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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-Marriage Killer #4…Public Belittling

 don't belittle

 

 

 

MARRIAGE AND FAMILY

Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.  Ephesians 4:29

18-19 People who shrug off deliberate deceptions,
    saying, “I didn’t mean it, I was only joking,”                                                                                                                                  
Are worse than careless campers
    who walk away from smoldering campfires.  Proverbs 26:18-19  The Message Bible

It is important to have friends and couples to socialize with throughout your marriage.  Whether you have been married 1 month or 50 years, you need couples of “like precious faith”.  Iron sharpens iron, and it is never a good idea go be an isolated sheep.  It is the isolated sheep the wolf always goes for because they are so unprotected.  They have no support system and everyone needs one!

Find the couples Sunday School class at church, or watch the bulletin for cook outs, game nights, fun trips, or a group going to a sporting event.  Build a support group with the people in your church!  With that being said, there can be some pitfalls to this, too!  Take these to heart so you don’t fall into them.

It is so important that you uplift your mate in public.  I have seen people do long-term damage to their spouses by trying to be funny and making them the butt of a joke.  I don’t care how funny that may be to a group, you, or anyone else, nobody likes to be made fun of or have their less than perfect traits brought out in public and poked fun at!  All this does is stir up strife, upset, and hurt feelings.  If this happens too much, it is very likely you will find yourself sitting at home and not going out anymore, or maybe even sitting at home alone! 

Every word spoken out of your mouth toward your mate, and others in the body of Christ should be uplifting and encouraging.  If something is bothering you about your spouse, you should not use the public as a platform to “correct” whatever it is.  Believe me, it will not get corrected through public embarrassment!

I have seen couples do this and I think they do it because they mistakenly think, if the world knows about what is bothering them at home, the spouse will stop it so they can’t be humiliated again.  How ridiculous does that sound?  It sounds ridiculous because that is what it is!  DO NOT AIR YOUR DIRTY LAUNDRY IN PUBLIC! 

Your spouse is not a joke and you should not be treating them as though they were.  So many things tie back to childhood!  What if your spouse was bullied, mocked, had the reputation of being the “school geek”.  When you do these types of things, even in fun, it is a reminder of uglier days gone by to them.  You should be the person your mate feels safest with!  You are the one they should be able to run to when it seems the whole world is imploding on them.  If you have been having fun at their expense, you will be like everyone else that has purposely hurt them and you will lose your mate’s respect toward you.  They will feel alone and isolated, even in the marriage where love is meant to be abounding and your role is to be supportive, especially emotionally!

Look closely at our scriptures and meditate on them.  1.  NEVER let anything that is not building up of another come out of your mouth!  2.  The  tongue is powerful and is many times likened to having the power that can set a forest ablaze!  Have you ever heard of someone’s temper set ablaze?  Then to say, “I was just kidding!”  makes it even worse!  Just because something is a joke to you, doesn’t automatically deem it funny to everyone else.

My husband and I had attended a social gathering with some other couples.  There was a man who was doing this very thing with his wife…laughing at her expense.  I don’t know what he thought, because some were laughing because they did think it was funny, others were laughing because they were uncomfortable, and she wasn’t laughing at all!  Her eyes were shooting daggers at her husband and he was completely unphased as he continued his stand up comic routine about her!  I can only imagine what happened when she got him home!!

Husbands and wives, if you want peace in your home, don’t breed contention outside of it!  It seems some people are just born contrary, but many times I have found, there is a root of it that is coming from somewhere other than “they were just born cranky”.  If your mate had told you something bothers them, then LISTEN!  Don’t do what they have told you bothers them, and then expect them to be happy and peaceful with you!    If you have been asked to stop and you don’t stop, YOU have bred the contention in that person and your life will be filled with something that is uncomfortable and aggravating for all.  Don’t press negative buttons, in other words,  and expect a loving and peaceful mate!

