What’s Being Taught?

Whenever we watch television sitcoms with married couples insulting one another I’ll look at my husband and say, “If people really talked that way to each other, their marriages would never make it.”

He agrees. If we see too many in a short time span, I find myself getting grumpy with him.

Those negative remarks permeate the atmosphere of our home. Then we stop watching them or I go to another part of the house to fold laundry or to do some reading or writing. A bit later and there’s an uplifting show on instead. 🙂

I remember years ago a friend sent me an e-mail about an unwelcome guest. It said that people wouldn’t invite rude and obnoxious and dangerous speaking individuals in the front door, but what about television?

Last night my husband turned on a movie about a down and out guy who decides to adopt a five year old boy. I came in from the kitchen and this PG-13 rated movie shows two other men kissing. I didn’t expect that and I didn’t care to see it. Just like I’m offended to see unmarried men and women in bed together in PG-13 movies or on tv dramas.

God made sex for married couples and the first family couple portrayed in the Bible for our example were male and female.

A lady in a small town asked me to write her story last year. I drove to her place to interview her and after 30 min. I got fidgety. There was nothing to write that might interest readers.

I prepared to leave and she grabbed my arm. “Please, I need you to write about my concern.”

She told me some personal heart wrenching tragedies but I didn’t think publishers wanted to touch those issues since editors mentioned that at conferences I’d been to: too much of that out there already. She said, “I don’t care about that! The thing that needs to be addressed is the changes in society.”

She wore a dress and was probably in her late seventies. “I volunteer at the local school in this small town. I want you to write about 2nd and 3rd grade boys holding hands on their way to school and telling people they’re gay. What in the world are they teaching the children in school? Where are the parents? Those boys are too young to have any idea at all if they’re gay or not.”

She wanted me to warn parents.

God loves all people and tells us to love others as we love ourselves. But He calls certain things sin that He won’t tolerate: sex outside of marriage, gossip, homosexuality, stealing, lying, drunkenness, idolatry, covetousness, greed, etc.

That’s why He sent Jesus, God the Son to take on all the sins of the world and Jesus told us to repent.

Believe in Jesus Christ, admit our sins and repent of them, and obey God. That’s what Jesus said when He walked on earth in the form of man. He said we’d be born again and able to be called sons and daughters of God. It’s in John 1 and John 3 and John 14.

“Please God, have mercy on our souls. Keep us from wrong viewing habits, listening habits and reading habits that You don’t like, for our own good and the good of others. We need Your help and I ask this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ, God Almighty. Amen.”

 

 

 

 

Versatile Blogger Award

At the end of January, just before my youngest daughter got married, I received my first award ever for writing, the Versatile Blogger Award, sent to me by therealliferealtalk.com blogger, Chanel. Thank you, I really enjoy your blog!

I’d like to nominate fifteen others. I hope they’ll be blessed as I was. 🙂

  1. Beautybeyondbones
  2. gracemusing.wordpress.com
  3. cherrydropprincess.com
  4. JeffreyHKing.wordpress.com
  5. tworiversblog.com
  6. middleme.net
  7. ashleyhearod.com
  8. lauraecpaul.wordpress.com
  9. fargaregardsanna.wordpress.com
  10. literarymoose.wordpress.com
  11. moylomenterprises.com
  12. photo-art.me
  13. chantericaware.wordpress.com
  14. raulconde001.com
  15. cafebookbean.com

Now, I’m supposed to write seven things about myself.

  1. I don’t know how to make the above sites listed into links. Sigh.
  2. I heard about Jesus Christ and God wanting to be in relationship with me and I didn’t get it for many weeks, although a high school class mate had something to say about it Monday through Friday.
  3. I’m married to a wonderful guy.
  4. I’ve worked at two libraries over the years.
  5.  I finished a novel but its lacking what it takes to get published now. So I’m thinking.
  6. I’m blogging almost six days a week, consistently. That’s amazing to me.
  7. I’m blessed to have children and grandchildren and friends.

I don’t write to win awards, but I have to say, it warmed my heart. I write because I have to write, it’s become a small part of me. Enjoy your day.

How to Choose the “Right” Spouse

I chose to write this draft today during my quiet time with God because He re-arranged my thinking. Blog first, novel second, dishes third. I intended to do the dishes first. My husband might ask, “Are you sure you heard from God?”

LOL. I asked my incredible husband if he had any ideas for this blog. He told me he didn’t think there was any one right way to choose the “right” spouse.

I had a list of qualifications for the person I wanted to marry. My apologies if I happened to date you and it didn’t work out and by some miracle you are reading this. Possibly, most probably, God in His infinite wisdom, had a different plan for the both of us.

Anyway, on my list which I never wrote down, which I will swear is not true if you quote me, I wanted a man smarter than me. Being a Christian, I’ll refrain from lying, but I won’t like it. So, this is why I often quote my husband, because as annoying as it sometimes is, he is smarter than I am, and I get to take advantage of it.

I probably wrote this before, but at age nineteen when we decided we were crazy in love and heading for marriage, he said, “I will never leave you, but if you ever want to leave me, just light up a cigarette and I’ll know you want me gone. You’ll be free.”

He hated the smell of cigarettes. I knew that. I didn’t take it well. Craig and I are opposite in many ways, including how we perceive the world. That can be a blessing, or not. I felt the heat rise and I said, “Well, if that’s how you feel, I’ll say the same thing to you. If you and I marry, I will commit to you forever, but if you want to leave, feel free.”

That was almost forty years ago now. For the rest of my list, if you’re interested:

1.) He had to be a Christian because I was a Christian.

2.) I wanted to feel comfortable around him. This list is not in order of importance after #1. This is something I didn’t realize was important to me until after our second date and I could eat with ease in front of him.

3.) He had to have a sense of humor.

4.) I needed to like his looks, his way of carrying himself, all the personal stuff. I dated a guy in college that took judo, like Craig did. He dumped me. That hurt, but one thing I hated was him coming over right after gym smelling like the gym plus some. Craig came over after showering up. Yay!

5.) Okay, I’m being brutally honest here, I came from a home where my dad worked hard and my mom raised all of us kids, sewed, cleaned, baked, etc. I wanted a husband to work hard at a job to provide for the family so we could have kids and I could be a mother at home. Craig and I were on the same page with that.

6.) Communication and honesty are huge on my list. If I couldn’t talk to my husband and be real with him and be vulnerable with him, and strong in my opinions with him, we would have never made it.

7.) I wanted a husband worthy of respect who would respect me.

8.) I wanted a guy my family would approve of, that my friends would approve of. When I was in college, my friends started telling me, “Connie, you’ve got to meet this guy.” His friends were telling him, “Craig, there’s this girl…”

The night before our wedding, after three years of dating (and he never got mad at me during all that time, “can you imagine that?”), I talked to my younger sister, “I hope I’m not making a mistake” for hours. I was crazy about Craig, but I hadn’t dated much and I knew I was committing for life. FOR LIFE. Aughh! How could I be sure?

When he got mad at me the first time, I thought, “Oh, God!”

I am an extrovert, he is an introvert. Introverts, in my experience, get quiet and avoid their spouse when they’re upset. Very unnerving to an extrovert. Anyway, no marriage is perfect.

As a sociology and psychology major in college, it seems I learned that:

9.) It’s best to marry someone in your own socio-economic level. If you are poor and you want to get rich, just do it together. I would add to that, learn all the differences in the culture so you’re able to adapt along the way.

My aunt always wanted to go to college and she didn’t get started until she was in her fifties. She told her husband that if she went, she wanted him to go with her, figuratively speaking. She wanted him to grow along with her so that they didn’t grow apart. He was agreeable. They stayed married until death parted them.

So, how do you pick the right person?

1.) Pray like crazy.

2.) Notice every thing that annoys you and remember you are committing to it for the rest of your life. Most of it will not change. Being in love makes one overly optimistic.

3.) Be compatible with your religious beliefs.

4.) Talk about how you handle money and how your family handled money. Many marriages break up over money problems. Whoever is better in handling the finances needs to do so. Once again, communication is imperative. Talk about this stuff before you get married.

5.) Be sure you can communicate in a loving manner. Talking; Listening; Repeating what you think you heard them say back to them; Respecting their opinion; Listening until they’ve finished; Listening without formulating a come-back as they’re talking; giving them the benefit of the doubt if they’ve been honest in the past; Listening as if it were you talking to them; and then talking only if you’re not about to spout ugly, hurtful things at them. If you are tempted to hurl anger and pain at your loved one, then stop and say, “I need some time to sort out my response, please.”

If you can’t do these things while you are dating, it will only get worse when you get married. People tend to hide their worst things, unintentionally or sometimes, sad but true, intentionally. If their basic character is sound, and you can weather the storms, you will have a successful marriage and a bonding like no other.

If you find yourself making excuses for your perspective spouse’s behavior continually, don’t get married. There are many people on this planet, you have time or you may continue in a saner, happier single life. If the issues can be worked out, great, but take your time!!!

Joining lives with someone is a serious commitment. According to “Focus on the Family,” many people that live together first and then decide to marry, end up breaking up. Maybe the man doesn’t respect her, but it’s usually him that leaves.

There are wonderful men and women out there, please don’t get me wrong. If you are single and reading this, live your life to the fullest and prepare yourself to be ready to serve and love and to respect, and to receive love and respect and service. It’s a life-time work that gets sweeter and sweeter and is hard hit by the media and by co-workers and by other negative forces. Like Paul said, inspired by the Holy Spirit, in 1 Corinthians 12:31, “Keep on desiring the better gifts. And now I will show you the best way of all.”

