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Please Note:

We are temporarily at LisaRaub.blogspot.com while we (my "web-design daughter," Sharon and I) work on a new website! Thanks so much for sticking with us!

Monday, May 28, 2012

We've Moved!

The new site is finally up and going!  Sharon has done an AmAzInG job, and I am so excited to have you all see it!

Please head on over to:

www.TheCourageousJourney.com to get your Raub fix!

Don't forget to follow me there, since I will not be posting here anymore, and if you want to have Sharon consider giving your blog a facelift, you can contact her at: contact.sharonjoy [at] gmail [dot] com!

Yours for a Wonderful Journey,

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How to Stay {Happily} Married

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...or, Building a Strong Marriage Wall

“Every wise woman buildeth her house, but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.”

This week, like a knife in the gut, I learned that a friend had gotten a divorce. 

The strangest thing about it is that the husband is a fine Christian man, and they had a desire to serve the Lord.

How can two people who love the Lord not get along so badly that they get a divorce?? 

My husband and I have been talking at length lately, discussing the road so many people travel which leads to divorce.  It appears as though a pattern ultimately lead to the demise of the family.  For now, however, let’s talk about

                How a wise woman can build her house

Imagine a man building a wall.  Brick by brick, piece by piece, he lays down first the foundation, and then the first layer, and the second, and so on.  He works with a smile, knowing this is for his family, whom he loves dearly.  It may not be perfect, because he’s only young and has never done this before, but his heart is in it, and it is his own personal labor of love.

Soon his wife appears.  He looks at her with a grin but stops when he notices her frown.  Striding to the wall, she points at it and sneers, “What’s this?  A mess??  What are you thinking?!?  I can’t believe you would try to build a wall using those bricks!”  She begins pulling at the blocks, berating him at the same time.  He drops his head and slowly walks away, shoulders drooping.

That woman is fast on her way to tearing down her house, and living in low-income housing with no protection whatsoever.

How can this marriage be saved?  What can be done to help this situation?      

Here are some ideas my husband and I thought of for building a strong marriage:

1.        Don’t tear down the wall your husband is trying to build.  Simply have a little self-control and keep your  mouth shut.

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This is where a direct line to God is really wonderful!  You may not be able to say anything to anybody, but does that mean you have to leave it festering inside?  Of course not!  Does that mean that nothing will ever be done about the situation??  Of course not!  Why not take your frustrations too the Lord, who can turn the rivers!  (see Proverbs 21:1)

2.        Decorate the wall!  Make the most out of a less-than-perfect situation!  So your man wants to start up a new business, and you have to sacrifice to help come up with the needed money.  You may even think he will fail!  The wall seems crooked and out of fashion.  That’s ok; make the most of it!  Support your husband, be his cheerleader!  Determine that you will be happy, no matter what, because happiness is not in happenings, it is in the Lord.  Decorate that wall, crooked though it may be, and your good taste and cheer will be the driving force behind his success.

3.       Admire the good that he does – out loud!  (And don’t forget to feel his strong muscles every once in a while!)  J   It sure does add some honey to the romance.

4.       Praise for effort, not performance.  Thank him for his hard work on a job or around the house.

5.       Support him by making good meals and greeting him nicely dressed.  No hair-rollers when hubby comes to the door!

6.       Visit him while he’s involved in his projects; sometimes you can even co-labor with him.  For example, you could bring him iced tea while he’s mowing the grass. 

7.       Ask the Lord to help you build up your marriage and not tear it down.  Marriages do not fall apart in a night, and they do not get built in a night.  Be willing to take some time to work on it and wait patiently for the rewards. 

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The rewards may be long in coming, but they will come!  After all, where will you be in ten years?  Determine that you will be happily married (to the same man, of course!). 

Let’s do what we can to build up our marriages.

Maybe you have some more ideas.  Share them with us!

Monday, May 21, 2012

How to Make Your Home a Better Place - Part 1

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Once there was a man who came to a rocky land.  He determined to make some improvements, so he began yearly planting trees and shrubs.  Soon the rocky land became a fruitful land, full of birds, animals, and life.  His wife was made out of the same hardy stock as he was, and she brought up their many children, teaching them and showing them how to really live.

In the process of time, the man died, and his wife led the household.  Before each of the children left home, she had the same little talk.  In it, she told of the rocky, barren land, their father's toil in planting the trees, and his desire that his children grow up to be useful men and women.  At the end of her story, she told the children a very special saying which they remembered the rest of their lives:

 "Make the world a bit more beautiful and better because you have been in it.”

How can we make the world a better place?  Well, every real and wonderful change always starts at home. 

So the real question is, how can we make our homes a better place? 

Here are some ideas:

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1.  Obey your warm-hearted impulses.
Write that note, say those three special words, rock the baby, call Mom, read the little ones a book, or do any one of a million warm-hearted things that make the world go 'round.

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2.  Push out your cold-hearted impulses.
When the urge to do something mean or nasty comes into your mind, push it out, and replace it with something completely different.  Take a little mental vacation and go somewhere else, letting that cold-hearted desire just slip away.  Even sad thoughts can be replaced with happier things.  Soon you will find those thoughts coming less and less, and much more fun thoughts will take their place.

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3.  Take 5 minutes to just sit and watch the clouds scuttle by, or watch the flowers bloom, or enjoy the birds on the wires.
We all need time to just "be."  We may feel like it's a waste of time, but it's actually great opportunities for our minds to sift through what's really important and what isn't, and begin to make some priorities.  Five minutes isn't much, but it's a great start!

Stay tuned for part 2 in this series, How to Make Your Home a Happier Place.  Do you think the children of that hardy couple really did become useful people?  

Friday, May 18, 2012

Smile Awhile!

Did you know there are 36 :) 's in the Bible? I think God wants us to be happy!!

Smile awhile and give your face a rest!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

How To Be Happy the Rest of Your Life!

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I am very proud of my oldest daughter, Kathryn, and how she's so wholeheartedly followed the Lord in her life.  The other day, I told her, "You know, you win the Happiest Mother Award," because she is so imperturbable in everything that happens.  So even keel and...happy!

Somehow I think she's got the key to happiness, no matter the circumstances.  Here is what she says:

“Follow your heart!” Perhaps you’ve read it in a romantic “Christian” novel, where the heroine makes her decision to fall for the unlikely suitor. Maybe you’ve heard it from your peers, or perhaps from some well-meaning relative, encouraging you to go for “what you want” in life. Whether you are looking for your lifelong soul-mate, or your future occupation, the idea of discovering what you really want and going for it is pretty universally championed.  After all, if it’s not what your heart really desires, then you’ll be miserable the rest of your life, right?  But the question is, is “following your heart” right?  Will it even make you happy?

I recently read an article rebutting this popular notion, on the basis that the Bible teaches us to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him.  Therefore according to the author, to look for what we want would be wrong, and the opposite of following Christ.  But does this mean that we will never be doing what we enjoy? Does it mean that if we want it, it must not be what God wants?  No, because God tells us in Proverbs 37:4, “Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” So, no, your heart is not necessarily always wrong!  So, how can we be happy for the rest of our lives?  Do we follow our heart?

1.  Find a Reliable Guide
The real question, then, is, “is your heart a reliable guide?” If you are, or ever have been, a teenage girl, you will have a pretty good idea of the answer!  Our emotions and our heart can change almost as fast as our outfits!  What we feel we really want one moment (especially if it’s late at night, we are on a sugar high—or crash, having a bad day, or any combination of the above), can seem like the worst idea imaginable in the light of the next day! Our hearts are intrinsically tied with our emotions, which are permanently connected to our hormones, which can fluctuate hourly!  So, we can either spend the rest of our lives trying to decipher our heart’s ever-changing desires and following them in a million different directions—like a scared rabbit zigzagging across a field… or we can find a reliable guide to which to mold our heart and its desires.

