Friday, October 29, 2010

The Language of Love

I Love You Pictures, Images and Photos

The language of love is a beautiful thing, when it's being spoken. Are you and your spouse speaking love to one another?

There are several books out there about the different love languages.  The five most talked about are:  Personal Touch and Closeness, Words of Encouragement, Acts of Kindness, Quality Time, and Gift Giving.

While the books emphasize finding our top language and then expecting others to speak it, I've learned we should be speaking all of them to our mate at different times.    The problem usually lies with us.  We tend to speak the love language we are craving while our spouse may be desiring a different one.

For my date idea, I would like to challenge you to use the five love languages listed here to communicate to your spouse over the next week.

Make a list of at least one thing you could try each day to express love in a different way.

Here are some examples:

Gift Giving: Buy him/her a small trinket that they would like, or even a special treat from the grocery store that you put in their lunch (if you pack their lunch).

Words of Encouragement: Spend the day making a list of their good qualities, or of the things you've noticed that they've done around the house over the past few weeks. Try leaving the note of "thanks for all they do" on their pillow.

Quality Time: Plan a romantic breakfast, lunch, or dinner where you draw them out and try to be a good listener (remember this is about them not you!).

Acts of Kindness: Take over one of their chores (without them asking first). Go to the dump for them, or take out the garbage for a few days. Mow the lawn, or weed eat for them. Make it something they will notice so they feel the love.

Personal Touch and Closeness: Watch a movie together holding hands, go out to eat and sit on the same side of the booth so you can play footsie's and hold hands.

Love is the universal language, let's all speak it this week!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


by Stephanie K. Brower © 2010

Respect [for God’s and the parent’s authority] is developed through discipline. Take time to properly discipline your children. Properly, meaning: with thought, with action, at the time when the problem occurs. It may not always be easy. It might even be embarrassing, but the closer you bring the discipline action to the time of the incident, the better. Your authority as the parent and your follow-through, is key for the child to know that the boundaries you have set in advance – hold!

If your children are a bit older, these are great passages to share/discuss with them from God’s Word.

Jeremiah 6:16 [NIV]
This is what the LORD says:

"Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
But you said, 'We will not walk in it.'

Proverbs 23:10 [NIV]
Do not move an ancient boundary stone or encroach on the fields of the fatherless,

Parents must discipline together – on the same page – with the rules and boundaries laid out for the child/children in advance! Be consistent. Be firm. Show grace to the child if it benefits. And give lots of hugs and kisses before and after discipline to affirm your love for them, especially if they are young. In doing so, you can teach them to do the same.

Luke 11:17 [NIV]
Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: "Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. [emphasis added]

Children love and need boundaries so they know where the line is drawn. Boundaries set forth in advance must be held up by both parents.

Proverbs 13:24 [NIV]
He who spares the rod hates his son,

but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.

No other verse should be pondered more than this last one. Do I hate my son or daughter? If we do not discipline, the Bible says that we hate them. That’s pretty strong language from God’s heart. It must be very important. The best gift we can leave our children is a heart of discipline in love. They may not thank us for it when they are young – but they will later.

Proverbs 19:18 [NLT]
Discipline your children while there is hope.

Otherwise you will ruin their lives.

I will be leaving Titus 2 in Action because of other added responsibilities. Many thanks to Sonya Thompson and the other writers, for allowing me the opportunity to share God's Word on this site. And thank you to all the visitors who care enough to read and ponder what is offered here! Remember to pray for your children and grandchildren to become Mighty Warriors in the kingdom of God for His glory and purpose!

May God continue to richly bless you. I love you all!

Choosing JOY,

Monday, October 25, 2010



"Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your fathers." Proverbs 22:28

I have a vague memory of boundary stones on our farm in Vermont and my two acres in Wyoming. Those markers set the limits of my property. They also set the limits of the property bordering mine. We knew where Our property and rights extended and ended. No questions. Like fences, boundary markers make good friends. They establish borders, determine rights and provide order. If both sides of the boundary stones respect the markers, there is peace and order.

