Dear Husbands, We Need You To Fight For Us

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You know the story. A young woman finds herself in a sticky situation and just when she is about to be consumed by an evil villain a white knight swoops in to save her. In more modern stories you even see the young girl and guy work together to battle the evil villain before riding off into the sunset. While these are usually fairytales I believe one reason these ladies pick this guy as their forever mate is because she knows when there is ever a sticky situation — this guy will fight for her. But what about reality? Are our husbands swooping in and fighting for us when we need it most?

I remember when I was single and praying for a future husband there were many great christian guys in the church — but sadly many were still boys. They still liked to string girls along, act interested but put no effort into creating a committed relationship. They never made a gesture because they were too afraid. I still remember our pastor preaching on the subject of men in the church. Many christian guys showed strength in their relationship with God but were passive to many other situations. As one of the tough girls — this was never appealing to me because I have fought all my life. The last thing I wanted was a guy standing in the background while I fought the dragon.

I was thinking back trying to remember if there was ever a situation when my dad, boyfriend or guy friend fought for me. Yes, my dad got in fights with strangers often because he couldn’t keep his mouth shut. Was he really fighting for us or for himself? Then I had boyfriends who often times walked away leaving me to fight my own battles. I had other boyfriends who let their friends taunt and cuss me out while they sat their laughing. (It still took me 2 more years of that relationship before I finally realized I needed to get out). You know who I remember standing up for me? My mom who put herself between my dad and I several times. My sister who stood up and was willing to take my full beating when she saw my dad grab me by my throat and shoved me in a chair. My best friend who often times defended me against my dad. Even her dad who had to put my dad in his place when I was forced to visit him. The rest of the time — I fought for myself.

Thankfully, there hasn’t been a huge need for Steven to defend my honor in marriage — that is until we got foster kids. I love teen girls but they seem to like to verbally attack me, put me down and act against me — not him. I find myself still sticking up for myself when actually what I need is my husband to. Yes, he grew up in a good home where fighting for your life was never a situation he had to deal with. Husbands, we wives are not asking you to get into altercations with strangers of the world. We are asking you to fight a much dangerous and serious villain. Satan himself.

Husbands, your wife needs you to fight for her when she has nothing left to give. When the kids have given her hell all day — sometimes she need you to swoop in and rescue her. Husbands, when you see your wife needing time to herself — we need you to fight to take her on a date or send her to a favorite coffee shop with a good book alone. Husbands, when she’s told the kids a hundred times to pick up their toys or do their chores — she needs you to intervene and hand out orders. Guys we are fighting everyday and we need your help.

As a stay-at-home mom I have seen how hard this job is. At times I really hated working outside of the home because I always had to divide myself between work and family. I could never fully finish a task before someone needed something from me at home or at the office. But there is also something so exhausting about being at home all day long — disciplining a toddler and getting no time of your own. I can’t remember the last time I showered or used the bathroom alone. Husbands, these are the small sacrifices we make that add up to a huge battle. When our kids are talking back and being rude we need you to intervene and stand up for the love of your life. The same woman you would have died for on your wedding day.

Most importantly, husbands we need you to fight for us spiritually. Satan is out to kill, steal and destroy every ounce of energy and hope we have. We need you on your knees daily praying over us as we raise up the kids. We need you to pray for our mental health because honestly — these battles can sometimes make us crazy. We need you to verbally pray over us so your encouraging words can pour into our minds and flood out the negative thoughts. Husbands we need you to fight for us. Your wives are slowly being torn apart by this world of expectations and chaos. Men, equip yourselves and defend our honor. I promise that many of us will become less moody and exhausted if we see you going into battle for us. Once we catch our breath then don’t be surprised when you see us armoring up to fight next to you.

Attention Shoppers, Please Be Patient With My Screaming Kid

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The Struggle is Real: What to Write?

I honestly don’t know how many people read my blog posts. It usually depends on the content. Ironically enough I get more views on a post when it’s about my struggles than posts where I am trying to encourage.

To be honest…I’ve struggled with what to write. I’ve started and stopped MANY posts but I feel like they’re not good enough. Do my posts even help? Why do people want to read about my struggles?

