Posted by: alwaysrkp | December 3, 2009

30 Day Challenge – Day 3

I suppose I should say that I have forbidden my man from looking at my blog until further notice.  If he sees what I am saying, well, that would just ruin it all.

It is only Day 3 and I have discovered –

That encouraging my man is as much about (insert drum roll):

KEEPING MY TRAP SHUT!!

As much as it is about saying and doing things for him.

What a revelation!

(NO, I wasn’t born yesterday…I have practiced keeping my mouth shut for quite some time in the hopes that practice really does make perfect…just not usually so intensely in this short a time period.)

I was so focused on saying and doing for him, that I was a bit blind sided by the constant need to suppress my strong, Mother and Grandmother induced need to complain explain, correct accept, be sarcastic sweet, dispute resolve…things this morning.

I see why this challenge is for 30 days straight – within 30 days, you are bound to have days that are bumpy.  THOSE are the days that REALLY grow you and change you.  So although my morning was a bit rough (inside, he never knew)…I knew that this was exactly the growing and changing I needed.

I remember when I first read The Power of  A Praying Wife.  The first chapter hit home…really hit home.  What? Don’t pray to change him, pray to change ME?  But I knew that the truth would set me free so I was happy to submit to the truth.  That one chapter alone revolutionized my prayers for our relationship.

That was how I felt this morning.  If I submit to the excruciating test to keep my mouth shut, there are better things on the other side for him and me.

And isn’t it just something how Day 3 is about NOT saying anything NEGATIVE and yet, I faced more temptation to be negative today than the previous two.  The Lord was either testing me or the demons didn’t like the good response from the first two days.

On a happier note, my oblivious self tee-totally over-looked the fact that my man wrote me a little note back on Day 1.  I did send an email for Day 2 and in response, he broadcast, to our Facebook world, a very sweet message.

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30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge Update:

Yesterday, I left a note card for my man thanking him. I used one of the suggestions for Day 1 of the challenge.

(I have thanked him for choosing me M-A-N-Y times – and will continue to do so until I die – so I did not go that route. )

This went over well.  He liked and appreciated it. He seemed uplifted by it (yesterday was a hard day for him).  Later, he initiated a bit of physical affection that I have been wanting/missing on a daily basis (something we had discussed multiple times). It was small but N-I-C-E.   I was not anticipating fringe benefits for me, although maybe I should have.  SUCCESS!


Today I am unsure of how to communicate Day 2’s challenge.  This is my downfall.  At this point in the day, I need to send an email or wait until much later in the day – like tonight before bed. Procrastination – gets me every time! I should have pounced this morning when I had the chance, but I held back.  Ahh well, I will do better next time (I hope).

Today is more like two posts.  If you had to wade through the top post to get to this one, sorry.  I tried to keep it short.  Sheila‘s Wifey Wednesday post is about husbands whose careers take time away from their families.

My man is not gone from home as much as some men.  However, he is a real estate agent who works from home, he works part time at a job outside the home that is mostly evenings and weekends  and he is in school.  SO, while he is at home a lot, he has to work or study most of that time.

He continually worries about not spending adequate time with me or C2.  He is getting better about making the most of the time he spends with C2.  He and I do take time to have meaningful discussions almost daily, but sometimes, we do not make it happen.

I do not think we are out of control in this area, but I do feel we have improvements to make.  I feel it is more my responsibility in that I need to help my man know WHEN to take time and to encourage him to not feel guilty.  I need to be more consistent about being intentional.

I do admit, however, to threatening to throw the cell phone in the ocean a time or two…or out the window while riding down the road, or down the toilet.   That might be our bigger challenge – knowing when to ignore the phone. Work sometimes creeps in at the worst times.   He knows I will not toss it because that phone ringing means more money for bills, but I wish it would ring from 9am-5pm Monday-Friday ONLY.

