Wednesday, October 17, 2012

UPDATED: When the Lights Burn Out in My Dreams for Marriage and Family

(Many have requested a CD of this message; however, due to technical difficulties, we were  unable to record this message @ONE last night. This is a virtual "transcript" of Angela's message.)

If we think of our family as a beautiful chandelier, we know that when all is going well, it truly lights up our life!  But over time, the light bulbs burn out.  No one would throw a chandelier in the garbage just because the light bulbs burn out.  No!  They would just replace the burnt out bulbs with new ones.  And then enjoy the light and beauty of that chandelier for a long time to come!

In the same manner, when the lights burn out in our dreams for marriage & family, we shouldn't toss them out!  'Replacing the lights' in our family relationships are not nearly as hard as you might imagine.  Like the old jokes "how many Aggies does it take to replace a light bulb?", it takes just one! And others will join you in the restoration process because NO ONE ever wishes for divorce or dysfunction in their lives! 
"we’re all broken and messy. We all struggle with…something. We’re all needy for a merciful Savior and desperate for grace. Remembering truth gives us strength to press on." Lara Williams


God designed family to start with marriage.  But in our broken and messy world, more and  more people are rejecting marriage because they say that it doesn't work.  Women say to me all the time "I want to love and be loved but I know that 'forever' only happens in the fairy tales.

But whether you are a Christ follower or not, you will probably agree that 'living together' until it doesn't work anymore is just as devastating to people families as divorce!  But just having a wedding doesn't make a marriage.  Marriage only works when it has FIRST PRIORITY in your life!  

So many marriages fail because people try to shove it between their friends, their careers, their hobbies, etc.  And suddenly everything else is getting more of your attention, energy, and time.  

Let's get real honest.  As women, we have a bad habit of putting 90% or more of our energy and time into our kids.  We have believed the lie that the most important thing in our lives should be our children.  NOOOOO!  The most important thing you can do for your children is have a happy and successful marriage!  Parenting is a temporary assignment.  The kids will grow up and move away and start their own lives.  But you will (should) still be married!  And they need you to show them how to do marriage well so that they know what to do when they get married themselves one day! 

What can you do that will SHINE the light of 1st priority in your marriage?  Make your husband know that he comes before the kids or hobbies or anything else! Can you show him that Pinterest is not more fun than him?  Do you need to cancel your girl's night and plan a date night instead?  And if you are a church-goer, please stop making your husband compete with church for your time and attention!!  Yes, seriously! No I don't want you to stop attending church, but make him happy you went when you get home! {wink, wink}


"You can't stay mad at the person that you hear pray over you!  All the hurt, anger, fear and such just fades away as you listen to the person ask God to bless you, help you, provide for your needs/dreams, etc."  

If you are scared of prayer (not sure you really ready to embrace this Christian thing) or you are scared to pray out loud, fear not.  You can start small.  Just speak things over them in encouraging, uplifting ways that convince them you believe in them, support them and desire the best for them.  That when they succeed, you both succeed!! 


We exist to get the dirt off of each other & to clean each other up! 
Many of you have heard the story from the Bible where Jesus washed The Disciples (his followers) feet.  This was his way of illustrating the principle that life regularly makes us dirty and messy.  Dirt comes in the form of selfishness, fear, past hurts, etc. 

So when our husband comes home in a bad mood from work or our kids are being really whiney and needy, or our sister said something really hurtful, or our grandfather totally forgot that it was our birthday, we respond differently.  Instead of getting annoyed or impatient or offended, we grab the "relationship wash cloth and maybe even some Neosporin and bandages" and we clean off the dirt and do all we can to make sure they heal from the wounds they have! 


Asking this question is the BEST way to demonstrate that we are more committed to each other or the family as a whole than we are about our own plans/agenda!  It simply says, "I am in this with you.  You are NOT alone". 

When I tell my 9 year old son to go clean his room, he sees that as punishment.  To do it alone is akin to a prison sentence. {wink, wink}.  So recently, when I went in to check on his progress, he got very defensive of his still messy room.  (picture Lego blocks.  EVERY.  WHERE.)  He expected me to get mad and even start yelling about how he was going to have consequences.  But instead, I simply asked "Son, how can I help?"  I thought he would faint! He reluctantly showed me what box I could put one of the piles into and then assured me that we could complete the task in half the expected time! We did it together and it was a special mother-son moment.  

And he has told me several times since then how much that meant to him.  He didn't feel alone and overwhelmed anymore when I was willing to help!

Imagine if we created that 'mantra' in our homes!? Can't you just feel the light shining brightly in your family when everyone demonstrates a heart that says "It is NOT all about me.  I am here to help YOU!"  I am certain we would have to peel ourselves off the tile floor if our teenager asked "How can I help?" before they headed out to the mall with their friends!!! 


As a parent, a coach, a friend who is nurturing another person, you know that it is HARD and there is usually a lot of self-doubt and guilt when we analyze the messy moments.  And we need cheerleaders to remind us of why we do the hard things!  One of my FAV blogs is Inspired to Action and a recent blog post literally changed my life!  Here is an excerpt but go here to it in it's entirety--it is GOOOD!

"Motherhood isn’t about making my kids make right choices. Motherhood is about me making right choices. Day in and day out. When I feel like it and when I don’t. When it’s hard and when it’s easy.Motherhood is about changing me…not my children.The best I can do is to show them what following God looks like, what good choices look like, what love looks like. My job is to invite them to journey alongside me, teach them as much as I can and pray for them constantly.Ultimately, though, their responses and decisions I must entrust to the grace of God. Unlike a marathon, boot camp or grad school, following all the rules doesn’t mean I get the prize of perfect kids.  Our prize then, is Grace. To fully live it, fully embrace it, fully know it, and fully give it."  Kat Lee

Living it Out:   

  1. What ONE thing will you start doing in your marriage or in your heart at you prepare for Godly marriage?
  2. What ONE thing is God speaking to you re: your motherhood/nurturing the girls in your life? 


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