Monthly Archives: June 2010

Teaching Her His Word

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Today at Raising Homemakers it is Polished Cornerstones Link up Day!

I have to tell you a funny story about the photo above.  Last week, I was reading my bible on the dining room table.  I had to leave for a moment due to a couple of cute kids needing my attention (nap time was over….sigh).  

I left my bible open to where I was studying so that I could instantly return to it once the time became available.

Madi loves my bible. She thinks it is beautiful.  So naturally when she saw it on the table she began looking through it, turning the pages back and forth. 

Then I heard….

"Uh-Oh…..Mommy!"

I looked over and there she was, holding a page from my bible in her small hand.

And the irony?  

She had ripped out Ephesians 5.

Apparently she has issues with this passage. 

I hope you enjoyed that little funny moment in our lives as I try to teach and train Madi in God's word. 

Now what is Polished Cornerstones?  It is a wonderful tool for parents to train their daughters to be godly women. It is an awesome book to use from ages 4 to 18.  The chapters/subjects are based on Proverbs 31:10-31 and there are a ton of projects and lessons broken down into beginner, intermediate and advanced young ladies.  The ladies at Raising Homemakers can give you more details on how to get a copy at a discount.

Madi and I are working on submission.  She is having a hard time obeying us lately and I want to tackle this now instead of later.  I chose this verse for her to memorize this week:

Exodus 20:12 "Honor your Father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you."

A perfect first verse for her.  Together we are going through it 3 times a day. At breakfast, lunch and dinner.  She is loving the time that she and I get to spend together and I am loving the time I get to teach her about our Lord and how to be a godly young woman.  I am excited to try the other projects with her as well.

Are you participating?  Check out Raising Homemakers to learn more!

 Tiff~

 

Convictions

Lately, God has been impressing on my heart to really nail down my convictions and theology when it comes to my family.  In how I see myself as a woman, wife and mother and how I am to represent Christ in those roles.

I have been eagerly reading the scriptures.  Eagerly reading over and over again Ephesians 5, Titus 2…..both which appear to me to be very clear directives of our role as women.  I have come upon several blog posts in the last few days that dive into the controversial (working mom vs SAHM; Female pastors/speakers etc).

For someone who loves to research and hear different opinions and thoughts on subjects such as these, it helps to throw myself back into God's word to get a clear understanding of what God wants me to do.  And how He wants me to obey.  

In the past few months, my convictions about life and family have become strong and steady, standing on the firm foundation of Christ and the Word in which I base all of my actions on.  All of my decisions that I agonize over, I look to His word for direction and wisdom…knowing and trusting His guiding hand as I seek Him in this life.  

I feel very strongly that a woman should keep her home as her primary focus.  I believe that the ideal model for the family is to have the mother at home, for she is the one who sets the tone, who has the ability to create an environment of love and compassion and Christian disciples.  When we put our little ones in the hands of someone else to watch while we are at work, another world view is opened up to them.  They could be the nicest babysitters in the world…but the point is…someone else is teaching them. Not you.

I was a working mom.  I have been on that side of the fence.  Everyday, I knew I wasn't supposed to be at my desk staring at a computer. Instead I was to be with my babies, staring into their faces and teaching them God's word and showing them what it means to walk with God.  To help them develop godly characteristics.  Our babysitter was amazing. One of the sweetest, most caring individuals I have ever encountered…but she was the one teaching my children and not me.  It wasn't okay in my heart.

So here I am now at home.  Is it hard? You betcha.

However,  I am not here to debate whether or not a woman should or should not work.  These are convictions that I have based on God's word and my own time of prayer and meditation and discussion with my husband.  And while I do believe it is God's ultimate design for the family, due to sin in this world it is unfortunately not always going to be the case. 

