{SEMI} WORDLESS WEDNESDAY


Meal Planning Monday

Clicking the meal name below will open up the recipe

Monday - out to dinner



Thursday - Fried Cabbage with Bacon and Onion in the crock pot



Sunday - Fair Free Day

LOVE, RESPECT AND GODLY SUBMISSION {HUSHING THE WORLD}


When you mention the "s word" to the world, they are quick to voice their opinion. Why are you so stupid? You're equal to men, not beneath them. Women like you make us look weak. You should be expressing your opinion, not silencing it. You should be calling the shots, not letting him lead. Your marriage should be 50/50, that's only fair. Don’t be a doormat.

But ultimately, what matters is your following Gods word. Not the world's opinion.

So, let's travel back to the beginning of the Bible and read a few key verses that directly tie in to submission.

I think we all agree that God created Adam first. Then God made a decision, that we see revealed in Genesis 2:18

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
Genesis 2:18

As you can clearly see, it doesn't say I’m going to make man someone to rule over him, someone to sass at him or someone to disrespect his every decision. It says "make him a help meet". So, what exactly is a help meet? It carries the meaning of aid, succor, one who helps. Hebrew scholar Robert Alter has spent years translating the book of Genesis. He translates it “sustainer beside him”. When God creates Eve, he calls her an ezer kenegdo. The word ezer is used only twenty other places in the entire Old Testament. And in every other instance the person being described is God himself, when you need Him to come through for you desperately. Most of the contexts are life and death, by the way, and God is your only hope. Your ezer. Kenegdo means alongside, or opposite to, a counterpart.

Boy, that sure sounds different than what the world would define "help meet" as, doesn't it?

God created woman from man’s rib, brought her to the man and they became husband and wife. In Genesis 2:17, before Eve existed, God has given Adam some instruction.

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Genesis 2:17

And what do we see Eve do next?

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Genesis 3:6

Oh, Eve. Why? Then she gave it to Adam, and he took a bite too. Yikes. So we see clearly that Eve took the first bite then gave it to Adam. So she sinned first, right? But in Romans 5:12 we see that "sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin". But, how did sin first enter the world through one man, when the woman was the first to sin?

What we see is the first picture of headship. Adam was who God gave the instruction to. Adam was responsible for his and Eve's sin. I’m going to tell y'all, if I was Adam I would have been a little irked at Eve.

So did Eve get off scott free? Aahhhhhh, not so much. When we look at Genesis 3:16 we see God deal directly with the woman's sin.

I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.
Genesis 3:16

So you know all that pain during labor? Yep, thank-you-very-much-Eve.

The second part of the verse basically means you will want to rule over your husband but you won't be able to. Why? Because God's design for man was to be the head of the household.

And that, sweet ladies, is where marital strife was born.

We read it, roll our eyes, and say "oh no you didn't, not this woman, this girl is not about to submit". And we go on about our marriage. Having bouts of contention here and there. Years go by, the contention gets worse, and now we are irritated. Why can't this marriage thing just be easy? Basically because there is a battle for leadership happening. Remember that sassy girl that said "oh no way" and had to honor and obey removed from her vows? Well she obviously wants HER opinion to he heard and HER ways followed. I mean, isn't she entitled to that?

And I’m fairly sure most men don't want their wives to rule over them ladies. Just sayin'.

And here is when we come right back to Ephesians 5. That is the only way to end this battle. Let’s look at all the verses.

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy,cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Ephesians 5:21-33

And when you live an Ephesians life, your marriage will look different to the world. That sure doesn't mean it's wrong. I think there is a pivotal point when we need to decide who we want our marriage to glorify, the world or God.

The key is that when you are in an intimate relationship with Christ - when you have fully surrendered yourself to Him and desire Him and find your life in Him alone - then obedience to God's commands is a joy and delight. And yes, even submission can be a joy. When you are convicted to obey Him, His words will bring joy, peace, contentment, fulfillment and freedom for you! And in turn, your life will bring glory to God. Isn’t that what it's all about?

