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Category Archives: Inspiration

Hope for the Separated Couples

In a way, I do have to give some respect to those who choose separation rather than just hopping right into getting a divorce. I am not saying that separation is necessarily a good thing, but I believe that divorce can be better than divorce. Granted, separating can be hard on families. I have been on both sides of separation. I have been  child and my parents separating over and over again, and I have even separated from my husband once in our marriage, but played the “I am leaving you” game plenty of times.

I think some couples get a couple of things confused when they decide to separate. If you are separated from your spouse at this time, or you have talked about separating, make sure that you are understanding what you are doing, and if you have children, make sure that you realize that they may react negatively towards your decision.

After my youngest child was born, I suffered from PPD (Post Partum Depression) and like I had described before, my husband and and I had been completely disconnected for a long time. I was suffering from depression and he was so busy working to make ends meet and we were just distant. We were constantly arguing and it was just a really rough time in our marriage. Our kids were young and we had a newborn and we thought that it would be best to separate. One of the things that we didn’t consider was how the kids would react. We didn’t talk to the kids or explain anything, I just up and left with the kids! It was during the summer time so I made it like a summer vacation…without Dad! The kids started acting out. I was even more depressed trying to juggle everything together. When we did talk, we threw around divorce a lot. That is just some of our story!

Some things to consider or think about before or if you are currently separated:

  • Your children- If you are constantly fighting, then yes, maybe it is time for a little break. But, sometimes it is good to let your children know that marriages aren’t perfect. I used to have it in my mind that my children would always see my marriage as perfect and no fighting! But, if we never allow our children to see us argue sometimes, then aren’t we setting them up for disappointment? Think about some of the things your children might go through if you were to separate. The changes that it would make in their lives.
  • What exactly is separation- A lot of people separate and they think that they can immediately take off their wedding rings and are single. Separation is to HELP your marriage, not to make it worse. When you are separated, it doesn’t mean you are divorced or single–it means that you are taking time away from your spouse (with hopes of working things out) and you are working on your marriage.
  •  Keeping contact with your spouse while you are separated- Sometimes it is good to keep in contact with your spouse. If you are thinking of any hopes or futures with your spouse, keep all contact positive. Meet up for a date for just the two of you! Send cute text messages! Send her flowers! Don’t waste your time grooming for a relationship that isn’t with your spouse…put the effort into working on the marriage that you already have! Work on forgiving! Get in church and really seek God during this time!

It is crazy how people will get separated and start sleeping around with other people and making relationships with them. It’s “play” time. I don’t think that’s what separation is about.

Lord, I pray for all the couples are going through separation. I pray that couples start realizing how valuable their marriage is. I pray that you open the eyes of the ones that are separated. I pray that all communication is not negative but positive communication. I pray that you will restore marriages that don’t feel like they have any hope! I pray for all marriages!

Until next time… be encouraged!

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It’s the Little Things That Matter..

Okay, so, in all honestly, I have had a hard time keeping up with posting. The point of this month was to post about some of the things that would help, encourage, and to let other couples know that they aren’t the only one to go through things! But, I had something else I wanted to share. Sometimes, marriage can be really hard and stressful, but sometimes, we have to take a second and realize the little things because sometimes it is the little things that matter.

Everyone has just felt awful around our house. Sinuses and allergies have just gotten the best of us! We have all been crabby and short with one another. Last night, I came to bed early. I had a headache. My husband kept the kids quiet and spend time with them–tending to them and getting them to bed. I guess we get in our minds that that is the “Mom’s job..” or at least in my mind it is. I was a stay at home mom for the longest time that I guess I still feel that it’s my responsibility to do everything that relates to taking care of the kids and taking care of the house…so I really appreciates when my husband steps in!

But! That’s not what really caught my attention last night. When my husband finally came to bed, he was the sweetest man on the face of the Earth…to me anyway. He knew I felt awful, and he caressed my hair and he rubbed and ‘karate chopped’ my neck. I was really just starting to notice how sweet he was treating me. Then, he just started telling me all of these sweet things like how I was so beautiful, how that there were billions of people and half of those being women but he would not rather be laying and taking care of any other person, how I was his best friend. I felt like the most important things while he was saying those things to me. I really felt like he meant those things.

So, regardless of the hard times we have had through our marriage, times like last night really make me think more of the good times that we have had instead of dwelling on all of the negative, ugly things in our marriage. Sometimes, we need to get out of these moods of being down and thinking our marriages suck so bad!

As my husband and I were going through marriage counseling, we were taught about love languages. I think that there are 5 different (yes, 5 because I looked it up!)

  1. Words of Affirmation- Hearing or telling the words, “I love you” or “I appreciate you.” Some people just really love words of affirmation. I am really thinking that my love language is the words of affirmation. I don’t need diamonds or fancy thing to know that my husband loves me.
  2. Quality Time- Some people fall in love when you absolutely giving you their undivided attention without any distractions. I am kind of thinking this might be my husband’s love language! He loves just hanging out! He feels loved so much when we are just hanging out on our back porch or out on a date.
  3. Gift- Some people love getting gift! Sending your spouse flowers or picking them up something that they would really like. A lot of women have the love language of getting gifts!
  4. Acts of Service- Showing that you love someone by doing something for them! Picking up one of their chores that they absolutely hate! Picking up something on the way home that you know that your spouse was needing to do. Just basically saying, “Let me do it for you!”
  5. Physical Touch- Now, most people would say, “that’s my husband!” But, it’s not all about the bedroom physical-ness…(yes, I just made that a word!) This love language can be holding hands, kissing foreheads, playing footsie.

So, hearing these love languages, what is yours? I would definitely say mine is either Words of Affirmation or Acts of Service! Nothing says, “I love you,” in my opinion like letting me know how important I am, how good of a job I am doing, or picking up a chore that I absolutely hate (washing dishes!)

Thinking of the love languages, what is your spouse’s love language? What really makes them happy? From now on, or perhaps when you are thinking about the bad times in your marriage, think about your spouse’s love language. If you had to choose one of the five above for your spouse, which one would it be? Make time to think about your spouse’s love language.

There are many things out there one the big web that talks about love languages. There are even self tests if you don’t know what your love language is! Dohhh! Go figure! 🙂

Lord, if we don’t know what our love language is or our spouse’s love language is, begin to show us with our actions with our spouse. Lord, help us to use these love languages while we are connecting with our spouse. And, if we are going through a rough time in our marriages, let our spouse’s react in a positive manner and realize when we are trying to show them love languages. Help us to use our love languages to really build and make our marriages stronger. Thank you, Lord, for helping us with our marriages!

Until next time, be encouraged!!!!

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Learning to Forgive After an Affair

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Unforgiveness is a prison that we get trapped in when someone that we love or really care for hurt us. It can take a significant amount of time to forgive someone after they hurt you, especially after they have cut you really deep. This blog post is talking about my struggle with forgiveness after I found out about my husband’s affair.

Before I found out about my husband’s affair, I talked and preached on forgiveness. I believed that you needed to forgive someone right away. I thought forgiveness was some easy thing, and when people would tell me about their hurts, I would tell them they needed to forgive that other person. It was a whole different story when it came to my situation though. Forgiving wasn’t as easy as preaching about it.

I didn’t know the other woman, although, for some strange reason, we were Facebook friends during the time she was talking to my husband. I knew nothing about her though. I think that was one thing that bothered me so much, is that a complete stranger had helped do so much damage in my marriage. I was convinced I hated her. I could not see her name without getting upset. I could not see her car without wanting to chase her down and harass her. I could not see an innocent post that she posted on Facebook without wanting to reveal to the world about who she “really was” and what she had done to me and my family.

I started searching for so many different things..praying God to heal me of my hurts..I wanted to just live a normal life and not have to worry about forgiveness. I thought since Facebook was bothering me so much seeing all her things being posted, that I would block her.  So, I guess you could say that I was just pushing it under the rug. I wanted it, but didn’t want to take the actions to get there. So anything to do with her made me mad all over again. Her and my husband work together and continued working at the same place and that would make me mad just knowing that they had the chance of running into one another. The more self conscious I got, the more worry came over me, the more angry I became!

