The Power of a Praying Wife- Part I

I am not a wife. At least, not yet. However, like most future brides, I’m sure there is some fear. NO I AM NOT RUNNING AWAY! Am I sure that Ethan is my better half? Absolutely. Do I think there is anyone else in the world who could put up with me forever? Nope. Is there any one else I would rather drive crazy with my crazy? Not a chance. He compliments who I am as a person with his own stellar qualities. So why am I afraid?

Because being a wife is scary! Being a “modern Christian” wife is doubly scary. Not only are we supposed to be Proverbs 31 women, but we’re supposed to have careers too. If you read Proverbs 31, that woman’s life and job WAS being a house mom/wife. Talk about some pressure. How are we going to delegate chores? Cooking? Cleaning? How are we going to balance church, careers and a family!? Am I going to be able to do enough? Will I be able to balance everything? Will I be enough?

I don’t remember where I saw this but about 2 years ago I read this statement “Pray to be the wife your future husband is praying for,” and it changed my heart. We are taught that God will send us the perfect man, we just have to pray for it. As girls and women, it is important to remember that moms and boys are praying for future wives like you’re praying for a husband. I encourage you to get into the Word and look at who YOU need to be. Be the woman a man would want to marry. Get your heart, attitude and actions in alignment. Little did I know 2 years ago that God was really preparing me and changing me to be the woman I needed to be for the most incredible, kind, encouraging and perfect man I could ever imagine!

I wrote that about two weeks before Ethan pulled off the best surprise ever by asking me to be his wife. I’ve graduated college and Ethan is finishing up his masters. We’re both working, but kind of in limbo. I’m subbing; and as a theology major, his job options are kind of limited. We are trying to make decisions balanced between the fact that we are getting married, but we aren’t actually married yet. We have NO idea where the Lord is leading us or what we are doing. We just know that we are supposed to be together and are taking it one day and one step at a time, together.

My answer to all of this? Buckle down, start taking my own advice, and the advice of millions of people before me- start praying! I had been looking for a new devotional and settled on The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian. She has written a number of books, and this one is part of her “Power of Praying” series.

Again, I’m not a wife. I’m a “I’m almost a wife so that counts for something RIGHT!?” I’m 3 days in. I started a day early since February is short, and I will have to either read 2 in one day, or go a day into March for the length of this study. This is what I’ve learned so far:

  1. That advice that I came across two years ago, is SO important. It is important to pray that the Lord work in your life to prepare you to be a good partner, and continue to pray it! Just because you find a man does not mean that you should stop! You will continue to grow, change, and face new challenges together and as an individual. Praying that God continues to work in you and make you the best team-mate is imperative. With His help, you CAN balance, do, and be, everything you need to be for your best friend, and for yourself.
  2. Not knowing what or how to pray just means you need to think outside of the box. I have been praying for direction, for jobs, for encouragement…the typical things. And they are fine! Those ideas are all chapters in the devotional. But other things like: faith, self image, his walk, his reputation, his purpose- these are all things that we as wives, and almost wives, can pray for as well. If you still aren’t quite sure HOW to pray for these things, Stormie provides sample guided prayers at the end of each chapter. She also includes what she calls “Power Tools,” which are Bible verses that go along with each focus. They might be my favorite part! *Prayers and Power Tools are available in newer copies that include new content, or separately in a book on their own.*
  3. Praying for your husband is one of the most important things that you can do in your relationship. If there is a problem, changing a man will not happen without His help. If things are going well, you should still pray for guidance, wisdom, and continued blessings. Don’t forget to thank God when things are good. The power of prayer can literally move mountains. In the first chapter, she refers to prayer as the ‘ultimate love language.’ “We want to be on the same path together. We want to be deeply compatible, lifelong companions, and have the love that lasts a lifetime. Prayer, as the ultimate love language, can make that happen” (27).

Geez. Only 3 days in, and I’ve already taken in so much. I will never be a perfect wife. Try as I might, we will have a pile or two of laundry. Dishes may get left in the sink now and again. I won’t always remember to clean the hair monster out of the tub. But I know that just by praying, and making the conscious effort, that God will change me, mould me, and bless me so that I can be the best partner, team-mate, peanut butter to his jelly, and wife that I can be. I can not wait to see what mountains are moved at the end of these 31 days.

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For more of Stormie’s books and about her, check out https://stormieomartian.com/ You can also Like her on Facebook and follow her on instagram @stormieomartian.

To keep up with my own progress through the devotional, and find out what else is happening on the blog, follow me on instagram @brunetteswithbrains.

 

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The Hatmaker’s Heart- Carla Stewart

Sometimes you just need a feel good book. Sometimes you just need to remove yourself from reality and step into someone else’s.

Carla Stewart did a brilliant job with this novel. As has created a story with a few of my favorite elements.

1. HISTORY! I have a serious problem, if you haven’t been able to deduct this from my previous book reviews then you might want to go take another look. This novel takes place in 1920’s New York and it is splendid. Absolutely lovely. To give it another layer of depth, she throws in some London, England in there too. Which leads me too…

2. ENGLAND! I love how she incorporated England into the main character’s life, the plot AND threw in the royal wedding. Kudos and extra points for that one. Having just had a royal wedding a few shorts years ago, it was super relatable for me.

3. Relatable characters. Prunella was darling. There are so many things I liked about her character. Her innocents, her passion, her integrity, her faith, her love and loyalty to her family and friends- she was a breath of fresh air. How lovely to have a female be her own hero and not be a cotton headed ninny muggins. Yup. I said it. Everyone has dealt and come across people like the characters in “The Hatmaker’s Heart” in their life. The nasty boss, the cruel girl in school, the first love of childhood, the crazy relatives, the beloved grandmother- it’s like walking out of your life and comfortably walking into someone else’s.

