Exile

Hey. It's been awhile. Life has been crazy, a little bit disjointed at times, and not-surprisingly covered in the goodness of God. His plan is always so far beyond my realm of understanding and He is so patient with me. I'm so thankful for that. I'm also thankful that He chooses not to let me in on His plans too far in advance. I enjoy being surprised in life, and I also don't have the capacity to not freak when I don't understand where He is going with me.

So it's good.

While I haven't been blogging as much, and I haven't been keeping up with my year of freedom, I've been digging deep into His Word and finding freedoms I didn't know I was in need of. If you aren't aware, I've been contributing over at Brooke Boon's blog and have had the privilege of working more with the ministry of Holy Yoga. There's been a whole lot of busy and it's been really, really good--even if some days I feel I'm not enough for the task. He says I am and for me, that's more than good enough.

I have, however, been feeling the tug to share more of what He's been opening up to me in our time together. So today, that is what I intend to do. While it feels a lot like describing to you each individual piece of gold in a giant treasure cove, it's a task I am more than willing and honored to take on.

So let's get going.

If you know a bit of our story you know that we have had our fair share of tumultuous seasons. Somewhere in my little mind I thought that once we were done with the military we would be done with our problems--at least for awhile. The trouble with circumstantial thinking like that is that we place blame where it doesn't belong, or we look at the problem as just that--a problem--instead of seeing it as a season of refinement or maybe even a saving grace from something that would have left us worse off. T and I are so guilty of blaming everything on the army. And I mean ev-er-y-thing. In hindsight I see God keeping us from things, preparing us for things and sometimes just outright leaving us to our own false gods.

Today I was reading in Jeremiah and came across a slightly (and I mean slightly) paralleled story of the people of Israel and Judah being exiled to Babylon. The land was destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar and the people were forced to leave their homeland.  But they did not leave without a promise from their High King.

"'The days are coming', declares the Lord, 'when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their forefathers to possess,' says the Lord."-Jeremiah 30:3 [NIV]

Before we entered into the hard season of military life we knew the promises of our High King. We just chose not to keep them ever on our hearts and minds. We let circumstances take the place of truth and our emotions and understanding followed suit.

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Before we entered into the hard season of loss we knew the promises of our merciful Father. As we wrestled with the loss of our baby we knew that He was still good. That He was still loving. And that He had a better plan somehow, even if it meant we would suffer for a time. Choosing to keep this at the forefront of our minds and hearts carried us through deep grief and physical pain. But hear me when I say that it did not make the "bad" feelings go away. They still came, along with questions and words cried out in anger. So many times I longed for "home"--the place where things felt right and the pain ceased. At the end of each of those days, or even each feeling as it came, was the choice to believe God for His Word. To choose to believe Him instead of our circumstance. To know that "home" was coming.

As I entered into a very difficult season of revelation of sin in my marriage I had a choice:

Mercy or Anger.

Love or Fear.

Jesus or sin.

While this was not a circumstance I would have ever chosen for myself, it was a necessary one. It was necessary for the depth of pain caused by sin to be revealed to my husband. For him to see firsthand what the poison of darkness can do to a marriage--to his marriage. Friends, I clung to the promises of my God like I've never clung before. And you know what? He never let me down. Not once. And He never let my husband down. And because of that He has done a good and miraculous work that will, in turn, never let our children down. We have, by the mercy and grace of God, been taken from that place of exile and my deepest hearts-cry is to never go back.

We can live by our circumstances or we can live by His word.

“‘So do not be afraid, Jacob my servant;do not be dismayed, Israel,’declares the Lord.‘I will surely save you out of a distant place,your descendants from the land of their exile.Jacob will again have peace and security,and no one will make him afraid.I am with you and will save you,’declares the Lord." -Jeremiah 30:10-11 [NIV]

The truth is that our home, the place where we don't need to make the choice between circumstance and Jesus, is awaiting us. He promises that we will return to where He always intended us to be. Our exile is for a time and for His purposes. But it is not our reality--our reality is Jesus and in Jesus is full life, even if our circumstances and our sin say otherwise. We don't deserve this home He has created for us. The stench of our sin in pungent and the affect is widespread. But just as He promised Israel and Judah thousands of years ago, He too promises us, and because of Jesus these promises are ours to take hold of today:

He is with you and will save you.

Peace and security is yours.

He will bring you back home.

If you are in a place of exile today, friend, don't let go of His promise to you. Keep your eyes locked on His. Let your knuckles be white by the strength of your hold on Him. Home is coming. He is the One you worship--not your circumstances.

Walking with you,

laura b
laura b

Swapping Trolls For Truth

My heart has been heavy these days. There has been several little troll-like thieves rummaging through my heart and mind, taking the Truth and leaving in it's place little poisonous mines for me to trip, setting off bombs that seem to take me longer to recover from than I'd like to admit.

Troll #1: Comparison.

Troll #2: Doubt.

Troll #3: Defeatism.

If you were a kid in the late 80's/early 90's than you may have had one (or many like me) of these:

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So cute, right? The little gemstone belly buttons, I mean, come on. That combined with their matching mood-lifting florescent hair is almost enough to make you forget that they are trolls. Weird looking, and really actually creepy, trolls.

Most of the time, as I'm living in little "t" truths, these are the guys managing my mind and heart like a factory. Producing the best of lies so that I might continue my life under the cloak of despair, only living in a sliver of the freedom and redemption that He paid for on Calvary. Because they are cute I don't fight with abandon to get rid of them. But I know they are there and shouldn't be. I know that Truth is being replaced and so I begin to seek it out; to find what has been lost. There's awareness that something is not right.

After piecing together thoughts, Truths and the whispers and booms of the Holy Spirit, it all begins to make sense. Truth, like BIG "T" TRUTH, floods my mind and I immediately feel like this:

 

 (If you watch Sherlock **If you're not you should** then this makes a whole lot of sense to you)

All the clippings, the Truth's, the sightings of reality and original design, coming into alignment. And the trolls are out of the job. They are seen for what they really are. Trolls. Trolls that don't actually have gemstone belly buttons or magical hair. As a matter of fact, their hair is probably the second grossest thing about them.

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Days and revelations like this are why it is so important for us to have fellowship, discipline and, most importantly, regular time with Jesus. Unless we keep pinning up Truths on the walls of our hearts and minds, those trolls will keep working hard at replacing them with lies. And it's so crucial that we have others that we invite in to pin truths up for us when we can't lift our heads to find see them ourselves.

Mediate. Find a passage or two and med-i-tate. Mull. Chew. Sit with it and feel, smell and taste all that it is.

Want to know what I'm chewing on today?

May He keep us centered and devoted to Him, following the life path He has cleared. -1 Kings 8:58

and

You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence. -Acts 2:28

We always want to know what we can do or take to make our life what we want it to be. Just a quick fix, please, Lord. But today, let's slow down, fire the trolls, and meditate on His Truth. Let's begin to build a fortified wall around these sacred places in us. Brick by brick. Truth by Truth.

