emotional integrity with your sisters (or brothers) in the Lord.

You may need to have a good DTR (define the relationship) conversation with a girl you are friends with. Being honest will allow for the greatest amount of freedom, in your friendships.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

10/11/07 - Honesty

All too often I hear from young women who are in a "relationship"/friendship with a young man where they are physical, spiritual, and emotional, yet the guy doesn't publicly recognize her as his girlfriend.

This gets my blood boiling!

Why? You ask!

This is just clear as day that the guy is using the girl. He is using her to have his needs met, without having to have any commitment. He is still on the market and he is not having to have the responsibility of having a commitment.

Guys have been known to use excuses: "I am just not ready to go public with this?" "I really need to focus on God and if this gets out it will shift my focus." "Isn't this more fun being a secret?"

These are just excuses to use a young lady! When two people commit to date with the purpose of marriage in mind, there should be no reason to keep it a secret! I remember the night my husband and I started dating, said he wanted to go to the highest point in our town and shout it to the whole world.

If you are in this type of situation, I'd love to chat with you via e-mail: emotionalpurity@yahoo.com

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

10/10/07 - Emotional Modesty

What does it mean to be modest?

Dictionary.com has a whole slew of meanings for modest, but this one jumped out at me:

"having or showing regard for the decencies of behavior, speech, dress, etc"

Showing regard...being aware of how our actions, words, and our clothes; effect others.

For women, our fellow brothers in the Lord, need us to dress modesty. When we understand that this is an area they need our help, we show them regard. We are not to be self-centered in our dress, but consider their needs and dress appropriately. Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

(Check out the Modesty Survey for a real eye-opener on what guys consider modest!)

For men, your fellow sisters in the Lord, need you to behave modestly. We are wired to desire emotional intimacy (it's just as strong as your desire for physical intimacy) and when you treat a girl special, set her apart, flirt with her, invest your heart into her life, take her out for coffee, have her met your parents: she will begin to be turned on emotionally. Knowing that girls may have a tendency to read into your actions, be very wise in how you treat your girl friends. Be emotional modest in your actions!

Help your sisters in the Lord save their hearts for their husbands!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

10/09/07 - Speaking Overview

Thank you all for your prayers yesterday. I sure felt them!

Yesterday, was one of those days with my kids that left me feeling wiped out. It's as if they knew I had to go speak last night.

An hour before I left I was trying to figure out if the talk I had written was really the talk I should give. I pulled out my normal talk and looked it over. Thankfully, I had a 25 minute ride to the church. I did a great deal of praying and calming down after my crazy mommy day.

I took this road that I didn't mean to take, which meant that I was going to have to turn left on a very busy road and this was during rush hour! I thought, "UGH! Heather pay attention. Lord, please clear the road for me so I don't have to wait and wait to turn left."

I pulled up to the intersection and it was totally clear. There was not a car to the left or right. I laughed and said, "God if you can take care of traffic on this road, I totally trust that You know what I am to share tonight!" I had total peace.

Here was my dilemma from last night. I was speaking to a homeschool mom's group, yet teens had been invited. So, my talk was geared towards mom's, with a dash of talking to the teens.

I got there and there were so many teenagers that showed up. There were far more teens than moms! My friend Lori was there with me and I said, "I have no idea which talk to give!" Really, 10 minutes before I spoke I had no idea what I was going to do.

So, I got up to speak and laid out both talks and just went for it. I'd share a little from this talk, then a little from that talk and back and forth! I touched on all the points I wanted to talk about: purity, integrity, emotional affairs, the blessings of emotional purity, and how teens should treat each other to maintain emotional purity.

Praise the Lord because the response was overwhelming and positive!

Thanks again for praying, I needed it and felt them!

Monday, October 8, 2007

10/08/07 - Speaking

Tonight I am speaking at a local church and I have to admit I am more nervous about speaking tonight, then I have been in a long time. Why, you ask?

For the last 6 years I have compiled a folder full of note, stories, and talks. Whenever I have spoken, I normal give the basics of emotional purity. I have given the same talk a dozen times, but as I was preparing to speak tonight, I felt like God was asking me to to focus on other issues.

