Tag Archive | Time-out

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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Gratitude

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One of my favorite times of year is November around Thanksgiving when we think of all we’re grateful for. I like to state one thing I’m grateful for every day of the month. What starts out as something simple ends up being so many things for me. I love that it sets me in the mood for the whole Thanksgiving/Christmas season. I have found that it is much easier to be grateful when others around me are stating what they are thankful for.

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In contrast, it is also very easy to be “misled” as 1 Corinthians 15:33 states. “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.” That being said, I have also noticed that when I am around people who are complaining constantly or are ungrateful, it is very easy to begin to pick out the faults of others. This causes uneasiness, frustration, and kicks love right out the door. It is so contagious that if I am grumpy and discontent, I can watch my whole household fall apart within minutes.

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The Apostle Paul described our day to Timothy when he wrote that in the last days. “men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.” (2 Timothy ) These sins are fellow travelers, and ingratitude makes one susceptible to all of them. Here’s a fun poem I found that goes with what I’m trying to say…

The Grumble Family
by Anonymous

There’s a family nobody likes to meet;
They live, it is said, on Complaining Street
In the city of Never-Are-Satisfied,
The River of Discontent beside.

They growl at that and they growl at this;
Whatever comes, there is something amiss;
And whether their station be high or humble,
They are all known by the name of Grumble.

The weather is always too hot or cold;
Summer and winter alike they scold.
Nothing goes right with the folks you meet
Down on that gloomy Complaining Street.

They growl at the rain and they growl at the sun;
In fact, their growling is never done.
And if everything pleased them, there isn’t a doubt
They’d growl that they’d nothing to grumble about!

But the queerest thing is that not one of the same
Can be brought to acknowledge his family name;
For never a Grumbler will own that he
Is connected with it at all, you see.

The worst thing is that if anyone stays
Among them too long, he will learn their ways;
And before he dreams of the terrible jumble
He’s adopted into the family of Grumble.

And so it were wisest to keep our feet
From wandering into Complaining Street;
And never to growl, whatever we do,
Lest we be mistaken for Grumblers, too.


If there’s one main thing that I have heard about the news or social media, it is how much complaining and negativity is out there. It can really bring a person down and makes one want to become a hermit.

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In Matthew 5:14-16, we are called to bring others up. It says, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

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The verses before that call us the salt of the earth. We are the flavor. We can make this world interesting. In Deuteronomy and 1 Peter, God calls his people a “peculiar people.” We are to stand out in a good way because we are different. How can we be that light for others while trying not to be sucked in by negativity?

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You cannot shine light that you do not have. If what is going on around us is “just adding to the noise,” we need to find a place of solace and spend time alone in prayer and scripture study. We need a time out.

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And along that note, We need to remember that we will have moments where we will feel sadness, grief, anger, and frustration. Many label these emotions as bad and happiness, joy, and contentment as the only good ones. As the wife of a counselor, if you have this mindset, I am encouraged to have you watch the new movie “Inside Out.” Our emotions were given to us by Heavenly Father. Jesus felt those same emotions while on this earth. He was a man of many sorrows and it was recorded that He had taken a few time-outs with His Heavenly Father.

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It’s okay to vent to someone that you trust to lead you back to Heavenly Father and His plan for you, who does not gossip, or mislead you. It’s even okay to be honest and say that you are not okay. In fact, not talking about it can cause worse problems.

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Having gratitude does not mean that we do not feel sorrow. But it is the attitude in which we accept our circumstances or even in how we love others that determines our outcome.

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I have a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome that affects everything in my body. I’ve had severe problems from it where I couldn’t get out of bed for months, severe allergies, severe pain, joints popping out of place, easy ruptures and skin tears, and recently extreme fatigue and dizziness. I cannot say in all truthfulness that I am grateful to have a mutation that not only affects me, but others around me including my children who have inherited it. I have had days where I have been frustrated, angry at my inabilities, and mourned better days. And yet, I have hope.

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#1) We all have bad days, but I am grateful that this life isn’t it. Jesus, after talking about his crucifixion, promises in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

#2) I am grateful for good days. If we didn’t taste the bitter, we would not know the sweet.

#3) I am grateful that I can receive comfort from the Spirit and the Scriptures of those who have gone before me.

#4) I have also been blessed with wonderful friends who listen, encourage, pray for, help, and inspire me. It would be boring if we didn’t have problems to help each other with

#5) I can pray for answers, seek for them, and He will answer me. I have learned so much from every trial that I have gone through. I am very grateful for that knowledge.

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I cling to the scripture Romans 8:28. No matter what, I know God can work it out for good. The Apostle Paul was often in bonds and imprisoned, but in all, he learned to be content and make the best of it.

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I have been blessed immeasurably by being grateful. I used to be a suicidal, masochistic, and extremely depressed person, with anxiety that hurt my stomach internally. I have fought so hard to concentrate on God’s Word, His Promises, and on being grateful for those encouraging words. This mindset of being grateful has also helped me to WANT to feel better physically. It has given me the encouragement that I needed to Press On.

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I also feel, that I have been blessed physically with so many material things given to me that I did not necessarily ask for, but have made me feel even more blessed. I am blessed with family and friends that I know for a fact would not want to be around me if I were the person I used to be. I am overwhelmed with blessings.

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In conclusion, I would like to reiterate 5 points about Gratitude

  • God commands us to be grateful for our benefit.
  • Complaining is the opposite of faith and trust in God. Complaining shows our ungrateful heart.
  • However, We all need a time of grieving, a need to vent to the right person, and even a need to be set straight.
  • We can have a continual attitude of gratitude and ask, “What can I learn from this circumstance to be more like Jesus?”
  • God wants to bless us more when we are grateful for what we have and Trust Him for what we don’t.

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I’m thankful for an amazing mother who not only listens to me when I need to vent, but gives me another perspective and leads me back to becoming more like my Savior with a grateful heart. If you don’t have someone that can do that for you, please pray to find that person. I know God wants that for you, as well. We were not meant to be alone. I’m grateful that I have listened to the Spirit and focused on being grateful for the little things in my marriage, and that because of all the counseling that we experienced the first 10 years of our marriage, my husband felt compelled to counsel others as the Savior would… and how amazing that is! I’m grateful for my beautiful family and for the chance to go through this life together learning to love, understand, and encourage each other. And I know I said this before, but I’m grateful for my Heavenly Father who is always there for me and my wonderful Savior who led the way by example, so that I can be more like Him which isn’t easy, but so worth it.

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