Monday, October 31, 2011

Small Break

Hey friends, I just wanted to let everyone know that my week is looking huge right now and will be finished with my daughters 5th birthday. So i've decided to take the week off from writing. I will be back next Monday though for sure! Hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Let's Fight!

I have discovered something about myself over the course of my marriage...I am a fighter! There are some days that I seem to wake up in the mood to fight and anyone who walks by could be under attack at any moment. Anyone else ever have days like this? Please tell me i'm not alone!

As awful as this personality trait may be there is actually a wonderful side to it and i've discovered that it's very important to wake up everyday ready to fight in your marriage. We just have to understand that we're not fighting our spouse! See, everyday Satan is ready to attack your marriage and family but I don't think that we're always ready for it. The bible says in 1 Peter 5:8 "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour."

Satan would love nothing more than to destroy each and every marriage and he's actually gotten to be really good at it! In today's society it's very difficult to stay married, much less have a strong and healthy marriage and I think so many couples don't even know they're under attack. Many times people get married with the idea that it's going to all be love and roses and they're not prepared at all for the fight that they're in for.

You have to understand, when you get married, you become one. You are no longer two people living two lives. But so often I see couples walking, living and making choices as if they were still two separate people and therefore they fight like two separate people. In order for your marriage to be effective, you have to walk together and even learn how to fight together.

Let's face it, married life can be hard! You have come from completely different backgrounds and you both have different ways of doing pretty much everything. At first it may not seem like a big deal but after awhile you can begin to see your spouse as the enemy. They become the person you must conquer. If things have gotten to that point, stop right where you are! It doesn't matter if you feel like you're in the right and they're completely wrong. Just stop fighting against them!

See, when you spend all your time fighting each other, you are actually fighting against your marriage not just against your spouse. However when you turn things around and start fighting FOR your marriage you build up and strengthen it.

It's so important to understand that no matter what the situation, you and your spouse are to be on the same side. There should never be a situation where you are fighting against each other. You make yourselves and your marriage completely useless when you fight against each other. But once you start fighting with each other you begin to get some power to behind your marriage!

Ecclesiastes 4:12 says "A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken." No matter what the situation you may be facing, take the stand together. Fight together. Include God in the situation and wrap yourselves so tight in Him that the strand of the three of you cannot be broken. It's way past time for couples to stop fighting against their marriages and start fighting for them.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Please Pray With Me

Instead of my usual post today, I have a huge favor to ask of all my readers. A friend of ours has a four month old little girl and they have just discovered over the last few weeks that she has a heart condition called Dilated Cardiomyopathy. They were told yesterday that she will need a heart transplant or she won't live through her toddler years.

I don't know about you guys but I believe 100% that sweet Audree is in the care of our Great Physician and can be completely healed in the blink of an eye! So I am asking each of you to pray for her complete healing, and i'd also like to ask each of you to ask your friends and family to be in prayer with us.

I've seen instant healing in my own kids lives and the bible is very clear that Jesus is no respecter of persons. What He's done for my kids He can do for Audree. Healing is part of God's heart, He loves taking old broken things and making them new. Audree's heart is certainly not old, but right now it is broken and i'm believing for her healing.

These are some of the verses I am praying over Audree if any of you would like to pray them over her with me. After all, in Matthew 18:19 it says "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."

I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you've received it, it will be yours.- Mark 11:24

Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.- Matthew 17:20

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we ARE healed.- Isaiah 53:4-5

Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.- Psalm 103:2-4

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.- Romans 8:11

Here is a LINK to a facebook page they created for updates on her and her condition. And here is a picture of her and another one of her sweet family. Thank you all so much for praying with us and asking others to pray as well.

Friday, October 21, 2011

What Kind Are You?

I've been seeing verses lately on different personality characteristics so I just decided to share them with you. Take a minute and read over these verses and see if any of them describe you or those around you...

