Praying for Him: Our Strongest Muscle, Our Greatest Weakness

I'm going to put it out there: about all I have for this post is the title. I can come up with a catchy title, but my day has been a long one, I'm exhausted, and part of me wants nothing more than to curl into a ball in a corner and be left alone. I could cry as I'm typing. Part of it is pregnancy hormones, part of it is all the craziness of our schedule right now, and part of it is huge decisions we've been discussing for months now finally culminating to a head but with new information only catching me off gaurd.

Anyway, this week was on the tongue. You know the all to familiar body part that sometimes you wish you could silence in yourself and other times you want to sew shut someone else's mouth so their tongue wouldn't give them a voice? Yeah...I'm pretty sure the message of the tongue's power to give life or to take it will never lose it's edge with me.

And my thoughts stop there. I'll leave with three verses: two familiar, one not used as much but still very powerful.

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice." Ephesians 4:31 NASB

"For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart." Matthew 12:34b NASB

"He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles." Proverbs 21:23 NASB
Here are the rest of my posts from this 30 week series I'm doing on praying for my husband:


24 Weeks [A Bumpdate]

My 24 week bump picture with a belly measuring 25 weeks :)
How Far Along: I am 24 weeks and 5 days. 107 days until I'm 40 weeks.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 14 pounds. *gulp* I know I have nothing to complain about in the weight department. I am now in the perfect middle of the min-max of weight gain for my starting weight and height. My doc was fine with the fact I gained 10 pounds in 3 weeks. (Note: my chart says I had only gained 4 pounds total at my appointment before last because I had lost 2 pounds when I was checked then. So 10 pounds in 3 weeks...not like 8 really makes me feel any better.) However, even knowing that I'm completely in a healthy range, it still is never great words to hear you gained 10 pounds in 3 weeks even if you're kind of supposed to. 

Food Aversions (and "no nos"): Still only Bananas.

Gimme' some of that!: Nope. Just my usual of really loving sweets. And I don't really call that a particular craving.

How I Feel: Much better now the food poisoning has passed. Still pretty much navigating perpetual tiredness. I see it as a great sign for a continued healthy pregnancy.

Maternity Clothes: Nothing but, except when it comes to pants with elastic waists. My comfy pants :)

Movement: Lots of movement. She literally hates when she's comfortable and her little area is messed with. Set the iPad on her? She kicks it. Doppler to hear her heart beat? Immediately kicks it. Aubrey likes her comfort!

Sleep: Hit and miss. Nothing new here, though I think this week was comprised of many insomnia ridden nights. Boo!

What I Miss: This week I happened to miss being able to lay on my stomach. There were several moments I wanted to but, obviously, it'd be quite uncomfortable. I had a moment where I forgot I'm pregnant and went to lay down on my stomach. Yeah, that was a bummer. Yesterday, Ben went to lay on his stomach and I mumbled about how I was jealous he could. His response: "You could lay on your stomach; it wouldn't hurt the baby." I laughed and retorted, "Sure, except it'd be like trying to balance my body on top of a small ball." Truth.

What I'm Looking Forward To: Another week of Aubrey still growing inside me, developing where she is safe and has what she needs to grow provided for her.

Favorite Moment of the Week: There was a night this past week, during Zoë's bedtime stories, Aubrey was pushing right into where Zoë was sitting next to me. It's a little difficult to tell a toddler they can't scoot right next to and press into a bump, so I let her as long as she isn't sitting on top of me. This frequently leads to her using my bump as an arm rest, but hey! better than her actually sitting on top of me. (Trust me. I know. She's started to on accident or fallen straight on top of it before.)

Anyway, Aubrey was pushing up against Zoë. With a break between books, I looked at Zoë and said, "Your sister is telling you hello."

She immediately put down the book, started to pat my tummy, and decided she'd have an easier time interacting with Aubrey if my shirt was pulled up. I asked her if she would say "hi" to Aubrey, to which she immediately chirped, "Hi!" and waved at her. Then she promptly patted my tummy and tried to feel where Aubrey was.

