HELP! I CAN'T CHANGE MY HUSBAND!

I would be a millionaire, if I had a $1 for every wife I met, coached or told me, "I thought he would change after we got married!" It's like we all have this secret theory before we get married, that assures us that when our husbands really see how we "throw-down" in the kitchen, keep a sparkling-clean house or rock his world between the sheets, he will then . . . POOF!

INSTANTLY CHANGE all of those things we weren't fond of before we married him!

This theory states that after marriage, we will finally be rid of our husband's annoying, drive-you-crazy habits and quirks! Soon after we say, "I DO!", our husbands will quickly morph into the man we have painted in our minds! The one who takes out ALL of the trash without you having to tell him AND puts the liner back in the trash can immediately. He washes and folds the clothes, when he sees the laundry basket overflowing. He loads and unloads the dishwasher without being asked. He asks you about your day with zeal, enthusiasm and genuine interest. He loves spending hours with you at your favorite department store, holding your bags and watching you try on every single outfit. He stimulates you emotionally and engages with you for hours on end as you take him through a recap of your day. He shows up with flowers every Friday and strives to impress you with highly creative weekly date nights. He initiates quality bonding time with the kids daily from infancy into adulthood. And finally, he eagerly jumps into bed at night to cuddle with you, and you both drift off to sleep in complete bliss!

GIRL... WAKE UP!!! 

About a month ago, I posted a blog titled, "20 things I wish I knew before "I DO!" It hit home with women of all ages, backgrounds and statuses...single, married and divorced. I received such amazing feedback that I had to respond. I felt led to take you on a deeper dive into each of the areas addressed.

This week's deep dive: YOU CANNOT CHANGE YOUR HUSBAND!

I know to some of you newlyweds out there, this news may come as a shock or maybe even bum you out! But, don't despair!

As a relationship coach for 13 years, working with women, engaged and married couples, I have studied the behavior of women and men for years and one thing I can say is, "there is nothing new under the sun." What I mean by that is, the issues I have helped women and couples through are common among all ethnicities, ages, backgrounds and social economic factors.

Well, let's just get right to the point, shall we?

Ultimately . . . we want to control our life, situations, circumstances and ummm...our husbands! Life would be so much easier, if he just did what I told him to do and did everything exactly the way I do things! Right? Right. I feel you! I felt the same way and on occasion, I have to catch myself from going there . . . wanting to control the whole world and everyone in it! LOL

So to my fellow wives and wives-to-be, here are a few of my favorite nuggets in hopes they bless you, encourage you, free you and release you from the personal pressure of attempting the impossible. 

1. YOU ARE NOT IN CONTROL

I know this may be hard to hear. It was hard for me to swallow at first too.  I avoided this realization as long as possible.  I ran from it, ducked it and ignored knowing this truth until it ran me down and made me confront it! Without manipulation, control or intimidation, you cannot control your husband's behavior, actions, choices, decisions or free will.  While you may not be able to control him, the good news is that you ARE in control of YOU! So, when you feel the urge to want to control your spouse, look within and assess what behavior, choice, action or decision can be changed within YOU to create the experience you desire.

2. YOUR WAY IS ONE WAY, NOT THE ONLY WAY

Whew! This was a hard one, especially when my babies were younger. I would have them on a great sleeping schedule, eating homemade meals -- you know the drill. They thrived in their routine. With 3 babies in 3 years, I often complained of desperately needing some ME time! Adrian would come to the rescue and take over! The kids would eat at McDonalds, drink soda, go to bed an hour later and forget to brush their teeth! Aaakkk!!! I came home feeling more stressed than before!

But here is what I learned: my husband is not going to do some thing to hurt our children. Yes, I am never a fan of drinking soda and McDonalds is not my restaurant of choice, but at the end of the day, I needed every minute of that break for my mind, body and soul to recover, replenish and rejuvenate. A few hours or a couple of days here and there will not completely break down any routine, habit or practice that I worked so hard to establish for our children.  Just get back into routine and be grateful for his help! Husbands need space to establish his own way of parenting HIS children! Show your support!

3. YOU ARE AN INFLUENCER, NOT THE CREATOR. 

God created your husband perfectly . . . perfectly for Him! I remember when I had my "a-ha" moment on this one. I realized that I had a lot of nerve wanting to "UN-DO" what God DID by creating my husband to be who He is. Hmmm...that's deep, right? God created your husband to be the way he his for a reason.  I spent years asking God to show me the inner working and secret places of my husband's heart. Those places that made God love my husband so much!

