My Love Story, Part 1

 

When I first met the man who is now my hubby, I must admit – he had a really goofy sense of humor. I thought to myself, “This guy’s a little weird…I like that!”

We were unloading musical instruments off of the large step van that was used to haul the marching band’s instruments to the out-of-town football game. He was in the back of the truck, tossing instruments out, while I was standing on the parking lot, catching them. I’m not sure exactly what he was saying, but it was something like the names of each instrument backwards. That may not sound very funny to you right now, but just try it – “tuba” becomes “aboot”, and clarinet is even more distorted! And then he sprinkled a bit of “Far Side” and “Calvin and Hobbes” humor, and I was busting a gut laughing!

Before long, we were going steady, enjoying each others’ company and having a great time. Oddly enough, although neither of us were Christians, we didn’t smoke, chew, or go with those who do, so we got along quite well. Since I came from a feministic family, I was used to the woman running things, and so was he. So, as long as he did everything just the way I liked it, we got along together quite well.

But God had other plans.

There’s so much I could say about it, but the Lord worked in my man’s heart, and he gave his life to Christ and was born again! The change was dramatic – he was happier, more easygoing, and more loving. It SHOULD have been great…except…

He began to read in the Bible how the man is to be the head of the home, so he applied it to our relationship. Well, this was NOT what I was interested in! Suddenly he started making decisions, and I didn’t like it. Oh, no, not at all! Soon we began arguing, and it got worse and worse until we both decided to end the relationship.

For me, it was heartbreaking.

It took me months to get over it, but little did I know that the Lord used those months to work in my heart that I needed something: peace…joy! I was full of bitterness, emptiness, and loneliness, and I needed God desperately but didn’t know it.

I tried to find peace through alcohol, but that just made things worse. It wasn’t long before the grapevine sent the news of my new reputation back to my man, who was quite surprised. He thought I was a “good girl!” He didn’t know what was inside…

So one day, he called me up on the phone. Of course, those were the days when the phone was still a massive receiver that hung on the wall, and had a long springy cord attached. I was in my basement when he called, and I picked up the red phone to talk.

“What’s this I hear about you getting into drinking?” he asked. “I thought you didn’t do that stuff.” I was not happy that he called to bring me into account for my actions. What did he care? He had dumped me like a hot rock just 6 months ago.

Making a long story short, I responded with bitter barbs and thorough irritation, but he kept challenging me with the love of God. I found myself in a really odd spot – fighting against God! If you haven’t tried it, I don’t recommend it. It doesn’t work well!

So I had a three way conversation right then and there – with Kevin and I and God. I told God that I knew I was wrong in the way I’d been. In fact, I knew that it wasn’t what I DID that was wrong, it was what I WAS. I as a person was all fouled up all the way deep down, and I needed His help if I was ever to pull out of this pit. I wanted to give my life to Him.

There in my basement, while on the phone, I was born again.

Kevin and I didn’t start up a relationship again right away. Perhaps it was my pride, but although I wasn’t bitter toward him, I was a bit embarrassed to ask him to help me spiritually. But after a few days, I realized that if I didn’t have someone to study the Bible with and lean on for help, I would fall right back into the slime pit I had just been pulled out of.

And so we began studying the Bible together. Thankfully, there was no romance at all, just old-fashioned Bible Study. In a sense, it was a lot of the Blind Leading the Blind, because both of us began to learn together, but it was a good thing. We both needed the fellowship and encouragement.

Slowly, slowly, almost imperceptibly, we grew to love each other again. And God was at the center of our relationship. What a difference that made! 

By the time we were going together again, I was all of 16!

I’m almost embarrassed to mention my age, because I was so very young to be in a serious relationship…but I hasten to mention that I had to guidance from my parents, and neither did he. But that’s another story maybe I’ll tell another time.

For now, I’ll say that the same humor that attracted me at first is still one of the things I love most about my man. I also appreciate the fact that he will not be manipulated, by me or anyone else. He does what he does because he fully believes it to be right – and I admire that.

Perhaps next time I’ll tell you about the unusual way he proposed!

Question: Do you think having God in a relationship makes a difference? How so?

Special Announcements:

  • I have many people who follow along on my Facebook page for daily encouragements, reminders, and exciting assignments! It’s a great group of folks – come join us!

 

Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil is OUT! It’s now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and soon I will have it available here on TheCourageousJourney.com and Lionproof.com ! I AM SO EXCITED!

