Like many young ladies out there, I did not grow up with the stable and secure home environment my little heart so desperately needed.  I grew up in a home with massive financial stress, domestic abuse, almost daily tension, and a constant uncertainty of what the day may bring.  

I was an intensely anxious child.  I recall having stomach aches often and though as a young child I could not pin point it, now I know all the physical symptoms I struggled with, the shakiness, the gnawing belly aches, the constant worry and depression, were tell tail signs of massive anxiety.  

The only times I truly recall my anxiety fleeing like a thief in the night was when I was with my grandparents or at their home.  The minute I walked in the door or climbed in their car, the anxiety fled.  I have complete trust in them to protect me, love me and have fun with me.  And when I stayed at their home, as grandma tucked me into her bed and tickled my back as I fell asleep, I knew without a doubt when I woke up the next morning, it would be exactly the same.  

My childhood left me with some scars and also with a continual need for a home environment with stability, security and with little change.  

These expectations, though somewhat justified, have wreaked much havoc in my marriage.  As a child I never learned that struggles and challenges could be worked out calmly, faithfully and successfully,  I learned that struggles, challenges and changes were cause for massive chaos, concern and often physical harm.  Unfortunately, this lead me two different ways.... to either demand complete stability and consistency in my life or panic when I don't have it.  

Once finding Christ, I began to slowly understand how unhealthy my needs were and where they came from.  God began gently tugging at this painful place, by placing instability and changes in my life that caused me to either choose to trust Him or panic.  

Over the years, I have gotten increasingly better at handling change and adversity.  I began to experience less and less anxiety as God continued to prove Himself faithful and I continued to put my trust in Him, not my circumstances or in other humans.  

However, one area that is been extremely difficult for me to let go of this need for stability and security, is in my marriage.  For the most part, for the first 1-12 years of our marriage I never had to deal with it, as our marriage was rock solid and stable.  Garrick was a healthy, strong, unshakable man, capable of carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders and smiling while he did it.  

It was exactly what I needed.... but exactly what I should not have expected from my spouse.  I never realized it at the time, but I put a majority of my trust and faith in my husband, rather than God.  I found it easier to remain strong and faithful, as Garrick was perpetually optimistic and always saw the glass overflowing.  I knew if he said it was going to be ok, it was going to be ok. He would make sure it was ok, no matter what it took.  

All of this drastically changed the day he collapsed at work with a severe back injury that left him unable to even move his legs.  Suddenly, everything was NOT ok.  Suddenly, the glass was NOT overflowing and suddenly, that optimistic smile was gone and has never really returned to the way it once was.  

This left me..... shattered.  What do I do now?  If Garrick is not ok.... then my world is not ok.  If Garrick is not going to make sure it is ok... then who will?  My faith was challenged like never before.  This was the test beyond all tests.  God was on a mission and I was not on board with this His journey... not for a minute.  

All of sudden, the man that spent most of our life together, assuring me that everything was going to be ok, needed me to do this for him and I was lost.  

So what did I do?  Well, for a very long time I fought God on this one and eagerly waited for my husband's restoration so I could once again feel that security and stability I so desperately needed.  Guess what?

That was not God's plan.  He actually took my husband's injury and allowed it to evolve into a six year battle with not only chronic pain, but addiction and mental health struggles.  To say I was panicky would be an understatement of enormous proportion.  

Here is the shortened version of how God used this..... each day... each week.... each month... each year... and with each different scenario.... I learned how unstable all humans are and how very faithful God is.  Oh, yes, I still struggle with his issue greatly, however, my rebound time has become much shorter.  When I feel I have been let down by my husband's inability to provide the stability and security I so desperately long for, my initial response is often still to panic, but I am able to refocus and center myself with God and once again, place my trust in Him to provide that for me and He ALWAYS does.  

The Lord goes BEFORE me in all things.  Where ever He may lead me.... He is already there waiting for me.  He is knows the outcome and He will gently guide me through if I allow Him to lead.  Whatever happens in my life... does not take Him by surprise.  He knew it would happen and He knows how it will end.  Trusting Him is the smartest thing I can do, I just have to keep convincing my mind of this.  

