Why I continue to say yes. Celebrating 15 years of marriage!

This man of mine

I love you

You still make me turn my head when you walk in the room

It’s still true, as the years go by

My yes to you have become even louder

Because I watch you…a lot

And how can I say no to you when you continue to say yes to Jesus

tyrone clapping his hand

Yes when it is hard

daddy with head down

Yes when it means a no to your original plan

daddy preaching

Yes when you feel like you do not have the strength to lead me and our six children

all 6 kissing daddy

Yes to the for better or for worse

And you kiss my partially bald head

And tell me you love and find me beautiful no matter what

It took many years for both of us to get to this place but we are here

And I am grateful

You listen to me go on

AND ON when I am trying to make sense of my thoughts

Your strength of knowing how to listen and compassion makes it easy for me to talk to you

I cry and then continue to go on and on some more

You continue to listen, and when I am done

You pray for me

I cry some more

BECAUSE

You love me well

me and tyrone

These last 15 years have taught me that you are not perfect

I am fully aware

But it is not perfection that makes our marriage work

Oh how I wish I knew this from the beginning, striving for an unrealistic goal…it always left me frustrated

But no, it is not perfection but commitment that makes us work

Commitment first to the creator of our marriage which helps us to remain committed to each other

The commitment that makes us stick around when the for better passes and it feels like the for worse season will never end.

The commitment that drives us to our knees instead of out the door when our imperfections are on full display.

This man of mine

moving forward

 

I love you

And I am so honored to be your wife.

Happy 15th wedding anniversary Mr. Jones!

 

 

Why I Pray For My Husband

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Called to Help Not Hinder

 

What would happen if we dared to be the wives God called us to be?  What would happen if we rejected this world’s system, refusing to conform to their definition but hunger to be transformed through the renewing of our minds of what it means to be a wife? A God kind of wife; one that has made a decision to help her husband not hinder him.  One that understands and lives the depths of her vows, “for better or for worse.”  One that has a made up mind to love and to honor him even when we see him at his worse and feels he doesn’t deserve our help.  One that says I will help build you up with my speech. Speaking life even when death is threatening to suck the life out of me, when you don’t tell me what I desperately need to hear.  One that says I will help you by spending time in prayer on your behalf, not just telling on you  but loving you through my intercession.  I will help by hearing what God has to say about you, and speak it right back to you when you are at your lowest and can’t believe it.

I want to be one that makes her actions scream, “I will not hinder you!”  I will not allow myself to become a weapon in the devil’s hands to wound my head. I understand that we are one, and hindering him is hindering myself.  I will not hinder by tearing him down with my words on the phone with my girlfriends understanding that even though he doesn’t hear the conversations, he senses the weight of the words in my touch or lack thereof.  I will not hinder through reminding him of his past demanding that he be held captive for his mistakes.  I will help by freely offering forgiveness as often as it is needed and not questioning whether it is deserved.

The world is broken and contrary to what they may believe they need to see helpers in action, they need to see the word lived out.  They got the memo on the hinderers, they are all around…on the big screen, in the magazines and some are even hanging out in the church pews.   I want to be THAT wife, the helper not the hinderer! How about you?

 If you can find a truly good wife, she is worth more than precious gems! … 12 She will not hinder him but help him all her life. 

Proverbs 31:  10, 12 TLB

 

When God Changes Your Mind…Celebrating 14 Years of Marriage

I never set out for all of this to happen, at least not so soon and not quite like this.  Him? All of them?

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No they were not in my real life plans.  I left for the University with big bags and big dreams.  I had declared that I would not become a Mrs. until I earned my PhD.  Yes I was on a mission, my mission. Then I met this young man name Tyrone at the 22 Illini bus stop on 2nd and Chalmers in Champaign.  I had no clue that this meeting would forever change my life.

Dating 026

I came home that faithful winter break my junior year of college.  I was full on the outside but was empty and hurting on the inside. Salvation had been a long time coming.  The church was having a revival and my soul desperately desired to be revived.  I had been running, and when I stepped foot in that church I stopped.  It was then that God began to change my mind.

