When You’re Feeling Love-Dry {A Date with Jesus}

Written by Ashlie, Contributing Writer

We all crave, want it, and need it – unconditional, unabashed and crazy love.

But, let’s be honest. Despite our best efforts, many times we come up dry. Even the most doting husband or most romantic Valentine’s date can’t fill us in a way that lasts. Life rolls in, bills pile up, trials ensue, and it becomes difficult to uncover the glorious in the mundane.

There have been times in my marriage when I have been up to my eyeballs in scripture, marriage books, and prayer trying to bring the spark back into our relationship. During one of those times, I felt the Lord gently whisper to me,

“If you would put even half of that energy into your love journey with me, you’ll have so much love you won’t know what to do with it!”

Since then, He’s slowly been transforming my perspective into a sweet love relationship with my Savior. He began to show me that the other relationships in my life, including with my sweet hubby, could only thrive if He and I are thriving. Because He is love Himself, and without Him, I have no love to give - I’m dried up and empty.

The past year has been a journey of truly allowing Him to not only be my Savior, but the One true Love of my life. Viewing my relationship with Him as a love story has changed my world. He is the author of romance, He rescues, sweeps me off of my feet, and there is always an exciting adventure!

I’m still in process, and His grace overwhelms me day by day as I stumble. But here are a few things I’m learning that help to keep that love ignited:

Read Your Love Letters

Have you ever thought of the Bible as a love letter straight to you? Sometimes it’s easy to read the Word as a message to the masses. But by the power of the Holy Spirit, God means for it to speak straight into my heart and yours in a personal way.

He could have left us in this life without anything to go by, but we are given an entire book of His very words. There have been many times I’ve complained about hearing nothing when I pray, when in fact, He’s given me pages and pages of His Words for me. Reading it with the same care and treasure that I would a love note from my husband puts things in a whole new light.

Write a Love Letter Back

Have you ever considered pouring out your heart to Him in writing? I’ve often told my husband that I love the notes he has written me because I know it took extra thought, and they are something I can go back to in reflection. We are made in God’s image, and He has emotions and feelings, too. He loves to hear from us!

Go On Regular Dates

 

I firmly believe that God’s grace and love towards us is so vast and wide that there isn’t a perfect “formula” for a quiet time. Yes, we should all read our Bibles and spend time in prayer, but that might look different for you than it does for me. But there’s one thing that is sure – He wants to spend time with us.

I like to view it as my own personal date with Jesus. What time of day are you at your best? What helps you to relax and connect? Perhaps it’s on a run with an iPod full of worship music, sitting quietly on your deck with a cup of coffee during the sunrise, on a drive to work, or while you’re doing dishes. Whatever it is – do it regularly. Pencil it into your daily routine – set the date, be there, and enjoy it.

Share Your Heart

I’m a very visual person, so one thing that has helped me tremendously in sharing my heart with Jesus is just to picture Him sitting in my living room on the couch across from me. We serve a God that is so holy and magnificent, and yet so up close and personal. He wants to hear our cries, our desires, our praises, and the deepest groanings of our hearts. Tell Him.

Be a Good Listener

Having a healthy love relationship means just that – a relationship. It’s difficult to keep things close when there’s only one-sided communication. Just as it wouldn’t last very far with my hubby and I, it’s hard to keep things fresh with God if I’m the only one talking.

Take time to sit, listen, and just bask in His presence. If you struggle with mind wandering (tell me I’m not the only one!), turn on your favorite worship music or go into a room with few distractions.

Trust and Don’t be Afraid – Come as You Are

Though we may not think of it in this way, many times we shy away from the throne room of grace because of fear. Fear of failure, fear that we aren’t good enough, fear of “doing it wrong”, or fear that we won’t hear or discern what the Lord is saying.

But when we meet with Love Himself, fear has no place and is totally irradicated. Can we embrace that? Can we trust that we don’t have to have things figured out or perfectly in place, but that we can just come as we are?

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because He first loved us. ” – I John 4:18-19

I pray that if you’re feeling dry, you’ll step into the first date of a beautiful love journey with Him today. He always fills, and He never disappoints!

What do you do to keep your relationships with the Lord strong and fresh?

Ashlie is a wife to her high school sweetheart, mommy of two little girls, dreamer, thinker, thrift store shopper, recovering perfectionist, and sinner saved by grace.

