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Home Is A Family, Not A House

with love coffee

Two nights ago I told my daughter goodnight for the last time in the house she grew up in.  I saw tears as they began to stream down her face as I released her from our nightly hug.  I knew what it was.  This house is the only ‘home’ she has ever known.  She lived at college for 3 years but I found out she cried there, too.

No greater compliment can a child give a parent than to cry because they are leaving ‘home’.   This time home was house, a structure.  What truly makes a home is the family that dwells in it.  I reminded her of that and that we would still be together because she moved with us. 

The move is still going on.  We are all exhausted!  This is our first night in our new place and the first thing to happen was the kitchen faucet broke into pieces.  Water sprayed everywhere like an exploding volcano.  Water dripped from the cabinets, the ceiling, and it spilled all over the floor.  My husband quickly turned the valve off and I can say the place is now spotless!   :)

I could feel the angst building in us all.  Even Gracie is tense and seems scared.  God reminded me this is when we are to become very sober and vigilant, as it says in 1 Peter.  The enemy was doing everything he could to steal our joy and to bring upset and strife among us on a day we should have been celebrating. 

After we had cleaned our temporary home, the Lord reminded me of something Reverend Mark Hankins says.  He cites the scripture ‘Count it all joy when you fall into various trials and temptations….”  He ends it by saying with each trying thing that comes you say, ‘One joy, two joy, three joy!”  NEVER let satan rob you of your life giving joy!  It is your strength!

There was a book by the title of “If the Devil Can’t Steal Your Joy, He Can’t Keep Your Goods” by Jerry Savelle.  That title says it all.  When it rains, get under God’s umbrella of protection by staying in the spirit!  He says He hides us in the cleft of the rock.  We are safe from the storms that come to steal our peace, joy, and confidence in the Lord.

How quickly our situation could have soured if we had chosen wrong attitudes.  How we could have prolonged the blessing the Lord has already prepared in advance!  Nope…not this time!  It feels good to grow up.  It is wonderful knowing that the very things you would have fallen for before, God has brought you to a place you see it coming and you know how to avert it! 

We are home, though temporarily in this ‘structure’, and this is an enjoyable season of our life!  God has blessed us, and even in our exhaustion, we are going to be thankful and relish it!  We are together and God is in our midst…what greater home could you have?

 

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Flying, Wide Open!

flying wide open

I haven’t blogged in some time.  I really felt the Lord calling me to a break from it all.  Yesterday, God gave me new direction and I’ll be filling you in on that.

I was posting recipes.  God had spoken to me to add them in, albeit temporarily.  I have to say, they were popular and I am glad I was able to share some things my mom and grandmother shared with me, but the purpose of this blog is not to share recipes.  I never intended it to be a recipe blog site

Jesus said it best when He said it isn’t what goes into the stomach that is important but what comes out of the mouth.  In other words, you have to eat, but more important than your physical body is the nurturing of your spirit!  What comes out of your mouth shows the substance of your heart and it also shows what your mind thinks about.  Your mouth shows you what you are made of and you will either speak life or death.  There is power in your tongue, so there is power in your mouth!

An acquaintance and fellow writer told me one time, “If you want readers, don’t write devotions.  People aren’t interested in devotions or Christian literature anymore.”  I felt like someone had slapped me!  Our lives should EVOLVE around Jesus.  You will only GO as far as you GROW.

  We need to know how to hear from God, how to get a grasp on God’s direction for our lives, how to have a spirit of wisdom and revelation at work within us.  Solomon didn’t ask for an exotic food or decorating sense or how to look like a ‘celebrity’ when God told him to ask anything from Him and He would grant it.  He asked for wisdom! 

 Wisdom should be the main thing we all are searching for, and if you are smart, you will search for it in Jesus Christ.  Even demons know Jesus is God so don’t pretend you don’t.  Deep down, you absolutely know it!!  Many just do not want to admit it.  Admit it while you can for the day will come when it will not be able to save you from hell and it will be too late…you will admit it one day anyway.  Every tongue is going to confess Jesus Christ is Lord the Bible says!  Do it now while you can still save your soul!!

