What if some of the aches and pains we experience in marriage could be eased through engaging with God outside the walls of marriage?
Over the years, my husband and I have become increasingly aware of a world that is very different from the one inside our walls.
It’s one of the perks of growing up, I guess; you become more aware of the insufficiencies/excesses around you and feel stirred to help, any way you can.
A few years married now, our “sensitive” nature is much appreciated, but as newlyweds, it was a cause for angst.
For the simple reason it was directed as picking up errors with each other. Trying to fix a person so they can be lovable will cause a lot of fireworks, and it was no different in our relationship.
While traditional wisdom says to focus on your problems until they are all worked out, we found resolution through a much different path.
A few months married, God stirred our hearts to use our experiences to help courting couples.
Soon the courting couples were married couples, and we started an informal small group. Before long, we were part of a team that organized marriage conferences and retreats through our local church.
Helping other couples was hard. Mostly because we identified with the crazy that happens when two imperfect people try to love one another perfectly.
But we saw God used our surrendered brokenness to bring healing and clarity to others.
When couples are going through problems, or simply trying to better a good marriage, conventional wisdom says “focus all your effort on your relationship until it gets better.”
Traditional sense states “hold on to what you have until you have extra” and “until you have enough, don’t give.”
And of course there’s reason in that you can’t give from what you don’t have. There needs to be a desire to grow and a margin before we can pour out.
However, “enough” is a decision we make.
What we call “margin” and “enough” and “extra” are simply a matter of choice and priorities. (Click here to Tweet)
A few years ago, my husband and I were introduced to an amazing couple in rural Kenya who made a decision to step outside their comfort and welcome orphaned children from the neighborhood into their home.
For years, the “orphanage” was simply their home.
Every month, for the last fifteen years, they have trusted God to feed, clothe, heal and educate their 48 children, ranging in age from six to seventeen years.
They don’t have regular patrons/donors, only a big faith that God will come through every month. (Watch a part of their story here)
We had just completed an international move when we connected with Abel and Jane and much as we wanted to help and support, we were maxed out, in every possible way.
Or so I thought.
God asked me to take a closer look.
I had a mouth. A few new friends. A small online platform. Ability to fore go a few basics to find financial margin.
In our journey to step outside our marriage, I have learned that the only thing God consistently requires of us is complete trust and surrender. To believe that it’s not about our little but His bigness and enoughness.
Today I am excited to officially launch the first Intentional Today line of products, the “Mrs” line of T shirts and Tote-bags!
I am so thrilled because these bags and T shirts are not just a gorgeous way to remember “I love being married” but also a way to help us engage with the world outside our marriage.
They are not your ordinary Tees and Totes; each piece is a unique and original work of art, hand painted by a San Antonio-based artist and my friend, Jasmin.
I was a little anxious before the launch, fiddling around, waiting to have more product, more perfect.
Then this happened
The boys and girls from Keumbu orphanage braved the heat and dust of the Kenyan sun to march for what they do not have; food, school uniform and shoes, a water tank, beddings, mattresses, eating utensils and cooking pots.
They hoped to raise $2,750.
They raised $400.
It went to purchasing food.
I had to launch.
The “Mrs” line of Tshirts and Totes are not just another Tshirt or bag to add to a wardrobe but a way to come alongside forty-eight children, eight thousand miles away and whisper “I see you, You matter”
As newlyweds, God redirected our focus;
From trying to fix each other to be happy to helping others find their healing and happiness and in the process finding our own healing and happiness.
Four years ago, God asked us to step outside our inadequacy and trust Him to do the impossible. And He did.
I invite you to consider how you can enlarge your vision as a couple and engage in what God is doing outside your walls.
To celebrate the launch, my friend Jasmin (the artist) is giving away a hand painted “Love” Tote bag, to one reader this week! I am adding a copy of my book “Blues to Bliss” to the giveaway. Giveaway closes 31st March.
To stand a chance to win the Tote bag or book, all you have to do is share this blog post on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook and use the hashtag #IntentionalTodayGiveaway so I can find you.
We cannot create a happy marriage while nursing a negative attitude.
As wives, it’s crucial to shift from “marriage is a burden/trial/pain e.t.c” to “my husband is a blessing.”
And often the mind-shift we need does not proceed out of fixating on our marriage problems, but on stepping outside and engaging in what God is doing elsewhere.
Whether that is noticing the good side of your husband or tending to needs outside your relationship. Giving works.
The Mrs. Tote and T-shirt get you looking good, remind others of the blessing of marriage (because the cute Tee and Tote are a conversation starter!) and take care of orphans, all in one action. How cool is that?
And I love that the Tshirts and Totes are a unique, original piece of art; hand-painted by the artist. Doesn’t that remind you of marriage?
Unique, original and put together by our Creator?
But Ngina, I don’t need another T shirt and Tote bag.
Can I share what the Lord has taught me over the years?
Giving is not always about me.
It’s about what it means to someone else.
It’s not about needing another item of clothing but about what our generosity (purchase) means to a child; food, water, clothing.
What you can do
1. Pray for Pastor Abel and Jane and the kids. For their needs to be met, including this $2,750 to purchase school uniform and shoes, bedding and mattresses, utensils and cooking pots, and a water tank.
2. Purchase a Tshirt and Tote to answer their prayer
3. Spread the word on social media and stand a chance to win “Love” Tote bag and “Blues to Bliss” book
- Click here to find/share the post on Facebook
- Click here to Pin on Pinterest
- Click here to Tweet – >( “Find out how to make a difference in your marriage & a Child’s life! And a Fun Giveaway! #IntentionalTodayGiveaway)
- Right-click, any of the images, to download and share them on Instagram
Remember to use hashtag #intentionaltodaygiveaway so I can find you.
4. Tell your friends and family about this opportunity to celebrate marriage and fund worthy cause
5. Consider buying a Tshirt and Tote to give away at a bridal shower or wedding gift.
Blessings upon your marriage,
Ps. If you have any questions, you can get in touch with me here.
Purchase your Tshirt/Tote bag here.
Ps. Tote bag giveaway is open to readers with American/Canadian mailing addresses. Hard copy of the book may be swiped with a Kindle version for international readers.