Friday, May 30, 2014

An Ounce of Prevention: 'Becoming A Power Couple'

Because at the end of the day...

Shouldn't every godly couple strive to be a power couple in their own right? (S-C-A-P)

When you think about power couples, people like President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama most likely come to mind. Other power couples include Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Jay-Z and Beyonce, Bill and Camille Cosby. Certainly, these couples have power and influence to do big things in our world, and all of them make it a point to help those less fortunate than themselves. But, you don’t have to be a big name or have a lot of fame in order to be a power couple. Everyday power couples, like Lamar and Ronnie Tyler, the founders of this website, are a classic example of harnessing the powerful partnership of marriage, not only to build a family but also to impact lives around the world through media.

You and your spouse (or future spouse) can be a power couple, too. It might not be as entrepreneurs or entertainers, but that doesn’t mean the impact you have in society is any less important. For example, my husband and I determine to be a power couple in the realm of community building through ministry and education. We know our lane (mission), stay in it, and work it diligently. It doesn’t matter if the world knows our name; what matters is if we are harnessing the power that God has given us as a couple to love each other and to impact the lives of others.

Here are few “power couple pointers” that work for me and my husband. I encourage you to add to the list and modify them to suit the unique qualities within your marriage.

     A power couple  doesn’t  take “power trips” and waste time arguing about who is in control.
    A power couple capitalizes off of each person’s strengths instead of focusing on each others’ weaknesses.
    A power couple can produce and build something together””whether a business, a home, a community service project, etc.””that not only benefits them but helps others.
    A power couple recognizes that they can do more, have more, and give more when they are working together as opposed to working individually.
    A power couple is not intimidated by other power couples. In fact, a real power couple learns from others and seeks mentors to help them grow.
    A power couple presents a united front as parents and refuses to allow the children to divide and conquer them.
    A power couple makes a plan, works the plan, and revises the plan as needed so that the vision for the marriage is realized.
    A power couple does the hard work necessary to work through marital problems and to learn from difficult circumstances.
    A power couple believes they have the perfect spouse even though their spouse isn’t perfect.
    A power couple serves as an example for other couples to learn how to be uniquely powerful in their marriages.
    A power couple places God and family in the center of their lives and protects their faith and loved ones from negative influences.
    A power couple recognizes that real power  doesn’t  reside in money, in careers, or in reputation. Real power resides in love.

I believe that God created marriage to be a powerful institution. It should not suck the life out of you or leave you feeling powerless. Instead, it should nurture and add to the power already within you. When this happens in marriage, you become a power couple that is unstoppable and unbreakable.

I couldn't agree more...



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"On Fire": Does 'He' INSPIRE You?

"Let everything you do be done in love (true love to God and man as inspired by God’s love for us)."---I Corinthians 16:34(AMP)

Earlier this week...

I was talking to someone about a dilemma that there are in concerning an engaged couple that has *more than a little bit of drama* between them but are *hell bent* (no pun think) on getting married. As I thought about all that the person shared with me about the two individual's journey, it was...revelatory, the sentence that came to my spirit:

"If the person is not inspiring you to be better than you were before them, then they are not God's best for you."

Inspire: to exert a stimulating or beneficial effect upon (a person); animate or invigorate; to arouse (with a particular emotion or to a particular action); stir; to prompt or instigate; give rise to; to guide or arouse by divine influence or inspiration

Invigorate: to give vigor to; fill with life and energy; energize

Yeah. Sometimes I'm not sure if we realize that if we're not in the kind of relationship that stimulates us (first and foremost and especially) spiritually; if we're not in the kind of relationship that God deems as being beneficial to our mind, body and spirit;  if we're not in the kind of relationship that will fill us with life and energy; if we're not in the kind of relationship that stirs us and prompts us to (catch it) be guided and aroused by the influence of God, Christ and the Holy Spirit, then while we might be in "something", while we might be in something that we "feel" might be good (and remember that Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that the heart can be deceitful), we're not in God's best for us.

Not just that but...

Remember that John 10:10(NKJV) tells us "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." let's put that together with this...

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband."---Ephesians 5:25-33(NKJV)

Christ came to give the Church abundant life. Yes, he came to inspire us.

The Word instructs husbands to love their lives *as Christ loved the Church*. This means that a godly husband is going to bring abundant life into his wife's life. He also is going to inspire her as well.

So, if you're already in a situation that is *draining* you (and by that, I mean not only that it may be full of drama but it is pulling your further from God rather than closer to him), that is something to *really pray about* because that's not God's intent for you. A good man's influence should encourage you to wake up every morning and be *thrilled* about your God, your purpose and becoming a better person. *Consistently so*.

It's a simple message but it's a clear standard for all of God's daughters' relationships.

If "he's" right, if he's *really and truly right*...the relationship should INSPIRE you.



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

An Ounce of Prevention: 'Signs That He Is Not 'the One'...FOR YOU'


It's one thing to want to be in a relationship...

It's another matter entirely to want to be with the one who is right *for you*...

Right: in accordance with what is good, proper, or just; in conformity with fact, reason, truth, or some standard or principle; correct; correct in judgment, opinion, or action; fitting or appropriate; suitable; most convenient, desirable, or favorable


When it comes to that last definition, I was just talking to a husband recently about how one way to know that something is "God's kind of right" is this: Although all relationships will have their fair share of *issues* what "God's kind of right" will not have is a lot of *drama*. To me, that speaks to being in the kind of relationship that is most convenient, most desirable and most favorable.

That said...

Here are a couple of articles on how to know if someone is *not* the *right* one for you. (S-C-A-P):

A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece titled “10 Signs He Has What It Takes to Be Your Husband," and from reading this post, one might think that if their guy doesn’t have those characteristics, he isn't the right guy... period. But, I'm here to tell you that it’s a little more complicated than that. Allow me to explain. Keep reading, and I’ll help you identify 10 ways to recognize that he’s wrong for you.

Its All About Potential
If you like the potential of whom he could be, rather than the reality of who he is, he’s just not for you.

You Can't Be Yourself

If you act differently around him than you do with your friends and family, you’re in the wrong place. Find someone who lets you be yourself.

You're In Denial

Whatever the issue is, if you are working hard to deny facts about your relationship that you know to be true, then you are dating the wrong person.

He's Already Taken

Sorry, I have to be clear with this. If he’s dating, engaged, or married to someone else, he DOES NOT belong to you.

The Cons Outweigh the Pros

Write down the advantages of continuing to date him. Then list the disadvantages. If the latter list wins, it means he is a loss.

You're Insecure

If you’re only with him because you’re afraid of being alone, you can do bad by yourself.

The Relationship Needs A Wrench

If you spend your time trying to fix him, please realize this is a fruitless activity. We only have the ability to change ourselves. Let him fix himself, first. He’s wrong for you at this time.

You Don't See Him

If he’s “just too busy” to see you, it means he has higher priorities than you. Let him date himself.

He Doesn't Mesh With Your Circle

If, in order for the relationship to work, you need to cut yourself off from family and friends, you have the wrong guy.

Your Gut's Telling You to Get Out

Our subconscious is trained to guide us, listen to it. If it’s telling you to leave him, it’s time to leave.

Next article: "10 Signs He's Not The One"...

Some people say they "just knew" that they were dating their future spouse. But what about the rest of us? What happens when you're not sure if he's The One? If you're considering long-term commitment or marriage, it's time to ask yourself some tough questions. Below, ten signs that may indicate he's not for you.

1. You have a list of things he needs to stop doing/saying/wearing if he wants your relationship to work. If you're fixating on his flaws, he's either not the one you want or you're not ready for a serious relationship. Cutting him loose allows you time to grow and gives you the opportunity to meet a guy whose flaws you can embrace—or at least accept.

2. You don't trust him. A small dose of jealousy can be healthy, but if you're hacking into his email account, and popping Xanax when he hits up happy hour without you, something's wrong. If there's something about him that truly warrants your distrust, then perhaps he's not the right one for you.

3. You avoid conflict at any cost. Fighting is healthy. And, when done right (in the non-accusatory, rational sort of way), it can be a great way to air grievances, fix problems in your relationship and come to a deeper understanding of each other. Ignoring problems is not the same as having no problems at all... even if it looks that way.

4. When you're sad, you don't turn to him for comfort. When you're a giant ball of tears and snot, do you lock yourself into the bathroom so he can't see you at your worst? If you're worried about scaring him away, one of you isn't ready for total commitment. Mr. Right should make you smile through your tears, and be a calming, not stressful, presence.

5. One of you is struggling with an addiction. He's sweet. He's exciting. He loves you very much. But he loves his alcohol habit or his weekly gambling fix more. Don't fool yourself into thinking that you can change him or that your relationship will be strong enough to withstand the heartache that addiction will inevitably bring. An addict may be able to change, but he'll do so on his own terms.

6. You can't really imagine him as the father of your children. Ask yourself: Would he make a great parent? Is he financially responsible? Would he be an equal partner in your future together? If you have doubts, he's probably not the one.

7. Your long-term, non-negotiable goals in life are incompatible. You want kids; he doesn't. You go to church every week; he's an atheist. He lives in the country and doesn't want to move; you can't imagine ever leaving the city. Superficial differences can be overcome, but differences in basic values are harder to smooth over. Ask yourself: "Would I be willing to compromise on this?" If the answer is absolutely not, you may not be right for each other. The Thermostat War, And 6 More Silly Compromises

8. You don't respect each other. He puts you down in front of your friends and complains about you to his parents. You roll your eyes when he talks because there's just something about him that embarrasses you. A relationship without respect can't sustain itself.

9. You're not attracted to him. Sex is a hugely important component of a romantic relationship. If he doesn't do it for you, he's probably not your best long-term match.

10. On paper he seems great, but you have this strange feeling... Don't ignore your gut. You may get along on a superficial level, but if your instincts are telling you he's not the one for you, listen. That little voice inside your head does not lie.

OK...that "life goals" one? It's BIG. Make sure that through all of the googly eyes and doodling of his name that you have some pretty clear discussions on that point. Indeed, some guys are good people, but after assessing where they are headed vs. where you are called, they are simply not the one...*for you*.



An Ounce of Prevention: '10 Signs He Has What It Takes to Be Your Husband'

Good list. (S-C-A-P)...

Knowing how to discern between a casual boyfriend and a man who can be a good husband is one of the areas I focus on when coaching my female clients. There are specific attributes those men with long-term potential exhibit. Here are 10 qualities to evaluate as you date in search of a husband.

He Has a Plan and Vision

Having life goals and most importantly, a strategy to reach those goals is a defining characteristic of someone ready to enter into a long-term partnership.

Is He Reliable?

A man with at least a slight amount of “bad boy” in him always sounds fun, but the bottom line is, the only thing consistent among all the guys like that I know is that they’re not consistent. Identify if his actions match his words

Does He Demonstrate Selflessness?

“If your love is only a will to possess, its not love.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh.

Does He Believe In You Too?

You will potentially spend more time with your spouse than anyone else in your life. Their perceptions and beliefs will undoubtedly influence you. Make sure you have someone who not only won’t get in the middle of you and your passion but cheers you on along the journey.

Is He Comfortable In His Own Skin?
We must remember that we can’t be comfortable with others until we are comfortable with ourselves.

Does He Fight Fair?
How we argue, especially how we end an argument, can determine the long-term success or failure of our relationship. Make sure he’s speaking with love, fighting fair and putting your happiness first when he does it.

Do His Values Match Yours?

I talk about this one in detail in my new book. Having shared values is critical because our value systems are our rulebook for our lives. Your partner should govern himself the same way you do, in order for you to rule your new life together.

Does He Complement Your Personality?

The two most important keys to a successful relationship are communication and problem resolution. The ability to do both of these with ease comes from having not the same, but complementary, personality types. You won’t get far without ‘em.

Are You Physically Attracted to Him?

This is the one topic I can’t believe people try to fight me on. Let me say it plainly: if you don’t find him sexy now, chances are when he’s aged a few decades, you won’t find him attractive then either. Think about it.

Are You Better With Him Than Without Him? 

No disrespect to the “independent” women reading this, but when you’re in a marriage, neither independence nor dependence work. The key to a successful partnership is interdependence. You’re partners for life. Are you glad to be on his team?




Monday, May 26, 2014

"On Fire": Be *Very Careful* About Trying to 'Beat God to His Promises'

This morning...

As I was doing some praying about the next devo that I'll be penning tonight or tomorrow, I felt an urgency to actually share some of what will be said "over there"...over here.

I'm not sure who this applies to, but it's more than one, who are finding themselves in the position of doing *just what Abraham and Sarah* did.

God made them a promise.
They decided it was talking too long to manifest.
And so they went out and *made something (one) happen*.

And being that this blog is devoted to preparing women for *marital covenant*, this is the part that I encourage each and every woman to hone in on:

"Then God said: 'No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.' Then He finished talking with him, and God went up from Abraham."---Genesis 17:19-22(NKJV)

Every time I read that, especially as it relates to this blog, I get chills. A big part of it is because it reminds me of the assurance found in Ecclesiastes 3:14(NKJV): "I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him."

When God came to Abraham about having a son (just like we should be looking more for *God to come to us* about getting married and having a husband), he spoke to the fact that a big part of it was for the purpose of *establishing covenant*. And God's covenants are meant to last forever.

Yet look at what Sarah trumped up out of fear, desperation, impatience or all three:

"Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, 'See now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.' And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai. Then Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan. So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her eyes."---Genesis 16:1-4(NKJV)

Now here's what we have to remember about all of this:

"After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, 'Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.'

But Abram said, 'Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?' Then Abram said, 'Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!'

And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 'This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.' Then He brought him outside and said, 'Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.' And He said to him, 'So shall your descendants be.'"---Genesis 15:1-5(NKJV)


So, when Sarah decided that she didn't have a son and so she would conjure up a way to "make one happen", she was already waaaaaaaaaaay out of order (and so was Abraham for allowing it all to go down too). God didn't need her to "help him give her a son" anymore than God needs us to "help him bring us to our husbands". Therefore, what we need to spend time in prayer on are the following:

1) Did God actually promise a husband?

2) If so, what is the purpose behind the promise?

3) Are we in the place of "waiting on him" or "making an Ishmael"? 

Because although the Lord did bless Ishmael (just as he can bless marriages that were not a part of his perfect will), Ishmael was not a part of the covenant. Rinse and repeat: Ishmael was not a part of the covenant. *This blog is about preparing women for 'Isaac', not 'Ishmael'*!

And so, if you know that you are in a situation where you are "tired of waiting on God" and so you're putting things together yourself, my prayer is that you will STOP. You don't want to go through all of the drama and heartache that was caused as the result of Ishmael. You want to have just what Isaac means "he laughs", which to me equates lots of joy. You want to be in true covenant because it brings true joy. You don't need to be in "making the most out of our choices...and consequences".


A promise is "a declaration that something will or will not be done, given, etc., by one".

A promise is also "something that has the effect of an express assurance; indication of what may be expected".

God knows what he promised you. (He also knows what he didn't so again, seek wisdom-James 1:5, Matthew 7:7-8). Be open to what needs to be done to be brought to what he already said would happen. But don't try and "beat him to his promises".

"But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."---Isaiah 40:31(NKJV)

"Wait on the Lord, and keep His way, and He shall exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it."---Psalm 37:34(NKJV)

"Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!"---Psalm 27:14(NKJV)

Love is patient.


Love can wait.



An Ounce of Prevention: '10 Things Guys Wish Women Knew About Men'

Y'all know me...

I tend to dig an article on relationships from men. Like this one (s-c-a-p):

It is likely no surprise to you that God has wired women and men differently. We all recognize some of these differences, but others often hide in plain sight. Shaunti Feldhahn, a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, author and speaker wrote a fantastic book, For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men. In it, she recounts the surprising truths she learned about men after interviewing more than 1,000 of them. I had the opportunity to interview Shaunti for our radio broadcast, HomeWord with Jim Burns. In our discussion, we spoke about 10 things guys wish women knew about men. I think you'll find these 10 things fascinating! Even more, I believe that in understanding these issues, you'll be equipped to lead your marriage to a better place!

1. Men would rather feel unloved than inadequate and disrespected.

Husbands need to know that their wives respect them both privately and publicly. Men thrive when they know that their wives trust them, admire them and believe in them. Shaunti Feldhahn's research indicated that men would rather sense the loss of loving feelings from their wives than to be disrespected by them.

2. A man's anger is often a response to feeling disrespected by his wife.
When a husband becomes angry with his wife, he may not come out and say, "You're disrespecting me!" But, there is a good likelihood that he is feeling stung by something his wife has done which he considers disrespectful and humiliating.

3. Men are insecure.
Men are afraid that they aren't cutting it in life --  not just at work, but at home, in their role as a husband. They may never vocalize this, but inwardly, they are secretly vulnerable. The antidote? Affirmation. To men, affirmation from their wives is everything! If they don't receive this affirmation from their wives, they'll seek it elsewhere. When they receive regular and genuine affirmation from their wives (not flattery, by the way), they become much more secure and confident in all areas of their lives.

4. Men feel the burden of being the provider for their family.

Intellectually, it doesn't matter how much or little a man makes, or whether or not his wife makes more or less money in her career. Men simply bear the emotional burden of providing for their family. It's not a burden they've chosen to bear. Men are simply wired with this burden. As such, it is never far from their minds and can result in the feeling of being trapped. While wives cannot release their husbands from this burden, they can relieve it through a healthy dose of appreciation, encouragement and support.

5. Men want more sex.

Everyone's natural response to this is probably, "Duh!" But, that response is probably for the wrong reason. We primarily assume that men want more sex with their wives due to their physical wiring (their "needs"). But, surprisingly, Shaunti Feldhahn's research showed that the reason men want more sex is because of their strong need to be desired by their wives. Men simply need to be wanted. Regular, fulfilling sex is critical to a man's sense of feeling loved and desired.

6. Sex means more than sex.

When men feel their wives desire them sexually, it has a profound effect on the rest of their lives. It gives them an increasing sense of confidence and well-being that carries over into every other area of his life. The flipside of this coin also carries a profoundly negative affect. When a husband feels rejected sexually, he not only feels his wife is rejecting him physically, but that she is somehow rejecting his life as a husband, provider and man. This is why making sex a priority in marriage is so incredibly important!

7. Men struggle with visual temptation.

This means the vast majority of men respond to visual images when it comes to women. And, this doesn't just mean the guys with wandering eyes. Even the most godly husband cannot avoid noticing a woman who dresses in a way that draws attention to her body. Even if it is just a glance, these visual images are stored away in the male brain as a sort of "visual rolodex"; that will reappear without any warning. Men can choose whether to dwell on these images and memories or dismiss them, but they can't control when these images appear.

8. Men enjoy romance, but doubt their skills to be romantic.

True, many men appear to be unromantic clods, but it doesn't mean that they want to be that way! Men want to be romantic, but they just doubt their ability to pull it off. They are plagued by internal hesitations, perceiving the risk of humiliation and failure as too high. Wives can do a great deal to increase their husbands' confidence in their romantic skills through encouragement and redefining what romance looks like. For example, a wife may balk when her husband asks her to go along to the hardware store, but it's likely that he's asking because he sees it as a time they can get away as a couple and hang out together. What's not romantic about that?

9. Men care about their wife's appearance.

This isn't saying that all men want their wives to look like the latest supermodel. What men really want is to know that their wives are making an effort to take care of themselves (and not letting themselves go) because it matters to them (the husbands!). Husbands appreciate the efforts their wives make to maintain their attractiveness.

10. Men want their wives to know how much they love them.

This was the number one response of men. Men aren't confident in their ability to express this, but they love their wives dearly. Men want to show how much they love their wives and long for them to understand this fact.

It would probably help a marriage that you know to forward this along to a wife.

Then make sure to hold it close for yourself too...someday, it'll be needed.


Friday, May 23, 2014

An Ounce of Prevention: 'The 10 Best Things About Being a Newlywed'

Yeah. Well.

There's some tongue-and-cheek with a dash of "truth in humor" in this but personally, I'm thankful for it because there are *a lot* of interesting stories I hear about when it comes to how grooms and brides find themselves going through stages of "Um...what?" as they make the transition to husbands and wives. This is simply one bride-then-wife's take:

I’ve had some time to think about marriage recently, and I’ve compiled a list that I thought was important enough to share with all of you. Ready? Let’s go.

(Note: This list is not at all intended to be taken totally seriously, unless of course, you are a newlywed, or can remember being one, and thus, you can remember the complicated sense of annoyed-joy that goes along with many of these “bests.”)

(Another note. If written sarcasm gives you trouble, and it does for a lot of us, then here’s a hint: most of this is written with the sarcastic undertones of a writer who has had an incredibly frustrating day, and yet is trying desperately to cling to the optimistic, happy bursts of energy that get me through each day.)

1. It’s awesome how poor newlyweds are! I love that the most extravagant splurge we make each week is deciding which low-to-moderately-priced restaurant we want to eat at for the one meal each week that we budget not eating at home for. This makes it incredibly easy to explore all the coolest and hippest places in this great big city that we call home.

2. Hand-me-down furniture matches so well! Luckily, my style is pretty eclectic so I actually like a lot of the pieces we’re slowly starting to collect. However, Hubs isn’t so lucky. He typically likes things more sleek and modern. Not something that’s easy to find at thrift shops, garage sales, and in our parents’ basements.

