MRP 2017: Building a Foundation

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Whew!  This past week has been an emotional rollercoaster that I am still coming to grips with.  What it means for my country and for the world, I don’t know.  But what I do know is that God is still in control and I am trying to stand firm on that.

In the meantime, I have also been thinking about praying about the future of this blog.  What is our vision?  The October study was wonderful and powerful.  Should we try to do more of that, or should we continue doing random posts, or should we still be seeking profiles of women who got married after 30?  How do we continue encouraging singles without posting the same thing time and again?  My Type A self needs a blueprint!

The answer that finally came to me (with the help of Jennifer and my friend Abby) is that we’re going to still do a bit of all of the above, but within a larger framework.  I love books like the Happiness Project and Jen Hatmaker’s Seven (if you haven’t read the latter, you really should!!), in which the writers challenge themselves to grow by choosing to do something different each month.  Sometimes it is only by challenging ourselves that we really see what we are capable of!

In addition, I know both Jennifer and I have written several times about the importance of building a foundation – both before and after marriage.  Jesus teaches us to build our houses on solid rock and not shifting sand.  So we’re going to use that as our framework.

In 2017, our overall theme will be “Building a Foundation.”  Each month, we’re going to choose a different theme that is part of building a foundation of rock for your future marriage.  Examples of monthly themes will be “Being Healthy,” “Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone,” “Building Spiritual Disciplines,” “Being in the Word,” etc.  My vision is that this blog will be a space of encouragement, inspiration, and accountability.  We can challenge each other and ourselves to grow into godly wives and husbands.

I hope that you will join with us!  Come be a part of the challenges, write posts, offer encouragement, pray, and let’s each help one another in building a godly foundation!

First step: What suggestions do you have for monthly themes??  What do you think are important parts of a foundation in being a godly spouse?

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Proverbs 24

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By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established – Proverbs 24:3

I have been thinking recently about building a strong foundation.  I am at the start of my marriage, but the reality is that I started building my foundation years ago.

The cornerstone of my foundation was accepting Jesus, 14 years ago.

I added to that church attendance – years of sermons that grew my understanding of what it meant to follow Him.

My next stone was my own Bible study – I read the Word, I joined studies, I participated in external groups like Bible Study Fellowship.

Next, prayer – this is still a small stone for me that I am working on enlarging.

Sometimes I built quickly, adding layer upon layer.  Sometimes the foundation sat dormant for months, with no activity, no growth.  But always I returned to it.

I was building a foundation for my marriage by first becoming a strong, committed Christian.  I bring the wisdom of that foundation into my marriage and it makes me a better wife.

Let me ask you, what are you doing right now to build your foundation for your future marriage?

While a lot of the building I did myself, piece by piece, the reality is that the strongest foundations are not built alone.  When Solomon built the temple, it was done by many craftsmen.  When Nehemiah rebuilt the wall, it took a whole community.

For me, my foundation has been built with the help and encouragement of others.  Especially one of my best friends, without whose Christian fellowship I would not be the woman I am today.  My small group leaders, whose wisdom and leadership helped mold me.  Pastors whose inspirational and enlightened sermons opened my eyes to new truths in the Bible.

These are relationships that I cherish.  I recognize the role that they have played in helping me build a solid foundation and I hope that I in turn have helped them build their own foundations.

Let me ask you, who is helping you build your foundation?

If you do not have people around you, then I encourage you to find them – get involved in your church, a small group, service opportunities, etc.

Let your house be built through wisdom and understanding.

Proverbs 9

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Proverbs 9:1, 10a [NIV]

Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

I think I was around 17 or 18 when I first began construction. That year, I used a number of tools to start building and carving out a foundation.

The first tool is a cord of unending length. Created from unbreakable material, it stays coiled around my heart and body and connected to the ultimate Source.  It came when I first believed and knew Jesus Christ as my Savior. Prior to that point, I was churched well but God was always Someone I heard of, not knew.  After a tragedy and subsequent struggles, I remember crumbling to my feet and praying intently to God, for Him to hear me and to change me. At that moment, I saw Him, the truth of who Jesus is, and began life anew.

A few tools were small, hammers dipped in Fisher-Price plastic, shaded in primary colors, and made light taps against walls. Like the time I realized it’s never a good idea to forget your laundry in the washing machine overnight unless you like the smell of mildew. And chances are no one likes the smell of mildew.

Some tools were larger. Shiny steel shovels that had the word “hope” engraved in large script. The handle had small valleys for my fingers to fit, making the grip comfortable. Yet repeated swings of force would be needed in order to break ground, due to the soil’s tough resistance.  Like the time I experienced my first reciprocal romantic interaction. I was excited and looked forward to its progression. But its sudden fizzle saddened and confused me beyond measure, leaving me to wonder how this love and relationship thing worked.

The largest tools were the jackhammers, fashioned out of gold and silver. They glittered with luxury and when they shattered the ground, the impact was felt for years to come. Like the time I received my first credit card and officially became chic, important, and adult. So like any chic important adult, I maxed out the card to buy an assortment of goods, only one of which I remember to this day.

In the many days, months, and years after that, the Lord exchanged these tools for others, concrete and plywood, bricks and cement, equipment and experience to build a house of wisdom strong enough to hold all that I would encounter in this life.

Today, I think I have a good starter home. Decent sized rooms. A solid foundation. A sturdy roof.  But it’ll constantly be under renovation. Wisdom is an upgrade that never gets turned down.

Join the conversation!  What has been used to build your house of wisdom? Or what struck you from Proverbs 9?

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Jennifer Jennifer Richardson

Hi, there! My name is Jennifer. I’m 31 and live in the D.C. area. I love Jesus, R & B music, and sugar in all its forms:-)In June 2016, I married my amazing husband, Calvin. I was completely single and waiting throughout my entire twenties. So I know the prayers, fears, and tears that come with prolonged singleness very well. I am excited to share my story and encourage single women who are waiting for God’s best!