Treasure in an Old Desk Drawer

Last week I was looking through the drawers of an old desk in our den that has become a catch-all of sorts through the years. Maybe you have one of those, too. It’s where you stick everything you really want to keep but have no time to file. I was searching for a picture of our house the year we bought it so that I could work it into a decoupage of our many years here. Ultimately, I found the picture elsewhere but I stumbled on a treasure while rummaging around in that drawer that sent me into a tailspin of memories.

First, the back-story because I bet some of you can relate.

I well remember being in the throes of family life and wondering from season to season whether or not we’d even make it. Or, if we made it, would we be glad we did?? Life is hard as it is. It’s even harder when two people have as many problems as we did. Both Keith and I brought heaps of issues into our marriage. Some we fell victim to. Some we inherited. Some we created. Some we earned through our own sinfulness and stubbornness. Some we passed right on to our beloved children, God forgive us. Like many of you, the odds were stacked against us and I knew – I’m saying I absolutely KNEW – that Jesus was the only way we were going to make it. Furthermore, He was not likely to do it without us.

The quandary was how we were going to head a certain direction if my man didn’t necessarily want to take the lead. What happens, sisters, when you (who are moms) feel strongly that your children need to be led a certain strong (Biblical) direction but you do not want to usurp your husband? And he’s not feeling so led? Even as I pose that question, I know full well that our simple blog format is not big enough to come up with crystal-clear, no-fail answers to those loaded questions. Yet, it’s part of our family story and a part my man does not mind me sharing. He’s never been much for bull. Or pretense, if you like that word better. Keith walked the aisle as a public profession of faith and was baptized right before we got engaged and, as clearly as I knew, that’s all that mattered. That might explain the timing. Grin. It was real. But it was also a prerequisite.

My man is a believer in Jesus Christ. He bears fruit of the Holy Spirit’s activity. He has often prayed over me and over our family with a power that left me bug-eyed and bereft of natural explanation. But he has still been very much his own man with his own idea of how he wanted to practice his faith. He was a maverick. He’s still a maverick. The harder you push him, the slower he goes. He sets his own pace or he walks alone. He is also God’s chosen man for me…and my chosen man before God. I cannot imagine my life without the likes of Ivan Keith Moore.

Rewind 15 or so years to those days when we had young adolescents under our roof who not only needed human direction (which both parents gave), they needed divine intervention. So did their parents, and in the worst way.

I did lots of reading in those days just like I do now. I’d read about how many godly homes practiced what they called a “family altar time.” They prayed together on a regular basis and maybe the parents even led in a family devotion. We didn’t do anything like that except when we were in a full-on crisis. (I am so thankful that we did it then, needless to say. I don’t want to be harder on us than our history really calls for.) We did a little more moderate version of “the family that prays together stays together.” Keith and I prayed at mealtime with our kids and, then, on numerous other occasions when something called for an extra measure of attention. I guess one of the most spiritual things we did along the way was simply ask for forgiveness when we were idiots to them or in front of them.

I’d long-since been practicing a morning quiet time and certainly prayed for my family members then but I knew that the greater victory in our family was somehow going to involve all of us…some how, on some level. I’d learned through the years that guilt-tripping your husband into spiritual leadership wasn’t going to bear much fruit or last over the long haul. And let me just go ahead and say the embarrassingly obvious. Would the man ever have done it consistently like I thought it should be done???? Could he have lived up to whatever expectation I had? I assure you, this man got more than he bargained for when he married. He had not signed up for all of this.

So, what was a woman to do?

I was stuck on the whole family altar thing. I’d convinced myself that it was the key. (I’m not saying it was. I’m just saying that I believed to the bone that it was.) “Family altar” was the buzz phrase of all the families that seemed to be doing it right. (It’s interesting how spiritual terms have fads, isn’t it?)  So I figured out how we could have an adaptable experience without Keith being forced to take charge of it or me taking authority over him in the eyes of my children (or, as importantly, in his own eyes).

I got an idea.

I set up a little altar area on the hearth in our den. It had a journal for recording any prayer requests that members of our family wanted to share. It was solid gold to me. Sometimes they’d write “unspoken” and you know what that does to a nosy mother. What they didn’t realize is that, most of the time, Mom had already figured out that “unspoken” request. I also set out an age-appropriate devotional book on the hearth.Here is a picture of our makeshift “family altar.” The only reason I have this picture is because our dogs loved to lay on the cushion that I’d set out. We used to say they were having their quiet times.

