It’s the Little Things

But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 1 Timothy 6:8

“Some Italian sausages and candles, and we have ourselves a nice evening together with the family,” my mother-in-law stated matter of factly as we sat at the dinner table.

And I thought to myself that life is really about the little things, the tiny details, yet they are most amazing blessings  in life.

Humans are constantly seeking bigger and better.

We want bigger houses. Better health. More money. Fancier clothes. Faster cars. Etc, etc.

But what about the things we already have?

God has blessed us with so much undeservingly. It’s hard to even grasp completely with our minds.

Life will never be absolutely perfect or the way we want it, but appreciating what we have and thanking God for all our blessings at the given moment will indeed make you a much happier person.

What are the little things that make you happy? If you’re like me, you might make a list. Read over it once in awhile, especially on a bad day. Not a list-making kind of person? It’s ok! Ponder on all your favorite “little things” and thank God for them!

Marta’s Favorite Little Things in Life:

-My husband’s smile and green eyes

-My 4 year old son telling me “I love you”

-My baby girl’s sweet laugh

-Birds chirping, greeting me in the morning

-A hot shower at the end of a long day

-Sunny + warm day

-Sound of ocean waves

-Smell of fresh coffee brewing

-As well as fresh cut grass

-Baby toes…they are just too cute

-Clean laundry all folded

-Kids telling me “Can you always be our teacher, Mrs. Podgayskiy (I’m usually the substitute)

-Pink sunsets

This list can keep going and going. And I will probably find myself coming back to it toadd more. God truly is good to me and to us all.

 

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Confession of a Man

Husband made a confession.

“I hate how you don’t tell me what you want. Well, and other men hate that too.”

Guilty. I am so guilty of this mistake: thinking that he can read my mind and surprise me with exactly what I want. Alas, that’s not how it works.

I guess this is where good communication skills come into play. Stop expecting things from your husband and voice your wishes instead.

Want to go on a romantic weekend getaway? Don’t expect your husband to know that and plan it if he doesn’t know about this desire of yours.

Want a new [fill in the blank] for your birthday? Don’t think he already knows if you haven’t mentioned it yet.

Whatever it is. He doesn’t know if you haven’t  spoken it out loud. Maybe he knows. But more time than not, he needs to hear it first.

So speak up, and let the love of your life stop playing guessing games.

Don’t want to say it? Write it! A letter, a post-it note, a text, an email. But stop expecting him to read your mind.

That is of course, unless your husband is a psychic…

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Keep on Dreaming…

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Maybe you’re not like me. But maybe you are.

I’m a dreamer. I love to hope for the future and make grandiose plans.

But especially I love dreaming with my husband. We like to talk about our life together.

We like to plan future vacations and road trips.

We like to plan out our dream home (one day I might get my walk-in closet).

Future jobs and advancements.

Future music lessons and sports for our kids.

Future car.

Ways to be more active in the church.

Gatherings and holidays.

There is always something to look forward to in life together. But that’s the important part: together. Having plans for yourself is good and healthy. But most importantly, having future dreams and goals puts you on the same page. Gives you hope and excitement to go through life’s hardships and joys.

Yes, dreams don’t always come true, but God is in control of everything. It’s crucial to remember the expectations that no matter what happens, God is with us every step of the way.

Keep dreaming. Together. With God.

 

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The Ultimate Decision in Life

Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. Luke 33:32

I love the illustration of the three crosses. The three crosses sum up life in literally one picture.

In the middle we have Jesus of course. The one who gives eternal life. The only one who can give humanity salvation. The one AND only Savior. Period.

On both sides you have two criminals surrounding the Perfect Savior.

But these criminals. They aren’t the same. They have one gigantic difference between them. Yes, they are both criminals who have committed crimes worthy of punishment. But here comes the best part…

One of them asks Jesus to remember him in His kingdom. That’s just so awesome thinking about how great Jesus’ mercy is!

A criminal, yet forgiven for his sins.

Liar. Adulterer. Cheater. Gossiper. Drunkard. Idolater.

Whoever you are. Whatever crimes you have committed, no matter how big or small, (even though in God’s eyes all sins are equal) you can come to Jesus and your sins will be forgiven.

So which criminal are you? The one on the left or the one on the right?

Ultimately, it’s your choice and no one can make it for you.

Have a blessed Good Friday!

