Look Into My Life

Within a couple of weeks, my second book will be in print. I may be judged and my spiritual walk may even be questioned, but I don’t care. The title of the book, Trash Thoughts, exposes some of my ungodly thoughts and the struggle I have keeping my thoughts in a place pleasing to God. For reasons unknown to me, God has called me to be an open book - literally. If my mess can help someone else, I’m available. 

A very special seasoned woman in my life, Betty Winters, wrote, “If she dares to be an example to the young woman, she must be vulnerable-willing to let a younger woman look into her life and learn from it.” The first time I read these words, they were life changing for me. I knew there was no time to be embarrassed about some of the ungodly choices I’ve made, my silly mistakes, my unkind words, and now my private thoughts. My thoughts, Lord? Really? 

As an older woman, it is my charge to be an example and share my spiritual journey. I must be willing to part my curtains and allow others to look into my life and learn from it. I haven’t always been saved and I don’t always act saved, but prayerfully you can learn something from my life. To those on the older woman journey with me, don’t be ashamed of your past or present circumstances; it’s all to give God glory. Share your mess and be a blessing. Unmask and share how God has given you the strength to endure a troubled marriage, feeling depressed, disobedient children, low self-esteem, financial woes, difficult relationships, trying toddlers, and spiritual emptiness to name a few. I’m not saying to go out and air all your dirty laundry, but when the opportunity presents itself to share, why not encourage, empower, enlighten, and be an example to the younger woman.  

Your life is a lesson!

Consider Oral

Written by Susan Irwin of BecomeOneFlesh.com
Today, I wanted to risk annoying some of my Christian sisters by
being brutally honest about a "touchy subject" with many Christian

Over the past twelve years, I've received thousands of letters and
emails from Christian wives frustrated with their marriages and love
lives. They ask me questions like...
"Why isn't my husband more affectionate?"
"Why is he always 'ogling' other women?"
"Why doesn't he seem to care about MY needs, emotionally or
in bed?"
Now, sometimes, a wife is just stuck with a "stinker" for a husband.
He is truly just the type of man that is selfish and/or lazy and is
(probably) never going to magically turn into the husband of your
dreams. But, those husbands are the vast exception to the rule.
Most husbands do care about your happiness and base lots of their
personal self-esteem on whether they think you are happy or not.
But... they are also men.
And, whether you and I like it or not, there are certain "guy traits"
that are so deep and real that you just aren't going to change them
by just "wishing them away." You are going to (for your sanity) either
use these traits to your advantage... or let them continue to frustrate
you and make your marriage less fulfilling.
So, if you are (finally) ready to do something about your marital frustration,
I have a brutally honest suggestion for you...
Consider "oral."
Because I don't want to make this email super long, I won't delve into the
theology on this issue (the Bible fully endorses oral) or the male psychology
lesson, I'll just "cut to the chase"...Men are very oral.  
They (deeply) desire to give you oral and they (deeply)  desire for you to give it to them.
If you have tried to fool yourself into believing that your husband is different,
please... stop now. You're husband (as long as he has a pulse), if he were
100% honest with you, would LOVE to bring more oral into your bedroom.
Now, you may be thinking, "Why is it always about him?" or "How does this
help me?"
Here's how...
Women seek love and find themselves having sex.
Men seek sex and find themselves in love.
It doesn't matter how old your husband is.
It doesn't matter how long you've been married.

He thinks about giving and receiving oral.
And, he judges his love life and marriage (to some extent) on whether
he gets to give or receive it.
When he looks at other men, he compares himself, based on whether
he thinks that man is getting more oral.
When he looks at other women, he wonders if she is "oral."
If you want him to feel different and more positive about you and
your marriage, the quickest way to his heart ISN'T through his
stomach... it's through fulfilling his sexual needs and desires.

If you are willing to "make the first move" and demonstrate some
willingness and openness regarding oral, you'll be AMAZED at how
your husband starts to act differently... more attentive... more interested
in you, in general.

Eat Life!

While exercising last night, I thought about my younger sister. She, as most of us do, struggles with eating the right foods from day to day. If we had someone in our ear every day to hold us accountable for what we eat and drink, it might be easier for us to do the right thing. In my attempt to be my sister’s accountability nag, I often drop an email to her that simply says, “Eat Life!” In other words, eat foods that will help nourish and replenish your body. Eat foods that even the cellular level of your body will benefit from. The alternative to eating life is to eat death. Foods and beverages that taste yummy, but damage our organs and invite fatigue. Sometimes I hear chocolate yelling my name. Oh, food doesn’t talk to you? Well, I hear chocolate loud and clear and even when I satisfy my craving, it just keeps yelling my name. “LaVender! Eat me! More, more, more!” 