The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.~ Proverbs 27:9

Don't befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people...~ Proverbs 22:24

Stay away from fools, for you won't find knowledge on their lips.~ Proverbs 14:7

Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.~ Proverbs 13:20

Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.~ Ephesians 4:29

The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth.~ Proverbs 12:22

Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.~ Proverbs 12:18

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.~ James 1:19

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.~ Ephesians 5:1

Just some food for thought for today.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Stubbornness...The Bond Of Marriages

Have you ever wanted to give up on your marriage? I absolutely have before, and i've almost walked away from it as well. I said in a post some time ago that when Colby and I made it to our first anniversary, i'm pretty sure everyone around us was shocked. Then we made it to our second and third anniversary and they continued to be surprised! You see, my husband and I have been through a LOT in our marriage. You can pretty much name it and we've dealt with it in some shape or form. And through all of those things we had one very important thing that I believe helped to pull us through...stubbornness.

I wish I could sit here and tell you that we had too great a love for each other or some other sweet comment like that, and while we really did love each other, I believe what kept us together was our stubborn nature. Neither of us would give up and walk away. We hurt each other but we never would give up. And looking back now, having come through all the pain, I am so thankful that we were so stubborn!

See I believe that a stubborn nature, the refusal to quit, is a key factor missing in most marriages. The world has the idea that if your marriage doesn't seem to be working you can just walk away and start over. People do make mistakes so maybe you just made a mistake in who you married right? Wrong! Marriage is marriage. Period.

Genesis 2:24 and Mark 10:8 talk about the fact that when two people get married they are no longer two, they become one. You have to get to the point in your marriage where you no longer see yourself as two. If you see yourself as one and then something begins to threaten your relationship, that stubborn refusal to quit becomes a life saver!

I saw this quote from Jon BonJovi that says "As for his secret to staying married: 'My wife tells me that if I ever decide to leave, she is coming with me." That is the attitude we have to have in our marriage. No matter what, don't give up. Hang on to that stubbornness and refuse to give up on your marriage!

Monday, October 17, 2011


Last Friday I talked about some of the struggles i've been facing and how i've just been feeling overwhelmed with life. I then went on to have a very busy weekend and didn't get a chance to write a post for today, so instead of staying up late last night I just decided to go without today. But this morning I was going over some verses and I found one that just struck me.

And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Colossians 3:15

For the last several weeks I have been struggling with having peace, things have been going on in my family that have deeply upset my thought life and my peace. What I noticed about this verse is the fact that the peace of Christ starts in our hearts. It can't just be there a little bit, it has to completely rule over our hearts. Now I know the word "rule" is very common and everyone knows what it means but I decided to look it up anyways. Here's what I found...

"To exercise control, dominion, or direction over; govern.
To dominate by powerful influence.
To decide or declare authoritatively or judicially; decree
To be in total control or command; exercise supreme authority.
To formulate and issue a decree or decision."

So by that definition, the peace of Christ is to have complete control and dominion over our hearts and have a powerful influence over our decisions. That's huge! As I was thinking over this verse today I started wondering; how do you know if the peace of Christ is ruling over your heart? Turns out, it's pretty easy to tell! If it's ruling in your heart, you'll be living out the rest of that verse and it'll be coming out in your actions. You see, Luke 6:45 says "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." So if His peace is in you then His peace will come out of you.

Honestly, His peace has not been coming out of me lately. I've been frustrated and angry about the situation i'm in and i've wanted to act out in that frustration and anger. After reading these verses i'm reminded that whatever is in my heart is what will come out in my actions. By acting out in frustration and anger it's clear that right now, those are the things ruling in my heart.

So today, i'm going after peace. I know I need the peace of Christ to fill my heart and come out in my actions so my prayer for today is the same one King David prayed in Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." If anyone else is struggling with this in any area of your life, join me in the desire for peace in both our hearts and our actions.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Can I Be Real?

When I first started talking about marriage and other issues on this blog and not just the every day happenings of my house, the one thing I said I wanted to do most of all on here was to be real. So with that being said, can I just be real for a minute?

I'm tired.

I'm completely overwhelmed with life right now.