A loving, peaceful relationship is one that is always being cultivated!  Make sure we are good “husbandmen” of our homes!  In the long run, it will reap great and wonderful benefits!

Blessings to you, precious reader!!  I will see you soon!  Simply,  Juliana

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Marriage and Family-Marriage Killer # 1…Pride!

love birds

 

MARRIAGE AND FAMILY

I am not a marriage blogger, but God has put this on my heart and I am jumping into it with both feet!  I have watched marriages suffer and even be destroyed over “little” things!  I have seen people marry that were deeply in love, only to see that marriage fail and the same couple who stared lovingly into each others eyes on their wedding day, be arch enemies just mere years later!  What happened to the  picturesque relationship?  The “little foxes” of life ate the vine, and we all know the vine is what gives everything life!

Almost everything you can think of you eat, and use to sustain life comes from plants.  Plants are tied to seeds and seeds are tied to good ground in which to grow.  Even the beef you eat had to have grass and hay to graze from in order for you have that juicy steak!  Forgive me, my vegetarians!  I am from Texas and I am rooted in this!  Back to my point!  Your marriage and relationship with your spouse is no different.  You have to cultivate your relationship at all times. 

In the beginning of your relationship, you were putting your best foot forward.  You were in a type of “honeymoon” stage that was filled with romance, sweet nothings, thoughtful and out of the ordinary acts such as putting a sweet card in the driver’s seat for your sweetheart to find before they left for work, surprise flowers just to show you were thinking of them, or something as simple as showing up with their favorite candy bar in hand! 

Let us face it, this phase is a phase!  You may still do some of those things, but anyone who has been together for more than a year or two, should be seeing a maturing of the relationship and a blooming into deeper things.  The masks come off and you still like what you see when they do.  You learn to relax and enjoy each other without having to impress the other one.  You find commonality in various things and the love deepens.  Then the day arrives where the two become one in marriage and reality sets in! 

Reality is a good thing!  It is another necessary phase of your relationship.  You learn to adapt to each other and your day-to-day habits.  You begin to see yourselves as a family and not just a couple.  Adjustments are necessary and it is necessary to keep your relationship in the boundaries God set up for the marriage, home, and family.  This is where many couples become totally lost!  They tend to try to have the marriage their parent’s had if it was a good one, or they try to stay too independent instead of realizing you are now a team and unity is a must!

When it comes down to it, God made the husband head of the house!  It is sad, but not all men respected this place of authority, but abused it treating it as though that meant they were “slave drivers”, not loving partners willing to serve his wife in any way she needed.  Being the head means you see to the needs of your family and you do not leave that for someone else to do.  The head is the provider of protection, security, love, and necessities!  A husband is to look EXACTLY like Jesus looks in the life of a Christian. The husband patterns his behavior and attitudes toward his wife to be exactly as those of Christ toward the church.

With Jesus we know we can come anytime we have a need and that need is met!   We come and unconditional love and forgiveness is given and nothing is held over our heads from our past.  We know He is there for us and longs to spend time with us!  We know Jesus gave up everything and willingly gave His life and all His comforts and His place in Heaven  up to serve us.  We know the reason Jesus was able to endure such a horrific death was because He saw us as a prize to be won and there was only one way to have it and that was to endure the hardship and pain of the cross.  The same is expected from God with a husband.  A husband should not only be willing, but DOES give his wife time, and she doesn’t play “second fiddle” to hobbies, the children, serving others, or anything else!   His interest is in her first, his forgiveness is given quickly and he is never to  revisit  what the wife did wrong and what she has asked forgiveness for.  He puts her needs and interest ahead of his own.  This is loving the wife as Christ loved the church!  The husband becomes representative of Jesus to his wife in every sense of the word!!

