Avoiding Arguments

 
I’ve been pretty sleep depraved lately as Sam is not yet sleeping through the night.  By 6am he is up for the rest of the morning and crying for his oatmeal; the three older kiddies wake up at 7am and life is just nonstop from that point on. 

During the day, Sam takes little catnaps and isn’t down more than an hour and then he’s back up again and crying to be held.  I try to sit him in his chair or lay him on a blanket, but it only works for a little while, not enough time to get more than a small amount of housework done.  And today I had an appointment outside the house I had to travel to with Sam – so that took another 90 minutes out of my day.

And before I know it, the kids are home, dinner needs to be cooked, HW needs to be done, and the laundry has sat in the dryer for the 2nd day in a row (ok, ok, it was actually sitting there all weekend and tomorrow is Wednesday…).   To boot, the kids are practically bouncing off the walls waiting to go out on our new Christmas Light Scavenger hunt… when daddy storms in the house yelling about the car doors… and my heart just sinks.  Once again I left the side doors (both doors this time) wide open after I came home from picking up the kids from school… and today it was raining.

Sigh.

I wanted to argue back and yell about MY day and how tired I was and just dig my heels in and fire back!  But I don’t, that’s the old me and, thanks be to God, I’m not that person anymore.  So what do I do?

1)    First I just close my mouth.  I know I should probably pray first, but if I don’t physically close my mouth in order to stop myself from reacting, then I can’t get anything else done.  

Proverbs 10:19 “Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.”

2)     Pray!  Just  a quick prayer asking God to help me do the right thing and not feed the fire in anyway. 
Psalm 34:17 “The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.”

3)    Give hubby space.  When my husband gets upset, he wants to be left alone.  He doesn’t want to “talk” about his feelings or try to make nice… no, he needs to stew a little and be left alone.  So if he’s downstairs, I will go up to our bedroom and relax with Sam or read my Bible.   
Proverbs 25:24 “It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.”

4)    Get busy and continue to pray!! Sometimes when I’m also upset (like I was today) I actually have to get busy! If I sit still, my mind will just stew in my anger and though I’m not yelling at my husband in life, I’m yelling at him in my head – which is just as bad.  So I will get to cleaning (or something else physical) and pray for myself for just a minute, then I move on and pray for others. I find that concentrating on praying for the lives of others helps to put everything in perspective for my own life.   
Ecclesiastes 5:20 “God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.”

 Psalm 104:34 “May all my thoughts be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD.”

Ephesians 6:18 “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”

These steps have really helped me on so many occasions when my first reaction is just to start an argument (which was the person I used to be!).  Granted, I’m not perfect and I will have my moments where I will open my mouth and argue – but those moments are getting farther and farther apart and I’m learning to recognize them quickly  now and quickly repent.

And please don’t think that I think wives should be scared little mice, too afraid to speak!  The Proverbs 31 wife is anything but a scare little mice! She is a strong, industrious woman who isn’t afraid to speak – but when she does speak “her words are wise” (Prov. 31:26)
 
God has definitely brought me a long way from where I used to be, but I know He has a more humble person that He wants me to be – more like Jesus was.  And I know that this is all part of making me more like Jesus.  My  heavenly Father is just purging the old me and purifying the new (Psalm 66:10).  So I am grateful that God gives me these opportunities to show myself worthy.  Father God, please help me to be what is beautiful in your eyes, to clothe myself “with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” (1 Peter 3:4)

In Christ,

Yasmin

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11/27/2011 – Proverbs 27

Today’s Proverbs is Chapter 27.  The verse that spoke to me most today is 17:
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” (New Living Translation)

This is one of my favorite verses in Proverbs – I love the image of what it means.  I see a blacksmith sharpening a sword and making it sharp and ready for battle.  And that’s what true Christian friends should do with one another – make each other sharp and ready for spiritual battle.

Marcia comes over almost every Thursday and though we hang out and laugh, we also sharpen each other.  I remember once we were speaking and I responded “I’m saved by the blood of the lamb” (though I don’t remember what the context of that sentence was) and Marcia said:
“Think quick: what does it mean to be saved? I’m a person of the world, explain that concept to me. Go!” 
She caught me off guard and I actually fumbled through my explanation a bit (I struggled in trying to explain the concept of being saved or born again to someone who is of this world who doesn’t use that language)!  But it was wonderful!! She was testing me, sharpening me to be able to respond to a question like that at any given moment.

I pray that God would continue to surround me with faithful sisters so that we may sharpen each other as iron sharpens iron!

