Friday, August 26, 2011

Movie Night!

Fireside Fridays - Conversations by the fire about nurturing home and family








Movie Night

When our kids were young, movie night at our house was a big deal. We’d move the coffee table and fill that space with sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows for a makeshift pallet. Piling in for a movie with bowls of popcorn, a stash of snacks, and of course, the family dog was a good way to wind down the week and just enjoy being together.

This week I have a movie to recommend to you that's good for the whole family - although this one will be better appreciated by older kids (i.e., fifth grade and up). This wasn’t a blockbuster hit and most of you probably haven’t heard of it. It’s a small-time movie with a worthy storyline.


Forever Strong

Actors: Sean Faris; Penn Badgley; Gary Cole; Sean Astin ("Sam" of Lord of the Rings; and the infamous "Rudy")

Rick Penning is an accomplished rugby player and a troubled teen. His overbearing father coaches his team and tries to run his life. Rick lives life on the edge. After repeated offenses involving intoxicated driving, he ends up in a detention center. While he’s there, he’s given the opportunity to play for his rival rugby team (Highland Rugby). His participation on this team requires him to endure exhausting training and to adopt a strict code of conduct enforced by Coach Gelvin. Rick’s strong will and ego make it extremely difficult for him to fit in with his new team. This is a story of how Rick progresses on his journey to character and in loyalty to his team. The strong brotherhood that develops with his teammates changes his life. Rick is released from the detention center to return to his former team just before the National Championship game. Their opponent? The Highland Rugby team.

Parents Note:
Football violence (not graphic)
No profanity
Infrequent alcohol consumption and use of Vicodin
2 characters are involved in a car accident
Another character is hit by an oncoming car (not graphic)

Great Quotes from Forever Strong:

“I want you to be forever strong on the field so you will be forever strong off it.”

“God doesn’t make a no-good anything.”

“Let’s focus on where you could end up, not where you were or are.”

“We only have one real rule – don’t do anything that would embarrass you, the team, or your family.”

Discussion Questions:

1) How did Rick deal with his problems in the beginning?

2) What were the consequences of his actions?

3) What was the turning point in his life?

4) How did he change?

5) Do you think he made the right decision about the team he chose to play for at the National Championship? Why?

6) What did you think of their “one real rule”? Why is that important? Would this be a good rule for us to adopt?

7) Do you think Coach Gelvin was a good coach? Why? 

8) How did the way the team played the game on the field affect their lives off the field?

A Snack for Your Movie

Here’s a recipe that my friend, Di, shared with me. It’s for melt-in-your-mouth popcorn. That’s right. Melt-in-your-mouth. Best popcorn I’ve ever eaten.

Toffee Popcorn
(Makes 10-12 quarts)

Ingredients:

10-12 quarts popped corn (5 bags natural microwave bags)
1 pound butter (salted or unsalted)
2 cups white sugar
4 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 210 degrees.

Dump bags of popped corn into a separate bowl, fluff to remove any unpopped kernels, and put in a freshly cleaned and dried kitchen sink (or large bread bowl).


Spray non-stick cooking spray on two jellyroll or lasagna pans, and on two spatulas or large stirring spoons.

Melt 1 pound of butter in a thick-bottomed 3-quart saucepan. Add 2 cups sugar and 4 Tbsp. water.




Boil on medium high heat (enough to boil rapidly but not spatter on your hand when you stir).



Stir frequently for the first five minutes; then constantly until the bright yellow mixture turns the color of toffee – light brown. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon baking soda. Stir vigorously for about 20 seconds then pour the molten lava over the popcorn.


Quickly stir the popcorn until it is well and evenly coated.


Put on two large jellyroll or lasagna pans and bake at 210 degrees for one hour or until crispy. Stir every 15 minutes and do not go above 210 or it will burn or crystallize and fall off popcorn.


Delicious! Enjoy this with your family on movie night.

