Tuesday, February 11, 2014

To Everything There is a Season, and this season has come to an end...


I'd like to say that I've thought about this long and hard, but I haven't. Why? Because I didn't need to. My beautiful Savior, through much prayer and seeking His face, has made absolutely no doubt about His plans for me and this blog. And I have such an amazing peace -- that peace that surpasses all understanding.

When I first started A Godly Marriage in an Ungodly World, I started it with the intent to help others, especially wives, understand what their roles were within their marriage. And quite honestly, I wanted to learn as well.

The more I discovered, the more I shared.

And so began this beautiful relationship that I've had with so many of my readers. Its been an amazing experience, and there's nothing that could really measure up to it. Not only have I learned more about my relationship with my husband, I've learned more about my relationship with Christ.

You pushed me.

You challenged me.

In such an amazingly good way. You encouraged me in my relationship with God, and for that, I cannot thank you enough.

With that said, my season is now coming to an end. I certainly haven't learned all that there is to learn about marriage, or life. But there is so much more in store for my life, and I feel Him drawing me away from this now. There was certainly a time and a season for this ministry that He built, but it is now coming to an end. I felt it very strongly recently, especially after I completed my series, What is a Godly Marriage?

I felt, all along, that writing that series was my main purpose for even creating this blog -- but before I could successfully write the series, I needed to have your attention...and I gained it, quickly. I was real. I was me. What you see is what you got -- Jesus, He was even more amazing through it all.

So without further ado, I bid you farewell. I'll still pop in from time to time on facebook. I'll still encourage you as much as possible when you have questions -- when you email me or message me on facebook. I'm still here, just not "here" completely. This blog has served its purpose, its calling.

And now, it's time for me to focus on the rest of my journey, of which you were all an amazing part of.

What will I do now, you ask? Well, for now, I'll enjoy motherhood. I'll encourage myself to be the best wife and mother that I can be. I'll concentrate on homeschooling, homemaking, and loving them both, even through the hard days. And most of all, I'll be still, quiet, and patient...as the Lord takes His precious time showing me what He has planned for me next.

Do feel free to follow me over on my Boogers and Jesus blog. It is not updated often, as it is more personal than anything else. I also have a facebook page setup for it, though again, not updated often.

I hope that you understand, and I feel as though most of you will. This is something that I have prayed fervently about this evening, and more than ever, I know that it is the right step in my journey with Christ.

I challenge you to make your marriage a priority -- to be the spouse that the Bible calls you to be. I encourage you to search the word of God, and not only to search His word, but to search His heart....often.

Until next time.....

Love and Blessings,
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger, in the presence of my Savior. 
-- Hillsong


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Being Cautious of Opposite Gender Acquaintances

Sometimes in marriage, we become too trusting of other's. Wives, especially, think that no one could find them attractive other than their husband, and husbands are oblivious when other women are flirting. But when we add social media or text messaging into the mix, we create a dangerous concoction of emotions and blindly walk into situations that could be avoided.

Unfortunately, in today's society, you can never be too careful, but there's also such a thing as being overly cautious -- to the point of being obnoxious. But a little bit of caution goes a long way, and we should, rightfully, be on guard at all times.

This morning I received a text message from an old "friend". And while it was harmless, I know our history, and it wasn't something I felt comfortable with. It's one thing to talk business with someone, but it's another thing to randomly text message them. While I knew nothing would come of it, I felt as though it was disrespectful to my husband, even though it had nothing to do with him or anything inappropriate.

I was cautious. I kept our conversation short and to the point, and I think he got the point without me coming out and saying it. But it reminded me that if you give a little, Satan can take a lot. Not necessarily from you, but from the other person.

You see, you don't just have to think about yourself stumbling. You have to realize that your involvement in someone's life could cause them to stumble, as much as they don't want to. Therefore, it isn't just their problem, it is also your responsibility, as a Christian, to remove yourself from the situation.


Sometimes we could use a little help trying to figure out what these people are really after when we speak to them, so here are a few things to help you think about when interacting with acquaintances of the opposite gender, or people from past relationships.