In Christ,

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Where’s the Rice & Beans?

So the first big responsibility that hit me as a new SAHM was that I was going to have to cook dinner every night… every. night. (insert look of terror here)

My husband was out of work for almost 2 years and for most of that time he was the one cooking the dinners.  Once he found a job I was almost at the point of going out on maternity leave (and from leave I never went back to work), so I had to start making dinners once he was back at work.

Needles to say, I grew quite lazy and complacent in those 2 years – nearly forgetting how to cook even the simplest of meals!  So off to the cooking websites and cookbooks I went.  I found wonderful blogs on food and began making many of the meals (can I just say, I love you, Pioneer Woman!!).  My family was having country chicken, Italian pasta & gravy, Asian stir fry… I thought I was the cooking queen!!  But one day hubby looked at another bowl of sausage and pasta that I so loving set down before him and muttered the words that have changed my cooking kitchen…

“Where’s the rice & beans?”  

What?! These meals were coming straight from the Food Network chefs! What are you talking about, rice & beans?  Hubby just looked at me and said “we’re Hispanic… we’re having everything but rice & beans, bistec encebollao, platanos – that’s the food I want.”  Wait… did you hear that?  The sound of my cooking world smashing into bits and pieces…  Well, yeah I know we are Hispanic (my husband is 1/2 Puerto Rican and 1/2 Mexican, I’m 1/2 Puerto Rican and 1/2 Dominican), but I hadn’t realized that he craved the food we grew up with.

Now, I grew up on rice & beans. I love my rice & beans.  But my mother never really taught me how to cook the foods of my heritage – it was just something that my husband and I always looked forward to when we went to family parties or get togethers  (especially on my side where we have some awesome Dominican cooks!).  So after I moped around for a few hours, mourning the death of my Food Network recipes, I sat at the computer to see if I could pull some spanish recipes off the web.  I don’t know why I was so surprised, but there are blogs on Hispanic cooking!  I poured over many of them, reminiscing on the smells and tastes of many of the foods that I grew up with.

I started with a delicious bistec encebolloa (steak with onions) recipe that I made with plain white rice and my mother’s red bean recipe (I will post one day) – and it was a hit! Hubby was so happy to come home to this food that it really made my day to see him so happy!  Every day he would call to see what dish I was making – I mean he was excited to come home and eat!!

So I’ve traded my Food Network blogs (I will NEVER trade in Pioneer Woman though, did I mention that I love you Ree?) for my Spanish cooking blogs (I will share those here at some point) and my husband is all the better for it!

I’m so thankful to God that He has allowed me to be home for a season (I pray it’s a permanent season!) and take care of my family. Being able to provide for them and keep them fed is just such a blessing and I pray that our Great Provider will continue helping me in the kitchen!

In Christ,

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November 23, 2011 – Proverbs 23

Today’s Proverbs is Chapter 23. The verses that spoke to me most today were verses 15 & 16:
“My child, if your heart is wise, my own heart will rejoice! Everything in me will celebrate when you speak what is right.” (New Living Translation)

As a mom, I can really relate to this verse.  When my kids do or say something that is just wise or good, my whole being celebrates and I feel like the joy in my heart is just too much for me to contain!  When Marissa invites her friends to church, or when Kaity creates an animation on the first couple verses of Genesis, or when JJ applies something from his faith to a real world situation – it just causes everything in me to celebrate!

I’m sure Abba Father feels the same way when we diligently seek wisdom, apply it to our own hearts, and then speak in wisdom – oh how His heart must rejoice with celebration!  And just like my own children love when I gush over their wise choices, I too love knowing that I can actually cause my Heavenly Father to celebrate – because I have nothing else to offer Him but… me.

In Christ,

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Proverbs 31 Study Introduction

I’ve been wanting to do an in-depth study of the Proverbs 31 woman.  I know many people believe that she is not one woman, but many different woman doing many different things.  In my heart I feel that this is one woman and God has given her to us as a template for all wives.  I was never a Proverbs 31 wife nor did I desire to ever be one – that is part of my testimony that I want to share with everyone via this blog.  But now that God has allowed me to stay home and take care of my family, I feel He is also leading me study the example He left for me.

So every Thursday I will be posting my study notes/thoughts here.  As you know, I’m new at blogging, so I’m not sure if there’s a template for Bible Study that I should follow for blogging… but I’m just going to get started my way and let it develop from there.

I hope you will follow along with me and PLEASE leave comments! Again, I’m new to the whole staying home and serving my family thing, so I would love some feedback, encouragement, suggestions, anything!