I also got up earlier than the rest of the household in the morning and chose a verse for that day for our family. Most often I’d select it from my own time with God but sometimes circumstances dictated the choice. I’d write the Scripture with a Sharpie on an index card then lay it out on the altar. Everybody in our family was invited to kneel at that altar one at a time when they first got up in the morning. (Well, OK, only Keith was really “invited.” The girls were strongly urged. As their mother, I could full well take that authority over them.) After they read the verse, they were asked to sign the index card.

So, this is what I found the other day in that old desk drawer: Scripture card after Scripture card after Scripture card after Scripture card.

Some of them were signed by all four of us:

It was okay to be a little silly and even throw in an occasional nickname. Keith alone knows why he tagged Amanda as “Rooter” when she was a little kid. Most of our nicknames have morphed into much weirder tags in recent years.

A number of times Keith opted out and that had to be fine, too.We weren’t his boss.

On occasion, it would just be two of us:

Or another two of us:

Sometimes I’d add a little extra encouragement because it would break my heart wide-open with love to see those young teenage girls taking their turns at that altar in their jammies.

One girl obviously didn’t get to see that encouragement that morning.Laughing. I love them both so much.

It was a very imperfect shot at the whole thing. In fact, I can’t convey strongly enough that I hope you’ll receive this only as a simple short story in the lives of God and a family of four Moores. It’s not meant to be an example of a discipline you should take up. It was too messy to turn into a science. It’s just what worked for a season for us. We still made it on the grace of God alone.

I glance back over my shoulder at those turbulent years and recall a home bulging with hormones and woes, fears and foes, maybe too many yeses and not enough nos. Like every woman, I wish I could cut and paste our family story into all that sparkles and nothing that stinks. Like most women, there are a few things I wish I could blot out. Maybe more than most women, I have some sizable regrets. But, that day last week when I went looking for a photograph in that old desk drawer, I found a whole handful of our family life, held it close to my heart, and remembered.

Deuteronomy 4:23 “Be careful not to forget…”

1 Chronicles 16:12 “Remember the wonders He has done…”

 

 

 

 

 

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426 Responses to “Treasure in an Old Desk Drawer”

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Comments:

  1. 101
    LisaH says:

    My hubby is a maverick as well. And while I think that I know better how he should practice his faith, all I’m truly doing is pushing him away. Thank you Beth for helping me to be thankful that my husband prays with me at night & before meals. As for the rest…..I’ll pray for God to work in him ;o)

  2. 102
    Andrea says:

    Thanks, Beth. I needed that today 🙂

  3. 103
    Cara says:

    Thank you for sharing this story today. There is some encouragement in knowing that so many other wives and families have the same struggles.

    As you said this blog format is not big enough to answer the questions you posed but they are ones I struggle with daily and would so love to hear from someone who has walked that path. How do we as wives lead without leading because the one who should be leading doesn’t? Or if he is leading it is drastically different than the path you want to head down.

    • 103.1
      Sarah Stinnett says:

      Girl – I would really encourage you to get a book called daughters of sarah by Genevieve white. It really challenges you to be the wife God calls you to be and trust Him to handle your husband. My husband is not a believer so God has really had to line me out that he is still the head of this household and I just have to be obediant to God and actively live my faith and God will handle the rest.

      • Cara says:

        Sarah- thank you for sharing your story with me. Mine is similar and I will look for that book and check it out.

  4. 104
    Tammy says:

    Beth,

    Wow! That entry was exactly what I needed to hear from Him today. As always your obedient and honest heart God uses to bless others. Thank you for sharing.God brought you and your family to my mind during this mornings quiet time and I lifted you up in prayer. Love to you!

  5. 105
    Cathy S. says:

    I think you are talking about my husband. Love it, “the more I push, the slower he gets.”

    In his sermon on Father’s Day, our pastor urged parents to pray with their children every night. He said, “Even if all you can come up with is, ‘Please God, let this child sleep all through the night tonight!'” Cracked me up. Those days are long gone for me, but I still remember.

