Thursday, 31 January 2008

Challenge completed - you did it!

How has this challenge changed your heart and life, dear friend? Did God encourage you as you planned ways to encourage your husband? Were there difficult days where you simply needed to trust that God was working? Days when it was hard to leave the results to God? Remember that God is faithful, and He will bless you for your willingness to obey Him. His ways are not our ways, and perhaps He will honor you in ways you do not expect, but one thing is sure - you will never be the same because of your commitment to be more like Christ!

What kinds of victories have you experienced in your home since you started the "30-Day Encouragement Challenge"?

May encouraging our husbands become a habit that we do every day!

Day 31
Pray that your husband will recognize the lies of the Enemy in his life. Pray that his attitudes and actions will be guided by the truth as he brings his thoughts into captivity to the Word of God.

John 8:44
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Baby Pictures!

Here are the pictures I promised.

Here I am right before heading out to the hospital.

Proud parents of our first son!

Our beautiful children.

Challenge - Day 30

Day 30
"...This is my beloved, and this is my friend..." Song of Solomon 5:16b

Friends can be completely honest with each other, but friendships are strained when truth is not spoken in love. How are you speaking to your beloved? Are you so "used" to him that you don't appreciate the wonder of his friendship? That is your challenge today. Is your sweetheart your best friend? Does he know this? Have you told him, or do you assume he "just knows"?

Friendship is something that is cultivated through the good times and the bad. Friends can share their hearts, but they don't step on each other's hearts.

The way to have and be a good friend is to cultivate and celebrate the relationship. As you end this "30-Day Encouragement Challenge," celebrate your friendship with your husband. Get alone and reflect on your beloved friend. Write him a letter, listing the qualities you admire and appreciate about him. If you are creative with words, write and frame a poem about him.

Perhaps you can prepare a special meal, just for the two of you, and read the letter or poem to him. Ask if you can pray for him, and if he is willing, thank God for your love and friendship, asking for His blessing on your home.

Day 30
Pray that your husband will choose his friends wisely. Pray that God will bring him men who will encourage his accountability before God, and will not lead him into sin.

Proverbs 13:20
He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.

Proverbs 27:17
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

Encouragement, as you have seen these past 30 days, is a synonym for love in action.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Challenge - Day 29

Day 29
"A prudent man foresees evil, and hides himself; the simple pass on, and are punished."
Proverbs 27:12

As you near the end of your Encouragement Challenge, take time to think about your husband's responses to the wickedness of the culture, the media, etc. Does your husband recognize and avoid evil? Does he regularly turn his back on pornography, sexual temptations, and the urge to lie and cheat?

This is a valuable character trait. Like Joseph in the Old Testament, who fled from the wicked advances of Potiphar's wife, this takes an understanding that these kinds of sins are first and foremost, sins against God (Gen. 39:9).

Praise your husband when he recognizes and turns his back on wickedness. If you can think of a circumstance where your husband stood for righteousness, remind him of that today-and express your gratitude.

Day 29
Pray that your husband yield his mind and thoughts to the Lord. Pray that he will not entertain immoral or impure thoughts, and that he will resist the temptation to indulge in pornography.

Proverbs 27:12
The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

2 Corinthians 10:5
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Birth Story - Short Version

OK - this is the less detailed version for those who just want the basics.

My water broke just before 4:30 am Wednesday morning. We went into the hospital an hour later. As no contractions were happening (my usual MO), they induced me with cervadil gel at 10am. Contractions started and got somewhat closer together, but they wanted things to keep moving along, so they induced me with pitocin at 6pm.

I was ready to push at about 10:40. There was a scary moment when the head was delivered but the shoulders were stuck. Thankfully, the first maneuver they used to remedy the situation worked and our precious boy was born!

Jacob Nathaniel Glenn was born on January 23rd at 11:06pm. He was 10lbs 8oz, 22 3/4" long and had a 37cm head.

I'll try to post pictures tomorrow.

Birth Story - Long Version

**Disclaimer - this is the long version. If anyone gets uncomfortable and/or squeamish reading about birthing details, read the short version here.

I woke up shortly after 4am on Wednesday to make another routine run to the bathroom. A few minutes after getting back in bed, my water broke with a big gush! We left for the hospital at 5:30. As usual for me - no contractions, well, nothing more than the braxton hicks type contractions I've been having for months.

After walking around trying to get contractions going, my dr came in at 8:30 to check me. I was already 3 cm - which is a lot more than I've ever been at the beginning before, so I was happy about that, hoping I would go into labour on my own for the first time.

Unfortunately, due to being at a small town hospital with minimal extra staff on hand, there was no one available to help with a pitocin induction if it became necessary, until 6pm. If nothing happened, 6pm would be too long to wait due to my water breaking and the risk of infection.

So, after talking to another ob, she decided it would be ok to induce with cervadil first (not usually done if you're already "ready" and dilated to 3cm) as long as it was put in front of the cervix. (If it goes into the cervix it can cause a contraction that won't let go, which is obviously not a good thing.)

The cervadil worked to some degree. Contractions came regularly but only 10 mins apart at first. They gradually started to get closer together - by 6pm they were about 4 -5 mins apart and my dr came to check things out again and I was 5cm. So, the nurse was now available to come in and monitor the pitocin induction, so they started that right away, and contractions immediately became more intense and closer together. Being a small town hospital, an epidural was not an option (my last 2 didn't work anyway). They could've done a spinal, but I opted for the laughing gas instead. It helps enough to get me through it.

By 9 o'clock I had progressed to 8cm and was starting to feel a bit pushy so the nurse called my dr in, knowing that things can move quickly at the end, especially when it's not your first. By the time the dr came I was pretty much fully dilated, but there was a lip along the top and right of the cervix that wouldn't dilate - it was stuck. And whenever my body involuntarily pushed it would thicken everything else too. So, I had to flip to hand/knees to keep the weight of the baby off the cervix to get rid of the lip. It worked until I turned back around and then the lip came back.

