{Online Book Study} In The Church

FullSizeRenderWritten by: Melissa Lefevers

Church. The world defines the Church as a building where people gather to worship. Jesus defines the church as the people who make up it up. You and I, believer, are the church- the bride of Christ.

Personally I love the people that make up the church. I long for the body of people totally sold out to giving God the glory He deserves. Going to a worship service and worshipping in spirit and in truth. Going to church and carrying each others burdens. Going to the lost- not expecting the lost to come to them. Being the hands and feet of Jesus, as we are called to be.

I love the church so much, but God loves it way more. He desires to love on His people, show off in their lives, and draw others to Him. Yes, show off and get all the glory. When He does a miracle in our lives it draws others to Himself, and to His church. I love what Priscilla Shirer writes in God is Able:
Among the many magnets that draw people to Christ are the manifold testimonies of work in the the lives of His people. His glory is meant to be shown, not just to ourselves in our living rooms, not just for our own benefit, and personal amusement, but for church wide display.

The things you and I go through have a greater purpose. There is a reason for the suffering, the loss, the ache in your heart. There is a reason God allows certain things to happen in our life. They are for Him to get the glory. Before you start seeing God in the wrong light, let us not forget the joy, love, peace and heart change we get as we learn to trust God in these circumstances. Let us not forget how much deeper our relationship with Christ gets in the process of the miracle. Yes, he wants the glory but sweet friends how humbling is it that he uses you and I to be the vessel.

…to him be the glory in the church. Ephesians 3:21

I am sure your asking, “Melissa, what does this have to do with marriage?” Everything. Maybe, just maybe, there is someone in your church who’s marriage is falling apart. Maybe there is someone in your church who’s stepping out on her man. Maybe there is someone in your church who loves her job more than her marriage. Maybe there is someone in your church who is going through a rough patch and wonders will it end.

I know there is, we are not perfect. We may pretend on a Sunday morning, but we are not. I wonder what would happen in our churches if we stopped pretending and we shared? I believe it would open the flood gates of God’s glory and redemption.

You see I was one of those ladies once. I went week after to week to church saying I was fine and on the inside I was dying. My husband and I were experiencing a very rocky time. I didn’t feel as if I could share my pain or I might be judged. The church was so pretty and I was so not. Week by week, day by day, God worked on my husband and I and we were healed. Our marriage was put back together and it is by God’s hands alone. I tell you this not so you see the hurt but that you see the Savior. You see that God can take brokenness and make it beautiful for His glory.

I tell you this so if you were like me that you can share your story. Take a sister by the hand who is struggling and walk  her through it. If you are the one struggling, please reach out, be brave and tell someone so you do not have to walk it alone. God shows up and shows off in these very circumstances.

For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. Matthew 18:20

If we shared this collectively as a church, then oh how it would be a sweet sound in His ears. My testimony, your testimony could be just what someone is needing. Your testimony could be the very thing that God wants to use to show someone hope. Hope that marriage can and will be restored in His name.

Let us be a people who are being the church and not just going to church. Let us be a people who do not rob God of the glory he deserves by keeping our mouths closed. Let us be a people who gather together as one body to give Him all the Glory and praise that he deserves.

{Online Book Study} Power

FullSizeRenderWritten by: Melissa Lefevers

I got out of my car and walked up to the door. I took a deep breath and smiled knowing that the meeting would be sweet and full of laughter. I opened the door and slowly walked in breathing in the familiar smell of coffee. I decided to try something a little different and walked over to a corner of the coffee shop where I have come for almost four years now.

I smiled as I saw a sweet college girl and hugged her neck with the anticipation of the other girls who would soon follow. I have had the unique privilege of meeting with these four girls regularly for almost four years now. We have walked through much of life together. There have been tears, laughter, heartache, anger and lots of fun. Mostly though, a lot of Jesus.

We chatted for a bit, catching up. But then it was down to business. I asked about how life was and how they were growing in their walk with Christ. That always opens up the flood gates and makes way for an overflowing of conversation. School is about to start again and there is some uncertainty of the aid that will be given. That is a huge burden for these girls.

