Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Hello everyone. I am so excited to write about today's topic. My heart feels so full right now & I hope that many of you will experience & enjoy this feeling that Adam & I have.

Several nights ago I was looking around online at other blogs for ideas. I found myself primarily looking at the blogs of Pastor's wives. I believe that a person should align themselves with others who will encourage them to reach the goals that they have set for themselves. People that are at a level now, that we are trying to reach. In my journey to become as Christ-like as possible, I figured that Pastor's wives could be a tremendous inspiration for me. I am not saying that Adam needs to become a Pastor, even though I would support him fully if that is what he chose for himself & our family. I am simply saying that I would like to surround myself with women that will support me & keep me on the right track. Women who will not bring temptations towards me & who will protect my family. I will be honored to do the same for them.

As I was browsing around on these blogs, I noticed one thing that seemed to show up on almost every single one. Compassion. They had compassion in their posts, but it is much more than that. Compassion International exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults. It shocked me that I saw this same button on so many of their blogs. My curiosity got the better of me & decided to dig a little further & see what it was all about. 

Before I go into what I discovered, I want to tell you a short story. This is getting really honest & I am embarrassed to admit that I was feeling this way. Just about a week ago, I was telling Adam that I couldn't understand why people in America always are sending money to help people in other locations, outside of their home. Aren't there enough people starving in our own city? Aren't there enough homeless people in our own city? I just didn't get it. Why not help here first & then help others?

After I started looking around on the Compassion website, I felt like all of those negative thoughts went straight out the window. Fortunately, we do have opportunities in our country. Not everyone makes the most of those opportunities, but they are often available. Even if a person doesn't have a job or a home, they still have freedom. That is more than I could say for many of these other countries. We have a minimum hourly wage that is what some of these families in other countries make in an entire month. Yes, you heard me right. Some of these families make $6/month. Some of them have 4-6 children that they have to feed & take care of with that $6/month. How do they do it? I will tell you how, they don't. They just don't have the means. They live in homes with dirt or cardboard floors, barely any education, & too little guidance of Christ's Word.

I have to go back to the whole $6/month thing. I can't believe it! What can you really do with $6/month? That is $1/per child, not including the adults. Now, these families aren't necessarily adding to their families & just making it worse for themselves. Many of these children are living with their grandparents because their parents gave up or died from diseases, mainly AIDS. Some of these kids are 5 years old & working. When I think about what $6 means to me, my first thought is a Venti Non-fat Mocha with whip. I am having bit of a addiction love for this drink right now. If I am being honest, I have visited a Starbucks, Port City Java, or Cafe Del Mar every single day this week. I have spent 7 months of income for some of these families. I feel terrible & blessed all at the same time.

I started searching around on the website for a child that we could sponsor. They only needed a commitment of $38/month & I figured that we could swing that. Our money situation is not in the most desirable state right now, but we certainly make more than $6/month. How could I justify spending another $38/month? Well, the most obvious, drink less coffee. LOL I am not sure that I could give it up entirely, but 1-2 less times a week...sure. I think that if I even went from a Venti to a Grande, I would save the $38. Adam & I are trying to teach the kids about giving so I thought that maybe we could cut out ONE meal out each month. Instead of going out, we will physically put our $38 in a jar. That way the kids could feel that connection & be as excited  as we are. I mean, don't we all spend money somewhere that can be cut out? Somewhere that is truly a waste, that we can't really "justify"? So now I have saved my $38. What's next?

I went back to choosing a child. How would I even "pick" someone? Is one child more deserving than another? Was I playing God by choosing on my own? I wasn't sure that I would ever make a decision. Adam was in bed so he couldn't help. I decided to wait for him to help me. The next day I told him all about what I had discovered & he could hardly contain himself. He wanted us to pick a child right away. We both decided that we would come up with a list & then if the same child showed up on both lists, that was our decision. Sound easy? No. LOL I still had those same questions. Fortunately, there is an option on the website for them to pick a child for you. This started to look like the way to go. I am not sure if it is because of Kayleigh, but we both felt strongly about sponsoring a girl. Other than that, we were stuck. You can also search for children that have been on the list the longest, by country, age, disability, birthday, & how long they have been waiting for a sponsor. I looked up Kayleigh's birthday, our anniversary, our birthday's etc. I just wasn't feeling sure. Then, I found Neema. I wrote her information down & continued to search. I was supposed to be coming up with a list & I didn't want to push her on Adam. I wanted to let him make his list.

Adam was having the same questions race through his mind that I did & he finally asked me who I had. I was hesitant to tell him but the more I thought about it, Neema was the only one that kept coming back to me. I shared this with him & he said, "Let's sponsor her!" I immediately felt a sense of joy that I hadn't felt before. I couldn't wait. I tried to go back to her page, but she was gone. How could this be? It was 12:34am, who else was online that late taking my little girl. I looked for what seemed like forever & it appeared that Neema was gone. I couldn't bring myself to choose anyone else & I went to bed. I had a dream about losing Neema last night & when I woke up, the first thing that I did was search the website one last time. Neema was back! That joy came back into my heart & I text Adam instantly. As soon as he got home I showed him her picture & shared her information. He was very excited & told me to get the ball rolling. I wanted to make sure that he was okay with me "choosing" & him not really having a part in that process. He told me that he saw how disappointed I was last night when we thought we lost her so he knew that she was the one.

Here is a picture of our newest family member - Neema Majogolo Malima. She is 5 years old & was born on 6/12/04. (about two weeks before I met Adam)

June 12, 2004
EAGT Chilenge Student Center

Personal and Family Information:
Neema lives with her grandmother. She is responsible for washing clothes and running errands. Her grandmother is sometimes employed as a farmer. There are 6 children in the family.

As part of Compassion's ministry, Neema participates in church activities and Bible class. She is also in kindergarten where her performance is average. Playing house, playing with dolls and hide-and-seek are her favorite activities.

Please remember Neema in your prayers. Your love and support will help her to receive the assistance she needs to grow and develop.

Now, I know that Neema is one child, but every single life makes a difference in this world. Saving one child really can help save the world. God created her for a purpose. Our family wants to help give her the best chance at life if possible. Isn't it more important to increase the quality of life for a child than to increase the waste in the landfill with my coffee cups? Or to increase my weight & decrease my personal health by eating out? Isn't it more important to bring Christ into Neema's life, give her an education, & give her the medicine that she needs? Honestly, after thinking about all of this, I wouldn't be able to walk into Starbucks later today without feeling completely guilty. Knowing that I could have helped & I didn't. 

I hope that over this Thanksgiving holiday you will remember how blessed & thankful you are that you don't make only $6/month. That you are eating way too much food, wearing nice clothes, enjoying the friendship & love of your family & friends, driving a car (nice or not), standing on a carpeted or wooded floor, playing with your pets, & loving your kids. For many of you, you know how absolutely AMAZING it feels to have Christ in your life. Give that gift to someone else. Give them that daily joy, faith, hope, & love that is priceless. 

Adam & I are jumping out of our skin today. We can't wait to be around our family & friends & to share Neema's photo with them. I am so thankful that God has blessed us to be able to help someone else in need. We are thankful for all of you & for the work that you are doing in your marriages. We are thankful for our children, our families, our friends, & our church. We owe all that we have to God. Praise God!

I want to close with a quote that I received last night that fits perfectly here today. Especially with Thanksgiving being tomorrow. 

