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4

Marriage Monday: Why I’m Still Married

Posted by Julie on January 28, 2013 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, surrender |

 

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Well, wow. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to participate in Marriage Monday, and E-mom doesn’t mess around with the topic.

Divorce.

As in, as a Christian wife blogging on marriage today, why am I still married?

Why haven’t I divorced?

Is commitment a key?

I’m not one to hide behind fancy words or wear a mask when it comes to my feelings. I’m authentic in the what you see is what you get because I promised God I would live a surrendered life to and for Him. I long for women to live free in Christ. And it has to start with me.

I didn’t enter marriage as a secure woman. Rejection was such a part of the “old foundation” that I daily waited for 10 years for the moment my husband would realize what a failure I was and let me know we were done. It was such a fear before he came along I resisted relationships and tried to end them. I tried to break up with my then fiancé/now husband several times before the wedding simply because I was scared.

But in His love, He knocked out that old foundation through Beth Moore’s Believing God and a deeper experience with the Holy Spirit, along with a lot of time. I became solid in who I was and am, and who my Savior is. When rejection came from other sources, it basically bounced off me and I was thankful for the experience.

I started to forget about my husband rejecting me.

And not long after that he entered a burnout that had disaster written all over it for both of us.

He was working 70 hours a week. He went on a business related trip that to this day I feel he  caught a spiritual flu. It might not make sense, but being run down in body and spirit, I felt like he was vulnerable. I honestly think he was contagious to what I call the corporate spirit. It’s my own term where appearances matter more than people. A critical nature develops. Perfectionism. Not a lot of compassion.

It wasn’t his fault. He wasn’t just working, he was serving in ministry in a place that was meant for a full time pastor. We had a pre schooler with special needs and a son that deserved his attention.

Day by day, week by week, month by month, and yes, in three years, the man I loved was fading fast. He was tired, striving to please, and feeling in need of having things done as he wanted, when he wanted. Afterall, that’s how corporate mindsets work.

Marriage doesn’t deserve to operate in a corporate mindset, though. As you can imagine, we weren’t walking in unity. As I learned with FamilyLife, if you aren’t in unity, you are in isolation. The stressors built and one night it exploded like lava out of a volcano.

Let me stress, I do not believe this was his fault. It was burn out and a spiritual battle that left us pretty beat up and left for dead.

But in the culmination of that season he did what I always feared.

He let me know I was this and that and we were done.

And you know what?

I had total peace. I mean I literally felt supernaturally protected, like a wall surrounded me where nothing could truly get to me. Not those words.

It was an agonizing night, but for me it had been going on so long, I kind of knew this night would change everything. For better or for worse.

Did you read that last line?

Read it again.

For better or for worse.

We’re together and actually stronger because of that season because we didn’t make a commitment.

We made a covenant.

We vowed to God we would not break up.

Now don’t think those three years were fun, or that night was a great time. It was hard and awful. But when things simmered down I was able to give examples of things I knew he couldn’t see or didn’t realize he had said or done. When I calmly shared, he broke for the Lord and repented on the spot. He was devastated he said the very thing I feared every day for a decade.

And marveled that when he actually said them, I didn’t receive it, nor did I fear or quake in faith.

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This is us, last week, on vacation. We’ve thrived after adversity, and I believe covenant living makes the difference.

My two take aways from this is that if you struggle with rejection, let God heal you. For me, Believing God by Beth Moore was huge. His method for you may be different, but please don’t let rejection rule you. Know you are God’s beloved. His cherished daughter. You are royalty to Him. When you have His love branded on your heart, you’ve got no place for rejection, and it feels great. Trust me.

My second take away is live your marriage as a covenant. When you fight, don’t throw the divorce card down to trump him. It’s not fair, mature, and that’s not covenant living. You’re better than that, and so is your marriage.

That’s my take for Marriage Monday and why I haven’t considered divorce.

What do you think about divorce? What does commitment mean to you? What are your thoughts on staying together for the kids?

Feel free to share your comments, and definitely visit everyone sharing their hearts through Marriage Monday.

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6

Marriage Monday: Especially in a Cri$i$

Posted by Julie on April 16, 2012 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

It’s Marriage Monday! Join e-Mom as she blogs today about money and marriage. When you complete your post, link up so we can enjoy your post, too.

I “Googled” how many times money was mentioned in the Bible. Depending on the version, it’s a safe guess to say over 100. It’s important. One of the statistics I’ve read about divorce is that a top reason for it is $. I’d say today’s topic is one I don’t want to take lightly.

I’m doing something different today. Don’t gloss over it because I don’t have a novel of a post for a change or because my offering seems only to be two links.

I believe these two links will not only strengthen your marriage, they will transform your faith. Our financial crisis was a stressor in our marriage. I felt the burden was all on me to prove “them” wrong, because my husband was at work. I was also the one who felt that phrase come back to me every time I prayed.

