In Everything?

In everything, give thanks.  1 Thessalonians 5:18

In everything?

Really?  In Ev-er-y-thing?  In everything, we should give thanks?  You know you have asked that question.  Especially at this time of year, as we are about the celebrate Thanksgiving, we see this verse…and we probably think to ourselves…well, not EVERYthing.

I mean, how can I be thankful for natural disaster? For death? For illness?  For depression? For loss of a job or home? For my overbearing boss?  For my annoying sister? For my spouse’s annoying habits? For MOSQUITOS?!

The Bible clearly says, IN EVERYTHING.  Sigh.

Check out a portion of an article* from Bible.org about this verse and those surrounding it….

This command means that in every situation we are to give thanks to our sovereign and good God and Savior. In Ephesians 5:20, Paul puts it, “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father.” Giving thanks in every situation does not mean that we must be happy with every situation or resigned to accept matters without praying and working for change.

Also, we don’t need to feel thankful before we give thanks. When God takes us through hard trials, we don’t feel thankful. But by faith we can say, “Lord, I trust that You are good and that You know what You’re doing in this difficult situation. I submit to Your sovereign hand and purpose, knowing that You will work it together for my good.” So, like rejoicing always, giving thanks in everything is often a choice to believe God in difficult circumstances.

When we are connected to God and trusting Him and His plan for our lives, we are able to have gratitude in all circumstances.  (Read more about my “attitude of gratitude!”)

So many times this past year, I have looked at a difficult circumstance and saw a situation devoid of anything worthy of being thankful for.  My humanness, my flesh, my sinful nature could not see past the weight of the circumstance.

Then the Holy Spirit intervened.  Gratitude began to replace fear…or hurt…or dismay.

God is above all circumstance in life.  God knows.  He sees what we are facing.  And He knows the outcome.  These truths alone are things we can easily be grateful for!!

We have a God who loves us, knows what we face, will protect us, and ultimately has ALREADY saved us from the worst.

When we believe in the saving grace of Jesus and His defeat over the grave, we can be grateful IN EVERYTHING!

Not FOR everything.  (We don’t really need to be grateful for the mosquitos, ok?)  But, as believers, we can be grateful IN this life, even in the darkest moments of this life.

Our challenge is to truly have a heart of gratitude in those difficult moments.  It’s easy to be thankful when things are going well.  It’s so challenging to be thankful when they aren’t.

Guess what?  When we are able to grow our gratitude, we change the way we view those moments.  A heart filled with gratitude doesn’t have room for fear, anger, and resentment.  Rather, it opens us up for things like joy, peace, patience, forgiveness and mercy.

“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.”

In this life, I don’t think God expects us to be grateful FOR everything…..but He does ask that we be grateful IN everything.  And because of His love for us, we are able to do just that.

In everything, give thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends.

www.sidebysideministry.org

*Read more on this subject through the link below.

https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-20-three-impossible-commands-1-thessalonians-516-18

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Attitude of Gratitude?

Is it really November already?

Is it already time for the busy holiday season?  I don’t know about you, but when November rolls around, I sometimes feel like a bull in the ring, blowing smoke out of my nostrils, and kicking up dust….readying myself to bust through the next two months of gatherings, events, shopping, and doing, doing, doing.

Even just writing that, I am exhausted.  I would venture to say that many of us feel this way, if we are honest with ourselves.  There are even songs written about the craziness of the holiday season.

It’s not shocking that our attitude would be like that of the bull, ready to charge!

Let’s look at the two main holidays that we are about to celebrate.  Thanksgiving.  A holiday where we gather with family and friends to show our thankfulness for the bounty that has been given.  A time to take stock, so to speak, on the blessings we have received, not only as children of God, but as citizens of a free nation.  A time to show those around us that we love them…by sitting shoulder to shoulder watching a sporting event, or chatting over pumpkin pie.

And then Christmas.  A holiday that has been taken over by commercialism, but is meant to be the celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  A time to love God and thank Him for sending the Messiah as a babe, to one day save each and every one of us from our sins and bring us to be with Him in eternity.

In the next two months, we have been given the gift of time to worship God and love His people.

We can be grateful for that gift.

Are we? Coming into the “holiday season,” do we have an attitude of gratitude?  Or are we getting ready to charge through it HEAD FIRST (not HEART first!) so we can just “make it through?”  Be honest with yourself.