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Jesus was a Rebel

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10

If you love Jesus, you must get the satisfaction reading about Jesus interacting with the Pharisees and Saducees, as well as the other “smart” poeple of that day. Jesus always had an answer to their questions, and the answers were never what they wanted to hear. Actually, they were answers they never even expected to hear.

Being a Christian can be quite hard though. So many people hated Jesus and to this day, Christian beliefs are not very popular. Many consider the beliefs a sign of weakness or a sign of old fashion.

But Jesus did not play by the earthly rules. He still doesn’t. Jesus has own agenda.

The world says be on top, be the best, do whatever it takes to win fame and leadership. Jesus says humble yourself, consider yourself less than others.

The world says hate your enemies. Jesus says bless them and pray for them.

The world says marriage isn’t important and divorce is totally ok. Jesus says your vows are until death do you part.

The world says it’s ok to copulate with the same gender, animals, prostitutes, an unmarried partner. Jesus says stay away from immorality.

The world says it’s all about ME ME ME! Jesus says sacrifice yourself for others.

Jesus was quite the rebel, I tell you! He goes against all normal thinkingof this    world. But that is God! He is perfect. And if we wish to please Him, we also need to go against the world’s thinking.

But oftentimes, Christians are afraid to speak the truth the Bible teaches. We want people to like us and in today’s world people get offended pretty quickly. Jesus though, he wasn’t afraid to speak the truth. And he offended quite a lot of people in his day. He had so many haters that they crucified Him on a cross.

Do you think Christians are becoming to think more like the world?

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Silly Advice for Newlyweds

I was a newlywed (3 months married to be exact), sitting at one of my best friend’s wedding. Being the talker that I am, I just had to give some kind advice and what not! Not that I had much to offer, due to my newlywed status. Nevertheless, I was desperate to speak, thinking I knew oh-so much already.

Wondering what I said? Well, let’s just say that after my speech I felt a bit silly. Who was I, anyway to give marriage advice?

In a matter of fact way, I wish the bride and groom, “Be romantic. Don’t think that just because you’re older you can’t hold hands and do cutsie-wootsie stuff.” Seriously, what was I thinking saying that when I have only been 3 months in a marriage myself?!

However, now going on my 5th year, I actually don’t regret saying that. Yes, I did feel embarrassed at the time in front of the older folks for seeming like such a smart aleck and a know-it-all on marriage. Yet, I still want to stay true to my words.

Romance is so important in a marriage! And it doesn’t matter how many years you’ve been together. Of course it’s not the same as the dating and engagement days, but who says you have to stop doing cute things for each other? 

Five years later, I’m still that hopeless romantic. I believe in hand holding and cuddling. Love notes and sweet kisses. Heartwarming hugs and genuine “I love you”s. 

It’s possible! Seriously, when I see grandpas and grandmas holding hands in public places, I know for a fact that it IS quite possible to keep the spark alive! Ok, maybe grandmas and grandpas are holding hands just so they don’t fall over. But I don’t care! They’re there for each other, suupporting every step of the way. 

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Happily Ever After?

Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.” Genesis 39:18

I like examining Bible stories and trying to find a few lessons for myself here and there. You’ll see me doing that a lot. I used to think the Old Testament wasn’t as important to read as the New, but boy, was I ever wrong! The Old Testament is packed with myriads of lessons.

The story that has been  particularly in my mind lately is the love triangle between Leah, Rebekah, and Jacob. Here are two women, both whom became his wives, yet throughout the whole story we see that Jacob continues to love Rachel, and continues to not love Leah.

Honestly. I feel really sorry for Leah. Her father forced her into a marriage where she wasn’t wanted nor loved. She did everything she could to won over Jacob’s heart. She had a son, one after another. Which, back in that day if you were a woman who had babies, especially boys, then you were quite respected for producing heirs to continue the family name.

Rachel, on the other hand, remained barren for quite some time. But Jacob’s heart still remained set on his one true love, regardless of her barreness.

Later on in their life we see that once Rachel eventually does have children: Joseph and Benjamin, they become Jacob’s favorites (and this is where I suggest to never pick favorites. That is just so mean and unfair to the other children!)

So you’re probably wondering where I’m going with all this? But really, the lesson I want to take away from all this is that true love does exist. There’s a reason why Jesus calls The Church, His Bride. A bride and groom know exactly how it feels to be in love.  Through this analogy, God wants to portray His passionate love for us.