Remember, again, that the "today" in this journey is just as important as the "one day".

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Lonely So Long- A Rainy Day Post

Husband and wife. Meant to be together. Sometimes when I daydream about our new not-approaching-quickly-enough chapter, or book rather, of life I imagine him by my side always. I think this is due to so many days running solo and so many nights hugging lifeless pillows. But immediately after that thought comes the reality that, well, that's unrealistic.

Here's why:

1. We can't spoon on the couch all day. We'd get fat and our kid would be left to fend for himself. Not a good plan.

2. He needs to work. I need to teach. We need to move and live life separately while still being completely wrapped up in one another.

3. Nature calls. And sometimes it's smelly.

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4. He'd drive me crazy. I'd drive him crazy. In the absolute best sort of way. The way that says I love EVERY. SINGLE. THING. ABOUT. YOU. Which is why I'm ok with telling you that you're being annoying. And also why in the next breath I will lay a big fat kiss on you and go and read by myself, with my heart warm knowing you are just in the other room.

For me, that's the "togetherness" of marriage. That entanglement of heart, mind, body and soul. It's both of our hearts beating in the same rhythm, whether their miles or inches apart. I'm so ready for that.

Today it's rainy. Like really rainy. Like, hydroplaning across the interstate rainy. This doesn't help my mood. We are nearing the end of this season of physical separation and while I could write a book of all the ways God has blessed it and shown His faithfulness, I'd much rather bad-itude my way to the end of July when he's in my arms for good and the big bad military can't take him away anymore. One of the countless gifts I've been given in my marriage to T is the solid belief in the blessedness of marriage. There is nothing more sacred, more intimate, and more humbling than marriage. While raising a kid is a close second, their is nothing harder than marriage. And without a doubt there is nothing worth fighting for more than marriage. It is the picture of our faith. Of our Savior and the love He has for us, His church.

So on this rainy day I'm thinking about togetherness, both in marriage and in faith. Sometimes there are seasons of separation-- reasons why you must go it alone. A woman I very much look up to once taught on Jesus in the garden and how he left the disciples behind because He had to go further into the garden alone. He and His Father had work to do that needed to be between them only. There are reasons, above my realm of understanding, why we needed this season of going alone. Walking separately with our God. I may not know until He can tell me face to face but I choose to accept this time of separation in obedience.

But it is not meant to go on for ever.

This photo was taken by my insanely blessed friend, Jade.

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Do you see what it captures?

Zero distance between he and I. After months of separation, we could finally experience with our lips the closeness that was ever-growing in our hearts.

M. He is a gift we do not deserve. One we'll never deserve. But he is not the focus or the worship of our marriage. We will always love him well by loving each other first. He will be protected and nurtured by the strength and steadfast faith of his parents in their God, and the devotion and care to their union.

Separation. While this photo was taken in a joyful reunion, his uniform serves to represent the uncertainty of the future. The picture that only God can see and understand and know. For some, it may not be a uniform that separates you, but rather a distance of hearts. In the adventure of marriage one thing is certain, there will be times of inseparable closeness, and times of monumental distance. In those seasons of distance, as a partner in that great and blessed adventure, we must choose to fight for togetherness.

We must go to sleep, alone again, choosing to cling to the hope that there will be an evening coming where their eyes will be the last thing we see before we drift off to sleep in a world where everything is right again.

We must open our mouths to have the conversation that will reveal the fragility of our hearts, knowing that our God is the One who heals those wounds, and our partner is the one who needs to see them. That another day of silence is another mile between two hearts that were made to beat as one.

God created a life partner for man because he saw that it was not good for him to be alone. But He didn't just create her out of the dust like man, but from man, from his very being. I didn't come from T's rib. That would've been weird. But I was created for him. I was created because God knew that it would not be good for T to go without me. And because I was created for him, it goes against my purpose to be without him. Guys, this is so much more than lovey feelings in courtship, or hot bods and bedroom fun in your youth. This goes to the deepest parts of ourselves. We are made to be together. To go forward in our work, our parenting, our ministries, with tightly tangled hearts, sometimes physically separated but always close in love.

So fight for it. As I fight to not bad-itude my way to his arms in a month, I encourage you to fight in whatever way you need to for togetherness in your union. It's worth fighting for, because in it we see how we need to fight for closeness with our God. So many things get in the way of our intimacy with our Creator. Where have you stopped fighting? Where have you settled for second best, in both your marriage and your faith? Ask yourself these hard questions because this actually is a really big deal. These are the things life is meant for. Not pretend lives showcased on the internet, but real lives, with warmth in your hearts and laughter on your lips and fingers intertwined at every possible opportunity.

Choose togetherness. Fight for togetherness. Even if that means you have to fight your own self.

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** T and I are huge advocates for marriage, especially in the beginning years. It's awesome and hard and definitely not something you can go at alone. If you are finding you feel alone in your union and don't know what else to do, we encourage you to reach out. Pray with expectation for someone who can help guide you both to a place of reconciliation. God has been faithful to bless us through a few different seasons of support and we've grown in love and intimacy because of it. Find a pastor, a mentor, a friend, to pray with you and help you lift your hands in obedience to God when you feel you can no longer. We can't do this life alone, and we can't be victorious in our marriages on our own. Ask God to bless you and provide aid through your community. He will definitely do so.

Mama First

photo (5) Can I be a little honest about something? Since Holy Yoga retreat ended at the very beginning of May, my fellow yogi's have been on the fast track to building successful ministries/blogs/businesses/followings... Or at least it has seemed that way... and this leaves me feeling a bit like the kid on the first day of school who realizes she got all of her school supplies wrong and will consequently be light-years behind everyone else for the remainder of all time.

Have I ever told you I can be a bit dramatic?

Ok, really though, not only is it ok and great and totally wonderful that favor is being granted and Truth is being told through these women and men already, it's something that I am so SO for. My real heart, the one that has been redeemed and washed clean by the blood of Jesus, is jumping up and down and cheering each and every individual on because this is what we are here for--This is what He has called us to! My flesh heart, the one that likes to always make everyone else's business in the whole wide world all about "me", says that if I don't get my act together I'm going to be left in the dust.

This week I began a weekly teaching gig on Wednesday mornings; a class that has been on-going for some time, and I am yet another instructor to take it over. It's a good, solid, desired class and I am so honored to be the one to instruct these hearts through the summer months. My "usual" class prep routine ("usual" meaning I've done it a whopping three times) consists of:

1. Pray about my nerves. 2. Pray about the topic to be meditated. 3. Pray about my nerves. 4. Pray about the flow. 5. Pray that the flow is long enough and actually does flow. 6. Go through the flow so that I'm sure it makes sense. 7. Pray for the class. 8. Pray for my nerves. 9. Pray for my nerves some more. 10.Execute class nervously and be amazed at God's provision and the silliness of all the nerves.

