Thursday, July 17, 2008

What you see is not what my family gets

My husband is a leader for our youth group that our son Aaron is in at church. Early this morning they left for Colorado to attend a youth conference and will return home sometime Sunday evening.

I called Gene as they were about 2 hours away and promised him that he would not be returning to the same woman he left behind.

The woman who acted disgusted with him over the phone as he searched for something she requested and didn't bother to thank him when he found it. All while basking in the sun at the pool while reading her Bible study book for the Tuesday study she leads. That was Monday.

Then on Tuesday you would have thought it was the end of my world by my reaction when he brought home the generic version instead of the Dawn liquid soap I asked him to buy. Acting as if my pots are above being scrubbed with cheap soap I missed thanking God for the good steward of our money he was by refusing to pay $3.00 more for a name.

Last night was worse as he sweetly reminded me before I went to Wal-Mart to buy two bungee chords for the sleeping bags. I rudely cut him off with an exaggerated exhale of my lungs and said, "Gene, I know! You've reminded me 3 times now!" I disrespected him in front of our son.

When he asked me for the chords this morning and I said I forgot them, he didn't even sigh. He respected me in front of our son.

What a week it has been for the man joining our youth pastor in taking a bunch of God-hungry youth to the Rocky Mountains to worship and praise the Lord for the weekend. What a send off his "woman of God"gave him. Ugghh!

Proverbs 4:23
Above all else, guard your heart.
For it is the wellspring of life.

When I was doing a Beth Moore study recently she said that when a verse starts with "Above all" to take that as a big red flashing light for us. So today I am halting at this flashing light and really taking a hard look at myself.

As you know, whatever is in our hearts will flow out through our words and our actions. All morning I've been asking myself

what is really in my heart?

We can put on pretty Christ like faces all we want when we greet strangers or sound Christ like when we answer the phone in a sweet voice after ripping our loved one apart. We may fool others, but we will never fool God; for He sees us just as we are.

A few weeks ago our son Aaron had his dog Kane in his bedroom. This is what he found when he opened the door.

Sweet and innocent on the outside, but what is really inside Kane's heart is the desire to destroy anything he can get his teeth on including Aaron's comfy pillow. He would never do this in front of Aaron, but once he gets behind closed doors he becomes a different dog.

A woman who wants the view that my Heavenly Father sees to be the same whether He is looking inside my heart or watching over me, I have much surrendering to do. I want my family to see the same woman in church on Sunday that they see behind closed doors Monday through Saturday.

Examine my heart Father and please unclog the arteries that are filled with disrespect, anger and frustration. I want the DNA of my talk to match my walk.

Jesus, You are what I want to overflow from my heart because You are just so good.

~Many Blessings~



Tammy R said...

I can so relate!

You aren't alone.I sometimes wonder who that person is that my husband married,when I have my moments:)

Runner Mom said...

Boy, did your blog hit home!! I once had someone tell me that we are the rudest to those closest to us because we know that they will continue to love us with unconditional love. Our husbands, our children, and God will always love us even though we act and say yucky things. I appreciated your DNA analogy!

I'll be praying for you this week!
Love ya,
Susan said...

I couldn't help thinking about all the invading Satan was doing as the P31 team prepared for She Speaks. Now Gene is off to do some important God work and he's trying to use you as his tool.

Good for you for fighting the destroyer off at the pass. You may have stumbled a bit, but your feet are on solid ground now.

Love the dog analogy.


nothingcanseparateme said...


Well aint that the truth now!!! Why is it sooooo hard to show the loving kindness to those closest to us?

My younger two boys are involved in our church youth group also. There are leaders that they like better than others. One day I asked them what they liked about these particular leaders as oppossed to the others. The response was "they are the same person on Wednesday night youth group as Sunday morning." Meaning they are true to who they claim to be--followers of Christ.

I pray that Gene will be a true man of God this week at the youth conference. dog also waits until no one is watching!!! It's good he is cute!!

many hugs!

Tracy said...

How I needed these words today. Thank you for being so transparent and real. Too often I have worn these shoes. While I can usually keep my mouth shut, the critical thoughts often play in my head, which in turn creates bitterness and disrespect. I'm echoing your prayer today. Thank you for speaking the truth my heart needed today.


Amy L Brooke said...

Very true and very convicting. Who we are behind closed doors is more who we are in front of others. God wants to fix the recesses of my heart -- not just the outside. He wants me His all the way through.

I love your honesty.

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Your honesty is beautiful. Your honesty is encouraging. I too had such an attitude x 100. When my beloved left basically because of it, I began to think there really was something wrong with me and that other real Christian women didn't act this way. Granted God has dealt with me and my actions/attitudes. However, I was not fortunate as you to have a man stay around for the long haul. I guess my beloved's DNA is/was different from Gene's and many other men! But the Lord can change our spiritual DNA for sure!

I agree with Susan. I did the study called "Conversation Peace" and it addressed this issue. It addressed how we do act more "ugly" with our immediate family because after all they will always love us unconditionally, right? My beloved did not understand this concept, even though a wrong concept, a real one.

I pray right along with you that both our hearts are changed to be the same seven days a week and regardless of the side of the door. I think God's done a mighty work in me thus far and I'd love to "prove" it when beloved returns.
Love ya, friend.

LynnSC said...

Hi Lelia,
I can so relate to this post. So often, I react in a way that makes me sorry later... and it is almost always with my family.

I long to allow God to fill my heart with himself... so that He will be what overflows.

Thanks so much for sharing and being honest. God loves our honesty.

Hope to get my chapter post up soon. What is the hold up???????

Mari said...


