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A Warm, Welcoming Wife

The man needed his dinner. No doubt. What he needed even more? A warm, welcoming wife.

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I could hear his footsteps.

Unmistakable. Firm, solid feet. Man-steps. Quite different than the quick pattering of all the other little feet I’d heard throughout the day.

Madly chopping and slicing, I never even looked up when he entered. I felt frantic and stressed, knowing everyone was very hungry and I very far behind in my dinner preparations. My intentions had been good, it’s only that I hadn’t anticipated that broken glass earlier in the afternoon. Nor the quarrel between the two children that soon followed. All of this took time. Then that last urgent phone call put me hopelessly behind schedule.

And that’s how he found me.

Madly chopping and slicing.

He came in behind me, slipping his strong arms around my waist and leaned into me. I should have felt electricity, but mostly I felt annoyance. Irritation. He was slowing me down.

I could immediately sense his disappointment. Could feel his arms drop. Without missing so much as a chop, I tried to explain as I kept prepping away. Explain about the day and all its stresses and frustrations. How behind I was in … well, in just about everything. I thought it might help him understand.

He understood alright. He understood that those carrots took precedence over him. That I was so busy and my tasks so important, that I didn’t have a minute to acknowledge him. I couldn’t even be bothered to turn around.

But I wanted him to know that it was simply a matter of timing. I just wasn’t ready for love at that moment.

Wasn’t ready for love?

Did that really come from my mouth? From my heart?

The man needed his dinner. No doubt. What he needed even more? A warm, welcoming wife. I was so worried about filling his stomach that it seemed I forgot about filling his heart.

But what if … what if I’d done it different. What if I had dropped those carrots, swept the celery aside, turned around, clasped my hands around his neck, and … well …

Leaned back into him.

Stopped my whole world and interrupted my hectic schedule and important plans. To love on him.

What then?

Then he and I could have started a small kitchen fire.

So what does a husband really need? More than dinner. He needs your eyes to light up when he enters the room. He needs to know that how thrilled you are that he’s come home. How your heart leaps because you two are together again.

He needs a warm, welcoming wife.

So very warm — that the two of you alone could start a small kitchen fire.


Enter to Win a Copy of “100 Ways to Love Your Husband”!

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This article is an excerpt from Lisa Jacobson’s new book, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband. We’re excited to have 5 ebook copies of both her book and the companion book, 100 Ways to Love Your Wife, written by her husband, Matthew L. Jacobson, to give away. These books are filled with practical and inspiring steps toward a lasting, loving marriage. Be sure to enter below for a chance to win a copy of both books!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Lisa is the happily-ever-after wife of Matthew L. Jacobson, literary agent and author, and together they enjoy raising and home-educating their 8 children. She’s also rather fond of dark chocolate, French Press coffee, and deep friendships -- though not necessarily in that order. She encourages women to embrace the rich life of loving relationships and the high calling of being a wife and mother. You can find her sharing her passion for husband, home, and family over at Club31Women.

33 Comments
  • Kassie Wiseman

    I would lovd to own these books. Pefect timing for my husband and I. :)

    • Kassie Wiseman

      love* (excuse autocorrect!)

  • Connie Price

    even after nearly 32 years of marriage,I still have a LOT to learn!! I would love to win this!!

  • I’d LOVE to win!

  • Melissa Oldaker

    Sounds like a great read! Would love to win!

  • Ugh. So guilty of just not turning around. Great reminder. Would love to read this book.

  • Jen

    I am so guilty of this. And if it’s not cooking, it’s cleaning, or kids, or something else that invariably leaves my greetings short, in passing, or altogether absent. There is something so hard about setting aside the urgent to make room for the important; that lesson has been confronting me everywhere lately.

  • This would be an amazing gift as my husband and I are not seeing eye to eye and could really use a spark or two back in our marriage!! I would love to win this set!

  • Candice

    I’d like to win.

  • Shonda

    I would LOVE to win these books! My favorite husband/wife bloggers. We are reading the 7 Habits of a highly fulfilling marriage right now. I love their mentorship to our marriage.

