Monday, October 28, 2013

Grace and a Huge Sale!

Okay, so obviously I haven't written 31 consecutive days, haha. But I promise the 31 days will be completed. I just had to take the pressure off myself to catch up quickly. We've been extremely busy and out of town every weekend. Not only that but I feel like I've been getting attacked lately...I know that sounds audacious to say, but it's true. The exact things I've been writing about have been overwhelming me recently, making me feel like I'm not a good wife. Just going through some spiritual and mental battles, trying to do it all, and have gotten sick on top of all that. But like I've said - it's all about grace! Grace through our Lord Jesus Christ. His strength is made perfect in weakness. So thankful for that. And thankful for the encouragement of my husband, parents, in-laws, older sister-in-law (who I got to see last week!), church, and sweet friends. God is good, all the time.

In other news, there is a crazy ridiculous sale going on today that I couldn't NOT tell you about. Seriously, the prices are insane. I can't believe Scentsy is offering this stuff for this low! 

Visit my Scentsy website for the Monster Monday sale - up to 75% off! 
http://ashleyshelley.scentsy.us

This Silhouette Glowing Core warmer is usually $30.00 and is only $7.50. It's beautiful, and you can put different "wraps" around it as shown in the next picture.


This is an example of the core with the Linden wrap around it - this wrap is normally $12 and is only $3.00 today. Wow. So you can get core + wrap for only $10.50! That is crazy. Jump on that. Later you can get Christmas or other holiday wraps to go around it. It's my favorite warmer. :)

This plug-in is normally $20, but is $5.00 today!

This is Tom the Turkey. He is the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving decor. (He is the only member of MY Thanksgiving decor, haha.) Normally $35, today he is $8.75!!!


There are other warmers, Scentsy buddies, and body products for sale on the site as well. But it's today only, so don't miss out! 

As for Grace Adele (Scentsy's bag and accessory line), there are some amazing Monster Monday sales on that website today as well.


I love their bags. Cute, great quality, plenty of pockets. Would make excellent Christmas gifts!

I'm getting one of those fabulous leather bags for Christmas. $120 off? Craziness. Love it. 

You can order under "October Online Orders" for Grace Adele. The quality is outstanding!



Happy shopping, and thank you for bearing with me on this little blog! Much love to y'all on this beautiful Monday. :)


Ashley

Monday, October 21, 2013

Respecting my Husband: His Talents

I'm doing a 31 day series about Respecting my Husband! To read about why I should respect him and go to a list of all 31 days, please visit my 31 Days of Respecting my Husband post.


Day 14: Respecting His Talents

This kind of goes along with respecting his hobbies, but is somewhat different. My husband has been blessed with certain talents, and God didn't give him those talents for nothing. He wants to be glorified through them!

I don't want Jordan to set aside those talents as he gets older. I want to encourage him to continue to develop his skills and serve the Lord through them. Just because life is busy doesn't mean he shouldn't find time to practice his talents. I can support him taking the time to do that.

One of Jordan's main talents is music. Besides being something that makes me melt like a popsicle on the fourth of July, it's a talent that can be used in service to the Lord. Jordan likes to play music on the guitar or piano on his own, but he also likes for me to be in the room listening. Not just sitting there on the computer with his music playing in the background, but actively listening and telling him which songs I like and which ones are perfect for his voice. He leads worship at church sometimes, and also at youth rallies and camps. I'm glad he doesn't keep his talent to himself!

Another thing I can really try to encourage him in doing is speaking at church. At our chapel there is no "pastor" - there are elders who preach a lot, but they also ask other men in the church to speak as well. The men rotate the responsibility. I need to do whatever I can to help Jordan as he prepares for speaking at church, which can include making time for him to study (not overloading us with plans), helping him proofread, listening to what he has prepared, helping him work through his thoughts. This goes the same way for when he leads Bible studies and speaks to the youth group. I have to remember that I'm his helpmate!

Talents could include all kinds of spiritual gifts. As wives we can help our husbands figure out what those gifts are and encourage them to their gifts for God's glory. This is how the church works best! It's also an awesome feeling to build my husband's confidence in something that I know he's good at. Yeah, sometimes thinks I'm too biased to actually give him good feedback...but I can't help that he's good! Haha. :)


Jordan and his brother Joseph playing and singing at church.

