The Secret to Being a Warrior Wife

He shuffled into the living room, shoulders slumped, and with a great sigh lowered himself to the couch.  His clothes bore the marks of a man who worked hard for a living.

He could barely meet my gaze, as if he were somehow lacking or not enough.  I knew he needed my compassion and encouragement, but instead of sympathy, I felt only frustration.

After all, I thought, I’m working hard in this season, too. I’m weary, too. What do I have left to offer? It feels like too much, and I have nothing left to give.

Besides, he’s a grown man. I’m busy caring for children and our home all day long, on top of the demands of work and ministry roles that I am responsible for. If I can keep myself going, why can’t he keep himself going?

And just like that I missed the opportunity to be a warrior wife.

Have you ever been so caught up in the busyness and stress of life that you forget who you are or who you were created to be, friend?

Especially as a writer and pastor’s wife, I struggle with balancing my family and home life with the demands of ministry life. Without realizing it, I begin to neglect important relationships because I’m “just so busy.”

I become task-oriented rather than people-oriented, a slave to the to-do list rather than a Spirit-led woman.

And it’s downright frustrating how quickly and easily I slip into this mode of doing rather than being!

We get so caught up in busy schedules and who we think we are supposed to be that we forget our primary purpose. Don't make the mistake of leaving your husband without the helper he really needs. Being a warrior wife is not just a role... The Secret to being a Warrior Wife

At a recent women’s conference, I received a wake-up call from the Lord. One speaker in particular, Dana James, reminded us of who we are created to be as daughters of the one true King in relation to our husbands.

Dana shared with us that God designed us to be “helpers” from the very beginning.

“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ ” Gen. 2:18

Yes, I know we’ve all heard this verse before. Our job is to help, right? That’s our God-given “role,” right?

Wrong!

Dana drew our attention to the original language, which uses the Hebrew word ezer (pronounced ay-zer).  The word ezer is used 21 times in the Old Testament, but the majority of those uses are in reference to God himself, His character.  In such cases, the word ezer is used in connection with words like shield, sword, deliverer, mighty, and hope.

 Thus, ezer refers to the warrior aspect of God’s character – the One who fights on our behalf, our Shield and Defender, our Rescue.

As I looked further into the meanings attached to this word and its definitions, I found connotations of assistance or aid, especially in times of suffering or distress.  It means relief given to someone in need, removing or reducing something that is painful, unpleasant, or even oppressive!

And this very same word ezer is used to describe a helper suitable for Adam.

Do you see what this means for us, my sisters in Christ?

When the Lord God chose to create woman, He instilled in her very character the properties of this ezer. He created us to be warrior women, warrior wives, who will bravely fight spiritual battles on behalf of our husbands, who will provide aid and relief to the men in our lives who are worn down and discouraged by the demands of this earthly life.

Here’s the rub: I think we all know this intuitively and most of us truly desire to live this out.

But sometimes it feels like a whole lot of work that we have no strength to do, doesn’t it?

So when I saw my hard-working husband down and out on a day when I was already in that weighed-down place myself, I chose to look the other way. I chose to put my needs first.

I left him without his ezer, his helper.

It was a selfish choice that I’m ashamed to say I make often when I’m already stressed.  And I wonder, why do I make this choice?  What is it that feels so hard about being a warrior wife? What secret am I missing?

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The secret to being a warrior wife lies in our perspective.

“It’s who we are, not a role we play!” ~ Dana James

When I see being a warrior wife as a job I need to do, it’s easy for me to let it slide on the days when I’m worn out or discouraged. It’s easy for me to call it “too hard.”  But when I see being a warrior wife as part of my very identity, as a reflection of God’s character that comes not from trying harder, but from yielding to the Spirit, then I’m left with no excuses.

It is who I am called to be in Christ, and it’s who you are called to be in Christ, too, friend. Don’t leave your husband without the helper he really needs.

You were created for this and in Christ, you are equipped for this.

Let’s be warrior wives who fight the right kind of battles, not against our husbands, but for them.