The other night I was up late just pouring over my notes and typing up a "new" talk. I felt like God wants me to focus on: Emotional Purity, Emotional Integrity and Emotional Faithfulness.

The last issue of faithfulness is in response to the growing rise in emotional affairs I am seeing and hearing about. This is what makes me a bit nervous to talk about. It's an issue that has not been addressed as much as I believe is needed, so tonight I will be speaking directly about emotional affairs.

So if you think about me today, please pray for the Holy Spirit to speak through me and that I will speak His words and not mine!

Also, check out the review link to read a new reader review.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

10/06/07 - Emotional Integrity

What is emotional integrity?

The heart of emotional purity is having emotional integrity with those we come in contact with. It's understanding that if you are single, emotional integrity would be keeping your emotions for the mate God has for you. It would including not asking for time, energy, feelings, conversations, or emotions that don't belong to you.

I had plumb line questions I would ask myself when I was single:

1) Would I treat him this way if he was married?
2) Would I talk about this with him if his wife was sitting here with us?
3) Would I think about him this way if he were married?

As I interact with single guys, I'd filter my actions and thoughts through these questions. It helped me maintain emotional integrity with my guy friends. Even as I got to know my husband, before we were dating, I treated him this way.

After we committed to each other, he told me there were times when we were "just friends", that he felt me pull away from him. I told him that I was just protecting my heart!

Maintaining emotional integrity in my relationships allowed for the greatest amount of freedom in friendships and in my walk with the Lord!

Friday, October 5, 2007

10/05/07 - Seeking God

There is a song from Kari Jobe Band called: The More I Seek You

"The more I seek You, the more I find You.
The more I find You, the more I love You.
I want to sit at Your feet,
Drink from the cup in Your hand,
Lay back against You and breath,
Feel Your heartbeat.
This love is so deep,
It's more than I can stand.
I melt in Your peace.
It's overwhelming. "

My heart feel so full of this message today. How I long for the children of God to seek Him so passionately, not holding anything back from seeking Him fully!

When I was in college I was a lukewarm follower of Jesus for a short season of my life. I was riding the fence. (I was misrable!) I clearly remember the night God asked me, "Are you going to be hot or cold, because you are being lukewarm and I am going to spit you out of my mouth?"

That was life changing night!

Since that night, I have sought God with everything in my power. I have laid aside whatever it takes to know, to really know, the heart of my God. I long for His purity in my life. I long to please Him, with my life, my blog, my family, my relationships, my thoughts, my actions, and with my whole being.

The blessings that come from this total devotion to God are indescribable! There are no words.

If you are struggling with waiting on God and trusting Him with your future, seek Him with everything! Fight for your relationship with Him. Make it your number one priority and just watch God bless you with peace that only He can give!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

10/04/07 - Tagged

I got tagged by The Difference Now and I will share 8 random facts about myself!

1) I love english muffins with peanut butter and honey-nut cream cheese, I could eat them every morning!

2) I have lived in: Alabama (was born there), Texas, Illinois, Wisconsin and Colorado.

3) I love going to bed by 9:00 pm.

4) I have an oval shaped diamond ring...got engaged on Easter, so it's shaped like an Easter egg ;-)

5) Yesterday, I changed four poopy diapers.

6) I'm not very crafty and I really don't like to bake.

7) I've moved 17 times in my life! Hopefully, we'll stay put for awhile!

8) I never take off my earrings, unless I am changing them, I always wear silver loops.

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I read this quote on my friends' facebook page:

"Dance with God and He'll let the right guy cut in."

Hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about me!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

10/03/07 - BarlowGirl

Today I received this interview with BarlowGirl and I thought this was worth sharing:

"You don’t date…how might God orchestrate a husband for you?

Alyssa: We really felt God challenge us in our life just to say, Yes, the world says that you have to date around. You have to date a lot of different people to find out who you like or find out who you’re compatible with. And we really felt God challenging us to say, Girls, would you be willing to give me your single years? Would you be willing to set aside dating a bunch of different people right now to just give your heart to a bunch of different people? Would you be willing to find out what true love is? So we we've discovered this journey of saying, Yes, God, we’ll give you our hearts now in this season. We won’t date around. We’re going to give you our hearts. We’re dedicating these years to you and we'll find out who we are and what a Proverbs 31 woman is.

