July 6, 2016

The Importance of Protecting Your Marriage...

It has been over a week since I have sat in this chair, staring at this screen, and tried to find words.  Lately, He's calling me to Silence and the flow of writing is slower, shall we say. Because of that, and because He is still calling me to a 'glorious lack of productivity' (His words... not yet mine!) I am linking up with all the places, so this post will graciously be --or at least start!-- in classic Five Minute Friday form.

I have missed you, but it turns out that God didn't want me to just WRITE about Rest. He wasn't asking me to just remind you guys again and again, but He was wanting me to literally slow and stop and actually do the work of entering in to His Rest for a time! 
How many know and can attest that sometimes it really IS work to enter in?

It was like a little mini refresher course of what I learned during my Summer of Silence and there is freedom in remembering that social media or the internet is not the boss of us!

In my Resting... He is reminding me of the importance of protecting the relationships that mean the most to us - and to Him (...and how we best go about doing that!)

I'll give you a hint: it includes expressing thankfulness, speaking life, and knowing (and remembering) who you really are! 

This enables you to bring your best self to the table!

We'll start off like this:  This is Five Minute Friday (- a five minute timed free write) and our One Word Prompt for the day is: PROTECT


I know... I know! I saw the prompt and with 4th of July on the calendar, I knew I could easily go in that direction! Because, of course! Of course I am thankful for all who have laid down their lives, who sacrifice daily - both here and overseas, to protect the freedoms I can so easily take for granted.

I could... 

But what the Lord has been reminding me of during these past few weeks is how vitally important relationships are to Him.  Ours with Him... first, of course! Individually... He is so for us... He is all in and never withholds His goodness or love. 

But our earthly relationships matter to Him as well!  Our marriages and our families... our communities and neighborhoods... 

Relationships matter to Him because people matter.

We are called to protect the way our hearts are intertwined here on earth. We are made for connection and we really are supposed to be better together. But this world can pull at you and push you around.

Words can wound and hurts don't always heal the way we expect them too.  It takes work to make a marriage (or friendship or relationship) thrive.

But thrive is what we all desire, yes?

I know I do... in all of my relationships, but in my marriage especially.  I will focus in on that, but please don't check out if you are single... these truths relate to all of our connections!

In my marriage, well... I am blessed - like,
it's ridiculous, y'all! 
My Honey is amazing! He takes such great care of me and my heart and our life. I never question if we are a priority for him.

But ministry can be hard! I will just say: Starting a church is no joke on your marriage!

We are solid and strong, --even better for it, I dare say, but a couple of months ago we endured the hardest, longest, painfully-quietest, most wounded and walled-up weekend E-V-E-R of our twenty five years of being together!

It was hard... and heartbreaking... and lonely - even when we determined to stay in the room together...but we DID stay in the room.

In the end, what bridged the gap and brought our wounded hearts slamming back into each other was the realization that, no matter what, --we win because we are all in...with no holding back. We win when we remember that we are one.  

If we have to lay things down, we are willing. 

If we 'fail'  or face trials outside of us, we know that we will survive because we will do it together.


And with that, we remembered to Speak Life into to each other... to say the things that we love and cherish and are Oh So Thankful for --you know, OUT LOUD and to each other, not just about each other! (So often we remember to do this with our friends, our sisters, even our leaders... but our spouses or those closest to us? We can forget to say these things on purpose!)

That weekend, we were also reminded to protect our true identities... to let him be him, and let me be me... to not take on things that steal away or push aside our true selves and more than anything else - to be sure that we remember that we are one... I have his back and he has mine. 


We had a situation arise at the onset of that weekend where things had been building up over time and conclusions were drawn on all sides without actual communicating. (This should always be a red flag, yes?) Words can be said aloud, but communication requires more than that.

As I said, what brought us back to center was remembering that when it is all said and done... it is just us two (-becoming-one.)

At the end of every day... it's us.  
It has to be us. 

So we chose words on purpose and we talked it through and we remembered the importance of protecting our relationship... of not just standing beside but of standing with... 

We remembered the value of being thankful. We count gifts, one by one -- and we are remembering to do it out loud, side by side or shoulder to shoulder, always heart to heart!

In the past year of juggling transitioning to empty nesters, starting a new church, balancing a full time job (him), a part time non-paying job (me... here.), and both volunteering for full time ministry... well - even though we have a solid foundation in being one and in knowing our true identities... the push and pull can cause you to make little shifts or exceptions to who you really are in order to meet the needs. 

If you are not careful, you can find yourself overwhelmed and careening toward burn out... 

We must pay attention and stay present. We must spend enough time, with each other and with the Lord, in the quiet in order to recognize when the noise is too much and the busyness, too bossy.

This life is fast-paced and it can scream at you with needs, lists of things to do, and with all kinds of busy. There are seasons when you are called to that, sure. But even in those times, protecting the connections that hold your heart is vital. 

Sometimes it is hard work,
but always it is holy. 

It's important because it is these very relationships that feed your soul and refuel your tank.

The Lord is still speaking to me about the difference between building walls and laying boundaries.  I realized over that weekend that there were boundaries we had not yet laid, and once they had been crossed, there were walls erecting at lightning speed around my heart. 

Listen, sweet friends, there was nothing hard or holy about it.

There is a time and place for self-protection. There is. But when your flesh is the boss of you and offense or wounds are stacking walls up high... we must stop the building and simply breathe.

In the midst of marriage, or those close friendships where intimacy has been cultivated and trust has grown...
Walls are dangerous and divisive. 

