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Encouragement.  We all need it, some more than others.  As a wife, it is my responsibility to encourage and support my husband. Which is simple enough, but how do you encourage when you, yourself, are discouraged?  I barely have the energy to keep my head afloat, how the heck am I supposed to encourage him??

The last four years have been really really hard for us.  You may think we are okay and happy, but we’ve really struggled and are beyond the end of our rope, you know, barley hanging on to that fraying stringy stuff at the end. Our marriage is fine, so don’t worry about that one.  We are just exhausted and discouraged financially, emotionally, and spiritually.  As I’m sure many of you are.

My husband has been called to plant a church downtown Boston.  That was 5 years ago.  Since then, we’ve been pursuing, chasing, fasting and fervently praying for doors to open.  Right now, my hubby has a “trendy” job, that others would love to have, but with a family, it’s not ideal.  He works a different shift everyday. {Sunday is his only guaranteed day off, but then he has meetings Sunday nights.}  He gets his schedule a week in advance.  He is gone for 11 hrs of the day/night.  And he gets paid very little for it.  He hates it. While he’s doing that, I am stuck in our small home, with our 3 girls, without a car.  I hate it.  We’ve been doing this for almost 4 years now.  We are both losing our minds.  And that is not an understatment.  My husband has been applying for jobs in Boston, Seattle, here in Charlotte, and well, just about anywhere, for the last four years as well.  NOTHING.  Oh, he’s had interviews, skype interviews, flew to Boston for a hands on interview, and still nothing.  After four years of not getting another job and no open doors for Boston, one starts questioning their abilities, their calling, as well as losing their spark.  My husband has lost the twinkle in his eye, which is one of my most favorite things about him.  We are both fading.  We aren’t who we used to be.  We are irritable, discouraged, exhausted, but we are clinging onto the only hope we have, Jesus.  But I must say, God and I have been having some unpleasant conversations lately.

So, how do you support and encourage your hubby when you are both about to lose your grip on sanity??

Good question.  I ask myself that all the time.  I have apologized to my husband for not knowing how to encourage him when I’m in desperate need of encouragement myself.  To my surprise, he told me that I am encouraging…and these are the things I have been doing, without realizing it was encouraging for him.

1:  Everyday, I pray that someone would come along and encourage him that day.  Whether it be a phone call from a friend, a random email, or a stranger/friend that sees his potential and speaks life to it.

2:  I text him scriptures that encourage me and in turn they have been encouraging him.  I would give you some of my favorites, but they change everyday.  Isaiah and Psalms are great books to start with.

3:  Communicate with your hubby.  Express your frustrations and why you are discouraged.  I found that when I broke down in front of him {which is often}, he said that it encouraged him to be stronger.  He had this misconception that I was super strong, not phased by our current situation, and that I wouldn’t have a clue as to what he was feeling.  WRONG!!!  So very wrong!!  Share your heart and soul and know that you are both on the same page.  At least you won’t feel alone in your despair.

4: Let him know that you still believe in him.  This one is probably the most important.  Believing in someone is huge.  Letting them know is even bigger.  Talk about encouraging!!  When we were having a heart to heart session, I told him that I would never let him give up on his dream/calling and that I believed in him.  I saw the twinkle again.  It was faint, but it was there!!

5:  Remind him of all the blessings God has been gracious enough to give you. To name a few of ours:  Healthy family.  A job. {Even though he hates it.}  A roof over our heads.  We are debt free. {Aside from student loans and our car.}  Our bills are getting paid every month. {If you compare our bills to what he gets paid, you’ll know that it is a miracle and indeed a huge blessing.}  I get to be a stay at home mom. {I’m going crazy, but I’m grateful.}  There are so many blessings along the way.  You just have to stop, count them, and remind each other how blessed you really are.

See, it’s the simple things that help encourage and show our support for our husbands.  Who knew??

Go encourage your hubby. There’s also an amount of encouragement that is received when you are blessing and encouraging someone else.  Works out for both of you!!

I have no doubt that we’ll make it through this.  Because, this too shall pass.  We just don’t have a clue as to what the next step is.  But there’s hope in our God, who is always faithful, and He will remain in control.

DEATH TO SELF

Hubby and I just celebrated our 12th Anniversary, which is a year from my last post.  Sigh.  That’s another blog post entirely. Anyway, we decided to get matching tattoos as our gift to each other.  We decided on Death To Self tattoos, and the decision did not come lightly.  I’m pretty sure my parents {and others} think we are going to hell in a hand basket over this, but I don’t care.

The death skull is pretty intense and intimidating, but I assure you there is DEEP meaning behind it.

This image, along with many variations, is historical and dates back to the 1600′s.  It can be found on many of the Colonial tombstones in the  oldest graveyard, located in Boston, where Paul Revere and Samuel Adams are buried.  You may already know that my husband and I have been called to plant a church in Boston.  So, it represents Boston and death.

The eyes were designed to be hallow and creepy in order echo the warning that death is a part of life. It’s inevitable.
They go together. Don’t be afraid of death. Live your life.

The spiritual meaning is pretty self explanatory.  When you ask Jesus to be in control of your life, you must die to yourself to become like Him.  So, it serves as a reminder that we must choose to die to ourselves daily in order to be more like Him.

