As She let God in, she started to see life from a new perspective.
She became alive again.
The more she seeks God, the more He unveils her beauty.
She is restored.
She is fearless.
She is captivating, because she is His.
James 3:9-11 “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men. who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt flow in the same spring?”
I’ve been learning a lot about the power of words especially the ones spoken to my husband. Wives I am amazed at the power we have with what we say to our men.
I have watched my husband slowly become a more confident person by my encouraging words. This is a life long skill for me. Because sometimes I am guilty of wanting to mix salt with water. But when I shut the mouth of this lion and let the encouraging words flow I see him grow.
Words are powerful.
They kill or build.
Our husbands live for our joy and assurance. When I am short with my beloved I see it on his face “I have failed my wife” this breaks my heart. We stop. We discuss. We forgive. Those moments hurt the most because that’s not what God wants me to be. He wants me to encourage Peter as he carry’s the weight of leading our family.
Peter used to say he cant learn new skills, but never gave me a reason. Just said “cant”. That’s when I realized the more God was working on my heart as I am learning to become an encouraging wife the more I encouraged him. I have loved watching him learn new skills and try new things.
My husband and I have one of these and we love it!
What I love about these is you can make them how ever you want!
You don’t have to use a mason jar like us. A simple list might just do the trick.
*Bed and breakfast *go to a hotel *hiking *go to a flower nursery and buy some *he makes dinner while she gets ready *he surprises her with a new dress and a note that says “be ready by…” *cute love notes everywhere before spouse comes home
Out side: *pic nic *walks *beach day *horse back riding *fair *zoo
*play a two player sport together(tennis, bad mitten, throw a frisbee, ect.) *fishing *swing dancing *bowling *wall climbing *canoeing *skiing *running *hiking *walks *sign up for a run *ice skating *larping
*baking *cooking *gaming *build something *get artsy (paint, color, draw ect.) *Do the holiday things (carve pumpkins, gingerbread houses, decorate, bake, dress up, ect.) *movie *restaurant *board games *coffee date *Indoor picnic *arcade
*double date *Go see a play *glass blowing *go to an art gallery or a museum *Monster truck show *go to a different restaurant for a three course meal
*read something together *share your favorite Bible verse/story and why? *share what Bible character you think you are most like and why? *Take quizzes online to get to know each other
The list could go on…..what are some other great ideas for a date?
When I started writing and thinking about what to post for our big year anniversary this writing started off very gloomy, but then…
I recalled our vows.
I recalled the day
I recalled our Purpose .
As I was looking through my pictures trying to figure out what to post for our big one year anniversary I new I couldn’t come up with a bright and happy one it wouldn’t of been the right fit.
When I look at this picture I see our year unfold.
It was exactly what you see when you look a little deeper with me.
It was grey.
It was Peter loving me unconditionally.
It was me wondering why and yet still leaning in wanting to trust him but didn’t know how.
It was me not always wanting to make eye contact.
It was Peter always seeing me as beautiful even if I didn’t act that way.
Like I have mentioned in a few other writings before our first year was not a honeymoon it was a spiritual battle of thorns. Through and through we know that God is bigger and he has only made us stronger in the midst of it all. We learned so much together and I am so thankful to have a husband who is completely in love with Lord.
Mihaela, meeting you 3 years ago I had no idea I would be standing here today getting married to you. You have been involved in my life these last three years always around to talk to and to listen too. Our friendship slowly grew and grew encouraging each other in our walk with Christ.
I stand before you today Mihaela to make my vows to you. I vow to hold your hand in sickness and in health. I vow to always encourage and support your walk with Christ. I vow to be your best friend and walk through life together. I vow to give myself up for you, to die to myself daily.
Peter even before we started dating you were always encouraging me in my walk with Christ through prayer. Because of you I have learned to trust again. I love you. Years I have prayed for you, and God has blessed me more than I ever imagined. Now and forever I promise to hold your hand in the battle field of life. I promise to be an encourager, your helper, your lover, your prayer warrior, and your companion. I promise to laugh, cry, and dream with you. I promise to die to myself every day for you. To love you through all our seasons.
(Here I took off my purity ring and continued the vows. Ring off.)
The ring I am wearing is in the shape of a heart. This is symbolizing through being restored in Christ is my purity to you. My new ring will symbolize a promise to be forever yours with commitment I am making before God and man today.
