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Books, Books, and more Books!

09/23/2016 - Author: Jennifer

Pile of booksSo, I never did consider myself a reader or a real lover of books. However, as I was talking to some ladies about ideas for their next study, I found myself having opinions. Maybe I am a reader after all.

Yes, I have read some other popular ones, but if I did not like them, they are not listed. Yes, there are ones that I still need to read, but I will not recommend them unless I like them. Also, I kept it to Non-fiction only to keep the list short. So…here, in my humble opinion, is a list of suggestions for various reasons, listed in alphabetical order by title. Happy reading friends.

If you need a devotional or Bible Study:

  • 21 Days to Finding Purpose in Pain by Stacy Williams
  • Jesus Calling by Sarah Young–short and to the point. She writes it like Jesus is speaking.
  • Lord, Change My Additude Before It’s Too Late by James MacDonald–I am still reading this one with my group of ladies and it.is.good.
  • One More Step by Rachel Wojo–this can be read alone, but can also be done as a study.
  • Trust Without Borders by Arabah Joy.
  • Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst
  • What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst.
  • Wives After God(12 week group study) or Wife After God(30-day devo) by Jennifer Smith. If you are like me and a fan of the blog Unveiled Wife and have followed her story, then you will grow doing her study.
  • Women of the Bible by Jean E Syswerda. I like how this breaks it up over 5 days per woman that you study.

For the Gals

  • For The Love by Jen Hatmaker–You will laugh. You will think. She is just that good.
  • For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhehan. I found this helpful as a wife, but really, if you want help in understanding the men in your life, read this. As a side note, she has A LOT of books for various life stages that you should check out. I haven’t read all of them, but if they are like the ones I have read, then they will be helpful.
  • Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey–girl, this can make you rethink your position in church. I was raised in a legalistic way, so this was just nice.  Good stuff and I just love her and would love to meet her this side of Heaven.
  • The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst.

For the Wives

  • The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian
  • The Unveiled Wife by Jennifer Smith
  • Through A Man’s Eyes by Shaunti Feldhahan and Craig Gross (Husbands will appreciate you reading this. Can also be helpful for boymoms). I have had the privilege of hearing them speak and they know their stuff. This book is helpful about how guys think
  • To Walk or Stay by Lara Williams. Even if you have not had the trauma of an affair, this is such a good read.

For the Men

  • For Men Only by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn–ok guys. This will help you with the gals in your life.
  • Husband After God by Aaron and Jennifer Smith. I admit that I have not read this, but I like them so…….

For Couples

  • The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage by Stormie Omartian. OK, I honestly do not remember much about this book. I forgot that I had it, but I don’t believe it can hurt.
  • The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages by Shaunti Feldhahn–what do happy couples do? Some of it is hard, some you may find easy or you are already doing.

For Parents

  • How Do You Tuck In A Superhero? by Rachel Balducci. This was especially helpful for this boymom. I loved it.
  • Praying Circles Around your Children by Mark Batterson
  • The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell. This one might be helpful for child care providers or teachers as well as parents.  (A confession–I have not read the one for marriages. Maybe 1 day).

Just Because/Make you Think

  • Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker–you will think.
  • Love Does by Bob Goff
  • Radical by David Platt–good perspective
  • Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle–fun read about her parenting journey.
  • The Antelope in the Room by Melanie Shankle–then she wrote one about marriage
  • The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson–pray big people. Pray big.

Now, I am sure that there are some that I have missed, but I am only human. I could talk more about some of the books and the authors, but I don’t want to ramble.

Tell me what you think. Better yet, tell the author if you like the books and spread the word to your friends.

Be blessed 🙂

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Submission in my marriage

07/20/2016 - Author: Jennifer

Lessons for DeclanI have struggled writing this. Other bloggers have done it better. (I have linked two of my favorite bloggers at the end). I have to say that reading wiser bloggers have caused me to reevaluate what it means to be submissive, and I am grateful for them. I would love to meet them and thank them, but alas, this will have to do. Thank you Sheila and Sarah.

I don’t want to bash Matt. (He is better. We are better). I don’t know that I can fully wrap my head around submission. However, my husband Matt did write about it. I said I would. So here it goes.

What I have learned from smarter, wiser women who love God and live to serve Him:

  • Doesn’t mean he makes all decisions–compromise is to be made. In our early years of marriage, what Matt wanted, Matt got. He wouldn’t think of how it would make me feel or how his decisions or words affected US.
  • Doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion
  • He isn’t smarter than me. 
  • I am not inferior. Yes, he is better at some things than others,  but we help each other in areas that we are better, not hurt each other or put each other down. 
  • I don’t have to feel guilty and it is not a sin to have opinions and even be right and my husband be wrong. 

What we did was emotional abusive and has fractured trust. I definitely do not believe that this was showing the love of Jesus to each other and the world. I still struggle and scratch my head at what we were led to believe. Growing up, nobody talked about husbands dying, but wives submit. I am not kidding. Nobody ever talked about Ephesians 5:25-32. Why didn’t the church say that women have value or worth other than to work the nursery? My husband’s actions were encouraged. I just don’t get it. I do not want my son to ever see this. I want him to value the roles that men and women have in church and the world. I want him to respect both genders equally.

The old ways of living out our intrepretation of submission has caused dreams to be crushed and caused low self-esteem.  I am sad to say that there wasn’t anyone until recently who tried to straighten this mess out. What I mean is that there was never any teaching or preaching against what Matt was doing and how we were living our marriage. Nobody seemed to be in a big hurry to correct how we interpreted it.

Since we have gone through marriage counseling, our marriage is healthier now that we are trying to value each others opinions.

What does submission look like in our marriage now? Since we have started the rebuilding of our marriage and I have gained insight from wise women, I believe that submission means helping each other out–be a team for the better of our marriage. It is believing that wives have a voice that husbands should respect (and dare I say adore and appreciate)? It means serving God together with our own talents and gifts. It means listening. It means compromise.

My husband Matt is way better and we have a healthier partnership. I am grateful.

So can I ask you a couple of questions? What does submission look like in your marriage? Were you raised with the word submission, and if so, what were you taught? I really want to hear your thoughts.

 

Be blessed 🙂

 

In which I disagree with Candace Cameron Bure about “biblical marriage”

http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com

6 Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

The Unveiled Wife Book Review

03/02/2015 - Author: Jennifer

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If you have been around here, then you know I have had the privilege of stumbling across Jennifer’s blog Unveiled Wife. When I found it, I was looking for resources that focused on wives, not motherhood. Please do not misunderstand me–I enjoy being a mom and there are a lot of good resources out there, but as a new mom, I wanted something to help me focus on my most important relationship here on earth: my marriage. I did not want to neglect my husband like I see so many moms do, which usually leads to a decline in the marriage (or sadly, the end of the marriage). I did not want that to happen. So, when I did a search, Unveiled Wife was found and I have been following her blog since due to her honesty, vulnerability, encouragement, and how God uses her to help me be a better wife. Well, this has taken me on a journey I could not of expected! One of them is contributing some articles to Unveiled Wife in the hopes of helping other wives.

So, when I learned that she was writing a book, I wanted to help spread the word because I knew it was going to be good, especially after going through her devotional. I knew it was a story that needed to be shared. I knew that her story would help marriages just as her blog is doing. Here is what you get when you read The Unveiled Wife:

  • A love story between Aaron, Jennifer, and God who never gave up.
  • Bravery as she tells her story of the struggles she and her husband endured in the early years of their marriage.
  • Vulnerability as she opens herself up to us and admits where she needed to be “unveiled”.
  • Encouragement in the fact that you are not alone as a wife with struggles.
  • Hope because she shows you how God never left her or abandoned their marriage.

There are times that I felt like my heart was breaking for her. There are times when I cringed because I understood what she was saying. I related to how she felt lonely, isolated, ashamed, angry, frustrated, doubtful if their marriage should have happened, and questioning God, all while being a newlywed.  If we are honest, I believe that we have all walked those paths as humans, not just wives. I have questioned God’s existence, but like Jennifer experienced, He never stops pursing us.

The book is broken down into small chapters with questions at the end of each chapter. I honestly did not think that I would care about the chapters since I did not have her exact struggles, but I was wrong. Jennifer dares to ask tough questions that I challenge all wives to honestly answer. She asks what causes you to be “unveiled”? I never thought that this was an issue, but whoa….she has me thinking. The Unveiled Wife bravely tells her story of refinement and just how hard it is, but worth it. I believe that every wife, no matter how long you have been married or where you are in your marriage, can benefit. I encourage you to buy a copy of The Unveiled Wife, but until then, here is a preview–you can download the introduction and Chapter 1 for free!!!!!! Also, check back here soon because I will be hosting a giveaway of The Unveiled Wife. I hope you will stop by.

Be blessed 🙂

2 Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

Prayed for Future Husband, Praying for Now Husband

01/12/2015 - Author: Jennifer

Screenshot 2015-01-12 22.57.09Ladies, I know I am not alone. We are told from a young age to pray for your future husbands. We are told to make a list and tell God (basically recite it). Now, I am not saying to not tell God what you think you want. I did it. It sounded so spiritual and Scriptural (Psalm 37:4 anyone)? This was easy for me. (I don’t remember praying for my role as a wife very often, oddly enough). Now that I have been married for a dozen years, I have been humbled by a real lesson:

Pray for future husband=easy. Praying for the man I married and for my marriage=hard.

Not that I have never prayed for my husband or marriage–I have intermittently. They have ranged from blissful lovey-dovey (thank you God for my marriage), asking for God’s favor (please bless this marriage), to desperate (God save my marriage!).

