MARRIAGE CONVERSATIONS: #WeekofThanksChallenge

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MARRIAGE CONVERSATIONS: Week of Thanks Challenge

For the week leading up to Thanksgiving, you are being challeged to pray over yourself and your relationships in specific ways.  Join me in this challenge as we strengthen the important relationships in our lives.

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By the end of this challenge you’ll be in the middle of enjoying some good food with good people.  I pray that your Thanksgiving holiday is filled with laughter and joy.  I ask God to step into those situations where peace is more than an arms length.  I ask God to give you a spirit of grace and reconciliation and will allow you to exercise the 3 principles to a successful relationship, Prayer, Communication and Consistency!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Your girl,

lesliesignature

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MARRIAGE CONVERSATIONS | 14 DAY RELATIONSHIPS CHALLENGE – DAY 14

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14 DAY RELATIONSHIPS CHALLENGE – DAY 14

CHALLENGE: Take an “usie” picture again! What’s the difference between Day 1 and today?

It’s Day 14 of the 14 Day Relationship Challenge.  Today’s challenge is to take another selfie.  I want you to capture how you feel today.  Do you feel any different than you did on day 1?

PRAYER

Dear God, Thank you for giving us the desire to strengthen our marriages.  Continue to work patience and grace into our lives daily.  Help those who are still doing the challenge or will begin the challenge to do so prayerfully because we know that only you can change our hearts.  Thank you for your continual blessings in every area of our lives.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

OBSERVATION

I noticed that I think about my husband more often than ever before.  He’s constantly on my mind.  I’m more intentional with the moments we share and I try my best to show him that I’m actively listening.  What’s cool is that I do it without having to think about it.  Since my attention has been so directly focused on him and our marriage, I find myself instinctively doing the challenge tasks without having to thing about them.

How to join?  That’s up to you!  It’s completely your choice how you participate in this challenge.  Truly, what matters to me is that you are putting these prompts into action prayerfully and intentionally.  I want you to see the fruits of your labor when it’s all said and done.  Here’s how you can follow along: (1) Check back here to find the daily prompt along with my encouragement, prayer and observations from the previous day.  (2) Check out my Instagram where you’ll also see the daily prompts and can engage other participants.  (3) Watch the live Periscope episodes over the course of these 14 days where you’ll find me talking about my observations in addition to tackling a Marriage Conversations Topic.  Finally, (4) you’ll find a video dedicated to this challenge, with all the details and each day spelled out for you.  This is in case you’re catching this on the 15th day and you really want to participate.  The beauty is there’s no such thing as a late start.  Anytime is a great time to start doing these things in your relationships. #MARRIAGECONVERSATIONS

Your Girl,

lesliesignature

 

 

 

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MARRIAGE CONVERSATIONS | 14 DAY RELATIONSHIPS CHALLENGE – DAY 13

MARRIAGE CONVERSATIONS

14 DAY RELATIONSHIPS CHALLENGE – DAY 13

CHALLENGE: GIVE YOUR SPOUSE ALL OF YOU.  THAT MEANS, PUT THE PHONE DOWN, CLOSE THE LAPTOP, TAKE THE EARPIECE OUT AND BE PRESENT.

There are so many distractions today, but not just technology is to blame.  We are distracted by society’s pressure to “succeed”.  We are distracted by the tempting imagery in the media.  We are distracted by our thoughts and “priorities.  Don’t allow the distractions of life to make your spouse feel like he|she is anything less than your first earthly priority.  Give your spouse ALL of you.

I was recently asked how to make your spouse feel like a priority when balancing significant responsibilities outside the home.  There’s no big revelation here.  All you need to do is MAKE her|him the priority.  Your spouse should never feel like he|she is competing for your attention.  When this happens you enter into a very dangerous zone.  Marriage is like bathing.  You can’t expect to keep bathing in the same bath water, day after day, year after year and come out fresh, clean and feeling good.  You need to get rid of the old bath water and add some soap.  The same needs and expectations you each had when you got married may not be the same needs and expectations you have now.    You have to do something different.

Be the husband|wife you think you are.  Make your spouse the priority.

