Thursday, July 31, 2008

Proverbs 12

Lord, I come to you humble as ever. I come with an open heart and soul and a willingness to listen. In Your Name I Pray, Amen

Proverbs 12:4 "An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones"
I have been struggling with this. With doing things that a wife and mother should do and not just what I want to do. This verse really hit home. As a wife who loves her husband I need to do things to make his life easier. Because more stress will just eat away at his health.

Proverbs 12:11 "He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, But he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding"
Another thing that speaks to my heart. To do what is expected of me and needed of me and not just play around. I am in need of growing up.

Proverbs 12:18 "There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health."
My criticisms and hateful words wound just as much as if I were to do that person physical harm. I must think before I speak and try to never speak in anger.

Proverbs 12:25 "Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad."
Say a prayer when anxiety threatens to take hold. For anxiety only causes you to sink deeper into a black hold that will hold you down until you struggle and claw your way back out.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Proverbs 11

Lord, I come to you in humble obedience. I know that I am far from perfect. I know that as I grow closer to you I will stumble and fall and I must remember to look to you to help me up. Or to help me realize I'm okay and that I am stronger than I think I am when you are with me. In Your Name I Pray, Amen

I could not pick just one verse to help understand this Proverb. There were many that spoke to me in many different ways. So here are the ones that stood out more than the others. I find the same recurring voice that wisdom is to be sought after in order to have a fulfilling life.

Proverbs 11:2 "When pride comes,then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom"
My take: do not be boastful with nothing to back it up. Remain quiet until you can speak with wisdom, however do not speak to impress, simply speak to share your wisdom with others.

Proverbs 11:12 "He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, But a man of understanding holds his peace"
My take: If you have wisdom then you know how to control your anger and hate and you do not have to vent them as you would if you are ignorant.

Proverbs 11:17 "The merciful man does good for his own soul, But he who is cruel troubles his own flesh."
My take: if you are merciful and compassionate then you will have peace down to your soul. If you are mean and hateful then you will be troubled not only in your mind, but anger and such can affect you physically.

Proverbs 11:22 "As a ring of gold in a swine's snout, So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion."
My take: the ring may be made of gold and may be beautiful, but it's still attached to a nasty pig, so a woman may be beautiful but if she had a loose mouth or loose habits then she is just as ugly as the pig.

I have a problem with many of these things. Especially the anger. These words speak straight to my heart, reminding me that no matter your outside, if your inside is ugly then you will be also. I have been so obsessed with trying to get my outside to look better that I have forgotten that what I really need to do is make my soul more beautiful. When my soul is beautiful then the outside will become so.

Friday, July 25, 2008

No Other Words

Our Deepest Fear

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others."

~ Marianne Williamson - from "A Return To Love" ~

Busy, busy

I confess I didn't get around to my Bible study today so here's a prayer that's been on my heart.

Lord, I come to you in my hour of need. I thank you for my many blessings and I ask that you help to lengthen my day where it is needed. I know that the actual time will not increase, however I ask that you give me a spirit of peace and not of anxiety. Help me to realize what needs to be done versus what I want to get done. Open my heart and mind so that I my hear your voice through out the day and that I may be receptive to your guidance. I pray that I will not be idle and also that I shall not be rushed.
I know that as I ask these things of you you are already touching my very soul to prepare it for the tasks that lay ahead of me. Thank you for knowing what I need and when I need it. Thank you for helping me to remember that even when we are rushed we must take a few moments to talk to you and ask for your help in our daily lives.
In Your Name I Pray, Amen

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Just a Thought

I heard a preacher one time say "If you find yourself far away from God then you must ask yourself why you moved. Not why God moved. He never moves. It's us who decides how close to stay to Him or how far away to go."

So I ask you and myself: When you look for God, how far away are you? Are you standing beside Him? Maybe only a few feet away? A few blocks? Miles? Can you see God from where you are?

I can still see Him, but He is far off. I am taking a step closer towards Him everyday. I think it shall be a long journey. However, I am hoping that perhaps for every step I take that He will take one also. I hope that makes sense. I know that God wants a relationship with us, but I also know that when we stray we must learn something or we will stay lost in the wilderness.

