Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The "C" word...


There are so many ways and so many levels and I feel like I still haven't learned exactly how to communicate to my spouse... I finally KNOW how he needs to be communicated to and what level he longs for but I am still learning how to do that.

For those of you who don't know us well we are in many ways emotionally reversed from "most" husband/wife couples... My husband is very emotional and really needs to be connected to on a deep thinking, emotional's so important in fact that it's pretty much the main reason we are having issues is because of our lack of knowing how to connect ... I on the other hand am content to "know" things are fine and just talk about business, kids and day to day stuff... I say I love you all the time to my husband and of course I care if he says it to me but to me it doesn't determine if he does love me. We are still working on those deeper conversations and I must admit most of them just aren't a lot of fun and involve many tears, but we are chiseling away the rock and digging down deep to where he longs to go and where we NEED to go...

Sex is another area that I feel is an area of communication...I also am very "guy-like there as well... I am ready anytime, song and dance needed...let's just do it... My husband on the other hand needs great conversation, perhaps a back rub and to feel that connection or it just ain't happening... I have finally realized my views on the sexual communication and also how to change them from a selfish action of "you owe me" to an expression of love for my husband. It changes things completely... Because before I would do a lot of things and then expect sex in return... much like I think many men fall into the trap as well of flowers, gifts and being nice just to get sex... and the nasty cycle continues with the wife (or in my case husband) merely feeling used and like sex is a chore... how sad that I wasted 8 years of marriage in this never-ending cycle of struggle...But it's not too late... change is happening!

I received a message from someone today asking about this very subject and I felt really humbled that she was asking and a little afraid as well... I obviously haven't had the greatest marriage... I was living in indifference coasting along thinking things were "ok" so why bother working on it...WRONG WRONG WRONG!

So here is her letter and my response... (names have been changed except mine and Aaron's)

The book we are referring to is "Created to Be His Help Meet" by Debi Pearl

Dear Karissa,

Hope you are doing good. I am holding tight! I read your conference blog, it was great! Thank you for sharing your weekend with me.

I have a question for you. My BIGGEST and I mean BIGGEST downfall for me and Tom as well is communication. I am totally and completely driven by fear of sharing my thoughts and feelings. I have to be careful as is, to not be critical... treat him like a child or really say what I think because we both know how that won't help change the situation.
Alcoholism is touchy enough! I'm a bit stuck and if you are willing to give me some input on how you and Aaron are setting up your ways to talk, I'd really appreciate it. I'm scared to ask for a meeting although I know I have to... I can never say anything when alcohol is in the house because it always goes south...and just our track record is horrible. You just can't reason with an alcoholic. Is Aaron reaching out to you for talks or how do you guys sit down and have those heart to hearts? Tom is like a brick wall and we are completely separated on this issue. He won't initiate it and I get tired of being the bearer of bad news if you will and then I just blow it off.
I have a lot on my plate to discuss with Tom but its going to take time I know and to do it in a loving and non-judgmental way will be hard. I obviously need the Lord to guide me there.

Any tips you might have would be great.

So far I love the book but I'm only 3 chapters in. I don't get personal time to read it and Tom sometimes mocks or judges me for my choices so I do it in private time but I don't get private time. The biggest part that has stuck out for me is the part where when we feel sorry for ourselves and we ask God "why" he didn't spare our pain. God didn't spare himself pain when he sent Jesus to the cross so why wouldn't he allow us to experience the same ... WHOA!

Tom finally discovered the book and looked at it. He won't tell me his thoughts but tests me with "well what is this?" but he's aware of it so I'm going to try to talk to him about my boundaries. I need to learn the discipline of my "do diligence"



Dear Sarah,

I guess right now for me since reading the book I just try to apply the truth to me and eventually my changes made him curious and that opened up talking. I guess the biggest thing is they totally expect us to be angry, hostile and reactionary and when we aren't NO MATTER WHAT then it slowly opens things up so they don't fear our replies. It's about total acceptance and non judgmental and unconditional love even if we totally disagree with their choices. Also we have been going out more together and sometimes being in a public place helps because then no one can blow up. I am praying for you both. But trust me you apply the changes to your heart and his stuff will come. It's going to take a ton of time in both your marriage and mine. Just pray for your pain to glorify God and someday be an encouragement and help to others regardless of the outcome... Get up and live tomorrow...


If any of you have some godly input on this for Sarah please feel free to comment =)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Thank you

A huge thank you to my readers. Your prayers and encouragement have meant the world to me each day.

Also to those of you hurting and going through similar situations. Thank you for sharing with me your stories and that you are encouraged by reading my journey.

I am so humbled and blessed by you all...

Thank you!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Nothing Is More Important Than This Day

How about if we explore that?

