Restored and Redeemed

Has your marriage been restored? Restored & Redeemed is a devotional for those in a restored marriage.

Dreaming as a Couple for the New Year

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.  Proverbs 16:9 (ESV) 

Happy New Year! You survived the week between Christmas and the new year when many people wander around trying to figure out which day it is. Some people love to use this week to plan, dream, and organize. That is me! I get excited at the thought of a new calendar. It is like a blank slate ready for an opportunity. Something about this time of year makes me crave organization and a plan.

Let’s be honest. While this time of year lends itself to new things, plans, and dreams, I fully realize that about 1.5 days into the new year, I may be hit with unplanned emergencies that attempt to rob me of my new year’s joy. Did I ever tell you about the time our washing machine overflowed? Twice. In the same week. Talk about a joy-sucker! We emptied our garage onto the front yard, got everything dried out, and put it all away, only to have the same thing happen two days later. I started searching my garage for a hidden camera because I was sure this had to be a joke.

Life is full of reality, like overflowing washing machines. We can plan and prepare and dream, but things are going to happen that weren’t planned, and we are going to have to figure out if they are going to derail us or if we can adapt and with our whole heart say, “Lord, you are in control, and I trust You in this.”

You may be like my husband and not overly moved by the thought of planning and dreaming. He is a realist, and I am the dreamer. I am sure God will split the sea right before my eyes, and He wants to make a plan to get through the sea if it doesn’t split. We have two different ways of thinking about planning.

I want to challenge you to dream and plan with your spouse. It may be something that excites you, or maybe you read that and think, “That’s ridiculous. I’m not doing it.” I want you to try.

Praying and talking with your spouse about the future opens up a beautiful conversation you may never have otherwise. God loves you so much. He wants to see you not just existing but purposefully living a life that brings Him honor and glory.

What are some personal goals for your family? How do you want to serve others in 2024? Do you have giving desires that you can lay out? Is there someplace you want to travel? Is 2024 the year you quit your job and start your own business?

Don’t be afraid to dream together. God has done something so beautiful in your marriage by restoring your family. You know that He has unique plans for you.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Start preparing days ahead of your planning date by praying. Ask the Lord to show you areas where He wants to stretch you. Ask the Lord to give you ears to listen to what your spouse shares without being critical.

Can you imagine the discussion when Noah and his wife sat down to discuss their dreams and plans? In Genesis chapter 6, we see the instructions being laid out. I’m sure there was doubt and confusion about what the Lord asked this family to do. But God! Just as He guided Noah’s family, He will guide yours in His plans.

My husband and I go on a special date night to discuss our dreams, goals, and plans for the new year. We try to make it a time when we can be honest about the past and the future.

Take a notebook with you and write down your answers. My husband and I each take turns writing our answers out, and then we share them to talk about them in detail. The Lord may reveal areas where He wants to use your family that you never considered through this time together.

If you can’t see where you have been, you can’t know where you are going. Looking back and seeking the Lord on what needs to change is essential. Our friends had a similar planning session as they were reaching retirement age. They each had just assumed they would retire and live in the same house, watching their kids and grandchildren grow. Once they finished their conversation, it was evident that the Lord was calling them to move to another country and become missionaries. They are now spending their “retirement” serving others and sharing Christ.

Here are some questions to get you started:

    1. What is something you learned from last year?
    1. What were your biggest disappointments from last year?
    1. What dream or desire has been at the forefront of your mind?
    1. What goals do you have for the new year in these areas?Personal time with God
      • Giving
      • Sharing Christ with others
      • Marriage
      • Family
      • Career
    1. How can we encourage one another throughout the year?

What other questions would you add to this list? I can’t wait to hear how the Lord uses you and your spouse to bring others to Him in 2024!

God bless,

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The Path To Marriage Restoration​

This teaching is Charlyne’s introduction to “How To Stand & Fight For Your Marriage!” Charlyne’s goal is to teach you, a stander, or someone you know with marriage problems, the path to marriage restoration that she has learned over the past twenty-five years.