I am not writing this to you, husbands because I am a woman or a wife.  I did not even know this until the Holy Spirit showed it to me this very moment!!  I have to admit, in most of the articles I read on marriage, it is mainly geared to the wife and what she can do for her husband.  Don’t worry the wife’s day is coming in this!  I meant to write about wives honoring and respecting their husbands today, but God is saving that one for tomorrow.  Know IT IS COMING!!  Until then, we have to lay a firm and correct foundation and it seems to be starting with the head of the home!  I have never liked the fact that wives, many times,  are taught what to do for the husband so the wife can get the response she wants out of him.  This is not the way of love!  A wife owes the husband a debt of love and the husband owes the same.

Pride says, ” I will do for you so in turn you will do for me.”   This is baseless of love…it is self-interest and self-interest is pride!  It is concerned mainly with “What is good for me and what I WANT!”  No wonder marriages are failing right and left, even with marriage counseling!  I have come to loathe the words “This is what I NEED FROM YOU!”  The words should be what does my mate need from me and how can I serve them better and it needs to come from both sides, not just one!  I promise you, if you give up your self-interest,  husband AND WIFE, you will see a different side to your mate!  Concentrate on how you can love and show your love more and you will be surprised the reaction you get!  Be consistent with it!  Don’t do it hit or miss.  When it is hit and miss, it is a tell-tale sign it was done for you to gain something, not done for the sake of giving from a heart rooted in love!

Thank you for reading, precious reader!  I appreciate your time very much!  Tomorrow we will delve into what wives are responsible for and how freeing it is when we do things God’s way concerning our relationships!  Blessings to you in abundance!  Simply,   Juliana

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Christian Devotions- Live in Harmony

live in unity

CHRISTIAN DEVOTIONS

Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement allow you to live in harmony with one another, according to the command of Christ Jesus, so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with a united mind and voice.        Romans 15:5-6 HCSB

You are not always going to agree with everyone and everyone is not always going to agree with you.  I have noticed, in today’s world, if you disagree many times that means an offense and then an all out grudge.  I have seen it separate the very best of friends!  I am astounded over people who have been dear friends literally part ways over minor disagreements.

Let us look at it this way.  If you have an argument or disagreement with your spouse, you don’t divorce them because they think the toilet paper should go over and you think it should go under!  When your children don’t see eye to eye with you, you continue to love them and see them (if they are grown), or if they are still children, you don’t put them in an orphanage!  When you don’t see eye to eye with your own parents, they don’t disinherit you and tell you they never want to have anything to do with you…they don’t if they are normal, that is!  

Why is it we think it is any different with people who are in the body of Christ?  We manage to disagree agreeably with family members and loved ones and continue to love them, why is it such a major ordeal when it is CHURCH members or another Christian??  Because satan uses division to cause confusion and the Bible says where there is confusion there is every kind of evil work!

In Philippians 4:2 Paul instructs two women to settle a dispute that is between them.  We can find out much through this.  Let us take a look…

2 I entreat and advise Euodia and I entreat and advise Syntyche to agree and to work in harmony in the Lord.

3 And I exhort you too, [my] genuine yokefellow, help these [two women to keep on cooperating], for they have toiled along with me in [the spreading of] the good news (the Gospel), as have Clement and the rest of my fellow workers whose names are in the Book of Life.

Here are two women who inexhaustibly helped Paul in the ministry.  They had worked together in harmony and accomplished great things for Jesus!  What was upsetting Paul was the fact they no longer worked in harmony or agreement and because of that they were not as effective for the Gospel!  How do we know this?  Because in the rest of the verse Paul says it…for they have toiled along with me in [the spreading of] the good news (the Gospel). 

I have a different example, but it goes along with this so I am going to give it to you.  When we evacuated for Hurricane Rita, my Pomeranian fell out of the travel trailer door and broke her leg.  There were no small animal vets where we were and we had to wait until we got home for her to be properly attended to. 

