I choose to serve

In the words of Dorothy from Wizard of Oz, ‘There’s no place like home’. And there’s no place like home where your patience, humility, selflessness and the like are tested.

I was blessed by this article by Laura Story – Jesus the servant king

And there’s definitely no place like home where we can practise our ‘serving’ .

God help us.

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He will never pass the test. – Honey did you eat?

We women have weird ideas every now and then, to test and see if our hubby will notice. Such an idea that very frequently pops up in my head is this.

On Saturday mornings, I would get up and wish upon wish in my heart that my mom was around to give me my coffee and make breakfast for me. I sometimes get bored eating my own cooking that I wish I could go back to my pre marriage days when I was pampered at home. My brain would wander and I would find myself ending up making breakfast for us. And if the breakfast is something like dosa where it has to eaten hot (meaning only one can eat at a time), then Oh Ho!. Trouble in my wonder land.

Hubby would eat and I would wait to see if he notices that I haven’t eaten so far.  Now, if you are saying, ‘I know what you mean. I’ve done that a lot of times myself’, I’m not surprised. That’s why I said we women have a lot of crazy ideas. Back to my story, hubby would eat and not even notice for a long time that I have not eaten. Here I would be, waiting for him to ask me, ‘By the way, did you eat?’ . But those magic words would never come out of his mouth. My attitude at home would change, I would be sulking. Darling husband would notice that cause you know, as sachin Tendulkar once said, ‘Angry wife is more scary than a fast bowler’ or something like that. Then he would say ‘Something’s wrong. Are you ok?’.

That’s when my mind starts talking. ‘Am I ok? You ask me if I am ok? I am hungry. I’ve been hungry all morning. You ate. And you did not even bother asking me if I ate? I mean did u see me eating?.  Is this all I mean to you? How can you not even care about me?’ But the only words I would say out aloud is, ‘Ya. I’m okay’. Oh oh again. Darling is wise by now. He knows what that ‘I’m okay’ means. He is silent waiting for me to blurt out. And then in a while, I would. Then comes the apology. But by then it’s kind of too late. I’m already upset. He failed my love test. For like the millionth time. (At that point, I’m usually sure that he has failed me a million times before).

And then one fine day, I learnt. Just like how I wish to be free from responsibilities on Saturdays. He probably does too. And if I try harder to remember, I am sure that he asked me if I ate breakfast last Saturday.   And the Saturday before that.  And If I try to remember ever harder, I can remember times when I gave him the same test and he passed. My darling husband now seems like … ummmm… wonderful.

Our mind is weird.  All the times that our hubby passes the test, we seem to brush the memory under the carpet. But the few times they fail, we frame those memories and place them on the wall. Maybe if we try harder, we can change the way we think. What I’ve learnt from this? I’m sure I’m not going to stop giving out these tests. But I’m going to stop expecting him to pass all the time. I’m going to give him the freedom to fail without doubting his love for me. If this path is going to be tough, then I’m going to suggest an easy route. Stop making dosa on Saturday morning. It’s going to be Uppuma.

AS for me now, I’m going to eat. I’ve been hungry for a while now. Yes, He failed my test again.

Can a marriage be really fair on a young gal?

In today’s world marriage can be tough on a girl. Most of us are taught that men and women are equal, encouraged to be independent and given the freedom to choose a career. Some of us were the princesses of our homes. Talking from my own experience, I come from a family where I just had to express my desire and my dad would literally go miles to fulfill it for me. I was indeed a princess. A much spoilt princess. And perhaps that was one reason where I wanted things to happen my way on my day.

We are taught to fight for our freedom. We are taught to stand for what is right and stand against what is wrong. We know what is fair and we are taught to boil for what is unfair. But when it comes to marriage ladies, all these very lessons are exactly what are not to be followed.

Women are the weaker sex. I do not argue that. But somehow, a wife always has that secret stash of energy that only God can release. Before my marriage, I would get up, eat the food that someone always prepared for me, went to work and came back home completely tired to the point where I could not do anything else but sleep. The same me, today, gets up at 6 in the morning, makes breakfast, prepares lunch, goes to work, comes home, cooks for the night, cleans the house and then sleeps. For some wives, add doing the dishes to the list. My darling hubby is awesome enough to help me with the dishes. Now I wonder. Where on earth do I get the energy to do all this? I can only call it God Power.

