How to Make Your Money be a Blessing

Do you struggle with your finances? I did for a long time until I discovered freedom in tithing. Be inspired by my story to make your money be a blessing.

We used to be burdened by all things money, but now we know the secret to making our money be a blessing to us and to others

This is my tithing story

This is not a post trying to convince you to tithe.  

This is simply my story about when I began to tithe and why I will NEVER STOP!

If you’ve read any of this blog, you probably know that I didn’t grow up in church.  I never even heard the word tithe until nearly a year after I was saved.  And even then, I had no idea what it actually meant.Do you struggle with your finances? I did for a long time until I discovered freedom in tithing. Be inspired by my story to make your money be a blessing.

I can remember going to the tiny little Southern Baptist Church where I got saved and occasionally dropping $10-$20 in the offering plate.  Considering the fact that the only “offering plate” experience I had ever had before that was the rare occasion that we would go to church with my grandma, and my daddy would hand us $2 to put in the plate as it passed down our row…  dropping $10 (or $20 on a good week) made me feel pretty good!  It’s funny too, because occasionally, I would notice some of the older members putting a check in the plate, and I honestly thought it was weird that they had to write a check for $10.

Lol, I know how silly that sounds now.  

But sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know!

Fast forward about 9 months…

It was our first weekend in a new church, in a new town, in a new state.  I don’t remember what the message was about, but I do remember the offering at the end.  It was different from anything I had ever heard before because they kept talking about the tithe.

The tithe?  I wondered what that was…

I felt kind of weird sitting there; like I didn’t belong, because I didn’t have any idea what a tithe was, and I was SURE I was the only one who didn’t know.

Luckily, I only had to wait one week to find out because the next Sunday we heard an entire message on tithing.

(I’m not going to go into all of the details of tithing here.  If you want more details feel free to comment or send me an email.  You could also check out this book, Tithing:  God’s Financial Plan)

On that spring day in that Michigan church, I felt God move for the first time ever

As I sat listening to the sermon my heart was overcome with conviction.  I knew we were about to have to make some big changes.

At that point in our lives, I was the one handling the bills.  So, I had a pretty good idea about how much money we usually had “left over”.  I sat there for a while just thinking this tithing business was just going to have to wait because we didn’t have anywhere near that much money left over every month.

But then our Pastor said something that I totally didn’t expect.  He said it’s not our leftovers that we give to God, its our FIRST 10% we give back to Him.  He really emphasized that “give back to Him” part, explaining that its not my money anyway, that it belongs to God and I’m just giving Him back what is His and then trusting Him to take care of the rest.

The whole idea was completely foreign to me!  It was the first time I ever stopped to consider that everything I have actually comes from God.  It’s not mine, He’s just made me a steward over it.

Right then I knew what I had to do.

But, knowing the right thing to do and actually doing it are two completely different things!

My heart and my head were in complete agreement that there was NO WAY we were going to be able to afford to tithe.  But in my Spirit I knew that we had too, and I knew that we would be okay.

I left with an overwhelming sense of fear about what was about to happen; but at the same time, I felt encouraged and empowered to move ahead and step into this calling.

Make or break time…

As fate would have it, payday was that same week.  When I looked at our bills, there wasn’t 10% left over, in fact there was none left.  To say I was overcome with fear would be an understatement.

I hadn’t even mentioned my plans to tithe to my husband yet because at that time, I was pretty sure he wouldn’t have been on board.  (And I was also afraid that he probably would have thought I had lost my mind, considering the fact that we had no money.)

Nonetheless, the first thing I did that day was make out a check to our church for the full amount of the tithe, sign it, put it in an envelope, seal it, close my eyes tight, say a little prayer, and drop it into the mailbox.  

There was no turning back, it was done.

And guess what?  Somehow, someway all those other bills got paid!  I honestly couldn’t make sense of it because it DIDN’T WORK on paper.  I calculated and recalculated (because I’m a reasonable person, plus I’m kind of a math nerd), but every way I worked it, it just didn’t make sense.  There was NO WAY that our bills should have been paid, but they were.  And not only that, there was even a little extra left over!

God is so much bigger than my math skills and my bank account!

Our pastors used to say all the time that “God can bless your 90% more than you can bless your own 100%.”  [bctt tweet=”God can bless your 90% better than you can bless your own 100%. #Tithe #Blessings”]

He certainly proved to me that month that He was faithful to His promises.  He certainly did make our 90% go farther, do more, and last longer than we had ever done with our 100%.

And the same has been true for every single payday since then.

Because we made a choice to honor God’s Word above our own comfort level, we have been blessed more times than we can count.  We were able to go from just tithing to giving offerings above and beyond that.  And every season, our offerings have grown, not because of anything we do, but because He continues to fulfill His promises to us.  We started tiny, but now we are able to support global missionaries, and we trust that He has something so much bigger in mind for us as we continue to honor Him with our tithe.

God is so good.  He has completely changed our financial situation for the best.  He has caused favor and blessings to abound in our lives so that His glory can be revealed.

Even though He promised blessings, He DID NOT promise that you would never have financial problems…

We have had countless situations come against us financially, situations that could have (and probably should have) ruined us.  But EVERY SINGLE TIME favor has been on our side.

That’s no coincidence my friend.

That’s a promise from His blessing.

Malachi 3:11 says “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.”

That’s such a huge promise from God.  When we are faithful to tithe, He REBUKES THE DEVOURER FOR US!  Do you get just how gigantic and amazing that promise is???

God just promised us that we will NOT be financially ruined. As it applied to the people of that time, He was promising them a good growing season and also that He would keep away the pests and the natural elements that could ruin their harvest.

As it applies to us today, He is promising to bless and establish the work of our hands and hearts.  And on top of that He is promising to keep the enemy’s hands off of it!  Every single time we have had a financial situation arise against us, we remind God that we are faithful tithers and because of that He has promised to rebuke the devourer for us.  Then we remind the devil that his hands are tied because God is on our side!

And like I said before, every single time we have been shown favor.

God’s promises are REAL my friends.

I know that God is on my side, fighting for my prosperity and welfare.  And that is why I am so thankful for God giving me the gift of the tithe and the opportunity to serve Him with the resources He has given me.

So there you have it, my blessings are all the proof that I need.  I will FOREVER and ALWAYS be a faithful tither!

I hope that you know this incredible blessing in your life and how to make your money be a blessing to you and to others.

And if you don’t, there’s no better time to start than right now!

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”

Malachi 3:10

Blessings and love,

Tiffany

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God Calls You Beautiful, Excellent, and Important… Do You?

Do you ever struggle with finding your identity, or figuring out who you are? Read on to find more than 150 truths to know exactly else what God calls you.

Do you know what it means to be “In Christ”?  And how do you know what God calls you?

Maybe if you’ve been walking with God for a long time you do, or maybe, like me, this is a new idea to you.

My husband and I took an amazing class at our old church called In Him Realities.  It was an 8 week course dedicated to understanding what it truly means to live “In Christ”.

It was one of the most incredible 8 weeks of my life; I wish I could share the entire class with you now, but I guess I will have to settle for sharing the most important thing I learned.

First, a quick definition of what “In Him Realities” are

These are all of the Scriptures throughout the Bible that say things like, in Him, through Him, by Him, in Christ, in the Lord, in His Name…    (There are more than 150 In Him Scriptures!)  These Scriptures tell you who you are.

They’re not based on you or anything you do, have done, or will do in the future; instead, they are solely based on who Jesus is, what He did, and what He gave back to you.Do you ever struggle with finding your identity, or figuring out who you are? Read on to find more than 150 truths to know exactly else what God calls you.

If you’ve ever wondered who you are, these Scriptures are where you will find your answers.

