#wife

Wifey Wednesday: Being Single & Content

 

Now before you kill me, hear me out! I can already hear you saying “That’s easy for her to say, she’s already married” or even rolling your eyes! Listen Linda, listen!! As I stated on a previous blog, I was single for 7 years. The photo on this blog was on my birthday on 2013 and I was very much SINGLE. Don’t I look happy? It is because I actually was. On that day my coworkers kept complimenting me stating I was glowing and looked happy … not all my birthdays were like that truth be told. The most important thing is at this point in the journey – I was content. It took me a long time to get to this place, but ultimately I believe this is the lesson God was teaching me.


Don’t get me wrong! I love my husband and thank God each day He saw it fit for us to be together. The lesson(s) I needed to learn had to be during my singleness and wilderness period. God had to refine me to be able learn & understand … “in every circumstance give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). I had to give thanks when I wanted to be married and wasn’t, had to give thanks when I was frustrated with my job, had to give thanks when it seemed that the world was crashing around me. The thing is … in every season … life is beautiful. The moment you focus on your problems and what you don’t have, the BIGGER it becomes. Why not focus your energy elsewhere and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus? I look back on those moments I was worrying and just feel terrible. It was such a waste of time and emotions. Thankfully I always bounced back quick, but if you are not that type PLEASE surround yourself with people that will help you.


If you are single I want you to do the following – Take out a sheet of paper and follow these instructions:
First side of the paper
- Write down why being single worries you
- Rank each numerically from highest to lowest (#1 being the item that worries you the most)
- Next to each write down how that point adds to your life
- At the bottom of the page write down Matthew 6:27, Matthew 6:34 and Proverbs 3:5-6


Second side of paper
- Write down your top 5 goals
- Rank each numerically from highest to lowest (#1 being the item you want to achieve most)
- Next to each write how achieving the goal will make you feel
- Skip a couple lines – write down what you will do for FUN (at least one)


*Keep this sheet of paper near and refer to it on the days you are down*


In total transparency – I had to do a similar exercise and it helped me to learn to have a heart of gratitude.


I wanted to encourage my single followers as we embark on this journey of having an “Attitude of Gratitude” this month! Celebrate where you have been, where you are and where you are about to go! God has amazing things in store for you, and you DO NOT need a man for God to fulfill it! *finger snaps* Now… there will be other things God will want you to accomplish and He will place the RIGHT person by your side to achieve it. Relax! God got this!! Love yall!


For His Glory Only,
XOXO
Danielle J.

Wifey Wednesday: Marriage is a Mirror

As we continue on this journey of “Self-Examination”, I wanted my final #WifeyWednesday posts for this month to be personal.  Last week we discussed that marriage is instituted to glorify God. Today we will go over the fact that marriage is like a mirror.


An interesting thing that I have found in my 10 months of being married is that marriage is like a mirror. You ever look into a mirror and see your imperfections? Wrinkles, blemishes or age spots etc … the things we wish we could change, but for the most part have little control over. Mirrors can be real lifesavers, they reflect the present state and give us an opportunity to fix the imperfections.


Marriage at times amplifies our imperfections and our unresolved issues. Whether is issues of abandonment, trust or patience – this becomes amplified in marriage. Just as we look in the mirrors at times and see things we do not like, there are some characteristic traits that need an adjustment. By living so closely with another person, you begin to get a picture of what you really look like. You start to see where you need to adjust and change. Unfortunately, many expect marriage to be something that makes them look better, not something that reveals where they don't look so good. Rather than see where we need to change, we opt to project our own negative images on our spouses and point out where they need to change. Are you willing to accept criticism and make changes? In the Bible, Adam played the blame game like this: "That woman you put here with me-she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it” (Genesis 3:12). Stop blaming others and take responsibility for your actions.