My husband and I was at the store when we ran into her and her family one Sunday and it just rolled all over me.. I was mad and my husband had not even seen her. I made my husband pay for the affair that he had had 8 months prior to running into her. I was miserable. I was making my husband miserable. I wasn’t fulfilling my promise on doing my best to work on the marriage.

It wasn’t until almost  year after the affair, I was with my children at the store and saw her car in the parking lot. Instead of getting all riled up, I began to pray. I prayed that God would help me and help me to be prepared because it was a small store and I was most likely going to see  her. I just remember rushing through the store saying to myself, “Lord, help me..give me strength…thank you for healing me.” Sure enough, I passed the woman and I was able to successfully smile at her. I felt relieved. I felt that healing had started. I praised God.

I had unblocked her several months before running into her at the store because I felt that I wasn’t allowing myself to forgive by keeping her blocked. A couple of days ago, it came up in my newsfeed that she had “liked” something I said. It didn’t really bother me. I realized then, I was being healed even more.

Unforgiveness is like a prison. It took me almost a year to make up my mind to forgive her and deal with the problem. It was extremely hard for me because it was someone I shared a town with and would run into from time to time. It was someone my husband still shares the same employer with. Our children attend the same school. If I had to look back, I would have definitely done a lot of things differently, but I believe God has let me see this hard situation so I can minister and share my story with the world.

I can’t tell you how to forgive or how to take steps to forgiveness because I am sitting here still in disbelief that I have been able to come as far as I have. Especially after seeing some of my worst days. My advice, trust God. Ask Him. Remember how God has forgiven us and how bad we want to be forgiven. We sin and do wrong and expect to be forgiven, so I try to offer that same grace to others.

Let me pray for you. Lord, I know how hard it is to forgive someone that has done us wrong. Lord, show us how to forgive because it is our human nature to hate people that have done us wrong. Lord, show us grace and help us to show grace. Lord, thank you for restoring our marriages and giving us strength. We love you, Lord and we thank you!

“Not forgiving someone is like drinking the poison and expecting the other person to die.” Author Unknown

Like, Share, Pin this post and encourage someone who is trying to forgive after an affair! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post as I give more encouragement on how to deal and get over our spouse’s having an affair!

Until next time…be encouraed!!

My marriage was over…but God had different plans!

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My Marriage was over, but God had different plans!

One year ago, I didn’t realize what that day was about to hold. I didn’t know how I would make it this far. One year ago, I thought was one of the worse days of my life. I thought my marriage was over, but God had different plans.

It was a Monday morning, and I woke up and started the coffee just like any other morning. I like to wake up a little bit before my husband and kids so I can have some “me time.” While I waited on the coffee to brew, I read my Bible verse of the day from my app, and then checked to see what was going on on Facebook. I noticed I had 7 messages, which was completely out of the norm. The messages were from a man that I was familiar with. I had called this man a month beforehand to let him know that his wife had been calling my husband quite a bit and I was concerned with her calling and talking to my husband so much. The messages from the man were screenshots of e-mails between my husband and this man’s wife woman. I couldn’t do anything but cry. My world had fallen apart.

I went on with my day, taking the kids to school and picking them up. I was alive on the outside, but completely dead on the inside. I locked myself in my room and stayed asleep. When I was awake, I was crying. I didn’t know what to do, how to tell the kids, why this woman. These questions ran through my head for months. I hated my life and couldn’t find any self worth in myself.

For years, my husband and I had experienced a big drought in our marriage. I was sleeping in my children’s room, we weren’t spending much time with each other. Often times, my husband described our relationship as “We were roommates, just living together.” We had no physical contact. Nothing. What was there to fight for after I found out about my husband’s affair? I thought it was time to get a divorce. I questioned God, “Why would God let this happen to my marriage when I had been praying for something to turn our marriage around.” My husband wasn’t in church and had no desire to go to church with me the past 3 years I had been going with just the kids, with the occasion he would go with me. Granted, my husband felt awful for his decision to have an affair. He called and confessed what he had done to our family, to our Pastor and to our closest friends. He was sick and confessed he just wanted to die for making such a careless decision.

