Do you have approval exhaustion?

In a recent prayer time, God gently confronted me.  He asked me this simple question.  Are you going to be a slave to your to-do-list today, or are you going to focus on bringing me glory?  Here is another way of posing the question for both you and me:  Are you working tirelessly to bring yourself glory as the “perfect wife’, “perfect mother”, perfect Christian, etc, or are you releasing your day to God and asking him to show you what to do and what NOT to do in order to bring HIM glory?

Oh man!  Busted.  To be honest, I tend to drive myself to always do more and do it better, because I want to look good in other people’s eyes.  I become exhausted and stressed in the process.  The good news is that God didn’t design us to be people-pleasers.  Yes, we are to love people, but our focus shouldn’t be on doing whatever they want.  Our focus also shouldn’t be trying to look good in people’s eyes.  The Bible reminds us in Galatians 1:10 “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God?

I am confident that if you and I were both to release our days to God and ask Him to guide us, we would find much more peace!  We would be free of performance-exhaustion.  We would find freedom from approval exhaustion.  Instead, we would be free to follow God’s promptings, which will lead to greater joy and peace than we’ve ever known. In fact, if you listen for God’s voice, he might even tell you to take a nap or relax while listening to praise music!  God’s Word promises that those who seek to follow Him (instead of following their own agenda) will enter peace!  (Isaiah 57:2 says, “For the righteous man is taken away from calamity; he enters into peace.”  And Isaiah 26:3 reminds us, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”

Leave this legacy for your kids

Watching the news each night on television makes me shudder.  We learn of riots, murders, and plagues.  We watch towns leveled and lives taken by earthquakes and tornadoes.  Life on this earth is so short and we never know when we will be living our last day in these bodies.  It causes me to reflect on the legacy I would leave if I were to be called home to be with Jesus today.  It is something for you to ponder too.  In what condition would you have left your marriage?  What would be your marriage legacy?  Would your children say they had an excellent role model for what a godly wife is supposed to look like?  Or would they say mom was cold and bitter toward dad or seemed to always point out something he had done wrong?

The Bible wisely instructs us “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry…”  (Ephesians 4:26).   So, perhaps today is a good day to take inventory on your relationships.  Have you let anger and bitterness creep into the relationship with your husband, or your children, or other loved ones?  Do what you can to respectfully address the issues that have prompted bitterness or anger.  The Bible says in Romans 12:18, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”  So, do what you can today to make peace. Don’t wait until tomorrow.  I don’t mean to be theatrical, but truly, none of us has an ironclad guarantee of another sunrise.  Let’s leave a godly legacy for our children.  Let’s show our daughters how a wife can show respect and honor for her husband while at the same time refusing to put up with disrespectful or abusive behavior.

Your prayers could change everything

Are you and your husband at odds?  Are you discouraged in your marriage?  Pray.  Are you longing for more intimacy and love in your marriage?  Pray.  Are you concerned about the choices your husband or children are making?  Pray.  Prayer really can change everything! It can produce a miracle! James 5:16 says “The prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective.”

I have witnessed God do absolutely amazing things when I have prayed with total faith in His mighty power. I have witnessed miraculous healings.  I have seen God soften my husband’s heart in areas.  I have witnessed loved ones turn to Christ for the very first time.  I have witnessed God supernaturally supplying much needed financial help in the nick of time.  I have even seen God “heal” completely broken computerized equipment in our sound studio!

Here’s the thing.  I don’t have the power to do any of those miracles.  I especially don’t have the power to change my husband’s heart or my children’s hearts….but God can and does change hearts!   In Ezekiel 36:26-27, God says “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.  I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”  Awesome!  So, seek God in prayer.  Be persistent in your prayers for your husband and children.  Your situation might seem impossible, but nothing is too hard for God.  He can even change hearts.

Priorities for wives & moms

I’m rather slow to learn some lessons in life and as a wife.  One of the things I wish I had realized earlier is that it is entirely too easy for a mom to get so focused on nurturing her children that she subconsciously pushes her husband aside.  In fact, in my first marriage, I remember thinking to myself…”My husband is an adult so he can take care of himself.  It’s my kids who really need all my attention.”  Not good thinking!

Of course, moms need to take care of their children’s needs and we do need to spend time nurturing and disciplining them.  However, our children can become idols in our life. When our world revolves around our kids’ successes and failures…and on their activities and their schedule…well then we’ve made our children into idols.  When anyone or anything besides God becomes our focus in life, then it has become our idol and our god.  One of the big 10 commandments addresses this!  Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.”

One of the casualties of this idolizing of our kids is our husbands.  The bizarre thing is that the very children we were determined to protect end up severely wounded as mom and dad become distant, begin to argue, and often end up divorcing each other.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Be intentional about spending quality time with both your husband and your children.  Even more important than that, spend quality time with God.  He must truly be your number one focus in life!

** or view this topic as a 2 minute video below

Become more confident & secure

Most women wrestle with insecurity, and when we live in a place of insecurity, we often make unhealthy choices.  We tend to put up with disrespectful behavior.  We tend to look to other people for our value and become codependent in relationships. 

Well, I have found that meditating on these 3 Bible verses helps me start to feel more secure and grounded.  I become more confident in both my value and the decisions I need to make in life.  I begin to relax and feel safe.  As a result, I can approach all my relationships in a much healthier way!  Here are the 3 verses:

1) He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will (Ephesians 1:5) *you are his adopted daughter!  Awesome!!

2)  Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you (Hebrews 13:5) *He will always be by your side! Awesome!!

3) You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. (Psalm 73:24)  *He will guide me in all my decisions and he is preparing a fantastic future for me in eternity! Awesome!!