I politely got out of God's lane as creator and moved over into my lane as influencer. As a wife, you are an influencer. God has gifted you with the power to influence your husband through your words, actions, behavior and example.  So, anytime you see something in your husband that you don't quite like, be the example you want to see in him! 

4. YOU MUST LEARN TO FOLLOW

I know, I know. Submission is a bad word to many wives, in fact, it makes some cringe! But, relax, it's really not that bad.  I know you are used to doing everything! But, guess what? You aren't designed to.  It's okay to relax and let your man lead! 

It's a weird phenomenon for a lot of wives because they don't know how to follow. They don't know how to relinquish control and trust God with the process.  Some wives deep down really wish they trusted their husband's leadership, but, it's uncomfortable and a little scary to feel exposed and vulnerable like that. But, ladies, that's the way God designed it.

What I've learned: Following your husband's leadership is an act of trust, love, honor and service. When you follow his decisions for your family, it validates him, encourages him and elevates him to a place of greater self-confidence within himself. Ladies, help him know that HE CAN DO IT!

5. CHOOSE TO TRUST

Did you know your husband was grown? LOL  I have had to remind myself of this fact on many occasion.  Adrian would remind me lovingly and sometimes not so lovingly (LOL) that I was not his mother! I admit sometimes that I would forget that he WAS thriving and surviving before me!  . . . well maybe not thriving! haha 

Your husband is very capable!! If he wasn't you wouldn't have married him, right? It is time to make the decision to TRUST GOD above your own knowledge! Trust God with your husband and with your marriage. Trust God with YOUR process, while allowing Him to grow you both . . . together. Trusting is . . . creating a safe place for your husband to be himself!

While some of these nuggets may deeply resonate with you and some may not, I hope you had a few laughs because . . . you KNOW what I'm talking about! ;-)

I would love to hear about your own personal nuggets regarding marriage. Please leave a comment below or shoot me an email at hello@mrschristyjones.com. Happy Living! XOXO

 

PEOPLE PLEASING Rx

I spent most of my young adult life guessing who people wanted me to be, what they wanted me to say and what they wanted me to do...I WAS A PEOPLE PLEASER!

As a people pleaser, I would laugh at jokes that I didn't think were funny and even would pretend I liked something that I couldn't stand, just to be "liked" and accepted. 

I wrestled within my own mind and heart with concepts and ideas that I wanted to say and share with my family and friends, but I often didn't feel safe enough to open up and really express how I felt. When friends would ask me to do things or go places, I would dismiss my own desire, abandon my choice and quietly agree, following along with eagerness, hoping they would love me greater and approve of me more!

It wasn't until around my 35th birthday that I woke up one morning...TOTALLY EXHAUSTED!!! Exhausted from pretending, exhausted from faking it! I was worn down and wore out from trying to fit into everyone's expectation of me, as I tried desperately to hold on to some false sense of acceptance, love and validation. 

I know I don't stand-alone when I say that I desire deeply to be loved, accepted, and appreciated for being authentically ME! I still desire those things; the difference is, I no longer feel pressured to fit into other people's expectation of me. Why? ...because I have discovered who I AM.

You and I were born with unique skills, talents and gifts that come naturally. They make us special. So why do we always COMPARE ourselves to others? Why don't we like what we have or who we are? Why do we strive to obtain anything and everything that we don't already have? 

For many years of my life, I tried to overcompensate for aspects of who I am that I WILL NEVER BE ABLE to change! Like my skin color, my body type, the size and spacing of my features, my hair texture and even my height! So many of us people please our way throughout life in an effort to fit-in and be accepted. 

Well, I'm here to tell you! God made you to look and perform EXACTLY the way you do for a reason! He is the ONLY global expert on beauty and acceptance and He created you to look like Him! In order for us to fully embrace who God has called us to be here on earth, we have to take off the MASK and discover who we truly are.

Masking who you are to do something that you DON'T even like doing, just for the sake of being accepted isn't pretty. Compromising your values, morals and standards, just because you're afraid of rejection is NOT a good look. Looking at yourself in the mirror and saying OR THINKING mean, and hurtful things about yourself is just plain WRONG! But I, like so many others . . . didn't know any better and maybe you don't either.

So, I want to invite you to take off your mask TODAY! I want to invite you to start walking in the confidence of your unique beauty, your God given talents and your amazing gifts. The time has come, to take off your mask! 

1. CONFIDENCE TAKES PRACTICE!

Start practicing being confident with people who love you and support you no matter what! Dare to be authentic and really express how YOU feel.  When your loved ones don't pull their love away, but stay and love you anyway, your confidence for living as your true self, will emerge!