So this week, sit down with your husband and read over Ephesians. Talk about your marriage, your roles and who your marriage is glorifying. And go on a date, just because I love reconnecting with my love! Don’t forget to stop back next Friday as we take a look at the husband’s role in submission. Remember, keep your eyes on Him!

{SEMI} WORDLESS WEDNESDAY




Eternally Thankful


This is the ninth anniversary of the best and worst day of my life. This is the day I stood in my living room with tears streaming down my face and begged my husband not to leave. This is also the day that made me step back and take a good, long look at myself in the mirror and realize my own faults. And this is the day that I decided to make a change for me, for us, for our family and most importantly for God.

Not everyone understands why I remember this day or why I celebrate it. I think it's super important to remember our past, it brought us to where we are today. The word remember is used 167 times in the Bible. I’m fairly sure God is reminding us of the importance of remembering. I never, ever want to forget what brought us to that point on that day. I want to remember what my actions were before and what I changed afterwards. I can remember so vividly sitting in the middle of my floor, sobbing, and looking at the calendar and thinking this is a date I will never forget. And I haven't. Remembering is part of our design by creation.

One evening, not long after he left, I drove my car back a dirt road. I followed the road to the top and pulled in to the perfect spot, nestled among trees and open fields. It was a gorgeous, clear night and the sky was filled with stars. I sat there that evening and cried for hours while talking to God like He was sitting in my car with me. That evening the seed of forgiveness was planted in my heart.

I realized my relationship with Jesus had taken a backseat to life, along with my marriage. Actually, Jesus wasn't even in the backseat, He was in the trunk. I did not have time for Jesus to trip me up when I was busy living the ways of the world. I realized I couldn't change my husband. There was only one person I could change: me. Jesus said, "You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye" (Matthew 7:5). Once I realized that, asked for forgiveness and started to nurture my relationship with Jesus THAT'S when things started to change, when I started to change.

There was never a doubt that I wanted to stand for my marriage, regardless of what the world told me to do. God showed me divorce extracted a high price. One I simply wasn't willing to pay. There were people telling me to get a divorce and move on with my life, that I deserved better, but all I wanted to do was what God wanted me to do. I knew that standing was what God wanted me to do and I never let the thought of divorce even enter my mind.

Some may support your stand for your marriage while some may totally disagree.  All that matters is that you do what God wants you to do. Those that disagree with you might make their voice heard daily, or they might even walk out of your life because of it. You need to remember, one day we will all have to face judgment and have to be responsible for the things we did. You have to do what you know is right.

I prayed, trusted God and knew His will would be done. I basically handed my marriage to Him and waited for things to be done in His timing, not mine. I was waiting for His intervention. Through that, God taught me patience and perseverance. Three months later, he returned home!

I am so thankful that our love story didn't end there, that it did indeed have more chapters to it. The reward of restoration was well worth the wait. And I am eternally thankful that our love was rescued by God ♥ I adore the beautiful God-scripted love story I have.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9



LOVE, RESPECT AND GODLY SUBMISSION {RESPECT}


We’ve all heard the saying Men are from mars, women are from Venus. We all know that's not true, obviously. But what is true is God created men and women equally but differently, very differently. We have different designs, different roles and different responsibilities.

God created men with a need to have respect from their wife. Women were created with a desire to receive love from their husband. So many times during an argument a wife will react without respect which will make the husband react without love. That creates an ugly, vicious cycle.

Men need to know that they are adequate, that they are enough and that they are worthy of our respect. How often do we truly show our husbands the respect they desire?

So, I know this girl who has a hot, quick temper and a big, fat mouth and she can cut to the bone with words. She grew up speaking her mind, using harsh words to get her point across. It didn't mean there was a lack of love for that person, it simply meant she had a point to make. Fast-forward to current day. We now live in an age where it's common and popular to portray men as idiots, fools and overgrown adolescents. Think of how many sitcoms feature an "inadequate husband and wife who knows everything". And I absolutely admit, I have given in to the how in the world would men ever survive without us dynamic. Biblically, I would probably be stoned for my insolence. My husband is a pretty easygoing person, which made it easy for me to step into the role of dictator and look down my nose at him. I tend to micromanage, control, nag and critique. It’s my nature, but it's not respectful—or loving! And it is something this strong-willed wife is working on, daily.

