An attitude of thankfulness

How many times a week do you say, “sorry”?

Ladies  (and some men) we are guilty of over apologizing.

“Sorry, I’ve never done this before.”

“Sorry that I didn’t have time to help you.”

“Sorry, I forgot you already told me that.”

The list goes on and on. At home, at work, even in the grocery store – we over apologize.

I also think we under thank.

What would happen if you replaced half of the apologies in your life with showing gratitude?

Thank someone for helping you understand, thank them for their time, thank them for letting you by in the aisle at the store- all instead of apologizing.

Recently, I adopted a new goal, though I haven’t decided if it is actually a goal or just the radiating power of the fierce and strong willed little girl I’m growing in my belly. I decided I am not going through the motions anymore – I am taking charge of my emotions and what I need help with and what I do not need or want help with. With this, a state of vulnerability and openness comes – and it’s meant a lot of apologizing on my part. Apologizing for needing help, not having the answer, or not having the time.

My new goal – to make an effort to replace my “sorry” with “thank you” at least once a day. Apologies have their place, but we can’t, and should not, apologize for everything.

In the month of November, thank your coworker for explaining something for you instead of apologizing for needing help. Thank your friend for planning an event you didn’t have time for instead of apologizing for being busy. Thank the man that holds the door for you and your kid who walks slower than grass grows. You don’t need to be sorry all the time. This “thank you” attitude promotes a spirit of thankfulness – and the people around you will be encouraged by this positivity.

“I’ve been replacing my I’m sorry”s with “thank you”s…it’s not only shifted the way I think and feel about myself, but also improved my relationships with others who now get to receive my gratitude instead of my negativity.” – Vijara

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Side by side – obeying your husband?

Ah, Biblical submission. Obedience. Whatever you want to call it.

I’m no pastor, just a lighthearted theology student. But I am a new wife – and I wanted to dig deeper into what God expects of me as a wife.

GUESS WHAT!

I found a case of “misinterpretation” in more places than one by many spiritual leaders I grew up hearing.

What my spiritual discernment showed me is that the context of the words “obey” and “submit” as we use them today is not what God intended for wives to uphold within marriage.

Let’s look at Eph 5.

“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”

Colossians 3 –

“Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

1 Peter 3 –

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands

Ouch. Upon casual glace, it looks like the odds are against us, Women. That might even make some of us angry. They don’t make me angry, because I am able to read them in context. I’m not angry because I am able to see that “submitting” and “obeying” are not synonymous and NONE of those commandments say to “OBEY”.

There is a mention of “obey” later in 1 Peter 3 – so let’s look at that.

“They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master

Here’s the kicker – this part of the scripture is addressed to Christian women with unbelieving husbands. That’s not me, but I will explain deeper incase that is you.

Here, what we should be seeing is that the arguments of a Christian wife are not going to convert her husband to know God. It is her grace, faith, and gentleness that will reach him far better than any argument she presents. Women in these situations were advised to be subject to their husbands in hopes that someday they would know God. In the Old Testament, such “submission” was the mark of a Holy Woman.

This is the best part…

In Sarah’s time, it was the norm for wives to submit to their husbands in all aspects of life. Christian women were called to stand up for their religion even if they stood without their husbands – HOWEVER, in every other aspect of life, they were to be wives that “blended in”, model wives, wives that compared to the wives of that culture. That is what their husbands would command and expect – and the wives would “obey”. They would stand alone on the rock of Christ and worship him, but in all other aspects of life, would submit to their husbands as not to allow Christ to ever be blamed for the result of what came from obedience to their unbelieving husbands.

There it is.

That’s the sound of the police.

God’s like, “NOPE. Not today, Satan. Not going to be blamed for THAT one. Won’t be blamed for what someone who didn’t believe chose.”

Hehe. Just kidding. He didn’t actually say that, probably ever.

I believe it was God’s heart to avoid situations where the blame of these husbands’ choices could be placed on Christ so that someday, these men would see the grace their wives had, the mistakes they made as husbands, and messes they created when they commanded their wives do XYZ – and turn to Him for hope and salvation, finally trusting her that he is the Way. They would admit they were wrong, they would be humble (LIKE THEIR WIVES EXEMPLIFIED) and see that they too, needed Christ. Peter’s instructions here were for special cases/mixed marriages.

So what was Peter saying for my marriage? In my Christian marriage? Where we both love the Lord? It ends up being presented as a MUTUAL SUBMISSION and MUTUAL RESPECT model.

In 1 Peter 3, Peter tells us that husbands should treat their wives with respect and honor as he had exhorted wives to treat their husbands. Emphasizing they should view each other as recipients of the grace of life and the same inheritance in what is to come. By emphasizing the wives’ spiritual equality, Peter prevents husbands from using his instructions as grounds for the husbands to subordinate their wives.

EQAULITY.

What does that look like? That is going to look like me respecting Zach in moments he doesn’t respect me. It is going to look like him giving me grace when I am being a butthole. It is going to look like him reaching down to where I am to pick me up and forgive me. It is going to mean me forgiving him when he forgets how sensitive I am. (hehe) It means doing something he wants because I LOVE him. It means him doing something I ask because he looooves me.

BONUS –

Head of the household?

Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Marriage is a partnership. Each part is different but equal. Where would Zach be without me to pick up his dirty clothes and do his taxes? Where would I be without him to pick up spiders and answer the door? Different, but equally important!

God created us so differently – certain strengths and weaknesses. Sure, I could kill spiders and Zach could organize our home, but each of us is happier when we do the things we are good at and not necessarily the things that challenge us.

Leadership – not dominance.

Zach is the “headship” of our marriage. That does not mean he has power over me or I am to follow him around like a clueless sheep. His headship does not make him superior to me. Eph 5 tells us that,

“Husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church.”

Even the Trinity, one person is head. God the Father is head over Christ – but none is greater than the other.

Ask my husband any day of the week a question about our finances, home, or plans, and he will probably say, “I don’t know, ask the boss!” I’m not really the “boss” (despite my “boss lady” coffee mug) but this is an example of differences and equality. We both work our BUTTS off in different ways. We have mutual respect for the way each of us works so hard. We mutually submit and “choose our battles”.

 

wedding photo 3

 

PC- our wedding photographer, Lisa

 

 

 

 

 

 

A year’s difference

imageI remember the night of September 19, 2015 like it was yesterday. My heart was shattered, torn, stomped on, and left alone in a hotel room hours from where I lived. I had put all I had into something that was giving me nothing. That was the worst pain I have ever felt. I remember crying to my best friend. I remember crying to my mom. I remember the constant pain I felt for the week that followed, the kind of pain that shoots up your left arm.

Today, a year later, I’m finishing a road trip across the country with the most incredible man. A man that loves me and shows me he loves me. A man that is perfect for me; someone that is literally everything I have spent my life praying and looking for – in all the wrong places. I would pray that God would change the different “men” I dated into my dream man. Little did I know, God had everything I wanted, needed, and a little bit extra, wrapped up in a man that was halfway across the world at the time. Jesus has transformed my life in so many ways this year, and Zachary is one of the biggest and most unexpected ways.

But, kiddos, it’s not all about finding Prince Charming – no matter how sweet it may be. I started a business, finished a college degree, found passions, dropped negativity, and grew as a strong and independent woman that don’t need no man. I learned to embrace intelligence. I learned to embrace the fact that I am an introvert instead of being ashamed and forcing myself to hide it. That was one of the best things I did for my relationships and my mental health.

I went places alone that I never would have gone alone before. I learned how to get my car fixed in the shop without getting taken advantage of. I worked with doctors. I delivered a baby. (seriously) I learned how to stand up for myself. I moved furniture alone. I painted rooms alone. I traveled by myself. And I met an amazing man that loves that I can hold my own when I need to.

God can use a year to change a lot.