He then leads them into the famous chapter on love – 1 Corinthians 13.

My husband, the man I love more now than I did in the 1970’s, says the one you are married to now is the “right spouse” for you, unless they are cheating on you or abusing you. Cheating, Jesus said, is grounds for divorce, although God never intended for people to divorce. Abuse is grounds for separation in my opinion and many professional’s opinions, as well.

God made us in His image to love Him and to be loved by Him and to be loved by your family. If a spouse is not loving you, but hurting you, you need to get out, especially if children are watching and soaking up the behavior into their impressionable brains and spirits.

If you are afraid to date, pray and venture forth in safe places. God says in Genesis that He set Adam and Eve in a family. That was a model for us. It is a good thing if done well.

We got pre-marital counseling before we got married and the one thing I remember is hearing, “Don’t hit your partner below the belt.”

When fighting, and you will disagree, don’t bring up a ton of stuff – stick to the issue at hand and don’t be mean about it – or hit below the belt. That left an impression. Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” in  the book of Matthew.

You should enjoy the person you’re intending to spend the rest of your life with. I still smile almost every time I greet my husband as he enters our home. If you don’t like them, he or she is the wrong one, something’s missing. Jump ship.

Harriet Beecher Stowe: an Unforgettable American

I’m reading a book called, “Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Beecher Preachers” by Jean Fritz, copyright 1994 by Jean Fritz, and published by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers.

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s always liked to write. So she started as a young girl. Later in life, when her best friend died, she decided to console the grief-stricken husband. His looks didn’t appeal to her, but she thought highly of him. He was a professor of Biblical Literature.

After many months of trying to get him out of his despondency, they began to enjoy each other’s company. Friendship turned to romance and then they got married without much fuss.

I like to read stories of writers and to read of their choices as they become wordsmiths.  She wrote because she felt a compulsion to write. She wrote to become published when her family needed the money to survive. It’s interesting to note that she was an adept marketer. She sent essays to every magazine she could think of, and she found success enough that she hired a housekeeper for three hours a day so she could write.

When her passion for ending slavery arose, she wrote to influence the nation. People accused her of never having seen slavery, but she knew many people because of her famous father, Lyman Beecher. He preached to thousands of people about their need for a Savior to get into heaven and to avoid the torments of hell. So many people sought their family out, and she would listen to conversations from politicians, Southerners, New Englanders, people from Ohio, New York State, preachers and teachers.

When she heard of slaves being mistreated, her compassion stirred up her emotions, which found release in her pen. She met families that opened their homes to the “Underground Railroad.”

She wanted the country to wake up and see that there were no rights for slaves. She felt outrage. Women didn’t have much influence in her life time. So, writing a novel was the only way she could get her point across. She never expected her book to sell like it did.

I sat with a renowned pastor/teacher at a conference I attended one year for our church body. He wrote a book because he looked for one on his topic of interest and there wasn’t one. So he did a ton of research on the subject and wrote it himself. 🙂

It’s amazing how life can turn around with the right incentives, in a way that a person may never anticipate. I’ll bet if anyone told Harriet Beecher Stowe at age sixteen that some day she would write a book that impacted the world, she probably would have marveled at the idea. She was often overlooked at home and bossed around by her older sister. Yet, the fire in her spirit and the joy of writing, combined to create a life beyond her imagination.

 

Carrot Juicing or Blogging? Blogging Won

I am determined to make carrot juice today. I also set a goal to write in my blog once every two weeks at least. For the moment, the carrot juice is on hold.

Carrot juice tastes yummy if I add beets and something green, like romaine lettuce, and an apple, and celery. Not everyone in my family agrees with me, like one daughter who is single and calls herself a cat lady. My other daughter has also called herself a cat lady, but she is married and a mom. I do not call myself a cat lady, so they didn’t get it from me.

My oldest daughter likes carrot juice, but like me, she finds it’s a lot of work. Perhaps, like me, she finds it boring to set up the machine, clean the produce, put the veggies through the shoot for about an hour and then clean everything up. I tend to put a CD in, and listen to some teaching I’m interested in during the prep time, so that helps.

Why do I make carrot juice? It tastes good to me, it makes my body feel refreshed and energized, I had cataracts that have shrunk down to teensey-tiny because of drinking raw juice. Besides, I cannot find raw juice for sale in any store, and my husband refused to let me pay someone else to make the juice for me. LOL

I think I’m motivated to make carrot juice now. If anyone out there reads this blog, maybe you would like to tell me how you motivate yourself to do the healthy thing on a consistent basis. Also, good for you!