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/

 

The 5 Day Love Challenge: Day 3 41 Ways to Love Your Man with Actions!

The 5 Day Love Challenge: Day 3 41 Ways to Love Your Man with Actions!

love_him_with_actions
For today’s challenge, we are talking about how to love your man with actions. I hit the streets … OK, I asked my Facebook peeps to write the blog post for me. How do you love your man with actions?!?

Here are 41 Ways that you said you love your man with actions

  1. Naomi Williams – Mine aren’t appropriate to post openly in the comments section.
  2. Heather Harbeke Prouty – Change the sheets regularly! Nothing like having amazing smelling sheets when it’s time to go to bed!
  3. Angela Springer Hood – I mailed him a thank you card full (front and back) with things I was thankful for that he does for our family.
  4. Olivia Myers – Clear the driveway of a million feet of snow (slight exaggeration?) before he’s home. This avoids tire marks … something he despises!
  5. Shirley Devuono Rempe – l making sure my kids are calm, the house is tidy (maybe not perfect but toys away, etc), and supper ready to eat when he gets home! Not always easy when i run a home day care, but I try daily to do it
  6. Vicki Limes One thing I do is have someone take my phone number to him. It might say something like this “You’re HOT! Call me 214-555-5555!” (My real number of course) I usually ask an older teen or young adult because it also reinforces to them the value of flirting with your husband!
  7. Nancy Whiting My husband gets up very early, so to make it easier for him, I have his work clothes put together in a ‘clothes package’ for him, and set on the table by the wood stove the night before so he doesn’t have to take the time to even have to think about it in the morning.
  8. Laurie Batdorff Hays Asking what would help him most at home. He may not care about something you think he does! Cooking his favorite meal. Time and space to collect his thoughts after work so he can switch gears.
  9. Melanie Barnard Witkovskie – I try to make his favorite meals and cook for him in general. I also try to make sure I don’t look like I just rolled out of bed when he gets home. Being a stay-at-home mom with a baby, it’s sometimes difficult, but I try to at least put on a little makeup and fix my hair! I want to look nice for him!
  10. Dana DeVries – I text him love notes while he’s at work. I became interested in football and basketball to cheer his teams with him. I ask him how I can pray for him and follow up on those things. I make sure to look him in the eyes and smile when he comes home.
  11. Traci Sheldon – I help him find reasons, resources and opportunities to do his hobbies. I also supported the remodeling of the “man cave” and did not complain about the cost or time it took to accomplish for him to have a space for himself.
  12. Sue Hall Walsh – I put sticky notes in his work bag, lunch bag or car to let him know I’m thinking of him during the day. It gives me the chance to let him know how much I appreciate him. Something I often think of after he’s left the house for the day.
  13. Lisa Evans Fulton – Last night my husband was snowblowing the driveway in the dark so I wouldn’t get stuck this morning, and he slipped and fell on his back. He insisted on finishing the job, so I passed some Advil out the window to him and then had a heating pad ready when he came inside and rubbed his sore spots. He insists on taking care of me .. .a few Advil and a heating pad hardly seemed like adequate thanks, but he was grateful.
  14. Karey Lehrman Spidell – Keeping his favorite snacks stocked. Making sure the lunch stuff is stocked. And easy to grab!
  15. Simone Dankenbring – My husband enjoys watching sports, especially the Blazers and Seahawks. I acknowledge and show how much I’m interested in something that he enjoys. I also keep him company and snuggle next to him during the games. When they win, I cheer along with him and when they lose, I always remind him that there’s “next time.”
