Here is Rachel's testimony on her 30 Day Challenge. I'm sure it will encourage you.
I have to admit that I tweaked my "30 Day Challenge" to suit my own struggles. I think it has mostly helped me to be more aware of just how much really needs to be said. My intention has always been to be kind to my hubby and build him up, not tear him down. He needs all he can get. I can't say though that I've always been perfect at this though ;). I remember one time calling him a big dummy to his face and meaning it with all my heart (and he's graduated college twice!). I can honestly say that I remember only one time of talking about my husband with ill intent and that was to my Mom on a night of sheer exhaustion after having my second child. Yeah, I talk about him, but just the normal stuff and some of my own frustrations. I would not want to be the cause of my children or anyone else losing confindence in him, and quite honestly, I don't have that much to complain about. Although I'm sure I could dig up something! We are united, if I talk badly about him, I'm tearing myself down also.My challenge was in two areas with my big mouth:
1. Saying too much to my hubby: I have tried hard over the last year or so to quit bombarding my husband with information that is irrelevant to him or rambling on like he was some kind of therapist or something. Not everything that pops into my head needs to come out of my mouth. Although he does a great job listening and loves our nightly chat sessions, I do not need to be the dominant talker!! I have also tried harder at not interrupting him (or others for that mattter!) I have also tried to do a much better job of respecting how he likes to be told things. For example, he does not like to be told more than two days in advance what is going on in the home or with the children. His preference is to be told the day before. I am the manager (and a woman!!), so I have tons of information and schedules swarming around in my head about the children and the Church and I have often expected him to keep up while he's already overwhelmed in the moment. I am purposely not saying a word until the night before. It is hard for me though because I get fearful that he's not on the same track as me. But you know what, it always works out!
and 2. Saying too much to explain or defend him. This has always been a burden to me. I get to protective of my husband and at the slightest little sign of trouble I go into defense overdrive. This makes me crazy and is a burden that is contrary to what God wants. God will protect and defend my husband, it is not my job! Sometimes people can be petty, or misinformed, can 't handle boundaries, or just plain mean and I am compeled to "set the record straight". Within the last 30days, I was so proud of handling a situation without my big mouth being involved. A woman from our church had come up to my office to tell me that my husband said she had to stop going through some things in the Fellowship Hall (with my permission, she was collecting things for our Summer Play). My first reaction was to explain all about Paul and all the possibe reasons why he would've said that to her, even though I had no clue! But I remembered, that the conversation between the two of them had nothing to do with me! (Butt out Rachel!!) So I told her, you need to go to him if you're upset. She wouldn't go, instead I overheard her in the hallway telling someone else!! Clearly making a mountain out of a mole hill! So I went out and nicely (despite my annoyance!) said, "" you still need to go to Paul. She seemed anxious about it, as she is still new to practicing healthy Christian relationships. So I said, come on we'll go talk to him together. So we went to him, I basically spoke for her and Paul said "" I need the Fellowship Hall for confidential interviews. She got the answer she needed and realized it wasn't because Paul didn't like her or was trying to get rid of her like she had chosen to believe. All was well, and I thought "okay Rachel... just keep practicing not taking on things that aren't your own". It was a good lesson for me to not "defend or explain my husband" especially since I have a bad habit of saying to much! I am still trying daily to stop acting like I owe everyone an answer. I failed big time though when I told 2 of our staff that Paul was under the influence of drugs from a root canal and needed to go home early. I only said it because I would hate for them to think he was lazy for going home early one afternoon. It was none of their business and my motivation was not pure. They are our staff, and although we are friendly to them, they are not our friends. Paul is so much better at not caring what people think! Why should I put more effort into it than him?!?
So friends, (I guess it's mostly Stacie!!) these are the areas where the Holy Spirit is showing victory because of my choices to honor Him and my Paul. But I am always open and accepting when you notice me going way off track and saying WAY TO MUCH!! About once a year I lose my voice. That has been happening for years, just from strain. I used to get soooo frustrated, but the last few times, it has helped bring to focus what needs to be said (very little) and what does not need to be said (a whole lot!).
Thank you for hearing me and be my sisters in Christ.