part 1 2 3 4 5 6

Clearly our story continues beyond the series
but I believe what needed to be addressed
and shared has been. 

Below you'll see my closing thoughts on how marriage 
and any other relationship
are affected by thoughts, words and self worth.

Have you noticed that a negative thought can spread like wild fire
in your mind?
That someone can speak an unflattering, disagreeable or outright rude word to you
 and it's a little tougher to forget?
I forget A LOT (even before any of my pregnancies).
I get distracted/sidetracked easily
and have to set timers for myself 
(when to take my vitamins, drink my water, eat, my kid's pickup times, ect),
I also have to put everything on my calendar
and make lists to check off haha
but I somehow remember things I wish I could just let go.
THAT is no accident friends,
that is exactly what the enemy desires,
a wildfire of discord with people and worst yet within ourselves.

Have you seen the broken men or women out and about?
In your markets, schools, parks, businesses and churches?
 You can usually tell by their countenance,
how they hold themselves up or interact with people.
Maybe it was repetitive words that broke them,
hurtful actions, personal belief that they are not valued,
failed marriage, financial struggles, etc.
They don't have to be meek or weak,
they can be aggressive, demeaning to others, 
have a relentless need to compete and prove themselves,
or other forms of this hurt.
There are also many who live great lives,
 you wouldn't know their brokenness by their countenance.
For them the hurt isn't worn on the outside but hear them speak
and you'd know something wasn't right.
(lifting my hand here)

Regardless of where and if we fit in any of those descriptions,
 what we each feel or believe about ourselves,
what others think of us,
the situations we've been a part of or have had happen,
the Lord values us and has amazing plans.
We don't have to prove our worth to him
because he has seen it in us all along.

Our hurts, habits or history do not limit Him.
We limit him and we limit ourselves.
Knowing of his love and accepting it fully,
 are entirely different.

It's like receiving a gift from the giver
and NEVER opening it.

When you are open to the gift the Lord has for you
you experience his love
and it hits you at the core of who you are.
There's comfort and peace knowing that he loves you, "as is".
But if you'll allow him, he'll restore what was lost,
renew what is worn/broken
and redeem us from our mistakes.

He sees you for you,
 the gifts and talents he placed in you,
not the struggles.

I've been there myself,
 too many times and for too long.
I've allowed circumstances, outcomes, words, even my own thoughts,
 dictate my worth regardless of what the Word says.
THIS causes us to approach life in a guarded manner.
We build bigger walls as a defense mechanism 
and truly become our biggest enemy.

When you doubt your worth, 
your value to yourself and others,
you doubt the Lord.
You doubt His plan, His purpose and His will for you.
(love this devotional by Pastor Rick Warren)

I've had to TRUST the Lord & His word
OVER all the other things I hear and see.
I've had to undo my negative thinking.

YOU'RE going to have to undo your negative thinking.

But how?
~Replace negative thoughts instantly with positive ones
~Remind yourself of all that you are, all you've overcome and all you're working towards.
~Quote/meditate on scripture, post it where it's visible.
~Replace depressing or demeaning music with that which will encourage you
and uplift you.
~Surround yourself with people who will support you AND challenge you to grow.
~Plant seeds of hope, joy and purpose into others,
it will remind you that it's not just about you.
~CHOOSE to speak faith, life and love over negative things
and stop the self deprecating thoughts.

THEN and only then can you heal and be who you need to be,
for you and for others.

It's easy to focus on the faults of others,
especially in marriage, right?
It's the closest and most intimate relationship you'll have;
having a front seat to each interaction.
But it accomplishes little and resolves nothing.
Regardless of other's behavior
we are to conduct ourselves respectfully, with integrity and love.
Because guess what?!

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 
10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 
11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. 
But the greatest of these is love.


I am so appreciative of your patience
and your ears.
To have shared something so private and mistake ridden
could only be out of obedience and the desire to share some hope.
I pray something you've read has been of encouragement,
that when you consider your life now, your marriage,
or a future one, you would have hope.

Big hugs friends.


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