Archive | March 2012

Chapter 12: Lord, Plant Me so I Will Bear the Fruit of your Spirit

Planting.  This chapter is coming at a very opportune time for me, as I am working in a new field in my life – preparing a new blog.   This will be an interesting challenge for me.  I’ve never been very good at blogging on my own.  I have two personal blogs that haven’t been written on in a LONG time.  LOL.  But I feel that God is in this one, so hopefully it will be successful.  Pray that the seeds I am planting now will produce much good fruit for the Lord!

I have never been good at planting.  This past spring, my daughter and I planted some seeds as an experiment for her to see how well they would grow.  She planted them and faithfully took her watering pot out daily to water the seeds.   Soon, we began seeing little sprouts.  She was so excited!   Then, the summer hit.   We had the 2nd most 100+degree days on record.   The faithfulness for both of us to go outside and water those plants waned.   Pretty soon, much to her chagrin, you guessed it…the plants died.

I like her line where she says, “All of us are planting something in our lives every single day, whether we realize it or not. And we are also reaping whatever we have planted in the past.”   In Sunday school, we were talking about greed.  In 2 Kings 5, I think we all know the story of Naaman, who was plagued with leprosy, came to Elisha and was healed.   But if you continue reading, Elisha had turned down any payment from Naaman.  But his servant, Gehazi decided to hurry after after Naaman, and he lied to Naaman and took money from him and clothing in Elisha’s name.   Then when he returned home, he lied to Elisha about where he was.  The seeds that Gehazi planted affected all of his descendants…he was cursed with Naaman’s leprosy … him and his family for ALL generations.    Can you imagine what he thought after reaping what he had sewn?  How about his children… grandchildren…his great grandchildren….

Stormie’s producing great crops section goes through the Fruit of the Spirit.  Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.   If we plan these seeds, the seeds that the Lord oversees, Jesus helps us to plant and nurture, and the Holy Spirit helps us with the harvest.

I’ve planted things in my past that did not bear good fruit.  Thank the Lord for forgiveness.  Daily, I try to plant new seeds, good seeds, and I cannot wait to watch them grow into fruition.  Which one is the hardest one for you to grow?  I am working on joy and self control.  Joy is something I have been expecting, but not seeing.   My life is great now, but I don’t feel any joy.  For some reason, the Christmas season always seems to do this to me as well, and I haven’t figured out why.   I need to find where my disconnect is with the Lord.   Self control…. eek.  I am not TOTALLY without self control, mind you, but there are areas I need work on.

What did you glean from this chapter?  How is your harvest going?

Throwback Thursdays: Making Time for Sex

Do you ever feel like your husband approaches you at some very inopportune times or frustrated because days turn into weeks without getting a physical connection with your husband?  If so then it may be time for you to start scheduling times on a calendar for sex.  Many women do not like the idea because they feel that scheduling takes away some of the spontaneity.  I suppose it does to an extent but some aspects can be kept a mystery.  You don’t need to discuss exactly where it will happen or what sex act will take place.  I would much rather lose some spontaneity rather than dealing with the feeling of rejection.  I know that in the past I have dropped hints (that I thought were blatantly obvious) only to find that my husband was clueless to my advances.  This was our beginning stages of me realizing that he truly is not a mind reader.  At the time I was feeling very frustrated and thought he was avoiding me and these feeling could have been avoided with better communication or simple scheduling.  Another scenario where scheduling can help is if your husband approaches you at inopportune times such as when your friend is walking up to your front door so that you can watch her child for her.  Putting things on a schedule assures that we are hearing each other and it is important enough to not let it just fall through the cracks.  It is easy to say no, go about our business and not see how this may be affecting our spouse.  Communication is so very important.  If you have a spouse who wants to be there for you sexually but is having difficulties finding the time, don’t be shy to pull out a calendar or simply make a ‘date’ for later in the day.  Once it is on that calendar it is a visual reminder for both of you and it gives you something to look forward too as well!!  It can be exciting not knowing exactly what will happen on that special, marked day.

