“She Shall Be Called Woman”

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Attention ladies! This one is for you…

Let’s talk about guys. You either love them or hate them right now. Am I correct? I’m willing to bet I am. I always have to laugh at that option on the Facebook relationship section. The one that says “in a relationship and it’s complicated”. Well of course it is. They all are. We are two different species. That’s how God made us. Isn’t that what all those books say? The ones about Mars and Venus? But God also made man and woman to complement each other. As it says in Genesis, God did not think it was good for man to be alone so He created woman.

I’m sure ever since the sixth day, when man and woman began sharing the earth, the  argument that men don’t understand women and women don’t understand men has been going on. At a time in my life when I was in and out of horrible and terribly complicated relationships, I would be the first to jump on the “men are stupid” train.  But the last few years with my love and the years before with the wrong ones have taught me a lot so I want to share what I know to be true, with you.

1)      Oh how I wish I could get through to all of you young teenage girls (and even twenty-something and thirty-something ladies) who are on the chase for a guy’s attention. STOP!! That movie, “He’s Just Not That Into You” is dead-on. Been there, lived that. If a guy is interested, sincerely interested in you, he will go out of his way to show you. He will text or call often. He will do what he says he will do when he says he will do it. He won’t make you feel like an afterthought or second best. He will treat you with respect. Don’t ever be someone’s option. And don’t every put 100% into someone who is returning about 10%. You deserve better. That’s the most important thing to remember.

2)      Love is respect. A guy who cares about you will not hurt you. He will not call you degrading names. He will not make fun of you or point out your flaws. He will constantly have your back. I have seen so many women, myself included, who thought they deserved what they were getting. They loved the guy and he would change eventually and everything would be okay. I’m not saying change is not possible but I think it takes another presence to  be involved for that to happen, which leads me to number three…

3)      God is a crucial part of a relationship. Up until now I had never had anyone who believed as much as I do that God must be the center of a relationship. The bible says not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. How can a relationship work if one or both of you don’t believe? I pray often for Greg and he prays for me. We pray for our relationship. By submitting our problems to Him it takes the load off of both of us.

4)      This one is going to blow your mind. We women are NOT always right! Yep, I said it. We aren’t. We would like to believe that we are but we know deep down inside that there are moments when we are wrong. But here’s the thing: How often do you admit it? Most importantly, how often do you admit it to the man in your life? Are you afraid he may pass out if those words slip from your lips?! Or that you may choke on the words as they come out? I am wrong a lot. I am wrong when my patience wears thin and I snap. I may assume my way is always the best way, only to find out, it wasn’t. I was wrong. I can freely admit it and apologize on top of that. It’s a matter of respect.

5)      Men are not mind readers. I know, another shocker right? Let’s say you are extremely upset about something your guy did or didn’t do. He should know what he did wrong right? I mean, he should just know! Wrong. Men are simple creatures. Not to say that in a degrading way. They just don’t put as much thought into things as we do. We assume they should be in tune with every random thought that runs through our brains. But think about this…how many of those thoughts are there in a given day? It’s like having 300 tabs open at once on your browser. How could he possibly keep up? Here’s what you do. You tell him. That’s right. You tell him. Tell him what is wrong. Tell him what he did or didn’t do and work it out. It’s not that hard. It’s just that our minds are trained to believe that men should be tuned into our every thought and need. Not that he shouldn’t be aware of the most obvious ones but sometimes he just needs to be cut some slack. Are you flabbergasted yet? There’s more…

6)      Respect. Appreciation. Being needed. When you look in a mirror, what do you see? A reflection. The exact copy of what you are looking at. An image or likeness. You would be amazed at how much smoother a relationship goes when you give what you get and get what you give. Like an image in the glass. Show appreciation to your guy and I can almost promise you he will do the same. In my house, we thank each other every day. Just for the little things. “Thanks for doing the dishes”. “Thanks for mowing the yard”. “Thanks for helping me”. “Thanks for restocking the toilet paper in the bathroom cabinet”. Yes I said that a couple weeks ago! (It was very much appreciated when I realized the roll was empty and I hadn’t restocked the cabinet yet!) Men love to hear “thank you” and will return it more easily when they are being praised. It’s a simple matter, again, of respect. He feels appreciated and he also feels needed. Men need to feel needed. It’s born in them to be that way. Unfortunately women have spent decades trying to prove how strong and independent we are. Now there is nothing wrong with that to a degree but letting a guy help you now and then gives him a boost and he feels his role as your guy is being fulfilled. He is the supporter and takes care of you. So let him help you when you need it. Don’t be stubborn and try to do it all alone. It only wears you out… and you might break a nail.

I could probably go on and on but I think I have rambled enough. I dare you to try these things if you aren’t already and see how your relationship improves. We often think the man is the one who needs to change and maybe that is true in some situations but if we change as well, things can take an amazing turn. Let God into your relationship. Be more patient with your guy. Communicate! And show him how much he means to you. I can almost guarantee that the dynamic of your relationship will change.

And the rib or part of his side which the Lord God had taken from the man He built up and made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. Then Adam said, This [creature] is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of a man. Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh – Genesis 2: 2-24

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“Open The Door And Smile”

Over the course of the last few months, I cannot tell you how many times I have read or heard mention of the story of Mary and Martha from the Bible. Today, I was sent an email that once again recounted this story. I am beginning to think God is telling me to take a hint. So after reading it today I decided to write about it because it definitely relates to me on many levels and makes me think that maybe my mother should have named me Martha!

