Are Marriage Podcasts Really a Crock??????

6991611_f520When I listen to all the marriage podcasts it sounds so logical. It seems so easy and spot on. Of course the next time we argue I will be able to take the high road and stop my anger from whirling up like a tornado and quickly escalating out of control.

I am ready for the next challenge.

God just loves to give you the opportunity to practice a new skill set.

Boom the opportunity comes. There is a brief flash of something I have heard or read about keeping calm, but it is stuck in the back of my mind, pushed down beneath all the anger.

I go from zero to really mad in record time.

But now I have the added bonus of feeling guilty because I have all of this info about the best way to handle these situations.

I know the right thing to do but frankly I am just really mad and don’t want to take the high road. I am 100% sure I am right but  that is wrong in and of itself. Of course I cognitively know I am not 100% right but tell that to my heart. It is pretty sure I am a victim of unjust accusations.

I always say being a Christian is hard. Before I found Jesus I was happy to just stew in my anger and self righteousness. Now when I want to wallow I know I shouldn’t. All the enjoyment is gone from my pouting. It is replaced with the Holy Spirit urging me,( incessantly mind you), that it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong. I argue with the Holy Spirit because I feel very vindicated in my stance. The Holy Spirit deep signs and reiterates the exact same thing.

Then God throws down a daily devotion, followed by a podcast, followed by something else I read or hear just to make sure I don’t miss His easy to follow advice.

I have never once had Him give me signs to reinforce my indignance, You think He could throw me a bone once in a while so I could have my pity party.But that is not the way He works. 

So here I sit, knowing what to do and I am irritated as all get out that I have to do it. 

The good news is, at this point in my faith walk, at least I have this recognition

Now  the next part. of the journey is actually doing it. Hopefully followed by the phase where I really don’t care who is right or wrong. The part where you just assume the best of the person you have chosen to spend your life with.

So, no,  I don’t really think marriage pod casts are a crock. I think they are great. I think they add  building blocks to our marriage foundation. They are just itty bitty building blocks that I continually slip off of. But I climb back up on get a tad higher each time..

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

“Be completely humble and gentle; Be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

 

Is Marriage What You Thought It Would Be?

1525362_754230801271844_1053880033_nToday we celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. On our wedding day 20 years seemed so far away but we blinked and we have arrived.

Of course we arrived over a longgggg bumpy road. Sometimes the trip was lovely and sometimes it was not. We have been blessed with many magnificent moments. We have also been blessed with a fair share of yucky ones.

If you have a few years of marriage under your belt the realization that it is not the fairy tale you dreamed has probably slapped you upside the head a few times.

Our culture portrays this illusion of how marriage should be.When we grow up we have this kind of warped perception . We think we can fill the void in each other.

We all saw Jerry Macguire. The “You complete me” line made us swoon. That line, among many other things, set an unobtainable bar.

I don’t know about you, but we went into marriage expecting the other person to make us happy.

When we fell short we felt cheated.

We started to blame the other person for our discontent.

I am sure our marriage story is like most. There was lots of finger pointing, feeling victimized, feeling like we are the ones who did the most, plus a thousand other small petty grievances. All of these perceived slights led to lots of disappointment and ugliness.

We were expecting the other person to do what God wants to do for us. How much pressure is that? How could we not flounder? Everyone comes into marriage flawed and with some type of baggage. The other person is not there to fix us. Sure they can help us unpack some of that baggage, but the fixing is ultimatly between us and God

After quite a bit of time in marriage counseling, going to bible studies and being surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, we finally realized the only way to be complete was to rely on Jesus. It took a ton of pressure off.

Our marriage isn’t what I dreamt it would be, it is so much more. What started off as selfish and self serving has turned into a partnership led by Christ. We have learned to serve one another. One of the best pieces of advice I have ever heard was this;

Every morning when you wake up ask God how you can serve your spouse instead of going into the day wondering what our spouse can do to make our life better.

Just changing that mindset can change a marriage. Marriage isn’t meant to be self focused it is meant to be selfless.

So cheers to 20 years with Mr. Incredible. I have been blessed with an amazing husband and father. We walk hand in hand down a much less bumpy path, content to know that Jesus has our back. After all He is for us.

If we have come this far in 20 years I can only imagine what I will write about in another 20 years.

Here is a fun tidbit. As my littlest cherub watches me finish this up she noticed that the verse I chose happens to be the same as our anniversary date. Coincidence? I think not.It is more like a little hug from God!

Ephesians 5:22-33

Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.

 Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.

No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become “one flesh.” This is a huge mystery, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.

Why I’m Happy I’m Mad at my Husband

2053781I was so mad at my husband yesterday.He was just being a pill.

I sat there stewing and fuming. Listing all the rotten things about him in my head.

But then that little voice that you start to pay attention to as you get older piped in.

I began to think about why he is acting this way. I don’t have to agree with it but I do need to understand his point of view.

Once I gained an understanding of the why I started thinking of ways that we could communicate and move forward.

Let me tell you what an evolution this has been. We have come a looooonnnngggg way. Back in the day we used to shut down. It was just easier. Shutting down ended up escalating into the beginning of the end. All the old arguments, all the old hurts became the focus. Egos took over.Who was right and wrong became the most important aspect. A cruddy day for one of us could end up being a cold war that lasted for many weeks.

Now we want to talk about it and understand each others point of view. We don’t come with guns blazing. Pointing out flaws, not listening, over talking the other person. Even when we feel defensive at least we recognize it.

This is the good things about 20+ years of marriage. You go through the argument cycles of martyr, indignation, I don’t give a crap and end up finally landing at “How can we fix this”?

You know it is ok to be mad. You realize you are going to take turns being wrong. You also realize it is not personal. Maybe he is having a bad day, maybe he feels justified in his thoughts and thinks I am wrong. Maybe he is just tired. Those are all ok. They are just life. They don’t have to spiral into ugliness.

As you mature you gain perspective and realize most of the time it is not the issue that is bad, Really most of the issues are silly and don’t matter in the big picture. It is the way you handle it. Issues are mostly perception and perception is someones reality. If you can understand why your spouse is feeling that way you can work from there.

So it kind of tickles me when we have a bad moment and we don’t spiral down the dark path. It is nice to know a disagreement is just that. We will get past it. We may even learn from it. This is what makes me happy when we disagree now. It gives me an appreciation of how far we have come and what a better place we are in.

We are wrinklier, chubbier and wiser. The first two are the lame parts of getting older, the last one makes for a much happier marriage.

James 4:1-3 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?  You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Disclaimer – This post is not directed towards significant marital problems; gambling, addiction or abuse. If you are experiencing any of these please seek help. Focus on the Family offers great free Christian counseling at the link below. http://www.focusonthefamily.com/counseling/find-a-counselor.aspx

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PRAYER FOR YOUR CHILD’S FUTURE SPOUSE

Hey Mommas,

I know many of you are not active on Facebook so I wanted to share these prayers here too. These are taken from www.timewarpwife.com. I love her site. She is so spot on with her prayers. There is one for the girl who will marry your son and the one for the boy who will marry your daughter.

I encourage you to pray for this out loud with your child. xoxoxo

Open Letter to the Girl Who Will Marry My Son

To the Girl Who Will Marry My Son,

I prayed for you today, and as I did, I got to wondering who you are. I wondered how and when you’ll capture the heart of my son. I wondered if we’ll be good friends.

I asked God to keep you safe in His hands. I asked Him to keep your heart and mind as you’re growing in grace.

My hope is that you are well cared for. I pray for those who are raising you. May God grant them with wisdom and understanding.

You are a treasure, created with purpose, knit together in wisdom, and loved by an almighty God. Don’t underestimate that worth.

Don’t judge yourself by a number on the scale, don’t measure your self according the perfection of Hollywood.

Your purity is of great value. Fiercely protect it. Don’t be deceived by those who blur the lines between lust and love, and pressure you into believing a lie. Love waits. When a man truly loves a woman he treats her with honor. He is willing to protect her purity, until the day they are wed.

A woman of virtue is of great value. And what is virtue? It’s doing the hard things because you know they are good. It’s making the right choice, when the going get’s tough. It’s choosing God’s will in lieu of your own.

Seek Him with all of your heart. Dig into His Word, and when you’re feeling discouraged dig deeper yet. Train yourself as a mighty warrior, knowing that one day you will stand in the gap for your children. One day you will ride beside your husband in battle fighting for all that is good. Be strong.

While you’re doing your part, I’m doing mine.

I’m training a young man to love you as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it.

I’m raising a boy who understands that great leaders are first and foremost servants of men.

I’m teaching my son what it means to honor and respect a young lady.

And by example, we’re leading the way.

Darlene Schacht
The Time-Warp Wife

To the Boy Who Will Marry My Daughter

To the boy who will marry my daughter,

I prayed for you today as I do every day. I wondered what marvelous things God has in store for your life. I wondered what you might look like, and who you might be. I wondered when and how our paths may cross one another.

As my own children have grown in my womb, so you continue to grow in my heart.

I pray that you are cared for and loved by those who are taking the time to teach you what it means to be a young man. I ask that God grants them with wisdom and strength as they lead by example.

My hope is that you are seeking God’s will in your life, for I know that a man who loves God with all of his heart will love my daughter with all of his strength.

Stand strong in the face of temptation. Guard your mind from the lure of seduction. We live in a world that offers a front seat to sexual sin. Blurring the lines between lust and love, it deceives the heart. I stand in the gap praying that God will sustain you, and give you strength until the day you have taken your bride.

Gentleness is a sign of great strength–humility a symbol of courage and stability, don’t be deceived by those who deem them as weak.

As fresh fallen snow, so is the future before you. A canvas soon to be painted by footsteps. Choose wisely. Have fun. Work hard. Don’t sweat the big stuff. Trust God with your future and allow its unfolding in His perfect time.

I pray that you hunger for the Word of God, for great leaders are those who are led by wisdom and truth.

When you experience days that bring you down to your knees, rejoice. Be exceedingly glad. Our Father is shaping and molding you into the man He designed you to be.

While you’re doing your part, I’m doing mine.

I’m raising a daughter who understands the value of purity, patience, and truth.

I’m training a girl to be a woman of virtue and strength.

I’m teaching her that inner beauty is of great value, and that outer beauty doesn’t have to conform.

We’re showing her what a committed relationship looks like as we lead by example.

And wouldn’t you know it… she’s also praying for you.

May God keep you safe in His arms as you’re growing in grace.

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene Schacht
The Time-Warp Wife

 

 

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Wrap Up on the Road to Being a Better Wife

happy-marriageHi Mommas,

After 4 weeks of working on being a better wife we will dedicate this last part to being a better couple.

After all it takes two to tango. Hopefully things are moving along nicely for you all.

My husband and I can honestly say each of the below tips makes our marriage stronger.

1) Sex – I know it seems obvious but really  God created husband and wife with all the right parts to connect physically and emotionally. I once read this Erma Bombeck article about sex. The jest of it was,’ If you have made time to go work out (or some other task that   that you do not relish) you should at a minimum, prioritize your sex life in the same way. Even if you have to schedule it. Scheduled sex is better for your marriage than no  sex. If you are really too tired to have sex at least spend that time snuggling.

2) Read a book together – Find a great marriage book and read a bit of it each night together. Marriages take work, just like anything else. If you don’t feed, learn and grow it will wither and die. It is no different from any other aspect of your life. If you don’t know where to start I have two of my favorites at the end of this article. Just spend 5-10 minutes before you go to bed.

