Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Caught red handed

I did something yesterday, I haven't done it in a while, but man it felt good and bad at the same time.
After school, I took the kids to the mall. I bought some clothes for the kids, which is a must have, however, the way I went about paying was where I went wrong. I knew what I was doing was wrong, and I did it anyway. Our budget started in January and now that we are 8 months in, I have seen where we need to add more money to get by. Al isn't quite at the point where he agrees to "adding more money" his mentality is "you need to spend LESS" Good point honey. It's a tough balance and having a "shopoholic" in me waiting to climb out at any moment, it's a struggle. Well, I went to the mall, spent a lot of money and I had no cash; therefore it wasn't a "planned ahead" shopping trip which is what Al's preference is, and furthermore, I spent more in that one shopping trip that we have budgeted in a WHOLE MONTH! I pulled out my debit card to pay for not one, but TWO big transactions. I came home with the kids, pleasant with the deals I got on the clothes that they needed (well, they didn't need *all* of them, but that's where my weakness comes in!)

I got home and organized the kids' closet. Found a place for our new finds. Put the bags away and the receipts away and took a sigh of relief that Al didn't come home before I was done.

Here is where I admit that back in the day, I would have left it at that. Al would not have been informed of my spending spree and my prayer was that he wouldn't find out when our statements come because I would have promptly put those away too. (Bad wife! Bad Wife!!)

I've learned how incredibly damaging that can be and how it just kills trust. So, awareness is the first step right?

I knew deep down I needed to come clean about my shopping yesterday. I just have been a little bit on egg shells with Al because he's been working really hard, coming home really tired and doesn't have a lot of time to deal with his wife and her mess ups. We weren't being very kind to one another last night while in bed. I am stressed because I have to get to bed way earlier trying to force my body to realize it's bedtime even though just a few days ago, I was staying up WAY later while enjoying summer. Al watches TV to "settle in" and we constantly disagree on what he watches and how he could keep the volume down a bit. Ongoing dilemma!! I got cranky with him, and in the midst of it, he had the nerve to ask me if I had gone shopping. WHAT?!?! I thought to myself "How did he know" and in a tongue in cheek type of moment, I grunted out "no". God slapped my hand when I said "no" he and I both know that was a flat out lie. That lie haunted me through the whole night, I slept horribly. I didn't even mean to say "no" but I really was exhausted from bantering back and forth with my husband and I just didn't have it in me to have a conversation about how I had screwed up. I promised God that I would make it right and kept tossing and turning while trying to sleep.

The sun is up on this new day and I started it alone. Al was not in bed, he had already left for work. I got Acilia off to school, Miles and I are home doing some things around the house. Al calls me. He had called to apologize for the way he was acting last night "I forgive you and the good news is, you have many more times to keep trying not to do that, I will forgive you then too"

Then I said it "I lied to you last night" it sends shivers just typing it. Lying is a big bad thing and if I hadn't opened with those hard to get out words, when would I have told him? It had to be done, I promised God I would tell him.
I explained that I did infact go shopping, and that I did infact use the debit card when we have agreed to use only the money that is budgeted for shopping and nothing else. He was very kind to me while I explained my crime. I appreciated that. Probably more than he knows.

Marriage is such a balance. It builds on small acts throughout each day, some are bigger than others, but you can not move on until those things are solved. Period.

Monday, August 29, 2011

With the end; comes a beginning

I posted about the end of summer; which rounds out to today sharing how Acilia's first of school went.
It was a half day. The school does that to "ease" the kids back in to class. One of the joys of a Lutheran school is that the first day of school starts with chapel. All of the students under the church roof, lot's of parents and a joyous service with singing, sermon and the "declaration" of a new year! St. John's school opened it's 123rd year. WOW! Amazing. I was saddened to find out that Acilia's teacher from last year will be retiring at the end of the year. I feel so blessed that Acilia had her and she deserves her retirement, but boy will we miss her!!

To back up a bit, I have to add how adorable Acilia looked in her light pink polo and khaki skirt with pink knee high socks and black mary jane shoes. Adorable, really, until Miles spilled my coffee allll over Acilia's shirt. She was royally peeved, I could see it on her face, and she was embarressed too. Rightfully so. She shook it off within a minute or two and held her head high as she walked into the classroom. My sweet girl.

After chapel, Miles and I went to visit my friend Hilary and her *three* kids. She has two boys close to Miles age, and she just had a sweet little strawberry blonde teeny tiny baby girl a few weeks ago! Miles and I were so excited to meet her and I thought it would be the perfect thing to do while Acilia was in school for a few hours.

Time quickly came to pick Acilia up from school. She came out with a smile on her face (and holding the feathers she had put in her hair in MAY! Guess the first day of school is a good day for them to fall out! Ha)
In the car we had our "end of the day talk" I asked all the questions I could until my heart was content. Cya soaked it up! I told her "I'm going to stop asking questions now, so you don't get sick of talking about it" she said "Keep asking, ask anything you want" :)

Overall, she rated her day an 8. It would have been a 10, had it not been for the coffee fiasco! Her highlights were getting to go outside, and having snacktime :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Summers End