In this book, there is:

    • Not just information telling parents why kids are going astray, but proven parenting practices that have worked for generations that are successful in raising godly children.
    • Dozens of interviews from those 2nd generation Christians who KNOW what their parents did RIGHT.
    • Charts and graphs detailing the results of the interviews
    • Assignments to help the reader implement these principles in their own parenting.
    • And much, much more!

Linking up with: Monday: Alabaster Jar, The Better Mom, and Moms the Word, and Happy Wives Club Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum

My Husband Socks Me in the Eye Every Night

Sneak Peek: Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil is OUT!! It’s now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and soon I will have it available here on TheCourageousJourney.com and Lionproof.com ! I AM SO EXCITED! “Friends, come praise the Lord with me!” 

Lord willing, I’ll be uploading the Kindle version within the next few days!

 

 

OK. The dirty secret is out. My husband socks me in the eye every night.

You see, I hate sleeping with any sort of light in the room, so I put something over my eyes to keep any light out. I discovered that the very best thing to put on my eyes at night is one of my husband’s dress socks…the thick ones, of course (the thin ones are too light, and just don’t feel right!)

So every night he “socks me in the eye…” or rather, he lets me use one of his beloved dress socks to cover up my eyes at night. In fact, I’ve been using his socks for about 25 years…so long that he just automatically knows what socks I like and gave me a whole bag of his old “singles.”

So what does that have to do with marriage? Everything! You see, we all have our odd little idiosyncrasies – our little preferences for a thick sock rather than a thin one, squeezing the toothpaste tube from the end rather than at the middle, or pulling the toilet paper off the top of the roll rather than the bottom .

My husband learned long ago to just accept my little oddities as a part of me, and to not try to change me, but to let me learn and grow on my own. So he smiles at me, shakes his head, and gives up some of his own dress socks for my whims, letting me use them every night.

Just as we have our own little preferences (and we want our husbands to indulge us) so our men have their own preferences. Ladies, it’s to our advantage to bless him by allowing him to have his own little idiosyncrasies and not trying to change him.

How to Learn to Live with Idiosyncrasies:

1.       Don’t try to change your spouse. It’s very common for newly married couples, or even those that have been married for a while, to have it stuck in their head that it’s their responsibility to change their spouse. This is all despite the fact that often it was those very differences that drew them to their spouse in the first place. However, somewhere along the line, they concluded that their own way is the “right” way (though in reality it doesn’t matter a hill of beans whether the toilet paper comes off the top of the roll or the bottom!)

 

 First, let me say that those differences have been there longer than you have been part of his life, and they’re not likely to go away just because you don’t like them. One of the very best things you can do for your marriage is to stop trying to change your spouse.

2.       Show them that you love them, not just despite their idiosyncrasies, but also FOR them! Forgo all nagging, huffing and puffing at their oddities, but even accept or learn to laugh at them. They can be “inside jokes” in your relationship. Remember that the thing that is so weird about the other person actually has some very special merits to it. Though it will never mean as much to you as to the other person, it does help you to pick up on some of those things, and espouse them as your own.

For example, I often pick up on some of My Beloved’s unique humor, phrases he goes around saying, or songs he so cavalierly mangles. They say that imitation is one of the finest forms of flattery. It sends a signal to the other person that they are very valuable to you and cannot be replaced. It gives a feeling of security in the relationship.

3.       Remember that you have your own idiosyncrasies that your husband puts up with. The other day I walked into the bathroom, saw the lid up, and thought to myself in a huff, Why does he always leave the lid up?? Instantly, the Lord brought another thought to my mind, He could just as easily say to me, Why do you always leave the lid down?? I had to smile at myself, knowing that some of the things I do probably seem quite odd to him, I just don’t think of them that way, because I think my way is not only the right way, I often think of it as the ONLY way!

Harping at him will never change him. Loving him in spite of his oddities will. Or maybe they won’t – but I’d rather be happy in an enjoyable marriage than miserable in a horrible one.

What does your husband put up with? What are some of your oddities? Rather than concentrating on what we have to put up with, let’s look to ourselves and think about what HE has to put up with, and thank him for his patience.

For me, when I snuggle into bed with one of my hubby’s socks (clean, mind you!) I enjoy knowing that my husband loves me in spite of my oddities. And do you know what? I know he has some too, and I love him anyway. That’s cozy enough to sleep on.

