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Letter to Declan

08/26/2012 - Author: Jennifer

From the beginning, my husband Matt has been a great dad. He did what he could to help me with my pregnancy and post-partum and we are now on this journey of parenthood together. There is NOBODY else on earth I could do this with, so I wanted to tell my son just a little bit of why his dad is the best.
Dear Declan,
I wanted to take a moment and talk to you about your dad. I know you are only 2, but you already know that he is the best daddy EVER! He is the best storyteller and gives you a lot of attention after working hard all day.  What you may not remember was when mommy was in the hospital and they tried to stop you from being born too soon, daddy stayed every night at the hospital with us, took care of stuff at home, went to work, and back to us again until I went home. He has, and still, works hard to take care of us. We came to visit you everyday in the NICU–he HAD to at least see you everyday(and do did I). Your daddy was and is so proud of you! He couldn’t help himself–he told the man working at the bagel store he had a son a day after you were born!
Your daddy also took care of the middle of the night feedings so mommy could sleep, even though he had to go to work the next day. (He still helps you in the middle of the night when you are cold or need anything). Your daddy is the most patient person I know and I am hoping that you will one day soon inherit this trait of his.  I know there will be days in your future when you disagree with him, but he will always be a champion for you—with prayer and whatever else he can do for you–he will always love you!
Another great trait of your daddy’s—he loves me, your mommy, so much! He does whatever he can to make my life easier. Learn from him Declan because he is a great role model.
There are so many other things I could list, but I will stop here since you are 2 and have such a short attention span:)
Declan, I hope that you will soon one day understand  how fortunate we are to have him in our lives.
God has blessed us by allowing us to have him be a blessing in ours.

Why I Love My Husband

12 Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

Join #FiveMinuteFriday

08/24/2012 - Author: Jennifer

Ok–5minute Friday–here we go.
I love meeting new people, trying new things, and facing (some) fears.
I have been struggling with loneliness since moving back here. Not a lot of friends and no connections.
Maybe that has happened for a reason. If I had a busy social life, I would not have followed bloggers and started one myself. It is intimidating joining something that is so out of my comfort zone and who does it so much better, but it led me to a couple of new groups that I will be joining next month. MOPS and a Bible study open to the community! Praise God! I am hoping to make friends and hopefully cure loneliness. Stepping out of my comfort zone and joining a community of talented writers and hoping to learn something from them. Stepping out in faith that God will allow me to be a blessing to others!

Five Minute Friday

14 Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

Blatant Disobedience

08/17/2012 - Author: Jennifer

When I became a mother, my eyes were opened to one of my shortcomings–disobedience.
My son is now 2 years old, but he got an early start on testing his limits. I kept asking the question–why is he blatantly disobeying?  I had a light bulb moment and the question came to me–why do I blatantly disobey? I know right from wrong. I know that snapping at my husband or losing my temper is wrong, but I do it anyway.  I know that I should help others where I can, but I use my time and my money for myself. Why? Here is my list of excuses:
  • Stress–when life gets piled up and feels out of control, it feels overwhelming. I hate when I have no control over situations and I get short-tempered.
  • Mad that I don’t get my way–a.k.a pouting. Pouting usually leads to me doing things my way, or trying to. All I end up with is a bigger mess to and needing forgiveness.
  • Frustrated at situation–I blame God when I don’t like something. He can control it to make it easier, but doesn’t. I take it out on my husband instead of waiting to see what God has in store.
Whatever the excuse, it never helps. It takes me further from God which leads to loneliness.
Good news–I am not alone! According to Paul in Romans 7:14-25, he struggled with purposely sinning. Paul then goes on to talk about being freed from sin’s power by The Holy Spirit (Romans 8:2).
As I am trying to teach my son to obey, God is teaching me. 
I would love to hear how you combat blatant disobedience in your life.

9 Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

Have you taken your spouse on a guilt trip?

08/02/2012 - Author: Jennifer

Why do we take people we are supposed to love on guilt trips?

