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cross Photo by Jasmic

This past weekend I attended Faithway’s 20th Ladies’ Retreat. Each year, I am thankful that they put it on and that I am able to attend. This year, the theme was “Celebrate Change” and it has a variety of applications. The most important application being the change that comes with Salvation; a change of heart, a change of family, a change of master, a change of eternal destination. Of course, there is also continual change of sanctification as we submit and surrender to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to conform us to His image.

In thankfulness of my salvation, I thought I would share with you my testimony in a nutshell:

I am thankful that I grew up in a Christian home with parents who truly love the Lord. It was through them, and my Sunday School teacher, that I came to Christ at a very young age.

Romans 10:9 says “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

At 3 years of age, I understood that I was a sinner in need of a Savior and, thanks to John 3:16, that famous Sunday School verse, I understood God’s amazing love for me! I am thankful that salvation is for all who call on Him (Romans 10:13) and that the Lord has made salvation so simple that even a child can come.

During my teenage years I drifted away from the Lord and went my own way. The Lord has given us all a free will and permits us to use it. I am thankful that he is merciful, longsuffering and, though he allowed me to go my own way for a season, he continued to keep His hand of protection on me. In His timing, he used circumstances and people to draw me back to him.

I am closer now to Him than I have ever been. I have come to learn that it is only through a right relationship with Him; when we love and serve Him; that we can experience a true inner peace, joy and happiness regardless of outward circumstances.

If you’re thankful for your Salvation, say ‘Amen’! And if you aren’t sure that are saved, or don’t know what Salvation is, please take a moment now to read God’s Simple Plan of Salvation.

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A google search of the word ‘Tune-Up’ revealed the following definition:
An Adjustment for Better Functioning
A search for the definition of ‘Adjustment’ revealed the following:
A Small Change, A Minor Correction, A Modification
More on Tune-Up Tuesday here.
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Flower HeartPhoto by ms formica dinette

I don’t like to think of myself as being irritating, but I know that I am at times. Please don’t be offended, but I bet you can be too! We know what buttons to push and sometimes we choose to push them. Sometimes, whether it is out of ignorance or selfishness, we are rude. It can be in our speech, tone or actions that we act in a way that embarrasses our spouse, irritates him or both.

Perhaps there are things about your spouse that you find irritating. I know do. Many times being irritable or snappy has nothing to do with the actual issue and more to do with stress and/or selfishness. But in love, minor things shouldn’t result in major reactions.

The Love Dare says, “A loving wife is not overly sensitive or cranky but exercises emotional self-control. She chooses to be a flower among the thorns and respond pleasantly to prickly situations.” I love that saying. I think I may put it on an index card and magnet it to my microwave to remind me. Where does emotional self-control come from? Yourself? I hope not. When I depend on myself for that self-control I am afraid that I fail miserably. It can only come from the Lord. When that feeling starts to creep up – you know what I am talking about – before things escalate, send up a quick prayer for that emotional self-control!

As I was writing this, Colossians 3:23 sprung to mind. Not that I believe that if we are going to be irritable that we should do it heartily, but rather that when we are irritable to others, we are being irritable to the Lord as well. Now that is a sobering thought isn’t it??!?!

This Weeks Challenges: Ask (without being on the defensive) your spouse what 3 things they find irritating about you and see what you can do about them. Choose to respond in loving ways this week regardless of your mood or the circumstances.

Verses: Proverbs 27:14, Proverbs 25:24, Psalm 112:5, Luke 6:31, Ecclesiastes 10:12, Proverbs 16:32, Colossians 3:12-14, Matthew 12:34, Acts 24:16

Tune Up Tuesday Logo

You can follow along here however I really recommend picking up a copy of The Love Dare for yourself. It contains so much more than what I am sharing here. You can purchase one by clicking the appropriate button on my right sidebar to go to my A-Store.

Related posts: Loving My God, Loving My Man, Love is Patient, Love is Kind & Not Selfish, Thoughtfulness
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Do you have a tune-up you are working on this week? Are you joining me in the Love Dare? How are you doing? Leave a comment to let us know or add a direct link to your blog post below to encourage and inspire others. Don’t underestimate the power of accountability – it’s a great motivator!

