The Very BEST Stress Buster!

This is the final installment in my series on Stress-Free Living! This year, we’re approaching the Holidays with a different attitude – not one of worry and stress, but one of peace and gratitude! With God’s help, we can do this! If you’re new to the series, you can find the other posts here.

 

The boy had been walking for 36 hours in the cold rain and was exhausted. He tried to find a place to spend the night, only to be turned away because of his skin color. Tired, cold and hungry, he found the only refuge he could: a small hole in the wooden sidewalk. The hollow beneath the sidewalk was warmer and dry, so the boy was finally able to rest.

While he laid there under the sidewalk, he listened to the passers-by walking unknowingly on top of him. He wondered where they were going, what they were thinking. Did they have families close by? Did they have a boy his age? What were they going to have for dinner? After awhile, the boy began to pray. Although many people would have considered his shelter repulsive, Booker T. Washington had much to thank God for. He laid there and thanked God for this shelter, his opportunity to get to school and get an education, and for the strength to get there.

He didn’t know it at the time, but someday he would become one of the greatest men who ever lived. Never forgetting where he came from, Dr. Washington devoted his life to helping his fellow African Americans live successfully.

Are you approaching this Christmas tired and exhausted? Do you feel that you simply cannot go another step? Are you weary of the perpetual rush of people hurrying about to finish up their last-minute shopping? Do what Booker T. Washington did – find the nearest hole and go and pray.

In 1 Peter 5:7, the Bible says, “Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.”

One of my most favorite poem is found in the book, Streams in the Desert, by Mrs. Cowman. Not surprisingly, it is for December 23, right before Christmas:

 

I’m too tired to trust and too tired to pray,
Said one, as the over-taxed strength gave way.
The one conscious thought by my mind possessed,
Is, oh, could I just drop it all and rest.

Will God forgive me, do you suppose,
If I go right to sleep as a baby goes,
Without an asking if I may,
Without every trying to trust and pray?

Will God forgive you? why think, dear heart,
When language to you was an unknown art,
Did a mother deny you needed rest,
Or refuse to pillow your head on her breast?

Did she let you want when you could not ask?
Did she set her child an unequal task?
Or did she cradle you in her arms,
And then guard your slumber against alarms?

Ah, how quick was her mother love to see,
The unconscious yearnings of infancy.
When you’ve grown too tired to trust and pray,
When over-wrought nature has quite given way:

Then just drop it all, and give up to rest,
As you used to do on a mother’s breast,
He knows all about it—the dear Lord knows,
So just go to sleep as a baby goes;

Without even asking if you may,
God knows when His child is too tired to pray.
He judges not solely by uttered prayer,
He knows when the yearnings of love are there.

He knows you do pray, He knows you do trust,
And He knows, too, the limits of poor, weak dust.
Oh, the wonderful sympathy of Christ,
For His chosen ones in that midnight tryst,

When He bade them sleep and take their rest,
While on Him the guilt of the whole world pressed—
You’ve given your life up to Him to keep,
Then don’t be afraid to go right to sleep.

– by Ella Conrad Cowherd, from Streams in the Desert

Oh, how many times these verses comforted me in my mother-exhaustion! How many times my overwhelmed spirit found solace in these words. So you, too, my friend, can find rest in the arms of an understanding Savior when you’re overwhelmed.

So when you find yourself tired, exhausted and stressed, find a hole and go pray. But if you’re too tired to pray, find a hole and rest in the Arms of Jesus.

Question: What are some ways you handle stress?

Special Announcements:

  • I have many people who follow along on my Facebook page for daily encouragements, reminders, and exciting assignments! It’s a great group of folks – come join us!
  • Lydia my blog button designer, is available for designing blog buttons for anyone! Please contact me at lisaraub (at) rocket mail (dot) com! She will do a GREAT JOB at a tremendous price.

Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil is OUT! It’s now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and NOW it’s available here!! Check out the sidebar on the right! Lydia did a great job in putting that on, didn’t she??

Linking up with: Monday: Moms the Word, and Happy Wives Club Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum

 

 

What I Learned from Misplacing My Computer

All of us deal with failure at some point or other. Some failures are more embarrassing than others, but all seem to have something we can learn from them.