Very few people know this about me…I do not like cooking. When I was younger I used to tell my mom that I was going to have to marry Doctor slash Chef that way everything’s taken care of. Of course it made perfect sense in a fourteen year old’s mind. As much as it was a joke the idea of cooking was still horrible to me.
But slowly each day with my husbands encouragement I’m becoming more confident.
This is an insecurity God is working on in me. It has honestly been one of the toughest parts of being a newly wed. But because of our work schedules I am the main cook in our house.
Sometimes Peter helps me chop up veggies or check on the food to help me keep going. Many times I want to throw in the apron and call it quits.
For those who know Peter he is known as the picky eater. I haven’t witnessed it yet with my cooking.
Since we have been married I have made soup for the first time and used the crock pot. I’ve been trying different recipes but I keep them similar.
I set a meal plan so I’m only shopping twice a month (that way I don’t feel like I’m always always at the store) and stick to our budget. There were times when there would be a week left until the next month and I would have to get creative. Luckily cooking allows that.
Slowly each day I am becoming more confident as God is working out the insecurities in me.
Alright I’m going to be honest from the get go. This is a post about me bragging about my husband.
When Peter and I are loafing at home he will catch me staring at him from time to time not only because I’m attracted to him but because I also admire him. Come on ladies admit it we all stare at our husbands. From dating to engaged and now married I have learned so much by just watching him.
By him carefully responding to others and myself even when hes upset I’ve learned to hold my emotions and tongue a little bit better.
His generous heart as taught me that although God provides, he give us opportunities to bless those around us.
When I walk outside of the room late Saturday mornings I find him reading the Bible. Some times as I’m falling asleep I’ll roll over and find him praying even though we had just prayed together. His humble heart has taught me to pray with out ceasing even when we are sailing along peacefully. His time management has made me ask myself about the priorities in my life.
I thank God for the opportunity I get to love some one and be loved by someone who loves him so much.
Peter holds me.
I say a silent prayer crying out to God.
There are times not even Peter can comfort me. This is the sweet fellowship I get with Christ. Yes, it hurts. But He is bigger. He understands. He is our true comforter.
The first few months of our marriage was hard not because of the cliche things people told me: house being a mess, getting sick, constant fighting, or weight gain. Actually none of that happened. What happened was the unexpected. Old insecurities rose inside of me from when I was child. Even I couldn’t see my mood swings coming. Then I would fear the next time they would occur.
Why does my beloved have to suffer with me? I would feel a burden for him. I started believing lies the devil wants me to believe.
What if Peter never comes back?
Anxiety was my fight for weeks. When he’d leave for work in the morning I’d hold back tears. The fear kept growing. I would have one good day…
My heart would race, tears stream, head spin.
Why God does my beloved have to suffer with me?
The smell of death was all around me for three years. I carry a burden I shouldn’t hold. But I do.
Why did I live and they didn’t? For years I have ignored the question, because when it consumes me guilt becomes my thoughts. Year after year my birthday gets harder because the devil fuels my mind with the lie “you shouldn’t of made it this far.”
“Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal.” the lyrics of Come as you are sung by: Crowder are sung in church. The insides of me cry out to God. He is the only one who understands my heart completely. Tears stream down my face. Not because I am sad. But Knowing Christ Himself knows my every thought, hears my hearts inner cries, wants all of me, and is my joy.
“ Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
More on my childhood journey: https://hylaandpeterechols.com/2015/02/20/ptsd-black-sheep/
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When others see Peter give me a kiss or watch us talk things out when there is miscommunication they say things like:
“Have you even gotten in a real fight?”
“You know you’re only in the ‘honeymoon’ season”.
What they don’t understand is how adjusting to married life has been hard for us. Even our dating season was hard. PTSD, setting family boundaries, change of becoming one-flesh, new ministry opportunities, and life circumstances are hard.
The Devil constantly fights to tear our marriage apart by throwing obstacles our way. Why? Because we love the Lord!
Going into our marriage we knew that life was only going to get harder. By pushing each other in prayer, Bible reading, in ministry projects, and in our personal walks with Christ together…the Kingdom will expand.
