Moms & Dads, This is Your MOST IMPORTANT REMINDER

My first daughter, who will be three in April recently started calling me “MOM.”

When she was still a baby, my husband and I would compete and try to get her to say, “Mama” or “Dada” first. (I mean which first-time parents don’t do that, right?)

We have two daughters now and none of them had “Mama” as their first word. LG’s first word was “Dada” and AJ’s first word was “juice.” How, you may ask? I HAVE NO IDEA! Lol!

After the “Mama” stage, you anticipate when they’ll say, “Mommy” and get excited about it, but when LG started calling me, “MOM” (consistently) a few days ago, it was a different kind of feeling. I felt “sad” to witness my first-born growing up so fast right before my eyes. It wasn’t like an “unhappy-sad,” it was more like a “happy-sad/don’t-leave-me-ever” kind of feeling.

A quote I came up with last year was:

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As a mom or dad, we need to keep in mind that our children don’t belong to us.

YES, you might have given birth to them;

YES, you provide for them financially;

YES, you send them to school and help them with homework or projects;

YES, you provide shelter for them;

YES, you feed them multiple times a day;

YES, you teach them how to drive and maybe even buy their first car;

YES, you might have helped a little financially for their wedding;

YES, you are the one that is there during their sad times and happy times, during their victories and losses, during their special moments…and not-so-special moments.

YES, you are their MOM OR DAD…

YES, you do the “work” of raising them…

But before you even became their mom or dad, your child(ren) were already on God’s mind.

HE is the Giver of Life.

HE is the Giver of Strength.

HE is the Giver of Finances.

HE is the Giver of Wisdom.

HE is the Giver of Children… yes, YOUR CHILDREN!

So why do we as parents hold on to our children as if they are ours?

If we just remember that we are only BORROWING them from the LORD, we might be BETTER STEWARDS OF PARENTING THEM.

Generally, parents think that they have 18 years, at least, to be with their children. After that, it’s college life and possibly meeting their future spouse and spending the rest of their lives with that spouse.

18 years. You have: 

216 Months or

939 Weeks or

6570 Days or

157680 Hours or

9,460,800 Minutes or

567,648,000 Seconds

Possibly left with your child(ren).

“The days are long but the years are short!”

So why not spend those years…

INVESTING on,

IMPACTING, and

INFLUENCING

your child(ren);

rather than

DISCOURAGING and

 DESIGNING THEM?

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As parents, we only desire the best for our children; but which best? “Our” best or “God’s” Best? Because God’s Best is so much more and better than ours. So let’s stop thinking that it is our job, duty, or responsibility to MAKE  our children what they need to be.

You see, we make that mistake. We think that God gave our children to us so we can make them into the “masterpiece” that maybe, we failed to be or our parents failed to raise us in becoming.

God gave us our children so that we can “train” and “teach” them the way that they should go…(Proverbs 22:6) not the way that we want them to go.

So remember,

  • Children are a gift FROM GOD. (Psalm 127:3)
  • We are only borrowing our children; They are not ours for keeps. (Psalm 127:4)
  • We have a limited time with them. Make the most of it! (Deuteronomy 6:7; 11:19)

I love what Jack Wellman says about this verse here.

  • Raise the children God has given you in the nurture and admonition of the LORD. (Ephesians 6:4b)
  • Our job is not to MAKE our children what we want them to be but what God has already planned for them to be. (Joshua 24:15; Genesis 18:19; Malachi 2:15; Romans 12:2; Matthew 6:33)

 

***Featured photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash!

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10 Ways to be a Help Meet

I am so excited for this coming March, not because we’ll have a crazy work schedule but because my husband and I will be celebrating 4 years of marriage!!! Crazy, right?!? We were just these little high schoolers who dated each other and caused a lot of drama and then ended up going to college & graduating together! Time flies too fast, especially when you’re having fun!

I decided to jot down 10 ways that I am still trying to “master” and I put that in quotes because marriage is not something you master; marriage is something that you continually work at and eventually reap the benefits of.