In Matthew 22, Jesus is asked what the greatest commandment is.  This is his reply…

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

We have been given an opportunity to:

  1. Love God.
  2. Love our neighbor.

In the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas, we are being handed a platform in order to do the greatest of the commandments!  What a gift! But do we have an attitude of gratitude?  I’ll go first….I don’t!  I can sometimes go into this season with a dread of what is to come.  And that mindset-that dread-will color all the things I do and all the encounters I have.  What a shame.

I don’t want to do that this year.  I want to change my attitude!

I want an attitude of gratitude!

I want to be grateful for the time that I have been given to do God’s will….to love Him and His people.  I want to truly worship Him for what He has done in my life.  I want to wake up in the morning with a grateful heart and a yearning to love the people around me, even and especially the ones who are so very unlovable!

Will you join me?

Let’s do this!  Let’s enter this holiday season with an attitude of gratitude!

In the comments below or on our Facebook or Instagram page, share with us how you will make that shift in your attitude.  Let’s help each other…spur each other on, encourage each other to have an attitude of gratitude this season.

www.sidebysideministry.org

 

 

 

3 Important Ways to Prepare for a Storm.

So, in case you hadn’t heard, Hurricane Irma paid us a visit last month.  Only shortly after Hurricane Harvey made a devastating visit to our friends in Texas.

Storms happen.

Plain and simple.  Storms are a part of life, literally and figuratively.

Now, I could write for days on how to prepare for a literal storm, since I just spent hours and hour researching about what we needed to do in preparation for Irma.  But I feel called to focus on the figurative storms in life.  The ones that have nothing to do with “mother nature” and everything to do with our heart.

How can we be prepared for the storms of life?

Is it even possible to be prepared for a storm when you feel blindsided by one?  I believe it is possible.

So, here are three questions to ask yourself in order to see if you are prepared for a storm:

1.  Where is God?

Is He the center of your life?  Is He the one you turn to when things go wrong?  Are you making decisions in your life based on what He tells you through the Bible?

Be honest with yourself.  You are not preparing yourself well by fooling yourself.  If you are a Christian, you “know” the right thing to say here. But is is a fact in your life?

Or is God being placed lower and lower on your priority list?  Are you having to remind yourself to spend time with Him, only to find at the end of a long day that you “couldn’t find time.”

When your relationship with God is solid, that is a firm foundation that no storm can destroy.

Having God placed at the center of your life is VITAL to being well-prepared for a storm.

2.  Where are you?

Look around you.  Are you in a “good place?”  When I am not doing well mentally, I will say to Steve, “I am not in a good place.”  What I mean is that something is off…something in my life is causing everything to falter.

So, where should you be? What is a “good place?”  Well, that is different for each of us.  I will dare to say that much of my good place depends on the answer to my first question, Where is God?, in my life. But there are other factors, too.  Is there a sour relationship occurring?  Do I have work piled up that I have ignored or been too busy to get to?  Have my husband and I had quality time together?  Is my time being spent wisely? Am I surrounding myself with like-minded, godly people?  Do I feel mentored as a parent or wife or ministry leader? Do I have people in my life that I trust and am accountable to? Am I enjoying life, truly enjoying it?  Are my healthy desires being met?  Am I achieving goals?  The list goes on and on.

Think of it this way…if you are going to have to stay in one place for an extended period of time while a storm rages outside, you want it to be a nice spot.  No one wants to hole up in the gas station bathroom during a storm.  Ick.  We’d all prefer to be in a comfortable home, preferably with a huge generator and a stocked pantry.  It changes how you experience the storm.

Where YOU are–good place or not so good place–changes how you experience the storm.

Don’t stay in the “gas station bathroom” place.  Make the changes necessary in order to be in the fully stocked comfortable home when that storm hits.

3.  Are you ready to do what it takes?

This is huge, friends.  Are you ready to truly do what it takes to not only make it through the storm, but thrive in the middle of it?  This takes grit and determination.  It takes humility and grace.   It usually requires forgiveness and sacrifice.  It always requires faith. 

The answer to this question is also dependent on the answer to question #1 and even question #2.  With God, all things are possible.  Without God, it’s super hard and even impossible.  And if you are in a bad place BEFORE the storm, it’s even more difficult to rally strength and perseverance once the storm hits.

When a storm comes, there is so much to focus on.  You need to brace yourself, expect the unexpected, protect yourself from danger, protect others around you, and so on.  Then after the storm, the focus is different but still all-consuming.  So, though you may be tempted to do a quick clean-up and move on, I encourage you to stay focused on the details of the storm and what it takes to completely heal, live well and even be better than you were before the storm.

Doing what it takes requires focus and sacrifice.

When preparing for Irma, my usual schedule went out the window.  I couldn’t possibly focus on all my normal daily tasks while also taking on the added stress of preparing our family for what could have been a catastrophic storm.  Don’t get me wrong, I did the things that HAD to get done, but any extras or those items that weren’t necessary were removed.

The same thing applies with a figurative storm.  You have to dig your heels in and hyper-focus on the task at hand.  You can’t expect to keep status quo on all the other areas of your life while you are trying to battle an enemy in one area.

We speak to couples in crisis a lot.  And we have experienced many couples that have a difficult time accepting that repairing damage in a marriage requires sacrificing in other areas of life.  In this day and age, we are all so busy and lives are filled with schedules and appointments and tasks and jobs and lists and this and that.  Something has to give, friends!

And sometimes it’s the things you really like or the things your kids really like.  If your marriage counseling sessions are scheduled during baseball practice, then it might be that your child needs to skip this season.  Or maybe you need to step down from that leadership team while you sort out a family crisis.  Maybe your spouse needs to change jobs in order to be home more while you battle an illness.  You cannot continue at your usual pace and with your usual priorities while a storm is wreaking havoc on your life.  You just can’t.

I know of a couple that sold their beautiful home and moved their family of five to a small apartment in order to reduce their spending so they could get out of debt.  It is a big sacrifice for their entire family.  But the sacrifice is nothing compared to the peace they are experiencing in the decision to rid themselves of the weight of financial burden.

Prioritize.  Be ready to do what it takes.

God will lead you.  The Holy Spirit will prompt you to what needs to go or stay.  Listen to Him!  Lean NOT on your own understanding, but in ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your path. (Proverbs 3:5-6, my emphasis)

In the storms of life, we need to:

1. Keep God at the center.

2. Create a life of peace, love and joy.

3. Be prepared to prioritize and sacrifice.

Hurricane Irma was the largest hurricane in recorded U.S. history.  But I felt safe.  I trusted God and His plan for me.  I was in a “good place” where there was no room for fear.  And I was prepared for extreme sacrifice.  May it be so in the next storms in my life…and yours.

 

 

 

 

Say YES to joy!

Have you ever said to yourself, “When THIS happens, THEN I will feel joy.”  Or “once we get through this tough time, I will feel better.”  It seems nearly impossible to experience joy in the middle of a tough time.

How can we even consider being joyful when the stresses of life are whirling around us?

Here’s How!

The joy of the Lord is your strength.  Nehemiah 8:10

Friends, having joy is what actually helps you get through that tough time!  Yep, it’s true.  The joy of the Lord is your strength!

We tend to think that joy comes AFTER a tough time.  But, according to the Bible, joy needs to be present at ALL times in order for us to experience the full strength that God is offering us.  We tend to get it backwards.

It’s the joy of the Lord that will carry us through a tough time, not what we receive after the tough time.

I am not talking about happiness.  Happiness and joy are two different things.  Happiness is circumstantial.  Joy is way deeper than that.  Joy comes from God.  The stronger your relationship is with God, the more and more you experience His joy, even in the middle of difficult seasons.

Don’t wait until the storm passes to experience joy.  Praise God in the midst of trouble.  Open your heart to His goodness even while you may be suffering.  The joy of the Lord is your strength!  Memorize this verse, so that you can repeat it to yourself whenever you are tempted to let that joy slip away.

Say YES to joy!

What are you reflecting?

Driving with my 4-year-old as a dark storm brewed above, my son asks me, “What are those flashlights on the road?”  I respond, “reflectors.”  As any innocent seeker of knowledge would respond, he asks, “Who turned them on?”

I began to explain to him that no one turned them on, that they are actually reflecting the light off of my headlights.  Of course, he asked me WHY. (If you are a parent, you know that this conversation was FILLED with “whys.”)  I explained to him that it was to help me see where to drive while it was dark.

The idea of reflection was very puzzling to him.  So I began to find other examples of reflection in order to help him understand.  With full credit to the Holy Spirit, here is the best example I gave him:

Our car’s headlights are like God.  They are shining love and light into a dark world.  We are like reflectors.  We soak up God’s love and light, and then shine it out to others.  When they see God’s love reflected through us, they are able to see God’s path better. 