Posted by: alwaysrkp | December 1, 2009

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge

I saw a discussion on TV recently in which it was stated that men have been physically affected by the economy more than women.  (The conversation was a bit more graphic than this post.)  Because men get their sense of purpose from their jobs/careers, any negativity in the work place affects them greatly.  If they did not get a great review, took a cut in pay, are worrying about job security, or lost their job – they take a great hit in their psyche.  Of course, this was all a worldly view, but certainly true of most men.

As I told my man, I do understand this.  However, I believe that all Christians should have a slightly different perspective.  A guy’s sense of purpose should come partly from his relationship with Christ.  However, being that men are the providers of the home, it is only natural for them to take great stock emotionally in their jobs.

Ladies, I also said that I believe if we women were doing as good a job of encouraging our men as we should, I think our men would be more fulfilled.

I can say this, because I immediately recognized my own discrepancies.  My man has had a roller coaster ride of emotions related to work over the last 3 or 4 years.  I saw God bring him completely to his knees.  God wanted my man to realize that he could not depend on himself, but that his help comes from the Lord.

I think a lot of good things about my man.  And I think more good things as each day passes. I feel these good things.  I am not good at expressing them.  Nope. No sirrey!  I can eke out an encouraging letter occasionally…but on a daily basis…well, I kinda stink at it.  Does he know that I think these good thoughts?  Well, maybe a little.  We do talk about it occasionally.  But I need daily practice.

So I went a searchin.   I found just the right thing.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ website reviveourhearts.com posts 30 day challenges.  Being that today is the first of December, what a better day, better time of year, and what a wonderful gift to give to our men, but 30 days of encouragement. You can go here to read or download the 30 days of  Husband Encouragement and you can register to get encouraging emails during your 30 day challenge.

I have looked over the 30 days of challenge, and I believe this will help me to encourage my man more each day.  It will give me ideas of how to express myself and hopefully make me aware of areas that I need to be conscientious of.

Will anyone join me in this challenge?

Check back for updates on my progress.

Posted by: alwaysrkp | November 30, 2009

A 2 story house on a cracked foundation!

I have been quiet in the blog world for a while.

Since coming back from Women of Faith, the Lord has really been working in me to heal some of the brokenness I have from my childhood.

Some wounds run deep…and this is one of them.  It goes to the very core of how I define myself.  It affects how I interact with my husband with those I work around.  It is how I see myself.  That folks, is scary.  It is hard to think that one’s perception of oneself might be skewed.

I realized that my earliest memories all involve me trying to figure out what to do in order to be loved – or at least, how to not be hurt.  I had never thought about how your earliest and most significant memories tell you so much about yourself.

As a child, I did not know what love was, but I knew that something was not right in my relationships. I now look back and see that I was constantly trying to alter my behavior in order to find that “perfect setting” – the one at which I could be loved.

Imagine spending your childhood trying to figure out how to be loved.

Translate that to adulthood.  Guess what I do?  I constantly try to figure out how to be the lovable wife, friend, acceptable worker, etc.  I have been doing this without realizing it.  In my mind, I have to be/do” just right” in order to be acceptable or lovable.

When someone isn’t happy with me, I am devastated.  I do not FEEL loved. When I mess up, I do not FEEL lovable.

But I am loved.  God loves me.  Christ loves me. My man loves me.  My children love me.  My friends love me.  They love me, even when I do not FEEL loved…they love me when I mess up, they love me when I have been less than perfect, they love me – just because.

I have to learn to feel loved.  I have to learn to know I am loved.  I have to learn that I am not defined by perfectionism or mistakes.  I have to learn that I am not defined by what someone else thinks of me.

I am defined by what God sees in me and by who he created me to be.  I think I have an idea of who I am supposed to be.  I have been that person all along…it’s just that my perception of who I am has been clouded by my perception of how others thought of me.

I suppose this would seem silly or messy to those who had good childhoods.  Your childhood has a profound effect on the rest of your life.  It is your foundation.  A good foundation holds sure.  A cracked foundation needs repairs.