So, Solomon says, respect those markers! Don’t move them. You threaten a person’s livelihood if you move a marker and deprive a landowner of his property! In ancient Israel, and even for some in modern America, the land provides the food and the income for a family to survive. Deprive that family of income potential from the land and you may bankrupt that family.

Those ancient boundary markers did more than guarantee property lines and rights; they provided a sense of continuity. In ancient Israel the property that God blessed each household with was passed on to succeeding generations. Fathers passed the land on to sons who then passed it on to their sons. Generations of a family would be raised on the same property, harvesting the same fields, wading the same creeks, and plucking fruit from the same trees. Those boundary markers provided a very important sense of stability for families, and that stability became an important element of the family’s, and society’s, heritage.

So, if you moved an ancient boundary stone, you actually did more than disrupt the livelihood of that family, as important as that was. If you moved that stone you "destroyed the social order and well being of individuals in the community." (Bland, p.206-07). You upset the order and tore at the heritage.

There is great importance to this verse. Is there anything in our lives that provides a sense of heritage for us, a sense of continuity with our ancestors, a connection with our past? Is there something we can hold on to as a connection to grandma and grandpa, even great grandma and grandpa? Fortunate are those who grow up on a farm and can say, "My dad and his mom were both born and raised on this farm. I’m the fourth generation in my family to farm this land." That is happening less and less.

In my own family it was the construction business that helped provide some of that heritage for me. I remember seeing tools of my dad’s marked, "Baldwin and Baldwin." "Are these tools from the business you owned with grandpa," I asked dad. "No," he said. "These are tools from the business your grandpa owned with your great grandpa." At age 13 I was assembling some of the equipment my great grandfather used back in 1930. That is heritage, a connection with my past, a boundary marker that establishes order, permanence and stability.

My own children did not have the benefit of being raised on a farm or in a business that had been worked by four generations of my family. But I have found something that does serve as such a boundary marker for them, something that promotes heritage and stability. It is worship. My kids worship with their mother and me. At the same time and in other places, both sets of grandparents are worshiping. When a certain song is sung, I can lean over and whisper to one of my kids, "That was one of great grandpa’s favorite songs. When I was your age, I remember him leading this song all the time. He would sing it with his eyes closed he knew it so well." And with that I plant a boundary marker that will remain in place throughout the lifetime of my kids. It is a marker that connects them with grandparents, great grandparents, and even great, great grandparents, a marker that will weekly remind them of who they are, who they belong to, and how they are to live. Worship is an "ancient boundary stone set up by our fathers," so let’s plant those markers deep into the hearts of our children and grandchildren.

Warren Baldwin

From: Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks and Other Gems From Proverbs

Friday, October 22, 2010

Beloved, Come Away

"Beloved, come away..."
Song of Solomon 8:14

Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico from Naples, Florida

Getting away as husband and wife.  It's essential.  I'd even say it is biblical.  "Come, my lover, let us go to the countryside, let us spend the night in the villages."  Song of Solomon 7:11

Jim and I were blessed earlier this week to "come away" together.  He was attending a conference for work in Naples, FL, and was invited to bring a guest.  While some Pentagon-level planning was required by me to have things in order at home for the loving care of our cherubs, I knew God ordained this time for Jim and I to get away together. 

Away.  Away from the demands of life.  Away from the endless household chores calling our names.  Away from piles of paperwork needing attention.  And yes, even away from our cherubs.  Though my heart was literally aching from missing them, it was good for Jim and me to get away for a few days together.  It was good for them to have us away, to enjoy time with their grandparents who came to stay with them, to grow in the Lord in maturity, courage and faith in ways that can only happen when daddy and mommy are away.  Room to grow.  

Getting away occasionally gives us all room to grow.  The children grow.  The husband and wife grow.

Quiet conversations that have been cued up for weeks, if not months, are enjoyed.  Holding hands while walking, rekindling young love.  Savoring meals together as best friends and favorite companions.  Away.

Even when I want to really enjoy rich time with our children with great conversations and lots of laughter, I get them away.  Away to a local state park for several hours or away to a casual restaurant for lunch. 
Though it may only be once or twice a year, get away with your spouse!  "Take me away with you—let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers."  Song of Solomon 1:4   If you have an opportunity to join your spouse on a business trip, prayerfully say "yes"!  Ask a friend with a beach house if you can use it for a weekend.  Look for affordable deals on an overnight stay at a hotel close by.  Or even just get away for the day. 

It doesn't have to be expensive.  It just has to be worth it.  And it is.  Plan so get away with your spouse soon.  Beloved, come away.  

"Arise, come, my darling,
my beautiful one, come with me."
Song of Solomon 2:13 


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Blow Gently

I was blowing bubbles with my daughters the other night. As we took turns, I noticed that when I blew lots of bubbles would come out of the wand. Yet on their turns it seemed only a few bubbles would come out. Each time I heard their "Pffffft" as they blew with all their might. Then I let them in on a little secret. You get more bubbles if you blow gently, than if you blow hard.

It reminded me of a Biblical principal, Evangelism. Evangelism is the preaching of the Gospel. It is telling people about Jesus. But over the years, I've learned that if you "blow gently" you get more interest than if you "blow hard."

This principal is clearly stated in 1 Peter 3:15b, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." We are called to be prepared to give an answer to everyone, (blowing). We are to make sure that we keep ourselves filled with the "bubble juice" of Gospel so we are ready to blow. But we are cautioned to do this with gentleness. Blow gently.

There are plenty of people out there just waiting to learn about Jesus. It's our job to share the message! But we don't force it on people; we gently share it and let the Holy Spirit do His work in them. We don't convert people. We simply share the message, and the Holy Spirit does the rest.

So remember, blow gently. Because no body likes a blow hard!


Monday, October 18, 2010

You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile

"A cheerful look brings joy to the heart and good news refreshes the body." Proverbs 15:30

I remember my very first dance recital. I had just turned eight years old. Dressed in a little black tutu and lace accessories, I tippity tapped onstage to this wonderful song from the musical, "Annie". Many times, over the years, I have found myself thinking back to the words from this tune, "'s what you wear from ear to ear and not from head to toe, that matters..."

Last week, I stopped to run some errands and found myself in many lines and not making near the progress I had hoped in the brief window of time allotted for such tasks. I prayed to God to find me the correct parking spot and to allow time to be multiplied, so that I might complete my overzealous list. Line after line, I encountered grumpy sales person upon grumpy salesperson. In an attempt to eliminate my own growing grumpitude, I prayed for each person. At my very last stop, a young woman, tired, leaning, sad...she had a huge line and as she called for assistance, none came. Customers complained and scowled at the cashier. My heart ached for her. As I approached, I smiled and decidedly shared chit chat with her, unrealted to her job or business. Finally, I offered that I would pray for her and I thanked her for doing her job well. Her smile, that followed, could have lit an entire room; it was beautiful. It reminded me how a simple smile can change the landscape of one's day.

I work in a Christian school. It is a blessing to serve the Lord while doing work that I love. We begin our day in prayer. Some days the requests and petitions far outweigh the praises, but the truth remains, there are still praises. It is a lovely way to remind our hearts to smile, on the inside AND on the outside. We depart ready to share the joy of the Lord. This was particularly special recently when a child, hurting, wounded and needing comfort encountered me in the hallway and in spite of his pain, he wrapped his arms around me saying, "I always know you are okay with me Mrs. Beals...your eyes are always smiling." What a precious, precious affirmation for the effect of our smile for others, whether our mouth, our voice or our eyes do the smiling.

These things have I spoken to you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. John 15:11

When you dress this morning, check your own heart. Have you worn your smile? Are you ready to share your joy in the Lord? I sure hope so...


Friday, October 15, 2010

Say Something Nice

I am currently studying a Bible study book called, "Satisfy My Thirsty Soul," by Linda Dillow.

