Why I support my man to chase his dreams

“How long is he going to chase this dream?” One of my family members asked about my husband, who was absent at yet another weekend social function. In my head, I knew the answer — as long as it takes. This is the man I married. He is a determined and strong willed. He is a hard worker, and I love him for it.

He kept chasing the dream my relative was asking about until he made a career out of it.  He was on a NASCAR pit crew for over ten years.And I never resented sacrificing on his journey to make a good life for us.

The Reason 

You see, my husband and I are perpetual dreamers. We believe God created and prepared each of his children to do amazing things that make people step back and see his supernatural hand all over one’s life. We try to keep our hand on the pulse of  the dreams he stirring in us. We talk about them to each other. A lot of times we toss them out immediately, knowing it was simply a dream, and not something to pursue in reality. But sometimes, we pause, we discuss how it could be possible.

This is when I lean in, breath a prayer of thankfulness that my man is sharing his dreams with me, and LISTEN.  

I am thrilled that my man is sharing his dreams with me. Think about it. Don’t you want to know what’s going on in the heart of your man?

The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain. Proverbs 31:11

The Struggle

Because, sisters, I think sometimes we, (myself included) are too quick to dismiss our man’s dreams. We have our own dreams, right?  But we don’t have time to pursue them, so why should our husband?  We have dirty dishes and laundry piling up, dirty little feet to wash before bedtime, and a to-do list to make for tomorrow. The only dreaming we have time to do is in our sleep! So, if we don’t even have time to let our dreams simmer, we certainly aren’t going to have time to tend to them.

Following dreams requires sacrifice. Is this season of your life the right time to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve that goal?

As a mom with elementary aged children whom I homeschool, the answer for me for many of my dreams is no. Now is not the time to make sacrifices of a huge amount of time. I will never get these days back with my children, and I want to be with them, present and participating in their everyday lives as much as possible. You see, being a mom was my dream, and I am choosing to embrace it.

Being a mom was my dream, and I’m choosing to embrace it.

I can, however, start taking steps towards my dreams. I will just be keeping a slower pace, my course will be close to home, and I will be sure to keep the priorities of my heart in their proper order. I am choosing to do this.  It is my choice, and I am intentionally making it.

Just because now is not the time to chase my dreams, doesn’t mean my husband shouldn’t chase his.

Last night we were on a dinner date and we started talking about this topic, because recently my husband crossed the finish line of an IRONMAN for the first time. A dream was realized in his life, and I was there at the finish line to cheer him on. To reach the finish line, our whole family had to intentionally support him and make sacrifices of time and money.

Every sacrifice is accruing into a future reward.

The Reward

Sure, sometimes supporting my husband in his dreams and goals gets a little bit tiresome. But there are many reasons I continue to invest and believe in him.  For starters, we are married! I always go back to God’s word and see how he has shown spouses how to love one another.  I know my husband, and I know what he needs. You know how to support your husband, and you know the rewards of supporting him. It’s really invaluable to ONENESS in marriage, which is something very close to my heart.

“Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.” Philippians 2:2

My husband knows I am going to support him and be there for him in whatever endeavor he pursues. Yet he always comes to me and makes sure the next dream he pursues is something I’m on board with. It’s a beautiful oneness that the Lord has helped us with through the years that doesn’t happen overnight.  Please hear this if you are struggling in your marriage.

There was a time when this wasn’t so easy for us. Our babies were little, infant and two, and my husband was huge into golf. (Disclaimer – golf takes a lot of time and money!) I felt stuck at home a lot with the babies while he pursued a title as a regional amateur champion. We had so many tense conversations back then about the “G” word!  Actually, we had arguments. But this is what I want to encourage you with: 

Some seasons supporting your man is  going to be hard, but press on and see the Lord’s future reward.

My son is eight years old, and he ranked 62nd in the world in kid’s golf.

Together, last night, my husband and I realized this fruit that came out of that time in our lives where tensions were high from him chasing his dreams. My then little two year old would go out and practice with his daddy frequently and he got hooked! He caught his daddy’s love for the game, but also his daddy’s work ethic when he is pursuing something.

My children dream big dreams, y’all. Right now they are planning and working on a fundraiser concert to raise money to buy a clubhouse for our neighborhood. They envision and they believe a dream can become a reality. Then they work hard to make it come true.  I am so thankful for this.

Do you believe it for you, friends? Do you believe that the Lord has hard wired beautiful assignments in you that will bring him glory?  Glory in your marriage, glory in your children’s lives?  Glory in your own life?

Sit still and listen to the Lord about what plans he has for you that are hidden, only uncovered through quiet time with him in his Word. Then listen to your husband’s heart and encourage him in what dreams the Lord is stirring in him. Encourage your children to pursue great things for the glory of the Lord. And if motherhood is your dream, claim it, live it, and love it!

Amy

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12 Bible Verses That Shaped  Our  Marriage  

It’s our twelfth wedding anniversary today! I can honestly say we are happier in this season of our life together than ever before! This could  be attributed to many different things- the age of our kids, (6, 6, and 8), our good health, common interests, and so on & on. But I KNOW why we are experiencing this amazing season.


By God’s grace.

We had just made the decision to follow Jesus when we got married 12 years ago. And we entered into married life learning the Word for the first time as adults. It was God’s perfect timing because we were establishing our life together anew with Christ in the center.

We haven’t done it perfectly these 12 years, and we will continue to fall short & be reminded we will never be perfect on this side of forever. But one thing we’ve done & I pray we continue to do, is keep running back to truth to guide our two hearts together into one.

Something my man does so well is plan surprises for me. A special occasion does not pass without a fun experience or gift  he has snuck around to make happen. This year, he arranged for the kids to stay overnight at his mom’s so we could have a dinner date and then do a 40 mile charity bicycle ride the next morning. (This is the third anniversary we have done a race of some sort. We love it!) On the bike ride, I got into prayer mode & was thanking God for our marriage and what he’s done in it. We give the Lord all the credit for these 12 years and every new day we have together.

I am reading in Amos now, and the Lord is showing me he’s been our FORTRESS throughout these 12 years of marriage.   In the book, the people in Judah & Israel at the time were prosperous. They trusted in themselves and their riches, and soon fell into terrible sin. The Lord destroyed their fortresses because HE wanted to be their fortress.

FORTRESS:  A place or means of safety, protection, or refuge.  

I think Nick and I went into marriage knowing we needed the Lord.  Don’t get me wrong, we were head over heels in love.  But we both came from families whose parents had divorced. We knew that not every marriage was going to make it.  And thankfully, the Lord had taken us under his wing at just the right time. As we started working out the tensions that arise as two lives are meshed into one, we started with ONE PRINCIPLE, and the rest of our marriage was built on top of IT.

Our “IT”:

Building on a Solid Foundation

24“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” -Jesus Matthew 7:24-27

We wanted to know what biblical marriage meant.  And we wanted to follow God’s teachings on it.  We trusted his word above and continue to trust that if we approach and apply it with the right heart of faith in Him, our marriage won’t just survive, it will thrive. And I am telling you, ours is.  Just because of Him.  Marriage was his idea, his plan.  He knows how to make it work.  And how to make it good.  So we look to him.  Sometimes it’s hard and I fight him the whole way.  Sometimes I have to be really humble and patient and cling to his promises.  But not one time has God not moved and changed either my heart or Nick’s heart about any conflict we have faced.

So how have I done this?  As I have learned verses pertaining to marriage or weaknesses in our marriage, I have turned them into prayers.  Some of them I pray over myself, to help me love Nick more like God’s asked me to.  Some of them I pray over Nick, for him to love me more like God’s asked him to.  Some of them I pray over our relationship and family in general.

So here are 12 verses that have shaped our marriage these last 12 years!  I put them in my own words but also listed the scripture references so you can look them up and apply them yourselves.  🙂

A printable version can be found here: >>>12 Verses to Pray for Over Your Marriage

Praying God’s best blessings over your marriage as you REFOCUS through His Word.  ❤

12 Verses to Pray for Over Your Marriage

 

  1. Build Your Marriage on God’s Word. Matthew 7:24

 

  1. Love the Lord More Than You Love Each Other. Matthew 22:37

 

  1. Husbands love your wives like Christ Loved the Church and gave himself up for it. Ephesians 5:25

 

  1. Wives respect your husbands – From the Heart. Ephesians 5:33

 

  1. Wives help your husband and don’t hinder him all the days of your life. Proverbs 31:12

 

  1. Love each other with the Love described in 1 Corinthians 13 (Patiently, Kindly, free of jealousy, boastfulness, pride or rudeness) through the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

  1. Take an interest in what your spouse is interested in. Philippians 2:4

 

  1. Be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving. Ephesians 4:32

 

  1. Protect your marriage by guarding your heart. Proverbs 4:23

 

  1. Live as one: united spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Genesis 2:24

 

  1. Don’t be easily offended by your spouse. Proverbs 19:11

 

  1. Love one another deeply, from the heart. 1 Peter 1:22

 

UNCONDITIONAL ❤️

I’ve been to some beautiful places in my life, but the white-capped mountains of the Rockies now take the trophy in my heart titled: “Most Breathtaking place on Earth.” My husband, Nick and I flew into Denver and drove to a small village, Snowmass, about 20 minutes away from Aspen for the wedding of an awesome couple from the NASCAR community. This couple is so special & we loved getting to know them over the months leading up to Nick officiating their wedding. I have never been to Colorado, and let me just say, I was blown away by its beauty!  Our first full day, we started RUNNING up Snowmass mountain to the head of the Rim Trail. I have never ran in high altitude, and I thought I might pass out! (Snowmass is 8,209 ft elevation).  I told my soon to be IRONMAN I needed one minute run, one minute walk! Thank God my lungs didn’t give out before we even made it to the trail head! This was my first hiking experience ever.  ( I love running on paved roads and trails back home in NC.) At first we continued with the one minute run, one minute walk. But again I was repeating the “God please don’t let me die of heart explosion during this run” prayer. So I convinced my soon to be IRONMAN that we had to hike only until we made it to the top.

The hiking was amazing. This wild and free mama was praising Jesus as I weaved zig-zag  along yellow and purple wild flowers!

And then we made it to the top. And we had one of those “God you’re so big, and I’m so small moments.” The timing for blogging though a series called “Basking- Fully aware & reveling in the presence &  goodness of God” could not be more timely. Once I saw this mammoth of a mountain in the distance, I was reminded that I could never comprehend how powerful the God who created it was.


But the weekend just kept getting better. The next morning we headed out early for Maroon Bells, the most photographed scenic sight in America. It was about 6:30 am when we arrived, and the sun was just peaking up over the mountain behind us.


Nick turned around & said, “I think that couple just got engaged!” We watched from a distance for a few moments & then they moved towards us beaning with excitement & asked us to take their picture. It was so fun to witness such a beautiful proposal.

They re-enacted the moment per our encouragement. I told them we have been married almost 12 years, and he asked if we had any advice for them. I Fumbled over my words & told them to keep God in the center and just love one another. Nick sounded much more confident as he answered, “unconditional love, man.”

We walked away super elated on the love that seemed to be floating around in the air as present as the cottonwood that was falling all around us. I let Nick pick which trail to take, and we headed off to Crater Lake. Two miles and lots of rocks later we came to a clearing with another spectacular white capped mountain with a lake below. All I wanted to do was lay in the grass & be consumed by my surroundings. We walked around for a bit amongst a few other sojourners, snapping fun pics like this one:


We were about to take the path leading back when I said, “Babe, let’s just go back one more time and look down by the water.”
I’m so glad we did, because we sat on a log by the lake and for 10 solid minutes there was

QUIET
STILLNESS
GOD
AND
BEAUTY unimaginable.

