Monday, September 22, 2014

MM: Marriage Monday {How to Love Your Husband God's Way}

Can we be honest today?  

Let's talk about Love and marriage.  

The world tells us to "love yourself".  Be better than others. 

The world asks, "What have you done for me lately?". 

Sometimes in your marriage, you may find yourself asking this same question to your husband?  

Have you taken out the trash? 
Have you listened to me? 
Have you helped me with the kids today? 
Have you? . . . you get the picture.  

A marriage built on the world's definition of love will fail.  

Yet, on our marriage journey, we can become so consumed with the things of this world, the day to day grind.  Issues, drama, life, marriage.  We can easily invite ourselves to the pity party and stay there a very long time.   That's a party you don't want to attend and if you are there, it's time to leave.  

1 Corinthians 13: 4 tells us, 
Love is patient and kind, not jealous, not boastful, 

To love your husband more than yourself is a big request when you have a "me" mentality. However, humility is the key to opening your heart to love your husband more than yourself.   

During the early years of my marriage, I found that when my husband asked me to do something for him, or he failed to do something for me, I became impatient and unkind.   The tears flowed down my cheeks and before I knew it, we were yelling at each other.  Our relationship had become like a competition.  We acted like we were enemies on opposite teams.   My heart slowly grew bitter.  I couldn't understand.  I used to be such a sweet person?  

You see, in the beginning, I had set myself up for failure.  Going into the marriage, I had great expectations.  I thought our marriage was immune to disappointment.  I based our relationship on conditions.  

I knew deep down, I loved my husband, yet my passion to serve him lacked.  

I needed a heart change.  I needed a servant's heart.  

The Bible tells us that, greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13).   Laying down my life for my husband?  

I knew I couldn't do this on my own.  I needed the power of the Holy Spirit to work through me.   I started by asking forgiveness to God and Ruben.   I began to respond to Ruben's requests in a humble and loving manner.   I thought, before I spoke.  

One of the attributes of the Proverbs 31 woman is kindness and it is on her tongue.  

Proverbs 31: 26 
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; And the law of kindness is on her tongue.

I made a decision.  I chose to love Ruben no matter what.  I changed my thoughts and attitude.  My actions changed and I changed.  My passion to serve Ruben began to grow and my desire to have a servant's heart became bigger than me.  

A Servant's Heart gives, but a worldly heart takes away.  

Having a servant's heart is being like our Lord Jesus, for He gave His life for a dying world. He gave His life for a self-centered and self-righteous world. 

He gave His life for a selfish and self-righteous wife.  Yup, sometimes, I'm that girl.  

Can you imagine our Father God asking us, "What have you done for me lately?".  

He has every right to ask, yet he doesn't.  

Instead, He loves us with an unconditional love.  

The Bible describes this love as agape love and the word in Hebrew is called, hesed.  Love that is kind and faithful.  Eternal and Enduring.  -Undeserved Love.  

Kindness and faithful love (hesed) pursue me every day of my life.  I make my home in the house of Yahweh for all time to come.  
Psalm 23:6

Now, let's look at 1 Corinthians 13: 4 again.  This time, applying it to your marriage and making it a declaration:  

-My Love for my husband is patient.   
I am patient toward my husband as God is patient toward me. 

-My Love for my husband is kind.  
I am kind to my husband as God is kind toward me.  

-My Love for my husband is not jealous and not boastful.   

As a daughter of the King, I want to be in the presence of God's hesed-love every day of my life.  

I desire to give out-hesed.  

I want hesed-love overflowing from my heart to pour out on my husband.  

I want to love my husband as my Heavenly Father loves me- God's way! 

Blessings and Shalom

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Princess Bride Bible Study: Chapter Two {It's All About the Dress}

Welcome to Women in the Word, a community of women joining together at the Little Pink Casa every Wednesday for a season to study the Word of God.   

Today at the Little Pink Casa, we are discussing chapter two:  It’s All About the Dress!  Even if you aren’t feeling or looking much like a Princess Bride today, don’t worry.  You are getting a makeover - a heart makeover!  Grab your Bible and Share this devotional with a girlfriend. 

You may read this study and also listen to the audio version here or click on video below.  Watch now!

Download your FREE Princess Bride Chapter Two Study Guide here.  

What’s the first thing a woman does after accepting the wedding proposal?  Besides tell the whole world the good news?  

She goes shopping!  The hunt is on to find the perfect wedding dress.  It’s all about the dress! 

