I Thought You Were Cleaning Today?

Colossians 3:23, (NKJV), “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the LORD and not to men,” is my focus this week.

 

I’ve come to realize something that I didn’t easily embrace today. When you schedule cleaning and tell your spouse, when he needs to shop near the mall and that entails a nice long drive together and usually lunch at a restaurant, the cleaning overrides the outing.

 

When I asked if he could wait for me after Bible study and a quick oil change, his response-“I thought you were cleaning today.”

 

“Yes, I am.”

Image result for lady cleaning house pictureshttp://www.dreamhomecleaners.info/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Cleaning-Lady.png

 

I remember meeting people for a meal after a meeting and one of the attendees, an organized gal, didn’t show up. I kept watching the door for her and finally she arrived just in time to place her order before the waitress left. “Where were you?” I asked.

 

“My car got filthy so I ran it through the car wash.”

 

I remember being surprised. She lives in a rural area with the nearest car wash twenty minutes away. Her house sets back from an unfinished road that gets stones applied when the town gets around to it. So, I understood but at the time it wouldn’t have occurred to me to take advantage of the gap in time.

 

Other times, I’ve invited her to go places with only a little forewarning and she sticks to her agenda no matter how enticing the opportunity. She keeps the results of her plans in mind and carries through.

 

When my youngest sister asked me to go to a play with her, years ago, her treat, I’d hesitate. She’d get frustrated when I’d say, “I’m not sure if I can make it.
Back then, I didn’t have a planner. I was aware of responsibilities hanging over my head that she didn’t understand. She was single. I needed to consider my husband’s and my kids’ schedules as well as my own.

 

“Just make a decision!”

 

So, with no chance to check with others, I missed more than one off-Broadway plays with her.

 

I like getting more organized, but it’s a shift in thoughts and actions. I watch YouTube videos with organizing tips on them and one night I said, “Enough!”

 

I looked over at my husband and his eyes were glazed over, poor guy.

 

Monday morning, I asked him a question about one of the organizers’ suggestions and he said, “I don’t want to talk about it, just do what you’re going to do.”

 

Later, I gave him more details and he said, “Don’t paint during the cold weather season, you hate the smell of paint.”

 

I know that about paint fumes, I just thought if we closed the door and avoided the room for a while, it wouldn’t be too bad.

 

Timing in communication in marriage is everything some days. Proverbs 25:11, (KJV), says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”

 

I’m spending 15 minutes or more this week on one room that got messy and the organizer said to do it up nice as you de-clutter. That’s what got me thinking of painting one of the next rooms on my list. Every room has some clutter, but the one I’m working on got away from me. I plan to finish it by Saturday and the finishing touch will be to make curtains from fabric I bought in the past.

 

May God bless you!

Advertisements

Marriage Tips

 

I’ve noticed older couples with good marriages get along, for the most part, because they’ve hashed things out over the years. Either there’s been improvement or the other person decided it wasn’t important enough to argue about anymore.

As Christians, we’re told to love others as we love ourselves, so if we decide to do that, we’ll study our mate and try to do things we know that they really enjoy. I’ve done that here and there over the years, but lately I’m aware of some things that are not that difficult that I could have been doing and just didn’t, for whatever reason. I’m also more cognizant of nice things that my husband does for me and I’m trying to say thank you when I see it.

Plus, he changes over time, as I do, so the benefits of the new behaviors are a plus to our relationship. All of his life as an adult, he’s been in leadership and sometimes he just wants to do relaxing stuff. So, he started watching chefs and learned cooking techniques from programs available on television or online.

Image result for iron chef photos free

(photo from: https://www.scoopnest.com/s/Brooklyn%20Daddy%20Iron%20Chef/)

If I’m preparing a meal and feeling the crunch of time, I’ll ask him to dice the onions and he’ll show me a way that is safe with the sharp knife and he keeps the rooted end in place for ease of cutting. The next thing I know, he’s asking if I need anything else chopped or sliced. If he hated that kind of thing, I wouldn’t ask unless I felt absolutely desperate, and then he’d have the right to refuse.

