Browsing Category: Married Life

Purity

My kid had a total meltdown in the freezer aisle at Trader Joe’s this afternoon, complete with people staring and making comments. I blocked them out, remained calm, and gave myself a pat on the back when I finally got her calmed down – which didn’t happen until I finally prayed, “Lord, please show me what to do here!!”

I’m planning my sister’s baby shower, two weddings, and a middle school girls sleepover in the next 2 weeks. Sorry hubby. I haven’t even thought about your birthday next week :/

I swear I spend half my day rolling toilet paper back UP the roll and the other half exhausted, trying to motivate myself to check off the things on my to do list. Even coffee didn’t seem to work today…

And, now, here I come before the Lord to find out what I should be saying to 20 middle school girls Friday night. The topic: Purity. Guard your heart.

Guard your heart (1)

Honestly, it’s a topic I thought was boring most of my life. Ew, purity doesn’t sound fun. More like fun-killer! And yet,two years ago the Lord started speaking to me about purity. But wait. You’re married Lisa. Aren’t purity talks for teens and tweens. Save yourself for marriage and all that. Why is God teaching you about purity now?  Excellent question. Thanks for asking. Because purity is necessary to keep your marriage strong. That’s why God wants us to come into marriage pure. So our foundation is solid. From then on it’s about keeping it pure. Keeping out the things that will deteriorate your marriage – the things that will deteriorate the trust between you and your spouse.

But how do you stay pure? What does that mean? Continue Reading

Live Generously

Last night began our 6 week study of the book Story of Marriage by John & Lisa Bevere. A group of women married 3 years to 30 years. We were discussing the chapter, what we liked, what stuck out to us when a little tidbit of truth revealed itself… When we give to others, when we live selflessly, it feels good, right? We’ve all heard it’s better to give than to receive. And you’ve probably experienced that feeling of joy when you’re able to help someone and give of yourself. But there’s a double bonus here. When you give to others, they want to give back to you. The selflessness we exhibit is attractive. It draws people to us. They want to be generous with us and invest in us.

“Selflessness is attractive”

This works wonders in a marriage. If I’m pulling on my husband all the time, drawing on him, thinking only of my needs it 1) drains him and 2) makes him resent me. He starts thinking, “What about my needs, and what I want?” Or he thinks, “All she does is nag me all the time!” But if I’m giving of myself, being selfless, focusing on Josh’s needs instead of just my own, he totally recognizes it. It softens his heart towards me, and he wants to give back to me. He starts thinking “What can I do for Lisa?”

You can have a marriage with two people both thinking of themselves and pulling on each other.

Picture: Tug-of-war. Nobody wins. Both parties usually end up in the mud.

OR

You can have a marriage with two people living selflessly, constantly giving to each other.

Picture: A cycle (I give. Then, you give. So, I want to give, so you want to give…) Everybody wins.

Selfless Cycle

In the first scenario no one’s happy, and no one’s getting what they want. Stalemate.

In the second scenario both people are happy and both are getting what they want. It just takes one person to make the first move.

Conclusion: When you think only of your own needs, they don’t get met. 

When you put your spouse’s needs first, YOUR needs are met.

Mind. Blown.

So why aren’t we generous, selfless people all the time? It goes against human nature – look out for number one. We can try and override that, and do a halfway decent job. But there’s a better way than striving to do it on our own. It’s through Jesus. When you love Christ and live your life immersed in Him, it is SO much easier to live selflessly. When I’m focused on Christ – not on myself and not on the things that are temporary (this world and all the stuff in it) – then loving others is easy. It doesn’t feel like a “HAVE to” anymore. Loving and living selflessly is a “WANT to”. You probably know the old hymn Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

The temporary things that will all pass away – the things that I let get to me that don’t really matter – all of it grows so dim when I’m focused on Jesus. Then I can love my husband, my kids, my friends, my family, the poor and broken, because I’m focused on something of SIGNIFICANCE. I’m focused on the things that matter. When you turn your eyes upon Jesus, living selflessly just flows out of that.

Turn your eyes upon Him. Live Selflessly. Live Generously. LIVE life!

What can you do to live generously, today? Test my theory. I’m confident you’ll like the results.

 

Divorce from your Child’s Perspective

Let me begin by saying it’s very possible and probable that there are persons who will choose to be offended by what I write here. Specifically, my parents, siblings, or other family members. It is not my intention in the least to hurt anyone. If I can make even one person rethink that divorce is an option, then it will be worth the trouble I could potentially stir up.

Divorce. It’s a word that is not allowed in our marriage. Josh and I made that promise early on. Never – and I mean NEVER is that word used as a threat against the other person. Divorce is not something we take lightly. With good reason. We both come from divorced families. We don’t want to put our children through the crap we had to go through. Or continue to go through.

Our stories are very different. Today I speak to you from mine, but please don’t assume I’m naive enough to believe that my perspective accurately portrays all divorces or that some divorces don’t seem like the best idea for the children. Obviously, if your children are in physical danger that’s a different story. However, too many people today convince themselves the grass is greener on the other side. Divorce will be better than staying with their spouse. And I’m telling you right now: It won’t. It will not be better for you or your children. You know what’s good for your children? Seeing their parents fight for their marriage, battling to make it stronger. Showing your children THEY are worth the fight. If you don’t love your spouse or even yourself enough to fight for your marriage, do you love your kids enough to fight for it?

When you choose to divorce your spouse, you are choosing a divorce for your whole family. I don’t care how many good reasons you can come up with as to why a divorce will benefit your family. You will never be able to foresee all of the pain and worry it will cause your children. It will absolutely affect the person they become in more ways than you can imagine. It will absolutely affect your relationship with them. Negatively.

But Lisa, you don’t know my story.

You’re right. But I know mine. And I beg you. Please don’t make your child suffer the heartache that comes with divorce. Choosing sides. The pressure to make sure both parents feel equally loved – always trying not to show one parent or one family more attention than the other. Probably more than anything else, I’ve  felt the strain and the pressure of trying to please everyone. My dad. My mom. My stepdad. My (now ex-) stepmom. It’s just not humanly possible to please everyone. And honestly, it’s just not fair to do that to your kid. It has totally influenced the person I’ve become today. I am by nature a people pleaser, and I fight it all the time. All. the. time. I hate it.

Divorce from your Child's Perspective

I did not choose divorce. You did. And when you chose divorce, you chose to make me choose. You chose to make me choose between holidays with your family or the other – vacation time, school breaks, weekends, birthdays, weddings, graduations. Every time I choose I am forced to hurt someone. When I accept one parent I am by default rejecting the other. And that just sucks. I have to feel the guilt and regret of hurting the people I love most in this world.

I think sometimes my parents tried to hide the hurt. At other times they couldn’t help but show it. When someone hurts you, you want them to know. I don’t blame them for that. But it was their choice that put us all in this position. And if you choose divorce I can guarantee you will be putting your kids in that same position. Essentially, you will be forcing them to hurt you… And that will hurt them too.

There are moments throughout my life that replay in my mind – actions of mine that completely unintentionally hurt my parents. And they mar what should be happy memories of my life’s most significant events. I’m sure there were times too when my parents were hurt and never showed it. I’m always left to wonder if my actions, my choices are hurting someone I love.

Has it gotten better through the years? Yes. Have I learned how to navigate life with 2 families? Yes. But once the path of divorce has been chosen, it is chosen. You cannot escape it. The after effects will last until you leave this earth. Even once your kids are grown, there will be grandkids. Your children will once again be forced to choose.

I want you to know that my life is not some terrible, horrible thing. I am very blessed. The Lord can take the bad and use it for good. He certainly has done that in my life. I have a wonderful stepfather and wonderful step- and half-siblings who all would not be in my life had my parents stayed together. And I am so very grateful for them. I can’t imagine my life without these people. I’ve never known any other life. I’ve never known a life where there was one mom and one dad and one family. But oh, how I long for it. And OH, how I will fight for that for my children! Because I’ve seen the other side, and I will tell you the grass is not greener. It is a rotten brown where a few precious flowers have sprung up. If I were you, I’d stick with the lawn I have. A little maintenance on your part is a lot better than uprooting your kids and dumping them in an empty lot.

I Said Yes

Five years ago from today Josh asked me if I would “give us a try”. I still remember sitting across from him outside a local coffee shop with only the light from the window to illuminate our table. I can remember the plaid shirt he was wearing and the outfit I had on – a twirly skirt – perfect for the swing dancing “lessons” we had just come from that had become all the rage on our college campus.

He had asked to talk with me earlier that Sunday afternoon. I knew what was coming… and yet I didn’t. I never could have known the vision that he would share for our relationship and how true he would remain to it years later.

As Josh shared his heart with me that night, he emphasized his desire to not stand in the way of my dreams. He wanted a relationship, but he didn’t want that to pull me away from the things God has called me to do. He knew of my desire to minister to women. He knew that I, along with 2 others, had just started planning a conference for the girls on our campus. And he knew that it was only the beginning of all I want to do.

As Josh spoke, a hundred different thoughts were flying through my head, but one word just kept coming up over and over. Treasure. “Treasure,” I thought. “I have found a Treasure in this man,” and “This man is to be treasured.”

At that time Josh had no big ideas for what he wanted to do in the future. And I was bursting with them – BIG ideas. I think of how intimidating that could potentially be for a man. Josh was not intimidated by my dreams – he only encouraged them. He still does. He challenges me to take the steps, big or small, that will lead me to fulfilling my purpose on this earth. God knew I would need that, and Josh does a fantastic job of it – not only with his words, but with his actions. Josh has dreams now too. BIG ones :) and he goes after them! I am inspired to go after my dreams as I watch Josh wholeheartedly go after his.

Everybody needs an encourager in their life. A dream builder. Someone who will believe in them. There will always be people to tear down your dreams – including yourself at times. You’ve got to have that person who will cheer for you, challenge you, and speak life into your dreams.

So as I sat at that little wrought iron table in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a man who desired to encourage the potential inside of me, I knew without a doubt that I had to “give us a try”. This man was too much of a treasure to pass up.

Joshua Muccio, thanks for asking :)
At some point in our dating relationship we changed our mantra from “Let’s Give Us a Try” to “Let’s do this, and let’s do it well!” And we are doing it!

The wedding is fast approaching

I can’t believe I’m getting married. It’s starting to seem real, now that the time is getting closer. Omigosh. I only have 17 more nights of climbing into bed alone and sleeping by myself. That is so weird! For the rest of my life I will be joined to this man. I am so excited!!! Our life is going to be amazing! From the seemingly insignificant things to the huge important things, every part of our life together is going to be wonderful. Of course there will be difficulties. That goes without saying, but I am going to enjoy being married for all it’s worth.

Make the most out of your life! The choice is up to you!

lovelisa

Relationships bring Humility

Relationships. It’s how we grow.
Relationships are constantly about pushing down your own pride.
You must humble yourself to admit when you are wrong. And that’s not even the hardest part. The hard part is when you must humble yourself to accept an apology and offer forgiveness. In this case, you have to step down from the place where you believe you “deserve” something and humble yourself enough to cancel out the wrong that was done against you.
That’s tough stuff!

lovelisa

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