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Friday, October 30, 2015

9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage by Sue Detweiler- A Review

Sue Detweiler / 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage: How to Build a Relationship That Lasts

Is it possible to enjoy a strong and healthy marriage-- 'till death do you part?

Yes... with God!
Sharing with honesty and transparency, Sue Detweiler identifies the essential elements of a life-giving marriage.


9 TRAITS OF A LIFE-GIVING MARRIAGE WILL HELP READERS TO:

  • Heal the broken places in your marriage
  • Strengthen your relationship with your spouse
  • Understand God's plan for your marriage
  • Revive your relationship with God's transformative power

My Review: Like her previous book 9 Traits of a Life Giving Mom that I reviewed here, this book was a gem! I loved every minute! I feel like Ms. Detweiler is real. She shares real life stories, the good, the bad, and the ugly. She covers 9 traits that any marriage could relate to and work on; Acceptance, Friendship, Safety, Honesty, Intimacy, Passion, Endurance, Restoration and Expectancy. 
Each chapter covers a single topic. It includes real life stories, practical advice, and scripture to help you with applying each trait. Daddy T and I have a pretty healthy marriage relationship, but there was still so much that I took away from this! I loved the chapter on Friendship. It's easy in life to sometimes get caught up in the day-to-day and forget that we are on the same team. It definitely reminded me to nurture the friendship that brought us together to begin with. 
I would highly recommend this book to any married couple. It is a great resource to go back to again and again!


Order your copy on Amazon or Barnes & Noble today! You will not be disappointed!

Author Bio:
Sue Detweiler is a wife, mother of six, author, and pastor with more than twenty-five years of experience in marriage, ministry, and education. She is also a popular speaker who shares her heart and wisdom internationally on issues related to marriage, family, women, prayer, leadership, and ministry.

Sue’s first book, 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom, hit No. 1 on Amazon’s hot new releases for Christian women’s issues. Her newest book, 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage, grew out of her and her husband’s heart to help couples grow closer to God and to each other. In their pastoral ministry to marriages, they have seen how sharing their own struggles can help create a safe context for couples to be transparent and honest with their own issues. Wayne and Sue have also seen God’s transformative power heal and restore marriages through the marriage conferences and workshops they have led.


You can learn more about Sue on her website.





Thursday, October 29, 2015

What I Learned Last Wednesday!



I know that this series is about homeschooling and the things that the kids and I are learning each week. However, last week God had different lessons on His agenda for me....


Last Monday began like any other typical Monday in our home. We played catch up from the weekend cleaning and laundry and had a light school day. At 4pm I began to prepare for Daddy T to get home from work. My phone rang, it was my sister-in-law. She asked if I had heard from my step-son, B, lately. I told her no that it had been awhile. She then told me that she had just read a post on Facebook that said he had been missing since Sunday morning around 6am. 34 hours! This was the first we had heard anything about it. The room around me began to spin as I got off the phone with her to make possibly the hardest phone call I have ever had to make. I had to call my husband and tell him that his 15-year-old son was missing and that no one had seen him in over 34 hours. 
It was my worst nightmare revealed! I always pray that my children will be protected and safe. I tell God that I trust Him with my kids, but this...THIS was my ultimate test!

We spent the next few days, along with family and friends, blowing up social media, hanging flyers, and following any lead that we might have received! By hour 60 I was beyond exhausted, I was defeated! Reality had sunk in that I may never again see B. The missing children's posters with aged progressed pictures could very well include him one day.

Wednesday night (84 hours after he was last seen) we followed a lead to a town 20 minutes south of where he disappeared. At 9:30 that lead went cold. Defeated, exhausted, and out of options we went home. Never in my life have I felt so utterly helpless.

Daddy T and I spent a long time in prayer that night, pleading for our son. Begging God to please just keep him safe! I reminded God that 'His eye is on the sparrow'(Matthew ), that "He knows the number of hairs on B's head" (Matthew 10:30). I told God that I trusted Him with B. I prayed for a miracle. I asked for him to get cold and hungry and come home. I told God that I would wait on Him, expecting Him to move (Isaiah 40:31 AMP). At 11:30 we laid down to go to sleep....

