What To Do When Your Husband Ignores You

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You’re sitting together on the couch and your husband is watching his favorite TV show. You’re trying to have an important conversation with him, but he just doesn’t seem to care what you have to say. He’s lost in his own little world.

Maybe there are a variety of different scenarios in which you feel like you’re trying to communicate with him, but he just never seems interested in your feelings. It hurts. I know.

I can guarantee that basically every woman has felt this way in her relationship/marriage at least once. It seems to be a very common thing actually. Men are pretty much known these days for being horrible listeners. Then, because they aren’t listening, we get on them about things and come across as a nagger/complainer.

It feels like we just can’t win right?

What if I told you that there are ways to get better communication with our men, no matter how impossible it may seem?

What if you could get your husband to WANT to listen help out with the things that you ask him to do? Or to sit and engage with you in conversation more?

He Does Care For You

Firstly, I want to put the reminder out there that if you and your husband are in a relationship where you both have mutual love for each other, but this has become an issue over time, know that he DOES care for you. Whether it may look like it or not.

It is in our nature as women to want to feel cared for and loved. We feel loved when our men listen, hold us, protect us and cherish us. And when they are not doing those things, we perceive it as them not loving us. And I will be the first to admit that there have been many times when I haven’t felt loved, so I start to pull away and get sad and angry. My pride clearly loves to take over during those times. In my mind I would think “Well, if he wants to act like that, then I won’t even bother trying, he doesn’t care anyway”, or if he’d try talking to me, I’d show with my actions that I am angry with him.

Can you see either of these ways of responding as a healthy solution to the problem? Yeah, me neither. But, if I were to change, and respond differently, wouldn’t that just be better for him? What would I get out of it? Well, let’s look a little deeper at what is going on.

 

He Could Be Stressed Out

Instead of putting the blame on us, by saying that he’s not listening because he doesn’t care for you, let’s try a different approach.

One thing I have learned from my husband over these years is that men process stress differently than women. They tend to need time to themselves to process their emotions in a healthy way. A lot of us women are wired in a way where we need to talk out our feelings in order to get through them. So naturally, we expect everyone else to do the same.

He could be dealing with a ton of stress at work, trying to handle the pressure of providing for his family, worrying about being a good husband and/or father, and maybe hasn’t been getting proper sleep. Imagine going through all of those things, but never talking to anyone about them, trying to push through everyday without acknowledging the issues at hand. Just trying to stay strong for the people around you.

Personally, I would go insane. Once I realized everything that my husband has had on his plate while still trying to be the rock in our home, I really started gaining a better appreciation for him and what he does, which was slowly helping me see things differently.

 

He May Have No Idea What You Actually Need

What do I mean by this? Well, another nifty thing that I learned from my husband is that, men don’t always know HOW we want them to listen. There were times where I would sit and talk to my husband about something that happened to me, and he wouldn’t say much in response. I thought he just never had any interest in what I had to say. But, after talking with him about it, I found out that he was always listening, but he didn’t know that I needed any sort of response from him. He thought he was doing the right thing by letting me vent. Or he would try to find a solution for the issue, rather than just being there and comforting me like I wanted him to.

Maybe you’re in a situation where your husband barely ever makes eye contact with you when you are speaking. He just seems to be wrapped up in his work or what is on the television. He may still be hearing every word you are saying, but because he is not giving you his full attention, it seems like he is not making you a priority.

For me, I need confirmation and reassurance of my feelings on things when I am speaking. But he didn’t know this because I never brought it up to him. This is where we started realizing that we needed to work on our communication. We do things very differently, and have different needs. And that is okay! It’s really good and healthy actually, and gives it’s own little way of glorifying God, which I will get to shortly.

 

He May Feel Disrespected

Just like how we as women long to feel loved and desired by our husbands, men long to be respected and appreciated by their wives. When we feel a lack of love by our husband, our natural instinct may be to take back our respect. We might go silent when they want to speak with us, put them down, be passive aggressive, or roll our eyes when they’re speaking.

When men feel a lack of respect from their wives, their natural response is usually to get angry. They’re human too, so they do have the right to their feelings. And when you are angry, do you feel like being loving?

You may have been unknowingly treating him in ways that he feels are disrespectful, and has been pulling away as a response. Some things that we may do without realizing could be:

  • Telling him what to do/how to do it
  • Having a critical spirit and putting him down the things he tries to do
  • Joking at his expense
  • Complaining about something that he spent time doing for you
  • Bringing up past sins that have already been forgiven
  • Answering for him

These things can set a man off and make him feel insulted and disrespected.

 

He May Not Be Ready To Talk About It

Some men, my husband included, need time to think about weighty topics. We tend to want to talk with our husbands RIGHT then and there when something comes to our minds. But a lot of times, men need some time to reflect on what the problem is so that they can respond properly.