The scripture God lead me to this week, states God will NEVER leave you nor forsake you.  NEVER.  Never means.... NEVER.  No matter what, no matter what happens, no matter what you do, where you go or how badly you mess up... God will NEVER leave you.  You may not always feel Him near and very often, that is our own fault as we have misplaced or trust and removed it from Him to another person or thing.  Put your focus back on Him and you will slowly begin to feel His presence returning in your life.  
This scripture goes on to tell us not to be discouraged or afraid.  Oh, let me tell you.... in these past years I have been both.... A LOT.... however.... that was due to me not taking my thoughts captive immediately and allowing them to run wild, jump to catastrophic thinking and consume me.  Not let me make one thing clear, this can be very hard to stop when your heart is under extreme hurt and stress.  I have learned to give myself a break here as God has always been faithful in pulling me back in... even when I am sinking by my own thoughts and actions.  

In the end.... underneath all the pain, insecurity and hurt.... I do trust my God with all my heart.  I am still at the faze of having to dig through some of those old emotions and strongholds to allow the light to shine and find that trust again, but I know it is always there.  

This has helped me greatly in my marriage as I am continually reminded that Garrick is not to be my rock.... that is God's job.  The struggle here is God has also given husband's the job to protect their wives, so this messes with my heart and mind at times.  But what I know without doubt, is when my husband cannot provide this for me.... God is there to carry me through.... and that has been the greatest gift.....I have been given throughout these past few years. 

I have learned.... that through the storms of life.... if you cling to God..... He'll make you stronger than the storm!  Only God can take your greatest struggle and perhaps make it... your greatest strength!

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend 
Missy
 
 
Meaningful, Messy Marriage
❤Moments ❤
(Learning to Let God Lead….. One Day at a Time)
-A Woman Redeemed
This week, I am venturing off to something a little different!  I am going to be focusing in on the wives a bit more as God has called me to do.  

One of the biggest issues I continue to struggle with in my marriage is looking for peace, love and security from my spouse before I seek it from God.  It a very difficult situation to figure out as we get married desiring that love and security from another human, and as we have learned, that it is the husband's job to provide both of these things.  During the massive struggles Garrick and I have had I have often been counseled to seek my love and security from God not my spouse. Though I understood this concept and the need for it, I could not help but think to myself, "then what is the purpose of having a spouse, if I should never expect those things from him?"

God has shown me that it is not that I should not expect it and it is surely not that he should not provide it, but it is more so, that I cannot let my life fall apart around me if he fails at giving me these things because more than likely, he will.  I have to trust God's love to carry me through knowing it is constant and will never fail me. 

This has been extremely difficult for me as I am one of those mushy romantics at heart and greatly desire my spouse to provide me with that strong security.  I have found myself in the depths of despair when I have lacked this in our marriage, however, God has used this for some good as He always promises..... He has taught me that I cannot make my husband's love me for an idol over God's love for me.  It has drawn me closer to His love and has taught me that no matter how I feel in the moment.... God's love and protection will always carry me through.  

This week.... read this scripture and answer these questions.......

"The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you, He will never leave you nor forsake you, do not be afraid and do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8




1.  What does it mean that the Lord himself, has gone BEFORE you?




❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:









2. This scripture states that God will NEVER leave you nor forsake you.  Spend time meditating and discussing the precious meaning of the word NEVER in this scripture.  How can this bring peace and comfort to your life and marriage?


❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:








3. This scripture also tell us to not be afraid or discouraged.  How can we allow these words to penetrate our hearts and live by them even in the midst of painful or frightening situations?  


❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:








Learning to put your trust and faith in God rather than your spouse can be very challenging!!  After all, our spouse we can see, touch and feel.  Trusting God takes complete faith and faith sometimes has to be pushed to grow!!!  

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend 
Missy



 
 
Welcome to week 7 of Marriage Moments with Missy and Garrick!!!!  We are SUPER glad you are here!  

Last week we visited the book of Ecclesiastes and focused on how when the 2 become 1 flesh God desired for this to bring many blessings to our life and to make the load we carry in life.... lighter... as we have a mate to help us along the way.  

We also discussed how placing God in the midst of our marriage, creating a three strand cord, will strengthen and enhance our marriage as God cannot be shaken!
 
This week, we chose a scripture reading that  expresses ways Christians should conduct themselves in relationships.  Tonight we are going to put this in a marital perspective! 

 Paul, the writer of this book, first commands us to NOT repay evil with evil, meaning, do not take revenge or seek vengeance on someone who has hurt or wronged you!

So... here is the million dollar question.... have you ever sought revenge on your spouse after they had done something hurtful or what you perceived as wrong? Have you ever desired to hurt them as they had hurt you or at the very least yell rude comments right back if they spew out rude or negative comments to you?

THIS IS A CHALLENGE... as our first reaction to being hurt is often to want to retaliate!