Actually, it was imagined by ONE.
The One that whose Word is powerful enough to form a mountain that stands 13,000 feet above the level of the sea that he made stop at the sand’s edge. And if we can just pause from what we call “life” every once and awhile & sit in awe of Him, we will recover the fullness of life he meant for us to live.

These ten minutes were sacred. I describe them to you now, but only my Creator, my husband, and my soul can fully know the peace that was so loud it quieted my every thought. All we could do was sit and take in the majesty of a Savior who paints such a masterpiece on blank canvas.

We walked away so full. So amazed. Nick said, just think, after seeing that, how incredible heaven  must be because:

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”‭‭ 1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:9‬ ‭NLT‬

All I could do was thank Jesus he brought me here to get away with him. I don’t think I could have gotten any further “away” than to a remote area in Colorado.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30 MSG

It was a much easier, down hill home on the way back Maroon Lake. We met the sweetest park ranger named Mary in the way. (I love meeting new people!) Nick talked a lot with her as she enlighten us about the bear & moose population and where the trails could take you if you went this way or that way. We expressed to her again how beautiful we thought it was there, and what she said next struck me deeply.

“I lost my husband to Alzheimer’s a few years ago, and this is where I get healed everyday.”

Her voice cracked a little. She smiled, we smiled & we wished each other a good day. Nick headed off to lead us down the trail & I was overcome with thankfulness that God has given a life partner to share all these experiences with.

A LIFE PARTNER

More than just a husband. More than a best friend. A lover. The father of my children. But a partner who I now look back on 12 years of memories that only he & I share.

This is the gift the young couple we came out to witness wed are walking into. This is what the two excited love birds who just got engaged have to look forward to.
I prayed.

Thanking God for my man.

Praying for each of my kids’ future LIFE PARTNERS.

Later that night at our friends’ Lauren & Andy’s wedding, the theme repeated over & over again was that of unconditional love- what it takes to have & keep a partner for life. Nick expanded on what he had told the newly engaged couple that morning. We can only love our spouse unconditionally because Christ showed us how.

“We love each other because he loved us first.”‭‭ 1 John‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭

He didn’t wait until we were perfect, but instead chose to love us and die for us while we were still sinners. This is the way he has shown us to love each other. Not based on performance or behavior of our spouse, but based on the covenant of love we promised them the day we married.

The funny thing about living out unconditional, covenant love with your spouse is that it frees the other party in the marriage from fear. Every person is flawed and imperfect. We are all going to mess up on some humanistic level. But living out covenant love means a never-ending amount of God’s grace flows through you onto your spouse. We don’t have to fear letting our partner down because there will be forgiveness to meet us in our less-than-perfectness.

So love on, people, the way you vowed to. Not based off of your spouses’ actions or attitude, but off the way you promised to. It’s a choice- a good one-one made day after day to end up being married for life. ❤️


12 years in – TGBTG (To God be the glory).


Andy and Lauren, about 12 minutes into their Unconditional Ever After ❤️. Could they look any happier?!

Love was in the air in Colorado! Praying it is in your neck of the woods too!

Living in the Moment with Jesus

 “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.” -Author Unknown

I saw this quote on a plaque in a medical office when I was a teenager, and I have never forgotten it.  I am a word person, so this play on the “present” meant a lot to me.  Can’t you just picture it?  Every morning, God has a gift of another day on earth for you that he has put much loving consideration into. Every detail of it has been throughly thought through and organized.  Even the mundane, even the less than pleasant, and even the sorrowful within the day ahead has been carefully selected before the foundation of the earth.  He has added in room for your own free will so you can play a part in your own story, yet he promises he will work your decisions together for good, as long as you have made the most important one (trusting in Jesus).

The best part about God’s gift of the present is that He is in it.  He is here.  He IS the gift.  

 

 

The greatest tragedy would be missing out on the best part of the present.  It’s like when you are opening a gift bag with lots of tissue paper.  There are several exciting things in there, and the gift giver says, there’s one more thing in the bag, keep looking!  (I love it when that happens!) So you dig a little deeper, and see some tissue wrapped up tight.  You take it out, search for the edge of the paper and open it up. IT IS THE BEST THING IN THE BAG!   This is how it is with experiencing God in the everyday gift of the present.  All the other parts of the gift of the day are easy to see.  But you have to look with purpose to see the best, hidden part of the present: the presence and goodness of GOD.  You have to believe it’s there.

Have you ever looked at the person giving you the gift when they said, “dig deeper, there’s more,” and stopped looking?  NO!  We want the best part of the present!  We have to BELIEVE this is true.  To train our eyes we look to his Word and think on it  all day, (meditate on it).

“Yet I am confident I will SEE the LORD’s goodness
while I am here in the land of the living.”  Psalm 27:13


Seeing Jesus reflected in the beauty all around us will make us look at our days and our lives differently.  

I’ve stared intently at so many things this week as I have been living this out.

I’ve looked deeply into my little girl’s blue eyes wrapped up in freckles as she has talked and talked relentlessly about everything on her mind.  And seriously, can this mama just say, He outdid himself when he planned that beautiful creation!

I’ve stopped to look at wildflowers and butterflies on every run this week.

I’ve gazed up at the clouds rolling by in the sky and remembered how big he is in comparison to how small everything else is.

This awareness has led to worshipping him more.  More glory to Jesus.  This is what life is all about.  This is what we were created to do, worship him in spirit and in truth.  When we live a life aware of his presence, in awe of who he is, everything else falls into place.  A heart positioned  in worship will see him, hear him, and obey him.

If you embark on this next 5 week journey of BASKING in his goodness and presence, you will greater understand what if means to ABIDE in him.

One definition of abide is “to continue to be present.”

Be present in Him this week as you look with your eyes for him!

This Beautiful World

By Sam Terry, 8 years old

My eyes, my eyes

they’re blind because

I keep complaining

then I miss this beautiful flowers

in the prettiest fields.

I miss the beautiful birds because

I’m too busy thinking about the negative.

I miss this beautiful world that God gives.

Don’t miss out on his beauty!  Join us for this 5 week study, starting here on this Monday, May 30th.  Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to see posts Monday-Friday, and I’ll blog here about it at least once a week (I’ve got to leave time free for BASKING!)

Download the free devotional here:>>>>> Basking<<<<<

The Walls Around Your Bedroom and Your Marriage 

“A wise woman builds her home,but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.” Proverbs 14:1

This week in “Spring Cleaning for Your Heart and Home” we are cleaning in our master bedroom and praying over our marriage as we go.

Today we prayed protection over our marriage as we scrub our walls and windows. Proactively praying for your marriage is a subject I am especially passionate about. We make sure that we protect so many other things in our lives, why shouldn’t we put as much effort int protecting our most important relationship on this earth?

Last year, my husband Nick & I spoke in a chapel service for the ministry he works for that serves Nascar about this topic.

You can hear the 20 minute recoding of it here: http://motorracingoutreach.podomatic.com/entry/2015-08-24T05_36_46-07_00

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You can build protective walls around your marriage, just as real and sheltering as the ones that enclose your home.

Here is a list of suggestions to plant protective a hedges to keep people and threats out of your sacred marriage relationship:
“Hedge 1: Choose wisely.

Avoid unnecessarily spending time with someone of the opposite sex. For instance, if you’re looking for a personal trainer at the local gym, choose someone of the same sex.
Hedge 2: Share carefully.

If you find yourself sharing things about yourself or your marriage that you haven’t or wouldn’t share with your spouse, that’s a red flag. Not all affairs are physical-an emotional affair is just as damaging.
Hedge 3: Stay in large, public settings.

Determine not to meet one-on-one with anyone of the opposite sex. If your coworker asks if he or she can join you for lunch, ask a third person to join you as well. If necessary, don’t hesitate to share the boundary you and your spouse have agreed upon in your marriage. You just might lead by example.
Hedge 4: Don’t be naïve.

Most people who end up in affairs don’t set out to have one. Infidelity usually begins with an innocent relationship that, in time, moves to an emotional depth that crosses a line of fidelity.
Hedge 5: Increase your investment at home.

Solid marriages are built by spending time together, laughing together, and playing together. If you aren’t dating your mate, set up dates for the coming months and make spending time together a priority.
Hedge 6: Pay attention to your thought-life.

When all you think about is your spouse’s faults, any other man or woman will look better. Make a list of the strengths that initially attracted you to your spouse. Increase encouragement and decrease criticism.
Hedge 7: Don’t play the comparison game.

We all make mistakes, have bad habits and annoying behaviors. When we compare a “new friend” to our spouse, it’s an unfair comparison because we aren’t seeing that person in a “living under the same roof, taking care of kids at 3 a.m., struggling to make ends meet” reality.
Hedge 8: Seek help.

Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. A Christian counselor can provide valuable perspective and help set new strategies for a marriage that can go the distance.”
This list of  hedges came directly from the book “Hedges: Loving your marriage enough to protect it,” by Jerry B Jenkins.

So sweet sisters, as you evaluate the cleanliness of the walls & windows  in your bedroom, pray hard considering how to protect your marriage! God is faithful & his promises will affect the future of your marriage as you pray them.

To buy the study and join in, click here >>> http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1530583446/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1460486307&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=spring+cleaning+bible+study

Fun Tips for Spring Cleaning with Kids

 This crazy picture is my life. My kids are at a fun age, and this is how we roll. My daughter, Arabella is wearing a strainer on her head as she posing for a pic in the middle of her daily chore, unloading the dishes. If you look behind her, you can see her “castle” made out of the clean dishes.  She is not tall enough or skilled enough to reach the cabinets yet, so she is supposed to just set the dishes underneath the cabinets they go in.

I heard her saying, mom, can I make a castle out of the dishes instead?  I really wanted to say, “No, just put them underneath where they are supposed to go! But I just couldn’t. Her little voice sounded so cute, and I know the days of building castles of any kind will be gone in no time.  So I gave in.  And I enjoyed watching every second of her castle building!

As we journey through “Spring Cleaning for Your Heart and Home” together, I want to encourage us to Spring clean the way Jesus would.  One thing Jesus was adamant about was including children in his ministry.   It would be so much easier to turn the disney channel on and sit them in front of the t.v. for the majority of this journey, or to lock the doors of the house and make them stay outside! Below are some alternatives to those two last resorts.

Cleaning out closets/drawers:

Dress up/Fashion shows

Clothes basketball:  shoot the clothes in the basket

Peek a boo with young children

Cover kids in a pile of clothes

Conquer the clothes mountain (climb on top of the pile)

Windows: 

Kids go outside, and you clean inside of windows, They go outside and pick which window you are cleaning and see if they get it right!

You clean outside windows while you they hide and you seek.

Walls:

Everyone gets a bucket and scrubs their section.  When you are done, you go outside and toss the soapy water at each other.

Lights:

Sing “This Little Light of Mine” with them.  If they are old enough to help, have them cover up the light with the rag while they sing “hide it under a bushel”  and then uncover it when they sing “shine.”

For older kids, talk about how we can be the light of the world to those around us.

Doors:  

Make up “knock knock” jokes together.

FOR SPRING CLEANING ANYTHING:

Turn some fun music on and dance while you clean.

Set a timer and see how much you can get done with your kids in 15 minutes!

I hope these ideas help you look forward to spring cleaning with your kids.  The idea is to include them and make it fun.  This doesn’t mean they can or need to help you every second of your spring cleaning journey.

If you haven’t purchased the bible study book yet, it’s not too late to join us.

Click the link to Amazon below: 

>>>http://www.amazon.com/Spring-Cleaning-Your-Heart-Home/dp/1530583446/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1459542400&sr=8-1&keywords=spring+cleaning+bible+study>>&gt;

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<<<I start blogging through it on Monday right here and on the Facebook group!!!>>>