Uncle Jordan teaching Harvey some piano!


Ashley

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Respecting my Husband: His Hobbies

I'm doing a 31 day series about Respecting my Husband! To read about why I should respect him and go to a list of all 31 days, please visit my 31 Days of Respecting my Husband post.


Day 13: His Hobbies

This is another difficult one for me to write about, because it comes easy to me. Jordan and I share many hobbies - the biggest one being sports. (see post about girls who love sports here)

My husband is a BALLER. He is extremely athletic and I don't think I've seen him play a sport that he's bad at. And that's not just me being biased, I'm sure his friends would agree. I know many strangers agree, because when I watch him play basketball and make it obvious that he's the one I'm cheering for, random people come up to me to tell me how good he is. Okay sorry I'll stop gushing.

I worked for an NHL team, the Carolina Hurricanes, for 3 years. I played basketball, volleyball, and softball in high school and loved it. I then coached basketball for 6 years at that same high school. Jordan ended up coaching there for a year as well. :) It was a dream come true. So obviously we share a love of sports, especially basketball. We pull for the same college teams which is a blast. 

Jordan plays in a very competitive basketball league in the spring and fall and I looove going every week. I probably get a little too intense. But it is so fun to cheer him on and then analyze the game with him afterward. One time I complimented how great and well-placed his screens were and he responded with something to the effect of, "You are the only girl I could have married who would appreciate that." We just GET each other when it comes to sports. And even though he doesn't love baseball like I do, he doesn't think I'm TOO crazy when I get extremely emotionally involved in the Red Sox games.

With all that being said, what if I hated sports? Firstly, I don't know if we would have ended up together if that was the case, but what if we did? If there's one sport I don't really like it's soccer, so I'll imagine that Jordan plays soccer. It definitely wouldn't be as fun for me to go cheer him on. I would probably be tempted to skip games. But he's my husband and I want to support him, so I would go. I would go and I would pay attention and I would tell him that he did a good job running back and forth. (Sorry, I don't know anything about soccer really.)

No matter what he loves or enjoys doing - sports, music, painting, crossword puzzles, hunting, classic cars, history, video games, running, etc. - I need to support him and respect those hobbies. That means asking him about them, listening to him talk about them, watching him, trying to participate when possible, and always giving him encouragement to do what he loves to the glory of God.

PS - Here are some of Jordan's other hobbies so you don't think he loves sports and only sports - woodworking, music (we'll talk about that later), video games, movies, board games. :)


Us at an NC State football game

We had a sports themed cocktail hour at our wedding - with food like popcorn, barbecue chicken skewers, mini sliders, and root beer floats. We had my basketball team's state championship trophy there and balls for guests to sign autographs. :)


Jordan and I coaching back in 2011.

We had a Mario Kart themed engagement party complete with a Mario and Peach cake, haha.

Jordan after his basketball game with his biggest fans - his parents and me!



Ashley

Respecting my Husband: His Clothes

I'm doing a 31 day series about Respecting my Husband! To read about why I should respect him and go to a list of all 31 days, please visit my 31 Days of Respecting my Husband post.


Day 12: Respecting His Clothes

This seems to be a fairly common progression in relationships: Girl meets guy, girl likes guy, girl dates guy, girl tells guy she thinks he's hot and handsome, girl and guy are together for a while, girl tells him that maybe he should try a different hairstyle, girl starts commenting on guy's clothes, girl buys him some clothes, girl makes guy wear aforementioned clothes, girl starts dictating guy's outfits, guy wonders what happened because he always dressed that way, guy thought girl already liked him for who he is, girl continues to make guy feel bad about his style, guy starts to resent being treated like a child, guy gives up and wears whatever girl wants.

Okay, that may be a little extreme, but I think it can be true to an extent. I'm not saying I shouldn't be honest or help Jordan pick out clothes when he wants me to, or that I shouldn't shop for him occasionally or buy him clothes for Christmas. But I am saying that I need to be careful, and that it's another thing I need to refrain from trying to control.

I think Jordan would look great in pink or purple shades of shirts. He would never pick that. I think he would look dashing in a white shirt with a skinny black tie and suspenders. He would probably only wear that as a costume. I think his hair looks SO GOOD in a faux hawk. He only does that as a joke after his shower. I would love to see him wear a flat billed hat, and then turn it backwards too. He is probably laughing or shaking his head or both while reading this. 

While he knows that I think he would look good in these items (because it's not a bad thing to tell him my opinion), he also knows that I think he looks amazingly handsome how he already is. When I think he looks good, I tell him. (It's a lot. I actually annoy him with this.) I love how he looks in a suit and I love how he looks in a t-shirt and gym shorts. He wears mostly the same clothes or type of clothes he did when we started dating. I loved it then, and I love it now.

I don't ever want to make Jordan feel bad about his style. No, it's not always what I'd pick out for him. Yes, there are times when I tell him that something is completely out of season or doesn't go together, but he tells me that too. And I think the key is to making those times rare, and again -- making "I love it when you" statements instead of negative comments. Like, "I love it when you wear that blue button up, it really makes your eyes stand out." That way it can be more adoring-girl-like and less mother-like.

Of course, all guys are different. Your husband may want more direction when it comes to clothing or he may be the most stylin' stud ever who gives YOU clothing advice. We just need to be supportive, encouraging, and respectful about our husbands' style no matter what the situation is!



One thing I do buy for Jordan and love for him to wear: Red Sox shirts. Go Sox!


Ashley

Monday, October 14, 2013

Respecting my Husband: His Appetite

I'm doing a 31 day series about Respecting my Husband! To read about why I should respect him and go to a list of all 31 days, please visit my 31 Days of Respecting my Husband post.


Day 11: Respecting His Appetite

My husband loves to eat. I'd venture to guess that a high percentage of men do too. I'm not saying I don't -- I LOVE to eat, but I have to remind myself that Jordan needs more food than I do. He is a grown man who needs to eat more than a small salad for lunch or a bowl of noodles for dinner. When we got married I had to learn that I can't just go on fixing what I've always fixed for myself!

This is an ongoing process because I'm not a great cook. I have SO MUCH to learn when it comes to cooking. Thankfully, Jordan helps me frequently and understands when something I make is a flop. :) But I can respect him by wanting to make what he would like to eat. For instance, I hate oatmeal raisin cookies. I think they're just cruel, because the raisins can look like chocolate chips and then they're not and it's awful. But he loves them. So I try to make those for him every once in a while. 

I can pay attention to what meals he likes more than others and ask his opinions. I can also try to include nutritious choices so he can feel better, stay healthy, and have energy. This isn't easy when we both love meat and pasta so much!

It's awesome being able to ask my mom and mother-in-law for help when it comes to cooking. They are experts compared to me! I call my mom frequently with cooking questions. This weekend I was even able to go to my in-laws' house for a "cooking camp". My mother-in-law Kim prepared a whole weekend of cooking lessons for me, my sister-in-law, her best friend, and my brother-in-law's girlfriend. It was so great! I asked her back in the spring if we could do this, and she went above and beyond in response. She taught me how to perform basic techniques more efficiently and how to make some meals in a more healthful way that Jordan still enjoys. The boys were there to eat all of our "lessons" and they LOVED it. I even made my first pie ever -- apple pie! It was such an encouraging time of learning and we were able to have some amazing discussions about being a godly woman and serving through grace.

Learning what Jordan loves to eat and serving him in that way is how I can respect his appetite. That doesn't mean I have to have a four course meal made from scratch ready and waiting for him every day -- it just means that I keep learning and growing in this skill. And that's through God's grace, because I have and will make MANY mistakes when it comes to cooking! And yes, we still get a five dollar Little Caesar's pizza regularly. Haha. 


Me serving Jordan my first apple pie. :)


Ashley

Respecting my Husband: His Spiritual Leadership

I'm doing a 31 day series about Respecting my Husband! To read about why I should respect him and go to a list of all 31 days, please visit my 31 Days of Respecting my Husband post.


Day 10: Respecting His Spiritual Leadership

I could do a whole series or write a book on this topic alone (kinda like the sex one). But I'll try to keep it short. :) 

My husband is my leader. (Eph. 5:22-24). This includes spiritual leadership. I think this can be hard for wives because we tend to have the desire to control things. It's one of those things that God is constantly teaching us about. But to respect Jordan's leadership I need to let him take the reigns

One huge way to do this is to just simply encourage him in it. Instead of forcing him to do something or nagging him about it, I can make statements like, "I love it when you pray with me. Hearing you pray for us really gives me strength. I'd love if we could do it more!"

Another way is to ask him questions about the Bible or what I'm currently studying. I always have a ton of questions, and yes I can look up commentaries or dig deeper into my study Bible, but I really love asking Jordan my questions. He usually points me in a new direction or brings out something I would have never noticed myself. Just the experience of talking about God's Word and spiritual things regularly is a great way to respect him as a spiritual leader. It lets him know that I value his opinion and knowledge and want to learn from him. We can always learn from each other.

One thing I need to be asking him is how I can help him spiritually. I admit that I definitely don't do a good job with this; I ask him how I can pray for him but most of the time I don't go deeper than that. I am his helpmate (Gen. 2:18), which means I am to be his helper in everything. He might need me to encourage him to read his Bible, or help him set apart time to start a new Bible study, or pray with him. 

Of course, it is always a wonderful idea to pray for my husband! Even if he hasn't given me something specific to pray about, I can be praying for all kinds of things for him. One book that has helped me pray for him since we first got married is The Power of a Praying Wife Devotional by Stormie Omartian. It's not to be used as my only time of prayer for Jordan, but the different topics get my mind going with how to pray for him. 

Like I said, I could go on and on but I'll stop there for now in this series. I'm sure I'll come back to this topic later on the blog. :) 



Ashley

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Respecting my Husband: Our Time Together

I'm doing a 31 day series about Respecting my Husband! To read about why I should respect him and go to a list of all 31 days, please visit my 31 Days of Respecting my Husband post.


Day 9: Respecting Our Time Together

The time I get to spend with my husband is precious. It is something I need to cherish. This can be a struggle in the world we live in today - there are so many distractions!

Just to name a few possible distractions wives may face: to-do lists, chores, work responsibilities, people calling/texting/emailing, kids, food planning, books, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, blog reading, YouTube, and on and on and on. 

I know that for me, my phone can be a major distraction when I'm spending time with my husband. His can be as well, but it's usually work related and not as frequent. Since I'm a lot more active on social media than my husband, that grabs my attention more than his. One thing that helps is to turn off notifications from sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I don't even have notifications for email. That way if I hear it buzz or see something pop up on the screen, I know it's someone trying to reach me by text or calling me. I can check all the other stuff when I get the time. 

I try to think about when my parents first got married. First of all WHAT DID THEY DO. Jordan and I have had an ongoing text conversation since day one of us hanging out. Seriously. I can't imagine not being able to contact him except through land line phones. Props to all you couples who had to do that. Secondly, I know that they were probably distracted in different ways, but minus the whole cell phone/internet/smart phone factor I bet they were a lot better at staying focused

Even if Jordan and I are just sitting together watching Netflix, we're still spending quality time together. Respecting our time together isn't limited to dinner dates. One thing I've been trying to do lately is keep my phone out of reach - so I can still hear it if someone's trying to contact me, but I can't just pick it up to check Instagram. 

I definitely need to work on this in ALL areas of my life, but especially in my time spent with Jordan. I want him to know that he matters the most to me, that I value his time. I really want to take advantage of this time together when we don't have kids in the mix yet and respect the fact that he wants to hang out with me. :)

PS - Shout out to that stud of mine who reads these posts every day and refrains from commenting on them to say, "AMEN, you need to work on that, wifey! Get to it!" He would never do that, but I'm sure it's popped into his head, because it's true. 




Jordan and I spending some quality time playing Mario Kart at my parents' house.


See you tomorrow for Day 10 - Respecting my Husband: His Spiritual Leadership.


Ashley

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Respecting my Husband: His Kingdom (Home)

I'm doing a 31 day series about Respecting my Husband! To read about why I should respect him and go to a list of all 31 days, please visit my 31 Days of Respecting my Husband post.


Day 8: Respecting His Kingdom (Home)

My husband has told me that he thinks of our house as his kingdom. As his queen, I feel a huge responsibility towards that kingdom. If I respect his kingdom, I will take good care of it.

This is probably what I need to work on the most. That's hard to pick, because I need a LOT of work in everything I'm talking about this month, but this one in particular is difficult for me. I'll just say it -
I'm a messy person.

You know how you always hear wives complaining about how messy their husbands are? How they just can't seem to get those dirty clothes in the laundry basket? (First of all, should we revisit this post? haha) Well in this marriage, Jordan could be the one complaining about me to his friends. I am the one who leaves the clothes on the floor. The dishes in the sink. The books and notebooks all over the table. That's me.

My biggest motivation for cleaning up is when people are coming over. Isn't that terrible? I'm just being honest. If I respect my husband, then I need to respect his kingdom! I want to make his home a peaceful environment for him. A place that makes him feel comfortable. Where he can calm his mind and body, getting rejuvenated. 

It's easy for me to look at all the stuff that needs to get done in our house and become overwhelmed. Instead of doing everything it makes me want to do nothing. My friend Katelyn (who is an inspiration to me as a wife & mother) posted on Instagram yesterday a picture of her kitchen and said in her caption, "Giving thanks for all the small things this morning, including this clean kitchen. I am thankful for God encouraging my heart to face one task at a time." That spoke to me so deeply! One task at a time. And not only that, but giving it to God. It's more natural for me to give big life issues to God, but to talk to him about cleaning my house? I've hardly done that. But why not? 

Y'all, I don't even have kids yet. Some wives tell me they understand and that this is a struggle for them too...but usually those wives have tiny humans running around. So if you have my same issue and you aren't a mom yet, by all means let me know that I'm not alone!

I don't need my house to be perfect. I don't want perfect. I can't be perfect, in anything, ever. (Except Guitar Hero. I used to be able to get 100% on some of the songs.) Instead of perfect, I want to be full of grace. Full of love. And I want my house to be like that too. Not perfect, but an outward sign of the respect I have for the ruler of our little kingdom. 



This isn't our house. It's a random door in downtown Raleigh. But it's pretty, isn't it? :)


Ashley

Monday, October 7, 2013

Respecting my Husband: His Desire for Me (Sex)

I'm doing a 31 day series about Respecting my Husband! To read about why I should respect him and go to a list of all 31 days, please visit my 31 Days of Respecting my Husband post.


Day 7: Respecting His Desire for Me (Sex)

God wants me and my husband to have sex. 

He created it. It's a gift for us. Do you want to see where He talks about it in the Bible?

"The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won't be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control." - 1 Corinthians 7:4-5 (NLT)

"Drink water from your own well - share your love only with your wife. Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone? You should reserve it for yourselves. Never share it with strangers. Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love." - Proverbs 5:15-19

And there's more than that, but that's a good place to park for today. Did you notice some of the commands in those verses?
  • Do not deprive each other of sexual relations.
  • Share your love with your spouse.
  • Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you.
  • Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
  • Let her breasts satisfy you always.
Woahhh, God. Getting kinda specific there, aren't we? A little TMI? 
I don't think so. I am so grateful for these words and that He's clear about this.

I repeat, God wants me and my husband to have sex.

Sex is an amazing thing. It is a time of intimacy like no other. It's honestly one of the top ways I can show love and respect to my husband. I could go on and on about this, and maybe someday I'll do a whole series specifically on sex, but I'll try to keep it short for today.

I am honored (and flattered, really) that Jordan desires me. Do I want to be that "fountain of blessing" for him? Do I want him to be "captivated by [my] love"? YES YES YES and yes. Of course. There are many ways that I can do that - by serving him, complimenting him, supporting him. But a huge way I can do that is to have sex with him. OFTEN. The amount is different for everyone, but going back to Scripture, it should be whenever it's desired, really. 

And I don't mean sex that seems like service only. I think a lot of the time when authors approach this subject (especially in Christian spheres) they focus on the man's need. And while yes, that is true, for a wife that just sounds kinda weird. Like another thing on a list. He needs dinner, toilet paper, his underwear washed, and sex. Hmm. How about let's look at it in a more positive way? Although it may be a need, it's more than that - it's a DESIRE. It's a fountain of blessing. It's captivating! Take absolute pleasure in it. 

Wanting to have sex with my husband, taking pleasure in it, is a huge compliment to him. Especially when I let him know that I want him through my words, body language, and actions. Sex isn't something to just do quickly before we go to bed. We can talk about it. We can be spontaneous or we can look forward to it. We can take pleasure in it at any time of day. I can initiate it. He can. We can mix it up. It's awesome! 

And yes, there are times when I'm tired. Or when I'm mentally distracted. (I'm sure this happens a million times more when kids are in the picture.) But does that mean I should deprive him of it during those times? The Bible says no. Unless we have set apart a time for focusing on prayer/fasting to abstain from sex, we should be doing it. And you know what? When I do it in spite of being distracted or tired, I don't regret it. Not one bit. It actually improves my mood, brings me closer to my husband, and helps relax me. Now if I'm sick/feeling horrible or he is, then obviously we need to be loving and compassionate enough to want to take care of each other rather than say "Hey, babe, are we setting apart time for prayer? Because if not, you should have sex with me."

That's because this whole sex thing - It's not about me. It's about loving, respecting, serving, and pleasing my husband. Putting him before myself. Like every part of marriage. The fact that it's amazing for me too is just a wonderful benefit. :) (Thank You, God!) And when we are both focused on pleasing the other person...well let's just say that makes it even more incredible. 


See you tomorrow for Day 8 - Respecting my Husband: His Kingdom (Home).


Ashley

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Respecting my Husband: His Friends

I'm doing a 31 day series about Respecting my Husband! To read about why I should respect him and go to a list of all 31 days, please visit my 31 Days of Respecting my Husband post.


Day 6: Respecting His Friends

Girls seem to get a bad rap for hating on their man's friends. Like the moment he gets married he is dragged away from his friends and his wife owns him and keeps him locked up never to be seen again. We'll discuss respecting his time away from me on another day, but let's just focus on his relationship with his friends for today. :)

I think sometimes that stereotype can be somewhat accurate depending on the situation, but also a lot of the time the guy just WANTS to be settled and ends up not hanging out with his friends as much. I get that. (The friends don't usually get that from what I've observed.) 

But, his friends are his friends for a reason. Some of them he has been friends with for as long as he can remember. They're a part of him! I want him to be able to talk with them, to help them out, spend quality guy time, and instead of always referring back to the good ol' days, continue to HAVE the good ol' days right now. 

I had a tough time at first when it came to Jordan's friends. We started hanging out, dating, and got engaged relatively quickly. (See love story here.) Being Jordan's first girlfriend, his friends were rather surprised (understandably). They are a great group and have been together since they were very young, so it was kinda weird and VERY intimidating entering into that mix outta nowhere. I am honestly JUST now starting to become comfortable around all of his friends. Lest you think it's their fault, I assure you I am not the easiest person to get to know. Opening up around new people is not my specialty. 

But did that mean I shouldn't respect them? No way. Jordan loves them, and he loved them way before he loved me (it's different, obviously, but still). If they're important to him, they're important to me. I shouldn't talk badly about them or try to take control over what they do or make them my rivals. I want him to have those friendships and I want to get to know them too. And show them respect as well.






See you tomorrow for Day 7 - Respecting my Husband: His Desire for Me (Sex!)


Ashley

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Respecting my Husband: His Family

I'm doing a 31 day series about Respecting my Husband! To read about why I should respect him and go to a list of all 31 days, please visit my 31 Days of Respecting my Husband post.


Day 5: Respecting His Family

This one is going to be difficult for me, because I have it SO EASY when it comes to Jordan's family. I could not have married into a better family for real. And I'm not just saying that. Those who know me know that I seriously adore my in-laws and all of the Shelleys. 

Regardless of how easy I have it with his family, I still need to give them respect and respect his relationship with them. EVERY family is different and does things differently, so I don't need to think he's weird just because he was taught to do something a certain way. 

Of course the most important thing is that we are focused on Christ and following Him, so if they were leading us astray from that it would not be okay. We would still show them love and respect them as people and as his parents, but it's possible to do that and not agree with or support everything someone does. That would certainly be difficult, though. Thankfully his family loves the Lord fervently and always point us to His Word when we go to them for advice. We are SO blessed by that. 

One thing that is important for me to remember is to respect time with his family. We don't live in the same city as them, so it's crucial to make time to talk to them and visit them. Not that we wouldn't want to in the first place, but it's easy to get caught up in everything we have to do at home and go too long without Skyping or visiting. I especially want to make sure that if and when the Lord blesses us with children that we involve them in their lives and keep them up to date with everything. We are only about an hour away though so that isn't too far. :)

Yes, Jordan is called to leave his family and be joined to me, but at the same time his mom will always be his mom, and his dad will always be his dad. That will never change. I want to respect that and encourage him to continue to go to them about issues, learn from their godly wisdom and advice, and always include them in our life. 


The Shelley side of the family! (Our nephew was in Danielle's belly, haha.)



See you tomorrow for Day 6 - Respecting my Husband: His Friends.


Ashley

Friday, October 4, 2013

Respecting my Husband: His Work

I'm doing a 31 day series about Respecting my Husband! To read about why I should respect him and go to a list of all 31 days, please visit my 31 Days of Respecting my Husband post.


Day 4: Respecting His Work

Work is extremely important to a man. I'm not saying it's not important to women, but like I've said before I'm focusing on my husband right now. :)

It is in his nature to want to provide for me and for our family. It's a huge responsibility! One that he takes very seriously. Therefore, it's imperative that I respect that desire to work and provide. 

Jordan is an engineer. A math guy. Most of his job pertains to cell phone tower analysis. Do I have any idea what he's talking about when he tells me specifics about work? Nope. Well...I feel like I kinda do now that we've been together for a few years. I can tell you every kind of cell phone tower if you were to drive down the road with me. (There aren't that many, haha.) But still...I'm an English girl. (How cliche, I know.)

So honestly, it's hard for me to follow sometimes when he's talking about work. But I'm so proud of him in his work and want to encourage him. To be able to build him up, I have to listen to him and ask him questions about what's going on at work. Yes, this goes back to respecting his words. For a while when we first got married, I didn't ask Jordan about work for a few days. I thought he would just tell me. But he ended up asking me why I hadn't been interested in his work. Ever since then I've tried to make a point to ask him about what's going on at work - and not just a "How was your day?" but ask him about specific situations and problems. Even if I'm not interested, I become interested from hearing more and more about it. 

Sometimes when Jordan gets home he doesn't want to talk about work immediately. Other times he does. I just have to read the situation and be there for him if he wants to talk and help him relax if he doesn't. 

Respecting his work also means that I encourage him in his job and not put him down. Whether he's at the bottom of the totem pole or sitting on the top, I need to support him regardless. I can also encourage him to work for the glory of the Lord, talking about how he can witness to others or stand firm in what God's Word says through difficult issues. It can be really tough! I need to be that helpmate for him to love him and support him even when no one else does. Easier said than done, of course, but possible through God's grace!

And if Jordan didn't have a job? I would still need to be encouraging and supportive. Helping him in any way I can and loving him all the while. Giving him the utmost respect whether I think (or the world thinks) he deserves it or not. I vowed to be that helper for him through thick and thin! 



See you tomorrow for Day 5 - Respecting my Husband: His Family.

Ashley

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Respecting my Husband: Talking About Him

I'm doing a 31 day series about Respecting my Husband! To read about why I should respect him and go to a list of all 31 days, please visit my 31 Days of Respecting my Husband post.


Day 3: Respecting Him in How I Talk About Him

This one is probably going to be short and sweet.

I should not speak badly of my husband. To him or to others.

Actually, I shouldn't be speaking badly about anyone, but the point here is to focus on my husband. Belittling him, degrading him, putting him down, undermining him - none of this should be coming out of my mouth. Ever.

Like I said in my first post of this series, if I am in a dangerous situation or one that requires help from others, then I should discuss the issue with highly trusted church leaders or mentors. But even then I can be respectful.

I am representing the gospel in my marriage. That is a serious thing! How can we be a picture of Christ and the church if I am making fun of Jordan or putting him down? How would that glorify God?

It's one thing to have some lighthearted teasing. Jordan and I do that all the time - it's a way we flirt with each other. (Mainly him teasing me, haha.) But I have to be careful of crossing the line and hurting his feelings, especially around other people. I'm definitely guilty of going too far. And he may not show it. That's the thing - a lot of the time guys don't show that they're hurt. They're usually not as quick to show sensitivity as we ladies are. But that doesn't mean it doesn't affect them! I need to check my words and my heart. Think about them before I say them. Ask myself if the words are edifying or if I will be tearing him down.

And I'm not just talking about when I'm around Jordan. This also goes for when I'm with my friends or any group of people. Often I try to disguise bad-mouthing as "venting". That doesn't make it okay. 

I think that it's frequently innocent - we try to make a joke but it comes out the wrong way and we end up questioning their manhood. Because we're not thinking. But sometimes I think it's intentional. I see Facebook statuses constantly that consist of wives making fun of their husbands. I know that it totally depends on the person and maybe a lot of husbands don't actually care, BUT should we really be partaking in that anyway? Again, is it a good representation of Christ? That is of course between me, the Lord, and my husband. But it's something to think and pray about. 



Speaking of teasing, here's a great shot at our wedding of me being totally embarrassed during my best friend's toast. :) 


See you tomorrow for Day 4 - Respecting my Husband: His Work.

Ashley

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Respecting my Husband: His Words

I'm doing a 31 day series about Respecting my Husband! To read about why I should respect him and go to a list of all 31 days, please visit my 31 Days of Respecting my Husband post.


Day 2: Respecting His Words

When it comes to respecting my husband's words, there is one thing that is key - 

LISTENING.

I'm not even really a talker, relatively speaking, but I know that I talk more than my husband. This may not be the case for you, but I would bet that it is for the majority. Women, for the most part, like to talk more than men.

But you know what the first step to listening to my husband is? 
Not talking.

I used to have a youth pastor who would stand up and repeat over and over, "Are you listening? Not if you're talking," until we all shut up and listened to him. It worked.

I am honored to be not only my husband's wife, but his best friend. Someone he can confide in. But I can't be that someone if I don't LET him confide in me. If he is taking the time to talk to me about something - anything - I need to respect that and listen. 

And that doesn't mean listen for two seconds and butt in with my opinion. It means actively listening to ALL he has to say. Without thinking the entire time about what I'm going to say next. (Aren't we all guilty of this?)

So what does it mean for me to be an active listener?
  • Making eye contact
  • Laying aside distractions
  • Responding with body language (facing him, nodding)
  • Clarifying what he's saying
  • Asking questions
What do I mean by clarifying what he's saying? For example, if he's talking about something that went wrong at work, I could say something like, "That must have been frustrating." And then he could either say, "Yes! It was!" or "Frustrating? It was more like horrifying!" (Jordan would never say that but it's the example that popped in my head.) So with either response from him I have a better understanding of how he is feeling and what he is trying to convey to me. When having conversations (with anyone for that matter) I am often assuming what the person is feeling because that's how I would be feeling - but this isn't always the case. It's usually NOT the case because we aren't actually the same person and can't read each other's minds. That's why it's good to provide feedback that clarifies what he is saying.

Another example - if he tells me, "I sat by myself at lunch today," I would probably respond with, "That sounds relaxing!" But he may come back with, "It was actually pretty lonely." See how we could take something two completely different ways? But I won't know unless I clarify. I hope that makes sense.

This may seem weird to do at first, but I remember learning it in an education course in college and I've tried to put it into practice ever since then. It truly helps when trying to understand people and get into their heads. It's a good habit to pick up.

When I say asking questions, I don't mean in a nagging, weird way. It's more like a follow-up. Sometimes I don't know if Jordan just wants me to listen or if he wants help. I can ask questions like, "Is there any way I can help you with this?" or "How can I pray for you about this?" 

Showing respect for my husband's words means letting him know that his words have value. That his thoughts, ideas, and opinions are important to me. If there is anyone in the world who will listen to him no matter what he has to say, it should be me. I pray that I can be that confidant for him!

Speaking of Jordan....what a stud! :)


See you tomorrow for Day 3 - Respecting my Husband: Talking About Him.
Do I portray my husband in a positive or negative light to other people?



Ashley

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