For those who really know me or have followed my posts for awhile. you may have noticed that from time-to-time, I will get up SUPER early to write. I should tell you that 4-4:30a is my typical waking time. It gives me a chance to read morning devotions, check in on social media and read whatever book I’ve started — sometimes two.
This morning I woke up at midnight, then fell back asleep. I woke up at 1:30, then continued to lay there. I was hoping that my husband’s “early” meant that his alarm would be going off at 2a because that would give me a good excuse to just get up and get a cup of coffee! Sure enough, his alarm did go off at 2 and I walked my happy butt into the kitchen to make a nice cup of joe!
I grabbed my computer, my headphones and headed back to my room to read and write. I know God has something for me when I wake up like that so I typically try to limit the distractions while I wait with expectation of what He wants me to know, learn or share.
As I read, I started to think on something I thought I would write about. Then, when making a second cup of coffee (don’t judge me, it was 3a!), two words popped into my head.
I had something — something to think about. Something I’ve already thought about, that I’ve already been working on myself. But WHAT IF someone else needed to hear these words too?
Follow me for a bit…
you picked up his dirty clothes just once more? you didn’t complain when he didn’t do something your way? you met him at the door when he came home from work? you didn’t spill everything wrong with your day in the first 5 minutes he’s home? you acknowledged his positive attributes publicly instead of ridiculing privately? you started thinking of one reason each day that you appreciate him? you didn’t always have to have the last word? you didn’t choose to believe the worst before thinking the best? you packed his lunch? you kissed him longer than normal? you chose to speak love into him? you thought of him before your kids? you focused on what he was saying, even if you don’t understand what he’s talking about? you made it a point to not always make a point? you loved him for who he is? you encouraged him where he is? you didn’t think on thoughts that are negative towards him? you weren’t always pointing out his mistakes? you smiled more? you showed how much you respect him? you didn’t complain about things that don’t matter? you took him on a surprise date to one of his favorite places? you planned a romantic dinner in your own home?
So many questions…but only one answer. The immediate outcome doesn’t matter. Things aren’t going to change overnight. You’re not going to suddenly have an epiphany or ignore every mistake.
But you will…
begin to look beyond his flaws.
see the man you love for who he is.
remember that man you fell in love with.
feel more encouraged by being an encourager to whom you were made one [with].
notice the little things a little more.
learn to focus on what’s important.
learn that many things you get concerned with, don’t matter.
feel better about feeling better.
I am constantly working against the forces that try to pull my mind in a different direction — that take me from happy to annoyed in 2.2 seconds. I pray constantly to let go of control, to be the best wife I can be, and to learn to focus on what’s important. My marriage is in a place that I never would have dreamed. I’m so happy, so blessed and so ready for what the future holds with my husband. I don’t often think about how few and far between “happy couples” are these days but in all honestly, I know I’m not in the majority. There are so many out there struggling and unable to find a way to mend a hurt or soften a hard heart.
There’s an enemy out there trying to do damage to marriages. He knows what buttons to push. He knows when to start and how not to stop. He knows what people don’t need to hear and stops with what they do. Day in and day out, relationships are strained because the focus went from what if to what is. People forgot to shift their minds from what’s wrong to what could be right.
What if you tried to do things a little different? What if you put a little more effort into things? What if you chose to think good thoughts? What if you didn’t point out his flaws to others, but embraced his strengths? What if you encouraged him? What if you rediscovered why you fell in love with him to begin with? What if you chose to realize that it isn’t always about how you feel because maybe, just maybe, he’s feeling the same way.
We’re wired differently. Men and women don’t think the same way so how can we expect them to act the same way? We have different personalities, different learning styles, different ways to cope or deal with things that come our way. When did these things become things that pull us apart instead of the ties that bind?
The relationships we have in our lives are so important but aside from your relationship with God, your relationship with your spouse is the most important. Your kids, your family, friends, co-workers…they take notice when you are loving, encouraging and respectful. This is part of the foundation on which they will build their future relationships. Show them the important things aren’t the silly things you tend to dwell on but the big things that brought you both together in the first place.
Although the book I’m reading is far from a marriage book, what I read at the beginning of the chapter made me think of this very message.
“It took effort, intentionality, sweat equity, and determination. It took time and commitment before he ever saw any fruit from his labor.”
She [Lysa TerKeurst] goes on to say,
“But eventually, there was a bloom..and then another…and then another.”
Right there is the answer. Immediate change may be what we want but it isn’t what we’re going to get. It’s going to take work. More effort on our part. While we’re hoping for change in another, God will be changing us.
I’m not sure who this is for today but you must know that God sure loves you! So much so that He woke me up at 2am, put a thought in my mind, and gave me the tools to share it with you. I think it’s so cool that we have a God that loves us so much that He is willing to go to great lengths to reach us wherever we are.