I am thrilled to present to you a new blog series called What Is Love!
This four letter word is used every day in a variety of ways! I thought it would be awesome to really explore this word and what it means to marriage.
As I prepare for this series I am hoping to align some great encouragements for you including some guest posts! I am also really excited to be utilizing YouTube more! So with this series I will be posting a video with each article. Here is the first one of the series:
“ Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2-4
We are to considerate all circumstances… JOY! This can often be a difficult attitude to have when certain situations bombard your mind with fear and worry, but there is a reason God tells us to do this. For trials test our faith, the very foundations of our belief in Christ, which then produces endurance. Scripture goes on to tell us that the result of endurance makes us perfect and complete.
There are many mysteries of God’s Word that we won’t fully understand until it’s proved to us in our own lives. So when hardships come and we are able to have joy, then we gain understanding.
I believe it is also important to note that joy is not that same as happiness. Joy is deeper. Especially when hard times hit, I don’t think we are suppose to be happy and giddy, but we are suppose to hang on to our joy.
Marriage produces all kinds and all sizes of trials all the time. Are we going to respond with JOY, having faith that no matter what is thrown our way God is bigger and will be with us?
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
This life is full of hardships. We all face different things… and at times we all need comfort. This verse is one I look up often, to remind myself that God is a God of compassion and comfort, meaning He truly cares and is with me always. It also reminds me that God will comfort me to get through hardships so that I can comfort others as they go through their struggles.
In marriage, it can be difficult to see your spouse needing comfort when you are in need, but remember you two are in one union. There will be times when you are facing troubles together and you need to be willing to comfort each other through it.
Are you comforting to your husband?
Are you compassionate towards your husband?
If you need help to be comforting or compassionate towards your spouse, remember that God is the God of all comfort. He has given us the example and comforted us, so that we may comfort others. It is a gift that keeps on giving! There are many ways you can comfort your spouse including holding their hand, giving them a hug, using verbal affirmation, or writing a small note with an encouragement on it. Ask God to help you be aware when someone around you needs to be comforted, especially your spouse. Also ask God how you should comfort them.
Today I had the opportunity to join my friend Lindsay at a fellowship meeting hosted by her church, Lakeshore City Church. It is called Sisterhood and it is a community of women gathering together to worship, read scripture, and pray for one another. I immediately felt welcomed as women greeted me with joyful smiles. One woman in particular was busy rearranging the tables and setting up an information table. Her name is Janice, her servant heart lead her to prepare the small details that make such an event feel inviting, and she is also a part of the Unveiled Wife Community! I was so blessed to see this group of women genuinely care about each other as well as witnessing their passion for God.
The time we had to spend together was opened with a few worship songs. The first one included these lyrics, “Spirit rain, flood into our thirsty hearts again!” We were all worshipping God, singing songs to praise Him, and inviting His Holy Spirit to lead us. Another song that particularly touched my heart was an oldie! We sang in unison, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus; What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” I thought about the sin in my life, feeling guilty for being weak, ashamed that I fail so many times. Then we got to the these lyrics, “Oh! Precious is the flow, That makes me white as snow!” Peace washed over me in that moment and God reminded me that He has already forgiven me. More than that, He washed me white as snow, purifying me, so that I may be more like Him! God’s grace filled my heart, a beautiful moment for me.
After we praised God, the Pastor’s wife, Louise, guided us through Ephesians 1. The study was amazing and very relevant for all of us, I believed tailored by the Holy Spirit to influence each one of us, no matter what each of us are currently facing! The message I received was that we should not have an identity crisis if we belong to Christ. We need to know who we are in Christ! Also, we must understand our purpose in Christ regardless of our circumstance. We should be able to praise God for the blessings we have received, despite hardships we may be in the midst of. Our identity and self worth should be rooted in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” This resounded in my heart, for I naturally lean towards fear, often crippled by its oppression. However, if I find my identity in Christ, then I am released of fear and I can live in power, love, and discipline. Thank you Lord for reminding me again!
