Category Archives: Being a PW

Why I Became a LuLaRoe Consultant

Alright, so there’s a reason my blog has been a little stale lately – besides the fact that it took an amazing amount of effort to sit down and write during nap time!

I became a LuLaRoe fashion consultant!!

Why I Became a LuLaRoe Consultant

What is LuLaRoe? LuLaRoe is all about freedom.

  • Freedom from not being able to find something gorgeous in your size. I carry sizes XXS – 3XL!
  • Freedom from paying retail price for low quality clothes. LuLaRoe clothes are designed well, cut well, and sewn well.
  • Freedom from looking like everyone else. LuLaRoe only produces 5,000 items from each fabric! Each item is limited edition, so you get to be uniquely you, whether that’s black and gray from tip to toe or crazy color and patterns and raccoon prints (uh huh).
  • Freedom from dressing in uncomfortable clothes. The tagline is “simply comfortable”, and to be perfectly honest, that’s the only reason I wanted to find out about LuLaRoe! I can’t handle uncomfortable clothes!!
  • Freedom from paying all profits to huge corporations. My prices range from $25-$70, with half off my items squarely at $35. I’m making a great profit, and I’m a small business owner!
  • Freedom from working full time. I can work as much or as little as I want with my business, and I choose only what works for my family.

I could go on and on – literally, I deleted a few so that I could keep this post concise!

Like many moms, I’m a mom whose family requires that I make an income – pretty normal these days! And trust me, my family and I have pared down our budget to the bare bones and still required me to make an income.

Because of LuLaRoe, we’re changing what the working mom looks like in our family! I get to weekly show women that they were created beautiful! I’m grateful God brought this to my life!! I can meet more women who might be changed by the gospel and actually make money doing so?

Crazy crazy crazy! And way cool.

why-i-became-a-lularoe-consultant

My dress has snails on it, y’all. Snails.

Please let me know if you have any questions about LuLaRoe! You can email me anytime at

lularoestephiepete at gmail

If you’re local, I’d love to help you earn free clothes by hosting a pop up boutique at your home or office.

Join my LuLaRoe Facebook group, where I regularly post my inventory and style ideas. https://www.facebook.com/groups/LuLaRoeStephiePete/

And of course, if you’re like me and can’t stop thinking about becoming a LuLaRoe consultant, just use my join link to partner with an amazing team! https://join.mylularoe.com/StephaniePeterson/join

 

 

Sowing in Tears – A Pastor’s Wife on Sunday Morning

I’m thrilled to have my friend Colette Loudin sharing a post with us today – this post is so personally challenging to me, and I know it will be to you, too. Please give her some share love on Facebook, Pinterest, etc., and check out her blog Lessons from the Sparrow.

I hugged him close as he clawed and scraped and tried to kick his sister over and over again. He was so frustrated, and I was too. He grunted and groaned quietly as he thrashed about, giving no ear to the message his dad was preaching right in front of him. I tried to calmly restrain him as tears streamed down my face.
Sowing in Tears - Sunday morning

“Sundays are just so hard, Mom.” I know, sweetheart. I know they are. But they’re worth it, too.

This precious son of six years is life and energy and cuddles and punches. He’s the one that hears the gospel over and over and over again as I hold him close and talk through what went wrong. He brings tears and fears and joy and laughter. Sometimes I don’t know how to love him well. Sometimes I wonder if I’m getting in the way of his seeing Christ. Sometimes I absolutely lose it on him. Because I can’t understand how in the world he could do the very thing we just talked about not doing. And then I see me. And my sin. Over and over and over again. The Israelites followed that path. And so often I have, too. And God disciplined them. He showed grace. He broke, and He mended. He fought for His people. And God disciplines me. He shows grace. He breaks, and He mends. He fights for me.

