Should I Write Letters to My Future Husband?

Anastasis Faith
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Writing letters to your future husband is a way I’ve heard that many girls deal with their desire to have a guy right then.
I’ve done it. I haven’t written many, but I’ve written a few.
Potentially, this could be a wonderful wedding gift for your future husband.
Potentially, however, this could not go down as you expected.
It all depends on the guy you marry.
Of course us, as ladies, would LOOOOOVE to get a stack of letters from our future husbands that they had written before they knew us. Yes, we would all be like, “AWWWWWWW!”
But you cannot forget that guys are different then we are. To be quite honest, he might look at that stack and say, “Good grief, I’m not reading all that.”
Or you might get a husband who starts reading them, but forgets part way through and leaves them in a closet. 
Then again, you may get a guy who picks up and reads every single letter.
My point is that there are many different types of men out there.
You don’t know which one you’re going to get.
If you want to write letters to your future husband, then go for it. But do not attach your heart to those letters. Do not expect him to treasure them. If he does, then what wonderful gift! But if he doesn’t, be ready.
Do not destroy the joy of being a newlywed because you’re upset that he never read your letters.
Just because he didn’t read your letters doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. He just expresses and receives that love very differently.

P.S. A guy will typically find less appeal in a letter that’s more like a journal of yours than a letter. So keep that in mind as you write.

Do you write letters to your future husband? If so, when did you start? Why did you start? If you don’t write letters, is there something else that you do? Or do you think all of that is stupid? Share in the comments! :)

Practical Tips for Entering the New Year Part 3: Give Thanks!

Anastasis Faith

How can I approach change with the right mindset?

Part 1 of this mini-series was about joy, and part 2 was about prayer. In this final installment, I want to talk about the last part of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. How can we give thanks in all of our circumstances, even if they aren’t ideal?

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Part 3: Give Thanks

    The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines thankful as being “conscious of benefit received; expressive of thanks; or well-pleased.” I can think of times when I have expressed thanks in all those ways. When I receive gifts, I am thankful to the person who gave it to me. When someone goes out of their way to help me or make time for me, I feel thankful towards them. When something works out in my favor or I succeed on a task, I am thankful for the work and effort that caused the results.

    A lot of times, when we think of being thankful, we picture it circumstantially: we are thankful for moments, for people, for events. While this is a good habit, what about the times when the moments, people and events don’t naturally make us feel thankful—when events are cancelled, when people fail us, when moments are disappointing? Rightly, we may feel some sadness about those circumstances. How can God expect us to “give thanks in all circumstances” when sometimes the circumstances don’t evoke in us a sense of thankfulness?

    Paul, the author of 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, shares this command with us even though he has been in some pretty awful circumstances. His whole life was flipped upside down when he left his old lifestyle and embraced the Gospel. His conversion led to a life of travelling, preaching, being persecuted and spending plenty of time imprisoned for his faith. Yet in almost every book in the New Testament that Paul wrote, he mentioned joy and gratefulness. His joy came not from his circumstances, but from his God.

    The three actions of this verse—rejoice, pray, give thanks—are connected. Paul can rightly command us to give thanks in all circumstances, because ultimately it is not about the circumstances, but about the God who saved us and gives us every reason to rejoice. Prayer helps us to refocus our minds on fellowshipping and worshipping God, reminds us of what He has done in our lives, and is an avenue for us to express our thankfulness to Him.

“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:56-57

Maybe this year will bring you success in your goals, exciting new opportunities, and strength to break free of old and sinful habits. Rejoice in your triumphs, pray to God for direction, and be grateful! But maybe, this year will not bring anything new or exciting. Maybe it will bring hardships and failures and bad news, maybe your temptations and sins will seem especially burdensome and hard to escape. Still, I urge you to rejoice, pray, and give thanks to God, for that is what He desires from us.

And if you are a normal human, then I expect this coming year will be full of ups and downs, successes and failures, temptations and the strength to endure them, spiritual growth and times of stagnant faith.

