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Posts Tagged ‘woman’

Van Gogh.  Picasso.  Cassatt.  The names alone evoke images of world-renowned masters and their work–each artist  sharing a glimpse of the world as he imagined it.  Some images are bold and colorful; others a melding of shadows.

In the same way, God is creating His own masterpiece in each of us.  Every experience, circumstance, or emotion we encounter becomes part of the canvas–representing our struggles and triumphs, joys and sorrows, secrets and revelations.

And, if we look carefully, we’ll notice the Master’s  brushstrokes.  Do you see them?  They’ve smoothed the rough areas and shed light on the dark places.  He’s taking painstaking care to create an amazing work of art–a representation of someone beautiful and unique–you.

…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6 NIV)

The work may not be finished yet, but the outline is clear.  And the artist?  He already knows who you’ll become.  Perfect…incomparable…transformed.

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I can imagine the perfect woman for my husband–and she is not me.  Now, I’m not suggesting I would rather Dave be married to someone else.  What I am saying is that if I were his best friend, parent, or sibling I would have expected him to marry someone unlike me.

Dave’s perfect wife  would  eagerly anticipate the next shared hike together, certain she could conquer the ragged terrain of any mountain.  This someone would engage in political debates, enjoy running in marathons, and read Time magazine.

Instead Dave chose a woman who’s afraid of heights, rarely reveals her political affiliation, and prefers a relaxing walk on the beach to the rush of endorphins at the end of a five-mile run.  And my favorite reading material?  Think Jane Eyre and Anna Karenina.  I don’t remember when I read Time last.

But, Dave didn’t want perfect–he wanted me.  And, after all of our years together, he still does.  The remarkable part of all this is Dave is more aware of my flaws, faults, and foibles than during the early years of our marriage.  He sees me clearly.

My dislike for closet doors haphazardly left open?  Dave hears about it regularly.  The temper that flares when we disagree about discipline?  He’s been an object of that anger.  My high-maintenance food ordering habits?  If the avocado is fresh than I’ll have the southwestern burger, if not then I’d like the patty melt with the onion straws on the side but no cheese.  Yes, Dave is aware of this hang-up.  (He says I’m discerning; not picky.)

Despite knowing me as intimately as he does, Dave loves me all the more.  What, then, is principle number three?  Accept your husband for who he is.  You cannot change him.  When you are convinced your husband needs to change, begin praying the Lord will change you.

3 Ways to Demonstrate Acceptance Toward Your Husband

  • Talking Trash–Have you been around a group of women lately?  Don’t join their “My Husband is an Idiot Club”.  Honor him with words of affirmation–even when he isn’t nearby.

             Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others upEphesians 4:29

  • Point of Reference–Extend grace and mercy to the husband you have pledged to love.

             Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another. Ephesians 5:21

  • Practically Speaking-  Just put the lid down yourself.  He won’t mind and it will make you happy!

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Dementia has robbed grandma of her memory, but it can’t diminish the love grandpa has for the one he still calls my bride.  Grandpa doesn’t see grandma as she is now—confused, anxious and afraid.  Instead, grandma is known for whose she is—his wife.  Despite the snowy head, lined face and a penchant for losing her way in the halls of the assisted living center, grandpa recognizes his bride as the quick-witted beauty he promised to faithfully love years ago.

 In the same way, God offers us his everlasting love.  He overlooks our blemishes and shortcomings.  Nothing deters the Groom from caring for His bride.  He tenderly meets all of our needs just as a devoted husband does for an ailing wife.  Rather than rejecting us for who we are in the flesh, the Lord embraces us for whose we are—His bride.

Jeremiah 31:3 tells us that He has loved us “with an everlasting love.”  Even if you are in the midst of a divorce, struggle with your marriage relationship, or lack meaningful friendships remember that you are loved.  God’s passion for you is greater than any situation or circumstance–always and forever.

Make a list of the ways God has shown his faithfulness to you this month, this week, or even today.  

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Call me a doubting Thomas, but I never believe Colorado’s weathermen. The Farmer’s Almanac, my son’s makeshift barometer, and grandma’s arthritic fingers all prove more accurate than local predictions.
Fortunately, God’s word is far more reliable and trustworthy than the Weather Channel. Unlike the storm threatening on the horizon, He is unchanging—a source of protection and love in every season of our lives and through any circumstance.
Friend, remember that whether you are in the midst of the storm or basking in the sun, God remains constant. As Psalm 18:2 says, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer.” He stands ready to offer His strength. Why not find refuge in the Rock today?

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As a teen, I was always offended when my mother asked one of her favorite questions–Would you jump off a cliff if your friends asked you to?  If I had answered  honestly, I might have said, “Yes.”  Like most young people, I wanted to be accepted, cared for, and…well…special to someone.  Jumping off the proverbial cliff was a possibility if I could just gain that elusive acceptance.

I was like the sheep noted in a 2005 USA Today article.  Did you read it?  Imagine the setting.  A few thousand sheep dot the rugged, Turkish landscape.  Just as the sun begins peeking over the horizon, the shepherds–hungry and cold–leave their flocks contentedly grazing to make a quick trip into town breakfast.  But, one sheep–either desperate or stupid–wanders away and leaps over a cliff and to his death.  Sadly, 1,500 other sheep follow.   

Now a “mature” adult, there are times I still find myself sliding toward the slippery slope. But the Great Shepherd rescues me and restores me to His fold, a place of safety where all of my needs are tenderly met.  All believers have this same reassurance.  As 1 Peter 2:25 reminds us, “For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.”

Today, thank God for the times he has resuced you–whether you were at the edge of the cliff or already at the bottom. 

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A glance at the car parked next to mine quickly turned to unmannerly gawking when I noticed the condition of the vehicle.  Every visible space–except the driver’s seat–was crammed with fastfood wrappers, boxes, and cups.  The front seat?  Full of trash.  The back seat?  Brimming with garbage. 

I couldn’t help but think of the spiritual implications.  How many times have I refused to rid my life of the clutter I’ve picked up along the way?  Bad habits.  Feelings of inferiority.  Judgemental attitudes.  Every time I’ve allowed the cares and concerns of my past to crowd around me then I feel pressed in on every side–trapped and immobile. 

Christ offers a new beginning, though.   I can throw away all of the “junk in the trunk” and focus on the road ahead.  A road free of old debris. 

What habit or concern can you give to God today? Let’s de-clutter!

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Belonging

The mountain valley—lush with wildflowers and evergreens—was the perfect setting for my sister, Tiffany’s, wedding.  The afternoon sun cast its warm, honeyed glow on the bride and groom while the soft sounds of birds singing joined the young couple as they made their vows.  The wedding party stood nearby—twelve bridesmaids in elegant dresses.   Tracy, our sister and the matron-of-honor offered silent, smiling support. 

Words of love.  Promises of tomorrow.  Yet, I sat in my chair battling with mixed emotions- adoration and resentment, happiness and pain.  Why?  Because I had been rejected.  My little sister—one whose tears I had wiped and celebrations I had trumpeted—had chosen a dozen  women to assist, encourage, and support her on one of the most important days of her life and I was not one of them. 

Thoughts of rejection pricked my heart.  What did you expect?  You are just the half sister.  You’ve never really been part of the family.  Weeks later, I continue to struggle with the unrealized hope of belonging.

In gentle reproach, God began assuring me of my true position.  Daughter, remember my words. “[You] have been set free to experience [your] rightful heritage.  You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own child because God sent the Spirit of his Son into your life crying out, “Papa!  Father!”  (Galatians 4:6 MSG)  You do belong—to me!  What more could you need?

What more could I need?  Nothing.  Rather than being rejected, I have been accepted—even adopted– as a daughter of the king.  I am part of Christ’s family.  I have a place of belonging.  

Do you, too, yearn for acceptance?  Then take hold of the certificate of adoption Christ holds out to you!  You’ve been adopted.  You belong.

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Why have I decided to be one of millions blogging?  Because I have a story to share that continues to unfold page by page, chapter by chapter.  Like any story there is a beginning, middle, and end.  The beginning was difficult, the middle has been full of both triumphs and trials, and the ending is unpredictable .  Who knows what adventures and lessons I’ll learn along the way?

My prayer is that this blog will be a place of encouragement for you as we journey along life’s road together.  Let’s take a walk…

How has the beginning of your story influenced where you are in your life now? 

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