That’s me – a 2 story house on a cracked foundation.  With the master builder to do my repairs!

Psalm 127:1a Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.

Hebrews 3:4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.

 

 

 

Otherwise, I have been busy with working, Thanksgiving, Christmas decorations and reading my favorite blogs.

Check back tomorrow – a new post with a challenge is coming!  I think I will have lots to post on this topic in December – plus a few Christmas things to share too.  Looking forward to the next 31 days!

Posted by: alwaysrkp | November 17, 2009

Merry Thanksgiving…?

(no, I have NOT read the book and have NO idea what it says)

I know, EVERYONE has an opinion on this subject.

I love Autumn/Thanksgiving and Christmas and want both seasons to last as long as possible.

As a child, my favorite Thanksgivings were those that we spent listening to Christmas music (Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby to name a couple of our favs) and decorating the house for Christmas – which also included putting up the tree.  At the very latest, our tree and decorations went up the day after Thanksgiving.

We are having a few family members for Thanksgiving and my man really wants me to put up Christmas decorations NOW (days before my church peeps throw me a housewarming).  I want to do this, but in the back of my head, I hear critics saying “No one celebrates Thanksgiving anymore”…

Isn’t the thing that we should be MOST THANKFUL FOR –

Jesus’ coming to earth and taking the punishment for our sins?

Can we not eat Thanksgiving dinner to Christmas music while gazing at Christmas lights while giving our thanks and remembering that Christ loved us enough to leave a place so wonderful that we cannot fathom it heaven, to come to earth – for wretched sinners such as me?

how’s that for a run on sentence???  🙂

Just a thought.

Posted by: alwaysrkp | November 13, 2009

Isaiah 61:1-3

postfire

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me

to preach good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,

to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion— post-fire_regeneration

to bestow on them a crown of beauty

instead of ashes,

the oil of gladness

instead of mourning,

and a garment of praise

instead of a spirit of despair.

They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

Posted by: alwaysrkp | November 9, 2009

Women of Faith Weekend

WOF2009

I spent Friday and Saturday at a Women of Faith conference.  What an awesome weekend!

The music was soulful, worshipful, reflective, pumped up and fun.

The speakers were delightful, inspiring, revealing and real.

We laughed.  We cried.  We prayed.  We praised.  We soaked in the Lord’s presence.

Telling  all the wonderful details would take an entire post.  Seeing that it can only be truly experienced in person, I will let you find out for yourself (I have tickets for next year, so let me know if you want to go).

The thing I want to talk about today is a bit of what the Lord spoke to my  heart.

Wednesday was my Mom’s birthday, as you can see from my previous post.  Getting ready to be absent from work (on my busiest work day)- and get 15 women squared away to go to Women of Faith – and getting myself there too – really consumed my week.  I had no time to feel anything.  I thought I had actually got through my Mom’s birthday with no tears.

Then Friday night came…the speaker was being as funny as could be, and out-of-the-blue, I missed my Mom terribly.  I sobbed like a child.  (All the while trying to hide my tears from my group.) I have not cried like that for my Mom in a long time.

Saturday was full of revelations from the Lord. One speaker in particular was used to speak things to my heart.

I need a friend who can understand – or at least empathize with the level of hurt I have had in my life.  I do not often need to talk about my hurts.  When I do need to talk, I need someone who can understand.  My man is great about giving me sympathy.  He tries to understand…but unless you have walked a similar road…you cannot understand the depths of what is in another’s heart.  I realized that I am even more grateful for my man’s support in that area.  But the longing for a friend with spiritual & emotional maturity and depth really set in.

I also realized that our first memories are those that set the tone for the rest of our lives.   My first memories are not of being loved…but of trying to figure out HOW to be lovable.  As young as 2 and 3, I have memories of abuse.  I did not understand what love was.  I made people angry.  I made people yell at me.  I made people do bad things to me.  These are the things I knew.  The remainder of my childhood years, I tried to figure out how to be good enough to merit hugs or kisses or praise.   Who am I kidding?  I have been trying to figure out how to be lovable my whole life!

