Meaningful, Messy Marriage
❤Moments ❤

(Learning to Let God Lead….. One Day at a Time)
-A Woman Redeemed
Welcome to week 16!!  FOUR MONTHS!!!  We are getting close to completing our segment on Forgiveness in Marriage!  Last week we focused on allowing God to humble our hearts.  A prideful heart, that looks down on our spouse for their wrongdoings, will very rarely produce forgiveness.  Understanding that we are a sinner, just like them, will begin allowing our heart to extend the grace that we so greatly need on a daily basis.

Now, it may be very true, that your spouses transgressions have been far more devastating and hurtful than your own, however, no matter what the sin, grace is the only answer.  And, as I have mentioned previously, you would be both shocked and disheartened if you were to be privy to the evil your heart is truly capable of.  Never become so prideful to assume you could "never do such a thing."  When the perfect storm of stress, pain and tribulation come sweeping into our life, we can become people we don't even recognize. People, capable of much darkness.  

But God.  I praise Him for His constant protection over my heart and actions.  Boy can I mess up, but He has guarded me from some of the colossal "mess ups" I may have participated in, without His protection.  

This week, focusing on step 5, we are going to dive into the Song of Solomon.  The Song of Solomon is a inspiring book expressing the deep love and attraction a couple has for one another.  This book has often been referenced when discussing the married Christian sex life.  Now that we have worked on;
  • Accepting our new identity in Christ.
  • Placing on trust and faith in Christ not our spouse. 
  • Humbling our hearts and letting go of our pride.
  • Focusing on whatever is lovely.... and striving to let go of negative thoughts and mindsets.

This next step is putting something "lovely" into our hearts and allowing it to take action.  This week we are going to read the Song of Solomon and begin allowing affection back into our marriage.  This is an area that often has to go slowly and each spouse needs to be extremely patient and unselfish.  I encourage you to read the entire book at some point, however there are a few scriptures that I really love that I am going to have you focus on.  This book shows the intense love and passion a couple has for one another and truly, this is God's desire for all marriages.  

For whatever reason, this world portrays the unmarried, single flinging individuals with the most passionate and fulfilling sex lives, however, God intended for this intensity and passion to be the stronger in the marriage bed!!!  

Here are the scriptures we are going to read and discuss as a couple!!  ENJOY!!

"Behold, you are beautiful my love. behold, you are beautiful.  Your eyes are like doves." Song of Solomon 1:15

"The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes, leaping over mountains, bounding over hills." Song of Solomon 2:8

"when I found who my soul loves, I held him and would not let him go." Song of Solomon 3:4

"My am my beloved's and my beloved is mine." Song of Solomon 6:3

"Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it." Song of Solomon 8;7

1.  Tell your spouse something you find both physically and internally beautiful about them.

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

2. Think back to when you felt excited just to hear your spouses voice or when you saw them coming, the butterflies you would feel inside.  Remember when you would rush through whatever you were doing, just to be with one another.  Discuss your favorite memory with one another.

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

3. Discuss the life struggles and stressors that allowed you to begin "letting go" of your spouse.  Talk about the moments that spark that desire in your heart again.

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

4. Our desire for love should never be quenched!!  We should continue to long for our spouse like the day we began loving them!  AND, no flood should be allowed to drown that love! We will face many floods throughout our marriages.... but God... is King over the floods!!! Discuss how you will combat the floods of life and never allow the love for one another to be quenched or drown!

IOne of the biggest consequences of conflict and pain in marriage is the loss of emotional and physical affection.  

I recall during the darkest times of Garrick's addiction I not only didn't want him anywhere near me, I didn't want to speak to him or hear his voice.  

It was devastating to feel this way inside.  I recall the crazy making confusion I felt inside of wanting SOOOOO badly to be close to my husband but feeling SOOOOO hurt and angry it was not even remotely possible.  

So now that we have worked through the first 4 steps of forgiveness it is time to move on to step 5 which is learning to reconnect in your marriage.  The Song of Solomon is the perfect book to use for this step as the entire book is flooded with depictions of a couple madly in love with one another.  They had certainly achieved becoming ONE flesh.  