I heard Focus on the Family yesterday on the radio. I caught the tail end of the program on marriage and they showcased the next day’s program with a quote. A lady said, “I started looking for the good things that he does.”

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage

I hope I’ll take the chance to hear the program online, they both sounded good. I hope this finds you well. Do you have any marriage tips that you can share with a family-friendly audience?

May God bless you!

Millie Keith

 

 

 

Probably a month or more ago, I read the first book in the Life of Faith: Millie Keith Series, copyright 2001 entitled, Millie’s Unsettled Season. Kerston R. Hamilton updated them and added more Scripture to the originals which were written by Martha Finley in 1876, just 11 years after the Civil War ended in America.

Millie is thirteen years old in the second book, Millie’s Courageous Days which is also copyrighted in 2001, and is published by Mission City Press, Inc., Franklin, TN.

There’s a marriage in the book which prompts Millie to ask her father how one knows that they are in love. He tells her to let him think on it overnight and to pray for wisdom for such an important question.

The next day he talks about 1 Corinthians 13. On page 91 her dad says, “Being in love, the kind of love that will last a lifetime, starts right here, in 1 Corinthians 13:4. ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.’ If your feelings and your actions cannot stand up to these verses, then how could you be in love?”

In the book, one question led to another because as the heroine points out, these verses tell all Christians what love looks like. I’ve heard these Scriptures repeated at many marriages over the years. They are a target worth aiming for, and as we try to hit the mark we can’t help but reach a number of those worthwhile actions and attitudes. Some attributes I’ve struggled with and now, I can honestly say, I don’t have a problem with them by the grace of God. Others are still a work in progress.

I hope you are well this fine time of the year.

May God bless you!

A Favorite Chapter

Colossians 3:1-2

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:1‬ ‭NASB‬‬http://bible.com/100/col.3.1.nasb

“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:2‬ ‭NASB‬

This  chapter goes on to talk about family relationships, behavior, and work ethics.

 

I like to ponder what the opening verses mean. I always thought it said we were seated in heavenly places and that got me wondering. Now that I began to write about these verses, it says Christ is seated above, at the right hand of God. Now it makes sense to me.
My husband began a class on Wednesday nights, for beginners in the faith to go through the fundamentals of our beliefs based on the Bible. He offered the class for those who’d been believers in Jesus for many years as well. He comes home on Wednesday nights all revved up because of the participation and enthusiasm of the attendees.

 

I told him if he chooses to teach on how to study the Bible, I’d like to join them at that time. He went through Kay Arthur’s book: How to Study Your Bible: Discover the Life-Changing Approach to God’s Word some years ago. The book is published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR and copyrighted in 2013.

https://www.christianbook.com/study-bible-discover-changing-approach-word/kay-arthur/9780736953436/pd/953436?event=ESRCQ

 
My husband pulls out colored pencils to highlight sections within different categories. Well, I can’t really explain it, I just watched him do it. He may teach on that, he said, but he thinks he gave his copy away. ‘We’ll have to order books after we see if people are interested.”

 
Sounds good to me.

 
I haven’t blogged since last Monday I think. Not yesterday, but eight days ago!

 

Unbelievable. I started to blog six days ago and got involved with family, so I put it off. Then I began to blog on my computer and it acted up. So, I started on my phone and it got late, so I put it off. Then last night I determined to blog and I got hit with nausea which caused me to slow down big time.

 
I told my husband of my dilemma. “You need to start earlier in your day.”
So, here I am before noon typing away instead of writing before midnight. Praise God. And my guy thinks I don’t listen to him. I wonder why he thinks that. 😊

May God bless you!

 

 

 

A Movie for Thought

My husband and I, and my sister watched the movie, “The Shack,” the other night. We ordered it from Netflix.

