Confession

Confession.  The word alone conjures up images of a darkened booth with a priest sitting on the other side of a window-type screen; filled with hushed tones and shame.

Why are we so afraid to go bold with confessing our sins when we already know that by doing so will allow that particular burden to be lifted off of our shoulders?

Do we believe for an instant that we are capable of hiding our sins from an all-knowing and an all-seeing Creator?

There’s quite a bit of shame involved, I understand.  I’ve been there.  We strive to do our very best to please God but often those attempts fall flat and we fail miserably.

But guess what?  He still loves us regardless of our numerous shortcomings.  That is what a loving God does!  How awesome is that!  So go boldly before the throne.

1 John 1:9 explains it clearly, “If we confess our sins, He  is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Now that is some great news, my friends!

 

 

 

 

A New Year

Hello, friends, and welcome to the new year. Already more than halfway through the first month. Here I am. Still lost in a quandary. What to do? What to do? Where do I go in life? Where do any of us go in life? Presented with new opportunities due to a new year awash with new beginnings and new challenges, what do we do with them? So many of us begin the new year with such high expectations and goals, but slowly those fall to the wayside. With best of intentions, our hearts filled with excitement, we plow on, looking for that nirvana to change our lives around.

My goals? Get back into better health. Write. Write. Write. Daily. Then keep at it. I will push myself towards the goal of publication. No matter how difficult or panic-inducing, it will be done. How about you? Can you push yourself ever forward, not allowing fear to hold you back? You are worth it, dear friends. Don’t doubt yourself even when all those around you do. If it is something you want to achieve, then go right ahead and set your heart upon your goal. Lose weight. Get a new job. A new, solid relationship. Reconciliation with a former friend. So many possibilities out there to set your sights upon. Don’t give up on yourself. The rewards will be phenomenal. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back. If you make it past the first month of the new year, you are way ahead of the pack.

So go ahead, make plans, and keep them. Set goals and go for it!

The Joy of a Happy Marriage

Okay. Perhaps the title is misleading. I don’t believe that any marriage is happy 100% of the time. We fight. We hurt each other. But the good thing about marriage is that you have learned to forgive your spouse after being together for as many years as you have been. For us it is now twenty-three years of marriage. And I can honestly say that our marriage is stronger now than when we first said “I do.” How is that possible? When so many marriage crumble and end up in divorce court, and children are left to wonder what they did wrong, because that’s normally what happens(well, if there are children which resulted from the union). Marriage isn’t easy. When two very different people join together for, hopefully, a lifetime, it is definitely a struggle of wills and personalities. We tend to say that we fell in love with our spouse because of the things we share in common. But even though there may be a lot of hobbies shared, or tastes in certain things, in the end, you are still two very different human beings. And take the stress of raising a family, working, paying bills, getting out from under debt, maybe an illness, and just plain old living under the same roof with perhaps limited amount of space to escape for a couple of hours, couples are in for a very bumpy ride if they don’t understand what they are getting themselves into.

Marriage is NOT playing house. There are real problems. Repairs need to be done. Maybe new appliances need to be purchased. Or you may have recently lost your job. You worry about losing your home, losing your health, losing your loved ones, losing your sanity! The stress builds up and then suddenly your lashing out at your spouse, your kids, or maybe even your neighbors. You wonder how you can hold it all together to make things work out. Especially true if you’re a man. I understand how important your work is to your sense of worth. How you may feel like less of a man if you cannot provide for your family. It is a tremendous amount of frustration piled up upon your already sagging shoulders. But I’m sure women can feel the same way. We should at least try to encourage our men. Let them know that we are in support of them 100%. That whatever happens, you’ll survive; you’ll get by. And all that matters is being together. Yes. That may sound like a cliché but it’s the truth.

In marriage, you must be on the same team, so to speak. Financial decisions must be mutual. Raising the children must be mutual. There must be an understanding on all things when it come to marriage. It is hard work making it all work out in the end. But work out it will if you both just hang on. Yes. It is much easier to quit and get divorced. But if you think it is better on the other side, you would be mistaken. Also, I am talking about marriages where there isn’t any signs of abuse. I would never tell anyone to stay in such a situation, just to make it clear this is about ‘normal’ marriages, if there is even such a creature that exists!

Now, about faith. I think that this is a very important part of a marital union. If one person is a believer, I feel that the spouse should be too, just because of the complications that can arise out of not being on the same page when it comes to faith issues. My husband and I share the same faith. We pray together every weekday morning, asking God to bless our day, for protection for ourselves and our loved ones, and thank Him for the many blessings He provides us on a daily basis. This is very important to us, as a couple. Perhaps you enjoy mediating together, or working out together, or some other hobby that you both enjoy. You both need that time to spend together, especially once you have children. Don’t let the craziness of life draw you further and further apart. You need to be unified. And, here I go, do not postpone the sex part. It is a very huge element to a happy and healthy marriage. There is nothing wrong in enjoying it whole-heartedly, ladies! I don’t care how old you are, go after it with gusto! Read up on all the great health benefits to both men and women that a healthy sex life provides. Having sex with definitely bond you two even closer together; trust me on this one.

So, do not let frustration, day to day living, and children make you resent being married. It is not greener on the other side. You will still have heartache, and anger, and pain, and grief, and bills to pay. Make it work. Get help if you need to. Be patient with each. Forgive each other. Love each other more each day. Don’t take each other for granted. Look into your spouse’s eyes and tell them each day that you love them. Give them an unexpected kiss or hug when passing by them. Have fun together. Play! Tickle each other, works for us, since I’m awfully ticklish. Okay, perhaps that was too much information. Just please, love your spouse. Above all, keep an open line of communication. Talk often. Respect each other. Take interest in what your spouse enjoys doing. And give them space when they need it. So to all, I hope that you have many, many years of a happy and healthy marriage ahead of you. Perhaps you too will discover that you have fallen in love with your spouse all over again.