Sitting with Jesus

Lately, I seem to have too much noise clattering around in my head leaving me a bit disorientated and somewhat overwhelmed. I have found refuge in the one place that always brings peace, Jesus’ lap. I love sitting on His lap. He takes my anxiety and turns it to dust blowing it out of His hands to never been seen again. Until I stumble again.

I have also found His wisdom and stillness by reading through “A Clean Heart Create In Me” daily  Lenten reflections from C. S. Lewis. It is compilation of works by Lewis edited by Mark Neilsen for Creative Communications for the Parish. It is a hand out that I received through my church for Lent  this year. At first, I read through it just as passages to read not thinking much about what I was reading. Obviously, I was not ‘reflecting’ only going through the motions of reading the words. I placed in neatly within my Bible when I had finished reading all the passages and did not think any more about it.

In the last few weeks, I took it out of my Bible, I highlighted the little prayers at the end of the passages, and I began to read those prayers during my quiet time. Then, I went back through the passages highlighting some parts of them that spoke more to my heart. Then I went back through them again and again. Wow, how they speak to my turbulent heart. When I replace the parts in the passages where Lewis uses we, him, you or us, for Me, Myself or I, the words take on a whole new meaning to me. They become personalized. I understand it better. I find God’s answers within some of those passages. That makes a huge difference in my little world.

I find myself coming back again and again to a couple passages in particular. Here is the first passage from Lewis:

A Deeper Change using the Bible verse: So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. 1 Corinthians 10:1 Here is what Lewis says: The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self—all your wishes and precautions—to Christ. But it is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead. For what we are trying to do is remain what we call “ourselves,” to keep personal happiness as our great gain in life, and yet at the same time be “good.” We are all trying to let lour mind and heart go their own way—centered on money or pleasure or ambition—and hoping, in spite of this, to be behave honestly and chastely and humbly. And that is exactly what Christ warned us not to do. As He said, a thistle cannot produce figs. If I am a field that contains nothing but grass-seed, I cannot produce wheat. Cutting the grass may keep it short: but I shall still produce grass and no wheat. If I want to produce wheat, the change must go deeper than the surface. I must be plowed up and re-sown.

Here is the second passage:

A Higher Level using the Bible verse: Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:19 Here is what Lewis says: When a man turns to Christ and seems to be getting on pretty well [in the sense that some of his bad habits are now corrected], he often feels that it would now be natural if things went fairly smoothly. When troubles come along—illnesses, money troubles, new kinds of temptation—he is disappointed. These things, he feels, might have been necessary to rouse him and make him repent in his bad old days; but why now? Because God is forcing him on, or up, to a higher level; putting him into situations where he will have to be very much braver, or more patient, or more loving, than he ever dreamed before. It seems to us all unnecessary: but that is because we have not yet had the slightest notion of the tremendous thing He means to make of us.

When I read these passages using Me, Myself and I instead of the third person, the words stir within my heart and begin to  move through my thoughts helping to me to remember that I need to have faith in the Lord, not to understand everything. Most of all, these passages help me to find fulfillment in being a beloved daughter of God and what He would want me to become.

It has been a huge struggle for me recently to keep my focus on Jesus. I have been easily distracted by our daily life happenings, my sister’s health, my husband’s health, my health, my mom, my fumbling with my little sister and nephew and much more. Ah, the heaviness that I have allowed darken my view. Waiting it all out and the heat of the summer have not helped to make it any easier to be patient for the Lord to work out in and around me what He is trying to accomplish.

Yet, I read ‘because God is forcing [me] on, or up, to higher level; putting [me] into situations where [I] will have to be very much braver, or more patient, or more loving, than [I] ever dreamed before. It seems to [me] all unnecessary; but that is because [I] have not yet had the slightest notion of the tremendous thing He means to make of [me].’ I realize my desire for the things I wish is perhaps stronger than my desire for the will of God to be fulfilled in its arrival. He knows my need better than I do, and His purpose in waiting is to bring more glory out of it. I want to make it about me and what I can do…not about Him and what He is better able to do.