Because Families are Worth Fighting For . . . 
~Lisa


Monday, August 22, 2011

Why it's Okay to Release Your Guilt

South Africa
by: Lisa at The Warming House
Mountain View Mondays - Stealing your Breath with Exquisite Views of God's Heart, His Character, and His Ways


Have you done anything you regret? Are there times when you wish you could turn back the clock and have a do-over? Do you agonize over things in your past - people you've hurt, poor choices you made, paths you followed, temptations you gave in to?

Base of Victoria Fallls by Lisa @ The Warming House


If you have a Bible, open it and read Psalm 51. This is an incredible prayer from the heart of King David. Hear his consuming regret and remorse.
As you read, remember this is the David who:

Courageously killed Goliath with a single stone . . .
Was mercilessly hunted by King Saul . . .
         Lived as a lonely, persecuted outcast in caves . . .
        Was appointed as king over Israel . . .
        Was the man God referred to as a “man
        after his own heart” . . .
         Was not immune to sin . . .

David was a noble king, but he wasn't perfect. Uriah the Hittite was the greatest smudge on David’s character.  David betrayed Uriah by committing adultery with his wife. To make matters worse, David then had Uriah murdered so he could take Bathsheba as his own.  David lived for 9 months with no expression of remorse or sorrow.  He ran from God and tried to hide his awful mistakes.  As he distanced himself from God, there was naturally a break in their relationship. 

This break in relationship grieved God’s heart. Because David did not go to God to admit what he'd done, God went to David.  In 2 Samuel 12, God sent Nathan the prophet to pursue David and confront him about his wrongdoings.  God did not pursue David in order to destroy him.  There was another reason.  He pursued David in order to restore their relationship.

David’s heart was crushed as he listened to what Nathan had to say. Psalm 51 is his response. He finally went before God and the Jewish people in a public prayer of confession. The depth of his agony can be seen in verse 3. “For I know my transgressions and my sin is ever before me.”  David’s guilt and shame consumed him every moment of every day. Is this something you can relate to?

Guilt can be beneficial because it carries with it an awareness of sin and deep feelings of remorse.  Guilt convicts us of the need to go to God, confess our sins, ask for His forgiveness, and pursue his mercy.   Verse 17 tells us that God desires a broken spirit, and a broken and contrite (crushed) heart.  Without feelings of guilt – or Godly sorrow, true repentance is absolutely impossible.

Is your spirit broken right now?  What is causing these feelings?  Like David, God may be pursuing you.  Is there something you need to resolve with Him? Know that he is safe. He wants to restore you not destroy you. And he is merciful. Why do you think He waited nine months for David to repent?  Think about that for a minute.  God could have punished David immediately; instead He gave him nine months to come clean! 

Jesus is the greatest proof that God wants to show us mercy.  Because of His great love for us, God sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to take the punishment for our sins so that our relationship with Him could be restored.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  1 John 1:9

If you read Psalm 51 closely, you will see David’s heartfelt belief that God is good and merciful.  He truly believes God has the desire and ability to make him clean again.  “Cleanse me . . . and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.  Create in me a pure heart, O God.”


For some of us, it's difficult to have the same belief that David had. We feel our mistakes are so big and horrific that we can't wrap our minds around the immensity of a perfect love (God's love) that gives complete and total forgiveness. We know we don't deserve to be let off the hook completely, so we step in and punish ourselves with guilt to make things right. Truth is - we don't deserve to be let off the hook, but that's what makes God so absolutely wonderful!


Robbin Island; South Africa by Lisa @ The Warming House


Please get this: Once you’ve confessed your sins, don’t hang onto guilt in an effort to punish yourself or pay the price for your sins, for it is by grace you have been saved. Jesus has taken ALL the punishment bearing God's wrath for ALL of your sins - every last one. He has paid the price in FULL.  Amount due: $0.00! You are free!

Are feelings of guilt holding you prisoner? Dear friend, let it go. This is not what God wants for you.

Your past does not bind you! Your past does not define you!
God is giving you a fresh start today.  He wants to restore you to joy and put a new song in your heart! So what do you need to let go of today?


Coastal Waters; South Africa by Lisa @ The Warming House


As ever - Enjoying the View!
Lisa

If you know someone who would benefit from this blog, please considering sharing it with them.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Kids Anyone?