I sadly will admit, that I have struggled with this way more often than I care to recount.  Our common response to a painful or hurtful situation is the fight or flight response.  I have been so angry and hurt before that I just needed to get away, but I have also done the opposite which is fighting back and retaliating.  During those horrible episodes, I said and did things that I regret to this day and know were not God's will nor glorifying to Him. 

Yes, I am human, we all are, and emotions can sometimes take over and take on a life of their own!  I try to focus on one of my favorite sayings from Lisa TerKeurst.. "feelings are indicators, not dictators."  Just because we feel a certain way, does not mean we have to act on our feelings.  This can be extremely difficult, however, so much damage can be done when our goal is to make ourselves right rather than make peace.  

The ONLY way I have found to stop the actions of retaliation is to STOP!!  Yes... STOP!  Put tape over your mouth if you have to, walk away, go to a private spot and get on your knees and ask God to guard your heart and mouth! I have failed to do this numerous times and I pray that I continue to seek God's strength to achieve this goal!

Paul then goes on to state that we are to strive to always do what is good to one another, even when we have been hurt or offended.  There are going to be MANY times throughout your marriage that your spouse is going to do something that makes it extremely difficult to want to do good for them, in fact, if you may be feeling as though, if it wasn't illegal... they may no longer exist!! LOL

BUT.... this is an exact parallel of Christ;s love for us.  While we were still sinners, while groups of evil people stood around him, mocking him, spitting on him, calling him names, He willingly gave his life for those very people.  

The only way this is possible for myself.... is through the strength of Christ.  Hands down.  My natural tendency is to want to hurt those that hurt me or at the very least not do good to them.  But Paul is telling us to always seek to do good.... no matter what.  

There were so many instances during the last few years that Garrick and I were both very guilty of NOT doing good to one another.  If either of us had really and truly been following this command there is a very good chance we would never have gotten to the place we were.  

Paul moves on to tell us that we need to focus on rejoicing always!  Always means... in times of pain and adversity!  

HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE???  I will be the first to tell you it is VERY hard and takes an extremely strong relationship with the Lord to be able to do.  When your joy if found in God first, above all else, you will still be able to find joy even in the midst of extreme pain, knowing and trusting His will

Now, just to be clear... joy does not necessarily mean you are jumping around happy as a cracker jack, it simply means, that you are at a place of peace and trust and you are able to lean on the promises of God, knowing He wants what is best for you and has purpose for whatever battle you are fighting!



Paul also tells us to pray without ceasing!!  Without ceasing... means continually.  Continually really?  You are probably asking how in the world do we pray continually?  

Well... we felt the main goal here was to be in constant communion with God.  Meaning... the moment you feel irritated with your spouse over something... you immediately bring that need to God and lay it at his feet.  Trust Him to give you guidance.  And doing this instantly will stop you from making terrible decisions or choosing negative actions.  

I was discussing with Garrick, if we were given a glimpse of all of the difficulties and hardships we could have avoided by seeking God and praying. we would probably be overwhelmed with anger at ourselves for neglecting such a pivotal piece of our relationship with God.  I discussed on an earlier blog post how a husband and wife united in prayer have great power!!! 

Finally, Paul tells us to give thanks in ALL circumstances!!  YES.... ALL CIRCUMSTANCES!!!  

This is where we hone in on thankfulness!!!  Finding something to be thankful for in the middle of adversity can be extremely healing!  Giving thanks to God during a painful or tragic situation places your trust back in His hands, knowing, He works all things for good.  It begins to restore our heart. 

Garrick shared that there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for, understanding that even through negative circumstances God will continue to show Himself in many miraculous ways.  

I cannot tell you... how very thankful I was for all of the friends and family that were there for me during these last couple of years.  God showed His love through so many people.  In the midst of some of the deepest pain I have ever known, I was able to find thankfulness in a God that never left me nor forsook me.  He used individuals in my life to radiate His love and care for me.  My gratitude toward these individuals is overwhelming.  

At the same time I had never felt so unloved by my spouse, I have never felt so loved by friends and family.  I never went a day without feeling love because God IS love!

Even when I was so hurt by Garrick that I could often not see past the pain, I was able to have moments where my heart would rest in the man I knew God made him and all of the reasons I married him and was thankful for him prior to our season of trauma.  I hung onto that.... sometimes FORCING myself to trust God cold and would restore him, my job was to keep praying and pressing on!

Thankfulness... is a choice... and very often... requires much training and discipline.  For most of us... or default reaction in times of trouble is to worry, fear, be angry, bitter and lose hope.  

