Thursday, July 2, 2015

Respecting your husband

Lately I've been making notes on what I've learned the second time around in marriage.  I have a series of posts planned on this subject.  This morning I found this article that touches on a lot of excellent marital advice.  It says a lot that's been on my mind.  


http://gospeldrivenchurch.blogspot.com/2011/12/5-ways-wives-can-encourage-their.html?m=1

Monday, April 27, 2015

Men and women can't be friends



In my opinion, the biggest lie the devil has successfully deceived the world with is that men and women can and should be friends. 

Yes!  I can hear the disagreements already...but hear me out.

The life experience I've received from my past, and from David and I helping others that have found themselves in our situations, is helping me to learn more and more about this everyday. Not to mention the two twenty-somethings that live in our house who are trying to figure out life and love and the difference between right and wrong.  

From all this data that I'm soaking up from every direction, I have come to firmly believe that my stand on this is right.  The world is now fully convinced that men and women can be friends.  The devil has convinced us that it's a good thing, and it's spilling over into the Christian world.  

Stills disagreeing?  I fully expect it.  That's how deep the lie goes.  The concept is so accepted that to dispute it is absurd.  

But stay with me....

The Lord made men and women very different.  We don't think the same way, and He made us this way for a reason.  Men and women compliment each other.  They each posess what the other needs to feel complete in a marital relationship.   Women are meant to be nurturers, and men are meant to be providers.  Women are more emotional, where men are more stoic.  So if all we need is advice or a friendly talk, then we should understand that we need go to those we are like for those things.  It says in the bible that the older women should teach the younger women, and the older men should teach the younger.  This is our support and friendship system.  The Lord Himself set it up and who are we to argue? 

But there are many who do.  Many who try to be friends, and many who get burned in the process.  When men and women try to be friends, there will almost always be one that wants to pursue more.  Even if it's not in the initial plan.  The more the friendship progresses the more likely it will happen.  

During our teenage years it is more accepted.  When we are looking for a future husband or wife it's ok to have the friendships with opposite sex.  Male and female groups of friends are usually how significant others are met. However the older you get the more these kinds of friendships can effect your life negatively.   If you are married or engaged, a friendship with someone of the opposite sex can be detrimental to the relationship.  

Let me first clarify what I am defining as a friendship.  Friendships require one on one private conversations, either in person or by phone or text.  I'm not saying we can't be nice to the opposite sex, on the contrary, I'm nice to the brethren in our church, or to the men I would come in contact with in my workplace.  But that doesn't mean we are friends.  We don't text or talk on the phone.  We don't go out for lunch or coffee.  In fact, even the conversations at church or work are not of a serious nature, and they are never private.  No personal subjects are ever discussed.  If there is something questionable that needs discussed I would recommend them to someone else or have someone be present with me.

That being said... If a man or woman desires to have a friend of the opposite sex after they are married, then there is something going on in their life that needs addressed.  

Think about it, you are committed to someone already.  You  married this person who is your best friend, and more.  They complete you in a way no other person can.  There should be no reason to ever desire the company of another person of the opposite sex.  

One of the most common instances is for a person to want to stay friends with a former significant other.  If you desire to stay friends with an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend after you have broken up, then you need to figure out why.  My guess is it means you're not over them.  If this is the case, future relationships need to be put off till those feelings can be resolved. Wanting to be friends out of niceness is not good either, it will only lead to false hopes from one of the parties involved. 

You break up and you move on.  

That's the way it goes.  

Be nice when you see them, but there is no need for more.  

Also, you should never, ever put yourself in a situation that would make your spouse uncomfortable, or question your motives.  Marriages are built on trust.  It is the cornerstone that everything else leans on.  If you do something, even if it is completely innocent, to shake that trust, it can take years to repair.  And telling them that 'it's just a friend' is never the answer.  If you have gotten to a point where you have to explain or defend your relationship with that person, then it's gone too far and needs to be ended.  

We should strive to make our spouse feel as safe as possible in the marriage.  I know how it feels to be unsafe, and it's the most terrifying feeling in the world.  Knowingly continuing a friendship with the opposite sex, and making your spouse feel unsafe is one of the most disrespectful things you can do in a marriage.  

