To Fight in Front of the Kids, or Not? 

   My husband and I can FIGHT. Like, we are GOOD at it. We don’t feel the need to use gloves because we don’t want to cusion the blow. If you have ever been in a mentoring meeting or have taken a class with us you know the story of the police being called on one of our loud, escalated fights. It’s not a moment we’re super proud of, although it is funny to look back on now. 

    We all know how the story ends in our marriage (GOOD, thank you Lord!) but the most intense fights we ever had were during the years when our kids were still tiny. 
   Did you hear that? We had KIDS IN THE HOUSE during these moments! What we’re we thinking?! 

   You may be in the very same situation as you read this. You may have just had a big blow up with the spouse that has you feeling defeated or like you have ruined your kids for the rest of their lives. 

  Nope.

  Kids are resilient and get over things a tad better than we think they do. We like to protect them from every little thing but in reality, those solutions backfire. Hear me out.

  Everyone has heard that it damages kids emotionally to witness their parents fight. Because of this thinking, new-aged, modern parents try to protect little Jimmy from every conflict, not just outside the home, but inside as well. We have been told that if they see the adults in their world in conflict, it will make Jimmy aggressive and a ruined member of society. 

  The truth is Jimmy needs to see his parents fight. Two people do not come together to share their lives till death do they part without a conflict here and there. Its impossible. That’s not realistic. And when we teach unrealistic values such as this in the home the kid never learns to resolve problems (at least not without extensive help, and isn’t it our goal to train kids NOT to be dependant…)?

  You may be thinking, “but do we really want to have our kids witness the intense fights about money?” 

 How intense are we talking? If the fights escalate the way ours used to it may be time to get some outside help. How enjoyable of an environment is that for YOU let alone the kid? Of course, abuse is NEVER to be tolerated. 

  The most important point here is that the fights themselves don’t actually matter. Studies suggest that you can basically have a knock-out, drag-out of a doozy (but let’s not, ok?) and the kids will be just fine as long as you follow through and FINISH IT. 

  Ok, that was not a plug for the mob. Kids need to see their parents make-up. On average, children are witnessing their parents bicker about 8 times a day and only giving affection 3. What do you think that does to their sense of security? 

  Working on your marriage, being able to have a respectful disagreement and working through it with affection… in front of the kids… Builds healthy kids. One study found that children’s emotional well-being and security are more affected by the relationship between the parents than by the direct relationship between parent and child. 

  Have your fights but learn to have them wisely and let the kids see you resolve them. That’s how we change the future. 

   And when you stop to think about it, that’s really the entire point, isn’t it? 
~If you need help in this area of your marriage; learning to respect each other, learning to communicate better, learning to resolve those pesky fights, contact me. We have resources for you.~

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Boyfriends don’t get Husband Privileges

You know me. Or maybe you don’t. But I take everything.. EVERYTHING to a deeper level. If I feel something, I feel it greater than you can ever understand. I believe this is for a purpose and I intend to use this purpose to the calling I have. So if this offends you… #sorrynotsorry

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Have you seen this going around?

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I LOVE IT. Obviously it means Sex. But what else? How much deeper can we go with this? Let’s see…

We are seeing a crazy high rate of broken hearts this generation. More than any of the gens from the past. Our young people are moving from one partner to the next at epic speeds, never satisfied and thinking they deserve better. Why? Because we give too much of our hearts away too fast. Period. Not only are we millenials giving away our bodies, but the deepest part of our being to someone we’ve known for a good month, maybe.

Is there something that you know a lot about? Something that when you see it used the wrong way it sends you up the wall? It offends my SOUL when I see young women (And men) calling their boyfriend their “other half”, their “everything”….. Their SPOUSE. A boyfriend is NOT a HUSBAND. A girlfriend is NOT a WIFE. I firmly believe that a couple can live together for years, “know” every thing there is to know about the other and still not be a spouse. There’s something that happens when that marriage CONTRACT is signed. It’s kind of like…

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We have such an epidemic of young people trying to grow up much faster than they are meant to. It is parents’ job to let them grow at the rate they are supposed to but instead we let the media raise our kids. Even Disney Channel (which we watch carefully in our house) has kids acting and looking older than they should.