So, I had to start pushing - only involuntarily (which is incredibly difficult!) - on hands/knees to get the baby past the lip. This type of pushing was so much harder than any I had ever experienced before. My last two were so easy by the time pushing came, I just assumed that this would be the same. I had to push slow, stop pushing, push hard, push slow - everything! I thought it would never end. Finally the head was out - but then there was another problem - the baby's shoulders were stuck (shoulder dystocia) which can be very dangerous. They have about 7 mins to deliver the baby before things are really serious. They immediately called in more help in case extra measures were necessary for delivery. The words, "we need more help in here" are not ones a mother wants to hear. Meanwhile the nurse and Nathan forcibly pushed back my knees as far as they could physically go, and the dr inserted her hand and manually twisted the baby's shoulders to get them out. Yes, this hurt. And yes, that's an understatement. Thankfully, this maneuver worked and our precious boy was finally delivered at 11:06pm! I could not believe it was finally over. For me anyway. As he was already turning blue they worked on him immediately (instead of giving him to me like they were going to originally). But everything was finally ok and they could finally let me hold him.

Unfortunately, with the "trauma" of the delivery, it took me awhile to grasp the fact that we actually had a boy! The laughing gas, combined with the intense pain of this delivery, along with the panickyness I could sense in the room was hard for my mind to take in, and I didn't fully understand what was going on at the time. Perhaps this was a good thing.

It took awhile to deliver the placenta, probably because it was so big. In fact, it was so big, it came out folded in half! Miraculously I only needed 3 stitches - which my doctor credited to my controlled pushing. I told her I had never felt to out of control in my life! But I guess I managed to obey pushing orders successfully, so that's good. I asked my dr how long I pushed for and was shocked when she told me only 26 minutes. It felt way longer than that that's for sure.

Jacob Nathaniel Glenn was born on Wednesday, January 23rd at 11:06pm. The doctor immediately said he was over 10 lbs and she was right - 10 lbs 8 oz to be exact, and 22 3/4" long.

Thankfully he wasn't shorter or he would've been even chubbier! And thankfully I didn't go any more overdue than I did - that could have turned pretty serious. His head was 37cm (average is 35cm - 2cm makes a big difference!), but obviously it was the size of his shoulders that was the problem, not the head. Amazingly, he didn't have a cone head after all that either!

So, that's the long version of our birth story. The ending has cemented what was already finalized - this is definitely our last baby. I'll try to post pictures tomorrow.

Challenge - Day 28

Day 28
"The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility." Prov.

Sometimes, when we just "know" we are right and our husbands are wrong, it takes great humility to honor them. It is difficult to speak well of our husbands when our own hearts are puffed up with pride.

As part of your Encouragement Challenge today, pray that you will respond to the Lord in faith and humility before you react to your husband. Speak wisely and well, and leave the results to God.

The humility that comes from a right relationship with God - the humility that comes when a man is willing to listen to God and be taught from His Word - is indeed a beautiful quality. Jesus was an example of this kind of humility when he was willing to submit to His Father's will (John 6:38; Matt. 26:39).

Does your husband have that kind of humility? Is he willing to learn from and submit to direction from the Lord? Let your husband know how precious this is to your marriage relationship.

Day 28
Pray that your husband will be a man of prayer. Pray that he will seek and pursue God in purposeful quiet times.

1 Thessalonians 5:17
Pray continually

Luke 22:46
"Why are you sleeping?" he asked them. "Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation."

James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Announcing the birth of our new baby........ BOY!

Jacob Nathaniel Glenn arrived on January 23rd at 11:06pm. He weighed in at a whopping 10lbs 8oz (I know, I originally told people 10lbs 5 oz, but that was a miscalculation - when they converted from grams to lbs they said 10.5lbs, which is 10 lbs 8oz not 5oz). He was 22 3/4" long.

He is adorable!!

And Andrea is now allowed to post pictures on her blog, so check out her blog for those. I'll try to post more as I can, including the birth story.

Praising God for the safe delivery of our first (and last!) son!

Challenge - Day 26

Day 26
"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." Luke 2:52

If you have faithfully encouraged your husband, you will no doubt have seen some changes in his life...and your own life, as well. Encouragement is a wonderful habit that we hope you will continue for the rest of your life.

The important thing is to keep growing in Christ and obeying the Word of God as you respond to your husband. As you consider today how to bless your husband and not tear him down, think of ways that you can encourage balance in your home.

Jesus led a balanced life. He grew mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. As you see your husband branching out in these areas, is there a pattern of growth? Is your husband striving for balance in his life? If so, let him know you have noticed, and ask how you can further encourage that balance.

If your husband is out of balance - focusing on one area to the exclusion of the others - consider whether there are things you can do to help restore or create balance in his life. Can you encourage times for sports or exercise? Keep the children quiet for a study time? Invite friends over for dinner? Stimulate his mind?

Be sure you are working toward balance in your own life, as well. Be an example!

Day 26
Pray that your husband will have a balanced life - that he will balance work and play. Pray that he will fear God, but also gain favor with people he knows at work and church.

Luke 2:52
And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Proverbs 13:15
Good understanding wins favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard.

Challenge - Day 25

Day 25
" peace, and pursue it." Ps. 34:14b
"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." Is. 26:3

Before you consider whether these verses describe your husband, consider your own presence in the home. Do you promote an atmosphere of peace, or do critical words often flow from your mouth? Do you struggle with anger? If so, before you continue with your Encouragement Challenge, confess these sinful habits to the Lord, and determine to speak words of peace to your family today.

Does your husband bring an atmosphere of peace into your home? Is his presence a calming influence? Does he bring music, entertainment, books or people into your home that build a sense of serenity? Let him know how much you appreciate this wonderful quality, and support his choices.

If, on the other hand, he is quickly angered or he creates chaos rather than calm, ask God to give you an abundance of the kind of peace that will speak to his heart. Be patient and loving. Create an inviting atmosphere of peace, as much as possible.