I associate the school year, with the beginning and end of summer. I know technically the first day of Fall isn't until next month. Today is the last day as far as I am concerned. Tomorrow, Acilia starts 3rd grade. It's been on my mind all week. The looming "end of summer". I look forward to summer all year and to think it's over in a blink, just irritates me! I feel blessed that Acilia's school started later than most of the schools in the area, everyone else is already "in the mode" after a week of being back in the swing of things. But our "mode" starts tomorrow. The tough reality is my alarm is set for 6 in the morning. I haven't had my alarm set that early for 3 months! I've enjoyed the leisure of getting up whenever I want and enjoying the days with my kids. Today I awoke and wanted to have some fun with the kids. I know it's not our last chance ever to have fun, but when shool starts so does the race against time it seems. The hustle and bustle of responsibility. Today was our last ditch effort to live it up summer style! We first visited my parents house for lunch. Then it was off to Jaynesway Farm for pony rides. They have a nice little path that goes over a bridge, and is shaded by the trees. Acilia loved when Miles was on the pony, she got to lead. She's been practicing leading a horse during horse lessons, so it was nice to put the practice to use. Then Acilia's turn came to ride. It seems a little silly to have an 8 year old enjoying a pony ride, but she still does. Thoroughly! :) And she's more than 20 pounds under the weight limit, so I think she will take advantage as long as she can. After pony rides, we walked around the barns and saw many many many horses in the stalls. The kids love saying hello to all the horses. We finished up at the barn and then headed to a nature park nearby. Miles and I went last year once in the summer, Acilia had never been. It's set up really neat with trails in the woods and a bridge that goes over a ravine. There is a nature center too that is set up so kids can explore bugs, nature foot prints, snakes, etc. Fun times!! My favorite part is the "honey bee box" it's set up with a small entry from the outside so bees can come in and out as they please. The box is clear and it shows how the bees make the honey. We got home a little bit ago, dinner was eaten now the kids are playing outside for a short while before it's bathtime and bedtime! Back to work tomorrow! (UGH!)

Respect your husband 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.

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss 
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses 
require written permission. 
Revive Our Hearts   *   P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI  49120   *   www.ReviveOurHearts.com

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Respect your husband challenge Day 23

Day Twenty-three:
"Let your speech always be with grace..." Col. 4:6a
You're moving toward the home stretch of your 30-day challenge! Just a reminder of
what you've committed:
"You can't say anything negative about your husband... to your husband...or to anyone
else, about your husband. "Each day, say something that you admire or appreciate
about your husband...to your husband...and to someone else, about your husband!
"In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works..." Titus 2:7a
Does the "30-Day Encouragement Challenge" seem like hard work? Or is it becoming a
pleasant exercise in genuine Christ-likeness in your home? You are only scratching the
surface of ways to encourage your mate.
Is your husband organized? Is he diligent? Is he persistent? These are all related to a
pattern of personal disciplines that are worthy of your praise. Affirm him for one or more
of these traits that you see in him.
Some men have not developed these qualities because they are naturally more
spontaneous. You can praise his spontaneity! Perhaps God has called you alongside to
help him with disciplines he has not yet developed - but this does not include nagging.
You can keep him organized.
Whatever the need, you can be your husband's cheerleader, encouraging him when he
wants to give up.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Respect your husband challenge Day 22

Day Twenty-two:
"Let your speech always be with grace..." Col. 4:6a
Focus today on how you represent your husband in your home, your church, and your
community. In this challenge to encourage, ask: "If all my family and friends knew about
my husband came from a filter of what I've said about him, what would they think of my
husband?" Do you need to change the filter?
Do you talk positively about your husband to others... or do you complain and criticize?
Your speech should reflect 1 Cor. 13 love. Your words should be kind, and should never
"rejoice in iniquity" (v. 6). Refrain from listing your husband's faults to others. Satan likes
to trick us in this area - be wary of sharing barbed "prayer requests."
Remember, "Love will cover a multitude of sins" (1 Pet. 4:8b). Present your husband
before others today in a strong, positive manner. Slip in a "good word" for your spouse.
Resist the urge to correct or belittle him in front of others. Some of what you say may
come back to him - and you want your words to be sweet, building him up and never
tearing him down.
Don't forget: you are always criticizing - or encouraging - before an audience. God hears
your conversations when you are alone with your husband in your own home. May your
speech be always seasoned with grace.

While you are considering how your speech can reflect the grace of the Lord in your
husband's life, don't forget that your words can also encourage others. When you share
what God is doing in your life through this "30-Day Encouragement Challenge", others
will be blessed. Perhaps other wives will be moved to take up this challenge.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Respect your husband challenge Day 21

Day Twenty-one:
"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be
added to you." Matt. 6:33
If we are living in light of eternity, everything we think, do or say is seen from an eternal
perspective. We will someday give an account for our failure to speak words of love and
encouragement. Determine today that your words will be sweet and helpful.
Does your husband have an eternal perspective that allows him to reject materialism
and temporal values? Express your gratefulness for his value system, and praise him
for putting eternal things before riches and other things of this world.
If this is a problem area for him, consider how you might alter your own value system
and live for eternity in front of him, encouraging him to do the same. Only two things will
go into eternity...the Word of God and people. Be sure that you are focusing on the right

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I did it!

I started school in 2008...to begin my long journey towards stepping out of stay at home mom and stepping into RN. There are many many MANY hoops to jump through in the process of preparing for nursing school. There was one in particular I've been putting off. Anatomy and Physiology. The class intimidates me. I've heard horror stories. It's something that must be done though, and I've put it off long enough. Today was my first night of class. I sat through it, and was relieved that the instructor wasn't speaking a language I couldn't comprehend. I actually followed along quite well with complete understanding. I think this class will be ok! Good thing too, because a few of my fellow CNA students starting nursing school today. That was a bit of a kick in the gut. I'm SO happy for them, but I am ready for it to be my turn. I don't at all regret taking the "slow and steady" route. I have taken one class per semester, so my focus can be on each class, yet still remain on my 2 little lovelies! If all goes well, I will apply to the program at the beginning of next year, and *I* will be the one starting nursing school at this time next year. It's so exciting to think about, I must remind myself to keep taking it slow though! I am too close to mess it up now!!

And, complete and total side note: the last few nights I've been trying to break my nighttime snacking habit. Woooo, not going well tonight at all! I started well, then rapidly started downhill. It is now 12:07 am (SHOULD BE IN BED HELLO!!) and I am sitting here snacking on twizzlers instead! UGHUGHUGHUGH!!!