This week we are learning how to bow our words to God. Not an easy task for this extrovert! One of the assignments made me think of a great date idea.

Plan to have a romantic dinner at home. If you have kids at home (like I do) it's good to feed them first, then have them scoot off to play or watch T.V. while you and your hubby light the candles and sit in the dining room (you know the room collecting dust!).

After having a delightful dinner and conversation, pull out 2 sheets of paper and two stamped envelopes. Next you are both to write a list of things you like about the other person (NO PEEKING!). Next fold the papers put them in the envelopes and seal them. Address them and drive them to the post office. Then you both have to wait to receive your letter in the mail.

We all need to be encouraged with words. Let's have some fun with it!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010


The ‘rod’ is necessary or the child will become spoiled and will rule the house. God never intends for a child to rule his own father or mother. That example shows the child that he has control , over the household ~ even over God. His mind will remain self-seeking and warped without proper discipline and training.

Proverbs 13:24 [NIV]
He who spares the rod hates his son,

but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.
[the word ‘careful’ here, reminds me that we must ‘care in full’ for our children.]

The surest test of discipline is its absence.
- Clara Barton (1821 - 1912)

If you are not disciplining your child, the Bible says that you do not love them [Proverbs 13:24] ~ in fact it is even more clear when it says you hate them. Those are hard words to swallow but they are TRUTH and are not to be ignored.

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

Training a child………. Hummm…. Think of military boot camp for example ~ but with a good [graduating] end result.
  • Training takes time.
  • Training takes discipline.
  • Training takes love.
  • Training takes perseverance.
  • Training takes focus.
  • Training takes purpose.
  • Training takes work.
  • Training has a purpose to produce a fruitful end.

Without training and teaching the next generation is left to be unrestrained, self-reliant, undisciplined, with a selfish ‘me first’ attitude and lifestyle.

Are we PREPARING and TRAINING them to be Martyrs for Christ?

  • willing to lay down their lives for Him
  • willing to do what is right and just
  • willing to follow God’s ways
  • willing to think of others before themselves
  • not to be independent ~ but to be GOD-dependant.
What practical ways do you train up your child in the way he should go?

Choosing JOY,


Monday, October 11, 2010

See You At The Ballpark


Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations. Proverbs 27:23–24

Many of the proverbs were written for family farmers and ranchers. This proverb addresses a small rancher whose livelihood is staked to the health of his cattle or sheep. It is only through tireless devotion to his herd that the rancher will ensure the health of his animals and the financial survival of his family. Drought, disease, and wild animals are always on the prowl looking for unprotected beasts to assail! The rancher must keep watch to ward off the attackers.

The principle of daily diligence applies to all of life. Faithful performance in our jobs is necessary whether it be feeding animals or entering data into a computer. Daily diligence by mom and dad means being alert to dangers facing our families. Parents who are too busy, children without supervision, and television that is not monitored are modern assaults on the health of a family. Parental diligence demands that we give careful attention to "our herds," our families. Look for the signs of health and happiness. Do the children walk through the house and sing? Do they devise simple games to occupy themselves? Do they listen to and obey the voice of mom and dad? Is "I love you" frequently heard? Does bedtime mean hugs, stories, and being tucked in? These are signs of happy and contented children. When their behavior becomes disruptive, can it be quickly stilled by mom and dad’s strong presence and voice?

To be able to have this kind of influence in a home, mom and dad must be in the home. They must be active in the family. Children left to raise themselves will . . . but not very effectively. Their lack of discipline and maturity will set the tone for the family and create disorder and chaos. Only the loving presence of mom and dad can instill order and peace.

There are a lot of demands on time and resources that work against parents dedicating the time and energy required to give diligent attention to family health. Jobs, financial demands, insecurity, and exhaustion plague all of us, robbing us of energy and confidence. Every parent struggles with these assaults, but the successful parents persevere, consistently applying care and attention to their flocks.

As our children grow older, spending time with them isn’t as simple as reading a bedtime story or kicking a soccer ball in the yard. In high school, it means traveling across the state to watch them swing a bat or fly over a hurdle. Considerable time and money are involved! Is it worth it? Does this have anything to do with giving attention to our "herd?" Listen to these words from a young friend of mine: "My dad has never been to one of my games."

A high school senior shared these words with Cheryl and me as he was showing us the trophies of his baseball career. His pitching struck fear into opponents and confidence into his team. He claimed many victories and received numerous awards. As he looked at the trophy in his hands, a note of sadness came over his face, and he softly said, "My dad has never been to one of my games."

Missing four years of his son’s games was merely symptomatic of this dad’s failure to monitor the health of his family. He simply wasn’t present. His son could not bask in the glory of his baseball success because he was silently grieving that he couldn’t share it with his dad. Dad’s inattentiveness bred hurt and bitterness into the heart of his family. His herd suffered.

Think about Proverbs 27:23–24 applied to the family: "Be sure you know the condition of your family, give careful attention to your children; for closeness does not endure, and family health is not secure for all generations." Healthy families are not only possible; they are promised by God, if we approach our role as parents with daily diligence, feeding, teaching, and nurturing our young ones. If that includes attending their sports activities, then I’ll see you at the ballpark. Or the golf course, as the case may be, as today we are following our high school daughter around 18 holes of gold in her regional tournament. (This is Kristin pictured in a recent tournament).
(This article is from Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks and Other Gems from Proverbs)

Warren Baldwin

Friday, October 8, 2010

An Angel Dressed in Scuba-Diving Gear!

"...but when we cried out to the LORD,
He heard our cry and sent an angel..."
Numbers 20:16

My husband needed quietness, grace and prayer.  Look what God did!

For the last several summers, we have made it a tradition to vacation for a week at Camp Of The Woods Christian Family Camp in the Adirondacks of New York. Some years other families and friends are with us, such as this past summer. This year, one of the dads even borrowed a boat from a friend for the week so all the cherubs could enjoy water sports on picturesque Lake Pleasant, which is softly pillowed in the beautiful mountains surrounding camp.

One particular afternoon, Jim was deemed the sole "captain of the ship" as the two other dads were going off-site for an excursion away from camp. Jim was excited to be appointed captain and to take the kids out on the lake for an fun-filled afternoon of water tubing. He was delighted to be the dad in charge and see the joy on the kids faces as they glided across the water and were bounced high into the air when they hit a wave.

While Jim and the kids were out on the lake in the boat, the moms settled into our beach chairs with our toes blanketed by the sand. We had books in hand to read and conversations cued up for some sweet fellowship.

Pausing frequently to look for the boat so we could wave as the children whizzed by us on their tubes, we could not locate the boat. Surely, they were out in the center of the lake and we would see them soon. We tried to resume beach-relaxation mode, but my friend and I were quietly concerned after a chunk of time had gone by without spotting the boat.

Looking at our watches from time to time and scanning the lake for the familiar boat holding my husband and our children, our mommy hearts, though yet unspoken, were in united concern about the possibility of a danger and a boating mishap.

After a time of a quiet waiting-and-scanning vigil, I turned to my friend and said, "Do you think this is too long of a time for them to be out on the lake in the boat without us seeing them?" Her quick reply signaled the concern we had both quietly been feeling, "Yes!" We began a calm but intense visual search of the waters for the boat. Hearts racing, silent prayers were being lifted to the Lord for safety.

Finally, we saw the boat and our loved ones being pulled in by a would-be rescue boat. Counting heads, we knew everyone was accounted for. Thank you, Lord!

As they got closer to shore, however, I could see the deeply-troubled countenance of my husband's face. My heart sank. Something obviously had gone wrong. I felt the Lord impress on my heart immediately, "Just be quiet and pray."

After everyone disembarked from the disabled boat, my husband walked slowly to the edge of the lake up onto the beach where I was waiting. Making his way to our cabin just a few steps up from the beach, he said to me in a hushed voice, "I could use as much grace as you can possibly give me right now."

Quietness. Prayer. Grace. And more grace. That's what Jim needed from me at that moment.

