OurFamily-29

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Thank you all for taking the time to read the Part 1 and Part 2 of this series. I am so humbled and in awe of the responses I have received. It brings me so much joy that there are so many mothers, wives and families that truly want to bring up children for the Kingdom of God and be the wives God desires them to be!. Just a quick reminded that Part 3 just like the previous ones are not me teaching, instructing or advising. I have gotten many requests to share our life and this is simply what is it.

Before I dive into Part 3 here are some resources/blogs/sites we truly enjoy and they may be a blessing to your family if you don’t already utilize them. Do you have any you use that I don’t have listed? I would LOVE to hear about them and maybe someone else can be blessed by them, leave them in comments and I will add them to the list!.

  1. http://www.fleita.com/forum/forum.php

-If any of you like to sing in church and don’t have minuses for songs (fonogrami) this is a great site I use when we sing. You just need to create an account, go under fonogrami tab and download what you would like to sing. It’s a fantastic resource, huge thanks to whoever created this site. Most songs are in Russian but they do have a lot of Ukrainian songs.

  1. http://bogoblog.ru/

-This blog is ABSOLUTELY phenomenal; from Christian movies for children and families, to sermons, songs, deep debates and testimonies that get your mind thinking. We absolutely love the blog. We attend a VERY CONSERVATIVE church so it took us a bit to get used to the preachers but wow God has taught us A LOT through these sermons and debates. My favorite to listen to while I’m cooking or baking, I love that I can just pause the debate or testimony and return to it later.

  1. http://radiomv.com/

-If you are not familiar with Radio MV it’s pretty fantastic. We have one in our home and it’s really pretty remarkable. It’s such a great radio for everyday encouragement in Russian. God bless whoever listened to the voice of God and created this fantastic resource. My parents are seriously the cutest. I will call sometimes and dad or mom will pick up and go we will call you as soon as our story is done on Radio MV, click. Haha, thanks mom.

  1. http://www.whitsend.org/

-Adventures in Odyssey. Need I say more? If you are for some reason not acquainted, this is a must!. They have free episodes you can listen to there. I may or may not still listen to this, wink, wink.

  1. http://www.kopilochka.net.ru/

-This is really great site; they have verses (ctuxu), Bible questions, plays, riddles, ideas for Sunday school and so many other wonder resources for Christian families.

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I truly believe we as women have such an impact on the lives of our husbands and children. Men are rather simple to please and most men want their wives happy and live to satisfy their desires. So what are we as wives choosing?

-I choose to Praise and build him up, even when it’s REALLY hard to do so (he is one of a kind, ya like how I just praised him?).

-I choose to set him a pretty table setting everyone once in a while because food just tastes better in a fancy that was (napkins folded fancy, perrtyy glasses and special plates).

-I choose to encourage him, even when I don’t feel like much of an encourager (you can do it love, you can do it!).

-I choose to keep his clothes ironed and cleaned so he always looks neat (I think I need to invest in a steamer!).

-I choose to help him work on his faults and not remind him of how ugly they are (you go girl!).

-I choose to talk positively about him to my friends and family and not spit out venom that is painful (ouch!).

-I choose to have a clean home for him when he comes home (yes, it’s SO much work to keep up with the Hurricane by the name of 5 kids).

-I choose to take time in preparation of a warm and filling meal for him (the guy likes a good meal okay?.).

-I choose to greet him at the door with our kiddos when he comes home so he feels the love and excitement at his arrival (yes and getting out of them pj’s is a great idea, get myself smellin all spiffy oh and don’t forget to brush that hair if you hadn’t had time all day-mama life!).

-I choose to send him notes in his lunch box (well ain’t that so romantic).

-I choose to focus on my husband and children, not on my girlfriends or work (though going out with my girlfriends is very much appreciated).

-I choose to apologize for my actions in front of my children if they saw that ugly behavior of mine (sorry kiddos).

-I choose not to raise my expectations so high he cannot possibly fulfill them (but high enough, right ladies, wink, wink).

-I choose to be supportive when he is spending time in the Word, at church or on the mission field (very proud of him during these moments, like SUPER proud).

-I choose to give in even when it’s not easy (yes, even going on a cruise when I am petrified of being in the middle of the ocean because he has been asking for years).

-I choose with all I have to create such an environment at home that he is saddened to leave an eager to come home to; and not eager to leave and saddened to come home (ain’t that just deep).

-He chooses to show me respect in front of my kids (he’s just so sweet).

-He chooses to praise me even when I don’t deserve it (yes, even those times when in the beginning of our marriage my hideous attempts at fancy meals weren’t exactly umm great, he still ate it; much obliged Sir).

-He chooses to let me pick out the color of our walls (you know you now love them too hon;)..).

-He chooses to go ahead and re-arrange the home as often as needed because that is important to me (he got stuck with a creative person, sorry darling).

