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Most read posts from 2017 (allllll about marriage)

When I look back at 2017, I see growth. I see humility. I see conviction.

I see grace.

When I look at the ten most read posts from 2017, I see that I am not alone in the challenges and frustrations I faced as a wife. Not only challenges as a wife, but as a believer in Jesus Christ. I see that I’m not the only one who struggles to remember her identity is found in the One who created her character and I am in dire need of a Savior. In need on the daily.

When I forget his truth, my marriage suffers. My mothering suffers and many of my relationships feel the brunt. So it was no shock to me when I saw that this past year was filled with posts written from a place of growth in my marriage.

Here is a list of the ten most read posts from 2017. I will save the most read post for last but the rest are in no particular order.

1. To the husband with a controlling wife

“You didn’t realize I was a controller in the beginning. My trait seemed admirable. At first. You saw my drive to push forward even when life around me was falling apart. You saw my persistence to succeed in what I did as determination and focus. You saw the good in me when all I felt was tainted.

Fast forward over ten years later and that persistence and determination torpedoed through our marriage and into my motherhood.” Read more...

 

2. Three ways NOT to date your husband

“I had been looking forward to the date all week. It had been quite some time since we went out while someone else put the kids to bed for us. We talked about going out to eat, maybe watching a movie or seeing what events might be happening around us. Nothing solidly set other than we knew we were getting out of the house without the kids, by ourselves, as a couple.

What a precious opportunity for us to reconnect as we let the busyness of life distance us.

And there I was in the bathroom giving myself a pep talk like a teenage girl.” Read more…

 

3. When Love Languages Collide

“So why did I find myself getting stuck in the same rut over and over with my husband?

I felt like we kept running into the same problems. Sure, maybe there were new arguments developing between us like dirty diapers and disciplining the toddler; whereas, five years ago we’d fight about our conflicting hobbies and guys night out.

But the fire behind the fights were essentially the same: we were not meeting each other’s expectations. I realized he wasn’t enough for me.

I felt stuck. I felt alone.” Read more…

 

4. How I realized we weren’t really fighting about where to eat

“But in that moment in our car, voices raise and I’m not sure what we’re arguing about. We’re not yelling about my change of mind or his irritation. Not really. What we’re yelling about is the unresolved arguments from months ago.” Read more…

 

5. Marriage/Archives

Most readers ended up clicking the marriage archives to read more than just one essay. I was surprised this showed up in the top ten stats! But here they are for your perusing.

 

 

6. When your spouse starts to feel like a roommate

“It starts when we each settle into our routines in the evening, after a long day of working and parenting, that we slowly start the change. I grab my phone. He grabs his. We think we’re watching TV together as the sound of the commercials fall on deaf ears…I then have to ask myself, how did we get here? How did we become the model marriage of robotic intimacy?” Read more…

7. Why I thank my husband for doing the dishes (and so should you)

“Having different love languages can create a lot of tension in a home if not approached with grace. For one, acts of service is NOT my main love language and two, he lives here also and I’m all about that equal partnering stuff in the home so why should I be expected to do all these acts of service just because it’s his main love language?!” Read more…

 

8. A love letter to my husband

“Was it after our first year of marriage when we realized that saying “I’m sorry” was one of the hardest lessons we’d have to learn as a young couple? Or was it learning to say “I forgive you”?

Was it when some of the lies we had told tried tearing through our vows to love each other for better or worst?

Was it when I desperately longed for you to change? For us to change?

I think of the many nights I laid in bed, crying, wishing for things to be different. I think of the days filled with anger and selfishness. I think of all the times when all I did was think of myself.

I think of when I would pull away from you, full of myself and you never strayed. You always moved towards me as I tried to move away from you.” Read more…

 

9. When I realized my past was controlling my present

“And then I was crying. Crying because I knew where this was going. I knew that I was still carrying the weight of my past and turning a blind eye to triggers that were eating away at my heart.

How could I enjoy motherhood with this kind of weight? How could I ever find peace and grace with my husband when He never seemed like enough?” Read more…

And the most read post of 2017…!!!!

10. When I realized my husband wasn’t enough

“See how quickly I got there? I went from diaper to date nights.

And that’s when I realized my husband isn’t enough.

My husband isn’t enough.

He’s not supposed to be.” Read more…

Three ways NOT to date your spouse

I double checked myself in the mirror before walking back out. Murmurs of friends, families and couples drifted through the walls. I tucked loose strands of hair behind my ears, wiped away mascara smudges, took a deep breath and set myself to walk back out with a different mindset.

Husband and I were on a date.

I had been looking forward to the date all week. It had been quite some time since we went out while someone else put the kids to bed for us. We talked about going out to eat, maybe watching a movie or seeing what events might be happening around us. Nothing solidly set other than we knew we were getting out of the house without the kids, by ourselves, as a couple.

What a precious opportunity for us to reconnect as we let the busyness of life distance us.

And there I was in the bathroom giving myself a pep talk like a teenage girl.

I had started the evening out a little sour. I don’t know what I had really expected but for some reason I expected the evening to be some kind of spectacular. I had wine, flowers and music dancing in my mind.

But when we left the house and had our run of the mill discussion about where to eat, my imagination went cold and I found myself running in that cycle where I start thinking about how my husband isn’t enough.

Immediately Husband sensed my change of mood and initiated where we should eat. A small step towards rectifying my disappointment but I was too self-absorbed to really notice at the time.

As we parked I took a deep breath and whispered to my heart, “just have some fun and focus on what is going right”. Husband grabbed my hand once we started making our way inside the restaurant. A gesture that went unnoticed until the later bathroom pep talk.


I’m learning that Satan likes to constantly peck at our hearts with little lies that grow into festering wounds. Little lies that try to ruin a date night to keep the marriage from moving forward. They seem small and trivial at times, but the trivial whisper can become an immovable mountain if we let it.

So there I was in the bathroom of the restaurant realizing that this evening was not what I had expected but was becoming a lovely date night because I let it.

I realized there are things we do, maybe without even realizing, that Satan uses to try to ruin date night. Date nights are the oil changes we keep in our marriage to keep things running smoothly. The more footholds he can get in there, the more damage he can try to slowly bring about.

Here are few things that can ruin date night with your husband. While I’m learning that this doesn’t mean these conflicts don’t need to be addressed, resolving them on a date with your husband might not be the best opportunity. In fact, if I need to address conflicts with my husband, we are better served talking about them after the kids are in bed on a typical evening at home; not on a special opportunity when we can try to reconnect in a setting out of the norm.

The list seems so obvious but if you’re like me, sometimes you need a nice swift kick in the heart to remember these simple truths.

1| Compare your marriage to others

As I was sitting in the restaurant, it was hard not to notice other couples around us and analyze their behavior. One husband had his hand on his wife’s leg as they sat at the bar. Another was sharing a plate of food. Maybe you notice a couple sitting on the same side of the booth. Before you know it, you’ve already labeled them as a better couple than you. Watch out for that. We can easily project ourselves onto strangers and before we know, we’ve let that couple we’ve never seen before in our life dictate our mood at dinner.

2| Criticize your husband about the date

I used to do this so easily (before we even had kids!)! Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m being critical but if I’m being attuned to him, I can see it on his face when I’ve made a mistake. Unfortunately, I’ve even done it on purpose thinking that would make the next date night better (but that’s another post friends!). Instead, I try to notice the nice things about the night and make it a point to share those thoughts with my husband. Things like, “Thanks for holding my hand as we walked in. That made me feel special” or “I’m glad you picked this restaurant, I love their dessert.”

3| Bring up past arguments and resentment

I can easily do this if I’m still holding on to that sour mood after the bathroom pep talk. It’s easy to do when we’re wrestling with unforgiveness. Learning that I am responsible for my emotions and reactions is a constant daily process for me. Again, another post for another time. When I get the urge to bring up a past problem I have to say to myself, “Now is not the time” because most the time it isn’t on a date night. We’ve had a few where we needed the time alone to talk through some things but we also needed the freedom to do so. Out in public usually isn’t the space for that.

What else can we add to our list? I would love to know more to add here. Let me know in the comments.

Peace,

Glo

 

When I realized my husband wasn’t enough

I hear our heavy back door thud shut. Husband is home. Thank God. I’m upstairs chasing a naked Bubby, trying to convince him that a bath is a good idea. I’ve got Sister squirming on the floor, waiting for me to nurse her so she can go to bed. Bedtime is pretty traditional around here: running, screaming, squealing, laughing, crying, bribery. Big emotions play out as we round up our day and our little family.

When I hear Husband trot up stairs, I look for him to enter the hallway. I see the subtle sag in his shoulders; he’s had a long day and is stressed. My eyes take in his demeanor and I think about how eight years ago our evenings were quiet, filled with uneventful TV and adult conversation. His shoulders didn’t sag quite so much.

The Present slams into my legs as I’m brought back to reality. Bubby grabs at my knees and sits on my foot, waiting for me to drag him around like he’s on some kind of circus ride.

And in that swift moment the resentment sparks; Husband comments about a dirty diaper that is still sitting on the kids’ bathroom counter from the night before. Something along the lines of “Why is this diaper still sitting here?”

A simple and justified question really. Why did I leave the diaper there? Because I was busy being a mom, duh. I forgot about it and when I remembered I didn’t want to mess with walking it out to the trash, so I kept putting it off.

But what my heart heard was him accusing me of not being enough. Why did my heart hear this? Because I was holding on to past resentment from all the previous fights about diapers and dishes and dinner.

I did what many of us do when we feel like we’re being accused of not being enough by our spouse. I went into defensive mode.

I quickly tapped into my “all-the-things-that-you-don’t-do-for-me” file and spouted off to my husband. I reminded him of all the things he’s left undone: making a date night, not being romantic when I wanted him to be, working outside in the yard instead of connecting with me inside my heart.

See how quickly I got there? I went from diaper to date nights.

And that’s when I realized my husband isn’t enough.

My husband isn’t enough.

He’s not supposed to be.

I come to him with my anger and my “not meeting my needs” or “not making me happy” list:
I want to feel more loved so why aren’t you speaking my love language all the time?

I feel lonely so why aren’t you making more date nights?

All I talk to are little humans who can’t really talk back, so why aren’t you talking with me in the evenings?

I unload on him with all that he’s not doing for me (and sure there’s some truth in what I’m saying) but I’ve put pressure on him to fix me at my core.

And while I know he can’t fix me, there’s this constant nagging in my heart I ignore about what it is I really need in its simplest form: I want to feel loved and I’m expecting him to fill that entire void.

It’s an ungodly cycle I get stuck in running circles.

 


 

When I take a hard look at my heart I have to ask myself, “how do I get rid of this void? How do I stop expecting my husband to fill this hole?”

The answer I receive is not simple. It’s not a five step process. It’s not a simple formula.

I hear the Lord say time. It takes time, Gloryanna, to break chains from the past that have held you all these years.

It takes surrender. Daily surrender to give up myself and embrace the abundance the Lord has to give me in return.

Forgiveness. Lots of forgiveness towards him and towards myself. Forgiveness is such a loaded word and principle. But for now, it’s a step I take so I can move forward.

I have to trust Him. I have to choose to trust Him. I have to trust Him during the time it will take me to heal. When it doesn’t look like I want it to, I have to trust that His way is better than my way. Clearly my way doesn’t work anyways.

To wait with time, to surrender myself, and to trust Him is going to require prayer. Not some legalistic prayer that says if I get up and spend 30 minutes every day then God will help me. No, a prayer walk that says if I don’t get up early, then I won’t pray like I need to for God to fill this void. If I don’t get up early, I will live as a slave to myself and to my fear. It’s not about legalism. It’s about freedom.

And grace. Lots and lots of grace. Grace for myself and for my husband. Grace for when he comments about the diapers and I want to argue with him about how he isn’t enough either. Grace for myself when I feel guilty after said argument.

Grace to know that my husband, a man whom I believe with all my heart was handpicked by God just for me, is not enough. There’s only One who is enough. And to live that truth and believe it daily, to believe it sometimes hourly, can be one of the hardest truths fully understand.

When I realized my husband was not enough I had to face challenged in my marriage that I was responsible for. I realized what God had planned for my marriage. I found grace in my marriage.

There’s so much in our world that clouds this truth from our hearts.

I allow the demands of the world to etch away the truth and promises from the Lord that I keep hidden in my heart.

And it takes an argument about diapers to bring me back. To scream “Gloryanna, you’re running in circles! You’re stuck in the cycle!”

It’s a cycle I fall into when I pull away from seeing what the Lord wants to reveal to me about my heart and focus on what the Lord needs to do in my husband’s heart instead.

I’m not saying we don’t have conflicts to work out. I’m not saying it’s OK for my husband to just ignore my needs. I’m saying that he is a flawed human just like I am.

But he is also a child of the King like I am. And he is loved more by God than I could ever love him. And when I come to the Lord on my knees with all my mess, I see the mess in my husband too but with grace eyes.

This new lens makes all the difference. It really is what it means to be broken together.

To not be enough together.

Because when we can come alongside one another before the Lord, then we become full.

Peace,
Glo

 

5 Ways Traveling with Kids Will Improve Your Marriage

I wish I could say that Mike and I traveled the world before we settled down to start a family. We did your typical yearly vacation to tourist attractions in the U.S., but nothing over-the-top.

No trips to Italy to boat the canals of Venice. No decadent pastries in Paris as we strolled the sidewalks at night. Although, there were some exotic moments on our first cruise to the Caribbean. We had some steamy nights watching the sunset over the ocean for the first time. We stole a kiss when we saw the Statue of Liberty. We were child-free in those days. 

Today, we have a Bubby. Today, traveling means putting many selfish desires aside to accommodate this little person we chose to bring into the world.

I had no idea that when we all took our first few trips together as a family of three, my heart would soften towards my husband and I’d be ready to make out with him every chance we got. How – you may ask – did I feel this way on a vacation with my husband with a screaming baby in the backseat? Let me explain.

Traveling with kids and your spouse? Here are 5 ways traveling with your spouse will improve your marriage. Family travel for your marriage. Read on for more!

1 | Nostalgia from your previous travels will emerge.

I didn’t realize how much I liked to travel with my husband until we traveled together with our little for the first time. During those first few trips with our toddler I saw a side of my partner that I had forgotten about. He was sexy to me as he navigated our trip. Sometimes you forget your spouse is sexy when you hear about boogers all day. I remembered that my husband thrives on figuring out the best place to go for dinner on a Friday night in a new place. I recalled that he’s more worldly than I am when it comes to understanding when and where to tour a hidden treasure on the far side of town. Character traits I once found attractive resurfaced.

2 | You will see an ugly side of each other you haven’t seen before. Then you will apologize to each other like you haven’t before.

When we used to travel, we would have our moments of anger towards each other. Typically a silent treatment followed by a usual “act like nothing happened” conversation. This still happens with a little one running around. When you’re traveling with a toddler, screaming is bound to happen. And on a trip in a car, you can plan for lots of screaming. 

We realized quickly how our anger affected our child. And then asking for forgiveness didn’t just mean getting over ourselves for the sake of the trip. It meant showing our son what it’s like to walk in forgiveness and love each other and choose to have a good time on vacation. 

3 |  You learn to save money while traveling.

When my husband and I traveled before said toddler, we bought airline tickets without a blink. We made hotel reservations with a loose budget in mind, but luxury at the top of our list. Living off of two incomes was a breeze – not much to think about when financial decisions came up.

Now we live on one income and trip-planning has become a science. I can tell you the best sites to visit for the cheapest hotel rates at places that won’t make your skin crawl. Wanna know the quickest and cheapest spots to eat on Route 66? I’m your gal. We can make $1,000 stretch more now on a trip to the Grand Canyon than we ever could before.

4 | Your definition of “fun” on vacation changes.

I used to think eating a $100 steak at a top-ranked restaurant in Chicago was a fun event for a vacation. Now? Listening to Raffi sing “Bah Bah Black Sheep” while my son giggles in the backseat and I mimic a pitiful-sounding sheep is pretty fun. Six flags with my husband would be a blast. Now? Going to the nation’s largest fair and checking out the petting zoo (with a discount card mind you) is pretty amazing. I mean, my son had never seen a rabbit up that close before that he could pet and hold. Wide and amazed toddler eyes are a thing you’ll never forget.

5 | A held hand at the right moment will remind you of who you are together.

When my husband and I used to walk on the beach watching the sunset on the ocean, thoughts pretty much went towards getting frisky later. My husband and I still like to get frisky, but when you have kids, sometimes friskiness isn’t a option. Sometimes finding the moment to communicate genuine desire is fleeting.

When you’ve been riding in the car for ten hours and the baby finally falls asleep, you look over your last few days together and all you can do is lean over and hold each other’s hand. The quiet, “I love you” escapes your lips and you’re not even thinking about sex. You’re reminded that you guys are a team and without each other, you’d be losing in life right now. That means a lot more than a walk on the beach followed by sex. OK, sex would still be nice but maybe in a few days when you’ve caught up on some sleep?

This post originally appeared on Parent.Co. Click here to read more of my published articles on their site.

What else am I missing about traveling with kids and how it affects your marriage? Let me know in the comments!

Peace,

Glo

 

Maybe Being Angry in your Marriage is a Good Thing

Sometimes I get so angry with my husband that I can’t even begin to explain what that anger feels like.

I get incredibly frustrated. Like I just want to pull my hair out. Literally. Anything to take my mind off how angry I am.

Sometimes I play these scenes over and over in my head. Husband comes home from work. I yell at him. He sort of yells and responds, we hug and forgive and then things that I want to change will change. And I tell myself it will be fine. That we’ll figure it out.

I go to bed and romanticize what the future holds for my marriage.

Then reality hits at 6:00 when Husband walks through the door. I yell at him. He doesn’t say anything. I fume. He still hugs me and then moves his attention to Bubby. Guilt washes over me. I’ve unloaded on my husband with my toddler’s eyes glazed over, startled in the corner.

It only seems natural to move on with the evening as I robotically finish dinner while Husband and Bubby set the table. I’m spitting mad everything is moving forward as if my outburst meant nothing. Dinner is eaten, table is cleared, dishes put away. Anger still pulses through me as Husband and Bubby laughingly work their way upstairs to start their bedtime routine.

When these scenes unfold in our home, the emotions I feel inside are like a whirling hurricane, never really settling. For a time, the winds subside and I laugh with Husband about Bubby’s exciting, new discovery that day. Or time will go by as I put aside my anger because I can’t fight the urge to draw close to my him while my baggage waves in the distance.

But when that hurricane makes its appearance, I hardly recognize myself.

The wife I allow myself to be in those moments is one I am ashamed to admit even exists.

She is full of resentment, unforgiveness and a selfishness that she wrestles with on a daily basis. A selfishness that points all the mistakes back to my husband. A selfishness that keeps records of wrongs. A selfishness that I allow to silently and slowly eat away at the fruit God has planted in my marriage.

The aftermath is unbearable at times. I am overcome with guilt and unworthiness, that I find myself nodding along in agreement with all the lies Satan whispers.

Why is it that as we struggle in our marriage, being a failure becomes our new identity?

Why is that when we have challenges and trials that we think something is wrong with our marriage? That we have somehow fallen too far from God’s grasp?

I’ve read a few times in the Bible about marriage being hard (read about that here). There’s a passage I come back to when I’m wading through the aftermath of my selfish self. Jesus is talking to his disciples and says “Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life. It requires a certain aptitude and grace. Marriage isn’t for everyone…But if you’re capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.” Matthew 19:11-12

And that all too familiar whisper from Jesus wraps around my heart, reminding me that the struggles I’m walking through is how we grow into the largeness of marriage.

Having an angry, frustrated heart says that I am still hearing from the Lord as He continues to mold me, bringing forth aptitude and grace, little by little.

The anger and remorse I feel shout that I am still growing in Him and growing as a wife. The raw emotions that come and go mean I am still sensitive to His Holy Spirit as He gently picks me back up again.

The anger I have today is redeemed and literally washed away by His blood. The trick I fall for is believing I’ll never have that angry feeling again.

But we’re humans who need God’s grace. And we forget the victory we have in the Lord, a platitude we easily spout off at times, forgetting the magnitude of what that means in our marriages.

Maybe it's a good thing to be angry in your marriage? Have you ever felt angry in your marriage? Do you feel like a failure for feeling that way all the time? Maybe it's not as bad as you think.

So the challenges will continue to come and anger will take on a new face. The hurricane will hit a new target in my heart.

Ray Bradbury once said that we are all cups, quietly and constantly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.

And while these seasons of our marriage challenge me to the core, they remind me that I am a vessel of the Lord’s and He is continuously filling me, shaping me.

Thankfully, I don’t always have to try and figure it out. When I let the ugly out, God redeems it for beauty.

Thankfully, when the hurricane comes and goes, God is still standing in the aftermath and I realize He’s been holding me the whole time.
Read more posts about Marriage:
When Your Spouse Starts to Feel Like a Roommate
A Love Letter to My Husband
Is it OK to Love my Husband when I Don’t Feel Like it?

Peace,
Glo

When Your Spouse Starts to Feel Like a Roommate

Exhaling loudly, I let myself fall onto our couch. I scan the room for the monitor to check if Mike is still praying with our toddler upstairs. I glance in the kitchen and see the dishes that have yet piled high again. The dogs are whining, needing to be let outside. I roll my eyes, annoyed that no one thought to let them out before dinner. It’s the end of the day and my patience has practically vanished. My energy left somewhere around the time I had to start prepping for dinner.

It’s days like these that I seriously don’t have the mental or physical energy to bother even connecting with my husband.

I hear him coming down the stairs as I start to unload the dishwasher. He slowly steps into the kitchen, looks around, and decides to feed the dogs. After unloading the dishwasher, I float to the laundry room to start working on that load that’s been sitting in there for a couple of days. Mike rhythmically moves to load the empty dishwasher. Even though we’re both exhausted, our absent-minded bodies move robotically to do our chores.

No eye contact is needed. No connection is needed. We move, doing what needs to be done, not realizing the slow beat of our tiredness is slowly eating away our heart-to-heart connection.

I used to think it was nice being able to do these things without having to talk about it much. I used to think it was the result of a strong marriage being able to ebb and flow around the home without communicating much. A little lie I tell myself.

A lie that builds a foundation on shifting sand.

It’s that deafening, quiet sound of methodical chores, questionless requests and rhythmical bedtime routines that I let turn my husband into a roommate.

It starts when we each settle into our routines in the evening, after a long day of working and parenting, that we slowly start the change. I grab my phone. He grabs his. We think we’re watching TV together as the sound of the commercials fall on deaf ears.

It’s when Mike comes through the door and I practically throw my son at him without so much of a greeting, while I rush back to the stove as the timer blares at me so my meatloaf doesn’t burn.

I see it as we start to go to bed at different times on a what seems to have become a regular basis. I see it as I start my morning chores while he eats his breakfast before heading off to work.

I then have to ask myself, how did we get here? How did we become the model marriage of robotic intimacy?

Flashes of a dinner spent asking about each other’s day gets replaced with managing kids at the dinner table. I see a fog around our evenings of actually watching our favorite show together and engaging about the plot and characters. Quiet time together in the dark mornings over a cup of coffee seem like forever ago. Intimacy that spread from the kitchen to the bedroom seems like a distant memory.

I suddenly feel this urgency to reconnect with my husband. My breath starts to quicken as I become angry, realizing that the man who knows my heart better than anyone, the man whom I am building a family with, has started to feel like a roommate.

I’m angry because I let it happen.

Sure, it takes two tango, but someone has to take the first step to get the dance moving.when-your-spouse-feels-like-a-roommate-pin

I am learning more and more to appreciate these seasons in my marriage. When I feel my connection with my husband thinning, I realize God is pricking my heart as his daughter, letting me see that having a husband as a roommate is not what He wants for me or for my husband. That when we go through these seasons which seem harmless, are really precursors to a desert. Getting angry that I let my marriage cycle to this point is God’s red flag to me, gently waving in the distant, calling me back to Him.

It’s a weird dynamic to be angry about becoming distant with my husband yet grateful that I feel a closeness to my heavenly Father, whose voice I hear, whispering in his familiar voice.

The reality is this: when I feel this way with my husband, I more often than not am with this way in my relationship with God.

Morning quiet time with the Creator becomes a routine. Prayer seems formulaic. Talking with the Lord seems exhausting after everything I had to do that day.

And His beckoning to refocus on Him and His truth draw my up into his arms and open my heart to my husband again. I decide to make eye contact with my husband when we do the dishes. I decide to take back my empty chores and take my cell-phone glazed eyes and direct them to my husband, not a roommate.

I decide to take the first step. I decide to take back my marriage.

Before our strong foundation turns to sand.

Peace,
Glo

Is it OK to love on my husband when I don’t feel like it?

Spices are in the air. The heat from the oven overwhelms me as I take out the rolls for dinner. Clanking from the corner as Asher decides a spoon is the best for banging against his plate. Dogs are licking up flying food. Steam from the stove top as my potatoes bubble, telling me they’re done. It’s just occurred to me that I haven’t pee’d since this morning. Now we’re crying from the corner because apparently we didn’t want the dog to lick the food off of his actual plate. Fan is running high trying to keep things cool in the house while it’s 100 degrees outside. If only I had just used the grill this time. The buzzer goes off on the dryer reminding me my huband’s work clothes are done. My husband who will be late for dinner tonight.

I step in some food the dogs missed. I am going to have to mop tonight after Asher goes to bed. Might as well finish cleaning the kitchen while I’m at it. What little time to myself I thought I might have this evening has gone out the window. All the while my husband probably wont be home for another hour or so and his dinner plate will be waiting for him in the microwave. Anger flares. I feel like I do it all and he seems to miss this somehow. I don’t even bother to think what kind of day he has had that has caused him to come home late.

The nights Mike doesn’t have to work late are the best. You know those images of moms handing off their littles to the hubs as he walks in the door? We basically have that down pat in our house. Sometimes I can’t imagine doing this with more than one kid. I fall down at your feet mamas who are reading this with more than one! And working mamas? Holy cow. Let me just pause and say you are freaking awesome.

Digression aside, when the days are long and the evenings are short, I tend to operate out of my emotions easily. So I want to eat that ice cream? OK. I’m gonna do that. So I just want to read for an hour and fall asleep while I’m at, forgetting to brush my teeth? Yep, I’ll do that on occasion.

The problem is that when I get into these funks, my marriage suffers. My relationship with Christ tends to suffer too. I spend less time praying or reading and more time focusing on everything I “need” to do or choose my “selfish” time instead. And I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty good at talking myself out of things I don’t feel like doing. Especially, for my husband.  I mean, it would be hypocritical of me to show him love by massaging his feet when I absolutely don’t FEEL like doing that. I don’t feel like loving on my husband. I don’t remember him loving on me anytime recently. Why should I do him a favor? LOOK at my day people. My everyday. Who has time for marriage when you are starting a family?

What a silly question. My marriage IS the bedrock of our family. What we do for each other day in and day out in turn serves our family. I think of how easily I get snippy with Mike in front of our son and he can’t repeat what I say yet thank goodness! I think of the moments I throw respect out the window. I think of how easily I let satan envelope me with my selfishness which is the opposite of God’s love. The supernatural love I have flowing through me to minister to others. The love I choose daily. Well, try to anyways. But sometimes, OK lots of times, I suck majorly at this.

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I am reminded of Glennon’s words from Carry On, Warrior who says love isn’t something we feel. It’s something we do. 

All those times when I don’t feel like loving on my husband, well, those are the times I should anyways. The feelings will come eventually. Those are the times my marriage needs me to act on love the most. Because if I don’t, then all those shouldas wouldas will become dust, and my marriage will waiver with the wind.


Our foundation will settle and our home will start to suffer.


I think I forget that we’re a team. That’s it’s me and my husband against the wiles of the devil. I get so me-focused that I forget we’re together on this. I take care of him. He takes care of me. And when my selfish self feels like he isn’t holding up his “end of the deal” then those are the moments to love on him the most. Not for his sake. For mine. I need to love on him when I feel my love bank going empty because that is when God works in my heart the most. That is when I can hear His voice the best. When I am utterly leaning in to Him, trusting Him with my marriage.

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I need to love on my husband even when I don’t feel like it because God’s Word calls me to. I am to love even when I don’t feel like because God loves me. He first loved me so I could love others (1 John 4:19). Feelings have nothing to do with it.

Thinking about myself all the time brings deafness to my ears.

So the next time my potatoes are about to boil over and I realize that my evening is shot and my husband better not even ask for help with anything or to be loved on, well, those are the moments when I will cry out to my Father to give me ears to hear and eyes to see. To see my husband as He does.

Do you hear me friends? What about you? Do you let your feelings get in the way of truth?
Peace,
Glo

I Am Not my Husband’s Holy Spirit

I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while now. I know some friends of mine who would love to change things about their husbands. Don’t get me wrong. We love them and there are so many things we wouldn’t ever want to change, but I know we can all relate to the things we wish were a little different. And I’m sure there are many husbands out there who would say the same thing about their wives. I have recently felt like God is speaking to me about this in my relationship with Mike and all I can say is the message I’ve been getting loud and clear is that I am not my husband’s holy spirit. 

I have found in many of my conversations with my friends and with myself, things that we want to change about our husbands sometimes fall into the “spiritual” category. Apparently, we think we know what is best for him and his relationship with Christ. I could easily give a checklist about what my friends and myself think our husbands should be doing differently to better his relationship with Christ.

1) He should frequently initiate prayer with his wife. I mean if I’m having a bad day I want to pray about it. Right?
2) He should want to read the Bible with his wife. I LOVE to read. Why shouldn’t I expect this from him too?
3) He should take initiative to communicate about his spiritual journey with his wife. Let’s stay up and talk about this for hours. Ha!
4) He should read his Bible a lot, in front of me, so I can see it to make me feel better for some reason.
5) Being a leader in the church in some capacity would be a nice bonus.
6) Insert some other expectation in your mind that you think your husband should be doing.

Seriously, though, I sat down and wrote down all the things I thought Mike should “grow” in as a Christian dad/husband of our home. Whether you’ve actually written these down or not, I’m sure you’ve got that list somewhere in your heart. My list had some similarities to the one above. I then made a list of all the things that Mike already is as a Christian dad/husband of our home. As I followed this process I felt God revealing to me that my perception of what we think our husbands should be are based more on worldly expectations instead of what God’s Word says. Our checklists are based on our emotional desires/needs than maybe what God has really in store for them. Mike does initiate prayer. Maybe not everytime I wish he did, but he certainly does in other various situations. Mike does read his Bible. Honestly, I’m not sure how often he does this. If I was only around him every second of the day… God said to me,”Gloryanna, you’re not his Holy Spirit. What makes you think he needs to “grow” in all these things? How are you growing? What are you learning?” It was then that I knew God was re-directing my focus on to Him and my relationship with Him and where I’m at in my journey with Him. I was reminded of John Eldredge’s book Love and War when he talks about how mysterious marriage is, yet it is so obvious that God created the union between a man and a woman to reflect His relationship with us. As a result, our marriages are an element to cause us to grow in our relationship with Christ. What is beautiful about this is that in the way I view Mike as “weak” or needs to grow, I find that I’m relatively strong at. I’m sure many of you have learned this in your marriage that you both tend to have complimenting strengths and weaknesses. Where I’m weak, he’s strong. Where he’s weak, I’m strong.

I had never really thought before about how my strengths could be used to help encourage Mike and influence him in a positive way. For example, when I wake in the mornings, I have found that I like to pray before my feet hit the ground. Starting the day off choosing joy and God’s peace is vital to my daily walk. Instead of being discouraged that Mike isn’t all bright-eyed and bushy-taled to start the day like that with me, doesn’t mean I can’t initiate that for BOTH of us as we start our day. As a result, on Mondays and Wednesdays, I roll over and whisper to Mike that I’m going to pray for our day. Come to find out, he loves that I do this and it means a lot for him to start his day this way. Simple example of something that I could have easily been irritated with and gone about all the wrong way. I find many of us might say something to our husbands like, “you know, it would be really nice if we prayed more together. Why don’t we take turns praying before we get out of bed?” or maybe something like “I wish you would pray in the mornings with me. It would make you feel so much better.” I don’t know about your husbands, but Mike can hardly function in the mornings, let alone in bed at 6:00AM in the dark. I realized this is a strength for me and it comes naturally to get up and get going in the mornings. Why shouldn’t I do this for Mike? It has brought him a lot of encouragement on his stressful days to have that quick few minutes with me and the Lord in the morning to start his day off.

It’s funny when you start to look at how you and your spouse compliment each other. Here I’ve gone on about praying to start the day off, but many times, in the heat of a trial or challenge, I can easily start to rely on my own reasoning to try and solve the problem. I’m such a “go-getter” that this can get the best of me at times. There have been times I would get frustrated because I felt Mike wasn’t being active in helping the situation, only to find that he’s taking his time, meditating and praying about it. He is quick to remind me to chill out and pray and breathe for a second. A great character trait that didn’t show up on my expectations list. I mean if he doesn’t read his Bible at the start of every day that’s a problem, but lets overlook how he acts when we’re faced with a challenge. I’m so quick to forget and become clouded with my own list. God loves us unconditionally and doesn’t put legalistic expectations on us in our relationship with him. Why am I doing that to my husband? Well, I know Satan gets a lot of satisfaction from this. Another great thing about Eldredge’s book Love and War. He reminds us that we are at war in our marriages. Satan wants nothing more than to bring bitterness, discontent, anger, etc., into our marriages. We forget we are on the same team.

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We can so easily lose sight of the big picture and what God is doing in our relationship with our spouse. Some of our husbands really may need to grow in some of the areas on our list but in the end, they have free will and choices, just like us. We are not their Holy Spirit. We are their helpmates. So what does this mean? As Mike’s helpmate and wife, I want to be as encouraging to him as possible in his relationship with Christ. I’ve got a good hunch that any rude remarks or “guilting” conversations are certainly not going to encourage him. Why is it that many of us feel that if we just tell them what their doing wrong, it’s a good idea? The more I think about that, the dumber it sounds. I have NEVER responded well to someone “guilting” me or condemning me. If anything, I pull away from that person. I am immediately reminded of 1 Peter 3:1-5

The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance–they styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes–but your inner disposition.

 

To me, this is a huge reminder of how actions speak louder than words. To me this says, you are your husband’s helpmate. The way you live will encourage him.  Of course this doesn’t mean that anything we say just floats off, pointless. We all know communication is important. And let’s face it, we are definitely going to screw this up daily. That’s the beauty of surrendering to Christ and managing that surrender daily. Letting Christ grow in us and taking the focus off of what our husbands aren’t doing, focus on what they are doing, and really focus on what God is doing in us, will bring us peace. Let God take care of the rest. Trust can be a marvelous experience when we truly release ourselves to it.

 

You know what’s interesting, before those verses about wives, if you notice Peter says “The same goes for you wives.” Well, Peter just got done talking about the kind of life Christ lived while he was on earth. Yah, he talks about how he was crucified and suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. I know these verses can touch our hearts in a lot of different ways, but I don’t think we can overlook the fact that Peter wrote these verse hand in hand. If anything, it reminds me that God will set things right. God does care about every detail of our lives. Focusing on that brings me peace about what the future and present hold for my marriage. I certainly don’t get those feelings when I get all wrapped up in what I think my husband should be doing.

I would encourage you take a few moments and make a list of all the positive, godly character traits your husband has. Keep that list some place you know you’ll read it often. Maybe at the bottom write “I am not my husband’s Holy Spirit, but I am his helpmate.”

Evaluate your strengths as his wife and helpmate. Think about ways your strengths could bring encouragement to him. What actions could you do? Ask God to show you ways you can bring encouragement to your husband, instead of resorting to a “guilting conversation.”

Evaluate his strengths as your husband and helpmate. What areas have you overlooked or forgotten about because you were focused on your expectations instead of what he is already strong at?

Give yourself a brief moment, as much as possible (I try to do this daily) when you can pray and speak positive over your husband and your marriage. I love The Secret Power of Speaking God’s Word by Joyce Meyer. She has a whole section with bible verses for wives to confess out loud about their husband, marriage, and themselves. I have these posted in various places in my house, along with other verses about being a mom and prayers for your children. There is huge value and effect in writing God’s word down and posting it around you to read. Habakkuk 2:2 says

Then the Lord replied, “write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that anyone can read it easily.”

Whatever you do, don’t stop praying. Whatever you do, forgive yourself and your husband for anything that is keeping you from experiencing the joy God wants you to have in your marriage. Marriage is hard. We know forgiveness can seem even harder sometimes. Remember, you and your

husband are on the same team. Think about how much energy we waste being angry or wishing for things to change. How much joy are you letting Satan rob from you? Take back your joy. Choose happiness. Choose encouragement. Choose to be the wonderful helpmate God picked long before the earth was created for your husband. Accept that you are going to fail at this at times and as you accept the flaws in yourself, accept the flaws in your husband. Embrace the redemption Christ brings to us.

Peace,

Glo

 

Marriage: Laughter Instead of Anger

Ken Davis cracks me up! I’ve always appreciated his humor and enthusiasm for life. If you’ve never heard of him, you should check him out. This video makes me think of Mike and me later down the road. Shoot, we’re about like that now when we’re trying to argue across the house!

A few years ago I started making a “Top 10” list. I reflect on the past year, how I’ve grown, things I experienced, read, accomplished, and look at how God revealed himself to me through out the year. At the top of the list for this year will be “Learning to laugh more with Mike, instead of getting angry.” Here is a perfect example of what I mean.

I am a terrible passenger driver, as is Mike. I’m quick to criticize Mike and his driving. I typically criticize him on his speed, not because he’s going too fast, but because he goes slow! Yes, I know. Opposite of what you might’ve thought. I am really in to watching lights and the pedestrian signs. I watch the countdown to try and make the light. I think I became an expert at this because I used to have to drive across town almost every day to get to work. So, Sunday morning rolls around and we’re running late to church. I always say I think God was playing a joke on me when He picked Mike for me, who as it turns out, is the slowest person I know and I am very much the opposite. Yah, we’re almost always late to church because of Mike. Anyways, I find myself saying often to Mike, “if you would have been going the speed limit, we would have probably made that light.” And there it is. The beginning of one of the most ridiculous arguments, on the way to church no less! Ha! I remember one time as we were making our way to church, I had coffee. I was pregnant and thinking about how this was probably going to make me pee all morning at church. We were running late, of course, and I noticed we had already stopped at two lights that we probably could have made if we were going a smidge faster. I roll my eyes, thinking Praise and worship will be over by the time we get there. Bad mood ensuing. No, don’t try to hold my hand while you’re driving. I’m trying to be irritated with you. laughterangermarriage
As I’m thinking of ways to be snooty with him, Mike quickly puts on the brakes before a light and some coffee spills on me. I can instantly tell that he’s expecting me to come unglued. In that instant, I thought to myself, if Asher was in the car, how it would look if I so disrespectfully get mad at Mike? The Holy Spirit reminded me of a verse I had read that morning from Proverbs. Side note: a friend of mine had said that if you aren’t sure what to read from the Bible, Proverbs is a good book to pick a c

hapter to read based on the day of the month. So, if it’s the 15th, I would read the 15th chapter in Proverbs. Anyways, I was about to get angry at Mike. I was reminded of Proverbs 15:15.

“A miserable heart means a miserable life; a cheerful heart fills the day with song.” (MSG)

I chose to laugh. I made some silly remark about how the coffee would attract people to my growing stomach anyways. Mike chuckled back. The drive to church instantly took a lighter mood. I think of other times when Mike would do things that would normally easily irritate me, but instead, I chose to laugh about it. I want to live the most joyful, cheerful, life possible. I can’t do that on my own. I’d get angry trying! The Holy Spirit continues to reveal His Word to me. The Holy Spirit is the one who

helps me grow in this area. Reminding me to always giving thanks. Counting it joy in the trials, knowing that I’m growing as a person. Laughter gives strength to spirit. Proverbs says a twinkle in the eye means joy in the heart (15:30). I think a twinkle in the eye also means more joy in your home. A home that I want to not only be joyful for Mike’s sake when he comes home from a hard day’s work, but also a joyful home for Asher to thrive in, especially as he gets older.

I’m certainly not perfect at this. There are always moments when I criticize instead of keeping my mouth shut or laughing with Mike so he doesn’t feel bad. Sometimes we jokingly do the “What?” game as Ken Davis joked to diffuse an argument. But the Spirit is helping me try not to watch the pedestrian lights count down anymore, at least while Mike’s driving.

Peace,
Glo

Marriage Is Hard

Marriage is hard.
This sounds like the Biggest. Understatement. Ever.
(This post may contain affiliate links, so if you click and buy anything, I get a tiny commission. Thank you!)

I recently have been reading the book of Matthew in The Message Bible (Eugene Peterson’s translation). I’m a big Peterson fan and have loved reading this Bible. If you’re unfamiliar with The Message and are looking for a Bible that feels comfortable and simple to read, I would encourage you to try this one.

In Matthew 19 Jesus is talking about marriage with the Pharisees, who are “badgering” him about divorce. They ask Jesus about when it’s OK for a man and woman to divorce and He gives him the answer (verses 8-9).

Jesus said, “Moses provided for divorce as a concession to your hard heartedness, but it is not part of God’s original plan. I’m holding you to the original plan, and holding you liable for adultery if you divorce your faithful wife and then marry someone else. I make an exception in cases where the spouse has committed adultery.”

Of course the disciples, always reminding us of our human selves when Jesus is explaining things, make their interjection by asking Jesus what’s the point then of getting married if you’re “stuck.” Jesus replied in verses 11-12

But Jesus said, “Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life. It requires a certain aptitude and grace. Marriage isn’t for everyone. Some, from birth seemingly, never give marriage a though. Others never get asked–or accepted. And some decide not to get married for kingdom reasons. But if you’re capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.”

Holy Buckets. How have I missed this verse? Did I read that right? “…mature enough…certain aptitude and grace…growing into the largeness of it...” I went to look at other translations and now I see why I felt like I’ve never read it this way before. I think what Jesus said here can be easily overlooked. Other versions say something like “not all can accept this saying…but he who is able to [accept it] let him...”

Jesus just said marriage is hard.

For some reason, that simple statement gave me a big umph of encouragement. I’m thinking if the Creator of the universe says marriage is hard, then I’m not crazy. Whew. Not only did he say it was hard, but he said we grow into it. Meaning we don’t always stay the same. We are always changing during the different seasons of marriage.

This made me think of a marriage book I read once that talked about how a couple was arguing because the husband felt like his wife had changed since they first got married. The counselor responded with something like, “Duh. We all are constantly changing as we face new obstacles in life. As we go through new experiences. Those experiences change us.”

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I was reminded of how glad I am that I am not the same as I was when we first got married. I could not imagine how we would have handled having children then! Knowing that both Mike and I will continue to change and will continually strive to be in harmony together even though sometimes it feels like utter discord, is a good thing. I certainly hope I’m not the same in fifty years as I am now. Even if he feels like my roommate sometimes, I know there are different seasons in marriage.

I can’t help but notice that sometimes pesky word grace. I’m reminded of the book Love and War by John Eldredge.  One part of the book discusses how God put you and your spouse together in order to draw you closer in your relationship with Christ, that’s why Paul compares marriage to Christ and his love for the church, for all of us (Ephesians 5:22). Uhm, wait, I don’t think I realized this when I signed up for marriage.

The truth is, I need that grace. I think of all the times I wish Mike would change and stop myself to ask God what he’s trying to show me. Not what he’s trying to show Mike. Sheesh. I’m not Mike’s Holy Spirit. What a relief when you really really think about that.

I may be a source of counsel to him, but I am certainly not responsible for his relationship with Christ.

Even though things get hard, they also get really really really good.  And there is no way I could get through any season of life without His grace.

Peace,
Glo

Secret Power of Speaking God’s Word–Confessions for Wives

 

I started getting frustrated with Mike. Like it was his fault or something. So the little time we did see each other was turning into bickering and annoyance. The fifteen minutes in the morning was turning in to who can get the last word in!

I was listening to Joyce Meyer and if you’ve ever read any of her books or heard her, you know that she emphasizes the power of your thoughts and words. One morning she was really hammering about speaking God’s Word over your day and your emotions and getting a good start to the day. I realized that I have a little purple book by her hidden somewhere called “The Power of Speaking God’s Word.” I decided to speak the confessions for wives every morning before I started my day.

You know what’s amazing about being in a relationship with God who loves you unconditionally? When you start praying and asking Him to grow in you and help you, 1) He does! 2) He reminds me that I don’t need to feel guilty about whatever emotions I’m wrestling with! He reminds me that I am a new creation in Him! That His spirit lives in me and because of that, I can have a good day if I choose it!The end of the story is pretty predictable. You wouldn’t believe how much better my days started getting. Mike was so understanding when he got home once I started receiving him with love and support. Breakfast or bedtime or the quick brushing teeth moment became a quick time for us to connect from the day. I started seeing that for a husband who goes through busy periods at work (thankfully, not all the time), he is incredibly sensitive to my needs. Once I started genuinely asking him about his day or the project he’s working on, I realized that he almost always asks me about my day with genuine interest. That can mean a lot to a mom who’s prime audience is a 16 week old! God opened my eyes to Mike’s needs and took my eyes off of myself. I saw how stressed he was too! Speaking God’s word, spoke an awareness in to my day. Showing me opportunities to stay positive instead of thinking about me, thinking about me, thinking about me…One of my favorite verses from the confessions for wives portion is the translation of  1 Thessalonians 5:11, 15-18 (NIV) page 27 of Joyce’s book– “I encourage my husband and build him up. I do not pay back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to him. I am joyful always. I pray continually; giving thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for me in Christ Jesus.”

That’s a great way to start the day! Sometimes it’s a quick, “God thank you for this day. Thank you for helping me stay positive. Your joy is my strength.” Or sometimes I say “Thank you, Lord, that I have a mind like You.” Whatever it is, I can always tell a difference in my day when I speak God’s Word over it!

Peace,
Glo

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