"When you feel like complaining about your life, remember that your garbage disposal probably eats better than 30% of the people in the world."

Man! Is that true or what?

Adam & I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. Drive safe if you are traveling. See you back here on Monday!

Aimee Freeman

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Understanding Your Love Language

Hello ladies! I hope that you all are getting excited about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. I am! I can smell the stuffing, pumpkin pie, butter, butter, & butter. Yummy!

Last night Adam & I had dinner with Pastor Jeff from Lifepoint Church & his wife, Michelle. We had an amazing time getting to know them a little bit better. Adam & I are both on fire in our faith right now & it was awesome to be around another couple who feels the same way. We are looking forward to becoming a more active part in our church & helping in any way that we can to help Lifepoint grow.

Adam & I are not only interested in helping in our own community, but in all of your communities as well. We would be honored to speak to your group or church to keep as many marriages & families together as possible. Every marriage is important, not just our local ones. It might not always be easy for us to travel to your town, but we can also do a video conference to help reach more people in need. Just let us know how we can help your community & we will see what we can do!

I added another mommy blogger site to the left side bar. Check it out. Hopefully it will help with increased exposure for us so we can offer more support to anyone that is in need. It looks like a pretty busy site with a ton of useful information. I believe that you can not only vote for your favorites blogs, but also your favorite individual posts.

Several of you asked for the 14 day challenge to be posted on the main page. I went ahead & did that late last night. As we have more & more posts, it would have become difficult to find where each challenge was hiding. Now, you can just click on what day you want & it will take you directly to that day. I hope that helps.

I hope that everyone had a great time last night with the challenge. I hope that you were able to understand what is the most important love language to you & what is the most important to your husband. In case anyone is wondering, mine is Quality Time & Words of Affirmation. Adam is Words of Affirmation & Acts of Service. This was no real big surprise to us. So, we know what love language we are, but what does all of this mean?

Quality Time - This is my main love language & I know it well. I want 100% undivided attention. Adam is comfortable with us just being in the same house or being shoulder to shoulder. I need face to face. We argued a lot last year about this. Adam would think that because we were in the same house 95% of the time that I was being satisfied. If I asked for an hour at the end of the day he would not understand. He felt that I was never happy. Since we have been going through the Love & Respect series & now The Five Love Languages, he gets it. He has been very attentive & I can see him making a conscience effort to give me what I need each day. I enjoy sitting on the couch & talking, a walk on the beach, a romantic dinner, or going to get a coffee together. Anything that is just the two of us, without distraction. No cell phones, kids, laptops, etc. Just us! What could you do for your spouse that would give them the quality time that they need so desperately?

Words of Affirmation - This is Adam's major love language & my secondary so obviously this is something that is really important to both of us. Proverbs 18:21 says, "The tongue has the power of life & death." Proverbs 12:25 says, "An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up." Verbal compliments or words of appreciation are powerful communicators of love. This language is something that we both work really hard at. Adam tells me everyday that I am beautiful, but there are some days that he says it in a different way that allows me to really feel it. I have always been terrible about giving compliments. I have made a serious commitment to eliminating that issue. My husband is hot, & I need to let him know. Otherwise, I am leaving the door open for someone else to do it. Aside from looks, we both like to be praised when we do something good or do a chore for the other. Acts of Service is important to Adam & Words of Affirmation is important to me. They go hand in hand. If I do a good deed, I like to be praised. Without both languages being spoken correctly, one of us will slack off & then we are both unhappy. I may have a hard time doing nice things if Adam doesn't make an effort to recognize them. Make sense?

Gifts - This was actually at the bottom of the totem pole for both of us. This is not to say that we don't like gifts, because we do. If just isn't what we NEED to be happy in our marriage. I also want to say that just because this may not be important to your spouse, you can't stop buying them gifts. LOL However, what I try to do for Adam is to pick up something extra for him at the grocery store. Something that wasn't on the list that I know he would like. Such as, his favorite magazine or snack. Since he is a personal trainer, I will not incriminate him by saying that I occasionally will pick up his favorite pizza, brownies, ice cream, or candy. I am proud to say that Adam did the same thing for me yesterday. He stopped at the store & brought me some Chex Mix & a Diet Dr. Pepper. Yum! The funny thing is that I thought about asking him to stop for a soda & I almost ate Brandon's Chex Mix that was on the counter. Adam read my mind. Now, gifts don't always have to be purchased or be expensive. Gifts can be purchased, found or made. To me, it doesn't matter if Adam buys me a dozen roses, a single carnation, or if he picked a tulip from someone's yard. All three choices mean the same thing to me, that he was thinking of me & he wanted to show me with a gift. What can you give your husband to show him that you were thinking of him today? I bet for many husbands, a replay of day 13 of the Love & Respect challenge would be a much welcomed gift!

Acts of Service - What does Acts of Service mean? It means, doing something that you know that your husband would like you to do. (I hate to sound redundant 13 ladies.) Most of us normally do things like cook dinner, do the dishes, give the kids a bath, etc. So, you will need to do something that is normally "his job" for him to notice & to appreciate it. Like, taking out the trash or mowing the lawn. Or maybe we aren't keeping up with "our jobs" as good as we should be. Maybe the house needs to be a little cleaner, the kid's toys need to be picked up, & dinner is on the table when he gets home. This will be an area that you may need to discuss together so that you know how you can please him the most. You don't want to be spinning your wheels on 10 things that don't really matter & missing the one thing that pains him the most. While Adam appreciates a clean house, clothes, etc., he likes the small things too. If I am going into the kitchen, I will ask him if he needs anything. In turn, he has been doing this for me too. Adam says that the most important thing to him is that if he is busy with something for work, that I keep the kids busy so that he can dedicate his time to get his task completed, without distraction. Or, that I do something that he would normally do to allow him extra "free" time to get caught up.

Physical Touch - We have long known that physical touch is a way of communicating emotional love. Research shows that babies who are held, hugged, & kissed develop a healthier emotional life than those babies who are left for long periods of time without physical contact. A slap in the face is detrimental to any child, but it is devastating if their primary love language is touch. Not all touches are created equal. While I love a good massage, petting my hair is the way into my heart. Don't mistake that the touch you desire is the same touch that your husband desires. We all need touch to survive & to be happy. We just need a better understand of what touch is the most important to our spouse.

Lesson - 

Commit to one change that you will do for your spouse in THEIR love language. Make every effort to follow through with that commitment in the next few days. I understand that it is Thanksgiving this week & this may be a bigger challenge, but you can do it! I have so much confidence in all of you. In our small group class they made us go around the room & say out loud what we were going to do. Believe it or not, saying it out loud makes the commitment so much more real & so much stronger. So, I would like all of you to send in a comment & let us know what you plan to do to fill your spouse's love tank. If your spouse is willing, let them know about this challenge & what each love language means. Tell them what you plan to do for them. Hopefully, this will get them to say what they will do for you. If not, don't push or start a fight. Your attempts will not go unnoticed & they will come around. Remember, we are working on changing ourselves. We can't control our husbands. 

"Lord, thank you for this support system that we have for each other. We all could learn so much from each other's personal stories & successes. Thank you for bringing us all together. Some of us were drawn here because our marriage is in desperate need & some of us are here to help those women try save their marriages. Father, please speak through all of us & allow us all to be there for each other as much as we possibly can be. With you by our side we can accomplish anything. Amen."

Aimee Freeman

Monday, November 23, 2009

What Is Your Love Language?

Happy Monday everybody! I hope that you all had a great weekend. We enjoyed some fantastic family time. Allyson & I went out to lunch yesterday after church, while the boys went fishing out on the pier. Pier fishing seems to be the new addiction hobby around our house. It was slightly chilly last night so Allyson & I took some steaming hot chocolate & left over chocolate cake from our small group potluck out to our favorite men. They were excited to see us, but since they were catching so many fish we probably could have left 5 minutes later & they wouldn't have noticed. LOL They came home around dinner time, showered (thank goodness), & we all sat down to watch Up. I would love to give you a review but I fell asleep about 20 minutes into it. Apparently, Ally was the only one who made it all the way through. The poor girl had to wake the three of us up to go to bed. Obviously, we were all really tired. The kids didn't get up to their alarms, & it is rainy here & gloomy here today. Hmmm, should I keep typing or go back to bed???

Ok, ok. I will keep writing. Maybe if I am a good girl I can nap later. Some of you may have noticed that I made a few changes to the blog layout. In the right column I added buttons for you to be able to easily link to my Facebook, Twitter, & StumbleUpon accounts. I also add the RSS feeds button. Clicking to receive RSS feeds will allow new posts to go automatically into your email so that you don't have to be on the internet. It is awesome! I also added an email me button to make sending me a message even easier than before. I want to be as accessible as possible for each & every one of you. Let me know if you have any problems or questions with any of these new features.

This past Saturday night was the last session of our marriage small group for this semester. Adam & I are so disappointed that there will be a break until mid-January. We just got started. The topic was "The Five Love Languages", by Gary Chapman. I have to admit that I wasn't really excited about this going into it. I ordered this book quite a long time ago, but never picked it up to read it. When Adam & I separated, I gave it a shot. I got to page 36 before giving up. I didn't feel that this book was speaking to me like some of the other books that I was reading. If I am being honest, it was pretty boring to me. I didn't feel that it "applied" to me & what was going on in my life. However, Saturday night completely changed my mind. Fortunately, instead of going through 203 pages, it was summed up extremely well in about an hour to an hour & a half. Thanks Paul!

So, what do I think is so great about this? In Love & Respect we talk about how women are pink & men are blue, how we see, think, hear, & say things different. What might be important to me, may be something that Adam couldn't care less about. Well, "The Five Love Languages" also details that same thinking. There are five love languages (in case you didn't catch that already - LOL)

1. Quality Time
2. Words of Affirmation
3. Gifts
4. Acts of Service
5. Physical Touch

It is very unlikely that both you & your spouse have the same love language. Therefore, you both need, value, & want entirely different things. As a wife, I would rather have the Cliffs Notes version of what Adam wants, instead of trying unsuccessfully to figure it out for 30 years. He could tell me that he likes this, this, & this....but what is really the most important thing to him? What could I do for him on a regular basis, without fail, that will show him that he is important to me? Right now, I am doing the things that I would like to have done to me or for me. Not necessarily what he cares about or really leaves an impression with him. We are different. Lets work smarter & not harder. Lets find out what really makes a difference to our husbands & improve those areas first. Are you with me ladies?

How do you find out what love language you are? I am going to tell you! Tomorrow. No, I am just kidding. Ha! In our class we were given a test. However, I found the same test online that is super convenient. Just go to It is a 30 question test, but it will only take you about 5 minutes to complete. If you are like us, you will find that sometimes you want to pick both answers. Pick the one that is the MOST important to you.

At the end of the test you will be told what your love language is. It will also tell you what your secondary love language is. My results couldn't have hit the nail on the head any better. While all five love languages are important to me, the test did a great job of putting them in the order of importance. Even though mine was clear & obvious, Adam learned that is the area that he needs to focus on the most with me, & I need to do the same for him. Having this information has already made a difference.

I wasn't planning on giving a challenge for tonight but now, I just can't help it. This has to be done. You absolutely need to know what your love language is & what your husband's love language is. Otherwise, you will never satisfy them fully, & they will not satisfy you.

Tonight, go to, "The Five Love Languages" test website... Complete the test & have your husband do the same. Write down your answers. Tomorrow we will discuss what each love language means & what we can do to fill our husband's love tanks.

Here is the quote for the day...."If you start an argument, not a discussion, you've already lost. You might shut them up but it's unlikely that they've changed opinions." Godin

"Lord, thank you for providing us with another tool to strengthen our marriages. Thank you for revealing to us another way to understand our husbands & what they need from us as wives. We look forward to doing this challenge & what it will show us. Please give us the encouragement to ask our husbands to complete this test, especially if we feel that they will not show interest. Father, thank you for being by our side & for loving us more than anyone else ever could. We love you Lord! Amen."

Aimee Freeman

Friday, November 20, 2009


Good afternoon everyone! Happy Friday! I hope that everyone is looking forward to a fun & relaxing weekend. I am praying that everyone gets over the sickness that has made it's way into our home. Adam has been a near zombie for three days now. I think he has been awake for about 10 hours all together. He seems to be feeling slightly better today. However, Brandon came home from school early with completely different symptoms. Ugh! My poor men. 

Thank you all for all of the kind words & prayers that you have said for my family this week. It is with much sadness that I share with you that my potential "positive" was just a big fat negative. My very rude & unfriendly visitor showed up unannounced, early, & unwelcome. We were certain that we were preggers this month. I have been very blessed that with all three other pregnancies, I have gotten pregnant on the first try. This was our second month of trying without luck. We said going into this that if we didn't get pregnant we would know that God was trying to tell us loud & clear that this wasn't the time. Especially since it has been so easy in the past. We couldn't have done anything different, we were very by the book. We are extremely disappointed, but we trust that God knows what is best for us.

We have a HUGE family reunion that happens every two years in PA. It is a week long & we look forward to it from the day it ends until the next one, two years later. The last time that everyone got together we were only able to go for a day to drop off the kids because we had little Kayleigh in the hospital. We basically left the hospital at 10pm, drove to PA, dropped off the kids, slept, stayed for about 24 hours, & drove home the 10 hour drive. Thanks to the GPS lady, it was 12 hours on the way back. LOL If we try to get pregnant again this month we would be due at the same time that we should be on vacation. I think our families would kill us. I can't be a good mommy if I am not here. :)

We aren't going to "try" this month, but we aren't going to stop practicing either. God is in control. I am convinced that He likes playing games with me. This upcoming summer will be our first summer living at the beach & I am going to have to wear a tablecloth for a bathing suit. Hey, at least I will make the heads turn! I told Adam that when I am at my largest, I am going to get a t-shirt that says, "My husband is a personal trainer!" HA! We didn't want to share the sad news with you all until the end of the 14 day challenge. You all are like our extended family & we didn't want our disappointment get in the way of your final lesson. I had my day of sadness, depression, & feeling sorry for myself, but now I am good. Just keep reminding me that God is in control. I do have to say that with that 10 pounds I gained since Adam & I reconciled, I was looking forward to wearing my maternity jeans again!

Ok, moving on.....I want to let you all know that I have felt so very blessed the past 14 days in writing this blog. There have been so many moments that I have felt God take over. Thank you Lord! I couldn't have come up with some of my "advice" without you. He has helped me to answer some of the most difficult emails. Sometimes I will just sit here, staring at an email, not knowing where to start. Before I know it, boom, & I think, "Man! That was good!" It amazes me every time. I will read back my response before I send it & I know that it was our Lord, & not Aimee Freeman.

