What I THOUGHT was Common Sense About Marriage + GIVEAWAY

This past Valentine’s Day, David and I decided to do a little something out of the norm and attend a young couple’s newlywed evening. The night began with Mass, followed by dinner, a few talks, and dancing.

And let me just preface this by saying the day of the event, David and I did NOT want to go. We had just been in an argument that morning and the last people we wanted to hang out with was each other. Not exactly how you want to spend your Valentine’s Day amiright?! But we put on our “happy” face and our fancy clothes and headed out despite our not-so-pretty attitudes.

Well when we were asked to do the readings for mass all I kept thinking was I’m probably not in a good place to do these readings but, not wanting to explain myself, we said yes anyways. I got up to do the first reading… Gen. 2  18-24… the creation of woman.  A great reading. Next, David was up. And of course he had the reading from our wedding… oh you know the one… 1 Corinthians 12. Well I don’t know about anyone else in that chapel, but that second reading was speaking RIGHT to David and my grumpy selves.

Common Sense

“(Love) is not rude, it does not seek its own intereests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.”

Okay, thanks, God, we get it. So suttle. Not.

After Mass, David and I talked it out before heading to the dinner and we were feeling much better, especially after getting some food and wine in our bellys. But then came the talks. They were given by a married couple who are both counselors in the Michigan area and were focusing on things that can break your marraige and things that can build your marriage. And I’m not going to lie. I was sitting, listening to this couple talk, and at first  all I could think was, well duh, I’ve heard that before.

Everything at first seemed like things I already knew. Like the importance of Christ in the center of your marriage, praying together often, treating your spouse like you treat friends or co-workers, finding out how they feel loved (not how you feel loved) and making them feel loved, not being resentful of past hurts, not holding grudges or piling on guilt or making someone feel bad for something… All of these, and more, were given to us (in a more pretty and articulate way than I just gave) as ways to better your marriage. But the more I realized I’d heard these before, the more I realized David and I weren’t necessarily good at doing them.

We’ve heard these suggestions all our engaged and dating life, and so it was second nature for me to think that, we’ve heard them, we know them, so that’s it. But I’ll admit. I know I’m guilty of doing something nice for David and hoping for reciprication. Or one of us blaming the other for something that is just silly and not necessary. Or one of us just fighting for the “upper hand” in an argument. Over and over I’ve heard these things we should do for our spouses, but I can’t say that David or I’ve been the best at practicing  these daily.

After the reading we’d heard that day (one I’ve heard plenty of times before) and the “common sense” talks we’d heard, I knew David and I needed to make some changes. On the way home that night we talked some more and apologized again for our lame-o fight.

I’m learning this whole marriage thing isn’t the easiest thing I’ll do in my life. But it has the potential to be the most rewarding.

As I continue to learn more about being a better wife, I’m going to be starting another round of 31 Days of Prayer for Your Husband on March 1st! I would love for you join me. Don’t worry if you aren’t married or engaged, this is a great prayer for your future spouse, yourself, the men in your life, or really just about anybody in your life.

Click the link below to sign up and receive daily prayer intentions for your husband as well as corresponding Bible verses. After signing up, you’ll receive an email asking you to confirm your Sign Up.

Sign up Now

By signing up, you’ll ALSO be entered into a GIVEAWAY to receive a rosary from Keogler Studios, a prayer journal and some other fun finds! Bonus entries for following me on Instagram and  Twitter AND /OR share this on Twitter :) If you’re already following me, you’ll still get the bonus entry… Happy praying and good luck to all!

Annie

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My Beef With the “Baby Question”

As some of you know, David was one of my best friends long before we started dating. I never looked at him as anything other than “David, my lunch buddy” or “David, my I-really-need-to-vent-about-life buddy”. But lo and behold, God had another plan for us and somewhere down the line, he paved a way for us to present day where we get to spend the rest of our earthly life together.

In the beginning of those “dating days”, I remember specifically one day when I was hanging out at D’s apartment and we filled each other in on our lives, the things we didn’t know about each other. One thing I remember him asking was “If you could be anything, what would you want to be when you grow up?”. It made me laugh because those questions always seem like a question you’re asked when you’re 4 instead of 20 (which I was at the time).

But I gave it some serious thought for a moment. I had always wanted to be an actress (don’t you dare laugh) but I didn’t know if I could do that forever. I had studied journalism but I knew that still wasn’t number 1. Then it hit me. The one thing I could see myself being happy doing for the rest of my life is being a mom. More specifically, a stay at home mom.

I remember being really impressed with his reaction because he thought it was the coolest answer I could have given. He was expecting I’d say a news anchor or an author. Never did he expect me to say the job I want forever does not pay monetarily and is probably one of the hardest jobs out there.

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Fast forward to present day, we have always kept this in mind. I was blessed with a husband who wants kids as much as I do but also had the same mentality. However, with the two of us coming into marriage with debt (damn you, student loans) and only having a small amount in savings, we had decided to wait on activley trying to have kids for 1.5 – 2 years. Being that we are as pro-life as it gets and Natural Family Planners (apparently it’s NFP awareness week?! yess) to the max, if God decided (or decides) to give us a baby before then, obvi we will be ecstatic and are 250% open to life. But we knew we wanted to try to get some things situated before that time comes, if at all possible.

With that said, it hasn’t always been easy being the baby-less couple. Often, I’ll have people (whether it be close friends or family) ask me, “So, you guys pregnant yet?” or “When are you two going to finally have a baby?”. Most of these questions come at me in jokingly posed questions. And I want to clear up by saying, I DON’T MIND people asking me this. That’s not the beef I have. I don’t mind people assuming we might have a baby on the way. I don’t mind people being curious and assuming this pro-life Catholic couple just may have a baby soon. It’s an obvious thing to think. I actually love when people ask me this because it gets me excited for when someday I WILL be a mom. Yes, many people look at it as a “none of your business” kind of topic, but I don’t care. That isn’t the way I look at it and I’d be curious too. Ask away!

With that said. There is something I do have beef with. Latley I’ve been coming across several blog articles or people in conversations or something I’ll hear on the news about family. Most of them have been saying how once you have a baby your family can begin or my family started with my children. And maybe I took it too seriously. Maybe I read into the comments. I personally can’t wait to grow my family, but I would never think that David and I were any less of a family because we didn’t have kids.

When we got married, I became his family and he became mine. Together, just the two of us, we make up our little family. It made me feel as though my little family, or worse, the little families of couples who can’t have children were being belittled. Family has grown to be one of the most important things in both my life and in David’s so I hate when I see it made less than it is. And in today’s world, as most of you know, that’s all too common.

As a blogger, it can often be hard to find your voice amidst all the mommy-bloggers out there. And don’t get me wrong, I love me a good mommy-blog. I never want to be one of the women who join the mommy-wars or talk ill of another woman, although I’m sad to say I am guilty of it. I am human afterall. I’m not really sure what category my blog would fall under. And I suppose I like it that way. It’s this ever-changing documentary of my little families life, I guess.

As I said, when I “grow up” I want to be a mom. But since that is not in God’s plan for us right now, I’m LOVING this time with my little family. Just the two of us enjoying vacations as a little family or going out for dinner as a little family or hours spent in a bookstore as a little family or happy hour as a little family. And when God decides to bless us with numero tres, I’ll be beside myself with joy. And I know D will too. And I’ll be even happier when you ask me “So, you guys pregnant yet?” because I’ll finally get to tell you that I have my dream job!

31 Days of Praying for Your Husband

I’m a cradle Catholic. I’ve grown up with the knowledge that prayer is so important. It was instilled in me from day 1, learning to always kneel down and say my prayers before bed (“I see the moon and the moon sees me, God bless the moon, and God bless me” kinda stuff). So what is it about getting older that makes that habit harder and harder to stick to?

I’m sure there are plenty of reasons. As I went to college and became more aware of my Catholic faith, I got a lot better about making sure to make that kinda stuff (prayer) a priority. Or so I thought.

Prayer is one of those things that, for me, is always tugging to make it’s place in my daily routine. I forget often on my drive to work because I’m jammin’ to the radio or when I get exceptionally PO’ed at work it slips my mind. But the one thing I’m most embarrased to admit is I have not always been the best about praying for my other half, David. Don’t get me wrong. I pray for him as much as I remember to which is at least every night before bed. He’s the first and last person I pray for.