Days passed, then weeks, and I could never make myself go talk to a lawyer. This is a man who had been such a great Father to our children, and who did love me, regardless of the many mistakes. I began really seeking God. After the hurt left, I became angry and wanted to seek revenge on him and her. I couldn’t even watch a show that had her name in it. I would see her name and get sick. I would see her car and get sick. I would run into her and have to repent because the words I had for her were awful. Many Facebook messages to her that I had to erase. I was broken and just wanted this all to be a dream, but it wasn’t. God started showing me about forgiveness. God started showing me the times that I had “mental affairs” with different men. We were both unhappy, and honestly, I thought many times  of guys who I came across had it all together…how I just wanted THAT!

Different things began to happen. God started showing me things. I would open the Bible and it would be a scripture on forgiveness. I would hear things on the radio about marriages and how God never wanted to see people hurting and families broken into. We went to a church that had no clue about our situation, and they preached on David having an affair, but still doing great things for God. I saw different posts on Facebook about the people of the Bible who were messed up and God still used them. I began remembering my prayers that I prayed for my husband. I had written the prayer down in a notebook:

January 12, 2014, Lord, please shake our marriage and wake us up! I don’t know how much longer I can take our marriage being this way. I do love him, but I can’t live this way. Please show me, Lord, how to be the wife that you have called me to be, because I’m not doing things right. I don’t have good thoughts towards our marriage and often dream about being in a perfect marriage. I need your help because I can’t do this by myself. Help us, Lord! Make us the people that you have called us to be! Let us be examples for those around us, our children, our family, friends and co-workers. Amen!”

I see it now that God surely woke us up. We had tried Christian counseling, going to different churches, talking to each other…nothing was working. I still have days of sadness that this has happened to our marriage. I still have trust issues. I carried hate for the other woman for awhile, but was able to see her in public and smile at her and truly meant my smile was a friendly one. I smiled because I want her to know that I know she was broken and when I find myself wanting to hate her, I just pray for her and her family. I pray that her husband and her are working on their marriage and it’s going great.

We all get away from God at sometimes. We make mistakes. We sin. My husband had an affair, but God has used that affair to make us realize that we didn’t want to lose each other and he has used this event to get my husband back in church and to start having a personal relationship with God. Even though I went to church every time the doors were open, I still had some learning and growing up to do myself. I wasn’t the perfect wife. I neglected my husband and there were times I could care less. I am learning to love life and enjoy my marriage.

God can restore any marriage. I’ve always said that if you aren’t divorced yet, there is still time for God to work. I’ve even witnessed God restoring marriages after divorces. We get married, and when we say our vows, we are just thinking about the good and don’t ever want to experience the bad. We promise each other through good and bad. This post is to share a little of my testimony. I believe God has allowed me to go through tests this past year, but my husband and I choose to turn those tests into testimonies. If we can share our story and encourage any marriage that is hurting, we’ve met our goal. No, I wish our marriage wouldn’t have to go through the worse, but it did. Like I’ve said before, I believe God uses our struggles to make us stronger and that we may share our struggles with others to encourage them and let them know there is hope for their marriage.

Share this, pin this, e-mail this, please! I know that we aren’t the only couple that has had issues in their marriage. Somebody needs to hope and encouragement today! If you are reading this, please pray for our marriage and all marriages! John 10:10 says that we have an enemy that comes to steal, kill and destroy..but we have a God that promises life and abundance!

Until next time….be encouraged!!!

Social Media=Playground for Affairs

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When Social Media starts creeping in on your marriage!

I saw a post the other day that said, “Welcome to Facebook: Where people think your status is about them, people add you but will never talk to you in public, affair are started and your enemies visit your profile the most!” Now, how true is this! Statistics show that over 80% of divorce attorneys mention or have proof that affairs have been started via social media. How scary are those statistics?

If you just spend a couple minutes on a social media site, you will most likely see a married man or woman and them posting a picture of themselves and someone of the opposite sex liking their pictures. Affairs start with just one click and we need to be more aware of how to affair proof our marriage!!!

You might be reading this and thinking, I don’t think my husband or I would ever have an affair! But it can happen to anyone if you are not careful! A lady friend of mine recently was sharing with me how she began her affair with just a single click of a button! She and this particular guy started out by working together, becoming Facebook friends, liking each others pictures, commenting more on each others things, and striking and interest in each other. The more they began to talk, the more interesting things became. She shared things on Facebook that lead people to believe she was having trouble, so the guy would question her about it. That’s how they began their emotional affair!

Facebook isn’t bad. Posting pictures without your spouse isn’t bad. Making comments on other people’s posts aren’t bad. But, when you are having a hard time in your marriage, it can become tempting to post pictures of yourself and try to find attention from other people. There are many different ways to “affair-proof” your marriage when it comes to social media.

  • Do not ever talk bad about your marriage or your spouse on social media! People post about their crappy marriages or how screwed up their spouses are and they are just looking for people to talk to them about their problems. When we expose that our marriage is bad or that we aren’t happy with our spouses, we leave doors open for the opposite sex to come in and talk to us about our marriage and spouse. Of course, at first it may seem harmless but whether social media is involved or not, you should never talk to the opposite sex about your marriage or spouse.
  • Do not post pictures of yourself too much if you are noticing someone of the opposite sex liking it too much. Push for more pictures posted of you and your spouse. Sometimes when we think our spouse’s aren’t happy with us, we become self-conscious and begin looking for attention elsewhere. Trust me, social media is not the place to get the attention you are looking for!
  • Do not start private conversations with the opposite sex that you wouldn’t want their spouse’s seeing. I know you are awake, can’t sleep and so and so is on, what will it hurt to message them and just say “Hey?” Do not be private in your messages. And if someone private messages you of the opposite sex, be open with your spouse to tell them about it. When you start keeping secrets is when there are issues!
  • Don’t seem interested in a person from the opposite sex! Be careful of the things that you comment on, like, and how your actions could mislead someone of the opposite sex. It may seem harmless to you, but to them, they might not be getting the attention they want so what you are giving them by “liking” their pictures or commenting on their things might just be the attention that they need!

So many times, we don’t realize how we act when we are “in the act.” Be aware of what you do on social media. Be open with your spouse about your social media. Go each day with thinking, “If my spouse were to get on my social media, would I have some explaining to do?” And, if social media has been an issue in your marriage, then respect your spouse. Many couples have joint accounts or share passwords, and some marriages are comfortable enough not sharing accounts or knowing each others passwords.

Let’s pray. Lord, I pray for couples that are on social media. Lord, give us wisdom and show us what is smart and what is not. Help us to realize when we are going to far with the pictures that we post or the pictures we like. Help us to use social media for the good and not the bad. Help us to see when the enemy wants to use social media as a trap. Help us to be aware of everything going on through social media.

Please share, pin, e-mail or reblog this post!

Until next time…be encouraged!

Advice from Aunt Lo!

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“Advice from a woman who has seen pain..”

My husband and I recently met up with a perfect stranger. This lady, who we call “Aunt Lo,”  really opened up her life story to us. She was a hard-working mother and wife. After 29 years of marriage, she “lost her husband to another woman.”

She began her storry by telling us how she was always a hard-working woman. Even at 74 years old, when we met her, she was still a hard at work.  She told us at how she was so heartbroken to have had her husband leave her with children to take care and a grandchild on the way. After the heartache began to wear off, she really began to think about how her marriage went wrong. How could she have lost her husband that was so in love with her for years? How did they grow apart? How had she not know that her husband had been seeing another woman for almost a year before leaving her? These are some of the questions that really played on her heart.

She said that her number one mistake was not making time for JUST her husband and her. She said that she was guilty about always trying to include her children because she didn’t want them to feel left out. She said that her husband had suggested that they take a trip to Hawaii, and she insisted on bringing the children. Her husband often sent flowers asking to go out to dinner and she would get her children ready and take them on the date too. She said if she could have taken it back, she would make time for just her and her husband, because now she lives alone and has for many years. Her children have moved on and she is without a husband and on her own!

