So, I took a few photos this morning so that you can see my "think tank". Hopefully, as I write the blog each day you will be able to imagine me sitting at my desk, pouring my heart out. You will get to see what I see so to speak. I know that by saying my next statement I could get flooded with email, but bring it on. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see where all of you sit when you read the blog or email me directly. It would really mean so much to me. (stop thinking I am bizarre) Email me a photo or photos to Aimee@WomensMarriageMinistry.com.
It is sunny today & my office is a sunroom so I am sure that with a little work these photos could have been much better. If I only had Photoshop & two hours to sit & play. Ahh, I am fantasizing now. Back to work....
This is my area. In the bottom left corner is the treadmill. Something I need to become more friendly with. It stares at me all day, chanting my name. Teasing me, watching me eat & drink. Go away treadmill!
This is the view from sitting in my chair. The funny thing is that I didn't even notice that my screen was on the Women's Marriage Ministry website when I took the photo. Ha! That was awesome.
This is the view that I have from my chair, if I look to my right. My gorgeous husband smiles at me all day (doesn't speak & never gets mad). I have my favorite pictures of Kayleigh that glisten in the sunlight, my four inspiration stones that say Faith, Hope, Love, & Strength, & then a paperweight that Brandon made a few years ago. This is the view that I enjoy the most. Remember, I don't want to look to the left because of that darn treadmill. Plus, I can see outside from this view. Today, my window is open & I am enjoying the slight breeze & 45 degree weather at 11:30am. Excuse me while I drift away for a second.....
There is a bookcase that is directly behind my chair, as you can see in the first photo. Here I have my memory board that I made for Kayleigh's memorial. (There is a long story there of a mommy that went crazy trying to find just the right stickers to make this board perfect.) The molds of Kayleigh's hands & feet that we took the day that she went off to Heaven, her pink bracelet, my wrist band that I had to show every time that we entered the NICU, & Kayleigh's ashes. I see this every time that I walk in or out of my office, & every time that I turn around to speak to someone in the other room. Actually, I can see the reflection on my screen right now as I type. Our princess is with us every single day. Praise God!
Okay, I'm done. I hope that you enjoyed my tour this morning & I hope that you will take a few minutes to invite me into your home or your office at work. Remember, email photos to Aimee@WomensMarriageMinistry.com.
So yesterday started the New Thru 30 Challenge. (Reading the entire New Testament in 30 Days) As I have mentioned before, I was nervous about getting started, but I was excited as well. I NEVER thought that I would be taking on a challenge like this, ever. I only play to win. I avoid things that I am not sure that I will be successful at. (Hence, ignoring the treadmill.) I would never set myself up to commit to the world that I could do this challenge & have to stick with it. Why did I then? Honestly, because I felt that the Lord called me to do it. I tried to run from it, but I had to listen. Do I have time? No. Not on the surface. Not if I want to make an excuse. Did I have time yesterday? Yes.
I read Matthew 1:11 - Matthew 12:50. I thought that I would be completely in the dark & I would just be reading words to say that I did it. That is NOT what happened. I was enjoying the reading. It seemed easy & I felt like the words were just flowing off of my phone. Yes, I read it on my iPhone. If you all can wait to go out & purchase your iPhone until I can get a sales job, I would like to plug the iPhone for a second. It is AWESOME. I have never loved a "thing" more. I sat on the couch yesterday, comfortable, holding my phone in my hand, with a lit up screen, scrolling through the Bible. If I liked a verse, I could just touch it & it would highlight. I could then Tweet it to share with all of you (which I did), email it, or bookmark it. No need to take notes. It made reading so much easier & fun to be quite honest. So, basically I have my Bible with me wherever I go. I can read it when I am stuck in traffic, waiting to pick up the kids, while I sit in a waiting room, in the bathroom, (gross, but we ALL read in there) while I am on the treadmill (yuck), or like 100 other places. You can get your Bible lesson in during all of the time you normally "waste" each day waiting on other people. Seriously!
I have to say that I am so super proud of all of you that are doing this challenge with me. I couldn't even believe how detailed you guys were on The Blog Frog Community about what you read, learned, & took away from the lessons. You all even answered each other's questions which was unbelievable. It is incredible to have this opportunity at all, but to do it alongside others that are equally excited & can help by sharing their opinions is even that much more of a blessing. Thank you all for joining me. I look forward to the daily inspiration & excitement that you all share.