Proverbs 10

Lord, Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and for the wisdom that you have bestowed upon me lately. I eagerly await your voice speaking to my heart. In Your Name I Pray, Amen.

Proverbs 10:12 "Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins."
Proverbs 10:17 "He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, But he who refuses correction goes astray."

What I have taken from this chapter is that wisdom and knowledge will bring you life and prosperity. Being hateful and mean will only cause death and destruction. Staying calm, using kindness and speaking in love will go a long way to help keep life peaceful and keep those around you feeling loved and wanted.I have a lot of work to do in order to keep my mouth in check. I often, really often let anger control my words. It is a horrible thing. Using my new found wisdom I hope to pay better attention to what I am going to say when I get mad. I guess I'll go back to my other saying "Stop. Breath. Think." As in think before I speak.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Proverbs 9

Lord, Open the eyes of my heart. I want to see you. I want to hear you. I want to feel you in my heart and soul. I cry out to you with all of my being. Help me to know what you would have me to know. In Your Name I Pray, Amen.

Proverbs 9: 7-9 "He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself. And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and her will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning."

We need to look only at ourselves when it comes to wisdom and knowledge. A wise person doesn't point out the wicked or stupid things to those that do them. It only hurts us when we do. We must look at instruction as a way to become more wise and not as a way to remind us we are stupid. (Or that we still have so much to learn)

Wise women is not idle, she works at what she is good at and invites people to help them to understand how to use their knowledge. A foolish woman leads others astray. She doesn't seek wisdom, she's lazy, and she encourages others to be lazy and stupid. I'm sorry if that word offends some people, but come on ladies. If you wallow in your own lack of understanding and do nothing to educate yourself in some form or fashion then what other word is there? I'm not saying you have to be a scholar. Just strive to be the best at what you do. Whatever you choose to do in your life, find out the best way to do it. Challenge your mind daily.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Proverbs 8

Lord, Give me a clean heart, a pure mind, and a willing spirit. May I hear your voice above all others. I praise your holy name with all that I am. In Your Name I Pray, Amen.

Proverbs 8: 9-11 "They are all plain to him who understands, And right to those who find knowledge. Receive my instruction, and not silver, And knowledge rather than choice gold; For wisdom is better than rubied, And all the tings one may desire cannot be compared with her."

If you search for wisdom, you will find it. If you search your heart and your soul and you really look into yourself,look into the place where you and God meet, then you will know which direction that wisdom will lead you. Wisdom has been here from the beginning of time. With wisdom comes love and rewards. If you choose wisdom over sliver and gold then the silver and gold will come to you in greater amounts than if you had chosen the silver and gold to start with.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Proverbs 7

Lord, I come to you in search of wisdom and love.I pray for an open heart, an open mind and an open spirit. I want to open myself to you and be receptive to your words and your will. In Your Name I Pray, Amen.

Proverbs 7:25-27 "So not let your heart turn aside to her ways, So not stray into her paths; For she has cast down many wounded, And all who were slain by her were strong men. Her house is the way to hell, Descending to the chambers of death."

I have taken this two ways. One is literal, in that it is best to educate our children in sexual matters. You cannot escape the dangers of adultery. You must guard your heart and mind from those that would seek to lure you away from your spouse.

The second way I read this is to say that we must guard ourselves against any temptation. Sex, food, money, etc. can be our downfall. Whatever becomes our obsession and takes us away from our families and from our spiritual relationship from God. We must also educate our children on the dangers and lures of different temptation.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Proverbs 6

Lord, Give me a heart to receive your instruction and to understand your wisdom. In Your Name I Pray, Amen

Proverbs 6:16-19
"These six things the Lord hates,Yes, seven are an abomination to Him; A proud look, a lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren."

How many of us are guilty of any of these things? Raise your hands. Come on, you in the back too. We've all done one of these at one time or another. You've lied about how late you stayed out the night before or how much money you spent at the store the other day. How about being a Sunday Christian? Does your life show what you believe or do you just talk a good talk? I can talk about spirituality all day, but putting it into practice is a constant struggle. I must ask for help not only daily but sometimes hourly.