One of the girls has even thought about maybe changing her major because of the expense or some time off to work and then finishing. Y’all, it was like light bulbs started lighting up my mind and I got all excited. All I could think about is how good God is to bring me to, “Turbo”, Chapter six in Priscilla Shirer’s God is Able at that very moment. I was quickly reminded of how Priscilla talks about tapping into the power we already have in the Spirit. The power of the Holy Spirit is working in us and God so wants to show off in that.

I grabbed that sweet girl’s hand and said, “Don’t— not yet.” I urged her not to give up on the dream God had given her because of hardship. I urged her to pray and cry out to God to do a miracle in her life. I also encouraged her to ask God if maybe if this particular hardship was His leading her in another direction. Most importantly I asked her to pray that God would give her peace with it her decision and the courage to follow through.

She smiled and said, “Ok I will.” We continued with the rest of the meeting and it was spectacular. I drove home full of thoughts about everything we talked about. Even after I got home, I continued to think about those sweet girls and thanked God for the relationship that I have with each one of them.

I was reminded in that prayer time how, just like that sweet girl, our plans in life often get rocked and we don’t know what to do. God interrupts our plans and we get scared, confused and we forget. We forget that we have His power in us —and we quit. We have the Holy Spirit and His powerful strength working in us. It is not wimpy sort of strength but the same powerful strength that raised Christ from the dead. Wow! That power is working in us so that we can experience God in a way that is unthinkable.

I don’t know about you but that truth gets me excited. It gets me excited that my thoughts about my marriage do not match up to reality. (You know those irrational thoughts have happened to you before) But it’s going to be ok. We have the power to love our spouse even when we feel he is unlovable. We have the power working in us to help us when our marriage gets rocky. We have the power working in us to comfort us in time of troubles. We have all we will ever need working within us.

Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Let’s allow that power to work and watch our great God give us mercy in our time of need. Our God is truly Able.

{Online Book Study} Get Out Of The Boat

FullSizeRenderWritten by: Melissa Lefevers

You’re driving in your car, you’re in a hurry and life seems everywhere. You have a lot on your mind and you’re very distracted. The kids are unusually crazy, friends are going through hard times, your parents are getting older, the job isn’t going great, and you can’t remember the last time you and your husband really talked. You feel pulled in a thousand different directions and you can’t really even complete a thought without another thought intruding it. Then, you pull into the parking spot at the grocery store and you can’t even remember if you stopped at the red lights, stop signs or drove the speed limit to get there.

Have you done that before? I have. It may not be a lot of things on your mind, it may be that one thing. That It. The hurt, miracle, healing, restoration, the it that plagues you and are longing for God to do a work in. Your eyes are so turned on it that somehow it all you ever think about.

I am reminded of a time when Peter was brave and fearful all in a matter of moments. I think we can learn from his bravery and his fear. Jesus had just done a great miracle and fed over 5,000 people. Jesus sent the disciples on ahead of him in a boat. While they were already a long way off a storm came. Peter looked up and saw something on the water. Jesus was in the storm. Peter called out to Him and Jesus told him to come. Peter got out of the boat and walked on water with Jesus.Then something happened in this brave moment. Peter took his eyes of Jesus and looked around him and he started to sink! Immediately Jesus reached out and saved him.

I am so convicted at how many times I know God was calling me out of the boat and I was too scared. I was looking all around at the wind and waves of life and thought it was just too much. I am heart broken at all the times I missed the opportunity of walking on water with Jesus. God wants to use all the things that might scare us to death. He wants to take those moments that look impossible and turn them into opportunities to walk on water. It is time to look our it in the face and jump out of the boat with our eyes fixed on Jesus.

Yes, let us get out of the boat. Let us run to the One that can take whatever we are going through and make it beautiful. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus and not our circumstances.

Priscilla Shirer writes in God is Able: Focusing on Him will turn your heart, mind, and body in the sole direction where your help is coming from.

Whatever is happening in your marriage God can do a work in it.. Stop looking at the situation with your eyes and fix your eyes on the one that spoke the very world into existence. Quit listening to the wind of others words. The only voice that matters is the voice of God. Lean your heart in to his and get out of the boat. Stop letting the distraction of life pound you like rain and turn your body in the direction of Christ and get out of the boat. Keep your eyes fixed on him and if you begin to sink, take heart he is there to immediately help you up. He is there.

