From Winning the Bread to Baking it

bethyherself:

I shared this post on my mom’s blog a few weeks ago about learning to be content at home and not bringing home a paycheck!

Originally posted on The Happy Wife of a Human Husband:

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I came into marriage with a well established job in a cushy office and a decent paycheck.  During the first year Jason’s job fluctuated, but my steady income kept us afloat during the rough patches.  Then, when our daughter was 7 months old, I tried to make a career change and ended up unemployed.

The situation had done a number on my confidence and I felt completely inadequate to jump back into the workplace, but I knew that we couldn’t function on one income.  I finally decided to try starting a home daycare, and have slowly been establishing that.  But it has been crazy, going abruptly from dressing for success and rushing the baby to daycare every morning to wrangling rambunctious children and finding the best recipes for homemade bread.

In one sense, I am happier.  I feel like I actually live in my house, the dishes get washed, I make…

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God Weeps With Us – Tears of Pain

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My dear friend Amanda shares her heart in this post about losing her unborn son.
She is the first guest blogger on The Happy Wife of a Human Husband, which is my mom’s blog that we are revamping into a community where women can encourage each other.

Click to read this touching post!

God Weeps With Us – Tears of Pain.

This job has been given me to do.

0b63f2555bc76f8d7562c3d6c6f90967 My mother is a big fan of Elisabeth Elliot, and I remember reading her books “Let Me Be A Woman” and “Through Gates of Splendor” as a young teen.  But it wasn’t until I was an apprentice at MMR and went through the Preparation for Marriage class with Matt and Jenni that I really was convicted and changed by her writing.  I read “Passion and Purity” in that class, and later my friend Kezia bought me a copy because she knew how much I loved it.  On the inside cover she wrote: “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.” – Prov 31:10 Beth, May you continually move toward being that virtuous wife.  May your thoughts, words, and actions be Christ honoring and filled with purity.  And if you never become a man’s bride remember that you are Christ’s bride and seek to be holy for him. I love you Betania, Your friend, Kezia My tattered copy of this book is filled with highlights and underlines.  It was 8 years after she bought this book for me that I became a wife, and I found that I could relate to Elisabeth and Jim’s story in my years of waiting.  But her words resonate with me now maybe even more, because the exciting dating/engagement/wedding is over and now the day to day obedience stretches out ahead, and each day the choice needs to be made to die to myself and follow Christ. 729d0d1c5636ad38b8d0ed84d33fc602 Elisabeth Elliot was always very blunt and straightforward.  She wouldn’t say to follow your heart, she would say to sacrifice your heart on the altar.  She wouldn’t say dream big, she would say do cheerfully what God is asking of you today whether that is to forgive your brother or give up your deepest heart’s desire or die for the gospel. I am no good at this, and I hope that I don’t pretend to be good at this.  But I am trying to apply her words to my life: THIS JOB has been given me to do, and therefore, it is a GIFT.  It is an OFFERING that I can make to God.  It is to be done GLADLY if it is done for him.  It is HERE, not somewhere else that I may learn God’s way.  In THIS job, not some other, God looks for faithfulness. In this daily washing of dishes.  In this dealing patiently with kids who hit each other.  In this choice of how to spend my free hour during nap. The question is always, do I love him?  And if the answer is yes, my life needs to show it by sacrificing my will on the altar of obedience.  Trusting that God does not ask us to die merely in order to be dead.. we die in order to live. 21fcd63ac3e77021ea21b4eb747786bd

Bring it to Light

My daughter is asleep, the laundry is folded, and I have a few hours of peace before the chaos of babysitting begins.  I have been wanting to write this blog post for a few weeks, so today you get it.

One of my recent entries in my journaling bible was from John 3.  I was reading through trying to decide what I want to teach from in the class I’m doing at church next month, and this passage stuck out to me in a whole new way.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.  

