Imperfect People

Imperfect People in love with a perfect God

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Imperfect People - Imperfect People in love with a perfect God

I wannabe a weirdo

We are all subject to peer pressure whether we admit it or not.  But when your peers are doing some questionable things its time to go against the grain.  Here is a snapshot of our typical “normal” peer in America:

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, at least 8 million Americans are at least one month behind on their mortgage payments at this point.

Average household debt in the United States has now reached a level of 136% of average household income.  In China, average household debt is only 17% of average household income.

Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today,one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.

The average US household credit card debt stands at $15,216 

Average mortgage debt: $148,443

Average student loan debt: $32,054 (source)

Of all countries, the United States has the highest rate of obesity. From 13% obesity in 1962, to 35.7% in 2010 (source)

55 percent of all marriages result in divorce. (source)

Research indicates that people who live together prior to getting married are more likely to have marriages that end in divorce. ” The Boston Herald

The average American spends 2.7 hours a day watching TV (source)

“More than ever before, work dominates people’s lives in this country” -Joanne B. Ciulla,

One-third of children age 8 – 17 believe their parent has been always or often worried or stressed out about things during the past month.


If the average “normal” American is financially upside down, unhealthy, overworked, in a bad relationship and stressed out…then I don’t think being normal sounds so fun.

Craig Groschel wrote a book (I highly recommend) called “Weird because normal isn’t working” that states, “when people describe his family as weird, he finds comfort.”  I couldn’t agree more.

The bible tells us: If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. John 15:19

“If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me first”.-Jesus

Living differently sometimes results in criticism.  Going with the crowd can be so easy that being “weird” requires seeking correct guidance and it isn’t always  the easiest route.  I don’t want our family to be a statistic.  I want us to be…well…weird.  

I want to be so WEIRD I save up to buy things and delay gratification instead of buying on credit.

I want to such a WEIRDO that I could stand living with less if it means I can have less stress and more time with my family.

I want to be the WEIRD family that guards the media that comes into our home.

I want to be so WEIRD that I eat food whose ingredients I can pronounce.

I want so be so WEIRD that I take INTENTIONAL time with my husband so we can still be in love years after the, “I do.”

And I want so be criticized for saying NO to something good so I can say YES to something great.

What do you think about all this weird talk.  Are you a weirdo too?

How to argue with your spouse

My husband and I celebrated SEVEN years of marriage this past weekend (woo hoo!).  To celebrate we went to a Winshape “Courageous Hearts” retreat in Rome, GA.

Inspired by the quote, “the best thing you can give your kids is a good marriage” we took an intentional getaway designed not for couples in crisis, just couples that want the BEST marriage possible.  Our weekend was full of RELAXATION, no distractions (it is media free), time together, and time to learn how to be even better together.

Truett Cathy (yes the founder of Chick-fil-A) founded Winshape with the purpose of shaping “winners”  and shaping winning marriages is one of the things they do great…plus we had excellent customer service and lots of “my pleasure.”

The ropes course: 

I learned so much I will probably be writing about it forever but most importantly was a really cool lesson on “how to argue with your spouse” led by Todd Sandel (who did an awesome job!)  Here is what I learned:

Rarely are arguments about only the issue at hand.  More often a “fear button” has been pushed and we are reacting because of the fear button, not the issue.  Let me give you an example:

The wife is watching HGTV, she says, “oh honey look, I would love to do that to our kitchen!”  He hears “I am not a good enough provider and you would like to do that to our kitchen tomorrow.” 

His fear button of, “I”m not good enough” was pushed.  He reacts by saying, “Don’t you remember the budget talk?  Why would you bring that up now when we just paid for dance lessons?” 

She reacts by using “you always” or “we never”  because now her button of “I’m not being heard or my opinion isn’t valued” is pushed. 

And so the cycle continues. 

The issue is no longer about the plans for the kitchen but a husband who doesn’t feel valued and a wife who doesn’t feel heard. 

After a little practice you can quickly identify when you get in the cycle and deal with the “buttons” instead of just arguing in circles. 

If the buttons are identified early, the argument would end before it had a chance to start.  Imagine a tennis match:

Serve: That kitchen on HGTV is Beautiful!
Return: Don’t you remember the budget talk?
AH HA! Your button was pushed.  Argument ender: I’m sorry I didn’t intend that we remodel anytime soon if ever.  It’s just a show I enjoy. Thank you for providing us with a home when so many have so little. (ok maybe that’s a little over the top…but I guarantee that would end the argument!) 

Repair & Reconnect

My fear button of _________ got pushed

I reacted by __________

How ever the truth about my value is  __________

What I really long for is ____________

Marriage is the foundation of the family.  If you are married…I hope this will help you argue less, and voice your differences with love. 


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LiveJournal Tags: Marriage,Christian

Love Language Assessment Test

Valentines day is just around the corner.  Do you know your love language?

Picture Credit

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about Gary Chapman wrote a book called the 5 love languages which he says we all give and receive love in the following ways:

  1. Acts of Service: Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes.
  2. Words of Affirmation: Unsolicited compliments mean the world to you.
  3. Physical Touch: Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show love.
  4. Quality Time: Nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention
  5. Receiving Gifts:  Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift.

It really makes a difference understanding how people in your life give and receive love. For a short glimpse of your language take this test! 

For a more in-depth (and probably more accurate) test you can go to Gary Chapman’s website  They have the same test for children, singles, and teenagers here too.

Share your findings.  What is your love language? Tags: love,marriage,christian


Finding the sparkle again

After six years of marriage I finally took my ring to the jewelers for a good cleaning, refinishing, and shine.  Wow what a difference it made!  It gradually got dirty so i didn’t notice how bad it got until I saw how beautiful it always was, hiding behind all the “gunk.”

I am not going to get a new ring just because it needed some TLC.  That would be crazy!  Way to expensive and this ring means something to me.  Even if we became millionaires I would always want to wear THIS RING.

I think, just like my ring, we get used to something and accept it at its current state even though we know it could be so much better.  I know several people fighting marital problems.  I’m sure the problems didn’t happen over night but somewhere along the way they happened and now they are putting up with a “grimy, gunky” marriage when it could be so much more.  Should they get a “new one?” No!  Just because it needs some attention, a fresh perspective, and maybe even some expert care, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth saving.  I don’t know everyone’s situation and maybe the “grime” is very thick but at one point there was some sparkle and I believe it is worth doing whatever it takes to find that sparkle again.

We are not perfect but we try very hard to put each others needs above our own.  The book Love & Respect I believe is a must read for all couples.  About how a woman needs love the same way a man needs respect.

One of the best things you can give your children, is a good marriage. 

Marriage is the foundation for the family our culture does very little to support it.  Families are falling apart everywhere we look because very few people are willing to roll up their sleeves and find resources and people to come along side us and encourage a healthy marriage.  If you are facing problems, or (even better) if you just want to be proactive, there are some great resources here and here.  And P.S. the Fireproof move (and book) are AWESOME!

It is worth fighting for.

“You know someone needs encouragement if they are breathing.”

Truett Cathy said it best, “You know someone needs encouragement if they are breathing.” 

Everyday we are berated with “you can do better, you can be more attractive, you are not quite good enough.”  But noticeably absent from our culture are the efforts made to appreciate each other. 

Positive Reinforcement is a great way to teach children.  Even train your pet.  And while I’m not trying to get you to “train” anyone to do anything I am saying with all the research that a pat on the back goes along way you would think we would do it more often. 

I think being summoned to the bosses office should at least occasionally be a good thing.  Or taking our kids to the side let them know we noticed how well the were sharing and we are so proud of them.

The forgotten art of handwritten notes is a great way to encourage others.  There is something special about going to the mailbox to find a letter with your name on the outside handwritten.  You know its not a bill, it is someone who took the time to sit down, write something special to YOU, pin down your address, and even found a stamp!  Handwritten sticky notes are also very sweet to leave around the house or to place in a work bag, lunch box etc.  My husband is so sweet about doing this before he leaves on trips.  Sweet little sticky notes to find while he is gone. 

But there is also nothing wrong with sending an uplifting email or facebook message.  I try to be sensitive when i notice a certain person keeps coming to mind.  If I know they are going through a hard time I try to make a POINT (because it has to be intentional) to give them a call or just touch base somehow.  I don’t always do it and I often miss the boat but the times I do get it right it is such a blessing to pass on some encouragement. 

I wonder what our world would look like if we actually told each other how much we appreciate each other and did it often. 

Now if you will excuse me I have a long overdue note to send to a friend.