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Dear Wives, What Your Husband Really Wants

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Since the beginning of time, men have wondered what women want. Men have been perplexed by our feminine complex. It’s understandably true that with our severe range of emotions, we tend to come across as – shall I say – unpredictable. We have this incredible ability in our nature to be multi-faceted – we’re strong, yet very delicate,  steadfast, but easily shaken, confident, but crave affirmation. Even when we answer with an “I’m fine,” our husbands are rightfully mystified if we are indeed actually fine (by the way husbands, most of the time, “fine” doesn’t mean fine).  It’s no wonder men are boggled by women.

My husband has been studying me for almost 12 years and I believe is still striving to completely figure me all out. What he may or may not realize is that all along the journey of our relationship, I have been studying him as well. And I’ve learned a thing or two.

Between men and women, men are often considered to be the more simple of the two. Not insultingly simple as in simple-minded, but simple in the fact that they just are not incredibly complicated creatures. This should make our job as wives easier, but instead, I find women (myself included) somehow fail to understand our husband’s core nature and thus, fail to meet his core desire.

Being a wife for almost ten years, I am by no means a seasoned woman, but if there is one very important observation I have made about my husband, it is that he is not like me. He is created differently from me with a unique make-up. He doesn’t need what I need. I deeply desire security, companionship, and love. I want to feel cherished. But my husband…

It’s not to say he doesn’t care about love and friendship (because he very much does), but those are not driving forces behind his wants. Now – I know what you’re thinking! Yes, intimacy is probably towards the top of the list for men, but there is something else all men – my husband and yours included – greatly need, but will often not admit out loud: Respect.

Men – through God’s intricately ordained design –  are natural conquerors, providers, and leaders. When we threaten his position to properly exercise these fundamental attributes, we are  robbing our husbands to freely live out who God has called them to be.  Without sometimes realizing it, instead of recognizing this desire for respect, we challenge it.

Like many young wives, when Jesse and I first married, I did not grasp how important respect was to my husband and because I failed to grasp this, I mistakenly emasculated him in so many ways. Every time I made a decision without discussing it with him first, every time I belligerently “reminded” him to do something because I felt it had not been done according to my time frame, every time I criticized him and  every time I questioned his leading – I was blatantly dishonoring him.

“Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” – Ephesians 5:33

As wives, we might be tempted to gravitate towards the first half of this verse: “each one of you must love his wife as he loves himself.” But Paul clearly identifies our role in the second half of the verse and it is equally important (and should be) as it pertains to us. As the wife, we are not held accountable for how our husbands obey this command. But we are held accountable of our obedience in living out our end of the bargain: we “must respect” our husbands. And this may burst some bubbles, but this commandment is not contingent on the first part of the verse. Whether or not you feel your husband deserves your respect is completely irrelevant.

Once I realized that I was not honoring my husband as fitting unto God, I earnestly prayed for Him to show me how to be the Proverbs 31 wife – the wife of noble character. I prayed He would cultivate His Spirit within me and nurture my desire to be a respectful, humble wife.  I wanted to be less like “a constant drip” (Proverbs 19:13) who was “decay in his bones” (Proverbs 12:4) and more like a woman who is “praised at the city gate” (Proverbs 31:31).