My eyes closed and opened to look at my husband standing behind the pulpit. And this vision came into my mind—my tough child, grown. A man, tall in stature and wise in heart. Standing at that same podium in that same church. The sunlight beaming through the stained glass behind him. And as he speaks to the people whom he now joins in faith, he looks at that front row where he spent his youth. I’m there—the whispers of years and time have painted my hair and kissed my face. And as he looks at me on that front pew, our eyes meet. A flood of memories washes over him. Our battles against sin…together. His face softens as he remembers the hard Sundays. And he understands in that moment the beauty of those struggles. The reward of it all.

My heart quieted. There was hope in that vision for me. Hope that, maybe one day, I will see the fruit of this labor.

“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalm 126:5-6

I have no guarantee that my son will grow into a wise man who follows the Lord. There’s no protocol I could follow to produce a man of faith. That is entirely in the Lord’s hands. And there’s a freedom in that, too. It doesn’t depend on me. However, I do have the holy and heavy responsibility to diligently display God’s patience and goodness and grace to my children. To fight alongside them toward victory. Bearing the daily weight of that in the living out brings weeping and sorrow in response to my son’s sin. It is no easy thing to mother.
This Sunday, we will sit together and pray. He will pray, as he often does, that God will help him to listen and to obey. That God will calm his body and mind and help him do what he knows he should do in the church service. And he might find victory this Sunday. And he might not. But when he messes up, I will hug him close, love him gently, and speak the same truth into his little big heart. And I’ll hold that sweet vision ever before me. That one day, just maybe, I shall come home with shouts of joy because of the beautiful work God has done within him through these years of sowing. And I will look my precious, grown boy in the face, and our hearts will join with the Israelites in proclaiming, “ The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.”

 

Colette LoudinColette is a lead pastor’s wife and mother of four whose passion is to awaken women to the great need of rightly studying the word and being an active part of the local church, no matter what season of life they are in. She loves all things birth and newborns, conversations about food allergies and gut health, and reaching out to the overlooked. You can follow her blog at lessonsfromthesparrow.wordpress.com.

Two Verses that will Change Your View of Your Husband

I don’t often think about how my husband views me; in fact, I’m confident in his love for me.

Maybe so confident that I neglect him. So confident that I don’t think about the temptations that surround him. Confident enough to shut my eyes and ears to how he serves me.
Change How You View Your Husband

I was literally startled when I read these verses in the Bible.

Like a lily among thorns
is my darling among the young women.

Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest
is my beloved among the young men. (Song of Solomon 2:2-3, NIV)

Am I like a lily among thorns to my husband?

That was the immediate question. And I knew the answer: I might be more like a thorn among thorns. 

Am I more like a thorn?

My husband is already in a patch of thorns!

  • the world’s troubles (John 16:33)
  • the curse of difficult work (Genesis 3:17)
  • bearing others’ burdens (Galatians 6:2)
  • his own sin nature (Romans 3:23)
  • among others!

When he sees me, does he see a lily? Am I:

  • a rare treat?
  • refreshing his eyes and soul?
  • soft and gentle?
  • lovely?

I long to be as a lily to my husband

To be perfectly honest, this verse is comparing Solomon’s bride to other women. My husband, like many, is surrounded by other women all the time! While I completely trust him, I want to be the woman that stands out from the crowd. 

What if I am more like a thorn among lilies?

Yes, he has a responsibility to serve and love me no matter what, but my marriage will be markedly more wonderful if I’m committed to making that responsibility a joy and a treasure.

Do I see my husband as a gift?

Imagine you’re walking through a forest, thick with huge trees. Vines, brambles, and shrubs cover the trunks of the trees and the ground on which you’re treading. Bugs are everywhere. Ducking under a branch, you wipe cobwebs from your face, and look up to see a clearing. In the middle of the clearing is one, single, random apple tree.

That’s the way I need to view my husband. Not random haha. No, he’s a find!