I've said it before, I'm sure I'll say it again: Zoë is going to make an amazing big sister! I'm completely convinced!


God's Grace Never Ends [Frankly Friday v. 10]

Grace, grace, God's grace,
grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
grace, grace, God's grace,
grace that is greater than all our sin!

I cannot get the refrain for the hymn "Grace Greater Than Our Sin" out of my mind. The theme of grace seems to be coming at me from everywhere. No kidding.

I reviewed a book on grace. (There is still time to enter to win a copy too.) My pastor keeps talking about the topic. I'm currently reading a book on parenting, which though it's really an attachement parenting, secular book, is laced with grace. There are situations Ben and I are facing in which we have felt called to extend grace.

I mean I can't run from it if I wanted to.

(Ok...well I guess I could but then I'd be living in denial. I've been there. I've done that. It ain't pretty, builds a mountain out of a mole hill, and requires a freakin' ton of time to clean up rather than just dealing with it in the beginning. So not worth the time to deny and repair. Plus, I'm not welcoming horrible feelings. I get enough of those without welcoming them considering we live in a broken world.)

One of the most important lessons I am learning about grace came through the connections pastor at our church: Jesus, the ultimate example, never let go of grace or truth. He always had a firm hand on both.

For instance, take the passage of the woman brought before Jesus who was caught in adultery. (John 8:1-11) After all is said and done, Jesus leaves her with these words: "I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more." (John 8:11 NASB) He extends grace by telling her he does not condemn her. (Please note, in biblical times, the Law carried a heavy weight and strictly enforced anyone caught in adultery be put to death. see Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22) This was huge in this time, and Jesus extending grace here speaks, to me, of it being a part of His nature. However, He completes His statement by telling her to turn from her sin: He holds fast to truth as well.

While the Law/Truth shows us our desperate need for grace, Grace sets us free to live knowing we cannot be perfect but produces a desire to strive to live rightly.

I don't know about you, but I think I'll be chewing on what my pastor said for a long time. I'm still processing it, struggling with it, wondering how on earth I will ever embody that statement at all. I know of my own accord it will not happen.

Oh, praise Jesus for the Spirit at work constantly in me!

Because I'm still thinking on, processing, chewing, mulling over this vastly incomprehensible yet partially understood concept, I don't know I have much more I have to share. I do want to share a note I jotted in my journal, something I feel God whispered to my spirit as I was reading One Way Love by Tullian Tchividjian:

I [God] never stop extending grace; the invitation is always open, always available, never expires. I will discipline sin in those whom I call My children [Hebrews 12:6] but I have never said, nor will I ever say, "You sinned too much: My grace is no longer for you, available to you." It completely contradicts the very work of the Cross, the work which I sent My Beloved Son to complete, and My very nature."

Umm...WOW! I still read what resonated in my spirit and find myself in complete awe. It makes me wonder if I've ever really allowed myself to feel the full extent of His grace. After all, I am constantly aware of my struggle to perform to please Him.

Last I checked, doing is fruit, not an "A+ you get in" card. "For it is by GRACE you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9, emphasis added) A verse well known, yet I'm curious how many of us actually live basking in that truth.

Grace: it will wreck your world, in the best possible way...at least, it's wrecking mine, but I'm feeling the call to press in, not run from it: a holy wrecking.


Praying for Him: Walking with Jesus

"Faith and obedience will get him on the Highway of Holiness; walking in the Spirit, and not in the flesh, will keep him there." (p. 165)

If there is one part of our lives I have covered in prayer, it is our walks with the Lord. Not just Ben's, but mine, and hoping the same for my children.

My mind constantly breaths a quick prayer: "May we keep our eyes fixed on You, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. (reference to Hebrews 12:2) May we always choose to build our relationship with You. May we not fall away on account of the trials we face."

Even though my family lives in a country where it is professed you are free to believe whatever you choose, trials still come our way and persecution finds it's many different forms. Life is hard, choosing to have faith isn't always easy or desirable in our humannes. Satan wants to see us fail.

