The Plumber's 31 Wife

My Journey to A Wife of Noble Character

0 notes & Comments

Called to Prayer for World Leaders: President Putin’s Editorial

image

Did you read the open letter to all Americans in the New york Times from President Putin of Russia?  And before you read any further, I rarely comment on political situations. At the conclusion of this post you aren’t going to learn any more about my politics than you do right now. However, I will say that right now, President Putin’s letter has kept me up at night —not with worry— with conviction.

In college, I earned a minor in International Relations (IR) with my Bachelor of Arts Degree in English. National Strategic Intelligence, Politics of Terrorism, and United Nations Leadership were a few highlights of my college career. But trust me when I write, you will not read any of those interesting theories here and not just because I cannot remember most of them. The most important reason is that my position about President Putin’s letter is not the point of this post. What has kept me up at night is a calling to prayer for world leaders, including President Putin.

When I became a mother, my world view changed like many moms that have come before me. I could no longer see the world like I did as a young single woman in college. My lens is permanently that of a mother.

  • When I read of chemical arsenals, I see my children.
  • When I read of terrorists, I see my children.
  • When I read of targeted air strikes, I see my children.
  • When I read of projected world war, I see my children.

You get my point. When I read President Putin’s letter to all Americans, I felt like a hand was reaching into my heart and gripping it. I could not help but think of my children and the world they are inheriting from us. For days I have been peeling away the layers of this reaction to discover its root: prayer.

I am a mom that understands the need for strategic defenses, leadership, and guns, please don’t misunderstand me. My grandfather, father, and husband all have served this country. I am thankful for the soldiers who keep the wolves at bay. I am not leading you down a path that will say, “hey why cant we all get along.” We all remember that guy. I am also not one of those soldiers that keep the wolves at bay. It is not my role. The role God has set before me is one of nurturer. 

The children in my home will one day become fathers, mothers, husbands, and wives —maybe even soldiers and leaders. The time to pray for them is now:

  1. I pray my children will live a life that reflects the principles of Christ that I have taught them.
  2. I pray my children will go out into the darkness and reflect light.
  3. I pray that if one of my children becomes a part of our country’s defense system that I have taught them the importance of living a peaceful life.
  4. I pray that if one of my children hold a position of leadership within our country that they will have learned honesty, faith, and godliness that was a mirror of my own life.
  5. I pray that all of my children will understand the dire importance of praying for our world leaders even as they too lead and nurturer within their own families. 

Scripture tells us that Paul writes to Timothy regarding prayer in 1 Timothy 2: 1-7:

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.

While I often pray for the hungry, the madmen, the innocent, the servicemen, and our president, I am also convicted as Paul has said to pray more earnestly for all those in authority in our global community, like President Putin, for this pleases our Savior. Jesus gave himself as a ransom for each of us. Paul writes this letter to Timothy as a trustworthy guideline to a life of godliness and faith. The same guidelines apply today in a world of chemical arsenals, aggressive militants, and civilized diplomatic political settlements.

Over the next month my family will be focusing on the leaders of the G20 to begin our prayers. Like you, we have an action packed life so a visual reminder will keep us on track with our prayers. We love popsicle/ craft sticks as prompts for prayer. It helps my children and myself to remember to pray for those we don’t typically think of in our day to day life. We keep a bucket of them on the counter in the kitchen for teachers, relatives, friends, our pastors, and other special people in our lives to prompt us. We will be expanding on this concept and learning the G20 leaders and the countries they lead. 

image

Prayer is vital to our walk with the Lord. This is how we communicate with Him and I am always looking for ways to deepen my prayer life and that of my children.  i am grateful that God opened my eyes through this letter and created in me a conviction to pray fervently for our leaders and global community.                                                      

Won’t you join us?

P31Wife

Filed under prayer

0 notes & Comments

Fighting Grief with Joy

“Mama, this is my first birthday where Papa didn’t call.”

His words devastated me and made me happy at the same time. I had been choking the grief back all day. Wishing like crazy I could hear my dad call and sing happy birthday to my son just one more time had been in the back of my mind all day. As I was kneeling by my son’s bed to begin our goodnight routine of song and prayer, I was thankful for the dimmed lights as I searched for the right words that were fighting to get around that lump in my throat.

“I miss him too,” was all I could manage.

