Strong Women

Where I share what I'm learning from God's Word and how I'm growing in Biblical Womanhood

Quotable Wednesday-May 23, 2012 May 23, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — caperry5 @ 3:24 pm

I’ve been reading Rescuing Ambition by Dave Harvey. It’s  SO good. Here’s a few thoughts that have stuck with me this past week:

Sometimes God brings our dreams to life; sometimes he doesn’t. But how we respond to his work becomes an important intersection for change in our lives. As we cooperate with him, we discover that it’s not ultimately about nailing the promotion, or raising well-behaved kids, or winning the Daytona 500–as good as all those things may be. It’s about something much bigger; how I become like Christ while I pursue those dreams.

Do you understand your relationship with God that way? He doesn’t need us to get things done, but he delights to use us, so he must shape us for his service. That’s exactly what creates godly ambition–the activity of God in us and around us to ultimately work through us. (pg. 70)

This has stuck with me. It’s not about the WHAT that I do, but rather the WHO I am becoming. God will use me in His timing. I just need to daily be faithful.

How we live when ambitions are delayed significantly shapes who we become. God uses the wait to teach us to walk in a manner worthy of our calling.  (pg. 71)

What a great reminder. I feel like we’ve been in a waiting pattern for several years now watching our friends doing what we wanted to do but not being ready for it ourselves yet. Hard to explain. We’re willing and God hasn’t taken us there yet. I hope that through our waiting God is teaching us to walk in a manner worthy of our calling.

We find no peace in life until we’re conviced our path is his way and our place is his choice. That’s so important it’s worth repeating: your place is his choice. Fences and all. (pg. 79)

My place is HIS choice… even if I feel like I’m living inside of a small fenced in yard. That alone brings such comfort and is a great reminder!

If our understanding of doctrine creates passivity toward God’s empowering presence or cools the hot embers of our ambition, we’ve misunderstood God’s sovereignty. When we rightly understand God’s caring control over all things, that knowledge should ignite robust faith toward him and bold desire to act in our hearts. We see God more clearly so our ambition can reach further. (pg. 85)

I want my strong faith in God’s sovereignty to cause me to be very ambitions for His glory.

John Piper emphasizes that inherent in who God reveals himself to be is what God promises to do: “God is real. God is a rewarder.” A significant part of faith is the confidence that god responds to faith. (pg. 93).

God rewards faith. I pray my faith would get bigger.

Today ambitionless Larry is ambassador Larry. But to get there, he faithfully served where he was, trusted God with his amtion… and patiently waited.

Selfish ambition would insist, “I have a right to do this. I need it. This fulfills me.” Ambition rooted in God says, “I don’t need it; instead I’ll serve wherever and however I can. This glorifies God.” (Pg. 95)

This guy’s story was great. He has some unfilled longings and desires. But instead of selfishly seeking after them he was faithful where God put him. And God, in his kindness, let Larry enjoy some of those desires later on in life. This encourages me to keep pressing on faithfully where God has placed me in our circumstances and to  give everything I have to the tasks He’s put in front of me, whether or not other desires ever get fulfilled.

 

This has been a great read so far. I highly recommend it!

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Quotable Wednesday – May 16, 2012 May 16, 2012

Filed under: Quotable Wednesday,Uncategorized — caperry5 @ 4:33 pm
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I’m going to start a new little Strong Women Study tradition…. Wednesdays will be quote day! I’ll share things that have stuck out to me from my reading from the previous week. Enjoy!

From The Excellent Wife Day by Day by Karen Eiler (pg. 4):

If you’re going to receive reproof, correction and instruction from your husband, you must be humble. If your heart is proud and you think “more highly” of yourelf than you “ought to think” (Romans 12:3), you will resist reproof from your husband. Why should you receive correction if you’re already fairly perfect? [Emphasis mine]

 Does that make anyone else say ‘ouch!’?

From The Excellent Wife Day by Day by Karen Eiler (pg. 5):

In case you’re wondering if your husband is your neighbor, think about this: who is closer to you than your husband, your closest “neighbor”? In the parallel passage in Matthew 22 Jesus says, “the second [command] is like [the first]” (Matthew 22:39). Meaning, the command to love your husband is a corresponding command to loving God. You are to love your husband with your whole heart (emotionally and passionately), soul (the very core of who you are), mind (every thought), and strength (every action). You are commanded to be “all in.”

All in…. Love my husband with all my emotion and passion, at the very core of who I am, with every thought and every action. This is a big task to live up to straight from Matthew and cuts at the very core of my selfishness.

