Thursday, April 30, 2009

04/30/09 - God's Healing Balm

As we travel down the path of life, our hearts will become hurt. There's no doubt about it! We live in a fallen and sinful world. We all are agents and victims of sin, thus pain will occur.

It's how we choose to respond that makes all the difference.

We can choose bitterness, unforgiveness, anger. We can throw up walls that we think "protect" us. We can ignore, sweep it under the rug, and pretend it never happened. We can turn to food, unhealthy relationships, gossip, slander, back biting. We can demand justice and take the matter into our own hands. We never feel settled, we never have peace, and we never have quiet in our lives.

We can also choose God's healing balm. We can seek out His healing touch. We can reach for forgiveness, pray against a root of bitterness. We can trust God, even if it is down right scary. We can talk it out with Godly counsel and come to a place of peace. We can choose to let God defend us. With this path we will feel and have peace and quiet in our lives.

As young women you may have experienced hurt already. Hurt from a boy or hurt from a girlfriend. They can come in all shapes and sizes. But you have a choice. You can choose to give it over to the Lord and let your life be free of the entanglements that come with anger and hurt.

I believe the older you get, the harder it gets to choose the second path. The more weary you become. The less trustworthy you are and the more likely you are to not seek God's healing touch.

Young ladies, don't let this happen! When women in the body of Christ have dissension, the body of Christ suffers. We have to let our selfish pride GO! We have to let God defend. We have to allow God to heal us!

My heart hurts for women who walk around with heart wounds gashed open, yet they don't seek the one place where they can find healing.

I pray that God will use this post to impact your future!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

04/29/09 - Words

This morning I finished listening to a message from Nancy Leigh DeMoss. She gave this message 10 years ago, right after the Columbine shootings.

I just wanted to share this quote:

"Ladies, we're in trouble when terms like these become part of our everyday vocabulary, terms like: divorce, incest, date rape, anorexia, homosexuality, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, abortion, Prozac, sexually transmitted diseases. Every young person knows those words today, but the problem is that we have little or no comprehension of such concepts as chastity, modesty, discretion, virtue, responsibility, fidelity, integrity."

I recommend the whole talk, but how sad this statement is of our culture...even our Christian culture!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

04/28/09 - Issues

We all deal with "issues". Issues of unforgiveness, doubt, fear, and a host of other emotions that keep us from experiencing freedom and peace that Christ came to bring. Often these issues keep our minds locked up in self-focus and turmoil.

I've been asked over the years how to let go of these issues and although I am no expert on this, I do recommend this simple formula. It has helped me and others I've shared it with.

First, search scripture and find specific scriptures that relate to your issue. Put these verses on note cards and post them around your house, carry them with you, and memorize them. Get them in your brain!

Second, when your issue comes up in, repeat those verses, pull out your cards, and read them, say them over and over to yourself. Use scripture to combat whatever issue you have.

After a car accident in 2000, I struggled with panic attacks. I can't tell you how often I'd say, "Fear not for I am with you." It always helped me through those panic attacks and eventually I stopped having them.

Finally, pray and ask God to make you sensitive to when you are struggling with the issue and ask that He gives you a heart to fully let go.

I hope this helps!

Friday, April 24, 2009

04/24/09 - Emotions

I am currently reading a book called: Marriage A Taste of Heaven; Volume I: God's People Appreciate Marriage. It's a book my mom read when she was first married (back in the early 70's...so yes, it's an oldie, but a goodie) and this fall, my mom, sisters, and I are going to be using it as a bible study.

Chapter three is titled: The Plight of Silly Old Women and the author spends time talking about the emotions that God has given women that differs from men.

I just want to share a couple of quotes and let them speak for themselves:

"While God gave women this sixth sense to make them better suited for serving Him and others, God never intended for women to think with their emotions." (pg 67)

"At the same time, women also possess a single-mindedness that prevents them from overlooking problems." (pg 67)

"Trouble enters the picture, however, when women cease to focus their emotional antenna on others. Instead, they turn their sensitivities inward to create and to magnify their own unhappiness as they allow their emotions to rule their intellect." (pg 68)

Can anyone relate!?!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

04/23/09 - 1,000 Things

I listened to Nancy Leigh DeMoss's talk at True Woman '08. I knew I need to be refreshed on that talk!

She had this quote of John Piper, "In any situation, God is doing 1,000 things we can not see and do not know."

That is one of those sayings I should post in my house!

God is always at work. We may just be aware of 1/1,000 of what's going on in a situation. With that very, small amount of information we have, we let our minds run wild of the "what ifs" and the "how comes".

I must remember that God is at work in ways that I may never know or understand and that's just fine! He's God and I am not!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

04/15/09 - We're having....

Another boy! We found out today that Clark Daniel Patenaude is on his way! He's healthy, active, and defiantly a boy!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

04/11/09 - Kiddo's Part 2

In my post about kids, I received a comment from someone who wished I would have written a bit more. So here are a few bits of advice I have on ways to keep your marriage your number one focus even after kids. (I understand that this will not apply to many of my readers, but take what you may. I also know this list is not exhaustive and if you have anything to add, feel free to comment!)

John and I implemented a few key "rules" in maintaining a close marriage after kids.

The first thing we agreed to was that our bedroom would always be our bedroom. We have no pictures of our kids in our bedroom, it's a toy-free zone, the boys were in their own cribs (not in our room) within two or three week of being born, and we keep our bedroom our marriage "sanctuary". This has helped us have a place, an adult place, in our home (Because toys seem to take over!).

Second: We make date nights a priority. We are blessed with good friends and plenty of close family members to make this happen. Of course, this didn't happen till the boys were about 6 months, but now John and I make an effort to have at least one date a month. And when we are out, alone it's our "rule" to not talk about the boys. At first this was hard, but now I look forward to the two or three hours of just adult talk with John.