  6. 106
    Elisabeth says:

    THANK YOU for sharing this. My heart smiles that you’d be excited to get on here & tell us about it. This really really tickled me! And thank you for being so honest about how messy things can be. Someday when I have the family I ache for & am in a hard season I will remember all the things you’ve shared over the years & know it’s okay to be messy:) I love ya.

  7. 107
    Angie Call says:

    Really blessed my heart to read this, I think what i love most about you is that you are so real, and you are not afraid to tell it like it is. It helps me and reminds me that people are not perfect and so that means families won’t be either. Again thank you for your honesty.

  8. 108
    laurie~ leakey, tx says:

    oh, beth – what a wonderful way to incorporate prayer and scripture into your home without making it all weird! i grew up in a home with “sunday christian” parents. we went to church every time the doors were open, but at home we never prayed together or looked at the bible together. and really..the only time i heard anything about Jesus or God was in a sentence something like ” youre supposed to be a christian, God doesnt like it when you….” hm.
    i do recall a couple of times my parents gathering us all in the livingroom and announcing “devotional time” – it was always a one-time thing. dont get me wrong, my parents were great – i just think they didnt know how to bring it all together! and i find myself in the same situation sometimes – where do i start? how do i begin?
    the idea of setting up an area of the home as an alter…allowing private time for each person.. (private not secret) is brilliant. clearly that idea came straight from God, sister! so glad you listened!
    ill be taking my cue from you 😉 love you!!

  9. 109
    Elizabeth says:

    Beth, I often think we not only share the same first name and are the same age but the same marriage stories! I too am married to an untamed, wild at heart, man’s man. We too both came into marriage with baggage. I’ve sent 35 years trying to domesticate him into the man of God, husband, dad, and yes, pastor, that I think he should be. My idea of family life was very different than his, and I continually thought he should be different and do it different. Continually God has to remind me to keep my hands off of His vessel, that I am not the Potter. My responsibility is to pray “Lord Change Me”, not “Lord Change Him”. Thanks so much for this post, and the reminder of God’s faithfulness. We have three daughters, all in love with Jesus, and in full time ministry. Isn’t God’s grace amazing!

    • 109.1
      Toni says:

      I love this quote “you are not the potter”, that is so true and important for us to know that it is not our job to change other people, especially our spouses. Thank you for sharing.

  10. 110
    Cheri-Beri says:

    BETH!! Thank you so much for sharing this. You also talked about it in a bible study that I attended years ago. I am going to implement it for this summer. My kids are homeschooled and are – for lack of a better word – lambasted with Bible reading, doctrine reading, etc., during the school year. This will be perfect for summer . . . . thank you!!!

  11. 111
    Linda says:

    Sounds so much like our family, only I never thought of putting a scripture down for all to see. Wonderful! I led our girls with a devotion each morning (or they read it) and we sang the same hymn for a week and then changed to a different one the next week. You do what the Lord leads you to do, and trust Him with the rest! My husband is very disciplined with his quiet time now and we love to talk about so many truths now. It is wonderful how God answered my prayers in that arena.

    I tried a prayer request booklet a few years ago that I left on the counter for anyone to add their prayers. Our daughter put silly requests and comments in there. Cracked us up!

  12. 112
    Dawn says:

    Love your honesty sooooo much! Bless you Beth!!!!!!

  13. 113
    Melissa says:

    Thank you for sharing that! My husband (29) and I (26) just celebrated our fourth anniversary and we sound a LOT like ya’ll did when you were young. So glad to know that we are “normal” and other people have dealt with the same issues we are dealing with. Thanks for the encouragement! Love hearing about every day life at the Moore household =)

  14. 114
    Happy Heart says:

    Oh, He is the only way any of us survive. I felt the same strong impression regarding “the family alter.” We ended up piling on our bed right before bedtime and reading 1 or 2 scripture together with a short prayer time. I have no doubt (even with the rolling of eyes) God has used this greatly in my teenagers hearts maybe even saved them from all out rebellion.

    Thanks for sharing your heart today! I just might steal this idea for the next scool year. We love you so!

  15. 115
    Diane Bailey says:

    Oh, how I needed to hear those words today. I am dealing with a family member today that has so many issues and addictions. I love him so much, but I cannot control him. The Word of God was placed in him long ago, and it cannot return void. My prayer for him, each day, is for God to return to him the joy of his salvation, and to activate the Word of God that is in him, for it cannot return to God without accomplishing what it was sent to do.

