I’m winding down sharing the Love Your Spouse Challenge, Day 6, from Facebook. Chances are you’ve been discouraged. That you’ve prayed for something and wondered if God ever heard. Be encouraged! We saw so many prayers answered as we watched Tom’s daughter marry and we interacted with so many people from Tom’s first marriage. It was a blessing and one of the highlights of my own marriage. Read on!
Love Your Spouse Challenge Day 6.
I was tagged by Susan and anyone who would like to play, please do! This is from 2011, Mandy’s wedding. It was a beautiful event on a beautiful day where I saw prayer after prayer answered.
Even now I look back and think about what Rocky said. I have gaps. Tom has gaps. Together, we got no gaps.
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All this week I’ve been sharing my posts from the recent Facebook Love Your Spouse Challenge. My prayer is I encourage you with a realistic look at marriage. That you can choose oneness and isolation and beat the odds. I believe in you!
LOVE YOUR SPOUSE CHALLENGE, Day 5
This picture is from a cruise we took to Mexico to celebrate our 15th anniversary. From infertility to nearly losing a child to death of a parent and lots of transition, we had overcome so much that should have divided us. Anything we learned came from the FamilyLife Marriage Conference, something we attended as an engaged couple. The biggest principle we still work to apply is to choose oneness. Any relationship has two choices—isolation or oneness. Marriage has to operate in oneness. This was a celebration trip for sure.
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This week I’m sharing my posts from the recent Facebook Love Your Spouse Marriage Challenge. Beyond the pictures, I wanted to be transparent with our story. Perhaps you can relate and need encouragement. I hope this blesses you today!
Love Your Spouse Challenge, Day 4
This is a rare night out with other couples. I can’t remember the date, but our then baby was young and her health wasn’t stable. We lived in a new state with no family around. We couldn’t just get a sitter and go out, and for a long season, we lost “Tom and Julie.” Most of our pictures during this time are of all of us, which I love, but few exist of the two of us. Mothers of Preschoolers, MOPS, helped me so much in this season. If you’re married with young children, don’t forget to date. If you have a special needs situation, understand the divorce rate is high. Make a point to keep dating. Learn what organizations and people are out there to help. You and your spouse are worth it.
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Earlier this month I participated in the Facebook Love Your Spouse Challenge because I wanted to encourage others. I believe I still need to do that, so I’m sharing my posts here. May it give you hope!
Love Your Spouse Challenge, Day 3
I know there are folks out there pointing out this challenge shows the smiles and not the hard times marriage brings. That’s why I’m doing this. To be authentic and to give hope. Marriage and parenthood is the toughest thing I’ll ever be involved in.
This is February 1998. I’m pregnant with Brian and my smile is fake. I’d been so sick for the first trimester, I was still trying to find “normal.” I’d been in a car accident that nearly totaled… our new van. I/Brian walked away without a scratch, but it took an emotional toll. My hormones were a mess and I received the message that I was a failure for nearly killing our child with the accident. I now know I was depressed (hormonal imbalance has always been an issue, I just didn’t know it for a long time) and a form of PTSD from the accident. I isolated myself, hiding in our bedroom because I was so ashamed to feel this way during such a happy time. Tom didn’t know what to do, so he left me alone.
If this sounds familiar to you, learn from us. I might have to initiate the talk, but it is worth it. Be honest. Explain you don’t need him to fix you, just listen. If you need a hug, say so. If you need to snot on their shoulder, say it. I encourage you to pray together. It’s talking, not fancy talk or religious speak. That is a powerful tool in your arsenal to break isolation.
We came out stronger (after a long time, it was a process) because of this and from that accident came Brian’s name. Brian means strong, and we chose Paul as a reminder that God can use the most impossible people, and once chosen, you might have an issue/thorn that makes it hard to be used, but be available—and watch Him do mighty things through you.
And that’s why I’m doing the challenge! Thanks, Susan, for tagging me. If you want to play along, please do!
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I recently participated in the Love Your Spouse Challenge on Facebook. More than sharing the pictures through the years, I wanted to encourage others. Marriage is hard work. But God is good.
Love Your Spouse Challenge Day 2, tagged by Susan. Our wedding day, August 31, 1996. Perfect weather. I padded the schedule so well that we watched guests come in from upstairs. No regrets that we took pictures before the ceremony so we could head straight to reception, a perfect location. We had a prayer as a family that people still tell me they really were touched to see. We giggled our way through the ceremony. Perfect cake. It’s hard for me to watch the video—so many loved ones are gone or marriages done. But, God. We will celebrate our 20th this month. It has been hard, we are flawed people with selfish agendas. But we chose oneness over isolation, and I pray that’s what you learn from the challenge. I won’t tag anyone new, if you want to play along, please do!
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You’ve probably seen the challenge on Facebook. Although I can’t respond to each invitation I receive, this one grabbed my attention. I didn’t see it as a way to show the “glamourous” aspect of marriage through pictures.
I saw it as a way to be authentic and encourage.
Enough so that I am going to share my posts here.
Because somewhere, out there, someone needs that encouragement.
Here you go.
Susan tagged me for the Love Your Spouse challenge. For 7 days I’ll post a picture of Tom and I to promote marriage and to challenge couples to choose onheeness over isolation every day!
Although one set is a newlywed, I think they have enough great pix together to participate if they want. I choose Amanda and Matt /Stephanie because they were a big part of why I said yes when their dad asked me to marry him. I knew I wasn’t just marrying Tom, I was entering into a family. So glad I did!
This picture is the first one of us that I know of. I’m not sure we’re even engaged, but if so, it was pretty new. 1995.
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