When I took her in, there was no doubt surgery was required.  Her leg had literally snapped in half.  When my regular vet saw it he told me the worst case scenario (losing her leg if it failed to heal) and it looked like after the surgery that was what was going to happen.  He tried everything he knew to save it.  Finally, he asked me if she could stay in the hospital for 3-4 days for observation. He wanted to consult with his partner and let him observe her leg.  Something he said really struck me!  He said, “Two heads are better than one!”  Think about that for a moment.  Two CAN accomplish twice what one can.  A helping hand always takes a load off of the one, and the Bible literally tells us to help carry another’s load.  It doesn’t say for the one to come along and say, “Hand it all to me, and I will carry it all for you, plus my own!.”  It says to come along side of and HELP carry, not solely carry!  Again, there is power in numbers. By the way, the vets worked together and saved her leg!

When you have other ministers that come to your ministry, and bring their gift and anointing, then so many more are reached for Christ.  Can you imagine the outreach, just by adding a minister or two to the staff, along with your loving flock?  It is when we come together in great numbers,  but even more so in UNITY, great things are accomplished.

Your prayers become more powerful, as well!  It tells us the prayer of agreement is always answered by God!  I can’t say, “Agree with me on this in prayer” and then turn around and talk negatively about you, or find fault with you.  If I do, I am not in agreement with you because agreement here also means UNITY!  Love has to be set in motion and kept in motion for the body of Christ, the church, to function to full power and miracle-working capacity.

No, we are NOT all going to agree on everything, BUT we still must love one another and we must still be there for one another.  If we just start ditching people because they don’t see things our way, we will soon be left standing alone, and a lone sheep is ALWAYS devoured by a wolf (the devil)!  Your church or ministry, whatever it may be,  will not grow.  You will always be at that one number of attendance or less.  Your anointing will not function to fullest capacity because you are literally in sin when you don’t settle a matter with your friend or neighbor.

In Matthew 5:23-24 it tells us….

Amplified Bible (AMP)

23 So if when you are offering your gift at the altar you there remember that your brother has any [grievance] against you,

24 Leave your gift at the altar and go. First make peace with your brother, and then come back and present your gift.

Notice it says to go to the one who is WRONG!  The one holding the grudge is the one you are to try to make peace with!  WOW!  The one who OWES YOU the apology, YOU  are to go in love and try to make peace!  We always make it vice versa! 

When YOU are a peacemaker, it shows YOU are the mature one and it is YOU that will inherit the Kingdom of God, according to the Beatitudes.  It says in the Amplified, your life will be so good, others will envy the wonderful and blessed life you have!  Now, that is a good life!!

You may say to me, “But, Juliana, I have tried to make peace and they will have none of it!”  Then the Bible says to pray for them, but shake the dust from your feet and walk on to those who are willing to have peace and love between you!  As far as WE are concerned, we are to live at peace with all.  Keep the grudge out of YOUR HEART, and pray they be blessed with spiritual growth and enlightenment from the Lord.  If they don’t, you are not the one to blame or responsible to see that it happens, but you are responsible to love them, even if they don’t walk in love with you!

You are responsible for YOU and nobody else!  God will not allow me to say on the day of judgement YOU were  MY cause for sinning!   YOU caused all the bitterness in my life!  It won’t hang with God!  There will be one and one alone I will give an account of and that is myself!!  No fingers will be allowed to be pointed at others.  I still had self-control and I will give an account to ALMIGHTY GOD if I did not use it!

Stay in harmony and you will stay in agreement.   When you agree in prayer touching ANYTHING, God says HE WILL DO IT AND NO THING SHALL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO YOU!!  What a promise!  BUT, don’t live getting along with others because of what you can get out of it.  It won’t last that way!  Let the love of God always dominate you.  If you don’t have that love, ask Him for it!  He says in James ask of the GIVING GOD WHO GIVES ALL GOOD THINGS LIBERALLY!  LIBERALLY, dear reader!  Your heart can be filled with love to overflowing!  Yes, it is more than possible if YOU are willing!!  God is and has been willing to give that agape love to you all along!

