Preparing for Marriage: Power of Agreeing with Truth

I’ve started a single women’s prayer group called Esther Club focused on preparing hearts for marriage. Though most of the ladies in the group joined the small group with a desire for their earthly marriage (which isn’t a bad thing at all), my desire is to partner with the Lord to set their eyes upon and prepare them for their eternal marriage to Christ in addition to their earthly marriage.

Photo Credit: 藍川芥 aikawake

I remember when I first joined Becky’s women’s group which we fondly called WOTTs (Women of Titus Two: after Elisabeth Elliott’s call for older women to shepherd and mother younger women), I was jaded, anxious and bitter. Though perhaps I didn’t appear that way on the outside, but that was truly where I was at on the inside. I lacked peace and didn’t trust God’s goodness too much.

Then through the weeks that turned into months and the months that turned into two plus years, the continual realignment with the truth of God, being called again and again out of my double mindedness (James 1:1-8) back to truth transformed me. Becky’s wisdom and anointing as a spiritual mother to us little chicks, the testimonies of other ladies in our small group firmly established me more and more on the Rock that is higher than I, the Rock that can’t be shaken.
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A Prayer of Blessing for our Marriage

Praying for your marriage and husband is both powerful and essential. Coming into agreement with God’s desire to bless one’s marriage through prayer aligns your heart with the truth that He is for us not against us. The act of prayer is powerful warfare against the accusations and schemes of the enemy who tries to steal, kill and destroy…his efforts of trying to deceive us into believing we are utterly alone.

I found a wonderful prayer for marriage/husband on the Unveiled Wife website and tweaked it a little to tailor it to what I would like to pray over my own marriage and over Dustin. I encourage you to pray this over your own marriage. God loves to bless marriages and help us grow in loving our husband as He loves them. To download the PDF version, just click here!

photo credit: Adam Hanly

God,
Thank you for your unconditional and faithful love for me. I am so undeserving, yet You pursue me daily! Thank you for your grace and for your perfect provision which You pour upon my life everyday. My life is a testimony of Your goodness, kindness and mercy. I am so blessed and grateful for my life and for my husband’s life. Thank You for trusting us with each other’s hearts, blessing us with the covenant of marriage. You have given us an opportunity to love each other unconditionally and sometimes that is hard to do, but I ask Lord that you would help us to love like You love. I admit that I can’t do it myself, but in You there is more than enough love and strength. You are our source of life, joy, peace and love. Continue reading “A Prayer of Blessing for our Marriage”

The Truth About Marriage

How’s married life going? I’ve been asked this questions multiple times since getting married. My response? “Awesome!”

I remember this one particular time when my friend asked me this question and I gave her my usual, “it’s awesome!” response to which she replied, “that’s SO refreshing to hear!”

photo credit: adam hanly

I grew up surrounded by hearing complaints about marriage, how bad it’s going, the many ways of how men mistreat women and it freaked me out. Marriage sounded like a tortuous dungeon that I did not want to venture into. Yet, I wasn’t able to arrest my heart from desiring it.

In order to prevent the same pains from venturing into my own life and heart, I listened attentively whenever someone was sharing about marriage and relationships. I picked up many books on marriage from the infamous “how to kiss dating goodbye” to the classic, “passion and purity.” Yet my heart was still filled with questions, wonderings and fears regarding marriage.
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Being Married: Happy Surprises

It’s not what I thought it would be, it’s much better. Being married (finally) I was so happily surprised by how marriage is so fun and such a joy!

photo credit: Nishanth Jois

At first I was worried that I wouldn’t have my own space or time to be by myself amongst other things, but all the fears I had, all the false assumptions I had of what marriage is, got blown right out of the waters.

Being able to hang out with your best friend all the time, embrace and enjoy each other’s company……….laugh together and have fun together…..it’s changed me as a person. I felt that the Lord, through our marriage, took me even deeper into His love for me and His delight over me. My feet became more firmly planted upon His truth…my heart grew in belief more and more, that God IS good!