Day 25
Pray that your husband will be patient and a man of peace. Pray that he will not give in to anger, but will allow the Holy Spirit to control his responses.

Romans 14:19
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

Psalm 34:14
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Challenge - Day 24

Day 24
"And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." Eph. 6:4

Children can be quite a challenge to the marriage relationship. A wise wife will support her husband's leadership in the home as much as possible, and will praise him for his fathering skills. Negativity makes a man feel like a failure, and may make him to want to give up.

Does your husband discipline your children wisely? Does he show them love and encourage them? Does he take an interest in their activities and dreams? Does he spend time with them? Does he take part in developing their character? Praise him for these important life skills.

If you don't have children - is your husband positive and encouraging around other people's children? Let him know that you have noticed.

If your husband does not experience positive relationships with children, you will need to figure out why. Perhaps he had negative experiences as a child with his own parents, and needs to learn how to respond. Perhaps you can lovingly and patiently show him how to parent - while still maintaining his authority in the home.

Day 24
Pray that your husband will be a good father—disciplining his children wisely and loving them
unconditionally. If he is not a father, pray that he will find a young man to mentor in the things
of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Colossians 3:21
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

2 Timothy 2:1-2
You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Challenge - Day 23

Day 23
"Let your speech always be with grace..." Col. 4:6a

You're moving toward the home stretch of your 30-day challenge! Just a reminder of what you've committed:

*You can't say anything negative about your husband... to your husband...or to anyone else, about your husband.
*Each day, say something that you admire or appreciate about your your husband...and to someone else, about your husband!

"In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works..." Titus 2:7a

Does the "30-Day Encouragement Challenge" seem like hard work? Or is it becoming a pleasant exercise in genuine Christ-likeness in your home? You are only scratching the surface of ways to encourage your mate.

Is your husband organized? Is he diligent? Is he persistent? These are all related to a pattern of personal disciplines that are worthy of your praise. Affirm him for one or more of these traits that you see in him.

Some men have not developed these qualities because they are naturally more spontaneous. You can praise his spontaneity! Perhaps God has called you alongside to help him with disciplines he has not yet developed - but this does not include nagging. You can keep him organized.

Whatever the need, you can be your husband's cheerleader, encouraging him when he wants to give up.

Day 23
Pray that your husband will surrender his time and talents to the Lord. Pray taht his spiritual gifts will be manifest in his career, at church, and in your home.

Ephesians 5:15-16
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

1 Corinthians 12:4,7
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Challenge - Day 22

Day 22
"Let your speech always be with grace..." Colossians 4:6a

Focus today on how you represent your husband in your home, your church, and your community. In this challenge to encourage, ask: "If all my family and friends knew about
my husband came from a filter of what I've said about him, what would they think of my husband?" Do you need to change the filter?

Do you talk positively about your husband to others... or do you complain and criticize? Your speech should reflect 1 Cor. 13 love. Your words should be kind, and should never "rejoice in iniquity" (v. 6). Refrain from listing your husband's faults to others. Satan likes to trick us in this area - be wary of sharing barbed "prayer requests."

Remember, "Love will cover a multitude of sins" (1 Pet. 4:8b). Present your husband before others today in a strong, positive manner. Slip in a "good word" for your spouse. Resist the urge to correct or belittle him in front of others. Some of what you say may come back to him - and you want your words to be sweet, building him up and never tearing him down.

Don't forget: you are always criticizing - or encouraging - before an audience. God hears your conversations when you are alone with your husband in your own home. May your speech be always seasoned with grace.

Day 22
Pray that your husband will be humble and quick to agree with God about his sin. Pray that his heart will be tender toward the voice of the Lord.

Psalm 51:2-4
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.

Micah 6:8
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Nathan teaches Sunday School (with another guy friend) - the Grade 5 & 6 boys class. He really enjoys it and I know the kids do too. A couple times the moms of have come up to me and say how much their sons love him. It happened today again with a mom of a boy who's not even in his class. I think Nathan was helping out with Boys Club when this particular boy was in it a couple years ago. And since then, Nathan still stops and talks to him in church on Sundays. Which I think is the key point - not many adults (especially men) bother to stop and talk to kids - and Nathan is excellent at this! Way better than I am that's for sure. Anyway, this mom, Sherri, was telling me how much her son loved Nathan and he was always asking for them to invite us over sometime soon - in fact he wants us to go on a cruise with them! :) She had mentioned it to a friend of hers (when she saw Nathan at a local coffee shop) who also has a son in Nathan's class and she agreed enthusiastically that her son loved Nathan too.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Challenge - Day 21

Day 21:
"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matthew 6:33

If we are living in light of eternity, everything we think, do or say is seen from an eternal perspective. We will someday give an account for our failure to speak words of love and encouragement. Determine today that your words will be sweet and helpful.

Does your husband have an eternal perspective that allows him to reject materialism and temporal values? Express your gratefulness for his value system, and praise him for putting eternal things before riches and other things of this world.

If this is a problem area for him, consider how you might alter your own value system and live for eternity in front of him, encouraging him to do the same. Only two things will go into eternity...the Word of God and people. Be sure that you are focusing on the right things.

Day 21
Pray that your husband will have an eternal perspective - living in light of eternity. Pray that he will reject materialism and temporal values and put God first in his life.

Matthew 6:33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Deuteronomy 6:5
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

Ephesians 5:16
making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Psalm 90:12
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Pray that he will reject materialism and temporal values and put God first in his life.
This is a tough one for a lot of men (and women for that matter) I suspect. I would think it would be so hard to walk the fine line between working hard to provide for your family and focusing too much on the materialism. Nathan does have a good handle on this - but I think money is one area it's easy to gradually get distracted by, so I need to keep praying for him (and myself) in this area!

Sunday, 20 January 2008


Well, today's d-day and nothin's happening yet. Ya never know I suppose, I could spontaneously go into a quick labour for the first time - but I'm not holding my breath. For some reason I'm thinking it's just not going to happen until next weekend at the earliest.

