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Is Your Marriage Strong Enough?

Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 7.22.33 PMShortly after doing a soft launch for my latest book, Love Differently – Stay Married, I received numerous emails and phone calls from entrepreneurs who wanted the book.  One such email came from a young woman who said, “I’m ready to throw in the towel (this was a newly wed) and pour myself back into my work unless your book helps us make it work.”

According to her new husband, this entrepreneur never stopped pouring herself into her work. He did have an expectation for her though and that was to find the right balance between being a wife, and being with her work. If she couldn’t do it, then he wanted her to close her company.

Being Highly Driven

Entrepreneurs who are highly driven to succeed, without Christ, are often notorious for putting their work before their spouse, family, friends and even themselves.  This can lead to a path of:

  • Too much time away from the spouse or family
  • Little understanding of each others needs
  • Not sharing in the household burdens
  • No boundaries to show where work ends and marriage begins
  • No one championing or uplifting when affirmation is sought
  • Not being there for emotional or physical connections are desired

To whom much is given, much is required.

When spouses’ join together as a team, or take their vows in a covenant, they become one ‘flesh’ the Bible says. They ultimately share the burden of everything; work, View More: http://lacifrazierphoto.pass.us/cunninghamhousehold chores, parenting responsibilities, schedules, finances and more. They are each others best friends and soul mates.  They are their mate’s champion and teacher.  They see that work-life priorities are something that takes time to learn and they choose to be patient while their partner builds new skill sets. This is a healthy perspective for any marriage, but particularly as a spiritual entrepreneur who often holds themselves to a higher standard than most.

It wasn’t until after 2 years of taking a Sabbatical with God, studying human behavior, healthy relationships and marriage, that I became a life coach in 2005. While working with couples from all over the world I discovered that those who were traumatized by unhealthy relationship examples in their past were at risk for repeating unhealthy patterns in their future.  It truly didn’t matter if they owned a business, worked for someone else, were Christ-followers or Athiests. If a person’s perspective about relationships is unhealthy to begin with, then running a business only adds to the present perceived trauma for them.

History repeats itself

I didn’t believe that history would repeat itself in my own marriage.  I trusted that we would do things differently than our parents did right from the start. I was right, in the beginning, while everything was new and different.

We both came from divorced and divided homes however, so eventually I heard him repeatedly say, “I fix ‘things’ not relationships.” and he often heard me say, “We’ve got to fix things right now.” Within these two limiting beliefs, history had already repeated itself.

Detach from the outcome

The most important lesson I learned in marriage was to detach from the outcome. I learned this lesson one sunny morning while sitting at the breakfast table. I heard in my spirit, “What would happen if you were to surrender your husband to me today and let go of the outcome instead of trying to steer him where you believe he ought to go?”
It literally took my breath away.

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 2.03.55 PMI stared into the cup of hot chocolate I was stirring (this was before I removed sugar from my diet) and I realized the marshmallows weren’t melting.  The cup wasn’t hot enough so I got up and popped it in the microwave. As it was heating, I leaned against the stove and crossed my arms. I knew I need to respond to that question. I said with a little resistance (okay maybe a lot of resistance), “I guess I wouldn’t know. I’ve never done that before.”

The microwave timer went off and I opened the door to take my cup out and that’s when I heard, “The health of your marriage is a direct reflection of your personal walk with me.”

I look down at the marshmallows to see they were a bubbling white blend of goo. “A direct reflection.” I repeated to myself.  That statement held a lot of weight for me and still does to this day.  If my walk with God is about obedience and love, then what am I doing in relationship to my spouse?  I didn’t know it then, but it would take me years to answer this question because change takes time. It takes effort. It takes lots and lots of patience and practice before your heart melts just like those marshmallows, and you truly become one.

If you contemplate on your own marriage, and find that it isn’t the greatest reflection of your walk with God, take heart. It’ll help you to know that we ALL experience those times when we’d rather control our way through life. Its human nature. But when we allow ourselves the time to sit at Jesus’ feet, we realize we can fully let go of the outcome because there is no longer any need to control or protect.  Ultimately, that is where we all want to be.

To know Jesus better can only happen one way, just like with our spouses. By spending time getting to know him.  You can find Free Bible lessons right here.

While I admit that Christ-like principles won’t appeal to everyone, it will be a HUGE leap for motivated couples who want to put God first in their life. I trust that if you’re still reading this, then you will love differently in order to stay married, so that when those rough times come, you too will be able to say, “Yes, my marriage is definitely strong enough.”

Always Love,

Kellie

You Are Enough.

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You are enough.

Three simple words that have the power to change our daily lives. When we come to truly believe these words, we are free to fully express ourselves and even come to love ourselves. All too often we find ourselves throughout the day glancing in dismay at a bathroom mirror, or hopelessly staring at another man or woman that possess a physical attribute that we ourselves wish we had. Why is that? Why do we seek to compare, to change, to perfect?