And so I pray. I cover my home in prayer requesting God give us strength to stand firm.

An aspect of this chapter I really liked was how Stormie lists several verses with the different quality stated in how we're to walk. I want to put that list here, both to see it in a different form for myself and so you can have it to look at:
How We Are to Walk:
  1. with moral correctness (Psalm 84:11)
  2. without fault (Proverbs 28:18)
  3. with godly advisors (Psalm 1:1)
  4. in obedience (Psalm 128:1)
  5. with people of wisdom (Proverbs 13:20)
  6. with integrity (Proverbs 10:9)
  7. a path of holiness (Isaiah 35:8)
I love how she follows up how we're supposed to walk with this: "The best part about walking on the Highway of Holiness is that even if we end up doing something dumb, we still won't get thrown off the path." (p. 164; list compiled from p. 163-164) It's a reminder to recognize even when we strive to choose walking with the Lord, we are imperfect people in need of a perfect Savior. If we became perfect while here on earth, we would stop needing Him. Yet, knowing we will never reach perfection here doesn't mean we should bathe our lives in prayer, asking God to help us to walk with Him daily.

This really applies to everyone. This isn't something that need only be prayed for your spouse. As I mentioned in the beginning, I bathe our entire family in prayer asking we remain grounded in the Spirit. 

The verses which always come to mind when I'm praying over our walks is what I will leave you with (Yes, in their entirety even though I referenced part of it earlier. It's just too good not to :]):

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
Hebrews 12:1-3 NASB

Here are the rest of my posts from this 30 week series I'm doing on praying for my husband:


May I Always Be Your Beloved

Let me preface this post: you are getting a glimpse into my relationship with Ben. It is entirely a letter to him, mind you nothing as personal as I would write in a private letter to him, but a treasure for me to keep, though I'd like to think this is for him. I just can't help but to write reminders of the love growing between us and to shout it out how worth my time working on a relationship with him is. No, I'm not about to paint a picture of all rainbows and butterflies (and no, I have never dreamed of a world where we all eat rainbows and poop butterflies. Anyone else know what I'm talking about? Oh well...Ben will :]), but I most certainly want to commemorate each year spent with my man. And so to that affect, feel free to read on, or don't. I take no offense at your decision. That is, of course, as long as your name isn't Ben and you're not married to me. (Love you, Ben! :])

THREE years! I can't believe it...time really does fly and I guess all the changes we've faced in the last three years only make time pass even more quickly, yet slowly at the same time.

From our Engagement Session. Photo courtesy of my good friend Sarah.
 I mean, we knew God had intertwined our lives together. The above photo a mere replica of a story I'll never forget after you proposed: the way we both found it strange your mom would ask us to pose with our backs to each other and we, without discussing it at all, both posed like this when we obliged. Ahh, yes: perfect. It was just further proof of how, from the outside, we appeared perfect for one another.

Another Engagement shot taken by my bestie Sarah :)
And yet, this journey we started, really a little over four years ago, isn't all happy moments like people think this photo is. (They don't realize the difficulty of pulling said photo off and some of the grumblings that went with it. Unless of course they have tried to be the models for a photo of this sort.) Which brings me to the thought of all the difficulties, trials, changes, arguments, losses, wins, joys, sorrows, and many other aspects or situations which comprise our relationship: our beautifully broken, constantly on the mend, hard work put in relationship.

I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Sure, the answer to being asked if I want to throw in the towel would be yes on some days. Those days harder than I could imagine, because who knew what we would struggle with; certainly, I had no way to know exactly what murky or dangerous waters we would have to navigate. My humanness gets the best of me and I wonder who is this enemy I thought a friend. How could I live with someone like you?

Then I'm reminded: how can you live with someone like ME?

When I turn it back to me I realize but for the grace of God. Love is a daily choice, sometimes easy, sometimes hard. Love means stepping out on a limb that could possibly break leaving me to free fall for who knows how many feet. Yet it is one of the best risks I have ever taken in my life.

