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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Why Do You Love Me?

First posted on March 7, 2010
I used to ask my precious husband this question frequently, especially when I was not feeling at all loveable. Sometimes he would give me reasons and sometimes he would say something like, “Because I want to.” That would make me so mad! How could someone love me just because they want to when I am such a mess and so unworthy! I wanted him to affirm me, tell me I was loveable for something I did or was. It took me years to realize how foolish this was. Somewhere along the line I realized that being loved because someone chose to love me was the best possible kind of love. If they chose to love me, then it didn’t matter how I looked or acted they would still love me. However if someone loved me for my talent, what would happen if I lost my talent? If they loved me for my looks and I lost my looks? How insecure that love would be based on things or circumstances. The only way my husband can love me this way is because God has given him that love.

This is how God loves each person. God loves us, loves me. Because I was worthy? No. Because I was good? No. Because I loved Him? Again, no. God loves me because He chose to. The Creator God of the universe chooses to love me! He also chooses to love you. Because God is changeless He will never “unchoose” to love me or you. One day when the children were watching “Clifford, The Big Red Dog” on PBS this truth came to me again. I know PBS is not where you’d expect to get a revelation of God’s love, but He will use whatever is available I guess. The theme song says “Clifford needed Emily so she chose him for her own.” Why did Emily choose Clifford? Because he needed her. God chose us because we needed Him to choose us. He chose to love us while we were against Him. If He had not chosen us there would be no way for us to ever come to Him. Being chosen to be loved just because is the best way to be loved.

You can be a blessing to your spouse by choosing to love them with God’s kind of love, love that doesn’t change with moods or circumstances. If you are blessed enough to be married to someone who chooses to truly love you bless them by receiving their love, just because.

Resting in Commitment

“…for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me." Ruth 1:16b-17

This week my husband and I will be celebrating 18 years of marriage.  We have had hard times, but not usually with each other. We have seen couples around us fall apart. Thankfully we have also seen some make the commitment to make their marriage work. We’ve had many discussions over the years as to why our marriage seems to be different. One thing we have seen is commitment.

We committed to each other, before we got married and publicly when we did, that we would stay together forever. We meant it, as I’m sure most couples do. More than just having the best of intentions we knew there was no way out so the only choice is to make it work. There is a peace, a rest that comes from knowing someone has that kind of commitment to you. Energy is not spent on wondering what will happen or if this mess is bad enough to make them leave. I can rest in his love for me because I didn’t earn it and we both know I don’t deserve it.

So much like my Father and my Savior. I can rest, though I often don’t, in His love for me. No mess I ever make will remove me from His love – He already died for me! Why would he give up on me now? I can rest in His plans for me. I can rest in His protection and taking up my case.  His commitment to me does not depend on my commitment to Him. I am committed to Him, and that opens the door to relationship. My failing to keep my commitment to Him also does not affect His commitment to me. 

That is commitment I can rest in.

Question: How do you view commitment?
Challenge: Is there a commitment you need to look at again? Take a closer look at God's commitment to you.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Do You Ever Yell?

Yelling: The Cause, The Casualty, The Cure
Read all the way to the bottom to find out how you can get a FREE copy!

From Will I Ever Get This Right? posted November 16, 2011 

“You guys! Stop that!”

Unfortunately this was me, sounding just like I do not want my children to sound.

Raised voice, sarcasm and sharpness have been too frequent here lately. Life seems to have gotten the better of me and I find myself short of patience - grumpy, stressed and a bad example. 

I have grown and it happens less often, but I need a refresher on occasion. Yelling: The Cause, The Causalty, The Cure by Lorrie Flem came at such a time.

Slowing down to read Lorrie’s ebook I was reminded of many things I know, but forgot, like:

  • The difference prayer makes. – How can I forget my greatest resource? 
  • Taking time to train my children. – They are children. They don’t know everything even when they try to tell me otherwise! 
  • Prepare for our life – as it is – not as I want it. Being prepared and realistic saves so much stress, thus reducing the tendency to yell. 
  • Give myself grace. I’m a work in progress, just like my children. I will mess up. I will try again. 
I liked this specific, practical idea as well:
  • Schedule a funny movie. – I’m not very good at fun. I need to lighten up. 
If things are less pleasant than you would like in your home right now pick up a copy of Lorrie’s book for some good reminders. She included a great list of verses on prayer and forgiveness, too.

I'm off with a new commitment to bathe myself, my children, and my day in prayer. I will never get it right, but I m loved by the One who already has.

I can't say I've made as much progress as I would like since November... A good reminder of how important it is to keep the new way of thinking in front of us to change the thinking we already have. 

Lorrie Flem is making some changes to her resources and Yelling: The Cause, The Casualty, The Cure is the first to be published as an ebook.

Great news for you - it's free. That's right you can get a free Kindle copy of Lorrie's ebook, Yelling: The Cause, The Casualty, The Cure. Follow this link on July 24th. It's free July 24th only! Also on the 24th there will be a facebook party with Lorrie and the Gabby Moms. Come say "Hi" or ask questions.

Of course you can visit Eternal Encouragement anytime for great resources.

Be sure to get your FREE Kindle copy of Yelling: The Cause, The Casualty, The Cure on July 24th!

As a Gabby Mom I recieved a free digital copy for my honest review.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Path to Rest

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7)
Same verses with some additional definitions:
Be careful for [be anxious about] nothing [not even one]; but in everything [all, any, every, the whole] by prayer [worship] and supplication [a petition] with thanksgiving [gratitude; grateful language] let your requests [a thing asked] be made known unto God. And the peace [prosperity: - one, peace, quietness, rest] of God, which passeth [excel; superior, superiority: - better, excellency, higher, pass, supreme] all understanding, shall keep [be a watcher in advance, that is, to mount guard as a sentinel (post spies at gates); figuratively to hem in, protect: - keep (with a garrison)] your hearts [thoughts or feelings] and minds [intellect, disposition] through Christ [anointed] Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7) 
This Sunday a woman shared this verse in a new way. God’s peace, His rest, is set about us like a guard to protect us when we do not worry when we let Him know what we need with a grateful heart and voice.

I never thought I was a worrier. If you’ve been following me on my journey to rest you’ll know that I somewhere along the way became one without knowing it. I worry and think and plan instead of following the clear instructions in these verses. Do not worry. Worship and pray with gratitude. This is the path to the rest I long for. It is the path to the heart of the Father and the Prince of Peace.

Question: Have you experienced the peace of God surrounding you as a guard?
Challenge: Voice, aloud, gratitude every time a worry crosses your mind.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Rest in Liberty

Being Independence Day here in the USA I looked for liberty. Not surprising liberty is a place God wants us to rest.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.  (Galatians 5:1)
The words stand fast mean “to be stationary”. That sounds like rest to me. Liberty means freedom. Freedom bought and paid for by the anointing of Jesus.
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty(2 Corinthians 3:17)
The Spirit dwells in me therefore there is the freedom in me for me to rest in.
And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.  (Psalms 119:45)
Again I see the rest I seek is tied to knowing my Father’s precepts – His words, His ways and His presence.

Liberated from sin and punishment.
Liberated to follow God anywhere He leads.
Liberated to rest.

Rest is something I need to change from a concept to a way of life. I am learning, but I feel I have so far to go. I don’t though. My Savior never leaves me. He is here and He is rest.