Thursday, December 31, 2009

What Is Your New Year's Resolution?

Happy New Year's Eve! I hope that everyone is going to have a fantastic, fun, & safe evening. We are staying in with the kiddos, having appetizers, staying up late, & doing silly things. I can't wait. I am not going to be writing tomorrow, New Year's Day. I will be back to posting on Monday. Allyson & I are heading to Charlotte to help out some wonderful past clients of mine. I am looking forward to helping them find just the perfect place to call home. Allyson is going to hang out with my friend Jennifer & her daughter, Alissa. They are both so excited. (The boys are also excited that we are leaving & they can do "man" things.) I am looking forward to another wonderful Elevation Church service. Woo hoo!

So, what is your New Year's resolution? Honestly, I don't have one. Adam & I talked about this the other day & here is the way that we see it. Tell me if you agree.

In life, those who win certainly have goals, but they don't have lame New Year's resolutions. If they want something, they get it. They resolve to do it NOW. "I'm going to start working out in 2010." Or, "I am going to be a better wife & mother." Or, "I am going to go to church more." I bet you have heard all of those before. Maybe, you have even said them yourself. Or just maybe, you even said it three minutes ago when I asked what your New Year's resolution is. Let me ask you this, do you really believe that some super magical power is going to come over you on January 1st to allow you to be successful at living your "resolution"? Have you ever stuck with a New Year's resolution in the past? I haven't. Maybe for a few days or weeks, but then it is all the same ole excuses again.

If you want to be successful, you have to start NOW, not on a date in the future. If you aren't motivated to start right NOW, you are simply procrastinating. Procrastinating doesn't seem like a positive attribute or something that you would call an "improvement". Does it? That is just like saying, "I will start my diet on Monday." Monday comes, the next Monday comes, ten more pounds come, & then you are less motivated than when you started your big "resolution".

I encourage you to rethink your "New Year's resolution". Sit down, really think about what you want or NEED to change, & DO IT! Don't wait. Every day that you wait invites failure & allows the devil to get in your way. Commit to becoming a better wife, a better mother, a better daughter, a better friend, a better employee, a better person, a better Christian, & an overall better woman, TODAY. You will feel better that you did!

Good thing that I am posting this the day before New Year's. I am sure that some of you would have been throwing things at your computer screen if I posted this before Thanksgiving or Christmas. LOL

Day Twenty One - 

"But seek first the kingdom of God & His righteousness, & all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)

If we are living in the light of eternity, everything we think, do or say is seen from an eternal perspective. We will someday give an account for our failure to speak words of love, respect, & encouragement. Determine today that your words will be sweet & helpful. 

Does your husband have an eternal perspective that allows him to reject materialism & temporal values? Express your gratefulness for his value system, & praise him for putting eternal things before riches & other things in this world.

If this is a problem area for him, consider how you might alter your own value system & live for eternity in front of him., encouraging him to do the same. Only two things will go into eternity...the Word of God & people. Be sure that you are focusing on the right things. 

Day Twenty One Prayer - 

Pray that your husband will discover & live his God-given purpose. Pray that he will offer all his dreams to the Lord, & pursue only those goals that will bring God glory & count for eternity. (Jer. 29:11; 1 Cor. 10:31)

Aimee Freeman

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Shoebox

As I was sitting here wondering what I wanted to write about for today, someone sent me an email. Since I do not believe in accidents, I will take this as a sign that this should be today's message. Enjoy!

A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover.

In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoebox and took it to his wife's bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two knitted dolls and a stack of money totaling $95,000.

He asked her about the contents. "When we were to be married," she said, "my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and knit a doll."

The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.

"Honey," he said, "that explains the dolls, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?"

"Oh," she said, "that's the money I made from selling the dolls."

Prayer - 

Dear Lord, I pray for wisdom to understand my man; love to forgive him; & patience for his moods. Because Lord, if I pray for strength, I'll beat him to death; because I don't have time to crochet. 

I hope that you all enjoyed the comedy of this story, but that you also take from it the meaning & how it applies to what we have been learning. I hope that we don't have stores on our Blog Frog page selling crocheted dolls in a few weeks. LOL

Day Twenty - 

"And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you." (Ephesians 4.32)

It's time for some heart examination. As you continue in this 30 day challenge, have you found any roots of bitterness that are contaminating your relationship with your husband? Do you understand that as long as you are unwilling to forgive your husband - by God's grace & in His power - you will not be able to encourage him? Your own resentment will keep getting in the way. Now is the time to deal with any unforgiving attitudes. Forgive him, even as God has forgiven you.

Is your husband a forgiving man? Does he keep short accounts of your problems? Express your thankfulness for such a man. 

Does your husband - rightly or wrongly - harbor grudges against you? Again, are there things you need to change, or do you need to ask for his forgiveness for an offense? Help your husband be more forgiving by quickly forgiving him for his mistakes. 

Day Twenty Prayer - 

Pray that your husband will be patient & a man of peace. Pray that he will not give in to anger, but will allow the Holy Spirit to control his responses. (Rom. 14:19, Ps. 34:14)

Aimee Freeman

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What Happened?

Thank you all so much for praying for our dear friend, Brent Riggs & his family over the last day. Brent posted an updated & it looks like everyone is going to be okay. You can follow along on Brent's blog for any further updates.

Have you ever said to yourself or someone else, "My husband doesn't complain about me, but I complain about him all of the time. This proves my view that I am better, he is the problem"? I have. I can remember plenty of times that Adam & I would get on the crazy cycle & I would be begging for him to tell me what was "wrong" with me. He never could, or would. So, I wrongfully assumed that must be because nothing is wrong with me. I win. Case closed. Since I always thought that I was right anyway, this was very easy to sell to myself.

Now I look back & I think, then why did we fight all of the time? After learning the lessons that Dr. Eggerichs teaches, I can see that Adam just didn't want any further confrontation. He wanted to end the fight, shut me up, distance himself, etc., so he didn't add fuel to the fire. He knew I would retaliate back & I would manipulate the conversation until he would lose anyway. Why not lose early in the argument & stay quiet? Sounds like a good plan.

So, there were things that were wrong with me, I just didn't know what they were. Then one day, Adam wants to separate. It didn't seem fair to me. I didn't know what was REALLY wrong so I couldn't fix it. But if I am honest, would I have fixed them had I known? I don't know. Remember, I was never wrong back then. I think that for me personally, loosing Adam was what had to happen for me. Maybe Adam was telling me or showing me what bothered him, but I wasn't looking or listening. I didn't want to know that I might have problems. How foolish I was! I had this amazing man that I loved, the rest of the world loved, my kids loved, my family loved, & I was letting him go over what? Pride! Ugh. It makes me angry to even think about it.

What does pride really get you? In my opinion, if you are going to let pride get in the way of really living & enjoying your life, you better love yourself a whole bunch. Because that is who you are going to be spending the most time with. Your husband will leave, your friends will turn their backs, you kids will hurt because daddy is gone & it is at least half your fault, your family will lose their in-law, you will have to work much harder to pay the bills yourself, you will see your kids less because you may need to put them in childcare or take on two jobs, etc. But what if you gave up that pride? What if you made a change in your life, your husband's life, your kid's lives? What if?

