The Wait From Here

You are finally here. After weeks and months of planning, you are here. It’s hot, but you don’t mind. You can almost feel the wind whipping through your hair already. A bead of sweat strolls lazily down your back, but your smile doesn’t waver.

As you walk through the gates you grab a map. It’s not like you need one. You memorized the lay of the park even last night before you fell asleep, knowing which rides you would hit first. Your arms swing quickly to keep time with your step.

Finally, you catch sight of it in the distance. Your eyes strain to read the sign at the entrance. When you get close enough, you can just make it out…

Join me today at 5 Minutes for Faith. Click HERE to read the rest of my devotion.

Carol

5-Minute Marriage Boosters

Let’s get real honest. Marriage is hard work. Theme music does not play when your husband walks in the door from work, and a photomontage of all your good times doesn’t roll as he saunters towards you in the kitchen. That’s the stuff of movies.

He probably walks in and says, “The trash stinks. What’s for dinner?” Don’t despair. There is hope. You can enhance your marriage in as little as five minutes. (I’m starting to sound like an infomercial now.)

I’m sure you can think of more, but here are five 5-minute marriage boosters to get you going.

1. Text message
In our fast-paced technological society, there’s no excuse for not sending a quick text during the day. Send a short text of encouragement to your spouse during the day, or maybe just say, “Thinking of u.” The message may be short in words but is big in meaning. Just a few pecks of the keyboard can let your spouse know they are important and you think of them while you are apart. Don’t have texting? Try a sharpie and a sticky note pad.

2. Ask like you mean it.
“Did you have a good day?” It’s a question we often toss out without waiting for the answer. Kind of like throwing a quick “How’ru doin’?” as you walk past an acquaintance in the store but not pausing for a response. If you really want to make your sweetheart know that you care, sit down in front of them, look into their eyes and ask deliberately, “Did you have a good day?” Then pause for their answer.

The information exchange between husband and wife is more necessary than you think. When talking to a friend struggling in her marriage, she shared, “He doesn’t tell me anything. I want to know what he did all day and how he feels about it.” As you are listening to your significant other share, thank God they are sharing with you.

3. Back/foot rub
After a long day at the office or a never-ending day at home with the kids, a back or foot rub can help relieve stress. Offer to give your spouse’s choice of either. Five minutes of rubbing will have your partner melting in your arms. Hopefully, they’ll offer to give you one, too.

4. Tiny gesture
Each night before bed, I wash my face and brush my teeth. On the nights my husband gets to the bathroom first, he gets out a washcloth and places it by my sink. It’s a little gesture that lets me know not only that he cares but he pays attention to my routine, as well. Look for small ways you can show your spouse you care. Perhaps offer to bring them a snack and drink while you are watching your favorite television show. Maybe you can refill their water glass during dinner before they get up to do it themselves.

5. Random “I love you”
Never underestimate the heart melting power of a well-placed, “I love you.” While you may share it before hanging up the phone during the day, do you randomly say it face to face? Don’t just choose to say it when one of you is walking out the door. Pick a random moment. Stop your other half, look him or her in the eyes and utter those three magic words. Then you might want to seal it with a kiss.

 

Want your marriage to move from good to great? What are you waiting for? You’ve got five minutes. The clock is ticking!

Do you have some tips for couples to enhance their marriage in five minutes or less? I’d love to hear about them. Leave a comment if you want to share. Email readers, you can leave one, too. Just click HERE.

Carol

Seeing Jesus in a Bad Souvenir

I went to the beach and brought back the world’s worst souvenir.

To be honest, I didn’t select it. It wasn’t among the thousands of postcards, shell jewelry boxes, airbrushed tee shirts, tiny plastic snow globes, or dolphin-shaped salt and pepper shakers. Nope.

This one hitched a ride from the water park…

Join me today at the Internet Cafe. Click HERE to read the rest of my devotion. And please excuse my absence lately. I’ve been enjoying time with my kids for the summer. 🙂 And I do realize I didn’t post a service calendar this month. Don’t worry. I’ll start them back next month.

Happy Summer!

Are you on Twitter? Join me there @sheeptotheright.

Carol

When You Can’t Find Your Way

My hubby and I were almost lost in the abyss of the Georgia backwoods never to be heard from again because of Google.

Okay, I may be exaggerating just a little.

When traveling, Alan and I frequently use our smart phones with Google maps to find our way to places. So we were following the directions last weekend to find our way to a hotel for our 15th anniversary get-away. We were driving down a dark, lonely road looking for our turn. According to the phone, we were quickly approaching the street where we were to turn right.

But when we got to the street to turn, it looked more like a dead-end or a driveway. It was a dirt road. And we weren’t in a great part of town. But we turned anyway, apprehensive.

We bumped down this gravel road deep in the woods with thick lush close by on either side of the car. It was late and the headlights illuminated just what was ahead of us. There were no streetlights anywhere. We drove past a cast-away mattress and some other trash. My heart raced. The road was so narrow we probably could have reached out and touched limbs on either side of the car. Nervous, I held my breath hoping not to run into another car or the boogieman or South Georgia’s Big Foot.

Finally, we came out of the woods to a paved road. We were supposed to go straight across, but there were large barricades keeping us from going the way my phone directed. Thankfully, we were able to navigate another route and found our way to the hotel.

I tell you all this to tell you one important thing. Maps aren’t all that.

During a time in my life where I had drawn close to God, many doors opened (lots to do with writing). I caught a glimpse at where God was taking me and I ran with open arms through the doors.

There was just one problem. I became focused on the map, asking God, “Where do You want me to go? Which direction should I go in?” My focus was on asking God to show me the right way.

But recently I read this verse: I am the way and the truth and the life. John 14:6 NIV

And I realized Jesus doesn’t point me in the right direction; He IS the right direction. The first time I caught a glimpse of what God was doing with my life, it was because I was looking for God, not because I was looking for the life map.

It’s easy to get focused on what God wants to do in our lives – which doesn’t really seem like a bad thing a first glance. But the problem is this – the focus is on us, not Him. When we realize that Jesus IS the way. The focus is put back on Him.

It’s not about what I can do for God. It’s about what God can do through me. See the difference?

So if you are bumping up and down on a backwoods road and are feeling lost, don’t focus on the map so much. Stop and look up instead.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 NIV

Carol