“I feel happy when I think about him. I can hear him in my head singing.”

Joy.

image

I couldn’t hold back my tears or my smile. I had been telling my kids that there would be happy moments and reminders of joy that would make us smile and remember my dad. I asked my kids to help each other by sharing those happy moments to make our way through the sad. At the time, I meant it to be between them, but as always they teach me.

It has only been about six weeks since my dad has passed and it is still so fresh for all of us. For me, the happy days seem to hurt the most, especially the days where my kids pass milestones that I long to share with my dad. These moments dig deeply into the hole that is left when someone you love dearly has passed. I am finding it is difficult to find the joy on those days and not just the grief.

When I left my dad’s home for the last time this summer, I could barely pass by a special milestone that signaled we were quickly approaching my dad’s warm embrace. To be honest, I was sobbing and could barely catch my breath. Where once I loved to see that sign coming into town now I could barely stand it. My husband pulled to the side of the road next to our beloved 45th parallel milestone. With two cold drinks he said, “come on, this is for your dad,” and we walked down to the river.

image

“What do you see?”

“The river.”

“Now close your eyes. What do you hear and feel?”

I named off the various things I could hear and feel: the birds, bugs, the breeze in the tall grass, the rippling water, the trees. It was a vivid experience.

image

“Just because you can’t see him, doesn’t mean you can’t feel him. When one of your senses is missing, the others will be heightened. You cannot see your dad, but you will most definitely feel him all the time. Just like I did and still do after my dad died.”

 

As I write this, I am reminded of what Jesus tells his disciples in John 16: 22 about the impending death of Himself, “So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” In Christ, we have an everlasting life and joy that no one can take away. It is through Him we are connected to our Father in Heaven with the Holy Spirit. It is through Him that we can withstand the grief of this world. Grief can paralyze us and debilitate us and try to steal our joy. Jesus and joy is our way out of grief.

I will see my dad again and nothing can steal that joy. He and I will worship together at the feet of our Lord singing in perfect harmony. I find great joy and peace in this. Until then, I search for the joy sometimes in the midst of tears and sadness or even happiness. I listen to my family when they point out his love and joy out to me, and am reminded of the greater love we have in Christ. I take the time to grieve when I miss my dad, but I put my trust and faith in Jesus and fight the grief with joy one day at a time. 

P31Wife

image

Filed under jesus grief

0 notes & Comments

Living Life Like a Sparrow

 

image

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”(Matthew 6: 25-27).

I have never been a rock climber. Nope, not once ever in my life. I have never been a cliff diver or parachutist. Fear of falling keeps my feet firmly planted on the ground. But this season of my life over the last six months, God has made me a rock climber, cliff diver, jump-out-of-a-perfectly-good-plane kind of girl. Trust me when I say, I haven’t gone quietly.

Six months ago, my husband and I became foster parents to an amazing little girl and God grew our family. A journey I would happily embark on a million more times. But this journey has required me to stretch and bend and climb and fall in ways I have never experienced before. I have had to worry less and trust more than I ever have had to in my life.

image

Here are some lessons I have learned:

  1. God knows who I am. Psalm 139 tells me that His thoughts of me out number the grains of sand. On those days when the laundry piles swallow up small children, the dishes seem to have a never-ending story, and I can’t remember if I have showered or not, He sees me. He knows who I am. He calls me His beloved and beckons me to His side. He is my El Roi.

  2. God has a specific purpose and personal plan for me. I was born for this time and in this generation. A month ago, I buried my dad. As I watched his generation slip through my fingers, I am reminded that my time to live God’s plan is now. He chose me right now to bring glory to His name. He chose me to live this life, not my dad, not any others. His plan for my life is my first priority. That plan includes loving and following and perfect timing. I am Jeremiah 29:11. I am a rock-climbing-seeking-His-face kind of girl. I am a soldier for Christ living his plan.
  3. I am carefully protected. There is pain in our journey. But here is the kicker, that pain does not exceed the purpose of our plan. God is our purpose: to love Him and love each other. We can either embrace that plan and go through the pain, or we can let it all be in vain. We are carefully protected by our Almighty Father. No one can snatch us from His hands. We are His. God uses our pain for His good. I have witnessed the beauty that comes from ashes first hand and it is vibrant. We only need to be faithful, available, and teachable. He has our back. We are His (John 10:27-28).