Garrick and I used to share an intensely close relationship, but when the addiction took over this are of our marriage was greatly affected.  

Today we are on an uphill fight to regain what Satan came to steal, kill and destroy!!  

Garrick shared with me that basically any skin showing on my body is beautiful to him.  Now, I thought this was a little excessive, however, he informed me it was very true, even my belly button.  He also shared that apparently he could not keep his eyes off my ankles in church today, as that was really the only skin that was appropriate to show in church! LOL  

Internally, he shared he loves what he referred to as my innocent and silly sense of humor.  He stated that even though he does not find a lot of the same things as funny as I do, he can't help but laugh because I think they are funny!

What I find most beautiful physically about Garrick is his manly physique!!  Now, Garrick has been  a rough and tough construction worker type since I have known him.  Even in High School you saw him in nothing but t-shirts and jean.  I told him I am most turned on by him when he is in his dirty construction worker clothes than a three piece suit.  That is just him.  He is a hard working, strong manly man and that is what I find beautiful about him. 

As for internally, it hands down his patience and calmness.  In the 20 years I have known Garrick, I am not lying when I tell you, I have NEVER EVER heard him yell or scream in our home.  Ever.  I know he gets angry and frustrated but he has an uncanny ability to express his anger appropriately.  The last few years have not been our norm but as a whole, he has self control with his emotions like no one I have ever known.  

Garrick shared that he still feels excitement when he hears my voice and sees me coming.  He shared that when he is on the road and gone for a few nights, he gets excited just to hear my voice on the phone or face time.  

I shared that my best memory or most recent memory of feeling that excitement to see him or hear his voice was one time in the past few years during the depth of his addiction.  It was a Sunday morning and we were getting ready for church. Garrick was not preaching and was also feeling extremely anxious and depressed from withdrawals.  He didn't want to go to church.  I took the kids and went.  We were standing up for worship and began singing when I saw him walk in the back doors. My heart jumped and I ran to him.  I remember feeling so excited to see him walk in, especially when I did not expect him.

 I also get very excited to see a sweet unexpected texts from him throughout the day!!! AI text with no demands from the world, just a simple I love you or I miss you.

Garrick shared that the only thing that makes him feel separated from me is when I am worn out, tired and exhausted because it makes it very hard to connect with me.  
I, on the other hand, struggle more with pulling away with daily stress and/ or marital stress.  I have especially struggled throughout Garrick's addiction as it has made me feel "unsafe" which has caused me to self protect and pull away.  One of the ways I am beginning to heal from this is to put step 2 in action and placing my faith and trust in God rather than in Garrick.  This is allowing me slowly to reconnect with Garrick on every level. 
I loved the last scripture that we focused on.  "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it." Song of Solomon 8:7 When we discussed how to keep the spark alive in marriage we both agreed it was imperative to learn to separate our daily stressors from our marriage.  Garrick told me he is easily able to do this, as when he has had a bad day he longs to come home to spend time with me.  I shared that often I look at him as more of a reprieve coming than my husband coming home.  

I shared that part of the struggle in me not being able to separate my day to day stress from our marriage is when I feel like I my feelings are not acknowledged.  Garrick is learning to do this much better.  Just to listen and understand.  

A couple years ago, I gave a mother's day speech at church.  I told men that they make things way too difficult. It is actually fairly simple to speak to a woman's heart.   I explained that women just need them to have compassion.  I told the men to come home with a candy bar or her favorite drink or candy, tell her to go take 15 minutes to herself in her room or hot bath and eat it. Acknowledge her feelings and show her you care.  It is that simple.  

This is why women most often call women and may choose not to confide in their spouses.  Women will take the time to understand and even if they can't completely understand, they will listen, they will extend compassion and they will offer to help in any way they can.  They won't try to fix it or make the problem go away, they will just support her and help her to feel as though she is not alone. 

For most women... the most painful place to be.... is alone.... with her emotions. 

When I know my husband cares, that spark is very hard to put out!!! I love him even more and long to be with him, snuggle with him and feel his arms of protection around me.  When I feel he makes no effort to hear me or care.... I want to do bodily harm to his arms!! LOL  Joking aside, we agreed the spark is kept alive by a constant intentional striving to hear our spouse, help our spouse and be the extension of Christ in our spouse's life.  

