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Surrendering A Stormy Marriage by Kelly Klepfer

Posted by Julie on September 17, 2016 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Life Lessons, surrender |

 

It was a dark and stormy night. Not literally. The sky was clear. We could see for miles. However, the inside of the van was alive with lightning and thunder. As difficult as it is to admit, my husband and I were supposedly fighting for our family but there we were again trying to rip each other to shreds.

 

Let me back up and give some basic details of why we were there and why we were in such deep, deep trouble.  We were high school sweethearts and married shortly after I graduated. Being Baptists we had a lot of practice putting on nice and polite and hiding our real inner uglies. Right after marriage and our first baby our church split in a very public and vicious way. We fled church and in doing so we fled from Christ. Years later we were still reeling from the destruction. My husband developed an alcohol addiction. I developed the mentality of a victim and kept a long list of what he’d done to me ready for flinging at him in any situation that warranted it. My first crushed heart incident was when he chose alcohol over us. We survived through “Christian” counseling. God was nominally involved due to my refusal to give Him more than lip service. The second was when he chose another woman over alcohol. I found out on our anniversary while we were getting ready to go celebrate. She called me to tell me she was pregnant. Let’s just say that was an unforgettable date night.

This time we survived by immersing ourselves in church.

His little girl became involved in our family. We’d pick her up for a weekend a month then take her home and I’d share my concerns with him. I had a lot of material on my laundry list of unacceptable behaviors.

This hurricane of a night was no different. I pointed out some areas needing improvement. He defended himself. I got more and more agitated. Finally he waved both arms in the air and screamed at me. “I don’t understand what you are saying. I’m doing the best I can. It’s like you are speaking Chinese.”

I gave up and pulled into myself and began to pray. Actually. I was weeping and railing against God. Pointing at Him and mentioning what He was doing wrong. Why the heck wasn’t my husband a better husband? He owed me and our kids. And I was so angry at the idea that our marriage could end over this after it had survived alcoholism, no love, and an affair. I let God have it in tornadic blasts of rage and helplessness and hopelessness.

He let me vent. And then He spoke a quiet question into my heart. I have no doubt it was from God because this question was no where in me. He asked. “Why do you think you are right?”

Silence filled with sniffles and moans. No words came. I couldn’t answer that question. Not to the One who could see right through the lies. Coincidentally, our church was offering an inductive Bible study on marriage starting just days later. I told Him I’d go and I’d try being a wife the way He designed it.

I went alone. And 17 years later everything has changed. Including my husband. My marriage. Our children. Us. And though we’ve still had plenty of rain and some bits of hail and even some high water, our foundation stands. God did some remodeling and replaced the shifting sands with bedrock. Perfection? No. Nothing close. Surrender works. God works. His plan, His suggestions, He’s the answer to all of it.

Bio:

kellyKelly Klepfer had ambitions to graduate from the school of life quite awhile ago, but alas . . . she still attends and is tested regularly. Her co-authored cozy/quirky mystery, Out of the Frying Pan, is the culmination of several of the failed/passed tests. Kelly, though she lives with her husband, two Beagles and two hedgehogs in Iowa, can be found at Novel Rocket, Novel Reviews, Scrambled DregsModern Day MishapsInstagram, Pinterest, FacebookGoodreads and Twitter with flashes of brilliance (usually quotes), randomocities, and learned life lessons.

frying
To purchase Kelly and Michelle Griep’s book, Out of the Frying Pan, click here.

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Facebook’s Love Your Spouse Challenge, Day 7

Posted by Julie on August 22, 2016 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

This is it! All week I’ve been sharing my posts from the Facebook Love Your Spouse Challenge. I hope you’ve been encouraged and wanting to apply oneness to your marriage. It’s worth it. Not easy. Worth it.

LOVE YOUR SPOUSE CHALLENGE, DAY 7

Image may contain: 4 people , people smiling , tree, outdoor and nature

Facebook’s Love Your Spouse Challenge, Day 7

Here we are. In a couple weeks we celebrate our 20th. There were people who questioned the age difference or the fact I was entering in a ready-made family. We went through infertility, miscarriage, parent deaths, job changes, near death of child and then the day-to-day.

We are not a perfect couple. In all honesty, this has been a tough year. We both changed our work situations. We had a child marry and a child graduate. We lost a beloved parent. Just one is what specialists suggest a couple go through in a year. Not all of them. We are both all or nothing personalities and we are both introverts. Affection is not natural for me, and he can be technical. We have different perspectives as parents, especially with medical issues. These truths are challenges.

But, God. We get each other’s jokes and laugh. The jokes we have are precious and goofy. We don’t get away a lot, so our hot tub dates are how we catch up on what’s going on, talk finances, schedule, etc…

We might get annoyed by failure to close cupboards or slurping, but if someone comes against one of us, we have each other’s back. If there’s a good action movie at the cheap theater, we’re all over it.

If you’re contemplating marriage or aren’t quite at year 20, realize those day 1 challenge pictures won’t look the same on day 7. You won’t be the same, either. I pray you are better, stronger, and more committed to oneness than you are right now. It is truly worth it.

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Love Your Spouse Challenge, Day 5

Posted by Julie on August 20, 2016 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

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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Love Your Spouse Challenge, Day 4

Posted by Julie on August 19, 2016 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

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

Love Your Spouse Challenge, Day 4

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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Love Your Spouse Challenge Day 2

Posted by Julie on August 16, 2016 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

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.

Be encouraged!

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Love Your Spouse Challenge, Day 2.

Love Your Spouse Challenge, Day 2.

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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Love Your Spouse Challenge Day 1

Posted by Julie on August 13, 2016 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

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.

DAY ONE

dating1995

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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