I'm a visual learner therefore I journal most everything that I want to know and remember. One of the consistent little pictures that I draw every morning beside the current date on my journal page is a quick sketch of two hearts side by side, slightly overlapping, with a cross going straight through the middle of the hearts. The hearts are meant to represent Mac and me, and the cross, of course, represents Jesus. When I draw this simple picture, I pray something like this over our relationship:
Lord, may your strong love pull us together.
May your love fill us and flow through us towards one another.
Bind us together and make us move towards other people.
Use us, O Lord, however you want, and where ever we go. Amen.
Well, not too long ago, Mac and I went to Spearfish, South Dakota. We stayed at the Secret Garden, a lovely Bed and Breakfast near the bubbling Spearfish Creek. In this small historic town, our hope was to visit some young friends of ours, John Michael and Erica Elder. Mac got to fish with John Michael, and I enjoyed coffee with Erica. We saw their new home, met their adorable little a six month old JJ, and had dinner with Erica's parents. What a great weekend of new sights and new relationships!
To top it off (no put intended here), John Micael took us on an uphill hike on his in-law's property. It was quite vigorous, OR I'm quite out of shape! However, when we reached the pinnacle it was well worth every upward step. From this vantage point, the view of Spearfish was spectacular: the Black Hills were in the distance, the green valleys lay beneath us, while blue skies and cotton clouds completed the work of art.
But what caught my immediate attention were the three dark wooden crosses that stood prominently at the crest of the hill. I loved to see them there, making a strong statement without words. I asked John Michael to take a picture of Mac and me in front of it, simply because it was something I wanted to remember from our trip out west.
It wasn't until the next morning in my quiet time, when I was sketching the hearts-and-the-cross-picture that I realized that my "journal art" had become reality. God is so sweet like that. I never want to miss his intentional intimate gifts he designs just for me! (He does this for ALL his children! We just have to open our eyes.)
After making this journal/reality connection, I went one step further, which is the TRUE reason God allowed me to live out my paper-sketch:
I believe with all my heart, that God will answer the prayers that I lift up for our marriage as I draw the simple picture.
I'm mainly posting this "evidence of God at work" to encourage you, wives, to pray for your husbands, and to love them with the unshakeable love of Christ. It's vital to him, to you, and to your marriage, no matter if you're six months in or 31 years like Mac and me.
Today, Mac and I are in a new place, literally. He's had a job transition, coming out of 27 years of doing the same thing at the same office. My prayers for him and my love towards him are a key factor in this faith-filled change. I have recently added to my prayers for us: Lord, show us where to live, give, work, and play.
Remember being a wife is a divine gift. Culture may shout to you that it's not; that it's a burden even, and a second rate role. But think about it, what a powerful privilege to be someone's "wind beneath their wings". Embrace your call and pray your man into the Lord's heights, which is way higher and far greater than any position this fleeting world can give.
You may not need to draw a journal picture right now, but maybe take a minute to pray the prayer above for your marriage. And in time, with a surrendered heart, watch your prayers become reality.
Hi Readers,I wanted to let you know that I am doing a short video series called "Two Minute Tips to Encourage a Lifelong Marriage". Check it out by clicking on the Facebook emblem at the top of this page.I knew very little about what I was getting into when I said "I do" almost three decades ago. I thought the bride just rode off into the sunset with her Prince Charming and lived happily ever after. Goodness, I had a lot to learn! These lessons are some of what the Lord has taught me throughout my marriage journey to my husband Mac.No matter what year or decade, all marriages need encouragement to stay the course. Healthy daily choices lead to long-lasting relationships. I pray these tips will be a blessing.In His love,Chris
I am pleased to announce my NEW BOOK:25 Years, 25 Lessons: Letters to a Bride from a Seasoned Wife
This decorative coffee table book is for any married woman. It provides foundational insights to newly weds, and it offers basic reminders to those who have been married for decades. The pages are full of beautiful images accompanied with Scripture based letters concerning on-going lessons that I have learned in my own marriage. Some topics are: be an encourager, put on love, and laughter. I invite you to be blessed by God's directive word within the pages of this book.
