I Recognize That!

 

phone notification

Floured hands are not the best way to answer a cell phone.  Ask me how I know!
One day my cell phone was ringing, and not knowing who it was, I ran to answer it, flinging pie dough into the bowl and the counter, and also leaving a trail of flour with every step I took.  It was a telemarketer (how do they find me even after I register my number on the “Do not annoy call” list?).  Grrr.

It was then that I started using a different notification and ringtone for each group of people in my life so I could determine, just by the sound, if this was a call that really needed my immediate attention.

My husband’s notification has an ukulele song.  My daughters have a harmonica (they know why!).  My parents and sisters have a nostalgic kind of song. My close friends have a catchy little ditty.  Everyone else gets a standard ring.  Now when I’m driving down the Interstate at 70 MPH, I know who is calling just by the sound, and I know whether this is an urgent call that is worth digging sideways into my purse to find my phone!  It’s all by the recognition of the notification that I know who’s prompting me to answer!

The Lord used that simple irritation and example to show me that I was not recognizing the Holy Spirit’s promptings in my heart throughout the day.  Oh, I start off right – I get up and have my Bible study and prayer time and give myself and my day to the Lord first thing and I hear from Him then.  But after I finish, I get going on my schedule and it seems the later it gets in the day, the less sensitive I am to the Spirit’s prompting and directing my heart and my life.  Pretty soon, I’m not aware of His conviction, His leading, or His speaking to my heart because I’ve tuned out the recognition of His Spirit.

But what if I stayed sensitive to His promptings all day, just like those notifications on my phone?  What if I was aware and recognized His nudging to witness, His conviction of sin, His warning to not speak that word of criticism?  I could “pick up that call” and be directed so that I might avoid the sin, or share the Gospel with a person who is lost.

I want to recognize God’s Spirit in my life greater than I want to know when I’m getting a really important phone call.  I’m asking Him to help me to be sensitive to His whisper and nudging in my heart, no matter where I am or what I’m doing.  It’s even sweeter than that loving text from my husband, and I think you know how much I like those!

Are you recognizing the Spirit’s nudging notifications in your life today?

Lovingly,

Denise Signature 150 px

Family Friday – Adding Wisdom to Your Marriage

0328172242_resized

When my husband and I got married 35 years ago, we had had no official premarital counseling.   I did have the blessing of many talks with my mom beforehand, as well as my parent’s example, but not the kind of teaching that a pastor would typically impart today. I’ve remembered much of what I witnessed and have applied that to my married life, but through the years, I’ve found it so necessary to keep looking for wisdom to apply to my role as a wife.  Anything left dormant is bound to get moldy after a while! I don’t want my marriage to do that!!

The Lord tells us in Proverbs 8:33 –

 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.

One way I’ve continued to get instruction is through reading Christian books on marriage.  I’ve tried to read several a year by just reading little portions each day to keep my marriage healthy.  A few of my favorites have been:

  • Proverbs!!!  I read it every month!!
  • A Woman After God’s Own Heart
  • Creative Counterpart
  • What’s it Like to be Married to Me?
  •  For Women Only
  • Love and Respect
  • The Excellent Wife
  • Praying God’s Will for My Husband – Praying for him changes me!

There are more, but those are some of my favorites that really helped me grow in my role as a wife.

Another way I’ve sought out wisdom is by listening to radio broadcasts and now podcasts.  I started with Focus on the Family.  That’s a no-brainer, right?  They support the Christian marriage with topics that really help the couple!

Now my favorite podcast is Revive Our Hearts. I cannot tell you how refreshing their broadcasts are.  Nancy has recently done a series on Titus 2.  It has been so practical and full of truth!  Just yesterday she shared a piece of advice that the late Vonette Bright shared with her on her wedding day.  Let me close by sharing it with you.

She said, “Submit to whatever brings him (your husband)
pleasure in everything . . . and you’ll be just fine.”

Nancy went on to add –

By no means was she to encouraging me to satisfy any sinful, selfish desire my husband might have. She was not implying that I would be my husband’s slave, or that my role was merely to fulfill his every whim.

Here was a dear widow who had enjoyed a deeply loving fifty-four-year marriage, and who knew first-hand the joys of having a disposition—an inclination—to follow her husband’s leadership.

That is good advice!
What do you need to submit to that would bring your husband pleasure?  Do it!

Your marriage needs the refreshment that daily wisdom will give it!  Are you continuing to grow in wisdom regarding your role as a wife?  What will you do as a result?  Will you start a habit of reading and/or listening?

Refresh your marriage,

Denise Signature 150 px

What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do

midway

While visiting my parents in Kentucky over Thanksgiving, we took a drive to some old home sites and places I grew up.  One drive took us to a small town where I had originally thought I’d go to college.  My husband pulled the car into the entrance gate and my mind played back the scene as I looked through the car windows and recalled the last time I was there…

My plans were made, and in my heart, my future was set.  As a senior in high school, I thought I was sure what God wanted for me.  I would attend a local college, literally up the road.

I would live at home.

I would become a nurse and serve the Lord with that ministry.

It was settled.

Then one Friday night I drove through the entrance of the college pictured above for a weekend visit of the campus. This was a time for perspective students to visit and get an idea of what college life was like on this campus.  It was labeled as a Christian school.  I was excited about that, because Christ is my Savior, and I desired to live my life and be in places that honored Him.  I had visited a large Christian university in another state earlier that year, just for a fun weekend, and was so impressed with the spiritual temperature of the campus and in the lives of the students.

However, what I had anticipated seeing and hearing on this weekend was not at all what I saw or heard.  Though this was supposed to be a Christian school, that was definitely not the testimony I witnessed.  I was heartbroken.  At the end of my visit, I got in my car, pulled away from the school, and cried the 15 minute ride home.

I couldn’t have been more sure that God was saying a firm, “No” to all my plans.

At the time I remember how devastated I was.  I wasn’t sure what I would do now.  I had literally had the rug pulled out from under my feet.

I cried and I prayed.

I also talked with my parents, whom I knew were much wiser, and would give me godly counsel.  I suggested the Christian college that I had visited earlier in the year, but they had valid concerns and they lovingly said, “No.”

When you’re an 18 girl who is a child of God, and you live at home, have no job, or no idea about where to get an education, you quickly enroll in the school of prayer.  As I submitted to my parents counsel, and prayed for God’s direction, He provided me with a job at the Coca Cola Bottling Company, working in the accounting department.  That was totally of the Lord, seeing I had NO experience in this field, and didn’t even do super well in my math classes!

I went to work there, and enjoyed my life as a young single adult, all the while praying that if God would allow, He would open the door for me to attend the Christian college eight hours from my home.  In the middle of the year, my mom asked if I was still desiring to attend school there.  I answered that I was.  She gave me their blessing!  I finished out the summer working at Coca Cola and prepared to leave in the fall.

That move to the large Christian university in September changed the direction of my life forever and in wonderful ways.

God’s timing was perfect.

His provision was complete.

His grace was sufficient.

His plan was perfect because He is God.

I learned some really important lessons during those months of waiting and wondering that have served me well as an adult.  In my mind’s eye, when I visit that driveway of the other school, I don’t just remember God shutting that door, I remember the lessons I learned about trusting Him, the sweetness of prayer, and of Him opening the next door – in His time and in His perfect way.

What are you waiting for today?  God’s will to be revealed?  A test result?  A mate?  A provision?  An answer?  Don’t give up and do your own thing.  You can trust God with every detail that He will arrange in His sovereign ways.  Wait and trust.  You’ll be glad you did.

So thankful,

Denise Signature 150 px