Thank you Jesus for letting me sit on Your lap, to talk with You, and best of all to hear what You have to say.

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Women within my heart

Mother’s Day is this Sunday. I love this day.

It is amazing to me how God has created women to be gracious and gentle yet strong and encouraging through all kinds of circumstances. Honoring the ladies who have shaped and influenced us. Wiped our noses. Comforted us when were sick. Pulled out their hair after trying every last thing possible to discipline us. Laughed with us. Read stories to us. Sang to us. Taught us to mind our manners. And everything else they could to make us be a better person. Truly amazing.

I think of my own mom who I have seen make amazing party favors and decorations out of construction paper to fulfill our magical birthday theme requests. She did a pirate them for my brother, a princess theme for my sister, and dressed up as a court jester.

My Mom as court jester

She sat with my little brother teaching him how to draw, which he soaked up like a sponge as he was so talented drawing police cars [including sound effects as he drew!] even at the age of 4 years. She taught us how to make Easter baskets from construction paper. Then would make ‘nests’ to put inside of them [chow mein noodles coated with chocolate and butterscotch chips with jelly beans as the eggs, yummy]. A tradition she has carried out until this year. She would read us stories and interject special voices and sounds to bring the story alive in our imaginations. She made pancakes nearly everyday for my little sister who would not want anything else. And so much more.

Then there are my fabulous sisters: Jenny who has 3 children, Kristin who has 3 children and one granddaughter, Amy who has 2 boys and one grandson. I have watched in awe as this little people would tug and pull on their mom’s clothes…”mom, Mom. MOM!” Then these adorable angels would curl up into their mom’s lap for special snuggle time. No matter what had transpired through the day, these little ones would look to their moms for the direction and encouragement that was needed. It just melts my heart to see the love my sisters have poured into each one making them feel important and loved. As I do not have any children, an aching in my heart, I have been blessed from time to time with special time with my nieces and nephews that have given me only a mere glimpse of the special bond between a mother and her child. I hold those moments close to my heart and when I need a smile I can take one of those moments out of my pocket and wear it!

These women. my mom and my sisters are such rare treasures. And it touches my heart to see the wonder of their personalities, the warmth of their love, and the peace of their patience change and transform the lives of their husbands and their children. God’s love working through them reaching out to shelter their family.

As Proverbs 31:25 – 30 states: Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter-day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]! She opens her mouth in skillful and godly wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction]. She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness [gossip, discontent, and self-pity] she will not eat. Her children rise up and call her blessed [happy, fortunate, and to be envied]; and her husband boasts of and praises her, [saying], Many daughters have done virtuously, nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness], but you excel them all. Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain, [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised! ~Amplified Bible

Some quotes to honor mothers:

To be a mother is by no means second class. Men may have the authority it the home, but the women have the influence. The mother, more than the father, is the one who molds and shapes those little lives from day one. ~John MacArthur

The woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies. A true mother is one of the holiest secrets of home happiness. God sends many beautiful things to this world, many noble gifts: but no blessing is richer than that which He bestows in a mother who has learned love’s lessons well, and has realized something of the meaning of her sacred calling. ~J.R. Miller

