[Take my life, and let it be!...]

Just got back from the women's retreat at the church in Hutchinson. They do such a wonderful job of putting it on every year, and Susan Heck, my favorite speaker in the world at the moment, was back!!! She lives a life that convicts me to live the same! Her example is one that I want to follow! If only I lived in Tulsa, so I could follow her around!
Oh well...it was a great experience though! I'm so thankful she comes back to speak to us in Wichita all the time!

This will just be a short entry, but I'm so excited I just want to write something...I think I might write later on about the specifics that God is teaching me :)

My head is exploding with thoughts and ideas and realizations. This last week was rough. Very rough; and my husband can attest. I knew I was going to NEED every single word spoken and sung today. Every single one of the songs we sang at the retreat put me in tears, I just didn't let them slip out of my eyeballs. haha!!
I think through the "pastoring" of my husband, and the hard things God put me through this week prepared me to listen to what was said at the retreat today; in so many ways. The music, the 3 lessons that Susan taught, the love shared with fellow Christian women....ahhh. So refreshing, so spiritually uplifting! I needed that boost!! I needed some conviction, a kick in the pants, SOMEthing. And that was it. Just what I needed. It was also encouraging to know that I'm not the only one who gets "dry" in their spiritual walk sometimes. I have felt that way lately, and so hearing the music leader talk about her own struggles with it was so encouraging! She even had a song to sing that was written during that period in her life.
I am excited to keep thinking on all that I've learned, and to finish some old bible study stuff that I bought from Susan, and to start some new material I bought from the pastors wife at that church! 

One of Susan Heck's favorite hymns was sung today, and I relfected very deeply on the words as they were sung. I hope they can become my true prayer in life, every day!! ......

Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.
Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.

 Until next time!


[Hard lessons...]

*AAAHHHHHGGGG!!!* I think I'll go find a wall to bang my head on today. Hard.

Sometimes, I don't like doing my devotions, or reading certain books because it makes me realize how much of a failure I am at doing things right!!! .....
Speaking mainly about being a good wife.
I've been reading "A Woman After God's Own Heart," thanks to Debbie :) and we're also going through the book once a month with the highschool girls bible study! That means, I have to teach every other chapter, which means...I probably get more out of it then they do, haha, but its good for me!

Just like today's reading!

I am by no means a naturally humble, serving spirit. Well, actually its worse than that, I'm willing to help people at my church with whatever their needs may be, but I'm NEGLECTING the one thing I AM supposed to be good at doing--serving my HUSBAND!

Elizabeth George puts it this way in her book...after reading Genesis 2:18 for the first time in her Christian life, she realized she "was on assignment from God to be her husbands helper." HE was her priority over family and all else, (not including the Lord of course...)
Yikes! I'm only 9 months into my marriage and I can't even count how many times I have failed to be his helper, supporter, how many times I've nagged, whined, complained, ignored, and been selfish.

I'm not saying our marriage is going down the tubes, it's wonderful actually. We grow to love each other more and more each day! The fire hasn't diminished by any means, so don't be confused by what I'm saying.
I'm just severely convicted. I wondered today if the fact that I've been so excited and consumed by the amazing business I've been getting with my photography has taken my focus off of my husband! He's been supporting ME in all of it, rather than me continuing to find ways to serve him amongst all of life's excitements and what his schedule is like each day!

Good grief, how can we even think about being parents someday down the road, if I can't even serve my husband properly yet?
E. George also mentions in this chapter on serving the verses in Philippians that talk about Christ's example of humility; yet for some reason, I had not really applied that idea to my marriage specifically. So, I've come up with a new way to personalize my reading lately. Here's how I read Philippians 2:3-11 this morning.
I put my own words in brackets...

    [3] [Wives,] Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count [your husband] more significant than [yourself]. [4] Let each of you look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of [your husband's].  [5] Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, [6] who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, [7] but made himself nothing, taking the form of a (*slave,) being born in the likeness of men. [8] And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. [9] Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, [10] so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, [11] and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:3-11 ESV)
*This is what the penned word means in Greek...

I could probably write a lot more, but....I'll leave it short today.
I can say I have so much room to improve. I think I let myself slip into the idea that my marriage is going great, and we're perfect together!! Rather than thinking, look at all the ways you could improve it, self. You have much more to give than you are giving right now.

I can't do this without the Lord, which is another area of perseverance I must not lag in...I pray I'll continue to realize this much much more as we continue on our journey together :)