Monday, June 11, 2012

Why "Bother" To Celebrate - Dinner #60

     Baby’s 1st. Birthday Party . . . Some parents host big, fancy affairs, some keep things simple, some choose not to celebrate it at all.  I think it is very sad to leave off observing the day, entirely!  A first birthday should be a special celebration of milestones! The Bible teaches us that it is IMPORTANT to celebrate things that the Lord has brought us through!  I don’t even know where to begin in thinking of everything God has done for us, in this first year of Brooklyn’s life!  He let me find a doctor who believed in testing progesterone levels, in order to prevent miscarriages . . . He allowed the doctor to get the umbilical cord off our baby’s neck in time . . . He provided a wise emergency room doctor who realized she was allergic to milk . . . He allowed her weight to begin successfully picking up . . . He gave her strength to sit up, and crawl, and walk . . . The Lord has BLESSED us!
     Whenever a Christian celebrates, the world stops and stares.  Psalm 126:2-3 declares, “Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.” Christians OUGHT to celebrate things like birthdays, salvations, successful surgeries, or the start of a new year!  A time of celebration gives us an opportunity to sing God’s praises! “Yes! The Lord HATH done great things for us! Let me tell you what He has done!”
    Why “bother” to do something for a child’s first birthday? Joshua 4:21-22 tells us why - “And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.” Someday, you may have a preschooler in your home who loves to look at photos from his babyhood.  He’s going to want to hear all about the presents, the people who were there, the cake that got all over his face . . . And you’re going to be able to tell him, “We celebrated because we LOVED you! We celebrated because we were thankful that God GAVE YOU TO US for even just one full year of your life! We celebrated because you are a BLESSING!” What better time to rejoice in the GIFT OF LIFE than at a baby’s first birthday?!
     It’s more than just celebrating a birthday – It’s learning to treasure a child every day, realizing that we do not know how long we will have them with us.  I Samuel 1:27+2:1 “For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him . . . And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD . . .” All you need is a JOYFUL HEART - one that praises God and says, “Thank You for giving us this child!” Has God given your child health and life? Has He provided for your baby’s needs? Has He given you, as a Mommy, daily strength? Then, even a FIRST birthday is important to celebrate!  

Friday, June 1, 2012

June Brides - Dinner #59

     “Oh, they say when you marry in June, You’re a bride all your life . . .” Brandon and I will be celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary, this month – And so will many of our college friends, for that matter! The summer of 2010 was the largest “wedding season” our alma mater has ever seen!  Two whole years of married life . . . It’s hard to believe! I remember well, all of the planning that went into that lovely wedding day – purchasing decorations, looking on the internet for a modest wedding dress, finding a photo of the cake design I liked best, using a computer spreadsheet to keep within my budget . . . and trying to complete our marriage counseling books, over the phone with each other, because we were in two separate states! SMILE!  Now I have friends who are nearing wedding days and engagements, themselves.  What advice to I have to offer to these “bridal hopefuls”?  READ! I dare say that nothing helped my husband and I to prepare for marriage better than those counseling books!  Reading is a powerful, powerful thing.  Proverbs 24:27 says to, “Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.” Prepare, first! Get your field ready! You can’t very well build a house if the ground is uneven and covered with trees and brambles!  You can’t hope to “build a home” with someone, without laying a little groundwork!
     The Bible often refers to “building”, when speaking about the home.  Proverbs 24:3-4 declares that, “Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” A Christian young lady won’t know EVERYTHING  there is to know about cooking, cleaning, being a wife, and raising children, when she walks up those church steps and takes her wedding vows – but she can HAVE A TEACHABLE SPIRIT! Those engagement days aren’t only for holding hands, looking into each other’s eyes, and dreaming about “Happily Ever Afters”!  That’s your chance, Young Ladies! BEFORE he’s coming home every night, hoping he’ll have a clean uniform for the next day! BEFORE the baby’s screaming for HER supper as you’re trying to prepare YOURS!  No, you won’t be able to learn it ALL, during those months that you’re engaged, but you can certainly SEEK to “make it fit for thyself in the field” (Proverbs 24:27).  
     Where do you start? Psalm 127:1 “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it . . .” Read your Bible! See what SCRIPTURE has to say about a godly marriage! Make sure you’re on the same page with your future spouse, by doing a Bible study together! Preparing For Marriage, by Gospel Light Publishing, is EXCELLENT! Start copying down favorite family recipes. Look up helpful blogs on subjects like couponing and saving money (my friend Tanya has one that I definitely recommend – ). TRULY TALK to the man you’re about to marry – not just “I love you! I love you! I love you!”, a million times! Maturely discuss things like ministry, finances, children, and intimacy expectations.  Proverbs 14:1 tells us that, “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” Be prepared TO BUILD!
     If I could purchase just three books on marriage, tie them up in ribbon, and give them at every bridal shower I ever attended, I know exactly which three they would be.  #1 Woman, The Completer, By Dr. Jack Hyles . . . #2 Created To Be His Help Meet, By Debi Pearl  . . . and #3 Love and Respect, By Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.  Are you already married? One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard was to read at least ONE book on having a Christian marriage, every year of your married life! Start WHERE YOU ARE!  Whether you are a beautiful bride-to-be or a wife of 30 years, you can BEGIN TO BUILD!