I would take this time to honor all the other women in my life circle some who are a wife and mother, some who are a wife, and some who are awaiting for their grooms. I have the honor and privilege of having so many of these fabulous women about me. If I do not mention you specifically, please forgive me. There is Stacy, Jennifer M, Karen, Amber, Kelly and Ginnie to name just a few from my younger days as being single. I worked side by side with these women and they were so open and gracious to share a bit of their love and thoughts with me. Some of these women are mothers themselves embracing their precious role as wife and mother. There is Anne, Jenn K, Angie, Krissi, who I worked with while at Kohler. These amazing women are not only gifted and talented in their own right they personify the ‘branding’ of gracious living. There is my CSI: Annamarie, [Cute Sister In law] who makes the world of difference in my little brother’s life and is a great compliment to his artistic talents as she is most extraordinarily gifted as well. There is my cousins [Becky, Abby, Kari, Shawna] and aunts who are marvels in their own rights as they have over come the obstacles of motherhood in a single bound. There are the women I am blessed to be working with now, Lisa, Jenna, Beth, Brittany, Whitney, Hillary, Kelly, Marybeth, Tricia [and more] some who are moms already and some who are being prepared for their future. These woman who I work with every day and take their time to share a little morsel of their hopes and dreams with me. There are the women of my church family, Tena, Cheryl, Emily, Laura who simply pour out Jesus’ love to all those around them with so much grace and warmth, what a blessing they are. There is Gene and Connie who are my lovely sisters In Christ who have touched my heart in such a special way. I miss Gene’s voice, who is from Panama originally with a hint of an accent from her heritage which I could listen to speak all day long and never grow tired of, a sweet mother’s voice that has often comforted me in times of distress. I miss Connie’s laughter, who has been recently ordained to the Lord’s Ministry, an infectious laugh that reminds me to embrace all the Lord’s joy that is given me. There is the newest addition to our family, Brittnay, my nephew Mathew’s wife and mother of their child Ivan. I pray that the Lord will lead and guide her while protecting her on her new glorious adventure as wife and mother.

There are my nieces over in Austria and Iraq, Fairuz, Ola, Rowa, Mariam, Tami [and more] who have wrapped me with a most miraculous loving embrace of family and belonging. These young women are hopeful and full of God’s love. They are being prepared for the next step toward their future.

Then there are my little nieces, at the ripe old age of 9 years, Miranda and Ellen. Little miracles they are. I am blown away by their openness and willingness to share their heart with me. A precious gift I treasure. I love to watch Miranda as she often steps up to be a leader and a teacher of sorts.  Ellen who simply just likes to reach out and embrace her family. She knows so well who is who in her family and she is so good at recognizing each one of us in a special way.

I offer this to honor all women as encouragement from 1 Peter 3 2-5: When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him–to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to deeply love, and enjoy your husband]. Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of the clothes; But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God. For it was thus that the pious women of old who hoped in God were [accustomed] to beautify themselves and were submissive to their husbands [adapting themselves to them as secondary and dependent upon them]. Amplified Bible

If you sit down and reflect, there are so many women around us that have touched our hearts and lives. It is hard to capture who they are in words. I know I am blessed by them all becuz, I have had the honor of being included in their lives and observing their fantastic style and flair for living life.

My love to you fair maidens and matrons. May the Lord bless you each day

Sitting by the Hearth

In search of a job…

1 Timothy 3:11 NASB

~Women must likewise be…faithful in all things.~

So it has come down to the final countdown to the exhaustion of unemployment funds. My husband having been laid off from his job back in September 2009 has been receiving unemployment over the last several months. Most recently, he was given an extension and we have come to the end of that extension. I have been a stay at home wife since January 2007.

images What does one do when faced with the reality of needing money…you start the process of finding a job.

I began my quest for re-entering the job market well over a year ago; the day my husband called me from work to inform me they had given him a 60 day letter.

My job experience is mainly in the customer service area. I have held jobs from cashier to management. I polished up my resume and cover letter. I began the application process by searching every job website I could find. Zoom…I had applied to several positions in a matter of minutes…the internet has been such a benefit in that respect. Then, the waiting set in. Days, weeks, months passed without receiving one call for an interview. It was nearly 7 months before I received my first call and that was a phone interview only. I was sent several ‘auto replies’ saying, “Thank you, but no thank you.”

