Do You See Your Spouse as Grace from God?

As Valentine’s Day arrived this year I received a very sweet card from my farmer.  He is usually the funny card kind guy so the card he chose for me this year really touched me.

I am so thankful for him in my life.  Moving beyond divorce and the disappointment, shame and hurt was not an overnight journey for me but it was so worth it.  If you find yourself in a place that you never expected, divorced, take heart there is hope.

God can restore what was or provide you with something new.  Seek Him, repent of your sin/your part in the end of the marriage, embrace grace, forgiveness and healing.  You can find the life you always thought you would have.

This weekend my farmer and I attended a marriage conference together.  It was such a great reminder to fix my eyes on all the things I have to be thankful for in my marriage.  Looking for the good in my husband will help me to see more of it.

Mingling of Souls is an annual marriage conference by Matt & Lauren Chandler.  During the conference, Matt reminded us that as Christians we are not yet what we will one day be.  We are a work in progress.

Strange how we want our spouse to be a finished product but we see in ourselves we aren’t there yet.  We often compare our very best moments or features with our spouse’s worst.  Keeping our eyes focused on the truth of our journey can help us show more grace to our spouse and find more growth in ourselves.

Matt also said when he was young and questioning his relationship with Lauren, a mentor once told him you will fight with someone the rest of your life; do you want it to be Lauren or not?  It is funny to think of our spouse being the person we will fight with our whole life but it is true.

We are both a work in progress so there will be conflict.  Too often we see conflicts as something that reveals our spouse’s weakness.
Instead we must see our struggles and conflict as a gift of Grace from God. Matt Chandler #TakeHeart Click To TweetInstead we must see our struggles and conflict as a gift of Grace from God.

How can that be a gift?  Each struggle or conflict reveals what is going on inside of us.  God is revealing to us something about ourselves so we can grow.

When he is late, do I give him the benefit of the doubt or do I become impatient and selfish?  When he leaves his clothes on the floor instead of putting them in the hamper, am I playing a martyr or being prideful?

Examining my heart will help me grow and progress in sanctification.  Being angry and holding him to an unfair standard will just make us both miserable and break down our relationship.

The process of becoming more like our Lord is not an easy one but it is one which we are called to engage in.  Our spouse is just one of the many things the Lord uses to help us grow.


In what way, will seeing your spouse as a gift of Grace from God change your relationship?

 

 

How to Navigate Life with a Personal Manifesto

      During life transitions just making simple decisions can cause you to become completely overwhelmed.  We often try to function on autopilot, unfortunately instead we just get pulled in whatever direction the crisis is that is right in front of us wants us to go.

Wandering aimlessly then causes more frustration because the things that are most important to us get neglected.  The overwhelm gets worse and worse.

Writing your personal manifesto can make all the difference in seasons of transition.  There are lots of different ideas about what a personal manifesto is and how to create your own.

In general, it is a written statement which includes your core values.  The great thing about this statements is it might not be true today but you desire for them to be true of you in the end.

A personal manifest functions as “your own personal code of conduct that is not decided in the moment but predetermined before you are in crisis.” states Kathi Lipp in Overwhelmed.

To write your personal manifesto you will want to take some time to think about what is most important to you.

 

When you think of your most treasured values you think of things you want to always be true.  Identify 5 to 8 core values and turn them into statements that will provide guidance to how you will live them out.

Everyone says they love God first then family and then their job.  But do most of us don’t live that way?  Writing manifesto statements help you to think through what it looks like when you do live out your values.

I also found it helpful to put myself in the future and think about what I want people to be saying about me when I am no longer here.  I want to be true to who God made me to be and the mission He has put on my heart to live out.

 Here is my Manifesto:

(Note: I decided to put my manifesto on this picture of me because I love this picture.  It reminds me that these words are about the REAL me.  I have printed it and hung it on the wall of my office so that I will not lose sight of these important values.)

Some of these statements I am living out pretty well today but might become more of a challenge tomorrow.  I think that developing your personal manifesto will also help you live out your life with intention.

 

When you face decisions, whether they be, can you add this commitment to your calendar? or are you going to do business with a specific person?   Your personal manifesto can help you make that decision quicker and easier than before.  It is almost like making decisions before they are even presented.

 

Can I help teach Sunday School at church?  Well, it is helping others to learn of my Daddy the king, and it is offering encouragement to others BUT will it interfere with being the best wife to my farmer or daughter to my daddy?  At this stage in my lifetime is very valuable.  I already have a lot on my plate so though it is a good activity I must say no for now.

 

Using my personal manifesto to govern my calendar and life will be a tool I look forward to using for many years to come.  It represents the me I want to be every day.

 

I hope you see the value of developing your personal manifesto. 

 

 

I would be happy to talk with you more about how to identify your core values and develop statements that best incorporate those things which you are most important to you.  As a coach this is one of the first steps to helping a person move forward toward the life they want and a lot of fun!

 

 

I would love to see your Personal Manifesto!  Please share them with me at TakeHeartTransitions Facebook page.

 

Review by Rayna: Overwhelmed: How to Quiet the Chaos & Restore Your Sanity

Overwhelmed is one of the best books I have read.  I don’t feel that I am a person who sits in overwhelm very often but I learned a lot from Kathi and Cheri’s book.

The goal of the book is to help us learn to: expand our capacity for joy regardless of life circumstances, make intentional choices today that serve us tomorrow, trade the to do list that controls us for a calendar that creates space for our lives, decide whose feedback to forget and whose input to invite, and finally replace fear of the future with peace in the present. 

Kathi and Cheri break down the 5 reasons we reach a point of overwhelm.
  1.  Decision fatigue
  2.  Lack of understanding your true self   
  3.  Not being true to your true self 
  4.  Doing too much for too many with too little for too long. 
  5.  Unexpected emergencies. 
  6.  Disappointment and worry. 

Gaining understanding of the fact that my overwhelm is not the same as others around me helped me grow in compassion for others. Click To Tweet

Since, I am not prone to overwhelm as I had defined it the 6 kinds of overwhelm was very helpful.

The second part of the book went into realistic ideas to help overcome overwhelm.

I appreciated that they were all practical and logical suggestions.  I will share just a few highlights in this review.

Kathi does an amazing job explaining how routine helps us avoid overwhelm by preparing ourselves for what is to come.  She talks about being nice to our future selves.  I really like thinking of taking the time to do something now as being nice to me tomorrow.

We set ourselves up for overwhelming failure when we place unrealistic expectations on our future selves.  The best way to take care of our future self is by predeciding

The concept of predeciding is one that really made an impact on me and challenged my mindset.  Predeciding is done before you face an overwhelming situation.

Predeciding who you are as a person, what your core values are and how you will act save you time energy and agony.  Deciding in the moment to do the right thing is exhausting and completely overwhelming at times.  “Predeciding makes sure your future self is your very best self.”

Another impactful section was around living in crisis.  Cheri describes her life as going from crisis to crisis but she learned from Kathi that the overwhelm is not the only way to live even in crisis.

If a short-term crisis is dragging on for so long that it is starting to become your new normal then don’t wait for things to get back to normal, they might not.  Find a healthy new normal you can live with.  Stop living as if you are in a crisis.

One more area that stuck out to me was self care.  Making self care a nonnegotiable is a must.  Taking care of others seems to be expected but we were never taught to care for ourselves.

Many times, we can become overwhelmed because we are too busy caring for everyone else.  I know that this is when I most often find myself feeling overwhelmed.  I want to help and I don’t want to disappoint anyone SO self care is overlooked and overwhelm soon follows.

Finally, I really enjoyed Kathi’s perspective on her different Kathis in Chapter 13 but to be honest it is too hard to explain here, so you are just going to have to read it yourself.

I find I often tell you to run out and read the books I review and I always mean it, today I think if you ever feel overwhelmed this is a MUST READ for you.

 

I would love to hear what you learned, or your favorite part after reading overwhelmed.  Leave your comment below!

How does what you believe change your everyday life?

How does what you believe change your everyday life?

Do you believe in Santa Claus?   Do you believe in happily ever after?   Do you believe in God’s word?

How you answer each of these questions will change the way you live. 

If you believe in Santa you will get better gifts, or so I hear.  If you believe in happily ever after you might work harder to invest your marriage so it is happy.  If you believe in God’s word you will know His character and how He feels about you and that will change everything.

Believe has two different definitions: one means to accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of something the second on is to hold (something) as an opinion; think or suppose. Even how you believe something will change your life.

Believing something is truth versus an opinion are worlds apart. 

Sometimes experiencing hard times can mess with your believing.  Things have been difficult with Dad lately.

He is experiencing some new physical issues that have left him very tired and often even more confused.  Sadly, with those feelings he is very agitated and can be unkind.  My dad has always been a gentleman, kind and respectful.  It is very difficult to see him like this, not to mention being the person he is unkind to.

My heart has been saddened and heavy.  As I spilled my heart out to God about how hard this season with Dad is, He asked me, “Rayna, do you still believe I am good?”

This was a question I struggled with years ago when my first marriage came to an end.  It was so hard to understand how I could be experiencing this when it was the last thing I wanted.

How could God let this happen?Psalm 33:4-5

With this question came some exploring of God’s character.  Was it about Him letting this happen or was it really, could God still be good if this is His will for my life?

Struggling with this core belief has changed how I live.

Being rooted in the truth that God is Good helps me to respond to hard times with hope and peace.

When our house burned down, God is Good.

When my dog dies, God is Good.

When I get an, “I love you, Graham.” from Owen, God is Good.

When the harvest is abundant, God is Good.

When the crops are destroyed by flood, God is Good.

When my Dad is struggling and not nice, God is still Good.

What are you believing about God that needs a closer look?  How can you move your belief from opinion to truth?


If you are not sure where to start, I can help.  Coaching might be just what you need to make that shift.   Learn more about coaching here or contact me to talk about what coaching with me would look like for you!

 


“If you wish to know God, you must know his Word. If you wish to perceive His power, you must see how He works by his Word. If you wish to know His purpose before it comes to pass, you can only discover it by His Word.” (C.H. Spurgeon)

Review by Rayna: Necessary Endings

Necessary Endings:  The employees, businesses, and relationships that all of us have to give up in order to move forward

 

From the subtitle you can tell that this book addresses both business and personal relationships.  Though it has many business examples and much wisdom to offer those in leadership it has many valuable principles and truth for everyone concerning relationships.

This is one of those books I wish I had read many years ago.  I had so many favorite parts it is hard to share just a few.

 

The principle of pruning is covered in the beginning of the book is such a practical way that it helps us to understand that it is a teaching we all need to implement in life.  I’m not a gardener but I understood the truth of how caring for plants applies to our lives.  I can see God’s hand doing this in my life at times as well.

Dr. Cloud defines pruning for us as “A function of cutting away to reduce the extent or reach of something by taking away unwanted of superfluous parts. “   Pruning is the intentional step of bringing something to a necessary ending.  There are 3 reasons to bring necessary endings to our lives:

  1. The first reason is if something is stealing resources that could be spent somewhere else that is more valuable.  Even healthy stuff can stop us from growing if there is too much of it.  We can only give some many things our time and attention.  Be sure that all the things you are focusing on are the most important to you.
  2. Secondly, if something is sick and is not likely to heal. Some relationships both at work and in your life need constant attention and nurturing.  It is ok to give them what is needed to help them heal and become a contributing part but if sick is what they want to be then a necessary ending is called from.
  3. The reason is if it is clear that something is already dead, there is no life left.  It is amazing how desperately we can hold onto things that are clearly dead sometimes.  Dr. Could encourages us to take the time to evaluate the health of relationships, this will make it harder not to identify those that are dead.

Necessary endings are required in order for us to stay healthy and to keep growing.  Dr. Cloud gives great examples of each of these in the book.

Another section of the book which I found very helpful was when Dr. Cloud laid out the 3 Kinds of people as well as their styles of behavior in chapter 7.  The way he approached this section seemed a bit harsh at first but the more I thought about the 3 behaviors the more examples from my life I could think of that affirmed his descriptions.

The 3 people are the wise, the foolish and the evil.  Dr. Cloud goes on to tell us how to determine the kind of person is we are dealing with and what to do with them.  If you are trying to figure out if an ending is necessary for a relationship you will definitely find this chapter helpful.

Dr. Cloud goes on to layout how to accomplish a necessary ending and how to process in order to move forward.


I am confident this will be a book I come back to time and time again.  I hope you will take the time to read it and then share your thoughts me with me below.

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