We also agreed that another vital thing is to always remember who our spouse is at their core.  Why we fell in love with them in the first place and trust in faith that even though the core of who we are can get buried under the stress of life..... it is always there is we dig hard enough.  

When life happens.... it can change us...not always for the better. Helping our spouse to remember who they truly are at their core...... is a priceless gift.... with eternal benefits.  

Peace and Blessings
Your Friends 
Missy and Garrick 
STEP 4!!!  

This step take MEGA training for most of us and I will be the first to admit, 13 years of knowing these scriptures and I still struggle more than I care to accept.  

I have come to recognize and believe that my mind is hands down, my worst enemy.  It really always has been.  I am in no way blaming my  childhood for any of my current shortcomings, however, growing up in the very stressful and anxiety inducing home as a child, I am certain plays a huge role in my battles of the mind.  

I am an adult now and know I can choose to live and think differently.  I do not blame my history for my present issues; as God has given me the resources to wipe the slate clean and choose a different way of thinking and living.  

The problem is.... I often become exhausted from the struggle and cave to that stinkin thinkin, rather than falling at the feet of Christ and at least asking Him to shut my mouth!!! LOL 

This has been quite the battle for me in recovering from our recent marital struggles. Garrick's addiction came in waves.  The positive thing about this, was we had seasons of normality and peace; the negative thing about this is, I came to always expect those seasons to end.  Too many times I place my hope and faith in my husband, trusting we were on the REAL road to recovery this time, opening my heart back up, letting go of past hurts, only to find out the addiction was still alive and well, he had just gotten even better at hiding it.  

The last episode we had really crushed me.  More so than any of the other instances.  When Garrick and I were going through counseling, our wonderful counselor warned us this would happen.  He told us marriage is like a rubber band, you can stretch it and often it will snap back, however, if you stretch it one too many times, it may snap and recovering will be extremely difficult.  Not impossible, but very difficult.  

This last episode, the rubber band snapped.  I could feel it, literally.  It felt different.  I was mentally, absolutely, 100% done.  I was at the point that I could not take ONE. MORE. TIME.  I was numb.  My mind didn't leap to ending the marriage and I was not even sure how I was to handle the situation; all I knew is I was mentally and emotionally bankrupt and getting back was going to take nothing short but the work of God. 

Therefore, as you can well imagine, putting Philippians 4:8 into practice has been somewhat of a challenge for me.  God has been doing magnificent works in both Garrick's life and our marriage.  I can see it.  I can feel it.  I am beginning to trust it.  Yet, that devil won't let me forget the past and there are certain things that will trigger those thoughts and memories that make it even more difficult.  

That is why these steps I am blogging about are so imperative.  Trust me when I tell you, that I am working through these steps as I post them!  This is a recorded journey of our road to restoration and recovery!  God is good.... all the time.  I refuse to waste the pain we have experienced!! God longs to show the world His power that is made PERFECT in our weakness.  Garrick and I will willingly and humbly allow Him to use our story to achieve His greater purpose.  
As Garrick and I pondered these scriptures, it was very refreshing to tell one another the characteristics we find lovely, honorable, noble and praise worthy in one another.  I can clearly remember the day, when I really had nothing negative to say about my husband. Aside from some of the petty every day things husbands and wives nit pick about, I saw him as an exceptional man, husband and father.  

The addiction stole that from me, but I am very slowly getting it back!  

I was able to list the following things for Garrick that I love about him....
  • He knows where God belongs in his life!
  • He is extremely patient with myself and the kids
  • He can fix almost anything!
  • He is a wonderful provider and works hard for it!
  • He can build and remodel to perfection!
  • He has become more and more compassionate and nurturing!
  • He is resourceful.
  • He always wants me to feel loved.
  • He loves to surprise me with things.
  • He is generous.

I,know there are many more, but these rolled off my tongue easily.  Garrick shared things he loved about me as well....

