Four Things That Happened When God Re-defined My Mistakes

Four Things That Happened When God Re-defined My Mistakes

I’m honestly putting myself in a vulnerable position because of my story despite what you may think from knowing me and my past. I grew up in a picture perfect cookie cutter home, or at least that’s what I believed until I was about thirteen years old, and that’s when I discovered that no one is perfect. Although, my family had issues we had God in our lives, and that changes everything. I’m not here to judge anyone, or condemn anyone, because you see I used to be the person that felt so damaged and so broken, and I never thought that a God so rightous could love someone like me, and because of that I didn’t want anything to do with him. And because of that I did things my way. My way resulted in a major curveball when I found out I was pregnant. It hasn’t been easy being a young mom, while everyone around me gets to travel the world when they want to, and I can’t even go to the bathroom without my child coming with me. Despite the challenges, I may face the good outweighs the bad, and allowing God to re-define my wrong choices has led to feeling happy and complete. Here are four ways that changed my perspective on my mistakes.

1. I understood God’s Love for Me.

Once I got pregnant and in a steady relationship I began to lose friends left in right. After all, I wasn’t as cool as I used to be. I definitely couldn’t drink, and I also had the tendency to fall asleep for hours at a time. Laughing now that I’m thinking about the many naps that I took. I went through a serious postpartum depression at the beginning of my pregnancy and has honestly taken about a year to get through. My marriage was also new, and we had our ups and downs. Yet through all of the mess, I knew in my heart that God was there for me. When all else failed I knew He still cared. He loved me enough, and so much that He trust me with the ultimate responsibility to take care of a life that had been given to me. How awesome is that?

Photo by Jenn Evelyn-Ann on Unsplash

2. He mended broken relationships.

As I mentioned before, many of the friends that I had been partying with before I got prego had slowly left my side. My husband and I were hanging on by a thread, and I knew that we had to surrender our will to God, and thankfully Stephen was on the same page as I was, and because of that our relationship with each other was restored. Another relationship that was restored was my relationship with my sister. That is a big freaking miracle because I never thought we would handle being in the same room together, and now she chooses to visit more than once a week. Like we don’t share a room together anymore, so she doesn’t have to but she wants to, and I know in my heart that God brought Ivan in my life for many reasons and one of them is to make us sisters again, and I am so thankful for that.

He makes all things new. Rev. 21:5 Click To Tweet

3. He taught me how to love others.

Through all of this God has shown me so much grace, and I want to extend that grace to others. If God can redeem my story, then He is just as capable to redeem someone else’s. When I see someone who is broken, and they feel shame. I just want to hug them, and let them know that anything can be restored. I have learned that it’s okay to feel regret for a day or two, but we need to learn to forgive ourselves because God has already forgiven us. Regret and shame will not change things it just causes us to live in the past. I want to show others that no matter how big their mistake is they are only one step away from choosing a better path, and that is where the last step comes in called, “redirection.”

Photo by Fernando Brasil on Unsplash

4. Living life with purpose

I know that if I had never gotten pregnant I would have kept living my life the same way. I would have never done anything with my life, and neither would my husband. Now because of my son Ivan, I have the desire to succeed and do more with my life, when before all I wanted was to have a good time. Now I am going through my second semester of school with only six more to go before I can become a sonographer. I am also super excited to be co-leading a life-changing small group with Church of the Highlands, and it’s amazing to see God working through people and through me. They say that when you teach you aren’t just teaching others you are also teaching yourself, and that is so true. My husband is currently in his last few weeks of AIT military training and is about to graduate his with Honors. And he just told me the other day that we will have the opportunity to travel to places I have always dreamt of going, but never in my life thought it would be a reality, but it’s true!

Photo by Seth Doyle on Unsplash

I said all of this to say that it doesn’t matter how wrong your life has gone. Even if you take a wrong turn or two it does not matter, because as soon as you surrender your life to His plan. He will turn your life into more than you can possibly imagine.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

Four Things That I Have Learned From Experience About Long Distance Relationships

Four Things That I Have Learned From Experience About Long Distance Relationships

Hey everyone, I hope that you are all having a lovely weekend. I have my Sweater Weather Playlist on Spotify playing in the background, and my Pumpkin Pie French Pressed Coffee sitting next to me. I think this is going to be a good weekend. Tonight I am planning a Halloween Party at my house, so I’m pretty stoked about that! So with that being said I would love to hear about your weekend feel free to talk about it in the comments below. Now to get into what this blog post is really about. Most of you know that my husband has been away for a little over two months training for basics for the US National Army, and he has informed me in his last letter sent to me that he is now officially a US Army Soldier, So Yay! I couldn’t be more proud of him. He graduates this week from basics and will transfer to his actual training for what he wants to do in the military, so it’s going to be another long three months, but I can say that without a doubt long distance is not easy, but it is very doable with the right person. Here are four things that I have learned from my experience of being in a long distance relationship. 

1. Leave room for grace and understanding.

This is probably my biggest tip to those who are going into a long distance relationship, or are already in one. Leave room for Grace. The only way that my husband and I can correspond to each other is through letters, and there have been many times where I would ask him something and he didn’t give me an answer. Not that he did it on purpose, but he’s exhausted, and has a lot on his mind trying to get through a lot of high stress obstacles. So I had the chance to either get mad about it, or have understanding and show him grace the way that I knew that I should do. Now I can’t say that there weren’t times that I wouldn’t get frustrated, but I can say that this experience had made me feel more compassion and love towards my husband and everything he has been doing. So maybe your SO forgot to call you back, or seemed to respond too late. Think about what occupation they have, and how their time is being spent. They probably aren’t ignoring you. Life just gets busy, so leave a little room for grace and understanding. You will be happier and so will your soulmate.

Photo by Hyunwon Jang on Unsplash

2. Stay Positive and Busy.

It’s hard to have negative thoughts if you are staying busy, and getting creative with your time. Don’t focus on the negative. It will only hurt you, especially if there’s no real reason to. A lot of times when I would get caught up in a negative way of thinking I knew it was the enemy trying to get inside my head. I didn’t let him for long. I would always find something to do. Philippians 4:8 is the perfect verse that I can think of when it comes to thinking positively.  When you find yourself getting wrapped up in your thoughts don’t dwell on them. Call an old friend and have some coffee. You may be surprised at what coffee with an old friend will do for you. 

Photo by Savs on Unsplash

3. Grow.

One of the best things that you can do for yourself and your SO is to grow while they’re away. Don’t sit there in your self pity. I know it’s hard, and there were days when I just wanted someone to cuddle with, and hold my hand, but it’s not healthy to stay stagnant. I have continued to pursue my dreams by learning how to market online, and doing things for the first time that I have never done before. It’s a beautiful thing to watch a rose bloom. You are that rose. Blossom and grow where you are planted. God has great plans for you, and we need to believe that. (Jeremiah 29:11) Cook a new meal, start an online course of something you have always wanted to learn, meet a new friend do things for you, or if your a mom like me try new crafts and projects with your kids. 

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Push yourself because no one else is going to do it for you. 

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4. Stop comparing yourself to other couples. 

I found myself comparing my relationship to another couples relationship whose long distance didn’t work out that great. I literally got sad thinking, “Yep, that’s going to be my luck.” Or I would catch myself looking at all the happy perfect relationships on Instagram, and feel worried that maybe I did need my husband to be with me 24/7 to be happy. What a terrible way to think. No relationship is the same, and no relationship is going to be perfect, but yours is yours, and God gave you that SO, so enjoy your love story, and don’t compare yours to someone else’s. Song of Songs 3:4 ,”I have found the one whom my soul loves.” 

Photo by Joshua Reddekopp on Unsplash

This quote is how a long distance relationship made me feel, and I love it. Long distance relationships are not a set back they are an opportunity to reflect and become the best version of yourself. I hope you all enjoyed this post. Feel free to share your comments on the topic in the comment box below, and don’t forget to share it! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my journey with you all. -Lauren S. Watkins

My setback was a blessing! I survived what was meant to destroy me. I came back like a boss…fabulous, wiser and stronger than ever.

