Saturday, December 11, 2010

A praying wife...


Rebecca over at Better Life Blog has a great idea for a meaningful Christmas present for your hubby. It's a homemade 31-day prayer flipbook. The idea is that you make one for yourself and let your husband know that you are committed to pray for him every single day.

Aren't they just stinking adorable?

Rebecca is offering the card design for free to anyone who follows her blog or likes her on facebook. Just leave your email in a comment, and she'll send you the downloads. You can then print them at any photo place (Walgreens, CVS, etc). And Walgreens has a deal today...50 prints for $5.00 with code FALALA online! I made myself two sets (one for me and one for a friend) for $6.20 + tax. Not too shabby:)

If you're not overly crafty, no sweat. You can always just put them in a small photo album for the dollar tree or just stick them on a key chain. The idea is to uplift your husband in prayer!

And while I'm on the subject...might I suggest a wonderful book, Prayers of an Excellent Wife by Andrew Case? I received this book a while back from Andrew asking me to read it and give him my feedback.

Now that I've had it for a few months, I highly recommend this book to ALL Christian wives.

I don't know about you ladies, but sometimes I find myself praying the same things over and over again for my husband. And sometimes I feel as though I fall into a routine where there is no real depth to my prayers. I love this book because each page has a deep, rich prayer inspired by scripture for you to pray for your husband.

This is another great Christmas gift for you and your husband. And there's even a partner book for your husband to read...Water of the Word: Intercessions for Her. I can't think of a better "couple gift" to give yourselves this Christmas season!

I'll leave you with this statistic that still boggles my mind. Studies show that the divorce rate among couples who pray together is...get this...less than 1%.

As cliche as this may sound...couples who pray together, stay together. And I'm all about staying together!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


So it's official. A day that I will never forget. November 30, 2010. The day my parents divorced.

Dan called me during lunch today and asked how I felt. There's no real way to answer that, but I tried my best to explain. "It's like knowing someone is going to die. You're expecting it, you've tried your best to brace yourself. But the minute you hear those still feel like someone knocked the wind out of you. You still mourn and grieve. You're still devasted by the loss."

This may sound "morbid", but I've been thinking about this post for awhile now. What will I write on that day? Will I even want to write? What would I even title something like that? And every time I thought about it, "D-Day" popped into my mind. I wasn't even sure what that meant to me until today...


Divorce. Depression. Disaster. Disguist. Disgrace. Disobedience. Denial. Distress. Division. Derision. Darkness. Danger. Defeat. Destruction. Desolation.

These D's don't need any explanation. Just devastating.

But there are other D's...


Today, I stand more devoted to my Lord God and to my husband.

Today, I am deeper in love with God. He is faithful. He is true. He will never break his covenants. Romans says "Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!"

Today, I can say that I know the meaning and value of "church discipline." I can also say that I now see the importance of discipline in my own life. Hebrews 12:11 says "For the moment, all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those have been trained by it." This is a lifelong race. I need to start training.

Over the past year, I have dealt with a great deal of depression and anxiety. No more! Today, I find delight. "Your words were found, and I ate them, and yours words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts." Jeremiah 15:16.

Today, I reaffirm my commitment to "fight the good fight of the faith" (1 Tim 6:12) and to defend and protect my marriage. Ephesians 6 says, "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication."

Today, in the midst of my sorrow, I find myself desiring God. "Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73

Today, I dare to believe that I still have reason to sing. This song has given me great hope over the past few months...

"Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous." Psalm 112:4

"Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." Psalm 30:5

Today, I dance. I find great comfort in these verses from Psalm 30, "You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!" HE will turn my mourning into dancing. HE will loose my sackcloth and clothe me in gladness. I don't have to do it on my own. Let's boogie.

Today, I am thankful for my earthly father and mother. I am thankful that they raised me in the ways of the Lord. I am thankful that I grew up in a Christian home. I am thankful that we went to church and prayed as a family. While I'll never understand their divorce, I am thankful.

More importantly, I am thankful that I am a daughter redeemed. Blessed be the Lord, for he has not left me this day without a redeemer. Hallelujah! I'm adopted. My father, my redeemer. I am truly a daughter redeemed.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

No More Night

I am extremely thankful this Thanksgiving season.

I don't remember ever being as thankful as I am this Thanksgiving. It seems odd to me, since this has been one of my most difficult seasons of life, but I just can't stop giving thanks. And with that being said, today, I am especially thankful for...

No More Night.

When Dan and I first started dating, I brought him to a Gaither Homecoming Concert for his birthday (go can laugh). One of the reasons we were so excited for the concert (go ahead...laugh again) was that David Phelps would be singing. He is still one of our favorites to this day. And one of my favorite David Phelps songs is "No More Night." A beautiful reminder of the hope we have as Christians.

On Sunday, we attended a Thanksgiving service with some friends, and one of the men who spoke said that he was thankful for "the now, the never and the not yet." The "not yet" being the day when there will be "no more night."

In a time when I feel as though the night will never go away and the dawn will never come, I am thankful for these promises in Revelations:

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. And he who was seated on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.' Also he said, 'Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true'...No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

Amen and amen! "For the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever." Come, Lord Jesus, Come!

The beautiful "No More Night" by David Phelps

The timeless theme, Earth and heaven will pass away,
It's not a dream, God will make all things new that day.
Gone is the curse from which I stumbled and fell.
Evil is banished to eternal hell.

No more night. No more pain.
No more tears. Never crying again.
And praises to the "Great I AM."
We will live in the light of the risen lamb.

See all around, now the nations bow down to sing.
The only sound is the praises to Christ our King.
Slowly the names from the book are read.
I know the King, so there's no need to dread.

No more night. No more pain.
No more tears. Never crying again.
And praises to the "Great I AM."
We will live in the light of the risen lamb.

See over there, there's a mansion prepared just for me.
Where I will live with my savior eternally.

No more night. No more pain.
No more tears. Never crying again.
And praises to the "Great I AM."
We will live in the light of the risen lamb.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Family Worship Basket

For the past few months or so, Dan and I have had what we call "family worship times." They're not overly consistent (we're working on that!), but when we do have them...oh, how they refresh my soul! We typically start out by singing a few hymns or praise songs while Dan plays his acoustic guitar. Then we'll either look at a passage of scripture together or use Tabletalk magazine as a devotional. And we end with a time of prayer.

Not too long ago, we had a family worship time, and I realized I was running all over the house trying to find our family bible, the hymnal, our binder full of worship songs, etc. So I decided to gather all of the items in one central location so that I wouldn't be searching in the future. The result? Our family worship basket. And let me tell you, I LOVE it.
It's such a simple idea, but I just love having a special place for our family worship materials. I can just picture our kids (Lord willing!) scampering over to the worship basket to get the family bible and song book so that Daddy can lead us in a time of worship. It brings a smile to my face!

This is a really easy project. All you need is a basket...

I like baskets with liners. They're great because you can switch out the liner for different seasons!

Then add your worship resources. Here's what's in our basket...

Our Family Bible (a wedding gift to ourselves)

A Hymnal (I might have accidentally swiped this from my childhood church...)

Worship music binder (full of chord sheets from our years of leading worship together)

Tabletalk Magazine (started getting this for Dan as a V-Day gift long ago...)

And voila! You have yourself a family worship basket.

What items would you put in your family worship basket?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dirty Dishes

Yesterday, one of my favorite bloggers, a stay-at-home mom, said she was looking for women from different walks of life to write guests posts on how they stay organized. I saw "married woman with no children" and got really excited...only to realize that I'm not organized. I want to be. I desperately want to be. But I'm not. Insert frustration here.

So, of course, I immediately went to the kitchen and started chipping away at the mountain of dirty dishes that had accumulated over the past few days. And I beat myself up. How are all these women so much better than you at keeping their homes organized, Chels? How is it that your friends are able to crank out home project after home project when you have been scraping wallpaper glue off your walls for months? Are you just lazy? What's wrong with you? There must be something seriously wrong. You need to get up earlier. You need to set a routine. You need to do this, you need to do that. What kind of a wife are you?!?