Respect your husband challenge Day 20

Day Twenty:
"And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ
also forgave you." Eph. 4:32
It's time for some heart examination. As you continue in this 30-day challenge, have you
found any roots of bitterness that are contaminating your relationship with your
husband? Do you understand that as long as you are unwilling to forgive your husband -
by God's grace and in His power - you will not be able to encourage him? Your own
resentment will keep getting in the way. Now is the time to deal with any unforgiving
attitudes. Forgive him, even as God has forgiven you.
Is your husband a forgiving man? Does he keep short accounts of your problems?
Express your thankfulness for such a man.
Does your husband - rightly or wrongly - harbor grudges against you? Again, are there
things you need to change, or do you need to ask for his forgiveness for an offense?
Help your husband be more forgiving by quickly forgiving him for his mistakes.

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss 
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses 
require written permission. 
Revive Our Hearts   *   P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI  49120   *   www.ReviveOurHearts.com

Monday, August 22, 2011

Respect your husband challenge Day 19

Day Nineteen:
Read this description of a wife's description of her beloved - Song of Solomon 5:10-16
Criticism leaves scars; but encouragement can bring healing. Remember that today as
you focus on your "30-Day Encouragement Challenge."
Almost nothing is as devastating to a man as the belief that his wife finds him repulsive.
Sadly, many women unwisely criticize their husbands' bodies.
Have you ever considered how wonderfully God designed men and women? No matter
how a man looks - by the standards of the world - a loving God designed them all, and
they are all "beautiful" in His sight. Encourage your husband today by praising his
As you look over your husband's body, from the tip of his toes to his bald or bushy head,
thank God that your husband is "wonderfully made," then admire your husband verbally.
(Strong arms? Hairy chest? Firm hands? Big feet? Rugged chin? Wide shoulders?
Compassionate eyes? Broad smile?)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

August 20th, 2004

Al and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary yesterday.
The day started with rain. Exactly like our wedding day.
I was disappointed because we had plans to enjoy nature with one another 
we had a sitter for a few hours in the afternoon, then my parents were keeping the kids overnight.
We were excited to get a night together, just the two of us!
As quickly as the rain came in, it left. The afternoon turned absolutely gorgeous!
Exactly like our wedding day. I remember it so clearly. I walked into the salon to get my hair and make up done that day.
It was miserable outside. I was pretty miserable inside too.
No bride wants rain on her wedding day.
I came out with hair and make up done, the sun was out.
I felt like a bride.
The sun came out yesterday, I felt alive!
Al and I went into downtown Geneva where we rented a tandem bicycle to ride up the Fox River.
What a fun experience!! The beginning was marked with me laughing uncontrollably! That bike was quite an experience and having Al in control of our everything, left me quite vulnerable. It was a great time! :)
We rode into the next town, went to the Fabyan Villa and rode through the grounds where it's all kept up by the forest preserve. Beautiful! 
It was time to return our bicycle. We rode back and then enjoyed homemade ice cream cones.
We went home to a quiet house. That was rather odd. We have two kids, having them both out of the house at the same time is rare. We enjoyed the quiet and started watching the "uncut" footage of our wedding day.
Nice memories are brought forth by videography. 
We then got ready to go to dinner.
We were in the mood for a nice steak dinner. We went to a place in Downtown Naperville called Sullivan's steakhouse. The wait was long. We had no reservations. I guess we are out of the loop with going out on Saturday night at prime dinner time. We sat at the bar for the time, enjoyed people watching and the live band. The time came for our table and I wasn't even really hungry anymore. Al ordered a bigger filet, I shared a few bites of that :) We each got huge baked potatoes. Tasty meal!
It was time to leave, it was raining again. The rain was refreshing. Always is in the evening hours.
We went home again and sat for a little bit. Watched more of our wedding video.
The Dupage County fairgrounds was hosting an all night flea market. Al and I thought it would be fun to visit. I had never been to one and Al hasn't gone since he was a kid. We walked around marveling at all the "random junk" that was on display. I walked out pretty convinced I wouldn't need to visit another flea market anytime soon. It wasn't a horrible experience and it was fun to be out so late in the night. We got there at about 11:30 pm and stayed until about 1:30 am. I came home with some quartz crystals, my favorite by far being the amethyst one I brought home. Al promised to get some something sparkley, he delivered :)
We poured ourselves into bed at close to 3 am. We took full advantage of the evening to ourselves.
It was such a treat to spend the time with my husband and not have any obligations to fulfill with the kids. We took full advantage of sleeping in too. I woke up to read the clock at 11:41. WHAT?! I can't remember the last time I slept that late. The kids are home now, the memories of our 7th anniversary will be up there as one of my favorites for sure. We always try to do something special on the day we celebrate our marriage. I am so thankful for the stability we have been blessed with this past year. Prayers answered!

Respect your husband challenge Day 18

Day Eighteen:
"You will show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy...Happy are the
people whose God is the LORD!" Ps. 16:11a; 144:15b
"A merry heart does good like medicine..." Prov. 17:22a
It's hard to criticize others when we are enjoying their company. Instead of speaking
negatively to your husband today, enjoy him! Encourage him! As you experience
fullness of joy with God, share some of that joy with your husband.
Does your husband have a playful side? A great sense of humor? Is there a "little boy"
that wants to escape from time to time, reflecting the joy in his heart?
This is a wonderful part of who he is, and a great strength. Let him know that you
appreciate his joyfulness and his playful spirit. Find opportunities to join him in positive
play times.
If your husband can sometimes be overly serious, coax him out occasionally for some
play times. It will help him relieve stress and relax.