Fireside Fridays - Conversations by the fire about home and family

Guest blogger: Martha Carter

My chosen career path was home and family. Even as a child I knew it was what I wanted from life. Once my now husband asked me to marry him all I could think about was babies, babies, babies.  It was as if someone saturated me with baby dust wishes and I was thoroughly infected.  We had yet to make the wedding plans when my soon to be husband suggested we discuss some things. “Like what?” I asked dreamy eyed.  I wondered what could possibly be on anyone’s mind other than babies. “Like when we’re getting married.  You know, a date.” he said.  Oh yeah, that might be something an engaged couple would want to nail down.  It's something you usually do before having babies in the traditional sense.  I guess we would have to get that out of the way before- having babies!!!  

As you can see I wanted them immediately, I wanted them a lot and I wanted a lot of them. We had two.

Our first-born is a boy.  A healthy 9-lb bouncing boy, he fulfilled my hearts desire to be a mother.  I was smitten and devoted at once. Getting up in the night was a joy and the early morning wake up time?  I couldn’t get up fast enough.  Not the typical response to sleep deprivation, but I didn’t care.  I had a baby.  I bought toys WAY before he could possibly ever interact with them.  Lincoln Logs at his 6-week mark.  Hey, I needed to be prepared. We were headed back to Saudi Arabia and I had to make sure he would have every opportunity to meet all challenges.  Construction being one of them!  I was delirious with utter joy and couldn’t imagine a better life with more fulfillment.  Matthew was our first and the beginning of our little family.  He was wild and rambunctious, loved the outdoors and couldn’t get dirty enough.

 I wondered if all boys smelled like little goats.  Mine did.  And I loved it.  Life in the wilds described Matthew.  If he could have been born in the crook of a tree, he would have been.  Today he has a boy and a girl and provides them with thrilling life experiences and a love of the outdoors that has filled his life.


Rachel was a wee one at birth.  Not premature wee but well under the 7-lb mark.  Her skin was so fair it was almost translucent.   A blue-eyed (denim blue), blonde (white) babe with chubby cheeks so rosy it appeared she began an acting career a little early in life, and was using too much blush for the stage lights.



People would stare at her in public until at the age of three she verbally expressed her concern as to why people stared at her.  She thought they saw something amiss.  She couldn’t know it was her startling beauty.  Her love of horses was there at an early age, and she began riding with me in a Snuggly at 6 months. She had a natural “seat” and was a bit of a freak of nature when it came to her abilities in the saddle.


Her temperament was of joy, obedience and sunshine.  She remains the same today as a wife and mother of two very busy boys both blonde and blue-eyed.  Her mantra for the boys is “listen and obey” and “I love you.”  She is wonderful.


Two things I’m glad I did as a parent didn’t have much impact on my kids directly.  I took pictures, and I took note.  I suggest you do both.  I noted that our son smelled like a goat and I noted Rachel’s rosy cheeks.  Obviously those weren’t the only things I noted, but just an example.  Take note of their gestures, their expressions or the way they tip their head when they communicate.  Review them in your mind over and over.  Put them to memory. Today, I revel in the more unnoticeable things of the past.  Those things I hold nearest my heart; the things that create a lump in my throat or make me giggle.


Having a family is a 24/7 job at the least. It never ends in its repetition of chores, soothing wounded feelings, guidance, and encouragement. You’re a doctor, chauffeur, teacher, preacher, chef and household manager. If you’re ill there is no day off. You work through it. It’s constant giving with little thanks and no pay but the benefits are unimaginable.

~Martha

Next week's family photo category is:

Pictures of your family wearing ski/winter hats. Yes, I know it's summer - but this is The Warming House after all. 

Send your photos to thewarminghouse@gmail.com by Thursday, August 25th.


~Lisa

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How Do You See?