To read the rest of this article, click on over to the Fruitful Bloggers webpage…

And be sure to click on the links in that post to download a handy reference of every single “In Him” Scripture in the Bible.

What are you waiting for?  Click on over now!

7 Promising Ways to Love People Better

Sometimes it can be really hard to love people, but with these promising truths you can be certain that you will enjoy a successful love walk every day.

Sometimes its hard to love people

Some people are easy to love…  And some people are really difficult to love!  So how do we show the same kind of love to different kinds of people?

In my most recent post, All About Marriage – 9 Lessons Learned in 9 Years, I mentioned that love is not a feeling, it’s an attitude.  Since I got a lot of good feedback from that comment, I wanted to expand on it a little here today.

So here we go…Sometimes it can be really hard to love people, but with these promising truths you can be certain that you will enjoy a successful love walk every day.

The Bible gives us a clear definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8,

“Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking.  It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.”

To love like that is most certainly not an easy task!  We all get angry, we all have moments of selfishness, and we all fail sometimes.  That’s why it’s so important to realize that to show love in the best way, we don’t follow what our heart is feeling, instead we should follow the truth of God’s Word and practice leading our hearts in an attitude of love. [bctt tweet=”Follow God’s Word and lead your heart in an attitude of #love”]

So for today, let’s just focus on the parts of this Scripture that tell us what love is and how we can best put them into practice.

To download and print two free bookmarks to help you remember how to love better, click here!

1.  Love is patient

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  Galatians 6:9

To walk in love we have to practice patience in every situation; with our families, our friends, our co-workers, acquaintances, and even complete strangers.  When situations arise that try your patience, take the opportunity to make a wise choice.  Choose patience when you don’t feel like it.  Take a few deep breaths if you need to, count to 10, or 20, calmly walk away for a few moments.  Do whatever you can to remain calm and peaceable in the moment, remembering God’s promises for you if you will practice patience.

The Bible tells us not to become weary because God knew that we would, He knows that patience is not an easy thing for us to do, but He gives us hope and a promise that if we will not give up then we will reap a harvest of blessing.  That’s good enough for me!

2.  Love is kind

“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for He is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.”  Luke 6:35

When we practice kindness then we are truly acting like God’s children!!  Yes!  That part alone makes me want to focus more on the kindness that I’m showing in my daily life.

I also love the end of this verse, “for He is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.”  Isn’t that a great example to follow?  It’s so easy to be kind to people who are kind to you, but God expects us to practice kindness all of the time, with everyone.  According to this verse, kindness is not putting on a fake smile and saying a few nice words, it’s about treating others really well, lending to others with pure motives, and being gracious even when others are not.  Kindness is definitely an attitude we have to choose to walk in because the world isn’t always a nice place and we won’t always feel like being nice in it.  But when we choose kindness, we can once again hold on to God’s great promise for us that our reward from Heaven will be great.

So, let kind words fill your thoughts and your mouth in every situation.  Find sincere ways to compliment others; if you like something they are wearing, tell them, if they did something well, tell them.  Be willing to lend a hand where help is needed.  Keep your eyes open for opportunities to become a blessing to someone else.

3.  Love rejoices with the truth

“It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it.  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”  3 John 1:3-4

This one is so easy!  Be joyful and sincerely happy when others are walking in God’s truth!  In the small things and the big ones, be ready to celebrate victory, and stand together in trials.

God is love, so the absolute best way we can love is to be full of God and celebrate when others are too!  No victory is too small, and no trial is too big to find joy in its midst.  God’s truth is one of the greatest freedoms we have, so  rejoice my friends!  And spread the love of God when you do.  [bctt tweet=”No victory is too small, and no trial is too big to find #joy in the midst. #Rejoice”]

4.  Love always protects

“Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.”  Proverbs 10:12

The original word in this verse for “protects” is stegei, which means “to cover”.  So, in order to really show the God kind of love, we must seek to cover our loved ones shortcomings instead of exposing them.  Follow me closely on this one, it does not say that we sweep them under the rug and ignore them all together.  It says to cover them, like a shield, to provide protection.

Let me just give you an example to illustrate this.  In the book of Philemon, Paul writes to his friend to ask a big favor.  His friend has had a slave run away, which was considered a serious crime, punishable by death.  But Paul met the slave while in prison, and the two of them became friends and the slave became a great help in Paul’s ministry.  So, Paul writes to his friend Philemon to ask him to accept this slave back without punishment, with his slate wiped clean.  Paul didn’t expose the slave for the deserter that he was, or for the crimes that he had committed, instead he took him in, shared the gospel, helped transform his life, and then helped to change the course of his future.

That’s how we need to protect others.  We don’t need to gossip about their lives.  We don’t need to take advantage of their weaknesses.  We don’t need to expose their vulnerabilities.  And we don’t need to complain to others about their faults or failures.  Instead we DO NEED TO show them love, by offering forgiveness, grace, and an opportunity to grow in truth.  We shield their vulnerability from a world bent to expose it, we strengthen them in their weaknesses, and we forgive them in their transgressions.

That’s how God protects us, he doesn’t expose us for the rotten things we have done or for our shortcomings.  Instead, He looks at us through a flawless lens, and quietly ministers truth to our hearts allowing us time to grow.

5.  Love always trusts

“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.”  Psalm 9:10

Trust can be a hard thing to offer, especially once its been broken.  I really struggled with this one for a long time with someone who I was really close to.  That person had broken my confidence so many times that I refused to offer trust anymore.  But really, all that did was cause tension and bad feelings in our relationship.  I always struggled because of how deeply I cared, I wanted to trust my friend, but everything the world had ever taught me said that trust had to be earned and this person had clearly not earned it.

But then, I got a hold of God’s truth and learned a lesson that changed everything:  trust isn’t earned, its freely given.

For me, it always helps to go back to the book of Matthew, when Jesus is talking about forgiveness.  Peter asks him how many times he should forgive someone, and he thinks he is being generous when he offers to forgive seven times.  But in true Jesus fashion, He responds, I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”  

Seventy times seven…  that’s a lot!

I know that Scripture is about forgiveness, but it goes hand in hand with this idea of trust because when you forgive someone you aren’t holding anything against them.  When you offer forgiveness, you also offer trust.  So practice forgiveness and offer trust, even when others haven’t earned it.  In that you will be displaying God’s perfect love.

**If you really have trouble trusting in others, then simply trust in God.  Trust in the Scripture for this section (Psalm 9:10) that promises as you seek God, He will not abandon you.  If you find yourself hesitant to trust people for your own love walk, do it out of obedience to God and rest assured that no one who obeys God with a pure heart will ever be put to shame.

6.  Love always hopes

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”  Hebrews 11:1

The Greek word for hope, elpidzo, means “to hope or wait for salvation with joy and full confidence.”  It’s not just wishing upon a star for some far off thing, it’s being fully confident of receiving the blessing of a promise that has not yet come to pass.  Just like we have full confidence in the Salvation we have received and we have full confidence in the physical return of our King, we need to also have full confidence in each other.  Believe for the best in people instead of waiting for the worst.

Walk out this virtue by being the forever optimist.  See the glass half full.  Give people the benefit of the doubt.  Offer grace.  Be a cheerleader.  Stand on the sidelines and root others on to victory when its appropriate.  Give others a chance to be great and help encourage them along the way.  Show them that you have full confidence in who God created them to be.

7.  Love always perseveres

 “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”  James 1:12

Here’s where we hit home the point.  Love is not a feeling, it’s an attitude.  To love with the God kind of unconditional, agape, love we have to choose it.  And we have to choose it every.  single.  day.  God’s love withstands everything.  It is always the same, in good times and bad, in poverty and in abundance, in sickness and in health, in happy times and in sad ones, when things are easy and when they’re hard.  Unconditional love means love without conditions!  There is nothing, not ONE SINGLE THING, you and I can ever do to make God stop loving us.