PRAYER

Dear God, I ask that you’ll help those who take on today’s task to have focus.  Help them to make their spouses the priority in their marriage.  Do not allow the every day distractions and “urgencies” take control.  Help us to let go of our attempts to multi-task.  Redirect our focus Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

OBSERVATION

I could easily say that I don’t know how successful I was with this day’s challenge because of my 4 kids and all the attention they require but when it comes down to it, you make time for what’s important to you.  While I didn’t complete #fail at this challenge, I do feel like I could have and can give more.  The challenge continues.

How to join?  That’s up to you!  It’s completely your choice how you participate in this challenge.  Truly, what matters to me is that you are putting these prompts into action prayerfully and intentionally.  I want you to see the fruits of your labor when it’s all said and done.  Here’s how you can follow along: (1) Check back here to find the daily prompt along with my encouragement, prayer and observations from the previous day.  (2) Check out my Instagram where you’ll also see the daily prompts and can engage other participants.  (3) Watch the live Periscope episodes over the course of these 14 days where you’ll find me talking about my observations in addition to tackling a Marriage Conversations Topic.  Finally, (4) you’ll find a video dedicated to this challenge, with all the details and each day spelled out for you.  This is in case you’re catching this on the 15th day and you really want to participate.  The beauty is there’s no such thing as a late start.  Anytime is a great time to start doing these things in your relationships. #MARRIAGECONVERSATIONS

Your Girl,

lesliesignature

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MARRIAGE CONVERSATIONS | 14 DAY RELATIONSHIPS CHALLENGE – DAY 12

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14 DAY RELATIONSHIPS CHALLENGE – DAY 12

CHALLENGE: CHECK YOU JOB DESCRIPTION AND MAKE SURE YOU’RE DOING THE JOB YOU SIGNED UP FOR.

Power-struggles exist in marrigaes all across the US.  Husbands and wives get confused about their roles in marriage and when it gets out of hand, they find themselves in divorce court.  Case in point, I’m sure you’ve heard of the reality show, Keeping up with the Kardashians.  If not, the show follows the lives of Kim Kardashian and her family. Her mother, Kris Jenner, is the highly respected leader of the pack.  She is in charge of the order of the entire house.  Kris’ husband, Bruce Jenner, is essentially left alone to live his life in the garage with his helicopters and golf clubs.  He is completely emasculated, treated as one of the children and garners no respect.  This is what I call the Bruce Jenner Syndrome.

The Bruce Jenner Syndrome is a situation where the husband is no longer filling the role God intended for the family.  He is not respected.  He is not the head of the house and he is powerless.  It’s easy to point the finger and say that these husbands need to grow a backbone, but the trouble doesn’t always point back to the husband, sometimes it points back to the wife.  Is the wife overstepping her boundries as a wife.  Is she operating out of her job description?

Society places great importance on indepdence, especially for women.  The expectations for personal and professional succes are increasingly greater as the years go by.  As a result, some women have a hard time drawing a line between their job description at work and their job description at home, which causes a power-struggle.  This power-struggle typically results in the husband being stripped of his God-given power as head of the house.  Shortly after, the wife will begin to complain that the husband is not strong, that he’s weak and that he’s not a “good” head of house.  This is a delicate area in marriage and requires prayer.  Think about how you’re going about your day.  Wives, are you functioning in your role as the helpmate to your husband?  Do you need to give your husband back the head of household power?  Husbands, are you functioning in your role as the leader of the house?  Are you walking in the power God has given you by making sound decisions and communicating with your wife?

Role of the Husband – Ephesians 5:21-24 & 1 Corinthians 11:3

Role of the Wife – Ephesians 5:22-24 & Colossians 3 :18-19

PRAYER

Dear God, Help us to recognize the error in our ways and help us to reconcile our relationships so that we may live the life of abundance you created for us.  Allow us to ignore the pressure and expectations that society lays on us and help us to focus our attention on you.  We love you Lord and we thank you in advance for restoring us in our right places in this sacred union.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

OBSERVATIONS

Of all of the challenges, this is probably the one I struggle with the least.  I have no problem falling into place. LOL  I can’t pinpoint when but somewhere along my life’s journey I gave up trying to be in control of everything.  I am happy to allow my husband to take the trash out, put gas in the car, take care of the bills.  Not having to do these things frees up my mind to do other important things.  I know what you’re thinking?  Well, my husband’s strength isn’t in taking care of the bills and those other responsibilities so I have to do it.  Well, it may be true that your husband isn’t the best at paying the bills on time or remembering other responsiblities, but is that because he’s never been given the opportunity to try?  How we handle our husbands is critical to how they will behave.  If you treat them with respect and set the expectation that they will figure out how to be responsible in some of these areas, to our surprise they’ll likely rise to the occassion.  Whether that means they figure it out, or they come to you and say, “you’re better at handling the finances, I’ll take on some of your responsiblities instead.”

