Monday, February 28, 2011

The Wedding Was Perfect!


There wasn't a cloud in the sky.  Snow was on the mountains behind us, a deep blue sky above us, and the gorgeous ocean in front of us.  The sun warming our faces.  It felt like the Creator was smiling down upon us as we witnessed the beautiful design of marriage between Alyssa and Jon happen right in front of us. 


When Jon first saw Alyssa walking down the steps towards him with her dad, tears of joy streamed down his face as he beheld his bride.  Jon's father, Dennis, gave a wonderful message of the Lord's perfect will for marriage which exemplifies Christ and the Church and how our society (and all previous societies) have messed it up.

Looking to the original intent of marriage between a man and a woman is a precious gift from God.  They stood in front of us in purity, saving themselves for each other so their marriage bed would indeed be sacred. God's ways are so good!



After kissing the bride and being proclaimed husband and wife, it was difficult for Alyssa not to dance down the isle.  After much embracing and kissing between the two of them, pictures began. 


The reception started awhile later and the blessing on the food and a toast was given by Ken.  All 135 people were served a salad in ten minutes!  The dinner was delicious.  (This place really knows how to put on a wedding and reception!)


We watched a video of a few of Alyssa's professional dances since this is what she spent her whole grown up life doing.  Then we watched a video of both of their growing up years and as soon as Taylor Swift sang, "He knelt to the ground, pulled out a ring and said, 'Marry me, Juliet. You never have to be alone...'",  we saw Jon on his knee showing her the ring and then embracing.  Everyone cheered and clapped.  Cassi did a fabulous job putting the slide show together.


Time for the couple's first dance...the DJ started playing a Frank Sinatra song...huh?  To all of our surprise they did this fabulous dance together that obviously Alyssa had choreographed and was a delight to watch.  Jon did fantastic! 


When it was over, everyone made a tunnel for them to go through, he opened the door of his truck and let Alyssa in, gave her a big kiss and off they went....So happy to be married and madly in love with each other.  Leaving for a week in Kauai today...Having a blast swimming, hiking, and getting to know each other better ;)!


What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate. 
Mark 10:9

 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Alyssa is Getting Married Today!


It is finally here. All the thinking and planning have finally come to an end and the party begins. She will begin a whole new life today with Jonathan Hustedt. They are perfect together. They make each other very happy. They love and value the same things.

Jon once told me that Alyssa is the best friend he has ever had. Alyssa told me the other day that there isn't anything she would change about him. It has been so fun to watch their love story unfold and wait excitedly for this day.

They will have a good, strong marriage because they have determined to do so. They are committed for life. Lord willing, they will grow old together and be a testimony to those around them of God's faithfulness. May God continue to bless both of you abundantly as you seek to love and follow Him. I love you both so much!

Here is Jon's side of their love story.  I know a lot of you have already read it on their wedding website but I wanted to have it someplace to keep so I'm posting it here:

I distinctly recall, about a year ago, confiding very cautiously in Tyler LaBelle, that I might, just maybe, like Alyssa. I had to be careful who I told because failure was an ever-present reality.

Until that point, I had hardly more than observed Alyssa around the Alexander house when she would be home from Jackson for a visit. I immediately noticed countless admirable qualities about her, none more obvious than her ability to make me feel like I had no chance. Her confidence was unshakable, and her steady composure didn't entertain the hindrance of a guy like me. At this, I conceded any efforts to steal her attention, and I tried to convince myself that she wasn't all that great. My plan didn't work for long.

The night that I realized I could no longer ignore Alyssa was after she had visited a bible study that Ben Weiland and I had lead and inadvertently made a huge impression on everyone there. My all-guys prayer group at the end of the night was distracted by talk of "the new girl" who was "the hottest and holiest" they had ever seen. I haven't stopped crushing on her since.

At that point I needed a second opinion on my chances. So I told Tyler that I would do my best to hang out with her when she was home for Christmas break and I would "see if I liked her". In reality, I wanted to see if there was any possibility of her liking me. Tyler wasn't optimistic.

