Sunday, July 26, 2015

To The Finish! Our 18th Anniversary

 You know you are die hard theme park junkies when you go to Busch Gardens for your anniversary.  It's true and we are ok with that!  Our second official date was to Six Flags in St. Louis. 
 My gift was 18 roses, bracelet, and GuyLian chocolates- YUMMY!!!! 
 Much more than the yummy chocolates though is the gift of starting over.  You know sometimes you have to fight for your marriage.  You have to take the thought process of starting over.  Not that you can erase the past because you can't.  You can't gloss over it, but God does allow healing to take place and for you to start over with each other. 
 This takes ongoing practice of learning more about your spouse.  Who are they?  What are their likes and why?  Why do they react to you the way they do?  What is their love language (which by the way over the years can change)?  What are their faults and hangups?  Are there things that we need to work out? 

The questions go on and on, but it is all about learning so you can both grow!  That's right it takes both of you to have the start over attitude.  However, if one of you starts the ball rolling you would be amazed at the results.  I love the Movie Fireproof!  Why because it was a challenge and I love a good challenge.  I think it has to do with my stubborn streak ;).

 The challenge is to study your spouse, but not expect them to change.  (Repeat this to yourself a few times.)

The change starts with you making small changes.  Praying for your spouse and for you to see healing.  Doing something intentional to be kind to the other.  Giving them gifts (according to their love languages).  Being available to them.  Offer them help with what they normally do.  Showing affection even if it is a small token to begin with.  Doing these things regularly.
 In the movie he is challenged to do new things every day that take time and care on his part.  In the beginning he doesn't want to do it.  He is just going through the motions, but by the end God had worked a miracle in his heart and he was chasing after his wife.  Who notices this huge change. 
 It is easy to try to think of all the big things in our marriage or you in your marriage that need help.  It is easy to focus on the impossibility of you making those changes- so don't.  Work on things you can.  If your spouse is up for it work on those little things together.  If not work on it yourself because I guarantee if you are falling in love with God and chasing after your spouse they will notice. 
 This is not a cure all, but a place to start the healing in your marriage.  All I can say is personal testimony- God has brought us through 4 years of rough, hard, difficult, throw in the towel times.  Both of us have stuck with it when it would have been easy to call it quits and we have repledged- To The Finish!
I will love him To The Finish!  He will still make mistakes and so will I.  Many many many many many mistakes.  We will go through rough patches again.  We will have to face mountains together again.  God has spoken to us clearly to hang in there.  We are each others gift.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Marriage- We are all a work in progress

Whew now that I just finished doing junior high and senior high camps I am back and somewhat caught up on sleep.  The pictures today are from our date night that we had on our Weekend To Remember. 

Something to remember for all of of us in our marriages is that we are all a work in progress.  Whether we had a great life, had a lot of trauma as young children or young adults, if this is our first or second marriage, or if we have no idea what we are doing we are all a work in progress.  That is the beauty of living your life for Christ because we continue to grow and change. 

We are all in the process of healing from something and growing into the person God wants us to be.  Of course you can be in the stage of rejecting what God wants for you as well.  Either way I want you all to think about your spouse and all the changes you have experienced together so far since you first met.

I am pretty sure we would all start thinking of those first days we met.  Then preparation for marriage, our actual wedding day, those many memories from then until now.  It's a lot to comprehend isn't it?  I know for me it is.

We have lived in 3 states, had 10 jobs, 5 houses, and some very temporary housing as well, adopted 9 children, and...... those are just some of the "big things" we have faced.  

In the midst of all of that we have changed.  We have had times of depression, happiness, anxiety, hateful thoughts, hurt feelings (from each other and others), and have had many many arguments.  In those we have learned a lot about our spouses.  Maybe we have taken those things and tried to implement those into our daily lives.  We have been sensitive to what our spouse needs.

Sometimes we use those things as revenge or to hurt the other person even more.  We are all masters of selfishness remember.  Nothing like bringing up old junk to just stab our spouse with it.  

I can be so narrow in my thoughts as to only think about what I want and what I need in the moment.  I want to have my way all the time and to be in charge thank you very much.  Take this evening that we had together away from the kids.  I got mad at Jason because he had planned going to the Orlando Eye and Aquarium, and I wanted to just chill at the hotel and swim and talk. 

Ridiculous- I know.  It almost ruined our evening.  Why?  Because I had set in my mind what we would do, and I wanted it my way.  Jason wanted to surprise me and had planned something for us to do. 

Looking back on it- I feel so silly.  Jason had taken the time to plan something for us.  He had thought about it and booked it.  Sometimes being a work in progress means we have to say- I am sorry or I was wrong....a lot!

It means we have to keep sharing about our struggles and our past hurts with each other so we can continue to listen and open our hearts to our spouses.  It means that we will make mistakes on a daily and even hourly basis. 

It also means we do change and then we have to start again with figuring each other out.  It's a moving target and we are going to have to follow it if we have any hope of understanding each other.  

I would encourage you today to really seek God about where you are in your marriage.  On a scale of 1-10 where would you rate your marriage overall.  Start thinking about why you gave it that rating.  Are there things you can start doing today to start improving your marriage. 

I will be doing some more marriage posts soon.....  In prayer about what God is teaching us and I pray you as well.