  • My unwillingness to give up.... even wen I want to.
  • A constant strive to grow my relationship with God, even though I may struggle!
  • My sense of humor (it's a little out there.... ask our church family..... Fozzy my dog... may or may NOT have sang at church yesterday!! LOL)
  • My dedication to our children and family. 
  • Doing the right thing, even when it hurts to do so.
  • He has called me a very strong woman.... I don't know if he will ever know how much that meant to hear, as throughout our painful journey... I have often felt anything but strong. 

I willingly admit I have to learn to take the negative thoughts of the past captive immediately and allow God to put them to death.  My taking them "captive" that means they are locked up, unable to rule and reign in my mind.  I have failed at being able to do this, thus far.  I do give myself grace, as it takes time for a heart to heal.  I am able to take my bad thoughts captive more now than a month ago, so I praise God for progress!!!!  

Garrick shared he struggles with similar issues.  During the past few years, in heated moments of anger I was very guilty of saying and sharing hurtful things with him that are very difficult for him to forget.  One f those issues was something that I had not been honest about with him throughout our marriage.  Without getting into uncomfortable details, it was something significant that I had allowed to become insignificant over the years. It was very hurtful to Garrick and worse yet, came out in a moment of heated anger.  

We both have many thoughts that have to be taken captive..... regularly.... and failure to do so will cripple our ability to heal.  

The bottom line is this.... neither a husband or wife is perfect and unlike the Almighty God, we do not have the ability to wipe things from our memory.  

Even bad memories serve their purpose.  They are a constant reminder of where we do NOT want to be, ever again. They are the signs pointing us down the narrow path, attempting to divert us from the wide and destructive one.  

Today.... I shall challenge myself and my spouse to see even the bad memories with an outline of "lovely" as God calls me to count it all joy.... when I fall into various trials.... knowing the trials will be the instruments He uses to carry His work in me.... to completion.  

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
GOOD SUNDAY!  Today... we are moving on to step 4 in the journey to forgiveness!!!  Last week we established the fact that it is nearly impossible to move to forgiveness without a humble heart.  Jesus demonstrates this beautifully for us with His life on earth.  As long as we inhabit a heart a prideful heart, seeing our spouses sin as greater than ours, we will struggle greatly with forgiveness.  

Once again, I will reiterate, that if our spouse has not been repentant, most of these steps are going to be a monstrous challenge, however, with the strength of Christ, we can still slowly push forward.  This week we are going to zone in on one of my favorite scriptures that I really need tattooed somewhere on my body that I can see it ALL THE TIME!  Philippians 4:8!!!

One of my greatest struggles is being what Garrick refers to is an "archaeologist," digging up the past!!! LOL Now, in my defense, sometimes it is not so much digging up that past, as it is struggling to remove the memories from my heart and mind.  It does not take much to trigger bad memories and consequently, the negative emotions that come along with those memories.  I battle this often.  There is a difference, however, in choosing to dwell on negative past issues and simply struggling with pop up memories that draw deep emotion.  

What we have to learn to do is reign those thoughts and memories in and replace them with God's truths and promises.  The moment those thoughts enter your mind, you have to choose to take them captive and replace them with positive thoughts and meditations.  No matter what our spouse has done in the past, they inhabit some wonderful qualities, or it is very unlikely we would have married them in the first place.  We have to fight to regain the positive memories and put to death the negative ones.  

*NOTE* to both spouses here..... this is VERY VERY VERY hard to do, when NEW bad memories continue to be created!  You must make a genuine effort to kill the past negative habits and actions that built up that giant wall of negative memories.  Hopefully, this devotion will continue to help you do so.  

BUT, for this week.... we are going to focus on these two scriptures..... 

"Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report. if there is virtue or anything praiseworthy,- meditate on these things." Philippians 4:8

"We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:6

1. What does Philippians 4:8 tell us to focus on?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

2. What are some positive and lovely things you can focus on about your spouse and your marriage?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

3.  What are some thoughts you need to put to death?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

4. What does 2 Corinthians 10:6 tell us to do with our thoughts?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

5.  What does it mean to "take our thoughts captive"?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

Take a few minutes and write down all the positive and lovely qualities your spouse has and then share them with each other.  Keep these treasured lists for future reference and to remind yourself, your spouse does see goodness in you!!!

Peace and Blessings
Your Friends
Missy and Garrick
Pride is a sneaky thing. When we think of a prideful person, more than likely, we think of arrogance and stubbornness.  Someone who thinks very highly of themselves and makes sure everyone else knows it.  Someone who always has to be right and struggles with seeing anyone else's point of view.  

The funny thing is, pride can be extremely sneaky.  Sneaky?  Let me expand.  We may believe that we are the total opposite of prideful but in buried in the root of our heart, pride is alive and well.  

This can definitely rear it's ugly head in marriage, when our spouse messes up.  It is very easy to allow that pride to sneak it's ugly way in, by dwelling on what our spouse did wrong, insisting that we would NEVER do something like that.  It is at it's root.... pride.

Now it may be very true..... that you have not,nor could you imagine doing something as hurtful or devastating as your spouse has done, but trust me when I say, we often have no idea the wickedness that hides in our hearts.  

Just as you are way stronger than you think and are capable of much greater things than your probably give yourself credit for, your flesh is also capable of much more darkness than you are even aware of.  

If you would have asked Garrick 6 years ago, when God first started our church, if he had the capability of becoming an active addict that would forsake his marriage and family to feed his addiction, he would have been adamant that was not possible!  He would never allow that to happen!

Guess what..... he allowed that to happen.  

So the bottom line is this.... hurt is hurt and it can take quite awhile to heal.  But do not intermix pride with hurt.  Hurt is very different.  Pride is believing you are above the transgression your spouse committed, hurt is simply the negative side effect or your spouses transgression.  

Never be so prideful to think.... you could not be taken captive by your flesh.  You have to ALWAYS be on guard, guarding your heart from the woos of the devil.  He is hot on your tail and unfortunately, very seldom relents.  

We have to allow God to humble our hearts.  As long as we wrestle with pride, believing we are in a way "better" than our spouse, we will struggle greatly with forgiveness.  

So let us ponder our scriptures for the day!

Is it possible to be an honorable person, without a humble heart?  

According to Proverbs 15:33, no, it is not.  Pride is a very ugly thing!!!  Jesus was a perfect and flawless example of what a humble heart should look like AND what a humble heart can accomplish!!!  

His focus was on God's purpose for His life, rather than the needs of His flesh.  He understood that though MOST of the things that happened to Him were not fair, they were part of a greater plan that would serve to benefit the world, not just Him.  

The Hands of God.... Can Mold A Humble Heart.

There is no limit to what God can do.... with a wiling heart.  A prideful heart, on the other hand, will produce nothing but strife.  

I will not lie, this is a struggle for me at times.  I find myself fighting against God's will, believing my way makes more sense.  I have learned through the past years of struggle..... 

It does not have to make sense..... to have purpose.  

Next, through Matthew 6:15, we learn the hard truth.... 'if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive you."  Pretty simple and needs very little explanation. 

The bottom line to this is.... if you are going to expect God to forgive your sins, which are more than likely like mine.... plentiful.... then you have no right to withhold forgiveness from others.  You cannot expect and accept forgiveness from Christ's death and in turn refuse forgiveness to others.  That is pride at it's ugliest!! And believe me when I say, it simply does not work like that.  

NOW... I have mentioned in previous posts that forgiveness is not always a decision, it is often a journey.  Sometimes, we may be able to choose immediate forgiveness as our heart is aligned with God's will, other times, due to pain and hurt, it may take some time and work.  

That is ok!!  As long as you continue to push forward through the journey and as long as you understand.... you are COMMANDED to forgive... it is not an option..... it is a command!

Now, you may be asking.... "how on EARTH do I forgive when my spouse is not repentant???"  Perhaps your spouse has not been enlightened yet and has not fully seen the devastation of their sin.  You cannot control that and you cannot make them see it, however, you can still choose to work toward forgiveness.

This will more than likely be a longer process and take much more time, effort and strength from the Lord, but it is very possible.  How do I know this??  

Take Romans 5:8 for instance...

