Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Marriage Monday’ Category

I’m writing this as part of Marriage Monday at Chrysalis.
Hop over there and check out the other Marriage Monday posts!

Beauty

I close my eyes and let the word settle into every pore – saturate my heart. Beauty.

Psalm 45:11 Let the King be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your Lord.

The world has turned beauty into something ugly.  Beauty should not be a treatment, it should be intertwined and twisted between your heart and the heart of God.

God is love. Love is beautiful.

Beauty touches the deepest part of who we are and turns chaos into peace. It inspires, it captivates, it draws; like a candle on a cold night.  Marriage, to me, is the perfect representation of beauty – pure, undefiled beauty.

Remember the child’s fairytale, Beauty and the Beast?  Don’t we all want to be discovered as the Princess? I wrote in a past post that as I watched that show (a favorite in our house) with my own Little Princess, it dawned on me that I was not Belle in the story, but rather The Beast.  Jesus is the Princess in my story.  It might be a strange concept to wrap your mind around but His beauty envelopes me and draws me out…His tenderness touches my heart in places I’ve allowed no one to see. The more time I spend with Him, the more beautiful I become.  His light shines through my darkness. He loves me, even when I’m ugly – He sees beauty in me that comes from within…

Isaiah 43:1, 3  I have called you by your name…you are Mine. I AM the Lord, your God.

When we lean into the possibility of such beauty, and keep our hearts open to the Spirit,

Beauty Becomes Us

…particularly in our marriages.  Ladies, let’s not forget that our men our created to be visual. For this reason, it’s important to be mindful of our appearance…but just as mindful of where our hearts are.

Romans 10:15 How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with life; with the many hats we wear as wives, mothers, and keepers of many things…but beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.  When our hearts are open to the beauty which God desires to become us, then we are able to open our hearts to minister to our husbands, to our children. When we can lay our hearts before Him daily and experience the Joy of the Lord in that – we are beautiful.  We’re better wives, better mothers…better lovers.

That is just the beginning of beauty ~ The heart of the woman.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I somehow missed Crysalis’ Marriage Monday this month, however I’m going to write on it anyway because I love this season and I want to share something special with you!

You can pop over to Crysalis to see what others wrote for this month’s Marriage Monday.

Last year I posted about my 25 Days of Snowflakes and also posted some pictures.  It’s something we started a few years ago. We make snowflakes and hang them up in the living room window. Each snowflake has a special event on it (you can see a list in my 25 days). My favorite is Daddy Day where we all do things that will bless Daddy and then we end the day with his favorite meal!!!

Well, I also do a similar thing in the privacy of our bedroom. My friend Lori gave me this idea.  I make a chain and on each day there is something fun to do, JUST for Mr. H and I, as husband and wife.

A back rub
Special romantic meal just for two
A snowy walk, hand in hand
A day of service where I help him with a project; there is nothing he likes more than when I am in his shop while he works.
Sometimes there is a special gift in store for that day 😉

You get the idea. I’m sure you can come up with some creative things to put on your own chain!  Since it is in the privacy of your room, you can be as creative as you like!

Read Full Post »

I would like you to welcome a guest today.  You’ve met her before when she was a guest for me for Fellowship Friday. I loved Marriage Monday’s topic on finances and my dear friend, Kristi, has a beautiful testimony to share. Pop over the chrysaliscafe and see other posts on this topic!

Budget….that word used to send my stomach churning. I hated that word. To me it meant, you shall not have any fun, you shall not spend money on anything deemed frivolous – you know “girly stuff” , you shall live an extremely modest lifestyle and absolutely no way will thou ever eat out. It’s so funny how one word can create such emotion in us. It’s so funny how God will use that word and turn your life around for the better. 

In January of 2010 our church put out the word that they would be holding a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace seminar. I had heard of him but didn’t really know anything about him or what his program was about. My husband and I had been through a lot in regards to our finances, we had come a long way but I was still not satisfied with how things were going. I felt we could be doing better. We had given up credit card debt years ago after having been through credit counseling when we owed $40,000.00 on credit cards alone, not including our home and car at the time. Those were rough times, we had learned our lesson. So I thought.  God had other plans. 

The flyer for the seminar had me intrigued and so I asked my husband if we should consider going. “No”, he said, “ We’re doing fine, we don’t owe anything except for the house, I don’t think we need this.” So, I gently pointed to one sentence on the flyer which said, “Do you use credit cards for your emergency fund?” Well, that was us, no we didn’t use credit cards but we had one for just in case there’s an emergency. Well, my husband still said no and so I began the process of submitting to God and to submitting to my husband. I prayed that if God wanted us to do this He would change my husband’s mind. It was not easy waiting on God, I wanted it now. I wanted more financial peace, the promise given on the flyer and from what others at church had been testifying to who had gone through the program before. So, I tried to wait patiently and leave it to God. 