Let’s do battle on our knees and in our war rooms against the real enemy.

Let’s choose to aid rather than to ignore.

Be an ezer. Fight!

Jen :)

*Much of the content for this post came from Dana James’s talk “Being a Very Strong Helper” at Tranfsormed 2016 (Central Conference) and was used with permission from Dana herself.  If you’d like to connect more with Dana, she writes at The Prime Rib, a website for minister’s wives in Tennessee.

For a practical take on how to encourage a discouraged husband (and how NOT to), try this one from Club 31 Women.

Recommended resources for being a warrior wife:

       

Sharing with: Grace and Truth

3 Ways to Calm Your Emotions ~ Before They Ruin Your Marriage

Have you ever looked at your marriage and wondered what has happened? Have you been completely dissatisfied with the state of everything? Have you gone so far as to maybe even ponder divorce?

You’re not alone.

I know that as a culture, we tend to keep doing what we do, so long as it is beneficial to us in some way. But when we turn that corner where we feel it is no longer beneficial, we’re quick to throw it away – whether it’s an old book that our kids have outgrown, a faulty appliance, broken furniture, and even our marriage.

I wrote about the day I took my ring off, and I’ve been open with struggles in my own marriage. It’s hard to want to stay, to want to work things out, when the struggles seem too big.

Fear can play a major role in trying to work through our problems. We fear more pain, rejection, we even fear other people finding out about our troubles. Fear can truly mess us up in our day to day lives.

But there is something that can add fuel to fear’s fire and really make matters seem worse than they need to be.

Our emotions.

I’ve found that when my emotions run wild, the fear flares up. When the fear seems out of control, everything seems impossible. So to quiet the fear, I have to calm the emotions.

Here are 3 ways to calm your emotions.

I've found that when my emotions run wild, the fear flares up. When the fear seems out of control, everything seems impossible. So to quiet the fear, I have to calm the emotions. Here are 3 ways to calm your emotions.

1. REST

I’ve found that my emotions are the most difficult to control when I’m tired. No matter how hard I try to keep things in check, every little issue seems more magnified when I’m tired. I try to deny the tiredness and convince myself that the problem truly is just that big.

Lately I’ve gone back to intentionally lying down on a Sunday afternoon. I don’t always sleep, but I do intentionally give my body a bit of a break. Funny how we have to be so intentional about these things, isn’t it?

One time, early in my marriage, I was having trouble sleeping – or maybe adjusting to another body in the bed. My husband suggested sleeping with a Bible under my pillow, which I did. I was able to fall right to sleep and I slept very well. I’ve gone back to that practice from time to time, as the need presents itself. There’s something special about having God’s Word close to our minds while we sleep.

2. WORSHIP MUSIC

Ready for a bit of honesty here? This one is the hardest for me. Yup. This is where it becomes a battle of the will.

See, once I realize that my emotions are the problem, therefore, that I’m the problem (or at least a part of the problem), I don’t want to have to own up to it. I don’t want to be accountable for what I’ve contributed to the situation. I want to push the blame to anyone else.

It’s become a heart issue by this point – one that I don’t want to deal with.

I have to physically choose to turn on the music, put in the earbuds, and let God’s Word sink into my heart through worship songs.

I don’t have any particular favorites. It seems each time I listen, there are songs with lyrics geared specifically to what I need to hear. I love how God does that!

3. TIME WITH GOD

I often go to a favorite Scripture and just meditate on that. I read the verses around my favorites, to try to understand the context, to try to get a little more out of the passage. But I meditate on verses that have strengthened my heart previously, that have helped me find rest, that have provided the assurance that I need.

Just a few of my favorites:
Psalm 71:14, Jude 24-25, Revelation 12:11, Isaiah 61, Isaiah 43:1.

There are many others – I’d love to hear some of your favorite go-to verses for when you’re needing to refocus.

I have a few books that are easy-reading, that help me to rest and quiet my heart, but also remind me that my time right then is dedicated to focusing on God.

