An Excellent Wife Who Can Find- My Prayer...

10 An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.
(Proverbs 31:10-31 ESV)

( I know it says mother's day but I thought
it was fitting for the Proverbs 31 Woman)
My prayer today is that I will be a blessing to my husband.  That his heart will trust in me, and that I will be of great value to him. 
That I will take care of our home making it a place where he and our children can feel relaxed and taken care of. 
That from the abilities God has given me I will be able to take care of and provide for my family things such as yummy, healthy food, and warm clothes and shoes for their bodies and feet. 
That I will be a good steward of our money spending it wisely with my family's best interest always at heart. 
That I will not be lazy, but work diligently not only for the well being of my family but also so that my children can see the godly example set before them. 
I pray that my heart and eyes will be aware of the needs of those around me, and that when I see someone hurting from that need I will be quick to provide however I can. 
That my heart, mind, and soul will trust in God for provision.  That through that trust I will know that our future is secure.
I pray for wisdom, patience, and kindness to go out before me.  That my children and husband will see how much I love them and that they will be thankful- as I am thankful for them. 
I pray that God will help me to focus on my walk with him- not things of this world. 
I pray that I will look to Chirst in awe and wonder always remembering that he is my provider, my strength, and my all.




When Our Own Words Just Aren't Enough...

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. -Hebrews 4:12
The other day I was speaking with a sweet friend and she made this comment:

"When I find myself not knowing what to do or what my purpose is, God always reminds me to just pray. That is something I can always do."
Prayer can be and is meant to be powerful... 
It is our line of communication with the One True God.  It should not be taken lightly, and it should not be forgotten or over looked.
Uunfortunately, I think we underestimate the power of prayer in our lives. We thank God for our food and families, and we fall asleep in bed at night repeating the same prayer we pray every night- and for most of us our prayer life stops there.
Prayer Is and can be- So much more.

The bible is clear-
We should pray for God to be glorified (Matthew 6:9)
Pray that God's kingdom would grow here on earth (Matthew 6:10)
Pray for laborers for the harvest (Matthew 9:38)
Pray to know God better (Colossians 1:10)
Pray for power to comprehend the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:14-19)
Pray for our enemies (Mt 5:44)
Pray without ceasing- not losing heart  (1 Thes. 5:17, Luke 18:1)
Pray for healing (Jas 5:14-16)
Pray for protection from evil (Matthew 6:13)
Pray for forgiveness of sins (Matthew 6:12)
Pray for unbelievers (Romans 10:1)
Pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13)
Pray for boldness in sharing the gospel (Acts 4:29)
Pray for wisdom (James 1:5)...
The list could go on and on.
A couple of years ago I joined a mom's prayer group.  The idea of the group was that each week we were presented with one scripture verse that focused on a specific topic and we were to pray that scripture over our children.  I had never done this before, but was open and willing to participate.

Over time I came to see that praying God's word (scripture) was powerful.  His word is "living and active" and "sharper than any two-edged sword," and from it I began to see God moving and working in the life of my family in ways I never had before.  His word is able to "discern my thoughts and the intentions of my heart" far better than even I can- when I don't know what to pray- God always does.

John Piper shares,
If I try to pray for people or events without having the word in front of me guiding my prayers, then several negative things happen. One is that I tend to be very repetitive from day to day and hour to hour, and I just pray the same things all the time. . . . But the Bible . . . . gives me biblical things to pray for so that I’m not praying with empty and vague requests like “God bless them” and “God bless that.” Rather, I’m asking for specific things that the Bible commends. 
As I grow and mature in my walk with Christ I can see that part of that growth stems from not only reading God's word, but as I read, praying that scripture over areas of my life so that it can move and work the way God intended it to.

For me praying God's word has brought me closer to God.  It's brought me in alignment with his word.  I've learned that his words are far better than any words I could ever come up with on my own, and when I can't seem to find the words to pray- I search his Word.  It has helped me get out of ruts, and his word moves me- not only to emotion, but in action.  And praying God's word makes me think about his word in a deeper more meaningful way- it has become very personal and very real.

I would encourage you to try praying scripture.  God is faithful- and he will not let your efforts be in vain.  Let His words be your words.




Spiritual Gifts...

Not long ago, at the urging of my sweet mother-in-law, my husband and I decided to take a Spiritual Gifts test.  My husband is disciplined, eloquent, educable, rational, and logical.  He loves to study- to gain knowledge- to search and find the answer, and then to share these truths with whomever he can.  Did I mention he's patient?  So it was no surprise to see that my husband's highest scores were in Teaching, Administration, and Evangelism.  Mine being Giving, Serving, and Encouragement.

This is where I would like to be totally honest with you: 

Sometimes I feel like my own gifts are small and less important than other gifts.  I find myself thinking that maybe if I were smarter, more organized, more goal-focused, disciplined, or logical God would have been able to use me- in what I see in my small mind- as a more useful- mightier way for his kingdom.

The truth is- sometimes I see God using my husband to speak God's truths to his co-workers or using him to share the gospel with family and I think to myself- "All I'm capable of or been gifted with is the ability to bake muffins for people.  How will that ever bring God the glory and attention that he desires and fully deserves." 

I don't know if some of you have felt this way at times, maybe I'm alone, but I'm here to tell you that it's out right lies straight from the enemy himself.  It has taken prayer, reading God's word, and even speaking with my husband for me to see this.   God's word is clear that we are all united and brought together to become one in Christ:

"For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; he one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness."  -Romans 12:3-8

We are each given different gifts that we should concentrate on and give our energies to. This scripture shows me that each gift is important, each gift is worth mentioning, each gift has merit, and each gift has its place, and that without each gift the body (the church) is incomplete and not whole. While some of the gifts may be more public and some more behind the scenes- they all work together- complimenting each other for one purpose and one goal- To Glorify God.

I'm so thankful that God is opening my eyes and my heart and allowing me to see that I too belong in his body.  That I too can be used to point others, through my gifts, to His glory.  He doesn't need me for this, but he allows me to- because he loves me.

So- if like me you find yourself sometimes feeling sorry for yourself or inadequate in your gifts hold on to God's word and remember to "earnestly desire the spiritual gifts..." (1 Corinthians 14:1)- they are given for the good of the church "to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace...in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ."   (1 Peter 4:10-11).  And remember that sometimes even muffins are exactly what's needed to share the love and grace of Jesus Christ!