Welcome back for week 4 of the Meaningful Messy Marriage devotional!  Last week we learned the extreme importance of both husband and wife fulfilling their biblical roles and the catastrophic effects it can have if they don't.  
Both Adam and Eve neglected their God given roles as husband and wife.  Eve, by making major decisions without the support and input from her husband and Adam by failing to protect and look after his wife's well being.  He was off in La La land while Eve was proceeding to make life altering, destructive decisions, that ultimately destroyed the beautiful life God intended for them to have.

Eve fell for Satan's evil scheme, hook, line and sinker. Rather than Adam telling her what she had done wrong and leading her back down the right path, he joins her in her sin.  Now... the damage has been done and God knows this.  We are now going to find out what happens when God approaches Adam and Eve regarding their disobedience.  

Prior to Adam and Eve sinning, they were roaming around the Garden naked and had no issue with this.  They had no idea that there was any other normal but to be naked and unashamed.  Nakedness was normal and comfortable for them.   

When Satan approached Eve in order to tempt her, he told her that if she were to eat from the forbidden tree they would have the power to know good and evil as God does. As soon as Adam and Eve took a bite from the forbidden fruit, their eyes WERE opened but not in a good way.  

That one act of disobedience caused them to go from a sinless world of innocence and purity, where all they saw was God's beauty in creation, to vividly seeing and feeling sin and evil.  It would be as big of a leap as a blind person, suddenly being able to see.... and the very first thing they could see when the blindness was taken..... was murder or brutality.  Evil was their first vision. 

Adam and Eve could feel and see immediately that something was very different and it was not good.  Being naked and pure was no longer normal or pure.... they felt a need to hide themselves and cover their bodies. They had never once felt shame or guilt due to living in God's sinless paradise BUT NOW... they knew what shame felt like and they immediately felt a need to hide their bodies, even from one another.  

So, you can conclude from this, that God's perfect design was for a husband and wife to be completely naked and unashamed in one another's presence, but when sin entered the world, even Adam and Eve, husband and wife and the only two humans on earth became ashamed of their nakedness in front of one another.  If this is a struggle in your marriage, you can link it back to the very first sin committed.  

This is an issue that God did not desire in marriage.  He longed for husbands and wives to embrace and accept one another completely stripped physically and mentally.  Sin caused shame.  And shame has caused a desire to hide who we are.  This is not God's desire.  This is Satan's evil scheme..... still being carried out.  

Our next question was what Adam and Eve's first response was when they heard God coming.  What was their first response?  They ran and hid!  

YES, after they covered and hid their bodies from one another, they then ran and hid from God, possibly believing the deception of Satan that God is an unfair and unloving God that did not want the best for them.  

Adam and Eve knew they had made a terrible mistake but rather than running to God, their loving Father, in repentance and asking for forgiveness, they ran and hid form Him, trying to avoid accountability.

Does this sound at all familiar in your marriage?  When you sin or transgress against your spouse, do you try to run and evade accountability OR do you run to them with an open heart in repentance asking for forgiveness?

We will get back to this.... but ponder that for a moment because it is a VERY important question!

Now, when God finally found Adam and confronted him asking him if he had eaten from the forbidden tree, what was Adam's response?
Did Adam own it and take accountability?  NOPE!  He did not.  He immediately attempted to shift blame onto Eve, stating, "THAT woman you gave to me, gave me the fruit!"  Adam not only tried to throw his wife under the bus by placing the blame on her, he did not even refer to her with love or a term of endearment, he called her THAT woman.  Adam did not run to God feeling convicted for not protecting his wife, his only concern was himself.  This is a heart braking part of the story that unfortunately,, too many couples can relate to.  

While it is true, that not every negative happening in a marriage can be pinned on the husband as women surely sin too, in the words of a great and well known Pastor, Mark Driscoll....

"Men, it may not be your fault, BUT, it is our responsibility." 

Yes, Eve ate the fruit first, BUT, Adam is STILL responsible for Eve and failed to protect her in every sense of the word.  

Now, when God confronted Eve regarding her part in the sin, what did she do?  Did she own it and take accountability?

NOPE!  She didn't either!  Her first course of action was to pin it on the serpent.  While it is true that the serpent was very crafty and manipulated Eve by twisting God's words and blatantly lying to her, ultimately, Eve CHOSE to go against God's commands and sin.  She could have squashed that serpent with a rock but she didn't.  She allowed temptation to overtake her and she took a bite of that darn fruit!  

Did God fall for any of their nonsense?  NOPE!  He didn't!  God was very much aware of what happened and there would be painful consequences to come from their disobedience.  
How does this play out in our marriages?  How can we apply this to marriage?  I think very easily.  Complete 100% openness and honesty is imperative for any marriage to flourish.  Taking accountability for our wrongs, asking for forgiveness and placing our trust in God to keep us from further temptation is an integral part of a successful marriage!

Sins and transgressions kept in the dark......will destroy your marriage....One.Dark.Secret....at a time.

Adam and Eve lacked INTEGRITY!  Integrity.... is doing the right thing... even when no one is watching!  Integrity makes you a trustworthy person.  In my book if you lack integrity, it is IMPOSSIBLE to eve have real and meaningful relationships.  You can't be trusted.... you are not a "safe" place for people to put their trust and faith.  It is difficult to even know WHO you are.... as your character is based on deceit.

Learning to be open with God first and then your spouse, lays a foundations for an unshakable union.  Your spouse needs to be your safest haven on earth, this cannot happen when there is a lack of accountability.

