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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Husband Encouragement Challenge: FINALE

This is it! Our last day of coming together on a regular basis. Thank you all, ladies, for encouraging me throughout this challenge. You have been a blessing to me and my husband. And I hope I've been something of the same for you. I can't wait to hear your responses today!

June 30--DAY 30--
The Challenge Finale! (well, sort of...)

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge
By Nancy Leigh DeMoss

". . . This is my beloved, and this is my friend . . ." Song of Solomon 5:16b

Friends can be completely honest with each other, but friendships are strained when truth is not spoken in love. How are you speaking to your beloved? Are you so "used" to him that you don't appreciate the wonder of his friendship? That is your challenge today. Is your sweetheart your best friend? Does he know this? Have you told him, or do you assume he "just knows"?

Friendship is something that is cultivated through the good times and the bad. Friends can share their hearts, but they don't step on each other's hearts. The way to have and be a good friend is to cultivate and celebrate the relationship. As you end this "30-Day Encouragement Challenge," celebrate your friendship with your husband. Get alone and reflect on your beloved friend. Write him a letter, listing the qualities you admire and appreciate about him. If you are creative with words, write and frame a poem about him.

Perhaps you can prepare a special meal, just for the two of you, and read the letter or poem to him. Ask if you can pray for him, and if he is willing, thank God for your love and friendship, asking for His blessing on your home.

Encouragement, as you have seen these past 30 days, is a synonym for love in action.
How has this challenge changed your heart and life, dear friend? Did God encourage you as you planned ways to encourage your husband? Were there difficult days where you simply needed to trust that God was working? Days when it was hard to leave the results to God?

Remember that God is faithful, and He will bless you for your willingness to obey Him. His ways are not our ways, and perhaps He will honor you in ways you do not expect, but one thing is sure—you will never be the same because of your commitment to be more like Christ!

What kinds of victories have you experienced in your home since you started the "30-Day Encouragement Challenge"? Would you take a moment to share these victories with us?

Reflections on the challenge...
This was such a great challenge to do and a great way to motivate change in my heart and life! In these 30 days I have learned to think before I speak. To focus on everything Kevin is instead of what he's not. To be more verbal in how I praise him. To maintain a more positive attitude in all of my day, not just when I'm speaking to my husband, because my mood directly affects those around me. To think before I speak. To build up Kevin to others. To look at my words and actions from the outside and be more aware of how I'm responding to my husband. To think before I speak. To ask and allow God to help me be His kind of wife.

There have been and will continue to be days that are more difficult than others, times when I just want Kevin to know he's done something wrong! But I found that if I let the issue sit for awhile, when I came to it later, it's no longer the big deal I had thought it was.

Now at the end of these 30 days, I feel much happier with our marriage. There is much less stress because we aren't bickering about the little things that don't even matter. It's just all-in-all very pleasant being together. I'm no longer demeaning him with comments about how he's driving or how he's using his time or that he's eating another bowl of cereal, etc These things may still drive me crazy, but they're not worth the damage such comments do to my husband's dignity. I'm excited to continue with all we've learned this month and to see our how marriage continues to flourish!

And now for the homework questions...

* Write a list of 10 specific goals you want to keep working on:
  1. Start each day with a prayer and devotional, even if it's something small like "Dear God, please give me the strength and patience to be a good wife and mother today, to be encouraging and respectful with my words. Fill me with the Holy Spirit that I may bring peace and love to our home. Amen." I believe starting each and every day with God's strength will make a huuuge difference in the rest of the day, in our marriage, and in my role as a mother.
  2. Pray for Kevin daily, according to the book The Power of a Praying Wife or this article Praying for Your Husband: 31 Days of Prayer
  3. Practice major self-control by thinking before I speak, so that I'm only saying positive things to Kevin and not being disrespectful with my words.
  4. Find at least one thing daily to praise Kevin for, aside from Thank You's.
  5. Big or small, find something special to do for Kevin every day to show that I appreciate him and all he does for our family. I could maybe make a list so I always have ideas--could be a pie since he LOVES pies or just making a pitcher of sweet tea, leaving a note for him on his pillow when he comes home from night shift, putting a fresh towel out for him, fixing a special dinner with all of his favorites, "letting him" take an afternoon nap, doing dishes even after I've cooked, etc.
  6. End each night on a happy note rather than still being upset about something.
  7. Get up a little earlier so I can see Kevin for just a few minutes before he leaves for work at 6:00am.
  8. In my conversations with others, find ways to mention Kevin and some nice things he's done lately.
  9. Maintain a more positive attitude not only to Kevin but just in general, specifically with Eli so that my frustrations don't spill over affecting others in the house.
  10. Especially build up Kevin in his interest areas, i.e. his Jeep, by making compliments, initiating time for him to do something fun, listening carefully and asking questions when he talks about it.
* Pick 5 favorite Bible passages that strengthen you in your role as a wife.

Okay, I couldn't narrow it down, so I have 6 verses here...

Proverbs 12:4
A wife of noble character is her husband's crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.

Proverbs 31:10-31
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Ephesians 5:33
Nevertheless, let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband.

1 Peter 3:1-4 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and find clothes. instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

Titus 2:4,5 ...train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, to that no one will malign the word of God.

Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

* Decide how you are going to hold yourself accountable to your actions. (journal? blog? friend?)
  1. Make a schedule of the daily things I will do for Kevin to show love and appreciation.
  2. On Thankful Thursdays, start including a section that mentions the specific things I'm grateful for just about him.
  3. Continue with Christine's 30-Day challenge at Fruit in Season even though I kinda missed it this week.
So there we go! That's all I have for you today. So without further ado, let's hear what you have to share!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Husband Encouragement Challenge: DAY 29

I feel like I've hardly seen Kevin this week (compared to normal) so I don't have a ton of things to say about how it's going. Eli and I are doing great, and I try to make sure like I'm not more stressed so to not make it even more of a burden to Kevin. Just trying to take care of my hubby and support him any way I can, especially this week as he's working soo hard!

