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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Suicide is Painful

I went back through this past year of "Two shall become One ~ Tuesday" posts and found that this one brought a lot of response from you. Given the subject matter I think it applies to a lot of people and I thought I'd re-post it today.

Originally posted March 10, 2009


This past week I sat with a girl friend who was reeling with pain. Her life had been turned upside down by the actions of her father. She explained how he suffered from depression this past year after losing everything he'd worked so hard for through this struggling economy. The thoughts of living his twilight years in despair instead of comfort were too overwhelming and shameful for him. Instead he chose a bullet to end his life while his bride of many years slept in the next room.

My heart just breaks for the pain he must have felt, and the incredible grief that suicide leaves for the family that lives. I'm so sorry for their pain. I've never seen my friend's countenance so heavy.

When the family talked to the officers, they said that unfortunately this was a common call of recent days. They've been seeing more and more cases among men since the increase in job loss and the decline in the economy.

Men are wired to be the provider. Their identity is wrapped around their job and how well they provide for the family. When a job is lost and things start to unravel, men feel like a failure. Often when they fail to provide, they feel they've failed as a man altogether.

Wives play an important role in this. We need to encourage our husbands and believe in them and their ability to provide as we struggle through changes in employment together.
They need to know that their wife still respects them and that she will stick by him no matter what.

You might think, husband is a Christian...he should know that his job is not his identity- he is a child of God...
Ok, but he's also human, and God did set it in his heart to be the provider, it's instinctive for him.
We need to be especially vigilant to watch over our husband's heart and emotions.
Encourage, encourage, encourage!

1 Thess 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Heb 3:13
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.

According to Sampson Blair, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology at the University of Buffalo:

Living through a tough economy not only increases the risk of suicide, but other family dysfunction as well, including family violence, substance abuse and childhood neglect. According to Blair, "The economic situation also portends a significant increase in other forms of family violence, including spousal and child abuse, child neglect and other forms of dysfunctional behavior like substance abuse."

Dr. Blair says suicide rates are likely to increase two to three-fold because of the economic depression. Job loss, combined with loss of savings, and other family responsibilities are identifiable risks for suicide, and murder-suicide, and economic stresses can take its toll on other aspects of health.

Blair says, "Financial stressors are among the greatest risk factors for emotional disturbance and such physiological reactions as insomnia and high blood pressure."
We can change this for our family! We can help by de-stressing the home. That will mean different things for every individual home.

As wives, we start by de-stressing ourselves and that will happen through prayer and trusting God's Word in our lives. God is ultimately your provider. Look to Him in your time of need and let your husband see the peace that you walk in...that will be huge to him!

Set your heart on this passage, let is become hope for you so you can walk in peace:

Romans 5:1-5
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

As your heart is filled with peace, let them pour out onto your husband and family. The Lord admonishes us to respect our husbands:
Eph 5:31-33
"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." 32 This is a profound mystery-but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

They need it now more than ever ladies! Use your influence to encourage other women to understand this also...we can make a difference in our families.

Let your husband know that he is worth more than just a paycheck.

I must add that ultimately we cannot control people's emotions. We must do everything we can to encourage, but we are all personally responsible for our own actions and we cannot blame another person if a loved one takes their life. If this tragedy has happened in your family, I am so very sorry and pray that the Lord brings comfort and hope to your home.

I'm praying for our marriages,

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Loving Coffee, Choosing Joy!

I woke up this morning thinking about choosing JOY over our circumstances and then I read this article that Denise sent me. I think it is a good example of choosing joy. I hope it blesses you and helps you choose JOY in your home today.


The pictures of joy are from all around my house, I've been wanting to share them with you, but have been very busy enjoying my family!

Now on to Denise's honest and accurate account of a day in the life of a mom! Thank you Denise! Click on her button to visit her blog!

With four boys, there are some mornings I wake up with one thought....I need coffee. We have a Bunn coffee maker here, my husband can't stand to wait for coffee and I have to say....I cannot imagine my life without my super fast coffee maker.

And as fast as it is, I still find myself standing in front of it waiting for it to finish only to take out the carafe to drink it before it's ready.

I had a day like that recently. The two youngest boys had been up in the night, S4 had ended up sleeping between my husband and I, the dog had gone insane in the middle of the night barking at the neighbors dog or some other invisible was not a nice sleeping night. I woke up in desperate need of my coffee.


And of course, a night like that is followed by a late morning to school. It always happens. You know, when you end up over sleeping trying to catch some of the missed sleep, the boys lost their folder, their shoes, their back pack and you suddenly realize you were so tired the night before you forgot to make lunches thinking you would wake up early in the morning and make those lunches after a good nights sleep...

That type of morning.

When we left that morning, in a rush of yelling and crying and my wet hair freezing to my head, I left my coffee at home. It sat there all ready to go in my super cool orange cup getting colder by the moment. I didn't have time to go back and get it because we were barely going to make it to school in time as it was.


To put it simply, it was not a good morning. Not a morning to shine. Not a morning I want to repeat. Not the kind of morning you want to see anyone you know and always end up seeing everyone you know who wants to chat a bit with you.


I came home and even blogged about the morning.

But as I laughed the morning off, I felt a ping to the heart.

That feeling that means I missed something key and God is going to use the boys again to remind me what it is.


Why don't I feel I need God as much as I need my morning coffee?

Do I ever wake just thinking “Oh, God, You are the only one to get me through this day! HELP ME!”

Do you?


Please don't misunderstand. I'm not saying that if I had prayed first that all the boys would miraculously find their socks and shoes and somehow the lunches would make themselves and I would care less if I had coffee ready or not...but I would think that my spirit would have been more rested, my attitude a little kinder, my desperation turned to God who can fix things instead of blaming the whole morning on “oh, I missed my cup of coffee.”

Okay, my POT of coffee!


I totally missed it that morning. Sure, I can laugh about the day but I don't want to just laugh it off. I would prefer to learn the lesson that God taught me again thru my boys. And thank Him for reaching my heart and reminding me of these lessons I need to learn.


I think the lesson learned will make that morning cup of, pot...taste all the better.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

God's Answer for Our Loneliness

I'm posting over at the Internet Cafe' today, I hope you stop by and leave me a note on the table!

Direct link to article:

Sometimes We Just Need Someone to Understand

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bloody Toes and Healing


We know that as Christians we are called to walk in love, but sometimes I need a reminder of what that really means. I am always encouraged and (honestly) chastised by this verse.

If you don't mind, I'd like to step on your toes today too...

We've all read these words before, but I challenge you to read them and evaluate if you've been living your life this way.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient and kind.
Ok, already...I'm busted!
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
Love does not demand its own way.
OH come on! But my way is better!
Love is not irritable, and
it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.
My toes have no feeling left in them.
It is never glad about injustice
but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Unless it's revenge- and they had it coming! (Shrinking back...~sigh)
Love never gives up,
never loses faith,
is always hopeful,
and endures through every circumstance.
There is no way I can do this!
Oh yeh, I'm not supposed to DO it, I'm supposed to let You live through me. You give me the strength to do what You've asked me to do.

I've been trying to do it in my own strength and only getting more and more stressed. Please Lord, help me today to walk the way I should, help me to love unconditionally.

And thank you Father, for holding my hand and healing my toes.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

*New* "Inspired" Praise and Coffee Mugs

Here they are! I just love them, both are very high quality mugs.

The ceramic mugs are 16oz, bright red with white lettering "etched" not printed on. Very nice sturdy mugs.

The travel mugs are: 16 oz. stainless steel tumbler with satin touch acrylic shell. Patented wave shape for comfortable grip. Patented spill resistant "S" lid. Fits all standard car cup holders.

"Inspired" Mugs

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

When Your Spouse is and Alcoholic


I've spent some time with women whose lives have been destroyed by alcohol. It's heartbreaking to say the least. I just want to wrap my arms around them and make the pain go away, but of course the issues are much deeper than a hug can mend.

I found a really good and thorough website that I believe offers a realistic look at hope and healing.

If that is you or you want to help someone walking through this, check it out. The website is filled with information.

My prayers are with you.

