By His Grace Blog Friends,
I need your help today! Recently, I posted a review for A Wife’s Secret to Happiness- #Wifestylin. As a part of this review, I entered a writing contest, and that is where you come in.
Would you please go to this link Jen Weaver’s Writing Contest and scroll down until you see my picture and hit “like” to vote for my entry?
Also, Make sure you leave a comment on my post A Wife’s Secret to Happiness- #Wifestylin to be entered to win a copy of this awesome book!
Thanks so much for your help! Have a fantastic day!
I wrote this post for the Young-Wives this week and since I think it is such an important message I wanted to share it with you all here too! Hope you enjoy it!
I was having dinner with a group of friends recently. I adore this particular group of women—we have been friends for almost twenty years now. We started out in a young married Bible Study class together and had the sweetest friendships ever since. We have loved one another through both good times and bad times. Over the course of the past twenty years, we have watched our children grow and have hosted more baby showers and birthdays than I can remember. We have celebrated life and death together, and because of that, we have a very special bond. We talk about anything and everything from husbands to kids to hormones.
[ctt template=”2″ link=”ZU5r1″ via=”yes” ]They challenge me to be who I am supposed to be and remind me of why it is so important to have authentic real life in person community.[/ctt]
One of my friends told us how she was monitoring the amount of time her children spent on various apps online by checking their phone batteries, and the percentage of time that they devote to each app. My friend realized it was both eye-opening and convicting to see how much time can be spent mindlessly wasted online. Our conversation then turned to something I haven’t been able to get out of my mind:
[ctt template=”2″ link=”MYaJ2″ via=”yes” ]The unintended consequences of social media and its effects on young people, especially young women.[/ctt]
Let me just start out by saying I love social media, just as much as the next person. I love posting pictures of things that interest me, looking for inspiration and being able to keep in touch with my friends and family. When I don’t know what to cook for dinner, I love scrolling through Pinterest to see what recipes are trending. Social media can be a source of great inspiration, but if I am not careful, I can waste time scrolling through social media posts instead of doing other more meaningful activities.
My concern is about social media are the extreme cases. When problems can manifest that range anywhere from the comparison of self to others to unrealistic perceptions of friends or body image, leading to depression or worse, narcissism and idolatry.
Social media provides the photoshopped highlight reel of life.
Real life is messy. Real life is not always Instagram or Pinterest-worthy.
Real life can be challenging, but I want you to know that you have inherent worth as daughters of the Most-High King! You are beautiful and wonderfully made by the lover of your soul. He loves you exactly the way He created you!
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. -Psalm 139:13-16 ESV
[ctt template=”2″ link=”WUMHd” via=”yes” ]We are free to be ourselves, uniquely created to fulfill our distinctive calling in this world.[/ctt]
Ladies, don’t get caught up in the online comparison game of yourself with others. Know that you are loved by the King of Kings and that he has a purpose and plan for your life, and His plan is perfect. The perils of social media are that it makes us think that we are to look like what the world thinks we should look like, instead of the way that God intends us to be.
So what do we do about it? Do we all become Amish and abandon technology altogether? No! God has placed us in this world to be a light. Instead, we are to be wise to the trappings of the world and the internet, and we are to protect ourselves.
When Jesus was preparing to send his disciples out on their mission to the world, in Matthew 10:16, He says, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” In this passage, Jesus is using a figure of speech to teach his disciples. Wolves are predatory animals that prey on sheep, so, therefore, we must remain innocent in an evil world that set on our destruction.
We should be mindful of our time online and view everything through the lens of Philippians 4:8.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. – Philippians 4:8 ESV
What can we do to guard ourselves against the perils of social media?
- Have friends in real life that you do life with. Online relationships can be great, but there is no substitute for real life community. Through my blog, I have become acquainted with many God-fearing, God-loving women that I would not have otherwise known without access to the incredible technology available at my fingertips. But there is no substitute for laughing with a friend over coffee, taking a walk with a loved one, or gathering together with other moms and kiddos in tow for a fun day at the park.
- Be intentional with your time online. Be mindful of how much time you are mindlessly scrolling online. Don’t sacrifice time with those God has put right in front of you to be online. Put your device away and spend time in fellowship with your friends and loved ones, and encourage friends and family members to do the same.
- Take your thoughts captive when you are online. Scripture tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:5, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ” Don’t allow the lofty opinions of others or altered images and skewed realities to turn you away from what is true.
- Remember your identity is in Christ. You are a child of God, and because you are HIS PRECIOUS CHILD, you have inherent worth and purpose. Jesus Christ knows you and loves you and calls you by name.