  1. Remember Your Role. Your husband is the head of the house. You are the helpmate. Your beautifully designed role is to help your husband, not lead your husband. You help him with making decisions, not making them for him. You help foster his ministry (whatever his career may be), not simply parade around him with your own successes. Remember, you’re his wife, not his mother – it is not your job to correct him or point your finger at his mistakes. And certainly don’t expect to change your husband – only God can do that!
  2. Watch What You Say and How You Say It.  If you want your husband to trust in your opinion, it’s vital to speak with eloquence and wisdom. Offering any council using words that are either harsh, destructive or critical will eventually discourage him from seeking your opinion on future matters. Proverbs 14:1 says, “A wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” He needs to trust not only in your response, but in how your response is carried out. As the old saying goes, “you’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar,” so in other words, speak sweetly. Ask God to guard your tongue and speak through a pure and reverent heart.
  3. Lavish Him With Appreciation. All throughout history, the homecoming victors from battle were highly esteemed and recognized – for their bravery, intellect, strength and leadership. Their acts of courage were awarded with honor and respect. Men not only thrive to compete and conquer, they want to be affirmed in their ability to lead. Your husband is your spiritual covering who is charged to provide for and protect his family. Honor him and the responsibility he is entrusted with. When he comes home, show him you appreciate the man he is and all his hard work. This is as easy as cooking his favorite meal or simply expressing his worth in your own words. Encourage him and edify him through your affirmation.
  4. Pray With Your Husband. If you are married to a believing husband, pray with him. We often pray for what matters to us – our heart’s desire. In your prayers, you can demonstrate your love and respect for him. Pray for God’s wisdom as He leads your husband, pray for favor in his career and callings, pray for patience and endurance through difficult circumstances, and pray for his spiritual growth. These are all aspects that concern your husband and weigh heavily upon his shoulders, so in praying for him, you are acknowledging the importance of these as well. If your husband is an unbeliever, do not be dismayed. You can still pray for him and ask that God will open his eyes and reveal Himself to him.
  5. Speak Well of Your Husband. Sometimes, the most offensive disrespect occurs not in someone’s face, but behind someone’s back. While there are times when it is necessary or appropriate to seek wise council about matters pertaining to your marriage, always try to speak of your husband in a favorable light. It is so easy to get caught up talking with a friend about our disappointments and become habitual complainers. But this is neither edifying or worthy of respect.  In our culturally accepted practice of “venting,” many wives end up actually practicing disrespect. When you are honestly seeking wisdom from another wife about your husband, your behavior will not be of a complaining woman armed with her own agenda in need of personal release, but a humble woman who upholds his reputation and has his best interest at heart.

 

“A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown” (Proverbs 12: 4). May we crown our husbands with prayer, love, admiration, honor and respect.

God’s Blessings,

The Humble Homemaker

 

 

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Simply the BEST Old-Fashioned Desserts

Today, I’m showcasing some of my favorite desserts whose classically delicious flavors have been enjoyed by families for decades – and some even longer than that!  I enjoy those 30- second recipe clips as much as any other millennial, but this is neither the time or place for such antiquated treasures as the ones I’m sharing with you.

To pay proper homage,  I’m going old school with old-fashioned written recipes – just like ones found in Grandma’s cookbook- only not with a 5″ X 3″ card, complete with greasy Crisco stains. Simply click on the name of the dessert to bring you right to the recipe! Trust me – you’re going to want to hold on to some of these! Give your family a slice of tradition with these tasty, old-fashioned desserts!

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Lemon Pudding Dessert

 I can’t think of a better recipe to start off this list of timeless confections than with this Lemon Pudding Dessert! Taste of Home delivers fresh and light flavors in this dreamy, creamy lemony delight! A buttery shortbread crust is the perfect foundation for this delicate dessert. Perfect for spring and summer potlucks and church picnics! My mom’s secret to send this over- the- top is to substitute the ordinary store-bought cool whip with some homemade whipped cream. Just trust me on this one – no one wants to live with regrets.

 

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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Salty and sweet are a match made in heaven with this summer delight! So refreshingly decadent – and since the star ingredient is strawberries, you are conveniently fitting in a serving of fruit in your dessert! I’m pretty sure that cancels out the sugar and cream cheese- it’s basic baking math. It may not be textbook, but it’s right in my book!

Hawaiian Pineapple Poke Cake

Aloha! Say hello to this bite of tropical paradise in this luscious classic! You can literally taste the sunshine in this bright treat – and in the Midwest, we could all use a little extra sunshine! Again- utilizing simple ingredients like store-bought pudding and cream cheese proves our ancestors understood the value of simplicity.  In my humble opinion, this simple cake outshines any item found on fancy restaurant dessert menus!