Did you know, during the late 19th century,  the tradition of a wearing a white wedding dress began?  Within the last century, the white wedding dress has become the highlight or staple of the bridal’s trouseau.  Go on Pinterest and you’ll see a galore of wedding dress boards.  

Do you have a wedding dress?  Maybe you dream about one?  

When I became engaged to Ruben, I dreamed of the perfect wedding dress.   I knew exactly what I wanted.  I couldn’t wait to find it.  The picture you see is actually my wedding dress-sixteen years later to this day.  The style of my wedding dress was vintage Victorian.   I loved that dress!  Even now, as I look at it, tears come to my eyes.  For it reminds me of a Bride who has been redeemed and who is ready to meet Her King. 

Then, I think of another story, Cinderella.  We know this story all too well.  The girl who went from rags to riches because she was dressed for the part.  We are captivated by her transformation from a peasant to a Princess.  But, the story goes. . .

When the clock strikes midnight, she’ll be gone. 

Open your Bibles to Matthew 25:  1-13 

The Kingdom of Heaven at that time will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went out to meet the groom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were sensible. 3 The foolish ones took lamps with them but no oil, 4 whereas the others took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 Now the bridegroom was late, so they all went to sleep. 6 It was the middle of the night when the cry rang out, ‘The bridegroom is here! Go out to meet him!’ 7 The girls all woke up and prepared their lamps for lighting. 8 The foolish ones said to the sensible ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ 9 ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both you and us. Go to the oil dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 But as they were going off to buy, the bridegroom came. Those who were ready went with him to the wedding feast, and the door was shut. 11 Later, the other bridesmaids came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they cried, ‘Let us in!’ 12 But he answered, ‘Indeed! I tell you, I don’t know you!’ 13 So stay alert, because you know neither the day nor the hour. 

In Matthew chapter 25 verse 10, Jesus tells us that those wise brides or virgins who were ready, went with him to the wedding feast, and the door was shut.  The brides were waiting, they were awake, they were hopeful and they had plenty of oil to keep the light aglow.  

Last week, we talked about the proposal between the Bridegroom and the Bride.  The bridegroom leaves to prepare a place for her, and the bride waits and makes herself ready. 

From the time she drank the cup, she was different.  
She was called consecrated, set apart, bought with a price.  She is not her own.  

Before a Princess Bride meets her Bridegroom, she must be dressed for the part.  

A Bride does not dream of walking down the aisle in rags or even a soiled dress?  
For that was her old nature.  

Isaiah 64: 6 says, But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.

The Princess Bride wears White for she is a new creation in Christ. 

When we accepted Jesus proposal to be His Bride, we were washed and redeemed in His blood.   For He has put off my rags and clothed me in gladness (Psalm 31:11).  

Jesus is coming back for His Princess Bride who is holy and without blemish.  

What does this look like? 

Ephesians 5: 27 tells usso as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish.

2 Peter 3: 11-14  tells us                                                                                                               
Since everything is going to be destroyed like this, what kind of people should you be? You should lead holy and godly lives, 12 as you wait for the Day of God and work to hasten its coming. That Day will bring on the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt from the heat; 13 but we, following along with his promise, wait for new heavens and a new earth,[b] in which righteousness will be at home. 14 Therefore, dear friends, as you look for these things, do everything you can to be found by him without spot or defect and at peace. 
Being holy includes our thoughts, actions, heart motivations and our obedience towards God.  
1 Peter 1: 13-16 tells us
13 Therefore, get your minds ready for work, keep yourselves under control, and fix your hopes fully on the gift you will receive when Yeshua the Messiah is revealed. 14 As people who obey God, do not let yourselves be shaped by the evil desires you used to have when you were still ignorant. 15 On the contrary, following the Holy One who called you, become holy yourselves in your entire way of life; 16 since the Tanakh says,
“You are to be holy because I am holy.”

 As a Princess Bride wears her wedding dress, she is Clothed in Righteousness.  

The Hebrew bride worked on preparing her trousseau, getting ready.  This was the time when she sewed and prepared her special garment and veil.  If she went out during the day, she wore her veil so others would know she was spoken for.  

Romans 13: 14 says, 
Instead, clothe yourselves with the Lord Yeshua the Messiah; and don’t waste your time thinking about how to provide for the sinful desires of your old nature.