You all (Notice I never say Ya'll....Ick! I am a northern at heart.) have been sending in some great feedback & testimonials. I love love love hearing them! Keep them coming. If I have enough I will post some over the weekend, even though I won't be blogging any new content. Since next week is a holiday week, I am planning on blogging Mon, Tues, & Wed on the Love & Respect series. I could probably do this every day for a year. I will take Thurs-Sun off & then I think we will start the 31 day/prayer challenge. I certainly need help myself in this area. I will still use material from Love & Respect as well. I can't say enough how much this series is responsible for changing me & my marriage. It is my passion & I will share it until I am blue in the face. That series is why this blog was even started. Praise God!

Here is a quote for the weekend & for everyday. I hope that you enjoy it, live it, & love it. "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today? Today is a gift that's why they call it the present."

Today's first testimonial - 


Thank you so much for starting this blog. My husband was gone for 14 months (Afghanistan). I was thrilled that he was home and we were getting along great. But, little things were starting to get on my nerves - as much as I had promised myself that they wouldn't. (You know, messes, loud TV, etc.) It was hard to go from being entirely in charge to sharing responsibility and allowing him to be the man again. (I won't even tell you how long it took or how hard it was for me to get that to begin with!) Also, I know that I was getting on my husband's nerves even though he was being perfeclty nice to me. I have very much enjoyed the daily lessons. The results have been awesome. We are both happier and more loving. I can't help but laugh at the results I poined out his muscles! Too adorable. I wanted to pinch his cheeks like I would our kids, but I held back! My stuggle to deal with the little things is gone. I appreciate him more than ever. Thank Aimee. I am grateful.

Testimony #2 - 

These last 2 weeks have been so much fun!!! My husband and I weren't having any major problems - just minor ones. But every little bit adds up, right?

I can tell you that for us, he started noticing from day 1 of the challenges, that I was changing. I'm in bed by the time he gets home from work at night - so meeting him at the door wasn't going to happen. I decided to change it around a bit, and when he got into bed that night, I gave him a big hug and a kiss and told him I was so glad he's home b/c I missed him. His response was - "Are you Okay?" LOL!!!!!!

From there on out, each challenge brought a different response. By the time we got to the 8th challenge I think it was - where you ask him about something that interests him - my husband was asking me to explain what has happened to me over the past week or so ;) He mentioned how he noticed me doing things I'd never done before (or since we've been married). And he certainly wasn't complaining. He even said that maybe he could learn a thing of two from me and become a better husband and father!!!!! His response was nothing less the perfect!!!!

At that point I emailed Aimee personally, and she suggested I tell hubby about the blog and challenges. She also said that Adam was available for my husband to email, should he want to do some challenges. So...I told hubby all about it! I'm pretty sure he's been emailing Adam, but I told him not to tell me. However - he has been doing some little things that I've noticed he'd never done before...whether that's help from Adam, or just hubby doing his own thing - it doesn't matter. My change helped hubby to change, and for that we are both the happiest we've been in a very long time. :)

Thank you Aimee for this blog! You and Adam are such an inspiration to me and my husband!!! I only hope my story can help others as your story has helped many already!!!!! to make a list of the many things I respect about my hubby :)

Thank you for sharing your story ladies! I appreciate it so much. TOGETHER, we can help each other. TOGETHER, we can help ourselves & TOGETHER, we can do so much in so many other marriages. I need all of you. TOGETHER we are strong! 

"Lord, thank you for giving us the last two weeks. Our husbands are happier, we are happier, & our children are happier. You have given us a new outlook on life & we are grateful. Father, please help us to have an amazing weekend as we prepare for the upcoming holiday. Let this Thanksgiving be the year that we can be thankful, more than ever before that our husbands chose us to be their wives. I have never been more proud to be Mrs. Freeman. Thank you for my husband & thank you for allowing me to work on being the best wife that I can be for him. Amen!"

Aimee Freeman

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Respect Test

Good afternoon ladies. I am feeling as though there are a lot of smiling hubbies out in the world today. Maybe not all of them, but more than usual. Am I right? I have enjoyed reading all of the comments & emails on the successes that many of you had last night. Keep them coming. I was fortunate enough to meet a new friend & blog follower for coffee this morning. She is a day behind, so she just read challenge #13 this morning. She decided not to wait until tonight to move forward. She went into the bedroom & took action! Go her!

Think about how your husband's day might be different today than it normally would be. Not only does your "new" behavior affect you & your marriage, but his co-workers might be positively affected, his boss, his employees, fellow drivers on the road (no road rage today), & everyone that he comes in contact with. I am so proud of all of you for embracing what could have been one of the most difficult challenges. Praise God!

Over the past week or two I have been compiling great quotes from friends on Facebook or Twitter whenever I come across one. I would also like to invite you to email me over a quote that may have been powerful in your life. I will be sharing them over time as they are appropriate to the message. There are some REALLY good ones so far. Since today is our last challenge for this series I want to share one that grabbed me the other day. While many of you have succeed each day & made drastic improvements in your marriages, there have been many women coming up with every & any excuse to fail.

"Quit making excuses for the way you are & let God transform you into the person He created you to be!!" - Thank you Larry Brey for your amazing words. Your Twitter posts often stop me in my tracks!

Doesn't that make you think? What are you making excuses for? Not just in your marriage, but in your personal life. Often what runs us down personally interferes in our marriages. What can you change today that will give you the courage to work on your marriage a little harder than you were before?

We seem to think that we can work on our marriages only when we want to, or in my case, when it fell apart. Unfortunately, there is so much more damage to be undone by looking at things from this perspective. It needs to be a priority, a requirement, to work on your marriage EVERY SINGLE DAY. You have to make a decision that you marriage is important to you. Remember, feelings follow choices? Most of you don't have the luxury of only going to work when you feel like it. Right? If you behaved that way you would most likely lose your job, right? Well, making a conscious decision to NOT work on your marriage can cause you to lose your spouse. I am sure that most of you can agree that it is easier to find another job (even in this economy), than finding another suitable husband. Why is it then, that we give our jobs more attention than we give our husbands?

I am extremely proud of all of you for taking this 14 day challenge. I can't praise you enough. Based on the poll question on the left sidebar, it looks like 96% of you have found this information helpful in your marriages. That is amazing! Adam & I are so excited for what is to come for each & every one of you. My biggest fear is that you will feel that tonight is the end, the last day. My prayer is that you will look at today as the beginning of a journey that will strengthen your marriage in a way that you never thought possible, but have always dreamed of.

Today's lesson is the lesson that changed everything in my marriage. It is the day that spoke to Adam in a way that I had not been speaking to him before. It was not a miracle pill that caused him to come home the next day, but it opened a door. I did this challenge at a time when I didn't like 90% of what Adam was doing. He had moved 3 1/2 hours away & was creating a life that clearly didn't include us. However, when I sat & thought about it, I came up with about 15 things that I appreciated about him. Things that I respected, regardless of his behavior at that exact moment.

Lesson #14

Say to him, "I was thinking today about all of the things about you that I respect, & I want you to know that I really respect you." Exit the room. When he asks, if he asks, be prepared to give him at least three things.

