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Archive for February, 2011

30-Day Challenge: Day 28

Day Twenty-eight:

“The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility.” Prov.
15:33

Sometimes, when we just “know” we are right and our husbands are wrong, it takes
great humility to honor them. It is difficult to speak well of our husbands when our own
hearts are puffed up with pride.

As part of your Encouragement Challenge today, pray that you will respond to the Lord
in faith and humility before you react to your husband. Speak wisely and well, and leave
the results to God.

The humility that comes from a right relationship with God – the humility that comes
when a man is willing to listen to God and be taught from His Word – is indeed a
beautiful quality. Jesus was an example of this kind of humility when he was willing to
submit to His Father’s will (John 6:38; Matt. 26:39).

Does your husband have that kind of humility? Is he willing to learn from and submit to
direction from the Lord? Let your husband know how precious this is to your marriage
relationship.

– Two more days, the finish line is very near. How did your weekend go? My weekend was good and mostly productive. It is easy for me for feel smothered by the list of things I need to do, the list of things I want to do, and then the other list of things I wish I had time to do. On the encouragement front, I am still adjusting to my baby steps of progress and accepting that just a little bit of progress over the past month (instead of a whole lot of progress) can be disappointing but should not be discouraging.

The message at our church yesterday was directed squarely at me. I’m sure a lot of people felt that way, or at least anyone who has ever been hurt by another person. The topic was forgiveness. I would highly recommend checking out the podcast once they put it up here. If you get a chance to listen to it, let me know how it hits you. Many blessing for a manic-free Monday :-)


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30 Day Challenge: Day 27

Day Twenty-seven:

“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD.” Ps. 31:24

You have almost completed the “30-Day Encouragement Challenge.” Perhaps it has taken you a tremendous amount of courage to speak words of encouragement consistently to your husband. Courage comes as we place our trust in God. Have faith that God will continue to work long after your encouraging words have been shared.

There are lots of “tough guys” in the world, but true courage comes from the Lord. Does your husband exhibit the courage to take an unpopular stand, perhaps even to stand alone against evil? Is he courageous in his faith? Does he work hard to change injustice? Is he a stickler for the truth? Does he protect you or your family from the attacks of the Enemy?

Psalm 27:14 says this kind of courage comes from “waiting” on the Lord for His strength. If your budget allows, “award” your husband with a medal, trophy, framed picture of a brave knight, or some other token that represents his courage as a man of God. Praise evidences of your husband’s courage in protecting you, your marriage, your family, or your home.

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Day Twenty-six:

“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” Luke 2:52

If you have faithfully encouraged your husband, you will no doubt have seen some changes in his life…and your own life, as well. Encouragement is a wonderful habit that we hope you will continue for the rest of your life.

The important thing is to keep growing in Christ and obeying the Word of God as you respond to your husband. As you consider today how to bless your husband and not tear him down, think of ways that you can encourage balance in your home.

Jesus led a balanced life. He grew mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. As you see your husband branching out in these areas, is there a pattern of growth? Is your husband striving for balance in his life? If so, let him know you have noticed, and ask how you can further encourage that balance.

If your husband is out of balance – focusing on one area to the exclusion of the others – consider whether there are things you can do to help restore or create balance in his life. Can you encourage times for sports or exercise? Keep the children quiet for a study time? Invite friends over for dinner? Stimulate his mind?  Be sure you are working toward balance in your own life, as well. Be an example.

– Brandon is my example of balance. He makes sure that he gives time to each area – physical, spiritual, social. Me, not so much on the physical – especially when it comes to exercise, or even just going for a decent walk. Maybe in my efforts to recognize and appreciate the balance he displays in his life, I can accept his encouragement in trying to find balance in my own.

Day 25 Recap: As I said earlier in Day 25, my husband is the peacemaker in our home. Day 25 went okay for me, but I am still finding it difficult to respond positively to negative or disappointing circumstances. It seems the harder I try to re-program my first response, the more challenges there are that come my way.

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30-Day Challenge: Day 25

Day Twenty-five:
“…seek peace, and pursue it.” Ps. 34:14b

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in
You.” Is. 26:3

Before you consider whether these verses describe your husband, consider your own
presence in the home. Do you promote an atmosphere of peace, or do critical words
often flow from your mouth? Do you struggle with anger? If so, before you continue with
your Encouragement Challenge, confess these sinful habits to the Lord, and determine
to speak words of peace to your family today.

Does your husband bring an atmosphere of peace into your home? Is his presence a
calming influence? Does he bring music, entertainment, books or people into your home
that build a sense of serenity? Let him know how much you appreciate this wonderful
quality, and support his choices.

If, on the other hand, he is quickly angered or he creates chaos rather than calm, ask
God to give you an abundance of the kind of peace that will speak to his heart. Be
patient and loving. Create an inviting atmosphere of peace, as much as possible.

– I just have to smile reading through those verses and first two paragraphs, thinking about why I didn’t write anything about my day yesterday. I was mad, and didn’t feel like writing anything, and definitely wasn’t ready to be open about it. So, I chose not to do anything to recap day 24. I had no idea what day 25 would be about, but of course, God did. I have a habit of anger and it does not bring peace to my home. I have been lucky in that the guy who chose me, does not struggle with the same issue. He is the peace and calming influence in our home. I wholeheartedly appreciate that influence he brings to my life. Honestly, I’m still a little ticked this morning, but in order to get my my heart and my mind in a right place, I will begin by thanking God for knowing what I need before I do. For providing what I need before I know how to ask for it and for giving my husband the patience and willingness to love me in my current state.

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30-Day Challenge: Day 24

Day Twenty-four:
“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the
training and admonition of the Lord.” Eph. 6:4

Children can be quite a challenge to the marriage relationship. A wise wife will support
her husband’s leadership in the home as much as possible, and will praise him for his
fathering skills. Negativity makes a man feel like a failure, and may make him to want to
give up.

Does your husband discipline your children wisely? Does he show them love and
encourage them? Does he take an interest in their activities and dreams? Does he
spend time with them? Does he take part in developing their character? Praise him for
these important life skills.

If you don’t have children – is your husband positive and encouraging around other
people’s children? Let him know that you have noticed.

If your husband does not experience positive relationships with children, you will need
to figure out why. Perhaps he had negative experiences as a child with his own parents,
and needs to learn how to respond. Perhaps you can lovingly and patiently show him
how to parent – while still maintaining his authority in the home.

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I don’t know about you, but this 30-Day Challenge feels like exercise for me. I can’t say I’m one who “exercises”, but when I do {did}, it was something that always left me feeling better, more energized, more positive. Love those endorphins. That is how I feel about this challenge. It is something that is easy for me to talk myself out of doing. I can sometimes barely drag my feet to the starting line. But, if I push through, it leaves me in a better place. But whats more, it impacts my husband, my child, my coworkers, my friends, my family, all in different ways. Like that picture of the pebble dropping into a pond – the ripple effects just keep going.

What has it been like for you?

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23: facebook {one of my favs}

23: facebook {one of my favs}

The challenge today was to unearth an old Facebook photo of the two of us. I like this photo because as one of my friend’s put it: “it really shows off both of your nerdiness”.  Thanks Taylor ;-)

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