Digging deep inside the pain and pulling out even the smallest seed of thankfulness.... can begin to blossom a renewed heart and soul.

We hope you have decided to join us in creating a Thanksgiving week tradition for your marriage to express your thankfulness for your spouse!  We have chosen to do little things each day this week to show one another our thankfulness!  A few days ago when I was at Dollar General with Eden I feel in love with this soft, cozy blanket!  I wanted it!  I didn't buy it!  I told Garrick it was on my Christmas list.  

Last night I came into my bedroom and found that blanket folded on our bed with a sweet note!  He had even thrown it in the dryer so it smelled good and was warm!!  

It is not necessarily the action... it is the heart behind it!  A heart that is truly thankful for their spouse.... will be able to find ways to show thankfulness that speak to them!  

Have fun with it!!  And please share!  Don't forget to join the drawing for the yummy candle by commenting or liking this post!  I will draw the winner tomorrow!!

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 7!!!  WE ARE GOING TO HAVE OUR FIRST MARRIAGE GIVEAWAY!!!  THis week, comment of like this post and you will be in a drawing for a pumpkin spice candle to light and use during your devotion time!

It is the week of Thanksgiving so to go along with the mood of the week, we are going to focus on thankfulness in marriage.  This is actually an extremely important devotion as most of us our keenly aware, being thankful for you spouse during times of adversity can be EXTREMELY hard.  

Last week, we zoned in on 2 being better than 1 and how with you and your spouse both immersed in the will of God.... you can move mountains in your marriage.  We talked about the three cord stand not being easily broken, as the strand is you, your spouse and God.  This truly sums up the true direction God desires your marriage to take.  A marriage without a strong foundation is a marriage easily shaken.  

This week, we are going to talk about one of the HARDEST commands God gives us through scripture... which is being thankful in ALL circumstances.  Now, I will be the first to admit, this has been and often still is a huge struggle for me.  I believe that is one of the main reasons God laid it upon my heart.  During these last few years, I have found myself often, bitter, angry, resentful and anything but thankful for my spouse.  I am not saying that there were not instances in which my feelings were valid, as there was a lot of hurt and pain thrown around and I often struggled with handling my emotions in an honoring way.  

Have you ever experienced a time in your marriage when you found it to be extremely difficult to thankful for your spouse? Maybe your are in that season right now.  Let us grow in this together, as I need this devotion just as much as anyone!

Please read these two scriptures and answer the following questions! 

1 Thessalonians 5:15-18

1. Paul states that we are not to repay evil for evil.  What does he mean by this and have you struggled with doing this in your marriage?

❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:








2. Paul then goes on to state we are to always seek to do good.  This can be extremely difficult when you have been hurt by your spouse?  How can we find strength to do good when our heart is hurting?

❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:








3.The next line tells us to rejoice always and pray without ceasing!  Yes, you read correctly... REJOICE ALWAYS!!  How are we to do this during times of adversity and pain?  Praying without ceasing.... what does without ceasing mean to you and how can NOT doing this effect your marriage negatively?

❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:








4.Lastly, give thanks in ALL circumstances!!!  ALL CIRCUMSTANCES!  One more time... ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, for this is the will of Christ Jesus!  Oh my word... this is a hard one.  I don't even want you to think about the amount of times you have failed at this..... let us move forward and discuss how we can train our hearts to give thanks even when we may want to give a punch!  Discuss how you can do this in your own marriage! And talk about what the negative consequences could be for NOT doing this?

❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:









SO!  Start out your Thanksgiving week by giving thanks for one another!  Maybe start a special tradition. for your marriage the week of Thanksgiving such as; each day of Thanksgiving week doing something or buying something small for your spouse to show them your thankfulness,  writing a sweet note each day telling your spouse things you are thankful for dedicating the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving to a date night with you and your spouse annually, or have a quiet night at home after the kids go to bed to exchange a gift and pray together.... whatever God lays on your heart!!!  We will share with you what we decide to do when God gives us a thought!  

Peace and Blessings
Your Friends 
Missy and Garrick
 
 
Welcome to week 6!!!!  I am SOOO thrilled if you are still hanging with us!!  Garrick and I are very humbled that God is using us to spread His promise of restoration and victory for those couples that submit fully to Him.  

We would absolutely LOVE to hear from any couples or individuals that are doing this devotional with us!  We would love to pray for you and hear how God has spoken to you through the devotions!!  We would also love to hear any topics that you would really like to focus on in your own marriage.  I guarantee there isn't one that we haven't more than likely dealt with in our marriage.  So please, consider commenting or shooting us a message.... we seriously would LOVE that!