Note - Since Adam was not "home" with me, my options were over the phone, text, or email. Telling him on the phone didn't seem workable to me, email could take days, so I figured that a text was as close to the challenge as I could get. I sent him a text asking if he was busy. He told me that he wasn't & he asked what was up. I did the challenge. It worked exactly as Dr. Eggerichs said that it would. Adam wanted to know what I respected about him, especially since I seemed to disagree with everything that he was doing at the time. (his words) I text him, yes I text, 15 things. It took a while, LOL. He thanked me for saying those things but he let me know that it hurt him that it took me until he left me for me to acknowledge them. It hurt me too. Why did I let it happen this way?

Here I had this list of 15 things, but I wasn't really showing him that I meant or even noticed any of them. What a wake up call that was. I made that list in about 10 minutes. I felt at that moment that I had taken advantage of my husband. I took him for granted, assuming that he would always be there. Of course, this was not intentional, but that didn't matter. Ignorance is not bliss. Much damage had been done. Ladies PLEASE, don't let this happen to your marriage. Don't lose a man that you love & respect simply because you aren't showing him what he means to you. You might be thinking that he is taking advantage of you as well, & you might be right. Remember, this is about changing YOU.

Tonight I am begging for a favor. I have asked before but tonight I will resort to begging. Please send in your comments & testimonials. Let us know how this whole process has made a positive impact in your marriage, tell us about the success of a single challenge, or tell us which day you resisted the most & how it went past your expectations. I will be sharing your stories over the next few days. (I will leave out names, of course) Let's give back & get some of these other wives excited that are on the fence about if this can REALLY help them. Let's encourage other wives to try a little harder. Let's show them that this CAN work. It certainly can't hurt. Right?

"Lord, please give us the encouragement to complete tonight's challenge with sincerity. Please soften our husband's hearts & open their eyes to the work that we have been doing for 2 weeks. Please speak through us & help us to chose the correct words. We can't do this without you Lord, we need your help. Please hold our hands as we begin our journey into the rest of our lives. May our marriages be as great as you intended. Thank you Father for my husband. I am blessed that you chose him for me. Amen!"

Aimee Freeman

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tonight he WILL notice - EXTRA POST

Hey Ladies. I knew that there was something that I was forgetting about when I posted this morning. It is something that a large majority of us are probably worried about too. Self confidence, self esteem, body image, etc. 

Ok, this was HUGE for me. I can't even tell you. I don't think that I am "bad" looking but I certainly don't consider myself "hot". I just don't think like that. I have always had self esteem issues. There isn't a reason for this, I have just been that way all of my life. I don't know anything else. Most of the time I feel like I can look in the mirror & be content with how I look. But, not when I am naked.

I will avoid going to the pool or the beach with friends that are in better shape, I keep clothes on until the last possible second, & I like the lights off. I have never been interested in spontaneous day time sex. I have to say, this can get in the way, & it was getting ridiculous.

I have never had anyone tell me how beautiful I am as often as Adam does. I am lucky enough to hear it at least once a day. Regardless of what I am wearing, makeup or no makeup, sweats or a dress. It doesn't matter. Adam told me the other day that he doesn't really notice whether I have makeup on or not. It has taken me years to believe him & I am not sure why. I could feel that I look 100% like poop & he will think I am as attractive as ever. I have always been worried about what I think I look like & what I feel that it has interfered with being loved even more. Isn't that why we want to look good to begin with.

My body is filled with imperfections. I am flabby, I have more stretch marks than I care to count, sags, bulges, wrinkles, & a HUGE c-section scar. I bet if you asked Adam to describe me, he wouldn't mention any of those things. He hardly even sees them. It is not how I "look" to him. He even went so far as to say that my c-section scar was beautiful because it is where Kayleigh came from.

A few things happened to get me in a place where I started to see things from his perspective. One, I realized that Adam never lies to me. He isn't going to tell me over & over again that I am beautiful just to hear himself talk. He truly believes that I am beautiful. Two, if Adam gains a little weight, has a stretch mark, gets a HUGE pimple, etc. I hardly even notice. If I do, he doesn't gross me out. He doesn't look less attractive to me. So why am I assuming that he thinks I am gross?

While I was in transition we figured out what might make me feel better so we could be spontaneous & not wait until bedtime for "playtime". We often find that if we wait until then we are way too tired & it gets pushed off. We missed an opportunity. First, there is the lights off, of course. Second, I would wear a tshirt, a short night gown, or a teddy. That way you can still be covered & sexy. That worked! I felt MUCH more comfortable.

Sure, I still worry about how many rolls are showing & I try to remain as straight as I can. LOL But, I don't let it prevent us from having sex. I think my husband would rather a junky me, than no me at all. He would rather me, than be tempted by other women or pornography. One of the great perks of being married is that you only have to show your "imperfect" body to one man. You don't have to suffer the dating scene. How awesome is that? Praise God!

I know it isn't easy. I can say that I have been there & still am in many senses. You just have to trust your man & go for it. Just do it! (and let us all know how it went) No details, please. LOL

Aimee Freeman

Tonight he WILL notice

Hello Ladies! Thank you all so very much for all of the emails, kind words, & prayers. The love that you all have for my family is amazing. My prayer had several of you asking questions, so I want to set the record straight. Adam & I are trying to get pregnant. I have been extremely tired & yesterday I was feeling a little nauseous. I have had a few other symptoms as well. I am in the impatient, testing early stage right now. Hoping & praying for a positive this week though! I have a few friends that are also trying & we would all be within about a week of each other if we all got pregnant at the same time. How exciting! Please continue to pray for us. 

I hope that I got all of you excited for what we are about to discuss. As I said yesterday, I have been dreading looking forward to this lesson from the beginning. Today we are going to get VERY personal. Fortunately for all of you, you can keep your business private. I am going to share just enough to help you to understand the man's mind without getting too behind the scenes. LOL

We have learned so far that women need love like they need air to breathe & that men need respect like they need air to breathe. However, there is something else that a man needs that is probably just as high on his priority list. Any guesses? S-E-X. Ouch! I actually said it. There are many jokes out in the world about what happens to one's sex life once they get married. The jokes really aren't that funny but we all laugh because we are guilty of making these accusations come true. As if we are trying to cover up our flaws. Or, is it so that nobody will think that the comedian is talking about us? So let me ask you, does your bed look like this......

Be honest. Are you sending a crystal clear message on a much too regular basis that you just aren't interested? If a car needs gas to run, what happens if it doesn't get it? If our body needs food & water, what happens if it doesn't get it? If your husband needs sex, what happens if he doesn't get it? He may stop working. That could mean different things for different marriages. Some men will resort to pornography. Some men will be tempted & go outside of the marriage. Some men will simply shut down, withdraw, & stop working on their marriage. Which for us means, not showing the love that we need,  like we need air to breathe. 

Now, I am not saying that if you withhold sex from your husband & he looks at pornography, has an affair, or shuts down emotionally, that he is justified. He does have control over & is responsible for his own actions. But ask yourself, "are you inviting in unnecessary temptation?" 1 Corinthians 7 says, "The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife."