The older I get, the more adamant I am that this subject needs discussed.  My poor twenty-something step-sons are probably sick of me trying to drill this into their heads.  But it is a subject I am very passionate about.  I am going to do my best to teach these guys, and whomever will listen, what it really means to respect their spouse, and to always avoid the appearance of evil if at all possible.  It will either kill me or I'll die trying. 

LLM


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

My favorite times

One of my favorite, most precious times is when David and I have long talks about how much the Lord has blessed us.  

Inevitably about once every week or so we will sit and talk, or go for a walk , and we'll get caught up in a long conversation about what we've both been through, how the Lord brought us together and the wonderful life we've been given.  We love to talk about our story, it's our favorite subject.  What a wonderful thing it is to be married to someone who is just as thankful that we have each other as I am. We never take for granted the second chance we've been given, and I pray we never do.  We give all the praise and glory to God.  

These are my thoughts this morning.  I have a couple of posts in the works about blending our families, so hopefully I'll finish them up soon.  
Till next time...
LLM

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Riding in cars with boys

Sometimes I sit in awe, and wonder if this life I'm living is really happening.  

My life.  This is really my life.  

I'm sitting in our light blue SUV riding to church.  It's a little over an hours drive.  My older step sons are in the drivers and shotgun seats.  They are Godly men who, despite natural tendencies to falter, try to do the right thing according to the Lord.  However, right now the one is driving a little faster than I'm comfortable with on this two lane highway, but I trust that he knows the precious cargo he's toting.  

Beside me in the middle row of seats is my husband.  He's got his bible out making sure he has all his thoughts together for his sermon this morning.  I like to watch him look out the window and silently peach to the passing trees.  By his smile, I think they are getting it.  

And finally, in the row behind us are my two little boys.  I've never been more proud of those two little guys than I have been this year.  The way they've adjusted to all the changes completely amazes me.  However, the longer we are here, the more I'm starting to see areas that need attention when it comes to them, but I'm learning to adjust my time to suit their needs and everything is getting better.  

I never expected everything to be perfect, nor did I expect it to go this well.  The Lord is blessing us , and also helping us to see the areas that need improvement. Especially on my part.  The more settled we get, the higher our comfort level gets with one another.  It's a good thing and a not so good thing.  It's good that we are all more comfortable with telling one another the hard things that need said, but it also makes us freer with our words in a way that can cause friction.  Thankfully we all have the common goal of keeping peace in our home, so no conflict ever last more than a little while. Communication is key in this house.  Sometimes we may talk things to death, but it's better than the alternative.  

These are precious times right now, but they won't last.  In the next few years the older guys will be moving out and starting their lives, and then it will just be the four of us.  So for now I will enjoy things like riding to church.  It's the little things like that where our most precious memories are made.    



Friday, January 23, 2015

Street smart

There are a couple of slang terms many use as a description for people's personality.

Book smart and street smart.

Book smart is for people who are knowledgeable in things that can be read in books, and street smart is for people who are knowledgeable in the ways of the streets - aka the world. That doesn't mean they are worldly, sinful people, they've just been out there and know how the world works.

This is not to say people can't be both, it's entirely possible.

However today I'm talking about me.

It's my blog, I can do that.

I fully admit that I am the least book smart person I know. I struggled my way through school, and finally graduated with an art degree after six years of college. Academics are not my thing to say the least. I've always considered myself to be more street smart than book smart. I can read a chapter of the bible and not be able to tell you much about it, but if you have a problem and come to me for help, I will soak up as much information about that situation as I can. My knowledge of the streets has quadrupled over the past few years. I've seen how bad the world can be, and I know what mistakes I made, and that others have made, and I learn from them. When I talk to people who are going through what I've been through, I see what works for them and what doesn't and I learn from that experience on top of what I learned from my own experiences. I try to learn something each and every time I talk to someone in order to be a better help to the next person.

In my house there are three twenty-something guys, and these guys have twenty-something friends that come over. This is a foreign thing for me being the mom of two little boys, but I like that we are the gathering house for them and their friends. Some of these guys and gals don't have a very good place to call home, or a family that is a positive influence. A lot of times, our house is the only positive family unit some of these kids ever see. And we don't make exceptions when they are here either, if you have supper with us, you pray with is. If you come into our house, you leave your evil habits or language at the door.

