Heart Issues

 

heatherdawkins.com
heatherdawkins.com

 

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭4‬:‭23-24‬ NIV)

 

My mouth. Sometimes A lot of the time, it would do me good to just count to 10.. Or 10,000. Depends on the moment.

Hear me when I say that I’m a work in progress. Hear me when I say that it is usually with my husband and our daughters. As in, I’m like a babbling brook overflowing with however I feel at the moment.. With the ones who share my space.(anybody else relate?) My tribe. Poor things. They see me when I’m tired. They see me when I’m at my breaking point. Poor things see me and hear me when I’ve had all that I think I can bear. Bless ’em.

Hey. I could turn it around and say that while they see me at my worst, I too, see them at their worst. It’s true.

What is in my heart will overflow out of that leaky faucet of a mouth I tend to have here at home amongst my tribe. My tribe. Home should be our safe place. The safe place.

Whether I’m rambling or not thinking before speaking, or saying what I feel without feeling what I say, it’s a heart issue.

Listen. I know good and well that I’m not the only woman or person that needs to learn to keep my words sweet. Or even just keep my words.. In my mouth.. Zipped up. Words are what gets most of us in trouble.

Just like the way a piano key is pounded or gently tapped or softly pressed, our words have the same effect. The tone we use can change a mood entirely. It’s a choice. Tone. Timing. Temperature. Yes, your words, my words, they even have a temperature!

Hot words –> When angry
Cold words –> When wanting to hurt
Warm words –> To soothe and show love

You get the point.

Words. I love words. Can you take a wild guess at what one of my main love languages is? Yep. You guessed it. Words of Affirmation. I LOVE words. I mean, I’m a writer for goodness sakes. I love words. I love to use them to encourage others. I love to pray. I love to share the gospel through words. Sometimes my words are not encouraging to my little tribe here at home though. 

I should probably work on that with my man. Usually it’s when I’m tired or being selfish that I snap on him. Even if I’m not in the wrong, I still have a choice when using my words.

I should probably work on that with my daughters. They learn what they live. When I find myself getting on to them about their smart mouths or tone with each other, I stop and think for a second. Hey. They get it from us. They get it from me. They learn what they live.

My God is so merciful and gracious and good. I can hardly believe sometimes that HE would choose to love a sinner like me, in spite of me. HE loves me, he knows me, he made me, he loves me in spite of all of my failures and inadequacies.

And if I want to truly SHINE JESUS, my words better reflect JESUS.

Maybe you find yourself feeling the same way at times. Ashamed when you fail. Frustrated because the levy broke and ugly or hurtful words spewed out. Embarrassed because you should have it together by now. But you don’t. And I don’t. HE is not finished with us yet friends. Praise God HE is not finished.

We can fix our leaky faucets. With God. We can be intentional about our choice of words. We can think before we speak, text, tweet, or post. We can listen more than we speak. You know the old two ears one mouth saying, the one about listening twice as much as we speak. We can choose to overlook an offense as the Proverbs tells us. We can do some heart surgery. Inspecting ourselves. Looking deep within. Getting to the root. Immersing ourselves in The WORD of God and in prayer. Communicating with the One who created us.

If the saying “You are who you hang around” is true. And it is. Then maybe we would all do well to “hang around” God more.

No matter the circumstance, we all have a choice in how we react and whether we bridle our tongue or not.

I’m grateful for my God. The One who shows mercy to me when I mess up. And I’m grateful to the ones who remind me of Jesus.. The ones who show me mercy as well.

Maybe it’s time for a heart check.

Is there an area involving words that you need to work on in order to shine Jesus? Do you need to apologize to someone for the way that your mouth may have offended them? Do you need to spend more time with the One who made you? I know my answer to all three questions. Yes.

 

We never know what the future holds. Only God knows. Life can change in a split second. Our words matter. The way we choose to use them matter. 

 

 

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. ~ Ephesians 4:28,29 (NIV) 

 

 

Until Next Time,

 

 

IMG_6814
heatherdawkins.com

 

Not So Excellent At Times

 

 

Just Right For Him
Just Right For Him

Recently, I completed a bible study on a book called, The Excellent Wife. Martha Peace is the author. This book was very convicting and challenging at times. There were even days when I wanted to throw it out the door. (haha) Why? Because…SELF didn’t feel like being that EXCELLENT on that day. But…God would nudge me and convict me and lovingly prod me to KEEP ON.

