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December 28, 2007

Created To Be His Help Meet Chpt.6

Fear-Fear has become such a negative word in our culture. But the fear of the Lord is a beautiful and awesome thing. As I read this chapter I had to ask myself, “Do I have the fear of God in me.” Sadly too many times I have more of the fear of people than the fear of God in me. And the reason I believe I think this way is because I don’t see things as for eternity but rather I see things only the here and now. Many times I would rather see God as a loving, forgiving God who will excuse my ‘ungodly ways’ and forget them. While this is true, my God is a forgiving loving God, there are also consequences for my behaviour. I cannot go through life with a ‘God will forgive me’ attitude and think that there will not be consequences for my sin. I will reap what I sow. Whether good or bad. So in my daily walk, being my husbands help meet is no different. This is what God has commanded me to be. If I am not that, I am being disobedient, and am in sin. So simple yet so hard when in the middle of it. Everyday all day I make choices. I make choices to submit or not to submit to my husband. And for me to see the big picture, to see it God’s way is often hard. And it’s usually such silly little things that get me going. I have a phrase that I often think about and say to our children, “Is it going to matter when you get to heaven?” For me this really puts things into perspective. Is it going to matter in heaven the very thing that is making me so upset right now. What really matters is my heart, my obedience. I cannot change my husbands heart, but I can change mine. I will not be judged according to my husbands deeds, but I will be judged according to mine. (Romans 14:12) So today I choose.

December 26, 2007

Christmas With the Rowley Family

We had a great Christmas with Rosalie's family all coming over for a couple of days.
Here are some highlights in photos
Top Row: My beautiful pregnant sister Amanda, Nathan arranging the manger scene, Grama and Josh,
Mark & Jennifer cuddling, Grama and her christmas gift that Mark made.
Left side: Cousin Isaiah and Brooke, Grama looking at her scrapbooking calender that Rosalie made for her, Uncle Jeremy and Brooke
Right side: Grama enjoying quality time with grandchildren, Grampa playing hockey (he still has great reflexes!), Brooke and Isaiah playing some christmas tunes
Bottom Row: Cousins with the goats, playing hockey (we spent many hours doing this), traditional fondue
Middle: Family Photo
Back Row: Mark, my brother Jeremy, Amanda's husband Josh, my brother Travis, my dad, Joshua
2nd Row: Me and Mikaya. Caleb, Jeremy's wife Laura, my sister Amanda, my mom
3rd Row: Zachary, Megan, Jesse, Kerri, Jennifer
Front Row: Isaiah, Brooke, Nathan

December 22, 2007

Family is Forever

Life has been full and fun lately.

We were able to finish our skating rink complete with outside boards, a shack warmed with a wood stove and lots of light.
Every afternoon we try to finish our work quickly so we can get out there and have a good ol' game of hockey. It's great excercise, great fun and a great way to make memories.

Making family memories is important. It's important to take the time together that will build your family identity. Doing things that you all have a common bond together. Letting you children know that you love to spend time together with the family. Now a days it is so easy to all go separate ways, with different activities and forget to make family togetherness a priority. If you build a strong family identity, this relationship will be a priority in your lives for years to come.

We always tell our children that the relationship with their family is most important. Friends are all great and fun, but when it all comes down to it, family is who you will always have relationship with. So why spend all of your time cultivating relationship with friends that you will rarely, if ever see when you leave home. Family is forever.

Christmas is a great time to make family memories. A time to do those things that when everyone is grown and comes back together again will say, "Remember when...." Life is too short to spend on stuff that will fade away.
So go on......make some memories!

December 14, 2007

The Gift of Wisdom Chpt. 5 in Created to Be His Help Meet

This chapter started off with the question: Do you have enough fear of God not to question His Word? Well....that's a loaded question and one that I think about often. In this chapter though, it is referring to the command by God for woman to be submissive and obedient to their husbands. It can be hard to trust God when our circumstances are less than perfect. And that is when we need to ask God for wisdom. James 1:5 says: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. Of course the next verse says: But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. I believe to have faith we have to trust. We have to trust that God knows what He is doing. We often say to our children that their responsibility isn't to understand all the things we as parents tell them to do, but to trust that God has put us in authority. When they can really understand this in their hearts then responding to our authority will come a lot easier for them. And I think it is also this way with us as wives. If we trust that God is God and that what He says in His word is for our good, then we will find submitting to our husband much easier. So if we believe in God and His word we will understand that when we believe in Him and ask Him for wisdom in our situation, He will give it to us. Wisdom helps me to see things in God's light, to see my husband in God's light. God's wisdom tells me that His command for me to submit to my husband does not hinge on who my husband is or what he does. It takes God's wisdom for me to keep from striking back when I feel I have been mistreated. It takes God's wisdom to serve my husband even when I think I should be served. All of this does not come naturally for me, I have to really trust God in my heart and know that I know His word is absolute, that it does not depend on my feelings or circumstances. As Debi put it, "You can decide to be in a constant state of anger or bitterness, or you can ask God for the wisdom to live each day in a state of honoring your man for God's sake." So what will you choose to do? I would love to hear your comments on this post or this chapter.

December 13, 2007


There are 2 parts to our conscience.

One is our primary conscience.
This is the conscience that is common to all men and women.
Even without the law, God gave man a basic sense of right and wrong.
It is not instinct, but a preknowledge given by God.

There is also a trainable portion of the conscience called the moral conscience.
It is the learned standards of right and wrong.
While the primary conscience is prestamped by God, the moral conscience needs training.

So let's focus on the trainable portion of man's conscience, the moral conscience.
As I talked about in a previous post, telling your child what is right and wrong without giving the moral reason from God's Word will be inadequate in training your child's heart.

We place principles of moral conduct in our heart. Our heart receives, stores and governs instruction. (Psalm 119:11)
The heart is a type of warehouse. In it you deposit moral knowledge to be used at a later time.
Think of a warehouse that is stacked up high on each aisle. Things are labeled well to make it easily identifiable when it is needed. Same as our heart, we place moral values there to have something to draw from when a situation occurs.

So as parents, in the years when we train our children, we are the ones who stock those moral shelves. We teach our children about God and His ways (Deut. 6:6-9), which includes telling them what He requires of them morally (Micah 6:8). When you help place virtues such as honesty, respect, fairness, wisdom, kindness, self-control, gentleness and patience in his heart, the conscience can begin to do it's work.

But just because the knowledge of morals is there, this does not automatically mean that they will act morally. We have churches filled with 'knowledgeable' children who are going wayward. Instructing your child to what is morally acceptable is the easy part, it's training a child to control his behaviour to conform to these morals that's the harder part. Many children know what is expected of them but will not always do what is right. Once again, if we train the head and not the heart we will have a child that will grow up moral on the outside but not on the inside.

Man's conscience will warn and accuse him if he is about to do wrong and if he doesn't heed this, he will be plagued by guilt. As parents we have to guard against hardening our child's conscience by not addressing sin or not putting values in their heart so they have nothing to draw from.
The conscience also has a positive side that can prompt a man to do right and when he does it confirms him. This is God's pat on the back and there is great satisfaction knowing you have pleased Him.

So our conscience becomes a type of radar that guides us morallly. It encourages us in the right direction or warns us when we are about to do wrong. So when you come up to a new situation your conscience goes to your moral warehouse and searches for a corresponding value. If it finds one, it either prompts or warns. If there is nothing there, the search ends and nothing happens.

Here's an example that happened to me lately. I was at a store. I had bought 4 mats for our entrance. 2 were big and 2 were small. When I got to the checkout the guy counted the mats each mat and came up with 6. So he charged me for 6 small mats. Doing a quick calculation
I soon realized that I was getting a deal. My conscience was alerted and it quickly went to work scanning the shelves for a value. It came up with the value 'You shall not steal'. The prompting mechanism said 'It would be wrong to take advantage of the mistake of this person, someone will lose out', the warning mechanism said, 'It would be stealing if you did not say anything.' If I would not have had this value in my heart the search would have come up empty. But it found and presented this value to me although I still had a choice to make. Was I going to act on this value. I have to be honest and say I was tempted to not mention anything, but after a moment I thought better and told the clerk that he had miscalculated. He then rescanned the mats and I payed the proper amount.

The conscience develops both positively and prohibitively. Positive training includes instruction, encouragement, and reinforcement and takes place mostly in the middle and upper years. Prohibitive training includes warnings, restrictions, punishment, and consequences and is used more commonly in the early years. An overemphasis on either one in unhealthy.

Young children learn to avoid wrongdoing out of fear of punishment, but as they grow older and learn moral values, they should learn to avoid wrongdoing out of love of virtue. It is very important to make this transition from prohibitive training to positive training. It can be tempting to stay with the method that you used to get your children's behavior to reflect God's Word. But it is wrong to stay there. By the age of 3 or 4 years you should be well on your way to providing the moral reasons to your instruction. If you don't move from prohibitive to positive training you will limit your child's capacity to reason morally.

A positive conscience says 'I ought to because it is right' or 'I ought not do it because it is wrong' where the prohibitive conscience says,'I better do it or else I'll be punished.'

A healthy conscience will develop when parents encourage their child to do right rather than always discouraging him from doing wrong. On the contrary an unhealthy conscience is in an ongoing state of guilt. Every thought is centered around disappointing someone, being misunderstood or being rejected. He may do many virtuous acts, not out of love for right, but from fear of potential error.

Be careful not to cultivate a prohibitive conscience in your child by creating a fear of them losing your love or making them feel guilty. This can sometimes be an easy way to get control but it is a wrong way and will backfire later on.

Think about yourself, your upbringing, did you grow up with a healthy or unhealthy conscience. Knowing this will help you understand how and why you approach things in your own life the way you do and also will help you in training your children.

REMEMBER: The properly trained conscience knows wrong even when there is no signpost saying it is wrong.