It is true that a woman desires intimacy more than the actual sex itself, in most cases. Whereas, men may lack the need for intimacy & want to skip right to the sex. So, where is the common ground? Not having any sexual relationship does not seem like the most reasonable answer, yet it is usually what happens. Even though men do not have a NEED for intimacy, they still want to be desired. Who doesn't? If his wife is constantly rejecting his sexual needs, he does not feel desired. Since women have a NEED for love, consider this.....what if your husband told you that he would love you only two days a month? He says not to even ask him to love you on other days, because he won't. Plus, he won't even be happy about loving you those two days & he makes it seem like a chore. How would that make you feel? I would be devastated. Isn't that what some of you are doing? Of course, some of you don't mean it this way but that is how he is hearing it. 

On the other hand, some of you may have a very healthy sex life, or what YOU think is a healthy sex life.  However, just because you have sex often, doesn't mean that it is the best that it can be. Are you always engaged or are you thinking about the laundry or the dishes, do you act eager when he suggests making love, do you ever initiate to show him that you desire him, or do you ever go out of your way to make it a special event? (not just his birthday or anniversary) Men may not need the intimacy but they don't want to feel like they are forcing us to have sex with them either. 

Unfortunately in marriage, sex can get very routine. Just like the rest of our lives. It is easy for us to make excuses why this gets put on the back burner. I am sure that you already told yourself all of them while you were reading the last few paragraphs. You know, kids, work, chores, pets, homework, etc. I encourage you to remember what I said though, your husband NEEDS sex like he needs air to breathe. You have to make this a priority in your marriage so that you don't invite temptation in. 

I was thinking the other day about what happens when a spouse cheats. In most cases, if it is the wife, she cheated to feel sexy, because a man said just the right words that she doesn't hear at home, & to feel that intimacy that is lacking with her husband. If a man cheats, it is usually just for the sex. I believe that is why they say, "It didn't mean anything." To them, it really didn't. It was just sex. They were fulfilling their need. So what can we do to prevent the devil from coming into our bedrooms? To keep not only our husband's happy, but to be happy ourselves?

Lesson #13

Initiate sex with your husband. Don't just respond; initiate. We believe that you should have sex on a regular basis. If a husband or a wife is deprived, he or she can be subjected to a satanic attack. Read 1 Corinthians 7:5. When either of you deprives the other, temptation comes. A husband can feel put down for who he is when rejected sexually. 

I will be honest & say that the majority of what I covered tonight is not an issue in my marriage personally. However, tonight's challenge is the one that is the most difficult for me. I will "respond" any day of the week, but I do not initiate. I have no excuse for this. I want you all to know that I am not throwing these challenges out there to make you all uncomfortable & to cause stress in your life. I knew this challenge was coming for 13 days & I am still nervous. Lets make a pact that we will all do this lesson together. Lets make sure that on Thursday, November 19th, 2009, all of our husbands are smiling!

I have learned during this 14 day challenge & over the last few months, that the more you work on these simple principles, the easier, more fun, & more rewarding they become. Even though tonight's lesson will open some of our eyes, make us feel terrible, & break us out in acne, we WILL get through it. If your husband hasn't noticed your last 12 attempts, he WILL notice tonight. He will love it! You will see something in him that you may not have seen in a while.  Be proud that you are doing all that you can to make a difference in your marriage and that you are doing your very best to remove temptation for getting between you both. I am proud of you!

"Lord, please be with each of us tonight as we try one of the most difficult challenges for most of us. Give us the strength & encouragement to complete this lesson. Please bring me joy & happiness to do this for my husband & let that emotion show on my face. Lord, please allow my husband to see all that I am doing for him & for our marriage. Please hold my hand Father. I am scared & nervous. I need you to help me through this. Amen."

Aimee Freeman

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Hello Ladies. We are getting closer & closer to the end of this 14 day challenge, can you believe it? I pray that all of you were successful in completing yesterday's lesson & that you each received a positive response from your husband. Did anyone's husband require a trip to the ER for going into shock? LOL

As some of you know from following me on Twitter & on Facebook, I have not been feeling well the past few days. I want each & every one of you to know that I am here for you no matter what, which is why I am still posting today's challenge. No excuses, right? For once I will save you from my long & drawn out explanations & get straight to the challenge. Be ready though, tomorrow's post is going to be fantastic! I have been dreading looking forward to day #13 since the beginning. It WILL make an impact. At least I will pray that it will. I also want to apologize that I am a little behind on returning emails but I am working through them in between my naps.

Lesson #12

Ask him how you can pray for him. We are assuming that he is a believer. If he is not, try it anyway, unless he has told you not to bring up spiritual things. For instance, if he is burdened about something at work, ask, "How can I pray for you that God will honor your good efforts?" Or, "I know that your boss has not been showing you the respect that he should, how should I pray for you?" Think of something that has been troubling him. 

As you do the lesson for tonight, will you please pray for me as well? Will you pray that in "due" time I will feel better? That this sickness that was "delivered" to me is for a good reason. Will you pray that in the next few days I will receive some "positive" news?

Thank you to you all. Your support & prayers have always meant so much to Adam & I. We look forward to hearing more from all of you about how this blog is helping you to begin strengthening your marriage. Praise God!

Aimee Freeman

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dreams & Desires

Happy Monday ladies! I am so excited to be back writing today. I know that I was "supposed" to be taking the weekend off, but I couldn't stop thinking about all of you! Adam & I had a fantastic weekend & we hope that all of you did as well. 

On Saturday night we went to our first marriage ministry small group meeting at church. It was awesome! We met some amazing people, shared our story, praised God, introduced Love & Respect, & made many future friends. We had an unbelievable time. Both of us were so jazzed up after meeting everyone that we could hardly contain ourselves.

That excitement rolled right into Sunday. Adam & I attended the 11am service at Lifepoint Church. Adam volunteered on the parking lot team, & I was stationed at the first time guests table. We are now official volunteers! We were able to meet a ton of new people & we had the honor of meeting Pastor Jeff Kapusta & his wife, Michelle for the first time. We are so blessed to be a part of this church & the marriage ministry. We look forward to growing with Lifepoint & helping in any way that we can. I can't explain to you in words how Adam & I felt this weekend. Being more involved in church has ignited a fire in us. Lookout world, lookout Wilmington, here come the Freemans.

Thank you all so much for voting on the website. If you haven't done so yet, just click on the button on the top left of our blog. Or, you can click HERE. There are 319 total blogs & at the time that I am writing this we are already #22. The exposure that this website will bring will allow for many others wives to follow along with us & bring even more support to improving our marriages. Praise God!

I added a poll question last night to touch base & get an idea of how this blog is working for all of you & in your marriages. I understand that not everyone is comfortable emailing me or posting a comment, so I figured this would be an outlet for you to let us know if this is helping you or not. I also want to say that I am VERY open & I welcome any ideas or topics that you all would like to cover. As I said before, my hope for this blog is that it will be the world's largest marriage small group. I want it to be as interactive as possible so that we can all learn from each other. This is OUR blog.

For someone who thought that she was perfect, I feel as though I am writing 14 days of things that were wrong with me. Thank God that He opened my eyes & gave the me courage & strength to make a significant change in myself. The crazy thing is that I always thought that I would be much more uncomfortable about sharing my faults with anyone, much less the world. If my problems, issues, insecurities, or flaws can help you all, then it is worth it. I am willing to peel back my skin & expose myself. WARNING - it may not always be pretty.