When I think of the joy of becoming a parent, the deep grief of losing a child, the hardships brought by moving to a new city, let alone across state lines, the venting from any arisen family hardships, the sharing of every. little. piece. of. life. together, I'd rather no one but you. Not because you are perfect, but because where you are strong I am weak, where I am weak, you are strong, and where we both lack the Lord shows and reminds us just how awesome He is. Not because life with you is easy, but because life with you is oh so sweet and bonded more through all the hardships we face. Not because of any other reason than God has blessed me with the gift of living life with you. And a blessing indeed it is! Not because all you do is tell me how great I am, but because you challenge me in ways I know no one else to do, you call me up and remind me to keep my focus on the Cross.

I'll say it again...

...I wouldn't trade it for the world.

I know on the scale of newlyweds versus old marrieds (or whatever you want to call it when we reach those years where people are in awe of the amount of time we've lived together and stuck with it), we are but newlyweds. Three years is small in a grand scheme of hoping we make it to 50 years and, Lord-willing, 75. The trials we have faced may be nothing compared to what we will. The choices we have ahead of us, well, only the Lord knows what we will be face.

But there is one thing I do know about all those years to come:

I want Song of Solomon 2:16 to be true of our lives. I want to always smile when someone asks me about the tattoo on my left wrist. I want to always joyfully say, "Well, my husband can explain it better than I can but..." or "Hey, Ben, would you mind coming to explain this," then turn to the person and say, "My husband knows Hebrew really well. He does a great job of explaining it." (Yes. I actually brag about your Biblical Hebrew knowledge any time someone asks about my tattoo.) Plus, then we have to put our wrists together to show them: a reminder we are two but one. I want the tattoo on my wrist to bring joy to my heart knowing it reminds me of the commitment I made to you before God and a gathering of family and friends that I have kept for however many years. To say the words, "I am my beloveds and my beloved belongs to me," and know we have been through fire and back only to have been made stronger, refined.

Yes. That is what I hope for. Pray for. See in our future as long a we continue to pursue our Creator.

I love you, Ben! I am so thankful for the three years we have been given! Here's to many, many more!

May I Always be Your Beloved,


23 Weeks [A Bumpdate]

This is what you get when I'm sick. Before this pic was snapped, Ben said, "Ok: 1...2...3...FAKE SMILE!" Ha. It was pretty forced...not gonna lie :)
How Far Along: I am 23 weeks and 5 days114 days until I'm 40 weeks.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Well...I still haven't purchased my own home scale, so all I know is as of 21 weeks, I'd gained a total of 6 pounds. Mind you, the scales vary at my OBs office (Obviously, they're aware of this as my OB was the one who mentioned it.) and according to the scale at that appointment I'd lost 2 pounds between my 16 and 21 week appointment. My OB decided to leave my weight gain at 6 pounds because of the difference. Either way, this totally weirds me out as I had already gained around 15 pounds with Zoë by 20 weeks. Thus, I have no idea what my weight gain will look like the rest of this pregnancy. It probably doesn't help I feel much larger than I'm weighing in at. 

Food Aversions (and "no nos"): Bananas. I'm pretty sure they're going to remain my one aversion. Ugh...naasty!

Gimme' some of that!: Anything sweet. No particular cravings, but I frequently am searching for something sweet. Unfortunately, the non-specificity of the "craving" makes it really hard to find the "right" something to satisfy it.

How I Feel: I've been feeling pretty good. Except I'm pretty sure my first experience with Jack-in-the-Box will be my last, or at least it'll be a while before I try it again. My body literally emptied itself, with lots of tummy grumbling, several hours after I ate there in the late hours (or wee morning hours, however you want to look at it...) of Saturday night. Poor Ben sat with me because I was so afraid I didn't want him to leave my side. I was actually worried at first it might be contractions, then realized it was my digestive system since my abdomen wasn't tightening but was racked with pain making me want to throw-up, which then made me afraid it would kick me into labor. Thankfully, the pain subsided once my body had completely emptied itself, leaving me only feeling weak and light-headed and with a short loss of sensation in my legs. Yesterday morning I felt a little better after some sprite, cinnamon toast and an apple. I'm still trying to get myself back to my pregnant "normal", but I'm thankful everything is fine aside from feeling really crummy. No fun, but VERY glad Aubrey wasn't trying to make an extremely early debut!

