Marriage Tip #11 - Discuss Expectations

Marriages often start falling apart when the communication dies down.  While Eric & I  were dating we were eager to chat about all of our plans for the future and spent hours talking about how great out life would be.  After we were married these conversation became less and less and day-to-day real life kicked in.  One of the things I realised that we stop talking about was our expectations of each other.  I have an internal list of things that I would love Eric to do for me and ways I would like him to treat me.  This list can range from really small things like emptying the bin to very important things like how he treats me in public or in front of his parents.

As soon as we stop communicating our expectations, bitterness and disappointment sets in.  Bitterness and disappointment, if left unchecked can lead to a failed marriage and even divorce.  It's a scary thought, to think that our marriage could fail just because we stopped talking to each other.  Take time to remember where it all began and get chatting again like when you were first in love - I know Eric & I are going to :)

Once you have had a good trip down memory lane, sit down with your husband and lovingly discuss the expectations you have of him and any disappointments you may have.  The trip down memory lane is essential before you begin the conversation, to ensure that your heart is in the right place.  Be reasonable and explain to him that this is just a discussion about how you are feeling, it's not a list of criteria that he has to meet.  Once you have shared you feelings, allow him to respond about how he feels about it. Don't demand that he meets all your expectations but reasonable work out how you can come together in understanding.  Accept the things he says he can't meet right now and thank him for the things he is willing to work on.  Most importantly, allow him to share his expectations and disappointments and be willing to work on a few things yourself too.


Family Moments

Daniel's Christmas School Play
Daniel the singing shepherd
Getting ready to play in the snow
Eric being creative with the camera :)
Amy helping mommy start the snowman
It's a GIRL!  Meet Matlida the snowlady


My Little Thought on Sin

Did you know that there is only one sin that can send a person to hell?  It is fascinating when you think about it.  Check this out.

John 3:18
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Unbelief - that is the only sin that can send you to hell. It's so simple yet so many of us completely miss it!

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

It's Christmas time and nearly time for a brand new year.  Why not celebrate this Christmas by truly believing John 3:16.  If you aren't in a local church, find a healthy one, and give Jesus a chance in your life this coming year.  Have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy new year.



My Top 3 Books for 2010

Classic Christianity by Bob George: This book completely blew my mind!  The simple thought that we have been preaching only half of the gospel has completely challenged me. Too often we think Jesus came to sort out our sin thought His death, and He did, but that is only half of it.  He also came to give us a new life through His resurrection.

One phrase section deeply impacted me. "If you were to see a butterfly, it would never occur to you to say, 'Hey, everybody! Come look at this good looking converted worm!'  Why not? After all, it was a worm.  And it was "converted."  No, now it is a new creature, and you don't think of it in terms of what it was.  You see it as it is now - a butterfly.  In exactly the same way, God sees you as His new creature in Christ. Although you might not always act like a good butterfly - you might land on things you shouldn't, or forget you are a butterfly and crawl around with your old worm buddies - the truth of the matter is, you are never going to be a worm again!"
I'll Have What She's Having by Bobbie Houston:  This woman is a legend. Her heart shines through in all of her books and whenever I have heard her speak my life has been changed!  This book is quite old now, which is why it impacted me this year.  In this book she shares her story from the early years of Hillsong Church, which greatly encourage me as our church is in it's very early years.

As I read I noticed how she spoke of all the lovely Hillsong ladies such as Christine Caine, Donna Crouch & Darlene Zschech. I found myself thinking that I would love to have an awesome circle of friends like that!  As soon as I realised how silly my thought was and that I do have amazing friends, I also realised something life changing.  When she wrote this book these ladies were not yet the high profile ministry leaders that we know them to be today.  This book was written ages ago and Bobby was friends with them before "it all happened!"  I heard what could have been the gentle voice of God, telling me that Bobby was friends with ordinary people but she invested in them which is why they have become the awesome women that they are today.  This lead me to a life changing conviction - I will invest whatever I can in the people I am doing life with because I just don't know what potential they have and what awesome things God has placed inside of them. Perhaps, just like Bobby, I will have the privilege of being a part of their awesome journey!

Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado: If you don't want to be challenged to the core and moved to action, DON'T read this book.  Rather go to Argos to pick up a catalogue and plan your Christmas shopping.  Seriously!  Even a person with the hardest heart imaginable will be moved to tears within minutes of reading  'Out Live Your Life'.  The first two and a half pages, before chapter one even begins, gave me goosebumps! The first chapter caused me to start the Human Trafficking section of my blog because I had no excuse not to. My selfishness has been challenged to the core and my excuses have been obliterated.  I don't know when last I read a book that has impacted me this much.

I have read quite a few books but these three have changed me.  Have you read a good book this year that has impacted you in any way?


Christmas Special Offer

Hey girls!  I thought it would be a great idea to give you a little gift for Christmas - A King's Daughters only special offer bundle - Hope's Journey & King's Square CD for just £15!  If you are stuck for a gift idea, why not give a gift that can change their life forever, some great uplifting music along with a nice book to read. You can buy them here :)

Have a wonderful Christmas xxx


You are... specifically designed

You are no accident - no matter what anyone has ever said to you - it's not true!  You were created specifically and intentionally by your creator.  He personal chose your hair colour, your eyes and you personality.  You were made with lots of love.  Not only were you made so specifically but so was your entire future.  You were made a certain way to live a certain life.  I recently heard a saying that you can't squash your foot into a size 2 shoe if you don't have a size 2 foot!  So simple yet so profound.  God made you just the way you are so that you can do exactly what you want to do.  Yes, this isn't a typing mistake, what you want to do.  You see, even the desires in your heart were put there by Him.  You don't need to wonder if the desires in your heart are His will, if you are a Christian and are living close to Jesus then I can quite certainly say that the desire of your heart are also the desires of His heart.

Psalm 139:14
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

If you don't know Jesus it is possible that you may be a little confused at the moment.  Don't worry, that is easily resolved, tell Jesus about your confusion and ask Him to help you find you who He truly made you to be.  This is what I did quite a few years ago and I can honestly say that now I am living all of my dreams and even so much more than I ever dared to dream.  It's a simple step, accept that you were designed specifically and intentionally by your creator and then go to Him and ask Him to show you His amazing plan.  There is a fantastic children's story about this very subject that has deeply impacted my life, it's so simple yet so powerful.


Small Beginnings

My very first signing

My wonderful mother-in-law buying 3 books!

"Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin," Zechariah 4:10a 

Today I had the wonderful privilege of doing my very first book signing at Living Oasis. It was so much fun, thank you to everyone who has been supporting me on this incredible journey.  Firsts are always so special and so are the small beginnings.  I have set up a Facebook page for King's Daughters so you can keep up with all my news if you like. There is so much more to come and I am so excited about what's coming 2011!

Hope's Journey - Make up Your Mind

There may come a time when you think you are depressed! You know it is not a chemical thing in your brain and you’re sure it's not a form of burnout. If this is the case it could possibly be your mind! I have overcome so many nasty things in my life by fighting the battle in my mind. I am so passionate about this and love to preach on this subject too. Often we grow up seeing something in our family and because it is familiar to us and seems normal our mind accepts it. Depression can be one of those things. We think because one of our parents suffered with it we automatically will too. There are times when it is genuinely passed on either physically or spiritually. Many times though, it is all in your mind. 

When you become a Christian everything changes – some things change instantly and other things change over time. Most things take time to change and one of those things is our mind. Before we were Christians, we thought a certain way – we thought according to our selfish nature. The Bible calls this the carnal nature. When we get into the things of God we want to think differently because we have changed. However our mind doesn’t automatically change when we become Christians, we have to change our minds manually – one step at a time!

Romans 8:6-8
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is hostile to God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

I would really like to make it easy to understand the difference between our carnal mind and the mind of Christ. When we become a Christian we have access to the mind of Christ – a new way of thinking that we never had access to before.

2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Fear in the original Greek means timidity, which refers to nervousness, shyness or apprehension and spirit refers to the mind. Sound mind in the original Greek means discipline or self control. This is very interesting isn’t it! So what this verse is saying is that God didn’t give us the mind to be scared or timid but he made us to have power, love and self control over our mind.

Talk to Your Mind

When Lorah and Jordan were very little I used to tell them to talk to their mind – I used to tell them, to tell their mind what to think, by talking to it. This was my way of teaching them that their mind didn’t control them but they controlled their mind. When they felt scared at night, they would come to me and I said to them that they don’t need to be scared, they just need to talk to their mind and tell it that they are not scared, and then they won’t be scared any more. In a very child like way, this is what I was teaching Lorah and Jordan from a young age – take control of your mind – tell it you are not scared! I was teaching them in a very simple way what Timothy was saying in the Bible.

The same can apply to depression which starts in the carnal mind. If you truly believe that God has given you a sound mind, you need to start believing it and acting like it. When the thought comes into your mind that you are depressed, tell that thought exactly where to go! The best way to do this is to say 2 Timothy 1:7 out loud. Say it over and over again, until you really believe it. No matter what situation you are in or how deeply depressed you are, there is no harm in doing this exercise. The Word of God is very powerful and each time to confess it you are speaking life into your mind and soul. The battle is very often fought in the mind and the victory is won in the mind. You can choose to control your mind and not let your mind control you. This doesn’t come naturally, at first you need to intentionally choose to think this way. The best way to change your mind is to “program” it with the Word of God. God made it easy for us, He wrote it all down for us in the Bible, so to get to know the mind of Christ get to know your Bible.Depression and suicide starts in the mind. No one gets depressed or takes their life without first spending a lot of time wrestling in their mind. 

I will stop here but chapter 12 does continue with some tips from the Bible on how to get free if you struggle with your mind, for full details about this book, Hope's Journey, please go here


Jesus Birthday

This morning I was chatting to Jesus and found myself asking Him what He would like for His birthday this year.

"Jesus, what can I do to make You  happy, what would you like for Your birthday this year?"

My prayer was a simple one but I wanted to share it with you so that you can perhaps tell me what you think.  Please pray this prayer with me and ask Jesus what He wants for Christmas this year and share with me what you think He wants. I am so excited to see what we come up with together, I really think this Christmas is going to be the most special one ever, as we thoughtfully plan for Jesus birthday. 

I wrote a song not so long ago along similar lines, just expressing my desire to please Jesus, have a listen - it's called Smile.