Friday Round Up 300x281 - October Ultimate Marriage Reading Challenge!I’m home from our speaking/RV trip, my laundry’s done, and tonight my brother-in-law gets married!

It’s going to be a good day.

Every Friday I like to post a Round-Up of what’s going on in my life, what was big this week at the blog, and more.

I actually shared some pics and some info of my life yesterday, in my raw post about why my husband and I have had a rough few years (and why our RV trip was such a blessing!). So today I’m just going to share what was big at the blog, and then launch into my October Marriage Reading Challenge!

Here goes:

What’s #1 at To Love, Honor and Vacuum?

Growing Apart as a Couple 150x150 - October Ultimate Marriage Reading Challenge!Why Do Teenagers Rebel1 150x150 - October Ultimate Marriage Reading Challenge!#1 NEW Post on the Blog: Why We Grew Apart (I was really vulnerable here!)
#1 on the Blog Overall: Why I Didn’t Rebel (a post my daughter wrote when she was 19)
#1 on Facebook: 50 Best Marriage Quotes
#1 on Pinterest: Stocking Stuffers for Your Husband (bookmark this for later!)

I Know My Emails Have Been Wonky

If you read my blog via email, or you get the weekly roundups, I know that my emails lately have been wonky if you’re reading them on a phone. I’m really trying to get to the bottom of the problem. The weekly ones will be much easier to fix than the daily ones, but I’m working on it! So please be patient, and sorry for all the hassle! I am trying, but it’s hard to figure out all this coding. And I’d really like for you to be able to read them easily again!

If you don’t get my emails, you can! I send out weekly ones with highlights from the blog, all the new stuff, and what’s been big on social media, as well as monthly themed ones for parenting and marriage. Sign up here.

One of the best things about being signed up: When you open your emails, my newsletter provider makes a note of where you’re from. And then if I’m ever speaking within 100 miles of you, you’ll get an email from me letting you know!

Your October Marriage Reading Challenge

Ultimate Marriage Reading Challenge - October Ultimate Marriage Reading Challenge!

Yesterday I was really vulnerable on this blog. I talked about how my husband and I have had a rough couple of years because of our work. We just haven’t been together enough, and that really does drive you apart.

But earlier in our marriage, even though school and work were still busy, that wasn’t what was pushing us apart. It was all of this CRAP that I had brought into marriage from my childhood (and him from his). We had baggage.

And those past hurts can affect our relationships so much. They often keep us stuck. They make us react ineffectively during conflict, because we’re reacting out of past pain, not current pain. They can wreck our sex lives.

October is going to be all about confronting that pain and dealing with it.

This year I’m challenging everyone to read one book a month all year: that’s just 12 books. That’s not that hard. Keep it in your purse and read it while you’re waiting in line at car pool or in line at the bank. Keep it in the bathroom and read 15 minutes whenever you get a chance. In 10 minutes a night you can usually finish a book in a month. You honestly can do it! And what if these books can give you the tools you need to change your marriage for the better?

With every book I read I usually get one real nugget that sticks with me–one thought or idea that changes everything. Imagine what 12 thoughts or ideas could do for your marriage!

RC2015 October - October Ultimate Marriage Reading Challenge!

So this month I want to challenge you to look your baggage full in the face. Don’t ignore it. Don’t make yourself busy so you don’t have to think about it. Don’t give the excuse, “well, this is just the way I am.”

No! Jesus wants so much more for you.

And Paul says in Philippians 3:13-14 (I used this passage as my main passage at the retreat I spoke at last weekend:

Not that I have already attained it, or have already been made perfect, but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press to the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

I love how he admits that he ISN’T perfect yet. He ISN’T totally healed. But nevertheless he chooses not to dwell on what lies behind, and instead to rush forward at what God has for his life.

And he’s able to do that because, as we learn in verse 10 of that chapter, he seriously knows Jesus.

If you’ve got stuff keeping you back from having an abundant marriage, I’m encouraging you this month to DO SOMETHING about it.

I’ve chosen three books that look at different aspects of baggage, and that can help you move forward. Choose the one that suits your situation, and run with it!

Here they are:

51Ga40Vv LL. SL160  - October Ultimate Marriage Reading Challenge!Lord, Heal My Hurts by Kay Arthur

I did this in a Bible study over 13 years ago–and it really changed my life.

If you’re dealing with bitterness, rejection, or anger, this book will help you to see who you are in Christ and how to move forward.

Who should choose this book: Anyone who likes Bible studies! Kay Arthur is intense about having you study Scripture and glean for yourself the real messages that are in there. In our Bible study we had women dealing with divorces, suicides, mental illness, and childhood abuse. And we all learned so much!

41 zJ62nwTL. SL160  - October Ultimate Marriage Reading Challenge!Kiss Me Again by Barbara Wilson

Do you struggle with feeling truly intimate with your husband because of past sexual experiences before you were married–whether those experiences were wanted or not?

In this book Barbara Wilson takes us through the effects that sex has on our souls, and how sexual abuse and/or promiscuity can really affect our ability to bond with our spouse now. If sex has always been ho hum at best, and you’ve never really been able to be passionate, it could be because you’ve never dealt with the effects of what happened BEFORE you were married (even if what happened was actually WITH your now-husband).

Who should choose this book: Anyone who is struggling with feeling passion, and is wondering if perhaps their past sex life, or past abuse, is the culprit. A great book for finding real passion again!

41r1YPaQr9L. SL160  - October Ultimate Marriage Reading Challenge!Not Marked: Finding Hope and Healing After Sexual Abuse by Mary DeMuth

Do NOT let someone who stole your childhood or teenagehood from you have the power to steal your marriage, too!

If you were sexually abused, you need this book. Mary DeMuth has walked the walk, and she shows you how you can get from a shame-filled reality to a joy-filled reality. And her husband chimes in, too, with advice for men on how to help their wives deal with this.

Who should choose this book: Anyone who still feels stuck because of past sexual abuse. Mary DeMuth is compassionate, real and raw in this book–but she also points you to the way you need to go to find freedom finally.

October Reading Challenge Books - October Ultimate Marriage Reading Challenge!


How to join us for our October Reading Challenge:

  1. Buy one of the books to read.
  2. Join the Facebook Page so you can track new habits with us.
  3. Leave a comment with any question you’d like to ask about dealing with baggage–and I’ll try to deal with them!
  4. Pin this post, share it on Facebook, or tweet about it so more people can be encouraged to read–and change their marriages for the better!

Will you be part of our reading challenge this month to help us finally move forward in freedom?

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