Showing posts with label marriage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label marriage. Show all posts

Friday, September 9, 2016

Why are God's People Afraid to be Real?

In the past I thought being a good Christian meant wearing a mask. Projecting an image of happiness and wholeness to all those around me. I thought the mask would help others to see Jesus through me. It would keep my brokenness from becoming a distraction to others. I would wear this mask that I created and when the mask would slip, I would become overcome with guilt for failing as a Christian.

Through the last several years, I have found that sometimes people can see God most shining through the cracks of my brokenness. I was doing God no favors by being artificial. God wanted to use my brokenness. He wanted to heal my brokenness. He wanted to love me in my brokenness.

As a society we have things that are stigmatized. Things that go unspoken for fear of rejection and judgement. Sadly, this is not much more different in our Christian walk.There are some subjects that are uncomfortable and can make us feel vulnerable.

Top Three Things Christians Hide: (Some of these overlap)

1. Mental Illness- Depression, Anxiety, Postpartum, Bipolar, PTSD, Schizophrenia, ect.

As I struggle with depression I find times when I feel the need to fake a smile, even when I am feeling shattered. Sometimes it is to hide my struggle. Sometimes it is to not make someone else uncomfortable. Also, sometimes it is because it makes me feel like I can just make it through. I am one of those personalities where if I am on the verge of crying and a friend tries to comfort me through kind words or through even just a touch, I fall apart and have a hard time gaining composure again.

In our society, mental illnesses are seen as weakness. They are often misunderstood. As Christians we are one body. So why can't we be vulnerable with our brothers and sisters in Christ? How is our pride getting in the way of allowing us to seek support and prayer? Are our expectations of others and attitudes keeping others from reaching out to us?

2. Addictions- Drugs, Alcohol, Food, Pornography, ect.

As I struggle with overeating I feel a deep sense of shame and guilt. I will have a nagging thought that seems to get louder and louder as I entertain it. I seek it for comfort. It makes me feel better, but the feeling is so short lived and I end up feeling defeated and worse than before. It is an idol that I have given myself to and that I felt could take away the pain. Food is not the only addiction I have had in my life, but at this time it is the one that I struggle with day by day, hour by hour, sometimes moment by moment.

If so many with addictions find help with support groups, how many more Christians could if we could be open about our struggles? If we could listen, support, and pray for them? Unfortunately, judgmental attitudes get in the way of showing love to each other. Imagine a brother or sister in Christ came to you and said, "Please pray for me. I am addicted to pain pills." How easy would it be to judge that person? It can be so easy to compare ourselves to others, when really we should be comparing ourselves to Jesus.

3. Sexual Immorality- Lust, Adultery, Pornography, ect.

A little over ten years ago, I had an emotional affair that turned into physical affair. It had started as a friendship. Someone who I felt understood me and who made me feel better about myself, when at the time I felt I was in a loveless marriage. I quickly became emotionally attached to the person. My heart would start racing when I saw their number on the caller id. I would find reasons to go and talk. After having a fight with my husband, I went to my friend for comfort. The emotional affair became physical and I had committed adultery. I was so attached to this person that I was willing to break apart my family. My life quickly fell apart. It was soon after that I allowed Jesus to be the Lord of my life.Thankfully, God has worked so many miracles in my life and has brought healing and restoration into my marriage.

In the church sex and sexual immorality is often a topic that is brushed aside. We feel uncomfortable talking about it and it has become faux pas. So many families are or have been impacted by sexual sins. It seems almost like we believe if we ignore it, it will go away. Sexual sins are embarrassing, but they wont just go away. Jesus was a great example with the Samaritan woman at the well. 

John 4:15-19 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
“I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.
John 4:39-41 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.”  So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days.  And because of his words many more became believers.

Why should we get real?

*Not only are mental illnesses, addictions, and sexual immorality similar in the way they are stigmatized, they are all very isolating struggles. They lead to others withdrawing and trying to handle it on their own. If we as a body can start communicating about them, it will remove some of the power of them. We can then lift each other up and encourage each other. 

Ecclesiastes 4:12 Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

*We are a light, even in our brokenness. The world is filled with fallen broken people. If we can be real with others, they can see that God loves us in our brokenness. We are unable to do good on our own, but God still uses us to bring Him glory. How cool to have a God that can use the very things that we struggle with, to help others. 