"But God demonstrates His love for us in this, while we were still sinners. Christ died for us."

While the world sat and mocked Christ, spit on Him, called Him names and falsely accused Him of wrongdoings that landed Him hanging on a cross, beaten to a pulp and bleeding from every crevice of His body..... He asked God to forgive them all!!!

THAT..... is love.   THAT... is humbleness. our calling.  You are not responsible for your spouses actions and you certainly are not expected to like them, condone them or affirm them.  You are only responsible for your own actions.... and God calls you to forgive... even when forgiveness may not seem due.

Now don't confuse forgiveness for reconciliation.  Forgiveness does not mean you have to allow their negative behavior back in your life.  You have the right to set healthy boundaries for yourself and follow through with them. God can and will still give you the power to forgive.... while still allowing you to care for yourself.  

What would that type of forgiveness look like';
in our situation, if Garrick had continued to choose his addiction, I could choose to forgive him, but still separate from him, until he became healthy and killed the addiction. I could still offer him prayers and encouragement, but I do not have to enable to forgive.  

You have to be aware of forgiveness being used as a manipulation tactic to get you to comply with the transgressors wishes.  Don't fall for it.  You can offer love and forgiveness without offering up your mental health and well being.  There is a HUGE difference!!!  

I was fully prepared to do this in my own marriage.  I could not flourish and stay mentally and/or physically stable while living with an active addict.  

Now, in our situation, this was a big issue that effected the entire family.  Most of the transgressions we experience in our marriage are not quite as devastating and monumental.  We have to get good at forgiving the little things..... before we will be prepared to forgive the major things.  

Everyday.... God will give you chances to choose forgiveness in your marriage.  I truly believe that.  He will also give you the tools and strength to do it.... but not without first recognizing your own flaws and transgressions and being aware that you are NOT better than your spouse.... even though outward actions may look that way.  

We have to ask God to humble our hearts, in order for us to be willing and open to carry out His greater purposes in our lives.  

Hands down, my greatest struggle with forgiveness in our marriage has been through Garrick's addiction.  This is due to the hurt and pain is caused my heart and it takes a woman's heart a great length of time to heal and trust again.  

I have to fight the urge to regress sometimes when something happens that sparks a bad memory or thought.  It is often a daily struggle.... but one I am winning with God;s strength on my side! 

Have you identified your greatest struggle with forgiveness in your marriage??

Ask God to humble your heart today.... and help you to offer that forgiveness to your spouse. Be patient through the journey and wait in expectation for miracle to happen!!!

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
Howdy!!  This week we are going to continue journeying through the topic of forgiveness in marriage!!  We have discussed the first two steps; recognizing your new identity in Christ and placing your trust in Christ's hands, not your spouses.  

This week we are going to work on step 3, which I find, to be one of the most difficult!!!  This week we zone in on HUMBLENESS.  Jesus was the perfect and flawless model of humbleness.  He is the King of the world.  Creator of the universe, yet, He came to earth to be a servant.  He slept on the ground, had no place to call home, washed the disciples feet and took a excruciating punishment for the entire world, even those that hate Him!
When our spouse transgresses against us, especially if it is a pretty significant thing, it becomes very easy for out heart to breed pride.  We look at what our spouse has done and may think.... "I would NEVER do something like that! I have messed up, but not THAT BAD!"

I have definitely personally struggled with this issue!  As long as my heart is stuck in pride mode, it will be very difficult, it not IMPOSSIBLE, to forgive my spouse.  Step 3 in forgiving is allowing God to humble your heart and kill that pride.  And while it may be true that you have not messed up "that" badly or you would never do what they have done; I am sure, if you asked Christ, He would have a list of sins you have committed that would leave you blushing!!

My point is this; our sins may be different and our sins may not seem as damaging, and perhaps they aren't, but they are sins none the less and where would we be, without God's forgiveness on a daily basis?

So this week, we are going to work on asking God to humble our hearts and recognize without His gift of forgiveness, we would be hopeless!  The hardest thing will be finding this humbleness even if our spouse is not repentant!  We will work more on this next week! Read these scriptures with your spouse and complete the following questions.  