Louise also encouraged each of us to continue to be a part of a community where we can fellowship with other believers! For if we live in isolation, then our own thoughts may bombard us, something I have experienced and know all too well. Fellowship is so valuable because we can pray for one another and affirm each other, focusing on God and others instead of ourselves. So I extend what I learned to you! I hope that this encourages you and motivates you to find a place where you can fellowship. Check out your church, or another church’s ministry, or start your own!
I wanted to give a special shout out to all the ladies I had the pleasure of meeting today! You are all so beautiful and I am blessed to have met you!
There was a time in my marriage that I was angry with God. I felt entitled to a miracle that didn’t seem to be coming my way. Drowning in hopelessness and fantasizing about life after divorce consumed my days. I was angry at God for not stepping in on my time. The seed of anger planted roots in my heart and from it grew unthankfulness. Without being thankful for anything I lost joy and happiness. Depression sank in even more.
During that dark time in my life I avoided God. I justified my anger towards Him, somehow blaming Him for the circumstances in my marriage. With my continuing negative attitude and unthankful heart, my husband found it difficult to enjoy himself around me. He encouraged me often, trying to get me to smile more and find genuine joy. My fake smiles never quite masked my true feelings, and my husband grew weary of my rebellious heart.
There was a point in our marriage when things did start turning around for us, but it wasn’t until after I set my pride aside, apologized to God for my anger, and submitted myself to Him. Once I did that I began seeing things in a different light, and I found things that I was thankful for. As my heart grew appreciative for all that I had, I praised God, making known to Him my thankfulness. That is when I experienced true joy, amidst the pain that I endured in my marriage.
With thankfulness leading my life, I sought after God more consistently, and God was able to reveal things to me, including the miracle I was waiting for.
It is so important that wives have a heart of thankfulness, where they can experience true joy in life. With a thankful heart, problems, issues, trials, and hardships do not seem so burdening, and marriage will be more of a delight.
Find time today to be thankful and make known your thankfulness to God. No matter how BIG and especially no matter how small, thank God today… and thank your husband too!
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
2 Corinthians 9:15
“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.”
“We praise you, God,
we praise you, for your Name is near;
people tell of your wonderful deeds.”
There are plenty more characteristics God calls us to! He desires us and gives us the tools to be virtuous women who uphold biblical standards of truths! Before we allow society or even marriage pressure us into being a woman we need to fully KNOW what God calls us to be!
Taking a glance back at 2011 in hindsight blows my mind. I am overwhelmed with joy to see all that I experienced in the last 12 months! As you time-travel with me, reflecting my journey, please note that there are a few archived posts linked in the text, just in case you felt inclined to check them out
In January, my husband and I found a cute little apartment that feels bigger than it really is. And we celebrated our 4 year anniversary!
In February we reached a goal that was driving us for nearly two years and we made a video to share the good news with our family and friends!
That’s right! We are officially debt free and it feels so good! This video sort of went viral in our local community and we even heard from Dave Ramsey’s team at Financial Peace University where they interviewed us in regards to being debt free. In February we also stood in front of the cameras to do a “trash the dress” photoshoot in our wedding attire, photographed by Amanda Rachelle Photography!
In March, Aaron’s grandmother passed away, the same weekend the Tsunami destroyed Japan. It was a very emotional weekend. Also in March, with the help of my husband, we launched Unveiled Wife! This has been one of the biggest blessings in our life! I love to write and I have a passion to encourage other married couples! God was so gracious to give us the idea for Unveiled Wife, as well as the growth in the Unveiled Wife community.
In April we had the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua with a missionary team from our church. It was extremely hot and humid, but the joy we experienced was amazing. I love serving God alongside my husband! That was also our first time looking down into an active volcano! Scary! While there we celebrated Aaron’s 28th birthday! YAY!
In May I resigned my position at the preschool to focus on Unveiled Wife, as well as pursue my goal of writing a book.
