5 Step Pattern for Personal Growth

Today, I want to take a few minutes away from the spinning world of laundry, diapers, and school, and concentrate on personal growth.

 

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It was on one of my runs that I saw it. I was layered in 3 shirts and a jacket, and had a band around my head to keep my ears warm and my gloves on. The wind chill was somewhere around 20 degrees, which is cold for this part of the country. But I saw it nonetheless. It was a brave patch of daffodils.

Their brave green stems pushing out of the cold snow told me that spring was coming.

Another day I saw geese, headed north again after their winter down south. With every honk, they said that spring was coming, too.

Still later, on a warmer day, I could smell that warm green scent which you smell when the grass begins to grow again. Again, the fresh scent told me that spring was coming.

All around are signs of new growth, despite the persistent cold. I’m excited about the new growth, because it means things are alive.

Growing as a person is a challenge for me, especially as a busy homeschooling mom. I don’t always grow as fast and as steadily as I’d like, but I’ve found that if I make sure I impliment all 5 of these steps to growth, life will be much more exciting, and I find myself improving in the areas I think are important.

1. Read – First, your Bible, and then other encouraging and good books. My suggestion is to avoid vain or negative things like forums and facebook pages where people specialize in flaming others.

2. Listen – Good uplifting music, Bible being read, or encouraging podcasts. I love listening to good podcasts while I exercise or work around the house, because they keep my brain going while the body is busy.

3. Think – about what you’ve been reading and listening to. This, I think, is the missing element. We rush through our days without taking even a moment to consider the material we’ve been listening to and reading. (Of course, if all you’ve been reading is garbage, all you’ll think about is garbage.)

4. Pray – and ask God to help you apply the things you’re learning. It’s one thing to get some help, but it’s another altogether to be able to apply it to your life so you can live differently.

5. Repeat! Keep reading, keep listening, keep thinking and keep praying! As you sow, you shall reap. If you plant good things in your mind, you will reap good things. Just keep it up!!

Maybe one of these steps is missing, or maybe the stuff you’ve been filling your head with have been less than desirable. You may grow, but not as quickly and not as well as if you had all these elements in place.

Why not make it a habit to put good things in your life, starting today? You’ll be glad you did!

Linking up with: Monday: Moms the Word, and A Mama’s Story Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum href=”http://www.growinginhisglory.com”>Growing in His Glory

3 Prayer Methods That Will Revolutionize Your Marriage

 

When I was young, my dream was to be a professional softball player…if there even was such a thing. But I wasn’t the star player, for sure. But one summer I went to something called Softball Camp, where I learned a ton of important things and honed down the fundamentals of the sport. I learned a great – and easy – way of stealing bases (and I never got out after that!) I also learned how to catch a ball and throw it again all in one smooth motion as well as the all-important wrist flick of batting a ball squarely over the shortstop’s head!

The next season, I was ranked up right with the best of the players on our team, and the year after that, our team won second place in the District Championship!

The point is, that fundamentals are extremely important. To improve in the very basic of skills is to improve everything about yourself.

Prayer is one of the very basic of Christian “skills,” and yet we often pray like we sometimes drive – aimlessly! Here are some suggestions for methods of praying that I have used in my prayer time for my husband, and the Lord has greatly blessed it:

1. Pray for your husband from Head to Toe – I got this idea from Girlfriends in God. Remember the Song of Solomon, how the king describes his wife, and the woman describes her husband? In all pureness of heart, we can pray for our husband from head to toe. Pray that the Lord will guide his eyes to see the right things, his lips to speak encouraging words, and his hands to do God’s Will. Pray that his feet will go only where God wants him to go, and that he will glorify God with his life. And your mind can fill in the rest! Go ahead and enjoy this one!

By the way, don’t be afraid to pray about sex, especially if it’s a concern to you. Remember that, if it’s something that bothers you, it’s important enough to pray about, and God is concerned, too.

2. Pray for your husband through the Scriptures – When I use the Scriptures to pray for my husband, I insert his name in the appropriate places. Some of my favorites are Ephesians 2:16-20, and Colossians 1:9-14. Both of these Scriptures are full of thanksgiving for my husband, and prayer for his growth and relationship to God.

Ladies, if there’s one thing we need, it’s a husband who is walking with God! And if we don’t pray for him, who will? So let’s set our hearts to praying for our men to be godly.

3. Pray through Character Traits – Like I said on my Facebook page, get a list of Character Qualities (like this one) and begin praying through them, perhaps just one a day. That helps to keep us from “selfish praying” – praying about only the things that bother us and not seeing the whole picture as God sees it. This practice alone has changed my family dramatically.

 

Want to hit a home run for your marriage? Get back to the fundamentals, and pray for your husband! We’re in a desperate need of ladies who will stand up and take a journey – a Courageous Journey – of prayer!!

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

6 Things Prayer Does for a Marriage

Imagine taking a journey – a very Courageous one, of course – to a wonderful place where everything you need is always available just for the asking. Folks are happy, the surroundings are peaceful, and you can rest. It’s not a boring place; there is always something exciting going on, and a treat around every corner, just waiting to be discovered. Adventure, excitement and contentment combine together in this place. Where are you? Why, it’s the Land of Could-Have-Been!