We treat our own bodies as if they are broken. We come to believe the lies that if we were just skinnier, just stronger, just a little bit more, then we would be happy. And here lies the problem. We come to believe that our self worth, our happiness, lies within our own grasp. We believe it is something that must be attained and earned. We forget that we are not perfect because society says so, but we are perfect because our Father says so. We are not worthy of love because we look a certain way, but because we have been handcrafted for love, by Love.

Our self worth and dignity, and herein our happiness, lie not in something that we can attain, but in someone who has created us, loves us, and wants the very best for us. This very person has also proven that we are worth dying for. Today I invite you to try believing in this truth. Believe that you are loved, you are smart, you are beautiful, you are strong, and you are enough. Then sit back and watch the beauty that will unfold as you truly begin to live. Any time that you need a reminder simply look at a crucifix, for there in the eyes of the man hanging on that cross, you will find just how much you are truly worth.

In Him,

Kaylin <><

Pursue What Leads to Life Satisfaction

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One of the first verses I memorized at 17 was John 10:10: I have come that YOU may have LIFE and have it to the FULL.” Jesus desires for us to experience life satisfaction, to have a joy within us that does not rise and fall depending upon how the world judges us at a single moment in time.

The next verse I memorized was Galatians 5:1: “It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set you FREE stand firm then and do not allow yourself to be burdened by the yoke of slavery.” Slavery to what? To the shiny objects, selfish ambitions and the ‘Fame Game’ which distracts me from the fullness of life Jesus died to give me? The world screams and God whispers. In order for our ability to tune into those things that truly bring about the experience of Jesus proclamation: I have COME that you may have LIFE to the FULL, it is essential that we stand firm and not allow ourselves to be burdened by those things that perish within the human heart as quickly as they enter.

What do you spend your time pursuing in life? This will reveal the position of your heart. It is not so much what you do throughout the day of life you have been blessed with but the person behind what you do that reveals the presence of God through our words, thoughts, deeds and actions. Examine the motives behind those things you choose to pursue. Why are you spending your efforts in this direction? Will this produce fruit that will last or fruit that will give you a momentary hit of satisfaction? Why do you do what you do and does it align with the person you are committed to being in this world?

I woke up with this verse on my mind and in my heart: “He who pursues Righteousness & Love finds LIFE, PROSPERITY & HONOR” Proverbs 21:21
Righteousness: to be aligned with high moral standards. Life satisfaction flows easily when we are aligned with our highest good and the good of all concerned. “When I show up in life with nothing to hide because I practice humility; integrity; love and authenticity, my sleep is sound and content. I am willing to admit when I am wrong and I am conscious of good and bad behavior along with a willingness to learn, adjust and understand.”
Love: the ability to authentically seek the highest good of another person, often times associated with intense feelings of care, concern and affection. “When I love first and then step out and lead I put to the front lines of my response to another human being the following attributes: patience; kindness; gentleness; forgiveness; humility; trust; confidence; perseverance.”

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

Edge God In the College Craze

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It is easy to get caught up in life, or at least what we perceive that to mean. We all have our schedules, our to-do lists, our big goals we are reaching for…but what does it all mean? What is the purpose? There has never been a time in my life more surrounded by things to do, options to fill your hours with, than my time in college.

You have unlimited clubs you could join, people you could invest in, homework you could be doing, jobs and internships to focus on…and a new freedom to do whatever you want. So you learn to prioritize, to choose what is truly important to you and make time for it. And it is this lesson that we have to take into our daily lives. When you choose to make God your priority, to edge Him into your life in more and more ways, all of the sudden you find the purpose for your work, the fulfillment for your life. All of the sudden, you are an irreplaceable part in an eternal story; no longer simply building up an Earthly sand castle that could fall with the next wave that life throws at you. Edge God In, and He will take care of the rest.

 

Grief Is But A Season

 

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Healing the lost of someone is never easy and lets face it you never get over it.  For me, there is not at day that goes by that I don’t think about my parents, especially my mom who brought me into this world.

So how does one manage through this grief?  As I contemplated on this question, I’ll share the 4 things that work for me.

  1. It’s a God thing and only he gives me the peace to deal with grief.
  2. It’s the Memories of how beautiful my love ones are and how they influenced my life.
  3. It’s  the word of God through Scripture that gives me comfort in my time of need.
  4. It’s other Christians, Family, and Friends that are connected to me through a common thread and discern my needs at just the right time.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 is a scripture that has helped me through the seasons of my life.  It reminds me that God knows my season and needs way before I do and he is there for me no matter what my season is.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that, which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

~Dr. Stella

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Tips to Take Back Authority Over Pain

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“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

After a strong workout last week, I found myself in fetal position after a simple cool down stretch rendering me couch bound for the last week.  