Emerging from the cabin a few minutes later, Jim briefly told me that, while a few of the kids were getting in the water tubes, the ski ropes had gotten pulled into the engine of the boat and tangled so severely that the engine seized, rendering the boat lifeless. My heart broke for him. An afternoon of fun turned into an afternoon of a seemingly damaged boat that belonged to a friend of a friend. Jim felt terrible.

He made his way back into the shallow water near the lake's edge to the debilitated boat to try to carefully get the ropes out of the engine. Jim was by himself as the other dads were still off-site. Jim worked and worked underwater, coming up frequently for breaths of air. Cutting, pulling, cutting, pulling. He struggled for what seemed like an eternity, while I kept a quiet, prayerful vigil nearby.

Quietness. Prayer. Grace. More grace.

Seeing my husband wrestle to fix this situation, my heart cried out to the Lord in prayer. "Lord, Jim can't stay under water for long enough periods of time to persist and get the ropes out of the engine. He needs help. Lord, would you please send an angel to help Jim? He needs an angel, Lord."

I lifted my head, opened my eyes and turned my head toward the direction of the boat. Immediately, God had sent an angel. It was as if heaven had opened up and I could hear a choir of angels singing! Out from the beach on the lake walked AN ANGEL DRESSED IN SCUBA-DIVING GEAR!!! Scuba-diving gear!!! Oxygen tank, mask, the whole nine yards! God had sent an angel! An angel sporting the appropriate wardrobe!!

My jaw dropped as I watched God's answer to prayer walk steadily out to my husband and the boat. A scuba diver??? We were on a LAKE!!!! We were not at the ocean! There were no pretty fish or coral reeves to see in this lake. In fact, the water was clouded, gray and peppered with debris. Campers who have been going to COTW for decades said they have never seen a scuba diver at camp! What is a scuba diver doing at Camp of The Woods on Lake Pleasant in the Adirondack Mountains of New York??? He was sent by God to help my husband.

Rejoicing, I shouted in my heart, "Lord, you are amazing!! Thank you for helping Jim and for sending an angel...a scuba-diving help him in his time of trouble!"

Jim was also in awe of God's goodness. He touched the scuba diver and said, "Are you for real? You're an angel, aren't you?"

Only God. Only God could send an angel in scuba diving gear to a lake that had never seen a scuba diver! And, of course, the scuba-diving angel was successful! He was able to stay under water for over 45 minutes until all of the rope was cut out safely from the boat's engine.

Beach-side cheers burst from we moms and kids when the final ropes were pulled from the engine and we heard it running again!!! Woo Hoo! The boat was fixed and would be returned to its owner in good condition! Jim and all of the kids were safe. My husband was relieved and grateful. Our hearts were wowed by God's amazing faithfulness.

Quietness. Prayers. Grace. And more grace. That's what my husband needed. And that is what he received....and more! God had sent an angel. The same Lord who walked on water sent us an angel dressed in scuba gear finery. Just the kind of angel we needed!

We have seen His glory. Grace. And more grace.

"The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

To see a few pictures of this event, click here:  Joy In The Truth


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Wanna Be A Star!

If I were to tell you I wanna be a star, you'd probably not be overly surprised. Our society is filled with folks looking for stardom. The problem is, fame today does not come from virtue, courage, patriotism and honor as it has in years gone by. No, look at the cover of the magazines in the grocery check-out aisle. Today's stars are famous for drug addiction, adultery, self-made adult videos or having multiple children.

However it is Biblical to want to be a star! Really! Philippians 2 says that we should shine like stars! We are to be imitating Christ's humility, obeying God and working out our salvation through God. We are to be children of God, standing out so much in this deprived nation that we shine like stars in the universe.

Don't be like the world around you who seek to be "stars" for fame. Instead, seek to shine like a star to make God famous. Did you know that a translation of the word "glorify" means to make famous? I wanna be a star alright, but I want to shine like a star to make God famous. Are you shining today?

Philippians 2:14-16 Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life.


Monday, October 4, 2010

When We Fall Down...

"Our steps are made firm by the Lord, when He delights in our way, though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong, for the Lord holds us up by the hand." Psalm 37:23

Though the story is from a few years ago, this picture was taken this summer of our quick stepping girl

A few years ago, our oldest daughter was headed out on a field trip to the insectarium. Yes, the bug house. I mean what more fun could be had by a giggly group of first graders? She was excited, happy and even, might I say, giddy. It was raining, but she looked so sweet in an adorable blouse my mom had gotten for her and a cute pair of capris that had hung several years waiting to be the right size for her.

We were on time. Hannah, our younger daughter, was babbling about the rain and old men and bumping heads, and such. Em had one thing on her mind...getting to the bugs. Perhaps, you assume that Emily is graceful as a swan and just as ladylike as she can be. Not so this morning. As we headed up the walkway for school, I warned Emily three separate times that the ground was slick and to please stop running. Well, as we can all figure by this point, she skidded, her bookbag fell to her side tripping her and down she went, on her belly, a huge puddle.

Now, I had a choice. I felt my face redden with anger, while my heart ached for her. I could tell by the look on her face, she was not only sorry, but she was okay and not injured, with the possible exception of her ego and her heart. And I prayed..."Lord, please give me the right words. Please do not let me blow it." And He spoke to me in that moment, rain pelting our heads, Hannah gloating with joy, "OOOOOOOhhhh, Emmy is in trouble, you mad mom? You really mad at Emmy?"


How many times have I fallen? I mean really fallen. How many times has He issued a warning, maybe even three, and yet, my own will got in the way? How many times have any of us fallen from grace? Far too many to record. At the time, we were in the season that was so close to Easter, I was reminded that it is only in the sacrifice made for my flawed human self by the King of all Kings, that I am pulled up from the ground, shaken yet renewed, just as quickly as my tumble occurred. The Bible assures us that He, Himself, holds out His hand to us. (Psalm 138:7-8)

And so, I extended my hand to her, we marched into school with our heads held high, Em dripping all the way:) She sat down in class and had snack with her friends while they waited for the bus...

and I?

Of course, I ran home quick as can be. I retrieved another pair of pants, floored it back to school, parked illegally, begged the Assistant Principal to let me back in, changed Emily in the nearest bathroom, kissed her little red head and told her to have a super day with her friends and the bugs.

The lesson from this seemingly normal, rainy morning has proven to be extraordinary in resonating over the months that would follow. Time and time again, the visual of my sweet girl losing her step has reminded me of my need for His grace and mercy. It has helped me fall headlong into His word, accepting His hand when I stumble and extending my own, in times I thought I could not.

Perhaps today the Lord is urging you to extend a hand or receive one outstretched to you...


Friday, October 1, 2010

Are You Talking To Me?

The language of love is a peculiar thing.  Chances are you and your spouse don't speak the same love language.

Just one of the facets of communicating is the love language.

Another tip is to find out what your spouse likes. For example:
Nother plate Pictures, Images and Photos
What's his favorite entree?
Favorite dessert?
Fishing trip on Log Lake Pictures, Images and PhotosFavorite breakfast food?
Favorite snack?

Favorite outdoor activity?
Favorite indoor activity?

If you aren't sure then ask! Or, you could just be an observer for the next week. Either way it's important to know our mates likes and dislikes.

For my next date idea, plan a simple date around your mates favorites. Plan to make (or buy) his favorite dinner or breakfast or lunch, then plan to go on an adventure and try one of his favorite outdoor activities. You don't have to like it, just be content to be together.

I recently made a special breakfast consisting of steak and eggs for my honey, then we pulled out our boat and went fishing for the morning.  While it's not usually my favorite thing to do, I spent a great deal of time enjoying the scenery (and consequently I out-fished Tim!).  Turns out to be a very relaxing thing to do. 

Next, let your spouse plan a date around your favorites! The key is communication. Talk to each other and work these out together. Then, sit back and enjoy your soul mate.