One of the greatest blessings of marriage? Is witnessing God’s faithfulness and love. When I see that Dustin doesn’t reject me or give up on me when faced with my brokenness and weaknesses day in and day out, my eyes and heart are opened a bit more to receive freely Christ’s love for me. Let God love me as I really am.

This is what the Lord desires to give you! And it is His delight to give you good gifts! Rejoice in this truth.

Though not all marriages look the same (and I am in no way saying that everyone’s marriage needs to look like ours), though not all of our times are easy (and yes we do get into arguments from time to time)….but the truth even in the midst of turmoil whether you’re single, dating or married, is that God is there and there is hope! Who knows how He is going to transform all of our ashes into beauty, our mourning into joy. He does make all things beautiful in His time! That is the truth!

I pray that the little snippets from our marriage, gives you the light of God’s hope. He reigns over your life!

Unveiled Wife: great site aimed at encouraging wives

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Came across this site this morning while googling for prayers for pray over Dustin. Aimed at encouraging wives with truth and honesty, Jennifer Smith builds up women in their calling as wives. I encourage you to read through this site and share it with others you believe would be blessed by its content!

One of the Most Beautiful Love Stories: Dustin’s Parents

When Dustin shared with me his parent’s love story, I was deeply touched. I’ve been trying to get a hold of the article Dustin’s mom, Barbara, wrote for a contest in the Ladies’ Home Journal. As a result of winning the essay contest, her and Dave, Dustin’s parents won a trip to London to meet Margaret Thatcher in addition to many other wonderful prizes. Below is the story. Read it and you’ll see. God writes the best love stories. 

I couldn’t help but tear up as I finished the article. This is the Bridegroom heart of God for us. He is not easily angered, but so patient in loving and washing us with His love and Word. So faithful in convincing us of the truth, we are His beloved. 

p.s. I’m going to Chicago for a week, then to Minnesota for another support raising trip so I’ll be M.I.A for the next two weeks. I’ll try to post when I can…maybe just some instagram photos. Blessings to you all and pray for our trip if you feel led! 

MarriageMondays: The Incredible Worth of A Woman

Every year, on Mother’s day weekend, Mike Bickle preaches his message titled, “The Incredible Worth of a Woman.” 

It wasn’t until the end of the message when the Lord touched me with the revelation of His Bridegroom heart. Mike gave an invitation to husbands and men that are engaged to come to the front to commit to honoring and cherishing their wives.

I myself didn’t feel it necessary that Dustin go up there and commit to honoring me since I felt he already does such a great job loving me as my husband. But as he got up unashamedly to answer the altar call, my heart was moved by God’s Bridegroom heart for me. 

God whispered to my heart, “Sunny, I value and honor you so much. You are my Bride, and I will take a stand for you. I am not ashamed to show the world my love for you.” I tried to hold back my tears to no avail. My heart was moved by my Bridegroom’s love. 

Mike then invited women to come and pray for and bless these men. As I put my hand on the shoulder of an older gentleman, I looked around at all these married men who are taking a stand to cherish their wives as Christ cherishes the church, my heart was moved once again. 

Oftentimes the world portrays and encourages men to be chauvinistic, macho hulks that barrel women over. Many times that’s what women experience growing up and in their lives. But last night before me was a vision of the true desire of God, for husands to cherish their wives and for marriages that proclaim Christ’s love for His Bride to the world. 

A woman’s desire to be cherished, honored and taken care of are good. These are godly desires that our Father in Heaven put in our hearts. God is raising up sons who reflect their Abba’s heart for His daughters. As we ourselves embrace Biblical feminity, we in turn are calling godly men forth, giving them opportunities to be who the Lord called them to be as men. 

Lord, grant us grace to embrace the role You’ve ordained for us. 

Click here for Mike Bickle’s notes from last night’s message.

MarriageMondays: Learning Christ Love through Receiving My Husband’s Love

As I look at Dustin, I can’t help but be thankful for how generously the Lord has blessed us both. He’s led us so perfectly and faithfully throughout our single lives and now in our marriage. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of lights, in whom there is no shadow of turning (James 1:17). He doesn’t play with our hearts, He doesn’t leave us alone to figure things out for ourselves, but He is our ever present help (Ps. 46:1). 

Even as I post these pictures from our honeymoon, I can’t help but laugh at the insecurities that arose in my heart during our time in Taiwan. Our honeymoon was the first time we were together all the time. Prior to our honeymoon, Dustin was busy serving on staff at IHOP-kc and I was preoccupied with wedding planning. With a sudden increase of time together, I was unsure of how Dustin would feel towards me. Despite my insecurities and anxieties, time and time again, Dustin would look into my eyes and remind me that he loves me and embrace me with comfort. Dustin has and continues to be a faithful reminder to me of the truth, giving me strength and courage to chase away the lies. 

Such is Christ’s love for us, His Bride. He desires that we would turn from our shameful downward and inward gaze into His eyes burning with love for us. How often do we look and seek the Lord’s constant faithful love when we feel that we have fallen short? Are we confident that the Lord laid down His life to do that which we can never do for ourselves?

Help us Father to stand on the firm foundation of Your finished work. Root and ground us with confidence in Your unchanging love towards us. It is Your love that heals, transforms and takes us from glory to glory. Lift our eyes up to gaze into Yours today.  

MarriageMondays: Honeymooning @ Jiaosi

Sometimes I feel a little guilty dragging you guys along with me in reliving my honeymoon. But then I get over it hehehe. I mean, what else is a girl suppose to do with all these beautiful photos and memories? Good things are best when enjoyed with others right? 🙂

So in my previous post on our stop in Jiaosi on our honeymoon, I didn’t get to post much on the food we enjoyed during our stay there. Since it is Taiwan, the nation of endless supply of unique and delicious food, I felt that it was my duty to share with you what we ate. 

What we ate while in Jiaosi…and all over Taiwan:

little cakes with some coffee from 85 degrees Celsius. This store is a Taiwanese national chain with the exception of the two stores in Los Angeles California that is sadly far away from me. Or is it a good thing…I am trying to eat healthy now. 

some local specialties that are cooked in the hot spring water (I think?). We were served these choices to go with our congee (稀飯)at the hotel we stayed at. But after awhile, the server figured out that Dustin and I didn’t like most of these things which included chicken liver : P 

We also enjoyed some local fresh vegies!!! These are my favorites!

I introduced Dustin to my favorite ice cream bar in Taiwan. It has carmel ice cream sandwiched inside of thin waffle layers. So good!

 

Dustin, an avid ice cream fan also approved of my choice

I stopped by the Lore Dong night market with my friend Pauline which is a night market in a nearby town famous for all the good eats. But then again, is any town in Taiwan not famous for its food? Hm…I don’t think so. 

Dustin decided to pass since we would mainly be shopping and eating strange exotic things hehehe.

Here’s a shot of the night market. Basically, what a night market is: 1) takes place at night (duh) 2) has lots of good food 3) great shopping 4) where lots of Taiwanese kids like to hang out at night. 

We stopped by to get ourselves a bowl of Dong Gui (當歸)noodle soup which is a soup made from Chinese medicine that is beneficial for your health. 

Here’s a picture of the delicious soup which comes with cellophane noodles (also known as glass noodles, bean thread noodles, Chinese vermicelli. It’s made from beans or yam starch) and slices of tender lamb meat. It’s making me hungry just looking at it…yum….

Pauline really enjoyed it. 

Of course no night market trip is complete without oyster omelets! 

Oyster omelets are made with eggs, some veggies, cornstarch and oysters. It’s topped with a Taiwanese style ketchup, basically a lot sweeter than the ketchup in America with a bit of a spicy kick to it.

Ok, you can stop salivating now. I’ll leave you alone til next week…mwhahaa…..