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What would happen if we dared to be the wives God called us to be? What would happen if we rejected this world’s system, refusing to conform to their definition but hunger to be transformed through the renewing of our minds of what it means to be a wife? A God kind of wife; one that has made a decision to help her husband not hinder him. One that understands and lives the depths of her vows, “for better or for worse.” One that has a made up mind to love and to honor him even when we see him at his worse and feels he doesn’t deserve our help. One that says I will help build you up with my speech. Speaking life even when death is threatening to suck the life out of me, when you don’t tell me what I desperately need to hear. One that says I will help you by spending time in prayer on your behalf, not just telling on you but loving you through my intercession. I will help by hearing what God has to say about you, and speak it right back to you when you are at your lowest and can’t believe it.
I want to be one that makes her actions scream, “I will not hinder you!” I will not allow myself to become a weapon in the devil’s hands to wound my head. I understand that we are one, and hindering him is hindering myself. I will not hinder by tearing him down with my words on the phone with my girlfriends understanding that even though he doesn’t hear the conversations, he senses the weight of the words in my touch or lack thereof. I will not hinder through reminding him of his past demanding that he be held captive for his mistakes. I will help by freely offering forgiveness as often as it is needed and not questioning whether it is deserved.
The world is broken and contrary to what they may believe they need to see helpers in action, they need to see the word lived out. They got the memo on the hinderers, they are all around…on the big screen, in the magazines and some are even hanging out in the church pews. I want to be THAT wife, the helper not the hinderer! How about you?
If you can find a truly good wife, she is worth more than precious gems! … 12 She will not hinder him but help him all her life.
Proverbs 31: 10, 12 TLB
I never set out for all of this to happen, at least not so soon and not quite like this. Him? All of them?
No they were not in my real life plans. I left for the University with big bags and big dreams. I had declared that I would not become a Mrs. until I earned my PhD. Yes I was on a mission, my mission. Then I met this young man name Tyrone at the 22 Illini bus stop on 2nd and Chalmers in Champaign. I had no clue that this meeting would forever change my life.
I came home that faithful winter break my junior year of college. I was full on the outside but was empty and hurting on the inside. Salvation had been a long time coming. The church was having a revival and my soul desperately desired to be revived. I had been running, and when I stepped foot in that church I stopped. It was then that God began to change my mind.
I went to the altar and said Yes to Jesus. 3 years later on August 11, 2001, I went back to that same altar and said yes to Tyrone. The vows I uttered were poetic but for the record, I had no clue what I was really saying yes to.
The” for worse” part came sooner than thought. We had some extreme lows (full display of flesh, hair loss, income reduction, sick babies, shed tears, and anger) but these lows created a greater surrender, pressing out a “yes God go ahead and change our minds because you know best.”
The beauty and the challenge of getting married young is that you get to “grow up” together. We have seen God perform surgery on our hearts on more than one occasion over the last 14 years. God has birthed beauty from great pain and closeness when the enemy sought to tear us apart. My love for this man has gone deeper than I thought possible. All of my initial plans have not been accomplished but here I am 14 years later thanking God that He changed my mind!
There are parts of me that are fragile. Scarred from past hurts. I love God. I do. But sometimes I don’t look like He wants me to. He has been showing me things. About me. Ugly things that I have been carrying. Things I need to let go of to go to the next level. To be promoted. Things that I didn’t want to let go of…until now. Yes I have prayed about it before, but I still held on because I felt justified. But I recently found myself crying and confiding in God, “I don’t know how to let it go God, but I want to. I really do. It is too heavy. I don’t know how to let go of the pain, the offense, the hurt, the pride, false expectations, the jealously.” But then He whispered, ” you don’t have to let go in your own strength you just have to desire to be purged of these things, your desire for freedom invites me in to do my job….deliver.”
So I wept real hot tears. Tears of freedom. I felt the weight lifting, and I am being transformed…again. Always another level to go to but promotion always starts from the inside. It is freeing to surrender these insecurities and scars to God. No judgment, no condemnation from Him. Only pure love from my daddy. He is always gently confirming that He is worthy of my love.
So today I share my heart with you, not to glorify my weaknesses but to glorify a God who strengthens the weak. A God who understands the complexities of our past but challenges us to live beyond that because the blood of His son made it right. Made me new. I am making the choice to let go and move on.
I gave birth in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013. In between all of that I had two miscarriages, one in 2006 and another in 2008. I think it’s fair to say that my body has been through quite an adventure. After each birth, I was left with a sweet baby and some extra pounds as a souvenir of the journey. I was not one of those moms who lost all the baby weight while nursing. I would have loved for that to have been my testimony but it was not. I have found what works for MY BODY to be healthy without counting calories and spending hours working out. I follow the Paleo diet 90% of the time. I also work out five days a week in the comfort of my home for 10-20 minutes in the morning. My short workouts are better than doing nothing at all.
My body certainly doesn’t look like the girl I knew before child birth and I am learning to be ok with that. I can’t obsess about returning to what was, just work on keeping healthy what now is (not sure if that’s grammatically correct but you get the point…right?) I have tried to return to old eating habits (mainly consuming way too much sugar) and not only does it pack on the pounds but it also brings some not so pleasant side effects. After a really long morning a few weeks ago, I found myself hiding out in the pantry with my twenty month old eating just about all the caramel flavored popcorn from Costco. I was so convicted at the end of the day, not because eating caramel popcorn is a sin but because at that moment I was being gluttonous and using the sugar as my god and comforter. I was certainly not hungry at the time, just extremely irritated. Prayer should have been my recourse not sugar! I have to continue to ask God for the grace to exercise self-control to do what I know is right for my body to be healthy.
My choice to eat healthy and exercise has a trickle-down effect with both natural and spiritual implications. When I eat and exercise like I should, I have more energy to effectively fulfill my call to be the keeper of my home. My sleep is better which in turn helps me to get up feeling well rested giving me quality time in prayer and bible study. I am not as emotional and snappy. Ok…I still have my moments but they are not as frequent. I am not constantly in a brain fog because I have consumed all the wrong things.
So to answer the question, does Jesus really care about my eating habits and my overall health…yes, He absolutely does! I know from personal experiences that He directs His children in EVERY AREA. If you have not done so already ask Him what the best health plan is for you. If He has already told you what to do…OBEY! My goal to be the healthiest me for this season of life now goes beyond vanity. However I must confess that this was the initial motivation. I recognize that my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) and also its God’s desire for me to be healthy in body as I am strong in spirit (3 John 1:2). Hear me when I say that the goal for every woman should not be to look like the model on the magazine. We are all built differently and not everyone was intended to look the same. Instead, be driven by the desire to please God by taking care of the temple He has given you.
I don’t want you to walk away from this post feeling condemned because you struggle in maintaining healthy eating habits and are challenged with the idea of consistently working out. Instead I pray that you walk away feeling encouraged to do what you know is needed believing the Lord to extend His grace as you make up your mind to walk in obedience. Let us take this journey together, striving to be healthy so that we can be used even the more for God’s glory! Are you on board? Leave a comment below to let me know.