God Wants You Happy!

Published June 7, 2012 by theprioritymale

By Cari Andreani

“Ask and receive that your joy may be full” John 16:24

God wants you to be happy- and God wants you to be happy in your marriage. Recently, I was having a hard time where I saw such great strife between my husband and my teenage son. I am sure this is very typical, but for a mom to watch, it can be very hard. My heart was broken and I felt stuck in the middle. I spoke to my son about doing things with a good attitude and not taking things too hard, but it didn’t seem to help. I would also talk to my husband in private about how I felt he was being too hard on our son, and it just made things worse. So- I prayed.

I began to pray that my son would honor and respect his father and that their relationship would be close. I prayed my husband to be controlled by the Holy Spirit and would soften his heart toward his son and see him as God does. I wrote out a simple prayer and prayed it over my husband and son everyday. And within days I  began to see the fighting lift. I felt our home have a new peace in it within just a few days! It was amazing! It reminded me too that we as moms and wives want to fix things, but only God can work on someone’s heart. Something I was trying to do for weeks wasn’t working, but when I gave it to God within days I saw a difference! What an awesome God we serve!

The truth is Satan wants to steal your joy, but God wants you to be happy. So if there is something that just doesn’t seem to be changing- or it’s even getting worse- let me encourage you with this: Pour your heart to God and cover the situation in prayer. Don’t feel like you have to fix it. Give it to God and let Him work it out.

“Ask and receive that your joy may be full” John 16:24

Divorce is No Solution

Published May 21, 2012 by theprioritymale

by Cari Andreani

I was recently reminded of the pain I avoided by having a second chance at my marriage.  The divorce rate in our country is sadly at a staggering rate. If you have not been affected by divorce, you know someone who has. Divorce is such a painful thing, and sadly, I know many women who have regretted making the decision to divorce and break up their family. I understand sometimes it is necessary to divorce, but many times it can be avoided.

Let me just encourage you today to stay strong. Fight for your marriage! Don’t let the enemy even put the thought of divorce in your mind.  You have to believe that failing is not an option!

Dr. James Dobson writes:

“Don’t permit the  possibility of divorce to enter your thinking. Even in

moments of great conflict and discouragement, divorce is no solution. It

merely substitutes a new set of miseries for the ones left behind. Guard

your relationship against erosion as though you were defending your very

lives. Yes, you can make it together. Not only can you survive, but you can

keep your love alive if you give it priority in your system of value.” (from Love for a Lifetime)

I can tell you there is hope for your marriage. I am living proof. I almost divorced my husband after 4 years of marriage. God brought us back together and we have been married 16 wonderful years. I have never regretted working on my marriage, but I know I would have regretted giving up. Don’t give up! You won’t regret it either.

Some great tools that are out there to help are:

  • Books:

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, Love and Respect by Dr. Eggerichs (these is in our book review page)

The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick (from the movie Fireproof)

Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian

  • Marriage retreats. Look for retreats in your area. Ask your local church if there are any marriage enrichment retreats or seminars.
  • Surround yourself with godly examples, friends, Bible study, and anything that will encourage you in your marriage. Get rid of anything poisoning your relationship- it is so worth it!

Be determined to keep you family together. Don’t give up! Divorce is no solution.

Text Him You Love Him :)

Published April 26, 2012 by theprioritymale

Leaving little love notes is even easier with technology. Isn’t texting great? Easy, quick, and instantaneous!

How about texting your man today how much you love him? Tell him you miss him; tell him your day is not complete without him; you how much you appreciate him; tell him you can’t wait to see him.

Stop what you are doing right now and text him that you love him 🙂

And have a wonderful night tonight!

God bless girls! And know we are praying for each and every one of you!

Cari Andreani

Summer Vacation

Published April 16, 2012 by theprioritymale

By Jenna Raulerson

Summer is on the horizon, and that means several things. For all of us who write on this blog, who just happen to be teachers and school employees, that means time off work! But it also means time to plan summer vacations.

 

In my house, this is a little bit of a daunting task, mostly because my husband and I have conflicting tastes in ideal vacation destinations. I’d like to spend my vacation taking in gorgeous natural scenery, breathing in fresh air, doing a little hiking or riding bikes on the beach and possibly taking in a man-made shopping mall hear and there. He would like to spend the days in a fast-paced city with flashing lights everywhere you look. Probably playing lots of golf. One thing we do agree on is really great food.

 

So this year I came up with a solution to avoid a possible World War III (ok not really) when deciding on where to go for summer vacay. We would get 10 slips of paper. Each of us would do thorough research and write down 5 places we would like to go for vacation. Then we would draw one out of a bowl!

 

Here were the rules:

 

  1. They had to be places we could reasonably afford to go by June 2012.
  2. They had to be places we had never been before!
  3. They had to be within the continental U.S.
  4. Thorough research needed to be conducted.
  5. They had to be awesome.

 

It took us a while to come up with 5 places each. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be. But it was a lot of fun, and fun to keep mine secret from my hubby until the end! When we both finished, we put them in a big box and shook it all around. My husband insisted he draw the slip out (man thing)… and the choice was… Scottsdale, AZ!!

 

Here are the other choices that were in the box:

Mine-

  1. Chicago, IL
  2. San Francisco, CA
  3. Santa Barbara, CA
  4. New Orleans, LA
  5. Scottsdale, AZ

His-

  1. Dallas, TX
  2. Palm Beach Gardens, FL
  3. Miami/Key West, FL
  4. Hilton Head, SC
  5. Scottsdale, AZ

Me and My Big Mouth!

Published April 15, 2012 by theprioritymale

By Cari Andreani

Have you ever said something you wish you hadn’t? I mean, as soon as it left your mouth you wanted to grab it and shove it back down your throat- or better yet, throw it in the garbage and never think of uttering again? Have you experienced days and days of arguing with your spouse over one little comment you wish you never said? You have?! Me too!

In marriage, we each will say things we don’t mean, (if it hasn’t happened yet, don’t worry- It will!) So what do we do? I’m thinking: When in doubt- shut the mouth 🙂 Speaking every little thought we have, just isn’t wise. Our sarcastic, passive-aggressive remarks aren’t worth a single day of strife in our life. It is so much better to take that thought and stop it before you voice it. Ladies, it just gets us into trouble!

How many times have you said something in half-jest and your husband took it totally wrong and it caused an argument? How many times have you made a sly comment and it hurt him? How many times have you said something out of frustration and it backfired? Yeah- me too. I have learned that it isn’t worth it. Oh, Lord, please help us.

The Bible says:

“And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”

 2 Corinthians 10:5 

Every time we think of saying something- make that thought obedient to Christ. Is what I am about to say how Christ would have me respond? Pray for God to give you’re the right attitude. And when in doubt- shut your mouth 🙂

Disclaimer- now I am not advocating the fact that we don’t say anything in confrontation to our husbands. We have to address issues in our marriage. (“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17) If we just stuff in the things that bother us- we will just explode! But if you do need to address something, it should be in love and glorifying to God, not a sarcastic, hurtful remark.

God gives us women a special responsibility and a wonderful and important role in our families. Sometimes shutting our mouth, actually opens the door for God to work. Take it from a friend who loves you- be careful with your words. I am praying for God to help me with mine. 🙂

“Lord, help us to be godly women. Let us be wise in what we say. Forgive us when we have been hurtful with our words in the past. And from now on, let our words always be encouraging and uplifting, and always pleasing to You.”

A noble woman “speaks wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”

Proverbs 31:26

Scavenger Date Night

Published April 11, 2012 by theprioritymale

By Cari Andreani

Who says you are too old to play games? We don’t! In fact, it is so much more fun to play games when you are older. Something about them brings out the kid in you. 🙂

So the ladies who write this blog and I decided to do a “Scavenger Date Night” with our spouses. Kristin and her husband Shaun Staley, are some of the most creative people I know. So we put them in charge of coming up with a fun night for us. Jenna and Owen came, Melissa and Jaime came, and then of course Juan Luis and I were there- and we ready to conquer!

We met at the St. John’s Town Center, a shopping area where there are lots of stores and restaurants to scavenger through. We met at 5:00pm at the fountain in front of Maggiano’s and were given a list of items to collect. The couple with the most items by 7:00pm wins. Then it was off to Cheesecake Factory to display our items and experiences. Thanks to smart phones, some items on the list were video or picture related. (That was the entertainment watching those videos over dinner!)

Items on the scavenger hunt included: A credit card application, business card, perfume sample, and shoebox. Video and picture items were worth two points. (These were what we went for first! ) They were things like: Take your picture in front of a fountain, find a book by an author with your first name, video a group member directing traffic, and (this one was great) video one of you doing a cartwheel! We learned quickly who was shy and who wasn’t. Going up to total strangers and asking things like their shoe size, and singing and dancing with strangers made the night so much fun!

I had so much fun conquering that list with my husband. It definitely created team work! I also learned more about my husband. For example, if we had to sing a song with a total stranger- he wasn’t doing it! What? My dare-devil husband will go 120 MPH on a motorcycle, but is scared to sing with a stranger? So that one was up to me. (And the two men we stopped to sing with us thought it was great!) I realized I am more comfortable with making a fool of myself than my husband I guess.:)

I thought this was such a fun way to spend an evening with friends. The competitive aspect got your adrenaline going. The risk factor of making a fool of yourself added to the fun too. And to top it off, sharing the stories of how we got our items and watching the videos was hilarious! It is amazing what some will do to win a scavenger hunt! Which by the way- Melissa and Jamie are the reigning chaps! Great job guys!!

Creating fun nights like this are good for a marriage! Click on the “Great Ideas!” page for our complete list and pictures of our scavenger hunt and then plan one for you and your friends! You’ll have so much fun! And isn’t marriage supposed to be fun!

We All Get Impatient

Published April 5, 2012 by theprioritymale

By Amber Verble

We all get impatient. Especially when it’s an answer from God we’re waiting for. We pray, we wait. We give prayer requests, we wait….and we feel like nothing happens. What we truly wish for is a sudden, unmistakable, loud and clear answer from above. We are always asking and wanting, but really, what do we give? We pray at our scheduled times, which usually vary, and our prayers really sound more like demands. We give the minimal amount of time we can, a few prayers, and not much, if any quiet time and yet we wonder where God is at in our lives. Our entire relationship with God depends on the time we’re willing to give Him, and if you’re like me, that’s the one thing I feel like I don’t have extra to give. My intentions were always sincere as I barely got through another hectic, crazy day homeschooling my boys and dealihg with my 4 year old, promising to give God more time tomorrow…….usually as I fell asleep saying my nightly prayer. I wanted to give God more time but struggled everyday fitting Him into my crazy schedule. As I started my second weekly Bible study I began having to do my ‘homework’ for one study in the morning and the other ‘homework’ at night. This time in my Bible every night replaced my regularly scheduled TV time with my husband. I still sat with him on the couch, I would just have my Bible and my workbook with me, reading instead of watching. But as time went by the TV went off and now he has his Bible out too. Some nights we sit quietly together, each doing our own reading and studying and other nights we get into deep discussions about our studies and study together. Not only are we deepening our relationships with God, we are growing closer in our relationship as well. I don’t lay in bed praying at night anymore either, I am on my knees next to my bed thanking God for the changes taking place in my life and in my family’s life. And it’s amazing how God is showing up everywhere. The more I give, the more I get from God – including those sudden, unmistakable, loud and clear answers from above. God showed me that I couldn’t ‘fit Him in’ but had to instead take things out. I still have my hectic days but by giving Him my focus, time and love, my days are so much more productive. I’ve let Him become my priority which helps me realize what’s really important in my day. It’s true that if it’s under God it’s in order.
 Psalm 55:17 says “Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice.”  He is gracious, He does answer prayers, but how can we hear when we’re not even listening? One of the more recent verses I’ve studied is James 4:8  “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” The closer I am to Him, the more time I give to Him, the more listening I do, the more He gives me the “desires of my heart” Psalm 37:4 and the less I have to ask or demand, instead just knowing and having and hearing. What God wants more than anything is for us to connect and communicate with Him. Daily. Put Him first and everything else will fall into place.