Get out of the boat and remember whatever it is He is Able. He wants to do a work in you and remember it may not look like you think it will. However, it will be beautiful.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8.

Get out of the boat and trust in God. Look at the face of Jesus and take whatever it is to Him. Rest assured He is good and He loves you. Take heart and be encouraged.

Therefore, 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. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.

Lord, let us be a people who are not afraid to get out of the boat. A people who trust in You and fix our eyes on You. Lord, let us be a people who always remember You are there to catch us and You are there in every storm of our life. Lord, let us be a generation who take every part of our marriage to You and allow You to use it for Your glory. Let us be a people who trust in the unseen ways of Your hands. Give us the courage and passion to pursue You out onto the water. Amen

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders let me walk upon the water wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander. And my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.

Hillsong United: “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”

{Online Book Study}

FullSizeRenderWritten by: Melissa Lefevers

I got up before anyone else and hurried to get dressed. Today was going to be fun and I couldn’t wait to go to the Priscilla Shirer simulcast. I was very expectant for God to speak and super excited I would get to go experience this with my Mom. Yet, God in all His sovereignty, had something planned for me that I couldn’t imagine.

The church was buzzing with women ready to get started. We chit-chatted and smiled and laughed. Then it was time to start and all the expectant hearts came together. As the simulcast went along my heart stirred, God spoke, I listened and then it happened. “It” was a time of prayer and Priscilla wanted to target marriages. She talked about the importance of us coming together as a body and praying for each other and the power it has. Then she did “it”. She asked anyone who’s marriage had been saved by the grace of God to stand as a testimony.

My stomached flipped and my mouth went dry. My heart was beating so hard I thought for sure it would jump straight out of my chest. How could I do this? How could a Minister’s wife stand and say things aren’t always as they seem, how could I tell everyone I have struggled in my marriage? Would they view me differently? Then I knew I had to stand because God wanted someone to view him differently. God wanted to use my struggle as a testimony to show others He is Able.

So I stood, still fearing my heart might leap out of my chest and knock someone out. Still fearing things would be different for me and people would look to me with judgement. Then, it got worse! She challenged women who were struggling in their marriages and waiting on a miracle to raise their hands. Then she asked us who were standing to find these women, ones we didn’t know, and go pray over them.

I walked out of the aisle, knees shaking, and headed over to pray. Something beautiful happened in that moment. The Holy Spirit came over us all and I prayed like I had never prayed before. I knew that all that happened in my marriage was a miracle and that God was using it for good. He turned my struggles into my testimony and I promise you I don’t even remember what I prayed. It’s ok because I know God knows. My heart was changed that day and I now know and believe God is more than able.

What is it you need in your marriage? Are you waiting for a miracle? Or do you simply wish something would be different? Wish that maybe the spark would be reignited? Wish you could spend more time together? Wish the wedge between you would be removed? What is your “It”? Take a moment and think about it now.

Right now this moment. Dream about “it”. Now is the time to open our eyes and see God is already working in “it”. He is there and has always been there. However, as Priscilla Shirer states in “God is Able” we overlook the now.

Somehow we overlook the nearness of God when we are caught up in the rhythm of life, dancing to the drumbeat of our personal issues. We stay too tired or angry or frazzled to remember that God can work on our behalf now.

I know I am guilty of wishing for later. I think “it” is too big, too scary, too anything and forget that God is already working in the now. For heavens sake, He is the now. Now is the time to fight for our marriages and believe that God will restore them. Truly believe He can. Let us not forget that sometimes the greatest miracle is a changed heart in us. A heart that is more in tune with God and expectant of a miracle around every turn.

After you have though about it pray. Pray your guts out. Open your heart and pray. Voice every single desire, hope, fear, hurt, and cry all the tears you have. Go before the God who loves you more than anything and just spill your guts. Then believe. Yes, believe He will do a miracle and keep praying until you see it. It can happen. I know, because my life is a testimony of that very kind of miracle.