“What does that matter? Who cares?”

I care! Because I KNOW ABOUT THIS. Because I see its effects on society every single day. These kids are no longer satisfied with the things they should be. Instead of playing with tangeable items made to invoke imagination, our kids are thrown iPads and told to be quiet… Which is super ironic considering how many parents these days are against the whole “Children are to be seen and not heard” thing.

On these iPads, children are exposed to things they shouldn’t be. Even if it’s a locked shut device, there are images the manufacturers put in place to make sure they have future customers. It may sound a bit conspiracy, but that’s marketing!

Exposed to new bigger ideas, these kids are no longer happy with regular things. They need more. And this transfers into their relationships.

Fast forward a few years when they think they are ready to date.. Nothing is good enough for them. Even if they are happy in the relationship, they can’t can’t even be content enough to call it what it is… They have to take it a step further and start referring to their mate as their other half.

I’m speaking out of experience. I’ve been there. And if you’ve ever taken our one-on-one marriage mentoring, you know what it did to my current marriage. It was a mess and made the water so murky, inconsistent and difficult to overcome that divorce was an easy option. Luckily we made a conscious effort, together, to progress through the mess to the other side. But many… MANY do not. And our society has changed through the expectations we hold our kids to.

If you are a parent of one of these “situations” or are an elder in any way close to this, listen clearly: do not let your kids go down this road. Do not stand idley by, passively watching your kids be defeated by this nonsense. Instill in them from an early age just how important their hearts are and what the difference is between a teenage romance and a TRUE Marriage. They need to hear it from you consistently and thouroughly.

They will thank you for it someday. Oh, and so will your grandkids.

Marriage is not the problem… We are.

The more I study marriage, the more offended by society I become. I don’t think people realize how much influence the media and other outlets has on our personal relationships.

I consistently see memes and quotes about marriage that are down right terrible but in our American, let’s face it, selfish society, we eat that stuff up! I’m talking about the quotes about DESERVING happiness, DESERVING sex, DESERVING being taken care of with no reciprocation… I promise you’ve seen them too. These are the lies we let into our circle of influence. And I’m convinced that the selfish society we have created has dramatically influenced, for the worse, what marriage means in America.

My daughter and I are OBSESSED with Married at First Sight. Have you seen this show on TLC? Basically strangers are matched by experts and then without ever even meeting, get legally MARRIED!  What does this sound like… Arranged marriages, anyone? You may be thinking “How terrible!” “Why would anyone…!!” But let’s upack this for a moment shall we?

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Arranged marriages actually have a much lower percentage for failure (yep. That’s the word I chose to use). Can you guess why?

Here in modern, first world America we sure love… Ourselves. We love convenience and quick results and whatever makes us feel good. And we’re told that’s how to live a happy life! So essentially, your spouse is only here to wait on you hand and foot and you are perfectly within your rights to take, take, take. Congratulations, America. We have successfully made a nation full of narcissists, terribly entitled people that are entering into a very SERIOUS convenet.

Back to the arranged marriages… In America we “feel” like we should be free to marry who we “love”. Don’t get me wrong! I’m definitely all for that! But something we need to start realizing…and effectively teaching the next generation, is that LOVE IS A CHOICE. It is NOT just a feeling. Anyone with gray hair who has has a SUCCESSFUL marriage will tell you that there are days when it’s so much easier to hate your spouse over choosing to love them. But the people who know the secret to marriage know that you have to choose to love your spouse every single day to make it through the rough parts.

In our 8th and 9th grade classes, we teach the diffference between love and lust. This has proven not only important to the students to be taught, but we also get TEACHERS and other adults that have no idea… And we can’t teach what we don’t know. Something to think about. These are a direct circle of influence and we learn from these and other places!

I will have more on this subject later. But for now, I want YOU to think seriously about the real happiness in your marriage. And then ask yourself, is any part that is unfulfilled a direct result of the influence of lies I let into my relationship?