Collisions 3: 12 tells us 
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

The Princess Bride’s wedding dress symbolizes purity, holiness and salvation.  As we clothe ourselves in holiness, the world will see that we are set apart.  We shine bright with the light of Jesus in us.  A Princess Bride adorned in beauty. 

Isaiah 61:10  
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

I am reminded of an old song sung by Twila Paris, “How beautiful is the body of Christ”.   Are we ready?  Can we stand before our King, wearing our wedding dress of holiness, being spotless, blameless and beautiful in His eyes?  

Stand firm beloved, keeping ourselves pure for our Bridegroom, even in a impure world until He returns for us.  

For He is coming soon.  Behold the Bridegroom cometh! 

-The clock will strike midnight, and she’ll be gone! 

Heart Check
Unforgiveness, bitterness, jealousy, envy, strife, lust, worldliness, lies of the enemy . . . so many things can soil your wedding dress.  

This is the time for you to take to sit with your Master, at His feet.  Ask Him to search your heart.  If you need delieverance, receive it right now.  Ask God to deliver you.  If you need forgiveness, ask the Lord to forgive you.   Renounce the things of your past, your secrets, your sin.  Don’t let your sin keep you as a peasant wearing rags.  But, repent and be set free.  Dress the part.  You are a Princess Bride in the making and He is making you beautiful.  In His time.  

Have you accepted Jesus' proposal to be King of your heart? 
Now is the time to make Him Lord of your life.  

Blessings and Shalom

The Bible verses used in the study are from:  Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Join our Princess Bride Facebook Bible Study groupdedicated just for "Princess Bride" bible study ladies.  This will be a safe place for us to connect, share and chat about the study as we go along.   Click here to check it out and to join our group called, Women in the Word-Little Pink Casa and Friends.  

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My Messy Beautiful Love Review and Giveaway!

  In my last Marriage Monday post I wrote about how marriage can get messy, but it's through God's grace that marriage is beautiful.   I've been reading Darlene Schacht' new book, Messy Beautiful Love and honestly, I can't tell you enough how this book is anointed to nourish and save marriages.  Including my own.   To be honest, this is the first book of Darlene's that I was blessed to read.  I've read her posts from her Time Warp Wife blog, but reading a book like this is exhilarating, humbling and empowering.  

Oh my, I was definitely challenged. This isn't your average Christian marriage book that gives you a cookie cutter outline or even a "everything's coming up roses in your marriage" thesis. 

Messy Beautiful Love is raw in all it's gentleness.  Sincere in all it's flaws.  Real.  As real as real gets ladies.  

Marriage enrichment is a key to growing a Godly marriage.
On my marriage journey, I have learned, that you never arrive in your relationship.  Just when you think you have a great marriage, well . . . watch out.  Just when you think you've learned all you need to know about marriage enrichment, don't stop.   Just when you think you've been to enough marriage conferences, read enough marriage books to open your own bookstore . . . you haven't done enough.  

Growing a Godly marriage is an ongoing process.  You can never outgrow or never learn too much.    Never say never.  :) Darlene's heart felt story of her own marriage journey intertwined with Biblical truths challenged me to be a better wife.   

A God-fearing wife.  A wife that may not have it all together, but with God's love, I can.  

A Forgiven wife.   Because God's grace is sufficient for me. It's never too late.  

My Husband's Bride.  I shine bright in my husband's eyes, when He sees Jesus in me.   

Messy Beautiful Love has challenged me to walk in humility.  Submitting to God as I submit to my husband.  It may not be easy, yet I want to please God first.  Through Christ,  I can do anything.     

Thank you Darlene for following God's call and mission for sharing your story.  I know now, that I am not alone.  I believe and pray that many women's hearts will be healed and marriages changed when they read this book, all for the glory of God! 

Women in the Word, we will be doing a book study on Messy Beautiful Love in the future, so this is a great time to purchase your book and study guide.  

Official Launch Day is here! 
It's been a fun countdown, but today is the day!  Messy Beautiful Love is available to purchase now!  If you haven't ordered your copy yet, you can order it here.   It's so worth it ladies!  Don't wait.  

Messy Beautiful Love Giveaway
The journey of being on Darlene's book launch team has truly been a blessing.  As a thank you, Darlene wants to bless one of my Little Pink Casa readers with a free paperback copy of Messy Beautiful Love:  Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages.   Can you just stand it?!  Ok, jump and down!

-Enter now! 

You can enter the giveaway here: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blessings and Shalom, 

Psst . . . affiliate links are used in this post, and if you graciously choose to use them, I do make a small profit which helps support this blog and my ministry.  Thank you. 