The Warming House
Hi friend. Glad you're here. If you've visited The Warming House before, you know by now that God has emblazoned the message of compassion across my heart. Actually, he's etched it in the depths. One of my purposes is to encourage people to consider a compassionate way of life because from my observations (and from research data compliled by the Barna Group) compassion has been lost in translation in the lives of many Christians today. That's a problem because 1) God is compassionate by nature and we're meant to be a reflection of him; 2) our apathy, inaction, anger, and judgment are turning far too many people away from Christ; and 3) there are far too many who suffer. Today's post is an excerpt from a book I've been working on. It asks some hard-hitting questions. If you have questions, feedback, something you'd like me to address here, or a story/ministry you'd like me to share on my blog, please post a comment. Thanks!

This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.” Zechariah 7:9-10

If a pregnant, unmarried teenage girl were to walk into your world, how would you see her?  Would you see her as someone who has low moral values?  Would you point your finger at her and whisper behind her back, “How did she get herself into that position?”  Or would you see her as someone who had a choice, and had the courage to choose life? 

If you were to encounter a homeless woman as you walk down the street, would you see her as a lowly non-entity?  Would you see her as someone who is irresponsible and has no ambition?  Would you see her destitute condition as being her own fault?  Would you even see her at all?  Would you turn your head and look the other way?  Or would you see her as someone who once had dreams that have now been broken by addictions she can’t overcome?  Would you see her as someone who has the same basic needs as you do for shelter, love, and friendship? Would you see her as a living, breathing human being who has feelings just like you? 



istockphoto


If a poor working father attended your church on Sunday morning, would you pass judgment on him because of his thrift store clothes and run-down car?  Would his poverty cause you to see him as a “loser”?  Would you make a point to greet him or would you turn your back?  Would you see the weariness in his eyes from working two jobs?  Would you see the sadness in his face because he can’t find a way to adequately provide for the family he dearly loves?


copyright Mike B. @ The Warming House


If you were to see the picture of a gang member on the news, would you feel fear?  Would you only see evil?  Or would you see the child he once was?  A child whose mother worked three jobs.  A child who was left alone day and night because there was no money for child care.  A child who has never met his father.  A child who had such a need for family that he settled for the only kind of family that presented itself – the sense of family found in a gang.

If you were to see Christ face-to-face in our world today, would you see him as a social outcast?  He was. Would you see him as a convicted criminal?  He was that too. Would you see him as a homeless person with no place to lay his head?  Would you look down on him because of his lack of material belongings and simple clothing?  Would you turn your head and look the other way?  Or would you see a man full of God’s love, wrongly accused, sacrificing everything for mankind?  Would you see the perfection and beauty? Would you see the mercy and grace?

Jesus whispers to us, “If you have room in your heart for me, then you need to make room in your heart for the least of these.”  How we see those in need defines our actions toward them.  He wants us to see others as He does. 

“When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36

God brings people into your life each day who need His touch . . . His love . . . His grace . . . His truth. Pray about your perception of people. Ask God to help you see people and situations through His eyes, not your own. Align your eyes, your thoughts, and your heart with His.

Warming the World Together,
Lisa

*This message is important. Please consider sharing it with someone you know.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Mysteries of God

Mountain View Mondays - Stealing Your Breath with Views of the Heart of God





O God - I stand in wonder as I consider the mystery of you.

With a word, you formed the heavens, the earth, and everything in it. With great finesse, you created every living thing with an intricate design.


Just as no two mountains are alike - their peaks, elevations, and faces taking their unique place in your landscape - no two humans are alike - each created for a distinct purpose in your kingdom. Help me to embrace my uniqueness and to refrain from desiring to be like anyone other than my true self.


Fun at Camp - Summer 2010
 I marvel at another great mystery of you . . . your ability to be three persons in one - God the Father; Jesus, the son; and the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, you are God with me - the breath of heaven empowering, guiding, teaching, comforting, and loving me. I acknowledge your presence here with me and I am grateful for the indescribable joy of being close to God through you. God, I know that it is not your intent just to meet me in church on Sunday morning. You desire to go with me and to experience each day by my side. I am hungry for more of you Father. Breathe your Holy Spirit into me. Teach my heart. Restore my body and soul. Be forever near me.