June 29--DAY 29

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge
By Nancy Leigh DeMoss

"A prudent man foresees evil, and hides himself; the simple pass on, and are punished." Prov. 27:12

As you near the end of your Encouragement Challenge, take time to think about your husband's responses to the wickedness of the culture, the media, etc. Does your husband recognize and avoid evil? Does he regularly turn his back on pornography, sexual temptations, and the urge to lie and cheat?

This is a valuable character trait. Like Joseph in the Old Testament, who fled from the wicked advances of Potiphar's wife, this takes an understanding that these kinds of sins are first and foremost, sins against God (Gen. 39:9).

Praise your husband when he recognizes and turns his back on wickedness. If you can think of a circumstance where your husband stood for righteousness, remind him of that today and express your gratitude.

Kevin is wonderful at recognizing and avoiding the temptations of the world. As far as I know, it's not even an issue for him, and I absolutely trust him. He makes sure to not even put himself in these situations. And I really respect him for that. It really shows what he does value.

God of renewal, everywhere your Holy Spirit breathes new life into creation. As I undertake this day to bring glory to you by honoring my husband, I ask you to be present in my marriage. Guide me to know in which things I should ask forgiveness, in which things I should change, and in which things I should ask for the grace to let go. Show me new ways to respect my husband today and open my eyes to all that you have made him to be. I trust in your goodness and in the covenant my husband and I made with you and each other on our wedding day. Through Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.*

As we're coming to a close with this organized challenge, I wanted to direct you to some other great articles:

These links are also in my sidebar, so you can get to them anytime!

Okay, if you have something to share today, please comment or leave a link to your blog! Can't wait to hear from you tomorrow with all your final reflections and goals!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thankful Thursday

"...that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever."
Psalm 30:12

I'm a little grumpy today so starting over right here, right now with this Thankful post will be good for me....

  • I am thankful that even though Hubby is working nights this week and we haven't seen him much, we've been able to do fun things during the time he is home.
  • I am thankful that another one of Eli's teeth popped through (he has 5 teeth now!), so we're feeling even better than last week.
  • I am thankful for real summer weather this week even if it means turning the air on for a couple days.
  • I am thankful that Eli is always good in the church nursery so I can enjoy the service.
  • I am thankful for our new mattress topper we got for our guest bed (using a gift card, so it was practically free!). We have lots of guests coming next month for Eli's birthday, and now the bed will be much more comfortable.
  • I am thankful for our quiet and dark guest room in the basement so Hubby can sleep there this week during the day and get good rest.
  • I am thankful for the little push cart my friend Amy let me borrow for Eli. He loves playing with it, and it's so fun to watch!
  • I am thankful for my Hubby Kevin-- how devoted he's been to the family during his time home, instead of going on the computer and doing other things for himself; even though he's working long days and through the weekends he hasn't complained; how he's such a helper when I forgot something for dinner or have an errand I haven't gotten to
Okay, feeling a little better. Eli's been playing nice and quietly while I've typed all this, and the sun has come out a little. It will be a good day after all...

What are you thankful for this week? Visit Iris to read more thankful posts. Happy Thursday!

Husband Encouragement Challenge: DAY 28

As Kevin's working nights this week, he's been really great about devoting his time home to his family. He hasn't spent any time on the computer really, and always asks what I want to do for the afternoon. Yesterday we took Eli to a little lake on base so he could splash in the water. It's just so fun to actually doing something as a family, instead of just sitting at home doing the usual.

And yesterday he was so kind to run out and pick up something I needed for dinner!

Just a few more days and we'll have Daddy home again! I feel like we only see him for a couple hours and then he's off again!

June 28--DAY 28

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge
By Nancy Leigh DeMoss

"The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility." Prov. 15:33

Sometimes, when we just "know" we are right and our husbands are wrong, it takes great humility to honor them. It is difficult to speak well of our husbands when our own hearts are puffed up with pride.

As part of your Encouragement Challenge today, pray that you will respond to the Lord in faith and humility before you react to your husband. Speak wisely and well, and leave the results to God.

The humility that comes from a right relationship with God—the humility that comes when a man is willing to listen to God and be taught from His Word—is indeed a beautiful quality. Jesus was an example of this kind of humility when he was willing to submit to His Father's will (John 6:38; Matt. 26:39).

Does your husband have that kind of humility? Is he willing to learn from and submit to direction from the Lord? Let your husband know how precious this is to your marriage relationship.

Want to share? Leave your link below. And don't forget, just 2 more days until we share our homework answers!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Weekly Memory Verse

Okay, I totally admit it... I did not learn last week's Bible verse! I never wrote it down after I posted it online and therefore never studied it. Sooo... needless to say, we'll be doing that one again this week and no new verse. But first, let's review the verses we've done so far!

We have a cool little dish that sits on our dining room table, and I've taken small slips of paper, written on it the Bible reference, and then when we sit down for a meal, I draw out a slip of paper and practice the verse. Or I'll go through the whole can, practicing all of them! So I'll just do that right now and type them out as I go, so if I mess something up, I'll be trusting you to let me know...

Colossians 2:6-7 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Psalm 119:9-11 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Hebrews 10:24-25 Let us consider how may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together--as some are in the habit of doing--but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Psalm 86:11 Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name. I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify Your name forever.

Joshua 1:8 Do not let the Word of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night so that you will be careful to do everything in it; then you will be prosperous and successful.

Luke 10:27 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.

And the new verse again...