Messy Beautiful Love Review and Giveaway is linked up here:

Sale extended til 12 noon today! 

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Monday, September 15, 2014

8 Emergency Tips You and Your Family Need to Know

Last Monday,  I shared with you how we had major flooding from the heavy rains and monsoons here in Arizona.  Maybe you saw or heard about it?  Our state received more rain in 3 hours, than we received all year!  Could we predict a flood was going to happen in the AZ desert?  Sounds crazy right?  When we experience emergencies like these,  we realize how important it is to be prepared.  Are you prepared if an emergency situation happened to you and your family?

September is National Prep Month and a great time to evaluate your family's emergency plan.  Maybe you have a game plan already or you are just starting?  Don't know where to begin?  It's now or never!  Here are 8 Tips to help you and your family get started. 

1.  Begin with a 72 hour emergency supply.  Once you have prepared for this time period, then you can increase it to one week and then one month.   This includes: food, water, and supplies.

2.  Water!  We all know that water is valuable for staying alive and keeping clean.  It is recommended  that a person needs one gallon of drinking water per day.   Begin to store enough drinking water for each family member.

3.  The 3 Rule.    Having one flashlight, one blanket, or one can opener is not enough.  Good for you if you have one of everything, but the saying goes, "If you have one, you have none".   Shoot for three of each item, but if you can start with two, then do that.  For example,  3 pocket knifes, 3 blankets, 3 flashlights.

4.  First-aid Kit.   Begin making one of these right away.  Start to take CPR, first-aid classes and purchase a good Survival Medicine Handbook.  In times, of emergencies, hospitals and doctors may not be available and it will be up to you to respond with medical attention.  For our family,  I have found this information is great for everyday life because it saves us lots of doctor bills and meaningless visits.  Learning alternative health methods and natural remedies is also helpful. 

5.  Hygiene.  Keeping clean and germ-free is important for preparing food, and keeping well.   Remember during an emergency, sewer systems may not work and going potty in a bucket could get a little messy.  Stock up on toothpaste, soap, sanitizer, extra water for washing hands and brushing teeth.  I like to fill up empty water bottles and old jars or detergent bottles with tap water and keep those set aside for hygiene water.

6.  Assemble an emergency backpack for every family member.   This is a go bag with essentials, water, emergency tools in case you have to leave your house quick.  Don't forget to make a backpack for the car too.  Children need extra goodies in their backpack.  Check out my post on How to Make an Emergency BackPack for Kids

7.  Family Communications.   Have a meet-up plan.  Make sure every family member knows how and where to meet up in case an emergency happens when you are apart.   Also, make a hard copy list of phone numbers for everyone to keep in their purse or backpack in case mobile phones don't work, but landlines or pay phones still do. 

8.  Be inspired to grow your own groceries.  Food becomes scarce quickly in an emergency.  Have you considered raising your own chickens?  How about starting a little garden?  Even city dwellers have a way to work around this one.  

What ideas and tips would you add to the list?  

Want more ideas to help prepare your family for a medical emergency? 

A great book to consider reading is Traditional Remedies For Modern Families by Sarah Pope.  This e-book really empowered me to take my family's health into my own hands.  The health care insurance crisis is unpredictable and expensive.  Why wait for an emergency to learn how to be healthier, when you can take charge and save medical costs now. 

Traditional Remedies for Modern Families is a 150+ page compendium of simple solutions to everyday wellness challenges without the use of drugs or toxic therapies. From coughs and colds to digestion, skin, cuts, bruises and allergies,Traditional Remedies for Modern Families covers the gamut of conditions that can effectively and safely be handled at home in the vast majority of cases – saving time and money at the doctor’s office, as well as immune system damage from the overuse of drug-based solutions.

Grab a copy of Traditional Remedies for Modern Families, plus copies of Natural Homestead, DIY Natural Remedies, Herbal Preparations and Applications, Real Food and Cleansing Guide e-book and webinar and many more natural living e-books, e-courses and free bonuses- all for just 29.97
 ends today, Monday (midnight)! 

Blessings and Shalom

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Five Minute Friday {People Get Ready!}

If you know me by now, you know I love to write from the heart.  Mostly, from what the Holy Spirit has me to say.  It may not be popular or perfect.  

However, it is truth.  

