Counting Blessings Not Sorrows…
A dear friend of mine did a photo shoot with us this fall. I was blown away by some of the pictures. My favorite is this one, as it completely captures how I admire my husband:
He’s brilliant and works very hard.
My second favorite photo was one of my kids.
She managed to capture the personalities of all three of them.
I’m not a fan of spilling the beans on my people’s personal lives without their permission, so suffice it to say that the photo will have to provide the details.
I do think a picture is worth a thousand words.
So when I counted my blessings today, I could reflectively linger on these images, thanking God for the gems they contain.
Today, when I read Proverbs 19, particularly verse 3, I was struck by how my husband has taken responsibility for his and our lives.
He is not a man of folly, but of hard work, diligence and perseverance.
And he consistently does his best, regardless of what he is doing.
Which is pretty stinkin’ good if you ask me.
So today, I dare you to let the people in your life know what you admire about them.
I sent my husband that first photo in an email and then told him how I admired him.
And I don’t care if I get a response.
Because it’s not about that. J
Double dog dare you to comment, share, or “subscribe” and join us in the journey via email.
Triple dog dare you to stop right now, and spend a few minutes thanking God for the wonder He’s blessed you with. Maybe your wealth isn’t counted in dollars, but in relationships – and if you see that, you are truly rich! J
This verse might help:
Philippians 4:8 Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.
Love to you,
—I love how you are looking at your hubs. So beautiful. So much respect. I feel that way about mine, too.
Lovely post.. Great photo. X
Thanks so much! Glad you are here! 🙂
New here, but I am praying for you Jen…..I do understand and it is possible to find blessings even in this. I know. It is also a very painful place you are in. Don’t look at what you’ve missed, look at God. Turn to Him. Listen to the advice given here. Trying to change him hasn’t worked so far, so try something new. You really can’t expect him to do the right thing.If you do, you may be disappointed and only feel let down and hurt. Find the love you crave from God!
I will pray for you. I do know where you are at.
Thank you, Beth. I absolutely have seen the blessings that have come from Keith’s alcoholism. Without the suffering I’ve gone through, I’m absolutely certain I wouldn’t have found the incredibly deep relationship I have with Our Lord. He has truly been my rock and my salvation! I never would have thought it possible to experience the level of peace and love that I experience in prayer. The trouble is when I have to go back to living in the world and I struggle with how to balance. I know and understand that I have to love Keith in a Christ-like way, loving him for who is where he is at. I know what that looks like when you need to love the poor person on the street or that unpleasant person in your neighborhood, but what I can’t figure out is what that looks like when it’s your spouse, especially when the spouse doesn’t have anywhere close to the level of faith you do and doesn’t understand. To him, love=intimacy and he can’t comprehend love that doesn’t include that (even if it’s temporary) and any time I try to explain anything like that to him, I just hurt his feelings and he still doesn’t understand it so he just shuts down completely. Like I said, he’ll be in treatment now until at least Mar. We talk briefly almost every day and I run him to appts or to work if he can’t get the bus (we have a terrible bus system here), but I feel very much like his caregiver rather than his spouse. Another part of that too has been my own defense mechanisms that have pulled me away from him in order to not be hurt. I had long ago reconciled myself to him dying sooner rather than later because that was the road he was on, so it’s hard to leave that safe spot I’ve wrapped myself up in. I don’t want to stick myself out there again because, if/when he fails again, I would be exposed and hurt all over. By keeping my distance I’m able to withstand whatever I need to and not let it get to me. It keeps me mentally healthy, but probably not what is healthiest for our marriage, huh? It’s hard because we’ve had other stuff going on too (our children were molested by a neighbor) so I’ve literally carried everything for many years and kept the family running as smoothly as possible. If I wasn’t as strong in my faith and hadn’t, long ago, put our lives in God’s hands, I’d be in the funny farm by now, driven crazy by the whys and hows of our life. I’m sorry this got so long. I know God will guide us through but I’m kind of spoiled in that, when I ask God for answers, they usually come pretty quick and are generally pretty clear. That’s not happening this time and I keep wondering if I’m missing something or if it’s just a matter of me leaning on God, trusting, and waiting. I’m doing that, but gosh that gets long and hard!!! Thanks again for your thoughts and prayers. I am very greedy and will take ALL the prayers I can get!!!!
