Serving Him Only Is Open For Business!

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My study area in our new home.

After a lot of hard work, I finally have my new blog set up for Daily Marriage Devotions.  I am excited about this but the sweat and tears that have gone into making this possible have been many. It is titled Serving Him Only All of the feelings of can I do this?  Is it going to benefit anyone?  Is anyone going to read it?  How can I move people to the new blog? And so forth and so on.

Almost 3 years ago, I started this adventure.  I just blogged about day-to-day living in God’s beautiful world.  While doing some research on the internet, I came across a blog of a woman whom I consider a dear friend, and a great prayer warrior, April.  She writes a blog titled Peaceful Wife.  Even though I have never met her, I love her with a Christ like love that I cherish.  She is a wonderful God seeking woman who I consider it a privilege to know.  I spent some time reading her blog, almost 3 years worth, LOL, and although I learned a lot, and was refreshed with some things I had forgotten, Her blog is directed at wives.  Her husband writes a blog called Respected Husband, and he directs his posts to husbands.  My husband and I have a wonderful Godly marriage and I wanted something directed at couples.

After writing blogs for the better part of 5 years on Christian living, moral values, homeschooling, and a huge variety of other subjects, I have decided to do what I hoped to accomplished when I began.  Although that focus has changed from a wide variety of subjects, God has led me to write a devotional for married couples.  I am going to try to keep it real, informative, and interesting.  In today’s day and age, marriages struggle so much with so many things that everything seems to be a deal breaker.  Divorce is easy in this country and I want to be apart of letting couples know that there is help, caring help out there.  There are people out there who care about you with a Christ like love and want to see your marriage succeed.  Succeed in a way that you never imagined possible.

I hope this new blog blesses you.  Feel free to leave comments, positive, negative, neutral, whatever you desire.  ALL feedback is welcome.  Sometimes I sparks some great discussion that broadens others thinking and just might be what they need to hear.

So head on over and give it a read.  You can follow the blog and receive daily devotions in your email with the link on the right side.  Simply enter your email and you will receive it every time there is a new post up!

Serving HIM Only

God bless and enjoy!

Jeannie

Serving HIM Only

I am sorry about no devotion post today. I am in the process of moving them over to the other blog I have started called Serving HIM Only. Hopefully I will have them all back online tomorrow. This will allow me to write other posts on this blog. Head on over here to read them.
Thanks for your patience in advance.
Jeannie

It’s No Use…He/She Will Never Change

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“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’ when all the tie there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brothers eye.”  Matthew 7:3-5

How often have you said to someone, if only your spouse would change (fill in the blank), your marriage would be better.  Women want men to help more around the house.  Men want women to have more sex.  Women want help with the dishes. Men want women to stop nagging.  It is a time old classic issue in marriages that is not likely to go away…unless you find value in the love that you express to your mate.

As a result, both the husband and wife feel isolated and resentful.  We think we can so clearly see our spouses fault when all along we disregard our own.  In Matthew 7, that is what Jesus was trying to explain.  If we work as hard on fixing ourselves, as we do our spouses, maybe just maybe there will be change.

I remember a time in our marriage when I did just that.  I prayed all the time for Richard to change.  “God if he just understood me more.  If he just opened his eyes and realized that what I am requesting is not that unreasonable, then he would be more receptive of hearing what I had to say.  I realized that there was no reward in this concept.  I was focusing so much on his faults that I failed to see what mine were.  I read the scripture quoted above at least 100 times before, and still didn’t understand how it applied to my marriage and its real issues.

One day while Richard was at work, I sat on my bed crying out to God that this was not what I expected life to be with the man who I loved for over 25 years.  He had brought us back together and I was finally able to spend my life with him, and now You do this?  I didn’t understand.  God, like so many times before, directed me to the book of Matthew.  I read and reread the scripture and suddenly I got it!  I understood what God was trying to tell me.  I immediately changed the focus of my prayer and started praying for God to change me.  At first I was resentful of praying this prayer.  Was there really that much wrong with me?  Was I that bad of a wife?  As I continued praying for several days, that turned into weeks, that turned into months, still feeling like I was the only one who was working at this, I suddenly realized that we fought less.  We enjoyed each other more.  We were happier.  I decided to explain my revelation to Richard and to my surprise, he revealed to me that he had been doing the same thing.  You see once we decided to focus on our selves, things started falling into place.

If you are feeling like your spouse is being unreasonable and uncooperative in your marriage, think about a new approach.  Admit that you are not perfect.  Confess your own failures instead of focusing on His/Hers.  Discuss them with your spouse.  Ask Him/Her ever day what you can do to make them a better husband or wife.  Then do your best to make those changes.  Even if you don’t agree with them, unless they go against scripture, try to make that sacrifice.  You will be a better spouse for it and you will HAVE a better spouse for it.