They are also in Hot Pink in Brentwood, TN and Oak&Willow in Nashville, TN.
On July 22, 2017 at 5:30 pm, Maggie Marie Baxter became Maggie Marie Gilmer. Her utmost heart’s desire at her wedding was for all those attending to understand and know that the ceremony that they were witnessing was an acting visual of God and His great love for each one of them.
In Scripture we are called “the bride of Christ.” Here are some of His beautiful promises straight from His longing heart. Allow them to wash over you today. Become His bride all over again. Live in His love.
For your Maker is your husband–the Lord Almighty is His name–the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; He is called the God of all the earth. Isaiah 54:5
photo by Marissa Roberts
As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so your God will rejoice over you. Isaiah 61:10
I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord. Hosea 2:19-20
…Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her… Ephesians 5:25
“Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” Isaiah 1:18
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. Revelation 21:2
From the beginning of time and then for all eternity, God has picked His bride, His people. He pursues in steadfast love.
He asks, “Will you say, ‘I do’?”
If so, He changes your name and gives you a new identity, in Christ. You wear His white, His purity. He is faithful and true…forever. Today, let us each rejoice and live securely in the strong arms of our Perfect Husband.
Words. Choice words.
Words can hurt, words can heal.
Words can tear down, words can build up.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Pr. 18:21
In heated relational situations, is my tongue like a machete that swings with vast and defining blows? Or is it like a surgeon’s scalpel, that makes a small and accurate incision for the purpose of healing and hope?
Words. Choice words.
Words can destroy, words can restore.
Words can confuse, words can infuse.
Words can deform, words can transform.
“Lord, help me with my words. Make my words, Your words. May I pause and pray and hear Your voice telling me what to say, and what not to say. Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips (Ps 141:3). I only want to speak words that heal, build up, infuse, create, and transform.
Words. Yes, O God, I want to speak…
Your choice words.”
Are you struggling with a relationship right now– a friendship, a parent/child relationship, your marriage?
This may sound too simple, but try kindness. Think of your kind words as much needed raindrops falling on a thirsty flower. Very practically, just as a flower cannot survive without water, neither can your relationship survive without kindness.
First of all, be willing to humbly push aside any stubbornness, pride, or unforgiveness that exists in your own heart concerning the one you are struggling with. This attitude only keeps the air thick and the clouds dark between you both. Ask yourself, “Am I happy with these ill-feelings; really, am I happy being miserable?” If the answer is “no”, then go ahead, choose to rain drops of kindness:
Say to your friend, “Thanks for walking life with me.” (then, compliment him/her on a specific character quality)
Say to your son or daughter, “You are AWESOME!” (then, be sure not to add “but” to this statement)
Say to your husband before he leaves for work, “You’re lookin’ good today, baby.” (then, smile)
It’s amazing what a few uplifting words can do for a thirsty soul. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if kindness was the instigator in saving your relationship? Are you willing? Just try it for a period of time–not just for a day, especially if your relationship has been in a drought for years. Choose a sprinkling throughout each day, every day, until it becomes a habitual part of your relationship.
Now if you are saying to yourself, “No way, impossible, I can’t or won’t do this,” here’s another simple concept: ask God for help. Remember, the fruit of His Spirit is…kindness. (Gal. 5:22) In His kindness, He died for you. Now He wants to (and certainly can!) live through you, but only if you are willing. So reader, if you want to be determined in your relationship, I challenge you to be determined in a new way… decide to speak life-giving words into the heart of another. Likewise, if you want to be strong-willed in your relationship, then do so with a new purpose. Uncompromisingly say to yourself concerning your friend, your child, or your spouse, “The drought is over…today, it’s gonna rain.”
She opens her mouth in wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. Pr. 31:26
How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. Genesis 26:17
May we never forget your holiness. May we never cheapen your grace. Keep us mindful of your glorious presence so that we will whole-heartedly worship and humbly walk with you. Amen.