Monday, June 30, 2008

Being Real

Does anyone really know you? Do you struggle with who you seem to be on the outside & who you know you are on the inside? Do you feel you are such a bad person that you can't let anyone know the real you? Do you feel alone because you keep everyone from knowing the real you?

If those questions sound like something that runs through your mind, then I'm not alone :-) I struggle with being transparent with those around me. I don't like being vulnerable, I don't like exposing myself, I don't like myself at times. But God wants us to be transparent & to be real with those around us. How can our brothers & sisters in Christ come along side us if we don't let them?

So, I'm going to try to be more transparent. I'm going to try & be real. No more hiding behind masks. It's hard to step out & be myself, especially when I don't always like myself.

I'm selfish - I want "my time", I do what's easiest for me a lot of time.
I'm proud - I don't want others to see me at my worst.
I'm lazy - I'd rather sit on my computer or in front of the tv than do work around the house or exercise.
I'm weak - I give into the pain & depression sometimes.

I'm so desperate for God! I need Him! My life is so pitiful. I try to run it. I think I'm in control, that I know what's best. I know nothing! I make things worse! If only I really trusted God, I'd truly follow Him! I wouldn't worry & I wouldn't struggle! God tells us that He works all things for Good in our lives (Romans 8:28). I need to trust, really trust, that everything He allows to come into my life is for Good. It may not be easy (dealing with chronic pain), or it may be a joy (playing with my children). It may hurt (dealing with depression) or it may heal (attending Bible study with my friends). No matter the road I must trust that God is in control. He is the Ultimate Creator, the Savior & King of Kings! All I can do is worship Him! Praise God of all creation! The Maker of Heaven & Earth. I'm desperate for You! I'm nothing without You! ( I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Rules for Lasting Marriage

Hubby & I are coming up on the 20th anniversary of our first date (Sept. 2, 1988). I can't believe it's been 20 years. As I look back, there's times I can't believe we made it. At other times it seems like it's been a breeze. We've had our share of fights, but we've always made up. We've had our hard times (lost jobs, health issues, etc.) and our great times (births of 3 kids, wonderful anniversaries, etc.).

These are my rules for a lasting marriage:
1. Put God first - if it wasn't for Him guiding us, even when we weren't paying attention, we wouldn't be together now. Have others pray for you & your marriage (we have felt the prayers!)
2. A sense of humor - being able to laugh at ourselves & with each other is a big help in a relationship. Life is too serious not to be able to laugh. Have fun with each other.
3. Become best friends - my hubby IS, without a doubt, my best friend. There is no one I'd rather be with. No one who can make me smile like he can. No one who can take his place.
4. Spend time together - how can you love someone if you don't spend time together. Sometimes that means taking up hobbies/interests that he likes & forgoing your own. Sometimes that means dropping what you are doing to go with him (even if you sit in the car & wait on him).
5. Never going to bed angry - life's too short to waste it mad at each other, especially when you're mad over stupid, little things. If you're mad, talk it out. And DON'T walk away! Make up - it's fun!!
6. Putting each other first, even over the kids - We love our kids, but our relationship with each other comes before the kids. We make time to have date nights. We take time to have weekends away just the 2 of us! Only when the 2 of us are right, does our family fall in place correctly.
7. Don't let others come between you - whether it be friends, parents, or co-workers. Don't let what others say about your spouse or what they have supposedly done, come between you. Talk it out with your spouse. Some people just like to start trouble or want to see you fail.
8. Love each other - emotionally & physically! (Email me if you need explanation!)
9. Stick together when things get hard - trials & problems will come. It's a part of life. But when they come, cling to each other & God! Don't blame each other, don't criticize! Talk it out!
10. Appreciate each other - & tell each other that! Let your spouse know you love them & what you love about them. Compliment them, flirt with them, make them feel special (because they are!). Make your praises more abundant than your criticisms.
11. Never say a bad word about your spouse to anyone else - respect each other enough to only say the best about each other. Spouse slamming is not good! It always gets back to your spouse & only hurts your relationship.
12. Don't over react when they snap at you. Sometimes it's not you. They may have had a bad day or been stressed. Find out all the details before you take offense & get angry or hurt!

Just a few simple rules that has helped us last almost 20 years & will help us last hopefully another 20 or more years!

(I love you honey! You are better than my wildest dreams! I don't know what I'd do without you!)