Healing Touch: How God Used Co-Sleeping in My Recovery from PPD
May 4, 2015
You’re the ‘Jim’ to my ‘Pam’: How “The Office” has Reminded Me How Much I Love My Husband
April 17, 2015
The TV show, The Office, first aired 10 years ago last month. I had friends in college who were super obsessed with the show during its run, but I never watched a single episode until November of last year when my mom gave us her Netflix log-in information (best early Christmas present ever!).
Feeling a little behind on The Office “love train,” I wanted to see what all the fuss was about one night while I was up all through the night feeding and cuddling my newborn son. I got hooked in right from the first episode and knew my husband, Paul, would enjoy watching it with me too. We were both huge fans of Scrubs (I own every season on DVD, including the weird “college days” spin-off of Season 9 and can referene a quote relating to pretty much any situation), so I kind of felt like I was cheating on my beloved show of almost eight years.
As Paul and I started our Netflix journey of getting sucked into viewing season after season (sometimes in one sitting), it was obvious that our favorite part of the show was the love story between the famous TV couple, Jim and Pam. We found ourselves rooting for them (aloud) and tearing up every time they got closer and closer to becoming an item.
*Spoiler alert* for all of your non-Office peeps:
The first time they kissed at the Casino Night episode, we squeeled in bed. You couldn’t wipe the grins off of our faces. The tug-of-war on our hearts as we watched the ups and downs of their (sometimes almost) romantic relationship kept us both excited to see what was going to happen to Jim and Pam next!
We completed watching the whole show after an entire day in bed on a Sunday from being snowed in. Seriously, we stayed in bed with our eyes glued to the screen for about twelve hours and I don’t regret it one bit.
A month or so ago, we started watching from the beginning of Season 1 again to enjoy the hilarious antics of the office family, as well as the thrill of seeing a beautiful love unfold between our favorite characters, Jim and Pam.
One of Paul and I’s phrases that we say to each other now is “you’re the ‘Jim’ to my ‘Pam’.” Like most couples whose relationship is rooted in friendship (where Jim and Pam’s relationship stays for quite some time), I’m sure they can recognize themselves in Jim and Pam’s story. When my husband and I watch this iconic TV love story, we see glimpses of Emily and Paul’s love story.
Being able to reminisce of our “falling in love” days, while we watch Jim and Pam fall in love, I realized recently that this ficticious couple has helped start a fire back in our marriage of a little over five years. Like I wrote in this article for Start Marriage Right late last year, my husband and I have experienced a little shaking in the foundation of our marriage since our son was born.
Since our roles in life have changed now that we are parents, we have struggled to find our roles as husband and wife in the midst of the responsibilities of caring for son. Knowing that our marriage has to come first, we have began to become extremely intentional on keeping the flame alive between us. Yes, even at just five years along, we have had to throw some wood on the bonfire of our relationship.
In addition to balancing our focus and responsibilities between our son and our marriage, we have also started the journey to debt freedom through Dave Ramsey’s plan. The Lord has blessed my husband with an amazing job, not only with incredible health benefits for the whole family, but with multiple opportunities for paid over-time compensation. For us, this means Paul is gone for over fourteen hours a day. As someone whose primary love language is quality time, this is a struggle for me, so I’ve had to adapt to our limited time with each other. To stay connected throughout the day, while my “superhubs” is at work and I’m at home with our son, we send emails to each other.
Recently, I started sending pictures that I’ve found on Instagram of Jim and Pam in our favorite scenes (when Jim proposes and when they get married, of course), as well as old photos of us when we first started dating.
Although I know that love is not based on a feeling, it is wonderful to be able to feel something for your spouse, especially those “butterflies” you once felt when you first met them. Being reminded of that time in your relationship keeps things fresh and new all over again.
For us, even if it sounds silly, it is watching Jim and Pam from The Office that helps ignite that passion for each other. I never thought a TV show would be a part of my love life, but I’m thankful that God has used it to bring Paul and I closer together during this difficult season for us in our marriage.
From now on, He’ll always be the ‘Jim’ to my ‘Pam’ and I wouldn’t want to trade that for anything in the world.
Fifty Shades of Grey: A Red Flag to the Church
February 11, 2015
As we quickly approach Valentine’s Day, buying our sweetheart chocolate and roses, or quite possibly those cute, silky boxers with hearts on them (that I’m sure men just LOVE, right ladies?)…
…I am reminded of a home-made gift that I received for Valentine’s Day ten years ago- a short film featuring me in a fantasy love story.
Up until a few years ago, it was hiding itself in the midst of other movies that I enjoyed watching while cuddled up on the couch with my husband.
No, this wasn’t footage of me and my husband..
…or my high school sweetheart…
…or even my boyfriend from college.
This Valentine’s Day gift captured moments of my secret adventures with a man I was in love with when I was 19…
…who was married.
It was the ultimate fantasy love story- we were involved in a musical production together. And even though he was almost ten years older than me, he played my boyfriend in the show. After he confided in me about his failing marriage, the feelings that I was only supposed to be portraying on stage, followed me home one night. I began to wonder if I was falling in love with this man. And once he said those three words all insecure girls like me want to hear, I was definitely in over my head.
I was desperately longing to find love and be loved, so much so, I found myself trapped in a lie that God just wanted me to be happy, even if it meant becoming “the other woman.” And I was a Christian!
That longing to be loved still burns within me, but is now satisfied by the love of my Savior, Jesus Christ and my God-honoring husband.
