Friday, September 21, 2012

{Happy 4th Birthday Teagan!}


Today is Teagan's birthday. I am so thankful for her sweet, bubbly, joyful personality. She is truly a blessing to our family as she often reminds me to slow down and enjoy life simply by her infectious giggles and big smile. She had a rough start with all of her delays, but with each passing day, I am reminded of God's goodness to me and am so extremely thankful for walking through that valley. As a result, I have been able to encourage others who have children with special needs as they now walk through the unknown valley. Teagan's journey has allowed me to meet remarkable people and establish and maintain a relationship that otherwise would not have existed. Thank you on behalf of Teagan, myself, and my family. You helped shape Teagan into the person she is today. How can I express enough the feelings of gratitude? I can't, but please know, all of those who came week in and week out for all those years, you will forever be a part of our lives.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

{Marriage}


I had the privilege of bringing a devotional challenge at a bridal shower today for a member of my church. As I was leaving, several people asked me for a copy of my notes. Here they are...

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I'm not sharing anything new with you, but rather things that the Lord has really made clear to me over the years that TJ and I have been married.

·         Created for your husband (Gen. 2:18)
o  Instead of the world's view that, as wives, we pick up the pieces, God created us to be our husband's missing piece.
§  God knows his flaws, antics, tastes, etc. and He created us to be exactly who our husband needs as a wife and in a wife.
o   We were created to meet the needs of our husbands, not the other way around
§  Important to remember, especially down the road if you have kids and you are feeling overwhelmed with the increased responsibility.
§  I'm not saying your husband CAN'T help you, but rather, do not EXPECT help.
§  Any help your husband gives is not a requirement, but an outward expression of his love for you
·          Submission is how we show honor and respect to our husbands (Eph. 5:22-24)
o   Respect is the husband's "oxygen life -line" just as love is our "oxygen life-line" (from the book "Love and Respect")
o   Submission is just as important in the "little things" of life as it is in the  "big things"
o I didn't know what submission looked like and often failed unknowingly
§  Submission is asking question before proceeding:
·         "Should I…?"
·         "Do you want me to…?"
§  Once kids enter the picture, it's easy to "take over" simply because you are the one home with the children all day. They are used to coming to you for permission, and when Dad is home, you need to direct them to him instead of you.
·         Your husband trusts you (Prov. 31:11-12)
o   Financially- spend money wisely, save money whenever possible, admit if you struggle and seek his help
o   Emotionally- Shut your mouth!
§  When he starts to share his heart, shut your mouth!
§  When you have a disagreement or he offends you, shut your mouth!
§  Always present your husband to others (including family & future children) in a positive way- you wouldn't want him focusing on your flaws & then sharing them with others!!
o   Physically- work just as hard to keep your husband as you did to get him!
§  Keep your marriage fun & playful, ESPECIALLY after you start having kids & you have increased demands on time and energy
§  Kiss him like you mean it!! This has been so helpful to my marriage!
§  Sexual intimacy is a NEED for your husband, so make sure you are the one satisfying that need!!
§  Years ago, a dear friend shared that she & her husband have a special candle that they light to signal to the other their desire to have sexual relations. TJ & I love that idea, but instead of lighting a candle, we just say, "The candle's lit." Immediately the other knows what that means & can plan the evening accordingly.

My challenge:  Apply these truths to your marriage so that, years down the road, you'll love your husband just as much as (if not more than) you do now.