When I was in junior high I remember prayer feeling like a one way conversation with a wall. Over the years it has become my life line. Prayer has become, over time, a life-giving, continual conversation with the One who loves me perfectly. And the truth is that I am an emotional woman who is married to a steadfast man and we have five little people running around, and four goats, and two kittens, and one dog, and quite frankly I'm not lacking in things to pray about. :)
There are times in my marriage when that man of mine makes my insides all giddy. There are times when I feel so close to him that I find myself breathing out smiles. There are times when he gets me and I get him and we mesh and all is well with the world.
And then there are times when him and I can't seem to say a single thing without erking each other. Times when I find myself begging the Lord to keep my mouth shut so that I don't say something lame that I'll regret minutes later. Times when I have to choose truth over what I feel is happening between my man and I.
This summer has been a beautiful mix of both seasons for the Cowboy and I. The days that have been sweet, have been truly SWEEEEEET. They have been a kaleidoscope of moments that will forever be etched in my mind. And the days that are sour, well those days, they have brought me to my knees... they have brought me to the Word... they have reminded me that this marriage thing is a continual opportunity to die to myself, to practice the fruits of the Spirit, to pray the richness of the Word of God over my man and I and our union.
And last week the Lord gave me a morning. It was quiet here at the farmhouse, which NEVER happens and I sat at the farm table and opened my Bible and something so tender happened to me as I sought the Lord about my marriage.
Over the years I have memorized different scriptures but in the times that I was memorizing them they often felt inapplicable in the moment. And then, on this quiet morning in late July, the Lord took the scriptures that He had been writing on my heart throughout all these years and so kindly brought them to the forefront of my mind. And I realized as I wrote down all that was coming to mind that all the words were ways that I could ask the Lord to pour into my marriage. They were specific things that I want Him to mold in to the way that I love on my man. They were things that are impossible with man, but a delightful privilege for the Lord to pour into His children. :)
I long for a marriage that reflects Christ's extravagant love...
I long for a marriage that honors, builds up, and cherishes the man that was given to me...
And when I don't feel loved on the way that I want to feel loved on, I want to choose to love anyway.
These are some of the things I pray over my Cowboy and I...
"Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing." 1 Peter 3
__May there always be a dying to self in this marriage. Open my eyes to his needs.
"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness." James 3
__I know that so often I, as the wife and Mama, set the tone in this home. Help me to be a peacemaker... so that a harvest of righteousness might be sown in this place.
__And how do we sow in peace?? Isaiah 2:3
You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You.
__ Lord, Keep my mind on you.
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. James 4
__It is so true that our quarrels are most often an out pour of our natural tendencies to want the desires of our flesh to be satisfied. Lord, I need you to put to death the desires of my flesh and help me to choose to wash my man's feet even when everything in me wants to dump the bucket of soapy water on his head. :)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4
__Plain and simple, my words can destroy my man's soul or they can make his soul stronger. Please place words on my tongue that will make his soul stronger.
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. James 1
__Help me to trust your Word, even when the world tells me otherwise.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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. 1 Corinthians 13
__Fill me Lord with God-size love towards my man... with patience and kindness, tear down my pride and help me to die to myself. Help me to delight in the truth that Joey speaks to me and to be willingly and in gentleness speak truth to him because true love delights in truth and doesn't shy away from the hard conversations. Help me to be a woman who protects what is ours with crazy boundaries. Help me to honor my man by allowing me to trust him, trust his leadership, even when I don't always see clearly what he sees. Help me to hope always, and keep on keeping on until the day I get to go home to you.
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2
__I see a pattern Lord... a theme of serving joyfully, a theme of dying to self, a theme of loving extravagantly. Help me to serve my man with great joy. Help me to have the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus.
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2
__YES PLEASE LORD, these very things in my marriage... work these very qualities out in my me and my man.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3
WE do what we do towards our spouses because of what Christ has done towards us, not because our spouses are perfect but because we are God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved. When I serve my man, I am really serving the Lord.
And finally Lord, help me to give thanks for my Joey. Everyday help me to speak out loud at least one thing that I appreciate about the boy... even on the hard days, especially on the hard days, may I speak gratitude and may my eyes be opened to all that I have to be thankful for being married to a man who loves you. :)