Sabbath Resting

I do not recall ever hearing much complaint.  It was not unusual.  This was simply how things were.  Everyone unwittingly adapted to what was the norm.  We were all accustomed to the force of the still quiet.  Had there been any chaos in the days preceding, it too would soon be forced to comply.  The early morning sunrise seemed to have an invisible bell that quietly rang through the air without being seen.  There was no real indicator it was there, but somehow we were all certain that it was.  It was indescribable; a strange conflicting clash between humdrum and happy.

Everyone knew, if there was anything deemed necessary, it would have had to be pre-planned.  If anything was needing to be bought, brought, cooked, ordered, delivered, fixed, repaired, towed or included – it would  have to be done in advance or not at all.

 Because on Sunday, rest was the unspoken requirement; the day all were forced (or expected) to be still.

There would be families gathered together for dinner, communion and community.  There were Believers assembled together to commemorate the resurrection of Christ.  There were planned outings with one another, purely to build relationships and closeness.

There was time for worship.

Today, Sunday’s are inconspicuously stapled to the rest of the days of the week.  It is no longer its own special day, with its own special place.  Sunday’s have conformed.  There is no longer a distinct difference when compared.  For many, it has become a catch-all.  Any undertaking that was unable to be pressed into the prior six days can now be scheduled on the seventh.

In Exodus, the Lord commanded the Israelites against this very concept.  “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  You are to labor six days and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath to the Lord your God.  You must not do any work …..”

To not do any work is an idea many of us cannot comprehend.  Often, we find it difficult to give up our own agendas, our scheduled programs or our plans.

Like the Israelites, when they were enslaved, we too have been groomed to do all you can; to labor without ceasing.  That to stop and rest gives a notion of being lazy or slothful.  That to be idle is unproductive and a waste of valuable “to do” time.  That there is always something to do and you must always be doing something.

For those of us who are in Christ, we are not required to keep the ceremonial law of the Sabbath Day. <Hebrews 8, Galatians 4:10, Colossians 2:16>.  Yet, the principal the Lord provides through the Sabbath is a very practical model to the benefit of us all.  The need to stop and rest was crucial for them then and advantageous for us now.

Thought to Ponder:

If we are ever to profit from the principles provided through the Sabbath, we must first intentionally add Sabbath Rest – Sabbath Margin – Sabbath Time to our days.  “Remember, you were a slave in the land of Egypt, but the Lord your God brought you out ….” <Deut. 5:12-15>

You are now free ….to take some time to rest…. in your acknowledgement of Him.

Firm Decision to Do Something

I’ve never been a big celebrator of the New Year.  Not in the traditional sense anyway. The party before midnight was never one that held my attention.  Forcing myself to stay alert, pleasantly socializing without yawning and trying my best not to turn into “Grumpy” was typically my main party focus.  Yet, without delay, by ten o’clock p.m., I would begin to hear the words of the illusionists whispering in my ear, “You’re getting sleeeeeepy”.  All- nighters have never been my strong suite.  But no matter how the year ends, the very next morning is the beginning of anew.  Resolution resolve…..

When I originally began “TimeOut” I can honestly say my focus was not centered on how I could be of help.  Every month I would attend the gatherings with my two closest friends, hoping that by some stretch of the imagination, me getting time away would invigorate me to become more of what God was looking for in a woman, a helper, a wife.  I was sure having time away from the mundane would help me keep myself on track, regroup when necessary, and regain focus if needed.  We have all heard it said time and time again, that every couple needs time apart, right?  Believing that taking a life pause is a welcomed additive to any routine, a short breather is just what every couple needs in order for there to be a healthy balance.  This concept is true in theory.  But, what I soon discovered was; getting time away is nice.  But, by no means does getting away to relax on the beach help me to become a better swimmer.  To become a better swimmer, I need to use my time at the beach, building the skills it would take to enhance my swimming.

Group Swim

Just the same, if I am to become a true woman after God’s own heart, a committed companion to my king who pursued me, a sweet help to the man who holds the responsibility to lead, a wife who “does her husband good and not evil all the days of her life” < Proverbs 31:12>,   I will need to use my time away from my husband as a refresher in building the skills that will enhance my marriage.

Thought to Ponder

As we begin this year with intentional time away, let us firmly embrace the resolution to discover and live out God’s plan for us as Wife.

Next Wives Gathering – January 29, 2016. See you there!! ~ CharMaine


Married the wrong person….

wrong person2

“I have no way of knowing whether or not (you) married the wrong person, but I do know that many people have a lot of wrong ideas about marriage and what it takes to make that marriage happy and successful. I’ll be the first to admit that it is possible that you did marry the wrong person. However, if you treat the wrong person like the right person, you could well end up having married the right person after all. On the other hand, if you marry the right person, and treat that person wrong, you certainly will have ended up marrying the wrong person. I also know that it is far more important to be the right kind of person than it is to marry the right person. In short, whether you married the right or wrong person is primarily up to you.” ~ Zig Ziglar, Courtship After Marriage

Thought to ponder

Did your husband marry the right woman? Or the right kind of woman?