How to join?  That’s up to you!  It’s completely your choice how you participate in this challenge.  Truly, what matters to me is that you are putting these prompts into action prayerfully and intentionally.  I want you to see the fruits of your labor when it’s all said and done.  Here’s how you can follow along: (1) Check back here to find the daily prompt along with my encouragement, prayer and observations from the previous day.  (2) Check out my Instagram where you’ll also see the daily prompts and can engage other participants.  (3) Watch the live Periscope episodes over the course of these 14 days where you’ll find me talking about my observations in addition to tackling a Marriage Conversations Topic.  Finally, (4) you’ll find a video dedicated to this challenge, with all the details and each day spelled out for you.  This is in case you’re catching this on the 15th day and you really want to participate.  The beauty is there’s no such thing as a late start.  Anytime is a great time to start doing these things in your relationships. #MARRIAGECONVERSATIONS

Your Girl,

lesliesignature

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14 Day Relationship Challenge – Days 8 through 14

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14 Day Relationship Challenge

Days 8-14 at a glance

For those of you who like to know what’s to come, or if you’re playing catch-up.  Here’s the list of remaining challenges.

Your Girl,

lesliesignature

 

 

 

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MARRIAGE CONVERSATIONS | 14 DAY RELATIONSHIPS CHALLENGE – DAY 11

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14 DAY RELATIONSHIPS CHALLENGE – DAY 11

CHALLENGE: What’s most important to you in your relationship with your spouse?

Today’s task is not about money.  It’s not about the kid’s education.  It’s not about the roof over your head.  It’s about you and what you need to feel fulfilled in your marriage relationship.  Understand, that there is only one who can be your everything and that is God, but God gives us a helpmate to meet some of our natural needs as well.

Spend some time in prayer and talking to yourself.  Once you’ve prayed and identified at least 3 things, talk to your spouse.  Pose the question to him|her (without expectation of an immediate answer) and share what your 3 things are.  Remember, your approach and attitude is very important because we don’t want our spouses to feel like they are being attacked.  As we grow, our marriage grows so the goal here is simply to express some your needs so that your spouse is not left to assume your needs are being met.  COMMUNICATION!  This exercise is 3-fold.  The first part of this exercise is to help you draw some conclusions about what you really need in this stage of your marriage.  The second part of this exercise is to understand the needs and expectations your spouse has of you.  The third part of this exercise is to realize that, try as he|she might, your spouse cannot possibly meet every single one of your needs and so there are some things you must release to God.

PRAYER

Dear God, I ask you to come into our hearts as we pray for understanding.  Help us first seek to understand and then to be understood.  Help us to know that there is no one but you who can meet every one of our needs.  Help us not to set unfair expectations of our spouses.  Help us to be able to meet our spouses needs and communicate in a loving way.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

OBSERVATION

This challenge helped me to step back and reassess somethings.  It helped me to look at my children and husband in a different way.  I began to ask myself, what are the things I should be doing for myself to make me a better wife and mother.  How should I be setting and example to my daughters and sone of the role of a wife.  The sum of these things are what really matter in life.

How to join?  That’s up to you!  It’s completely your choice how you participate in this challenge.  Truly, what matters to me is that you are putting these prompts into action prayerfully and intentionally.  I want you to see the fruits of your labor when it’s all said and done.  Here’s how you can follow along: (1) Check back here to find the daily prompt along with my encouragement, prayer and observations from the previous day.  (2) Check out my Instagram where you’ll also see the daily prompts and can engage other participants.  (3) Watch the live Periscope episodes over the course of these 14 days where you’ll find me talking about my observations in addition to tackling a Marriage Conversations Topic.  Finally, (4) you’ll find a video dedicated to this challenge, with all the details and each day spelled out for you.  This is in case you’re catching this on the 15th day and you really want to participate.  The beauty is there’s no such thing as a late start.  Anytime is a great time to start doing these things in your relationships. #MARRIAGECONVERSATIONS

Your Girl,

lesliesignature

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MARRIAGE CONVERSATIONS | 14 DAY RELATIONSHIPS CHALLENGE – DAY 10

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14 DAY RELATIONSHIP CHALLENGE DAY 10

CHALLENGE: REMEMBER THE FIRST KISS – DO YOU REMEMBER YOUR FIRST KISS?  WERE YOU NERVOUS?  DID YOU HAVE BUTTERFLIES?  TALK ABOUT IT.

