3 Questions That Just Might Turn Your Day Around

Here they are, a few questions that set my heart beating a little steadier in freedom to truly enjoy Christ and live the abundant life He’s given me:

Can I accept that I am not perfect, and that God loves me anyway? (Romans 5:8)

Can I accept that I am not the world’s version of perfect, but I am God’s version of perfect? (Psalm 139: 13-16)

Can I give up my pride (a.k.a. self-protection, self-righteousness, self-doubt) to The Lord and receive unconditional love and acceptance for exactly who I am, in return? (Romans 8:38-39)

Can you feel God smiling really big about those? I can.

I’m sure He loves when we accept His gift of grace. Over and over and over. Every time we forget and need to accept it again.

Like when you buy someone the best present and it costs every penny you own and you’ve been planning this gift for the longest time, and they finally open it and squeal and smile in joy and you, you’re the giver of the gift, and you swell with joy too…I like to think that must be at least a little of what God feels every time we remember and accept His gift of grace and unfailing love.

And so then I thought, now what do we do in response?

We receive it.

We receive His Perfect Love, and we walk through this day not as those who have failed, but as those who are forgiven and loved.

Live your life like you’re exactly who Jesus thinks you are.” – Bob Goff.

Take a deep breath. God is smiling over you!

Happy Tuesday, precious hearts!

Robyn

Verses From our Questions:

Romans 5:8 (ESV, emphasis mine) – “…but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Psalm 139: 13-16 (MSG version, additions mine) – “Oh yes, You shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank You High God – You’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship [You] in adoration – what a creation [You’ve made me to be]! You know me inside and out, every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, You watched me grow from conception to birth; all the pages of my life were spread out before You, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.”

Romans 8:38-39 (ESV) – “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Come On In! The Husband is Sharing.

(…And the thing you’re going to read about toilet paper? I promise, I really don’t use more than the average human being. I think.)

The “Hubby List” happened when Michael and I sat down recently with one of our favorite dinners: pasta, butter, and the all-fancy processed Parmesan cheese you can buy from the spaghetti aisle and it doesn’t need to be refrigerated before you open it. (Sometimes I get really sophisticated and add bread crumbs to the butter mixture, because clearly pasta needs more bread. Can you ever have too much bread? My mom and I would say no.)

And then I looked over at Michael.

He was warm and cozy with a blanket (we like to eat on the couch with about ten blankets each), Love It or List It was on and I was pretty sure they were going to “love it” (my favorite outcome…who ever feels satisfied when they list it), and I had extra cheese in my bowl and life was just – good.

Michael and Tucker in our favorite spot. Despite the slightly crazed look on Tuck's face, he really does love us... ;-)

Michael and Tucker in our favorite spot. Despite the slightly crazed look on Tuck’s face, he really does love us… 😉

And so I snuggled in and asked Michael between bites of buttered noodles what are the biggest or most surprising things he’s learned about being married for a little over a year and a half now.

He thought for a minute and gave me some answers. And then a gigantic-sized neon pink light bulb lit up over my head. Because clearly I had a brilliant idea!

And so then I squealed a little. And maybe spilled some noodles.

And I said, “OH WOW, HUBBY! This would be a good blog! YOU can help me write A BLOG POST!!”

And then Michael’s eyes got big and he paused his chewing.

And so then I came down a notch or fifty in excitement and also assured him he wouldn’t actually have to write.

Maybe he could just jot down a list of things he’s learned about being a husband in our humble year and a half experience.

And so then he smiled and said “Sure.”

So without further ado, Michael’s list: “What I’ve Learned as a Newlywed Husband”: (p.s. – you’ll notice Michael can say in like 10 words what takes me 300 words. But it’s totally cool. Can I get a “what what,” fellow female talkers of the world?!….No? …Bueller? …Bueller?)

What I’ve Learned as a Newlywed Husband

  1. Get her a cat. Don’t ask questions — just do it. (Well… maybe that’s just my wife.)
  2. When you buy said cat, make sure she cleans the litter box like she promised. Oh, wait…
  3. You will probably go through toilet paper at an exponential rate.
  4. You will have more baking supplies than you ever thought possible. Just let it all in. Good things will come from these items. 

    The Best Cookie Ever

    Life-Changing Cookie! Click on the picture. You’re totally welcome.

  5. Friday nights at home with your wife and a movie will probably become one of your favorite times.
  6. Do guy stuff with your guy friends. There is something healing about hearing things go boom.
  7. The more you lead her, the more she’ll follow. It’s an amazing gift how God designed it this way.
  8. Success at home is way more important than success anywhere else. If you are succeeding at work but failing at home, it is time for a long look in the mirror.
  9. Your growth in The Lord and your growth as a husband will be one of the most important aspects of your marriage.
  10. Don’t hide from arguments and conflict. More often than not, you both needed to shed those layers that were so uncomfortably ripped away.
  11. Your wife is a princess of the King. Treat her that way every day, and it will amaze you how she flourishes
  12. Your marriage will be the catalyst for the best and hardest things you will ever experience, but it is the best adventure God ever created. 

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He’s great. I love the man. 

And so now I figure, with Michael’s super mature and helpful advice to newlywed hubbys, maybe I should jot down some things I’ve learned, too.

Hear this: I. AM. NOT. PERFECT at always applying what I’ve learned about being a God-honoring and husband-honoring wife, but the lessons I’ve learned are worth mentioning because perhaps they will be helpful to you as they are to me on my good days when God helps me remember:

What I’ve Learned As a Newlywed Wife

  1. Unconditional respect is to my husband as unconditional love is to me. Clearly, we both need both from each other, but I’ve learned there are few things that build Michael up like when I believe in him and tell him I do.

  1. Just because he’s not doing things my way doesn’t mean he’s doing them wrong. We’re different people, so we’ll approach some things differently. Like loading the dishwasher. And emotions. And loud chewing noises.

  2. It means a lot to him when I recognize all the things he does for me, like make the bed. And it really means a lot when I turn around and do those things for him in return.

  3. Tell your hubby EXACTLY what you mean. Chances are, he will not pick up on the 3 million emotions in your head and then correctly translate them. Trust me. And on that note…

  4. He WANTS you to tell him what you mean! Because your husband wants you to feel loved! So if an extra hug or nice note would mean a lot to you, tell him! Otherwise he might not know. That sets him up for success, rather than confusion and frustration. 

    I told Michael how much I like when he brings me flowers. So then he knows to bring me flowers! It's like the best win/win.

    I told Michael how much I like when he brings me flowers, so now he knows! Win/win if you ask me 😉

  5. Pray with your husband. There is literally nothing more intimate. You’ll love it.

  6. Believe him when he says you look beautiful.

  7. When he hurts your feelings, always give him the benefit of the doubt: He didn’t mean to to hurt you. He loves you! Yes, he did hurt your feelings, and yes, you do need to talk it out, but approach the problem with a healthy and trusting perspective.

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Now, if someone would like to volunteer to remind me about these things daily, that would be awesome. (Kidding, but, really.)

Happy Tuesday!

God’s Peace and Love to you,

Robyn

Fifty Shades’ Opposite: a love note

There’s a lot out there right now about Fifty Shades of Grey.

And I don’t want to spend my time convincing people how it hurts and misguides the heart.

We all know it does.

We do.

Deep down, the heart knows.

Instead, I want to sing, write, think about about the lovely things. The excellent, true, praiseworthy, admirable things.

I want to thank my husband for his safe, exciting, deep adventure love. His love that unclogs my toilet and yet still sees me as the most beautiful woman he’s ever laid eyes on.

And so through the easy days and hard days and blind minutes angry and soft moments happy and through the months and the years and all the while, my heart sings about this love:

Dear Michael,

I love how you give me the best slice of pizza and the scoop of ice cream with the most chunks in it.

I love how you’re patient while I learn how to be a wife.

I love how you enjoy being my husband.

I love how you’re not perfect. But you apologize.

I love how you forgive me before I even apologize.

I love how you’re logical.

I love how you love God.

I love how you pray. I naturally pray with emotion. You naturally pray with faith.

I love how you hold my hand.

I love how you make me coffee.

I love how I just say “fro-yo” and you smile and we’re out the door and in the car and I’m in my sweats and we’re getting fro-yo.

I love the way you look in your work clothes. In workout clothes. In pajamas. With Tucker on your legs.

I love how you bought me Tucker for Valentine’s Day.

I love how you tell Tucker not to bite me.

I love how he ignores you lots of times.

I love your arms. And your legs. And your face. And your hands. And all of you.

I love how you’re the most handsome man in the world.

I love how you put me first without even batting an eye.

I love how you’re an introvert.

I love how you sit next to me on the couch instead of the other room because you know I like being around you.

I love how you teach me things.

I love how you cook.

I love how you work really hard.

I love how you train for races.

I love how if you had it your way, I would run every race with you.

I love how you run better with me beside you. Even though my little legs slow your fast legs down.

I love how you tell me to chase my dreams.

I love how when I get tired, you help me chase them.

I love how you snuggle with me.

I really love how you snuggle with me.

I love how you date me.

I love how we have our own language.

I love your curly hair.

I love how you’re my best friend.

I love how you’re my lover.

I love how you know the Bible really well. Better than I do.

I love how you lean on God.

I love how any money you make is our money together.

I love how you call us a team.

I love being your team mate.

I love how when I accidentally spend more money than I meant to, you send me a winky face emoji and then sometimes you joke about how my purse and Target and The Loft are “where all money goes to die.” And then you laugh and you hug me and you tell me my new shirt looks nice.

I love how you’re proud of the money I make even though it’s not as much as you make.

I love how you’re proud of my writing even though it doesn’t make money yet, because to you it’s not about the money.

I love how you vacuum and clean the showers.

I love how you’re a strong sounding board for anxious thoughts. And I love how you help me take those anxious thoughts down.

I love how you’re strong in more ways than one.

I love your wisdom.

I love your intelligence.

I love how you’re good at your job.

I love how you do your job with integrity. Because to you, it’s not about looking good. It’s about doing the right thing.

I love how you work hard, but you always manage to put me first.

I love how when you don’t put me first, you fix it.

I love how when you hurt my feelings, you listen to me. And you care. And you apologize.

I love how when I’m wrong, you’re not afraid to tell me.

I love the way you look at me.

I love how I’m never embarrassed in front of you. Because you’re safe.

I love how excited you are to see me every morning when we wake up.

And every day when you get home from work.

I love how you’re taking me out tonight. Because it’s Tuesday and because I’m your wife, you said.

I love the roses you bring me.

I love the nights we play scrabble.

I love how I’ve only won once. Because you’re so dang smart.

I love how we argue. Because we do. And then we learn.

I love how you know me better than anyone else.

I love how God sees us as one unit. One.

I love how we move closer to that beauty every day.

All my love,

Your Wife

Safe, exciting, deep adventure love springs from Perfect Love (1 John 4:7-9). Perfect Love breathes life into our hearts, lives, and marriages.

“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death…Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame” (Song of Solomon 8:6).

Happy Tuesday, Dear Hearts! 

Blessings to you,

Robyn