After crying myself silly in the car as I drove to the doctor because the pain was so acute I crawled my way to the restroom to get a grip on my emotions before entering the waiting room.  Thinking I was the only one in the bathroom I went into the stall to have a little chat with God and myself OUT LOUD while vigorously tapping on some stress relief points on my body: “Ok Lauren, get a grip come on now breathe, practice what you know.  God, right now I give YOU more authority than this pain.  Even though I can barely breathe because this pain seems like it occupies every room in my castle I give you more authority over this emotional and physical titlewave.”

After a few moments of complete silence I heard the toilet flush in the stall next to me which instantly flipped my mood into laughter.

God does his greatest work in the darkest moments in life….if we allow Him to enter into the eye of our storms.  Life happens, the sunshine and the rain sweep over those who pursue good and evil. Victory lies in our ability to give God more authority than our current stressful situation.  Stay awake at the gate of your thoughts. Slow the process down.  Next time a stressful situation pops up on your path explore the following 3 tips:

1. Breathe deeply take a mental step back, remember you have moved through difficult situations in the past and by God’s grace you will do it again.  Too often in the primal “I’m under attack” brain, we tense up and create more pain. Mentally we restrict the blood vessels in the frontal cortex rendering us less intelligent and incapable of tuning into options for solution.  90% of our biological energy (mental and physical) is oxygen fueled…it’s free and you know how to do it so kick it in when you feel threatened. Breathe in to the count of 7 through your nose, hold it to the count of 8 and then slowly exhale to the count of 7.

2. Talk to yourself as you would a friend who is going through the same situation. What would you say to them to encourage and uplift their mindset in the midst of the challenging situation.  When I was in the World Tae Kwon Do Colorado State Championship and I got knocked out, I could hear my coaches voice in the midst of the mental fog giving me encouragement and reminding me of the talent I had to bounce back in spite of the blow.  Be your greatest fan in the stands of life, you do it for others you love, do it for yourself.

3. Give God more authority than your perceived struggle.  Just as I talked myself down off the emotional ledge in the bathroom stall by giving God’s strength and presence within me more authority to handle my current situation than to the pain. Greater is the one who dwells in you, strengthens and comforts you than the one in the world. Claim victory with the Word of God with your voice: “I give you God more authority than this fear; doubt; worry; physical pain. Help me to remember that I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength, that you have given me a spirit of power, love and self-control to overcome that which I feel has overcome me at this moment in time.”

Because of His Love,

Lauren

The Peace of the Lord

 

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Philippians 4:7 -And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

How powerful is this scripture!  To know that God will give Peace to all we think, do, and say and Calm our hearts is so awesome!

We must all remember that no matter how difficult the challenge only Jesus can provide the peace we need in our hearts and minds.

But know that this can’t be realize  alone…  Stay in meditation, prayer, and fellowship so to Edge God in.

True believers, abiding in Christ, realize this promise and make peace happen even when faced with life challenges.

My prayer for each of you is to cultivate and maintain a personal relationship with Christ, so that his promise of peace is comprehended.

God Bless!

~Estella

The Greatest Multi-level Marketer in the World

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God is the greatest  Multi-level marketer (MLM) in the world. Jesus put forth the spark that set His initial downline on fire when He spoke forth the Great Commission in the Gospel of Matthew 28:18-20:

“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Isn’t it wonderful to know you are a part of the initial great commission on earth? I remember when I was 17 and I saw something in a group of people who loved and followed Jesus Way in this world and I wanted that for myself.  This is why encountering the love of Jesus Christ of Nazareth is so contagious, there is nothing like it in this world and it keeps getting better with time as we allow His love and forgiveness to override the shiny objects in this world that often evoke the serpents of fear; doubt and worry.

The only difference in language that perhaps more accurately fits God’s MLM would be this:  instead of referring to the people who live in the freedom of knowing the One who died to save them as a “downline” it’s an UPline on all levels! As we surrender UP our needs, plans and purpose to His sovereign will for our lives we get to participate in the freedom that Christ has set us free for, that ultimately leads to the fullness of life.

Enjoy your gift of life and making God recognizable today in your words, thoughts, deeds and actions.

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

What We Ought to Be

 

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January 19, 2015 – What We Ought to Be

As I reflect on what I ought to be, I can’t help be thankful for individuals who have blessed the world in which we live. Today, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr., not just for his contribution to civil rights, but also for his walk with God.

 Martin Luther wrote, “I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be, until I’m what I ought to be”.   I have heard this said in different ways many times before and mainly by God serving men and women.

 God says in Romans 15:1, “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves”. This obligation encompasses the mental, physical, and spiritual help we can give to one another.  God gave us the ultimate sacrifice his son, and others like Martin gave their lives.  Let us all reflect on what we can give this year to help others be “What They Ought To Be”.

~Estella