At this time in my life I am happy. Probably the happiest I’ve been in the last few years. I finally have my anxiety under control. I’ve found a purpose for my life and I’m starting to make the Midwest my home. So what do I write about?

Well…I could write about getting sick twice within the last month with colds. Or how my husband and I started to open our home to groups of people twice a month. My daughter is on the verge of walking without her scooter. My dogs keep running away. My husband and I are training to become foster parents. We’re also preparing the house and bedrooms for these teens to come stay. Oh, and I’m enjoying A LOT of tea these days. Earl Grey is my favorite, but I still drink my morning cup of coffee.

Life is busy and full of change. I see our lives transitioning into a different season. In a good way. We’re preparing our home, hearts and minds to help teen girls. I know my busy schedule now will look so relaxing once we start receiving kids in our home. So no worries there will soon be lots for me to write about. But for now — this post is random.

For those few who read my blog what would you like to read about more? Would you like for me to be more transparent with my posts? More posts about mommy tips? Healthy food recipes? What I’ve read lately in my Bible studies?

 

 

What A $2 Valentine’s Day Gift Taught Me About My Marriage

“Marriage has the power to set the course of your life as a whole. If your marriage is strong, even if all the circumstances in your life around you are filled with trouble and weakness, it won’t matter. You will be able to move out into the world in strength.”

– Tim Keller

My husband and I knew going into Valentine’s Day that we wouldn’t have anything for each other. Life has been so hectic with foster training, work and other projects that we forgot to plan ahead. We decided to celebrate this weekend when we got to spend time together.

Yesterday, I had a cute story lined up about a dog and his new owner meeting for the first time. The former owners of the dog had wrapped his injured leg in duct tape. When the vet finally got to them his toes had to be amputated. It was the donations from this one consignment store that helped Ducky get the care he needed. So I went to the store yesterday to do the interviews. (It’s one of my favorite stores by the way). As I started to get video of the store I noticed some cool cups sitting on a shelf. One was a gold and white tea cup. I’m collecting them for my lady’s brunch coming up. I was so excited to see it cost $0.59. That’s when I started to look and see if there was a cool mug for my husband.

I knew I had a little over $2 in cash so I had to be thrifty. (We’re on the cash only system because we follow Dave Ramsey’s Financial advise). I almost gave up when I saw this one cup stuck between other mugs. It was a blue and gray striped mug. Perfect for Steven. He doesn’t have a lot of guy mugs so I wanted to get it for him. I was so proud that I could bring him home something for Valentine’s Day. Even if it was a small gift.

If you know Steven and I then you know drinking coffee together has been one of our things since we were friends. At first when I got these cups I was thinking about them just as gifts. But then I realized these cups represent our marriage and love for one another.

Some days in marriage I can’t give anymore. I am overwhelmed with work, life and taking care of Aurora. That’s when my amazing husband pours his strength into me. So when my tea cup is empty he is there to help me get back on track. The same thing goes for him. When he is tired and exhausted I am there to help him.

Now, there have been times we’ve had nothing to give each other. We weren’t keeping our cups filled. That’s when friends and family stepped in to help. Other times we have to fill ourselves up with God’s word just to get through the day. But we don’t stop giving.

These $2.25 cups represent the way a marriage and community should work. If you see your spouse needs to be filled and you keep the contents to yourself then you’re being selfish in your marriage. Marriage does not work when you are thinking about your own wants and needs. You are teammates not enemies.

 “Do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

Most importantly as couples we need to be first filling ourselves with God’s word. We cannot help others if we have nothing to give. If you want to see your marriage improve then invest in your relationship with God. It’s there that you will find how to release those selfish desires and give to your spouse more each day. It’s in God’s word that you will see how you need to love your spouse unconditionally. Marriage is hard. It’s even harder when God is not the center of both of your lives.

To Singles on Valentine’s Day

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5 Ways to Show Your Spouse You Love Them

5 Ways to Show Your Spouse You Love Them

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“Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” – 1 John 3:18

It’s easy to show your spouse how much you love them days after you say, “I do.” But as time goes on and more children come into the home showing your love can quickly fall by the wayside. I don’t just mean telling your spouse you love them. As we know, marriage is so much more than words. As it says in the scripture above, we must love with our actions.

