Category Archives: Wifehood

Apologies

So often, in fact more-often-than-not, I hear people say:

Why should I apologize for what I’ve done……..

Let me tell you why:

We apologize not for the benefit of the other person. We apologize for the benefit of God.

Friends, we cannot control what others do. We cannot control what type of person another is. We cannot control the attitudes of others. We cannot control the beliefs of others. We cannot control A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G. but

OURSELVES.

My husband and I are constantly trying to get it through our children’s heads that they cannot control one another, but they can control themselves. They can control how they react in any situation. They can control the words they say and the actions they take.

In today’s self-centered world,

Nobody

is made to take responsibility for their actions. For instance, my son was being bullied in school. When he finally stood up for himself, which progressed into a physical altercation between he and the other kid, my kid is the one who got in-school detention (during school hours he had to sit in the principal’s office all day). The other kid only got reprimanded. I understand a no tolerance policy in regard to fighting, but the school also has the no tolerance policy for bullying as well. It makes no sense! After this incident, my husband and I both had conversations with the principal of the school. Please understand I am in NO WAY condoning my child’s behavior. I don’t want children who want to handle their conflicts with their fists.

But, this post isn’t about how I want my children or how we are raising our children to be, it’s about the need for apology.

The world is such an ugly place that apologizing for the wrongs we do tends to make it a little better place, at least in my opinion. The apology itself shows that one isn’t just thinking of him/herself, but is, in fact, thinking of another.

Anyone can have character when situations and circumstances are in a good place. It takes real integrity and character to act with goodness in the face of negative or evil situations/circumstances.

It’s easy to say ‘I have to revenge because said person did this or that.’

It’s in the Old Testament – Exodus 21 – in which we return behaviors based on another’s behaviors. This chapter of Exodus outlines how we treat others. Back in the days of the Old Testament an ‘eye for an eye’ was perfectly acceptable, probably even expected.

However, the new covenant is one of love and forgiveness. Jesus spread the word of love to any and all who would listen. He also teaches actions such as forgiveness.

For instance, Luke 6:29

To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic.

Jesus is not implying that we should or should not react out of retaliation. He is, however, inferring that we should return love in situations in which love was not given, such as slapping one’s cheek.

As you can see, when Jesus is going through His sufferings, He never once asked God to revenge His sufferings, but rather, He offered pleading on behalf of His crucifiers,

Then Jesus said, “Fatherforgive them, they know not what they do.”  – Luke 23:34

So, the new mantra should be:

I forgive you not only because I love you, but also because I love Jesus.

In the end, an apology is just a nice thing to do, but it is also a stepping stone in Your walk with Jesus.

We apologize because……..

we were wrong for whatever the action we took or the word we said. The motivation behind what we said/did may not be wrong, but how we handle the situation can be right or wrong. For instance, my son wasn’t wrong for wanting to defend himself. He was wrong in how he defended himself.

We apologize as……….

a sign of peace. I am a person who likes peace. I don’t care for drama or fighting or upset at all. I enjoy peace. But when I am wronged, I try ( I say try because I have a long way to go) to react with God in my heart. As I said, this doesn’t always happen because I do speak and act hastily. A lot! And then it’s me offering apology (peace).

We apologize because…….

we love Jesus and Jesus is the PERFECT example of forgiveness. Did He not forgive those who wronged Him? Did He not continue to love everyone despite the evil He endured?

Walk with peace today, my friends, offer an apology where an apology is due, and offer forgiveness to those who wrong you.

Blessings to you this day.

 

 

 

 

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Life Moments #8: Compassion

My husband and I with our three youngest children (5, 4, 8 mths) took a trip to Vegas and then on to Idaho where we bought a van and proceeded to visit family in Montana before arriving back home. It was a nice, busy, chaotic trip as I’m sure any parent can relate to…..three children under 7 in the vehicle for hours on top of hours. Yes, not the highlight of our trip, but enjoyable for the most part, anyway.

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However, my real story starts at the time we left. All I could think about was time with my husband – a fleeting concept with seven children in the home – as well as it being my three youngest children’s first time flying. I was excited – six out of nine have now flown! Okay, it might seem silly to some, but since I didn’t fly for the first time until I was 29/30, their first flight was exciting and went incredibly smooth for our young children.  Another exciting part is that we got to see another part of the US. We live in small North Dakota with nothing but flat lands (in our area anyway), fields of golden wheat or green corn stocks as high as I am – probably higher – and cows, sheep, horses. Nice views sometimes, but views that may not seem that exciting to young children. Anyway, we like to travel and I was excited for myself, my husband, and our children to see a change in scenery. Las Vegas was full of desert vegetation that we aren’t used to seeing, lively sparkling lights at sundown, and beautifully landscaped roadways and scenic drives into the hills/desert that contain some pretty awesome rock formations and wildlife. My husband was excited to hike into the hills and to explore the differing landscape. As we drive through the mountains in Idaho, with their winding roadways, small mountain towns, and a rushing river that switched from one side of the roadway to the other, we discovered some hotsprings and many, many beautiful, trees that stood so tall over the sides of the snow-peaked mountain tops. If you’ve never seen it in person just imagine the mountains on the Coors beer can, snow-capped mountains – at least that’s what the mountains made me think of (not the beer, I don’t drink, but the image). Absolutely stunning! But, alas, that beauty was interrupted with my bad moods and the children’s fussiness at being in the vehicle for such long periods of drive time. We tried to stop frequently to stretch our legs and take in the fresh, mountain air, but it’s never frequent enough for children!