Make Good Choices!
Becky

With love, Becky

The P31 Woman is Not the ONLY Woman

Do you know that God made you? We tell our kids this but do we actually believe it? I think Christians have an impressive way of making the bible suck. We are known for being judgy buttheads… because we ARE!

(I’ve have already lost a few of you with that statement… but for the rest of us who personally feel that judgement, keep reading.)

We, Christ followers, know there is a better way to do everything. We are like the mother-in-law (not mine!) of the religious world. No matter what we are dealing with, there is an answer for our situation, and if we’re really good, we can twist it enough until it suddenly makes complete biblical sense that we don’t vacuum the house that day! Come on! The human mind is such a wonderful, powerful thing that gains momentum when coupled with other thoughts from other people (insert social media HERE).

But what do we say about ourselves in all of this?

I was recently talking with a good friend of mine… a good, kind-hearted mom who just wants her kids to grow up strong and healthy, as you can imagine any mom would. She was telling me how horrible she felt every time she lost her temper with her kids.

*SIGH*

Moms. How many of us have been THERE?! How many of us struggle with this very thing on a daily basis?? I’m not talking about the ACTUAL temper. I’m talking about the way we see ourselves, the struggle with feeling like we never measure up? For this very reason I have grown to dislike the Proverbs 31 wife reference. Perfectly well meaning women (and men) love to throw that in our faces any time they may think we “need” it but what I think us moms and wives and sisters and daughters need is a little freedom FROM the Proverbs 31 Wife. She’s so perfect. She never has a lazy day. She always looks outstanding. AND SHE NEVER LOSES HER TEMPER. Some of us don’t do well with that sort of pressure.

I want to offer you a differing approach. What if… God made us the way we are… on purpose? We love to walk around and say things like this to other people in hopes of raising spirits but we don’t really believe it do we? If we did, there would be much less talk about how awful we are at whatever job we’re doing at the moment and more talk about accepting differences in others. Do you think God, The Almighty, The All Knowing, All Powerful, Great I AM made you solely for the purpose of changing everything about you? Do you think He really wants you to be like the other mom that makes the best meatballs known to man (that’s me, by the way…)?

Now if the foot should say, “because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being a part of that body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop being a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact, God has placed the parts of the body, every one of them, JUST AS HE WANTED THEM TO BE.

-1Corinthians 12:15-19, NIV

Just as He wanted them to be. We’re so quick to quote growth and change from the bible… and don’t get me wrong, I think God wants us to grow to be all that He wants us to be… but I don’t think He wants us to change every aspect of who we are.

I just so happen to be a bit loud. I have been called obnoxious in my day. But wait! God wants a GENTLE spirit! God ONLY wants and uses quite, submissive women. I have spent the better part of my entire life apologizing for being who God made me to be. I was even medicated to repress some things in my nature throughout adolescence.

How do I know God made me to stand out (for lack of better words)? Because when I suppress my natural tendencies to express and be joyful and spirited, something totally opposite happens and I FEEL the evil. I feel anxious and miserable. Not only that, but the people around me feel the “off” that’s happening in me. Suddenly I become this completely different person and it HURTS. Deeply. I have had my dear family beg me to bring the real me back when I’m in those “moods.”

Do you think God has a sense of humor? ABSOLUTELY! Do you see the above picture of a Llama!? They’re hilarious! Do think He wants us to be an army of robots? I’m pretty sure He does NOT. He wants creativity. He wants boldness. He put them there. Just like He put the stars in the sky. Everything He does is on purpose and for a purpose. 

So what about all of the “bad” personality traits that seem to just come with the territory? For example, I am bold. And Loud. And super animated. I’m also a great big feeler. Satan sees this and tries to use it for his agenda. I have a bad habit of taking responsibility for things that are not mine to take (Sound familiar? Like, moms do all the time for their kids? We’ll talk about that one later). I have this theory that God placed that in my heart to help me grow to be MORE of the person He wants me to be but He did not place it there for me to constantly feel shame. That is Satan using his techniques to his advantage.

