let’s purpose to pray!

[I am still working through James. I even have a few blog posts started. But my time for art-journaling has fallen by the side {I know, I don’t like it! and I’m working on it!!}, and I feel as though I began my journey through James specifically to art-journal it. So I am working through that. ]

I’ve seen several different series online with challenges to pray for our husbands with PURPOSE each day.

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Beginning tomorrow I will be posting specific areas to focus our prayers for “31 days of Praying for our Husbands” that will end on February 14. 🙂 [And I am approaching this challenge from the viewpoint of believe my husband to be a believer/Christian, not unsaved.]

These prayer prompts will definitely be as much a conviction to my own heart as they will be an encouragement to my husband’s; but I know I need it! How can I grow into what God wants me to be if I’m not willing to change also? I’ll be praying for my own heart and humility during this time of praying for my husband! 

And I am gaining my inspiration specifically from some notes my sweet preacher’s wife gave to us ladies at church a while ago… with a challenge to be on purpose in praying for our husbands. While I do pray for my man every day, I often lack focus in those prayers. SO, this is to bring my thoughts and spirit into a focal priority in prayers for the man to whom God is letting me be a help-meet; and I’m sharing it with you!

Have you ever done a Prayer Challenge
for praying for your husband? 

If so, please comment on how it impacted you!

If not, let’s do this together!!  

praying for husband

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memorizing Scripture

Have you ever decided to consciously memorize Scripture but couldn’t figure out what verses with which to begin? I’m in the process of writing a guest post for a friend and these thoughts came up in my writing process…

I have a list in the front of my Bible that contains all the references we’ve tried to help our children memorize {I think we need to have a refresher though 🙂 the younger 2 haven’t been through them all yet!}.

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I also looked around online and found a few lists {many verses overlapped with my own} and came up with a list of 27 separate verses and passages [2-4 verses] that are a great place to begin our memorizing Scripture journey.

I have created a page with just these verses typed out and a printable at the end from which you can print & cut apart each passage to keep in your purse or hang around your home… and I’ll be posting about that guest post when it happens, so you can head over there and read more about why it’s important to have verses and passages hidden in our minds and hearts!

go to verses to memorize page
go to “verses to memorize” page

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[day 1] PFYH: tender heart

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah 6:8

This is a truly a thought we should pray for our husbands {as well as ourselves!}. These things are GOOD… and require humility and tenderness of heart.

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In order for our husbands to have a tender heart towards the Lord’s voice, he must first desire God to cleanse his heart…

Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.  For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Psalm 51:2-4

There are obviously many other verses we could turn to, but these few show us the importance of a man of God to have a heart tender towards God’s voice.

Let’s pray for our men to desire the Lord’s cleansing
and have tender hearts towards the Lord’s voice today!

praying for husband

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[day 2] PFYH: fear the Lord

This thought goes along with having a heart tender towards the Lord’s voice.

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A godly man must also fear the Lord to become
a man of wisdom and understanding. 

Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.  It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. Proverbs 3:7,8

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. Proverbs 9:9,10

Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. Psalm 112:1

Let’s pray for our men to fear the Lord
and delight in His commandments. 

praying for husband

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[day 6] PFYH: have a teachable spirit

1-The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. 2- All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits. Proverbs 15:33-34

I want my husband’s spirit to remain teachable.

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Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. Proverbs 9:9

A man who is open to learning, even from subordinates,  is a man who can grow and mature in godliness and wisdom.

And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. Mark 10:44

5- Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; 6- Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; 7- With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: 8- Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. Ephesians 6:6

As the saying goes: no woman has ever argued with a man when he’s dusting, vacuuming or washing dishes.

This is a cute and rather humorous quote, but there is truth to it.

When a man has a servant’s heart, they are showing Jesus’ love and magnify Him… and this is what we want for our man.

Let us pray for our husband’s to have a teachable spirit
and a servant’s heart!

praying for husband

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when life hands you {crazy}

Right about one year ago I wrote this post… but it never got published. It was raw. It was typed out in frustration.

But when I came across it yesterday, all I could see was that it was REALauthentic feelings that I now know many moms feel.

And it’s not a sin to BE frustrated-only to allow it to control you.