2 Corinthians 3:5
Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves,
but our competence comes from God.

Why memorize scripture? (Taken from the book my friend Ben got me, Topical Memory System) It helps us overcome worry because we have God's promises written on our heart. It helps us have victory over sin because the Word of God, the sword of the spirit, is always ready for battle against Satan. It helps us gain confidence in witnessing with verses right at the tip of our tongues. And it helps keep us spiritually fit by meditating on God's Word throughout our days.

So will you join me in learning this week's Bible verse?? Sign your name below! (even if you don't have a blog)

Husband Encouragement Challenge: DAY 27

Thanks, ladies, for your responses and suggestions yesterday. Kevin and I love watching the show Man vs. Wild hosted by Bear Grylls, so last Christmas I got him an adventure book that Bear Grylls wrote, thinking Kevin would like it. But... it still sits on the shelf unfinished (except that I read and enjoyed it!). Regarding reading more, what I think I might say is this: "Since I want to work on reading more, it would help me if you read with me for a few minutes every night. Maybe not the same book, we could each have a book of our choice. It would really help me out by holding me accountable, but I think we would both benefit!" Then it turns the focus back to me, instead of me nagging at him once again to "pick up a book, maybe?" What do you think? We'll see...

And Angie, I love Dance, Dance Revolution, but I'm just not sure if Kevin would dig it. I sure can ask him though! =) He did think about getting it for me once when I first discovered how much I liked it.

I didn't mention yesterday, and I want to take the time today, to share how proud I am for Kevin keeping up socially with coworkers and church friends. He's quick to get involved on sports teams, just for the social benefit, even though he's not the most experienced athlete. It would be easy for pride to take over and him to say he didn't want to get involved for fear of what the other guys would think. But he doesn't do that. And for being naturally timid, he'll find courage and be bold enough to invite friends with him on his Jeep outings and other events. In his boldness, he's allowing himself to build great friendships. And I'm so proud of him for that.

June 27--DAY 27

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge
By Nancy Leigh DeMoss

"Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD." Ps. 31:24

You have almost completed the "30-Day Encouragement Challenge." Perhaps it has taken you a tremendous amount of courage to speak words of encouragement consistently to your husband. Courage comes as we place our trust in God. Have faith that God will continue to work long after your encouraging words have been shared.

There are lots of "tough guys" in the world, but true courage comes from the Lord. Does your husband exhibit the courage to take an unpopular stand, perhaps even to stand alone against evil? Is he courageous in his faith? Does he work hard to change injustice? Is he a stickler for the truth? Does he protect you or your family from the attacks of the Enemy?

Psalm 27:14 says this kind of courage comes from "waiting" on the Lord for His strength. If your budget allows, "award" your husband with a medal, trophy, framed picture of a brave knight, or some other token that represents his courage as a man of God. Praise evidences of your husband's courage in protecting you, your marriage, your family, or your home.

Kevin is great about protecting our family, and being careful where he takes us and who we're around. Being in the Navy, I'm sure there have been plenty of social situations that Kevin has had to say No to in order to stand up for what he believes in. And as time goes on, those around begin to understand who Kevin is and what his values are. He's a strong man and a good leader, and even though I don't think I'll be going out and getting him a trophy or anything, he certainly does deserve praises for his courage.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Husband Encouragement Challenge: DAY 26

Kevin passed his test he's been studying for! I'm so proud of him! And when he came home, he brought me a Dunkin Donuts drink, just because. I was the one who should be treating him, and he was the one treating me! So thoughtful.....

Today I'll be heading out to the grocery store, and I think while I'm there I'll pick up a few special things for Kevin. He's mentioned that he'd like some snack-type things for during the middle of his night shift. An actual midnight snack! So that'll be my special thing I do for him today!

June 26--DAY 26

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge
By Nancy Leigh DeMoss

"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." Luke 2:52

If you have faithfully encouraged your husband, you will no doubt have seen some changes in his life . . . and your own life, as well. Encouragement is a wonderful habit that we hope you will continue for the rest of your life. The important thing is to keep growing in Christ and obeying the Word of God as you respond to your husband. As you consider today how to bless your husband and not tear him down, think of ways that you can encourage balance in your home. Jesus led a balanced life. He grew mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. As you see your husband branching out in these areas, is there a pattern of growth? Is your husband striving for balance in his life? If so, let him know you have noticed, and ask how you can further encourage that balance. If your husband is out of balance—focusing on one area to the exclusion of the others—consider whether there are things you can do to help restore or create balance in his life. Can you encourage times for sports or exercise? Keep the children quiet for a study time? Invite friends over for dinner? Stimulate his mind? Be sure you are working toward balance in your own life, as well. Be an example!

This is a tough area for us, but I try to encourage Kevin when I can by saying things like, "It's going to be nice tomorrow. Do you want to ride your bike in to work?" He likes biking, but it's not really something he thinks of doing, so it's nice when I encourage it. I've tried books or games and stuff, but he doesn't really take interest. And I don't know what else to try. So yeah... that's that. What do you ladies do to encourage a well-rounded life??

Monday, June 25, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - June 25

Okay, took awhile but I finally have a menu set. It's a weird week with DH working nights so we either eat these meals at lunchtime or at 4:00 in the afternoon, so it helps to have something quick and easy!

Monday--spaghetti, garlic bread, salad

Tuesday--broccoli cheese soup

Wednesday--ham n white sauce over rice, mandarin oranges

Thursday-- appetizer nite--bagel bites

Friday-- loaded baked potatoes

Saturday--grilled chicken w. some tasty marinade, corn, fruit cocktail

Sunday-- taco soup

For more great menu ideas and recipes, head on over to Laura's. Have a great week, friends!