If we want to truly understand what it means to love others, we have to choose to walk in this kind of love.  Standing strong to the end of time, no matter our circumstances because we are pressing on towards a higher calling and we want to spill God’s love out onto a world that desperately needs it.  Press on my friends, because this is the best promise yet!  You are blessed!

Love is not weakness, in fact, it’s quite the opposite; it takes strength to choose the high road and walk in an attitude of love when you are faced with a challenge.  Love doesn’t make allowance for bad behavior, but it gently corrects and fiercely protects while offering grace.  Walking in love doesn’t make you a doormat to be stepped on and abused, it makes you stronger, and it multiplies your Kingdom reach farther than you can ever imagine.  One act of love can start a ripple that has the potential to spread to the ends of the earth.

Let’s get out there and love like crazy friends!

Don’t forget to grab your free bookmarks!

“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.”

1 John 4: 11-12

Blessings and love,

Tiffany

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9 Simple Secrets to Help You Build a Promising Marriage

Get a fun a fresh perspective from this husband/wife pair as they each share 9 things they have learned in 9 years to help build a promising marriage.

‘Tis the season to talk about Marriage

My husband and I just celebrated 9 years last week, so I thought it would be fun to share with all of yall some things we have learned after 9 years together that may help you to build a more promising marriage.  We are not marriage experts by any means.  But we are a couple of people who have dug in deep, shared good times and bad, grown up together, been stretched, been blessed, and have thrived where we are, together.

If you enjoyed Praying for Your Husband, then I think you will really enjoy today’s message.  My husband is making a special appearance today with his contribution, 9 things he has learned over the years.  I was completely blown away by what he had to say and I hope you will be too.Get a fun a fresh perspective from this husband/wife pair as they each share 9 things they have learned in 9 years to help build a promising marriage.

Get to know us a little

We met at a hole-in-the-wall country bar in a little bitty country town 10 years ago.  Our eyes met from across the room and we were instantly hooked on each other.  Literally from that second on we spent every moment possible together.  I was attending the University in that little town, he was just in town visiting friends for the weekend.  As it turned out, he was a Soldier, based in another state, getting ready to deploy to Iraq.  I remember about a week later telling a friend that if he thought I was going to wait on him while he was deployed he was crazy, lol.

Apparently, he wasn’t so crazy though, because that’s exactly what I did.  Our early relationship was  a whirlwind of insanely intense emotions.  We were together for 41 days (mostly long distance, since we lived in different states) and then, one of the worst days of my life happened.  I stood on a military airfield surrounded by strangers and watched this man I was head over heels for step onto a plane headed for a war zone, terrified that I would never see him again.  It was a heart-wrenching, gut twisting, awful day, as was the year that followed as I clung to letters and dropped everything and everyone in my life every single time my phone rang.

He was deployed for 11 months and 16 days.  We got married the day he came home at the closest JP we could find.  I suddenly went from care free college girl, to military wife, in a strange town, with only him that I knew.

marriage, lessons

The years after that were a barrage of craziness.

We have been through extreme highs and even more extreme lows, but we found God somewhere in the middle,thank goodness.  We have since been blessed with four beautiful children, and one angel baby whom we will meet on the other side of eternity.  We have moved 8 times in 9 years.  And we have grown up in ways that we never thought possible.

So, now that you know a little about us.  Let’s get on with today’s post!

 

Meet my husband

marriage, lessons

I asked him to share 9 things that he has learned over the last 9 years of our marriage, and his answers were incredible.  I hope you are as blessed by them as I am.

  1. COMMUNICATION – No matter how hard a day I might have had, I make it a point to listen to my wife and how her day went.  I have learned by doing this that my wife feels more connected to me, and I get to catch up on every little detail I missed that day.
  2. EMOTIONS VS FEELINGS – Sometimes my emotions get in the way of my feelings of love I have for my wife.  One key-note to always pay close attention to is the fact that my emotions do not make or express my true feelings of love that my wife craves.  I have learned to look at the reasons why I am so emotional and then turn those into affectionate feelings of love to my wife.
  3. BEING THE ENGINE RATHER THAN THE CABOOSE – As the husband, father, and head of my family I have the biblical responsibility to lead from the front, not from the rear.  I have learned how to take on the responsibility of being the leader of my family as God has intended, and my marriage has been strengthened because of that fact.
  4. DISLIKE VS HATE – For the first 3 years of marriage I used the “hate” word quite often, which brought extreme turmoil between my wife and me.  I have learned with “hate” in your vocabulary, then “love” does not exist.  I might not like all of the things my wife does or even says, but I make it a point to pray for a change in her where I am seeing or feeling discord, rather than speaking or thinking negative words into my marriage.
  5. ONE VS TWO – When I first married my wife I had a hard time with her knowing everything about me, crazy right!  I  have learned God brought her and I together and once we said our vows we were no longer two separate people, we were one, a team.  This has been a really fun concept once we both realized how our lives have changed and the things we gave up to become one!
  6. THE “M” WORD – I remember getting phone calls while at work from my unhappy wife to discuss where all of the money went.  I would immediately put up my guard and start snapping and yelling at her.  Not a cool way to handle a huge problem.  remember earlier when I mentioned me taking the responsibilities of a leader?  Well, I was spending every penny and not telling my wife where it was going, and just doing it because I felt like I needed it at the time.  This brought out many heated yelling matches, where neither of us won, we just left the situation in a bad way and tried for a long time to cover it up.  By doing this and not getting to the root of the problem (ie:  my spending being out of control), these situations left a big black hole in our marriage.  I have learned the best way to kick the bad habit of spending every last penny on me and my selfish needs, was to take over the finances.  Once I did this and was able to spend the money paying bills, my fix was satisfied.  I was able to see where all of the money was going and the feeling was great.  I fully 100% believe the financial budget should be organized and developed as a team, but the execution of that budget and the maintenance of the money should rest on the husband.  I have been able to earn my wife’s trust in the area of money, by simply over coming my selfish spending and ensuring we are financially sound.
  7. STAY AND LISTEN VS WALKING AWAY – This has to be the hardest lesson of them all;  respecting your spouse by staying and listening to their frustration, rather than walking away to pick up the conversation later.  Let’s face it, later is never a fix or a long-term solution.  I have learned to walk into that tunnel of chaos with my wife and come to a resolution, not just a quick fix like walking away.  When I walked away, things never got better, they got worse until eventually walls were built up and feelings were hurt.  Never let your emotions trap you into a situation that was never meant to be.  Talk it out, forgive, and forget.  [bctt tweet=”Never let your emotions trap you into a situation that was never meant to be. #TalkItOut #ForgiveAndForget”]
  8. SAME VISION – This is a key ingredient in any marriage.  By having the same vision as a team it keeps the devil out.  My wife and I have a vision for our children to be raised unlike either of us were raised.  We want to raise them to honor God, love Jesus, and to trust in the Holy Spirit by showing them, not just telling them.  I have learned that one of my tasks as the husband and father of my family is that it is my responsibility to carry the vision of reaching people for Christ to further build God’s heavenly kingdom, with my children watching.  This is an extremely important task and a great honor.
  9. SERVING VS OBLIGATION – Over the years I have learned the difference between obligation and serving.  Obligations stem from emotions, they are not grounded in truth and can be easily identified as fake.  Serving stems from the heart and has feeling behind it which brings great power.  I have learned to serve my wife, not just be there out of obligation.  I choose to love her when times are hard, and when times are amazing.  By humbling myself and knowing that acts of service go a long way with my wife, I make it a point to do things for her when she asks me to, and when she does not.  I do not serve out of obligation, I serve because I want to!

Weren’t those good lessons?

Now on to the 9 things I have learned from 9 years of marriage

  1. WITHOUT GOD, WE ARE NOTHING – There is no way we would be where we are today with out Him.  Our life together is completely and totally dependent on our individual relationships with our Savior.  God is the center of us, and that is what gives us the strength and power to thrive together.  [bctt tweet=”Our life together is dependent on our individual relationship with our Savior. #PutGodFirst”]
  2. LOVE IS NOT A FEELING, IT’S AN ATTITUDE – When you share your entire life with another human being, there are bound to be moments when you don’t “feel” very loving.  But the Bible doesn’t describe love as a feeling to follow, it describes it as an attitude to choose.  Learning to choose an attitude of love despite the present circumstances is a total game changer.  When you stop “following your heart” and instead, choose to lead it in truth, you experience victory in your relationship.
  3. BEING RIGHT IS NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING – Yeah, it may feel good to know you’re right, but it doesn’t really matter if your “victory” comes at your spouse’s expense.  What good does it do to insist on being right over trivial matters if it causes division in your relationship?  Trust me on this one, I have belligerently insisted on being right so many times and all that did was push us apart.  Instead, sometimes it really is better to  cordially agree to disagree.
  4. RESPECT HIM – Let me say that again…  Respect him!!!  Men are created to be the head of the house and we were created to be their helpmates.  This is huge!  Men don’t just desire to be respected, they need it.  They are hard-wired by God Himself to hold positions of authority and receive the honor that goes with it.  I used to believe that respect was something my husband had to earn, but that is so not true ladies!  We are commanded to respect our husbands in the Word.  It’s like that whole thing about love; respect is not something I just give when I feel like it, it’s something I give to him because of the position he holds in our family, and because it honors God.  Show him the respect that he deserves whether you think he has earned it or not.  Respect his authority, respect his abilities, respect his relationships, respect his job, respect him as a husband, a father, a disciple, a brother, and a son.  Respect him in every unique way that God has created him.
  5. GRACE IS EVERYTHING – We all make mistakes, and we all desperately need grace.  We need God’s grace every day and we also need grace from each other.  Be quick to pour out grace on your husband.  My husband has always been really good at handing out grace;  me, on the other hand… not so much.  But once I let God transform my heart, I learned how desperately we all just need grace, un-earned favor.  We just need someone in our corner, rooting for us, cheering us on, choosing to love us in all circumstances, and offering forgiveness even when we don’t deserve it.
  6. SPEAKING OF FORGIVENESS…  You will never have a marriage that thrives without forgiveness.  Face it, he’s going to mess up, and so are you.  Learn to forgive and learn to seek forgiveness.  Then, learn to forget it!  That’s how God forgives us, He cleanses our transgressions, removes them from us, and forgets them.  This is how we should forgive each other; don’t keep bringing up the past; resolve the issue, seek forgiveness, offer forgiveness, and move on!
  7. SUPPORT HIS IDEAS – This is a hard one for me!  I tend to have a very dominating personality and my husband is pretty laid back.  I can easily railroad right over his ideas without a second thought.  The problem with that is, men are problem solvers and passing off their input makes them feel unimportant and un-needed.  Over the years, when I have made an effort to support his ideas instead of shooting them down for one of my own, I have been pleasantly surprised at the outcome.  And I usually learn something new about him in the process.
  8. LET HIM LEAD – Hear me on this one girls… men are not going to lead the way you tell them too!  Ha.  I laugh now, but seriously, I remember hearing so many women tell me that my husband was the leader of the family and I was the help-mate.  And I remember how much I hated that!  So much so, that I just denied it altogether.  I was convinced that he wasn’t leading the right way so he didn’t deserve to lead, then I just forcibly enlisted myself as head of the family!  Crazy, right?  But I have to believe I can’t be the only one.  Just because he isn’t leading “your way” doesn’t mean its wrong.  Trust that God has placed him where he is and trust that God is leading him.
  9. MAKE TIME TO BE TOGETHER – Life can be busy and its easy to slip into a routine of come and go and go to bed.  If you’re not purposeful in carving out time together, before you know it, you become more like roommates than two people joined together to become one.  I’m not going to tell you that you must have a regular date night to have a good marriage.  Honestly, we don’t do date night regularly, ha, we aren’t really “date night” people.  But we do have time that’s just for us very regularly.  We put our kids to bed early and then spend almost every evening doing something together.  Sometimes we play games, sometimes we watch tv, sometimes we talk, or make plans for the future.  The point is, we are spending one on one time together.  We also like to drive when we really need to talk.  We often load the kids up and just drive until we work through everything.  In fact, driving is such a great way for us to connect to one another, that we actually purposefully went from 2 vehicles down to 1 for a year, just to spend more time together.  The kids and I would load up and take my husband to work every morning then pick him up every night.  It wasn’t always convenient or easy or practical, but it completely changed the way our entire family communicated with each other.  And we got to see a lot more of each other during a really busy season.

So there you have it.  I hope you have found something valuable here to take away with you.  

If you have any valuable marriage lessons please share them in the comments below, I would love to hear them!

Have a blessed week yall!

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.   Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body.  “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”  This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.  However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”  

~Ephesians 5:  21-33

Blessings and love,

Tiffany

You may also enjoy The Day I Realized I Was A Bad Wife

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Do You Know How to be Weird for Jesus?

Weird:  Because Normal Isn’t Working

*this post contains affiliate links, see my full affiliate disclosure here

Normal Isn’t Working

Normal people are stressed.  Many of their relationships are, at best, strained and, in most cases, just surviving.  Even though we live in one of the most prosperous places on earth, normal is still living paycheck to paycheck and never getting ahead.  In our over sexed world, lust, premarital sex, guilt, and shame are far more common than purity, virginity, and a healthy married sex life.  And when it comes to God, the majority believe in Him, but the teachings of Scripture rarely make it into their everyday lives.

Simply put, normal isn’t working.

“When people describe my lifestyle or family as weird, I find comfort.”

Journey with author and pastor Craig Groeschel as he shares a Christ-centered philosophy, on everything from money to scheduling to purity, that will help you break out of the normal rut and live according to the rhythms of God’s grace and the truth of His Word.An honest review of this captivating book by Craig Groeschel and insight as to why I am now inspired and delighted to be called weird.

What I loved about this book

The passion!!  From the first page to the last this book is full of passion.  Pastor Craig writes from his heart in this book and from first hand experience of living a weird life for Jesus.  I was so inspired from the beginning to the end to want to live radically different, putting Jesus first in every area of my life.

This book is full of real life examples of what it looks like to live a “normal life” versus a “weird life”.  It made it so easy for me to find those areas in my life that need to become fully surrendered to Christ.  It’s funny that sometimes we can get so accustomed to doing things a certain way, just because that’s the way it’s always been done that we don’t even stop to think about why we are doing them, or who we are seeking to please.

My eyes were opened to so many areas that I was just conforming for the sake of conforming!  But now I feel like I have been set free all over again.  Pastor Craig does such a great job making you feel like it’s not only okay to be weird, but that its so necessary to truly live for Jesus.  I have desired to live for an audience of one for years, but now that I’ve read this book, I finally know how to walk out that desire fully.

A few of my favorite moments

  • One of my biggest battles in this world has been against pride.  In the section of the book about being weird about your time, he writes, “I’d elevated my busyness to become an idol that endowed me with a keen sense of self-importance and entitlement”  Those words pierced my heart in such an impacting way.  I think they were written just for me because I am AWFUL about letting all the things on my to do list define who I am, and that really does inflate my sense of entitlement.  Now that I can see this trap, I am much more purposeful to keep God at the center of my life and not allow time to become my idol.
  • In the section on relationships, he wrote, “Our greatest priority as Christian parents is to gradually transfer our children’s dependence away from us until it rests solely on God.”   YES!!!  REVELATION!!!!!  That statement so perfectly described exactly what I want to do as a parent, I had just never been able to find the words for it before.  And the way he completely debunks why independence for our kids is not the all important goal, it just gave me such a sense of empowerment as a parent.
  • The entire last section of the book had me in tears.  I mean, sobbing, on my face before God, pleading with Him to burden my heart, tears.  Weird, right?  But SO WORTH IT!  I’m not even going to explain this more because there are no words to properly explain the experience I had with God that night.  I will just say, when I got to that section, I didn’t put the book down until I finished it, and then I hit the floor for an experience like I had never had before.  And since then, God has been moving in incredible ways, fulfilling the promises that He gave me that night.  Incredible is all I can say.

What I didn’t like about this book

The cover.  That’s it.  I know, that’s silly, but unfortunately lots of people, including me, will judge a book by its cover, and I almost didn’t read it because it didn’t look interesting.

So, if you are like me and are put off by the boring cover…  READ IT ANYWAY!!  This is one book you don’t want to judge by the cover!  Ha.  It is so full of convicting truth and it has so much power to set you free from the bondage of normal life.

Seriously, that was the only thing I didn’t like.  The rest of it was a gold mine of life-giving truth.  [bctt tweet=””Weird” by @craiggroeschel is a gold mine of life-giving truth! #ReadItToday”]

Why I think you should read it too

Because normal isn’t working!  Who wants to be overworked, exhausted, and just hoping things will work out one of these days?  No one, that’s who.  This book will help you in every single area of your life.  It will set you free from the bondage of being normal, and help you to see why normal isn’t working for you as well as you may think it is.

This book is for

Anyone who is seeking to know God on a deeper, more intimate level

Anyone who doesn’t really care what God thinks

Anyone who loves God, but isn’t living out His best

Anyone who loves God and is living out His plan

Simply put, this book is for anyone!

There’s something in it for all of us!

About the author

Craig Groeschel
Senior Pastor

Craig Groeschel, Senior Pastor of LifeChurch.tv
Craig Groeschel, Senior Pastor of LifeChurch.tv

As the Senior Pastor of LifeChurch.tv, Craig provides leadership and guidance for the church as a whole. Following a vision God gave him for a different kind of church, he and a handful of people launched LifeChurch.tv in 1996.

He speaks frequently at conferences and has written several books, including his recent release From This Day Forward: Five Commitments to Fail-Proof Your Marriage. He, his wife Amy, and their six children live in the Edmond, Oklahoma area.

(bio taken from LifeChurch.tv)

Some fun extras

Here’s a good trailer for Weird: Because Normal Isn’t Working from AroundC3 on Vimeo.

If you are a fan of Dave Ramsey, you will love this book!  Through the entire book, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Dave’s famous words, “Live like no one else now so later you can live like no one else.”

Follow Craig Groeschel on twitter and Facebook

Check out some of these other books by Craig Groeschel


                         

I hope you will check out this book and be encouraged to live weirder than ever!

Blessings and love,

Tiffany

How to Reach a Breakthrough with a Tattle Tale

Are you worn out dealing with a tattle tale? There is hope! Tattling is a heart condition that you can find the root of and eliminate once and for all.

Confession from a former tattle tale

For my entire life, I have been labeled as the “tattle tale”.  When I was a kid I was always in trouble for it.  As an adolescent I lost friends because of it.  And now as a parent, I have struggled with how to handle my own tattle tale child.

On this lifelong tattle tale journey, I have made an important discovery.  Tattling is not an obedience problem, it’s a heart condition.  One that is actually really simple to address.  But before we get to that, let’s explore what’s going on in the minds of those “tattle tale” kids.Are you worn out dealing with a tattle tale? There is hope! Tattling is a heart condition that you can find the root of and eliminate once and for all.

Kids think tattling is helping to right a wrong

When children tattle, they aren’t always trying to be vicious and hurt others; sometimes, they genuinely think they are being helpful.  When kids see something wrong, they have a desire to make it right.  They want to bring that which is hidden in the dark into the light.  

Be encouraged parents!  That desire to reveal the wrongs in the world is a good thing!  It just needs to be channeled in a way that benefits instead of harms.

Kids tattle when they feel they are being treated unfairly

Is there one person in particular that seems to be your child’s target for tattling?  Maybe your child is feeling jealous or sees this person as a threat.  When kids don’t get the attention they crave, in the way they crave it, they lash out with inappropriate behaviors, like tattling.

You may need to re-evaluate or take an honest look and see if this child really is being treated unfairly.  Do they have too much responsibility?  Maybe your other children don’t have enough responsibility?  Is your child getting enough quality time with mom and dad?  Do they need a little more praise for their job well done?

Check out The 5 Love Languages of Children for a great resource on giving the kids the attention they crave, in the way the crave it.  You won’t be disappointed!

 

Kids tattle to get back at someone who hurt them

I know, I said kids don’t always tattle to be  vicious.  But many times, they do.  Sometimes, they get their little feelings hurt by someone else for one reason or another.  And the best way they know to handle that kind of situation is to “get them back” by getting them in trouble.

It’s a kid size version of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”…  You hurt me, and I’ll hurt you back.

Kids have a hard time understanding justice, so sometimes they take it upon themselves to exact punishment when they feel they have been wronged.

The root of the tattling problem

Contrary to popular belief that tattling is a natural right of passage for kids to learn about justice, I truly believe that it stems from a dangerous cultural attitude that vengeance is something that belongs to us.

We see it every single day in this world.  Adults “getting back”  at those who “did them wrong”.

People lashing out at others over social media…

TV shows about payback and revenge (aren’t those the names of real shows??)…

Lawsuits of every shape and kind…

Road rage…

Irritability…

Impatience…

Just last week I was in the grocery store and the line I was in  was moving ever so slowly.  The family in front of me had a lot of stuff, and a lot of coupons.  And it was obvious that the cashier was very new, and very confused.

There was also a lady in line behind me who made no secret that she was tired of waiting.  After several rude (and very loud) huffs and puffs, she finally grumbled “isn’t there another checker here today?”

Another employee overheard her and went to open up another lane.  Then, the lady told me to come on with her and go first, while making a huge scene about the cashier who was taking too long to check people out.  She was SO BLATANTLY RUDE about being made to wait.

I calmly and quietly said, “no thank you, I’m okay.”  To which she again, huffed and puffed and acted seriously annoyed.  Anyway, the lady checked out in the other lane and I waited for a while longer until it was finally my turn.

When I got up to the counter and asked the cashier how her day was going, she looked up at me with tears in her eyes and said it was not one of her best.

My heart ached for her, it physically hurt as I tried to choke back my own tears.  How could someone be so self-righteous not to even notice they were hurting another human being?  (Or worse, notice and not care!)  After talking for a bit, I learned that it was in fact only her 4th day on the job and her first time working as a cashier.  (I tried to encourage her with a friendly smile and a few reassuring words that we all have bad days and she was doing great.  I can only hope it brightened her day a little.)

I left that store with an aching in my chest at how someone could be so blatantly rude to another, simply because they were a little inconvenienced.

This is what I’m talking about though, it’s our own twisted form of justice that has infiltrated our way of life.

I’m sure that the lady in line behind me was tired of waiting.  I was tired of waiting too.  Maybe she had plans, maybe she was in a hurry?  I understand, I had a husband and four kids waiting in the car on a hot Oklahoma day; they were tired and hungry (can you say grouchy?), oh yeah, and it was Father’s Day.  Standing in line at the grocery store for just a handful of things wasn’t really top on my list of things to do that day either.

BUT that didn’t give me the right to “get back” at the slow cashier by being rude, and it didn’t give any one else that right either.

The only difference between me and the lady behind me that day, was that I acted a little “weird”  by patiently waiting, and she acted perfectly “normal” by expressing her disapproval.

It’s a Heart Condition People!

One that is taking over our culture!  What makes us think its okay to treat people like this?  This is certainly not what the Bible teaches us!  Actually, the Bible says just the opposite…

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Philippians 2:3-4

A quick word of caution…  even though my example was about strangers treating each other badly, there may be a bigger problem lurking in our own homes!  I will be the first to admit that I often treat strangers better than those in my own family.  

The ones closest to us also tend to be the ones who can hurt us the most (intentionally or not), so we should be using EXTRA caution in the way we respond in sticky situations.  Maybe next time you feel the urge to “get even” with your spouse for hurting your feelings, pray for them instead;  because when we as adults are acting in such a vengeful way, how can we possibly expect our kids not too?

Kids are little copy-cats!  They watch everything we do, and then they mimic it!

If we act entitled, they will too.  If we act self-righteous, they will too.  If we act vengeful, they will too!

And this my friends, is the root of the tattle tale problem.  Kids are learning from us that they have the right to take it upon themselves to fix whatever perceived injustice they find.

The true root of this problem is a selfish heart, one that wants to seek out its own vengeance.

The simple fix

To heal a heart condition, the answer needs to come from the Bible.

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil.  Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.  On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;

if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.

In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil by doing good.”

Romans 12:17-21

Vengeance is NOT something that belongs to us.  It belongs to God alone. 

Can you imagine what the world would be like it we really lived according to this verse?  Do not repay evil with evil… live at peace with everyone…  do not take revenge…

Here are my 4 simple steps to fixing the tattle tale problem:

  • First, understand that vengeance doesn’t belong to us.  We have to fix our own heart conditions before we can help our kids fix theirs.
  • Teach them to walk in love and teach them to share the Truth in love.
  • Teach them the difference between “tattling” and alerting an adult to danger.
  • Do not teach them to accept everything they hear; instead, teach them to weigh everything against God’s truth, and then correct from a loving heart, not a vengeful one.

It’s really that simple

When my daughter starts to tattle now, first, I ask her if someone is in danger?  If not, then I ask her if she is showing love?  Finally, I ask her if she can think of a way to gently correct the situation in love?

It takes a lot of guidance and constant reminding, but anything worth doing takes work, right?

Kids are smart, and naturally like to solve problems.  Teach them how to lead in love and they will be a blessing to all those around them.

[bctt tweet=”Shape your child’s heart to #ReflectJesus Teach them to lead in love!”]

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 7:12

Blessings and love,

Tiffany

Dad is Sure to be Happy When You Surprise Him With This

Have some fun this Father's Day! Remind dad why he's so important while pointing your kids back to Christ with this exciting and fun scavenger hunt.

Hi yall!

This is totally different from the posts you would normally find here, but in light of Father’s Day only a few days away, I wanted to offer yall a fun Father’s Day printable.

Have some fun this Father's Day! Remind dad why he's so important while pointing your kids back to Christ with this exciting and fun scavenger hunt.
photo provided by freepik.com/Sarah Brucker

Get ready for a fun Father’s Day Scavenger Hunt, because who doesn’t love a good treasure hunt??

Father's Day, scavenger hunt

The idea is easy, just print out the Father’s Day Scavenger Hunt PDF, cut out the clues, hide them, then let dad loose!

My suggestions:

In case you’ve never done a scavenger hunt, its pretty simple.  

When hiding your clues, keep them in order, so you don’t get confused.

The words in white will tell you where to hide the next clue.

Give the first card to dad to begin his treasure hunt.  Maybe put it on a tray as you serve him breakfast in bed?

clue #1 – hide it on the calendar when your first child was born

clue #2 – hide it in his favorite chair

clue #3 – hide it near a map or a globe

clue #4 – hide it on a cross

clue #5 – hide it somewhere in the kitchen

clue #6 – hide it in the first aid kit

clue #7 – hide it the cookie jar

clue #8 – hide it near the tv

clue #9 – hide it under the table

clue #10 – hide it under the couch

The last clue should lead to his gift.

**These cards are designed to let dad know how important he is to your family.**

**The bonus to your family is that each clue allows you to point your children back to Jesus**

[bctt tweet=”Join in this fun Father’s Day Scavenger Hunt that will encourage him while pointing your children back to Jesus!” via=”no”]

Print out your Father’s Day Scavenger Hunt PDF now!

I hope you all enjoy this Father’s Day and make it a special day for the dad’s in your life to remember

“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.  Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.”

Psalm 127:3-5

Blessings and love,

Tiffany

Do You Know How to Make Your Husband Happy? Pray for Him!

Praying for your husband is one of the best things you can do for him. Why not take a minute and bless him right now with these simple prayers?

One of the simplest ways that we, as wives, can bring good and not harm to our husbands is by praying for them

“A wife of noble character who can find?  She is worth far more than rubies.  Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.  She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”

Proverbs 31:10-12

But I know, sometimes that doesn’t really feel so simple.  Sometimes we forget to pray for them, sometimes we just don’t want to pray for them, sometimes we don’t know what to pray for them.

So I’m going to quickly address each of those issues and then jump right in and share with you the prayers that I pray daily over my husband.

  1. YOU FORGET – Me too, until I started a prayer journal.  Now I have my prayers written down in a journal that I keep on my desk.  There is not a day that goes by that I don’t go to my desk, see my journal, pick it up and spend a few minutes in prayer.  Nice and easy!
  2. YOU DON’T WANT TO – Me too.  We have our moments, our arguments, our disagreements, our fights; we don’t always feel like lovey-dovey best friends.  But, I can promise you this, its hard to stay mad at a person that you are passionately praying for every single day.  [bctt tweet=”Its hard to stay mad at a person that you are passionately praying for every single day. #PrayerChangesThings “]
  3. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO PRAY –  Me too, until I asked God.  The list of Scriptures I’m going to share with you today are things that have developed over time as I saw a need or as God directed me to something specific.  They may or may not work for you, but my hope is that they give you a good place to start.  One thing you can be sure of is this:  Praying Scripture works!  God gave us His word because it has POWER.  Harness that power and use it to bless your husband!  [bctt tweet=”#PrayingScripture works! God gave us #HisWord because it has #POWER! “]Praying for your husband is one of the best things you can do for him. Why not take a minute and bless him right now with these simple prayers?

15 Scriptural prayers to be praying for your husband every day

For Discernment

I pray that my husband be given a discerning heart to know Your great love for him and the great plans You have for him and for our family; plans to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us hope and a future.  (Jeremiah 29:11)

For Wisdom

I pray that my husband be given the mind of Christ, that it would be saturated with Godly wisdom.  Help him to take every thought captive that is not in obedience to your Word, and in so doing, protect him from pride and temptation.  (2 Corinthians 10:5)

For Understanding

I pray that they eyes of my husband’s heart will be open to understand Your Word, so that he will not be conformed to this world; but be transformed by the renewing of his mind so that he may know Your good, acceptable, and perfect will for his life and for our marriage.  (Romans 12:2)

For Trust

I pray that You, God, will help my husband to trust You with all of his heart, not depending on his own understanding, but acknowledging you in all his ways, so that he will know what direction to lead our family in.  (Proverbs 3:5-6)

For Favor

I pray that the favor of God may rest on my husband and that You, God, will bless and establish the work of his hands and his heart.  (Psalm 90:17)

For Unity

I pray that You will help us to live together in perfect unity by loving, honoring, and respecting one another and serving each other for Your glory, honor, and praise.  (1 Thessalonians 5:13)

For Revelation

I pray that You, Father, may grant him a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You, by having the eyes of his heart flooded with light, so that he may know and understand both the hope to which You have called him, and how rich his inheritance is in You!  (Ephesians 1:17)

For Knowledge

I pray that he may be filled with the full, deep, and clear knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom and in understanding and discernment of spiritual things.  (Colossians 1:9)

For Holiness

I pray that he may walk, live, and conduct himself in a manner worthy of You, God and that he will have a desire to please You in all things; that he will bear fruit in every good work and that he will steadily grow and increase in and by Your knowledge.  (Colossians 1:10)

For Strength

I pray that he will be invigorated and strengthened with all power, according to the might of Your power, in order to exercise every kind of endurance, patience, perseverance, and forbearance while being full of joy.  (Colossians 1:11)

For Blessings

I pray that You, God, will command Your blessing upon him, our house, our family, his office, and all that he undertakes.  (Deuteronomy 28:8)

For Refuge

I pray that he will turn to You, God, as his hiding place, knowing that You will preserve him from trouble and that you will surround him with songs and shouts of deliverance.  (Psalm 32:7)

For Humility

I pray that he will never act in vain conceit and empty arrogance, but instead act in the true spirit of humility thinking of others more highly than of himself; that he will always esteem and look upon and be concerned for not only his own interests but also for the interest of others.  (Philippians 2:3)

For Protection

I pray that he will be kept from all evil, that You will keep his life, that You will protect him going out and coming in from now until forever!  (Psalm 121:8)

For Perseverance

I pray that he will not lose heart or grow weary in doing right and that he will continue to persevere and act nobly remembering that at the proper time he will reap a harvest of blessing.  (Galatians 6:9)


 

And that’s it!

These are the short but powerful prayers that I say every day for my husband.  Praying for your husband daily will be one of the most beneficial things for your marriage, it will draw you together like nothing else can.

I hope you have been encouraged to pray for your husband every day too![bctt tweet=”Praying for your spouse will benefit your marriage and draw you together like nothing else can.”]

What do you think?  Is there anything you would add to the list?  I would love to hear it, just leave a comment!

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  Matthew 26:41

Blessings and love,

Tiffany

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How to be a Beautiful Light that Shatters Darkness

Be encouraged to keep sharing the gospel! Then you can become that beautiful light that will pierce the darkness and shatter the enemy's grip on the world!

To everyone who seeks to encourage others in the Word; whether you are a writer, a speaker, singer, preacher, teacher, photographer, or a compassionate friend;  whatever your avenue, I want to encourage you today.

It is also on my heart today to encourage those of you who want to encourage others in the Word, but haven’t yet stepped out to do it.

I write you all today to say, Keep at it my friends!  Keep going strong!  You are changing the world, one word at a time, and you are changing me.  You all encourage me to be bolder for God, to walk with bigger faith, to love harder, to forgive more, and to show grace at every turn.  For that, I say thank you, friends.

When there is so much heartache in the world, your faithfulness to encourage has become a brilliant light and a place of refuge to those who have been trapped in darkness.

You may never know how far your words will reach, but rest assured nothing you say or do in the name of Jesus will be worthless.  We have a guarantee of that very thing contained in one of my favorite verses.  It’s a verse that I use as an anchor for my ministry, and I hope that you will too.

“So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth:  it shall not return to me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”  ~Isaiah 55:11Be encouraged to keep sharing the gospel! Then you can become that beautiful light that will pierce the darkness and shatter the enemy's grip on the world!

If you reach a million people, or just one, you can rest in the confidence that since you have done the will of your Father in Heaven, lives will be impacted, and the world will be changed.  

As you continue to share His truth with the world, His plans will be put into motion and they will accomplish what He purposes!

Isn’t that a great feeling?

When you reflect back and think about God’s promise that His Word will prosper in the areas that He has sent it, it sets you free from the burden of trying to accomplish this mission on your own.   As you faithfully share the gospel, God’s power is mightily at work in and through you.

God can do infinitely more with one person willing to share the Gospel, than with a million people who want to keep it to themselves.

[bctt tweet=”One willing and obedient heart WILL #ChangeTheWorld”]

Have courage my friends, for you are doing the work of God and his blessings and favor surround you.

Don’t be gripped by fear, for you are mighty in the land.  You have been equipped for that which God has called you.  Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see the fruit of your labor, instead trust in the Word of God.  For He has promised you will reap a harvest of blessing if you persevere and do not grow weary in doing what is right.

If you are feeling weary, I want to tell you that I know where you are.

If you are someone who has not yet taken the step God is calling you toward, to be a source of encouragement, I know where you are too.

For a long time, I felt the prompting to write and share God’s Word with others, but I was terrified to do it.

I had all of these thoughts swirling around in my head telling me that I wasn’t qualified to tell others about Christ.

I heard those voices of condemnation nagging at me saying, “who are you, a sinner, to preach the  perfect Word of God?”

And then, I was even more terrified of the response (or in the world of technology, the lack of response) I would get if I did share His Word.

I didn’t go to seminary and I am certainly no expert in Christianity.  There are parts of my Bible that I still haven’t read, and I am a sinner of the worst kind.  I have secrets, I act shamefully,  I drop the ball all the time.

How could I possibly be qualified to lead people to Christ?  No person in their right mind would take advice from a sinner like me, right?

Wrong!  

[bctt tweet=”God uses our stories. ALL OF OUR STORIES. For His glory. #TellYourStory”]

Do you, too, sometimes feel unworthy of sharing His Word?

I saw this picture on Pinterest the other day and I think it really drives the point home here.  We all have things that make us feel unworthy, but that doesn’t make us useless.

photo credit: instapray.com
photo credit: instapray.com

Isn’t it funny how God often uses our own shortcomings to bring others to Christ?  The very things that we think we should hide from the world, God uses to reveal His glory.

Remember, when Paul was suffering with a thorn in his flesh, God said to him, “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

That’s such a miracle!

Just think about it, the lowest parts of your life could be the very things that save someone else’s soul and bring them back to life…  It’s a beautiful thing!!!

My friend, when all of those thoughts of inadequacy start to creep in over you, run back to Isaiah 55:11!  

“So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth:  it shall not return to me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

Renew in your Spirit that God’s Word will accomplish what it sets out to do and be strengthened in courage that you are the vessel God has specifically chosen to use! [bctt tweet=”You are a rare and beautiful treasure my dear friend, and God is using you in powerful ways.”]

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” ~Galatians 6:9

So spread the word friends!  Spread it to the ends of the earth and rest in peace knowing that God has a plan and His plan always makes a way.  

Your words are all beautiful, and they are all necessary

Continue to share your stories, continue to spread the truth of God’s Word so that you can become that brilliant, beautiful light that will pierce the darkness and shatter the enemy’s grip on the world.

[bctt tweet=”#BeTheLight that will pierce the darkness and shatter the enemy’s grip on the world.”]

Sharing the gospel of peace with others is one of the greatest privileges available to us in this life.  It is a calling placed on each and every one of us to go and preach the good news of Christ  and to spread it to the ends of the earth.

I am so grateful to be counted worthy of this calling and to be in such good company as all of you who do what you do to faithfully show the love of God to a lost and broken world.

Thank you friends, for being a light that shines for Christ!  I pray that you will continue to shine into all the world!