Mary and Martha were two sisters who were visited by Jesus.

“She [Martha] had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’ And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken from her’ ” Luke 10: 39-42

So here is how I picture it. (Ladies, I know you can relate to this. We have all been there.) Jesus and his disciples drop by for a visit and Martha asks them in. I imagine at this point she is looking around wondering if the house is clean enough. If only she would have had time to sweep! She then starts to prepare the meal. What will she fix? Oh, visitors on such short notice. While she is busy slaving and sweating over the food preparations she looks over and sees Mary just sitting there at Jesus’ feet. Well how dare her! Just look at her, lazy woman just plopped herself down in the floor and is not even thinking about lifting a finger to help me! And here I am busy in the kitchen. Hair falling in my face, clothes a wreck. (I imagine there is eye-rolling, huffing and puffing and hands on hips at this point.) Martha has worked herself into such a frenzy worrying about every little thing that she tells Jesus, “Do you not see me over here diligently preparing the meal while my sister just sits there? Make her help me!” But Jesus tells her simply that she is too anxious and worried. Mary is happy and content and he will not disturb her.

The Bible doesn’t say what Martha’s response was. Did she throw her hands in the air and stomp off? Did she hang her head in shame and agree with what Jesus revealed to her? I would like to think it left a lasting impression on her.

I am a “Martha”. Worrying over every little thing. I panic when someone stops by to visit and  the house is not in perfect order, instead of being pleased that someone thought enough of us to visit. I need to open the door and smile. Not do a quick glance behind me to see if everything is in place. This should be my aspiration in all areas of my life. There are moments that I spend more time in an anxious state of mind than in the presence of God, in peace and serenity. I shamefully admit that. I need to constantly “choose my part…the good part” that God has laid out for me. It is mine and it is there for the taking anytime I desire. It is my goal to be Mary in a Martha world. A world where life is fast-paced, busy, always in motion. I want to slow down and concentrate on the things that have the most meaning. Life will be much simpler when I do.

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:27)

“Come Unto Me”

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” ~ Matthew 11:28

I am excited to write this blog today. I have so much to share! So I apologize in advance for the length. I’m sure it will end up being rather long but I have a story to tell about how amazing God works in my life and last night was no exception. So here it goes….

A few weeks ago we started attending a different church. I am familiar with everyone at this church because there are five churches on our “charge”. I have always attended the one closest to me. We all share the same pastor and we often have activities that involve everyone in all five churches. I felt the need to worship at this new church because I needed a change and it seemed to be best for Callie as well. Greg and I enjoy it very much and can relate to the Sunday school teacher in a more positive way. This teacher is the amazing Sharon D. Amazing!… because she is a godly woman who walks with the light of God shining through her no matter what she is doing, whether it be organizing an Easter egg hunt or teaching a Sunday school lesson.

So on to my story. The churches have been holding women’s meetings recently and I hadn’t been to one yet but decided earlier in the week that I would attend last night’s meeting. However, on Tuesday I started feel anxious. Anxiety had invited itself back into my daily routine. I don’t know why. But there it was, the nervousness, the phantom chest pains, shortness of breath. I was starting to worry…. here I go again. Is this going to last? Will it develop into a full blown attack? It continued through yesterday and by the evening, I just didn’t know if I could make it to the women’s meeting. I didn’t want to have an anxiety attack in church of all places. But Greg encouraged me to go. He said “It’ll be good for you. Go and just have fun.” So off I went, praying all the way that he was right and for God to give me strength and bring me peace of mind.

I arrived and took my seat. Still nervous. No one probably noticed but I was already deciding how I would make my graceful exit if I felt like I couldn’t stay. Then I noticed that the lady who was in charge of last night’s meeting wasn’t there and Sharon was there running around getting everything set up. She announced that she would be leading the meeting (that she had an idea for another meeting in mind anyway and would just use it) in the other lady’s absence.

This is where I realized that God was working for me last night. Sharon’s meeting was all about how women have too much stress in their lives and how we can cope and use different methods to relax and let go of worry. I could have fallen out of my seat. How I needed that! We had sweet smelling candles lit, soft music playing, hot tea and we meditated on verses or quotes that had a special meaning in our lives. Then we did relaxation techniques and focused on how to relax ourselves not just in general but for when we start our prayers so that we can give our entire focus to God during that time.

We were told to sit and pray and just be calm and let ourselves relax but I wanted to just shout and say “Praise you God! You knew what I needed and you brought me to it.” Think about this…it was the first meeting I had attended, I almost didn’t go because I was so worried about my anxiety, then Sharon has to lead the meeting in someone’s absence and the meeting was exactly about everything I needed.  I ended up leaving there more relaxed and with a joy in my heart knowing that God was working behind the scenes to give me peace and to show me that He still has my best interest in mind…even as I doubted it when my anxiety level had went up.

To top off the evening, as I drove home I looked up at the sky and there was a cloud forming into the shape of a heart…I snapped a picture (above) with my cell phone just before it started to fall apart. The pic is not so great but had to share it anyway. It was just another “love note” from God.