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss 
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses 
require written permission. 
Revive Our Hearts   *   P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI  49120   *   www.ReviveOurHearts.com

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Respect your husband challenge Day 17

Day Seventeen:
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One
is understanding." Prov. 9:10
Are you a wise woman? Do you open your mouth with wisdom, as Proverbs 31:26
suggests? As you continue in your 30-day challenge, remember that a wise woman
encourages her husband.
Is your husband a "wise man?" Does he have a godly perspective that comes from
knowing God and walking with Him in obedience? Does he have a sense of purpose for
his life and vision for your home? Tell him how much this means to you.
If you are not sure about your husband's vision for your home, ask him, "Honey, what
do you want to accomplish with our marriage and home in the years to come?" and
"How can I help you accomplish that?" If he does not have a vision, your questions may
inspire him to develop one.
If your husband is not walking with God - or perhaps, does not know the Lord - you have
the opportunity and responsibility to practice your faith and create a thirst for God.
Thank God for giving your husband a place in his heart that only He can fill, and keep
praying that he will turn to the Lord to fill that vacuum!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Respect your husband challenge Day 16

Day Sixteen:
"And the LORD God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a
helper comparable to him." Genesis 2:18
God says that it is not good for man to be alone. But the way some women criticize their
mates, the husbands may long for solitude. Be careful today not to criticize your mate,
but look for ways to encourage him personally and publicly.
Speaking of communication, does your husband communicate with you? God has made
you a companion and helper for your husband, and part of being "one flesh" with him is
the privilege of sharing and discussing personal needs and concerns. Thank God for
that wonderful gift. Thank your husband for communicating with you.
If your spouse does not communicate as you wish, look for ways that he communicates
that are normal for him - smiling at you, nodding his head, even a pleasant "grunt!" - and
then thank him for letting you know that he cares. Perhaps he needs to be lovingly
taught how to communicate. Be patient with him...and listen when he does speak.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Respect your husband challenge Day 15

Day Fifteen:
"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ..." 2 Pet.
Sometimes we live so close to our spouse that we fail to see him as others do; we only
see our husband's faults. But take a step back. Perhaps he is growing spiritually in ways
you have failed to appreciate. How can you encourage his growth in a fresh, new way?
Remember - your husband is accountable to God for his spiritual development. You are
accountable to God to encourage and not hinder that growth.
Can you identify an area of spiritual strength in your husband? Does he pray or read his
Bible regularly? Does he like to read about or discuss spiritual matters? Does he go to
church with you? Is he a spiritual leader? What do others say about him? If you can
identify a specific area, praise him for that.
If not, pray earnestly that God will work in his heart, and watch for signs of spiritual
growth in the future.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Respect your husband challenge Day 14

Day Fourteen:
"The righteous man walks in his integrity..." Prov. 20:7a
Every week there are news reports about men who gave in to temptations and
compromised what they said they believed. We hear countless reports about dishonest
business dealings, hidden infidelity, and hypocritical leaders. It's so easy to focus on
these things and ignore those who are being honest, faithful and genuine. As you
continue in the "30-Day Encouragement Challenge," determine to look for ways that
your husband stands against the culture.
Is your spouse a man of integrity? Is he fair in his dealings with people? Does he
understand the meaning of justice? Is he honest in business? Unhypocritical in his
faith? Consider all the ways a man can live in integrity, and praise your husband for one
of them.
As you have the opportunity - as it is appropriate - share examples of your husband's
honesty and integrity with others.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Respect your husband challenge Day 13

Day Thirteen:
"I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me." Song of Solomon 7:10
The sexual relationship. It's one of those elements - along with money and children -
that can derail a marriage through negative comments. Negativity destroys intimacy, but
encouragement builds and strengthens the marriage bond.
Let's get practical here. Is your husband a "good lover?" Have you told him so? Be
specific. Let him know when he pleases you. Most husbands genuinely want to please
their wives, especially in this important area of marriage.
In moments of intimacy, do you find your mind wandering? This can change as you
focus on something wonderful about your husband. Realize that your husband wants
intimacy with you...his desire is toward you.
Does this area of your marriage need some work? Remember that this is a sensitive
area for men. Be sure to encourage his lovemaking and masculinity in positive ways.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Respect your husband challenge Day 12

Day Twelve:
"With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love."
Eph. 4:2
Part of the difficulty you may face as you continue in this 30-day challenge to encourage
your husband is that you really are struggling to find positive things to praise. Perhaps
the problem is not with your husband. Have you checked your own heart?
Sometimes we get disillusioned because of our own unreasonable or unrealistic
expectations (Prov. 13:12). It may not be that our mates are doing something wrong; it's
simply that we expect too much in some areas.
Our expectations must be met in God alone, and then we will have the right perspective
to ask God for the healing and grace we need to respond to others.
How sad that we give more grace to others than to those in our own homes. Today, try
to look at your husband through eyes of grace. Verbally thank your husband for what he
is already doing.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Respect your husband challenge Day 11

Day Eleven:
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord." Eph. 5:22
Women who are constantly negative toward their husbands - especially by speaking evil
of them to others - show great disrespect. Determine not to do that today (or ever!). This
challenge to encourage is closely connected to submission.
Men respond to women who respect them. What do you respect about your husband?
Part of that respect includes submission to his authority. Let your husband know how
respecting him makes it easier to submit to his leadership. Show your respect in public
by listening to him and smiling at him when he speaks. Place your hand in his as you
walk together.
If you feel there is nothing to respect, search harder ...nearly every man has some core
characteristic that can be nurtured and respected. In any case, you must still cultivate a
submissive spirit to his position of leadership..."as to the Lord."

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss 
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses 
require written permission. 
Revive Our Hearts   *   P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI  49120   *   www.ReviveOurHearts.com

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Respect your husband challenge Day 10

Day Ten:
"Behold you are handsome, my beloved! Yes, pleasant!..." Song of Solomon 1:16a
We all crave appreciation. We want to know that we are valued and loved. Early love
letters probably reflected our admiration, but if we're not careful, our spouse will forget
why we were drawn to him. If you still have any of your old love letters, re-read them for
clues to deepen your current level of appreciation for your spouse.
When we spend time criticizing our husbands, we lose time that could be spent
admiring them. As you consider various ways to encourage your husband, ask, "How
can I admire him?"
Does your husband know that you think he is attractive? What was one of the
characteristics in your husband that first drew you to him? Was it a physical
characteristic, or something else?
Was it his gentle, compassionate eyes? Kindness or concern for others? An easy-going
confidence? A steadiness that comes from trusting in the Lord? Strength of character in
a culture that lacks integrity? Do you see at least a glimpse of that characteristic in him
today? Whatever it is, tell him!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Respect your husband challenge Day 9

Day Nine:
"...be swift to hear, slow to speak..." James 1:19b
We are often so busy speaking that we don't take time to listen. We are so quick to offer
a comment - negative or positive - that we don't really "hear" our husband's heart.
Remember: we have two ears and only one mouth. We need to listen more!
As you continue in your 30-day challenge, not speaking negatively and focusing on
positive encouragement, hear the Lord's admonition today: "Be swift to hear."
If listening is a real problem for you, play a game with yourself. See if you can listen to
your husband for one whole day, only speaking when asked a question. If your husband
notices the difference, explain that you are learning to listen more-not only to God, but
also to him.
One easy way to express admiration for your husband is to ask a question about
something he enjoys, and then listen to his response. If it's an area of personal
familiarity, keep asking questions until you learn something you didn't know, then tell
him, "Wow, I didn't know that!

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss 
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses 
require written permission. 
Revive Our Hearts   *   P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI  49120   *   www.ReviveOurHearts.com

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Took it's toll

The economy that is. It took it's toll on our family. We are blessed in the way that Al has a job. He started a company from the ground up 5 years ago and I am amazed at how well he knows business. It's in him, he taught himself how to run a company and it will always impress me!

But, we found a house that's perfect for our family. Large yard (would be big enough for a horse; Acilia approves!!) home has a lot of room and the price is a steal!
Bank told us no. They won't give us a loan, we have a loan already and because we didn't want to lose money on this house (blood sweat and tears equity anyone?) so we were going to rent it out until the market climbs a bit.
The bank said no.
Al has excellent credit, we have only a mortgage and minimal debt from a car loan.
The bank told us no.
I knew walking into it that we would most likely be told no, let's face it, banks are skittish at this time, so many defaulted mortgages out there, who can blame them. But we would have paid our bills. Al has excellent credit because he takes his finances quite seriously.
The bank told us no.
I was so disappointed when I got off the phone with the lender that I was hoping would pre approve us.
I called Al and vented a little bit. I feel bad about that. I should have vented to God, God could have steered my emotions to a place of logic.
The bank told us no, but the good news is God says yes.
God promises blessings, he promises to care for his children. God has blessed us with a roof over our heads and a way to pay the mortgage. My family is comfortable all things considered, and I feel awful tonight about how I let a case of the "wants" get in the way of necessity. We will be staying in this house for a few more years. A few hours ago, it would have killed me to say that, as I type this though, I am blessed with a peaceful hope that everything will work out in the end.
In the meantime, we are stuck here for a few more years! Love this economy!

Respect your husband challenge Day 8

Day Eight:
How are you doing with the "30-Day Encouragement Challenge"? In case you've
forgotten, here's the challenge:
* You can't say anything negative about your husband ...to your husband...or to anyone
else, about your husband.
* Say something that you admire or appreciate about your husband...to your
husband...and to someone else, about your husband!
"...but who can find a faithful man?" Prov. 20:6b
Faithfulness is a wonderful but rare quality today, especially in regard to marriage. Do
you understand how important this quality is? Your challenge is to continue to root out
all negative speaking, and plant seeds of encouragement instead. You may be amazed
at what will grow.
Contemporary culture often entices men to be unfaithful to their wedding vows and
spiritual commitments. Appreciate your husband's faithfulness - how he is loyal to you.
Let him know that you are glad he has "stick-to-it-iveness" in your marriage. Appreciate
his faithfulness to God. (If you have an unfaithful husband, this is a difficult area for you.
Pray, speak the truth in love, remain faithful yourself, and discover ways to encourage
faithfulness in your mate. The Bible says that husbands may "...be won by the conduct
of their wives" [1 Pet. 3:1]. You may also want to seek counsel from a mature, godly
individual or couple.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Respect update

I'm checking in at this point, 7 days in, a whole week of focusing on respecting my husband. I hope you are enjoying the daily posts (for some of you it's reminders, some of you it's new lessons, some of you it's old news...) 21 more days to go. I have learned that respect comes in small, simple ways. A compliment that builds your spouse's self esteem. It's hard for me sometimes to get the words out without feeling cheesy, but goodness gracious when I *do* get them out, they are well received. Al is almost surprised to hear the words cross my lips. That both invigorates me, and makes me sad. I think he's right, I have been disrespecting him all these years. Not in a purposeful way, but I have certainly been unaware of what it means to respect your husband. It doesn't mean kissing the ground he walks on, it simply means being his cheerleader, building him up, making him feel like a man, most of all, listening to him!
"Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Proverbs 12:18

I have often times found myself feeling quite ignorant to God's wishes. What he requests is so simple and easy yet, I find it impossible to find these truths on my own. God has lead me to each and every thing I have learned in my marriage and otherwise. I can not tell you how many times I have searched for Biblical advice and found exactly what I am looking for. The BIBLE is truly, without a doubt, the instruction manual for life. It has answers for E V E R Y T H I N G ! 