She said she was too wrapped up in work, caring for others, and not caring for the man that she promised to spend the rest of her life with. She said even though she had to work to make ends meet, she said she wished that she would have spent more time with her husband. She cared for people for a living and she said she cared for the people that she worked for far for than she cared for her husband.

Having an affair is definitely not the way to go, either. By writing these blog posts, they aren’t excusing spouse’s having an affair. But, possible it’s not too late to fix your marriage and make it the best. Love your spouse, take care of them and keep them first.

Tune in tomorrow for some more marriage advice! Share this, pin it, e-mailit!

Until next time…be encouraged!

Spouse First…Kids Second

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“Spouse First, Children Second.”

I know, I know. A couple of years ago, if someone would have told me to put my spouse before my children, I would have laughed and said, “Whatever!” I guess during my husband and I being ‘disconnected’ it was always easy to put my children first. And by putting my children first, I mean my husband and I are talking and my kid needs something or wants to say something and they trump my husband’s feelings or needs. I was quick to take my children to all of their events and not even try to schedule some time to just my husband and I.

I read something not too long ago that said to basically put your spouse first because your children will not always need you like your spouse will need you. It is very true. Most likely, your children will grow up, graduate, move out and live their own lives and your spouse will still be there. How would you feel if you put your children first on everything and your spouse stuck it out with you…then when your children moved on, your spouse was still there waiting and you had neglected them all that time?

Know that when I am saying to put your spouse first, I’m not saying just drop your kids and let them fend for themselves and give your spouse all the attention. I know when you get married, you have just you and your spouse. In my case, we blended families, so we brought children into the marriage. My husband always put me over his children. He always stuck up for me. He never let them interrupt. Me, on the other hand, I would do all the wrong things. I let children get in the way of our marriage!

After realizing that I had been so wrong for so long, I began really thinking about how I could start putting my husband first in my life! Trust me moms, I know that we moms can put our children in front of our husbands! But, think of how you “push” your husband away when it comes to kids. My big one was conversations. My kids would always come between our conversations and I would tend to listen to them and then tell my husband, “We will talk later.” Well, later never came!

Some encouragement, make time for your husband. Some ways to let your spouse know that you care:

  • Make time for your spouse! Set a date! My excuse was..no sitter! Well, guess what? We started putting the kids down 30 minutes early and going outside to have coffee dates! Sometimes we can’t always find babysitters, but there is always some time to spend with your spouse! MAKE TIME EACH WEEK!
  • Ask your spouse daily how their day was and really care what happened through their day. I make time to ask each person at the dinner table how their day was, no interruptions! Ask questions about your spouse’s day, just like you would with kids! Keep up with important things going on and follow up with how things are going. If your child was not doing well in a subject, you would stay on top of things. Well, if your spouse has things going on at the workplace or in their lives, listen! Sometimes, they just want to talk!
  • Pray for your spouse! I know, some might still feel weird about this one. I’ve prayed with my spouse and when I never felt comfortable praying WITH I prayed FOR! The more we pray for people, the more involved we get in their lives and begin to care for their feelings.
  • Show your husband you care! Give goodbye kisses (like you do kids!), give goodnight kisses (like you do kids!), get your spouse special treats (pick them up their favorite drink, a candy bar, or leave them a sticky note in their lunch that says you care and love them!

If you are thinking, “My husband and I could never do this!” Yes you can! You fell in love with this person and it’s time to get back to basics!

Let pray! Lord, please help me to start putting my spouse first! I know that it’s hard parenting and also being a wife/husband, but help me to balance the two and to put my spouse first. Give me ideas to help me to connect with my spouse that make he/she feel special and wanted. Help us restore our marriage! Help us not to give up! Help us to see value in our marriage! In Jesus’ Name!!!

Share, pin, e-mail…I want to see marriages encouraged! I want to see marriages last forever! I want ‘these’ marriages be an inspiration! There are too many divorces these days! It’s time to get marriages back! It’s time to start getting these divorce rates down! AMEN??!!!!

Until next time, be encouraged!