Well today is the last day of the husband encouragement challenge. I've had some time to reflect on the last thirty days and how it has affected me and my marriage. First of all, I've definitely been blessed to be a part of this challenge. What I realized reading through the challenges every day was that the truths in the statements weren't all that unfamiliar to me, but to put them into action was another story. It was great to have something hold me accountable to being an encouragement to my husband. It was also great to have a support network of other women going through the challenge with me. I definitely learned a lot about myself and my actions. As I said in earlier posts, I think the biggest thing I learned was the power and importance of prayer. I tend to depend a lot on myself to fix problems or to get things accomplished. I've learned that I CAN NOT do all that is required of me alone. When I am feeling overwhelmed emotionally or physically, I just need to give it to God and keep going. I've also learned that starting off my day with prayer is crucial, and to not just stop there. I need to pray all day long, even about the small things. Towards the end of the challenge I started to get overwhelmed with all that is asked of me as a woman/wife/mom. I started to feel selfish and started saying (in my head) "Where's my encouragement, where's my special services, why isn't my husband challenging himself to a love your wife thing, etc.". It certainly had me going for a few days and I was feeling very neglected and like I was giving, giving, giving and getting nothing. And wow did I need an attitude check or what? And of course, what was missing out of those two days when I felt rotten? I had forgotten to open my bible those mornings and pray. DOH! The devotion I read the other morning talked about how God is the shepherd and we are his sheep. This woman spoke about how comforting it is to know that God expects us, expects her, expects me, to be like sheep and to fail over and over again. What a comforting thought! On days like the one I just mentioned, I certainly feel like a sheep and I am so thankful that my God is the gentle shepherd. So, I've come away with a lot from this challenge and I'm sad that it's at an end. Thankfully, our host Sarah, left us some homework to continue this challenge after today.
~Write a list of 10 specific goals you want to keep working on:
1. Read my bible and pray EVERY morning. Pray for Stewart using this article Praying for Your Husband: 31 Days of Prayer (Thanks Sarah....I LOVE this guideline!)
2. Think of one thing every day to praise/encourage Stewart about and voice it to him.
3. To read through The Power of a Praying Wife, and then Becoming a Woman of Prayer.
4. Continue to work on organization skills. Specifically by reading 30 minutes a week of a blog, article, or book and putting new skills into action. (Keeping an organized schedule and home blesses my husband because he needs "a list" to function)
5. Think before I speak, take time to process my thoughts before speaking, and pray instead of speaking up when I don't need to.
6. Do something special for Stewart every week.
7. Plan a date night every other week.
8. Maintain a positive attitude every day no matter what.
9. Write out a list of what I am thankful for every week.
10. Watch my tone when I speak!
~Pick 5 favorite bible passages that strengthen you in your role as a wife.
2 Corinthians 4:18 - "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
Proverbs 12:4 - "A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones."
Proverbs 27: 15 - "A nagging wife is as annoying as the constant dripping on a rainy day." (NLT)
Ephesians 5:22 - "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord."
Philippians 4:6-8 - "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God , which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
I will be holding myself accountable to these things by blogging. I am also going to join Thankful Thursdays hosted by Iris at Sting My Heart. I am going to be getting together once a month with an older woman for encouragement and accountability. Lastly, I am going to finish the 30 Day Honor your Husband challenge hosted by Christine at Fruit in Season.
Wow, it's been an eventful month and this has definitely been a life changing experience. Thanks to Sarah for hosting this incredible challenge. And thank you to all the women who participated. Reading your comments and viewing your blogs was such an encouragement to me. And thanks to all of you out there who have read my blog and commented to me throughout this challenge. It was nice to know that I had friends out there who were praying for me!