Monday, May 27, 2013

The Importance of Reading the Instruction Manual

"Father, I ask for Your work in our friendships.  Changes will come, Father, as families move, as our children are involved in different interests and different friendships, as we go through seasons of intense busyness and stress.  First, Father, do everything in Your power (and show us where we can help) to strengthen the marriages.  

Among the friends and families that we get to share some of life with, BUILD STRONG MARRIAGES.  As a whole, convict and inspire us to show the world a large group of excellent marriages.  Where our reactions and habits are to get angry, remind us to be slow to anger, slow to speak, quick to listen.  Remind us that love is patient, kind, not envying or boasting, arrogant or rude.  Love does not demand its own way, and it isn't irritable or resentful.  Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but it does rejoice with the truth.  Love bears all things.  Love believes, hopes, and endures all things.  LOVE NEVER ENDS.  

Love (like You love) never ends, and yet always, always, our marriages are under attack in those particular areas, and we just take it for granted that it's OK to treat each other in these ways (because under everything, he knows I love him, right?).  But it's not OK!  

The desire of Your heart, Father, is that we would know You better because of our marriages.  It is one of Your gifts to us, and every good and perfect gift comes from You.  No gift is fully good or fully perfect, though, unless we use and enjoy it as intended, following the gift's instruction manual, so to speak.  And for our marriages, Father, You've detailed the instructions.  Humble us, no matter our personalities, to follow Your instructions in our marriages, that we might glorify You and know You more perfectly than ever before BECAUSE we are living out our marriages by You, for You, and through You--as one of our gifts to the world."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

What a Gift!

 Andy and I just watched a squirrel snack on a peanut butter pine cone (there's only one left hanging from our tree, after the original nine), a robin alight on our front fence to poop, and a deer visiting the violets in the yard across the street.  

For me, it doesn't get any better than to live in a little
village with neighbors and activity all around and to still be in the woods, with creatures and plants and trees and the sound of a waterfall always rushing in the distance. 

What a gift!  Thank You, Father!