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4 Simple Steps to Improve Communication in Marriage

Maybe it’s because I majored in Communication Arts in college, or maybe it’s just because I have seen the impact good and poor communication can have in any relationship, but I am keenly aware of the necessity of good communication in relationships and marriages in particular. Without it you can pretty much guarantee disaster from the start.

It’s almost a given in every hollywood romance movie that there is some big event that happens and one party makes assumptions, usually incorrect, that leads them to leave the relationship, only to find out that it was a big misunderstanding and then they come back and live happily ever after. My husband knows that drives me crazy. All that drama could have been avoided if the couple would have just sat down and talked it out. But he reminds me that then there would be no movie. Maybe in hollywood’s mind he’s right. But not in reality.

There is plenty enough drama in everyday life without creating additional drama in what would otherwise be a peaceful marriage. Maybe they should be showing how two adults can avoid drama instead of create it. Maybe then relationships would not end in divorce so often.

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Love Is…

menjonIt has been a challenging year to say the least. The birth of our baby changed our lives in more ways than I ever thought possible. Not only have we lived on less sleep than any other year, but we have faced physical challenges that were completely unexpected. My poor husband had to adjust to having a newborn and a wife who could barely walk all at the same time. Thankfully my physical limitations have improved, but I still have some limitations. And I’ve been an emotional roller coaster since April. Our marriage has been put to the test. Not that it’s been bad, but it’s not been easy. I am so thankful that we communicate well.

But even beyond words, I know my husband loves me because he has shown me in so many ways. He has loved me when I had nothing to offer him but tears, again and again. He has loved me when I have been harsh with my words and impatient. He has loved me when I’ve done nothing but complain. He has given me space to work through my mess. He is giving my body time to heal, even though I know it’s really tough and taking a long time. He has given me grace and forgiveness time and time again. He encourages me and serves me. He helps with chores and with our daughter.  I honestly don’t know what I’d do without him. He’s not perfect, but he loves me well despite myself.

My prayer for this year is that God will give me the strength and energy to love him well and be as gracious to him as he has been to me.

Reflection on 4 Years of Marriage

weddingIt’s hard to believe that 4 years have already passed since John and I said our vows and pledged our commitment to each other. It has gone by quickly. It seems like I’ve known him so much longer than I have.

It’s been a wonderful 4 years! It hasn’t been without tears, failures, struggles, disagreements, harshly spoken words, and many many mistakes, but when I think back what I remember most is that I got to spend every day with my best friend and I have loved every minute, even amidst the painful ones. I hoped that marriage would be wonderful, but it has exceeded my expectations. I am so thankful for my husband and can no longer, nor do I want to, imagine life without him.

This man God has blessed me with is not perfect, but that’s ok because neither am I. Instead, he humbly admits when he is wrong. He challenges me when I am wrong, even though I don’t like to hear it. He is gentle and kind and patient (most of the time.) He treats me with the utmost respect and lets me know I am loved all the time. He has encouraged me and I him. He brings laughter to my heart and is a wonderful companion. He is truly a gift and I pray I get to keep him for the rest of my life.

Thank you John Cox for waltzing into my life and changing it forever!

My First Guest Post – Stewardship in Marriage

I am so excited to share that I have written my first guest post for UberSteward. Here’s a sample but please be sure to check out the full article here.

moneyExercising Good Stewardship In Marriage With Time And Money

As much as I love being married, it’s certainly not without it’s challenges.

There are dishes to wash, laundry to be done, meals to cook, bathrooms to clean, and the list goes on and on. There are tons of everyday decisions that need to be made. But two of the most important questions we find ourselves asking often are, “What do we do with our time and money?” These are questions we all should ask but once you are married, it’s a little more complicated to answer them. Now instead of one way to look at things, you automatically have two opinions and two thought patterns and oddly enough, they don’t always match up. And the answers will change and shift as your life situations change. These matters require A LOT of communication, compromise and perseverance if you want a happy marriage.

To finish the article head over here….

1st Things 1st

Life has recently gotten away from us. Oh we’ve been living and busy but some important things got pushed to the back burner. I could make up excuses. Our schedules have changed, we have more going on at night, we’re too tired. Like I said, excuses. But God really convicted me last week that we needed to make a change. I feel like he was telling John the same thing in a different way.

When we were dating we would pray together on the phone. When we were engaged we would pray together almost every night. When we first got married we did devos and prayed quite frequently. And then the past few months is when life got away from us. We both know how important it is for us to be praying together. Personal time with God is important too, but praying together is a special time when we are spiritually connected and laid bare before God and each other. It’s key to the health of our marriage.

So God prompted my heart to mention that I miss praying together and John agreed. We came up with a new schedule and so far so good. We’ve been getting up a little earlier, both of us, so that we can pray before breakfast and before work. This seems to work better for both of us because we are fresh and not tired from a long days work. It is so refreshing to start off the day that way.

I am telling you this not to brag, but to be an encouragement. There are so many things in this life that we can’t do. We can’t fix everyone’s problems.  We can’t even fix our own problems most times. We can’t heal people. We can’t be there for everyone all the time. We can’t be everything for our spouse. We can’t be everything for our family. We need help. We can’t always give of our time or money to help others. But we can pray. And it’s one of our best spiritual weapons against the enemy. And when we pray together it unites us in serving together.

I also think it helps in a marriage because it is a place of transparency. Hopefully you don’t intentionally hide things from your spouse, but you can’t hide from God. And if you are really open to Him when you pray together you will be surprised at the things God shows you. After all He knows us better than we know ourselves.

So I challenge you to try it out. But you have to be intentional about it. And feel free to check up on us. We’re definitely not perfect. So I hope we can keep it going too!