Inspiring…

Rustic Mornings

Good Thursday morning to you all!  What I’m enjoying today is pretty simple.  The theme is “Fresh & Clean”, inspired by a cool morning on the porch with my succulents, quiet time in a clean house with some delicious mint infused water,  and lastly a fresh, mouthwatering tomato, basil, and feta pita pizza. *YUM*!  What things are you enjoying today?

If you like Today’s Enjoyments, please take time to like, share, pin, and follow before you go enjoy the rest of your day!

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Just last night I was thinking about “perfect” Shari.  The Shari that I was supposed to be; the sinless Shari.  I thought about what I might be like, with all my God-given gifts, energy, ideas, compassion and tenderness…without being tainted with sin.  Tears began to flow as I thought about how we, mankind, messed that all up thousands of years ago in the garden.  Then my thoughts turned to the Shari who will one day be perfected when I see Jesus face to face.  More tears.  And then I began asking, again, that I would glorify him while I am in this world, far away from my eternal home.

Do you ever think about God getting you ready for heaven?  Do you think about your sanctification and thank Him for the trials and His working; or complain through the drudgery?  I’ve done both.

No doubt God is using my husband to work things out in my life; to make me into the Shari He wants me to be; getting me ready, for He’s coming for a pure bride.  Let’s be specific about the ‘things’ here.  I’m not talkin’ bout weight loss.  I’m not talkin’ bout superficial stuff; we’re talkin’, ‘things=sin‘.

Do I thank God for my husband?  Do I thank him for what He is accomplishing in my life through my husband?

Wow!  What a challenge in Phil. 1:3-4.  God says, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy.”

I’m to be THANKFUL in ALL my remembrances of Darrel in EVERY prayer with JOY!

THAT statement is enough for me to work on all year-long!  BUT, with that, I must read one more verse.  Phil. 1:6 “AND I AM SURE OF THIS, that He who began a good work in you WILL bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (The work in Darrel and the work in me!)

WOO HOO!!!

Now, go thank your husband.  Tell him you are thankful HE is yours and that you are THANKFUL God is using him to accomplish God’s will in your life!

Side note: BTW, it would be sad for any reader of this blog to think that we have a perfect marriage.  I can hear someone saying, “Yeah, it must be easy for her to say these things to her husband.”  Au, contraire mon frère!  I have to totally fight pride and humble myself each morning I decide to thank Darrel.  And, no surprise, as I’ve begun this ‘series’, it seems there are more and more challenges.  SO, don’t feel alone in the boat.  Pray for boldness to express thankfulness even when it’s hard.  God gives grace to the humble; can ya use a little more grace today?

1Tim. 2:1-2

I just couldn’t go further with ‘prayer points’ without writing about giving thanks for our husband’s spiritual leadership.  Understandably, some husbands don’t lead spiritually because they are spiritually dead, but as a believer, this should prompt even more compassion and prayer for their salvation.  For those of us who do have a husband who is born again, it’s imperative we ask ourselves if we are looking for AND affirming our husband’s strong points (gifts) AND his good actions?  Or, do we pridefully focus on his weaknesses and mistakes?

Oh, how easy it is to focus on weaknesses and mistakes.  How many times have I brought up a past failure or weakness to Darrel instead of an encouragement?  Do I believe I’m helping him rise to challenges God gives him when I focus on weakness?  Or can I believe that he will rise to fight sin and weaknesses and lead as God has called him to when I am on his side, cheering him on, praying for him and thanking him for what he DOES do?

Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”  The one to give grace to him who hears is our husbands!  God has called us to talk to our husbands with words that are good for building them up so that grace my about in their lives!  This is going to look different for each of us, but with prayer and meditation, the Holy Spirit, no doubt, will bring things to our minds to encourage our husbands in their spiritual leadership.

Some may say, “You don’t know my husband.  He doesn’t lead well at all.”  You may not have eyes to see how God has blessed you right now, but pray that your eyes will be opened to see even the smallest of gifts.  God sees them & is faithful to show you, because he has called you, in Ephesians 4, to build him up and bring him encouragement.  YOU are his helper fit for him! (Genesis 2:18)

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  Can’t get more clear than that.  This is God’s will for you; for me.  We are to give thanks in all circumstances.  What better way to keep us from grumbling or discontentedness.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Phillipians 4:8

May we rejoice that, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can fulfill the mandate in Phil. 4:8 and give thanks for our husband’s spiritual leadership as we pray for each of us to grow closer to our Lord Jesus Christ!

Today I’ve asked myself the question, “Do I earnestly pray for my husband’s spiritual growth and wisdom as he leads our family?”