So what are some idiosyncrasies you’re willing to tell about? Don’t embarrass your husband, but it’s ok to tell about your own. Also, is there some other tidbit of helpful advice you have for younger ladies who have difficulties dealing with their husband’s oddities?

Special Announcements:

  • I have many people who follow along on my Facebook page for daily encouragements, reminders, and exciting assignments! It’s a great group of folks – come join us!

  • If you missed my announcement at the top of the page, Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil is OUT! It’s now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and soon I will have it available here on TheCourageousJourney.com and Lionproof.com ! I AM SO EXCITED!
  •  In this book, there is:
    • Not just information telling parents why kids are going astray, but proven parenting practices that have worked for generations that are successful in raising godly children.
    • Dozens of interviews from those 2nd generation Christians who KNOW what their parents did RIGHT.
    • Charts and graphs detailing the results of the interviews
    • Assignments to help the reader implement these principles in their own parenting.
    • And much, much more!

Also, several folks have requested review copies of the book, but I’m having trouble connecting with you (I think it’s a case of technological retardation 😉 So if you have a blog and would like a review copy of the book, let me know, even if you already contacted me before. Email me at: lisaraub at rocket mail dot com, and I’ll give you the details. I only ask that when you’re done reading the book, you post about it on your blog!

Linking up with: Monday: Alabaster Jar, The Better Mom, and Moms the Word, and Happy Wives Club Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum

If You Love Your Kids, Love Your Spouse!

At a friend’s funeral, I was amazed to see her remarkable legacy of nine children and thirty-eight grandchildren, many of whom are being raised in the ministry. Each of her children and most of her grandchildren have put their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and are living their lives for Him. Mary has been a wonderful testimony of a godly wife and mother.

I would have never guessed, however, that her marriage hadn’t always been wonderful. In their early marriage, the fights were almost constant and Mary wondered if she had made a terrible mistake. Still, Mary and her husband were unwilling to get a divorce, so they turned to God and began attending church.

God graciously rewarded their search for truth by leading them both to trust Him for salvation. Now that they were born-again, they began to seek Him for every decision. Through His Word, they discovered that as they drew closer to God, they drew closer to each other. It created a strong foundation for stable, happy children.

How can I raise happy children who love the Lord? Love my spouse!

Amazingly enough, the vast majority of 2nd Generation Christians I spoke to felt that their parents’ marriage was excellent. At least I thought it was amazing, because in many cases, I personally know their parents…and they don’t have the storybook romance! Not that they fight like two children over a candy bar, but that they have their differences for sure.

That tells me one thing: even if your marriage isn’t perfect, if you’re careful to keep your disputes private, the kids perceive the marriage as excellent. And a child’s perception is the child’s reality.

So how can we love our spouses, even through the differences?

1. Having a desire to please the Lord is probably one of the best things you can have that will strengthen your marriage. One young lady told me, “Both my parents had a tremendous desire to do whatever the Lord wanted, and often that seemed to settle the disputes.”

2. Present a unified front to the children. Successful-parent marriages always back each other up to the children, even if they disagree. They wait until later to talk over the decision privately.

3. Say positive things about your spouse, especially in front of the children. This may be a tough one for some folks, but I feel that it is possible to take the good of your spouse, however small, and show how thankful we are for it.

4. Never tear each other down in public, and especially not in front of the children. Successful parents know that to tear down their spouse is to tear down themselves.

5. Invest in your marriage. Take a little bit of time each day to flirt with or express love to your spouse. The returns on your investment will be tremendous! Take a look at my series on A Lasting Marriage for more ideas!

Let us learn from people like Mary and her husband. They didn’t always have an ideal marriage, but they sought the Lord and did their best to obey Him in their roles as husband and wife. They learned to communicate with each other without animosity, to present a unified front, and to speak positively about their spouse. They learned what the Bible says and began doing it. And because they did, there are now many young people across the globe living as a light for those around them. Oh, to have a legacy like theirs!

Question: Do you believe in the permanency of marriage? How does tearing down our spouses affect our children?

Special Announcements:

  • Stay glued to the Facebook page for daily encouragements, reminders, and exciting assignments!