Third: John and I have "mini" dates each day. Jill Savage, founder of Heart at Home, suggests this in one of her books. A mini date is about being intentional in having alone time every day. You have to be intentional about this because with two toddlers running around, it's not that easy. But once you get into the routine of having time each day, you look forward to that quality time.

Fourth: We've maintained early bedtimes for our boys in order to allow for "us" time when they are in bed. Normally, our boys go to bed between 7:30 and 8:30 pm. This gives us a good hour or two where the house is quiet, we keep the TV (sitcoms) off, and we play games, talk, soak in our hot tub, read, or just watch a movie together.

Fifth: We believe that our children do not come first. Because kids are so needy (let's face it, when they are young they need almost 100% attention) we have to be intentional about keeping each other number one. There are a 100 things each day you can do to put your mate first. They are alot of little things, but I know it helps us keep our marriage a focus and priority.

Sixth: John and I firmly believe that we were given our children to train them in the ways of the Lord. We make it our goal to teach them obedience and that they are under our authority. We believe that one day they will be under the Lord authority, thus we want to teach them to obey Him, by being obedient with us. This takes work and consistence. But when you train your children they are a joy to be around and this, I believe, will enhance your marriage. (I strongly recommend: Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp for wonderful tips on training your child's heart.)

Finally: If you've read my blog for any amount of time, you'll know I am a communication junkie. I love being honest and real, especially with John. John and I have been about to talk openly about our differences in parenting style, how we view each others discipline style, what we're thinking, and how we're feeling. These conversations have drawn us closer as we navigate new territory of parenting and new seasons of our marriage. Without that honesty, I believe I'd feel suffocated by some of my own crazy emotions!

Hope this helps!

Friday, April 10, 2009

04/10/09 - Surrender

I received this comment:

"Lately, I am thinking about life, suffering and loss, about letting go of dearest hopes and dreams (such as a Christian family), as I face news (all around me) like earthquakes, financial failure, loss of job, home, loss of all earthly possessions, death of a (newly-wed) husband, death of family members.

What would it be like to be "emotional pure" for the rest of your life, as a single Christian woman (probably never getting married)? How can you really surrender all your desires and dreams to God and be really happy, being at peace with all kind of life-losses and suffering?I would really appreciate some practical wisdom on that - something to really put into practice (daily real life)."

When I read this, my first thoughts were of Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Nancy is 50 years old and recently at a taping of her radio program my mom heard her say that God has never released her to even go on a date. She models a life of being emotionally pure, through her 20's, 30's, 40's, and now into her 50's. Her life is poured out before God, serving Him, and His children.

She has written a book called Surrender: The Heart God Controls and the title says it all...the heart God controls.

I know you're looking for some practical, daily tips on how to surrender those dreams, but as the description of the book says, "The answer lies in our devotion to Jesus." How does your day reflect your devotion to our Lord and Savior? Does He get the best of your thoughts and time?

Nancy may have better tips on how to surrender the desire for marriage. There was a time in my life I was completely content single, but God brought me a mate and blessed us with children, so I've not walked 30 plus years of being single.

Yes, this world is filled with pain, sorrow, and heartache...but as my husband recently reminded me, "This world is not my home, I'm just passing through!" Someday we'll look back at our short time here on earth and realize it was all so small compared to eternity with the Lord. We have to put on those eternal glasses and know we're not made for this world!

Hope this helps!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

04/09/09 - Kiddos

Just recently I was thinking about posting my feelings on how wonderful kids have made my marriage.

Let me tell you about my line of thinking.

When we got married John and I were shocked at how negative people were. We'd hear things like, "Are you sure you want to? Those happy feelings don't last long." "Why would you want to give up your freedom?" "The 'honeymoon' won't last two weeks." And so on and so on. Only a handful of people we're positive.

We came to realize that most people just aren't happily married, thus reflect their own marriage in how they thought ours would be.

It was upsetting to hear Christian couples complain about their own marriages in a strange comment about us getting married.

John and I were determined to not have this attitude. We love being married. The happy feelings have not gone away, even after almost 6 years of marriage. Our first year of marriage was amazing, not dreadful. I've grown more in love with John than I thought was possible.

Then when we got pregnant comments didn't stop. If we thought the comments were bad when we got married, they got worse about having kids. People acted as if we were just committing ourselves to 18 years of pure misery.

Having kids is a sacrifice, but oh if I could begin to share how it has grown John and I closer, if I could share the pure joy of having children...I'd write a really long post.

Our marriage has been blessed having children. I believe the reason we see kids as a marriage builder and not a marriage hindrance, is our own willingness to be selfless. (No, we're not perfect and we both struggle with feelings of selfishness, but our prayer and desire is to be selfless with each other and our children.)

Having kids requires you to be totally selfless and if you cling to selfishness, you'll find yourself unsatisfied and frustrated having kids.

I hope you are encouraged to know having kids will not ruin your marriage, but, with the right attitude before the Lord, you can be very satisfied in your marriage with children.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

04/07/09 - No Title

I don't know what to title this post.

I've been around, feeling great, baby is great, life is just busy. During my ten weeks of intense morning sickness I realized that if I blog when God doesn't move me or prompt me to write something, the post just didn't feel right and I struggled writing it.

The past week or so I've not felt lead to write anything.

God is busy at work in my life, teaching me to give my crazy pregnancy emotions over to Him and just watch what He is doing in my life.

So my absents from blogging is just merely a lack in being lead to post anything.

I do enjoy questions and comments that spur me on or give me a focus in writing. If anything is pressing on your heart you'd like to "talk" about, please share!