Now I have to deal with these things.   The Lord reveals them so He can bind the wounds and help them heal.  It is generally painful, but the freedom of healing is on the other side of the progress.  I do not know how the Lord is going to help me get over these things, but I know He does.

(I know this is poor writing as far as flow, etc.  My mind and heart are very full today.)

Posted by: alwaysrkp | November 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom

Mom18

Mom age 18 - High School Graduation Day

Today would be your 68th birthday.  You have been gone from this earth for 5 years, 6 months and 5 days.  That would be about 2013 days.   I have missed you every one of them.   C2 cries bucketfuls every time he thinks of you – and in true man fashion – he tries to stop thinking about you when that happens.  I know you are so happy in Paradise.  You waited so long to be with your Lord.  I’m sure for you, it seems as though it feels like you have only been there a short while.

I have found that you rubbed off on me more than I knew.  I find comfort in that.  I want to do some of the good things you did.  When other people are motherly, I feel an overwhelming desire to cling to those people – but I have better sense (thankfully).

I still do not have your creativity, discipline or humor – no matter how hard I wish for it.  I’m sitting on my bed,  looking at the quilt you made for me.  You spent many hours getting every detail just right.  That’s how you were…everything had to be just right and you had the patience and tenacity to see every project through to the last detail.  As I looked at pictures of you last night there were many smiles that said “I’m up to something!”  That’s so you!

You were so full of life.  I wish we had been able to spend more time together.  You got me so late in life and then you were gone from this life so soon.  And, I moved to another state (but remember, I didn’t want to!).

You will be pleased to know that my man is indeed taking great care of me, so you will not need to haunt him, after all.  R2, can you believe he is 18!?  c2 never ceases to amaze me.  We could use your prayers and parenting advice!

Me?  I am good.   I’m learning to hold my tongue more (you cannot take credit for that one).  I want to be humble and wise.  I finally understand the verse about Mary “she kept all these things in her heart and pondered them”.  I have many things in my heart to ponder.  Things you would have understood perfectly.  Some days a long chat with you sure would soothe my soul.  I turn to the Lord more on those days.

I’m sure you do not celebrate birthdays anymore – at least not earthly birthdays.  Maybe you celebrate your homecoming.  I think about that every April 30th.  I count the time, but I bet you do not.

Irregardless, this isn’t for you  – it’s for me.  I cannot go to your graveside (10 hours is a LONG way to go to put flowers on a grave).  I’m wishing great flowers for your grave…does that count?   SO  since I cannot go to your graveside, this post will serve as my birthday visit.

I love you and miss you!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Posted by: alwaysrkp | November 3, 2009

How do we cope with our problems?

pills

Acquaintances of ours have recently been the recipients of very bad medical news.  It is overwhelming, concerning and yes, it could be depressing.  Some ladies (Christian) were gathered with the wife for support in a time of tears.  They listened, empathized…and then, asked her if her and her husband were going to get on nerve pills.  I quote “You are going to need something.  You can’t get through this without them”.  “Something” and “them” referring to antidepressants and nerve medications.
Hello?
No offer to pray with her.  No talk of leaning on the Lord.  No reaching out to our Almighty Father and healer for help.
Instead, a five minute discussion on taking PILLS for our problems.
I was flabbergasted.  It did not even cross the minds of those involved to seek the Lord FIRST.  (In all fairness, I am sure all involved had been praying about this situation, but that was not what was voiced.) The first vocal reaction was to turn to pills.
Please understand, I am not knocking the use of medicines.  I have, in the past, had to take my share of them.  I still struggle with depression a few times a year.  For me, the best option has been to dig deeper into the Word of God and hit my knees.  However, I do not walk in anyone else’s shoes.  My parents were both on these type of medicines the last 18 months of my mom’s life.  I certainly know that meds have their place when they are needed.
It was unfathomable to me that these women turned to medicine as this lady’s hope rather than turn to the Savior.   Naturally, I suggested we pray.  The lady seemed very appreciate of the offer.
This incident disturbed me – and thus this post.  It really bothers me that Christians would so readily ASSUME someone was going to need medicinal help to cope with a problem.
Does this bother anyone else, or do you think I am over-reacting?  How do we cope with our problems?
(Sorry for the bit of a rant.)
Posted by: alwaysrkp | November 2, 2009