The tail end of our trip ended with visiting family in beautiful Helena, MT. Now Helena is a place to visit that I will recommend. It definitely has its’ share of beauty and peace. The best part was just seeing our family though as I’m sure most of you can attest to. When you haven’t seen family members in over a year, possibly more, it’s fun to see the changes in their children, but also to reminisce and collaborate with the adults. To see siblings, brothers in this case, interact with one another is full of wonderful moments.  This was the best part of the trip!

However, one of the most memorable points in our trip was driving in downtown Vegas, past all the sparkling lights and casinos, away from the hustle and bustle of the strip that boasted a wedding chapel on every block and back-to-back hotels fervently calling one tourist after another. The downtown area was whole different place, yet similar to the strip. The architecture seemed to play down quite a bit, but was still full of the culture of Las Vegas, interesting to say the least. It was here, however, in which we saw what is missing in our smaller part of the US, but is a very prominent problem in bigger cities.

Homelessness.

As we drove the streets of downtown Las Vegas, we witnessed one homeless alley after the previous. We drove down one roadway in which we discovered a village of homeless people with their tents scattered about under a roadway tunnel/overpass. When I saw this, the excitement I had at the start of our trip started to wane. I no longer saw the trip as all about my husband, myself and my children. It opened up the concern in my heart that seems so easily lost in our protected, coddled state that we live in, a state in which we very seldom encounter a homeless person, let alone a village of homeless people. We might have our run-ins with jobless individuals passing through trying to get back home or boom/bust out of state workers who’ve somehow lost their earnings trying to get to the next job or their home, but as for full-fledged homeless, jobless people who are truly at the mercy of the city or town in which they homelessly reside, it’s a rare occurrence.

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Witnessing such a life really tends to opens one’s eyes to the problems of this small part of the world we call home. It’s a problem that is world-wide, but until one actually sees it, witness it with one’s own eyes, it doesn’t seem to be an immediate problem, one worth the time and effort it takes to combat it. Unfortunately, driving in this area of town was the night before our plane was leaving. At a loss as to what to do, we did what we thought would be beneficial to someone. We had bought a few groceries for an all-day scenic drive that we took earlier that day, some stuff to picnic with and munch on while driving and exploring. As we came back into town that evening, that’s when we drove through that area of downtown. The next morning, as we got ready to head to return the rental car and head to the airport, we drove back to that area of town and gave the food we had left to the first group of homeless people we encountered. We had spoken with our girls that morning and they fought us because they wanted to keep their snacks. However, after some heart-felt conversation, they finally agreed to give the food away. With heads down and frowns on their faces, they walked with their dad to give their food away. They were not happy about it, but they DID it! To me, that’s the most important part of the trip.

They learned a concept that some never learn,

to give up what they want so others may have.

My husbands’ and my heart was happy.

There is no better way to teach your children compassion than to show compassion yourself.

A Little Faith Boost

I don’t know about you, but sometimes, my faith gets shaky.

I start to question…….

Everything!

When this happens, I delve into my prayer life. I say delve which may seem like I don’t have much of one, which is far from truth. I have a very strong prayer life, but when faith gets tested:

Stronger Prayer Sets My Sight Back on the Lord.

Through prayer, my frayed nerves get calm, my faith gets re-boosted, and I find solace in the quietness with God.

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However, it’s not just prayer that accomplishes these feats.

Other ways that I can attain calm nerves, a boost in faith, and solace with God:

  • Spending time in God’s word
  • Plugging into spiritual music
  • Slowing down to enjoy the many blessings in my life
  • Having Bible study with my family and
  • Soaking up some of God’s beauty in the outdoors.

Since music tends to list highly for so many people as a mood-enhancer, here’s a 10-song list of my go-to music when my life is off-kilter and chaos is reigning in my home:

So, go ahead. Have a listen. I’m certain you will enjoy as much as I do and that you will find the solace you’re in search of. Of course, if it’s not solace you seek, these blessed songs will give you peace in your heart anyway.

Blessings to you on this beautiful day.

 

 

 

Life Moment #4: Love

So ladies and gents, how many of you have ever looked or your spouse and questioned:

  1. Who is this man/woman I married? What happened to my real husband/wife?

or

  1. Wow! How blessed I am to have such a hardworking, devoted, loving spouse! He/she has blessed my life in countless ways!