The first is called An Angel, A Miracle, or Simply God at Work? It’s the true stories of a missionary, shared in an easy-to-read manner. He shares the stories, shares God’s work through the stories, and leaves it up to you as to what you would call it – intervention from an angel? a true miracle? or simply God at work in our world today?

The next is called When Words Won’t Come and this one is rather new to me. I’m still reading through it, but I’ve been so blessed by it. The author provides a short Scripture and just a few, small thoughts to meditate on. This book has been a tremendous blessing on the days when I’ve faced difficulty or have struggled to keep going.

These 3 ways to calm your emotions are easy to do, but can provide so much heart-relief. There are plenty of other great ways to regain control of wild emotions – a walk, quiet time by a fire, a favorite hot drink on a cool evening, time talking with a friend.

I’ve found that once I quiet my emotions, then the fear settles and it’s easier to face the realities of the situation for what they are – not for the blown-out-of-proportion image that my emotions have made them to be.

I’d love to hear how you purposefully quiet your emotions to regain control of a seemingly out-of-control situation. I pray these 3 tips are a blessing to you!

Blessings!

-Rebekah
Rebekah M. Hallberg

Rebekah has been completely overwhelmed by the grace and mercy of the Lord in her life. He has proven His faithfulness in every area of her life, especially in her marriage. She has come to understand the power of redemption and God’s work in her own marriage. Her goal is to be Sharing Redemption’s Stories – encouraging wives who are praying for redemption in their marriage.

 

 

Sharing with: Grace and Truth

Merry Christmas and My Final Grace and Truth

Merry Christmas, friends!

As I mentioned last week, this will be my final week as a co-host for Grace and Truth, but I encourage you to link up in the New Year with one of the other co-hosts.

I’ll still be here blogging away and joining with you all in the link-up!

Thank you for your faithfulness,

Jen :)

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My Favorite Life-changing Books

Obviously every good Christian girl would put the Bible at the top of a list of life-changing books. :) The Bible is first and foremost the ultimate resource for life in general, after all!

However, sometimes we read a book other than the Bible and understand spiritual truths in a whole new way. These are the type of books I’ve chosen for a list of life-changing books.

Each one has had an impact on how I understand and live out my Christian walk.  Some of them I am still learning from today!

*This post makes use of affiliate links. For more information, please visit Being Confident of This’s About page.  Thank you for supporting this blog!

Life-Changing Books

 

Life on the Edge

I read through this material when I was still in high school, and for me it was a life-changing book because it helped me plan for the future rather than be afraid of it. During those last few years of high school, students face enormous pressure to make important life decisions.

I highly recommend this book for young adults as they begin to face life on their own rather than under the safety of their parents’ wings!

The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus

This book is another pick from my high school years, but one that I actually still use. Although I grew up in a Christian home with parents who were faithful to teach me about God’s Word, I still didn’t have a solid grasp on the overall themes of the Bible and how the Old Testament connected to the New Testament (and why that’s important!).

Reading through The Stranger, which focuses on the overarching themes of the Bible from creation to Christ,  gave me a very clear picture of God’s love for and plan for mankind from the very beginning!  I now use it whenever I disciple others.  The Stranger will speak to unbelievers as well as those who have believed for many years!

The Circle Series by Ted Dekker

Every book lover surely includes some excellent fiction writing on a list of life-changing books!  As a lifelong book-lover, I’ve read an abundance of classic, secular, and Christian fiction, and one of my favorite authors of all is Ted Dekker. Each one of his riveting tales teaches readers a lesson about faith. But this series in particular stands out above the others.

The spiritual allegory that runs throughout Black, Red, White, and Green is rich and the vivid imagery helped me understand things like baptism and dying to sin/rising in Christ in a whole new way.  Most of all, I loved how the characters pursued one another and how they were pursued by the Christ-like archetype. The Circle Series is like the Chronicles of Narnia, but for adults! :)

And for the youth in your life, The Lost Books Series is a thrilling companion to the Circle Series!

First Place (Bible Study Series)

This life-changing book and subsequent series of devotionals helped me to see how letting food control my life is really a sin issue.  I also learned how to change the way I ate by learning to read nutritional information, cooking with better ingredients, etc.

But what I like most about this particular series is the focus on putting Christ first. Being healthy physically is important, but being healthy spiritually is more important!

Although the Bible is the ultimate resource for life, sometimes other books help us understand spiritual truths in a whole new way, like these life-changing books!  Find out which ones made the list.

Believing God (the Bible Study)

Although I don’t agree with everything this author claims, I can whole-heartedly recommend this bible study.  I actually read the workbook version of this book and really enjoyed the depth of bible study and Hebrew/Greek word study.

I call this book life-changing because it helped me realize that although I claimed to believe God and believe His character is true, I often failed to live that out. I wasn’t thinking and acting on my so-called belief. Instead I worried and mistrusted and misunderstood the hard things in life.

Trust Without Borders

This lovely devotional made for easy reading yet contained surprising depth.  Author Arabah Joy utilizes modern day parables to teach valuable lessons about trusting God.

She has a way of getting to the heart of the issue that leads to lots of light-bulb moments! I often re-read each day because each one was packed with so much good information to really chew on.

The Case for a Creator

Especially now, when Creationism is under constant attack, understanding the real scientific evidence for why we believe what we believe is key.  For that reason, The Case for a Creator is life-changing because it defines our very beginnings here on this beautiful planet.

The author takes the reader through a study of creation from the perspective of physics, biology, chemistry, astronomy, and so forth. One of the things I love most about this book is that when readers start to grasp the significance of why our Earth is positioned the way it is, and so forth, they can’t help but be awestruck by our Mighty God.

If you are an analytical thinker who loves facts and data, then this book is for you!

The Screwtape Letters

My second fiction pick, The Screwtape Letters, is a life-changing book because it opens our eyes to the very real spiritual warfare going on all around us.

I don’t think I ever realized before how sneaky our enemy is, especially in using good things to distract us from the best thing, our relationship with Christ.  Go read it, and anything else by C.S. Lewis, for that matter. :)

Messy Spirituality

I’m not sure I actually agree with all that this author had to say, either. Why include it on a list of life-changing books then, you ask? Because I’m not a fan of throwing out the baby with the bathwater.  But more than that, this author challenged my view of what being a Christian looks like in a way my perfectionist nature didn’t like at first. :)

He also broadened my view of grace, took it out of my nice neat little box and made it, well…messy.  I never thought of myself as a self-righteous person before starting this book, but it was the catalyst for seeing my own sin in this area. I’d say that qualifies as a life-changing book!

Although the Bible is the ultimate resource , sometimes other books help us understand spiritual truths in a whole new way, like these life-changing books! These  ten books will challenge your faith in new ways!  Life-changing books, books that change your thinking, best books for growing your faith, books that will change your life, best Christian books, favorite Christian novels

 

The Purpose Driven Life

Here’s another book whose author I don’t always agree with, especially in regards to some of his statements in more recent years. Nevertheless, The Purpose Driven Life had a profound impact on my understanding of my purpose in Christ.

You see, as a perfectionist, I was one of those good Christian girls who relied much more on performance than on grace without even realizing it.  Yet in my heart, I truly wanted to serve the Lord.

I just didn’t realize that worshiping and serving the Lord doesn’t always involve big things or ministries!

Sometimes serving the Lord is as simple as taking care of my family by washing the dishes or cooking a meal. That might sound silly, but realizing that I could do even those very small acts of obedience in service to the Lord gave me a satisfaction in life that I previously lacked.

Missionary Autobiographies

God at the Controls, God Planted Five Seeds, Peace Child, Through Gates of Splendor and others I can’t remember the titles of are also on my list of life-changing books.