You’re not going to believe this, but – I lost my computer! Yes, I know it’s here somewhere, but, you see, the house looks like a bomb went off! My men went to get our things from storage in another state, and everything ended up all. over. the house!

Our big goal yesterday was to offload the truck, and then get everything out of the cardboard boxes by nightfall so we wouldn’t be invaded by roaches. It worked! But – we didn’t have much time to put things away, and so everything we own is strewn around the house!

I wasn’t expecting such a disaster. And I certainly wasn’t expecting to MISPLACE my computer!! (How in the world does THAT happen??!!)

Well, when life gives you lemons, as the saying goes…make lemonade! Usually I use my blog template and my planned posts to prepare the next post, but…they’re all on my computer! So today I’m writing on my IPad, just from the heart.

That’s ok, right? We can do that sometimes, I suppose.

Here are some things I’ve learned through this time of computerlessness:

  • Always make plans, but expect your plans to be changed, at least somewhat. I had planned on spending the next few days organizing my stuff, in addition to preparing this post, etc. But I hadn’t planned on the complete disarray that occurred when all the stuff got pulled out of boxes! It basically turned my life upside down for awhile.
  • Don’t blame others for the unexpected. Sometimes I get the raw deal of someone else’s lack of planning, but blaming them doesn’t help the situation – it only makes it worse. (In this case, that didn’t happen, thankfully!) If I experience a lot of pressure because someone failed to plan, then I try to go ahead and make things work, and afterwards talk to the person and express to them the difficulties I experienced – rationally!
  • Along the same lines, I must be careful not to beat myself up over failures. Failures are important opportunities to ask some vital questions and discover what went wrong, but they’re bad times to tell myself how awful I am. The Devil loves nothing more than to get a child of God to think either more highly or more lowly of themselves than they ought. Try to be completely honest with yourself, and give yourself some room to grow.
  • If you have a choice between being with your hubby and getting something done, choose to be with your hubby. In this case, my hubby was away for about 4 days, so I wasn’t about to keep working to organize late into the night when I hadn’t spent time with My Beloved in awhile! I’ve been faced with that choice many times, however, and I try to choose the person above the project. Investing in relationships is a million times better (and lots more fun!) than just “getting something done.”
  • Make the most out of the change. Try to reflect about what you can learn from the situation, and how you can prevent it from happening again. In addition, you can take advantage of the change and do something completely different and unexpected – like this post – and share what you’ve learned with others, so that others can grow as well.

Well, if I’ve learned nothing else, I’ve learned that I need to keep better track of my own possessions!! 😉

Question: What have you learned from your failures? Have you ever lost something important to you, and had to make some serious adjustments for it?

Some additional reading:
Here’s an excellent article about Learning from our Mistakes at Daily in the Word.

Special Announcements:

  • I have many people who follow along on my Facebook page for daily encouragements, reminders, and exciting assignments! It’s a great group of folks – come join us!

  • Keep your eyes out for the upcoming release of my new book on this topic, Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil, coming in September! In this book, there will be:
    • Not just information telling parents why kids are going astray, but proven parenting practices that have worked for generations that are successful in raising godly children.
    • Dozens of interviews from those 2nd generation Christians who KNOW what their parents did RIGHT.
    • Charts and graphs detailing the results of the interviews
    • Assignments to help the reader implement these principles in their own parenting.
    • And much, much more!

If you have a blog and would like a review copy of the book, let me know! All you have to do when you’re done reading it is to post about it on your blog! Leave a comment here or email me, and I’ll get in touch with you. Linking up with: Monday: Alabaster Jar, The Better Mom, and Moms the Word, and Happy Wives Club Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum

3 Ways to Play With Your Husband

 

If you’re just joining me for this series on marriage, you may want to check out the previous posts. My first post, titled 4 Things That Will Send Your Marriage to the Divorce Court…and How to Prevent Them, showed how quickly your marriage can be destroyed by just a few simple selfish habits. I also mentioned 4 things we can do to prevent our visit to the divorce lawyer! The first of these is prayer, the topic of the second post in the series. In 6 Things Prayer Does for a Marriage, I talked about the wonderful benefits of praying…and why, without prayer, you can never have the best marriage you could. In my third post, I outlined 3 Prayer Methods That Will Revolutionize Your Marriage.

