On Our Knees—Praying for Our Children’s Future Spouses

IMG_4102Yesterday was my wedding anniversary. And I have to say—my husband, Bruce, deserves a medal for putting up with me for twenty-nine years.

Or at least a red 1968 Corvette.

When I think about meeting my husband at college, I am so grateful to our big God for his grace and mercy. His grace—for bringing a good man into my life.

And his mercy—for bringing a Christian man into my life when I too young and stupid to care all that much if he was a Christian.

Although I grew up in a Christian home, I never gave much thought to the Bible’sdating teaching about being unequally yoked. In high school, I dated boys who were cute and fun without caring whether they had a relationship with God.

When I was a freshman at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, being a Christian finally made my perfect-college-guy list. But, I’m ashamed to admit, it ranked somewhere near the bottom. And it certainly never even dawned on me to pray for a Christian spouse. Of course, since Grove City is a Christian college, my chances of dating a Godly man were better than at a secular school. But, even at Grove City, many students were there for the excellent education and beautiful campus and had little interest in their faith.

And because being a Christian wasn’t my most important qualification for a future husband, I could have dated, fallen in love with, and possibly even married a man who wasn’t a Christian.

I still shudder when I think about it.

But, instead, God brought Bruce into my life. A Christian man who He knew would be a loving husband, wonderful father, and most importantly, a faithful follower of our Lord.

So, like I said, I often think about why God brought Bruce into my life at a time when I wasn’t even praying for a Christian man. And I’ve come to this conclusion—someone a lot wiser than I was praying for me and for Bruce.

praying handsActually, someones. I believe God was answering the prayers of our parents.

I know that Bruce’s parents prayed that he would find a Christian spouse. Both strong, committed Christians, they spent time on their knees asking God to give their son wisdom and guidance when choosing a lifelong partner.

As for my parents, they also wanted me to chose a Christian who would love the Lord and love their daughter. My father, a man with a quiet and deep love for his Lord, welcomed Bruce with warm acceptance the first time I brought him home. And it gave me joy to see his growing contentment and peace as Bruce and I dated, became engaged, and finally married.

My mother also loved Jesus with all her heart. Although I was never able to ask her if she prayed for my future spouse—she died of Leukemia right after my sophomore year in college—I have no doubt that she put my life in God’s hands and trusted him to bring a Christian man into my life.

The power of a parent praying for future Christian spouses for their children cannot be underestimated. And it’s never too early to start praying for our kids’ eventual prayingpartners in life. In this day and age, when young Christian men and women are harderpraying on your knees and harder to find, make no mistake about it—it will take an act of God for our children to find Christian people to marry. We need to be interceding for our children, asking God to guide them to men and women after his own heart.

Parents, it’s imperative that we get on our knees, pronto. The spouses our sons and daughters choose will have eternal ramifications for their faith, their children’s faith, and so on, throughout the generations. I am the perfect example of the power of that prayer.

So, on my anniversary, I want to say—thank you, parents, for your prayers.

Thank you, Bruce, for your love and unwavering faithfulness—for me and for God.

And to my big God—thank you for your everlasting love, for answered prayer, and for the gift of a man after your own heart.

Happy Anniversary, Bruce. I love you.

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Oh, What a Riot—I’m on a Diet

IMG_3849I’m on a diet. Again.

Sound familiar?

These days, the question isn’t, “Are you on a diet?”—it’s, “What diet are you on?” Everyone seems to be trying to eat healthier or lose weight, and doing so in different ways: eating small meals, fasting, high-protein, liquids only, no meat, no dairy, no carbs, no fats, no gluten—

No fun. Whoever said the first three letters in “diet” is “die” certainly had that right.IMG_3923

I don’t like broadcasting the fact that I’m dieting, but inevitably, when I’m at my neighborhood church group or Bible study or out to dinner with friends, someone offers me a fattening dessert or snack, and I fess up. The usual response is, “Why are you on a diet? You’re not fat.”

To which I respond, “That’s why I’m not fat.”

Many of you can relate to the bewildering fact that our bodies and metabolism change as we age. When I was in my twenties, I ate whatever I wanted and never gained an ounce. Good times.

In my thirties, I still ate what I wanted and went on occasional diets that lasted maybe a week. That’s all it took to bring my weight down. Then, when I turned forty, I found that I needed to exercise and diet together in order to keep my weight under control.

But when I turned fifty, everything changed yet again. I would diet and exercise, get on the scale to see how much weight I’d lost, and…you guessed it. Not one pound.

“Honey,” I told my husband. “I finally figured out why I’m not losing weight. Brace yourself.”

“What’s wrong?” he asked, concerned.plant names sue

“I think I’m a plant,” I said.

“A plant?”

“Yep, your wife is a plant. There’s no other explanation for it. I starve myself, I exercise, and nothing happens. I must be using sunlight to make my own food.”

Fortunately, thanks to Chris Powell’s diet plan from his book Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution, I came to the relieving conclusion that I’m not a member of the kingdom plantae.  His diet is not only good for your body, it really causes you to lose weight. Here are the basics:

  • Every day, eat five small meals.fruits
  • On Monday-Saturday, breakfast consists of a lean protein and a healthy carb—no fats.
  • On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, the other four meals consist of a lean protein and a healthy fat—no carbs. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, the other four meals consist of a lean protein and a healthy carb—no fats.  Do this for three weeks in a row. Here’s my favorite part of the diet—Sundays are free days. Not a pig-out day, but a time to eat some of the foods we’ve been craving during the weeksalmon-518032__340
  • During the fourth week, all five meals Monday-Saturday consist of a lean protein and a carb—no fats at all this week. This “jump start” boosts your metabolism. Sunday is still a free day.
  • Continue this three-week/one-week cycle until you get to your desired weight. After that, all five meals each day can include a lean protein, healthy fat, and healthy carb.

nutsIn his book, Chris Powell also talks about portion size, what constitutes healthy fats and carbs, and even provides recipes. And, of course, exercise is a big part of this diet as well, which he explains in detail.

But I gotta level with you about one thing—

This diet is not easy.

I’m a pretty disciplined person, but along with keeping my weight down, resisting candy, desserts, and fast food has become more difficult for me over the years. So how do I manage?

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you already know the answer.

Pray!

Does our big God care about my struggle to stay healthy? You betcha. I’m not bothering God one little bit when I ask him to control my urge to stuff myself with huge portions or junk foods on a regular basis. Notice I said on a regular basis. I enjoy ice cream, pizza, chips, and pop on occasion without the slightest twinge of guilt. I also live a little jogginhat Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other special days. But, as a general rule, I try my best to eat food that will benefit my body and to exercise almost every day—not only to feel good, but out of obedience to my Lord. God wants me to be healthy, not only so that I have the energy to serve him, but also so that I can rejoice in him and glorify him. If I feel crummy and tired all the time, because I’m not taking care of my body, I will fail to give him one hundred percent of myself.

So, as tough as dieting can be, I try to honor him with a healthy body. And, like King David wrote in Psalm 139:14, ” I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,  for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV)

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