Is There any Unwholesome Talk?
Are they talking badly about their spouse? Are you or they talking badly about yours? Is there inappropriate talk or gestures, as funny as they may seem at the time, that could lead to something bigger? Are you or they confiding on a very personally emotional level? Do they speak to you (or you to them) when you're bored or have alone time? If you answer yes to any of these questions, it's time to take a step back. You are creating an atmosphere that can easily turn into a downward spiral that's not very easy to get out of. No one wakes up one morning and says, "I think I'll have an affair today." It happens in the heart and mind before it ever happens physically. It is a gradual process and can happen before you realize what is taking place.

How Would Your Spouse Feel About It?
In moments like today's, I often stop and think about my husband. What would he think about the text messages that I'm receiving, even if they are harmless. My husband and I are completely open with one another and I will express my concern to him whenever I feel uncomfortable about something. While it's happening, think in your mind, "would my spouse appreciate me talking to this person this way? or at all?" If at any time you think that your spouse wouldn't appreciate it, then stop the conversation immediately or drop the touchy subject that you're talking about. If you have any concern with this person or the relationship you have with them, express your concerns to your spouse so that they are aware instead of being blind sided should this "friend" make a very noticeable pass.

Are You a Stumbling Block?
It has always amazed me how people can remain friends after a dating relationship fails. I, personally, cannot.  It makes me feel awkward. But even more so, it must be awkward for our spouses if we remain friends with someone that we've had an intimate (not necessarily sexually intimate) relationship with. If we don't have feelings for that person, we become oblivious to what they might be feeling for us. Pay attention. And if at any point you feel like they are more emotionally involved in your relationship than necessary, then it's time to step away from the relationship as much as possible, if not completely. In Romans 14:21 we're told that we should not be in a situation, do or say anything, that causes our brother to stumble. If you, yourself, simply being in their lives is a stumbling block for them, especially if they are married as well, then it's time to move on and take yourself away from it. Not just for yourself, but for your fellow brother or sister in Christ. If you are knowingly causing your brother or sister to stumble, it is sinful. You are causing this person to sin, and it's just as bad as you sinning yourself.

Are They a Stumbling Block for You?
It's easy to try and lie to yourself, but what we all need to realize is that we're human beings, and sin is a very real thing. We don't like to think that we could fall into a romantic affair, whether an emotional or physical affair, with someone other than our spouse. But it happens. We must guard our hearts and minds, because our marriages are not worth losing. Is there someone in your life that is a stumbling block for you? Do you find yourself overly flirtatious when speaking with them? Are you any of the above? Emotionally attached? Are they an outlet for when things get rough at home? Do you confide in them or think about them often? If so, you most certainly need to end the relationship as much as possible. I understand that it is hard at times, especially in business scenarios. But it is necessary. Should you find that you're becoming emotionally involved in someone's life, even if it's not physically, run far away in the other direction.
"You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell." Matthew 5:27-30 NKJV
We must be careful and extremely cautious with opposite gender acquaintances and those who we've had a relationship with in the past. Society tells us that it's ok. And while in many cases it is completely harmless, it can quickly turn into something very dangerous. Your entire marriage could fail because of your deliberate pit of oblivion, because of you simply not being cautious of other people's emotions....or even your own.
"Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life."
Proverbs 4:34 NKJV

{Winners Announced!!} The Virtuous Life Giveaway!

Thank you guys so much for your entries to this months giveaway of Darlene Schacht's (Time-Warp Wife) newest book, The Virtuous Life of the Christ-Centered Wife!! There were so many wonderful women who entered into the giveaway, but only 5 of you can win.



Congrats to the below winners!! Please contact me at agodlymarriageblog(at)gmail.com to claim your prize!!

Laura H.
Lea S.
Earl-Marjo A.
Jenna P.
Jill W.

If I don't hear from you within 48 hours, I will certainly try to contact you via email if you provided your email address in your entry.

Love and Blessings!!

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Monday, January 27, 2014

{Giveaway} The Virtuous Life of a Christ-Centered Wife


I am SO extremely excited to bring you this giveaway this week! I am extra excited to read Darlene Schacht's newest book, The Virtuous Life of a Christ-Centered Wife -- 18 Powerful Lessons for Personal Growth.

I don't know about you, but as a wife, I still have a lot left to learn....and I always will. Darlene's books are amazing, and they are packed full of helpful Christ centered tips for every day wives like you and I. Darlene has a way with words, and it shines through in every sentence she writes. When I first got Darlene's book, The Good Wife's Guide, I thought to myself "this is going to make me feel bad about myself"...and yet, it absolutely did the opposite. Darlene has a wonderful way of uplifting wives and letting them know that they aren't alone!!! She has blessed this wife's soul more than she knows!