At 12:30 Daddy T's phone rang, it was B's mom, the sheriff's office had picked him up and had him custody in a town 45 miles south of us! Later we learned that we were 1 mile from him earlier that night! God had brought him to a man's door to seek shelter for the night. The man and his wife offered him food while they called the cops! I am so grateful to those strangers! I am grateful to my Father in heaven for keeping him safe during those 87 hours that he was away from all of us! 

I learned some very valuable lessons from this whole experience. Lessons that I would like to share with you:

1. Good friends are hard to come by. If you don't have any, pray for God to send you some. If you do, value them!!! They are a rarity! I would not have survived last week without my best friend! She was my lifeline. She prayed and took action when I was simply too tired to think straight! She and her family genuinely just loved on us and fought with us through this battle! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

2. Genesis 50:20 is a verse to cling to! What Satan meant to destroy my family and my faith, God used to strengthen,  tear down walls, and teach me to lean on Him that much more! It became more than just telling Him that I trusted Him with my kids, I actually had to trust Him. Faith in action my friends.

3. I was weak in ways that I never imagined last week. I was so distraught. God wasn't! None of the events of the week were a surprise to Him!  2 Corinthians 12:9-11 says that in my weakness He is strong! I was so thankful for His strength last week! I learned on Him and trusted Him in a deeper more real way than I ever had before!


I pray that none of you ever have to go through the experience of a missing child. I just want to let you know, whatever battle you are facing, God is there waiting on you to turn to Him. Please friend, let him carry you through this time! You will make it through this!





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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Am I Really Listening?




It's a classic scene in our home: I am working on preparing lunch, answering questions about Popper's lesson, and trying to drown out the background noise of the computer as Brother Bear is playing learning games. Chaos is an understatement. In walks Sister, "Mommy can you .....?" 
I don't skip a beat when I explain to her that Mommy is busy and that she's going to have to wait a minute.
2 minutes later, crying as Sister has had an accident. The bathroom door was shut and she can't open it on her own.
I was so wrapped up in everything else that I was doing that the thought of 'doing' anything else was overwhelming and therefore ignored! 


Daddy T has just come home from a long day of work. He is exhausted. He is telling me all about the highs and lows of the day. I am lost in thoughts of dinner prep, which child is into what, and asking him a question about Friday night that I miss the entire conversation.

We all are guilty of not listening. We all have moments where we are so consumed with everything that is going on in our head and in our current 'right now' schedule that we miss very important moments and words from others around us.

James 1:9 (AMP) says "Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving];

 I am challenged by the Amplified version of this verse. It does not merely say 'quick to listen,' it elaborates that we should be 'careful, thoughtful listeners.'  Ouch! I don't know about you, but that stings a bit! 
I recently came across this quote:


TRUTH!!!
I am so worried about what I am going to say next in the conversation that I lose sight of the heart that is crying out. I cannot begin to tell you the number of times this truth has been played out in my life. 
It's no secret that I like to talk. I love to get together with friends and family and have a regular gab fest. I am also so guilty of looking back and realizing that I missed some very important moments. Moments when friends were crying out, needing me to love on them, needing me to encourage them. I was so lost in the thought of what I was going to say that I was far from a 'careful and thoughtful listener.'

My husband is the one that falls victim to this most often. He is the one that comes home to a wife that has been conversing with children all day. I am in need of adult conversation. I will flat talk his ear off and completely miss anything that he has to say! I am so caught up in filling him in on every thought and moment from the day. Very rarely do actually LISTEN to what he is saying.

I began to be more aware of the amount of time that I am talking in a conversation. I realized that I needed serious help in this area. I knew that I could never conquer this on my own. I started praying about becoming a careful listener. The more I prayed the more I saw that I even talked too much in my prayer time! How in the world was God supposed to communicate His plan for me? I was so busy voicing my pleas to Him that I wasn't taking time to just listen!!!
This has to change! I am very aware of my need in this area. Prayer time is becoming as much about listening to Him as it is about talking to Him. I am also being more aware of what others are saying to me, not in finding a way to respond to them. I'm finding sometimes, they aren't even looking for a response, just a careful and thoughtful listener!

Are you a careful and thoughtful listener or are you so wrapped up in what you are going to say next?

Father, please help us all to learn to be better listeners to each other and to You. In Jesus name, Amen.