1 Timothy 1:15-17 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Brothers and Sisters, 
If you are struggling and you feel all alone, you are not! It may feel like the world is caving in on you and like you are just trying to survive. Even then, God is still there. He loves you so much and you are precious to Him. Please reach out to a friend, family member, a doctor, or a pastor. We are stronger with others at our side. Please let me know if there is any way I can pray for you! 
God Bless, 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

How to Make Your Marriage Work

Let me start by saying that this post is only for those who want or think that they might want it to work. If you have decided in your heart that you are done and that your marriage is not worth fighting for anymore than you will not find much support through what I write. I do not judge you because there were times that I had been there, but I do encourage you to leave just a little room for the possibility and to seek counseling. The fact is even if you do get a divorce you will continue to carry the baggage of a torn marriage around with you until you have resolved it and begun processing it. Again, if you choose to get a divorce I wish you all the best in your life but this post is not meant for you. 

When making a marriage work you can start by thinking of it as a war for your marriage instead of a fight. What do I mean about that? There are going to be battles, some that you win and some that you lose, but you can't just surrender at the the defeats. When you start a war you have to have a military plan.You need to know what you are fighting for, what damages you expect, and who your allies are. Allies would be pastors, counselors, and other spiritual leaders. You need soldiers to fight with you who understand your goal. They fight with you through all the battles and they give you emotional support when you feel like putting up the white flag. Real soldiers do not sabotage you. Like wars, patience is key. There is no way to know how long it will last. 

If you are at this point you may have been facing loneliness, abuse, addictions, infidelity, loss of identity, and hopelessness. All of these things deserve to be addressed. 

I wanted to start by discussing loneliness. One of the hardest things I faced was not being lonely in general but was being lonely in a marriage. It can make you feel like a caged bird, one that longs for freedom but is stuck all alone. I wanted to address loneliness first because of the risk of future harm to your marriage. When there is trouble in a marriage it is important to not confide in any males that you are not related to. Even with the best of intentions, a friendship can quickly escalate to an emotional attachment. When you feel lonely and unloved by your husband, it can be easy to allow yourself to listen to a male who is willing to listen to you and support you. Even if the emotional attachment never turns to more, any time you go to another male for that attachment and not your spouse it can cause a further drift in your marriage. This is why it is very important to learn the importance of some good female Christian  fellowship.

Three things that most people consider deal breakers are abuse, addiction, and infidelity. If you have had to face any of these issues, I am so sorry. These can tear down your confidence. They can make you lose trust in people. I believe that a couple can move past these hurts and still have a very healthy marriage but it takes a lot of work, love, and forgiveness. I truly believe in God's strength and power when He is put at the center of a marriage. While I believe in working through these issues, I also believe in healthy boundaries. You can love a person and still not allow their actions to affect you. It is important that if you are in danger, you need to separate yourself from the person. You can continue to love them by not enabling their behavior, by taking the time separated to connect with God, and by remaining in prayer for them. I think of this as loving from a distance. Boundaries is a great book that teaches about Godly boundaries. 

When struggling in a marriage you can face loss of identity. I remember this vividly. I feel like I went from Faith to just being Alvin's wife and Abbie's mom. I placed all of my confidence and identity in my spouse instead of in the Lord. When I began to see a change in my marriage is when I began to pray that I would find fulfillment in God and not in my spouse. I realized that if I could be fulfilled in God then any love my spouse gave me would just be overflow. The only person we can change is ourselves. 

There is no way for us to create hope... hope only comes from God and knowing His promises. We have to know that God would not lead us astray. If you place God at the center of you life and your marriage, He will give you the wisdom and strength you need to make it through. 

When speaking to others about the struggles in marriage, one common theme I hear is, "Why should I fight (change... go to counseling) if they aren't willing to fight (change... go to counseling) for me?" This can be a tough question to answer. How often did God fight for me, when I was not willing to fight for Him? How often did He love and forgive me when I was angry and sinful towards Him? I am just so thankful to God that through out the many struggles in my marriage we never both gave up fighting at the same time.... there was always one of us fighting. I know that it was God who carried us through those times. I am amazed to see the couple God is changing us into. 

God can heal your marriage, but you have to be willing to let Him. Seek godly wisdom and counsel. Set up godly boundaries for yourself and your spouse. Lose yourself in God because that is where you will find fulfillment. Pray for your spouse. Hope comes from God alone. 

Romans 5:10 "For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!"

Warren Barfield- Love is Not a Fight

Love is not a place

To come and go as we please
It's a house we enter in
Then commit to never leave

So lock the door behind you
Throw away the key
We'll work it out together
Let it bring us to our knees

Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it's something worth fighting for

To some, love is a word
That they can fall into
But when they're falling out
Keeping that word is hard to do

Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it's something worth fighting for

Love will come to save us
If we'll only call
He will ask nothing from us
But demand we give our all

Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it's something worth fighting for

I will fight for you
Would you fight for me?
It's worth fighting for

Friday, August 31, 2012

Living the Unfulfilled Christian Life

So many Christian's face the times when the fire in our hearts begins to die down and the overwhelming feelings of emptiness and sadness  begins to grow. We begin to drown in the mundane. As a wife and a mother, I often struggle with this. I am constantly trying to keep up with the cooking, cleaning, diaper changing, laundry, and the budget. It feels like a never ending cycle of stress and constant disappointment. The days melt together and the hours pass by slowly. I begin to feel robotic and even though there are no major things I am completing I am constantly and completely emotionally and physically drained. So often we can get distracted by everyday things such as work, family, and financial stressors. We lose a piece of the fire we once had that burned so bright for God and we sacrifice our time with God but save time for mind numbing activities, such as watching junk on television. 

I remember being first saved. I remember the feeling of being unstoppable with God on my side. I remember the excitement to tell others about Him. The need to learn more and more about God and His many attributes. I remember the feeling so thankful for all He had sacrificed for me and for loving me right where I was. It seemed like the feeling would never die. But like wind against a mountain, mundane activities can slowly wear us down. 

We don't have to live an unfulfilled life. We all have a God sized hole in our lives that can never be fulfilled by anything other than God. So why are so many Christians living an unfulfilled life, when they have God?  There are many reasons that someone might be living an unfulfilled life, the reasons I am going to address are sin, unmet expectations, fear, self pity, laziness, pride, a sense of entitlement, and the boxes we try to place God in. 

Sin can and will cause a drift between you and God. It separates us and keeps us from hearing what God is telling us to do. Choosing to live in sin slowly decays us and desensitizes us. As I watched The Godfather for the first time I was shocked at the violence and language, which all seemed to stick out substantially to me. Each time I watched it again I began to notice the violence and language less and less, because I was becoming less sensitive to it. In the same way sin can slowly seem acceptable or at least not stand out as being quite so unacceptable.  

Several years ago when I was in marriage counseling, the counselor had mentioned that the majority of times anger and sadness stem from unmet expectations. When I had become a Christian I had thought that life would be easier. I didn't think that everything would be perfect, but I in now way thought that I would be facing all the struggles that I had. I expected to no longer struggle with my flesh and sins. Another expectation that went unmet was the expectations I placed on other Christians. I expected others to be open and honest about their struggles. I expected others to be mature, loving, and non-hyprocritical.  It took a long time to learn that I need to have grace and love for my brothers and sisters in Christ. We also don't see or understand the spiritual war that is going on around us. If we do not expect to be in a war, then we will not wear our armor to protect ourselves. 

When I speak of fear I don't mean the fear of spiders or escalators, even though both can be terrifying for some. I speak of the fear of rejection if we tell others. The fear that our needs wont be provided for. The fear that we are not equipped or good enough for what God tells us to do. I have been struggling with this. I know that I am in God's will by staying home with my daughters,  but the fear of our financial situation often leads me to consider going back to work. Fear is often where my head and heart don't agree. I know that God can, will, and has been providing but I fear that we wont be able to pay the bills and will be out of some basic needs. I often think that I need to step in and do God's job. I face this also with the well being of my children. I know that God can and will care for them, yet I still have growing concern for their health. Having faith is not always an automatic thing, sometimes I have to make the choice to believe and have faith even when it is hard. Mark 9:24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” 

Self-pity can be like a slippery slope, once we decide to step onto it we can begin to slip further and further down and it can be difficult to get our footing. Sometimes we can confuse this with expressing our concerns to God or with venting with others, but the difference can be found in the attitude of the heart. It is acceptable for us to voice our concerns to God and to each other. God already knows our thoughts, so being honest can only open communication and soften our hearts to allow God to change us. Who am I to say that I have been persecuted, when there are people in other countries that are killed and tortured for believing in Jesus? Who am I to say that I am poor, when there are people in other countries that eat mud patties? Who am I to say that I am ill, when there are people in other countries who are dying at such young ages? God does care about all of our concerns but I should not live in self-pity and withhold the glory from God. God has been convicting me of this in regards to my home life. I often will have self-pity and make myself a martyr for all the work I do around the house. I have been praying, before I clean, that I may have a heart to serve my family and to glorify God in all I do, even in the laundry. I have found that, even though I still struggle, God does help me with my attitude and often I don't feel overwhelmed with it all. 1 Corinthians 10:31 "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

Laziness can lead to feeling unfulfilled. Not the laziness in regards to worldly tasks, but lazy in relationship with the Lord. We put so much effort into things that are so mundane and trivial but often the time with God is the first thing sacrificed. Often Christians will ignore God and place Him on the back burner until they need something. I have been found guilty of this myself. We can not expect to give God so little of ourselves and still receive so much of His provision. When I began going to my church, a women there said something that struck me. She said that twenty percent of the people do eighty percent of the work. I have often felt convicted of the fact that I sometimes wont make the time to read the Bible and pray during an alone time everyday but I can sit in front of the television for hours and not get anything out of the program. 

Anytime we think we know better than God, it is just bad. Pride is a hungry beast that wants more and more, it is never satisfied. If God tells us what to do and we ignore it or disobey, then we wont feel fulfilled. No more can a young child tell her parent what is best for her, than we can tell God. Proverbs 11:2 "When pride comes, then comes disgrace,but with humility comes wisdom."

Even though we are blessed to live in a democracy that believes in giving people rights, it can also be a hindrance. We are raised with this false sense of entitlement. I have the right to have nice stuff. I have the right to have a spouse that treats me right. I have the right to hold a grudge. When we become a Christian we give our rights to God and let Him guide and lead us. We are to take up our crosses. We are to forgive others, give to the needy, place others above ourself, and become Christ-like. 

When we put God in a box, we are not able to fully see His great power. Why should the God of the universe live according to human standards? Through seeing and embracing Gods awesome power we are able to worship and glorify Him more. We are able to live a life of victory and not defeat. We don't have to live by the constrains of this world because our God is bigger than this world. John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

So how can we go from living the unfulfilled Christian life to a fulfilled one? First, we must be honest with ourselves and God. We must ask Him to help us with our attitudes and with the things that are playing factors into our being unfulfilled. Second, we must worship with a heart of thanksgiving. I love the expression "fake it till you make it." By writing or keeping a list of so much that we are thankful for we can refer back to it to thank God. Praise Him for who He is. Third, memorize scripture. Write the word of God onto your heart so that you may be able to call upon it when you are struggling. Forth, surround yourself with fellow believers. When your light grows dim stand close to other believer's light so that yours may become brighter. Finally, set aside the time to spend with God. Only God can fill that whole and repair the damages done through other efforts. 


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Vlog Challenge: Biggest Turn-off(s)

I have several things that turn me off. But the two biggest ones would have to be my daughters. There is nothing like the fear that strikes when you hear little foot steps coming down the hallway or the guilt you feel upon hearing little cries for your attention while doing "laundry" (as my friend calls it). 

What are your biggest turn-offs? 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Barefoot in the Park

Of all the romantic comedies I have seen, Barefoot in the Park, is the one movie that connects so much with me. I love the writing, the acting, and the scenes. More than those, I love the characters. 

Corrie and Paul Bratter are newly weds. Corrie is an eccentric, free spirited, dramatic, all or nothing girl. She loves to walk barefoot in the park, loves to experience new people and things, and loves to be wildly in love. Paul is a logical, sarcastic, organized, uptight,  and motivated guy. They have a quick engagement and fall deeply in love. When they get married they don't know what it really means to be married. They have a need for each other that they can't understand, but haven't learned to respect each other or to fight for their love. At the first sign of trouble, when their differences loose appeal and become an issue, they give up. 

I remembering watching the movie years ago, when things were not going well in our marriage and I wanted to give up, and I was thinking how nice it would be to have that happy ending. It seemed so impossible and unlikely, but a small piece of me still glimmered with hope.

When my hubby and I had a similar story... actually almost exactly what they were like. When we were engaged I would make him run through the sprinklers at night. I would dance in the rain. He was a little quieter. He would plan and dream about the things he wanted to accomplish. We were complete opposites. The things that had once drawn us so closely to each other, like a drug, ended up pulling us apart. The drama and the tension would build. Arguments would escalate and became wounds that took a long time for both of us to heal from. As a counselor once said to us, "You must remember that the things that drive you crazy were the things that made you fall in love with each other." It took several years to learn how to appreciate each other for who they are. We bring out the best in each other. I bring him out of his shell and get him to experience new things, and he help me to stay controlled and more focused. In being opposites, there can be this heated passion that can easily become unhealthy if not maintained. We also had to grow and mature, in Christ. We are learning to control our tongues, to be self sacrificial, to love in a godly way (not a worldly way). 

Sitting down and watching this movie several years later, I am finding a new connection to it. We are on the other side of it. We have and are continuing to create our happy ending. Sometimes it can be difficult but it is never boring. 

"Even when I didn't like you, I loved you."- Paul Bratter, Barefoot in the Park

What's you favorite chick flick? Why do you love it?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Best of times, worst of times...

So today's writing prompt included a challenge to do a vlog, a video blog. 

The question was "How long have you been married, and which years were the best and hardest?"

This Prompt was sponsored by:

Mama’s Losin’ It

Monday, June 25, 2012

Control... And My Lack Of...

As a woman I think one of the most difficult things to deal with is not a particular situation, but rather the lack of control in a situation. There is a small comfort in having control over things in my life. There is a false sense of stability. 

Things I like to have control over: My children, my household, my finances, my friendships, my vehicle, and my spouse. I have this irrational fear. I fear that once I lose control of one thing, everything else will fall apart. I often wonder if God allows certain things to happen in order to show me that He is in control. 

This may seem a little off subject but hang in with me and you will quickly see where I am going with this. 

I opened up the church bulletin and a disappointment set in. I saw that the sermon was focused on a woman's responsibilities in marriage. It may sound bad but to be honest, I didn't want to be convicted. I didn't want for anyone, including God to correct what I am currently doing as a spouse. What sounds even worse is that last week I was thrilled that my pastor was talking to the men about their responsibilities in marriage. You see, sometimes I even want to control who in my family is convicted and needs to change. God immediately began to work on my heart. I had a superior attitude that is the complete opposite of what God expects of me. Though I had heard the scriptures and had even studied them before God was working on me and teaching me something new. 

Before I begin to divulge, to you, what God taught me, I want to start by thanking my pastor, Pastor Stoney Shaw. He was so brave to stand up and speak the Word without holding back in fear of how some may react. Our culture has taught us that we don't need any man to tell us what to do or controlling us. I have been in many churches where either the subject of a wives duties is either shuffled under the rug or is taught by a fellow woman. I was so impressed that he stood at the pulpit and spoke the words. I also am so thankful that he offered me his sermon notes after I had told him how much I enjoyed the sermon and that I would be blogging on it. A pastors notes are very important and can be personal, so it was very kind of him to share them so that I can share more information with you, my close friends. 

Blue Highlighted words are directly from his outline... other writing is my take or opinion on it. 

Godly wives have many roles to fill as well. - This states "Godly wives" not all women. This is speaking to Christian women who are striving to become godly. It can not be expected of single females, non christians, or anyone who has not made the choice to be this way. 

1. A wife is to be a Helper and Companion to her husband. (Gen. 2:18-25; 1 Cor. 11:7-9). 
The pastor discussed how it was man's need for Eve. He was incomplete with out her. He needed a helper and companion and an equal. He said that it doesn't point to Eve's insufficiency but rather to Adam's inadequacy with out her. I found this idea interesting. I had never thought of it as woman being God's answer to mans needs. I know that if my hubby would be able to verbalize his need of me that I would feel of great worth. 

2. A wife is to Submit to her Husband's Authority. (Eph. 5:22,23; Col 3:18; 1 Pet. 3:1-6). 
A woman's subordinate role did not result after the Fall as a cultural, chauvinistic, corruption of God's perfect design; rather, God established her role as part of his original create (1 Tim. 2:13-14). Adam had violated his leadership told, followed Eve in her sin, and plunged the human race into sinfulness- all connected with violating God's planned roles for the sexes. (In submission we are not to do anything illegal or against God's will.) I had always assumed that a woman's role to submit to her husband was part of the punishment for the fall. How differently would I act if I had known that it is part of God's original plan for me? Do I rebel more against it when I feel it is forced. The pastor was explaining how submission is not a forced thing, but it is to be voluntary. It is a choice one makes in order to honor her husband and God. It can also be very difficult to let my husband lead. As my pastor said, we get tired of waiting for men to lead or we don't think they will do it right so we do it ourselves. I have been trying to work on this. I have to remind myself that it is more important for me to let him lead, in the long run, than it is to have something done the way I want it to be done. I have to let go of the control and let him be in control, knowing that God is ultimately in control. It can be scary to submit to someone who doesn't seem to be walking as closely to the Lord as you would want... but that is where faith comes in. In submitting to the husband and to God you are protected. God will bless and care for you. God will also be able to speak to your husband and encourage growth. 

3. A wife is to adorn herself with the inner beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit and with good works. (1 Pet. 3:4, 5; 1 Tim. 2:9, 10). 
A woman should work on her "countenance" so as to draw men's eyes to her face, her countenance! A woman's countenance is her face. We are to pull a man's eyes to our faces and not onto our bodies. It is important the we don't cause other men to stumble and sin. We are to dress modestly. We should not cause them to lust. I was also wondering if working on countenance would be considered smiling, because I don't think he meant to wear makeup. I noticed that people look at your face more when you are joyful. When you smile and have a light that shines outwardly.  
"Gentle is actually "meek and humble" and "quiet" describes the character of her action and reaction to her husband and life in general. This one hurt... I am in no way quiet in general.. but I think I am more controlled in having a gentle and quiet spirit with others. I find it easier to control my reactions to other things. Unfortunately, when it comes to my husband I do not show him the same kind of love and reaction. I often get easily offended. I feel that I have to prove myself right. 

4. A wife is to strive to be an Excellent wife through industry and integrity in the fear of the Lord (Prov. 31:10-31).  This reminds me of the verse that says we are to do all things to the glory of the Lord. If I took that attitude of doing things to bless my family, to honor God, and out of obedience maybe I wouldn't act like such a martyr for doing what is my responsibility in the first place. 

5. A wife is to see the Satisfaction of her husband Sexually(1 Cor. 7:2-5). 
We need to communicate with our spouse. We need to openly ask and tell them about the needs. As the pastor mentioned, there is so much lustful and immoral things in society. Sex is all around and yet we can't talk about it with our spouse, the one person we are supposed to talk to about it. 

Though I had learned so much from the sermon, the biggest thing God taught me wasn't part of the sermon and yet it was. God was speaking to my heart. He was telling me that I am not supposed to change my spouse. I am only supposed to focus on changing myself. Even though it is hard to give up the control... the changes, any changes, in my husbands heart is between him and God. I need to trust that God and give Him control, because the fact is I only have the amount of control that He allows me. He can take away all of my control in a moment. I don't need my safety blanket of control when I have God. 

Colossians 3:18 "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord."

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Daily Blog Challenge: Day 22

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
This one is kinda tough for me. I am not sure how into it I will go. My life has never gone the way I thought it would. This is not a bad thing, it is actually quite the opposite. For example, I am going to flip this around.

15 yrs ago I was 12. I remember feeling so proud to be a "preteen" and thinking I was so grown. I was sure that I would be a massage therapist. I wanted to also be a singer to raise money for my Special Education class. I had thought that I would be living back in Ohio. 
This was before I began having my chronic pains through out my body.

10 years ago I was 17. I had thought that I would have gone far away to college. I wanted to be a sign interpreter for a Christian school. I loved kids but had no direct interest in having any. I also didn't want any man to tell me what to do or to hold me down. 
This was before I met my now hubby and just two year prior to becoming pregnant. 

5 years ago I was separated for my hubby and was deeply considering a divorce. I had thought that I would be raising Abbie on my own. 
This was just six months before we got help and began to heal our relationship. 