3) List the positives – When you get irritated instead of spiraling into a list of things that bother you make a conscious effort to think of all the good attributes instead. You both need to commit to doing this. You will be surprised how much this will change your perspective

4) Pray – Please pray together. At least once a day. Offer up prayers of thanksgiving for all you share together as well as your list of request. Also here is a great resource – 365 Days of Marriage Prayers  http://marriageprayers.today

5) QT– Please schedule a date night. It doesn’t have to be expensive or something huge. Even just a walk around the block.

GREAT COUPLE READS

LOVE LANGUAGES – DR. GARY CHAPMAN

THE MEANING OF MARRIAGE – TIM KELLER

Hopefully you have seen some changes in your marriage since we have been focusing on how to serve our husbands. Now focusing on the marriage together will help stabilize your foundation.

Please let us know if you have come up with additions to the list. What worked? What changes have you seen? Remember mommas just one small act a day (in addition to prayer) can make all the difference to a life long happy fulfilled marriage.

xoxoxoxoxo

 

 

Week 4 on the Road to being a Better Wife

 

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How goes it mommas? You are on week 4 on the road to being a better wife. Have you seen any changes in your marriage?

Don’t forget to pray for your marriage every morning.

 

 

Get the oil changed in his car.

Spend whatever day you don’t have to jump out of bed in bed. Just 15 minutes of snuggling. Your stuff will all be waiting for you when you get out of bed.

Blow off his to do list this weekend and go bowling (or something else fun.) The to do list is never done and will be waiting when you get back.

Shave his face – If you haven’t done this it can be pretty hot

Bite your tongue – when he says something annoying just don’t respond and don’t hold it against him, let it go.

Watch your wedding video or go through old photo albums together – enjoy reminiscing

Bring lunch to his place of work – make sure it is his favorite food or have something sent in (like a pizza)

Week 3 To Becoming a Better Wife

   HAPPY WEEK 3 MOMMAS! .I don’t know about you but I want to be them when I am old and greyer.

How is it going? Anyone having any success stories? Here are tips for next week. Also do not forget to pray for you marriage every morning.  Here is a lovely one from the 365 Days of Marriage Prayers

Dear Heavenly Father,

Teach us to forgive. Your Word tells us to forgive each other as You forgive us.

We’re reminded of His last moments on earth when Jesus cried out on behalf of those who crucified Him, “Father forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

In His deepest moment of sorrow, He loved.

But we’re petty. We hang on to our hurt. We keep track of who’s right and who’s wrong. Ignoring the truth, we pamper our pride.

Give us the strength to let go of our pride and grab hold of grace.

Whether we’re right or we’re wrong, may we always choose love.

In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

  1. Kiss and hug him each morning and each night (in front of our cherubs)
  2. Mirror Message – Write I love you on mirror when he is in the shower
  3. BE AWARE OF EXITS & ENTRANCES As you and your husband say goodbyes and reunite again after a long day, be aware of how you show love during these important cross roads
  4. Sit next to him while he is watching TV and hold his hand
  5. Scrub his back in the shower
  6. Get his car washed
  7. Brag about him to your friends in front of him

Source for daily marriage prayers – http://marriageprayers.today/

Week 2 to Becoming a Better Wife

Hi Mommas,

How did week 1 go for you? Any stories to share? Here is the list for week 2. As usual feel free to mix them up, borrow from previous weeks or create your own. The purpose is to do one thing selflessly, without any hopes or expectations, for your spouse each day.

Don’t forget to pray for him every morning too.

1) Say you are sorry – before he does. If there is a long lists of hurts on both sides write him a letter apologizing for your part.

2) Text him – something lovey and flirty. If you are not there yet text him something along the lines of I hope you have a great day.

3) Buy him his favorite candy bar, snack or something you know he wants. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just thoughtful

4) Ask him for his advice – what does he think about discipline, diet, paint colors, anything that you normally would just go ahead and decide on your own.