We are not perfect until we are home in heaven. Yes we will fail. And sometimes we'll fail big. But as long as we let the Holy Spirit convict us of it, repent and then turn from it, it's not wasted. God teaches us through our mistakes too.

I know you will let the Holy Spirit minster to you and change your heart. He is strong in you!

In Christ,

Kelley said...

I'm afraid I know exactly what you are saying. I am really having to be intentional with my behavior toward those around me, especially my husband. We sat down and prayed together last night and that helped a lot! We don't do that often enough and it is one thing God uses to bring us closer to one another. Of course when the kids walked in during the prayer, they heard John say "Father" and I was crying so they thought something bad had happened to my Dad....

Counting the days until Monday...

Laurie Ann said...

Leila, thank you for your honesty. God bless you for sharing your heart's desire with us. I so needed this message today. My prayer echoes yours.

tiggerdaisy said...


You are so real; so raw; so open. I, too, can relate to saying things that I regret as soon as I say them. Too often I speak before I think.

I have found one thing to be true with regard to our tongue and attitudes. We choose whether to be in a good mood or a bad mood. At first, I didn't get this as I was always blaming the other person. But when I realized that I reacted differently to the same situations, I began to see that the problem was with me. If I go into a conversation with a poor attitude, you can count on me speaking out of turn. But when I choose to change my attitude and my view of things, it's amazing just how HAPPY and LOVING and FRIENDLY I can be.

I love your honesty. I think many women (and men) deal with the exact thing you are dealing with...myself included.

May God cleanse us and make us pure in heart. May He fill us with joy so that we may share that joy with others. May He rid our bodies of ugliness and disrespect, and fill us with His love. May it be so Lord.

Prayers and blessings,

Lisa said...

Oh my, Lelia. Oh my. Thank you, dear friend. Thank you for your honesty and bravery in posting this. I can so relate to you, more than you know. It's scary.

You took the mask off and got real. You know how I feel about that! Powerful stuff!

One of the things God convicted me about a few months ago was that I was not spending enough time praying for my husband. I'm probably gonna blog about it on Monday, but basically, He showed me that I didn't love Scotty like I should because I didn't pray for him enough -- the quick 2 minute prayers each morning weren't cutting it. So...I started going through Power of a Praying Wife. I have to tell you, it has really helped me and helped our relationship. I am so ugly sometimes in my selfishness, especially when it comes to my marriage. Taking the time to pray for him instead of myself has helped me stop thinking about me so much. And believe me, that is a miracle in and of itself!

Love you tons!
Lisa :)

hkudla said...

Thank you for this post. God has been impressing on me that I NEED to be reflecting Him with my children especially. I find myself giving in to frustration and anger that they aren't doing what they are "supposed" to... they are 2 and 4... what are they "supposed" to do?! It is my job to train them up in the way they should go... and that doesn't include yelling at them for chasing the cats around the house, when I swish the cats out of my way with my foot when i need to get by...
one of many examples from this past week.
feeling sick is no excuse for landing on them so hard when they clamor for my attention and want to climb on me when I have a killer headache...
They need their mommy, and i haven't been doing a good job. Being exhausted is no excuse.
I always enter each day with such good intentions and go to bed each night with tears and prayers that God would help me do better. I have to keep apologizing to the kids for yelling, esp. with my 4 year old boy. when will I learn? It isn't them that need to learn... its me!
Thank you for the reminder.
God bless you,

Jill said...

Thank you for sharing with honesty. And know you are not alone in this struggle, but let God use it to draw you even closer to Him and make you even more like Him. Thanks for your insight and reminder to stop at the warnings God gives in His word. At times it's too easy to read and move right to the next thing - that's not what He wants or what we need. Have a blessed day, Jill

LauraLee Shaw said...

Wow, does my husband need to read this!!!! That'll adjust his attitude for SURE!

I'm just kidding. :) This post really ministered to me. You have really hit the central chord of the heart of every marriage. If each person would give his or her best, relying on the Holy Spirit to love through them, it would transform our relationships. Like you, I've had to learn this the hard way, after hurting with my words or my actions (or inaction for that matter).

Your authenticity and vulnerability are contagious, sister. May the Lord continue to use it to bring out the same in others.

MrsProverbs31 said...

Okay, Lelia, I'm convicted. Thank you. I am going to pray hard for this conviction to take actions for improvement.

Really, thanks for sharing. This reminded me of 1 Corinthians 10:13. I am convinced you and I are not the only ones experiencing this. Thank God.

Yolanda said...


We are thinking the same way...Lord let me have integrity and character, and it has to start at home FIRST. What others see, is what is truly happening behind closed doors is my plea.

I love you and am praying for you as you pray for me.


Leebird said...


I need to meet you one of these days: not only do you share a name with my beloved Granny, Lelia Maxwell (best chocolate pie maker of all time), you sound so much like me!

My poor husband! Some days, I'm sure he thinks he married the devil's little sister!

I saw your prayer request on Renee's blog. I will join you in praying about the house maintenance needs. I'm terrible! For instance, today I have done NOTHING! My house is a mess and I've wasted the whole day. I'm am leaving this computer right now and getting busy! Praying for both of us to allow the Lord to order our days. Blessings, Lee

Edie said...

Leila your courageous honesty is Wonderful! Your willingness to be so utterly transparent and your humble heart very much humbled me before my God. I'm so glad I came by. Thank you.

Also, I wanted to say thanks for praying for me (P31 devotion prayer) and for stopping by to introduce yourself to me too. That was sooo very sweet. I wanted to do that for the person I am praying for but she is Anon. At least God knows her. God Bless you sweet sister.
(edie7777 at tx dot rr dot com)

Edie said...

Oh... and I forgot to say...
I LOVE the dog! :D

swallowingamoose said...

Your so funny i just love you!