Now, take note that not every marriage is the same… there will be similarities but don’t assume that because these things work for me, they will for you too. I am merely just sharing from MY MARRIAGE & hope that you can find at least ONE thing you can implement or continue to do in yours.

Without further ado,

1) Tell your spouse VERBALLY how much you love him. How many times do we get so caught up with “LIFE” that we sometimes forget to say those three words – “I.LOVE.YOU”? My husband is better at reminding me that he loves me than I am of reminding him.  I am so horrible at this. At times, my husband would say those three special words but crazy me, my mind or attention would be somewhere else and I easily forget how special those words are and just for the sake of getting it done, I say them… blatantly & with little sincerity. David usually likes for me to look into his eyes and say those words. I am so guilty and my prayer is to improve in this area.Well, it’s a New Year and you and I can do new things, starting with our marriages.

2) Pray for him DAILY. If you didn’t already know, marriages are under attack. The devil would love to see God’s meaning of Marriage become twisted, perverted, & unappreciated. As a wife, it is my duty and privilege to pray for my husband, especially since God has made him the Head of our home. If the head of the household is not in lined with God’s Word, it’s harder for the rest of the family to follow him. So pray for him, earnestly, faithfully, and sincerely. Here are a few ways I found on Pinterest:

a) From Head to Toe 

b) 1-Week Prayer Guide

c) 5 Prayers to Daily Pray

3) Praise him in front of your children as often as possible. Your children need to see that their “Daddy” isn’t just a man, he’s thee man! He should be the handsomest, most hardworking, most amazing man they will ever come into contact with. They should (when the right time comes) desire to marry someone like Daddy.

4) Praise him in front of others. With all the technology we have now, it’s so easy to let the “whole world” know anything and everything! If we have that capability, why not let the “whole world” know that you married the most incredible guy on planet earth (even though they may not think so). I mean, when was the last time you PRAISED your spouse on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter?

“Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.” (Prov. 31:23)

Here is a 1-week Praise Guide from Rachel Wojo.

5) Admire him like you used to during your “dating” years. Of course, dating each other shouldn’t end after marriage. Rather, it should continue. But what I mean is, “look” at him, “treat” him, and “adore” him like you did BEFORE you got married. Admiration for your spouse shouldn’t stop at the beginning of your marriage but should continue AND continue to grow as the years go.

6)“Criticize” him. It’s often that those closest to us can become our biggest critics. Criticism isn’t always bad. There’s a right WAY and as I’ve learned the hard way, a RIGHT TIME to criticize. Before you say something to your husband, practice saying it to yourself in a discrete and sweet way. For the longest time, my husband did not take my criticisms so well and mainly due to HOW I said them rather than WHAT I said. For example:

Instead of, “Wow, I can’t believe you didn’t understand what I meant when I said….”

Rather say, “Honey/Baby/Sweetheart, was I clear when I said… or was I hard to understand?

Instead of directing it right to him, indirectly direct it to him by directing it to you? (Does that even make sense?) Well, pretty much, have tact and grace.

7) Compliment him. How often do we give compliments to those that aren’t our loved ones? I’ll be honest to admit that I’ve done that more times than I can count. And how sad is it for our spouse to hear more compliments from another co-worker than from his own wife? Be careful! Make sure this isn’t happening in your family.  I have known people, even preachers to fall into sin of this sort and end up leaving a family they “supposedly” loved. Compliment him about everything that you notice. Some may be:

  a) You smell really good right now! I love it when your wear that deodorant.

    b) Thank you for putting gas in the van. I appreciate how thoughtful you were in doing that.

    c) You did a super job taking care of that problem!

    d) You encourage me to reach out and love people more.

You should be a critic to your spouse but more so, his #1 cheerleader! (compliment/or isn’t really a word so cheerleader should suffice) 🙂

8) Elevate his talents. Find something that he’s good at – just one thing. Don’t tell me that he isn’t good at anything because if he wasn’t, why would you have married him in the first place? My husband is very artistic. If he really wanted to, he could’ve been a voice actor, cartoonist, comic book artist, a HOLLYWOOD star but eh… no thanks, I’m keeping this guy all to myself (haha). Your spouse may be a good cook, great gardener, a sports guy, a singer, whatever… JUST FIND SOMETHING & elevate it,  meaning, let him use it in ways that are within your means & calling. Don’t let him lose it… remember, if you don’t use it, you lose it.

