Archive for the ‘marriage’ Category
When Chris and I got married we set some short and long term goals for our family. One of our short term goals was to serve on a mission trip together before we had children. Sadly, we didn’t meet that goal- in the busyness of life it is something that got pushed off time and again. As JT and Kate are growing old enough to understand and follow our example as Christ followers, it has become more and more important to us to live out the gospel intentionally with and before our children. Our desire is to love our neighbors both near and far and to serve widows and orphans the best that we can as a family.
A few months ago Chris was chatting with a coworker about Arbol de Vida, the orphanage that he works with in Juarez, Mexico and that our church happens to support. During the conversation it was mentioned that last year the children had oatmeal for dinner on Thanksgiving. It’s like a lightbulb went on and we saw a need that we could meet. Why not provide Thanksgiving to these children? Why not bring our family down and serve it to them ourselves?
Chris and I have decided to answer God’s call to take our family on an adventure in serving Him over the week of Thanksgiving this year. On November 17 we will be joining the Schrimp family, the Babb family, and possibly two more families in driving 11 hours south to Juarez, Mexico to serve the children and staff at Arbol de Vida. We will be returning on Thanksgiving day, hopefully in time to celebrate with family at home.
We are excited for an opportunity to expose JT, Kate, and James to another culture, to be the hands and feet of Jesus to others, to love some children who can use extra love, to help meet practical needs at the orphanage, to show our children how God gives to us so that we can give to others, and to provide a turkey dinner with all the trimmings to the residents of Arbol de Vida. (Thank goodness I cooked Thanksgiving by myself for the first time last year! God knew what was in store for us this year!)
We are nervous about spending 22 hours+ with our three (very young!) kids in the car (especially since James is still breast feeding every 3 hours!), border crossings and travel in another country, safety on the road and in a town known for violence and drug wars, spending 4 nights in a dormitory (no naps = cranky kids!), exposing our children to the older children of the orphanage (most of the orphans are middle and high school aged), and living and sharing the gospel when we have so much to learn ourselves.
How can you support us on this adventure? First and foremost we need your prayers. We know that all things are possible with God and that prayer is a powerful agent of change. We will face many challenges during this adventure and will need an extra measure of wisdom and grace and patience as we face the unknown. Second, we would appreciate your financial support. We will require gas for the round trip drive, a hotel stay for one night, and groceries, toiletries, and goodies (all of which must be purchased in Mexico) for the children of Arbol de Vida. We would like to lavish the kids and staff with love and practical goods while we are there. If you feel called to support us, whether through prayer or gifts of money please let us know before November 10.
Thank you for your love and support-
Chris, Melody, JT, Kate, and James Benschoter
Today is our 7th wedding anniversary! It’s amazing how it feels like forever and like a moment all at the same time.
What do you think, do we look the same after 7 years?
I am so thankful for the amazing man I married. I can truly say that I am married to my best friend. I love you, honey! I’m so glad that we’re still laughing together!
Happy anniversary to us!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I am so excited to announce the winner of my first giveaway! Susan, you’re a winner! I’ll be emailing you today with the information on how to redeem your $20 voucher from Dayspring. Don’t forget that they have many of their items on sale right now and you can use code LOVE25 for an extra 25% off of your order.
I admit- I got a little geeky into Valentine’s Day this year. Maybe it’s because I have a preschooler. Or it could be because I extra appreciate my husband as I have a dear friend who was recently widowed. Or possibly because I hadn’t done any crafting in a while and I just couldn’t hold back any longer. In any case, I really enjoyed celebrating the love with my family and friends this year. Here are a few of the (very) simple ideas I put into practice-
I bought a package of Dr Seuss Valentines at the dollar store and handed them out at church
I made three of those felt rosette heart wreaths- one for our house and two to give away
I gave an entire case (60!) of Lindt Lindor White Chocolate Truffles to my Valentine (scored a great deal on Amazon!)
I made heart shaped peanut butter chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast yesterday
I cut JT’s pb&j with a heart shaped cookie cutter and stuck a sheet of conversation heart stickers in his lunch box
I made JT and Chris’ lunches last night (this is usually my hubby’s job)
Last night after the kids went to bed my hubby and I enjoyed a candlelit steak dinner and played some card games
I made an effort to ask Chris big questions as we lay (laid?) in bed last night (you know- what are you thinking about your career, what is your favorite thing about JT, about Kate, about me, where would you like our next vacation to be… those questions)
I dressed the kids and myself in festive (red or pink- with hearts too!) attire
I texted my husband throughout the day with conversation heart sayings
We gave each of the kids small (think dollar store items) gifts
I gave lots of extra hugs, kisses and cuddles throughout the day- the kids got in on the love too!
I made red heart shaped jello jigglers to go with dinner
I invited my sister in law and nephews over for dinner tonight since my brother is out of town
As you can see, most of these ideas were free or almost free- just a little effort was all it took to spread the love. How did you celebrate Valentine’s Day?