Father, It is much easier to come to you and as for you to change someone else than it is to ask You to change ourselves.  Please give me the strength to acknowledge my weaknesses and improve on them.  Help me to examine myself daily for improvement and show me how to carry out changing those imperfections.  Please make me a better help-meet to my spouse.  Amen

An Example of Love

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“A new command I give you:  Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another  By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”  John 13: 34-35

When I was little, I didn’t have a very good example of what love was, let alone Christian love.  I hardly witnessed love and affection between my parents.  They barely spoke.  My father was never home, and my mother did the best she could to be a mother and a father.  Always took us to church.  Made sure that my 3 brothers and I had anything we needed.

Then, I thought my father was a good Christian man.  He would give some of the most elaborate prayers in and out of church. He made sure we went to church every Sunday.  Always took a knee with his baseball team before taking the field.  Little did I know, until later in life, he claimed to be an atheist.

As a result, I had a very warped sense of what love in a marriage was about.  It wasn’t until many years later, sometime in my 30’s, I realized that you can’t have any kind of love in a relationship until you have the most important love in your life first.  The love of Christ.  I had no one to explain to me what a relationship with Christ was about until I met my husband, again. (I will write more on that in a later post)

Flash forward 12 years… My daughter is going off to college this fall.  It seems only yesterday that we were watching her do so many first things.  First steps, first words, first of so many things.  When she was young, she would watch her dad and I kiss, hug, hold hands, or even put our arm around each other while walking through Walmart.  At the sight of this she would screech “MOM! Seriously!  There are PDA (public display of affection) rules!  You guys are so embarrassing!” And would storm off in her own direction to “not be seen with the parents”.  People would look at us in our matching shirts, which we wear everywhere, and exclaim “poor girl.”

Here is my philosophy:  When I grew up I barely had the thought that parents even liked each other, let alone LOVED each other.  When my children were grown, I wanted them to KNOW beyond a shadow of doubt that their parents loved each other.  I wanted to set an example for my kids that I didn’t witness when I was a child.

What is the perfect example of love?  Jesus.  He tells us to love each other as he loves us.  He loves us so much that He willingly gave up His own life so that we could be saved.  He tells us in John that if we just love one another the same way he loves us that people will not have to ask if we are Christians.  Likewise if we love our spouse like Jesus loves them, they won’t have to wonder if we love them.  They won’t ever have to feel like they are going through the motions of marriage alone.  As a result of setting that kind of example, your children or others will never have to wonder if your marriage will survive the storm.

Do you love your spouse like Jesus loves the church?  Would you give up your life for your spouse?  I don’t mean just saying that you would die for them. I’m talking about trading places with them and die in their stead.  What kind of example of love are you showing others?

Father, I come before you now asking that you give strength to those who are struggling in their marriage.  Give them strength to find love in the face of turmoil.  Let them remember what brought them together in the first place and the things that they love about each other.  Let them see the courage inside of themselves to show their love for one anther openly, so that others may see that Christ like love and want to pattern it.  Love is a contagious thing.  Let others see their example and follow their pattern.  Amen

Communicating Love

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And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love.  1 Corinthians 13:13

About a year after Richard and I were married, we were asked by our pastor, whom we had done our pre-marital counseling with, to help him do a marriage retreat.  He wanted us to tackle the session on ….wait for it….. communication.  HA!  Who does that?  Who asks a couple 1 year into their marriage to tell other couples how to communicate.  Well apparently he knew what he was doing because we researched that very thing in the Bible for weeks. In the end, we sat in front of about 20 couples and explained to them that communication was all about communicating love to one another.  It was an eye-opening experience for us and made our marriage stronger.  We still have the “communication demon” rear it’s ugly head every once in a while but when it does we just stop, pray, step back, and look at where the conversation went sour.

In today’s day and age, love has become a mixed up term without meaning  People are confused about love whether it is because they have had a poor role model in their parents or have lived in a relationship that has not been healthy.  Love is the greatest of all human qualities, and an attribute of God himself.  Love involves unselfish service to others; to show it gives evidence that you care.

Communicating with your spouse doesn’t always mean that you agree with them.  In fact most of the time the need for communication is there because you disagree about something.  Sometimes you have to figure out that agreeing to disagree is the best option and then you have to let it go.  You have to be able to be ok with not coming to an understanding.  And that is perfectly fine.  I live by the philosophy that it is better to be happy than right.

Seldom to a husband and wife communicate the same love language.  We tend to speak our own language and expect the other to understand without teaching them how to speak our language.  As a result, we completely miss out on what the other is trying to say.

example: What she says;  “You never help me around the house.”  What she means; “Honey I have a lot on my to do list today.  Can you please help me out with one or two of them?”  there is definitely a difference in how those two things will play out.  He may say; “Stop nagging me all the time!”  What he means; “Honey I am really tired, I worked all day, can I please relax for a few minutes and then we can talk.”

I know those are pretty extreme examples, and they are certainly things that you have to work towards.  But I guarantee if you communicate the feeling of love instead of the “emotion” of what ever it is you are feeling, things will start to change.

The end of the love chapter in Corinthians chapter 13, which I highly recommend reading, says that love is the most important thin.  In fact, the apostle Paul says that love should be our highest goal.  But if you are going to keep love alive, you need to learn a new language.  One that your spouse understands.  That takes discipline and practice…but the reward is a lasting committed relationship.