9) Do what he “enjoys” once in a while. As humans, it’s quite easy and convenient to do what WE want. We are selfish people by nature. But if you really want to be a help-meet to your spouse, make time for what’s “important” to him. If your spouse enjoys something, then that means it has some level of importance. So go out & fish with him, play some ball, go for a drive, whatever… just do something YOU KNOW he enjoys and don’t wait for him to mention it. Be the one to initiate so he knows that you are actually making an effort.

10) Make him FEEL like he’s the most special person in the world. Apart from Christ, your spouse should be your very best friend. I grew up having best friends, mostly in Grade School to Junior High. During high school, I kind of drifted away from that mentality. However, I do have a few very close friends, whom I am very grateful for. So please don’t get me wrong, if you have girl or guy best friend who is not your spouse, awesome (so long as your friendship is not as intimate as with your spouse). For me, there’s only ONE human person that I would share anything and everything with and that is my husband, who is my best friend. A best friend should feel more special than any regular friend that you have and that is how you should make your spouse feel. Feelings aren’t everything, I know, but there is a reason why God made us with emotions. So with 2017, make him FEEL like he’s beyond special!

And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. (Gen. 2:18)

You can either be a help-meet to your spouse or a help, meet for him. Either way, God created you so that your husband wouldn’t be alone. 🙂

Just as you joined hands on your Big Day, may you join hands in this journey we call marriage. 

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By God’s Grace,

judylynn

Consistency

Have you ever wondered why REMINDERS are vital? I sure have. I constantly need to be reminded of almost everything. I think I have short-term memory, which is why when I am asked to do something, I either need to write it down or get it done right then and there… If I don’t, I will forget about it.

Am I the only one like that? Please tell me I am not alone…

A while back, I wrote my first post for my Building Blocks of Better Parenting SeriesLiking, Loving, & Laboring. Well, today will be about Consistency.

I have an almost 3-year old toddler (LG) and a 1-year old (AJ). My LG has been growing up way too fast…She’s so imaginative and girly. She loves to pretend she is EVERY PRINCESS and that she is having tea with her friends… A few weeks ago, I was face timing my Mom who lives in Michigan and my LG comes up to me with her backpack on and says, “Bye!” I asked her where she was going and she said, “To the airport…”

I respond, “Aww…are you going to visit ‘Grandma G’ in Michigan?

She replies, “Yes, Mommy… Bye!”

I respond, “Bye, Baby. I love you!”

WOW!!!  I mean where did this girl even learn the word, “airport” from? It’s pretty awesome though!

I can’t even remember when my husband and I started teaching her to pray… but we pray before we eat and before we go to sleep and if LG & AJ are watching something on YOUTUBE Kids, we tell them to PAUSE it.

WHY? Simply, because we want them to understand the importance and seriousness of praying. 

Maybe a year ago or so, my MIL was surprised when she was babysitting LG. They were about to eat and LG already knew that she was supposed to PAUSE if she was watching or doing something… and she did. When I was told this, I knew that my husband and I were doing at least ONE THING right in this parenting journey. (Can I get an ‘AMEN’?!?)

Now, does that mean that she doesn’t need to be reminded? Of course not. Right now, we are CONSTANTLY REMINDING her to say, “Please & Thank you.” I mean, if you haven’t experienced it yet, children can be very demanding! My LG will sometimes say, “Mommy, get it!”and being the “Firm Mommy” that I’ve always wanted to be (haha), I reply, “I’m sorry, LG… what did you say?” She repeats it and I respond with, “Mommy, may you please help me get it?”

The first time she TOLD me to do something, I was like… “Uhh… I’m sorry, you don’t TELL Mommy what to do. You can ASK Mommy something…but you don’t DEMAND.”

