“TimeOut”

Time is a recorder of events

Time is a collection of every moment

Time is only before us

Time is intended only for us

Time is not always well spent

Time is designed to do what is meant

Time is a beginning – Time is an end

Time is a foe – Time is a friend

Time is always a balancing oppressor

Time is without a forerunner or successor

Time is without an equal

Time is inevitably without a sequel

Time provides, Time to engage,

In life…In others…In mistakes that were made.

Time is a procurer of many things

But there is a component of life that Time cannot bring

Time moves forward and never back peddles

Yesterday, can never return, even when today is unsettled

Time is not an opportunity to redo or undo

Time is the AUTHOR of opportunities to make ALL things new

So, there are these moments in Time that we beg to rewind

For in that instance we were spiritually blind

Whether, ignorance, arrogance, or self-indulgence

Time provides for spiritual-adjustment

In our mind, In our heart, In the way we live

And because God knows – This is what His Time gives

“TimeOut”…

TimeOut to reflect

TimeOut to accept

TimeOut to be what others reject

TimeOut to hear

TimeOut to fear

TimeOut to be what others revere

TimeOut to repent

TimeOut to relent

TimeOut to be in moments well spent

TimeOut to labor

TimeOut to savor

TimeOut to be who my Husband Favors

In Word, In Deed

I will be what he needs

For Him, For Us

I will trust

For Family, For Friends

I will mend

For Strangers, For the Lost

I will toss

Evil, Hypocrisy,

Gossip, Foolishness,

Lying, Discord,

and the look of the Proud

I will learn how, in my

                                                                                                      “TimeOut”

 

Author: Karla Y. Sutton-McKinney

A “Back to the Beginning” original *Kansas, City, Missouri* 2015

 

Super Bowl Sunday

1999 was my football year. This was the moment I had been groomed for since my husband and I were married. The past years consisted of a vague interest in the game with an ulterior motive to enjoy time with my husband. He would give me the “Football for Dummies”, play by play, and I would remember it just long enough to make it through that particular Sunday of back to back games. Even though we can easily be labeled Sports Junkies’ couple of the century, when it came to football I would grudgingly endure the season with a mental countdown to when it would be over. But, that was all about to change. The St. Louis Rams had made it to the Super Bowl and football, as I knew it, suddenly came with a different delight. 

The Super Bowl XXXIV party was electric.  My husband and I (me fashioned in my newly purchased Rams jersey) were gathered in a room full of our friends, filled with platters of party food and game favors, awaiting kick off.  The game was exciting; all my pre-football training had paid off! We watched the game – half time show – and the commercials, through laughter and loud talking.  

These days, Sunday football is customary.  

What did I learn? ……. To not be like the “Wife who Watches Football”.  

Ten Things

10 ThingsI’m always amazed by the things life teaches. Often times it’s something someone tried to tell us, share with us, or even warn us about. There may be a book written on it, a documentary advising of it, or even a reality show exploiting it.  Ironically, it seems we find more value in experiencing life’s lessons on our own, rather than making applicable notes of the bloops & blunders of others. I once read a quote, “A smart woman makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise woman finds a smart woman and learns from her how to avoid the mistake altogether.

Time and time again, right when you least expect it, out of nowhere, is a teachable moment. So, here are ten things God has taught me about marriage and my husband.

  • The more thankful I become of the things my husband does well— the less resentful I am of the things he does not.
  • My husband is totally incapable of telepathy! If I don’t tell him directly what I need or want, he will not know.
  • Obsessing over my husband’s weaknesses, will not make them go away.
  • My husband’s past hurts will inevitably show up in his present responses. I am to do my best to recognize them and be gentle toward him.
  • Often, I bask in the lengthy extensions of grace God shows me in my missteps and imperfections; God wants me to extend that same measure of grace toward my husband.
  • The more I respect and affirm my husband, the more vulnerable he is to change.
  • Respecting my husband comes with the position of “Husband”. God did not provide me with any additional qualifiers. ~ Ephesians 5:33 – Wives, respect your husbands.
  • The sooner I die to all the unrealistic expectations of marriage and of my husband, the sooner my husband is able to be free of trying to live up to them.
  • My husband is not responsible to be my ‘everything’. That is why God has given me great girlfriends who have no problem spending an entire Saturday at garage sales.
  • The more I focus on the wife my husband needs and the woman God wants me to be, the flaws of my husband become less and less apparent.

