Your Home Is A Tool By Mystie Winckler

This is a blog post that I found from one of my favorite blogs Homemakers Challenge! It just gave me such relief to see someone say that your home is to be a tool, and it’s supposed to be functional not something that is never used… It was very refreshing and I hope you enjoy it…

Your Home is a Tool

April 22, 2013 By 

Many of us are task-driven. We want to see things done, accomplished, finished. This is what the world tells us is productivity.

However, our life at home is not the kind of world where things are often finished. You might check off “laundry” for the day, but before the day is out, there will be more dirty laundry in the hamper. You might check off “make dinner,” but dinner will have to be made again tomorrow. Not only that, but because you made dinner today, there are now dishes in the sink to wash.

This can be supremely frustrating. It can be discouraging, disheartening, even depressing. But that is because we have the wrong framework for productivity and accomplishment.

dinner helper

Our aim in home cooking and home keeping is not to check off as many boxes in a day as we can; there are no deals to close or contracts signed or paychecks earned. These areas of our lives are means, not ends in themselves. Our aim is to build people and to build people up.

The goal of home cooking is not, actually, to put a meal on the table. It is to feed people. The cooking, the eating, the cleaning up afterward, are part of the cycle of feeding people. It isn’t a task worthwhile in itself. A beautifully set table with a piping hot meal is picturesque, but pointless if there are not people there to enjoy it, to use it, to make a mess because of it, and to need it again only a few hours later. Nourishing people with food and with fellowship is the point of the effort, the meal and the dishes are tools for that effort. Tools must be maintained, but not polished and sharpened merely to hang on a wall. Effective tools are used and reused, dirtied and cleaned, over and over.

messy kitchen

The goal of home keeping is not to have a clean house. What a frustrating goal that is as a homeschooling family! We use our home all day every day for everything. There are lots of people doing lots of things in our homes. That is good. That is right. Our homes, also, are tools to be made use of, not display pieces to handle gingerly. Tools get dirty, tools have to be taken care of, but the point is to keep them useful and functioning. A shovel left out in the grass all winter will rust and rot and not be much use in the spring; a home left untended will run to weeds. But a home cared for will not be immaculate. The aim in cleaning house is not to have a clean house, but to prepare the house for further functioning.

When you find yourself looking around and sighing and cringing and feeling deflated and defeated (as I do almost every day), it is a sign that your hope is set on the wrong end. Do not confuse your tools with your projects. Your home is a tool of investment into your family.

Let it be used.

A Love Letter To My Husband…

My Dearest William,

I’m writing you this letter just simply to tell you Thank You and I Love You! I wanted the whole world to know just how much I love you and why it is that I love you!! So think of this as me SHOUTING IT FROM THE ROOF TOPS!

First off I just want you to know that I am thankful for all the work that you do! I know that at times you are working so much that we barely see each other but I know that you are providing the best way you know how for our family so thank you! Thank you for being such a hard worker and yet being sensitive to know when I need more of you. You are doing such a great job of balancing work, ministry and time with me!

Seeing you work so hard has really made me fall in love with you all over again! I guess it’s because you’re so passionate about the things that you do I can’t help but love you more and more. Not to mention the fact that we’ve been the only people in each others lives for quite some time, and although we now have a few friends you are the only friend I ever really need. I love just hanging out with you! I feel like we’ve truly become friends in the last few months not that we weren’t before, but I think somewhere along the way our friendship got lost in all the marriage stuff you know? But it’s nice to know that we can just get together and have fun, laugh together and not take things too seriously!

Thank you for loving Jesus and for always striving to better your relationship with Him. I am so thankful that we can undoubtedly say that our love for Jesus is what brought us together and is what makes our marriage work. Keep loving Jesus and we’ll always be right where we are supposed to be! I love the way you keep going after what God has called you to and look forward to the many adventures that come with that perseverance. I’m ready to follow you wherever God leads you!

I love you because every day you are trying to get to know me better and in the midst of that I get to know you better (it only took me 3.5 years to figure out you don’t like mango or the word whatever as an answer and for you to figure out that I really don’t like nature or things to be sugar-coated) I love the way you crack my back every night so that I can sleep. I love the fact that you are always thinking about me. I love that most days you come home for lunch and watch boy meets world. I love that you listen to me and that you really do appreciate my feedback and point of view. I love that you challenge me to be better at the things that I enjoy doing and how you push me to get better at the things I’m not too good at. I love that you enjoy my cooking and I love that you are one of my biggest fans (sorry I think my mom still has you beat).

