Well, as promised, I am walking this challenge out! I did indeed leave the house this evening to spend time with some really great friends of mine who I happen to work with. And do you know what? It was WONDERFUL! What a blessing our time together was! I absolutely needed the time away from home and the routine that has become my life.

As I began to think about the changes that I wanted to make this summer concerning my life and the way that I wanted to begin living it, I made sure to give myself some very basic but extremely important ground rules  that I admonish you to set even for yourself. The first, and most important one for me was, JUST SAY NO to sin. No matter what the reasoning, the type of event, atmosphere or how well I knew the people, I would not engage in something that I knew was contrary to the word of God in the name of doing something different. No level of adventure and discovery of self is worth putting the state of my soul at risk. As a believer, I want this journey to be a testimony to someone who may not know the Lord, but is watching me or happened to stumble across this blog. I don’t ever want to be the reason why someone decided not to give Jesus a chance.

The other rule that I laid out for myself is a rule that should be a foundational principle in the life of any woman of God: FLEE TEMPTATION! You heard me right! As exciting as this process is on just the first day, I am well aware that Satan would love nothing more than to create situations in which I allow myself to be drawn to someone who is not my husband. I say that because these are activities that I am engaging in without him. I can speak from experience and say that it is extremely hard to desire warmth and affection from your mate and to have to go without it. You spend a lot of time wondering how you can get past it or do without it, and there are many days that it will hurt immensely. If you are not careful, first your eyes, and then your heart will begin to stray from your husband. It’s nothing to be ashamed of! The Bible says that we shouldn’t be ignorant of Satan’s devices! We need to be able to sniff his traps out a mile away so that we can use the Word of God to properly evade them. It also helps when you surround yourself with Godly, morally grounded people, who will help keep you accountable for your actions while you’re away from your mate, and will keep you encouraged and lifted in prayer when things are rough and your heart is hurting.

When I mentioned earlier that I would be engaging in this activity, I said that I would talk about the effect the experience had on me, and what it taught me. First and foremost I learned that I can be away from my family for more than just work! Who knew! I mean I spend so much time with them that I’ve forgotten how to just be a person. I didn’t realize that until about an hour into my visit with my friends. I had been so busy managing my home that I had failed to properly manage. my thoughts about myself. I was more carefree, giddy and relaxed than I’ve been in a while. It’s not because my husband and children are a pain or home is hell. I just simply did not make things a priority in my life, and they absolutely are.

I learned that students really enjoy being around their teachers after hours. Suffice it to say, although I left home to put space between myself and my precious little ones, I found myself with a house full of children tonight! Both of my friends are single- one with a daughter and one with no children at all. They both spend a great deal of time dealing with children outside of school hours. Whether it’s showing up at their events, babysitting for their parents, or planning fun activities for them over the weekend, these two give a lot of their time to their students beyond the scope of the classroom. The beauty in that, is that the students see them as. people. with flaws, issues, and many of the same issues that lots of other people deal with With that being said, I thoroughly enjoyed being around them tonight. A few of them were children I taught who happened to be hanging out.

One last point before I doze off, (I just got home maybe just about an hour ago). I learned that my husband and children can thrive and survive without me physically present! I got no urgent phone calls and everyone was at peace when I arrived home. Let me suggest the same to you: YOUR FAMILY CAN SURVIVE FOR A FEW HOURS WITHOUT YOU! You husband and children know that you care, but constantly doing what is expected of you tends to make the relationship stale boring. If you find yourself getting stuck in what rut, Consistency is wonderful. It says that you are reliable and dependable. You can be, I can be all these things and still keep our men guessing about what we are going to do next.

I want to leave you with this God makes no mistakes. Any issue or bit of trouble that we go through in life, is something that God allows. There is nothing that happens to us that he is not aware of. He has a wonderful plan for your life, and the road to that plan may very be the long way. Trust that God has every intention of fulfilling his promises to you and that your trouble is guaranteed to make you better, if you allow it. Allow God to transform your habits in everyday life and watch how uses these simple efforts on our part to effect change in the life of someone who is close to us. Be blessed!

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