The Secret Is Out!

I met the man of my dreams when I was eighteen years old.  Four days after meeting him, I knew we would get married. Ten months later, we had the best wedding my nineteen-year old heart could dream of, complete with my then two-year old sister scream, “Missy, I want my Missy!” Our story is a fairytale story; so much so, that I’m often embarrassed to tell it, I don’t want people to think that I made it up.

The fairytale however, ended at “I do.” Don’t get me wrong, I am still blissfully in love with this man of mine.  We have spent the last 27 years cultivating a marriage that is uniquely us and now we talk about growing old and playing with our future grandchildren.

So, when I was asked to read Jen Weaver’s book, A Wife’s Secret to Happiness,” I thought, “sure, this will be interesting.  I mean, what can this young woman tell me that I haven’t already learned through years of marriage.”

Seriously, you know the first thing I did was check her out on Facebook!

Where do I start with this book? “Picture me wearing Manolos.” Ha, you had me at the shoes!  I was sucked in, I had to read what else this mega-intelligent woman had to say.  I mean any woman who starts their text with a reference to amazing shoes is a winner to me!  So, I read on. And boy howdy, it was worth it. Jen’s writing gives you a glimpse into her heart; I felt like we were sitting across the table, drinking coffee and swapping funny husband stories.

Jen’s book is a blessing and not just in the sense of receiving one.  It is a book of blessings to help you have a happy marriage.  But, it’s more than that, each chapter’s blessing not only helps strengthen the relationship with your husband, but pushes you to a closer relationship with God.

“How I live as a wife is less about my relationship with my husband and more about my relationship with my Savior.” – Jen Weaver

Each chapter comes with some fun and provoking features, like checking your Wifestyle.  I know, that’s a great word. Each Wifestyle is associated with a specific habit and gives practical ways to grow a positive Wifestyle.  And each chapter ends with Real Life #Wifestylin, a story of a wife who is making it happen.

There is also bonus content, that can be found on her website. If you don’t like writing it your books, that’s okay.  She makes all the assessments available for you to download. Plus, there are other bonuses full of encouragement and challenges.  However, the bonus that meant the most to me is the one called, “Not sure you’ve received saving grace?” It is a video on Jen’s blog that explains how to have a relationship with Jesus.  This is hands down, the best part of the book.

“God is not forcing us to ear broccoli here.  He’s offering the things our hearts desire.

  • Intimacy
  • Security
  • Connection
  • Provision

No one suffers through a blessing; they’re honored by it. The roles the Lord gives us in our marriages, and the part our husbands play, these are positions to celebrate, not tolerate. String up the lights and cue the singing; we are living proof of who God is.”

So, here I sit, astonished by this book.  My preconceived ideas that I would learn nothing from this book were quickly diminished by truth.  I am not always the wife that God has designed me to be.  Jen’s book made me take a hard look at areas of my life I had tucked away, hoping they would work themselves out. What a wonderful reminder, only when we surrender them to God, can He make us Happy Wives.

 #Wifestylin.

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Putting Others First

I just finished reading Karen Ehman’s new book, Listen, Love, Repeat – Other-Centered Living in a Self-centered World, and I have to say WOW! I don’t know the last time I read a book that challenged me as much as this one did.

When I first started reading this book, I struggled with the title.  I kept calling it everything from Live, Laugh, Love to Love, Laugh, Repeat.  It only took a few pages for me to truly grasp the title and what it means. Take the time to really listen to what people are saying, sometimes even without words; how can you love them based on what they are saying? Then, make it a lifestyle.  Okay, that sounds way to easy, and maybe for some it may be.

This book has caused me to try and be much more intentional in my encounters with the people around me, to listen for those heart drops and to respond.  This is a far cry from our typical, me first mentality.  I was rocked when Karen said in her book,

 physical-cover“Our relationships give us an opportunity to show God’s love to others. In our narcissistic and self-absorbed culture, other-centered behavior stands out. Way out.”

 

Because, this should be the norm.  Thinking and doing for others should be a natural as waking up or at least as common as doing things for ourselves.

I encourage you to read Listen, Love, Repeat for yourself.  Take it as a challenge, learn to be intentional in your encounters and extend love and grace to others.

You have a chance to win a copy of Listen, Love, Repeat along with the study guide and DVD. Simply sign up to receive updates from my blog with the form on the right and your name will be entered in the drawing.  Deadline for drawing will be Sunday, December 11.

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What a great way to start the new year, learning to love those who are right in front of you.  Be sure to get your copy of Karen Ehman’s book at Proverbs 31 or Amazon. And be sure to follow Karen at karenehman.com.

llrmeme21