I came across this marriage prayer on a blog today and loved it so much I personalized it by inserting our names into it. I would love to begin praying this with my husband and see how God answers our prayers. The prayer came from http://lysaterkeurst.com/ which I found through today’s (in)courage post http://www.incourage.me/2010/09/things-that-seem-so-small.html#comment-37709 which I loved! (If you haven’t been reading the (in)courage posts I recommend you skim through the site. I am really enjoying the encouragement and challenges here.)
The Marriage Prayer
Father in Heaven, thank you for our commitment to Christian marriage. As we look ahead, we pray that our future will never lack the convictions that make a marriage strong.
Bless my husband, Chris. Bless him as provider and protector. Sustain him in all the pressures that come with the task of stewarding a family. May his strength be my boast and pride, and may he so live that I may find in him the haven for which my heart truly longs.
Bless my wife, Melody. Give her a tenderness that makes her great, a deep sense of understanding, and a strong faith in You. Give her that inner beauty of soul that never fades, that eternal youth that is found in holding fast to the things that never age. May she so live that I may be pleased to reverence her in the shrine of my heart.
Teach us that marriage is not living for each other. It is two people uniting and joining hands to serve You. Give us a great spiritual purpose in life. May we seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness, knowing that You will sustain us through all of life’s challenges.
May we minimize each other’s weaknesses and be swift to praise and magnify each other’s strengths so that we might view each other through a lover’s kind and patient eyes. Help us every day to be kind and gentle, more like Thee. Give us a little something to forgive each day, that their love might learn to be long-suffering.
Bless us and develop our characters as they walk together with You. Give us enough hurts to keep us humane, enough failures to keep our hands clenched tightly in Yours, and enough of success to make us sure we walk with You throughout all of our life.
May we never take each other’s love for granted but always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims. “Out of all this world, you have chosen me.” Then, when life is done and the sun is setting, may we be found then as now, still hand in hand, still very proud, still thanking You for each other.
May we travel together as friends and lovers, brother and sister, husband and wife, father and mother, and as servants of Christ until He shall return or until that day when one shall lay the other into the arms of God. This we ask through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, the great lover of our souls. Amen.
Pray with me and see what God has in store for your marriage!
I’m a firm believer in the importance of marriage first children second. The funny thing is- I’ve discovered that I haven’t been doing a very good job of living it. The urgent cries of my children often come before the silent needs of my husband. The pile of laundry, to do list, and stack of dishes are always waiting for me. I’m tired and sleep is beckoning me. Who has the money or time for a date night? Who has the energy to be understanding and forgiving when there is so much to be done? But what kind of example does this set for my children? If I don’t teach them the value of marriage, the need to respect and cherish your spouse, the joy that comes from investing in each other- who will?
Anyway, Chris and I went on our first date night since Kate was born last night. Believe me- 4 months is too long between dates! We were giddy all day in anticipation. I found that we both went out of our way to be kinder, to do something nice for the other, to be a little more romantic. Our date wasn’t fancy, we went to dinner, Target and a coffee shop. But it was a wonderful time to reconnect with each other. We sipped coffee and played cards until they kicked us out and the whole drive home we talked about what it will take to do it more often. How can we date each other at home? We came up with several ideas and I hope we’ll start doing them regularly. We could easily play a game or give each other a massage or use our pool table once or twice a week after the kids are in bed. It would be free and easy to do.
I also love the concept of “parent time” each day. 15-20 minutes after the work day when mom and dad go to another room and debrief. Review the events of the day and talk about whatever is on your mind. Certainly even my two small children can do without my attention for 20 minutes! And yet dinner needs to be cooked so the kids can have baths so they can go to bed so I can go to bed! Somehow it just never seems to happen. Well that’s it- I’m going to make it happen. Somehow someway!
What do you and your spouse do to invest in each other? How do you keep the romance alive? How do you demonstrate to your children that your marriage is the most important relationship in the house? I’d love to hear your ideas!
Today is my husband’s 36th birthday. It’s the 7th birthday we’ve celebrated together. I find that to be astonishing. How can I have known him that long? I thought that today would be the perfect day to tell you about the wonderful man I married.
- Chris is exactly the same with everyone- he never pretends or puts on a front. He acts the same around his mother, his boss, his friends, and the person he’s just met. He is so genuine and I wish that it would rub off on me!
- Chris will give you the shirt off his back. Or his car. Or a place to sleep. No hesitation, no regrets.
- Chris loves his family.
- Chris has an amazing ability to combine technology and people skills. He’s the guy who can get the engineers and the technophobes to understand each other.
- Chris is slow to anger and quick to forgive.
- Chris loves the classics- black and white movies, musicals, broadway theatre, the Beatles and Billy Joel.
- Chris is content to live with very little. (Ok- he does lust after every new gadget on the market, but he’s a techie- who can blame him?)
- Chris loves to play- board games, poker, cards, whatever.
- Chris is such a hypochondriac. Even he will admit that he’s a little obsessive.
- Chris is a packrat and a collector.
- Chris loves to sleep- almost as much as I do!
- Chris has just the right combination of humility and self confidence.
- Chris is a wonderful provider for our family- he considers it his duty to pick up extra work so that I can be home with the kids.
- Chris loves Jesus and desires to live for Him.
I am so thankful that God brought us together. I pray we have many many more birthdays to celebrate together.
Happy birthday dear husband!
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