But if I’ve learned anything in the first few months of marriage, it’s how CRAZY effective prayer can be. I’ve seen God answer my (and others) prayers on SO MANY occasions. So I wanted to do something a little more routine and permanent.

I came across this website that showed 31 Days of Praying for your Spouse. I read through it, tweaked a few things here and there and then decided to do it. For the whole month of May I did this and I’m not gonna say there was this huge epiphany at the end where all of our life’s troubles melted away. But I WILL say throughout the month I got to witness all these little ways in which David grew and or expereinced something great during the day or noticed something he wanted to change about himself for the better. I guess you could say that adds up to one big epiphany… Afterall, there are a lot of forces out there trying to belittle marriage or attack our husbands character. I, for one, do not want to let that slide.

 

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So I wanted to share with you the little reflections. It starts with just a short prayer intention for that day and then gives you 2-4 very short Bible verses to  accompany the reflection. Best part is it didn’t take up this massive amount of time for me and I just searched the Bible verses on my phone when I wasn’t home.

And DO NOT think that this can only be said for your hubby. After I said it for David, I am now restarting it and praying it for me. I want to be the best wife I can and I know if I don’t pray for myself, that won’t happen easily at all. But it can also be said for a fiance, boyfriend/girlfriend, friend, or family member. Just a nice little way to lift your special person up in prayer!

***At the bottom of this post there is a printable PDF version of the 31 Days of Prayer for Your Husband***


Day 1 
Pray that your husband will grow spiritually and consider his accountability before the Lord. Pray that he will guard his heart by developing spiritual disciplines—Bible reading and study, prayer, meditation, scripture, etc. (2 Peter 3:18; Prov. 4:23)

Day 2 
Pray that your husband’s relationship with God and His Word will bear fruit in his life. Pray that he will be a man of wisdom and understanding, fearing the Lord. (Prov. 3:7, 9:10; Ps. 112:1)

Day 3 
Pray that your husband will be humble and quick to agree with God about his sin. Pray that his heart will be tender toward the voice of the Lord. (Ps. 51:2-4; Micah 6:8)

Day 4
Pray that your husband will grow in leadership skills in your relationship—protecting and providing for you. Pray that he will lead you wisely and love you sacrificially, so that God will be glorified in your marriage. (Eph. 5:25-29; Col. 3:19)

Day 5
Pray that your husband will be faithful to his wedding vows. Pray that he will have a desire to cultivate your relationship as a sign of his loyalty and commitment to you, and as a picture of Christ’s love for the Church. (Prov. 20:6; Gen. 2:24)

Day 6
Pray that your husband will love righteousness and hate wickedness, especially the evils of the culture. Pray that he will recognize and avoid wickedness in his own life, and if necessary, take a clear, strong stand against evil. (Prov. 27:12; John 17:15; 1 Cor. 10:12-13)

Day 7
Pray that your husband will safeguard his heart against inappropriate relationships with the opposite sex. Pray that his heart will be pure and undivided in his commitment to you. (Prov. 6:23-24, 26; Rom. 13:14)

Day 8
Pray that your husband will work hard to provide for your family, to the best of his ability. Pray that the character qualities necessary for a successful career and ministry will be a growing part of his character—persistence, decisiveness, strength, an analytical mind, organizational skills, positive relationships with people, determination, etc. (Rom. 12:11; 1 Cor. 15:58, Ps. 28:7)

Day 9
Pray that your husband handle finances wisely, will have discernment concerning budgeting and investments, and will be a good steward of his money in regard to giving to the Lord’s work. Pray that money will not become a source of discord in your family. (Prov. 23:4-5; Rom. 12:13; Heb. 13:5)

Day 10
Pray that your husband will cultivate strong integrity, and not compromise his convictions. Pray that his testimony will be genuine, that he will be honest in his business dealings, and will never do anything that he needs to hide from others. (Prov. 20:7; 1 Tim. 1:5, 3:7; Eph. 6:10-12)

Day 11
Pray that your husband will have a humble, teachable spirit and a servant’s heart before the Lord. Pray that he will listen to God and desire to do His will. (Prov. 15:33; Eph. 6:6)

Day 12
Pray that your husband will yield his sexual drive to the Lord and practice self control. Pray that your sexual intimacy together will be fresh, positive, and a reflection of selfless love. (Prov. 5:15, 18; 1 Cor. 7:3; Song of Solomon 7:10)

Day 13
Pray that your husband use practical skills to build your family and make wise decisions for your welfare. Pray that he will serve unselfishly. (Gal. 5:13; Phil. 2:3-4)

Day 14
Pray that your husband will speak words that build you and your family, and reflect a heart of love. Pray that he will not use filthy language. (Prov. 18:21; Eph. 4:29)

Day 15
Pray that your husband will choose his friends wisely. Pray that God will bring him men who will encourage his accountability before God, and will not lead him into sin. (Prov. 13:20; Prov. 27:17)

Day 16
Pray that your husband will choose healthy, God-honoring activities. Pray that he will not live in bondage to any questionable habits or hobbies, but that he will experience freedom in holiness as he yields to the Spirit’s control. (1 Cor. 6:12, 10:31; 2 Tim. 2:4)

Day 17
Pray that your husband will enjoy his manliness as he patterns his life after Christ and strong men in the faith. Pray for his physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual strength. (Eph. 3:16; 1 Peter 2:21; 1 Cor. 10:11)

Day 18
Pray that your husband will have an eternal perspective—living in light of eternity. Pray that he will reject materialism and temporal values and put God first in his life. (Matt. 6:33;Deut. 6:5; Eph. 5:16; Ps. 90:12)

Day 19
Pray that your husband will be patient and a man of peace. Pray that he will not give in to anger, but will allow the Holy Spirit to control his responses. (Rom. 14:19; Ps. 34:14)

Day 20
Pray that your husband will yield his mind and thoughts to the Lord. Pray that he will not entertain immoral or impure thoughts, and that he will resist the temptation to indulge in pornography. (Prov. 27:12; 2 Cor. 10:5)

Day 21
Pray that your husband will learn how to relax in the Lord and, in his greatest times of stress, find joy and peace in his relationship with God. Pray that he will submit his schedule to the Lord. (Neh. 8:10; Prov. 17:22; Ps. 16:11)

Day 22
Pray that your husband will practice forgiveness in your relationship and with others. Pray that he will recognize any roots of bitterness, and yield any resentment and unforgiving attitudes to the Lord. (Eph. 4:32; Heb. 12:15)

Day 23
Pray that your husband will be a good father—disciplining his children wisely and loving them unconditionally. If he is not a father, pray that he will find a young man to mentor in the things of the Lord. (Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21; 2 Tim. 2:1-2)

Day 24
Pray that your husband will have a balanced life—that he will balance work and play. Pray that he will fear God, but also gain favor with people he knows at work and church. (Luke 2:52; Prov. 13:15)

Day 25
Pray that your husband will be courageous in his stand against evil and injustice, and that he will stand for the truth. Pray that he will protect you and your family from Satan’s attacks. (Ps. 31:24; Eph. 6:13; Ps. 27:14)

Day 26
Pray that your husband will discover and live his God-given purpose. Pray that he will offer all his dreams to the Lord, and pursue only those goals that will bring God glory and count for eternity. (Jer. 29:11; 1 Cor. 10:31)

Day 27
Pray that your husband will understand the importance of taking care of his body—the temple of the Holy Spirit—for the glory of God. Pray that he will practice self-control by making wise food choices, and get sufficient exercise to stay healthy. (Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 6:19-20, 9:27)

Day 28
Pray that your husband will be a man of prayer. Pray that he will seek and pursue God in purposeful quiet times. (1 Thess. 5:17; Luke 22:46; James 5:16)

Day 29
Pray that your husband will surrender his time and talents to the Lord. Pray that his spiritual gifts will be manifest in his career, at church, and in your home. (Eph. 5:15-16; 1 Cor. 12:4, 7)

Day 30
Pray that your husband will serve God and others with pure motives. Pray that he will obey the Lord from his heart, and glorify Him in everything. (1 Cor. 10:13; John 7:17-18; Col. 3:23-24, Prov. 28:27)

Day 31
Pray that your husband will recognize the lies of the Enemy in his life. Pray that his attitudes and actions will be guided by the truth as he brings his thoughts into captivity to the Word of God. (John 8:44; 2 Cor. 10:4-5)

***Clink the link below to get a printable PDF file of the 31 Day of Prayer***

31 Days of Prayer for Your Husband