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.  For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.  But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

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For most of my childhood and teen years, I was really afraid of my sin being exposed for how ugly it truly is.  I bought into the lie that no one else struggled with what I struggled with, that no one would understand, and that there was no way to “cure” me.  When I read verses that talked about being pure and faultless before God I couldn’t relate, because I held these secret sins so close to my heart that I almost didn’t acknowledge them anymore.  Sin was just part of who I was and that was the way it was.

As a high school junior, I made the decision to spend my senior year in an intensive discipleship program.  I had given myself an ultimatum that if I went I would finally deal with my issues and stop trying to pretend that I was a good church kid.  So, my first week in the program I went to my advisors and emotionally vomited my deepest darkest secrets into their laps.

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It was definitely awkward, and very painful and frustrating to deal openly with issues that I had always been secretive about and ashamed of.  But, I was able to actually embrace God’s forgiveness of my sin and learn that victory over it is possible and wonderful.

The passage in John talks about how much God loves the world, how he knows all about our sin and doesn’t want to condemn us but wants to save us.  Then it talks about how we love the darkness because our deeds are evil, we hide ourselves from the light of God because we don’t want our actions to be visible.  But the brave soul who desires God’s truth and love above all else in their life will come into that light and let God deal with the ugliness that clings to them.

I think that Christians today have a problem with confessing sin.  Some have amazing stories of recovery from openly sinful lifestyles, and the problem of sexual addictions is getting more light than it used to, but there are still a vast majority of Christians who let sin fester in their hearts because they don’t have a clear avenue and example of how to confess it.

Bitterness, pride, lust, greed, selfishness, hate, lying.. these sins are just as powerful and controlling as being a drug addict or a prostitute.  They may not be killing your body, but they infect your spirit and eat you from inside.  And it is completely unnecessary.  You do not have to be controlled by sin because God has given you everything you need to live and be godly.  He has set you free from a life of sin and death, so that sin no longer has mastery over you.

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I came up with a list of reasons why it is better to bring your sin to light than to wallow in it.  I think we subconsciously let these things control our thinking and actions, we let them get so ingrained in our hearts that we don’t even consider them a problem anymore.  Or, we are ashamed and afraid that somehow our sin is unique and disgusting, and that no one will respect us again if it comes out.

That is a lie.  God takes our rancid slop and composts it into fertile soil where he can plant righteousness.  He is a master at this, it is what he loves to do.

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If God is bringing an area of your life to mind right now, pray about confessing that sin to someone you trust and getting help.  You can have true victory in Jesus, I promise!

Trust in who he is.

On Sunday our pastor talked about patience.  He was preaching out of James 5 and showed that Job is called an example of steadfast patience, which is funny because Job spent 40 chapters arguing with God about the trials in his life.  It really hit home for me that patience is not about sitting quietly and accepting whatever life brings, but it is about going to God with those questions and hashing it out with him.

In Job, God finally replies, but he doesn’t answer any of Job’s questions.

What he does is remind Job of who he is and what he has done.  I think he is basically challenging Job, saying, “are you with me or not?”  And Job responds that he is, regardless of all the pain in his life and having no idea why God would put him through that.  Because God is who he is, Job wants to be with him.

For this entry, I thought about trying to do something dramatic and cool, but I decided that I only wanted to do that so I would have a stunning picture to share on Facebook, and that is not a good reason.  I ended up writing out the gist of what I got from the sermon and passage, then doing a little word art/doodle and coloring it all a bit.  Sometimes that is even better than going crazy on a page.

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I am trying to learn this in my daily life.  I need to embed trusting God regardless of circumstance into the fiber of my day, because too often I get distracted by the plans I make.  And when things start spiraling and I am asking God why he isn’t coming to my rescue, I need to keep learning to trust him even when he doesn’t tell me why I am going through this particular trial.  I need to trust him because of his character, his history and his promises.

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P.S. – I just added these sweet printable to my Etsy shop!

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