Review: Power of a Praying Wife

Maybe I should start this review with a disclaimer to y’all who might be rolling your eyes:

I am not someone who enjoys reading marriage books. I tried, when we were engaged and first married, but once I got married I struggled because all the books seemed to be written by women with a very particular personality for which submission was pretty cut and dry, one size fits all. I didn’t really seem to fit, which meant I felt guilty 100% of the time.

So, disclaimers aside, I have to say….

I really learned a lot from The Power of a Praying Wife and really enjoyed reading it. A month later, I am still pulling up some things I read in order to pray for Chris better.

This book is honest. It doesn’t promise to give you the right words to say to “fix” your husband into what you want him to be. Instead, it talks a lot about your heart and what it means to pray for your husband. It’s acknowledging that my words and nagging aren’t going to be life-changers, but instead it’ll be the Holy Spirit. It says that in praying, sometimes nothing changes, but instead our attitude changes as we submit our own selves to the Lord.

 This book is super practical. It has 31 chapters, each with a single thing to focus your prayer on. It gives Scripture references and a sample prayer in the back. If you feel like you’re praying the exact same thing every day for you guy or gal (Um, Lord, please keep him safe and help him be happy…), this book will give you specific ideas of what to pray for and why it’s important.

This book can lean towards a bit of prosperity. A few times she writes something that sounds like it’s using prayer as a get out of jail free card, but, honestly, I might just be sensitive to that since there are a lot of big authors cashing in on that kind of teaching. This is a minor part of the book, a few sentences in one or two of the chapters, and wouldn’t hinder me recommending it.

Overall, I would highly recommend buying a copy of this book, reading through it, and then using the Table of Contents as a prayer guide for your guy. I’ve already seen huge ways it has helped my prayer life and improved my attitude toward Chris. You can grab your own copy from Amazon here. I’d love to hear what you think about it!

Have you read Power of a Praying Wife? What did you think? If you haven’t, what marriage books have you enjoyed?

I love You + Me Forever‘s approach to marriage (you’ll be a good partner if you’re following Christ with all your heart), and When Sinners Say I Do is one I’ve seen recommended a lot, but haven’t read myself.

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Dear Chris

Ah! We were such babies four years ago, with no idea how to do all this.

To this day, I love that our relationship started over a mission trip, even if we became a Baptist school cliche. I don’t mind at all, because that basis has been the foundation of our relationship, from day one.

I remember when I was mad one day on the trip, before we were dating, and you said you would pray for me. I knew then that you would, that I could take you at your word. No manipulation, no show to be cool, but truth.

Then we spend the whole summer serving churches, and I accidentally told you I love you in the Amish store as the group got sandwiches. Typical Chris and Anna, right? And then, later, when I said I didn’t mean it, you said it. And I knew you meant it, because you’re Chris, and you tell the truth.

Four years, and you’re always steady, always true.  You’ve been home from the first day I talked to you, when constant moving and traveling left me without one.

We’re so different that I used to be scared we wouldn’t be able to both shine at the same time–our dreams, desires, so different sometimes it almost seemed like a joke. But when you shine, when you’re putting together a softball team that shares the Gospel more effectively than a million churches, when you’re watching a basketball game with a coworker, when you’re counseling college students, I see Jesus in you.

And when I watch a documentary, tell you my next Big Idea, come home from a workshop saying we need to move to the Middle East, I see it in your eyes that you love watching me shine, that you somehow cut through my crap and see Jesus in me.

I love you, I love you, I love you (even more than that first time I said it in Tastes Like Home (by the way, I really want a sandwich and a Ski now)).

When Marriage is like Muscles

 

MarriageMuscles

Someone once told me when you exercise your muscles tear a little bit. How you proceed then decides if your muscles rebuild stronger or if they get worse.  I’ll be honest, I have no idea if this is 100% true, but it does make sense to me! (And for the purposes of this thought, just stick with me, deal?)

Well, I’m no exercise expert, but I’m starting to think marriage is a whole lot like exercise. This week, Chris and I had a kind of fight heated discussion about something, and said a few things that weren’t very kind. Okay, let’s be honest, we came with words flying.

I walked away, stubborn and not wanting to apologize, and then God stuck that stupid thought about the muscles in my head. He likes doing that, right? Humbling us and showing us what is right when we just want to stomp around like babies. And I thought…Hmmm. Marriage is a lot like that.

When something mean is said that cuts Chris, it’s easy for me to just think, “Well, he’ll get over it. We’re married, so we’re stuck together no matter what.” But I bet that attitude is pretty dangerous. When we have a fight, our bond is torn a little. Just like Mr. Weightlifter told me muscles are torn.

Now, I have a choice:

1, Hang on to my pride and just assume it’ll all be okay, or

2. Look at what I did wrong. Apologize. Try not to do it any more. Be humble. Admit I was wrong.

I can choose the first, hanging on to my anger, and maybe it will work out or maybe the bond will be severed so badly that one day, all this little things add up and we can’t stand each other. Just like a runner who keeps running on a torn ligament, who instead of resting and growing stronger just keeps making it worse.  Or I can choose the latter, and swallow that dang pride God doesn’t seem too fond of, and our bond can grow stronger as God sanctifies us.