I thought I'd have all kinds of time to complete the above routine Tuesday. It turned out that M, and allergies, and laziness and life knew differently. My sweet boy, and myself as well, were pretty down and out with sniffles, sneezes and those dang itchy eyes. Naps were few and disrupted, and alone time was non-existent.

I talked to T late that night (after I thought I had a minute to prep and before M decided he needed to sleep with Mama) and I was explaining to him that I had, "basically nothing ready for my class tomorrow. M just isn't feeling good and has needed to snuggle and be with me a lot today so I'm totally not prepared."

Then T said it. And ever since it's like the scabs have fallen from my eyes.

"Well, you're a mom first, so that's ok."

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Guys. All the other lovely, wonderful, beautiful daughters and sons (who are also moms and dads and laborers) out there making and taking the time to jump on their ministries/businesses/blogs/media blah are so awesome. God has provided them the time and space to do so and that's such a beautiful thing. And He's providing me that too. He provided me materials for that class on that morning, in 20 minutes prior to the class. I've never felt more at home teaching, but that's because it was me, a servant of my King, coming before Him with zero to offer. Just a willing heart and the belief of this Truth:

I'm a daughter of the King. I'm a wife. I'm a mom. I'm a minister for His Kingdom.

And what's neat is that first and last one really encompass the two in the middle. My family is my ministry, and when I nurture it, when I don't try to "keep up with the Joneses", He is actually given more of a chance to radiate His awesomeness.

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So my ministry will be what He makes it.

My son will receive all the snuggles and boog-wipes he needs.

And my heart will rest in peace.

"It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for." - Eph. 1:11msg

He has many purposes for me, and in this, "I am a mom first."

Man, what an incredible thing.

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If you're a mama, and you feel the tug that you should be devoting more time to building your social media presence, but doing so will take away from those little ones entrusted to you, then I encourage you to stop in your tracks and evaluate if it's worth it. There will be plenty of time to create a killer etsy shop, or blog your heart out when they are in High School and would prefer you to have your own hobbies. Make them your ministry now. God will bless you, them and your ministry for doing so.

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It's Happening!

It's Happening!

This is happening. Soon. Age us each by nine months and you'll have the same image in your head that I have in mine.

Praise you, Lord! You are so incredibly good!

"My hand will sustain him; surely my arm will strengthen him. The enemy will not get the better of him; the wicked will not oppress him. I will crush his foes before him and strike down his adversaries. My faithful love will be with him, and through My Name his horn will be exalted... He will call out to me, 'You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior'"!!! (Ps. 89)

He has sustained us. He has held us up above the things that wanted to drag us down. He has done the unthinkable and grown our love for one another and for HIM more than we could have imagine.

HE is our Father. Our God. Our Rock. Our Savior!

29 - A Birthday Blog

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I realize 29 is still young; I'm not going to be that woman, but for the baby of the family (by 8 years) it's hard to imagine myself so close to 30. Especially when I'm married to a man who is 4 years younger than me. (Yes, it's true. He's the luckiest of 'em for snagging an older chick.)

I woke up quite early today (4am) and as I laid there my mind began to dutifully travel down the path of birthday drudgery- "Man, you're almost THIRTY!", "You're only going to get fatter and frumpier from here on out.", "You've only got a year or so left before your joints start to ache and you lose your spunk."

Obviously these statements are all absurd, and it took me all of 2 seconds to snap out of it and change course. The truth of my heart is this: the older I get the better I get. Maybe not everyone is like this. I know there are many women who try to hold onto their twenties with all they have, but that's just not me. Thankfully, my husband doesn't mind a woman with little makeup on her face, dirty feet from never wearing shoes and hours spent in the kitchen or craft room home-making like the best of them instead of hours spent pampering herself. The older I get the less I care about myself... but in the absolute best way possible.

Recently I've been contemplating just how much our "self-worth" can't actually be about self at all. I plan on writing about this one day (soon) but today I'd like to put pen to paper some of the things that make me glad about being that much closer to 30. (And no, this is not going to be a "30 is the new 20" thing... honestly, I'm not interested in living my 20's any longer than God intended me to.)

What's So Great About Heading Out Of My 20's:

1. The older I get the more life I've lived. Duh. But in that obvious statement is a very beautiful truth: God has been faithful to me. Part of parenting that terrifies me is the reality that I am NOT guaranteed any number of days with my sweet boy. He belongs to God and each day with him is quite literally a gift. Even the bad days. Similarly, my life and each day of it I've lived has not been guaranteed. It has been a product of His faithful love to me and to those that love me. Above that, I believe He has chosen these days in order that He may complete His work in me, that He decided before the earth was formed. He still has more to do with me... I can't even conceive how awesome that Truth is. So, I'm heading into my 30th year of God choosing to keep me around, choosing to show me who He is, and choosing to bless me and use me and love me immensely. Guys, each one of us should be jaw-droppingly grateful right now for all the days we've lived. How faithful is the God of the universe? Inconceivably faithful.

2. In these 29 years I, like everyone else, have experienced challenge. I've made bad choices. I've chosen myself or the world or idols over my God. And I have an enemy who tries with all his might to wash me in guilt and shame over these experiences. This, again, is something I plan on writing about in the (soonish) future. Again, the Truth here, is that in each of those instances I've been showered with grace, mercy, love and restoration. And in turn God has grown me in wisdom. When I think of this I can't help but look ahead at the next 29 years with anxious anticipation. If each hardship or bad decision has already been washed by His saving grace and will in turn grow me in wisdom and closeness with God, then how could I not be excited for each year He blesses me with?

3. That husband of mine. While he still has some time to camp out in his 20's, I can't help but love "growing older" with him. Knowing that as each year passes I get to fall more in love with him makes my eyes widen in wonder. How is it possible? Knowing that God will use us for His glory makes me never want to leave his side. There is adventure and love and joy and heartache that we can't begin to imagine awaiting us in this future of ours. I absolutely can't wait.

4. Sweet little M. How is it possible for God to love me so much? This child (and I'm sure our future children as well) is a constant reminder of my Lord. In each smile my heart swells at the love lavished on me, and in each tantrum I'm left with nothing but to cry out for the strength to parent from His spirit, not my flesh. If you desire to grow in your faith and love of the Lord, have a child and open yourself up to allow God to use that child. You will be taught things no pastor could ever teach.

