Marriage is an Opportunity for Comfort & Peace

The Brooklyn Duo is an awesome married couple who create heartfelt music with their piano and cello.  They apparently arrange and perform all of their duets in this fashion, in order to allow viewers to see them “live.”  I can’t seem to get enough of them!

This song above is actually from a children’s movie where the male love interest is trying to comfort the usually bubbly and happy-go-lucky female character, who finally became depressed after the hardships they went through.  He hates singing, and has his own issues with loss and depression (causing him to hate being around others and lose his “light”), but when he sees her finally affected, it moves him to sing.  Totally out of character for him, he sings to her to make her feel happiness again – just so sweet!

Here are the lyrics –

You with the sad eyes
Don’t be discouraged
Oh I realize
Its hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small
But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow
Show me a smile then
Don’t be unhappy, can’t remember
When I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there
And I’ll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow
If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there
And I’ll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors
True colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow
Songwriters: Billy Steinberg / Tom Kelly
True Colors lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

____________________________________________________________________________________________

We’ve had moments like this in our marriage where the trials we were going through started to really bring me down.  I’m usually optimistic and don’t have a hard time feeling happy from day to day, but in times of great loss or sadness or even depression, it’s been so nice and romantic to be able to lean on my man for comfort, and have him react in this way.

In those times where he’s comforted me after heartache, I think to myself that this is why God created marriage.  So that men and women could find someone who could love and comfort them, and build something beautiful together – despite how hard life can be.

Marriage should be a place of peace and comfort, granted it can’t always feel that way.  But when two people work together, and genuinely care about how the other is feeling, the beauty of it helps me understand why God said,

“It is not good for man to be alone.”

***

My husband has a tattoo of the three strand cord mentioned in Ecclesiastes 4:12, representing our marriage composed of God, him, and me.  The context of that verse is talking about how beneficial it is to have a partner in life –

Two are better than one because they have a more satisfying return for their labor;  for if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.

But woe to him who is alone when he falls and does not have another to lift him up.  

Again, if two lie down together, then they keep warm; but how can one be warm alone And though one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Amplified Bible

Anyway, just wanted to share this couple’s work.

And here is a sweet one they did with for their newborn last year!!  Oh my gosh!!!!!!

Hope you enjoy their music!

Has anyone had any times where they felt like their partner comforted them or encouraged them?  It could be the husband OR the wife – I’d love to hear other people’s stories.

Stephanie

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Called of God by Oswald Chambers

God did not address the call to Isaiah; Isaiah overheard God saying, “Who will go for us?”  The call of God is not for the special few, it is for everyone.  Whether or not I hear God’s call depends upon the state of my ears; and what I hear depends upon my disposition.

“Many are called but few are chosen,” that is, few prove themselves the chosen ones.  The chosen ones are those who have come into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ whereby their disposition has been altered and their ears unstopped, and they hear the still small voice questioning all the time, “Who will go for us?”  It is not a question of God singling out a man and saying, “Now you go.” God did not lay a strong compulsion on Isaiah; Isaiah was in the presence of God and he overheard the call, and realized that there was nothing else for him but to say, in conscious freedom, “Here I am, send me.”

Get out of your mind the idea of expecting God to come with compulsions and pleadings.  When our Lord called His disciples there was no irresistible compulsion from outside.  The quiet passionate insistence of His “Follow Me” was soken to men with every power wide awake.  If we let the Spirit of God bring us face-to-face with God, we too shall hear something akin to what Isaiah heard, the still small voice of God; and in perfect freedom will say, “Here am I, send me.”

“Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?

Then I said, Here am I, send me.”

Isaiah 6:8

“The BEST Homemaking Advice”

A few weeks ago, in mid January, I wrote a post titled “Just do the next thing,” and imparted some basic wisdom I’ve gleaned from one of our main Bible study leader women. It was nothing too profound, but sometimes I’m not so sure that what I write is always “right,” and it’s great to have confirmation that someone else thinks the same way.

I’m SO excited to bring you readers another post of the same advice that was just written this morning by an extremely popular blog Keeper of the Home, headed and run by mommy of 6 children, devoted farmer’s wife, Ann Timm.  After I read it this morning, I jumped up and ran to my husband and showed him that it was the exact same advice I gave lol!  Yay for being on track.  I know it’s silly, but I still wonder quite often why anyone reads what I write and if I should actually be writing anything at all.  🙂

Here is their post, and I know it could go without saying, but I completely agree 😉

The BEST Homemaking Advice

The-BEST-Homemaking-Advice-at-Keeper-of-the-Home-fb

By Elsie Callender, Contributing Writer

One of the best pieces of homemaking advice I’ve ever encountered was written in calligraphy and framed above our kitchen doorway. I read it every day of my life from the time I could read until it was packed away before our move to Costa Rica when I was a teenager. The words were simply this: “Doe the next thing.”