The girls are going to start getting impatient. They know today is the day the baby is supposed to come. I've made sure to emphasize that the baby might not come that day - it might be early or it might be late. And they do know that, but now that the day has come, I think they're going to be mighty impatient from now on!

Looks like the votes are an overwhelming consensus on using both middle names. Nathan and I talked about it more on our date night on Friday (dinner and a movie - The Keg & 27 Dresses) and that's what we're going to go with.

Did I mention yet my feet have totally swollen up? This has never happened to me before, but I literally cannot wear any of my shoes anymore. Thankfully my friend Candace wears a bigger shoe size so I borrowed some comfy boots from her for our date night on Friday. You can hardly even see my ankles anymore - ugh.

I have to say, I'm definitely in the "ready for this to be over" mindframe by now. I think I've just been so big for so long (at 6 months I already looked like I was going to pop). I've just found this pregnancy to be much more physically tiring (course moving at 6 months probably didn't help much). I'm still trying to treasure the moments - but looking forward to holding this precious baby in my arms soon!!! And finding out if it's a boy or a girl!

Challenge - Day 20

Day 20
"And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you." Ephesians 4:32

It's time for some heart examination. As you continue in this 30-day challenge, have you found any roots of bitterness that are contaminating your relationship with your husband? Do you understand that as long as you are unwilling to forgive your husband - by God's grace and in His power - you will not be able to encourage him? Your own resentment will keep getting in the way. Now is the time to deal with any unforgiving attitudes. Forgive him, even as God has forgiven you.

Is your husband a forgiving man? Does he keep short accounts of your problems? Express your thankfulness for such a man.

Does your husband - rightly or wrongly - harbor grudges against you? Again, are there things you need to change, or do you need to ask for his forgiveness for an offense? Help your husband be more forgiving by quickly forgiving him for his mistakes.

Day 20
Pray that your husband will practice forgiveness in your relationship and with others. Pray that he will recognize any roots of bitterness, and yield any resentment and unforgiving attitudes to the Lord.

Ephesians 4:32
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Hebrews 12:15
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Nathan is definitely easy to forgive. Course, he'd probably say it's because he's always right so he doesn't need to. :) Hee hee. Sometimes I've been annoyed when he admits he's wrong too quickly - I didn't get to be mad long enough :)

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Challenge - Day 19

Day 19
"My lover is radiant and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand. His head is purest gold; his hair is wavy and black as a raven. His eyes are like doves by the water streams, washed in milk, mounted like jewels. His cheeks are like beds of spice yielding perfume. His lips are like lilies dripping with myrrh. His arms are rods of gold set with chrysolite. His body is like polished ivory decorated with sapphires. His legs are pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as its cedars. His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my lover, this my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem. " Song of Solomon 5:10-16

Criticism leaves scars; but encouragement can bring healing. Remember that today as you focus on your "30-Day Encouragement Challenge."

Almost nothing is as devastating to a man as the belief that his wife finds him repulsive. Sadly, many women unwisely criticize their husbands' bodies.

Have you ever considered how wonderfully God designed men and women? No matter how a man looks - by the standards of the world - a loving God designed them all, and they are all "beautiful" in His sight. Encourage your husband today by praising his uniqueness.

As you look over your husband's body, from the tip of his toes to his bald or bushy head, thank God that your husband is "wonderfully made," then admire your husband verbally. (Strong arms? Hairy chest? Firm hands? Big feet? Rugged chin? Wide shoulders? Compassionate eyes? Broad smile?)

Day 19
Pray that your husband will enjoy his manliness as he patterns his life after Christ and strong men in the faith. Pray for his physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual strength.

Ephesians 3:16
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being

1 Peter 2:21
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

1 Corinthians 10:11
These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Challenge - Day 18

Day 18
"You will show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy...Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!" Ps. 16:11a; 144:15b
"A merry heart does good like medicine..." Prov. 17:22a

It's hard to criticize others when we are enjoying their company. Instead of speaking negatively to your husband today, enjoy him! Encourage him! As you experience fullness of joy with God, share some of that joy with your husband.

Does your husband have a playful side? A great sense of humor? Is there a "little boy" that wants to escape from time to time, reflecting the joy in his heart?

This is a wonderful part of who he is, and a great strength. Let him know that you appreciate his joyfulness and his playful spirit. Find opportunities to join him in positive play times.

If your husband can sometimes be overly serious, coax him out occasionally for some play times. It will help him relieve stress and relax.

Day 18
Pray that your husband will learn how to relax in the Lord and, in his greatest times of stress, find joy and peace in his relationship with God. Pray that he will submit his schedule to the Lord.

Nehemiah 8:10
Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

Proverbs 17:22
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Psalm 16:11
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

His sense of humour is definitely one of the things that attracted me to Nathan. He still makes me laugh every day. What a wonderful thing!

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Challenge - Day 17

Day 17
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." Prov. 9:10

Are you a wise woman? Do you open your mouth with wisdom, as Proverbs 31:26 suggests? As you continue in your 30-day challenge, remember that a wise woman encourages her husband.

Is your husband a "wise man?" Does he have a godly perspective that comes from knowing God and walking with Him in obedience? Does he have a sense of purpose for his life and vision for your home? Tell him how much this means to you.

If you are not sure about your husband's vision for your home, ask him, "Honey, what do you want to accomplish with our marriage and home in the years to come?" and "How can I help you accomplish that?" If he does not have a vision, your questions may inspire him to develop one.

If your husband is not walking with God - or perhaps, does not know the Lord - you have the opportunity and responsibility to practice your faith and create a thirst for God. Thank God for giving your husband a place in his heart that only He can fill, and keep praying that he will turn to the Lord to fill that vacuum!

Day 17
Pray that your husband will choose healthy, God-honoring activities. Pray that he will not live in bondage to any questionable habits or hobbies, but that he will experience freedom in holiness as he yields to the Spirit's control.

1 Corinthians 6:12
"Everything is permissible for me"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"—but I will not be mastered by anything.