  • Shana

    I would love to win!

  • andrea

    This would really bless my marriage. I would love to win!

  • Sandra H.

    I’d like to win!

  • Linda Gossett

    I would love to win!

  • Dan

    How many times I have had this experience but know my wife is doing better

  • Jennifer M

    Would love to win this!

  • Janet

    I’d like to win!!

  • Wow! That was poignant and powerful to read…I’ve SOOOO been there too many times to count lately. I would love to read this book!

  • I have done this before. My husband has tried to act loving towards me and I have brushed him away because I had other things I felt I needed to get done.

    I would love to win this book. If I don’t win it, I’m going to have to buy it!

  • kim

    Would love to win this!!

  • Lisa G

    I’d like to win!

  • Nina B.

    Getting married in less than 2 months..sounds like a GREAT resource and I would love to read this book!

  • Brooke

    Awesome article!! I’d love to win the book! Please pick me! (:

  • laura crimmen

    I’d love to read & share these books with my friends!

  • Shari

    I would love to win these for hubby and I!

  • Jill S

    Thanks for the opportunity, would love to win! :)

  • brandi

    I would love to win this book !!

  • Dee

    I would love to read these books!

  • Linda

    I would absolutely love to win these books for me and my husband. We are recent empty nesters and could really use some motivation! :)

  • Grace

    Would love to win this!!

  • Thanks everyone! We have our winners and they will be notified by email.

  • If you don’t win the books, is there a way to buy the book where you can get it on the nook (I can’t use amazon as nook is B&N)? I can transfer PDF files from my computer to my nook.

Articles

When Doing Justly, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly Stand at Odds

If your compassion far exceeds your capacity, here’s one way you can be sure to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.

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One of my life verses is Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

It is one of my favorite verses because my heart has been so moved by the love Jesus has for me and the sacrifice He made for me that I am grateful to have a way to express my gratitude through acts of justice and mercy while walking humbly with God.

I have found at times, however, the call to do justice and love mercy come in conflict with the call to walk humbly with God. For me, one of the ways to walk humbly with God is to recognize my limitations. I have to put skin to the fact that I am not God which means saying, “no” to ministry requests. It means going to sleep when I could be spending time advocating for the harrowed and helpless in the world. It means limited seats at my table, limited funds in my bank account, and limited energy in my body cannot be ignored but respected and adhered to.

This is hard for me at times, especially when I scroll my Facebook feed and see friends who are caring for their really sick children, spouse, or other family member all while millions of refugees flee war torn countries and babies are slaughtered by the hundreds each day in our country through the abortion industry.

As I scroll, I receive texts about one family member’s surgery gone wrong and another family member announcing a new baby is on the way. I have in mind my neighbor who has inpatient surgery scheduled this week and another neighbor who is trying to hold down a full-time job, care for twins all while battling profound “morning” sickness.

Folks at church are fighting for their lives in physical and spiritual ways, and strangers who pass me on the road are clearly battling something as demonstrated by their impatient honking because I won’t take a right turn on red. I want to meet the needs of all; I want to do justice and love mercy, but I’m daily confronted by the fact that I am so limited.

What am I to do when doing justly and/or loving mercy seem to come in conflict with walking humbly with my God?

God keeps bringing me to this answer: prayer.

God invites us to cast our cares before Him because He cares for us.
God tells us to be anxious for nothing BUT WITH PRAYER present our requests before Him.
God commands us to pray without ceasing.

And, when I walk humbly with God, I see the immense kindness in His command.
He gives us a way to do justly, love mercy WHILE walking humbly with Him.
It is by praying without ceasing.

I cannot take a meal or give money to every sick person or family I know. I cannot extend kindness to all my neighbors all at the same time they’re in need nor conjure up sustainable solutions for the refugee crisis and contact all the necessary world powers to make it happen.

I cannot heal all, but I know the Healer.

I cannot provide for all the needs, but I know the Provider.

I cannot rescue everyone in need, but I know the Rescuer.

I cannot comfort all the broken, but I know the Comforter.

I cannot speak peace over every situation, but I know the Prince of Peace.

I cannot be all to all, but I can go to the Great I Am through prayer, lay all the people, problems and pleas for help before the Omniscient and Omnipresent God of all Creation.

I can do this through prayer.

Recently, via an Instagram contest of all things, I came upon A–Z prayer cards designed by blogger/author/speaker, Amelia Rhodes. It is a simple concept packed with a powerful prayer punch. It has served me personally in this tension of wanting to do far more than I practically can do. It provides prayer prompts starting with each letter of the alphabet along with a scripture that coincides with the prayer focus. It ranges from Adoption to a creative “Zero Prejudice” for the letter “Z.”

The cards are well thought out, color printed on sturdy cardstock with blank lines for the user to write in the names of people and/or organizations that are personal to them.

If, like me, your compassion far exceeds your capacity, pick up a set of these prayer cards and unload your burdens onto a God whose competence matches His kindness, both boundless.

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Articles

Facing Our Fears in Motherhood

Do you have fears tied to motherhood? If so, here’s encouragement for you.

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“Are you scared?”

I was taken aback by his question. Scared? Of what?

“Of anything,” he answered.

I had just shared my due date with a new class of trainees.

“He has three boys,” another new hire volunteered. So fear is to be expected, I reasoned. I’m just about to face the most frightening experience in my life.

Of course I was scared.

I was scared…

  • I’ll lose my temper.
  • I’ll whine about sleepless nights.
  • I’ll breastfeed too often or not often enough.
  • I’ll leave piles of unfolded onesies in the middle of the nursery floor because I’m too tired (or lazy?) to fold teeny-tiny baby clothes for the upteenth time.
  • I’ll go with disposable diapers when the better choice would be cloth.
  • I’ll work too many long hours at the office and miss precious moments with her.
  • I’ll sign her up for too many activities and push her to become Miss Achieve-It-All.
  • I’ll pass on to her my ugly pride, self-righteousness, and perfectionism like a dreadful contagious disease.
  • I’ll miss countless little joys in life while pursuing worthless dreams.

Facing Our Fears in MotherhoodIn short… I was afraid I was going to fail miserably as a parent.

And now, holding my second-born daughter in my arms, thinking back on that brief exchange just a few years ago, I realize those fears were well-founded. I’ve failed many times. I’ve lost my temper. I’ve raised my voice. I’ve worked too much and played too little. I’ve seen my own sinfulness reflected in my daughter.

Yes, I’ve failed, but over and above it all, God’s grace has covered my parenting imperfections and made me run to the cross day after day. The writer of Proverbs puts it this way:

Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.
Proverbs 14:26

When it comes to fears, we have two choices: Will we fear the unknown or will we fear the Lord? Will we allow the uncertain to grip us in its clutch or will we turn to God’s Truth to set us free?

Scared? Oh yeah. There was so much to be scared of that day. And even now, if I’m completely honest, there are still fears nibbling at the edges of my consciousness. Fear that we won’t outgrow the temper tantrums. Fear that the two girls won’t get along. Fear that I’ll mess them up and cause them interminable hours on a psychologist’s couch.

I’m sure you have fears, too.

But rather than allow those fears to consume and paralyze us, we can take them to the Lord, acknowledging His sovereignty over our parenting, pleading His grace over our mistakes, and entrusting His provision over their futures. He is not only able to handle it all — He is far more capable to be trusted with it all.

If I say one thing to that frightened 9-month-pregnant me standing in that room years ago, I would say this: Don’t let fear rob today’s joy with tomorrow’s unknowns. Each day has enough worries of its own (Matthew 6:34).

Instead, let us keep seeking God, running to Him as our secure fortress and resting in the knowledge that He will care for us and our children one day at a time.

What are you scared of today? Name your fears and bring them to the Lord, allowing Him to replace them with His peace that passes all understanding.

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Articles

He Gives Shade To The Weary

If anxiety is a struggle for you right now, remember that He gives shade to the weary.