5. Something I've struggled with for most of my adolescent and adult life has been friendships--specifically one-sided friendships. In those relationships was a deep-rooted need for affirmation. "If she would just want to be my friend as much as I want to be her friend then that would mean I matter." Sometime this last year I spent a good amount of time thinking about this part of my past and I found myself feeling sad. How many great relationships were overlooked because I was focused on someone else, thinking they were the ones to give me value? As God has graciously opened my heart to see the dark spaces, He has shown me how no human being is able to give me value. Only He can give me value, so even if I were best friends with each of those women I would still be left wanting more. In the not-so-pretty revealing moments of this part of my heart God has been faithful (yet again). He has brought some wonderful women into my life. Our lifestyle has forced us to be away "physically" from many that we love, but I've been blessed to establish some deep and meaningful friendships despite the distance. While I may not get to shop or have coffee and study God's word with my best friends, I always know that they deeply love the Lord and me, and that no matter where life takes us, they are a blessing and never the source of my value. What an awful burden for anyone to have to carry. (I'm glad you ladies don't know who you are otherwise you'd probably feel an immense pressure knowing how much I had riding on our friendship in this anxious heart of mine.)

Those are just some of many reasons why I'm happy to be making my way out of my 20s. I'm grateful beyond words for each and every way He has directed my life thus far, and in that gratitude I can't help but be so joyful as I look to the future.

These days that we celebrate our birth... they are really absolutely not about us. They are 100% about our Maker. It is because of His faithful love that He has chosen this many days for us. Days of love, heartache, loneliness, joy, growth, change, and above all, blessings.

Guys, 29 is so good. Just wait until Taylor Swift is 29; she'll know exactly what I mean and write a catchy song about it. #justyouwait

One Of The Nine

Well, I am one of the nine. I was sure it couldn't be true but turns out it is. Allow me to explain.

This morning, as I rocked my sweet M before his nap and read to him out of his Jesus Calling Bible Storybook, I found myself reading a story of Jesus' healing that I didn't remember. If you've ever read either this children's bible or the Jesus Storybook Bible (an absolutely amazing one that I sort of want for myself), it's easy to find yourself uplifted, challenged and/or encouraged by stories you've read a hundred times before. There's something about reading it through the eyes of a child that brings about simplicity.

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As I read the above story (which you should read too) I told myself, with such confidence, that I was definitely the one who came back. Surely I would have remembered Jesus and gone back to thank Him first thing! I mean, how could you not?

Fast forward about an hour.

I had just finished spending some time with the Lord on my mat, and with each stretch of the tight spaces I found my heart crying out for Him to come into the tight spaces of my heart. To bring release to the "ways of the world" that are so ingrained in my behaviors and responses. By the time I finished I found myself so encouraged by His promise to bring healing to this heart of mine that I just knew I needed to share that encouragement with the world.

So, naturally, I got out my phone, snapped a few pictures, examined which was the best, and began my usual social-media-posting process.

And then it happened.

I joined the nine.

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As I stared at this photo, I came to realize the parts of my heart that I don't like to see. The parts that find a little more satisfaction in telling others of His goodness and grace than in coming back to Him and thanking Him, in the intimacy of the two of us, for all that He is doing in me.

I could chalk this up to reason #498 that Social Media is slowly ruining our lives but really, that's just blame shifting. It's not that those nine had it "wrong", they just got ahead of themselves... but sometimes care must be taken to not "get ahead" of where He wants to take us. I believe wholeheartedly that Jesus wants us to share these revelatory moments with the world, in order that the Truth of who He really is might be known. But I CANNOT forget to thank Him-always. In everything. And I cannot forget that while He wants to use our stories to encourage, grow and change others, our relationship is not about the "others". It's about Him.

And sometimes, like the story of Jairus' daughter in Mark 5 (thank you, again, Bible Storybook), Jesus asks us not to tell the world. Sometimes He wants to keep it between us, because that's when intimacy is created.

So there you have it. I'm one of the nine.

Oh Lord! Open my heart to love you more, that I might become that one.

May I discover what it means to share His goodness with the world after first delighting in Him with a heart of thanksgiving. And may you, too.

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Day 40: 40 Days of Praise

Really, that's what we've been doing these past 40 days... Praising. One of the (many) definitions of praise is, "the offering of grateful homage in words or song as an act of worship." Our words have been worship to His ears. Today, Caitlin and I really just want to offer Him praise for ALL that He has done, is doing, and will do. I know we all have stories of His gracious handiwork in our lives through this journey, and tonight we just want to share a few of them with you. So as you read of all He has been doing, let your heart rest in His goodness and give Him praise.

[If you read my blog you know I'm all about anonymity and initials so that's what we are sticking to with these]

"Over the past 40 days of praying for my husband I have experienced great blessing in my own heart as well as in my marriage. Through Laura and Caitlin's posts and beautiful prayers and also through my own time with the Lord, God has shown me different areas to be praying for my husband and specific areas of his life to become more in tune with. My husband and I have had growth in our marriage and our communication which as a result has strengthened and deepened our bond." -K "I'm so glad God put the 40 days of prayer in my path. With a husband that is often gone with work I am always seeking ways to pray over him and his safety. What a blessing it was to dedicate 40 days to just that. While praying, a sense of calm was given to me. I was able to give my worries and concerns for my husband over to my Heavenly Father who knows how to love and protect him so much better than I can. I thank Jesus for using these ladies to speak His truth in my prayer life for my beloved. Prayer is powerful, praying for my husband is a joy, thank you Father for the reminder." -L "I am praising God so much in the area of the man I am married to. It started before the 40 day journey... it started 9 years ago when we got married and I started praying more fervently for him. I've prayed for specific things that I have just seen answered recently - the last few months. NINE years of prayer. It would have been so easy to just stop, give up, and say "to heck with it, Lord! There's no fruit!" And I did get discouraged, many times. But I was reminded over and over by the Lord and women like you, that God IS faithful and He is in the business of answering prayers and changing hearts. I FULLY praise Him for all the work He has done in my husband's heart in the last 3 years! -D "I feel as if my husband and I have grown closer. I talked with him last night, asking him if he felt different since I had been praying for him, and he said he feels better at seeing my emotional needs. We struggled with a lot of spiritual warfare during this journey but I know it's because God was working good in us. My hubs even stepped out last night and decided to make a permanent time every night for us to pray together. Praise God for His work in our hearts!" -Caitlin For me, God has been doing the muscle work of digging these roots down deep into the earth. He moved some mountains after I did this last year, and I feel very much that this journey was all about the roots. I've seen a wisdom and a maturity in my husband that I've not seen before. But it's a maturity of steadfastness. His heart is becoming more and more steadfast in his God. His faith is becoming his own. I have shared emotions with him that I would've been insecure to show before now, allowing him the ability to see the rawness of my heart for my God. While being apart makes communication all the more difficult, we've really done all that we can to share what really matters in our hearts, and a lot of the time that is simply Jesus.

The most exciting thing to me about this day is that it is like that last second that your toes are touching the diving board before you spring off into the sky and fly exhilaratingly into the blue below. This is the springboard--just the beginning. Because the reality is, He has always been working for, seeking out and loving on our husbands and us. He has now gotten our attention and removed the scales from our eyes so we can see how He really works.