2. SPEAK YOUR TRUTH IN LOVE!

It's challenging to speak authentically after "faking" it for so many years. People who knew you with the mask may be taken by surprise by the new expression of YOU, but stay consistent and keep honoring your truth. They will adjust.

3. DECIDE THAT YOU ARE VALUABLE!

You are valuable...your thoughts, your ideas and your opinions are all important and valuable because they make you, YOU! It may be uncomfortable for you and for others as you begin to share your most authentic self, but don't worry! It's all part of the breakthrough and rebuilding process. So don't ever shrink back!

4. GIVE YOURSELF GRACE

Becoming a BOLD, CONFIDENT and SELF-ASSURED woman takes time, especially if you are a current or former people pleaser! Situations may arise when you may want to shrink back into your former people pleasing behavior or when "survival" kicks in and you want to retreat into your safe place of shrinking...RESIST!!!!!!

5. RENEW YOUR MIND

In order to rebuild confidence, you have to understand TRUTH and reapply the standard of truth created for your life...God's Word! In order to reprogram our negative thoughts, actions and behaviors, we must write over them with the TRUTH! Find a scripture and read it over and over; day after day, until your heart starts to believe it! SAY IT OUT LOUD everyday...all the time. "I praise you for I am beautifully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." Psalm 139:14

Please leave a comment below:

What is one thing you WILL do, say or think about today that makes you feel more confident? 

 

 

 

TRAINING FOR WHAT'S NEXT!

Yesterday, at the gym, I was in my zone. I was listening to my pump-me-up music when my thoughts took me back to my first marathon.  I started training 6 months before the race.  My coach had won the Marine Corp Marathon the year before in the women's division for her age. If I was going to do this and do this well, I wanted to be trained by the best. Not only did she schedule long runs on Saturdays, but we had track training on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the HOT Washington D.C. Summer!

I remember the pain of our track workouts. The nausea that came after sprinting and jogging, lap after lap. On our long Saturday runs, I remember what it felt like to be at mile 21 knowing that I had 2 more miles to go before my training was finished for the day. UGH! The blisters, sore muscles and aching bones. It was almost too much to bear...

Finally...it was race day. I was as prepared as I was going to be. I had my family and closest friends near by to cheer me along the way, I had my energy packs and water for fuel and I was ready...it was game time!  The butterflies in my stomach were in place, as I was about to embark on something that I had never done before. With a chill in the air, standing in a crowd of hundreds, the gun went off...BANG!

What has God been training YOU for?

Nothing you do is every wasted! However, you can't stay in training mode forever! It's time to stop procrastinating and start pursuing! It's GAME TIME! In order to activate your faith, you have to JUMP! 

Here are a few of my favorite tips designed to get you RACE READY!

1. MAKE THE DECISION! Go for it!! When you only commit 99%, distractions and delays take you off course and delay you from receiving your win. When you commit to your decision 100%, your heart, mind, soul and body all align and agree to work together to get you the results! What are you waiting for?  . . . GREATNESS is waiting on you!

2. Get a COACH! A coach is designed to stretch you to reach your capacity quicker! We all need accountability and support to help us achieve our specific goals. Don't be afraid to ask for what you need. Success cannot always be achieved alone. There is more power in team!

3. DON'T FIGHT THE PROCESS! The aches, pains and agony of achieving your goals and dreams are all part of the process. You cannot circumvent them, so you might as well get your ice packs, Biofreeze and massage therapist ready!

4. BUTTERFLIES ARE A GOOD SIGN! New challenges can be scary, but REMEMBER YOU WERE BORN TO DO THIS OR ELSE THE DESIRE WOULDN'T BE WITHIN YOU. YOU'VE GOT THIS!

5. RECRUIT YOUR FRONT ROW!! Get clear on the kind of support you need, and the people you want along for the journey. Everyone cannot take this journey with you! Be selective and only invite people along for the ride, who you are confident have your back!

6. FUEL YOURSELF DAILY! Spend time with God, read the bible, journal, meditate, listen to an inspirational message or music. Fuel yourself properly for the journey ahead. It is mandatory to maintain strength and endurance.

 7. PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE! Don't wait to get ready the day of the race. Get prepared NOW! . . . So when the gun goes off, you're READY TO RUN FULL SPEED!

SOMETIMES...BEING MARRIED GETS ON MY NERVES!

Marriage is God's idea and anything that God says is good, there is always an enemy lurking, plotting, planning and scheming to steal it...kill it...divide it and destroy it! This week, the enemy was deep in my camp, trying to steal my joy, my peace and my tolerance!

After 15 years of marriage and 13 years working with couples, I have come to know a few things as true. One, marriage is good...why? because everything God made is good. Two, marriage has seasons where it's hard, complicated and unnecessarily messy because of the ENEMY in our camp.