What if every morning we just got up and decided to live that day... not worrying about the future or being a slave to the outcome of a situation?

What if we did this for the rest of our lives?

I keep coming back to this because every time I am in a "freak out" or my husband is in a "freak out" I keep telling us this... Tomorrow... Wake up and live that day!

How easy it is though for us to get so caught up with the future that we forget to take hold of today which is really all we may have anyways... We waste so much time putting time lines and expectations on ourselves and other people and we forget that today is a gift from God and we can either waste it with worry, self pity and stress or we can make it great!

I've told you before that I start each day by asking God for courage and strength to face whatever happens today... I do this because anyone who knows me KNOWS that I am by nature NOT a patient person... when a problem arises I want it fixed yesterday...I want an answer NOW and I want it to be clear and factual and smart. I tend to think from what is right and what makes sense and often times I forget to tap into my heart.

That brings me to the "Weekend To Remember" conference...

It was amazing... now don't get me wrong it wasn't amazing because of the was amazing because of the heart behind the speakers... they weren't just filling us up with facts...they really put their personal stories and heart into each part of the conference.

It was broken up into 10 sessions- It was a very emotional and overwhelming weekend for both of us and I think a lot of things collided together Monday as I know we both had a very emotional day. I started reading another book today and for what we are going through it said the average time of repair is 18-24 months... Which seems like eternity to this impatient girl here...

But really I have to ask myself do I want to continue indifferent and not fixing things or do I want to fix things now and move on towards a better future?

So back to the 10 sessions.
#1 Why Marriages Fail... The main thing I got out of that session was false expectations, selfishness and superficial motivations such as feelings and the seduction of our culture that we DESERVE complete fulfillment and perfect happiness... but what is that happiness based on feelings or reality... One MAJOR nugget came in the last 20 minutes...

"Act your way into a feeling, don't feel your way into an action"

Session #2 Can We Talk

One thing I really liked was they had categories based on people not on gender... I think a lot of times genders are categorized and it's been super frustrating to us because we are opposite the gender stereotypes on a TON of areas...

With this session I vowed to be LESS of a communicator to others and more of a listener to Aaron and to listen without judgement and WITH total acceptance for him...

"Every Wise Woman Buildeth Her House, But the Foolish Plucketh It Down With Her Hands"

#3 God's purpose for oneness

Talked about if we are not working towards oneness we are working towards isolation from each other... To me I am amazed how just my indifference and not thinking we needed help really did lead here...

A major part of this section was UNCONDITIONAL LOVE and ways that we can spend time together so that we have mutual interests.
Also talked about recognizing that your spouse is not your enemy that we wrestle not against people but spiritual forces. I also got from this part that when we KNOW we are owning our OWN sin and doing what we ought to do we gain joy. When we don't defend each other then we defend ourselves and become defensive shifting the blame and driving us apart.

#4 From How to Wow

Talked about establishing complete INDEPENDENCE from your parents so you can CLEAVE to your spouse... to form a permanent bond and stick like glue.

Receiving our spouse as a gift from God not based on their performance and so we love and receive them no matter what they do. Our weaknesses give our spouse an opportunity to be needed if we were complete on our own we wouldn't need them.

Fellowship with each other will not be right until our fellowship with God is right.

The nugget: RECEIVE don't just accept your spouse which to me is a huge difference!

#5 God's power for Oneness

In this portion they gave the gospel and invited those not trusting Christ to do so =)
I got from this ...Who can change me? Not me in my own power but truly letting God in and letting Him change me.

#6 Conflict Survival Guide

Boy I have a million notes on this section...

-The goal of marriage is not to be conflict free but to handle conflict correctly!
-Seek and Grant Forgiveness
-BOTH husband and wife need to be committed to oneness to resolve conflict
-Don't become numb and used to problems ...take care of them!
-What can you do to wrap your confrontation of issues in love?
-Treat your spouse as good or better than a stranger
-Set your spouse free from the debt of the offense no matter how bad it is!
-Let your spouse be real and accept them!
-To show grace hurts but it is beautiful as it heals
-Don't stir the pot just to feel better, take it to God first.

#7 Sex from God's perspective

Ok we are being real here... this is my #1 area where I have had MAJOR misconceptions and treated it wrongly... I am very much like a guy in this area and it's hard for me to see the emotional side of it...

In this part they covered all the aspects...physical, mental, emotional and spiritual and Aaron and I talked later about each area and what we need from each other. It was the best talk of the entire weekend and I think we cleared up a lot about how we view things.

#8 Woman to Woman (at this same time the men were getting "Man to Man"

I always thought I WAS submitting but really I wasn't LETTING Aaron lead... I always was wondering why he wasn't leading more in an area but realized I was being so controlling that it was always a fight.

