How I kept my sanity being married to a workaholic…

This has been my biggest challenge in married life. Being married to someone who is “married to their work” has taken a toll and I know if it were not for my “faith” our marriage would not have survived! God had been my rock! Some people turn to alcohol and other things but I go to my best friend and share my heart to Him. He has given me strength to keep going, comfort when I am lonely, and lent his listening ear anytime I needed Him (which has been many!)

The first six years we were married I had support from my family being close. When I was lonely I would just go to mom’s house and hang out or visit with my husbands parents (who I love dearly). The first six years had there challenges simply because I was young in the Lord and I had a lot of growing to do.

At first I blamed his workaholism on his industry. He worked a few different jobs in the same line of work and when he was leaving one of his jobs he blamed the reason he was leaving on “me” because I was upset that he worked so much! I didn’t care that he blamed me I was just tired of him putting in 80-90 hours a week with a salary pay.

Then I realized that the “root” of his work had a lot to do with his industry but he also went above and beyond because of “FEAR”. He struggled immensely with “FEAR” that if he didn’t work like a mad man than his family could go without our needs being met. This “lack of trust” or “fear” drove him to put work first.

We relocated our family to a small town hoping this change would make things better. Living in the small town was exciting and became a new adventure! His hours weren’t too bad at first but it didn’t take long until every weekend I was home alone again. This time I didn’t have any family to go to, just me and our kids. Our family grew to five children who we adore but I knew something had to give before I lost my mind!

So is he around much? He is now because I think I prayed him out of the demanding industry he worked in the last 16 years and that he would exchange his “fear” for “faith”. It didn’t happen overnight but I BELIEVED things would change and that God would restore our family’s lost time. Things have finally starting to change and we are enjoying the time we now get as a married couple and family!

So… how did I survive?

1) I prayed… a lot! I prayed for him, for our family, for hope for a future.
2) I cried… I have cried many tears of being lonely, depressed, or disappointed.
3) I am understanding… I try to understand my husband’s stresses and demands so I can talk his language.
4) I have a few fantastic friends. They have listened and supported me over the years.
5) I help others… I am an encourager and I can find the smallest speck of light in darkness.
6) I choose to be joyful.
7) I am patient.
8) I get around other ladies weekly! This gives me grown up time and keeps me encouraged.
9) I am forgiving! I try not to become angry or resentful.
10) I have hope! I hope that one day my husband will have balance and not miss out on his growing family.
11) I love… I love my family and my husband and I choose to love him.
12) I keep going with life and decided to not “wait on him” to live!
13) I worship… when I worship the day to day stresses lift from my shoulders.
14) I use essential oils. They are wonderful and they have helped me tremendously!
15) I drink hot tea, it’s my thing!
16) I am determined, determined that this won’t end my marriage!
17) I have a few other people pray for us. I know I am not alone!
18) I believed. I didn’t care how long I had to wait I believed that God would restore the lost time!
19) I focus on the good! Did I say I am an encourager?
20) I write. What your reading, it’s my therapy!

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11(NIV)

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Does your marriage have Boundaries?

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This is a biggie and no one told me!  We had been married about a year and I had just rededicated my life to the Lord when the phone calls from an old (female) friend began to call my husband.  I’m sure it was innocently intended but something in my belly didn’t sit well.  She was excited to talk to my husband Bill because she recently changed careers and it was similar to his line of work.

They used to be in the same “running club” and she thought it would be great if they could get together for a run or lunch and talk about her business ideas.  Her plan was to maybe even start a business with my husband. WHAT?  He told me that they were going to meet for a run first thing in the morning and I have nothing to worry about because she is married and so is he.  Ha!

How did I respond? I’m not a great runner… We have a young child…

I said, “If you are going to go on a run with her than Josh (our son) and I are going too!”

At the crack of dawn all three of us show up at Memorial Park to meet her.  That was the one and only run, but the calls didn’t stop!

I had just heard a timely message and it confirmed the feeling I had in my gut.  The message was that when a male and female are meeting “one on one” there is intimacy that sparks.  The only intimacy that I wanted to spark was between my husband and myself.  I explained to my husband that I thought it was fine that he hangs out with his “female” friend but I felt we should connect with her family and our family and not them “one on one”.  He knew I was serious and he honored my request.  We met together as families maybe two times and then we haven’t kept up since.

Not too long ago a “friend” of mine on Facebook changed his status to read “in a relationship”.  I thought this was interesting because the last I knew he was newly married.  It peeked my interest of why he is now in a new relationship so I scrolled down his Facebook page.  I discovered that he and his ex-wife went on a cruise a not too long ago.  The next month she made a comment about going home to visit her family and an old “male” friend said they should go on a run together.  Twelve months later she had a baby with her running partner and had divorced her husband.