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A google search of the word ‘Tune-Up’ revealed the following definition:
An Adjustment for Better Functioning
A search for the definition of ‘Adjustment’ revealed the following:
A Small Change, A Minor Correction, A Modification
More on Tune-Up Tuesday here.
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While we have been looking at the book The Love Dare for a couple weeks, we are going to take a break this week simply because I wanted to share my about a disastrous week and the ‘tune-ups’ I need to do.

Do you ever have a “down day”? I do. I have them a couple times a year. They creep up from nowhere it seems and catch me unaware. They usually last a day or so and then pass. Well, this time it was a week!

My “Down” Week:

I think it started 2 weeks ago. Everything in life was just peachy and I felt like I really had a handle on life. We were attending all church services again, my home was caught up in order, I was tackling my bigger projects like the garage, desk and the yard.

Is it the time of year? Horomones? Belated Baby Blues? Not enough sleep? Then the littles were sick and we missed church. I am also having a tough time getting out to evening and Wednesday night services as the little ones are always tired and grumpy. It also tends to throw them off for a day or so afterwards. I want to attend both services on Sundays, and also the Tuesday ladies bible study and the Wednesday night bible study. I also want to work in the nursery, sing in the Choir and be involved in other things such as clean-up day at church and visitation. I want to be a part of it all and be a contributor.

I want to have my home perfectly in order, I want to be caught up on laundry. I want to have wonderful meals ready for my husband each evening. I want to bless my children, husband and others. I want to have everything caught up on my to-do list.

So when all of this isn’t happening and I am not reaching my own ridiculously high standard, I am setting myself up for failure. It started with one day of “down” and suddenly my focus was no longer up where it should be. I began to focus on all things I wanted to do, all that I haven’t been able to do. Focusing on all the negative things and the areas I feel behind in, I fell into a week long slump.

The Realization:
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit with a new friend. When I left, I pondered our visit and realized that I had just dumped a lot of negativity on this poor woman (which is very uncharacteristic of me)! I was appalled and on the drive home I began to pray.

The Solution:

Why am I dwelling on the fact that I ‘feel’ that I am failing in so many areas? I need to refocus. The Lord knew I would feel incompetent and weak. He wrote this verse for me! I need to do only the things he has called me to do, in HIS strength!

Some Practical Steps:
  • Let go of that silly “I need/can do it all” idea. (I battle with this a lot!)
  • Remember Right Priorities. God is first. When we forget this (even without intending to), things go sour fast! Evaluate and make sure that your thoughts line up with His thoughts.
  • Remember Yourself! We tend to put others, and tasks ahead of ourselves. But if you aren’t eating right, getting enough sleep, water, exercise – you’re going to run out of steam fast!
  • Focus on one task at a time, one day at a time. It’s good to have an idea of what the big picture is but sometimes it can be overwhelming!
  • Choose 3 small things to accomplish each day. I am guilty of writing out a huge to-do list (which is more of a wish list) and then feeling like I’ve failed at the end of the day when I haven’t accomplished it.
  • Don’t focus on your failures and weaknesses. Take them to the Lord. When I start focusing on the church services I miss or all the things I am not doing, it brings me down! That is where I am susceptible to all sorts of negative thinking.
  • Work on big tasks 15 minutes at a time (or each day). Use a timer.
  • Remember the season you are in and adjust accordingly. Right now my little guy still nurses every 2 2/1 hours+/- at night. My toddler is potty training and still learning to obey. I need to be at home. After talking to my husband, we’ve decided that now is not the season for Wednesday night services. It is too late for our little ones. It is also not the season for ladies bible study, choir or the other things I desire to do. For right now, success will be attending two services on Sunday. Play dates will be limited to 2 per month, library trips are once a month and grocery shopping once a week. This is not to say that I am chained to my home but rather, with the exception of the above, I will strive to be home. My family is my ministry right now and I can best serve and care for myself and them by being home.

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Do you have a
tune-up you are working on? Leave a comment to let us know or add a direct link to your blog post below to encourage and inspire others. Don’t underestimate the power of accountability – it’s a great motivator!

