Defensiveness: Are You At War?

December 1, 2018 @ 9:00 AM


The third horseman in our marriage killer series is defensiveness. What does this look like? It looks like me protecting myself AGAINST my spouse. It looks like me in battle mode ready to defend myself against the enemy and his name is Steve. Can you see me dressed up in my armor parading around the living room, wielding my shield in his direction. Silly, huh? But sadly that’s what it’s like. Defensiveness is divisive and does nothing to build healthy communication or intimacy. It shows up as each person trying to get their side across, defending themselves and justifying why they are right. The end-goal is to win the battle, but what happens is that the war is lost…or the partner is lost, or the marriage is lost..........

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Contempt: Another Marriage Killer

November 1, 2018 @ 9:00 AM

Last week I posted about John Gottman's Four Horsemen of the Apocalapse. And I shared on the deadly number one: criticism. Well, the second horseman is contempt. What is it? Let me illustrate.

"You’re ‘tired?' Cry me a river. I've been with the kids all day, running around like mad to keep this house going and all you do when you come home from work is flop down on that sofa like a child and play those idiotic computer games. I don’t have time to deal with another kid - try to be more pathetic…" 

Contempt is …evil. There, I said it. I can’t even think of a word to describe the depth of pain and death that contempt can inflict on a person. If criticism is the butter knife, .........

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Four Deadly Horsemen

October 1, 2018 @ 9:00 AM


John Gottman is a world renowned couple’s therapist and author. In his book, “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work,” he states that in any marriage, there are four key predictors of divorce. He calls them the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,a metaphor depicting the end of times in the New Testament. These words describe war, conquest, and death. Dr. Gottman uses this metaphor to describe communication styles that can predict the end of a relationship.

The first horseman of the apocalypse is criticism. Criticism is destructive. Its unstated goal is to dismantle your partner’s entire being, and I’m not exaggerating. No one wants to hear how despicable they are. I don’t. Do you? Do we.........

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God Wants Us Dead

September 1, 2018 @ 9:00 AM


It is always amazing to me how God works. He allows us to experience dark trials, often in our marriages to test our hearts, but also that we can come to the end of ourselves. That’s just how He works because He does not look at the temporal inconveniences that we experience in the same way we do. Don’t get me wrong, He definitely cares about our pain, but He allows it for a higher purpose, because it’s often, only at the end of ourselves, in the depth of our pain that we turn to Him. You know it. How often do we spend time basking in His presence when things are great? It’s often only at the end of ourselves, in our pain and desperation that we take the time to look within to Him and it is there we find Him,............

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Let's Get Real

August 1, 2018 @ 9:00 AM

So imagine this scene with me: It’s Sunday morning and you’re getting dressed for church, you take a shower, put on your favorite outfit and shoes, favorite perfume, best cologne and off you and the family go, heading up highway 71 to church. On the way your husband says something to you about the back door lock being broken and without even thinking about it you start telling him he needs to fix it this time because he never gets around to taking care of household chores anymore. And before you even know it, you’re hurling insults of an intense magnitude at each other, with the kids huddled together in the backseat, on highway 71, on the way to church. As you screech into the parking lot you wave religiously at the self.........

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The Family that Prays Together Stays Together

July 1, 2018 @ 9:00 AM


Recently, our pastor preached a sermon entitled, “The Family that Prays Together Stays Together.” It was a great reminder of the power of prayer and how important it is in building a strong family. In our home, we have Sunday evening Bible Studies and it’s such a special time of spiritual bonding! Both our children (thirteen and eighteen) are very comfortable praying aloud, and Steve and I have seen tremendous growth in the depth of their prayers since beginning this practice.

As we reflected on the message later in the week, my husband noted that he felt we should start praying together daily as a couple, as we did in the early days of our marriage before we had children. I immediately agreed. I knew this message.........

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God Loves Weak People

June 1, 2018 @ 9:00 AM

In my work as a therapist, I see clients who come in with all sorts of complex issues. Most are out of coping skills, exhausted from trying, at the end of themselves. You might even call them broken. God, on the other hand, is jumping up and down (figuratively of course!).  He’s saying, “This is awesome! This is exactly what I wanted to happen! Hallelujah!” Yep. At least that’s what I think He would say. You see, God loves weak people. He was the one who said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Do you remember this verse? Last month’s post ended with it. God loves broken people because then He can work unimpeded, with explosive power in their lives. We.........

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His Grace is Enough

May 1, 2018 @ 9:00 AM


Recently, I had the great privilege of speaking to a beautiful group of parents who gather every month to support each other around a troubling issue concerning their children. I was so blessed by their love, transparency and earnestness in seeking God’s direction on how to parent as they face this seemingly insurmountable challenge. I prayed like a crazy woman about what to say. You see, they invited me as the “expert” to address their group, but little did they realize that they are in fact the experts because they are walking this difficult journey every day. As I prayed about what to say, I had a strong sense that the Lord wanted me to speak on grace.

The Lord has been teaching me a lot about grace lately and .........

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Why Grocery Store Date Night Can Lead to Emotionally Healthy Kids - Part 2

April 1, 2018 @ 9:00 AM

“I’m just happy when you guys are happy.” Those were my nine year old daughter’s profound words one evening years ago when I asked her if she thought that happy marriages make happy kids. So although not a scientific conclusion, I think I can deduce that “Grocery Store Date Night Can Lead to Emotionally Healthy Kids,” based on the reasoning of a nine year old. And shouldn’t she be an expert on this subject?

Great! Well, that takes us to the next point…Couples with strong marriages are often unified in their parenting strategies. I know, this is an assumption. However, if you have a strong marriage I’m willing to guess that you’re not constantly arguing about how to raise the .........

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Why Grocery Store Date Night Can Lead to Emotionally Healthy Kids - Part 1

March 1, 2018 @ 9:00 AM

Based on the title of this post, I'm sure you have no idea where this is going! I promise you there is a point!

On Mother’s Day a few years ago at about 8:00 pm, after an interesting morning and afternoon of serving at a soup kitchen (a subject for another post!), then recuperating from serving at the soup kitchen, I realized that I had not gone grocery shopping for the week. So I propositioned my dear husband to join me on a non-erotic rendezvous to our local HEB supermarket. He graciously accepted the invitation, and off we ventured, kid-less and free!

I wish I could tell you that we roamed arm in arm through the aisles whispering sweet nothings in each other’s ears, but we did not. We were too .........

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