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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Ordinary People

I don’t usually go so serious with my posts being that I’m a real life goofball, but I do believe that this is important.

A few years back our previous next-door-neighbor who was like my second mother, was diagnosed with TNBC- triple negative breast cancer. Sadly, that was only the beginning of her battles. After almost 4 years, multiple surgeries, chemo treatments, and radiation, Shelly went home to be with the Lord. Though I grieve for the moments and memories she will not be here to make, I rejoice in the life that she has lived and the memories that I do have with her.

Shelly and I the day I was baptized on our mission trip to Freehold/Neptune, NJ.

Shelly and I the day I was baptized on our mission trip to Freehold/Neptune, NJ.

I don’t know how it came about but sometime at youth group she came up with “ordinary people plugged into an extraordinary power source.” God continuously finds ordinary people, the ones who stutter, the ones who doubt, the ones who seem the most unlikely and ordinary- He takes them in, and gives them the power to be extraordinary.

Let me say this again, God takes ordinary people, Moses, Abraham, David, Esther…the list is endless, and He gives them the power to be and do extraordinary things. We are ordinary people. We eat, sleep and breathe as they did. We stutter, we are the youngest brother, we question whether or not God will fulfill His promises, we are an ordinary woman. It is through faith, the power and love of God that we have the ability and strength to be extraordinary.

If there is anything that Shelly taught me, it was that though we are ordinary, that we can be extraordinary. Through her more recent treatments she continued to teach. Up until about a month ago she was TEACHING with her brain and body riddled with cancer, she continued to love her students. Her battle with cancer was only a chapter in her life. She was extraordinary well before she ever heard the words “you have cancer.” She was an extraordinary teacher who loved those who needed love, who sought to make learning fun, that went above and beyond to make sure her students were successful. She was an extraordinary mother who not only loved the children that God blessed her with, but everybody else’s as well. It was not uncommon for her to walk into room of kids to a chorus of “Mama Sobel!” A testament to her acceptance, love and kindness to all. She was an extraordinary listener. Regardless of who needed to be heard and for what reason, she always patiently sat, listened and gave counsel. Shelly had an extraordinary faith, facing everything with a strength, grace and perseverance that could only come from the Lord.

Praying over students on a mission trip

Praying over students on a mission trip

It would be easy to write another few hundred words to describe the person that she was, but I think you get the point. I can only hope to be as plugged in and extraordinary one day.

Some people have the genetic disposition for cancer to develop and grow in their bodies. Others make choices that have the potential to lead to cancer later in their lives. Here are some tips and facts to encourage you to make better choices and protect yourself.

-SUNSCREEN! Skin cancer, though it can be very treatable, is one of the more common cancers. By keeping up with and applying sunscreen, you can cut down your chances significantly.

-Stay away from tobacco in any capacity. When I was on the local Relay For Life committee, I went to a meeting at the ACS building where they had a box filled with cigarette ingredients that included ingredients in rat poisoning among other things. It was repulsive. These toxins are also in second-hand smoke. If you do smoke, have the courtesy to not subjugate those around you to it.

-Eat well! Foods high in antioxidants, along with a well-balanced diet with little to no processed foods and proper proportions can go a long way to helping your body prevent and fight cancer.

-Be aware of your body. Some lumps and bumps are normal depending on hormones, injuries etc. Others are not. If you have a history of cancer in your family, you should be extra wary and start screenings earlier than most. For more info on common cancers for men and women and what to look for, check out the American Cancer Society’s Find Cancer Early page. Early detection saves lives!!!

For more information on cancer, Relay For Life, research that is happening right now to find the cure, your local ACS, how to get involved, even support and treatment, visit www.cancer.org– it just might save your life.

34916_1531018240513_868412_nAnd remember-

Though you may be ordinary, when you are plugged in, God has a plan and the power to make you extraordinary.