Marriage Tip #2

This is an installment in the Marriage Tips series! You can read marriage tip #1 here.

Always argue fair!

The first marriage tip was to laugh so much you do not have time to argue. What I simply meant by that was spend as much time as possible together having fun, making memories, and building your relationships.

But sometimes arguments happen and are necessary. What tends to happen is the arguments become so intense that each side begin to disrespect the other side. Since we are humans, we are fallible; but today, I want to remind you how to argue fair because it is very possible to have constructive arguments and still work on a solution to the problem.

1. Pray.

If you begin to have a problem with your spouse, pray about the situation first. Ask God to help restore the marriage and for forgiveness for your wrongdoing. Praying before an argument can give you peace of mind, makes sure you remember how to argue fair, and puts your marriage in His perfect hands.

2. Do not ignore the problem.

Every marriage has problems, even yours! We are sinners which means we do things wrong. If your spouse has hurt you, go to them. Tell them. Sometimes, they might not even realize they hurt you. Do not harbor hurt and anger because bitterness with grow rapidly which will destroy your marriage.

3. Do not call your spouse names.

This is definitely not helpful to get your point across! Credibility, trust, and respect starts to break down as soon as the name calling begins. If you are tempted to call your spouse a foul name, just bite your tongue! Remember the saying you were taught as a child: “If you cannot say something nice, do not say anything at all!” This well-known saying is so important, especially in marriage.

4. Do not raise your voice.

This is one of those things that just happens as tempers flair, but it can also cause more problems. Soon, an argument to solve a problem just turn into a screaming match. Screaming matches do not solve problems. Work on staying calm, cool, and collected.

5. Listen to your spouse.

Listening to your spouse is always the most important thing to remember during an argument. They are trying to get their point across just like you are. Allow your spouse to speak without interruption. There are always multiple sides to every story. You are not always right! Remember, there is a huge difference between just hearing your spouse and truly listening. Along with listening to their words, listen to their heart. More times than not, there are things your spouse is not verbally saying. Dig deeper and listen to what is or is not being said.

6. Take a break.

This do not mean separating. I simply mean that if things become heated (ie: name calling, screaming, and not listening), go into another room for a few minutes for a short breather. Count to ten, calm yourself down, then go back to your spouse to resume solving the problem. Sometimes this is tremendously important so you do not say something you will regret or disrespect your spouse in any way. Sometimes arguments will last days, weeks, months until a solution is reached.

7. Do not give your spouse the silent treatment.

First of all, the silent treatment is so beyond juvenile. So seriously, grow up! It bothers me greatly when I see people giving their spouse the silent treatment.

Second, the silent treatment does not solve anything. It just drags on an argument unnecessarily. Giving the silent treatment is extremely rude to your spouse and shows them that you do not care about them, the marriage, solving the problem, and building the relationship.

8. Make up.

When a solution has been reached, it is time for the fun part–making up! Just a simple hug and kiss or something more can restore the intimacy.

The goal when arguing is to find solutions to problems! Arguing can build a relationship if you argue fair. Also, your children are watching/listening when you argue with your spouse. You are teaching them how to solve problems whether you realize it or not.

Do you think there is such a thing as arguing fair? What other tips would you add on how to argue fair?

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Blessings, Big and Small, Introduction

Last night as I was tossing and turning, the chorus of a hymn from long ago popped into my head and wouldn’t leave.

Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

I was inspired to start a series for my blog. I will be counting my blessings, big and small. I want to see what God is doing. Join me on my journey of counting blessings.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

Miracles and God’s Goodness

Two days ago, we received a bill in the mail from Metlife. I dreaded opening it because we have been having problems with them charging us for one hundred people since May. I didn’t want to have to call them back again (I’ve been calling them monthly) to argue about our bill.

Yesterday, I finally opened it. The first words out of my mouth were, “God is good!” The amount owed on the bill was ZERO!

For two days in a row, those words have been spoken in our home; and, after my post about decisions and miracles, we’ve seen God work.

We have been looking at our bills and crunching number, and we know that there is no way humanly possible that our bills will be paid. But God will work a miracle! Because God is good all the time!

With Big Decisions Comes Big Miracles

Today we made a big decision.

We have been fervently praying for the past couple weeks or so about Mister quitting his third-shift part-time job. He was at peace with this decision which meant it was all up to me.

He kept talking about wanting to quit and the reasons why, but I just couldn’t give it up completely.

Sure, this job had exhausted him beyond belief and I dearly missed my husband, but the small paycheck each week was nice, especially since we have been struggling so much financially.

Finally, after two weeks of God giving VERY obvious signs to me, I “let” Mister go ahead and give his two-weeks notice.

This decision might sound a little crazy to you since I’ve been blabbering about our financial difficulties, but let me explain how we came to this decision. Or should I say how God brought us to this decision.

When Mister took this third-shift part-time job, he was trying to pay our bills and make us secure financially in his own power. In his fallible mind, this seemed like the logical thing to do.

But this decision brought on more financial burdens than before. It, also, caused a strain on our marriage and left my poor husband worn out. We both became very susceptible to Satan’s attacks.

He has worked part-time jobs before, and it wasn’t nearly as hard as it has been this time. God actually blessed us then. His blessing wasn’t on this current part-time job.

Mister’s last night at his part-time job with be January 31 which is fantastic timing for a whole month of celebrating Valentine’s Day!!!

We are completely trusting God to pay our bills, and He WILL because we believe in His power! Just watch…you’re going to see a miracle 🙂

It's Just Not Time Yet!

When I finally decided to go to sleep last night after yesterday’s blog post, I remembered something I read in “You’re Already Amazing” by Holley Gerth.