I went to the altar and said Yes to Jesus.  3 years later on August 11, 2001, I went back to that same altar and said yes to Tyrone.  The vows I uttered were poetic but for the record, I had no clue what I was really saying yes to.

  • I did not know I was saying yes to Jesus at another level inviting Him to use my marriage as a tool to go beneath the surface and do some spiritual deep cleaning.
  • I did not know that I was saying yes Jesus please begin a deeper process of changing my mind, changing my agenda, changing my plans and changing my heart.
  •  I did not know I was saying yes Jesus use this marital relationship to prune me, to show me the depth of my selfishness and pride, and teach me true submission.
  • I did not know I was saying yes God, overthrow our five year plan and let the babies start coming after year one, and continue to come for that matter!

The” for worse” part came sooner than thought.  We had some extreme lows (full display of flesh, hair loss, income reduction, sick babies, shed tears, and anger) but these lows created a greater surrender, pressing out a “yes God go ahead and change our minds because you know best.”

The beauty and the challenge of getting married young is that you get to “grow up” together.  We have seen God perform surgery on our hearts on more than one occasion over the last 14 years.  God has birthed beauty from great pain and closeness when the enemy sought to tear us apart.  My love for this man has gone deeper than I thought possible.  All of my initial plans have not been accomplished but here I am 14 years later thanking God that He changed my mind!

 

Marriage Is hard work but it is worth it


My husband told me yesterday that he loved me more now than he did before.  He was falling in love all over again.  I blushed and told him the feeling is mutual.  Our marriage is in a good place.  This man is pursuing me like nobody’s business and I am LOVING EVERY MOMENT OF IT.  This has not always been the case.   During our marriage, we have experienced highs and lows, some deep wounds, shed many tears, spoke some very harsh words, had moments of unforgiveness and bitterness BUT God!

Marriage is hard work.  Period.   However as Tyrone and I reflect on all we have been through we recognize that it was NOTHING but the grace of God that kept us together.  Difficulties are a guaranteed part of life, but God promises the victory…ALWAYS.   These years have taught us that it is not money, beauty, or even good health that keeps a marriage together.  We have been challenged in all of the above departments.  After 13 years, 6 children, 2 miscarriages,  2 babies in the NICU, 1 income, and severe hair loss I can confidently say  that we are not enduring in our marriage.  WE ARE THRIVING.  How?  Pursuing God.  The difficulties that should have torn our marriage apart have produced a deeper love for God and for each other.

You see, even in all of our challenges and imperfections, God has given us the victory.  God tells a husband that he is to love his wife as Christ loves the church and gave himself for her.  This is  for better or for worse kind of love.  Not something a husband can do in his own strength.   Then for us wives we are told to respect our husband and submit to his authority. Respect him even when you don’t agree or can’t understand why he does what he does.  Submitting to Tyrone’s authority was not easy for me.  I was so dug in and very bent on doing things my way.  However as we both pursue God, He has given us the grace to do what seems impossible.  One of the reasons why I am falling in love with Tyrone all over again is that he now has a greater pursuit of God.  Knowing that my husband seeks the face of God brings me great comfort as a wife; trusting his leadership.  Submission then becomes a joy and not a chore.

Having a good marriage is not automatic.  You have to work at it.   But let me tell you it is absolutely worth it.  If you are on the brink of throwing in the towel on your marriage,  I want to encourage you to consider otherwise.  There is so much more to lose than to gain if you walk away.  I can confidently say that God is a redeemer, try Him with your marriage.  Take the steps necessary for  success.  Have you repented of your sins and given your heart to Jesus?  Are you connected to a church body?  Accountability and sound BIBLICAL counsel are necessary ingredients for a good marriage.  If you are in the Chicago land area and are looking for a church home,  I of course encourage you to join me at my church.  Oh and bring your spouse, even if you are mad at him/her.