Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day Thirty. IDK, my BFF?

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge for Wives

"...This is my beloved, and this is my friend..."  Song of Solomon 5:16b

Today, the final day, she talks about appreciating the wonder of his friendship.

The Husband is my best friend.

But do I treat him the same way I do my other friends?  I make time for my girlfriends.  I look forward to spending time with them.  I try to be on my best behavior when I'm with them.

And you know what?  Even my closest, dearest friends haven't done for me all that The Husband has.  

He should get the best of me.

And I am so glad that he is my best friend on earth.  I don't ever feel like I have to wear any masks with him, I can tell him anything, we can have fun no matter where we are or what we are doing.

My Husband, on November 29th, 2002, I married my best friend.  But even then, I didn't have any idea just how amazing of a friend you would be to me.  Or how amazing you would be to me in every way as my husband.  I hope you've been able to tell just how incredible I think you are over the past thirty days, and I pray that I will be able to keep showing you how much I love you and how grateful I am for you.  In the way I talk to you, in my actions, and maybe a few more blog posts now and then.  :-)  Thank you for being the kind of man who makes a challenge like this so dang easy.

I love you so so so so so much.  

To read what this is all about, click here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day Twenty-Nine. Flee youthful lusts.

"A prudent man foresees evil, and hides himself; the simple pass on, and are punished." Proverbs 27:12

She asks if The Husband recognizes and avoids evil.  She asks if he turns his back on pornography, sexual temptations, and the urge to lie and cheat.

I am very, very thankful that I don't worry about what The Husband does on our computer.  I am very, very thankful that we're content watching movies on TV, where they're edited.

I am very, very, very, very, very thankful that when The Husband is sent away on business, I know that when he's done with work, he is back in his hotel room and he is alone.

And in case any Debbie Downers are reading, I know there's no way for me to know that he's alone, but...  You know what?  Poo on you, I do know he's alone.  Because I trust him and I know that being faithful and steering clear of temptation is important to him.

I know that he doesn't lie to me.  I know that he doesn't lie in general, to anyone.  I can't even imagine it being an urge to him in the first place.

What a weight off my shoulders -- to not have to think about those things.

My Husband, I can barely put into words how grateful I am that you are a man who recognizes evil and avoids it like the plague.  That I can trust you to not look at things on the computer or on TV that would make your mind wander.  That you don't put yourself in situations where you are likely to be tempted.  Thank you for living in a way that brings me such peace.  For living a faithful life intentionally, to be obedient to God and to show me so much love.

Happy Anniversary, Baby.  I love you more than words could ever express.

To read what this is all about, click here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day Twenty-Eight. Humble Pie.

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge for Wives

"The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility." Proverbs 15:33

Sometimes, I am right.  (It can happen!)  But, even when I am right, I have to bite my tongue because sometimes it's not up to me to correct The Husband.  Sometimes I believe that God knows better how to guide The Husband.

And those times when I am right, I need to remember that whole humility thing.  One time, The Husband and I had a disagreement and he asked me to come sit down and talk to him.  I was stubborn in my right-ness and wouldn't sit down.  I tried to go around him to leave the room, and I wouldn't look at him.

I was a 30-something-year-old woman acting like a 3-year-old, basically.

Finally, he convinced me to sit down and look at him.

And he apologized.

And I felt about this big.

In all honesty, The Husband isn't often wrong.  But when he sees that he is, he can admit it.  We have come a LONG way in communicating with each other, in seeing how sometimes we just misunderstood what the other was saying rather than letting a small misunderstanding turn into a major battle.  We have also learned how to just let things go -- because sometimes being right isn't all that matters.

My Husband, thank you for being willing to learn from and submit to instruction from God.  I have seen that so often in the big things, like your decision-making, and in the smaller details, like the times that we've had disagreements.  Believe it or not, I am also actually thankful for how often you are right -- as much as I sometimes dislike having to admit it, how well you know me is a good thing.  And knowing that you are willing to learn from and submit to God helps me to submit to you.

To read what this is all about, click here.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day Twenty-Seven. Courage.

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge for Wives

"Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD." Psalm 31:24

When I think of courage, I mostly think of courage in the face of danger.  I am thankful that I feel safe with The Husband.  And I'm even more thankful that we've never had to face danger, now that I think of it.  But I like that comfort -- in our house, riding with him in the car... I feel safe.

But the kind of courage she's talking about is... Does he have the courage to take an unpopular stand, is he courageous in his faith?  Is he a stickler for the truth?

The Husband is not afraid to talk about his faith, he definitely doesn't mind if his opinion isn't the most popular when he is right.  He seeks the truth and stands up for it.

I love him for that.  

Husband, I love how safe I feel with you.  I am glad you are not afraid to stand up for what's right, even if it's not the popular opinion.  That you're brave enough to stand up for the truth.  I don't only love you for it, I respect you for it, and I hope you know that.

To read what this is all about, click here.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day Twenty-Six. Balancing Act.

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge for Wives

"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." Luke 2:52 
Is your husband striving for balance in his life? she asks.

I'm not supposed to say anything negative about The Husband during this challenge, right?  But you know what?  A lot of times I found that there hasn't been anything negative to say in the first place.  Which means that I have to work to find things to complain about.  Argh.

That fact hits home today especially.  The Husband has his faith.  His family.  His home.  His career.  He has some activities that he enjoys in his free time -- golf when he is able to get out, softball... I know he likes fishing but he hasn't been in years, sadly.  He likes watching sports.

The Husband is excellent at balancing his life.  Nothing ever consumes him to the point of dropping his focus on what is important.  I mean, he gets into things that he's interested in, yes.  But his priorities are straight.

Husband, thank you for keeping balance in your own life, and for being an example for me and for the girls in that.  Thank you for continuing to grow in your faith, continue to desire to only be a better husband and father, and to keep doing so well at your career.  I appreciate that about you, and love you for it.

To read what this is all about, click here.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day Twenty-Five. Lord, let there be peace in our home.

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge for Wives

"...seek peace, and pursue it." Psalms 34:14b

"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3

Well, she wrote this one just for me.

Right off the bat, she directs this toward the reader rather than the spouse they are reading about.

Do I promote an atmosphere of peace?  Do critical words often come out of my mouth?  Do I struggle with anger?


I mean... Perhaps God really wants to use this.

And today is Thanksgiving.  So I should make a good attempt at being thankful that this is the devotion for today.

Really.  I am thankful.  Because The Husband seeks peace and pursues it.  He really tries to be a calming influence in our home -- and unfortunately he's got his work cut out for him because peaceful is not a word that I would use to describe myself.  I'm sure I can put up a good front most some of the time in public, but home is where the reality is. Home is where the filter isn't used and home is where the gloves come off.  Home is where I show my worst sides, when I need to be offering my best.

And God bless The Husband for having to be the one to live with that, to keep me from freaking out over little things that don't really matter.

Now. before anyone who might be reading this starts to think that I am pretty hard on myself, let me say that I know I am not a total beast.  But I have to be real here, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it takes a very, very strong man to tame me when I am being beastly, and I am just... Honestly, right now I'm completely in awe that The Husband has done it for this long.

My amazing Husband, I know I'm not altogether downright awful, but I know I can certainly act downright awful sometimes.  Thank you for keeping the peace.  For wanting to shift me into a lower gear.  And for not giving up.  I mean, I know we have ups and downs that are more like a kiddie ride than a roller coaster, but still.  Even that can wear on a person after a while.  I am so thankful for the peace you bring in our home, and that you don't contribute to the chaos.

To read what this is all about, click here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day Twenty-Four. Super Dad.

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge for Wives

"And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4

I have to admit, I laughed after I read the first line:

Children can be quite a challenge to a marriage relationship.


I knew that The Husband was going to be an amazing dad right away.  It's a good thing, too, since Mini Me came along about ten months after we got married.  He transitioned into fatherhood just about as seamlessly as he did married life.  He was a natural.

I have been a stay-at-home-mom for several years now.  Because of that, I know that sometimes I think that I am the only person on the face of the planet who knows what makes our girls tick, who knows how to handle their moods, who knows what discipline works best at what time.  But notice the key word in the last sentence?  OUR.  They are OUR girls.  He is their daddy, and he is an excellent one at that.  To question his leadership can, as she notes, make him feel like a failure.  I am so blessed because he works hard for our family, but I know that he also wishes that he could spend more time with them than he does -- and he already makes an effort to do that a lot.  For me to imply that he doesn't know what he's doing just because he's not around them as often is pretty insulting.

So let me reiterate to myself what I've written... He is a natural at being a father.  They are OUR children.  He enjoys spending time with his girls and tries to a lot.  And, God has gifted The Husband to be daddy to these girls and God will give him the knowledge and direction The Husband needs to parent them with me.  And I know that The Husband looks to God to be the kind of father that God wants him to.

My sweet, sweet Husband.  I love to see how much you love our girls.  You are an incredible, amazing daddy to them, and I am so blessed to be raising these girls with you.  Thank you for looking to God for direction with them, for respecting the role I play in their lives.  I want to be a team as we raise them, and my prayer today is that our girls will not only see what a wonderful dad they have just by the way you are with them, but also in how I reflect my appreciation of that fact in front of them.

To read what this is all about, click here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day Twenty-Three. A man with a plan.

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge for Wives

"In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works..." Titus 2:7a

She begins by asking if this challenge has seemed like hard work, or has it become a pleasant exercise?  It is so easy for me to write wonderful things about The Husband.  My challenge is still saying these things directly ...

Okay, I just talked to him.

Why is that still so difficult?!

Well, how boring would life be if there weren't even more ways to improve upon myself.

For today, she asks if The Husband is organized.  Diligent.  Persistent.

Yes.  Yes.  And, now let me think about this... Yes.

Organized, diligent, persistent.  

Again, those aren't words you look at and think of as exciting or sexy or anything, but... They really are to me.  I get a lot of peace from knowing that The Husband is so in control, that he has a pattern and a plan for so many things.  I even love watching his routine when he gets ready in the morning.  

Of course, as she mentions, maybe some women need a man who lives a little spontaneously.

Either way, the point is to look for the positive.  The negative is so easy to point out, and usually the first route taken.  Look for the good and hold on to it, praise it, and help it grow.

My organized, diligent and persistent Husband... I adore your routines.  I take a lot of comfort in them.  You have the ability to balance my personal chaos with your personal order.  Knowing how diligent you are in so many aspects of your life brings me peace knowing that you will be diligent in our relationship.  I know I also need to enjoy your spontaneous, fun side, too -- or at least let you know I enjoy it rather than fuss at you when you show it.  I love that you have both in you -- you are a man who lives by routines but who also likes to try to shake things up.  It's just another way I see how God made us for each other.

To read what this is all about, click here.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day Twenty-Two. Public Relations.

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge for Wives

"Let your speech always be with grace..." Colossians 4:6a

Today's question:

"If all my family and friends knew about my husband came from a filter of what I've said about him, what would they think of my husband?"

Earlier in the challenge, I'd asked one of my friends about this, and she said that I make The Husband "sound so awesome."  

As you have probably noticed if you've been reading for the past three weeks, or even the past couple of years as I've been writing, I try to present The Husband in a positive light here as well.

I said it in another post of mine a long time ago -- nobody's perfect, and everybody knows that, I don't need to remind people that The Husband has imperfections.  I need to be his #1 Fan. 

But I believe one thing God wants to get through my thick skull is that I need to not just be his cheerleader when I'm out and about, but at home too.

The Husband doesn't typically read my blog.  He doesn't have conversations with my friends where they're going to tell him that I talk him up.  Words of affirmation don't really benefit him if they are not spoken directly TO him.


One of these days I'll get it.

Husband, I know I need to work on this.  To not be so quick to get exasperated at home and point out what I want you to do differently, but to spend more time telling you directly how wonderful I think you are.  Because you are wonderful, and the positives outnumber the negatives by a tremendous landslide.  I love you and I really do think you're awesome, and I'm glad most people recognize that I feel that way -- my prayer is that you will see it reflected in my actions and not just have to possibly hear about it from others, or read it on my blog.  It's not just words I say or write, I mean it with all my heart... You are an incredible blessing in my life and you are an all-around amazing man.  I am so thankful and proud to be your wife.

To read what this is all about, click here.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day Twenty-One. The Big Picture.

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge for Wives

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matthew 6:33

Living in light of eternity.  She reminds me that one day I'm going to have to give an account for the things I do and say, and that includes the things I do and say to and about The Husband.

She asks if my husband rejects materialism and temporal values because he has an eternal perspective... I definitely don't see The Husband being a materialistic man.  He's extremely practical, but I know that I'm thinking of that in a strictly financial sense...  When it comes to considering what matters for eternity's sake, I think The Husband listens so carefully to God's prompting.

If he were to give money for a mission trip, for instance, he's not just considering what he's doing for the person going on the trip can do, I believe he's also thinking about the seeds that they are planting and the good that can be done further down the road.

I trust his values.  I know that his practicality with money isn't just because he strictly wants to be careful with it, I know that every decision he makes is based on what he feels God thinks is best for our family.  

Really, everything comes down to the big picture.

My sweet Husband, I am so grateful for your perspective on things, and that I do not take for granted how careful you are -- I have so much peace in knowing that you are always looking to God for direction, not just for our lives, but for His kingdom.  Thank you for being a man after God's own heart.

To read what this is all about, click here.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day Twenty. Bitter, table for one.

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge for Wives

"And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you." Ephesians 4:32

The end of 1 Corinthians 13:5 says that love "keeps no record of wrongs."

I am not so good at this.

Not only do I keep records of wrongs, I'm bad at it -- I don't even remember specifics.  I'll get all upset and blow up, rambling about things that were probably resolved months prior without being able to say why I was angry in the first place.


The bottom line is the end of that verse in Ephesians -- just as God in Christ forgave ME.  All the ugliness in my heart and the sins against Him, and Christ died for me.  And He doesn't hold that against me.  He doesn't bring it up again and again.

And neither should I.

Especially not with The Husband, the person I'm supposed to love more than anyone else on the earth.

And further, bitterness is just plain ugly.

My dear Husband, I am so sorry for the times I have brought up the past, the things we've long since resolved.  Thank YOU for not doing that to me.  Thank you for forgiving me and for letting things go.  Thank you for striving to be kind and tenderhearted to me.  I've noticed.  And I love you for it.

To read what this is all about, click here.