Which is why we need to exhibit a ton of grace to those who think differently than we do.  We don't have to agree with it.  We don't need to adapt an attitude of relativism (because that would not make us any different from those who don't know Christ.) But extend grace and no condemnation towards those who think differently.  Women staying at home is not a salvation issue.  Whether they truly know Christ as Lord and Savior is the biggest issue.  

This is my last thought.  I realize that this post is mostly about my convictions that I believe are from God in regards to His word…..but truly, if we are spending more time on the internet talking about issues like these and not about those coming to know Christ….we are missing the boat.  Big time.  We are not fulfilling Christ's Great commission commanding us to go out and make disciples and tell the world about the grace, love and mercy of our God.  These issues are important and a friendly, grace-filled dialog is necessary for us to learn and perhaps find our own convictions.  Obviously God had something to say about marriage and family life or else He would not have inspired Paul to write about it.  

But let's keep the main thing….the main thing.  

Blessings to you,

Tiff~

Pray For Your Man

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 Hello Everyone!

It is challenge #3 over at Women Living Well for the Completing Him Challenge.

How are you all doing?  I am finding, for myself, that this is proving to be a huge challenge to my selfish mindset.  I always want it to be about me and for people to respect me.  To acknowledge how much I do for the family. How much I sacrifice for them.

I can tend to be self absorbed.  

So I am thankful for this challenge.

The challenge this week is to pray for our husbands.  Do you pray for yours?  I am sad to say that I am often so busy praying for everyone else, that I often forget to pray for my man!  So this week he will be my biggest focus.  I am going to pray for his strength, his needs, his heart, for protection, for wisdom, for his reputation….and I am sure I can think of many more.  

I will also be asking him what exactly he needs me to pray for or about.  I should be a safe place for him to share his heart, so I am excited to hear what he has to say and how I can pray for him.  

Are you ready to pray for your man?

Tiff~


 

On My Mind Today

I read this verse a couple of days ago in my quiet time and it has stuck with me.  It has convicted me of my need to constantly work on pursuing godliness the way I would train for a race or activity or even exercise.  It is a daily discipline.

1 Timothy 4:7-8

"But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come".

Training our bodies is good.  It can keep us healthy and strong.  But only for a time.  When we pursue godliness, and work on pursuing godliness daily, it will only benefit us. And the best part is that it has permanent benefits.  

How do we train for godliness?  

By knowing His word, and being obedient.  

Blessings,

Tiff~  

Ruth

Last night I had the opportunity to meet with three other gals for coffee and fellowship.  But it wasn't just regular chat time that we had (although trust me..there was some of that!)

These girls and I are participating in the Siesta Summer Bible Study hosted through Beth Moore's blog Living Proof.  To say we were excited is an understatement.  We have been anticipating the kick off to this study for awhile now and finally we get to be together and dig in.

Ruth is one of my favorite books in the Bible.  I love Ruth's willingness to follow her mother in law into a land she has never known.  And I love how God's hand is constantly moving off the pages of scripture, showing us just how deeply involved He was in the love story that is of Boaz and Ruth.  And watching how a young Moabite woman, through the will of God, became a part of the lineage of Christ.  

Inspiring and beautiful.

If you are interested, find some gals and jump in. If you want to do it alone that is fine…but I think it is so much fun to go through something like this with a few good gal pals.  

Blessings to you this Wednesday!

Tiff~

I Do Cherish You

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It is time again for the Completing Him Challenge over at Women Living Well. This week, Courtney asked us to remember our wedding day. The day we pledged our lives to our spouses and promised that for better or for worse.

In sickness and in health.

For richer or for poorer.

We would be together.

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On October 23, 2004 Dan and I exchanged our vows in front of 150 of our closest friends and family.  It was a gorgeous day.  Literally three days prior, Southern California experienced a ton of rain.  While I had heard the rumors that rain on your wedding day is considered good luck, I was not buying it.

I prayed like crazy that it wouldn't rain on my wedding day.  

I don't really like rain.  

