How We Fight to Keep Our Marriage Strong

In the spirit of being completely honesty, I avoided writing this blog post for pretty much the entire day on Sunday… and Monday. I was lost at the direction I wanted to take and the advice I wanted to give on the topic of marriage. Do I look at the marriage Russ and I have and feel like we have things are going well for us, yes! But putting into words the details on how we are doing that throws me for a loop. Now would also be a good time to point out that we certainly have our fair share of disagreements and annoyances. Our relationship is by no means perfect. 

Finally, after staring at the computer screen and trying to get my thoughts organized for what felt like forever, I decided to just start writing. Wouldn’t you know it worked like a charm. I don’t think what I have to share is anything groundbreaking or new, but I do hope it encourages you to work on strengthening your marriage. 

Keeping your marriage STRONG. God, marriage, children. How and why we have set our priorities.

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Interruptions Are Your Work, How Four Words Changed My Attitude About Mothering

I was sitting in church like any other Sunday morning when the pastor began to tell a story. He spoke of a college professor and the sign that hung over his doorway. The sign was there to remind him to keep his attitude in check every time that someone walked through the door. It read…

Interruptions Are Your Work!

He went on to speak of how as Christians, we should embrace this mindset. Interruptions are our work. We are constantly given chances to do or to serve but how many times do we grumble or complain when they come at “the wrong times”. It was an oh so truthful and oh so powerful point. After the sermon concluded I couldn’t shake those four words and for the past two weeks they have weighed heavy on my heart.

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Thoughts About Red Pens

I started using red pens to grade the girls school work this year. I bought them impulsively on a quick supply trip the day before we started our homeschool year. I had always avoided using them before, but for some reason I thought they might help to make things easier, especially with two students. The first day of class while grading Marissa’s math I pulled out a pen and put a red X by an answer she had missed.

Then I just sat there and stared at it.
I hate red pens.

I have always hated red pens. It began when I was a kindergartener who was sent home with a red sad face drawn on her paper. I cried in the car of the school parking lot and begged my mom to go inside and make the teacher change it. Something inside me cringed over the failure the red pen highlighted.

As I added more red X’s on Marissa’s paper, memories and thoughts flooded my brain. I wondered how she would feel about my red pen. Would she eye roll the marks it left, groan at the sight of them, would she ever hide it from me when I left the room, and cry over her schoolwork?

Then my thoughts went deeper…
I began to wonder how marks left by a red pen would make her feel about herself.

How a red pen reminded me of the power of words
The world is full of red pens and people who use them recklessly. Countless times every single day we are given the chance to leave our mark. We can label failures, criticize choices, or put giant x’s across the things we don’t like about someone. We can shake confidence, make someone doubt self-worth, and beat them down with our words, attitudes, and actions.The mark we leave on the lives of others is overwhelming.

Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.
Proverbs 18:21 The Message

This, this is something I struggle with. Some days frustrations get the best of me and without thinking I find myself spinning out of control. Saying things I can’t take back, leaving marks that won’t erase and causing pain that is so familiar to me, in the life of another. Often my girls fall victim to the momster I become.

I want my words to speak life. 

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
Proverbs 31:26

These verses are the prayers and the meditation of my heart.
It is an ongoing, every moment battle to be aware of the life or death that is coming from my mouth.
But it is one worth fighting for.

What comes from your mouth when you speak?
Life or death?

What marks are you leaving?
Ones that build up or ones that destroy?

What is one step you can take to change?
Today make your mouth a fountain of life.

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Do you struggle with mom anger? 
I want to encourage you to check out this book, Count to Nine: Nine Liberating Steps for Mom Frustration and Anger. It has been a life changing tool for me and I know so many of you would greatly benefit too.

It’s your turn to link-up for this weeks Tuesday Talk!New Tuesday Talk
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Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
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Sarah at Abiding In Grace | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
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Laura at Life Is Beautiful | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Christina at Waltzing In Beauty | Pinterest | Instagram
Meghan at The Adventure Starts Here | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
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Finding Balance In Motherhood

Yesterday we said so long to summer break and went back to school.

It’s a weird time for us because on one hand nothing seems to change, but on the other hand everything changes. I go from being summer fun mom that keeps pretty loose rules to teacher mom who tends to be overly strict in the blink of an eye. I don’t like it one little bit friends and sometimes I don’t know how I can find balance.

Do you ever struggle with that as a mom?
Finding balance?

Finding BalanceIn Motherhood
Some days it feels like I am in the circus.

I feel like I’m 25 feet off the ground on a unicycle with clowns balancing on my shoulders. It probably looks like sure failure to spectators, but I am naively optimistic that things will work out fine. I keep heaping more and more on myself not considering the weight of my load, how high up I am, and what is at risk. At a certain point I get nervous, what have I done? But by then I feel like it’s too late to back out and I just have to go. Sometimes I make it across, but there is always a cost. I am exhausted, sore, angry, and useless, sometimes for days on end. Other times I fall and the mess it creates is nothing short of chaos.

The analogy may be creative, but I think the picture it paints rings true for so many moms.

Why do we twist the phrase ‘finding balance’ into something literal?

We convince ourselves if we find the perfect way to stack it all up, we can carry as much as we want. After all, we got this! I recently hung a picture over my desk that says those very words, you got this. As I look up at it while writing this post I feel overwhelmed with conviction.

Conviction of bearing loads to heavy for me to carry well and the way I treat others when the stress of the load I gave myself is too much. Conviction over portraying a twisted picture of balance to other moms. One that says: you too can do it all, just keep piling it on just right. Conviction of relying on myself and my strength far too much.

Talking about #motherhood and #balance in today's blog post. Click To Tweet

I’d love to say that I have answers for you. Here are 5 steps to find more balance in your life, a formula that guarantees success in a week or less. The truth is I don’t really know what that looks like right now.

So my challenge for you is to think, pray, and dwell on this:
Are you piling more on when you should be laying things down?
What happens when the load gets to heavy?
How do you respond?
How can you lighten the load you carry?
Why do you think you can do it all?

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

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It’s your turn to link-up for this weeks Tuesday Talk!

New Tuesday Talk
Beth at Our Pretty Little Girls | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram 
Liz at Chasin’ Mason | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Jessica at Sweet Little Ones | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Ruthie at Rear. Release. Regroup. | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Justine at Full Hands, Full Heart
Sarah at Abiding In Grace | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Becky at BYBMG | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Laura at Life Is Beautiful | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Christina at Waltzing In Beauty | Pinterest | Instagram
Meghan at The Adventure Starts Here | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Tina at Go Big or Go Home | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Whitney at Polka Dotty Place | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram

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Love Is…

If I asked you to pick a word that is frequently misused, what word would you pick?

I’m sure there are several good options out there. A few that come to the top of my mind are busy, tired, poor, and hate. All are words that I know I use way too often, generally as an excuse or to make myself look or feel better about something.

But I can’t help but think of a different word… love.

Love is

We throw this word around so flippantly. We say it loosely, cheaply, and our definition of what love really is, is so far removed from truth. I have found myself wrestling with this word lately and what true love looks like. But every single time my heart is pulled to this.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. ~ 1 Corinthians 13 4-8

This, this is love. 
I want to love like this and so often I fail.

Love is patient, love is kind. Wrestling over the true meaning of #love in today's #blog post. Click To Tweet

I lose my temper, I grow resentful, I have little to no patience.
I love selfishly, but expect others to love me perfectly.

Love isn’t about becoming a door mat, it isn’t sarcastic, it stands up for what is right. Love doesn’t always look the way we want it to. Love is far from easy and on this earth, love will always be tainted by sin. Try as we may we will never achieve perfect love.

There was only one man who loved perfectly and he died for us.

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~ Romans 5:8 ESV

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One Important Summer Sanity Saver For Moms

Today I am so excited to have Ruthie from RearReleaseRegroup.com sharing a piece of her heart and talking about her new ebook Count to Nine, 9 Liberating Steps for Mom Anger and Frustration. Ruthie is a treasure friends. A seasoned mom, with excellent advice and she doesn’t shy away from talking about the hard things… like mom anger. In the spirit of being completely open I have had my fair share of struggles with this department and Ruthie’s advice helps to keep me grounded. I hope you love getting to know her and listening to what she has to say.

Happy summer, mom! Kids about to stress you out from constant requests and squabbling? Need a summer sanity saver?

One important thing to help moms stay sane during the summer months.
Let me ask you a question: How often do you yell when you’re frustrated? Does it develop into a full-blown scream? Are you having trouble keeping a lid on your temper, and does it seem impossible to overcome?

I’m a mama of four grown kids so I’m not pointing any fingers! I’ve been there, and I feel ya, sis.

Most moms have anger issues. Sometimes we’re just too embarrassed to admit we need help.

Here’s what I’m learning:

The Importance of Scripture

When Christ was tempted of the Devil, He refuted him with Scripture every single time (Luke 4:1-14), and He was strengthened by it.

And Jesus returned in the power of the spirit to Galilee (v 14), ESV.

 

Think of it! Christ, Who had all power, was strengthened through the Word. How much more then, should we use God’s Word when tempted?

Scripture is our sword – our weapon, our main defense in the battle over anger. Its our summer sanity saver.

Kids are stressful, there’s no denying it. It takes a lot of fortitude to deal. Eventually, you get worn down by the day-to-day, and you kick into survival mode.

But God wants to use you, even then. When you think, “There’s no way I can make it through this day without losing it,” you feel despair, and I know how that is.

BUT.

God’s power is limitless! It is like nothing you can ever imagine. And so, He wants us to be mold-able. That’s all. Be the clay. He does the rest. By being clay, you choose to trust.

Jesus said,

You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you, there is more of God and His rule. Matthew 5:3, The Message

 

WOW.

If we say yes to God, He can do amazing things in us that we never thought possible.

I’ve seen it happen in my own life –victory over areas I’ve struggled with for years. How? Through our greatest weapon: the Word.

Pray the Word. Memorize the Word. Write it on 3×5 index cards and post all over your house (especially frequented areas such as the kitchen window and bathroom mirror).

God will help you with your frustration and anger!

We can learn to overcome the temper by committing it to the Lord through prayer and Scripture. God wants us to succeed – remember, mom, He’s on YOUR side!

Since Scripture can be our summer sanity saver, I want to introduce to you a brand new, valuable summer sanity saver that contains Scripture and Scripture prayers! The preceding devotional is just a snippet from a book I wrote on mommy anger. It’s called, COUNT TO NINE; 9 Liberating Steps for Mommy Anger and Frustration.

Order Today - COUNT TO NINE; 9 Liberating Steps for Mom Frustration and Anger" By Ruthie Gray

I wrote this ebook because as a mom of four myself, I dealt with a LOT of anger down through the rearing years, and I struggled to handle it well. As I seek to mentor younger moms, I notice this same pattern emerging.

A battle with anger-induced rage. And these moms want change.

My new ebook, Count to Nine, 9 Liberating Steps for Mom Anger and Frustration, presents nine essential steps to overcome mishandled anger. Offering Scripture Pillars, Power-Packed Pillar Prayers, a Plan of Attack for each chapter, and much more, this book will set you on the road towards recovery. The book is full of key Biblical strategies to help you parent gracefully and learn the Biblical approach to anger.

How do I know? I teach this method to a group of moms who are tracking wins and overcoming their anger by daily implementing these Scriptural strategies!

This book is a small investment to make toward a big difference in the dynamic of your family. Are you ready to take the necessary steps to freedom from the power of anger gone wrong?

You can do this, mom. Let me show you how through COUNT TO NINE. At just $7.00, this ebook is an affordable investment toward not only developing positive reactions to anger, but patterning them for your children as well!

I’m praying for you!

BONUS JOURNAL (1)

PS As an extra BONUS to the book, we’ve included a beautiful, printable journal with Scripture cards and Thankful cards, designed by my friend Jessica through her Etsy shop! You will love this actionable, gorgeous addition to the book! Grab your copy today!


I know what it's like to struggle with anger. As a mom of four and Gigi of two, I've been in your shoes. This is a plan to get you started in the right direction. Won't you join me?

Ruthie Gray is a wife, mom of four, Gigi, and caregiver, living in the sandwich generation and blogging to keep her sanity. When she’s not snacking on plastic drumsticks with her grandson (The Tiny Tornado), or snuggling his sister (Baby Cakes), you can find her coaching other moms on how to raise responsible kids and enjoy them at RearReleaseRegroup.com and Mom Time Out. You can also connect with Ruthie on Facebook.