    In the Vine,

    Di

  16. 116
    OceanMommy says:

    I LOVE this!! I have been thinking about how to start something similar this school year. (New things for our family begin this school year!) I think I may take this and morph it into something specific for our family.

    Blessings!

    Steph!
    (Oh, my mom and my youngest daughter LOVED Deeper Still. What a treat to sit w/ them especially during your teaching time. Emma is still talking about being a Timothy. She wants to change the title Timothy to “Tina” since she’s a girl…Lord help me.)

  17. 117
    FloridaLizzie says:

    I really, really loved that post, Beth, as well as the crazy way that God can take any family, messed up as we are, and work in us, through us, and despite us. The beauty of the story is that both your daughters love the Lord, have Christian husbands, and are living for God despite the lack of what you “thought” was the right idea of a family altar. I love the picture of the dog getting up from her “quiet time!”

    We were a family who had family devotions almost every night, memorized new Scripture every week, and had a system to review the old Scriptures all through our son’s life. I homeschooled our son, daily pouring God’s truth into him, and tried to live close to God in all of life’s ups and downs. My husband and I aren’t perfect by any means, but we sure tried to show our love for Christ every day. And for those who are reading, wishing they had that, and feeling sure that would guarantee success, our dear son is grown and NOT particularly close to God. He’s not a million miles away from God either, but in his work, his dating relationships, and his hobbies, let’s just say that we pray this is not as good as it gets! We love him and hope God is building his testimony right now!

    All this is just to say that the goal of worship is not to get “results.” We have to leave that up to God. My parents never had devotions with us, but my sisters and I grew up to have a strong love for God. My husband is the only believer in his whole family, so he didn’t learn it at home either. It’s good to remember that we worship God because He is worthy, and not because it’s a formula to make our kids turn out right. Or our husbands! I loved reading this post, and hope all the readers who are wringing their hands about not doing enough will trust God to bless whatever is going on in their homes. If He can make a feast out of 5 loaves and 2 fish, surely He can bless and multiply whatever you offer Him in your homes and families. He can work in spite of your deficiencies or your perfectly laid plans. But no matter what, He is good.

    • 117.1
      Linda says:

      FloridaLizzie,
      Thank you so much for the sentence about building your son’s TESTIMONY right now. My son is wrestling with his faith right now and that really helped me to maybe see the good that could come out of this really hard time as a parent.

    • 117.2
      Erin Williams says:

      I LOVE what you wrote about worshipping God because He is worthy and not because it is a formula to make our family turn out a certain way. What a great word!! Thank you!

    • 117.3
      Mary says:

      Dear Lizzie:
      What a powerful, tactful reminder: the goal of worship is not to get “results. … we worship God because He is worthy, and not because it’s a formula to make our kids turn out right. Or our husbands!”

      Your wise words give me great comfort, and great hope. Thank you so very much,
      Mary

    • 117.4
      Yanna Westmoreland says:

      FloridaLizzie, thank you for your words. God is so good.

    • 117.5
      Mindy, Granger, IN says:

      Thank you! You spoke truth to my heart:)

  18. 118
    Lisa Boonyasith says:

    Thank you so much for sharing that. As a mom in the throws of it all with a marriage head on in the process of healing, I needed the encouragement. And the reminder~ He really is so faithful to a thousand generations of those who love Him..

  19. 119
    Christine says:

    Are you kidding me?!?!! I’m married to that man too!! Well, a different man, but you know what I mean! This is such an encouragement, Beth! Truly it is. This part especially jumped off the screen…

    “My man is a believer in Jesus Christ. He bears fruit of the Holy Spirit’s activity… But he has still been very much his own man with his own idea of how he wanted to practice his faith. He was a maverick. He’s still a maverick. The harder you push him, the slower he goes. He sets his own pace or he walks alone. He is also God’s chosen man for me…and my chosen man before God.”

    I gave up a long time ago caring about whether our family looked and acted the part of “the proper Christian family”, whatever that looks like! But I still struggle with the idea that my beloved and I practice our faiths in such very different ways. I know without a doubt we are together beacuse God put us together…our story leaves absolutely doubt about that fact in either of our minds. I cannot imagine my life without the likes of my dear husband either. But truly, I’m still intrigued, 13 years down the road, to see where all this is going, because we are two very different practitioners of the same faith!! I struggle with that, pretty much daily, and to read your words were such a huge encouragement! Love you for it – thank you!!