WHY? Because as the parent, YOU are the one that should have the AUTHORITY. Of course, you don’t abuse that authority… but you use it to eventually train them to know and understand that there is a Higher Authority – God.

So for all those parents who may be wondering if you’re doing things right, if there’s anything I can say, it’s BE CONSISTENT & be consistent in teaching and training the right way. Many parents are consistent but if they’re not careful, the have the wrong consistency. Think about it like cooking… there are different foods that require certain types of consistency. Have you ever had a milkshake that had the wrong consistency – that was watery and wasn’t thick enough? I might have… and it wasn’t very desirable! (But the ones pictured below look delicious!)

three-milkshakes

“Failure to have the right consistency results in the incorrect desired product.”

As Christians, my husband and I use the Bible as our guide…and we use it to help us raise our children the right way. Does that mean that my girls are going to be perfect or “holy-holy?” Not necessarily. But the Bible does say in Proverbs 22:6

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

I know we have a while until our kids are old enough to think for themselves and make their own decisions but the time may be here sooner than we know and it’s our duty (and privilege) to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

QUOTES FOR REINFORCEMENT:

“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.”  Anthony Robbins
“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.” Jim Rohn
“It’s not what we do once—it’s what we do once a day…day in and day out…every day that brings lasting change into our lives.” Toni Sorenson
“Consistency, constancy, and undeviating diligence to maintain Christian character are a must if the older generation is to command respect, or even a hearing, from the young.” Billy Graham

So, whether you’re the “role-model” parent, the parent that’s struggling to train your children the right way, a new parent, an “honorary” (foster) parent, or one that’s always desired to be parent but can’t have children, please remember that PARENTING is not an overnight thing. It takes work and many times, results don’t appear until years later.

It’s a continuous process and one that requires doing the same things, day in and day out.

So, Mom, Dad, STICK WITH IT and know that what you’re doing matters and is worth it.

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 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

 

***Featured photo by David Straight on Unsplash!

Stop Being a Continual Dropping!

Repetition is the key to learning, right?… or wrong?

I have found this to be a little controversial in marriage with one specific area…(at least in MY marriage). I’m sure most, if not all wives have “NAGGED” their husbands at one time or another during their marriage. I, for sure am guilty of it.

Nagging has a ripple affect just as raindrops do. You start and then you just go on and on and on… even about the really minute things!

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Whether it be my husband leaving clothes on the floor, leaving a light on, forgetting to hang something up, so on and so forth; I have nagged him and I’m actually surprised he hasn’t said anything back in our almost 4 years of marriage; at least nothing that would be considered as “biting back.”  (He knows better.. Just kidding!)

He has graciously accepted my nagging.

Now, before you judge my husband, I encourage you to read this article I found recently about not being a “Butthole Wife.” The Title may sound a little funny but it was such a great reminder to me, as I am sure it will be to you.

As a former Elementary teacher, Repetition was a key method to use for a lot of things… However, we can’t treat our spouses like our Elementary students (even when they act like it).

At this moment, you may be wondering what a “CONTINUAL DROPPING” is.

No, it’s not when a bird poos continuously, or when your newborn baby has non-stop diaper changes… or when you have diarrhea! Haha!

I looked up the phrase, “Continual Dropping” in the Bible and found it twice in the Book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 27:15 -“A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.”

It’s been raining a lot here at our place and I actually have enjoyed it (mainly because the sun still manages to come out). Now, if it rained here for a whole week straight… I may not enjoy it as much.

If you think about it, if you’re the type of wife, fiance, or girlfriend that is constantly nagging your other half, I’m sure that relationship will be full of strife. Just as a continuous rainy day may not be as enjoyable, a contentious woman is the same – she’s not really an easy one to live or deal with.

Proverbs 19:13b – “…the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.”