I asked myself what am I doing wrong? It has never been this difficult to locate a job before. I searched for resume tips. It would appear my old resume needed a makeover. So, I reformatted my resume changing the entire structure of it from Chronological to Functional. I researched cover letter tips as well and turned my oh-hum cover letter into pizzazz! Armed with a ‘WOW’ cover letter and a ‘easy to scan’ resume, I was ready to dazzle employers with my skills and experience. Poof…that excitement lasted about a week when didn’t last long, I came face to face with the wall of discouragement when I received a couple of calls of interviews that did not go any further. My oh my, why oh why?

I am so out of my comfort zone right now. I always seemed to be a good choice for employment before. I would apply for a handful of jobs and within moments [ok, maybe a couple of weeks, but it feels like moments], I would be offered the position. What has changed in my aptitude and abilities that has literally stopped all opportunities?

I went to the one person who has all the answers I am seeking, Jesus. I prayed. I asked Him, Dear Lord, what is it about me that caused not one of these employers to look upon me and offer me a job? The answer I received is a difficult one to understand, my heart attitude was not in the right place.  Here “I am” applying, searching, and seeking a job to fix the impeding financial circumstances that my husband and I face. Instead of allowing Jesus to have reign and authority of what I should be doing and giving Him the room to direct the areas in our lives that needed fixing, I am trying to solve it all on my own. I ask for His help, then tell Him, “Sorry Lord, I cannot wait for you any longer, move over, I will fix it.” Who do I think I am? I cannot fix anything without the wisdom and strength of my Lord Jesus. I was not putting Him first…I was putting me first and what I could do. My foolish pride.

“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” ~Psalm 32:8~

Then I was awakened by God’s “first and great commandment” I committed to so long ago:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” ~Matthew 22: 37-38~

Love God. God is not only my first priority, He is my Ultimate priority and my consuming passion. As a Christian woman and wife, I need to make and take time to nurture my relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. I was not attending to this very important time. I was worried and a bit frantic about finding a job. I had pushed my quiet time with Jesus aside so I could dig and focus on getting a job that would bring in money to solve our financial needs.  Busted!

Jesus lovingly revealed to me that I already have a job and that I was not tending to the daily tasks and duties of that job very well and honestly not at all, my relationship with Jesus, my husband, and our homestead. I have been blinded by moaning about not finding a job and worrying over what if one of us does not find job where is the money going to come from. I have neglected my Lord and Savior, my husband and my home.

My real, God-given job position [or assignment] is within my home. My job from God is to help my husband, to nurture my relationship with him and to be about the business of building our homestead. I may have to find a job, but my home—the people and the place—is always to be the priority over any profession. You see, being a woman and a wife after God’s own heart is all about the heart—my heart. That means no matter what we want, or what society tells us to want, or what anyone else wants for us, we as women after God’s own heart are to want what God wants. I may need to tend to a career, but I must first and foremost desire to fulfill God’s will when it comes to the priorities He wisely and sovereignly sets down for our lives:

“The word of God which lives and abides forever.” ~1 Peter 1:23~

“The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.” ~Psalm 33:11~

Do I love him…

I watched the Fiddler on the Roof the other day. I love that movie. Especially the part where Tevye and Golde realize they love each other after 25 years of marriage:

Tevye: [in song] Do you love me?
Golde: [speaking] I’m your wife!
Tevye: [speaking] I know!
[in song]
Tevye: But do you love me?
Golde: [singing] Do I love him? For twenty-five years I’ve lived with him, fought with him, starved with him. Twenty-five years, my bed is his…
Tevye: Shh!
Golde: [singing] If that’s not love, what is?
Tevye: [singing] Then you love me!
Golde: I suppose I do!
Tevye: Oh.
[sings]
Tevye: And I suppose I love you too.
Tevye, Golde: [singing] It doesn’t change a thing, but even so… After twenty-five years, it’s nice to know.