I can tell you from living on both sides of those tracks of pride, it feels much better to FEEL the love that my husband has for me, than winning any fight that broke us both. I still get mad from time to time & sometimes I feel like I want to stay angry, but it goes away a lot sooner. When I apologize, I mean it fully. After that 15-20 minutes the devil's fury goes away, I am truly devastated that I hurt my husband or that our kids may have heard us fighting. Looking back, there has never been one argument that was so important to win that I would sacrificed my husband. But that is what I was doing each & every time, little by little.

I encourage you to think of your past arguments. What damage could you have caused? How much unhappiness is building in your husband because of YOU? Forget what he has done. This is only about you. You can't control him, especially if you haven't even been able to control yourself. Think of a time when you were truly both happy. (your dating life, the proposal, your wedding day, or the birth of your children) You loved this man, respected him, admired him, dreamed of a life together, got butterflies when you would see or hear from him. What happened?

Day Nineteen - 

Read the description of a wife's description of her beloved. Song of Solomon 5:10-16.

Criticism leaves scars; but encouragement can bring healing. Remember that today as you focus on your 30 day challenge. 

Almost nothing is as devastating  to a man as the belief that his wife finds him repulsive. Sadly, many women unwisely criticize their husbands' bodies. 

Have you ever considered how wonderfully God designed men & women? No matter how a man looks - by the standards of the world - a loving God designed them all, & they are all "beautiful" in His sight. Encourage your husband today by praising his uniqueness. 

As you look over your husband's body, from the tip of his toes to his bald or bushy head, thank God that your husband is "wonderfully made", then admire your husband verbally. (Strong arms? Hairy chest? Firm hands? Big feet? Rugged chin? Wide shoulders? Compassionate eyes? Broad smile?)

Also refer to Day Five of the 14 Day Challenge. Click here.

Day Nineteen Prayer - 

Pray that your husband will understand the importance of taking care of his body - the temple of the Holy Spirit - for the glory of God. Pray that he will practice self control by making wise food choices, & get the sufficient exercise to stay healthy. (Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 6:19-20, 9:27)

Aimee Freeman

Monday, December 28, 2009


Many of you know our good friend, Brent Riggs. If you don't, Brent played a HUGE part in the reconciliation of Adam & I. We owe a lot to this man & his family & we will forever be grateful. We just received some terrible news & we need your help. 

  Please read his post below and visit his blog for updates 


Dear Christian family,

Wow… if all the stuff about Abby wasn’t enough…

We just got a phone call from a hospital. Our 17 year old, Garrett, Michelle’s brother Mike, and her sister Micalah were in a serious car accident and are all critical

We are dropping the kids off with our friends, and going to the hospital now.

Micalah is here with her Dad (Michelle’s father) visiting for Christmas from San Antonio. He is VERY shaken and is fresh in the middle of a cancer battle himself.

We covet your prayers….

Brent & Michelle...

Welcome Back!

Hello ladies. I am so sorry that this is coming in late today. I have a huge to do list, the kids are home, & I just ate lunch at 3:15pm. Whew. I am glad to be back though.

I hope that everyone had a great CHRISTmas. Typically we hold a huge get together at our house, but since we moved there isn't anyone that could come here. Since we went to Charlotte for Thanksgiving we just decided to stay home & have a smaller, more intimate celebration. We also had the opportunity to volunteer, which we had been talking about for years.

We showed up to volunteer headquarters around 10:30am on Christmas Eve & the meals were being delivered. We had to sort them out by location, put them in boxes, & load up the cars. We would be heading to Solomon Towers which was about 20 minutes away. It is mainly housing for lower income residents. The kids were really excited to help which was so amazing. They both jumped right in. I remember that when I was little I would feel uncomfortable around people with disabilities, seniors, or even a homeless person. My mom worked in nursing homes & other healthcare facilities so I saw people with needs often, but I don't think I was ever made to feel comfortable & safe around them. I was just thrown in there so to speak. I expected my kids to be this way at first but I was wrong. Ally stood back a little bit more but that is her personality. She is a little more shy. Brandon on the other hand distributed the majority of the meals. He jumped right in there. Nothing seemed to bother him. He was so helpful that it brought Adam & I to tears. Here are a few photos....





I can't even tell you how rewarding it was to help out. Everyone was thanking us, but I was thanking them. I look forward to continuing this tradition & doing more volunteer work each month. All that I did was a Google search in my town to see where there was a need. If you have never taken a few hours to volunteer, you should give it a try. Let your kids get involved too. It will be just as rewarding for them. Not mention how a child's smile could brighten a less fortunate person's day. All of those men & women love the kids. It was such a blessing.

After we were done we went down to the river to take a few photos. Here are a few of them....


Christmas Day was just the four of us & we invited Mike. Cooking was a breeze for 5 people & so was the cleanup. Woo hoo! We each chose on thing that we wanted & we had three desserts. As many of you saw from my Twitter comments, the chocolate pie won hands down. It was to die for! It was super simple & I can't wait for a special occasion so that we can have it again.

The kids loved their gifts of clothing & didn't complain at all that they didn't get toys. Brandon spent his gift cards on games at Game Stop & Allyson spend her money at Claire's. We were in Claire's for over an hour, the day after Christmas. What a nightmare. But, they are both happy & that is all that matters. Here are a few photos from Christmas Day.....




You can see all 100+ photos that we took over the Christmas holiday on my Facebook page. Just click HERE.

So this year, for many reasons, Adam & I decided not to get gifts. Well, I decided that he shouldn't get me one. That is because I had already bought something for him that he REALLY needed. His laptop was broken & he had been using it with a severely broken screen. He would have to move the windows around to see at all. It was like looking through broken glass. We can't afford a new one so I found a refurbished corporate laptop on Ebay for $225 including shipping. I couldn't believe it. Now instead of it taking an hour to return an email he can actually be more productive. Time is money & he needs it for his business. We were missing out on a ton of extra time with him because his computer was slowing him down. So, I begged him to please not get me anything. I felt that I already had everything that I wanted this year. Our marriage is solid & that is all that I could have hoped for just 6 months ago.

I am so excited to share what Adam came up with. He wasn't going to let not having money stop him from giving me something. I received 9 envelopes. Each coupon had a special gift for me. There was a note that explained that he wanted to spend less money on a few gifts & spend a lot of energy towards a lot of gifts. He also explained that I would find more gifts over time. How awesome is this man? I am so lucky & so blessed. And I know it!

 Here are what they said:

2 free bathroom cleanings from Adam "Mr. Clean" Freeman
2 free massages (from Adam, not a massage place) from Adam "Helga" Freeman
1 free Monopoly night from Adam "Already Lost" Freeman (He HATES Monopoly)
1 free 80's movie night from Adam "The Buster" Freeman (I love the 80's)
12 free Starbucks trips from Adam "The Venti Lover" Freeman (He will literally go for me)
2 free blank coupons for the kids from Adam "Your Choice" Freeman (I can ask him to take the kids or anything that I need regarding the kids)
2 free pampering days from Adam "I can't say" Freeman
1 free weekend escape to Jennifer's from Adam "Bejeweled Master" Freeman (First, the Bejeweled Master is his self proclaimed title. Ok, he deserves it. Second, this is a cool coupon. I hate to use it though & leave him.)