  20. 120
    April says:

    Beth,
    Thank you so much for sharing this. I really needed to hear you’ve been down a similar path as I am currently on. As a 30 something year old mom to 2 precious boys – almost 3, and 5 in September. But there are days, they are precious, and other days, I wonder “WHO’S KIDS ARE THESE?!” My daily life sometimes seems like a never ending battle. I wonder at times, “Will we ever make it?” “What in the world are these boys really picking up on?” “Are they noting, every.single.flaw?!” “Did they hear that last argument?” “Do they think that we hate each other at times?”

    Life is so hard. And it’s even harder when you have two little ones who are watching and mimicking every.single.thing.you.do! But I am so incredibly grateful that my boys LOVE to pray! There is no going to bed without prayer in this house. It just tears at my heart that they love it so much.

    I’m currently doing Tammie Head’s “Duty or Delight” I can not thank you enough for introducing us to her. Chapter one I just bawled my eyes out, because I believe so many lies about how I have to perform and what a Christian “looks” like.

    Again, thank you Beth! <3

    • 120.1
      Bethany says:

      April,
      I had to reply to you and let you know that I think we are twins. What is it about us that needs to know someone else is in our position and we aren’t alone. I read your response and thought…this is my twin. Although I have 3 kids…3, 5 and 8…our stories are similar. Even to the point that I am also doing the Duty or Delight study. I don’t know you at all but I am going to pray for you and your family. As I am praying for myself and all the stuff we go through I am going to ask God to bless April.

      Many Blessings
      Bethany

  21. 121
    Cindy says:

    Thank you so much! What a bright light in my day today! We do the nightly devo and prayer all together and have since my kids could sit up. (they are now 11 and 8) We have hit a bump in our family though and this will be a good push. Thanks for reminding us that life can get ugly but it can be pretty again!

  22. 122
    Lynn at Barksdale AFB, LA says:

    That is the most precious post, I had to read it twice! Thank you for sharing with us all, what a blessing.

  23. 123
    Judy B says:

    I remember your sharing this “practice” in our SS class while your family was doing it. And I had been at a small group meeting at your home and could picture the “altar”.
    It was nice to read your perspective on it today. I appreciate your sharing your life experiences which are so real.

  24. 124
    Pat says:

    I am struggling with the same thing. I have handled it by praying for the Lord’s direction and help. I love my husband and he is a believer, but we’re at different places in our walk with the Lord. He is much more private in his faith, and with most things, as well. I had heard once on a Christian radio station, a minister state that we should obey our husbands, unless it is something that is clearly wrong in the Bible. That our first responsibility is to obey God, so if God says it’s wrong, then we should not do it. I follow my husband’s lead, unless it is something that is clearly wrong in the Bible. And, when no spiritual direction is occuring from my man, I provide it for my family in a low-key manner. I try to provide an example of a Godly mom, while also reinforcing respect for my husband and his leadership in our home. Something I read really helped me, from “Bedside Blessings” devotiional by Charles R.Swindoll. For October 8, he wrote, “A wife is not responsible for her husband’s life. She is responsible for her life. You cannot make your husband something he is not. Only God can.” A sense of relief swept over me. It is God’s responsibility.

  25. 125
    Kristin A. says:

    Thank you, Mama Siesta, for sharing that with us today and the dose of encouragement that came with it. My hubby believes in the Lord, is baptized, attends church, loves and supports our kids going to Sunday School and VBS…but like Keith, isn’t going to lead us in family prayer time or lead a devotional or anything “like that”. I am sure there are many experiencing the same. I remember you mentioned your morning note card routine previously (maybe in your videos for Fruit of the Spirit?), what a treasure that you have found them!

    Kristin
    Renton, WA

  26. 126
    Joyce Watson says:

    Sometimes, I still wonder how my husband, Gordon and I made it through with twin boys. I sure did not handle things as well as he did. My insecure ways and low self-esteem did not help any. Gordon helped me during those hard times of changing diapers, helping feed and so much more. Bless his heart, he was in the army then and had to get up early_it took both of us.
    We both have tried to bring our boys up in a Christian home. We read Bible stories, prayed and listen to music videos or tapes. They are in college now. The Lord has blessed them this year. They are helping at church camp and going on a mission trip to Rangerville Baptist Church in Harligon, Texas.

    I wrote things down also and still do.

    Do other mother’s struggle as I do, Lord
    Is their day filled with little voices that call “Mama”
    every few minutes during the day?
    Is Winnie the Pooh, Barney and cartoons apart of their day?
    And do other mother’s see those little faces light up when
    they are so anxious to share something they made at school?
    Do they share in things like reading, playing games and prayer at night?
    Do they enjoy warm, wonderful hugs that make their morning so bright, even while they are half-asleep?
    God bless my children in a special way,
    Those little eyes that watch everything I do,
    Help them keep their eyes on You.
    Those little hands and arms,
    Help them not to push or shove
    But help them reach out to others in love.
    Those little hearts that are so very tender,
    Help them be filled with Your Holy Word.
    Those little feet that like to run and play,
    Help them to follow You everyday.
    Those little children, I love so dearly
    Hold them tight
    Keep them from Satan with all your might.
    And when I make mistakes,
    I raise my voice or I am unkind,
    Take me too, Lord in Your arms
    Give me the strength to be more like You.
    Help me to do no harm, but give You the glory
    How do other mother’s do it, Lord
    Not without You
    Help me raise my children for You. ~joyce~
    (sorry if this is long)

  27. 127
    Kelly says:

    Wow. Your honesty lifted me in a moment of need today. Thank you

  28. 128
    Celeste says:

    Thanks so much Beth for digging in that old desk drawer to see these old scripture cards surface! What a fantastic idea to implement…I am in those teenage years and this is a way for my teens to at least get a “bite” of God’s Word sometime throughout the day if they don’t read their Bible.
    And thank you for being so “real” about the struggles you experienced. I know I struggle with the very same things today. Guess my family is “normal” after all!!

    God’s grace is abundant!

  29. 129

    Thank you for sharing your “desk drawer treasures”…sweet memories…I’m resting in Jesus, thanking Him for how He is working in my family’s lives…I love this Scripture from Habakkuk 2:3 in The Living Bible–“But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!”

  30. 130
    Amy Beth says:

    Today was my hardest day yet as a single foster mama. It’s hard every single day (I have three foster kids — 3 years, 14 years and 17 years) but today? Today was the hardest. Even worse, it wasn’t just the kids; I snapped at one of them and spoke so rudely and harshly to her. And all I could think about was how I wish I could call my mother and have her tell me it gets better, that it is worth it, that I am not going to lose my mind as I try to do what God has asked me to do.

    Some of us don’t take it lightly when you call yourself our mother, you know. Sometimes it means more to us than you know because, sometimes, you really are our mother.

    • 130.1
      Yannna Westmoreland says:

      Amy Beth, today, may the LORD cover you with His feathers and under His wings you find refuge, I am thankful His faithfulness is before you as a shield and rampart as you face being a single mom to foster children. (Pslam 91:4). My heart went out to you. Thank you for serving God and children like you do. I am adding you to my prayer list.

  31. 131
    Sarah says:

    Refreshing honesty! Thank you “Moore” household!!

  32. 132
    Missy S says:

    Oh, Beth, ever since I read about your “family altar time” in Feathers from My Nest (or was it Things Pondered?) I have brainstormed about how my husband and I could make that tradition our own one day when we have children. So, needless to say, I’m tickled to see actual pictures of the cards! And, as God would have it, I just happened to do Week 2, Day 3 of The Patriarchs today, where you talk about “Keith the impossible vessel [becoming] God’s miraculous ‘how.'” What a beautiful testimony your marriage is to us – all the more beautiful because it is real, rather than feigned perfection! I am thankful for your example of godly submission, and I’m thankful that you have a “Maverick” for a husband! It certainly makes the stories in Siestaville all the more entertaining!

    (And, incidentally, I think my Dad and your Maverick might be kindred spirits. Only, they might rather die than be referred to as kindred spirits! Haha!)

  33. 133
    Beth Moss says:

    Beth ~
    This subject resounds with force in my heart! It has been a source of contention in my home over the years…pain to both my husband and I.

    The interesting part is… a couple of months ago I would have only identified the pain in my own heart.

    In May after celebrating 27 years of marriage together and walking through some fiery trials over the last 5 years, we found ourselves at an impasse with each other that was beyond our best efforts of solving. We were given the gift of a two week intensive for our marriage. We had endless hours together in a foreign state and with a man of God with wise counsel.

    I learned so much of my own blindness. I too am married to a man that in turn both amazes and exasperates me! When you speak of Keith, the correlations to my own husband often astound me…. I say this all just for this comment….

    To finally hear my husbands deep heart for God and his deep need to worship his Savior in a way that is real for him without judgement or condemnation from me or others will forever be branded on my heart.

    I’m not trying to address the challenge of doing it with the family…as in having a family alter…I’m simply addressing the circumstances of having a husband you know is a believer but is not willing to do his spiritual leadership in the way we envision it to be done. I think there is a very important step of deep respect and encouragement towards them and their relationship with the Lord and then faithfully covering the rest of it in prayer and quietness.

    If an unbelieving man can be sanctified with a believing wife without her saying a word (as the scripture says) then I am confident and the Lord can and will work through this circumstance in our own lives. My regret is the years I’ve missed in affirming this man the Lord gave me in his own faith walk by holding up my own idyll and finding him wanting….rarely did I say it with words but my attitude and actions conveyed the message!
    Thanks Beth!
    Love to you and your family,
    Beth

    • 133.1
      Cindy says:

      Wow…thank you for sharing this. I find the same is true for me so often…Thank you for these words of truth regarding deep respect & encouragement for our husbands…the world tells us a different story. Thank you Beth & Beth for sharing a different, better way – the way of Jesus – in loving our families – starting with our husbands.

    • 133.2
      Bobbie says:

      Beth (Moss),
      I think you have just opened my eyes to my own blindness in the same situation. My husband is a believer and the most wonderful husband and Dad, but we have a ‘different denomination’ situation. I need to back off or as some say “let go and let God”! Beth’s post has reminded me about when she shared that God had released her from being in charge of Keith’s spiritual life. I need to continue my growth and search for a deeper relationship with God and allow God to do His Will in my man’s life. Your last four paragraphs spoke right straight into my heart! THANK YOU from the bottom of this ol heart that’s ready to love my man for who he is…who God created him to be!

      Blessings, Bobbie

  34. 134
    Julie says:

    Precious, just precious and yet, one more reason NOT to clean out those drawers!!!!!

  35. 135
    Casey says:

    Oh my! I have been wrestling with this very thing. It is so nice to know that I am not the only one. I am so grateful for you giving us a snapshot of the walk that has led you before us as an amazingly annointed Bible teacher.

    I think at times I beat my husband over the head with how he should lead…we all know how well that works out.

    What a blessing this is!

  36. 136
    Rachel says:

    Wonderful post Mama Beth! I often struggle with the same issue of pushing my husband to be more of a sprirtual leader. I want him to initiate something…anything. I know He loves God with all his heart and I know he prays for us. I just wish he would live it a little more “out loud” for our girl’s sakes. But like you said, when I push him he only goes slower.

    I am still praying hard that we eventually find a balance and I am praying that my expectations don’t run him over. 🙂 Thanks for posting this and letting me see that many people are dealing with this same thing! I loved your scripture cards. I will have to do that when my girls start to read!

  37. 137
    Kelly says:

    Beth,
    Thank you so much for this post. I have been recently going through some spiritual warfare and God has used you to speak to me. You are such a blessing. Thank you.

  38. 138
    Tonja says:

    I can not find a way to contact you Beth, and I am not sure if you read these or not, but in September I am attending Living Proof Live with my MIL, we have been waiting for you to come close enough to us for about 5 years now…and I was wondering if you could give me some ideas on how to make the trip special for her. She is like a mother to me and a want it to be memorable for us and something we will never forget. Any ideas?

  39. 139
    Kathy B says:

    Twelve years ago, while doing “Breaking Free” I heard you share that tidbit about family altar. My kiddos were 6, 8 & 9 at the time. We began the same morning routine. It was a wonderful way to encourage their morning time with God, without, as you said, usurping my husband’s role as spiritual leader. Loved it.

