Thursday, January 2, 2014

It's Not Just Reserved For Fairy Tales!

I'm thrilled to have been asked to join hundreds of other bloggers to help Fawn Weaver, the author of The Happy Wives Club, spread the truth about marriages today. This post is a part of The Happy Wives Club Blog Tour! For more information about this, or if your interested in being a part of it...please CLICK HERE!

Mainstream media has tainted our view of marriage, people tend to believe that it is nearly impossible to have a great marriage these days. I remember sitting in a car with two of my good friends and they both made the comment that my marriage is rare. I'll confess, it brought me to tears. I came home that day and wrapped my arms around my husband and wanted to be sure that we were okay, that we were normal. I didn't want to think that it must be that hard to have a great marriage...because if it is...what if something happens to us. See how that works? It can be so discouraging.

Fawn Weaver, has taken a journey and allows us to ride, sit, dine and get our hair done right alongside of her as she travels around the world talking to couples, collecting the secrets to happy healthy marriages. It is a fantastic book and it comes out on Monday, January 7th. (See below to order your copy today)

About 10 years ago, then I was married for 13 years, I sat across my table from a woman who said these words to me: "When I stood at the altar I knew it didn't really mean forever." WHAT? I was dumbfounded. When I stood at the altar at the age of 21, I KNEW without a shadow of a doubt, it absolutely meant...UNTIL DEATH DO US PART! So her comment shook me, call me naive, but I really didn't think people thought those thoughts. So, I shared with her one of the things (looking back for the past 23 years of my marriage - I've shared this with LOTS of women) that I think has been a huge key to the success of our marriage. If your interested, I'll share it with you now. Come on, I'll invite you to sneak a peek in to my studio apartment in Prospect Park, NJ circa 1991, about 22 years ago.

You see that girl with the 90's hairdo sitting on the Southwestern Style sofa, arms crossed, looking away from the very handsome man sitting next to her...that would be me. I remember it like it was yesterday, but oddly I don't remember what event or what was said that brought us to this point. Clearly this was our first really BIG argument, disagreement, (I won't say fight because that word, to me, connotes physical...and that would seriously bring the wrong image here!).

Whatever the argument was about, I knew I was right....and he knew he was right! We were in a no win zone, a no passing point. I remember thinking, this is why people get divorced, we were never going to be able to get beyond this point. I was just married a year, maybe a bit less, and this was it for me. I was MAD! How could he NOT see that my way, my point, my argument was right? I really didn't "like" this adorable man at this moment. (I'm sure he didn't "like" me too much either). It came to that point where I didn't want to talk to him anymore. It was late, I was tired, this wasn't going to work - we've been on this couch for what felt like forever! We had vowed to never go to bed angry (I guess we were NEVER going to bed!).

Eph. 4:26-27 (In the Message version) "Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life."

Then suddenly out of the corner of my eye, I saw this man that I had married slip off the couch next to me and get on his knees. I remember thinking, what is he doing? OH he better not be praying! I know that sounds really bad. Close your jaws...if they've dropped! It's true. The very LAST thing I wanted to do, (I honestly didn't think it would be possible for me to do) was to pray with him. UGH! Yes, so that is exactly what Mike Engel started to do...pray.

Because this was such a monumental moment in my marriage, I remember the gist of what he prayed quite well. It went something like this: "Father in Heaven, please forgive me. I want to be a wonderful husband, I want to honor my wife. She is a gift to me, a priceless treasure that you have placed in my care and I love her so much. I don't know how we are going to get beyond this, but I just want you to bless her right now. I thank you for the woman of God she is, thank you for placing her in my life and I just ask that you would pour out your blessings upon her. Grant her the desires of her heart...."

You get the idea. He was praying a prayer of blessing over me. WHAT? The moment he said "Father in Heaven" I remember thinking...there is NO WAY I can pray...I was so heart was so hard! Here is the miracle of that he continued to pray a blessing over me (he didn't pray that I would see his way, or that I would grow up and get a grip, or that we we stop arguing) my heart began to melt.

I didn't want to budge, but honestly I couldn't help it. There is something about sitting in the presence of God, (because let me tell you when you are on your knees praying...God is right there too), that just takes you off your own altar, so to speak, and places you in the proper position before God and the man. I was extremely humbled and I began to weep. He just prayed blessing after blessing over me and asked God to forgive Him, and to help him. When he said "Amen!", I slipped off the couch next to him and in between my tears and sniffles, I started to pray prayers of blessing over this precious gift that God had placed in my life as my husband. I laid a hand on his head and prayed blessings in his life, I thanked God for my relationship with Michael and I asked God to forgive me. When we finished praying, we just held each other...for a long time...without any words...and yes...we kissed!

From that moment on, though it can be the absolute hardest thing to do, because your flesh wants nothing more than to be right and to stay angry, this is what we do. When we are at a no passing point or a no winning zone (which we don't really get there too much anymore) we will get on our knees, or hold hands or just wherever we are....PRAY a prayer of blessing over each other. Never do we pray that the other would see it our way, do it differently, learn something, NOPE...we just pray blessing over each other. Marriage is about honoring, respecting and loving one another. It's about putting the other works when you both do almost magical!

I've been married now for 23 years...going on 24. We've been through the loss of 14 babies, the death of all of our parents, the loss of jobs, financial ruin, depression, pre-menopause, career changes, a child on the autism spectrum... We've learned each other really well...we are best friends, lovers and both of us are children of God. I remember my pastor speaking to us in our premarital counseling..."remember that you are both children of better treat each other like such...Lisa is a daughter of the King...Mike is a son of the mess answer to the King." Makes me smile thinking about it! The King is so gentle and willing to teach us how to love one another as perfectly as we can this side of Heaven.
Me and my Mr. Incredible at the beach a few months ago! 
This is just one of the things we've vowed to keep in our works! If you want to know more about us...I just posted a blog post a month ago...entitled Priceless Treasure, feel free to click on that and catch more of our story! As I've said in the introduction of this post, Fawn Weaver has gone around the world finding more things that work to keep our marriages healthy. She sent me an advanced reader's copy and I couldn't put it down! It will be an encouragement to you for sure - happy healthy marriages are for real - it's not reserved for fairy tales!! I'm excited to write my review!! You can pre-order her book today by CLICKING HERE.

Thanks for joining me and so many others on this Blog Tour!!