The ideas expressed here were taken from the parenting course
"ALONG THE VIRTUOUS WAY' by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo

December 7, 2007

Created To Be His Help Meet Chpt. 4

Let me ask you a question. When your kids are all grown up and have left home will you still know you husband? I don't just mean know his name, what he likes for supper, or how he likes his socks folded, but really know him. Will you still know what ignites that spark between the two of you that was so bright when you first met each other. Will you still want to spend time together? I think I have mentioned this before, but as wives we sometimes get so caught up in our kids that we forget the effort needed to keep our relationship with our husband strong and healthy. And we have seen situations where couples pour everything into their kids and then when they are grown up and left home, they are left with a spouse who is practically a stranger. So what can I do to make sure this does not happen? Here are some of the ideas I have gleaned from this book and some of our own experiences. - Take time to laugh and enjoy each others company. Sometimes I get so caught up in the endless tasks I have as a mom that I forget to laugh with my husband. But when we laugh together it bonds us and is also a great example for our kids of a healthy relationship. They love it when we joke around together or have a 'tickle fight'. Plus it's lots of fun! - When you have something to share (new idea, event in your day, a new joke) share it first with your husband instead of your mom or your other friends. Who you share these things with is who your soul will be tied to. Make sure it's tied to your husband. Remember when you were courting and you just couldn't wait to tell him the latest news? I remember making a list of things to tell him when he would call. This was important to me then and it should be important now. - Don't go out with 'your' friends. It seems to be a interpreted as a weakness these days to actually want to spend free time with your spouse. I think the theory that we tell our kids often, applies here as well. My husband will always be here (as long as we both shall live). Why would I concentrate on spending my time with friends instead of my best friend. Now I can hear some of you saying, "What, you mean we should never spend time with our friends?" Sure you can spend time with friends, but why not spend time together with mutual friends. I rarely go out with just my friends. We concentrate on spending the little time we have to visit, to visit together as a couple or as a family. That way we have experienced what each other has experienced and it builds unity and a common bond between us. - Don't get into the 'your time, my time' way of thinking. I believe that when I chose to marry Mark I chose to have 'our time'. We have witnessed other couples have 'their time' and will fight for their time not matter what the price. I think this cultivates a self-centeredness and causes an unhealthy competition (eg. You did this, now I get to do that) - Find out what really makes your husband feel loved. A very good book about this topic is "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. In this book Gary describes the different ways that people want to be loved. The five different love languages are; quality time, physical touch and closeness, encouraging words, gift giving, and acts of service. Every one has a primary love language. And each of us has our own way that we feel the most loved. I strongly recommend this book as it is a tool to figure out what makes your husband (and children) feel loved. - Surprise your husband with a get away, special supper or an evening with just the two of you. A while ago (too long ago now that I think about it) I 'kidnapped' Mark. I arranged things at home so that we could go away for a couple of days, packed our things, hid them in the trunk of the car and made it seem like we were just going for our routine errand running. When we got to our usual destination and Mark went into the store I put a 'ransom' not on his seat in thh car. It was only then that he was clued in to what was happening. We had a great time and it was extra special because it was a way for me to say to him 'you mean a lot to me and you are worth all this'. The older kids also had a fun time trying to keep the secret from dad! When we had little ones and I was still nursing a baby we would send the kids downstairs or wait until they were in bed and I would turn our living room into a 'romantic restaurant'. I would prepare a special supper and then we would spend some one on one time. Now that we have older kids who can babysit we can get away more often, but this was a way that got us through those earlier years with little ones in keeping our relationship a priority. - Make love fun. As I read this chapter I realized that I have become quite a Sour Mrs. many times. I forget to have the little 'love fights' that were so frequent wehn we were first married. I have to work hard at not becoming a hands off type of wife. - Live with thanksgiving, forgiveness and joy. Live every moment as if it were your last because someday........it will be!

December 6, 2007

Cows, Shopping and Other Things!

Well. what a week we have been having!
Went to a cattle grazing school, learned about stuff like grazing your cattle!!
The government payed; free hotel, free meals, free babysitter, free hired labor...need I say more!

Are all my Manitoba readers enjoying the snow?
The song "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" was on in Superstore.
Aa a lady and I were picking through the bananas, we turned to each other and kind of smirked, I guess we can stop dreaming about it, cause, IT"S HERE!
Our white Christmas is here, and I have the overwhelming urge to go somewhere tropical! Warm weather, beaches, fresh fruit....
but then I think of the $10,000 spent on plane tickets,
thousands spent on hotels, who know how much on food.....
and I am content to be here in crisp Manitoba, where your nose hairs freeze together as you walk out the door.
So I will focus on the fun things of winter:
hot chocolate with snowman poop (or marshmellows for all you technical people),
cozying up by the wood stove,
skating on our rink (we got it done!),
little boys who ask for carrots and buttons for their latest snowman buddy,
the crunch of snow under your feet,
bundled up little bumkins who get super frustrated because they can't move,
just to name a few!
SOOO...happy winter day.