Someone once said, ‘God does not call the qualified but qualifies the called’. And rightly said too. I firmly believe that for every wife, there is a special grace that the Lord provides. It takes a while to recognize this grace and power but it is there all along. My advice to a new wife, hold on to God and enjoy His grace.

For a long time, I could not understand this grace. Everything seemed unfair. All I kept asking and thinking was, ‘Why should I be the one to do all the house work?’ ‘Why should I be the one who has to cook every day? ‘In what way am I different from my husband that I have to also work once I come back home?’ ‘Don’t I deserve my rest?’ ‘How can he demand food from me?’ The truth is, I still don’t have an answer for all these questions. If I try to reason it out, it seems unfair. But I’ve understood God’s grace. And somehow that is enough for me to get past these thoughts.

This is one area where we women have to put aside logical reasoning and just believe that God knows what He is doing. Every time I have these questions in my head, I try to think of it as an opportunity to serve my family. As an opportunity where I can cultivate the fruits of the spirit. On extreme days, I think about the cross. What Jesus had to do on the cross was not fair. But He never complained. If He could do it because He loved me, I can do this simple chore because I love God and my family.  On days that I have left these questions disturb me; I’ve been robbed of my peace. I would find myself overwhelmed and crying for no reason. And now, I’ve become a little wise not to leave these thoughts unattended but to nip them in the bud with Praise and songs. That works!

A messy heart

I did this activity with the 5-9 year olds in church and I felt this was one activity the kids could relate to. You can use this to teach Kids about how God does not like a messy heart. Would be a wonderful lesson to teach your kids about God as you order food in a restaurant and wait for it to come 🙂 Go ahead n use the paper tissues. If you do try this, I would love to hear about it.

Make the kids sit around in a circle. Give each kids some piece of paper. (You can also use old printed sheets that are no longer used).

 You say : (You Stand inside the circle) . This is how Jesus lives in our hearts. He is in our hearts being the king of our heart.
Ask the kids to crumble or tear the piece of paper in their hands and throw it in the middle of the circle.
(You dodge as the papers hit you. Stand in a little corner of the circle)
You say: These pieces of papers made this circle messy. This is how our heart becomes every time we say a little lie. Every time we steal a little something. Every time we fight with our friend. We keep getting our heart more messy, unless Jesus cannot be the king of our heart.He is pushed to a corner. Until he can no longer live in our hearts. (If you feel the kids can understand, then you can also talk about how God is holy and cannot reside where sin lives)
Give each kid a piece a paper and you can give them time and ask them to write down any thing that they can remember that might have made their heart messy and Jesus sad. Ask them to throws in the messy pile once they are done.
You say : You know what?. God can clean our hearts. Because He died on the cross, he made a way to clean our hearts. 
Lead kids into a time of prayer asking them to ask forgiveness for their sins.
When the kids are closing their eyes, have someone silently remove the messy pile inside the circle so once the kids open their eyes, they see a clean area. Just like their heart.

All God’s Promises won’t let go of me

God’s word is full of His promises. Full of the blessings that He wants us to have. For Jesus indeed came to give life and to give it abundantly. I am going through a phase where I am waiting on the Lord for something and these promises make my heart rejoice. Sharing them with you so you can be blessed too.

Most of the promises in the Bible comes with a commandment to be followed in order to receive that promise. But some times, God chooses to bless us just because of who He is. As our Father and as our Creator, His love for us is unconditional. So remember, you can never earn God’s promises cause He has already given it free. But you can claim it as your own.

  1. (Commandment)If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you,(Promise) you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (John 15:7 NKJV) 

  2. (Commandment v18-20 )You must not fear them,(Promise) for the Lord your God Himself fights for you.’ (Deuteronomy 3:22 NKJV)

  3. (Jesus said to His disciples)“And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.  Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16:23, 24 NKJV)

  4. (Promise)and receive from him anything we ask,(Commandment)because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. (1 John 3:22 NIV)

  5. (Paul writes to those ‘who believe in the name of the Son of God’ v13)This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. (1 John 5:14, 15 NIV)

  6. (Commandment)You will again obey the  Lord  and follow all his commands I am giving you today.  (Promise) Then the  Lord  your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The  Lord  will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, (Deuteronomy 30:8, 9 NIV)

  7. (Commandment)Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the  Lord  Almighty,(Promise) “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.  I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the  Lord  Almighty.  “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the  Lord  Almighty. (Malachi 3:10-12 NIV)