3. Sharing a bathroom for the first time with a member of the opposite sex isn’t at all awkward! We live in a one bedroom apartment with one bathroom. There’s not a lot of sound-proofing, or smell-proofing, that goes along with a situation like that. Oh, and there’s long hairs on nearly every surface in there, no matter how often I try to clean them up. I’m sure Hubs is wondering how there’s still any hair left on my head after I’ve shed all over everything for the past year.

4. Sleeping in the same bed with someone for the first time after 20+ years of not sharing the covers is such an easy adjustment to make! You guys that have been married for a bunch of years don’t fight over the sheets, talk in your sleep, kick each other in the shins, accidentally put an elbow in someone’s ear or eye in the middle of the night, or blow morning breath in each others’ faces often enough. You should try doing all those things again. It will really help rekindle the romance in your lives, I’m sure of it. It also helps you be super sweet to each other when a fight breaks out after a bad night’s sleep.

5. People expect us to start having kids any day now, which is awesome. I love dreaming about the future, but I also like sleeping through the night and not spending hundreds of dollars on diapers every month. See numbers 1 and 4 if you need clarification on those two things again.

6. We get to experience a whole bunch of new things all the time that make us grumpy. When you’ve only lived together a short time, it’s easy to always find new ways to annoy each other. We’re learning how to avoid these things, but there are bound to be plenty of more new fights before we’ve “had them all.”

7. It’s acceptable to be lovely-dovey in public. Nothing says “I love you,” like a bold pat on the tushie or a big kiss while waiting in line at the grocery store.

8. Almost all of our photos are professionally taken, so they look great. We don’t have any kids so almost all of our photo frames are full of pictures of us. Most of those were taken on our wedding day. They are beautiful, but I wonder how long it’s acceptable to only display photos of our wedding in our home.

9. Almost all recipes require a special trip to the store because we don’t have a built-up pantry. I love finding awesome recipes I want to make that night and then realizing we don’t have like half of the ingredients!

10. None of these other things really matter that much because marriage is a journey that I’m happy to be on with my best friend. Yes, we fight, and yes we have some unfortunate moments. But, overall, I’d say that we’ve learned more than we ever planned to, and love each other more now than we did before. We’re patient, most of the time, and happy, almost all of the time, too, so there’s really nothing to complain about.

Cute. Real. And appreciated.



Thursday, May 22, 2014

An Ounce of Prevention: (VIDEO) SO GOOD: 'God's Glory In Marriage'


"The main purpose of marriage is that through marriage, you become conformed to the image of Jesus Christ...marriage is the greatest instrument of sanctification."---Paul Washer

Invest (almost) 10 minutes into this. And please pass it along.



An Ounce of Prevention: (VIDEO) 'Junk in the Trunk'


Happy Thursday. (LOL)

"When you start dating people, you never get to see what's on the inside. You never get to realize that in spite of the slick talk or the nice looks or the shapely body or even the Scriptures they quote or they way that they walk...or even their presentation, you don't know that they've got all of that junk. The junk comes from all of the places they've been. You don't collect it in a day, but over years and years and years of not cleaning yourself out and not getting yourself together. All of your past is represented by the junk that you've got left in your trunk."---Bishop TD Jakes

If you want to watch the "short version" of this, you can do so here:

And here:

Or you can watch the "long of it" here:

Good points all up and through there.

Please take heed.



Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Something that I have said...

Many times is that while personal vows in a wedding are nice, oftentimes they are not *vows*, they are *sentiments*. In order to understand the *true solemnity* of marital covenant, traditional vows are still quite relevant. It helps to put marriage in "love, power and sober-minded" perspective:

"I take you to be my lawfully wedded husband, my constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward. In the presence of God, our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live."

That said...

In walks---and for some of us, in walks *again*---Ian and Larissa (thanks for sending the update video, Nicole). Some of you may have caught their original video. This is an update.

I'm going to let the video speak for itself (talk about the Amplified Version of I Timothy 4:14-16-AMP in action); however, I will intro it with something that the officiant said during their wedding ceremony: "Marriage is mainly about displaying the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his Church." And you can review Christ's journey with the Church, especially while he was here on this earth, and realize that it was no cakewalk.

Love is not some chick flick. Love is a miraculous tool used to save and heal and transform---and that is not always easy but it is *so worth it*. Whether it's on this side of heaven or once we arrive. (Some of y'all will catch that later!)

This is one very clear example of what *true godly love* can/will/should do:

"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."---I Corinthians 13:4-8(NIV)

Pass it along.