What a week! Have you ever had one of those weeks when...the dryer broke, work was way too overwhelming, your kids were acting up and you and your spouse were constantly arguing over stupid stuff? Yes! One of those weeks where running away to a tropical island...for the rest of the year...sounded really good!

Marriage is wonderful and I love being married, but sometimes...being married REALLY gets on my nerves! I have a  list of things I love about being married -- I LOVE when Adrian holds me at night when I'm cold and I can't seem to get warm. I love knowing that he is thinking about me throughout the day. And I love having a partner to fight life's battles with and celebrate life's victories.

But, what really gets on my nerves about being married is...having to apologize when I'm not wrong! Having to sacrifice "anything and everything," when I really don't feel like it and then having sex when the last thing I want him to do is touch me! But, the real reason that being married sometimes gets on my nerves is because...

I CAN'T BE SELFISH!!!!!

Some of you may say, "well, why can't you be selfish? Why do YOU have to give up what you want? You don't have to apologize, when it's not your fault. You don't have to sacrifice, he needs to sacrifice, he's the man! And, if you don't feel like having sex . . . then, don't!"

Well, I wish it was that easy, but...

When you don’t understand the purpose of something, abuse is inevitable.
— Dr. Myles Monroe

Marriage was created as God's system to develop intimacy with Him, eliminate selfishness, practice sacrifice and discover yourself at the core! Couples who get married without fully understanding God's purpose for marriage are in some ways "set up" to fail, because they think marriage is all about fulfilling their own needs, desires and wishes. They think marriage should always make THEM happy without any sacrifice or discomfort on their part! When in reality, marriage is the roller coaster ride of their lives, and unfortunately all too often, that ride ends up in the divorce courts! The lack of understanding regarding the purpose of marriage is one of the preliminary strategies from the enemy to destroy the joy, peace and prosperity God designed marriage to be.

There are so many things that happen along the journey of marriage that to thrive, you must become aware that...

1. There is an enemy in your camp seeking to steal, kill and destroy your marriage. You can't afford to throw in the towel before the fight is over. Your legacy depends on you winning the battle!

2. Offense is fuel for the enemy to keep you away from joy, peace, prosperity and happily ever after! Don't fall for the okey-doke! Reconcile quickly and don't hold grudges.

3. Everything that happens in your marriage is designed to build, strengthen and fortify the bond between you, your spouse and God. Don't miss these opportunities to connect on a deeper level.

4. Self-ish is a 4-letter word and should NOT be applied...if you want to experience the true purpose of marriage and all of its benefits.

5. Recognize the enemy's strategies in your marriage and when he shows up, you'll be ready for war!

6. Train for battle by pursuing God daily. Spend time in worship, prayer, meditation and bible study. Always apply what you learn!

MARRIAGE TAKES WORK!!!! A LOT OF WORK!! You will have to do a ton of things that you don't want to do and don't feel like doing, but...in the end...the "WORK" will be worth it!

There are times when I would rather not apologize and be right or sometimes I wish I could pout and have a tantrum because I didn't get my way; but I am certain that every time I put my feelings aside and choose PERFECT LOVE, WE ALWAYS WIN!!!

I love my husband and I love being married! He increases my capacity to love...on the regular. LOL! I will continue to learn, grow and sacrifice in my marriage and there may be days ahead that Adrian will get on my nerves; but I am so grateful that I serve an awesome God who provides, protects and positions me to be loved by a man who loves me perfectly...til' death do us part!

The Journey of an Entrepreneur

In 1999, I entered into the world of entrepreneurship for the first time. Little did I know what I was really in for. 

As a recent Master's degree graduate, I started on my quest to change lives and impact the world in Health Care.  I was a health coach for specialty populations that included women, seniors and children.  I loved giving people hope and sharing the possibility of a better quality of life. Some grabbed on to faith and hope showed up and some stayed put, safe and comfortable with their fear. 

Then, almost seamlessly, my journey turned towards supporting mommies, by helping them understand the influence they have been given with their children. Through a Mommy in Training conference, and the labor of many people who believed in family, we shared the message of mommy privilege and the call on a mother's life to parent with love, guidance and intention. God showed up in ways that to this day, still make me say, "Wow!"

A few years later, my journey took another turn and I started working with couples preparing for marriage. I was positioned to help them know what to expect after, "I do!" We would share the good, the bad and the real deal about marriage, while preparing couples to withstand the storms.  To this day, many couples had no idea the storms could be so violent.

Then after being on my journey for a decade, God shifted my entrepreneurial path again to encourage married couples in crisis. I equip couples to fight for their marriage, by walking closely with them during times of heart brokenness, despair and great discouragement.