Scripture speaks to us time and time again about reflecting Christ because we are made in His image. Colossians 3:10 states “And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator”. When we accept Christ we know we are to reflect Him. There were moments in my marriage due to feeling overwhelmed that I would give very short responses or spend more time on work or getting things done for my organization. Being overwhelmed and frustrated did not give me a pass to not speak to my husband in love. I took time to reflect and sincerely apologize. There is a saying that my dad would always drill in my head as a child “Do unto others as you would have them do onto you”.  At the end of the day, we are not only a reflection of Christ but we are to reflect our spouse.


To my followers who are single: What areas in your life do you need to work on reflecting Christ? Make a list of 2-3 things that you will be committed to work on before the end of the year. Place it on an index card or in your prayer journal and diligently work on reflecting Christ.


To my followers who are married: If we believe our spouse is present in the marriage to make us look better, instead of being a mirror to help us see who we really are, we will think our marriage is inadequate whenever one of our faults is revealed. Be open to receive criticism. Open the lines of communication to allow your spouse to feel comfortable to speak to you about imperfections.


My prayer is that God will help us in our imperfections. In the area(s) that we are not reflecting Him, may He refine us and mold us into who He wants us to be. No one is perfect, but we can strive to reflect Christ in every aspect of our life.


For His Glory Only,
XOXO
Danielle J.

Wifey Wednesday: Marriage is made to Glorify God

 

 

 

As we continue on this journey of “Self-Examination”, I wanted my last two #WifeyWednesday posts for this month to be personal. Just wanted to share what I have learned and experienced in my marriage thus far. I was going to save this for the end of the year, but it fits perfectly with our blog series this month.

 

Marriage was instituted to glorify God. One of the main things I have witnessed as I have counseled others and have even struggled with, is the notion that marriage is to glorify God. Our idea of marriage has been misconstrued over time & not in line with God’s purpose for marriage. We have turned marriage into “what’s in it for me”. Hard lesson: it is not about you. Marriage is more than a than a contract, a piece of paper, or pledge. In marriage you are not only committing to each other in companionship, you are committing to each other in everything. Nothing comes before your spouse.

 

In a nutshell, marriage is to represent how Christ loves the church. Marriage unites two sinners and shows the relationship between Christ and the church. It is put on display in front of the whole world to see. Ephesians 5:25-27 states “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word.”.

 

My husband and I grew up with great examples of a healthy marriage. Both sets of parents have been married for over 30 years. We understood that marriage would take “work” and “sacrifice” in order to be successful. One of my mentors drilled into my head that marriage is about sacrifice, not compromise. There would be moments ahead where we would not be able to compromise, and would have to sacrifice.

 

Prior to getting married I knew that marriage would take “work”. As I described to one of my mentees, marriage is the type of work you enjoy … not the 9-5 job that you hate. With that in mind I was aware that there would be days where I would feel overwhelmed but I would need to push through. I have heard people say “marriage isn’t what I expected”. The question is what did you expect (moment of self-examination). Are the expectations you have for your spouse fair? Can you live up to those expectations? I learned from the beginning that I could not place my happiness in the hands of my husband. That is so unfair. He is human just like me. There will be moments where he “fails” me.

 

In the beginning we struggled because my love language is “quality time”. My husband works late nights and due to his photography business, he also works weekends. In that instance I felt as if my “needs” were not being met. I had two choices: 1) Be angry and hold it against him 2) Communicate and work through it. “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down” (Proverbs 14:1). I choose to be wise. Instead of nagging I prayed that he would work less hours, prayed that I would continue to love in tough times and sacrificed my own time for him. After some time, he is the one that came to me with solutions. We made sure we did our best to never skip a date night (#FridayNightDateNight) and established good communication when one felt “neglected”.

 

Let’s be real. That small incident could have grown into something much larger. If I chose to be angry .. everything he did thereafter would make me want to explode. If he left the cabinet doors open, forgot to take out the trash or did not help me cook during the week … my anger and frustration would just build. I wouldn’t love him with sacrificial love. This is what self-examination is all about. Looking at yourself and understanding what you are capable of doing, BUT choosing to do the right thing.

 

For my followers who are single: Please remember a man who will lead you to God and not to sin, is always worth the wait! Be patient in your season of singleness. The person that God wants for you will bring you closer to the God. You will see biblical traits in them (fruit). You have to examine their lives because that is the person you are going to be with until death. You need someone who is going to run the Christian race and keep up with you. If you think that you have found the one keep praying and God will tell you in prayer and thorough confirmation. If you are waiting for a spouse, keep praying that God sends someone your way. While you are praying for someone, someone is also praying for you. Trust in the Lord.

 

For my followers who are married: Is your marriage a reflection of God? Since we are made in His image (Genesis 1:27 ) your marriage should reflect Him. Are you being selfish, stubborn, belitting? Always ask yourself if your actions are glorifying God. Learn to makes sacrifices and love in that manner. Stop thinking about the things you aren’t getting, and focus on what your spouse does very well.

 

My prayer is that God will teach us how to build up our relationships, friendships and marriage, & keep us from tearing it down. Whether in word or in deed, we need to seek to honor each other and glorify God daily. May we have the strength to walk in sacrificial love, and a deep desire to press on in faith. Even on the days when it doesn’t feel good to do so, may we continue to walk in His will.

 

I will most likely do a video at the end of the year to celebrate my one year anniversary of marriage and share some more insight on the things I have learned.

 

For His Glory Only,
XOXO
Danielle J.

Wifey Wednesday: Examine our Thoughts & Emotions

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As we continue on our path of “Self-Examination" in the following areas: physical, mental and spiritual – I wanted to speak on addressing our thoughts and emotions.


At times we are truly emotional beings. We get upset, hold grudges and remain in the bondage of unforgiveness. Ephesians 4:26-27 states “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold”.  In essence we are not to give the devil any opportunity. This means within our relationships with others, friendships and marriage. We need to protect our thoughts, actions and emotions.


God gives us the best example. He isquick to forgive, and  fast to forget. We need to learn to follow His  example of forgiveness and grace. A wise man takes control of his anger and gives it over to God, but a foolish man lets his anger control him. He invites it in to stay. We are not perfect, we never have been–we never will be. We’re bound to hurt each other and say things that sting. That is a part of life. The important things is to recognize the moments we do this and apologize.


We need to pray that God will help us understand one another, and to view each other through a veil of grace and apply this in every aspect of our lives (including towards ourselves).  If we let each other down, we will also be the hand that picks one another up. Scripture tells us not to let the sun go down on our wrath (being upset). We need God’s help, and pray that He teaches us to examine our hearts and to calm ourselves down.


My God guide and protect our thoughts & emotions. May He help us to stay positive and to remove negative thoughts before they take root. Scripture after scripture tells us to take our thoughts captive, to keep our bodies from sin, and to guard our hearts according to His Word. The smallest temptation can turn into sin and take root when we allow it to step through the door. What may start out as a simple argument can grow into something far worse if we invite these thoughts in and allow them to grow. There’s a war that is waging inside us. The best way to calm that war is by guarding our thoughts, kneeling in prayer, and admitting that we need God’s help.


May God give us the strength to let go of anger and any grudges we hold. Remind us to count the many blessings we have, and to find. May He help us to heal from those things we have lost, to be content with the things that we have, and to dwell on our future together instead of the past. With Him and through Him, we become a mighty force, set on fire, filled with His Spirit, and ready to fight for our marriage.


For my followers who are single: Ask God to examine your heart, thoughts and emotions in this season. He is yearning for you to be a reflection of Him in your daily life amongst friends, family, peers and coworkers. With His help you will be able to put all of this in check and create healthy relationships.


For my followers who are married: Think of ways that your thoughts and emotions may have been an obstacle in the past. Address those deep rooted issues in your life and put it before God in prayer. Ask Him to help you keep your thoughts and emotions in line so you can have a healthy marriage and maintain good standing in your other relationships.