In Christ,

Yasmin

November 22, 2011 – Proverbs 22

Today’s Proverbs is Chapter 22.  The verse that speaks to most today is verse 6:
“Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Amplified version)

Since I’ve been home I have been making a better effort to train up my children in our faith.  And not only in our faith, but to give them opportunity to find/share their talents with us.  For Kaity, we’ve definitely found her talent in art – she loves to draw and do animations. So I encourage her to illustrate some Bible verses and she even started animating the creation from Genesis.  What a blessing!
Marissa and JJ are still trying to hone in their talents, but we will get there.
I pray that the faith I try to instill in them will keep them on the straight and narrow… but even if they should steer off course at some point (though prayerfully they will not!), I pray that these truths that were instilled in them as young children will help to bring them back.  I have to remember that this verse is not a promise – but like the prodigal son returning to his father (Luke 15:11-32), I pray that if any of my children were to go astray, they will be lead back by the convictions in their hearts and the gentle whisperings of the Holy Spirit.

In Christ,

Yasmin

Negative Thoughts…

I had originally posted this on my Facebook page, but I also wanted to share it on my blog.

“Just wanted to share something I experienced today: Yesterday started out great but by late afternoon I really felt Gods presence wasn’t with me! I felt so alone (in my spirit, b/c I was surrounded by my family), & even lashed out at one of my kids for spilling a drink on the table. This was the old me, not the new creation I’ve become in Christ… During my alone time this morning God spoke to my heart & showed me how my thoughts caused me to grieve the Holy Spirit & not feel Him. Earlier in the day I was upset that my hard-working hubby was getting a nice afternoon nap when I was exhausted! And then I started thinking about how he should be fixing up our basement (we had a flood & he’s in the middle of fixing redoing the basement) instead of sleeping on the couch! And on and on I went with my thoughts! It was all downhill from that point in my day… All because I didn’t tame my negative thoughts towards my husband. I am my husbands helpmeet! Proverbs 31:11-12 says that my hubby should trust me & I should enrich his life, bringing him good, not harm! Thanking God for His Holy Spirit that will convict my heart & lead me to His word to find truth and wisdom! So the lesson I learned is to be obedient to God not only with my actions but with my thoughts as well! Not feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit was awful and really reminded me that I cannot be the wife God calls me to be without Him!”

 In Christ,

Yasmin

I’m back!

So I had to take a small hiatus from blogging in order to figure out my new schedule as a SAHM. Being a newly SAHM with three school aged kids and one infant is a lot to figure out as far as logistics and meal planning.  But I’ve finally gotten myself into somewhat of a groove  and feel I can handle a post or two (or just one!) a week.

So much is going on in my life right now and I’m excited for all of it! I want this blog to be not only about my experiences as a stay at home mom, but also about my Christian walk.  God has really been showing me a lot about what a godly woman (wife/mother) should look like and I have really been studying that Proverbs 31 woman and seeing how I can apply that wisdom to my own life.

I’ve also started to take an apologetics class on Sunday nights at my church (one of three Sunday school classes being offered at this time).  I was very excited about it because most of my family (on my mother’s side) are Jehovah’s Witnesses and I wanted to become more bold in talking to them about my faith. Last night, though, was a hard class and really caused me to step back and think I’m not meant to take it! We were learning ways to explain how God is infinite and people were using terms like “2nd law of thermodynamics” and other scientific explanations that my brain just cannot comprehend.  I was literally holding my face with both my hands to keep myself from running out!!  I expressed my feelings of discouragement on a post on FB when I got home and my classmates all encouraged me to continue with the class… so I might give it one more try.  Our next class we will be discussing Jesus, so I’m praying that this topic will be a little easier than explaining God!

Samuel and the kids are growing!  They are all doing so wonderful and the older kids have really been a great help with little Sam.  I’m also trying to teach them more about our faith at home, so that’s something I’ve been working on with them.

Marcia and I meet every Thursday (or try to!). I love having her over because she just brightens up my day with her laughter and her love.  We talk a lot about our marriages and our faith and what we want that to look like – it’s just wonderful.  I love talking to other sisters in the faith about being a godly woman and what we are called to do in the body of Christ.  God is really putting other godly woman in my path for that reason and I’m so excited to really get close to my sisters and learn from each other.

So LOTS going on and I’m excited to blog my way through all of it.  Through it all I hope to be as transparent as possible and show my ups and downs so that it may be an encouragement to other woman. I am just a regular Christian wife & SAHM who loves to write and study the word of God.  Welcome to my life!

In Christ,

Yasmin