    Now with one in HS and two in college, I’m blessed beyond measure to remember those hectic, trying mornings and how God showed up. And grew us up in Him. Thanks, Beth! BTW, my hubby has grown quite marvelously into those leadership shoes. I’m so glad he didn’t catch me wearing his footwear 🙂

  40. 140
    Sweet Anonymous says:

    Dear Beth,
    An altar…what an amazingly cool idea! I love that you share these things with us. I am honored to be you sister.
    Love, M.

  41. 141
    Amy says:

    Oh, Miss Beth! How I needed to hear this today! I am having one of those days of feeling like a complete failure. I know I am not but this is one of those days I needed to be reminded that I am not the only mom/wife to struggle and wonder if we will make it. Thank you for being an encouragement!

  42. 142
    Jean says:

    *tears*

  43. 143
    Cheryl says:

    God has such timing, doesn’t He? I felt like you were sharing that just for me.That ENTIRE story touched my heart. I’ve been searching for ways to get my entire family to have God time together. I’ve also been struggling with wanting my husband to be the spiritual leader the way that I think he should be.Which, as you and I both know, is not going to be God’s way. Oh we woman have such controlling needs, don’t we? I know we do it out of the utmost love for those in our lives, but if we would only lay our concerns at Jesus feet and walk away we would be so much happier! 🙂 Ms Beth PLEASE share more from your years as a homemaker with your sweet little girls. It is so encouraging to those of us who are in that stage right now. I absolutely love every thing you share. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Love,Cheryl

  44. 144
    Lee Ann says:

    Oh my! You must have written about this in one of your books or Bible studies. I know this because I attempted the same thing with our family…..right on our fireplace hearth. Makes me want to go look for the notecards (mine were in a spiral notecard thingy) and take a picture to send to you! Thank you for the trip down memory lane. Precious memories. Also a reminder…. 3 of my kids are still home. Just might re-institute the concept in some fashion. 🙂

  45. 145
    Kate says:

    Such a sweet story. I love your index cards too, such a precious thing to find and hold on too. Very sweet memories <3

  46. 146
    Ginny says:

    Oh Beth… this cuts me to the quick and blesses me immeasurably at the same time. My husband is the same kind of husband. I am the same kind of wife. We are the parents of three grown babies. (25, 23, 20) We had a dinner time ritual…”Good thing, bad thing” we called it. Each of us had to share a good thing and bad thing that happened during the day and how God was in it. I had a devotional book that I (of course it was me) read from. Dinner times were so special then and we all share fond memories of them. I wish I had a record of it. My kids are all figuring life out…I’m not sure if it is with God or not. I am on my knees about that regularly. My hubby is still my hubby. And I still struggle with the ‘right’ way to do things. I am blessed beyond measure in spite of it all. Thank you so much for sharing this post today. It encouraged me so much! <3

  47. 147
    Andrea says:

    Oh gosh, I so needed this today. I love that you did what worked for your family – so often I get caught up in trying to do what works for everyone else that I forget we are our own unique little clan with our own way of doing things. The other day I started up our family devotion time again, just doing one simple little suggestion from a calendar from a Focus on the Family magazine. My kids love it – and during that time I got to glimpse the absolute beauty of my oldest daughter’s heart. Honestly, I beat myself up for so many of my failures as a mother, and there God just said to me “It’s not you making her lovely. It’s Me.”

    And then the husband thing. I love my man so much, but I am really struggling with this issue of wanting him to take the lead, too. I’ve prayed so much about it and I think this post was just the thing God is using to comfort and encourage me. And I also hear Him telling me to just look to Him. Look to Him.

    Thank you for sharing your sweet memories.

  48. 148
    Anna says:

    I love it when you share such personal things. You inspire me to be better. Inspire me to love God more, to love my children more, to seek God more and to live righteously….

    hugs

  49. 149
    Anonymous says:

    Thanks Beth! I have often struggled with the very same thoughts and corresponding conflicting emotions. When you share your life experiences I feel a great relief in knowing that you are “normal” (and don’t you say that you’re far from it – smile) like the rest of us. I jokingly refer to you as my BFF to my kids and husband and they just do the eye-roll and smile. . . . they just don’t understand. My son issued a challenge tonight, though. He said, “If she’s really your BFF why don’t you have her autograph?” I flashed him my own eye-roll and smile. Some things are too deep for a 13 year-old manchild to understand. Love you tons!!
    Your BFF in South Dakota

  50. 150
    Linda says:

    Thanks for sharing your precious memories.

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