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Marriage

It’s Olympics season, and I’ve gotten swept into the craze over the gold medal U.S. women’s gymnastics team, especially the story of Gabby Douglas.  This video on CNN shows her mother talking about the sacrifices it took for Gabby to achieve her gold-medal destiny.
Their family had to send Gabby away to Iowa to train with a new couch, and as a single parent she even sold her jewelry to pay for Gabby’s training.  It moves me to think about how she had to release her baby girl, in this case literally sending her away, so that her daughter could achieve her destiny.

I’ve been struggling over this idea of releasing my loved ones lately, not in the case of my child, but with my husband.  About a year ago, God gave him a vision to start a company, and while it’s a really exciting endeavor, it definitely takes a lot of his time, energy, heart and soul.  The recent weeks have been particularly tough, with him leaving home after dinner each night and coming back anywhere from 2 to 4 in the morning. I’ve been feeling a bit like a single person, and although I know it’s temporary, but I can’t say that it hasn’t affected me emotionally.  However, I truly believe that he’s living out his God-given destiny, so the question is, can I release him to do what he’s called to do and willingly make sacrifices along the way? It’s my hope and prayer that I will, and that one day we can celebrate his gold-medal moment together.

I came across this resource recently that I found very helpful in trying to pray faithfully and specifically for my husband.  Hope it’s helpful for other wives and for future-wives.  🙂 

Daily Prayers for My Husband
Adapted from The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian

Monday
Help me to be patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled
Make me a tool of reconciliation, peace, healing and forgiveness
Make me my husband’s helpmate, companion, champion, friend, and support
Help me create a peaceful, restful, safe home for him
Help me to accept him the way he is and not try to change him
I leave any changing that needs to be done in Your hands
Lord, I lay all my expectations at Your cross

Tuesday
Show me what unconditional love really is
Bring unity between us so we can be in agreement about everything
Make us a team
Help me to overlook his faults
Where love has died, create new love between us
Help me to support and respect him
Give me new appreciation, compassion, acceptance and love for him
Reveal to me his wants and needs

Wednesday
Bless my husband at work with favor, success and prosperity
Help him to balance time at work and time with family
Let him work for You and not man’s approval
Show him anything he should be doing differently
Open doors of opportunity for him and develop his skills
Help my husband to handle money wisely and honor You with it
Keep him sexually pure in mind and body
Take away anyone or anything that would inspire temptation to infidelity

Thursday
Deliver him from adultery, pornography, drugs, alcohol, gambling, and perversion
May he thirst for Your Word and Your truth
Keep him from impure, evil, negative, or sinful thoughts
Help him know Your love, wisdom and wise counsel
Make him a godly leader who makes wise choices
Keep him healthy and strong

Friday
Protect him from all danger
Give him wisdom and discretion
Remind him to always turn to You and trust in You for all things
Give him endurance to run the race and not give up
Teach him to cast his burdens on You and wait for  You
Make him a man of integrity
Give him a teachable spirit that is quick to confess his mistakes

Saturday
Let there never be any reason for bad things to be said of him
Deliver him from his enemies
Let him bear good fruit
May his priorities be in perfect order
Be Lord and Ruler over his heart
Give him godly male friends to openly share his heart with
Make him forgiving, loving his enemies
Give him the joy of the Lord in his life

Sunday
Teach him the skills to be a good father
Fill him with love, peace, joy, gratitude, and serenity
Strengthen our marriage and help our love to grow
Redeem him from negative emotions: depression, anger, fear, etc.
Fill him with Your Spirit and the fruits of Your Spirit
Guard his tongue and fill him with Your love
Convict him of sin, bring him to repentance and humility
Give him a heart that follows You in all he does

We recently celebrated my son’s first birthday. I can’t believe it’s already been a year since God plopped this incredible little human into my life.  As I reflect on my first year of parenthood, there are so many lessons that I could dedicate a whole blog to them. I’ll just share a few here:

Raising a baby is a crash course in partnership:  My husband and I have partnered together in the past: we led a LIFE group together before we even liked each other, we went on a couple missions trips together, we planned a wedding together. But there was no greater test of our partnership and communication skills than raising a baby. I’ve never been so thankful to have a husband who is always asking, ‘How can I serve you more,’ and is willing to sacrifice until it hurts.

Wow, my parents really are pretty great: Having a child of my own has deepened my understanding and appreciation of my parents. I think back to some of the heartaches and headaches that I caused my parents, and I imagine how I would respond if Joshua did those things to me. It leads me to give them much more grace for the few times that they failed, and appreciate them so much more for all the times that they gave their best.

I can’t control outcomes:  I often wonder what kind of person Joshua will become. I hope he’ll be smart, athletic, musical, popular (but he won’t know that he’s popular so he’ll also be humble) … that’s not asking for too much, right? But in the end, Joshua will become whoever God has destined for him to be, and God will use whatever it takes to mold him into that person. The question is: can I relinquish all control and give God full permission to have His way with my son?

God truly does love me unconditionally: As cliched as this one sounds, as I think about how much I love my son, who can’t even reciprocate the love, sacrifice, sleepless nights, and labor pains that our relationship has cost me, it gives me just a tiny glimpse of how much God must love me.

And to leave you with a few practical lessons I’ve learned:
-Oxiclean is miraculous: it gets out even the worst poop stains.
-I can save money on gym memberships by using a baby to do arm curls and lunges.
-I can throw out my alarm clock because I have a little human alarm clock that is stuck on 6:30am and a snooze interval of ‘every 3 seconds.’
-Always have a camera within arms reach, because these little people do something new and exciting every day.