We have moved on to the book of Ecclesiastes! This is one of my favorite books of the Bible and I specifically LOVE this scripture!

When God unifies you as ONE when you married.... the goal was to make you STRONGER together, with a spouse that is praying on your behalf, helping to encourage you in the Lord and build you up spiritually.  If you have ever been around a spiritually encouraging person, you know exactly what I am talking about.  They shed a light in your life that is coming straight from the greatest light source there is!  

This should be your marriage.  I LOVE this excerpt from Stormie Omartian on prayer in marriage....

"A wife’s prayers for her husband have a far greater effect on him than anyone else’s, even his mother’s. (Sorry, Mom.) A mother’s prayers for her child are certainly fervent. But when a man marries, he leaves his father and mother and becomes one with his wife (Matthew 19:5). They are a team, one unit, unified in spirit. The strength of a man and wife joined together in God’s sight is far greater than the sum of the strengths of each of the two individuals. That’s because the Holy Spirit unites them and gives added power to their prayers.That’s also why there is so much at stake if we don’t pray. Can you imagine praying for the right side of your body and not the left? If the right side is not sustained and protected and it falls, it’s going to bring down the left side with it. The same is true of you and your husband. If you pray for yourself and not him, you will never find the blessings and fulfillment you want. What happens to him happens to you and you can’t get around it."

I love her analogy of only praying for one half of your body!  How ridiculous right?  Well, that is exactly what we are doing when we neglect to pray for our spouse.  They are now part of us and any struggle they endure, we also will endure.  

Solomon states in this scripture that two are better than one.  As Garrick and I pondered Solomon's meaning by this statement, we found it to have both profound and simple explanation.  
Solomon applies practical application to this statement by stating that two are better than one because if one falls down the other is there to help them up. He also states if one is cold, the other there is to keep them warm.  Yes, those are very practical but very true.  It is a wonderful feeling to be able to lay in bed next to my husband in the middle of the winter and snuggle up to his warmness.  It is a comfort I cherish.  

Solomon also states something rather profound that called us to dig a little deeper.  He states that two are better than one because there is a reward for their work.  We really struggled in understanding what Solomon was getting at with this scripture, but after some discussing and research we concluded that it applies greatly to marriage.  

We have discussed that in marriage you have become one flesh.  You are no longer two... you are one.  With that being said, there should never be a goal or a reward you are attempting to achieve that does not include your spouse in some way shape or form.  Now, before you go all crazy thinking I am telling you that you can never have personal goals, that is not at all what I am saying.  What we discussed was anything I desire to achieve in my life, I should do with the love and support of my spouse and with their best interest at heart.  

If I am going to choose to eat healthier and exercise and I share this with my spouse and of course he supports me doing so, this is going to benefit both of us long term.  I am going to be healthier, more energetic and this will benefit him as well.  

Now, if I tell my spouse during a very busy time in his work schedule that I am going to start training for a marathon and will be gone several hours each night, there is not a reward for both of us for this.  Perhaps I may feel rewarded, but he will feel stressed.  That is not God's will.  

Two, on the same page, working together, will have great reward for their work!!!

So, Solomon states that the advantages are a greater reward as well as lighter loads for both individuals.  

We are in the process of building a garage because of God's wonderful and generous provision.  Garrick is very talented in building and construction!  I am very, very lucky in that area!  However, I cannot even drive a nail in the wall straight.  Today, my husband was needing some help getting plywood put up on the studs.  I volunteered my services! He showed me how to work a nail gun. 
 

 At first I was very scared of the loud noise and recoil and succeeded at having three nails shoot out at once! LOl BUT... with patience Garrick continued to show me the correct way to use and it got the hang of it!  I was able to help him and save him time and energy!  It felt wonderful to be able to lighten his load and to use a big old nail gun!!! LOL

But really, working together as husband and wife is one of the most precious connective things you can do.  When I am doing dishes and Garrick jumps in and helps me or asks me what he can do to help with dinner, it means the world to me!!!  He did that just this morning before church when I was throwing a beef stew in the crockpot.  I really didn't feel like peeling potatoes and I needed to get ready for church.  He happen to waltz in the kitchen and offered to help me and that stew was prepped and cooking in no time!  Remember... service starts at home.  What can you help your spouse with today?

When we got to the question regarding being stronger or weaker together as a couple, this was a hard one for us to answer due to our recent history.  