There have been times where I would just come out of nowhere trying to have a very important conversation with my husband. It would be in the heat of the moment, and normally it was when I was in the height of my emotions. I would be asking questions and putting him on the spot. He would try to answer, but quickly get stressed out.

He would tell me that he needed some time to think about it. I used to think that he just didn’t want to talk about the problem, so he was trying to put it off. But after bringing it up to him, he explained to me that he legitimately just needs some time to gather his thoughts in those moments.

So, after looking at why he may not be listening, and seeing that it most likely has nothing to do with his lack of love for you, let’s see what can be done about it.

 

Set Up Appropriate Times for Important Conversations

In the beginning of our relationship, I used to get angry about something that I was thinking about while my then boyfriend was at work. I would immediately text him this  text about something he did and why I was upset with him. I would accuse him of things that I wasn’t sure he even did yet. Ladies, DON’T DO THIS. The worst time to start an argument is over the phone because it doesn’t get properly solved. Then he gets stressed out at work, while you’re just building up resentment because he isn’t getting back to you quick enough.

If you want to make sure that your husband is ALL there when you want to have an important conversation, let him know in advance that you’d like to talk with him about something on your heart. Not a demand of “We NEED to talk later” and then leaving him to guess what he did wrong. Instead, invite him in to speak with you. If he has done something that you’re angry about, express your anger to God, and ask Him to help you speak to your husband in love. Then, go for a run, write in a journal, whatever you have to do to have a clear mind when you speak to him.

When it is time to talk, and if he seems distracted, let him know that this talk is important to you and you’d like if he would give you the same courtesy that you are giving to him. No finger pointing, eye-rolling or “see, you ALWAYS do this!”. Again, you want to invite him in for a conversation with you, not demand it. He will be much more likely to respond the way you would like him to if you show respect. (I mean, you wouldn’t want him acting like that with you right?)

 

Give Him Space

If lately he has been spending all of his time either working or with you during his free time, it might be time to give him some space. He may not say it because he doesn’t want to hurt you, but every man needs his space once in a while just to think and do..nothing! It might not make sense to us, but those times for them are precious.

So, if he seems to be extra quiet lately, or distracted when you try to speak to him, try suggesting that he take some time to watch his favorite show, play a game or whatever it is he likes doing. I guarantee he will appreciate this so much and will come back recharged, ready and WANTING to hear what you have to say.

When I started doing this with my husband, he felt that I respected him and his needs. He would actually include me into his activities and talk with me while playing his games.

So, it may sound counter intuitive to have him go off and do his thing when you want to talk with him, but in reality, it will have him wanting to make you happy in the way you desire in the end without you having to try to get his attention.

 

Tell Him What You Need

When you’re talking with him, if he is looking at his phone or is barely engaging back with you, now is the time to let him know what makes you feel loved. Now, this is not meant to be an effort to make him feel guilty, and point out everything he has been doing wrong.

Let him know that when he is looking at other things while you are talking, it makes you feel unwanted and not a priority. Use phrases like “I feel that..” instead of “You make me angry when you..”. Having an accusatory tone does nothing but put the other person on the defense. But when we use phrases like the first one, it shows them that we are simply explaining our feelings about something that is happening. He may have no idea that you are feeling hurt by his actions, because it may be something that he’s been doing for years or even grew up doing, and there was never an issue before.

Men love to fix things. Not just tangible things, but I mean everything. They do actually want to fix whatever issue is making you upset. So, if you let them know in a loving, non-accusatory way, they will want to change their behaviors for you because they want to know that they are making their lady happy.

 

Let Him Know That You Appreciate Him

If you know that you’ve both been at each other a lot lately. Or maybe you’ve been doing some of the things I mentioned earlier that can be a sign of disrespect to a husband. Try telling him what you appreciate about him more often. I know, this can be hard when we’re upset, maybe you don’t feel like he deserves for you to tell him those things right now.

Ask God to help you see your husband through His eyes. I have had to do this quite a few times in the past. I knew there were so many amazing things about him, but during those moments where I was hurt, it was hard to come up with any. But, sure enough, God would give me peace and help me to see my husband in a new light. And now, I take every opportunity I can to let him know how proud I am of him and how much I appreciate everything he does for us.

The more you show him your appreciation and respect, the more he will search for ways to show you love. You may still need to let him know how you would like for him to engage with you during conversations, but going into a talk when both people are feeling loved and appreciated makes communication that much better.

Conclusion

I want to put this out there. I am not condoning acting in certain ways just so that you can get something in return. I believe that marriage should not be 50/50 but 100/100. Giving your all to each other. Not just meeting half way and waiting for the other person to do what you want them to. If we allow God to fill us and meet our needs, then we can pour out our love and respect for each other selflessly.

Like I said in the beginning, I guarantee your husband loves and cares for you very much. You just have different love languages and ways of doing things. This is why communication is SO important. So that you can learn what those things are and respond in ways that will make your marriage stronger, healthier and happier.

I hope you enjoyed reading and were able to get some helpful tips. Thanks so much for stopping by! Don’t forget to subscribe to get updated on new posts and freebies!

How to Read the Bible When You’re Not Sure Where To Start

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When I first started trying to get into the Bible, I was looking up all sorts of videos and articles on what the proper way was, because going from Genesis to Revelation in order had me making excuses to not read 😳

I couldn’t get into the stories, because I didn’t feel like I had any real relationship with Jesus yet, so nothing was really standing out to me and I was more confused than ever.

I was then told to start my reading in the book of John because it gives you a better idea of what salvation truly means and shows us the Gospel wonderfully. So that’s what I did!

As each chapter was finished, I got to know Jesus a little better. I then went to Matthew and back to John again. Reading the Gospels helped me understand what had just happened to me through salvation and gave me a better appreciation for God and His Word.

So starting from here, I will share some ideas I have based on what I’ve done to get into reading the Bible when you don’t know where to start!

1. Start from the Gospel of John, then back to Matthew and on.

I feel that learning about Jesus and His life here on Earth is the best way to start. Looking at why we need salvation, the miracles He did while He was here, getting know His character better and the depth of God’s love for us is a sure way to develop our relationship with Him. The Gospels also show us how important it is to speak to God through prayer which is also incredibly important in growing our relationship with Him, because how can you have a relationship with someone without speaking to them??

2. Start with a version that helps you understand the best.

Some versions like King James can be extremely difficult for many people to understand because of the old English used and choice of translation. But there are a ton of more modern translations that are still accurate but much easier to comprehend and reflect on.

I know when I see tons of “ye”s and “eth”s all throughout, my brain likes to gloss right over, which is obviously not what we want. The point of reading and studying the Word is to get to know God better. So do the version that is best for you! We like to go with NLT (New Living Translation).

3. Download a Bible App

There are quite a few Bible apps out there that are super helpful and can be great tools when you don’t know where to start or how to study the Bible.

The one that I use daily is the Holy Bible app, which is available for both IPhone and Android users.

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One super helpful tool for my husband and I is the Verse of the Day. As soon as you bring up your app, this is on the home page. It gives a different, random verse each day that is helpful to reflect on. We usually pull this up together at night before he goes into work, and then read the whole chapter that the verse is connected to.

Another great thing about this is that if you are more of an audio learner, or if you’re just in your car or getting ready and don’t have time to read, they have an easy option to listen to someone else read it out loud for you. We usually do this, while also reading along together. You can pause and speak about each passage together as well.

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This app also has an option for Devotional plans. They have topics from Marriage to pray to Healing and everything in between. No matter what issue you’re going through or subject you’d like to know more on, they’ve got you covered. What’s great about Devotionals is that they also give ideas and things to reflect on that can be applied to your daily life. It helps you to connect and relate better with the verses that they give you.

4. Read Christian Non-Fiction Books

One of the things that really helped me understand certain Scriptures better was reading books by a Christian authors who give advice and examples from their own life that the Bible has solutions for. Normally in these books, the author will share experiences from their life that we can relate to and then show how God has come through for them. They will usually add scripture in to help us see what God has to say about our situations, which was SO helpful for me in the beginning of my walk.

Some great books that I started off with were:

Jesus> Religion by Jefferson Bethke

Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge

Kind is the New Classy by Candace Cameron Bure (This one I actually read not long ago but it’s so good!)

Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

There’s tons more that are just amazing and I’ve gotten so much amazing insight and wisdom from. Just take a look at the Christian section of any bookstore and you’ll find loads that can relate to your situation in some way. You can also check out Christianbook.com or even Amazon if  you just want to order online!

 

These are just a few of the ways that I’ve found can really get you started on your path to regularly reading the Bible if you’ve been having trouble. I hope these help!

Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these or have any other ideas!

Thanks for reading  😊

 

#Christian #Christianliving #Bible

 

 

 

 

 

20 Ways to Keep Your Marriage Strong

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I’ve put together a list of things that I have learned over the years of developing a godly relationship, that can help to keep a relationship healthy and strong.

I am by no means saying that my relationship with my husband is perfect. In fact, I am sharing this list with you because we’ve been at some pretty low places in our relationship where we weren’t even sure we would stay together. But these are things that we have learned and put into practice from reading books, articles, and watching videos on Godly marriage and relationships. And we saw for ourselves how much these things can make a difference and really change things around for the best!

We still don’t get it right all the time, and our sinful nature likes to take over, but when we do our best to apply these things, and bring every situation to God, our relationship gets stronger in the end.

So without further ado…here are 20 ways to keep your marriage strong!

