From the moment I met you, I knew I was going to fall in love with you

Rosalynn LasleyMarriage0 Comments

Fall in love with you

This is one of my favorite times of the year. I say that a lot, because I have a lot of favorite times of year, but this really IS one of my most favorite times of all.  This time of year is my favorite because this is when our love story began. Next week makes 16 years since we’ve been “us” and even though I’ve loved him for more than half of my life now, it feels like it was just yesterday when he held my hand for the first time.   We were only 15 years old when our story began. We were merely two kids who knew little about life, but two kids who loved each other with a love that was solid and would withstand all that life had in store for us, even if people didn’t understand at the time.    We dated in a time before texting (imagine that) back when people talked in person or on the phone. The very first time we ever REALLY talked to each other, we talked for over 6 hours! Even now, all of these later, we could sit up and talk late into the night. We don’t even … Read More

The Power of God’s Word

Heather GillisBible Study, Faith, Marriage4 Comments

I will never forget the first time I opened my Bible to read for the first time.  I didn’t know where to start or what to read.  I felt overwhelmed and lost.  There were so many words and pages.  How did I even begin? Once I opened the Scriptures and started reading, a whole new world was open for me.  At times I put prayer and reading the Bible on the back burner.  I let life get the best of me.  I was distracted by everything the world offered me.  The truth is, I’ve been a Christian my whole life and didn’t truly see the value in opening up the Scriptures and reading them until brokenness entered my life. Nothing makes a person examine their priorities more than when tragedy enters their life (Click to Tweet).   Tragedy makes us listen and pay attention.  My brokenness exposed what was I really filling my life with?  What was the meaning and purpose of my life? The Bible took on a whole new meaning in my life once tragedy got my attention.  The Bible verses I read became living and breathing in my life.  Opening the Scriptures is where I really met Jesus.  … Read More

Why is Prayer so Important in Marriage?

Heather GillisFaith, Marriage, Prayer & Fasting, Trials2 Comments

Marriage is one of the biggest blessings in life, yet 40%-50% of marriages end up in divorce.  If marriage is such a blessing, then why do so many marriages fail?  I think there are many factors at play–a person’s background and upbringing, parents who had a loving successful marriage, children, poor role models, trials, dysfunctional habits.  But I think one of the most important factors that help couples STAY together is PRAYER. A study written by the National Association of Marriage Enhancement stated out of 1156 couples, those who prayed together on a daily basis less than 1% ended in divorce.  The study went even further to analyze what the couples did at home together.   Were they apart of the same denomination?  Did they attend church together?  Did they share the same beliefs and values?  Did they do any worship activities at home? The study found there was a higher level of marital satisfaction when the couples shared the same religious practices at home which included reading the Bible together.  Unfortunately despite knowing this information, only 4% of Christian couples pray together on a daily basis.  The important message from the study was if you want a strong marriage that … Read More

The Best Marriage Advice I Got From My Pastor

Jen CudmoreMarriage0 Comments

It was last September when I honestly felt I was losing my mind. Multiple issues had compounded between my husband and I, and one day I just couldn’t take it any more. I couldn’t figure out where to go next. Concentrating on anything was a struggle because I couldn’t think straight. I cried constantly for several days, in the car, in the kitchen washing dishes, under my desk at work. It scared me that I couldn’t seem to get back to the normal me. It was then I knew I had to talk to someone who could help me get control of my brain and guide me in making right decisions. So I called my pastor. We hadn’t spoken about my marriage before, so I was a little nervous. I didn’t want to paint my husband out as a bad guy, and I didn’t want to blubber in front of my pastor. He was very understanding, and reminded me that many men are hard-headed, yet there is always hope. He listened to my concerns with no judgement, then gave some advice I have held onto for the past 9 months. My pastor told me: 1) Wives are to be submissive … Read More

How To Pray For Couples Who Are Struggling To Stay Married

Jen CudmoreMarriage0 Comments

Since coming clean, many people have reached out to my husband and I lately to check on us. We’re doing much better lately, and I know it’s because of all the support and prayers coming our way. God responds when his people bind together and pray over each other. I considered this week that sometimes when people struggle with various issues, their friends and family don’t always know how to pray for them. God deals in specifics, so I did a little brainstorming on what I think would be essential to pray over a couple struggling to stay married. When we petition God to stop a relationship from unraveling, we can pray the couple would find: Unity and peace. Pray against strife and discord in the marriage. The Scripture says it’s good when God’s people dwell together in unity, for He will bestow a blessing (Psalm 133). We are to strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, and live in peace (2 Cor 13:11). Pray there would be no division between them, but they would be united in mind and thought (1 Cor 1:10). May they refuse to stir up dissension by talking negatively about each … Read More

When Motherhood & Ministry Collide

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Marriage, Motherhood0 Comments

I haven’t written a new blog post in several weeks, and if I’m being honest, that really bothers me some days.  I have committed to contributing to this blog and serving in this ministry on a weekly basis, but as time goes on, and my seasons of life change, sometimes motherhood and ministry collide.  I have good intentions, I have a brain swirling with thoughts that just beg to be shared, but sometimes it’s really hard to make sense of anything at all when you haven’t slept in a really long time, and you have a screaming toddler in your lap slapping the keys on the keyboard faster than you can push her little hands away. The insecurities deep within me shout the loudest in times like these. “Look at you! You signed up for this, and once again you can’t follow through. All of these other women have busy lives! They have families, jobs outside of the home, and other commitments just like you…so why can’t you keep up? They keep up! They’re faithful week after week, but then there’s you. There you are writing something last minute again,  as night creeps into another day.  You say it’s because it’s the only time you have, … Read More

The Wedding Vows I Never Planned To Keep

Rosalynn LasleyMarriage3 Comments

Last night my husband left the house with all three of our children in tow. He knew that today is the day my blog is posted and it’s hard for me to focus on writing when I’m hiding from my children, trying to write. Yes there’s something sacred in a little “me” time, but there’s something very unholy about blogging for the Lord, while shouting “CAN YOU NOT LEAVE ME ALONE FOR ONE MOMENT?! WHERE IS YOUR DAD?!!” No sooner than the garage door closed signaling their departure, I decided to do what any tired woman with a few extra moments does…I turned on my favorite romantic comedy. Our wedding video. Now, it’s not the original version that I watched last night. We’ve been married long enough to need the “digitally remastered” version. Our original wedding video was VHS.  We no longer own a VCR so after some rummaging, I found and popped in the dvd of our wedding. The dvd copy was a Christmas gift one year. No sooner than the music started on the disk, I began to cry. Everything about life was so different back then.  Our wedding was a humble affair. I wore flip-flops with my … Read More

The Secret to the Proverbs 31 Woman

Sarah OlsonFaith, Marriage0 Comments

Proverbs 31:17-18 (Amplified Bible translation) – “She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm. She tastes and sees that her gain from work [with and for God] is good; her lamp goes not out, but it burns on continually through the nigh [of trouble, privation, or sorrow, warning away fear, doubt, and distrust].” In many conversations I have had with women of all ages, when reading and discussing Proverbs 31:10-31, I have found a common thread: “HOW?! HOW does she do all of that?! I can’t do all of that! I’ll NEVER be able to achieve the Proverbs 31 woman profile!” I’m included in such thoughts at times as I search out the best method to begin my pursuit of the character traits listed in Proverbs 31, but I discovered a secret amidst my search. Are you interested in the secret? I sure was! As I prayed and prayed about the traits of a Proverbs 31 woman, I sought out Scripture further. For those learning how to navigate the Scriptures, when you read something from the Old Testament, it is important and beneficial to search the New … Read More

Marriage Is A Lot Like Bodybuilding

Rosalynn LasleyMarriage0 Comments

During a conversation with a pastor last week, a thought came upon my heart.  Marriage is a lot like bodybuilding.  It might seem odd that I would compare marriage to bodybuilding especially considering that I haven’t exercised on purpose, in years. The last time I went to the gym my 11 year old, was a newborn, and the last time I went for a brisk walk, I was hoping to go into labor with my middle child (she’ll be 6 next month.) I followed every one of those miles around the track that summer, with a few unproductive contractions, and a “love it” sized ice cream from Coldstone.  Some might see that as counter productive, but whatever.  There was peanut butter in the ice cream, and there’s protein in peanut butter.  We all know that protein is good for you, so I see that as a win. If I’m being honest though, exercise really isn’t my thing. It’s difficult, it’s exhausting, it takes work, it leaves you sweaty, the results take forever.  Being unfit and even lazy is easy, but exercise is hard work and I’m just not willing to put in the effort, but even if I’m not really into fitness I still know enough to make the … Read More

