Thursday, June 11, 2009

I'm Back!!!!!!!!

So, now that the 40 days of Love Dare is over, I can finally blog about my life!!!! :) However, let me start off by saying that the 40 days I set aside to "The Love Dare" was one of the best commitments I have ever made!! It truly taught me how to love my husband in a deeper way, and I'm already seeing a big difference in the way I handle my emotions and how my love for him has turned from "conditional" to "unconditional." I definitley recommend watching the movie "Fireproof" and then going through "The Love Dare" if you haven't already!

Alright, now let me give you a brief overview of the past 40 days of my life...

I think my last post before Love Dare was about Disney, so since our trip to Disney we have been on several other trips. Michael won a trip to Gulfshores with Farm Bureau, and while he was there me and Abby went to Georgia with his family to see my brother and sister in law. It was our first trip to see their new home, and we had a FABULOUS time!! **SHOUT OUT TO MATTHEW AND KRISTEN...LOVE YALL** Then, the very next weekend we headed to Pensacola, FL to see one of my bestest friends get married. **SHOUT OUT TO MRS. MOULDER ;)** We decided to make this wedding trip a mini-vacation for the fam, so my parents went down with me, Michael, and Abby and we were able to shop, tan, and hang out for 4 days! It was alot of fun!! (side note: if Brandi Barrett is reading this blog post, please forgive all my run-on sentences, fragments, and English errors). Anywaysss...after we got back from the beach, I decided that I needed about a month of NO road trips because I was absolutely exhausted. However...Michael won ANOTHER trip with Farm VEGAS!! He was gone for a week, and let me just give a **SHOUT OUT TO ALL SINGLE MOMS/PARENTS** because being a "single mom" for a week just about did me in! I was soooooooo happy when Michael got home, because I was finally able to shave my legs, take a bath (I had been taking showers, mind you), wash some dishes, etc etc.

Ok, so I think all that pretty much brings me to this week....WHEW!!! I've been very hormonal and emotional this week. Lots of pity parties and just down and depressing days! :( But I do have some good news....I passed my glucose test on Tuesday, and Dr. Mills once again reassured me that "baby brother" is still doing great! I cannot even begin to thank all the people who have been praying for this means SO much! So, let's go back to "baby brother." Why do we call him this, you may ask!? Because Michael and I canNOT agree on a boy name!!!!!!!!!! I'm not real sure what we're going to do about this???? There is ONE name that we have agreed on, but for some reason we just can't seem to confirm this as his name? That name is "Parker." We like either Brandon Parker, or Parker Brandon. Brandon is Michael's middle name. Now we have even thrown Michael Brandon Bishop, Jr. into the mix?!?!? Ahhhhhhhh.....I just want my baby to have a name!!!!!!!!! But I think he'll always be "baby brother" to Abby. She seems VERRRRYYYYY excited about baby brother getting here. She always wants to feel him kick, and even tells me sometimes that he's kicking in HER tummy too! WOW!....pretty impressive, huh?! haha :)

Speaking of Abby....I think I'll use the rest of this post to share some updated pics of my princess. Words just cannot even begin to express my love for this girl. Michael and I are truly blessed beyond words.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Love Dare~Day 40!!!!!!!

We have reached our final dare!!!! And let me just tell you that satan got a hold of me yesterday like he hasn't got in the past 40 days! I really didn't think I would be able to finish this last dare, because I was so hurt by my husband and satan had me thinking that I wouldn't be able to, and didn't want to, get over it! But....through some prayer, and encouragement from my best friend, I was able to talk to Michael about it and we worked through it! And now when I look back on it, it was NOTHING!!! So, that's how I know it was satan trying to cause me to stumble on this last day! Let's see what our last dare holds for us:

"Love is a covenant"

"Where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God." -Ruth 1:16

A few notes from today's reading:

~This book may end at Day 40. But who says your dare has to stop? And as you view your marriage relationship from this point on, we challenge you to consider it a COVENANT instead of a contract. These two words sounds similiar in meaning adn intent but are in reality much different. Seeing marriage as a contract is like saying to your spouse, "I take you for me and we'll see if this works out." But realizing it as a covenant changes it to say, "I give myself to you and commit to this marriage for life."
-a verbal committment based on trust, assuring someone that your promise is unconditional and good for life.
-for the benefit of others and comes with unlimited responsibility.
-intended to be unbreakable.
~There's good reason why God was the One who initiated covenants with His people. He alone is able to forgive the receivers of His covenant when they fail to uphold their part of the agreement.
~The time is NOW, man or woman of God, to renew your covenant of love in all sincerity and surrender. Love is too holy a treasure to trade in for another, and too powerful a bond to be broken without dire consequences. Fasten your love afresh on this one the Lord has given you to cherish, prize, and honor.

Today's Dare:

Write out a renewal of your vows and place them in your home. Perhaps, if appropriate, you could make arrangments to formally renew your wedding vows before a minister and with family present. Make it a living testament to the value of marriage in God's eyes and the high honor of being one with your mate.

To Journal:

~What has God revealed to you during the Love Dare?
~How have your views of marriage changed?
~How committed are you to God and to your spouse?
~Who can you share this with as a testimony?

I hope yall have all enjoyed this journey as much as I have! I'm excited to see what God has in store for the future of our marriage, and I feel like I may be a little more prepared for satan's attacks on our marriage as well! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Love yall so much!

dare to love,

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Love Dare~Day 39

"Love Endures"

"Love never fails" -1 Cor. 13:8

A few notes from today's reading:

~Though threatened, love keeps pursuing. Though challenged, it keeps moving forward. Though mistreated and rejected, it refuses to give up.
~So, today your dare is to put your unfailing love into the most powerful, personal words you can. This is your chance to declare that no matter what imperfections exist-both in you and in your spouse-your love is greater still. No matter what they've done or how often they've done it, you choose to love them anyway. Though you've been far from steady in your treatment of them over the years, your days of being inconsistent in love are over. You accept this man or woman as God's special gift to you, and you promise to love them until death!

Today's Dare:

Spend time in personal prayer, then write a letter of committment and resolve to your spouse. Include why you are committing to this marriage until death, and that you have purposed to love them no matter what. Leave it in a place that your mate will find it.

To Journal:

~What were some of the hesitations you had in writing this letter?
~How do you expect your spouse to respond to it?
~How did God help you in writing it, and what did the process teach you about yourself?

One more day, guys & gals!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Love Dare~Day 37 & 38

Day 37~ "Love Agrees in Prayer"

"If two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father." -Matthew 18:19

Today's Dare: (yesterday's day..sorry!)

Ask your spouse if you can begin praying together. Talk about the best time to do this, whether it's in the morning, your lunch hour, or before bedtime. Use this time to commit your concerns, disagreements, and needs before the Lord. Don't forget to thank Him for His provision and blessing. Even if your spouse refuses to do this, resolve to spend this daily time in prayer yourself.

To Journal:

~What can you do to help your mate be willing for the two of you to begin praying together?
~If you agreed to pray together, what was it like?
~What did you learn from it?

Day 38~ "Love fulfills dreams"

"Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart"

Today's Dare:

Ask yourself what your mate would want if it was obtainable. Commit this to prayer, and start mapping out a plan for meeting some (if not all) of their desires, to whatever level you possibly can.

To Journal:

~What has made you resistant to fulfilling your mate's desires in the past?
~How would it chnage your relationship if they knew their dreams were a priority to you?
~What desires are you attempting to meet?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Love Dare~Day 36

"Love is God's Word"

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." -Psalm 119:105

A few notes from today's reading:

~Be in it-If this is not already a habit of yours, now is the time to begin reading a portion of the Bible every day. Those who practice a consistent pattern of reading the Bible soon discover it to be "more desirable than gold, yes than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb." (Psalm 19:10)
~Stay under it-It's so important to be part of a church where the Word is faithfully taught and preached. By hearing it explained in sermons and Bible study classes, you'll get a broader, more balanced view of what God is saying through His Word.
~Live it-The Bible lives because it becomes a part of who you are, how you think, and what you do.

Today's Dare:

Commit to reading the Bible every day. Find a devotional book or other resource that will give you some guidance. If your spouse is open to it, see if they will commit to daily Bible reading with you. Begin submitting each area of your life to its guidance and start building on the Rock.

To Journal:

~What parts of your life are in the greatest need of God's counsel?
~Where do you feel the most susceptible to failure?
~What are you asking God to show you through His Word?