"A wise woman buildeth her house but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands"


That's my MAIN mouth... and it's no wonder ...Our husbands need US to be that safe place that they can come to without worrying that we are taking their openness and transparency and using it against them later... this was my take away from the weekend of my MAIN thing to strive be that safe place. With unconditional respect and love towards him.

"We can be the wind in our husbands sails, or we can suck it right out"

She also talked to us about how we are like coal... but with time, heat and pressure God is turning us into diamonds! =)

Session #9 How marriages thrive

BY habits... Extravagant love, generous forgiveness and enthusiastic encouragement.

Placing your spouses needs above your own.

The weekend NUGGET!
"Act your way into a feeling, don't feel your way into an action!"

Forgiveness... 70 x 7 ...this leads to a bitter FREE marriage, offered quickly, applied freely, expressed graciously and KEEPS NO RECORDS OF WRONGS!

Encouragement- Avoids critical words and GOSSIP... leads to authentic unity.

Focuses on patterns instead of events.

Session #10-Leaving a Legacy

Don't wait for your spouse to act... Do what God expects of you.
Persist through the attacks of Satan and remember that you are not responsible for your spouses choices.

You can live your life... Indifferent, Indulging or Investing.

I can pass on a curse or a blessing to those I may never know.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Montana Trip

By now you know I stink at taking and putting pictures on here, but the trip to Montana really gave me a lot of time to think, see friends and have fun.

Some good things happened out of it and one of them is my relationship with my dad is now mended =) We have never been close and different things have happened over my life that have left me angry and bitter at him...

But through this marriage difficulty I have been praying that all relationship wounds would be mended and one of them was my dad... We have actually been talking and listening to each other and I know he is one of the greatest prayer warriors I know.

This post is a bit distracted because I have a 2 year old little boy on my lap =)

So 9 hours each way and I went in a dark mood and came back with a hopeful spirit.

After much prayer over the last 6 weeks and 100's praying with me Aaron and I were able to attend the Family Life "Weekend To Remember" Marriage Conference here in Boise.

I will post a lot more on that later, but I just want to thank you for your prayers. I have a heart and brain full of godly principles to put into practice. It was emotional weekend and what will happen from here on out remains to be seen...

Next post much more about the conference...for now I need to go play with my kids =)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

And then there are days...

Well don't know if I should be blogging considering my current frame of mind and emotions but I did promise a new post soon.

I guess part of being real and raw is showing that even though major things have changed in MY heart in the last doesn't mean that I don't still have what I call "angry days" and it doesn't meant that these days are wrong. Because they are what they are.

I usually call my mom and maybe a friend or two when I am having these days and I usually warn them that "this is an angry day." Because they know my purpose is just to vent and I am being completely emotional and angry.

I feel like I have been in this since Monday afternoon. I knew my period was coming any second and a trip to the "woman doctor" just set me off.

For you that don't know there is a lot of "dirty details" that I leave out because I am trying to keep this focused on what God is doing in ME... if and when the time comes that Aaron and I are re-united we might do some more sharing of his journey but until then...

So the woman dr visit included some test for various things all of which I am relieved turned out "normal"... so no I am not hormonally off or anything else so that is good to know ;)

Then yesterday Aunt Flo arrived bags packed and ready for her very annoying visit and proceeded to throughout yesterday and today make me cry about every little thing.

I told my mom I think Satan really has been at me the last few days and she reminded me that he comes at us EVERY day but sometimes we just aren't wearing as much armor and that reminded me that I hadn't had my Bible reading and prayer time yet today.

But honestly we can't blame everything on emotions and hormones. Yes we are women and yes this time of the month can really throw us off. And then too I just know I hadn't taken the time to slow down breathe and talk with God.

I feel like this week all the thoughts and feelings and doubts and fears are really plaguing my mind and like I keep mentioning I have been crying almost non stop. It's days like today that I really want to do some actual harm to a couple people and to scream and shake my husband and tell him to wake up. To yell and ask WHY GOD WHY! To throw a fit and be impatient and just want to know when the pain will end and when oh when will I know the answers to all the open-ended questions...

But I didn't do anything except cry and talk to Aaron (oh and I ate chocolate)... sometimes those tears can open up some really ugly wounds but they also can produce some good talks of things that need to be discussed.

We are both seeing counselors. I think we will for a long time no matter what. I would encourage anybody to just go in for a "check up" ... It's good to cleanse your soul and talk to someone who can help you sort through the junk you have been stuffing down. And don't try to tell me that you have nothing to talk about ;)

Tomorrow I head with the kids to Montana to visit my family and friends for spring break... more than anything I am needing to get away from daily life around here to break free for even just a week and have the love and support of people who have known me for all or most of my life.

It's so important to have that support and really I didn't know how many amazing friends and how wonderful my family was until all of this. So don't take for granted those that love and care for you... because in your moment of greatest need... you can be surrounded ... or if you turn your back you can be left all alone.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Since You are Asking...

I might tell you that this blog has nothing to do with what my husband is or isn't doing to "work things out"

So many people ask me what he's doing or how his walk with God is or what I am going to do to make him "prove" before...

And my answer ...absolutely nothing and it's none of my business...

I can hear the gasps now... well what if...and but, but, but...


You know why it doesn't matter?

Because God is Aaron's Holy Spirit and Conscience.


and really why do we worry so much about what other people are doing anyways? I know he's my husband and I know he doesn't live with me and doesn't tell me what he is doing 99% of the time...

But I have learned something... People are people and they are either going to listen to God and do what's right or....wait for it.... they WON'T *GASP*

And me as a wife getting the heck out of the way and letting God work is actually much more productive than all the freaking out, name calling and yelling I did for the 3 months before February 13th...

I think this is what letting go really feels like... easier said then done believe you me... but once I finally did =)

So maybe all this good isn't Aaron changing at all and maybe things won't work out... who knows...

But I do know that ME being truly happy has left him wondering "what in the world" and "how long will this last" and I am sure he is just a tad curious too...

I have been accused of being Naive, "Acting" like the bigger person and bullying people into getting my way... and yes while all those are things I have done...

That's not why I blog. I blog because somewhere someone is going through the same crap I have and I read many things along the way that either confused me or helped me.

So all I am doing by this blog is sharing raw and unfiltered... my heart and it has nothing to do with being a bigger person... It has EVERYTHING to do with having a relationship with a BIG God...

If any of you out there are searching for something... I encourage you... contact me... I would be so willing to share how you can have the relationship =)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Quarterback or Cheerleader?

Did you ever notice how in sports EVERYONE right down to the water boy is "part of the team"

But there seem to be two types of people that are the most noticed and talked about...

The Quarterback and the Cheerleader...

Their can only be one quarterback...calling the plays and leading the team in the game. How would it look or be if the head Cheerleader kept running out on the field and trying to tell the quarterback which plays to make or worse yet AFTER he called the play running in and giving a different one... it would be a mess wouldn't it and the cheerleader would look like a fool...

But how many of us do this every day in our marriages?

I know I was... You see the world tells us women that being a "cheerleader" is flaky, demeaning, prissy job...and that really we should be out trying to be the quarter back. The bible however tells us that we are to let our husbands lead our team and being a cheerleader is a super important job.

What if the cheerleaders stood on the sidelines and cheered for the OTHER team or what if they cheered and then went over to the crowd and talked about the team and how awful they are? Kind of defeats the purpose doesn't it?

But every day we have a choice to stand on the sidelines and cheer for our quarterbacks and tell the crowd how amazing they are and pump them up! Because just because we are cheerleaders doesn't make us any less a part of the team... and who do you think the quarter back comes running to after he leads the team to a win? His cheerleader! Because when he leads the team...EVERYONE wins =)

So who cares if you don't like sports or think my cheerleader analogy is shallow... I don't but it's the same comparison I keep giving when I talk to my husband about what is going on inside me.

I tried for too long to compete for that quarterback slot... instead of listening to God and to my husband I listened to the worlds idea of what I should be... I always felt like I needed to somehow contribute financially to our family and while this is not a bad thing it doesn't define my worth to my family... I finally got it and instead of running out on the field trying to compete I am now happily on the sidelines cheering on my quarterback...

Last night we were talking and as I was telling him how incredibly happy I am and that it has NOTHING to do with him... I was crying...isn't it funny how we cry whether happy or sad? How when we find REAL happiness that it has nothing to do with other people but finding our happiness right where we are at and finding our worth in who God created us to be.

I'm happy... I was Created to be Aaron's Help Meet and to be my kids mom and I'm so happy and if I never have any other "success" in the world's eyes it doesn't matter... phooey on them... I am happy being the cheerleader...

My husband reminded me last night that this is all pressure I have put on myself...and he reminded me that "You are enough just being you, the complete package"

I replied "well let me remind you of that as well that YOU are enough just being Aaron and I accept and love you for who you are no matter what"

The biggest thing I learned from that book is we are NOT our spouses Holy Spirit or Conscience and we waste a lot of energy trying to fill those roles when they just aren't for us to do... and it sure feels freeing to FINALLY be completely out of God's way so HE can be those things for my husband...

So how about you? Are you interrupting the game by trying to compete with your quarterback or are you happy cheering him on while he leads YOUR team to victory... because if you are happy in the role God designed you for... the quarterback shares his win with you!