Loosing Creates Character

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Now days, everyone’s a winner. Everyone gets to play and everyone deserves a trophy. The loss of not winning isn’t a motivation to work harder anymore. Character is built when we don’t get what we want. Loosing plays an important part in our lives, even in the lives of our children.

Loosing, at whatever it is we’re competing in, can help build character. It can help our children appreciate the victory. Our goal, obviously, isn’t to encourage loss, but it’s to teach from it. How can our children know the awesome feeling of joy without a defeat? Loosing should motivate them to work hard, to look for the errors, and to improve skills.

They can’t know the pure joy of victory without the painful sting of defeat.

This principle can apply to any area of life. Loosing or loss can help them to appreciate blessings and victory. We can teach them to trust the Father’s plan and to trust He knows best. We can show them examples in scripture of other’s who endured defeat, yet in the end were victorious.

Take every opportunity to teach the Father’s goodness and sovereignty. If we can help them have a firm foundation to stand on, may be it will help them as they grow and mature. Loss is inevitable, but it isn’t always a bad thing and can build God’s likeness in our children.

Father, thank You for the lessons You teach us through loosing. You always know best. Help us to remind our children of Your goodness no matter the circumstance. May we encourage them when they endure loss in any area and no matter how small it seems. Help us to be an example of how to handle defeat and trust You for our children. Empower them to trust and grow through loss. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

Psalm 30:11

Keep Talking

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After a few years of marriage, you may feel you don’t have much to talk about anymore. You spent time talking about the plans for your future and what you both wanted out of life. You shared your dreams and shared your fears for what lays ahead.  Before marriage you probably felt as though you had so much to talk about, yet now you wonder where’s all the talking went?

Talking is an important part of our lives. It’s essential for work, rearing children, and especially in our marriage. We should never stop sharing our dreams or plans for the future with our man. We should continue to confide in our husband when it comes to our fears and hopes. After several years of marriage, we should have so much more to dream about and plan for. The longer we are married, the greater the conversation should become.

The more we talk, the more we’ll bond and connect.

Talking and relaying information creates a desire for intimacy.  Your conversations will obviously change with each season you go through, but communicating should always stay flowing. If we stop sharing our hopes, future plans, fears, or disappointments, we’ll began to feel distant. Even if you have let the distance creep in, it’s not too late to began talking again and growing closer. Think about it. If you never really talk to someone, you won’t have much of a desire for them.

Doing fun activities together is a great way to get conversation going. Even if you don’t know a lot about his hobbies or interest, ask questions and try to understand. It’s those little conversations that pave the way.  Don’t let business, tiredness, or anything else stop the flow of talking with your husband.

Strike up a conversation today.

Share a dream.

Ask for help.

Just never stop talking. You’ll miss out on so much.

Father, thank You for the gift of communication. It’s vital to our lives and more importantly, our marriages. Help us to carve out time to talk and share with our man. We never want to stop growing in our relationship with him. May we never stop sharing hopes, dreams fears, and heartache with our husband. Have Your way in our marriage and conversations. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.

Song of Solomon 7:10

The Hard-Right Decision

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Choices can be draining at times. There are so many options to be weighed out. Sometimes it can be difficult to know what is the right decision. I often like the right decision to be easy, but life isn’t quiet like that. When the right decision is the hard one, that can be most difficult.

We naturally want to make the right one, but it’s not as natural to want it to be hard. We have to seek the Father’s wisdom and strength to go through with it. Without Him guiding us, the process can be grueling to the point of not making one at all, which is really making one. We should do what’s right and what’s required of us whether we like it or not. We have an option, but who wants to choose the easy way out and take the chance of suffering for it?

Ultimately, we answer to God, not man, when making our decision.

So we should be sure that we seek Him and His wisdom. Make sure you do as He desires, not yourself or anyone else. Sometimes it’s a test to see if we’ll simple obey Him. He wants to know we’ll obey Him, no matter what we desire or what others think. We are to live our lives to the Father, not men. If the decision is hard because we fear what others may think, we have to face that fear. Men can only destroy you in their mind, the Father has the ability to destroy the soul. And so we desire to please Him and be a light to others.

If you’re facing a decision that’s hard, yet right, don’t fret. He knew You would be here and He is there to guide You. Look to Him. Turn your eyes to Him and do the right thing.

Father, thank You for being a good Father. Choices can be hard, but it may also be the right one. Help us to choose the right one even if it’s hard. Give us a desire to want to please You only. We do want to honor You, we just need the boldness to do so. May we seek Your guidance and face fear of man. Give us Your wisdom to choose wisely each day of our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Psalm 25:5

Word-Filled Wednesday

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Our study of Ruth has been amazing! I can’t help but share some of what we’re learning with y’all.

Naomi had no clue at all what was in store for Ruth and herself. They needed a man to be their leader, provider, and protector among many other things, yet where would that come from? They had both endured pain and heartache. It seemed their future wasn’t looking too great. They did what they knew to do and behind the scenes God was doing the rest.

Even in despair, the Father is working out His plan to restore and redeem.

