3 Things I Learned from Abigail’s Extravagant Obedience to God

As a young woman who wanted to love the Lord our God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength I struggled with the concept of submitting to my husband.  Not because I rebelled against submission as some do but rather I struggled with checking my mind, convictions and common sense at the door so to speak in order to submit.

I married while still in college and desired more than anything to join my husband in loving and serving the Lord in our marriage.Matthew 22: 37-9

Sadly, though he did not spend the majority of our 10-year marriage submitting to the Lord.  His selfishness and rebellion made our years together difficult rather than being filled with blessing we experienced trials and struggles.

I tried to be quiet and follow but I bet if you asked him he didn’t see it that way.  I felt the need to express my opinions but always gave in to his leadership in the end.  Our marriage did not survive.

I am remarried and one of the things I spent much time in prayer about before marrying again was submission.  I was thankful the Lord helped me understand His heart for marriage and submission as I sought him.

Just recently I read about Abigail and Nabal.  It was good to have a reminder of those things which God had taught me years ago about a marriage relationship.

3 Things I learned from Abigail’s Extravagant Obedience to God in Numbers 25

  1. Abigail was a woman of great worth apart from her husband….

His name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband was surly and mean in his dealings—he was a Calebite.”

It really stood out to me how valuable Abigail was to be highlighted in the Old Testament.  As a young wife I did not find myself in a relationship that valued me or my thoughts.  I ended up losing myself and forgetting my value.  I became unhealthy in the struggle of caring for my husband.  At one point of brokenness and pain I was poured out my needs to the Lord, He assured me that He loved ME and I was worth DYING for.  I had forgotten that.

  1. Abigail knew God and honored Him even when her husband did not…..

18 Abigail acted quickly. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys.”

As soon as Abigail heard that Nabal had sent David’s men away with insult she jumped into action.  Her drastic response to her husband’s foolishness was eye opening.  In that day and age, she definitely took her life in her hands by honoring David even when Nabal did not.  Her quick action brought a blessing from David instead of the revenge he was on his way to extract on Nabal and all those he was responsible for.

  1. Abigail was blessed in her obedience…..

35 Then David accepted from her hand what she had brought him and said, “Go home in peace. I have heard your words and granted your request.”

It can be confusing at times when it appears that scripture contradicts itself.  After all Ephesians 5:22 states clearly “ Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.”  Obviously, Abigail did not do that.

I think that God is clear, we are to follow the first commandment always and all the others after that.  If we are being asked by our husband, father, boss or anyone to break the first commandment which Christ told us in Matthew 22:37-9 “ Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.   All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” 

I was blessed and encouraged by the reminder of Abigail and her actions in Numbers.  I don’t spend a lot of time looking back to find things I would change or regrets in my life rather I look to learn and do better today.

In my marriage today I am thankfully I have not had the struggles of submitting to my husband in areas that I know are not God’s will for us.  But even as I read of Abigail I am encouraged to Love my Lord and my Husband well!


What are your thoughts about Abigail’s actions?  Have you ever experienced a time when you had to follow the first commandment rather than submit to someone in authority?

5 Lessons I Learned from My Mom

      When did your mom become one of the smartest people you know?  Isn’t it funny how when we were growing up it felt as if there was so much she just didn’t understand?  When did you realize you were becoming just like her?

Transitioning into an adult can be challenging and complicated.  I think one of the sweetest parts is when we are able to step back and think about how our parents influenced who you are today. 

Steen Family

 

      Since my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease when I was just 16 I have often thought of what I missed.  Obviously, there are many things which we did not get to experience as mother and daughter. 

 

       Mom was never able to share dating or marriage advice.  She didn’t get to beam with pride as the grandma of my sweet niece and nephew and tell us all about how they do things just like we did. We did not have the opportunity to walk this life as friends but she did teach me many things I am very thankful for. Here are just 5 of the lessons I learned from my amazing mom.