Oh’ and one more thing…..

  • There was never any real need for me to sarcastically tell my husband, “I am not your mother!” …….. He was fully aware of that fact when he married me.

Thought to Ponder

Whenever I get a chance to talk with women, be it at a speaking engagement or during our TimeOut time at the local coffee shop; my message is always to promote a work toward cultivating a tender marriage that starts in the heart and mind of The Wife. No matter the length of your marriage, it is without doubt that God has also taught you a marriage life lesson. Take a minute to think of one. Then share it with us. Your lesson may just be what another wife needs to hear.

With Love,

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Deliberate Choice

We sat in the dark theatre unable to clearly see even the seats directly in front of us. The movie screen was as high as the ceiling and the surround sound helped me immerse in the happenings of the moment.  I sat giving the movie my undivided attention. I watched with intensity and bated breath. Before long, I felt as if I knew each character personally and somehow had become a part of their lives.  I found myself sharing in their experiences, wishing the best for them and hoping they would overcome whatever tragedy, misfortune or heartbreak they would encounter.

One of my most favorite movies is The Notebook, an achingly tender love story centered on an older man who regularly visits an older woman in an elderly nursing facility. During these regular visits, the man reads to the woman – real life accounts – from an old faded notebook. The story he reads spans over decades of loyalty and devotion.  It is not known immediately, but eventually, the story identifies the older man as the husband of the older woman to whom he spends his days reading pieces of their life together from this old journal notebook. The husband hopes that sooner or later the wife will remember – and recognize that he is still there – to love her as he always had.notebook

Every time I watch The Notebook I fall in love with the love Noah has for Allie.

Our longing to be loved or to love stretches far beyond a two-hour movie. Love has inspired some of the best big screens, songs, poems and books. It has broken hearts, set emotions raging, and been the blame of countless – good and not so good – decisions. But, it is the love found in 1Corinthians 13 that, so often, I find my struggle. It is within these passages that God gives Paul to describe “a love that is based on the deliberate choice of the one who loves rather than the worthiness of the one who is loved”. It is here, in verse 7, “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” that I find goes against all natural human dispositions. Not to mention – being totally unreachable.

Then, I grasp there is a spiritual component to this type of love that makes it attainable. It is not I who live, but it is Christ that lives in (and through) me. That it is in Him I move and live and have my being . That this life I live, I live by faith , in the One who gave the real life picture of a real life love. For it was Christ who demonstrated a love based on deliberate choice. I – in all my own rightness – was totally unworthy of even His smallest jester of kindness towards me.

Thought to Ponder:

As long as you and I, imperfect women, are married to imperfect men, there will be a moment, a day, a time, or maybe even a season, when our husbands are not considered by us as worthy. “But this love described by Paul in this “love chapter” means determining what is best for the other person and then doing it. This is the kind of love God shows to us”.  A deliberate choice.

A Much Needed “TimeOut”

The original question was Who Decides? Immediately, it was assumed we were going to make blatant references to who decides the goings-on in our relationships with our husbands. Who makes the decisions? Would that be us (the wife) or would that be our husbands? Any woman who has ever attended a “TimeOut” gathering knew that was a loaded question, so the room was silent.  To ease everyone’s mind, I added these few words….Who Decides – What Love Looks Like?

If only you could have heard the diverse answers to that question. Every woman there recalled love looking a little differently than the woman sitting next to her. Some remembered love looking like a small gift. Some equated love looking like getting our car vacuumed and the snow removed, a weekend get-a-way, our husband getting up at 2am to get the baby, dinner and dancing, or just him doing a load of laundry.