God’s design for marriage is laid out in Ephesians 5. Remember last week we revealed that our marriage was designed specifically to mirror our relationship between Christ and His church. God intended marriage to mirror His relationship with the church so that we could basically be a testimony to others and SHOW them what God is like. That should change the way we look at our marriage.

Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. 
Ephesians 5:33

I’ve read this verse over and over again. It doesn't say respect your husband only when you feel he deserves it, it doesn't say he has to GIVE respect to GET respect and it's certainly not up to us to deem when he is worthy of it. God was pretty clear with this verse, the wife MUST respect her husband. Period. Unless there is a Biblically moral issue at stake (in which God’s authority will supersede our husband’s).

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
Proverbs 16:24

So, I am basically a pro at pointing out my husband’s faults and failures. I can pick up on disrespect lickity-split when it's coming from someone else but can't see when I’m being totally disrespectful to my husband. If it takes you a while to catch on like me, sometimes it makes it a little easier when you can read a list. So I spoke to various Christian husbands and asked them what they saw as disrespectful. I’ve composed a little list of their answers.
  • nagging
  • speaking badly of him in front of others and belittling him
  • not spending time with him
  • always complaining, no matter what he does
  • yelling at him
  • undermining his authority
  • not giving him the attention he craves
  • withholding sex and using it to manipulate a situation
  • cutting him off mid-sentence
  • shifting blame to him
  • being demanding
  • body language - sighing, frowning while you talk and eye rolling
  • criticizing him
  • putting yourself first rather than him and your family
  • not having confidence in his decision making
  • showing other men attention rather than him
Every man has his own definition of disrespect and what actions show him that. There are some things that basically every man would find disrespectful and some things that are just specific to your husband. What matters the absolute most is what your husband finds disrespectful. Ask your husband what actions these are and make a mental note of them, or write them down in your journal. Ask him what actions really speak respect to him also. You’ll know which actions to phase out and which ones to increase. Pay attention to all his answers.

As wives, we have so much power to destroy our husbands or to build them up. We need to learn to be respectful wives who value our husbands’ leadership. We need to honor Christ with every word and action! I would bet if we showed them more respect they would show us more love. When a wife respects her husband it deepens her love for him. So really, it's a win win situation for everyone :) Lots of respect and lots of love, sounds pretty amazing to me. Godly submission and respect not only adorns the gospel; it makes us beautiful as well.


{SEMI} WORDLESS WEDNESDAY


Let’s Pretend We’re Normal {Book Review}


Let’s Pretend We’re Normal:
Adventures in Rediscovering How to Be a Family 
by Tricia Lott Williford

About the book:
“Mr Responsible died, suddenly and tragically. He was sick for only twelve hours. … A thief named sepsis stole his breath and his heartbeat, and his spirit slipped right through Curly Girl’s fingers, even as she tried to save him on the floor of their bedroom only two days before Christmas.”
Two years ago, I read Tricias book And Life Comes Back. In that book, her grief was raw and tangible, I felt as if I was there experiencing it with her. Many times the tears were running down my face. Her strength is so evident in her words. Every page shined with the evidence of her rock solid faith.

I knew this book would be equally as good, and it was.

I fully expected the story to be of how Tricia and her two young sons got back on their feet after her husband’s death to be such a sad one. But it wasn’t.

What we see is a mother trying to explain to two little boys where God is in all this.  Many times I tried to put myself naively in her shoes, wondering if I would have the strength that she exhibits.  The three of them worked together through the different stages of grief.  If I am ever in the position she is in, I pray I have the strength and grace that she does.