Ashlie’s heart is to encourage fellow sojourners in the midst of her own struggles. Seeing others discover His vast love and grace makes her do a happy dance! She endeavors to seek God’s truth in the journey while finding His grace in the mess, knowing that at the end of the day, it really is all about Him.

She loves winding gravel roads, muddy romps, and country life, yet Starbucks, skinny jeans, and pedicures hold a special place in her heart, too. This creates a bit of a conundrum that she is still trying to figure out. Lovely word pictures, insane amounts of coffee, silly times with her family, and chocolate make her world go ’round.

Visit her at One Small Town Girl, where writing through her journey gives her a place to breathe. She tweets as @AshlieWrites and can be found on Facebook as well.

Finding Fulfillment in Everyday Tasks: The Most Important Little Things

Sometimes, I get very discouraged with how my days are spent.  I spend the majority of my time each day changing diapers, cleaning up spills and messes, playing peek-a-boo, cooking, and cleaning.  I’m sure you know the drill.

All of these “non-important” jobs often seem tedious and almost meaningless to me.  Mundane tasks have a way of wearing on me, and to be honest there are days that I have a hard time getting through my everyday chores. 

I would rather be out changing the world, than wiping little handprints off the coffee table.

I want to make a difference in this world.  I want to help others.  I want God to use my life!

I desire these things so strongly, that I am sometimes left feeling unfulfilled by my current role as wife/mother/homemaker.  Do you ever feel this way?

The Truth About “The Little Things”

This type of thinking that I am prone to – that what I do as a stay-at-home mom doesn’t matter – is quite dangerous and couldn’t actually be farther from the truth!

The truth is that I am making a difference in this world.  I am helping others.  And God is using my life!

I must realize that when I spend my days doing the dishes, cooking for my family, and cuddling with my son, that I really am doing the important things.  These little things do matter.  These little things are for God’s glory, and they actually matter a lot.  Especially to the little life that God has trusted to my hands.

The following is one of my favorite quotes.  It brings tears to my eyes and really helps me to put things into perspective and have a better attitude.

“To the whole world you’re only someone,
but to someone you’re the whole world.”

Wow.  I need to be reminded of this daily.  My child’s world is much smaller than my world.  The impact that my life has on his is real.  To have such a great influence over another life is exciting, humbling and overwhelming all at once.

The little things that I do everyday are huge to this young child.  I am his only mother.  I can choose to resent that role or I can choose to embrace it.  The choice is up to me.

I want to share this song by Steven Curtis Chapman that has been so encouraging to me when I feel like what I do doesn’t matter.

I continually pray that God will keep my perspective right in this matter.  I certainly need His grace as I spend my days doing the little things that really, truly do amount up to big things!

*Note: If you are reading this in an email or feed reader, you may need to click over to the site to view the video.

Do you sometimes feel like your everyday tasks don’t matter?  Isn’t it great to know that they really do!

This post has been shared with Simple Lives Thursday.

My Less Than Perfect House

Isn’t it amazing how God always has a way of encouraging us with just exactly the right words, at just exactly the right time?

Lately, I have felt like the everyday chores of life have just been coming at me faster than I have been able to tackle them. I just felt like I couldn’t get ahead.  I’m sure you know the feeling, right?  You just finish cleaning your kitchen, only to find dishes in the sink 5 minutes later; or you just folded the last load of laundry, only to find another load that needs to be washed.  I have been very discouraged in this area this past week, and I was really starting to let it get to me.

But last night, God gave me an attitude adjustment! I opened my Bible up last night, randomly, to Proverbs chapter 14.  I started reading (not really paying that much attention to the words passing my eyes) when verse 4 suddenly jumped out at me.

“Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.”

It was as if God was saying, “Where no family is, the house is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the family!”

Wow!  I suddenly felt so humbled and so thankful for my wonderful family and for my less than perfect house – what a rotten attitude I have been having lately!  I do like it when my house is perfectly clean – when the kitchen is spotless, every last piece of laundry is put away, the floors are sparkling, and everything is in it’s place.  And do you know what?  If I didn’t have a loving, amazing, sweet family, my house would probably always look pretty close to perfect.  But I can guarantee you that any day, anytime,  I would choose my family over a perfect house in a heartbeat!  Much increase is by the strength of my family!

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