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2.  Seek God's Priorities First
The key is in the verse I quoted above, “Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”  Matthew 6:33 puts it another way, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” God’s Word and the principles that He teaches must be the yardstick for us to hold our heart’s desires up to.  You think that your heart wants to fall in love with the not-so-Godly, but very cute, boy up the street? Whoops, that one doesn’t measure up with the 2 Cor. 6:14 measuring stick! Does your heart want an education or a career that might take you away from church and from Godly influences?  You’d better check the Psalm 1:1 and Hebrews 10:25 criteria!

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3.  Find a few godly mentors
Another good way to check your heart’s reliability is through Godly mentors (AKA counselors).  Find someone you can look up to—who is patterning their life after God’s Word—and give them veto power in your life.  This doesn’t mean that they will write out a life plan for you! This means that if they think you’re getting ready to do something that isn’t wise or Biblical, they can tell you to put the brakes on!  Just like a crane operator needs a spotter on the ground to point out things he can’t see from where he sits, we need “spotters” to point out dangers and pitfalls that our hearts might overlook!  Our emotions can get so absorbed in a situation that we don’t see the entanglements—which is why we need Godly mentors.

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4.  Make your life choices carefully - prayerfully!
Above all, we need to trust that God knows what will bring us true happiness!  Just as a car engineer knows exactly what stresses and loads that vehicle can handle and what situations to avoid (i.e. don’t take your Chevy Impala mountain-climbing!), God designed your heart, and he knows exactly what is best for your life! Climbing a mountain with your car might seem cool—until you barrel roll down the mountainside and land upside down in a ravine.  “Following your heart” may seem exciting and liberating—until that cute-but-unsaved boy you married turns out to have a terrible temper and three other girlfriends, and you’re left abused and alone. Not every desire of our heart is wrong—the closer we are to God and His Word, the closer our desires will be to His!  We just have to use the measuring sticks of Godly principles and mentors to help us choose. Then, when our choices are aligned with God’s wishes, we can be sure that real happiness will follow! There’s nothing so liberating as knowing you’re doing what’s right!

Well said, Kathryn!  Thank you so much for sharing with us!  Kathryn blogs about all sorts of wonderful frugal decorating and homemaking ideas at A Heart-Ful Home!  Check it out!

Some of you ladies have been around quite awhile longer, and may have some additional suggestions for us.  Please let us know what you think!

Yours for a Happy Journey,

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Some Crazy Things I Do on the Road

Drying some laundry on a volleyball net!

I do some pretty odd things on a regular basis, or at least they may seem odd to lots of other people.  For me, it's just the way I operate. 

Thankfully, I have a washer and dryer on board the bus, but sometimes I really wish I had a clothesline to hang some things on.  That's where a bit of creativity comes in!  At this particular church we're parked at, there is a volleyball net, and since we're kind of on a back street and it only takes something about 30 minutes to dry, I went ahead and hung up some laundry there.   I must admit, that's got to be a crazy sight!

My crock pot on the ground outside the bus - it's my Outdoor Kitchen!

Here is my "outdoor kitchen!"  There is an outlet in one of the bays of the bus, so I take the crock put outside, set it on the ground, and crank it up!  It's really great, because the bus gets very hot inside whenever the sun is out, even if it's cool outside.  Since crock pots usually heat up the place quite a bit, I take it out to my outdoor kitchen!  And it get so hot, I don't have to worry about any animals or bugs getting into it.

It's a Courageous Journey, but I love serving God!

Enjoy your journey, folks!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day...

What a wonderful day to celebrate our mothers! God has been so good to me in giving me a wonderful mother - in fact, when the kids tell me that I'm the best mother in the world, I tell them that I couldn't be the best mother because I had the best mother in the world!!

I had a wonderful day with my four children at home. I got presents, cards, lots of hugs, and lots of expressions of love!

I also got texts, phone calls, and cards from the three older kids as well. What a joy to be a mother of this particular group of people. Surely I am blessed beyond measure.

I hope all you mothers (and mothers to be, like my daughter-in-law, Brooke) had a fantabulistic day, full of love and great things.

If your family did anything special for you, please share it with the rest of os!
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