We can learn much from Adam and Eve's mistakes and we can glean what God truly intended.  I pray your marriage is touched in a beautiful way.  I pray you live a life of integrity.  I pray you understand failing and sinning is a part of life, but hiding from these failures and choosing deceit does not have to be.  Ultimately.... hiding from sin.... will not only kill relationships.... it will kill your character. 

Today.... if there is a sin you need to bring to light and repent to God and possibly your spouse for.... do so.  Don't focus on the possible outcomes from being honest.... focus on the eventual blessings. 

Peace and Blessings
Your Friends
Missy and Garrick

Meaningful, Messy Marriage
❤Moments ❤

(Learning to Let God Lead….. One Day at a Time)
-A Woman Redeemed
Welcome to week 4 my friends!!!  This week you are going to continue to read in the book of Genesis.  We just learned how it came about that Adam and Eve chose to sin and how Eve negated her job of being Adam's helper and allowing him to lead and how Adam neglected to protect and cherish Eve, even if Eve did not know she needed protecting.  We saw the destruction that takes place when a man and woman choose to neglect their God given roles and do their own thing.  It is often catastrophic.  

This week we are going to continue in the book of Genesis.  We are going to read Genesis chapter 3:7-13.  Now that Adam and Eve have sinned we are now going to find out what happens when God approaches them and convicts them of their sin.  

Do they take accountability?  Do they repent?  Do they ask God for forgiveness?  How do they handle the conviction?

Let us find out.......

After reading the scripture.... answer the following questions....

1. Do you see any significance in Adam and Eve becoming aware they were naked and desiring to cover themselves? 

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

2. When Adam and Eve heard God coming, what was their first reaction?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

3. When God confronted Adam about eating from the forbidden tree, what was Adam's first response and why is this significant?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

4. What was Eve's response when she was confronted regarding her sin?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

5.  How does this relate to marriage today?  Do you see any correlations? 

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

6. How can you apply this to your own marriage in order to strengthen it?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

Pray together, that God would continue to speak to you through these scriptures!!

Peace and Blessings
Your Friends
Missy and Garrick 
There stands two 18 year old kids.  Did we think we were "kids?" No...we thought we knew it all... or almost all anyway. 

A boy searching for contentment through drugs and addiction and a lost girl searching for control and security through starving her body.  

What God would  choose do with these two young kids..... we had no clue.  A topsy, turvy relationship to say the least.  There were points in which my mom did not even allow Garrick in our home because of all the times he broke my heart.  (FYI... SHE LOVES HIM TO DEATH NOW!)

I can say, with complete honesty and 100% truthfulness, my wedding day was the happiest day of my life!!  I know.... it may sound terrible to some.... as most would say the day they gave birth to their children, an how I love my children indeed, however, my wedding day, the day God finally gave me this man to love forever, was hands down the happiest day of my life.  

I never really thought the day would come and when it did, the feeling of completeness I felt was intense to say the least.  I cannot put into words the love I shared with Garrick.  As I have mentioned in previous posts..... for many, many years, there was no reason for me to feel the way I did about him.... in spite of many broken hearts... I could never shake these feelings!

I have been his wife for 16 years today.  On a cold, breezy October day, we became one in a beautiful, old catholic church in Clinton, Iowa.  

God answered a six year long prayer that day.  

"My beloved is mine and I am his." Song of Solomon 2:16
Here we are 16 years later and even as I repeated those vows.... "for better or for worse, for sickness and in health" on our wedding day..... you could never have prepared me for what God would allow to test our marriage. 

What I have learned over the last 16 years is this.....

*If you can't forgive.... your marriage will slowly die.

*If you choose to place conditions on your love..... Satan will make sure... those conditions surely come!

* Though there may be a lucky few, for most of us, the sickness, the worse and the poorer will come..... enjoy and cherish the health, the better and the richer.

*You will fall in and out of love a million times throughout your marriage...... so HANG on... and wait for the love to return.... it always does.

. *You can plan and arrange all you want how you believe your marriage and life should go.... But God's plan trumps yours.... EVERY. TIME!

*It is an ABSOLUTE MUST that you get away as a couple as much as possible!  When you were first married... it was just you and your spouse and one day... it will be just you and your spouse again..... and you don't want to find... you are living with a stranger.

*Without 100% honesty in a marriage..... trust dies..... and where trust dies..... a marriage cannot flourish.  Where deceit is present..... so is Satan.... and his entire goal is DESTRUCTION.  

*My husband and I are ONE.  When I begin feeling that tugging at our flesh to separate.... it needs to be addressed IMMEDIATELY!  Give Satan an inch.... he WILL take a mile OR more!

*Laugh as much as possible with your spouse!  Laughing together.... and sharing joy..... is a huge bonding agent!

*Though sometimes we need to seek counsel in order to get through a hard time..... NEVER, EVER base your marital decisions and anyone or anything except God!  You will get many opinions and some unsolicited..... your job is to please the Lord.... no one else.

*Hold hands, snuggle and touch each other.  I heard a story of a couple that was seeking marital counseling.  They were ready for divorce but gave it one last ditch effort. The counselor had ONE stipulation.  They had to hold hands from his office back to their car after every session.  He knew... that two were made one and when their flesh touches.... something begins to happen in their hearts.  At first you may want to pull away.... but I can tell you... the times I am most angry with my spouse... are the times I also feel the greatest need to hold him.  God did that for a reason... He wants to prevent the tearing of our flesh!

Marriage is both beautifully satisfying and painfully challenging!  You WILL experience both.  Count on it. Because of Adam and Eve sinning.... struggles with surely come.  