From Rescuing Ambition by Dave Harvey (pg. 67):

Before this section he had done a brief walking through of Ephesians (which we’ve been going through at church) and he got right to the beginning of chapter 4 (which is where we were last Sunday) and he makes this comment:

If you’re anything like me, when you think about your calling as a Christian, your thoughts probably go to What am I going to do for God? Jake feels called to serve the poor; Maggie’s called to nursing; Leroy’s called to the mission field; Juanita’s called to raise her children, sometimes even her husband. We often view activity and calling as synonymous.

This is a common misunderstanding of God’s calling by the way…..

But here’s a truth we don’t always think about: God’s glorious agenda for our amtiion, like his glorious gospel, begins not with what we achieve but with who we are.

Walking in a manner worthy of the calling to which we’ve been called means I have a new ambition. Instead of gunning for my own glory or comfort, I’m ambitions for a changed life.

This was the main thing the Lord was opening my eyes to during last weeks’ sermon….. not necessarily new information for me, but it hit me where I am right now. God is doing a magnificent work in me…. bigger than anything I can even imagine for myself. He is changing me into the image of Christ and doing a gospel work on me from the inside, at the very core of my being.

From Rachel Chan’s song Still Singing:

I’m gonna show the world the love that you gave this little girl before that I knew that I could even talk to you and that you’d always want me to…..

I don’t know what I’d do without you. I’m grateful to be with you and I never have to worry because tomorrow brings everything you’ve planned for me

Father in heaven your Son died for me and soon I’ll be free from any danger and Jesus my savior will light up my life eternally.

When darkness tries to hide me from you your Holy Spirit guides me to the truth that you are always with in front of me no matter what my eyes don’t see and so my soul is still singing

Father in heaven your Son died for me and soon I’ll be free from any danger and Jesus my savior will light up my life eternally

I love you, I love you, I love you….

I’m gonna show the world the love that you gave this little girl before that I knew that I could even talk to you and that you’d always want me to…..

Been loving this song lately and the theology it brings to my mind.

-God loved us before we were ever aware of it and his draws us to himself.

-Then there’s His hand in our days… ‘tomorrow brings everything you’ve planned for me.’

-And the love I can show back to my savior and to the world because of what he’s done for me.

Great reminder.

From The Excellent Wife Day by Day by Karen Eiler (pg. 9):

The truth is that, when it comes to their wives, guys have love and respect so inextricably linked in their minds, there is no real difference. If they separate the two concepts, they’ll almost always choose respect over love. Yes, it’s that important! Most men would rather be respected than loved by their wives. In fact, if your husband thinks you don’t respect him, he is going to feel you don’t love him…. I’m assuming you love your husband and, because you love him, you want to do him “good and not evil all the days of [your] life” (Proverbs 31:12). If that is the case, then you need to understand that the best thing you can do for him is to respect him. That is the how of love; loving your guy the way he wants to be loved means making sure he knows, beyond all doubt, that you respect him. [Emphasis mine]

We’ll talk about this more in another post. Respect is so important to men. I have observed this in my own marriage and found this to be very true.

Hope this will be enjoyable for you and maybe cause you to read some books/blogs you’ve not read before!

 

You are mine May 12, 2012

Filed under: Marriage,The Gospel — caperry5 @ 6:14 pm

My husband always has the perfect words for me. He’s really quite the romantic and has always gotten me to the core of my being with his words. It’s part of what made me fall in love with him back in 2003… I had gone on a date with a mutual friend. He was a nice guy, but much better as a friend (he still is a mutual friend!). However, our date had been pleasant and after the fact I was sitting in Cheddar’s next to my someday husband and he was asking me about it. He then proceeded to tell me how he had coached our mutual friend. He told him where to take me (a funky downtown restaurant), what to talk about, how to act, how to act after the date, etc. And the thing was…. he was spot on. It was in that instant that I realized that no one ever had, and no one probably ever would, get me quite like Chris Perry does. And I pretty much fell in love on the spot. It was within a few weeks that he realized that I had changed my mind about him and he asked me out and I’ll tell the rest of the story another day….

