Monday, January 26, 2015

Marriage Monday: The Hardest Lesson for a New Wife to Learn {Guest Post}






Welcome back to Marriage Monday!  I'm so glad you've joined me as we focus on strengthening and promoting godly marriages, both in our nation and in our own backyards. 

If you missed last week's post, where I compared marriage to a game of basketball, you can read it here.

This past week I've had the delight of getting to know the daughter of one of my best friends from high school! She's a new wife and a new blogger, who has impressed me with her wisdom and her genuine love for her husband and her Lord!  It is my privilege to share her thoughts with you today!



The Hardest Lesson I Had to Learn as a New Wife ~ Guest Post by Brenley Davis

Without my husband, Richard, I could never get anything off of the top shelf and our house probably would have burned down by now, because I fail to turn off my hot hair straightener every single day. These are just a couple of the ways I need him.

Our husbands are a wonderful blessing in our lives and a gift from God, which I am very thankful for. My husband makes every single day better with his humor and sweet pick-me-ups throughout the day. He helps me in countless ways from operating the technical part of my blog to cleaning the dishes behind me as I prepare dinner. He comforts me when I am sad and protects me when I am afraid. I could fill up this entire post on things Richard does for me on a weekly or even daily basis. Your head is probably overflowing now with the great things your husband does for you… which is fantastic because sometimes these become routine and we begin to take them for granted. Or, sometimes we begin to expect too much of our spouses.

In the very beginning of our marriage, I was overly emotional and needy. Often, I found myself in a bad mood and I could never put my finger on what was bothering me. Nothing obvious triggered these moods; they just happened. I felt lonely, sad, and I was very easily upset. I cried way too much.. at times I even wanted to give up. Lies ran through my head...

….I am a newlywed...I should still be in a honeymoon phase...happy all the time.
….Did I make a mistake?  Why is this so hard?
….What is missing?

The problem wasn’t Richard or being married in general. The problem was me. I had begun to idolize Richard and make him my god. I expected him to meet all of my needs. This has been one of the toughest lessons for me to learn as a new wife: Your husband cannot be your God.

Here are a few of the ways this can happen:

Placing your happiness in your husband’s hands and expecting your husband to make you always feel loved. 

This is a need that our husbands cannot meet no matter how hard they try. Why? Because God made us with a greater need. He made us as spiritual beings who can only be complete in Him. Something will always be missing if you expect your husband to to fill your need for love and happiness.

Obsessing over being the “perfect” wife in the wrong ways

That is putting more time trying to please your husband through what you cook and how spotless your home is than time spent in the Word strengthening your integrity as a wife and woman of God. Your daily time spent with the Lord will make you a better wife while trying to keep a perfect home will only exasperate you.

Expecting your husband to never sin or upset you. 

Your husband is human, which means he is not perfect. He needs grace, just like you do! We are all sinners and we all fall into temptation regularly. The marriage relationship is a great place to visualize and exercise the mercy and forgiveness that Christ gives us. Stop critiquing your husband constantly and starting praying for Him constantly.

Making our spouse our god is wrong in so many ways.  It takes a huge toll on a marriage and your relationship with the Lord. We are to have no gods or idols before Him (Exodus 20:3-4). Marriage is an amazing bond that God created, but many of us twist marriage to fit our expectations or “needs” and turn it into a worldly relationship without even realizing it.  

God must come first in your marriage and in your life in order to be complete and full of joy. Our husbands are meant to parallel Christ and his love for the church with their love for us while we submit to them as the church does to Christ - but they are not supposed to be Christ to us.

Another consequence of depending on your husband to meet all of your needs is that it also leads your husband to feel defeated and inadequate. Our job is to build our husbands up and by expecting the impossible out of them, we are tearing them down. Only God can truly meet all of your needs. God made us with a “God-sized” hole that only He can fill.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:19 ESV)

I am a work in progress… sometimes I feel like I take 2 steps forward in this lesson only to take 10 steps backwards. But, I am continually learning and my marriage is continually improving now that my priorities are in line - God first, then my husband second. And, I can only be complete when I seek God on a daily basis.  Seek the Lord with all of your heart before anything else and you will never be disappointed.


Brenley lives in Sumter, SC with the "greatest man in the world," whom she married on May 24, 2014. She absolutely loves being married and learning what it means to grow together as husband and wife!  While she has discovered that marriage is wonderful, she's also learned that it's not all sunshine and butterflies!  It takes spoonfuls of grace!

Brenley shares life lessons she is learning along side easy, healthy, budget-friendly recipes over at her blog, Spoons of Grace. She invites you to join her there!







Your Turn to Share:

What was the hardest lesson you had to learn as a brand new wife?  Please leave a comment here on my blog or over on my Facebook page, so we might all be encouraged! You may also email me at elizabeth@yestheyareallours.com if you wish to share a private testimony or a guest post.



If you were blessed or encouraged by this post, please consider sharing it with your friends on Facebook or other social media sites.  Thank you!



Link up:

I'd love to have you link up your blog to mine!  Please link up any past or present posts related to Christian marriage.  Don't forget to link back to my blog!  Thanks!



marriage mondays




NOTE:  Please link up your blog post on marriage below by entering the url of your specific post.  Where it says "Your Name" enter the title of your blog post, not your personal name!  Thanks!  :)




Friday, January 23, 2015

From my Front Porch ~ January 23, 2015



Welcome back to my weekly series, From my Front Porch, where I share updates from my home and family. My hope is that you'll fix yourself a cup of coffee or tea and imagine us sitting together on my front porch, chatting about life and catching up on the latest news!  I hope you'll join me each Friday on My Front Porch!  



It's chilly and rainy here today and my front porch is wet -- not such a desirable day for a porch chat!  Maybe we should come inside and warm up by the "fire!"  I love my gas logs on days like this!!



Last Friday night, Kristi and Sarah spent the night with us, so I woke up Saturday morning to this sweetness!




Isn't she a cutie??


We've had a busy week with basketball games just about every night!  Today I'll be sharing pictures of 10-year-old Bethany, who was born to play basketball!  Seriously, she loves watching it and playing it!  Most of the girls on her team didn't grow up with a basketball team full of brothers, so she definitely has an advantage!  ;)  She scored 8 of her team's 10 points last night, and 15 of her team's 17 points the previous game!!  Yes, she is our little "shooting star!"  ;)


We have 7 more games on the schedule for this coming week, so you know what I'll be doing!!  I'll try to feature pictures of Matt and Luke's games next Friday!


Lilla Rose knows that January can be a bit dreary and tossed in a surprise Sale to brighten up our day today!  Everything on the website is 25% off Today Only from 11 am through 11 pm Eastern time.  




This is a perfect time to pick up something bright and cheerful to wear in your hair for these drab days of winter!  Click here to visit my website.


Guess what I'll be doing this weekend?  You guessed it -- cheering for one of my favorite basketball players!!!!  ;)  Have a fabulous weekend!!



  





Thanks for stopping by my front porch for a visit! I'd love for you to take a moment to "sign my guest book" (leave a comment!) so I can know that you stopped by and enjoyed your visit!  Please join me again next Friday on my front porch!  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tuesday's Tip: A Secret that Cures Discouragement



Are you feeling discouraged, beaten down, overwhelmed, and sad? We all encounter those times.  Some are more prone to melancholy moods than others.  How do you encourage yourself and lift your spirits when you feel down?

I love this tip from American author, Mark Twain, and have found it to be true in my life many times through the years!  




Why does it work so well?  For one thing, it forces you to get your eyes off yourself and onto others and their needs and problems.  Often, when we discover the secret burdens of others, we are glad to have our own set of challenges.

It's also a biblical principle. We reap what we sow. I've discovered that when I've been willing to sow seeds of encouragement into the lives of others, that the Lord has encouraged me!

"A generous person will prosper;  whoever refreshes others will be refreshed."  ~ Proverbs 11:25 (NIV)


So, my tip for today is ~ if you are feeling a bit discouraged, look for someone to encourage!!!  

Then come back and leave a comment and tell me how it worked!  :)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Marriage Monday: Are You and Your Husband on the Same Team? {Link up}





Welcome back to Marriage Monday!  I'm so glad you've joined me as we focus on strengthening and promoting godly marriages, both in our nation and in our own backyards. 

Many have messaged me to let me know that you've missed my marriage posts, so I'm trying to get back in the groove here!  I was sidelined by computer problems and the busyness of the holidays back in December, and thought I'd be back to regular blogging come January. I had no idea how busy January would be with my youngest 3 kids all playing basketball! January has been (and continues to be) full of daily practices and games! 


We had games every night last week and that's how the rest of January will play out! I do enjoy a good basketball game, and love cheering for my two younger kids, who are playing on rec league teams, and for 16-year-old Luke, who is playing on a Varsity Christian school team, but it has made it hard to get the ball rolling again here on my blog!

Since I hear basketballs bouncing and whistles blowing in my brain, I've come up with a basketball analogy for today's marriage post! I hope you enjoy it!  :)

First of all, it should be obvious that in the "basketball game" of marriage that the husband and wife are playing on the same team! Yet, it seems that many couples I observe have suited up in different uniforms and are playing on opposing teams.  I see them trying to outmaneuver one another, attempting to score more points than the other, and even committing fouls against one another! Unfortunately, it's often the children who end up playing the role of referee in such games.  

Believe me, there is no winner in such a contest!

Here are a few rules from the "Official Rule Book" for the couple who wants to create a winning team!

1. Play on the Same Team

It would help to start off wearing the same "uniform" and to make sure you are both wearing the same team name.  (I don't mean to offend, but when a couple marries and the wife refuses to wear the team name of her husband, I see trouble ahead.)

To create a winning team, you've got to make sure you are playing on the same team!  Don't bounce the ball off your own foot!  Make sure you are working together and shooting at the same goal! Work hard to build team spirit and unity!

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. ~ Genesis 2:24


2. Follow the Point Guard

A basketball team always has a point guard - this is the player who helps bring the ball down and then calls the play.  Imagine how ridiculous it would be if another teammate refused to play a subordinate role and insisted on calling his/her own play!  The team would be forced into a position of choosing which one to listen to, and would be torn apart and become totally ineffective!

The whole idea of a team is that one player calls the play (after getting a word from the Coach) and then everyone on the team works together performing their unique roles to make that play successful. When a husband calls the play, and the wife and children work together to run the play, you end up with a winning marriage/family!

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. ~ Ephesians 5:22

3.  Work together as a Team

Many teams have a BH, otherwise known as a "ball hog!"  This is the person that wants all the glory for himself, and dribbles down and attempts to shoot a 3-pointer time after time.  

A successful team works together, passing the ball around, looking for the person who is open and has the best chance of scoring. 

A successful marriage involves a couple who works together to reach a goal, incorporating the children as they become old enough to be a part of the team. Working together, they are able to accomplish their goals.

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.  ~ Philippians 2:3-4

4.  Bond as a Team

A good team encourages and supports one another, helping the weaker players become stronger.  Tearing down one another does nothing but destroy the spirit of the team.

Teams win together and lose together.  When one person lets down the team, the whole team suffers. That's why entire teams run "suicides" together when one team member is late for practice, doesn't come to a practice or game, or otherwise causes harm to the team. 

A successful couple and family encourages and builds up one another, supporting each other through the triumphs and trials of life. They recognize that marriage and family life is a "team sport" and that creating a unified team is the only way to victory!

Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. ~ Philippians 2:2


Are you and your husband a winning team??


Your Turn to Share:

Are you and your husband playing on the same team?  Do you follow his play calls, work together as a team, and strive to create a team spirit in your family?  Or do you find yourself playing against each other on opposing teams??  Please leave a comment here on my blog or over on my Facebook page, so we might all be encouraged! You may also email me at elizabeth@yestheyareallours.com if you wish to share a private testimony or a guest post.



If you were blessed or encouraged by this post, please consider sharing it with your friends on Facebook or other social media sites.  Thank you!



Link up:

I'd love to have you link up your blog to mine!  Please link up any past or present posts related to Christian marriage.  Don't forget to link back to my blog!  Thanks!



marriage mondays




NOTE:  Please link up your blog post on marriage below by entering the url of your specific post.  Where it says "Your Name" enter the title of your blog post, not your personal name!  Thanks!  :)



Friday, January 16, 2015

From my Front Porch ~ January 16, 2015




Welcome back to my weekly series, From my Front Porch, where I share updates from my home and family. My hope is that you'll fix yourself a cup of coffee or tea and imagine us sitting together on my front porch, chatting about life and catching up on the latest news!  I hope you'll join me each Friday on My Front Porch!  






Last Friday afternoon, after posting my Front Porch post, I headed out with Matt and Bethany for our homeschool field trip ~  a visit to the Compassion Experience, which is a traveling display that helps you experience life from the eyes of a child existing in extreme poverty in a developing country. We spent an hour walking through three different "villages," where through the aid of modern technology, we experienced the sights and sounds of a child struggling to survive daily life in a makeshift shack in a poor village.  It was an emotional experience as we realized the hardships and horrors these children experience on a daily basis!  Fortunately, it ended in hope as each now grown-up child shared how Compassion International, their sponsor families, and the love of God had transformed their lives!! 










At the end of the Experience, we had an opportunity to offer hope to a little boy or girl in desperate circumstances by sponsoring a child ourselves through Compassion!

Hope -- if you are an astute reader, you will recognize that as my Word for this year! I believe that the Lord wants to use me this year to offer Hope to others!  I can't wait to see how this continues to play out!  :)

I'm so thankful that my income from my Plexus business enabled me to respond to the prompting in my heart and pledge monthy, life-changing support to a precious child in need!  Here is a picture of the little girl that grabbed my heart:



She is the same age as my little Bethany, and after learning of the fate of many ten year old girls in her situation, my heart yearned to provide her with a way of escape and hope for the future!

If the Compassion Experience comes to your area, I encourage you to Go and take your children!  This life-changing experience is currently in Franklin, TN.  (You can check for a location near you by clicking HERE.)



Last Saturday, I went to Macon, GA for a Plexus Super Saturday event. I enjoyed the conference, which was both practical and inspiring, and I loved the special time of fellowship with the two ladies I rode with!  It was a truly a special day!






I'm so excited about the Plexus products and opportunity! the more I learn, the more impressed I am with this company and the amazing, life-changing testimonies of those using the products!  To learn more about Plexus, please message me, or visit my website!

My Plexus Website

These fabulous products (and the business opportunity) are providing hope to people every single day!!


It has been a busy, but awesome week! My weekend will be consumed with basketball games!! So, maybe I'll have some basketball pictures to share next week!

Have a blessed weekend and may I encourage you to look for ways to bless others!  :)



  





Thanks for stopping by my front porch for a visit! I'd love for you to take a moment to "sign my guest book" (leave a comment!) so I can know that you stopped by and enjoyed your visit!  Please join me again next Friday on my front porch!  

Friday, January 9, 2015

From my Front Porch ~ January 9, 2015




Welcome back to my weekly series, From my Front Porch, where I share updates from my home and family. My hope is that you'll fix yourself a cup of coffee or tea and imagine us sitting together on my front porch, chatting about life and catching up on the latest news!  I hope you'll join me each Friday on My Front Porch!  






Wow! It has been awhile since I took time to visit with you on my front porch!  Back in early December, I started having some computer problems and discovered I had a bunch of malware running on my computer.  Once my son, Chris, helped me get my computer cleaned off, I planned to resume blogging.  But by that time, the craziness of the Christmas season (plus basketball season) was upon me, and I never found the time to get back to my blog!!

Good News:  I got all of my Christmas shopping done and presents wrapped in time for Christmas!  (With a family of my size, that's no easy undertaking!)  :)  

We had a wonderful Christmas!  It was such a blessing to have the entire family together!  :)  However, Kristi got the flu right before Christmas and Sarah got it the day after.  :(  Hence the wearing of the latest fashion accessory -- the mask!!  ;)

Enjoy a photo journey through our Christmas Day!  































































Our Christmas day was truly a blessing from beginning to end!  I am so blessed to have a family that loves one another, relishes giving gifts to one another and enjoys spending time together!!


My favorite time of the year is the week between Christmas and New Years!  It is such a peaceful, quiet time ~ perfect for reflecting, setting goals, and planning ahead!  




We usually leave the decorations up until New Years Day, but this year I organized the troops and we went ahead and took down the Christmas tree and restored order to the family room! I even bought a new chair during a 50% off sale with my Plexus earnings to complete our family room!





Before we knew it, it was time to welcome a new year!  (We won't talk about the fact that most of us slept the new year in this year!) A quiet New Year's Eve was followed by a quiet, peaceful New Year's Day. 



And then it was time for good-byes and new beginnings.  Back to grad school for Tiffany . . . 



(and Sofi) :)


A Caribbean cruise for Hannah!




A new chapter for Chris!




A new flexi of the month for me!  ;)



A new word for a new year . . . . 

I love starting a brand new year, don't you?  A year that is fresh and new, with no mistakes in it!  

I'd love to hear about your goals and dreams for the new year!

  






Thanks for stopping by my front porch for a visit! I'd love for you to take a moment to "sign my guest book" (leave a comment!) so I can know that you stopped by and enjoyed your visit!  Please join me again next Friday on my front porch!  


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