One thing that Tricia is so good at is humor.  And thank goodness for that!  I'm an emotional girl, so the humor gave my tears a little time to dry.  It's humor that so, so many of us can relate to!  Don't get me wrong, there was lots heart tugging as well.
WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided this book to me for free in exchange for this honest review as part of their Blogging for Books program.

Forgiven {Book Review}


Forgiven
The Amish School Shooting, a Mother's Love, and a Story of Remarkable Grace
by Terri Roberts

About the book:
Who would have believed all the beauty God would create over the nine years since that awful day. On October 2, 2006, a gunman entered an Amish one-room schoolhouse, shooting ten girls, killing five, then finally taking his own life. This is his mother's story. Not only did she lose her precious son through suicide, but she also lost her understanding of him as an honorable man. Her community and the world experienced trauma that no family or community should ever have to face.

But this is, surprisingly, a story of hope and joy--of God revealing his grace in unexpected places. Today Terri lives in harmony with the Amish and has built lasting relationships that go beyond what anyone could have thought possible. From the grace that the Amish showed Terri's family from day one, to the visits and ongoing care Terri has given to the victims and their families, no one could have foreseen the love and community that have been forged from the fires of tragedy.

Let Terri's story inspire and encourage you as you discover the wonder of forgiveness
and the power of God to bring beauty from ashes.
A few years ago, I read a book written by Marie Monville. She was the wife of Charlie Roberts, the man who committed a brutal massacre at an Amish schoolhouse.  This book is written by his mother.

Terri shares about what happened on the day of the shooting and how it affected her, her family and the Amish community which they lived.

What still astounds me is how the Amish families quickly forgave the Roberts family. I read it in the first book and I watched it in Amish Grace, the movie about this shooting. They didn't blame them for what their son had done, instead they extended grace to them nearly immediately.

What happened after the funerals and as time went on was just as incredible. The families continued to reach out and open their homes to the Roberts family. The Roberts family continued to check in on the families, and became friends (and even family) with them.

This story will absolutely touch your heart and will be one you won't soon forget. This is an amazing read, I highly recommend it!

This book was provided to me free of charge by Bethany House in return for my honest review. The opinions i have expressed are my own.

The Day Is Finally Here


We are leaving for our vaca! I cannot wait to spend an entire week with my loves. I have big plans of laying on the beach daily, shark free please. I can't wait to do my morning devotions while sitting by the ocean watching the sun rise. And walking the boardwalk every evening, while enjoying super yummy food. I'm not taking my laptop along, so no pics this year until we get back. I made the executive decision that this is a fam vacation to spend time together, technology free. Although I'm sure there will be an Instagram pic here or there!

PS...what I won't be doing this vaca is riding those willy nilly bikes that you can rent on the boardwalk in the early morning.  I had a bad experience with those when I was little.  I may or may not have knocked down a little Chinese man.  And peddled away quickly while he yelled at me in a different language.  No desire to go through that again.  None.


LOVE, RESPECT AND GODLY SUBMISSION {GODS DESIGN}


Hey y'all! Thanks for joining me for our July Bible Study on Godly submission! I'm so excited about this! I did this study a few years ago and learned so much from it, I'm super excited to go through it again with you!

Submission is a word that holds many definitions among the world. Offensive, not acceptable, inferior, controlling and not politically correct are among the few. But yet, It's something we, as Christian wives, are called to do.

First, let me share my story...

As a woman who spent her entire life striving to be viewed as strong and independent, the thought of being submissive to anyone, let alone my husband, scared me to death. And I have to say, at first it made me angry. So angry that I completely rebelled against it and refused it. Yep, I was a child rebelling against what my Father had not only told, but commanded me to do.

Are you serious Jesus? Um, hello...I’m Amy...the girl that took the words "honor and obey" out of her vows for a reason! And now you want me to be submissive to my husband? Seriously? (On a quick side note, completely embarrassed and mortified that I actually took that out of my vows. What in the world was my 20 year old mind thinking?)

And He answered loud and clear..."YEP"

Wow, okay...deep breaths, I can do this...