My Secret Admirer Knows Me Better Than My Husband Does

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Marriage0 Comments

I have a secret admirer.  It feels really weird to write that on a Christian blog, but it’s true. My secret admirer knows everything there is to know about me.  He’s studied all of my hopes and dreams.  He knows what makes me happy, and what make me laugh.  He knows all of the nitty gritty details of my past, and he longs to be a part of my future.  He knows what scares me, what discourages me, what makes me insecure, and he spends every moment he can, keeping track of those details.  He remembers important dates too, and reminds me of them often.  My secret admirer is kind of obsessed with me.  My secret admirer studies me almost constantly, and he knows more about me than anyone else on this earth; even my husband. At first glance, my secret admirer is quite charming, how could he not be? He KNOWS me.  Like, every single intimate detail of me.  Sometimes it feels like he knows me better than I know myself, but that’s because he wants me. He wants me more than just about anyone ever has, or ever will.  He doesn’t even seem creepy most of the time…no, he’s far smarter … Read More

Why Every Family Must Get Away

Jen CudmoreMarriage, Motherhood0 Comments

It’s that time of year when many people leave town. Last summer my husband and I planned an amazing vacation where we took our children on a road trip through three states. Although we were exhausted from the busy activities, we’re so glad we made the sacrifice to go. Because time away from home is essential for families. But why? Does it really matter? Should it really be a priority to get away? When I was growing up, my family was poor. We didn’t have electricity or running water, and all wore hand-me-down clothes. Yet my mother always made sure we took little adventures such as tent camping or huckleberry picking. Although we never went more than a couple hours’ drive from home, I look back on my childhood with fondness rather than disappointment because of times like those. For a little while, I could forget about my troubles and just enjoy myself. In those moments, life was good! It’s easy to make excuses as to why we can’t take a vacation, and sometimes we just don’t see the value. When I was first married, I really didn’t understand why taking trips was important, but now I’m glad my husband … Read More

The Porch

Sarah OlsonMarriage0 Comments

Exhausted, I sat sobbing on the porch in the crisp evening air as my husband sat just inside working on his paper. (I had come home shortly before, flushed and trying not to be argumentative about small, petty things that he couldn’t control. To avoid an unneeded argument, I told him I was going to sit outside and enjoy the weather to which he gently replied, “Okay, sweetie.”). Through my sobs, I heard him suddenly get up and come outside, floppy-sock footed and wrapped in a blanket. He plopped himself down beside me and wrapped the blanket and his strong arms around me and held me tightly. I completely lost it, shoulders slumped, silent tears, snorting sniffle. A strong, bold voice came from my man as he pled with God for my heart and our marriage and ministry – it was as if his voice was mine! The cries of my heart came alive as I listened to his earnest prayer. I straightened up, still sniffling, but feeling so much more alive and brave than I ever had before. A true picture of intercession had just displayed itself before me. A true oneness of marriage had suddenly become so real … Read More

Want a Quick Fix for Marriage Trouble?

Jen CudmoreMarriage0 Comments

She said her marriage was transformed in 30 days. All she did was commit to no complaining. She only voiced positive comments about her husband. Words of encouragement. Gratitude. Affirmation. And I wondered: How in the world did that work for her, and not for me?  I’ve always been interested in marriage tips. So when I admitted I was struggling to find fulfillment at home, I knew some tools I could use.  Write down all his mistakes, speak forgiveness over them, and burn the paper.  Pray for him every day, not just a few words here or there, but detailed petitions for a good 10-20 minutes.   List out all his good qualities, all the things you loved about him, one at a time for 30 days. None of these things fixed my marriage. And I was bummed. While these tools definitely raise marital satisfaction and encourage a positive attitude, they are not long-term solutions by themselves. One day God shared with me that marriages are like vehicles. Every so often, they need a tune-up, such as a little grace here or gratitude there. And sometimes, they need a major overhaul.  God told me to stop looking for a quick fix … Read More

Teetering on the edge of proud and insecure

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Marriage0 Comments

I’m insecure. It doesn’t feel good to write that. It’s an embarrassing thing to admit to even my husband, the person I’m closest to on this earth. It’s even more embarrassing to tell that on a blog that may be read by many people.  I’m also proud.  It doesn’t feel very good to write that either.  For me, it is a constant battle between being insecure and ashamed of who I am. Feeling unworthy, unlovable, lacking talent, character, worth while qualities, and being proud.  I find myself most often wanting to boast or be proud, when I’m struggling with a deeper insecurity.  At times I feel like “look at how nice I look in this top!” Because I feel super uncomfortable in my own skin. I’m 4 months post-pregnancy, and it’s hard to dress myself most days. I never cared about my body until someone criticized me along the way. Growing up I was told I was too skinny in many cruel ways, and that it has hugely changed the way I see myself. Now I’m not thin enough in some people’s perspectives, even though I just had a baby. It’s strange, I never cared how I looked, until someone … Read More