What I took away from Proverbs 6 as a whole was this: Your word is your bond, do not make a statement that you cannot follow through with. Laziness and idleness and failure to work show that you do not have God's wisdom and such lack of action will lead to poverty. In order to tell the character of a person, watch how they hold themselves, watch their body language. In the same respect, we must watch our own body language because it speaks volumes as to what type of person we are.

God hates anything that will hurt others, so before you speak or act think about how the other person will feel or react to your actions/words. Think of where they are coming from, why they might have said or did what they did, then react.

We cannot always control our environment, but we can control how we react to things. So the next time your three year old is spilling milk in the floor or raiding the refrigerator, don't yell, ask yourself why. Were you 'too busy' to get the little one something to drink? Are you 'busy' and it's lunch time? Was he/she just trying to help?

I think the best advice I have gotten about getting angry or frustrated came from the kids show "Blues Clues". They tell you to "Stop. Breath(take a deep breath). and Think." Now I don't always follow this thinking. Some days I don't follow it at all. But I believe it's something we should all strive for. Sometimes when I take my deep breath I say a little prayer "Lord help me through this". It's not muttered like a curse word, it's a heartfelt prayer. Amazingly I feel much more peaceful when I do say it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Proverbs 5

Lord, Open my heart and my mind. Help me to praise you and accept your guidance. I pray that I can keep your wisdom with me at all times. In Your Name I Pray, Amen.

Proverbs 5: 1-2
"My son, pay attention to my wisdom; Lend your ear to my understanding, That you may preserve discretion, And your lips may keep knowledge."

This whole Proverb is about resisting temptation. Keep your eyes and ears on God, do not give into temptation. The other man or lady may look attractive but they are someone you really don't know well and they will lead to your downfall. The other life may look better to you, as in being single instead of toughing it out in your marriage. It too will lead to your downfall. The grass always looks greener on the other side but it is an illusion. Because when you reach the other side, the side you started on will look greener. Stay the course with your family and lean on God's instruction. He will help us to tend the fields we live in and to nourish them so that our fields will be greener than any possible temptation around us.

I confess that there are times when I want to run away from my life. To leave everyone and everything I know behind. And then I realize that what I really want is a happier, more peaceful life with those I love. I can't get that by running away. I can only get that through hard work and through change. Changing me into a more peaceful and loving person so that those around me will become the same. Whatever spirit we send out is what is reflected to us. So if we send out anger and discourse then that is all that we will know. If we send out love, patience and kindness then we will receive it ten fold.

Proverbs 4

Lord, open my heart and my mind, I invite you in to do some housecleaning. My heart has been filled with cement and my mind has been filled with trash and anger. My soul has become weakened because of the state of my heart, mind and body. I come to you asking you to clean out the cobwebs in my heart, to declutter my mind and to help me to resist the junk that I keep putting into my body in an effort to feed my soul. I come to you with a spirit of openness in hopes that you my free me from these bonds of anger and chaos. In Your Name I Pray, Amen

Proverbs 4: 42-25
"Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you. Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you."

Keep wisdom in your heart. Speak only kind words, keep curse words from your mouth, keep your eyes on your purpose, your goals, your life. These are the words that came to me as I read Proverbs 4. I believe the best thing we can do to change ourselves is to become open vessels, to remember what our goals and purposes are and to actively apply them to our lives.

I must remember that my children are people and that no matter what my other goals are, I am their and therefore it is my job to teach them life skills, life lessons, manners, discipline, how to read, how to count, how to treat other people and much more. It is my job to make them into productive members of society.

I must also remember that the old saying "Do as I say not as I do." is only that, a saying.
Children copy what they see and they rarely listen. So if I want them to be kind and compassionate then I must show them the same. If I want them to be responsible then so must I be. So perhaps we should determine what type of people we want our children to be and then strive to be that type of person ourselves.

