Tag Archive | God’s love

10 Gems I’ve Found and Treasure in My Marriage

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I was sitting on the plane beside my husband getting ready to go on our honeymoon. I’d never been on a plane before let alone over 2,000 miles away from my family. I looked out of the window to see my Mom, Dad, and sister waving in the window. All of a sudden, I realized that I wanted my Daddy! The man who’d protected me, and made sure that I was taken care of… The man who’d taken me in for stitches, knew that I’d need health insurance with my accident-prone self, the man who could pick me up and carry me to help if needed… How was this barely out of teenage-hood husband going to take care of me if he didn’t know me! Now, mind you, we had dated off and on throughout our teenage years, but he didn’t understand me like my Daddy!

 

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The flight attendant spoke to everyone on the flight just then: “Folks, we have over-booked this flight. Would anyone be willing to get on a later flight, and receive extra flight miles compensation?” I didn’t care what that meant, but I knew I could get off right then. I started to stand, and my husband grabbed my hand, and shook his head, “no.” But… But… As we took off, I cried. I knew they were crying, too. This was my new life. The man beside me would now take care of me. He would learn how to love me the way I needed. But I prayed with all my might that I could feel God’s presence with me, and that it would be okay.

 

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As you embark on this new journey, you may very well be thinking, “We’ve got what many couples lack: True Love. All you need is Love.” But as the infatuation fades, and you are left with the hard work of building a love that lasts, I would like to prepare you with some wisdom that I have learned that I hope may help you on your new endeavor. Here are Some Gems I’ve Found in My Marriage that I Treasure…

 

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#1 Know Thyself and to Thine Own Self Be True

Runaway Bride is one of my favorite movies. I laugh so hard at how she bolts in many various, spontaneous ways. But, I also love the moral. She was trying so hard to be what each potential spouse wanted her to be, and yet, she had no idea who she was. Even in my own life, I realized that I did the same thing. I wore red, because my husband liked it on me. I went along to every big event that he wanted me to until my body crashed again and again. So, if you don’t like eggs, you don’t have to eat them because your spouse tells you to. Do what’s right for you, and respect that your spouse may like something different.

 

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#2 Make sure that Heavenly Father is FIRST in your life.

This person beside you may some days feel like a stranger to you. You may wonder how you can be so far apart and yet live together. You may not even like that person some days. But your Father in Heaven LOVES you and your spouse more than anyone ever could. He knows what each of you NEED. He knows the DESIRES of your hearts. He wants you to feel and BE LOVED because He IS love. Spend time with Him alone everyday. Talk to Him about your frustrations and express your thankfulness to Him at all times. You Never Have to Feel Alone. ❤

 

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#3 PRAY FOR your spouse.

My mother warned me that there would be times that I wouldn’t like my spouse at all. I didn’t believe her until it happened to me after being married only 3yrs. But what did God ask me to do for him? Pray for him. That ONE change for me made all the difference. I didn’t want to. I was so angry at what I felt was mistreatment, that I wanted revenge. But I prayed for him because God asked me to.

 

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#4 LOVE your spouse.

I don’t mean the passive meaning of “I love my spouse” I mean to actually DO it. Evaluate the Love Languages. Each person needs to know that they are loved in EVERY way, but there is one or two things that your spouse will crave to FEEL loved. Find out which one your spouse craves, and make sure that they are getting what they need. Find out which one you crave, and ask for it; teach your spouse how to love you better. And until they’ve got it down, keep asking God to show you that He loves you. When I craved hugs, my kids were more than willing. When I craved conversation, God gave me a couple of girl friends to fill that role. And in ANY of these love languages, do not intentionally deprive yourself or your spouse. I do not deserve… they do not deserve… it’s not about deserving love. Jesus’ Love is Unconditional, and being a follower of Him means that we are trying to be LIKE Him.

 

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#5 Try to UNDERSTAND your spouse.