8 Ways A Wife Can Be A Peacemaker

Jen CudmoreMarriage0 Comments

“Blessed are the peacemakers…” Matt 5:9 God wants us to get along with others as best we can to preserve peace. So what does that look like in marriage? What specifically can a wife do to be a ‘peacemaker‘? 8 Ways a Wife Can Be a Peacemaker: 1) Bite her tongue: Remember in James 3 where we’re told to ‘tame our tongue’? We must think before we speak, be self-controlled rather than spouting off whatever comes to mind. Just think back to what we learned when we were preschoolers: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” 2) Refuse to nag: We women tend to remind our men of the things that need to be done, but in all honesty, that is our flesh working against us. The truth is, they don’t need to be reminded; their priorities are just different than ours, and that’s okay. If something absolutely needs to be done, we can explain in a loving manner why we need it done in our time-frame. 3) Give him space: Difficult issues must be addressed, but we can be selective and choose the right moment to approach our man. If he’s had a bad day, don’t … Read More

Before and After

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Marriage0 Comments

Life is full of before and afters. I’ve learned that more and more over the last year and a half. Each person has defining moments in their life that left them different than they were before.  Your before and afters may look different than the next persons, but each unique experience is the opportunity for God to shape you into who He wants you to be.  Are you who you were before you finished school? Are you who you were before you met your significant other? Are you who you were before you had children? Are you who you were before they told you, you couldn’t have children?  Are you who you were before you lost a child?  Are you who you were before the adoption?  Are you who you were before the deployment? Are you who you were before the accident? Are you who you were before the weight loss? Are you who you were before the addiction? Are you who you were before the affair or divorce? Are you who you were before the diagnosis? Are you who you were before your trust was broken? Are you who you were before they died?  Chances are, you have been … Read More

We Cannot Guarantee Success in Marriage, But We Can Deserve It

Jen CudmoreMarriage0 Comments

I was surprised that my husband and I both reached a point in our marriage where we really didn’t like each other.  Expectations weren’t met. Dreams weren’t realized. And we blamed each other. Marriage is difficult when you feel like you’re doing all the giving and not receiving anything back. Over time I grew bitter because I felt that my husband didn’t connect with me. Didn’t appreciate me. Didn’t cherish me. We both made plenty of mistakes in our relationship. But God asked me to stop cataloging my husband’s faults – a task I didn’t realize I had been doing for months. God wanted me to see that no matter how my husband behaved, I needed to treat him with honor and integrity. It’s similar to how God tells us turn the other cheek when our enemies come against us (Matt 5:39). We are told to do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who mistreat us (Luke 6:27). I heard a teacher once say that she overcame all sorts of trouble in her life when she learned to consistently do good (Rom 12:21). That’s what God wants from us when our … Read More

Marriage Communication Skills: Darts Vs. Clubs

Jen CudmoreMarriage0 Comments

I’m learning to throw darts at my husband.  Yup, you heard me right. Darts. And it takes a lot of practice to hit the target every time.  Let’s face it: sometimes men don’t get us. They can’t read our minds, and they can’t take a hint. And sometimes, they make mistakes. As a life partner, wives will have to properly deal with these deficiencies. That’s what darts are for. I’m not recommending a set of darts in the physical sense. I’m recommending a change in how we approach our husbands when we need to speak with them about important issues.  How do you speak to your man? Do you smash him with clubs, or do you influence him with darts? Several months ago a close friend recommended I listen to a lesson presented by a Catholic Priest to group of wives at a retreat. The topic: Understanding Your Man. He discussed how men and women think differently, and how many men tend to be a little slow at processing the needs of their wives. Counselors and therapists agree that because men are not as verbal, they don’t stay focused on long conversations nearly as much as women. That means, wives, … Read More

Sabbotage, Traps & Opposition

Jen CudmoreMarriage0 Comments

I tried to read a book. I know. Not a big deal, if you know me at all. My free time is typically spent reading. Novels. History. Blogs. Devotions. Bible Studies. But this was different.  Because as much as I love to read, and as excited as I was about this particular treasure, I had a hard time staying focused on the words. I spilled my coffee. My nose kept running. My eyes kept watering. My phone kept ringing. Why was I having such a hard time getting through this book? Why did external noises keep bothering me? Why did I keep thinking about my next task, what my kids were doing, or even the weather? I was halfway through when I realized something was very wrong. Sabotage. A very real enemy didn’t want me to hear God speaking through the words of this book – a book which described the common tactics this same enemy uses to trip up Christians. I finished the book the next day, determined to learn what God wanted me to hear and what the devil was so determined that I never find out. We know that according to Ephesians 6:12, our battle is not … Read More