I pray you were blessed by the devotion today!  May God bless you and keep you in all of your ways!  See you soon!   Juliana


Get Ready!

get ready

I have always been extremely sensitive about my weight.  All of my life I have been, for the most part, thin.  If I put on 3 pounds I would hit the diet again and walk like something was chasing me in the night!  I still advocate watching what you eat and I recommend eating “clean”, and I am doing this myself.  I advocate exercise!  No matter what size we may be, we can exercise!  My doctor recommends 2 miles a day at one time, and I agree wholeheartedly!  I am not making medical recommendations, I am only telling you what MY doctor told ME to do.  Consult your own physician before doing ANYTHING, diet, exercise, or otherwise!!   I am by no means giving medical advice!

One of the reasons I wanted off the beta blocker is because it has side effects you cannot control.  It makes you retain fluid, gain weight (it basically shuts your metabolism down and there is nothing you can do about this), and makes you itch!  I got myself into a huge mess that I had to send an all over the world prayer request out, my health was jeopardized because I was so desperate to be thin, again!  I remember a time I thought when I was 106 pounds I was a huge woman.  This is not normal!  Yes, I have put some pounds on and in one of the responses from one of my precious, precious readers who prayed for me today, she said I would find out what was wrong, and what to do, and I would be at peace with all of it!  Peace with putting on pounds would definitely have to come from God!

I have a friend who is a pharmacist and I decided to call her.  She taught me there is a calcium channel blocker and a beta blocker.  The beta controls the heart rate.  The calcium channel blocker is for blood pressure.  I do not have blood pressure problems, praise God!!  It turns out my medicine is a calcium channel blocker that can race your heart.  It is serious if it does, and you are supposed to get to the ER as soon as possible!!  I did not!  I had kept my beta blocker and it brought me back into basically a normal rhythm. 

My main point is this.  I never have to take the medicine that caused so many problems again and that is a major answer to prayer!!  But, as I thought about what she said about weight  gain the Lord spoke to me and said, “You need to get comfortable in your own skin!  You can be beautiful at any size.  Your weight isn’t the problem…your problem is the way you allow satan to make you feel ABOUT yourself because of your weight!”  I was dumbfounded, yet awestruck.  I was beautiful??  NEVER have I thought I was a pretty woman, EVER!!  God reminded me of a woman, who is not “Twiggy“, yet I find her to be very attractive.  She never talks about her weight, she carries herself with great confidence, and she carries a beautiful anointing filled with power.  She always dresses nicely, fixes her hair and make-up and is, quite frankly, beautiful!  She doesn’t waste her time on what she isn’t, but capitalizes on who she is!

I told my husband what I was thinking.  I apologized to him I no longer look 22 years old,  and when I finished with my soliloquy he said, “Baby, you are the most beautiful woman in the world!  I have always thought that and I have told you all of this for years!  Why didn’t you listen to me??”  Yes, I bawled!  My answer was, “Because, I never understood it until now.”   No longer will I hide behind other people in pictures, no longer will I allow the plastic surgery of 50- 70 something year old celebrities define what I SHOULD look like!  No longer will I look in a mirror and down myself, when God has told me I am fearfully and wonderfully made, but most of all I WILL LOVE MYSELF!!  When I said all of this the Lord spoke to my heart again and said, “Get ready!  Now that you have shut that tormenting door on satan, weight won’t be an issue and you will be the size that is healthy and right for you!”  If satan can’t torment you, what is the point of him sticking around?

If you are dealing with issues that concern your looks, I hope this helps you!  Please, understand I am not giving a license to not take care of yourself and be unhealthy, BUT I am saying as we age, there are natural changes that take place and wherever you are, whatever the age bracket, whatever the situation, NEVER FORGET you are fearfully and wonderfully made by God and YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!  Those around you see it!   Don’t let satan lie to you and keep you from seeing what the rest of us do!

Blessings to you, BEAUTIFUL heart!!  Thank you, thank you, thank you for praying for me!!  I love you all with my all of my HEALTHY heart and I mean it!!  I will see you soon!!  Juliana


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