-He chooses to go to the kiddos at night when they are crying because he knows I am so exhausted (I may or may not fake exhaustion, so kidding, but a great idea. Ladies don’t get any bad ideas here.).

-He chooses to be supportive (I was petrified to start this Blog and he believed in me; purchased me a fancy camera and made some pretty backdrops for me to work with. Sniff, sniff, so cute.).

-We choose to put each others desires above ours (not easy at all).

-We choose to make peace before we fall asleep so we wake up with peaceful hearts (and stay up as long as it takes to do so).

-We choose communication on a daily basis (this is easy, we both like to talk, as you can see).

-We choose to be wise stewards of our finances and be faithful in giving to God (a favorite of ours, who doesn’t like to count the income?).

-We choose to listen and hear each other (even when secretly I think I should be talking and he listening, ya know what I mean ladies).

-We choose not to talk negatively about the leaders or preachers in church in front of the kids (how can I possibly expect them to listen to them if I do so?)

-We choose that Christ is the center of our home. (Even when things get tough and we feel like we are in a dark tunnel our focal point is Christ’s light at the end of the tunnel. That was a deep stuff, no? I’m beginning to scare myself!).

-We choose the Word of God is our instruction in life. If the manual isn’t clean, we just keep searching because we missed a step somewhere!

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My Time with God-

For me personally, this is the most important time of day. I used to think of my “time” with God in prayer and Bible reading was when I “had time”. Sadly, when I think this way that time can become infrequent and far apart. This will come up, then that will come up, the list will go on and then I realize I haven’t opened God’s word in days!. For me, I have learned not to look at Bible reading as a when I have time but more like Lord, how do I make time today?. Most of the time this is first thing in the morning when the older boys go to school and the little ones are still asleep or once little munchkins are asleep in the evening. If kiddos are napping I want to catch up on as much housework as possible. I cannot fully concentrate and grow if in the back of my mind I know I have dinner that needs to be made, laundry that needs to be folded or ironing that needs doing, etc. Mentally I just want to finish up reading to get to the chore at hand.

I have also found that being consistent in where I read the Bible has helped me as well. I have a really comfortable spot in our living room. There I have my Bible, journal, pens, sticky notes, stickers, etc. and it’s a great reminder on a daily basis to use those materials. My kiddos know why they are there and I believe it’s powerful that they know mama reads her Bible there and it’s a vital part of her day. I like to be creative when I am reading and for those of you that have a hard time making yourself read maybe this will help you as well. I keep a journal where I jot down verses that stand out to me during my reading, or when God opens sometime new to me. In this journal, I also doodle, have stickers and kids’ pretty stick figure drawings that I glue there. When I read their notes to me and all their cute drawings, they really motivate me. Yes, even those drawing that need an explanation because the stick figures are rather hideous but my 3 years old drew them and they are dated and kept in there. My older boys make notes and drawing and I really enjoy having some of them in there. (Yes, I am that mom that keeps all of their crafts, drawing, and notes they have made over the years.)

I have also found that following a Read the Bible in a Year outline is really helpful. It helps me stay on track and I know where I need to be on a given day. If I had something that came up and was unable to read one day, I can quickly catch up and get back on track.

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Create in me a clean heart, O Lord-

When writing this series I titled it “As for Me and My House” because there is SO much truth in this sentence. Did you notice it doesn’t say my spouse then I? Nor does it say my family as a whole? It clearly states ME first. I must first serve the Lord. This is powerful! How can I show my children kindness when it is foreign to me? How can I show my children the fruit of the spirit and expect them to possess it when I do not express love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness and faithfulness? What amazes me, even more, is this verse doesn’t say “fruits” of the spirit, meaning I cannot apply one or two and say I bring forth fruit of the spirit. The verse says “fruit” of the Spirit which means I as a wife and mother must strive to possess all of them. No matter how hard I try to love, I cannot give love because God is love. He alone can give me His love and create in me a heart that of these attributes. How can I practice long-suffering if I am a mere human and don’t have this ability; through Christ and in Christ alone will I have these characteristics. Create in me a clean heart, O Lord!

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On the same page-

I was raised in a Christian family with 10 siblings; my husband was an only child. I heard about God all of my life; my husband came to Christ shortly before we were married. Can you just imagine these two worlds coming together? It’s like the beginning of a bad joke. What sounded like a terrible union of two paths actually worked to our advantage. There are many topics the Bible isn’t really black and white about. It was in these moments we really needed to set aside how we were raised and find what the Bible truly says. So many times my husband and I would have a question and we would search the Bible and pray yet there was no clear answer. Then we search and pray again and still no answer. We would go to church Sunday and the brother at the pulpit would preach about our exact situation and a Biblical solution for, we just overlooked it. I truly believe we as believers can really learn from each other as well. There are families in our lives that have children a little older than ours and are great examples to us. We had no problem asking other families for advice; how do you do this in your family or that. Sometimes their ideas or advice would be something we would have NEVER thought of alone. We would call around for answers and then make a final decision on what will work for our family; weighing all of the pros and cons. Many times we feel as if going to someone for advice is a sign of weakness but the Bible says “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. Prov 12:15”. Even to this day in hard situations we will still ask our parents and others for advice, pray hard, search the Word of God and then make a final decision.