On the night of the introduction of what the seminar was about my husband announced he was going to go watch it. Then after watching it, he decided that we would indeed take the seminar. Oh, was I excited and scared at the same time. I had no idea what would all be involved. I had no idea how much God would require of me. 

The first thing God did was answer my prayer that my husband become more involved in our finances. I had been doing them all by myself for the last 11 years. I thought that it was going to be a wonderful answer to pray until I realized my husband had his own way of doing things and God was asking me to submit to Him and to my husband. But God is faithful and through the program my husband learned that we both needed a say in our finances, that it would not just be one of us doing all the work, we’d be working together. But at the same time, for 11 years I had pretty much free reign of our finances, I kept my husband informed and even asked for his advice here and there so to now have to completely share and give up my will at times was not always easy for me. There were times I did not agree with my husband but I submitted to his decisions and God was so faithful, every decision turned out just fine. 

Then with in just a few weeks, the “B” word came into play. Yes, Budget….we were now being asked in class to come up with a budget and to follow it. I hated the idea. I felt restricted, being the total rule follower that I am, I knew once we had it down on paper for me it was written in stone, unmovable, unchangeable. I admit that I was not the easiest person to get along with when we first started this process (Hi, me Laurel here – I can attest to the truth of that statement 🙂 ). I remember feeling like it wouldn’t work, that we’d never have any fun anymore, that we could only buy generic food, and I didn’t even want to think about all the things we would have to give up. Chained…we’d be chained to that budget. 

Fast forward ten months and I was literally telling my mom, “ You really should get on a budget, it’s so freeing!” Yup, Freeing! God moved a huge mountain in my life, I gave up my will for His and oh, how wonderful it’s been. I don’t stress about money and how are we going to pay for this or that because I already know it’s there, it’s in the budget. I no longer feel guilty going grocery shopping and wondering did I just rob Peter to pay Paul here? What will we have to go without because I spent a certain amount of money. I no longer feel guilty if we go out to eat.  I no longer feel guilty because it’s in the budget but not only because it’s in the budget but because there is a limit to it, we don’t overspend in any area now with out even realizing we’ve done so until it’s too late. The best thing about our budget is that we know now where every penny is being spent or saved. We no longer sit and look at the checkbook and say, “Where did all the money go?” We know exactly where it went.

 I praise God every day now for our budget. And I praise Him that we do get to eat out, I do get to buy my girly stuff, granted I have to save up for it and wait a little longer than I used to but it sure is a nice feeling to know I can get it and it won’t mess up our finances.  We’ve paid off $15,205.00 since March on the second mortgage. We have now paid off half – kind of exciting.   And I praise Him that we do have fun and in most ways we are enjoying the things or times out more because we are not in the back of our minds asking, “Can we afford this?”

Thank you Kristi for sharing your heart  here again…

 

Read Full Post »

I am fascinated by this topic.  I am writing as part of a theme for Chrysalis and Marriage Monday. Go check out some other posts on this topic.  I’m also really hoping my friend Kristi will write for this because her story is fantastic!!!!

Finances are often an area of friction in marriage.  When Mr. H and I met, he was extremely frugal and I was totally UNconscious of spending. I had no one depending on me so if I wanted something, I worked hard and bought it!  I also didn’t mind buying things on credit – it was all about what I wanted then.  You can imagine the stress this put Mr. H under when we got married.  Poor man, what he’s had to put up with…

As I began to seek Christ in our marriage – and genuinely learn what it meant to be a godly wife, I began to see the importance of this topic!  For me, it is an extension of submission…what I mean is an extension of my submission to Christ in the area of my marriage.  I began to see that finances were really important to Mr. H and even though, at first I didn’t get it, I made a conscious choice to be more thoughtful of my husband in this area.  I started with little things; I wouldn’t stop for coffee when I was uptown, I’d go and have coffee at my mom’s instead.  I wouldn’t go out for lunch, I would go to the grocery store (remember we’re two hours from home when we’re in town) and pick up salad fixin’s.  I became much more careful in the small things, which eventually grew into bigger things. I started asking my husband how he felt about me spending money on this or that.  He has never once said no to me – but I know that my asking his opinion (not his permission) meant a lot to him. It made him feel respected, valued – listened to.

I realize now that I’ve become just as frugal as he is!  We don’t actually have a budget – we’re just very, very careful about how we spend our money. We make a huge effort to save every year and put something down on the debt we have remaining. We’ve made an effort not to buy things on credit.

Another area I had to submit to Christ is the area of tithing.  With Mr. H not being saved, I didn’t think it was right to tithe our money without discussing it with him.  I decided, and dedicated to GOD, that I would not tithe or give money to the church without discussing it with Mr. H first.   I am not saying this is the only way – but rather, it was the way I felt led to do it in our situation.  I began mentioning certain things that our church would be collecting for; like the family who lost their son and our church was helping fix up their house to sell – or the mission that our church does by building houses in Mexico for families who would otherwise never own a house.  Of course, long before even mentioning this, I would prayerfully take it to God.  The most beautiful thing began to happen…Mr. H would say on his own, “I think we should give X amount of $ for that.”  I know this never would have happened if I’d continued to disrespect his feelings on the matter of finances. 

As with all of the tough issues that come up in marriage – when we truly take them to HIM in prayer and consider one another, it’s not so tough after all.

Read Full Post »

I’ve been over at Crysalis quite a bit this morning visiting other blogs who also write for Marriage Monday. This is a wonderful opportunity for me to add prayers to my list…ladies, thank you so much for your amazing transparency!

This topic was really easy for me to write on, not all Marriage Monday topics are as easy for me.  I love prayer. My heart for prayer is HUGE.  I’ve spent the last 10 years praying with all I have, for my husband’s salvation.  One question that often comes up for me is “will we pray together when he finally gets up off his knees?”  We are very different. He’s strong and quiet and I’m outgoing and wear my heart on my sleeve – a definite sharer.  I know that the way we go about walking in faith, about prayer – will be different too. I think that is ok. I don’t want it to become a strong hold in our marriage once we are finally walking along side one another in Christ.

I wanted to share a few things that I do, concerning prayer…not just in my marriage.  I hope they encourage you in some small way.

I journal my prayers. I love writing; and writing down my prayers etches them on my heart in a deep and intimate way. It’s like I’m sharing with my Father over coffee. It’s also fantastic to be able to look back and see how my prayers were answered.

I love writing my prayers out. One of my favorite things to do for others is write out my prayers for them and send them in the mail. Who doesn’t love getting snail mail?  I have no idea how it impacts the ones for whom I’m praying but I think it’s a special gift.

Several years ago, friends and I created a forum for wives (see the button on the right – LovingOurHusbands). That forum would begin something amazing in my heart, for wives.  From that, a few of us started an online prayer group.  Because the member list is spread all over the world, it makes finding a time to get together challenging (right now we have one team member from Australia, 6 from USA and 3 from Canada).  We meet once a week for one hour, through Instant Messenger.  I can’t wait for Thursday’s to come. Those times are so special and God always shows up in a huge way!  We’re praying wives.  We cover every topic of our marriages weekly and I can’t tell you what it’s like to have a team of beloved friends praying for your marriage every week!

Prayer is powerful. The power of a praying wife is deeply intimate and holds power that we won’t understand until we’re home, with Jesus. Don’t let the enemy gain a stronghold in your marriage with longing for your husband lead in prayer – with that said, I don’t suggest you trample him with bold leading either.  Give to God, wholly and deeply.  He loves your marriage, more than you do!  He can change hearts in ways we can’t even dream.

If you have friends with whom you can get together weekly in prayer – do it!  If you can do it within the comfort of your own home, even better. But if you live in Boonsville, like I do – don’t despair. Make your own team of Prayer Warriors. The rewards are unimaginable!

Be blessed fellow Warriors!

Read Full Post »

Welcome to Marriage Monday. Pop over to Chrysalis and see the entire post. Today’s topic is Prayer in Marraige.

Who is this man that I call my beloved husband?

We met at an extremely difficult time in my life.  This man saw something in me that I couldn’t see in myself. He believed in me when I’d forgotten how to believe in myself.  His amazing strength inspired me to keep moving forward. In hindsight, I think this was the true beginning of my life message.

I remember the very moment that changed my life forever – I remember the sights and smells, the emotions…I was angry at life’s circumstances and crying out (okay I was throwing a tantrum). We’d only been dating a month or more.  My beloved took me in his arms and said,

“You have two choices; you can let it beat you or you can fight. This doesn’t make you who you are. This doesn’t define you.” 

I knew in that moment that I had something to fight for but more importantly, I had a pair of strong arms around me – I wouldn’t be fighting alone.

I didn’t know God then. I didn’t know how much I would need Him. At 23 I thought I was getting it together but the truth was, God was just getting started!

Marriage is the most beautiful thing I have ever done. It has stretched me in ways I never could have imagined. I think I was like a flower then, just beginning to bud. As I began to grow as a wife – as He began to fill me, the flower within was too great for such a small embrace.  It became painful to stay where I was (sometimes God makes it painful so that we can burst into what He has for us). As I came to understand the pure beauty and gift of marriage, I burst out of that bud and began to bloom. This is when the fragrance of my marriage truly began to transform my heart.

Romans 5:3-5 we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

One of the first things I learned was the importance of prayer; and my first big assignment was to pray for his wife!  Oh boy, did I have a LOT to learn. 

1 Peter 3: 4  …let it be the hidden person of the heart, with incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

Now, I know my Mom is reading this so I might as well say it before she does. In the beginning of our marriage, I’m fairly certain no one would have used the words “gentle and quiet” in the same sentence, when describing me. Have you ever seen the movie “Taming of the Shrew” with John Wayne?!  Need I say more?  I was not really the quiet and submissive type.  

God had begun a work in my heart. He would ask, what seemed like, the impossible of me. He asked me to be quiet and pray  –  for 8 years.  Let me tell you what came out of that obedience.  My marriage has blossomed into more than just a flower, but rather a garden of beauty.  

If you asked me what the most valuable gift God has given me, my answer would be prayer.  He has knit into the very core of heart, a desire to pray always.  It is prayer that gets me through the heart aches, through the emotions and fears and anxiety that sometimes come with being a wife and mom. It’s prayer that goes up as sweet music when I praise Him in the valleys and on the mountains. Prayer has taught me that submission begins with me giving wholly to Christ. Prayer is the nurturing and tending, the tender love that the garden of my marriage needs to thrive.

From My Heart to Yours

 

Read Full Post »

Today, at Crysalis, we’re talking about

“How to Celebrate February 14 Every Day of the Year.”

Welcome to Marriage Monday

Happy Monday friends!

I wanted to talk to you about something special and important today. Valentine’s Day is coming fast. When I think of Valentine’s Day

I think of the heart

Doesn’t the heart of every woman want to feel cherished, valued, and deeply loved? Don’t you want to know, without a doubt, that your husband thinks you are beautiful?

For many woman, Valentine’s Day is a day of dashing hopes, disappointed hearts and broken expectations.  Here in Boonsville, we are always calving when Valentine’s Day comes. This means we can’t leave the ranch and we’ve been up several times in the night, for weeks already. We’re exhausted.  There is no energy for romance.

For many years it was a long fall from my expectations on Valentine’s Day, to reality.

I began to pray

I prayed that God would reveal  romance to me. I prayed that He would show me the heart of my husband.

My mind went back to the day I was hurriedly cooking supper, which was late. The kids were hungry, the house was in disarray.  In walked my husband after a refreshing walk, with one single flower in hand. It was a Lady’s Slipper, a delicate orchid like flower that grows on the forest floor…named for its appearance.  This delicate flower looks like the slipper of a tiny forest princess.  Exasperated and harried, I put it in water and set it on the counter.

 

A whispering breeze…You are beautiful

 

Now I thought back to the time I was busy with schooling the children. Desperately concentrating on the mathematical mayhem before me, frustration building…

“Want to go for a walk?” he asks. “The sun is shining.” He smiles at me.

 

A loving hug, a warm whisper…You are my sun. You are worthy of my time. I adore you.

 

I remembered the day I was picking up socks and gathering laundry when he gave me the smile; and shut the bedroom door.  Thinking to myself (but thankfully not speaking it), “ARE you kidding? Have you seen the pile of laundry out there?!”

 

A sweet embrace…I am enraptured by your love, entranced by your beauty.

 

Sometimes we miss the romance in the busy-ness of our day as Wife and Mom. Supper can wait. Math won’t go away. Laundry will still be there. The world won’t fall.

Take the time to embrace those moments. Appreciate the romance in them. Pray to hear the heart of your love.

 

My husband is sweet and thoughtful and thinks of all kinds of little details everyday to make me feel loved.  Don’t allow expectations to steal your joy on February 14th. It is not about the day.

It’s about the heart

I know that in my husband’s eyes, I am beautiful, valuable, and worthy of his time and affections…that he is enraptured with my love.

Solomon 1:14 My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blooms

In the vineyards of En Gedi

I know that my husband’s heart walks with mine

So, From My Heart To Yours – everyday, may the heart of romance wrap around you, and your marriage, like the gardens of En Gedi. 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »