Marriage Meltdown: Busyness (Part 1)

Marriage Meltdown: Busyness (Part 1)

Busyness kills relationships. Why? Because real relationships take time, effort, and energy. If we are constantly busy and on the go, we won’t be able to give each other or our marriage what it needs.

We will be too tired. Amen?

After an exceptionally busy weekend, Craig and I started talking about what motivates both of us to get (and stay) busy. This is where we start. If we don’t know the heart behind our choices, our behavioral changes won’t stick.

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Distractions {new video & short series}

Get distracted much? Us, too. These distractions keep us from our greatest goals and closest relationships. Craig’s opening up about how the distractions of negative self-talk hindered him in previous weight loss journeys and Jen reveals insight she just got this morning about how anxiety pulls her away from the One and the ones she loves. 

Our plan is to turn this into a series all centered around priorities: why we need them, how they get out of whack, and how we can refocus on them. We hope you'll join us.

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Please also join us in praying for Las Vegas. 

Waking up to bad news like the Las Vegas shootings feels like a sucker punch to the gut. I mourn for those who have just experienced incredible loss and heartbreak. It makes me want to gather my family together and become hermits. 

But, yet, that is not what we are called to do. As families, we are called to go out into the world and love. If those of us who have the capacity to love and love well all shut up in our homes, who would be the voice for goodness? Who would advocate for a way for peace, for wholeness, for freedom, for healing?

Our first job is to love our families well and to connect with Jesus daily. When we do this, we are filled, not with our own strength and love, but God's. And because He gives so fully, because His well never runs dry, we can be sure that we can afford to give as much love as possible that overflows out of us.

Do justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly.

And keep the faith.

If Things Look Hopeless

If Things Look Hopeless

A decade plus ago, I (Jen) could have made the choice to steer the car into oncoming traffic. The despair was that bad. The darkness was that overwhelming. By God's grace and intervention, I stayed in my lane.

After that moment, the way I began to view the world and God and Craig slowly changed. And now, here we are, speaking hope and light to marriages, even though at one point, we were bathed in darkness and depression.

You can be a Christian and still be assaulted by hopelessness. You can still be plagued by thoughts about how easy it could be to walk away. And yet, as we have found, it's worth it to persevere through the suffering. God promises to use all things for good. There is purpose to our pain.

If this is true for us, it is true for you, too.

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Why the Church Must Be a No-Shame Zone

Why the Church Must Be a No-Shame Zone

This week, we're talking about being spontaneous, and yet, here is a post about the Church and porn. Well, that's spontaneous, right? I never know when my posts for Covenant Eyes will go live and I don't always share them here, but this is a post that Craig and I both feel so passionate about—Satan uses shame in incredibly powerful ways and it is time for the Church to fight against these schemes.

Church, rise up. RISE UP.

The sins we commit in the dark, in the secret places, those are the ones Satan hones in on, where he continually speaks lies under the heavy cloak, in the deep recesses of our hearts where we shut out Light. Where can we take these sins? To Jesus, for sure. But where do we find the community that helps us in the recovery of these sins?

If the Church is just another space that heaps more shame, the Church then becomes another tool of the enemy.

This cannot be so.

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If You Don't Know Too Much about Us...

If You Don't Know Too Much about Us...

Hey y'all! Yes, I know, it's another interview about our journey through porn addiction. And yes, some of this you have heard before. But one reason that I love this interview is because it's also how we began...you get to know more about us as just Jen and Craig Ferguson, not just Jen and Craig Ferguson who talk about porn all the time. Want to know how long we dated before we got engaged? (Think # of days, not months!) What to know our song we danced to on our wedding day? If so, we'd love for you to tune in! Thank you so much, Engaging Story, for having us!!

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How Running a Race is a lot like Marriage (You need cheerleaders!)

We are taking a quick break from our Give Grace series because, well, Jen ran a half-marathon today and had a lot of time to think about the parallels between running a race and marriage. (Um, uphill much?) Whether right now you feel like you're in a battle with a steep hill or you're coasting downhill or you're on the sidelines cheering, this video is for you. #PowerofCommunity #GetOutThere #YouReallyCanDoThis#GotYourBack #FindYourPeople

 

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Live Full Walk Free + Giveaway

Live Full Walk Free + Giveaway

Instead of sunshine, warm walks, and ice cream, my summer was filled with counseling appointments, painful conversations, and sleepless, tear-stained nights.

I’m sad to share in the midst of the marriage mess and stress, my response was basically,

“Yep, I’m outta here. I’m done. Didn’t think this was how the “happily ever after” story was gonna go — but God, I. can’t. do. this.”

Marriage can be hard, can’t it, friend? 

Truth be told, sometimes marriage can be lonely, pain-filled and heartbreaking.

So when the pressures of marriage-life intensify, what do we do?

How do we withstand the heat?

 

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Giving Grace: Money Matters

Giving Grace: Money Matters

Our first topic in our series, Giving Grace is MONEY. 

We're not sure about you, but we have definitely struggled through money matters in our 16 years of marriage. Money is a charged topic! So, how do we have grace for each other, especially when we find ourselves on opposite ends of the spectrum? I'm a saver. He's a spender. How do we ever figure out how to manage our money without an argument every time?

Craig and I have learned a thing or two about showing grace to each other as we budget, make financial plans, and deal with the unexpected. Here are our ABCs to giving grace when it comes to finances.

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Grace or Karma: New Series!

Welcome to our new series! We hope you'll take a minute to watch our less than 7 minute video and ask yourself this question: Do you operate on the concept of karma or grace in your marriage?

It's much easier for us to operate out of the idea of karma (you get what you deserve) instead of grace in our marriage. We want to reward when rewards are earned and punish/withhold when it our spouse messes up or hurts us (think silent treatment, passive aggressive behavior, yelling, etc). But is this really how God calls us to treat each other? Is this how He treats us? Join us for a new series, Grace or Karma, as we take common trials that married people go through and share our tips on how to approach these things (and our spouses) with grace and love.

Here are some of the Scripture/book references in the video in case you want to study more on your own:

Does grace mean we get to keep on sinning? No, see Romans 6.

Where is the story of the Prodigal Son? See Luke 15:11-32

How did Jesus demonstrate grace to us? See Romans 5:1-11

What's that marriage book you were talking about? The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy and  Kathy Keller. Find it here.

What's that book you wrote about your journey through porn addiction? Pure Eyes, Clean Heart: A Couple's Journey to freedom from Pornography. Find it here or you can buy it from our store here.

Can't wait to see you back here next week!

Free with me?

Free with me?

"Free" is my word for the year. Craig was the one who thought of it, probably because he notices on a continual basis how enslaved I am. I rarely I notice the chains. I don't even picture them as chains—more like I'm a magnet and I allow burdens to become a part of daily living and breathing and moving. The problem is, when you've attracted all this weight, moving becomes heavy and breathing, ragged.

I want to be very clear: I love helping people. I love listening to people. It's an honor to be invited to share burdens, to be privy to vulnerability. But where I get muddy is I allow their problems to become my problems. When my thoughts wander, I find myself tangled in their possible solutions. I drown in their sorrow. I lament continually to God. I lose where I end and they begin. There's no clearly defined raindrop—just a puddle

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Fall Book Study

Join us here and on Facebook as we journey through Timothy Keller's book, The Meaning of Marriage. (We are so excited to do this with you! We will be reading right alongside y'all.)

Here's the deal: Craig and I are more intentional with our marriage when we actively engage in things that help us grow both individually and as a couple. It is so easy to let our days be consumed by work, parenting, and all those things that crop up in every day life. We could claim fatigue, stress, and other pressing priorities when it comes to taking time to invest in each other and our commitment. But if we know God created marriage, if we know that He has called us to have abundant life, if we know that He has a plan for our union, it makes sense that we put forth energy in making it good. This is our life partnership! And there's no time like the present to make it front and center in our lives. 

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