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Monday, December 15, 2008

Motivate Me Monday! Marriage Is Hard, Part 4 (A Refuge)

This week's featured 5:16 am gal is Helen from...

I really love Helen's perspective on things:
"Their [Angels] job description is very much like a child of God’s.

I am Gabriel…
I stand in the presence of God…
I have been sent to you and to tell you this good news…
I am Helen…
I stand in the presence of God…
I have been sent…to tell the good news…"
She also writes beautifully. Her post this week is, The Gift of Wood, focuses on God with us. Here is a small excerpt:

"An ordinary material…wood…not sought by many…nor precious by any means…yet God used the ordinary to exhibit the extraordinary…to show us…to remind us that in every aspect of life, each and every ordinary day…He brings light, peace and deliverance… He is God With Us...Immanuel…"
Stop by her blog and be inspired.

"Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion." Ecclesiastes 4:9,10

Marriage is hard. You know what else it is? A refuge. A place where you can be yourself, fully and completely, bare and vulnerable, free and forgiven...imperfect. However, it can only become a refuge if we push through the hard parts, the messy parts, the almost-giving-up parts.

This week I have been inspired by three things that have encouraged me and motivated me to press on when marriage is hard. Here they are:

Marie Barlow Martin and Gordy Martin, a couple who minister by their gifts of music. I saw them in concert this week and was moved by their story. The main highlight for me that was inspiring was how Marie left a very successful musical theatre career in NYC to become the wife of Gordy and move to Lancaster, PA (Amish land). She didn't hold on to her rights or her Independence. She was counter-cultural. Now God uses them all over the world to share the love of God and the "oneness" of marriage.

The second thing that inspired me was a commencement speech given by Laura from 10 Million Miles. Read this excerpt for yourself:

"Despite these trends, I bring you a message of hope: God intends for us to love, He intends for us to be in the mess of relationships, He intends for us to stay and to make peace when things get tough. He intends for us to build homes and to love our families. It is possible to sacrifice some achievements and some experiences in order to build a home. It is possible to look back on your losses without regret. It is possible...

As you build your home you, too, must surrender pride, whimsy, and selfishness.
Perhaps the most significant thing you will sacrifice is the spirit of independence which is destroying women. There is no room for the independent spirit in a woman’s life: we simply cannot love a man, children, or others well if we are entangled in this popular mentality that we are the center of the universe and we should have everything our way and we should be able to accomplish everything we desire and we shouldn’t have to answer to anyone but ourselves.
If you want to be great in God’s kingdom, learn to be the servant of all.
In the world’s eyes, you will be sacrificing so much, but in God’s eyes, you will be the lifeblood of His next generation, a generation who will praise His name."

You can read the whole amazing commencement speech here.

The third thing, my marriage. My husband and I have only been married for five and a half years, but we've weathered some storms. I love him, and because we have committed ourselves to one another for life, taking very seriously our vows (in good times and bad), we have been able to push through some hard stuff and find a refuge in each other. We have fun together! We are vulnerable and real with each other. He knows me better than anyone, and I know him better than anyone. He accepts me with all my annoyances (I seriously have a nose-picking problem!) and I accept him.

Marriage is hard, but it one of the most rewarding and worthwhile pursuits God has blessed us with.

Your Turn!

  1. What have you learned and/or how God has spoken to you lately?
  2. Share some advice, wisdom, practical applications, tips you've learned, etc. that you think would benefit others.

*Make sure to link directly to your MMM post and then link back here!


Sarah said...

Thank you for your insight into marriage. We will be celebrating our 2 year anniversary on the 22nd so the things you have shared hit home as we approach this special day.

Renee said...

Good, Good, Good, Sarah...a very powerful and important message for our generation. You said it really well- Thank you.

helenw13 said...

I waited to read all the installments one right after the other...really great series Sarah.

You are definitely correct in your title...marriage is hard...it is not all about planning the most spectacular wedding. My husband and I have been married for over 22 years...it amazes me how quickly it has gone...maybe times it mirrors our life with God...we desperately want a fresh start when we mess up...and in marriage we must walk in continual grace with one another.
Your series gave me lots to think about and challenged me.

Thanks for taking the time to do this series during such a busy time of year!

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Excellent thoughts on marriage, Sarah Mae! It is not always easy and I am saddened every time I hear of someone I know getting divorced. We took vows before God and are rewarded when we push through the tough spots of marriage.

Thanks for your series - very encouraging!

Gayle said...

I really enjoyed your post today Sarah Mae. I've been married almost 20 years, and it is still a lot of work... and hard. Thank you for the series. Good job!

Traci said...

The hubs and I were just talking about independence last night {& my lack of, lol}. I even stated to him that it is a joy though, a spot I feel I belong in.

Thanks for sharing all of this!

christinnjon said...

We share the same heart on marriage and the importance of it! I got the journal in the mail today...it is beautiful!! Bigger then I expected, too! Thank you for the book mark and Christmas card, too! You are a gem and I look forward to penning many thoughts in it. ((hugs))

MamaHenClucks said...

Marriage is hard, but it is also incredibly rewarding. Oh there are times when I want to toss Rooster out on the step :) but having a God based marriage means I also have place that IS a refuge. This is great! Thanks for doing this series.

Gina said...

Thanks for your encouragement on marriage, yep-it's hard but so wonderful and so worth it!

I look forward to more encouragement and motivation as I read the other posts linked here.


Bonnie said...

Thank you for sharing and asking others to share.