 

1.   If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.

I know we have all heard this saying and I definitely grew up hearing it.

When my mom passed away I was so blessed to hear over and over again from people who knew her well that they never heard her say a bad thing about anyone.  Not only did she teach me an important life skill but she lived it every day.

 

2.  If you get it out, put it back when you are done.

Don’t you love it when you read something and you can hear the person who said it to you 1,000s of times saying it?

Mom taught me how to keep an orderly home and how much easier it is to find things when you put them away.  I’m sure like all kids I did not always do a good job keeping things picked up but Mom never gave up training me.

 

3.  Spend your money wisely.

Just because it seems like a good deal doesn’t mean it is.

I will never forget the summer when everyone was getting a pass to the swimming pool.  I was so upset when Mom would not let me buy a pass.  Instead she put the money in an envelope and had me take out the cost of getting into the pool each time I went.  She assured me she would pay for additional visits if I went through my money in the envelope.  Of course when the end of summer came there was money left in the envelope.  I have not always spent my money wisely but practical her teaching has helped me to avoid many mistakes.

 

4.  Always try your best, that is all anyone can expect. 

Elementary school was no walk in the park for me.  I had to work hard to get good grades.  I will never forget how much my mom did to support me and help me.  She always encouraged me to just do my best and that was good enough for her.  You only fail when you stop trying.  Thanks to mom I have faced many challenges in life with tenacity and found many successes after not giving up.

 

5.  Reading can be fun.

My mom was a reader.  I remember her enjoying books all the time.  Since reading did not come easily for me I could never imagine wanting to read for fun.  Now as an adult I’m just like my mom.  I read for fun daily.   I’m so thankful my mom enjoyed books and encouraged me to as well.  Reading is not only a great way to learn new things but it also allows me to escape into different worlds.

 

Looking back it is always easier to see how smart our parents were/are. I wish I had had more time with my mom.  She was an amazing lady who loved her family very much and taught me many valuable lessons.  I am so thankful to have had her for a mom. 

 

What lessons have you learned from your mom, now that you know how smart she really is?

Review by Rayna: For the Love

For the Love

For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards

Jan Hatmaker is a say it like it is kinda gal.  I can’t say I was amening through each and every statement in this book but I can say that I appreciate Jan’s heart of love and willingness to put it out there for all to see and hear.  Her style of saying it like she sees it and her heart for the Lord makes this a read worth investing in.

Jan fills in the blank “For the Love….”  in many different ways.  But her true heart is for the Love of People.  Leading us to be people who do more healing than hurting comes through loud and clear.

The book is divided into parts and frankly at times doesn’t seem to have a lot of continuity at times.  It is a book of essays which can lead to this feeling.  Some of the essays are serious and many are just plan funny with a grain of truth in them.  This book addresses loving ourselves, our families, people in general and the church.

Though I’m not the funniest kind of gal on earth, some of my favorite chapters are Chapters 8, 14, 20, and 24 Thank You Notes inspired by Jimmy Fallon.  They are hilarious and frankly, many of the things I think but do not say!  Thanks Jen for putting words to my many of my thoughts!

Another Chapter which I really resonated with was the one to the Church.  Chapter 22, Dear Church…. has some tough stuff to read and even tougher to think deeply and prayerfully about.  How sad is it that so many pastors work so hard and feel so unappreciated?  Even so, how sad is it that churches are filled with people who feel they just aren’t measuring up.

Quote from For the love

Jen Hatmaker’s For the love…

I hope that you find this book a fun read with deep stuff to think on.  Jen’s style is not for everyone but her heart is for God so why not expand your read?

In honor of Valentine’s Day I am giving away a copy of
For the Love on February 29th. 

 

 

Enter to win by commenting on this post below. 

Are You Living With Regret?

Are You Living With Regret?

When you see the word regret what comes to your mind and heart?  Regret by definition is a sadness related to something that was done.