Another great mystery that perplexes me but also makes me grateful, is the mystery of your love for man. Even though I am imperfect and unworthy, through your grace, you implant special God-given abilities within your family members. Help me to acknowledge, discover, open, and use the precious spiritual gifts you have given to me for the benefit of others, and for your church.

Though there are many gifts, there is one Spirit that empowers us all. Though we each have unique purposes, it is just one Lord we serve together.


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I hope your week is off to a great start. Thank you for sharing part of it with me! As always - I'm so happy you chose to stop by.

In awe of who he is . . .

Lisa

Our "Find-of-the-Week Giveaway" is this canvas imprinted with unforgettable "Family Rules". Measures approximately 16x20 inches.



To have your name entered in this week's drawing for the giveaway, answer this question in the comments section:

What makes your heart sing?

Don't forget to submit your photos for Friday's post. This week's category is:

"Celebrating jobs well done – photos of your kids going off to college"

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Stages and Phases of Momma-hood: Cherishing the Past/Embracing the Future

Fireside Fridays - By the fire for conversations about nurturing home and family


 
Today, my post is decorated with pictures of two precious faces eating their favorite ice cream. Evidence of the flavor is glopped all over their cute faces! These photos were sent in for our Fireside Fridays family photo category of the week:
Pictures of your family eating ice cream at your favorite ice cream shop



Rylan's ice cream face!
Used with permission from Rachel of South Carolina
 I absolutely love being a momma! The years of momma-hood have been a whirlwind of stages and phases, but oh the treasures buried in those years. From sleepless nights with babies to sleepless nights with teens. From the first tooth to the day they got their braces. From yearning for that first word to wishing they’d stop asking endless questions. From marveling at the perfection of a newborn to marveling at my kids’ adult bodies and height that exceeds my own. From the first day of kindergarten to the first day of senior year - and then college. From cleaning up puke and poop to watching them clean up after themselves. From the delight on a child’s face on Christmas morning to the delight on their face getting their first car. From family outings together to pick pumpkins and go to the zoo to watching them make their own trek to mission trips and college. From listening to my kids sing in the children’s choir at church to hearing them sing to songs on their I-pods. From little feet running to greet me at the door to late nights waiting to hear their feet come in the door. From tiny little arms giving heartfelt hugs to arms that wrap all they way around me with giant hugs. From amazing things that came out of their young mouths by accident to wise words that come out of mature mouths on purpose. From separation anxiety and the way my children clung to me when they were young to the way they’ve released their hold. From no time for showering, exercising, or going to the bathroom alone to having time for all of that and more. From feelings of failure and inadequacy as a parent to seeing the evidence that God has filled the gaps and made all things good in their lives.

As the years went by, there were days when motherhood was not fun at all and I felt like I was “so done” with parenting. Some of the stages seemed incredibly long, and I felt like I would be stuck in them forever. There was sometimes even an urge to hurry my kids through those stages quickly.


Jayce is lovin' it!
Used with permission from Rachel of South Carolina
 Like the autumn wind that blows the leaves down the street, these stages swept by me much too fast. How is it possible that we sent our son off to college this week? It seems somewhat ironic that our job as mommas is to wrap our hearts around our kids and love them sacrificially while preparing them to leave us. But prepare them we must because we want them to be ready to face the world as responsible, respectful, productive, independent members of society who are a reflection of God in a dark world.

Although I would love to continue to enjoy each day in my son’s presence, I am so incredibly grateful for the precious time God has given me with him to this point. It has been a privilege I am not deserving of, and the rich memories wrap around me like a warm blanket. I look forward to the days ahead as my son moves into the future. It will be fun to watch his life unfold!

So mommas – although the days are often like a merry-go-round spinning out of control, don’t wish them away. Trust me! All too soon you’ll be waving goodbye as you drive away from your child’s college dorm or their first apartment or their gap-year trip and you’ll wonder, “Where did the years go?” Cherish each moment!

Some of my Warming House friends have children who are leaving home for college this month. As your children go, remember these things. (It isn’t much to offer, but hopefully it will help a little.)