  1. Never leave without saying “I love you”
  2. Don’t leave without a kiss (Even if you’re angry with each other, it is a way to let the other know that you still care for them in that moment regardless of emotions)
  3. Don’t speak badly about him/her to anyone including family and close friends. Don’t vent to others when you are in a fight. Bring it to God, and He will give you the peace and answers you need. (Sometimes other people can make matters worse because they naturally want to side with you but it may make you feel worse about the situation. And they may end up having a lasting negative feeling toward your spouse even after the fight is over and you’ve made up)
  4. If he does something kind (like washing the dishes after dinner), but doesn’t do it the way you would (doesn’t rinse or dry them off right away), show him that you appreciate his kind deed regardless, and try not to bring up what he could’ve done better.
  5. Say “thank you” OFTEN. Whenever he/she does something kind or thoughtful, let them know that you appreciate it, it is nice to hear. (Especially if it is their love language) Don’t just assume that he/she knows.
  6. Protect your minds and hearts, and don’t watch or listen to anything ungodly. Fill  your home with things that are of God: “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is purewhatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8)
  7. This one goes back to #3 but a little more specific and I feel is so important. Do not talk about your marital issues with those of the opposite sex, as it gives the wrong idea and can mess with your emotions. Again, take it to God. What happens between you and your husband/wife isn’t everyone else’s business. This is a great way to show respect to each other, and yourself.
  8. Let them have space when they need it. Ladies, a lot of us could spend every second of every day with our man, trust me I KNOW. But what I’ve come to learn is that men aren’t exactly wired the way we are. Sometimes they just need some time to chill and do their own thing for a while. It doesn’t mean they hate us. A lot of times it helps them to think better and process all of the many emotions they tend to hold in.

I just want to throw this in there. My husband has 2 days off during the week and the rest of the time works the overnight shift. So, naturally I try to get in every bit of time I can with him. For a long time, I would get upset when he didn’t want to spend every second with me. I took it as him not caring about our time together, or just wanting to be away from me. But once I learned how men tend to process things, I realized that it is necessary and healthy for him to take this time. And usually, he wants me by his side when he is playing his game so that we can hold hands, but just be doing separate things. Most of the time, he actually talks with me about what is going on in his game and wants me somewhat included, so that’s always nice! So, we started intentionally setting aside a few hours on one of his days off to do this.

9. Listen to him. And I mean REALLY listen. Even if you couldn’t give a rip about the things he/she is into, it shows that you care about them and their love for those things and I guarantee it will mean the world to them.

10. If something that you do bothers or upsets him/her, don’t put them down for feeling that way. Even if you don’t agree that he/she should be bothered, they deserve respect just as much as you do. So saying things like “wow, that seriously bothers you?” or “a real man wouldn’t be upset about that”, are big no-nos.

11. FLIRT. Touch him/her. And I don’t just mean in a sexual way. Brushing your hand over his back. Playing with her hair. Grabbing his hand when you’re walking together. Coming up behind her and putting your arms around her. Little ways to show affection and let the other person know that you love being in their presence.

12. Support each other through everything.

13. Be each other’s biggest cheerleader whenever something great happens in the other’s life.

14. Greet him/her enthusiastically. Show them how much you missed them!

15. Talk about problems as they arise. Don’t hold them in and let them build. If things start to get too heated between you two, let the other person know that you just need a minute to cool down and you will be back so you can both figure things out. And then go into the other room, go for a drive, whatever you need to clear your head, and get in prayer. This will help you both so you’re not coming at each other with pure anger and can see things with a better perspective.

16. Pray with each other as often as possible. It is a special thing when your spouse raises you up in prayer. It is a beautiful way to love on someone.

17. Have a date night once a week if possible. It doesn’t even have to cost money. Even if it is just you two ordering your favorite pizza and having a movie marathon together. Just something to take your minds off of the stresses of the week and just focus on each other and spending time together.

18. Put the phone away when you’re with each other. Phones can literally ruin relationships. Ours did at one point a while back. There was a time when both my husband and I would be scrolling through Facebook while right next to each other, not saying a word. Then there were times when one of us would be using our phones while the other felt left out and unwanted. Trust me, I understand that this is a habit for most of us. We’re used to everyone being glued to their phones. But honestly, being on your phone when you’re with friends or family is a bit rude. So, it is the same with your spouse. It took us a bit to completely get rid of this habit, but now we never go on our phones other than to check the time or weather. And we get to enjoy and really embrace every moment together. You only get so much time with one another, so make the most of it!

19. Let your spouse know how proud you are of them. Often.

20. Encourage and verbally acknowledge the good things about your spouse. Speak life into them daily. Let them know that you see how hard they work and you admire that about them. How gifted they are in a certain area. How big of a heart they have. Even if they aren’t doing things perfectly or to what you think their potential is, the more life you speak into them, the more they will want to become even more of the amazing person you see them as.

 

That’s all I’ve got for now! I hope some of these were helpful. Again, we don’t do these perfectly all the time, but I just know from experience that the times when we do apply these, our relationship just gets much stronger and they get easier to do over time.

I wish you all the best with your relationships! Let me know in the comments what you think and if you do any or most of these and how it has affected your relationships!

What is Love?

“Love” is such a common word we hear and use isn’t it?

The dictionary definition of “love is:

  1. (noun) an intense feeling of deep affection.

  2. (noun) a great interest and pleasure in something.

  3. (verb) feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone

 

We use it a lot when expressing our appreciation or enjoyment of something.

“I LOVE the Chalupas from TacoBell!”

“I LOVE the way you did your hair”

“I LOVE that shirt”

…..you get it.

 

Basically, “love” according to this definition is a feeling, right? An intense feeling toward something.

Now, let’s just throw this out there..if a man and a woman are dating, and the man swears at, belittles, and regularly insults the woman, but states that he loves her, then according to this definition, we can’t exactly say whether he does or not. Because love is just a feeling, and we can’t claim to know someone else’s feelings regardless of whether it shows through their actions or not. 

So, this woman continues to allow that man to treat her that way because she believes that he loves her and doesn’t want to mess that up.

That doesn’t sound good right? Obviously, any other person would say that the man doesn’t love her because his actions prove otherwise. Also, the woman isn’t truly showing love by enabling the man to treat her with such wrong actions, right? She may be reacting out of fear, being used to the relationship and not wanting to try over, or maybe he does offer some positive things to her life that she doesn’t want to lose. So, in a case like this, the actions of both don’t indicate love, but the supposed feelings do.

Well, let’s think about another, more regular occurrence, based on actions and feelings not lining up…

Let’s say a couple got married 1 year ago, and they’ve been getting into more fights since they started living together. We’ll bring in a specific argument, and you decide whether the actions are loving or not.

The husband has been taking on extra work and stressing out lately because they are planning to have a child and he wants to be able to provide. Because of this, he has been distant lately, trying to figure things out. He hasn’t been affectionate, spends most of his free time in front of the tv, and they haven’t gone on a date in a couple of months. The wife takes her husband’s distance as him not caring about her or wanting to spend time with her, so she gets angry and resentful. Her husband comes home one day and tries to speak with her about her day, but because she has been holding in all of her pain, she just says “fine” in an angry tone and then walks away into the other room. Her husband is left wondering what he did wrong, which adds to the stress he already has, and is upset because he doesn’t want his wife to hurt, but she won’t speak to him.

In this situation, we see some unloving actions all throughout right? And both the husband and wife feeling unloved as well. But isn’t this a situation we may even go through ourselves often? The man/woman you’re with upsets you deeply with their actions and you don’t FEEL love towards them for the moment. You feel angry, upset, disappointed, maybe even unloved yourself. You don’t feel butterflies, happiness and lovey-dovey during those moments.

If these types of actions and feelings continue for too long, that is usually where people start to say “I don’t think I am in love with them anymore”, I think we need to end things. “In love” is just yet another way of saying “have deep feelings for”.

So, many relationships are based on feelings for each other, and once those feelings are gone and aren’t seeming to change anytime soon, that is when people decide to call it off. And some may say they “love” someone, but their actions clearly prove otherwise. Therefore, can we maybe consider that this popular definition of love being a feeling, doesn’t have any real value? It doesn’t benefit anyone or even mean anything most of the time.

Many of us say “words don’t mean anything, I need to see actions”. And rightfully so.

Feelings come and go, CONSTANTLY. We are all imperfect human beings who can’t be what everyone wants us to be. Therefore, we will upset people that we care deeply for. We won’t always get along with people. That’s just how it is. That doesn’t mean you care about those people any less, it just means you’re human.

Now, let’s look at the Bible’s meaning of love for a second:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

 

Personally, I like this definition a lot better. It gives us something to work towards. Something that is actually practical for our lives and relationships.

See, love isn’t just accepting people’s wrong doing towards us, or pushing through toxic relationships, that is not healthy for anyone and is a whole other situation that needs to be handled.

Love is choosing to show these qualities even during times when we don’t feel like it. When it is the hardest to do so. Anyone can be kind when someone else is being kind. Anyone can be patient when there’s nothing testing your patience. Anyone can exercise hope, when there’s much to be hopeful for. Anyone can persevere when things are going wonderfully. But love is choosing to do those things even when we DON’T feel like it. Not withholding love when we’re sad, because we chose to love this person and they are God’s creation. Withholding our love because of emotions is (I’m going to be blunt here) selfish.

I am not going to sit here and pretend I haven’t done this myself. I most definitely have reacted more times than I would like to admit based on my feelings. And have withdrawn and been unloving. We all do it. But the problem comes when we think we are entitled to behaving this way and even use our feelings as a way to justify those behaviors.

Not being “in love” with someone anymore means nothing. Because you can easily fall back “in love” again in a few hours. So, the more that we study this biblical definition of love and make the choice to do those things even when we’re at our worst, the closer we are getting to Christ, and the stronger our relationships will be. I am not saying it is going to be easy in the slightest. In fact, you’re going to mess up at times, and you may feel like giving up often. But, it is beyond worth it. When you’re having a hard time, bring it to God, let Him give you the strength to keep showing love.

Again, there is much more involved when it comes to abusive and toxic relationships, and you may need to go speak with someone to help you more in depth, but this goes for any normally healthy friendships and relationships that may be going through hard times. Or if you’re just confused about what love actually is, or if it has been losing it’s meaning to you lately, I hope that this can help you a bit.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you have any questions or would like to comment on it, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Don’t forget to subscribe to be updated on future posts.

 

Young Christian with No Friends?

If you clicked on this post because of the title, then I will tell you right now, I know the feeling.

I’ve gone from having a ton of friends, spending all my free time with other people throughout my high school years, to having barely anyone (aside from my now husband and a couple of long time friends) that I can call an actual friend.

How did it happen? Well, aside from the normal, people moving away for college and heading in different directions, it was my new faith that really changed everything for me.

When I gave my life to Christ and decided to follow Him, many people I once hung around all the time started to treat me differently. They didn’t take very well to my new lifestyle.

Things that I used to think were okay to do, no longer were in my eyes, which made it hard to be around. I wasn’t comfortable being who I was anymore.

It was like a switch turned in me and my values completely changed. I found myself unable to participate in any conversations that involved gossip, mocking, anything just inappropriate and ungodly. I found it more and more difficult to be around it. So, I slowly distanced myself and started to pray that God would take away anything that wasn’t good for me anymore and put into my life people who are like-minded and wanted the same kind of relationship with Him that I did.

****I just want to throw in here that I am not saying I have any hatred towards anyone from my past, I have actually come to the point that I can be grateful for all of the good times we did have! Nor am I trying to make this sound overly judge-y or holier-than-thou, but as a Christian, these things became extremely important to me, so it’s just how it went down. It is perfectly okay and healthy to choose not to surround yourself with certain people anymore for various reasons. That’s just how it goes sometimes. There are people who are only meant to be in your life for a season, and then there’s those that are meant to be for life. And that’s perfectly fine!

I went through a long season of confusion and loneliness. This was the first time I had no one other than God to go to. And looking back on it now, I think that is exactly how He wanted it.

Without all of the distractions and emotions involved with being around people who I couldn’t share my love of the Lord with, I was able to finally get to know Him and establish a stronger relationship with Him. It was an extremely difficult time, but also undeniably beautiful.

After a while though, my flesh started to take over and I was getting impatient. I took a walk down the pity trail and got consumed with self-doubt.

All I could think of was how I could get new friendships, ones that were perfect for me. And when it wasn’t happening, I became discouraged and depressed and unknowingly put these walls up that were actually pushing away any chances at making true friendships.

Why did this happen? Pride. Selfishness. Thinking of me, myself and I. The Enemy loves to kick us when we’re down. He loves coming to us in our vulnerable moments. He knew that this was unfamiliar territory for me, being alone. And he used it to make matters even worse. I was blinded to this for the longest time. Letting those same thoughts replay in my head over and over, I slowly became hardened towards people in general.

I was too focused on FINDING friends that I lost sight of trying to BE one.

But how could I possibly say that I deserved something from others, when I wasn’t doing the same back?

How could I expect to get Godly friends in my life, when I couldn’t be one myself? 

And I feel like maybe a lot of us go through that transition. When we lose everyone we thought were close to us and start to see the truth, everything changes. And when we experience times of loneliness or hardship, it can be very easy to become bitter and angry with our circumstances. Many times, that stems from selfishness or impatience.

But if what I’ve gone through means anything, then maybe if we’re putting ourselves in places to meet other Christians, and making attempts to befriend others, and are still feeling extremely lonely, thinking we’ll never make any friends, we might need to take a look at our own hearts. Maybe God has something to show us that we haven’t recognized about ourselves.

Maybe there is still some healing needed to be done. 

God wants us to have friendships. For us to build each other up, hold each other accountable, and share His love with one another. He never intended for us to be isolated. Maybe for a time, but not forever. The way to glorify Him is when others see Him through us. When we spread the gospel to others. When we show others the love of Christ. We can’t do that by being away from people. So, if it’s something He wants for us, then He will make a way for it to happen.

So, remember that there is a reason for this season in your life right now. As hard as it may be to understand it, God is pruning your life. He is taking away those things and people that are not growing you anymore and making space for those that will. It is our job to keep our hearts and minds open to what He is doing.

I would really say, that instead of allowing this season to make you bitter (I know, a lot easier said than done), try to remember that this is the perfect time to start strengthening your one on one relationship with the Lord. Once you do have those friends, there will be more times that you may need to give up your free time for others, you will have other responsibilities.

So, take this alone time you have now to really embrace God and learn about Him as much as you can. Let Him teach you about the kind of friend we need to be. Ask Him to show you your gifts and strengths so you can use them for others down the road. Learn new things. Try new things. Explore. Get to know yourself better.

Think about it this way. This is how things are right now. And we can choose to either resent it, harbor anger in our hearts and have a scowl on our face, or we can choose to find the many positives in it, grow deeply in our faith and as a person and then when the time comes for new friendships, we will be able to give our very best and have a grateful heart.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you have any comments or questions, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Subscribe for updates on new posts! 

Not the wedding I dreamed of…

I honestly never used to picture what my wedding would be like until social media became a thing. All of those picturesque, fairy-tale like scenes on Pinterest. The big, flowy ball gowns with diamonds and jewels throughout, perfectly fitted on beautiful brides to look like princesses.

Every venue was just gorgeous, packed with hundreds (sometimes thousands) of guests, loads of decorations neatly and precisely placed, and professional photographers who could capture each moment perfectly.

The more I saw these pictures and heard the stories, the more I wanted it for myself.

I created my own Wedding board on Pinterest and got to work! I added the exact bouquet I wanted, the color theme, MY dress that I NEEDED to have in order to even consider getting married, and tons of pictures of rustic barns because nothing else could possibly do.

This was all before I was engaged. Before Stephen and I even spoke about engagement actually. But it was what I knew needed to happen in order for me to be a happy bride one day.

Once Stephen did propose to me, you better believe I immediately started planning all the little details of our wedding.

Ring pic

The thing I started realizing? In order to get the Pinterest wedding I always wanted, we would have to go into debt…a LOT of it. And, even while just in the beginning stages on planning, we were already getting extremely stressed out. I wanted to get married the next year, but with everything we needed to do and the money we needed to save, it would have to be put off for much longer.

I was so conflicted. I prayed every day about it. I wanted to have a beautiful wedding, something I would be happy with. This was MY day! But, as the days were passing, my desire to marry the man God had for me grew stronger.

Each day I prayed, it seemed that I wanted the big, fancy wedding less and less. I began to realize that maybe my desire for it was based on what society says is “ideal”, and not what I truly wanted after all.

I asked myself “what do I want right now”? All that kept coming to me was “To marry Stephen and start a family together.”

So, I thought about it..If we were to put this off and invest all of our money into a one-day celebration that will be over in just a few hours, then we wouldn’t be able to start our family for quite a few years. We wouldn’t be able to save for a house. We would probably be extremely stressed out during the planning and the day of, that we wouldn’t remember half of what happened that day.

We would be more concerned with our guests than our first precious moments as husband and wife.

Now, please don’t take this as me putting down anyone who chooses to have a big wedding. We still plan to have one ourselves one day as a vow renewal! If you have the money and patience to plan it, go for it! It will be amazing.

But for us personally, we are both very simple people. We don’t need much. Nor do we really want much more than what we have. And this was a realization I am truly glad God brought me to. I realized…this wedding isn’t about ME, its about Him and our coming together as one for HIM.

The crazy thing is, I didn’t exactly bring it up to Stephen. He actually brought it up to me. He threw out the possibility (he says he was half-serious, not sure what I would say about it), “what if we just got married this weekend”?

At the time, we had been having a bit of an argument because I was stressed about it all and we both just wanted to be married already. I wasn’t sure whether to take what he said seriously, but I honestly didn’t care anymore, I ended up agreeing to it. So, he said we would make it happen.

I was in shock that we were actually going to be doing this! But as time got closer and closer, it just felt right and everything fell into place perfectly.

I will say, it took a bit longer than that weekend, but each day we were taking care of something for our special day. We got our birth certificates, then our marriage license. Then the next day we went and got our wedding rings and told our parents. We somehow got the perfect officiant to help us with our vows.

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I found a beautiful dress that fit my personality to a T. And my family was able to make up some decorations to make our little ceremony special. We invited only our immediate family. This one was difficult at first since we wanted our close friends to be apart of our special day, but they were all very understanding.

So, we got our wedding planned out within a week and a half! Throughout that whole week, Stephen and I were praising God for His goodness and blessing our relationship. He was moving things along for us to make this happen. I knew it was all meant to be this way.

 

The ceremony was beautiful. It was done at a nearby park in front of an archway that my parents set up in the perfect spot, right near the water fountain. I asked my sister and sister-in-law to use their photography skills and capture each moment. We got to focus on our love and devotion to God and each other, while our family was there to witness it. Then after saying our goodbyes, we headed off to our gorgeous hotel for the night.