In fact, the bride says of her husband:

  • I feel safe with him and trust that he is capable (“I delight to sit in his shade.”)
  • Having sex with him is a sweet delight to me (“His fruit is sweet to my taste.”)
  • When we’re together in public, I’m happy to see how he treasures me (“Let him lead me to the banquet hall.”)

Can I say those things? Or instead, do I think:

  • My husband is like a child and truly needs my help. I can’t trust him to do anything right.
  • He disgusts me. OR, being intimate with my husband is the last thing I want to do.
  • I take every chance to belittle and tease my husband when we’re among others. If he pays me a compliment, I turn it back into an attack on him.

These two tiny verses are challenging me to see my husband as the gift that he is and to strive to be a lily among thorns for him!

Did these verses challenge you to view your husband differently?

 

Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Your Anger (including a suggestion for Pastor’s Wives)

When Brad and I were newlyweds, we made sure that we never let the sun go down on our anger.

In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry (Ephesians 4:26, NIV)

We took this as literally as possible. If we were not at peace with each other, we thought we had to stay up all night until we had resolved every scrap of our fight.

Right now I’m having a good belly laugh thinking about it. Then? Not so funny.

So in bed we would sit, with the bedside table lit. One of us (usually me) just wanted to sleep already. The other one was trying to figure out the quickest way to put a nice, tidy bow on our argument.

We were even less loving and respectful because we knew we had to stay up until we had really made up with each other, and we were taking it out on the other person!

It took us awhile to realize that if we got a little bit of sleep, we would wake up with a fresh perspective and have much more love and forgiveness and compromise to offer. Go figure. 😉

Nowadays, we usually fight in the evening because that’s the only time we can have a real conversation! Usually, we are all resolved and in love again when we go to sleep. But there are times where we have to come to a stopping point. I don’t think it’s a good idea to go to bed in a huff – hence the verse above. Both of you end up mad, miffed, confused, and not in a good place when you wake up.

But if we can’t resolve something, sometimes we just recognize that. “I hear that you feel hurt by this and want XYZ. I can’t seem to wrap my mind around XYZ instead of ABC. Can we think and talk about it some more (tomorrow/at lunch/whenever you can)?”

The verse says don’t sin in your anger. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. Not “Don’t let the sun go down on your conflict.”

I heard a really awesome suggestion for this especially for pastor’s wives. A PW in our city said that early in their marriage and ministry, she would always seem to have a conflict with her husband near the weekend (i.e., before Sunday morning when he would have to preach and be focused on shepherding). When she realized they were always fighting on the weekend, she thought Oooo I bet that enemy just loves me getting all riled up and seeing us in conflict while my husband is trying to teach the Word of God.

And she made a resolution. She decided that if she felt hurt or upset by something near the weekend, instead of bringing it up and kicking off an argument, she would just wait until after church on Sunday to talk about it.

She was happily surprised when Sunday rolled around and she could hardly remember what little thing she was so upset about. So if you’re a PW, consider this! I have been trying this out myself, and I think (hope) it’s made a lot of difference in my husband’s Sundays.

Does Being a Pastor’s Wife Ever Get Easier?

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about being a pastor’s wife. But I don’t want to disregard those pastor’s wives who read this blog and are looking for help and hope!

Do you ever wonder if being a pastor’s wife gets easier? You hope it does, right? But is that hope a desperation, like If it never gets better I want out. Or is that hope a confident expectation, like God chose my husband to be a pastor, and He will provide for our situation.

I truly pray that it’s the latter for you when you’re struggling. Thankfully, as much as I’ve struggled with being a pastor’s wife at times, God always made it clear to me that my husband is called to ministry, and I feel a strong conviction to be 100% his encourager in that. Yup, even when my heart is at its worst, God blesses me with His will.

I have only been a pastor’s wife for close to 4 years now – unless you count 4 years of full time seminary (which perhaps you should because that was the most difficult time in our marriage!) – and I’m not the wife of a senior pastor. I’m know beyond a shadow of a doubt there are things a senior pastor’s wife deals with that I know nothing about.