DSCF0377 My hubby likes to watch it with me. Then for the next few days it is so cute listen to him whistle and hum some of the songs from the movie.My hubby reminds of Tevye [played Topol] especially when he is singing the song “If I were a rich man…Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.”We have been married 7 years. My Salah is a very traditional man. Sometimes it is a challenge to my ego and pride.Then I remember all the ways he has been so gracious and loving toward me. At night, he enjoys eating fruit after dinner. Most nights he will enjoy apples, oranges, bananas, and other fruits. When he peels the orange, he will always lean over and say to me, “Here, honey, this is your share” and hand me half his orange. He will offer to bring me tea when he is getting his. He will upon occasion do the dishes, make the bed, and offers to help carry the laundry down to the basement for me. He reminds me when my tongue and voice becomes impolite by saying to me, “What is this ugliness?” He reminds upon occasion that he does not need me to speak for  him when he having a conversation with my FBI and I try to help him out with language, “Hey, this is men talking to each other. This is between me and my FBI.” He holds me accountable to my part of caring for our home and animals. He holds me accountable to most everything…he keeps a close eye on me.Earlier this year, some of these things got under my skin and began to irritate me. My husband was laid off back in September of 2009.I found myself opening my mouth and out would come this awful attitude or response. It was not pretty. Over and over. Thoughts and words are related. Thoughts are unspoken words. Words are verbalized thoughts. Your words are a reflection of your thoughts…UGH! I was so frustrated…I could not tame my tongue.

Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief. Proverbs 21:23 The Message

I found myself amidst a totally new ‘comfort zone’ without ANY comfort. My attitude and responses to certain things began to weigh very heavily upon me. That is where the dark cloud comes over me. I wanted to scream, I wanted to yell, I wanted to say all that was in my heart…but the Lord placed His hand over my mouth and told me to be quiet. I kept saying, “But, Lord, he…” And the Lord places His hand over my mouth again. I said again, “But, Lord, he….” And the Lord placed His hand over mouth yet again this time telling me, “Be still child.” Then I said, “But, Lord, I don’t want anyone watching me so close. I want my privacy.” And there was the dark cloud storming above…my pure unadulterated pride was being poked [my dad used to warn us about the “Hemenway Pride”]. Suddenly, everything seemed very transparent and very self-centered.

If anyone thinks himself to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person’s religious service is worthless (futile, barren). James 1:26 The Amplified Bible

I was smack dab face to face with my ugliness of my space being infringed upon. I was mad because I felt like I could not enjoy a leisurely coffee and breakfast. I was resentful because I could not take a nap in the middle of the afternoon just because I wanted to. I was frustrated because I couldn’t sit and watch a movie eating a snack instead of doing…anything more productive…like dusting or vacuuming or working outside in the yard. Instead I was constantly being held accountable for my actions and how I spent my day. I did not like facing the fact that I had become pure lazy! How do you think I put on all this weight? Not by keeping my hands busy doing my daily tasks.Drama. Drama. Drama. That is how I felt…I was making much more of it than necessary. But, laziness is a very serious condition just as overeating is. Both are equally bad for your health. And instead of rejoicing that Salah wanted to spend time with me doing projects like the goats, I slapped him in the face with my attitude of having my space infringed upon. Which led way to all kinds of other grief in the process. I openly admit I did not like being “watched” so closely. It would be so much easier and less painful if I placed it on him, but that would not honor the Lord, would not be true and would not teach me what I need to learn. No, it rests within me and I take responsibility for my actions and the consequences from them.

A man’s [moral] self shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth; and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil]. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]. Proverbs 18:20-21 Amplified Bible

Anyways, back to the movie…

This part of the movie reminds of the love that my husband shares with me every day…day in and day out…the good, the bad, and the ugly…in sickness and in health, to love, honor and obey. There are so many ways he demonstrates his love toward me and his commitment to our marriage. There are times when I look at him and I just plain do not get him…but then there are those moments when he looks at me and says something that just melts my heart. All that he does whether I agree with him or not, is done out of love. Just like God my Father. Wow what a gift.