If you’re anything like me, I would have to say that these statements/questions pop into your mind on occassion. It doesn’t matter which of the above thoughts you have so much as it matters what you learn from those thoughts in regard to your spouse and to yourself. Both thoughts (or something similar) is just one more key to unlocking the most priceless chest in the world, the heart of both you and your spouse.

I admit it.

Life hasn’t been easy. Marriage hasn’t been easy. Parenting hasn’t been easy. Some day, maybe…..hopefully.

However, through all the messy and through all the joy, one thing that has led me in all my relationships (friends, family, kids, marriage) is:

“Love covers a multitude of sins.” 

                                 1 Peter 4:8

Only six run-of-the-mill words, but when used together carry great weight.

I don’t know about you, but I forgive quickly. I forget quickly. I, more-often-than-not, forgive someone for his/her wrong before an apology is even offered, before he/she can admit to his/herself the wrong committed against me. It’s very seldom that wrongs done against me stay on my mind or even in my mind.

I like to think it’s because I choose to be over it, to love rather than be angry.

And I hope it’s something I can teach my children, that it can influence others to follow God.

May God richly bless your marriage.

 

Over Coffee #4

My Goodness! It’s been over a year since we had coffee. I’d love a hot cup of joe, how about you? So much has happened so please join me and I will tell you all about it.

If we were having coffee right now, the first thing I would tell you is my oldest son graduated this past May. He and his girlfriend got a place together over the summer. They are doing well, both on break from college, but will be back at in January.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d be excited to tell you we welcomed our newest addition, a baby girl in August so I have my hands full with her.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that all the kids are in school this year except the baby and our 4yo who still gets to be home reminding me how much she wants to be in school with her siblings. I am quite impressed with the girls’ school this year, Montessori was implemented in 1 and 2 grade. Next year the Montessori program will be school-wide. We are quite excited for that! Five out of seven children are attending provide school this year, but only the girls’ school uses the Montessori program.

If we were having coffee right now………your well aware that we just celebrated the Birth of Jesus Christ (Christmas). Most everyone attended Christmas Vigil, but I had a sick one so the baby and I stayed home with her. I was able to attend the Christmas Mass the next morning, though. I appreciated that time with the Lord.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you all about all the wonderful chances I’ve had to volunteer this year. For Halloween or All Saint’s Day, I helped at the girls’ school for an afternoon with games. I so enjoy being part of such a close-knit group of people. The school they attend is small, less than 100 students, so everyone knows everyone. Everyone is very friendly and inviting. The staff is excellent. I also had the opportunity to ‘sit-in’ on my youngest child’s class. The teachers allow this periodically in order for parents to get a better understanding of the daily happenings in a Montessori classroom. I volunteered to be part of the Starry Night Sweetheart Ball committee. Being part of the committee has opened doors for me to meet other parents as well as to offer my support to what happens throughout the school year.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d end our little chat by telling you how much I’ve enjoyed your company. We mustn’t let so much time escape between visits.

Raising Little Children

 

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And so train the young women to love their husbands and children,  to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Titus 2:4-5 (ESV)

I remember from childhood how much I loved my mom being home and how hard it was for my sisters and I went she joined the working community. When I grew up and had my own children, being home was important to me. However, by this time, moms everywhere worked so being a stay-home mom was not as popular. I remember feeling very put on the spot when people would find out that’s what I did all day, every day. I got commendations for choosing that life, but I got judgement, too.

Over the years, I’ve had jobs here and there, but nothing ever lasted longer than 8-9 months. During that time, it would start to really be a burden not to be home caring for my youngsters, but paying someone else to do it. Of course, once this hit me, I had a few more children to contend with. At this point, my husband and I decided that it would be better for me to stay home. So, I did. For years, I’ve been a stay home mom and I’m okay with that. In fact, I would rather it be that way. My children not only need me to be home, but we want them to learn who we are and what we believe. Teaching them the importance of God and faith can’t be done by someone else. God has called me to be a wife and a mother; therefore, it is I who can best teach my little girls that role.

It is not up to me how other women raise their children, under what beliefs, or with what faith, but for me…..It’s important to my husband and I that I be my children’s teacher, of life and faith throughout the day. Honestly, house and home fell apart during each of my employed stints and it just wasn’t worth it. What they are learning during these precious childhood years will last through their life; therefore, teaching them the word of God is crucial to us.

Because, as everyone knows, with God anything is possible. Without him, nothing.

Love and Faithfulness

Choices are ours throughout the day every day. Making the choice to love your spouse and to stay faithful brings great reward from God into your life, your marriage. Being involved in your marriage, completely loving your spouse, praying together every day, and studying scripture lessen the chances of infidelity. God bless all marriages today.

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