(Probably one of the most stressful times for him. I was pregnant, we had just bought a new house and he was still pretty new at his current job!)
Earlier this year I decided to read a book called Praying God’s Word for Your Husband by Kathi Lipp because I could sense that Joe was having some struggles, internally and externally. And it was really starting to stress him out, which was also stressing me out. The saying “If momma ain’t happy, no body’s happy!” applies to husbands as well, particularly if they are the ones bringing home the bacon (and its a single income household)! There is a lot of pressure and weight on our husbands shoulders, along with
worldly their own expectations and personal goals! I also learned quickly that the more I offered suggestions, or bitched about his negative behavior, the less he listened and the further apart we grew.
No bueno! And not the way I want my marriage to go! Then it clicked! Of course I can’t “change” him, and I don’t like using that term because I wasn’t really trying to change him necessarily, but more like wanting to help “fix” his problems. And of course, everything he was dealing with was way beyond my control or ability. So I called on the one person I knew who is in the fixing business. God. He led me to this book, through Pinterest of all places! (I seriously find the coolest God stuff there!) I bought it the next day and began reading it immediately!
Hold on to your hats ladies because I started seeing a positive change in Joe that week!!! He came home feeling a little lighter and lighter each day, began smiling more, complained less, and started saying things like “I’m just giving it to God!” I did mention to Joe that I had started reading the book and he said he could feel the power of prayer and it actually gave him a special peace through out his day.
Now, I don’t know if anyone actually follows my blog, and I’m cool if they don’t, because I’m doing this more for me anyway, but I thought I’d post some things from the book for those that do follow. It’ll also benefit Joe for me to start praying these things again for him.
And I’m sorry if future posts aren’t super formal or are just a quick line or two from the book, I just like to keep things super simple between God and I, cause I feel like thats how it should be. I don’t feel like I need to put my pearls on just for a 2 minute prayer. But I do pray often, even while I’m doing other things. I don’t really know how to describe it but if you were in my head you’d probably hear a low, constant hum. Thats me praying. I think I keep a “pot of prayers” simmering on my mental stove all day. Hey, it keeps things feeling fresh!
On to the book….
Here’s just a few key points from the book on how and when to pray.
Everyday Prayer: Have a time, a routine, a spot, and some stuff!
What that means is, make it a point to pray the same time, same place everyday. If you have time do it while you’re drinking your coffee, do it then, and bring some stuff. Like pen and paper. I kept a prayer journal while doing this and it was so awesome to go back and see how God answered the prayers… or didn’t! It’s also an awesome reminder to have when you find yourself in a funk, you can go back and see how God showed up and carried you through that particular time. Its also an easy reminder of his unconditional love for us! Thats my favorite! So whatever time is a good time that you can devote just a few minutes of quiet time is perfect! It could be while you’re making that stupid ugly mascara face when you’re putting on your make up, it could even be in the shower or while you’re taking your kids to school. And again, don’t feel like you have to get all crazy formal with it. It about starting a conversation. You could just start by thanking him for one more day on this earth! Or thanking him for even willing to listen to your hot mess of a life! (We’ve all been there!)
That speaks for itself I think, and I think I just covered that in the previous paragraph! Oops! Oh well! K.I.S.S it! Keep It Short and Simple or my favorite, Keep It Simple, Stupid! I think often times we complicate our personal relationships with God because we over think it. We also get in the way of our own happiness and accomplishments for that very same reason, we other think it. Praying to God is just as simple as cereal and milk. All you need is 2 main ingredients, you and God. I talk to God like I talk to any other person I interact with on a daily basis. I even get mad and cuss. **GASP** But guess what, he still loves me and he still desires a relationship with me! He still wants me to come to him for everything, big or small! I love that about him! I love how easy it is! I love that I don’t have to fill out some 20 page form or know some secret handshake to hang out with him. I can do it anywhere, anytime, day or night. “God is not looking for us to impress him with our prayers, but he does want us to be open to letting him impress our hearts. He delights in simple prayer”
So my prayer today, for myself, you can pray it with me, is that God begin to prepare our hearts for prayer. Let him free up any unused space in our hearts for him to use as a place to come and be with us. And to open up any unused space in our husband/spouse’s heart as well.