But today, it’s fun time! We’re going to talk about the second thing on the list: PLAY! Now doesn’t that sound great?

One of the big things God created woman for was to be man’s companion. “…yet she is thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.” (Malachi 2:14) Why? Because “it is not good that the man should be alone.” (Genesis 2:18) I can be perfectly content to be by myself, but my husband? Oh, no! He is alone only when he  has to be, and comes home as quickly as he can. When he takes a break from his work, what does he do? He plays! He chases our youngest son and tickles him within an inch of his life! All because he like to have someone to be with, and because he likes to play.

Maybe your husband spends too much time playing video or computer games. What does that tell you? He’s just like any other man, or even any other hu-man… he likes to play!

Incorporating play, or playfulness into your marriage is a huge leap toward your destination of your very own Courageous Journey. How can we incorporate more play into our marriages?

1. Tease him playfully often. I’m not talking about pranks, where you dump water down his back or anything, but playful teasing. For example, I often refer to my husband with playful names, like Humble Handsome Hero, or some other terms which can’t be repeated online! I strive to never put him down, but say things that are encouraging and playful.

2. Tease him physically as well, but be careful that you don’t irritate him. One of my favorites is the “cold water during a shower” trick, but of course, it’s not one of HIS favorites, so after a few years of marriage I had to cool that one down a bit. Wedgies are playful, but they can also be overdone. 😉 You just want to be sure that you do something  fun with him regularly. Remember, you are his true playmate.

3. Plan play times. This could be anything from playing a computer game with him, playing a board game with him, or playing a bedroom game. Be creative! It should be a time when just the two of you play together. My son and daughter-in-law have a Wii, so they often have these crazy competitions between each other to find out who is better at whatever crazy game they have. It’s a blast!

Don’t let your home become a terribly serious place. Keep it light and happy, and work on play with your man. And you can be sure, you are his favorite toy!

Check our Facebook page for “Destinations” (assignments for the day) to pump up your journey!

Linking up with: Monday:
Alabaster Jar,
The Better Mom,
Raising Arrows
What Joy is Mine

Tuesday:
Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, http://www.messymarriage.com/

Wednesday:
To Love Honor and Vacuum

 

Take Out the Trash: Eliminating Inner Frustrations

I have a serious beef about the trash. I HATE having the trash overflow and cascade onto the floor. I’ve tried all sorts of ways to get Those Responsible to take the trash…even resorting to calling the guy who takes it out a Hero, and wildly applauding anyone who is willing to tackle the offensive debris!

It gets really bad when the trash can has been stuffed beyond all reason, and begins to regurgitate its contents on the floor. Then Junior comes along and plays with the debris, happily chewing on last week’s pizza crusts! I begin to wonder who I should yell at first: Junior, or the guy who’s supposed to take out the trash!

 

One thing about trash: it MUST be dealt with and removed, or everyone in the house suffers. But trash is like our inner frustrations: they must be dealt with, or the atmosphere becomes toxic! And what’s worse, the trash in our life gets to a certain point, and finally begins to pour all over the place, creating disaster everywhere!!

Why do we get so frustrated sometimes, and how can we Take out the Trash? How can we deal with the frustration and eliminate it? Here are a few reasons why:

  • We get frustrated – because things don’t go our way
  • Because we’re irritated with ourselves, our own laziness and failures
  • We’re irritated that the circumstances aren’t favorable to us…in other words, we’re mad at God!
  • We’re irritated because others are not cooperative (surprise! Kids have a mind of their own!)
  • We’re frustrated because we feel guilty deep down inside

So, how do we Take Out the Trash?

Recognize what’s happening. As soon as we realize we’re frustrated, that’s when we need to deal with the root problem. Why does this bother me so much? Once we discover the “why” behind our irritation, then we can deal with it.