 

Fall 2010

Since then, he has written me letters, sweet notes on our mirror, texts, and just used his words to my face. Sometimes I feel silly, because I just can’t form such beautiful words back, not without a  lot of thought at least, but his words…. they lift me to the clouds and make me feel… well like a chosen, beautiful princess for lack of a better term. Last night was one of those nights. We’ve had a mutual struggle lately that has been very frustrating for both of us. And as kind as he is in trying to share the responsibility for the mess, in reality we both know that it’s mostly my fault. A few nights ago we watched I Bought a Zoo. What a lovely, sad story…. Afterwards we were lying in bed and started talking about when we fell in love with each other and how in love with each other we still are, but honestly the thought that kept running through my mind was ‘how could he still love me when I’ve created this mess?’ I think I cried myself to sleep on that thought, while he had no idea. I didn’t want to ruin his beautiful moment. Horrible, I know. It’s not all as bad as I make it seem, but sometimes it really feels that way. I can’t wait to be on the other side of this.

 

Then last night we got started talking about this situation and I was languishing in my guilt for it when all of a sudden he grabbed my face and said ‘You are mine.’ We joke sometimes about how he fell in love with me first and it took me awhile, but I finally came around. The truth is he picked me and pursued me. I think that’s the way it should work. He was persistent over the course of a few years and finally… I saw it. He loved me so deeply long before we were ever sitting there at Cheddar’s. It took me awhile to realize how deep his love was, but I saw a glimpse of it at Cheddar’s and I saw a much clearer picture of it last night, 9 years later. Even with our current situation he wanted me to know that he picked me, that I’m his girl, and he’s not ever regretted it. True love.

 

It’s often reminded me of the gospel. I’ve never done anything to deserve Christ’s love, yet he has chosen me to be his bride. Marred as I am by sin, he will make me more and more beautiful, more and more like himself, so that someday He can completely glorify me in his presence. Now my DH isn’t perfect… but in our marriage he represents Christ (Ephesians 5) and just as Christ chose me, Chris chose me as well and has pursued me with his love. It’s a wonderful love story that I get to live out, both with my husband and ultimately with my savior Jesus Christ. Because they both say ‘You are Mine’ and nothing thrills my heart more.

 

 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

(Ephesians 1:3-14 ESV)

 

Christmas! January 13, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — caperry5 @ 9:36 pm

The Perry’s had a fantastic Christmas this year, spent in the area where I grew up. We arrived at my sister’s apartment late Christmas Eve and were greeted by one of my brother’s and two of my sisters! Merry Christmas!

Christmas day was a great day. It started a little rough. The kids were tired from traveling so late the night before and there were more than a few tears shed while opening their presents. We made it through though and got ready for the day. We stopped by my step-dad’s mom’s house to see that side of the family, then made our way to my Grandma and Papa’s farm in Clifton, IL. This Christmas all 6 of their grandkids were there for the first time in many years. I could tell they were very pleased to have us all there and it was great to spend time with my siblings! Wish I would’ve gotten a group picture :(

The kids first thing Christmas morning

I have always loved my Gramma's all white and gold Christmas tree. It's perfect for her old Victorian Country House. Landon loved playing by it.

I loved this one of my sisters laughing at dinner... and Landon with his tongue out. It's all very typical!

Landon loves my sister whom he loves to call 'Cha Chi'!

In the days following Christmas we were able to spend time with family and took our regular trip downtown with my Grandma to see the Christmas windows and lights. We have been doing this since I was a young girl with her and I loved that she came with us again! Landon and Laikyn were INCREDIBLE! They were so good all day and loved seeing all the sights. We rode the train downtown from the south suburbs and got off at Millennium park. I’m pretty sure that riding the train was the highlight of Landon’s life. He loved every second! We walked north and got a cupcake at Sprinkles then made our way to Navy Pier. By now it was dark and FREEZING. The kids did so great though. Inside Navy Pier Landon found a smaller train and insisted on riding ‘Thomas.’ Highlight of his day number 2 :) By then we were starving and I was bound and determined to get some good Chicago deep dish pizza. So we headed toward Giordano’s on Michigan Ave, just a few blocks from our train. All I can say is Yummy Goodness. It’s my favorite thing to put in my mouth. All in all, FANTASTIC day :)

Pure Excitement on the Train!

Family Pic at Millennium Park

 

Group shot of Gramma and her grandkids (Sad Brooke couldn't be there that day :( )

 

My brother was great with the stroller... see Landon fell asleep :)

 

By the "Thomas" train at Navy Pier.... again, pure excitement!

 

 

 

 

It’s Christmas Time! December 13, 2011

Filed under: Holidays,Life Updates,Teaching Kids — caperry5 @ 10:02 pm

Welcome to Christmas at the Perry House. Yes. I mean you.  :)

 

 

Christmas is in full swing around here. The tree is up and decorated, complete with presents! My Nutcracker collection is out and hopes to grow this year. (Chris has been giving me one most every year since we got married… SO sweet. I got to play Clara when I was 11 and have loved it ever since!) My small nativity scene is out and Joseph’s head got glued back on after it’s unfortunate incident last year. Whoops! The mistletoe is hung and has been put to good use (while the kids were turned the other way of course!)! I made my Pinterest project and turned my summer time tomato cage into a lit up Christmas Tree on our front lawn! We have a beautiful doorway surrounded by the garland we got last year on sale 75% off hung around the door! (LOVE those sales! I’ve been waiting all year to hang it!) Stockings are up! Oh my… we even made Christmas cookies last week and took them to a few places near where I work. So fun. I love this time of year. I love watching my kids eyes as we go out into the living room every morning and they see the tree all lit up. They get excited EVERY morning! I love driving around looking at Christmas lights and drinking hot cocoa. I turn into a little kid again, all giddy and excited about my presents. Yes. I love presents. Presents are a big deal in my family. They are fun. I like giving them more than receiving. But receiving them is fun too…. I won’t deny that. I’m really excited for my present this year…. I’ll reveal it after Christmas. Let’s just say that I have big plans for my living room.

 

All of these things are so fun. And I don’t want them to be a distraction for my own heart or my kids’ hearts… I want them to be a street sign, pointing them to the reason for the season. We’ve been teaching Landon about Jesus this year. I meant to do an Advent calendar, but never got around to making one. I’m putting that on my to do list for early January to prep for next year. I’m serious. I want to be preapred! But for this year (my kids are only 1 and 2) I’m settling for just taking about it. Telling the story, over and over again. That the star represents the star that lit up when Jesus was born. Jesus…. our God who became flesh to save us from our sins. It’s created some great conversation opportunities with Landon to tell him the gospel.

 

The other day I was gently reminding Landon to obey. His response: “I don’t want to obey!” Oh my…. so I explained to him that his desire to NOT obey was exactly the reason that Jesus came at Christmas. In our hearts we fight against God, so he had to send Jesus to earth to live a perfect life, and become the perfect sacrifice, dying to pay for our sins. I cried. Landon looked at me gently and started to obey. I think that maybe, just maybe, he’s starting to get it. He’s only 2, so he has a ways to go. I hope that we can continue having these conversarions.

 

Last week at church our pastor was teaching through a Christmas series and was focusing on Joseph but he pointed out Matthew 1:21–where the angel was speaking to Joseph. The angel made it clear who Jesus would be. “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Those words have just been ringing in my mind for the last week and a half. “For he will save his people from their sins”. He will save his people form their sins. That was the whole reason Jesus was born as the sweet little baby, to save his people from their sins.

 

I loved this post I read today on Desiring God by Rachel Jankovic called Of Kids and Christmas. And I so agree with her. ENJOY Christmas and all it’s craziness. Stay up late making cookies. Give your kids presents. Decorate. Decorate. Decorate. But let it all point to the reason why we do it all. Let your traditions in your family point your kids to Jesus. He is the one who came to save them from their sins.

 

 

Day 22-Today. I. Am. Thankful. For… November 22, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — caperry5 @ 8:09 pm

Today, I am acutely aware of God’s grace. Some days you just feel the weight of your sin more than others and for some reason today is one of those days. It’s a day not much different than others, but God’s grace is on my mind, and I am so thankful for it.

 

Day 21-Today. I. Am. Thankful. For…

Filed under: Uncategorized — caperry5 @ 8:07 pm

I am thankful for my education, particularly, my graduate work. When I started out in college as a 17 year girl, bright eyed, with the world at her fingertips, really… I had no idea what I was doing, what I was getting myself into if you will. Looking back, I would have done things differently. However, I say that, knowing full well that I have thus far lived out God’s plan for me, in every minute detail. And He had (and has) a plan in mind that is exactly what I need to grow in sanctification. I can clearly see how he has used undergrad to get me to grad school, and grad school caused a dramatic shift in my perspective that I’ll always be incredibly thankful for. It was there that I came to understand the full sufficiency of Scripture, that the root of ME is my heart… my desires, longings, dreams, etc. and that my heart dictates how I live the rest of life. I have to continually refocus my heart on Jesus Christ and His gospel, making him my greatest desire. It changed how I relate to people, how my husband and I interact with each other, and really just the foundation of how I think about life and Scripture. For those things I am tremendously thankful. My walk with the Lord and understanding of His word is deeper today than it would have been without those things that I learned.

 

 
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