Saturday, December 17, 2011

respectful demeanor

A wise woman builds. .
So, I've been writing a lot about how disrespect tears down-enough of that. . .
Stop tearing down! Begin to focus on your husband's good qualities even if these are not the qualities you want him to have. . .start to build.
"Respect is a demeanor that should characterize wives in all their conduct towards their husbands and in all their communication to or about their husbands--this means courtesy in the home where the husband is treated with honor." (Nancy Wilson)
I ruminate on this good quote and certain words jump out-Demeanor: the way a person behaves towards others.
So, respect for my husband is a demeanor that involves:
Eyes: respect for my husband grows as I activiely look for ways that God is at work in his life. Vigilantly study your husband, looking for qualities to respect and pray that God will open your eyes-you know, a critical eye blinds. List all the things you appreciate and admire about your husband-some may seem trivial.
Recently I invited a woman to my home for coffee; later as I walked her out to her car, I noticed and commented, "Look at that-my husband is awesome, he pulled the trash can to the curb this morning!" Now then, the trash can on the curb is trivial, and frankly, more often than not I think a critical thought when my husband doesn't. . . .
But that day, I noticed-and I respected my husband infront of my friend. . .God's grace, indeed.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

airport? bus station?

I've been traveling a bit, visiting my children and grandchildren in Dallas and Memphis. I pieced together a travel plan including train, plane, bus, car-a travel mosaic!
I purchased an airplane ticket on line, one-way, Dallas to Memphis. I knew the plane would be small. . .but not so small. I should have suspected when the clerk asked, "Your weight, Ma'am?. . . you'll have to buckle your bag into a free seat, or you can check it." So, I checked it-we were 9 passengers, no empty seats.
The first flight landed in central Arkansas and taxied up to a little building- like a bus station.
"I didn't receive a boarding pass for the next flight," I told the fellow at the little counter.
"We don't give boarding passes, Ma'am."
Of course, my name was on a list, on a little clipboard and I spied my one lone suitcase on the tarmac; the guy with the clipboard stuck my bag into the belly of a little airplane-a 6 seater, really. . . (I didn't sign up for this)
We were in the air and I couldn't ignore the sky-the outside was inside. . .(I didn't sign up for this.) Through the engine noise I wanted to call to the pilot, "I've had enough, let me off," but instead I kept knitting really fast.
We landed in Memphis and Lindsey called, "Where are you? I'm at baggage claim."
I could see the airport in the distance-Where? maybe I'm at the bus station, I thought.
Later I related my day to John-he laughed, "If I had been with you, then we would have had fun together!
So, now I'm home-I love the mosaic of people who filled my travel days. . .

Gwyneth in Memphis

Friday, December 9, 2011

disrespect focuses on differences. . .

the foolish woman tears down her house with her own hands. Disrespect focuses on differences. I married a man-more mud, more wet towels, more noise; while differences may tempt me to disrespect my husband, the biblical response to difference is forbearance. My husband has a Thomas Edison bent but I like to play it safe (well, not totally safe- my safe is just different!) Once my husband built a catalytic converter for our van; he envisioned amazing fuel economy-but his invention just set the engine on fire. Then I look at my face in the mirror. . .do the differences between my husband and me make me smile or make me irritated?

Disprespect focuses on weaknesses. We're not all strong in the same areas- some are more susceptible to discouragement, to anxiety, some struggle more with physical weakness. Considering my husband's weaknesses, I may be tempted to say, I don't know why this is such a problem for you!

So, at my house I see and hear words-my husband sees pictures and diagrams; I write words on paper-he sketches and doodles. One Sunday morning we discussed our afternoon plans-lunch after church at a friend's home, but since my husband had a meeting, I would ride with the hostess and he would follow --simple enough.

"Would you ask Mary to draw me a map to her house?" my husband asked.
"Really- draw you a map? Couldn't she just tell you the directions? (and my mind belittled. . .)

My scenario has to do with differences, but also with weaknesses; my husband and I are different in the way we communicate, and each is strong in a different way.

Aye, what's a woman to do? Well, I can choose to repent, choose to respect my husband, to remember God's grace upon grace. . . right there is the Gospel applied to my heart. . .and your's.

more later-the wise woman builds. . .

Monday, December 5, 2011

a critical eye

. . .the foolish woman tears down her house with her own hands.

So, I observe in myself and in other women how disrespect criticizes. . .
I"m out of town for a week, visiting my children and grandchildren, and when I come home. . .well, I have to guard my heart-I know the temptation to look around my house and wonder, "What did he do while I was away?"
And I wonder-does your husband ever fail to meet your expectaions?
Perhaps your husband is working on a job around the house, but he doesn't complete the job according to your expectation. . . instead of believing the best about your husband (1 Corinthians 13:7), instead of remembering that his priorities may be different than your's, you believe the worst. . .you might think, He's been playing solitare on the computer! (or riding his bike). Then maybe you nag him. . .
"I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgement." (Romans 12:3)
I've been thinking a lot about that verse -when I'm critical of my husband (or others), then I' thinking more highly of myself than I ought to think-Ahh, hideous pride.
Remember, a critical eye blinds. . .blinds you to the many things to respect about your husband.
(and there's more. . .)

Friday, December 2, 2011

cranberries and cake. . .

Cranberry Coffee Cake is a favorite family-20 years ago I cut the recipe from a magazine. . .
last week when the family came for the holiday, I pulled the cranberries out of the freezer and made the cake. As is the custom, we ate it for breakfast and throughout the day-til only the rich crumbs remain on the plate.

Rich Cranberry Coffee Cake

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (I add a little extra) mixed with 1/4 cup flour
In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Combine dry ingredients and gradually add to butter mixture. mix 1/4 cup flour with whole cranberries; fold into batter (it will be very thick). Spoon batter into 10-inch fluted tube pan, greased and floured. Bake at 350 for 65 minutes (I check after 55 minutes) or until cake tests done. Let stand 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Cool on a wire reack and dust with powdered sugar.

(I still bake this cake in a cast iron bundt pan with chipped orange enamel on the outside-a wedding present; it's tradition.)