I absolutely love my husband, but as a wife, I know I could do better. I could be a better chef. I could be a better listener. I could be a better mother. I could be a better encourager. I could be a better friend. I could be a better housekeeper.
My “I could be a better…” list goes on and on. It has plagued me for some time. It’s not that I don’t want to do better. I really do. Any time it comes up in my mind, I just sort of push it back out. I guess that’s because I do want to be better, but I don’t feel like I really am able to be better. I tend to look at this woman or that woman and compare myself and come to the conclusion that I am not good enough. She is much better at raising her children. She is wonderful at keeping her husband happy. Why can’t I keep my house perfect like her? My house looks like savages live in it. When I begin to compare myself to the perfect women I know, I allow myself to give up.
It’s only Day 3 of the 31 Day Challenge, and these awesome bloggers are stepping on my toes. When I finish reading each challenge, all I can say is “Ouch!” For me, it really is a challenge. But it makes me WANT to be everything I can for my husband. It makes me WANT to do better and be better. I am thankful for being able to participate in the 31 Day Challenge and pray that I’m able to step up to the plate.
If you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to check out the 31 Day Challenge at http://time-warp-wife.blogspot.com/ And if you are participating in the challenge, be sure to let us know how it’s going for you.
Once upon a time I cooked. A lot.
Then I became pregnant with my 5th child. For about 1 year now my poor husband has been running our kitchen. He works all day and then comes home and makes dinner most nights.
I hate it.
Don’t get me wrong, the man can seriously cook. I mean really well too. Some of the best food I’ve ever had! But it’s supposed to be MY job, and I really miss that.
Now that my baby is nearly 4 months old, I’ve been able to take the kitchen back little by little. One way I’ve been doing this is no surprise to those who know me well. My Crock Pot! (Okay, Crock Pots. I have 2…) I can throw dinner in and go on to play with the kids and teach their lessons and maybe even clean a little while dinner prepares itself. Then after, the clean up is simple!
Today I have pork chops covered in cream of mushroom soup and ketchup cooking. I know, sounded disgusting to me too, but I caved and made it another time and it wasn’t bad! Kinda good, actually!
Given that I’m homeschooling and dealing with an infant, I need to rely on my Crock Pot at least 1 or 2 days a week. I’m so happy that it has become trendy again, because now recipes are easier to find! I love making soups, roasts, pasta dishes, dressing, casseroles, meats, taco meat etc… There can never be too many Crock Pot recipes!
So what about you? What is your favorite dish for the slow cooker? Do you have a favorite book or website for recipes? Let’s share!
“Dear God, make me a bird, so I can fly, fly far away. Dear God, make me a bird, so I can…”
Everyone knows this prayer by “Jenny” or a.k.a. “Jen-Neigh” off of Forrest Gump.
Ever felt like flying the coop? (For those of you who are not suthiners, a.k.a. southerners, this is an analogy used when a chicken, etc., get out of the hen house. Getting out of the way for a while.)
I would love to just get away by myself sometimes and forget about everything around me. Though I would probably wind up sleeping. And I would desperately miss my husband and my kids, so I might as well take them with me, right? That would so defeat the purpose.
We have a way of letting “life” over take us. Things consume our every minute of the day and night. It’s like we never really get that breath of fresh air that we hear so much about. So I challenge you to take time from your busy schedule and enjoy the little things in life. Like the formations of the clouds above. The miraculous way that each one of them are different. The awesomeness of our Heavenly Fathers’ creativity. In every flower petal, every leaf, every sound in the air. Let His peace wash over the heaviness of the day, and just breathe.
You know how it is. You spend every single day in a rush. You’re doing your best to keep on top of the kids, the house, the errands, the meals, Bible reading, the finances, work, etc. Your husband is exhausted from a long week at work himself, especially if he has a high demanding job like all the ladies here at Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven do. The last thing you think you can possibly find time for is a date night, right? I mean, sure, you have time for you know what here and there, but I mean a real date night.
“But I don’t have a sitter for the kids, and we don’t have the money to go out! And even then we can’t hear each other in the restaurant or we just sit at the movies and stare at a screen, how are we supposed to connect?!”
I’ll tell you how. Have a date night at home. Yes, you read that right. At home.
My husband and I began doing this a few years ago. We feed the kids their dinner at the usual time, put them to bed, and then we have date night. We have a quiet dinner alone, mostly uninterrupted, and then we plan something for the remainder of the night.
Sound like a lot of work? I promise it isn’t. It’s usually a group effort, which makes it fun. We’re working together to aim towards something we will both benefit from! Sure, it takes a little bit of sacrificing. For instance, we usually stay up almost all night when we have date night, meaning it’s a LONG day the next day. But we both agree that it is worth it.
So how exactly do we plan this out? Well, it’s different every time. Usually one of us makes dinner and the other one plans an activity. By activity, I mean something creative and fun. Occasionally we will have a “theme”. (Oh, and the activity is kept secret from the other one usually… unless we just have a night of music and talking. Then we’re upfront.) One night I brought in Scrabble and set the rule that the words could only have something to do with our relationship. Another night he set up our living room to feel like we were in a cabin in the mountains. We’ve had “casino night” and “truth or dare”. Once I even planned a beach night! It goes on and on… The key is to keep it light, fun, and flexible. You never know when one of the kids might wake up, so be cautious of that also.