The ages and such are a little different now, but the truth still applies… a whole year later:

…when life hands you crazy:

I know many families with more than 4 children who seem to really have it all together.

And I know families with less than 4 children who seem to, well, NOT have it all together.

Me? OH! Our family has 4 children… and definitely do NOT have it all together!

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{but together, we have it all :)}

 

But, on occasion, we give the illusion that it’s all dandy. [hehe]

I have found that life just dishes out crazy… like there’s not tomorrow! {and there may not be}

So what’s a girl to do when the crazy just keeps coming?

The answer might sound difficult, but it’s really just a mindset:

EMBRACE IT.

 Welcome crazy to just come and have a seat right next to you!

 Crazy comes

and your baby has an outfit-dirtying-blowout 5 minutes before you are supposed to leave for school… go ahead and cry. We’ve all been there!

Crazy comes

and your already-trained-toddler wets herself in the bathroom… at church…

Crazy comes

and your 3rd grader reminds you of her project that was not finished but is due… today.
Apologize after you loose it, and take a few moments to remind her of her own responsibility… and that childhood is the time to learn it.

Crazy comes

when your baby breaks out in hives caused by an allergic reaction to his meds…

…and your 5 year old breaks out in something… caused by a-still-unknown-source…

…and your husband’s asthma [which has been very mild for years] starts acting up daily and your heart is terrified of the struggle to breathe…

…and you have friends and far-away-family struggling with things that make a soul yearn for the Lord to just return and take us all away…

And then you remember there are those who are not yet ready for that.

 And so, crazy strikes yet again and you realize that life is going on… for now… and HOW DO YOU LIVE WITH CRAZY?

oh, right… EMBRACE it.

The days I handle the crazy the best are the days I wake up and struggle to get out of bed... And my 5 year old gets up in a grumpy-funk, and I snap at her at 6:35 am…..

and I see the hurt in her face, in the face of her older sister sitting there listening to it…

 and the Lord catches me in my fall.

I realize crazy has come yet another day into my home.

 I stop.

I hug that 5 year old squirming her grumps away.

And I whisper a prayer that sounds something like… “oh God, please help me!”

I speak an apology to my babies and coax some laughter out of their little bodies.

because those are the days I am forced to keep muttering… “Lord, make me love with your love and make me speak with your words and make me touch with your embrace…” all day long.

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when your world is turned… upside down

When I was was young there were a few circumstances that occurred that turned my world on its head.

Now that yet another situation has turned my world upside down and been the cause of confusion, I realize that:

even as a child I was learning some lessons about God,

about life, about human nature… and myself.

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I may speak about the other types of lessons sometime, but for today I want to share a few lessons I have learned about God… when my world seems turned completely bottom-side-up.

**The verses often quoted from Romans 8 are not idle platitudes:

26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered…. These past few weeks I have been so grateful to have this comfort. When my heart is overwhelmed, The Spirit of God intercedes FOR ME at the Throne of Grace!

27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.And God listens.

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.… I have seen it before, and I know I will see it again: Even when it seems that God could not work a situation out, I turn around and His name is being glorified and the darkest hour IS “just before the dawn.” While I do not yet see the rays of a new day pouring over the horizon of my heart, I am just as confident in them as I am of my salvation!

29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.… and “bad things happen” because this world is a sinful place, but God uses circumstances to mold my life to be more like Christ.

**It is not about my supposed position of service or paid ministry that makes me useful to God. It is my heart being conformed to the image of His Son, so that I may be counted among the “firstborn” of God.

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**It amazes me to watch how God uses us, sinful creatures, to accomplish His will, giving Himself supernatural Glory and causing His Name to be praised!  

Verse 35 asks who could separate us, His own, from the love of Christ... and the answer in all of us should be the same as the apostle’s:

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

There are others hurting and questioning over some current situations in the life of my family. I give them these verses from II Thessalonians 1:

11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: 12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

**Remember that God has called each of His children to proclaim His Gospel to the lost. That is our highest calling!

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And I pray that those hurting and confused over issues would ask for Lord to **remove all secondary causes** -meaning the human instruments-

and believe that God IS in control.

He wants us each to learn something,

**and the ultimate Glory is for God’s name to be praised in your own heart and life, even through this.

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One of the hardest and yet most rewarding things we can learn in the Christian life is it TRUST GOD…

…we are not commanded to trust any man or the wisdom of men.

Only trust God.

He is the only one that loved us enough to take the punishment of our sin upon His own body to pay for it.

 

In Proverbs 3 we are told:

3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: …bind mercy AND truth about they neck. Often truth seems to call for judgment,

**but God asks us to COMBINE truth WITH mercy.

4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man… and this combining truth with mercy {goodness, faithfulness, kindness} will bring us favor with man-this is a good thing.

5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding

**our own understanding will fail us.

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Our own heart is full of wickedness. ALL men’s hearts are full of wickedness.

6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy pathsBut God can and will direct the path our lives take when we acknowledge Him.

7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil

We must not seek a wisdom from our own experiences

…or from a man.

This wisdom is faulty and flawed by sin.

Only fear the Lord. Only live your life as far from evil as you can… 

8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones….

and  your soul will be healthy and ready to stand before Him…

 …even if your heart is breaking. 

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my “to do” list… and yours

I do not normally post on Saturdays… and definitely not this late 🙂 but this post was so strong in my heart that I felt compelled to go ahead and post it. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It is overwhelming. This day-to-day of being a wife and mother, a sister and daughter, a friend, a mentor.

There is pressure from the world to do-all, be-all, have-all…. and if you don’t… well, I won’t go there.

There is pressure from within ourselves, and sometimes even from within our circle of friends, to do-it-right, to-make-it-look-good… and if there’s a crack in that mirage you’re selling to the public, the whole thing comes crashing down one day.

But do you know where none of that pressure originates?

None of that pressure originates from our Lord.

Yes, He does not want us living in filth… never cleaning our home or washing our clothing.

But neither does HE put this pressure into our lives to have this perfect pretense.

I am going to share a portion of a letter a dear friend of mine sent out a while back. She and her family are missionaries and wish to remain anonymous, but what she wrote really spoke to my spirit that day, and has helped me view certain situations very differently since. Since deciding that I would begin working outside the home soon [teaching in our church school], I have revisited her thoughts and they still speak to me.

I pray that it will be a blessing to you as well {italicized are my own comments}:

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I have finally come to realize that in some areas of my life, I am a perfectionist.  Not in everything, but in things concerning my personal life, I try very hard to be perfect, redeeming the time, faithful, efficient, and frugal.  The only problem is that I can never quite reach my own expectations. {that is SO me!!}  I also have three children, which have an amazing way of bringing inefficiently to life. 🙂 {what truth! lol}  But during the past few weeks, as I have tried very hard to study [a new language], home-school my children, care for my home, and visit with new friends, my goal of being faithful, diligent, and efficient has brought me nothing but frustration and has robbed me of my joy. {I have experienced this so often. No one can BE everything all the time!}

And then I began to realize that my eyes were in the wrong place. {OH, my spirit smites me!} Hebrews tells us that we are to be “looking unto Jesus,” and, as I heard many times in college, my goal is to be like God, and nothing else.  Now my daily goal in life is to walk with Christ, moment by moment – following the gentle promptings of His Spirit.  That just might mean that instead of studying one evening, I may be praying for [my mission field], or reading a book to my children, or playing dolls with [my daughter].

Following Christ will not always follow my “to do list,” or line up with my priorities for the day {because sometimes I am so “goal oriented”}, or look the same as other believers {no 2 families are the same}, but it will bring me peace and rest, joy and comfort as I make God my goal, and let Him order my day.  As I come to rest in the fact that God desires for me to be faithful, to learn [a new language], to raise my children, to stand by my husband – I can trust Him to guide my steps each day to accomplish these things and much more, as I rely on His wisdom and not my own.

I recently came across the words to one of my favorite hymns, and this verse has become the song of my heart.

I could not do without Thee,
I cannot stand alone,
I have no strength or goodness,
No wisdom of my own;
But Thou, beloved Savior,
Art all in all to me,
And weakness will be power
If leaning hard on Thee.

– Frances R. Haverg