In the long run, I want to be a good mother. I want to be a good wife. I don’t just want to be a good girlfriend. We’re looking long term. Instead of what’s going to satisfy me now, I’m looking ahead at tomorrow and honoring my husband all the days of my life — starting today, starting before I even know him. I want to honor him with my heart. I want to honor him by guarding myself as if we were married now.

We’ve seen so many people walk this out, our brother being one of them. Our brother and his wife had never dated other people, ended up becoming good friends in college. They have three beautiful children. We notice the one thing that really carries a lot of marriages through is a foundation of friendship and a foundation of a deep love. No matter what they face, they’re best friends first. That’s something that we really desire. We just haven’t found the right one yet. Right ones. Plural. There’s three of them. [laughs]"

These are three, beautiful, young women who have committed themselves to remaining emotionally pure for their husbands.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

10/02/07 - Light Bulb

Has your night light bulb ever burnt out? Well, ours did and for about three nights we were without a night light in our bathroom. For three nights I stumbled around in the dark, hoping not to hit my chin on any object on the way to the bathroom. When I'd sneak in the boys room before bed to check on them, I could see nothing!

Yesterday, I picked up a pack of four of these little bulbs.

What a difference! I could actually see when I had to get up in the middle of the night. That little bulb provides enough light to light the whole bathroom, hall, and the boys room.

We live in a very dark world. We are called to be a light and it amazing what a little light can do. Light will always win over darkness! Darkness can never over take light.

(Matthew 5: 14-16 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.)

We are called to live a life set apart, different, than the world. You may feel like you are the only one who has a desire to remain emotionally pure. You may feel like friends don't understand you. At time, you may wonder if saving your heart is really worth it!

But be the light in this dark world. Help people who are stumbling around, knocking into things, hurting themselves, and clueless how to get where they need to go. Be a light today for Jesus!

Monday, October 1, 2007

10/01/07 - Why?

I got a message on my facebook account from this gal who said:

"We (her friend and herself) are trying to just seek God first and be content but it is really hard. Especially with so many people around seeming to find a guy without any effort. I am convinced that it has to do with priorities. It seems that those for whom it is not a great priority to find a spouse they seem to find someone without any problems but those who really want it have to wait and wait and wait..."

I love her honesty! When I was single I'd say that those who don't want to get married, get married and those who really want to get married have to wait and wait and wait!

Why? Why does this seem to be the way God operates?

Who knows the mind of God? Not me!! But I can say this, God will use whatever He wants to draw us close to Him. He is give us (place on our hearts) a desire and then ask us to trust in His perfect timing!

You may have friends no desire to get married and then end up married. I guarantee they have other things that God uses to draw them closer to Him. It's all about total dependence upon the Father. Each of our paths will look different, but contentment is what we are all striving for!

Be encouraged today that God is using things in your life to draw you to Him!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

09/29/07 - For Guys

Lately, I've realized that I have not addressed guys, directly.

Wednesday I was talking to this guy about how emotionally attached women can become. He said, "So am I not supposed to talk to any girl, ever!?!"

Well, that is extreme, but how should a guy treat a girl to help maintain emotional purity in both of their lives.

First of all, realize that girls will believe how you ACT, not what you say. You may tell her, "We're just friends." But then spend lots of time with her, tell her things you don't normally share, hug her, go out to dinner with her, and basically make her feel set apart. She may have a tendency to start believing that, although you said: "We're just friend", your feelings have changed.

Second, think about your future wife. How do you want other guys treating her now, before you met? Do you want them to help her maintain emotional and physical purity? Women can become very devoted and I am sure you want her to save all that devotion for you and you alone.

Third, treat all girls equally. You may be a friendly, warm, open personality. I do not suggest you quench that integral part of your personality, but just make sure all girls are being treated the same. It is up to a young lady to realize you are not treating her any different, thus emotional purity is maintained.