I never really understood what it meant to really “love” until I found Jesus. When God first brought Salah into my life, I was not sure I wanted to even meet him. God knew all long the man He had ready for me…I am ever grateful it is my Salah.

I just love him, thank you Lord for making him the man he is.

Accept Each Other

Romans 15:7

~So accept each other just as Christ has accepted you; then God will be glorified.~

je tomb Ah, this has been a very difficult challenge area in my life recently. With both of us being unemployed and at home, we have stumbled over each other for past few months. In the beginning, I reacted to the differences I had discovered unfolding within my husband on my own terms and limited understanding of them. Each moment of opportunity would seem to flare up in my face and turn into an argument. There were moments when it appeared that we might not make it to the next day married. I kept asking myself, “What AM I doing wrong? Why is he treating me this way? Why doesn’t he listen better?” Then BOOOOOOMMM…it hit me…I was making it all about ME! I was trying to handle it ALL BY MYSELF. Silly me. Silly pride.

I eagerly sought out the Lord’s wisdom and guidance as to how to positively deal with the differences between the both of us. I found the answer within a book I had purchased several years ago [shortly after we were married]. The book is called “20 Rules and Tools for a Great Marriage” by Dr. Steve Stephens.

Here is some excerpts from the book: Rule 2: Accept Differences

“Every couple has its differences. Maybe spender has married a saver. Or a highly structured person is drawn to someone who celebrates spontaneity. Or a collector who likes a certain amount of clutter has married a tosser who draws great joy from clearing away clutter. God clearly has a sense of humor. He made us so that opposites attract. Often, once we get together, we drive each other crazy.

Sometimes it’s easy to let differences get the best of you, and you begin to believe that you’re just too incompatible to make your marriage work. NONSENSE!

We are all incompatible in some are or another. If compatibility were the main criteria for a great marriage, everyone would give up. God knows that balance is important;that’s why he gave you a spouse who is different from you. Thank him for those differences. Don’t try to pressure your partner into thinking of feeling or acting like you do. Instead, make an effort to understand and appreciate the differences.

If you grumble or nag, you will become bitter. If  you fight, you will become frustrated. but if you relax and accept the differences as a blessing, you will learn the art of flexibility and compromise. You will grow in maturity, and the texture of your life will become richer. In the end, you will develop into a better person—a person of character and compassion.

Most conflicts are not about major moral or ethical issues but about different preferences. She wants it her way and he wants it his. The Bible asks, “What causes fights and quarrels among you??” In the next verse it answers its own question: “You want something but don’t get it” James 4:1-2, NIV.

As we learn to accept that we won’t always have to have it our way, marriage becomes a lot easier. After a while we realize that most of our fights are either stupid or selfish. As you learn to respect each other’s differences, you’ll find that  you aren’t fighting as much and that you’re actually moving closer to each other. As you begin to accept the ways in which you and your spouse are different, you will begin to grow closer together. and as you grow closer, the differences will no longer seem like such a big deal.

 

Let’s pray together:

Dear God,

Thank you for making my partner just the way he is—with all his strengths and weaknesses and differences. Before the earth was formed you dreamed of my spouse. When the time was right you shaped his soul and watched his life grow into what it is today. It is no accident that the two of us are together. Yet there are days when our togetherness is challenged by our differences. Help me to accept what you have given me. Help me to rejoice in our differences, rather than merely tolerating them. Forgive me for the many times I have been less than respectful—those times I have not paid proper attention or have not acted upon my spouse’s words and ways which were different than my own. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The next time you have an argument with your spouse, ask yourself, “Is this really about preferences?” Then try to see the issue from your spouse’s perspective. you might even try it their way.

 

 

 

A Woman is not just a person; she’s a miracle!

In honor of Mother’s Day

Ephesians 2:10

~For we are his workmanship, created in Christ unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.~

0_0_0_0_185_309_csupload_17106169 This is devotion written by Mary Hollingsworth:

A woman is not just a person; she’s a miracle! Like a cosmic shape-shifter of Star Trek, she can transform into anything she needs to be in an instant.