Yet, I know for a fact that I am not the only woman out there experiencing that deep desire to be pursued, cherished, and intimately loved.
Over 100 million copies sold of the book, Fifty Shades of Grey, and record-breaking pre-sale tickets sold for the film version boldly screams that fact to the world.
On the surface, it may look like women are just after a steamy sex life.
But under the sheets, you will find a broken soul longing for true love- a love that can only come from God Almighty, Love Himself.
According to Dr. Juli Slattery and Dannah Gresh’s book, Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman’s Heart, women have five longings:
- to be cherished by a man
- to be protected by a strong man
- to rescue a man
- to be sexually alive
- to escape reality
These are longings that only God knows how to satisfy because He created us.
January 27, 2015
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23, NIV).
I have read that verse many times, but the other day, I realized the importance of this instruction from the Word of God.
The enemy is so quick to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10a) the Word of God from our hearts. If we let him completely remove the seed of the Word of God in our hearts, he won’t just stop there. He wants to fill our hearts with his deceit and lies so there is no room for the truth of God’s Word and no opportunity to develop the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, and patience, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
If we don’t develop the fruit of the Spirit, we are going to have a very difficult time making disciples like Jesus commands us to do throughout the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
I want to focus on the first fruit of the Spirit, love.
There is no coincidence that love is listed as the first fruit of the Spirit. Without it, we cannot be recognized as a follower of Christ.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).
As I begin to think of how the enemy tries to steal, kill, and destroy the Word in our hearts and ruin all possibilities to cultivate the fruit of the love, I can’t help but wonder what seeds he also tries to plant.
Most would say that the opposite of love is hate, but I truly don’t think that is the case with the enemy’s tactics.
If God is love (1 John 4:8) and He embraces us in spite of our weaknesses and fumbles, the enemy would want nothing more than to hinder that kind of unconditional acceptance to grow within us, both for us to freely receive and freely give out to others and the Lord God Himself.
I believe the opposite of God’s limitless love and belonging has to be rejection.
Since Jesus commands us to love another as we have read in John 13, Satan tempts us to defy that command, not with straight hatred towards each other or even ourselves, but with rejection and sometimes undetected rejection.
The spirit of rejection annihilates the seed of love from ever growing in our hearts and hardens us to the core. Click To Tweet
It is spiritually deadly, both to the one knowingly or unknowlingly dealing it out and the one receiving it as truth.
Once we have received the seed of rejection and allowed it to take root, it begins to grow and strangle our heart like a disgusting weed.
I experienced this first-hand recently.
For the first three months of our son’s life, my husband was working a lot of over-time, beginning his days at around 4 AM and not coming home to close to 6 PM. So for three months, he slept in our guest bedroom so Isaiah’s late-night “partying” wouldn’t keep him awake, and he could get to work well-rested.
This was something that I COMPLETELY understood and even suggested, but the enemy definitely used it to his advantage to try to bring destruction in my life.
But because of some lingering Postpartum Depression symptoms from the hormonal imbalances I was experiencing (read more about that in my recent guest blog post at The Praying Woman), it often felt like I was raising Isaiah alone and I felt completely unstable. I struggled with feeling lonely and abandoned. It was affecting my mood and how I responded to people: not very kindly at all.
This, of course, is where the enemy tried to creep in my thought-life. He whispered lies non-stop. When I was awake, I sent up my cries to God when it got tough. When Paul got home from work, we would talk through my feelings so that a wall wouldn’t be errected around my heart and negatively affect our marriage.
With prayer and these daily conversations, the loneliness seemed to sub-side. But one thing that I’ve learned over the years is that if the enemy can’t get to you while you are awake, he will most definitely try when you’re sleeping.
I had three separate dreams regarding Paul leaving me and starting a life with another woman. I woke up feeling so rejected and unwanted.
The dreams were so vivid that it was seriously hard to shake the feeling they brought, even though I knew they weren’t real.
Finally, instead of wallowing in my emotions and accepting the enemy’s deceitfulness as reality, I spoke out:
“No more! I am loved. I am accepted. I belong to the King of Kings and I am a daughter of the Most High God! My husband adores me and will never leave! We have an amazing marriage and family! Satan, you are a liar and I reject your rejection right now in the name of Jesus!”
If I hadn’t recognized the lies from the spirit of rejection, the enemy would have continued firing these rejection arrows at me until I surrendered and allowed my heart to grow cold towards myself and everyone around me.
Now what I shouted to the enemy had to come from a place of understanding who I am in Christ, even if it took me awhile to remember it. I had allowed that truth to take root in my heart, so the enemy had no right to that revelation.
If you don’t renew your mind with the Word of God or pray daily, you will fall victim to the enemy’s deceit. His goal is to steal, kill, and destroy the life and fruit in you that the Word of God brings. You must keep watch over that fruit and cultivate your heart so that others may see Jesus in you and through you!
The enemy wants to stop that at all costs! He wants you bound in a pit of depression, unable to receive love or give out love, feeling like no one loves you or cares about you. He wants you to think you are completely alone and a failure.
But I am here to tell you: YOU ARE NOT ALONE! YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE! The Father loves you. You are His child and He wants you to be filled with His love so that you can pour it out to others!
When the enemy tries to send rejection your way, don’t take it! Send it right back at him and reject that rejection in Jesus’ name! And always remember to guard your heart so that Satan has no room to sow his seeds of lies any longer!
Rejecting Rejection is also posted on ibelieve.com!