8 Ways I Can Safeguard My Marriage [Day 8: safe]

I’m not a doomsday prepper by any stretch of the imagination. I am more of a “we’ll cross that bridge when we get there” type of person. It’s something I wish I could be better about, and I was reminded of this just last week. The biggest Hindu festival hit here in Nepal, and even though I knew all the shops would close, I started the weekend with an empty fridge. Facepalm.

It cost me a lot of unnecessary stress wandering around trying to find ingredients I needed for a pot-luck fellowship. I even had to send my husband on a wild-goose-chase in search of anything I could take to preserve my reputation as someone who never showed up empty-handed. Well, guess who showed up empty-handed.

I’m not a doomsday prepper when it comes to fruits and veggies, apparently, but some might say I am a doomsday prepper in my marriage. I want 50 years and a lifetime of memories and ministry behind us one day — I’ve shared this with you already. However, when I celebrate small, I realize today is a gift from God which must be properly stewarded. I see that He is working on this otherwise insignificant day in my marriage, and I am resolved to honor His work by putting in some of my own.

The best way I can honor the gift of marriage the Lord has entrusted to me is to safeguard it in every way I can. Each and every day. I don’t prepare for the doomsday; I pray it never comes. But I am wise to consider how I may protect the most precious relationship in my life (next to that with my heavenly Father).

The Bible teaches that Satan is like a lion looking for a prey to pounce on.  When I lose my focus on celebrating small and honoring God in each day of my marriage, I expose a vulnerable underbelly just impossible to pass up for a ravenous beast. If I forget about these big dreams of ours — the biggest being for my marriage to reflect the love of Christ for His church — I am tantalizing to the Tempter.  My marriage is where Satan can hit me hard, and he knows it.

8 Ways I Can Safeguard My Marriage

I safeguard my marriage when I…

  1. Nurture my own walk with the Lord
  2. Refrain from keeping secrets from my husband
  3. Choose not to pursue friendships with the opposite sex
  4. Speak positively of him privately and publicly
  5. Share my heart with my husband even when –especially when — it is hard
  6. Keep my heart from things that spark a negative attitude towards my husband
  7. Make intimacy a priority in my marriage
  8. Pray for my husband

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand (Ephesians 6:11-13).

I don’t want to find myself empty-handed one day in my marriage. I want to thrive within a life-giving, God-honoring marriage for all the days He gives us to live together. I choose to celebrate small each day, praising God for the work He is doing in all the little ways he does it. I honor it all by making daily decisions to safeguard my marriage.

How do you safeguard your marriage?

Talk to me in the comment section below!

 

 

Small Beginnings and Broken Parts [Day 6: story]

Five Minute Friday: STORY

00:00

Our story started small. He would save me three minutes of walking by driving me from the high-school to the elementary school where I would get my ride home. We talked and laughed and tried not to be awkward, but there was always something special between us which grew slowly but steadily. Struggles and temptations threatened the friendship forged through a time of great personal change and growth. Though it all seemed small and even a little silly — I was 15! — it’s actually a testimony of God’s grace in our lives.

In our 8 years of marriage, we’ve had three babies — one who left us much too soon — traveled all over the US and moved across the world together. We’ve had struggles and temptations of different sorts, but God has been faithful. A dear friend reminded me, recently that no one is immune to sin and struggle. Each day of peace and each victory in our marriage comes by God’s grace alone. I praise God that he has re-written a painful story for this particular friend by mending her broken marriage. It is such a powerful reminder to me that God writes our story. When we celebrate small, we praise God for his steady hand in our marriage when trials and temptations rock the boat. We accept our fault when our story takes a turn in the wrong direction, but we beg for and bask in His saving power that doesn’t stop at sinful souls.

05:00 (free- write over but can’t stop now!)

When I can’t even grasp at what He must be up to, I trust that the author of salvation is doing what He does best — acting redemptively on my behalf, saving me from myself as I try to follow and honor Him in my marriage. I reflect on the small beginnings, and I have cause to celebrate — he brought two silly, confused teens through the turmoils of high-school and a long-distance relationship, matured them together in Christ, and set them out in service to Him. Truly, a beautiful story that is just beginning.

I don’t know the story of your marriage. You may be wading through a dull chapter or one you just wish would end already. But I do know that God is at work, and there is good to be read between the lines if only in the character of Christ alone. I pray that He will give you strength to continue walking in the story He has for you, and I ask that He will give you the happily ever after you’ve always dreamed of. It is with a grateful heart I share my story and that of my friend with you now — proof that small beginnings and broken parts can be used for our good and God’s glory. May we praise Him for the whole story.

 

How do you see God’s hand in your small beginnings and broken parts?

Talk to me in the comment section below!

 

 

True Love Trusts [Day 5: trust]

I love those little videos with the lovely elderly couples that have spent decades laughing with each other and loving each other. They always seem to have witty words of wisdom that melt your heart and kick your pants at the same time. Truly, they are #relationshipgoals. I want to be those people down the road — who wouldn’t? They get begged for their secrets to a happy marriage and their answers vary. One of my favorites is: “Always let her eat the last piece of cake!” That is advice I can get behind!