We aren’t the ones leading them…God is.  We have an important job, though.  We have a choice: we can receive God’s light and keep it all to ourselves, not letting any of it out.  Or we can receive His love and then share it with those around us.  God wants us to share it!

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  2 Corinthians 4:6

I have to be honest with you…lately, it’s been easier for me to receive God’s love and light than to share it.  Sometimes it feels risky sharing God’s light, because people have a choice to ignore it or ridicule it or refuse it.  As a Christian, it can feel like a personal rejection when someone rejects the love of God we are trying to reflect to them.  It’s not an easy task…being a “reflector.”

This is where obedience comes in.  That little reflector on the road isn’t responsible for making sure I, the driver, am looking at it.  It’s simply responsible for reflecting light.  That’s it.  Our job is not to change people or save people.  Our job is simply to reflect the light of God to all whom we encounter.  God, in His infinite wisdom, will do the rest.

Are you reflecting God’s light to those around you?

 

There’s no hope.

“There’s no hope.”

Have you ever found yourself saying that?  Have you ever found yourself in a circumstance where you truly believed there wasn’t an ounce of hope to be found?  Maybe you are experiencing that right now.  Maybe you are watching a friend or loved one wallow in that statement.

I have experienced that.  I remember, when we were experiencing rocky times in our marriage, and I had just started going back to church, I felt hopeless.  Odd, right? Why would I feel hopeless when I was just re-introduced to the God of hope? Well, I hadn’t yet fully committed my life to God, so I was partially blind to His extreme power….and to His grace.

My hopelessness came when God started to show me, through His word, all that I was doing against His will.  It was a super humbling time for me.

Shame took over.

I was so ashamed at how I had been living my life that I couldn’t see past it.  I was only focusing on the mistakes I had made and not on the grace and forgiveness that God was freely handing me.

I looked at what a terrible, disrespectful wife I had been and my husband, who had one foot out the door, and I couldn’t see hope…I only saw failure.

(To this day, I continue to work on my very black and white view of things… I am hard-wired to wrongly believe that if I am not “perfect” that I have somehow failed.  Those thoughts DO NOT come from God)

Even in those days where I felt hopeless and I thought that my marriage was a “lost cause,” I continued to seek God’s guidance through His word.  This verse came up:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.  Romans 15:13

How was I going to experience hope? In believing!  See how that is worded? Let me break it down in the way God revealed it to me.

He is the God of hope.

He wants me to have joy and peace.

I will have joy and peace by believing.

When I fully believe, the power of the Holy Spirit will be in me.

Through the Spirit of God, I will experience overflowing hope!

Bottom line??  When we believe in Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives, there is ALWAYS HOPE!  When we place our hope in Him, we experience joy and peace.  He does this through His Spirit, which lives in all believers.

Now, if you are like me, you might be saying…..yeah, yeah, I know all that….BUT this circumstance is really hopeless….THIS MISTAKE is too terrible…..THIS person is beyond repair.

Friends, I get it.  Sometimes what we are going through fills our minds completely and there is no room for God’s truth. 

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I picture it like this….when you are taking a photo of a beautiful landscape and you accidentally put your finger in front of the camera.  There is a huge, gorgeous world waiting for you to capture it, and your little finger has now completely covered it.  Your finger looks “huge” because it’s taking up the whole shot….but in actuality, it’s small, just a finger…and not nearly as vast and majestic as the landscape you were about to capture.

Our hopeless circumstance seems huge, but it’s just a little finger compared to the majesty of our God.  Don’t let the circumstances of life, no matter how hopeless they may seem, rob you of capturing the majesty of God and carrying it with you all your days.

Shame was that “finger” for me.  It covered the beautiful landscape God was placing before me.  Eventually, through sticking with Him and continuing to strengthen my faith, I was able to see that His forgiveness and love and grace was there even before my shame took over…I just had to see it and accept it.  Once I did, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I was overflowing with hope!  That hope carried me through even darker days ahead.

Placing your trust in God and receiving His hope doesn’t mean that hopeless circumstance is going to get “fixed” in the way you desire or anticipate.  Remember, God is in charge.  Trust Him.  He knows you, He knows what you truly need.  And He loves you with a love you can’t even imagine.