Ladies, please dream big for your marriage. Allow God in and let Him do that miracle you so desperately need. I am praying for you. Praying as you dig deep into the Word and come along on this journey. Praying you will see that God is more than Able. Praying you will see a changed heart, a new faith in God and more love than you can ever imagine.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen Ephesians 3:20-21

{Marriage} Drawn In By Love

FullSizeRenderWritten by: Melissa Lefevers

You ever feel like the odd man out? You know, like everyone around you seems to have something you don’t. I feel like that a lot in my home. Especially in my marriage. You see my husband has something I don’t and I often really want it. Gentleness and self control! Yes, gentleness and self control.

Gentleness is something this girl does not have at all. Let me be clear: it’s mainly with my words. However, my mother would tell you it is also in the way I do things. She thinks I am a little rough and she will often tell me she wondered if my children were going survive. No I have never dropped any children, well maybe one, but it was close to the floor and she is fine. We didn’t even have to go to the hospital or anything!

I am not gentle and I tend to push through the small talk and get to the main point. Our college aged friends have gotten quite used to the cut-to-the-chase questions and often giggle at the newbie when the questions are being asked. I will say the hard things to people (only after praying for the door to open). However, what gets me in trouble is when the door is open I run threw it so fast I always, always regret the way I have said things.

Oh, and self-control? Not a lot in that department either! I remember on one painful occasion in my life sharing an entire King Cake (it’s a traditional New Orleans dessert at Carnival time full of cinnamon and sugar) with one other person. Yes, my stomach hurt after, and yes it was worth every single bite. No self control! Please don’t bring me donuts because I will eat all of those as well. However, I often lose control with my tongue, not only in eating but, also with my words.

Yet, somehow by the grace of God, I have a man who is the example of gentleness and self control. Life gets crazy and our kids are running around like monsters (cute ones of course) and he calmly and gently tells them to settle down. I might, not so gently, pull something apart and break it and he comes to my rescue. Life will be completely out of control and chaos all around and he is cool and calm as a cucumber!

Life right now, truth be told, is a little crazy. I am a little more out of control than usual and that makes me afraid. Afraid of all the decisions that are being made, afraid of all the things I know God is calling us out to do. Afraid because each step leads to another and God is only showing us one step at a time. So as I learn to trust God and deal with my crazy, God is showing me how awesome Eric really is.

He hasn’t lost his cool one time. He has stopped arguments before they started and gently taken my hand and led me to Jesus. He has washed extra dishes, eaten more Mexican than he wants too and spent more time listening to me and less doing his masters level homework. Eric is showing me love in his beautiful display of gentleness and self-control.

I know the way he can show gentleness and self-control right now is by remaining in Christ. The Spirit is truly giving him the ability to do so. He has determined to remain in Christ and receive.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23 (emphasis added)

Right now, I know it’s not necessarily fun to be around me all time. Right now, I know that I am kind of being a maniac. However, he loves me and desires to show me Christ through this marriage. By Eric’s selfless display of love he is reminding me of Christ’s selfless display of love for me. In that I am drawn right back to God and all is well with my soul.

Maybe you don’t have that in your marriage or maybe you just cant see it. Pray. Yes, pray that God would do a miracle in your marriage and he will. Pray that he would show you the strength your man brings to your marriage. While you eagerly await that answer to prayer don’t forget God is there. God is there to give you all you need. He is there breathing life into your soul. God is there in the crazy, calm, chaotic life you live. Don’t lose heart God is there.

How Does An Online Book Study Work?

I have received multiple inquiries this week as we approach the start of our Online Summer Book Study on how a book study like this actually works.

I hope these FAQ’s will help with your questions 🙂

Q: Do I need to commit to certain times?
A: No. Our study is crafted in a way that leaves room for flexibility. We understand that not everyone is available at the same time of the day and we also recognize that most people have a certain time of day that works best for them when working on their spiritual growth (…and maybe even a special place in which to do it in.) We want to encourage you to read the book, participate in discussions and journal any thoughts or revelations that you may have at a time that works best for you.

Q: What do I need in order to participate?
A: You will need the book God Is Able by Priscilla Shirer, the internet and a device to acquire our daily online study material (found on our website: weareHisdaughters.com), paper & a pen (for note taking) and a heart that desires spiritual growth.

