Friday, January 20, 2012

I had actually already written a post, but due to the fact that I hadn't researched the person/blog I was sharing, I decided to pull most of what I'd written. (I don't want to send you off to another blog thinking that because I sent you, that I'm in complete agreement with all of the content on the blog... and I may be, but I've not read it yet so I don't know. LOL!) Now, back to what's left of my original post from this morning. O:)

Romans 10:9 is a beautiful reminder of how God takes us right in the middle of our sin, and does something WONDERFUL! I just love that about Him. I love that He doesn't give us a list of laws to keep and then one ONLY then, offer salvation. Nope. He loves and accepts us just as we are - in all our brokenness.

Sending (((Hugs))) and lots of love,

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

submission - it's a beautiful thing!

Okay, so I said I'd be posting more often and had honestly intended to do just that. However, our internet went down the day after this post and we JUST got it repaired yesterday. (The internet repair guy pointed out that SOMEONE had run over the satellite pole "several times". I was quite surprised that he even commented on this.. I was absolutely under the conclusion that EVERYONE runs over EXTREMELY LARGE objects while mowing?) HA! At any rate.. I'm VERY HAPPY to be able to play online again.

On to more serious things..

I'd mentioned in my last post that God has done some TREMENDOUS things in my marriage over the past few years. It all started changing when we finally realized we were about to lose Brent.. Link completely fell apart and apologized for ________. (I'm not going to mention his mistakes/wrongdoings here.. I didn't come to point fingers.. I'm only sharing this because it's a HUGE part of where our marriage began to turn around) I forgave him, and apologized for my failures/shortcomings too. As I mentioned, I'm not here to share my hubby's faults, only my own - in hopes of sharing a truth that I've learned. A truth that breathed new LIFE into my marriage!

Fast-forward a bit.. not long after we lost Brent, God brought a couple into our lives. My sweet friend is one of those ladies who quickly speaks her mind - and does not withhold correction/rebuke. We began walking together which of course led to long talks. As we spent more time together she started sharing with me areas that she saw where I was NOT living out my calling as Link's wife. I was NOT a Titus 2 woman at all, at least not when it came to loving my husband the way God called me to.

It all boiled down to submission and how I responded to Link in moments of anger. (Back-talking, arguing with him when I didn't agree with what he said, or what he was doing.. the huffing, crossing of arms.. ANY physical symbol of not approving) Am I saying that we don't have the right as wives to express our feelings? Absolutely not! However, there are times for EVERYTHING. I learned that there is much wisdom in learning to practice self-control when I don't agree with my man rather than immediately contradicting him. (I'd seen many, many times in my life where the woman argues almost EVERY point with her man rather than praying and asking GOD to handle things) I'd been so used to arguing that it became my FIRST response even before taking a moment to realize that my hubby was actually RIGHT. (Now THAT'S embarrassing!)

The friend that I mentioned earlier gave me the book, Created to Be His Helpmeet, and was it EVER LIFE-CHANGING! Honestly, next to the Bible itself this is THE BEST book I've ever read! There may be parts of it that one may not agree with, but if you read it with a humble heart - HONESTLY SEARCHING for God's will for yourself, you WILL go away BLESSED and CHANGED! (You can also buy this book on the Kindle edition lists for $7.69.) I'm pretty sure that I've talked about this book here before, but it is such a TREMENDOUS part of my story that I just had to share it today.

I guess it all boils down to how I've seen the role of submission transform my own marriage. Have I got it down perfectly? Of course not! I'm still learning, I'm still growing, and I still find myself biting my tongue when every fiber of my being is screaming out to say something. I have learned that when my hubs is in the wrong - to start praying IMMEDIATELY! Who is more capable of changing his heart, God, or me? That's a silly question, isn't it? Yet, it's SO HARD to push down the flesh and just let God be God. The Bible says that God is NOT the author of confusion. (1 Corinthians 14:33) It also tells us that, "the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body." - Ephesians 5:23. This just run so much more beautifully when we do things God's way. Amen? :)

I've just begun reading a new book today and have been encouraged with what I'm reading so far. The name of the book is, Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother. (The Kindle edition is $7.99) I've been encouraged to re-examine Titus 2 and to step back and look at how I'm loving my husband and children. Believe me, I've learned the hard way that you never, EVER want to have regrets.

One last MAJOR issue that goes along with submission is that of respect. Here again, I find myself recommending ANOTHER book. (Sorry!) This one is called, Love & Respect. (The Kindle edition is $8.99) It was so helpful to me to realize that I show my husband love when I show him respect. Just as we (women) crave hugs, compliments, and kisses - our men long to be admired, lifted up, and RESPECTED! It shows a tremendous lack of disrespect when I immediately began to backtalk Link.. to challenge him. He doesn't NEED me to tell him how to do things. HE is the one God put in charge of our home. Again, if I feel he's wrong, I go to God with it. If I feel that this won't be an issue of contempt, and I feel safe (safe meaning that I feel like my comment/response won't lead to an argument) THEN, I will share my thoughts or opinions. If, however, I do feel that he'd feel challenged by my response --- I take it to God in prayer!

To sum up what I've learned:
  • God put the man as the head of the home - therefore he does NOT need woman to correct/rebuke/challenge him at every turn. If I disagree with something I can voice it lovingly, but after that it NEEDS to go to GOD in prayer! (After that it becomes nagging - drip, drip, drip!) :o
  • My man doesn't need or want me constantly telling him what to do, or how to do it. He is NOT my child, he is my MAN! (mmm-hmmm!) ;)
  • I was created to be HIS helper, NOT the other way around!
  • I should put into practice what I was taught as a small child: If I don't have something nice to say, I shouldn't say anything at all.
  • I should never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER-EVER correct him in public! If we're in public and he's accidentally giving out false information I can and should quietly share the facts. Doing otherwise might lead him to feel disrespected, or cause his friends to feel that way. (I sure wouldn't want him embarrassing me in front of my friends!)
  • The respect thing seems to be as much a need for a man as the show of love is to a woman.. I should ALWAYS let my sweet hubs know how much I appreciate and love him!
  • This is random, but since I've learned about that whole love & respect thing - all of those commercials where the woman blatantly disrespects her husband DISGUSTS me! It not only dishonors men, but it dishonors our loving GOD! People are watching us!

Please hear me say that I DO NOT feel like I have all of the answers. I'm ONLY sharing what I've seen in scripture and what I've seen in my own life. When I began to practice these principles, Link began to feel less defensive with me. We began to argue less and less.. he began to talk MORE.. we started to ENJOY each other on a level that we never have before. I can honestly say that he is a different man (giving GOD ALL the glory!) and I'm blessed with a marriage that I'd only dreamed of before! If you're struggling with the way you respond to your husband the way that I have and sometimes do, I'd like to encourage you to pray and study every scripture you can find on marriage. Study those on love, and respect, and how God instructs us as believers to live. It'll change your life, I promise! ;)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

finally catching up...

Hello, my sweet bloggy friends! I've been saying for a while now (give or take a couple of years) that I was gonna attempt blogging again. I'd actually planned on trying during the holidays. I'd planned on journaling Brent's last Christmas with us, but this was the first year since he left us that I wasn't struggling horribly with everything about Christmas and remembering all of the hard memories that come with it. I mostly just wanted to be happy. I wanted to look forward all of the things that I've always loved about this time of year.. besides, Brent would want us to be happy.

With that said, we did have a very nice Christmas. I struggled some with New Year's Eve, then the next two days that follow, but as always - getting Jan. 2 behind us seemed to put an end to all of the dread for another year. (That's of course NOT to say that we don't miss Brent with every breath - it's just that all of those hard memories start in October and weigh heavy on my heart right up until the day AFTER he got his Heavenly healing) I can't say all of that without saying how VERY THANKFUL we are to KNOW that life doesn't end here - that stepping over into eternity is REALLY where it all begins. We're SO THANKFUL that we KNOW that Brent is with Jesus! (I'm still thinking I may move some of those last posts from Caringbridge over so that I'll be able to find them quickly. Those were the hardest days of our lives, but def the most miraculous and beautiful as well. <3

On to other things.. I realized when I pulled up my blog that I REALLY NEED to update my photos and information on here. Zach is now 14 and Gabe is 11. They both look more like little men now, than the baby-faced pictures that I have posted here. As soon as I have time to play around and see if I can remember how everything works, I'll post new pics. ;)

I have so much to tell you. God has done some MIGHTY things in our lives. My marriage is a kagillion times better than it's ever been. (Yes, I know that kagillion isn't a word, and that if it was a word I probably misspelled it, but that's okay.. I'm weird and totally okay with that) ;) I may attempt a post highlighting all of the beautiful ways that God has brought about these changes. With all of that said -- I'm SOOOO CRAZY about my man, and eternally THANKFUL for him!

Another major change is that I've lost some weight. (Of course you already know that if we're friends on facebook)

At one point I'd lost 65 pounds, but I found a few of them back during the holidays. O:) No, worries, I'm gonna outrun them again soon. Very soon, I hope. The weight-loss thing is yet another answer to prayer. God is faithful!

Well, I think that'll wrap me up for today. I'd really wanted to jump back into blogging and truly had no idea where to start. I think I just followed my ADHD around and posted random things as they came to mind. Sorry if it was hard to follow me. HA! Maybe I'll be a little more organized in the future.

I'll leave you today with a scripture that we've been memorizing this week..

13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. ~ Jeremiah 29:13