Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Those four little letters so often describe the marriage relationship to many people. People get married because they fell in love, and they just as often get divorced because they fell out of love. Our culture today is saturated with the idea of love. Everywhere you turn there is talk about love! There are novels about love, movies about love, kids in school think they’re falling in love, single adults out there looking for love…and the list goes on and on. But that term “falling in love” has always seemed a little funny to me. It’s as if two people are walking along on the road of life and out of nowhere, there’s a ditch of love in the road and they simply can’t control it, they just fall in! Sounds crazy doesn’t it?! But I really think that many people are out there waiting for that ditch to appear in front of them.

I however have a bit of a different view on love. I don’t believe you fall into love anymore than I believe you can fall out of love. I believe that love is a choice every single time. I’ve heard it said that “you can’t control who you love” and to be completely honest with you, I think that’s just ridiculous! I think this phrase comes from the world having confused the meanings of the words “love” and “lust”. I believe that you can’t control who you are attracted to but you absolutely can control who you love.

One of the problems people have when it comes to love is the feeling of love. If that feeling isn’t there then they must not be in love anymore right? But the problem with that logic is that love is not just about a feeling. Yes, there are those gushy feelings that one associates with love and I’m all for that, but that is not the kind of love it takes to build and maintain a marriage. You don’t always love your spouse because you feel it, you love them because you decide to.

Love for your spouse is not something you always wake up with. I know that people often get married with the idea that they will always feel those lovey-dovey feelings for their spouse but that’s just not how it works. Every single day when you wake up you have two choices, you can choose to love your spouse or you can choose to not love them. It doesn’t matter what they do, the choice is entirely up to you.

Ephesians 5:25 says “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” This verse makes it very clear that the kind of love that is needed in marriage is a very sacrificial love, one that causes you to give up all of yourself for your spouse. Too many times marriages have two people full of nothing but selfish love, a love that is all about them and what they want and that kind of selfish love can destroy a marriage.

Something you have to remember when thinking about love is that, love comes from God. 1 John 4:7-8 says “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” So as Christians, the love of God is in us and that love is to be shown to everyone we come in contact with. If we’re to show that love to everyone we meet, how much more are we to show it to our spouse?

The world has their own idea of what love is and how it should be shown but you have to understand that the love of God is in you and that love is so much greater than the love that is in the world!

Now I know it is not always easy to choose to love your spouse, and I admit, I have not always made that choice myself. But each day is a new day and comes with a fresh choice to make. Today, will you choose to love your spouse? Will you take on the sacrificial God kind of love? As I said, it’s not always easy but it is a choice that as Christians and followers of God we are to make.

If this is something you are struggling with, I challenge you to read 1 Corinthians 13, which is the love chapter of the bible. Try reading it in several different versions so you can get a full view of what it says. It’s very challenging and yet it’s something that each person is called to. Next week I’ll be talking about walking in love so be sure to check back in.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Small Break

Hey everyone, I just wanted to let y'all know that I've been having some internet trouble so I'm going to take a small break from blogging over the next week. I would just continue to blog from my phone but the keys are very tiny and I do tend to talk a lot! :o) It should all be fixed by the middle of next week so I'll be back to posting as normal. Hope everyone has a great week!


Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of School

I have decided to take a small break from my usual topics and talk on a different subject today, you see, today is the first day of school. Please excuse me while I get sentimental and gush just a little.

This year Konner is in 1st grade, he has been ready to be back in school since the first week of June! Last year I wrote HERE about his first day of school and how I simply was not ready for it. However this year is a bit different, this is my Lexi's first year of school and this mommy's heart just can't believe it.

Somehow, in the blink of an eye my little girl went from this...

To this...

From this...

To this...

Just like Konner last year, she never asked my permission to grow up and I never gave it. Yet she's doing it anyways. Now I know that she's still only 4 but somehow I know that as fast as these past 4 years have gone by, the next 14 will go by even quicker. As my husband wrote about HERE, all too soon she'll be gone.

So my sweet Alexis (as she has now asked to be called), as you start on this journey and new phase of life, there are a few things i'd like to tell you...

-You are and always have been your daddies little girl. At times you will love it and at times you will hate it, but nothing in this world will ever change it so don't even try!

-I know you think you know more than me at times but trust me, you don't.

-As much as I might want to I will not always run to your side when you trip and fall. You will have to learn to pick yourself back up and I promise, you will thank me for it. Someday.

-Your strong will is going to get you in a lot of trouble, but it will also save you from trouble. Learn to harness and control it instead of letting it control you.

-It will never be ok for you to call a boy. I know your friends will do it but you can't. Trust me, a real man will call you and if he's not a real man, you don't need to talk to him.

-If you are embarrassed to wear something to church, you won't be wearing it to the mall.

-If your aren't embarrassed to wear something to church but it makes your dad blush, you won't be wearing it.

-I can and will enter your room at any time. That's just my right as your parent.

-If you act stupid to attract boys, you will only attract stupid boys.

-Before you were even born, God had a plan for your life. They are plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future

-No matter how old you get, you will never be to old to dance with your daddy. "Cinderella" will always be y'alls song.

-Your phone, emails and room will be checked anytime your dad, God or I feel the need. Just part of living in our house. Nothing in your life is off limits to us.

-As much as your brother and sister might drive you crazy, they are the best friends you will ever have. Treat them as such.

-Every boy you bring home to meet your dad will be under severe interrogation. If they do not pass you will not be seeing them again.

-I will not be your friend until you are an adult. I will love you, laugh with you and talk with you about everything but never forget that I am your mother. You will have plenty of friends but only one of me.

-It may take until you are an adult to appreciate that last fact but at some point, you will.

-No matter what has happened in your life or your world, your mommy and daddy are ALWAYS here for you. That will never change.

I'll stop for now, although there are 100's of other things I could add. Thank goodness she is only 4 and I have plenty of time to do so. Happy first day of school my Lexi-Lou!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fun Friday: Mom-petition

The question for today comes from a facebook friend of mine. It seems that she has been struggling with competition with another mom friend of hers. Their children are very close in age and this other mother is constantly comparing them, and even ends up devastated if her child falls short in her eyes. She asked what she should do and how to best handle this situation.

This is such an easy thing to fall into, and if we're honest most of us mothers have done it ourselves at some point. If we're not comparing our kids to other kids, we're comparing them to their siblings. For example, my two oldest kids walked when they were 13 months and 2 weeks. Both of them were exactly the same in that area. Then came my youngest, she walked at 8 months old. I was shocked! Now I could have compared her to her brother and sister and thought of her as better because she walked sooner, but honestly, when a child walks is completely insignificant in the big picture of a child's life. Grades and sports are other areas that we compare our children to each other. When a child potty trains is often another area of comparison, and there are many others which are all equally as ridiculous.

So what is the very basic underlying issue when it comes to mom-petition? I believe that it is pride. Let's face it, for us mothers, especially stay-at-home-mothers, we can easily wrap up ourselves and who we are into our kids. We can feel like our worth is aligned with their success, even in small and seemingly insignificant issues. So when we see another child doing something better or sooner than our children, it can almost feel like a stab at our worth.

When dealing with this issue there are a few verses that you need to commit to memory. The first one is 2 Corinthians 2:12 which says "We would not dare put ourselves in the same class with, or compare ourselves to, those who recommend themselves. Whenever they measure themselves by their own standards or compare themselves among themselves, they show how foolish they are."
And verse 18 of that same chapter says "When people commend themselves, it doesn't count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them."

According to the bible, comparing yourself to anyone else is foolish and something we should never do. If you're going to compare yourself to anyone you need to compare yourself to Christ. Period. And as for comparing yourself to someone and thinking you're better in anyway is wrong. According to this verse, lets leave the commending of ourselves to Christ. After all, when it comes from Him it's so much more rewarding!

Now for the underlying pride issue, let's look at a few verses about pride.
"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." Proverbs 11:2

"Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18

"Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished." Proverbs 16:5

Pride is clearly a very ugly sin in the bible. In fact, pride seems to be the cause for the very first sin in the book of Genesis. Adam and Eve became convinced that they knew more than God, not only that but they began to believe that they could be, and deserved to be, like God. Because of their pride they lost everything. A heart of pride is very clearly something to stay far away from!

Now, when it comes to your children it may seem innocent, and it may even start out that way but it doesn't stay there for long. That competitive, comparing spirit does so much harm in your life, your children's lives and the lives of those around you. You see, when you are constantly comparing your children to other children, or other kids to your kids, you can't take the time to fully appreciate who your kids are. All you can focus on is them being the best, and when they are not the best, they have failed.

You have to understand that any time you do this you are teaching your kids that they are not good enough unless they are the best at everything. Let's face it, there will always be someone out there that is better than you at something. So in essence, you are setting your kids up for failure from a very early age and teaching them that they will never be good enough. Our goal as parents is to teach our kids to do the best they can, not be the best.

I think the most important thing to remember anytime you are in this situation is found in Ephesians 2:10 "For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."

You see, God has a specific, unique plan and design for you child's life and comparing them to anyone else just gets in the way of that unique plan. They should never feel like they have to be like anyone else, you need to teach them to be confidant in who they are! One of my favorite quotes is "No one can be you like you can be you!". You know what, i'm not the best writer out there or the best wife or mom, but there is no one in this world who can be Jamie like I can be Jamie! I have been placed here for a specific reason that God Himself placed on my life. Your kids need to be raised with the confidence to say that about themselves and that will be so difficult for them to have if they are always taught to compare themselves to other people.

If this is something you struggle with I encourage you to stop right now! Talk to your child and explain to them that this attitude is not right, and be sure to include how very proud of them you are. Kids crave approval from their parents and it's so important that we give it to them!

If you are dealing with another parent constantly comparing their child to yours, I urge you to talk to them about it. Don't do it in the heat of the moment (if you're anything like me, it's too easy to let your emotions get the best of you) but try to find a time to sit down and talk to them about it. Let them know that this bothers you and bothers your children, if it does. Kindly ask them to stop and then if it comes up again I think it would be appropriate to remind them that you would rather they not do it anymore.

Most importantly, pray. Pray over the all the parents and children involved in the situation. God is a God of peace, not decinsion!

Each Friday I tackle the thoughts and questions of my readers. If there is something you would like me to discuss feel free to either leave a comment below, leave a comment on my Facebook Page or email me at joinmeforcoffeeblog(at)gmail(dot)com.

This post is linked up with Homemaker By Choice.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Maintaining Your Marriage Relationship

When Colby and I first got married we had this idea that the hard part was over. We had come through a bit of a difficult time and finally got married. Now it was going to be smooth sailing right? Oh no! That's not how it happened at all. We went through a lot of pain and really awful times over the next two years but we did work through things. We worked really hard and actually built a great marriage.