And they didn’t make a lick of sense to me.

“Doe?” A deer? A female deer?

“Do,” my mom explained. “Do the next thing. It’s an old spelling.”

Do the next thing. Well, that still didn’t make much sense to me! Don’t we always do the next thing? What else would we do besides the next thing?

Now that I’m all grown up, I get it.

We don’t always do the next thing, even when it’s staring us in the face.

Sometimes we don’t do anything at all.

Sometimes grown-up homemakers like me get so overwhelmed that we over-complicate everything and end up feeling like the only thing we can do next is cry.

There are days when dirty dishes are toppling off my limited counter space, when Little Dude has half a dozen immediate needs, when the dark side of adulthood (i.e. bills and taxes) makes me want to bury my head in a book and only come out for my birthday.

Those are the “this is harder than it should be” days; the days when homemaking gets complicated and I need a simple response.

Do the next thing.

Remembering that little quote can make all the difference between feeling overwhelmed verses feeling purposeful.

It reminds me to keep on keeping on, to be a woman of action, faithfully doing what needs to be done, even if it’s a mundane task I don’t particularly relish.

Clean dishes

Image from pixabay.com

Want to try it? Here’s how you can apply this mantra in your homemaking:

1. Identify what needs to be done

Whether you’re mapping out the week ahead or just trying to get through the next hour of a rough morning, take stock of what needs to happen. This might include housecleaning, meal prep, children’s activities, work deadlines, anything. If you’re one of those list-lovers, like I am, you can write out your to-dos!

2. Prioritize

This is where I (and I suspect many other women) get sidetracked. I can have 10 million “to dos” whirling in my head at once, and all of the options make me dizzy. It’s vital to assess what the nextthing is. It’s not always the easiest thing or the most pleasant thing that needs to be done next. Here are some ways I’ve learned to prioritize in my homemaking, even when I’m in a busy season.

3. Take action

Time to “do!” You’ve accepted the fact that you need to pay that phone bill today, so sit down at your computer and do it. Or you know the house won’t clean itself and company is imminent. Raidyour cleaning arsenal and get busy!

Cleaning the floor

Image from pixabay.com

4. Follow through

Sometimes I don’t finish what I start, even if I began with the best intentions. Don’t trail off on what needs to be done around your home. You’ll waste time and have to summon your motivation all over again.

I have no idea where that original framed quote has gotten to, but I know it’s in my mind for good. When a little disaster strikes, I call it to mind. When I’m feeling depressed and my responsibilities are weighing heavy, I repeat it in my head.

And at the end of another day? I revel when the “next thing” is to snuggle into the couch with a book and a cup of tea.

Sometimes the best advice seems almost too simple, right? Here's some of the best – but simple – advice for homemaking! Being a keeper of the home isn't easy, but this advice will get you through the hard times to the good times.

What is the best homemaking advice you’ve received?

*Note from Ann: I can so relate! What a great quote to carry with you through life. It reminds me of something my mother used to say, “If you pick it up, don’t put it down until you put it where it goes”!! How many times do I handle the same item over and over in a single day? And I’m totally guilty of not finishing what I’ve started and wasting precious time. There is a reason I’m one of this list-lovers:) Thank you Elsie for remembering and sharing the wisdom that your mom shared with you as a child. 

Encourage Your Man in Hard Times

Over the weekend, I was asked to write about encouraging your man when he’s going through a particularly difficult time, from a younger friend I truly admire and love.  She is hands down, just ridiculously amazing!  Her faith, her sweet optimism, her pure, beautiful spirit has always inspired me and encouraged me to be better myself.  I have no doubt that she has touched the lives of many people with her optimism and encouraging spirit.  Even when I used to work with her, I noticed that she had this power to make even the most grouchiest of people’s faces light up when she encountered them.  She is gifted with such a beautiful spirit.

She’s been going through a series of trials recently, extremely painful trials and, ironically, some of the same ones I went through years ago.  Because she remembered what I’d been through, I’ve been able to use my experiences for good in helping her overcome some of the extreme challenges she’s facing and has faced in her life as of yet.  Unfortunately, her fiance has been going through his own trials as well as helping share the burden of hers, and so she asked if I could write a post on this topic of what (if anything) she can do for him?

Trials… everyone has them

First off, everyone goes through hard times at some point.  It is during these times that our faith is really tested, it’s during these times that God finds out what’s really in us, and if we obey when the going gets tough.  I’m sure you’ve heard of the analogy that when you’re squeezed or under severe pressure, the world finds out what was really inside you all along because it comes out.  Trials are opportunities to grow stronger in our faith, to grow more mature as we deal with emotions we’ve never had to deal with before, but not everyone makes it through trials to become better people.  In fact, many people break under the pressure, choose to hold a grudge against others or God Himself, or choose the path of sin and become bitter and resentful due to their trials.

How can we as women help our men when they are going through a trial, or when we are in a trial together with them?

The main thing?

Encouragement.

Men will almost never complain about their circumstances or their need to feel encouragement when going through a trial, but they absolutely love for their wife or girlfriend to encourage them, and it is probably one of the highest priorities in a relationship.  When it’s lacking, men suffer or feel deprived of a basic need, even though they will usually not say anything about it.  When we encourage our men, we inspire them to achieve things they may have never even tried.  Because we believe in them, they find their strength and motivation… it’s a miraculous thing that our beautiful femininity, when used right, can arouse a man’s powerful masculinity.

Men always need this encouragement from their wife, but especially in hard or difficult times.  It can be tricky though to know what to actually do.  And to be sure, there are certain things men usually don’t want us to do when they are feeling especially low.

Men are not creatures who talk endlessly about the problems they are facing, so when your man brings something up, it means it’s probably weighing especially heavy on his shoulders, and he is in desperate need of relief.  Showing him compassion and tenderness when he does show signs of stress are healing to his soul.  It’s not even necessary to try to get him to talk about his feelings, just being with him, showing him physical affection, is comforting enough to be a real encouragement to a man.

When pressures build up from everything in their life – their job, their expectations of themselves, their burden of supporting the family (or the knowledge that they will be expected to in the future), all can become extremely overwhelming to them.  The wise woman will build up her husband – and you do this through regularly letting him know how much you appreciate him, admire his abilities, and praise him in the day-to-day life together.

Something to avoid when trying to give your man encouragement is that men usually don’t want us to try to fix things for them, or to come up with a solution unless they’re actually asking us for one… those are ways other men tend to encourage each other, in fact.  If a man’s wife takes on that role of telling him what should be done, acting like a male adviser, it can actually make him shut down or feel even more depressed with the situation.

He wants to have the solution, and when he doesn’t, he feels like a failure.  It is the wife’s job to encourage him by letting him know that she believes he will be able to find the solution.  That she knows without a doubt, that he is capable.

Many men grew up with fathers (and mothers) who didn’t give them proper encouragement.  Many men have wounds from their past that make them constantly feel as though they just aren’t enough, or may never be.  It’s our job as women to take these past wounds into account, and allow God to use our love and encouragement like a salve on a wound to assist healing in those places.  Only God can heal, but He often uses wives and husbands to achieve the healing process.

Criticism Can Go Out With the Trash…

Because we understand a man’s need for respect and admiration, it’s not our job to come up with criticisms of ways he could be doing something better unless he actually asks for us to solve something that way.  As his wife, it’s our job to inspire him to have the courage to find it himself, so that he can regain his confidence in himself through achieving success.  He doesn’t go to us for criticism unless it’s specifically asked for constructive criticism; he goes to us for encouragement and inspiration.

We show him this encouragement when we remain confident in him and his ability.

*

My husband and I have been through many trials, some big some small, but through it all, I’ve been able to see God’s hand over everything – oftentimes, after the storm was over though.  In the course of a marriage, there will more than likely be many times when your husband will feel defeated or broken.  There were times when I couldn’t believe seeing how dark his emotions could go, and I had no idea of what to say or do.  It was in these times though, that just being there with him, affectionately showing him my love and support were enough.  My belief in him, the confidence that he was capable to get through whatever trial it happened to be, pulled him through emotionally.

You Create the Marriage You Eventually Have

It’s my belief that how a wife chooses to respond to things like hardships early on in their marriage, is critical to how the couple will fare later on.  If a wife chooses to criticize her husband, or try to pull him up by his bootstraps instead of gently supporting him with her femininity, the husband may respond with resentment or built up anger, and the marriage overall will suffer going on.  Relying on God’s strength when faced with trials, a wife can give her husband appreciation and value, gratitude and affection, even in the hard times.