As the years go by I only hope to love Peter more than on our wedding day. And I can! Staying in prayer and in fellowship with Christ makes that possible. Marriage is another testimony for the world to see. Some might think their walk with Christ is done and the other person can finish it because they are one-flesh. They are forgetting teamwork and are putting their identity in the other person. Marriage is one-flesh, but there are two people in it. Two people who both need Christ as much as the other. Honeymoon season doesn’t have to be just a season. It can become a way of life. If others see us trying to go through our marriage without Christ being our center then disaster will be all they see.
These past few months have been very hard, but as a couple we are growing stronger in Him every day. Sometimes I feel like we go one step forward and twenty steps back. When I get caught up in the twenty steps back I forget that those twenty steps back might actually be us moving forward. It might just not feel that way.
If you were encouraged by this feel free to share.
Looking back at my wedding day I would only do a few things differently, but in the end it looked perfect. Who says you cant have your dream wedding? After hearing about how Peter and I saved and put things together, friends asked me to do a writing on it. Here is some advice for newly weds who can have their dream wedding and not go bank rupt.
When you begin your planning start off with a budget and STICK WITH IT. I kept receipts and marked it in a book. It’s very easy to loose track when you see all the possiblities for your theme. This is where pinterest came in handy for us. I made a board, then we looked at what we could afford. Weddings bring people together we asked people for help. Most of our decorations were from friends who knew our taste. Having the pinterest board as their guide helped us save money and have it come to life. I learned I had to look online before going into stores if I really wanted to save. Everything online is cheaper. Ask yourselves where you really want to put your money. We put ours into the photographers knowing the pictures are what make the day last.
Many people forget that a wedding is just one day of their lives. After spending way more than they could afford they dont have enough for a honeymoon. Weddings are a big deal but I can tell you no one remembers our cute ribbon on our bubbles for send away, or the fact that we used lace table cloth instead of silk. They only remember us.
We decided on an afternoon wedding so we could do wedding pictures in the morning and not have people wait for us. This also made food easy and cheap. We did fruit cobobs and chicken cobobs. Most weddings money goes toward food. We figured people would eat lunch then come and not be looking for a meal.
Just remember it’s your day and you are not trying to please everyone. The people who are in the bridal party should be the people who are going to be with you every step of the way through the planning. I could not ask for better bridesmaids. They went with the flow even when it got chaotic and never complained. They were always checking in on me and making sure I was keeping my cool. I dont beleive brides get the option to be brideszilla. People are helping you and dont have to. Many brides forget that.
Things did go wrong for our big day. In fact a lot of things went wrong. They will. It’s a wedding and things happen. That is why it is good to have a hundred dollars from your wedding budget set aside in case something happens. Just remember you will be married and thats what counts. Happy wedding planning!
Our wedding costed 3,138 inluding recption and pictures our budget was 4,000
Here’s a small chart of our planning.
Dress: 10$ (I was looking for any white lace dress) (stayed out of bridal stores)
Two wedding photographers: X amount
Cake free: (friend)
send off car free: (our car)
make up:free (friend)
engagement photos: $250 (friends)
Food: $190 (costco)
Flowers: $105 (seattle farmers market)
Venue/reception: free (friends back yard)
DJ: free (friend)
Invites: $300 (pinterest)
Decorations: about $200 (this includesplates/cups/balloons/prorgams/ ect.)
Things we changed….
send off car-ours broke down the night before the wedding so we used mine.
venue/reception- was originally at a park.
gazebo- we had our friends make and Arch
Read On :
A lot of you who know me may be wondering why my Facebook profile has a picture of Peter and me kissing when I always say, “kissing looks gross.” There’s a small part of mine and Peter’s story we kept for our family, close friends and ourselves.
We didn’t kiss on the lips until the morning of our wedding.
When we set the standard of not kissing, boundaries became harder. We were allowed to kiss on the cheek and hand but there were times we decided to not even do that. We struggled along the way.
Some may say we were too extreme but…
fighting to love each other the right way is not extreme.
Because of our broken pasts The Scariest Road we had to be, so-called ‘extreme.’ Had we kissed before our wedding it wouldn’t of been sinning. We would’ve just been falling short of goals we set and therefore making the other less important than our selfish desires.
We continue to thank God for our victories. Now that we are married we are more aware of the physical and emotional connection kissing has. The idea of kissing someone besides my husband is foreign and wrong.
I write this to encourage those who are fighting for a healthy relationship centered in Christ. You can do it. So don’t stop fighting for it.