How Marriage Has Humbled Me

*This post contains some affiliate links.*

 

What I'm learning as a newlywed and a fairly new mother is that these years are some of the most challenging, and demanding years I have experienced in my life. I call them, the molding years. I don't mean to give them a negative connotation, but I have struggled within my marriage and being a mother that always lead me to this question, how can I be better?

My sweet friend Madison Weaver recently released a devotional called, "Becoming One." A 30-day devotional helps reconnects you and your spouse on a deeper level through Christ. I firmly believe that the relationship between the husband and wife set the tone for the household. A healthy marriage is paramount for a well-balanced, thriving home.

I'm so excited for her to share her heart behind her devotional and why she chose (and continues to) blog about marriage. 

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Writing has always been a passion of mine. I was the kid who was always stuck at a desk writing stories and memoirs, and I’m a sucker for a good love story. At one time I even thought I wanted to be an author, but I dismissed it as a hobby and continued on thinking it was a dream I'd never achieve.

 


Flash forward years later. I was newly married at 18, trying to figure out what God was calling me to do with my life. The years before had been rough. My husband and I had been heavily judged by others in regards to us getting married at such an young age. We lost relationships with family members and friends, and it seemed as though people thought marriage was a bad thing. As if God cursed us with it. We felt like we were the only young couple deciding to choose love over what the world had to over. We felt like we had very little support as a young married couple.

As I was reflecting on all of the things that had taken place over the past few years, I felt God was calling me to share my experiences with other couples and help them in some way. Finding ways to better my marriage and draw us closer to God and each other has been my passion for a long time. I could sit and write about it for hours and hours. Then one day I thought, “Why don't I start a blog to help other young wives (or even wives of all ages) better their marriages and draw closer to their husbands?” So I did, and it has been one of the most challenging, yet rewarding things I've ever done!

 


My hope for my ministry is to encourage and equip wives to love and care for their marriages with all their hearts as well as their relationship with God. They should never be separate! In order to have a Godly and passionate marriage, God must be the foundation. Many couples struggle in their marriage because they don't know how to place God in the center, as well as deal with difficult situations and problems that arise in marriage. There are lots of devotionals out there today that give great encouragement and vaguely explain what you need to do be a better wife, have a more happier and Godly marriage, etc. Do they all refer to specific scripture related to common struggles, give you specific tips on how to rekindle your love, and give you a challenge to complete everyday with your spouse that will help you truly become one? Most don't! That's why I created the 30-day devotional for wives titled, "Becoming One" that will do just that; help wives truly become one with their husbands.

Are you looking for a way to bring the spark back to your marriage? Are you looking for help in making God the foundation of your relationship? Do you want to actively pursue your husband on a daily basis and become the wife God calls you to be? "Becoming One" will help and encourage you every single step of the way. By the end of the thirty days, you will have a fresh perspective on how God views marriage and what a sacred and beautiful thing it is.

"Becoming One" is originally $5.99, but I want to thank all the wonderful readers of The Gilded Wife by giving you 10% off using code "thegildedwife"! I don't want you to miss out on this amazing opportunity to strengthen your marriage and your relationship with the Lord. To purchase, click here.


I also have an exclusive Facebook support group only for Christian wives! This is a place where wives of all ages can be encouraged, connect with, and get advice from other ladies! We would love to have you join us. Click to join here




Connect with Madison!

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3 Ways To Squeeze VitaTops into Your Daily Routine

This post is sponsored by VitaTops, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

 

Spring is in full swing and schedules are as busy as ever with extracurricular activities, work projects, and packed planners with all sorts of to-dos! It just never ends!

And with all the busy comes a break, SPRING BREAK! Time to unwind with family and make amazing memories. So what's in your cooler for the long-awaited road trip? 

I think I can help you out with a delicious, family-friendly and healthy snack that's ready to go, at home or on the road! 

 

 

Bursting with antioxidants and crafted with organic ingredients, VitaTops are simply your go-to snack. They come in several flavors (blueberry pictured) and packed with plenty of protein and fiber for everyone in the family.

I'm sharing 3 ways you can squeeze VitaTops into your busy, busy schedule today, including a few other fun ideas for the upcoming holiday!

 

 

Loaded with vitamins and minerals, VitaTops are a great way to start the day at breakfast. My boys devoured this tasty snack and couldn't help but ask for a second helping. They loved the blueberries!

 

For mom, I was able to sneak one away while at the computer and another as I was heading out the door. Only 120 calories with a dash of tartness - yes please! 

 

I was so excited to hear that my son and his classmates enjoyed their VitaTops for snack time! He was excited to share them with his friends.

 

A couple other creative ways to slip VitaTops in your "on-the-go" lifestyle, especially this time of year for spring breakers, is a road trip snack! VitaTops come in large packages (I purchased mine on Amazon - packet of 24) that are perfect for last minute, nutritious snacks. 

Other VitaTops flavor options:

  • Gluten-Free

  • Organic

  • Protein-Rich

  • Superfood

 

**Also, another great idea for Easter baskets! VitaTops is a great healthy substitute to the Easter sweets!**

 

VitaTops can be found at the following local stores: Kroger, Target, Publix, Shop-Rite, HEB, Stop & Shop, or Giant. 

How My Faith Was Influenced By The Media

With a year of blogging under my belt, I feel that I've only skimmed the surface. I wanted to be sure that I was accomplishing the very reason why I started this blog...

I was an introvert-turned-partially-extrovert who had built a tribe, began to peel back a layer or two for those who wanted to hear my heart, and established a deeper relationship with Jesus. If one post touched one reader - for the better - or sparked a desire for a personal relationship with the Lord then I have succeeded.

A year ago, I began this blog with a broken heart. I was facing a struggle Inever imagined would have affected me as profoundly as it did. My trust in the Lord was under fire and I was left in a tailspin that wanted little to do with God.

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Tears shed, endless questioning and disbelief left me emotionally paralyzed on why someone I loved dearly could walk away.

Sure enough anger, sadness, betrayal, frustration arrived uninvited and set up shop in my heart. I was caught off-guard with what God was allowing to happen. 

"God, I'm a good person, so why did you allow this? Why me?"

Sound familiar?

Sure, I'm a good person but by who's standards, mine or His?

In the beginning of this hardship, this movie gave me some clarity. I had been focusing on all the wrong things and asking the wrong questions. I watched some of the movie and had to walk away. And this time, I allowed a those countless messages from books, television, and others harden my heart towards those I thought were the enemy. 

 

(When you experience heartache, you search. Search for something, anything - to fill that broken void. That's what I did. Because I wasn't ready to face reality, I was seeking answers from where I typically look first, the media, in hopes I would find "a sign." I had never googled, researched, and read SO many books than I had during that season of my life. Unfortunately, I was left with more questions than before I began my conquest to resolution...)

 

And after many days and tear-filled nights, I dropped to my knees with heart bursting with lies from the enemy. And I prayed.

God wasn't deliberately hurting me or found joy in my pain. He IS a God of love, salvation, mercy and forgiveness.

I had to take a step back and reevaluate my heart, and when I did, The War Room was waiting. 

 

The War Room Movie left a resilient and new found love in my heart. The extraordinary cast would use His word as an active weapon against the enemy, because THAT IS WHO WE ARE FIGHTING, not each other. 

After having watched War Room numerous times, I had several takeaways and thoughts stirring that helped transform my heart for Christ:

  • A prayer journal and wall. If I'm not praying for my family, who is? Keeping a prayer journal and/or wall will track victories and keep my heart from going astray. Focus on His promises.

  • Do I trust God? When I was disheartened, I sought worldly answers because I was desperately seeking comfort and peace. Do not look to things of this world. The Lord says, "For everything, there is a season." There will be tears and joy...He does make everything beautiful in it's own time. So, I will choose to trust that this is a season. I choose to become stronger from this trial and trust His faithfulness, because there is beauty in brokenness.

  • "I am His before I am yours." The wife in the movie spoke this to her husband after his repentance of his past mistakes. He went on to ask her, "Why? Why would you still love and stay with me after how I treated you? And this was her response (ALLL THE HEARTS!) Isn't this how we should approach every situation? Seeking Him. Trusting Him. Loving Him before all things. Our joy cannot come from people, (media) or things because like me, you will be left discouraged. Like the woman in the movie proclaims proudly, "My joy is found in Jesus!"

 

Don't be discouraged, friends. Through trying times, remember to seek Him over all things. Be quick to forgive as Christ forgave us

 

He HEARS you and IS working. 

 

 

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How to Relive Your Memories Today

**This post is sponsored by Shutterfly but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.**

 

This past Valentine's Day, I ran out of ideas on how to make the day of "love and all things hearts" a bit more special. I had used Shutterfly MANY times in the past to collect, consolidate and share memorable photos from every event imaginable. I recently heard about Shutterfly's "Make My Book" service and if you're like me, I'm all for saving time when possible. And they certainly delivered.

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I had never used the Make My Book service before and was eager to start! Here is what I enjoyed about the service:

  • Time-Efficient. For $9.99 a professional designer will curate 60-100 pictures submitted by the customer (he/she will make any necessary edits) and select those of best quality in order to design a beautifully-crafted photo book - for your review. I received my revisions in less than 24 hours! 

  • Professionalism. I am THAT woman that will ask a million and one questions. I was very impressed with how attentive and helpful my personal designer was with my needs and requests.  