1) God loves you and cares about you.

2) Be patient with yourself. Allow yourself to grieve. It’s natural and normal. God understands your feelings.

3) God greatly appreciates the investment you’ve made in the children he has entrusted to you. “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

4) Cherish the time God has given you together.

5) Keep your eyes on the delights of the future.

Some of you have been down this road before. If you have, would you please help the rest of us by sharing your tips for transitioning into this new “phase” of life? Leave your wisdom in the comments section or on my facebook page. We would all appreciate it greatly.

Because families are worth fighting for . . .

Lisa

Fireside Fridays family photo category for next week is:

"Celebrating jobs well done – photos of your kids going off to college"


*If you know someone who might enjoy this post, please pass it along.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Little Hands Big Helpers - Kids Helping Kids

Wednesdays on the Wooded Path – Impacting the World with Compassion

So sorry for missing Monday’s post. Bad storm. Loss of power for almost a day. No post. Sent our son off to his freshman year of college on Tuesday. Heart aching. Still no post.

But today I’m really excited to introduce you to an organization that has compassion written all over it. Not only that – it’s an organization that’s nurturing compassion in children. Love it! It’s called Little Hands Big Helpers. Intriguing name isn’t it?

A sweet mama named Chanda started this organization after an MRI detected a lesion on her two-year-old son’s brain stem.

She contacted St. Jude’s, received a very quick response (unheard of), and before she knew it, her son was admitted to St. Jude’s for diagnosis.

St. Jude's
Used with permission from Chanda at Little Hands Big Helpers

Her experience with this medical facility was absolutely phenomenal (free stay at a hotel sponsored by the Memphis Grizzlies - truly caring doctors – an itinerary of their day provided by the hospital – exceptional facilities where everything is sponsored by corporations, etc.).

Her son’s older sister actually told her she wanted to move to "Temphis, Mennessee" to live at St. Jude’s! This big sis’ also wanted to help the sick children at the hospital. Children under ten aren’t allowed to volunteer at St. Jude’s so she came up with another idea.

Big sis' pulling brother at hospital
Used with permission from Chanda at Little Hands Big Helpers

In lieu of gifts at her birthday party she collected art supplies, DVD’s, and nail polish for Miss Crystal (nurse) to use when she painted the toenails of patients and their siblings.

Chanda believes it’s important to empower children with opportunities to help other children, and to let them know that they can be big helpers who make a difference in this world too. And that's the mission of Little Hands Big Helpers. Is that cool or what?!


Used with permission from Chanda at Little Hands Big Helpers

Here are some upcoming events:

 

Silent Auction

Thursday August 11th
5:00 - 7:00
Classics at The Clarion Hotel
3333 S. Glenstone in Springfield, MO

The coordination of Little Hands Big Helpers is carried out completely by volunteers; however, there are still some expenses. Chanda has organized this silent auction to pay for those expenses. She wants 100% of funds raised by kids in the Trike-a-Thon and Try-Sport-A-Thon to be used to help children at St. Jude's.

Trike-a-Thon/Try-Sport-A-Thon

Springfield Missouri
Jordan Valley Park
October 8, 2011
9:00 a.m.

Children raise funds to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and St. John’s Jane Pitt Pediatric Cancer Center. 100% of funds go to help sick children.

 
Kids can bring their big wheels, trikes, and bikes with training wheels, and ride through a child-sized "Springfield" as they make a few stops to collect prizes.  The ride starts with a safety check as the children learn important rules about riding bikes and trikes.  Afterwards children of all ages enjoy the Interactive Sports Zone, jump around in a Bounce House provided by Jump Mania, and make cards for children in the hospital at a card-making station.


Children helping children
Used with permission from Chanda at Little Hands Big Helpers

The lesion on Chanda’s son’s brainstem is now completely gone. She believes God used his health issues to get her into St. Jude’s and to compel her to start this organization. She met many amazing children and families at St. Jude's who she says are the heartbeat of this organization. Here’s a story she shared with me about one of the children she met.

