Monday, May 4, 2009

Marital Moments Issue 32 - Fresh

There are a few words that I have been contemplating this past week. Among them, the word, "fresh." Merriam Webster defines the word this way:

1 a: having its original qualities unimpaired: as (1): full of or renewed in vigor : refreshed fresh from a good night's sleep> (2): not stale, sour, or decayed <fresh bread> (3): not faded fresh in her memory> (4): not worn or rumpled fresh white shirt> b: not altered by processing <fresh vegetables>

When we moved into this house the previous owners had just installed fresh carpet. It was wonderful knowing that there were no "mystery spots," stains, snags or holes to worry about. Even the padding was fresh and squished luxuriously beneath us. However, over the years with three children and a cat...our carpet seems anything BUT fresh; what was once soft and inviting has become hardened.

I can often be found on my knees "spot cleaning" areas. Trying to avoid the inevitable; having our carpets professionally cleaned. Oh how I long for my carpets to be "fresh" once again.

Anyone longing for a refreshed marriage? We often begin our marriages fresh - full of renewed vigor, anticipation and hope. However, through the years we can feel worn, soured, and even rumpled!

We may be (or need to be) found on our knees working through some of the stains and mystery spots that are beginning to show through. Some may have employed the professional help of "cleaners." (Christian marriage counselors- which can be amazing tools to opening communication between couples.) Others may be calling all of their friends and relatives seeking advice on how to get that "stubborn spot" out. Yet, at the root of it all, there is only One who is qualified to renew our hearts and minds; and in turn, heal our marriages. It is in getting on our knees and seeking His face that we are able to receive His grace. When we are walking in His grace, it naturally flows through us to those that we love.

A couple of things that aide me while I am "cleaning:" worship music (helps me to keep my mind fixed on Him) and "cleaning buddies." (Those who I can talk openly about my own stains with; friends who will commit to praying with and for me and keep me accountable.)

I have come to embrace Mondays. They are my mental beginning to a "fresh week." Sundays are often my time of renewing and cleansing from the previous week...Mondays are when walking "in the fresh" begins.

2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"

James 5:16 "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."

Anyone need a cleaning buddy?

II Corinthians 12:9 "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

Embrace the freshness of each day this week. Let go of your own faults and failures and allow His grace to flow through you to your spouse.




Jennifer said...

I also love Mondays...the fresh start - a new week, a new start, a new beginning! Great thoughts this morning...I need to thank God more for my "cleaning buddies"!

Rachel said...

I've been thinking on that lately too... unwilling to trade the strength that has built over time, but hoping to retain the freshness of our marriage.

(And we just had to do some major carpet repairs, so I can TOTALLY relate with the metal picture!) :)

Sue said...

I loved this post and I loved your insight into how we can "freshen up" our lives and marriages! Thanks so much!

"FINE"al thoughts... said...

Loved this post and really appreciated your analogy! BTW if you're in need of a good laugh and marriage counseling to boot check out Mark Gungor's "Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage" dvds. They are fantastic!

HappyascanB said...

What an excellent post! You are wise beyond your years, and I love learning from you! Thanks for helping me to learn to focus on the freshness of my life and my marriage!

Belinda said...

My hubby & I did the 40 day Love Dare Challenge (from the FireProof Movie) it was awesome. Afterwards we renewed our wedding vows.(just this past March) I love doing the marriage devo's with him or a Bible study. My friend Charla has a neat giveaway going on, over at her blog check it .

have a great day

Anonymous said...

I'm currently doing The Power of A Praying Wife with 2 other women. I am so blessed to have them as cleaning buddies. I consider you a cleaning buddy as every Monday you offer Godly wisdom and uplift all of our marriages.

Gretchen said...

Great word pictures, as always, Shanda. Sometimes we really overwork things and try and reinvent the "fresh" wheel, when really, what we're looking for is already waiting for us, and it's perfect. As written.

christy rose said...

That is a great insight into our weeks. Sunday is for cleansing and making us fresh and Monday is the start of a fresh life taking on the daily situations you will encounter, no mystery spots or stains remaining. I love it!

Kathryn said...

Such a wonderful analogy, Shanda! And, yes, I could use a cleaning buddy. In fact, I'll dish some dirt right now.

My husband is on an extended business trip for three weeks. And, I'm just as happy and content as can be! (Isn't that awful?!)

I do pray--and did just this morning--that the Lord will forgive my lukewarm love and instill in me the perfect love of Christ.

Still Learning said...

That was great! Thanks