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Pecan Pie

What’s one thing seasoned women (Grandmas included) all have in common? They show love through food! This southern classic may be a labor of love, but it’s worth every morsel and I know your family will agree! A flaky crust + a cinnamon-sweet filling + that crunch from the pecans (there I go again with that baking math) = perfection!  Truly as warm as the south! All you need is a porch swing and some sweet tea!

Banana Bread Pudding Recipe

Banana Bread Pudding

If you have never tried bread pudding, you don’t know what you’re missing! Before you ever consider pitching that day old bread and those brown bananas, just slow your roll! Those are the dynamic duo that creates this scrumptious and satisfying dessert! Think of your favorite banana bread… this is so much better than that! You can thank me later!

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Banana Pudding

So we dropped the “bread” and are left with banana pudding! C’ mon – I couldn’t talk about old-fashioned recipes without mentioning this Southern staple! Humble ingredients, but not humble on flavor! So light and fluffy – traditionally a summertime dessert, but some rules are just meant to be broken.

Cocoa Brownies

Classic Chocolate Brownies

Before the existence of Dunkin Hines and the convenient invention of brownies from a box, recipes like this adorned a plate – hot out of the oven and ready to eat when the kids came home from school – famished from learning and craving a rush of chocolatey goodness. Gooey, fudgy, rich… sorry, Dunkin Hines, but you’ve been replaced.

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Cherry Dump Cake

If cherry pie and vanilla cake procreated, it would make this old-fashioned gem – cherry dump cake. And what a beautiful little mash-up it is. Don’t be fooled by the word “dump” in the name – it has no relevance to the flavor! In respect to both sides of the family ( cake and pie), add a scoop of vanilla ice cream – to cut through the sweetness, of course!

One of my favorite desserts of all time - Ambrosia Salad! So easy to make and always a big hit with kids and adults alike, make sure to put this salad recipe on the menu for your next party! | MomOnTimeout.com | #recipe

Ambrosia Salad

Not much else says old-fashioned like some maraschino cherries – it’s the beloved, universal staple found in every Grandma’s kitchen. With a little help from a few more simple ingredients- mandarin oranges, coconut, crushed pineapples and marshmallows- this dessert is not only delicious, but budget-friendly. Not a master baker? This dessert just became your best friend!  And with “salad” in the name, it has to be good for you, right? You don’t have to answer that.

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Carrot Cake

What’s up, Doc? Sorry – I couldn’t resist – but seriously, this dessert is a timeless French confection, dating back 1827! An oldie, but a goodie! This cake’s moist filling will raise the bar on whatever existing preconceived notions you might have about a cake made with a vegetable. And the decadent cream cheese frosting is literally “the icing on the cake” and delivers exactly what your sweet tooth desires!

Peach Cobbler

Peaches, cinnamon, nutmeg – Oh, my! This American deep-dish dessert has been serving up smiles for centuries!  With this thick, fruity filling and airy topping, it’s no wonder this recipe has stood the test of time. Whether it’s wrapping up a Sunday dinner after church, a family picnic or special occasion, peach cobbler is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

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Cookie Jar Ginger Snaps

There’s something special about a cookie jar – an ornate, ceramic container encapsulating the smell of every sugary and buttery crumb that has the privilege to reside there – well, at least until they fulfill their cookie destiny. The spicy flavor of the ginger paired with the maple flavor of molasses create this heart-warming cookie.

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Key Lime Pie

This 5- ingredient wonder is light and creamy. With a hint of tang, this dessert packs the right amount of punch. If you really want to be fancy, you can make a homemade graham cracker crust, but store-bought will do just fine – no one will even know the difference! And it’s pretty.