Chapter five is about knowing where we are going in our life. A few pages into this chapter, she talks about being encamped in life much like the Israelites after Egypt. So this morning, I re-read that section because that was exactly what I was talking about yesterday.

God’s direction IS clear to us. We know exactly what God’s direction is right now. He just wants us to wait! Just to wait!

We’re being prepared to move forward, but it’s just not time yet. We are being prepared for the future, for the next season of our life, but it’s just not time yet.

It’s just not time yet!

I allowed my emotions to get the better of me this week. I allowed myself to doubt God.

No more!

I know His promises! I know His timing is perfect!

Our bills will certainly be paid through His power. We need to stop doing things in our own power and start trusting His power again.

After all, that’s what my theme for the new year is: Delighting in God’s power!

I’m not relaxing, enjoying, and delighting in God’s power when I’m stressed out and upset with God. Here I am, almost two weeks into 2013, and I’ve ignored my theme for this year. I’m forgetting God’s power.

We know what God is preparing us for, and we know God will work out the details in His time.

Sure, being encamped in the wilderness really stinks; but that’s only if we allow it. I’m going to relax and enjoy the wilderness!

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”
Isaiah 55:8

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”
Philippians 1:6

“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”
Ecclesiates 3:11

“And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.”
Exodus 33:14

God is speaking softly…very softly!

Some people would think it was just the beginning of a normal drill weekend, but we didn’t.

Mister is working two civilian jobs, one first shift full-time and the second third-shift part-time. Then there’s the Guard.

All of this makes one very exhausted, stressed out husband.

Our bad day began first thing in the morning with knowing that drill weekends will end up costing us which spiraled into a conversation about our finances.

We are 100% sure God moved us out here for a reason. We just don’t know the reason.

We are 100% sure God wanted us to live in this house we can’t afford. We just don’t know why.

We are 100% sure God sent us to Bethel Baptist Church for a reason, and we love it there!

We just don’t know what God wants. I don’t know what God wants with my life or our life. We are clueless. We’re praying so hard, but we are just at a standstill. We kind of feel like the Israelites when they were in the wilderness after Egypt.

I hate my husband working so many jobs with only time for sleep and food. He’s wearing thin.

I would love for him to quit his third-shift part-time, but I’m not at peace with that.

Then I said it…a thought I have been carrying around for a few days…out loud.

I’m upset with God. He said He’d always provide, but we are behind on our rent. We paid as much as we could, but it wasn’t the full amount.

We could ask a number of people to help us out, but we feel like that’s taking the easy way and not really trusting God.

I’m upset that He said He’d provide but didn’t provide our full amount of rent. I’m upset because we don’t have any clue why He brought us out here. I’m upset my husband has to work so much to barely make ends meet.

Once my husband left, I got on Facebook to veg out. Two quotes were posted by different people that don’t even know each other, and God gave me two big Gibbs-smacks via Facebook.

“Often we want to be able to see into the future. We say, ‘How will next year be for me? Where will I be five or ten years from now?’ There are no answers to these questions. Mostly we have just enough light to see the next step: what we have to do in the coming hour or the following day. The art of living is to enjoy what we can see and not complain about what remains in the dark. When we are able to take the next step with the trust that we will have enough light for the step that follows, we can walk through life with joy and be surprised at how far we go. Let’s rejoice in the little light we carry and not ask for the great beam that would take all shadows away.”
–Henri Nouwen

“Trusting God when it’s easy really isn’t trust. 
Trusting God when it’s hard really isn’t easy. 
But, that’s what trust is.” ~ Dr. Michael Easley

Don’t I feel stupid. I read my husband these quotes, and he felt stupid too for doubting God.

Right now, it’s hard. It’s hard not being able to pay our bills. It’s hard seeing my husband working so much and being utterly exhausted. It’s hard not knowing God’s plan.

We are much like the little engine that could except ours is…

Trust in Him. Trust in Him. Trust in Him.

"God Will Never Give You More Than You Can Handle" Debunked

People will always say to the hurting some well-intended advice whether the person hurting wants it or not. We’ve all done it. I do it more times than I would like to admit.

Sometimes, Christians will give advice that isn’t exactly biblical. The one that really drives me up a wall is…

“God will never give you more than you can handle.”

I hear this on a daily basis. Maybe, even on an hourly basis. I’ll be glancing over my various social media sites, and BAM! There it is.

People, especially Christians, gobble up that line because it makes us feel better and makes us feel like we can stand strong and get through whatever the obstacles are.

But, truthfully, we will fail miserably. We won’t be able to stand through the trials.

God will DEFINITELY give us more than we can handle! 

Because God just wants us to let go of all our issues and hand it all over to Him.

He loves us so much that He just wants us to come to Him all the time for every little problem. He loves us so much that He just wants to take our burdens away.

We need to stop trying to take care of everything on our own because we will fail. When we strive to be strong and handle our own problems our self, we are striving in vain.

Being strong isn’t about fixing our own problems. Being strong is about handing our problems over to God FULLY! 

Our problems aren’t really just our problems, they are God’s too.

You’re probably thinking, “This lady is crazy! It’s not so easy to do this!”

You’re right! It’s not.

Take it slow. Start handing problems to God a little at a time, and, before you know it, it will get easier.

Right now, you most likely feel as if you’re drowning in problems, but each time you trust God, the water becomes more shallow until, eventually, you’re walking arm-in-arm with Jesus on a gorgeous beach.

I Peter 5:7

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

God can’t work a miracle in your life until you completely trust Him with the good AND bad. And, dear friend, He desperately wants to work miracles in your life. He desperately wants to take great care of you.

You just have to let Him in.

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.