I am so excited to see what else Adam has in store. He is so creative. I only wish that I could come up with the stuff that he does. I hope that all of you stayed off the crazy cycle over the holidays. I know it can be a challenge with so many family members around, rushing, presents, cooking, driving, etc. Tomorrow I am looking forward to posting on time & back on our "normal" topics. I hope that you all enjoyed hearing about our holiday.

Day Eighteen - 

"You will show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy....Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!" (Psalms 16:11a; 144:15b)

"A merry heart does good like medicine..." (Proverbs 17:22a)

It's hard to criticize others when we are enjoying their company. Instead of speaking negatively to your husband today, enjoy him! Encourage him! As you experience fullness of joy with God, share some of that joy with your husband.

Does your husband have a playful side? A great sense of humor? Is there a "little boy" that wants to escape from time to time, reflecting the joy in his heart?

This is a wonderful part of who he is, & a great strength. Let him know that you appreciate his joyfulness & his playful spirit. Find opportunities to join him in positive play times. 

If your husband can sometimes be overly serious, coax him out occasionally for some play times. It will help him relieve stress & relax. 

Day Eighteen Prayer - 

Pray that your husband will have a balanced life - that he will balance work & play. Pray that he will fear God, but also gain favor with people he knows at work & church. (Luke 2:52; Proverbs 13:15)

Aimee Freeman

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Decode Your Husband - Part Three - Prayer Needed

(Eve Eve)

Hello ladies. I hope that everyone is getting settled, finishing cleaning, winding down the baking, packing, traveling, & are ready to spend time with loved ones for CHRISTmas. I am in wrapping Heaven you know what today so I need to jump to the meat & potatoes of today's post. Adam, Allyson, Brandon, & I all wish you a VERY Merry CHRISTmas. I will be back to posting on Monday.

Relationship - His desire for shoulder-to-shoulder friendship may seem a bit odd, but keep your ears open for it anyway.

When a wife is friendly & shows that she likes her husband, particularly by doing shoulder-to-shoulder activities with him, he will feel respected. But when she becomes immersed in her own schedule & duties, she seems to have no time for him, then she might hear something like "Can't you let that go for a few minutes? Come sit with me & watch the last two minutes of the game." A wife could say, "Don't you know that I have a lot to do?" or she can decode her husband's message, put her duties on hold for a little while, & say, "Sure, watching with you will be fun." The key, however, is to respond in a truly friendly way. Mean it!

Being friendly to her husband is one of the most effective things that a woman can do to strengthen her marriage. Dr. Eggerichs has a challenge that he suggests that wives do when they feel that there marriage is going under. He tells them that they can do three things to turn their marriage around. "1. Be his friend. 2. Be friendly. 3. Be his friendly friend. P.S. In case I forgot to tell you, be his friend." He also asks them to list 7 things that they can do to be more friendly & to put those into practice. Then he tells those wives to write him back in 6 weeks & let him know what happened.

After all of this friendly behavior starts, husbands start saying things like, "Who are you & what have you done with my wife?" or "I don't know what drug you are on but, don't kick this habit." It is always wise for us to not make comments about, "being a better friend to you." Actions speak volumes & you need to seek opportunities to be friendly with him. If he is working on something around the house, just go be with him for 15-20 minutes. Stand there & talk to him. If he asks why you are there just tell him that you wanted to be with him & reassure him that you didn't come because "you need to talk". If you are like many of us, silence can kill you. Resist the temptation to say anything. Remember, one of the best ways to communicate with our husbands is by NOT trying to communicate with our husbands.

Sexuality - Listen carefully. His desire for sexual intimacy is much deeper than merely physical.

A husband has a need for sexual release that only his wife can meet, & when she does so, he feels respected & honored. By the same token, a wife has a need for affection & emotional closeness that only her husband can meet, & when he does, she feels loved & cherished. These two major needs can cause a standoff if someone is not willing to make the first move.

When a wife shames her husband, she is "rotenness in his bones" (Proverbs 12:4) & one of the ways that she can shame him is sexually. If she seems to deem his sexual need contemptible ("Stop it! I'm not in the mood!"), he is crushed & provoked to respond, "You never seem to be in the mood anymore," & he might even add, "Are you trying to punish me?" or "I'm tired of this sexual blackmail." The wife who is willing to honor her husband's sexuality can try saying or adapting the following:

"I don't try to blackmail you by withholding sex. Please forgive me for coming across this way. I don't intend to."

"I enjoy making love, but first I need you to hold me & talk to me. I'm the Crock-Pot; you are the microwave. We both have the same goal, I just take longer to warm up."

"I do want to satisfy you sexually. I want us both to be satisfied. Let's try to spend more time early in the evening just talking & being together. This could help both of us relax for making love later."

"I have never tried to punish you by withholding sex, but now I see how you felt when I denied you. Please forgive me."

"When you are more open with me about your heart & tell me you are sorry, this is a turn-on for me."

"I'm sorry the kids & all the rest of it have left me too tired to make love at times. Why don't we leave them with my mother & get away for the weekend?"

When you start using the C-H-A-I-R-S principles, sexuality can be the hardest or the easiest to decode. Some men will be very upfront & their complaints don't need much decoding. Other men may be too proud to say anything obvious, but they will send other messages that voice their frustration. Regardless of how he communicates, the best approach for his wife is to realize that his need for sexuality is one of his strongest & she should try to meet that need even if she doesn't like it.

Maybe your husband can unwrap a new wife this Christmas!

Day Seventeen - 

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, & the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." (Proverbs 9:10)

Are you a wise woman? Do you open your mouth with wisdom, as Proverbs 31:26 suggests? As you continue in your 30-day challenge, remember that a wise woman encourages her husband. 

Is your husband a wise man? Does he have a Godly perspective that comes from knowing God & walking with Him in obedience? Does he have a sense of purpose for his life & vision in your home? Tell him how much that means to you.

If you are not sure about your husband's vision for your home, ask him, "Honey, what do you want to accomplish with our marriage & home in the years to come?" and "How can I help you accomplish that?" If he does not have a vision, your questions may inspire him to develop one. 

If your husband is not walking with God - or perhaps, does not know the Lord - you have the opportunity or responsibility to practice your faith & create a thirst for God. Thank God for giving your husband a place in his heart that only He can fill, & keep praying that he will turn to the Lord to fill that vacuum. 

Day Seventeen Prayer - 

Pray that your husband will have an eternal perspective - living in light of eternity. Pray that he will reject materialism & temporal values & put God first in his life. (Matt. 6:33; Deut. 6:5; Eph 5:15; Ps. 90:12)

Will you all please pray for me over the next few weeks? I had some blood work done on Monday & the doctor just called me back with the results. They said that my thyroid levels (I have Graves Disease) are fine for now, but my white blood count is slightly low. I know that I should not worry, but I am. Whenever I receive troubling news, it takes me a day or two to remember that everything is God's plan. Waiting two weeks to have a second blood test is going to feel like years. I went it for a check up because I was feeling so tired lately, jaw is clicking, heart racing, & 15 pounds of weight gain in 3 months. (which is why I wanted my thyroid levels checked) I pray that this news is nothing serious & that I will feel comfort while I wait for further testing. Thank you all for your support & prayers. They truly mean the world to me!

Aimee Freeman

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lets Celebrate CHRISTmas for a change!

Good afternoon ladies! I am so thrilled to say that so far, there are 8 of us who are going to do the New Thru 30 Challenge. I was getting a little nervous that I would be going at it alone, but now we have an awesome group. I know that some of you are still thinking about whether you are interested in joining us, but we want you to know that we would love to have you. We have enough of us that we should have a pretty easy time finding one of us to understand each scripture. Of course, the more the merrier. It will be so interesting to hear everyone's perspective. I can't wait! See yesterday's post for all of the details or join our Blog Frog group.

I told all of you yesterday that I wanted to share something that touched our hearts deeply at church the other day. To get started, I have a question for you. What do you think this picture is?

When I look at this photo, I see faith, hope, & love. I also see a smile, relief, an education, Bible study, & clean drinking water. Of course, I can also see the obvious, which is $64 in change. Change that only took us about 5 months to save. That we didn't even notice was missing.

Our family went to church this Sunday & we were introduced to Katya. Not formally, just in general, in the service. Katya is an 11 year old girl that is going to make a change in the world. Like many organizations, our church had an Angel Tree full of opportunities for us, over privileged families, to provide a gift for a child who may possibly only receive that ONE gift this CHRISTmas. Katya noticed that there were quite a lot of tags left on the tree & she got really angry. Adults were just walking by as if the tree wasn't even there. She approached her mother & asked her if she could take all of the remaining tags. She told her mother that she felt that this is what God was calling her to do. Praise God! Her mother asked her if she had the money & she said yes. Can you guess how many tags Katya took? Not one or two, but 17! Her mother ended up buying three of the gifts & Katya purchased the other 14 with money that she had been saving from allowance all year, birthday money, CHRISTmas money, etc. She spent over $300 of her own money!! Every bit that she saved.

It doesn't stop there. Do me a favor, an exercise if you will. Go to your sink & pour yourself a nice, big, refreshing glass of water. Now, go outside & get a handful of dirt. Some really nasty dirt too. Maybe even some feces that was stuck on the grass. Put in your glass & take a look. (You can drink it if you want to go the extra mile, but I wouldn't advise it.) Does it look like this?

Looks yummy doesn't it? Katya heard Pastor Jeff preaching about the 1.1 BILLION people that don't have clean drinking water in the world. This sermon must have touched her heart in a big way because, Katya (remember she is 11 years old) has started her own non-profit organization. It is called Kids United. Here is a link to her Facebook page....Kids United. Her statement says that, "Adults can make a difference, but kids can make a change." How true! Her goal is to raise just $2,500 by the end of next year, 2010. Her father will match that $2,500 to total $5,000 which is how much it costs to drill one well to provide clean drinking water for so many.

Doesn't that look so much better? Much like the glass that you are so fortunate to have in front of you. Providing clean water is about so much more that just satisfying thirst. It is about saving lives, letting families know that God loves them & that they were blessed by our generosity. There is a quote by C.S. Lewis that really touched my heart on Sunday. I need to share it with you...

"I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare....If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, they are too small."

We have become very aware as a family over the last few months, that we need to provide more charity. Last month we sponsored Neema in Africa, on Thursday we will be delivering meals for CHRISTmas to the under-privileged,  & this past Sunday we decided to donate our change. That sounded like a lot, until I just wrote it. Three whole days out of about 45. Only $30/month. Wow! These people suffer everyday. We are trying to re-budget to see how we can provide not only more money, but more time. Why haven't we done this before? Well, just like many of you are thinking, because we couldn't afford it. But why is that? Is it because I have a big mortgage/rent payment, because I am blessed to have a home. Is it because my utilities are so high, because I am blessed enough that have heat, TV, & the internet? Is it because our car payment is so high, because we are blessed to have a car? (do you know that your garage is bigger, floored better, roofed better, walled better, nicer, & cleaner, then most of these people's homes?) How many homeless people do you think could live in your storage shed or garage floor? Have we not volunteered before because we are so busy with our jobs, that we are blessed to have? Because we are busy taking our kids to activities that we are so blessed we can offer them? Why? None of these reasons seem good enough anymore. If we really take the time to think of why, hopefully we will all come up with, WHY NOT?

I know that this post has gotten much longer than I expected, but I am letting God drive my fingers right now. I feel like I have been hit in the head this CHRISTmas season & my light bulbs are turned on. I want to challenge you to think about your past Christmases. Which ones do you remember? Do you remember what gifts you received each year? Probably not. I don't. My guess is that you remember the ones that had value in another way. Such as through giving, tradition, or meaning. Not because of the gifts. I am very guilty of giving TONS of gifts to the kids when they were little. It was pretty disgusting when I think back on it. Ripping open so many gifts that you don't remember who they are from five minutes later. It is like piranhas going at those boxes. Give me, give me, give me. This year our money was much tighter. The kids have 5 presents each under the tree. (all clothes because that is what they NEEDED) There will be one more gift that is something non-clothing. That's it. Honestly, they learned so much about the true meaning of CHRISTmas that they are excited that they have so many presents. Just five! A family member asked what the kids wanted & Brandon said, "I already have so much. I don't want anything else." How awesome is that? So to satisfy our families need to give, we asked for Visa gift cards because the kids could do whatever they wanted with their money. Spend it, donate it, buy clothes, or whatever. They could save it for when they really need something & they won't have all this unnecessary excess right now.

Adam asked the kids an interesting question the other night. "Who gets gifts on your birthday?" You do. "Who gets gifts on my birthday?" I do. "Then who should get gifts on Jesus' birthday?" Jesus! Why are we getting gifts & not giving gifts to Jesus? So he challenged the kids to come up with a "gift" that they could give to Jesus. How amazing is that?!

I need to jump back to my $64 in change before I wrap this up. When we came home from church on Sunday, we had brunch, (a new tradition) & then counted up all the change that we could find in the house. Guess how much it was? LOL - $64. We told the kids that since Adam & I sponsor Neema, that we would divide the $64 between the two of them. They could decide on their where to donate their $32. It could be in two places, or just one. It could be anywhere. Brandon decided to give half to Kids United & half to the hospital NICU that Kayleigh was in. Allyson is still thinking on whether she wants to give all or half to Kids United. This was an awesome experience for them, & for us as their parents. They are both so excited to be "giving". We have the greatest impact on what our children learn & who they become. Pastor Furtick's 4 year old son, Elijah taught us all some great financial advice last month. He said it better than I ever could.

Elijah Offering Video from Elevation Church on Vimeo.

How cute & incredible at the same time!

In closing, I want to ask you all to consider something else this season. Maybe you can give your family another "gift" that you weren't planning on. The best part is, you don't have to fight traffic, the crowds, or your wallet. Do you spend so much at work that you are bankrupt when you get home? Do you give your family the best of you, or do they just get your leftovers? Do you give presents to make up for not giving your family your presence?

Adam & I are going to make up a coupon book to put in the kid's stockings this year. Oh yeah, we even told Brandon & Allyson the truth about Santa last night. I dreaded the day that they would find out the "truth", & you know what, they didn't even care.They were amazed by the things that we did to keep them believing for so long. It was an awesome experience to share with them & to once again remind them of what CHRISTmas is really about. So back to the coupons....we are going to give them tickets for a free day with us, each one of us, picking out their favorite meal whenever they want, their choice of what to do on family night, etc. Things that will bring us together as a family, & not push them alone to their rooms to play by themselves like they do on the computer, or when they play video games. Family times are the best times, the times that we will all remember, the times that our families NEED. (If you have ideas for a coupon, please post your comment & share with all of us.)

So this CHRISTmas...Love more, Spend less, & Worship fully!

Day Sixteen - 

"And the Lord God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." (Genesis 2:18)

God says that it is not good for man to be alone. But the way some women criticize their mates, the husbands may long for solitude. Be careful today not to criticize your mate, but look for ways to encourage him personally & publicly.

Speaking of communication, does your husband communicate with you? God has made you a companion & helper for your husband, & part of being "one flesh" with him is the privilege of sharing & discussing personal needs & concerns. Thank God for that wonderful gift. Thank your husband for communicating with you.

If your spouse does not communicate as you wish, look for ways that he communicates that are normal for him - smiling at you, nodding his head, even a pleasant "grunt" - & thank him for letting you know that he cares. Perhaps he needs to be lovingly taught how to communicate. Be patient with him....& listen when he does speak.

Day Sixteen Prayer - 

Pray that your husband will speak words that build you & your family, & reflect a heart of love. Pray that he will not use filthy language. (Proverbs 18:21; Ephesians 4:29)

PS - I know that I didn't do Decode Your Husband - Part Three today. I will do that one tomorrow. Thank you for listening to my heart today.

Aimee Freeman

Monday, December 21, 2009

Decode Your Husband - Part Two

I hope that everyone had a great weekend with their families & every is getting excited about CHRISTmas! We had a blast at church yesterday & tomorrow I want to share something with all of you that left a deep impression on our hearts.

Today, I want to throw out my our next challenge. I am completely scared to death to make this commitment, as I have never made a commitment to this level EVER before in my life. This challenge would start on January 11th which is pretty close to when our 30 Day Encouragement Challenge ends. We might have to do double duty for a day or two. Ugh, I can hardly even say it. I feel like God led me to this challenge & I think I am trying to come up with a reason why I can't do it. Well, I can come up with 20 reasons, but are any of them good? Not good enough. Ok, so here it is....(I paused for a few minutes before I had the courage to go on)

Yes, you are seeing clearly. It says, "New Thru 30 - The New Testament in 30 Days". Am I kidding? I wish. Now, lets get real here. I never read a single scripture before this summer when Adam & I were separated. Even then, I would only read random scriptures that people sent to me. On one Sunday I read Luke 1-10 because Adam was reading it & he asked me too. On another weekend I read all of James because the sermon series at Elevation Church (The Essential James Series) was phenomenal & I wanted more. That's it. That is my experience with the Bible. I am completely nervous, without confidence, scared to death, shaking, excited, open, anxious, hungry, curious, & ready to get started. Anyone confused yet?

Yesterday I was saying that I have too much on my plate, today I want to read The New Testament in 30 Days. Am I crazy? Yes! I am crazy for the Lord. Today is one of those days where I feel as though I can't get enough. I am so thirsty. Now, I did have to break things down a little to be sure that this was even remotely possible for me to do. I am too much of a control freak to do anything that guarantees my failure. I need to at least have a fighting chance.

I grabbed my Bible that was given to me by Elevation Church last year. I opened it up to the New Testament. (It was on page 533) Interesting thing about that, possibly another sign? One of the only scriptures that I know is Ephesians 5:33. Ha! I felt my heart get a little fuller. In my Bible there are 162 pages in the New Testament. Over 30 days this would be about 5.4 pages each day. Well now, that seems MUCH more reasonable. According to the reading plan, they give us Saturday & Sunday off from reading but that will make more reading on Monday thru Friday. I am not sure if I can handle more on those days, so for now I am planning on 5.4 pages each day without break. Again, I don't want to set myself up for failure right out of the gate. I can always read more on one day so that I can have a day off. Plus, I think consistency is going to be key for me personally.

Needless to say, I am going to need some serious accountability & a few many friends to do this with me. Remember, I have never done this before either. If I can do it, you can too. I promise. So who is in? I can't hear you. I said, "Who is in with me?" Who is ready to be a part of the most dramatic challenge so far? (I thought I was on The Bachelor for a minute) I am starting a small group forum on The Blog Frog so that we can all talk about our daily reading together. The Bible can be hard to understand so we can all ask questions & learn from each other. Just click on The Blog Frog link to go straight there, a free one-way ticket. I am ready ladies! I just have one it cheating if we start early? LOL I will post the reading plan on The Blog Frog forum. See you there.

Authority - Listen for & respect his desire to serve & to lead. 

Scripture clearly teaches that a wife should not be contentious. Consider Proverbs 21:9: "It is better to live in a corner of a roof than in a house shared with a contentious woman." There are many ways that a wife can be contentious, but disrespectfully challenging her husband's God-given authority is one way that can get the crazy cycle going in a hurry. The way to make your husband feel respected is to tell him that because he has 51% of the responsibility, that he also has 51% of the authority.

What happens when the two of you face a difficult choice & your husband is not allowed to make the final decision? You might hear, "Do you want to be the leader or not?" Or, "Quit trying to wear the pants in this family." These comments will most likely come across to us as unloving or harsh, but this is not our husband's intention. We must decode what he is saying. Maybe this is how he feels, "When I am held responsible & then you exercise veto power, I feel disrespected." When we feel that our husband is frustrated about not being allowed to fill his leadership role we can say....

"Lots of times when I complain or criticize, I really need assurance. But I know this is a put down to your leadership. Please forgive me."

"God made us equal, but you are the one He made responsible for me & the kids. Forgive me for failing to respect your authority."

"Honey, I know you have a lot of pressure on you lead our family. Tell me how I can pray for you & help you."

"I really feel secure because of your strength & authority, especially with our children. I just want you to know that."

"When I argue or disagree with you, I am not trying to wear the pants. I am simply trying to help. Please trust my heart."

"I have been convicted lately about my contentious spirit. Please forgive me for not respecting your leadership."

Insight - Don't let your woman's intuition make you deaf to his desire to analyze & counsel.

Women are remarkably gifted with intuition, but they can often depend too much on their own opinions & not enough on their husbands' insight. Part of the problem is that the typical woman doesn't want advice or a solution. She wants empathy, a listening ear. When your husband tries to share his insights he may hear, "Quit trying to fix me!" You may be hearing, "Why tell me your problems if you don't want any help?" Those words sound unloving & mean, if you don't take the time to decode his words. When you feel as though you may have disrespected your husband by rejecting his suggested solutions, try these encouraging or energizing words instead.

"Honey, I am sorry. I know you are trying to help. It's just that I need you to listen for a while. That is what will make me feel better."

"I know I can depend too much on my feelings. I thank the Lord He has given you to me because I need your insight."

"You know, honey, we make a good team. With my intuition & your insight, we can handle a lot of problems."

