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Archive for the ‘A Husband’s Leadership’ Category

This belongs to the Happy Husband Project. Check the categories on the right to see more of my bragging on or loving on my hubby! It’s MY FAVORITE thing to do!

I won’t go into all of the details of how Baking and Praying came to be but check out this link for the full story (it will open in a different window).

In no time I’ll be off to another city to complete the last core of my Biblical Counselling Course…soon,

I’ll be a graduate!

Oh I’ve invested so much of my heart, my time, my prayers and love into the last 3 years, to get to this moment. I’m pretty excited!  So right now I’m preparing to be away from home.  I’m cooking as many meals as days I’ll be gone and Mr. Handsome won’t have to worry about meals whilst I am away.  I’m baking up some goodies so they can have a little sweetness too!  And as I cook and bake, I am praying.

Today I shared the story that you’ll find in the link above, with my Lil Songbird…as we baked together.  I told her how God transformed my heart and in doing so gave me a special way to pray!  As she patted and rolled, and filled the pie, I watched her little lips whisper innocent prayers to her Father above. The sweetest gift ever!

The Lord has burdened my heart of late with so many…I won’t name you all here but know that I am petitioning to the King of Kings on your behalf. My Loving Our Husband girls, all of you are on my hearts, always;  The sweet ladies who are blessing me with the opportunity to walk along side them as they journey; my beloved friend who lifts me, inspires me and loves me even when I’m ugly; my pastor and his family; A and his family and always, our city, the leadership and unity within…so many more that I couldn’t possibly name.

May His love fill you, may His grace be sprinkled throughout all you do, and as you grow in Him & follow Him, may He bless you richly along the way, find favor with you & open your hearts to His truths!

From My Heart to Yours, with love…

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I am a contributing writer for Evangel Chapel’s website, you can find this post – and many other great reads – there also. 

I wasn’t able to get to church yesterday, which was particularly disappointing because the city was doing a pulpit swap.  Our pastor was speaking at the Baptist Church and we had a visiting pastor as well.  For this reason, I was interceding for both “houses” as well as the churches in the rest of the city. This is SO exciting to me, to see our city in unity and working together! As an intercessor I am thinking about what it means to be part of a body within our own church, which reaches out the city and into the nations…

Being part of a body though, really starts with my husband, myself and our children.  I love a recent post our pastor made on how to do church with a young family (it will open in another window) because he really talks about the importance of EVERY single part of the body. Even the baby toe is important!

Today I’m looking back reflectively about my family and the year we’ve had. It’s been a year of challenges, of change and of growth. I pray I can say that every year! What have my young men, specifically, learned through the last year? In moments that may have looked like tormenting scholastic struggles, they have learned perseverance. One can’t quit or give up when things get hard! They have learned the value of determination and hard work. They have succeeded and they have failed. They will need both of these in life when circumstance moves them to stand with courage in the face of fiercity. They will be able to look back and see how God was there for them, and know with certainty He will be there for them again.

This reminds me of the butterfly and Chrysalis.

BlueButterfly

Did you know that if a butterfly does not fight and struggle to be free, when it bursts from its cocoon, it can’t fly. It’s not strong enough.  I think about my young men, about our year and it dawns on me…the difference between a teenager and a young man is that the teenager fights against God and against their parents for independence. A young man (or woman) fights with God, with his/her parents for freedom.  As the cocoon of childhood becomes restraining, so tight that it threatens to smother them, they will struggle to break from it and in doing so, they will embark on an adventure with their new wings.

We’ve experienced many of the usual things parents go through with young men/woman as they choose the path to follow. Yet along with those moments, we’ve also experienced moments of grace, mercy, and always moments of gratefulness as we watch God shape our young men (and our little lady as she grows).  Again, like the butterfly struggling to find its freedom, my young men are struggling to move from living out of my faith, and walking in their own faith!  From the uncertainty of being responsible for their faith and spiritual growth, they are finding freedom.