  • To get what we want—manipulation.
  • To deflect sin off of us–we feel guilty and don’t like the feeling. Gets the attention off of us.
  • Low self-esteem—I want to feel better about myself. This happens when I can’t forgive myself. Satan has a hold and I have a hard time letting go of past sins.
  • Jealousy–When things are going well for people, why can’t we be happy for them? I want what they have. I judge them. (Someone else must have paid for that, they get handouts, free babysitting so they can go out and have better marriage, etc.) Making excuses for someone else’s happiness and trying to make them feel bad, is NOT the way to build a marriage or friendship.

I talked about manipulation in my previous post, and guilt trips are a form of manipulation.

The worst way to take your spouse on a guilt trip is by bringing up the past. I am good at this. As a wife and a mother. I am  good about NOT bringing up MY past, but my husband has been a victim of me making him feel bad. This is a form of manipulation because it helps me get what I want.
I take my husband on a guilt trip ride because I feel guilty about something myself. I try to get the attention off of me.

Guilt trips are in no way good. They ruin relationships. They weaken bonds that are formed and they do not build trust. They also instill fear into marriages. There is no safe place and no grace when you bring up past offenses and cause a guilt trip. As wives and mothers, we need to provide a safe place to go where there is grace and forgiveness. I am not saying things may not leave scars, but baggage needs to be dropped off, never to return.

We have to offer forgiveness and if you keep bring up past offenses/taking someone on a guilt trip, I don’t believe that is forgiveness. Not to be confused with scarring.
Forgiveness is talked about A LOT in scripture — Mt 6:14-15, Mark 11:25, Eph 4:32 just to name a few. I believe harboring unforgiveness and bringing it up hinders prayer time. This can lead to frustration, anger, and discouragement.
So what do we do?
If you have a hard time with guilt trips, pray for God to take away bitterness or other issues that cause you to bring up the past.

Let it go! We need to live with joy! There is no lasting joy with guilt trips. Life is too long and life is too short to live with baggage and guilt trips. I want to be happy! What about you?
Be blessed 🙂

5 Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

Have you ever manipulated your husband to get what you want?

08/01/2012 - Author: Jennifer

I think that as wives we set the tone for our house. It is amazing to me the mood in my home when I am in a good mood. Everyone is happy! If I have a bad day, everyone is affected.

So it should not come as a surprise to me that I can manipulate my husband to get what I want. We all know the phrase: Happy Wife, Happy Life. This can be a power trip.  Sometimes I knew what I was doing, and sometimes not. defines manipulate as “to manage or influence skillfully, especially in an unfair manner”. OUCH! That is not what I want to be known for.

Manipulation is selfish and the Bible talks about being selfish. Examples:
James 3:15 “For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic”, Galatians 5:19-21, Philippians 2:3-5.  Manipulation goes against how God wants us to live. 

What are ways to manipulate?

  • One way is making promises you have no intention of keeping. Small example–If you make dinner tonight, I will do it tomorrow. Tomorrow comes, and you go out. Big example– If we have a child, I will raise it. You will not have to help in anyway.  James 5:12 talks about keeping promises. 
  • A second way to manipulate is to withhold something. Classic example–withholding sex. We as wives really have some power here, and this is where we sometimes like to use it.  Of course, there is Scripture reference to that in 1Corinthians 7:5 “Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer…”
  • Another way to manipulate is a guilt trip. I should have seen this one coming. I believe that most of us have been on the receiving end and have witnessed someone else being taken for a guilt trip. This is not healthy for a marriage, or any relationship — we are told to forgive and not hold a grudge, but guilt trips do neither of those things. I know that I have to be careful as a wife and mother.  Guilt trips are a form of manipulation because they help get us what we want in the wrong way. 
If I manipulate my husband to get what I want, then why do I feel bad in the end? Why am I constantly worried that he is happy? Why would I care? The answer–conviction. I have had The Holy Spirit inside me,  to convict me,  since I accepted Christ as my Savior at the age of 12. I am so grateful for conviction. I am grateful for a husband who still loves me in spite of my selfishness. 

What other forms of manipulation can you think of? I hope to see some comments so we can encourage and challenge each other to be more of what God wants us to be.

I hope that I can become less selfish and go on less power and guilt trips. 
Be blessed 🙂

11 Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

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