I’m being vague, I know.

But click these links and take 5 minutes to read through.

Because I believe you will find a very specific God who loves you, your spouse, and wants the best for both of you. Especially in a crisis.

Read this first.

Then click here.

 

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4

Marriage Monday: My Story on the “S” Word

Posted by Julie on February 20, 2012 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

It’s Marriage Monday! e-Mom wants to hear from you, so take a look, write your post, and link up.

Join us for Marriage Monday!

Here’s your chance to tell us what you’ve learned about submission in Christian marriage.

 

I know that for some women, this is a particularly challenging topic. If you’re uncomfortable with this one, no worries. Feel free to take a pass this time around.

However, if you’re ready to dive right in—but stumped as to how to begin—you might consider selecting one of the following writing prompts.

1. Define the Greek word for submission, “hupotasso” [hoop-ot-as-so].
2. Tell us a story. Show how your submissive attitude blessed your husband on a specific occasion.
3. Expound this biblical passage: Ephesians 5:22-33.
4. Discuss what the Bible has to say about submission outside of marriage e.g. to bosses, political leaders, and other authorities.

Or, you can cover this topic from whatever angle the Spirit leads.

 

You don’t need to twist my arm to tell a story, and perhaps, this is a story you’ve heard before. But I think it breaks down how simple submission is and hopefully wiped away the many, many misconceptions about it. Too many husbands use the word to treat their wives like a doormat, and too many women live independently within marriage. Before I get into my story, let me say this, I love submission in marriage. You know me well enough to know I’m not a doormat. I get my say, a lot. And yet, it’s important I not trump my husband and take over. We are a team. Yet, submission in part means as head of the home, he’s got to answer to God about how he did. I don’t envy that. But I do want to encourage him in the role. And I believe I’ll have to answer to God about how well I cheered him on.

So here’s my story.

A few years ago we were invited to a wedding out of state. I felt because of the relationship my husband had to the groom, we should go. My husband, knowing what a toll a trip would take on finances and our time with two kids, felt we should decline.

It would be tempting for me to nag on him and keep at him about how important attending would be. Trust me, I wanted to. I could see long-term, and going felt right.

But I felt that gentle nudge of the Lord request I stay silent and be prayerful.

Less than 48 hours later, my husband approached me.

“I just got a call. We’re not just asked to the wedding, I’ve been asked to be in it, as best man.”

That changed everything. He saw what an honor the request was and we both agreed to make the budget work so we could attend and my husband be in it. We had the best time, despite the many miles and short time span.

That's us at the wedding where I kept my mouth shut!

That’s submission to me. We work as a team. I give my input, but he’s allowed final say. And 99% of the time, he agrees with my input and goes with it. For that rare 1%, it’s up to me to give him that freedom to do what he believes is best on behalf of the family. Sadly, a lot of husbands take this as a pass to do what is best for them personally. That’s not how it works.

When he does something different, it’s my job to let God be God. Perhaps his choice is best, and we’ll be blessed. If he’s wrong, it’s not right to say I told you so. It’s a teachable moment for all of us.

If I allow God to work.

How about you? What are your thoughts on submission?

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2

Better Late Than Never: Marriage Monday & Overcoming Boredom and Apathy in Marriage

Posted by Julie on February 10, 2012 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

I missed the actual Marriage Monday e-Mom hosted, but it’s a great topic and I thought I’d use today to talk about it. She used a quote of mine regarding boredom and apathy in marriage that still rings true. Check out her post to see what I said.

Monday's topic was overcoming boredom and apathy

I wish I had a lot of wise things and suggestions to share on this topic. e-Mom’s post is terrific, but the statement about reserving 15 hours a week for play jarred me. For those that have young children or even teens, this seems impossible. Perhaps it is. But let’s not throw out the whole idea. I know I can be all or nothing, and I think if I go nothing on this idea, our marriage misses out.

e-Mom wrote that when her kids were younger they reserved two nights a week for things to do that were just for them. She emphasizes no matter what stage you are in, spending time with your husband doesn’t have to be about money.

My husband and I just returned from a once in a lifetime cruise. Just us. Yes, it was divine. We’ve only been back a few days and the vacation seems months behind us. He puts a minimum of 40 hours in a week, often more. He’s involved with our church’s Passion Play and that’s in high gear.  We have two kids who need our encouragement and time. I write and mentor. There are bills to pay, dogs to walk, chores, you get it. You live it, too.

So how do we overcome boredom and apathy?

Be intentional.

Get out the smartphones (we are a techie family) and put something on the calendar. We love movies. With Red Box, expense shouldn’t be an excuse. We sometimes watch Turner Classic Movies together. I have a couple marriage books we haven’t tackled. Perhaps setting aside time to read those is in order. It’s a mild winter here.  We should at the very least take a walk once or twice a week as a couple.

We took a belated 15th anniversary cruise last week

Will we get in 15 hours a week together, especially in this Passion Play season?

Probably not. I’m being honest.

Although my life is all about surrender, here is something I won’t surrender to: boredom and apathy in marriage.

What about you?

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20

Marriage Monday—I Always Sleep with My Thin Pillow My Husband Calls a Sheet

Posted by Julie on January 16, 2012 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

Wishing you a wonderful day off if you’re able to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. day today.

 

It’s time for Marriage Monday. Join e-Mom and women from around the world, I suppose, as we blog twice a month about marriage. Today is a prompt for women only where you take the following prompts and answer as fast as you can. Let the other women get to know you. I look forward to reading YOUR answers!

Answer the following prompts as fast as you can and link up to Chrysalis blog

I am….. feeling my age today. Thank you, Pilates.
I want…..the things on my mind to disappear with no effort on my part. I can dream, right?
I have…..so much editing to do it’s overwhelming.
I wish….. I had more time to read.
I hate….. that I have such sensitive hearing. So many sounds hurt my ears.
I miss….. my family.
I fear….. the health insurance process will never be a breakthrough in my life.
I feel….. down, but not out.
I hear….. things from 5 miles away, as well as every small sound you make.
I smell….. my grilled cheese sandwich.
I crave….. chocolate
I search….. for coffee places and their hours so I can plan a meeting.
I wonder….. who will be President.
I regret….. ever eating pizza at Pizza Hut. It does NOT agree with me.
I love….. my hair
I ache…..for people to live free in Christ.
I care….. when people trust me enough to share.
I always….. sleep with my thin pillow my husband calls a sheet.
I am not….. going to argue with a combative person.
I believe….. the days are over for living a lukewarm or dishonest life. You’re for Him or against Him.
I dance….. with my daughter for exercise.
I sing….. along to duets for a fun time.
I cry….. when I’m overtired and/or frustrated.
I don’t always….. believe God, even though I believe in Him.
I fight….. for the underdog.
I write….. surrendered.
I never…. eat brussel sprouts.
I listen….. to kids laugh and never grow tired of it.
I need….. words of affirmation. It’s my primary love language.
I am happy…..because I am blessed.

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17

Marriage Monday: The Day My Parents Decided to Be Funny

Posted by Julie on December 5, 2011 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

I’m glad to be back once again participating with e-Mom’s bi-monthly Marriage Monday. She asks a great question today—do you remember the day your husband proposed? In all honesty, e-Dad thought up this topic, so let’s get to it. Share your story, link back to Chrysalis blog, and read the other great stories.

Here’s mine—

The day that Tom proposed was two months to the day he asked me to be his girlfriend. He was a new Christian and on fire for God. He was so passionate about his new relationship that he heard from God in ways that I can’t say I did—at least not as fast as he did. 🙂 Tom felt the day he asked me out that the Holy Spirit showed him that we would be married. So his intentions were clear from the get go.

He lived two hours away and would come back to his hometown weekends to see me. This particular day, September 15, 1995, I knew I’d be with two teenage sisters I mentored. They had never met Tom and they were excited to meet him. We were going to watch movies and have chocolate peanut butter ice cream, one of the girl’s favorite.

Tom was late and this was before the days of cell phones, so I wasn’t sure where he was. We’d looked at rings beforehand so I knew a proposal was coming, I just didn’t know when. He arrived, as I remember, an hour or more late, and I was full of questions. When he got there it was me, my roommate, and the two teens.

He was so nervous and excited he didn’t take long to ask. Turns out he’d been at my parent’s house and asked my dad for my hand. My dad worked for the Town and kept early hours, which meant an early bedtime. When Tom got to the house, my dad was already in bed. Mom had to wake dad, which accelerated Tom’s nervousness. When he asked, my parents decided for the first time to tell a joke. They were never known to be overly funny people. But of all the days, that was the day they thought being funny would be a good way to act. Tom asked them, and they said they would think about it. Then they broke out laughing and said yes.

Anyway, he got on his knee at my apartment and asked if I would marry him. The girls and my roommate were screaming and all excited, so much so I was kind of extra calm. In fact, I was so at peace it was my roommate that called my mom, not me!

One of the teens found out that night not only was she getting Tom as a new friend, they both liked the same ice cream. She was immediately smitten and threatened up to the day of the wedding to steal him away, LOL. The other teen wasn’t so excited as she was scared I’d leave them and our weekly visits. But that night we all watched the movie and ate the ice cream.

And on August 31, 1996, we were married.

Tom, Julie, and his children Mandy and Matt. Mandy married earlier this year.

 



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