Saturday, November 8, 2008

Alive And Kicking - Just Not Connecting!

Well, we made it to AZ - we are all alive and well. However, we have limited connectivity in these parts ...

Which means, I did not get on to do my Hot For The Holidays post - lost 1.5 pounds ... YAY!!! Woulda been more, but Hubbs made pizza for dinner on Thursday night and by the time I got home I was too tired to fight the urge and weak from hunger. So, I succumbed. He felt really bad:(

'Cause, ya know, he FORCED me to eat those two LARGE pieces!! Basically HALF of the pizza ... but it was whole wheat ... does that count?

Also, this means that I will be hit and miss on the Love Dare. I am gonna try for everyday. I just can't promise anything. I would do it right now, but I have to figure out where I packed the book ;)

In other news, Miss Sophie - my timid walker. The one who must be holding on to something or someone to take even one step, has broken all barriers between herself and freedom. She is walking free and easy. Oh, yeah ... let the adventure begin!!!!

Well, we have a wedding today. Yep, that is two weddings in a week and God allowed me to be here for both of them! There is no way I would have been able to share in Brittany's big day if it were not for already being here for Steven and Mindy. And, seeing as how I missed her 8th grade graduation, I am hoping that this makes up for it!!!! However, I am pretty sure that that 8th grade graduation was just last week, so there is NO WAY she could be old enough to get married!!! WOW!

Well, better skeedaddle! I will try to get back on later today for a Love Dare ... Sorry Kelly and Calista! I am hoping that you will find a way to forgive me!!!


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Love Dare - Day 16: Love Intercedes

OK, we are back in business! I apologize for the break in our Love Dare. I cannot effectively explain it, except to say that this election has had a profound effect on me. I am looking at myself and my world in new ways. And my faith too ... I am now finding myself praying for a man that I had been praying against. It is humbling. It is hard. And it is POWERFUL.

PRAYER is powerful.

And prayer is what we are talking about today.

"Beloved I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers." - 3 John: 2

Have you ever noticed that it is difficult to stay angry at someone that you pray for? I had heard it before, but learned that it is true when someone I worked with - and did not really get along with - had found herself with a very ill husband and a very unsure future. I lifted her up in prayer on a regular basis and so found it hard to stay angry with her. Now, we never really became friends, but we were no longer nemesises (nemisie?) either. We were able to co-exist a little more peacefully.

The point is that prayer is not only a powerful tool spiritually speaking, but socially speaking as well. Hmmm, perhaps that is why the Apostle Paul consistently urged the churches he addressed in his letters to remain in prayer for each other. Guess He knew.

It works in marriage as well. If you are lifting your partner in prayer on a regular basis it brings about a new level of compassion. As well as a new level of peace in the home.

You see, YOU cannot change your spouse. No amount of nagging is going to make him want to be the spiritual leader in your household. But prayer, humbly and earnestly bringing your wishes for him before the throne of God, can make all the difference in the world. And you cannot make her want to have a better attitude toward you. But you can bring it to God and ask for His help in both her outlook and your behavior. And that is another key to prayer ... relationship.

And I am not just speaking of your relationship with God - even though that is a huge factor! You must also consider your relationship with your spouse and your motivation for your prayers. I mean, you CAN ask God to make him take the trash out. But will that help him or you as a couple? There is a difference between humbly stepping before the throne with a request being motivated by your desire to strengthen your marriage and asking God to change your spouse to make your life easier. Look at what you are asking of God. Think about WHY you are making that request. Is it for you alone or for the two of you.

Prayer is powerful. Use it wisely. And lovingly.

Here is the thing, God did not give us the incredible level of insight into the humaness and faults of our spouses so that we can nag. He did it so we can kneel ... in prayer. No one else can pray for our mates as effectively as we can. And no one else has the responsibility to pray for our spouse like we do. AND, no one else has the PRIVILEGE to pray for the one we love that we do. Consider it the honor that it is. And hit your knees for that love of yours!

Begin praying today for your spouse's heart. Pray for three specific areas where you desire for God to work in your spouse's life and in your marriage.

In the Fire Proof movie, this is the one that Caleb skipped until the dare was almost through. And it was the one that they BOTH needed the most. She needed prayer for her heart and attitude. And he needed to humble himself before her and God enough to fall on his knees for her. For his own forgiveness. And for the restoration for their love and their marriage.

I am praying for YOU. Now you go pray for your love!

See ya tomorrow!

Day Off - Day Two

Guess what Love Dare'ers ... you get another day off. Why, you may ask ... Well, it would seem that wailing and gnashing of teeth can cause a migraine. Yep - got a whopper going on here. So, I am spent. I do promise that the Love Dare will be back tomorrow.

As far as the election ... Ouch!

I am heartbroken at the outcome, obviously. However, I know who is ultimately in control. And HIM, I trust more than any earthly man. I know that He is not in Heaven scratching His head wondering how this happened. Somehow it fits into His plan. So - begrudgingly, I admit - I will lift Obama up to Him. And know that that is all I can do.

My Faith Mama said it best. Please check out this post by my PBFF Beth Moore. Good golly, that woman is wise!!!

And now I feel like talking about something light and fun ...

Miss Sophie is 14 months old today. I can't stinkin' believe it! How did that happen?

She is the most laid back kid you could find - seriously. However, when she does get mad ... Look OUT!! She can scream with the best of them ... meaning Hattie:)

She is starting to walk. She CAN walk, she just doesn't KNOW she can walk. She holds on for dear life to anything she can get her hands on. But every once in a while, she forgets herself and starts walking. Like Sunday at church.

We were at Home group (the 'home" was occupied with out of town guests, so we met at the church this time), when she decided to show off. She had a pretty large audience, so why not!!! She walked from Daddy to me - and I was kinda far away - and then when she realized that everyone was watching she kept going. Suddenly she remembered herself and stopped and sat down. But, not before jumping. Oh, yes she did! My baby actually jumped up and then clapped and sat herself down and let the crowd cheer her on!

No, she's not like me at all!!!

(that was a joke!)

Yep, this girl ...

... is growing up.

These hands ...

... are discovering the world.

And these feet ...

... are walking!

Look out world!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Love Dare ...

*** We interrupt this Love Dare for Election Day ***

I hope that you will forgive me, but I cannot concentrate on the Love Dare today - so I am giving you the day off.

Seriously, I am on my face today in prayer for this nation. Hubby and I started our day off literally on our knees, face to the ground, crying out to God. I am feeling a sense of desperate need for His hand on this nation today.

This nation has the largest number of professed Christians in the world, and yet we go to the polls today to decide decide between the man who believes in the sanctity of life and marriage and the man who says he can save us, yet clearly puts no value in an unborn child and claims free will in marriage.

The Bible says that He will hear His people when they cry out to Him and humble themselves and pray. This is what we, as a nation of Christians, should be doing. Instead, I see so many worried about the dollar and their quality of life. Had we all, as a nation, been worrying about our dollars before hand, the country would not be in this mess. We have become materialistic to the point of putting ourselves in danger of losing it all in order to gain it all. And, yet, we have gained nothing and have already lost. Because the Bible also shows us what happens to a nation that bows to false gods and creates idols for itself. A man who claims to be the one who will bring us peace is a false god and I see sooooo many bowing to him. Putting yourself above your financial limitations to have the car, house, clothes, purse, etc... that you want is creating a false sense of security - and, in the end, a false god.

Sadly, we are in debt. Meaning we have fallen into the world's trap as well. We are not proud of this fact and have fallen to our knees before God in repentance and have begged His forgiveness. We are now trying desperately to follow His leading in getting of this pit we have created. But it will be Him - The Lord of Lords, our Heavenly Father, the King of Kings, Creator of the universe, Prince of Peace - who will save us from this pit. No president will save us.. No president will save you. Only ONE can bring the peace we crave, both as a nation and as individuals. Only One. Only Him.

Rise up and pray my friends.

And then go vote.

Father God, this nation claims You as our Lord - lift Your people up, Father God, and guide us as we vote today. Hold this nation in the palm of Your mighty hand. Lift our eyes and our hearts to You and You alone. Touch the hearts and minds of Your people today Father and let them not be fooled or blinded by anything.
Lift this nation, Lord. For only You can.
It is in the Mighty Name of Jesus that I pray.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Picture Perfect Monday - Random Funness!!!

OK, I already posted my Halloween pics, so I am out of new and interesting pictures of my little life, so I am enlisting the help of a few other blogs...

I just found this little blog. This is a miracle of ginormous proportions!! See that baby the other kids are all fondly staring at, that is their new little brother. Their mommy and daddy were told while he was in the womb that he would not live because of various conditions. They began a prayer war that spread throughout blogland ... he was born last week COMPLETELY healthy. Not a problem to be found. Go read the story - and take a hanky!!!

This is a fun little contest that I found. It is a bloggy scavenger hunt. How fun is that?!?! And may I just say that the prize ROCKS! If you play and win and don't like the prize, let me just say that it would make an excellent Christmas Present ... ;)wink, wink, nudge, nudge!!!

Just sayin'

That is about all I have ... But please remember to vote tomorrow!!! You already know who I am voting for (and who I am NOT voting for!!). But let me just leave ya with this:

God Bless America ....

America, BLESS GOD!

Love Dare - Day 15: Love Is Honorable

Did you find delight in your spouse yesterday? Are you fighting fair when the need arises - although I hope that you have not found a use for that one yet;) The real question is this, are you getting a use out of this dare? I know I sure am. I am finding, each day, a new way to love him. We have been crazy busy at our house since we started, but have still made the time to read the book, share our thoughts and do little things for eachother on a regular basis. It is such a Blessing!!!

I am praying that you are finding new depth and love and respect for your spouse too. Every marriage could use it, simply because of our stinkin' humanness that tends to take a hold of us at the worst moments...

On to today...

"Live with your wives in an understanding way ... and show honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life." - 1 Peter 3:7

Did you know that the word Honor actually comes from a form of the word Holy? And that when we take a vow to "Love, HONOR and (gulp) Obey" our spouse, we are taking a vow to treat them as holy. Now, let me clarify, I am not talking about Holy in the sense that God is Holy. In marriage, and other relationships of honor, holy means to be "set apart, no longer ordinary, special and unique". Meaning that we are to put our spouse in a special place in our lives, set them apart for a unique purpose. Share with them something that we share with no other person. We are not putting them on a pedastal and calling them perfect and bowing down to them. We are putting them in a special place beside us and, at times, in front of us, calling them honored and, prayerfully, bowing down WITH them to the One who is to be bowed down to. I hope that makes sense.

The way that we treat our spouse should show him or her whether or not we respect and honor them. In fact, it does whether we want it to or not. Do you listen to your wife behind the paper or with one hand on the remote and one eye on the TV? Do you talk to your him in the same tone as you do your children, or about him in the same way as an annoying coworker? We should be honoring them even when away - and that can be hard.

I remember going to a "girl party" with my mom when I was younger. It was probably a shower or something, I don't remember. What I do remember is hearing all kinds of stories about these women and their stupid, silly, incompetent and down right useless husbands. Some of them were pretty funny, some were pretty sad and all of them made marriage look bad. I also remember my mom's silence. I NOTICED that she did not say a thing about my dad. And I remember, on the ride home, her telling me that when you allow yourself to talk bad about your husband, you make him look like a fool - to them and, eventually, to you as well. And I am telling you, those words stuck! I see now that me speaking ill of my man would be as bad as dishonoring him to his face. Now, I have a sarcastic sense of humor so this is at times hard for me. But, I do make a concerted effort to honor him in all things. And I pray that he feels the respect that I have for him. But just in case, I make special effort to show him once in a while.

And that leads us to our challenge for the day ...

Today's Dare

Chhose a way to show honor and respect for your spouse that is above above your normal routine. It may be holding a door for her. It might be putting his clothes away for him. It may be the way you speak in your communication. Show your mate that he or she is highly esteemed in your eyes.

Remember, the one that you love will know how you feel about them in the way that you treat them. So, treat them well ... and with honor. I am praying for you!!!

See ya tommorrow!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Love Dare - Day 14: Love Takes Delight

Today is a very busy day here in B Manor. So, if you will forgive me, I am gonna skip the recap of yesterday and be brief with today's dare.

See, today is "Hattie Day" - four years ago today our sweet Hattie Grace came to live with us. And, by the Grace of our Sweet Lord, she came to stay. Her adoption was not for another 16 months, but from day 1 we knew she was a part of our forever family. Thank You Father for keeping your promises! Here is a little glimpse of what she looked like back then:

Awww, so sweet:)

Anyhoo, on to today!

"Enjoy life with the wife that you love all the days of your fleeting life." - Eccl. 9:9

Do you enjoy being with the one that you married? I mean, really ENJOY it?! As much as when you first got married? It is possible - even when you know that he leaves a trail of dirty clothes from the bedroom door to his side of the bed as he gets in it at night. Even when she forgets to put the driver's seat back where she found it after driving your car, changes the channel during the football game while you are mowing the lawn and now you can't just rewind to see that your team won IN THE LAST 7 SECONDS!!! And even when she leaves all of her makeup, hair products, lotions and moisturisers all over your side of the sink. Oh, yes, even then!

You see, just like love is a choice you make, so is delight. You can choose to over look a few things (we all know you did when you were dating - even to the point of thinking that they were charming!!). Instead of seeing the mess on the counter, CHOOSE to see that she takes a lot of interest in looking her best for you. Instead of seeing the trail of dirty clothes, CHOOSE to see that he has worked so hard all day long, in an effort to support his family, that he is too tired to put them in the dirty clothes.

In other words, CHOOSE to love them just the way that they are ... and then choose to LIKE them too.

And if you need a little help in regards to what to look for in them to find the attraction again, read Song Of Solomon. Oh boy, our God didn't just write us a love letter, He gave us a romance instruction manual too!!! Good stuff my friends, good stuff!.

Today's Dare
Purposefully neglect and activity you would normally do so you can
spend quality time with your spouse. Do something he or she
would love to do or a project they'd really like to work on.
Just be together.

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but, I say that closeness makes a few other things grow too .... Try it, I think you will like it!

Have a great day and, remember, I am praying for you!

See ya tomorrow!