So wives, joyously leap off that diving board tonight! Lay your head on your pillow KNOWING that YOUR GOD IS NOT FINISHED! Oh praise Him!

Image-1 (18) "For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wastelands." Isaiah 43:19

Peace and joy to all of your sweet, loving hearts tonight. We have been so blessed going through this journey with you. Until next year.

-Laura and Caitlin

*Remember, these prayers will always be available to you. If you ever feel like you would like to repeat this journey PLEASE don't hesitate! Just obey!*

Day 39: Proclaiming His Faithfulness

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As we wrap up our journey tomorrow I can't help this insatiable need to praise His faithfulness. Whether He has already begun it, or has simply been putting the final touches on a big move, He has been moving and has been faithful these past 39 days. What's so magnificent about our God is that He works far beyond the confines of committed prayer journeys or bible studies or retreat weekends. He's always moving, proving His faithfulness. Things like this are merely an opportunity for us to open our eyes and our hearts to the True God we serve and love.

So let's pray Psalm 146 today, and with all of our hearts proclaim His faithfulness and goodness to us and to our husbands. He's doing a greater work in us and in them than we could ever begin to dream up on our own, and we praise Him for that!

-Laura

 

Hallelujah!

Oh my soul praises You God! All my life long I will praise You, singing songs to You as long as I live. Lord, I will not put my life into the hands of "experts" who know nothing of True life; salvation life. Mere humans don't have what it takes; when they die their projects die with them. Instead, God of Jacob, I get help from You! I put my hope in You and because of that I know real blessing! God, You made the sky and the soil, the sea and all the fish in it. You always do what You say You will. You defend the wronged. You feed the hungry. You free the prisoners. You give sight to the blind and lift up the fallen. God, You love good people and protect strangers. You take the side of the orphans and widows and you make short the work of the wicked. God, You are in charge-- ALWAYS! My God, the God of Zion, is God for good! 

Hallelujah!

(Prayer adapted by me from the Message version of Psalm 146)

Day 38: Humbled Before the King

20140323-211500.jpg "Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.' Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares you."

-1 Peter 5:5-7

For awhile now, I've been praying that my husband could find someone to guide him. I know that we are very capable of doing this life thing on our own--of connecting with God, of being saved, and walking the walk. But you know, it's so much better when there is someone who has gone before you and can mentor you in your walk.

But I also know, it's extremely hard to humble ourselves and say yes, I would like advice/help/guidance.

Or at least I find that hard in my walk, so I can only imagine my strong, masculine husband struggling with seeking someone to show him the way.

But God says that when we humble ourselves before Him. When we cast all our anxiety on Him, he will offer us grace and lift us up. I know very well that my husband is capable of many things, and part of the reason I love him is because he dabbles in hobbies, he works hard for our family, he chases his passions, and he loves his God with his whole heart. But I also know that he is human, and his flesh is weak, and his heart is deceitful. Just like me.

And so tonight wives, my prayer is this: That my husband would humble himself before the Lord being willing to accept guidance of those who have gone before him. That not only would he a strong, Christian, masculine mentor enter his life, but that my husband would throw away his pride and humbly accept him. For I know then that God will lift him up in his walk and help him to live that full life.

-Caitlin

Lord above,

I come before you tonight a humble servant--a sinner broken but redeemed by your grace. Father, I cannot thank you enough for this journey you have brought me on. This journey of prayer, of love, of dedication, of joy, of Christ, and of change. You are working wonders in our everyday, and I thank you so much for hearing these prayers. Tonight, God, I come before you once again lifting up my husband. As he walks beside You, I pray for guidance. That you Lord, would not only speak to his heart, but that you would bring someone older, and wiser into his life to offer advice on his journey. So many times I feel he makes decisions on his own and wrestles with what you are calling him towards and tonight I pray that you would help him in those moments. Speak to his heart Lord during his time spent with you, as well as through the council of others. I pray that my husband would also learn to humble himself before you Lord, that he may willing accept this council and throw away his pride. That his humble spirit would be pleasing to you and lead him down a path of righteousness. Lord, may his humility seep out of his spirit in his days so that as he grows older, you would be willing to use him to council others. May he be receptive to what and how you are speaking to him so that his life may be well and full in you. Thank you so much, Father, for his spirit. May it be humble and grace filled as you change him. In your most Holy name I pray, Amen

Day 37: Silence

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We live in a terribly loud world. Radios quietly on in the background, televisions playing in the corner, children talking/yelling/crying/singing... and that's just the audible noise. The "noise" constantly produced by our minds can be deafening at times. Maybe this is why we like to have some static in the background... something to drown out what's really driving us crazy-- our own thoughts.

Here's the thing though; God never intended for us to be in a constant state of noise. While we've been given the gift of music and voice and all of these other things that produce sound we cannot forget the beautiful gift of silence. When we are silent, truly quieting the audible and inaudible in our lives, we can enjoy His presence.

Guys, this is not easy. As I am learning through training this is something that must be practiced, but it's worth all of the effort. I have to believe that, each and every second (literally, second by second) that I have to reel my thoughts in and quiet them in the name of Jesus, that  is one step forward in my journey towards quiet.

"But the Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him." Habbakuk 2:20

By the victorious death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are now His temple. He is IN His holy temple, and we must take time to be silent before Him.

Our husbands have busy lives; working, providing, loving, caring, delighting, fighting... the actions never end, just as ours don't either. But let's ask God to provide them with a space of silence. A place where they can quiet their hearts, even for a moment, to remember that He is in His temple-- in them. Whatever noise may come, whether from sugar-spiked children or the weight of worry, they might be able to draw close to the Father in His temple and enjoy the gift of silence. There is so much waiting for them there.

-Laura

Jesus,

You taught us how to withdraw from the noise; from the crowds and the demands of life. You showed us this often. Thank you for making this a very clear matter of importance in our relationship with you. As you knew you needed to be with your Father, you had to turn from the noise to truly do so. Help myself and my husband to recognize when the radio needs to be turned off. Or when we need to choose some quiet with you over the numbing of the television. Give us the strength to believe that what you can provide in those moments can and will fill us more than any noisy distraction could. Grow us both in the ability to recognize and cherish silence before you for the gift that it really is. Give us grace each and every time we have to bring our busy minds back to quiet, and remind us that there is  nothing but grace there-- no expectation or disappointment--only love. Thank you, Jesus, for giving something as simple as silence so much value! Help us to grow and challenge each other in this practice of being present.

In your most Holy name,

Amen.

Day 35: A Prayer Of Protection

Image-1 (14) In the book of Joshua, we find Joshua bringing the Israelites together once more to renew their covenant. Joshua tells them to choose, once and for all, who they will worship; the God of the universe, the gods of their fathers or the gods of the Amorites. And here is the verse we are all so familiar with: "But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15)

What I would like to point out is the following verse, one that might not get as much fanfare but brings to light the state of the hearts of the Israelites-- they were not always as aloof as we sometimes might remember them to be.