What to Do with an Alcoholic Spouse

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas at the Coffee Mill

What a great time we had!!

Trinity ftL did such an awesome job, thank you!

Alison Hodgson then blessed our socks off with a fun and meaningful message that spoke to our hearts.

Here are some of the beautiful women of Plainwell...
Thank you Carol Berridge of Berridge Photography for taking such great photos, if any of you want some, click on her website to register and download them.

See you again February 4, 2010!

Thanks Barb for bringing your wonderful candles!!

Goodies donated for Sylvia's Place...thank you ladies!!

Norma handing out the giveaways!

Thank you Carol for taking all the great pictures!!

Thank you Calico Rabbit for donating this giant snowman for our giveaway!!

Praise and Coffee "Conversations"

Alison Hodgson, we love you!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December Giveaway and Cheer ON!!

It's December...where did our year go??
I'm sorry I haven't blogged all week! I've been busy decking the halls and getting ready for this week's Praise and Coffee...AND preparing for the retreat that I'm speaking at this weekend.
Feeling a little like a cotton-headed ninny-muggins right now!
But I'm still smiling- cause smiling is my favorite!!!


This month's Praise is:

With the holiday's here I thought you might like:
Casting Crown's "Peace of Earth"

You'll also get some very yummy
"Praise and Coffee" label coffee!!

PLUS, our good friends at Bayview Cards are giving you a beautifully handmade box of cards!


~> Post a comment to THIS post and if you are married, tell us a way that you can be your husband's biggest cheerleader. (Not required, but would love to hear your input).

~> Please make sure that I have a way to contact you-PLEASE!

~> If you have one of my "Praise and Coffee Giveaway" buttons on your blog, let me know and you will be entered twice. Here is a link to all my buttons: Blog Buttons


And it's also Tuesday, soooo time for another Two Shall Become One ~ marriage post.

I am re-posting one that received a lot of response, I hope you enjoy it.


Be Their Biggest Cheerleader!!

Ok ladies, I have a question for you.
Who would you say is your husband's biggest fan?
Who is it that gives him the most kudos?
Who toots his horn the most?

Is it you?
If not, set you hand out in the front of the computer while I knock it with my ruler.

Seriously, we should be their biggest fan!

Men desire respect and will gravitate towards wherever they get it.
In fact we are asked to... encouraged to...NO, we are commanded by God to respect our husbands.
Eph 5:33
...and the wife must respect her husband.

Yes, I know what the first part of that verse says (husbands love your wives) ...but you're not a husband, you are a wife, and this one's for the girls.

Let me say it again.
He will gravitate towards whoever will respect him.
Human beings are drawn to praise and admiration.

Here is a quote from Marriage Builders:

Admiration is one of the easiest needs to meet. Just a word of appreciation,
and presto, you've made someone's day. On the other hand, it's also easy to be
critical. A trivial word of rebuke can set some people on their heels, ruining
their day and withdrawing love units at an alarming rate.

Think about your response when your husband comes home, are you showing him that you respect and admire him by the things that you say and do?

I know that I can struggle with my words.

I have to ask myself, am I building up or tearing down?

We should be a team. We are partners.
Why would I want to tear down my own team mate?

He should never wonder if I'm on his side,
I should make that very clear by my words and actions.

I want him to know that he can count on me to have his back.

Which brings me to another point...
When you are with others, do you speak highly of him or have you ever made fun of him?

I have seen some couples tear one another down right in a group of people and I know there have been times in the past when I was guilty of this too.

It is destructive to a marriage to tear one another down, and it is devastating to your spouse when you do it in front of others.

EVEN can make them the brunt of the best joke!
Please don't embarrass your husband, it will not only deflate them, but could cause a huge wedge to start forming between you.

Be their biggest fan, be their biggest cheerleader (in a non-annoying, non-clapping kind of respectful way).

That's YOUR place in his life, don't let anyone else take it.

Since I like to leave you with a nugget to think about, I'm going to say:

Be their cheerleader!

I hope this (possibly irritating) word picture makes us think before we speak!

I'm praying for our marriages,

Edited to add:
Winner is "Goosegirl" at

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