I honestly don't believe Garrick and I could have made it without God as our foundation and guide. During these last few years... Satan has taken me from deep love to deep rage back to deep love and then back to rage.  I had one foot out the door on more than one occasion.  But God never let me forget the love I have for Garrick and how underneath all the pain and hurt... it still lives and breathes!!

God's love is a covering for your marriage.  If you don't give up on God.... He will never give up on your marriage!!  

I love you Garrick!  I have no idea what God may will in our marriage for the next years.... but I am sure of this..... His faithfulness.... is our fuel for fighting.  May we never quit fighting... the good fight my love!!

Your... flesh and bone.....
Your wife....
Hello Friends!!  If you are here... I AM SO GLAD!  This week's reading is the core reason we see the struggles we see in marriage today.  God had a perfect design when he created the first marital union.  Satan slithered his sly and sleazy body into the mix, Eve and Adam fell for the temptation and from that point on, there was no longer an effortless peace that existed between husband and wife! It was now going to take WORK to make it work!

Take a moment to get your heart right with God after you curse finish cursing Adam and Eve in your mind!! LOL 

So, let us dig into the scripture shall we?

As I am sure most everyone knew or has 
gathered thus far, the serpent was Satan in disguise.  Adam and Eve were made perfectly in God's image.  They knew no evil and had absolutely no sin in their hearts.  Satan in his craftiness came slithering under Eve's nose with the sole purpose of pushing her to sin against God.  Satan knew the outcome.  Satan desired a dark and destructive outcome, however, Eve could not see this with the naked eye.  

Satan had a sly and sneaky tactic to get Eve to sin against God.  The Serpents first step in getting Eve to turn from God was placing the slightest bit of doubt in her mind regarding God's directives by getting her to question what God told her.  "Did God actually say, you shall not eat of any tree in the garden?"  His first goal was to get her to start questioning God.  

After he succeeded in getting Eve to question what God really said, his next tactic was to get her to believe that God was unfair in telling her that she and Adam could not eat from that tree.  Even though God gave them the ENTIRE garden with every other tree to eat from, Satan convinced Eve that was not enough.  So he placed discontentment in her heart.  

Satan also caused Eve to lose her fear and reverence for God as he made her question his directives.  God was adiment that Adam and Eve were not to eat from that one tree.  He told them that they would DIE.  But Satan convinces Eve that God was lying to them and that the only reason God did not want them to eat from that tree was they would then have the same knowledge as God, knowing both good and evil.  Satan had Eve convinced that God was wanting to withhold good things from them and that he was too strict and unloving. She began to question God's goodness.  

Eve then began looking at the ONE tree she was not able to eat from and covet that tree. She had access to EVERY OTHER TREE in the Garden but NO, she wanted that ONE tree, that she was forbidden to have.  Her eyes became lustful and she began being more drawn to the tree by its outward beauty and visual appeal.  Vanity became an issue even with a fruit tree.  

As you can clearly see from this scripture... doubt, discontentment, twisting God's word and coveting all come from Satan.  NOT God.  When these feelings begin creeping up in your heart... it is IMPERATIVE that you squash them immediately... as if you don't the outcome is sure to be negative even catastrophic. 

Why did the Serpent approach Eve rather than Adam?  Hmmmmmmm!!!  This gets deep into God's Biblical design and roles for men and women.  God created men/ husbands to be the head of the wife, the protector the provider.  Satan knew this.  God created woman/ wife to be the helper to her husband, the caretaker, but God was also aware that the woman was the weaker vessel when it came to handling major issues and standing against the fiery darts of temptation.  Satan knew this also.  Women can be very swayed be emotions as well, where as men have an easier time focusing and leaving emotion out of decision making and making decisions based on logic and reason rather than emotion. 

Eve's part in the fall came from her lack of obedience to God's commands and her lack of respect for her husband, Adam.  Adam and Eve were both given the command from God not to eat from that one tree, Eve should have never made such as life altering decision without first consulting her husband.  Eve displaced her role as Adam's helper and chose to usurp his authority and make a rash decision on her own.  
Adam's role was blatant lack or protection and provision for his wife.  It is easy to read this scripture and blame it all on Eve as she was the one tempted and that fell pray to Satan's schemes, however, Adam's job was to protect her from that very thing!  

Adam should have been focused on caring for and protecting his wife.  He needed to be on guard as much as humanly possible and prepared to protect her from any danger that may approach her.  Not only did he neglect to do that, he went along with her in her disobedience to God!  He took the fruit from her hand and ate it as well, rather than taking it and throwing to the ground and telling her no.  

Would the outcome have been different had Adam not chosen to join her in sin?  I guess we will never know, but there is a good chance God may have blessed his obedience, even though Eve had chosen sin.  

Our world has so distorted this God's perfect and beautiful plan.  Feminism killed chivalry.  Women sent out a message that they don't NEED men.  They don't NEED protection.  They can do it ALL on their own.  And yes, if women are forced to do it on their own, God will equip them to do so. however, that was never God's plan.  Men were to be the strong and stable pillars women needed.  

I firmly believe, though this may not be ALL women, that a vast majority of women desire that protection and strength from their husband's.  Women are looking for their earthly hero in their husband.  That may sound like a huge undertaking for the man, BUT, God does not give us a job, He will not equip us to do if we come to Him.  

This is more than likely why men were called to be the spiritual leaders as well.  In order for him to fulfill his biblical role and take on such a difficult task, he would need CONSTANT communion with God in order to receive the strength and wisdom he would need to take on such a task!  If a man neglects God... his wife and family will pay the price.... without a doubt.  