 

For His Glory Only,
XOXO
Danielle J.

Wifey Wednesday: Sow in Faith

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This month we have discussed the theme “Harvest” and believe that our season is changing.

There are times within our friendships, relationships and marriage that the season may change. It can be hot like summer, or extremely cold like winter. This doesn’t mean that we stop sowing. The Bible tells us to sow our seeds in the morning, and how we never know which ones will succeed. So it is with our effort, our prayers, and our service to sow seeds in and out of season. We can’t change each other, and we can’t expect always expect growth, but we can love, pray, and walk in obedience to God’s will.

This means we need to apply that phrase “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going”. It is in the “cold” or “dry” season that we get frustrated and troubled. We may look back to the joyous summer or spring days and wonder how we landed in drought. You must first experience poverty to really understand prosperity. You must first understand walking in the wilderness to appreciate the harvest.


Ecclesiastes 11:4-6 (NIV) states “Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things. Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.”
 

If we were to pay attention to how people are towards us we wouldn’t sow seeds of love. There would be continued strife amongst us. When you make a decision to speak words of kindness, take the higher road and show love – God gets the glory. You are acting in a way that pleases Him.


To my followers who are single: Learn to sow seeds even in tough seasons. This means in the face of adversity, sow seeds. In circumstances where you could “speak your mind”, sow [positive] seeds as well. This is the training season where you need to perfect the art of sowing good seeds in times of difficulty and drought.


To my followers who are married: Make the extra effort each day with your spouse. Even in those moments when you are not in “the mood”, feel overwhelmed or tired – sow seeds of love, speak life over your spouse and shower them in kindness. You will reap a great harvest in doing so.


My prayer is that God would teach us to do our part–to plant seeds of love and encouragement, and to pray for each other. Give us the faith to bring our friendships, relationships and marriage to His throne of grace and to leave it in His hands.


Put away any thoughts of discouragement, frustration and angst and walk in the confidence to rest in God’s strength.

For His Glory Only,
XOXO

Danielle J.

Wifey Wednesday: Give Us a Gentle Spirit

This week in our blog series we discussed “Seeds & Trees”. Today we will take it a step further and talk about having a gentle spirit. This is applicable to both women and men [as most of my blogs are …just saying lol].

A gentle spirit is in line to being meek. Meek means being to be quiet, gentle, and submissive. How many times have we had an opportunity to showcase a gentle spirit but we retaliated, argued or “spoke our mind.” The proof is in your actions. Are you reflecting God?  We have the ability in many areas of our lives to show a gentle spirit. We can express gentleness towards our family, friends, parents, peers and coworkers. There is the ability to showcase Christ on a daily basis, and the decision rests on us.

James 3:16-18 states “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”

When an argument arises, seek peace. The Scripture says that sowing in peace bringsa harvest of righteousness. Be sure not to be envious or seek after things due to selfish ambition. This is not of God. Everything that is pure, noble, peaceful, considerate, submissive and sincere reflects God.

My prayer is that God will give us a gentle spirit, and remind us to handle each other with care. Whether we’re having a good day, or the weight of the world is bringing us down. May we be tender and loving one to another. May our words be gentle, our actions be kind, and our thoughts always tender and pure in EVERY aspect of our lives.


For my followers who are single: Learn to be gentle with the people who are in your life currently. Yes, even those who "get on your nerves" ... show gentleness. Stop the habit of "speaking your mind" or acting out of character. Do your best to showcase Christ in every aspect of your life.

For my followers who are married: In the moments where your spouse may touch a nerve, choose gentleness. Learn to apply gentleness in the moments where it is the most difficult. This will enable you to pass the test in the all moments.

Let us be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, looking to Christ as our perfect example.

 

For His Glory Only,
XOXO
Danielle J.

