The worship service at church yesterday was powerful. God's presence was so strong and it was truly....worship. I hate how I forget so easily that God deserves my undivided worship and attention everyday, not just Sundays. I am so thankful that He loves me despite my unfaithfulness.

I'm currently reading another book, in addition to Dave Ramsey's financial peace book (I have a really bad habit of doing that and not finishing either. But my goal is to finish both of these). Anyway, the other book is Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. Talk about some serious stuff. Man, it's all about unveiling the heart of a woman. What a task!! But they make some very valid illustrations and points that come directly from Scripture and it makes a lot of sense as to why women have a hard time even understanding themselves sometimes.

It's refreshing to be enlightened about something that is so deeply pocketed in your heart. It's nice to hear that I, as a woman, am not crazy for wanting the romance and the intimacy and the tenderness and the list goes on. As human beings, were we not created in the image of God? So doesn't that mean that what God has revealed to us through the heart of a woman is, in fact, revealing to us the character and the heart of God? That is powerful! God did the same thing when he created man. But woman was the grand finale of God's creation. The finishing touch. The detail he just couldn't leave out. What an amazing concept of the romance our Lord desires, longs for with us? A woman holds a special place in the heart of God. She is revealing just that much more of who He is. Yet, so often she is ridiculed and mocked for the desires of her heart. Hallelujah, validation!

I am so thankful that I am married to a man who does not mock my attempts to fulfill the longings of my heart. That doesn't mean he doesn't get frustrated in the process, trying to figure me out. But he is patient with me. I think he really desires for me to have my heart's desires. I also think he interprets what those desires might be differently than I do, differently than the reality. The relationship between man and woman does not have to be so difficult if we both learn to study the way the other was made and the origin for many of the behaviors of the opposite sex. God was so intentional in His creation. He didn't create man and woman to have a barrier of misunderstanding blocking their chance at a successful, romantic marriage. I know that God wants His children to enjoy marital bliss, beyond our wildest imagination. All we have to do is ask and be willing to let Him mold us into new forms so that we are prepared to be what He has called us to be. He is the only One who has the power and authority to do it.

Just like God wants us to have a lavishly romantic love relationship with our spouse, He wants us to have that same relationship with Him. Why do we turn Him away when He longs for us? Because we're scared? Because we're proud? Because we have our own selfish desires? Because we're unsure of who God really is? I think all of the above are true for me. It's hard for me to make sense of it sometimes. But that is where I am wrong. It won't always make sense. It doesn't make sense that God loves us, sinful human beings, the way He does, but that doesn't make it untrue. It's not logical that Christ came to earth in the form of man and was completely God, holy and just, but was always completely human without sin, flesh and blood. It's a matter of KNOWING by faith that God is exactly what he claims. And it's important to have a reverant fear for Him and not to treat Him like He's "one of the boys" because He is not. He wants a personal relationship with us and He wants to meet us right where we are. But it is our duty to respect Him and to give Him what He deserves: honor, glory, praise. It's beyond the capacity of our minds to understand just how holy our God is. But it's important to bear that in mind so that we don't slip out of position and think ourselves equal to a holy and perfect God. Because all that we are and have and desire and accomplish, all of it is directly linked to His hand on our life.

How awesome is the God we serve? It absolutely blows my mind.

Now for Financial Peace University update:

Week 2 focused on having a partner to help you stay the course in your journey to financial peace. For me, that is Jake, of course. I want him to be an active part of helping me budget so that he gets a say as to where we spend our money. It's kind of a struggle though because he doesn't really care whether or not he gets a say. He is content handing all the responsibility to me. But we are working on that together. I pray that God will show him the joy in knowing that your finances are balanced and under control. It's a peaceful feeling.

We were well on our way to having baby step #1 finished in about a month. Then, life happened. My transmission is going out. That's going to be about a $1500 endeavor. So it'll be a little longer before we have the base $1000 in savings because as soon as we get it there this time, we've got an emergency waiting to use it. I tend to get a little overwhelmed looking at the big picture all of the time, crunching the numbers daily and seeing how far we have to go. Really, we DON'T have that far to go. We just need to set goals with specific timelines and work hard to reach them. And we have to be willing to sacrifice some of the things we want in the meantime. It's a lot harder to do in real life than it is on paper. Boy, I tell you. But with much prayer, I know we will meet our goals. My goals for this week are to sit down with Jake and figure out when we would like to have baby step #1 accomplished, despite our setback. And also, a date that we would like to be debt free and the steps we will have to take to get there. Reasonable and attainable goals. One step at a time. One day at a time. Hallelujah to financial peace!

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