This is terrifying and exciting all at once, for us – as parents. It’s as much a journey for us as it is for them. We’re on the same ship, being tossed to and fro with the troubled waters and swells of this new season.  It’s not true that Christians never experience storms, nor that they somehow levitate as not to be harmed by the raging seas. Let’s be real. However, we do have God to fight for us and with us…He meets us where we are.  My prayer – and let me tell you that my knees have scars from spending so much time on them – my prayer is that as our children are with us, and us with them, they will see my love for God in all we do (and don’t do).  Our children need to see us serve, see us laugh, see us cry, see our faith FIRST HAND!  My prayer is that our young men (and growing young lady) will see the strong, godly leader my husband is (even when, in our unequal-yoking, my husband may not recognize this in himself YET) and that the choices we make will inspire and encourage them.  As they fight for freedom I know that they know that we are FOR them, WITH them, beside them, behind them and in front of them; and that every step of the way is covered in prayer!

Maybe you are here with us dear friends, in the midst of a season change.  If you are being tossed about, and there is no discerning the teenager from the young man/woman, find someone to walk along side you.  Get on your knees. Change your perspective. Remember there is more to the lemon than meets the eye! My heart walks with yours, in prayer.

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to STAND…

Stand for what you believe in.

Stand for the ones you love.

Stand in the midst of adversity.

The other day we were at a family restaurant for breakfast.  There were two gentlemen sitting behind me and one was cussing up a storm.  I know, they’re just words – we tried to ignore it…but after about the 8th “F-bomb” the fellow dropped Mr. Handsome said in a quiet, calm voice –

“Excuse me, Buddy – I’ve got my wife and daughter here, do you mind having a little respect?”

I thought it was pretty cool…Lil Miss Songbird looked at the big men and smiled sweetly – she gave a little wave.  The boys looked at their dad and smiled, pride swelled in their hearts, I could see it. It was just one quiet comment, not made to embarrass anyone – just a stand.

I wonder what one moment of standing did for our children?  They saw their dad respect their mom and sister as he guarded our hearts. They saw the quiet way he went about it, still desiring to honor these gentlemen as men.

Courage to stand…I love this man…

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Songbird and I have discovered that Little House on the Prairie is on at a certain time of day and we’ve been sitting together to watch it.  Oh, I love Little House.  I used to be faithful about watching it when I was a kid and I loved Laura Ingles.  She was so strong, so brave…and her Pa, he reminded me of my brother – a man of integrity and honesty, a man who stood for his family and his faith!

Now, as an adult, I appreciate Little House even more.  As Songbird and I sat, hand in hand, and watched Charles stand up for what was right, stand against the bullies of his town – I was brought to tears.  This brought up a great discussion between myself and Songbird.

Later, when it was just God and I…I thought about something.

If Little House can affect my heart with such intensity and bring such emotion and desire for good ~

then what about other things?

In my last post I talked about Facebook and social media affecting our kids.  If Songbird can take such a great life lesson from Little House on the Prairie (at age 7), then what would she take from watching these stupid cartoons that are on TV now?  Or the video games that seem so real you could be IN them?

The truth is, what we allow into our hearts really does matter!  Years ago I started to pray that Mr. Handsome would become acutely aware of what was in our home and that he would lead us in the right way…and he has!  I have watched him grow in this area. I have seen him have such a change of heart about what he allows into our home – not just for the kids, but for us. I admit, it meant that I had to let go of some of the things I liked to watch…but it honestly improved the heart of our home immensely!

What we allow into the hearts of our children really does build on who they are and who they will become.
It is up to us to carefully guard their hearts and what we allow to pierce their tiny souls. We really have to ask ourselves what foundation we are laying for our little (and not so little) ones?!  We have to ask ourselves what we’re “feeding” them and if it is nourishing our devastating?

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I have been thinking about this  a lot.  I am not THAT old but when I was a kid we didn’t have cell phones so we couldn’t text a private conversation with someone of the opposite sex. If I wanted to talk to a boy, I had to do it on my parent’s landline, in the living room. 

Now, I have been criticized for this but our kids don’t have Facebook (nor do we). 

Gasp! 

I’m not saying they never will, I’m not say we never will. It’s just a choice we have made for now, in this season – while our kids are young.

They do have an email account but Mr. Handsome and I know the passwords and we can (AND DO) check their emails and read their texts.  That is the rule; you have can email but Dad and I have the right to check at any time what is being sent out and what comes in.

…not only do we have the right, 
but we have the responsibility!

They are OUR kids.  Who, if not Mr. H and I, will guard their hearts and guide them?  Who will teach them the importance of keeping their hearts pure in a world that laughs at purity? They are bombarded with temptation at all times…

Not to mention that the world of anonymity can be a breeding ground for bullying.  A friend of mine was talking to me about some very nasty texts her daughter received.  My friend took this to the principal and the girls were reprimanded and had to write a letter of apology to her daughter, who was deeply wounded. 
So ~ they didn’t have to look this young lady in the eye to see how hurtful their words were when they texted her, and they didn’t have to look her (or her mother) in the eye to apologize either.

Anonymity.

Where is the accountability?

And I’ll ask again,

Who will teach them the importance of keeping their hearts pure
in a world that laughs at purity?

Their hearts are so precious.  Even at 15, Booker thinks he’s so grown up but he’s still got so much wisdom to gain.  I’m so blessed that Mr. Handsome has such a heart to draw out the man in him, and Monkey.  I just think we really have to be careful about what goes into the hearts of our babes (big and small). There are so many things our kids can’t see, so many temptations out there lurking to grab hold of their hearts (and ours too but that is another post), darkness.  While my babes are growing and learning, I want to shine the light on their path as they walk.

Christ wants their hearts.

So does the enemy.

Make no mistake about it.

 

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If you’ve read my blog before then you know that Mr. Handsome and I are unequally yoked.  I used to lament and feel sorry for myself. I have cried enough tears over this to make a Lake Superior – pun intended!

My mentor told me recently that when our babes are small, they mostly depend on Mama to teach them and direct them.  This is such an important time…and blessed are those who have a Mama there to guide them.  But when our boys begin to grow out of childish things, it is the Father who draws out the men in them and guides them into manhood.  We are experiencing this right now as Booker is 15 and Monkey is nearly 13.

I can see, especially in the season we’re in right now as a family, not how my God has used me or my faith to change my husband, but rather

how He has used my amazing husband to change me and my faith. 

Now – you all know what a true gift church is to me.  Being 2 hours from town and not being able to get to church every week – I deeply cherish the times I do get to go (see the right column for the category “Church”).  I particularly appreciate my church, Evangel Chapel…so know now that this post is not made at the expense of the church (any church).  If you feel inclined to take it that way, please take a minute to pray about it and read it again.  Of course, it’s covered in prayer long before I ever push post here…on my end.

We have a little guest cabin which Mr. H and I have worked very hard on.  Our heart is to create a sanctuary for friends and loved ones to come when they need to get away and rest.  We’ve had many guests over the years, lots of people from the “church world” too.

God has me right where He wants me, this I know.  As I said, He’s used my husband to change my faith, rather grow it!  Perhaps because my husband is not saved, I am extra sensitive to the fact that non-Christians watch, ever more closely, those who claim to have Christ in their hearts.  One couple we had out from the church world is a good example of this.  While his wife and I were inside baking, the husband brought out a few beers to share with hubby.  Don’t get me wrong, I see nothing wrong with having a beer on a hot day or a glass of wine on a summer’s evening – it’s that all too often there is a shift that takes place in the heart of some at this time.  The husband started talking about people at church and how righteous they can be. The things The Husband would share with mine over the next hour would not only shock my husband, but the blue air of profanity began to pollute our clean country living.  I’ll admit, I was angry.  This man knows full well how many years I’ve prayed for Mr. H’s salvation –

for godly men to rise up beside him and show him that they’ll stand for the love of Christ.

Another time our son spent the day with a boy from church and when he came home, he admitted that he had disobeyed our rules of NO YouTube without adult supervision.  He and I were neck deep in a good discussion when Mr. H came home from work. He listened awhile.

“Can I ask you something son?” Dad said.  “Yeah sure,” said Boy.

“Do you claim to have Christ in your heart?”

“Yes,” said Boy.

“Then you have to live it. Words mean nothing. If you claim this then you can be assured that 100 pairs of eyes are watching to see if you will live what you say.”  He went on to share a story about the dad of this boy and how when we’ve gone to get him and I go into the house for tea, the dad swears up a storm of gossip and bashing others…and it makes him wonder just what kind of God this man serves.  “You don’t change how you act or who you are depending on who you’re with.  Know who you are and stand firm in it, no matter what.”