I can’t take all the credit for this, I did get the idea from a book/kit that we purchased. I’ll post some links at the bottom of this post for you to check them out, but I wanted to still give you some ideas just in case you couldn’t afford to buy the products… (Though if you can, I seriously recommend them. Yeah, some of the idea cards are a little cheesy… but they’ll help you come up with your own ideas and the questionnaires will help you get to know each other better.)
So, if you and your hubster are in a rut, bored, or everything is great but you just think this sounds fun, go for it! And if you want, come back and tell us what ideas you had! (Keep the personal details to yourself, please. 😉 ) And remember, having a date night with your husband does NOT make you a bad mother. It makes you a good one! (And for the single mommies, you’re all still excellent moms. I hope you find no offense in this post.)
In July of 2004, I made friends with a group of people in an IHOP. If you know me, this comes as no surprise. We ended up merging our tables and the other group came and sat with my group. One of these persons is a guy who we will refer to as “Chuck”…
That night was full of fun and laughter. I kept in touch with a few via phone, text, myspace, email, etc. “Chuck” was one of them. A few years later we reacquainted. I was busy with work/life and never thought twice about him. He was dating Julie, who I didn’t know.
Fast forward a few months: “Chuck” is about to leave for deployment (He was a Marine) and wants to meet up, just as friends. Before you know it, “Chuck” and I are dating. Only mentioned an ex-girlfriend a few times. Leaves for Iraq, and while there: rips my heart to shreds. I was left hurt, very confused, and angry. I was determined before that to never fall for anyone again, and I did… only to be let down.
In the time we were dating before he left, I got to know some of his friends. One was his best friend’s girlfriend, Le Anna. When “Chuck” and I broke up, she insisted I come along on a girls night. She brought 2 other girls. Steph and….. Julie, who also brought her now husband. I realized within seconds she was the girl in the pictures with “Chuck” a few months before I started dating him, but we were very cool with each other and quickly became friends. Before the end of the night, she ended up consoling me, and we both insisted we had to remain in contact.
That was almost 5 years ago. Now, I could easily look back on all of that and say “God, why? Why did you allow my heart to be broken?” However, I look at it like this, “God, thank you for the gift of friendship you have given me in these 3 women. Especially Julie. She’s always there right when I need her with a wise word, song lyric, or scripture. It was all worth it to know these girls!”
God knows what he’s doing, people. All the time. Even when we aren’t serving him at the time. And what may seem like something horrible in your midst, never forget that something good can come from it. Even the Bible states this:
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28 NKJV
A month after I met Julie, I met and married my husband Bobby who is the love of my life. I could have NEVER imagined that I would ever find someone like him. He is a dream come true and one of the greatest gifts God ever gave me. I quickly forgot about “Chuck”, and still had 3 awesome new friends! A few months later, Julie and Chad were married and remain to be very happy.
You know what that means…
“Chuck” is apparently “Good Luck”… If you’re single and tired of it, I suggest looking him up… Just kidding. Save yourself the trouble, don’t. Just be friends with us instead.
How do you view your children? Are they wonderful to have around? Do you enjoy their presence? Or do you dread the moment they wake up, complain about them all day, yell nonstop, call them names, constantly try to pawn them off on others, and dream of the day they move out?
Unfortunately, many mothers view their children as the latter. We live in a day where children are disposable; Where those that are unwanted can just be dropped off in a “Safe Haven” or aborted before they even have a chance .
The Bible says this:
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
Psalm 127:3-5 NKJV
Children are never “No big deal”. They should not be seen and not heard. They should NEVER be forced to grow up too quickly because you’re just tired of kids running around. They are a privilege, not a right. It is time for people to wake up and stop treating them as such! Don’t like it? Get a dog. Not a baby. (Oh boy, don’t get me started on people who treat their animals better than their children…)
I guess this is more sensitive for me, given my circumstance with my older 2 children. What I would give to have my kids nagging me and being loud all day, every day. HA! Okay, maybe not to that extent, but you do know what I mean. Also, being the mother of a 10 1/2 year old, I have finally realized that these years do fly right by. As Momma Ann, Karen and Emily’s Mom, always says, “Don’t blink!”
It is natural for us to become tired from time to time, and that I understand. Call a girlfriend and go out to dinner or find a baby sitter so you can have a night out alone with your husband. We’re all going to have bad days. Just don’t get in the habit and find yourself taking your child for granted.
I pray that each of you realize your potential as a mother, the gift we’ve been given, and that God will never give us more than we can handle.
Okay ladies, how has your week been so far?
