Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Men's Perspective

I was away this weekend for a little rest & relaxation at the Big Valley Women's Retreat (if you have the opportunity to go next year I would definitely recommend it!), and I must admit it's been a little challenging to get back into the swing of the morning routine which has lately involved way too many appointments and shuffling my two girls back and forth between the two Grandmas.

I am grateful however that I was able to get things together enough this morning to make it to MOPS! I always love my MOPS mornings, the breakfast is the best, but I especially love the wonderful moms whom I get to connect with and the speakers we have the privilege of listening to and learning from.

Men's Panel:

Bobby Kirchner - Superintendent Big Valley Christian School
Jim Jesse - Husband of Mentor Mom Allison
Scott Stubbert - Pastor of Recovery & Single Adult Ministries
Rick Thompson - Pastor of Connect & Grow

A few tidbits they shared with us include the following:

Things men struggle with in marriage...Selfishness, insecurity, priorities, contact with worldly things...Give your husband time and a little slack and PRAY for him like crazy.

When your husband walks in from work...make an effort to give him a minute or two to say "hi" see how his day was and let him decompress for a few minutes so he might be able to switch gears and fully engage with the family.

Try to make an effort to make your husband feel special by leaving little notes or sending a text.

Make date night a priority in your marriage.

Plan times to engage with your spouse...spend time getting to know one another, find mutually interesting subjects.

What will motivate a man to put his family first? Refer to 1 Peter 3 and Ephesians 5 (both relate to the relationship b/w husband & wife), Paraphrased by Rick: Live your life in such a way for your husband just as you would for the Lord...You can win your husband over for the Lord's highest purpose.

If you want to encourage your husband to help out at home...look at your expectations, let them do it their way and try not to criticize their help...they are more likely to help if you release control. Acknowledge their help and let them know you appreciate it.

Advice the men would give themselves if they could go back knowing what they know now...Present is good, but engaged is so much better. You don't have to solve all of the problems on your own...let your spouse help, you are a TEAM.

How to get through Peaks and Valleys in marriage...Matthew 6:33 - Put God first, everything else will follow. When tough decisions or situations arise...Lord, help me right now.

Present a united front, deal with differences once the children are gone and you can discuss the situation with just you & your spouse. Don't belittle each other in front of the kids and don't let kids disrespect the parents.

Husband as the spiritual leader in the as if he already is and that will give him the desire to be that, encouragement in that direction...not a direct command. RELEASE CONTROL and learn to FOLLOW.

What they have learned about marriage and would like to share:

  • The more I pursue Jesus, the better father I am
  • Invite male mentors into my life
  • We're on the same team, and committed to this
  • Rip the word DIVORCE out of your dictionary
  • Put the Lord first
  • No secrets 
  • Seek Godly counsel

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How Cookies Apply to My Life (And Yours Too)

I was so glad to make it to MOPS yesterday. Last time my second daughter had a fever (story of my life it seems...). So I showered for you all and showed up clean, dressed and high on the anticipation of adult company.

I've been on a weird (when I say weird I mean horrible) diet lately: no sugar, no wheat.  So when our lovely speaker, Deby Turnrose, started talking about cookies I wasn't sure how I felt about that. Were we really going to talk about the history of the chocolate chip cookie? How did this apply to me? Not only was I living life "sans cookie," I was also really needing a good Mom-to-Mom talking to -- you know?

But then it happened. She started talking to me, not about cookies, but about life. And metaphors. And being an English major myself, I do speak her language quite well.

Deby took us through the ingredients of the cookie, some of the clever "metaphorical" aspects of each ingredient: the flour is the "blah" stuff, it just needs to be there; the sugar is the sweet stuff in life; the eggs are God (3 in one, get it??) Who binds everything in our lives together; the vanilla is the cool stuff -- the creative parts of life, the "extra"something that makes the day worth facing (that's my take on it at least).

But what really made me nod my head in agreement was her take on the salt. Salt is the bitter, sour, ugly things in life. The happenings that make us ask "why??" and maybe challenge our faith at its core.   The things we are certain life could do without. Or could it...?

Deby shared some parts of her life experience with us so openly and graciously, and I was awed by how God took this girl with some really hard stuff to deal with, and turned her into a woman who is clever and bright and talented and has a really wacky sense of humor. I laughed quite a bit, as I'm sure did you.

And so the salt is necessary in the chocolate chip cookie. It makes the sugar sweeter, so our speaker says.

If Deby can say that, then I will try to accept it. It's hard to accept, isn't it? Do the stupid, ugly, "salty" things really need to be in my life? In my past? Or would erasing those experiences only erase something that makes life more beautiful? Am I better for those things? Are you?

The topic definitely leaves us with some food for thought. And Deby left us with that a metaphor?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Mom of the Month!

Emily Haley

I have 4 kids!!! Leandra-14, April-10, Dylan-8 & baby Rhett-8 months

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?:
I feel like I should have some great thing to say, but I really don't! I'd like to know how to fashion design and sew!
If you could stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?:
Honestly, I really enjoy being 30 and would love to stay this age forever!
What are your 10 favorite things?:
My 10 favorite things: God, my hubby, my babies, reading, dancing, eating, travel, shoes, jewelry and the beach!
One piece of advice or encouragement for other moms?:
My advice and encouragement for other moms is to not compare yourselves to other moms. I spent a good 6 years striving to be like "so and so and so and so...". This did me no good and caused much disappointment. I've learned to embrace the type of mother and woman I am and focus on improving myself to be who God created me to be- my unique self with unique qualities.