Women have become obstinate to their role of helper to their husband.  A wife's job is to enhance her husbands life, not make it more difficult.  With this new found independence women found in the feminist movement, came a lack of respect and reverence for men.  And there is a very good chance that this also played a huge part in the break down of men's ability and desire to protect and care for their wives.  Women began fighting against the very thing that God designed to bring peace into their marriage.  

Garrick and I have lived our marriage in both realms.  We have had seasons when both of us were fulfilling our biblical roles and the peace and beauty we found there has been unmatched.  

We have also had seasons, very long and painful ones mind you, that we were not fulfilling these roles.  When we left our God given roles as husband and wife to seek after other gods or fall prey to temptation we lost something very beautiful and precious along the way.  It was disastrous to say the least.  

When Garrick fell prey to his addiction... it left me feeling scared, insecure and lonely and with those emotions came negative responses toward him. 

We were meant to be one flesh, we ARE one flesh and when we dropped our roles, I truly believe the pain we felt was the tearing at our flesh to try and separate the ONE flesh back into two.  That constant tugging comes with excruciating pain.  

I pray that these words have spoken to your heart and you are now able to see what God intended for marriage.  

It can be so incredibly beautiful and fulfilling, I promise!!  BUT, God must be the core. Without Him, Satan is in control and the outcome will never be good.  

I pray for all married couples today as well as though preparing to enter marriage.  I pray for BEAUTY, PEACE, and LOVE. 

Men... fall on your knees..... seek God.... protect your wife. Honor her.  Love her.  And as you do this... watch in amazement as the beautiful rose God gave you on your wedding day... blossoms into the most vibrant and stunning flower you have ever laid your eyes on.  

Women.... fall on your knees.... seek God.... respect your husband..... help him... don't hinder him.  And watch God use the love and respect He shows through you..... build your husband up.... to the hero... your heart longs for.  

Peace and Blessings
Your Friends
Missy and Garrick
Meaningful, Messy Marriage
❤Moments ❤
(Learning to Let God Lead….. One Day at a Time)
-A Woman Redeemed
This week, we are going to do something a little different.  Rather than zeroing in on one or two scriptures, we are going to read a chunk of scripture and encourage you to discuss it for the next few weeks.

 We are going to read Genesis chapter 3:1-6.  This chapter has great significance, as this is when the fall of man occurred when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God. This is when marriage went from beautifully perfect, to difficult. In order to do this devotion, you really need to read the entire chapter. If you don't have a Bible handy, you can look it up on line as well!

After you have read the chunk of scripture for this week.... answer these questions together. 

1. Who was the serpent and how did he tempt Eve to sin against God?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

2. Do you find significance that the serpent approached and tempted Eve first, rather than Adam?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

3. "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate and she also gave some to her husband who was with her and he ate." Genesis 3:6  What stands out to you the most in this scripture? What was Eve's role in the fall? What was Adam's role in the fall?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

4. How can you apply these scriptures to you marriage in a positive way?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

Pray together that God would continue to speak to you through these scriptures!!

Peace and Blessings
Your Friends
Missy and Garrick

Garrick and I had the blessing of going away for our anniversary over the weekend!  We chose a quiet, adorable Bed and Breakfast in the Amana Colonies!  Our anniversary is not until October 28th, but we took off a little early!  I guess you could say... we REALLY needed it.  

Of course Satan had to wiggle his big ugly nose into our plans, as Garrick wound up very sick last week.  As hopeful as I tried to stay I really began doubting that he was going to be well enough to go and of course, I through myself a big pity party for one night!  

BUT... God is so faithful and Garrick began feeling better Thursday and by Friday afternoon he felt well enough to go, knowing our weekend would be relaxing!

We have truly come to realize how significant celebrating another year of marriage is.... after the journey we have taken.  It's a smack to Satan's face and I love that feeling!!! 

We spent Saturday evening in our cozy room and worked on our devotional!  Once again... God revealed amazing things to us through scriptures we have read a dozen times, at least!  I pray you have had a wonderful experience doing your devotions together! Here is what Garrick and I learned...

"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and not ashamed." Genesis 2:24-25

There is so much more than meets the eye with this scripture.  It clearly states how a man is to leave his father and mother and HOLD FAST to his wife.  Other versions of the Bible may say, cleave onto his wife.  Either version means basically the same thing and that is a man will leave his parents and STICK to his wife. Stick means exactly what you would think stick to mean.... he and his wife are now bonded together and shall not be pulled apart.  

Not with some old Elmers school glue.... no, no, no.... BUT with GORILLA, CEMENTED, SUPER GLUE! There is no breaking this bond. If you try... much damage will be done 

Often times, especially in new marriages, things can get hairy with in laws.  Sometimes the spouse may struggle with letting go of the need to please and listen to their parents, versus their spouse. But God is very clear that a man is to LEAVE his parents and is now stuck to his wife.  Obviously, if the wife is doing something hurtful or sinful, he does not have to support or condone that, however, his wife needs and desires are to come before his parents, hands down.  

A man shall also be willing and able to support his wife and have her back if she ever finds herself in the thralls of conflict with the husband's parents.  Once again, not if the wife is choosing sinful behavior, but he should always be willing to protect her and be an encouragement and a strong leader.  

The husband and wife are now a team.  There is no me or you.... it is ..... us.  You hurt her.... you are hurting him and vise versa.  
The next part was quite a surprise to me!!  I have though forever that "the two become one flesh," was referring to consummating the marriage through sexual union, BUT, that is not the case!!!

