Making Preparations for Thanksgiving

Picture this scene:

RockwellIt’s Thanksgiving Day.

The table has been set with Grandma’s fine China.

The turkey has been carved.

The family members pose just before the blessing is said for a Norman Rockwell portrait.

The blessing is prayed.

The partaking of the Thanksgiving meal begins.

And then it happens – Uncle Obnoxious begins his usual antics of getting securely under your skin with his big mouth. His opinionated views on politics, religion, today’s youth, the preacher, and even how the turkey was carved flows as freely as water coming out of the kitchen faucet. His very presence begins to gnaw at you, and you pray under your breath, “Lord, why did I ever decide to come to this family gathering.”

Sound familiar to you?  Suffice it to say, most of us have an Uncle Obnoxious, or someone in our family who just sort of rubs us the wrong way. Perhaps some of you are already thinking of ways to respectfully decline this year’s Thanksgiving invitation, knowing he/she will be there.

Wait! Before you decline, may I offer you a ray of hope from my own experience that, not only brought emotional and spiritual healing into my heart, but paved the way for me to deal with all the, shall we respectfully call them “sandpaper” people in my life

You see, people like Uncle Obnoxious used to make me cringe.  In fact, I thought that I was called into the world to give “Help Tips” to my closest relatives and friends that would assist them in seeing things more positively.  And Lord knows, those legalistic people who only see things as either black or white, definitely needed my assistance in helping them balance the truth.  

Hogwash. The real truth of the matter was I was trying to mold them into what I wanted them to be, especially if I were going to have to deal with them on a regular basis. The bottom line was, instead of my help tips helping them, I was causing division.

The spiritual light bulb revelation that “changed me” instead of me trying to change others came as I listened to my mentor, the late Melba Berkeheimer teach from Romans 15:7:  Receive (accept) one another as Christ also received us to the glory of God.”

My spiritual light bulbs really went off when Melba asked:  “Did God say if you get rid of all the moles, then I will accept you?  Did God wait for you to get perfect before accepting you?”

She continued by explain that there is a big difference in accepting and approving. We sometimes think that we have to approve of someone in order to accept him/her, and that’s not true.  We have to accept a lot of things in life, but you don’t have to approve them.  We are all going to have different opinions, temperaments, and personalities.  These different types of people don’t have to be our bosom buddies, (even relatives), but we do have to accept them.

And so it was. I sat down with a pen and paper and begin to write out all those things that had gotten under my skin about a few people. I then decided that it was time to throw the list in the garbage can. I made a conscientious decision that I would now accept them just the way they are, and allow their creator to make the necessary changes in their lives if need be. 

Believe me, I am no longer stressed out around those people who used to make me cringe just to be in the same room with them. Well, not much anyway. Healing came into my life as I accepted them, as well as forgiveness for times their words hurt me. And yes, I had to ask a few, to forgive me for my interfering in their lives.  (They couldn’t believe it!)

It is a good feeling knowing I don’t have to straighten them out for their journey through life. I also walk with a confidence of knowing who I am in Christ and prayerfully walk as an ambassador for Him.

And with that, I encourage you to start preparing your heart this Thanksgiving to meet up with Uncle Obnoxious. Make a decision to love him unconditionally, warts, moles, and all—just like Christ loves and accepts you.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comHappy Thanksgiving to all of you.

Martha Bush

Martha Bush grew up on a farm in Donalsonville, Georgia. She graduated from Valdosta State College, Valdosta, Georgia, with a BS degree in Business Education. After graduating from college, Martha began her teaching career that spanned grades 5-12 in both public and Christian schools. She also taught adult vocational courses in the Atlanta school system. Her love for teaching led her into areas outside the school system as she began teaching Bible study courses in jails, prisons, and at her local church.

She also writes a monthly inspirational post at Created Woman and is a contributing editor for Created Woman Magazine. In addition, Martha is a contributor to Girlfriends Coffee Hour and a member of the Orange County Christian Writers Guild.

Through her years of teaching, as well as being an avid reader of human behavior and grief counseling from noted Christian psychologists, she recognized how a team effort can help build a foundation in children at an early age that will enable them to cope with the losses in their lives. She believes this team, made of up parents, grandparents, educators, and spiritual leaders, can guide a child to healing from losses he or she might experience. They can do this simply by recognizing his pain, listening to his pain and then teaching the child how to apply the principles of God’s Word to his hurting heart.

This led her to write Helping Hurting Children: A Journey of Healing. Martha resides in Orange, Texas, with her husband, Glen. They are the parents of two grown daughters who have blessed them with three beautiful grandchildren.

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Sumite Prayer Partners

Hello Sumite sisters and brothers!  Prayer Partnerships - SUM

Please join me in reading from 2 Peter 1:3-4 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world's corruption caused by human desires.