Learning to live life like a sparrow, depending on God to both sow and reap, has had its challenges for me. I have always felt like I was either sowing or reaping in every season of my life. Most days this feels like dangling from your fingertips off a cliff in the grand Canyon. Truth is you cannot worry and trust in the Lord. You have to let go of one or the other. God wants us to not worry. He has our story written. He has our names etched in the palm of His hand. I don’t have it perfect every day, and He knows that. But on those days, those     wonderful glorious days, when I get it right and I am soaring on the wings of the Lord, living life like a sparrow, I am depending upon Him for everything. I know who I am. I know my purpose. I know I am protected. 

 image

P31Wife 

Filed under encourage me

1 note & Comments

The Day After Valentine’s Day

image

I remember it like it was yesterday. That feeling of relief the day after Valentine’s Day. Relief that all the attention was finally off of me. I was a single girl in a world of couples. Shame. Embarrassment. Oh, how I dreaded that day. Loathed it, actually. It was filled with loneliness. Plain and simple. All the lucky girls with their bouquets of flowers, heart boxes of chocolates, and tender cards. Blech. Heartache for the lonely. Every minute of that day I wondered if there was someone out there for me. Wondering if I would end up being alone forever?

I was wrong, but even more so than I thought.

Truth is I did not end up alone. I am married to the love of my life, and I have three beautiful children. I thank God for each of them every day. For those of you single girls, you may say, “well, of course your Valentine’s Day is full of love.” You would be right, but the difference is my perspective.

I had to learn to switch my focus from receiving to giving. Sadly, that wasn’t until I got married and had a family before I could see that. There were many opportunities I missed to bless people because I was so busy feeling sorry for myself. When my husband and children came along, I realized how fulfilling it was to give love.

Today, giving love to all the wonderful people who surround us, especially the ones who appear to reside on the cusp of love is where Christ wants us, not always in the middle of a Hallmark store. There were many things I could have done to love on the people around me, and I didn’t. Most importantly, even as a new Christian in my adult life, I never focused on the true lover of my soul. At the very least and most importantly, I could have been deep with in prayer, fighting off the expectations of this world, arming myself with His love, seeking joys, feeling gratitude, feeling love. Seeking Him.

I have celebrated 10 Valentine’s Days with my husband. Each year, we skip the flowers because he takes dozens of ordinary days to bring me flowers, many of those bouquets are red roses and some wildflowers picked from the side of the road. Each and every time, I feel loved and cherished. I have never received a heart shaped box of chocolates from him, and I am grateful for that. It reminds me that love does not come shaped in a heart and connected to chocolate. Some of our poorer years we have made cards, some have been funny, some have been sappy, all have been tender. We spend more Valentine’s Days with our kids setting family traditions and teaching them what love is truly and from where it comes, the Lord.

Most importantly, we teach our children to give to all the people around them everyday not just Valentine’s Day; remembering neighbors who need us, mail carriers, bus drivers, and the loving teachers and staff at their schools. They seek shy kids at school to bless, to encourage. We share what we have with those who don’t. We look for the people on the cusp who Jesus loves with his whole heart. We love. We pray. We ask the Lord to open our eyes and fill our hearts with His love.

I will always be grateful for the lonely years. I remember them like they were yesterday. I wish I would have had the courage to be Jesus-love in those days. While I cannot do anything about those yesterdays, I can certainly be that love today.

So can you.    

P31Wife

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment.And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22: 36-40 NIV

0 notes & Comments

Five Minute Friday: Stay

"Stay with me, mama," he said.

How could I not? He had been sick for 8 days now, and I could not breathe if I left his side.

The beeping of the machines. The rise and fall of his chest. The busy chaos outside his door. The still quiet within my head. It was all there in that small room. Twenty-three floors above the ground.

It had been 8 days that I had seen his little sister and brother, felt their breath upon my cheek. My heart ached and a permanent lump had taken residence in my throat.

It had been 8 days since I had turned him over to the Lord both physically, mentally, and spiritually. I couldn’t watch as the helicopter lifted off the ground with him.

Stay.

I couldn’t do anything else.

"Lord, stay," I begged.

Stay with me, as I held the small hand of the boy I cherished.

"Stay with me son," I whispered as he drifted in and out.

