Apologizing From The Heart...

We had an awesome Intensive last week! Thanks to all of you who were praying for the couples who attended and us ~ we definitely felt it! As we always do after an Intensive, Michael and I tucked into each other's hearts, rested, spent time with our children, played ~ I got to do some crafting which you can check out here ~ and generally...regrouped. We're good to go now!

For Testimony Tuesday, we wanted to talk about apologizing from the heart and the role this plays in getting a restored marriage. If you've ever apologized to someone just so that you could go back and say, "I said I was sorry," or to cover your own pain & shame so that you could hurry up and move on or, and this is a big one, just because you got caught; then you've only apologized to make yourself feel better, not the person you've hurt.

In marriage restoration, apologizing from the heart is huge and something that really needs to take place in order for healing and closure to be present. This week, we talk about what that looks like, what it means, and how to do it. And remember guys, as initiators, it begins with you.

We hope to have you join us on our ministry call this evening (info is to the right on the sidebar) and be sure to let us know that you're listening in. We'd love to connect with you!


Healing Hurts...

If you've ever broken a bone, sprained an ankle or had some extensive dental work done, then you know that there's pain involved in healing. Remember when the relationship with your first love ended? The pain involved in that healing process? In a word; "excruciating".

And when the Lord prunes off the dead fruit in our lives, it hurts even though we know (that we know that we know) that it needs to come off because it's sucking the life out of the good fruit that's trying to grow.

In marriage restoration, there's pain in the healing. There is. Embrace it, accept it, press into it because avoiding it only makes the process longer. Promise.

"Consider it pure joy my brothers when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4


Dicky Fox on Success


Well now....

My son, Jack, has to have an ultrasound of his heart next week. It's for a recently detected heart murmur and most likely nothing serious though it has me thinking about a lot of stuff that I need to journal about on my other blog. Anyway, the reality of it just has me feeling SOOOO many different ways today!

Some powerful stuff here in this clip. I'm only kinda sorry if the language offends - it fits the story and it fits my mood.

How Ok Are We?

In the world of on-line sharing, we've been fortunate to come across some great bloggers who have incredible insight into the dynamics of marriage and Christianity. Today, I (Annalea) read a post by Traylor Lovvorn over at Reflections of a Ragamuffin entitled "I'm Not Ok. You're Not Ok. And That's Ok!" which was awesome and which elicited the following response from me. Because I feel it's an important topic, I wanted to post it here. Oh, and definitely visit both of these blogs because they're terrific!

Hey Traylor,

Great post with a lot of truth and a topic that comes on the heels of a conversation I recently had with Michael and a couple who was at our home for dinner last night.

The conversation started with me bringing up a recent post I'd read over at Project M which asked the question - Is Marriage Hard? - which morphed into a discussion of a program that us two couples are familiar with which encourages people to be their authentic self which, in and of itself, isn't a bad thing (no masks, no pretending, etc.); it just leaves big gaps that never get quite filled. My question/response to that, though, was what about when my "authentic self" hurts another person? Do I justify that with, "hey, this is me....authentically." Somehow, I don't think that would work because it's an authenticity that's self-focused when viewed this way.

Which takes me to your 4th quadrant: "I'm not okay. You're not okay." True statements and definitive Gospel which offers true freedom in Christ. It doesn't seem quite enough to recognize our respective non-okness (how's that for a new word?), however, and leave it at that. I would hope that the recognition would follow with change as it doesn't seem enough to recognize the brokenness and do nothing to move through it; to say, "this is just who I am" because there's no condemnation for those who are in Christ therefore others need to receive me just as He does.

I recognize that you haven't stated this in your post; it's just what came up for me while reading it. In our marriage ministry, we occasionally talk with husbands who claim in one breath that God knows their heart and with the next verbally abuse their wife. Yet they hold fast to that belief because, in their mind, it justifies the strength of their faith even though the Word tells that same man (indeed, tells us all) that out of the mouth speaks the heart. Our response to these men is, "you're absolutely right. God does know your heart."

My reality is this: my marriage would never have been restored had Michael continued to look at pornography and go to strip clubs. Do we both recognize that as a part of non-okness? Yes. Though to just recognize it and do nothing to move out of it would have been counter productive and, in my opinion, a poor representation of Christianity.