But if I had to answer this question, I would shout YES! It does get easier!

And sometimes it’s still harder, but in the big fat general sense – easier! I don’t have time in this post to address those temporary hard times; I will save that for another time.

If I had to boil it down, I think being a pastor’s wife gets easier most often due to these reasons:

Time

Time gives me the opportunity to look at the big picture. Instead of focusing on nitty gritty grievances, I can see how the entire role (and journey) of being a pastor’s wife is a blessing, a learning experience, and a unique way God chose to train me up.

Relationships

When you’re a pastor’s wife, unless you are at the beginning of a church, you usually walk into a fully formed church, complete with fully formed relationships and fully formed ideas of what pastor’s wives are like. One might say it takes a lot of confidence to walk into a place like that and be able to integrate easily. It does take confidence – confidence in the Lord’s power to build you up with His people. Confidence in the unity He desires you to have with others. Confidence in who He made you to be and acceptance of the fact that you will not be everyone’s best friend.

As a pastor’s wife, I don’t have the luxury of building deep relationships capriciously. I actually have to be mindful of the accountability partners I choose. But once the Lord has provided believers who know you well and help build you up in Him, being a pastor’s wife becomes much easier. You have someone else you can rely on for prayer and strength! It’s a burdern lifter.

Building relationships with the lost is also crucial. Keeping God’s mission at the forefront of your life takes the focus off of yourself and puts it back on Jesus. You don’t have to “be the pastor’s wife” with the lost. You are you. Seeing the fruit of these relationships makes you want to keep going!

Spiritual Maturity

As a believer, it’s essential that you remain connected to God. As a pastor’s wife, I’m not sure how I could make it without His strength. As He matures me through His word and other believers, living out his calling in my life is just plain easier.

So, pastor’s wife, what else has encouraged you in God’s calling?

It’s the Little Things

I think Mother’s Day is all about the little things.

That little voice that runs into your room in the morning, shouting, “Happy Mudda’s Day!”

The stylishly painted and stamped and play-doughed and scribbled card…WAY better than anything store bought in my opinion!

Proud daddy in the doorway, knowing that he and the kids get to spoil mommy for a day.

A hand-brewed latte.

A surprise – toddler going with daddy to church. Yes, he’s a pastor. Yes, he goes really early. No, nobody has eaten breakfast when it’s time for him to leave. But still a quiet house to make mother’s day phone calls in.

A future surprise – and the cream on top: a sweet love note from my husband along with two months of house cleaning for after baby Emma arrives!

Lunch with friends – and God movements.

No potty accidents to clean up.

A healthy girl moving like a giant stuck in a jacket.

Time to sit up late and read.

Hard work in the yard.

Great news from friends.

Many many answered prayers.

A 1st birthday party for my niece who lives very far away. 20 minutes of uninterrupted time with her was heavenly.

Prayers for my friends who want to be mommas but are not yet. Prayers for my friends who have lost their cherished children.

What little things did you get blessed with this weekend?

Mommies, Ask for Help!

I hope all of you had an amazing Easter celebrating the resurrection of our Savior!

God really blessed me with being able to use some of my spiritual gifts while at our church service. A dear, dear friend who lives on the West Coast visited last week (also a blessing!), and she reminded me of one of my gifts that I basically have been hiding under a rug. Seizing opportunities to use that gift made me feel alive!

But for a pastor’s wife, Easter can be very difficult and draining. Not only is Easter the single-largest event at a church on Sunday morning throughout the year, but this year, our church met at a new location (we were outgrowing our other space so yay!)

So Brad had usual getting-ready-for-Easter duty, and then he also had a bunch of extra things he needed to take care of related to the new space. Bottom line, he’s been very tied up getting ready for Easter. Thankfully, we talked about the expectations ahead of time, and I knew what was ahead, so I was able to mentally prepare and all of that time away went great!