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Do you ever have those moments of fear because you don’t know what lies ahead? When do those thoughts tend to happen to you?

For me, most of those thoughts happen when I lay my head down to sleep at night. The vulnerability comes forth every time. That’s what happened the other night to me. I shut my eyes and immediately anxiety welled up inside me.

What if we don’t succeed in this new venture? What if we have to move? What if we can’t pay our bills?

I laid there with the covers drawn tight over my head (I still think that I am safer if the covers are over my head), praying scripture over my anxious heart. Assuring myself that God sees me and that He cares.

In the morning, I turned to Isaiah 41, specifically verses 10-20.

“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, NASB)

Yesterday, the “what if’s” piled up as I anxiously looked about me. My daughter needs tutoring, however at this point in life, tutoring feels like a luxury we can’t afford. So I listed some items online to sell hoping to make just enough to cover the tutoring. I’m buying groceries on a Visa reward card. I’m holding my breath until the next paycheck comes. But what did God speak over me: Do not fear. Do not look anxiously about you.

“For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’ Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel; I will help you,” declares the Lord, “and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:13-14 NASB)

Why shouldn’t I be anxious? Because God will hold me up. God will help me. When I first read the word “worm” as a description, I took it as a slam against Israel. Like, gesh, God. What animal does He relate me to? But through further study, He calls them a worm because worms are helpless. They are viewed as insignificant, despised and weak. God will help me — seemingly insignificant, helpless me — because He is my Redeemer. He is my go’el — my next of kin. The Redeemer is the one who provides for all my needs. Rent. Car payment. Credit card bill. Gas. Food. Clothes. Debt. God will redeem.

He Gives Shade to the Weary

“Behold, I have made you a new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges; You will thresh the mountains and pulverize them, And will make the hills like chaff. You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away, And the storm will scatter them; But you will rejoice in the Lord, You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:15-16 NASB).

God is transforming me from a helpless one to a powerful one. The description of that type of threshing sledge is like a modern day earth mover. Powerful. Strong. Immovable.

“The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, And their tongue is parched with thirst; I, the Lord, will answer them Myself, As the God of Israel I will not forsake them.” (Isaiah 41:17, NASB)

He will come to our rescue. God, Himself, will answer you and me. Can you hear how personal that sounds? Have you ever pleaded with someone important whether your boss, public figure, or even a parent, and they responded to the need themselves? You expected for them to send their assistant, but instead they — the most important one — responded to you.

“I will open rivers on the bare heights And springs in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water And the dry land fountains of water. I will put the cedar in the wilderness, The acacia and the myrtle and the olive tree; I will place the juniper in the desert Together with the box tree and the cypress.” (Isaiah 41:18-19, NASB)

This passage describes the wilderness-like times in life. You are barren. You are thirsty. You are hot. You are in need. God will provide what you need. God will quench your thirst. He will provide shade when you are weary. During those times, God can provide in creative, innovative ways. He can provide something out of nothing. Doesn’t that give you great hope? Even when you can’t answer how He will do it, He is creative enough to figure it out even when the odds are stacked against you.

“That they may see and recognize, And consider and gain insight as well, That the hand of the Lord has done this, And the Holy One of Israel has created it.” (Isaiah 41:20 NASB).

God will do all of this so that His glory will be put on display. People — including yourself — will see that He is powerful.

So you can see how after a night of wrestling with fear and anxiety, reading this was like shade and water for my soul. God is a god who sees. And God is a god who acts on your behalf.

What do you need His help with today? What are you fearful about today? What keeps you awake at night? Where do you need some shade?

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Hi, I'm Ashleigh Slater, founder and editor of Ungrind. Here at Ungrind, it’s our goal to churn out biblically-based encouragement for women. We strive to be honest and transparent about our struggles in a way that inspires hope, faith, and perseverance.

As you read, we hope you consider us friends, the kind you feel comfortable sitting across the table with at the local coffee shop. You can read more about me HERE and our team of writers HERE.

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A Warm, Welcoming Wife

by Lisa Jacobson time to read: 2 min
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