This was such a great read. I read it in a few hours. It was refreshing to read a book that was appropriate in language, plot, and romance. The ending was just so right. There’s something to be said about reading a book that really does just have a happy ending for everybody, even if it does seem fantastical and silly. But, what girl doesn’t want to see love win out in the end?

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Appaloosa Summer- Tudor Robins

Appaloosa Summer is book one of the Island Trilogy by Tudor Robins. It was a cute little summer read. I read it on the plane over to Northern Ireland a few weeks ago.

Meg, the main female character goes through the tragic loss of her horse. In an attempt to have a change of scenery, pace, and peace from what has happened she find solace at her parents vacation house along the St. Lawrence river working at the local bed and breakfast.

Jared, the main male character is the classic, attractive hurting cowboy. Twist of fate and tragedy in his own life have left him distance and withdrawn.

The two of them find each other that summer and bond over their grief, their fears and a scruffy appaloosa mare.

It was obviously a young adult book. I do look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy as they are available. I found the characters absolutely endearing and charming. I hope that as the series continues that the characters themselves continue to grow and really come into their own. Though Meg and Jared are in their mid-late teens, they have a lot to learn and growing up to do. Hopefully, they will continue to do both of these things together. Because they are so freaking adorable in that totally mushy gushy perfect way. I would definitely recommend this book to my younger high schoolers, or even middle schoolers.

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How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton World- Jordan Christy

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July! I spent my entire weekend working retail! YAY! (Said no one ever.) I am off for a few days and my holiday “vacation” has come to a close. Back to books and baking! 😀

How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton World was my first jump back in. It’s a shorter book, quick read and perfect for getting back into the swing of things. I’m going to begin by saying I loved the many quotes of some of my favorite classy ladies. I grew up reading old books and watching old movies. Though cheesy, there is something captivating, magical, and entrancing about their leading ladies. I am now going to give you a montage of beautiful ladies like Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy Onasis, Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland and other stunning, classy, classic, graceful and put together women we all kind of wish we could be.

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These women were goddesses in their own right in their own time.  The following is a collection of more modern women that are lovely and classy. I’d also like to say, though not every one has been classy 100% of the time, I bet if the above women had social media like we do today, they may not be quite as “squeaky clean.” 😉

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All of these women are beautiful, educated, and elegant. THERE IS HOPE FOR SOME OF US! Right?

I am a hot mess. I have the pictures throughout my college career from finals week through snow storms in footie jammies to prove it. I wish I wrote more “Thank You” and “Thinking of You” cards. I wish I could host lovely dinner parties like a big girl with other big kid couples. I want to be that classy, elegant, put together teacher. When I was in 7th grade I had a beautiful English teacher. She had a great, timeless wardrobe. I aspire to be so much like her in so many ways. I want to be a mom who doesn’t go to the grocery store in yoga pants. Maybe. I’m going to try really hard on that one.

As opposed to “Adulting,” this book does not give step by step guide lines to grow up. This book tells you how to act and grow up gracefully. Everything from language, education, homemaking, party throwing, and dressing are all topics of discussion.

I am all for honesty. I get it. I understand the annoyance and stupidity that some of Hollywood’s less classy women have shown and portrayed over the years. I think she was a teeny bit way harsh. I mean, I get it, showing your lady bits to the world isn’t appropriate, but you don’t have to berate people for having the slip- no matter how it happened. That is really my only criticism of the book. It felt like the pages were judging me. The world judges me every day, how I dress, eye contact etc I get it. I don’t need to add an inanimate book to the list.

I enjoyed how in most sections Jordan would give scenarios and the two outcomes. The “classy” outcome and the not so classy out come. I’m sure you know one of those girls that has a brain, ambition, and is making a way for herself but doesn’t know how to dress? There’s a girl I went to high school with that is GORGEOUS! I mean, she was and is just so stinking pretty. She is smart, she is athletic, she is well educated- and every time she posts a picture before she goes out on the weekends I cringe. I literally inwardly cringe. She’s got EVERYTHING RIGHT THERE! If she could put a dress on that was 3 inches longer, and came up an inch higher in the dress, I would give her the classy lady stamp. It’s those moments, choices and revelations that separate a Hepburn from a Hilton.

My favorite piece of advice from the book is “How would your grandmother feel/react/approve/respond?” Anytime I post something, I know that my Grandma Judy can see it. Any time someone posts something to me, she can see it. Though I have taken all proper and possible precautions to keep my profiles private and G rated, I sometimes struggle to click the approve button, if it might even just be considered PG14. Thankfully, I have never experienced a call from Grandma Judy telling me that my picture was inappropriate, but I’m pretty sure that’s because I think about her almost every time something is put out there.

Overall I liked the set up of the book. The suggestions and the chapters were functional. I feel like now that I have finished reading I am a bit more classy and put together. I will not drink mimosas the entirety of my lunch date tomorrow. I will wear age, time, and scene appropriate clothing NOT the sun dress that’s probably about 2 inches too short. When I get home, I will mail her a little note telling my friend how much I enjoyed her company. WHO DOESN’T LIKE GETTING MAIL!? When I go for my job interviews, I will remember to be articulate and wear age, position and weather appropriate attire.

From here on out, I am going to make the stance to be an Audrey in this crazy world of Hilton girls. I will end this post with some of my favorite words of wisdom from the classy lady- Audrey Hepburn.

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