I can’t even remember how many times I’ve nagged my husband, and caused contention between us… mainly for me because I set certain expectations that my husband doesn’t really obtain; not because he doesn’t want to but because our priorities for certain things may not be on the same level. For example, after coming home from a long day’s work, my husband may just want to change into comfortable clothes right away to spend time with our girls…Now, I, on the other hand, may want him to help me clean up around the house. (Of course, some of you may be thinking that we just need to communicate that to each other) But that’s not my point… my point is… his higher priority coming home from work is to spend time with our two daughters whom he hasn’t seen all day… And honestly, I would rather prefer that than arguing with him about his leaving clothes on the floor.

Lately, I’ve been thinking… how can I NOT BE a continual dropping as a wife and as a mother?

So, here are 3 ways that I have been “trying.”

  1. Thank God for giving you another day to live. I am positive those that passed away at the airport shooting in Florida weren’t anticipating it to be their last day. It really breaks my heart that someone would do something like that, with no thought of the sanctity of human life. I pray for their families. Each day that is granted to us is a blessing from God and this is a blessing that sadly, many of us forget to thank God for. But how different would our days go if we started with a grateful heart? I’m sure they wouldn’t be perfect all the time but we get to choose how we react to the tasks that we are given or the obstacles that come our way.

828dc91d8dafae6d9eb5d22ecdeb2dad2. Treat every day with your spouse and your children as if it was your last day with them…  I have been saddened to hear news of people passing away because of illnesses or dying due to car accidents, weather accidents, etc. If we just thought about each day as it were our last with those that mean the most to us, I am POSITIVE that we would live it differently and treat “THEM” differently AND better!

3. Train yourself to walk in someone else’s shoes for  “a mile.” Ok, I don’t mean that “mile” part literally but I won’t stop you if you choose to. But really, before we judge someone or treat someone a certain way, think about how their day went (at work, at school, at home…) or what trials they may be going through. How sad would it be for a husband or wife to be treated better at their workplace than at home, right? But sadly, it happens EVERY DAY! A home should be a place that people should look forward to, not dread! The next time you feel frustrated because of your spouse’s lack of _____________ (you fill in the blank)… think about how their day was at work (it may not have gone as well as you think). Or the next time you get angry at your children for doing _____________ or not doing ___________(you fill in the blanks), think about how they feel when both of their parents work… or when they’ve been cooped up in the house “ALL DAY.”

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So, if you’re a wife or mother, (especially) I encourage you to

Stop Being a Continual Dropping!

 

BECAUSE IN THE END, You’ll realize that it was just a waste of your time.

Time that you could’ve used to enjoy picking up those clothes on the floor.

Time that you could’ve used to just “see the need, take the lead” and turn off the unused lights or hang something up.

Time that you could’ve used teaching and forgiving rather than being angry and regretting what you said later on to your little child who was innocent and just needed a little encouragement or push to do the right thing.

TIME…. that unfortunately, you cannot take back. You have already lost it and there is no re-do button.

Instead, you can just press forward with the REMINDER that

TIME IS VALUABLE AND MUST BE SPENT WISELY.

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***Featured Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash!

“Behold, I will do a new thing…”

No doubt, many either stayed up to RING IN THE NEW YEAR or slept FROM ALL THE FUN CHEER!

But one thing is for sure, if you are reading this, you made it into 2017! Congrats! I’m sure 2016 had its shares of good & bad and ups & downs, and 2017 will probably be the same to a point. We don’t know a lot of what 2017 may hold, but as Christians, we shouldn’t fret because we already know who holds tomorrow! (Praise Jesus!)

I’m sure there are millions and even billions out there who have set “NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS.” I, for one, didn’t necessarily make resolutions but instead set goals with a game plan. I’m sure that not all of my “plans” will go as I want them to this year but someone wise once said,

“He who aims at nothing hits it every time.” 

 

I should at least try, right?

How silly would it be for someone to go to war without a game plan?

I’d say, ridiculous!

But yet, as Christians, we carelessly go to war EVERYDAY without THEE GAME PLAN – The Word of God and if you read the Bible, you will find that in this Book, there is the ARMOUR of God.