Boundaries may need protecting, but walls close off, cut off, and cage off the gateways that bring healing and wholeness... that can bridge the gap and breathe new life.

So the importance of protecting your marriage is for the both of you and the best way to go about it is on a daily basis!

Protect it by speaking life, by giving thanks and being grateful for the good in each other and in your life that you are living. 
Protect the relationship by learning, being, and staying true to who you really are, and allowing room for grace to abound and for love to gently pull you back to center when the current of life knocks you off course!

And always, 
...Always remember to:

Linking up with Kate Motaung and the #fmfparty Community today.  Five Minute Fridays gives us the chance to dive right in and share what He puts on our hearts! Click HERE to read what others have to say about: "PROTECT"

The FMF lowdown: The gathering happens on Twitter on Thursday nights & then we write our hearts out & hit publish all over the interwebs on Thursday & Friday (& sometimes on Tuesdays!) It's where we encourage & uplift... where we share prayer requests & praise reports... where we talk food & friends & we find support & kindred hearts. It's where we are reminded that life is good & God is good & we're not alone... & then we all write for five minutes flat, a flash mob of wordsmiths letting our hearts & our fingers do the talking tapping & we hit publish before we can second guess it all away. We'd love to have you join us!

I'm also linking up with the lovely writers and communities listed and linked below :

#FreshMarketFriday... how adorable is that?

and #LetUsGrow

Kelly Chripczuk  for #SmallWonders 

Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday

Kelly Balarie for #RaRaLinkUp

Holley Gerth for #CoffeeForYourHeart

Lori Schumaker for #MomentsofHope

Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory


  1. So much THIS: "In my Resting... He is reminding me of the importance of protecting the relationships that mean the most to us - and to Him (...and how we best go about doing that!)" Yes! Your post also made me think of one of my fave quotes by Elie Wiesel "God created people because God loves story." I'm so thankful for the amazing relationships God has placed in my life. You, my friend, are a blessing and a gift. I've missed you all, but it was so good to disconnect and be in one of my fave places...the Colorado Rocky Mountains with some of my fave people.

    1. Ah yes... you were missed, but we knew you were getting refueled in other (mostly -non-peopley) ways! ;)

  2. Karilee, your message has moved me to tears because I can so identify with the hard, but holy work of marriage, "realization that, no matter what, --we win because we are all in...with no holding back. We win when we remember that we are one. specially in ministry..yes! And if we need to get help remembering we are one and re-learning how to speak life, then so be it! This is so full of healing balm for all! Thank you!! Crystal~

    1. Yes and Amen... and I love your point in saying if we need to get help remembering... then so be it! Thanks so much for stopping by, Crystal!

  3. Love love love Karrilee! Wonderful read and life lesson!

    1. Thanks so much, Tammy! It's always so good to see you here, my friend! xoxo

  4. Karrilee,
    Yes, yes, and YES! There is so much about this I love. My husband and I went through a very difficult patch about a year ago that so reminded me of what you wrote:

    In the end, what bridged the gap and brought our wounded hearts slamming back into each other was the realization that, no matter what, --we win because we are all in...with no holding back. We win when we remember that we are one.

    Then the next step was all the boundaries and walls that had to be reconstructed correctly. Boundaries - yest, but walls - no.

    I'm praying for your time of rest and want you to know that it has been an inspiration for me, as well, to intentionally rest. It's not easy for this girl until my health knocks me out. But I'm learning to rest consistently. Not just when I end up sick! We have had a quiet week in the mountains and it has been so good for our family.

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart and hope with us at #MomentsofHope! You are a blessing!

    Blessings and smiles,

    1. Lori - thanks so much! You know when you fight with the Lord about what He wants you to write and so it takes days but you both know in the end He will win? Well... yeah. That. So I am so glad that it resonated! I felt a little whiny because it really was just a weekend... but it could have gone on so much longer, with so much damage, if we wouldn't have remembered what to do!

      I am loving the community over at #MomentsofHope... thanks so much for inviting me to join in!


    2. Thanks so much, Karrilee! You most certainly did not come off whiny! You totally resonated! I'm so glad you gave in and let the Lord do His work ;-)

  5. Karrilee, what a powerful post. :) Yes, we have already won because we are ONE. And yes, words of life to and about each other are crucial. It sounds like you and your guy have an amazing relationship!!

    1. Thanks so much, Jeanne! We really do have an amazing relationship and we rarely ever fight... I know? It's not normal and most of the time I think I am not taking it for granted, but then we get hit with an attack and realize how blessed we really are. I think so often in marriage - we forgot the vital importance of SAYING the positive things that we love and are thankful for about our partners... (and sex. We forget about the vital importance of sex, too!) ;)

  6. I loved having you visit me to remind me to come out of my summertime break to connect with you who always touches me with your words, this one is deep and rich and true and beautiful! I'm amazed how emotionally articulate you are in your five minute posts, how you can go real deep down into your human emotions, but I always feel God in your writing holding your vulnerabilities and helping make sense of them with God's guidance. Always you lead us to the path of truth and love. Your heartfelt struggle with your husband reminds me of those times with mine when things are hard, and you remind me to hold each other again in the embrace of God's oneness.. so beautiful Karrilee. What a gift you gave me today. I hope to visit you again this summer to check in to say hi! You warm my heart with your abidingloveaboundinggrace..Hugs!

    1. Aw... you are so sweet, my friend! You are welcome here any. time. xoxo

  7. This is a beautiful and inspiring post. I'll keep this in mind.

  8. I am so glad that I found this today. Thank you for the reminder that boundaries are good, but walls are bad. I hope you have a lovely weekend!


Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!

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