What kind of God do you serve?

My husband is a quiet man. A good man.  He’s not perfect (nor am I)…but he is who he claims to be; he is Father to 2 Princes and 1 Princess.  He’s drawing out the men in his boys and teaching his daughter what to look for in a man who will someday claim to love her.  He is a man who has a good many godly qualities. I have learned more about God, about faith, and even about who I am as a woman of faith – from this man than from any man I’ve ever known; saved or unsaved!

Do you claim to have Christ in your heart?

 

 

Col. 4:5 “Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders (unbelievers), make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasonsed with salt, so that you may know how to respond to everyone.” 

 

Where are you, men of courage, men of integrity?

Where are you women of courage, Titus woman?

 

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My pastor is an exceptionally gifted teacher, quite frankly like none I have ever known. I have quietly admired his openness to others and the way he and his wife are deeply invested in community.  So it didn’t surprise me when Sunday’s guest speaker walked to the front and sat down at the piano (did I mention my pastor is also a musical genius).  The Guest’s hair, a naturally mussed mass of curls.  Earrings in his ears and one in his eyebrow.  Tattoos and a savvy scarf.  His fingers touched the keys and I closed my eyes.  The sweetest sound began to caress my senses…and that was the beginning of the tears that flowed freely throughout almost the entire message.   From the moment he sat down to his last statement at the end of service, 

I could actually HEAR his heart beating and it danced with the rhythm of my own. 

Rik Leaf and his wife Zara sold their house and spent their life savings travelling around the world with their two kids.  He penned a book titled Four Homeless Millionaires.”  Among other things, he talked about community and our integral desideratum for relationship.  At one point he was explaining how a friend had asked him what makes someone completely obliterate their security and up and do something like this.  He said “I discovered right there that I had never found security it my home or things but rather in my wife and children…this explains why I was much more excited about it than my friend was.”  Obviously this is a man who isn’t afraid of taking risks, who knows the sound of his own voice and is married to a woman who sees these qualities as amazing strengths.  I can’t possibly share here all that he said, nor even begin to express the depth with which his heart and story impacted my own…


But I will tell you that the 2 hour drive home was spent in total silence as I pondered his message.  His book sat next to me, longing to be opened, discovered – devoured.  I got home and my own heart hit the paper running as I spent the next 3 days journaling until my arm ached and tears refused to break forth as I emptied my soul on the paper. 

The third night, I slept fitfully. 
…running down a dark corridor with my hands out in front of me, tears streaming down my face.  I think I’ve been here before.  I wanted to scream…I clawed at my throat, but my vocal cords betrayed me.  

Where was my voice? 

I bolted upright in bed. 2:03am. Terror rose up to my throat and as a small test, I opened my mouth…and blessed sound came out.  I looked beside me where my beloved husband laid blissfully in slumber.  Where was my voice?

What does it mean to turn over a new leaf?  In all honesty, it’s a lot more than turning over a new leaf – I think this moment was life changing for me.  God has something really powerful for me, for Evangel Chapel, in this message and I’m so excited to see where God intends to take us!

Am I willing to take the risk, embrace the mystery?


God is moving in me in the area of understanding what it means to love others, to be committed to relationship and community.  I want to teach that to my kids and I think Mr. Handsome and I are doing that by the way we live.  Also though, I think it means thinking about my dreams – about OUR dreams; my voice and the language I want to express it in.  I think it means listening to the sound of my own heart beating and maybe even unveiling the dreams I’ve worked so hard to hide.  It means, to me, being able to take risks with abandon…it means teaching my kids to listen to and recognize their own voice, find their own language of expression. 
Teaching them how to laugh.
How to cry.
How to ask questions and take risks themselves.

If you want to read some of my Pastor’s blog writing on Rik Leaf and his visit to our church, see here and here (those two separate post links will open in a new window). Thought provoking, good stuff! 

In reading back thru some of my old posts, I see where God was beginning to stir these things in my heart.  You might like the posts City Builders ~ Fire Lighters, and Divine Darkness.

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