Would your husband agree with your answer?

Let’s talk soon,

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Next TO Gathering “Words Are Not Enough” ….

It is no surprise to call a customer service line and talk with someone who speaks a language different than your own. What begins as a simple discrepancy of an unknown over charge, can easily turn into forty minutes of ‘going nowhere’.

After nineteen years of marriage, there have been countless conversations between my husband and I that definitely resembled a conversation with customer service. Me thinking we’re talking about the overcharge, while my husband is thinking we’re talking about getting a new device. Before you know it, we have spent forty minutes ‘going nowhere’. The whole idea of interchanging thoughts, opinions or information through speech has brought many marriages to therapy, counseling and/or ruins.

Poor communication has also brought many wives to tears, while walking away feeling totally misunderstood, mistaken and misheard.  (Okay, maybe not many wives – maybe just me.)

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place” ~ GBS

 During our next “TimeOut” gathering, we will talk more about Words Are Not Enough.

 We will discuss ……

  • Speaking Correctly – <Ephesians 4:15>
  • Careful Listening – <Proverbs 18:13>
  • Clear Understanding – <Proverbs 24:3>

 Our aim: For us (the wife) to begin to purposefully attune our ears to the words of our own mouth.

 See you Friday – June 26th!

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Turn the box to its side …

When did this become so difficult?  There was a time when choosing a breakfast cereal was a no-brainer. Cool box art, interesting prize inside, and taste were my top three deciding factors. Now that I have gotten older, cereal selection has taking on a whole new dimension. Not that the earlier factors are no longer valid [smile], but the value of what the cereal is made of has become paramount in my making a selection.

The thing I know now, that I did not know when I was younger, is that the substance of the cereal is foundationally parallel to the cereal’s many benefits; or lack thereof. In other words, what the cereal is made of – really does matter.

Ironically, my view of relationships and the company I keep have evolved a lot like my view of breakfast cereal. I now mull through the aisles (life) taking careful account of what is being offered. Never again just grabbing a cereal box while thinking, “Oh, this one will do”….. Nope!….In an instant, I consciously summarize quality, characteristics and features that are easy to view. When it appear that I have found my selection, I then turn the box to its side, closely reviewing the Ingredients, Nutritional Facts and Daily Value. side of cereal

Can you imagine what our relationships would be like if we took the time to mull over them as closely as we mull over breakfast cereal?

See you at the next gathering, Friday – June 27thcharmaine signature (2)


What Would They Say?

One by one. Each woman in the room took her turn exposing her own heart to the woman whom we all had come to celebrate. Each story building on the one before it; extended tales of personal impact and life changing moments.  There was no set number to the years gathered around the long clothed table with its beautifully discreet cake centerpiece. Today, she was turning 50 and without hesitation we all wanted to be a part of her life milestone.Heart in rocks

Our friend sat in our mist with her humble demeanor, gracious tone and quiet strength. We laughed back as far as we could remember, sharing the all-inclusive 27 years. Reminiscing of the days when her conduct was a bit more abrupt, her words laced with scold and her strength delivered with brute.  Her closest friends sharing of the days they first met, and how neither of them had any idea of all the peaks and valleys God had in store.

This time together was more than a celebration of our friend. This time together turned out to be a countless recalling of a God who had been more than gracious throughout the years.  I walked away from the evening loving and admiring her more than I had when I arrived. Her friendship and her disposition had been confirmed through the words of others.  I also walked away from the evening with a new wonder. A new what if…  I wondered – – what if….What if all the women I knew, all the ladies I had come in contact with, every woman who has gotten to know me over the years and all those who watched me from a far, took the time to gather around a table and share, one by one. Telling of my character, talking of my conduct, and exposing me from the inside out?

 What would they say?!?

 “Do not let your adornment be merely outward – arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel – rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quit spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” ~ 1Peter 3:3


 Hope to see you all at the next TimeOut gathering on May 31st and I also look forward to seeing you at our Annual Breakfast – Saturday-July 13th 2013!

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You – Revealed

I know, I know. Marriage takes a lot of work and an absolute committment. I don’t think I’ve ever spoke with any couple that has vaguely suggested marriage was a Walk-in-the-Park.  Marriage is such an intimate, personal, “long conversation”, one is bound to do nothing but gain from its experiences. What other relationship is there that is strategically placed to daily grind at your inner character? NONE. Only marriage put you face to face with yourself, every day!!

The REAL you will always be revealed in marriage. The good, the bad and the ugly.