I don’t know for sure, but I imagine that if she or her husband had boundaries in place that this would have never happened.  If you are reading this you may think, I would never do that… and that may be true but we do have any enemy.  His entire plan is to steal, kill and destroy your marriage.  He does not come to you with bells and whistles, it is always in a very subtle way.  It is much easier to establish boundaries than it is to repair a broken home after the enemy had his way!

Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. Mark 10:9

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Why we go through hard things?

Have you ever wandered why you are going through what you are going through?  Itn-WOMAN-LOOKING-UP-large570 would be nice to go from mountain top to mountain top but before we can get to the next mountain top we have to go down to the valley.  Maybe you lost your job, having financial struggles, or your marriage is hitting some rough spots.  How you respond when you are in the valley will determine how long you will have to stay there.  When you are in the valley know that that is where change and growth is taking place and He is preparing you for what is next.  It is important when you are there to not focus on everyone around you or focus on the past but to keep your eyes on God and he will get you through.

This is where the Israelites faltered.  When God took them out of Egypt they kept murmuring and complaining about their circumstance, about how much better it was in Egypt, how they should have stayed there.  They lost their focus on God and where He was taking them.  It wasn’t easy in the desert but their needs were met daily and if they would have kept their eyes on God instead of where they were they could have made it into the promise land and what took 40 years could have taken days.  If you are going through something difficult know that God is with you and when you keep your eyes on Him, He will get you through!

Blessings,

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Chilpotle Chicken Enchildas

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I’m on a mission to eat clean.  I recently started a 90 day Challenge to lose the baby weight after having baby number five.  I also started taking the TriPlex Combo through Plexus and it seems to be making a huge difference in helping me resist cravings, make better choices, keep my system cleaned out, and SLEEP!  Thank you Jesus for the SLEEP!  If you would like to join me on my eating clean or Plexus Challenge give me a shout.  My plexus website is www.plexusslim.com/motivatedmarriage

I found this recipe and decided to give it a try.  This is what you will need…

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  • For the Sauce:
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1-2 tbsp chipotle chilis in adobo sauce (these have kick, proceed with caution)
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

unnamed-5For the Chicken:

  • 1 tsp vegetable oil/ or I like coconut oil (I love it!)
  • 8.5 oz (2 breast halves) cooked shredded chicken breast
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth

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For the enchilada:

  • 8-12 Corn Tortillas (organic if possible)
  • 1 cup shredded low fat Mexican cheese
  • non stick cooking spray
  • top with Cilantro or Scallions (green onions)

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Sauce: In a medium saucepan, spray cooking spray oil and sauté garlic, add chipotle chiles, add seasonings, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and set to the side.

Chicken: Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Saute onions and garlic on low until soft, add chicken, salt, cilantro cumin, chili powder, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and cook 4-5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Corn Tortillas: I like to pre cook in a little cooking spray (each side for 30 seconds), you don’t have to though.  Place the Chicken filling in each tortillas and roll them up. Place them in a baking dish.

Top them off with the Chipotle Sauce and sprinkle with Mexican Cheese.  Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Top with sour cream or a good substitute is plain greek yogurt and top with scallions.

I like to serve this with a side of black beans!

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Enjoy!

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Fear Not!

fearFear is something the enemy is always trying to trap us in. There are many forms of fears and don’t fall in this trap. It may come in the form of Fear of our future, finances, marriage, children, health, etc… He seems to hit husbands hard with fear as well. Don’t give the enemy victory!
Wive’s pray this prayer over your husbands.

Lord, You’ve said in Your word that “there is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18). I pray You will perfect my husband in Your love so that tormenting fear finds no place in him. I know You have not given him a spirit of fear. You’ve given him power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). I pray in the name of Jesus that fear will not rule over my husband. Instead, may Your Word penetrate every fiber of his being, convincing him that Your love for him is far greater than anything he faces and nothing can separate him from it.

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God can replace your stony heart with a new one, if you let Him?

 

I want to talk about why we guard ourselves with walls around our heart.  We do this out of protection mode, so we won’t get hurt.  The reason we do this is because people have hurt us in the past from words they have said, embarrassment, lies, disappointment, failures, set backs, rejection, on and on.

 

We can put up walls in our marriage.  Maybe your husband has hurt your or maybe you are holding on to hurts from the past.  When my husband and I got married we took a marriage assessment that was nothing like prepare and enrich but it did identify that my husband didn’t feel a lot of affection from me.  This was puzzling to me because I knew how much love and affection I was capable of but it was difficult for me to show this to my husband.  It wasn’t until I realized my heart became hardend because of past hurts.  The more I dealt with the hurts of the past the more freely I was able to love.  The truth is I was only giving a fraction of the love I had because I would only let me husband in my heart so much.  The truth is the walls didn’t do anything but hinder me, they were a false since of security that I would never get hurt like I had been before.  Once I realized this I forgave the ones who hurt me, I released them from the bitterness I had, and then I blessed them.

 

If you are ready to let the walls down and be able to love freely like Christ loves us choose to forgive the ones that have hurt you.  The more you do this the more free you will become.

stonyheart mm

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7 year itch? Why many marriages don’t survive past 7 years.

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Over 50% of marriages end in divorce.  Many of these end between the 5-7 year mark.  I know if people were prepared for marriage, it would prevent many of these marriages ending in divorce.  When I got married, I had no idea that there are two stages to love.  The first stage of love, only last about two years. In this stage people will do anything to see and spend time together.  They will fly across country, spend hours on the phone together…. etc!

I refer to this as the honeymoon stage.  There is little effort needed in this stage but once the butterflies leave that’s when the marriage is much more intentional and it takes effort.  I didn’t know this when I got married and I didn’t know how to deal with real life issues when things got challenging.  I know when my marriage hit the 6-7 year mark things were really hard.  I still loved my husband but I needed some skills to help deal with the challenges we were going through!

During this time, we had recently moved away from all of our friends and family due to my husbands job.  We had three small children.  I was in complete culture shock going from a city of millions to a small town of a couple of thousand.

My husband worked in the restaurant business requiring him to work around the clock.  He was hardly ever home and without any support from family or friends I was overwhelmed, to say the least…

I was not prepared for this, I didn’t know how to deal with it being frustrated and feeling abandoned.  I remember crying and praying that something would change.  I felt like it was inevitable that my marriage was going to end at the seven year mark.

This thought crossed my mind many times because my parents divorced after 7 years and my mom and step dad divorced at the 7 year mark. I knew about the term “7 year itch” and I thought that was going to repeat itself with me.

I convinced myself that if I took a small break and go home to family than I would learn to communicate with my husband.

This was what I thought would work because I didn’t know what to do. I was in the process of packing my bags when I got a knock on the door at 9 a.m.  It was the wife of a pastor who drove across town with all her kids to talk to me and Bill because someone in her church had a dream that we needed help.

Her visit to my house changed my plans of me going to stay with family for a while.  I had to stick it out and I realized that I was believing a lie that marriages only last for 7 years.

Even in these rough times marriage was never designed to end at the 7 year mark but

It is interesting that the number 7 means completion but this was not the design for the marriage.  The marriage was designed as a covenant with God to last till death do you part.  It was never designed to be complete at 7 years.

It took me realizing the belief system I believed did not line up with the word of God.  It took work and changing my way of thinking from what I had witnessed.

Once I realized that this was a lie, I started believing what God said about marriage and had to reprogram what I had believed.

The truth is marriage wasn’t designed to always make me happy and that was an unrealistic expectation I had.  Marriage does have rough spots but these are areas where we can learn to grow from.  Looking back now I realized that the seven year mark is really just getting started and I am so thankful I didn’t throw the towel in.

What lies have been spoken over your life?

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God knows your potential… do you?

 

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My husband wanted me to talk about potential today because he is working in the yard and he sees so much potential in what his plans are.  When bought our country property a few months ago it was overgrown with grass and weeds so tall that I could hardly walk on the land but I saw the potential that this property could be beautiful.  It was hard for my husband to see past the grass and the weeds grown up and honestly he wasn’t too sure that we could turn it around.  Now that we are getting the yard in order it is easier for my him to see the potential.  The same concept applies in our relationships with one another.  A lot of times there is grass that is overgrown and weeds that need to be pulled.  But once the grass has been cut and the weeds are pulled that’s when you begin to see the potential that is there.  Sometimes the enemy blinds us and we focus on how tall the grass is and how many weeds are around us and we can’t see who God is shaping us or our spouse to be.  Over 15 years ago I met him on a sales call and he was the warehouse guy, besides the fact that he was exteamly handsome I saw that he had so much potential.  He was stuck at a job that he was not happy with but after graduating with a finance degree he was discouraged because he did not like corporate America.  I saw his so much potential in him and knew that someday he was going to be all that God is calling him to be.  Seeing potential in people is important and a gift that is needed because a lot of time all someone needs is for someone to believe in them.  God sees the end from the beginning, he knows the potential that we have and we can’t lose sight when we are going through the process.  It makes me think about Joseph in the bible.  God gave him a dream that his brothers would one day bow down to him.  It didn’t happen over night and he went through a ton of trials before this happened in his life but it did happen.  You see, God saw the potential in Joseph but that’s what is was… potential to one day be great!  There was a process that he had to go through in order to be all that he was called to be.  When we are going through this process it is often painful like when Joseph was almost killed by his brothers who were extremely jealous of him and the dream that he had that they would one day serve him.  Then he was sold in slavery, put in prison.  I am sure he had to feel all alone.  God gave him that dream, and while going through all the trials he went through he could hold on the what the Lord showed him.  After going through his suffering, he was molded and shaped into becoming all that God had prepared for him.  He was put in charge of the highest position and was able to save his entire family from the famine that came.  God knew the potential that he had but is was still up to Joseph to go through the trials and overcome the test before him.  When he did, he was used mightly by God.  Just like Joseph, you have potential and you are in a process.  You may not see what you are being shaped for or you may not see the potential in your spouse but God does.  He knows what he is doing.  Don’t let the enemy blind you from seeing the potential in your marriage or your spouse.  Start praying that your spouse will become all that God has planned for them.