In all of the busy time, Brad asked me what he could pray for. I told him Easter morning. Because church “events” are very difficult for me. I am a Sunday morning single parent. On steroids. Not only am I in charge of getting kiddos ready and fed and to church. I’m in charge of all potty detail, dropping off sweet children (hoping they’re happy at drop-off), and then comes the event after the service.

With the toddler in tow, I have to figure out how to get all of the stuff (chairs, bags, etc.) to the grassy area, then figure out how to feed us (OK, really me) when all Samuel sees is jumpy houses and the Easter bunny. Actually eating the meal is usually a trick and interrupted by playtime, egg hunt, etc. In fact, this is the first year we’ve made the Easter bunny and egg hunt because the previous two years I just couldn’t get to everything on time. Even though I was right there!

So I told Brad that I was worried that I would be in a bad mood and not be a blessing. That we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the event. That I would just be so tired!

So he prayed.

And I decided to ask for help.

Many people have family who lives close or who are in town, and so they have built-in help! 😉 Every so often, I get blessed with that, but with family who lives out of town, I decided that I need to take advantage of the family God has given me through the church.

I have a community group I could ask for help, but they all have little ones, too. So I trekked out to the car, and started hauling my huge load toward the grassy area. “ARG!” came out of my mouth – I hadn’t asked for any help!

A friend walked by and asked if I needed help. In my head, I wanted to say, “NO! I can do it myself!” I’m so proud.

Instead, I said, “Yes.” He said he’d be right there, and he grabbed two of my chairs. And another friend walked by and said, “Can I help you?” I said, “Well, Jason’s helping me,” as she took a couple of bags from me.

Can you hear how hard it was for me to suck up my pride? In such a teensy tiny situation? But these friends really helped me! It was such a blessing – even though it seems small. I could SEE how God was answering my husband’s prayer for me.

And of course, he did as much as he could to help me too. In fact, he took Samuel to the egg hunt while I ate my entire plate of food!!! (Aren’t they handsome!?)

(Thanks Bobby for the great pic!)

Bottom line, mommies. Sometimes, we need to ask for help! Even when we don’t want to. We need to pray for it. And make our husbands aware of our needs so they can be our hero when they can.

Why Doesn’t My Husband Respond to Me?

Have you ever looked at your husband and thought, what does he want from me?

Maybe you’re the people-pleaser-doer wife and you’ve been slaving all day: cooking, cleaning, child-rearing, etc.

But he doesn’t seem to notice.

Or perhaps you’re the awesome-helper-spiritually-gifted wife, and you have been really thriving in God’s presence.

But he’s not right now.

Maybe you’re struggling yourself right now. With depression, job loss, infertility, anxiety.

But he’s not there for you.

Here’s the thing: You probably aren’t doing anything wrong.

Now, of course, we all contribute to messes in our marriage, and sometimes our husbands can check out when we’re having problems.

But you need to know that your husband’s dissatisfaction is not always your fault. It’s not always about your marriage.

Often, he’s not responding to you because he is dealing with something else. For example, my pastor hubby can get very discouraged at work because he’s doesn’t feel like he’s able to get people excited about spiritual things. Or he’s bearing others’ burdens, and the sheer weight of it is occupying his heart and thoughts. Or he’s prepping a sermon, and it is just consuming him for one reason or another.

So how do you know what’s going on, and how you can help? Try this:

1. Find a good time to bring it up.

While the kids are crawling on him, when he’s half asleep, or after you’ve fought about something else is not the right time. Consider a time when you’re both not exhausted (if that’s possible), you’re alone, and you’re not on bad terms.

2. Ask what’s up.

First, tell him you’ve noticed that he seems stressed/tired/thoughtful/whatever, and ask him if there’s something that is bothering him. You don’t have to ask if you are doing something wrong. That puts him in the mode to protect your feelings, and then he feels like he can’t share with you what’s really going on – which probably isn’t about you.

