I am overwhelmed at the support that you all have given me since 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage was released last week.
I’m thrilled that hundreds of you bought it on the 18th and really boosted my Amazon ranking (thank you!). And most of all I’m thrilled with the emails and reviews I’ve received from those who have read it.
It’s hard when you write a book. You’re so close to it for so long that it becomes almost boring–you wonder if you said anything original at all. So when people post instagram pics with certain sentences underlined–I almost get goosebumps!
And I know that this week was a crazy week, and a hard week for many of you, with the whole Ashley Madison story. For many of you, who have reached out to me, it brought back memories of discovering your husband’s porn use. I’m sorry for your pain. I really am. I hope some of what I wrote this week helped.
But first, here are the biggest posts from this week, in case you missed some:
What’s #1 at To Love, Honor and Vacuum
#1 New Post on the Blog: On Sexual Double Lives, Josh Duggar, and Finding Peace
#1 on the Blog: Top 10 Ways to Initiate Sex
#1 on Facebook: 10 Ways to Save Money
#1 on Pinterest: Stocking Stuffers for Your Husband (it’s not even Christmas yet and this post is already big! Bookmark it for later)
Thank you to those who bought 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage
Launch week is always nerve wracking. Will anyone buy it? Will anyone notice it?
So I just want to say thank you to those of you who did!
I am blown away by all the reviews on Amazon, but I just wanted to post this one. I think I know who may have written it–I think it may be a long time blog reader–but I don’t know, because the woman I’m thinking of is Australian, and I think she would have spelt “favourite” with a “u” (like I do). So maybe I’m wrong. But whoever it is, thank you! (And to all the rest of you who left reviews, I appreciate you so much, too! I know I’m going to get some bad feedback on this one because I do challenge the conventional wisdom, so the more reviews we get early that are positive, the better!)
And, as always, if you haven’t bought it yet–please do! If you like this blog, it encapsulates my whole philosophy in one book. And it’s easy to share a book with others, too–much easier than saying, “go read her whole blog”.
(and in answer to the questions about the prizes, prizes 1 and 3-5 have been contacted and awarded, but we never heard back from our email to the person who won me taking them out to dinner. So I’m going to pick another winner today and let them know! Once we have confirmation from all 5 winners I’ll announce them here).
A Word About Anna Duggar
After writing about Josh Duggar and the Ashley Madison scandal, I was seeing so many comments saying, “she should just leave him.” It’s not that I disagree–I honestly don’t know what she should do. But I did post this on Facebook, and it seemed to resonate with many of you, so I thought I’d post it here, too.
I just feel the need to comment one more time on Anna Duggar. So many people are saying, “she should leave the (insert bad word here)”. And I certainly have some sympathy. And so many are saying about Josh: “He only apologized because he got caught; that’s not real repentance.” That may very well be true. But it also may not. I have spoken to so many porn users and those having affairs who were so relieved when it finally came to light because the stress of living a double life was too much. The truth is we don’t know what’s going on in that family; we DO KNOW that unless Josh is completely honest with God, himself, and his family about both the porn use/affairs and the molestation there is no healing and there is no hope for the marriage. And we know that, should Anna choose to leave, she certainly has grounds and God will be with her. But other than that, we don’t know. But I will say this: many people ARE glad to be found out. And for many people on this blog, the discovery, while horrible, was the beginning of healing. If you’re walking in a dark part of your marriage, just remember: sometimes the time that is darkest is actually the beginning of the journey home.
This is the funniest video ever.
And I’m not just saying that because I’m their mother!
Here are my daughters, right after they had their wisdom teeth out. Let’s just say that Rebecca, my super serious, studious daughter, had a little bit of a reaction to that anaesthetic:
I’ve Been Through Quite the Journey with Prayer this Summer
I’ve been wrestling with the question “how do you hear God”, and for the first time in my life, over the last six months, I’ve had such specific and dramatic answers to questions that it’s quite amazing. Sometimes we hear, “you can only grow in your faith through suffering”. I do think that suffering is a tool God uses, but I haven’t been suffering. I’ve just decided that I want more of Him. And I’ve been changing some of my daily routines, and it’s been awesome.
But as I’m praying and reading more, some quotes from some books are standing out to me. And I thought I’d share this one about “holy habits”.
I’m reading Mark Buchanan’s Your God Is Too Safe, and he makes this point: no one expects to be able to pick up a violin and play like a maestro without any practice. No one expects to be able to paint well without practice. But, he says:
We honestly think that we ourselves and those around us should be proficient with spiritual power, moving and acting with agility and endurance, wisdom and purity, able to conquer long-established habits of sloth and rebelliousness, simply on the basis of our desire and effort and sincerity…
We have to train for the spiritual life…
Holy habits are that: the disciplines, the routines by which we stay alive and focused on Him. At first we choose them and carry them out; after a while they are part of who we are. And they carry us.
Holy habits–prayer, Bible reading, worship, church attendance–these are all crucial if we want more of God’s power in our lives.
I shared yesterday how I’ve been taking prayer walks everyday now that my daughter is leaving home. She won’t be there to take walks with anymore. And I’m finding that time of intense prayer with God so necessary now.
Have a great weekend, everyone! I’ll be packing Katie up to take her to college. Think of me!
I have avoided Duggar-related social media, so I hadn’t read the comments about Anna anywhere but here. Of course only she and Josh can really know the state of their marriage and whether he is truly repentant (at this point only he knows this!). I think, however, a lot of people, including myself, hope she knows that leaving, even for a temporary separation, may be her best choice. It seems that Josh never really had to face the terrible personal consequences of his sin: He has faced embarrassment and a lost job. His charm, family connections, and the pressure from family and church for the wronged parties to forgive him have softened the usual natural consequences.
So, true repentance, serious counseling and a renewed marriage would be ideal. If that is not going to happen, however, Anna realizing that she is not trapped into a marriage with a sex offender and cheater, and leaving him, may be a good (and biblical) outcome for her and the kids.
Yes, I would agree. I’m worried she’s getting a lot of pressure.
Please give the basis for claiming separation or divorce would be a Biblical outcome. I have a couple friends going through marriage issues and would like this information for counseling with them. Based on my research, I have not found any biblical basis for a christian to request a divorce. Adultery has been listed as an exception. However, that doesn’t mean it should be used. Christ died for our sins and the Bible has very strong language for those that are forgiven but yet refuse to forgive. Let’s not take a worldly view in this scenario but look toward Biblical reconciliation and the glory God receives from that.
I wrote a longer post on divorce and remarriage here. I don’t think it’s an easy, black and white question. And there are definitely times when divorce is the preferred option.
I bought your book on launch day, but I’ve been reading it slowly (which is very hard for me to do). I like to read quickly, but with your book, I’ve wanted to absorb and understand the points you are making. Sometimes reading too fast you can miss things. However, having said that, I find myself devouring the book and saying, “Yes, yes, yes!” We are responsible and capable human beings – God did not make us to be anything but. And I love your understanding of scripture and submission. I have never, ever (and I have a three year diploma in Theology) heard it said like this before. I’ve tried the “keep quiet and let him take the lead” route, and it just didn’t work. It didn’t bring us closer, it just kept things quiet. Now, I’ve decided to rather be who God has made me to be. And allow my husband and I the opportunity to work through issues that allow us to bring us closer together. My husband fell in love with a woman who could articulate what she was thinking and debate on various subjects – now I must keep quiet to let him lead? Just doesn’t make sense.
The best part though – I have to say is where you say that if you’re feeling hormonal or emotional, you and hubby will have supper in front of the TV. We don’t get Netflix here in S.A., but this was freeing for me, because sometimes you just need that bit of “zoning out” while you sort yourself out.
Thank you for an awesome book. Thanking for giving me the tools to empower me to make positive changes for me and for my marriage. There are so many people I know who need to read this!
P.S. I can’t wait for our summer to come so I can get a tan! Any sort of colour would do… 🙂
Oh, thank you so much for sharing all of that! I’m so thrilled you liked the book. I really appreciate you stopping to encourage me, too.
Shelia, how do you feel about the use of the personal possessive “YOUR God is Too Safe” as opposed to something like “Don’t Make God Too Safe”. That use of the *your* has a very uncomfortable, secular feel about it to me that questions whether God is an objective being.
I think the point he’s making is that the god that we have imagined is too safe. GOD Himself isn’t too safe–but the way that we think about God makes him too safe. It’s a great book!
Okay, I got WAY too much enjoyment at your daughters’ expense (sorry, Becca and Katie)! That was hilarious!
Your poor daughters! That is funny. So happy your launch went well. 🙂
I purchased 9 Thoughts based on a blog post here about distance growing in a relationship. I had become bitter and angry about all the ways I thought my husband was choosing to enjoy his time with everyone but me. That same week, I was jarred by the unexpected and early death of a friend’s young husband, and it put my selfish thoughts into perspective. It was then that I checked this blog, and it was a post that basically said, it’s normal to drift in marriage, what are you doing about it? needless to say, I had to purchase the book. I am very happy that I did. The overarching theme of this book in my opinion, is that it highlights the proper perspective, the godly perspective, that is key in having a successful marriage. I’ve learned to temper my selfish thoughts, and to redirect them when I want to focus solely on me. That chapter about loving your husband, who is also your neighbor, was the first to hit me hard. Several chapters have since then. I have seen a pleasant change in my marriage since reading and applying this book. When I put my heart into it, I worked to find games and things we could do together, and little things I could do that showed that he mattered to me. Pretty much immediately, I saw a turn around. He willingly stayed with me, and I never had to ask him too. He seemed to look forward to doing things with me. He spent so much time with me, his friends started to get upset about it! I am very grateful for the advice given in this book. It really has helped change my heart and came at a time when I really needed it. I have a great husband and a good marriage, but I want to make things as good as they can get. This book definitely helps me to do that. For readers of the blog who have yet to purchase, go ahead and buy it! There is something in there for everyone. Thank YOU, Shelia!
Oh, my goodness! That is so lovely to read! Thank you so much.
I have seen you post the video a few times and just skipped over it because I really didn’t think it was worth seven minutes of my time. BUT today I finally gave in and watched it. What a great hysterical video! I love the part where she says “drugs are bad don’t do drugs but if you want drugs go get surgery” I also love that your younger daughter says “I am not very interesting even though I just had the same procedure. Thanks for sharing a fun look into your life!
We think it’s hilarious, too! It’s even funnier if you know her–Rebecca is my serious, mature one. Such a contrast!
Reading this book reminded me of another issue I would be interested in hearing your perspective on – the whole “a woman’s place is in the home” thing (I.e., a Christian wife/mom’s only acceptable vocation is being a wife and mom, working outside the home/having a career is bad). I sure hear a lot of ‘Pat answers’ about that one – from both sides!
PS. No, I’m not from Australia, but I wish I were… Love the Aussie accent 🙂
IT WAS YOU!!??!? Well, nice to meet you! I think you’d really like my Australian commenter, too. 🙂
Here’s my take on your question: the older I get, the more sure I am that there aren’t “formulas” for just about anything. Human beings are too messy, and God calls us each to our own thing in our own way. There are no formulas for dating, for marriage, for worship…for just about anything.
That being said, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t guidelines, or there aren’t principles. I do believe that children fare infinitely better when there is a parent at home. Personally, I don’t think it matters whether that parent is a mother or a father, though I do think that families where the female is the main breadwinner have definite unique challenges (we have some of those in our extended family and in our friend group. They work well, and the kids are awesome–but it’s a struggle).
I was in day care as a child, and perhaps that’s really clouded my view, but I do believe that full-time day care is not ideal for a child at all, and has a lot of detrimental outcomes. Putting kids in a preschool a few afternoons a week isn’t going to hurt anyone, but being away from a parent full-time? Likely not good.
The most fun time I had parenting was when Keith and I shared the load, when we both worked half time for six months. That was a riot!
But now, as my girls are leaving home, I can tell you that what I am most proud of in my life, and what I am most grateful for, is the chance to stay home with them and homeschool them.
I don’t think there’s a formula, but I do think that kids need a parent–or maybe a grandma or something. Someone who loves them who will care for them the majority of the time. I hope that helps!
Oh, and here’s something else I should have said: we have this idea that kids need you most when they’re little, and then they need you progressively LESS as they grow up. I can tell you that my girls needed me most emotionally around 15-17. We went on so many walks and spent hours talking. And I just needed to be around for that. I think kids need you the least, actually, from 8-11. After that, they need you a bunch!
Hmm, makes sense. Yes, I’m inclined to agree with you that there are few situations in life where a formula works. Funny how long some people hold onto that notion though!