What God was referring to here is..... exactly as  mentioned above, they are no longer he/she they are we or us!  

Garrick looked deep into this meaning and found that God is stating that the man and wife are now, literally ONE person.  Though they don't share DNA it is almost as if they do.  God's great intention behind this is there is not literal way for this man and woman to be torn apart.  Even if one of the spouses chooses to leave or divorce, just as you cannot choose not to be blood related to a relative that you may not like, you can never be truly separated from your spouse. There is an unbreakable connection there. 

In God's eyes, when you took those vows, you literally became ONE flesh.  

Garrick drew an amazing parallel to this.  He said, imagine you take a blanket and tear it in two, even if you tried to sew it back together, you would always see the stitch from the damage done.  And if you did not sew it back together, each piece would always be missing the other.  

God never, ever intended for a man and a wife to be torn apart by anything or anybody.  

"What God has joined together, let no man separate." Mark 10:9

In order for this to work the way God intended, both husband and wife have to have a commitment to persevere, no matter what!  That can be very hard when pain, hurt or distrust enter the marriage.  

During our challenging season, no matter how desperately difficult things got, Garrick refused to give up on our marriage. I had the thoughts, and at times the desires to walk away. My desire never came from a lack of love for Garrick, that was ALWAYS buried deep inside, it came from pure exhaustion from the battle and a weary heart that saw no end in site.  

Exhaustion lead to diminished faith....... which lead to devastating thoughts.... which would have lead to catastrophic damage. 

I am grateful and thankful beyond belief for God's intervention in my heart and His ability to renew even the weariest of spirits.... if you just give Him time. 

The last part of this scripture talks about Adam and Eve being naked and not ashamed.  There is quite a bit of significance in this as well.  

In the Garden of Eden, God designed perfection on every level.  There was absolutely no concept of sin or shame and there was a beautiful sense of purity and innocence.  

Just as my two year old feels completely comfortable running through the house buck naked without a care in the world, so were Adam and Eve.  Audree has no concept that her nakedness is to be hidden, she has no shame of her body and feels she has nothing to hide!  All of sudden this will change.  I recall when each of my children suddenly hit an age when they no longer wanted me to help them bathe and they wanted to the door closed and sometimes locked.  They knew their nakedness needed to be hidden.  

When sin entered the world, Adam and Eve became fully aware of good and evil.  Their eyes were opened to the ugliness of the world and immediately, they felt ashamed of their bodies and ran for covering.  

God never intended for a husband and wife to be ashamed of their naked body in front of their spouse.  After all, if you refer to the scripture we just discussed, they are now ONE body, they are to love the other's body... as their own.  

Though, due to sin entering the world, we are to be fully covered when around other individuals, this is not the case for a married couple.  God desires for you to give your body over to your spouse and vise versa. Of course, not be abused or treated negatively, but to be cherished and loved.  

The beautiful plan that God intended for married couples.. can and does still exist.  God desires for each spouse to treasure and care for the other's body.... to protect it... nurture it and never be ashamed of baring it to the other.  

If you have ever given your spouse a reason to feel ashamed of his/her body..... please stop doing so.  This will have devastating effects on both your spouse and your marriage as a whole.  
There should be no safer and comforting place on earth for a person to bare their body but to their spouse.  The one God gave them... to be loved, cherished and protected by.  

Compare your spouses body to no one else.  Do not allow images of other men/women's bodies into your hearts or minds.  Guard your hearts from Satan's evil schemes.  

As an extra little love enhancing assignment this week... read the Song of Solomon with your spouse.  This book is a clear and beautiful depiction of a husband and wife cherishing and treasuring the other's body the way God intended.  It may make you blush at times.... but it is truly the beauty God intended!!

I pray God has revealed much to you through these scriptures and you are able to use them and apply them in your marriage and allow continued transformation to take place.  

God's ways.... are always perfect.... even when... we aren't!!!

Love and Blessings
Your Friends
Missy and Garrick

Meaningful, Messy Marriage
❤Moments ❤

(Learning to Let God Lead….. One Day at a Time)
-A Woman Redeemed
Week 2

"Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed." Genesis 2:24-25

1. How does this scripture speak to you? Do you find significance in the fact that God specifically states, "a man shall leave his father and mother?"

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

2. What is meant by the "two become one flesh?"  What is the significance in God stating, they are now ONE flesh?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

3. This scripture shows us that both Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed?  Why is this extremely significant?  Are you ashamed of your body in front of your spouse or do you feel safe to bare yourself to your spouse?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

Take some time to share and discuss your answers.  Listen carefully to one another and allow God to speak to your hearts.  Now discuss how knowing and understanding these scriptures can change your marriage?

Meaningful, Messy Marriage
❤Moments ❤

(Learning to Let God Lead….. One Day at a Time)
-A Woman Redeemed

Welcome to the Meaningful, Messy Marriage Moments devotional!  Garrick and I are so honored that God would use us in such a magnificent way, especially after the painful and difficult road we have been traveling for the past 6 years.  

Many of you may have already read how God allowed us to go from a stable,  extremely close and very content,happy  couple to a desperately struggling, just trying to survive each day couple, during Garrick’s six year battle with prescription drug/ alcohol addiction.  

It is still mind blowing to us, how very far we fell and how very close I was to walking away from our marriage.  

It was not that many years ago that I was blogging about marriage, baffled at how any couple could find it difficult to love and respect one another.  I could NEVER, EVER have imagined a day would come that I would be contemplating the “D” word.  That was a non negotiable, absolute no, never, option for me for as long as I could remember.  No matter what came our way, I knew we would work it out and conquer the problem, never realizing, that the problem we may be given would take my heart and break it into a million little pieces I would become too exhausted to even try to put back together.  

It is a very dark and devastating  thing to experience, as you watch your marriage evolve from your safety net and place of comfort to your greatest source of stress, pain and instability.  Slowly watching the image of the one you love the most fade into someone you no longer even recognize, beginning to feel as though you are married to a stranger.

It is diabolically tragic.  

Garrick and I have been on both sides of the fence.  We have experienced both the peace of heaven in our marriage as well as the pits of hell.  We get it all.  Our judgement toward struggling couples, making poor choices is non existent.  Let he without sin, cast the first stone.  

However, we have learned so very, very much on this journey.  Though we struggled at times, neither one of us ever completely walked away from our faith in an all powerful God.  That faith is the reason we are still laying next to each other in the same bed.  

God is good, even when we aren’t.  There is no relationship that is beyond His ability to mend, repair and restore to even better than it was before!  In our hearts, we always knew this truth.  I could no longer trust Garrick, but I could trust the God that bound us together the day we said, “I do.”  As long as I knew that Garrick still had a heart for God, I could live in faith that God would restore not only him, but our marriage.  

One thing we have learned out of the hundreds of others is the deep and imperative need for solid and emotionally connecting communication.  It is a non negotiable.  This devotional will do just that.  It will promote and encourage communication between you and your spouse that is both, deep, intentional,emotionally connecting and most importantly, it will strengthen the three cord strand that is not easily broken….. You+Your Spouse+God= Immeasurable strength!

We will also add our flares of humor and personality in hopes that you can really get to know us on a sincere level.  We are just two sinners, brought together by God trying to learn how to let God lead….. One day… at a time.  

Thank you for joining us.  We will be praying for all the couples who are participating with us, even if we are not aware of your participation, you will be prayed for.  This is going to be incredibly healing for us and we pray along the way…. Others may find healing as well.  

For this devotional you will not NEED but would greatly benefit from the following;

❤A Bible (we prefer the ESV version but it is totally your choice!)
❤A quiet, tranquil location where you can be alone (ours is our bedroom)
❤At least 15 minutes, 30 is ideal.
❤A notebook of any kind.
❤A candle (optional but it is a nice touch!)
❤A favorite beverage to share; hot tea, coffee, a glass of wine or just plain ol water!
❤An open heart and mind.

Now, that you have found your quiet spot and have grabbed your special beverages, prepare your hearts for the devotion by lighting the candle and share any prayer requests you would like to pray about with your spouse. Hold hands and  begin  praying for God’s peace to fill your hearts and room. Pray for any prayer requests you

Read the scripture for the day.  Look it up in your Bibles.  Highlight that scripture in your Bible and choose a symbol or word to put next to it that will remind you it is a scripture you studied together about marriage.  Now, each of you take time to share what you observe from that scripture, how is it speaking to you?  Share this with one another.  Then, discuss how you each can apply this to your marriage.  REFRAIN from telling your spouse how he or she can apply it, worry about you!

Record your prayer requests in your notebook.  Though you will have some room on the pages we provide, you can also use the notebook to take more notes and record other observations and ways you grew during each devotion.  This notebook will become a treasure one day.  

NOW… I think we are ready to get started!!!!  

Peace and Blessings
Your Friends,

Missy and Garrick

"And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, "At last is bone of my bones
                                         and flesh of my flesh; she 
                                         shall be called Woman, 
                                        because she was taken out of Man." Genesis 2:22-23

1. What do you observe God was telling us through this scripture?  Do you find any significance in God choosing to use Adam's rib?  Do you observe God's intentions for marriage and the marriage bond through this scripture?

*Husbands Response:

*Wife's Response:

2. How can we use this scripture to strengthen and enhance our marriage?


YEAH! Welcome to our Marriage Devotional!!!
Last night was our FIRST night of the "Meaningful, Messy Marriage Devotional," and let me tell ya.... IT WAS AWESOME!!

Garrick and I are so happy God has called us to do this as we are fully aware of how healing and helpful this will be to us as well as others!

I am going to have a FREE print out of the marriage devotional.  The print out will be on a separate post I will give you the link for.  It will guide you on how to use the devotional and give you space to share your thoughts! Each week I will post the devotion Garrick and I shared on Sunday evening!  On Fridays I will begin posting the devotion for the upcoming Sunday.  You can choose any day or time that works for you, Sunday evening is what happens to work best for us!  I apologize as I should have posted the devotion we did last night, Friday, but I was not totally organized on how this was going to play out, so, you can share this devotion together whenever you choose and will already have our reflections from it to ponder!

So last night we began in the book of Genesis! Here was the scriptures we read and discussed...

"And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into woman and brought the woman to the man.  Then the man said,
     "This at last is bone of my bones
      and flesh of my flesh; she shall 
      be called Woman, because she 
          was taken from Man."  Genesis 2:22-23

It is UNBELIEVABLE, all that Garrick and I learned and pulled from these two short scriptures regarding God's intentions for marriage.  As I mentioned in the video above, God is very intentional with His words and actions, nothing "just" happens.  We have read these scriptures a million times, but actually sitting down and discussing them and looking up different thoughts on these scriptures enlightened us on an even greater level.  Here are some of the things God revealed to us last night....