 

 

  • Keep your eyes out for the upcoming release of my new book on this topic, Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil, coming in September! In this book, there will be:
    • Not just information telling parents why kids are going astray, but proven parenting practices that have worked for generations that are successful in raising godly children.
    • Dozens of interviews from those 2nd generation Christians who KNOW what their parents did RIGHT.
    • Charts and graphs detailing the results of the interviews
    • Assignments to help the reader implement these principles in their own parenting.
    • And much, much more!

If you have a blog and would like a review copy of the book, let me know! All you have to do when you’re done reading it is to post about it on your blog! Leave a comment here or email me, and I’ll get in touch with you.

There are plenty of wonderful marriage blogs that are a real blessing. Here are a few of them:

To Love, Honor, and Vacuum

Messy Marriage

The Alabaster Jar

Also, some good books I’ve read on this subject:

Created to Be His Helpmeet, by Debbie Pearl. Debbie has some very insightful principles in her book. The one thing that changed my life completely was her description of the three types of men. If you read nothing else of hers, this alone will help you.

Lovebusters, by Willard Harley. Dr. Harley tells about the things which tear down marriages, and if we’re able to prevent those things from happening, we can build up our marriages.

Sacred Marriage, by Gary Thomas. I love the premise of this book, “What if marriage was more to make you holy than happy?” It’s so true. God can use the ministry of marriage in our lives to change us to be more Christ-like…if we let it. Right now, Christian Book Distributors is selling it for only $5!!

For your information, I get nothing from recommending these resources. They are just great books that I’ve read and I think are very helpful.

Linking up with: Monday: Alabaster Jar, The Better Mom, and Moms the Word,
and Happy Wives Club

Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage

Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum

3 Things That Make Your Hubby LOVE Coming Home!

 

Being in military ministry, we work closely with young military families. Megan and her husband Mark had been married about two years, and had the cutest little 14 month old boy, Josiah. Megan was the typical young army wife, who married with stars in her eyes and ended her marriage with daggers in her hands. But at sometime between the stars and the daggers, we had the privilege of working with them for a few months.

I stopped by Megan’s house one day to visit. Brushing the crumbs off the couch, I sat and began to talk about the Lord. I tried not to notice, but toys and trash mingled together on the floor, and the coffee table was a mountain of who-knows-what. Her boy walked around clad in typical Tarzan fashion, in a diaper – a very smelly diaper! That was in itself not too bad, except after a time it started to bother me that no effort was made to change the boy. But the dog was very interested in the contents of the diaper, going up to little Josiah and licking the edges of his diaper at every chance he could. Of course, the family pet turned and licked the boy’s face!

Though that was disgusting enough, soon the boy found a long-lost bottle of mysterious liquid (complete with floaties of unknown origin!) and walked around drinking it!! While Megan’s back was turned, I relieved the boy of his bottle and took it to the kitchen sink, where I’m sure it remained for quite some time.

No wonder they were having marital trouble!

Someone once said “Cleanliness is next to godliness,” and after that experience, I began to believe it!

Want a happy marriage? Keep your home in order. Or at least WORK on it. Never just “let it go.” I’m preaching to myself here, because these things are a real challenge for me. My sister, who grew up sharing a room with me, could tell you how horribly messy I am/was, but the Lord has done great things for me. Here are some things I have learned:

Keep your home CLEAN! Or a semblance of clean. Divide your home into 4 zones and clean each zone during its week. That way, your whole house gets a good cleaning at least once a month. And if you don’t get to all of it this month, no worries – it will come around again. For ideas for creating your own house cleaning schedules, see HouseCleaningTips.com, and for a template and printable, see this great article from Money Crashers.

Keep your home NEAT! Work on organizing and putting things away. All of these points are a struggle for me, but especially this one. I am the Queen of Clutter. My son told me once that I was the most “organized dis-organized person” he knows! But through systems such as the Flylady system, the Lord has helped me to make a lot of progress. In fact, I really got a blessing the other day when we had a bunch of people over for Memorial Day and my daughter commented, “You guys are so organized! You’re doing such a good job making this huge meal for a big crowd!” I would never have been able to do it pre-Flylady!

Keep your home nicely DECORATED! It doesn’t have to be a Martha Stewart home, but there’s a lot you can do with thrift store items if you know what to buy and where to put it.

I am Decoration-Challenged, so I try to get some help for this one. My oldest daughter is really good at it, as are some of my friends, so I ask them for help. Generally, I just let them come up with ideas and I do it, knowing that I know nothing of decor! But you probably don’t have that problem. Maybe you’re really good at it, so here’s your chance to let your creativity shine!