Same goes with disciplining children. We were raised COMPLETELY different. Most of our decisions were made after talking like A LOT, praying, fasting, asking others for advice, searching the Scripture and finally deciding.

There were very few but some situations where we just could not agree upon and Col 3:18 was the way out; “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands.” I pray for my husband daily and I as a wife trust that God will give him the wisdom to make the final decision and take responsibility for it. Does that mean if his decision was a fail I have the right to rub it in his face? Absolutely NOT!.

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Honor your parents-

Eph 6:2 says: “Honor your Father and Mother”. I think many of us when reading this want to add an “until you are married” to the ending of this sentence. After I am married I still need to call my parent’s frequently to see how they are doing. I should take them to their appointments. I try to bake something and take over there and honor them every way possible. And here is the kicker if I do that for my parent’s how do I have a right not to do that to my husband’s parents? They gave him life and THANKS to them I have this incredible spouse. I need to call them too to see how they are doing; I should be observant of their needs. I should bake or cook something and take over there and have them over at our home. Regardless of our differences, I need to do what is possible so there is love and respect from my side. If I purchase my mother a Birthday gift for $100 dollar and take the time to wrap it and make sure it’s delivered in time then I should do the same with my mother-in-law.

Sometimes, husbands tend to ‘forget’ to call their parents or go visit and we as wives were given this gift of being able to influence them. A gentle reminder of honey when did you last call your dad/mom, please don’t forget to do so. Sweetheart, you haven’t gone to visit your mom and dad in a while; here, I baked a cake, go visit them and enjoy each others company. Is this always easy? I will be the first one to tell you no! But it’s very doable! {I have a really wise friend and she says her hubby barely every calls his parents. So she will dial their number and give him the phone, lol. Yes, a bit sad on his part but what a great woman on hers, and she never takes credit for it!.}

From day one we make a commitment to try and not disrespect each other’s families. When there are times something needs brought up we both try to do it with meekness, gentleness, kindness so as not to hurt each other. We try to keep in account that these people are the dearest to us so we don’t hurt or harm each other with our words that will then require a healing process.

Our children see this respect for both sides of parents. They see their daddy and mommy treat both parents with EQUAL respect and I pray with all my heart they will do the same with us. But if all they hear is me putting down my in-laws or my husband put down his, what can I expect from them when they are married? I can only imagine the pain of raising my boys, them marrying and their wives speak negatively about us, rarely inviting us over or visiting us. It’s a blow I don’t think any parent ever wants to feel yet at times we (especially us wives with our fancy tongues) may mistreat our in-laws.

He is the Leader-

I was at my mom’s with my munchkins not too long ago on my way to pick our boys from school. My mom knows I am rather strict with the kids’ sugar intake and Elizabeth saw candy and said “grandma can I please have one” and my mom replied, “you ask to ask your mom; she’s the boss”. My daughter stops in her tracks and says “mom’s not the boss, dad is” and looks at her as if how dare you to think that! I cannot describe the emotions that stirred in me. Not because I felt belittled by my daughter, no, not at all, but because they see our lifestyle and at the age of four she knows daddy is the leader in our home. Many women fight for equality and true Christ shed the same blood for all mankind, no need to treat the wife as a rag. So why do I feel it so important that our children know daddy is the leader? Not only is that what the Bible teaches but Christ’s example is outstanding. Jesus was present during Creation, He was God yet came down to this filthy world and became a man. During his ministry we see Him referring to God most of the time, “As my father sent me”, “May Your will be done and Phil 2:8 say “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death– even death on a cross”. If Jesus, being a perfect man, showed us this perfect example of his humbleness and obedience to God, how can I possibly think of doing otherwise with my husband?

And this my dearest friends wraps up the As for Me and My House series! Thank you for being with us. Now that you know just about everything about us, I would so love to hear your stories.

~Please share the adorable things your hubby does for you, or how great of a wife he has.

~What are some of the ideas you do as a couple to keep a marriage that is enjoyable to both? We are always open for ideas!.

-What do you find hardest in being a wife after God’s heart? And anything else you would love to share!

Your comments mean so much!! Thank you, dear sisters and friends! A special thanks to my Prayer Worriers who have been praying for this series with me, May God bless you, your loved ones and Reward You!.