When World War III Comes to Your Kitchen (& other marriage thoughts)

A few nights ago, my husband and I got into a big argument. We had just gotten home from a long day of flying. We were over-tired and not thinking straight. Words flew carelessly in the air and we threw verbal punches at each other, back and forth.

It was one of those moments where you would be ashamed if anyone took a peep through your door.

While we were on vacation, award-winning Christian song-writer Sara Groves was in concert where we were staying and before one of her songs, she told us she wasn’t going to be ashamed to expose any “dirty laundry” and that she wanted to be transparent with us. She talked about the fights her and her husband have had before.

I resonated with her words and appreciated her brutal honesty. I had thought: Wow, she struggles too? Sara talked a little more and began playing the keys. Here’s what she sang:

We just had a World War III here in our kitchen – We both thought the meanest things

And then we both said them – We shot at each other till we lost amunition

This is how I know our love – This is when I feel it’s power

Here in the absence of it – This is my darkest hour

When both of us are hunkered down – And waiting for the truce

All the complicated wars – They end pretty simple

Here when the lights go down – We roll to the middle

No matter how my pride resists – No matter how this wall feels true

No matter how I can’t be sure – That you’re gonna roll in too

No matter what, no matter what – I’m going to reach for you

(song: “Roll to the Middle”)

I was reminded of our arguments in the past, and how there were sure to be more in the future but how I’ve experienced that our love is always stronger. After Jeremiah and I were finished taking jabs, we came to our senses. We agreed to go to bed and talk in the morning and that we were way overtired.

That morning, I confessed my pride and how I wasn’t even making sense. Jeremiah confessed where he was wrong and we forgave each other. I was reminded of Sara’s song and how true it was in our marriage.

with Sara Groves and my little girl, Rebekah

It didn’t matter what we were arguing about, the truth was that we are for each other. We are on the same team and our love is bigger than any of our petty conflicts. The foundation of our love is Christ.

We were also reminded that on our vacation God blessed us with an incredible, life-changing time, free of any conflicts, and how it would be foolish to allow that disagreement to close out an amazing trip.

Pride turned into humility and that night we rolled to the middle, at peace in our relationship.

some link love

I love it when a blog post or article written by someone will stick with me all week long. These three posts have inspired and challenged me in a ton of ways.

That being said… it would be silly wrong for me not to share them with you. Enjoy!

Women and Pride: 1 by Sarah Markley. This post got me thinking about the prideful, critical thoughts I’ve had before that I’ve never evaluated or maybe even thought to be sinful. Still chewing on this one.

Heaven isn’t a reductionist Gospel by Ben Arment. Short, but so insightful, this post reminded me that those who have experienced real suffering, hold on to heaven… and that is enough.

–  Article: 6 Ways Fathers Pursue Christ in their Fatherhood by Scott Thomas, President of Acts 29. This post inspired me to help Jeremiah on his journey of fatherhood and the dependance we must have on the gospel as we grow our family.

Why brokenness is what I need

Well I want to thank you for your emails and comments of encouragement the past few weeks. I strive to be authentic on this blog, and sometimes it’s tempting to ignore the harsher realities of life and just write about well… prettier things!

But I want to be real with you.

The other day on my way home from a busy day at work, the words of an old worship song, Take My Life, randomly popped into my head:

Brokenness (Brokenness) is what I long for
Brokenness (Brokenness) is what I need
Brokenness (Brokenness) is what You want for me

Those words shot straight to the core of me. I need to be broken before God in order to be used by him. I need to be broken so that any pride that exists can slowly fade away. As I sang those words aloud as cars passed by me, I knew God was showing me that this is where he wants me. 

To be broken over the things that break his heart. To be broken over my sin and how it affects others. To allow Christ to break me so that I can better reflect his image to the world around me. To be broken enough so that I realize life is just not all about me (something I really struggle with).

I then started to sing the Chorus:

Take my Heart and mold it
Take my mind, transform it
Take my will, conform it
To Yours (to Yours) oh, Lord

I’m so thankful that I can give to him my heart, mind, and will so that he can do what he pleases in my life, even if that means quite a bit of brokenness.

10 things the Cross has saved me from

… continues to save me from:

anger, control, pride, fear, condemnation, envy, shame, bitterness, anxiety, lust.

The weight of my sin on the cross was great, but not greater than the One who took it upon his shoulders:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFvMzDlsmig]

How Pride Kills Prayer

Untitled-1In thinking further on yesterday’s post If God is sovereign, why pray? I thought about a few more things when it comes to prayer inspired from Matt Chandler’s message The Art of Prayer.

I’ve heard lots of sermons preached that have given me a step by step outline on how to pray that include acronyms to follow and certain disciplines to have a better prayer life. I’m not saying they aren’t effective or that I haven’t used them- some of them have really helped me stay disciplined. But most of the time my prayer issues are not because of the how-to’s but deal more with the state of my heart.

Pride says, “I’ve got it figured out. I can handle it all on my own. When I really need God, that’s when I’ll start leaning on him…” These are the kind of control issues I have to battle.

And the reality is that pride kills prayer, making me useless in building God’s kingdom and being about his work. Pride is dealt with when I confess. Repent. Humble myself. Beg for a changed heart. Ask God to help me with any guilt or shame I might feel that would keep me from coming to him.

I love how Hebrews says to approach the throne of grace. It’s all about grace. Jesus gives us grace and mercy to help us in our time of need because he’s been there. He can sympathize with our struggles and pain because he was tempted in every way, but was without sin. He knows we need grace and mercy- we are just so weak without him. There is nothing that he doesn’t understand.

He wants to take my pride and replace it with something greater. He wants a heart that is humble. Humility is what breathes life back into prayer again. And I know it’s something I have to pray for every day.

Has pride ever effected your prayers? How so? Why do you think it’s so hard sometimes to have a humble heart?

My Latest article on Ungrind

eveThis past summer, after finding her writing on Radiant Magazine, I had asked Ashleigh Slater to consider contributing to Small Group Exchange. She ended up submitting  two great articles on leading small groups.

Since then, we’ve been in touch as writer friends and I really appreciate her heart for God, her family, and her desire to reach others through writing. Ashleigh is the Editor of Ungrind, a webzine that encourages women in the daily grind of life. I recently wrote an article for her called Just Like Eve.

The article centers around the pride and anger I’ve had at times and how it has hindered me from having the kind of marriage God intends. It deals with my struggle in allowing my husband to be the leader he has been created to be (ie. I have some control issues, dominating issues, etc. and I’m thinking I’m not alone). I paint a picture of a “blonde moment” that revealed a lot to me about my sin and marriage. And I talk about what it means to be a “help meet” and how when I’m functioning in that role, it’s exactly how God designed it to be. There’s peace and I’m not like the foolish woman who tears her house down with her own hands. So…

Head over to Ungrind and Just Like Eve is the second article down.

State of the Heart Leadership

My boss has given our team the opportunity to be a part of a leadership track on Tuesdays during lunch to discuss a series on leadership by Andy Stanley. Brian said the requirement was that we listen to the podcast and fill out the hand-out page so we’re prepared and ready to discuss what we learn. He would treat us to lunch as well.

I am so excited about this opportunity. Brian is not only interested in our leadership at work, but in our ministries, at home, etc. Leadership is an area I always love learning about. When Jeremiah and I were just getting to know each other, we went to Catalyst together in Atlanta and I just couldn’t get enough of the principles learned there. We both ended up listening to State of the Heart Leadership together. We had a great time learning from it.

A few things that stuck out to me in Andy’s teaching:

Unhealthy people are comfortable in disfunctionality.  I had never thought of this in this way before. I have definitely seen this played out before. This creates unhealthy environments. What does this mean to you? Why do people remain in environments that are destructive?

The condition of your heart will eventually determine the moral and ethical climate of your organization. It sure is amazing that the heart will determine everything else… for out of the heart, flows the wellspring of life. Why do you think keeping our heart’s in check (on a daily, hourly basis) is so important?

When you expose your weakness to someone, that is not new information to them. If leaders admit they screw up, then the whole organization will! Yet another life-changing truth. I had the opportunity to practice this yesterday when I screwed up. It was so freeing to admit my failure and to make sure I was back on the same page with the person I offended. Why do you think we’re not quick to admit our wrongs- even though all along that person/people know where we messed up already? I really hate the PRIDE that’s in me sometimes.

I can’t wait to learn more about these principles and to dive deeper into the meaning of leadership- healthy servant leadership.

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