Change the things we can. When we get frustrated at our own laziness, we know it’s time to change. We can do it, if we set our minds to it.

Ask forgiveness for the past. I know it sounds really self-explanatory, but the past really is the past, and we need to leave it there. Our past is over and done, as well as the past of others. Let it go.

Accept the things you can’t change. When Junior steps on an old rusty bucket and gashes his foot open, my day is completely rearranged and the laundry and dishes that need done suddenly take second seat to sitting in the ER waiting room. It’s frustrating! But in all reality, there’s simply nothing I can do about it, so I may as well accept the fact that I now have “forced rest time” and an odd kind of “bonding” with my child in the hospital.

 

As taking out the trash before it spills over goes a long way to ensuring tranquility, so eliminating inner frustrations can help us have peaceful homes. Let’s not let it get so bad that Junior is forced to play in a toxic atmosphere!

What are some other ways we can eliminate inner frustrations? What do you think causes them? Leave your comments below!

Linking up with: Monday:
Alabaster Jar,
The Better Mom,
Raising Arrows
What Joy is Mine

Tuesday:
Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife

Wednesday:
To Love Honor and Vacuum

 

Bad Attitude = Bad Life

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Right now I’m sitting in a hospital waiting room, while my husband has a cardiac ultrasound. He’s been in the hospital since Saturday night, when I brought him in because of pain in the chest. Lord willing, he will have a clear bill of health and be able to come home tonight! For those of you who have been praying for us, THANK YOU!

Meanwhile, I write this in the ER waiting room, so if it reads a bit choppy, that’s why!

I’ve had a multitude of responses to my many pregnancies over the years. Of course, the larger my family got, the more stares and jaw-dropping my round figure elicited. Folks were surprised and some were shocked, but after meeting my children, almost all of them said, “I wish I had more.”

Except once.

I was going through the checkout one time when I was pregnant with my 6th child, and I (of course) had #1-5 with me in line. The cashier took in my family in one quick glance and said, “I wish I had never had any kids. I had 5 of ’em, and it was **** the whole time. I hate them!” It was my turn for my jaw to drop! I couldn’t believe it!

When I left the store, I couldn’t help but feel terrible for that woman. She could not have been happy when she was younger, and she sure wasn’t happy now. How awful her life must have been.

Since then, I’ve been through a few valleys (like hospital waiting rooms!) and on some mountaintops, and I’ve had my share of heartache, but deep down, I’ve always had joy.

Last month, we looked at how we can improve our marriages. If you missed any of the posts, you can find them here. And on Facebook there was a lot more discussion and some additional ideas.

But for the next month, I’d like to examine Joyful Motherhood, and see if we can find greater fulfillment in our lives as mothers.

To become a joyful mother, we first need to understand what the purpose of motherhood is.

As women, we have the unique opportunity to actually bring a new life into this world. Think of it! That God would use us to add another soul to this earth is incredible.

But being a woman, and more specifically, being a mother, is more than that. It is the dramatic opportunity to shape that soul and to make him useful to God and to others. The saying “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world” is still true today.

Every king, prince, or president has been taught and trained by a woman. Every athlete, writer, or doctor has been shown love and life by a woman. Every preacher, entrepreneur, or manager has been inspired by a woman. That woman is mother.

Our purpose as mothers is to train up children for the glory of God. Often we tend to have this backwards, and we want to have children for ourselves. When we have children for selfish reasons, there is no fulfillment, because we cannot find fulfillment in selfish pursuits.

As I walked away from the store with the unhappy cashier, I realized that she had had her children out of selfishness. Perhaps she just got pregnant accidentally, or maybe she wanted to have children to show off to others. Whatever her reason (or neglect of a reason,) she ended up hating her children, and ultimately, her life.

Being a mother has the potential to bring much joy…or much misery. It depends on our attitude.

Attitude check! Take a few minutes to write down three things that you love about being a mother! If you feel brave, share them with us here!

Linking up with: Monday:
Alabaster Jar,
The Better Mom,
Raising Arrows
What Joy is MineWhatjoyismine.com

Tuesday:
Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife

Wednesday:
To Love Honor and Vacuum