Deo Juvate, Jen
There are a number of things, but first, we are joining you in prayer in this situation. How hard this must be for you and your children.
I am also praising God that your husband is in treatment. That is huge.
God tells us in Proverbs to “guard our hearts,” and that is wise in your situation. You are on a journey, your husband has his own. Your marriage, when it is healthy, also has a journey…all of these are connected with God – and while you can pray for your husband, you cannot control his behavior. You can control how you choose to respond, however…at least in the power of His Spirit! 🙂
I cannot give you specific advice because I am not God – He does know what you should do, however. So I encourage you to stay deeply connected and encourage your children to do likewise.
I have seen women separate over these issues, I have seen them stay. I have seen them help to varying degrees, and I’ve seen them “carry” and discover that was “enabling” and their own control issues. I don’t know you well enough to even guess which of these things are true for you.
I will, however, tell you what we have experienced ourselves, and that is that there is a process that women typically follow, regardless of what their husband is doing, that teaches them many things about being a wife. For me, I had to fully submit to God’s authority for my life, and deeply understand the concept of grace. I do recommend you start there. 🙂 It seems we all must start there.
Then we learn how to love and communicate respect. This is a lifelong journey, and somewhere along the way, as led by God, we start discovering that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. And that sometimes, love looks like a hard truth delivered gently. Sometimes love looks like saying nothing. Sometimes love looks like waiting for God to show Truth, and not getting in His way.
But nothing I tell you (or anyone else, for that matter) tells you will give you the answers you seek. Should you do Al-Anon? Sure, maybe. Should you read a few books? Sure, we can recommend a few (“Have a New Husband by Friday,” by Kevin Leman and “The Respect Dare” and “Love and Respect,” are good places to start)…but none will be better than being in His Word daily, having alone time with Him daily, journaling your prayers daily, and counting your blessings daily, and thus learning to hear His voice, and see His direction through the “coincidences” of people, circumstances, songs, and confirmation through His Word.
We are happy to walk along side you as you journey.
We’re all on it with you. 🙂
Following the Master…learning to listen, love, and lean.
Love to you,
Thank you, Nina. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers very much.
Deo Juvante, Jen
I posted on your “About” page last week but wasn’t sure if you would see it so I’m reposting here. You are indeed very blessed with such a good husband.
I just came to your blog after reading your “top ways that wives destroy their marriages.” I agree with you 100% and have seen all to many women who do some of those things so often, and then wonder what’s wrong in their marriage. I am wondering if you have advice, however, for the woman in my situation. I have lost trust and respect in my husband over many years of him being an alcoholic. While I tried for many years to be a good wife, he was unable to hold up his end so I have, by default, taken over everything in the household. Any money given to him over the years was squandered on alcohol; whenever I wanted his thoughts on a decision that needed to be made, he never responded; he is rarely truthful with me about how he is feeling and perceives things to be much different than what is fact. He is in treatment right now and will not be able to return home until spring. I am struggling with how to re-start our lives together. We will certainly do counseling but I just wanted your take on things too and if you have known any women who have been able to go through something like this and rebuild a relationship with their husband. We have 7 children aged 17-2 and homeschool. Thank you.
Jen, I’m so sorry I didn’t see this! I am tied up in meetings today, but will pray about this and get back to you tomorrow, okay? So sorry you are dealing with this!
Love to you,
Thanks, Nina. No worries about not seeing it. I had looked for your direct email but couldn’t find it. Sometimes blogs are still a little bit of a puzzlement to me yet. Anyway, I ended up writing a rather wordy post above that explains my feelings a little better. Thanks again for your time and prayers.
Deo Juvante, Jen
Julia and Shelly – 🙂 Big hugs inserted here… 🙂
He wants us to dwell in our blessings…
I positively ache for those who cannot see them…
Love to you both,
Thank you so much for sharing these pictures of your family! And for your words! I was reading in Colossians (I’m kind of staying there for a while) and noticed that gratitude was mentioned in both of the first 2 chapters, so I started writing down some of the things I’m thankful for in a journal that I started for the purpose of giving thanks, but you have challenged me to speak words of gratitude to my husband and to my children. Thank you!
LOVE the pictures Nina! I keep pictures of everything, and YES it helps me count my blessings over the hardships I sometimes face. 🙂
God Bless you and your family!
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