 

I wrote my thoughts before I read the review from “Plugged In” from Focus on the Family website. Here’s the link I copied: http://www.pluggedin.com/movie-reviews/the-shack-2017/

I got the photo from that link.

I read the book years ago and if I saw the movie, I didn’t remember it. The idea of an African-American woman being God didn’t set well with my pre-conceived belief of God, the Father.

 

As I heard her explain that since the main character’s upbringing might cause him to reject an image of his cruel daddy, the three in the godhead agreed that “I Am,” aka God, should show up as a female.

 

That same person comforted him as a young child after a trauma and I wondered why he didn’t remember her in his adult years.

 

As the movie progressed, it got into some deeper issues. Why does God allow evil? Also, Romans 8:28. Additionally, where is God when we suffer?

 

Wisdom, a female as represented in Proverbs, had the main character put evil ones on trial. He was the judge. As an adult, he got to see his father traumatized as a child.

 

We noticed a contradiction to Scripture when they said God is not a god of wrath. He does get mad and metes out punishment-just read the Old Testament. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

 

It seemed as if all of mankind gets into heaven, if I understood the movie correctly. That is definitely unbiblical. Yet, by the end of the show I felt as if I knew God more. I experienced an infusion of hope.

“Plugged In” gives sidebars:

CAST

Sam Worthington as Mack Phillips; Octavia Spencer as Papa; Radha Mitchell as Nan Phillips; Megan Charpentier as Kate Phillips; Gage Munroe as Josh Phillips; Amélie Eve as Missy Phillips; Tim McGraw as Willie; Avraham Aviv Alush as Jesus; Sumire Matsubara as Sarayu; Alice Braga as Sophia; Graham Greene as Male Papa

 

DIRECTOR

Stuart Hazeldine

 

DISTRIBUTOR

Lionsgate

 

RATING

PG-13

 

GENRE

Drama

I believe the producer is Summit Entertainment because that’s at the movie’s website http://www.theshack.movie

 

God bless you all! Any thoughts you’d like to share?

Marriage Helps

 

 

 

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/media/daily-broadcast/managing-marriage-conflicts-in-healthy-ways will take you to a site that enables you to hear their daily broadcast on September 26, 2017 at Focus on the Family radio.

 

It features Greg Smalley and his wife Erin, talking with the show’s host, Jim Daly. The featured resource that Focus on the Family offers in connection with the program is pictured below:

 

Erin, Greg and Gary Smalley wrote book, The Wholehearted Wife: 10 Keys to a More Loving Relationship, which was published by Tyndale House, Carol Stream, IL and copyrighted in 2014.

 

The Smalley’s and Jim Daly discussed the benefits of conflict and the dangers of unrestrained conflicts that cause harm.

 

“Focus on the Family” radio’s input blessed our family dynamics numerous times over the decades that I’ve listened to them and to the experts they interviewed. If you’ve never heard their broadcast, I invite you to check them out now.

May God bless you.

Marriage Can Be Fun

My husband and I celebrated more than 40 years of marriage this month. The actual day, we usually try to go out to eat and maybe take in a movie. It’s not as easy to choose a flick nowadays because the options are not as wholesome as they were in our growing up years.

That day fell flat because we had obligations we couldn’t overlook. So, we decided to put off our date until later in the week. My husband was not feeling well, and that inhibited his enthusiasm. I offered to wait even longer, but our schedule is really full sometimes. We found a restaurant we both like in a little out-of-the-way town. Since we only stop every nine months or so, we’re always delighted with the physical changes the owners make.

My husband worked in the food industry for many years, so he especially notices when they re-pave the parking lot, put in new landscaping, add new décor, update the restrooms, etc.
Unfortunately, they must have hired a new cook, because our entrees lacked seasoning. If we stop again, maybe we’ll take the opportunity to ask if they still have the same cook and suggest a change in recipes. It’s a little awkward. We added condiments to help improve the flavor.