" I apologize for acting like I don't want your opinions on how to deal with the kids. I need your input. It's just that sometimes I get so frustrated. I feel like nothing is working, & I take it out on you. Please forgive me."

"Honey, please forgive me for making you guess when I want your listening ear & when I want your solutions. I need to let you know."

"Honey, would it be okay if I asked you for some advice?"

Day Fifteen - 

"But grow in the grace & knowledge of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ..." 2 Peter 3:18a

Sometimes we live so close to our spouse that we fail to see him as others do; we only see our husband's faults. But take a step back. Perhaps he is growing spiritually in ways you have failed to appreciate. How can you encourage his growth in a fresh, new way? Remember - your husband is accountable to God for his spiritual development. You are accountable to God to encourage & not hinder that growth. 

Can you identify an area of spiritual strength in your husband? Does he pray or read his Bible regularly? Does he like to read about or discuss spiritual matters? Does he go to church with you? Is he a spiritual leader? What do others say about him? If you can identify a specific area, praise him for that.

If not, pray earnestly that God will work in his heart, & watch for signs of spiritual growth in the future. 

Day Fifteen Prayer - 

Pray that your husband will have a humble, teachable spirit & a servant's heart before the Lord. Pray that he will listen to God & desire to do His will. (Proverbs 15:33; Ephesians 6:6)

Aimee Freeman

Friday, December 18, 2009

Decode Your Husband - Part One

Hey Ladies. Well, in about an hour, the kids will be home until January 4th. What will we do all day, everyday? LOL I can't seem to get everything done now, how will I get my work done & hang with the kids? I have a feeling that next week will be the week that I start going to the gym! I will need a few hours of sanity each day. What kinds of plans do all of you have for your children while they are home for the holiday?

The other day we talked about C-H-A-I-R-S. This is an extremely important topic & one that will require lots of practice over time. Many of you have asked, "Now that we know that we need to show respect (not love) to our husbands, how exactly do we do that?" I think that it would be good to break each part down a little deeper so that we can all have a greater understanding. If there are this many steps to decoding our husbands, can you imagine the work that they have cut out for them to decode us? Yikes! Actually, we will get into that lesson later down the road. Right now, we want to keep our focus on ourselves & we can can better our behavior. We will cover this particular lesson in three parts. Today we will do the C & H, Monday will be the A & I, & Tuesday will be the R & S. Otherwise, you will be reading for 20 minutes today. We want to keep small, manageable lessons. Ready?

Conquest - If he feels that his work is unappreciated, you'll hear about it.

"Then the Lord God took the man & put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate & keep it." But God still had more plans for Adam's work: "Then the Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him". (Genesis 2:15-18)

When his wife is his suitable helper, his companion to stave off loneliness, & a supporter of his pursuits in the workplace, a husband feels respected. But when a wife's attention & energy are drawn from her husband, she may here him saying things that sound unloving to her. Such as.."The kids....Your focus is always on them. I'm happy that you are a great mom, but what about us?" This probably sounds unloving to you, doesn't it? You might even think that he is being selfish by saying, "What about ME?" It won't do any good for you to shout back with, "It's all about you. I am doing the best that I can!" Her husband's comment sounded critical, but what his heart was really saying was, "What happened to the cheerleader I knew during our courtship - the girl who believed in me & made me feel as if I could conquer the world?" Here are some responses that you could try that will help to keep you off of the crazy cycle.

"Honey, you're right. I get too preoccupied with the children. Will you forgive me?"

"You've made it possible for me to be a full-time mom. I am so sorry if I ever made you feel like only a meal ticket. How can I change?"

"I'm so proud of what you are doing at work. I tell everybody except you. That will change - starting right now."

"Let's set aside some time tonight just for us. I want to hear about what's been happening at work."

"The Bible says Eve was Adam's suitable helpmate. Am I your suitable helpmate? What could I do to be better at that?"

"I feel bad that you are frustrated at work, but I believe in you & I am behind you all the way."

There are many ways to send an energizing message to our husbands. How it should be expressed is a matter of personal taste. That is why I gave so many examples. Our children are important to us & they should be. I think that sometimes we feel that our husbands can fend for themselves, while our children can't because they are too small. We push our husbands out of the way for what we feel is more important (the children). However, the Bible tells us that our order should be God, our marriage, our children, & then our jobs. Our husbands helped to create our children, they allowed us to be moms in the first place, they help to provide or do all of the providing for our families. Without our husbands, our family, & possibly our security would be destroyed. Don't we owe it to him to decode his thoughts before we just assume that he is being critical of us & pouncing on him? Don't we owe it to him to respect him for what HE does for our family? Why do we make our job seem so much more important?

Hierarchy - If his desire to protect is being squelched, he may send a coded message.

In Ephesians 5:22-23 Paul lays down a dimension of God's call on the wife that can be controversial in today's culture. He writes: "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church...." As explained in Love & Respect, when a wife willingly places herself under her husband's protection & provision, he feels respected. But, when a wife complains that her husband is not providing what she wants or blames him for her fears or insecurities concerning the finances, he may come back with a comment like, "Quit complaining. You're a nag. Nothing that I do is good enough. You are never satisfied. You are a worrywart. If you don't like what I earn, then why don't you go back to school & improve your career options so that I can live off of you!"

Of course, these comments will sound unloving to us, if we don't take a minute to decode what our husband is really saying. Consider for a moment that your husband already knows that what he is doing is not enough to provide all that is needed. That he is worried too & doesn't know where else to turn. What your husband is really trying to say is, "I'm supposed to be the head of this family & it is often a little scary. I'm trying to be responsible & you could help me by telling me that you respect my desire to provide for you."

Headship can be a touchy subject in some marriages, but a wife who is willing to decode her husband's words may figure out that he feels like his position as head of the family is being threatened or ignored. Here are some energizing responses to get you thinking in the right direction.....

"Honey, I'm sorry for coming across in a way that belittles you. This has nothing to do with you. These are my fears rooted in my childhood. Will you forgive me?"

"Have I ever told you how safe I feel with you? I like that feeling a lot."

"I often thank the Lord for how you protect & provide for me & the kids. I am sorry if I am not telling you enough."

"When I realize that you would die for me if necessary, I am overwhelmed. Thank you!"

"I am so thankful I am married to a responsible man. It means a lot to me."

"Honey, I complain too much & I don't say I respect you often enough. I apologize."

Our husbands need to be seen as our protectors & providers for the family. We should not ignore this need as it is deep within our husbands & needs to be met.

Both of these examples today have been an issue before in my own home. They created more crazy cycle moments than I care to share. I have seen a tremendous change in Adam & in myself since we have been more aware of each other's needs, desires, & what it means to understand & decode each other. It isn't always easy, but if we just remember that we are both good-willed people who love each other, it is much easier to not take offense & figure out how to diffuse the problem. It is such an amazing feeling when your efforts are successful & you can laugh & remember how that conversation would have previously gone!

Day Fourteen - 

"The righteous man walks in his integrity...." (Proverbs 20:7a)

Every week there are news reports about men who gave into temptations & compromised what they said that they believed. We hear countless reports about dishonest business dealings, hidden infidelity, & hypocritical leaders. It's so easy to focus on these things & ignore those who are being honest, faithful, & genuine. As you continue in this 30 day challenge, determine to look for ways that your husband stands out against culture. 