Me not being naturally gentle is not a bad thing. I am gentle when I need to be but most of the time I’m… me. And contrary to popular belief, God likes me 😛 He made me on purpose FOR a purpose and He put those in our lives that He did on purpose, too. We need to stop unintentionally attacking ourselves with doubt and shame and comparison. We can all stand to learn a little something from everyone, but let’s work to not forget who we were made to be.

You are beautifully and wonderfully made.

Make good choices,

Becky

Never Say… Never Say Never

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That is not a mistype, ladies and gentlemen. Never say “Never say never” has been on my heart for a few months.

I was talking with a sweet friend of mine about the marriage mentoring my husband and I do. I may have even been bragging a bit about our story and I’m sure she didn’t recieve that very well. You see, only a few minutes after telling her that I believe every single marriage has a chance, she told me her story.

My friend was married to a pastor. They were just as on-fire for marriages as my husband and I are. They had children and an entire life together and were dedicated to their works in marriage ministry as well. Guess what happened? They divorced. I’m not going to share the reasons for their divorce but I will say that the way she ended her story to me was by saying, “Never say never.”

It was like she was speaking death into my marriage and I felt fear. I was completely consumed in that moment by visions and memories of my past, my family’s past and the couples in the present we have not been able to help. She was right. It could happen to even me..

Despite what any law says, there is no such thing as a No-Fault divorce

Wait a minute! Let’s back up a second and ask a pertinent question. Why? Why do couples divorce? Why did my friend divorce?

I deeply believe in reeping what we sow and despite what any law says, there is no such thing as a no-fault divorce. That conversation left me asking myself what I’m sowing in my marriage? The fear I was feeling was from the experience I have already known from others as well as my own experience. I know that it’s possible. I know that Satan attacks where life isn’t fortified. I also know that Satan attacks where we feel safe.

I feel safe in my marriage.

My marriage is GOOD. Amazing. FORTIFIED.

But it is not safe. When we start to think of our marriage as a safe place that no one and nothing can get to, we are putting ourselves and our spouses… And our legacies in jeopardy.

On the other side of the coin, I still don’t believe divorce just happens. I think it begins with Never Saying Never.

I WILL say never. Because I will choose to replace the big “D” word with whatever pertains to the reason I might want a divorce in the moment. Maybe that word is “forgiveness” or “apology” or “love” or “vow” or “COMMITMENT.”

I want to give you permission to never say “never say never” and then truly mean it. It’s ok to not give up on the commitment that you made a little or a long time ago. Its ok to not fall into society’s “blame everyone else” mentality when things get hard. Because it will get hard (that, by the way, would be the perfect time to take responsibility for your own actions, contrary to what society says). That is guaranteed. But that never has to mean it’s over. It never has to mean that all of the hard work my husband and I have put into this marriage gets to disintegrate. And it never has to mean that I have to live in fear that someday my friend’s words will take us down.

I will choose to never say “never say never.” And you should too!

Make good choices,

Becky

What Do You Want Your Kids To Say About Your Marriage?

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What do you want your kids to say about your marriage?

Scenario: You wake up one day, you meet Prince Charming, fall in love, get married and live HAPPILY ever after.

Aw… ❤

Truth:
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Anyone who has ever been married can speak to this with enthusiasm. We wish it did! We see the movies and hear the songs and long for the easiness of life in love. Then, after the first year of marriage, we find ourselves in marriage counseling wondering what went wrong and how to fix THEM. The partner. Because we surely did no wrong.

A huge part of our healing came when we asked ourselves this very question with full intent on changing the generational curses for our kids’ heritage.

So.. What do YOU want your kids to say about your marriage?

Someday when they are grown and have families of their own, they’re going to look to YOU and the values and memories you instilled in them to run their household.
They are inevitably going to say things like “I don’t know why I yell so much, my parents did so I guess I can too.”
Or maybe it will be “Divorce is no big deal. It runs in the family.”

If you don’t think that you play a major roll in the future of our society, think again. This is the future! Your Marriage should be the number one relationship in your life… besides Jesus, of course. If you don’t have a good marriage, it is likely that your kids won’t either. Conflict resolution and intimacy building are learned skills, not usually natural ones. And with the parents being the first and most important influence on a child, you can be sure your kids are getting a message. What kind of message are you portraying?

I’d like to introduce a few not-so-common-sense ideas my husband and I have learned in our marriage. These are the things my kids will say about their parents’ marriage someday.

1. My kids will say that their parents NEVER said the big “D” word.
We learned a long time ago that introducing that one little, but powerful word into a fight was a death sentence. Once we took out the option, of getting out, it was like we HAD to figure things out. Turns out, not everyone goes into a marriage -a covenant- with that kind of thinking. Seems to me we need to be better educating our youth about what marriage means… But that’s for another post.

2. My kids will say we fought.. In front of them
I hate when people tell you to never, ever disagree in front of the children. Like, ya, let’s bubble the little suckers up as much as we can and then throw them to the wolves. Nope. That’s not my job. My job is to train up my children in the way that they should go so when they’re adults they won’t part from it. How do I do that without modeling? My husband and I disagree. We’re different people. Arguments happen. We don’t throw things (anymore). We don’t name call but we do use ridiculous amounts of “I” statements. We model a good conflict resolution and *bonus* they grow up learning that no one is perfect and the person is more important than the issue. They don’t grow up thinking that they’re entitled to a perfect marriage.

3. My kids will say that we were super affectionate in front of them
My hubby loves to grab or pat my behind as much as he possibly can. I do the same to him. We kiss, we hug, we hold hands, we snuggle… And we mean it. Because my body is no longer my own and neither is his. My kids will never say their parents weren’t affectionate. But we definitely have a lock on our door for those more intimate moments that are appropriately saved because we also don’t want our kids to say that we scarred them for life! 😀👎

4. My kids will say that we made financial decisions…together

This is certainly one of those harder subjects in marriage and, let’s be honest, sometimes we still disagree in this area but we have modeled for our kids that it pays to be on the same page with the financial issues. My kids will value this when they look back at all the trips we made as a family and the variety of sports and lessons they got to do while not living in a cardboard box.

5. My kids will say that we put our marriage first
We have no problem ditching the kids for a weekend away because if we don’t put *us* first, then our household cannot be fortified and that is the most important thing. I understand this can be especially difficult for moms… But LET THEM GO! Cling to your spouse, the person you CHOSE to spend the rest of your life with! They deserve it. And so do your kids.

What things do you hope your kids will say about your marriage when they grow up? How are you going to make that a goal today?

Make good choices,

Becky

They call me the TrailBlazer

Do you ever feel like you just don’t fit in? Like, no matter where you’re placed at any moment in your life, you just don’t seem to fit in anywhere? That’s where I’m at. I am a wife. I am a mom. I have a job (that I LOVE so much). I am a Christian. I raise chickens for eggs. I have a mortgage. I live in close proximity to the elementary and middle school in our tiny town. I was on the board of the Chamber of Commerce for said tiny town for a couple of years. Did I mention I’m a mom? Well I started my family at 16 years old. I am a very YOUNG mom and wife.

I seem to not fit in anywhere. Not in a single one of these rolls. How can that be? Why does it look so easy for everyone else to fit in somewhere, to find their place, their meaning.. but not for me. Have you ever felt such an ache?

God has called me to be the trailblazer. To blaze the trail of marriage and family for my corner of the world. I’m not saying that what I stand on or believe is new by any means, for there is nothing new under the sun. But it’s new to us. and Life, at least in my eyes, becomes so much easier to navigate when we don’t have to figure out so much on our own. Well, that’s my job. I have been appointed to the calling of running ahead of the pack, finding the danger, fighting the good fight and coming out on the other side to help the rest through.

I don’t get to fit in right now, and that’s OK. Maybe I never will but God has an amazing story on my life and He is guiding me so that I can continue to guide YOU. I am right where I am supposed to be… and so are you.

Make good choices,

Becky