I have asked God a couple of questions when I have prayed:

  • God who is THIS man?
  • Why did THIS happen?
  • Why did I marry him? (I will say that I feel the advice to remember why you got married in the 1st place feels ill-advised when I am going thru a hard season. People change and if he isn’t the same man anymore, I need a new reason).
  • WHO am I? I don’t remember anymore.

I have also been bossy and told God what to do (He is God. He can handle my bossiness):

  • Since You allowed this to happen, help me!
  • My husband does not meet my list/needs/wants that I prayed for or meets my expectations. Open his eyes.
  • He doesn’t get me anymore. Please tell him what I need since me talking is not working.

Why is it hard to pray for my husband? Why do I not devote sometime EVERYDAY to praying for someone that I made a covenant with and promised to forsake everyone else? I have a list of excuses:

  • Facing an unknown diagnosis/future for our son
  • Selfishness
  • Pride
  • Feeling defeated
  • Doubt
  • Life gets in the way. (Social commitments, church, family, etc.).
  • Health issues
  • Family issues (mine and his).

In all fairness, I do also fail to to consistently pray for me. I am a work in progress. I have no excuses.

I type this for a couple of reasons.

  1. I want to be honest and say that praying for my marriage is something I struggle with and I hope that I am not alone.
  2. Go ahead and tell God what you want, but you might be surprised. I married a man completely opposite of what I thought I wanted and honestly needed. Yes, I know saying needed will offend people, but I am just trying to live and learn where He leads and marriage is one of the ways He is refining me. I am trying to go with it.
  3. I can not give up! I can’t give up on this marriage when I don’t get my way or when times are hard.
  4. The Bible says to not stop praying. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Wives are you with me? Let’s commit not making any more excuses and be consistent in praying for the most important relationship here on earth?

Be blessed 🙂

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Reconciliation is not a Choice

07/20/2013 - Author: Jennifer

Reconciliation

I can hold a grudge. I mean, I am really good at taking my husband on a guilt trip. When I do this, I am not being obedient to the God I serve because forgiveness and reconciliation are not choices. They are commands.

Ephesians 4:32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. 

Mt 5:23-24 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. 

Instead of holding a grudge or holding on to hurt, I can take the first step in reconciliation. When I am in the wrong, I need to apologize. I must choose humility. If my husband has wronged me in any way, I need to choose to forgive. To take this a step further, choose to forgive before the apology. 

No, I can’t do this on my own. I am way too human for that. Sometimes, it is easier to forgive and move on, and other times it seems harder or more work. God didn’t give anyone an exception when it comes to forgiveness or reconciliation, so He has to help me, right? Something that might help is to remember that husbands, just like wives, are God’s children. Try to see your husband as God sees us~~ we are all sinners in need of grace.

I need to remember that the end result NEEDS to be resolution and reconciliation, NOT restitution or resentment. With God’s help and grace, it HAS happened and it WILL happen.

Be blessed:)

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The Aftereffects of Looking

06/25/2013 - Author: Jennifer

I have wrote about when my husband looked at images online and lied about it. I have been told to give him slack.

Let me say–I hear you. I really do. It wasn’t a physical affair, so it wasn’t cheating. Well, I disagree. But that is not what I want to talk about. What happens after the confession? What happens after he says he isn’t looking anymore? What happened to me? What happened in our marriage?

  • I have trust issues. I didn’t before this, but I do now. I wonder if Matt is lying about anything else. I doubt what a lot of people say in the form of a compliment. I can’t help but wonder if they are being genuine?
  • I don’t feel good enough. He can tell me many times how I am gorgeous and the only girl for him, but it is hard for me to believe him.
  • I still struggle with hurt. It creeps in from time to time.
  • I dread the conversations that my son will have to have with his dad. I honestly believe that parents need to be honest with struggles when talking to their kids, but I was always hoping that my husband would have been an overcomer by never giving into temptation. However, it happened, maybe that will make him more accessible to our son when they talk about it.
  • I wonder if there are other men that I never think would ever do this–did they?  Are they lying to their wives?
  • I really don’t want to pursue my husband intimately. I wonder if he is thinking about someone else. I know I am not those girls. The girls he looked at and we see are not real for that matter. I don’t get to airbrush the parts of me that I don’t like. The point is–I wonder if he likes what he has or wishes he had what he now has put in his mind.

So you see, the pain has not gone away. The aftereffects are still here. I don’t know if they will honestly. I don’t know if I can trust anyone again completely, even if that person has never given me a reason not to trust them. I am sorry if that causes my friends hurt. This has caused a cycle of hurt, pain, confusion, and doubt that I feel like will take the rest of my marriage to overcome. Unfortunately, I am having trouble believing that the best is yet to come. Is that my fault? Yes, a small part. Me not wanting to trust again.and again.and again. I don’t ever want to be vulnerable again, and that includes friendships, but I know I must. Maybe I will get there.

Be blessed:)

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