Bombs and Relationships

I just realized that today is my four-year blogiversary! Happy, happy! So, I didn’t want to let this special day go by without a post.

This Buzzfeed video vastly amused me this week – couples trying to defuse a bomb together. I admit it. I laughed a lot at the crazy and sometimes harsh things that were said in the tense moments of trying to defuse the bombs. I also know from past experiences that my husband and I approach problems from very different angles. It can create frustration at times, but it also can create happy surprises (sometimes).

My conclusion is that we would (probably) have a decent chance at success (maybe). No, really, I totally think we could do it.

What about you? Do you think you could work through it to turn off the bomb in time?

Since this relates to how couples work together, I’d like to remind you about one of my favorite marriage resources, refineus.org. Justin and Trisha Davis are recapping their top 5 posts of 2014, so it’s a perfect time to hop over there and find some encouragement at being intentional in your marriage.

Merry Christmas from my husband and me!

Defusing bombs together since 1996!

Thanks for sharing my blogiversary with me! I’m looking forward to another blogging year together.

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Day 1: Rest from Expectations

Last night, I got my intro post up for #31Days and tweeted it to my friends, tagging the Nester. AND SHE REPLIED!

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Now, I didn’t go all nutso fan-girl like I did when Nester’s sister, Emily Freeman posted a comment ON. MY. BLOG. (nutso fan-girl tweet), but still, it’s Nester. That’s pretty sweet.

Later yesterday evening, one of my elders commented about my blog series that he was interested in it because it follows along with what he will be preaching on this Sunday at Karis Church and then he posted the link to it on our internal church communications site. Whoa.

Later still, I was checking my stats (we all do this, right, bloggers?) and saw that I had hits from 6 different countries, which I’m pretty sure is a new record for my blog. Wow!

I’ve had a number of people I know and don’t know say how much a series on rest sounds like just what they need and they are looking forward to being blessed or they are sure that others will be blessed.

And I love hearing all of these. My goal is for my blog to reach others and to become a ministry.

But Whoa.

I’m suddenly feeling all this pressure. What if I don’t meet up to all these folks’ expectations? I’ve got to bring it. People are looking to me to have these fantastic insights on rest; I can’t let them down!

These are the thoughts swirling through my head even while I’m trying to brainstorm ideas for today’s post.

So I realize that, today, I need to rest from expectations. I want to put expectations on myself of how this 31 Day series will go based on my perception of your 31 Day series or what I think you must expect from me or even based on how my series on prayer went last year.

Rest from expectations.

I got myself in some hot water by collecting expectations about my marriage. Spurred in part by being surrounded by young married couples still in the honeymoon phase, I looked around and then looked inside and concluded that my marriage did not measure up. People around us are having babies and adopting children and I collect another expectation. A successful blogger’s career takes off; I collect another expectation.

Photo credit: Keenan Pepper (Creative Commons)

On one family vacation, my sister and I discovered quartz in the rocks on the property of our parents’ friends. I think we even visited a tourist trap selling quartz that was mined from the area. To our untrained eyes, it looked like diamonds. During that vacation we collected rocks. They were cool rocks. They were glittery rocks. And sometimes we could smash them open and find beautiful colors inside. That box of rocks sat on our back porch for months.

Those rocks are like my expectations. I gather them thinking of how beautiful they could be or how they will improve my life, but I end up carrying a box of rocks around. I don’t know, it’s not a perfect illustration. It came to me as I was typing.

The point is to rest.

Stop carrying around the weight of expectations, whether they be put on you by a family member, friends, society, or yourself.

Rest from these weights. Don’t try to measure up to someone else’s standards. Today, you are you. Trust that you are in God’s hands and He is working to make you all that you will be. He is making you new.

Rest today.

Breathe out – and release the hold of expectations on your life.

Breathe in – and trust the work of Christ in your life.

—–

This is Day 1 of 31 Days of Rest, part of the Nester’s 31 Day challenge. Check out some of the other great blogs participating.

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No ordinary book review: Beyond Ordinary

God doesn’t want to fix your marriage; He wants to heal your heart.

And there, in that one tweetable sentence, is the soul of Beyond Ordinary. Justin and Trisha Davis bravely open a window for us into the dark and (seemingly) hopeless moments of the developing and revealing of  Justin’s adulterous affair. They later walk us through the path of their recovery and restoration as a couple. But as the book unfolds, we learn, as they did, that God’s idea for healing involves so much more than just repairing the rift between husband and wife. God’s plan was and is total heart transformation.

Contrary to what the general public might expect, Trisha doesn’t sit back as a victim and point a judgmental finger at Justin or men in general. Both of them humbly share how God opened their eyes to some of the dark, idolatrous root sins that they, like all of us, struggle with. They mutually shoulder the blame of allowing their marriage to drift toward ordinary.

If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide to a better marriage, you will be disappointed. If you want a simple outline of how to fix your spouse, you’re in for a shock. You are the problem and you can’t do a thing to improve. Well, maybe just one thing: choose brokenness.

It’s giving up rather than just trying harder. Brokenness is a decision, laying everything on the line and then submitting it all to God. It is an awareness that God is your only hope. You can choose brokenness.

God has been at work in my own heart and the reading of Beyond Ordinary came at the perfect moment. Chapter Ten, No Ordinary Healing, was most moving. There it finally clicked.

You don’t need incremental change in your marriage; you need transformational change. You don’t need an improved version of the old you; you need a brand-new you. You don’t need a slight improvement in your marriage; you need a complete transformation. The great news is that God offers to transform you. God offers to give you a new life. God longs to give you an extraordinary marriage.

Get this book and use it to allow your heart to walk the trail of brokenness to transformation.

Want more?

  • Whet your appetite:  You can read the first two chapters of the book for free – here.
  • Read daily blog posts at RefineUs. I’ve followed Justin & Trisha’s blog for nearly three years now. Excellent resource.
  • For weekly emails to strengthen your marriage, subscribe to MentorUs. We just started our subscription and so far feel like it helps open up conversations that we may not otherwise have had.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Tyndale’s blogger book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

An expected, yet surprising proposal

Did you read yesterday’s post? It was the first half of a big Valentine’s Day date that Tom and I had 14 years ago. When you last left us, we were in the car headed to Manassas, VA, just outside of Washington, D.C. and I was fairly sure Tom would propose at some point in the evening.

What part of this sentence is not realistic:  Let’s drive up to D.C. on Valentine’s Day and just randomly pick a restaurant and expect to get a table without having to wait and with no reservations? Have you ever tried to go out for dinner, especially in a big city, on Valentine’s Day? Restaurants are packed that night, and even more so when Feb. 14 falls on a Saturday! It was at this point that I apparently took leave of my senses. Blinded by love, perhaps. I cannot explain it.

What I knew:  We arrived (more…)

  • Hi, I'm Janice. I'm part bookworm and part creative. I love both science and music (and the science of music). I'm stumbling around trying to grow closer to God. Click the photo to read more about me.

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