Pre-challenge smackerel

Just like Pooh Bear, we too have been known to enjoy a pre-breakfast smackerel, or a pre-lunch smackerel. (Or a pre-school smackerel, not to be confused with a smackerel for a pre-schooler) We just like to make certain we grab as much out of life as we can, around this here Clark house. So, today, I’m going to invite you to a pre-challenge smackerel – that you might grab as much as you can from this challenge.

Dear, dear, very treasured sisters (and I mean this most sincerely) the smackerel I want to share with you is my testimony – and my heart for you regarding this challenge. I pray it will be sweet in your mouth and will seem like a blessing, rather than a drag. (Cause somebody on this blog has been ranting about people dragging others down!) πŸ˜‰

When I met Jeff I owned a shirt that had a fish on a bicycle. It said, “A woman need a man, like a fish needs a bicycle.” Does that give you any indication of how I viewed submission? I saw it as the beginning of losing my very essence – of giving away all that made me ME and all that made me strong. (DUH – only weak women are submissive doormats, don’t ya know?!!) πŸ™„

Father met me in my living room, in my prayer closet and confronted me for my lack of submission to Jeff. I was livid. I loved the Lord – my prayer time was life and breath to my day – but I was ticked! “Ok, Lord, so when he asks like a jerk, just who is going to defend me?” I demanded. “I will” was His quiet and loving answer. (I kept my prayer journal from that time, because it’s so funny to see what the Lord did in and to my heart. The day He addressed my sin, I was so angry, I had my prayer time – writing in my journal no less – pacing and stomping around the living room….and my journal record for that day looks very much like it! πŸ˜† )

Since that moment, Father has been teaching me what it means to submit to my husband. Do I do it well? I am not certain – you’d need to ask him. I know Father is quick to show me when I’m not….whether I am quick to repent and seek His and Jeff’s forgiveness is an entirely different matter altogether.

BUT, I say this, because I went to the Word to learn what it means to submit, not to my church or other leaders. I would take what I read and pray it through, until the Lord explained what that meant for our marriage. I have prayed, for many years now, that the Lord would make me the perfect helpmeet for Jeff. He has been faithful to do this. I am regularly amazed at the things that I just thoroughly enjoy now because they are Jeff’s pleasures, that I used to hate. (FOOTBALL being the first one to come to mind and SNOW being the second!!!) The Lord has delighted in making these changes in me – and they have been painless for me – just for Jeff’s enjoyment.

About 5 years ago, the Lord began a new work in my heart in regards to submission. He began to teach me that to tolerate Jeff’s sin was not submission. In fact, it wasn’t even loving. He showed me that THE MOST loving thing I can do for Jeff is to prayerfully seek to see him walk in fullness with his Lord. When there is sin that is resident in his life, he is not able to do that. So, Father taught me how to address sin in my husband, in a way that is honoring to both Jeff and the Lord.

I share this because I have been told, by many sources, that this type of loving confrontation is antithetical to submission. Neither Jeff nor I have not found this to be so, BUT, if this is not something that the Lord has laid on your heart, then you need to know where I am coming from. If you are uncomfortable in considering that encouragement MIGHT mean lovingly and honoringly confronting sin, then I understand totally and would bless you and heartily encourage you to consider finding someone else to walk this challenge out with. I would send you out in love with many blessings, praying that you would find the perfect “team” to do this with.

If you are not uncomfortable with this, I will then tell you, I have told Jeff I’m taking this challenge on. We’ve discussed it several times and he was eager for me to share with you that saying nothing negative is not equal to ignoring sin. He will be giving his input about this challenge as we go along – and (sigh…) I will be reporting honestly (…bigger sigh) on how I’m doing.

(Side note here, I don’t have any hesitation into entering into this, as I want my husband to know how very much I treasure him and what evidence of Grace he is in my life! I embrace, with joy, that opportunity. It’s being made aware of the carelessness of my words that I am cringing from. I fear there are too many times I say things, without thinking, that damage or wound him. That, I will CHOOSE to embrace, but will have to work up to the joy part.) πŸ™‚

So, my pre-challenge challenge is for you to spend some time in prayer – seeking Father, to make certain this is the place that will serve you best for this challenge. See, not too tough, huh? πŸ™‚

All that said, – Let the encouraging begin!!! πŸ˜€

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Comments
5 Responses to “Pre-challenge smackerel”
  1. Oh, Dawn, I soooo need to take this challenge with you! I am quick to tell anyone that will listen that second only to dying for my sins, God showed His love for me by choosing John to be my husband. I love and respect him so much! So why is it that my flesh is so quick to lash out at the slightest irritation? He told me this morning that he’s just learned to leave me alone until a certain time in the morning. WHAT????!!!! This is not the person I signed up to be….This is not the person I want to be! My head knows what is right…my heart needs to fall in line!

  2. lazy_linx says:

    Happy new year Dawn
    ~ Lazy_linx ~

  3. javadawn says:

    Thank you dear Lovely Linx, same to you my dear!

    udh, You know, sometimes I think it isn’t even a matter of my mind and my heart lining up – I think it’s a whole lot more of my brain kicking in and being attentive to the things I say. I simply am amazed at how some of my words come out. πŸ™„

  4. Exactly! It’s almost like I’m on autopilot! If I were consciously thinking before these words popped out, I would know better! You know one of our pastors once said, “Thinking is hard work. That is why most people don’t do it.” Wow, am I ever so busted on that one! I’ve been doing better today, which is kind of surprising since I can’t remember the last full night of sleep I had.

  5. javadawn says:

    Ditto! (Not just the lack of clear thought, but the lack of sleep, too.)

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