Remember my challenge I sent out to all of you on Monday? I won’t lie, it’s been tough to follow through with. I have not made a single pot of coffee (which means it’s a miracle anyone in this family survived) or pampered myself to more than the expected shower… which was SUCH a blessing, especially when I have a 2 month old. I did, however, relax while holding the baby, sipping a Diet Coke and thanking God for his many blessings. I took time with my children when they just wanted to bang on their musical instruments to sing to the Lord. Hey, at least it was beautiful to Him and us. I’m sure it wasn’t to anyone else. 😉 As I fed the baby in the middle of the night I sneaked in a quick reading of a few scriptures. I prayed as I walked the floor, as I did dishes, as I fell asleep, and while I woke and readied myself for the day. (I should note, readying myself for the day only involves changing my clothes, brushing my teeth, and washing my face. Gross, I know. But hey, in a month it’ll all be different. The joys of mothering an infant with GERD. I love it though.) I also prayed a LOT while re-potty training my 3 year old, but I digress…
But what about you? Did you try? I did. Not as great as I would like, but I still tried. And you know, that’s okay. We’re going to have good days, bad days, and everything in between. But I’d still like to know how you did! Please share!
Now, with the weekend coming up, I want you to make a point to spend one on one time with your husband if you are blessed to have one. Talk, look each other in the eye, and enjoy time with each other. Actually listen to what he has to say. Don’t fold laundry while you talk, don’t check your facebook or twitter. Focus on him. Just one hour, I know time can be strained, but make time. You’ll feel so much better. As you are talking, thank God that you are blessed with someone, as many women are not.
Continue to strive for those Sticky Handed Moments!
Coming up Monday: The Prayer of The Sticky Handed
I have a close friend, Crystal, who strives to keep her home clean. I often wish I had it as together as she does. Her home is in a central location for a few of us to meet up for gatherings and play dates, during which she can often be heard proclaiming, “HAND CHECK!” at which point all of the kids line up and she inspects their hands for cleanliness. When done, she helps the messy hands get cleaned up and sends them all back to playing. We often tease her for it, but in reality, it is a genius idea.
From time to time we have things on our hands that we are not so proud of. Things that shouldn’t be there. Other times, everything on our hands are good things to have, but something is missing.
As moms, we are all guilty of this. We get so busy with the kids that we compromise, allowing things in our lives that shouldn’t be there. We also take short cuts, not doing exactly what God tells us to do. Ask yourself, and examine your hands: Do you need to wash them? Do you need to put something on them? Good hand care is important! Spending time in the word, giving attention to our husbands and children as we should, and making sure to pray and thank God for his many blessings are just a few.
I’m a firm believer that as women (and men) of God, we should live in His word. The Bible is a book full of wonderful scriptures that we can apply to every situation. I just felt led to share with you a few of the scriptures that I apply to my life daily and encourage you to apply them to your own lives, as well.
I begin each morning by thanking God for waking me up and blessing me with another day of life. I declare that
“This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.”- Psalm 118:24 (personalized).
Next, I thank God for Psalm 68:19,
“Blessed be the Lord who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation! Selah” and receive what ever benefits He has chosen for me today.
Then I have to check myself…
“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.”-Psalm 141:3,
“Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.”-Proverbs 21:23.
After that, I have to remind myself that no matter how the situation may seem, I do not wrestle flesh and blood.
“For we do not wrestle flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”-Ephesians 6:12
When I send my daughter to school or my husband off to work, I remember to pray over my family,
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”- Numbers 6:24-26
As I lay down to sleep each night, I declare that
“I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”- Psalm 4:8
and I know that
“When I lie down, I will not be afraid; Yes, I will lie down and my sleep will be sweet.”- Proverbs 3:24 (personalized).
I also think back on the entire chapter of Psalm 91, because I know that my God will always protect me and my family.
This is just a daily guide that I personally go by and these few scriptures don’t cover the half of it. God’s word is full of promises, wisdom, guidance, etc that will help us and show us that in God, there is always a way. Even when it doesn’t seem like it. I hope you find these helpful in your own everyday walk with the Lord.
“Call my name, say it now, I want you to never doubt The love I have for you is so alive” Third Day – Call My Name
I love music. I really do. I am obsessed with beats, melodies, lyrics, and everything involved and in between. Unfortunately I was not blessed to have a voice to sing or coordination to play piano any better then “OK” in my adulthood. But that’s OK, I still enjoy it all.
I’ve listened to so many different types of music in my life, all types of genres. I’ve been to concerts and shows and even late night music sessions. Lyrics are probably my favorite, and I’ve been partial to a lot of them…
But just for one second read the lyrics I’ve put up at the top of this post… then really think about them. Read them over and over.
God will NEVER fail us! Isn’t that amazing? As much as my husband or friends/family love me, I can ask them for help and may sometimes have to doubt, just because they are human. My husband may simply forget that I’m really hoping he remembers to bring me home Diet Coke tonight (I’m human too, after all…) and then I may have to go out to the store… But when God says he’s there… when he says he’s going to do something… when all of the world calls me crazy for being a Christian… when I myself even at one time doubted… when there are elections, personal conflicts, wars, illnesses, financial problems, depression, fears, or anything else big or small… HE IS HERE!!!! And the best part: HE’S NOT GOING ANYWHERE!
Those have to be some of the most beautiful lyrics I’ve ever heard. Nothing gets more real than that!
Originally written by Angie on October 24, 2008