The second choice is so obviously the better one. All it takes is letting go of that pride, but man, isn’t is so hard when you’re mad? When you just wanna be mad for a little while longer?

But, shew, when I look at the marriages I want to emulate, they sure as heck aren’t the people who are simply stuck with one another, but the ones who seem like every day they grow closer. The real picture of marriage (and redemption), friends, isn’t clinging to pride, but letting our fleeting emotions go in exchange for a love that really lasts. Now that’s a marriage where Christ is glorified, and isn’t that the ultimate goal? I sure hope so!

God, may we just Let. It. Go. and grow stronger instead of weaker. Help us choose Your way, the hard way, the life-giving one. Amen.

Wedding Day–June 22, 2013

I woke up ready. Honestly, I was full of so much peace. I just wanted to see Chris; I wanted to be his wife. And, honestly, I wanted to be on our way to Charleston and seeing the beach :)  We began the day with a quick breakfast with family before we went to decorate. My aunts, bridesmaids, mom, and me decorated the place in no time…and, really, it was perfect. Simple, laid back, and perfect. Later, when it was time to see Chris, I had to stop myself from running up the aisle to him. I was just so ready to be with him and laugh. It was a perfect day with perfect people. Here’s a few pics :)
All pictures by the fantastic Jennie Marie Photography. She and Jessica helped make our wedding day so fun and laid back!

Getting Ready

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First Look

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Location: The Brown Pusey House, Elizabethtown, KY

Wedding Day–June 22, 2013

I woke up ready. Honestly, I was full of so much peace. I just wanted to see Chris; I wanted to be his wife. And, honestly, I wanted to be on our way to Charleston and seeing the beach :)  We began the day with a quick breakfast with family before we went to decorate. My aunts, bridesmaids, mom, and me decorated the place in no time…and, really, it was perfect. Simple, laid back, and perfect. Later, when it was time to see Chris, I had to stop myself from running up the aisle to him. I was just so ready to be with him and laugh. It was a perfect day with perfect people. Here’s a few pics :)

All pictures by the fantastic Jennie Marie Photography. She and Jessica helped make our wedding day so fun and laid back!

Getting Ready

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First Look

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Details

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Location: The Brown Pusey House, Elizabethtown, KY

5 Things Wedding Planning Taught Me About God

My wedding is less than one week away! It is so crazy how all your life you can look forward to this day, but in the end, all you want is your best friend to be by your side forever…and to get to the beach for your honeymoon! :)

The process has been kinda stressful. From working in a budget (Note: Pinterest knows no budget), to finding a good time and date for everyone you love, to having to slim the guest list way down, it hasn’t always been easy. But there are a lot of things God has taught me through the process.

Image1. First of all, he cares about my wedding. He is the Everlasting Father, and my earthly father sure cares about my wedding. How much more can my Everlasting Father, who created marriage, care about my wedding? On my wedding day, as my amazing earthly daddy tears up and dances with me, I have to remember my heavenly Father is just as joyful to participate in the most important day of my life.

2. My sin nature makes me materialistic and envious. I would never have described myself as materialistic. Growing up without much money, I’ve never been super concerned with having the best “stuff”. Until, one day a ring was slipped on my finger and all of the sudden I HAVE TO HAVE WHITE CHAIRS because metal ones simply won’t do. And I’ve gotta breathe, and look at what’s important, and calm down my mind into remembered most people won’t notice the fact we don’t have fancy soaps in the bathroom waiting for them. I can honestly say I haven’t had any bridezilla moments in front of others…but I’ve gotta say, by myself scrolling through that wonderful place of inspiration called Pinterest, I’ve been green with envy over those fancy beautiful weddings without a budget.

3.  I’m not in control. Hi, my name is Anna, and I am a control freak. However, an outdoor wedding in June means it may be 98 degrees or pouring down rain. And there’s nothing I can do. This puts me back at number 1, remembering God cares about my wedding. Which means maybe it will rain, maybe it won’t.

4. My heavenly Father provides. He provides money for my wedding dress. He gives amazing friends to throw a fun bridal shower.  He will provide much more than I could have planned in these ten months. For real, things might go crazy on my wedding day. But He’s got a much better plan in mind.

5. Marriage is the hardest thing God has created us to do. I’m sure a year from now, I might look back at this and laugh at how I had no idea. Planning a wedding with Chris has shown me just how different we are. Different families, different likes, different music tastes, different senses of humor. In this ceremony, we are melding all these differences together in front of God and all the people we love. However, something so difficult cannot come without reward, or else why would God create it? It is good. I’m sure I will learn more about my sin and struggles than I ever wanted in my forever with Chris. But I will also learn more about God’s grace and love.

And a bonus, just for you :)

6. Marriage is the most important thing I will do for this life, but my relationship with God is still more important. Everything at my wedding could go wrong. Everything in marriage could be an uphill, climbing up the Rockies, type of battle. While I am trusting the Lord that this won’t be true, if he decides that’s how it will be, it will be. And I will have Him and His love. Because my wedding is one of the most important days of my life. But the day when I was 5 that I put my trust in Jesus means I have something even more important in my life.

I am so excited for my day. I am so glad my Father loves me enough to care about my wedding day. I am so excited to walk down the aisle next to my dad and Chris with Jesus right in our midst, pouring his love all over our heads.