The Father cares for us so much, down to the smallest detail. He feels our heartache and pain. Nothing in our lives are by chance. The Father orchastrates so much that we cannot see. He is working even in our despair. When we are tired, suffering, and want to give up, He is working.

The shattered hopes and dreams,

The disappointments,

and the sting of loss.

He sees it all and He will restore and redeem. Circumstances aren’t by chance. He wants us to just trust Him and do what we know to do. We all know how Naomi and Ruth’s life ends (if you don’t know, check out the book of Ruth in the Bible). The Father knew just what they needeed and He was bringing it all together.

Don’t loose hope even when your future looks horrible and feels uncertain. Trust your Father’s hand in your life and know He cares deeply.

Father, You see any despair we endure. You know the pain of loss and struggle. Help us to lean into Your love and comfort when trials come. Help us to trust You and stay focused on You. May we know You will turn ashes into beauty. You will restore and redeem our situations if we’ll allow You too. Give us strength to do what we know to do and trust You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

Man’s goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?

Proverbs 20:24

 

Displaying Discipline

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A couple of weeks ago, our character trait for school was discipline. Kids here that word so much, but I’m not sure they understand how important it is. I wonder if we, as parents, truly understand the depth of it either. To be disciplined is to be self-trained.

Discipline isn’t something we can make our children be, but it’s something we can teach them to be.

We are to teach and model discipline in our own lives. When we do that, our children have something to follow. They aren’t wondering how to control their emotions or how to accomplish a task, but they have an example to look too. Whether it’s pertaining to sports, school, or play everyday can be training on how to be disciplined. Children want to know how to deal with emotions and circumstances, but if we don’t teach them they’ll act on impulse.

When we say ‘I have to discipline a child.’ We should really say that we have to teach them how to be disciplined. The Father doesn’t desire reckless children (including us), He wants disciples that are self-trained by His Spirit. So teaching our children to be disciplined in their life requires us to be disciplined. We can only achieve that by His Spirit, not of ourselves.

Are we controlling our emotions?

Do we prepare ourselves for our work each day?

Are we being the disciples that God wants?

Remember, we only have our children for a short while. What we teach them now, will hopefully help shape who they’ll become in the future. So let’s make disciples, starting in our homes first, to impact the world.

Father, thank You for giving us examples of disciplined people in Your word. We want to be self-trained disciples, but we can only do that through Your Spirit. So empower us by Your Spirit to model discipline to our children. May we take each opportunity to show an example of discipline. We need You to work through us and our children. Help us to teach them diligence and discipline to carry them through life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


The plans of the diligent certainly lead to profit,
but anyone who is reckless certainly becomes poor.

Proverbs 21:5

 

 

Opposites Attract

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They always say “opposites attract” in relationships and a lot of time it’s true. It can be fun to be attracted to a person who is an opposite to your personality. We can’t really know a person until you live with them. So before marriage, we see the little quirks and it may seem cute and appealing, but what about after tying the knot?

Once we’re married for a couple of years, the opposite cuteness may wear off. We may find ourselves thinking, ‘What was I thinking?’ or ‘Why did we get married?’ There seems to be no common ground we think. One may be talkative and the other quiet. One may be a social butterfly and the other a private person. Those differences don’t mean we married the wrong person though. It can be a chance for growth in our marriage if we allow them.

Don’t let the opposite traits ruin the relationship, instead let them bring you closer together.

The Father can weave a beautiful pattern with our opposite traits. He longs to see us grow and become one despite our differences. It takes different personalities for our marriage to work. The Father knows this and He can grow us through each other. It’s like a balancing act. The differences can help balance out our marriage.

Let’s not allow differences to put a wedge between us, let’s allow them to grow us. Let’s work together to achieve something beautiful.

Father, thank You for all the different personalities that You’ve created. Help us to see the opposite traits as a blessing and not a curse when it comes to our marriage. We want to grow closer to You and one another. May we let the differences strengthen our marriage and each of us. We praise You for knowing all that we need and for a healthy marriage. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Proverbs 27:17

Comparison Kills

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It can be so difficult to find time to do everything we want to do each day. It just seems we need more working hours in a day. Housework, schoolwork, husband time, quiet time, and children time. It’s all a balancing act that we strive to get right. We see all the edited lives on social media and compare our lives with those. So we begin to feel guilty and less than.

We have to be careful not to let social media deprive us of joy. Comparing our lives to that of others will take a toll on our minds. When we begin to try and be someone that the Father didn’t create us to be, we tread a dangerous line.

We weren’t created to be like anyone else, but who He desires we be.

The Father isn’t wanting one in the same people. We are all different with one common goal: to please the Father. Don’t compare your bloopers with someone else’s highlights.  We all have bad days. We all have areas we’re more successful in than others.

Do what you are called to do with joy and stop comparing your life to your friends, neighbors, or even strangers. Don’t let Satan make you feel less than or guilty just because you can’t do what someone else does. Be who God desires you to be and not what others wish.