So, rushing to an appointment took some of the romance out of our date. We also got the chance to talk about our relationship a bit. You can bet he didn’t bring that subject up. 😊

I brought up the five love languages mentioned in the book by Gary Chapman:

found at: https://www.christianbook.com/languages-secret-that-lasts-new-edition/gary-chapman/9780802412706/pd/412706?event=CBCER1.

Our love languages are not the same, so I should remember what his choices are so that his “emotional bank account will be filled up,” when I meet that need, according to Mr. Chapman.
A few days after our anniversary, we opened our home to family for at least seven days. You might think that would interfere with our relationship, but since we enjoy our children and grandchildren so much, it actually drew us closer with the laughter and the challenges.
The youngest ones went home and now our son is staying for a few days. So, last night we drove to a bigger area to get my car looked at and watched a movie after our meal.

On the way to the car I began to hunt for my keys. They were somewhere in the mall. I thought of three places they could be, so the guys went back to our theater seats and I stopped at the concession stand. She called her boss whom alerted the cleaning crew and within moments the head cleaner removed the key chain from his apron.
It’s been a stressful week for me and for some of my friends. My mind was not in full gear. My husband said, “Well, you’ve never done that before,” after all was well. I tried to smile and then I almost cried and he shook his head gently in an it’s okay kind of motion.
It’s those kind of kindnesses that make me glad I married him.

Today, when under a time pressure and because of being tired and because sometimes I just feel ornery, I interrupted him to demand he listen to me. He waited while I got my point across and then started at the beginning of what he’d been trying to tell me. After I heard him, I realized he just answered my question and so I started on my last-minute project.
Moments later I replayed our conversation in my mind and by then he was in a meeting, so I texted him instead of giving him a call and apologized for being curt with him. Later, we talked and he said, “I don’t hold on to those things.”
He’s not perfect, I’m not perfect and I guess we try to accent the positive and downplay the negative. I don’t take advantage of his good nature, or at least I try not to take his attitude for granted. He speaks up if he feels the need to, which I appreciate.
A few years back, I helped an eighty-something year-old woman with her memoirs. She said, “I believe in laying your cards on the table. People need to talk honestly with each other,” when I asked her what helped her marriage last all those years.
I don’t think I’ve ever met a widow who didn’t wish she’d done more to show her love for her husband. One lady said, “He always wanted to open an Italian restaurant with recipes that came from Italy. You never saw that kind of food in our day. I held him back. I was afraid to take the risk. He was a great cook. I could’ve helped him with the books. I would have been better off today, too.”
She sounded like she was a great wife when she shared stories of their life together. One day, I told her my husband liked steak but it was so expensive. She was 79 and I was in my 40’s. She looked at me, “Buy your husband a steak.”
So, I did and he smiled when I pulled it out of the bag.
A 90-year-old grandmother at church lost her husband of 70 years in 2016. She credits a previous pastor’s wife for advice that improved her marriage. She was told to be a “helpmeet” to her husband, to do her best to meet his needs and show him respect. She said it revolutionized their relationship. Then she tells us, “We married for better and for worse. There was a lot of better and a lot more worse, but we stayed together and it was worth it.”
She’s quiet about her grief, but occasionally it overwhelms her and then she’ll tell us she can’t wish him back. He’s with Jesus and one of their sons that passed on ahead of them, and now he’s healthy and strong in heaven.
I can’t imagine being married for 70 years, but at the age of 20, being married 40-some years felt like a long time.
I hope you are doing well. If you love Jesus, keep looking up. Take advantage of praying for others, many people need it even if they don’t ask for intercession. One nice thing about being a Christian-Jesus said He’s up there talking to God the Father on our behalf.
May God bless you and protect you from the spiritual enemy of mankind.

Emotions

I headed for the library tonight with an armful of books when I saw a UPS (United Parcel Service) slim package stuck in the door jamb. I’ve been setting a box outside for UPS because I think the little store that accepted UPS in our town went out of business.

After many days of seeing the box on our porch, my husband asked the legitimate question, “How long are you going to leave that box outside?”

I placed it inside the doorway a few days ago, tucked out of the way. The UPS guy always rings the doorbell; I’ll catch him when he drops something off, I thought.

We get the church parcels at our house if no one is there and they seem to get more deliveries from UPS.UPS Drivers Never Turn Left, and Neither Should You | Travel + LeisurePhoto from: http://www.goodsearch.com/search-web?utf8=%E2%9C%93&keywords=free+family-friendly+images+of+a+UPS+truck

I’ve been looking outside whenever I hear a heavy truck go by. We tend to receive items from the USPS (United States Postal Service) – some even delivered by UPS to them first.

The man with the big brown truck either didn’t ring the doorbell or I was in a noisy room and didn’t hear the rumble of his engine or the chimes.

I got instantly angry. Got in my car and drove slowly down to an intersection and the cutest child waved and smiled. I waved and smiled back and the anger lifted.

Earlier today I misunderstood my husband when he said something and I admit it, I snapped at him. I apologized immediately and he said, ”That’s okay. I know you’re in pain.”

I softened like a marshmallow about to be added to a gooey crisped rice cereal treat.

My husband is easier-going than I am. There are times when I’ll tell him what a great guy he is and he’ll tell me, “Yeah, until you’re mad at me again.”

What can I say to that? 🙂

I notice my emotions stay on a more even keel when I get to bed at a decent hour, eat as healthy as possible, read the Bible and pray earlier in the day, get my work done, exercise and see people.

We have a bakery in town and once I bought a bagel and a cup of tea. I told the lady I actually came in just for some human contact.  Photo from: http://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=A0LEV70_9H9ZNX8AlOdjmolQ;_ylu=X3oDMTBsa3ZzMnBvBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkAw–?_adv_prop=image&fr=goodsearch-yhsif&va=free+family-friendly+images+of+a+bagel+and+cup+of+tea

A disadvantage of writing is that it’s a solitary pursuit.

The baker stopped mid-stride to the back room and chatted for just a minute, which suited me fine. People can be so kind.

I hope you’re doing well. I go back to Physical Therapy tomorrow for aches and pains. My heart goes out to folks with chronic pain. A friend of mine deals with that and she prays and uses humor to cope.

May God bless you.

Thinking for Life

Our ladies’ Bible study started working on the book and study guide by Joyce Meyer called Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind. I’m using the book I bought some years back published by Warner Faith, New York, NY, Boston, MA, and Nashville, TN in 2002 and copyrighted in 1995. The Study Guide was copyrighted in 2000 and published in 2002 by Faith Words, Hachette Book Group, New York, NY.

Battlefield Of The Mind 2-in-1, Book and Study Guidephoto from https://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=Battlefield+of+the+Mind&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

(This is the most current book that one of our ladies bought at a brick and mortar store. The copyright is 2017 and it’s the book and study guide combined.)

 

At our Bible study we enjoyed the Scriptures and the insights Joyce gave us. We also got a chance to talk and consider how the Word applies to our lives. One of the ladies is barely in her 90’s and she’s been a Christian for decades. When Joyce Meyer spoke of Satan’s schemes, she was a bit horrified. Even though I’m sure she’s read in 1Peter_5:8 , (KJV) that we need to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

 

What I hold on to is the fact that God is the Great I Am, and Satan is His defeated foe. Not that the devil doesn’t have power. He has the power on earth that mankind gives him by following the evil one’s ways and rejecting God’s ways. Yet, he cannot do anything beyond what God allows. There is our free will to consider as well. Ah, it’s a complicated business in the supernatural. The supernatural realm lasts forever; this time on earth for us is short in comparison.

The Screwtape Lettersphoto from https://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=Screwtape+Letters&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

 

So, I got talking about C. S. Lewis’s book, The Screwtape Letters. It’s a lead demon teaching a less experienced demon the subtle ways to fool people out of faith in God. This elderly lady had heard of Professor Lewis’s tome, but “didn’t think it amounted to much.”

 

Now she’d like to read it.

 

The Bible talks a lot more about God than the devil, yet it mentions hell much more than heaven. I don’t know if it’s because God knew people wouldn’t really believe in hell after a time and He wanted to be very specific about the torment there, or if it’s because He couldn’t put into words that we could fully comprehend about the wonder of heaven and being in His presence. Our brains do not compare to the all-knowing God’s capabilities.

 

I know one thing. I had to close the door behind me so I could stop listening to the television set because I kept getting drawn into a progressive story. That’s one disadvantage of Netflix. Once a series leaves the viewer on a cliffhanger, it’s a matter of moments before the next show comes on if the person so chooses to watch the next one, unless it’s the end of the entire series or the last one of the season. Some might consider that a benefit, and occasionally I enjoy not having to wait to see how things turn out, but it’s easy to lose an hour or two or three and realize important things got left undone. It’s like a drug and don’t I know that Satan loves it when I’m not writing about Jesus and the hope He gives the world.

 

I’m looking forward to continuing our study of The Battlefield of the Mind because it’s already got me thinking about the way I may ponder myself right out of the will of God. “Write a book on marriage,” I thought God whispered to my heart. Then I decided if there were so many out there what did I have to say? We’re all unique and King Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun in the book of Ecclesiastes when he was feeling down. There may not be anything new under the sun, but one person’s insights may reach a couple when another writer’s ideas didn’t touch their heart at all. If God did indeed tell me to write on marriage, then I need to obey. It’s imperative for me to seek Him to see if I heard correctly from Him or not.

 

I spoke to my husband about this show that sucked me in tonight. A young couple constantly miscommunicates. I’m mumbling, “Why didn’t he say something to her?” I turned to him, “They never talk.”

 

He said to me, “There are some people that are just like that.”

 

I then said to him, “I guess that’s why we’ve been married for forty-one years, because we talk.”

 

Today he vacuumed the rug and I made a point of saying it looked nice, because that’s important to him. He doesn’t whine or ask for compliments. I just notice that if he points out, “At least I got the carpet cleaned today,” in reference to not getting something else done, that if I say, “Yeah, it looks great,” his body language changes. Maybe his shoulders get pulled back and he stands a little taller.

 

If I don’t feel like telling him thanks because I’m tired or self-absorbed, sometimes I make myself be considerate because I’d be polite to a stranger. Why not be kind to the man I love?

 

I hope you’re having a great day. May God bless you.

 

 

 

 

Marriage for Life, Uhuh

My youngest daughter stopped over to the house today. She does that on occasion and I took advantage of her company by asking her to lift a heavy bag for me to move to another location because I pulled some muscles in my back over the weekend and they’re still a little touchy. She had an agenda as well. “Do you want to spend some time talking about the marriage book you want to write? Do you still want me to collaborate with you?”

We spent a few hours shaping our ideas. She read my synopsis while I wrote a letter to a publisher explaining who we are and what our perspective is. I figure we might as well have a publisher on board if we can interest one, because why write a book if they want a different slant.

Cute Married couple fall photo shoot! 2013 | Photo shoot | Pinterest ...(photo from :http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.BJ8qz4_CIX9mBktgl7ZJhQDGEs&pid=15.1&w=77&h=116&p=0 )

It will be a richer book with her input because she wants to address issues people in younger generations are dealing with, and when she asked for advice from her parents and other couples, some almost seventy years old, they gave her a blank look. With all the years of wisdom accumulated, they hadn’t run into some of the issues she’s dealt with and others are facing.

We’ll see if God wants this project to go forward. We plan on praying our way through it.

I hope this finds you well and able to sit up easily and type without pain. It’s amazing how I take my health for granted. I’m grateful for a fairly rapid recovery.

By the way, if you’re married, there are lots of good reasons to stick together if you and your spouse aren’t sure at the moment. Of course, when there is abuse, I always tell folks to separate until the abuse stops through a changed heart and new, healthy behaviors have become the norm.

May God bless you!