All three of us there in that room: the Lord, the mama, the baby boy.

We stayed. 

Stop.

EDIT: Our son healed wonderfully and he was amazingly sent home after 13 days at UCSF. He had a case of the flu that turned into a devastating ordeal. We are so grateful for his recovery. This was written about a moment of time during our stay there.

Five Minute Friday

Lisa Jo Baker from Gypsy Mama hosts a five minute writing project every friday and provides a community of awesome bloggers with a single topic. We write for five minutes flat and post what we write, without extreme editing! Just pure thoughts and nothing else. Click on the link above to check out other bloggers thoughts on the same topic. I would love to hear what you think! 

P31Wife

Filed under Five Minute Friday

0 notes & Comments

Lessons From My Daughter on the Holy Spirit

"There are two voices you usually hear, Mama."

She is six, and loves to talk about a mile a minute when you get her in a car.

"And, God usually gets your attention first and then tells you what to do."

Really.

"Yes, mama. God gets your attention. Kinda how he got Paul’s attention to keep him from killing Christians. Well, maybe not exactly like how He got Paul’s attention with the blinding light, but He still does." (Acts 9)

I almost had to pull over. She was absolutely speaking Truth, and I get really excited when that happens.

"He gets you to stop doing something bad by giving you that feeling that something isn’t right. Even when Satan tells you to lie, God tells you not to. His voice is bigger than Satan’s. Satan is a bully."

I pulled over.

"I like when God tells me to do good things most of all. Like when he tells me to help someone on the playground. Or when He told me to help my friend learn to tie her shoes. I like when He tells me to do good things. It feels good when I do what God tells me."

Deep breaths of a proud mama with a spreading smile.

"When I took that toy I wasn’t supposed to, Mama, God told me not to. But I chose not to listen to Him. That made me feel so bad that I didn’t listen. But then I felt better when I took it back and said I was sorry. That was God."

Tears in my eyes at the sight of the Holy Spirit in my baby girl.

Following the Holy Spirit does not have to be hard. Why do we make it? It is easy and we make it complicated when we serve our flesh rather than our spirit (Romans 8). Trusting Jesus like a child is what Jesus himself preached (Mark 10:15). The Holy Spirit is with us always and guides us if we choose to listen and obey (John 14:26).

Listen.

Obey.

Walk with God.

P31Wife

"Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samariaenjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers," (Acts 9:31).

Filed under raising babies jesus

0 notes & Comments

Five Minute Friday: Quiet

Five Minute Friday

Topic: Quiet

The news is deafening.

"Run to me," He says. "Run to Me. Hide here."

The chaos and screaming ensues but I am am still in my mind. Cowering to the pain of his words.

Quiet.

It sears.  

It bleeds.

The screaming is mine; I hear it.

"Hide here," He says. "Stay close, Beloved."

Despair creeps in like a stone statue of a weeping angel. She buries her head in her hands, hands and head layed down on her knees. She weeps.

"Come," He says. "Rest here."

Down feathers soft up on the tips of my fingers.

"Trust me."

Stop.

Lisa Jo Baker from Gypsy Mama hosts a five minute writing project every friday and provides a community of awesome bloggers with a single topic. We write for five minutes flat and post what we write, without extreme editing! Just pure thoughts and nothing else. Click on the link above to check out other bloggers thoughts on the same topic. I would love to hear what you think!

Filed under Five Minute Friday

0 notes & Comments

Five Minute Friday: Roots

Five Minute Friday

Lisa Jo Baker from Gypsy Mama hosts a five minute writing project every friday and provides a community of awesome bloggers with a single topic. We write for five minutes flat and post what we write, without extreme editing! Just pure thoughts and nothing else. Click on the link above to check out other bloggers thoughts on the same topic. I would love to hear what you think!

TOPIC: Roots

I am a girl sitting in a field surrounded by them. Bright sunshine yellow, and I pick them. Lie back in the grass and watch the billows of clouds float by. No cares. No time frame.

I am a teenager. Striving. Racing. Lonely. Pulling them from the front yard. White weeds. One after the other. Wishing futility of a life that drags on. Wishing for love. Wishing for a white knight on a white horse to rescue while the wolves growl at the door.

I am woman. Lovingly watching them glide through the fields picking one after another. Watching. Remembering. Realizing the extensive roots that lie beneath these flowers of gold. They are dandy. Both child and flowers for mama.

They call my name: mama.

He calls my name: beloved.

Their roots extensive. 

In Him, they grow. 

In me, they grow.

Stop.

P31Wife

0 notes & Comments

Goodbye, October. Hello, November.

What a month October has been: a month of growth and blessings. Thank you for taking the 31 Day Writing Challenge with me. As always, God blesses the writer before the reader. He has blessed me outrageously this month by through the challenge, and I hope you found blessings sprinkled throughout as well. You can read the whole series here on this link. One of my favorite posts “Don’t Miss Your Life” you can find here. The post, “The Perfect and Good Girl with Potential,” where I was most vulnerable and God grew me the most, you can read here. Will you please share it? God has something mighty to say through my journey, and I know there are others who want to hear it. We serve an awesome God, don’t we? He works in amazing and unexpected ways.  

One of the many things I learned in October was the importance of perseverance to our moral character. To be honest, writing for 31 days straight was a bit of a marathon. I am glad I persevered, and by the grace of God I feel like I served Him well. Around every turn, I wanted to write about one thing, and God said no dig deeper. Through obedience, I was able to bring His message and not mine. On the other side of things, that feels peaceful. I am on the right path (2 Peter 1: 1-8).

This month held many lessons for both myself and my children. I am looking forward to writing about how they taught me about serving the Lord. There is nothing more humbling than learning how to serve Christ from the very children who you are trying to teach (John 3:16). 

I am also following Ann Voskamp and her thoughts on gratitude this month. If you haven’t heard of Ann and her book one thousand gifts, you should stop what you are doing and read! I am documenting all that I am grateful for this month by doing the November Joy Dare. I will be sharing some of that with you here, on the P31Wife Facebook page, and Twitter @plumbers31wife. Join me, won’t you please? It doesn’t have to be a fancy journal. Maybe its a piece of notebook paper on the fridge. Just document this month all that you are grateful to God for. We will journey towards a heart full of gratitude together.

My prayer for us this month is a heart of gratitude and humility focused on the Lord and His many blessings. “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 3:17 NIV). Memorize this with me this month?

I am grateful for you. I am grateful for this opportunity to serve you. There are two things right already!

Love,

P31Wife

"A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies,” (Proverbs 31:10)

Day 1 of November Joy Dare: honeycrisp apple, warm oatmeal, homemade pumpkin seeds

0 notes & Comments

31 Days of Weight Loss: {Day 31: Sing a New Song}

There comes a time where you have to lay your burdens down and surrender. If you are like me, may be you try every avenue stubbornly. May be you think in the back of your mind “if I can just get to the point of thin, I could maintain it.” May be you try one more quick fix, one more unhealthy treatment for your body, your temple. When you are done with the quick fixes and done trying to do it on your own, try Jesus. Surrender yourself and sing a new song for Him. He can help you.

“To whom will you compare me?

Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.

Lift your eyes and look o the heavens:

Who created all these?

He who brings out the starry host one by one,

and calls them each by name.

Because of his great power and mighty strength,

not one of them is missing.

He alone can fill voids. He alone can pull our lives together. Take the steps needed to change your relationship with Christ.

Why do you say, O Jacob,

and complain, O Israel,

“My way is hidden from the Lord;

my cause is disregarded by my God”?

Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God,

the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,

and his understanding no one can fathom.

With Jesus directing our journeys He will never tire of our struggles. His grace will never run out. He is an everlasting God, and we cannot be disregarded by God.

He gives strength to the weary

and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary,

and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:25-31).

It is exhausting to do this on your own. We can try, but ultimately we tire ourselves out.  We look for acceptance, value, and comfort from any other source but the True Source. Jesus waits for us, my friend. He longs to fill our voids and heal our hurts. He wants us to soar like eagles. This journey can be conquered with Christ. We can sing a new song. We need only to trust Him and obey.

God has blessed me tenfold through this series. I have enjoyed writing and posting His many blessings and lessons the last 31 days. He fills me up, and I spill out His love.

I will continue to write His story of love and abundance through my weight loss journey. I pray you will join me as I do. Look for Weight on Wednesdays on P31Wife.

Praying for our journeys sisters,

P31Wife

Filed under 31days weight loss