Read Full Post »

A google search of the word ‘Tune-Up’ revealed the following definition:
An Adjustment for Better Functioning
A search for the definition of ‘Adjustment’ revealed the following:
A Small Change, A Minor Correction, A Modification
More on Tune-Up Tuesday here.
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Love is Thoughtful

When you were dating, you probably thought of your partner a lot throughout the day. You thought of what he was up to, or things that you would say to him next time you saw him. You thought of what you would wear for your next date and wanted to make sure it was something you thought he would like. Maybe you thought about the last date you were on, thought of ways you could surprise him for upcoming events. You did things you thought he would like and went places you thought would please him. Perhaps you thought of the future and the wonderful possibilities it contained.

Notice how many thoughts there are in the above paragraph. All of that thinking came fairly naturally back then didn’t it?

Then you got married. Now you have a house to clean, clothes to wash, meals to cook, children to care for and the list goes on. I am sure that you love your spouse more now than you did when you were dating (or I hope you do!) but you know, you may think about him less in the midst of all the other pressing things in your life. I know that I do. Understandable but not excusable.

Nowadays I wake up, shower and pull on some clothes. I don’t put as much thought into my clothes as I used to. This is not to say that I have let myself go but rather, I just get dressed without thinking about it. When we were dating, I was very conscious of what I wore on the days that I would see Scott. Now I don’t mean to say that each day we should spend an hour getting ready, but you know, I could take a few extra moments before he comes home to freshen up. Or I could spend an extra few moments to make myself up a little if we’re going out or if I am planning a special meal, or every so often just for fun.

When we were dating, I would snail mail him letters often. Scott has always loved mail so I always thought it would give him a little something to read. One time I put all sorts of pink heart confetti in the letter. It went all over when he opened it. 5+/- years later there is still a pink confetti heart embedded in the insole of one of his shoes. I thought it would be cute…he didn’t think it was. So I don’t recommend the confetti (especially since now I would be the one to clean it up! lol) but are there little things that you used to do that have fallen by the wayside?

If there are any men reading this…wives long for thoughtful husbands. Thoughtfulness is a key element in feeling loved.

This week let’s be more thoughtful. I like to think that I am thoughtful but there is always room for improvement isn’t there? You’ve heard the saying “to have friends you need to be a friend”? Well let’s try, “To have a thoughtful spouse, you need to BE a thoughtful spouse”. And even if there are no instant results, we still have the satisfaction of knowing that we are glorifying the Lord with our thoughtfulness.

As daughters of the King, how often do we think about God during the day? Do we think about whether or not our activities, attitudes and words are pleasing Him? Or (this one hits home) what He thinks of our priorities each and every day?

Challenge #4: Thoughtfulness towards our Lord, our spouse and our families. Thinking about doing things on purpose to please them.


You can follow along here, however I really recommend picking up a copy of The Love Dare for yourself. It contains so much more than what I am sharing here. You can purchase one by clicking the appropriate button on my right sidebar to go to my A-Store.
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Do you have a tune-up you are working on? Are you joining me in the Double Love Dare? How are you doing? Leave a comment to let us know or add a direct link to your blog post below to encourage and inspire others. Don’t underestimate the power of accountability – it’s a great motivator!

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Mrs. Titus 2 is sometimes overshadowed by Mrs. Proverbs 31 however she is no less important, and maybe more important in some ways.

Do you think that Mrs. Proverbs 31 got to where she was all by herself? Of course not! While I wholeheartedly agree that Mrs. Proverbs 31 was a super woman, she was not superwoman! It was by the grace of God that she did what she did (and the same grace we have available to us!). And though Mrs. Titus 2 wasn’t officially around yet, I am guessing that she was there somewhere in between those verses gently teaching, guiding and instructing Mrs. Proverbs 31.

I have been blessed with many Titus 2 women in my life. It was a much needed and unplanned chat with one yesterday morning that prompted this post. I went to ladies bible study Tuesday morning. A variety of events occured (as you may expect when getting 2 x 2 year olds and a baby out the door), then I needed gas and ending up driving behind a very, very slow truck. I did not get to ladies bible study early enough to join in. I just took my littles straight to nursery and thought I would visit with whomever was there. Well, it was one of the dear ladies in my life that I consider one of my Titus 2 ladies. She was just who I needed to see as I was battling with feelings failure. Failure of what you wonder? Many things, but on Tuesday it was about getting places on time! I was always on time for things – then I had littles. I try to plan in advance, I make lists, pack the van the night before. Try to leave early. But something always happens and I think to myself – everyone else can do it. Some people have more children than I and they’re on time! What is wrong with me? Foolish thinking, I know. When we start to look around us, we’re bound to get discouraged and lose our focus.

Anyway, back on topic. My Titus 2 woman didn’t provide any band-aid fixes or new divine information to transform my life but she did encourage me. She also shared a small area of her when she was in a similar place to me and helped me once again find my focus.

Mrs. Titus 2 is not someone *out there* – she is us if we chose to answer the call. A call that is yet another facet of our beautiful calling to all women.

Mrs. Titus 2 is a well-rounded individual. She is both young and old. We are all “younger” than someone. There is always someone that we can learn from if we choose to be transparent and teachable. We are all “older” to someone too. God is teaching us (through His Word and the ones he places in our lives) so that we can go out and teach others…daughters, sisters, friends, the new girl at church…everyone!

Afraid that you don’t have a deep and profound grasp of all the philosophical aspects of scripture? Well no worries! Though I am sure that Mrs. Titus 2 shared scriptural insights that the Lord taught her, she also shared practical basics about:

You do not have to have it all together (for who does?!?), nor give the illusion that you have it all together to be one of these Titus 2 women. God can use you if you’re willing. That is all that is required: Willingness! We need more women to step up!

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My mother and I were talking the other day because she had been eating almonds and actually bit her tongue. She said it really hurts (silly mommy!) I’ve actually bitten mine a few times in my life and it certainly wasn’t pleasant.

It got me thinking: I would be foolish to physically bite my tongue on purpose because I would hurt myself. But you know I can really hurt myself by NOT figuratively biting my tongue when I should. I can hurt and damage my character, reputation, testimony and relationships. “Biting our tongues” may not always be pleasant for us and at times it is down right hard but by God’s grace we can do it!

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A google search of the word ‘Tune-Up’ revealed the following definition:
An Adjustment for Better Functioning
A search for the definition of ‘Adjustment’ revealed the following:
A Small Change, A Minor Correction, A Modification
More on Tune-Up Tuesday here.
————————————————————————————————-

Love is not just a feeling but a choice; a decision.

On Tune-Up Tuesday for the next couple of months will be going through The Love Dare and, as I mention here in Loving My God, Loving My Man, it’s going to be a DOUBLE LOVE DARE! The book was written to be a 40 day challenge to better love your spouse. I have decided to take a day or two at a time each Tuesday and work on them for the duration of the week. This journey will not be an easy one as we learn to die to self to love our God and our spouse more. It is not for the faint of heart. This adventure will take determination but it will be fufilling and have lasting eternal benefits. This journey is a marathon – not a sprint. At least that, in a nutshell, is what the introduction tells me.

Challenge #1 Love is Patient

Love is patience and kindness. Choosing to be patient is choosing take a deep breath, a moment to think and then to respond positively to negativity or a negative situation. The Love Dare defines it as “an internal calm during an external storm”. This photo below is “inside the storm“. Amazingly calm isn’t it? That can be us with the help of the Lord!

Impatience often causes us to react in ways that we later regret or say things that we wish we could take back! Impatience is far too often the result of our own selfishness.
Patience is a choice. A choice to control your emotions, words and actions rather than letting them control you. And it certainly doesn’t come naturally – at least not to me!

The Challenge: Do not say anything negative. And if you don’t have anything nice to say – don’t say anything at all. I think this extends to tone as well. Often, we (or I at least) can say something that is, not in itself, negative but depending on how I say it, it can be provoking.

Verses: James 1:19, 1 Thess. 5:15, Prov. 14:29, Prov. 15:18, Ephesians 4:2

You can follow along here, however I really recommend picking up a copy of The Love Dare for yourself. It contains so much more than what I am sharing here. You can purchase one by clicking the appropriate flag on my right sidebar to go to my A-Store.
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Do you have a tune-up you are working on? Are you joining me in the Double Love Dare? How are you doing? Leave a comment to let us know or add a direct link to your blog post below to encourage and inspire others. Don’t underestimate the power of accountability – it’s a great motivator!

Read Full Post »

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