You will find me bolder.  I am not here to pacify you, nor am I here to sooth wrong thinking.  I don’t mean to offend, but if the truth hurts then let it change you instead of fighting it.  You will lose every time!  The truth always stands…ALWAYS!  You are fighting a losing battle and why would anyone want to continue to be wrong?

I have found I don’t have to back down from any thing God has called me to do.  At the moment, I have sold my home and we are without a real address.  I am not homeless.  Thank God for a Christian couple who opened their home to us temporarily, but I had to let go of what I had to move into what God has and is preparing for me and my family.  I will be writing on more of this adventure in faith in the near future. 

I have gone from being ‘safe, steady as she goes, no changes’ to being a risk taker in God!  By faith, my family will step into literal air this Friday.  God will show us the direction we are to go as we listen and we will go where He says.  I guess you could say I am flying, wide open!   I hope you enjoy the journey with us.

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Nobody Ever Tells You…

cody kate and meWhen you first find out you are going to be a mother, you hear all types of advice and things to expect.  You are told to play classical music and point the speakers toward your growing tummy and your baby will be musically inclined, to read the encyclopedia to it and they will be gifted, what stroller to get, what baby bed is best, what to do the nursery in, the best pediatricians to use, and the list goes on and on!  But, what you don’t hear about is the pain and agony you go through when they grow up and leave you.

My son lives in Arkansas.  He is a minister and I am so very blessed!!  Our vacation has been spent seeing him.  I don’t want to say good-bye, I don’t want to leave.  No amount of Chihuahuas (well, maybe one more…or two) take away the pain of my children growing up! You know it HAS to happen, is bound to happen, and something would be wrong if it didn’t, BUT there is no comfort in that either!

I still have my daughter and will for two more years, which I am grateful for (it makes her cry for some reason…go figure!).  But, empty nesting the second time is just as hard as it was the first time…why didn’t anyone tell me about this??  Is there a support group for this sort of thing???

I look at the love my children have for God and others, the way they love to serve, and to hear what they want for the future.  I love to see how they write scriptures and tape them to their mirrors and speak the word, knowing it in their hearts not just their heads!  I am blessed, so very blessed!

You never stop being a mother and they will never stop being your babies.  I will be fine…they just better realize they will never get too big for my lap or my rocking chair, no matter where that may be!  The book “I Love You Forever” is so true…I love you forever, and forever my baby you will be!

 

 

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Marriage and Family-One Of My Favorite Things In Life!

one of my favorite things in life

 

 

One of my favorite things in life is traveling, especially when we are able to take our travel trailer!  This week, my husband has a case in a town about 3 hours away and I get to go with him, and we are going in my beloved “home away from home”!  Yes, there is a little bit of hillbilly in me!

I love having these trips with hubby!  When he is finished with work, we go find great restaurants, flea markets, and antique shops.  We then come back to an excited Gracie and just have down time together…just the two of us!  I think that is what I love most is having hubby all to myself!

It is so important, whether before or after you have empty nested, to have times away.  Even if it is just a day trip, make time to go and do something fun and different.  It may be just the two of you going to a zoo, on a scenic drive, or a full-fledged weekend get-away,  but whatever it is get away from phones, computers, and the daily routine and find new things to explore together!  It is like a booster shot for marriages!

If we aren’t careful, we will get so concentrated on the kids and the activities we have them in our spouse can rarely be seen, much less have quality time with them!  Soon life becomes a rat race even at home and our mates suffer.  Once the kids are grown and gone you can easily look at each other and almost ask, “Who are you?”.   A good way to know if you are making the time necessary to keep your marriage healthy and strong is to ask yourself, “When was the last time I gave my undivided attention to my spouse without thinking about what I needed to hurry and do next?”   You will know from your answer if it is time to break away, even if it just means a walk together!

Sometimes, we can get so busy, even with noble things, our spouses suffer!  God‘s first institution was not the church, but marriage.  Don’t get me wrong, church is of utmost importance and hubby and I are there every time the doors open, BUT we don’t put serving others over serving one another!  The authority and order of your home  is meant to be God, then your spouse, then children.  This order was set in place by God, Himself.  When we get those priorities out-of-order or balance, then there is an open door for trouble!

Your marriage is your first ministry and what you put the most time into is what will flourish!  Time away is a good way to make sure bonding is still taking place, even when you have been married many years.

Just a tidbit, precious reader!  Have a blessed day in the Lord!  I will see you soon!

 

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Marriage and Family-Don’t Be Impossible to Please!

 don't be impossible to please

 

 The saying we are our own worst enemy is so true, and so very sad.  When there is an “enemy” to us, we are not the only ones to suffer.  The ones who love us suffer, also.  When we make impossible demands on our spouses or we are a walking contradiction in what we SAY makes us happy as opposed to what actually does, we have become enemies to our own marriages.

I want to give you some “happiness” tips.  Simple tweaks can make huge differences!

1.  Don’t say one thing, but mean another.  If you want flowers from your husband on Valentine’s Day, don’t tell him you don’t!  It is amazing to me how much this sort of thing happens in marriages and then the wife is angry and bitter because of it.  I was talking to a lady recently that told me her husband always forgets her birthday.  She then told me she stopped celebrating it over 20 years ago because something tragic happened to her family just a day or two before her birthday.  She was upset with her husband for not celebrating her birthday, yet she herself tells others she doesn’t celebrate due to bad memories.  When her WORDS are respected (because this isn’t how she really feels or what she even wants) and the birthday comes and goes without fanfare, she is upset!  You cannot win in this contradiction she has created!  I actually felt sorry for her husband.  If you want something, don’t tell others you don’t and then resent them when they respect your wishes!  You have put your mate in a place they cannot win and you have lied and been deceptive in your relationship.  You said one thing when you actually meant another…that is not truth!  You have also opened the door for the devil to bring bitterness into your heart.  Say what you mean and mean what you say.

2.  Don’t expect your spouse to be a mind reader!  If something is bothering me that my husband is doing or not doing, when he asks me what is wrong I don’t tell him nothing is and then give the silent treatment until the poor thing figures it out!  Some people love to pout!  They love for people to feel sorry for them, and frankly, they love the attention this unhealthy and neurotic behavior gets!  If you are doing this, you are being very unfair to your spouse and you are NOT walking in the love of God!  Even the Bible tells us to ask God so that we may receive and God can read your mind!  If God expects you to ask Him, He expects you to afford your mate the same respect!  If your spouse is not meeting a need you have, tell them in love!  At the same time, turn it around and ask them if there is something they need you to do or change.  After all, you are no mind reader either!

3.  Return the favor!  There are things my husband does for me all the time without me having to ask.  One of those things is washing my car, keeping the oil changed, and keeping all the “stickers” up to date!  He isn’t required to do this.  He does it out of his love for me.  One day my husband called me from work.  This particular day was a hectic one for me.  It seemed everyone that day needed a piece of me.  I had things I had to get done for a project, my children had things that needed my attention, I had a million errands to run, and I didn’t feel well that day.  When he called he asked me very sweetly if I could pick up his suit from the dry cleaners.  It was as if it was the last straw.  I curtly told him I would, all the while thinking how he could so easily pull into the cleaners on his way home.  I even voiced this to him!  What had I done?  I had overscheduled myself through poor planning and I let my husband suffer the effects of it.  There he had been lovingly serving me and I was resentful when he asked for one simple thing!  I knew that suit was in the cleaners and I knew before this particular day it needed to be picked up.  I should have gone and gotten it for him without having to be asked.  I would have been furious if my husband had made me last on his list of priorities, yet that is what I had done to him.  Be appreciative of the little things instead of concentrating on all that you could gripe about!  Think about them and mull them over in your mind until you truly are grateful!  Then think about how you can bless your spouse the way they have blessed you.  You will be amazed the change in the atmosphere of your home and in your relationship by doing something so simple!

I hope you have gleaned from this, precious reader!  None of these things require major effort, but they make a huge difference in whether our relationships fail or succeed!  They are well worth doing and you will find your love deepening through the years because of them instead of  slipping slowly away from one another! 

Blessings to you.  I will see you soon!   Juliana

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