December 5, 2006

 

Encouragement for Today

 

“A Change in Plans”

Melissa Taylor, Proverbs 31 Ministries Speaker, Board of Directors

 

Key Verse:

Genesis 2:20b-22, “But for Adam no suitable helper was found.  So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.”  (NIV)

 

Devotion:

I had the joy and privilege for being a stay at home mom for twelve years.  My husband, Jeff, and I have four kids, and being their mom and keeper of our home has definitely been a full-time job that I love.  I wouldn’t trade my life for anything in the world.  In fact, I planned to continue being a full time homemaker for the rest of my life.  Yep, that’s my plan.

 

Jeff has had his own business for years.  While being your own boss has its perks, it also comes with many stressors.  This year, business has been slow.  My hard working husband has had to put in more hours than ever.  He also had to let his faithful assistant go. He does not complain, but his demeanor has changed.  My light-hearted, happy-go-lucky husband has become a quiet, exhausted, workaholic. 

 

Our youngest started kindergarten this year.  This brought tears to my eyes, but I have to admit, I was ready to reclaim my identity.  This was the year to add some fun, fulfillment, and some me time back into days that previously been child focused.  It was Melissa Time!  I had great plans for my freedom:

 

Monday - Clean House (Ok, maybe not fun and freedom, but necessary)

Tuesday - Spend time working on speaking events and writing

Wednesday - Bible study group, lunch with friends

Thursday - Tennis, lunch with Jeff

Friday - Volunteer at school, lunch with kids, tennis

 

This was the year I had been waiting on!

 

Have you found that it’s hard to enjoy “your time” when someone close to you is suffering?  Each day, I was playing tennis, spending time with friends, or even volunteering at school, I thought of Jeff and how hard he was working.  One day I was working on my Bible study and I couldn’t escape the thought of my husband.  I asked God to show me specifically my part in Jeff’s life -- not just at home -- but in other areas too. The words “suitable helper” kept ringing in my ears.   So I immediately stopped what I was doing and went to my husband.  I asked him what I could do to relieve some of his burden.

 

Friends, our plans may be filled with good intentions.  Our plans may seem solid, pure, and even efficient and productive.  We have to realize that our plans affect more than just us, and more importantly, our plans don’t belong to us.  They belong to God. 

 

My husband presented me with a new plan.  It wasn’t like mine and honestly, I really didn’t like it at all.  It involved canceling two vacations and me getting a job outside the home.  The new plan involved me spending my mornings in an office, not on the tennis courts or with friends. Do you know what though?  This new plan brought peace to my husband. He needed a “suitable helper” and that was me! His peace of mind was definitely worth my free time.

 

There is more to the story. I’m blessed to have a part-time job outside of the home that allows me to be home from work once the kids are home from school.  Another blessing is that my new boss is HOT!!!!!  My new boss is none other than, Jeff, my super sweet husband. I’m his new faithful assistant!  Working with and for Jeff has brought me joy I never expected

 

I could’ve said, “No” to God and my husband.  Honestly, that was my first thought. But God says in His Word that He knows the plans He has for us, to prosper and to bring us hope.  Had I been disobedient and done it my way, I would’ve missed the blessings I’ve received as a result of listening to Him and my husband.

 

Our key verse today is music to my ears.  I can’t think of anything I’d rather be referred to than a “suitable helper” for my husband. It is fulfilling and satisfying to be needed. Plus, being a “suitable helper” has it’s perks.

 

Have you asked God lately if you needed to change your plans?  Try it.  He just may have something special in store for you that you never expected.

 

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord,  If Your plans are different from mine, would You please show me?  Open my ears to hear You speak Your truth and plan for me today.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

 

Additional Resources:                                                                                

Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed by Lysa TerKeurst

 

Becoming the Woman of His Dreams  by Sharon Jaynes

 

What a Husband Needs From His Wife  by Melanie Chitwood

 

Application Steps:

Begin praying daily for God to reveal His plans to you.  If you are married, go to your husband and ask him what he needs from you.

 

Reflection Points:

Do you spend time with God daily?  Are you still enough to hear His voice?

 

When was the last time you asked your husband for his opinion?

 

Key Verses:

Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.”  (NIV)

Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.”  (NLT)

Proverbs 16:3, “Commit your work to the Lord, and then your plans will succeed.”  (NLT)