Not much about our wedding was traditional, or anything like what I thought I wanted years ago…it was even better! It was more “us” than anything else we could have had. To us it was genuine, elegant, simple, and not so crazy stressful! And now we can do exactly what we have been wanting for a while now, to start our own family and glorify God through our marriage.

I write this not only to share with you a bit about how our special day was, but for anyone who may be considering a small ceremony themselves, to know that it can be just as special and beautiful as any Pinterest wedding. Everyone is different, with unique priorities and desires for life. Go with what makes you and your future spouse happy. Don’t listen to what everyone else wants for you or thinks would be best. If you stick to what makes you feel best, you will have zero regrets and be so glad you did it!

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Thank you so much for stopping by and reading! I hope you enjoyed my little story and maybe got something out of it for yourself. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. What kind of wedding are you planning on having?

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I am not enough, but Jesus is.

It has become a common thing that people say to each other as a form of encouragement. When someone is feeling down and out. When they are hurting, we want to say something to comfort them, right? This is one of those go-to phrases that we like to run to during those times.

Maybe we’ve been told that it is a great Daily Affirmation to tell ourselves. But it may seem like no matter how many times we try to remind ourselves of it, it just still doesn’t quite feel right. Maybe it doesn’t seem completely true.

Which phrase am I talking about?

“You are enough”

Now, before you go and get angry with me for being a heartless person, hear me out.

Firstly, I just want to say that this post is towards those following after Christ, so if you don’t profess to be a Christian, then this might just sound like a bunch of crazy talk. If so, this post may not be for you and that’s okay. I will be having other more general posts in the future so be on the look out for those!

With that being said, before I get into this, let me first ask you, does Scripture ever say that we are enough on our own? Does it ever say that we are good enough? Smart enough? Strong enough? Perfect just the way we are? All on our own?

It may surprise you to know that it does not.

And who has the ultimate authority to determine what is good and bad, if not the creator of the universe? When we say that someone is ” enough”, enough for what exactly?

In Romans 3 10-12 ESV it is stated “As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All  have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even ONE.” (emphasis by me)

It is also written in Romans 3:23 ESV “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

And again in Ecclesiastes 7:20 ESV we see ” Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.”

As we can see from Scripture, God takes righteous and “good”ness very seriously. He doesn’t compare us to each other to decide what is considered good. He doesn’t look at one person and say “Well, even though he has sinned in this way, he has still done many kind and good things in his life. So he is good.”

Nor does he say that one person is more good than the other because one has sinned less than the other.

No, we are compared to His perfect righteousness. And in comparison to Him, we are dirty, sinful and would never be “good enough” to be in His presence.

And this is why it is so important that we recognize this fact.

The more that we continue to tell others and ourselves that we are “good enough” all on our own, the more we take away the actual message of the Gospel! We turn people away from depending on Jesus for the salvation that they truly need and towards themselves to almost be there own “savior”.

If people start to believe that they are good and perfect as they are, why would they feel the need for a Savior?

I can honestly say that I have been guilty of doing this for probably most of my life, until I really took a look at Scripture. It is easy to follow the advice and “wisdom” of the world, because it becomes catchy and spreads easily. It becomes a part of our everyday lives.

But once this finally got through to me, I saw Jesus in a whole new light. I hungered for more of Him because I realized HOW MUCH I so desperately needed Him. And that was when my whole relationship with Him started to really change and deepen. My faith is stronger than it has ever been before.

And not in this way of just fearing Him and His mightiness (which is also something that is actually a positive thing! I will get to that in another post) but just soaking in the fact that Jesus, who was perfect and sinless took the place of an imperfect, sinful, hateful, vengeful person because God loved me? Yeah that changes the game completely.

And the amazing news is that when Jesus took our place on the cross, once we place our faith in Him and follow after Him, God sees us as He sees Jesus, good and blameless. So therefore, with Christ alone we are good enough! See, that’s the difference. Being able to encourage someone by saying “remember that IN CHRIST, you are enough!” is amazing. It points that person to the Truth about them and it is something that they can trust and believe with their whole hearts because God says so.

But this is why it is so important that we take any beliefs, or worldly wisdom circling around, to Scripture to find what is actually Truth.

I had put my faith in man for a long time. And it got me absolutely nowhere, just deeper and deeper in depression and sin. So I choose to put my faith in God and His Word. It is the only thing that has brought me healing, joy, and peace that is lasting.

If this is something that you haven’t really thought much on, like as was in my case before, I would just say to take this matter to God. Ask Him to show you the Truth. Ask Him to deepen your understanding of it, and to bring to light any lies you may be believing today.

If you’re saved, ask Him to strengthen your relationship with Him through this! And if you’ve not yet given your life over to following Christ, why not ask Him into your heart today!? He’s waiting with arms wide open just for you.

If you enjoyed this post or got anything beneficial from it, or even if you have a totally different thought about it, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! If you have any other topics you’d like to hear my take on, let me know those too.

I hope you have a great day!