As a child of overseas missionaries, these books helped me understand the great need for the Gospel to reach so many unreached nations.  They also helped me witness the power of God to use difficult life circumstances, even death, in the lives of His people to impact whole tribes and communities – talk about life-changing books!

Other Heroes of the Faith Autobiographies

The Confessions, The Hiding Place, and others.  There is nothing like hearing the story of a fellow believer’s faithfulness to challenge and boost our own faith!

I hope you find at least a few that you haven’t yet read from my favorite life-changing books.  Try out some new ones from the list and see how your faith is challenged.

And as with all things you read or hear, please check them against the truth of the Word!

Jen :)

Sharing with: A Little R and R,

How to Trust God With Your Marriage

Sometimes trusting God with your marriage is just plain hard!  Our men go through tough times and so do we.  Maybe there has been a breach of trust, or maybe you’re both caught in the midst of a painful trial.

Maybe you’ve simply grown apart.

Whatever the case may be, trusting our husbands isn’t always foremost in our minds.

The hard part about being married to an imperfect man is that we are called to trust him and submit to him anyways, even:

  • When he forgets to pay bills
  • When he breaks a promise
  • When he grows depressed
  • When he acts irresponsibly
  • When he acts unloving
  • When he runs from God like Jonah

Failing to trust your husband is really failing to trust God. Hard to hear? Yes, I know.  Read here to find out how to trust God with  your marriage!

Do you find that challenging?

Because I certainly do!

When I see evidence that my husband is really struggling in his faith and not walking well with the Lord, I begin to question his judgement and leadership for our family.

That slippery slope of distrust quickly leads straight to disrespect if I don’t catch it in time.

How to Trust God with Your Marriage

 

Join me over at my friend Starla’s place for the rest of this piece on learning to trust God by trusting our husbands!  It’s my contribution to her awesome 31 Days of Trusting God series. :)

Click the picture below to read!

Failing to trust your husband is really failing to trust God. It's a hard pill to swallow sometimes, I know!  Read here to learn how to trust God with your marriage!

The Superwoman Myth Resolved

In the first half of The Superwoman Myth, we discussed how the players of self and others contribute to this myth of womanly perfection.  Today, we finish with the final player.

The final contributor in the saga of the Superwoman Myth  is Satan.

He is the great deceiver and he loves that we fall prey to the myth!

What better way to convince us we are failures than to give us an unattainable goal?

He waits on the sidelines while we struggle and agonize over our own weaknesses, while we look around at all of the women who seem to be living out their faith so much better than we are.

I'm sure you've fallen prey to the lie of the Superwoman Myth before - you know, how you need to do it all and do it all well?!  Learn how to put those lies right in their place with this final freeing truth. The Superwoman Resolved

Debunking the Superwoman Myth

It is then that he strikes – in the middle of that doubt and fear that we’re not good enough, maybe even that we’ll never be good enough.  He knows that if he can get us to focus on our failures, we’ll take our eyes off of Christ.

1 Peter 5:8 warns,

“Be alert and of sober mind.

Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion

looking for someone to devour.”

But Satan is a liar.

The Father proclaims that we don’t have to be perfect because

Christ.

was.

perfect.

for us.

Amen?!  God knows that we are human and that because of sin we are flawed, but the Good News?  He chose to love us anyway!

Romans 5:8 testifies,

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:

while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

When God looks at you, He already sees perfection because of the sacrifice of His Son. That work is already complete!

So, how do we become the best version of ourselves (the one we were created to be), without crossing over into the abyss of worry and guilt that Satan wants us trapped in?

How do we show ourselves grace and avoid falling prey to the Superwoman Myth?

The answer lies in Christ.

I'm sure you've fallen prey to the lie of the Superwoman Myth before - you know, how you need to do it all and do it all well?!  Learn how to put those lies right in their place with this final freeing truth. The Superwoman Resolved

 

We can become the best version of ourselves by abiding in Him, by spending time in His word and in His presence.

It really is that simple.

It’s not in the details of our living, but in the attitude and mindset behind the way we live that matters to the Lord. 