I wake up most days feeling like i'm at least a week behind in everything, and that's on a good day.

There are a lot of days that my kids drive me completely insane.

I have a list of chores that need to be done at least a mile long.

As much as love writing on this blog, there are some days that I just don't want to do it anymore.

My husband and I got in a huge fight last night and even though we worked it out, i've spent a lot of today wishing I could go back and have kept my mouth shut.

I currently have dishes from two days ago that still need to be washed.

As much work as I have to do, i'd much rather turn on Pandora and play around on Pinterest.

I'm dealing with family drama and really want to get angry, stay angry and lash out in anger.

I could keep going on with this list but i'm sure you all get the general idea. These last couple of months it has seemed that life is just getting the best of me. It's times like this that I have to constantly remind myself of two verses. The first one is Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." and the second one is 1 Peter 5:7 "Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."

See, I don't have to do it all, be it all or carry it all. I simply have to wake up each morning and do the very best that I can for that day. If the day ends and there are still dirty dishes in the sink but i've spent time with Jesus letting go of anger, hurts or sadness then I will still count it as a good day.

I've wanted to so much to be real in everything I say on this blog and right now the realness of my life is that i'm burdened. But it's so amazing to know that I can take each one of my burdens and throw them on Jesus!

If you're struggling with any of this and feeling weighed down with your own burdens, take some time today to just throw your burdens on Him as well. His shoulders are much better at carrying the weight than you and I.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Love Seeks To Understand

For today's post I decided to do something a little different. I was recently thinking about the movie "Fireproof" and remembered one of the challenges from the "Love Dare" book, it was my favorite one in the movie and I considered giving my own spin on it but they did such a great job so I just decided to share the whole entry here. If you aren't familiar with this movie you can find the trailer for it as well as learn more about the movie HERE. Really read over this entry and put it into practice with your spouse starting today. You won't regret it!

Love Seeks to Understand

How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding. – Proverbs 3:13

We enjoy discovering as much as we can about the things we truly care about. If it’s our favorite football team, we’ll read any article that helps us keep up with how they’re doing. If it’s cooking, we’ll tune to those channels that share the best grilling techniques or dessert recipes. If there’s a subject that appeals to us, we’ll take notice any time it comes up. In fact, it’s often like an area of personal study.

It’s fine, of course, to have outside interests and to be knowledgeable about certain things. But this is where love would ask the question, “How much do you know about our mate?

Think back to the days when you were courting. Didn’t you study the one your heart was yearning for?

When a man is trying to win the heart of a woman, he studies her. He learns her likes, dislikes, habits, and hobbies. But after he wins her heart and marries her, he often stops learning about her. The mystery and challenge of knowing her seems less intriguing, and he finds his interests drifting to other areas.

This is also true in many cases for women, who start off admiring and building respect for the man they desire to be with. But after marriage, those feelings begin to fade as reality reveals that her “prince” is a flawed and imperfect man.

Yet there are still hidden things to discover about your spouse. And this understanding will help draw you closer together. It can even give you favor in the eyes of your mate. “Good understanding produces favor” (Proverbs 13:15).

Consider the following perspective: if the amount you studied your spouse before marriage were equal to a high school diploma, then you should continue to learn about your mate until you gain a “college degree,” a “master’s degree,” and ultimately a “doctorate degree.” Think of it as a lifelong journey that draws your heart ever closer to your mate.

· Do you know his or her greatest hopes and dreams?
· Do you fully understand how they prefer to give and receive love?
· Do you know what your spouse’s greatest fears are and why they struggle with them?

Some of the problems you have in relating to your spouse are simply because you don’t understand them. They probably react very differently to certain situations than you do, and you can’t figure out why?

These differences – even the ones that are relatively insignificant – can be the cause of many fights and conflicts in your marriage. That’s because, as the Bible says, we tend to “revile” those things we don’t understand (Jude 10).

There are reasons for his or her tastes and preferences. Each nuance in your spouse’s character has a back story. Each element of who he is, how he thinks, and what he’s like is couched in a set of guiding principles, which often makes sense only to the person who holds them. But it’s worth the time it will take to study why they are the way they are.

If you missed the level of intimacy you once shared with your spouse, one of the best ways to unlock their heart again is by making a commitment to know them. Study them. Read them like a book you’re trying to understand.

Ask questions. The Bible says, “The ear of the wise seeks knowledge” (Proverbs 18:15). Love takes the initiative to begin conversations. In order to get your mate to open up, they need to know that your desire for understanding them is real and genuine.

Listen. “Wise men store up knowledge, but with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand” (Proverbs 10:14). The goal of understanding your mate is to hear them, not to tell them what you think. Even if your spouse is not very talkative, love calls you to draw out the “deep water” that dwells within them (Proverbs 20:5).

Ask God for discernment. “The Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6). Things like gender differences, family backgrounds, and varied life experiences can cloud your ability to know your mate’s heart and motivations. But God is a giver of wisdom. The Lord will show you what you need in order to know how to love your spouse better.

“By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches” (Proverbs 24:3-4). There is a depth of beauty and meaning inside your wife or husband that will amaze you as you discover more of it. Enter the mystery with expectation and enthusiasm. Desire to know this person even better than you do now. Make him or her your chosen field of study, and you will fill your home with the kind of riches only love can provide.

Today’s Dare

Prepare a special dinner at home, just for the two of you. The dinner can be as nice as you prefer. Focus this time on getting to know your spouse better, perhaps in areas you’ve rarely talked about. Determine to make it an enjoyable evening for you and your mate.

Acquire wisdom; and with all your acquiring, get understanding. (Proverbs 4:7)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Are They Before You?

We live in a very selfish world. Everyone is concerned about what they want, what they need, and whether or not their needs are being met. It's very un-natural to put another persons wants and needs before yours. But in marriage that's exactly what we have to do!

A little girl once described love this way "When my grandma got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandpa does it for her now all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love..."

Have you ever shown that kind of sacrificial love towards your spouse? I believe those kinds of sacrifices are very easy to show at the beginnings of your relationship but get much harder as time goes by. And yet, in the later years it's so much more important.

I've thought and thought about this post all day and just can't seem to come up with much to add to this and my husband pointed out why. You see, sacrificial love is something that doesn't need a lot of explanation. I'm sure I could sit down with each of my readers and they could make a list of several things they could do to put their spouse first and show them that sacrificial love. But the question is, are they doing them? Simply knowing what to do isn't enough, you have to actually put it into practice.

So today, I just want to give you a little food for thought. Think about something you could do for your spouse, something that maybe they enjoy that you don't specifically, and go out of your way to do it. Over the next few days, go out of your way to put your spouse before yourself and give sacrificially to them in any way you can.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Quote For Your Weekend

Since I didn't have anything to post about for Fun Friday this week I just decided to keep things short and simple and share two quotes as my post.

"A great marriage is not when the 'perfect couple' come together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences." — Dave Meure

"The great secret of successful marriage is to treat all disasters as incidents and none of the incidents as disasters." — Sir Harold George Nicolson

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

There's Power In Your Words

I've talked about the power in your words before but i've mostly addressed the words spoken in your marriage and haven't really dealt with the words spoken to your children. But a couple of days ago, I was putting my kids to bed for probably the 20th time that night. Most nights they go to bed just fine but for some reason they just kept getting out of bed that night. My son was the main one getting up and he had already been spanked a couple of times for getting up and my exhaustion level had finally been reached. But he got up again and I ended up completely blowing it with him. I yelled at him, sent him back to bed and told him he better not get up again for any reason. Then I came back into the living room and decided to get on pinterest to try and unwind. This was the first thing I saw...

Then I scrolled down a little further and saw this...

Needless to say I was completely ashamed and convicted over how i'd talked to him. I made things right with him the next day but it didn't change what had already been done. In my exhaustion and frustration I ended up cutting my child with my words. I'm sure every parent has said things to their child that they desperately wish they could take back but it always hurts when you realize that you've hurt your child.

Since that night i've been reminded several times of Proverbs 18:12 which says "Death and life are in the power of the tongue". Also Psalm 19:14 has been on my mind. It says "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."

At that moment, my words and my heart were not at all pleasing to God! I was angry with my son and being selfish with my time. Instead of disciplining my child for his disobedience, I punished out of anger.

I don't have any great words of wisdom for this post, and have actually had an incredibly hard time writing it. But I know that there are other mothers out there who have messed up this week and just need a little encouragement that they're not alone. So to all my mom friends who have completely blown it any time in the last week, month or year, here is a great big {{{HUG}}}!

This mothering job can be so difficult and even overwhelming sometimes but never ever give up. As much as i'd love to be perfect and never mess up, I know that's not going to happen for any of us. But our goal can still be to be the best mothers we can! Every time we mess up, we just have to get back up and keep going because as hard as it is "We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us". Even be patient mothers.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Are You Fun?

When my husband and I were dating, we laughed all the time! He was always cracking jokes and I was always trying to even though I was never really good at it. But we loved having fun together. I even remember times of going to the park and swinging together. I love those memories. Those were some of the funnest times of my life.

As we've gotten older and busier with life those fun things have kinda tapered off. We don't go to the park anymore unless we're taking the kids, we don't play as many goofy games like we did before, and we've pretty much gotten caught up with the responsibilities of life. However one thing we try to do often is laugh. Our house is often filled with laughter, even if it's just at a silly story from the kids day at school.

But I have to admit that there are times where it doesn't seem like there is much fun going on in our house. When things are particularly stressful or i've had an extremely hard day I notice that I sometimes put a halt to the fun going on around me. I can get in a grouchy funk and i'm no fun to be around at all!

Now there are times when things really are wrong and i'm not trying to make light of those times at all! But how often do small things seem big in our mind and cause us to lose our joy? Sometimes my kids can argue for a few minuets and I react as if the world is ending and make everyone miserable in the process. But you know what? I'm the only one who can change that. I'm the only one that can chose to be fun.

As my kids grow up, I want them to remember the sound of my laughter. When they picture me, I want them to see a smile on my face, not a scowl. When my husband pictures coming home at the end of the day I want him to picture me with a smile, not be prepared for me to vomit all my frustrations on him. And again, i'm the only one who can determine that outcome.

If you struggle with being fun here are a few ideas to get you started...

1. Build a tent/fort with your kids and spend the afternoon in it watching movies. Pop some popcorn and stay in your jammies while you do it.

2. Take a trip to the park with your spouse and actually swing! Don't just let your kids slide and swing, get in there with them and do it. Or better yet, go on a park date with just your spouse!

3. Give the kids a glass of chocolate milk and blow bubbles in it with them.

4. Lay on the floor and color with them. Don't even color things the right color. Make someone green on the page and see how hard your kids laugh.

5. Get out the play dough and see who in your family can sculpt the best figure. I bet your kids will actually be better than you and your spouse.

6. Play in the water with your spouse. Sprinklers are not just for kids!

7. Turn on some music and have a dance party with the whole family. I can't dance at all but even I like to dance to some "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"!

8. Get out a board game and change the rules up. Make it the object of the game to lose instead of win and see how confused everyone gets through out the game.

9. Go on a picnic. Pull out the blanket and eat on the ground!

10. Have a candy day. Every hour, on the hour, every person in the house gets a piece of candy. You can even make it more fun and have the rule that every person has to do something silly before they get their piece.

It doesn't matter what it is you chose to do as long as you do something! Make a point to do something fun and out of the ordinary as often as possible. But please remember, having fun and being silly is not just something to do with your children. Remember the fun you had when you and your spouse were dating. Pull out and re-create some of those memories to surprise them with. There's enough stress in this life without taking all fun out of your life! There's an old saying that goes "The most wasted day is that in which we have not laughed." and I have to say, I couldn't agree more!!!