Nevertheless, I forced my way into some Christmas shopping that I knew she needed to complete, but I had no reason for. I tried my best to be interesting, but I grew more disheartened as time went on, and Alyssa didn't let her stone-cold poker face ease one bit.

My next chance was at Ryan and Erin's wedding. I almost flirted myself to exhaustion trying to get Alyssa's attention, all the while trying not to jeopardize my poise, of course. The closest I came to a breakthrough happened after waiting up until midnight to get a chance to talk to her alone. I feel like I did a pretty good job, but again, Alyssa didn't flinch, and I went to bed exhausted, wondering if my efforts were in vain.

 I accepted the invitation to spend a week with the Alexanders in Door County, solely motivated by my third (and final, I was sure) chance to make something happen with Alyssa. After some talk of her considering moving home from Jackson for good, I was eager to offer my advice. Much to my dismay, immediately after meeting her at the airport in Milwaukee I learned that she had made the decision to stay with Ballet Mag and continue touring for at least another year. I thought to myself, "Well, I made the trip out here; I may as well give it my best shot."

Thus ensued a week of swimming in the lake, conversations by sunset and exploring Door County on mopeds, all in an effort to pique Alyssa’s interest in me. I have never had to work so hard in my life. At the end of it all, with no more than a day left to spend, I went all in and professed to Alyssa my profound admiration toward her, explaining that if she would just move home, I would pursue her wholeheartedly, just like she deserved. I closed my eyes, gritted my teeth, and awaited her reply...

...it couldn't have been more devastating. My senses deserted me. My stomach fell out. I felt as though my mind had left my body, and I was watching the situation unfold from a third-person perspective. Alyssa was turning my down, and there was nothing I could do but watch.

She explained with perfect prose that she felt good about her decision to stay in Jackson, and she was content being single for the time being. I was completely unable to formulate coherent thoughts from that point on, so I politely wished her a good night and went to bed.

I didn't sleep for long. I woke up with a bothered mind and did my best to shake it all off with a five mile run and an early morning swim in the lake. Upon my return I found Alyssa sitting on the back deck, overlooking the lake, reading her bible - of course. Decency told me that I should initiate conversation even if just to apologize for even mentioning the idea that she would date me.

I ventured a shaky sentence, "Umm...so, sorry about that conversation last night - it was out of the blue, I know." She made an effort to go easy on me. "No, I'm glad you told me how you feel. Don't apologize."

I spent the next few seconds thinking to myself about how post-rejection sympathy is the kind of sympathy that hurts more than it helps. But I was caught completely off guard by her next words. "I need to tell you that I like you too."

It took some time for the idea to take root in my brain. Excitement rose slowly from my stomach to the top of my head until my ears were ringing. I tried not to show it. I felt as though my heart was sending high voltage messages to my brain that my brain wasn't sophisticated enough to understand, so I said something stupid like, "Well, that's good to know."

The sun broke through the clouds a short while later ending two days of gloom. The waters of Lake Michigan turned from gray to blue. The temperamental weather of Door County, Wisconsin seemed to be mimicking my troubles, but the obvious metaphor actually didn't occur to me until several days later.

Alyssa became my girlfriend the following Sunday. We were engaged less than four months later. Even still, I often wonder to myself how this could all be real and the butterflies in my stomach regularly taunt my efforts to maintain my usual stoic manliness. I can't help but act giddy when I'm around her.
--Jon

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
Proverbs 31:10

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Alyssa Marie Alexander

Since this is the last day we are going to share our last name I thought I would dedicate this post to her. 

God blessed us with her on May 27, 1983.  She was energetic, emotional, and happy.  She loved to dance for us and put on plays for us recruiting her brothers and sister  and sometimes even her cousins and friends...."Watch, mommy!"  "Look, daddy!" 

 When she graduated from high school and they called her name, they said she wanted to be a missionary ballerina.  In the fall of that year, she joined Ballet Magnificat and became a missionary ballerina traveling the world dancing and telling others the good news of Christ. 

She loves her friends passionately and cares about others deeply.  She's a perfectionist in her dancing.  She was never afraid to try new things...going to a summer camp when she was very young all by herself without knowing anyone and moving to Jackson, MS when she was eighteen all by herself. 

She loves Jesus and has always tried living a life that pleases Him.  She is teachable and generous.  Now she loves Jon and she wants to spend her life making him very happy. We love her very much and are so happy that the Lord gave us the privilege of raising her!

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Psalm 127:3

Friday, February 25, 2011

I'm So Happy I Could Burst!

My daughter is getting married in  two days (and an arctic cold front should be here just in time for the wedding!).  I have a precious new grandbaby. I love my husband and all my children are walking with Jesus.  I love my daughter-in-law and soon to be son-in-law.  I love my in-laws. 

I love my church and my Bible Study and small group.  I love the couple we are mentoring and the young woman I am mentoring.  I love my parents and sisters and their families.  I love all the friends that God has blessed me with. 

I love blogging.  I love living in San Diego. I love my home and all the good food I have to eat.  I love that God is sovereign and has everything under control.  I love that He paid the penalty for my sin and lives inside of me. 

I am so happy that I can do all things through Him who strengthens me {Philippians 4:13}.  I am so happy I finally feel better after 20 years so I can enjoy these times.  I love mentoring women to be better wives and mothers.  I love that this is not my home and we are just strangers and aliens. 

Can you understand now why I am so happy?  I have been through some tough trials BUT GOD has seen me through all of them.  He is faithful and so very good...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Be Not Afraid!"

Do you know this is the most repeated command in the Bible?  I wonder why that is?  Is it because we are to REALLY trust that God is ultimately in control? That we can rest in His will for us?  It is not easy. 

Erin said that since she had Emma she has to struggle with fear...fear that something could happen to her precious baby.  Jon struggles with the fear of losing the love of his life now that he has found her.  I had to struggle for over 20 years with the fear of never getting better.

We can all relate to some fears in our lives...some scary diagnosis, riots going on, national debt spiraling out of control.  The world is a scary place BUT GOD....I love that!

We had a wonderful couple over for dinner last night.  They have four children.  Six months ago their youngest son, Ryan (34 years old with an incredible marriage and three darling children), gave their oldest son, Chad, 60 % of his own liver to save Chad's life.  Shortly after surgery, Ryan, the one who donated his liver, died.  His heart stopped.  They don't know why. 

So the worst fear anyone can have happened to them.  They lost a child and not only that, but a child who was giving of himself to save his brother.  Here they are, six months later, having dinner with us...enjoying the food, wanting all my recipes, and laughing. 

BUT GOD pulled them through.  They still grieve but they know that many came to know Jesus through the death of their son and they take one day at a time with God's strength.  Oh man, do they long for heaven.

Joyce Meyer (Yes, I do love her.  She gets it.  She insists people know who they are in Christ!) taught today about resting in Jesus.  Up on stage she had a beach umbrella, a rocking chair, sunglasses and a hat.  She said when you start to worry and fear REST in Jesus!  Then she gave a good picture of what that looks like:  sitting back on the rocking chair with your sunglasses on and your hat over your face and rocking.  Resting in Jesus.  Knowing He is in control of today and all the future. 

He will be with you no matter what happens and give you strength.  "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to His purposes."  You can take that one to the bank!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Emma Rose's Birth


Erin got pregnant on her honeymoon.  I think I was the first one Ryan told.  I went up to the study and he was sitting at Ken's desk and looked at me solemnly and said, "Erin's pregnant."  I cried.  I was so happy!  I love babies. 

I would love it if God blessed all my children with lots of babies. I believe the Bible when it states that the purpose of marriage is to produce godly offspring. They are God's greatest gifts and I know my children will be great parents who will bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 

 This world needs godly children.

Erin wanted to have a natural birth, no intervention at all if possible.  Throughout the end of her pregnancy, she was measuring small so we assumed it just meant she was going to have a small baby. 

The Thursday before her due date, the doctor measured her and said she needed to be induced yesterday because the baby measured very small.  The doctor seemed very concerned.  They went down to get a sonogram to see if indeed something was wrong. 

The sonogram showed that very little blood and nutrition was getting from the placenta to the baby.  The doctor told them to pack their bags and go to the hospital to be induced.  We were afraid for our little baby and the possibility of going natural was fading. 

We were all praying continually that this baby would be healthy and I was praying that Erin would still be able to have a natural birth.  45% of women induced have to have C-sections. 

When they got to the hospital, Erin was given something to soften her cervix before they started the pitocin in the morning.  A nurse who had worked at the hospital awhile said this had only started active labor on one other woman...pitocin usually has to be started. 

They gave this to Erin at 11:00 pm but by 7:00 am she was in active labor, pushed for 20 minutes and gave birth to Emma at 11:30 am without an IV or any drugs!  When Ryan came out to tell us the good news, we could tell he was traumatized.  He wept as he told us the pain Erin had endured during the 4 1/2 hours of labor.  He said he thought to himself during the labor that she would have a hard time forgetting this but as soon as the baby was born Erin was smiling and laughing!  He couldn't believe how quickly she seemed to forget! 

I asked her how she was able to make it through labor without any drugs and she said, "Ryan.  As long as I was holding his hand, I knew I could do it."  So precious.  Now they have a sweet baby girl named Emma Rose and we are all so happy.  She is completely healthy and content. 

As soon as Erin got home she looked up at Ryan and said,  "I want another one!"  I guess she's forgotten the pain but I think it has more to do with the fact that Emma Rose was worth every nauseous moment and labor pain...

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
Psalm 127:3



Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hope For A Messed Up Family

I don't know where your family is or how it got there.  Maybe you don't either.  So start over. 

Love God until you sing praise to him in your dreams. 

Love your wife or husband until they giggle in the presence of the kids. 

Love your church (the people) to the point of sacrificing for the needy. 

Love sinners to the point that you pray for them and share the gospel with them. 

Love your children so much that you smile every time you look at them. 

End negative speech about everybody and everything except sin and the devil. 

Make yourself and your family healthy with good eating and exercise. 

Experience the excitement of learning and growing with your children. 

Learn anything useful and do anything productive. 

Make money, make music, make a garden, make everybody laugh. 

Through a variety of experiences, let each child discover his own interests and then excitedly aid him in pursuing his goals.

Above all, do what God did to equip us: teach Bible stories. 

 God tells us that all the stories of the Bible, Old and New Testament, are given as an example for our learning.  These stories impart knowledge, wisdom, fear of walking in sin, judgment, and appreciation for righteousness and God's sweet blessings. The very knowledge your children gain will give them understanding regarding the deceitfulness of sin and the blessings of obedience.  These old stories are there not only to teach our minds, but also to mold our hearts.

Michael Pearl (My very favorite Bible teacher)

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God. 
Ecclesiastes 2:24

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Best Friend Sandy


We met our freshmen year at Westmont College.  I was outgoing, talkative and interrupted a lot.  She was quiet, reserved and a fabulous listener.  We got along great! 

I introduced her to Rob.  They got married and had three sons.  She told me that after she married him she decided she was never going to nag him and she didn't.  He adored her. 

He died of brain cancer when the boys were small and she was a single mom for many years.  She met and married Peter later and he became a father to her boys. 

When Peter talks, she puts her hand on him, looks into his eyes and really listens.  She serves him...He adores her also.  I gave her Created to Be His Help Meet only because I thought she could have written it. 

I learned to be joyful and smile a lot in front of Ken.  I learned not to manipulate, change or try to control him.  I learned to please and serve him.  This book had a dramatic effect on my marriage. 

She told me she learned from it...When Peter asked her if she wanted to go out for a muffin or bagel, she would ask him what he wanted...That's it!  Like I said, she could have written the book. 

Her son, Tyler, introduced our family to Jon 3 1/2 years ago.  Jon and Alyssa fell in love and are getting married on Sunday.  You can read their love story here.  It is beautiful!

Sandy is coming here on Thursday with Peter to help us celebrate their marriage.  I can't wait!  Everyone needs a friend like Sandy.  She inspires me...

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Proverbs 17:17

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Want Smart Children?

I recently had lunch with a good friend, Nancy.  She has worked many years with children with learning disabilities, even autism. My daughter, Cassi, has worked for her and has seen incredible things happen with these children after going through Nancy's program. 

I have a grandbaby and asked Nancy  what we can be doing now to make sure she is smart.  She said to have her on the floor on her stomach as much as possible while she is awake.  That stimulates the brain.  She likened it to a baby turtle on its back.  It can do nothing but wag its feet in the air but put it on its stomach and it learns to crawl. 

When older children with learning disabilities come to Nancy, they have to go on their stomach and learn to crawl no matter how old they are at the time.  She also said to not buy any baby apparatus equipment...bouncy things, swings, walkers, etc. They hinder the learning process. 

During the day, babies should be held or on the floor on their tummies.  So we did that with our brand new little grandbaby and she was fine.  She even used her legs to push herself on her side. Her eyes are wide open looking around. 

After awhile, she starts to cry so we pick her up and cuddle and kiss her.  She is so precious!  If you are interested in what Nancy teaches go to brainhighways.com.  She's amazing!

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Is Submission a Dirty Word?

Every company has a boss.  Every classroom has a teacher. Every school has a principle.  Every country has a president or leader.  How come it's not politically correct for every family to have a leader? 

Wives are commanded in Scripture to submit to their husbands.  This doesn't mean men are allowed to abuse their wives, but there has to be one person in charge that gets the final decision.  Things just don't work out well when there are two bosses. 

One of the young women I mentored just called me a few days ago.  She was married a few months ago and said that she and her husband were butting heads a lot.  I told her that was because they both wanted to be boss and she wasn't it. 

I think that is a huge issue in lots of marriages.  We want our way.  It is normal but doesn't lend itself to a conflict-free marriage.  I am far from being the perfectly submissive wife but I am consistently working on being better at it. 

I still want to be right and have the last say but I'm much better about not always having to be right and having the last word than I use to be. Being submissive isn't a horrible thing.  It's the way God intended and His ways are always best!

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:22

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Jon's Mother, Lynette


Jon's parents, Dennis and Lynette, are visiting us this weekend.  I had the privilege of picking them up from the airport and feeding them on Friday.  They are a wonderful couple and I can't WAIT to be related to them.  Lynette serves Dennis...A LOT!!! 

Whenever he needs anything, she pops up and gets it for him.  People have given her negative comments about doing that like, "Why do you do everything for him?"  Her response to me was that she loves to serve and it is what she feels she has been called to do...beautiful. 

Jesus' last act on earth was to wash his disciples' feet as an example for us to serve.  If the Creator of the universe can do that, we can serve others, especially our husbands.  I use to want Ken to serve me. 

When I said my vows to him on my wedding day that I would love, honor, and cherish him I think I really meant that he should love, honor, and cherish me.  Now I know better. 

I am so much happier serving him and making him happy instead of expecting him to serve me and make me happy.  Jon has said his parents never argue.  I can see why.

Dennis adores his wife.  She makes him very happy.  Erin's mother, Beverly, is a servant also.  Both are such good examples of what a godly wife should look like.  I am so happy to be related to both of them! I hope to be like them when I grow up...

Her children arise up and call her blessed:  her husband also, and he praises her.  Many daughters have done virtuously, but you excel them all.
Proverbs 31:28,29

Friday, February 18, 2011

What is Wrong With My Generation?

My mom has six siblings who never divorced.  None of her childhood friends ever divorced.  Lots of them didn't have great marriages but they stuck it out until 'death do you part'

What happened between then and now?  In the church it is said that 50% of the marriages end in divorce.  Are our expectations too high?  I'm not sure what it is but it certainly is sad. 

Families are the foundation of a society and our society is crumbling, I think, because marriages are crumbling.  Divorce leaves so many scars in its path.  That is why I feel such a strong calling to be that "older woman" that "trains the younger women to love their husbands, love their children, etc." 

I think the older women have dropped the ball on this one.  Most of us never had an older woman who came alongside us and told us what loving our husband looked like.  We never had models of healthy marriages...couples who truly enjoyed each other's company, served each other, and laughed together. 

But God can start anywhere.  He is a God of new beginnings.  Marriages can be restored...

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Titus 2:3-5

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Happiness is a Choice!

Being happy and grateful is a choice.  Dennis Prager, my favorite radio personality, says that being in a bad mood is like throwing your body odor on others. Feelings and emotions shouldn't dictate our moods. 

Choose to be happy and grateful and life becomes much more fun for yourself and for those around you.  Men are attracted to happy women. 

One of the first assignments I give to the women I am mentoring is to be happy and smile a lot around their men.  The next week they come back and I've gotten the funniest stories from them. 

One woman said that after a week of being joyful around her husband he looked at her and asked, "Have you lost weight?"  He knew something had changed but he wasn't sure what is was. 

Men have been questioned around the world and asked what they find most attractive in women.  They have all responded with a woman who is happy and grateful. 

When you walk into a store, office, etc. if someone greets you with a smile, it makes being there much more enjoyable.  Besides, we have lots to be happy and grateful about.  The God of the universe lives inside of us and has given us many precious promises!  We also know how the story ends and who wins!
 
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
Philippians 4:4

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Is Conflict Healthy?

I was watching a program yesterday with several well-known Bible teachers that I love and they said, "conflict is an important part of any healthy marriage."   Ponder that for a moment...do you really believe this to be true?  Do you like to be in conflict with any of your close friends....siblings....parents...the people you work with?  I sure don't.  So how can conflict in a marriage be a good thing? 

Ken said his parents rarely had conflict.  We use to have a lot of conflict in our marriage, now we hardly ever do and I sure like it better like this. 

The Bible speaks a lot about living in harmony with one another, being at peace with all men, etc.  I am not sure where people get the notion that we need to learn how to argue and resolve conflict. 

I encourage women to just not argue.  It takes two to argue.  Just stop!  Keep biting your tongue.  Learn how to discuss things without arguing, without having to be right. 

Relationships are much more important than being right.  Life is SO much more pleasant without strife and conflict.  Life all around us is so hard.  Our homes should be safe-havens of peace and harmony.

And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil.
II Timothy 2:24

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Homemade Salad Dressing and Dip


This dressing has been in my home for years.  We never get tired of it.  I have never had even ONE person who didn't like it!

I use organic eggs from Trader Joes for the raw egg yolks. I have been using them for years and no one has ever gotten sick. Salmonella is on the shell so make sure you wash the shell thoroughly before cracking the egg open. You can omit them but it isn't as creamy.  Besides, I think raw egg yolks are good for you! 

To make this into a dip, mix with 1/2 hummus and 1/2 dressing.  YUM!

In a blender or Cuisinart put:

1 egg yolk

2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon sugar or a tiny squirt of Stevia

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Mix well and slowly add 1 1/2 cups of olive oil...not extra virgin olive oil or it is too strong, just regular olive oil.  I usually add 1/2 cup extra virgin and 1 cup regular olive oil because I know extra virgin is better for you.  Store in a glass jar in the frig for up to 3 weeks.  Enjoy!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Is Marriage Hard Work?

I was talking with a precious friend of mine yesterday and we were discussing my blog and she made this comment: "Marriage is difficult and takes a lot of hard work."  I agreed and we hung up. 

As I was getting ready for bed, I started to think about that statement.  My friend is the most wonderful wife and mother.  She serves her husband and children faithfully.  I would have agreed with that statement until a few years ago.

If 1 means you have a very difficult marriage and 10 means your marriage is really easy, mine would have rated a 2 in the past...We argued all the time.  He drove me crazy.  Everything he did bothered me. 

But then I read Created To Be His Help Meet and it changed everything.  It took lots of work for awhile.  I had to bite my tongue and pretend to be cheerful around him. But practice makes perfect... 

I eventually didn't want to argue anymore and I really was happy around him.  I learned to not let my feelings dictate my actions.  Now I would rate my marriage a 9, sometimes even a 10.

Some women's personality makes marriage easier for them.  They are lay back, easy going, and nothing bothers them.  I bet they think marriage is fairly easy.  Women like me with strong, bossy personalities have a harder time not always speaking our minds. 

Some women marry one type of man and he turns out to be another type after she marries him.  Marrying an unbeliever, an angry man, or one with different goals and values would make it hard.  Marrying one with a completely opposite personality than yours would be hard. 

But mine was very hard and now it is very easy...so things can change.  What do you all think?  Is your marriage hard?  Does it take a lot of work?  Have you found things that make it easier?

He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.
Proverbs 18:22

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Provocative Women

I am currently in a Bible Study by Beth Moore {Esther} and the topic this past week was meanness. She said something that made so much sense to me. She gave three characteristics of a mean woman. The third one was that mean women dress provocatively in front of other women's men. 

I've always been very unhappy  when there were provocatively dressed women in front of my husband.  My husband has been very honest with me in the way that men are...very visual.  God made them that way. 

This is why the Bible commands women to be modest {except in front of their own husbands, of course}.  So protect the men around you and dress modestly but cute!

Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire.
I Timothy 2:9

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Are You Married to a Judas or a Peter?

I was listening to the author of Love and Respect the other day and he said an interesting thing about women.  They often see their husbands as a Judas, when he is really just a Peter. 

Both men denied Christ...Judas was evil, but Peter just did a bad thing.  We take a snapshot of our husband...some bad thing he did or does and label him a Judas, an evil man, instead of a Peter, a man that just did a stupid or bad thing. 

So many women are getting divorced today because they think they are married to Judas but they are most likely married to Peter.  Most husbands are good providers, work hard and love their families...men who are trying to do the right thing. 

Let's stop defining who he is by a snapshot of something he did or does instead of looking at the whole picture of who he is....a husband who makes mistakes, sometimes bad ones, but is not evil.

As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.
   So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.”
John 13:27

And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly. 
Luke 22:61, 62

Alyssa's Marriage

I sat my dear daughter down about 5 years ago and told her I had done it all wrong. I married her dad and proceeded to do everything I could to manipulate, change and control him and it was ugly.

Like Debi Pearl said, "No man has ever crawled out from under his wife's criticism to be a better man". Maybe Michael Pearl wrote that but it was something like that and it spoke volumes to me.

I have watched Alyssa and Jon and Ryan and Erin's relationships blossom and they are beautiful....reflecting Christ and the church...the way godly relationships are suppose to be. They truly love each other and live to please the other one. They don't argue or try to change the other one, but just accept each other as they are.

It's ironic but as soon as I stopped trying to change Ken, the Holy Spirit changed him into the man I always wanted him to be or maybe he already was the man of my dreams but I couldn't see it because I was so into him meeting my needs. The Bible says women win their man without a word....His promises are wonderful and so wise.

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.
I Peter 1:22

Friday, February 11, 2011

Correction versus Criticism

I had a light bulb moment the other day.  I HATE it when Ken "criticizes" me...Other people can do it, but when he does my feathers get ruffled.  I was listening to a program the other day and the man was saying his wife had to realize that when he was correcting her, it was just that...correction, not criticism.  I thought, "WOW! I need to take Ken's criticism as correction and learn from it!" 

I have such a need to be perfect that I needed to realize I'm far from perfect and listen to his correction and learn...My pride and ego get in the way.  Proverbs says a wise man listens to rebuke.  Iron sharpens iron.  Always learning...

Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Proverbs 9:8