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Now, going back to that quote… I’m sure with the NEW YEAR, many wanted to have some “Spiritual Encouragement” and therefore attended church on Sunday. After all, what better way to start 2017 than by going to God’s House, right? But sadly, that won’t be “A REGULAR THING.” I don’t mean to be negative but I’ve seen it year after year…

Today, Church is viewed as “an obligation” rather than “a privilege.” It has become more of a gathering place of friends to fellowship rather than a place to worship the Living God. It has become a place for entertainment rather than a place of exalting the One, True God. Rather than it being a safe-haven for the hurt, it becomes a secret-place of gossip.

With 2017 already here,  let’s strive to make it different from 2016. Let’s make it better. Let’s include the ONE who gave it to us, God.

So I ask you, “How was your 1st day of 2017?” Maybe you ended 2016 believing in your heart that you wouldn’t do certain things or say certain things, but there you were already saying something that wasn’t honest, just, pure, lovely, or of good report. Well, friend, I’m here to tell you that tomorrow can be different. It can be better with God’s help.

Isaiah 43:19 says, “Behold, I will do a NEW THING; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”

No matter how your 2016 went, if you know Jesus as your Saviour, you can have confidence. You can accomplish what you never thought you could. You can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth you. (Philippians 4:13)

Don’t be discouraged by whatever happened or didn’t happen in 2016.

Today is a NEW DAY and 2017 is a NEW YEAR!

Don’t be so caught up on LAST YEAR that you miss out on the NEW OPPORTUNITIES, NEW PRIVILEGES, and NEW BLESSINGS that God has in store for you TODAY & THIS YEAR!

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***Featured Photo by Stephen Crowley on Unsplash!

8 Okays in Marriage

This coming March 2017, my husband and I will be celebrating our 4th year anniversary!!! It’s been a crazy/fun/amazing rollercoaster! In the past 3 1/2 years, I’ve been tested in my love, commitment, forgiveness, faith, and joy.

Marriage is that “thing” that almost everyone looks forward to. (Or is that the wedding?) Well, I remember 4 1/2 years ago when David proposed to me…it seems as if it was just yesterday!

AND NOW…we have two little female humans living with us, who can sometimes be very demanding BUT… have given us more joy than we could ever imagine.

As I look back on this year, I can honestly say that I haven’t been the best wife to my husband… just speaking honestly. I know that I could’ve done more… FOR HIM.

I could’ve prayed for him more (a lot more), dated him more,  wrote more notes to him, encouraged him more, helped lessen his load more, and the list could go on and on but you get the point. 

It’s so easy when you’re in the “dating” stage to overlook or “not” look at the faults of the person you’re dating…OH but when you get married, EVERYTHING GETS MAGNIFIED!

BUT TODAY, in spite of my shortcomings or the shortcomings of my husband, I wanted to share 8 things that I absolutely love about OUR marriage:

  • It’s ok to be down-to-earth, especially with each other. It’s way better than being uptight and the couple who doesn’t have friends. We like to be with friends but we also like to have our us-time. We still hang out with our friends, even if they’re not married.
  • It’s ok to be comfortable with each other. – We can say things to each other that only we  would understand; we call each other in public by “clucking” (especially when our phones are dead or not in our possession). Tell him anything and everything. After all, you did commit to being with him til death do you part. Don’t be afraid to also tell him when you’re UNCOMFORTABLE with something. 
  • It’s ok if you don’t like the same things. We love a few of the same things but dislike a lot of things – Believe it or not, I was one of those kids that didn’t grow up watching the cartoon channel on Saturday mornings. Now, I still don’t watch the cartoon channel on Saturday mornings. BUT…. I have watched some cartoon movies (thanks to my husband) and he also got me into watching some of the DC shows (which he doesn’t even watch anymore). HOWEVER, I do not like his comic books nor his toy figurines/collection and believe me, if he were to die first, I’m selling those… I’m pretty sure I could survive with whatever amount I make… haha! No, but really, he’s the one that told me I could sell his collection if he died first. Moving on – He has a sweet tooth; I don’t. He likes flat pillows, I like the hard, fluffy ones. 
  •  It’s ok to work together and serve together. –  We are both Bible College Graduates and are now in full-time Christian ministry. The past few days have reminded me “why” I love serving with him. We get to meet people and minister to them, pray with and for them, and we both get to have fun while we try to “work” our crazy schedules, which are always not “FINAL.” Serve others together. There’s something about serving others and doing so with your spouse! It’s AWESOME!
  • It’s ok to understand & know how each other is feeling. –  He knows when I’m sad, mad, hungry, frustrated, disappointed, discouraged, excited, etc. He’s definitely my soul-mate! He knows me all too well, sometimes more than I know myself. I know when he’s discouraged, disappointed, or happy. But I’ll be honest, I believe He gets me more than I get him, which is why this point is specifically geared towards him. 
  • It’s ok to have fun & make fun (of each other). – “Fun” in our language can mean different things… sometimes, it’s just going out, like to the mall or the park; other times, it’s eating out! Ok, a lot of our fun does involve eating… but what can we say, WE LOVE FOOD! Sometimes, we like to mock each other… but definitely to the point when we know to stop… 
  • It’s ok to be honest with each other. – We compliment each other and we also give criticism. If I make food that he isn’t too fond of (but I am), he will graciously tell me. But he also still tells me I’m Beautiful (even when I really don’t feel or look like it). I usually compliment him when I smell his deodorant or body wash… and I “try” to kindly criticize him when he doesn’t smell too good. I say “try” because I can be a very blunt, straightforward person. 
  • It’s ok to need a break from the kids. As working parents, especially since both of us are in Christian Ministry, a lot of days can be tiring just like any other job… but being in Ministry can sometimes go beyond the 8-5 or 9-6 work hours. There are days when my schedule is more packed than my husbands’ and vice versa and David is very good about letting me get my rest. He also knows when to just let the kids get their energy out, outside, after being cooped up in the house for hours. Other times, we divide & conquer! He gets one girl & I get the other… (Not sure how that’ll work out once we have our next one(s)! (Wink, Wink)

This list is one that will be on the “to be continued…” category because I know that TRUE LOVE is love that is CONTINUALLY GROWING and so will the lists…. so until next time!

8-oks-in-marriage

 

***Featured Photo by Wu Jianxiong on Unsplash!

When will it be YOUR day?

No doubt, everyone has gone to at least one appointment in their lifetime. It could’ve been a doctor’s, dentist’s, psychiatrist’s, wedding planner’s… you name it. We’ve all been to some kind of appointment. I remember being pregnant with both my girls and all the appointments & checkups I had. I usually didn’t mind them and I had the privilege of having my husband come with me to most, if not all of them.

 

So what’s the purpose of an appointment?

For the doctor to check and tell you what your diagnosis is.

To follow up on a prior illness or diagnosis.

In the past 3 weeks in our church, we’ve held 5 memorial services for 3 different people and but in those 3 weeks outside of our church family, I’ve known 2 MORE people that have lost a loved one plus 1 person I knew personally (for a short time).

From the past few years, I’ve noticed this to be a “trend” (and I don’t say that carelessly) especially during the holidays. People slip into eternity by the numbers!

I have never lost an immediate family member or someone really, really close to me. I have known people that have gone on into eternity, but no one so close to me like a parent, sibling, grandparent, best friend, etc.

You see, appointments aren’t “bad” per se until we hear the word, “cancer” or the words “serious illness.”

In these past weeks as I’ve helped prepare the program for the memorial services, I’ve been reminded of how short life truly is… and the confirmation for me to write about this blog post happened on the Sunday Morning after we had the first 2 church members lose their loved ones…when the Preacher was preaching about our lives and the shortness of them.

You see…

Death is inevitable; it is certain to happen and it is unavoidable.

Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sins death…”

Death will come. Death is no respecter of persons, age, talent, wealth, etc.

Hebrews 9:27a – “And as it is appointed unto men once to die..”

Death is that NON-CANCELLABLE APPOINTMENT. 

Hebrews 9:27b -“…but after this the judgment:”

You can cancel your upcoming doctor’s appointment or postpone it, but you FOR SURE CANNOT CANCEL YOUR Death Appointment. 