Blessings,

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Love that last…

When we fall in love it is easy to show our love. Late night phone calls, sweet text messages, acts of kindness, quality timelove-couple 1 together, and encouraging words. This is the stage I refer to as the “honeymoon” stage. Falling in love is the best “feeling” in the world but the truth is this “feeling” is shown to only last about two years. After this time frame is where the true love begins. Love is often confused with a “feeling” but true love is not a “feeling” but a “choice”.After the butterflies leave and we see the flaws that are left behind it is easy to forget how to “love” when it came so natural in the begining. There are five primary love languages that are essential to having love that last. 1) Words of Affirmation 2) Quality Time 3) Receiving Gifts 4) Acts of Service 5) Physical Touch

Learning the best way to communicate “love” to your spouse is a key ingredient to love that last. As a way to give back to you this “Love Day” I will be offering a complimentary coaching call with you and during this time we will discover what your love language is. I have set aside some time on Sunday Feb.15th and Tuesday Feb. 17th for my free gift to you. Just send me a message or email me at christina@motivatedmarriage.com and I will be happy to set up a time for you. Blessings, Christina

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What were you born to do?

born to doThis is a question I asked myself eight years ago.  My life seemed to be completely fulfilled and what more could I possibly want or need BUT I had a void in my heart.  Something was missing and I was on a search to find it.  On the outside looking in it appeared to be “all good” and for the most part it was, but I couldn’t shake this void and feeling that I was created to do more.

On my search I did what most people do when they are trying to stuff this feeling of needing to do more in this place called earth… I went back to school.  I recently had my second child, a challenging and financially rewarding career, and now a student!  I enjoyed learning and going back to college but I wasn’t going to get a “career”, I already had one.  I was going to find out why I had this void in my heart.  I felt as if I wasn’t doing all that God had created me to do.

After completing my first semester this void was still missing.  I knew I was ready to make a change and say “yes” to God so I can fulfill my purpose.  I prayed and told The Lord I am ready to follow you.  That’s when things began to shift.  I could not see what was on the other side but I was excited that I was getting closer to my purpose in life.

I didn’t know that saying “yes” to God would completely change my life.  What happened next was not what I thought would happen and in the mist of what we went through I didn’t understand… I completely lost my comfort.

Almost everything in my life changed over night.  We moved to a place where I knew very few people.  My family no longer lived down the road.  I was blessed with adopting a baby girl who needed someone to love her.  I gave up my career and learned how to live on a dime.  The Lord led me to homeschool the children He blessed me with.  My life had changed and I no longer recognized it.  I became dependent on God and saw Him show up time and time again.  He never let me down.  I continued to say “yes” to God and He brought me two more children.  My quiver was filled and I love being a mom but during this time He has been training me to become all that He created me to do.

I discovered my giftings that He wired me with.  I was born to encourage, to inspire, and give hope in a broken world.  To coach people who feel stuck in their marriage and life.  To help others discover their giftings and how they were wired.  To teach them how to follow the Lord and use the gifts that He gave them to do the part He created them for.  To get people where they need to go faster than they can alone.  Me helping others discover their purpose in this world is what I was born to do.  It was worth leaving my comfort, giving up my career, being separated from my family, and essentially “losing” what I knew as my life to to help others.  It feels amazing to fill this void in my life and living out what He has called me to do.  I am just beginning to start this race but I’m putting on my running shoes and about to run with what I was born to do.

I would love to help you overcome challenges in life that are holding you back so you won’t spend the next eight years trying to figure it out..  Feel free to send me an email and I’d love to see about helping you get there.  christina@motivatedmarriage.com

Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

Matthew 10:39.

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