I would have never guessed that I am where I am today. I learned to have small goals and large ones that God gives me but obviously I have to be flexible in my plans. In 5, 10, and 15 years I see myself still growing in my walk with the Lord. I see myself maybe having one more child, if God blesses me so. I pray to be actively involved in a ministry that reaches out to women and young ladies that experience things that I have experienced. 

Where do you see yourself? Are you on the same track as you had thought 5,10, or 15 years ago? 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Daily Blog Challenge: Day 16

What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?

1. Giving birth to Abbie. It was a long and difficult labor taking 46.5 hours. It was all worth it. She is one thing that brings me great joy. She is constantly pushing me to be my best. 

2. Turning my life to Jesus. Deciding to give Him control over my life, my bi-polar, my guilt from the affair, and my pain. He never disappoints, I wish the same was true for me not disappointing.

3. Reconciling and regrowing our marriage. We were married as immature, confused, and self indulgent youth. We have been growing into more mature, godly, self controlled adults. We still have a long way to go but it all started with reconciling. 

4. Giving birth to Elizabeth. We waited a long time for her but after six years we got to meet her. Looking back, it was all God's amazing timing. 

5. Learning how to share my scars. Mainly because I am able to grow closer to God and boast in Him. He has been so good to me. Also, to help others. God has plans for them and by being honest maybe they can see His grace and love through my story. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

If... Then Statements

Our current state of society is based on "If...Then"s. For example, if my boss gives me a raise, then I will work harder. If my landlord fixes the leak, then I will pay my rent. If my I lose weight, then I will feel better about myself. 

As Christians, we are supposed to be Christ-ones. The facts are if God had chosen to give us the the punishment we deserve, then I would end up in Hell. If Jesus only loved the "religious" people, then I would have never known God's grace and provision. BUT He didn't. God sent us a sacrifice to cover our sins. God loves the unloveable. Jesus died for those who hated Him. The fact is as a Christ-one we should do all things to glorify, including the way we treat and react to others. We are to honor our commitments.  We should seek God for our fulfillment. 

Matthew 5:37 "All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one."

1 Corinthians 10:31 "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

Sadly, a lot of marriages fall victim to the If...Thens. I was once victim to this frame of mind and still occasionally slip back into it. If he loves me, then I will honor and submit to him. If he apologizes to me first, then I will apologize to him. I think the reason is because we see our vows as a promise to our spouse, but they aren't. Marital vows are a promise and a vow to God. 

1 Peter 3:1-4 "Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. "

Self-sacrificing is a difficult thing to do, especially in a society that is focused on self. It seems easier to die for someone than to live for someone, because at least if you were to die for them it would be a one time thing. Living for them means a daily sacrificing and constant humility that I am not sure if I could do. I pray that God gives me a serving heart. Maybe, as Christians, we should put away our "If...Then"s and bring out our "Yes, Lord"s.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Feels Soo Good to be Bad.

Why does it feel so good to be bad and yet so blah to be good? 

I was remembering the feelings I had when I was first dating and engaged to my now hubby. There was such a spark, such an excitement, and such a pure magnetism. 

We had a whirlwind romance. We were engaged after just twelve days of dating. When I met him I wanted to spend every waking moment talking to him and kissing him. I could feel my heart flutter and my cheeks become warm from the blood rushing to them. When he looked at me I felt like the sexiest woman alive. Just a glance would make me smile ear to ear. 

Our love was a rebellious love. My parents thought that I had fallen too fast and too soon. Other family members disowned me.  We were told by teachers that it wouldn't last. There is something about rebelling that creates an excitement. It made me feel alive and strong. My adrenaline would rush when I would go to see him. 

I studied him. I felt like a sponge and would long to learn more about him. I sought to please him and to become the woman he wanted to marry. I felt it was my duty to know more about him then he knew at times. 

Over the years we have learned how to have a love that is filled with godly love and respect. We have become so comfortable with each other that we barely speak. I feel like an old married couple. I am not sure if it is possible. I am not the same person as I was then. I used to be a wild, independent, and self indulgent girl. I am proud of who I have become.  I still feel madly in love with him, but at times I miss the spark. The fire and desire. 

Is it possible to have intimacy and fire? Do you ever miss the way things used to be?