Two scriptures Ephesians 1:15-19 and Colossians 1:9-12 are quite applicable.  I read through them and then put them into prayers.  These are now a part of my prayer journal for my husband.

Prayer derived from Eph. 1:15-19  Lord, because of his faith and love in you, Jesus Christ, and his love toward all the saints, I will not cease to thank You for Darrel, remembering him in my prayers, that You, God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give Darrel a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of You, having his eyes enlightened, that he may know what is the hope to which Christ has called him, what are the riches of Your glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of your power toward us who believe, according to the working of Your great might.

Prayer derived from Colossians 1:9-12  This day, Lord Jesus, I pray for Darrel, asking that You will fill him with the knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of You, Lord, fully pleasing to You, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of You, Lord Jesus Christ.  May Darrel be strengthened with all power according to Your glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to You, Father, who has qualified Darrel to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

There are so many rich scriptures we can make into prayers for our husband.  I plan on finding more, reading and pondering over them for myself as well, and then writing them into prayers so that I will be a faithful prayer warrior for the man who leads our family!

Thank you Lord for husbands.  Bless each one today in specific, special ways, and let us as wives be blessings to them as their helpers.

When my husband has offended me, do I pray for him or criticize and harbor bitterness toward him?

Pondering over this question doesn’t take long for conviction to set in.  When I’ve been offended, after 21 1/2 years of marriage, I can clam up!  Now, I’d love to take only the high road here and say that I’m being a Godly woman when this happens.  I mean, God’s word clearly states, “Let your words be few”, right?  And in James He says to let every person be quick to hear, ‘slow to speak’, slow to anger…  Of course, I should let my words be few.  I should clearly think through everything I say for words are powerful.  And I can honestly say that sometimes the ‘clamming up’ is a good thing… briefly.  But what happens when I don’t speak for too long is that bitterness is building and building inside my heart.  God says in Eph. 4:31, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” He goes on to help us know what should take the place of these detestable things, which are 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

When did the ‘honeymoon’ end?  When did I begin allowing myself to harbor bitterness and criticize my husband?  (I chose not to obey…Eph. 4:26)   Why, if I’m a child of the King of Kings (I like to see myself as a princess…yes, it’s having 3 girls) do I not obey?  Do I think that harboring bitterness is going to bring me closer to my husband?  Strengthen our relationship?  Give me a closer relationship to my Savior?  Give my children a clear picture of Christ and His bride?  Make me more lovely in my husband’s eyes?  Give joy and delight to my Savior?

God says “Do not repay evil for evil, or railing for railing; but contrariwise blessing; knowing that to this you are called, that you should obtain a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9  That old Scottish song just popped into my head, “I’ll take the high road and you take the low road and I’ll get to Scotland afore ye.”  We, as born again Christian’s are to take the ‘high road’, God’s road.

And when in the world did I begin thinking it was ok to share or ‘vent’ to my children or friends about offenses done to me?  (conviction again)  I should always bring my burdens to Christ first and then ask for prayer from friends without having to share details of how I was so very wronged.  Forbid it Lord that I am or become a quarrelsome women where it would be better for my husband to live in a corner of the house, or that he should want to!  (Proverbs 21:9)  Another verse for me to pray I don’t become like is, “It is better to dwell in a desert land than with a contentious and an angry or fretful woman.” Proverbs 21:19

So, as I go about my day today, first I am going to repent to my husband for ever criticizing him and harboring bitterness.  I can’t site specific moments right now, but that doesn’t matter.  If I could remember them I would be specific, but I will repent and ask his forgiveness nonetheless.  1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sings and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  Then I will try to keep these verses on my mind, or at least have my bible open today for moments when I can take a short break to feed my soul.  Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

Praying for the Holy Spirit’s help is key!  We are in a war, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12  My husband is not the enemy! (read all of Ephesians 6:10-20)

To God be the glory!

Other scriptures to meditate upon:  Mark 11:25 “And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

James 5:9 “Do not grumble against one another, brothers (sisters), so that you may not be judged; behold the Judge is standing at the door.

Ephesians 4:26-27 “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.”

Romans 6:14 “For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”

Praying for my Husband

April 7, 2013

There are a couple of reasons I’ve decided to focus on giving thanks for my husband and for praying for my husband.  One of them is that I just don’t do it enough.  I don’t tell him how much I appreciate him, the things he does, and that although at times our relationship can be less than Baklava (my favorite dessert), I know God has given him to me as a gift.  I also realize I regularly fail at praying for him; and I want to change that.

