(Via WND.com) – For years we’ve written and spoken together about Christian faithfulness in culture, encouraging folks to get off the sidelines and into the game – to contend for the faith and defend the freedoms we’ve been given. Interestingly, a mounting group of people continue to ask us about our wives and their take on everything happening today … so we thought it would be good to start hearing from them too!
My (David’s) wife was talking to me a few weeks ago about the power of thankfulness and how we needed more of it in our home. (Surely you don’t struggle with this in your home, of course). But if we modeled this inside our home it could greatly affect what happens outside our home – and that’s the best place to start if we’re going to get in the game.
Here’s what Lori said, in her own words:
THANKFULNESS: THE FORGOTTEN POWER – by Lori Benham
Thankfulness. Seems like a pretty easy attribute to attain, right? When it’s a beautiful sunset, a great accomplishment, or simply my youngest remembering to brush his teeth without asking … hallelujah! I can hear the chorus.
But if we are honest … those thoughts come pretty naturally. What are your words or thoughts towards your child when they repeatedly won’t listen, your spouse who isn’t filling your love tank, or a friend who has hurt you and caused confusion?
Or how about the situation you are in, the home you live in, the community that surrounds you, your health or lack of it?
These all matter. To you and to God.
He gives us a response to every one of these scenarios and any others you have in your life.
“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess. 5:18
Don’t miss the last part. This is God’s will for us. I don’t want to miss that, do you?
It’s not a Pollyanna kind of thankfulness that skips through life after you crash and burn, pretending like it doesn’t affect you. No, thankfulness acknowledges the pain and heartache, the frustration and the confusion.
… But it doesn’t stop there.
“From where does my help come from, my help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” After we acknowledge our problem … we lift our eyes above it!
Our focus now turns to the only one who can move us towards life and healing. “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.” Psalm 84:10.
Have you spent time in God’s presence? No … really. Not a quick prayer, or a checklist of reading through the Bible that day … but His presence!
You will find yourself speaking praises and thanking him continuously. Your focus will begin to shift and the atmosphere changes. You won’t be looking at your problem the same anymore.
I have an amazing husband, but I noticed my thoughts toward him were continuously complaining in my head several months ago. It was subtle, so I didn’t notice at first. But my attitude toward him started to reveal my heart. I was challenged for 30 days not to think one negative thought, but instead to thank God for my husband’s admirable qualities. By day three I was undone! I was so convicted I had let my thoughts unravel. I quickly added thankfulness into my daily routine and saw immediate results in our relationship!
Do you and your husband struggle in this? Do you struggle speaking negatively about a child? A situation you are in? Start thanking God for what He will do in it and speak life in His word. Declare how He will sustain you and see you through.
The struggle is real. Right now, as I write this, I’m thinking of the dishes someone “forgot” to do again in the sink from last night. I acknowledge more training needs to be done, or privilege taken away. But I thank God that He gives me “everything I need pertaining to godliness and training.” I will focus on training and not ungrateful murmurings under my breath!
Lastly, it should be an overflow as you practice thankfulness. Feeling gratitude but not expressing it is like wrapping up a gift and not giving it away. Once you start to practice thankfulness, it should overflow onto others around you. As believers, there is no lack, but abundance. Those around us desperately need to receive that overflow. What are you thankful for today?
Thank you, Lori Benham
THE THOUGHTS I THINK TOWARD YOU – by Tori Benham (Jason’s Wife)
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11
(Via JasonAndTori.com) – It had been a long day! I was tired. I tried to get excited about our “fun” evening planned but everything felt like so much work.
Jason was returning from out of town in a few hours and the girls and I had tickets to the Nutcracker.
Kids fed… check!
House cleaned up so Jason doesn’t walk into a tornado…check!
Boys situated for the night…check!
Shower and a dress…check!
My hair…grrr, whatever, check!
Allie’s hair… check!
“Lundi!!! Come here so I can do your hair,” I hollered to my youngest daughter. No response. “Lundi!! We are going to be late. Where are you?” I tried again.
“I’m right here mama,” came from the half bath downstairs. I grabbed the brush and started toward the sweet little voice. But just like that, the voice turned anything but sweet. The sound of, “I did something really bad!” made my heart sink.
“I don’t have time for bad,” I thought, jaw clenched as I braced myself. The smell of nail polish warned me of the terror my eyes would see next. The entire pedestal sink was covered in a rainbow of my favorite nail polish colors.
I stood there in shock for a moment, mesmerized by the swirl of colors. The fleeting thought of “wow, this is actually really creative,” was quickly replaced with “bad, bad, bad, this is really really bad.”
Then I looked over at the little girl standing on the toilet. The sight took my breath away. I gasped. She didn’t use the nail polish brush to create this masterpiece. She used her hands. I mean, hands clearly work best when you need to cover that much porcelain and you might as well smother the smooth, cool stuff up your arms while you’re at it.
“Get in the tub right now,” I said in a creepy low voice trying to stay under control. She jumped off the toilet and ran upstairs as scared as I was mad. I could feel the veins bulging in my neck as my head started to pound from the fumes. “SOS! NEED NAIL POLISH REMOVER ASAP. PLEASE STOP ON WAY HOME!” I pounded a text to Jason.
Stomp, scream, or cry? I didn’t have time as I frantically searched for nail polish remover.
“Mom!” the cry of a very sorry little girl soon called from the top of the stairs. After a while, I made my way up with an old bottle of remover I found.
“I’m so sorry!” she repeated as I made my way to the top. But by the time our eyes finally met it was just tears.
Blinking them away while heaving to catch her breath like they do when it really hurts, she stretched out her little hand with a card for me. I recognized the card right away. It was one I had written to her on Mother’s Day a while back.
Her stiff, crusty, acrylic hand dropped the card into mine and she scurried back to the tub as if to say, “read the card before you discipline me.”
So I did.
“Dear Lundi,” my handwriting wrote, “Happy Mother’s Day! Thank you for making my greatest dream come true by being your mom.” I went on to list out some of the things I love most about her. My best and most loving thoughts of my littlest princess.
Lundi’s message was clear. “Remember what you really think of me, mama. Remember who you said that I am. Remember who I really am.”
She was asking me in the heat of the moment to remember my “true” thoughts for her.
I’ve since thought of the words of my heavenly Father…
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11
Wow! No matter what I have done, He is not confused about His thoughts for me. He doesn’t forget. He “knows” what he thinks of me. They are consistent thoughts. And they are good because He has my end in mind.
Imagine if we could approach our relationships like that.
By the grace of God, because He speaks through naughty little girls, the Lundi fiasco turned into a teachable moment- for both of us. A time where I remembered who Lundi was in spite of how she acted.
What are our thoughts about those we love most? Are they consistent like His are for us; hopeful with their future in mind?
This convicts me. I want to be better at this. Thank you Lundi Mae! I pray you grow up trusting my thoughts for you but when I fail, always know the One who made you never will. – Tori
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