Enough blabbering from me, though :)

I want to share this incredible book with as many wives as possible, all while helping Darlene promote it in the process. So, Darlene has been so amazing and has allowed me to give away FIVE copies of her PDF version of her new book! Yes, this version CAN be downloaded (manually) to your kindle and tablet.


HERE'S HOW YOU ENTER:
Entries begin TUESDAY JANUARY 28TH!!



Simply click through the options on the little rafflecopter below and you'll be entered into the drawing!! 



Winner's will be announced TUESDAY FEBRUARY 4TH!!

Be sure to come back daily for extra chances to win :)


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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dear Wife Who's Struggling With Her Body Image....


I so get you.

For the past 8 years I have struggled with the way I feel about myself. The saddest part is that 8 years ago, I was 60 lbs lighter than I am now.

When I had my son, I actually weighed less than I do now. I attribute it completely to severe morning sickness, because I actually lost 20 lbs in my first trimester. I was back into my pre-pregnancy jeans 2 weeks postpartum...

....and I was happy.

But I found that my happiness came more from little baby coo's and giggles. And that I soon gained all of my weight back. And that made me a not so happy wife.

Dear Wife who's struggling with her body image,

I get it.

I look at myself in the mirror and think, "gross".

I try to lose weight and quite honestly I just don't have the time for it. Is that an excuse? No. But people don't really understand it when you say that. There are certainly lazy people in this world, but there are also extremely busy wives and many of which have children running around their home all day. We're lucky if we remember to feed them...

But I do have time for one thing. I have time to eat healthy. And while it's only a baby step, it's a step. Eating healthier has made me feel so much better about myself. And even though I haven't lost a lot of "weight", I feel better.

Dear Wife...throw that scale out of the window.

You.Are.Beautiful.

And when your husband tells you you're beautiful, smile. Because believe it or not, he means it.

You see, your beauty doesn't just come from the way you look. In fact, most of your beauty really is on the inside. In fact, your sweet inner quiet spirit is much more desirable. And if you happen to have a smokin' body -- well, that's just a bonus.

Dear Wife -- the Bible never says you have to be skinny, but the Bible does say that you are a beautiful creation no matter what you look like. The Bible doesn't say that you have to eat cardboard, but the Bible does say that gluttony is a sin, and that we should take care of the Lord's temple, which is our very own body. The Bible doesn't say that unless you weigh 115 lbs, you are obese. But the Bible does say that you are loved by an amazing God who looks at your heart, rather than your outer appearance.

And while this isn't an excuse or letter allowing you to let yourself go or not try to live a healthy lifestyle -- it is a letter letting you know that

you're gorgeous.
you're amazing.
you aren't ugly.
you aren't "gross".
your husband really does think you're beautiful.
you don't have to have a flat stomach -- now or 10 years from now.
you don't have to fit into a size 2 pant or even a size 12.
your kids think you're awesome, especially when you're covered in face paint.
your husband thinks you're even more awesome when you're covered in face paint (and yes, he really does love your tiger striped belly).
your body is a distraction, start thinking of it in a positive light. you.are.hot.
you are bootylicious -- so much so that spell check can't even find that bootyliciousness in it's spelling chart...now I'm just making it mad.
your scale is a liar, and don't believe a single thing it tells you.
you're fabulous, and I guarantee that there is another woman who looks at you and on the inside says to herself, "if only I looked like her". Don't believe me? I'd bet my last dollar...and I'm not kidding (because it has happened to me...and I laughed hysterically and told her to go see a neurologist).
you will look even more gorgeous if you smile and buy clothes that aren't 2 sizes too small simply because you can't accept the fact that you've gained weight. And when you're comfortable (yet classy), you carry yourself better, therefore, you look your best. Own it, girlfriend.

and most of all...

you will never lose weight unless you accept yourself as you are now.

Because you will constantly be disappointed with the outcome, even if you lose 5 lbs in one week.

Embrace it. You are what you are right now, and it can change. But before it can change, your heart must change. You must love yourself first, so that you can love yourself enough to change -- to have a healthier lifestyle, to eat  healthier, and to maybe even fit in a workout once a week (running up and down stairs after a 3 year old is acceptable).

So here's to us, struggling wife...

Those of us who feel gross. Those of us who aren't happy with our flabby stomachs and double chins.

Here's to us...

I love you, I love myself, and I hope that you can see just how amazing you really are.

Here's to living a healthier lifestyle before ever caring about what the scale says or what the next popular diet is.

And trust me, you'll be much happier...




Sometimes You're a Junk Tree, Sometimes You're a Mighty Oak

Whenever we drive down a back road (and there are lots of those here), I always comment about how beautiful the wooded area's are. And it never fails -- my husband's response is, most of the time, "oh, those are just junk tree's...nothing pretty about them". I'd always let it go though, because I felt like I should automatically know what junk tree's are since I'm married to a lawn care and property maintenance specialist!

A few weeks ago, the same comment was made, and I finally mustered up the courage to ask the question, what are junk trees?

It's one of those moments that are so simple, yet so astounding. My mind was literally "blown".

Apparently, a junk tree is just that, "junk". It's a tree that really has no purpose or benefit to us. It's like the weed of the tree family. It's a nuisance, it's not pretty, it makes it hard to walk through forests, and sometimes they can be poisonous.

"But they must have a purpose..", I said.

My husband shrugged, and replied, "why must they have a purpose?"

"Because everything God created has a purpose, so what's their purpose?"

He stopped and smiled, "only you...".



As we drove on, he preceded to tell me that even though junk tree's can be a nuisance, they are vital to a forest. You see, junk tree's grow quickly, like a weed, and shelter the larger, firm foundation tree's. Junk tree's protect larger tree's (Oak's, Chestnut, Cedar, etc) from harsh weather and sunlight. They give them fertile ground in which to grow and help their roots dig deep into the ground. And when the time comes for that little sapling to become a mighty oak, the junk tree takes a back seat, moves aside and goes onto the next sapling that needs nurtured. In most cases, many saplings at one time.

It's funny, because that's how life is. No matter who you are or why you were created,

you were created for greatness.

Even though, to the human eye, those junk tree's are a nuisance to us...they have no purpose in our lives -- they have great purpose in God's creation.

They have a hard job to do, which they are never once rewarded for. But they never say, "I give up".

In the end, they take a step back and admire all of their hard work as they watch the tree that they nurtured soar high above them and cast them to the side beneath their shadows.

But...they.never.stop.

They move on to the next job...knowing that they will be rained on, snowed on, and pushed to their limits once again. That they will give all that they have and yet never once be awarded by the one that they've nurtured after it's all said and done.

They're just junk tree's...

But even a junk tree has an amazing calling. A purpose for everything under the sun...

Sometimes we're junk tree's, and sometimes we're mighty oak's.

But no matter which one you are,

you.are.loved. 

And your purpose far exceeds what your human mind can fathom.

Never forget that.

And if nothing else, at least you'll think of God's creation in a slightly different light the next time you see a junk tree...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Personal | Stop Being a Carbon Copy


A few days ago a friend of mine, who's also a fellow blogger, posted a blog about the reality of being stalked, especially online. It's not something that we think about often, but it is so very real.

After reading her post and having a conversation with her, I realized what my next blog post should be about. It's something that I've been thinking about for a long time, but this finally brought it to fruition. No, it's not about stalking, but if taken to the next level, it could turn into stalking.

Let me first start by saying that we are all individuals that have been created by the same amazing God. But God did not create us to be completely the same. He gave each of us different strengths and weaknesses, different callings and gifts. While we are all the same, we are also all very different...and yet some how, we are still called to be the body of Christ -- one body, many branches. But so often we decide to mimic other people, whether it be a friend, family member, or actress/actor. We tend to try and duplicate the lives and ways of the people we admire the most, when in reality, it's not just admiration that drives us...it's jealousy, emotions, and the thought that the grass is greener on the other side. It's not healthy, at all. We lose our individualism, and ultimately disappoint ourselves and others over and over again. Not to mention, it's kind of creepy. 

Now, we'll start getting personal. I find it increasingly hard for me to write blogs without stopping and thinking about how I might portray myself. I will say that I have had my fair share of "posers" over the past few years of writing this A Godly Marriage blog as well as my Boogers and Jesus blog. I have had people (even those that I know personally) say to me "I want to have the life you have, the marriage you have, the children you have....I wish I could be like you." Literally, I have had 3 people say that to me in the past year, and while I loved all three unconditionally, it completely saddened my heart. The sad fact is that if you were to simply live your life and count your own blessings instead of other people's blessings, your life would be so much easier...you might even actually begin living your life to please God instead of trying to duplicate someone else's life in hopes that your life might be the same as theirs. God's life for you is so much better. But not only do you have to think about yourself, you also have to think about how it affects your spouse. It's especially hard on your spouse, because eventually, this obsession will spill over into your marriage and your expectations of them will become far more like a fairy tale than reality.

Another fact...which isn't rocket science...my life isn't perfect. If you only knew the things I've done, the things I've said, the things I still do wrong. I'm a sinner just like you. And, guess what, my husband and I have arguments....*gasp*!! Imagine that! There are even some days when he doesn't call me while he's at work because he's mad at me, and some days when I snap at him every 5 minutes so he just shuts his pie hole. But we've learned, through prayer and allowing Christ to change our hearts, how to talk through arguments, and how to make sure they don't go any further than they should. Another news flash, I'm not perfect. Please, do not put me on a pedestal, because I certainly do not put myself on one. If anything, I am brutally honest about myself, especially on my Boogers and Jesus blog. I have failed, and I fail daily. Just yesterday I yelled loudly at my child, on purpose. Yes, I felt horrible about it, my heart sank, but what's even worse is that I deliberately did it because I was completely overwhelmed and stressed as a mom. Yes, even if your job is just being a mommy, there are bad days! I did sit him down and ask him for forgiveness, but that doesn't make what I did right. Not only is it hard being a mommy, but it's hard being a toddler. I live in a broken world, as a broken person, raising a fragile little soul. I make mistakes, big ones. So please, please, don't think that when I write about things that it means they are things I haven't done or don't deal with. I'm just like you, I just choose to focus on the outcome and the positive, the purpose and the reason. And please, don't wish for a life like mine, because the life that God has planned for you is far better for you than the one He has for me.

This doesn't mean that you can't learn from other people's lives, I have certainly learned from other people through out my life and will continue to do so. This also doesn't mean that having common interests and theories is bad, not at all. But if you find yourself mimicking someones life so intensely, right down to doing the same things they put on facebook the night before, getting the same pair of glasses that they have, the same hairstyle, or find yourself trying to "out do" them all of the time, it might be time to take a step back and reevaluate yourself. You have placed this person in a higher position than God, and that is a dangerous road, my friend. A road full of disappointment, heartache, ridiculous expectations and bitterness.

Our God is a creator, not a duplicator. You were only created to mimic one person's life, and that is Jesus Christ. We're not called to duplicate the lives of other Christians; we're called to live a life like Christ. We're not called to have a perfect marriage, we're called to serve our spouse with an overabundance of grace and mercy. Jesus is the only person who walked this earth without sin, without making mistakes, without pride or shame. And the only time He's jealous is when you are too busy focusing on everything other than Him, which includes placing His plan for your life on the back burner simply because you're too worried about what you look like to others, and you disregard the perfect plan He has for you. Have you ever wondered that maybe your life is so complicated because you don't allow the Creator of the universe to share His heart with you?

Every day is a new day, and His grace is new every morning. Forget the past, focus on the future. Others will bring up your past mistakes, let them, and then tell them all that you've learned from them. I encourage you to lay down your desires, your busy mind, and your desire to be someone you aren't. I encourage you, even just for a day, to lay all of these things aside and simply search God's heart for what He longs to tell you, to show you. And even if that means allowing Him to hold you in His arms for just a little while with out saying a word, so be it. Because one touch from our Heavenly Father is worth far more than any tv show or work project -- there is healing, hope, love and kindness. His love and word is like a warm salve to our souls.
I hope that you realize just how special you are -- how beautiful you are. There is no need for you to try and duplicate someone else's life, because you are amazing all on your own. God didn't make any mistakes when He created you, He knew you before you even started trying to find yourself. You're going to fail, you're going to fall, you're going to make mistakes, your life will never be perfect, but you have a perfect God who welcomes you with open arms -- don't let "keeping up with the Jones's", be it personally or in your marriage, ruin the blessings that He has for you!!