There have been many twists and turns, ups and downs, ins and outs in my journey and there are many things I have learned and grown from along the way.

I have learned that entrepreneurship is a long journey, it is a major process. It's often a vehicle used by God to show you your true identity. I have come to realize that not everyone understands or will understand YOUR personal journey, nor are they meant to. I have come to know that even your family and closest friends will doubt you, judge you and not support you. From the people I trusted the most, I experienced the most judgement. 

"You have your hands in too many things."

"I never know what you're doing."

"You're all over the place, you need to focus!"

"What now? Make up your mind."

Not only do I hear their judgement, but I feel the jab in my heart and soul, and it hurts; it stings. It makes me want to shut down and immediately revoke their VIP access card to my heart. But, somehow, I always still share, open up or trust them, even when they respond the same way over and over.

As a former people-pleaser, overcoming my response to the judgment from family and friends has been a steep climb along my journey, but it has made me stronger, wiser and keenly aware. I have learned to embrace my personal journey and stop needing validation for it.

While some people may judge it, critique it or criticize it, I am on my path; I am on my journey. I have realized that it tends to be very easy to criticize and judge while watching from the grass on the side of the road. But, it's not until you have walked along a similar road can you truly appreciate, respect and bear witness to another person's hills and valleys along their journey. Other entrepreneurs have given me great support, mutual respect, encouragement and insight. From many coaches along my journey, I have been poured into, stretched and held accountable to walking in my gifts, something never to be taken lightly. 

Many do not or can ever understand that the journey of an entrepreneur includes discovering your divine identity and peeling back the layers to reveal what's really at your core. The journey of an entrepreneur is a constant evolution, a process, a never ending commitment to always showing up at your best; giving 100% and going all out!

For those of you who have gotten tired, weary or discouraged along your journey, keep evolving, keep trying new things, keep taking new risks and keep saying YES! to new adventures. Keep walking through new doors of opportunity and keep climbing. Sometimes, the journey can be lonely, but remember you are never alone. Greatness is within you, so don't let others define how great you are.  And enjoy your journey, it is YOURS! It is only when you are moving forward, that you are moving closer to truly living as God created you to be! 

 

 

 

 

Posted on April 19, 2016 .

20 THINGS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE," I DO!"

There are so many things I wish I knew about marriage when I was single, that I KNOW would have better prepared me for the journey. And marriage...is a major journey!

Like most little girls, I too, wanted to be discovered by my Prince, get married, have children and live happily ever after. And I believed in this concept wholeheartedly for decades until . . .

I got married.

The music stopped playing, I stopped twirling in my ball gown to Disney's, "Once Upon a Dream," and my crystal horse-drawn carriage took off charging into the forest! I came down from Fantasy Land and hit reality with a hard "T-H-U-D!" ... A Really Hard THUD!

I remember in my early 20's, being bright eyed and excited about the thought of getting married one day, and having a conversation with two women in their 40's about marriage. One laughed when I asked her, "what's the best thing was about marriage?" Her friend chimed in and said, "my advice is to make sure he loves you more than you love him." I was shocked by their responses! It made such an impression on me... I never forgot it.

While I was stunned by their counsel and advice, I didn't allow their obvious bitterness taint my perspective about marriage. I was still eager and excited about one day saying, "I DO."

There have been many ups and downs along my journey in marriage that remind me of the advice I had received from those veteran wives, and I remember on several occasions, saying out loud, "Ahhh! I see how bitterness could creep in, if you're not careful."

MARRIAGE IS NO JOKE and has definitely been a journey! And it's only been 14 years, which is a FAR cry from FOREVER! Yes, like many wives, I have been disappointed in more ways than one, but I have also experienced happiness like never before. But, what I have realized about life and marriage, is that it's all about CHOICES!

In my personal and professional experience, here is my "take" on what happens on the other side of, "I DO!" Because no one told me . . . or maybe they tried and I really just didn't want to hear it.

DISCLAIMER: for all the SINGLE WOMEN DESIRING TO GET MARRIED. This post will tell it like it is and may poke a small hole in your fantasy bubble. #divorceprevention  If you don't like hearing the TRUTH, abandon ship now and STOP READING HERE!

20 Things I wish I knew BEFORE, "I DO!"

1. YOU CANNOT CHANGE YOUR HUSBAND, NOR IS IT YOUR JOB TO! 

2. YOU WILL HAVE TO HAVE SEX WHEN YOU DON'T FEEL LIKE IT...IF YOU WANT TO HONOR GOD!

3. YOUR HUSBAND WILL TRY TO FIX EVERYTHING, EVEN WHEN YOU JUST WANT HIM TO LISTEN! NO NEED TO BE DRAMATIC, JUST ASK HIM TO LISTEN.