Blind Faith

My name is Ludnie Saint Julien.  I was born and raised in Haiti and I moved to the United States six years ago. It has been a good journey for my family and I, and we have been blessed. Like everyone, I have a story and to share it with you.

When I got married 6 years ago, I thought everything would be perfect. When I was growing up in Haiti, I always thought that America was a country where people have a good life. For example, I thought Americans had all have money;  which meant they can shop any time they want, never run out of food or anything just like we see in the movies. It didn’t take me long after I moved here to realize that they were all dreams. God has shown us some ways.

The struggle started about 2-3 months after my husband and I got married. First thing, he was hospitalized & diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. He almost had a heart attack. The struggle continued. He couldn’t find a good job although he was a  licensed Registered Nurse.  He applied everywhere, no one ever called him. Sometimes he would find part time jobs with an agency but work 1-5 days a month.  So you can only imagine how we struggled. How can you survive with that? I recall one time we were looking for 25 cents to buy a gallon of water, we couldn’t find it. We were opening drawers looking for pennies to see if we can reach 25 cents. I just remember that even with everything that was going on in our life, we never stopped praying. We never stopped going to church and participating in anything. We never stopped believing that it was a test that either God was giving us, OR that the devil was mad at us for doing a good thing (which is not living in fornication and that we got married).

Later on, we moved to Kissimmee with the help of a friend who offered us hospitality so my husband could find a job. God blessed him with a job, we didn’t take long to move to our own apartment & things started to get better. It didn’t take until we said that we were ready to have children that the devil started to work again. I got pregnant on the first try. Everyone was happy! I even started having morning sickness. Things were going great …. and then BOOM! one day I miscarried. I simply said ‘’Okay God, if it’s not Your will now, I’ll wait’’.  I just took it to my Lord. It took me two years before I got pregnant again. Everything was going well, and by my 2nd trimester, my body started to go back to normal. My belly was growing, and when we went for a checkup, but there was no heartbeat. The worst part about it was that they found out that I had a partial molar pregnancy. The baby died since 14 weeks, and they had to do an emergency D&C (dilation and curettage) because I was getting infected internally. That day, I felt the same way I was when I received the news about my mother’s death. I was like really God??  NOT AGAIN! But I had to stay strong for my husband and my family.

We had to wait for a whole year to follow up with high risk pregnancy by having blood test done every month. They would monitor my hormone levels closely to make sure that I did not develop cancer before we would be allowed to try getting pregnant again. When they finally told us we were ready, we quickly we started to try. We tried everything. I took all kinds of hormones. Some of the hormones were dangerous. For instance, I was taking some hormones that would increase my eggs maturation to the point to make me release more than one egg each month. The risk of taking it for a long period of time is a high chance of developing cancer. That hormone also had seeveral side effects. A year passed, but still nothing happened. My body was so stressed; it started to shut down. I became frustrated. I was desperate. I used to cry in my car coming from work to home. I cried in my bed. I couldn’t pray anymore. I kept asking God why me. I did everything He wanted me to. I’m married; I go to church, I pray, I help others. Why was everyone else having children and not me. I even went further to say that some people were not even married because I was so mad at Him.

My husband on the other end was complaining about how he was getting old and didn't have a child. It was frustrating. Four years of marriage and we couldn’t have any child.  One day while I was at church, Pastor Danielle was preaching about BLIND FAITH. She came to me and said, God will give you what you’re asking for, but He wants you to go in closet, on your knees, and talk to him. This sermon changed my life. That day, I realized that sometimes God wants us to stop begging and stop asking, but just put your faith into Him. He knows exactly what we want, but He wants us to ask and believe; just wait for Him. So I stopped everything; all hormones, other twins med, and stopped going to the doctor. I went on my knees and did that prayer:  “God you know what I want. I’ve been crying and begging, and nothing happens. Today it is the last day I’m going to ask you this. I am not doing it anymore; I am not crying anymore. I am your servant, and I shouldn’t be unhappy. Now, there is one thing I am asking.  If you give me a baby before the year ends, on the christening day, I will testify, and I will feed the entire church’’. I also told Him that I don’t want to have a high risk pregnancy, and I want to have a normal delivery with no epidural.  TWO MONTH LATER WE WERE EXPECTING and God have given us a beautiful, healthy baby girl named GRACE-ANN. She is my grace from God. Everything went the way I ask Him. After my first trimester at the high risk clinic, the doctor told me to find a regular gynecologist because everything is normal. I was not "at risk". Yes God, yes, just the way I asked Him. I smile with the doctor knowing that I got another the victory. And to make my testimony complete, I had normal delivery with no epidural, and I didn’t suffer at all. That was one of the best experience of my life, and without God, all these wouldn’t happen. 