Fourth, invest your energy in your other guy friends. I was the type of girl who always had closer guy friends than girl friends. When I started realizing how I wanted to remain emotionally pure for my husband, I began to shift what was comfortable for me, and invest in other women.

Hope this helps guys and I hope to address more guy issues in the weeks to come!

Friday, September 28, 2007

09/28/07 - Secrets

What secrets are you keeping? Are you keeping secrets from your kids, your mate, your parents? Some secrets should be kept, but some secrets should be confessed.

When a secret is concealed it can start having power over you. You fear this secret, thus it has power. It can cause you to behave a certain way and push people away. Secrets can cause strife in families, relationships, church ministries, and marriages.

A friend of mine was sharing with me recently how speaking her secret has broken the power the secret has had over her. It has been freeing. She wrote: "Something I have learned recently is that when we talk about our struggles and private pains, they start to lose the power they have over us. Getting those words out creates space in our hearts for true healing."

The bible says we are to "bear each other's burdens" (Galatians 6:2) and how can we do this if we never speak our burdens to each other?

What secrets are clogging up space in your life? May God give you the grace and courage to free yourself of the power of secrets.

This week Nancy Leigh DeMoss did a week long radio program on secrets: Revive Our Hearts

Thursday, September 27, 2007

09/27/07 - Gospel Message

Do you know Jesus? Is He your foundation?




Nothing else matters, if you don't know Jesus as your personal savior. Only through Him is there eternal life and I pray that if you don't know Jesus you will seek Him 100% until you know that He alone is your Savior!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

09/26/07 - Get him out of my thoughts!!

I love e-mails! Keep them coming!

I received one last week and she, like any normal 16 year old, is struggling with keeping her thoughts from drifting. She asked: "HOW DO I GET HIM OUT OF MY THOUGHTS?" That's just how she wrote it!

How do we keep our thoughts pure? We meet a young man, we see things in him we long for in a mate, and the next thing we know we can't stop thinking about him. We think about how our future would work with him.

Our thoughts may go like this, "Okay, I am 16, he's 19. He's in college, I am in high school. He'll graduate and I can move to where he is when he is done. I'll be 19 and he'll be 21. We can get married the spring he is done. He's in a field that my dad is in, so maybe my dad can get him a job. Then maybe we can start having babies. Oh, won't it be fun when he realizes I am the one for him!"

We even think about how wonderful all his qualities are and how those are the things we've prayed for in a mate. We think, think, think, and think some more, till were "thinked" out! (Yes, I know thinked is not a word :-))

It's all in our thought life! We must memorize scripture and replace those thoughts with God's truth!

2 Corinthians 10:5:
"We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."

This is a great place to start! We destroy speculations (does he like me, is he the one) by taking our thoughts captive.

Philippians 4
"6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. "

Not being anxious (will I ever get married?!) but turning to God in thankful prayer, will give you peace in your hearts and MINDS!

There are many more scriptures to help in this area...I hope these get you excited to find more for you to memorize and use in the battle of controlling your thoughts.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

09/25/07 - God's Timing

When I was single I questioned God's timing. I was 28, single, wondering if I'd ever get married. I thought, "Who'd marry the girl who wrote Emotional Purity, anyway!?!"

Just a year before, when I was 27, my parents bought a house with an apartment upstairs. My two older sisters (Colleen 29, Lesli 28) and I moved in to that apartment because we were all convinced that we were not getting married.

Three months later my sister Colleen met her husband Steve, she was married 11 months later. A year after we moved in I met my husband and we were married 10 months after we met (we were friends for 6 months, dated for 4). My sister Lesli already knew her husband, but they didn't get married till last summer (they didn't date until four months before they were married, they just knew each other).

God's timing is always perfect. God knows what works best for us. We're on His clock, He's not on ours. It may be hard to wait on His timing, but when you look back you'll see that it was truly THE perfect time.

Monday, September 24, 2007

09/24/07 - Romance Novels/Movies

I received these questions in an e-mail:

"I was wondering your views on the dangers of such romance (novels and movies). Is too much, or any, dangerous because they feed wrong and distorted views of love? Is some ever okay in a small amount, or does it ever differ after you marry? Do you find there's any difference between the so-called "Christian" romance novels vs. the regular ones?"