I love that you love me and you’re not afraid to tell me and that you are not afraid to show your emotions. I absolutely love seeing you with kids (and have come to accept the fact that they love you more than they love me)! There is a special side of you that comes out when you’re in the presence of children. It’s like you’re more in tune with their needs and I cannot wait until we have children upon children of our own because I know that you are going to be one magnificent father!

I love your heart, I love your strength, I love your determination, I love the fact that you know so much about so many things and yet have learned when to share them with me, I love that you are such a kid at times, I love that you are an honest man, I love that you fight for others especially their marriages because I know that you will always be fighting for ours! I love that divorce is NOT an option and that there will never be a reason to think that it is! I love that we make our own traditions. I love that we are good at road-trips and we both like to travel to new places!

I look forward to our lives together for many, many more years. I promise to always love you even when I may not like you. I promise to try to do everything without complaining, I promise to always think of you first and to honor, respect, and pray for you. I love you and am so thankful that God made a way for us to be together (you make the years in the Army worth it)!  Thank you for being my knight in shining armor and treating me like a princess, thank you for supporting me and praying for me and for being a FAR MORE ABUNDANTLY better husband than I could ever have imagined! I love being your wife and always will!

Loved By Me Always,

Terri

 

Prayer for Struggling Wives By April Cassidy

This wonderful prayer and blog post came to me by way of my subscription to peacefulwife.com. Her website is pretty awesome and very encouraging. I have reposted many of her blog posts in the hopes that you all get something out of them and this one is no different! April said that this post was a prayer for someone she has been talking to but it’s also a prayer for all of us so I had to share it.

I know of a few women who could use the encouragement and I know of a few marriages who could use the prayer, and maybe you do too… by all means pray this prayer for those people. I know I did.  And honestly I think that most anyone could use this prayer not just wives…

IT IS NOT TOO LATE FOR YOU!!!!!!!

IT IS NOT TOO LATE FOR YOUR MARRIAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You do have a mountain to climb.  But I know you have it in you to do this and that God can empower you to do this.  You can’t do it on your own.  I completely agree that if you try to do all of this yourself, it’s impossible.

So it will involve beginning to use those faith and trust muscles in God that haven’t been getting much use.

Our God has HUGE plans for you, precious wife!  You are the one who is going to be the hero for this family.  I pray that God will let you see just a little glimpse of His plans and dreams for you and your family!  And of His incredible love for you.  His perfect love drives out all fear.

Your eyes are on the waves – I pray that you will get your eyes off the storm and onto Jesus.  He has this.  You don’t have to struggle.  You don’t have to try to walk on water yourself.  He’s going to lift you up to do this.

Lord (I put my hands on each hurting wife and pray over them from a distance),

I believe many wives are being attacked by Satan and that he would like nothing better than to hold their heads under water and drown their spirits.  I pray that each hurting wife might seek Your face today above all else and hear Your voice.  Help them to see any sin that is quenching Your Spirit in their lives.  Give them godly sorrow that leads to repentance and restoration with You and Your Spirit rushing in and flooding their souls with Your power, joy, peace, hope, strength, courage, wisdom and self-control.  Don’t let them fall victim to worldly sorrow that leads to death.  I pray that You might equip them for this spiritual battle so that they can stand firmly in the gap for their families and reach them for You.  I pray that the families might see Your love shining through these wives’ eyes, words and deeds.  I pray that the fragrance of Christ might be strong with these women and that all who know them and are around them will know without a doubt that they have been with Jesus.