Last week, I went to Market Street in The Woodlands, Texas with the boys for our dental check-up and cleaning. If you know anything about Market Street, you know it is a high-end luxury shopping center that plays host to some great little shops, restaurants, and is the location of our dentist. Market Street is a popular shopping destination, and sometimes parking can be a challenge. I was running a bit late and was so glad to pull in and find a spot close to the dentist. On my way to the dentist, I passed this charming new boutique, and I knew from the look of it that I would have to check it out after our appointment.
The store is Philanthropy, and I fell in love with it from the moment I walked in the door! Philanthropy is a Christ-centered retailer, and you can feel it from the time you step foot in the store.
Instantly I knew that there was something special about this store. When we walked into the boutique, we were greeted at the door by a sweet guy with a great smile. One of my boys was wearing a football shirt, and they struck up a conversation about football for a little while. Little did I know that he was not only the owner of the store, but he was a former NFL football player, Jackie Battle. He couldn’t wait to tell me about the store and show me around. Jackie enthusiastically shared Philanthropy’s vision. A leader in cause-driven retail, they believe in giving. A minimum of 10% of the proceeds from their sales goes to support charities. Then he took me over to the wall pictured below, and 100% of the proceeds from the t-shirts here are donated to charity organizations.
From there, Jackie introduced me to his beautiful wife Christine as she headed out the door. With a beaming smile on his face, he took me to the prayer chapel. Jackie and Christine believe in the transformative power of prayer and each store houses a prayer chapel. Guests in the store are encouraged to leave a prayer request, and Jackie and his wife and their staff pray for and with their guests daily. In the midst of this retail space, lives are transformed through the power of Jesus Christ.
From the beautiful way the store was laid out, to the variety of merchandise they sell, I loved it all! Everything was fantastic—from the clothes, books, jewelry, and knick-knacks, this place has a little bit for everyone.
I could have spent hours taking in all the attractive displays and browsing through the merchandise, but I had my boys with me, and we needed to go, but not before I found a great top and a beautiful necklace. If you are in the Houston area, then you have to go to Philanthropy! The store is located at 9595 Six Pines Dr. #1360 The Woodlands, TX.
Philanthropy’s collections are affectionately known as Timeless, Fearless and Priceless. Since its inception in 2007, Philanthropy has donated more than $800,000 to local charities. Philanthropy Market Street is the newest location, and they also have boutiques in Franklin, TN, Cape Girardeau, MO, and St. Augustine, FL.
I was so impressed with the store and its owners and their vision that I couldn’t wait to share it with all of my readers. Philanthropy is a store where fashion meets compassion, and it is the kind of store that as a Jesus girl I want to support. Bonus, I found this super cute top I am wearing in this picture and it has quickly become a favorite!
To learn more about Philanthropy be sure to check out www.philanthropyfashion.com
The intense stress that comes from having a special needs child can put an incredible strain on even the healthiest of marriages. The difficulty in the day in and day out can be overwhelming. Some special needs people have a difficult time performing even the simplest of tasks such as dressing, toileting, and general self-care. Exhaustion sets in from lack of sleep and that can wreak havoc on any sane person, and a lot of times special kids barely sleep at all. The financial stress that comes from therapy not being covered, the endless doctor appointments, or because anything with a special needs price tag comes at an astronomical cost. The grief that comes from unmet expectations, the heartache that comes from comparing your child and their abilities, or sometimes the guilt alone from blaming yourself or your spouse is enough to tear a marriage apart.
My husband and I have experienced all of this and more, but things really came to a head in our marriage when our son was a baby. I was a weary young mom doing my best to make it from day to day. Our precious little man screamed at the top of his lungs all hours of the day and night and didn’t sleep at all for the first three years of his life. We were constantly in the doctor’s office and in and out of the hospital.
I don’t know about your husband, but my husband is a fixer. He can not stand it if there is something wrong with me or one of our children. Since he is a problem solver, he wants to fix things. However, there are some problems that man can not fix, no matter how hard he tries. This took a toll on my husband and thus took a toll on our marriage.
Things got really ugly between us. This wreaked all kinds of havoc in our personal lives and with each other. I will spare you all of the gory details, just know it was bad enough that I ended up in Lawyer’s office seeking counsel to get divorced. But God—God divinely entered into the midst of our pain and difficulty, and we took the “D” word off the table and choose to commit to each that no matter how bad things got that we would stick it out with God’s help.
We forgave one another and choose to love, not in our strength and might, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. In those moments, everything changed. Our circumstances with our son didn’t change, but our perspective on our situation changed. We faced our problems together with the strength of our mighty God to carry us through. Life didn’t become easy—there was no instant healing. In fact, the years that followed were much more stressful than the previous years. The difference was our relationship to each other and our reliance on the Lord.
Our marriage has been tried and tested and forged in the fire for nearly 25 years. My husband is my best friend and He loves me like Christ loves the church. Through the years, we chose to love one another and submit to Christ, and his plan for our marriage. We now have an incredible relationship. My husband is the biblical leader of our home, and I have embraced my calling of biblical womanhood.
These same principles that have guided our marriage are discussed in Jen Weaver’s book, A Wife’s Secret to Happiness. I love this book! From the sparkly cover to Jen’s modern interpretation of the Bible to practical wisdom this book offers to women, Jen has such a great conversational style that you feel like you are sitting across the table from one another sharing your hearts over a cup of coffee.
There are eleven chapters in the book, and each chapter highlights a particular blessing God wants to provide to in your marriage and a conflicting “wifestyle.” A wifestyle is a habit or way in which our routines as wives either attract or reject God’s divine provision. Each chapter contains a wifestyle or a real life story used for practical application.The first blessing is the blessing of three strands, which is taken from Ecclesiastes 4:12:
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken -Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV
This principle takes the heart of two people and binds them together with God to make a marriage that is not easily broken. It is the supernatural strength that comes from the Holy Spirit being alive and active in our marriage that I spoke of earlier.
Jen does a great job of handling some difficult subjects that come up within a context of marriage from leaving and cleaving and becoming one, to submission, to the beautiful gift of sex. In the chapter on the blessing of unity, Jen uses a great analogy of dancing to talk about submission in marriage.
A tango cannot have two leads, and our Marriage instructor, our third strand, calls us to submit to our husbands that we may have unity in our relationships and live in concert with his spirit. -Jen Weaver
There is bonus material to delve deeper into each subject that is available online. This book is a must read for young women preparing for marriage, as well as married women. I wish I would have read something like this before I got married, it would have made the first few years of marriage a lot easier. Jen Weaver nails the secret to happiness in marriage through receiving, honoring and celebrating God’s role for you in your marriage.
A special thank you to The Blog About Network, The Blythe Daniel Agency and publishers for providing a copy of this book for review and one to giveaway.
Leave a comment below with your best piece of marriage advice below, to be entered to win a copy of A Wife’s Secret to Happiness.
Jen is married to her best friend Jared and mom to their adorable toddler, Dillon. Jen is an author, marketing professional, Bible study teacher, conference speaker, and a host for The Declare Conference – a blogging conference in Dallas, Texas. She is passionate about sharing strengths with others through her stories of humor and hope.
A Wife’s Secret to Happiness(Leafwood, March 2017) is already receiving rave reviews from Jim Daily, President of Focus on the Family, Associate Senior Pastor Pastor of Gateway Church, Allan Kelsey, Author of Breaking Busy, Ali Worthington, Author of A Mary Like Me, Andy Lee, and many more! www.TheJenWeaver.com
My husband took me to Magnolia Farms in Waco, TX recently. I am a huge fan of HGTV’s Fixer Upper and I was so excited to finally make it to Waco to see the Silos and visit Magnolia Market!
I love Joanna Gaine’s style and love the way she and Chip banter with one another. You can tell that they love one another, love their family, and that they enjoy what they do. Isn’t that what life is all about? Love God, and love others!
Shopping at the Silos was so inspiring. There were beautiful vignettes all throughout the store and plenty of photo opportunities.
We were at Magnolia Market on a Friday, and it was a gorgeous day, but the crowds were pretty large. Which made it difficult to see everything. If I have a chance to go back, I think I will go on Tuesday morning, and hopefully, it won’t be as crowded. I loved all of the flowers inside the shop and the gardens outside the shop.
Just in time for Spring, one thing caught my eye and I knew that I needed to take it home was the boxwood wreath I saw hanging on the wall. I knew that it would make a great addition to my front door, and would take me from Spring to Fall. Here it is pictured below with some topiaries I had in my entryway and these precious little bunnies I found at Home Goods. What do you think?
This got me thinking that Easter is only one month away, and I have barely gotten everything taken down and put away from Christmas. However, I really want our Easter Celebration to be special as special as our Christmas this year. I want to focus on the Resurrection power we have through Jesus Christ and am praying about ways to make this an important part of our time together as a family.
This year I decided to pull out my parent’s wedding china and use it for our Easter celebration. I miss my parents so much and have fond memories of eating off of these plates throughout the holidays. I look forward to incorporating this into my Easter Table this year.
I threw together this centerpiece with stuff I had from previous years, and just love the way this bunny looks nestled within the eggs and flowers.
So what about you friend? I would love to know what traditions you celebrate at Easter. Do you have anything special planned this year? Leave me a comment, and let me know what you are doing for your Easter Celebration!