It’s not always easy to look at yourself..I mean, REALLY look at who you are. The Excellent Wife was filled with Scripture to back up the truths that I was learning about myself..and who God is calling me to be. Not so fun to admit at times. Very necessary though.

I began to see that I needed to make some changes. Change isn’t always welcomed. Some people are terrified of change. Change is so very necessary in order to grow and mature. I guess since I love a good adventure, I was a little bit more welcoming with this new change that God was stirring deep within me. To look at my priorities. To be sure that my husband truly was FIRST in my life. Not second. First. Well, after God, of course. 🙂

 

Genesis 2:18 ~ Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”

 

I really began to notice areas that I needed to change and improve in order to be in God’s will for my life. God wants me to be my husband’s helper suitable, or “just right for him”. To support him. To love him. To put his needs first. To respect him.

 

Please..don’t close the blog post yet… I know this sounds like a lot. BUT guess what..basically, all it boils down to is being selfLESS.

 

Period. Loving your neighbor as you love yourself. YES, you really do love yourself…even if you don’t always like yourself. How do I know this? Because..we all make sure that we are comfortable..right? Maybe not all the time..but when we aren’t..we aren’t very happy are we? Our husband or wife is our closest neighbor. That means we should treat them as good or better than we treat our other friends. This hit a nerve with me as well.

 

James 2:8 ~ Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

 

I realized that after I finished studying and reading this convicting book that I still have a long way to go. I am persevering, keeping on, striving to be that EXCELLENT WIFE. I cling to the promise that “HE’S not finished with me yet!” I can’t do this on my own. Thank goodness, I don’t have to.

 

Philippians 1:6 ~ And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

 

By the way, I never actually threw the book out. (hahaha) 🙂 In fact, I am about to start another one by Martha Peace. It’s called “Tying the Knot Tighter: Because Marriage Lasts A Lifetime.”

Putting things in the right order requires discipline and perseverance and lots of seeking after God. It’s HIS will that I want to be in.

 

Proverbs 3:6 ~ Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

 

If you know that your priorities are out of whack..I encourage you to seek God. Seek His Word. Ask yourself if there are some changes that you need to make in order to put God first and center..then your husband or wife, if you are married. Of course. if you have children they definitely come next. Then, everything else will fall into place. This isn’t to say that you won’t have resistance from some…because change isn’t always readily accepted.

 

How are we to spiritually grow and mature in our walk with Jesus if we never change?  Change is necessary. Change is vital. If we never change, then we never grow. If we never grow and mature, then we are like a stagnant pond. Ever seen one of those? They aren’t real pretty. They aren’t healthy at all. 

Thank you for sticking with me through this hard and possibly convicting post. I pray that you are challenged to look deep within. Sometimes the problems in our relationships are because of our selfish desires and our unwillingness to change. (I know that not all problems are caused by this..but some are) It won’t always be easy. But it is so worth it. Don’t try to do it on your own. Only with God’s help is it possible. Expect setbacks. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Know that some days you won’t feel like being selfLESS. Those are the times when you say, “God..I need you to create in me a desire to be obedient to you.” He already knows. Whatever you do…don’t give up on trying to be the person God has called you to be and what HE has called you to do. (bring GOD glory in everything)  {Don’t throw the book out..hahaha :D}

 

1 Corinthians 10:31 ~ So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

 

Even when you don’t feel like you are so excellent at times..keep trying.

 

Until Next Time,

banner[1] (3)

REMEMBER

 

IMG_9898
You never know where you may find a heart….

 

 

Well, tomorrow is Vday. AKA Valentines.. Sweethearts…day of expressing love and feelings.. Could be to a special someone or it could be to your family.. friends…etc..

Some people dread the day. Some love it! Some have no expectations and some have too high expectations.

What is Vday to you? Do you dread it or love it? Why?

I sometimes have really high expectations. Truth. I think it’s because such a big deal is made about a day that should be celebrated ALL YEAR LONG. Not just ONE day a year.

Love. It’s sweet. It’s even painful at times. It’s an action word. Not just a feeling.

Oh how we sometimes forget ( those of us who have been Valentines a long time)… that it’s an ACTION word. Ladies…we can’t blame our men completely for this. Men, you can’t blame us ladies completely either.

See, a couple.. Is 2. Two people. Two who have to do their part.

Ouch.

That feeling you had when you first met.. Remember it?

That excitement you felt when you saw your sweetheart… Remember that?

Remember how you felt when you didn’t get to see the one you loved?

What are you doing different now?

Think about it.

We get in a rut. We let “life” steal and “still” the romance. We let “life” take priority. That’s the problem. We choose to put that “sweetheart” on the back burner.

When we do that..the pot cools off.. The fire starts to slowly die.

Won’t work. It takes work. Intentionality.

It’s time to stop complaining… Stop whining..and do our own part.

So tomorrow.. On this day that’s been commercialized… Remember the days of old. And… Do your part.

Love is so sweet. New love appears to be even sweeter. BUT…Isn’t “old” love even sweeter?

Nothing sweeter than seeing a couple…with wrinkled faces and graying hair…holding hands and smiling. Because… They worked at this thing called LOVE. They stuck it out. They lived and learned and loved.

So.. I’m challenging us all.. To remember and to do our part…

 

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ~ Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

 

Now..read that passage again and again and again. There’s a bit of work involved… BUT, it’s so worth it. Anything worth having is worth working for..and fighting for.

 

I am so thankful for each one of you.. Happy Valentines Day to you all!

 

             Until Next Time,

 

banner[1] (3)

Why Does It Even Matter?

 

 

Maybe you’ve heard of Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages. The first time I heard of it, my husband and I were on a church couples retreat. Wow, it was eye-opening. Basically, I learned what my husband’s and my own love languages were. {You know, like what makes you feel loved by your husband/wife.}

Acts of Service
Words of affirmation
Receiving Gifts
Quality Time
Physical Touch

Here is the website that you can go to at your convenience and take the quiz…
www.5lovelanguages.com

It says to give yourself 15-20 minutes to take it. May not take you that long..

My primary love language is WORDS OF AFFIRMATION . Makes sense.. Because even though it shouldn’t matter, words of affirmation ARE very important to me. I hate to admit that.. Let’s be real clear though..I am not talking about empty words or words that you know are not sincere..I’m not talking about flattery..

I love to GIVE them and yes, it makes me feel good to receive them.

It’s one of the reasons why writing words are important to me. WORDS.

It’s one of the reasons that hearing that I’ve done a good job at something makes me feel good.

Words.

It’s one of the reasons that I’m compelled to encourage.

Words.

Why does it even matter, though? Why does it hurt sometimes?

Isn’t God enough? (YES)

Why is it important that I “hear” the words of mere man?

I don’t know the answer to all of those questions. I do know this.. One of my spiritual gifts is encouragement. And because words of affirmation mean a lot to me, I “love” others in this same language. Or, I try to. I still fail. I do need to listen more and talk less.

So, maybe my love language goes along with my gifts. WE ALL HAVE A SPIRITUAL GIFT if we are authentic believers in Christ Jesus. He didn’t skip over you. But, that’s another topic for another blog post on another day.

I really do believe that by knowing your spouse’s and even children’s and friends love languages, that you are learning how to make the ones you love actually “feel loved” by you.Makes life a lot easier and helps you to understand why you are the way you are and why others are the way that they are. Helps you to tune in to the needs of others. Doesn’t mean that you have to walk on eggshells, but it will make you aware. Who doesn’t want to feel loved? We all do…

Yet, we must remember that GOD is enough. GOD IS LOVE. HE really IS enough for me. Abundance of WORDS or a lack of WORDS is NOT where my JOY is found. Sure, they make me feel loved ( when they are sincere)…and sometimes happy..But, I don’t depend on them to bring me the JOY that can only be found in HIM.

Happiness and JOY are not the same.. Happiness is based on circumstances but Joy is based on the LORD. Happiness is like exchanging gifts and having fun at Christmastime..Joy is really GETTING and knowing what Christmas is all about. Happiness is if the line is short in front of you and JOY is finding peace even in a long line of waiting. Happiness is not falling in a mud puddle and JOY is falling in it and brushing yourself off and not letting it ruin your day.

 

 

Philippians 4:19 ~ And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

 

Even if others aren’t meeting our love language needs..God can and does! God never changes. He’s the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. People are fickle. People DO change. But, GOD NEVER DOES.

 

Hebrews 13:8 (NIV) ~ Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

 

 

God created us to be relational. Relational with HIM first and then relational with others. To do this, we have to know how to relate to others.

Ecclesiastes 4:9,10 ~ Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

 

So…if you want to..take the quiz.. You can even comment on here and let me know what you discovered about yourself! I would love to hear from you!

 

 

                 UNTIL NEXT TIME,