I pray that each wife reading this prayer will be able to get up and stand in confidence in knowing that the blood of Jesus has washed away every stain of sin.  I pray each wife will determine to serve You as Lord of her life and live in obedience to You no matter the cost.  And I pray that she will know that she is a daughter of the King of kings and Lord of lords  – she is not a pauper’s daughter!  She has access to all the riches of heaven.  Help her to begin to see that she can use the gifts You have purchased for her and that she is not powerless, she is not a victim.  She is far, far from worthless.  She is a precious, lovely, beautiful, important, valuable, cherished daughter of the King.  I pray she will know the width, depth and breadth of Your love for her, Lord!!!!  Open her eyes to see herself as You see her. Let her read the promises in Your Word and stand on them, not her own understanding.  Let her see that your wisdom is much higher than her own.  Help her to lay aside her wisdom and feelings and put on Your wisdom and Your armor and Your righteousness.  She didn’t deserve it.  She is a sinner like me.  But You are giving her the gifts of heaven out of your mercy, grace and generosity for her to bring great glory to You.  Let her be found faithful when she enters heaven’s gates!

Raise up her head.  Give her the support she needs.  Give her the vision she needs.  Help her to crucify her old self and old desires and old ways of thinking and see the new thing that You are doing in her that is going to bless her family with Your power!  In all things she is more than a conqueror!  Fill her mind with Your praises and with Your Word.  Let her turn the knob to let Your Spirit flow in abundantly and in power to work in her, to remove all the filth and rot that offends you and that is destroying her.  Renew her mind and heart.  Fill her with good things from You.  Change her life, her soul, her marriage, her family and let them bring the greatest possible glory to Jesus!  Your will in her life, Lord!  All of Your will and nothing but Your will!

Remove the oppression of Satan from her mind.  Flood her soul and mind with Your light and hope!  Give her the faith to stand and begin to fight the enemy and see her family rescued from Satan’s snares.

In the Name and power of Jesus Christ,

Amen!

Respect Takes Practice

I ran across this a few days ago on peacefulwife.com and absolutely loved it and thought it would be just perfect for a “Wifely Wednesday” moment!! I hope you enjoy it and can use some of these phrases to better your marriage. Be Blessed.

Some great respectful phrases – IF you use them sincerely:
– Whatever you think is best.
– I trust you.
– I appreciate your wisdom.
– Thanks for being the leader in our relationship. I appreciate you carrying that heavy responsibility so well.
– I know you’ll do what is right in God’s sight.
– You’ll make the right decision!
– I believe in you!
– I am so proud of you!
– You’ve totally got this!
– You are the BEST father/husband/engineer/son/teacher…
– You did a great job!
– You’ll do a great job!
– I LOVE being your girl!
– I LOVE being married to you.
– There is nowhere else I’d rather be than here.
– Thank you for the honor of allowing me to be your wife!
– I’m so happy here with you.
– I can’t wait to see you!
– I can’t wait to feel your big, strong arms around me tonight!
– You have amazing ideas.
– Thank you!  You are SO generous/thoughtful/wonderful.
– Thanks for taking such good care of me.
– Thank you for being such a wonderful provider for our family.
– Your influence is so important on our children.  Thank you for being such a godly, loving, involved dad.
– I appreciate you having my back with disciplining the children.
– I admire your patience/the way you forgive so easily/your work ethic/your people skills/your wisdom/your humility/your perspective on life.
– I want to get your advice/opinion/perspective on something important.
– What do you think we should do?
– What would you like me to focus on?
– What would you like me to stop doing?
– How do you suggest we handle this situation?
– What a fantastic idea!
– You are so smart!
– It’s great having a big, strong man like you around!
Remember, wives, your tone of voice, your facial expressions and body language also need to be pleasant and friendly as you say these to communicate true respect!
Also
  • More words are not better with men the way they are with women.  Only use maybe one or two of these phrases per day, maybe even just one every other day at times.  Too much will seem insincere or like flattery and not seem real.
  • Respectful SILENCE can be more powerful than words.  It has to be respectful silence, not pouty silence, not the cold shoulder.  If your man shuts down – he either needs an apology for your apparent disrespect or he needs some time to cool down.  If he leaves the room or tries to end the conversation – please DO NOT keep talking and trying to force him to work through the conversation to a “resolution.”  That is not how he works.  That is what you want.  It’s a great goal, but if he leaves, he is saying, “I feel so angry and disrespected that I need to leave to protect you from my anger.”  Following him around the house or out to the garage or constantly texting him trying to MAKE him talk is EXTREMELY disrespectful.  Men do not do that to each other.  If he has had enough, you may apologize, or give him some time to process.  It takes men at least 8 more hours than women to process a lot of emotion.  Giving him time and quiet may actually draw him to you in time.
  • Explanations often come across as disrespect.  If you tell your husband what you think/want/feel/desire and he says no, be VERY careful about the temptation to try to explain yourself.  You think if you add more words to the situation, he’ll understand your position and change his mind.  After one time of expressing yourself, he probably already understands your position and if you continue to try to change his mind when he has already answered – it is very disrespectful and will seal your fate that he will not do what you have asked just because of your disrespectful approach.
  • Respect does not offer “help” when someone didn’t ask for help.  This is a REALLY tough concept for women.  Because we think we are being loving by pitching in without being asked to help.  But men usually take unsolicited help as being disrespectful, as implying that we don’t think they are competent and capable of doing something on their own.  Trusting your man to handle things and showing you have faith in him is respectful.  He will ask for your help if he needs it.

In Praise of Boring Men By Molly Lindsey Powell

So I know it’s been a while since I’ve done a “wifely wednesdays” post but I’ve been a little busy however I ran across this blogger and her wonderful blog ihcounsel and I had to share it… Its a great post on loving your husband and praising him for all his “boring” tendencies… I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

In Praise of Boring Men  by ihcounsel

Know any “boring” men?  I have had the blessing of being married to one for 25 years and share this essay in his honor.

In Praise of Boring Men 

At a neighborhood picnic recently I heard this joke:

“What does an Ambien do when he can’t get to sleep?

He takes a Romney.”

Apparently, this is one of the chief criticisms of Governor Romney– that he is boring. Based on nothing more than this, I say, let’s elect him president.

If he is boring, then I must like boring men.  My father is boring.  My brother is boring.   My husband is boring.  All in the same wonderful way that Mitt Romney is boring. They are all predictable, dependable, stable, and trustworthy.  Lord willing, I am raising 4 boring sons…although the jury is still out on one of them, but I have high hopes for him as well.

Husband, father and brother all worked hard –or at least hard enough -through high school, went through college studying things the free-market deemed as valuable, got good jobs, got married (once) and raised happy, secure children.   They spent their free time coaching little league, driving ski boats, taking care of older relatives, and serving the churches, schools, and communities where their families were nurtured.

As a child of a boring dad I never had the excitement of wondering what his next girlfriend would be like, if he would be able to find another job before we lost the house, or what kind of mood he would be in late at night.  He was always available, always patient, and always kind.  Really boring don’t you think?

I apparently did not inherit the boring gene from my dad.  On the contrary even as a child I was unusually interesting.   My dance recitals were not to be missed affairs.  And the school programs I had parts in- well I was so good that Dad would rush away from his office, even during tax season-to see my performances.  And my contributions to conversation around the diner table were always greeted with interest and taken seriously.  No, I was not boring… like my dad.

As the wife of a boring husband I never have the thrill of considering where is he, who he is with, or if he will lose interest in the humdrum life of our home and family.  He is either with us or working … working hard.  And I knew what I was getting into, for he was boring even in college, spending long hours studying and working with student groups.

I guess it is true that opposites attract, for according to him I am not the least bit boring.  He flies all over the country running his company yet is eager to hear about developments with my fascinating football team mom job.   He has encouraged me to write more.  And he looks at me with that same intense look he has given me for 30 years and it, like always, causes my stomach to do that same little flutter.  You would think he might come up with something new.  But then again, why?

Through the blessing of the boring men in my life– father, brother, and husband- -I find that my childhood and marriage have been drama-free.  My worries have been few and my peace and contentment immense.

Through the blessing of a boring father, my sons can go about the business of their own lives without their parents’ lives complicating matters for them.  Exciting men suck the oxygen out of a room.  Boring men, like trees in a deep, cool forest, enrich and refresh the air around them.  They encourage growth in others.  It’s not all about them.

And now, I must go pack, for my boring husband is taking me to Italy Saturday to celebrate 25 years of marriage. The trip was not his idea nor did he plan it.  But that’s okay.  I have lots of fun ideas and like making travel plans.  And he will make sure we don’t have the excitement of forgotten tickets, lost passports, or missed trains.   And, engineer that he is, he will likely engage me in what is to him a fascinating conversation about the efficiency-or lack thereof- of airport security lines. But that’s ok, so long as he gives me that look, every now and then.

He may be boring, but I like boring men.