Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 17 - I Almost Didn't Write This Post

Personal Blogging Rule #1--I want to honor God with my words.
Personal Blogging Rule #2--what I write has to ring true with the most important people in my life...my husband and our children.

If they ever happen to read what I've written, I want to know they'll say:
"Yes...that's a pretty good description of real life at our house."

My husband and I have a good marriage.
A strong marriage.
A close marriage.
A marriage that is rooted and grounded first, in our promise to God, and also in the promise we made to each other--

But this past weekend we were in a bit of a marriage slump.
Nothing deep or serious:
Sick kiddos, family staying, long work hours, several extras and
lots of writing in our margins--to the very edge of the paper.
And we're still in need of a good-long-air-clearing-marriage-talk, so I was feeling a bit sheepish about working on a marriage post.

But perhaps this is the best time to share about marriage.
When the realities of life have hit and I find myself needing to pull some weeds and plant some seeds.

Marriage really is just a long-term exercise in gardening.If you've done any gardening you know that there simply aren't any shortcuts...
Gardens begin with hard work...
Why is it that we don't expect our gardens to grow by themselves...
yet we expect our marriages to blossom beautifully without the daily work of
pulling up weeds and planting seeds.
~ What Did You Expect? by Paul Tripp (page 101)

So today is:

- An opportunity to share how God works in our marriage.

- An opportunity to be transparent and vulnerable about our struggles.

- An opportunity to point to God's faithfulness.

Because most marriages start... with unrealistic expectations.

But the reality is that -

I'm a broken, sinful, person who fails.

And my husband is also a broken, sinful person who fails.

And we live in a world that is broken and sinful and full of failure.

I should not be surprised that my marriage needs to be regularly rescued by grace.

When you are sinned against or
when the fallen world breaks your door down,
don't lash out or run away.
Stand in your weakness and confusion and say,
" I am not alone. God is with me, and He is faithful, powerful, and willing."
You can be realistic and hopeful at the very same time.
Realistic expectations are not about hope without honesty,
and they are not about honesty without hope.
Realism is found at the intersection of
unabashed honesty and uncompromising hope.
God's Word and God's grace make both possible in your marriage.
~Paul David Tripp

Realism--"the intersection of unabashed honesty and uncompromising hope."Oh--how I love this.

Marriage requires work and effort and digging in and facing struggles -

With honesty and with hope.

So today.
I will thank God for His grace in my marriage.
I will look Heavenward and raise my eyes above the here & now.
I will choose self-less over self-ish in our union.
I will be thankful for the hope that God offers when I place my trust in Him.
And Today--
I will pull some weeds.

"Nothing stands still.
Life is but a series of moments, each containing a choice.
Each choice is either to obey the present impulse of the Spirit or to disobey.
Each choice is either to act in love or in selfishness,
in faith or in unbelief."
~Andree Seu

God can make all things new.

And looking at them Jesus said to them,
“ With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
~Matthew 19:26

Today's Challenge:

Take a few minutes to consider what "weeds" may be choking out the unity in your marriage (selfishness, busyness, inattention, laziness, pride, anger, lack of forgiveness, specific sins).
Ask God to help you start pulling weeds this very day.

Think of one practical way that you can plant a seed in the right direction:
Do you need to ask for your husband's forgiveness?
~ Write him a note or call him today.
Is life too busy to devote time and energy to your marriage?
~ Ask your husband if together, you can find a way to make your marriage a priority.
Would your marriage benefit from biblical counseling or other biblical resources?
~ With your husband's blessing, take steps to seek out the help you need.
Have you been faithless when it comes to praying for your husband?

~ Take a few moments and start praying now.
Does your husband need to know how much you care for and value him?
~ Follow through with one specific action today that will communicate your love.

Today's Challenger:

Kara is married to her husband Jason, one of the funniest and most generous people she knows. They have five kiddos, four here and one in heaven. They also have a muppet-like-mess of a dog, non-breeding Madagascar Hissers (who have had over 100 babies), and a whole bunch of stick bugs. Kara writes mostly about family, adoption, grief, education, traditions, literature, organization, Heaven, and most-importantly- her love for God. You can find her family adventures at The Chuppies.

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