But that is not what many people stated in this recent study.

As you watched this, what regrets came to your mind?

 

Was it a regret of an action taken or not taken?

Living with regrets can be a burden as the video showed.  For those in the video there was hope in realizing that it is not too late to make a different choice when it comes to regrets.

But for those of us who beleive in the Lord Jesus Christ it is so much bigger than that.  Paul talks about not letting the past determine the future in Phillipians 3:13 “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it on my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”

Paul was definitely a man who had regrets for things he had done.  But he did not dwell on those things, rather he lived in the newness of life he was given.  In 2 Corinthians 7:10 he says “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”

Have you taken that step to embrace repentance that leads to salvation?  If so you can join me in rejoicing in the truth of the Love of our Lord.  Lamentations 3:22-23 reminds us, ” The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

If you have not taken that step of salvation I would love to talk with you.  Contact Me

 

What regret will you erase, embrace and run toward the new morning with determination to do something new?

40 Days of Decrease

It’s not often that I hear the word decrease and think, yep that is what I want (unless of course it is regarding my weight.) 

Decrease, lessen, reduce, drop, diminish, decline or dwindle all are words that I do not associate with goals I have for myself, my income or my relationships.

 But John challenges us in 3:30 to look at decrease in a positive light. “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” NLT 

This verse is in the middle of section called John’s testimony concerning Jesus.  John’s desire to become more like Christ is a deep lifelong journey.

If Christ is to become greater and greater in our world, in our lives we must become less and less.  How do we do that?

40 Days of Decrease

Alicia Britt Chole has just released a book called 40 Days of Decrease:  A Different Kind of Hunger.  A Different Kind of Fast.  The book has challenged me to look at how I can have more of Christ and less of me in my everyday life.

I am excited to invite you to join me in a deeper study of how we can decrease many of the things this world has tricked us into thinking are just normal everyday life and increase Christ in us. 

Alicia’s words of encouragement come from a place of honestly and real life.   She helps us to see how we can hunger more for Him than we ever have before.

Here is one example of her teaching that ministered to my soul. “And in the midst of Jesus journey, He felt troubled.  Clearly, then a troubled soul is not always the sign of a faith deficit.  A troubled soul is sometimes the signature of obedience-in-the-making.” (Alicia Britt Chole)

Hungering to know Him more leads to the challenge of Fasting.  Fasting is another of those concepts which does not have great appeal to me.  But the fasts which Alicia challenges us with throughout this book has made the thought of fasting something I look forward to each day.

Fasting: speeding past sorrow, isolation, discontentment, willful sin and withholding brought about change in my soul.

I am confident that if you join us in this study you will be changed too. 

I love the format of the book!  The daily teachings, room for reflection and fasts are full of richness and challenge, they caused me to sit with the reading and desire to know the truth of it more deeply.  Alicia’s sharing of the Biblical stories we have heard many times brought new insight and understanding.

Join me in leaving that which you have known as decrease and fasting and join me in finding them anew with the Love of our Lord and His longing for us to know Him more in 40 Days of Decrease.

We will have daily readings during Lent, daily questions to ponder and a private community on Facebook to share what we are learning and how we are growing through the study and fasts.

As I invite you to join us I want to leave you with one more of Alicia’s teachings which I found such a great representation of what I desire our time together to be like.

“We know nothing of their (the disciples) backstories.  But then, in many ways, backstories matter little once Jesus enters the room…. whatever the cause of our physical and spiritual blindness, whatever family we do or do not have, whatever sins or success we count as our own, Jesus’ presence makes this moment the most important moment of our lives.”  (Alicia Britt Chole )

Click to Learn more about the FREE 40 Day of Decrease Book Chat & Facebook Community!

 

I’m sorry our book study was complete Easter of 2016.  If you would like more resources about 40 Days of Decrease be sure to visit Alicia Chole’s website.

Go there Now!

Pin It on Pinterest