Lo and behold on Friday, the sun peaked and the weather forecast said  sunshine for our wedding day.  It was such a beautiful day and I was so excited to pledge my life to my best friend.

I remember not being nervous at all.  Throughout the day as I prepared, put on my dress and anticipated the moment I would walk down the aisle to my awaiting groom…I felt giddy, peaceful and in love.

I don't remember anything else about our ceremony except the moment I walked down towards Dan.  He had tears in his eyes and I could literally see how much he loved me. And I could see how much he was excited to pledge his life to me.  

We both decided to choose the traditional vows to recite to each other.  He would love, cherish and protect.  I promised to love, honor and obey.

That's right..I said obey. 

I meant it then. And I mean it now. 

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After the ceremony we headed over to our beautiful reception at Luminarias Restaurant. From there we ate, laughed, danced and celebrated the night away with everyone we loved. 

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After the reception, Dan and I got to spend a week in beautiful Maui for our honeymoon.  

Every time I think back on that day, I always smile.  Dan and I try to watch our wedding video so that we remind ourselves of that day and the vows we made to each other in front of God and others. 

It was a beautiful day.

Tiff~

 

Surely I Will Uphold You

This week, I found myself anxious, scared, fearful and worried.  I realize those words carry similar definitions, but I felt them.  

I prayed like you wouldn't believe.  I cried, I pleaded, I walked around in a haze.  Couldn't focus except on the prayer that was coming from my lips.  My thoughts consumed me.  

I quickly text-ed a close friend of mine and told her to pray for me.  

She in return quickly replied to me with this scripture: Isaiah 41:10.

It brought me great encouragement.  It was one of God's promises that I clung to it with all that I had. I pray that whatever state you are in right now, that it brings you encouragement as well. 

" Do not fear, for I am with you

Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you, 

Surely I will help you.

Surely I will uphold you

with my righteous

Right hand".

Tiff~  

When We Were Young

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Dan and I met through a mutual friend at a local restaurant in 2002.  Upon first meeting each other, neither of us were, well, interested.  I had just came out of an on and off six year relationship and Dan was in a relationship with someone else.  

But we kept seeing each other around at group activities. The more I got to know him, the more I liked him.

A couple of months later, Dan called me up on my cell phone and asked me out for coffee and dessert.  

I was in love.  

Dan and I dated for about 8 months.  We spent a great deal of time together and it became evident to us that our relationship very much revolved around just the two of us.  Even though it wasn't our intention, we even put our relationship with God second.  So we took a (painful) break from each other.  I don't think I have ever cried so hard in my life over a guy.  I knew he was the man I wanted to marry so the possibility of not being with him was painful!

A month later (after absolutely NO contact with each other), we met up for some coffee to catch up.  The sparks were still there and God had performed amazing transformations in each of us.  We still wanted to be together, but we weren't about to make the same mistakes!  So we eased into our new relationship and then six months later, Dan proposed on the cliffs of San Diego.  

We will be celebrating 6 years of marriage in October.  God is good. 

When Dan and I were dating we enjoyed finding things that we both loved to do together.  We each took turns in doing something the other liked.  For instance,  he really enjoys movies.  And whenever we would go to the movies he would want to watch the manliest, scariest, arms blown off type of movies.  But I would somehow convince him to watch a chick flick with me instead.

So this week…I am going to make the effort to watch one GUY movie.  Something he will really enjoy.  And the best part is that we will get some alone time without being interrupted by two adorable little rascals ;).

I adore my husband, and just reflecting on our dating years makes me remember about how much I wanted to show him how much I adored and appreciated him.  I constantly told him I loved him, held his hand, gave him a hug, gave him back rubs.  This week I will also make our physical part of the relationship more intentional on my part.  

I am sure he won't complain ;).

Tiff~

 

Can You Help Achile?

Happy Saturday everyone!

I hope you are all having a beautiful day spent with your families.  Today I am blogging a special post as I am in need of help for one special little boy.