Quote I found on Pintrest

Five Keys To A Happy Marriage

Five Keys To A Happy Marriage

I want to begin this topic, by saying that marriage in my opinion is the root and foundation of the home.
It goes all the way back to when God created the foundation of the earth. He saw man that he was lonely and needed companionship, and so he created the woman. They were a team. One was not better than the other, and I think that is where a lot of people get into arguments and conflicts, because marriage is often made out to be just another competition. God wants marriage to be more than that. One person can do amazing things, but two working together can do more. So that is why I want to share these five things, that I am learning and realizing are essential steps to having a happy marriage.

1. God has to be our number one priority.

 

 

No matter how hard we have tried to make our relationship work without God it was meaningless. I am not saying that you can’t be happy in a relationship if you are not a Christian, but what I am saying is that for me and my husband, anytime that we have put something else first in our lives, whether it be our jobs, kids, family, or something that we should not be doing, it never seems to go well for us. You may have noticed that some of the things that I mentioned are not considered bad things, and in fact they can even be great things, but not when you put them at a higher priority than God, which can be hard to do sometimes, because life does get busy, however it is possible to put God first. Sin is the only exception that will always hinder or hurt your relationship or marriage. That is the second thing that I would like to talk about.

  • Proverbs 3:6
  • Matthew 6:33
  • Matthew 22:37

2. Give each other Grace.

I know you thought that you married the perfect person, and that the only thing that you would fight over was which restaurant you wanted to eat at more, but I hate to inform you that the person that you married is not perfect, and neither is the person that you see in the mirror every morning. One day you will wake up next to the person you married, and their imperfections will start to show, and you will understand what I am talking about, and some of you may already be experiencing this. The truth is that none of us are perfect and we all need grace. Until I realized that it made some days seem almost impossible to love my spouse, and it was really hard. I hated feeling disgusted or frustrated with my spouses imperfections, but I didn’t know what to do about it, until I realized that I had them too, and he had to live with my imperfections just like I had to live with his. Jesus has not withheld His grace from me, when He died on the cross for my sins, so who was I to withhold grace from my husband that I also loved very much. Once I realized this, it made both of our lives so much better, and there was much more peace between both of us.

  • 1 John 4:19
  • 2 Corinthians 12:8-9
  • Ephesians 2:8-9

3. Date each other.

If you want to keep the spark alive you’re going to have to keep dating each other. For some of you that may seem silly, but putting in the effort to make each other happy is important. What is something that interests you both? Do you like nature? Do something together outdoors, and if you do not know what to do then try out different things until you find out what it is that you both like to do. I promise it is so much fun, and you always learn something new about your spouse that you never knew before. I know that sounds impossible, but It’s true. Also don’t forget that the little things matter too. I leave little sticky notes around for my hubby to find, and it makes him so happy. Sometimes just one small act of love or kindness can make the world of difference in your relationship.

4. Remember why you fell in love.

Go back to the day, when it all started. When you caught his gaze for the first time, or she smiled and it lit up your whole world. Remember your first kiss, and how the sparks just ignited when you held hands. Remember the laughs and the memory’s, and even remember the hard times that you have gone through together. Whenever you and your spouse are going through something difficult it has always helped me to look back, and remember when it all began. Think about the first time the words, “I love you,” where spoken, and just watch as your heart opens up and you begin to see your spouse for the person that you fell in love with, and the person that you are still in love with.

5. Stop blaming each other and start communicating.

 

I know this can be really challenging, but if we just learn to hold our tongue just for a second, and really think about what we are bothered by it will help make things better and not worst. When we get caught up pointing fingers, and bringing up things that don’t matter it only builds and adds on to the frustration. If there is an issue, a worry, a fear just plainly talk about it with your spouse. I promise your spouse is going to be a lot more open to hearing you speak calmly about any concerns you may have, then to hear complaints and nagging. We can start nagging when we are perfect, which is never going to happen, so it’s just best if we don’t.