  16. SueAnn Kavanagh I set the timer on the coffee maker, so when he gets up the coffee is all made! I know it is a little thing, but it makes his heart smile every time I do it!
  17. Susy Flory – Buying his favorite red licorice from the gourmet chocolate shop!
  18. Lisa Johnson Blose – Sleep on the couch because he works so hard during the week I don have the heart to wake him when he’s snoring. (He also will do the same for me.) Love my man!
  19. Bonnie Wild – Cleaning his trophy BBQ smoker so it’s ready for the next wonderful meal by the Bobby Flay wannabe (I say that lovingly).
  20. Tonya Walter – Make his lunch every day. Even when the kids are off school.
  21. Carole Landrith Hanna – Ironing his work shirts … without whining
  22. Anna McCullough – Ditto Olivia’s post about clearing the snow from the driveway before it’s driven on! Also giving him time to decompress when he comes home from work.
  23. Jeannette Shields I would eat a piece of fish for him … I hate fish but if he likes it, this is what I’d do, but definitely not all the time!!!
  24. Robin Lord Dilallo – I stop what I’m doing, if I can, and help him with whatever is stressing him out at the moment. Wallet? Keys? Need to talk after a tough day?
  25. Chris Moss – Today I had the emissions test done on my husband’s car and registered it at the MVD. Then I had it washed, buffed and hand-waxed.
  26. Michelle Brown – I like to leave frequent voice mails for him to thank him for providing for our family and wishing him a great day! Once in awhile I will deliver a milkshake or smoothie to him in the middle of the work day.
  27. Melissa D. Gillispie – My husband and I are a team. I cleaned the kitchen while he helped our daughter with her homework. He always has a clean bathroom.
  28. Angie Bell – He likes when I go outside and shoot hoops with him. He loves basketball and he loves me. Double bonus.
  29. Cathy Lo Davis – He loves freshly brewed ice tea, so I make sure to have the pitcher full when he comes from from work.
  30. Tanya Aitken – I have his favorite drink in the freezer so it’s nice & cold (usually tea) waiting for him. I set a pair of his comfiest lounge clothes on the bed and when he walks in, I don’t say anything. He gets dressed and walks out with a smile, as I hold out his drink for him. He smiles and says, you did it again.
  31. Heidi Bonner – Actually doing those small jobs he asks me to do.
  32. Heather K Seay – Feed our animals (3 outside dogs and 1 cat). A chore he despises.
  33. Jamie Jerome – I stock up on his favorite cut of meat in advance, when on sale, make beer bread in advance and freeze it, and make sure that his favorite brew is on hand. (Plus, it’s fun to be preggers and at the liquor store. People are hilarious.) This keeps us ready for a “stay home date” any night for 30 minutes or less. He also won’t go to bed until things are picked up and tidy and the dishes are done even if he is coming off an 18 hour shift. So on nights I know he won’t have energy left, I do it, no matter how exhausted I am from my day.
  34. Sara Graham – I baked brownies filled with Reeces Peanut Butter cups and Reeces Pieces. I also made fancy sandwiches for his lunches and had coffee ready in a travel mug. Also I cleaned up some of the things around the house that drive him crazy
  35. Jo Leneb – Make sure there is always something in the fridge for lunches and snacks.
  36. Renee Simpson Holden – Taking out the trash, instead of asking him to do it.
  37. Pam Wood Humphrey – Polish his shoes.
  38. Amber Schumacher – Picking up dog poo before he gets home! Making his coffee and setting the timer so he wakes up to fresh brewing coffee. Making his lunch for the next day (something out of the norm).
  39. Christie Terry McKay – Buying his favorite snacks and candy and giving him time to decompress every day when he comes home from work.
  40. Emily Wilkerson Wilson – Take out the trash so he can sleep 10 more minutes.
  41. Lindsey Cuartilon – This is good stuff! All I can come up with is that I don’t run away and leave him with all these kids! Lol.

