H PrAyEr ClOsEt H
In the morning we put our day in the Lord's hands. We make our plans and begin. As the day progresses though, unexpected interruptions seem to sneak in and steal away our time. Before we know it the day is spent and our investment does little for the emotional savings account.
Plans changed (without our permission) and what we are left with are broken fragments of our day. We pray, "Lord, I had hoped to accomplish so much more today. All I have to offer You are the broken pieces and leftover fragments of what might have been."
Read what Jesus did with a few fragments.
"So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and they set them before the multitude. They also had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He said to set them also before them. So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments.
It never ceases to amaze me how the Lord takes the broken pieces, which He, by the way, breaks, and somehow manages to make something out of them. Nothing is lost; no amount is wasted. In fact, there are leftovers from the leftovers. (How miraculous is that?) Discouragement flees as He gathers the broken pieces of our day (or our life) and makes them into something that will glorify Him. Only a Mighty God can do that.
I encourage you to offer the fragments of your day to Him. Then watch as He creates more out of it than your plan, perfectly executed, ever could.
Lord, "I surrender all to thee, my blessed Savior. I surrender all."
What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen each other in all labour, to minister to each other in all sorrow, to share with each other in all gladness, to be one with each other in the silent unspoken memories?
~ George Eliot ~
Well, I had mentioned, in a previous post, that I would put together a list of things that would assist you in creating a romantic getaway... right in your own bedroom! Well, here goes...
A woman might describe her perfect idea of a romantic rendezvous starting out something like this... My knight-in-shining-armor arranged for the children to spend the night at their grandparents, and for me to take them there while he prepared a surprise gourmet meal (frozen dinners have to count here). I arrived home to find a crayon and play-dough stained dining room tabled covered in a beautiful linen table cloth and set with our wedding china. He lit the candle and escorted me to my chair. He then escaped to the kitchen and returned with my plate filled and being carried on a lovely serving tray. We sat close together, enjoying leisurely conversation, laughing, and eating a hot meal with no interruptions.
After dinner he held my hand and we walked to the bedroom together. To my surprise I found a lovely rose and a box of delicious chocolates laying on our bed. He waltzed me across the floor to the wonderful sound of soft, instrumental music. Into the flickering candle lit bathroom he led me, where a tub filled with hot water and cascading bubbles was calling my name.
I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me. - Song of Solomon 7:10
(Don't worry! I'm going to stop here. I'm sure you can put the rest of the story together. ;-) )
How does that sound? Romantic? Well, I think it does.
So what about your bedroom? And what about the part you play in creating an inviting atmosphere? Does it have the look and feel of a romantic escape, or does it look more like a multi-purpose room (computer room, TV room, exercise room, nursery and bedroom)? While I know what it's like to have limited space, and how important it is to make every space in your home functional, this is one place I would suggest you never compromise on. Whether large or small, your bedroom should be an inviting place of quiet, rest, and romance for you and your husband.
I will only choose to think of he that loves, cares for, and craves me. - Alyssa Anne Vitry
Here are a few ideas for you to consider as you focus your efforts to create a romantic bedroom getaway...
Start at the beginning of the day. For a woman, romance begins with that goodbye kiss in the morning, and is fed throughout the day with words, a tone of voice, etc. Communication feeds romance. Romance doesn't just happen on it's own. It needs help. Attention to the details will go a long way to spark the romantic flame in both you and your husband.
The anticipation of touch is one of the most potent sensations on earth. -- Richard J. Finch
One of the things I've always enjoyed doing is writing little notes and tucking them into places for my husband to discover throughout his day. It keeps me on his mind and gives him little surprises. Sometimes they are scripture verses that I want him to know I am praying for him. Other times they are romantic quotes. And sometimes, they consist of one word... a word that would mean nothing to others, but to us it communicates that I'm looking forward to seeing him at the end of the day.
More than kisses, letters mingle souls. -- John Donne
Get rid of the multi-purpose room. In the same way that waking up to a sink full of dirty dishes can make you feel like your day is loaded before it even starts, a bedroom that houses a treadmill will make you feel guilty for skipping those five miles you keep telling yourself you're going to get to "one of these days." A computer in the corner of the room will remind you of the emails you weren't able to get to, and glancing across the room at the TV on your dresser will have you singing the Veggie Tales song that was playing for the kids earlier.
If you want to "be there" emotionally and physically for your husband then I suggest that you begin relocating some of the "stuff" in your bedroom. Or, perhaps this idea... If your bedroom is the best place to house exercise equipment, the computer, or the television, consider moving your bedroom to one of the smaller rooms. Flip it. Take your old master bedroom and repurpose it. Turn it into the multi-purpose room and design a smaller room for your romantic retreat.
Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved bring a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring. - Oscar Wilde
Keep the decor simple. Lots of patterns and colors will create a busy atmosphere, not the restful one you're after for a bedroom look. Whether your style is Victorian, modern, old-world European, or shabby chic, you can create a relaxing environment by keeping colors simple, accessories to a minimum, and patterns attractive. Go to the library and browse through some decorating books (or go online) to get ideas. Make a mental note of the ones that make you feel relaxed and then bring the elements you like about it into your bedroom decor.
The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds, and that's what you've given me. That's what I hope to give to you forever. - The Notebook
Keep it clean. No one likes to sleep on sheets that haven't been washed in a while, nor do they like gazing through a window full of fingerprints. Clean bedrooms (and people), that look and smell good have an inviting feel to them.(Try using a subtle smelling, plug in air freshener. I like the "clean linen" scent, and my husband is an anti-perfume man, but this one doesn't give him a headache. It smells, well, CLEAN!)
I will have to tell you: you have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on. - Mr. Darcy
Keep it tidy. Who gets excited about getting up in the middle of the night and tripping over Junior's dump truck, or stepping on Suzie's doll and hearing, "I'm thirsty!" Don't allow yourself to build piles of clutter. Even clean, folded clothes on TOP of your dresser has a messy look. Take the next step and put the clothes in the drawers. Empty overflowing trash cans, and clear the room of clutter.
Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18
Who likes to go to bed alone? This is a rule that my husband and I made at the beginning of our marriage. We try to always go to bed at the same time. Now, there have been exceptions over the years, but we make it a point to make sure the exception doesn't become the new rule. Having that time together before falling asleep has been a strength in our marriage. We enjoy being together, talking, laughing and closing out our day together in prayer.
I found the one whom my soul loves. - Song of Solomon 3:4
Keep A Journal. Consider an ongoing written dialog. Keep a nice looking journal and pen set in your night stand, some place out of the way, but easy to access. I knew a woman that did this with her daughter when her daughter was a teen and how beautifully it worked to keep them connected and "talking" even when there were tough times. (Only they would write in it and then leave it on the other's pillow in the evenings.) Why not do it with your spouse? No rules. No demands. Just write in it when you feel led. Long letters or short sentences, litte remarks or notes, thanksgivings, etc., comments that will be a blessing to look back on and read (especially during a hard time). It could be things you are thankful for, scriptures prayed for one another, encouragements, questions, anything that works (maybe not to-do lists though - that wouldn't work for us).
This is my beloved and this is my friend. - Song of Solomon 5:16
Don't go to bed exhausted. Sometimes this can't be helped, especially if you have babies and small children. But, if you can order your day in such a way that the children go to bed earlier than you do, then you will find that going to bed, when you're not exhausted, will give you time to relax before falling asleep, and it will make your sleep much more restful.
Candles and soft music are nice for creating a romantic atmosphere. Scented or unscented, a flickering light is very relaxing and soft music will help you leave the cares of the day at the door.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. - Matthew 6:21
Don't talk about weighty things. This is another rule we made for ourselves early on in our marriage. We don't talk about things that get the mind going before falling asleep... money, relational problems (with each other, in-laws or friends), discipline issues with the kids, home improvement needs, etc. Don't bring up subjects that will hinder a good night's sleep. Save those things for another time.
I've looked around enough to know that you're the one I want to go through time with. -- Jim Croce
In our culture, romance is a term used to imply love relationships. But, historically the term "romance" implied more of a state of mind, an "expression of the soul." We also know that biblically, the soul is the mind, will, and emotions, right? So when you think of the word "romance" think of it both in the old world sense of a state of mind, and the love relationship you have with your husband. Putting the two together will help you to prepare your bedroom for both.
Here's a beautifully romantic song that I love .....
I Will be Here (sung by Gary Valenciano)
Heaven is the beginning of an adventure in intimacy, "a world of love," as Jonathan Edwards wrote, "where God is the fountain." The Holy Spirit, through the human authors of Scripture, chose the imagery of a wedding feast for a reason. It's not just any kind of party; its a wedding feast. What sets this special feast apart from all others is the unique intimacy of the wedding night. The Spirit uses the most secret and tender experience on earth- the union of husband and wife- to convey the depth of intimacy that we will partake with our Lord in heaven. He is the Bridegroom and the church is his bride. There we shall receive our new name, known only to our Lover, which he shall give us on a white stone (Rev. 2:17) --The Sacred Romance
On a side note:
Holidays mean more when you know the origin of what you are celebrating, in my opinion.
(For those of you interested in reading the origin of Valentines Day, here is a great article that you might want to share with your family.… http://www.actsweb.org/daily.php?id=587&tpl=daily_template.htm )
I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day. H