Maternity Clothes: Nothing has changed here. I am starting to feel more comfortable wearing some of my "looser" maternity tops...the ones with lots of room for a growing belly. I only feel good in them once I'm really showing, so it's nice to have a bit more variety and not always be wearing a completely-shows-the-bump shirt.

Movement: Very consistent. It's the only part of pregnancy I actually like/enjoy. Zoë has felt her move now, to which she immediately said, "HI!", to Aubrey. Sweet big sister already! Ben gets to feel her move too. I love those moments because he usually will talk to Aubrey. It's honestly the one aspect of pregnancy I find bringing me to a place of thinking I could go through this again if another child is what God has in store for us. Not because I take this gift for granted: I honestly am constantly thankful I've been given this far in this pregnancy, constantly remembering and miss my second child even though I know they're in Heaven, and constantly sad and praying for those battling infertility and/or miscarriage. The mere fact I have been blessed with another pregnancy is not beyond my thoughts. However, despite the depth of this blessing, I still do not like pregnancy. I do not miss it once the time has passed. Realize how much of a gift it is and cherish I am carrying a child? Yes. But like being pregnant and all the changes it brings? No.

Sleep: Yeah...not so great. Or rather I'm just needing a lot of it. I feel like I sleep most nights, but I'm pulling teeth just to keep myself awake during the day. If I nap too much, I don't sleep well at night. Plus, we're searching for a new "home" and my nap time has been filled with focusing on whittling down our list lately.

What I Miss: Right now, I miss feeling good. I miss not feeling drained. Pretty sure Saturday night will take some time to recover from. I almost feel like I'm back at the beginning of the pregnancy. Zoë has to put up with me camping out on the floor :/

What I'm Looking Forward To: I'm not sure this answer will change for a while: making it one more week: another week Aubrey is given time to develop, another week Zoë is closer to being a big sister to a healthy, little sister, another week closer to the actual possibility of holding my third child breathing and needing me in my arms, another week blessed to feel life moving and growing within me, another week living in this miraculous blessing.

Favorite Moment of the Week: Zoë excitedly saying "hi" to Aubrey after feeling her move. Though there is no way for me to know how much she truly understands, I know she understands more than most people give credit for to little kids. So, while the extent of her understanding is a mystery to me, I don't think it's completely beyond her there is a baby in there. Made this particular moment with her very sweet. Plus, Ben was there to witness it. Doubly sweet!!!


You Are Loved [Frankly Friday v. 9]

Linking up with Amy from Taking Steps Home :)

Although I continually contemplate getting off of Facebook, and the only thing really keeping me there is the fact I have a page for this lovely ol' blog, I had a moment this week I was certainly glad I hadn't. A mom who I was able to get to know, albeit briefly, during my time growing up in Little Rock posted one of the most encouraging statuses I've seen on there. It simultaneously made me glad I hadn't forever turned off my personal Facebook as well as happy about the length a status can be. (Sometimes I loathe FB statuses can be infinitely long. I'll keep from ranting more on that.) I left names out, as I told her I would, but I couldn't not share and she was completely fine with me sharing, so I'll let you read this oh so wonderful status:

"Received this in the mail this week from a precious, ninty year old widow:

Psalm 23
The Lord is my Shepherd = That's Relationship!
I shall not want = That's Supply!
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures = That's Rest!
He leadeth me beside the still waters = That's Refreshment!
He restoreth my soul = That's Healing!
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness = That's Guidance!
For His name's sake = That's Purpose!
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death = That's Testing!
I will fear no evil = That's Protection!
For Thou art with me = That's Faithfulness!
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me = That's Discipline!
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies = That's Hope!
Thou anointest my head with oil = That's Consecration!
My cup runneth over = That's Abundance!
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life = That's Blessing!
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord = That's Security!
Forever = That's Eternity!
(Face it, the Lord is crazy about you!)"