House rules.

No exceptions.

And our boys will be the first to tell you the rules.

On top of hanging out here, these kids come to David and me for advice on their lives. David is one of those brilliant men who are both book smart and street smart. Between the two of us, we can tell it to these kids straight and give them real advice on life in a positive way. We can tell them what works from our own experiences, and tell them what they are doing wrong because we've been in most situations - maybe not every situation, but if we didn't go through something, then we probably know someone who has - We can use the knowledge from others to help when we haven't been there ourselves. We tell them about our own personal hells, and the mistakes we made that caused them, and we tell them how we are different now and why things are better and how the Lord is blessing us because of it.

We don't preach to them with book smarts, we talk to them with street smarts.

It's awesome when you can actually get through the thick skull of a twenty-something and help them understand that you've been there.

I can call them that... it hasn't been that long since I was a stubborn, thick-skulled twenty-something. I know just how horrible your twenties are, and just how stupid they can make you.

As always, the things I write on here are things that I pray about, and I will continue to pray that David and I can be good influences in these kids' lives, and give them good advice that will lead them on a Godly path.

LLM

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Peace in south Texas

I can't remember the last time I went more than a few weeks without posting.  It seems like I could never go more than a week or so without some topic working itself out in my head. 

But here I am, more than a month later, and I have no thoughts.  No issues plaguing my mind.  Nothing.  Nada.  

Recently someone asked my sister how I was doing.  Her response, while truthful, made me think.  She said " I don't know, I never hear from her now that she's happy."  

Wow. 

While on one hand it made me realize I need to call my sister more. 

On another hand... she's right. 

For the first time I can remember I have no problems, no issues, no unsettling feelings.   

I have peace and joy and pure happiness.  

No, life is not perfect.  We still have car troubles, a tight budget and even unruly young men who can't pick up their dirty socks in the living room.  But those things are just life.  

I have a happy home that is full of love and laughter.  I'm married to my best friend, and our boys all get along and are thriving. 

I have only the Lord to thank for where I am right now, and only He knows what things will look like in the future. So for now, I will enjoy this time of happiness and peace

I wish you all a merry Christmas!  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Home.

The longer I live here in my new life, the more it starts to feel like a life I used to have a long time ago. David and I have been married four months now. At first it was all new and changes were around every corner. Nothing was familiar, and I was constantly at unrest.

But it seems with every month that passes, the more settled I get. I know the roads, I know the grocery store, I know how to be myself in a house of 6. I can sit on the couch and relax without feeling weird or uncomfortable... that's a big step for me.

Sitting in church yesterday I started having flashbacks of a different time in my life. A life that was wonderful. Having supper together around the dinner table, praying together before meals, going to church as a family. It was a wonderful childhood that I have no complaints with. Everything was simple. Everything was easy. No complications, no drama. It was my own version of 'Pleasantville' where nothing ever went wrong.

Then I grew up.

It's very weird now. I look back on my twenties and early thirties and I wonder who I was. I was so lost, even though I thought I knew where I was the whole time. I was out in the world denying the way I was raised. My home wasn't being ran the way I was taught. I wasn't conducting myself the way I knew I should be... I ignored the things in the deep, dark corners of my mind that meant the most in this life.

These days, I'm starting to see glimmers from my past in my present life. David and I have a family together. We eat together, pray before meals, attend church together, among other countless things. We try to teach our boys why this life is better than any other life. Unlike how David and I grew up, our boys have witnessed first hand what the other side of the fence looks like. They have seen the effects of selfishness, painful words and heartache. They don't have the rose-colored glasses we had at their age.

I pray they won't forget how they were raised when it comes time to start their own lives.

I pray they stay close to the church in everything they do.

It's the only way to live in this world.

It's home.

I'm home.

My life has somehow come full circle. I've come back to my roots. The Lord watched over me while I denied Him, and despite my stupidity, He showed me the way back home.

Thankful doesn't even begin to describe how I feel.


I'm home.