However we had to realize that the work wasn't done there. Once we had worked through some of the really hard things and made some big changes to ourselves and our marriage we entered into maintenance mode. So here are a few ways to maintain your marriage relationship.

1. Have a solid friendship.
I have a few very close friends but I have to say, Colby is my very best friend. The definition of the word friend is "A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade." Do you like your spouse? Do you know your spouse? Are you constantly learning new things about your spouse? You both are allied in the same cause, the cause of completing your marriage. Never forget that your spouse is supposed to be your best friend!

2. Meet each others needs-find out what their needs are and talk about your needs.
As i've said before, your spouse is not a mind reader, if you need something you have to tell them exactly what you need. Also, if your spouse tells you something that they need you have to do everything you can to actually meet that need.

3. Embrace who your spouse is.
This goes back to not trying to change your spouse. Learn who they are and embrace that. I love to have people over for dinner and my husband is much more of a home/family body. But he has completely embraced who I am and doesn't struggle with me when I ask to have friends over. Learn to love and embrace your spouse for who they are and don't try to make them into who you want them to be.

4. Set specific goals together.
You have to daily keep your marriage on your mind and constantly be planning together where you want your family to go. Dream together. Plan together. Be on the same page about your marriage, goals and dreams at all times.

5. Get back to the basics.
Whatever your definition of a successful relationship is, that is who you need to become.Learn to do the things for your spouse that you'd like them to do. You really do reap what you sow.

6. Ask only what you are willing to give.
It is simply not right to expect more from your spouse than you are willing to give. In your marriage you are supposed to give more than you are asking for, not the other way around.

7. Take responsibility for a successful marriage.
It takes two people to make a marriage work, and in your marriage you are one of those people. You absolutely can not throw everything off onto your spouse. Take responsibility for the success you see in your marriage and also for the flaws and failures you see in your marriage. You can't just throw it all off onto your spouse.

8. Commit to your marriage.
This is probably the most important one! More than any other tips or advice you could ever get in regards to your marriage, this will always be the most important thing. Without commitment to your marriage it will never last. You have to dig your heals in, hunker down and fully commit at all times to your marriage.

The fact of the matter is, when it comes to a good marriage, it's not just going to happen. You will have to constantly learn, love, change and grow together. Marriage will never be a "Get it, got it, good" situation. You constantly have to maintain it. But if you can keep yourself and your marriage in maintenance mode, and always be working on building your marriage you can see some great things come from it!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Beautiful Quote To Start Your Day

People get from books the idea that if you have married the
right person you may expect to go on "being in love" for ever.
As a result, when they find they are not, they think this proves
they have made a mistake and are entitled to a change -not
realizing that, when they have changed, the glamour will
presently go out of the new love just as it went out of the old
one. In this department of life, as in every other, thrills
come at the beginning and do not last... but if you go through
with it, the dying away of the first thrill will be compensated
for by a quieter and more lasting kind of interest.
~C.S. Lewis

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fun Friday: Homosexuality

"I'm having a hard time explaining to my oldest why same sex people shouldn't be together. It's a very touchy subject."

Goodness gracious, when you ask readers for questions you get questions!! :o) Some questions have been easy and some have been very hard, i've even lost some followers over my answers to some questions. But now I have a question that has an easy answer but yet it's difficult to give the answer. Please bare with me as I try to answer in complete honesty and love.

Let me start by saying that I believe a lot of Christians have mishandled this situation and done a lot of damage in the name of truth. A lack of love and grace has been shown from the church as a whole to people that struggle with this issue and it is wrong. Regardless of the situation a person is in, as followers of Christ, we are to show His love to each and every person.

Before I even give my opinion on this issue we need to look at what the bible says, it is the ultimate authority on every issue we face and this one is no different.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says "Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God."
Romans 1:26-27 says "Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved."
1 Timothy 1:9-10 says "For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders. The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching."

It is very clear that according to the bible, homosexuality is a sin. There is just no getting around that fact. It seems that this issue is everywhere now days, the world is completely bombarded and saturated with this. So many people are trying to normalize this and teach it as ok. The argument that "They are simply born that way" is everywhere and if you don't accept that answer you are viewed as judgmental.

I have always been of the group that never believed that a person is born homosexual however, I recently read the book "Learning" by Karen Kingsbury that has given me a different view of this issue and that is the view i'd like to share with you all today.

The fact of the matter is, each and every person is born with a bend towards sin. There are specific sins that every one struggles with every day. When I was a teenager, I struggled with lying. I lied so often about little things that I got very good at it and could lie to your face and you'd never know. Now as an adult i've overcome that sin but I struggle with laziness. I will put off housework for any little reason, I simply don't like doing it. But it's a fight and a struggle that i'm not giving up on.

You see, I could simply have said as a teenager that I was born a liar and continued lying all the time. Or now as an adult I could simply say that I was born lazy and it's ok that i'm this way, my family will simply have to accept living in a dirty house. But lying is a sin, laziness is a sin and homosexuality is also a sin.

People may very well be born with a tendency towards that particular sin but that does not mean that it is ok for them to live in that lifestyle. There is no sin out there that God simply accepts as "the way you were born" and allows you to live in. He just doesn't. For people that struggle with lying, God calls them to keep struggling! Keep fighting the urge to lie and ask God to help you overcome that sin. For those who struggle with laziness, keep struggling until you overcome that sin. And for those that struggle with homosexuality, keep struggling and ask God to help you overcome that sin as well.

Nowhere in the bible does it say that homosexuality is the worst sin known to man. If you look, it is listed right there with liars, greedy people, drunkards and even promise breakers. Yes, it is a sin, there's just no way around that. But just like any other sin out there, it can be overcome through Christ alone.

Now to answer the original question asked on talking with your kids about this issue I have a couple of suggestions for you.

1. Be sure your conversation is age appropriate.
Very young children are being forced to deal with this issue and their young minds are simply not able to comprehend it. For young children I would keep things at a very basic level. As much as the world likes to grey this issue, it is actually very black and white. You can explain that it is a sin without giving a young child too much information.

2. Find out exactly what situation they are faced with and what they think about it.
Are they dealing with friends at school that are homosexual? Do they believe that it is wrong? Before you can really talk about this with your kids you need to know exactly where they're at.

3. Get in the Word together!
You as the parent are charged with guiding and training your kids and you can't do that without the word. You have to have God talking to your kids through you and that comes from getting in the Word. Show your kids exactly what the bible says about this issue.

4. Don't cower away from it.
Your kids are having this issue and so many others shoved in their faces all.the.time. The world is not afraid to tell them that sin is fun and try to get them hooked. If you deal with them timidly you will be overpowered by the world. Speak to them with confidence in the bible and don't ever be afraid to call sin exactly what it is, sin.

5. Teach them love.
It is absolutely ok to teach your kids that homosexuality is sin. It is not ok to teach them that homosexuals are evil. It all goes back to the old saying "Hate the sin. Love the sinner.". You have to have this attitude and teach your kids to have this attitude. And you need to understand that your kids will pick up on your attitude about the situation. We are sent into the world to tell people the good news of Christ and show His love to them, and it is so important to remember that when dealing with this issue.

Each Friday I tackle the thoughts and questions of my readers. If there is something you would like me to discuss feel free to either leave a comment below, leave a comment on my Facebook Page or email me at joinmeforcoffeeblog(at)gmail(dot)com.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Family That Prays Together

"I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you." Matthew 18:19

At my women's bible study last week the subject of praying together with your spouse came up, and I had such a huge load lifted off my shoulders so I decided to talk about it here today. How many of you pray with your spouse? I'm talking about the two of you sitting down together and spending serious time praying out loud together. If i'm honest here, my husband and I have only done that a handful of times, and usually it's about something to do with the kids. I have always felt guilty about that, but honestly neither of us are very comfortable praying out loud so it's something we just don't often do.

However we are always in agreement in our prayers together. We are always coming to each other with things we both need to pray about regarding our family. Big things, small things, health issues, finances, job situations, the kids friendships...everything. While we very rarely sit down and pray together, we are always in agreement in prayer for our family and situations surrounding us.

I do think there is something powerful about you and your spouse sitting down and praying together but lets just be honest here, you or your spouse may simply not be comfortable with that. This is not an area that you need to feel guilty about or make your spouse feel guilty about. If you are more comfortable with this issue but your spouse is not, do not put them down or make them feel bad! If it's a very important thing to you, pray about it and talk to them honestly about it but do not try to force or guilt them into it. That will not get good, healthy results.

I do believe that it is very important for you and your spouse to be in constant agreement in your prayers, but I also believe that you can be in agreement and pray separately. Talk regularly with each other about things you're both dealing with, things your children are dealing with, areas that you're struggling in individually and anything that you are personally praying about. Then commit to both pray about the issue until it is resolved. That verse in Matthew says "If two of you agree". It does not say you have to be praying together out loud in order for your prayer to be answered.

If you can make a habit of agreeing regularly in your prayers you are both still bringing God into your marriage and into your situation and I believe that is just as powerful as you both praying out loud together.

Monday, August 8, 2011

50 Things Every Couple Should Know

In out women's bible study at my church, we just finished going over a list of 50 things every couple should know. It was an awesome list so I just had to share it with all of you. It was written my Joe McGee and you can find his website HERE, he has some great resources on there. I will be back to normal posting on Wednesday, and I hope you enjoy!

50 Things Every Couple Should Know

1. The difference between what makes your spouse tick and ticked off. (I Peter 3
dwell with knowledge).

2. How to make your spouse laugh. (Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart does good like a

3. Positive memories become anchors for the future storms. (Proverbs 10:76
Memory of the just is blessed).

4. Please and thank you are not just words for children. (I Peter 3:8 Be courteous one
to another).

5. Not to yell at each other unless the house is on fire. (Proverbs 15:1 Soft answer
turns away wrath).

6. Your spouse has positive qualities you should affirm regularly. (Proverbs 7:21
With much faith speech and flattery of her lips she forced him).

7. It is fun to be spontaneous: tickle, dance, or join your spouse in the shower.
(Proverbs 27:6 sacrifices of joy).

8. The qualities within your spouse that ignited your interest when you first met.
(Revelation 2:4-5 Left first love – remember, repent, redo).

9. Major house projects may need to be followed by minor marital counseling.
(Psalm 133:1 Good for the brethren to dwell together in unity).

10. The important of maintaining sexual attraction. (Song of Solomon 7:10 I am my
beloved’s and his desire is toward me).

11. How to use a camera and photo album to document your relationship. (Psalm
77:11 Surely I will remember thy wonders of old).

12. Your spouse’s favorite magazine. (I Peter 3:8 Finally, brethren be ye all of one

13. To celebrate the little things in your lives. (Romans 12:15 Rejoice with them that

14. To not replace the evening gown with the bathrobe. (Song of Solomon 6:4 Thou
are beautiful my love).

15. Your own intimate vocabulary (which is foreign to other family members). (I
Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery).

16. The quality of your marriage isn’t handled by how few problems you have, but
how you handle the problems. (Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers).

17. TV executives don’t care about marriage communication. (Mark 13:5 Take heed
lest any man deceive you).

18. Marriage should have more dreams than nightmares. (Proverbs 29:18 Where there
is not vision the people perish).

19. Biblical writers refer to the act of sex as to know. (Philippians 2:3 Let each
esteem the other better than themselves).

20. You should keep your spouses insecurities private. (I Peter 4:8 Love covers a
multitude of sins).

21. A quick phone call when you’re going to be late can diffuse a potential explosion.
(Proverbs 2:10 Knowledge is pleasant to the soul).

22. How to establish realistic expectations. (Luke 14:28 Sit down first and count the

23. How to take responsibility for our actions instead of blaming your spouse.
(Romans 2:1 Be careful when you judge someone for when you judge someone
else you condemn yourself for it takes one to know one).

24. How to face stressful events peacefully. (Proverbs 1:33 Shall dwell safely and be
quiet from fear of evil).

25. The importance of being straightforward about getting your needs met.
(Ephesians 4:15 Speaking the truth in love may grow up).

26. The attractiveness of a positive attitude. (Philippians 4:13 I can do all things
through Christ).

27. It is ok to read a book or take a course on improving your marriage. (I Peter 2:2
Desire the sincere milk of the word that you may grow thereby).

28. A walk together is good for both the heart and the soul. (Amos 3:3 Can two walk
together unless they agree).

29. Money problems are a major cause of divorce. (Luke 16:11 Not faithful in
handling wealth who will trust you with true riches).

30. Ignored problems will not become solved on their own. (Hosea 4:6 My people are
destroyed for a lack of knowledge).

31. How to dream big together. (Matthew 18:19 If any two of you shall agree as touching anything that they shall ask it shall by done of them of my Father in heaven).

32. The value of creating a safe environment to openly share your feelings. (James
1:19 Be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath).

33. How to turn a negative thought into a positive statement before the brain engages
the mouth. (I Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations).

34. It is better to help your partner be on time instead of blaming them for being late.
(Eccl. 4:9-10 Two are better than one for if one falls, he has another to help him up).

35. How to interpret your spouse’s non-verbal communication. (Luke 5:22 Jesus
perceived their thoughts).

36. The silent treatment was invented by a kindergartner. (James 4:2 You have not
because you ask not).

37. How to avoid the same sexual routine. (Song of Solomon 7:12 They went out into
the country to make love).

38. Happily married people do exist. (I Peter 3:15 Be read to give an answer to
everyone who asks you of the hope that is in you).

39. A few simple rules for resolving conflict. (I Peter 3:9 Do not render evil for evil,
or railing for railing).

40. The important of planning fun into your schedule. (Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred
makes the heart sick).

41. To be proud when introducing your mate. (I Peter 3:7 Giving honor unto the
wife/Ephesians 5:33 Wives reverence your husbands).

42. Sticks and stones are much less painful than words carelessly spoken. (Proverbs
18:21 Life and death are in the power of the tongue).

43. Men reach their sexual peak at about age 20; women at about age 35. (I
Corinthians 7:5 Defraud ye not one another).

44. Encouragement before marriage is kindness, but encouragement after marriage is
a necessity. (Hebrews 3:13 Exhort one another daily).

45. It is not the number of years you are married that counts but what you do during
those years. (John 10:10 Jesus came to bring life and life more abundantly).

46. The importance of a weekly meeting to discuss problems, family, calendar, goals,
finances, and so on. (Proverbs 16:3, 9 Commit your works to the Lord and He will
establish your thoughts. Man makes his plans and the Lord orders his steps).

47. The past is past, move on. (Philippians 3:13 Forgetting those things which are
behind and reaching forth).

48. Orgasm isn’t the name of a Biblical city. (Proverbs 5:19 Be thou ravished always
with her love).

49. To ask for your spouses advice. (Proverbs 11:14 Where there is not counsel the
people fall).

50. That God can meet every single one of your needs. (I Peter 3:12 The eyes of the
Lord are over the righteous spouse and his ears are open to their prayers).

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My First Guest Post: Welcome Colby!

I don't usually post on Saturdays but today I had to make an exception. My husband has started a blog called The Red Letter Man and he is a fantastic writer. He is starting by posting about situations in his life that have shaped him and his post today was so wonderful that I just had to share it with all of my wonderful readers. So please enjoy and welcome my husband, Colby.

The day my daughter (almost) died.

I remember it like it was yesterday. Standing in the triage room at BSA hospital on a Sunday night as the doctor explained that my 6 month old daughter needed to be admitted. She had a urinary tract infection that had spread throughout her entire body. She was also severely dehydrated. The next five days were to be some of the hardest in my life. You never know how much you care about someone until you are looking at loosing them. As they lead us into the room that she would be staying in, the uncertainty was almost to much to take. I will never forget seeing the steel cage that they called a crib for the first time. I felt like I was living out a scene from the movie "Saw". I remember being speechless when they asked if we wanted her to be an organ donor if she didn't make it. But the thing I remember above anything else is the way God reached down in our greatest moment of despair and literally saved her life.

It was late Monday night when the nightmare reached its worst point. Her temperature had been over 104 degrees several times over the course of the last few days. We had given her cool baths and Tylenol and had managed to tame it each time. But now the problem was reversed. My wife held her close to her body and she was wrapped in several warm blankets fresh out of the dryer. But despite this her temperature was at 95 degrees and dropping. The reality started sinking in that I was very possibly watching her die. After taking her temperature and seeing this number, the nurse told us that they were going to start preparing the ICU. As she walked out of the room, our current children's pastor walked in. We had called him a few minutes before to see if he could pray for us over the phone, but instead (even though it was 11pm and he was on his way home when we called) he insisted on coming to the hospital. He started talking about how mad he was at the devil for messing with God's people. This statement blew my mind. Growing up in church you always hear that when bad things happen, God must have a reason for doing it to you. I never considered that maybe, just maybe, God isn't the one doing the bad things to you at all! As we listened with a lump in our throats he claimed a promise over her that neither of us would dare to hope for. As he told us "She will live and not die" (Psalms 118:17) I began to sob. Then he prayed a prayer for her full of confidence and scriptural promises about healing. He prayed for strength for me and my wife, and he ended with Jeremiah 29:11. As he turned to leave, the nurse returned to check her temperature one more time before they moved her to the ICU. We could barely believe it when we saw the reading on the thermometer: 99.2.

For the next 4 days it was an uphill battle, until we finally left the hospital that Friday afternoon. But I believe the hold of the enemy on her that almost claimed her life was beaten that night. She will turn 5 this November. She is healthy, happy, and the light of my life. Every time I look at her I'm reminded that, no matter how dark things look, there is no darkness that cannot be expelled by the power of God.

I learned a lot of things from this experience, but I would briefly like to share just two of them.

1. The bible says "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6). As men, especially fathers, one of our primary responsibilities is to protect our family. We all know if a physical enemy were to assail our wife or children, it would be our job to protect them at all costs, even your own life. However this is not the only danger. There are spiritual forces mounted against your family that are subtler, put infinitely more potent. Like many other Christians, I thought that, simply put, God was going to kill her and I just had to deal with that. The bible says very plainly that this is not how God operates. Sickness and death are from the devil, but God gives us healing and life (John 10:10, Acts 10:38). But I had all but given up. In my lack of knowledge I stood by and did nothing as I watched her life slip away. After this experience I purposed to gain all the knowledge I could for the protection of my family. Never again would Satan be allowed to have the upper hand over my family. Since then I have done extensive study into spiritual warfare, healing, and our authority over demonic forces, and I would encourage all men (especially fathers) to do the same.

2. Life is precious. In that moment when I thought I was watching her die, I realized I didn't really know my daughter. I waited my entire adult life to have a daughter, and yet at six months old I had never really spent any quality time with her. I had sat around waiting for her to "develop a personality", and now I had lost my chance. Even more than that, I didn't know my 2 year old son any better. Now, almost 4 years later, I take every opportunity I can find to spend time with my kids. Even running down to the convenience store to grab a bag of ice, I rotate taking one of the three of them with me for some one on one time. Anything they become interested in, I take the time to learn about it. I tell them regularly how special they are to me. Sadly, it took my baby girl almost dying to realize I should have been doing these things all along.

People have often asked why we didn't take any pictures while she was in the hospital and we usually answer with something like, "Oh, we just didn't think about." However, the truth is that I did not then nor have I ever since wanted to recall the horror that filled the majority of those five days. And the good things that took place, the things that shaped me, I will never forget nor could any photo capture. I know without doubt that her life was not spared for no reason. She will grow to be an amazing woman of God and live out the words of Jeremiah 29:11 with style and grace. So here's to my amazing Lexi. The keeper of my heart, daughter of the king, and my continuous joy in a cynical world.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Fun Friday: The Strong Willed Child

Look at that face! Isn't that just the cutest little girl you've ever seen? She could never be anything other than a completely compliant angel right?! HA! This is my 4 year old daughter and I absolutely love her to death, but this girl defines "Strong willed child".

From the second she was born we knew she had a very different personality than our son who didn't really challenge us much and was just a generally easy going child. I was not a strong willed child at all so my little Lexi completely threw me! At 2 and 3 years old, her and I would get into these wars and I just didn't know what I was doing wrong. I was raising her the same way i'd raised my son and yet she fought me so much more than he ever did. I knew early on that she was a strong willed child but I didn't fully understand what that meant, or how I needed to parent her differently than my son who was not strong willed.

Then I got smart and started looking outside of myself and what i'd been doing, for advice on how to train her. I got advice from a child trainer in our church and got the book "The New Strong Willed Child" by Dr James Dobson. By the way, if you have a strong willed child I very highly recommend this book! It will absolutely change the way to parent your child, and give you some amazing tools you need to raise them.

I'd always heard when raising a strong willed child that all you needed to do was simply break their will. If you do that you'll be able to fully shape and mold them into the person they need to be. If you've heard this teaching or are putting it into practice with your strong willed child stop right now! Take that advice and throw it out the door. Never ever try to break your child's will, you simply need to train it. When you break their will you can crush their spirit and that is something you never, ever want to do!

Now, I may very well say some things that some people don't like but i'm ok with that. While I am no expert at all, I do have some experience with this issue so i'm simply going to go off of that in this post.

The very best advice I can give in dealing with a strong willed child is this, if your child decides to challenge you and your authority, you have to win every single time. There is just no way around this one. If your child wins, their will just gets stronger. My daughter will pick some of the strangest battles to fight, and as silly as the fight seems to me, as soon as she digs her heels in I dig mine in. For example, most of the time I let her pick out her own clothes but every now and then when we're in a hurry I will simply pick something out for her. Sometimes she's ok with this and sometimes she takes that as me declaring war and she is determined to win. While I completely agree that this seems like a silly thing to fight with her about, I do not let her win. You see, with a strong willed child it doesn't matter how silly the battle is. If they win one battle, they will fight you 10 times for the chance to win again.

A great example of this is something that happened between my sister and my mother when my sister was younger. My mom decided that my sister needed to drink a glass of V8 juice and my sister decided she would have no part of that. Well many spankings later my sister won and didn't have to drink the juice. To this day, at least 20 years later my sister still talks about that and rejoices in the fact that she won that battle. Winning is HUGE to strong willed children and honestly, it feeds the strength of their will.

Now I do think that when you have a strong willed child you have to pick your battles very carefully. I usually try to allow my daughter as much freedom as possible and allow her to make as many choices as she can. But, if I do have to make a choice for her and there is no way around it, I am aware of the fact that she may very well fight it. But one of the biggest keys to parenting a strong willed child is being a strong willed parent.

Now please don't take this as my advocating parenting like an abusive dictator! I believe you should give your children every opportunity possible to make their own choices, and they should have age appropriate freedoms. But every parent knows that there are times when you have to make an ultimate decision and with strong willed children especially, you have to train them to respond without argument. When your child is about to run out into the street and you tell them to stop, that is not the time to find out if they will mind you!

You also need to understand that the strong willed child will never grow out of this, it is something they will struggle with for most of their life. But they themselves will have to learn to not give into their will and it is our job as parents to teach them how to do that. However, if you can train their will when they are young it will be one of their greatest assets as they get older. They will not be the ones falling for peer pressure, they will be the ones creating the peer pressure. As my pastor's wife once said, when your strong willed child becomes a teenager, they will be leading their friends somewhere. How you train them determines where they will lead them.

This is such a complex subject and I know i'm not going to have fully covered it in this post so feel free to ask any questions in the comments below, or email me about any part of this that isn't clear to you. Also, if you have a strong willed child please get the book I mentioned my Dr Dobson! It is a fantastic book and he thoroughly covers this issue and answers many questions from readers in it. Learning how to parent and train a strong willed child is not something that comes naturally (unless of course you yourself were a strong willed child) so don't be ashamed to admit that you need help in this area. The sooner you do this, the better off you and your child will be.

Each Friday I tackle the thoughts and questions of my readers. If there is something you would like me to discuss feel free to either leave a comment below, leave a comment on my facebook page or email me at joinmeforcoffeeblog(at)gmail(dot)com.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Have you ever wondered what it takes to make a marriage work? Why are some people happier than others? What do some couples have that others don't? I think there can be many things missing from healthy relationships, and one of those things is respect. That's the one we're going to focus on today.

Respect is a huge issue and something that every person needs, but so often in marriage when it comes to this issue, we only talk about how much guys need respect. But I believe that both men and women need respect in marriage. I think there are five main areas that you each need to respect your spouse in. We'll start with the guys.

Wives, here are five things to respect in your husband.

1. Respect his position in your life
Ephesians 5:23 says "For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church." Girls, I know it's not always easy to submit to our husbands but I believe it is biblical. Your husband was placed as the head of your family and your are to respect his position as the leader.

2. Respect his labor.
Your husband works hard to provide for and protect your family. You have to respect his work! If you spend all your time tearing him down because he's gone too much, or because you don't think he's working hard enough you can and will do so much damage! If you really think he is missing it in the area of his work, pray about it and seek the advice of a Christian counselor. But understand that it may not be his work that needs adjusting, it may just be how you see his work.

3.Respect his career.
Whether your husband has a hard labor job or an office job of some kind, respect the career that he's chosen to poor himself into. When my husband decided he wanted to be a photographer I thought it was the goofiest idea he'd ever had! I just didn't see how it would work and honestly I wasn't very supportive in the beginning. But I began to see the stress my doubt was causing so I decided to get on board with it, and I was shocked at what an amazing photographer he really is! So get behind him and respect the career he pores himself into.

4. Respect his gifts.
Whatever area your husband is gifted in, you need to respect that. Encourage him, push him, show genuine interest in those things. He really does need you to support him and believe in him!

5. Respect his decisions.
Oh man, this one can be hard!! This one goes well with the first one and is also very hard for us girls to do. But girls, again, he was placed as the head of your family. When push comes to shove, he is the one to make the final decisions for your family and you have to respect him. As hard as that is, and as much prayer as that takes sometimes, it's so important!

Ok guys, now it's your turn. Here are five things you need to respect in you wife.

1. Respect her position in your life.
In Genesis 2 :18 God says "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him." Your wife was given to you to help you in life. She is a huge gift to you! Respect the role she plays in your home, your family and in your life personally. Never belittle her position!

2. Respect her labor.
I don't care if your wife works in the home or out of the home, she works and she works hard! A lot of men don't fully understand what all their wives do and just how much they really work until they themselves have to fill in. If you truly don't believe that she works very hard, I challenge you to follow her around for a full day and see just what all she does. You need to find little ways to let her know that you respect everything she does, even the little things that seem to go unnoticed.

3. Respect her career.
If your wife has chosen to tackle the business world, respect that. If she has chosen to stay home and raise your children, respect that. Often times it's easier to respect her career when it is outside of the home but working inside the home is just as valuable and should not be mocked or put down in any way!

4. Respect her gifts.
The absolute biggest fan of my blog is my husband! He constantly encourages me and lets me bounce ideas for topics off of him. He pushes me when I need it and talks big and dreams with me all the time. Guys, if you don't already know, find out what your wife's gifts are and support her in them. Become her biggest fan and you'll never regret it!

5. Respect her opinions.
Alright guys, this is a big one. Yes, you are the head of the house and the ultimate decision does fall on you but...listen to your wife's opinions! Understand that Jesus talks to her too and she has a very unique view to bring to any discussion. Honestly listen to and respect her opinions and you'll do so much for your relationship.

Respect is so important to your marriage and it's much more than just an Aretha Franklin song! You can flirt and complement until your blue in the face but if you don't have the deep respect for each other, it's pointless. It's about so much more than just your actions towards one another, it's about your heart. Respect begins there! Also don't forget, respect needs to be shown in public as much as in private. It should be a constant, all the time thing.

Monday, August 1, 2011

8 Things to Maximize

Last Wednesday we talked about 7 things you need to minimize in your marriage, so today we're going to look at the opposite end of things and focus on things you need to maximize in your marriage.

1. Maximize Sharing
You need to share everything with your spouse. Your time, your energy, your stories, your sorrows...all of it needs to be shared. You got married to build a life together and that means you have to share that life with each other. If you don't already do this, learn to talk to each other about everything. Make a habit of talking about your day every evening, find out what happened at each other's work. Bring your sorrows and hurts to each other, and also bring your success' to each other. Make a habit of sharing everything and being open with your spouse.

2. Maximize Complementing
So many people are all about the negative, it seems like that's all that ever comes out of their mouth! Have you ever been around a person that says nothing but negative things? You want to get away from them as fast as you can right?! In your marriage, don't be that person! Find every possible opportunity to complement your spouse. Talk about the little things but also talk about the greatness in them. Don't ever be stingy with them, but learn to be free with your complements!

3. Maximize Encouragement
You need to be your spouse's biggest fan! In every area of their life you need to be there cheering them on. Sometimes that encouragement is what gets them through the day. Find little ways to build them up every chance you get.

4. Maximize Communication
When I first started talking about marriage I wrote about communication Here, Here, Here, Here and Here so go back and read these for a more in-depth discussion on this subject. But here's a couple quick points for now. Communication is so much more than just talking, it digs deep and gets down to the real you and what you really think, and how you really feel about things. It's important when you're trying to communicate with your spouse that you actually communicate, don't just spend all your time venting feelings. You also have to understand who you're talking to in order to maximize communication, understand that everyone communicates differently. Find out how your spouse communicates in order to communicate often and effectively.

5. Maximize forgiveness and mercy
This is a big one! Whatever you do in your marriage, do not hold a grudge against your spouse. Ephesians 4:26 says to not let the sun go down on your anger and that's a very important habit to form in your marriage. You and your spouse will hurt each other at some point, it's just part of life, but instead of holding onto that hurt, let it go and show forgiveness! Your spouse is the person you should be most forgiving and merciful with.

6. Maximize Act of Service and Kindness
Find ways to go out of your way to show kindness to your spouse and serve them. Look for little ways do serve them. When my husband does things around the house, that is HUGE for me! Him simply picking up the living room is one of the most wonderful things he can do. On the other hand, I spend most of my mornings each day finding ways to help him. I make his coffee and help gather up whatever he needs for the day. These are both just little ways of serving each other but they really go a very long way. Once you start looking for ways to serve your spouse, you'll be shocked at how many opportunities you find.

7. Maximize Intersession
One of the best things I ever heard was "Nagging is simply unbelief's substitute for prayer". That little line completely changed how I talked to my husband. Instead of trying to change and control your spouse, turn them over to God. If you would pray for your spouse every time the temptation to nag at them came into your mind, I think some people would be shocked how much of their day would be spent praying for their spouse! But take it even further than that, make a habit of getting on your knees just for your spouse. Pray over every area of their lives, their work, their role as a husband and father, their friendships, their temptations...the list is never ending. If you struggle in this area I highly recommend getting "The Power of a Praying Wife" or "The Power of a Praying Husband" by Stormie Omartain, those are excellent books!

8. Maximize Your Prayer Life
If you are struggling in your marriage, or any area really, I think the very best thing you can do is get before God. He already knows and sees everything going on in your life, but once you take it to Him and invite Him into the situation, He can actually begin to move and work. Spend time praying about everything though, this isn't just some magic formula that will change your spouse. This one is simply focusing on you! When you maximize your prayer life, you'll be shocked at what God will begin to do in you, through you and for you in every area of your life!