Sacrifice or Investment?

 

This week was marked with a sad goodbye. We knew it would happen eventually but were surprised by the emotions that came with it. Our treadmill saw its final run. There was no warning, so I didn’t appreciate our last hurrah the way I would have. I was probably not even paying attention to the run. I knew the day would come when it would no longer go, but after 16 years you start to wonder if it will last forever. Continue reading “Sacrifice or Investment?”

Why Has It Worked? The 3 A’s

 

Have you ever lived life with a friend that seems to have a specific area of life mastered? Maybe it is an area that you find yourself struggling. I know in my life, I have been blessed to have relationships with women that rock the role of running their homes. They have it all going like a well oiled machine. I love to learn in areas that I am very aware that I come up short. When I spend time with those women, I find that many times I am asking questions about things that have not stopped to analyze. While they make lists and organize, they are not following a system that they read about somewhere. It is just something they do well. When it comes down to it, there is so much value in taking the time to figure out why something works. In our personal lives, we spend a large portion of our time focused on what we don’t do well, asking God for help in those areas. If that time is for the purpose of improvement, than it is time well spent. If that time is simply to beat ourselves up, we are wasting some very precious moments.

Many life changing books exist because someone took the time to sit down and detail just what went right. While they know the Holy Spirit has graciously lead them, they have are pausing to think about why it all worked. As believers, we know that the Holy Spirit is so sweet to guide us and wants to help us. We are not in this journey alone.

As a reader, I am thankful for those writers, teachers and pastors that take the time to write and share wisdom they have gained simply by living life and submitting to God. This post is my attempt to do just that. I want to detail some practical steps that I have seen work in marriage. I am not running on my own on this. I have processed with Kam. It is what we do. We process it all. The good. The bad. And the ugly.

The Three A’s of Growing Together:

Before I get to the three A’s I just want to say that I could have titled it the The Three A’s of Dealing with Conflict or Confrontation in Marriage. That subtitle sounds so negative and really misses the amazing byproduct of dealing with conflict in a healthy way. Growth! Growth is not easy. As a kid you may remember experiencing growing pains. As a parent of two gentle giants, I have listened to my boys complain about growth pains. If you have ever been a member of an organization or even a church, you may understand the idea of growth pains. It may be uncomfortable and as the name suggests, it may be painful, but growth is good. Remember that as you grow in your marriage. Hebrews 12:11 refers to the pain that is associated with discipline but says that it yields peaceful fruit and righteousness. I know all marriages could use some peaceful fruit to be yielded.

  1. Attitude – So let’s just be totally honest. The Three A’s could actually be attitude for number 1, 2 and 3. It is just that important. Your attitude when you are working on any kind of conflict in your marriage will change everything. A synonym for attitude is position. What is your position? Are your intentions to win a fight? Your attitude is a result of your belief. What do you believe about your spouse and about your marriage? Asking a few heart questions can calm the roller coaster that our thoughts and feelings can take us on.

    Paul writes in Philippians 2 verse 3 how Christ is the ultimate example of living in humility. The Bible says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit but with (an attitude of) humility regard others as more important than yourselves.” Starting in verse 4 it says, “Do not merely look out for your own personal interest, but also for the interest of others.”

  2. Approach – This word can actually be found under the lengthy definition for attitude. Your approach is huge. I often hear Kam counseling with both couples and parents and I hear him explain the importance of responding and not reacting. Reacting is void of thought. It is quick. It does not take the consequences of your actions into account. Responding is thought out. It allows for a deep breath. Responding is an approach that is not led by feelings. Your approach can help diminish further pain and move you toward intimacy.

    When we are dating, we put so much thought into our approach. Should I call? What should I say? How should I say it? Is it too soon? It is a thought out action with the other person in mind. Marriages would benefit from communication with that much care involved.

