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February 27, 2011 / Jessica Turner

What I learned this weekend…

The Dreamer and I spent the weekend away in Birmingham. My parents gifted us with a Marriage Conference and two nights in a hotel! My brother and sister-in-love joined us along with my newly engaged sister, her fiance and his parents.

My parents took Gabriel back to Hamilton to keep while we got away and well its amazing how you don’t know what to do with yourself when your purse is so light.

This morning we head back. The Dreamer slept over 9 hours last night. And for him, that was a much-needed miracle. He had some dreams too he said, go figure. Now he’s finishing up a test for his online schooling before we start heading out. It will be a dream come true when his schooling is over and although I imagine his schedule’s doors to fling wide open, I am sure he’s already dreaming about what is going to fill them!

We learned a lot this weekend and since I have posted so much about marriage lately. I thought I’d share some of my favorite notes from one of the speakers.

Saturday morning he taught on fear. It was very timely as we had just studied fear at our Ramp married ladies’ bible study. He described what he called the fear dance. It consists of these 4 points:

The “fear”dance:

1. I hurt…

2. I want…

3. I fear…

4. I react…

An example would be a selfish thought like it HURTS me when The Dreamer would rather go outside and start a project instead of spending time with me and Gabriel. I WANT him to change. I FEAR we are not in our right place with him; therefore, all of his priorities must be out-of-order and we will spend the rest of our lives being the last thing he wants to make time for in his day. I REACT and decide and I am going to take control of the situation and let him know his priorities are out-of-order and that he is ignoring us and ask him why he doesn’t like spending time with us!

Let’s say I make that mistake and do it….

Then he’s HURT because he just wanted to create a little garden in the backyard for us and I got all offended. He WANTS me to change. He starts to FEAR that I am becoming an over-sensitive, selfish, nagging woman and not proud of how hard he’s working to make something beautiful for us. So he REACTS and lets me know that I am over-reacting, insecure and irrational…then I am HURT again…and the “fear” dance continues. An argument develops as angels and heaven stand still while demonic forces have their way in our marriage by fear.

How do we prevent the fear dance?

1. Total exposure with the Lord and cleansing with the washing of the Word.

Get before the presence of God and ask Him to expose fears in your life. Then get in the Word and know what the Word of God says about fear and commit those scriptures to memory and every time you have a fear surface do as Jesus did in the wilderness. Beat the devil as a man with the word of God!

2. Take responsibility for your behavior.

If you start and argument from a place fear, repent. Change your way of thinking. Repent to your spouse and God ask for forgiveness and get in the Word and quote something! (Out Loud Together if You Have To! You’ll at least laugh together!)

3. Put faith in God and Trust Him with Everything!

This speaker described fear as a negative picture from hell trying to get you to do the wrong thing. So true. We need to have the Word of God in lives to such a level that when hell tries to show us a picture of our lives void from what the Word of God says about our life in Him an alarm sounds off and we shut the ugly down and back to hell with the Word of God!

4. Treat fear as an enemy and don’t let it control you.

In the fear dance you see how easily fear can make you say negative things. Remember,… “The power of life and death is in the tongue…” be committed to only speaking life over your spouse and marriage. If you don’t know what to say get out the Word and just start quoting it. Decide today you hate fear the way you hate hell and all its attachments.

The Dreamer finished his test….excuse me…I love you guys.

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February 7, 2011 / Jessica Turner

And the Winner is…

Drum roll please…

Congratulations!

Heidi, send me an email @ jessicalynturner@gmail.com with your address and I will send you the book!

I hope you are excited! You will love it!

Thanks everyone for commenting and reading!

I will have to do it again soon after all Jesus himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive!’

February 4, 2011 / Jessica Turner

The Storms of Obedience

I wrote this blog as I watched it snow outside, again.

I’ve had about all I can take! No sun all week has been bad enough. Now more sleet and snow?

On the good side of things I finished my book Thursday night, “The Mark of A Man.”

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!!!!!

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Yes! That is a Real Good Looking Man. But, he’s taken so here is the book:

I told the Dreamer it was happy/sad because I so enjoyed it that I secretly longed for it to go on forever…

So to spread the joy it brought me I thought I’d Give One Away! You want one?

The mouse is sold separately, sorry. But it works great on the camera lens!

This photo was followed by three words, “Gabriel, No, No.”

To enter the giveaway just comment on this post and then I’ll have Gabriel draw a number out of his cowboy hat and if your comment is that number I’ll send a book your way. Yay! (For example, if your comment is the first, your #1, if it’s the third, then your #3, etc.) Oh! And only one comment per person…

I promise you’ll love it. It will challenge you as a woman and as a mom if you mother sons. You will want to read it to your husband. But, don’t. Restrain from giving too much advice and pray against ever having manipulative thoughts again. 🙂

Its raining a winter mix now. The Dreamer’s out working in it…

But, its all going to be ok because I am starting a new book today, “Feminine Appeal” by Carolyn Mahaney. And I have hot chocolate. I am heading that direction now.

Love you for reading…

February 1, 2011 / Jessica Turner

The Storms of Obedience

Today is blustery.

My back porch door keeps slamming shut with each gust of wind. You can hear it from the front door.

I keep watching the front porch flag out the window. It’s bound to come flying off its post soon enough. I need to go out and save it.

James Spann says to expect big storms tonight. The Dreamer has a secret passion for weather and called to tell me the exciting, extreme weather news.

I am not a fan of winter weather, but I do love a good storm.

Don’t get me wrong a good snow day is exciting, but I appreciate its rareness in Alabama. It’s just one of the many reason I live here.

The Dreamer grew up in snow. I am convinced. He loves his long underwear. I always forget my coat; on purpose.

During winter everything is dead. Have you noticed? Grass, dead, leaves, dead, trees look, dead, blue lips look, dead its very depressing or at least can be at times. Yet the Lord finds death so necessary in our lives.

I was sharing with Lauren Michelle Wheaton Bentley (her blog here) this weekend about the wonderful book I am almost finished with reading, The Mark of a Man. I am in the part of the book where the author is writing to her nephew, Pete, about what it truly means to be a man. It talks about how the husband, under Christ, is supposed to love his wife like Christ loves his church and Christ’s love was wrapped up in death. I die daily…Paul said. A constant selflessness brings about life. Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t that just like winter? A death for life.

Obedience can feel like death. Especially when it hurts your flesh, rights and will. But what rights do we think we have outside of the will of God? And the will of God is beautiful. A laid down, obedient life He can not resist. He brings to it life, abundantly. Elizabeth Elliot says in the book, “Make no mistake. If obedience is what marks a man, it can be nothing less than obedience that marks a real woman.”

I am working on the obedience thing with Gabriel daily. We are hopefully progressing to the big boy potty. When he tells me he’s poopy we take the diaper and empty it in the toilet. He gets to flush it. He loves it and I caught him trying to flush his sippy cup down instead one day so we still have some work to do…

And so do I…on being a real woman. Obedient. Ouch.

xo-jess

January 11, 2011 / Jessica Turner

Scheduling and conditioning my heart.

Don’t you just love January and all the freshness it brings to life? Sure the bank account may not be blossoming after December and all its extravagance had it’s toll, but with January comes the determination to do better and that just makes you feel so fuzzy and proud inside. (Elmo adjectives, I know.)

Today I did my best to listen and obey my husband’s wish. I created a daily duties and cleaning schedule for myself. I didn’t want to do it, but I have learned to listen over the past year. And hopefully  I am doing better at obeying too.

When making my schedule I came to a panic point. Gabriel! Two naps? Or should I be moving him to one now? He is 16 months and everyone says thus and such…so I call The Dreamer in my questioning as I am sure he is in the middle of climbing a ladder onto someone’s icy roof who is upset because the snow has covered their dish and now they have no signal and the world is ending because they have no TV and had to watch the game last night somewhere else and he is receiving all their flack and I call, why? Because I have a very important nap question. And the Dreamer’s response is so sobering,”Does he still get tired in the mornings and afternoons? Doesn’t he behave badly without them? Isn’t he still a year old?”

I respond, “Yes.” (Thinking… “I can’t believe I called about this…”)

The Dreamer, “Then keep him on his 2 naps. Its ok.”

So I hang up the phone and move onward to nap time. And as The Dreamer’s instated method of sleep I rock Gabriel for about 5-10 minutes before laying him down.  As I am rocking, Gabriel’s head pops up and he says, “Down.” I know what he means and a bit disheartened as I have learned to cherish rock time, I carry him to his crib and he squeezes his blanket close by his chest and sleeps.

I remember the days of sleep training, Baby Wise? Attachment? His bed? My bed? Rock? Or just lay down and let cry? I would read a little of this and a little that to The Dreamer and he would half-way listen and then one day told me what we were going to do. I thought isn’t rocking a bit confusing? Sleep on Momma and then I lay you down? But, I submitted and now it is the most precious time I have. I rock and pray and Gabriel sometime murmurs little prayers and songs in his toddler language too. The Dreamer may not be right by Baby Wise or Dr. Sears, but The Dreamer is the head of this home not Baby Wise or Dr. Sears. And when the head assumes his role of initiation and I assume my role of response it works beautifully, perfectly.

In Elizabeth Elliot’s book, “The Mark of a Man” she tells a story of a listening to a Christian feminist talk about her and husband’s 50/50 role life. He does 50% of the housework and so does she, etc. She used Ephesian 5 as her main source of reference scripture and taught of how things were “different” in traditional biblical times and that standard could not be true of today, etc. She got to a question and answer section at the end of her talk and Elizabeth had a question for her. She asked her, “Do you see a difference, I wanted to know, between the way a husband submits to his wife and a wife submits to her husband? Her answer was no. The positions are interchangeable then? Yes. May I then reverse the nouns in the passage? Of course. I began to read: “Husbands, submit yourselves to your own wives as you do to the Lord. For the wife is the head of the husband as Church is the head of  Christ…She stopped me. You can’t carry the analogy that far, she said.

The analogy was God’s. He took the most intimate and important human relationship and showed how, if followed correctly (in order), it would illustrate to us a much deeper reality. The reality of Christ and His church. He knows that me fulfilling my role in response to The Dreamer’s initiations is a key to exposing the great mystery of my life fully submitted to the Word of God. But, each much play their role for if they are reversed it doesn’t work. It just creates confusion.

So as the The Dreamer and I move onward to deeper schedules for our family, I pray for the grace to continue to listen and submit so that the Glory of God will be revealed in our lives. He has done all things well.

December 16, 2010 / Jessica Turner

You’re Here

I have to admit, for being a part of a ministry I am really out of touch concerning contemporary Christian music.

But, due to new Bartlett family Christmas tradition we attend Church of the Highland’s Christmas Spectacular (I like to call it) every year.

Last year Gabriel was only 3 months so I watched from the nursing mother’s room and cried as a young girl walked out on the platform and sang this song.

I had completely forgotten it till this morning as I praying about Christmas and it suddenly came to memory.

Thanks to the powerful google search engine, I found it and it’s been on repeat, and so have the tears…

http://www.rhapsody.com/francesca-battistelli/youre-here

I so want to give beyond my means. And I am dealing with it hard this year. Truthfully just knowing I am dealing with it and knowing how stupid it is frustrates me more than anything. It makes me almost hate Christmas…

Yet I know this is the Lord judging my heart. I love how committed He is to ridding anything in us that hinders Love. And it’s true there is so much about Christmas that makes Love (God) so small. And when I think about my Savior birthed in the midst of animals, living through the restraints of being child, enduring life on earth, the rejection of man, brutal death just for communion with me and if that wasn’t enough He even came back and then sent His Spirit to guide me to make sure I don’t grow up and give out the wrong kind of Christmas I suddenly feel joy rising up within me. He is here and coming. Merry Christmas.

You’re Here by Francesca Battistelli
Hold on now, I gotta take a deep breath
I don’t know what to say when I look in your eyes
You made the world before I was born
Here I am holding you in my arms tonight
Noel, Noel, Jesus our Emmanuel

You’re here, I’m holding you so near
I’m staring into the face of my savior, king and creator
You could’ve left us on our own, but You’re here

Don’t know how long I’m gonna have you for
But I’ll be watching when you change the world
I look at your hands, they’re still so small
Someday you’re going to stretch them out and save us all
Noel, Noel God with us, Emmanuel

You’re here, I’m holding you so near
I’m staring into the face of my savior, king and creator
You could’ve left us on our own, but You’re here

Someday I’m gonna look back on this
The night that God became a baby boy
Someday You’re gonna go home again
But you leave your spirit and flood the world with joy

You’ll be here, I’m holding you so near
I’m staring into the face of my savior, king and creator
You could’ve left me on my own, but You’re here

Hallelujah You’re here
Hallelujah You’re here

November 22, 2010 / Jessica Turner

Lately it’s “Lower.”

Go low.

It’s all I have heard lately.

Go low.

I pray, “Jesus I have heard, seen and can feel words against me.”

Go low.

Only God can measure a man.

I pray, “Father, I struggle with submission. I want my two cents to be heard, desperately.”

Go low.

“Let a woman learn with all quietness and submission.” 1 Timothy 2:11

I pray,  “I am frustrated with purpose. I feel unimportant, useless, and as if all my efforts are meaningless.”

Go low.

“..if we endure, we will also reign with him.”2 Tim. 2:12

I ask, “I want more of You. I need You. I long to draw nearer and nearer and nearer to Your presence. Show me Your ways, that I may know You.”

Go low.

“Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2Timothy 2:22

I ask, “Lord, show us how to correctly steward what You have given us. Give us direction and self-control in our finances.”

Go low.

“One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.” Proverbs 11:24

I seek, “Lord, I long for heavenly wisdom in child bearing and rearing. Work in me and give me understanding. Work through me and give me patience.”

Go low.

“…indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:3-5

And lately its all increased…

Lower still, Jess.

Lower.

Lower.

Till I screamed out, “I feel like mush! Everything I thought good about me is being crushed, what are You doing?”

Then I heard,

“Stop pressing against my Hands!”

“I am doing exactly what you asked for first, Molding. It starts with mush.”

This is a trustworthy saying: If we die with him, we will also live with him.” 2 Timothy 2:11