5) Pray together– just a quick prayer asking to intercede on behalf of your marriage, To strengthen and fortify you. Here is a great resource http://marriageprayers.today/

6) Love letter from your kids – Have your cherubs each write down 2-3 things they love about their dad and share them with him at dinner

7) Make him a cup of coffee – in the morning or bring one by his work place

Please also don’t forget to vote for us by hitting the Top Mommy Blog icon on my side bar. xooxoxox

WEEK 1 TO BECOMING A BETTER WIFE

Ephesians 4:2 ~ Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. ♥  Hi Mommas,

I thought it would be easiest if we listed suggestions weekly so you have some flexibility on how to apply to your lifestyle.

Each day start by carefully praying for your spouse.

Pray for God to keep him strong, healthy, to be or become the spiritual leader of your home. To strengthen your marriage.

To soften your hear during times of strife.

Here are some tips for Week 1

1) Give him undivided attention – Put down your phone, laptop, making dinner or whatever is distracting you and listen to how his day was. Make eye contact. This shows you respect him.

2) Make a list of 5 things you love and appreciate about him and slip it in his briefcase,car seat or lunch box

3) Make him his favorite dinner – don’t worry about nutrition or diets, just this one time. Enjoy

4) Don’t roll your eyes or sigh when he says something you think is dumb or you have heard the same joke heard it several hundred times

5) Go for a walk together, long or short, his preference. Don’t feel the need to consume the time with conversation.

6) Give him a massage and don’t resent if it becomes more

7) Sit next to him and hold his hand while he is watching whatever show/sport that you always avoid watching

Feel free to mix these ups. Please Please chime in if you have tips for us other mommas. We need to stick together.

DON’T FORGET TO VOTE FOR US. XOXOX

40 Days to a Better Wife

130113-What-God-Has-Joined-Together-Let-No-One-Separate-286x144Lent is upon us. From Wed. 2/18/15- 4/2/15 Christians participate by the following means;

FASTING: Some people have been known to go without food for days. But that’s not the only way to fast. You can fast by cutting out some of the things in your life that distract you from God. Some Christians use the whole 40 days to fast from candy, tv, soft drinks, cigarettes or meat as a way to purify their bodies and lives. You might skip one meal a day and use that time to pray instead. Or you can give up some activity like worry or reality tv to spend time outside enjoying God’s creation. What do you need to let go of or “fast” from in order to focus on God? What clutters your calendar and life? How can you simplify your life in terms of what you eat, wear or do?

SERVICE: Some Christians take something on for Christ. You can collect food for the needy, volunteer once a week to tutor children, or work for reform and justice in your community. You can commit to help a different stranger, co-worker or friend everyday of Lent. Serving others is one way we serve God.

PRAYER: Christians also use Lent as a time of intentional prayer. You can pray while you walk, create music or art as a prayer to God, or savor a time of quiet listening. All can be ways of becoming more in tune with God.

I love the season of Lent. I love the focus it gives me, I love sacrificing something that is difficult so that every time I want “whatever” I have given up it makes me think of the sacrifice Jesus made for us.It shifts my “me” focus to be more focused on Him and His ways.

It helps us recognize life as a precious gift from God, and turn our lives towards Jesus Christ. We may make resolutions and commit to change our lives over the next forty days so that we might be more like Christ.

I don’t know about you Mommas but I need to be more Christ Like in every way. This Lent I am giving up something and I am also doing something.

My love pyramid is amuck. I am supposed to love God, my spouse and my cherubs, in that order. Most days It is a tie between God and Children with my poor spouse coming in last. It makes me sad that I have to make such a conscious effort to be the wife God commands me to be but obviously I do.

Soooo I am using this time of reflection to honor and serve my husband every day. I will post a tip on my FB page every morning. (feel free to like my FB page by selecting the icon on the side bar.)

Let us know if you want to join this challenge. If things have been bumpy in your marriage this may be a way to get back on track. If things are great in your marriage than this is a wonderful way to show your appreciation for the spouse God has given you.

Proverbs 31:11-12 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.

1 John 4:12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

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