  3. Actions – When I sat down to write, I had to include actions. The word action is also at the end of the definition for  attitude in the dictionary. No joke. You will just have to take my word that I had no idea. So technically, attitude could be all three points. There is the old adage “Actions speak louder than words.” It is so true. While your lips may be giving the answer, “I am not mad,” your folded arms and lack of eye contact are saying something totally different. Trust me I know. Ask my dad if I have ever been disciplined for the immense amount of attitude showing in my actions. Your actions signal as much as your words to your spouse about whether or not you really want to work on your differences. Notice I didn’t say ‘work out’ your differences. Your differences are where your strengths lie, so don’t work them out, just work on them. Remember when you are addressing the hard parts of your relationship that your actions are literally saying whether your heart wants your spouse to move closer or farther away. Sometimes in the midst of frustration, a simple touch on the shoulder or a sweet hug speaks more than words and may be enough to spark the words you need for growth to occur.

    I love the story of Ruth. When Ruth is working in the fields she realizes that Boaz is offering her special treatment. Naomi gives her some very interesting instructions for her interactions with Boaz. In Ruth 3:4, Naomi says, “When he lies down, notice the place where he is lying, and go and uncover his feet and lie down.” Naomi is giving her action steps to let Boaz know her intentions. She didn’t verbally tell him she was ready to be his girl, she showed him. Being the first to act can take courage. Be brave!

In real estate they say that the key is location, location, location. In marriage, I would say that the key is attitude, attitude, attitude.

Our Fairy Tale Marriage: Is That Even Possible?

 

While I have spent a large amount of time over the last decade writing, there are some topics I have NOT visited. Over the years I have written about parenting, prayer, forgiveness, faith, God’s will, fear, anger and many others. Take one visit to the ‘Inspirational’ section at any book store and you will quickly see that there is no shortage of resources on marriage. There are hundreds, if not thousands of books on the market about the topic of marriage. Continue reading “Our Fairy Tale Marriage: Is That Even Possible?”

5 Reasons to Offer Your Leaders Grace: Follow up to “The Backside of Leadership”

 

Leaders need grace too. Those following a leader in some capacity need to understand those four words. Leaders aren’t perfect. They are imperfect people trying to take other imperfect people on a journey of sorts. Let’s look at 5 reasons to offer your leader grace: Continue reading “5 Reasons to Offer Your Leaders Grace: Follow up to “The Backside of Leadership””

The Backside of Leadership: And Maybe A Story About Poo

 

 

The Backside of Leadership: and Maybe a Story About Poo!

The Bible is an amazing book filled with truths that we need everyday. Lessons in the bible were written from the culture and perspective of that specific time. When I read the Bible, I often times need to mentally remember what was happening in the time frame of each story. For instance, life lessons are often taught through stories of fishing and farming. I have zero experience in either of those areas so I have to adjust my mind to relate to what that looks like in that context. Continue reading “The Backside of Leadership: And Maybe A Story About Poo”

things are NOT as they seem

Anyone who has ever driven a car knows the side mirrors on a vehicle have a disclaimer: “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” God often teaches me through the simplest things, and He is faithful to stick to this method. I suppose it just shows that I’m a simple girl. So it didn’t surprise me when He spoke to me through my side mirror recently. He showed me that social media often works just like our side mirrors. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram should come with a similar disclaimer that says: “Lives displayed on social media may appear better than they actually are!” Continue reading “things are NOT as they seem”

Don’t Rely On Science

While I would never have thought of myself as a women struggling with infertility, the facts seem to say something entirely different. My husband Kam and I got married in college and found ourselves enjoying the married life. We truly were in no rush to have kids. I was completely unaware that having kids did not necessarily follow the ideas in our heads when we were planning the rest of our lives. I think if I would have known to fear the possibility of having children, I probably would have rushed the process.

Just us.jpg

Continue reading “Don’t Rely On Science”

Thin Mints

The beginning of the year had arrived and it was time for our churchwide fast to seek God for the year. I had made a decision to enter a contest/accountability group that was following the Paleo lifestyle. We had to track food, sleep, water intake, exercise and vitamins. I was highly motivated because the top 3 winners would be awarded a free entrance to a color run. For those who have not done a color fun run, it can cost up to $40. Being the frugal girl that I am, I was ready to take on the challenge.

Continue reading “Thin Mints”