One five-year-old who was going through chemo started forgetting things. She looked up at her mom one day and said, “Mom, if I don’t remember you in my head – don’t worry. I’ll always remember you in my heart.”

Little Hands Big Helpers has been a huge endeavor for Chanda and if God had told her how big it would eventually become, she probably would not have stepped up to the plate. Chanda shared with me that God has directed her every step and opened many doors for this organization (volunteers, sponsors, a local park for events, silent auction items, etc). She does not have prior experience or a specific education that would have prepared her for this venture. She loves the quote, “God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.” Chanda homeshools her children and is adopting two more. Her work with Little Hands Big Helpers is often tiring, but she says it is one of the most uplifting things she has ever done.


Chanda's miracle boy
Used with permission from Chanda at Little Hands Big Helpers

If you’d like to help Chanda provide opportunities for little hands to be big helpers, visit this link for more info.

http://www.littlehandsbighelpers.com/

Children who learn to look beyond themselves to help other people develop some really great character qualities that we don't often see in this world today.

You can contact Chanda at: questions@littlehandsbighelpers.com.

Thanks for stopping by!
Warming the World Together,
Lisa

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Simple Way to Fortify Your Husband and Your Marriage

Fireside Fridays - Conversations by the fire about nurturing home and family

Way back in the beginning of time, God created a man named Adam. Adam was alone in the world so God made a suitable helper for him – a woman named Eve. 

The “helper” aspect of this arrangement has been a source of controversy and debate in many circles through the years. Today I want to share a different angle on the issue of being a helper to our husbands.

Through the years I’ve known husbands who have nobly “protected” their wives from crisis and difficulty. They don’t talk with their wives about issues they face with their employer, problems within their home church or community, and even trauma that affects family friends. I have heard wives admittedly say that they’re completely content (and prefer) to be kept oblivious to what’s going on. But is this what God meant when he created us as helpers for our husbands? Did he intend for men to walk through the hard places alone? I don’t think so.

An old photo of me helping my husband on a sailboat.
 I think we're manning the jib? This is hard work. See his face?
Ladies, being a woman is an extraordinary privilege. We bring a lot to the table. We are experts at multi-tasking. We have an innate ability to nurture. We are smart, sensitive, relational, warm, and gracious. We have strong instincts and unique characteristics that benefit our marriages and the kingdom of God. We often bring a completely different perspective as well as the valuable discernment God has given us in our daily journey with him.

Women were made from Adam’s rib. A rib is strong. A rib protects the heart and other organs. A leader at a women’s conference I attended shared that women can protect the heart of a man, the heart of a child, and the heart of the family.

In addition, the word “helper” comes from a Hebrew word meaning “helper, staff, strength”. God is also referred to as a helper - helper of the nation of Israel and helper to individuals suffering hardship (Exodus 18:4; Deuteronomy 33:29; Hosea 13:9). In reference to God and women, the word “helper” comes from the same root word. We never infer that God is inferior to those he helps. Instead, we see strength of character. It should be the same with women.

Our husbands bear a lot of weight in their roles in our families. They need their wives, and they need what God has planted inside of us as women of God. Choosing to remain in ignorance and allowing our husbands to bear the weight of life's issues alone is not what it means to be a helpmate.  
So here are some things you can do to be a helper to your husband.

1) Remember that trouble comes when there are two roosters in the barnyard! Don’t run in and try to take charge of things. A helper is not a competitor - and a competitor is not a help.

2) Ask your husband to begin making you aware of situations he’s facing. Let him know you're available and want to be there for him.

3) Prayerfully offer him your counsel, comfort, encouragement, love, respect, and assistance.

4) Bring it ladies! Complement him with your strengths.

5) Support him in the decisions he makes. (Okay - so I'll admit this one can be tough!)

Do these things and you will fortify your husband, your marriage, and your family. That’s what we’re about here at The Warming House on Fireside Fridays.

Ahhh. Now he's happy!
Love you all and your precious families. I appreciate you making the time to stop by..

Lisa

If you'd like to send photos for next Friday's post, here's the category:

Pictures of your family eating ice cream at your favorite ice cream shop.