Is your husband a man of integrity? Is he fair in his dealings with people? Does he understand the meaning of justice? Is he honest in business? Unhypocritical in his faith? Consider all of the ways a man can live in integrity, & praise your husband for one of them. 

As you have the opportunity - as it is appropriate - share examples of your husband's honesty & integrity with others. 

Day Fourteen Prayer - 

Pray that your husband will cultivate strong integrity, & not compromise his convictions. Pray that his testimony will be genuine, that he will be honest in his business dealings, & will never do anything that he needs to hide from others. (Proverbs 20:7; 1 Timothy 1:5, 3:7; Ephesians 6:10-12)

Aimee Freeman

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Teaching VS Yelling

I was just returning an email to someone & I felt inspired to start writing my post for tomorrow. (It is still Wednesday, even though you are reading this on Thursday. I am sneaky.) I know that this blog is titled, "Women's MARRIAGE Ministry" but I want to talk about something today that I think helps our marriages by helping us personally, helping our children, & therefore also helping our marriages. Really, anything that helps us personally, will have a positive effect on our marriage relationship, right? So from time to time we may talk about other things that could help our self image, parenting, etc. 

At the end of last quarter the kids brought home their report cards. Allyson's had a note saying that she needed to be more focused on completing her homework. Apparently, she had been missing a decent number of assignments. Now, every single day I ask Ally what she has for homework, & before bed I ask if it was all done. This is without fail, every day. So, you can imagine my surprise when I saw this note. We sat down Allyson & told her that this is not acceptable & there would be a punishment if we saw a note like this again. We asked her why she wasn't completing her homework & we got her "regular" answer of, "I don't know." We reiterated that this better not happen again.

Fast forward to last week. The kids got their mid-quarter reports. Although Allyson had brought up almost every single grade by a letter, there was a note. Any guesses? "Allyson needs to turn in all assignments." It appears that they had a reading wheel assignment where she was to read 4 books & she only did two. I was steaming mad. She knew the rules, yet she didn't care. (at least in my mind) I asked her why she didn't get this  work done & she just sat there. I asked her if being on the computer or watching TV was getting in the way. She said, "yes". Well, that shocked me. LOL I reminded her that I ask her every day if she has homework or if she is done. I asked her if she is lying to me every day. She said, "Yes." She knew at that moment that she did wrong. I told her that I would have to discuss this with Adam & we would talk to her after dinner. This was a BIG move for me because I hate punishing the kids & I knew that Adam would probably be harder on her than I would. But, in my journey to be a better wife & to show that Adam & I are a united front, it was necessary.

We sat at the table & came up with all of the normal punishments. No computer, no TV, more chores, etc. Then I remembered that type of punishment NEVER taught me anything. My dad would scream, yell, make me feel like crap dirt, & the only thing that I got out of it was hating him. I did my punishment & then often violated the same rule again. I didn't learn. How could I? Nobody was really teaching me.

Adam had a great idea. First, Allyson would have to apologize to her teacher for not completing the work that she assigned to her that would help her learn. We explained that it is her teacher's job to teach her & it is important to her. Not doing her assignments might show her that you don't care about her job or her investment in your education. This killed Ally & she cried about the thought of it all night. I told her if it upset her that much, then she just might work harder to not have to go through this again. She also had to ask her teacher if she could still complete the work & get credit. If not, we were going to make her do it anyway. Thankfully, her teacher is going to give her partial points.

Adam also found a solution instead of just a useless punishment. The yellow notebook. Ally is now required to write in this notebook every single day. Every single assignment MUST be written. She is not to cross it off until it is totally 100% complete. If there is a longer assignment that lasts for several weeks, she still has to write it every single day until it is done. No excuses. This will give her organization & will eliminate her saying that she forgot about the work when her next report card comes. This conversation took about an hour of patience, understanding, & care. Obviously, yelling & punishing could have taken a lot less. We realized that night that we have to teach our children how to be better, not just yell at them when they aren't. If we don't teach them, who will?

So, this got me thinking tonight. How many times do we yell at our husbands for the same things, over & over? How many times do they yell at us? We end up hating them & they end up hating us, just like when we cursed our parents under our breath when we were little. Maybe hate is an extreme word but it doesn't feel any better in my heart than resentment or dislike. It is still terrible & not an appropriate way to love & respect each other. Maybe we need to sit down & teach each other how to make us happy. What YOU think makes him happy may not matter at all. I could do 100 things for Adam each day, but if I leave out the one thing that really mattered, I have failed. Haven't you ever felt that way? Have you ever yelled at your husband for doing things for you, but forgetting one thing? Maybe he didn't know that you needed that one thing the most. Maybe we hurt his spirit when he did those other things & they weren't good enough for us. Maybe that is why he doesn't do anything anymore. He is going to get yelled at anyway so why even bother.

We need to show him how we like the counters cleaned, how to fold the towels, or where to put the groceries. He is doing it all wrong because he hasn't been taught. Of course, you need to teach him in a non-threatening or aggressive way. Let him know how much you appreciate his help & that you are so sorry for yelling in the past. Ask him if he would mind if you show him how you like it to help you not find unnecessary fault in him. Let him know that you have realized this terrible flaw in yourself & that you are going to work on it. You just might need his help, grace, & prayers. Ask him what you could be doing better for him. He may not give you a list just yet because he doesn't trust that a confrontation won't break out. Give him time. Be sure that when he does ask you to do something for him, that you ask if there is a specific way that he likes it done.

Be thankful for his help, his want to help us, & his courage to "try" to do it the "right" way. Or should I say our picky, obsessive compulsive way? Just like Ally didn't ignore those assignments to upset her teacher or upset us, your husband doesn't help you just to upset you. He helps to help & to make you happy. Lets all vow to appreciate that a little more than we do today. It will probably result in a lot more help. :)

Day Thirteen - 

"I am my beloved's, & his desire is toward me." (Song of Solomon 7:10)

The sexual relationship. It's one of those elements - along with money & children - that can derail a marriage through negative comments. Negativity destroys intimacy, but encouragement builds & strengthens the marriage bond. 

Let's get practical here. Is your husband a "good lover"? Have you told him so? Be specific. Let him know what pleases you. (teaching him the "right" way) Most husbands genuinely want to please their wives, especially in this important area of marriage. Especially if your satisfaction will lead to more intimate moments for them as well. 

In moments of intimacy, do you find your mind wandering? This can change as you focus on something wonderful about your husband. Realize that your husband wants intimacy with you....his desire towards you.

Does this area of your marriage need some work? Remember, that this is a sensitive area for men. Be sure to encourage his lovemaking & masculinity in positive ways. 

Day Thirteen Prayer - 

Pray that your husband will yield his sexual drive to the Lord & practice self control. Pray that your sexual intimacy together will be fresh, positive, & a reflection of selfless love. (Proverbs 5:15, 18; 1 Corinthians 7:3; Song of Solomon 7:10)

Aimee Freeman

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Thank you, thank you, thank you! So many of you emailed Adam yesterday wishing him a Happy Birthday & you all made him feel so special. It means so much to us that so many of you would take time out of your busy days to do that. Thank you!

After I blogged yesterday I sent a Twitter that I went to VS (Victoria's Secret) & that I got a last minute "gift" for Adam. I hate to go into all of my personal details but I think that my journey will help at least one of you. My sweet husband gave me a $100 gift card to VS for our anniversary in October. Until yesterday I had not used one cent of it. I gained 15 pounds in the last 3 months, why would I? Well, maybe because Adam clearly was hoping that I would buy something from there. LOL Who wants to buy bigger "sexy" panties? I don't feel sexy when I gain weight. What would I do? I went in there with the intention of getting some super hot, flannel pajamas. Maybe not hot in the way that Adam had dreamed of, but hot, warm, & cozy for me!

I think I was in the store for an hour. I took my time, reminded myself that Adam bought me the gift card (probably with a little hint attached), & that it was his birthday. I tried to keep an open mind & I actually started to feel sexy. I didn't go with the flannel pajamas because I honestly didn't like the patterns. What would I do? I couldn't go the super sexy route because I wouldn't feel comfortable & then I would have defeated the purpose & wasted my money. So I went with this:


Sexy, but it covers all of my "problem" areas. Thankfully my knees & below don't make me want to hide under the covers, in the dark. LOL Funny thing is that when I just went on their website to get these photos I noticed that they are 2/$30 & I paid $26 for one. I guess I am going back tonight to get another "gift" for Adam for Christmas. Yay! I know it is only a t-shirt but Adam thought it was sexy. What was sexy was that I got dressed up just for him, did my hair, & made my eyes all smoky. (I have never done that before so I Googled: how to apply eye makeup) Stop laughing at me! I spent only $15 but all of the effort that I went through for him made him feel so special. I met him at the door when he got home & did day 13 all over again. The rest ladies, will have to remain private. :)

As some of you noticed from Adam's FB post last night, he enjoyed his brownies for dinner & some scrumptious chocolate covered strawberries (& apples) that were delivered to us for Adam's birthday by a very sweet blog friend. I will show you a photo, but don't drool on them. Actually, I added chocolate covered strawberries to my Christmas list.

Last night, as I reflected on the day I realized that I had gone through more trouble for Adam's birthday than I ever had. I have spent more money in the past, but I thought out these gifts from the heart. Adam thanked me a hundred times yesterday & told me that this was the best birthday ever. We had such a good time as a couple & I genuinely enjoyed the GIVING part of things so much that I felt like it was my birthday too. It was amazing. You always hear people say that it is better to give than to receive, that true happiness comes from giving to others. It felt so good to make Adam so happy.  Thank you all again for making my husband feel as wonderful as he is. 

C-H-A-I-R-S: A checkup for wives (from: The Language of Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs)

If a wife can use the C-H-A-I-R-S principle each day, she takes a giant step toward making her husband feel unconditionally respected. 

Conquest - Because "God took the man & put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it & keep it" (Genesis 2:15), I need to grasp why & how all men feel obligated & drawn to work. 

Does my husband know I am behind his desire to work? Do I support him in his field of endeavor? Do I really understand how important my husband's job is to him - that it is the very warp & woof of his being? Do I realize that my recognition of the significance of my husband's work energizes him & how fond feelings of affection for me to arise in him in response to his recognition? 

Hierarchy - Because - he is called by God to be "the head of his wife, as Christ also is the head of the church" (Ephesians 5:23), my husband needs to hear my gratitude for his willingness to protect, provide, & even die for me. 

Do I express my respect & appreciation for his sense of responsibility for me, or do I either openly or subtly resent the biblical concept of the husband's headship, feeling that my husband views headship as a right over me, not a responsibility for me? Am I willing to send my husband a card or a note to tell him how much I respect him? What would I say to thank him for his desire to take care of me? Do I fully understand how much such a statement of respect for his commitment to protect me can touch him deeply?

Authority - Because Scripture tells wives to "submit to your own husband, as to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:22), I need to place myself under his protection & provision, & when stalemates arise, I need to let him know I am willing to defer to his decisions, trusting God to guide him. 

Do I let my husband know that, because he has the responsibility to protect & to provide for me, I recognize he also has primary authority in our family, or do I insist on an "egalitarian" marriage where we both have equal authority, yet I contradict "egalitarianism" by expecting him to be primarily responsible? Do I recognize my husband's desire to be the leader in relationship to me? Do I allow my husband to be the leader, or do I take the lead because frankly, I am better at a lot of things than he is? Am I on record with my husband that, because he has 51 percent of the responsibility (to die for me), he has 51 percent of the authority?

Insight - Because the Bible teaches that is was Eve who was deceived (1 Timothy 2:14; 2 Corinthians 11:3), I should be very aware that there will be moments when I can be misled by my feelings & want to ignore my husband's counsel. 

Do I need to turn to him for his opinion & analysis, or do I tend to depend more on my intuition? Do I realize that we are a team - that our marriage needs my intuition AND his insight? Do I regularly ask for my husband's advice? Do I follow it? If my husband offers ideas or opinions that are contrary to mine, am I open to changing, or do I reject out of hand his wish to offer insight? Do I often see my husband as wrong, sinful, & in need of correction & myself as right, good, & correct? Do I sometimes try to be my husband's Holy Spirit?

Relationship - Because the Bible clearly speaks of how a wife should be her husband's friend as well as his lover (see especially Song of Solomon 5:16), I should recognize the value of just being with him. 

How much shoulder to shoulder time do I spend with my husband? Do we do things as friends & companions? Do I ever just sit with him - to watch a ball game or TV program - because I understand his desire for me to be with him? Do I ever just sit & watch him work on something without having to talk?

Sexuality - Because a husband should have eyes only for his wife (Proverbs 5:19), a wife blesses her husband when she understands his vulnerabilities & meets his sexual needs (1 Corinthians 7:5).

Do I understand that my husband's need for sex is really an indication of his deeper need for respect? Do I sometimes deprive my husband of sex because I don't feel he meets my needs for intimacy & love? Do I think we need to be close before we can share sexually, or do I see having sex with him as a way to feel close? Am I willing to give my husband the sexual release he needs even when I am not in the mood?

This woman sounds terribly familiar to me. It was not that long ago that she played an active, disrespectful role in my marriage. I challenge you to read each of these daily, or at least weekly. How can you make improvements to your behavior & to your marriage?

Day Twelve - 

"With all lowliness & gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love." 
(Ephesians 4:2)

Part of the difficulty that you may face as you continue in this 30 day challenge to encourage your husband is that you are really struggling to find positive things to praise. Perhaps the problem is not with your husband. Have you checked your own heart?

Sometimes we get disillusioned because of our own unreasonable or unrealistic expectations (Proverbs 13:12). It may not be that our mates are doing something wrong; it's simply that we expect too much in some areas. 

Our expectations must be met in God alone, & then we will have the right perspective to ask God for the healing & grace we need to respond to others. 

How sad that we give more grace to others than to those in our own homes. Today, try to look at your husband through the eyes of grace. Verbally thank your husband for what he is already doing. 

Day Twelve Prayer - 

Pray that your husband will use practical skills to build your family & make wise decisions for your welfare. Pray that he will serve unselfishly. (Gal. 5:13; Phil 2:3-4)

Aimee Freeman

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