This post was written by Kendra. Kendra lives in Boston, MA with her husband of 3 years and their daughters age 2 and 11 months. She works as a physician assistant with a passion for treating patients with infertility and reproductive disorders. In her rare free time, she likes to sew and spend time at the beach with her family. Some of her favorite things include gelato, Lifetime movies, and flannel sheets. You can follow along with her on instagram @marebearmom
Happy Sunday, friends!
You may have read my post last weekend featuring some of my favorite things: a cozy purple shirt from @ellyandgrace (shirt found here), the latest #frameablefaith print from @catholicbox, and some awesome husband and wife companion books from @unveiledwife and @husbandrevolution.
Though I haven’t officially put any New Year’s resolutions to paper, I am definitely motivated and committed to spend more time in prayer, especially with the intention of strengthening my family relationships. As a mom, a wife, and first and foremost as a child of God, I need to focus more on being grateful for the people that God has put into my life. And to do this as deeply as I should, I need to waste less time worrying about the material things that I think I need or the situations that I feel I need to fix.
I was so encouraged by how many women commented on my post last week because they also were looking to pray for their husbands. I am not particularly creative when I pray, and I find a lot of comfort in repetition and meditating on the words of others to go deeper into my own heart and soul. So, the guided form of prayer offered up in this book, along with the encouragement to go deeper into my own reflection, has been just what I needed. My husband and I got our books a few days before January 1, so we actually started a bit early with the #2017prayformyspouse challenge. I kind of expected that we’d fall behind, but (at the risk of jinxing us!) we’ve enjoyed the time together so much that we’ve been really diligent about making time each day to slow down and pray for each other. (Let me quickly say – this post is not sponsored by @unveiledwife or @husbandrevolution. I just really like these books!)
My favorite day of prayer so far has been day five. I am definitely prone to be anxious and worry about every little detail of life. Are the girls well-rested? Did I feed them enough vegetables? Have I spent enough time letting them know that they are loved? Will my husband get home safely? How will work go next week? I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. So as I sat with my husband, feeling him close to me, and I listened to him pray specifically that God would take my anxiety from me and that I would allow him to support me when I was worried – it was such a tremendous blessing.
I keep coming back to this line from my book: “strengthen my husband and keep his joy intact, for without joy our marriage suffers.” JOY is such a huge word to me even though it is only made up of three letters. Before I was married, I used to pray every morning that God would use me to bring joy to those I encountered in my work day. It had a big impact on my attitude. Have you ever asked God for joy? I need to remember to do this more often. Being joyful rather than anxious really needs to be another one of my resolutions for the year.
I’m not expecting any major miracles from these 31 days of prayer. But, I have definitely felt a change in our home and my relationship with my husband after only a week of praying together with our books. I think twice before saying something to my husband that he will be upset by. I’m more inspired to do things that will bring him joy. We’re more patient when we need to resolve conflicts. We have both been gentler in how we care for each other, and in turn we are also gentler with our girls. These things are miracles enough for me! I won’t lie – there are still ugly moments in our house. But my intent for these 31 days, the year, and beyond is to become more holy and more like Christ. When my expectation is perfection from myself and my husband rather than to be more holy, I give up. And that’s just not the point.
More gratitude, less worry, and so much joy: this is what I pray for myself, my family, and for you.