"Then the people answered, 'Far be it from us to forsake the Lord to serve other gods! It was the Lord our God himself who brought us and our fathers up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled." (vs. 16-17)

Even before Jesus came and brought with Him the new covenant, God actively protected those he loved from the dangers of this world. His protection did not first come with the anointing of the Holy Spirit from Christ's death and resurrection. In John 17 we see Jesus praying for protection over the followers God gave Him during His time on earth. Jesus protected them while He was here, and is now calling upon God to protect them once He has gone. So again, even in the new covenant we see our Mighty God actively protecting those He loves. In verse 13 Jesus clarifies why He is saying the things He's saying... "so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them." He said it that they might hear and believe that the God of the universe will protect them, because His very Son asked Him to.

Today, I pray a prayer of joy and thanksgiving that my Father loves my husband so much that He will never leave him unprotected. That no matter where he may be-- at home under "my protecting arms" (yeah right!) or far from my reach or influence-- God is before him, with him and behind him, keeping him safe and within His merciful and gracious will for his life.

Just think: as desperately as we strive to keep our husbands in our arms, safe, healthy and happy, God desires all the more to see those things manifest in their lives. He just has a different way of achieving that end goal. We must relinquish our desire for control and let God protect and care for his precious sons, knowing full well that He has promised to protect them and keep them safe in His arms.

Our God does not break His promises, dear daughters. Believe Him.

-Laura

Mighty God,

You are the God who has protected Your people for countless years, and You are not about to change now. Thank You for knowing us- our need for reassurance. For knowing that there would be many, many times that we would need to cling to Your promise of protection in the scary times in life. Thank You for not leaving us to fend for ourselves in this dark world, but for supernaturally interceding on our behalf in times when our security in You is threatened. We are never far from You, and the blessing from that is boundless. It continues to pour over our entire lives, each and every day, allowing us to live freely and without fear or worry. God, I lay my husband and his safety and security down. I unclench my fingers and willingly hand it over to You because I know that You love him more. You are even more interested in seeing his life be glorifying to You and so I choose to stop trying to influence it and drive it in the ways I believe are best. God, as he faces dangers in this world, physically and spiritually, I believe that You have already gone before him, allowing what is necessary to glorify You and grow him, and keeping him from anything that will harm him and the purpose You have called him to. God, thank You for loving him so. My soul is blessed and at peace knowing that there is Someone who loves him even more than I. You are Lord over all, and there is nothing that brings You fear. We find such peace in Your presence today.

In Your name, Jesus.

Amen.

Day 34: A Tender Heart

20140319-210649.jpg"Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves." -Philippians 2:1-3

I don't know about you, wives, but my heart rejoices knowing that my husband delights in me. Our story is long and winded, but it's full of God's grace and divine appointments. This year we will celebrate our fourth year of marriage, and in the last few weeks we have stepped out in leading a marriage Bible study where we've had the great joy of mentoring a few newlywed couples.

Oh how God is using our story! The last couple of sessions we have been learning about how a wife feels loved and how her husband can energize her spirit. One of the sticking points for me has been how much I (and we as women) need tenderness.

I know for many facts that my heart itself is a tender thing. When I married my husband, I gave it to him for safe keeping and care. And in these last few years he has done a wonderful job of speaking to me and loving me in the ways I need. But I also know, that he is the one who can hurt me the most without ever meaning too.

I'm not confessing anything here or speaking bad about him as he is wonderful and I love him beyond words--but as we've been learning in our group we are different when it comes to this marriage thing. It's the obvious difference I'm talking about--he is a man and I am a woman--and in God's beautiful entity of marriage we (man and woman) are loved and love differently. In his manhood and in his act of being my husband, the way he reacts to things or even says them in his different way can hurt my heart terribly because I hear them differently.

For that reason, there is much to be done. See, as wives, we are loved with love. But as husbands, they are loved with respect. And in fact, God commands us to this type of love in Ephesians 5:33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. In that beautiful symbol of marriage, we as Christ bride's respect our husband and Christ, the husband, loves his wife, the church. That husband then, being like-minded in Christ, finds tenderness and compassion to make the joy of his wife complete.

Men are not tender creatures--not naturally anyway--and in the way God has designed them, they are not built to be nurturing, tender creatures. Yet, as God commands them to love their wives, they are to become like-minded in Christ which means taking on tenderness in order to show love.

I don't know about you, but those tender moments my husband expresses either through words or actions, simply melt my heart and propel me through my days. They encourage me to respect him more and show him love in the way he feels it. And when I am loved and I respect him, we go round and round in a energizing circle, encouraging each other in this beautiful thing called marriage.

I could undoubtedly type up our whole Bible study here but I won't. Instead, I challenge you to read Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerich and perhaps join a study on it if you have the chance. And tonight as we pray for our husbands to keep delighting in us, let's offer up a prayer for tenderness as it doesn't come easy for them--but it's something that undoubtedly brings joy to our marriage.

-Caitlin

Heavenly Father,

Tonight I simply continue to offer up thanksgiving for my husband and this journey of marriage you have called us on. Our story has been written by you and in these moments, both good and bad, you are here. You have given us the chance to delight in each other, and to walk alongside each other when the world drags us down. Lord, you have created us so differently, yet so perfectly that the way we fit together speaks only of you. As we learn  how to love one another as each new day passes, may we follow your commands. I ask that you would help me in respecting my husband, in showing him love in the way he needs, and in understanding that though he is different than me he isn't wrong. Help me to offer up forgiveness for those moments that pull at my heart and understand that his love for me does not waiver, but that in fact he is simply loving me in the way he knows how. In that I lift him up to you Father. I ask that you would instill tenderness in his heart for the moments I need it most. Help him to be like-minded with you, showing tenderness and compassion to me in my moments of weakness and brokenness and need for love. Help him to speak to me and to love me with a tender heart, and help me to be patient with him as he learns this way of loving. There are so many things in life that do not come easy to any of us, but Lord you offer to show us how. I pray that he would seek you for guidance as a husband and listen to the whispers of advice you offer him. Teach him to be tender towards me--and teach me to notice.

I ask in your most holy name,

Amen

 

Day 33:To Delight In His Wife

Image-1 (11) "May your fountain be blessed and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer-- may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love." -Proverbs 5:18-19

This topic has been on my heart for awhile now. Life happens, and consequently both man and wife will grow and change from the person they were on that wedding day. In our marriage, I praise God that we have grown and changed. While I adored him then, I love him, respect him, and cherish him more today.

Sometimes life is not so kind, and it will bring with it distractions. My prayer today is that his eyes would be delighted and his heart enriched by the wife sitting before him. That he would be reminded of my charms that won him over in the beginning and be able to see that I am still that young woman who swoons at his love. I would like to simply share a bit of a commentary on this passage and leave you to explore this prayer more on your own with your specific marriage in mind.

Blessings to you, beauties.

-Laura

"Let him that is married take delight in his wife, and let him be very fond of her, not only because she is the wife that he himself has chosen and he ought to be pleased with his own choice, but because she is the wife that God in His providence appointed for him and he ought much more to be pleased with the divine appointment, pleased with her because she is his own. "Let thy fountain be blessed"; think thyself very happy in her, look upon her as a blessed wife, let her have thy blessing, pray daily for her, and then rejoice with her... Mutual delight is the bond of mutual fidelity." - Matthew Henry Commentary On Proverbs 5 (emphasis mine)

Gracious God,

Thank you for choosing the two of us to be together. I love us together. Sometimes it's hard, and requires more effort; other times it is simply divine. Thank you for being in both of those moments, and every one in between. You have a great purpose for this union and I truly believe one of those is to be able to truly delight in one another each and every day that we are together... Even on the not-so-good days. As I lift him up to you and strive to be the wife you ask me to be, I pray that he would see nothing but you in me. I pray, Lord, that his eyes would look upon me with the same love they did the day we promised our love to you and each other. Draw us to one another, more and more, that no distraction of this world would be worth severing the love that we share. Thank you for completing our love , and for always working to show me more of who you are through the man you've partnered me with. He's a blessing to my heart and I promise to be committed to him forever. I vow to love and serve you always by loving and serving him. Create a desire in his heart to do the same.

Jesus, in your Name,

Amen.

Day 31: Predestined To Be His

Image-1 (10) The prayer of my heart today comes from several places in the Word, speaking to one incomprehensible truth. Journey with me to this revelation for your husband and for yourself. But be ready, because it's a doozy and worth all the time you can give to let it truly soak into your entire heart, soul and mind.

"What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it -- we're called children of God! That's who we really are." 1 John 3:1 (MSG- emphasis mine)

Me, you, your husband, my husband... we were chosen. We've already talked about this a few times but I think the magnitude of this merits a lot of time to be meditated on. We are His children-no matter our sin;  past or present. Before any of our decisions were ever made, He had already decided He wanted us. It brought Him immense joy just to think of it.

"In love, He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will -- to the praise of his glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves." Ephesians 1:5 (NIV-emphasis mine)

Before He knew my husband's mess-ups and shortcomings, He put in the "adoption paperwork". We currently know a family who is in the process of adopting a little peanut from Poland and they've been asking for prayer support, having garage sales to raise money, and preparing their other children for the welcoming of a 6th family member. There is so much passion and love for this little person that they don't even know yet, but they know that she is a beautiful creation of the Creator and they can't wait to love her with all they have in their hearts. Now with that vivid picture in your mind I want you to think of the Father and His Son. They wanted you. They wanted your husband. Enough that Jesus, with the same sensations and feelings that you and I have, endured the cross.

We often ask why He did that? Why He didn't just call angels or say He couldn't go on. It has recently come to my very humbled attention exactly why He pressed on when He even asked His Father for another way: He went on "for the joy set before Him". Guys, that "joy" was us.

He knew the adoption was on... that there were souls so desperately loved by Him and His Father that He had to pay the price. They wanted us to be a part of their family.

Hebrews 12:2 "... who for the joy set before Him endured the cross..."

Above all of the prayers for peace, or strength, or faithfulness or obedience, today I want to pray for eyes open. Hearts softened. Minds welcoming. Because this Truth is a doozy- and it is what pours over everything else we could ever ask or hope for for our men, ourselves or our children. To know that before the foundations of the earth were laid, He had already decided He wanted us. Man, how incredible is that?

May that carry you through the next month and a bit as we prepare to celebrate the price paid for each of our hearts, that we may truly be His children.

-Laura

Father,

You are a tender, loving God. You are a mighty and just God. You have moved mountains and parted seas that those you chose could be called yours. Please, Father, soften my husbands heart, from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh, that he might begin to comprehend this truth. Lord, there is nothing in this fallen world that cares for him or desires to love him relentlessly, which is why the beauty of your adoption is so magnificent. Thank you for loving us personally, not like faces in a crowd but individuals that you paid a lofty price to make a part of your family. I pray that this truth, as it seeps more and more into his soul, would drive him to turn from the empty and heavy things of this world. As a father picks up his child each and every time they stumble and fall, continue to pick him up and cover him in your love. And in each of those moments graciously remind him of how proud you are to call him your son. Thank you, Jesus, for enduring all that you did just for us. Truly, we will never be able to understand that kind of love, but we will continue to offer our lives to you in obedience and gratitude for all that you are and have done for us.

In your mighty Name, Jesus, I pray.

Amen.

Day 27: To Know Shalom

20140312-180000.jpg"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you."

-Matthew 5:4, MSG

I fully believe God has ordained every step of this prayer journey. It never seems to fail that Laura and I's heart have been seeking the same sort of prayers for our husbands, even though we haven't planned out these prayers days in advance. Then there's the fact that we're both in Holy Yoga training and just happen to be studying the same scriptures during the week which I firmly believe God is speaking through. 

I feel--in my heart--that God as we have prayed about suffering and healing, He also wants us to know shalom this week. 

In the study and origin of scripture, shalom means "the absence of strife." Oh! If we could find ourselves basking in the serenity of shalom everyday! But this shalom--this serenity-- is not something we humans can attain. Instead, we find ourselves in mourning during our life here on Earth. In my lifetime, I have come to associate mourning with death for there has been far too much of it that I have seen. And yet, I believe mourning can take place over many other things besides death. Yes, the loss of a loved one is heavy on our hearts, but some days we lose our dreams. We lose our way. We lose our hope. 

But we can never lose His Grace. You see--in order to understand His peace that surpasses all understanding, we must realize that shalom exists only when we surrender to God--when He is in control. To be able to understand the blessing that comes in times of mourning is to know shalom--to have surrendered to God so that we are wrapped in His comfort: in the absence of strife.

Wives, I know that not all of our husbands may be in mourning of something at this particular time. But may we still arm them for when the moment comes? May we pray for the time when we can let go of ourselves and let God take over? So that when the time of mourning comes, we can be blessed by His shalom.

-Caitlin

Father God,
I come before you tonight a broken sinner who often loses my way. But I know, Lord, that you will always guide me home. You have told us this life will not be easy, and that we may suffer and feel persecuted, and fill our days with mourning. But there will be a day of Glory where none of those will exist. We will feel your peace. Your shalom
Today, Lord, I pray for that. I lift up my life and my husband to you in this moment, in this day, of imperfection. Help us to see you and know that you will heal us and bless us during this time. I specifically lift up my husband tonight, that you would help him to seek you in his strife. Take away his mourning Lord and help him to see that you are wrapping your arms around him. I pray that he would find strength in you to completely surrender in these moments. That your 
shalom would wash over him as he lets go.
Father--his mourning may not be as deep some days as others, but you know his heart. You know the strife that plagues him. But you also promise a life brimming over with blessings. I praise you for the peace he will feel when he lets go. May he surrender to you today and in days to come, letting go of anything worries or sadness or strife so that your blessing can settle in. 
I ask of these in your Son's name,

Amen

 

 

Day 25: Suffering and Sharing in Christ

20140310-172135.jpg"We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me." -Colossians 1:28-29, NIV

Wives. This morning I sat meditating on the word and something about the scripture I was reading stuck out at me. I'd like to share The Message version with you and let the words speak to you today. I feel as if my thoughts have been so focused on this scripture today, and yet I cannot put the pen to paper and explain what I am pulling from it. I have a heart feeling with the Lord's word tonight, and I would simply like to encourage you to mediate on this scripture for your husband and let it speak to you in the way God wants it to speak.

I have bolded the parts of scripture that spoke deeply to my heart today, revealing some things in my own life and inspiring prayers for my husband and the suffering he experiences, and the servitude and glory that awaits him. May His words speak to your heart tonight and guide your prayers.

-Caitlin

"I want you to know how glad I am that it's me sitting here in this jail and not you. There's a lot of suffering to be entered into in this world--the kind of suffering Christ takes on. I welcome the chance to take my share in the church's part of that suffering. When I became a servant in this church, I experienced this suffering as a sheer gift, God's way of helping me serve you, laying out the whole truth. This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it's out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, therefore you can look forward to sharing in God's glory. It's that simple. That is the substance of our Message. We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That's what I'm working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gave me." -Colossians 1"24-29, The Message

 

Lord God,

You offer us so much hope and wisdom in your words. This night we come before you lifting up our husbands, praying for their lives, hearts, and souls. I ask that you would use your words to reveal to me the heart of my husband. Help me to see into his suffering and meets his needs to help him through those moments. Make me his encourager, offering up your hope that the suffering in our life can be turned into your glory. Father, I pray your words over my husband tonight that he would become mature in you--understanding he needs no special actions or ways to get to you, but instead basic faith in loving and accepting your Son as the sacrifice for his sins. Continue to give my husband an energy from you so that he may speak your word and spread your joy, turning his bad days and his moments of discipline into your glory. I ask of these things in your precious Son's name,

Amen. 

Day 23: Living Passions

ams "It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for." -Ephesians 1:11, MSG

This morning, my husband left for his Spring Break Restoration week. Going to a Christian University has it's perks--two Spring breaks after all--except this one is more of a week of evangelism. He's on a choir tour in the South singing his heart out at churches, spreading the gospel.

Most days I wish I could be as passionate as him. Willing to drop my fears and own dreams and serve the Lord in the capacity of ministry. I started pursuing Holy Yoga training two weeks ago, so who knows, maybe the Lord is working in my life for me to have some sort of ministry, but the idea of Kingdom work still scares me.

Yet, I watched my husband's excitement grow this week as this morning drew closer. He is so passionate about music, and worshiping the Lord through song and art comes so naturally to him. I see the joy of the Lord in him when he leads our church on Sunday mornings, and I so wish I could be at each stop this week to watch him. He made it a point to tell me they would be recording at least one night so I could watch the performance when he got home.

Too often I feel as if the men of this world have lost or be unable to find passion. It's one thing to be the provider for a family and simply work hard for a living. But it's completely different to pursue it with passion. I also know that not every man has the ability to have his passion and job align. For that reason, I want us to lift our husbands tonight in a sense of thanksgiving for their willingness to perhaps work a job that provides for our families, but isn't the easiest on them. And though I pray the man in your life can meld that passion with his work, I know that isn't always possible. So for that, I invite us to pray that our husbands can find a passion so deep inside of them for something in life--an activity, a hobby, a connection--and be able to pursue it all for the Glory of God.

For in Christ, we know who we are, and in Him our souls awaken.

-Caitlin

Giver of life, I come before You tonight with thanksgiving in my heart. Thank You Lord for leading me on this journey of prayer--for meeting me here. But more than that, I thank You for the opportunity to pray. I thank You for the husband you have placed in my life and for his willingness to pursue with diligence the curse You have bestowed on all men. I know there are days when this daily work  drags him down, and it is not always, nor ever, his passion. But Lord, I pray for strength in this work and in his days. That each morning as he wakes up, he would come to You for strength and guidance. That he would obey Your command and work the ground beneath his feet for You and only You. Lord, as his work continues daily, I pray You would awaken his soul to a passion that would give him fulfillment. We know who we are in You Lord--we find ourselves in You! And today, I pray that my husband would feel the passion You have given him and pursue the time to find it. Lord, bestow in him passion for an activity, or hobby, or simply time spent with friends so that he has more in his life to pursue than just daily work. Awaken his soul to things of this life that can put a smile on his face and be something that glorifies You. May he seek You with all of his heart, soul, mind, and strength, finding Your glory, Your guidance, and Your love. As these days linger and the year moves forward, begin to work in him, Father, and place a passion on his heart he can righteously pursue. Awake his soul!

I ask of these in Your precious Son's name,

Amen

Day 21: Hope in Him

20140306-191018.jpg "What am I doing in the meantime, Lord? Hoping, that's what I'm doing--hoping You'll save me from a rebel life, save me from the contempt of dunces. I'll say no more, I'll shut my mouth, since you, Lord, are behind all this. But I can't take it much longer. When you put us through the fire to purge us from our sin, our dearest idols go up in smoke. Are we also nothing but smoke? Ah, GOD, listen to my prayer, my cry--open your ears. Don't be callous; just look at these tears of mine. I'm a stranger here. I don't know my way--a migrant like my whole family. Give me a break, cut me some slack before it's too late and I'm out of here."

-Psalm 39:7-13, MSG

I don't know about you friends, but I am often drawn to David's cries. Living in this fallen world brings me to my knees, and the Psalms are always a comfort. I understand I am not alone.  I understand there is hope.

I want tonight to be short and sweet, wives. Short in my words and sweet in HIM.

I want us to continue to pray for our husband's hearts, for their minds, and for their souls. May we pray protection over their lives and strength to fight this world. But above all, may we pray for hope--that they will place it in the Lord as they dwell in Him.

-Caitlin

Hear my prayer, O LORD, tonight. Listen to my cry for help. Be not deaf to my weeping. As I come before you tonight, Father, I lift up my husband; I place him in Your hands. Lord, I ask for hope tonight. That as we pray for good, and strength, wellness, and wisdom and we pray away the sins, I want him to take hold of hope and only put it in You. Whatever he is struggling with tonight, whatever he is rejoicing in--hear his heart's cry as You heard David. Keep him together with Your love and truth; don't hold back in your passion. Intervene, Lord, in my husband's life. Move and breathe and speak so that he will hear you. You are our help and our deliverer, O my God, do not delay. We praise You God, and give thanks to You for You are good. Your love endures forever. In your glorious name,

Amen

Prayer adapted from the Psalms