1. God could have chosen ANY other bone or body part to create Eve with.  He also could have chosen not to use a bone or part of Adam at all and simply make Eve from the dust of the earth as He did Adam.  BUT, He didn't  He chose to take Adam's rib!  There is huge significance in this.  As we got to studying we learned that the Hebrew word for "rib" can also mean "side" so it is possible that God didn't just use Adam's rib, but created Eve out of the entire side or half of his body.  

The beauty you see in the is woman was made out of man.  God's intention is for a man to love his wife as part of his own body, as she truly is.  Husbands out there, your wife... is PART of you.  If you read a little bit prior to these scriptures, she read that God assessed that it was not good for Adam to be alone.  He needed a helper.  He created Eve out of part of Adam, to also symbolize that she is to complete him, not in the sense that he cannot be a complete person without a mate, but to symbolize that when I a man chooses to marry, the woman is meant to enhance his life, bringing him a sense of completeness and joy.  

2.  The rib.  What does a rib do?  It PROTECTS your vital organs.  It comes from the side of you body and is close to your heart.  Here is more significance.  God's intention is for a husband to protect his wife, as he would his own body.  Protect her in every sense of the word; physically, emotionally and spiritually.  God's goal is for a husband to be able to present his wife, holy and blameless on the day of judgement because of the way he lead her and protected her.  (Ephesians 5:27) 

Also, a rib comes from the side of your body.  This could easily symbolize that God designed man to walk beside woman, not ahead of her or over her as a controlling dictator, not beneath her or behind her as a passive follower forcing her to lead.  He desires for man to walk beside her, guiding her, protecting her, and loving her.

3. Notice that God chose to make ONE man and ONE woman.  His goal was to populate the earth, He could have created several women with Adam or several more couples.  He didn't!  He chose ONE man and ONE woman, signifying His goal for marriage to between one man and one woman.  Not one man and several women or vice versa.  He desired for them to learn to work together and lean on one another in order to live a fulfilling successful life.  He wanted Adam to long and have eyes for ONLY Eve and Eve the same with Adam.  

4. Adam expresses almost "relief" at the creation of Eve as he states... AT LAST.... is bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh.  He immediately understands the purpose of this beautiful creation God gave him and he is elated to have her.  He is fully aware she is PART of him and chooses to give her the name woMAN, which obviously came from his own identity is MAN.  

We were in awe at the beautiful and intentional meaning behind these scriptures.  Our world has completely lost this beauty.  It is such a enormous shame as women desired to be treasured and protected by their husbands and that was EXACTLY what God intended from the very beginning.  How our world has destroyed this perfect image God gave us.  When Adam and Eve sinned..... God's intentions began to be replaced by man's sinful and selfish desires.  

This, is why you see the turmoil in marriage and relationships you see today

BUT GOD.  Knowing God.  Knowing His word.  Knowing His intentions can begin a beautiful heart change in your marriage.  

Lord... I pray for all of the individuals that may be participating or reading this devotional  I pray that Your Word touches their heart at its core.  I pray they begin to see the beautiful intention you had for marriage.  The intense bond and connection you desired for a husband and wife and the desire for a woman to bring joy and fulfillment to her husbands life while he desires to protect her in every sense of the word.  I pray you strengthen and grow each marriage in ways no one saw possible.  I pray these things in your Holy and precious Name... Amen!
Here is the link to the print out....


Please, Please, Please contact us if you have any questions or just want to talk or share!!  We refuse to not use the our painful journey to glorify God in hopes that through it, we give other couples hope for God's gift of restoration!!!

Peace and Blessings
Your Friends

Missy and Garrick
Okay, yes, I have successfully hornswaggled my husband into blog participation, once again!!! (FYI... it usually does not take too much swoozing....I have some secret weapons that work like a charm! LOL)

He has agreed to join me for a new segment of my blog called "Marriage Moments with Missy and Garrick."  

Each Sunday evening, we will do a marriage devotion together and share our experience and interactions with all of you!  If I really do some begging, I may get him to join me in a few vlogging videos, but right now, that is pushing it! LOL

With Garrick's permission, I will share with you why we believe this is so important to share.  For the sake of time and space I will try to condense this into as short of story as possible. 

Garrick and began dating in High School.  October of 1994 to be exact.  Though neither one of us was aware of it when we began dating, each of us was fighting our own battle of addiction.  Garrick was pretty heavily involved in drugs, using; methamphetamine, marijuana and cocaine.  I on the other hand, was still struggling with an eating disorder that had been haunting me since my sophomore year.  

So from the very beginning, our relationship, would appear by all logical standards, to be a recipe for failure.  

I could never have explained to you why at the time, but deep in my heart, even at 18 years old, I KNEW this was the man I wanted to marry.  The connection I felt with Garrick was intense and as I explained, there is no logical reason why I should have felt this way back then.

Our relationship had many struggles as he chose drugs over me many, many times, and Anorexia was my main focus.  I was needy for him and he was needy for drugs.  This did not make for a good combination.  

After graduation, Garrick moved to Florida, hoping he could escape his addiction and start a new life.  I began college at the University of Northern Iowa.  Our relationship was on and off for the next year and a half.  I dated a couple of other guys but never felt a connection and they really just evolved into friendships.  In my heart, all I wanted was Garrick.  

He continued struggling with drug use in Florida, as he quickly found out that you cannot run from an addiction, it will follow you no matter where you go.  One evening he experienced severe heart palpitations after consuming too much cocaine,  He felt the reality of possible death from the lifestyle he was living.  He turned to help, got a sponsor and became clean and sober form that point forward.  He admits to a few slip ups with marijuana use, but he never went back to hard addiction.