As some of you already know from following Kayleigh's blog, Adam is interested in Mixed Martial Arts aka MMA. He started going to classes about two years ago, has completed in a couple of tournaments, & even had been writing a blog for a short time. See - Adam's Journey To The Cage. Adam has incredible skill  & go can really far in this sport with the right training & support. Unfortunately, for a while, he didn't have support from me. To be honest, this was actually a complete misunderstanding that we have since worked out but what is important is how my behavior came across to Adam.

My first sign of negativity was the time that his "hobby" was taking away from our family. Fighting really isn't just a hobby to him, but that is how I was treating it. I wasn't very eager for him to get started in the first place & it certainly showed on my face & came across in my actions. After I saw how much it meant to him & that his fellow classmates praised him, I was accepting of him going to class & I supported him. Then one day he revealed to me that he wanted to get in the cage. Up until this point he was more interested in grappling, which is very close to wrestling. Basically, there isn't any striking. If he were to get in the cage, this would mean that there is a greater likelihood of injury, blood, facial transformation, etc. LOL Of course, my concern was only that I didn't want to watch my husband getting beat up. Please understand that I am not doubting my husband's ability or skill at all. Even the greatest fighters get caught the wrong way, get busted up, or even knocked out. I want to protect my husband as best as I can by being his wife.

What I didn't realize until Adam had made the decision to leave this past summer, was that he didn't feel that I was supporting his dreams & desires. My "concern" was coming off as negativity. I could not understand this because I had gone to see him at class, I sat front row at the tournaments, & I cheered him on endlessly. I was SO proud of him! I couldn't even believe that I was making him feel this way. What was worse, was that me "explaining" that this wasn't the case came across as convenient because he was leaving me. He thought that I was just saying anything to "keep" him. This couldn't have been further from the truth, but I could see why it appeared that way to him.

Since Adam & I have found our way back to each other I have been able to show him on several occassions that I fully support what he wants to achieve in MMA. I have taken more of an interest & I listen to his stories with a different ear. I actually look forward to hearing how class went & what he learned. Instead of wishing that he wouldn't go to class, I understand that he needs more classes to grow his skill even more. I am genuinely proud of his accomplishments & I want him to be the best that he can be.

I am excited to say that Adam is going to be in his first cage match in February! While I am nervous that he will spew blood everywhere or get a black eye, I have also learned that men treat injuries like trophies. Weird, I know. Who knew that I should consider that shaving scar on my leg from when I was 15 to be a first place prize? LOL I have absolute confidence in my husband & I can't wait to be right there for his first big win. I have grown to love this sport simply because he loves it. That shows him that I respect him & that I love him. I should never give anyone else the opportunity to be his #1 fan. That is my job. Now that I have learned from my mistakes, I don't plan to slack on the job again.

Why is this story important you ask? Well, here is today's challenge...

Lesson #11

Ask him about his dreams & desires. Say, "Honey, if you could do anything, what would you dream of doing? More than anything else, what would energize you?" Let him joke about sex, but say, "Apart from that, what would you most love to do & why?" He may ask you why you are asking him this. Just tell him that you were just curious & you wanted to know. After all, these are the kinds of questions that you might ask someone when you are dating to get to know them better. Don't be afraid of this. By asking these questions you are not committing to help him experience this dream. This is just a fun discussion. He isn't going to act on it just because you brought it up. Since God is at work in all of us to will his good pleasure, your husband might share things with you deep from his spirit. It will honor him that you will listen. 

Most of you don't know this, but Adam proof reads my message every day before I post it. It never hurts to have a second set of eyes, & he is the blog master after all. We always discuss what we are posting & he usually gives me a minor pointer here & there. Tonight he had some amazing input that we think will make a tremendous difference in the spirit of husbands everywhere.

Lesson #11 - Bonus Material

If you ask your husband about his hopes & dreams & you find that what he wants to do is something that with minor modification can fit into your family schedule......encourage him to do it. Stand by his side & support him. Adam informed me that often times, men want to succeed at a hobby or goal simply to impress their wives or their children. Adam wants to win that fight, not just for himself, but for all of us. He wants us to be proud of him more than the joy that the win itself will bring. Honestly, what does an achievement mean if you don't have anyone to share it with. 

You might also do something as simple as say, "Honey, you usually have to sit & listen to what went on in my day & I appreciate that so much. I know that I could go on & on venting about..... & you always listen to me. I am so sorry that I don't take the time to ask you this more often but, tell me how YOUR day went. What is going on with you?" Listen to him without distraction. You will surely see his spirit inflate. 

Have you been guilty before of not supporting your husband just because you didn't understand why he was interested in something? Did you take away from his joy by being negative? Have you hurt his spirit by dismissing him when he tries to share his stories about things that are important to him? I have. We expect our husbands to listen to us rant & rave about anything & everything that is important to us. Not only that, but we want them to stop what they are doing & make eye contact with us while we go on complaining & complaining. Why can't we stop doing the dishes for two minutes to listen & share in his joy about how many fish he caught? Something that he was doing not only for fun, but to feed his family? He may have felt like a provider & we showed him that we don't even care. He will never tell us this, because remember, he hates confrontation. He just lets it build & build until he can't take it. I challenge you to really open yourself up on this lesson. Ask him these questions with the intent of really caring about what he has to say. If you are doing it half way, he will know it. Most of us show our true feelings a little too well on our faces & in our body language. Don't let this seem like a chore, be genuine.

In having my conversation with Adam tonight, I couldn't help but wonder something. In many cases, when a couple divorces the man will behave in a way that most of us women don't. They seem to go back to all of the things that they did when they were "young". They get more interested in sports, their hobby, drinking & going out, or even looking for younger women. They are going after things that they feel that they "missed out" on because they were a husband & a full time dad. They want to feel young again. If it won't hurt our family, send us to the poor house, or is sinful, maybe we should let our husbands be "boys" occasionally & let them chase their dreams/hobbies. They desire it. They need it. They will love us for it.

"Lord, please give us the strength to complete this challenge tonight. I am sorry that I have not shown my husband the proper respect in this arena before. I see that I may have hurt his spirit even when I had the best intentions. Please show me how to be more genuine, loving, & respectful to my husband's dreams & desires. I would want the same interest from him. Amen."

Aimee Freeman

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Brief Blogging Vacation

Good morning ladies. I hope that you all are enjoying your weekend so far. Adam & I are looking forward to attending our first small group gathering tomorrow night through the marriage ministry at Lifepoint Church. We are so excited to meet all of the amazing couples, share our story, & get involved. This session of the small group is almost over & Adam & I can hardly wait for the next session to start. We hope that we will be leading our own group, so that together with George & Karen Kapusta, we can reach more couples! Unfortunately, there is that great of a need & our church is still pretty small.

I have thought about this long & hard & I have come to a temporary decision. Disclaimer - I reserve the right to change my mind later. Since many of you read the blog from work, I think we are going to stick with a Monday - Friday posting schedule right now. I may throw in a testimonial on a weekend (if you all send them in) or an update on what we are doing as a family, but no lessons. I think that too many women will get behind & will feel overwhelmed to the point that they give up. I don't want to give anyone an excuse for not trying their very best. Plus, I need the weekend to spend with my family & get caught up on all of your very important emails.

Thank you all so very much for all of your kind words, support, & praise over the last two weeks. When I am tired, you are my caffeine. I couldn't do any of this without all of you. We love you all!

Have a great weekend, enjoy your families, & be back here on Monday for a new lesson. :)
Aimee Freeman

Friday, November 13, 2009

Are You Getting The Most Out Of This?

Hello Ladies. I try not to get nervous about the whole Friday the 13th thing, so how about a big TGIF?  I noticed that some of you are copying & pasting the post titles & the blog address on your Facebook status & your Twitter pages. Thank you so much for that. I love hearing about how people found the blog & many of these wives are coming from YOUR sites. Tinika added little buttons under my signature in the bottom of each post so that you can share the daily message MUCH easier with your friends, family, & co-workers. Just click on one of the buttons & poof! You are doing an amazing thing by offering your friends & family a chance to strengthen their marriages. I am so proud of all of you!

A longtime, faithful blog follower emailed me this morning & told me about a site that is quite popular with moms & wives. They suggested that I add our blog to that site for increased exposure, awareness, & to help as many families as possible. It appears that the top 25 blogs get extra special attention & it should only take about 100 votes to get us at #25. Piece of cake! Can you help me out & click on the photo below or the photo in the top left corner of the blog? Let's strengthen some marriages!

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Several days ago I mentioned how I started my personal transformation. Honestly, it didn't start out innocent. It started because I thought that I would find books, scriptures, & anything else that I could find that would "prove" my case that our marriage problems weren't me. I thought that I could show that they were all Adam's fault. Of course, this is because I am an angel & I could do no wrong. I even started going to counseling because I was sure that the counselor would back me up & then, HA....I would be declared "right".

I had already wasted 5 years of being "right" or should I say wrong? I thought of myself as a strong, independent woman. I fought for what I believed to be true & you couldn't convince me otherwise. Well, where did this get me really? Sure, it made me pretty successful in my business, but the recession has pretty much killed that. I was left with a broken marriage on the fast track to a divorce. The need to be strong, independent, or "right" is to get all of the things that we want. However, I was left with the one thing that I would NEVER want to be without, my husband. Why can't we learn to fight for our marriages like we fight when we want to prove our point? Do you want to be "right" at the cost of being divorced & having your children divided up like a bill or an asset?

Thankfully God was looking out for me. I told you that I had something like 13 books on self help, saving your marriage, separation, & how to pray. I felt like God led me in many different ways during those trying months & He led me to the right books at the right time. He knew what I needed to hear & when I needed to hear it. He also allowed me to really hear what those books were saying, to look deeply into myself, take ownerships of MY issues, & apply them. Praise God! I wasn't successful with this plan every single day & I don't expect that will happen in the future either. I am teaching myself how to be better, but I realize that I will never be perfect.

Last night I opened up, "The Language of Love & Respect" by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. I have been spending so much time on, "Motivating Your Man God's Way" that I haven't been able to dig into this book as much as I have wanted to. I feel that God once again led me to what He wanted me to read & when He wanted me to read it. What I found on the very first few pages is something that I think most of us could benefit from based on the emails that I have received this week.

I am titling this, "How to get the most out of this blog, series, book, & journey". I challenge you & encourage you to implement these principles with an open heart & an open mind. I wish that I had this information when I was in the pits of my separation. I believe that it would have saved me a lot of time, pain, sorrow, & it probably would have gotten my marriage back together a lot sooner.

1. Read to understand how to respond to your spouse's negative behavior. Don't read to put your spouse on a guilt trip by saying, "See, this is you! This is what you do!" As you go through this journey & life transformation, it may will be easy to find examples of mistakes that your spouse is making. Please don't use what you find to attack your husband. Instead, use what God has so graciously revealed to you to learn how to respond to your husband with unconditional love & respect.

2. Read to understand your spouse. Learn why your husand reacts to you the way that he does. The goal is to have empathy for him so that you can respond in a loving & respectful manner. Remember, I told you about how I could have reacted much better to Adam when we had our most recent argument? I could have acted MUCH more loving & respectful by digging deeper to see what was "really" bothering him. I could have made him feel better with a simple gesture or by showing him that I cared that he was upset or hurting. I could have asked him what he needed from me to make him feel better. I would have wanted those things, so why am I not giving them?

3. Read to understand yourself, but be careful. Don't seek points that help you understand why you are saying or doing things & then use what you learn to justify your behavior. Also, don't seek to understand yourself just so that you can blame your husband by saying, "See? You made me act this way. It is really all your fault!" Your goal is to gain a better understanding so you can respond to your husband more loving or respectfully. Boy, I have been guilty of this. I am sure most of us have if we are being honest. Adam does it too. You could say, "Well, if you didn't do this then I wouldn't have done that." But, where does that really get us? We both end up hurting each other. If one of us (the more mature one) can turn the situation around, then only one of us got hurt. I promise you, it feels awesome when you are able to do this! It doesn't go unnoticed, even if they don't say it to you at that exact moment. In time, your behavior will be rewarded by your husband repaying the favor. You will undoubtedly one day hurt his feelings & he will show you love when you don't deserve it. Unconditional love. Can you show unconditional respect?

4. Read to help your spouse understand you, but be cautious here as well. Many spouses want to make this goal the first one instead of the last. If you start out by wanting to be understood instead of trying to understand your husband, you are approaching the entire topic of communication in a marriage in a very self-centered way. Self-centeredness does NOT lead to mutual understanding. Tell your husband that you are trying to make changes & THEN appeal to your husband to understand you.

I do not believe that we have to give up ourselves completely to make these changes. All we have to do is open our minds to accept that we aren't perfect, we make mistakes, we sometimes say hurtful things even though we didn't mean it, & that our husbands are good willed & battling demons just like we are. If we can believe that & do these challenges, we WILL make a difference in our marriages.

The testimonies are rolling in & it has only been a week. If you haven't been reading the comments each day, I invite you to do so. Don't just take it from me. Take it from all of the other wives that are doing this right along with you. Some of them are in a better place in their marriage but some of them are much worse than your own. Let that be your inspiration. If that doesn't work, use your need to be strong  & "right" to a good cause. Prove to all of us that you really can do this! I dare triple dog dare you!

Lesson #10

Apologize. Think back over the last couple of days (or weeks) when you should have apologized for something. Say, "I was reflecting on something that I said the other day. I said that disrespectfully. What I said was wrong. I am sorry. Will you forgive me?" He may have been 90% to blame. This is not done to re-open the subject.  You are apologizing for YOUR disrespectful part. If he starts justifying himself just say, "Honey, You don't have to get into that. I am apologizing for acting disrepectfully. Will you forgive me?" When he says, "Yes," respectfully say, "Thank you," & go do something else. Walk away. Please do not use this as an occasion to rehash the conflict. The showing of respect during this two weeks is not done for the purpose of getting him to look at his failure to love. You are showing respect in obedience to God's Word.

I know that this isn't going to be easy. I can say that because I have been there. I can't remind you enough that I am here for all of you. Please email me if you need me to help you. I will help teach you how to respond to a certain situation, I will help calm you down, I will be there for whatever you need. I will dedicate my time to help you if you want the help.

"Lord, please open my mind to the lesson today. Allow me to put my pride aside & complete this task. Allow me to act in a way that I desire to be treated by my husband. Help me to be the more mature one & work on myself & my marriage without the expectation of instant results from my husband. Lord, please give me a sign to let me know that my efforts are being noticed. Speak to me & show me even more that I can do to make a positive change. Father, I beg you to bless me with your forgiveness for not always treating my marriage as a priority. With your help, I am slowly recognizing my faults. Thank you, Lord. Amen."

Aimee Freeman

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