Today, I participate in a blogging challenge from the blog Heading Home called 5 minute Friday.  The challenge is, I free write for 5 minutes on a specific word.  Ready is the word of the day.  This is my first time participating in this challenge, so here it goes. . .  timer on, Ready, steady, go! 

Are we ready to meet our bride groom?  The Lover of our soul? 

As the bride of Christ should be making herself ready, it saddens me that many are not.  

Many still have unforgiveness.  Many are still loving the things of this world more than Jesus. 
Many are worshipping pagan ways partaking in unholy practices.  Many are being deceived by false doctrines and false teachers.  Many are drinking not of the living water, but of polluted water that soils the heart.  Many back bite, slander their brother and sister.  Many gossip and speak evil of one another.  

Many are compromising a for a luke warm relationship 

Many have pride and serve vanity.  Many are prejudice.  Many are confused. 

"What is this world coming to?".  I heard a Christian friend ask lately.  

Don't get caught up in the everyday hustle and bustle. 

Don't let the things of this world get in the way of what really is important.   

Don't let this world deceive you!   This world does not have our best life now.  Our lives are but a vapor.  Our purpose in this life is not to make the best life, it's to serve the Lord God Almighty and do His will.    That means taking up our cross and denying ourselves daily.  Denying our wants and desires.  Denying the things that would cause us to be prideful.  

We need to prepare our hearts to meet him again.  For He is coming soon.  



Well, what do you think?   

Kind of goes along with our Princess Bride Bible Study, don't it? 

I'd love to hear your thoughts! 

Have a beautiful Friday and a restful sabbath weekend!  You are amazing.  :)

Blessings and Shalom,

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Health Nut vs Healthy Living {Which is Really Better?}

One day I woke up and I said to myself, "I need a change!".   

A health change!

I've always been good with taking care of myself, eating right somewhat.  When Ruben and I were newlyweds, we were health nuts.  We even went vegan for a couple of years.  Um, that didn't work too well.  (We like cheeseburgers too much) :).   Seriously, I was eating organic before organic was popular.

The year was 1999.

The only grocery store at the time in our area that sold whole foods, was Whole Foods.  We traveled 25 miles both ways just buy groceries.   I researched herbs, supplements, teas . . . you name it!  I knew all the terms:  cage free, free roaming, grass-fed.  It was sort of an obsession for me.  I felt like I was doing the right thing, but nothing tasted good.   Oops.

I shopped for cookbooks that offered value, healthy and delicious meals, yet it was a lost cause.   When I did find a great recipe, it wasn't very budget wise.   Especially for a new married couple who were poor college students with part-time jobs.

Yes, I felt alone in the "health nut" journey.    However, there is a difference between "health nut" and "healthy living".   The difference is grace.  What works for my family, may not work for yours.

Today, I am so grateful for local organic farmers, and an array of whole foods offered at most grocery stores.   It seems that this "healthy living" has been tried and tested by folks who know their stuff.  

I may not be as legalistic with my healthy choices now, however, I am still wanting to feed my family healthy meals.  I want to have energy, vitality and be full of life.  For the Lord has a purpose for our lives and in order to fulfill that purpose as moms and wives we must be strong.  We must remain healthy.   How do we do that? 

Remember the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle I told you about?  It's here!  I wish I had all these resources when I began my "healthy living" journey.  

The family who created this bundle, reminds me of my "healthy nut" self once upon a time ago.  It was also a challenge for them to find great resources so they created a solution.  

Look at the various topics the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle includes: 
Here are some of the e-books I'm excited about! 

Making Organic Food Affordable,  Feast! Real Food, Reflections, and Simple Living for the Christian Year, Essential Oils and Natural Health  and The Eczema Cure, which I'm hoping gives me ways to cure my daughter's eczema .  

Here's a sample of some of the e-books, plus so much more than this! 

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle combines a life-changing selection of eBooks and eCourses – with a total value of $1,030 – and sell them for an insanely discounted price of only $29.97 (PDF version) and $39.97 (eReader version).

I can't stress enough the importance of eating right not only to enjoy better health but also, save money, respect the environment and model a balanced lifestyle for our kids.  

The resources in this year's Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle will help you do all of that with their gentle guidance, home-kitchen tested recipes and comprehensive information.   

In the end, healthy living beats a "health nut" every time! :)

Hurry sale ends September 15!  

Check out the video below for more details: 

Can't see the video, click here:   The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle from Ryan Langford on Vimeo.

Blessings and Shalom,

P.S.  Affiliate links are used in this post.  Thank you for using them and supporting my family's ministry.