May you abound in hope, friends!

15th Anniversary Fundraiser Event Recap + Testimonials

Have you ever been on a road trip and looked around at all the other people in cars and thought to yourself…where are they going? Or where have they been? Sometimes, I will look over at a car and see that it’s the same person that was in line next to me at the last rest stop.  Or I will see that someone I passed earlier in the day is now passing by me.  We are all on a journey, seemingly going along on the same path in the same direction.  But when you look closely, though we travel along simultaneously, we are having vastly different experiences at varying paces.

Recently, we shared Side By Side: Our Journey From Hurt to Hope at our 15th Wedding Anniversary Fundraiser.  Nearly 150 people experienced our story and learned more about the future of our ministry, Side By Side.

 

Looking from the outside, you would see many people in the same room having the same experience.

But each and every person in that room was in a different place in their own personal journey.  So, their experiences were completely different.  Just like the cars on the road traveling next to you.

In the days following our event, we have heard comments from many of the people that attended.

It’s amazing to hear how they receive the story of our journey based on where they are in their journey.

The story we tell is “our journey from hurt to hope.”  Well, the people that came to see Side By Side are all over the spectrum of that journey from hurt>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>to hope.  People tend to gain different insights from our story based on where they fall on that spectrum.

From a godly couple that has come to Side By Side three times:

“Our marriage is better since being introduced to Side By Side.”

From a couple that viewed it on video when headed for divorce (and now have seen it live, too!):

“If it weren’t for Side By Side, we wouldn’t be married.”

From a couple that has been married over twenty years, and seen Side By Side twice:

“God shows me something new each time.”

From a ministry leader seeing it for the first time:

“It’s like Christian Broadway!”

From a couple experiencing marriage difficulties:

“This was life-changing.”

From a single woman:

“I can apply much of what you talk about to any of my daily relationships.”

Every person at our event was in a different place in their journey….all over the spectrum from hurt to hope.  As we shared how God has worked in our lives, He was working in theirs.  He uses our mess, on a daily basis, to speak to people and show them that He has a beautiful plan for their life, no matter where they are on their journey.

So, how did our event go? (People have asked us that a lot in the last couple weeks!)  It went exactly as God intended it to!  We shared our journey and, through God’s providence, spoke directly to each person in the way they needed to hear it.  For some, God used our story to make radical changes in their lives.  For others, God helped people to see how they can support Side By Side.  For us, He faithfully reminded us of His goodness and His love and His grace.

Thank you to each journey that was represented that night.  We pray that we are all journeying on God’s path toward the HOPE that can only come from Him.

 

 

Wait. Why do you do this?

People ask this question quite a lot.

Why do we do this?

Meaning…why do we publicly share very personal details of our lives with absolute strangers?  Why did we start a non-profit organization?  Why do we revisit a very painful time in our lives over and over and over again?

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Real marriages are being saved!

Side By Side Ministry was created out of our mess.  Our marriage was broken and headed for divorce.  Miraculously, God restored our marriage.  And we began the difficult yet amazing journey from hurt to hope.

In our desire to inspire and encourage couples to do the same, we created Side By Side, a musical storytelling experience, in which we share the details of our journey and support it with faith-based music.

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Since Side By Side Ministry was created, over 800 people have viewed it live.  Two people have committed their life to Jesus, hundreds have made significant changes to their marriages, and at least 4 marriages have been saved!

God is restoring marriages through Side By Side!

Between live events, we have sent a video of Side By Side to hurting couples.  Guess what?  Those couples were deeply changed by God’s story.  Some made significant changes to their marriages, some felt convicted to seek further counsel, and…

MORE MARRIAGES HAVE BEEN SAVED!

This got us thinking…what if couples could view Side By Side whenever they needed to? What if they didn’t have to wait for a live event? What if they could just do an internet search and find our story of hope?

What if thousands upon thousands of couples could see Side By Side with a simple click?

It is our deepest desire to see ALL marriages God-centered and thriving.  If hearing our story can help couples make the choice to go from surviving to thriving, then we want EVERY couple to have the opportunity to view Side By Side!

Here’s the plan!  We will professionally film our Side By Side presentation.  It will be high-quality, eye-catching, intimate and inspiring.  It will include all the same content as the live event.  It will be available for viewing on our Side By Side YouTube Channel, where couples will also have access to accompanying reflection questions, bible verses, and additional resources.

Side By Side is blessed to have a team of professionals that will strategically market the video online, so that it will be very simple for a couple to find our story of hope.

Just imagine you are a hurting or frustrated spouse searching the internet for direction and inspiration….and up pops Side By Side, leading you to follow God’s design for your marriage!  Sometimes all you need is a little mustard seed, a glimmer of hope, a story that inspires you to keep on keepin’ on or convicts you to make a change. 

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

Pray.

First, pray for us! This is a huge project and we need God’s guidance and provision.  Your prayers are so important.

Tell.

Please tell people about us!  Invite them to our upcoming fundraiser on July 23rd at Parkridge Church.  Tell them there is a non-profit organization out there that wants to see all marriages God-centered and thriving.  Like us and share our posts on Facebook. Follow us on Instagram. Don’t assume that people know about us.

Give.

In order to create and implement this video project, we need to raise $75,000.  This is a huge project that requires a great deal of resources.  It is important to us that we are able to offer the Side By Side video and resources FREE OF CHARGE to those that need it.  Please consider partnering with us to save marriages!  GIVE NOW.

Friends, we believe this is God’s plan for Side By Side.  We have already been so blessed to see how He is orchestrating this next step for us.  We thank you in advance for being a part of this project.  We believe it is a “game-changer” for Side By Side.  We also believe it is going to save marriages and change lives! 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.                   2 Corinthians 1:3-4

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www.sidebysideministry.org

 

 

Whose are you?

Whose are you?  No, it’s not a typo, I didn’t mean to ask WHO are you.  I am asking, WHOSE are you?  Let me explain why I ask.

We were privileged to attend an adoption ceremony recently.  A family in our church, who have fostered the children for years, were given the right to adopt them last week.

My brother was adopted into our family when I was six, and I was adopted by my stepfather when I was an adult.  So, this adoption ceremony brought back a lot of memories and flooded me with emotion.

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A Strong Foundation: Guest Blog Post by Author Becky Graham

Side By Side Friends, Please help me welcome our guest, Becky Graham.  Becky and her husband, Dave, transplanted to South Florida from the Chicagoland area in August 2015.  They are members of Parkridge Church in Coral Springs, FL.  Becky recently launched her first book, Faithful: An Unexpected Journey to Motherhood.

“I’d like everyone to draw a triangle on the piece of paper in front of you,” the woman instructed the group.

As part of our church’s mandatory pre-marital requirements, Dave, my fiancé, and I found ourselves sitting in a conference room at the church, on a Saturday, along with 12 other couples, for the next six hours. Knowing the divorce rate was 50% of all marriages, they wanted the couples to have a better than 50% chance of staying married. Continue reading

Deer in headlights.

“Lisa, every time I see you lately, you look like a deer in caught in headlights.”  This was said by a friend as I entered the threshold of our third event of the weekend.  I was not at all offended.  She is a trusted friend and I actually really appreciated her statement.  So much so that I am going to write about it today.  Continue reading

And….Action!

Believe it or not, the words “I love you” are not very meaningful for me.  When Steve and I were experiencing extreme strife in our marriage he would still say “I love you.”  At first, it was relieving to hear those words….like, whew, even though he’s treating me poorly, at least he still loves me.

But after a short time, those words were worthless.  Why?  Because they were not backed up with action.   Actually, his actions were the complete opposite of love.  Continue reading

3 Magic Words For Your Marriage!

What are the magic words to help love abound in your marriage?  We know from our last blog post that “always” and “never” are not doing you any favors.  So, if those are the “bad words,” what are the “good words” for our marriages?  Continue reading

2 Words To Remove From Your Marriage…

“You never remember to pick up your towel!”

“You always say that!”

“You never want to do what I want to do.”

“You always nag me.”

Do you sense the theme?  Have you ever said something similar to any of these statements?  (Come on, be honest with yourself.  Own it.) Continue reading

3 truths that lead to healing. (Part 3)

“If you don’t even kiss me when you get home, then good luck getting anything more than that tonight.”

“Why shouldn’t I go out with the guys again? If I am home, all she does is complain.”

“How can I possibly respect you when you haven’t done anything respectful?”

Do any of these sound remotely familiar?  Come on, be honest with yourself…it’s very likely every single one of us has said something similar at some point in our marriages.  In fact, many of us use statements like this daily.  What do all these statements have in common?  They all include Continue reading