So, there you have it — 41 ways to love your man with actions. Tell us in the comments below how your love your man with actions.


WIN! Day 3101-Simple-Ways-to-Show-Your-Husband-You-Love-Him300

Answer the Question of the Day on Kathi’s Facebook page for your chance to win a copy of 101 Ways to Tell Your Husband You Love Him!

Question of the Day: What is one thing you can do for your man this week that tells him how much you love him?

The 4 Day Love Challenge – Day 2: Love Him with Stuff

The 4 Day Love Challenge – Day 2: Love Him with Stuff

love_him_with_stuff

I get frustrated at times with the idea we all get to determine how much our partner loves us by the size of the gift and whether the gesture of love went viral on YouTube. Yuck. We don’t need over the top. I think we just need a little something special for our men, presented in a slightly special way. Let’s learn how to love him with stuff in Day 2!

I wrote about this in my book The Marriage Project:

A tree ran into my car.

Yes, you read that sentence correctly.

I am blessed to live in Northern California where we bundle up in our winter woolens if there is a slight chill in the air, and the only snow we see is when someone forgets to use their Head & Shoulders shampoo.

So it was out of the ordinary when the storm rolled through town. Power outages were reported all over the city, fender benders littered the highways, and the Starbucks on our corner was closed.

Obviously, this was a desperate situation.

When I got home from my morning speaking engagement, I parked my van and ran inside, desperate to warm up and dry out.

I went upstairs to our bedroom, where my husband was working at his desk. Not five minutes after I got changed into dry clothes, Roger and I heard a big crack and looked out in horror and amazement as our giant oak tree decided to take up residence on top of my car.

All we could do was watch, laugh, and thank God that no one was in the car at the time.

Since then, I’ve been cruising around town in a series of rental cars until my van is fully functioning again. I’ve tried out hybrids and subcompacts, 4-runners and sedans.

Until yesterday. Yesterday, the rental agency ran out of the teeny-tiny cars I was renting to save money. They asked me if, for a few dollars more, I would like an upgrade to a nicer car that was available right away…a current model black Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Um…OK.

I knew, being in possession of that car, I had to turn our ho-hum, stay-at-home night into an out-on-the-town date night. You wouldn’t want an automobile like that going to waste, now would you?

Roger and I used a gift card to get a couple of lattes at a Starbucks drive-thru, and then took a drive into the mountains, sipping our drinks and enjoying the scenery and the company. A perfect date—all for the small price of an upgraded rental car.

There was just something so fun and adventurous about that car that it turned that silly little latte into a memory that will last us a lifetime.

So this week, I want you to get him a little something, but give it to him in a special way.

Here are some ideas for a little something to love him with stuff (all of these can be had for under $5):
  • His favorite candy bar (that he doesn’t have to share with you).
  • A magazine that he loves but is too cheap to subscribe to.
  • His favorite sports drink.
  • 5 packs of his favorite gum.
  • His favorite Starbucks drink delivered to work.
  • A frozen yogurt.
  • A guy-flick movie rental.
  • Baking him his favorite chocolate chip cookies.
  • A small bottle of manly scented lotion with the promise of a back rub.
  • $5 iTunes gift card (or Google Play for our Windows guys.)
  • A video game rental.
  • $5 in quarters for the local arcade.
  • A new ringtone.

OK – now to give it to him in a special way. You could…

  • Leave it on the dashboard of his truck.
  • Hide it in his computer bag.
  • Tie it to the dog (as long as it’s not edible…)
  • Have one of your kids deliver it.
  • Put it on his pillow.
  • Have Amazon send it to his office.

What are you going to get him to love him with stuff – and how are you going to give it to him? Share your ideas in the comments below so we can all learn from each other!

GO…



101-Simple-Ways-to-Show-Your-Husband-You-Love-Him300

Win! 

Answer the Question of the Day on Kathi’s Facebook page for your chance to win a copy of 101 Ways to Tell Your Husband You Love Him!

Today’s question: What small ways do you make your husband feel loved?

Getting Hung Up on the How Robs of Us of Seeing Our Husband’s Heart

Getting Hung Up on the How Robs of Us of Seeing Our Husband’s Heart

disagreeable giver husband

guest post by Cheri Gregory

My husband is a disagreeable giver!

I know, I know.

Doesn’t sound like one of the most romantic thoughts crossing my mind after more than a quarter century of marriage.

But it’s certainly one of the most important.

This epiphany hit while I was listening to Adam Grant’s Global Leadership Summit* talk, “Give and Take: A New Perspective on Leadership,” in which he describes four types of people:

  • Agreeable givers
  • Agreeable takers
  • Disagreeable takers
  • Disagreeable givers

Agreeable givers are everyone’s favorites, to the point they often become doormats. Agreeable takers are “fakers” who can fool us into treating them as givers. Disagreeable takers are pretty quickly labeled as jerks.