I can’t imagine getting married and not being crazy in love with that person. BUT, when love starts out as a passionate emotion, it has to grow into an action. If you’re asking what action, then 1 Corinthians 13 will tell you exactly what you have to do to show love to your spouse, and to anyone, really. Maybe you even know this chapter by heart and I commend you for memorizing how the Bible defines love.

Therefore, when I hear someone say they don’t love their spouse anymore, they are forgetting that love isn’t just a euphoric feeling, but a series of actions. You have to constantly sacrifice in a marriage and grow in your love towards each other. And 1 Corinthians 13:8 tells us that love never ends, actually.

Therefore, the love that God once placed in your hearts, which caused you two to tie the knot, don’t ever forget that love. Yet, don’t forget to show love in action in your everyday lives. ‘Happily ever after’ won’t happen without your input!

So what are special ways you show love to your spouse to live out YOUR ‘happily ever after’? Please share with us!

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A Fresh Take on Blogging

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged, but I’m so happy to say, I finally finished my Weekly Series. One day, my dream is to publish it into a book. If you ready my first post ever, then you might remember, my fourth grade teacher inspired me to be a writer. But until that day when I’ll have extra cash lying around for publishing a book, blogging will be my thing. So join me in this journey. Subcribe to my blog (yes, I’m asking quite bluntly) and be sure to comment in the comments section whenever you feel the urge to speak (er, write I guess is more like it).

If you know me, then you definitely know that I like to talk. Actually, I LOVE to talk. Granted, it sometimes gets me into trouble since I tend to talk too much. However, no one can talk too much about Jesus. And that is exactly what I want to blog about.

I want to talk about Jesus.

Love.

Marriage.

Parenting.

Forgiveness, thankfulness, patience, humbleness, prayer and many more topics that our lives in Christ entail. Oh, I also really like food. So maybe I’ll squeeze in a few food posts here and there. If you don’t mind of course!

Please do come back and share with your friends! Also, check out the Date Nights for some great ideas! Oh, and eventually there will be a Family Fun page too….

Blessings to you all!

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Week 52

Unique Hardships

To the woman he said,

“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
    with painful labor you will give birth to children.

To Adam he said,  

“Cursed is the ground because of you;
    through painful toil you will eat food from it
    all the days of your life.

Women just got it tough. Painful birth, and the pregnancy that preceded it. Not to mention, those babies grow up and drive you crazy some days. Didn’t men just get it easy?

But not so fast! Those poor men, toiling away. They have it tough too with their own sets of problems! Sometimes, I find it so easy to complain how hard a woman’s life is compared to a man’s, without realizing that it is so wrong of me to do that. More importantly, instead of complaining, I should think of things I can thank God for in my life as a woman. Not to mention, I don’t have to worry about the huge responsibilities that were given to men.

It sure is great that God gave each gender heir own sets of roles. It sure makes life easier. That is, if only we followed those roles. In the 21st century everything is so mixed up, turned upside down, and inside up, that it is impossible to tell what women and men are supposed to do. However, the best part is that there are answers for us in Scripture. Even though it may seem “old-fashioned”, God remains the same and so does his truth.

Him+Her Talk
Talk about each other’s hardships and what can you do for each other to make it even slightly easier?

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Week 51

Fear Not

When I am afraid, I will trust in you.  In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. Psalm 56:3-4

A good friend of my dad just buried his 48 year old wife. And I thought to myself, I have no idea when will be the last time I see a certain loved one. It was such a scary thought to me. I got what some people might call a small panic attack! Life is so full of surprises (good and bad) that sometimes we’re not prepared for them. As I was dwelling on this fear of losing someone close to me, (especially my spouse or my child) I realized WHAT AM I DOING?! God does not want us living in fear! He wants us to live each day praising Him, rather than be thinking of what could terrible thing could possibly happen today.

Sometimes, when you look around at all the pain and grief, it’s hard not to panic. Especially if you’re one that follows the world news, then panic can really settle in. Forget world news! Sometimes the people who are close by are suffering just as much! Or better yet, you are the one who is going through an extremely tough time. However, that is why we have Jesus in our lives! He is the only one who can give comfort and hope in the midst of all the suffering. Sometimes, we forget just how powerful His love is for us and how much He really cares about our heartaches. The best part about having Jesus, is that we can live each day without fear! Living in prayer, close to God, we can put fear behind us. And to me, that was a comforting thought after panicking as to what horrible event could happen in the future!

Him+Her Talk

What are your “fears”? Pray together that God helps you comfort your fears.

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