Saturday, April 2, 2011

Updates?

Anyone have any updates? Brad & I have been making a team effort to make things better after a rough patch a few weekends ago. I had been convicted on some things throughout the month of February & he really opened my eyes to how important it was to him that I start working on things. And then when Ethan spoke on Malachi, we both ended up being convicted on being a better marriage team. Double whammy. Ugh! So, far, (it's only been 2 weeks) things are going much better. One of the biggest helps for me personally, is prayer. Second has been just to train my mind. Once I do this, it'll come naturally and things will be bliss, right?! Just kidding. I really do have to train myself to work on things though. That mixed with a lot of prayer is going to be huge. I just wanted to write on here and check in with everyone. Pray, pray, pray. You will not be disappointed. And have others praying for you too! Especially, if working on this stuff is a real struggle for you. I finally broke down & let some women know how much I needed support & accountability with working on my marriage. I love that we have that within our church & it really helps me to know I have them working with me to make the changes :) Hope you have a great Saturday. Let's be a team & help each other when/if needed to keep these changes up!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In It For the Long Run

There is less than a week to go and I know for me personally this has been an amazing month in SO many ways.  I've personally experienced some highs and lows but have gained so much in trying hard to be the wife my husband needs.  I've realized that sometimes when you are trying the hardest, you also fall the hardest because your letting down all of the guards that have kept you from reaching as far as you could.  All of this is to say, that last week was one of those weeks for me!!  It was such a catch 22 in that I had to let go of the thing that was helping me keep my focus so that I could... focus on the goal of loving my husband!  This was so from the Lord because I was getting caught up in the 'month of love' that I lost sight of the fact that this is Not meant to be temporary but Permanent.  Once the 28 days are up, this doesn't mean I go back to the old naggy wife routine.  No, I want to continue to be my husband's helpmate, his greatest encourager and supporter, his best friend, his soulmate designed specially for him. There is nothing but goodness here, we are giving glory to our Lord and Savior, we are a testimony to others and let's not forget the positive effects that we will see in our husbands....Wow!  It can ONLY get better.  So I want to encourage you all to look back at this month so far, at the changes you've made mentally and emotionally and even physically through your actions by putting him first.  He may not have noticed very much but have you noticed?  Are you seeing ways that when you put in that extra effort you get a lot more out of it? Let's keep that going in these last few days and let us not be afraid to step out of the box and reach a little farther because it is so worth it!!  Trust me!

-Nicole

Friday, February 18, 2011

Great Expectations

"Marriage is great when two people enter into it with a mutual commitment to keep it strong no matter what. But often a couple will have preconceived ideas about who the other is and how married life is supposed to be, and then reality hits...You have to continually PRAY that any unreal expectations be exposed and all incompatibilities be smoothed out so you grow together in a spirit of unity, commitment and a bond of intimacy. Pray that your marriage is a place where two agree so God will be in the midst of it (Matthew 18:19-20)." -Chapter on Marriage from "Power Of A Praying Wife"

I think the last two sentences have really hit home for me with the most intensity these past weeks. MY expectations have always been a mood KILLER in my marriage and one of Scott's biggest frustrations in trying to live up to them. Poor guy!

Since this challenge started, my focus has shifted from my expectations to focusing on my husband. It has been such a breath of FRESH AIR to us both. In fact, this past Valentine's day was the best we have had since before we were married! We had a blast from the beginning of the day to the very end and it all came down to the fact that I went into the day NOT EXPECTING ANYTHING!! So every little hug, every extra moment of tender time together was a bonus to me! I can't express to you what a joy it was to us both to go on a date and not get irritated, or frustrated with the other person. It was AWESOME! It will be a Valentine's Day I will always remember, not because of flowers, cards, candy or a catered meal, but because I enjoyed every moment for what it was...time to love and be loved by my man!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"Friends Are Friends Forever"

Yesterday on the prayer calendar we were to pray for our husbands relationships. Reading in the portion in the book "Power Of A Praying Wife" was an encouragement to me in realizing the value of our external relationships with people outside our marriages. As I read, it occurred to me what an amazing blessing we have been given through the focus our church has on fellowship and family. Here is a portion taken from the chapter on Relationships:

"Isolation is not healthy. We all need the influence of good people to keep us on the right path. Every married couple should have at least two strong believing couples with whom they can share encouragement, strength, and the richness of their lives. Being around such people....is fulfilling and it helps us keep perspective when things seem to grow out of proportion. Having the positive qualities of other people rub off on us is the best thing for a marriage."

I have seen the benefits of such "relationships" first hand and have experienced the "rubbing off of positive qualities". Scott and I have even been our way to a friends house and been in an argument, gotten there and ended up enjoying our time immensely and left feeling connected and happy with each other. Remarkable!

