Sunday, August 11, 2013


My friend, Heather, and I are at different stages of parenting.  I have four children in the tween to teenager stage and she has three ranging from elementary to high school. Because I have a blended family, I only have my children at home part of the week. Therefore, I have the opportunity for some uninterrupted conversation.  Heather, on the other hand, does not have that unfortunate benefit and there is little time, especially in the summer, for a casual conversation without distraction.

I love to spend time with Heather.  She is typically the girlfriend to whom I turn to share my happiest news as well as my most difficult decisions.  I would love it if Heather could shut her door, ignore all of the things going on in her life, and give me her undivided attention for at least 15 minutes every day, but that is not possible or practical for her during this time of her life.  I love her so much though, and I value the conversation that we have so highly, that I am happy to take what I can get!  

Occasionally, Heather does step away from regular life to spend time with just me!  That time is absolutely precious to me!  Often, we have so much to say that we kind of talk in circles, but it is still very special!  Those rare times remind me that, though we are in a busy season of our lives, making a date to spend uninterrupted time together keeps our friendship strong.

I understand the season of life where Heather resides right now because I have been there too.  Though it prevents her from giving me her full attention, I treasure the relationship enough to appreciate whatever she has to give.  I believe God feels the same about His relationship with me.  He would love for me to step away from life and spend long periods of time, meditating on His word and pouring out my heart to Him, but I think He is also happy with the broken, interrupted conversations that I have with Him as I go through my very busy life.  I am sure that God truly treasures it when that I set aside special time for just Him, but I think He also loves that He is The One that I run to with ALL of my happy news and difficult decisions, even when they are muttered on the fly or groaned along the way.

We often feel guilty for the lack of time we spend in prayer.  I know that God would prefer for us to spend our energy actually talking to Him whenever and wherever we can than beating ourselves up for the time that we can't!  Setting aside special for our Lord is important, but He loves us and I know that He is happy with whatever we are able to offer.  After all, He has eternity set aside to spend with us.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Wise or Contentious (a Charge to my soon-to-be-married friend)

Wise or Contentious

Proverbs 14:1
Every wise woman builds up her household,
but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.

Proverbs 25:24
It is better to live in a corner of the roof Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

Kate, we are here today to help celebrate the very near wedding of you and Carl.  We are stocking your pantry today, and I know that you and Carl are dreaming of building a home together.  Whether you live in an apartment, a house, a trailer, or even a cardboard box, I know that, at this point, all you care about is living together in your home.  The last thought on your mind is of Carl living on the corner of your roof, and I'm quite sure you don't have any intention of being contentious!  But whether we like to admit it or not, all of us have been contentious at one time or another. 

What does it mean to be contentious?

Causing or likely to cause an argument; controversial.
Involving heated argument.
quarrelsome - controversial - moot - litigious

I have to confess, I have definitely had my times of being a contentious woman! If you are thinking to yourself, "I don't think I am contentious," I'll give you some examples in the style of my husband's favorite comedian.

If your husband has ever said, "I wear the pants in the family, my wife just tells me which ones to wear!"  You might be a contentious woman!

If your husband has moved his recliner and TV to the garage, you might be a contentious woman!

If you keep asking the same question over and over until you get the "right" answer, you might be a contentious woman!

All joking aside, whether we mean to or not, there is so much pressure from the world and from our selfish nature to demand our way, protect our rights, and feel that we deserve better.  But All of those motives will only lead us to tearing our houses down.

On the flip side, we are to intentionally be wise women, building up our houses.  Romans 12 gives us guidelines on dealing with relationships, particularly difficult ones.  Lets face it, sometimes our marriages can be the most difficult relationship in our lives!

Paul spends the first 8 verses of Romans 12 reminding us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices and not to conform to the world.  Then, he follows up with strong words as he tells us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought!  Isn't that what being a contentious woman is all about?  How can we possibly be building our house when we think we are better or know more than our husbands.  

What's even worse than thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought, is actually treating others as though we are better!

Paul teaches exactly the opposite in the next four verses as he tells us what love really looks like.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Here are the cornerstones for building a Godly home, or if your walls are beginning to crumble, these are the instructions for getting your husband to come in off of the roof and back into that house with a loving wife!

Lets be wise women!  Lets cling to what is good! Lets be humble before God and before those who share our homes.  Lets not be contentious, but instead, be more interested in being in relationship than we are in being right!

Kate, I charge you to be a wise woman, to build up your house, to respect your husband, and to bring him good and not harm, all the days of your life!