Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Passion Stems From My Past

I had an interesting conversation with someone. During this conversation I was told that it seems like I had it all together. My life seems like it's perfect. This person wasn't being mean, but I had to chuckle a bit. I don't have it all together. The perfect life happens sometimes when I'm asleep at night. I'm dreaming of course.

I explained that my passion for marriage, family, purity, and home life, stems from my past. A lot of things happen in my life that would disqualify me to speak on such subject. I failed. I failed multiple times. I didn't do well on some of the tests that I had to take in life. The school of hard knocks taught me many valuable lesson that I've passed on to my children. But God!

God broke down the hard wall that encased my heart. After watching the men around me mistreat women, I vowed to never submit to any man and have him tell me what to do. I wanted to be Ms. Corporate America and bring freedom to women everywhere. Case in point, a friend reminded me of the time I took a briefcase to school in the 8th grade. I was serious about not growing up being barefoot and pregnant.

At a young age I desired marriage and wanted lots of children. If more women are honest, they do too. Fear of having to share my husband with other women caused me to push that desire to the back of my mind. Most of the wives I knew accepted the idea that a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. I was told, "A piece of man is better than no man at all." But my heart was crying out to someday have a husband that would be faithful to me. In my quest to find that at a young age, I failed. I made so many mistakes.

My heart became hard. Bitterness found a recliner and made itself at home in my heart. Bitterness had the nerve to bring a newspaper to read because it knew it would be there for a while. It had found a safe dwelling place.

When I allowed God to change my way of thinking, brick by brick the walls came down. I saw marriage the way God intended for it to be. A wise older woman prayed for me constantly. God sent other women to help me see that my way of thinking was contradicting to the written Word of God.

I could no longer deny my desire for lots of children. I'm a woman. I have a womb. My womb cried out to be filled. To deny the fact that my womb exist, was a denial of my Creator who created it for a purpose.

When the truth was presented to me that all the murmuring about not wanting a man was lie, I became indignant. How dare she confront me and call me a liar? She didn't confront me it was the Word of God.

The Lord God said to the woman in Genesis 3:16, "I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, and He shall rule over you."

I couldn't deny it any more. Yes I wanted to be married and have lots of children. Yes I wanted to be a stay at home mom and walk around barefoot and pregnant. I don't like wearing shoes anyway. (By the way, my husband loves me being pregnant. Most men do, although they may not admit it.) Yes I wanted my husband to enjoy my home cooked meals after he came home from work. Yes I wanted a Godly man to make decisions regarding the family. The only way to have that, I had to change.

My life has changed. I've decided to not burn the bra, but put lace on them instead. I don't have to roar in order to be heard. Women don't know the power they have when they use their sweet voices.

My past may not qualify me to teach on certain things. It's not my past that qualifies me. It's God. From a painful past, my passion rise. My passion stems from my past.

*Luke 7:36 ~ A Sinful Woman Forgiven

Monday, June 21, 2010

Has Sandra Died Yet?

As I passed by the mirror today, I stopped for a moment to take a look at the reflection sharing back at me. It had been a while since I've taken inventory of what's really inside of me. Not sure why I felt a need to take inventory, but I did. It is not because things aren't going good in my life, but I wanted to see what others saw when they looked at me. It's obvious that others can not see the hidden man of the heart. Only God can. One thing I do know is what's in my heart will eventually come out of my mouth. Whether I want it to or not. The Scripture tells me that out of the abundance of my heart, my mouth will speak. That I will be justified by my words and condemned by them also.

How can I go day after day, doing the same routine over and over again without feeling like insanity is lurking around the corner waiting to attach itself to me the minute I turn my back?

As I pondered this question, I couldn't help but notice the words "I" and "me." Then it hit me. It's all about me. Not the Christ who dwells in me. Repentance must take place because I have not followed the plan laid out for me in the Word of God.

Have I died to self yet and realize that it's not about me, but Him? I thought I did, but with my own power I seem to somehow manage to resurrect my flesh and give into the god of "me"ism.

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." -Galatians 2:20

In order for me to continue to do what God has called me to do, I have to crucify "me." There are times when my flesh does not want to serve my family, my church and the people around me. Why? Because it's an inconvenience for me, it doesn't fit into my schedule and the things I really want to do that day. Others may not know that I feel this way at times, but if I don't die to self on a daily basis they will. Eventually it will flow from my mouth. When it does, I won't be around to clean up the vomit that's just been spewed. I'll be busy taking care of "me."

As a mother and a wife, I want the words that flow from my mouth to be pleasing to my family. Words go into eternity and they can't be taken back. I don't want this to be about me because it's not. It's about Christ. He (Christ) must increase, but I must decrease.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Hype About Kissing

Some have asked us, "What's the big deal with kissing? Why such restrictions put on young adults who are over the age of 18? They are engaged right, so it is okay huh?"

Since the beginning of Ryan and Ruthie's courtship, Don made it perfectly clear to Ryan that he can not touch his daughter nor kiss her until after they said I do. Ryan gave his word and kept his promise to Don.

When it became public knowledge that Ryan and Ruthie were waiting to kiss until after they said "I do," the question arose as to what's the big deal with kissing. There's nothing wrong with kissing. In fact, I love kissing and I'm all for it because it's a form of intimacy. Intimacy is something that should be shared between a husband and wife according to scripture.

As a young teen, I did my share of kissing and I'm not proud about it. Those kisses lead me down a path of destruction because it opened up a door that led to a room in my heart where only my husband was suppose to dwell. The results from kissing left me sad and frustrated. Sad because I so wanted to be cherished. Frustrated because I wasn't.

Was my daughter doomed to repeat the same mistakes I did? I wasn't sure at first. They say history has a way of repeating itself. I didn't want my daughter to make the same mistakes such as the ones I made. With all the Christian jargon about generation curses I didn't know what to believe. One thing I knew for sure is that the God I serve had redeemed me from a life of sin. With that redemption, the generation curses would only be passed down if I allowed it. I was not going to let that happen.

In Song of Solomon, the Shulammite woman reminds the Daughters of Jerusalem not to arouse or awaken love until it so desires.

Kissing can and does arouse the sexual senses that we all have. We are kidding ourselves if we think that our children will not be aroused when kissing that young man or woman. Once those sensual desires are awakened, what's a young man or woman suppose to do? However they deal with it outside the marriage bed to bring satisfaction and release is sin.

As a mom, I've taken the lines from the Shulammite woman and remind my kids constantly not to arouse love prematurely. Many hours of dialog are spent in our home talking about purity and the rewards it brings.

I had an interesting conversation with Ruthie weeks before the wedding. I asked her if they've talked about the kiss that they will share at the altar on their wedding day. After she turned beet red, she said, "No we haven't talked about the kiss. We've decided not to talk about anything like that." That was music to my ears.

The picture above was taken right after the kiss.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Living the S.I.L.K. Lifestyle in a D.I.N.K. Society

I had no idea until Monday afternoon that my newlywed children were living the lifestyle desired by many. It's the D.I.N.K. lifestyle. I had no idea that this lifestyle had a name until a dear friend mentioned it. I've known numerous couples over the years that lived this lifestyle, but I've never been one to experience it. D.I.N.K. is an acronym for Dual Income No Kids.

If I can be honest here, I'm not sure if I can talk about a subject that I'm not familiar with. Although there was a time when we were a dual income family with kids. Lots of kids according to what was told to us. We may not have been a D.I.N.K. couple, but I know first hand the trap of a dual income family.

During the early years of my marriage I was busy at home bringing children into this world, being a happy homemaker and wife. I thought we were doing great. Financially it was tough. I didn't realize it at the time until someone else told me that I was denying my children a "good life" because we couldn't afford to go on vacation or buy the latest clothes or gadgets. I was torn when someone felt that I needed to face reality and go out and help my husband with the bills.

So I started working for the school district and eventually got a job at the same school my children were attending. From the outside it looked as though I had the "perfect" job. When I left in the morning my children were in tow with me. It was nice to see my children during the day, but home was always on my mind.

As the years went by I met another mom who worked at the same school as myself. Her children attended there as well. During recess time, her and I would have playground duty. One day we started talking about missing being at home. From that day on we would stand on the playground and daydream about being home. The job of watching other people's children was the last thing on our minds. I know it's sad, but true. My heart was toward home, not playground duty.

That school year Don and I talked about me quitting and coming home with the kids. We had already started homeschooling one of our children because he was struggling with Math and English. Don was home during the day while I was working. He worked nights. He would teach a few subjects and I would teach the rest when I got home.

I remember one night while trying to cook dinner, help my son finish his English and helping the other kids with their homework, I snapped. It wasn't the sound of the sweet snap, crackle and pop that my children heard coming from their cereal bowls earlier that morning. It was a hurling cry from the depths within me. I cried out and said, "I can't do this anymore!" Call me a whimp, but I wasn't equipped to do it all. I'm not every woman. It's not all in me.

When Don got home that night he made a final decision that I would finish out the school year and come home again. I was so relieved to know that I wouldn't be coming home solo, but my children will be in tow.

The following weekend we sat at the kitchen table trying to work some kind of magic with numbers. I looked at Don and told him these numbers don't lie there's no way we can pull this off. He reminded me of the time when the children were younger and all the provisions that God made for us. Thus, we decided to listen to the Nike commercial and just do it!

Although I've never lived the D.I.N.K. lifestyle, I'm living a S.I.L.K. lifestyle. I love it and it feels good. We have chosen a S.I.L.K. lifestyle and our children benefit greatly from it. The rewards are not instant. Now that some of our children are young adults, the rewards are plenty when the words "thank you" flow from their lips. I wouldn't trade this S.I.L.K. lifestyle for anything. That's a lifestyle of Single Income Lots of Kids.

I can testify that we have never gone hungry. We have always had a roof ever our head. We stood back then and are still standing on God's word today.

"I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." ~Psalms 37:25