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Ephesians 5:22-24 22 

Definition of submission: The word SUBMIT, according to Strong’s Lexicon is the Greek word hupotaso which was originally a Greek military term meaning “to arrange troop divisions under the command of a leader”. In non-military use, it was “a voluntary attitude of giving in, of cooperating, of sharing a burden. In other words, when the word submit is used in the Bible, it refers not only to a yielding and obedient attitude of the heart, but also, and equally importantly, to an attitude of co-operation and support. Without co-operation and support, things just don’t work the way they should.

What is submission? Submission is the acceptance of God’s order for our lives. As wives, we are to submit to Christ and submit to our husbands. Submission by a wife is to be voluntary. It’s part of our obedience to the Lord. There aren't conditions to this submission either. We are called to submit to our husbands, even if we feel they don't deserve it. We are to trust in their leadership, even if we don't agree with it and submit to them even if we feel they aren't meeting their roles.

Christian marriage is intended to be a picture of the relationship between Christ and His church. Let me say that again, because it blew my mind when I first learned it. Our marriage was designed specifically to mirror our relationship between Christ and His church. We are acting out a living parable where husbands represent Christ and wives represent the church to bring glory to God and to help our children and others around us grasp what God is like in a more concrete way. Does that change the way you look at marriage? It sure did with me. God intended marriage to mirror His relationship with the church so that we could basically be a testimony to others and SHOW them what God is like.

A marriage with Godly submission should be a faithful, intimate and loving relationship. Boy, doesn't that sound like a far cry from what the world tells us submission is?
So it turns out submission isn't a sign of weakness, like this silly girl thought all along, it's a sign of respect! And of course I want to honor and respect my husband, I love him.

What submission is not: Submission is not abusive. God does not want women to be submissive to abusers. As wives, we have to be confident of our husband’s goodwill. Remember, the command to wives to submit to their husbands is followed by the command to husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave his life for her (Ephesians 5:25). In cases of abuse, there is a mighty need for an intervention and Godly counsel. If you are in an abusive relationship, I would urge you to reach out tofocus ministries. It’s a Biblical based non-profit organization that offers counseling by phone, email, or in person. They want you to know you aren't alone and you are oh so valuable to God!!!

Submission also shouldn't be used for leverage. Submission absolutely comes with no strings attached. It is a heart desire to please God and do what is best for your family. I mean really, what wife doesn't want to live in peace? Don’t we all desire that? There is such an inner peace that comes from living in harmony with our husbands while obeying God.

As women, we are quite good at knowing how to manipulate our husbands to get them to do what we want. Oh come on girls, we all know we've done it at one time or another. That is definitely not submission. And it's something we should never, ever do.

Chuck Swindoll said this about submission:
Webster says that manipulation means “to control or play upon by unfair or insidious means, especially to one’s own advantage or to serve one’s own purpose.” In other words, secret manipulation is an unfair, insidious technique that results in getting what one wants. When handled cleverly, a wife can substitute secret manipulation for a quiet, submissive spirit. 
Why is submission so hard? And why is this so hard for me? It’s from a lack of surrender. Because I am, by nature, a controller. That controlling nature is nothing more than pride and sin bubbling to the surface. And the thoughts of not having control over a situation scares-me-to-death. But I believe God’s advice and His will to be the best for my life. Even if I don’t fully understand it, I trust Him. With that being said, I somehow had to figure it out because I don't want to live my life is disobedience. So I asked God to teach me what it means.

Often we wives are afraid of losing control (and by "we wives" I really mean this wife right here) and WE get in the way of creating the marriages we ache for. You know, the one where we have a strong, confident, Godly man, who loves us like Christ loves the church. I know this girl certainly wants that type of marriage.

So this week, be an asset to your husband and try your best to learn what submission looks like in a Godly marriage. Don’t forget to stop back next Friday as we take a look at the beauty of submission. Remember, keep your eyes on Him!

{SEMI} WORDLESS WEDNESDAY