I have not read a romance novel in years! Why? Because I remember reading them and being very discontent with being single. Even Janette Oak books caused me to long for something I didn't have (and her books are very clean and wholesome). Plus, they gave me a false idea of what was romance. By the way, God's idea of real romance is far more exciting than anything you can read in a book!

I do remember in my early 20's thinking, "I should at least read one romance non-Christian novel in my life." Why, who knows!?! I don' think I got through the second or third chapter, it was awful.

As women, we are emotional, we're in love with romance, relationships, love, and everything associated with those areas. Reading romance novels can cause someone to be very discontent with being single. If someone is unhappy in their marriage, they may compare their husband to these men in the romance novels who say the perfect thing (they say the perfect thing because they are written by emotional women!)

Can I say a blanket answer for each women? No. But,I would warn women that romance novels can be just as dangerous in our lives as pornography is for men. Hope this helps!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

09/22/07 - Light our path

Last night I was reading my bible and came across a very familiar verse:

Psalms 119:105

Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path.

It reminded me a story of when I visited my friend in New Jersey about 10 years ago.

We'd gone to bible study, and of course I had never been there before. We got there when it was light out and had a wonderful study in the book of John...how I remember that, who knows! When we left and it had become dark. As we were walking to her car, I walked on ahead into this dark driveway.

I came to the end of the path in front of their house and I could tell there was a step down. I tried to feel with my foot how the path went on ahead of me, but I couldn't, so I lifted my leg to take a step of faith.

Instantly, their motion lights went on and I could clearly see the path ahead of me and the step down.

At that moment a truth stuck with me. This is how God operates. We're on a path of life, we can't see ahead of us, and God will light the path if we move in faith. We have to move first. If I would have just stood there, the light never would have gone on and I would have been stuck.

Now the motion light did not light the whole drive home, just what I needed to see it get where I needed to go at that moment.

God's Word says that His Word will light our path. Being in God's Word will shed light on those dark driveways of life!

Friday, September 21, 2007

09/21/07 - Emotional Adultery

My publisist sent me this interesting article and it's worth sharing because it shows how Christian's view emotional affairs.

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Emotional Adultery is a Sin According to ChristiaNet.com Poll
MEDIA ADVISORY, Sept. 17

/Christian Newswire/ -- ChristiaNet.com, the world's largest Christian portal with twelve million monthly page loads, recently asked, "Have you ever emotionally cheated on your spouse?"

President of ChristiaNet, Bill Cooper, stated, "The Bible seems clear that if a spouse commits adultery in their heart, then it is just as sinful as committing the physical act." Half of those surveyed have claimed that they never emotionally cheated on their spouses.

Out of 800 Christians that responded to the survey, 50% stated that they do not believe they have ever cheated emotionally or physically. The most common response was that they felt, "The Bible says emotional cheating is just as bad as physical cheating." Others responded with comments such as, "I love my spouse and I would never want to hurt him like that; I took marriage vows." Many survey takers in this group were not married and had never been, so their answer was a definite, "no."

Thirty seven percent of pollers say they have cheated on their spouses emotionally. The most common reason given was because of loneliness, "I am sad and lonely in my marriage." Other survey takers felt that their spouses neglected them and didn't appreciate them. One poller stated, "My husband is never home, and even when he is, he pays no attention to me." Some have been physically abused or cheated on themselves. "I was cheated on first, so I got back at him," was another response to the question.

Twelve percent of Christians who answered were unsure of the meaning of the question. This is shown with comments such as, "I don't understand what emotional adultery is?" Other Believers were unsure because they did not understand the meaning of the word emotional, "Does emotional mean like going on the Internet?" Survey takers that claimed to be unsure were also confused about the marital vows they took and where the emotional promise to be faithful is verbalized. One poller confirmed this by stating, "I took marriage vows to be physically faithful, not emotionally. I can't control every thought that comes into my head."

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That last comment I highlighted. Yes, you can take your thoughts captive, through the power of Jesus. Learning this while you are single will greatly aid when you are married!