4. YOUR HUSBAND IS NOT A MIND READER, ONLY YOUR GIRLFRIEND IS!

5. YOUR HUSBAND WILL SHUT DOWN WHEN HE HAS NO CLUE WHAT TO DO OR SAY, HELP HIM OUT OF THE HEADLIGHTS AND JUST TELL HIM WHAT YOU WANT!  

6. YOUR HUSBAND MAY NOT KNOW HOW TO LEAD YOUR FAMILY, DON'T CRITICIZE OR JUDGE HIM, CREATE A SAFE PLACE FOR HIM TO LEARN AND BE SURE HE KNOWS YOU'VE GOT HIS BACK...NO MATTER WHAT! 

7. YOUR HUSBAND HAS NO CLUE THAT THE KEY TO CONNECTING PHYSICALLY WITH YOU IS TO CONNECT EMOTIONALLY WITH YOU FIRST! ALWAYS REWARD FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR!

8. YOUR HUSBAND THINKS IT'S TOO MUCH WORK TO PURSUE YOU LIKE HE DID BEFORE YOU WERE MARRIED. SOLUTION...GO TO BED NAKED! 

9. MAKE DATE NIGHTS A WEEKLY PRIORITY!

10. TOUGH TIMES ONLY LAST A SEASON! ENDURE!

11. DON'T SUFFER IN SILENCE! IT'S STUPID! ASK A COUPLE YOU TRUST TO HELP YOU THROUGH STICKY SITUATIONS! 

12. NEVER USE THE "D" WORD IN A HEATED ARGUMENT! NEVER! (D WORD = DIVORCE)

13. DON'T WASTE YOUR ENERGY GETTING ANGRY OVER THE SAME THING! JUST PUT A LINER BACK IN THE TRASH CAN.

14. YOUR SPOUSE WAS DESIGNED TO GROW YOU AND DEVELOP YOU INTO WHO GOD CREATED YOU TO BE! YEP! AND YOU WILL HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO LOVE HIM THROUGH NOT LIKING HIM VERY MUCH! LOL

15. MARRIED COUPLES ARE DESIGNED TO BECOME ONE. THAT MEANS SHARE E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. 

16. INVITE GOD TO PARK AT THE CENTER OF YOUR MARRIAGE, SO YOUR EMOTIONS, OFFENSES AND FEELINGS DON'T RULE OVER YOU.

17. DON'T GIVE YOUR POWER AWAY TO FEAR! STAND IN FAITH!

18. COMMUNICATION 101. WOULD YOU RATHER BE RIGHT OR RECONCILED? CHOOSE RECONCILIATION. 

19. FORGIVING FIRST DOESN'T MEAN YOU'RE WEAK, SELFISHNESS DOES! 

20. DON'T RELY ON YOURSELF OR YOUR SPOUSE . . . ONLY RELY ON GOD!

Christy Little Jones is a Speaker, Relationship Coach and Professional Encourager to women and couples all over the world.  She teaches people how to fall madly in love with themselves, develop intimacy with God, live with integrity and love powerfully,  Connect with www.mrschristyjones.com

THE COMPARISON TRAP

When we compare ourselves to other women, what they look like, what they have, and their behavior, we are defeated from the start. We were created to be different and unique, there are no two people alike. God did this for a reason. It's called purpose. When we compare, we divide the very essence of who we are and all of our magnificence!

If you knew that every time you compared yourself to another woman, that you were dividing your purpose, your excellence and your soul would you still do it?

COMPARISON is

a. The act of comparing or the process of being compared.

b. A statement or estimate of similarities and differences.

c. The quality of being similar or equivalent; likeness

Let's take apples and bananas. Yes, they are both fruits, but they have very different shapes, colors, minerals, vitamins, and look vastly different. Well...so do we as women. We would never compare apples and bananas as having the same value. If you were to do some research, you would realize that apples and bananas are not only very different, they have a different purpose. Bananas are known to improve your mood and are great energy boosters for workouts. Apples have many antioxidants and are great for regulating blood sugar. Different, right? So are we. 

The next time you start comparing yourself to someone else, their life or circumstances, consider the apple and the banana. Reflect on the amazing and unique qualities that each possess and how different and special they are independent of the other.

