Saturday, 24 March 2012

Carrying The Burden For Us

Papa Bear chose this clip from YouTube for us today! He likes Country praise music a great deal, and has the most lovely singing voice. I adore hearing him sing along to praise music such as this, which he does often, but especially when he's really happy!

Another thing I adore just now, is the wonderful selection of books that he gave me, for a Mothers' Day gift last week. I am of course not his mam, but he still gives me such beautiful gifts every Mothers' Day! Aren't I lucky to have such a generous, caring and thoughtful husband! He is always surprising me with treats and wee presents, not just on the days when the world says he should, but in between times too, and likewise I enjoy being able to do the same for him. We don't need an excuse to celebrate our love - every day is a celebration for us - and there are some very special days coming up soon. It will be our wedding anniversary soon, but before that, we also celebrate the anniversary of the day that we fell in love (we have known each other all our lives, but haven't always been lovers! Oh Papa Bear, those wasted years! He says we have plenty of time to make amends for that. He he!). I have some special plans for these celebrations, but I'm not going to share them, or it will spoil the surprise for my precious husband!

Two of the books that he gave me are by one of my favourite Christian authors, Emilie Barnes, who is most famous for writing books on organisation, as well as devotionals and guides to healthy living to name but a few. I really enjoy reading her books and have been inspired by several of them that I already have. To add to my collection Papa Bear gave me "The 15 Minute Home & Family Organizer" and "Things Happen When Women Care". He had to get these second hand, as they are both out of print now, but I am so glad that he did! They are wonderful, and don't look as if they have ever been read. When I opened them up, their pages had a beautiful soft scent of lavender, which instantly made me feel as if Emilie Barnes herself had sent them to us! So far I have only had time to browse through them, but they are brimming with a wealth of useful information and I know they are going to be read from cover to cover, and turned to a great deal in the future. I especially like all the hints and suggestions Emilie Barnes has for getting your home running efficiently and smoothly, but also at the same time managing to make it cosy and welcoming. I also like the way she weaves Scripture into her writing, so that it is always spiritually inspiring too. At the beginning of "Things Happen When Women Care", she writes about how there are so many different ways for women to demonstrate caring - such as through hospitality, nurturing, giving and listening. There are many more examples throughout the book though I haven't had time yet to read through it, of course, but I know it will encourage me greatly. She also writes however about how it can be easy to lose a sense of balance in all that we do, if we focus too much on only one aspect of our God-given role. It's important to achieve a healthy sense of balance, so that we don't overlook what is really important. No extremes - just a wholesome mixture of all the different qualities that every woman needs to fulfill her Godly role effectively. She even shares a poem with us, which she attributes to a lady called Dorothy Main, of Boger, Texas, to help us understand what she means ...

My Martha Side

My house is a tyrant, demanding each hour. Imperiously ordering: "sweep, mop and scour! Do the dishes, the laundry, then iron, dust and cook! And there's mending to do if you'll just take a look. Now, Martha, get busy and don't waste a minute: dirt is a sin, and you're wallowing in it!"

My Mary Side

My housework can wait... there's a friend I must see, who's lonely and frightened, she's looking for me. Then I'll tidy up quickly and hurry to hear that fine missionary we support every year. Home again, "Father, thank You, please help me to care for the hungry and homeless who live in despair."


Martha nags me to keep my house spotless each day; and Mary says gently, "I need time to pray. Martha's concerned with "what neighbors might think if they dropped in and found dishes stacked in the sink." While Mary chides, "selfish! I think it's a crime if you don't share with others your talents and time."

My Prayer

Oh God, in compassion, so order my days that Mary might serve Thee and Martha may praise Thee.
(Emilie Barnes, "Things Happen When Women Care", pp 8 - 9).

What a beautiful, heartfelt prayer! After my super-busy day yesterday, I think this poem is very valuable advice! I'm going to print this out and keep it in the kitchen where I can see it every day, to pray over and remind myself that as a woman who cares, I need to ensure I am keeping a balance between the chores I have to do, and the caring that is needed for my family, and so please God as I work and grow. Sometimes I can get over-focused on the small details, and forget the bigger picture, and that's when I need to stop, take a breath, whisper a prayer and remember that I only have to do enough - I don't have to be perfect! Papa Bear was so happy to hear me say this, as I began to write this blog post a wee while ago! He was also happy to see how much I am enjoying my books! As he sais, they are there to use as a support to the teachings of scripture, which also command that we keep a balance - and that we make sure we allow ourselves, through His son Christ Jesus, to lean on our Father God, to help carry our burdens for us through the days. Thank you Papa Bear, for being such a wonderful guide! We are so lucky to have you as the wise and caring head of our home.

"For with God nothing shall be impossible". (Luke 1, 37).