On that note; have you ever felt incapable of loving, or better yet, sort of empty inside when you *should* be feeling something?
Well, that was plaguing me for a while. It seemed the closer I was to someone, the harder it was to truly love them. It was unsettling to me because love has a fantastic reputation of being wonderful and I felt like I was missing out. My first step was feeling closer to God. Of course prayer took me that route, I still pray for that. If I feel empty inside, I sit down and really think of the marvelous things that are happening inside of my spirit and I am immediately joyous and full of love. It's like I went to fuel up at the nearest "love station" :) Is that cheesy? Yes, most likely it is, but I believe that if you ask God for something inside of your heart, and your intention is sincere, God will put what you are asking for in your heart, in the way you are to deal with it in your life. 

I am beyond amazed.

Respect your husband challenge Day 7

Day Seven:
"Do not overwork to be rich; because of your own understanding, cease!...for riches
certainly make themselves wings..." Prov. 23:4-5
"That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, that I may fill their treasuries."
Proverbs 8:21
Money is the root of much marital discord. Ask yourself, "Am I being negative toward my
husband in the area of finances?" Determine not to speak evil of your husband in this
area. Discover ways to encourage and help him instead.
Does your husband handle finances wisely? Does he make good financial investments,
based on biblical principles? Does he have a budget? Does he make wise decisions
about purchases - checking many sources before he buys? Is he a good steward of his
money before the Lord? Let him know how much you appreciate his strengths in
financial matters.
If he is weak in this area, encourage any good decisions that he does make. Perhaps
you can help him, if he's open to the idea, by organizing financial files or providing other
practical assistance. Or, if he wants you to handle the finances, ask for his input before
you make decisions that will affect him.

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss 
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses 
require written permission. 
Revive Our Hearts   *   P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI  49120   *   www.ReviveOurHearts.com

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Respect your husband challenge Day 6

Day Six:
"...whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Cor. 10:31b
Do you recognize and appreciate your husband's creativity? Or do you criticize and
demean his efforts? Instead of negativity, determine to be positive. Perhaps you can
help your husband see that his efforts are an opportunity to glorify God.
Is your husband the "creative" type? Does he have any artistic gifts? What is that
special "knack" he has? Affirm him for his handiwork - a hobby, music, gardening,
tinkering with cars, working with wood, etc. Remember: Even if he doesn't measure up
to your standards, praise his efforts. If your budget allows, buy him a book or magazine
that will continue to encourage his special skill or talent.
If you have a hard time finding his "creative side," understand that men's creativity
sometimes is related to their work. Find something he does to make his job run more
smoothly or something he does that adds value to his work...and let him know that you
have noticed.
Make his day...Praise his accomplishments in public, while he is listening.

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss 
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses 
require written permission. 
Revive Our Hearts   *   P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI  49120   *   www.ReviveOurHearts.com

Monday, August 8, 2011

Respect your husband challenge Day 5

Day Five:
"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for
necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." Eph. 4:29
Another way to describe the positive side of this "30-Day Encouragement Challenge" is
by using the word "edify," which means, "to build up." Negative comments only
discourage and tear down. Positive comments encourage and build.
Do you edify your husband before others, adding to his value in their eyes? This is
especially important to other family members.
Do you praise your husband to his relatives, and yours? Does your husband's mother
know how much you love him? How about your dad? Perhaps you can drop a word of
praise into a conversation or letter. Be creative in letting your relatives know that you
respect your husband, love him, and support him - in spite of whatever flaws and
weaknesses he may have.

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses
require written permission.
Revive Our Hearts * P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI 49120 * www.ReviveOurHearts.com

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Respect your husband challenge Day 4

Day Four:
"...let him labor, working with his hands what is good..." Eph. 4:28
We are all accountable for the things we say, both negative and positive words. Have
you embraced the challenge to speak only positive things to your husband and to others
about him? Here's a suggestion that touches the core of your husband's world.
Some women take their husband's career for granted, and they show it in many ways.
Do you "dump" on your husband at the end of the workday, or do you strengthen and
encourage him with your words? A wise wife will make her husband feel that she values
and appreciates his work. Let him know that you are glad he is a hard worker. Take
opportunities to praise his diligence and resourcefulness to others.
If your husband is out of work, unable to work, or refuses to work, you'll need to be more
creative. Praise him for a character quality that you see in him that would be a vital part
of a successful career - such as persistence, decisiveness, strength, an analytical mind,
organizational skills, good with people, good listener, determination, etc.

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss 
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses 
require written permission. 
Revive Our Hearts   *   P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI  49120   *   www.ReviveOurHearts.com

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Respect your husband challenge Day 3

Day Three:
"...love suffers long, and is kind..." 1 Cor. 13:4
"And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ
Jesus." Phil. 4:19
Love indeed suffers long and is kind. As you consider your Encouragement Challenge,
determine today that you will not say anything negative to or about your husband.
Speak kindly to him with words of genuine encouragement.
If your husband is considerate of your needs, let him know that you have noticed. Thank
him for his kindness and consideration. Thank the Lord that your husband knows how to
be both tough and tender.
Sometimes it's difficult for a man to be gentle, kind or tender - especially if he hasn't had
role models in these areas. If he's not a considerate person, appeal to him for help
without complaining. Let him know that it's hard for you to handle some things alone.
Then, when he moves in to help, don't insist that he do it your way. Be glad that he is
responding, and express your gratitude.
Ultimately, you can't expect your husband to make you feel more secure, loved, etc.
Remember that only God can meet the deepest needs of your heart.

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses
require written permission.
Revive Our Hearts * P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI 49120 * www.ReviveOurHearts.com

Friday, August 5, 2011

Five Question Friday

It's been a while since I've done one of these...fun questions this week! I must partake :)

Rules for Five Question Friday: First and foremost...HAVE FUN!! Oh, and copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for mylinky post appear Friday morning!