What we soon figured out was that God had already told our husbands what love should look like when it pertains to us. “Husbands, love your wives,…..(How?)….. as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her”. Obviously this kind of love had nothing to do with satisfying the daunting daily task of what we wives wanted from our husbands, but was steeped in a more drenching love unto death.

By the end of the evening, pass a few real life questions, some tears, and the kind of hugs only another wife can give, it was unanimous. God has given our husbands a heavy task to live out. But with God’s guidance and our help – our husbands loving us the way God intended is not impossible.

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Thank you for joining me at “TimeOut”. See you at the next gathering in November.

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No – Sometimes – It Depends …

I know, I know. Yes, the “S” Word is rearing its ugly head again. During our monthly gatherings this is one of the topics that would get the group all worked up. This is a matter that is usually tough to swallow.  At the mention of the “S” Word, the room would divide into three sections. The No’s, The Sometimes and The Depends. After our gatherings, as expected, I typically receive several phone calls letting me know how the “S” word is sheer foolishness in many instances. How yielding is not a part of our vocabulary and is not going to have a settled place within our marriages. We have made up our minds; “SUBMISSION” is something we cannot be a part. Or can we?

YieldYellow
As much as I hate to admit, this is a topic we will revisit constantly and I doubt if it is ever going to get any less relevent. Truthfully, this is an area in our marriages that will never go away. (If only it really would disappear). Sadly, this is one vice that will create a vicious cycle in our relationships with our husbands, and without being rectified, it is a destroyer. So, I’m gonna start with a loving sister hug and hand you a hot cup of coffee. I also have tea, chocolate cake and cold milk. Whatever your comfort, go ahead and grab it a let’s talk a bit more about The “S” Word.

When we mention SUBMISSION and husband in the same breath, it seems to have a known stench attached to it. So how about we take this pill  and break it up in pieces that may be a little easier to relate to.  First, let’s make an obvious notation even more obvious. God TOLD us in Ephesians 5:22-24,33: “Wives, submit to your own husbands……For the husband is the head of the wife……let the wives be (submissive) to their own husbands in everything….and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”  Wait!! Did that make you gulp? Whewww. We probably should stop here. Even when broken up in pieces, this pill is still a bit big! But hold on tight, here we go.

  1. God gave us this very important, direct command because of the fall consequence we experienced in Genesis 3:16b. We wives now have a desire to “rule over” our husbands – an irresistible tendency to dominate. Submitting to our husbands does not come ‘natural’, so God had to tell us to do it.
  2. Contrary to popular belief, God gave our husbands an intrinsic nature to lead, protect and provide. When we submit to our husband, he is better able to live out what God has instilled in him. (hint: – We are to HELP our husbands do what God has called them to do).
  3. Submission is all about function and faith! (Wives, stop allowing things and people outside your marriage tell you otherwise!!!) * Function = Living out marriage in the order, meaning and purpose God has given for it to work best. * Faith = Trusting God with that outcome.

When we submit, in true biblical submission to our husbands, we allow God to work His best in our relationships with our husbands. Do you believe, your marriage can move from Ruined to Restored, from Bleak to Bright, from Good to Great?

Let me know – How does the “S” word affect your marriage? How has it divulged itself in your relationship with your husband? Which of the above points (1, 2 or 3) are your most challenging? Let’s talk in the comments!
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Next TimeOut gathering is Friday – September 27th at 6:15pm

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Two Questions

After years of decline, statistics tell us that marriage is back in fashion with a 3.8% increase. Knowing of the popularity of marriage for its many reasons, I’d like to ask two very important questions.  Be sure to take a moment to think deep. Then respond honestly.
Brown-Pink-Wedding-Invitations-Ideas-for-wedding-day-1(1.) Why DID you get married? and

(2.) Why ARE you married?

 ~ Genesis 2:18