  • Personable. At first, I was hesitant with this service; because, I like to be in control. I do. Before submitting my photos, I received a mini- questionnaire about themes, colors, quotes, embellishments, etc. and it put me at ease. My personal photo book was contrived within my wedding theme along with our entertaining memories that brought the very day back to life for us.   

I couldn't wait for my husband and our boys to see our very own wedding day photo book. After been married 5 years, I wanted to revisit our day of "I do's" - day one of the rest of our lives.

Some of my most cherished moments that day: getting ready with my bridesmaids & mother-in-law, my mom fastening my veil, a letter from my "fiancé," praying for our marriage and crying when I saw my dad (the only time I cried that day!) 

My son says, "beautiful mom!" 

My handsome nephews as the ring bearers. They practically stole the show! 

I married into the kindest, most genuine, loving family. They felt like family long before we said, "I do" that day. Levi loved seeing everyone!

Oh, and things got a little out of hand with the church instruments! 

A prerequisite for our bridal party was that you MUST LOVE to dance! They all passed.

My husband was in charge of the food and drinks. I just wanted to sing and dance with the people we love.

Clearly, the Make My Book service was a hit with my family. My husband was grinning while our boys pointed and laughed. 

"I found the one whom my soul loves." - Song of Solomon 3:4

...to be continued.

 

Thank you Shutterfly for delivering a quality keepsake filled with cherished wedding memories in a timely fashion. This book will last a lifetime in our hearts and on our coffee table.  

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How One Woman Is Fighting For Freedom

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. It is a horrific crime that some have heard of but is hardly spoken of today. I came across Kelly's Instagram page, then her Etsy Shop and quickly became inspired by her cause, to end modern day slavery. Here is Kelly's testimony and more about Speak Justice Design Co. 

 

For years, human trafficking pulled heavily on my heart, but I didn't know what to do. Around 30 million people are enslaved around the world, and many of those people are in sex slavery. Just a few years ago, you didn’t hear much about sex trafficking, and most of us didn’t know much about how it was happening, especially in the U.S. There still aren’t solid statistics that accurately represent how many people are being trafficked because it’s such a difficult crime to track and stop. This global industry is making billions off of the innocence of the vulnerable. The average person trafficked into the sex trade is 12 years old. 12 years old.

 

 

It's a huge, dark, sickening problem, and I felt totally defeated whenever I thought about it. I didn't have much money to donate or much time to volunteer, so I just sat on God's call on my heart. I pushed it aside.
 

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When I started my design business five years ago, I never imagined that God would use it as a vessel for his mission for me. I did contract design work for businesses and churches for a few years, and then I decided to open an Etsy shop to have a better outlet for doing the kind of design work that I love. During all that time, my business felt incomplete. I felt like it was supposed to be more, to mean more, but I didn’t know what.

 

Less than a year after opening my shop, God gave me the vision to use my work to take a stand. I had read another article about trafficking and was thinking, what can I do? How can I find a way to give? And God prompted, give your business away. Take whatever small reach and resources you have and leverage them for those with no voice. I knew in that frenzied, giddy night of brainstorming and praying that God had lined up everything -- my business, my Etsy shop, my social media platforms -- so that I would be ready when he tugged on my heart again. Here was the meaning. Here was the divine purpose.

 

I rebranded my business four months later to Speak Justice Design Co., and started donating from every sale to The Exodus Road, an organization that helps find, rescue, and restore people who are trapped in slavery. For every $10 that is spent in our shop, we donate $3. In the six months since the launch, we’ve raised almost $1,000 for rescue. That’s enough to pay for four weeks of investigations, or transitional care for nine survivors after a raid. I have never loved my work so much as I do now that I am helping fight for freedom.

 

I know that not everyone has the same calling, which is why Speak Justice is about living intentionally at home in the world. That includes ending slavery. That includes purposeful motherhood. That includes serving your community and speaking up for the marginalized. Oh man, it includes so many good things! I want to live intentionally and inspire others to be intentional in whatever they do. I’m passionate about God’s mission for me, and I want to help others discover their mission too! You don’t have to waste any more time wondering what that meaning is you’re looking for. God has a call for your life right now.

 

It's still a struggle because I have to balance this passion with my other calls to serve my family (my pastor hubby and two sweet and spunky boys, 3 and 1) and the church. Sometimes I feel like God has given me more missions than what I can accomplish. But I do my best to trust him with that and keep working. To pursue His idea of success, not mine. To just be obedient to the call and let him fill in the rest. Because it’s really his mission, after all.

 

CONNECT WITH KELLY

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | SHOP

More about Kelly

Kelly is an optimist, a sensitive heart, quiet by nature and hopelessly forgetful. Her happy places are in meaningful relationships, pour-your-heart-out worship, autumn in the mountains and anything with her boys. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband, Josh, and their two very social and animated boys, who are 3 and 1. She serves in student ministry with her husband and is the founder of Speak Justice Design Co.

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