"The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor? Proverbs 15:33

"But if you do not forgive others sins, your Father will not forgive yours." Matthew 6:15

"But God demonstrates His love for us in this, while we were still sinners. Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

1.  According to these scriptures, can you be an honorable person, if you do not have a humble heart?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

2. Are we still able to be forgiven, even if we choose not to forgive?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

3. How does Christ demonstrate the ultimate humble heart to us?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

4.  Where is the greatest are you struggle with forgiveness?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

5. Do you have an unrepentant sin against your spouse?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

Take some time to really discuss this topic and ask God to humble your heart before your spouse.  This one can be very tough, especially if you have been hurt greatly!  Give each other grace and do not use this as a weapon or a guilt producer, use this to grow in a beautiful way!!  

Peace and Blessings
Your Friends
Missy and Garrick 

There is no doubt about it!  I think most of us would agree there is no one that can frustrate or hurt us more than our spouse.  Consequently, there is also no one on earth that we long to be loved and appreciated more from, than our spouse.  

Have you ever questioned why that is?

Well, God revealed that to me this morning and it was kind of a DUH moment.  No ones has more effect on you, than your spouse, because you are ONE with them.  You became one flesh, remember?  Therefore, it only make sense that their actions and words would effect us more than anyone elses. 

BUT REMEMBER THIS..... both you and your spouse are also ONE with God.  Everything you do, you bring God along with you for the ride.  

So who is more important??  

God of course.  

This is where a lot of us go very wrong in our marriage.  We begin placing our spouse above God.  We put our trust in them, rather than God.  We place our faith in them to meet our needs and desires, rather than God.  We idolize their love and affection more than Gods.  

And the hard truth is, our spouse does not gold a candle to God.  There is no competition.  God has the ability to provide for you and meet your needs better than your spouse could on their best day.  

Here is why this is so important in the process of forgiveness.  

Addiction is a scary thing because you have no idea if and when that desire to use will pop back into the addicts mind.  The struggle with addiction is alive in them, even if it is laying dormant.  Therefore, I have absolutely no assurance that my spouse will not relapse or fall prey to his addiction again.  You cannot trust an addict, as the entire disease revolves around deceit, lies and manipulation.  

So how do I ever move on?  How to I ever forgive when I am constantly worried that any day may be doom's day?

This is how.... by not placing my hope and faith in Garrick's strength.... but Gods!!!!

Everyday, I pray to God for my husband and I place my trust in God to continue to restore him and keep him from falling.  

This has been my greatest struggle hands down.  The moment I begin to place my trust back on my husband, the fear and worry take over.  I begin questioning his every move and paranoia takes over.  
We are clearly NOT ready for MONDAY!!!! LOL
God centers and grounds me.  He keeps me focused on the BIG picture.... which is His purpose will not be withheld from me and He will make good out of anything situation He throws my way.  When I place my trust back on Him.... the fear and anxiety disappear and joy returns.  

Garrick stated that the greatest way he places me above God in our marriage is his desire for affection.  His love language is physical affection, random hugs, back rubs, snuggling.  And while I enjoy those things, our past experiences have taken this desire away from me as it used to be.  I struggle more with giving or receiving physical affection.  This is a consequence of trust being broken.  

As time goes on and my trust is rebuilt, it becomes easier for me.  However, in the meantime, Garrick struggles with allowing this to effect him rather than trusting God's perfect timing and purpose.  

Just as I have to continue to pray for God to keep my husband from falling he has to pray for God to restore my desire for affection as it used to be.  

Placing our trust in one another will only leave us feeling discouraged and hopeless, which in turns drives us to bitterness.  Bitterness will make forgiving extremely difficult.  

Forgiveness..... is born through a trust in God's sovereign will.  Bitterness dies.... at the birth of trust.  

Where are your struggles with trust?  

Give them to God today and watch your heart.... find forgiveness you never thought possible.  

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
Prior to Christmas, God lead me to begin a segment on forgiveness in marriage.  It is no surprise that God placed this topic on my heart considering the road Garrick and I have traveled in the past few years.  Forgiveness is an essential part of a healthy, functioning marriage and is also a commandment as a follower of Christ.  