Match Made in Heaven

Robinsgirls

I love this group of kids (plus 4 more who are not in this pic)

(and yes, that’s me in the outrageous pink hat).

They are an amazing group of teens.  I have had the opportunity to watch them grow physically, emotionally and spiritually the last three years.  I have had the privilege of being privy to their secrets, desires, concerns and happiness.  I also bear the responsibility of praying over their needs and giving them wise counsel. When they are troubled, I carry their weight.

They have enriched my life immensely.  They provoke me to learn more so that I can challenge them.  They make me laugh.  They make me cry (only sometimes).    They love each other (and me).  It is an awesome feeling to have teen girls run to me for hugs! I miss these kids if I don’t see them every week.

IMG_1133

(the one and only guy doesn’t care for very many hugs — imagine that).

I would never have picked teen ministry as something I saw myself doing.  However, this has been one of the biggest blessings of my life.   God knew I needed them and that they needed me.  I am glad that God saw something in me and directed me in this direction when I was not expecting it – because He knew best.

It was a match made in heaven.

Posted by: alwaysrkp | October 29, 2009

Friends Forever?

friends forever

Sheila of To Love, Honor & Vacuum is spotlighting the book  “Sacred Friendships” today and sharing some interview questions that she asked of authors Bob Kelleman and Susan Ellis.

This particular question Sheila asked really rang home with me.

Sheila: To tell you the truth, I’ve had great friends at different periods of my life, but today I have few friends I talk to on a regular basis that go back more than 10 years. I seem to have friends, change cities, and then move on. Does that make me a bad friend? Have we lost the art of lifelong friendships?

Susan: We think it makes you quite normal, frankly! And, the fact that you’re asking the question strikes us as a great sign that you have a passionate heart for spiritual friendships….

(please click on the link above and read the entire “Do You Have Sacred Friendships” post…I could not link directly to it.  You can also click on a link to buy the book at 40% off right now – and I think that I will do that.)

I often think about this subject re: my friends.  It seems that many of my closest friends have had to move away. Maybe we just no longer see each other on a regular basis because we do not attend church together, or do not work together, are not in the same organization together, etc.  Irregardless, the end result is: less communication, drifting apart.

I have had this happen so often that I start dreading it the instant I know I will not be around my friend(s) as often.

I am not the kind to insert myself into someone else’s busy life without a great big, fat invitation to do so – at least, not most of the time.  Therefore, I tend to crawl into my turtle shell.  Eventually, I feel like a bad friend.

However, I think about these friends quite frequently, usually daily.  I wonder what they are doing, how the children are, how the husband is.  I wonder who they have celebrated life’s victories with and who they have to confide their troubles to. They are not far from my heart, so why don’t I follow suit with my actions and get in there and start being a good friend? I think I may need to overcome my social inadequacies aka confidence!

Yes, we do Facebook, email and blogs…but still it’s not the same.  Thoughts?

Posted by: alwaysrkp | October 27, 2009

Beyond Words

huge.72.361694 My man and I are on a journey.

A journey to correct something.

We cannot do this alone.

We need God’s help.

We are “blessed” to have the assistance of

some very generous, supportive & empathetic people.

These people are not wealthy,

but they are “blessed” in other ways.

They give, give and give.

They have “blessed” my heart today

beyond words.

Thank you!



Posted by: alwaysrkp | October 26, 2009

NC Blogger Bash Epistle

Despite my inability to feel GREAT, a group of ladies made me forget that I was not 100% Saturday night at the NC Blogger Bash.

Let me start by saying, NO, I do NOT have pics!  Why?  Because I knew that my pitiful digital camera would not stand up to all the mega cams of these blog queens.  I thought we would all be better off looking at the pics on their blogs!  Prepare!… many links to come.  What I do not have in pics, I make up for in words!

Coffeegal organized this event so that we could meet some of the NC ladies’ we know so well through blogs.  As always, Coffeegal was the perfect hostess.  She is gracious (she gave us gifts she made with Clinton), charming, funny and real.

We were blessed by the very fun June from Bye Bye Pie (I am the one in kelly green with demon eyes).  She survived our group of conservative women with no scars or bruises.  I think everyone was honored to meet her.  Naturally, she kept us laughing!

(No, Coffeegal did not specify that we needed to be Christian and conservative…it just so happened that we pretty much were.)

I sat next to Seasoned Sister who JUST started her blog (so please visit her).  She made me feel right at home (since several of the bloggers knew each other).   Seasoned Sister is the mother of New Every Morning,  who was at the opposite end of the table.  I did not get to talk to her very much.   However, I noticed that she had a peaceful smile nearly the whole time (when she wasn’t downright laughing).

Across from me was Rachel (incredibly sweet, cute and has gorgeous pics on her blog), Squishy Baby’s mom (aka Life with the Lords) – who had THE MEGA CAMERA and super cute baby pics on her blog – she made me very glad that my rinky dink stayed in the car, and Tracey from the NC Brownings.  Tracey also smiled the whole night.  I think she even smiled when she talked about things that irritated her.  It takes a lot of practice to be able to do that!

Amy from My Bambino Bliss was seated nearby.  I enjoyed hearing her talk about her extra-special bambinos.  Read more on her blog.  And thank you Amy for posting the only good pic of me!   Carpoolqueen was near as well.  She’s a great lady.  She has an awesome story and is funny – she also makes her own tortillas so she has to be cool!  The last to be near enough for a bit of conversation was Janel from Dandelion Dayz.  She (like me) is slow to posting about the NC Blogger Bash so I have no idea if she has any good pics or not…

At the FAR end of the table, mostly out of hearing range of my don’t-work-very-well-in-loud-crowd ears, was

– a Faithful Reader of several of these blogs.  I actually know her, as she, Coffeegal and myself all attended the same church a few years ago.  She does not have a blog.  How sad.  She has an amazing story to tell.  I know.  Come on Faithful Reader, get a BLOG already.

The Chubby Dove -and no, she’s not chubby.  She’s very new to our area, having recently moved here, but was brave enough to come out and meet a bunch of women she did not know.  Isn’t amazing how this past time connects us all so?

KR & Company – she says that she does not blog as much as she reads blogs, so she was there as more a reader…but I saw some funny stuff on her blog!

This was an awesome group of women.  They were all gorgeous, witty, friendly and a joy to be around.  My ears hurt from straining to hear so hard all night b/c I did not want to miss anything.  I did mostly listen b/c there was so much to hear.  Besides making me want a better camera, they also made me want to be better at some things.  Iron sharpening iron is always a great thing.  I had a great time and cannot wait for the next one.

Thank you Coffeegal!!

Posted by: alwaysrkp | October 25, 2009

It is a good day when…

It is a good day when your kid offers to make you a sandwich when you don’t feel good.

Posted by: alwaysrkp | October 23, 2009

Response from my man to Wifey Wednesday post

If you open up the comments, you will see that my man left the following comment.  I thought I would post it here:

I am the blessed RECEIVER of this letter from my wife. I want you all to know that she is the prayer warrior that keeps me going, the LOVE that enriches my very soul, the FRIEND that listens and cares and sticks close by me, and the ONLY one who will ever steal my heart. She is a very special lady in every way!

You are my rock and I cherish each and every moment that the Lord gives us together.
I LOVE YOU!!

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