I'm sure that I'm not the only one with the selfish tendencies. :)
I believe that if we begin to instruct our children, truly selflessly then our time will multiply so that we will have time for ourselves and our children will be happier. Try this experiment. Instead of surfing the net during the baby's nap (or whatever else you do in your "free" time) try doing the chore that you're putting off. When you're done check out the clock. I'll bet you have time left over.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Proverbs 3

Lord, I come to you with an open heart and an open mind. Fill them with your word, your spirit and your peace. In Your Name I Pray, Amen

Proverbs 3:5-6
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths."

Do not be troubled in your heart. Listen to the Lord and He will guide us. Honor and trust in God and He will provide for our peace of mind. Keep mercy and truth in your heart. What came to mind when I read this Proverb was the old saying "Do as I say and not as I do". I had the epiphany that children almost never do what we say but they almost always do as we do.

Perhaps it's time for us to grow up. How do we want our children to act? Do we want them to be honest, trustworthy, kind, considerate, giving, humble? Now is the time for us to emulate those things. I want my children to be honest, trustworthy and compassionate. There are other things I want for my kids. So I plan on going through the qualities I want to instill in them and then start to examine my behavior as to how I can change and become the kind of person I want them to be along with the type of person I would like to be.

Again, to live by wisdom and knowledge, not by emotion.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Proverbs 2

Lord help me to discern the knowledge and wisdom in what you have for me to learn.I praise you and thank you for this opportunity to grow closer to you and closer to my family. In your name I pray, Amen.

Proverbs 2: 10-11
"When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, Discretion will preserve you;Understanding will keep you."

Using your brain instead of your emotions will keep you whole and preserve your peace. So before you yell at your babies, think about why they did what they did and act accordingly. Did they spill the mild because they've been asking you for some for 30 minutes and you keep saying just a minute? Is it really their fault? Or could you have prevented it by taking 5 minutes to get them a drink? I only ask this because I myself am having to take a long hard look at my reaction to my kids and I realize that a lot of strife in my home is my own making. It's time to change. Time to grow up.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Proverbs 1

Proverbs 1:5
"A wise man will hear and increase learning, ans a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,"

I believe that this best sums up Proverbs 1. That we must constantly seek knowledge and understanding. We must seek knowledge not only from the Bible and other books, but from people, from our ourselves, our husbands and our children. We must seek to understand them, to know them as people and not just extensions of ourselves. We must seek not only to co-exist with them but to create a community within our home. God gave us families to learn how to co-operate and live as communities. We must relearn these skills not only to teach our children, but to remind ourselves. Some of us were never taught these skills to start with, we must study and learn them in order to teach our families.

Welcome to my world

I have been stumbling my way through motherhood for the better part of ten years. What I first loved has now become a chore. I actually wake up thinking how many hours until bed time. How sad is that? Part of me wants to embrace motherhood to my four little ones, throw myself into cooking, cleaning, crafting, playing, teaching and all the other things that go with it. The other part of me, the one I've allowed to gain way to much control over me, just wants to run away screaming.
I discovered that no matter how many times I plan and promise and vow to change, it doesn't happen. In that discovery I noticed that my spirit is in constant turmoil. God wouldn't have given me these children without a reason and a purpose and the more I fight that the more miserable my whole family will be and the more screwed up my kids will be.
So this is me, trying to find my way back to my spirituality and my family.
I met a woman once who had five kids and at any one time could have up to ten kids as she was a foster mother over and above her five biological children. I was pregnant with my fourth and already feeling crazy. I asked her how she managed it all. She said with a lot of help from God. At some point during the conversation she recommended I read the Proverbs, one per day and meditate on them. I started once, but I wasn't accountable and fell behind. So I will try again. Beyond that we'll see where the journey leads.
This is for all the women suffering in silence, feeling like horrid mothers because you scream at your kids or you sometimes let the curse words fly when we know we shouldn't. For those that are sometimes quick to spank when you know you should calm down before doing so, for those who want to break down in the grocery store when your kids just won't be quiet. Or when you're trying to type on the computer and the toddler wants to help you type. This blog is for you. This is your quiet spot. Thank you for reading.