“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.”  ~Luke 11:33

Blessings and love,

Tiffany

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How to Find the Peace that Your Heart Longs For

Water gives life to your body, but you need living water for your soul to prosper. Find out how to find the peace that you're heart has been searching for!
This post contains affiliate links.  See my full disclosure here.

Water

It’s a major source of life, without it there is no survival

Most research says that the average person can only go about 3 days without water before they die.  That seems pretty important to me!

So, just like water is vital to your physical survival, there is a source of living water that is even more vital to the survival of your soul.  Both kinds of water are necessary to live a vibrant life.  [bctt tweet=”Water is vital to your survival, and there is a living water even more vital to your soul.”]Water gives life to your body, but you need living water for your soul to prosper. Find out how to find the peace that you're heart has been searching for!

We’ll start with the water for your physical survival.

How much water is enough?

There is a ton of research out there (and it varies, widely) about how much water you should consume daily.  It’s not an exact science because there are MANY factors that influence it.  So, I’ll just share the tip I use.

Multiply your body weight by 2/3.  Your answer correlates to the number of ounces of water you need per day.  Then you should consider your exercise level.  For every 30 minutes of moderate exercise, add 12 ounces.

Example:  A 150 lb woman who exercises for 30 minutes a day should calculate like this:

150 x 2/3 = 100 + 12 = 112 ounces of water per day

Check out this link for more information and a handy chart for calculating your water intake

Why I made the choice to drink more water

First, I think its important to tell you that I DESPISE DRINKING WATER!  It’s not something I ever get used to.  Any way you look at it, I just don’t prefer it.  Before you tell me to just add flavor to it, I’ll tell you if there is one thing I despise more than plain water, its flavored water!  (Maybe I’m just weird…:))

Now since I don’t like drinking water, it is actually really easy for me to just not drink a single drop all day long.   I have gone for incredibly long periods of time without drinking any water at all, just relying on the rest of my diet to make up for my lack.  But there was a problem with that plan.  Apparently the rest of my diet isn’t really that great either (it’s a work in progress), so it wasn’t actually “making up” for anything.

The result?

I was tired all the time, I always felt sluggish, I was having heartburn from all the coffee I was drinking to try to perk up.  And all that caffeine was leaving me with a severe afternoon crash and not to mention awful headaches when a day came that I didn’t drink as much as usual.  My skin was blotchy and the bags under my eyes were scary awful.  Exercise?  Who has the energy for exercise, ha?  I was ravenously hungry all the time.  I also had a hard time concentrating on things, my memory was dull, and my mood was less than stellar.

I can’t be very effective in my personal ministries (Christ follower, wife, mother, teacher, encourager, housekeeper, volunteer, servant…) if I’m stumbling through the day suffering from extreme exhaustion.

Something had to change.  And the change was simple, I had to start fueling my body better!  And the best place to start was by re-hydrating!

So here’s how I drink enough water

I had to find something visual.  That way I could see how much I was drinking and be encouraged along the way.  I also didn’t want to have to do math in my head all day (*remember I was having a hard time concentrating anyway)!

Enter, the gallon jug.

That’s it.  I fill a cheap recycled clear gallon jug full of water every morning.

Then I just pour one glass at a time out of my jug and drink it down.  Since I know sipping away at it won’t work for me,  I just down it as fast as I can.  (A benefit of drinking room temperature water is you can drink it really fast!)

I do this every time I am in the kitchen, which is a lot!  I also make sure I have a full glass with every meal.  By doing this, I always manage to finish the jug before the day is up.

(In case you are wondering, a gallon is 128 ounces, which is actually more than I need according to my calculation, but its working for me.)

Bonus!!

I feel so much better!!  My memory is better, I can focus better, I am not tired, and my mood is so much lighter.  I cut way back on coffee without having to deal with treacherous headaches.  My skin looks better too, and it’s not itchy anymore like it usually is in the summer time.  Oddly enough I learned that the ravenous appetite I had, was actually ravenous THIRST!  Who knew?  So now, I’m not nearly as hungry as I was before.  And the best part of all is that I finally have energy again!!

There is Better Water

As good as it feels to have my thirst quenched and a renewed energy, it pales in comparison to when I find the peace that comes from the living water found in Christ.

John chapter 4 tells a story of a Samaritan woman who meets Jesus at a well.  There they have a conversation about living water and Jesus says to her, Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

If you read the chapter, you will find that this woman had been married 5 times and was now living with a man whom she was not married to.

When I reflect on this, I wonder just what was it that this woman had been searching for?

Why had she been married so many times?

Had she been widowed, abandoned, divorced?

Was she feeling lonely or scared?

Was she seeking acceptance?

Or maybe she was looking for someone to love her?

Whatever it was, her soul was desperately longing for something, and right there at the well, Jesus offered it to her.  

Acceptance, love, forgiveness, healing, friendship, security, freedom…  Every single thing her heart desired, He offered to give her.

He wasn’t offering her water to bring life to her physical body, He was offering her eternal life in her spirit and eternal freedom in her soul!

What are you longing for?

We are all longing for something.

And the truth be told, the only thing that can satisfy and fulfill that longing is Jesus.

The world makes promises but it will fall short of delivery every single time.  Only Jesus can give you what it is that you truly need.  [bctt tweet=”We are all longing for something… and only Jesus can fulfill it.”]

As I sat pondering this post, I found it funny that God would lead me from a recycled jug of water to a story of eternal redemption.  I kept reflecting on this story and I finally heard God speak to my heart, “Tiffany, what is it that you seek?  What is your soul longing for?

And I instantly knew.

I was searching for acceptance.

I recently had an instance where I stepped way out of my comfort zone to reach someone for Christ.  I was full of fear and anxiety at what I was stepping into, but I relied on the faith that I was doing the right thing and that God had things under control.

And then, the response I received…

Well…

I honestly haven’t been able to come up with the appropriate feelings to describe it.  I couldn’t decide if I was  hurt, sad, puzzled, let down, angry, confused or something else altogether…  I have been so frustrated about this response that I haven’t been able to get it out of my head for weeks.

Even though I understood that God has a purpose for putting it on my heart and that His plan would make a way, I still just kept dwelling on that response.

Since then, I have been hearing my spirit say “come to the well” over and over and over, but I didn’t really understand why.  And then this morning it finally made sense.  God was calling me to the well.  

I had been so torn up about this situation because I was seeking my acceptance with people instead of with God!

But in His gracious mercy, He was offering me freedom.

He wanted me to find the peace that He had to offer.

All I had to do was leave the pain behind and turn to Him.

Rejection hurts.  But knowing that I am already accepted and loved by my Father in Heaven brings restoration to my soul.  I don’t have to seek acceptance in the world because I have already been accepted by the one who created the universe.  [bctt tweet=”Don’t seek acceptance in the world when you’ve already been accepted by the King of all Kings.”]

My acceptance In Him is what defines me!

My soul is soaring high today knowing that I rest in the security of my God.  I have been completely overwhelmed by the purest joy today.  My spirit is renewed.  I am accepted in the beloved and that’s exactly where I want to be.

Only God can take you from a desperate place of heartache and longing to a place of total acceptance, renewal, and peace that passes all understanding in a matter of seconds!

I was overcome with feelings of rejection, and then I came to the well.  I laid it as His feet and He restored my soul.

Beautiful is the only word to describe what happens to you when you come to the well

For some extra encouragement, listen to this.  It is called “The Well” by Casting Crowns, the words are simple but so powerful.  It will motivate you in a way that I only dream of being able to do.  I’ve had it on repeat all day letting it minister to my soul.

You can also download it here  (aff) for an uplifting reminder whenever you need it.

What is your heart longing for today?  

Will you come to the well and find the freedom that your heart desires?

“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” ~John 7:37-38

Blessings and love,

Tiffany

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