But it’s the disagreeable givers who, according to Grant, are the most misunderstood and undervalued.

They invest endlessly in the people and causes they care deeply about.

They just don’t care about how they come across.

What Happens When I Get Hung Up on How

A few weeks ago, a scenario that’s played out thousands of times in our marriage started to run according to script.

Daniel and I were in the kitchen, and he said something that ticked me off. I started to react, but in the nick of time remembered I’m trying to ask myself what problem is he trying to solve?

Which forced me to recognize I was all set to react without knowing the facts. (And while I may be a Highly Sensitive Person, I’m an HSP who scores high in analytical reasoning. I expect my emotions to be grounded in data, thank you very much!)

As Proverbs 18:13 so bluntly puts it

To answer before listening—
that is folly and shame.

So I asked myself, If I’m not about to react to facts, what I am I about to react to?

The answer was simple:

I’m about to react not to what Daniel said.

Or even why he said it.

I’m about to react to how Daniel said what he said. 

I’m waaaaaaaay too hung up on how.

Focus on Why and What Before How

Now, I’m not suggesting that how other people speak to us isn’t important.

I am simply confessing I have been way too hung up on how, to the exclusion of why and what.

When I paused in the kitchen to ask myself why did he say that? I knew, without even asking Daniel, that the over-arching answer would be:

  • because he loves God, and/or
  • because he cares about what’s right, and/or
  • because he is committed to me and to our family

And when I asked myself, what did he actually say? the answer was something simple and reasonable.

Sure, it’s important in any relationship* that we discuss how we communicate with each other. But how doesn’t deserve top billing, at least not for me.

I’ve become convicted that my knee-jerk reaction to my husband’s how prevents me from hearing his why and what.

When I find myself getting all bent out of shape over how — and I start gearing up to turn lawyer, judge, and jury — I’m telling myself:

Don’t react without the facts.

Ask why.

Ask what.

Only then, ask how.


Cheri Photo CORRECTEDCheri Gregory is a teacher, speaker, author, and Certified Personality Trainer. Her passion is equipping women to relate and create with less drama, more delight. 

Cheri is the co-author, with Kathi Lipp, of The Cure for the “Perfect” Life and the upcoming Overwhelmed.

Cheri has been “wife of my youth” to Daniel, her opposite personality, for twenty-eight years and is “Mom” to Annemarie (25) and Jonathon (23), also opposite personalities.

Cheri is the host of “Grit ‘n’ Grace: Good Girls Breaking Bad Rules,” a podcast for women tired of trying so hard to measure up. She blogs about perfectionism, people-pleasing, highly sensitive people, and hope at www.cherigregory.com.

HSP-Campaign-Graphic-1

 

*Note: This blog post reflects one woman’s experiences, reflections, and insights in a marriage between two well-intentioned but flawed individuals. It does not attempt to speak to any relationship that includes abuse, addiction, adultery, abandonment, and/or apathy. Such relationships are beyond the scope of this post and may need the intervention of a trained counselor.


 

2016_OBS_HusbandProject_PreStudy_Square-01The Husband Project Online Bible Study starts in just one week!

Sign up now and get your book from Proverbs 31 and join the thousands of women all over the world ready to bless the socks off of our husbands!

Wicked Wednesday: Are you a stepmom? Accept Your Husband

Wicked Wednesday: Are you a stepmom? Accept Your Husband

StepMother

Are you a stepmom? One of the best ways not to feel like a wicked stepmother is to accept your husband just like he is. But how can you do it when you may be struggling to accept everything (and everyone) that comes with him?

Accepting Your Husband

  1. Remember that part of your paycheck belongs to another woman.
  2. Remember that his children came before you in time.
  3. Think about whether or not your heart is committed enough to his children.
  4. Remember he carries guilt for his part in a broken marriage.
  5. Remember he has to unlearn old patterns of relating and has to learn to live with you.

You can find more great info in my book But I’m Not a Wicked Stepmother!