No Man Left Behind

A few months ago, I found myself steeped in one of life’s realities—a reality I did not actually want to accept. In an endeavor to escape what was a reality I now realize God desired for me to process through, I became very preoccupied with finding solutions. This preoccupation was a means of trying to make myself feel better about, well, me…because things weren’t going my way. Quite honestly, my challenges were in great contrast to what people perceived. As such, I allowed these perceptions to apply pressure to me—so I struggled to find solutions. What a mess!

While trying to map out my little “escape route,” I realized that I had forgotten I was on this journey with someone—my husband. Devin is not pushy or super needy, so it was the Holy Spirit who really helped me to see that I was lacking in this area. He helped me to see that since Devin and I are one, I needed to engage as a team player. Of course I love and care for my husband. But, it is possible that we allow the stresses of life to distract us from the fact that our spouse has goals, desires, struggles, victories, and a need for love and support as well. So, although I wasn’t doing horribly in the way of support, I needed regain focus.

Proverbs 31:11-12 is a good example of what happens when a wife is aware of her role in the marriage unit.

“The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

This passage implies that: (1) she remained emotionally available to her husband, (2) the husband could trust her to come to him in times of need, (3) she remained present—not distant or unnaturally introverted, (4) she wasn’t unpredictable—didn’t make rash decisions or lash out, and (5) she did not leave her husband behind—trying to find solutions and make things happen on her own.

When was the last time you made a conscious effort to remind your husband that you are in “this” together? No matter our goals, hurts, insecurities, desires, or victories we must not leave our husbands behind emotionally, spiritually or in any other way. Let’s commit to focusing less on what we want and need. Instead, choose to engage in meaningful conversation with your husband about what his needs are. Don’t automatically think all of his needs are sexual/physical. He will surprise you when you open the door for honest communication. This does not mean that your needs do not matter or that you all should ignore the realities of your challenges and desires (that’s unhealthy!). What this does mean, though, is that we must make conscious, consistent efforts as wives to pour into our husbands.  Since God has joined us to our spouse, we must remember that we are in this life-journey together!

Cheers to no husband left behind.

Xx,

-AMG

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Finding Your Destiny

A friend of mine and I were speaking with a young lady not too long ago who communicated to me how she was facing a dilemma. She was sure that God was leading her to surrender more of herself to Him. She was also sure that she desired to have more of God, more of His presence. However, the dilemma was found in that she did not know what this looked like—or how she would reach the destiny God had for her.  After all, there were so many options to consider. Would her destiny take shape via traditional means of college and a career in the secular arena? Would she end up in full time ministry? If so, would her ministry function be what she currently enjoyed doing in the ministry? How could she reach her destiny with fears, insecurities, and perceived sense of inadequacy? Would God give instructions openly or in the personal time spent with Him? She wanted all of the answers, all of the gifting, all of the prophecy, all of her destiny right in that moment.

Don’t we all?

Well, as my friend and I were sharing insight with her, a profound truth was brought to light. I can’t remember whether my friend or I shared this truth (which isn’t all that important)—but it resonated with me. The profundity was this: As believers, our lives are not about reaching one destiny on earth. There are several destinations along the way at which times God will give us assignments, prune the fruit of our hearts, use us in big and small ways, and show us more of who He is. As He is our Guide, our responsibility is to respond with an affirmative, “yes, Lord.” The truth is that we will not reach our final destination until we see Christ.

It is also true that God will give us glimpses into our calling and the work He has for us to do in the earth. Still, we must be careful to follow Him, because the ideas we sometimes have about our ultimate destiny on earth is much smaller than what God has in mind for us to do. Thus, we must remain open and willing servants so that we can experience the God of Ephesians 3:20! Also, as you journey with Christ, don’t forget to celebrate your arrival at each destination. I know I am sometimes guilty of being a big-picture person so much that I do not celebrate each season I have entered and exited by grace.

So, let’s make a new commitment today to give thanks for every destination along the way—great or small. Remember, our final destination is found in the hope of Christ’s appearing. So, rest in His grace, keep pressing into God knowing that your steps are ordered! Not one step will ever be wasted, friends, even when you don’t understand the season you’re in or the path you’re on.

Cheers to trusting God and remaining patient.

Xx,

-AMG

Resource: Propel Women

Every now and again I come across a resource that speaks directly to my thoughts, my passions, and my desire for understanding. Propel Women, an organization geared towards empowering women to lead, is that sort of resource to me. The insights given via all of their resources are so life-giving in practical, relevant ways (so check them out!)

The video you will find in the link features Carolyn McCulley–a filmmaker at Citygate Films–who discusses how to disentangle our identity from our productivity. This is such an important concept because we can sometimes place so much pressure and expectation on ourselves where our productivity and performance are concerned that we forget our identity is found in Christ, not in the fleeting things of this world.

I hope the truths unpacked in this video speak to you profoundly. Keep an open heart and allow the Lord to show you where you have defined your own identity. Then allow Him to tell you who you truly are in Him.

Cheers to separating our identity from our productivity!

Xx,

  • AMG

 

Are You the Wise Woman?

Proverbs 14:1 says, ” A wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” Wow! What a succinct but powerful statement! Although this scripture mentions that a woman builds her house, I think it is safe to say that Solomon (the writer of the Book of Proverbs) is not talking literal bricks here. When I think of the word house in this context, I think of people– husband, children, extended family, pets (is it a bit of a stretch to add Fido in?). So, for this particular post, I really want to focus on how a woman can build up her king, her husband, her covering.

Much pressure is put on the man to be the provider, protector, defender, superman, problem-solver, so forth and so on. Essentially, society looks at the man as the one who can handle it all. However, as I have been thinking on this topic lately, I have come to personal terms with the fact that this not how God views men; nor is this the expectation He places on them. In fact, why would scriptures such as Matthew 11:28 exist that encourage people (men and women) to bring their heavy burdens to Christ? Why would Philippians 4:19 exist if men were actually the providers? Let’s relieve some of this pressure by understanding that God is the quintessential EVERYTHING we need, not our husbands. The husband is–among other things–the leader of the home, the one who facilitates order, hears from God and prophesies over his home, leads the family into worship, and stewards well what the Lord provides. And, when there seems to be a shortage or lack in some area, the man seeks the Lord for direction and puts his hand to the plow. So, yes, the man works diligently to provide (thank God for my hubs!). Keeping this all in proper perspective, though, God is the ultimate provider, strength, foundation, problem-solver, protector, and defender as it relates to the family life.

With all of this said, how can a woman (queen) build up her man (king) as he seeks God, walks in his ministry call, builds his business, leads the family, presses through hardship, etc.? There are several ways this can be done, especially since you know your mate best. However, I have come up with a short list of things I think are universally helpful as we wives endeavor to edify our husbands, making them feel appreciated, valued, loved, and respected. As you integrate these practices into your daily marriage life to give your relationship a pick-me-up, not only will you build up your husband, but your children will experience the joy and benefits of witnessing a healthy, happy marriage!

  1. Build him up with words. Ladies, believe it or not, your husband needs you to tell him he is doing a good job. He needs you to tell him how manly or great he is, looks, or smells. Lately I’ve been telling Devin he smells so manly to let him know I love his cologne/smell goods collection (and just for a good laugh). Whether that will fly with you and your guy, idk! Hahaha. If your husband is going through a rough patch, don’t expect him to handle it alone. It is scientifically proven that men use fewer words than women, so don’t expect your hubby to come to you like a natural Wendy Williams and spill his guts. Not going to happen! Instead, you take the initiative to pray, speak over his life, and invite him (not force him) to tell you what is going on in his world, his heart, his life outside of the home.
    2. Surprise him. Show your husband you are thinking about him! Nothing builds a man up more than knowing his one-and-only still thinks he’s absolutely divine! Whether this is a spontaneous date night, a video game he’s been wanting, a card with a heartfelt note written inside, a free pass to hang with his guys on a weekend he was supposed to watch the kids, or something more “intimate,” make sure it is obviously from your heart and not just something you threw together. Men love surprises, too! I remember I sent roses to Devin’s job once and it was a big hit with him (and his co-workers). It was suuuuper out-of-the-box but I wanted to let him know I was thinking about him.
  2. Say “I love you” often. When was the last time you professed those three special words to your husband? Regardless of your personality type, your husband needs to hear these words often. I am more of an introverted and shy personality, which means I have to be intentional about sharing my fondest thoughts of my husband with my husband, not just thinking them–because he can’t read my mind. You should say “I love you,” but you can text it, email it, FB it, Instagram it, write in on the mirror with lipstick. I don’t know! Just let the man know you love him…and then still be nice (because nothing is worse than an “I love you” followed by a “I thought I told you to…” rant.)
  3. Laugh together. Nothing will remind you of the foundation of friendship you have with your king more than laughter. It tears down walls between wives and husbands, takes away the inhibitions, and just lets us be ourselves together. I can’t put this more simply. Just get together and laugh. We are up against so much in the day-to-day that a good laugh a day will be medicine for your relationship! Guarantee 🙂

Cheers to being the wise woman.

Xx,

  • AMG

You Have the Answer

So many times I have become restless about achieving goals and accomplishing the vision I believe God has put in my heart. At these time you could hear me talking to God as I walk around the house saying, “God I don’t know! I just don’t knowwaaahhh!” Yes, I whine at God sometimes, and I can imagine Him giving me the side eye and shaking His head at me because I go through so many antics.

But, as I was thinking about this post, thoughts that came to me while in a Children’s Benadryl-induced stupor (random allergic reaction to some unknown something), God spoke to my heart and said, “YOU have the answer.” I immediately responded with, “I do?” Silence. I took that silence as a positive affirmation that I possessed the answers to so many questions about life, direction, and next steps.

Through this brief conversation with the Lord, I understood that He had prompted me several times to take this step or make that move, but I had hesitated–disobeyed really. My issue up until that point was that I wanted ALL the answers, not just the one God had provided me with. I wanted ALL the creativity to become an epiphany to me right away. I wanted every next step for the next five years to fall into my lap, stroking the ego of my human genius and intellect. Yet, God reminded me that every answer I needed for what I was seeking Him for had been given to me. In the small promptings, in the ideas that seemed too big and too risky, in the messages my pastor had preached, in the encouraging words of friends and mentors challenging me to do “it.”

Since it is a new year, I’m sure you have seen a ton of motivational, get-out-there-and-do-it, follow-your-heart messages, memes, commercials, etc. However, take a moment to pause and think about what you KNOW the Lord has given you instructions to do. It could be that book you’ve been constantly putting on the back burner. It could be reaching out to a family member you’ve been estranged from. It could be stepping up to take apply for a leadership role in the ministry or in your expanding company. Whatever answer you’ve already been given, write it down on the test paper of your life! Don’t wait, friends.

I am reminded of the story of Joseph. He was imprisoned in an Egyptian jail and had little hope for being released. That is, until the Pharaoh at that time realized Joseph had the gift to interpret dreams. In short, Joseph was able to interpret Pharaoh’s dream and was consequently released from prison. Imagine if Joseph had failed to use the gift of interpretation God had given him. How would fear have impacted the trajectory of Joseph’s life? How has fear impacted your life? Why haven’t you stepped out? You have the answer! Second Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.”

Essentially, this scripture lets you know that you have the answer(s) you need! Trust God, not your intellect, with every step (Prov. 3:5). Don’t let another day, month, or year pass by without moving forward towards destiny. Yes, God orchestrates our destinies, but miracles, success, favor, and breakthrough materialize when we OBEY and use the answer to pass the test.

Cheers to Wearing Your Crown Well, Friend.

Xx,

– AMG