How are you communicating love to your spouse?  Are you teaching your love language?  Are you making yourself willing to learn his/hers?  Take a leap of faith and start being a student of your spouse and learning all you can about his/her love language.  Begin in grade school if you have to.  But don’t stop after graduation.  Continue on to get your doctorate.  It will be well worth the investment and will cost nothing but time.  But the profession of loving your spouse is the most rewarding career you will ever have.

Father God, today I come to you asking that you strengthen the communication in our marriages.  Please keep husbands and wives strong in their quest to figure out what each other want.  Lord I pray that you will open and burdened their hearts to be open and honest with one another about their needs.  Watch over them and put a hedge of protection around them and their families so that they may be strong in You.  Amen

Daily Marriage Devotions Anyone?

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I am trying to figure out where I want to take this blog.  For the past 30 days I have been posting on my FaceBook page love notes to benefit marriages and our attitudes about how we feel about our spouses.  It has not been so much about examining our spouses…but more about examining ourselves.

I have gotten a lot of feedback on these posts.  Mostly good, mostly supportive, but some have been very harsh in private messages about how they feel I have been representing marriages.  Of course, being a Christian, it has all been from a Biblical view point.  My goal has been to try to make others see that if you don’t have a marriage centered around Christ, then your marriage is for not.  I am not saying that it doesn’t matter or is not validated…I am just saying that if you don’t have God any where near your marriage, then your marriage is not going to blessed in a Godly manner.

People don’t realize how much satan can influence their marriage.  In the same way that God blesses your life in a good way….satan can bless it in a bad way.  Most of the time he begins destroying your marriage before you ever make it to the altar.

I will be addressing several issues from communicating to sex.  My only prayer is that if I can touch one marriage…then whatever the consequences, it will all be worth it.  So I am asking that you give me feedback, good and bad, on any and all posts.  If something strikes you as odd, ask questions.  If something blesses you, please comment and let me know that you have been blessed.

So over the next few weeks this blog may take on several new looks, writings, and views that you may not agree with.  I hope you that will benefit from it, receive a blessing.  I hope those of you who feel you have the perfect marriage, somewhere along the way you will find out that no marriage or single person is perfect, and that you can always benefit from knowledge.

That is all I intend to do.  Provide scripture and knowledge that I have built up about a Christian marriage over a period of 10+ years of being marriage to my best friend.  I never knew how rewarding and blessed I would feel from putting God first in my life, my marriage, and in all that I do.

Blessings

Jeannie

IT’S OFFICIAL!!!!!

We are residents of the great state of Wisconsin!

I am so excited to be able to finally say that!  This move seems like it has been in the works for years…but in actuality it has only been 2-3 months.  I started packing the end of March so all of our stuff has been sitting in boxes all over the house.  I am determined that I am not going to live in a sea of boxes for that long after the move.  So I have worked very hard to get things put away.  The only rooms I have left are both bathrooms, the office, and our bedroom.  Our bedroom is done except I have to finish the canopy on our bed and then it will be done.

Here are some pictures of what I have done so far.  I will share other pics when I get the rooms done.

This is a pano picture of a little room off of the living room that I have deemed the Reading Nook.  It has a huge window in it for tons of natural light to stream into the room.  I see LOTS of Bible studying going on in this area.  I can’t wait!

This is before I put the table in the room.

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This is after I put the table in the room.

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What a difference it made.  I have already studied God’s Word and blogged from this space and it feels amazing.

Here is a picture of the living room taken from the reading alcove.

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LOVE LOVE LOVE my new sectional!

And the kitchen.  I found it only fitting that in the DAIRY STATE…and I collect cows for my kitchen, that it was the perfect match!

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I had this table in the dining area which was actually ordered for the reading alcove but we had to wait for the arrival of the dining room table.  Some friends of our gave us the table and I recovered the chairs to match the wonderful placements that my mother made me for the new table.  Here is the table that currently resides in the dining room.

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As you can see it is coming together.  I love decorating and if I could figure out how to do it I would have a job doing just that!

Meanwhile there is so much going on in addition to that, that I can hardly keep my head from spinning.  Richard has started his new job as an Asset Protection Manager at Kohls department store.  He likes it but during his training period he is driving all over creation to different stores learning all kinds of policies and then at the end of the month he will be certified.  This is hard for me because sometimes he is gone up until 9:30 at night and I am used to having him around 24/7.  It will be an adjustment period for sure.

I have a big craft show coming up in July that I am trying to get hats ready for.  I have several new hats debuting in this show.  Big Hero 6 hats…Frozen…Ninja Turtles…and a few others.  Of course there will be Packers hats!  We have been told that if we are going to live here we will  have to become packers fans because they are die-hard fans here and they don’t mess around.  Kinda funny…our friends Patrick and Courtney are a house divided.  He is a Packers fan and she is a Bears fan.  It is kinda funny to watch them discuss it.  Really funny!

Well I will sign off for now.  More to come in the next week or so.  Also hoping to get back into my online bible study over at Seeking His Will.  More on that later.

Write soon I promise.