My Marriage to Longhorn Football, Guitars, and Video Games

When we marry, I think we expect our lives to change. We expect for there to be some level of compromise with each other. What I am learning of late, is that I did not just marry my husband the man but I also married longhorn football, guitars, and yes even video games. We marry our spouses interests when we say I do. Because it is important to them it should become important to us as well.

Now I do not particularly love to sit down and watch a football game unless it’s an incredibly good game. It is hard to keep my attention for that long unless there are some amazing plays or its an intensely close game. But I sit with my husband, make football food, and keep the children occupied because it is important to him.

Some of you have seen my house and you know that it looks like a guitar store threw up in my living room! We are reaching the twenty mark on guitars. Again, it makes my husband happy and therefore I concede and allow them to be hung all over my house! As far as video games go, I enjoy to sit down every now and then and play games so I share in this interest some.

I want to share with you all some things my husband has done in the last few weeks to support me in my interests. It just continues to show me that what is important to me is important to him as well and it is such a blessing to have the support of your spouse. Serving the community has always been important to me and since I became a stay at home mom I haven’t had the same opportunities to serve. In the last year, I have had the privilege of serving on our local community center board. Just with anything you do there is always work to be done. We had an event planned recently and after being up there cleaning all night there was still work to be done when I arrived home. My sweet hubby helped me paint signs for the event until well after midnight. Actually, he did them all while I just sat and laughed with him. It was awesome that we could giggle and laugh with each other about silly things. I am pretty sure we might have inhaled too many paint fumes but it happens. We were also delirious because the signs were flashing at us and I am still not certain this was not actually happening. But he helped me that is the point. He invested his time and energy into helping me do something that was close to my heart. And if that wasn’t enough, the next day he played driver and picked up our food for the event. And best of all he, after pouring so much into this event, when he arrived he was asked if he could wear the costume of a national icon because the person who was supposed to do it did not show. And he did it without any complaining!! Again we laughed as we tried to wrangle this outfit and get it on him. It was comical and a time for us to bond even more.

My challenge to you today is to take the time to ask what interests your spouse so that you can be invested in them and what is important to them. It speaks volumes when we take the time to do little things for each other that have big implications for our relationships. Sometimes we are so wrapped up in our own lives and interests that we miss what our spouses need us to be. You may have to get back to the basics and start asking elementary questions to unwrap all the things going on in the hearts and minds of our significant others but it is so worth the outcome. It is so worth it for them to know they are loved and we support them in the things they do.

My husband has sat down and read all my posts. Even if he doesn’t say something immediately about them, he knows it is important to me to write. He knows that I hope to make an impact in the lives of others and encourage women to be everything God created them to be and he tells me that I am good at it. He takes interest in the things that are close to my heart and he shows it in all the ways he contributes.

How many of you know what the 3 most important things are to your spouse? Have those things changed and were you aware it had changed?


Intentionality in Relationships

Today’s topic has been weighing on my mind lately because of how easily it is to let things come in the way of our relationships. It can become nothing more than a superficial relationship if we do not cultivate it and feed it the same way we would a garden. This is true of business relationships, friendships, and romantic relationships. I believe the root of all problems and sin is selfishness. In our relationships, when we make things about our selves instead of investing in the other person the relationship will generally fail or at a minimum it will suffer greatly. To have God honoring relationships, we have to ensure that we are meeting the needs of the counter part and they have to value ensuring our needs are being met. When it happens this way, both persons needs are being met without selfish intent.

I am sure there are people who this comes so naturally for and it does not cause them problems but as for me it does not come naturally. In my marriage, it does come pretty easily because I see my husband so much and I desire to have deep intimacy with him. It hasn’t always been this way. When we were first married, we both struggled to communicate with each other and communicate our needs to each other. It took acts of intentionality to make this a habit in our marriage. We set appointments each night to talk with each other with no other distractions. We would set an alarm and when it was time for our meeting it was only me and him. At times, it seemed cold and calculated and not natural as you would expect a marriage should be. But after doing this for an extended amount of time, we were able to make it a natural part of interactions with each other. And although we do have to work on it at times, we are generally very good at communicating with each other and ensure each others needs are being met.

It gets a little more tricky when it comes to relationships that you do not have the daily ability to pour into. I think mostly of my closest friends. Weeks and even months can get away from me if I am not intentional about talking with them. We have to understand that lives are busy. My best friend and I will schedule time to talk to each other. Aside from my husband, she is the one person on this earth who I need the most. However, due to life, sometimes we just aren’t there for each other. But we know that anything worth having is worth working for so we do what is necessary to ensure we make time for each other. That usually looks like 2 scheduled phone calls a month, a few unexpected text, and at least once a year face to face time with each other and our family’s.

When it comes to other friendships, I have to be willing to follow the Lord’s prompts about calling or texting someone. If he places them on my heart, I need to make a connection and follow-up. There are no coincidences with God. I have to keep a list. If I do not keep this list, I will not make those connections and relationships suffer. These are friendships I do not want to ever see suffer due to lack of building them up. Therefore it is necessary for me to be intentional with my actions and words so that my love for them and the Lord can prosper.

My challenge to you this week is for you to hone in on one relationship that you know is suffering because of a failure on your part to make connections, keep up with them, be there for them, or whatever else it is that is standing in the way of this being a friendship that honors the Lord and brings Glory to the Lord. Ask God to help you identify ways in which you can pour into this person, making deposits in their bucket, and always be pointing them towards the Lord.

Thirty and Thriving!!

Well, my 30th birthday has past. I have to say it was a pretty incredible day. First ever family vacation with almost all my adult siblings(Missing Jess). We headed to Gulf Shores, AL yesterday morning at 5am and were on the beach by 5pm!

I have always loved the beach. I am pretty certain it is because when I was a kid we pretty much lived in Galveston, Tx. Not really but my dad would take us usually several times each summer for a week at a time. Lots of treasured memories. As an adult, my awe and wonder for the ocean is no less. The beach is always a place where I can re-center and re-charge. It is magnificent to see the Lord’s handiwork displayed in such a grand way. It is a reminder of how small I am yet at the same time the Lord took just as much care and precision in crafting me as he did the sand, waves, vastness of the horizon, saltiness of the water, and commanding the moon to tell the sea how far it can go!

Not only did I turn 30 this year but my husband and I will be celebrating our 10th anniversary! Man how life has changed in a mere 10 years. The Lord has blessed me in so many ways and the biggest is the gift of a Godly husband. He leads me to a deeper walk with Christ which in my opinion is one of his number one priorities. He also teaches me to be a gentler more patient mother. He loves to teach me things that I don’t understand and I love it as well. I love that he cares enough to teach me how things work in this world that I have no concept of. I just love him!

I am also truly, truly blessed with two very sweet boys. They can be crazy at times but really who isn’t. But they are kind-hearted boys with two completely different souls just as the Lord intended. I pray that over the course of my time with these souls that they learn how and why to love the Lord, how to be Godly men like their father, and how to love their own family’s one day. My world would not be the same with out these two little monsters!!

I am also blessed with my family. Without our incredibly generous family, we would not be enjoying this AMAZING vacation. We made the decision a couple of years ago that being a mom was my full-time job right now. We could have money later in life, maybe. I really would not change that for anything but it does make it harder for us to do things such as vacations. We are very grateful! There are also many other family members that I  am also grateful for. I am so thankful to my husband’s family for making him the man he is today. Without you, my life may be totally different. Thank you for raising my best friend.

The Lord has also placed some amazing women in my life. I have wondered over the past 5 years what the Lord was trying to teach me about my friendships because it seemed to be just one thing after another. I do believe that over the last 6 months he has begun to show me what friendship truly looks like. It hasn’t been an easy process because I have learned that there are not many people in my life that I can trust. But God wouldn’t have it any other way. If I begin to put my confidence in a person, then I lose sight of him and my ability to surrender to him daily. God has placed truly amazing women in my life recently. Women that build me up and encourage me, not tear me down. And I believe that is what this true friendship looks like. In the same ways that my husband leads me closer to Christ, the women I choose to have in my life and the Lord allows me to have in my life should also always point me towards Christ and I have some ladies that have been hand-picked for that job! I leave you today with a birthday wish I received from one of these very special ladies yesterday. A friend prays for you and spurs you on and that is exactly what she has done for me. I love you lady!!

I am praying for God to give you renewal in your spirit, peace, wisdom to say only what glorify’s Him, discernment to know the difference and quick hands to slap over your mouth when your flesh takes over!

Becoming His Biggest Cheerleader

When I married my sweet husband 10 years ago, I did not envision that I would be reliving my cheer leading days. I knew I would be many things to him but I never thought about it from the perspective of cheering him on. Okay so I am not standing beside him all day every day being his encouragement but what I have learned and what the Lord has showed me over the past couple of years is that I can make the most out of every opportunity I do have.

I have always been a pretty assertive (okay borderline aggressive) person and this has played out in my marriage as well. I am also very, very vocal. It would be no big deal for my best friend to receive a phone call after a disagreement with my hubby. Actually, I can remember many times calling my very best friend during the first year of marriage at 1 or 2 in the morning because I had worked myself into a frenzy! She didn’t always appreciate the late night calls but then again she wasn’t married at the time either. Now she may welcome them because she understands the dynamics of a marriage. I have never really been one to bad mouth my husband around groups of people so I thought it was okay to call a friend and vent. And maybe in some circumstances it is. But what the Lord has shown me over the last couple of years is that it is not necessary to involve others. I should take my frustrations to him because he is my best friend and the only one who can truly make any resolution to whatever issue is at hand.

One of the most impactful tools the Lord has used in teaching my spirit to be one of encouragement instead of nagging and disrespect is Nancy Leigh Demoss’ 30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge.  If you have never checked this out, I highly recommend it! I can not count the number of times I have used this over the last 5 years. I can remember the first time I got a copy of it and truly there were some concepts that had not occurred to me. I thought it was my right to be able to vent about my frustrations. But what the Lord showed me was that I was not doing anything but tearing my husband down instead of building him up. The Lord also showed me that I was the only one in my husband’s life that could fill this role as cheer leader. It would never mean as much coming from anyone else. So I began to do the small daily challenges of choosing to not say anything negative about my husband ever, to praise him publicly and to do it often. I have always seen a tremendous impact  in our relationship when I am intentional about encouraging my husband and building him up.

I can remember not too long ago we were at church and I commented that he was being a slacker because he was standing around when there was work to be done. I immediately felt so much conviction that I had said this about him and as soon as we were alone I apologized to him. Of course to him it was no big deal. He hadn’t really noticed that these were my words but its likely those around us did and even though it was said in a very joking manner it still was not words of encouragement. By choosing to say things that are negative about my husband, I am crushing his spirit. I believe it also reveals the condition of my heart. You know that old adage that there is truth in everything you say.

As well as revealing the condition of your heart, when you choose to speak negatively about your spouse you are in many ways creating a cycle. Maybe those around you have always thought highly of your spouse but when you speak about all the negative aspects of them they begin to wonder if he really is all that great. They begin to think that if this is what his wife thinks about him he must really be bad. Not only do you damage his image in the eyes of others but you set yourself up to think less of him. If you constantly think and say negative things, it will color your perception. It will make you harbor resentment for the things that have been said and done. Take it to the Lord and let it go. Let God know you are mad and you don’t understand why things are they way they are and let him work. “He must increase; I must decrease”-John 3:30 Get out of the way of the Lord so that he can do the work that is necessary in you and in your relationship.

I am encouraging you today to make a commitment to yourself, to the Lord, and to your husband that you resolve to only speak loving , encouraging words about him and to him. Find things that you are proud of him for and lavish him with praise in private and in public. Let those around you see what a wonderful person you have in your life and your relationship will reap the rewards. He will ultimately feel respected by you and not burdened by the haunting negative words from the only one person whom he truly wants to please.