Q: What are the fees for the Online Book Study?
We are happy to offer you participation in our study at no cost. FREE.

Q: It seems like a lot? What if I fall behind?
A: One of the beautiful things about a study like this is that you can choose to participate in whatever you wish. There will be discussion questions for you to participate in every day right on the website— you can join in whenever you wish, or not at all. There will be some extra fun things in our study group (on Facebook) during the week and we encourage you to join in and make some new friends and get to know the other ladies doing the study— but it is not required. And we have divided the book up into six sections to make studying more manageable for time.

Q: So…how exactly does it work?
A: Every Monday morning at weareHisdaughters.com (our website) there will be a teaching post from our Director of Online Book Studies; Doretta Zinck. It is here that Doretta will highlight the week’s reading schedule as well as key points to remember from the chapter(s) being covered. Doretta will also have a few discussion questions at the end of her post to start some dialog within our online community of ladies. Tuesday-Sunday, our regular writers will also be sharing thoughts on that week’s readings and will pose an additional question for contemplation and discussion at the end of their post. In addition to our weekly readings we have a private Facebook study group (https://www.facebook.com/Summeronlinebookstudy/?fref=ts) where we will socialize and nurture friendships by means of icebreakers, discussion questions, worshipping together and praying together, to name a few.

I hope that this email helps you better understand what our summer together will look like! If you haven’t signed up for our study yet, I encourage you to do so!

Much love,
Mandy Lawrence-Hill
for Team WAHD

 

**CLICK IMAGE TO REGISTER**

{Marriage} Good, Faithful and True

FullSizeRenderWritten by: Melissa Lefevers

Before we even start plowing along together today I want to say Thank You. Thank you for reading and coming on a journey with me exploring a verse in Scripture and applying it to our marriages. For several weeks we have been going through the Fruits of the Spirit. We have learned we need to remain in the vine, be joy filled, peace in the stillness and to have sweet understanding. It has been an amazing journey. In the next two weeks we will wrap up this verse and dig into our Online Book Study. So from the very bottom of my heart, Thank You. Now, lets gets started.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Galatians 5:22-23 (emphasis mine)

Goodness and faithfulness. When I think of these two words I think how powerful they are. I know I want to be found good and faithful. I want it not only in my marriage but in every area in my life. To be found showing excellence and loyalty in all I do. To be quick to do something profitable and to be found true to my word. That all my actions show whom I belong to. That I belong to God. I long for all my actions, words and deeds to point back to the one my heart belongs to and my marriage to seep Jesus.

How do we do this? We remain connect to the vine and we get the courage to be good when goodness is not given. We remain faithful to our husbands in a world that tells us its ok to not be. We decide right from the start that God is number one and let him lead and give us strength to be faithful and good in all we do.

Is it easy? No, not at all. Just this morning I failed. I made a poor choice not a good one. Last night around two am I had little feet run into my room. “Momma I had a bad dream.” So I scooped up that little six year old baby and held her tight in the bed with me. I pulled her close and let her sleep with me and my husband. Well she isn’t as small as she used to be and takes up quite a bit of the extra room in our queen size bed. I didn’t sleep much and when I woke up the the hum of the electric razor and the stirring of that six year old before the sun was up, I was not happy. I laid there thinking “is he crazy?” I got up flung the bathroom door open and said, “Seriously!?

Immediately I regretted it because I got a look that proved I was the crazy one. Sure he could have been a little more sensitive to the situation but I could have been too. Good choices, in the little and the big, can keep us from making mistakes and causing wedges to form in our marriage and Satan from moving in and causing chaos.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think such things. Philippians 4:8

In thinking of the noble, pure and right I keep my focus on the good. Instead of me wanting to strangle him for waking us up, I am thankful he didn’t complain about his sleep being disturbed I can think about all the good in him instead of the momentary aggravation and stop and argument before it even begins.

I not only want myself, and all of us, to be found good but faithful. Loyal to our men, keep our minds, hearts, and bodies for him only. Guard your relationship with your man. Do not get to close to those men who are friends. Build safe boundaries for your marriage. Keep your eyes and thoughts on your man. In a world that shows you all keep your eyes pure. Jesus warned the men in his time I tell you that anyone who looks at a women lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:28. Ladies this warning is for us as well. When the world tells you to look, look away. When you lust after a man that is not your husband you have committed adultery in your heart. We need to remain faithful.

Remain in Jesus, hide The Word in your heart and you will have the courage, power, and strength to do good and remain faithful in your marriage. When the world sees that your marriage is true they will see the difference in you and know they need it. The “it” being a marriage built around Christ. It’s never to late to start. God longs to be the center of your marriage. Commit to that today and let us show the world good, faithful and true marriages through Christ.

{Father’s Day Event} 525,600 Minutes

Mandy

Written by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

A tribute to my husband, Nathan Hill, the amazing Daddy of our four treasures.

During the long, agonizing years we spent trying to conquer fertility issues, I often wondered what my husband would be like as a Daddy. I daydreamed about being pregnant and how he would be during the labor and delivery processes. Most of all, I wondered what he would do— how he would react, when the doctor placed a brand new baby into his arms for the very first time— our baby.

525,600 is the number of minutes that are in one year. As I mentioned above we had difficulty conceiving. It turns out our patience was tested and over two million minutes passed between the moment my hubby and I decided to start a family— and the moment that we held our firstborn in our arms. That is a lot of time when you are passionately waiting for something to happen.

I remember the day our son Ben entered the world, so vividly. Watching the nurse hand my husband our first little one, this little man that was a piece of each of us, was maybe the very best moment of my whole life.

Most certainly worth the long wait.

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About five million minutes have passed since we began this journey called parenthood, and I can say without reservation that my husband has proven to be one of the best dads that I know. Not only does he care immeasurably for our four children, he loves them fiercely, and he extends more patience than most people are capable of.

My husband, my kids Daddy, embraces every moment he has with our children and makes every effort to be intentional with his time with them. Time is fleeting and is often the very thing we take most for granted.

A few years ago my husband purposed we set aside every Tuesday (for date night) and every Friday (for family night). Aside from the fact that he prioritized these weekly events in our budget, the greatest gift my husband has ever given myself or his children is the gift of his time. We never wonder about the next time we will get to spend with him because he is consistent and devoted to each one of us.

While so many of us are wishing time away in anticipation for something great to arrive or an event to take place, or while others are griping away that time stands still, I hope that you’ll be inspired by my husbands intentionality and simply enjoy every single minute that you have with your children. With your loved ones.

Time is truly an invaluable gift.

525,600 is the number of minutes that are in one year. How will you spend your minutes?

Mandy

Mandy is the founder of the ministry blog We are His daughters and thoroughly enjoys writing and providing leadership to this ministry. Mandy is an imperfect work in progress! She loves the Lord with her whole heart and counts it her biggest privilege to serve Him in ministry however He leads. Born and raised in Nova Scotia, she now resides in southern Ontario with her family. She has been married to her handsome husband Nathan for 11 years and together they have served in ministry for the entirety of their marriage. Nathan & Mandy have four beautiful children; Benjamin, Sophia; Spencer & Grayson. Mandy is passionate about singing, worship leading and music. She loves reading, writing, taking pictures, studying the bible and sipping salted caramel mocha’s at Starbucks while chatting with a friend! She strives to be tidier, more organized (yes, she is a little compulsive!), a little more Martha Stewart-esque, and a little less ‘unglued’. Most of all she seeks to be holier and to love God through serving her family and her community.

 

{Marriage} Sweet Understanding

imageWritten by: Melissa Lefevers

It’s summer here in Louisiana! Sure, on your calendar it is technically still Spring, but it is hot here and the kids are out of school. So for me it’s summer. I am super excited about the fact that there is no homework to be done, no lunches to make, and I do not have to wake up kids who want to stay asleep. Every day feels like a Saturday and the possibilities for fun are endless.

I would be telling you a lie if I said every second is fun— because it is not. With the kids being home there is now a completely empty fridge and pantry. Why do they feel like they must eat everything the day you buy it from the store?! There are fights because one is not playing with the other or something is missing and of course my youngest took it! And every mother’s favorite words, “Mom, I’m bored.” Really son?