There are a handful of women with whom I have close relationship and a larger basketful with whom I have regular encounters and relate.  Within these two spheres I’ve noted how I’ve often not communicated in a way that was highly encouraging.  God’s word tells us (not asks us) in Prov. 3:27 “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”  I wouldn’t say I purposefully ‘withhold’ good from my friends, family and sisters, but I am not always deliberate to do good; my mind wanders or I might be speaking of things of lesser importance.

So, today, after coming home to a quiet, empty house (my children are with friends), I spent hours of my Sunday contemplating God’s word and pondering over thanksgiving and prayer for my husband, and husbands of my friends and family.  These blog posts will be one way in which I am striving to be deliberate in doing good to my friends.  Eph. 5:15-16 says “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”

I’ve changed my order of posting on FB…it will focus on me praying for my husband first and then a focus on giving thanks.  (Although doing both at once is great,  I’m aware that in marriages where anger and bitterness are being harbored it is better to seek God in prayer first as the Holy Spirit works and places true thankfulness in the heart being softened.)  I pray that God’s word will penetrate my heart, conviction will lead to repentance, that children would see healthy marriages and be blessed, and that marriages will glorify our Lord Jesus Christ!

Hope Update

December 9, 2012

Last Tuesday, while Danielle had her piano lesson, Hope and I drove to Sugarland and she gave blood so that labs could be performed prior to her follow Endocrine appointment on Friday.

Fast forward to Friday.  The doctor comes in and says, “Hope’s labs looked great!”  I’m thinking, “Really?”  What does that mean?  Show me some #’s here.

Here’s where it gets a bit more technical but let me back up a bit.

Since Feb. 2009 to today, Hope has been taking .15mL calcitonin injections to regulate her blood calcium levels.  She was finally diagnosed with Sarcoidosis Dec. 2011 and we began some steroid therapy and Humira injections, administered every 14 days, in January.  Along with our joy in finally getting a diagnosis and starting Humira, there also came a renewed hope that she would come off the calcitonin at some point, if the Humira were able to ‘control’ her disease.  After a 4 month follow-up there was no change in her hypercalcemia.  After 8 months, no change.  At that point I think I was resigned that this was her lot but gave praise to Jesus that we were able to control the side effects of the disease which were debilitating (symptoms similar to JIA).

The desired range for blood calcium levels is 8.9 -10.4 and for the last 4 years Hope has been anywhere from 10.4 -11.  The Dr. turns the computer screen toward me with lab results and her level was at 9.9 .  I have NEVER seen this number before!!!  Talk about excited!!!!!!
  Desired Alakaline Phosphatase levels (which has to do with how her bones hold on to calcium) is 184-415.  And Hope’s has ranged from 72 -107;  107 being her highest # since 2009 (obviously way too  low).  From Tuesday’s labs Alakaline Phosphatase appears to be on the rise and was 127!
  So… just wanted to share some great medical news in the Schiel home and hope that you will rejoice with us and give praise to our Lord Jesus for his kindness.
(Oh….and don’t stop praying!!!)

So Thankful for My man

December 6, 2012

My heart is overwhelmed with thanksgiving for the man God gave me.  I boast not in men but in the absolute greatness of our Lord Jesus Christ.  I am in on the unfolding of The Almighty’s plan and it is amazing.

Darrel sent me a link to an article about helping our children save the Sabbath.  The things that stood out to me in the article were how we so often use our time on other things, electronic devices, sports activites, etc.  Where do our convictions lie?  Are we convicted to the point that we are willing to guard and be jealous of the Sabbath; a God ordained day and time for spiritual growth and physical rest?

We have not been all-out faithful in this area.  I wouldn’t say we have ‘trashed’ the Sabbath, but I believe we have lost a conviction for the true elements of the Sabbath.  Does that make sense?  Where are we spending our time?

Well, we are coming together with the body of Christ and worshipping with other saints.  But we have added many meetings to our Sabbath day, which separate our family and do not help the children to focus on God’s kindness to us and rest.  They are often upstairs watching movies or on computers as we are ‘ministering’ to other groups downstairs in our living areas.  Serving in these areas are of great value, but should we be serving in that capacity on the Sabbath?  Is this what a pastor and family are called to do?  Is the Sabbath rest only for other Christians?  or for all Christians alike?  (things to ponder)

We have decisions to be made about how we are using our time.  Our desire is to bring glory to our Lord Jesus Christ and to be obedient.  I was convicted by the article my husband shared with me and am humbled that he values my thoughts as well.  I am convicted on two counts; times I have de-valued my husband; complained about things in him I didn’t admire, or better stated, gifts I wished he had that I would say were more ‘worldly or earthy’.  Also convicted about how I have been a helper to this man, my husband.

God is so very, very, very gracious and patient.  I am rejoicing in the husband of my youth and so thankful for his gifts.  They are many, but the ones I am most thankful for are the ones that were given to help us run this race…he continually points me to the ‘prize’, to the higher calling.  I can not imagine my life without this precious man, although I’ve no doubt the Lord would sustain me if he were taken to his heavenly home, and pray the Lord continues growing me and helping me to be the best help-mate he could have.  Well, I was specially picked, so, I’ve no doubt the Lord’s got this. 🙂

(written very quickly while each child was asking for help…shame on me:)

Off Prednisone #2

November 21, 2012

I re-read my last post on Hope and thought it only fitting to update once again.  Since that post, she is indeed off Prednisone!  The first couple weeks were rough but I believe her body is used to being off now.  From my stand point things are looking good.  She is still taking her 15mL injection of calcitonin 2x a day and the Humira injection every 14 days, but a month ago we thought she might have to go up on the Humira to every 7 days.  Praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ for sustaining her body!

She has contracted a fungal infection on the bottom of her feet, specifically but not limited to the joint areas of her big toes.  This has caused much pain as they crack and bleed.  But, we continue treating them and praying, trusting God to heal.  Tea tree oil is a wonderful, natural product that I’m finding has a great affect against this infection.

The Lord is good and we rejoice and give much thanks as Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

Winter Garden

November 20, 2012

I decided to try and grow some lettuces and snap peas this fall.  Prior to seeding, I added some more ‘good soil’ to my garden plot and it’s been settling for a few months.  Yesterday was agriculture day for me and Isaac.  I set him to the plow, better know today as Shari’s birthday tiller, and he began tilling it all up nice and loose.  After getting most of the weeds and grasses out as we raked through it, we began transplanting our lettuces.  I grew these from seed in pots and planters.  One never realizes just how many plants one has until one begins transplanting. *grin*

My first winter garden of red and green lettuces; with 2 snap peas.Left over okra growing along the fence line.  Red lettuces on left, bell pepper and banana peppers in the middle (also left over) and green lettuces on right.

Cute little red lettuces!  I’m so proud of them.  I love that I can plant, water and care for plants and God allows them to grow.  These are tasty, but Isaac prefers these:

Green leaf lettuce.  I’m excited to snip of leaves here and there to make salads for my family.  Prayerfully these will provide nutrition for us throughout the cooler season.

Snap pea bushesThese are precious to me.  I love snap peas…raw.  They are so sweet and delicious!  I can eat a few handfuls at a setting.  I planted a WHOLE bag of seeds and ended up with about 8 plants.  One day while trying to ‘baby’ them, I ended up KILLING all but 2 of these plants.  Waaaah!  I was very upset with myself.  Anyway, God was kind and gracious to let me have two.  These are planted on either side of the bell pepper row and I will be babying them like crazy!

summer okra living through autumnOkra grows so easily here!  We’ve canned dozens of jars of pickled okra and have eaten many of them as well.  I’ve made one batch of fried okra and plan on making another batch at Thanksgiving for my step dad.  I’m amazed at how well okra plants produce!

fall tomatoesThese tomato plants just popped up on there own thanks to the birds I guess.  I decided to pull them out of the ground and care for them in a pot through the winter months in hopes that they’ll make it until next spring.

fall Zennia's Here are some sweet little Zennia’s.  As the other ones died off I would just roll the dead head between my hands and let the seeds fall back to the ground.  Ah, the joy of easy gardening.  Thank you for the pretty little flower Lord!

green onionThese lovely green onions keep giving and giving.  We never pull the whole plant out but snip off pieces to use in our salads, eggs or other meals.  I have one more pot like this and it keeps us blessed with green onions year round.

Fire antsAnd this is what happens when Fire Ants find your gardening tool box.  Not cool!  The white powder is ant killer.  Hopefully, they will be dead soon.

Cinnabun and 3 year old Bell Pepper plantsHere’s Cinnabun.  She’s a sweet, fluffy addition to our backyard.  I keep this 3 year old Bell Pepper plant near her to give her a lovely view.  ha

HIbiscusMy Hibiscus bush continues to bloom as the fall tempetures stay in the 70’s.

Yellow Gerbera Daisies in the fallAnd my favorite flower, Gerbera Daisies, continue blooming as well.  Such beauty…makes me smile. Aren’t they happy, sunshiney flowers?

My Rosemary bush continues growing each year.  I might plant it in the ground at some point but for now it is doing great potted.

Apricot TreeThis Apricot tree, I believe, is confused.  It’s lost leaves but one branch, shown here, won’t shed.  It’s certainly left me befuzzled.

SucculentsAnd this little succulent was saved after it was uprooted on accident while pulling weeds.  Succulents are so cute!