How I saved August: Learn from your husband

August was heavy at our house, but Jeff helped me salvage it. Honest wives admit we think our husbands should learn from us. In moments of confession at a small group or women’s retreat, we might even concede that we keep a mental list of lessons our man needs to achieve if he’s to be moved into the “I respect him” category.

And then there are those moments when God humbles us, showing us how much we have to learn from the man we call “husband. Though imperfect like we are, God uses him as a tool of teaching and leadership. At times, he is like a pair of shears, tenderly trimming away at the thorns or dried sprigs that take away from our beauty.

When was the last time you learned from your husband?

How to learn from your husband

To learn from our man, we have to lay aside our pride and open up with a teachable (aka humble) spirit. We start to learn from our man simply by being quiet and listening. While we are not more sinful than our man, we are made differently than our man. “For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.” (1 Timothy 2:13-14) God can grow you into the wife you want to be if you learn from your husband.

  1. lay down my pride
  2. be open to learn
  3. have a humble heart
  4. be quiet (stop talking)
  5. listen respectfully

In the last month, I battled mono, attended the funerals of two dear friends, sent JoHanna back to college, ended a 10 year ministry at our church, cleaned out my office & turned in my keys, wrestled with God over things I don’t understand, and prayed over pain in the lives of loved ones near to & far from me. On my birthday, I received lots of Facebook well wishes, but my heart was so overwhelmed it was nearly September before I could “like” a single one or say thanks. I’m glad August is done. I’m tempted to hit “delete” and not remember those heavy weeks of loss and concern. But God has used my husband to teach me a valuable lesson of salvage.

We do not move on before we stop to give thanks.

As each year or each season ends, Jeff (who is just a little bit ;) more methodical and disciplined than I am … ) takes time to make a list of reasons to give thanks. He has lists from years gone by. Provisions. Fruits. Blessings.

A funny thing happens when you stop to give thanks. You realize your blessings outweigh your burdens, your triumphs outnumber your troubles, your God is greater than your grief, and your future more promising than your past. Jeff has taught me this.

I bet your husband has taught you a thing or two also. Maybe you need to stop right now, humbly and quietly and respectfully, and consider how God has used your man to work in your life. While you do that, I’m going to tell you the first 20 things that come to my mind to be grateful for. Instead of being an August to forget, it will be one I will choose to remember!

20 things I’m grateful for in August

  1. I was blessed with two mighty prayer warrior friends

    Expectant Cover

    A sneak peak of the book cover!

  2. I had a sweet summer with both kids at home
  3. We have enjoyed 10 years of fruitful ministry
  4. I had the gift of working with amazing, godly women
  5. Being sick gave me time to be quiet and to pray
  6. My sickness is one that will pass
  7. My office was a resource to care for many women
  8. God has given us wise and godly mentors & counselors
  9. Loving friends have spoken words of blessing to us both
  10. I received cards full of words of affirmation & truth
  11. God made August on my blog all about prayer … because He knew
  12. I have been upheld by sisters in Christ near & far
  13. The internet provides ongoing ways to minister to people
  14. I had an article featured in Just Between Us magazine!
  15. I turned 46 and have so much to be grateful for
  16. Hallway Publishing did the final cover of my book to be out in November!
  17. I’m pretty sure some of my friends are really angels
  18. Technology allows me to be in close touch with loved ones who are far
  19. God uses people to protect and provide for us
  20. God used people to speak one verse to me OVER AND OVER … if I didn’t know Jesus, I would think it was a coincidence. Since I know Jesus, I know it is God’s divine movement. Wow.

By Julie Sanders

Compassion International goes Back to School

This has been the Back to School season for many. While a lot of families take education for granted, others long for the tools that come with going to school. Through Compassion International many children around the world have the opportunity to go to school. Because of the chance for education, children find ways out of poverty and gain skills enabling them to read the Bible and discover the truth of God’s life-changing love for them.

Education facts from Compassion International

  • Worldwide, nearly 80 percent of primary-school-age children attend school. In least developed countries, this figure is around 66 percent.
  • The largest out-of-school population is in sub-Saharan Africa, where around 45.5 million children of primary school age are out of school.
  • Of the 67 million primary-school-age children who do not attend school, 53 percent are girls.
  • Worldwide, only 49 percent of children of secondary school age actually attend secondary school.
  • Of the 49 percent of secondary age students who do not attend school, 52 percent are girls.
  • The world’s functional illiterates include more than 130 million children who do not attend school, 73 million of them girls.

I am blessed. I had the gift of attending school K-12, obtaining a college degree, pursuing ongoing training, and teaching students in a variety of classrooms.

My kids are blessed. My children have had the gift of being schooled K-12, having books on our shelves, resources for support, and supplies to study.

Compassion International

Compassion Captions?

Have you been blessed too? As we receive blessings, let’s share with others in the name of Christ. If you could put a caption on the photo below, what would you write? Leave a comment and share! I’ll share the ideas on the Come Have a Peace Facebook page this weekend! (Click “like” on the page to see the updates)

Compassion Caption

 

By Julie Sanders

10 Bible Verses to PRAY about my Schedule

This weekend Jeff and I said goodbye to a long time mentor and friend, after a short, but intense, battle with cancer. She and her husband provided a model of a godly marriage for us, and she left her personal imprint on my life as a wife. How blessed I am to have had “Becky” woven into my life’s story.

I’ll never forget the Monday when I heard a knock on my front door, only to find her standing on the front porch, peering through the lace curtains. “Jul?” she began, “are you okay?” The combination of her knowing gaze, decided tone, and accepting smile let me know there was no use pretending I was okay. I felt relieved that my overwhelmed state had been exposed.

Her insightful eyes hadn’t missed the look on my frazzled face the day before, as I juggled my toddler, an intentional smile painted on my face. Our schedule was out of control, and she saw the evidence written all over my not-so-peaceful face. On the day of my exposure, she told me, “When Jeff is busy, Julie is busy,” meaning my husband’s schedule impacts my schedule. Our load is joint, and the choices we make impact the peace (or lack of it) in our life together. Something had to come off of my planner.  Our planner.

In the decades since, I’ve gained hard-won lessons about using my time and managing my schedule so it makes for a healthy marriage.  A lot of women fight to keep their schedule under control. A  too-full plate has a way of spilling over in a mess onto married life. I’ve found that God’s word is packed with practical wisdom for the use of our time, and prayer is a good place to start to make the most of it.

Bible verses to pray about my schedule

Download a printable copy of the following 10 Bible Verses to PRAY about my Schedule

10 Bible Verses to PRAY about my Schedule

  1. Understanding of how quickly my life passes
    O LORD, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! (Psalm 39:4)
  2. Wisdom for how to use the time I have
    So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)
  3. Careful use of my time based on God’s will
    Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:15-17)
  4. Prioritizing my time for what matters most to God
    He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30)
  5. Investment of my days in things that last
    Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)
  6. Guidance from the Lord in my planning
    The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
  7. Discernment to keep from giving time to idols
    And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. (1 John 5:20-21)
  8. Freedom to let my Father lead the use of my time
    So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:7)
  9. Diligence to use my time to work hard
    A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. (Proverbs 10:4)
  10. Effort to labor as if I’m serving for God’s glory
    Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23-24)

By Julie Sanders