During Garrick's heavier addiction, there is absolutely no doubt that we were weaker together.  Being in his presence often made me angry and frustrated, therefore, I was much stronger and happier when he was not around.  That is a horrible place to be in your marriage and I hated that I felt that way, especially since I had experienced the opposite of this for a majority of our marriage.  

We were pretty negative toward each other and anything but encouraging.  

Can you relate to this in your marriage? Are you in a season where you feel you are weaker together and stronger when you are a part?  If, so God wants to change this in your marriage.  

We were able to begin turning this back around when we BOTH placed God back in His proper place in our marriage.  

Solomon goes on to talk about a three cord strand. A good way to explain this is thinking about a braid!!  Yes... a hair braid!  When you braid hair you use three different sections of hair.  If you only used two sections of hair and you put a hair tie at the end.... the braid would be extremely lose and unravel, however, when you use three sections you are able to get a very tight braid that is strong and solid.  

This is our marriage with God at the core.  The three cord strand in your marriage is you, your spouse and God.  If you take the God section our of your marriage.... it will begin to unravel.  You will have no solid gauge for the direction your marriage needs to go.  We discussed that without God's guidance and instruction couples are often in a continuous war of who is right and how is wrong with no solid answer.  It is all up to their personal opinions and feelings.  

With God's word as our foundation, it is very easy to assess who may be in the wrong and where repentance needs to take place.  Most often, we both are wrong in some regard and both of us have repenting to do.  God gives us explicit instruction on how we are to love our spouse and our role in the marriage.  This really leaves little room for bickering and self righteousness.  

A husband and wife on their knees in united prayer produces the strength to move mountains!!  Of course, we have an enemy that is hard at work keeping you off your knees because he is fully aware of the power it possesses. Couples HAVE to be extra diligent in making this a priority.  If we had an ability to see the blessings we have missed out on due to our neglect of prayer, I believe we would be devastated.  

Remember.... our lack of desire to pray is part of a spiritual war.  It is not the same as..."ahh... I don't feel like breakfast today , I think I'll skip it!"  No, no, no.  Make no mistake, your lack of desire to pray comes form one place and one place only..... the enemy.  

I pray for my own marriage.... that our prayer life would continue to blossom and grow. I pray for all of yours as well.  I pray we experience the strength and beauty that comes from being having one another to love, cherish and pray for us in marriage.  I pray a pouring out of blessings for couples that put their faith in trust in the God that can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine!  

Today.... spend time giving God thanks.... for one another.  He has always meant it to be a blessing... start making it one... today.  

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
Well.... we have made it through 5 weeks!!!!  I hope and pray that God has spoken to you through these devotions and I pray that you have been able to apply what you have learned to enhance and strengthen your marriage.  We have learned that the struggles and obstacles that we encounter in our marriage were established back in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve sinned.  

Though God intended for husband and wife to living in perfect unity, this was no longer possible once sin entered the world.  We have learned that Adam and Eve were created equally in God's image.  Not one sex was deemed greater than the other, in fact God saw Adam NEEDED a helper and that is why He created Eve  Women were never second class citizens, that was a man made assumption.  We then learned that Adam's job was to protect and provide for his wife. He was to lay down his life for hers if need be.  Adam failed to protect Eve in from evil in the Garden of Eden, therefore, allowing her to make a catastrophic decision.  

Eve on the other hand failed at her given role as a helper to Adam.  Adam was to be the head and lead her spiritually and Eve was to submit to Adam;s leading.  Eve, did not fulfill this role and on her own decided to usurp Adam's authority and went on her own in making a decision with devastating consequences.  Both Adam and Eve failed at their given roles and generations to come will continue to live out the consequences of their sinful behavior.  

We also learned that not only did Adam and Eve fail at God's calling for them, they then tried to avoid accountability, placing responsibility on one another and the serpent.  Though the serpent DID in fact tempt Eve, she had FREE WILL to choose the route she would go and she chose sin.  We always have the choice.  Satan only has the control over us that we allow him to have.  There is no sin that Satan can tempt you to commit that Jesus did not die to free you from.  Your chains are gone... you've been set free.  Sin has no hold on you...... you hold the key to having victory over sin.... with God as your Savior.  

This leads us to our next scripture.  We are going to hop ahead to the book of Ecclesiastes!  This is one of my favorite books of the Bible!!  Solomon, the author of this book, teaches us one of my favorite quotes from scripture.... "All is Vanity."  He zeros in on the fact that anything in life done without the knowledge of Christ.... is pointless.  Outside of God.... our life lacks purpose and meaning.  
This also goes for your marriage.  I will tell you with absolute certainty that it is only with God as our foundation that Garrick and I have always been able to dig through the weeds and rough terrain and find the right path once again.  We have taken waaaaaaay too many detours.... but God is THE BEST tour guide there is.  This week.... read the following scripture and answer the questions that follow!!  Feel free to read more.  This book is full of knowledge!!!!  

READ; ECCLESIASTES 4:9-12

1. Why does Solomon state that two are better than one? 



❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:








2. What does Solomon share are the advantages to having two versus one?



❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:







3. Do you feel you and your spouse are stronger together or weaker when together? How does Solomon express it should be?



❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:








4. What does Solomon mean when he states a three cord strand cannot be broken?  Who or what are the three cords and why can't they be broken?



❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:









I absolutely LOVE this scripture and cannot wait to share our thoughts with you on Monday!!!!  Remember to make your time together special..... your marriage is well worth it!

Peace and Blessings
Your Friends
Missy and Garrick





 
 
Welcome to week 5 my friends!  I had kind of a rough few days, so focusing in on this devotion was a bit of a struggle for me.  However, even through the struggle, we learned and shared a lot throughout this devotion. 

Last week we focused in on Adam and Eve and their lack of accountability for the sin the committed.  Now, we are zoning in on the consequences of their actions.  

One thing we always need to keep in mind as we dig deeper into these scriptures is how our sin and our negative choices don't just effect us as individuals, but very often, effects innocent bystanders that never asked to be invited into our sin.  In Adam's and Eve's case.... every generation to come were the bystanders, that now have to suffer the consequences of their actions.  

So let us ponder...... our questions for this week!!

Do you find it odd that even though God knew that the serpent was Satan in disguise and had already been thrown out of heaven, God still chose to punish him for his trickery?

Well, as we studied and pondered this question, we came to the conclusion that God punishing Satan was full of symbolism and for sight.  Satan disguised himself as a serpent and then slithered into Adam and Eve's life tempting them to sin, with actually, the same sin that God him thrown out of heaven, wanting to be like God.  

As for the Serpent God needed to punish him as sin cannot go unpunished, therefore, he told the serpent that he was cursed above everything else and live his life slithering on his belly and eating dirt.  Not such a fun life huh?  

Well, what God was accomplishing here foreshadowing what was to come with Satan.  Satan, though dangerous and able to inflict pain and even death, would never have complete dominion over man.  He would slither on the ground, so he would always be beneath man, with the ability to be crushed.  Look up Romans 16:20.  God also states that Satan will bruise the heal of man, which signifies that Satan will still have the ability to do harm, but in the end, it will only be a bruise that will heal and fade.  Unlike our ability to crush Satan!

With Christ, you have dominion over Satan!!!!  And when you are married and you and your spouse are both believers... your power of Satan only multiplies if God is truly your foundation!  BUT... you have to unite to win the fight!

God then tells Satan he will put enmity between he and the woman and her offspring.  Enmity is state of hostility.  What God was revealing here is how there would always be discord and and great hostility between Satan and every child that was to be born from Eve... which in essence... is all of us, but specifically, Christ. This certainly has panned out... has it not? 

Next, we learn of God's punishment for Eve.  God tells Eve that she will have much pain in childbearing.  Well, this is a no brainer for any woman who has had a baby.  Even women that have not had children, know the pain and discomfort women can experience simply through having their monthly cycle.  The entire process of bringing forth children was to be painful and THAT, has surely been true!!!  

God then tells Eve that her "desire" will be for her husband and he will rule over her.  When I first read this verse many moons ago, I thought, well of course her desire should be for her husband, its her HUSBAND!  As it turns out... that is NOT the type of desire God is referring to in this verse.  What God was truly stating was He would make it so Eve would desire to rule over her husband and be the head of him. She would be perhaps, bossy, naggy or overbearing, insisting on her way and usurping his authority.  This was a precursor to the feminist movement for sure!!  Women, wanted to be over men. This started in the Garden of Eden and his continued to only get uglier as the world has progressed.  The next part states that even though Eve will desire to rule over her husband.... God will make it so, HE rules over her.  

Well... there ya have it!  Conflict in marriage 101.  God's intention for was for husband and wife to life peaceably in their given roles, however, because of the fall, the very thing God desires would not take effort and be somewhat of a struggle. Our marriages were made a challenge since the Garden of Eden.  Before you even met your spouse..... your marriage was doomed for adversity at times.  