Along with many other women, I have fallen into the trap of comparing myself to other women for most of my life. I lived a life of always trying to measure up to a standard that was always beneath the standard that God set for me when I was born. When I was younger, I'd often compare myself to women who were nothing like me! They had different skin, different body types and different genes, but I found my identity in the misery of pleasing people. I would abuse myself with negative words and thoughts, I adopted other people's beliefs and breathed in criticism as a part of life. It took decades before I realized how mean I had been to my heart, soul and body. When I reached a low point in my life, I woke up! I started my personal quest of truly discovering my true identity and who God created me to be!

It was a life-changing decision that transformed my life forever.

For the first time, I decided that I cared more about what I thought about me, than what other people thought about me. It was uncomfortable and made me feel even a little guilty, but I pressed through the discomfort and allowed God to heal my heart, renew my thinking and transform me! It was the best decision of my life!

If you knew that you would be set free from comparing yourself to others and start living with confidence, authenticity and acceptance, would you take the journey?

  

TRUTH! Can You Handle The Truth?

Today was one of those moments where I had a face-to-face moment with TRUTH! Yes...one of those...not so fun moments, but necessary. 

Instantly, I was reminded of one of my favorite 90's movies, "A Few Good Men," when Jack Nicholson says his famous line after being backed into a corner by Tom Cruise during his trial. "You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!"

Ouch! Oh boy...this is a loaded statement!

My "TRUTH" journey began about 15 years ago.  I started out with baby steps, because who really ever likes confronting the truth about themselves? Exactly! Where there in lies the problem.  Most people don't like hearing the TRUTH, much less can really handle the TRUTH!  In fact, they avoid it like the plague! As a relationship coach, I have seen it all...denial, delusion, avoidance, resistance, control, pride, low self-esteem, shrinking, people-pleasing, perfectionism and the list goes on...!

I want to get up close and personal with you today about the TRUTH! But...can you handle the truth?

Courtesy of Movieclips

Everything we've learned about the truth we learned from the people we trusted most. We believed what they said, what they did and how they loved us as TRUTH!

Well, I hate to wreck havoc on your subconscious mind, but the truth that you have believed about yourself for years, is actually NOT THE TRUTH! 

"You're not good enough!"

"You're not pretty enough!"

"You're not smart enough!"

"You're not skinny enough!"

Please fill in the quotes, with the negative self-chatter that has taken residence in your heart, mind and beliefs.

When you were born, God embedded HIS TRUTH within your heart. Then layers of your negative experiences, lies you were told and believed, disappointment and discouragement corrupted God's truth and changed His Standard for your life!

So what was once His truth has transformed into FEAR!

Many of us live our lives with FEAR as the final authority over our decisions.  FEAR shrinks our greatness and keeps us lying to ourselves, so that we miss out on what God has planned.

Anywhere there is fear, there is NO TRUTH!

I have provided 3 quick tips that will help you recalibrate your heart back to TRUTH - Gods Truth. Go ahead and read them, study them and implement them into your life ASAP!

1. BE BRAVE! Confront the TRUTH of what's causing havoc in your life? What are you avoiding? What choices are you making or NOT making that keep you "stuck?"

2. MAKE A LIST! Identify areas of growth. Communication with your spouse? Self-Acceptance? Financial Planning? Spiritual Growth? Choose one area, set a goal and write down the action steps towards achieving that goal. Get started right away! 

3. DISCOVER YOUR PURPOSE! Myles Monroe said, "when you don't understand the purpose of a thing, abuse is inevitable!" Abuse occurs when you don't understand your value or worth. Study the TRUTH by studying His word and His Standards. Reset your standards immediately.

Christy Little Jones is a motivational speaker, professional encourager and relationship mentor to women and couples all over the world.  She teaches people how to fall madly in love with themselves by establishing a relationship with God, making integrity based decisions and developing the courage to express themselves authentically. Connect with Christy at www.mrschristyjones.com.

 

 

Remember Your FIRST LOVE!

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I always love when February comes around because there often is a shift in the atmosphere.  People focus on serving, loving and forgiving. While society has highly commercialized and capitalized on Valentine’s Day, where people spend 11 billion dollars on Valentine’s Day! 

(I know, crazy, right?)

I still love the fact that people focus on loving during this month. I won’t mention that often after February 14th, many revert back to their old ways and go on as usual, because that’s not the point.  Hmmm…but maybe it should be.

Many people believe that love is a feeling. As a marriage coach and relationship mentor, I can’t begin to tell you how often I have heard the response to my question, “Why do you want to get married? And what makes you think you will stay married…til death do you part?” 9 times out of 10, the couple says because we LOVE each other and our LOVE for each other will most definitely keep us together. But then, 2 years, 10 years, 20+ years into their marriage, they can’t stand each other and are running to the divorce court.