::::::::

Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23

My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galations 2:20

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here.  2 Corinthians 5:17

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3
{This whole chapter applies.}

::::::::

We fasted and prayed together for Boston and our calling for 21 days, prior to our anniversary, for clarity and to bombard heaven for an open door to get us there. {We have been in transition to move to Boston for almost 4 yrs now.}  I will always support my husband in his calling, but for the first time, I felt like Boston was my calling too.  No longer the cheerleader, but a game player.  So, getting matching tattoos symbolizes that we are both called to serve the great city of Boston.  And in order to serve Boston or anyone/anything, it can’t be about us, it has to be about Him, which means more dying to ourselves.

I have other tattoos and they all hurt…this one was no exception.  Every time I felt the pain of the needles, I kept repeating in my head: “Death to self.”  I focused on breathing and praying that we would indeed die to ourselves in order to serve Him better.  I began to feel almost disconnected from my arm and that He was saying: “This pain is nothing compared to the pain you have endured over the past 12 years, but it wasn’t in vain.  All the pain you felt, was Me scraping and chiseling away at your old self to make You who I need you to be.”  I felt so at peace that I fell asleep.  Yes, I actually fell asleep.  I’m so hard core!!!  :)

So, that’s the meaning behind our matching death skull tattoos.
And of course I had to add a poppy to mine!!  Poppies are my favorite and with my Natty Fray biz, it’s so me!!

11 yrs

August 28 marked 11 years of being married to my best friend!!  The years have flown by, and at the same time it seems like forever.  He’s my favorite person in the world and I would be lost without him.  I just want to share with you 11 things that I love about him.

  • Fun/whitty.
  • He sees the potential in everyone.
  • Adventurous
  • The absolute best daddy.
  • Sensitive.
  • Natural leader.
  • My biggest fan.
  • Audacious dreamer.
  • Challenges me to be better.
  • Tells me I’m beautiful everyday.
  • He’s MINE!!

I can’t wait to see what the next 11 yrs has in store for us.
The best is yet to come!!

sweet potato fries

One of my favorite things ever are homemade sweet potato fries.
I love the sweet and salty mixture!!
I would like to share my own version of sweet potato fries with you!!

:: Sweet Potatoes ::
:: Olive Oil ::
:: Cinnamon ::
:: Salt ::
:: Brown Sugar ::

Set the oven to 400°.  Thinly slice as many sweet potatoes as you need.  Throw them in a bowl.  Drizzle olive oil on them and mix until they are coated evenly.  Put the sliced potatoes on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle cinnamon over the fries.  Bake for about 30-45 min or until tender.  A bit longer if you like them crispy.  Once out of the oven, put them on a plate and sprinkle generously with brown sugar.  Add a dash of salt for taste.

These sweet potato fries always come out perfect and wonderfully delicious!!
They basically melt in your mouth!!  My entire family loves them!!

FROM MY FAMILY TO YOURS!!

Maybe it’s because I’m a California girl.  Or maybe it’s because they are cheery, bright, and beautiful.  I’m not sure what it is, but I absolutely LOVE poppies!!  I can’t help but smile when they surprise me on the side of the highway.  When I come across a piece of poppy artwork, jewelry, or artificial flower.
Just their simple beauty makes me happy.

curry egg salad

There is something you should know about me.  I am a pretty good cook and an excellent baker…however, I’m not great at recipes.  I rarely measure anything and I never follow a recipe to it’s exactness.  In my opinion, recipes are just wonderful ideas in which you should always improvise!!  If I could sum up my cooking, it would be:  Get your basic idea and then use at least 4 or 5 different recipes and make it one!!  Yep, that’s about it!!!

I do make a mean egg salad sandwich.


Doesn’t it look yummy?!?

Again, I never measure anything, so I had to improvise for you.

CURRY EGG SALAD
:: 2 boiled eggs ::
:: a dollop of mayo ::
:: a squeeze of mustard ::
:: 2 dashes of red wine vinegar ::
:: a smidge of pickle juice ::
:: 1 tsp-ish of sugar {to cut the vinegar} ::
:: salt and pepper to taste ::
:: 3 sprinkles of curry ::
* yields 1 *

My secret to perfect boiled eggs is:  let them boil 8 min then cool.  I’m sure everyone knows that though!!  Peel the shell off the eggs.  Cut eggs into pieces and put in a bowl.  Mix all the ingredients together.  Serve on toasted bread with lettuce, tomato and pickle on the side.

Okay, so, I’m not supposed to eat bread…LAME.
I actually gave the bread to my dog and ate it wrapped up in the lettuce!!
Which, it’s good like that too!!

Egg salad is also good as a dip with crackers or chips!!

{I’m the only one in the house that likes curry, so I have to add it just to mine!}

bestest

It’s Father’s Day and I want to just give a ginormous shout out
to the bestest daddy ever!!

Which would be my hubby of course!!!

He is the sweetest man and has the biggest heart.
He loves his little girls with everything in him.
And you better believe that they know it!!!

Some of the girls’ fave things about their daddy:
“I love it when he loves on me.”
“I love that he plays with me.”
“I really love that he gives us nicknames.”
“I just love everything about him.”
“I also love that he can fix almost anything.”

Happy Father’s Day!!!

We love you!!!

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