God is our greatest weapon in combating these negative consequences brought on by Adam and Eve's sin.  

Next, Adam was given out his punishment!  He would have to work like a hound dog for the rest of his life to provide food for himself and his family.  This was not going to be easy for the man.  

Garrick shared a lot with this question.  He shared that this punishment can get very difficult for men in the world we are currently living in.  The cost of living is crazy and men and women are having to work harder than ever.  Because of the man's excessive need to work and earn and income, his family is often thrown to the wayside as he struggles balancing work, earning and income and loving and caring for his family.  Keeping priorities straight and managing time wisely can become quite difficult.  

Garrick also shared that he has learned through his years of struggling with addiction that when he has dropped the ball in his accountability to God, trying to hide things from his wife and run from God's conviction, it devastated the entire family unit.  There is no way a man can walk away from his God given role without it effecting the entire family in a devastating way.  

I can attest to this first hand.  Watching my husband self destruct and avoid God's conviction and guidance was absolutely devastating.  It not only caused great anxiety and hurt, it caused me to have to fulfill two roles, as the head of the house at times as well as my normal role of helper and manager of the home.  I was absolutely spent at times and it caused much resentment that I am still in the process of healing from.  

Garrick shared that he is no different than Adam.  As God told him his punishment would be having to work his tail off... Garrick stated that he is now having to work his tail off in regaining the trust of others.  He gave away his integrity when he gave into sin and he is now waging war to get it back.  Satan comes... promises to give you everything you think you ever wanted..... and all he really does... is take everything you ever loved.  

I think we can easily see how all of these consequences are still playing out in our marriages and lives today.  Now, as grim as this sounds, there is great and wonderful hope for all marriages.  

But that hope... is anchored in the stability and consistency in God, who never changes, who is the same today, yesterday and will be the same tomorrow.  

I am telling you, as much and as deeply as Garrick and I love one another, if it were not for God's grace and constant conviction and STRENGTH.... there is a very good chance.... Garrick and Missy.... would be no more.  

Today... I pray.... you stay one step ahead of the enemy.  Just like the game of football.... you have to know your opponents strategy!  This is no different! Be on guard... .ALWAYS... of what Satan is trying to cook up to separate you and your spouse.  It's like a saying I read once said..

"God has a plan for your marriage... so does Satan.  But you must be wise to know.... which one to battle and which one to embrace."

Peace and Blessings
Your Friends
Garrick and Missy
 
 
Meaningful, Messy Marriage
❤Moments ❤

(Learning to Let God Lead….. One Day at a Time)
-A Woman Redeemed
Hello All!!  Last week our devotion focused in on the reactions of Adam and Eve after they had sinned and God confronted them.  As we learned, they shifted blame, threw others under the bus and evading all accountability. I still can't help but wonder how God may have responded if they had fallen on their knees in repentance rather then try to run from accountability.  But, I guess that is neither here nor there.  

This week we will dig into more scripture!!  We will be reading and focusing in on the grave consequences of their sin.  With every choice we make comes either positive or negative consequences, and their actions certainly delivered to them a life time of consequences that would effect every generation that came after them.

So... for this week... read Genesis 3:14-19 and answer the following questions!!!  HAPPY DEVOTION!

1. Do you find it interesting the God chose to punish the serpent, which was Satan in disguise, even though Satan had already been punished by being thrown out of heaven?  Why do you suppose God punished the serpent knowing it was Satan in disguise?


❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:








2. God tells the serpent that he will put enmity between he and the woman and between his offspring and her offspring.  He also tells the serpent that his head shall be bruised and the heel of man bruised by the serpent?  Does this speak to you in any way?  What do you believe God was revealing to the serpent about his life to come?


❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:








3. What was God's punishment for Eve? What does God mean when he tells Eve he her "desire" shall be for her husband and he shall rule over you?  (the answer to this is quite interesting!)


❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:








4. What was Adam's punishment? 


❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:








5.  How do you see these punishments and consequences still playing out today, perhaps in your own life and marriage? 


❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:








There is so much to learn from this chunk of scripture and so much you can apply to the world we currently live in.  You can begin to piece together the reason for the intense struggles we face today in the union of marriage and how imperative it is to have God as your ally.  Without His protection and constant strength being fed into you, it is extremely easy to go astray and cause destruction to your marriage, even if unintended!  

I will be praying that God reveals great and wonderful things to your hearts through this 

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend
Missy