Mighty God, today we rest in your provision. Through the work of Jesus Christ and continued indwelling of your Spirit, we have been given all we need to live the lives you've called us to. We look at our circumstances or the state of our world and we feel like lost sheep. Remind us that we are never more than a breath away from you. We have only to cry out to you, recommit to your will and devote our hearts again. God, challenge us to rise each morning and seek your presence first. You, mighty protector and provider, want your children to know your heart and receive all you have planned for us. Pour into us and provide the growth to the seeds planted deep in our souls. Father, we look to you and ask, what will you do in and through us today? We pray and praise in the matchless name of Jesus Christ, our savior and messiah, AMEN!

More information on our Sumite Prayer Partnerships can be found by clicking this link: Sumite Prayer Partnerships

If you are ready to receive a prayer partner then please send me an email using this link: Email Christy Edney In your email, please provide your name and your geographic location. 

If you and your partner are experiencing difficulty or you would like prayer then please email me using this link: Email Christy Edney

 

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Persecution - Beatitudes- This IS WILD!

per·se·cu·tion

hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs.

Jesus sum logoI have been contemplating persecution. The “Western Church” is in the throes of change as persecutions of long-held truths are eviscerated in the Colosseum of public opinion.

SUMites, our marriages are sitting smack in the middle of this muddled and difficult social preponderance. We actively navigate our faith and those that are counter-beliefs within our home and before small eyes of impression.

My heart is greatly moved for each of you who must stand alone against an onslaught, torrent of words, falsities and then face your children and gently share Biblical principles. I have walked this path. Difficulty is our vocation but….. There is more at hand.

I listened this morning as I asked Jesus about the persecution. I asked, “How do I encourage my brothers and sisters on the path behind me? They are contesting increasing persecution of their faith more now today, than 12 months ago. How do I urge them onward in faith to realize that they are overcomers and strong enough to walk their marriage out without compromise?”

In that pristine moment, Jesus whispered, “Lynn, turn to Matthew 5. The Beatitudes are for my SUMite Church.”

WHOA!

Let me tell you what Jesus said to me about what persecution is developing in our life.

Vs. 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit.

“Lynn, you are learning that you can do nothing outside of Me. Your poverty of Spirit is actually riches in the Realm of God. For the “Poor of Spirit” have learned – Humility. Thus, my Beloved, yours is the Kingdom of heaven. It is your truest home.”

Vs. 4 Blessed are those who mourn.

“You have grieved over lost dreams in your marriage. You have cried tears of great sadness, petitioning heaven for the salvation of your spouse. You have mourned deeply the loss of years of joy and hope deferred. Your tears, each a precious jewel, saved in the bottles of heaven, bore testimony of your faithfulness to your husband, your family and especially to ME. Thus, my Beautiful Bride, Ye shall be comforted. Forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever. I love Thee!”

Vs 5. Blessed are the meek.

“You turned away from harsh words. You determined, hostility must fall by your side and you did not respond in wrath. You chose peace. You chose joy. You chose truth. You chose Me. Thus, You SHALL inherit the earth. Beauty, provision, family, tradition, home and happiness are yours, my Beloved.”

Vs 6. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.

“Your Royal heritage is birthed out of a heart and hunger for more of Me. Your study of My Word. Daily meeting with Me in prayer for your family and this world. Your hunger to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of the Almighty. You have been a seeker. You have knocked on the door of understanding. You have asked the difficult questions and have determined not to settle for worldly wisdom but the wisdom of angels and saints. You have opened the gate to the Kingdom of God. Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Thus, Prince/Princess of Royal bloodline, YOU SHALL BE FILLED.

Vs 7. Blessed are the merciful.

“For you have not responded in kind; hate for hate. Nay, you, offered love to anger. Hope to despair. Spoken life to the dying. Your heart has grown exponentially in gratitude and grace. You have opened yourself in the most, unkind of circumstances and displayed mercy to others. Even thouest do cause preponderance of the angelic as they marvel over the gentle and merciful heart of a maiden of God. THUS, you shall obtain mercy. You shall see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. You shall watch as your enemies are destroyed. Your legacy shall boom across the heavens.

“A LIFE WELL LIVED. A LIFE WELL LIVED…. A LIFE WELL LIVED.”

Vs. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart.

“Your years of torment, trouble, confusion and strife culminate in the most beautiful exchange of all that is holy. You have walked upon hallowed ground as you bring your fears before my throne. You have trodden the wine presses of wrath, tramping down words of pain, flung upon your soul. Yet your love for me and others… it did NOT FAIL. You have travailed in petitions and surrender. You determined to live in sacrifice and contrition. You turned your ear to me and chose life and truth over the lies of my enemy. You have practiced and lived out faithfulness, year after year, conflict upon conflict. Your faith and obedience has renewed all things of value in this life and the next. THUS, daughter of the Most High, ye shall see the face of God! Yea, thouest will behold HIS GLORY. You will see the future. You will be granted audience with beauty and rare purity. You shall see God!”

Vs. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers.

“In this life you GAVE. You presented your heart to Me and spent it upon others. Forsaken is selfishness and vain conceit and living for the promise of hope deferred, not fully knowing what awaits your eternity. My Glorious Bride, GREAT is your reward. The eternal is more than earthly words can contain. And in the place of self, I have poured out many blessings into your life, a foretaste of an eternity of your reward and My love. You created a more peaceful world for yourself and your family. You sewed in the nighttime hours, prayers of peace as well as warfare, the full ramification of your life impacts into centuries from now, thus is your legacy. You have given your heart to My Kingdom of Peace. You have aligned with the Divine and THUS you shall be called sons and daughters of God!”