3. Trust his answer.

Once your hubby answers your question in number 2, above, trust that what he tells you is honest and genuine. Men are generally not like women – they’re not going to beat around the bush and make you guess a thousand times until they crack and cry and finally let it all out. Yeah. They don’t really do that. (Not that I do all that – ahem – I’m just sayin’…)

In other words, don’t keep nagging him with questions like, “Are you sure I haven’t done something to upset you?” Again, this puts him in the mode where he needs to coddle you, and the whole point of the conversation was for you to find out what was going on with him. Right?

4. Ask how you can help.

Know that he may not want to talk about the issue. Even though something is troubling him, he may not necessarily want to flesh out every possible conclusion or bad mouth the people involved or discuss the nuances that led him there.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t help him.

Ask if there’s anything you can do to help, but again, trust him if he says “Nothing.” The list below is a great place to start.

  1. You can pray for him.
  2. You can offer to make something easier on him at home or to let him have a night with the guys.
  3. You can just understand that he’s dealing with it in his own way and not nag him about it.

I know – that last one is hard to hear. You feel like you’re being insensitive if you don’t ask him 20 200 questions about it. But once your offer your help, that’s all you can do. The rest is up to him.

And it’s OK to not try to take control and mother him in this. If he’s struggling through it and genuinely doesn’t want a certain “help” from you, then give him that room and that freedom.

DIY Date Night Nails – Tips for Sally Hansen Salon Effects

date night nails
Spring Break means that Samuel’s Naunie, who’s a teacher, is available to babysit for me. Which means a 3-day sleepover for Samuel. Which means a date night for mommy and daddy! :):):)

I know, I know. We should be having three date nights, but alas, Brad ended up with meetings on 2 of the nights we were free. (It’s just comes with the job!)

After dropping Sammy off with Naunie, I treated myself to a trip to Ulta – one of the great DIY beauty meccas! And if you know me personally, you know I’m all about DIY beauty. I do my own pedicures; I highlight my own hair; I even wax my own bikini – yup!!!

But mommyhood sometimes gets in the way of momma’s beauty. And I’m OK with that. For a time. But then it’s time to rev it back up – I want to look good for my man! He knows I do it primarily for him, so when I try a new lipstick or get a new blouse or wash my hair, he seems pleased. What man wouldn’t stand taller for a woman who wants to be a feast for his eyes only?

It’s definitely been awhile since I was able to take care of myself, so I had to stock up at Ulta. New pedicure tools, new waxing and shaving supplies (my razor was YEARS old and had mold on it – yeah). And I decided to try something new:

Sally Hansen Salon Effects. Have you heard of these? I know they’ve been out for awhile now, but I rarely paint my fingernails, so I’m kinda late to the game. They’re basically like nail polish stickers.

And I’m in love with them!

Everything you need is in the little kit, except for a swipe of nail polish remover. You do a little prep to your nails (with the kit tools), then you apply the stickers one by one. The kit comes with several sizes, including extras, and each sticker has a squarish edge and a curvy edge so you can choose which is right for your cuticle area.

I would say the whole process took me about 30 minutes. I’m a little fastidious (i.e., anal), so I spent a little extra time making sure everything was just so. After you’ve done it once, I bet you could cut 5-10 minutes off the process.

This is definitely a project you could do while relaxing in front of the TV, too. It’s not super messy (no wet nail polish, just stickers and sticker pieces).

The prices of the kits vary from about $2.50 – $9.99 for new/popular patterns. Mine cost about $5 at Ulta. A steal for a fun little manicure!