1. Do you have siblings and are you close with them?
I have a brother. I had always dreamed of having a younger brother or sister. Never happened. Oh well :) I'm an adult now, I am over it...(or not! LOL!)
Yes, I am close with him. I am close with his wife and 4 kids too! I am blessed to have such a great family!

2. Would you rather be slightly UNDER weight or slightly OVER weight?
Without a doubt UNDERWEIGHT!!! I am "normal" weight for my height and I constantly feel like a beached whale! I hate that feeling! LOL!

3. What's your favorite State Fair food to splurge on?
I can't think of one. We ate a lot of ice cream cones this year at the fair...but I pretty much splurge on ice cream all the time, so can't quite narrow it down to "fair food" :) 

4. What are your thoughts on your kid(s) going to school in a few weeks?
It bums me out and I want to make the most of the last little bit we have of summer. I enjoy the routine the school year brings, but summer is my absolute most coveted time of year, the free time, the late nights, the long sun days, the smells, the heat, the swimming, the laughs, the everything about it!!!

5. Pool or Ocean?
For swimming, a pool. Hands down. Chlorine is WAY better than salt! Bleck!
However, there is nothing like hearing the constant waves when you are near the ocean. So relaxing and beautiful!

Respect your husband challenge Day 2

Day Two:
"...through love serve one another." Gal. 5:13b
How did you do yesterday with your first day of blessing and encouraging your
husband? Was it easy? Was it hard to hold your tongue when you wanted to say
something negative? We hope you're off to a good start. (If you blew it, don't give up -
start again today!) There are so many practical things you can praise, if you look for
Today, find some way that your husband is serving you or your family. Does he help
around the house? Take care of the car? Fix things that are broken? If your budget
allows, give him a new, small tool with a big bow attached. But make sure he doesn't
think it's part of a "Honey Do" list! Maybe your husband's not a handyman, but does he run errands for you? Let you go first? Take care of you when you are sick? Help you make decisions? Praise him for his
willingness to serve others. Let him know that you see his unique service as a great strength.

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss 
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses 
require written permission. 
Revive Our Hearts   *   P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI  49120   *   www.ReviveOurHearts.com

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Embarking on a challenge

I am ashamed to admit, my husband feels I don't respect him. This revelation out of him never ceases to leave me scratching my head. *I* feel like I respect him. Knowing he feels this way though, leaves me with the duty to make it a mission of mine for him to feel that I do infact fulfill his need for respect.

Here's when the challenge comes in.
Google is a great thing, I was literally able to type in "How to let your husband know you respect him" and get a plethora of answers. I came across a great 30 day challenge and am willing to see if at the end of my 30 days, if my husband has noted any changes.
It's safe to say he doesn't read my blog, so I will state here my goal is to NOT tell him that I am doing this challenge, to see legitimately if it works.

Anyone care to join me?
Anyone care to hold me accountable??
I will post each day what the challenge is for the day and hopefully after 30 days is up, I will have some results to report!

Here we go!

 Day One:

We're so glad you've decided to accept the "30-Day Encouragement Challenge" to
encourage your husband! Your decision means that you truly want to be a blessing in
your home. This challenge will also result in spiritual growth in your own life.
We'd like to encourage you to keep track of what God does in your marriage over this
next month. We hope you'll take time to share what God does in your home as you
bless and encourage your spouse.

"The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does
him good and not evil all the days of her life." Prov. 31:11-12
To refresh your memory...here's the 30-Day Encouragement Challenge...for the next 30
* You can't say anything negative about your husband ...to your husband...or to anyone
else, about your husband.
* Say something that you admire or appreciate about your husband...to your
husband...and to someone else, about your husband!
To help you get started, have you ever thanked your husband for "choosing you" above
all other women? He found you attractive as a person, and appreciated you. Though
many circumstances in your marriage may have changed, let your husband know that
you are glad God led you together, and that you want to be a blessing to him for the rest
of your marriage. Let him know that he can trust you to be in his corner.
One of the best opportunities to express your gratitude is first thing in the morning. How
do you greet your husband each morning? Is he confident in your love? Give him a
"wake up call" that he'll never forget-a big "I love you" and an "I'm so glad I'm your wife!"

A little note

Just so you know, I LOVE comments. Love them :) I am so glad I learned the "show email" trick, because I reply to the comments through email. Not here. If you are a "private" blogger, don't be discouraged, this note is for you!! I read each and every comment that comes through and I always want to reply, seems silly to come here to reply though, because I know back when I was a "private" blogger, I didn't go back to check replies on comments I had made on blogs.

So, just so you know, I am replying now, thank you for your comments!! If you open up your email, I will reply directly to you. Promise!! :)

Incase you want your comments replied to, it's a simple fix. Go to "dashboard" click next to your profile image where it says "edit profile" go under "privacy" and be sure to click "show email".
You will open yourself up to all sorts of replies and validations for the words you take time to share!! :) :) :)

OR, just link me to your blog, I will be sure to visit!

Thanks peeps!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Two randoms

I have two things on my mind tonight. School and a house.

We have had in mind that we want to move since 2008. The economy and Al's health have been what have kept us from moving. There is a house I went to see today, it's been "haunting" us. I went to see it back in 2008 when it was up for sale for (ready for this??) over $100,000 DOLLARS more than it's listed for now!!! I still can't believe it. The price now is because it's a bank owned property. It's vacant and needs some work, but it's in sound shape and it would be a place my family could be very comfortable!! To run down, it's on 1.3 acres (Acilia's dream of owning a horse someday COULD come true at this house, that alone makes me giddy to think about!!) it has 3 bedrooms plus a loft that we could someday turn into a 4th bedroom if baby #3 ever works into our cards. I can't get it out of my mind. I have a way of obsessing over things when I am pondering something big. How to make it work, CAN we make it work!?!? Afterall, we do still have the house we live in. The simple solution would be to rent it out until the economy gets better, so we don't have to lose money on hubby's hard work and dedication when we purchased it. In a nutshell, that's weighing heavily on my mind. Mostly because it keeps popping up to grab our attention when we least expect it. I told Al if the price drops (it is due, last price drop was in June, banks drop the price on foreclosed homes about once a month) again, we need to make an offer. It's just something we need to do. I feel it.
I took the kids to see it yesterday, of course we just walked around outside, since it was all locked up. I had them run through the yard, it was heart warming to envision many years of having a yard for the kids to run their hearts out!