Father, thank You for creating us all unique, yet with one goal in mind. Help us to put off the weight of comparison. We desire to be who You want us to be, not who others desire us to be. Help us to only seek to please You. Give us strength to walk out our calling an out lives the way You desire. We praise You for the work You’re doing in us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Word-Filled Wednesday

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It’s easy to let our minds become weary or exhausted. Life is a cycle and unfortunately we don’t know what cycle comes next. Our hope is that we can draw from the words of Jesus and the apostles to encourage us through each cycle. The second part of the Bible is full of encouragement from Paul.

Paul knew sufferings and hardships. He also knew they would continue on. He penned a lot of letters to various congregations to encourage them to endure. Our Savior himself endured agony, much more than we ever will, yet he did not flee the suffering. He remained through the accusations, the trial, and the crucifixion. He remained and endured it all, knowing a lot still wouldn’t believe in him.

How much more can we endure? Our sufferings are painful, but they are so light compared to our Lord’s. We have to cry out to the Father when we want to give up. Our minds are weak and need to be strengthened. We have to grow our spirit with prayer and the scriptures. Our mind is a battlefield and we can be ready to fight.

When all hope seems gone, cry out for His perspective.

When you feel exhausted, cry out for His strength.

When you think you can’t go another step, fall on your knees in prayer.

With the power of the Holy Spirit, we can remain stedfast and endure. We have to think back to Jesus and how he pressed on. Paul encourages us to think of all Jesus endured for the sake of us, sinners. He knew the end result and kept that at the fore front of his mind.

His example should give us faith to keep pushing through on the journey.

We have to remember the end result of our journey, eternity with our Father. Next time the cycle seems more than you can bear, go to the Father in prayer. Pick up the sword of the Spirit and fight the temptation to quit.

Father, there is nothing too hard for us to endure with Your strength. Your Son endured more than we can even imagine, but he remained loyal to You and us. His example can help us to be encouraged to not give up. When we are exhausted, fill us up with the Living Water. Strengthen our minds when they are weak. Help us to take captive thoughts contrary to Your words and those of the apostles. We want to continue our journey well and bring glory to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Growing Pains

Here is my sweet friend, Brandi, again sharing some encouragement!

 

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As a little girl, I would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night, holding my legs and crying and writhing in pain, with what my parents always called “growing pains”; which now as a five foot nothing woman who can’t reach the top shelf at the grocery store, I somewhat question that whole concept…But now as a mom to three growing boys, they often wake up just like I did, complaining of their legs aching and I do my best to be there for them and ease their pain. And as they grow older and taller and more mature, I find myself having some ‘growing pains’ of my own.

Before I had kids, there was no way to understand how much of your heart goes into being a mother, or parent in general. You give your love, your time, your sleep, and sometimes your sanity to make sure you are giving your children everything they need. Everything you do is to prepare them for the next stage of life. Lately, I have been giving my oldest son more jobs around the house, more responsibility so he can learn problem solving skills and be more independent, which will help him in the future. No one ever told me how hard it would be to let him make his own sandwich, not because it would have been easier and less messy if I did it myself :), but because its another step in the growing up process where they start needing you less and less.

It’s a bittersweet thing, to see one of them smile this huge smile, with pride on their faces, as they do something all on their own. It’s a good thing. But every moment like that is one day closer to when all my little chicks get their wings, leaving this mama hen with an empty nest. And though I’m not ready for the changes ahead, I will use every opportunity to instill in them the morals and character they should have to be godly men, strong in their faith, who I pray will one day become husbands and fathers willing to stand for truth. Because I’m not just raising little boys, I’m trying to raise good men. So to all the mamas out there, it’s okay to let go, slowly and gently, because though it’s hard(very hard), its necessary to equip your children to be the exceptional, strong, independent people God has created them to be.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”-Proverbs 22:6


 

Brandi blogs at And She Laughs in her spare time in the midst of being a wife, mother, teacher, chef, and homemaker. You can find her there sharing encouraging words and uplifting posts.

Mothering Our Man

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Once we become Mothers, it’s in our bones. We’re so used to giving orders and instructions that sometimes we don’t stop to realize who we’re talking too. We get in the mother mode and do what we do best. We have great intentions, but there is one person we shouldn’t mother: our husband.

That’s tough to hear and I didn’t even realize I had done this. We mother mostly all day and we just get in the zone. I don’t think we really are trying to belittle our husband, we are dong what we’re used to doing. Once we realize this, we should ask forgiveness and for the Father to help us. When we continue to treat our men like children, it can greatly damage our marriage.

We are called to be their help meet, not their mother.

We’re married to grown men and we have to treat them that way. They need a confident, lover, and companion who will help them, but not boss them. The “strong woman” mentality is pushed in our culture, but we’re only strong when we’re following the Father’s design for us.

Let’s be intentional about not bossing or mothering our men. They deserve respect. If they don’t feel we respect them, we damage our marriage and children. God’s design for marriage is beautiful, let’s walk in it.

Father, thank You for marriage. Thank You for the design You laid out that works great when we follow. Help us to see our husbands the way You intend. We want to be wife that honors You. Give us the wisdom to act accordingly. Strengthen us to be quiet or to speak up at the right time. We desire Your plan for our marriage. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

Genesis 2:18