Isn't that beautiful?
Psalm 128 was included in our marriage ceremony back in 1991 after the Lord woke both of us in the still of the night, just days before the wedding, and imprinted it upon our hearts.
The next day we were having coffee and shared with each other what the Lord had done. Each of us believing we had 'news' to tell the other, we laughed at how He had spoken the same promise to us on the same night.
There was no doubt in our young Christian hearts that this Psalm was ours for life. We read from the King James Bible which says the wife shall be as a "fruitful vine by the sides of thine house" and assumed it meant lots of children - but things have changed and I understand it quite differently now.
You see, this week whilst reading verse 3 in the New Living Translation I was struck by the word "flourishing" describing me within the home, and I realised that this wonderful Year of Gentle Domesticity is adding to that very transformation of my personality and life.
A wife is to flourish in her home in every way!
A home usually reflects the essence of the wife because the atmosphere is so often formed by her personality, which means life at home can be either good or bad. You will flourish or shrivel up, depending on how you choose to be.
Stop for a moment and think about what you reflect within your home.
Is it creativity, laughter, encouragement, generosity, nurture and love, or perhaps negativity, slothfulness, meanness and criticism?
For a few years I was a harbour of gloom for my family.
Life had dealt some hard losses, but instead of looking at the blessings of loved ones the Lord had placed into my life, and the streams of mercy He ran across my path each day, I had an attitude that caused my husband to say one day, "Can you stop being a martyr and let me help, please?"
I was gobsmacked, no response falling from my lips. Quickly escaping to the outdoors I sat down to process what he meant and why he would say such a thing.
At the foot of the Cross, rivers of tears falling over my chest, I suddenly saw who I had become - a woman who worked tirelessly and resisted 'help' so that her family would pat her on the back for her selflessness and unceasing hard work.
I had created an atmosphere of obligation on the part of my loved ones in the misguided belief that by doing everything myself they'd always love and appreciate me.
I did not flourish, my home was no sanctuary from the pressures of work or school, and my kids did not learn that homemaking is a privilege and a joyous act of love for your family, but rather a chore to be completed perfectly for praise.
My heart heaved with repentance and sorrow for my selfish and controlling attitude.
But you know, the Lord is good, and when we stray from the path His love carries us back with forgiveness and hope.
My transformation began that day and I grew in grace and joy a little more with each passing month until one day Blossom said, "Mama, you are a very different woman to the one you used to be. I've never seen you laugh so much, pray so much, and chill out as often. You're amazing and so beautiful!"
Even though she has always loved me unconditionally, now she loves being with me at every opportunity - she seeks out my company because I show her sunshine breaking through the clouds, grace to let others find their own way, the power of JOY in each day, and I have learned to stay quiet and simply listen while she unburdens her heart.
I also let her do my dishes.
And Mr E?
He works alongside me now and I never refuse his assistance. We laugh long and loud every single day, are each other's best friend, delight in being together, and are more in love than ever.
My home is my haven.
My heart overflows with gratitude and love and respect, and I'm finally starting to flourish.
Download the printable Scripture card here.
Beautifully said from your heart. Blessings and Flourish with Gentle Domesticity Dear Lady.
Your message has touched a deep hidden part of my heart and soul. i was having a "bad" day yesterday, and was reflecting on what my life has, and will become. They were not happy thoughtd. Through illness and injury turning my life upside down, I have just relaised I have been the cause of the negative, cold feeling in the house. I now know what to do, and what i can become. Your thoughts have come at exactly the right time, it is a ray of sunshine through my dark clouds. With tears streaming down my cheeks, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I love your blog and the things you share. They are thought provoking and also uplifting.
Jenny, what an amazing read this scripture and your sharing has been. I love how you make me challenge myself in some of my thoughts and beliefs.
Thank you for reminding us that we can't "do it all" every time.
You write so eloquently. Your words speak to my heart....
Jenny, I want you to know that this post really touches home with me. I was doing the same exact thing in our home. It took hubby and myself quite a few years for me to truly understand that I did not have to do it all on my own. We are best friends and support one another in everything. Our love has flourished and deepened also. I wish that the Lord would have brought hubby and I together many years ago, but it all works out and we grow as Christians everyday! Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful day!
This really touches my heart and soul Thank you. You continue to bring me back to God. Blessings
Darling girl - I love you so very much. God is surely using you in a mighty way.
Beautiful post, Jenny. It's hard to imagine you as another kind of personality, because I've only known you as generous and kind and funny. It's necessary for all of us to grow into what the Lord has seen we can be, and I love following you on your journey.
Beautiful exhortation~~~thank you!
Jenny, Allie is so right, God is using you in a mighty way! By sharing some of your valleys in life, you help so many of your readers. May God continue His blessings upon you and your family. The woman certainly is the regulator of atmosphere of the home - so glad yours is filled with love and laughter!
So beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
Isn't it wonderful to have a helpmate in a spouse who will come up beside us and say you don't have to do this all by yourself? I am here also. I too have such a one. It makes the journey so much rewarding when we allow them to help. When we don't insist on keeping all of it on our own shoulders. I've been there too. I am a much more joyful person now that I share the load.
Another so beautiful post. Thanks Jenny. x
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