There will come a time in your life when IT’S YOUR TIME to go.

The REAL question isn’t “When?” but “Are you ready?”

There are 3 types of people in this world when it comes to death:

  1. Those who are prepared for their death
  2. Those who are preparing for their death
  3. Those who are not prepared for their death

Which one are you? How do you base what type of person you are?

Do you think you’ve done enough good? Do you think you haven’t really done bad?

If you are prepared, how are have you done so? How are you preparing for that Death Appointment?

As I sat in one of the memorial services 3 weeks ago, I heard a lot of good things said about the person who had passed… but more than that I noticed one person… the eldest son of the woman who had passed. Not once did I see him cry…In fact, he had that same big smile that he always has 🙂

You may be thinking, “How in the world was he NOT CYRING?” Believe me, I thought the same thing.

Well, I’m positive he’s done his share of crying, maybe with his own family but as he stood up there to lead the schedule of the program, the congregational singing, and even his “special words” for his mom, you can tell he had such grace that came from no one else but the Lord. How he managed to maintain such poise still blesses my heart and makes me  burdened for my own family (to make sure that I will be able to see them again, in case it was their time).

You see, Mark was able to maintain such poise and have such grace because he KNEW without a shadow of a doubt that although he may never see or talk to his mom here on earth, there will come a time when he will be reunited with her again. He has HOPE!

Earlier, we mentioned how appointments can seem bad especially when we hear the word, “cancer.”  The reality is, WE ALL HAVE CANCER & that cancer is SIN.

One of my professors in college used to say,

“Sin will take you farther than you want to go, Cost you more than you want to pay,

& Keep you longer than you want to stay.”

My friends, Sin is a disease and is continually spreading…

Some cancers may have cures but I can GUARANTEE you that Sin HAS A CURE and that remedy is JESUS.

If you are ready for that Death Appointment, that means that there was a time in your life when you realized that you were a sinner and accepted the fact that because you sin, you will die… and “that death” is not just a physical death, it is a spiritual one where you will be separated from God.

You chose to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and because you did that, you are ready for that Death Appointment.

If you are getting ready for that Death Appointment, it means to me that you have already accepted the ONLY Remedy and now are just doing what you are commanded to do until that day comes. Why? For the purpose of glorifying your Maker and receiving rewards that you will eventually cast at the feet of Jesus.  (Please don’t confuse this with WORKING for your salvation)

If you absolutely know that you are not prepared for that Death Appointment, please know that you can be! If you are really, truly serious about this matter, I will be happy to show you. Please do not hesitate to contact me.

So many people live life with the motto, YOLO – You Only Live Once.

This motto is true to a point and as a Believer, I know for sure that I will not live once.

Believer in Christ – dies once and lives twice

Non-Believer in Christ –  lives once and dies twice 

As a believer in Christ, I know that I do not need to fret about tomorrow because I know WHO HOLDS TOMORROW & I AM H.O.P.E.(see acronym below)

living-the-dream

Just as Mark displayed that HOPE, you can too by BEING PREPARED for that NON-CANCELLABLE APPOINTMENT.

***I started writing this post about 3 weeks ago and I have just been so busy with work , memorial services,  and life that I wasn’t able to finish it and now that I think about it – It was all part of God’s plan!
You see, in these 3 weeks that I’ve taken to write this post (on & off), there has been additions to the death numbers. 
I have known and heard of a total of 7 deaths. 
Now you may be thinking that “7” isn’t a lot… but it’s not about how many but the fact that I knew 4 out of those 7 people that slipped into eternity… 

People don’t take death seriously until it’s someone they know or are related or close to. 

This holiday season, let’s love a little more, give a little more, and hug and hold onto those who are dear to us because before we know, they may be next.

As horrible as that sounds, it’s possible and it’s best to be prepared.

“One life will soon be past; Only what’s done for Christ will last.” – C.T. Studd

Are YOU ready for YOUR appointment?

 

***Featured photo by Sonja Langford on Unsplash!