I found healing and recovery through my work at the UNI daycare.  I realized how badly I wanted children and a family of my own, started nannying for a wonderful Christian family and God lead me to healing through these wonderful people.  

Garrick moved back to Iowa my sophomore year of college, we got together one night when I was home for a weekend and the connection had never died.  And now,with us both healthy and addiction free, our relationship could truly grow. We have been together, ever since!

We were married October 28, 2000. It was a dream come true for me, truly.  I had known since 1994 that this was the man I wanted to marry and finally, he was my husband.  

Our marriage was truly a blessing.  As crazy as it sounds, we really had a wonderful, close connection and never could understand why other people struggled so much in marriage.  It was effortless for us.  Once we were both healthy, it was exactly like I had always dreamed it would be.  We were best friends.  We wanted nothing more than to be together.  We were that hand holding, affectionate, mushy couple that others often can't stand.  It was just who we were. 

Even as we added children, though things got a little more difficult at times, we never lost that connection long term.  All we wanted was to be together.  

Garrick was my rock.  He was perpetually upbeat, positive and had strength beyond what I ever though I could attain.  He never let anything get to him.  He took on each challenge with a positive attitude and never doubted a positive outcome.  I leaned on him consistently,  

I later found out.... I leaned on him too much.   

n September of 2003, through a series of God ordained events, we gave our lives to Christ holding hands with some wonderful friends in our own living room.  Our life changed once again, but with just more blessings.  

God began transforming Garrick into a Godly man that sought after Biblical truth and living his life according to God's word.  Our marriage continued to blossom.  

God in his awesomeness, through another series of events, started a church in our home.  We had no idea it would become a church, we thought we were having an at home Sunday morning Bible study with some friends, but God had other plans.  

Things continued to progress and The Gate Community Church of Albia was born.  

In November of 2010, life changed drastically for us.  

While at work, Garrick severely injured his back, blowing out discs in his low lumbar that left him unable to even walk.  We had no idea how Satan was going to use this in attempt to destroy everything God had chosen to build in our lives. Because of the severe pain, Garrick was given heavy doses of pain medications.  

We though nothing of this at the time.  He needed to medications.  He couldn't even walk.  It was so hard for me to see my strong, hard working husband, unable to even stand to use the bathroom.  It broke my heart but it killed him even more inside.  He had never in his life felt physically incapacitated and unable to work or even move.  He struggled with depression and feeling worthless.  

Over time, God healed his back slowly.  He was able to go back to work and he was physically functional again.

However, there was a new issue brewing.  The pain medications Garrick was given opened a door that he thought had been closed permanently in his life.  

Addiction... reared its ugly head.... and for the next six years of our marriage.... Satan used this addiction to attempt to destroy our marriage, our family and our church.  

Without dragging the story on endlessly, Garrick became addicted to the pain meds.  When he realized he needed to stop and it had become an issue, he was prescribed benzodiazapenes for the horrible withdrawals of coming off the pain medications.  This snowballed into another addiction.  

Anyone who is familiar with addiction knows all of the devastating effects it carries with it; deception, manipulation.  Garrick and I lost or deep emotional connection.  I could not trust him and he had lost himself to the addiction.  He was not the man I married.  

One addiction lead to another and eventually when he kicked the pain meds and benzos he began struggling with alcohol use.  

I began to feel hopeless.  The man that I had wanted to marry since high school.  The man that I had felt a deeper emotional connection with than any other person ever, was no longer there.  I had gotten to the point that I was ready to end the marriage.  I could not bare it any longer.  The last two years of our life have been a perpetual roller coaster of emotions.  

Throughout this time, we had good seasons where things seemed to be getting better and Garrick would kick the addiction for a time, but sadly, he struggled with continuing to fall prey to satan's evil schemes.  It was tearing us apart.  

In the last year Garrick has gone through treatment and continues to push forward in his recovery.  Though there have been some relapses, he continues to fight and so do both of us for out marriage!

I was ready to give up friends.  My heart could not take the pain any longer.  

BUT God.  

God would not allow it.  Even when my mind told me to bail, God was speaking into my heart and I knew that was not the right choice.  

Garrick never gave up on our marriage!  Yes, he struggled with his addiction, but when I would throw that horrible "D" word around, he quickly rebuked it and told me he would never ever let me end the marriage.  

There were times I would get angry at him for this, but now, I feel gratitude.  Throughout this battle, God has revealed many things to me  needed to change.  One very big one being.... not counting on Garrick to be my rock and my glue.  

That is God's job.  I learned that God will always be my strength and my provider.  Garrick will do that as well, but when seasons come that he can't, God will.  

I learned that I am SOOOO much stronger than I ever thought I could be.  I can HANDLE way more than I ever though possible and with God I can conquer whatever challenge comes my way.  

Garrick has learned so much as well, one thing being, you can never, ever assume old issues cannot resurface and is allowing his "self sufficiency" to die realizing that he cannot do it on his own.  He needs to let God carry him or he will surely fall.  

We cannot tell you in one post all we have learned from this painful, heart wrenching experience.  BUT... that is why we are choosing to share our devotions with you. 

We are still on the road to recovery.  It is a process.  We have learned to take one day at a time.  However, we have also learned God is a God of restoration and that He does not waste one painful experience He allows in our lives.  

He gives pain purpose, not power.  

We want to use our pain... for a purpose.  

We pray that we give hope to those feeling hopeless in their marriage and we pray this draws them closer to the Healer, Wonderful Counselor and Friend.  

Peace and Blessings
Your Friends

Missy and Garrick