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"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

Friday, July 25, 2008

How to Love and Support Your Husband

As women we desire for our husbands to be there when we go through difficulties. We want them to listen to us and not solve the problem, but to know that they care about what we are experiencing. These thoughts have been on my heart this past month and I just felt that I needed to share.

I have mentioned in previous blogs that my husband has been under tremendous stress at work, so much so that we are considering other options. It has been a very difficult time for my dear man and through it all I am learning how to better love and support my husband. Love is a different thing for him, and is for most men. It is not the same for women. The love that speaks to men is actually respect. Studies have shown that men could live without love, but not without respect.

Here are some lessons I have discovered along the way of how you can support your husband, whether he is in the midst of a difficult situation, or he just needs to know how much you appreciate him.

Be a good listener.

With the amount of stress and tension my husband has been experiencing at work, he needs me to be a sounding board for him. That has meant often changing my schedule around so that I am more available to listen to him. He doesn't expect me to solve the problem for him, because I definitely can't. I have heard that men think about the section (drawer) that they have open in their brain. I know that once he talks through things he is able to close that drawer and not dwell on it anymore until he opens it again. As women, that is harder to do. But I have been choosing to talk through things when he needs it, and not continue to bring it up, because that only puts more burden and stress on him. Most times after he shares his difficulties, we take time to pray together.

Be a prayer warrior.

I can't even begin to tell you the amount of hours that I have been in prayer for my husband throughout the days this past month. We both know that our strength can only come through Christ. We need His wisdom and strength for each situation we face each day. I pray constantly as I go about my day.

Don't make too many demands.

Okay, we really shouldn't make any demands. This one has been a little harder for me. I have had a goal to get the house completely cleaned up, sorted, dejunked this summer while our boys are away serving at camp. It is a prime opportunity for me to work while they are gone. Now I am down to a little over a week left to finish up all of my projects. A lot of the things left on the list are things that require my husband's input as well. I struggle with knowing what I can ask him to help with and which I should just let go for now. I know he is under tremendous stress throughout the day and I do not want to put any more on him when he gets home. I still am praying for the balance in this area.

Touch him.

One of my husband's love languages is physical touch. This is not an area that I usually exceed at, but I am working on it. I know that just simple touches like rubbing his arm, scratching his back or playing with his hair speaks volumes of love to him and I really am trying to work on doing those things for him.

Support him no matter what.

This is an area that requires letting go and trusting God. It means letting my husband know that I love, support, respect him in all the decisions that he makes and I trust him to lead our household and to make the best decisions for all of us. Even if it means stepping out in faith, jumping off that ladder and having faith that God will catch us.

Help him in the areas where he is weak.

We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Recognize the areas where your spouse is weak and do what you can to come along side him and provide that support and encouragement that he needs. Be willing to go beyond yourself to reach out to him.

Respect him.

I mentioned before how much respect speaks to a man. Do whatever you can to let your husband know that you respect him and the decisions that he makes. He won't always make the right choices, but then again, neither do we.

Be his cheerleader.

If he is considering branching out in a new area, let him know that you are 100% behind him. Tell him how proud you are of him and the choices he is making. Cheer him on as he chooses new options and let him know that you know he can do it.

Is there something that you can do today to love, respect and support your husband?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Catching Up

Well this month seems to be flying by for me. I can hardly believe that we are in our last full week of July. I am pleased that I have gotten a lot accomplished with the house, but it isn't to the 'pretty' stage yet. I still am in the midst of going through drawers, cupboards to sort and get rid of things we no longer need. I have a pile in my entrance hall that is waiting to be taken to the local thrift store to be donated.

I feel that I am progressing nicely, even though it has been slow and tedious. I will not have the entire house gone through over the next two weeks, but my goal is to get the upstairs taken care of and then focus on the basement area throughout the school year.

It was nice to spend some time with my 'guys' this past weekend. My youngest son and husband arrived home late Friday evening from their week of serving the local community. I picked up my oldest son from camp on Thursday evening. We all enjoyed being home together for the weekend, even though it was far too short. Before we knew it, it was time to drive 40 minutes to drop our sons off at camp again. Only two weeks to go before they will be finished for the summer. We then will have one week free before starting up our home school year again.

Last night my husband and I watched on video, Disney's College Road Trip. It was funny, but I couldn't help thinking about how I will be in a year from now when we drive down to Florida to drop my oldest son off at college. That is going to be very difficult.

Thanks for your continued prayer for my husband. We feel that God is clearly leading us to seek out some new areas. It will be a growing and learning process for both of us, I am sure. I do not know how much I will be able to write over the next two weeks since I am on a mission to get the house completed by then. I find that my energy disappears faster than I would like. Does that mean I'm getting older?! :)

My prayer for you dear reader is that you will seek God with your entire heart for all areas of your life. True joy can only be found in HIM.

Blessings,
Pearls

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Surprised by Joy

On Sunday my oldest son left for camp to work, and my youngest son and husband headed to the next town down the road. This week they will serve with Chambersburg Project. This is an annual youth work camp that serves the local community. They are staying at the local middle school and each day they work on various projects in homes in the community: interior/exterior painting, roof repair, general home repair, plumbing, electrical work, etc.

It has been a quiet time at home for me, since I am all alone. Yesterday my husband borrowed someones cell phone to call me because he needed some various tools for the job site. It struck me as I heard his voice. I realized how much joy he was experiencing through doing this project this week. That joy surprised me - not because he was having a good time, but I realized how long it has been since I have heard joy in his voice.

I have shared a little about the amount of stress my husband has been experiencing in his job. It has been oppressive this past month, but I realize that even before that he was showing signs of stress. We have decided to devote ourselves to prayer this week. We are seeking God's face in regards to our future. I really don't feel that my husband can maintain the level of stress he has been under without experiencing some major health problems.

So I am asking my bloggy friends. If you happen to read this, will you please pray for my husband and I to have wisdom and a clear answer for where God is directing us concerning my husband's job? We will be so blessed by your prayers. Also if you have a prayer request please leave it in the comments so I can be praying for you as well.

Thank you for blessing us! :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Spiritual Muscles

This summer has been a different one for me. Both of my boys have been gone most of the summer. The majority of their time has been serving at a local Christian camp. They still have three more weeks to be away before we soon start home school again.

I guess it is no coincidence that while my boys have been gone and I have had a lot of free time on my hands, that my husband has been facing tremendous struggles in his job. It has been so much that we have been seeking God for clear direction for our future. Every day he comes home feeling like he has gone through a battle.

I find that through it all I have been developing my spiritual muscles! :) Throughout the day I spend a tremendous amount of the time covering my sweet husband in prayer. I know that if the boys were home, my schedule would be a lot different and would not allow me to have so much alone time that I have been spending with my Heavenly Father. I know that this has not been a coincidence.

The more I pray and petition God, the more my faith has grown. Even though I have not seen any answers to pray yet, or seen changes in the situation, I know that God is working. I pray that we will have very clear and specific direction for what God wants us to do in the midst of this trial. I guess in the mean time I will continue to develop my spiritual muscles.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Something Different

Thought I would try something a little different today so you can get to know me a little better.

A is for Age
I celebrated my 43rd birthday on Mother's Day this year.
B is for Burger of choice
My favorite would be a bacon cheeseburger.
C is for what Car you drive
I drive a 2003 Honda Odyssey Mini-van.
D is for Dog’s name
Our dog is no longer living, but her name was Guine, short for Guinevere. We do have a guinea pig named Squeakers.
E is for Essential item you use every day
My Bible.
F is for Favorite TV show at the moment
Extreme Home Makeover is my favorite.
G is for favorite Game
I love a fast game of Dutch Blitz.
H is for Hometown
Shippensburg, PA
I is for Instruments you play
Did take some piano lessons, but don't regularly play. I do sing in the church choir though!
J is for favorite juice
I’m not a juice drinker, but I do like apple/pear juice.
K is for who you’d like to Kiss
My sweet husband!
L is for Last restaurant you ate at
Chinese Buffet
M is for favorite Muppet
Animal! :)
N is for Number of piercings
None.
O is for Overnight hospital stays
Three – two for when I had my boys and one for when I was experiencing chest pains.
P is for People you were with today
My neighbor and my husband.
Q is for what you do with your quiet time
Read and write!
R is for biggest Regret
I regret that it took me so long to know and understand what it means to be a respectful wife.
S is for Status
Married for 20 years.
T is for Time you woke up today
6:30 a.m.
U is for what you consider Unique
My husband – there is no one like him!
V is for a vegetable you love
I would probably say corn although I love mushrooms, even though it isn't considered a vegetable.
W is for Worst habit
I am trying to break away from snacks and eat healthy. I also struggle with putting things off from time to time!
X is for the number of X-rays you’ve had
Not sure - it has been quite a few!
Y is for Yummy food you ate today
Well nothing yet, since I haven't had breakfast yet.
Z is for Zoo you visited.
Okay I admit that I changed that last one. I guess the last zoo type place I have been was the Animal Safari in Animal Kingdom in Florida this past March.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Selective and Specific

I never have thought of myself as a visionary, but perhaps I am to some extent. Maybe it is that I like to have a plan and know where I am going. My thoughts have been on this coming year. I have a son that will be a senior starting next month. I realize that my time with him will be short before he leaves the nest and heads off to college. I really have been praying that I will be able to be very selective this year of the things that I choose to get involved in doing. I also want to be specific about the tasks that I do. I want to learn how to better use my time, to be more effective and to have more time that we can spend together as a family.

I know that this year will pass by at the speed of light and I don't want to blink and find that it is gone and that I have missed out on being there for my sons and husband. So that has become my prayer for this coming year.

I have been working through Donna Partow's book, Becoming the Woman God Wants Me to Be. Today was talking about Proverbs 31:13 which says, " She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands." A couple years ago I wrote about the Proverbs 31 woman and was curious to see how she handled this verse. I was surprised that she focused on the word selects. But yet it just happens to be where I am right now.

I thought about how I want to be selective for this next year so I can take advantage of every moment that I have with my oldest son, and not miss out. But then I feel that God wants me to take it a step further as well and apply it to all of my life. I think God often calls us to be selective and specific when it comes to our daily walk with Him. There are so many things that can distract us in today's society, but I think God often wants us to focus on that 'one' thing - our relationship with Him! How are you doing today with focusing on Him?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Blessed Beyond Measure

I have written lately about the struggles we face as women with friendships. This is something that I often seem to deal with throughout my adult life. I wrote last about how I had surrendered it all to God and just placed it in His hands. I just had to share what has been happening this week. I have had several phone calls and even emails from various women that are interested in doing/getting together for different reasons. I have been overwhelmed in the sense because for many weeks my phone has been silent. Each person I meet with I pray before hand and just give the time over to the Lord and trust that He will do with it whatever He wills. It has been amazing to watch though. Isn't is incredible how God blesses us when we least expect it?

I also wanted to petition your prayers for my husband. He has been experiencing an incredibly difficult time at work and we have been praying about which direction God wants us to go in for our future. We definitely need some wisdom. Thank you for praying!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Surrender

I realize it has been a little while since I last posted. Thank you to all that made a comment and encouraged me. I really appreciate it. I finally got to the point last week where I surrendered it all to God. My struggles with friendships and confidence of who I am. I laid it at Jesus' feet and asked Him to bear it. I desire for Him to give me confidence in knowing that I am a child of God. I also prayed through it this weekend as we were away in VA and I was suffering with some type of cold or something.

I pray that I will be able to surrender each area of my life to God. To trust and know that He can provide what I need and that often I just need to wait on His timing. He is my hope and my salvation. Do you have an area that you need to surrender to God?