She turns into a nurse at the sight of a scrape or a scratch; in larger emergencies, she’s instantly a paramedic. When trouble comes or the enemy attacks, she becomes the fortress behind which the whole family—even Dad—huddles for protection.

Or she snaps her fingers and changes into a Little League coach, a Girl Scout leader, a homeroom mother, a corporate executive, financier, a Sunday School teacher, a playmate, a seamstress, a play director, or a volunteer for the March of Dimes. She is, all in the same day, a cook, a taxi driver, a boardroom presenter, a maid, a politician, and a referee.

In addition, she is often the spiritual heart of the home—guiding, encouraging, leading, teaching, and praying. She is God’s hands and feet, HIs laughter and joy, His tears and sorrow. She is the heart of God personified.

There’s no doubt about it—a woman is not just a person; she’s a miracle!

Learn more about Mary:

Blog: http://maryhollingsworth.blogspot.com/

Website: http://maryhollingsworth.vpweb.com/

From my other blog: Lemon Drop Moment

Lord, make me a helper suitable for him.

DSCF0071~The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”Genesis 2:18 NIV~

Today is our 7th anniversary. It hardly seems like seven years. In honesty, I feel we have been together much longer [in a very good way!]. God put us together just like pieces of a puzzle…a good fit.

I spent many years in agony wanting and waiting for a husband. There were only a few other candidates prior to my beloved husband. I mourned over the loss of them in wonder of what was wrong with me that they would not ask me that simple question: “will you marry me?”

Looking back, God had a much better plan and purpose for me as He always does. I was unaware of this simple concept at the time. I had not found Jesus yet. God was protecting me from myself before I even knew that.

We met through the internet. He answered my personal ad. Yes, dear ones, back in the day before my Lord Jesus saved me, I placed personal ads on the internet. Oh, the stories I could tell. I placed myself in some uneasy situations. I even went all the way to Baltimore once [in the summer of 1997 I think it was] to meet someone. My goodness what was I thinking? I was thinking how badly I needed to find that special someone. Through those times of searching, God was sheltering me without my knowledge of course!

We exchanged emails and telephone calls for nearly two months before I would agree to meet him. We met July 14, 2002, it would be the day that changed my life. When Salah gave me my first hug, my head just fit on his shoulder and that was a good sign. I did not have to stand on my tiptoes to reach that special spot. I just fit…right there…so nice so cozy. He wore Christian Dior Fahrenheit cologne. And we spent our first date watching the Rock Aqua Jays [of Janesville, Wisconsin] and then went to Perkins for coffee. I even remember that when we were sitting in the bleachers watching the water-ski show I had been sitting on his right side. He told me, “Do you mind if you sit on my left side, I want to see you.” Such a smoothie!

Well, we dated a couple of times more when in September of that year [2002], he ended up having double bypass surgery. That was what brought us closer together. He popped the “BIG M” question on my birthday two months later. We married in March of 2003 only 8 months after meeting. I confess at first I was not so willing to accept this new gift. I doubted God’s wisdom and thought, “why this man and what made him more special than the others I had chosen?” I prayed several times asking Jesus to to make it clear to me what He would have me do. His answer every time, “Love this man.” I did as I was told. Everyday since seems like a gift. God certainly is the best match maker ever.

In these past few years, we have been blessed in numerous ways. Jesus has touched our lives and made us the husband and wife team we are today. Just yesterday as we went to the store my Salah told me, “I am glad you decided to come with me to the store. I am just so used to having you at my side. I am not sure what I would do without you there.” That my dear ones, is the best gift of love anyone could share…his open heart. My husband touches my heart and fills my eyes with tears of joy. He always knows just what to say and how to say it. I give the credit to my Lord Jesus who shines through my husband shaping me into a helper suitable for him.