Vs. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.

“Persecution of your right-standing with God has lived within the very doors of your home. At every turn you faced decisions to love or hate, give or take, lie or truth, God or wrath. You have become joy bringers, truth tellers, powerful intercessors, prayer warriors, possessors of great wisdom. Your Spirit has developed endurance, persistence, faithfulness.

You are a person of character, intimacy, and resourceful. You are a leader, a strong voice of hope, a giver of time, possessions and prayer. You are a commander of angels and a writer of legacy. You are a strong person of faith and you have done well, My Bride. You have done so, very, well. THUS, YOURS is the Kingdom of heaven. Enter into the joy of the LORD.”

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” —John 16:33

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Holidays and Mothers-In-Law

Mother and grandsonAs we are nearing the season where we spend time with the in-laws, I thought it appropriate to share this post from the archives.

…nearly 60 percent of all marriages suffer from tension with mothers-in-law, normally between the daughter-in-law and her husband's mother.

From the archives: In-Laws

I wonder how many of you felt your blood pressure rise at the mere mention of this topic? Well, considering the statistic above, I can bet a number of you bristle in this area of your marriage. And, to our guy readers, I can only address this topic from my perspective but would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

See if you relate to any of these statements:

"She's always telling me what to do"

"She keeps meddling"

"She wants constant companionship"

"She competes with me for my husband"

These tend to be the most common complaints of wives. But for me, I think what I struggled with was the distance. Not just the miles, more than 400 separate us, the emotional distance. 

I wanted connection and friendship. My mom-in-law wasn't so good at that. Looking back now and knowing my husband's mother is in the later stages of Alzheimer's, how I wish I could have sat at the kitchen table with her. Chatted like friends, asked questions such as, "What was he like when he was ten? What was his favorite toy and why. Did you have to get after him much?"

My mom-in-law was way to uncomfortable with intimate talk. 

Now all these years later knowing this also helps me to see why my husband struggled in our marriage to be demonstrative in his affection. I was raised in a family where we said I love you often. We hugged, kissed, held hands, wrestled on the flood, made popcorn balls on Sunday nights. We loved. We loved out loud. We were also all kinds of other dysfunction but one thing we did right was to tell and show our love.

What I would have given for some of that insight in the early years of our marriage. With this knowledge, however, comes understanding, then forgiveness, and love. And I am determined to show, demonstrate, even teach my husband how to love his daughter out loud. He's come a long way. 

As I type these words I feel a tiny bit of anxiousness as I think of my in-laws. My Father-in-law remains a staunch unbeliever. Even after reading our book, Winning Him Without Words, he called me and said, "I really enjoyed your book. You made me laugh and I found it a good book but like my son, faith isn't for me."

Ugh. 

I believe I have shared my faith with both of them. But, there are nights I lay awake and I pray for their salvation. I may have been the only one who was sent to them from God to share the truth. I pray that Jesus knows I tried. I will never stop praying for them as long as I have breath and they have life.

What are your struggles with your In-Laws? How do you work through them? Let's help each other out today and share your wisdom in the comments. Your words may be exactly what a struggling wife needs to hear today.

Hugs, Lynn

On Monday, I will give you and update about this topic. See you then.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Need A Gift For Your Small Group, Bible Study Ladies, Special Friend?

I was on a walk-n-pray and God came up with this idea. Really!

Every holiday season, as a Bible study leader, I would give a small gift to each of the ladies in my group at Christmas. I would give a gift to my friends at church and my neighbors, friends who I do life with. It was always a struggle to come up with a great gift and no go bankrupt.

May I offer you a suggestion. You Are Loved, Bible study and Coloring book

YAL Book Pencils Holiday II 2017

This is a short, 24, page, fully illustrated, and written Bible study by our own, Dineen Miller. And right now through the end of November, you can order it for only $9.99. Add a box of colored pencils that you can pick up cheap at a discount store for .99 cents, tie a bow and add an ornament. Awesomeness.

YAL Book Pencils Holiday 2017

I would love to receive this gift! Now think about who you know would like to receive this gift from you this year? 

I put together this bundle below and it totaled $13. Add in ribbon and the postage and they are about $15 . A truly unique and faith-based gift for Christmas. I may give some of these to the women pastors at my church and my friends at Christmas Dessert. I may even send one to Dineen for Christmas. -just kiddin'.

YAL Wrapped 2017

If you want to order the books, click on the link below. This will take you to PayPal. Order the number you need and I will get them in the mail. 

Gang, I'm not so great at wrapping and decorating, so that is your part. Don't forget to buy the pencils. 

I feel such a beauty and excitement in this season....
I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES. DO YOU? 

You are Loved Coloring Bible Study
For a limited time only $9.99 

<<<<----- click here. Hugs, Lynn

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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