Are you ready to try it? Here are my tips:

  • Read the instructions through once before you get started. They’re very simple, but this will help you feel confident as you move forward.
  • Sit somewhere with good lighting! I did this in my dimly lit bedroom, which was a mistake.
  • Choose and line up which stickers will go on which nails before starting. I just lined them up from left to right, pinky to thumb for the left hand and thumb to pinky for the right hand.
  • When choosing the stickers, consider the fact that your nail beds curve down on the left and right. One sticker I chose was a little skinny because I didn’t factor that in – but it still ended up looking good!
  • If this is your first time, choose a pattern or glitter kit, rather than solid. If you make some minor mistakes, you won’t be able to tell.
  • When you put the sticker on, line it up in your cuticle, and then press in the middle of your cuticle. Keeping your finger on the cuticle, press up from there. In other words, stick down the center of the nail first. Then, move from the center to the sides.
  • After using the wood stick to smooth the edges, check if you got a little bit of overlap off the side of your nail. If you did, you can use the pointed side to get rid of it. Simply “outline” the edge of your nail with the pointed end, like you’re drawing over it. Don’t be too rough or you can damage the sticker. Just be firm and go over it a few times. The excess piece will start to disconnect, and you can take it off.
  • Make sure to crease the sticker over the front of your nail and rub it down. Then, use the file as instructed to get the excess to come away. You want to put the file on top of the sticker rather than underneath so that it stays connected to the rest of the nail. With light filing, once the excess starts to separate, you can gently pull it away or continue filing until it’s completely removed.
  • Do both of your thumbs last. You’ll see why. 😉
  • Enjoy!!

Oh! I also painted my toenails for date night using crackle polish (I was in a hurry so don’t mind the bad polish job):

date night nails

How much do you like DIY beauty? Could you use some more help with it? Let me know in the comments!

*This post contains affiliate links.

Making Choices in Marriage: A Missing Link

Brad and I decided to start reading Marriage Matters* so that we could engage in more thought and discussion about our marriage.

 

Sounds like I really have it together, huh?

The truth is, we don’t have a perfect marriage. In fact, there are times when our marriage is downright ugly, rather than being a picture of Jesus to the world. And I am definitely not a perfect wife. Why do you think I have this blog!? Not because I know it all, but because I realize that I don’t know it all!

Anyway, it was, of course, my pastor hubby who recommended choosing a book to read together.

For me, reading an entire non-fiction book (not just chapter 1) is like running a marathon. Fiction? No problem. Got it covered in a week’s time. Non-fiction? Whew. I’m drained just thinking about it. Anyone have a running Gu?

We have done this before – read a book together for spiritual improvement. And it was very good for us. Maybe more for me than for him. I have to force myself to think about spiritual things and being committed to a book together helps me with that.

So I, without prompting (I’m so proud!), read chapter 1 today instead of taking a nap 🙂

Chapter 1 is always the intro chapter, so I got a good overview of what this book is going to look like. Good, solid truth is in chapter 1, but chapter 1 never contains earth-shattering news, right?

Wrong.

Winston T Smith, the author, says that having a marriage that reflects Jesus means making choices that reflect Jesus.

Well, that’s good stuff Mr. Smith, but I already knew that. So there.

Then I read the very next phrase. My paraphrase is:

Having a marriage that reflects Jesus means making choices that reflect Jesus over and over.

The “over and over” part is a direct quote. Yeah. Did that hit you like a rock like it did me?

I can make a choice that reflects Jesus. Once. And then I give up. Because after all, my spouse didn’t become perfect. My life didn’t become perfect. (Hint: that’s not the point.)

For our marriages to truly reflect Jesus, we have to make decisions in love over and over and over again. And again. When it’s painful. Inconvenient. When we don’t want to. When it’s 3am. When our spouse is not being God-honoring themselves.

It’s kind of… just like God’s love for us! Duh!

But I didn’t get it! And now that I do, I’m a little overwhelmed at the responsibility of it.

You know what I need? The power of the Holy Spirit.

I need to ask God to enter my marriage, and be love (1 John 4) when I cannot. Or will not. To break my spirit of selfishness and pride.

Has this hit home for you like it did for me?

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