1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

2 Timothy 2:4
No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Middle name dilemma

Please vote in my poll. Here's some more details....

If we have a boy I'd like to use 2 middle names - Nathaniel (after my husband) and Glenn (after my 1st dad who died when I was 2).

Nathan thinks having 2 middle names is a bit much and would rather have just one. He wants to use Glenn.

If we did use just one, I'd like to use Glenn as well. HOWEVER, Glenn doesn't work as well with the 1st names we're considering (I KNOW - we still haven't decided for sure!!!), except for one of them. The one that Glenn works better for also starts with an N, which is why Nathaniel wouldn't work as well - two N names in a row and all that.

Nathaniel Glenn works for all names except the N one, in which case we could use Glenn Nathaniel.

Since we are done having kids after this, I can't "save" one of the names to use next time because there isn't going to be a next time.

I don't want to use Nathaniel as the first name, with Glenn as the middle name - because of the confusion between Nathan and the baby. Nathan goes by Nathan or Nath or even just Nah to his sisters. So, the only other nickname available is Nate and I don't like that one. I also wouldn't want to use the full Nathaniel all the time either. So - that's not an option.

So, the options are....

Just use both names - yeah it's long, but they're both sentimental so it's worth it.
Just use Glenn.
Just use Nathaniel.
Use only one - whichever one works best with the 1st name we end up deciding on.

Clear as mud? Vote and/or give extended advice/explanation in the comments.


Potty Training Success!

After 2 months of discouragement, I think it's safe to say that Olivia is now potty trained! In the past 10 days she's only had 1 accident (and that was away from home), and other than that, she's told me every time. She's very excited to be in her fancy Princess panties and I'm very excited that this is done before the baby comes. I just hope she ends up with enough accident free days before baby that she doesn't regress too much. We'll have to wait and see I guess!

Challenge - Day 16

Day 16
"And the Lord God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." Genesis 2:18

God says that it is not good for man to be alone. But the way some women criticize their mates, the husbands may long for solitude. Be careful today not to criticize your mate, but look for ways to encourage him personally and publicly.

Speaking of communication, does your husband communicate with you? God has made you a companion and helper for your husband, and part of being "one flesh" with him is the privilege of sharing and discussing personal needs and concerns. Thank God for that wonderful gift. Thank your husband for communicating with you.

If your spouse does not communicate as you wish, look for ways that he communicates that are normal for him - smiling at you, nodding his head, even a pleasant "grunt!" - and then thank him for letting you know that he cares. Perhaps he needs to be lovingly taught how to communicate. Be patient with him...and listen when he does speak.

Day 16
Pray that your husband will safeguard his heart against inappropriate relationships with the opposite sex. Pray that his heart will be pure and undivided in his commitment to you.

Proverbs 6:23-26
For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life, keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life.

Romans 13:14
Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Happy Birthday!

A big Happy Birthday to my little sister Andrea! Check out her blog for some cute pics!

Sure getting close to the big 3-0!

Challenge - Day 15

Day 15
"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ..." 2 Peter 3:18a

Sometimes we live so close to our spouse that we fail to see him as others do; we only see our husband's faults. But take a step back. Perhaps he is growing spiritually in ways you have failed to appreciate. How can you encourage his growth in a fresh, new way? Remember - your husband is accountable to God for his spiritual development. You are accountable to God to encourage and not hinder that growth.

Can you identify an area of spiritual strength in your husband? Does he pray or read his Bible regularly? Does he like to read about or discuss spiritual matters? Does he go to church with you? Is he a spiritual leader? What do others say about him? If you can identify a specific area, praise him for that.

If not, pray earnestly that God will work in his heart, and watch for signs of spiritual growth in the future.

Day 15
Pray that your husband will have a humble, teachable spirit and a servant's heart before the lord. Pray that he will listen to God and desire to do Hi will.

Proverbs 15:33
The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.

Ephesians 6:6
Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.

Monday, 14 January 2008

Challenge - Day 14

Day 14
"The righteous man walks in his integrity..." Prov. 20:7a

Every week there are news reports about men who gave in to temptations and compromised what they said they believed. We hear countless reports about dishonest business dealings, hidden infidelity, and hypocritical leaders. It's so easy to focus on these things and ignore those who are being honest, faithful and genuine. As you continue in the "30-Day Encouragement Challenge," determine to look for ways that your husband stands against the culture.

Is your spouse a man of integrity? Is he fair in his dealings with people? Does he understand the meaning of justice? Is he honest in business? Unhypocritical in his faith? Consider all the ways a man can live in integrity, and praise your husband for one of them.

As you have the opportunity - as it is appropriate - share examples of your husband's honesty and integrity with others.

Day 14
Pray that your husband will cultivate strong integrity, and not compromise his convictions. Pray that his testimony will be genuine, that he will be honest in his business dealings, and will never do anything that he needs to hide from others.

Proverbs 20:7
The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him.

1 Timothy 1:5
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

1 Timothy 3:7
He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.

Ephesians 6:10-12
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Honesty and integrity are soooo important. Both are definitely qualities Nathan has. Sometimes honesty and integrity can cause conflict. Conflict isn't necessarily fun, but it is sometimes necessary. Peace at any cost is often just too high a price to pay.

"Lord, I thank you for Nathan. I thank you for his honesty and integrity and his willingness to take a stand on things that are important. Please continue to give him this desire and the strength to follow through. Help me to be an encouragement to him in this area as well, and to let him know how much I appreciate it. Amen"

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Challenge - Day 13

Day 13
"I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me." Song of Solomon 7:10

The sexual relationship. It's one of those elements - along with money and children - that can derail a marriage through negative comments. Negativity destroys intimacy, but encouragement builds and strengthens the marriage bond.

Let's get practical here. Is your husband a "good lover?" Have you told him so? Be specific. Let him know when he pleases you. Most husbands genuinely want to please their wives, especially in this important area of marriage.

In moments of intimacy, do you find your mind wandering? This can change as you focus on something wonderful about your husband. Realize that your husband wants intimacy with you...his desire is toward you.