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Apple Dumplings

While apple pie is about as classic American as Baseball, I deterred slightly with another traditional apple-filled dessert – apple dumplings. The fork practically floats to your mouth as you live apply ever after!

Red Velvet Cake

I wisely saved the best for last. They say if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But this cake debunks that theory because it is soooo good and thank the Lord, so true! One of my all-time favorite classic desserts, red velvet cake is hands down the BEST cake- even if it has gray icing and is in the shape of an armadillo.

History never tasted so sweet! I could go on and on down memory lane with these old-fashioned desserts, but I’ve got a delicious date with a slice of red velvet cake!

God’s Blessings,

The Humble Homemaker

 

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Casting Grace

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She somberly looked down at the ground – too intimidated and utterly ashamed for the crime she had committed. She could feel their condemning eyes piercing her weary and broken spirit. Death was the only penalty for such an act against the Law.  Perhaps in that moment, she wondered what brought her to this point? How had she become so entangled by the chains of sin? Perhaps she longed for mercy and the gift of a second chance.

The Pharisees stood – stones clutched in hand – prepared to deliver their verdict. But before casting the penalty, the Pharisees looked to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. What do you say?”  Jesus knelt down and began to write in the sand.  The guilty woman awaited her imminent fate – bracing herself for impact – when a gentle voice arose and hushed her merciless accusers.

Jesus replied, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more, Jesus bent down and wrote in the sand. Slowly, one by one, the woman’s accusers dropped their stones and walked away, until only Jesus stood before the woman. Jesus said,  “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one sir,” she replied. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:3-11).

The woman was face to face with Saving Grace. When the Pharisees were ready to stone her to death, it was the grace of Jesus that interceded.

Oftentimes, we are easily tempted to cast our own stones onto others who we believe fit the bill of deserved judgement. Perhaps the pregnant teenager we pass in the baby isle at the store – completely unfit to be a mother.  Maybe the homeless man who stands by the side of the road – unkept and filthy. Or the unpolished, inappropriately dressed woman who finds her way to the front pew of church on Sunday morning.

It is so easy for us to assume our own preconceived notions about people – the teenage mom is a promiscuous and insubordinate adolescent. The homeless man is obviously nothing but a lazy drunk who is in search of a handout to fund his alcohol addiction – who refuses to work and has no one to blame for his predicament but himself. The inappropriately dressed woman in the front row is just coming off of her drug high and happened to stumble into church. She’s nothing but a distraction and will likely reject any form of truth offered to her. Surely our conclusions are without error.

But even if we assume correctly, does that give us license to cast a stone? Remember how Jesus knelt down to write in the sand? Many believe that when Jesus bent down the first time, He was writing the names and sins of the Pharisees (theory based on Jeremiah 17:13). But what did He write the second time in the sand, after the Pharisees quietly dispersed? No one really knows for sure and the Bible does not indicate as to what He wrote. Although some speculate that he simply wrote one word: FORGIVEN.

We are acting like the Pharisees, when in reality, we all are the adulterous woman. Satan stood as the accuser, declaring us guilty. Because of sin, we deserved the penalty of death. But the Cornerstone, the only One blameless from sin, withheld punishment. He interceded. Rather than casting a stone, Jesus casted grace. And His verdict? FORGIVEN.

We can conveniently stash our sins away before others can see them. We can hide behind our seemingly put together outward appearances, so it is easy for us to cast stones upon someone who appears outwardly undone. Not only do we tend to shy away from these outwardly undone people, we either inwardly or outwardly condemn them.   After all, it’s always easier to point out someone else’s sin before taking a hard look into the mirror.

Maybe the pregnant teen is in deep need of guidance, not judgement. Maybe the homeless man is in search of a new opportunity, not a handout. Maybe the woman in the pew is in search for a second chance, not condemnation.

Even in spite of ourselves and need for grace, we fail to extend the love of Christ and His grace. We instead choose to cast stones of insulting assumptions, looks of disapproval, and judgmental accusations. We look upon them and perhaps feel that the last thing they deserve is grace, when grace is exactly the last thing we deserved. We cast stones without acknowledging the fact that while we are yet sinners, our Savior chose to bestow His saving grace upon us. And by His grace, we received new life – a second chance.

The Gospel would reach a lot more hearts if we were more diligent and eager to cast a helping hand, cast the Truth, cast encouragement, and cast love. But first, we must be willing to cast the very thing that determined our salvation – grace.

Maybe if we could get off our own righteous high horse and extend God’s grace to the pregnant teenager, the homeless man or the woman in the front pew, we can become less like the Pharisees and more like Christ. Jesus did not come to either condone or condemn. He came to simply save the lost.  And because He bore our sin and shame, we’ve been given the undeserved gift to freely and unabashedly dance in the presence of His grace.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” – Luke 19:10

“The lost” – like the pregnant teen, the homeless man, the woman in the front pew, and you and me. Anyone who comes to Christ was formerly enslaved in sin, but became set free by amazing grace. Grace. That is the heart of our Redeemer. And that is the heart He desires to create in us. To seek and save the lost – not to push the lost out the door with our Pharisaical verdicts.  He calls us to release our stones and cast grace.

God’s Blessings,

The Humble Homemaker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why My Kids Won’t Be Getting An Easter Basket This Year

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It goes without saying that I love holidays – especially the traditions and festivities that coincide as an intercal part of the celebration. For years, I have religiously obliged to culturally endorsed customs as a part of our children’s upbringing. Like most loving parents, I want my children to experience the fun, excitement and nostalgia of an Easter basket- filled with all the usual staples – jelly beans, chocolate bunnies, perhaps a toy or two, and even those borderline inedible, pastel marshmallow chicks. So why have I experienced a sudden change of heart? I mean, what harm is there in giving kids an Easter basket?

I realize this may not be a widely accepted, popular concept. Honestly, I wasn’t particularly inclined to the thought at first either. After all, it’s just a basket.

But the problem is not a basket- the problem is what the basket represents (or in better words, fails to represent). I have become rather fed up with buying into traditions that shift our focus from the real meaning of our celebration, whose sole purpose is to further encourage our innate hunger for self-centeredness. Easter and Christmas alike, have become nothing but reason to indulge our children with more stuff they really don’t need-  empty stuff filled with empty promises and temporal joy. A risen Savior is simply not a good enough reason to rejoice-  we need an Easter Basket. And what would the gift of eternal life be without candy-filled eggs and plush bunnies?

 Easter baskets are certainly not evil, but they are certainly irrelevant.

While shopping the other day, I was faced with my usual Easter dilemma of choosing the perfect vehicle for my kids’ Easter goodies. Should I opt for the classic and sturdy  whicker baskets or something more practical-  perhaps one of those beach totes from the dollar store? I couldn’t decide. Fast forward to 3 pm that afternoon. I picked up Joanna from school and she began reminiscing about the birthday party she had attended over the past weekend. She loved one of the gifts the birthday girl received and asked if she could have one too. I told her what I always tell the kids when I’m not ready to commit to any kind of purchase: “Maybe for your birthday.”

With her birthday being less than two months away, I was certain my answer would suffice and put an end to her persistent questioning. But then she asked, “How many more days until Easter?” I instantly knew where this was going right before she added, “can I get it for Easter instead?” It’s amazing to me that more kids don’t grow up to be lawyers, because they are natural negotiators.  Please refer to exhibit A (my daughter) and exhibit B (my son).  The wheels in my head began to turn when I realized my daughter was associating Easter as another opportunity to get what she wants.

Our attention can become so easily focused on creating the perfect holiday experience for our children. We carefully consider every detail from decorating the house, planning an “eggstravagant” egg hunt, and the perfectly trimmed Easter basket.   In doing so, we become distracted by tradition and lose sight of Easter’s purpose. It’s about the cross. It’s about Christ.

Driving in the car, I pondered her suggestion for a moment before I came to my concrete decision. After discussing my thoughts with Jesse, we both felt strongly to forget about the Easter baskets this year.  Easter is not about a basket. It’s about our Mighty King, whose body was beaten beyond recognition, who feebly carried His own splintered instrument of death, who paid the debt we owed, who conquered the grave, who restored us to the Lord, and to this day, the One who victoriously sits at the right hand of God, interceding on our behalf.

Jesus’ crucifixion was not wrapped with a pretty bow. It was grotesquely horrific, but in spite of this severe image of pain and anguish, we find the very definition of love and eternal promise.  Yet somehow, even with all this beautiful truth, we have become content and complacent with overshadowing Christ with commercialized pagan traditions. And once more, the purpose of the holiday becomes synonymous with  false senses of significance .

When you place your perspective on Christ, all the man-made customs of Easter  suddenly become so trivial. It’s not that I don’t want to lavish my children with the joy from gifts, candy, and fun. But I would rather my children be lavished by the joy of redemption, not chocolate bunnies. Lavished by the joy of salvation, not battery-operated, chirping chicks. And lavished by the joy of Christ, not a basket. There is no harm in a basket, but there is harm in allowing a basket draw our focus away where the real attention is due.

So while I can conclude that Easter baskets are not evil in of themselves, they do fail to accurately represent the Son of God. The Easter holiday marks the single most important event in all human history. Jesus fulfilled His prophesied purpose when He died on the cross and rose again.  You and I were washed white as snow by the Blood of the Lamb. And that, in itself, is worth celebrating!

“And the angel said, ‘do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said'” (Matthew 28: 5 & 6).

He is alive!

Christ is risen!

Hallelujah!

God’s Blessings,

The Humble Homemaker

 

 

 

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“It’s Ok, Mommy!” (When God Uses Our Children to Encourage Us)

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About two years ago, Jesse and I found ourselves in the blazing heat of a fire that put our faith to the test. We had been renting a house- a charming bungalow- that I just loved. From the original hardwood floors throughout the interior to the grape hyacinths that adorned the backyard in Springtime, it felt like an answer to prayer. This quaint and cozy house affectionately became home to our family and we felt immeasurably blessed to live there.

I had prayed to God for years to give us a home of our own. But no matter what measures we took, the door kept closing again and again.

You see, Jesse and I had overcome many obstacles to reach this point in our lives. We endured set back after set back before we reached two pivotal life goals- obtaining Jesse’s teaching licensure and home ownership. For years, it was nothing but battling one dead end job to another within seasons of living with family and in tiny apartments.  We sacrificed our living situation in order for Jesse to finish school. Finally, it was in March of 2013, that we moved into our beloved bungalow.

But even though we were overjoyed to finally live in a house, it was not officially ours. There was still a battle ahead of us. While the owner was satisfied with having us rent the house in the beginning, he soon desired to remove himself from the liability and sell the property.  In all our best efforts, we struggled in our attempt to purchase the place we had called home for the past year and a half.

The owner became impatient for us to secure the mortgage and eventually listed the home for sale in March of 2015. I can recall those disheartened days when I had to make our house presentable for perspective buyers that were coming to view our home- each one posing a potential threat of our eviction.  Despite unconstructive advice to leave the house a complete mess for showings, my convictions would not bring me to disrespect the owner’s wishes in that way, as hard as it was for me to feel as though I was participating against my will.

We would have to lead our family out of the home we dearly loved and desperately wanted to keep while the showings took place- each one feeling like an eternity. Every time we watched from afar as strangers pulled out of our driveway at the conclusion of their showing, a great sense of uncertainty lingered within our hearts.

While we were fighting to keep our family in our home, we were hit with heavy news in late May, which pushed back our efforts to secure a mortgage once more. Jesse’s school district was undergoing building consolidation that resulted in the non-renewal of his teaching contract for the upcoming school year.

Not only could our house be sold and taken out from under us at any moment, but we now had to scramble to find a new source of income. In the midst of what felt like God  fighting against us, we soon discovered He was really fighting for us.

Jesse quickly searched for a new teaching position, but while several local schools were hiring, nothing was opening in his favor. One day, he approached me with the notion to apply to schools farther away. If offered a position, I realized our family may be required to move.

I was immediately resistant and not ready to give up the fight and relinquish the home I had earnestly prayed and longed for. In a desperate effort, Jesse pursued the long-distance positions with an open mind, while I kept pleading that God would not uproot us and keep us planted right where we were.

One morning, I was driving my kids to the library and began to talk to God. Within the parameters of my mind- a space where only my quiet thoughts exist and only God can hear- I cried out, “Jesus, I need you. I can’t do this alone. I’m not ready to walk away from this home. I don’t have the strength to endure this. I don’t think I can take much more. I’ve wanted a home for so long. Why is this so hard? It’s a battle too much for me to bear.” At that very moment, my daughter, Joanna (who was only 4 at the time), simply uttered these words in her small, sweet voice: “It’s ok, Mommy. Jesus fights all our battles and He always wins.”

“From the mouths of babes, you have established strength” (Psalm 8:2). God spoke to me from the mouth of my 4-year old, who didn’t audibly hear my cry for help or realize the profound encouragement in her spoken words- words not from her own wisdom, but completely orchestrated by God.

I was so overcome by the presence of God, I had to quickly pull the car over to re-gain my composure. As I sat there with my head on the steering wheel, weeping tears of remorse and tears of joy at the same time, I knew God had heard my plea. And He boldly answered me through a most innocent vessel. That defining moment, right by the side of the road, changed the course of my faith. I peacefully released all my questioning worries, thoughts of doubt and yes, even our home into the hands of Jesus.

God reminded me that His plans are always higher than my plans. His ways are not my ways. But most importantly, He reminded me that I don’t have to fight my own battles. I can surrender my will to a Mighty, Sovereign Lord who stands in my place and fights on my behalf. So I prayed, “God, forgive me for my lack of faith. If it is your will that we move, I submit myself, our home and providing resources into your hands.”

God doesn’t need our permission to fulfill His will, but He does desire that we trust in His will.

Exactly one week later, Jesse was offered a teaching and coaching position that brought our family to Cleveland. Even against all the prior adversity we faced in obtaining a mortgage, God quickly opened the door for us to buy a home- a home that was newer and larger than the home we left behind. He fought for me- and He victoriously won the battle for me. Through this journey, I grasped a little more of the divine authority and power of God, His provision and even the route He chooses to speak to me. And I have been truly humbled ever since.

“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” -Jeremiah 33:3

God’s Blessings,

The Humble Homemaker

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Life

What’s Wrong With Kids Today?

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As generations continue to develop, grow and mature, a noticeable trend of entitlement is also growing at an alarming rate, sweeping the nation’s youth. In a technological-driven society, today’s kids are prematurely exposed to adulthood, yet do not accept the terms and conditions which adulthood demands. Today, economic class no longer determines which kids are fed by a silver spoon or not because so many parents, regardless of income, are ensuring their children’s every happiness.

Kids expect to be treated like adults, but fail to actually act like an adult. But who’s allowing them to be treated this way? Kids need to be kids. While kids deserve fundamental rights- basic needs, love and nurture, they also require to be disciplined, led, and equipped for life. In a culture where so many children feel entitled, I couldn’t help but wonder, what has happened to kids today?

It is no surprise that the generations who survived the Great Depression, fought in World War II, and persevered during the Civil Rights Movement view today’s youth as ungrateful, spoiled, and entitled. While our grandparents were raised to understand the meaning of character, parents today are raising their children to understand the meaning of comfort.

My Grandmother grew up in a time where kids spent their childhood preparing meals, cleaning, caring for younger siblings, and even working outside the home, if lean financial circumstances demanded this of them. Meanwhile, kids today are equipped for receiving handouts and are often only motivated to do something if it advances their selfish gain. But are kids the culprit of their entitlement?

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“You know what makes me sick to my stomach? When I hear grown people say that kids have changed. Kids haven’t changed. Kids don’t know anything about anything. We’ve changed as adults. We demand less of our kids. We expect less of our kids. We make their lives easier instead of preparing them for what life is truly about. We’re the ones that have changed.” -Frank Martin, S.C Head Basketball Coach

Even though our culture has changed from what it was 50 years ago, which makes parenting arguably more challenging in certain ways today, we can’t deny the logical fact that kids have always been born with the same innate, child-like instinctive behavior. Kids are kids. All kids want things, but it’s the parents who set the expectations.

We (the parents) have changed. We have evolved into these passive disciplinarian enablers who have allowed society to shape our parental convictions, define our essence of parenting, and even make our decisions for us. My husband commonly references a quote to his football coaches that perfectly correlates to parenting: “The actions you see are either taught or allowed.”

We teach or allow our children to be self-focused, ungrateful, tech junkies who have no concept of real perspective, personal sacrifice or work ethic

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Entitlement is a learned behavior. As parents, we are either fostering their entitlement or we are fostering their character.  The greatest disservice we can do to our children is give them everything and require nothing. Sometimes, the love for our children drives us to want to give them every opportunity and every luxury, and remove any shred of pain or struggle. In doing so, we feed into their entitlement and starve their character.

50 years ago, my dad sat before a plate of sauerkraut until it was time for bed. The next morning, my Grandmother sat the same cold plate in front of him because she was upholding the rule at the dinner table: you eat whatever you are served without complaint. Let’s be honest, we don’t even hold our children accountable to finish their dinner anymore. In fact, we accommodate them by preparing meals we know they will eat, so we can avoid the conflict altogether.

We have been so indoctrinated to believe it is our responsibility to ensure our children’s happiness. In doing so, other children become the standard by which we determine our parental decisions, rather than choosing what is in the best interest for our family. Your ten-year old’s friends all have a Facebook account, so why shouldn’t yours? Your eight-year old’s friends got iPhones for their birthdays, so yours should have one too. Perfectly logical, right? It’s parental peer pressure!

As parents, we have no obligation to provide these kinds of privileges. Too few kids today understand the profound correlation between responsibility and rights. We tend to fly past the responsibility part and skip ahead to handing out the rights- the rewards. Our children do not  even have to prove they are mature enough to handle their privileges before we pass them out. And yet, we still wonder…what has happened to our kids?

Entitled kids do not only become dysfunctional members of society, but diluted Christians

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As parents, our primary responsibility is to disciple our children, not entitle them. Understanding our Father’s Heart is the first step in how we are to teach our children accordingly.  Our Lord desires for His children to be servant-leaders, humble, diligent, and hard-working.

By raising entitled children, we lead them astray from who God calls us to be as His children. It is up to us- the parents- to train our children in the way they should go, to resist the temptations to feed into their earthy desires, and live a life that is truly pleasing to God.

So what is wrong with kids today? It’s us. Parents who teach or allow their children how to be ungratefully entitled,  rather than  be a humble servant for God.

Our Savior did not live a comforting, entitled life when He walked the earth. Jesus didn’t demand for His disciples to wash His feet -He washed theirs. He humbly carried out the Father’s will, even unto the cross, where He suffered in our place as the sacrificial Lamb of God.  Sacrifice is the complete opposite of entitlement. And that is the life God has called us and our children to- not entitlement- but living sacrifices.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- this is your true and proper worship.” -Romans 12:1

God’s Blessings,

The Humble Homemaker