Husband Encouragement Challenge: DAY 25

Some nice things Kevin has done over the weekend:
* He suggested going for a walk even though I know he doesn't enjoy it so much.
* (He's working nights and had just gotten up before Eli and I left for church) While I was gone, he straightened a few things up around the house and rearranged our living room rug for me.
* He took initiative and made us some sweet tea.
* He took care of Eli when he was having trouble going for nap yesterday.
* He helped pin his patches on his uniforms so I could sew them. Having him pin them on for me saved me all the stress I was having in trying to get them "perfect".

June 25--DAY 25

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss

". . . seek peace, and pursue it." Ps. 34:14b

"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." Is. 26:3

Before you consider whether these verses describe your husband, consider your own presence in the home. Do you promote an atmosphere of peace, or do critical words often flow from your mouth? Do you struggle with anger? If so, before you continue with your Encouragement Challenge, confess these sinful habits to the Lord, and determine to speak words of peace to your family today.

Does your husband bring an atmosphere of peace into your home? Is his presence a calming influence? Does he bring music, entertainment, books or people into your home that build a sense of serenity? Let him know how much you appreciate this wonderful quality, and support his choices.

If, on the other hand, he is quickly angered or he creates chaos rather than calm, ask God to give you an abundance of the kind of peace that will speak to his heart. Be patient and loving. Create an inviting atmosphere of peace, as much as possible.

Kevin is much calmer and more level-headed than I. I admit, I struggle with letting anger and frustration get the best of me. It's something I really need to pray about before I start each day and work on because it does no good to our home and family. I greatly appreciate Kevin's calming influence to me. He's the one that brings me back. I don't know where I'd be without him.


This week's homework:

As we approach the end of this challenge, I want to get us set up so that we can continue this "challenge" throughout all of the life, to maintain the practices that we've established this month. I want to give you some time to think, so here's some homework and at the end of the week we'll share....
  1. Write a list of 10 specific goals you want to keep working on.
  2. Pick 5 favorite Bible passages that strengthen you in your role as a wife. (from the challenge or elsewhere)
  3. Decide how you are going to hold yourself accountable to your actions. (journal? blog? friend? another challenge?)
So do your homework. Dig through your Bible to find verses and write them down somewhere where you can see them every day. And be sure to come back Saturday, the last day of the challenge, to share your answers. I've appreciated all of you ladies who have been doing the challenge with me! You have been a great encouragement to me, as well as everything we've been learning about throughout the month!

Want to share about today's challenge? Leave your link below...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 67

May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face shine upon us,
that your ways may be known on earth,
your salvation among all nations.

May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you.
May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you rule the peoples justly
and guide the nations of the earth.

May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you.
Then the land will yield its harvest,
and God, our God, will bless us.
God will bless us,
and all the ends of the earth
will fear him.

Husband Encouragement Challenge: DAY 24

At the last minute Kevin got called that he didn't have to go in to work after all. (that's the Navy for ya) So he enjoyed his afternoon out Jeepin' with a friend and then we got to spend time with him that evening since he was home. He stayed up as late as he could last night so he could sleep during the day in preparation for (possibly) working tonight. It's a pain but Kevin's flexible and doesn't utter complaints.

June 24--DAY 24

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge
By Nancy Leigh DeMoss

"And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." Eph. 6:4

Children can be quite a challenge to the marriage relationship. A wise wife will support her husband's leadership in the home as much as possible, and will praise him for his fathering skills. Negativity makes a man feel like a failure, and may make him to want to give up. Does your husband discipline your children wisely? Does he show them love and encourage them? Does he take an interest in their activities and dreams? Does he spend time with them? Does he take part in developing their character? Praise him for these important life skills. If you don't have children—is your husband positive and encouraging around other people's children? Let him know that you have noticed. If your husband does not experience positive relationships with children, you will need to figure out why. Perhaps he had negative experiences as a child with his own parents, and needs to learn how to respond. Perhaps you can lovingly and patiently show him how to parent—while still maintaining his authority in the home.

Kevin is an amazing father. He's so good with Eli. He catches him if he's getting into something he shouldn't be. He's very loving by showing Eli lots of attention when he gets home from work, snuggling him in the rocking chair before bed, giving him baths, carrying him around on his shoulders, and just caring for his needs. He's quick to praise Eli when he learns something new. it'll be exciting to see how their relationship as father and son grows throughout the years. I don't doubt for a second that he'll be a great leader and example for our children.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Husband Encouragement Challenge: DAY 23

Well, Kevin was called in to start his night shift work today instead of Monday, so he won't be able to do his fun activities after all since he'll have to be sleeping during the day. He was pretty bummed, and I could tell, so I thought about his schedule and encouraged him that he could still do his off-roading in the afternoon once he's up. Working a Navy schedule is hard, because you never know in advance when you're going to have to work. They're not all that good about being organized. Kevin's a bit frustrated, but I'm doing the best I can at just focusing on his needs and letting him still get a "weekend" instead of focusing on myself and how he won't be around for church and other things.

June 23--DAY 23

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss

"Let your speech always be with grace . . ." Col. 4:6a
You're moving toward the home stretch of your 30-day challenge! Just a reminder of what you've committed:
  • You can't say anything negative about your husband . . . to your husband . . . or to anyone else, about your husband.
  • Say something that you admire or appreciate about your husband. . . to your husband . . . and to someone else, about your husband!
"In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works . . ." Titus 2:7a

Does the "30-Day Encouragement Challenge" seem like hard work? Or is it becoming a pleasant exercise in genuine Christ-likeness in your home? You are only scratching the surface of ways to encourage your mate. Is your husband organized? Is he diligent? Is he persistent? These are all related to a pattern of personal disciplines that are worthy of your praise. Affirm him for one or more of these traits that you see in him. Some men have not developed these qualities because they are naturally more spontaneous. You can praise his spontaneity! Perhaps God has called you alongside to help him with disciplines he has not yet developed - but this does not include nagging. You can keep him organized. Whatever the need, you can be your husband's cheerleader, encouraging him when he wants to give up.