Maybe a challenge for this week or in the upcoming week could be to make time to get together with another couple and enjoy some encouraging fellowship...maybe even spur each other on a bit in the process! How blessed we are that God gave us the ability to "meet together with one another in love"!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

I have been thinking a lot about my attitude towards Aaron. A lot of times, I can get very discontent with myself or circumstances around me (like money, busy schedules, being tired) that I'm completely blinded to what Aaron's needs are or caring for him how I should be. I think women in general have to guard their minds as well as their hearts from negativity and complaining. I'm speaking to myself also as I write this! I constantly have to keep my focus on the Lord and the eternal value of what I do/feel each day because it's easy to turn the focus back on myself and let my heart get hard. I believe God wants us to replace negativity with gratitude. We are saved by His grace which is a far bigger gift than I can ever fathom, and we have husbands who are such a blessing and are chosen by our all-knowing Creator himself, not to mention all the many blessings we are surrounded with and take for granted every day. It's also very needed to tell your husband consistently how thankful you are for him, who he is and what he does for you. I have been trying to work on this so far this month, and I feel like I fail far too much. But, I try to start with checking my heart and making sure I replace discontentment with gratitude, then it's easier to a positive attitude overflow to my husband and Keagan. Aaron definitely reacts in a positive way when I greet him with a smile, hugs and kisses or grateful encouragement. A positive attitude also has a huge impact on all the areas of oneness that Lev has said 1 Corinthians teaches us to have in our marriages. I think this could stretch into all areas of my life besides just my marriage, but it's a good place to start. I'm also trying to be more calm during "discussions" or conflicts that we have and not just assume that what I'm thinking is right. I think I will be battling my negative attitudes for the rest of my life, but with God's help, he can help me overcome Satan's lies that my desires are more important than what God wants or more important than caring for those around me, especially Aaron. Please keep me accountable to this. I need all of your help!

Philippians 2:5-8

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross!"

James 6:8-10

"The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."

-Mikaela

Friday, February 11, 2011

L-O-V-E

Hey GAC Ladies,

Nicole asked me to share some thoughts with you that she and I have shared together, since we’ve started this little love challenge.  When I began the love challenge I was trying to think of some really great things to do for Aaron in the month of February that would really show him just how much I love, respect and appreciate him.  I had thought about packing him nice lunches, giving him cards and notes of encouragement, making him coffee every morning, making a special dinner including all of his favorites, and one of his favorite things would be a nice long neck and back rub.  These are all acts of love that I know he would really appreciate and really enjoy, but they are things that I only do about once a year.  So here we are 10 days into this challenge and I haven't even done one of these!  At the end of each day I feel like I am really failing in my intentions and as usual I am letting everything else (kids, pets, other family members, friends, the computer and laziness) come before my husband.  The only thing I HAD been doing each day is showing him more love than usual, mostly in the way of hugs, kisses and physical touch.  Now I know my husband likes these things, but I didn’t actually think they would be on the top of his list, they certainly weren’t on the top of mine for what would show the MOST love.   I also didn’t think it would catch his attention as much as it did.  Well, to my surprise, a few days into the challenge Aaron had thanked me for how loving I had been with him.  This caught me off guard so much that I couldn’t quite grasp his sincerity.   So after hearing his praise I was thinking that was really nice, but now I am going to REALLY step it up and get started on the list of things I thought I would do for him.  Then last night, 9 days into the challenge some of the ladies from small group and I were sharing how our experiences are going with the challenge.  After hearing some of the things the other ladies had been doing, I again felt a bit like a failure. I have not gone above and beyond and to me that is what I should be doing in this love challenge.  So I thought again, I have to step it up and do some of these things I set out to do in the beginning.  Well to my surprise I sat down this morning to check my email and there was an email from Aaron titled: I LOVE YOU.  I am going to add parts of his email because it is just easier than me trying to retype his words, I cut a little out from the email because it is a little personal :)..........
 Hi Babe,
 Before I get wrapped up into my day and all the chaos of customers, I wanted to take a minute to tell you how much you mean to me.  I see how hard you’ve been trying to be a good wife to me the last week and it means the world.  What I desire most on this earth is your love and attention and you’ve been sooooo good at giving it to me that it makes all the other stuff seem so easy.  Sure, I want a clean house and all that stuff but the way you’ve been loving on me is so much more to me.  I also wanted to apologize for not being the Godly leader I need to be.  I really need to bring God back to the center of our relationship and I will be working on that.  I get frustrated sometimes when I don’t feel like you’re connecting with God but I know that a lot of that has to come from me..I need to lead in this regard and I’m sorry for falling short.
 All this to say…
 I love you sooo much and I miss you and I love the fact that I don’t want to come to work…I just want to be with you.  I miss you and can’t wait to see your pretty face again today!
 Have a great day!  I love you!

As I am rereading this I am a little embarrassed and shocked at myself to be sharing this with you because if it were any other group of women who didn’t know me as well as you, I would be afraid this would be taken in a boastful way, but I love and trust you all SO much!  With all of that being shared I just wanted to express how misaligned my own assumptions have been.  I really truly thought these big wonderful expressions would do a lot more than the lttle things and how wrong I was!  I know there have been times when I’ve been so unloving Aaron hasn’t wanted to be with me, so my littlest of actions have spoken volumes and not just to me but obviously to my man J It has also been such a great impact on him that it has convicted him to see his need for stepping up as a Godly leader  and I NEVER intended or expected that.  In fact, I could have nagged him to the point that he may have wanted to avoid me AND the Lord.  So on that note if you feel like the day has passed you by and you didn't have time to really do what you thought you would do for your hubby or maybe you were just in a bad mood and he may have noticed it, it's never too late to just love on him!  
~Kerry