How does your spouse need to see that you love them? Great question. One way Steven and I keep in check our needs is by asking, “what is your love language?” If you’ve taken this test before you know that the results can change. In the last 3 years of marriage my needs have changed several times.

You can click here to take the test and find out what ways you and your spouse can love one another better.

These are 5 ways you can love your spouse based on their love language.

  1. Physical touch. This is usually the number one love language for men. If your spouse’s number one love language is physical touch then cuddling together is crucial. And other stuff but I don’t need to elaborate on that. My husband likes when I hold his hand or cuddle on the couch with him. We used to do that all of the time in the beginning our marriage but since we’re always so busy, I’ve forgotten that my husband still needs that from me.
  2. Words of Affirmation. This has been in my top 2 most of my life. I am the type who needs to constantly be reminded that I am loved, beautiful and appreciated. Lately, this has become my number one again. Guys, this may be hard for you to do, but your wife may need this. A great way to encourage your husband/wife through words can be things like leaving love notes throughout the house. I love when Steven leaves me a note by the coffee maker. Even simple text messages. But of course, the best way to melt your wife’s heart is by looking her in the eyes and giving examples of why you love her.
  3. Acts of service. There are some spouses who love it when you take out the trash. (Okay, maybe the ladies enjoy that). A great way to do this is by helping out with chores. Making breakfast and bringing it to your spouse in bed. Or being the one to get the kids ready for school. This is probably my second highest right now. It really only takes small gestures to follow through with this love language. The best tip is to ask your spouse what you can do that makes them feel loved?
  4. Receiving gifts. Men, you may think this is number one for your wife, but you may be surprised. Most women don’t want expensive jewelry. (Not that we would turn that down). However, if this is her love language..or his…gifts don’t have to break the bank. One thing my husband does is buy me fresh flowers. He knows how much I love having them in our home. We shop at Aldi so they cost about $4 a bouquet. They last about 2 weeks. I also love candles. For my husband, snacks are his favorite. So I will pick up a favorite treat sometimes and bring it home. Another great gift could be giving your spouse time to do what they love. My husband loves to read but he rarely gets the time. So I’ll send him to a coffee shop to read for a few hours.
  5. Quality time. No matter where this falls on your list I think it’s still important to do. But for some this is your number one love language. A great way to spend time with your spouse is sitting down and enjoying a cup of coffee together. Maybe enjoying a fun game together. Quality time does NOT happen in front of the TV. Another idea could be exercising together, hiking or working on a project. Steven and I always make time together on weekends. Once Aurora goes to sleep we find some way to spend quality time. We basically have date nights every weekend.

Finally guys, you don’t need a woman’s manual to figure out your wife’s needs. Ladies, you don’t need to harass your husband so he’ll tell you what he wants. Like I said before, Steven and I are always trying to make sure we are constantly fulfilling each other’s needs. It’s so important in a marriage to make sure you both feel loved through your special love language.

Remember, God should always come first, then marriage and then kids. No matter how busy your lives are, take time to love your spouse through ACTION.

What are some ways you show your spouse you love them?

The Great Adventure Called Life

A New Christmas Tradition: “I call mistletoe.”

Why I Don’t Have a Perfect Marriage After 3 Years

A New Christmas Tradition: “I call mistletoe.”

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“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” 

Ephesians 4:2-3

Christmas is about a week away which means we’re on turbo mode as we try and grab the last presents on our list, get ready for the in-laws who are coming into town and preparing ourselves for days of back-to-back events. Among the chaos it’s easy to forget those around us. Especially our spouse. That’s why my husband, Steven, and I started a new tradition. Mistletoe.

I never grew up with mistletoe in my home. The only time I really saw it was in Christmas movies. Usually when a guy was trying to sneak a kiss from a girl he had a huge crush on. I started thinking about mistletoe and how it forces two people to kiss while standing underneath it.

That’s when I had the idea of bringing it into our home. With our busy schedules (I know for me) I get a one-tracked mind. When I have things to do I get so focused that I can blur out everything else around me. I’m embarrassed to admit, but sometimes I forget to stop and kiss my husband just because I can. So I wanted a reminder.

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I hung mistletoe around the busiest area in our home. It’s located between the kitchen and our door where we leave. Those are also the 2 out of the 3 main rooms we clean every day. So when we are busy cleaning the house or heading to work…we see a reminder to take a few extra moments to kiss.

Why? Because every day is a day we should be fighting for our marriages. Each day is filled with things to get done and the daily routines. But they’re never as important as the one God chose for me to do life with. I already don’t get to spend a lot of time with my husband throughout the week so I want every second to count when I am with him.

It’s also a great way to get over an argument. If you find you and your spouse disagreeing about something then one of you can call “mistletoe.” In our house that means you have to stop arguing, kiss each other and mean it. No quick pecks on the lips while still harnessing an attitude. It needs to be a genuine kiss.

Ironically enough, my husband already does this to me. Mostly when I am cleaning the house. I tend to turn in a raging monster. So he usually stops me and kisses and hugs me until I calm down and smile. It never fails, I walk away giggling and thanking Steven for making me relax. I never want to get too busy to forget to kiss my husband. Especially during the holidays.

What do you think about this tradition?

What are some traditions you and your spouse have to keep you close during hectic times?

I want to hear from you. Leave me your comments.

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Why I Don’t Have a Perfect Marriage After 3 Years

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“…We must say to ourselves something like this: ‘Well, when Jesus looked down from the cross, he didn’t think “I am giving myself to you because you are so attractive to me.” No, he was in agony, and he looked down at us – denying him, abandoning him, and betraying him – and in the greatest act of love in history, he STAYED. He said, “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.” He loved us, not because we were lovely to him, but to make us lovely. That is why I am going to love my spouse.’ Speak to your heart like that, and then fulfill the promises you made on your wedding day.”

– Tim Keller, “The Meaning of Marriage.”

It was 3 years ago today that I walked down the aisle to the most amazing man I have ever known. I remember that day wondering what our marriage would be like. I knew our perfect day wouldn’t last forever. And it hasn’t. Here’s why I don’t have a perfect marriage and why I’m okay with it.

The simple answer is, Steven and I are sinners. We wake up each day fighting against our daily sins. Which in turn impacts our marriage. They may NOT be sins like infidelity or abuse but we have bad days where we forget to respect one another. Days where we are tired and overwhelmed. But we don’t give up on each other.

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One of our biggest struggles in the last 3 years has been maneuvering through my depression and anxiety. Steven has been so patient with me. Other days he’s felt frustrated and confused. But he is still here. That’s why I love Tim Keller’s quote above. It represents the true meaning of marriage. How when we see each other at our worst we still want to stay.

On our wedding day, Steven and I adopted a wedding tradition from some of our dear friends, Brent and Sherry Carlstrom. We decided to put on some aprons and serve our cake to our guests. That was the way we wanted to start our marriage. Serving others together.

As we were cutting the cake we struggled not to make a mess. There were times I was afraid that whole cake would fall over. There were times I even had more cake on my hands than on the plate I was handing to my guest. That small gesture is exactly how marriage is.

Like cutting a cake for 100 plus guests, marriage gets messy. There are times you cut a perfect piece and there are times you have to keep the cake from falling on the ground. Eventually you find your groove together. You figure out a system that works. Maybe you cut the cake while your spouse serves it to guests. It’s still not perfect, but you’re doing it together.

I encourage married couples to work together throughout their marriage. No it’s not easy. It’s hard. Some days it feels like you want to quit or can’t put forth any more effort. But without God at your center your marriage cannot work. God created marriage to be a representation of our relationship with Him. It’s the closest thing we have here on earth. The farther you are from God, the farther you are from your spouse.

Yes, this even happens to the best of Christians. My husband and I have been there. We’ve found ourselves drifting apart from our foundation, which is God. Our marriage isn’t perfect but we wake up each day fighting for it. We work together through the mess and we work together through the easy days. We are teammates.

Satan has a tendency to use spouses against one another. You may feel like you’re fighting against one another. But really you’re in it together. Once again my marriage is NOT perfect. Nor do I have all the answers. We just do our best to to keep God in the center of our marriage.

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In honor of our 3 year Wedding Anniversary, Steven and I are giving away a free copy of Tim Keller’s, “The Meaning of Marriage.” This book helped us a lot to prepare for our wedding day. We want to share it with you. Find out how you can win a copy by clicking on the book title above.