This challenge still takes work, every single day. But it is starting to become more natural to think before I speak, to make sure I say thank you for everything Kevin does, and to do and say encouraging things to my husband and to others about him.

Kevin is organized when he wants to be, but otherwise he has typical guy tendencies to just leave clothes on the floor, toss things in a drawer before folding, or leave dishes in a sink. But it's okay, because those aren't his responsibilities. That's not how God has designed him. He is good at periodically tidying up the garage and getting all his tools in order. And he's amazingly persistent when it comes to his Jeep work. This thing is an old rust bucket, and there are always complications with any project he's doing. BUT with the work of just hand tools and other creativity, he always gets the project done, one way or another. It's not fun for him but he does it so we don't have to pay the money to have someone else do it. I respect him so much for that.

On Monday, the start of our last week of this challenge, I'll be posting some homework assignment, so be sure to come back on Monday!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Husband Encouragement Challenge: DAY 22

Last night I helped Kevin study for a qualification at work, and afterwards I really praised him for how well he was doing and how fast he'd learned his information. I'm so proud of him! He's good at his job, but that's a side of him I don't get to see much!

This weekend he will be spending a lot of time doing things of his own--helping a coworker move, off-roading, and playing soccer--but I told him that he's been home with the family all week (he works short days and usually home for the afternoon) and that it's perfectly fine for him to do something on his own. I want him to enjoy some time with other guys!

June 22--DAY 22

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge
By Nancy Leigh DeMoss

"Let your speech always be with grace . . ." Col. 4:6a

Focus today on how you represent your husband in your home, your church, and your community. In this challenge to encourage, ask: "If all my family and friends knew about my husband came from a filter of what I've said about him, what would they think of my husband?" Do you need to change the filter? Do you talk positively about your husband to others . . . or do you complain and criticize?

Your speech should reflect 1 Cor. 13 love. Your words should be kind, and should never "rejoice in iniquity" (v. 6). Refrain from listing your husband's faults to others. Satan likes to trick us in this area—be wary of sharing barbed "prayer requests." Remember, "Love will cover a multitude of sins" (1 Pet. 4:8b). Present your husband before others today in a strong, positive manner. Slip in a "good word" for your spouse.

Resist the urge to correct or belittle him in front of others. Some of what you say may come back to him—and you want your words to be sweet, building him up and never tearing him down.

Don't forget: you are always criticizing—or encouraging—before an audience. God hears your conversations when you are alone with your husband in your own home. May your speech be always seasoned with grace.

I want to be woman who speaks always with grace. I want to be a wife who sees that the heart of our home is a peaceful sanctuary--a source of contentment, acceptance, rejuvenation, nurturing, rest, and love for my family. (Omartian, 37) I want to represent my husband such that everyone knows how good of a man he is, whether they know him or not. I want to be an encourager, a supporter, a helper--the woman that God has designed me to be.

God of renewal, everywhere your Holy Spirit breathes new life into creation. As I undertake this day to bring glory to you by honoring my husband, I ask you to be present in my marriage. Guide me to know in which things I should ask forgiveness, in which things I should change, and in which things I should ask for the grace to let go. Show me new ways to respect my husband today and open my eyes to all that you have made him to be. I trust in your goodness and in the covenant my husband and I made with you and each other on our wedding day. Through Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.*

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thankful Thursday

I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High!
Psalm 9:2

Wow, this week has flown by and I can't even remember the past events! Oh yeah, started with Father's Day weekend...

* I am thankful for a really great dad who has been so supportive and encouraging and involved through all the years.

* I am thankful for my husband and all that he does every single day to be a great dad.

* I am thankful for our couple's Bible study and the fellowship with good Christian friends. I look forward to starting again in the fall.

* I am thankful that Eli's top two teeth have popped through and he's feeling muuuch better and back to his normal routine.

* I am thankful for the beautiful weather and the chance to get outside!

* I am thankful that my friend Amber has had a good pregnancy and could have the baby any day now.

* I am thankful for pictures and the beautiful way they capture memories.

* I am thankful for blogging and how it has helped me to really grow spiritually the last few months.

* I am thankful for my husband and how loving and thoughtful he is every day.

Visit Iris at Sting My Heart for more encouraging thankful posts. Have a great week, everyone!

Husband Encouragement Challenge: DAY 21

Yesterday since it was rainy and Kevin wasn't in the mood to work on his Jeep, I took Eli and we went and ran errands on our own, allowing Kevin to lounge around the house or do whatever, just have time for himself. And last night I also did dishes for him so he didn't have to since he mentioned a few days ago how he doesn't really like it. But then two seconds later I was snapping about he didn't appreciate it. How selfish am I! So yeah, need to work on that. The challenge today says "Determine today that your words will be sweet and helpful," so I'm really going to try for that.

Oh and if you haven't already, check out some really great quotes I posted from The Power of a Praying Wife.

June 21--DAY 21

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge
By Nancy Leigh DeMoss

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matt. 6:33

If we are living in light of eternity, everything we think, do or say is seen from an eternal perspective. We will someday give an account for our failure to speak words of love and encouragement. Determine today that your words will be sweet and helpful.

Does your husband have an eternal perspective that allows him to reject materialism and temporal values? Express your gratefulness for his value system, and praise him for putting eternal things before riches and other things of this world. If this is a problem area for him, consider how you might alter your own value system and live for eternity in front of him, encouraging him to do the same. Only two things will go into eternity . . . the Word of God and people. Be sure that you are focusing on the right things.