It’s because they understand love to be a feeling! I get it. Unconditional love, all-consuming love, love that you don’t earn, just receive is hard to understand and often harder to explain. Since we can’t really explain THAT type of love, we have to downsize the concept of this type of love into something we understand, and that’s a feeling.

Stay with me…

Our first love gave us this unconditional, all-consuming, don’t have to do, prove or convince, just receive type of love to provide the standard and set the bar, so to speak of what LOVE looks like. And in our own logical minds, we have reduced the standard of love that He meant for us to experience, into something we comprehend and understand, which has resulted in experiencing counterfeit love.

Well, this Valentine’s Day, I want to encourage you, and even challenge you to RESET your LOVE BAR. I want to challenge you to reprogram your thoughts and beliefs about love.  Most of us have been given our definition of love from our parents, siblings, teachers or team coaches. And love has been defined for many of you as hurtful, angry, unreliable or untrustworthy, just to name a few. Then you adopted this idea of love, made it your definition and have journeyed through life with the definition of love being something that it’s NOT!

God created you because of His great LOVE for you! He loves you unconditionally, every piece of you and you don’t have to do anything to earn it, all you have to do is just receive it! I remember what life used to look like for me when I believed that LOVE was just a feeling. I was a chronic people-pleaser, perfectionist and overwhelmed myself all of the time with the pressure that comes from searching for love from people and circumstances that couldn’t give me what I was searching for.

Who do you know who wants to experience the type of love that tells you to stop beating yourself up when you yelled at your kids, because you were angry at your husband; that love that comforts you when your heart feels broken with disappointment because you can’t bear to be single…one more year. Or that love that keeps pouring out in spite of some of your choices that result in guilt, shame or failure.

If this is you, here is your LOVE challenge this week, as we head into Valentine’s Day.

1.       RESET your LOVE BAR by focusing on your first love. Spend time in the presence of God daily through worship.

2.       RENEW your relationship with God by sharing your heart with Him. Confess your regret and make the decision to start new behaviors and practices in your life immediately.

3.       REMEMBER the times when your heart was joyful. Where were you? What were you doing? Who were you with? It's time to get that back.

4.       REIGNITE your passion for what moves you! What is the one thing that makes you come alive? What should you be doing daily, that has been pushed to the back burner? 

5.       RESPOND with action! Be still and begin listening again to God’s voice for direction and guidance. Then, follow through!

 

Christy Little Jones is a motivational speaker, professional encourager and relationship mentor to women and couples all over the world.  She teaches people how to fall madly in love with themselves by establishing a relationship with God, making integrity based decisions and developing the courage to express themselves authentically. Connect with Christy at www.mrschristyjones.com.

Dear God...

I am completely overwhelmed today! I am jittery and anxious and at any moment, I feel like I am going to break out in a full blown . . . BAWL! A part of me is hoping that this is just hormonal and will go away in a few days, but the sacred side of me knows its real, because my brave self, the one that tells myself the truth, knows that I'm burned out! I'm spent! I'm wiped out. I'm done and can't keep up anymore. I feel like I've already failed and it's not even 8am, UGH!

I immediately think to myself, "CHRISTY! CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS RIGHT NOW! CHANGE THAT ATTITUDE AND THAT MIND SET, YOUNG LADY! HUT! HUT! HUT!"

As and over achiever, you know this is my normal practice, motivating myself, picking myself back up to put the pieces back together, but at what point do I look at my life and say, "the pieces are broken! ...this one is damaged! ...I need to let this one go! ...I can't put this one back with the others because it will damage all of the other "good" pieces?" . . . God?

Hmmm...I think this is that moment when peering into my soul and assesses the hard ware or should I say "soul ware" is necessary, right? A "soul-ware" assessment self-check? Okay, God, here I go.

MIND: 

  • negative sometimes
  • entertains FEAR too often
  • cluttered
  • always racing
  • always creating
  • needs a vacation

BODY:

  • tired
  • tired
  • tired
  • needs an upgrade

SOUL:

  • defeated
  • disappointed
  • depleted
  • discouraged
  • frustrated

Wow, God! That is not a good report! I must admit, seeing this assessment makes me sad, because I know this is not how you want me to live. For the longest time, I have felt like I have been pushing a boulder up a steep hill and I am out of energy and out of effort!

I NO LONGER want to waste time on things that are not on YOUR agenda for my life! I am at the end of myself and I have nothing left.

God, . . . please forgive me for snatching my life out of your hands. I surrender it back to you TODAY and I give you back full access to my life. Do with it what you will! 

Forgive me for not trusting you. Please help me to let go of those things that I have been forcing and prioritize those things that align with what you have created me for. Thank you for always giving me second chances! I love you!

Christy