2 simple tips for a tidy house

Many women struggle with keeping their house organized and tidy.  This is no surprise.  After all, many women are juggling so many responsibilities. They may have several children, hold a full or part-time job outside the home, try to fit in regular exercise to keep their bodies healthy and trim, and of course, try to keep the passion burning with their husband.  It’s no wonder that they don’t have time to keep the house tidy!  But the Bible indicates an excellent wife will manage her household well (Proverbs 31:27 “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”)

So what’s the overwhelmed wife to do?  Well, there are two simple things you can do to help you keep your house picked-up and tidy.  1)  Purchase plenty of inexpensive bins, or boxes or containers of some kind.   It’s extremely difficult to keep the house tidy if you don’t have a place to store things!  If you have children, make sure you have enough storage containers for their toys, shoes, school backpacks, etc.  If you find Sunday school papers and projects strewn around the house, buy a bin just for those things and ask the kids to always put those things in that particular bin.  Have a container for everything!

2)  Pick a time every day (perhaps after dinner or 30 minutes before bedtime), and tell the family that everyone is going to spend 15 minutes putting everything where it belongs.  This means picking up clothes off their floors and putting dirty clothes in the laundry bin.  This means picking up toys and putting them in their proper containers.  You will find that if the whole family spends 15 minutes picking up every day that the situation will stay under control and you won’t be overwhelmed with a house that looks like a tornado tore through it!

4 ways to bring laughter & joy to home

I don’t quite remember where I heard this, but it has stuck with me even though I heard it 20 years ago.  Make it your aim to fill your house with so much love and joy that the laughter of your family bounces off the walls!  Wow!  Don’t we all want that?  I know I do.

So how do we get there?  I believe the Bible reveals several keys to bringing joy and laughter into our homes.  First, choose an attitude of hope instead of dwelling on a big, hairy list of all the things that are wrong in your life!  Proverbs 10:28 says “The hope of the righteous brings joy“.    Second, eliminate some things from your schedule if you are becoming grumpy due to exhaustion and stress.  Isaiah 30:15 says “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.”   And third, have a sense of humor!  Be playful. Allow yourself to be goofy sometimes!  Proverbs 17:22 says “A cheerful heart is good medicine“. 

Oh, and one more thing.  If you are holding bitterness and resentment against your spouse, deal with that.  If it is the result of something that happened a long time ago, you need to let it go!!  If it’s the result of an ongoing pattern of sin against you, then you will need to respectfully confront your husband.  Ongoing resentment will suck all the laughter and joy out of your home.

** or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO BELOW

Top need of your kids

If you love your children, one of the MOST important things you can do for them is to keep your marriage healthy and intact!  Not to scare you, but the research regarding children from divorced families is alarming.  Perhaps this is one reason the Bible says in Malachi 2:16, “For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce”.  God knows the devastating impact of divorce on children’s lives.

Research by Focus on the Family has found that teens from divorced homes are much more likely to engage in drug and alcohol use, as well as sexual intercourse than are those from intact families.  Also, kids whose parents divorce are substantially more likely to be incarcerated for committing a crime as a juvenile.  Plus, research from the Heritage Foundation found that children of divorced parents perform more poorly at school and have higher drop-out rates.

Yes, God can heal a child’s heart following a divorce, but the scars will remain.  So, work hard to keep your marriage healthy and strong.  Pray every day for your husband and pray daily for marriage guidance from the Lord.  See a counselor if you guys are fighting a lot or if you are growing increasingly resentful.  Don’t let your heart grow hard.  Fight for your marriage.  Your kids will thank you!

** or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO BELOW

Developing peace in your home

You know the saying “If mom’s not happy, nobody’s happy”?  It’s so true!  So if you’ve noticed your kids have been acting up a lot and/or your husband is grouchy, one possible reason is because YOU are not peaceful.  Your mood and your stress are contagious.

Ask God to reveal to you what things may be causing a foul mood or extra stress in your life, and then ask Him to show you if there are things you can do to improve the situation.  Is there something stressful in your life that you should eliminate?  Do you need to ask God to help you forgive someone instead of holding onto bitterness and resentment? 

Do whatever it takes to regain a peaceful and gentle spirit.  God instructs wives to have such a demeanor in 1 Peter 3:3-4 where He says, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”  Let’s become beautiful to our husbands and children by cultivating that gentle and quiet spirit.  You may have to make some changes in your schedule, but it will be worth it!

Something busy women need to know!

Most women have extremely busy schedules these days.  I don’t know if life has always been so chaotic for women, but it sure is that way in 2021!  If you’re a wife and a mom, you’re likely running around like crazy trying to take care of the kids and your man and the household and schooling (possibly at home) and maybe even a full-time job.  Whew.  I get stressed out just listing all your roles.

Let’s not kid ourselves.  None of us is Super Woman.  You have limited time and physical energy.  You also have only so much you can give mentally, emotionally and spiritually before you’re completely drained.  That’s why it’s vital for you and me to take a break during each and every day to refresh ourselves.  We do NOT need to feel guilty about this.  Even Jesus “often withdrew to desolate places” (Luke 5:16) to take a break from the demands of people and refresh his soul.  We also need to step out of the desert and onto a lush oasis for a half hour or so in order to rehydrate our souls.  We just need to make sure we choose a healthy oasis.

What is your oasis?  What recharges your batteries?  What refreshes your soul?  Reading a good novel (not a smutty one though!)?  Lying on your bed surrounded by fluffy pillows?  Drinking a cup of coffee while writing in your journal?  Reading a chapter in the Bible and then closing your eyes to meditate on what God is saying to you?  Taking a bubble bath?  Scrapbooking?  Listening to worship music while sitting in front of the fireplace?  Checking out tasty recipes on Pinterest?  Dancing to 70’s music in your living room while no one is watching?