Thought number 2 comes in where I think oh my gracious it's AUGUST!!!! I signed up for anatomy and physiology for the Fall semester. I started classes in 2008 and since then, I have been putting this class off! It intimidates me beyond belief and since I *need* to have it and I am eager to get into the nursing program, it's just time. I am apprehensive though!! I have taken numerous courses and each class I have gotten an A. The ante is up. I have it as a deep desire to maintain my 4.0 grade point average, though realistically I know I can't possibly keep that average through all of school. I will be heartbroken when I break the trend. I just know it and this class; it could potentially be what breaks me. So, I am scared. Ready for the challenge, but definitely scared. My motto is "Baby Steps". With everything that comes in your life, just take it one baby step at a time until you get through it. This is a time in my life where I must practice my own advice. Boy it's hard!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dupage County Fair 2011

We go to the county fair each and every year. It's a fun time for our family. It runs from Wednesday - Sunday the last weekend of July. We've been spending many hours and mucho dollars at the fair for many years in a row now and I have to say there is nothing more fun to do during the summer!! Even though the days are usually beyond hot, I almost always wear uncomfortable shoes and there is a LOT of walking; it's still a family favorite. I usually take the kids on the first night. This year I dropped the ball and waited until the second night to go! :::Gasp!:::: we had so much fun though and we didn't even go on any rides! Acilia loves animals (no surprise!!) so she spent time on the pony rides and with the animals at the petting zoo. Miles spent a lot of time at the Lego tent and in the corn pile with trucks. We also visited the duck races. Acilia was called to race a duck, she ended up winning the "grand prize" which was a duck visor and duck whistle. Ha! Fun stuff!

The next night, (Friday) Al and I took Miles (Acilia was at her cousins' house) he had fun showing daddy the Lego tent and we walked all around. He got to go on a few rides and really soaked up his time with mom and dad.

The following night (Saturday) was a first for Dupage County Fair; a monster truck show!! I had a feeling my nephew Joey would enjoy the show, so we brought him with us. I didn't quite know what to expect, I also didn't expect to enjoy it so much!! I was so impressed with what these vehicles could do and impressed that my camera cooperated with my picture taking!! I have been so bad about uploading pictures; but I do promise there are many pics that I've been taking, and of course will share here when the time allows!

The following day (Sunday) was the final day of the fair. That's horse show day. Acilia and I have a tradition of getting to the show first thing in the morning and spending many hours in the hot sun admiring the horses! We were introduced to 4-H this year and it turns out there is a group that's all about horses. I was beyond thrilled to find this out and the best news is you have to be 8 to participate in 4-H, do you recall who just turned 8 in June?? That's right! Acilia!! I love when things are dropped in our laps, counting our blessings!! I contacted the office and found out meetings start for the new year, next month! There are about 70 kids in group ages 8-18. Acilia is going to LOVE IT!!
Al had said he wanted to take Miles to the demolition derby, since Acilia and I got to spend quality girly time together all day. I was fine with it, until the time came and Acilia and I wanted to go too! :) We made it a family thing and another fair event was thoroughly enjoyed!!

I don't know when or if we will ever get sick of doing the same thing year after year, but the County Fair always fulfills our pallet for animals, nature, hot summer weather and fair food!! Oh yeah, and the rides!! I am always impressed with my daughter's ability to get on the rides that make my stomach jump!! Crazy kid! She's been going on the fair rides as long as she was tall enough and I still get nervous watching her!! I have a feeling Miles will be joining her next year! :) Yes, that's right, already talking about next year. Can't wait!! Sunday came as we were leaving, and I found myself a little melancholy. I really enjoy having something wholesome and fun to do each day, and the fair fills that for us!

And, because I used to enjoy writing poems, and feel the "burn" to write one, let's see what I can come up with:

The Fair:
Family fun
for everyone,
the fair offers
funnel cakes
corn dogs
ice cream too.
Rides that make your stomach jump
rides that spin around
rides for boys and girls alike
rides that flip you upside down.
Walking, running, laughing, eating
never a dull moment to be had
carnival adventures
lights and lines; tickets and cash
all that's spent makes me want to dash
The animals are plenty
horses, sheep, pigs, goats
rabbits, chickens, cows
all making their presence known.
Each year the fair promises a fun adventurous time
Though my germophobic ways can't quite get past the grime!

(Ok, it's been a while since I wrote a poem, maybe I should stick to just writing out my thoughts! Ha!)


Ack to the fact that my kitchen sink was found leaking this evening; we now have to order a part for the faucet.
Ack to the fact that now means I will be using the bathroom sink in the adjoining room to get water.
Ack to the fact that two nights in a row, I have had the unfortunate pleasure of encountering a centipede!
Ack to the fact that I found a house that is perfect for our family at an unbelievable price and I can't stop thinking about it!
Ack to the fact that I am the only one awake when I should be sleeping!
Ack to the fact that I am eating way more than I should be lately with no good reason!
Ack to the fact that I am still car shopping and still not a bit closer to figuring out what I want!
Ack to the fact that one of my dogs sheds :/ :)
Ack to the fact that I so badly need to go grocery shopping I actually picked up poptarts from 7-11
Ack to the fact that I ran out of "ack to the facts" :)
courtesy of Google