In June, Aaron and I were gifted “A Weekend To Remember” through Family Life. It was an awesome marriage seminar that provided us tools to grow in our marriage. There was quite a bit of emotional bonding with us during those few days! We both loved it and highly recommend it for EVERY married couple! Here is a snapshot of Aaron and I after we committed vows to passionately pursue each other at the end of the retreat!
My grandpa passed away in the beginning of July and my nephew was born at the end of July. During that month I published two post that really touched my heart. One was in reflection of losing my grandpa and the other was a devotional challenging wives to be committed to their husbands.
In August I had the opportunity to travel to Oregon to see my brother, his wife, and their newborn baby. I fell in love with Oregon (but more so I fell in Love with Baby Lennon!) and I could not wait to come back and visit with Aaron.
During that same trip I also decided to commit to growing my hair color out naturally, and I spontaneously chopped it short The Intimacy Crisis also came out in August, which many wives related to.
In September Unveiled Wife’s community on Facebook hit 10,000! I was so excited to see Unveiled Wife growing and the positive encouragements I received for creating such a purpose driven page! I also had a unique opportunity to model for an organization called Anza Tena, which give women in Africa a chance to produce jewelry for profit. Photographed by Logan Cole, Make-up by Amy Clarke
October was crazy. I continued to write my book, along with a few other articles for the blog. One such post included How to find Encouraging Words For Your Husband. My husband and I were staying busy leading a table at FUSE, the marriage ministry at church, and I wrapped up a women’s bible study with some friends of mine, one of which just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl!
November started off with a bang when I wrote my first guest blog featured at I WANT AN AWESOME MARRIAGE. Then Aaron and I traveled North to Oregon to see my growing-up-too-fast nephew. It was a short trip, but thrilling none the less. We were also really excited to see Unveiled Wife’s community exceed 30,000! Let’s keep it growing
And good ole December! This month always passes quickly if I dare to blink. Just before celebrating Christmas I finished my book!!! AHHH… I feel so blessed to have had the time and energy to pour into this book and I cannot wait to share it with the Unveiled Wife community. All in due time I will be turning 26 soon, and as I ring in the New Year I have made a few commitments to better my character in my Marriage Resolution 2012!
Whew! What a year!
I want to thank every one of you who have supported Unveiled Wife, following me on this marital journey, and thank you for being an integral part of the community by encouraging and praying for one another! Wives coming together to bless other wives has been a beautiful thing to see. I am praying that 2012 is a life-changing year for all of us! I pray that Unveiled Wife will reach a million wives! I pray that marriages that are broken or are being oppressed in any way would receive healing and freedom! I pray that husbands and wives would find a passionate love for each other and that they center their relationship around God! And I pray for JOY in Jesus Name Amen!
Thank you God! Thank you Aaron! And Thank you Unveiled Wives! I was truly blessed this last year!
I forgot to mention, somewhere in there I enjoyed hanging out with my nieces and nephew playing with iPhone apps! Other victims that appear below are my 80 year old grandmother, a cute little puppy, and Brad, my brother-in-law!
A few months ago I posted this picture of myself with a message of powerful words. What my husband and I were currently experiencing in our marriage prompted that specific message and I knew many more wives could relate. Our marriage was going great! We were full of love and kindness, enjoying life… and then… BLAM! We crashed into a 200 foot cement wall – metaphorically speaking of course! Our attitudes became nasty towards each other, and we would bicker and banter until our faces turned blue. Finally we had to acknowledge that we live amidst a spiritual battle, where good vs. evil relentlessly tug on our hearts. In the moment when we fight or argue, it is very difficult to STOP and say “Satan get behind us!” Our pride is irate, eager to blame the person who is suppose to be a teammate. We are blindsided!
Well, I had enough of the tension that was seizing our marriage, I called the enemy out and I called on God to help us. The picture I posted was a physical representation of my soul defending my marriage, and I hoped to encourage other wives to do the same! That same day another wife on Facebook, one who is a part of the Unveiled Wife community was inspired to write the same message on her hand and she posted a picture to Unveiled Wife’s wall. It was truly inspiring to see another wife take a stand against evil and submit her marriage to God! I was extremely blessed to see it, along with almost 1,000 likes on my post of wives from all over the world committing to defending their marriage and giving it to God!
Just yesterday, a friend of mine messaged me through Facebook, asking if she had seen me on Pinterest. I replied by telling her that I am on Pinterest and that I am addicted to it She said that she saw a picture of me with a message written on my hand about marriage. I quickly searched through my boards to see if I had pinned that particular picture and I did not see it anywhere, which means that someone thought it was worthy of being pinned and it is currently circulating the ever growing Pinterest site. I was so thrilled to hear about this, I just had to write and tell you! I pray that any wife searching Pinterest for any reason will be inspired to defend their marriage and submit it to God!
Perhaps this could be an amazing movement! Will you be a part of it?
Just take a picture with your hands up like mine and write the same message on your palm! Upload it to Pinterest to get it circulating! Be sure to edit the link to this http://unveiledwife.com/stop-satan-this-marriage-belongs-to-god/ that way other wives will be encouraged to join the movement! Let’s encourage wives today )
My husband and I were driving home the other night, and as we passed by billboards that stood high above ground, there was one that made me nauseous. The advertisement simply read: “Fast divorce and bankruptcy… call this number!” My heart dropped from my chest from the weight of a burden I felt for the people who see that billboard on a daily basis. I am aware that there are circumstances that lead people to one or both of these routes, but I find it disgusting how our society flaunts these two options as a quick way to make your life better. The mentality adopted in this generation is clearly a self-centered one. We need to be satisfied fast and easy, whatever it takes. This is a conceited approach to life that deceives us with its temporary gratifying consumptions. The truth is that there is nothing fast about a divorce or bankruptcy, even after the processes complete, affects of such a tragedy linger. I found myself immediately praying against divorce and bankruptcy. I prayed that people would not be tempted by the sign to choose either option before exhausting their efforts to reconcile their marriage or their finances. I prayed that people would not be deceived into thinking these temporary fixes would be fast, or easy.
We have a responsibility to be good stewards of what God has given us, whether it is our spouse, our finances, our home, our children, our knowledge, or our possessions. We are accountable. Let us be a light in a dark world by finding joy in our relationships, despite their hardships, and finding freedom in finances by not accumulating debt. Let us be content in God and satisfied with the good things He has given us. Let us fight for our marriages, in faith that better days are ahead. Let us live below our means so we can give more to others in need. Let us live according to a Heavenly calling, so that when people see the difference in us compared to the world they will ask us WHY? Then, let us share the light of the gospel with them.
We have advertisements thrown at us all day, everyday; billboards line the roads, commercials steal the screen, and all kinds of ads fill up our mailboxes. Let us be reminded every time we see one of these to thank God for what we have and pray for marriages & finances!
I was just reading Matthew 1:18-25 and my heart dropped when Joseph was contemplating divorce.
“8This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.”
Joseph was faithful to the law, but he also did not want to expose his wife to public disgrace; for although they were pledged to be married they had not yet consummated the marriage. Before their union, she had conceived a child. I could not imagine the stress they must have felt wondering how to deal with this situation. Amidst the circumstances, Joseph had in mind to “divorce her quietly”… when I read this I thought about how divorce would have affected Jesus’ life. Thankfully God divinely intervened and guided Joseph in what he should do.
Marriage can bring up quite a few complicated situations where a husband or wife may contemplate divorce. My husband and I struggled for years in the intimacy department; our sex life was lacking and we were not feeling fulfilled in our marriage. At different times we both contemplated divorce, but it was a fleeting thought, as God reminded us that He brought us together for His purpose. God gave us what we needed to stay together, and over time, as we grew closer to God, we grew closer to each other.
Have you ever found yourself Contemplating Divorce?
Did you feel like God divinely intervened to guide you to stay together?