Your Marriage is Meant to Endure Conflict

Your marriage is meant to endure conflict! Learn how with AuthenticVirtue.com

Honesty time.

Sometimes, even in the happiest, God-centered marriages, your going to be angry. You’re going to be angry with your unmet expectations, forgotten trash, or cancelled plans.

Sometimes the cause is legitimate while other times it’s your own personal issue causing the angry, emotional torrents to come bubbling out. Then, there are the days when it’s not a his or her problem as much as it’s a hormonal problem or lack of sleep problem.

This is real life, ya’ll.

So, what do you do when you’re tempted to be angry? How do you adjust to the fact that your adorable, wonderful marriage may have grumpy days?

Realize bad days do not equal a bad marriage

Ugh. I cannot count the times I’ve felt like a failure because we had grumpy days. As Dalton’s bride, I took full responsibility for the constant, 100% never blue, happy days I wanted our marriage to be full of.

It shouldn’t have been a surprise when I fell to pieces the first time a bad day came around. I had placed an unrealistic expectation on both D and I.

Friend, grumpy days happen and they do not signify the apocalypse-ing end of your marriage. Grumpy days test you and your spouse’s humanness. It signifies that you’re both sinners in need of grace, God’s amazing gift of holiness and forgiveness.

So don’t freak out. Instead …

Assess the situation

What’s going on? What has turned your Knight in Shining Armor into something less than shining? Why are you acting like a shrew instead of the beautiful bride that you are? Are you tired? Hormonal? Is hubby carrying a stressful workload? Are bills piling up? Is there an family or in-law issue causing tension?

Assess the situation; most of the time grumpy days have root issues which go deeper then the current problem. In other words, it isn’t always about the cheese.

Take time to discover what’s causing the tension in your home instead of jumping to hasty conclusions. Then …

Communicate

I recently heard a radio speaker suggest couples keep an index card in the freezer saying, “I’m angry with you and want to talk about it but I won’t attack you. Is now a good time?” He suggested the angry spouse pull the card out of the freezer and hand it to the offending party whenever an issue required resolving or a communication stalemate has occurred.

I love this idea because I’ve found that communication is key. When grumpy days come it’s easy to let our inner Ice Queens take over — we’re hurt but we’re waiting for our spouse to breach the divide. Hours pass in uneasy tension as emotions foster anger, assumptions and bitterness. D likes to say, “Talk it out otherwise you’ll assume the worst.”

He’s right. Talk it out. Hand your spouse the ice cold index card assuring him that you won’t attack but want to get to the root issue of the problem.

Realize James 1:20

Confession: Anger is one of my big sins. For years I labored at maintaining my cool cucumber appearance only sharing my deep, angry thoughts and disappointments with family who knew and understood me. For years I allowed myself to not call sin sin.

I met Dalton and the façade pressed on (because, well, I wanted him to think I ways always sweet, wonderful and perfect … who wouldn’t?) 😉 It wasn’t till after we married and he mentioned that he didn’t like the burlap banners I tacked above every window and bare space our smallish home possessed. (Think up to 6-8 hot-glued tool, burlap banners — haha.)

He left for work and I threw myself on our bed. I was so mad. So angry in fact that my thoughts startled me. They were vengeful and malicious.

I’ve since made James 1:20 my key, go-to verse when I sense emotions getting the better of me. Because, truth be told, my anger will never work God’s righteousness in my life — only sin. It doesn’t matter how justified I feel, how badly I’ve been offended or how deserving of punishment the offender is. Our anger will not work one once of righteousness in our lives.

Forgive and Bless

Ultimately, I’m responsible for myself and my emotions. Grumpy days will happen and when we assess the situation (figure out what’s really going on), communicate (but not attack), and recognize that wrath will only hinder God’s work in our life then it’s time to move on. It’s time to forgive and bless. 

The beautiful thing about forgiving our spouses when they act grumpy or hurt us is that it’s life-giving to both parties. When Dalton forgives me for being an emotional ball of negative energy and chooses to bless me he is not only breathing life into my life but his.

So, do the next thing. Forgive and bless. I once heard the advice of baking your husband’s favorite cookies when you’re struggling with negative emotions toward him. It’s good for us to give up on steaming and steeping over our spouses faults and move toward finding ways of encouraging and brightening their day.

It’s good for them and it’s really good for you.

This is from experience because I’ve been there. I’ve been angry and have wrought havoc because I refused to handle the issue correctly. Let’s grow in grace by being women and men of God who handle the grumpy days properly. Knowing that arguments do not equal divorce, assessing the situation, communicating and forgiving will bring joy to your lives.

I know because I’ve learned the hard way. Marriage is meant to endure conflict. Learn how.

Free Printable @ 800x800 px with AuthenticVirtue.com

Need a little inspiration when days get tough? Feel free to download and print this 8×10 inch freebie printable. I love this quote by Fawn Weaver. Click here for the link and enjoy.

How do you handle grumpy days in your marriage? Did the arguments surprise and/or scare you? What are your strengths in dealing with conflict? Your weakness? Let’s grow in grace and community — this is a safe place to share!

Love, blessings and coffee!

Frannie

3 Treasure-Filled Lessons Marriage Has Taught Me

Authentic Virtue

It’s been one beautiful adventure, my marrying Dalton. Today, we celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary. For the last 731 days I’ve grown more in love with a man who is an obvious God-send.

Last year, I wrote a post titled 55 Things I’ve Learned After Being Married One Year. This year I feel a little less ambitious and long-winded. 😉 Here are my three most recent, most life-altering lessons marriage has taught me.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]It’s Okay to be Delighted In[/pullquote] Silly, isn’t it? We yearn to be loved but when the chance comes we freeze. Our minds swirl with dangerous ideas: no one could love me, no one could adore my faulty body, no one could find me irresistible — I’m not worthy enough. We push our husbands away and forsake their genuine, God-given delight in us.

Sweet one, stop. I’ve been there; I’ve doubted my husband’s words, ignored his truth and resisted being fully loved by him. I was afraid. It’s scary letting someone take full delight in you — they might find a flaw.

Dare to take the risk. Dare to fall into your Adam’s arms and dare to be his Eve. Believe that the love he has for you is the gift that it is and rejoice in it.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]It’s Okay to Love Fully[/pullquote] Okay, okay. I know this is strange. Somehow, in my single years, I developed the idea that it was wrong to be as in love with my husband as I am now. It wasn’t spiritual to make him my priority. It was embarrassing to be radiantly, happily in love. The vulnerability of having a person I’m loyal to above all made me sickeningly weak.

Crazy, right?

It wasn’t until I read Song of Solomon that I realized my error. We’ve been given permission to love our husbands fully — it’s good to be ravishingly, totally enthralled with our person. Love isn’t supposed to be conservative. It’s generously visable to the world.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]It’s Okay to be Weak  [/pullquote] Someone very dear spoke these words of life to me: receiving criticism doesn’t mean you failed, it means you have room to grow.

Marriage will reveal weakness. And, if you have an addiction to perfection like me, you can imagine the horror of having someone see you for the human that you are.

It’s okay.

Sweet friend, it’s okay to be weak. It’s okay to need forgiveness, restoration, and grace. That’s why Christ came. [pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.[/pullquote]

Two years married to a person who sees all my selfishness, greed and pride has been hard on the side of me that wants self-made righteousness — but it’s been good for the part of me that needs grace.

Reader, whether you’re married or not, I hope you know that it is okay to be delighted in, it’s okay to love fully, and it’s okay to be weak. When we learn to accept these truths life becomes treasure-filled; you may even wonder how you ever thought yourself happy before, these truths are that rewarding.

For a montage of our wedded bliss and a shot of us as a happy, watermelon-wearing couple, why not friend me on Facebook at Authentic Virtue Blog or on my own profile!

With love, blessings and one very happy, well-loved heart,

Frannie

Making Marriage Fun

A Simple How-To: Make Marriage Fun

In just fourteen days I’ll be celebrating my 2nd wedding anniversary with my Darling Dalton. What a joyous gift marriage is meant to be!

Amazingly, our marriage is this strange mixture of feeling like we’ve only just begun and feeling like our anniversary number should be much higher then it is. Of course we’ve had hard days but those can be expected and we wade through them together, hand-in-hand.

Making marriage fun is one way we’ve been able to walk through the hard times with joy and smiles — learning to make fun with your man is something I encourage every committed, womanly soul to do.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Laugh with your man [/pullquote] It’s incredibly simple. Laughing with your husband is one of the quickest ways to remembering who you married and why.

Life is hard, to-do lists long, and disappointments inevitable. But if you can remember to make time to giggle with your spouse over the kid’s funny sayings, belly-laugh together through a good movie, or dance a silly tango in the kitchen together you’ll be able to wade through the difficult times with a happier heart and a fresher mind.

Plus, your man thrives on your laughing with him. Have you noticed your beloved’s soul shriveling and withering? Reflect on how much laughter you’ve been sending his way. Husbands often love an audience but he wants his #1 fan to be the lovely creature he chose to wed.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Kiss your Man[/pullquote] Have any of you ever forgotten to buy basic necessities like eggs, bread or toothpaste when you’re at the grocery store? Why? Because they’re the every day items you didn’t need to mark down on your shopping list. If you’re like me you probably think you’ll be able to remember to buy these every-day necessities.

(And, if you’re like me, you’ll always forget them unless you make a list!) 😉

Same goes for kissing. We women can get so busy conquering life that we forget to do the littlest things which make marriage grow, including making our men know they are loved!

Make your marriage fun by reviving the art of kissing. Kiss him in the morning, kiss him on his way out, kiss him when he get’s home and gross the kids out by laying good one on him before dinner. 😉

It’s fun, it’s memory-making, and it’s the perfect way to get his attention! 😀

p.s. If you need some inspiration do visit Sheila’s Ten Kisses Every Marriage Needs . It’s great!

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Be his Delight[/pullquote] I have a confession: some how I picked up this crazy idea that it was demeaning to me, as a woman, to pursue and enjoy being my husband’s delight. I felt like I was unfulfilled if I made his delight my priority.

Thankfully, this little lie didn’t last long in our marriage. God reveled to me that there is great delight in being my husband’s delight. It was a good thing to be enjoyable! 😉

This is the #1 way I would recommend to have fun within marriage. Learn to be enjoyable. No one wants to be married to a sourpuss, unthankful woman, unhappy woman. Enjoy the rewards of being your husband’s delight and, sweet woman, there are many! It may take time but choosing to be a delight to your man will strengthen and grow your marriage because it’s fun and perfectly wonderful.

How do you make your marriage fun? For all you wonderful single ladies tell me what you are looking forward to in making marriage fun. I love hearing from you!

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

Finding Delight in Being Delightful

Let's be women of delight!

Hello, sweet folk.

It’s been a long, beautiful, lesson-filled week for this woman.

Amid the various tasks, responsibilities and necessities (like laundry, meal planning, wiping toilets and herding energetic 3rd graders …) I discovered a beautiful thing:

There is delight in being delightful.

Marriage isn’t always easy or fun. Just as being a student isn’t always energetic coffee-shop study hours and teaching isn’t always excellent, common core slaying lessons, so marriage isn’t always roses and kisses and lovey-dovey-you-make-my-heart-stop-goosh. (Although there is a fair share of that.) 😉

It’s easy to become the woman you never intended to be. Without trying, I’ve been the nagging wife, a disrespectful shrew (haha, ew), the uncreative cook (can anyone say one-minute rice, please?) and the discouraging friend when my husband really needs a smile.

It’s no surprise that being a wife can become a back-burner role we women are tempted to neglect.

So it’s no surprise that we can lose our ability to delight.

And that’s where I want to inspire you. Dear women, let’s find delight in being delightful. Let’s take joy in being sun beams to our men who so often need a sunrise in to brighten their grey workdays. Let’s take our roles of helpmeet, friend and lover serious enough that we’re willing to go the extra mile and delight the man we vowed to stand by.

Any body can trudge through life … it takes a special person to sprinkle delight and joy.

(And here’s the best part … there’s rewards for being delightful!) It may take time but your husband and family will begin to bless your efforts. Unconsciously, you will begin to find rewards in loving selflessly. The seeds you sow will reap harvest. The more you smile, pursue, serve, encourage and bless the more you will be smiled upon, pursued, served, encouraged and blessed.

It’s a beautiful, life-giving, God-made cycle.

And you get to start it.

Let’s learn to see the delight in being delightful.

With love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

Celebrating Us with Carnival Cruise + Eastern Caribbean

Hey sweet folk!

Three weeks ago my Darling Man and I flew south and embarked upon a glorious, fun 2nd anniversary trip (which isn’t actually until March 7th!). We just loved our seven day Carnival Cruise in the Eastern Caribbean. I only wish I had enjoyed it more! (And for you’re enjoyment click on the picture to see them up close.) 😉

We loved starting our trip by visiting wit Dalton’s aunt and uncle … they were so awesome and dropped us at the St. Louis airport at the crack of dawn (3 am!). We’re so thankful for you, Bob and Judee!

Oh, I also have to mention “Clubby,” the one-footed pigeon in the Fort Lauderdale airport; we loved being greeted by a tourist friendly bird. 😉

The ship was so beautiful. We sailed on the Conquest which housed … I think up to 2,000 visitors from all over the country. It was hard to choose what to do with the many pools and hot tubs, water slide, giant movie screen, live entertainment and music, and several restaurants.

We were so excited to get a suite — we decided that we were willing to pay to have a view! There were no regrets. Our room was beautiful and we really enjoyed our sweet room attendant, Aileen, who made our bed, turned down the sheets and always had our ice bucket filled up. I especially had fun squealing over her towel-animal creations; she was so talented! It was fun feeling like royals for a week! 😉

We sailed the first two days, and then visited one of the ports on Grand Turk (the capital of Turks & Caicos Islands). Such a lovely place! We went on an excursion where we snorkeled over a reef and then went to Gibbs Cay where sting rays were swimming around. I didn’t touch one but it was fun watching other’s squirm with them!

Before our trip was over we also spent a day at Amber Cove on the Dominican Republic and Nassau, Bahamas (which was my favorite).

What was our personal favorites on the ship? I know I enjoyed the coffee bar and since Dalton worked out at least 2-3 times a day I’d wager he enjoyed the gym. 😉

It was so special to spend my 26th birthday at on our cruise. Early in the morning we got a knock on our door where someone delivered Dalton’s surprise gift to me — a yummy chocolate cake and rose! He is SUCH a sweetheart! It was a lot of fun to spend the rest of the day docked in Nassau. We walked several blocks of the old, downtown area … I especially wanted to visit their library and my dear Dalton went to take me but we got lost among the old buildings!

This is where I have to stop and say how much more I wish I had enjoyed this trip. I had been feeling queasy most of our vacation (due to sea sickness, I think) but the day of my birthday ended with me spending several hours sick to my stomach. (What a waste of a perfect birthday cake!) 😉

Because of that I was a real party-pooper most of the trip. I’ve got to brag on my Man because all through the trip he continued to bless and encourage me despite my grumpiness. One of these vacations I’ll learn to take full advantage of it! 😉 Anyways, I have got one great man! Hearts!

IMG_4062I loved seeing D all dressed up for the elegant dinner on the 2nd day of sea. He’s such a stud!

I’m pretty sure all eyes were on us during the trip because of our (fairly) conservative appearance. More then once we were asked if we were Mennonite and which colony we came from! Haha!

I think that’s why I loved our “dressing up” night You can’t see it here but I had a beautiful, colorful hi-low skirt on paired with a black top and D looked super cute in his dress jeans, button up and black vest. We must have looked like very stylish Mennonites. 😉

p.s. I just have to ogle Dalton’s gorgeous beard! I love it when he can grow it out since work requires him clean shaven. Hahaha … oh, are you uncomfortable? But just look at how GORGOUS his manbeard is?! Okay, okay, I’ll stop. 😉 😀

IMG_4165

Overall, it was a splendid trip and I’m so glad we were able to go. Since we try to go on a big trip with each other every year I’m looking forward to next year’s anniversary itinerary. Next week I’ll have a packing list of what to bring on a cruise from my point of view.

Love, blessings and coffee!

Frannie