My husband and I decided to go on a marriage retreat with our church group. It was super fun to hang out with married couples. The one thing that I left with, though, was how we responded differently because of a personality assessment. Since then, I have researched and wanted to understand more: from the Greek Personality Profile to The Color Code to whatever the popular trend is. BUT Nothing has helped me more than the Dressing Your Truth program. I learned how our doodling, way of processing things, voice pitch, facial features, body shape, and body movement all fit into our energy type BECAUSE it’s how God made us. I was able to see that my greatest weaknesses were also my strengths depending on how I used them NOT depending on how other’s saw me. I am not only happy with who I am, but I am so grateful for how I can see, now, that my husband complements me.

 

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#6 Be GRATEFUL.

Many spouses gripe about the things that they don’t like about their spouse, or nag their spouse to do what they want. “I don’t like the way he leaves the toothpaste lid off of the toothpaste… the toilet paper roll is the wrong way… the dirty clothes all over the floor… the house is too messy.” If you concentrate only on the things that you don’t like about your spouse, that is ALL that you will see. If you concentrate on the things that you LOVE about your spouse, you will see MORE of what you love. It is totally okay to respectfully and lovingly address things that you feel are hurtful or that you or your spouse could be better at. But it is NOT okay to be critical, to nag, or to publicly humiliate your spouse to get what you want… even if it’s a “joke.”

 

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#7 Take a Time Out BEFORE things get too Heated. 

Watching my parents argue, my mother would follow my dad and make him talk. Eventually, my dad would end up angry and he’d walk off mad. My husband would do the same thing and follow me when I walked away. Each person has the ability to gauge when they are too angry to think clearly. When you feel that trigger, take a time-out. WALK AWAY when you’re angry, and COME BACK when you’ve cooled off to talk again as many times and as long as it takes! No, it doesn’t have to be in the same night. Many people use the scripture “don’t let the sun go down on your anger” as a sermon on getting over being angry fast or hurry up and solve it before you go to bed. Some things are not that easily solvable. But taking a time-out from that subject, or even a cool-down time and coming back to talk about it when you’re ready, helps to solve things as companions not as opponents.

 

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#8 Pornography is NOT a way to become closer together. 

“Well maybe if we took pictures of… or imitated this action… or had multiple partners…” Seriously, if you want to be closer to your spouse, be close to God FIRST. The closer you are to Him, the more you try to be like Jesus, the more that the Spirit reigns in your home, the closer and more Passionate you will be together.  My husband likes to say that ANY addiction that you have is trying to fill a God-shaped hole in your soul. When you fill yourself with God’s Love, God’s Word, and God’s Spirit, you won’t expect someone or something else to make you feel good. You will feel fulfilled.

 

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#9 Counseling is for those Willing to Work it Out

I can’t tell you how many jokes I’ve heard as reasoning NOT to see a counselor; “I can’t see a ‘shrink.'” “I’m not crazy, so I’m still good.” “People can just put up with my insanity if they really love me.” After the loss of our first baby, my husband and I were fighting non-stop, and he finally agreed to see a counselor with me… to prove that I was crazy and needed help… my motives weren’t any better. We had been taught through our prior experiences that “counseling was for crazy people.” Please do not fall for this misconception. We were healed through counseling… a few times for different reasons. Needless to say, my husband had changed his mind about counseling and decided to pursue his calling in life to be a counselor and help others like us. If you are physically injured or in pain, you’d see a doctor. You don’t only have one physical pain in your life. If you need help working through some things mentally, see a counselor, so that it DOESN’T get out of hand, and be life-threatening, or marriage-threatening.

 

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#10 Make Plans Together 

So, for this last one, I thought I would combine all of the things that others have told me they wished they had known. This includes: Time Management, Budgeting, Cleaning, Cooking, and Parenting to name a few. These are things that you can discuss together, grow together, change together, and grow some more together. What you VALUE will be what you give your time, money, and energy to. If you value your job MORE than your spouse, your time management will focus around your job. If you value your children more than your spouse, your budget and time will show them as your priorities. If you want to make your marriage work, your spouse comes second only to God. If you want to be healthy, you need that alone time with God, time to rest, and time to play, as well as, work. If you want your parenting relationships to work, you need to find ways to spend time individually with each child. Your job should support these priorities. Your friends should support these priorities. Only a strong marriage union, can hope to become a strong family union. And only two people fully dependent on God individually, can hope to have a strong marriage union.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What LOVE Looks Like….

Today, while waiting on my daughter in speech therapy, I witnessed a beautiful mom walk in with her son. She was early for her appointment which gave me less time… less time to read without distraction… less time to help my easily distracted son with his homework. Her son is autistic and adorably jumping up and down when he laughed at the T.V. She was so kind to him; patient in giving him options and laughing with him. I ignored her to try and squeeze what time I could in to read and realized my son wasn’t going to concentrate anyway.

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She concentrated on her son. She took a phone call from another child reminding him kindly and repeatedly to do his homework and chores. As my daughter came out of therapy, and her son’s therapist came to talk to her, she mentioned her frustration at the news of her son’s diagnosis: getting worse in his teens, and not making it past 40yrs with not being able to process a certain enzyme. No cure. No hope of one. I’m thinking, “This mom was just delivered some of the worst possible news, and she’s still incredibly patient, loving, and has a kind smile on her face.”

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I butted in, apologized for eavesdropping, offered the hope we’d just gained through years of prayer and research, and left. She was even patient with me. What a beautiful love this woman has for her son to take such a hard task with kindness, perseverance, patience, and tolerance.

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#1 How hard do I think my life is? Do I act like a victim?

#2 How selfless and grateful am I after receiving tough news?

#3 How tolerant am I with strangers butting in to my venting?

#4 Would I be able to accept hope if it were offered?

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Thank you for your inspirational example of what Love looks like.

 

 

 

Pressing On

philippians3Recently, I was in extreme pain, but trying to make it through Bible Study. I was walking slower than the elderly women in front of me wondering why the heck I’d even left the house. One of the reasons that I go, isn’t just for the study of the Bible itself, but to be surrounded by those of the same faith for us to uplift and pray for each other; fellowship. And there were wonderful people there that did pray for me understanding that I WAS in extreme pain even if they didn’t understand WHY. But I just wasn’t feeling it. I could just feel pain. I also felt alone in it. Passing the bookstore in the church, a book stood out at the moment I asked the question in my head, “Why am I even here? I just want to go home.” The book simply stated, “Pressing on when you feel like turning back.” I giggled to myself that God was being funny with me again. But God didn’t stop there. He always backs His words!

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Sitting there in pain, feeling alone, and making sure I was near the back in case I needed to ask for help, I longed to make a connection with someone. I wasn’t sure how anyone could understand what I was going through even if they did have empathy, but I knew God understood. So, I tried to get out of the study what I was “supposed to” and leave it at that. I was trying not to feel sorry for myself. A woman who was not much older than I and was also having a hard time walking, came up to me and asked me if there was a story with my zebra cane. I told her a 30 second brief of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and she told me about the pain in her back causing problems with walking, as well. A friend! It’s not that I didn’t have other friends there, but she understood the pain even if she didn’t have the same starting issue as me. On my way out the door, another friend offered to make food for my family (which isn’t easy with our allergies.) I left humbled that God loved me enough to send what I needed… and that’s not all.

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I had wanted to take my children to the library afterwards, but knew there was no way I could take their hands, books, and handle the pain involved. So, I decided that it was okay to go home and try again another day. Besides, it was snowing and a little too cold to get in and out of the van a few times with the littles. A little while later, on the other side of the highway, a woman was waving at people for help in the almost white-out flurry of snow near her small pick-up truck on the side of the road. No one would stop in the freezing cold. I knew it would take me a while to get over to her, so I prayed that if it was okay for me to do so, God would make the desire for me to help her stronger. (I do hate the precautions we must take to help people these days, and do my best to protect my family, but I trust God’s judgement.) I was almost in tears at this point and excited to turn around and see what I could do. I finally pulled up behind the vehicle, though, it looked like nobody was in it at first because it was snowing so much. A couple got out of the truck cautious of me. I knew what I was supposed to do. I invited them in the van and they asked me to take them to the next gas station. The woman had the same name as my baby girl and thanked me for getting her out of the cold. The man was also thankful but cautious and protective of them both. After I dropped them off and made sure they were okay, he left me with “God Bless You.” I returned the blessing, and was so thankful that God allowed me to help someone when I was beginning to feel helpless and needy myself.

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In Pressing On to learn His Words even if I didn’t feel like it, God gave me: people who loved, prayed for, and served me, someone who understood me, and He showed me that I am valuable when I felt incapable. God will always prove himself if we Trust Him. And even though I knew that in my head, my body was failing me, and my heart was following, He was there! He loves me. He intercedes for me. He serves me. He understands me. He wants me to know that I am valuable to Him.


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Letting God Take Care of Me

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Recently, I attended a charity dinner. I was quite distraught because I was having a hard time with different foods and my energy levels because of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. I thought, “If people ask me how I am, how can I answer honestly? People don’t want to hear, ‘I don’t feel well.’”

Then the main speaker got up and talked about how she had lost her Pastor husband and son within a year of each other. While talking to an accountability partner and friend, she asked the question, “How do I grieve well? I have helped others through grieving and it’s not pretty. I need to be able to grieve, but I don’t want to hurt others in the process.” She replied, “Let God take care of you. Watch the ways that He does.” Needless to say, I was balling and felt this woman was talking to me.

I am an independent person and LOVE to take care of myself and others around me. My main Love Language is Service… and it’s hard for me to let others love me that way. I’m not sure exactly why. Maybe because “Service” isn’t the same as just spending time together or gifts…. It’s specific. I love the dishes done, I like particular clothes, a particular kind of cookies or jewelry, things done that I specifically ask for, things given that I specifically need…. I’m a tough cookie to love especially with my independent exterior who hates to ask.

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While going through my own grieving process of “this is the way my life is now,” I’ve had to let go of my own expectations of myself. I’ve had to let go of the pride that I have in being able to take care of things myself or of things just getting done. I’ve had to allow myself to be singled out which is NOT something that I crave at all. I’ve been able to take a step back even complaining to God, “I don’t like this one bit, but I trust You to help me in the time You feel is best, in whatever way You think is best.”

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And I watched God Love Me… I’ve had people actually sit and listen while I explain what I’m going through. I’ve had people offer to pray for me. I went to church and had people there by my side ready to catch me, walk with me, and take over for me. I went to Bible Study and met a friend going through a different experience be able to relate to me when I was feeling alone and insufficient. I’ve had people offer to clean my house or take my kids so I can get rest. I’ve had things break down in my home, no way to get another, and a friend offer theirs to me even if I didn’t ask. And while I was curled up in my bed frustrated with finances and praying, God told me, “Do what you can, and I’ll do the rest.” I went out to my mailbox and someone wrote us an anonymous card, “God wanted me to bless you” with a gift card in it. “Get what you need.” I just broke down crying, “God you DO love me. This is hard for me, but I trust You.”

564852_230603630378191_230315904_nSometimes, it takes something big to make us stop and realize how much God is taking care of us… how much He really does Love us. I hope it doesn’t. But it looks like, for me, I need sit still and watch more. God loves us no matter what we are going through, in the ways that we need, just Trust Him. Watch how He takes care of you after you’ve done all you can. Watch how He answers prayers of yours and those you hadn’t even asked, yet, because He Loves You.


For more articles like this one, Check out Faith and Encouragement