Prayer: God of renewal, everywhere your Holy Spirit breathes new life into creation. As I undertake this day to bring glory to you by honoring my husband, I ask you to be present in my marriage. Guide me to know in which things I should ask forgiveness, in which things I should change, and in which things I should ask for the grace to let go. Show me new ways to respect my husband today and open my eyes to all that you have made him to be. I trust in your goodness and in the covenant my husband and I made with you and each other on our wedding day. Through Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.*

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Book Notes: The Power of a Praying Wife

While preparing for a Husband Encouragement Challenge post, I was flipping through the book The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian that I read in the first year of marriage, when I realized again just how GREAT this book is! So I decided to go through the book and type up my favorite quotes and passages from the book. So here we go...

"We have God's power on our side. We don't have to leave our marriages to chance. We can fight for them in prayer and not give up, because as long as we are praying, there is hope." (p. 20)

"The hardest part about being a praying wife, other than the sacrifice of time, is maintaining a pure heart." (p.25)

"My heart had to be softened, humbled, pummeled, molded, and reconstructed before He even started working on my husband. I had to learn to see things according to the way God saw them--not how I thought they should be." (p. 26)

"God can resurrect the deadest of marriages, but it takes humbling ourselves before him and desiring to live His way--forgiveness, kindness, and love," (p. 28)

"Submission is something you give from your heart, not something demanded of you," (p. 29)

"Prayer is the ultimate love language....Talking to God about your husband is an act of love." (p.29)

"There is a time to speak and a time not to speak, and happy is the man whose wife can discern between the two." (p.32)

"Prayer is the only thing that always works." (p.33)

"The Lord will always give us words to say, and how us when to say them if we ask Him. Timing is everything." (p.34)

"Our goal must not be to get our husbands to do what we want, but rather to release them to God so He can get them to do what He wants." (p.35)

"It's not the words we speak that make a difference, it is the power of God accompanying them." (p.36)

"You will still be expected to see that heart of your home is a peaceful sanctuary--a source of contentment, acceptance, rejuvenation, nurturing, rest, and love for your family." (p.37)

"Part of making a house a home is allowing your husband to be the head so you can be the heart." (p.38)

"The more time you spend with the Lord, the more radiant you will become." (p.39)

"Accept your husband the way he is and pray for him to grow. Then when change happens, it will be because God has worked it in him and it will be lasting...Your greatest expectations must be from God, not your husband." (p.41)

"We not only bring defeat into our marriages and our husbands when we don't have respect for them, but it shuts the door to new life in us as well." (p.42)

"History tends to repeat itself without the intervention of God." (p.51)

"Only when we recognize that all we have comes from God and seek to make Him Lord over it can we avoid the pitfalls that money, or the lack of it, brings." (p.55)

"The two most powerful weapons against the attack of lies upon your husband's mind are the Word of God and praise." (p.83)

"The only kind of fear we are supposed to have is the fear of the Lord." (p.89)

"A wife can't put pressure on her husband to be something, but she can pray for him to become it." (p.93)

"Whatever God has called your husband to be or do, He has also called you to support it and be a part of it, if in no other way than to pray, encourage, and help in whatever way is possible." (p.95)

"Even though we pray and have faith, the outcome and timing are God's decisions." (p.104)

"Being good friends with godly people who love the Lord doesn't just happen by chance. We must pray that such people will come into our lives. And then when we find them, we should continue to cover the relationships in prayer." (p.132)

"The best way for a man to be a good father is to get to know his heavenly Father and learn to imitate Him." (p.139)

Weekly Memory Verse

Oh no, last week I said I was going to switch the memory verse to Wednesdays, and I plum forgot! So this is a little late getting posted, sorry...

First let's play a review game. I will give key words and you tell me what verse it is...

#1 way, truth, undivided heart
#2 Law, meditate, successful
#3 Jesus, built up, thankfulness
#4 heart, soul, strength, mind
#5 good deeds, meeting, encourage
#6 trust, understanding, acknowledge
#7 young man, word, heart
#8 hope, joy, Holy Spirit

2 Corinthians 3:5
Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves,
but our competence comes from God.

Want to learn this memory verse? Sign your name below, and come back next week for a new verse!

Husband Encouragement Challenge: DAY 20

Okay, time for me to purposefully think of positive things Kevin has done the last couple of days. I've been slacking lately, so here we go...
* Yesterday Kevin chose to put off Jeep maintenance so he could spend more time with the family.
* He helped clean up the house in preparation for the baby sitter.
* On Father's Day he chose not to play soccer so he could relax at home with us.
* He watched Eli for about 30 minutes yesterday so I could finish a phone conversation with a friend.
* He individually wrapped chicken for me for the freezer since he knows I hate doing it.
* Monday when I arrived at his softball game he was waiting for me to help carry all of our things.

Kevin is very thoughtful and a great helper, and he's always thinking of others above himself. And I'm so thankful for this challenge that has helped me to realize and appreciate all of Kevin's wonderful qualities! One thing I am going to do special for him today is encourage him to have time for himself and do that Jeep maintenance he put off yesterday, if wants to.

June 20--DAY 20

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge
By Nancy Leigh DeMoss

"And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you." Eph. 4:32

It's time for some heart examination. As you continue in this 30-day challenge, have you found any roots of bitterness that are contaminating your relationship with your husband? Do you understand that as long as you are unwilling to forgive your husband—by God's grace and in His power —you will not be able to encourage him? Your own resentment will keep getting in the way. Now is the time to deal with any unforgiving attitudes. Forgive him, even as God has forgiven you.

Is your husband a forgiving man? Does he keep short accounts of your problems? Express your thankfulness for such a man.

