Monday, October 12, 2015

Making Your Home a Haven...Challenge Week 2

Finally a bit of fall weather has hit our area!  Last week's Making Your Home a Haven's challenge was to light a candle each day and pray for peace.  We had a couple of days with temperatures in the high 80's which limited the candle/cozy effect!  

This week's challenge is to  "Play soft music everyday in your home. Choose worship, classical, jazz or another form of peaceful music that the family enjoys. Focus on using peaceful words and maintaining peaceful relationships." Live out the fruit of the Spirit of gentleness and self-control this week.

I will have to admit that last week's challenge was much easier for me!  Being a visual person, the candle flickering jarred my memory to pray for peace.  Auditory people are ones who tune in to sounds and respond well to music.  They have an ear to hear the beauty and blessing of sounds...I do not!  Notes, ranges, harmony, melody mean nil to me!  I rarely even turn the radio on while riding in the car!  Quiet is peaceful to me, in the car and in the home.  I like silence!!  

But music certainly has it's benefits.   A little research shows what a powerful effect music has on us.
"Music’s beneficial effects on mental health have been known for thousands of years. Ancient philosophers from Plato to Confucius and the kings of Israel sang the praises of music and used it to help soothe stress. Military bands use music to build confidence and courage. Sporting events provide music to rouse enthusiasm. Schoolchildren use music to memorize their ABCs. Shopping malls play music to entice consumers and keep them in the store. Dentists play music to help calm nervous patients. Modern research supports conventional wisdom that music benefits mood and confidence."

Music is powerful. The lyrics (of good, quality music), put words in our mind and heart, can elevate our moods and set the atmosphere for our homes.  For the Christian, music that lifts up the Lord in praise, turns our focus toward God and magnifies Him above the twists, turns and trials of life.

Our home is void of CD's, radios and sound projection equipment.  We do have several music channels on our tv which I plan to utilize this week!  Praying for the music to be a reminder of the fruit of the Spirit of gentleness and self control in our home and family.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Making Your Home a Haven Challenge

Every fall, there is a Making Your Home a Haven challenge over at Women Living Well.  When I first began to participate, our family had three sons living at home.  All three were active and involved in church, school and sports activities.  Since then things have calmed down quite a bit.  Two sons are adults now and as they have became independent, our home and schedules have slowed down some. 
But, the need to make home a haven has not dimmed.  A Christian home should look different than the world we are a part of through work and outside activities.  Where the world generates drama and strife, our homes should reflect peace and a place to relax.  Where day in and day out, pressures force us to rush, stress and be what others need us to be, the home should be where we come, let the atmosphere of love and joy envelop us, renew us, recharge us and equip us to go out and be the best we can be. 
This type of home atmosphere doesn't just happen.  It must be intentional.  God's Word is the foundation of a Christian's life.  Following His ways, bring great joy and peace, even in the midst of difficult seasons.  This challenge takes God's Word and encourages us to apply it to our homes while making an effort to make our home a true haven. 
Challenge Week One: This week the challenge is to buy a large candle and light it everyday in your home.  Candles add warmth and scent to the home and seeing the flicker of light softly swaying brings a coziness to the room.  Every time your eye catches the candle glowing, let it be a reminder to pray for peace in your home.  One of the fruits of the Spirit is peace, it is something in the life of a Christian that should be evident.  Praying for peace for our home and family is powerful. If we can learn to be peaceful at home, we can almost always be peaceful anywhere!! 
Let's let peace be the theme and as we pray for peace in our homes, let's read and remember a few verses on peace:
Isaiah 26:3  You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
John 14:17  Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 16:33  These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Romans 14:19  Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
Romans 15:13  Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Philippians 4:6-8  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Marriage Monday - What's Your Role?

A book that was read many years ago popped into my mind.  A sweet friend could use an encouraging word about the struggles that marriage brings sometimes. I found the book and decided to skim through it.  It was covered with highlighted quotes that were pretty powerful!  The chapter that was marked the most was on "A Wife's Role". 
Women play a variety of roles but to zoom in on the role we have been given in God's Word, we are to be helpers.  Helper means "to provide what is needed or lacking". Before our minds drift to recalling all that is lacking or why the man in our lives needs us!!, this is a fulfilment of God's call on the husband's life as well as the wife.  When a woman takes an active and supportive position as a wife, she enables her husband to become all God created Him to be and in the process, God accomplishes His purposes and plan for them as a couple. The roles of husband and wife are different and to work, to move together as one they need to be bring differences into the marriage - not better than or less than, but different, made to compliment each other. When a woman realizes that she has been designated as the helper by God Himself, she can begin to sense the uniqueness and specialness of her calling. Perhaps we are most like the Father when we obey and follow His directions and serve through our roles as helper. 
Here is an interesting list from the book.  An assignment was given to read and pray through this list every day for a week.
Seven Affirmations of a Perfect Helper
I am the perfect helper for my husband, for God chose me out of all the women in the world especially for him.
I am the perfect helper for my husband, for I share his hopes and dreams and bear his hurts and frustrations along with him.
I am the perfect helper for my husband, for I bring him before God's throne in prayer every day.
I am the perfect helper for my husband, for I encourage and comfort him in strategic moments.
I am the perfect helper for my husband, for I put his physical and emotional needs ahead of my own.
I am the perfect helper for my husband, for I love him unconditionally.
I am the perfect helper for my husband, for I enable him to become all God wants him to be and I assist him in accomplishing God's purposes.
Reminding ourselves of the power of our role, can bring a beauty and blessing to our marriage! Following God's plan makes a great difference!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Faves

Friday and here and it will end a good week! Here are some of my favorite things that went on this week!!

The Pioneer Woman Kitchen Collection hit the stores this week!  If you have never visited the Pioneer Woman's website, you must!  Oh, the delicious recipes that are shared!  If you ever get into a 'what to fix for dinner' slump, this is the place to go!  This new kitchen collection is fabulous.  I wanted a little of everything, but restricted myself to a bakeware set. works wonderfully!!!


One day this week, hubby and I were off the same day, a weekday and had the day to ourselves.  We love to walk and while my walking paths usually include pavement, sidewalks and traffic, we hit the country paths, surrounded by trees, birds and the river!

See You At the Pole is an annual student led time set aside to pray.  As I dropped my son off early to participate, this was the great group gathered to join together and pray.  That was a great site to begin the day!!

Last year, I began working as a tax preparer.  Now, nobody is thinking of their taxes in September, but this is when our training begins to keep up with the latest laws and get back into that tax mode!  So, it's back to the books, practice returns and a whole lot of study!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wednesday's Word

All week it has been 90+ degrees, humid and still hot!  Fall has arrived, the weather here just has not caught up yet! 

But on a morning walk, as I wiped perspiration, I noticed some signs of fall.  Leaves on the road, the sycamore trees changing colors and the goldenrods about to bloom.  How amazing that summer heat is still furiously hanging on, but the seasons of nature, don't notice anything but the instruction of their Creator.

A recent sermon on Psalms 19 brought to life that our God is the Creator of all and simply through His creation, He is seen and known.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
 Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.

What a powerful reminder that God is in control.  Even the trees and weeds obey Him!  If He is able to command the seasons and forces of nature, He can control the situations in our lives.  How great is our God!