Life is beautiful when we let God keep control over everything. I never lost faith on Him. When my husband and I didn’t have food to eat, we fasted the whole day. God knows your situation. He knows your needs. He will fulfill them when the time is right. He just wants you to be patient. In my situation, my husband and I thought we were ready, but God Himself wanted us to wait. While we were waiting, we were exercising our faith. And today, He puts us in a better place; a place where we can actually share our story, and encourage others to keep walking with Him in whatever circumstances in life. Started from a studio in little Haiti to a five bedroom house; from 5 years trying to conceive, one miscarriage and a dying baby to a beautiful, hyper, smart, and healthy daughter. We are blessed, and we can’t thank Him enough for His blessings upon us.  He can do the same for you. Don’t be discouraged. Just put your faith stronger in Him. Just like me, if you believe, you HAVE BLIND FAITH and start making plans in the name of Jesus because life is too beautiful for you to be sad or crying all the time. He will answer your prayers.

May God bless you and everything in your life including your will and your plans.

Thank you for reading my family’s story! Be Blessed!

Special thanks to Ludnie for sharing her story. This truly touched me because I recall as she labored in prayer to get pregnant. I recall during our Father's Day service I had her pin her husband with a flower in faith that he would be a father by that following year ... and it happened!! This testimony inspires us to have blind faith and not look at our situations but to God. Again, thank you Ludnie! We appreciate your transparency.

For His Glory Only,
XOXO
Danielle

#WifeyWednesdays

I was “single” for  SEVEN  years! Yes, you read that right …. SEVEN before I married my college sweetheart.The journey wasn’t easy, but I made it through and married the man of my dreams.  I am happy to announce we are starting something new via the blog and Facebook page entitled “Wifey Wednesdays”. This segment will include personal experiences, testimonies, love stories, advice and posts related to love, marriage and family. We will highlight the journey of singleness, marriage and motherhood. As I personally grow in this area – I want to take you along in this journey and also share the things that have been instrumental in this season. Make sure to check out the FIRST blog post entitled - “Worth the Wait” which will be posted NEXT Wednesday!  In the meantime, make sure you are actively engaged on all of our social media sites. Like ourFacebook page by clicking  here . Follow us on  Twitter  and  Instagram  as well!  P.S. I'll also be posting some awesome recipes in this segment!  For HIS glory only, XOXO Danielle

I was “single” for SEVEN years! Yes, you read that right …. SEVEN before I married my college sweetheart.The journey wasn’t easy, but I made it through and married the man of my dreams.

I am happy to announce we are starting something new via the blog and Facebook page entitled “Wifey Wednesdays”. This segment will include personal experiences, testimonies, love stories, advice and posts related to love, marriage and family. We will highlight the journey of singleness, marriage and motherhood. As I personally grow in this area – I want to take you along in this journey and also share the things that have been instrumental in this season. Make sure to check out the FIRST blog post entitled - “Worth the Wait” which will be posted NEXT Wednesday!

In the meantime, make sure you are actively engaged on all of our social media sites.
Like ourFacebook page by clicking here.
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram as well!

P.S. I'll also be posting some awesome recipes in this segment!

For HIS glory only,
XOXO
Danielle