Friday, April 27

Highlight The Good In Your Guy

Please Read 1 Corinthians 11:7-9 

Do you remember the days when you were dating your husband? When you would pick out the perfect outfit and get all fancy for him before a hot date? Do you remember routinely shaving your legs and wearing eyeliner? What about the way you felt when he first held your hand or told you that he loved you?

I remember leaving our dates with an enormous smile that refused to go away. I would replay the details of our dates in my head and I would giggle. Remember giggling?! My husband made me feel like a million bucks when we were dating. Just sitting next to him made my heart flutter. Feel free to take a break and go vomit...I’ll wait.

There seems to be a growing trend of husband bashing on the rise. It’s like women have forgotten why they fell in love with their husbands.

Perhaps you’ve heard it...

“My husband is so lazy. He sits around and does nothing”

“My husband has gained so much weight since we’ve been married.” 

“I do everything around the house. He doesn’t help me at all.”

These are a few of the minor examples. It’s becoming more and more popular to point out all of the negative things we see in our husbands. It feeds into satan’s plan to make us discontent.

How would you feel if your husband was criticizing you in front of all of his friends? If he were pointing out all of the little things he thinks you lack or don’t do right. I don’t know about you, but I would feel awful.  The bible tell us to bring glory to our husbands.

“A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, 

but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.”

 (Proverbs 12:4) 

We are supposed to highlight the good in our guy. We need to draw attention to his gifts and support him free of criticism.

No one has a perfect marriage and I’m not asking you to exaggerate your relationship. Things may have happened in your marriage that you are still healing from. There may be deep issues that have left you feeling hurt and possibly alone. I’m not discrediting those feelings. But, I am challenging you to have respect for your marriage and refrain from airing out your dirty laundry to anyone willing to listen. Choose a close friend or family member that you can trust and discuss it with them.

Take a few moments today to remember why you fell in love with your husband. Think back to your first date. I don’t know about you but our first date involved some seriously good food that I wish I could have again right now. Funny how when you’re dating you’re willing to spend $8 on a piece of cake. Now we’re married and dessert after a meal isn’t even an option!

Let the man you fell in love with be the picture you paint to everyone you come in contact with. Don’t get sucked in to bad mouthing him and exposing his faults. Never forget your first date!

Ashley K.

Wednesday, April 25

Loving Jesus

Please read Matthew 25:31-46

This beautiful poem was borrowed from Megan Breedlove at

I started my day early,
Before the room was light.
I lifted my son from his crib
And wished it was still night.
But as I held him close and said,
"Hi, Kenneth, precious one,"
I knew that as I greeted him,
I greeted too God's Son.

When my daughter woke up later,
Calling, "Mommy! Mommy! Down!"
I picked her up and hugged her
In her worn Elmo nightgown.
I know she felt the closeness
That a mother's touch affords.
I welcomed not just Ellie,
But so, too, the Lord of Lords.

That day, I mixed some formula
And opened jars of peas.
I fixed some "pizza butter" bread
When she grinned and said, "Pleeeeease."
I heated up some leftovers;
I had to nuke them twice.
And when I fed my children,
I was feeding Jesus Christ.

I made some funny faces,
And "played puzzles" on the floor.
I dressed kitties, ran around outside,
And played with them some more.
We laughed and jumped and tickled,
Making memories to be stored.
When I spent time with my children,
I spent time with my Lord.

I wiped up sticky cereal
And washed the dishes clean.
I straightened, picked up, put away,
And dusted in between.
I did six loads of laundry
And folded it like new.
When I cleaned for my children,
I cleaned for my Savior, too.

When my children were both crying,
I held them in my arms.
I cuddled them and whispered
That I'd keep them safe from harm.
I told them how their Father saved them
With His perfect Lamb.
When I comforted my children,
I comforted I AM.

Later on that evening,
I put them in the bath.
I washed their little bodies
As they kicked around and splashed.
I dried them in soft towels
And put their jammies on.
When I had washed my children's feet,
I'd washed the Holy One.

I cooked and cleaned and rearranged,
Made beds and taught and played.
I made sure that we had food to eat
And that we often prayed.
I died to self. I made a home
From ordinary things.
But when I served my children,
I served the King of Kings.

To some, I have done nothing,
But to two, I've done the world.
I made eternal difference
To my precious boy and girl,
And to the One who watches over
Every pathway that I've trod.
For when I've loved my precious children,
I've loved Almighty God.

- Megan Breedlove (

Sunday, April 22

To the Future Mrs. Right

Read Proverbs 31:10-31

To my daughter (a future Mrs. Right),

#1. Choose your man wisely. All my advice from here on out will be based on the hope you choose a good man to marry. A man who loves God with his whole heart. If you are following God too, finding Mr. Right won't be a problem. "A woman's heart should be so close to God that a man should have to chase Him to find her." (C. S. Lewis)

#2. Always be your husband's girlfriend. He fell in love with the sweet, funny, entertaining, thoughtful girl you were when you were dating. Keep finding her even when she is hiding in sloppy work-out clothes. Even when she is hugely pregnant. Be his girlfriend.

#3. Kick nagging to the curb. It is annoying, doesn't remind him of his beloved girlfriend (see above), and doesn't work for long. Pray for your husband daily. The only way to change him is for God to work in his life.... not you and your almighty reminders.

#4. The fastest way to a man's heart is through his stomach. My grandma was right. Cook foods for him that he loves. He will feel loved.

#5. A man will think it is necessary, appropriate, and downright funny when he farts. He will think it is unnecessary and disgusting if/when you do.

#6. Treat your man like a king and he will treat you like his queen. Men's list of needs is a short one. A satisfied man will swim through shark-infested waters to fetch you a lemon-aid. Is he grumpy? Then he isn't feeling like the king of his castle and fetching your lemon-aid certainly is not on his radar. We women like to mess with this concept, hoping the formula will change so we can sit around being pampered without any effort. It won't change because God created it this way (the man is to be the head of the family - Ephesians 5:23).

#7. Keep yourself looking hot for him. Don't spend money on an image that he doesnt find attractive. You know what he likes. Men are so visual. He'll appreciate the effort, even when he doesn't say so.

#8. Use the household money wisely. Respect his hard work by stretching every dollar and not complaining about having too little. Much of a man's worth is tied to what/how he works. Make him feel capable of taking care of his family and he will rise to the occasion.

#9. Your hormones are completely real and will make you act completely irrational at times. It's better to take a time-out instead of taking it out on him.

#10. Your man can not read your mind. No matter how much he loves you, talks to you, prays for you, thinks about you -- he still can. not. read. your. mind. Stop hoping he will know what you are thinking and tell him about your expectations. If you want a surprise birthday party, you might just have to plan it yourself and have him put stamps on the envelopes for the invites. It's okay. You'll get what you want and save him loads of stress.

#11. Your mood will drastically effect everyone who lives with you. Yes, the job is incredibly difficult, but the God who created you with love and care did not give you an impossible task when he asked you to serve your family with joy. "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for God, not man." Colosians 3:23.

#12. There will be things that drive you crazy about Mr. Right. You can stew over each inadequacy and the discontent will destroy your marriage. Or you can drive out those "crazy" thoughts with thanksgiving. Every sock not thrown in the hamper or cupboard door left ajar shows that there is life in your home. Thank God for each moment you have with the man you married.

#13. Give your girlfriends, not Mr. Right, an ear-full about your latest decorating scheme, fashion foibles, or the fantastic updos you saw on Pinterest. They care. He doesn't.

#14. Be an encourager. Every man is still a boy who needs an ego boost now and then. Sing his praises to him and to others in public. Tell your friends how amazing you think he is. If you won't be his cheerleader, who will be?

#15. Your parents love you and pray for you. We will always be available if you are hurt or in danger, but otherwise: do not share your marriage problems with us. God is the source of wisdom in your marriage (James 1:7). Cling to your husband, cling to God's promises. Seek unbiased, godly counseling (your parents have a bias!) before things get ugly. When your conflicts are resolved you will be thankful because your husband's in-laws will still think highly of him instead of giving him the snake-eye at every family gathering for mistakes you've forgiven him for.

#16. If you fish for compliments, expect to be handed a line. You know whether you look fat in those pants, so don't ask unless you can take his honest answer.

#17. Every now and then, forget bedtime and stay up late talking and cuddling (with benefits) with Mr. Right. The missing sleep will not be as important as the intimacy gained.

#18. Invest in a deep relationship with God. It will improve your marriage. “An ongoing relationship with God through His Word is essential to [your] consistent victory” (Beth Moore, Believing God).

#19. Give 100%, even when things don't seem "fair." '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 (husband) as yourself.' Matthew 22:37.

#20. With all this hard work, you will probably find yourself longing for your carefree little-girl days, free of responsibilities. It's okay to still want to be a princess. Just make sure you are following advice #1 thru #19 and then wear your tiara with joy.

Written by Alysun P.

Friday, April 20

I Want To Live Like That

Just a reminder to live out Christ's love.  Sometimes we only promote our faith when we are at church or among fellow believers.  The truth is, the healthy aren't the ones who need medicine.  Model the love of Jesus to everyone you come in contact with today.  You may be the only glimpse of Christianity they will ever see.

"I Want to Live Like That"
Sidewalk Prophets

Sometimes I think
What will people say of me
When I'm only just a memory
When I'm home where my soul belongs

Was I love
When no one else would show up
Was I Jesus to the least of those
Was my worship more than just a song

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

If love is who I am
Then this is where I'll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back

I want to live like that
I want to live like that

Am I proof
That You are who you say You are
That grace can really change a heart
Do I live like Your love is true

People pass
And even if they don't know my name
Is there evidence that I've been changed
When they see me, do they see You

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

If love is who I am
Then this is where I'll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back

I want to live like that
I want to live like that

I want to show the world the love
You gave for me
I'm longing for the world to know the glory of the King

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

If love is who I am
Then this is where I'll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back

I want to live like that
I want to live like that

Ashley K.

Wednesday, April 18

Remind Me Who I Am

Read Deuteronomy 6:20-25

I am loving this song by Jason Grey. The chorus gets stuck in my head--in a non-annoying way. It's a fantastic chorus to have perpetually lodged in one's brain.

When I lose My way,
And I forget my name,
Remind me who I am.
In the mirror all I see,
Is who I don't wanna be,
Remind me who I am.

In the loneliest places,
When I can't remember what grace is.
When my heart is like a stone,
And I'm running far from home,
Remind me who I am.

When I can't receive your love,
Afraid I'll never be enough,
Remind me who I am.
If I'm your beloved,
Can you help me believe it?

I'm the one you love,
That will be enough,
I'm the one you love.
Tell me once again who I am to you.
Tell me must I forget who I am to you.
 That I belong to you.

Monday, April 16

Motivated By Anticipation

Anticipation is the expectation or hope of something that is to come. It can be a powerful motivator if what you are looking forward to is a good thing.

It doesn't take much sometimes. Yesterday, my boring day (filled with a "blah"- unmotivated mood) suddenly became exciting when I made plans with my husband to go to the new Super W-mart store and then out for icecream with the kids.

And other times the anticipations are huge ones. Like being 38 weeks pregnant... every moment of my day is filled with the hope of this baby being in my arms soon. It makes the end of pregnancy doable because I look forward to something far, far better.

I have a friend who is using the anticipation of a reunion in 6 months to make a dramatic change in her diet and exercise routine. She's losing weight like crazy all with the that goal in mind. It is still hard, work, but it becomes fun at the same time.

The motivation that anticipation provides is unlike anything else. Without anticipation of something better, there is no motivation to keep going, and without motivation... well, enter the "blah" mood.

We've all been there, that sallow place where there is nothing in the future that provides any kind of excitement. When day after day is drab and boring (and incredibly hard and messy if you have little kids).

No exotic vacations on the horizon. No fun reunions. No living baby bulge to soon hold, just the bulge. Not even a Super W-mart store opening or date night.

Our earthly anticipations are important motivators, but take them away and we are quickly defeated. And that means we've lost sight of the bigger goal.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, 

but on what is unseen, 

since what is seen is temporary

but what is unseen is eternal. 

II Cor 4:18 

What is seen is temporary. We cling to it, but really vacations pass, reunions come and go, Super W-marts lose their luster, even our babies grow up and move on. Without an eternal hope, what is our motivation?

When the "blah" mood strikes and this life seems boring and mundane and downright depressing, remember to fix your eyes on what is unseen, a hope in Jesus Christ. He has a purpose for our lives that is powerfully motivating.

When should ask, "How can you use me today Lord? Give me a vision for eternity that gets my butt in gear striving for more." He gives hope for the future.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for 

and certain of what we do not see.

Hebrews 11:1

Written by Alysun P.

Friday, April 13

The Poison of My Pride

Read Psalm 32

Last night I went to bed upset. Twice.

Something happened that hurt my feelings and I tossed and turned with no resolution. My mind kept wandering back to my irritation. Then that little baby of mine woke me up around 2 am and I chose being mad over sleep once again.

When I finally woke up I felt a little better. But after reconsidering my fresh outlook, I decided that I still wanted to be upset. So that’s what I did. I put on a frown. Then I began rehearsing my accusing speech in my head that I would deliver to my husband when he got home.

That’ll teach him.

I packed up my kiddos and headed out to drop my oldest off at school. As I sat and waited for the teacher to open up the door a song came on that I haven’t heard in a very long time. The chorus leapt out of the speakers and grabbed ahold of me.

"Empty me 
Of the selfishness inside 
Every vain ambition 
And the poison of my pride 
And any foolish thing my heart holds to 
Lord empty me of me 
So I can be 
Filled with you"

You can’t avoid a message like that. God made sure to alert me of my faulty behavior. As I sat and hung my head and shed a few tears, I realized how unfair I was being. My husband doesn’t deserve to have me sitting at home stewing over something that he doesn’t even realize happened. It was never his intention to hurt my feelings, but it was my intention to hurt his by choosing to be mad at him.

Our pride can get us in a lot of trouble. We tend to have a ceaseless desire to be “right” instead of a desire to resolve.

My prayer for today is that I have a Christ like response to my relationships. I pray that I can react with love and patience rather than reply with anger and hostility. It’s going to take a lot of work but God wouldn’t suggest it if He thought I couldn’t do it.

I encourage you to choose to be glad today. Don’t look for reasons to be mad and pick apart the people you love until there is nothing left. Simply love them.

"Rejoice in the LORD and be glad..."

(Psalm 32:11)

Written By Ashley K.

Monday, April 9

Happy Easter

Perhaps the best summery of the Easter message:

Living, He loved me.

Dying, He saved me.

Buried, He carried my sins far away.

Rising, He justified, freely, forever. 

One day He’s coming!

Oh glorious day, oh glorious day!

(Glorious Day, Casting Crowns)

Friday, April 6

For Good Friday: Set Me Free

Casting Crowns

Tuesday, April 3

Beautiful Waste

Please Read Mary's story in John 12:1-11

Borrowed with permission from Kari Patterson at Sacred Mundane

I tiptoe in the dark, kneel down by Heidi’s bed, gather her up into my arms, then ease into the rocking chair. Her coughing eases into sleep as I remember these words …

Mary tiptoed into the room, quietly knelt, and broke her alabaster flask, anointing Jesus’ feet.
The cost of that flask was almost a year’s wages–equivalent to 40-50 Thousand, dollars–all contained in her flask. It was probably her dowry, her worth as a marriageable woman.

All she owned.

Broken, poured out, wasted on Jesus’ feet of all things.  The disciples, very logically and wisely, insisted there would certainly be a better use of those resources than dumping $50,000 on Jesus’ feet!

I would have thought the same thing.

Or, wouldn’t it have been so much smarter, to pour the oil into three containers, use 1/3 of the money for the poor, 1/3 of the money for her dowry, and a 1/3 of the oil use to offer to Jesus? That seems wise.  Or, she could have worshiped him with words, she could have hugged Him, kissed Him, praised Him.  Come on, I mean, really?! You have to waste all that good money by dumping it on the floor?

But Jesus thought it was a beautiful waste He commends her, and then amazingly chooses to record it in Scripture, so that this woman’s story would be told around the world for the rest of history to know.  

He thought her waste was beautiful.

Before she died at 95 my dear Aunt Lois shared these timeless words of truth:
"Nothing is Wasted"

But the important qualification for that truth is that nothing’s wasted that is given to God.  Lots is wasted.  People waste their lives all the time.  The woman in the story could have dumped her alabaster flask into the trash and it would have truly been wasted. Utterly wasted.

But “wasted” on the feet of Jesus meant that not a drop was wasted, it was invested with the highest return–the glory of God, the worship of Jesus, the love and praise of the Savior.
That is beautiful waste.

And the beauty of the anointing wasn’t in the value of the flask’s contents–it was in the value of the sacrifice.  We know throughout Scripture, from Abraham to David to the widow with the two mites to Mary and her flask, that the value of our offering is not in what we give, but in what we give up Yes, there is a double meaning there.  What we give up is what we sacrifice, which is the true measure of our worship. And, what we give up is given upwards to God, with His glory as the intended aim.
The value of our worship is what we give up, what we waste for His sake in response to 

His extravagant love for us.

What is my sacrifice?  What is your sacrifice? What is our alabaster flask, what it is we can waste on his feet?

I had asked this. Waited. Asked God to show me.

The one thing He mentioned made tears slip silently down my cheek. 

Giving up my time, my ambitions, my dreams, my preferences, to lay down my life for my kids, to giving every ounce of my being to investing in them to be Christ followers, Kingdom advancers, lovers of God.  That seems so natural, but for me it’s not. Often it’s hard.  Giving time and energy to writing and teaching God’s Word is not a sacrifice for me. It’s fun. Thrilling. Rewarding.  Studying, reading, learning, teaching—all of those things are good and I’ll keep doing them, but they are not really a sacrifice. 


A silent tear slipped down my cheek as I realized that was my alabaster flask.  How appropriate that as I prayed those words I was holding my sick daughter upright to keep her from coughing, bouncing her softly and letting her pat my face with her soft, doughy hands, kissing her feverish, sweaty head.
Right there in my arms was the answer to my question.

Where is yours?

What is yours?

I’m praying for God to show me how to live this beautiful waste, how to fight the gnawing hunger for productivity, turn the clock to the wall, and wastefully invest in the two precious souls He’s entrusted to my care.  One of them is coughing, so I must go.  Let my life be a beautiful waste, O God.

Monday, April 2

Beside Still (not really) Waters

Read Psalm 23

It was one of those days that seemed to attract calamity. By 10am I had one child sitting on her bed, one on the couch, and one confined to his crib. And me? I was pouring over Psalms 23-26, my daily reading, trying to find some calm amid the storm.

You don't want to hear my long list of "what went wrong," but let me just say that it started with the baby getting smacked in the face with a fly swatter and ended with my wonderful partner in this family getting home well after everyone was in bed. In between all that, my list also included 2 different chilled diet sodas spilled before I took a sip. Calamity, I tell you.

At one point I hypothetically asked, "Are you guys just naughtier today or am I more impatient?"

My 6 year old daughter replied, "You are more impatient.... and grumpy." Leave it to a first born female to point out what is wrong in a situation.

It was time for another mommy time-out. In my Bible reading I read through the "Lord is my Shepherd" passage of Psalm 23.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.


Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

December 2008

That bit of Scripture couldn't help but encourage me... "He restores my soul." How I longed for that tranquility! The entire description speaks of an extravagance far from reality. It reminded me of my 5-diamond resort experience when my husband and I attended a destination wedding last year. I came up with my own paraphrase regarding the all-inclusive resort:

The LORD is my very own concierge, 

I shall not be in want for anything from Diet Coke to a pillow menu.

He turns down my feather bed and turns on the AC.

He brings me food service beside the endless pool in my private cabana.

He restores my soul.

(My very own paraphrase).

The problem arose when I tried to bring that extravagance home. Real life doesn't feel like a resort. Not even a little. Real life is toddler-fly-swatting-the-baby-bossy-big-sister-teething-baby-no-one-napping-toilet-plugged-where’s-dinner?-I’m-hungry-she-hit-me- craziness.

It was as I read on through the familiar passage to the next chapters that I began to make a correlation between the peaceful bliss of “still waters” and the barely controlled chaos that I was dealing with at that moment. Psalm 24 speaks of God's almighty power. Psalm 25 is asking for God's guidance... "Show me your ways, O LORD." And then there was chapter 26 verse 2-3: "Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth."

I read from the Word and I could feel the Almighty looking down on all the enforced time-outs in my home and I felt near to Him. Not "cabana at a resort" near to Him, but "water stop along a marathon route" near to Him. Encouraged and refreshed I kept going.

I realized there will be moments of bliss (this wasn't one of them) when I lie beside still waters. And there will also be testing. The testing is a good thing, according to these verses. "Test me and try me, examine my heart and my mind." God's loves me and wants my best (it isn't always sitting by the pool with my feet up). God provides the strength as I walk in His truths. He will restore my soul as needed.

Written by Alysun P.