My appeal to you is this: whether change happens or doesn’t, whether you have trials or triumphs this year, let your hope be fixed on something much steadier than your own circumstances. Remember your standing before God and all He has done and will do in your life:

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 
who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Psalm 103:3-5

Whatever happens this year, choose to rejoice in the Lord, choose prayer, and choose thankfulness! This is the will of God for those who are in Christ Jesus! (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Brittanie is a recent college graduate, new wife, and expectant mother! She enjoys spending time with family, serving her church, and encouraging her friends. You can follow her on Instagram: @djbritbrit
What goals/plans will you make to give thanks this year? Share in the comments!

Practical Tips for Entering the New Year, Part 2: Pray!

Anastasis Faith

How can I change my life?

New things are often exciting, because they bring the chance for a fresh start. New journals with hundreds of blank pages waiting to be filled, new places to visit and explore, new years that hold 365 days of possibility, growth, and change.
But new things can also be overwhelming. Pretty much every time I open a new, spotless journal, I get nervous that I’ll mess up the pages or that I won’t be able to fill it up or that I’ll lose it, or any number of things. And when I’m in a new place, a small part of my mind always wanders to the worst-case scenarios: what if my car breaks down? what if my phone dies and I get lost? what if I get KIDNAPPED?!?!
A new year can also be overwhelming. With all the talk of change and goals and accomplishments, there is a small voice that questions those possibilities. Maybe there is something you really want to accomplish, but honestly don’t know how.
Part 1 of this mini-series gave tips on how to approach your resolutions with joy. Today, I want to encourage you to approach your resolutions with prayer.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Part 2: Pray Without Ceasing

            When I was thinking about what I wanted to see happen in my life this year, they all seemed like admirable things: read the Bible all the way through, get my home more organized, love and serve my husband better, spend more time with family. Your list probably looks a little bit different, but with some of the same ideas I assume. The basic theme I have realized in making resolutions or setting goals is that they all tend to place an emphasis on growth.

·         We want to grow in our walk with Christ, so we aim to read the Bible more, develop a deeper prayer life, serve with our gifts and our time, and learn about Him in Bible study.
·         We want to grow personally, so we try to add discipline to our lives (cleaning, studying, exercising, etc.).
·         We want to grow in our relationships with others, so we vow to write more letters, send more texts, make more phone calls, and set up more coffee and lunch dates.

Maybe your resolutions follow that pattern of change as well, or maybe not. Or maybe you don’t even have any resolutions, which is also fine! Regardless of what you have or haven’t proposed to do, God has a plan for your life. If you are in Him, then that plan involves growth and spiritual maturity. “How can I know what His will is for my life? How can I know if my goals line up with His plans?” Well, I’m glad you asked! J

Prayer is how we learn the will of God. Prayer is how we interact with God and ask for His wisdom and guidance. Prayer might even be one of your New Year’s Resolutions!

When we lay our hearts before God, asking Him to examine us and our motives, things will start to change. He will teach us more about Himself, He will lead us to the plans and people and projects He has set before us, and He will guide us in true, lasting growth. He will give us the wisdom to examine our own lives and see if they line up with His will, and He will give us the grace to make Godly changes in our life.

Here is an example of how to incorporate prayer into your resolutions. I want to read through the whole Bible this year. On my own, I could probably do it, but it probably wouldn’t be as effective as it should. I would need a lot of self-discipline, a set apart time each day to read, and the will power to not quit when I inevitably get behind a few days.
Instead of doing it on my own, I wrote this prayer that I will try to pray before I do my daily readings: Lord, please grant me a greater love of Your Word and a strong desire to read it. Help me to value Your Word as living and active, and help me to grow in discipline by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank You for giving us The Bible as a means to know You more deeply and to help us grow in the image of Christ. Amen

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

Brittanie is a recent college graduate, new wife, and expectant mother! She enjoys spending time with family, serving her church, and encouraging her friends. You can follow her on Instagram: @djbritbrit

Did you set a New Year’s Resolution to pray more this year? Do you have any practical tips on how to make prayer a daily part of your life? Share with us in the comments!

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