Does your husband—rightly or wrongly—harbor grudges against you? Again, are there things you need to change, or do you need to ask for his forgiveness for an offense? Help your husband be more forgiving by quickly forgiving him for his mistakes.

I don't think that I'm a person to really hold things against another. Kevin's never done anything so bad that I just could not get past it. For me once something's done, it's done. And I think that's the same for Kevin when it comes to me. At the end of the arguments we always say we're sorry, accept each other's apology, smooch, and carry on as if nothing ever happened.

I am so thankful that Kevin is such a forgiving man, for accepting me wholeheartedly each and every day despite the mistakes I make time and time again. And he's forgiving to others too. Imagine what our home would be like if he were to always bring in his bitterness over others. Instead, he brings control and peace and love. I blessed by this man, my husband.

Prayer: God of renewal, everywhere your Holy Spirit breathes new life into creation. As I undertake this day to bring glory to you by honoring my husband, I ask you to be present in my marriage. Guide me to know in which things I should ask forgiveness, in which things I should change, and in which things I should ask for the grace to let go. Show me new ways to respect my husband today and open my eyes to all that you have made him to be. I trust in your goodness and in the covenant my husband and I made with you and each other on our wedding day. Through Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.*

Want to share today? Either leave a link to your blog or just write in the comments section.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Husband Encouragement Challenge: DAY 19

Last night I was working on transferring book notes into a new notebook and thought I'd share a couple tidbits here with you today...
In A Wife After God's Own Heart the author Elizabeth George creates an acronym for displaying the 4 main roles of a wife to help, submit, respect, and love:

Warm up his life with your love.
Improve his life as a helper.
Follow his leadership with a willing heart.
Esteem him highly with utmost respect.

There's also a whole chapter in the book about learning to communicate and the author has this section:

Communicate God's way by...
  • learning to pray at the first hint of frustration or self-pity
  • learning to say nothing when your emotions approach a danger point
  • learning to wait for the right time to communicate
  • learning to make a list of things you felt or needed to talk through
  • learning to make an appointment to talk about pressing matters
  • learning to write it out so you can be careful with your words
  • learning to "take the blame". Use phrases like "I'm having a problem understand this... or seeing how this can work...or accepting this change" "Can you help me out... or help me with my thinking"
* Take time to prepare your heart and your words. Pray about timing, tone, and topics.

I just loved this book and definitely think it's worth the read! You can check out my full book notes here.

And now for today's challenge...

June 19--DAY 19

Read this description of a wife's description of her beloved—Song of Solomon 5:10-16

Criticism leaves scars; but encouragement can bring healing. Remember that today as you focus on your "30-Day Encouragement Challenge." Almost nothing is as devastating to a man as the belief that his wife finds him repulsive. Sadly, many women unwisely criticize their husbands' bodies.

Have you ever considered how wonderfully God designed men and women? No matter how a man looks—by the standards of the world - a loving God designed them all, and they are all "beautiful" in His sight. Encourage your husband today by praising his uniqueness.

As you look over your husband's body, from the tip of his toes to his bald or bushy head, thank God that your husband is "wonderfully made," then admire your husband verbally. (Strong arms? Hairy chest? Firm hands? Big feet? Rugged chin? Wide shoulders? Compassionate eyes? Broad smile?)

This week's goals:
* If there are chores that I want Kevin to do around the house, I will kindly ask him instead of hoping he'll notice and do it on his own. (I had a bit of tamper tantrum this weekend when boxes needed to go out to recycling)
* Choose at least one thing daily to compliment Kevin on and voice it TO him. Throughout this challenge so far, I've been good about building him up to others but not so much directly TO him (besides thank yous), so I'm going to work on that.
* Maintain a cheerful attitude about the work I do at home for my family. And speak only with a loving and respectful tone of voice.

God of renewal, everywhere your Holy Spirit breathes new life into creation. As I undertake this day to bring glory to you by honoring my husband, I ask you to be present in my marriage. Guide me to know in which things I should ask forgiveness, in which things I should change, and in which things I should ask for the grace to let go. Show me new ways to respect my husband today and open my eyes to all that you have made him to be. I trust in your goodness and in the covenant my husband and I made with you and each other on our wedding day. Through Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.*

Monday, June 18, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - June 18th

Hello, friends! How was your Father's Day weekend? We didn't do a whole lot but we enjoyed some delicious food. Must say, the Blackberry Cheese Pie was a great hit and could easily be adaptable for other fruit too. It's a keeper! I took some fun Father/Son pictures that you can see HERE. Alright, now let's get to business. The menu...

Monday: hamburgers
Tuesday: club sandwiches, pickle, apples w. sour cream dip
Wednesday: chili cornbread pie, salad, oranges
Thursday: appetizer nite--maple chicken drummies
Friday: chicken divan, peaches
Saturday: TBD Kevin may be working night shift
Sunday: TBD

Head on over to Org Junkie for more menu ideas! Have a great week!

Husband Encouragement Challenge

Today is the day that Christine at Fruit in Season is starting her 30-Day Honor Your Husband Challenge. It's more of a week by week thing, instead of every day being a new focus as we have here at this challenge. The rules are this:

Throughout each day, put aside negative words and bring good to your husband by words and actions. Notice things he does for you and your family and show your appreciation. Compliment him. Speak well of him in public, both in his presence and when he is not with you. Give him the opportunity to be your hero and praise his masculinity. Tell your children (if you have them) how wonderful their daddy is. Accept his decisions with grace and really support them, even if you don't fully agree. If you have a disagreement, show respect by maintaining a pleasant tone of voice and eye contact. Serve him first at the dinner table. Don't be insincere, but surprise him by withholding a typical negative reaction in favor of a God-honoring one.