I try to remember my attitude, energy level, and progress is influenced by what I consume. Soda, chips, cookies, and bread, or apples, raisins, spinach, and water? We make a choice to eat life or death with every bite and every swallow we take. Thoughts of my sister reminded me of my body being a temple – holiness reigns in me! It’s easy to forget this with a plate of delicious food or addicting fast food in front of you. Holiness and trash do not mix! We probably wouldn't feel tired and need refueling by noon if we choose to eat life. We wouldn't reach the point of snapping if we choose to eat life. Even our spiritual life will awaken if we eat life. This is nothing new you're hearing, so just consider it as a reminder from your Monday morning accountability nag. EAT LIFE!

Mr. Man

At 7:45 a.m., Saturday morning, I was in Walmart purchasing bottled water and ice to donate to Firstborn’s basketball team for a car wash fundraiser they were having. I completed my purchase and walked outside to the car. The man I was behind in the checkout line was standing next to his truck smoking a cigarette – our vehicles just happened to be parked next to each other. Good grief. Miss Flesh immediately became irritated; I didn't feel like talking. I hurriedly placed the ice and water bottles in the ice chest. Mr. Man says, “Looks like you’re getting ready to enjoy a fun day in the sun.” I replied, “Noooo, I’m on my way to a car wash and the car washer is in the car sleeping.” In other words, I’m not alone. Mr. Man continued to pry. He wanted to know why Firstborn was sleeping – I told him. He asked where the car wash was – I told him. As I answered each question, I questioned myself for talking to this stranger. Believe me, Miss Flesh wanted to ignore Mr. Man, but I'm working on being more polite to strangers. 

As children we're taught to not talk to strangers, but unfortunately I'm now a grown woman who says she loves Jesus. Mr. Man slowly walked over to me while reaching in his pocket. I prepared to protect myself and he said, “I don’t have much, but here is a donation for the car wash.” Relieved, I said, “God bless you! Thank you!” Funny, how I suddenly felt like talking. I thought Mr. Man wanted me! I sat in the car embarrassed and sorry for my unkind thoughts of Mr. Man. It’s good to be cautious, yet it’s better to be cautious in the Spirit of God. Miss Flesh almost blew it. I wasn’t ready for a test of my kindness so early in the morning, but I thank God for it. I also thank God for Mr. Man’s life lesson for me…be kind to strangers! God can work through anyone, for anything, at anytime. Thank you, Mr. Man!

He Needs Me

Hubby hugged me and held me tightly – longer than usual. I went away for the weekend – only the weekend. Hubby’s hug only confirmed what my father recently said to me, “your husband needs you.” Daddy’s wisdom and God’s grace has kept me in my marriage because there are many days I don’t feel like being married. Daddy went on to explain how men try to run the household, but it’s really the women. A man may never admit to needing his wife, but they do. It’s not about the physical help (cooking and sex) as much as it is the emotional help. The weight of being the leader in the home with the responsibility of financially providing for others is a weight many wives will never comprehend. Single mothers can definitely relate, but the married ones take it for granted mainly because we help with the providing – I take it for granted. It somewhat bruises a man’s ego to know he needs help from a woman and men are full of ego.

Husbands need words of affirmation even when they aren’t stepping up to the plate like we think they should. Our help is what helps them step up, but our complaining and judging kills their manly spirit. I know my hubby needs me and the hug only reminded me, but can I get some of that help? Yes, that was my first thought, but of course God instructed me to lean on Him just a little more as a wife. I’m called to be a help mate, yet can barely help myself, but God is my helper! Thank you, Jesus! This morning when I heard hubby’s alarm clock, I saturated him in prayer and also asked God to empower me as a helpmate. Hubby needs my encouragement and support – again and again. Hubby needs my help – hubby needs me.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

I had a toothache and a swollen cheek this weekend. The pain wasn’t the problem, but the pressure to walk around in public was. I looked like half chipmunk and half human. I knew the swelling would eventually go down, but it wasn’t going fast enough for me. When it was time for me to meet the public, I realized how much emphasis I place on my looks. I spent too much time in the mirror trying to find ways to make my cheeks equal. I tried to suck the swollen one in from the inside, I tried to puff the other cheek out more, and I even tried to smile a little harder to see if I could hide my chipmunk cheek. People walk around every day with physical disabilities and disfigures and there I was concerned about a temporary swollen cheek. 

Being Christ-minded wasn’t even in my thoughts – it was all about the cheek. After my spiritual spanking, I asked God to help me to stop focusing on myself. When I look in the mirror, my Self is not what I see, but the illusion I’ve created for myself is what stares back at me. My spirit is where my true beauty exists, but I have been conditioned by society to believe my physical beauty is most important. When we look at others, we create an illusion for them also. 

Eyeliner, foundation, face powder, mascara, lipstick, false eyelashes, weaves – it’s all used to create an illusion or possibly hide what we aren’t satisfied with. The swollen cheek is gone this morning, but the lesson I received will be revisited every time I look in the mirror. I was perfectly created to be perfectly ME. Everything about me makes me ME, and God loves me regardless of what I look like – unlike man. God made me a beautiful woman because His beautiful Spirit lives in me. It’s not about how I look, but how I make my Heavenly Father look.