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Where Do I Go for Some Rest?

At one point in time, my DH and I were church hunting….we  found it was time for a change. I love it when you go into church not knowing what to expect, and God is waiting there, ready to speak to you! It’s been an incredible experience and I have learned so much more lately than I have in a long while.

In today’s study, I want to talk about something I mentioned in a comment on my Christians: Perfect? or Forgiven? article.  Burdens and loads.   I had an “ah ha!” moment when I heard this passage in a new light…. (Matthew 11: 28-30) — “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” I have heard these verses before many times, but this was the first time I really got something from it.

First thing, we are all weary and burdened, aren’t we?  I mean, in today’s age we have our own lives…we may work (at home or outside the home), we may have kids who are in soccer, gymnastics, dance, softball, band lessons and concerts…we have a spouse who comes home just ready to eat dinner or ready to shed all his problems and such in exchange for some good lovin’ …there are baths for the kids, bedtime routines, homework to check and recheck, practice records to sign….whew!  We are weary by the end of the day, are we not, girls?     All of these things also create burdens for us that we sometimes feel like we have to bear all by ourselves, too.  Your husband is lying in bed naked, and all you want to do is go to sleep…  Where do we go for some rest???

Well, in this verse, Jesus tells us to come to him.   What in the world could Jesus do to help me with all my burdens and give me rest?  Oh, child, believe me, He can do it.  I am proof of it.

Let me take a step back here and give you a few definitions.   First of all, what is a burden?  A burden is something you cannot bear by yourself.  My pastor told me in life there are burdens and loads.  What is the difference between a burden and a load?  A load is something that is the right size for you to carry.   A grocery sack from the store is a load.  You can carry that.   Carrying in 10 grocery bags at one time…that is a burden.

In these verses, Jesus is asking us for a give and take relationship.   If we give him our burdens, he will share the load.    It reminds me of seeing oxen work in a yoke.    When using the yoke, the oxen become partners bearing the load together.   The work might be too hard for one to do on his own, but when pared together, the burden is much lighter.    When we take on Jesus’ yoke, he becomes the Senior partner in the deal.  The verse tells us to take HIS yoke and learn from HIM.  I decided to do some research on how oxen are trained, and I found this quote, “Training oxen requires taking two separate animals, (selected for their similarities in temperament and willingness to work), which have previously been their own masters, and making them a team, that will work for another master”   ( Does this sound familiar?  How many of us try to be our own master?   I will raise my hand high and tell you that when DH and I were going through our marriage bed difficulties, I thought I could fix it myself.   I cannot tell you how many times I told him we didn’t need to see our pastor or a counselor.  I was a smart woman.  Surely I can fix this myself.   Well, desperate times led to desperate measures….I finally gave my burden to God.   And yes, when the Lord takes the lead in the yoke, the burden is SO much lighter.   I felt like a ten ton weight had been lifted off me, and it was exhilarating.

Part of my hope is that by reading the articles on this blog, that maybe we (as a group of Christian women) can help lift a burden from your life.   Sometimes one person’s burden is another person’s load, and we are so willing to yoke with you to help you.  Sometimes we have preconcieved notions about sex.   Sometimes it burdens us so much when we’ve got misinformation or wrong information about what is acceptable to God in our marriage beds.   Please let us help share your burden.  Write in to me  on the “Got Questions” thread with your burden if you do not want to post it publically.   You can respond to this article.   Whatever you feel most comfortable with, but know that is why God pressed upon us the need for people like us to carry other people’s burdens for a period of time until it can become a load for you.   We will pray for you and help in any way possible.

Lord, Jesus, thank you so much for being willing to carry our burdens for us.  You carried the biggest burden we have, our sin, to the cross for us, and for that we are eternally grateful to you.  Lord, help this blog and the ladies on it to thrive in our marriage beds.  Help us to bear others burdens for them when it gets to be too much for them.   We love you, Lord, and praise you for all you have done and will do for us.   In Christ’s precious name, AMEN!