Choose a few small goals for yourself each week and make sure to post them. Write them on post-its and put them on your mirror, in your car and your purse, or anywhere else you'll see them. Keep a journal for the month about successes and struggles. What is hardest for you to do? What comes easily? How is your husband responding to your efforts?

I'm going to start writing a goals list every week, so I have focus to my intentions for honoring my husband. Here are mine for this week:
  • If there are chores that I want Kevin to do around the house, I will kindly ask him instead of hoping he'll notice and do it on his own. (I had a bit of tamper tantrum this weekend when boxes needed to go out to recycling)
  • Choose at least one thing daily to compliment Kevin on and voice it TO him. Throughout this challenge so far, I've been good about building him up to others but not so much directly TO him (besides thank yous), so I'm going to work on that.
  • Maintain a cheerful attitude about the work I do at home for my family. And speak only with a loving and respectful tone of voice.

June 18--DAY 18

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge
By Nancy Leigh DeMoss

"You will show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy . . . Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!" Ps. 16:11a; 144:15b

"A merry heart does good like medicine . . ." Prov. 17:22a

It's hard to criticize others when we are enjoying their company. Instead of speaking negatively to your husband today, enjoy him! Encourage him! As you experience fullness of joy with God, share some of that joy with your husband. Does your husband have a playful side? A great sense of humor? Is there a "little boy" that wants to escape from time to time, reflecting the joy in his heart? This is a wonderful part of who he is, and a great strength. Let him know that you appreciate his joyfulness and his playful spirit. Find opportunities to join him in positive play times.

If your husband can sometimes be overly serious, coax him out occasionally for some play times. It will help him relieve stress and relax.

My husband, overly serious? Ha! Kevin and I are very silly together and with Eli. We're always laughing, playing games, and doing fun things! We have great fun together every day! And there are so many "inside joke" type things we do that only we understand. I love that about us! I truly am happy with my husband, and for that I have another reason to be thankful!

We can do great things only with God's help. So Christine suggests starting each day with this prayer that she wrote for us:
God of renewal, everywhere your Holy Spirit breathes new life into creation. As I undertake this day to bring glory to you by honoring my husband, I ask you to be present in my marriage. Guide me to know in which things I should ask forgiveness, in which things I should change, and in which things I should ask for the grace to let go. Show me new ways to respect my husband today and open my eyes to all that you have made him to be. I trust in your goodness and in the covenant my husband and I made with you and each other on our wedding day. Through Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.*

You want to share today? Leave your name below and either link to your blog or post in the comments section! It's the start of a new week!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day Photo Shoot

Just finished taking some special pictures of father and son. Here's what I got...

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 139:1-18

O Lord, you have searched me
and you know me.
You know when i sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O Lord.

You hem me in--behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me."
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully
and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the scret place.
When I was woven together
in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts,
O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

Husband Encouragement Challenge: DAY 17

Reflections on yesterday...
Kevin was a super help yesterday!! He took Eli to the grocery store with him in the morning, so I could enjoy a few quite minutes of the house to myself. He made monkey bread for our breakfast. He watched Eli so that I could shower and get dressed. And he stayed home with Eli all afternoon while I was at a church bridal shower. He helped clean up dinner, he took a bunch of boxes to recycling, and he helped cook the sausage links for this morning's breakfast casserole.

Okay now, since it's Father's Day today (woohoo!), I'm going to take a minute (or more) to reflect on all the ways I'm thankful for Kevin's role as a father...
* His schedule allows for him to be a VERY involved dad!! And he chooses to spend this free time with his family!! And for that I am so thankful!
* When Eli was a newborn, Kevin LOVED to take naps with him almost every day.... so sweet... and to read Dr. Seuss books to him.
* Kevin's the one who gives Eli his baths.
* He changes diapers or feeds Eli anytime I ask... without complaining!
* If Eli's having a horrible day and freaking out, Kevin's the one with great patience to rock and sing to him.
* And when I'm getting anxiety from the crying, Kevin relieves me and takes over.
* He's been at all of Eli's doctor appointments, including all the prenatal visits!
* Even though he doesn't especially enjoy walks, he's taken to like our evening routine of taking Eli out for a short stroll before bedtime.
* He's so great at playing with Eli and making him laugh, but he also enjoys getting him to snuggle.
* Every night before we go to bed, we peek in on sleeping Eli and Kevin gently an quietly leans over the crib rail and gives Eli one last kiss for the day.
* He prayed for Eli every day when he was in utero and he continues to pray for him every day now.
* I mostly appreciate how involved he is and just BEING HERE and all the help he does around the house. I know it won't always be this easy, especially when we get out of the Navy. But for now, I LOVE IT!!!

Can I just say that the Proverb verse for today is one that Eli and I just read in yesterday morning's Proverb reading!

June 17--DAY 17

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge
By Nancy Leigh DeMoss

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." Prov. 9:10

Are you a wise woman? Do you open your mouth with wisdom, as Proverbs 31:26 suggests? As you continue in your 30-day challenge, remember that a wise woman encourages her husband. Is your husband a "wise man?" Does he have a godly perspective that comes from knowing God and walking with Him in obedience? Does he have a sense of purpose for his life and vision for your home? Tell him how much this means to you.

If you are not sure about your husband's vision for your home, ask him, "Honey, what do you want to accomplish with our marriage and home in the years to come?" and "How can I help you accomplish that?" If he does not have a vision, your questions may inspire him to develop one.

If your husband is not walking with God—or perhaps, does not know the Lord - you have the opportunity and responsibility to practice your faith and create a thirst for God. Thank God for giving your husband a place in his heart that only He can fill, and keep praying that he will turn to the Lord to fill that vacuum!

Today I am going to ask Kevin what his vision is for our marriage and home and what he (with God's help) hopes to accomplish.