Pinterest is probably your best place to get decorating ideas! Though I’m not on myself – I know I’d be swallowed up and never heard from again – I’ve stalked it a few times myself!

I didn’t mention this before, but your body is another “house” you need to take care of. Even the smallest effort to eat right, get some exercise, and dress up for your honey will be appreciated. Check out these posts here for some pointers, as well as some ideas from Trim Healthy Mamas and Crossfit Mom.

Beware perfectionism – don’t turn into Mrs. Law! I can hear it now: “What??!?” (voice rising) “You left your COFFEE CUP ON THE END TABLE??!!!??!” No, no, no! This is to be an IMPROVEMENT for your family, not a DESTRUCTION! Get the kids in on the clean up, and sit and enjoy your nice place, but let The Man be The Man. Believe it or not, he will eventually see the effort you are making, and begin to clean up after himself.

Don’t let your stars become daggers! Make the extra effort to work on your home and marriage, even just a little bit each day, and you’ll see tremendous benefits!

Don’t just take a journey…take a COURAGEOUS journey!

What systems do you use for cleaning and organizing your home? Do you have any decorating pointers we can use? How about some ideas for better fitness and nutrition?

Also, check our Facebook page for “Destinations” (assignments for the day) to pump up your journey!

Linking up with: Monday: Alabaster Jar, The Better Mom, and Moms the Word,
and Happy Wives Club

Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage

Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum

8 Ways to be Your Husband’s Best Friend

It’s been great to write about A Lasting Marriage! I hope you’ve had as much fun reading it as I have writing it! This week, I found some really great articles about “Being Your Spouses Best Friend” in my preparation for this week’s blog post. Michael Hyatt wrote an excellent article on How to Become Your Spouses Best Friend which gives a lot of food for thought. Danielle Peters, in Fancy Little Things, wrote 7 Ways to Become Your Spouse’s Best Friend – a great article that gives more wonderful suggestions. And even if you’re not military, Veterans United has a great post on Beyond Loving Your Spouse: 25 Ways to be a Best Friend.

Here are some more ideas:

1. Accept your husband – dirty socks, gas, burps and all! One of our great desires is to be accepted as we are. Shouldn’t we do the same for our best friend?

2. Have fun together! Have a date and make sure there is some play time, too!

3. Feed him! It’s still true that “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” …even after 30 years! Make his favorite dishes and desserts. As he gets older, we may need to modify these for health’s sake, but don’t modify them so much that they become unrecognizable! Apple pie should never become rhubarb sauce…

4. Dress up for him. Of course, morning hair is going to happen, but if you’re still wearing your morning hair when he gets home from work, that’s a problem. Don’t get caught in your rollers and pjs in the afternoon! Dress nicely for him, and when you go out on a date, wear something that’s nice.

5. Flirt with him. Yes, even after all these years, still flirt with him. Wink at him across the room, or raise an eyebrow at him. Drape a bare thigh over his leg (when no one’s watching, of course) or lay a pair of your underwear on his shoulder as you walk by. Ah yes, you can get quite creative! It makes life very interesting.

6. Find his love language and speak love to him. According to Gary Chapman, author of 5 Love Languages, they are: 1) Touch, 2) Giving, 3) Serving, 4) Talk, and 5) Time. Find out your hubby’s, and plan to love him the way he perceives love.

7. Get upset only at true sin. Dirty socks are not a sin, nor are farts or shoes on the steps. Eating ice cream out of the carton is not a sin, either. Pornography, on the other hand, is a sin, as is adultery and spiritual neglect. Take the things that may personally irritate you to God, but don’t blow up at him because he left his shoes on the steps. And if true sin is involved, approach him with meekness, “considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

8. Learn to forgive. This is a big one, ladies. The only way I learned to forgive was when the Lord brought me face-to-face with my own faults, and I learned that mine are just as big and horrible, but different. It’s the same with you. Your sins may not be as glaring, but they’re still there. Learn to forgive, because you’ll need to be forgiven often yourself.

You may have only been married a year, or 20 years (or you could be like us…going on your 30th year!!) but you can still be best friends. You’re already taking a journey…now, make it a COURAGEOUS JOURNEY! Give it all you’ve got and watch exciting things happen!

Are you and your husband still great friends? Tell us about it! How do you maintain a close friendship with your spouse?

Check our Facebook page for “Destinations” (assignments for the day) to pump up your journey!

Linking up with: Monday:
Alabaster Jar,
The Better Mom,
Raising Arrows
What Joy is Mine

Tuesday:
Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, http://www.messymarriage.com/

Wednesday:
To Love Honor and Vacuum

 

3 Ways to Play With Your Husband

 

If you’re just joining me for this series on marriage, you may want to check out the previous posts. My first post, titled 4 Things That Will Send Your Marriage to the Divorce Court…and How to Prevent Them, showed how quickly your marriage can be destroyed by just a few simple selfish habits. I also mentioned 4 things we can do to prevent our visit to the divorce lawyer! The first of these is prayer, the topic of the second post in the series. In 6 Things Prayer Does for a Marriage, I talked about the wonderful benefits of praying…and why, without prayer, you can never have the best marriage you could. In my third post, I outlined 3 Prayer Methods That Will Revolutionize Your Marriage.

But today, it’s fun time! We’re going to talk about the second thing on the list: PLAY! Now doesn’t that sound great?

One of the big things God created woman for was to be man’s companion. “…yet she is thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.” (Malachi 2:14) Why? Because “it is not good that the man should be alone.” (Genesis 2:18) I can be perfectly content to be by myself, but my husband? Oh, no! He is alone only when he  has to be, and comes home as quickly as he can. When he takes a break from his work, what does he do? He plays! He chases our youngest son and tickles him within an inch of his life! All because he like to have someone to be with, and because he likes to play.

Maybe your husband spends too much time playing video or computer games. What does that tell you? He’s just like any other man, or even any other hu-man… he likes to play!

Incorporating play, or playfulness into your marriage is a huge leap toward your destination of your very own Courageous Journey. How can we incorporate more play into our marriages?

1. Tease him playfully often. I’m not talking about pranks, where you dump water down his back or anything, but playful teasing. For example, I often refer to my husband with playful names, like Humble Handsome Hero, or some other terms which can’t be repeated online! I strive to never put him down, but say things that are encouraging and playful.

2. Tease him physically as well, but be careful that you don’t irritate him. One of my favorites is the “cold water during a shower” trick, but of course, it’s not one of HIS favorites, so after a few years of marriage I had to cool that one down a bit. Wedgies are playful, but they can also be overdone. 😉 You just want to be sure that you do something  fun with him regularly. Remember, you are his true playmate.

3. Plan play times. This could be anything from playing a computer game with him, playing a board game with him, or playing a bedroom game. Be creative! It should be a time when just the two of you play together. My son and daughter-in-law have a Wii, so they often have these crazy competitions between each other to find out who is better at whatever crazy game they have. It’s a blast!

Don’t let your home become a terribly serious place. Keep it light and happy, and work on play with your man. And you can be sure, you are his favorite toy!

Check our Facebook page for “Destinations” (assignments for the day) to pump up your journey!

Linking up with: Monday:
Alabaster Jar,
The Better Mom,
Raising Arrows
What Joy is Mine

Tuesday:
Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, http://www.messymarriage.com/

Wednesday:
To Love Honor and Vacuum

 

3 Prayer Methods That Will Revolutionize Your Marriage

 

When I was young, my dream was to be a professional softball player…if there even was such a thing. But I wasn’t the star player, for sure. But one summer I went to something called Softball Camp, where I learned a ton of important things and honed down the fundamentals of the sport. I learned a great – and easy – way of stealing bases (and I never got out after that!) I also learned how to catch a ball and throw it again all in one smooth motion as well as the all-important wrist flick of batting a ball squarely over the shortstop’s head!

The next season, I was ranked up right with the best of the players on our team, and the year after that, our team won second place in the District Championship!

The point is, that fundamentals are extremely important. To improve in the very basic of skills is to improve everything about yourself.

Prayer is one of the very basic of Christian “skills,” and yet we often pray like we sometimes drive – aimlessly! Here are some suggestions for methods of praying that I have used in my prayer time for my husband, and the Lord has greatly blessed it:

1. Pray for your husband from Head to Toe – I got this idea from Girlfriends in God. Remember the Song of Solomon, how the king describes his wife, and the woman describes her husband? In all pureness of heart, we can pray for our husband from head to toe. Pray that the Lord will guide his eyes to see the right things, his lips to speak encouraging words, and his hands to do God’s Will. Pray that his feet will go only where God wants him to go, and that he will glorify God with his life. And your mind can fill in the rest! Go ahead and enjoy this one!