I have a sneaking suspicion that you don’t remember the what, when and where of your first kiss with your spouse.  Juuust a feeling I have.  Why is that?  Why is it that there are some things that just seem to fall through life’s cracks.  We know they happened because we can remember how we felt, but we don’t remember the tiny details.  And that, my friends, is the point of this challenge.  I want you to talk about your first kiss, you first date, etc. and drum up those sweet memories and feelings back when skies were blue and bird were chirping.  LOL This conversation and resulting good feelings feed your emotional bank accounts, which we should be doing on a regular basis.

PRAYER

Dear God, I pray that this challenge will help our relationships to grow stronger. I ask that you come into our hearts and help us to continue to love our spouses as you command us to.  Help us to realize that unlike financial bank accounts, our emotional bank accounts cannot operate in the negative.  God we know you are our emotional overdraft protection, but it is not your plan that we should find our marriages in a point of desperation where we are crying out to you for mercy because we did not follow your commands for us.   I thank you for hearing this prayer and blessing us. In Jesus’ name.  Amen

OBSERVATION

To be continued…

How to join?  That’s up to you!  It’s completely your choice how you participate in this challenge.  Truly, what matters to me is that you are putting these prompts into action prayerfully and intentionally.  I want you to see the fruits of your labor when it’s all said and done.  Here’s how you can follow along: (1) Check back here to find the daily prompt along with my encouragement, prayer and observations from the previous day.  (2) Check out my Instagram where you’ll also see the daily prompts and can engage other participants.  (3) Watch the live Periscope episodes over the course of these 14 days where you’ll find me talking about my observations in addition to tackling a Marriage Conversations Topic.  Finally, (4) you’ll find a video dedicated to this challenge, with all the details and each day spelled out for you.  This is in case you’re catching this on the 15th day and you really want to participate.  The beauty is there’s no such thing as a late start.  Anytime is a great time to start doing these things in your relationships. #MARRIAGECONVERSATIONS

Your Girl,

lesliesignature

 

 

 

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MARRIAGE CONVERSATIONS | 14 DAY RELATIONSHIPS CHALLENGE – DAY 9

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14 DAY RELATIONSHIP CHALLENGE DAY 9

CHALLENGE: PRAY WITH YOUR SPOUSE: DON’T LET YOUR FEELINGS GET IN THE WAY.  

Many of you have been praying with your spouse for days, months and years.   You have a dedicated, strong prayer life and there’s not a day that goes by that you’re not praying together for someone or something.  If that’s you, continue praying but this post is not for you.

This post is for those of you whom praying together isn’t something you’ve done in a while, if ever.  This is for those of you who feel too ashamed to pray because you recognize the role you’ve played in the seemingly unsalvagable state of your marriage, and you feel like, God just doesn’t bless people like you.  This post is for those who have begun to feel like God no longers hears your prayers and although you keep hoping that your husband will make you a priority, hoping that your wife will finally get her act together, hoping that you will finally be able to trust your spouse again…deep down inside you feel like you’re at the end of your rope and God can’t possibly fix the complicated mess your marriage has become.  Keep reading.

Faith isn’t something you’re born with.  Why?  Because like muscles, faith isn’t something that can be realized without exercise (work) and prayer.  2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “walk by faith and not by sight” but if you train yourself to see God’s miracle in the little things, walking by faith won’t feel so hard.  Think of all the “little” things God has done in your life.  Thank God for your noisy kids who have the health and strength to play.  Thank God for that beat up hooptie that keeps getting you to and from work each and every day.  Thank God for those raggedy tennis shoes that you can slide your feet into all by your self and the worn out  laces you can tie all by yourself.  Thank God for the noisy washing machine that keeps cleaning your clothes night after night.  Thank God for the fact that you were able to open your eyes this morning and find yourself in your RIGHT mind.  When you begin to testify in prayer to the “little” things that God does in our lives, you will find that your faith in God’s ability to do the “big” things, like restore your marriage, are in His reach. God brought you this far.  Do you really think He’s going to leave you now?  If you don’t have a healthy prayer life, you will not have a healthy marriage.  Today, I challenge you to let go of those discouraging thoughts.  Grab your spouse by the hands and pray.

PRAYER

Dear God, Your word tell us that we are to always pray and not faint.  Help us to remember that all things are little in your sight.  Help us to realize that we should never be ashamed to talk to you.  Soften our hearts so that we can unite in prayer with our spouses and lay our discouragement, doubt, trust issues, at your feet.  We love you God and we thank you.  Amen.

OBSERVATIONS

to be continued…

How to join?  That’s up to you!  It’s completely your choice how you participate in this challenge.  Truly, what matters to me is that you are putting these prompts into action prayerfully and intentionally.  I want you to see the fruits of your labor when it’s all said and done.  Here’s how you can follow along: (1) Check back here to find the daily prompt along with my encouragement, prayer and observations from the previous day.  (2) Check out my Instagram where you’ll also see the daily prompts and can engage other participants.  (3) Watch the live Periscope episodes over the course of these 14 days where you’ll find me talking about my observations in addition to tackling a Marriage Conversations Topic.  Finally, (4) you’ll find a video dedicated to this challenge, with all the details and each day spelled out for you.  This is in case you’re catching this on the 15th day and you really want to participate.  The beauty is there’s no such thing as a late start.  Anytime is a great time to start doing these things in your relationships. #MARRIAGECONVERSATIONS

Your Girl,

lesliesignature

 

 

 

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MARRIAGE CONVERSATIONS|14 DAY RELATIONSHIP CHALLENGE – DAY 8

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14 DAY RELATIONSHIP CHALLENGE DAY 8

CHALLENGE: Say “I’m Sorry!”  Offer a sincere apology to your spouse for a specific thing you said or did or DIDN’T say or do.

Two of the hardest, yet most powerful words in marriage are “I’m sorry!”  Why is that?  Why is it so hard for us to admit when we’re wrong?  Why is it so hard for us to humble ourselves and confess our wrongdoings…even to our spouses?  Pride.  Embarrassment.  Shame.  None of these characteristics are what God wants for our marriages.

It is my belief and experience, that God allows us to have these feelings of pride, embarrassment and shame to create in us a sense of urgency and pain.  When we feel pain in our bodies, it’s an indicator that something is wrong and we need help. God uses our pain to point us toward Him.  Ask anyone, no one likes the feeling of embarrassment or shame.  These are some of the deepest and hardest feeling to escape.  They burden our minds and take over our being.  Having a sense of “pride” stemming from self-righteousness is also burdensome because while your big-bad proud persona tells the world one thing, deep inside your struggle with insecurity, your desire to “one-up” any and everyone you encounter and your need for constant validation, tells a different story.

Sincere apology is one tool God has gives us to deepen our relationships, build trust through vulnerability and create a spirit of humility within us.  Offer your apologies freely, but sincerely.

PRAYER

Dear God, continue to help us to be mindful in our marriages.  Use us to demonstrate your love in our actions toward our spouses.  Help us also to realize the power of forgiveness in our marriage.  Amen

CONCLUSION

To be continued..

How to join?  That’s up to you!  It’s completely your choice how you participate in this challenge.  Truly, what matters to me is that you are putting these prompts into action prayerfully and intentionally.  I want you to see the fruits of your labor when it’s all said and done.  Here’s how you can follow along: (1) Check back here to find the daily prompt along with my encouragement, prayer and observations from the previous day.  (2) Check out my Instagram where you’ll also see the daily prompts and can engage other participants.  (3) Watch the live Periscope episodes over the course of these 14 days where you’ll find me talking about my observations in addition to tackling a Marriage Conversations Topic.  Finally, (4) you’ll find a video dedicated to this challenge, with all the details and each day spelled out for you.  This is in case you’re catching this on the 15th day and you really want to participate.  The beauty is there’s no such thing as a late start.  Anytime is a great time to start doing these things in your relationships. #MARRIAGECONVERSATIONS

Your Girl,

lesliesignature

 

 

 

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