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His name is Achile. He lives in Burkina Faso.  He is a child sponsored through Compassion International by another family.  I learned that he has a painful heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. He has been in extreme and because of this he has been unable to attend school regularly and receive the full benefit of a Compassion International scholarship.

Compassion International has provided medical assistance for Achile at a hospital in Burkina Faso, but unfortunately this little boy needs immediate surgery.

This is where I ask for your help.

Achile will be transported to a hospital in India.  The cost for surgery….$20,449. 

If you feel so led, would you please donate whatever you can to help pay for his surgery?  I realize that in this economy times are hard….but I wouldn't ask this of you if I didn't feel it was important to help. 

So again, if you feel led, please give.

You can click on the photo above as it will take you to the site Compassion has provided for this special donation.  I will also keep this on my side bar for easy access should you need time to think about making such a donation.

If you can't give, please pray! This little boy needs prayer as his condition is very serious.  Please pray for the surgeons, that little Achile comes through surgery without complication and for healing. 

Thank you so much in advance for helping to save a life.

Tiff~

Submit Isn’t a Dirty Word

"Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything." Ephesians 5:22-24

Submit is a dirty word in our post modern culture.  It can actually cause the skin to boil on some women who believe that submitting  to their husbands is straight from the dark ages and has no place in society. The same idea goes for the words "obey" or "serve".  The idea of obeying her husband, to some, is downright laughable.

And infuriating.  I know this because I have seen the comments, the blog posts, the videos. 

But I am here to tell you it isn't a dirty word. 

Actually, it is quite beautiful. 

The verse I wrote out above is from the book of Ephesians.  It is describing the way a wife should relate to her husband.  By obeying him as the leader of the family and submitting to his leadership, respecting her husband, loving her husband and living with him until death. She is to submit to her husband in obedience to his submitting to God. 

Marriages, Christian marriages, should be a reflection of Christ and the church.  In fact, if you read the rest of Ephesians 5 after Paul instructs the women, he gives a much longer list of responsibilities to the men!  God does not forget the men. They are to love us just as Christ loved the church. They have the massive responsibility of being our spiritual leader, household leader, provider, caretaker.  My husband works long hours so that I can stay home with our babies.  And you know what, he even does some household duties too…just to take care of his wife. Because he loves me. 

Why wouldn't I want to submit to a man who loves me?  Because God's word is my authority, and I truly understand in Scripture that God is showing me that submitting to my husband is good and pleasing to His will, then I will do my best to submit to my husband's leadership. 

Now I know there may be some of you who may be thinking that I am unable to think for myself, that I want to be a doormat for my family, that I live in the dark ages, that I am (dare I say it) a moron.

Those who know me, know that couldn't be further from the truth.  I am as independent as they come (just ask my husband.  No really, you should.) I also think I am pretty intelligent.  I have my own dreams, passions and visions for our family.  But I go to my husband because we are in this together.  We both raise our kids, we both work hard, he at work and me at home…..but he is our leader, our captain.  Of course I am going to listen to him. 

Those who don't know have a relationship with Jesus, all of this will look foolish.  But to those who trust God and love Him and seek to obey Him..this all makes sense.  We have a 50 percent divorce rate in our country.  I am not saying the women are entirely responsible for this.  The men have to answer for this too…but maybe, just maybe, if we stopped trying to be like the boys and started acting more like women and being nice to our husbands and putting their needs above our own for a change…..we might see a difference. 

More marriages staying together. For life. As God intended.

Submit isn't a dirty word.  If you don't truly understand the meaning, it will appear that way to the world. But it isn't. When you obey your husband (as long as he is not instructing you to do something sinful) then you obey God.

It is a beautiful picture of a marriage.

It is also a beautiful picture of our relationship with Christ and how He loves us.

Blessings,

Tiff~

P.S. It is posts like this that I wish my husband had a blog so he could give his thoughts on what God requires of him as a husband.