Last week, when I wrote about 4 Things That Will Send Your Marriage to the Divorce Court, and How to Prevent Them, I mentioned “The Four P’s” that can make your Marriage a Hawaiian Honeymoon! Today, I want to elaborate a little on one of the Four P’s: PRAYER.

Prayer is a tremendous power for good in our lives, an untapped resource we often neglect.  It’s the Land of Could-Have-Been. Through prayer, we get exactly what we need just for asking. Prayer creates a peace and rest of the soul, and brings joy to those around us. Every day brings a new adventure of faith…through prayer. But for many of us, it’s as fanciful as some far-off fairytale land.

Well, it’s time to take the Land of Could-Have-Been and change its name to the Land of My Own. After all, it’s available…and now it will be My Own. But in order for me to claim this land as My Own, I need to see what is available to me when I get it.

What does Prayer do for a Marriage?

  1. Eliminates Worry
  2. Infuses Hope
  3. Exposes Motives
  4. Discovers Root Issues
  5. Accesses Power
  6. Identifies Right Paths

To not take advantage of prayer is to never see what Could-Have-Been. It is to spend our days in the Worry-World and live in Depressed “Down”-Town. Hopeless Acres will be our lot, and we’ll spend our days putting out little fires created by the Root Issues of the Incendiary City.

Come on … let’s take a journey. In fact, let’s take a Courageous Journey, and head on over to the Land of Could-Have-Been and claim it as Our Own!

Today’s Destination: Prayer! Spend at least 5 minutes in prayer today. It’s hard to carve out the time sometimes, but remember…it’s the path to the Land of My Own!

Also…keep checking our Facebook page for more Destinations throughout the week (assignments and encouragements!) You’ll be glad you did!!

What has prayer done for your marriage?

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

 

4 Things That Will Send Your Marriage to the Divorce Court…and how to prevent them

John and Katy seemed to have it all. When we met them about 15 years ago, they had a beautiful, spacious house, several happy children, and an excellent income. It came as a complete shock when we learned of their divorce a few years ago. When we spoke with John recently, we discovered that Katy had  made some fatal mistakes that sealed the doom of their family.

What were they, you ask?

1. She was never satisfied with anything he did.
2. She criticized him to others.
3. She acted superior to him
4. She never made any playful gestures toward him.

Ever get the feeling she was just plain bitter toward him? I did. So, even though I was surprised that they got a divorce, I can say now, looking back, that I guess I saw it coming. Those times we got together were basically just “I-can’t-believe-he-can-be-so-stupid” sessions. If I had known then what I know now, I might have been in a position to provide some encouragement and help to their family.

How can we prevent bitterness from taking a horrible root in our marriages? Beth @ messy marriage.com has a great article about forgiveness, as does Sheila and Jolene @ thealabasterjar.com. In addition to their ideas, My husband and I found a few more to prevent that visit to the divorce lawyer.

1. Prayer – pray together every day
2. Play – goof around a little bit daily
3. Preen – make the extra effort to try to look good for the other.
4. Perseverance – dedicate ourselves to each other, and the permanency of marriage.

Over the next 4 weeks (or so!) we’ll be looking at these points in detail. It’s time to put a stop to the wreckage Satan is trying to make of our Christian homes, and be on the offensive! If you’re married, you may as well go ahead and throw yourself into it, and make it the very best marriage you possibly can.

Don’t hold back and be critical, like Katy did. Make up your mind that you will do everything in your power to chase away that Divorce lawyer.

Don’t just take a journey…take a COURAGEOUS journey!

 

Have you seen any of your friends’ marriages collapse? What do you think happened? How could it have been prevented?

 

 

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

God Cares About Our “Little” Problems

While my family and I are off to a Jubillee for a few days this week, I thought you might enjoy these timeless words from Corrie ten Boom’s book, Not Good If DetachedNot Good if Detached. They are as encourageing as they were the day they were written so many years ago. May it be as much of a blessing to you as it was to me when I read it recently!

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God loves more perfectly than an earthly father or mother. And His love makes our problems great in His eyes and small in our eyes.

“I will tell you something that happened when I was a prisioner in a concentration camp with my sister, Betsie.

One morning I had a terrible cold, and I said to Betsie, ‘What can I do; I have no handkerchief.’

“‘Pray,’ she sid. I smiled, but she prayed, ‘Father, Corrie has got a cold, and she has no handkerchief.’ Will You give her one in Jesus’ name, Amen.’

“I could not help laughing, but as she said ‘Amen,’ I heard my name called. I went to the window, and there stood my friend who worked in the prison hospital.

“‘Quickly, quickly! Take this little package, it is a little present for you.’ I opened the package, and inside was a handkerchief.

“‘Why in the world did you bring me this? Did I ask you for it? Did you know that I have a cold?'”

“‘No, but I was folding handkerchiefs in the hospital, and a voice in my heart said, ‘Take one to Corrie ten Boom.'”

“What a miracle! Can you understand what handkerchief told me at that moment? It told me that in heaven is a loving Father who hears when one of his children on this very small planet asks for an impossible little thing; a handkerchief. And that heavenly Father tells one of His other children to take one to Corrie ten Boom. We cannot understand, but the foolishness of God is so much higher than the wisdom of the wise.”

—Not Good if Detached

So don’t be afraid to cast ALL your cares upon Him, for He cares for you!

Thank you all for praying for My Beloved’s upcoming ear surgery, which is scheduled for February 28!