FAMILY/ Marriage/ Spiritual

Living New–A Series–My Marriage

New Nostalgia Logo
~ my quest to be present in each moment, 
learning from yesterday and living simply in the NEW!
After 2 years of fighting cancer, I decided to change the tagline of this blog.  Before, it was “My quest to recapture the simplicity of yesterday and apply it to today.” Well, that just does not cut it anymore.  I still love simplicity, but I am no longer on a quest for it.  
Instead, I am on a quest to LIVE!
To apply what I have learned from the past and remember that I have been made NEW!  
To live new on a daily basis, in all those little moments that add up and create a simple and meaningful LIFE. Simplicity is a part of that, but only a piece.
This living new series will give you a glimpse into my heart as God continues to mold me and make me into the person He created me to be.  
So what has been going on in my heart recently?  How have I been being made new?
Well, so many ways that it feels overwhelming to try to even try to share them with you, so instead of trying to share it all, I will break it down, hence the ongoing series!
The biggest change I feel God is making in my heart right now is in the area of my marriage.  
I was at a retreat recently, and they have us write on a stone something that we would love to rid ourselves of.  Or let go of.  Or change.  Whatever it was we thought was keeping us from living our best life that God calls us to.
In that moment, I asked God to reveal to me what it is that He want to change in me.  A word that jumped into my brain was the word DISTRACTION.
I wrote the word down…a bit puzzled by it.  I knew I would have more time to figure it out once I got home from the retreat…and I have.  
Want to know what the speaker did with that basket of rocks?  She took her children and they threw them one by one into a lake.  Love the visual of that.  
Since I have been home, I have pondered that word.  The funny thing is life has been even more busy than normal this last week and I’ve tried to figure out this whole distraction word in the midst of it all.
Focus New Nostalgia
I have found that it applies to many areas of my life.  I am naturally sort of scatter- brained.  Chemo certainly didn’t help that!  Focus can be hard for me at times.  A big way my word “distraction” plays out is when I am on the computer.  Along with blogging comes emails, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram & Google Plus.  Photo editing, cheering on my sponsors, & oh yeah…actually writing posts.  It is so easy to get overwhelmed and distracted, even though I love every minute of it! I am working on prioritizing and finding ways to simplify it all.  
Back to my marriage…oops…got distracted for a minute…
7 days of marriage wisdom
I came upon this graphic from Proverbs 31 ministries on Facebook.  I love every tip they give, but the Day 3 tip really caught my eye.  
7 Days Of Marriage Tips 
{Day 1} Be the person you’d like to be married to. If you’d like a little more grace for your faults, give a little more grace for theirs. If you need more love and understanding, give more love and understanding to your spouse.
{Day 2} Nobody is perfect. Don’t let the world at large find out about your spouse’s imperfections via your mouth. “The heart of her husband trusts in her…” {Prov. 31:11}
{Day 3} Make it a point to give your spouse the best of you: the best of your smiles, the best of your touch, the best of your (good) attitude, the best of your laughter, the best of your words, etc. Don’t always bring them what’s left of you after the world has drained you.
{Day 4} : Greet your spouse with a kiss. It’s a mood enhancer. Science says touch releases endorphins, so you begin to associate seeing your spouse with a pleasant feeling. And you can’t say anything you’ll regret when your lips otherwise occupied. Voila! Mood enhanced!
{Day 5) : Be intentional. Every day, look for a way to bless your spouse either secretly or openly. A thankful, giving heart will repulse the weeds of blame and discontent.
{Day 6} : Love “Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” {1 Cor. 13} Choose to believe the best about your spouse, even when they aren’t communicating well. Sometimes it is hard to find the right words to express yourself. Some folks find it hard to communicate with words at all. Grace, grace.
 {Day 7} Keep in mind that time affects all of us and no one remains the same as we were when dating. Life’s circumstances can make us lose our sense of humor, change us physically, act less romantic, etc. Take some time to find those two people who fell in love and reconnect. (Trust me, they’re still in there somewhere.)
Hmm…give my spouse the best of me.  He SO has not had that lately.  I naturally wanted to fall back on all kinds of excuses of why I have been distracted.  Recent scans, reactions to medications, my first speaking gig, company from out of town, a growing website.  Oh yes, there are all kind of things that have kept me from giving my best, and often times life brings circumstances where it feels close to impossible to have anything left to give.  
But, if I am honest with myself, despite these circumstances I could do a much better job, by letting go of distractions and focusing in on what is most important.   This wonderful man that I call husband doesn’t need much.  He has made it clear to me what makes him feel loved and cared for and it really doesn’t take much.  There are a couple areas in our marriage (money) that take more effort and communication on my part, but for the most part he is a very easy man to love.  I got a good one.  No, he is not perfect.  Yes, we can drive each other nuts sometime.  But…he is mine.  He is a gift given from above and one that I want to take care of with the best of me, not with my leftovers.  
Empathy New Nostalgia
If you are struggling in your marriage, can I encourage you to find a couple trusted girlfriends who will pray with you about it?  I did just that recently, and I cannot tell you how much God used their words.  I was encouraged to COMMUNICATE my fears with my husband.  I was told to LISTEN, I was told to have EMPATHY.  I was told that if I do these things with a listening, empathetic heart that communication would come much more easily.  To do these things means to put down defenses and put another above yourself.  I found that I can be empathetic and listen, while still being brave and honest with my own feelings.  When defenses are down, words and hearts can be heard.


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  • Annette Holbrook
    May 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Amy, Thank you for sharing your areas of struggle and growth. It’s such a blessing to see God’s hand at work in our lives. God Bless, Annette @

  • Plays with Purpose
    May 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Sweet Amy, it just blesses me to see you embracing God’s life and truth and applying it in your family. I just got home from my own prayer group and we prayed for greater intimacy with our husbands. Yes, staying focused and not allowing the mundane or even the necessary to distract us from what really matters. Realy loving our loved ones, starting right at the top of the ladder! You continue to encourage me and I am sure so many others. I am going to share this series with my friends and family.


  • Sheri Bennett
    May 2, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Beautiful words, Amy. And now I know just how to be praying for you AND for your beloved. So (take it or leave it at your discretion) but a word from an “older” woman–Don’t hesitate to ask your single friends (divorced, widowed, or never married) to pray for you too. All of us aren’t men-haters. It breaks our hearts to see other women make the same mistakes we made and not be able to do anything to help. Prayer is the best way–maybe the ONLY–way we can stand in the gap for you.

    And that #3 one that caught your attention: 100% true. That one could even be a deal-breaker. Take it from someone who learned too late. It’s so easy to give only what is left after kids, laundry, housekeeping, work, ministry…and the list goes on. Our men are strong but EVERY one needs to be someone’s first priority. EVERY one needs to know there is someone who goes the extra mile for him too. I will be praying your marriage grows sweeter and richer with each day. (And tell him, we really appreciate him for sharing you with us that weekend!)

  • Robyn
    May 2, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Excellent post Amy.. I am really looking forward to this series.. God bless you and keep you in His love..

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