How about you read it again? Really take time to soak in everything the widow has to share with us. (I know I've taken time to read and reread a couple times this week.)

Though I have still been on the top of a slope, so to speak, reading Psalm 23 with the reminder of what each part means...it was like a hug straight from God Himself. As though I could feel His arms around me physically. It truly is a reminder He is crazy about me! And anyone who is His child He feels the same about!

Sometimes I glance over the text, but I soak it in about as well as oil and water mixing together. I've heard it so many times I forget all the goodness God is whispering to me about His love for me in this passage. Thankfully, God doesn't want us to go this life alone and brings about those who have walked on this earth longer than us who are willing to share their wisdom.

To be reminded of how much God cares about me, an extremely undeserving party...well, I'm speechless! I'll leave it at that. Enjoy reading (and rereading...and rereading)! :)


One Way Love [Book Review & Giveaway]

*And the winner is Erika B.! Congrats, Erika. Be looking for an e-mail from me letting you know what I need in order to get your copy of One Way Love mailed to you.*

Oh, am I so excited about this book review and giveaway! This book was really good. So good, in fact, I want to read it again. I want to take time to really soak up this breath of fresh air on Grace vs. Law. Because, in my opinion, that is exactly what Tullian Tchividjian discusses throught the entirety of One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World.

Because of some different situations in my life and because we have a wonderful pastoral head at our church and because I married an awesome, philosophically driven guy, I've had several great conversations about Grace. I asked if I could read excerpts to my husband because I wanted to share what I had just read, as well as discuss it a little. I've had the chance to discuss grace with one of the pastors at our church, who I happened to run into in the middle of one of my groups at the church. Needless to say, this book is a great conversation starter. It definitely will get your mind reeling, in a good way, I believe.

In the introduction, Tchividjian says, "What you will encounter [in this book] is 'grace unmeasured, vast and free' - the kind that will frighten and free you at the same time. That's what grace does, after all." (p. 25) And indeed, he is fully telling the truth. I still struggle with what he says, yet I know my heart struggles out of the fear grace drives into our hearts. I think this is partially why I want to reread the book: while my heart wants to 100% say yes to grace, part of me wonders if maybe I read it wrong, maybe I didn't get the entire picture or misunderstood him.

Yet, this is exactly the struggle everyone has with grace, according to Tchividjian. The first chapter begins with him discussing how we live in a world filled with and run by conditions: "you do this for me, I do this for you" and the many other forms the condition can take. Nothing is free; almost everything has some kind of string attached.

He then navigates the dangerous waters of steering us back towards Grace with scriptural backing, quotes from other solid believers, and personal stories. He talks about his own struggle with truly, fully embracing grace as God has meant it. (Yes, he also mentions how even the grace we fallen, broken human beings show is only a shadow of the grace God continually bestows on us.) At one point he says, "Grace is radically unbalanced. It contains no but: it is unconditional, uncontrollable, unpredictable, and undomesticated - or else it is not grace." (p. 180)

I still read that last quote nodding my head in agreement, yet wondering can it really be? Oh man! It has shed a light on my heart with what I have been taught, learned, and missed all in one fell swoop: taught - by those who struggle themselves to fully accept the true meaning of God's grace, learned - as I have read the scriptures and sought to understand what God is trying to teach me through His word, and missed - the scriptures I have either observed and interpreted incorrectly or completely been blind to their meaning altogether. You guys, this book...so, so worth. it!

I'll leave you with one last quote from it, before I put up the Rafflecopter for your own chance to win a copy(!) - Tchividjian quotes Ralph Erskine's Gospel Sonnets (I'll not type up the entire book name here...it's really long) and I love this quote:

"The law says, Do, and life you'll win;
                          but grace says, Live for all is done;
                     the former cannot ease my grief,
                  the latter yields me full relief."

