Sunday, March 9, 2014

Follow Up

Hey Ladies,

I thought I would just pop in and see how each of you are doing? How have things between you and your husbands been since we completed our devotional? Have you seen change? Have you shared this devotional with anyone, yet? Have you seen change within your own hearts?

I am sitting down to write my letter to Justin tonight from the Day 30 challenge. I plan to give it to him on Tuesday this week because we both have to day off together and have planned a day date. Have you ladies given your husband the letter you wrote yet?

I continue to pray for each of you and your marriages!

But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.  For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:16-18

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Day 30: Letter to Your Husband

We made it!! Here we are at day 30.  Bittersweet, right?

So, today's topic was a wrap up of everything we gleaned from this devotional and an opportunity to put it all to work in a love letter to our husbands.  Jennifer asks us which part of the challenge was the most difficult part.  For me, it was just beginning.  I think a love letter is an ultimate and very profound way to end our journey in this devotional so I wanted my love letter to begin just as my emotions are about it.

As far as giving it to Torey, I'm not sure how I will do that.  But I certainly am praying over it for just the right moment and way to give it to him.  What did you ladies find to be the hardest part of the letter?  Do you think you will publish it through Jennifer's webpage?  I haven't decided myself yet.

Again, thank you for taking this journey with me ladies.  I am so so so thankful for each of you and all that you've shared.  My faith has exponentially grown and I feel like I've grown so much as a person as well.  Not to mention, I feel more at peace day-to-day and feel more happiness in general.

Here is Jennifer's day 30 youtube video:

Monday, February 24, 2014

Day 29: The Unveiled Wife

I cannot believe tomorrow is our last day of this study! This has been such an amazing journey, ladies! I hope you have gained so much from this devotional and this blog. I know I definitely have!

Unveiled Wife: 
But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.  For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:16-18

Today's challenge is to commit to memory the verse above. I thought the video today was really good as well as the reading. I love the imagery Jennifer paints while the wedding ceremony and the bride being unveiled. I think this topic goes right along with the last two days of our devotional about intimacy. Through intimacy with God and our husbands we can be come the unveiled wife.

Today I pray for each of us that we will turn to God as scripture says and we will experience true freedom and peace. I pray that this journey and devotional will bring us closer to God and our husbands and that we will continue to grow as wives and followers of Christ. I pray for each of us, that whatever our struggles are today (mine seem endless today) that we would turn to God and give everything to Him! I pray that we will not lean on our own understanding but trust in the Lord and allow Him to make our paths straight. AMEN!

What is one step you can take to be unveiled before God, as well as with your husband?

I can start by memorizing today's verse. Then I can pray more and reveal my heart to God and to my husband through acts of intimacy.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Day 28: Intimacy in Marriage

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend.

Today's topic is one that I wish would have been earlier in the devotional.  I struggle with intimacy in my marriage personally and I am really glad that Jennifer included it in her devotional.  I learned a lot about the other ways to increase intimacy with Torey by honest communication, sexual intimacy, praying together, confessing sins to one another, doing date nights (I have never thought of date nights in the context of intimacy before - cool!), sharing goals and dreams, serving and blessing each other, and pursuing each other passionately.  I also learned that over time these things will build trust, faithfulness and confidence in each other.  I feel like there are definitely ways that Torey and I can build intimacy after all of our brokenness after our son was born.  That process will be a rebuilding process that will take lots of time.

I also like how Jennifer says that marriage will reach fulfillment when we both work towards oneness, but we both each are called to do our parts despite what the other is doing or not doing.

Is there anything that keeps you from initiating intimacy with your husbands?  I find that for me, feeling vulnerable and that my husband fully knowing me and judging me keeps me from initiating intimacy at times.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Day 27: Intimacy with God

Good Afternoon Girls,

I cannot believe we only have 3 days left of this study. I am really going to miss blogging each day and going through this study with each of you.

Intimacy with God...I thought today's devotional was beautiful. I was really in awe reading and thinking about all the ways God woos me with his love and how desperately he desires intimacy with me. It is truly a love story. Somethings I highlighted and reflected on are that "Intimacy is the process of drawing closer to another." That reminds me of another verse in scripture: Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. James 4:8. But what keeps us from being open and intimate with God? Many things.... sin, fear, pride, fear of being vulnerable, etc. I think the very same things that hinder us from being completely unveiled and intimate with our husbands are the same things that hinder us from being intimate with God.

"Sin hinders intimacy, but forgiveness restores it. Sin hinders intimacy, but love redeems it." I think personally, my pride of thinking oh I can handle this or that hinders me from intimacy with God. We know pride is a form of sin, too. I think something else that happens is we get in the mindset of God already knows everything, He sees everything, so why do I need to communicate everything to him? But he longs to hear from us and the closer we get to God, the more we feel his presence, the more we can experience the blessings of peace and joy in our lives and the more we can be a light for others.

How will an intimate relationship with God affect your marriage?
The closer I am to God the more I see positive changes in Justin, the more I see him desire to be a spiritual leader, the more we pray together, the more we have peace.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Day 26: Hiding From God

This devotional was very eye-opening for me.  I never thought about how often I "hide" things from both God and my husband. Most of the time it is not intentional, but it happens pretty regularly. I tend to bottle up my emotions when it comes to certain things. By nature, I am a worrier. I have always been that way. However, my husband is not. He does not let things bother him. In fact, his carefree attitude often makes me angry.  I feel like I always have to be the one to make the hard decisions and map out our future. 

After reading today's devotional, I realized that I am resentful about this. I have never told him about my feelings.  I have "hidden" my feelings about this issue because I feel that he may not understand my viewpoint. I have realized that we probably need to discuss this subject, but there is never an easy opening to strike up a conversation on this topic.  I know that by continuing to "hide" this from him will only make things worse. My resentfulness will grow and will begin to affect other areas of our marriage.  It is probably time to talk it over and let him know how I feel.

In the same way, I have "hidden" things from God as well.  I have always had issues with prayer because I feel that God knows what is in my heart regardless of whether I decide to tell him or not. I "hide" things by not openly praying about the things that I struggle with. It is true that he knows all; however, it is also true that by not praying I am neglecting my relationship with God. This is something that I definitely need to work on. I plan to make it a point to pray everyday.  I need to work on my communication with both God and my husband. After all, communication is one of the most important aspects of every relationship.

Another issue that I struggle with is justifying my behavior. I make excuses all the time for the things that I do. I tend to blame Ryan for a lot of the problems that we have experienced in our marriage, but the truth is, I have caused a far share of the issues.  I blame him for not communicating with me about his feelings and emotions.  However, as I said earlier, I have done the exact same thing.  I know that in order to grow my relationship with my husband as well as God, I will have to start talking about my feelings and letting them both know what is truly in my heart. It will be difficult, but I believe that it will be well worth it.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Day 25: Fruitfulness

The fruits of the spirit include love, patience, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. All of these attributes embody Christ.  I know that I lack several of these attributes.  The two I need the most work on seem to be patience and joy. I am very impatient and get agitated very easily. As a result, I often come home in a bad mood.  My lack of joy is very evident to my husband. I can tell that this bothers him a lot. He seems to think that my unhappiness occurs when I am at home, which is not the case.

Therefore, I plan to pray that God will grant me patience for the things that are beyond my control.  I also plan to make it a point to leave my stress and anxiety at work rather than bringing it home with me.  I have always had issues with this area. However, Ryan makes it seem relatively easy.  Maybe I can get some pointers from him. Wish me luck!

What areas do you feel that you need to work on?