By the way, don’t be afraid to pray about sex, especially if it’s a concern to you. Remember that, if it’s something that bothers you, it’s important enough to pray about, and God is concerned, too.

2. Pray for your husband through the Scriptures – When I use the Scriptures to pray for my husband, I insert his name in the appropriate places. Some of my favorites are Ephesians 2:16-20, and Colossians 1:9-14. Both of these Scriptures are full of thanksgiving for my husband, and prayer for his growth and relationship to God.

Ladies, if there’s one thing we need, it’s a husband who is walking with God! And if we don’t pray for him, who will? So let’s set our hearts to praying for our men to be godly.

3. Pray through Character Traits – Like I said on my Facebook page, get a list of Character Qualities (like this one) and begin praying through them, perhaps just one a day. That helps to keep us from “selfish praying” – praying about only the things that bother us and not seeing the whole picture as God sees it. This practice alone has changed my family dramatically.

 

Want to hit a home run for your marriage? Get back to the fundamentals, and pray for your husband! We’re in a desperate need of ladies who will stand up and take a journey – a Courageous Journey – of prayer!!

Check our Facebook page for “Destinations” (assignments for the day) to pump up your journey!

Linking up with: Monday:
Alabaster Jar,
The Better Mom,
Raising Arrows
What Joy is Mine

Tuesday:
Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, http://www.messymarriage.com/

Wednesday:
To Love Honor and Vacuum

6 Things Prayer Does for a Marriage

Imagine taking a journey – a very Courageous one, of course – to a wonderful place where everything you need is always available just for the asking. Folks are happy, the surroundings are peaceful, and you can rest. It’s not a boring place; there is always something exciting going on, and a treat around every corner, just waiting to be discovered. Adventure, excitement and contentment combine together in this place. Where are you? Why, it’s the Land of Could-Have-Been!

Last week, when I wrote about 4 Things That Will Send Your Marriage to the Divorce Court, and How to Prevent Them, I mentioned “The Four P’s” that can make your Marriage a Hawaiian Honeymoon! Today, I want to elaborate a little on one of the Four P’s: PRAYER.

Prayer is a tremendous power for good in our lives, an untapped resource we often neglect.  It’s the Land of Could-Have-Been. Through prayer, we get exactly what we need just for asking. Prayer creates a peace and rest of the soul, and brings joy to those around us. Every day brings a new adventure of faith…through prayer. But for many of us, it’s as fanciful as some far-off fairytale land.

Well, it’s time to take the Land of Could-Have-Been and change its name to the Land of My Own. After all, it’s available…and now it will be My Own. But in order for me to claim this land as My Own, I need to see what is available to me when I get it.

What does Prayer do for a Marriage?

  1. Eliminates Worry
  2. Infuses Hope
  3. Exposes Motives
  4. Discovers Root Issues
  5. Accesses Power
  6. Identifies Right Paths

To not take advantage of prayer is to never see what Could-Have-Been. It is to spend our days in the Worry-World and live in Depressed “Down”-Town. Hopeless Acres will be our lot, and we’ll spend our days putting out little fires created by the Root Issues of the Incendiary City.

Come on … let’s take a journey. In fact, let’s take a Courageous Journey, and head on over to the Land of Could-Have-Been and claim it as Our Own!

Today’s Destination: Prayer! Spend at least 5 minutes in prayer today. It’s hard to carve out the time sometimes, but remember…it’s the path to the Land of My Own!

Also…keep checking our Facebook page for more Destinations throughout the week (assignments and encouragements!) You’ll be glad you did!!

What has prayer done for your marriage?

Linking up with: Monday:
Alabaster Jar,
The Better Mom,
Raising Arrows
What Joy is Mine

Tuesday:
Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife

Wednesday:
To Love Honor and Vacuum

 

4 Things That Will Send Your Marriage to the Divorce Court…and how to prevent them

John and Katy seemed to have it all. When we met them about 15 years ago, they had a beautiful, spacious house, several happy children, and an excellent income. It came as a complete shock when we learned of their divorce a few years ago. When we spoke with John recently, we discovered that Katy had  made some fatal mistakes that sealed the doom of their family.

What were they, you ask?

1. She was never satisfied with anything he did.
2. She criticized him to others.
3. She acted superior to him
4. She never made any playful gestures toward him.

Ever get the feeling she was just plain bitter toward him? I did. So, even though I was surprised that they got a divorce, I can say now, looking back, that I guess I saw it coming. Those times we got together were basically just “I-can’t-believe-he-can-be-so-stupid” sessions. If I had known then what I know now, I might have been in a position to provide some encouragement and help to their family.

How can we prevent bitterness from taking a horrible root in our marriages? Beth @ messy marriage.com has a great article about forgiveness, as does Sheila and Jolene @ thealabasterjar.com. In addition to their ideas, My husband and I found a few more to prevent that visit to the divorce lawyer.

1. Prayer – pray together every day
2. Play – goof around a little bit daily
3. Preen – make the extra effort to try to look good for the other.
4. Perseverance – dedicate ourselves to each other, and the permanency of marriage.

Over the next 4 weeks (or so!) we’ll be looking at these points in detail. It’s time to put a stop to the wreckage Satan is trying to make of our Christian homes, and be on the offensive! If you’re married, you may as well go ahead and throw yourself into it, and make it the very best marriage you possibly can.

Don’t hold back and be critical, like Katy did. Make up your mind that you will do everything in your power to chase away that Divorce lawyer.

Don’t just take a journey…take a COURAGEOUS journey!

 

Have you seen any of your friends’ marriages collapse? What do you think happened? How could it have been prevented?

 

 

Linking up with: Monday:
Alabaster Jar,
The Better Mom,
Raising Arrows
What Joy is Mine

Tuesday:
Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife

Wednesday:
To Love Honor and Vacuum

Take Out the Trash: Eliminating Inner Frustrations

I have a serious beef about the trash. I HATE having the trash overflow and cascade onto the floor. I’ve tried all sorts of ways to get Those Responsible to take the trash…even resorting to calling the guy who takes it out a Hero, and wildly applauding anyone who is willing to tackle the offensive debris!

It gets really bad when the trash can has been stuffed beyond all reason, and begins to regurgitate its contents on the floor. Then Junior comes along and plays with the debris, happily chewing on last week’s pizza crusts! I begin to wonder who I should yell at first: Junior, or the guy who’s supposed to take out the trash!

 

One thing about trash: it MUST be dealt with and removed, or everyone in the house suffers. But trash is like our inner frustrations: they must be dealt with, or the atmosphere becomes toxic! And what’s worse, the trash in our life gets to a certain point, and finally begins to pour all over the place, creating disaster everywhere!!

Why do we get so frustrated sometimes, and how can we Take out the Trash? How can we deal with the frustration and eliminate it? Here are a few reasons why:

  • We get frustrated – because things don’t go our way
  • Because we’re irritated with ourselves, our own laziness and failures
  • We’re irritated that the circumstances aren’t favorable to us…in other words, we’re mad at God!
  • We’re irritated because others are not cooperative (surprise! Kids have a mind of their own!)
  • We’re frustrated because we feel guilty deep down inside

So, how do we Take Out the Trash?

Recognize what’s happening. As soon as we realize we’re frustrated, that’s when we need to deal with the root problem. Why does this bother me so much? Once we discover the “why” behind our irritation, then we can deal with it.

Change the things we can. When we get frustrated at our own laziness, we know it’s time to change. We can do it, if we set our minds to it.

Ask forgiveness for the past. I know it sounds really self-explanatory, but the past really is the past, and we need to leave it there. Our past is over and done, as well as the past of others. Let it go.

Accept the things you can’t change. When Junior steps on an old rusty bucket and gashes his foot open, my day is completely rearranged and the laundry and dishes that need done suddenly take second seat to sitting in the ER waiting room. It’s frustrating! But in all reality, there’s simply nothing I can do about it, so I may as well accept the fact that I now have “forced rest time” and an odd kind of “bonding” with my child in the hospital.

 

As taking out the trash before it spills over goes a long way to ensuring tranquility, so eliminating inner frustrations can help us have peaceful homes. Let’s not let it get so bad that Junior is forced to play in a toxic atmosphere!

What are some other ways we can eliminate inner frustrations? What do you think causes them? Leave your comments below!

Linking up with: Monday:
Alabaster Jar,
The Better Mom,
Raising Arrows
What Joy is Mine

Tuesday:
Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife

Wednesday:
To Love Honor and Vacuum