My friends, I came to a realization today. This is EXACTLY what Satan wants me to think. He wants me to beat myself up. He wants me to be jealous of my sisters in Christ. He wants me to think that I'm a failure. He is the master manipulator, the father of lies, and he wants me to fall right into his trap.

As I thought through each and every one of these lies, the Holy Spirit helped me see the truth to attack each one them.

How are all these women so much better than you at keeping their homes organized?

Most of your friends are stay-at-home moms, so they spend more time in their homes! And many of your friends have been married for 3,4,5, even 10 years! They have had LOTS of practice and probably struggled adjusting to their role as "homemaker" too. Give yourself some grace! You are a lot better at taking care of your home now than you were a year ago. A year from now, you'll probably improve even more! And in the meantime, instead of being jealous, enlist your friends for some homemaking advice. Titus 2 says that the older women are to train the younger women, so ask them for pointers. They'd probably be glad to help you out!

How is that your friends are able to crank out home project after home project when you have been scraping wallpaper glue off your walls for months? Are you just lazy? What's wrong with you?

Ecclesiastes 3 reads:

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

A time to be born, a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time for war, and a time for peace."

This is not the "time for home projects," daughter, rather a time of mourning, brokeness, and loss. This is a difficult season of life for you...a season of divorce, a season of broken relationships, and a season of changes. Do not be jealous of others, for they are not jealous of your circumstances.

In this season, it's okay to not have the perfect house. Focus on making a home instead. Love your husband. Honor and respect him. Take time to pray. Spend time with God. There will be a time when you, too, will be able to crank out home projects. For now, just do the doable.

You need to get up earlier. You need to set a routine.

The truth is, you could stand to be more organized. You do fall short in areas, and you need to work on being more purposeful with your time. You say you don't have time, but much of your time is spent watching TV or browsing the internet. It's important to relax, so do that, but don't be dependent on those things for your relaxation. Find your rest in me. Jesus said, "Come to me all who are weary or heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Spend time with me on a daily basis, and I will give you what you need to get through the day.

A routine is a good idea, so you should start implementing it, BUT don't feel like you're a slave to it. Much of your time is consumed by dealing with this difficult season, so don't beat yourself up if you don't get around to that load of laundry.

What kind of wife are you?!?

You are an aspiring Proverbs 31 woman. That's what kind of wife you are. Your husband trusts you. You try your best to do him good, and not harm. You provide food for your household, even if it's mac n' cheese or a frozen pizza! You make sure your husband has ironed clothes each and every morning, even if he has two different socks on. You work with willing hands at the office and at home. You are a modern-day resourceful woman, you "super-couponer"! You care for the needy and open your unpainted, less-than-perfect home to your family and friends. You are learning to be wise and kind more and more each day. You fear the LORD!

No, you're not perfect. Not even close. But a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Be praised, my daughter, be praised. Just make sure you do the dishes;)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

There's no place like home

Tonight, I left my childhood home with feelings of guilt, anger, and most of all, sadness.

I spent nearly 20 years of my life in that home.  I have many precious memories within those walls.  But today, it just felt like an empty vessel.

I remember Christmas morning, when mom would curl up on the chair with her coffee mug while my sisters and I cuddled with dad as we listened to the Christmas story.

That won't be happening this year.

I remember waking up in the morning to find mom and dad hugging in the kitchen.  I would squeeze in between them and make a "Chelsea sandwich" before Dad headed off to work.  

Now I'm sandwiched between them in a different way.

I remember the looks they used to give each other, the laughs, the kisses, the terms of endearment.  They are oh-so-vivid in my memory, but apparently, not in theirs.  

My heart aches for them right now.  And more than anything, I desire for God to bring them back together. Tonight, I kneel before the God whose love and desire for restoration far surpasses mine, and I pray this prayer for my parents... 

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.