But the Bible offers even sweeter instruction.

Charity (love) suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-6

True love celebrates small
True love trusts that God is working in the heart of the one she loves.
True love praises the good she sees in him.
True love rejoices when he is walking with God and gets on her knees before the throne when he isn’t.
True love bears the bad days without blabbing her dissatisfaction to her besties.
True love believes the best about her partner.
True love holds high hopes when others have lost confidence.
True love endures when the dreams feel like nothing but a fairytale and the day at hand is rather dull.
True love looks hard in the face and says, “There is good here.”
True love celebrates small.

I want to love my husband well — to be true love in all these ways to him. When I hold myself to this Biblical standard, I am ashamed at all the ways I fall short, but celebrating small sounds like something I can do. I can trust God is working in my marriage and in the heart of my husband. I can trust that as he follows the Lord, he won’t lead our family in a way we shouldn’t go — and if he does,  I trust the Lord will redirect us. It’s a little scary putting your life into someone else’s hands — but true love trusts. True love trusts her spouse — but even more, true love trusts the God who gave him to her.

This life we lead is not promised to be a piece of cake, but I can add as much sweetness as I’m willing to contribute. My name may never be synonymous with true love, but it’s certainly something to strive for. Striving to celebrate doesn’t sound half bad. I think I’ll celebrate with that last piece of cake he better have saved for me or I might re-think this whole thing. Told you I had I long way to go!

How can you be true love to your spouse?

Talk to me in the comment section below!

 

 

Tell God about Your Big Mountains [Day 2: tell]

There’s a quote I’ve seen floating around the internet in various meme forms — “Don’t tell God how big your mountain is. Tell the mountain how big your God is.” It’s a good one, right? Makes ya wanna pump your fist in Satan’s face, yeah? I think so, too. God is certainly bigger than any problems we face. As I dwell on this, I can hear my sweet daughter’s voice singing, “Higher than the mountains that I face… stronger than the power of the grave!” — she never remembers that last word, and I have to remind her each time. But it’s worth reminding her and me too. Our God is mighty.

BUT God wants His children to tell Him about those big mountains, too. God desires that I share my big dreams with Him along with all the fears and doubts that muddle their clarity and my ability to see His hand delicately working in each situation. He wants me to tell Him about the seemingly unsurpassable mountain, and all the ways I’m sure I’m not the one to attempt to scale it. Telling my mountains about my big God isn’t for the mountain, it’s for me. He shows me my smallness and complete inability to do anything useful apart from Him because He wants me to depend on Him.

I’m telling God about my mountains today — about my big dreams. I’ll share a few with you here so you can see what I mean, and I hope you’ll take the time to tell God about those big mountains of yours as well.

  • Marriage – to have a life-long, happy marriage which reflects Christ’s beautiful union with His bride, the church and conforms us into His image.
  • Motherhood- to raise babies into young adults who love Jesus and are submissive to His will for their lives.
  • Missional Living- to assist my husband in seeing a church-planting movement in Nepal and to be a faithful light in my spheres of influence.

As we celebrate small, we can praise Him for all the ways He works along the way. No matter how taxing the journey may seem, we take hope in a God who never tires and supplies strength to our feeble minds and bodies as it is needed. Take heart, friend. The end goal or grand finale may seem a world away with a thousand obstacles in between, but our God goes with us and before us to give us the victory.

What are your mountains/dreams?

Talk to me in the comment section below!

Dream Big, Celebrate Small [Day 1: worship]

Dream Big

I’ve talked a lot here on my little blog about dreaming big as a missionary, wife, and mom. I’ve got one of those wild hearts that wants to do big things for Him. Fears and discouragement tangle and tame, but I carry these dreams that can turn into burdens all the same. Maybe you have a wild heart, too, and it runs away with your thoughts and emotions much like mine does. What I have come to find in the dreaming big is I fail to see the small victories God graciously grants each day as I chase the grand finale. Do you, too, find this to be true?

God has done a work in my heart to change this way of thinking that translates itself into living. This way of living — of constantly spinning and chasing — is exhausting and not always productive. I get bogged down in the big-dreaming but little-accomplishing. I get discouraged in the day-to-day. As I’ve trained myself to celebrate small, God has been faithful to reveal Himself to me in all the little ways He’s working. I trust that the grand finales in the endeavors of ministry, marriage, and motherhood are coming. By His glorious grace, each day is a step towards them. However, I’ve come to see that each day has its own joys and victories if I train myself to see them.

Celebrate Small

Will you train yourself to celebrate small with me? In celebrating small, we praise God for what He has done. As we praise Him for what He has done, we worship Him for who He is because we know, without Him, we can do nothing. We can’t dream big dreams. We don’t have victory. We can’t see great things done for His glory. We must train ourselves to see Him in all the small ways He works to accomplish the big for His kingdom. If we don’t, we fail to worship Him like we ought.

I’m so excited to begin this journey with you over the next 30 days! I trust God has big things in store, and I so anticipate the culmination of those things. For now, I will celebrate the small, praising Him for what He has done and worshiping Him for who He is. He is so good, friend.

How do you celebrate small?

Talk to me in the comment section below!