One of the things that I read yesterday that I wanted to share comes from Matthew 5:43-48.
Love for Enemies43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies[b] and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
I think that many of us struggle with this one. Especially in our marriages. We often feel like if our husband is being nasty to us, we should retaliate, not make peace. That we should only "love" those who love us. Help people that help us. Share the Word with people that we KNOW will want to hear it, not those that NEED to hear it. Give to those that are giving, but may not NEED our help. We need to do so much more than that. It is our duty to share the blessing of God with others so that they can enjoy His love as well. We can do this in so many ways. Through volunteering, a kind word, a nice gesture, a meal, a prayer, a hug, a kiss, a compliment, an invitation to church. There are many ways to be an example of love, faith, hope, joy, peace, kindness, & friendship. Our actions alone can bring others closer to the Lord. Our actions alone can heal the hurting & save lives.
Have you ever thought about how many people your bad attitude can touch in a day? Have you ever been the cause of another person's pain that you didn't even know? Yes, you have! Go somewhere with me for a second. Let's say that your morning starts off terrible, you wake up late, your kids are moving too slow, there is traffic on the way to work, you have some "minor" road rage at the lady that wasn't quite paying attention (she was probably having a day just like you), & you honk at her...LOUDLY. Maybe you even show her a finger bad sign. Maybe you shout some dirty nasty words at her. Now she is in a worse mood. She goes to work & snaps at someone or has the same road rage 2 miles later. She touches that person in a negative way. Their day is now ruined, They touch someone else. Do you see where I am going? Your bad attitude towards another person can cause a chain of a thousand disagreements between co-workers, parents & children, husband & wife, etc. etc. Your bad attitude is causing pain to others.
Now let's flip it. You are in a great mood, full of faith, hope & joy. You have a smile on your face that welcomes friends, family, & strangers in. You open a door, hold the elevator, refrain from gossiping or judging at the water cooler. You speak only of pleasant things. You Praise God. When people ask, "How are you today?" You don't jump at responding with all of the negative things. You say something like, "I am having a blessed day! How about you?" Think of how many lives you can change in a day, even if just for a day, just by being Holy & not putting holes in someone else.
Adam has told me about a man 100 times that he used to work with. Every day without fail, this man smiled, praised the Lord, & was pleasant. He never said a negative thing. (Even if his day was full of potential trouble, delay, rudeness, or despair.) Adam looked forward to seeing him. Why wouldn't he? He made Adam feel great & put a smile on Adam's face. I have never met this man, yet I think about him often. I think about how I want to be more like him. How other people would like me more if I could be that way. How people would want to hear what I have to say & my perspective on things. Not, how people want to run because all you speak of is drama, gossip, judgement, negativity, & sorrow. To feel the true, genuine, joy that this man has for his life. To feel truly blessed at ALL times. To be thankful to be alive, even if something isn't going our perfect little way at the moment. To seek out the positives in a negative or less desirable situation. I need to work on this every day. How about you?
Day Twenty Seven -
"Be of good courage, & he shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord." Psalms 31:24
Perhaps it has taken you a tremendous amount of courage to speak words of encouragement consistently to your husband this month. Courage comes as we place our trust in the Lord. Have faith that God will continue to work long after your encouraging words have been shared.
There are lots of "tough guys" in the world, but true courage comes from the Lord. Does your husband exhibit courage to take an unpopular stand, perhaps even to stand alone against evil? Is he courageous in his faith? Does he work hard to change injustice? Is he a stickler for the truth? Does he protect you or your family from the attacks of the enemy?
Psalm 27:14 says this kind of courage comes from "waiting" on the Lord for His strength. If your budget allows, "award" your husband with a medal, trophy, framed picture of a brave knight, or some token that represents his courage as a man of God. Praise evidences of your husband's courage in protecting you, your marriage, your family, or your home.
Day Twenty Seven Prayer -
Pray that your husband will recognize the lies of the enemy in his life. Pray that his attitudes & actions will be guided by the truth as he brings his thoughts into captivity to the Word of God. (John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 10:4-5)