Anyone who professes to be a Christian is very much aware of God's call to forgive others; even our enemies, even those that are not sorry.  This can be extremely challenging and often times; may feel impossible!  I know, as I have been there.  

One of the things that God has taught me about forgiveness is it is often a process.  You may choose in your mind that you want and will forgive someone, but it may take some time for your heart to catch up with your head.  That is why you cannot be lead by your heart, you must lead your heart.  

The first week we talked about forgiveness; I addressed what Garrick and I believe is step one; which is recognizing that you are a new creation in Christ, therefore, it is very possible to forgive, even when you feel you can't.  

We studied 2 Corinthians 5:17.... Therefore you are a new creation in Christ.  

This week we are going to talk about step 2; which is placing your trust in the proper place... which the hands of God, not your spouse.  Once you understand that you are now a new creation in Christ, it is essential that you learn to place your trust in any situation in hands of Christ rather than the hands of your spouse.  

This is one of the ONLY ways that I can continue to push forward, not allowing the fear and worry of Garrick relapsing with his addiction consume me.  The trust in our marriage was badly damaged by the past events, therefore, if my only hope was placing my trust in Garrick, every day would be a struggle.  

When marriage gets to the point that it seem hopeless, it truly may be without the miraculous, restoring power of God being invited in.  This week, we are going to read one of my favorite scriptures in Jeremiah and then discuss as a couple the areas that we struggle with placing our trust in our spouse, rather than God.  

"Cursed is the man that trusts in man, and makes flesh his strength.whose heart turns away from the Lord.  He is like a shrub in the desert and will not see any good to come.  Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord, whose trust is in the Lord.  He is like a tree planted by water that sends out its roots by the stream and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green." Jeremiah 17:5-8

1. What does this scripture state trusting in man and your flesh will result in ?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

2. What does this scriptures state will result in trusting in the the Lord?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

3. Discuss the things you struggle with placing your trust in your spouse rather than God, in your marriage.

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

4. Has placing your trust and faith in your spouse rather than God had positive or negative effects?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

5. Name some ways that as a couple, you can begin to put your faith in trust in God rather than one another?

❤Husband’s Response:

❤Wife’s Response:

Last night Garrick and I took some time to reflect on the past year and pray and focus on our goals for this year!  

As we are both fully aware of the painful and difficult year 2016 was, we did not need to rehash very much!  Our focus now, needs to be pushing forward while allowing healing and restoration to continue to grow.  

Goal setting sounds very boring and cliche!  Many people associate goal setting with more work or extra burden, however, I have found it to be the exact opposite.  When I don't set goals, I very rarely achieve much of what I desire to achieve.  It is amazing to me how much more I accomplish in a day when I write out a simple to do list.  There is also a great satisfaction that comes with scratching things off that list!! Trust me on this one!

The trick as I have mentioned before, is make sure the goal is attainable and to break it down into bite size pieces so it is not overwhelming!

For instance, in terms of our marriage, it would be pretty ridiculous for me to set the goal of taking two overseas vacations together.  First off, I know our finances would most likely NOT allow this as well as the time needed, therefore, even if I would love to do it, I would not make this a goal.  Rather, I made it a goal to have at least 2 getaways throughout the year!  This could be a weekend, a week or simply an overnight somewhere.  This goal is both attainable and important to us!


So after discussing the doy ik  ww1e`kl//.wnfalls and successes of 2016, we concluded that our mutual marriage goal would be this...

*For both Missy and Garrick to walk in obedience to God word and directives with all of the strength God offers and to grow in our relationship with God, knowing this will greatly benefit and strengthen our marriag

So here are the bite size pieces....

  • Read the Bible daily, individually or together.
  • Daily prayer time, specific to our marriage daily, individually or together. 
  • Pray together at least 4 times per week.
  • Continue our Sunday evening devotion
  • Have at least one date night a month away from home
  • Take at least 2 yearly getaways together.

So there you have it!  All of these little pieces are totally doable and if we are diligent about them, they will lead us to a closer relationship with the Lord and each other!

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend