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Friday, July 6, 2012

Bind them on your hearts...

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates. When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you--a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant--then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. (Deuteronomy 6:6-12)

I have a deep desire that my children would desire to dwell in the house of the Lord forever (Psalm 23:6b). That they would choose this day who they will serve. I pray they develop a love for the Lord God and that they would desire out of their who hearts to know Jesus Christ.

One of the ways we have started to do this is by reading a chapter of the bible at bedtime. It has been two and a half weeks and Maddie has it pretty down pat, with only a few prompts here and there. I suspect in a couple more days of hearing it she will have it down to were she can recite it without help.

Scripture says to talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road. As I am training my children in the way their attitudes need to be. When we see situations as we are out and about we talk about what Jesus would have us do. As we walk along the trails in the local state park, we point out God's creation. Instead of trying to figure out were something came from, we take the truth of what we believe, that God created it. We then try to hypothesis how God created it.

Another way we write upon our children's hearts God's provision and love is to sit down with them and pray with them about a need we have or a need someone else may have. We do it in their mind frame of understanding. We bring our needs before the Lord, then our kids get to watch the Lord answer our prayers. But, also learning to trust and have peace about an answer that God may have told us no about or has simply said wait. They learn to have peace and to trust God by watching Mark and I responses to situations we have prayed about. Assuring our kids even when we can't see God working, he is always working for our good. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).

One thing to keep in mind, you can't force your child's heart. Changing and molding hearts is God's job. I, as the parent, can give them tools such as scripture memorization and praying for them is huge. But, I must remember God is the master artist of their hearts and lives. I must trust God with my kid's hearts, even if it doesn't make sense and I want to pull all of my hair our of my head! Isaiah 55:11 "So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth: It shall not return to me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

If I believe that God is truly in control, then I must also choose to cling to the truth that he is in control of my kid's hearts as well. After all, they are only loaned to me for a little while, it is God who formed and knit them in my womb, he is intimate in all their ways. I will trust in the Lord and watching the amazing things he does in my kids lives.

What are some ways you have taken God's truth and helped your children to remember them? I would love to hear the ways the Lord has lead you, to lead your children!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Shift...

This last year my parents moved my grandma into a nursing home. It has not been until the last couple of years that I have felt and seen a huge generational shift. When I was growing up the order went: my grandparents, then my parents, and then us kids. Grandma and Grandpa made the Turkey, Ham, casseroles, whatever the main course for whatever we happened to be celebrating. Then my parents and their siblings would bring the side dishes. Us kids were left to haul everything in, out, up, down, or wherever something needed to be moved. The adults sat at the dinning room table, us kids sat downstairs in my grandparents basement (which us kids thought was the greatest thing ever).

This year however, holidays have been at my house. I made my first ham this year in the roaster, which is traditionally what my family uses to cook the huge holiday hams and turkeys. I made the ham, while my sisters and parents brought the sides. While grandma looked on with a look that said I'm glad they're doing that and not me.

The shift has happened. My parents have moved into the rolls of my grandma and grandpa, I have moved into the roll of my parents, and my kids now play the fun roll I had as a child with get together. Now, it's me who calls my mom at 10pm asking questions about the Ham I am suppose to get up and put in the roaster at 4am. Not getting up at 4am would assure that we would not be eating at the traditional 12 O'clock lunch bell.

I am the parent who is suppose to know how to sew a dolls arm back on, pop the wheel back on the tractor. I am the parent who is suppose to know which band aid goes on which owie and kisses the pain away. I am the one who is now suppose to have the answers.

The shift has happened. I feel and understand 1 Corinthians 13:11, "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

As I ponder the role of being an adult it makes me stand back and look at my life, look at what I know and how I got to know, what I know. I ponder what do I want to place in my kid's lives that they will take with them into adulthood. When it is time for them to plant a garden on their own for the first time, will they know how to do it? When my kid's welcome their first baby into the world will they be equipped to know how to be gentle, how to love unselfishly. I think what is the legacy I want to set today, so that they will be ready in the future. Today makes a big difference for my kid's tomorrow. Have I shown them Jesus, have I lived a life of reading my bible, showing my kids through action that the word of God truly is important? Showing them it's important by a daily quiet time in the word and prayer? Have I shown my kids that God is the great provider by praying for our needs and the needs of others. Pointing out when God has provided for us or someone else. I remember a quote that says something like, kids learn more by watching than my hearing.

I have officially entered adulthood and I pray my life points others to Christ. For Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. No one will go to the father unless through Christ (John 14:6). There is no other way into heaven other than Christ Jesus and the bible says we must confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord. So we must speak with our mouth, words must come from our lips that Jesus is Lord and has paid the ransom for our sin with His blood! Jesus paid it all! As an adult I praise and worship God knowing that he has saved me from hell and from separation from Him.

As wife, mommy, sister, daughter, and friend I rest with confidence "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6). Amen, Amen!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Lemon, vanilla, raspberry, mint and more! Homemade extracts!

I was introduced to homemade vanilla extract about a year ago on Making your own extract is quite possibly the easiest thing you make in your kitchen. I bought the vanilla beans from Frontier, a whole foods bulk foods distrubtor. Although you can also buy them from Olive Nation,, or I like going with either Olive nation, azure starndard, and Frontier the most. The reason being, I know both of their companies have a high standard and I have always been satisfied with the beans I bought from them.

Vodka, rum, and bourbon are the most common alcohol's for vanilla extract making, but you could venture out and try another alcohol. My favorite by far is either the bourbon or the rum.

What you need for vanilla extract:
40 beans for 1/2 gallon batch, 80 beans for 1 gallon

You can use all rum, all vodka, or all bourbon, or you can do like I do and do 1/2 gallon jar of rum and another 1/2 gallong jar of bourbon (you put them in seperate glass jars, not mixed together). This way we get the yummy flavors of both! Cut your vanilla beans in half, place in your glass jar (did I mention glass is better for extracts). Once your jar is filled with your amazing aromatic vanilla beans pour your alcohol of choice over the beans. give it a shake and put in a dark place for six months. If I am out of vanilla I will sneak a little bit after a week, but it is definately a lot stronger left for the six months.

I have only made vanilla extract, but I fully intend to make mint extract, vanilla bean & mint extractlemon extract, raspberry extra, and I plan on attempting other extracts as well!

Homemade extracts give your taste buds a happy dance. You don't have to use as much as you would with store bought extracts because homemade extracts are more potent. Making your own also gives you piece of mind of what is and is not in the food you are eatting!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

How's a mama to fit in her quiet time?

I am a wife and a mommy of three little ones. The realistic time for me to have a quiet time is any time between 5:30am and 6:30am. However, my kids are still small enough that it is not uncommon for me to get up three to four times a night. Soooo...let's be realistic...if I have gotten up three to five times a night I'm probably going to sleep in a bit longer that day. Nights don't work very well because that is usually my time with Mark or we have other things going on, by the time I put the kids to bed I'm usually too tired to keep my eyes open to read anyways.

So, what's a tired and busy mama to do? I have found writing scripture and posting them on my kitchen cabinet to be helpful in many ways. While I am chopping, dicing, spreading peanut butter on bread, washing dishes, and lots of other ing things. I read, mediatate, and pray about the verses I have posted. Some scripture is for someone or something speific the Lord is teaching me in my life or in the life of someone else, other verses are ones that bring encouragement and perseverance to my day.

Yes, having a quiet time alone with the Lord is important and nessaccary. John 15:5 says, "I am the vine you are the branches, he who abides in me and I in him will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing." Spending time everyday with the Lord is important but it's also wonderful to know that we have a God who understands busy, tired mama's.

Just as I have brought scripture into the kitchen, I have brought prayer into my everyday routines. Dusting, vaccuming, doing dishes, laundry, these are all great times to spend in prayer. If I am doing Mark and I's laundry I will pray for our marriage, I will pray for Mark at work, I will pray for something we are struggling with. If I'm doing the kids laundry, I will pray for character traits we are trying to teach.

Another great idea is to get your kids involved in your scripture reading. After we have breakfast we have bible time. We read the scripture, sometimes we have read the same scripture all week but each day we read a different bible version. We also have had weeks were we all work to memorize the same scripture and pray about the verse becoming more real in our lives.

Being a busy, tired mama doesn't mean quiet time has to dissappear, it just means we have to get creative incorporating it into our day. I do know that when I have had my time with the Lord I am able to give more and love more. When we are connected to "the vine", we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Flies be gone!!!

Mark and I were having fruit fly issues and I needed and wanted to get rid of them. However I didn't want sticky tape hanging from anything and I'm not big on putting things around my house that says do not ingest. After some research I came upon something I was willing to try and had things I already had on hand or were inexpensive.

Things you will need:
*container (I use glass, but plastic is probably OK)
*warm water
*about a tablespoonish of honey

Pour about a 1/8 cup of vinegar in your container (you can eye it, it's not exact science), then add warm water (warm water helps the honey to dissolve) to the container. Pour your honey in the container, and stir. Set on counter or windowsill and allow the concoction to lure in those pest flies! While I have noticed it draws mostly fruit fly, it will occasionally draw in the bigger flies.

I cried out to the LORD this morning...

When I am weak and have nothing else to give,
is usually when God is able to work the greatest in my life!

I could run and hide, bury deep within a book.
I could shove my pain, way down deep inside.
Deny the pain and rejection, tell myself I am not lonely.
But I would be lying and my soul knows it.
I cannot be what he needs when wallowing in self-pity.
Giving without the need to receive is this realistic.
Giving without the need to have it given back, is ONLY accomplished with your mighty hand.
It is impossible to give any part of me, if my God is not filling me up and directing my heart.
I am weak and needy, I am a plant in the sprint sucking nutrients from the earth,
needing water and sun.
I am weak; I need your strength, O Mighty One!
I have nothing to give, I am nothing!
Give me all I need today, fill me up.
O Lord, let my lips be filled with sweet nectar.
O Lord, let my heart overflow with love and patience.
Come near to me, be a bulwark and shield to me.
Your love is everlasting; I come to bask in your presence.
I come to hide in the shadow of your wings.
Teach me when to be silent and when to speak.
Teach me to wait on your timing.
Let me shine for you today
Let me be a beacon in a dark world.
Let me be what my husband and my children need today.
I am needy myself today, selfishness is not far from me.
My selfishness shouts I need, I need, I want, I want.
Align my wants and my needs with your truths, truths that bring freedom.
I need you today LORD, I want you to today LORD!
Help me to serve today, as Jesus served!
Without you LORD, I am nothing.
I hide in the shadow of your wings today LORD!
I wait and watch the miracles you do in me today!
I wait and watch the energy you pour into me!
I wait and watch you transform me today!
I wait and watch my relationship with YOU deepen today!
I wait and watch the Almighty work today!
He is faithful, He is lovingkindness, He is hope, He is steadfast, and He loves even me!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Homemade Jam vs. store bought Jams

Honestly, the only thing store bought Jam/Jelly has over homemade is that it's convenient. To me, that is not a good enough reason to not make my own. The perks of homemade anything is that you know what is in it and more importantly what is NOT in it! I first experimented with homemade jams/jellies last spring and fall when berries were plentiful on the bushes. On my first jam/jelly maiden voyage, I read and reread the recipe to make sure that I had all my ducks somewhat in a row and I was somewhat confident of each step. The first batch I was nervous that I would mess something up and it wouldn't turn out. Which was completely silly because as I completed each step I realized how simple it really was.

My sister got me the Canning book  "Balls complete Book of Home Preserving". Along with some canning tools. Little did I know that they would come in handy with jam and jelly making. However, if you do not have a canning book, no problem, there are websites like and blogs such as out there to guide you with recipes, hints, and tips.

My recommendation is start simple, get your feet wet, build confidence with an easy recipe and work your way to more difficult, time consuming recipes.

Perks of homemade jams and jellies:
* You know what is in them and what is NOT in them!
*It is cost effective when you watch for the berries to go on sale or
  if you pick them yourself and freeze them for later use.
* If you get real good at it your friends will want to buy it from you. :)
* The variety of jams/jellies you can come up with is endless! Today I made mango-strawberry jam because it's the kind of berries and fruit I had on hand.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What I learned during one of those days...

Yesterday was one of those days. For starters we opened the twins bedroom door to find Naomi naked and poop from head to toe, with poop footprints on the floor. Then later, because she is potty training I had put her in a pull up for ease of going potty. She ended up pooping in her pull up which had dropped to her ankles from the weight of the poop. As Naomi was playing on the bed with Maddie she had some how fallen off backwards and hit her head on the floor. Shortly after that Titus' piggy bank some how fell off the dresser and shattered into a million pieces. As I was homeschooling Maddie, she continued to have meltdown after meltdown. Titus was whinny and clingy, adding to the frustration of trying to scrub poop footprints from the carpet, taking the bedding off of Titus and Naomi's bed and putting clean sheets on.

How did I get through the morning? I cried, I laughed, I prayed and cried out to the Lord. I got through because the Holy Spirit was faithful to remind me to slow down and be ok with not getting done what I had wanted to get done. Because the Holy Spirit reminded me that my kids are only small for a short time. He reminded me that while I may not get much done that he is faithful to help me get done what needs to get done later. I got through because God is faithful and cares about mommies drowning in stinky, nasty, poop footprints. God cares about mommies who's children are having meltdowns, God cares about mommies who are feeling suffocated by their little ones clingyness.

On a day like this...oh...I need the LORD to help me! One of the valuable things I have learned being a wife and a mommy is to cry out to God for wisdom in the midst of the crazy things that happen. When my children all decide to revolt at the same time, when Mark is busy and stressed at work and cannot meet my needs, when I'm feeling lonely. Whatever the circumstance, God has taught me to cry out to Him and let Him fill me up, pick me up, clean me up. In crying out to God, abiding in Him, I am developing an intimacy with Him I have never experienced before and it's amazing.

Are your kids ganging up on you today? Do you have poop prints on your carpet? Are you lonely? Are you scared? Cry out to the Lord for wisdom, comfort, and peace. He gives to all abundantly when we ask and seek Him! Seek Him, He is waiting for you!

After a morning of craziness, I gave the kids an early lunch, they went down for early naps, and the afternoon turned out much different than the morning had went. I dressed the kiddos in their grubby clothes, put their mud boots on, and off we went out into the amazing spring afternoon. The kids got to taste mud encrusted ice chips, eat plenty of mud, splash in puddles. They made mud pies, and slid on ice. We watched and listened to birds, we saw squirrels. The Lord heard my heart and answered with mud puddles and laughter! He turned my tears into laughter. I left the laundry, instead of tracing letters Maddie and I made brownies together. The day did not go as I had planned, but that's OK, it went as God planned, and He is amazing at planning. It's freeing when I can embrace what God wants done from day to day, even if it's different than my day planner.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Donating to Locks of Love, It's as easy as one, two, three.

Every once in a while Mark decides to grow his hair out, but once summer comes it usually means it's about to get chopped off. This time around Mark's hair measured well over 12 inches when pulled straight. This year I suggested to Mark that he donate to Locks of Love and agreed that was a great idea. I went to the Locks of Love website and easily found the page to donate his hair and the criteria the hair needs to meet in order to be donated. The Locks of Love website has a form you can print and fill out, but just in case you do not have a printer or like us you are out of ink for your printer you can simply write the same information down on a piece of paper and stink it in with the Manila envelope you use.

From the Locks of Love website; "Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis." 

"We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics. Our mission is to return a sense of self, confidence and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss by utilizing donated ponytails to provide the highest quality hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged children. The children receive hair prostheses free of charge or on a sliding scale, based on financial need."

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Nomad wonderings

Ever since I can remember I have never been content to stay in one place. I would get to a place, I would absorb it for all it was worth, then I would be ready to look for the next adventure, the next journey. I have seen amazing places in the United States, lived amongst amazing people. In each place God has taught me something that would prepare me for the next move of my life. But in all my wonderings I was still looking for something, something I couldn't grasp or comprehend but I knew there was something missing. I have known Jesus all of my life, I was saved at the age of 6 years old, I have lived a life of a missionary in full time ministry. I serve as a missionary to my husband and three kids now. When I prayed to ask God what it was I was missing or what it was I was looking for, I was not prepared for what he showed me. God showed me and told me the roaming I was doing, the moving from one place to another was because I was searching for God, I was searching for heaven. Some how my spirit knows earth is not it's home, earth is not my final destination. Some how my mind, body, and soul know that there is more to life than earth and it's fleshly trials and struggles.

I still struggle at times with the need to wonder and move around. There are times that I struggle and start looking for an outward source. It's in these times the Holy Spirit gently reminds me it is God I am looking for and it is the creator I already know and love that my soul, heart, and spirit are looking for. I have already found what I'm looking for and to rest in the creator, rest in my father God, and because Jesus Christ died for me, I can rest in the blood of Jesus because it's His blood that bridges the gap for me.  It's because of Jesus's blood I do not have to be afraid of the hollowness that was once between God and I, there is no hollowness now, there is only onness, that is found in Christ and knowing him.

So While I still wonder and my soul still searches for heaven, it's eternal peaceful home.  I am at peace and while it's fun to still go to different places and see all the wonders God has created, but I no longer wonder blindly with a hunger I don't know how to feed. God has given me what I need to feed the hungers of my soul here on earth, but I have to have a daily feeding, or my soul, spirit, and heart will be blinded and starved. God has given me The Holy Bible filled with the wisdom of God and to those who believe in his name and have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus Christ into their heart, to these people he has given The Holy Spirit.

Mark and I are renters, we are not yet ready to buy our own home...yet. We have moved eight times in six years. That is a lot of moving and honestly I'm tired of moving, I'm tired of loosing something every time we pack and unpack. I also struggle with making wherever we move to our home because at first it is just our house. It's the people in it, the woman in it, that makes it a home. But I struggle with this part because what if I get everything set up in just the right place and all of a sudden it's time to move again. I don't want to fix up a house we live in, that isn't mine because I don't want to invest in something that is not going to come with me. But the Lord reminded me today that earth and whatever house I live in is not my permanet destination. Earth is only a long layover before I go home to be with Jesus and My Abba Papa. What does this mean for me? It means I'm going to do my best to make our house a home. I'm going to do my best to make the house and yard we have the most enjoyable and beautiful as I can make it. I am going to do my best with the help of the Holy Spirit to deal with today and trust God for tomorrow. A tomorrow I may enjoy in heavenly paradise anyways.

I'm a nomad who wonders, who may never have a permant place on earth to call my own. But that's ok, because someday I will have mansion in heaven and I will spend eternity in the presence of God the Father.  I will choose to live as the gospel of Matthew says. Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Patience in searching...

I'm on a journey of learning how to be the best help meet for my husband. Meeting his needs so that he is at his best to serve the God who created him for greatness. A God who wants to send him out into a world to minister and serve others, pointing them to Christ. A world who wants to steal my mans manliness and his worth as a man.

What is my role as Mark's help meet? As I read through Created to be his helpmeet. I am learning that there are three types of men. The command man, the visionary man, and the steadfast man. Mrs. Pearl says that men are usually a little bit of each of these, they are also usually dominant in one of these areas. Mark is hands down the visionary man! Mark is creative and inventive. He loves the thrill of the hunt or in his case the thrill of the perfect photograph. He's in search of the perfect natural lighting, seeing in nature what I myself am too impatient to even care to see. Yet, when Mark says, "Robin look!", I am always amazed at what he has me stop and look at and also amazed at how much I miss because of my fly-by personality.

My role as Mark's wife is to first and foremost pray and lift him up to the Lord. Interceding for him to the LORD who created him. Praying for the Holy Spirits direction in his life and that Mark would be suble and open to the direction the LORD wants him to go. As Mark's wife my job is to be open to the directions God wants him to go. Trusting in the Lord with all my heart and leaning on the promise that my path will be made straight when I do trust. Mark has a vision and passion to one day have a ministry out of his photography. He wants to use his talent with a camera to direct and point people to Christ. What you may ask is my role in this. As of right now, my role is to pray for God's timing in the matter, while praying God will give Mark patience and peace in the desire of his heart. Not going before or after God, but waiting on God's perfect timing. My role is to tighten our grocery bill if the case arises that we need to pinch pennies even tighter. My role is to encourage Mark and give my imput IF and I do say IF Mark asks for it. I need to remember I am NOT Mark's guide or the one to tell him what to do.

Let me say this, I am finding that when I get on board with my man's passions, when I am encouraging him instead of fighting him on everything and not knit picking just because I feel out of control or insecure. Mark is more often open to the insight I may have on the circumstance or situation. He is open and suble and ready to hear what I have to say AND is also usually willing to acknowledge that I might be right.  If however, I fight against what the LORD is doing in my man or asking him to do, I am destroying whatever God wants my man to do for his glory. I am deflatting the man God has given instructions to fulfill. Imagine if Noah's wife had said honey you are off your rocker and pitched a fit, could she have deflated Noah and detered him from a most important situation. What about Sari, Abrahams wife, if she had flat out refused to go anywhere because she wanted to be near her family and would go nowhere. We can see the big picture of a flood coming and of a promised land, but Sari and Noah's wife didn't have an end result picture to follow. All they had was their husband and the LORD their God that they trusted. They went on blind faith and were honored for it and their husbands were able to fulfill what God asked them to do.

 Something I noticed about each of these women is that they trusted God and had an intimate relationship with HIM. Perhaps it was not their husbands they trusted so much as it was YAHWEH they were trusting and following. When God asks us to do something he also brings peace along in the circumstance, but I have to allow the peace by being willing to submit to Mark and choose joy and choose to be thankful in the circumstance. Even praying and being thankful in advance for the amazing works he will do through my husband.

I am usually harder on myself than Mark is and I often find myself apologizing to him for telling him what to do, not meeting a need I knew he had and didn't do anything about. I apologize and he looks at me and says I didn't think that needed apologizing for, but he also says grants forgiveness. I am trying to be patient with myself and give myself room to error and blow it. I am after all still human, I need to give myself room and time to pratice being joyful always and thankful at all times. My husband can see my effort and is being patient with me. God is patient with me, so I also need to be patient with myself. Being patient with mself does not give me permission to slack off and not do my help meet role. That's not at all what I am saying. I am giving myself permission to seek God's forgiveness, Mark's forgiveness, forgive myself and the continue to press on and fullfill my help meet role in Mark's life.

He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus! Be patient but press on!

note: Since I have begun to pursue meeting Mark's needs joyfully without complaining and actively being Mark's help meet, he has taken the trash out twice without me having to do it or having to ask him too!

Note to Mark: Thanks babe for taking the trash out, I sinerely appreciate it! But, I also know that you have a lot on your plate and when you aren't able to take the trash out, I am more than happy to do it! I love you babe!

Friday, January 13, 2012


Many of us search and search for what we have been created for, what is the big picture of my life? For the Christian this should be an easy one, to glorify God with all my heart, soul, and mind. My life should be an outpouring of my intimate relationship with God. But what areas does God want me to pour into? Does he want me to pour into full time ministry, does he want me to pour into my husband, my kids.

For me this has been a hard question. I have been looking outside my family for a ministry opportunity. To some of you this sounds admirable and yet some of you are thinking to yourself it's a no-brainer, my family is ministry. While my brain and heart know this, my soul hadn't yet caught up with the concept of my family being my ministry.

I am on a journey, a journey of learning to be my husbands help meet. Not trying to be Mark's mommy, his boss, or even trying to be the Holy Spirit guiding his thoughts and actions. But being his help meet. Selflessly loving my husband so that God can use him at his best. So that Mark can go to work with a whistle in his breath and excitement in his step and a spirit that is light. My roll is to help Mark be able to glorify God and meet an ugly world that wants to bash his manliness! My roll is to affirm Mark as the man God has glorified him to be. The world can be an intimating place and a man needs someone to tell him that through Christ he can bring down a giant. My place is to affirm my man to accomplish all that the Lord has in store for him.

Now, being Mark's help meet is NOT possible without a deep love and respect for God, the creator of this world. It is not possible on my own, especially while I"m pmsing or just being a spiteful woman. Being Mark's help meet requires me to be in the word daily, to surround myself with other women who are like minded to encourage me to run the race. Being Mark's help meet requires tears while I die to myself again and submit to God who has created me to be a woman, a married woman, thus a help meet. Being Mark's help meet requires a conscious effort to practice being joyful and thankful at all times. It requires me to relax, laugh, and let go of control, letting one hand go of the monkey bars so I can swing to another rung trusting the Lord to land my hand safely on the next rung. It's scary letting go of control, the fear of the unknown, the fear of rejection and being unloved. The fear of standing alone giving my own for a man who might not return it.

Yet as I continue on the journey to be Mark's help meet I am learning through my own journey and the stories of other women who have gone before me that THIS route is THE route to take! Less of me and more of doing what God has asked me to do. Being Mark's helpmeet completely goes against what the world and even the christian world have to say about the "worth" of a woman and what are rolls look like.

I have chosen to choose joy and thanksgiving, I have chosen to giggle and try and see the lighter side to life. As I giggle, when Mark asks me to do something and I smile and happily do it, he is changing. Mark is becoming more joyful and relaxed. Lovemaking, which up until now was referred to by me as sex. When lovemaking is simply referred to ask sex, it is simply that. It is not an expression of love, it's just an act that doesn't really mean anything and something I'd rather have over with sooner than later. But it has become love making and I have come to love lovemaking! I am finding the sparks that had almost gone out, I have found that the missing spark was me...not Mark! Mark did try but how do you start a wet, cold, and frozen log?

I'm on a journey, a journey I am so thankful the Lord has brought to my attention. A journey that is going to glorify God and take Mark and I places we never thought we could go. I'm thankful that God loves me enough to go through painful journeys, that ask me to die more to myself and ask me to give God full control. Purging the junk out of heart, soul, and mind and fully submitting my will for his will!

Do I feel unequal to Mark, do I feel less of a person, do I feel like a servant? I honestly do not feel less of a person. As I have come to help Mark meet his needs, he has become aware of my needs. He has become a tender lover, a happy helpful helper around the house when he can. As I allow Mark his place of authority and leadership in our home he starts to be affirmed of his place in our home. As I allow Mark to become the man, he starts acting like a man, and less of a caged person in his own home. When I start to give Mark the authority, the kids fall in line with me. Our home becomes a peaceful place because I am allowing the order in our home that God has designed. Going outside of God's design is going outside of his protection for us. It is always better under God's design. Because I submit to Mark does not mean I have no pull in our home. I as a woman have more pull and power than I care to think about. I can use that pull to uplift, joyfully obey my husband, and pray for him or I can use that same power to destroy the man God has given me. Us women have a choice to build up or tear down, to get better or bitter. The choice is yours!

I'm on a journey...won't you seek to come on the journey with me?!