I want to taste Grace every. single. day. I want to be a vessel of grace. And as much as I am sure I will always have an internal struggle with this topic, I am so thankful for pastors who also write like Tchividjian so we may learn from them.

And now, on to the giveaway:

I have one copy of One Way Love by Tullian Tchividjian to give away. The giveaway is open to US residents with a physical address (no P.O. boxes, sorry!) age 18 and up. It begins today, Thursday, October 17th, at 12 am CST, and will close on Sunday, October 27th, at 12 am CST. The only mandatory entry for the giveaway is to leave a blog comment; I would love if you'd answer this question: Has the topic of Grace ever captured your interest? Why? The winner will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter. They will be announced in an addendum at the top of this post, as well as on the Rafflecopter form, within 48 hours of the giveaway's close. I will also contact them via e-mail. (Please ensure you use a valid, working e-mail address to enter with on the Rafflecopter form.) The winner will have 48 hours to contact me via the e-mail listed in the announcement post to claim their prize. I will need the winners full name and physical  address to forward to the blogger network sponsoring the giveaway so they can mail the giveaway copy to the winner directly. For any other information regarding giveaways hosted on my blog, please visit the official giveaway page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway "Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


Praying for Him: A Part of Him I Forget About

This may not be the case for all wedded women, but for me, I can tell you there is one thing I frequently forget to even bathe in prayer when it comes to my husband: his emotions. This may sound silly, but the honest truth is I do: I'm pretty sure the words, "Do you have emotions?," have escaped my lips one too many times. (And no, I am not saying any form of that question is a good one to ask. I highly do not recommend it.)

You see, I married a wonderful, even-keeled man. As such, I'm pretty sure his face look the same in anger, excitement, sorrow, joy, you name it, his face and body language won't change much. Or, to confuse me even more, when he's angry he'll have the same face he had when he was sad just a few days before, when he's excited it will be the exact same as his normal daily face.

Now please understand, I am not bashing my husband. I need an even-keeled person because I show enough emotion for at least two people. It just becomes frustrating when everything looks the same. It is hard to see there is emotion under a surface almost always doused in optimism. (No, that isn't a joke. And friends, just like realism is a blessing and a curse - the lens I typically see life through - so is optimism. The only aspect of this life cracked up to be what it really is is Jesus. Umm...did I just say it like that? The only part of this life which is a complete blessing and, though has many hardships, holds no curse with it is a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.)


So I forget he has emotions. Sounds quite silly, but it's completely true. Thus, I completely forget to pray against negative emotions which have found their way into Ben's soul. I don't think it helps he is typically looking at a glass as half-full; shoot, he sees it as one-quarter full. If there is something in it, it is whatever amount is left full. And so prayers over stress, worry, anger, jealousy, hopelessness, fear, what have you all fall to the wayside.

Then when he does happen to show some emotion, I wonder what on earth is eating him. I wonder where on earth it came from because it almost always seems to be out of the blue, yet I'm being told he's been struggling for a while.

Thankfully, we are both growing through this. He is learning to be more in tune with his emotions, I am learning to see just because he doesn't show emotion or even show it in a way I readily comprehend does not mean emotions aren't buried deep with no need to be addressed.

Though the emotions Stormie has stories for in this chapter aren't ones Ben typically struggles with, I did like what she says at the very end of it: 
"Often [negative emotions] are only a habitual way of thinking that has been given place over time. Men tend to believe it's part of their character that can't be altered, but these patterns can be broken. Don't stand by and watch your husband be manipulated by his emotions. Freedom may be just a prayer away." (p. 161)
 Whether our husbands are great at showing their emotions or better at keeping them locked deep within, emotions deserve to be covered in prayer. God wants our whole hearts; any emotion not from Him or stealing our focus away from Him should not be given home in our hearts.

It is my hope and prayer, for myself as well as for all of us, to bathe my own emotions as well as my husbands in communication with my Father, who loves me and wants what is best for me, and who also wants the same for my husband. May I not forget to pray for even that which seems to not be a struggle.
Here are the rest of my posts from this 30 week series I've done on praying for my husband: