Monday, March 31, 2014

Marriage Monday: Characteristics of a Godly Wife {Link up}









Welcome back to Marriage Monday!  I'm so glad you've joined me as we focus on strengthening and promoting godly marriages, both in our nation and in our own backyards!

Since the beginning of the year we've been looking at various characteristics of the godly wife. It's good to occasionally stop and examine ourselves and discern what kind of wives we really are and determine where we need to improve if we are to be godly help meets for our husbands. 


Today finds me in South Carolina at my parent's house. Despite my good intentions, I haven't had time to put together a post for today, examining another characteristic of a godly wife.  So, I thought I would post the links to all of the posts in this series thus far, and if you've missed any, now would be an excellent time to go back and read the ones you've missed.


The Abiding Wife

The Respectful Wife

The Accepting Wife

The Admiring Wife

The Supportive Wife

The Humble Wife

The Grateful Wife

The Joyful Wife

The Content Wife


Which of these speaks to you the most?  Which one of these areas will you be focusing on this week?  



Your Turn to Share:

Are you a content wife?  Are you joyful?  Do you express gratefulness to your husband?  Are you supportive?   Do you treat your husband with respect?  Do you make time to abide in Christ and His Word, which enables you to be a better wife?  I'd love to hear what area(s) you're working on right now, so I might lift you up in prayer this week, as I pray for myself to be the wife that God desires me to be. Please leave a comment here on my blog or over on my Facebook page, so we might all be encouraged! You may also email me at elizabeth@yestheyareallours.com if you wish to share a private testimony.



If you were blessed or encouraged by this post, please consider sharing it with your friends on Facebook or other social media sites.  Thank you!



Link up:

I'd love to have you link up your blog to mine!  Please link up any past or present posts related to Christian marriage.  Don't forget to link back to my blog!  Thanks!



marriage mondays













Blogs I link up with from week to week:

What Joy Is MinePhotobuckethttp://aproverbs31wife.com/category/of-family-matters/helpmeet/ Making Your Home Sing Monday!



  


a-wise-woman-builds-her-home          Messy Marriage


   Wifey Wednesday button Wholehearted Wednesday




 A Little R & R 




Proverbs 31 Link Up       



Please link up your blog post on marriage below by entering the url of your specific post. Where it says "Your Name" enter the title of your blog post, not your personal name! Thanks! :)

Friday, March 28, 2014

From my Front Porch ~ March 28, 2014




Welcome back to my weekly series, From my Front Porch, where I share updates from my home and family. My hope is that you'll fix yourself a cup of coffee or tea and imagine us sitting together on my front porch, chatting about life and catching up on the latest news!  I hope you'll join me each Friday on My Front Porch!  






Last weekend was so much fun!  Joe and Abby came home for a visit!  (I'm still not used to that concept ~ coming home for a visit!)  Unfortunately, Abby wasn't feeling the best, as she was coming down with a cold, one of the casualties of being a kindergarten teacher!  :)





One of the things I love about Joe is the way he tries to spend time with all of his brothers and sisters investing in those relationships. (This probably explains why they all love him so much!)  Sometimes the younger ones can get left out, but he made sure to spend special time with Matt and Bethany too!  He also planned a "double date" so that he and Abby could spend time with our newest couple, Chris and Angel.  How cool is that?!?  :)







On Sunday, we celebrated Josh's birthday.  Birthday celebrations at our house typically include a special meal which the birthday boy or girl eats on the red "You are Special" plate, a birthday cake of choice (in this case, Mystery Cake), the singing of "Happy Birthday" in both English and Chinese, plus the obnoxious singing of "George Washington's Bridge" (a bizarre tradition that my Dad started many years ago and I have no idea why!), and the opening of cards and presents. So, we helped Josh usher in his 22nd year in our typical loud and crazy style!  :)  





We were also able to enjoy some fun times with Sarah this weekend! She is now 4 months old, and growing like crazy!! The way time flies, she will be the Birthday Girl before we know it!  :)  




I want to tell you about our newest family game craze!  My sister gave us this game for Christmas, but we just tried it out this past weekend. This game is so much fun!  We really had a blast playing it on Sunday afternoon with 12 people! If you need a family game that accomodates 12 players of various ages and is fast moving and fun, check out Telestrations! (contains affiliate link)






Thought you might enjoy seeing this picture which I snapped on Thursday morning after taking Chris to his new job at an area hotel. God knew I needed a glimpse of his majesty and splendor that morning and allowed me to witness a new day dawning. The sunrise over the marsh was amazing!  "This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it." ~ Psalm 118:24





We're preparing for another birthday this weekend, so make sure you join me again next Friday on my front porch to read about another fun birthday celebration!  :)










Thanks for stopping by my front porch for a visit! I'd love for you to take a moment to "sign my guest book" (leave a comment!) so I can know that you stopped by and enjoyed your visit!  Please join me again next Friday on my front porch!  


Monday, March 24, 2014

Marriage Monday: The Content Wife {Link up}









Welcome back to Marriage Monday!  I'm so glad you've joined me as we focus on strengthening and promoting godly marriages, both in our nation and in our own backyards!

Since the beginning of the year we've been looking at various characteristics of the godly wife. Last week we focused on the joyful wife, and today I want to talk about the content wife.


The content wife is sister to the joyful wife.  You will not see one without the other.

But how can we be content?  Is it even possible when we live in a time when as soon as we've finally bought the awesome gadget we've been coveting it is already yesterday's model, made out-of-date by a cooler, more amazing device??

Contentment is not something we are born with, like blue eyes and blonde hair. Nor is it a talent that we are blessed with, like musical ability. It is not even a spiritual gift that we are given at the time of salvation.  It is an acquired skill that can be learned through practice. 

In Philippians 4:11-13, Paul says:

Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am. I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].  (Amplified version)

Because contentment is a learned skill, we can all learn to be content wives! Our foundation is Christ -- empowering us and enabling us to choose truth over our emotions.  The truth is that God is working everything together in our lives according to His perfect plan and that He has provided everything we need for our present and future happiness!  

Once we have that foundation in place, we can build a life of contentment by not comparing, not competing, and not complaining -- these are the secret weapons for becoming a content wife!


First of all, we must learn to stop comparing.  

Comparison is definitely a killer of contentment!  To be a truly content wife, we must refuse to compare our husbands to our friend's husbands, our houses to others' houses, and our lifestyles to the lifestyle of others.  Comparison always leads to discontentment!

God has placed each of us right where He wants us, where our obedient lives can be a witness for Him and bring Him glory, and where we can share His love with those that we rub shoulders with every day.  

He also brings trials and needs into our lives to build our character and increase our faith. He wants us to cry out to Him and then He delights to answer our prayers, building our love and our faith in Him!  However, we must refrain from comparing even our trials with those of other believers, or we may grow discouraged. God knows exactly how hot to turn up the fire for each of us, so that He can use our difficulties to refine us and make us more like Himself. He also has a plan to use our life stories to demonstrate His love, grace, and redemption to the world around us.


Secondly, we must quit competing with our husbands. 

God designed the marriage relationship to be complimentary, with the woman being the perfect counterpart to the man. God could have created a unisex world with men and women being interchangeable, but he did not.  His perfect design is one man with one woman for life (unless separated by death).  He created woman to be the perfect helper and companion for the man and to be the mother of life. Contentment comes when we wholeheartedly accept and embrace our roles as women!

When we compete with our husbands to be the leaders and providers, it creates conflict. We need to learn to be content with our husband's leadership and provision. When we learn to focus our energies on complimenting and completing our husbands, we discover peace, contentment, and a thriving marriage and home life!


Finally, we must stop complaining.

We live in a world of complainers! Everywhere we go people are complaining about the weather, the wait, taxes, the government. I know, because I take part in these conversations, too!  But we will never find contentment as long as we are complaining!

" Do all things without murmuring and disputing."  (Philippians 2:14)

The opposite of complaining is thanksgiving! The only anecdote to complaining and murmuring is learning to give thanks in all things!

"In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."  (1 Thessalonians 5:18)


We must discipline ourselves to stop complaining and start giving thanks for everything, teaching our hearts to be content with the life God has given us! 
 
"A quiet heart is content with what God gives. It is enough. All is grace."  ~ Elisabeth Elliot


Who wants to join me in a Contentment Challenge?  We will purpose to do less comparing, competing, and complaining and to do more trusting, thanking, and rejoicing!  Who's with me?



Your Turn to Share:

Are you a content wife?  Have you learned to stop comparing, competing and complaining?  I'd love to have you share ways that you've learned to be a content, thankful and joyful wife! Please leave a comment here on my blog or over on my Facebook page, so we might all be encouraged! You may also email me at elizabeth@yestheyareallours.com if you wish to share a private testimony.



If you were blessed or encouraged by this post, please consider sharing it with your friends on Facebook or other social media sites.  Thank you!



Link up:

I'd love to have you link up your blog to mine!  Please link up any past or present posts related to Christian marriage.  Don't forget to link back to my blog!  Thanks!


marriage mondays








Blogs I link up with from week to week:

What Joy Is MinePhotobuckethttp://aproverbs31wife.com/category/of-family-matters/helpmeet/ Making Your Home Sing Monday!



  


a-wise-woman-builds-her-home   I Choose Joy!     


   Wifey Wednesday button Wholehearted Wednesday




 A Little R & R   Messy Marriage




Proverbs 31 Link Up       



Please link up your blog post on marriage below by entering the url of your specific post. Where it says "Your Name" enter the title of your blog post, not your personal name! Thanks! :)

Friday, March 21, 2014

From my Front Porch ~ March 21, 2014




Welcome back to my weekly series, From my Front Porch, where I share updates from my home and family. My hope is that you'll fix yourself a cup of coffee or tea and imagine us sitting together on my front porch, chatting about life and catching up on the latest news!  I hope you'll join me each Friday on My Front Porch!  







Spring is here! Yay!  It is perfect on my front porch right now with the mild temperatures, the gentle breezes, and the birds chirping!  I sat on my front porch yesterday with a dear friend drinking lemonade and sharing hearts -- what a blessing!  I love me a good front porch day!  :)


I've been enjoying riding my "new" bike that my sweet husband surprised me with!  My bike has been broken and unridable, and he spotted this bike at a yard sale and stopped and got it for me! He is not usually a yard sale shopper, so I was pretty pleased with him!  :)  It's also purple -- so I call it my Lilla Rose bike!  ;)




Hopefully, having this bike will help me be more active! True Confession: I'd much rather read an encouraging book or article, research something interesting on the internet, or write a blog post than exercise!  :)



Monday was St. Patrick's Day -- not a day that we generally spend much time celebrating, but we did wear green, I wore my "Lucky" flexi clip, and I made an Irish supper of Corned Beef and Cabbage, Irish Potatoes, and Green Beans.  It was a huge hit . . . with everyone that is, but my husband!  Turns out he hates Corned Beef!  :(



Can you believe that Sarah is 4 months old today??  I know, it's hard to believe!  She's coming over tonight for me to watch while her parents go out to dinner!  :)  




Joe and Abby are coming today too!  We are so excited!  But that means I better get off the computer and to the grocery store!  :)  

I'd love to hear about your week!  :)








Thanks for stopping by my front porch for a visit! I'd love for you to take a moment to "sign my guest book" (leave a comment!) so I can know that you stopped by and enjoyed your visit!  Please join me again next Friday on my front porch!  


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ten Secrets to Finding Joy!


On Tuesday I shared 25 Common "Joy Robbers," which are notorious for breaking into our lives and stealing our joy.  If your joy has been stolen by any of these villains, you'll be glad to know that there is a way to recover your joy!  Check out these suggestions for getting back your Joy!





Ten Secrets to Finding Joy:



1. Give thanks in all things.

We are commanded to give thanks in all things - this includes the things we consider blessings and the things we consider trials.  Learning to express gratitude for all of God's gifts opens our hearts to Joy.  That is why Ann Voskamp dares us to find joy by counting all the little grace gifts that make up each and every day of our lives -- "God gives gifts and I give thanks and I unwrap the gift given: joy." (One Thousand Gifts)



2. Cancel the pity party.

Many times we steal our own joy because of indulging in self-pity and discontentment.  We don't even want someone to point us toward joy, because we are having too much "fun" feeling sorry for ourselves! In such cases we need to ask God for the grace to confess and turn from our sinful self-focus and ingratitude. Thankfully, God promises to forgive us, cleanse us from our unrighteousness, and even restore the joy of our salvation!


3. Choose Joy.

Joy is ultimately a choice, and sometimes we just have to choose to act joyfully and trust that the emotions will follow. They often do. We know that joy is a choice, because we are commanded to rejoice always and to count it all joy when we encounter trials (problems, troubles, inconveniences).  That means we smile, even if we don't feel like it.  We put cheer into our voices when we speak to others.  And we rejoice in our spirits as we carry out our daily tasks. 


4. Overcome self-pity and bitterness by thanking God for your trials.

Self-pity and bitterness are two of the most dangerous joy robbers because they don't just destroy our own joy - they (especially bitterness) have a way of destroying the joy of everyone around us. God has given us a secret weapon for fighting these enemies - it is to thank Him for our trials!  It is our sacrifice of thanksgiving that releases joy even in dark places!


5. Rest in God's sovereign control over all events of your life.

When we know and rest in the fact that God is sovereign over all, and in His infinite wisdom has allowed everything that touches our lives, it gives us peace. Furthermore, we can thank Him for every problem, knowing He has a plan for bringing good out of it, when we love Him and are yielded to His will. Trusting God in our trials allows His peace to flow into our lives, while thanking God for our trials lifts us up above our circumstances where He can fill our hearts with His Joy.


6. Spend time cultivating a love relationship with God.

One of the most intriguing verses of the Bible to me is Psalm 16:11 - "Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."  God has promised not just joy, but fulness of joy in His presence!  The secret to obtaining this joy is learning to abide in Him.



7. Take care of the "temple." 

We are complex individuals consisting of our physical bodies, our spirits, and our souls.  Sometimes there are physical problems that hinder our joy. These may include fatigue, illness, hormonal imbalances, and mood swings caused by fluctuating blood sugar levels, just to name a few. To combat these, we should strive to eat nutritious food every few hours and limit sugars and carbs to keep blood sugar levels steady, drink enough water, and get some fresh air and exercise daily, if we can. Also, little things like taking a shower, getting dressed nicely for the day, and fixing our hair and make up (even when we don't feel like it) can have a surprising impact on our mental outlook and really brighten our spirits! 


8. De-clutter your home and life. 

Many times we are simply overwhelmed and weighed down because we have too much on the calendar, too much on our minds, too much in our homes, and yes, even too much on our bodies!  Clutter can be very draining emotionally. It is freeing if we learn to keep only what we really need and what brings us or others joy -- in every area of our lives! 


9. Encourage others and take joy in their joy.

Many of us will remember learning this simple acrostic at some point in our lives:

J - Jesus
O - Others
Y - Yourself

Although simple, this is actually a profound truth. Joy is discovered through right priorities - Jesus first, others second, ourselves last. Our culture has flipped this upside down and encourages us to "look out for number one!" and to seek our own happiness above all else. Then we are to be altruistic, giving to the needs of others (as long as they are in the politically correct categories).  And God, if He is in our lives at all, comes in last. This is actually a recipe for a miserable, self-centered life!  The Bible contains many paradoxes and this is one of them: “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it."  When we turn our focus away from ourselves and our problems and start looking for ways to serve others and bring them joy, we will be amazed at the joy we have!


10. Start a collection of "Joy Builders."

"Joy builders" are specific verses that combat each of the "Joy robbers" in our lives.  Use an online concordance (such as www.blueletterbible.org) and find verses about thankfulness and joy. Write the verses that stand out to you on index cards or in a special journal. Memorize these verses, carry them in your pockets, post them by the kitchen sink, in the bathroom, in the school room -- and rely on them to help you win the daily battle for joy!!  

Don't be ashamed of the fact that joy is sometimes a battle!  It just is.  We live in a fallen world and the enemy of our souls does all he can to steal our joy!  Be encouraged by this candid word of testimony from Joni Eareckson Tada:


After Ken leaves for work at 6:00 am, I'm alone until I hear the front door open at 7:30 am.  It's a friend coming to get me up. while I hear her make coffee, I usually pray, "Oh Lord, my friend is about to give me a bath, get me dressed, sit me up in my chair, brush my hair and teeth, and send me out the door. But Jesus, I don't have strength to face this routine one more time. I have no resources. I don't have a smile to take into the day. But you do. May I borrow yours?"  When her friend comes to get her up, she says, "I turn my head on the pillow, and I give her a smile sent straight from heaven. It's not mine - it's God's. Whatever joy you see today was hard won this morning."




"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!" ~ Philippians 4:4







This post linked to:
http://www.cornerstoneconfessions.com
http://www.growinghomeblog.com
http://www.littlerandr.org/
http://www.wholeheartedhome.com
http://proverbs14verse1.blogspot.com/
http://www.raisingarrows.net/
http://www.raisingmightyarrows.net/
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