Does this area of your marriage need some work? Remember that this is a sensitive area for men. Be sure to encourage his lovemaking and masculinity in positive ways.

Day 13
Pray that your husband will yield his sexual drive to the Lord and practice self control. Pray that
your sexual intimacy together will be fresh, positive, and a reflection of selfless love.

Proverbs 5:15, 18
Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. May your fountain be
blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.

1 Corinthians 7:3
The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.

Song of Solomon 7:10
I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Challenge - Day 12

Day 12
"With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love."
Eph. 4:2

Part of the difficulty you may face as you continue in this 30-day challenge to encourage your husband is that you really are struggling to find positive things to praise. Perhaps the problem is not with your husband. Have you checked your own heart?

Sometimes we get disillusioned because of our own unreasonable or unrealistic expectations (Prov. 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.). It may not be that our mates are doing something wrong; it's simply that we expect too much in some areas.

Our expectations must be met in God alone, and then we will have the right perspective to ask God for the healing and grace we need to respond to others.

How sad that we give more grace to others than to those in our own homes. Today, try to look at your husband through eyes of grace. Verbally thank your husband for what he is already doing.

Day 12
Pray that your husband's relationship with God and His Word will bear fruit in his life. Pray that he will be a man of wisdom and understanding, fearing the Lord.

Proverbs 3:7
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.

Proverbs 9:10
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Psalm 112:1
Praise the Lord. Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands.

Unreasonable expectations and assuming your mate has mind-reading capabilities are a bad combo! This is an area I need to work on.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Challenge - Day 11

Day 11
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord." Ephesians 5:22

Women who are constantly negative toward their husbands - especially by speaking evil of them to others - show great disrespect. Determine not to do that today (or ever!). This challenge to encourage is closely connected to submission.

Men respond to women who respect them. What do you respect about your husband? Part of that respect includes submission to his authority. Let your husband know how respecting him makes it easier to submit to his leadership. Show your respect in public by listening to him and smiling at him when he speaks. Place your hand in his as you walk together.

If you feel there is nothing to respect, search harder ...nearly every man has some core characteristic that can be nurtured and respected. In any case, you must still cultivate a
submissive spirit to his position of leadership..."as to the Lord."

Day 11
Pray that your husband will grow in leadership skills in your relationship - protecting and providing for you. Pray that he will lead you wisely and love you sacrificially, so that God will be glorified in your marriage.

Ephesians 5:25-29
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church.

Colossians 3:19
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

Respect and love - that's what it boils down to! Of course, both genders want to be both loved and respected. But men seem to need respect in order to "be all that they can be" and women seem to need love to flourish as the woman they were intended to be. And perhaps it is sometimes difficult for women to show respect and for men to show love.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Challenge - Day 10

Day 10
"Behold you are handsome, my beloved! Yes, pleasant!..." Song of Solomon 1:16a

We all crave appreciation. We want to know that we are valued and loved. Early love letters probably reflected our admiration, but if we're not careful, our spouse will forget why we were drawn to him. If you still have any of your old love letters, re-read them for clues to deepen your current level of appreciation for your spouse.

When we spend time criticizing our husbands, we lose time that could be spent admiring them. As you consider various ways to encourage your husband, ask, "How can I admire him?"

Does your husband know that you think he is attractive? What was one of the characteristics in your husband that first drew you to him? Was it a physical characteristic, or something else?

Was it his gentle, compassionate eyes? Kindness or concern for others? An easy-going confidence? A steadiness that comes from trusting in the Lord? Strength of character in a culture that lacks integrity? Do you see at least a glimpse of that characteristic in him today? Whatever it is, tell him!

Day 10
Pray that your husband will understand the importance of taking care of his body - the temple of the Holy Spirit - for the glory of God. Pray that he will practice self-control by making wise food choices, and get sufficient exercise to stay healthy.

Romans 12:1-2
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

1 Corinthians 9:27
No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

There are so many qualities in Nathan that I admire. I love his deep commitment to me and our girls. His willingness to sacrifice of himself to make things easier/better for me. His willingness to help out so much with the girls (he thinks nothing of taking all 3 of them out shopping or wherever by himself to give me a break). His strong convictions and his willingness to take a stand on them. His strong work ethic - I don't think he could let anyone outwork him. His loyalty to me. His trustworthiness. His strength and gentleness. His sense of humour! And, of course, the fact that he's really good looking doesn't hurt either. :)

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Challenge - Day 9

Day 9
" swift to hear, slow to speak..." James 1:19b

We are often so busy speaking that we don't take time to listen. We are so quick to offer a comment - negative or positive - that we don't really "hear" our husband's heart. Remember: we have two ears and only one mouth. We need to listen more!

As you continue in your 30-day challenge, not speaking negatively and focusing on positive encouragement, hear the Lord's admonition today: "Be swift to hear."

If listening is a real problem for you, play a game with yourself. See if you can listen to your husband for one whole day, only speaking when asked a question. If your husband notices the difference, explain that you are learning to listen more-not only to God, but also to him.

One easy way to express admiration for your husband is to ask a question about something he enjoys, and then listen to his response. If it's an area of personal familiarity, keep asking questions until you learn something you didn't know, then tell him, "Wow, I didn't know that!"

Day 9
Pray that your husband will love righteousness and hate wickedness, especially the evils of the culture. Pray that he will recognize and avoid wickedness in his own life, and if necessary, take a clear, strong stand against evil.

Proverbs 27:12
The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

John 17:15
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.

1 Corinthians 10:12-13
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Pregnancy Photos

I've been thinking about getting pregnancy pictures taken for quite awhile now, and figured, if it was ever gonna happen, it better happen soon! So, this past weekend Nathan's cousin Carla came over and took some pictures. She sent me a preview of a couple shots today and I love them and I just have to post it on here already! I'll probably post a few more when I get the rest, but here's two for now.

2 weeks notice

Well, I was officially 38 weeks pregnant this past Sunday, so hopefully I'm giving my 2 weeks notice as to when this baby will be born! Emma & Sophia were both born exactly on their due dates, and then Olivia was 11 days late - so I'm not holding my breath for an early delivery that's for sure. But, gotta be prepared just in case - there's a first time for everything right?

So, yesterday I went for a pedicure (courtesy of a gift certificate from my parents for Christmas) AND had a massage. Woohoo!

Today I'm going to the dentist - not quite as fun, but I want to do that now while I still have insurance. I got private insurance before this pregnancy because I knew I'd need a really expensive anti-nausea medication. The free massages and dental benefits have been great too though! I'll cancel the insurance shortly after baby is born - JUST in case there's any medical problems, the baby could be added to my insurance without no health questions so I figured I may as well keep it that long. Plus, then I get massages right till the end! :)

So, I washed and dried the baby clothes yesterday - I figured I'd so everything, just in case it's another girl. I still have to fold them and put them away, but at least they're clean! I should clean the car seat yet and then I think we're set.

Well, we still haven't decided on a boy's name - but we're not likely to need that are we? Hee hee - just kidding, we'll decide on one yet ..... soon I hope! You'd think by now we'd have a boy name we've been just dying to use - but no!

On a new topic - there is hope on the potty training horizon! Olivia has now been accident free for 5 days!!! I had been getting quite discouraged already as she just didn't seem to care that much, but things are finally looking up and she is thrilled to be wearing princess panties now. Hoping this keeps up from now till the baby comes - and after especially!

Challenge - Day 8

Day 8
How are you doing with the "30-Day Encouragement Challenge"? In case you've forgotten, here's the challenge:
* You can't say anything negative about your husband your husband...or to anyone else, about your husband.
* Say something that you admire or appreciate about your your husband...and to someone else, about your husband!

"...but who can find a faithful man?" Prov. 20:6b

Faithfulness is a wonderful but rare quality today, especially in regard to marriage. Do you understand how important this quality is? Your challenge is to continue to root out all negative speaking, and plant seeds of encouragement instead. You may be amazed at what will grow.

Contemporary culture often entices men to be unfaithful to their wedding vows and spiritual commitments. Appreciate your husband's faithfulness - how he is loyal to you. Let him know that you are glad he has "stick-to-it-iveness" in your marriage. Appreciate his faithfulness to God. (If you have an unfaithful husband, this is a difficult area for you. Pray, speak the truth in love, remain faithful yourself, and discover ways to encourage faithfulness in your mate. The Bible says that husbands may " won by the conduct of their wives" [1 Pet. 3:1]. You may also want to seek counsel from a mature, godly individual or couple.)

Day 8
Pray that your husband will be faithful to his wedding vows. Pray that he will have a desire to cultivate your relationship as a sign of his loyalty and commitment to you, and as a picture of Christ's love for the Church.

Proverbs 20:6
Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?

Genesis 2:24
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Challenge - Day 7

Day 7
"Do not overwork to be rich; because of your own understanding, cease!...for riches certainly make themselves wings..." Prov. 23:4-5
"That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, that I may fill their treasuries."
Proverbs 8:21

Money is the root of much marital discord. Ask yourself, "Am I being negative toward my husband in the area of finances?" Determine not to speak evil of your husband in this area. Discover ways to encourage and help him instead.

Does your husband handle finances wisely? Does he make good financial investments, based on biblical principles? Does he have a budget? Does he make wise decisions about purchases - checking many sources before he buys? Is he a good steward of his money before the Lord? Let him know how much you appreciate his strengths in financial matters.

If he is weak in this area, encourage any good decisions that he does make. Perhaps you can help him, if he's open to the idea, by organizing financial files or providing other practical assistance. Or, if he wants you to handle the finances, ask for his input before you make decisions that will affect him.

Day 7
Pray that your husband will handle finances wisely, will have discrenment concerning budgeting and investments, and will be a good steward of his money in regard to giving to the Lord's work. Pray that money will not become a source of discord in your family.

Proverbs 23:4-5
Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

Romans 12:13
Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Hebrews 13:5
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you;never will I forsake you.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Challenge - Day 6

Day 6
"...whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Cor. 10:31b

Do you recognize and appreciate your husband's creativity? Or do you criticize and demean his efforts? Instead of negativity, determine to be positive. Perhaps you can help your husband see that his efforts are an opportunity to glorify God.

Is your husband the "creative" type? Does he have any artistic gifts? What is that special "knack" he has? Affirm him for his handiwork - a hobby, music, gardening, tinkering with cars, working with wood, etc. Remember: Even if he doesn't measure up to your standards, praise his efforts. If your budget allows, buy him a book or magazine that will continue to encourage his special skill or talent.

If you have a hard time finding his "creative side," understand that men's creativity sometimes is related to their work. Find something he does to make his job run more smoothly or something he does that adds value to his work...and let him know that you have noticed.

Make his day...Praise his accomplishments in public, while he is listening.

Day 6
Pray that your husband will discover and live his God-given purpose. Pray that he will offer all his dreams to the Lord, and pursue only those goals that will bring God glory and count for eternity.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Nathan's creative side is obviously demonstrated through his awesome construction abilities. Both large projects (like our houses!) and smaller ones (like a table and chair set, kitchen cabinet for our girls) are things he enjoys doing and does well! He can install flooring, tile and do finish carpentry and siding. I'm sure there's so much more he could do if he had the time to do it!

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Challenge - Day 5

Day 5
"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." Eph. 4:29

Another way to describe the positive side of this "30-Day Encouragement Challenge" is by using the word "edify," which means, "to build up." Negative comments only discourage and tear down. Positive comments encourage and build.

Do you edify your husband before others, adding to his value in their eyes? This is especially important to other family members.

Do you praise your husband to his relatives, and yours? Does your husband's mother know how much you love him? How about your dad? Perhaps you can drop a word of praise into a conversation or letter. Be creative in letting your relatives know that you respect your husband, love him, and support him - in spite of whatever flaws and weaknesses he may have.

Day 5
Pray that your husband will speak words that build you and your family, and reflect a heart of love.

Proverbs 18:21
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Challenge - Day 4

Day 4
"...let him labor, working with his hands what is good..." Eph. 4:28

We are all accountable for the things we say, both negative and positive words. Have you embraced the challenge to speak only positive things to your husband and to others about him? Here's a suggestion that touches the core of your husband's world.

Some women take their husband's career for granted, and they show it in many ways. Do you "dump" on your husband at the end of the workday, or do you strengthen and encourage him with your words? A wise wife will make her husband feel that she values and appreciates his work. Let him know that you are glad he is a hard worker. Take opportunities to praise his diligence and resourcefulness to others.

If your husband is out of work, unable to work, or refuses to work, you'll need to be more creative. Praise him for a character quality that you see in him that would be a vital part of a successful career - such as persistence, decisiveness, strength, an analytical mind, organizational skills, good with people, good listener, determination, etc.

Day 4
Pray that your husband will work hard to provide for your family, to the best of his ability. Pray that the character qualities necessary for a successful career and ministry will be a growing part of his character - persistence, decisiveness, strength, an analytical mind, organizational skills, positive relationships with people, determination, etc.

Romans 12:11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Nathan is probably the hardest working person I know. I often don't know how he does it - especially during the times we've built a new house on the side, in addition to his regular day of work. But I need to make more of an effort to let him know how much I appreciate this great quality that he has, and make sure he knows that I don't take it for granted.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Challenge - Day 3

Day 3
" suffers long, and is kind..." 1 Cor. 13:4
"And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:19

Love indeed suffers long and is kind. As you consider your Encouragement Challenge, determine today that you will not say anything negative to or about your husband. Speak kindly to him with words of genuine encouragement.

If your husband is considerate of your needs, let him know that you have noticed. Thank him for his kindness and consideration. Thank the Lord that your husband knows how to be both tough and tender.

Sometimes it's difficult for a man to be gentle, kind or tender - especially if he hasn't had role models in these areas. If he's not a considerate person, appeal to him for help without complaining. Let him know that it's hard for you to handle some things alone. Then, when he moves in to help, don't insist that he do it your way. Be glad that he is responding, and express your gratitude.

Ultimately, you can't expect your husband to make you feel more secure, loved, etc. Remember that only God can meet the deepest needs of your heart.

Prayer - Day 3
Pray that your husband will serve God and others with pure motives. Pray that he will obey the Lord from his heart, and glorify Him in everything.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

John 7:17-18 If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.

Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Nathan is definitely a man's man - he works in construction, he plays hockey, he likes watching UFC, etc, etc. And yet, he is very tender, and he communicates very well - probably better than I do actually. He's very considerate of me and the girls - I am very blessed to be his wife.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Challenge - Day 2

Day 2
"...through love serve one another." Gal. 5:13b

How did you do yesterday with your first day of blessing and encouraging your husband? Was it easy? Was it hard to hold your tongue when you wanted to say something negative? We hope you're off to a good start. (If you blew it, don't give up - start again today!) There are so many practical things you can praise, if you look for them.

Today, find some way that your husband is serving you or your family. Does he help around the house? Take care of the car? Fix things that are broken? If your budget allows, give him a new, small tool with a big bow attached. But make sure he doesn't think it's part of a "Honey Do" list!

Maybe your husband's not a handyman, but does he run errands for you? Let you go first? Take care of you when you are sick? Help you make decisions? Praise him for his willingness to serve others. Let him know that you see his unique service as a great strength.

Prayer - Day 2
Pray that your husband will use practical skills to build your family and make wise decisions for your welfare. Pray that he will serve unselfishly.
Gal 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
Phil 2:3-4 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

My prayer for Nathan
"Lord, I thank for the incredible husband you've blessed me with. I am grateful for how hard he works so I can have the priviledge of staying home with our girls. Thank you for his willingness to do whatever he can to make things easier for me - whether it's making breakfast on the weekends to taking the girls out to give me a break to vacuuming the house. Help me to show and tell him how much I appreciate him and not to take him for granted. Continue to guide him and give him Your wisdom as he continues to lead with a servant heart. Amen."

Just a side note: I have taken the liberty of re-arranging the prayers to coincide better with the challenge for the day. Some still don't really relate exactly, but a lot of them do and I thought it would work out better this way. So - if you're following along from the pdf files, that's why the prayers are going to be different from now on.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Challenge - Day 1

Day 1
"The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life." Prov. 31:11-12

To refresh your's the 30-Day Encouragement Challenge...for the next 30 days:
* You can't say anything negative about your husband your husband...or to anyone else, about your husband.
* Say something that you admire or appreciate about your your husband...and to someone else, about your husband!

To help you get started, have you ever thanked your husband for "choosing you" above all other women? He found you attractive as a person, and appreciated you. Though many circumstances in your marriage may have changed, let your husband know that you are glad God led you together, and that you want to be a blessing to him for the rest of your marriage. Let him know that he can trust you to be in his corner.

One of the best opportunities to express your gratitude is first thing in the morning. How do you greet your husband each morning? Is he confident in your love? Give him a "wake up call" that he'll never forget-a big "I love you" and an "I'm so glad I'm your wife!"

Praying for Your Husband
The Apostle Paul instructed all Christians to pray for one another (Ephesians 6:18). This includes wives’ responsibility and privilege to pray for their husbands. Earnest prayer for your husband is good for him, for you and the spiritual health of your home (Proverbs 31:11-12).
Satan desires to destroy your husband, especially his character and his leadership in your relationship. Trust God through prayer as you daily surrender your husband and marriage to the Lord’s wise, loving care.

Day 1
Pray that your husband will grow spiritually and consider his accountability before the Lord.
Pray that he will guard his heart by developing spiritual disciplines—Bible reading and study,prayer, meditation, scripture memorization, etc. (2 Peter 3:18; Prov. 4:23)


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