When we realize that He purposefully created us with a unique role to fill, we can stop looking down on His creation (self), stop looking around at everyone else, and instead focus on Him and His love for us.

When we relax in His gracious love, we allow Him to do the work necessary to develop Christ-likeness in us.  We can be at peace with ourselves knowing that He will continue the work in us and that our Father God already loves us anyway, no matter what!

…………………………………………

Now, let’s take a peek back at that one personality flaw we chose during part 1 of the Superwoman Myth.  Let me ask you some questions in relation to your flaw.

Did God create you?

In His wisdom, did God create your personality this way?

Consider this:  Does God create by accident?  Does He create things that are inherently bad? (Think back to the days of Eden.)

No!

Therefore, we can safely assume that the things we dislike most about ourselves are characteristics God intentionally gave to us or allowed us to have.

And …

In their purest, God-given form, those personality “flaws” are not bad. 

Yes, personality “flaws” can certainly lead us to sin, but in and of themselves, they are pure, God-given traits meant for our benefit.  He give us these traits,  perhaps to teach us, maybe even to teach others, and in the process, to bring Him glory.

So, now how do you see your “flaw?”

Is it possible that with Christ’s help your flaw can become the thing of beauty He intends it to be?

I believe so.

That’s why my life verse is Philippians 1:6.

“Being confident in this; he who began a good work in you

will carry it until the day of completion in Christ Jesus.”

My sisters in Christ,

                     don’t

                             fall

                                   for

                               the Superwoman Myth.

Don’t believe the lies from self, others, or Satan.

Instead, listen to the voice of your Creator God, the Father who lavishes His love on you!

I'm sure you've fallen prey to the lie of the Superwoman Myth before - you know, how you need to do it all and do it all well?!  Learn how to put those lies right in their place with this final freeing truth. The Superwoman Resolved

He doesn’t ask us to be superwomen.

Instead He just wants us to be the women He created us to be.

Work-in-progress women.

Jen :)

Sharing with: Tell His Story, Grace and Truth

 

Come Away With Me

Weary.

Burdened.

Just plain tired of being tired.

Sometimes we don’t realize how worn out we are until we have a chance to get away, a chance to rest, a chance to “be still.”  We don’t realize we’ve become weary in following our Father. We don’t realize we’ve become weary in serving others.

This past week we took some rest at a cabin in the woods during our children’s Spring Break.

I noticed that I didn’t feel as needy this year as I did last. Last year I was nearly desperate for some time away. Life seemed so very overwhelming in many ways then. And it’s not that life never feel overwhelming now, either, but it was different then.

I wanted relief.

I yearned for escape.

I thought that by “getting away” from it all, I might find peace from life’s problems. But those problems just followed me wherever I went.

I was looking for rest in the wrong places.

Come Away With Me, Rest, relaxation, get-away, finding-rest-in-Jesus

This year hasn’t been quite so difficult thus far, in spite of the flu-turned-bronchitis-add-to-that-mono months of December and January.  I have only one word for the difference – contentment. In general, I am content.

I’m certain the difference can be attributed to my walk with the Lord, which has been a little closer and a lot sweeter lately. I’m learning that no matter what comes my way, He is my only source of life, love, strength, shelter, and so much more.

In Him, I find rest.

Come-Away-With-Me, finding-rest-in-Jesus,  in-need-of-rest, feeling-weary

 

It’s that rest born from trust that leads to peace and joy beyond our understanding.

It’s a supernatural rest that doesn’t make sense using man’s logic because from the outside perspective our lives might look a little hectic. And the world would tell us, take some time for yourself. Quit serving others and serve self. You deserve it. You neeeeed it.

But I hear another voice that says take up your cross and follow me.

And just when I’m feeling overwhelmed that sweet reminder comes that by His side the burden will also be light.

Don’t get me wrong, now. I’m not against rest and I certainly need physical rest at times myself. But even more than physical rest, I need spiritual rest.

Do you have it, my sisters in Christ?

Do you have rest? If not, it’s yours for the taking and you can find it by abiding in Him moment by moment, day by day, trust building upon trust.

How-to-find-rest, Come to Me, Come-Away-With-Me. finding-rest-in-Jesus, I-need-rest, feeling-weary

Sometimes we need a rest.

But sometimes we just need Jesus!

Jen :)

While we were away, I had the opportunity to spend time taking pictures.  Lately I’m often reminded of the power of the Cross.  It’s because of the cross we can cease striving and be still. It’s because of the cross we can rest in the gift that is Grace.

Sharing with: Grace and Truth

 

Moms Who Gather

I felt so lonely when we first moved.

New pastor’s wife to a new community, a small community.

None of my usual comforts nearby. No church friends. No work-out buddy. No library with an awesome children’s section. No new YMCA with its handy child-watch room. No Wal-mart for last-minute needs.

Hardest of all, no family.

And I needed a way to connect, to meet some like-minded women, to make friends, especially mama friends.

So, without really knowing what I was doing, I started a group for moms.  The first year was hardest. I felt so inadequate and out of my element, a leader who didn’t really trust she should be a leader just yet.  But the Father kept encouraging, keep at it.

The second year our group actually fizzled out. I didn’t know what to do, how to “fix” it. So, I cried out for help.

The loneliness returned and I despaired.

Moms Who Gather, simple fellowship, sweet fellowship, moving, loneliness, friendship

Then a neighbor invited me to join a group of women who were going to clean up the community parks.  We spent the summer scraping paint, picking up trash, using our shovels, and dreaming up grand plans.  With sweat on our brows, we chatted and laughed, stopping here and there to calm a needy child or give some correction.  They became friends to me, these volunteers, these giving women.

So that Fall, I decided to try once more for that space I wanted, a space to just be real with some mama friends – no need for makeup or jewelry, clean houses or nice clothes. Just some adult conversation in a comfortable place – an informal gathering for an informal crew.

Now we gather, almost every week.

We aren’t many, but the fellowship is sweet. We talk of babies and toddlers, problems at school and problems at home. We talk of husbands we love and house chores we hate. We even talk politics sometimes. No subject is off-limits.

And lately we talk an awful lot about Jesus, too.

It’s so simple, yet so much more than I planned from the start because it came from Him, these gifts -my friends, my people.

We gather,

and He blesses every time.

Jen :)

I’m joining back up with the Five Minute Friday group this week after a looooong absence, and boy do I feel rusty!  If you’re new around here, FMF is when a large group of us free-write on a one-word prompt for only five minutes (well, some of us are known to stretch the rules a little) – no planning, no editing, no stressing. :)  If you want, come join us over at Kate Motaung’s place!

Also sharing with:

Grace and Truth

How We Love ~ Grace and Truth Week 5

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot about love. How we love our husbands, how we love our children, how we love neighbors and friends and even the church. The agape love we are called to is a mighty force when we see it in action. It’s a beautiful, awe-inspiring thing!  Unfortunately, we often miss opportunities to demonstrate such sacrificial love in our homes, our communities, and our churches.

At the end of last week, I wrote about loving even when marriage is difficult. So, of course, the title of Christy’s (from Faith Like Dirty Diapers) post immediately intrigued me, and I wasn’t disappointed!  This is one of my favorite lines from what she wrote: “What I built in my sinful flesh has to be dismantled by “divine power.” I CANNOT do this alone. I need the Spirit of God to intervene in a mighty way.”

Amen, sister!  I’m realizing that over the last decade or so, the Lord has been tearing down the human constructs in my marriage and rebuilding new ones based on Christ!  Be sure to stop by and read the post for yourself. You can also catch Christy on facebook.

I pray that as we go into Valentine’s weekend, we’ll be overwhelmed by the Father’s love, which will overflow in agape love towards all of the people in our lives!

Jen :)

Thanks for linking up with us last week. If you were featured, feel free to grab a featured button below!

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Grace & Truth : A Weekly Christian Link Up

Grace & Truth exists to point people to Jesus! We hope this link-up will be a source of encouragement each and every week. If you’re a blogger our hope is that you’ll use this space as a way to meet new friends within the Christian blogging community. If you’re a reader our hope is that you’ll meet new bloggers that love Jesus just as much as you do! Most of all, we hope you’ll meet Jesus here.

Meet Your Hosts

Satisfaction Through Christ
BLOG
| FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER |G+

Kaylene Yoder
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

The Brown Tribe
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Arabah Joy
BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST | G+

A Divine Encounter
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | G+ | STUMBLEUPON

Being Confident of This
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Busy Being Blessed
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Sharing Redemption’s Stories
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Grace&Truth-Rules2

1.) Follow your hosts via their blog and/or social media channels. This is not mandatory, but appreciated!

2.) Leave 1-2 of your most recent CHRISTIAN LIVING posts. Please do not link DIY, Crafts, Recipes, etc. Links of this kind will be deleted. We also reserve the right to delete posts that don’t align with the theme or that are deemed by the hostesses to be inappropriate.

3.) Visit 1-2 other links and leave a meaningful comment! We want to encourage community, so please don’t link and run!

4.) All links are randomly sorted – feel free to link as early or as late as you’d like. The playing field is even!

In order to be featured next week:

5.) Grab a button or link back to encourage new linkers. This is not mandatory to participate, but is required to be featured.

6.) Each host will choose one link to feature and promote via their social media channels next week.

7.) By linking up you agree to allow the hosts to use your featured post image if you are chosen as a feature for next week.

Grab A Button

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A Lost Coin and Marriage ~ Grace and Truth Week 4

Yesterday I talked about the tough times in marriage here on the blog. So, today I’m pleased to feature another blogger’s unique take on losing things and marriage. Her post is a little more light-hearted, yet contains important truths!  Be sure to visit Aimee at a Work of Grace for more truth-filled reading.  and of course, take a look at the featured post below. Thanks, Aimee for the great read! :)

marriage, working on marriage, celebrating marriage, maintaining marriage, What Have You Lost?

You can also find Aimee on Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest!

Now, on to this week’s link-up!

Jen :)

Thanks for linking up with us last week. If you were featured, feel free to grab a featured button below!

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Grace & Truth : A Weekly Christian Link Up

Grace & Truth exists to point people to Jesus! We hope this link-up will be a source of encouragement each and every week. If you’re a blogger our hope is that you’ll use this space as a way to meet new friends within the Christian blogging community. If you’re a reader our hope is that you’ll meet new bloggers that love Jesus just as much as you do! Most of all, we hope you’ll meet Jesus here.

Meet Your Hosts

Satisfaction Through Christ
BLOG
| FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER |G+

Kaylene Yoder
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

The Brown Tribe
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Arabah Joy
BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST | G+

A Divine Encounter
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | G+ | STUMBLEUPON

Leah Adams
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

Being Confident of This
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Busy Being Blessed
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Sharing Redemption’s Stories
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Grace&Truth-Rules2

1.) Follow your hosts via their blog and/or social media channels. This is not mandatory, but appreciated!

2.) Leave 1-2 of your most recent CHRISTIAN LIVING posts. Please do not link DIY, Crafts, Recipes, etc. Links of this kind will be deleted. We also reserve the right to delete posts that don’t align with the theme or that are deemed by the hostesses to be inappropriate.

3.) Visit 1-2 other links and leave a meaningful comment! We want to encourage community, so please don’t link and run!

4.) All links are randomly sorted – feel free to link as early or as late as you’d like. The playing field is even!

In order to be featured next week:

5.) Grab a button or link back to encourage new linkers. This is not mandatory to participate, but is required to be featured.

6.) Each host will choose one link to feature and promote via their social media channels next week.

7.) By linking up you agree to allow the hosts to use your featured post image if you are chosen as a feature for next week.

Grab A Button

Grab button for Being Confident of This

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