Adjustments are made all around. I also have to adjust how my husband and I spend time together. You see, it’s summer and there is a later bed time and less down time for me and my man. And ladies, to tell you the truth, all the playing and swimming and running with the kids makes me tired at the end of the day. If you ever want to work out and get exercise play with your kids. I mean, I have learned I can even do the monkey bars! I celebrated so loudly at the park my older kids pretended they didn’t know me while my six year old clapped as hard as she could saying “Yay Mom!”

I am tired. Tired because every ounce of my energy is being given to my sweet kids. I love every second of it but some days Momma is pushed to the limit. All the fighting and playing. “Can I have another snack?” “Violet is reading and not playing with me.” …It all adds up!

When my sweet man gets home I have nothing left for him. I am done, worn out and had enough.

On one of those kind of days my husband comes home and says “You ok? You look frazzled.” Well that is it for me I look at him and want to yell “Off with his head” as if I am the Queen of Hearts. Really? I look frazzled? Of course I look this way. I have wrangled an eight year old man child into submission, motivated a ten year old who all she wants to do is sleep all day, and consoled a six year old who thinks no one wants to play with her. Yes I am frazzled and he should know it!

Things heat up between us and I have no patience and kindness for him. He should know. I shouldn’t have to tell him. As I went to bed that night I felt ashamed. I was not at all what I needed to be for my husband. Truth was I had been mentally screaming “Off with his head.” I caused another fight— a pointless fight.

I started thinking about patience and kindness being a fruit of the Spirit and how when we remain in Him we have access to these gifts. I had been reading and praying, but I had not been imitating.

“Be imitators of God, therefore as dearly loved children.” Ephesians 5:1

I had not been imitating God’s patience and kindness.I laid there thanking God for his patience. Thanking him that he doesn’t lose it when I act unkind because of my lack of patience. Thanking him that he does not get tired of me, and that He loves me unconditionally. Thanking Him for showing such kindness that he would send His Son to die for me. I prayed for forgiveness and asked for an extra dose of patience and kindness.

The next morning I searched my Bible and found these two verses.

A patient man has great understanding, but a quick tempered man displays folly. Proverbs 14:29

An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. Proverbs 12:25

Thats what I want to be for my husband. I want to have sweet understanding of the situation around me. I want to have sweet understanding in my marriage. I pray that we would be ladies who imitate Christ in our marriages and show sweet understanding that we may show God’s glory.

{Marriage} The Secret(s) to a GREAT Marriage

MandyWritten By: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

Do you know a married couple that seems more in love than all the other couples you know? More affectionate, more connected, more together? What sets this couple apart from the others you know?! What is it about their marriage relationship that has you considering them as ‘cut above the rest?’

Marriage undoubtedly takes intentional effort and work. God spoke to my heart this morning as I was thinking ahead to a date night with my husband, that will take place next week. I was thinking of the ways I can best spend my energy with the sole intention of blessing him….no personal gratification or pleasure; simply blessing him.

My mind wandered to other couples whose love is tangibly rich and evident by unwavering happiness and joy. What is it that makes these couples stand out amongst others?

Thinking of three couples specifically, I began to notice that they were each very different. The commonality between them all however, was the fact that they made three things their top priority:

1) Nurturing and growing their faith through daily spiritual discipleship.
2) Prioritizing time intentionally spent with one another on a regular basis.
3) Mutual respect.

These couples do not look to other couples for how to be married well….they look first to God and rely on His word for direction and wisdom.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

So, back to my question… How can I truly bless my husband during our date night?! The answer is in the word of God! The more I know God through His word, the more I will learn in how to live a holy and righteous life. His word will bring light to areas I can change in order to enrich my marriage, convicting me of my weaknesses and the characteristics I have that do my marriage harm rather than good.

Who or what are you looking to as an example for a successful marriage?

Thank you God for Your incredible truth! I love to read Your word, and I pray that the time I spend in Your word will be time in training; Training to love like You love. Teach me Your ways. I pray that You will help me to make choices that please You, and honor You. Help me be a good wife to Nathan, the wife You intended me to be when You joined us together. Please continue to bless our marriage. In Your name I pray, amen.