Enlarging Your Faith: Never Say Never

Enlarging Your Faith: Never Say Never

enlarging your faith

Shortly after getting married, in fact it was on our honeymoon, when I slipped into my flirty pajamas, jumped into bed next to my husband and exclaimed, “OK, I’m ready!” and he asked, “For what?”

I replied with the obvious response, “To pray together … you know, a couple that prays together, stays together? That is what my mom always says.” To which he replied, “I will NEVER pray with you, that just isn’t something I do. It’s personal and between me and God.”

To be fair, maybe my timing was a little off. But I absolutely deflated. My spirit was crushed. Not only did I feel deprived of the coveted marriage ideal that couples are supposed to pray together, it was worse than that. I felt totally duped by my new husband. After all, we prayed together during our courtship.

I was devastated. Something so clearly beneficial to our marriage was rejected. My parents prayed together! And I was certain I fell in love with someone who was going to pray with me. It didn’t seem right!  I knew God and I knew He loved me. I knew this was the man He meant for me to marry. He moved mountains to bring us together.

I come from a long line of prayer warriors. I like to think my sweet grandma lived to 103 because she had prayers God still wanted her to be praying. Growing up, when situations arose, my parents always told me to “just pray about it.”

The fact my husband and I didn’t pray together other than to bless our meals unsettled me and rocked my faith. I didn’t want anyone to know because I was certain every other Christian couple prayed together. It was like a cardinal rule for a good Christian marriage.

I loved my husband and I wanted to stay together. But I didn’t like the situation. Honestly, the only thing I could do was “just pray about it.” Instead of “Run Forrest, Run!” It became, “Pray Julie, Pray!” Originally, my prayers were that my husband would pray with me because I knew better and you NEVER say never, especially to God.

I truly believed Matthew 21:22.

You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”

What I received by praying was far different than what I thought I wanted.

Through the process of praying without ceasing, God changed my heart and He changed my prayers. My heart turned from criticizing my husband, to seeking to understand my husband. My prideful prayers of me telling God how my husband needed to change eventually evolved into prayers of loving my husband for who he has been created to be.

Through the years, my prayers became more powerful. My husband witnessed first-hand how God faithfully answers even my smallest requests.

A few seasons back, I went through some personal challenges. I was really struggling, and I needed help. I asked my husband to pray for me and he did, without hesitation. He also prayed for me without my asking, just because he sensed I needed him to pray.

I cherish those moments when he pulled me close and prayed over me the most beautiful, loving prayers. Those times assured me how much God loves me and how my faithfulness and prayers honored Him and the man He gave me.

In the past, my husband and I have had this running joke that the first thing out of my husband’s mouth is “no.” This may have been what plagued him on our honeymoon, but I always say, “never say never” because he is definitely not the same man I am married to now.

He has since challenged himself to say “yes” more often. In fact, he took his “yes” a step further and ordered “promise cards” printed with the words: “because I said I would.” He hands these out at random times to people. This year for my birthday my husband gave me a promise card. It was the best gift a wife like me could ever receive. The words on the card said “I will pray with my wife. Because I said I would.”

enlarging your faith

Over twelve years ago my prayers stemmed from my own selfish motivation to change my husband, but God used them to change me. My consistent and persistent prayers changed the trajectory of our marriage for the better. I never know how or when God will answer my prayers.

But as my faith has grown, so has my trust in God and “knowing” no longer matters. I only do what I am called, which is to obediently seek Him. Today I teach other women how to pray for their husbands as this has simply become an act of obedience in response to an ever-loving God.

enlarging your faithJulie Landreth has a passion for healthy and thriving relationships–especially in marriage and friendship. She is a speaker and a “wife coach” who loves sharing with women her passion for prayer and ways to actively cultivate a thriving marriage.  She leads a growing number of women in San Jose, CA through her curriculum: Consistency and Persistency: The Art of Praying for your Husband. Having been married 12 years, she and her husband have cultivated a marriage filled with intentional love, effective communication, sustainable fun, and a date night every Friday night for the last 9 years. She also finds deliberate ways to spend quality time with her 9-year-old son who shares many of her artistic talents. In addition, she is a freelance photographer and designer. 

If you would like to hear more from Julie and receive 5 Days of Prayers to get you started praying for your husband, please visit her and sign up at
http://eepurl.com/cmn9CX.


Now available! 

In this six-week Bible Study you will, possibly for the first time, truly understand how God wants you to be free. Free from clutter so you can be free to change your world. We have an online version as well as a traditional workbook with DVD option.

Find out more: http://www.kathilipp.com/clutter-free-bible-study/

 

10 At-Home Ways to Create the Bed & Breakfast Romance

10 At-Home Ways to Create the Bed & Breakfast Romance

10-At-Home-Ways-B&B
One of our favorite getaway spots is a little bed-and-breakfast in the mountains. When you ask my husband why he likes it so much, you very well might hear about the cheese and cracker plate with fruit that is always waiting for us when we arrive. My thought has always been, Great, we just spent the equivalent of a month’s worth of groceries on a cheese and cracker plate.

Why we love a good bed-and-breakfast

What is it about the bed-and-breakfast experience that makes us want to fork over upwards of $200 a night to sleep on somebody else’s sheets and eat clotted eggs in the morning?

  • The room is cleaned every day. Now I know some of you actually do this but it doesn’t matter. It’s so much better and it just feels cleaner when somebody else does it for you.
  • The bed is made. Now I know I’m spoiled, because my husband makes the bed every day. But, how great is it when you’re gone even for just half an hour, you come back and the bed is done up. The pillows are fluffed and there’s a little mint sitting there waiting to be indulged in. There is no better feeling on the planet.

Back home and back to reality

Sadly, most of us can’t afford to camp out in the local bed-and-breakfast on a regular basis. So it’s probably time to bring some of that bed-and-breakfast experience home.

Here are a few simple tips from designer and author Kathryn Bechen to help you get that restful and relaxed feeling in your own bedroom:

  1. Clutter cutter. Declutter your bedroom when you begin your fluff-up. Nothing kills romance faster than a pile of dusty magazines and techno paraphernalia. (More on this on podcast episode #136 Clutter Free Romance & blog post Declutter Your Way to a Better Marriage)
  2. Maid brigade. Next are the dust rag and vacuum. Turn on some music and make it fun!
  3. Sensuous sheets. Purchase some colorful new sheets in a pattern you love with a thread count of at least 300.
  4. Divine duvet. Invest in a pretty new duvet cover or bedspread. It will freshen up the room instantly.
  5. Pillow pizzazz. Some new pillows and pillowcases that coordinate with your sheets and duvet will add softness to your bed.
  6. Flower finesse. Buy some fresh flowers and put them in a favorite vase.
  7. Candle cozy. A few flickering candles will add instant romance to your new B&B bedroom.
  8. Music magic. Now for some light jazz or classical music to set the tone for the evening.
  9. TV tune-out. Unless you and your mate purposely choose to watch a funny or romantic movie together, turn the TV off.
  10. Tray of delights. Bring in a drink and cheese tray with some fresh fruit, dim the lights, and you’re on your way to a lovely and romantic stay in your very own Bed & Breakfast Inn bedroom. Enjoy!

 

Chocolate Dipped Fruit

1 pkg. milk chocolate morsels (11½ ounces/2 cups)
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
Strawberries, grapes, bananas, apples, kiwi, or pineapple

Melt milk chocolate morsels and shortening over hot (not boiling) water; stir until smooth. Remove from heat, but keep over hot water. (If chocolate thickens, return to heat; stir until smooth.) Dip pieces of fruit into chocolate; gently shake off excess. Place on foil-lined cookie sheets. Chill 10-15 minutes until chocolate is set. Peel off foil. Fruit may be kept at room temperature up to 1 hour. If chocolate becomes sticky, return to refrigerator. Makes 1 cup melted chocolate. In microwave, melt on high 1 minute; stir. Repeat.

A few other creative tips:

  • My husband loves a special kind of root beer that we used to not be able to keep stocked in the house (teenagers!). I would hide it under the veggies in the crisper – no chance of the kids looking there.
  • If your husband gets home before you do, plan ahead by hiding a treat in the fridge for him. Call during the day to let him know it’s waiting for him.

Giveaways Week 3!

hottie-300If you haven’t yet, go to my Facebook page to like and follow my Kathi Lipp page, and then answer the question of the day for your chance to win a “My Husband is a Hottie” t-shirt. Check out the page each day for a new question and get in on the conversation about loving your husband!

7 Simple Prayers to Make Your Marriage Great

7 Simple Prayers to Make Your Marriage Great

7 Specific Prayers to Make Your Marriage Great

  1. “Make me a blessing to my spouse in my actions and words.” (James 1:22)
  2. “Help me pull back from my routine to focus on what is important.” Romans 12:2
  3. “Let me respect him in all that I say and do.” (Ephesians 5:33)
  4. “Teach me not to rely on my own strength but to always rely on you.” (Proverbs 3:5)
  5. “Help me to know and be known by my spouse.” (1 Peter 4:8)
  6. “I want to be open, honest, and kind as we talk about important areas of our relationship.” (Ephesians 4:2-3)
  7. “Help me not to forget that you are writing our romance every day.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Happy-Habits-Spine

 

Happy Habits for Every Couple available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

Podcast #137- Happy Habits for Every Couple

Podcast #137- Happy Habits for Every Couple

ListenNowIs your marriage in need of some love therapy?

Kathi’s husband Roger joins the podcast today to talk about Kathi and Roger’s new book, Happy Habits for Every Couple.  The book is full of fun, flirty ideas to intentionally connect with your husband in a meaningful way.  (And by meaningful, we’re talking about chocolate, sex and romance.)

 

Listen in to Happy Habits for Every Couple podcast and:

  • Find out how you can connect with your husband in a way that’s meaningful and intentional.
  • Simple tips—for both guys and girls—on how to make your marriage work.
  • Get ways to develop happy habits as a couple so you can be “that happy couple.”
  • How to intentionally connect to your husband in a meaningful way.

Then join us on Facebook to discuss the daily challenges, and start making your marriage happy.  (Oh, and have a lot of fun, too.)

Also don’t miss this special offer! Happy Habits for Every Couple and Praying God’s Word for Your Husband combo!

happyhabits-prayer-combo